Four good podcasts

These aren’t the only podcasts I listen to, but these are some podcasts I listen to.

Gangster Capitalism

The first season was about the college admissions scandal; the second, the NRA’s self-dealing and corruption. Andrew Jenks’ investigative series has turned to Jerry Falwell, Jr. and Liberty University. The podcast is revealing, infuriating, and—this season especially—not wholly safe for work.

Canadaland Commons

An offshoot of Canada’s best media criticism podcast, Commons (in its current iteration, with Arshy Mann) points a finger at a different aspect of Canadian culture. The first season was on corruption, followed by dynasty, cops, and now real estate. The emergency season on the pandemic was vivid, necessary reportage that I honestly couldn’t listen to, with the pandemic raging around us.

The current season is real estate, and the story about how Vancouver came to rest in the pockets of the triads is fascinating. I also don’t know that much about Vancouver in general.

The Empty Bowl

It’s a meditative podcast about cereal. For real, it’s about cereal. It’s quiet, relaxed, and the very definition of low-stakes. The only thing I don’t like are listener voicemails universally read in some amateur ASMR affect that makes my skin crawl. But that’s only a minute out of an otherwise peaceful oasis.

Errant Adventures

Actual-play podcasts are a dime a dozen, but Steve Morrison’s stands out for a few reasons. One, it’s a solo RPG he’s playing—Shawn Tomkin’s Ironsworn: Starforged—and second, it’s a really good show. There are plenty of actual-play podcasts that bog down in interminable attempts at “chemistry” or fall up their own anthills in self-satisfaction. Morrison stays focused on moving the game forward, and the choices he makes always provide interesting material. It’s valuable listening for anyone interested in tabletop role-playing games, audio storytelling, solo play, or Ironsworn or Starforged in particular.

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