They say that stories are the best way to teach about the past, present and future. It's in the sharing that we grow to understand each other better with hopefully, respect and compassion. A new podcast in San Francisco, This American Whore, is attempting to use stories to educate people about sex work who are outside of the sex worker and kink communities. Siouxsie Q is the host and also a sex worker, ally, and advocate. The idea came to Q after listening to Kevin Smith's audio book, Tough Sh*t: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good, where he told his audience to speak up if you have something to say.
Cookie Monster, everyone's favorite carb-loving Muppet from Sesame Street, sure is busy these days.
When he's not questioning the political correctness of antiquated terms like "monster" or providing thoughtful and astute breakdowns of the Occupy movement, he's also making pop songs more enjoyable for us all.
We were into Ben Venom before anybody. Well, OK, that's not true -- but we were into him before National Public Radio and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts were.
In April we awarded Venom (a.k.a. Ben Baumgartner) and two other artists our annual Masterminds grants. We chose them from scores of applicants. Venom is the behind the heavy-metal fabrications that emphasize "fabric" -- simply put, he makes quilts from t-shirts of heavy metal bands.
But even if the product only has a niche market, it's picking up wider appeal as form of snuggleable art.
The seamster's works are featured in the Yerba Buena Center's "Bay Area Now 6" exhibition. And just a couple of days ago, Venom's voice -- interspersed with heavy-metal music clips -- hit the airwaves on NPR's weekend edition of All Things Considered.
Again, we were into him before, well, these other guys. If that makes us heavy-metal quilt hipsters, then rock on.
The days of morning talk radio and nightly radio newscasts are slowly but surely giving way to obscure nobodies spouting their beliefs and sharing their senses of humor on podcasts. And we like it. The ability to bypass the existing media superstructure is allowing regular people to produce brilliant, exciting podcasts that are starting to get national attention, and at very little expense.
This new generation of broadcast entrepreneurs takes complex, interesting, and sometimes hilarious topics and [puts them out there, 21st-century style, available in your headphones when you want it. Here's to progress, technological advances, and the gumption of folks who just want to be heard: 10 awesome examples of the best podcasts.
Most people know the words of Harvey Milk through the footage of televised interviews, debates, or election speeches in documentaries such as Rob Epstein's amazing The Times of Harvey Milk. But Milk was a politician in the final years of his life, so he gave numerous interviews and had multiple public-speaking engagements, many of which were not recorded or have been lost forever. You can listen to an interview he gave with KSAN-FM in October 1977, a little more than a year before his assassination, at the GLBT History Museum's online "Gayback Machine." Milk talks about issues that are normal to any local politician, including crime, business, and creating jobs for young people, but he's passionate and dogged in his response to every question. After listening to even a few minutes of it, it's easy to see why Milk was so inspirational to so many.