Jason Pargin is the author of the humor and horror novel John Dies at the End and is also a senior editor at Cracked.com under the pseudonym David Won. He has written a second novel, This Book Is Full of Spiders.
January 26, 2020
Freedom sucks…and that is why we have to defend it. Because our democracy involves doing a lot of stuff that takes energy, takes time, and lacks that Michael Bay Quality that only a surprise missile launch can provide. So on this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt and special guest Jason Pargin (who writes for Cracked as David Wong) are exploring the ways being afraid of everything (an easy action) can stop us from being free. Discover the decades-long tradition of some Americans wanting to give up everything in exchange for not needing to think, the centuries-long tradition of people inciting fake panics, and the reasonable ways you can help change things for the better.
December 22, 2019
This is an evergreen episode of The Cracked Podcast — and not just because it involves Christmas trees. “Evergreen”, in case you don’t know, is a media term for stuff that’s worth listening to any time after its publication. And on this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt and his special guest Jason Pargin (who writes for Cracked as David Wong) are taking a Christmas-sparked look at the overall, global, all-encompassing meaningfulness of holidays. Why does your culture, no matter who you are, spend time and resources and energy on a set of traditions? What are we missing if we become Too Modern to value a break from everyday life? And how can anyone generate a holiday feeling in their own heart, any time of the year?
October 27, 2019
The Indiana Jones movies are true to life. Not about that specific guy being real, or about certain magical canon being real, or about the archaeological profession being a parade of sex ’n Nazis. Still, here’s what ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ and its ilk get right: archaeologists dig up crazy nightmare horrors OFTEN. So on this spooktacular episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt joins Jason Pargin (who writes for Cracked as David Wong) for a trip through the astonishing horrors found by actual real-life archaeologists, because that stuff is much scarier and more fascinating than any horror movie. Listen for the terrifying Aztec death whistle! Discover the ancient cave that devoured a guy! And gain a stronger sense of how pants-crappingly awful the past was (and how lucky we are to be in the present).
August 4, 2019
Empathy is down 40% among American young people. That’s the finding of a study analyzing dozens of other studies across decades of responses. That also sounds sort of insane — if nothing else, empathy might not be something you think percentages can measure. But what if it is measurable that way? And what if poll responses about empathy, morality, and dogs in mortal danger open up cans of worms so enormous there’s no way to contain them in a single podcast episode?
On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt sits down with Jason Pargin (who writes for Cracked as David Wong) to explore a range of polls, studies, and self-reported opinions that say an insane amount about who Americans really are. You’ll discover the shocking estimated truth about America’s pornography habits, vaccine paranoia, faith in a higher power, and other critical factors that format society. Also get excited about wondering a whole new set of questions, covering everything from trolley problems to shower multitasking.
May 26, 2019
You’re going to live a long time. Congratulations! That’s good! There are zero ways that is bad news! Yet if you talk about our future 50, 40, or even 10 years from now, people might tell you that’s fantastical wishful thinking. They may say the environment/politics/economy/incoming meteor dooms us all no matter what we do, so who cares. Why is assuming the world’s going to end so common? How come people talk about it with a wry jokey glint in their eye? And why does every generation tell that “joke” even though the world keeps on spinning?
On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt sits down with Jason Pargin (who writes for Cracked as David Wong) to dig into what you need to remember about our wretched hellscape. They’ll pick apart the fearful thinking that deactivates lots of people for no positive reason. They’ll examine how people actually behave when the world actually is ending. And they’ll explore the fantastic news that you’ll probably live to see a future Past You would kill for.
April 28, 2019
Be glad you don’t work in turn-of-the-century America. It was a time of lethal accidents, legal child labor, lecherous tycoons and more sick problems we’ve (mostly) left behind. Things got better in the past hundred years. That’s a fact. But have things gotten better for you? Do you know working adults with benefits, unions, pensions, or any sense of a future? And most of all, if you hear somebody complain about their job, do you kinda think they’re lucky to have a job at all?
On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt sits down with Jason Pargin (who writes for the site as David Wong) to dig into how modern work might be ruining your life. They’ll show the surprising life-or-death stakes baked into the simple question “how’s work?” They’ll also examine what science says about jobs of the future, how little science knows about jobs of the present, and how we can make each others’ jobs suck less by remembering the ways we’re the boss.