Arts

The Anthropocene Reviewed

An Exploration of the Human World with John Green

By: Monica Ahuja

Author, Podcaster, Youtuber, and Creator, John Green. Credit: wnycstudios.org

Many readers know John Green as an author of best-sellers such as “The Fault in Our Stars” and “Turtles All the Way Down” while learners and students may know him as one of the “Crash Course guys.” Members of the Nerdfighteria community may know Green as one of the Vlogbrothers and as a fellow community member. 

In 2018, John Green added to his collection of works and projects, and began his second podcast, The Anthropocene Reviewed in partnership with WNYC Studios. 

According to Merriam Webster’s dictionary, the Anthropocene can be defined as, “the period of time during which human activities have had an environmental impact on the Earth regarded as constituting a distinct geological age.”  

The Anthropocene Reviewed focuses on a time in which humans have had the largest impact on planet Earth. So, in this podcast, Green reviews “different facets of the human-centered planet on a five-star scale.”

Green begins by welcoming the listeners to his podcast with distinct music and a description of his podcast, followed by an introduction of himself and the topics that are to be reviewed. At the end of the discussion of each topic, he rates the subject matter on a scale of five stars. 

Although the podcast is currently on hiatus, Green thoroughly researches the topics for each podcast, perfecting the script for an episode that is released once a month. Some of the subjects Green has reviewed are “Indianapolis and Love at First Sight, “Tetris and the Seeds of Leningrad,” “Auld Lang Syne,” “Canada Geese and Dr. Diet Pepper,” “Hawaiian Pizza and Viral Meningitis,” and “QWERTY Keyboard and Kauaʻi ʻōʻō.” 

The topics chosen for the podcast are odd and peculiar. Green typically reviews one or two topics per episode, apart from the episode in which he reviewed seventeen “different facets of the human centered planet.”  And they are often suggested by listeners, loved ones, or are topics chosen by Green himself. 

Art from The Anthropocene Reviewed, Episode: Capacity for Wonder and Sunsets. Credit: wnycstudios.org

Green begins the review of each topic with some historical context and information; he weaves the research, as writers do, into an intricate but compelling story. In his poetic and insightful writing style, he provides interesting comments and facts and thoughtful observations. When necessary, Green also reveals the shortcomings in his research. 

Through the utilization of the historical context, he has provided; Green connects a large topic and its history to his personal experiences. When listening to the podcast, it is clear that not only has Green spent time researching, but he has also self-reflected and has intertwined the story of what would seem to be a broad topic, into his own. 

At times, the narratives that are told can lead to a flurry of different emotions from sadness and heartbreak to laughter and hope. By the end of an episode, you will leave well  informed and be emotionally touched by the stories that Green tells.  

The podcast can be found on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, and other services where podcasts can be found, and on the WNYC Studios site

If you listen to podcasts, want to learn, want some food for thought, or want to try something new, the podcast is worth a listen.

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