My life is filled with so many podcasts. I find them stimulating and inspiring and just simply pleasing. As a person who travels so much on public transport, or by foot, I have a lot of down time and waiting. Sure I carry a Kindle and a travel book of sudoku or crosswords to fill, but what about all of the noise? How do I block this out? The answer is Stitcher. This is a free radio and podcast app I have on my phone.
What is a Podcast?
From what I have found, a podcast is a radio-style broadcast. Many are made by reporters and journalists, many are in fact recordings from the radio, made by journalists and radio hosts. But you do not actually need to be qualified in these fields to have a show. I follow comedians who cover topics well without their realm of certified knowledge. I think these people ‘get away with it’ is that they re clear about their intentions and the aim of their shows, and they do not negate or negatively discuss or dismiss other peoples work, and the work of professionals in any aspect of society. Except the very evilest of criminals. Most people tend to speak ‘down’ about murderers and rapists. The amount of podcasts I have signed up to is not something I want to look into, although I will definitely give great credit to some over others.
Why am I Telling You About Podcasts?
Podcasts have become my life. It is too much stimulation for me to watch television now. Due to past issues in my life, reading has been trained in my mind to be the instigator of sleep. I am working on building up dexterity in my hands to do arts and crafts like I used to. And I have found jigsaw puzzles are my favourite form of mindfulness. But you cannot do arts, crafts, jigsaw puzzles or crosswords easily while watching television anyway. Why is this, then, so important? This is how I have ended up living in a world of podcasts. I won’t tell you all of the ones that I listen to. That would seem daft. But I can instead tell you which I listen to most, and which I like best. The best podcast I listen to is The Memory Palace.
What is The Memory Palace?
It is a library of stories read in such a gentle, respectful and lyrical way. The episodes last from 5-25 minutes long and cover, in short, the history of the United States of America. Not just any history, and not exactly specific parts. It isn’t even covered in a chronological (or obvious) pattern. Each episode is about something, some one thing. Reader Nate DiMeo presents a very brief history of one average, or not so average, person, place or thing. There is no clear reason why he tells these stories sometimes, other than to share a piece of life. A dress, the floor of a ballroom, the first woman to swim the English Channel, a rebellious daughter of a confederate.
Why Are We Covering it Here?
Nate, if you read this, I hope you can follow through? But, if not, never mind. In the back-catalogue, Episode 117 is titled Elizabeth. It relates the story of how Elizabeth…wait no. I cannot ruin this for you. Only to say this is about the development of a drug for a common-not-so-common illness. How it was originally treated and how the treatment began and what it did. It was not Lupus, or another autoimmune illness. But it was serious nonetheless.
Nate. I love your work. I flow away on your voice, and into the lives of these places. “If you’re going to be a floor, be a ballroom floor.” My favourite line, undoubtedly. I know you are well-received in the USA. I know this because you were recently at The Met. However, I accept you do not hold political sway, nor are backed by millions or an extensive financial portfolio. I feel you do have the potential for greatness though and so I ask of you this:
Please, Nate DiMeo, will you research and present a story on Lupus. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus to be exact. The Mayo Clinic is, believe a great medical facility that may assist in your research? This illness has been around for centuries, but us, mainly female, patients are still massively diagnosed and mistreated. We are sent away from medical rooms with the dismissal of being ‘hysterical’ or that the symptoms are psychosomatic. Until the late 1980’s it led to death. Now, with a cocktail of immune suppressing drugs or antimalarials, we are dragging our existence out to an acceptable age in life. I feel that, if you were to research a young woman who suffered and died at…whichever age…of Lupus, we may be able to bring attention to this disease. Not only do we want a cure, we also want a definitive method to be diagnosed. We aren’t even there with that yet.
Please Nate DiMeo, if for nothing more, then just to share a story of how strong us fighters are. Thank you, and good luck with your book and future episodes.
After you have read this post, I invite you to listen to Elizabeth.