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Joss Whedon Disease And The Age Of Goats

Two baby goats snuggling over The Distraction logo. It's all been leading up to this.
Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

It is, in my opinion, very important that the podcast not be too good. I want every episode to be funny and interesting to listen to, but not quite as much as I want them to be silly, and have some extremely dumb parts, and also periodically be made entirely out of those extremely dumb parts. It would not be accurate to say that I have a vision for the podcast; honestly it is mostly a struggle for me just to join the Zoom calls on time each week. But while it was in no way the product of a plan, I am happy that this week’s episode, after weeks of comparatively substantive episodes and high-profile guests, finds Drew and me very thoroughly Back On Our Bullshit, and pretty consistently off-topic.

Again, some of this was just how our weekly cookie came to crumble, as Drew is on vacation this week with his family and we had to record in advance. But in the broader scheme of things, like in the general sweep of this goofy podcast as it exists, I think it is preferable that this episode is heavier on High Thoughts Of Drew—he takes us behind the scenes and inside the game on his scrapped plan to do weather reports for different planets—and heated inquiries into the shittier tics of Joss Whedon–style screenwriting than it is on, say, the ongoing sticky-stuff situation in Major League Baseball. One is not really appreciably dumber or more inessential than the other, but for our health and for the health of the podcast, it is important to mix in some overtly inconsequential stuff with the less-overtly inconsequential stuff.

All of which is to say that this was all pretty silly before we even opened the Funbag, especially given that I came into the recording decently On One about Jim Caviezel, the swirly-eyed subject of this week’s Dead Or Canceled and also this astonishing and essential podcast episode. There were some sports in the mix, with Drew unexpectedly defending Kirk Cousins’s honor when I suggested he might be The Most Unvaccinated Guy In The NFL, and the episode ends with a decently serious conversation about whether this broader falling down moment in the culture is also authentically a golden age of all-time greats across the sporting scene.

But there’s also a notable amount of bad medical advice, and a Funbag question about responsible male nipple best practices, and a bunch of other stuff that comfortably lands within the 90th percentile of our usual ridiculous podcast shit. I am honestly pretty glad we didn’t have to go over a lot of that with, say, Michael Schur or Chris Bosh, although if I’m continuing to be honest I kind of wish we’d been able to go over a little bit of it with them. But if these questions must be asked and answered—and it is effectively the purpose of this podcast to do just that—it feels good to be able to do that in an episode like this one, and to keep it all between myself and Drew and those demented enough to seek out this kind of thing.

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