The American Age

Season 1


Sunday Dec 26, 2021

009 - The hosts return to their annual theme: Unlucky Days. Those days between Christmas and New Years seem to flow outside of normal time. They run together. Time is indistinct. As 2021 comes to an end, the hosts reflect on uncertainty.

Monday Dec 13, 2021

008 - Is Covid a plague of the unvaccinated? Is populist ideology killing the vaccine hesitant? According to a recent article by NPR's Daniel Wood and Geoff Brumfiel the answer to both of those questions is, yes. The hosts react to this story and explore empathy fatigue, compassion, and what statistics can and can't show us.

Monday Nov 29, 2021

007 - The Kyle Rittenhouse verdict landed with a partisan thud. Some saw the judgement as an example of systemic racism, while others saw a righteous verdict for a heroic teen. The truth, of course, is that neither of these overly stark, flat assessments tells us much about what happened in Kenosha and why. The hosts offer their notes on one of the most talked about legal cases of 2021.

Monday Nov 15, 2021

006 - This week's Note has the hosts contending with the scope and influence of social media on American public discourse. Is it a good idea that so many people are empowered to talk so much? They wrestle with Ian Bogost's article "People Aren't Meant to Talk This Much" in The Atlantic, and offer their point of view on the role of social media.

Sunday Oct 31, 2021

005 - Since SARS-CoV-2 tore through the population and left biologic, economic, and emotional catastrophe in its wake, the question of its origins has flitted in and out of public consciousness. The legacy U.S. media has, for the most parts, shown little interest in its origins beyond quick glosses affirming its “natural” origins, or perfunctory reporting on the unpopularity of the “lab leak” hypothesis. However, recent reporting by Katherine Eban at Vanity Fair has revealed that Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. Government, and the NIH have misled the public about their support of “gain of function” research at the Wuhan lab. What does it mean to “trust” a public official in twenty-first century America, and why is it so polarizing to question them?

Monday Oct 18, 2021

004 - In 2016, Katie Couric interviewed the late justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg… and was dragged for editing out some very spicy quotes from RBG. Couric admits in her upcoming memoir, "Going There", that she redacted those quotes to "protect" RBG, but that she also felt it was "unworthy of a crusader for equality", despite Couric herself claiming to be a "big RBG fan." In this episode, the hosts aim to confront Couric's journalistic integrity, while sparing time to criticize RBG's now-brought-to-light statements.

Monday Oct 04, 2021

003 - We're adding a layer of reflection to analysis in this episode. Steven Fullwood looks to a book and an article to spark introspection about the "ubiquity of social media and fame". Travis Webb draws connections to Stoicism and offers a great quote from a Roman emperor. Seph Rodney brings out candid vulnerability, reminding us that critical thinking can still foster tender moments. What is our collective relationship with recognition and adoration? And how does it play into our interpersonal relationships?

Monday Sep 20, 2021

002 - This week we cut to the chase on Nicki Minaj's infamous tweet about a friend of a friend of a friend's experience with vaccines. Stranger danger is no longer trendy; tis the season for recklessness from household names. We discuss the virality of the tweet as well as the questionable virility of its subject. In the end, the focus is more on critical thinking than any single act itself.

Monday Sep 06, 2021

001 - To kick off the new podcast format (bi-weekly hour-long episodes with a miniseries in between), hosts Travis Webb and Seph Rodney offer their personal thoughts around Sha'Carri Richardson getting barred from the Olympics. Many people were quick to respond with concerns about systemic racism, while others maintain that the rule applies to everyone.

Unlucky Days Again

Monday Dec 31, 2018

Monday Dec 31, 2018

052 – C. Travis Webb, Seph Rodney, and Steven Fullwood return to the topic of cyclical time. Every year in the Mesoamerican calendar there were five unlucky days between the end of the ritual calendar and the start of a new solar calendar. Are the days between Christmas and New Year a similar experience for twenty-first century Westerners?

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