Sometimes we need help asking questions.
What does Red Pilled America mean? Depending on your political persuasion, the title could be seen as a warning light or a beacon. However, as with any other podcast, there is more to the show than its name. This isn’t a weekly talk show, a Donald Trump rally, or a trick. It’s not the rantings of conspiracy theorists for like-minded people. No matter where you fall on the left/right spectrum, Red Pilled America will probably be a surprise.
Produced by husband-and-wife team Patrick Courrielche and Adryana Cortez, Red Pilled America is a storytelling show. Each week they ask a question drawn from current events, and then tell a story, either an anecdote from their own colorful lives or that of another everyday American, from which they draw their conclusions. All they promise is the truth.
Sometimes the truth is liberating. Sometimes the truth is uncomfortable. Whatever we think about government, immigration, or love, will be scrutinized. And we might not always like what we see. No matter how much we want to turn away from the harsh light of reality, Courrielche and Cortez won’t let us blink.
Episode 108 asks the question “Does anything good come from social media?” They go on to tell the story of Jimmy Nolan, from how he met his wife to the horrific tragedies of the past year and a half. If you aren’t familiar with what the Nolans have suffered, be prepared. Suffice to say, there’s no room for political wrangling or agendas. The story cuts like a laser through all the partisan filters to which we’ve become accustomed and simply breaks our hearts for people who could be our neighbors.
Each hour-long program is expertly produced and extremely professional. The sound and music cues are equal to anything you’d hear on public radio. Sometimes it has reached the top 10 in all podcast categories on iHeart Radio, and it is broadcast on some terrestrial radio stations. While the language needs to be edited for traditional broadcast, as the writer/hosts are unable to resist a clever, if salty, turn of phrase, you might still laugh even as you cringe.
Storytelling is essential. A story shines a different light on things we thought we knew, allowing us to see them from a fresh perspective. While Jesus preached sermons, he was also a masterful storyteller with clear intentions. “I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand” (Matt. 13:13). A sermon tells us what is, and a story lets us ask, “What if?”
Maybe you don’t want to get red pilled, and that’s okay. No one wants an agenda pushed down their throat. But who doesn’t want to hear a story? That should be an easy question to answer. Ultimately, shouldn’t we just be asking questions together and delighting in well-told tales? Who knows where we might end up? (Inform Ventures, LLC)
About the Author
Trevor Denning is an alumni of Cornerstone University and lives, lifts weights, and spends too much time in his kitchen in Alma, Mich. His first short story collection is St. George Drive and Other Stories.