Back in March I recommended three books to get you through quarantine. Well, here we are two months later and many of us are still on lockdown. Since I assume you’ve finished those books by now (I certainly hope so, they were required reading and will be on the exam) I’m back with three podcasts to listen to that I think will serve you well as you bake, or do your home workout routine, or go on long, ponderous, lonely walks, or lay in your bed and stare at the ceiling. Whatever your lockdown preference.
The Magnus Archives
When The Magnus Archives begins, it appears to be a series of separate horror stories being recorded by a skeptical archivist. However, it quickly becomes apparent that there are ties between the tales, and more is going on than was first assumed. It’s full of creep-crawly horror, things that lurk in the dark, and a sneaking suspicion that you’re always being watched…
Each episode is only about twenty minutes long, and as of today there are 168 episodes. They’re currently in their final season, and it is a doozy, so if you’d like to catch up before the finale I suggest getting on that. Though, maybe don’t do what I did and start at 11 pm, alone in your apartment, trying to deep-clean your bedroom but failing because you keep checking over your shoulder and pulling one earbud out. Did you hear something? Surely it was just the apartment next door. Who lives in that apartment anyway? You’ve never seen anyone go in or out, have you?
Sawbones is a medical history podcast that pokes a little fun at some of the misguided things people have done in the past to help cure various ailments. It’s hosted by Dr. Sydnee McElroy (who provides the tour through history) and her husband Justin (who provides the comedy).
When I first started listening to this podcast I jumped around a little, listening to whatever topics piqued my interest, including many of the earlier episodes. So I find it absolutely hilarious to hear them say, back in 2013, that they’re going to stick to medical history so they can keep it lighthearted and not discuss anything anyone might believe today. Jump to more recent episodes about very current events and you can tell their mission statement has changed a bit. (Side note: vaccinate your kids, people.)
For the past couple of months many of their topics have been on the COVID-19 outbreak or about issues arising from it, such as cabin fever or the history of quarantine. They cover some serious topics, but the hosts have a skill for keeping the tone lighthearted and interesting without sounding flippant or disrespectful. It’s been one of my favorite podcasts for a while, and it has recently become indispensable in finding information I can trust. At the very least, it should give you a thorough introduction to the subject of the episode and a place to begin when doing your own research.
Surreal Reality and Government Weirdness:
Welcome to Night Vale
Yes, I will recommend Welcome to Night Vale to you in this, the year of our Lord Twenty-Twenty. Listen, I know it’s the podcast everyone knows about. It’s been running since 2012. But I recently started listening again (from the beginning) because honestly? A little bit of surreal comedy-horror sounded like just the thing. And let me tell you, I forgot just how fucking funny this show is, especially in the context of today.
The City Council’s denial of literally every bad thing? The casual acceptance of the surveillance state? Terror after terror hitting the town and it’s all just another Tuesday?
“It’s probably nothing. If we shut down for every mysterious event that at least one death could be attributed to, we’d never have time to do anything, right?”
I’m begging you to listen to this show.
So if you’ve heard of WtNV before, just think of this as me reminding you that it exists. I’m just giving you a gentle nudge to get back into it. I made it through forty in episodes in like… four days? I read everything in Cecil’s voice now. It’s fine. I’m fine.
And if you haven’t heard of WtNV? Oh buddy, am I glad to be the one to introduce you. Give it a shot, and let the calming voice of a fictional community radio show host lull you into complacency before hitting you with a line like “That’s the essence of life, isn’t it? Sometimes you go through things that seem huge at the time… While they’re happening, they feel like the only thing that matters and you can hardly imagine that there’s a world out there that might have anything else going on. And then [it] moves on. And you move on. And the event is behind you.”
Between these three shows are hundreds of hours of excellent, and often relevant content. I hope you enjoy, and if you have any other suggestions, be sure to leave a comment below!
And if you need a snack while listening, head on over to our sponsor, JerkyPro, and use the code 101Militia for a 5% discount!