Joe Rogan is an interesting figure. Martial arts champion, host of the most violent sport on television, advocate of recreational marijuana, vehement anti-vegan and accused by both left and right of being the poster-boy for the other side. A recipe, it seems, for one of the most popular podcasts out there and for good reason. Whether you agree or disagree with Rogan, his guests are diverse and never treated with anything but the utmost respect. Even when holding opposing views, his style is as hospitable as it would be with a treasured friend and it allows the debate to be nuanced and the disagreements fruitful. There is much that Rogan and I disagree on but much that we can find common ground on too. Often his guests are diametrically opposed to my view of the world, just as often, Rogan manages to tease out their view in a way that can be rationalised and useful. Impressive.
I could have chosen any number of episodes but I went with this recent one with Dr Cornel West. Dr West is an expert in the area of race – an area that leaves little room for manoeuvre when it comes to competing viewpoints. It was clear from the start that both men intensely admired each other and this was never going to be confrontational but I wasn’t expecting the subjects to be so varied or the analysis so deep. I learnt a great deal from listening to this and I hope you will too.
TIME: 1 hour 58 minutes
WHO SHOULD WATCH: Anyone that wants to see a respectful, entertaining and wide-ranging discussion on race in America
BEST BIT: The moments when they enthuse about music they love and the transformative spirit of some black artists
WHAT NEXT: Read Dr West’s seminal book, as important now as it was when it was written, Race Matters