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A Cancel Culture Casket Of One’s Own, With Lauren Theisen

A close-up image of Aaron Rodgers looking upset from a game against the Arizona Cardinals.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

It seems so long ago, now—the odd and startling thrill of running into Emergency Podcast fodder as we did last week, when the news of Aaron Rodgers’s long and legalistic vaccination-status deceit broke just before we started recording. We had no way of knowing, then, that we were just a few days away from him breaking out some real Anti-Woke Guy Lorem Ipsum rhetoric on Pat McAfee’s show and revealing himself to be infinitely more tiresome and weirdly aggrieved than anyone could have dreamed. We just talked about it and moved on, as if moving on was still a thing that happens.

By now, of course, we know that it is not. Rodgers has knocked it off with the Cancel Culture Casket speechifying without actually seeming to work very hard at understanding why people were displeased with him. Nothing gold can stay, but every story like this must by law go on for like two weeks of increasingly strange recriminations and twists. The good news, in this case, is that we’re now well into the last stage of this kind of thing, in which everyone just kind of feels a little embarrassed and sad to have had their time wasted by it. There are worse things to talk about in a podcast, though, and so we seized upon the opportunity to use the phrase “cancel culture casket” one last time. We were joined in this by Defector’s own Lauren Theisen, broadcasting live from The Reverb Cavern.

There is very little left to say about Rodgers, at this point, if only because he so clearly is just what he is, and is so clearly just making the decisions that people like him—confused, abstracted, stubborn, a little insecure about what they don’t know, and trapped in the wrongest and most alienating parts of the internet—reliably make. But the broader frustration of it and the broader frustration of still having to talk about and live with this shit, in general, are much easier to talk about, and so we mostly talked about that. The crisis of credibility and proliferation of shitty bespoke information channels made for kind of a grim segue into Adam Schefter’s embarrassing performance in reporting on Dalvin Cook earlier this week, but grim segues are our stock in trade. Lauren only intermittently and very politely tried to steer things back towards hockey, and she finally succeeded. The possibility of making Theisen’s Corner a recurring bit on the podcast is something that we will be looking into very strongly.

The back half of the podcast was mostly the usual goofery—a frank discussion of Drew’s chops as a hard-rock vocalist; more words devoted to “The Dukes Of Hazzard” than anyone has uttered in decades; how best to watch a televised sporting event in this distracting and distracted age. We came, I would say, very close to getting all the way through things without addressing the fact that the New York Mets, my favorite baseball squadron, currently cannot seem to get anyone to take the job of general manager, a situation that is made worse by the fact that they’ve already given up trying to get anyone to take the job of president of baseball operations. We did not successfully avoid it, and so there are a few heated minutes near the end of the episode in which you will hear me discuss my recurring nightmare of being on a Zoom call that is joined by Chris Christie while he is eating a sandwich. I don’t know if that qualifies as a warning or an enticement, but it feels responsible to mention it. Also Drew was kind of disrespectful to Grant Fuhr’s career, as part of his ongoing campaign to dissolve the distinction between Guys and Dudes.

Also worth mentioning is that there will be a live recording of this podcast at Caveat, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, on Dec. 8, and those who cannot get to that can also watch it on a livestream. You can learn more about that here. The universe may or may not provide the circumstances to make that an emergency podcast but, as long as our emergencies keep refusing to go away, we’ll surely be able to come up with something to talk about.

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