Thursday, June 11, 2009

Out of the comfort zone

Everywhere on my blog is an open invitation to submit podcasts, any podcast, for review. Occasionally, it is really hard to carry out the promise of giving a review. For some podcasts I am just not the target audience and since I find it of no use to make remarks on technical points alone (like the audio quality), I am left without words. Here are a few of those podcasts.

Cat Crave (feed) is a podcast for fans of the Carolina Panthers - American Football. Goodness, apart from the fact I hardly follow sports, some football (soccer) and cycling at best, I know absolutely nothing about American Football, let alone the Carolina Panthers. I found myself listening to incomprehensible jargon that sometimes bounded to the ridiculous. A new player of the panthers was praised for being fast by one speaker and the next added that he also 'had great speed'. Only when a prolonging of the football season was discussed, I could make out some logic. More injuries, shorter careers for professional players - that I can recognize from other branches of sport.

Masters of None (feed) is a conversational podcast in which comics and movies are discussed that I do not know. And then, when you are detached from the subject you are stuck with the playfully teasing banter between the participants. Until you get to know them, you are shut out from that as well.

The BMS World Mission podcast is a show made for the partners of the Baptist Mission world wide (feed). It is a rather light radio rubric style program that sounds exactly like regular radio, only its items are always Christian, related to missionary work and the dedication of one's life to The Lord. Again, I am not the audience and in this case, you are shut out if you are not. This constant returning to the mission has a self-congratulatory character that applies to the makers and the audience that are IN the faith; for others it can only be off putting. On top of that there is prayer at the end.
There was one item that I did like though and that was, maybe surprisingly, the meditation. Mark Woods takes a piece of scripture and gives a short interpretation that conveys a critical look at missionary work. Even if one is not of the same view, thoughts are provoked and, importantly, at long last the self-congratulatory atmosphere is traded for a much more genuine discourse.

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