After listening to the Cryptid Creatures podcast, I was sent a link to Unpopular Culture alongside a request to listen to a few of their episodes and review them. I love it when people send me requests to review certain things, and for that fact alone I jumped on it. I wasn’t able to get around to listening to Unpopular Culture until today, courtesy of midterms, but I can say that I have now subscribed to the podcast. Not all of its content is of interest to me; however, they do have a few episodes that piqued my curiosity, and I’ve listed those episodes, and my thoughts on them, below.
Episode #8: The Standford Prison Experiment
This episode of Unpopular Culture discusses the psychology behind how humans react when they are given authority over others, and how easily if, left unchecked, they can spiral out of control and take advantage of the powers bestowed upon them. The episode discusses Phillip Zimbardo’s experiment where he gathered volunteers and split them into two groups: one was arrested and put in “prison,” while the second group was employed as guards. Delving into the depths of human depravity, this episode is filled with details about the experiment and was definitely worth listening to.
Episode #9: The Dark Web
My knowledge of the Dark Web is extremely limited; in fact, all that I know of it has been gleaned from a few episodes of a documentary on Netflix, and the episodes in which Garcia has to go into protective custody on Criminal Minds because of her involvement with the Dark Web. That said, in this episode, Unpopular Culture brings in a cyber security engineer and discusses the myths and truths of the Dark Web, from hiring hit men to purchasing drugs to downloading banned books. It’s an extremely informational, short podcast that’s worth listening to.
Episode #10: The Jonestown Massacre
Unpopular Culture‘s most recent episode covers one of my all-time favorite topics: how Reverend Jim Jones managed to coerce and force nine-hundred people into committing mass-suicide. Cults, particularly those that turn to murder and suicide, became a huge interest of mine about a decade ago, maybe a little longer. I couldn’t sleep one night, and while flipping through the channels, I happened upon a Jonestown documentary and I was hooked. From there, I ended up writing a paper on Heaven’s Gate in high school, and whenever I hear something new that is cult related, it tends to get my full interest. In this episode, Unpopular Culture not only discusses what happened in Jonestown, but also makes use of several recordings, providing listeners with lots of facts.
The audio quality of the podcast is, for the most part, great. Episode #8 does have a few moments where it is a little too quiet, but otherwise they are very consistent. There isn’t any background accompaniment, but that’s fine. Unlike the spookier podcasts I listen to, it doesn’t really need background sound: these podcasts are meant to inform listeners of things that are not part of what is considered popular culture, after all. My biggest complaint deals with the opening sequence, which contains clips from several episodes. The problem there is that, at the last few seconds, several clips play at once and I find it to be extremely distracting. Coupled with my anxiety, those few seconds are almost unbearable. If you can get past that, the podcast is great and I definitely suggest giving it a listen to.
For information on more of their episodes, be sure to check out Unpopular Culture‘s archives. As I said, not all of the episodes pertained to my interest, and there might be something there that others may find more appealing than I did.