Sunday, September 27, 2020

Living in Joe's world

Rod Dreher finds a better use for his time on the radio than listening to NPR - the Joe Rogan Experience.
It feels like every time I get in the car and turn on the radio, I don’t have to wait long before I hear a story that highlights in some new way what a racist country America is, or how hard illegal immigrants have it in America, or how put-upon sexual minorities are, and so forth. I don’t know if NPR’s liberalism has always been like this, or if it has gotten worse — or if I have simply become thin-skinned about these issues. I have always known NPR was liberal, but that didn’t stop me from being a big fan, and even a contributing member. I feel that my NPR — the NPR that I cherished, even though it was liberal and I am conservative — has gone away, and I don’t know why. I used to love listening to it in the car, and not conservative talk radio, because I don’t want to have a voice on the radio rubbing my nose into some political narrative. NPR used to stand out because it proposed new ways of seeing the world, or at least ways that seemed new to me as a conservative. Now listening to NPR is giving oneself over to hosts who seek to impose a worldview that constantly says, about people who don’t fit the progressive narrative, that you aren’t worthy of our consideration or attention. That you are what’s wrong with America.
I switched over to Spotify to listen to Joe Rogan’s September 17 podcast episode with Douglas Murray, on the advice of a friend. It was excellent! Murray is more conservative than Rogan, but still, he’s a gay secular Briton, and Rogan is a pro-drug, pro-gay marriage, comedian and MMA commentator who has some conservative beliefs (or at least instincts), but who, above all, seems curious about the world. On paper, neither of these guys has a lot in common with me, but I hated for their conversation to be over, because they sounded like people I either know, or would like to know. They talked for a while about how bonkers the left has become, but neither one sounded like right-wing zealots, not in the least. What they sounded like was real people who were broadcasting from the real world, not from an aerie in the thin, cold air high atop Mount Progressive. Joe Rogan is profane, but when I listen to him, it feels like I’m listening to an actual person I might meet, and with whom I might enjoy a robust discussion, like people used to have. With NPR, it’s like listening to the Vatican Radio of the Religion Of Secular Progressivism, and you get the idea that if you met one of its young reporters, you would feel like a pot dealer who wandered into a Police Benevolent Association fundraiser.

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