Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Forget the stock market, <i>Bad With Money</i> is worried about buying things on the Moon
Photo: Photo By Nasa (Getty Images)
PodmassPodmassIn Podmass, The A.V. Club sifts through the ever-expanding world of podcasts and recommends the previous week’s best episodes. Have your own favorite? Let us know in the comments or at podmass@avclub.com.

Bad With Money
Rocket To The Moon (Space And Its Economy)

Illustration for article titled Forget the stock market, iBad With Money/i is worried about buying things on the Moon
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Comedian Gaby Dunn spent the fifth season of Bad With Money exploring cultural attitudes toward money outside the United States, and for the finale she leaves Earth altogether to understand the fledgling space economy. While we haven’t progressed so far as to sling around moonbucks on the I.S.S. Starbucks, there is a good deal of commercial speculation happening. Zero-gravity manufacturing brings a lot of promise, and the demand for power and on-site 3D-printed items has NASA planning to build a space truck stop this decade, to say nothing of the already bustling market for satellite data. Dunn is fixated on the hope that an economic system other than capitalism will arise in space, but it’s hard for her to picture another outcome when all the talk is centered on labor, resource extraction, and public-private partnerships. The Moon is a hot commodity at the moment, with several countries and a few corporations actively seeking to touch the lunar surface. Dunn wraps up by chatting with a sci-fi writer about the difficulties of plotting stories in the utopian currency-free world of Star Trek versus the sadly relatable ruthless droid/slave/bounty hunter economy of Star Wars. [Zach Brooke]


Blocked Party
Doughboys Vs. Hoarse Whisperer

Illustration for article titled Forget the stock market, iBad With Money/i is worried about buying things on the Moon

Stay on Twitter long enough and you’re bound to piss somebody off to the point where they decide to block you. The chances of something like that happening increases tenfold during an election season, so it’s really no surprise that both hosts of the Doughboys podcast, Mike Mitchell and Nick Wiger, have found themselves on the wrong end of a block from notorious #Resistance Twitter shitposter The Hoarse Whisperer. Their completely unearned blocking is really just the impetus to get these two in the same room with Blocked Party hosts Stefan Heck and John Cullen to discuss everything from Funko Pop toys and circumcision to Z-list celebrity Cameos and a summary of the TV show Suits. That may sound like a lot to cover in the course of one episode, but it’s just scratching the surface of this good old-fashioned goof-around. The four comedians also discuss what it’s like being caught in the blowback of the online political crusades of their friend Jack Allison. [Dan Neilan]


Bottom Of The Map
Pitching The Woo (Properly): The Case For Consent

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This week’s edition of Southern hip-hop podcast Bottom Of The Map sees music journalist Christina Lee and hip-hop scholar Dr. Regina N. Bradley discuss the region’s various attitudes toward pitching woo (a.k.a. flirting) and expressing consent in music. Yes, there are plenty of misogynist lyrics found in a few of Lee and Bradley’s favorite songs, like Trillville’s “Some Cut,” which they say “walks the point between rough sex and sexual violence,” and Rick Ross’ verse on Rocko’s “U.O.E.N.O.,” but it’s not all problematic. As the show points out, Southern dialect in hip-hop is not always academic, but the message can be as clear as André 3000 rapping, “Let me know when it’s wet enough to enter,” on OutKast’s “ATLiens,” or Lil Jon’s asking a potential lover (or friend) if what he’s doing is okay on “Lovers & Friends.” The duo also discuss rappers like Kari Faux and Yung Baby Tate, who provide a woman’s perspective. It’s a delight to hear Lee and Bradley candidly discuss the nuances of consent and sexuality while still confessing their love of hip-hop’s Southern artists. [Kevin Cortez]


Cheers To Comics! Podcast
Comic Book Therapy - Jag’s Issues

Illustration for article titled Forget the stock market, iBad With Money/i is worried about buying things on the Moon

Host Brian Wayne moves away from the more typical format of the Cheers To Comics! Podcast to host a “therapy” session for his guest, a fellow comic fan who goes simply by Jag. The session provides for a freewheeling conversation that moves from topic to topic, with Wayne and Jag seamlessly airing their grievances and enthusiasm for various comic books and related media. While discussing everything from The “Doomsday Clock” narrative in current DC comics to the Watchman TV Show to the numerous reboots of Batman, Wayne and Jag have the sort of conversation you’d typically only find held between employees and regulars at your favorite comic shop. If you’re looking for insight on what the writers and publishers of your favorite comics are doing from a fan’s perspective, look no further. [Jose Nateras]


Over The Road
The Biggest Tailgate In Trucking

Illustration for article titled Forget the stock market, iBad With Money/i is worried about buying things on the Moon

Over The Road is a new eight-part series from Radiotopia that immerses listeners in the hardworking and freewheeling life of the modern American trucker. Host “Long Haul” Paul Marhoefer, a veteran freight hauler of almost 40 years, is your folksy, gravely voiced guide through the ins and outs of a nearly $1 trillion industry that keeps our world running. In the premiere episode, Marhoefer visits the Mid-America Trucking Show to swap stories about the golden age of the trucker lifestyle and explore how technology and new regulations are changing that lifestyle. While the discussions of the evolving face of the industry are interesting, the podcast really shines when Marhoefer waxes poetic about the traditions of the open road community. Peppered with plenty of Smokey And The Bandit-style lingo, his reminiscences of self-proclaimed “hobo gatherings” in truck stop parking lots filled with good food and wild tales may inspire listeners to get their commercial driver’s license and start hauling. As a bonus, Marhoefer even treats listeners to a rendition of “I’ll Never Run That Back Door Anymore,” a self-penned ballad about a pair of star-crossed trucker lovers. [Anthony D Herrera]


Throughline
The Stars

Illustration for article titled Forget the stock market, iBad With Money/i is worried about buying things on the Moon

NPR’s Throughline aims to understand the present by understanding the past. In this episode, the focus isn’t politics, health, or technology—it’s astrology. Modern pop astrology might seem like a fad, especially to those who don’t find any meaning in it, but this episode dissects its surprising past through the tale of astrologer Evangeline Adams. The episode recounts how Adams was denied apartments and homes because of her work, before a series of predictions based on the stars put her in the middle of a court case. Throughline shows what makes astrology so fascinating, not just for millennials but for pop culture as a whole. What is it about the stars that remain important to our understanding of ourselves? What makes beliefs like Adams’ so worrying to people? And why was Ronald Regan so into it? “The Stars” may not answer these questions in full, but it gets the conversation started. [Wil Williams]


True Tales Of The Illuminati
Royal Pains

Illustration for article titled Forget the stock market, iBad With Money/i is worried about buying things on the Moon

What kind of work environment would a secret society that runs on nothing but conspiracies, secret occult knowledge, and memos be like? An absolute farce, says True Tales Of The Illuminati, a satirical office sitcom set in ancient Egypt. Recently promoted to deputy head underboss of the direct action department, Beck has to wrangle a team of hopeless fools and goons into fulfilling Illuminati conspiracies in order to subtly massage destiny and pluck the strings of fate. Unfortunately, the fools and goons are inevitably dispatched to clean up their own messes before society’s grasp on history gets too loose for comfort. This time, the mess involves a lot of royal family members and blood. It can be difficult to accomplish sitcom-style humor in an audio format, but True Tales nails it with colorful characters (such as Ishmael, exaggeratedly focused on his options for promotion, or Dal, exaggeratedly focused on murder), playful language, and absurd situations that can be conveyed with sound effects. Even more pleasing, True Tales captures that feeling of a satisfying punchline that wraps up an episode’s story but also lays tracks for the future. [Elena Fernández Collins]


While Black
An Unstoppable Vibe W/17 Year Old Trinity Simone

Illustration for article titled Forget the stock market, iBad With Money/i is worried about buying things on the Moon

“To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.” This James Baldwin quote is the inspiration for While Black, a podcast that shares the experience of being Black in America. Hosts Art and Vince curate conversations that celebrate the vastness of the culture, featuring all kinds of voices from all walks of life. This episode wraps up their Black History Month celebration, “Black Futures Month,” which they’ve used to honor the past while looking forward. Completely produced by 17-year-old hosts Payton and Xavier and 14- year-old producer Isaiah, the Black Futures series fits in seamlessly with the While Black universe—and proves the future of podcasts is in solid hands. Their interview with Trinity Simone, the 17-year-old CEO of Black Vibe Tribe, is a powerful reminder that young people know what the fuck is up and are able to alchemize and make change in unexpected ways. [Morgan McNaught]

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