I’ll never forget the drive from the burbs to the best IMAX theatre in Toronto to see Avatar. My son was with me and it was a prized guys night out. Bryce and I have had a few (but not enough) very satisfying conversations on a wide range of topics including globalization, physics, time travel, economics, politics, and the Hadron collider. I should also mention at that time he was only 11 years old. During the long drive, I asked if he wouldn’t mind listening to a podcast that I secretly hoped he would enjoy. It was called the No Agenda podcast hosted by Adam Curry and John C Dvorak, and the topic was the rising ‘epidemic’ of swine flu, and how magically governments around the world were endorsing vaccinations at an alarming rate.
Bryce listened with keen interest. Here were two very intelligent and engaging speakers discussing the media’s suspicious endorsement of big pharma, they were obviously media guys like me so I hoped that he would get the context they discussed the event with, as they deconstructed the media with alarming precision. The hosts played back Public Service Announcements sent them by global ‘producers’ from around the world and the pitches in all languages from all cultures were too similar to be considered pure coincidences. As Adam and John made the connections and backed it up with facts and experience, he was transfixed.
But the real defining moment in this young mind was during the Avatar pre-show. Along with the Axe body spray and Coke spots, was an elaborate animated PSA for none other than getting vaccinated for the swine flu. He watched in awe as all the talking points accurately spelled out by Adam and John came to life on the IMAX screen. Unlike most people in the audience, the message didn’t casually embed itself into his brain. He sort of got advanced warning by way of my ipod, and he instantly felt as if he was on the inside track. He got the joke when it went over the heads of others. He had achieved a higher enlightened state of media understanding.
At that moment he became a fan of the No Agenda podcast.
On the drive home, it took a bit of translating to explain some of the idiosyncrasies of the show: the use of the jingles, the sound effects, the strange referneces to ‘In The Morning’, but after a few shows he was in on it. I hope to share what I know about media, politics, and communication. I’ve been writing this blog post you’re reading now on and off for a while, and I’m ready to present it as a tool for the No Agenda community to use in understanding why the No Agenda podcast is the best thing to happen to media for an entire generation.
At the heart of it, the podcast can be considered a media deconstruction, and the hosts refers to themselves as media assassins. Thus the adopted tag at the beginning of the show: ‘We go out, and hit people in the mouth’.
You can’t stop the chaos, but at least you can see it coming.