Thursday, January 12, 2017

Traveling In Time With Podcasts

This post is a follow up on an earlier post (Traveling In Time With Ira posted 18 March 2008).  In that post I talked about listening to This American Life (TAL) podcasts and reliving moments in time through the stories.  That post mentioned the 2000 election and the coming of 9/11.  A while later I relived Hurricane Katrina.

I have always been behind in my podcasts.  I typically listen to four or five podcast episodes (not just TAL) while I clean the house and do chores.  The backlog forms when I go on vacation (including walking my Caminos).  More podcast episodes flow in faster than I can listen to in a week.  Earlier this month I realized that I had around fifty hours of podcasts lined up.  I knew if I didn't try to catch up, my backlog would explode once I left for the Appalachian Trail (AT).  So ... I started to make time.

Over the last few weeks I've listened to at least an hour's worth of podcast each day.  When I started my oldest podcast was from early July.  I swiftly moved through the months and, over the last few days, as I approached the episodes near election day, I started to relive some of the anxiety I'd felt.  Knowing how it turned out just made the dread worse I think.  As I traveled through time listening to the podcast episodes I was struck by how hopeful and oblivious the world seemed back then.

Now, most of the podcasts I listen too do not directly link with current events but a few - TAL, Planet Money, Radiolab, and Note To Self - occasionally have tie-ins with the news.  I also listen to On the Media which I listen to 'live' since every episode is linked to the real time world.  It was interesting to listen as these podcasts approached the election.  There was a bit of denial, anxiety, and a general naivete.  There was also a feeling that everything would be okay after the election.

I caught up to the post-election podcast episodes and nearly everyone was surprised and shocked by reality.  You could hear the disbelief in many of the voices and in the stories.  TAL did the best with this episode when they talked to supporters of both candidates the day after the election.

I'm down to less than twenty-five hours of podcasts remaining.  I expect to catch up with real time in less than a month.  I think I will miss traveling through time but it will be short lived.  The AT will start and I will once again fall behind.  When I return in October I will once again be six months behind and my time travelling will start once again.

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