• Complimentary Earplugs (Part 2 of 100)

    Today’s audio plug is a guest post from CJ Flesher, VP of the AOK. Enjoy! – d.r.

    When I heard Damion had decided to do a series on what podcasts he and his cohorts listen to, I beat a path to his door. Why? Well, besides being the Vice President of the Oklahoma Atheists, my day job is driving a truck while listening to 10+ hours of audio at a stretch. Most of that is filled with podcasts. My list is ever-growing as shows go defunct and new gems pop to the surface. In fact, I’m currently in the process of scrounging for some new stuff for my feed.

    There is a reason why the NPR shows, Slate gabfests and WTF stay near the top of the rankings in their respective categories. Those shows are put out by professionals at a consistent pace, and often have important impacts on our society. But it isn’t any fun writing about the shows that iTunes already says you should like. It is the hidden gems that need our love, not the Radiolab or This American Life episode we already discuss over beers.

    My favorite podcasts are often heavily regionalized. The Godcast, of which I am an infrequent contributor, is one of these. But my favorites are often regionalized to ‘exotic’ parts of the US of A.


    Tank Riot Comic Cover © 2010 Jeremy Couturier


    Tank Riot! is just such a podcast. The hosts, Viktor, Sputnik and Tor (not their real names) will spend a good portion of every show discussing life in ‘tropical’ Madison, Wisconsin. It is because of this show that I feel I have a healthy knowledge about, and disgust for, Vice-Presidential candidate and Wisconsinite Paul Ryan.

    The saga surrounding the failed attempt to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was particularly entertaining for someone who lives in a state where Sally Kern is consistently getting re-elected and one of our Senators has a book out about how climate change is a hoax.

    Don’t get the wrong idea, Tank Riot is not (usually) just about Wisconsin life and politics. Each episode has a topic, and the guys do a good job of covering it. Topics are as schizophrenic as interests of the hosts.

    One of the strong suits of the show is that because it isn’t limited to a theme (ie: atheism, philosophy, science news) it never runs out of topics to cover. In its 120+ episodes, Tank Riot has covered Star Trek Fan Films, Studio Ghibli, Kurt Vonnegut, Devo, Henry Kissinger, Ayn Rand, Joe McCarthy, Carl Sagan, and Link Wray, just to name a few. They’ve also had multiple episodes on conspiracy theories, and an on-going list of Great Douche-Bags in History. Three of the above make that list. I’ll leave it up to you to guess.

    To me, Tank Riot feels like the podcast equivalent of MST3K. It has a similar sensibility and absurdity about life. Maybe it is because both shows come from the same part of the country and both have a Public Access feel to them.

    To learn more about Tank Riot, check out the show page. It is available on iTunes.

    Category: Complimentary EarplugsFreethought in Popular Culture

    Article by: Damion Reinhardt

    Former fundie finds freethought fairly fab.