Get the best podcast recommendations in your inbox every week. 😎

Pessimists Archive Podcast


+28 FANS

The best antidote to fear of the new is looking back at fear of the old. That's what we do each episode: We travel back in time, exploring why people freaked out over a new technology. Then we try to understand why that unfounded fear continues to re...Show More


51:40 | Oct 24th, 2019

Vanity was born when the mirror was discovered. That’s what the Chicago Record wrote in 1895, around the time when mirrors became a household item. People (and especially women) were condemned for loo...Show More
Profile image of mm

mm recommended:

An interesting historical look into vanity then and now, from mirrors to selfie.

48:02 | Jul 25th, 2019

In the 1950s, America declared war on the comic book. People feared that they’d turn children into hardened criminals, and so opponents burned them in large piles, states banned them, and the U.S. Sen...Show More
Profile image of mavislightyear

mavislightyear recommended:

It’s even better if you read the book Understanding Comics: the Invisible Art alongside.

Get the best podcast recommendations in your inbox every week. 😎

32:03 | Jan 27th, 2018

Pinball was banned from the 1940s to 1970s in many cities across America. New York City’s mayor made a show of bashing pinball machines with a hammer. Church ladies in suburban Chicago went on vigilan...Show More
Profile image of ambahjay

ambahjay recommended:

Pinball used to be on the samd level as thugs and pornography!

30:16 | Nov 20th, 2017

For 500 years, a succession of kings, sultans, and businessmen have tried to ban or destroy the world’s favorite caffeinated morning pick-me-up. Among their claims: Coffee makes you impotent! It destr...Show More
Profile image of ambahjay

ambahjay recommended:

This is a wonderfully silly episode.

43:38 | Feb 27th

Today, people complain about self-obsessed millennials. Yesterday, they complained about children celebrating their birthdays. When the birthday party became popular in the 19th century, people worrie...Show More
Profile image of nrichwine

nrichwine recommended:

"Never give children everything because they'll turn into rebellious little demons and not praise the ground you walk on for allowing them t...Show More

Show More (24)