2018, Podcasts

Thunder Bay (2018)

Every Canadian citizen needs to listen to CanadaLand’s Thunder Bay podcast. Whether you live in Thunder Bay, Ontario or anywhere else in the country, it’s required listing. If there is any justice in the world (there isn’t), this podcast will become part of the Canadian history curriculum throughout Canada. It is necessary.

I have some reservations about the production itself and the storytelling but those reservations do not take away from my recommendation. Regardless of any flaws I might see in the way it was produced or told, this is perhaps the most necessary piece of media a Canadian could consume in 2018. My ancestors (and probably yours) took this country from other people and many if not most of their descendants live lives we would not want to live. Something can be done about that. The question is whether or not we are willing to do something.

And now to the issues I had.

In the first two episodes particularly I found the music to be mixed way too high. I couldn’t hear some of the audio recordings playing with it at more than one point. I don’t know whether this got fixed in later episodes or I just got used to it, but it was a huge turnoff initially. I would say to you that, if you notice this same problem, wait it out. It gets easier to hear and better produced as the show goes on.

The other issue I have is one that I have with a lot of “left wing” media. I should point out that by most definitions I am left wing. I believe the state can and should provide certain services to its citizens which are not effectively provided by the market, and that we should pay higher taxes so that those services are more effectively provided. Societies which do this are better off than those that do it less or not at all. If that makes me a socialist in your eyes then so be it. (That’s not socialism, but I cannot help but take a dig at all the people in the world who throw the world around without knowing what it means.) My issue with most “left wing” media including Thunder Bay is that I’m not sure it makes the case well enough to those who don’t already sympathize with the beliefs underlying the podcast and the conclusions it reaches. I’m pretty sure that if my conservative family members or boss and coworker ever listen to this they will not draw the same conclusions I will. They would probably dismiss it as liberal propaganda, anyway, but my point is that I don’t think the case is made well enough to those people who do not believe government should intervene. I am not sure what they could have done more except to belabour certain points to the point of exhausting their more sympathetic listeners. But if the point of this is to motivate the forces of change, you need more people on your side, including those who don’t agree with you.

Those two criticisms aside, this is essential listening.


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