The real reason culture warriors want to take down Joe Rogan

Joe Rogan is wildly popular with men because his podcast most closely approximates the way the majority of us speak, think and interact with one another. By turns funny, clever, stupid, thoughtful and irreverent, there is nothing else like it in the media. This means it needs to be cancelled. If you’re trying to organise a cultural revolution and bring down the patriarchy, the existence of The Joe Rogan Experience – a bastion of relatively guiltless masculinity that draws an audience of tens of millions of men three times a week – is unhelpful in the extreme. It is surely now clear to everyone that fundamental to the enormous gains made

The indomitable popularity of Joe Rogan

‘Nobody has stronger opinions about Joe Rogan than people who have never listened to Joe Rogan,’ is Edward Snowden’s view but I am the exception that proves the rule because the more I listen to him the more I profess my love for him. At points in the past year, the Joe Rogan podcast has been all that’s prevented me hurling myself out of the window with Elizabeth Day’s latest book. If you feel isolated and lonely in the post-lockdown world you might find yourself – among the legions of truck drivers stuck in cabs and Amazon workers waiting for robots to replace them – falling for him too. The Joe Rogan

Why should we listen to celebrities over Joe Rogan?

I’m boycotting Spotify. I am doing this for the same reason as I don’t have a Netflix subscription: I refuse to subsidise the efforts by Harry and Meghan to monetise their royal fame. If either company terminates its relationship with the couple I will consider using its services, but for the moment I will stick to YouTube. But no, it wouldn’t be a problem for me that Spotify hosts the Joe Rogan podcast – something which I admit I have never listened to, but which seems to have upset Harry and Meghan, as well as Neil Young and Joni Mitchell. The day we banish people from spouting unpopular opinions, even

Why Neil Young’s Spotify boycott is a mistake

When Neil Young issued his threat to Spotify – get rid of Joe Rogan’s podcast or remove my music from your platform – he was probably hoping a chorus of other musical artists would weigh in behind him. After all, Spotify paid a reported $100 million to Rogan for the exclusive rights to host his podcast and, given that each episode attracts 11 million listeners, it must be quite a money spinner for the music streaming service. I’m sure Young’s music does alright on Spotify, but from a purely commercial point of view it was a no-brainer. Thankfully, only Joni Mitchell seems to have joined Young’s boycott so far, and

The death of the mainstream band: Black Country, New Road reviewed

Twitter was awash with mockery last week, after Adam Levine, the singer of the American group Maroon 5, was interviewed on Apple Music and told Zane Lowe: ‘It’s funny, when the first Maroon 5 album came out there were still other bands. I feel like there aren’t any bands any more, you know?’ Out came the outraged, citing their favourite bands with fanbases numbering in the dozens. What about the fertile deep sludge scene based around Pimple Nose Records of Butt Wipe, Montana, eh? Then there were the K-Pop stans, demanding BTS — a seven-piece vocal group who, had they been formed in England in the 1990s, would clearly have

‘I like upsetting people’: Steven Wilson interviewed

Steven Wilson is going about becoming a pop musician entirely the wrong way. For one thing, he’s into his fifties, not typically the point in life at which budding chart-botherers launch their assault on hearts and minds. For another, in an age in which pop stardom and identity politics have become entwined — in cultural discourse, at least, even if not necessarily in your teenager’s listening habits — he has everything going against him. ‘I come from a very well-adjusted family. I’m heterosexual. I’m white.’ Of course, Wilson doesn’t really expect to be competing against Stormzy and Dua Lipa and Cardi B. His new album, The Future Bites, is a

Englishness vs California dreaming: Meghan and Harry’s Archewell Audio reviewed

On Archewell Audio, Harry and Meghan’s new podcast, ‘love wins’, ‘change really is possible’, and ‘the courage and the creativity and the power and the possibility that’s been resting in our bones shakes loose and emerges as our new skin’. There’s no room for Christmas — the first episode dropped as a ‘Holiday Special’ — but there is for kindness, compassion and more than a few bromidic interjections of ‘So true!’ The podcast purports to ‘spotlight diverse perspectives and voices’ and ‘build community through shared experiences, powerful narratives, and universal values’. Turn down the volume and what you’ll actually hear is the most tremendous tussle between Englishness and California dreaming.

Wholesome, intimate and suspiciously vague: The Michelle Obama Podcast reviewed

Back in March, I made a long-odds bet that Michelle Obama would be the Democratic party’s vice-presidential nominee. I knew that in her memoir, Becoming, she had said that she wasn’t interested in high office. But political candidates always claim they aren’t running — until suddenly they are. Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, had already said he’d take Michelle as his VP ‘in a heartbeat’, which struck me as funny since, if Biden’s heart stopped beating, his VP would become commander-in-chief. Since Biden had been Michelle husband’s running mate, the idea of a 2020 Biden-Obama ticket had a fairytale symmetry that would thrill the public. Strategists crunched the numbers