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Face your fears.
  • GSP: It can make you stronger to admit that you're scared because you're not scared to say that you're scared. Someone who doesn't admit it because he's scared to admit that he's scared is scared of himself. He's scared of what people are going to think about him. I'm not scared of what people think, they have to see me as I am. So I'm not scared to admit that I'm scared.
  • Joe: ...and it's almost like when you don't admit you're scared you're protecting yourself from evolving, because the only way you can ever be realistic about a situation and get better at anything in life is you gotta accurately address whats happened. There's some people who don't do that and I think that it cuts them off from a certain amount of progress in life. I think there's walls you put up yourself because you're afraid to look at your failures.
  • GSP: One hundred percent. You're not honest with yourself. That's what it is.
Live your life like you’re the hero in your own movie. Right now is when the movie starts and your life is a disaster. Pretend that’s you, pretend you are in the part of the movie that shows you as a loser and then decide to not be a loser anymore. The way you do that is, you have to think you’re the hero in your own movie.
—  Jor Rogan
Life Lessons On The Go: A Review of the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast

Life Lessons On The Go

A Review of the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast

By: Francis Flisiuk

We live in a very strange and exciting time when it comes to media and how as population we take in news and information. Our consumption of news, entertainment and ideas are often controlled and segmented at the discretion of others. When you watch something on the television or read something in a magazine it’s often hard to track down the exact source of the information given to you and what message the content creator is trying to put out. In today’s stressful economic times and somewhat turbulent political climate it can be difficult to sift through media and find something unhinged from any hidden agenda. Whether you’re watching a news show whose anchors and writers are clearly broadcasting their stories based on bias or maybe you’re viewing a movie that’s ridden with subliminal messages and corporate advertising; upon closer inspection there is two sides to every media story. There is the side that’s presented to you, often in a very entertaining and structured way and made up to be considered the truth. Then there is the side that is latent and hidden behind the flashy images and entertaining speakers, which houses the real objectives of the writers and producers.

Now I’m not saying that every content creator in traditional media is a corrupt money grabbing individual who sacrifices the validity or unbiasedness of a story willingly and intentionally. I’m simply saying that a good majority of media is censored by the government, driven by subtle financial agendas, influenced by political motives and smushed between blocks of seemingly endless advertising. This kind of media including things like: television, talk radio, newspapers and magazines is not all bad it just needs to be looked at more closely and cross referenced with more traditionally honest news and media sources. So how can we be sure that the news and content we ingest actually has legitimacy and value? Well you can simply turn to a piece of technology we have all grown accustomed to and use everyday. A communications technology that has redefined many aspects of our life including but not limited to: commerce, education, entertainment, banking, mail systems, and more relevant to this review communications, media and journalism. I’m talking of course of what may be perhaps the greatest invention of our modern era: The Internet.

I can hear the jokes already: “not everything you read on the internet is true!” Of course not. Much like not everything you read anywhere is true unless it’s source can be traced and witnesses exposed. However the Internet serves as a portal where a piece of media can be deposited and then essentially have its validity, influence and importance determined by the most important group of people: us, the consumers. Anyone’s creative work, opinions, news, or what they believe to be fact can be effectively judged or in some cases torn apart by pretty much anybody with a computer or access to a cyber cafe or library. That’s over 2 billion people based on the last World Internet Statistic done in 2012. The Internet provides for the first time in human history and open forum where you can connect with anyone in the world. The information on the Internet is only limited to the imagination, and resourcefulness of us humans and our history. It is from this new media age where we finally have access to information that doesn’t just come from CNN on the television and the Guardian on our coffee table. The information comes from all of us! Written, performed or recorded by the people, for the people. It is from this freedom of information that a new form of media was born unrestricted from any of the woes of traditional mediums: the online podcast. We will be exploring in particular my favorite podcast and what I believe to be a perfect example of a product born out of this strange and exciting media environment: The Joe Rogan Experience Podcast.

A couple years ago hardly anyone knew what exactly a podcast was. From time to time I still have to explain myself when I’m responding to someone asking what I’m listening to. That’s because a podcast is still relatively new! The idea along with the term was first coined in 2004 by Ben Hammersley who wrote for the Guardian newspaper ironically enough. The term is a combination of the words “broadcast” and “pod.” The term downloadable radio show just doesn’t roll of the tongue as well. The word Pod was used in the name to ride the successes of Apple’s Ipod and give people a form of entertainment they can take with them on the go with their portable devices. Gone are the times where you have to power up a specific device, and listen to the opinions of a few select people in between advertisements that run as long as the content itself. Now through the power of the internet there are hundreds of podcasts springing up in online market places catering to almost any interest you can imagine. The Apple I-Tunes market alone has an impressive number of subscriptions number over 1 billion. With web tools like Clear Channel and BlogTalkRadio anybody can record a show, using their phone as a microphone and upload it online next to podcast titans that receive millions of downloads. It’s through this new long form of media, the incredible ease of access, and wide variety of topics that I was able to organize and re-prioritize several aspects of my life. It would be cliche and inflated to say that listening to almost 1,000 hours of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast changed my life, but in a way it kind of did.

The Joe Rogan Experience is rather obviously the podcast of Joe Rogan and his producer Brian Redban. Joe Rogan is a very successful stand up comedian, UFC fight commentator and former host of the television show “Fear Factor.” He now devotes most of his professional time to podcasting which according to Rogan is a form of entertainment that he never thought he would be a part of but now he loves wholeheartedly. “I never in my wildest imagination dreamed that I would somehow become a podcaster” said Rogan in an older podcast episode. The first episode debuted back in December of 2009 with just his friend and producer Brian Redban as the guest. Since then it has progressed into something much greater and with a much bigger impact than anyone could of ever have predicted. Today it is consistently on the top 5 iTunes comedy podcast subscriptions with millions of downloads. The show is the perfect example of this new investigative, free thinking and uncensored form of media. It’s a no holds barred examination of human culture and world around us through the widest array of fascinating topics. A few of the recurring themes and topics include areas like: current events, history and conspiracy theories, politics, creativity within comedy, science and technology, nutrition as well as topics like sex and psychedelic drugs. This list barely scratches the surface of conversation topics that Joe typically has with Redban and 1-2 selected guests during the show. These topics are so vastly varied partly because of the eclectic interests of the shows hilarious host himself Joe Rogan.

Joe Rogan at first glance may not seem like a beacon of knowledge and an illuminating way of thinking. I’ll be honest my first impressions of him while first tuning into the show weren’t that great. After realizing that my only remembrance of Rogan includes him on television motivating people that they have the strength to eat a plate of worms and wash it down with a cup of sheeps blood on Fear Factor I was hesitant to cherish any words spoken from the mans mouth. It only take a couple episodes of his podcast to realize that there is much more to him then that. Jesse Sharpe a musician and listener of the Rogan experience writes “Joe its an inspiration to listen to, I’m 18 and listening to you and discovering the guests on your show and such inspirational speakers has literally changed my life and educated me much more on politics, drugs, evolution theories and basically just the nature of reality.” With the podcast Joe manages to accomplish something he may of not been able to achieve with traditional media. Joe is able to structure the show exactly how he wants it, without adhering to any sponsor guidelines. Described by his fans as the bridge between the intellectuals, professionals and the stoners, Joe Rogan is not afraid to be politically incorrect, offensive, and unfiltered. The show is able to explore a number of esoteric and controversial topics in one of the most honest ways I’ve ever experienced in media before. The show introduces it’s listeners to ideas and conversations that normally aren’t present on the television or in the paper. Or simply other people in broadcast media or journalism are too afraid to say. Joe openly agrees on legalizing gay marriage, an open door policy on drugs and prostitution, and the American government being a source of corruption and confusion for it’s people. To some these ideas could be considered controversial hot topics or simply outright ridiculous. However Joe’s ability to expose both sides of every story, and repeated instances of saying “I’m not an expert I’m just a human being expressing my own opinions” allows the listener a unique chance to decipher their own meaning out of the content, instead of being spoon fed what is depicted as “the truth.” It’s this refreshing feeling of honesty, reputable facts, and content free from financial agenda that gives the Joe Rogan Experience the edge of many forms of news and information.

Joe Rogan’s podcast does four things very well. Episodes consistently teach, inspire, and expose all while making you laugh hysterically. I seriously can’t tell you how many awkward situations I’ve had just trying to hold back the laughter while listening at a grocery store or at the gym after listening to a hilariously personal story from Rogan or one of his guests. The shows often jump from being very dark, deep and serious, to lighthearted, hilarious and fun. It’s this perfect atmosphere and balance that just feels so natural and draws so many listeners and actually connects people with similar views and beliefs. “This show is absolutely a part of my life. This isn’t a podcast it’s a movement, because it affects what you do in your everyday life” writes Ellie Richard a student from the University of Arizona. And it’s true there are countless stories pouring over Rogan’s social media and fan forums of people that are doing remarkable things with their lives based by something they heard on the podcast. “I get written all the time about stories of people losing weight, travelling, being more kind, and just getting their life together after hearing my show. It’s an amazingly rewarding feeling to have a positive impact on people.” Not all of this inspiration, motivation and general fascination of the world around us can be entirely attributed to just Joe himself however.

The quality of the guests that Joe has on impacts greatly the shows ability to be a thought provoking and entertaining ride that feels less like an online radio show and more like an audio experience. Earlier I mentioned that Joe’s own interests are only partly the reason why one show can be about MMA fighting while the other can cover something completely different like environmental disasters or space travel. The other reason is just the sheer number of different guests he interviews from all sorts of areas of expertise. Joe has had on journalists, fighters, comedians, philosophers, trannies, astronauts, actors, authors, adult film stars, artists, CEO’s, and one billionaire fugitive actively fleeing the US government just to name a few. This adds some charm and curiosity to being a fan of the show as well. Each week you never know who you’re going to be having your mind expanded by. Some of the most esteemed guests including people like: Neil De Grasse Tyson, Lorenzo Hagerty, Ana Kasperian, Abby Martin and Les Stroud. Where else can you find a show with interviews with an astrophysicist in one instance and a alien abductee in the other. The show is versatile and ignites an intense fascination of our planet Earth through a 3 hour brain picking session of some of the most knowledgeable and eccentric people in the country. This session includes natural conversations with genuine people whose goal is only to enlighten and entertain.

Sitting high above the waters, riding this new digital, internet media wave is the Joe Rogan Experience. It doesn’t have any hidden agenda, or try desperately to gain rankings or influence. It just takes advantage and embraces the powers of the internet and furthermore connects people and ideas in ways that never could of happened before. “Everyone’s sort of programmed a certain way because of their environment. That’s all they know. But thats not there anymore because of the internet. Because of the internet we’re all communicating with each other all across the board, so you’re getting information from people all around the world, hitting a much more diverse slice of culture” says Joe Rogan. This easily accessible form of audio learning transforms mundane tasks like office work or commuting into an exciting and riveting experience by allowing listeners to immerse themselves in Rogan’s superb storytelling skills. Serving as a source of inspiration to all it’s listeners I can confidently say that Joe Rogan Experience Podcast is nothing more than a doorway to a more focused, educated, and dream driven way of thinking.