WNPR

A Long Look at Losing and Lovable (and Loathsome) Losers

Aug 1, 2016

As we were preparing for our show on underdogs a few months ago, I kept saying that we shouldn't overlook the fact that, often, to be an underdog in the first place, you have to be really bad at the thing you're an underdog about.

The more we talked about it, the more I found myself making the case that losers and losing are fascinating.

And they are. There's a whole podcast about political candidates who lost. We romanticize losers in movies and TV and songs and stories.

And think just about the phrase "lovable losers." In a culture where we focus seemingly entirely on the positive half of the zero sum, where we endlessly exalt WINNING, it's kind of interesting that we love the losers too, isn't it?

This hour, a long look at losers and losing.

The audio posted here is nearly 14 minutes longer than the show as it's airing on the radio, nearly a third longer than our show usually is. And, honestly, we like this version better. We just had way too much to say about losers, it turns out.

GUESTS:

  • Jason Cherkis - Political reporter for The Huffington Post and the co-host of their podcast about politicians who have lost, Candidate Confessional
  • Josh Keefe - A freelance writer, journalist, and editor; in a piece for Slate's Sports Nut, he claimed that he was the worst high school quarterback ever
  • Irene Papoulis - Teaches writing at Trinity College
  • Brian Slattery - Arts editor for the New Haven Independent and a producer at WNHH radio

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Colin McEnroe and Betsy Kaplan contributed to this show.