Attack Ads! The Podcast

Sometimes, a company’s announcement causes not ripples but waves. Some laugh and grab their surfboards, while others panic and shout "Tsunami!" I look at one such policy change in this Episode 141: Campaign Season Greetings, Now Chunky Style!

Direct download: Campaign_Season_Greetings_Now_Chunky_Style.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:52am EDT

Take just about any phenomenon, and with enough searching it's usually possible to discover the first instance… or at least the first really, really popular occurrence. Serial broadcast drama is my focus on this Episode 140: As The Plots Thicken.

Direct download: As_the_Plots_Thicken.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:07pm EDT

As we learn from George Orwell, the words we use limit what thoughts we can entertain. The Powell Movementeers spent millions over the decades to limit our political language, giving us what I hope to illustrate in this Episode 139: Fail to the Chief.

Direct download: WTN_Fail_To_The_Chief.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:48pm EDT

When machines can read your expressions as well as humans, we should worry, especially when such predators, be they human or machine, feel not the slightest tinge of remorse. Hence, Episode 138: Digital Psychopathy.

Direct download: Digital_Psychopathy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:06pm EDT

To understand the national anger at the first radio commercials, I find it helps to understand first and foremost that these ads came right into the home… like an intruder's pungent fart. Hence, Episode 137: Something Else in the Air.

Direct download: Someting_Else_In_The_Air.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:18pm EDT

Technology sometimes makes history dramatically, changing the way its witnesses think of the future forever. Today, I focus on one such unveiling, and link it to the first days of radio, in this Episode 136: Something Amazing In The Air.

Direct download: Something_Amazing_In_The_Air.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm EDT

Most of us are today packing a small, flat tech rectangle, something that provides hours of staring opportunity. Is that gadget using its microphone to betray our secret desires? I'll dip into this possibility in this Episode 135: Sweat the Petty Stuff.

Direct download: Sweat_the_Petty_Stuff.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:25pm EDT

Broadcasting ads hither and yon is bad enough. Today, though, advertisers can target their ads. What happens when those in the crosshairs are unable to resist? Who is to blame, then, for harm? I ask that in this Episode 134: The Opposite of Pride.

Direct download: The_Opposite_of_Pride.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:22am EDT

Sometimes, things I recently read about happen in real life, giving relevance to those books I keep diving into… and more evidence that my reading (and this show) is on the right track. I share one coincidence in this Episode 133: The End of the Myth.

Direct download: The_End_of_the_Myth.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:28pm EDT

Dictionaries are bound to have errors. What I found surprising is how many not just dictionaries but also others defined a pretty common word so egregiously wrong. So, I try to get that definition right in this Episode 132: No, Alanis, It Really Isn't.

Direct download: No_Alanis_It_Really_Isnt.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:03pm EDT

Online advertising is now an insufferable bastard. It forces regulators to verbally suck up to those they oversee, and journalists to participate in the crimes on which they report. I share this hot ironic mess in Episode 131: The Keys to the Treasure.

Direct download: The_Keys_to_the_Treasure.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00pm EDT

If you camp, protect your food, for the woods are full of opportunists quite happy to swap their diet of bugs and berries for your candy and cold cuts. Sadly, we must do the same at home, as I explain in Episode 130: Vermin Feed on Forgotten Trash.

Direct download: Vermin_Feed_on_Forgotten_Trash.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:36pm EDT

More forms our opinions than just what we read or hear. Habits, both social and not so much, might enlarge the chasm between us and others, a widening that may provide commercial interests an exploitative opportunity. Hence, Episode 129: Mined The Gap.

Direct download: Mined_The_Gap.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:41pm EDT

I know you're likely tired of my recent obsession with the term "stereotype;" but there is benefit to understanding that gap between our understanding of a thing and complexities inherent in the thing itself. Hence today's Episode 128: Mind The Gap.

Direct download: Mind_The_Gap.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:42pm EDT

Once the First World War removed the tarnished and tawdry reputation propaganda had with business, advertisers were able to expand their reach and hone their technique. I share three of their new tricks in this Episode 127: Brand, Demand, and Target!

Direct download: Brand_Demand_and_Target.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:59pm EDT

To wrap this whole use of propaganda against the citizens that started in the Great War, I thought I'd share my personal journey both within and outside of the myths pounded into us through the television we watch in this Episode 126: Self Evidence.

Direct download: Self_Evidence.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:21pm EDT

We're still at that turning point in history in this episode, this time when one country used the proven techniques of its ally to reverse a campaign promise and involve itself in a Great War. Hence, Episode 125: I Want You, Two.

Direct download: I_Want_You_Two.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:54am EDT

Today, I explore a turning point, the historic but still fairly recent time when an English-speaking country chose not to order its citizens into battle, but to convince them to do so. The main message is this episode's title: I Want You.

Direct download: I_Want_You.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:12pm EDT

At the height of their popularity, patent medicine nostrum pushers engaged in so many extreme acts of outdoor commercial vandalism the era was termed The Age of Disfigurement. I describe it in this Episode 123: The Fungus and Mould of The Obscenery.

Direct download: The_Fungus_and_Mould_of_The_Obscenery.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:42pm EDT

There's a lot wrong out there, but it's not enough to simply point it out and shout, at least for me. If you insist on wandering through Wrongville, you may never get to leave if you have only this Episode 122's title: A Map Without Utopia.

Direct download: A_Map_Without_Utopia.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:20pm EDT

Too many ads today owe their stylistic inspiration to old time pitches for patent medicines, empty exhortations promising far more than the elixirs they bottled could deliver. All that—and so much more!—in this Episode 121: Good for Whatever Ails You.

Direct download: Good_For_Whatever_Ails_You.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:46pm EDT

Sometimes I find something that should be shared in its entirety. It helps when the author of that something is generous with the permission that makes sharing possible. Such is the case with this Bonus Episode: Propaganda, An Introduction.

Direct download: Propaganda_An_Introduction.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:26pm EDT

You can call it propaganda, or you can call it bias, or you can call it undo pressure from funding sources involved in the topic. I call this Episode 120: Call It What You Will.

Direct download: Call_It_What_You_Will.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:25pm EDT

Plunging blindly ahead without due regard is one way to do something. A New Year, though, provides a convenient calendrical pause, where one can look back and make sure goals have not been completely abandoned or forgotten. Hence, Episode 119: My Filter Bubble of Vindication.

Direct download: My_Filter_Bubble_of_Vindication.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:17pm EDT