Have I mentioned that I have a podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin? Oh right, I think maybe I have.
The newsletter covers the highly specialized world of podcasts, but Nick is such a terrific writer that he often throws in asides or observations that resonate far beyond his official topic.
So, I’m not a Magic player myself — I had a passing interest when I was a teenager in Malaysia, but TV ended up sucking more of time…but I find myself really drawn to the patter and rhythm of the often insular, community-specific language baked in free-flowing conversation. Do you ever have that experience where you turn on like, a sports radio program for a sport you don’t really follow because it’s just really damn fun to listen to people get into the weeds of something they know a whole lot about? It’s like immersing yourself in a place that speaks a whole other language, and it builds up a certain envy of wanting to be in that in-group, because here I am now wishing that I had spent more time nerding out about MTG back when I was growing up back home. Hmm. A portal into a life I could be living right now.
[Sentence bolded by me]
When I read this I thought — yes! I know that feeling exactly, and I thought it was just some weird idiosyncratic aspect of my own nature.
I do find that sometimes I find it entertaining to hear a spirited discussion about something I know nothing about–whether that’s basketball, the Grammy Awards, the Real Housewives, the Olympics, opera, nice restaurants in New York City, international monetary policy.
Why that is, I don’t know. Sometimes it makes me want to know more–but usually not. It’s just fun to listen to people talk, to hear the lingo, the debates, the nuances, the history, the jokes, and most of all, the enthusiasm–without really understanding what’s being discussed. An odd phenomenon.