Whiskey & Cream for March 2nd, 2021
Host: Ari Shapiro
0:44-17:21: “Extraordinary times require extraordinary leaders”
What does it take to be a trusted politician during the pandemic? I mean, seriously, do we even have any true leaders left once the dust from all the hypocrisy and lies settles like a lukewarm, mediocre blanket around our endlessly cold and cynical ankles? For some, the cosmic vital alignment between actions and values, principles and beliefs ends up forming what can best be described as a rare clarity of purpose or the sense of a higher calling armed with the always incredulous notion that, instead of playing petty politics, it might be better to trust leaders who say as they do and do as they say.
Maurizio Bevilacqua (@mbmayor) is the Mayor of Vaughan, a bustling cosmopolitan force of a city in Ontario, Canada that will likely be in the news for decades to come. This mayor is both a realist and an idealist; someone who profoundly believes in sharing the benefits and risks of what it means to be a law-abiding, tax-paying citizen. In doing so, he remains a champion of respecting and empowering people to make decisions for the greater good while knowing that the imperfection of the human condition is such that common sense and intelligence simply can’t be taken for granted.
17:21-27:12: “There’s always someone out there who thinks they can do what you do”
Podcasting has become a natural extension of social media in ways that simply couldn’t be predicted. Powerhouses like Howard Stern are raking in $100 million dollars a year while Joe Rogan commands a half a billion empire from Spotify, and suddenly it’s an audiophile entrepreneur’s paradise – but it came at the cost of radio. With the passage of time, the permeating nature of the medium finds itself under siege and is gradually being rendered extinct. Whereas satellite was predicted as the AM/FM killer, it now seems that the desire to thrust one’s voice into the public sphere has forever changed the way we look at a decaying industry while struggling through the best and the worst in ourselves.
John Derringer (@JohnDerringer) is a Canadian radio personality whose indelible voice is instantly recognizable for anyone from my generation that grew up in Toronto. Besides setting the standard for lovers of radio everywhere with his work at Q107, he’s also a student of history, a motorcycle aficionado and a bloody good drummer. For him, the rise and monetization of podcasting should be seen as a form of evolution that heeds a cautionary tale in a world full of hot air supposition, cold-hard extremism and the rise of the gig economy.
27:12-36:01: “We get hired alone, we get fired alone”
Kicking and screaming, we’ve officially entered the era of mass layoffs punctuated by the deeply unsettling and traumatic reality of having modern technology showing us the door on the way out. Being told that you no longer have a job was difficult enough back when humans communicated and sympathized face-to-face; now it’s something straight out of a bad science fiction film. When taxpayer-subsidized media companies decide to justify their austerity by parting ways with contractors and stalwarts alike, people are finding themselves robbed of the opportunity to communicate back – even if it’s just to vent. With companies downsizing relentlessly and removing thousands of jobs while small businesses are going the way of the dodo, at some point it all begins to feel like a cruel joke.
Jacob Lorinc (@jacoblorinc) is an investigative journalist and reporter with The Toronto Star. He sprung to action in profiling the recent spate of news concerning mass layoffs conducted via Zoom and realized that something inherently dystopian was transpiring before his very own eyes. For him, a pandemic future where people have to struggle alone under the weight of heavy psychological trauma caused by unemployment is like harbouring a festering wound in society that’s refused to heal even as we’ve become more aware of just how static and disconnected the western capitalist economic model has become.
36:02-45:11: “It’s time to challenge the stigma of concussions”
Did you know that your brain has 100 billion neurons firing in all directions and that we’re all wired differently when it comes to how we experience life? Even though many of us enjoy discussing this fact in the context of what’s inside our heads and how our thoughts distinguish us from one another, there’s still not enough being done to address a fundamental lack of concussion awareness. Not understanding the clarity behind the nature of injuries has created a level of personal suffering on an absolutely unprecedented scale that’s being ignored. There’s barely enough empathy and compassion left in this world as it is; many people simply don’t get the help they need nor realize how badly hurt they really are.
Seth Mendelsohn (@headsupcan) is the co-founder and Creative Director of Headsupcan, a non-profit concussion advocacy network that looks to spread bona fide awareness and challenge the stigma of concussions through grass-roots community action and high school visitations. For him, knowing that 70% of concussions aren’t sports-related affords him the chance to take on the misconceptions caused from a culture where hyper-masculinity and general ignorance has clouded our dwindling personal health priorities in this regard.
“Whiskey & Cream Theme” written and performed by Chris Henderson.