The Podcast World Is Like A Bag of Weed

Back in the day, before you could buy your weed at a seedy little store in some strip mall, you had to rely on people like me. I was a weed dealer back then. I would buy my weed, by the pound from a guy who I only knew as English John. When I got it home I divided it up into lids, which were about 3/4 of an ounce.

The weed itself was in two forms. Half of it was buds; the other half was called shake. It was all weed, and it would all do the trick, but the buds created the perception of quality. So when I re-bagged the weed I always made sure to balance the offering between the buds and the shake. That way, everybody was getting a deal that played to their perception.

I don’t deal weed anymore. I kinda miss it, truth be told. Not so much for the money but for the social aspect of it. The visits, the catching up, the gossip. All my customers were in the advertising business like I was, and back then there was always something going on. Being on top of things was important.

Lately, one of my oldest friends has started to recommend podcasts to me. I actually act on friends’ advice because, to me at least, the podcast world is like a bag of weed.

A few buds but mostly shake. A few interesting and enlightened people and a whole lot of others are pushing some agenda that has little to do with helping people understand the whole picture.

I make it a point to try and listen to at least one podcast every few days. Over the course of the past year, that’s what I have concluded. A few are the buds, who are interesting and tend to take an objective view of whatever they’re on about. The rest are the shake, which are the self-serving or agenda-driven.

And what do you know…it’s the good old 80/20 Rule That Governs Just About Everything. 20% buds, 80% shake.

So if you’re one of those people who listen to a wide range of podcasts religiously, you can be pretty sure that 80% of the time, you’re hearing propaganda of one kind or another, and 20% of the time you’re hearing something that either is or comes close to being the objective truth. As always, it’s up to you to separate the buds from the shake.


Jim Murray
Jim Murray
I have been a writer since the age of 14. I started writing short stories and poetry. From there I graduated to writing lyrics for various bands and composers and feature-length screenplays, two of which have been produced. Early on in my writing career, I discovered advertising. While the other media have drifted in and out, communications writing and art direction have been the constant through a 20-year career senior positions in Canadian and multi-national agencies and a second career, which began in 1989, (Onwords & Upwords Inc), as a strategic and creative resource to direct clients, design companies, marketing consultants and boutique agencies. Early in 2020, I closed Onwords & Upwords and opened MurMarketing which is a freelance strategic development/copywriting/art direction service for businesses working to make a positive difference in the world. I currently write long format blogs in 4 different streams, encompassing, entertainment, marketing, and communications, life in general, and the renewable energy and recycling industries. These are currently published on I have, over the years, created more than 1500 blog posts. I live with my wife Heather in the beautiful Niagara Region of southern Ontario, after migrating from Toronto, where I spent most of my adult life. I am currently recovering from spinal surgery and learning to walk again.

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  1. Very interesting article. I agree with you we have to know what’s playing on the podcast in in order to decide if we want to sift through a reality for both sides. Now a days you can’t get away from commercials. And they can devour a show or podcast. But I think we all search for a deeper meaning of truth

  2. You’re welcome. The 80/20 Rule applies to just about anything you can imagine in this life. I found out about it a long time ago when I first started in the agency business. One of the creative directors I had told me that in your work 80% of what you you do, for any of a number of reasons, will be crap. 20% will be the good stuff. The stuff that works. The stuff you show other people to get a job or an account. The stuff that makes you feel good about the world.