The Story’s The Thing: Welcome to Night Vale
Sometimes a story comes along that you just can’t ignore, something that all of a sudden everyone seems to be talking about, and you just have to experience for yourself. Welcome, dear readers of this blog, to Night Vale.Welcome to Night Vale is a (free) podcast updated on the first and fifteenth of each month. You can find it here at its official site, where there are links to stream it, or download it from various places. Night Vale itself is a town in the desert where the supernatural and strange is commonplace. You do not want to approach the dog park due to the hooded figures, the Sheriff’s Secret Police are the authority in the city, and the City Council has banned more things than you want to admit. A glow cloud drops dead animals on the town, and there’s a scientist trying to figure out what exactly is happening.
Without giving too much away, as Night Vale is something that you really must experience itself, it’s a wonderful combination of the Twilight Zone and Garrison Keillor’s Tales from Lake Woebegone. However, it’s not just the news from a small town. Entwined in the story is an extremely progressive social awareness. The narrator, Cecil, from the very first episode, has a huge crush on (which develops into a relationship with) the visiting scientist, Carlos. No one really seems to care much that he is in a relationship with a guy, simply that he tends to talk about Carlos instead of the news. Cecil also rants about the ‘Apache Tracker,’ a white man in town who goes around saying he is in touch with Native American methods of finding and understanding things. As he points out, this guy is basically the personification of cultural appropriation (and he’s a pain in the tail to boot). Finally, there is specifically no description of Cecil in the entire podcast (thus far). He’s every man, well, as much as a newscaster in a strange town in the Southwest can be an everyman. He specifically could be anyone of any race, any background, any shape or any size, which makes for an even more awesome experience.
So, dear readers, do go and experience the mystery that is Welcome to Night Vale for yourself. It will be an engaging and thrilling experience for everyone involved. Just remember: Do not go near the dog park. Goodnight, dear readers. Goodnight.