Podcast: Us & Them

Us & Them logo from usandthempodcast.com
Do you listen to podcasts? They've been around a while, but I've only been a regular listener for about a year. I have a long commute (60-75 minutes each way) and a good podcast or two can make it seem like no time at all. One of my favorites is Us & Them, a collaboration with West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

Us & Them focuses on "telling stories from all sides of the Culture Wars" (their description). The host, Trey Kay (known for lots of other stuff including contributions to This American Life and a 2009 radio documentary series called The Great Textbook Wars), does an outstanding job of presenting the issues and is thoughtful and fair with his interviewees. (Side note: He's become a sort of mentor to me. Thanks to his influence, I've stopped calling people who think differently from me "idiots.")

A typical episode of Us & Them examines a hot-button issue and talks to people on different sides. Examples include: the Confederate flag, the "war" on Christmas, evolution and climate change, and panhandling. Some of my favorite episodes are the ones featuring Trey and his friend Alice. Trey, a native of West Virginia, is Gen X and progressive. Alice is a Baby Boomer who lives in the South, and she's very conservative. Despite their differences, they respect each other and make an excellent team. I could listen to the two of them talk about anything.

Occasionally, other folks contribute to Us & Them, which is how I found out about another favorite podcast that I'll write about in a future entry.

Check out Us & Them. And next time you have the urge to yell at someone for their stupid point of view, take a deep breath and remember: there's a story behind every opinion.


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