“Keep Moving, And Get Out Of The Way”

John Roderick and Merlin Mann are Trying To Help You. Yes, You. The first of my Podcast Recommendations.


Some podcast obsessives worship public radio names like Jad Abumrad and Ira Glass, others travel to Night Vale, and many more hang on the words of One Man Brands like Marc Maron, Bill Simmons, or Dan Savage. This is about a podcast unlike all of the above. This is about a podcast here to help, ostensibly, that is.

Roderick on the Line is simply billed above as “Merlin Mann’s frank and candid weekly call with John Roderick of the Long Winters.” Start with “Keep Moving and Get Out of the Way,” the first episode of the series. For many episodes, the show existed without sponsors, so you’ll be free from today’s ubiquitous Squarespace ad reads for a long enough time to see if this is for you.

Let’s start from the phrase “Keep Moving, and Get Out of the Way.” It’s a self-explanatory way of life that Merlin and John teach their children, and can’t understand how adults don’t come to it naturally. If you’re in public, and are of able body and not protesting, you better be moving and interacting with your surroundings in a way that isn’t disruptive to those around you.

This is a focus of the show’s first episode, and once you hear it discussed, after agreeing that it’s the phrase that should have been on all those Keep Calm and Carry On posters this whole time, you’ll wonder what else the hosts have on their minds. The topics and advice are not to be taken of deathly seriousness, but frequently ideas that will get stuck in your mind come around.

That’s The Way Your Hosts Operate

Mr. Roderick has lived a long and unreliably narrated life. Growing up in the insanity we know as the state of Alaska, and living in the complication known as the city of Seattle, and along the way developing an understanding of life you only get from being an indie rockstar. His stories are funny, while questionable in veracity.

I’m guessing Mr. Roderick doesn’t like being described as an indie rockstar, but the way he owns the room at seminal venues like Mercury Lounge, I think the phrase fits. He also set off the rage of the Punk Rock community at-large with a piece in the Seattle Weekly entitled “Punk Rock is Bullshit.”

Mr. Mann’s accomplishments include being one-third of You Look Nice Today (arguably The Greatest Comedy Podcast of All Time), The Hipster PDA, his Inbox Zero talk to Google, and the great Back To Work podcast he continues to record with Dan Benjamin.

This list does Mr. Mann’s great mind for productivity, impeccable taste, and fantastic comedic sensibilities no great service. I hope I haven’t made offense to Mr. Mann, whom I’ve referred to as My Internet Spirit Animal.

They’re Here To Help … and Debate

Pondering if the way forward in society is life on SuperTrain® (the way of the future). The problems with Demanding Satisfaction from Retailers, the issues that faced the newly popular Beatles, Pansexuality, the moments in life where boredom meets panic, and all the ripple effects of long since expired teenaged love.

That was a reductive list, but it had to be, as of the date of this post, they have released 117 episodes.It might not be for you. It’s not for everybody. World War II is a frequent topic of conversation during the early episodes. So much so that “Hitler ‘n Stuff” is a joked about off-shoot show that will never be made.

So, if that’s not the kind of thing that could scare you away, I hope you’ve started your downloads.