Why You Shouldn’t Binge Listen Philosophy Podcasts

I hadn’t spent quality time with Philosophize This! in a month or so; decided to binge-listen yesterday. Over a couple hours, I explored Sartre’s ideas of “The Self,” Simone De Beauvoir’s “The Ethics of Ambiguity” and “Responsibility,” and an introduction to The Frankfurt School. You know how people load the healthiest fruits and vegetables in a blender but they add too much and end up with a tasteless brown sludge? That’s how my brain felt by the time I got off work–beaten down by warring philosophical approaches. “Wow. I really am a mindless worker happy to enjoy simple sensory pleasures as long as the world as I know it and my place in it remain secure.”

A trip to Shake Shack didn’t fix it. Revisiting my favorite episodes of my favorite podcasts didn’t fix it. Sharing my latest absurd office story with C over the phone didn’t fix it. By 8:30, I was brown sludge; mindlessly refreshing Instagram with History of Westeros YouTube videos playing in the background. “Is this how you’re spending your time?” I asked. “You could be working out, Skinny Fluffy Middle Girl. Don’t you have a chapter of The Last Unicorn to work on? What is your pointless, frivolous little life about that you’re sooooo dedicated to keeping it exactly as is?”

I looked out at the setting sun. Ah. A sunset. Maybe not a cure-all, but at least a reminder of the world outside my head. Ten minutes later I was at the lake, fiddling with my phone in search of a good song or podcast or something to quiet my brain’s loops. Coming up short, I aimed my camera at the blue, orange, and purple-hued horizon and hit “capture.”

In that moment, there was a wide and beautiful world beyond my mental gymnastics. When I woke this morning, there was the sun. Indifferent to my funky mood and navel-gazing.

I don’t have a point or lesson except this: don’t binge listen philosophy podcasts if you’re not ready to have an existential crisis.

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