This is an evergreen episode of The Cracked Podcast -- and not just because it involves Christmas trees. "Evergreen", in case you don't know, is a media term for stuff that's worth listening to any time after its publication. And on this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt and his special guest Jason Pargin (who writes for Cracked as David Wong) are taking a Christmas-sparked look at the overall, global, all-encompassing meaningfulness of holidays. Why does your culture, no matter who you are, spend time and resources and energy on a set of traditions? What are we missing if we get Too Modern to value a break from everyday life? And how can anyone generate a holiday feeling in their own heart, any time of the year?

Footnotes:

5 Reasons Holidays Are Secretly Crucial To Our Survival (Cracked)

pre-order page for John Dies At The End 10th Anniversary Edition (releases January 2020)

pre-order page for Zoey Punches The Future In The Dick (releases October 2020)

15 Archaeological Discoveries Scarier Than Any Horror Movie (The Cracked Podcast)

Halloween Spending Statistics, Facts and Trends (The Balance)

Why You Should Celebrate Small Wins (Talkspace)

What Is Samhain? What to Know About the Ancient Pagan Festival That Came Before Halloween (TIME)

America's Red State Death Trip (The New York Times Op-Ed)

US life expectancy is still on the decline. Here's why (CNN)

American life expectancy has dropped again. Here's why (PBS)

Book Review: Secular Cycles by Peter Turchin and Sergey Nefedov (Slate Star Codex)

Charles Bronson bigger gun scene from Death Wish 3 (1985)

"Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance." -- Kurt Vonnegut in his novel Hocus Pocus (1990)

17 Exciting Happy News Stories More People Should Hear (The Cracked Podcast)

Ozone layer finally healing after damage caused by aerosols, UN says (The Guardian)

Thomas Wayne public transit scene from Batman Begins (2005)

The Confidence Trap: A History of Democracy in Crisis from World War I to the Present by David Runciman - review (The Guardian)

Column: A century of surviving crises left democracy overconfident and vulnerable (Los Angeles Times)

Choosing chicken over beef cuts our carbon footprints a surprising amount (National Geographic)

Gustav Graves (James Bond Wiki)

Some Extra Holiday-Related Footnotes That Might Interest You

Here is a Dailymotion upload of the 1965 TV special A Charlie Brown Christmas.

There is a Christmas version of "The Monster Mash", made by the same guy, and it is as much of a cash-in as you might expect.

Santa's real workshop: the town in China that makes the world's Christmas decorations (The Guardian) -- "Inside the 'Christmas village' of Yiwu, there's no snow and no elves, just 600 factories that produce 60% of all the decorations in the world"

A Unified Theory of the Trumps' Creepy Aesthetic (The New Republic) -- a great piece by recent guest David Roth. "The bloodless exorbitance of the White House's Christmas stagecraft reveals a deeper truth about the presidential couple."

Sun Moon Star by Kurt Vonnegut & Ivan Chermayeff -- a fascinating retelling of the Nativity, by the famed novelist and a major graphic designer.

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Plus one insane calendar system you're using right now.

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