First Favorite "Thing" in 2017!
JR Heiman, St. Cloud, MN
Over the past 10 days, I have listened to Episode One two additional times because its story deeply resonates. More than the compelling narrative about immigrants, their neighbors, and the places where they collectively live, the episode invites me to consider what I value about the communities that I belong to.
Growing up during the same time period 40 miles west of John Evans—who is producer and story-teller of Iconoclast of Things—on the KS side of Kansas City, I recollected my childhood neighborhood. Now as an adult living in MN, I reflect on my current neighborhood and witness an immigrant experience similar to the one John describes. Except in my lived version, the community is seemingly struggling with divisiveness and misunderstanding.
What I appreciate about John’s story is its vision of hope. Much like Gandhi’s belief that “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change,” I recognize the potential of a better reality and how that is contingent, in some small but significant way, to my actions. Considering the deepening of divisions between us—reflected in the degradation of our uncivil civic discourse—such messages are indispensible but only if we take appropriate action.
I am indebted to people like John who observe things that I ignore, share with me an understanding about myself and the world I may have intuitively sensed but couldn’t articulate, and inspire me to do better. Another word for this sort of person is “artist.”
Those fortunately familiar with his work with the band John Velghe and the Prodigal Sons already know John’s penchant for story telling. (Check out their second album “Organ Donor Blues” to hear what I mean.) He has a distinct talent to reveal meaningful perspectives beyond labels, clichés, and personal bias. Along with an engaging and guiding role as narrator, effective use of original musical accompaniment, and a thoughtful intermingling of voices, I found much craft, honesty, and insight in Episode One to make me look forward to listening to Episode Two as soon as its available.
Tears in my eyes and a smile on my face
These episodes are heartfelt, honest and passionate. The perspectives are often enlightening and fresh, presented in a way that allows you to smile through your tears or rally your reserve. The production is multidimensional with beautifully appropriate background scores, clever mixes and fades as well as a superb balance between interview and commentary.
This is the podcast you're looking for
Serious, in-depth storytelling. John's narration has this passionate-but-calm air, this feeling that sometimes he's just as surprised - or saddened - as the listener. The diverse subject matter is something I amlooking forward to. Two episodes in, and I'm definitely hooked. If you are looking for apodcast the will make you think and keep you thinking, long after it's over, this is the one.
Thought and Compelling Story Telling
This podcast has definitely made it onto my "must listen" list. John Evans does a fantastic job of telling a compelling story. It is increasingly important to tell and hear stories about those who are living on the margins of our society. And this podcast is doing just that. Thank you IOT podcast for doing just that and making those stories accessible to all of us. This is important work.
Only two episodes in and both have been enlightening and captivating due to John's production, smart narration, and great interviews - keep them coming!
Enlightening, Refreshing and Important
I listened to the first episode of this podcast a few days ago and it became a part of me. At the surface it's the first hand story of Syrian immigrants, who setlle in Middle America, but it's actually much more. Through John Evans' superb storytelling and interviewing style, he paints an unforgettable, multilayered and compelling picture of humanity. This is a great example of the power of this medium. I'm anxiously looking forward to future episodes.
Carol H. - Fort Hays, KS
This story touched me - it gets to the heart of what's happening in our country at this present timeand lets us experience it through the lives of real refugees , not just people lumped into some category as dangerous to our welfare! Putting a name and face on the refugees says more than a plethora of news stories flashed across our screens daily. I look forward to more podcasts!