Open letter to the Binchies at Binchtopia

I listened to three of your podcast episodes.

First Sophie, and then Susan, got sucked in—that’s exactly how it happened with the Happy Fits. As a college student, Sophie is exposed to new stuff: bands, TV shows, podcasts. She brings them home and Susan sees the magic. Eventually, she drags me along with her. We saw the Happy Fits in a Baltimore bar when the pandemic lifted. I’m halfway through season one of Abbott Elementary.

And we binged Binchtopia on our road trip to Vermont last weekend.

I gotta admit. I’m a little awestruck. You talk so fast. It doesn’t seem possible. I asked if we could listen at a slower speed. Your vocabulary is new to me. I have the same problem with Susan’s Buddhist podcasts. I know the words, but not how they’re being used. Every group has its jargon. I need to concentrate on context. I need time to digest what I hear. If I could read along, it would help. I recently learned about something called auditory processing disorder. I’ve totally got that. In one ear and out the other. My listening comprehension sucks.

I captured enough to know you don’t like me. Well maybe not me personally, but my type—white, male, baby boomers. I get it, we ruined the world. Trump is a white, male boomer, isn’t that evidence enough? Biden’s one too.  Same-same. The internet tells me that Gen Z doesn’t see much difference. Strange that Bernie gets a pass.

Years ago, my company started a diversity initiative. The managers filled out surveys. Are there populations that leave you feeling uncomfortable? Are you biased against any groups? Yes and yes! The scoring said I’m racist. The woman who reviewed the results with me was Black. She seemed uncomfortable sitting with me—racism and all. She told me I can’t hold biases just because people don’t look like me. “No,” I told her, “it’s the white men who make me uncomfortable.” I was a binch before the Binchies were born.

At the end of your Cop City episode, you said “So what can you do? You can talk to your boomer grandparents, challenge their beliefs.” I’m easily offended. Thin skinned. I don’t contest your views about a pervasive patriarchy, but all old men aren’t the same. I have Tourette Syndrome. I don’t even watch golf. I don’t fit the mold. It hurts my feelings when I’m lumped in with the rest. I try to show that all boomers don’t suck.

On the news, I see women who look just like you except they’re waving Trump flags and wearing MAGA hats. Not all young women are woke. Not all old dudes are Trump. It harms people when you generalize. It weakens your message.

Don’t get me wrong. I love your show. Maybe not the part about clothes, I’m uninterested in fashion, but when you delve into the issues, you rock. You’re educating people: old farts like me, middle-aged moms like Susan, budding adults like Sophie. You’re opening our eyes and making us think. But don’t assume you’ve got me pegged by my age spots and my balding dome. I might have more in common with you than the girly* lined up behind you at the supermarket.

Eliza McLamb and Julia Hava host Binchtopia podcast. I consider this mandatory listening:

*Girly is the Binchtopia word for a young woman.

19 thoughts on “Open letter to the Binchies at Binchtopia

    • Ah, maybe that’s why this post is bombing. OWMs are the only ones who can relate. Sorry if you got a bad episode. The one titled Stop Cop City was one that I enjoyed (and also had so much generalized language. My wife says to stay away from the ones where they are just answering reader questions.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for the suggested episode.
        Julia referenced her Dad a lot in the Easter/Passover discussion and gave me hope that negative OWM comments are driven at least partly by the schtick.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Well said. You’ve touched a nerve. I hate being lumped into a stereotype, probably as much as those half or a third my age. Over sixty, white, and male does not equal Trump supporter. I feel it’s part of my job as a writer to break through and connect with younger readers. I’m not sure if I’m successful, but in my community I’ve surprised a few people. I have a lot of compassion for the plight of younger people and the world they’ve inherited, but assuming most old people are stupid is the wrong approach.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well, I’m far less ‘with it’ than I used to be and that really scares me. I think I’m somewhat beyond my years in cognitive decline. Stupid probably isn’t the right word for me, but I’m definitely slower now than I was. As someone who has felt ‘other’ his whole life, I’ve always felt uncomfortable around norms (that’s what neurodivergents call normal people. A couple of decades ago I drank to fit in. Now I’ve just given up. But older, white men will never be my crowd unless they’ve been pushed to the outer margins of society.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Aging is a complicated proposition. It saddens me to know you feel you have declined cognitively. I certainly understand the slowing down part, and try to stay relevant through my writing and singing. Maybe performing on stage with mostly younger men in chorus helps me more than I’ve realized.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Well Jeff, thank you for an unexpected gift via this post. Your comments about understanding and language gaps fit perfectly with my reading. I understood so little of this that it reminded my of the disastrous Advanced Mathematics subject I foolishly signed up to in first year uni.

    I do understand the thin-skinned thing, but if young adults want to slag off OWM that’s fine by me. Like you, that is my demographic and they are the group that scares me the most, often because they are as lamentably as devoid of nuance as steamed up young adults. The difference is that one group has podcasts while the other controls the world’s mass media and weaponry. I’d really like to see a reality show where they changed places.


  3. Hi, Jeff. Somehow, I’ve just realised I haven’t seen or commented on this post 😬. I thought it was strange to have not seen you here for a while. I don’t know how I missed it, as I always like to read your work. I’m off to a hospital appointment in a minute and then out this evening at the drum circle. Hopefully, I will have time to read your piece tomorrow. So sorry about that .

    Liked by 1 person

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