I consider myself to be a podcast enthusiast, but I will be the first to admit that I have not listened to many of the most popular podcasts.
I've been a fan of Joe Rogan ever since NewsRadio, and I've seen some clips here and there of The Joe Rogan Experience, but I've never sat down and listened to an entire episode of his podcast. I had a feeling that his political views were more libertarian, but beyond knowing that he's a proponent of weed, I didn't know much about him on a personal level.
With that in mind, I went through the most recent episodes of his podcast to see if there was an episode that would help me learn what he was all about.
I can't be the only one in the world who thinks the political scene in 2018 is incredibly draining and makes me feel ultimately powerless. As soon as I saw that Ted Nugent was on an episode, my initial reaction was, "ugh, why the hell would I listen to this crap and subject myself to more of that same feeling?"
Before listening to this episode, here was the sum total knowledge of facts that I knew about Ted Nugent:
- He was a musician of some sort
- He wasn't popular in my Twitter bubble
- He tends to speak in brash, general, and oversimplified statements
In an effort to remove myself from my bubble, I thought, "you know what? A lot of folks seem to love Ted Nugent, so I'm gonna listen with an open mind and see what it's all about."
The episode was pretty long (over three hours), but if you've got the time, I highly encourage you to give it a listen. A few things I took away:
- I didn't realize Ted was all about hunting, and I noticed myself nodding my head in agreement during the discussions around being responsible with nature and treating the circle of life with respect.
- The discussion around the vegan lifestyle was also illuminating. I know a few folks who try to do the vegan thing, and it's interesting to look at it from the perspective of "look at the number of animals and plants you need to kill with pesticides in order to keep them off your land so your tofu can grow."
- The first hour or so is mostly Ted and Joe talking about how misunderstood hunters are. Of primary note is a part where Ted says that people think hunters are all fat, sloppy rednecks who go out and hunt down hundreds of animals at a time. He says that if non-hunters would actually talk to a hunter and see the world from their perspective, it would really make things better. I thought this was a profound point, which was made completely ironic by the next observation:
- No fewer than 50 times in this episode does Ted identify a group of people (liberals, politicians, the DNR, bureaucrats, anti-gun folks, illegal immigrants), caricaturize them, and berate them for their "ignorance."
Joe spent a lot of the episode silent, because Ted just would get on a rant and keep going. However, I think Joe did do a great job of holding Ted's feet to the fire a bit over some of his statements.
My favorite part of the episode was when Ted went to the bathroom, Joe monologued about how messed up the gun situation is in our country and that he doesn't have any answers for it. It was refreshing to hear that, since everyone seems to have an answer that wouldn't work in practice.
Like I said above, the episode was long, but I found it to be absolutely illuminating, and I will be seeking out more podcasts like this in order to make sure my perspective on life isn't being persuaded by only one type of voice.
If anything, the biggest takeaway from this episode for me was that what we need right now as a country is to find a way to come back to the table together. Social networks seem to thrive off of exploiting the worst in us as humans, and even though the first word in that phrase is "social", it has made us anything but.