This weeks podcast I wanted to talk about is called the Pod Delusion. I was turned onto this show by a good friend about a year and a half ago. The podcast is pretty unique in the many shows I listen to as it has many contributors and not one or two. So, Let me break it down for you....
Borrowing from the sites own description of the podcast, (and also here with Phillip Larkin) this be the verse: The Pod Delusion is an award-winning weekly news magazine radio programme and podcast about interesting things. From politics, to science to culture and philosophy, it's commentary from a secular, rationalist, skeptical, somewhat lefty-liberal, sort of perspective. A bit like "From Our Own Correspondent" but with more jokes.
So there you have it. But, I hear you ask, what's it all about then? That's easy. Think about this: You probably know someone clever and well read. They are probably the person you turn to to sort out a debate you might be having with someone else. Imaging your well read and interesting friend and let him or her contribute in a very knowledgeable and erudite way to a weekly podcast about the aforementioned subjects. Then, imagine a whole bunch of other well read and erudite people speaking about a plethora of subjects in the same show that lasts about an hour or so. You spend that time listening to it and learn a thing or two without it being sanitized or just plain brushed under the carpet by our nations media. Sound interesting?
The Pod Delusion is presented to us by two main contributors as well as the many people that record their own segments for inclusion on the show. The main voice of the Pod Delusion linking segments and cracking the occasional gag in between is a fella called James O'Malley. Often he conducts interviews too, but tends to take a back seat from the main content of the show. Also, doing a lot of other interviews is Liz Lutgendorff, she also contributes to the editing of the show too.
Right from the off, you get the impression that James and Liz care very deeply about the show and its content. They try to give a balanced viewpoint about current issues and all the other contributors do so too. You will hear about government legislation that maybe you wouldn't, or a piece about prayers at local council meetings and why that may not be everyone's cup of tea, whether or not the governments plans to track all data to individuals on the internet is bad and an interview with Robin Ince about Voltaire. The subjects covered in the shows are varied and fascinating. One thing if find great about it is that if one week you hear a piece that you might not agree with or feel that you could contribute more to, the beauty of the Pod Delusion is that you can record a response and submit it for inclusion in a future episode. Providing you aren't mad or hopelessly misinformed.
The current episode (available as I type this) has a piece on Alan Turing, an interview with a former government Chief Science Advisor about the Iraq war, why technology and politics make uncomfortable bedfellows, Michael Gove's new ideas for the national curriculum and all kinds of other interesting stuff. At the end of the podcast, there is usually a satirical sketch from the Pod Delusion comedy contributors, Brian Two and David Lovesy. That's cracking too. Personally, I can't bloody wait.
I should note here that the Pod Delusion is a secular show and therefore there are pieces often about religion every now and again. Those of you who have read my blog before know where I stand on religion and faith, and the lovely folk at the Pod Delusion share my point of view. If you have faith and can't handle sceptics debating it or picking holes in your belief system, general attitudes to other people and races, homosexuality and other idiosyncracies that most (if not all) organised religions have, don't listen. I'll say this though, I don't need to hide behind a book written thousands of years ago by rich people that oppressed the poor to make a point. If you want to mix it with the free thinking and erudite though, bring your book. I'll bring my brain, thanks.
Finally, The Pod Delusion is a completely independent show that has no sponsors or advertising. James always mentions this at the beginning and end of the show in what he calls the "Traditional Begging Slot". It's possible to contribute financially to the Pod Delusion and there is a link on their site showing you how to do it. As Mr O'Malley says "it's like buying the show a couple of drinks a month". Why not? They deserve it.
The Pod Delusion is contactable in many ways:
Twitter : @PodDelusion
Facebook : www.facebook.com/PodDelusion
and by email : firstname.lastname@example.org