90 minutes of useless joy

This year brought a lot of madness, vitriol and sadness. In the midst of going back to school in hopes of becoming a middle school English teacher, helping raise three kids under 7, and trying to be a halfway decent spouse, I’ve watched in terror as a rising tide of fascism and white nationalism has gripped our country, and nincompoops and fopdoodles mangle our local, state and federal governments. Less importantly, but still painfully, the Phillies finished in last place.

But I discovered something this year, thanks to Brian Shea, that has brought a ton of joy, peace and, somewhat bafflingly, wisdom to my life.

The Poscast. Joe Posnanski and Michael Schur host this 90-minute show of sports, culture and meaningless things. Posnanski is basically the sportswriter I wanted to be when I first got into journalism. Schur is on the Mount Rushmore of television comedy writers. He wrote for SNL for six seasons, wrote many of the best stuff from “The Office,” (Yeah NEPA), co-created “Parks and Recreation,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” and created “The Good Place.”

What makes the podcast special is that, unlike “Seinfeld,” another show about nothing, the episodes don’t have a whiff of cynicism to them. Well, maybe when they talk about the Yankees. But they can’t be blamed for that. These guys find joy in the simple and complexly simple in life.

One of my favorite memories from being a sportswriter was when the three reporters on our small town staff would go out to the local diner after work and just talk. We’d spend much of that time laughing and arguing – me, a bit too emphatically. But it was clear we loved being together and talking. That’s what the poscast is like.

Now, while the show often centers around sports, they often do things like draft their favorite snacks or movies they haven’t seen. Maybe that sounds boring, and Posnanski and Schur would probably agree with that assessment, but each week’s episode is far from it. Both of them are incredibly funny and well versed.

But it’s their joy that comes through. Even when tackling serious subjects, they make you smile and feel alive. And in their 90 minutes of joy, I find peace.

And a bit of wisdom in the meaninglessness.

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