Dan Carlin, How I’ve Missed You

27 Nov

For those of you who don’t know who Dan Carlin is (aka probably all of you), he’s a political podcaster. As you probably do know, getting into political podcasts and ranting about them on blogs is very normal behavior for a teenage girl. Right?

Anyways, over the past few days I have been bingeing on some these one-ish hour ‘episodes’ that have been building up by the hundreds in my iTunes arsenal over the last few years. It has made me very happy, this bingeing.

I don’t know what it is about Dan Carlin, but he is just sort of calming. He is smart, reasonable, funny (but in a clever way), and quirky too. His volume and speed both fluctuate like nobody’s business. 

After a lot of hours spent listening to him talk about a lot of things, I start to feel like I’m understand something that is special, secret almost, and worth understanding. All those hours build up to feeling like I’m a part of something, like a family, or a club. It’s sorta like all the other things in this world that I love.

Which is why your probably wondering why so many of his podcasts have built up in my iTunes library for the last few years in the first place, sitting there untouched since I left middle-school. Well, they’ve built up because I haven’t been listening to them. Which brings us to a very interesting phenomenon of mine.

Like a lot of other things I have been noticing, Dan Carlin was something that I needed a very long break from. For a long time, it upset me. I couldn’t take out of it what was meant to be taken from it (political awareness/historical knowledge/pure bliss). I was irritated by the fact that Dan’s rants always seemed the same. I was irritated that I had nobody to discuss this with. For a time, Dan Carlin made me even more of an angsty high-school girl.

Lets take a moment to appreciate the statement that a independent-minded political podcast made me more angsty. It really is an odd world. But besides sometimes being too negative for an already negative teenage girl, it made me miss how things used to be.

It’s the same a Coldplay, or marzipan, or Christmas-shopping in bookstores. Things that used to make me happy which are too associated with other things that inevitably ended. Dan Carlin was an 8th grade thing, and 8th grade ended. But of course it ended. It ends every year for a new class.

So I took a break. A very long break. And I thought about politics, and I didn’t, and took history classes, and read books, and I did all kinds of other things that slighty awkward high-schoolers like myself do.

Then one beautiful, glorious day (that is, yesterday), it occurred to me that I wanted to learn about the positions of Libertarian candidates in the last election. I know it’s over, but curiosity just hits you at the oddest times. And that led to this binge, which, 30-some hours later isn’t over. Because it all came back to me. All the good things, without any of the bad.

And all this time, Dan’s been waiting. Just waiting there patiently in iTunes. Waiting to tell me about American class aversion, and third-party alternatives, and the wrath of Khans. I’ll take it all, Dan. And I’ll try to get you that buck-a-show. Since after all, it’s all you ask.


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