• Complimentary Earplugs (Part 1 of 100)

    If you’re anything like me, you spend an inordinate amount of time in your car every day, listening to audio books, podcasts, radio shows, newscasts, even YouTube videos. Basically, anything that catches your fancy. This isn’t just a matter of avocation, for me, it’s a matter of survival. I have to listen to something that holds my interest or else I’ll fall asleep at the wheel and literally die of boredom, since I’m doing upwards of 70 mph in a little blue rice-burner that would probably fit in the bed of your pickup truck.

    Now, my fellow Godcasters and I might not be terribly good at creating high-quality audio, but we are quite avid and efficient listeners, and we’ve collected a massive digital library of shows that you most likely haven’t heard about, on topics ranging from atheism to politics to economics to science and technology. In this series of posts, we are going to share some of those with you, along with a few words on why we enjoy these shows.

    First up: American Heathen® with RJ Evans and a host of co-hosts

    [American Heathen -- Now available on your iPhone]RJ and I go back a bit. If I remember correctly, we met at O’Connell’s in Norman around 2003, when the Oklahoma Atheists were first starting to get on their feet as a real world meetup group instead of just an online forum. I think we managed to hang out for maybe 15 minutes before getting run off by the management for allegedly vandalizing the men’s room. I was righteously indignant about this at the time, since no one had actually gone to the men’s room, but figured that part of the price for being openly atheist in public would be the occasional bout of barely-disguised overt discrimination. (I have since learned that O’Connell’s was actually quite exceptional in this respect.) Since they never clarified what really happened, I’ve been left to wonder ever since, what would atheist bathroom vandalism even look like? Brilliant little snippets from existentialist philosophers? Surprisingly accurate depictions of religious figures drawn inside the urinals? The mind boggles.

    At any rate, RJ suggests that we run down the street to Goldie’s, where our little cabal is warmly welcomed and served delicious food. Right then, I’m thinking, this guy knows how to get shit done, like Joe Pesci. Of course, that’s just a first impression, and I’m a skeptic. So naturally, when he invites me over for some beers and angry radio broadcasting, I’m all in. I mean, who doesn’t accept invitations from strange men covered in tattoos to come back to their place for some live streaming action? It just seemed like the right thing to do. Don’t judge me.

    This is where I have to explain something about the studio itself. It’s not a running gag, like the ‘studio’ used in the Godcast, which is actually a little girl’s bedroom bedecked with all manner of pink frippery. It’s a proper studio, with all the buttons and knobs one could possibly hope to push and twiddle. And the show wasn’t originally a podcast, but rather a live internet radio call-in show which eventually became a podcast as well. The format is much more like that of an FM morning program than what you usually hear in the skeptical podcast-o-sphere.

    [TW: Trigger Warning for Trigger Warnings about lack of Trigger Warnings]
    If you are the kind of person who gets offended by anything, this is probably not the show for you. Seriously, anything at all. If you have some cherished beliefs that you cannot stand to see challenged, or believe that certain words are rightfully taboo, or find yourself worrying about how much damage someone else’s words might do to emotionally vulnerable pets and people, please, don’t tune in. There is a whole wide internet out there, much of which is perfectly safe. This is your only warning, and don’t come crying to me once you’ve been smacked upside the head with shocking language and ideas.

    Which isn’t to say that it’s all comedy and shock-jockery. It used to be much more like that, back in the day, but has more recently taken a variety of learned contributors on topics ranging from the history of freethought to scriptural exegesis. They still have one hell of a time, but you should expect to learn something along the way.

    To learn more about the show, please check out the show page. The podcast is available on iTunes, and if you’re feeling exceptionally brave, you can tune in live tonight at 7pm CST, 8pm EST.

    Category: Complimentary EarplugsFreethought in Popular Culture

    Article by: Damion Reinhardt

    Former fundie finds freethought fairly fab.