Thursday, November 02, 2006

Podcasts I Like: My Favorite Podcast

There are podcasts I can’t wait to listen to. Buzz Out Loud is a podcast I start listening to about 5 seconds after I download it. Same goes for Filmspotting.

But I will say this about all of them – they’re temporal. Sure these podcasts occasionally have moments that merit revisiting (how I wish for an eventual Best of Massacre Theater CD), but none of them leave me wanting to hear the entire podcast again.

This brings me to Audition. Audition is the official podcast of the Mars Hill Audio Journal. Not only is every podcast a real treat, they all can be heard over and over with little or no diminishing returns.

Here’s why – they’re not dumbed-down. These are academics or writers writing to academics, and they love talking about the high-minded and esoteric. So sometimes it takes a few listens to really understand what is being said. And once an understanding is obtained, either a counter-argument forms or a challenge is presented to your life. Either way, you are transformed on a very fundamental level by the information presented.

The most recent podcast is a perfect example of this – it covers discussions of W.H. Auden, Flannery O’Connor, and C. S. Lewis. I have a cursory reading relationship with all of these authors, but this program made me want to return to them, devour and savor each of their collected works, and then relisten to the podcast. It makes me want to write my thoughts down and send them to the interviewees, and add my own thoughts to the discussion.

In short, it makes me want to be a better person.

It reminds me of what I love about higher education - the passion for ideas and the insight that comes with intellectual discourse. If only there was a way to have experience that without experiencing the soul-sucking bureaucracy known as the Registrar’s office.

Oh wait, there is a way for this to happen. It is called listening to this podcast.

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