Podthoughts by Colin Marshall: Creative Destruction

Posted by Maximum Fun on 8th March 2010

If want to sling opinions for a living, you might consider adopting unpopular worldviews. This unpopularity, of course, will be determined by your context. If the context is American politics, you might consider eschewing straight-ahead Republicanism or Democrattiness and throw your lot in with either the libertarians or the Libertarians. And if you plan on going full-bore and relocating to the District, make sure you abhor the petty sordidness of the lifestyles found there. Also, place a high value on sartorial excellence in a city of 600,000 with, like, one and a half tailors. There. Now you’ll always have something to rail against, or at least to podcast about.

This seems to be the strategy followed by Rob Montz, host of Creative Destruction [RSS] [iTunes], a podcast distributed under the aegis of the America’s Future Foundation. The AFF’s web site declares it to be “the premier non-profit network of young conservative and libertarian leaders, nationwide,” with a mission to “identify and develop the next generation of conservative and libertarian leaders.” This, your Podthinker realizes, will sound damnably squaresville to much of the Maximum Fun readership, but bear with for a moment.

Do Montz and his shifting crew of co-hosts profess enthusiasm for fiscally conservative, socially liberal policymaking? Indeed. Do they do it under a wonky, socially maladroit Young Republican or aspertarian mien? Nah, not really. Though the program does provide moments of policy wonkage, though of a quite distinct sensibility, much of it revolves around Montz’s own distaste for the dorkage, laziness and ideological slavery of all stripes that swirls around him in D.C.

He and his podcasting associates carry no torch for the Donkeys, that’s for sure, but they’re even harsher on the Elephants. For confirmation, one needs merely listen to Creative Destruction‘s coverage of this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference [MP3]. Then again, who’s going to resist firing on the barrelfish that is a convention with a “youth-oriented” sub-event called XPAC, hosted by Stephen “The Bravest Baldwin” Baldwin?

But CPAC is only one of the societal ills ranted against on the regular. The Hill’s aforementioned atrocious dress sense gets a hearty upbraiding, and Montz’s vivid description of the tragically pathetic lives of young politico-sex-life-fixated D.C. journalists still resonates in your Podthinker’s brain. These seem to have remained strong even as the show that hosts them has changed somewhat rapidly. What began as more of a discursive panel discussion podcast has recently turned into a quicker, tighter, more focused one-on-one. Whether this has anything to do with the brush fire-like worldwide spread of your Podthinker’s theories on the disease of the TTWGBAC is unclear, but at one point Montz announces his intention not to create another cultural-pontificating-on-whatever show, which declaration comes as a rare relief to someone in this line.

The pop-culture asides do still come, though — Patrick Swayze and CSI: Miami have come up — and that’s no bad thing, especially since they’re part of a podcast whose participants do actually hold some degree of specialized knowledge and/or experience that gives them an actual, distinguishable viewpoint. It’ll be interesting to watch how Creative Destruction evolves from here. It seems to be turning into a regular conversation ostensibly about policy issues of the day between Montz and his Croc-wearing Florida schoolteacher buddy Greg Newburn. (Newburn joins the discussion by, obviously, remote means, which tends to produce unfortunate audio quality issues.)

These guys could probably have a reasonably interesting conversation about anything, but they happen to share enough political interests to give them a solid organizing principle. Whether the inefficiency of government and the ossification of American political culture is an appealing organizing principle will depend on the taste of individual listener, but you know what? A lot of podcasts don’t have one at all.

Vital stats:
Format: Politico-cultural commentary/rantage
Duration: 20m-40m
Frequency: irregular, but roughly weekly on average
Archive available on iTunes: last eight

[Got a podcast to suggest for Podthoughts coverage or any other sort of question and/or comment for Podthinker Colin Marshall? colinjmarshall at gmail.]