Escapism. Given the sour nature of our political discourse these days what do you do to escape. A morning ritual turns into a content generator for the Bob Davis Podcasts in Podcast 551 Escapism. Lately I have been bingewatching TV shows on Netflix and iTunes, with the HBO series “Shameless’ and especially this weekend to watching the entire first series of the Netflix show “Stranger Things”. Stranger Things does such a great job creating an alternate reality, you just can’t get enough. Usually when people recommend TV shows I’m like, “Yeah whatever”. Stranger Things is the exception. What a great show. Getting back to the morning ritual; Every morning I get up, make coffee and head over to the park. I sit on a hill, drink my coffee and am alone with my thoughts. No phone. No social media. No talking to myself at least for that first few minutes of awake time. It’s been great for listening to the thoughts bubbling up from the subconscious and figuring out how to do podcasts about them. This weekend’s binge viewing of Stranger Things made me think about Escapism and how important it has apparently become considering the election year we’re having and coverage of it. When I first talked about the News Cleanse about three years ago on these podcasts, I had no idea it would end up having the power it has to generate new and different things to talk about in the podcasts. I know that, given the current discourse, I don’t want to be a contributing factor to what amounts to misinformation on breaking news stories like the attack at the Mall in Saint Cloud this weekend or the daily and predictable back and forth between presidential candidates trying to capitalize on these kinds of events. Aside from the stuff that actually moves the needle; shifts in the polls, candidates collapsing in public, huge breaking stories like a financial collapse or some major shift in policy from the current administration, it’s ok to check and once in awhile on political news, but I just can’t muster the intellectual interest in the day to day nonsense that seems to animate everyone on the radio, television and on the Internet. What do you do to escape? Movies, Trips to the Wilderness? Binge Watching shows. Drugs and alcohol? How much escape is too much escape. What is healthy escape? How many want to escape, and what happens after the new president is inaugurated in January 2017. Sponsored by Hydrus Performance.
Final Mad Men. On the night of the final episode of the AMC hit show Mad Men a review of the top stories for the week of May 18th. The economic news these days isn’t good, but you don’t hear too much talk about it because the magpies in the mainstream media are too busy grousing about funding for their precious personal train service in the North Eastern Corridor known as Amtrak, a service the rest of America does not ride very much but has to pay for anyway, or the 45 idiots running for President and what a few Iowans think of them. Meanwhile, the US economy just put in the worst numbers since 2008. Don’t worry, the sunny analysts say, it’s the result of the West Coast Port Strike resolution. Or, the weather. Or … something. There’s always an excuse. Meanwhile economists and analysts are telling us, no-growth is probably the new normal. Really? The future belongs to those who build it, and people who actually build things don’t pay any attention to those who measure, analyze and report what ‘will be’. Its time we had a conversation about what’s really wrong; pursuit of Keynesian economics — or whatever you call whatever it is the policy makers are doing — and its powerfully destructive effect on the world economy. Whether you’re talking about China, Europe, Latin America or Japan, things ain’t to rosy, even though they keep saying, “Don’t worry it’ll get better next month”. Manufacturing is way down. Why? Because of a slow down in the energy industry, after all the so called ‘experts’ said lower gas prices acted as a tax cut on the economy … since all they ever think about is stimulating the consumer. Meanwhile, consumers aren’t seeing any wage growth and are exhausted because the economy is not growing. Who’s fault is it? Who’s in charge? Too much spending, too much taxation and regulation, and not enough leaving people alone to solve their problems. It’s time we cut the government back to what is required to protect our rights, and nothing more. Cut spending, cut taxes and cut regulations, and watch the economy grow. And, people are already working in ways we couldn’t have imagined twenty years ago. There’s a new kind of worker, who employs services like AirBNB and work hubs to cut the strings completely, and wander the world, working when and where they choose. You might be surprised at how easy it is … right now. Finally, are a few hundred Iowa Republicans (Editor’s note: I mean political groupies) the reason people are already sick of a presidential campaign that hasn’t even started yet? Is it time to politely tell Iowa to stick a sock in it? Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.
What’s on Your TV? Sometimes, when you look at the day’s news, it’s hard to tell whether the news is real, or whether it is season 7 of some show on Netflix. So why not talk about what you’re watching on Netflix, HBO GO, Apple TV or some other distributor of content. And why not wonder whether the development of time-shifting whole seasons of TV shows might eventually replace the constant thrum-thrum-thrum of nonsense from the Cable News Channels, TV Networks and Network News Shows? Sitting out on the deck, with a fire and a cup of coffee, enjoying an early fall night to talk about how the lines between what is real and what is make believe are becoming more blurry. Like the lines between real acting and drama, and porn. How do we know what we ‘know’. How do we tell the difference between what is real and what is make believe, when politicos, pundits, politicians and reporters are appearing in movies and movie-like TV shows, which sometimes include situations that are oddly predictive, or reflective of what ‘really’ happens. Compare your viewing habits to the host of the Bob Davis Podcasts viewing habits. Homeland, Boardwalk Empire, Mad Men, The Last Ship, Tyrant, Revenge, Reality Shows, Californication, House of Cards, The Walking Dead, Mob City, The Stand, Weeds, Russian and Swedish Crime Movies, Hong Kong and Taiwanese Chinese Mafia Movies, documentaries, 1950’s, 1960’s, 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s network series, You Tube, Torrents and more. There’s so much to watch, and so little time. Who needs reality? Besides, there’s only so many more evenings we can sit in our lounge chairs with the warm breeze blowing through the windows until 5 AM, watching and watching…and watching more. Season 5 of ‘whatever’ is on! Sweet! Sponsored by X Government Cars!