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BeetleMilk's Favorite Podcasts (Occult and otherwise) Pt. 1
Podcasts are the coolest thing ever.
I mean, think about it. I'm coming up on 34 years of life. When I was a kid, the thought that any of this would exist today would have just been unbelievable (smart phones and such). But for me, the most important thing that has happened is the democratization of information. Simply put, today, if you want to know it, it's out there. We had internet in the '90's, but it was much more simple.
Part of this shared data pool is podcasts. What makes them cool is much like why YouTube is interesting - anybody can do it. All you need is a mic and an idea and you can put your ideas, research, and personality out into the world. Unlike Youtube, podcasts aren't censored. Hell, you don't even need audio editing software! Websites like Anchor.fm (Which is the distribution platform for our podcast, BeetleCast) allow you to plug in your audio and make edits and add music right in your browser. It's amazing. All the production of a radio show, right from your phone (BeetleCast is a little bit more complicated to produce but the point remains). And, before you call me a shill, Anchor did not pay me for a plug. Nobody does. WHY DOESN'T ANYONE PAY ME FOR PLUGS?!?!?!?
So, podcasts are great. As a side note, so are audiobooks. And e-books. And physical books. Books are great, read more of them.
When researching ideas for BeetleMilk, podcasts are very helpful for getting a quick overview of an idea, or in many cases in depth analysis. Some designs have come from one offhand comment from a host, or a theme of an episode (My old design, Happy Birthday, was from an episode of The Mortuary, for example). Here, I'm listing my favorites. This doesn't mean best, or most knowledgable, just podcasts I really like.
Occult Subject Matter:
1. The Mortuary: For a while, Tatiana and I worked at Wal-Mart. This was at the beginning of the whole COVID situation, and what it meant was that our local store closed down during the evening. It had previously been a 24 hour store, so this was a significant sea change in the way things were done there. I worked night shift, from around 10:30pm to 7:00am or so.
Due to the change over to a daytime only store, we were allowed to wear headphones on night shift while doing our jobs (Day shift could not and if you ever see an associate with headphones in, call them out. It's not allowed). Naturally, I started looking for media to help pass those long, boring hours swapping tags on shelves. One of the first podcasts I came across was "The Mortuary". To this day, that theme song still gets me... "There are things that go bump in the night. We are the ones that bump back."
The Mortuary was an eclectic podcast. Hosted by two guys named Tanner and Broc, they went into the Occult, supernatural, and conspiracy theories. The angle that made it so interesting is that they were Christian, so their interpretations of events had that slant on it the whole time. I can't stress how unique their vibe was. They set up a phone line and some of the most odd people called them. They did interviews with people who created urban legends. In the later episodes, they delved very deeply into serial killers and conspiracy theories.
I do want to point that out something about the pair. They were full blown conspiracy theorists. For many of you, that makes the podcast an automatic "no". I encourage you to listen anyway. Because of their podcast, when Qanon blew up to national attention, I already knew what their ideas and beliefs were. I'm not saying that Broc and Tanner are Qanon, but Q borrowed from a lot of other conspiracies to form the foundation of their ideas. So I knew all about Pizzagate, Bohemian Grove, all about Epstein, thanks to this podcast. Believe what suits you, but being more informed is never a bad thing, period.
You might have noticed that this entire time I have been referring to the guys and the podcast in the past tense. That's because they unfortunately decided to end it. They got accepted into new jobs and Broc had another kid, and they didn't want such a controversial podcast interfering with their lives, as they didn't use stage names. As much as it sucks, I respect that decision and have talked to Broc personally (after Tanner left I actually asked if I could co-host. He very graciously said he'd consider it, but then cancelled the podcast. I like to think the two events aren't related lol). It was supposed to be removed from podcast servers, but as of this morning I can still access it on Pocket Casts. Give it a listen, and imagine that you're Pope, on a lonely shift in an empty Wal-Mart, changing tags on shelves and watching the doors for the Black Eyed Kids...
2. Occult Confessions: OC is an excellent podcast. It ain't no Mortuary, but then again, what is? This podcast, presented by "The Secret Order Of Alchemical Actors" (Side note: Shitty secret, right? Having a podcast and all), is a VERY well researched and presented podcast. It has a large variety of contributors, and goes very far into their subject matter. They also tackle the Occult and supernatural, as well as other subjects, and I strongly recommend giving them a listen. You might notice that I don't have as much to say about them, and that isn't because the cast is inferior, it's because they aren't conspiracy theorists (to my knowledge) and the podcast is still going. Check it out!
3. What On Earth Is Happening?: The guy who hosts this is a raving lunatic and I'm here for it. I don't want to spoil the insanity, just go listen to it. You might agree with him on some points...
Side Note: There are a large number of podcasts on occult subject matter, but these are the only ones I've listened to with any regularity. Do a search on your preferred platform and you'll be ok.
Non - Occult Subject Matter:
1. Penn's Sunday School: If you know me at all, you know I'm a huge fan of Penn & Teller. Teller, in my opinion, is the greatest living magician in the world, bar none. If Teller had a podcast it'd be on this list, but as it is, Penn is the voice of the duo.
Penn's Sunday School is hard to pin down, thematically. Penn goes into a lot of subjects with his co-hosts, Michael Goudeau and Matt Donnelly (and we can't forget Reddi Rich). Penn is an unapologetic atheist and Libertarian, and one of the most famous magicians in the world, so they bounce between politics and world news and the latest goings on with Penn & Teller. If you're a fan, I wouldn't skip this one.
2. Great Leap Years/ Seven Deadly Sins, by Stephen Fry: Another person on my "If you know me, you know them" list, Stephen Fry is a treasure to the world and to the UK. He's also one of the dudes that you know, but don't know you know. For example, as a movie actor, he was in V for Vendetta as the guy who gave Natalie Portman a place to stay, and he played Mycroft Holmes in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. As an author, he has numerous books, Mythos and Heroes being my favorites. In June he is coming out with another book, Troy. I will be buying it day one. My guy is prolific. Being as such, of course he has a podcast.
His approach to podcasting is a little unique, however. Fry does his podcasts in short series, with very high production values, scripts, and deep research. Being as such, he only comes out with a new series every few years. This is not to the detriment of his podcasts - they are amazing and informative, and delivered with the awesomeness that only a gay British guy could pull off. If you want knowledge for the simple joy of getting better informed, I'd give this one a listen.
3. Hardcore History: Where Stephen Fry is obviously enjoying what he is doing and seems to enjoy distributing knowledge with a fun twist, Dan Carlin takes that shit seriously. Hardcore History is an apt title, because this podcast goes hard AF. Also in the vein of Fry, the number of these casts are limited because they are long and immaculately researched. You are there to cram knowledge in your head, and Carlin is going to make sure you walk out with a goddamned PHD in whatever subject he tackles. I love it. Thanks to him, I know about the Gauls, I know more than I ever expected to on torture methods throughout history, and thanks to his book The End Is Always Near, I know way too much about doomsday scenarios. Carlin is a class act and the only bummer is that the episodes take so long to produce that the release schedule is wonky and inconsistent. Despite that, there's like fifty hours of his goodness online right now so go check it out. Note: While pulling the links for this blog, I discovered that Carlin has a few episodes for free, and some others cost money. I strongly suggest you throw him a few dollars, because his content is excellent and he should be paid for it. As I stated, each podcast is essentially a college course on the subject he tackles. An investment in your knowledge is never wasted.
Well, that's it for this one. There's a lot more that I listen to, but it's early and I'm tired of typing, so consider this part one. Go listen to some of these and let me know what you think!