TWIN FALLS — The topics vary, but the message stays the same: the world is in danger.
The Twin Falls-based podcast “Last Born In the Wilderness” often delves into complex issues, including conservation in the age of climate change, the danger of a Hobbesian worldview, innovative beekeeping and how it can help the environment, dealing with fascism today, and how psychedelics and philosophy go hand in hand.
At this point, the only surprising thing about “Last Born In the Wilderness” is its capacity to surprise. Each episode tackles something new and wildly different, always chasing after the brave unknown. Always trying to find a new frontier, host Patrick Farnsworth is trying his hand at something strange — his first live podcast.
Farnsworth, a 29-year-old Magic Valley native, launched “Last Born In the Wilderness” six years ago, but around two years ago he started to take it more seriously. Now, he produces one episode — ranging from 30 minutes to two hours — nearly every week. Each episode features a new guest on a new topic: scientists, university professors, activists and philosophers from all over the world who are experts in their field.
We’re in such a unique period right now,” Farnsworth said. “We are in unprecedented territory. I want to get the conversation going.”
Farnsworth wants to start the conversation in his hometown of Twin Falls.
“I’m ready to get my community involved in these conversations,” Farnsworth said. “This isn’t meant to be pessimistic.”
Farnsworth is standing outside of the Idaho Youth Ranch on Main Avenue South; he has to find the right spot for his computer to connect to the Wi-Fi. It’s starting to get cold outside.
Inside, his friend Jordan Thornquest is on another laptop making sure that the live stream on YouTube works. It’s just as cold in the building without air conditioning.
The two are talking to each other through their screens.
While pacing back and forth, Farnsworth starts making popping sounds with his mouth, just waiting to see if they’ve figured it out.
“Hey, look at that. We are live,” Thornquest said.
The idea for a live podcast came from Thornquest, a local musician who tries to increase the amount of entertainment in Twin Falls. It took Farnsworth participating in his TEDx Talk earlier this year to realize that, despite the anxiety, he enjoys the energy that comes from having an audience.
“Last Born In the Wilderness” garners around 300 to 400 listeners for each episode; the occasional episode will reach around 1,000 listeners. It’s not a huge fan base, but it is a loyal one, Farnsworth said.
When it comes to podcasting, Farnsworth is self-taught and has learned about audio recording and interviewing through his own experiences. This live podcast is no different, everything is being figured out only a couple of days ahead of time.
There is a guerrilla-style podcasting here that can only exist in the first attempt at something. The venue is an abandoned building. The Wi-Fi connection is shoddy. The projector is a little blurry. But all of this gets the job done. It’s Farnsworth’s style to learn as he goes.
“I can’t screw it up,” Farnsworth said. “It has to work.”
The live event starts at 6 p.m. Oct. 28 at the former Idaho Youth Ranch. Farnsworth will interview award-winning environmental journalist Dahr Jamail and gonzo journalist Dr. Bones. Jamail will cover the abrupt climate disruption and the change that comes with it. Bones will discuss what individuals can do to take control in this future of change.
“This isn’t easy stuff to talk about. It’s difficult to comprehend,” Farnsworth said. “I want to talk about what this crisis is asking of us.”
In 2003 Jamail was an independent journalist in Iraq. In 2010 when the BP oil disaster took place he transitioned into environmental journalism. By 2011 he was writing about climate disruption.
People are ill-equipped for the reality of what climate change is capable of, Jamail said. When he publishes his climate dispatches he said that they are often seen as an outlier or radical, but he just reports on the most recent scientific studies and reports.
“It is grim. I don’t try to inspire hope, as I feel that is disingenuous and needless to say, dishonest. It’s not a question of being hopeful or hopeless. It’s about accepting the reality that we are in the sixth mass extinction event and living accordingly,” Jamail said. “These times call for us to get very, very honest about what is really important. To me, this means living as mindfully as possible, and walking as gently upon the Earth as I know how.”
The other guest, Dr. Bones, is a Florida-based gonzo journalist who has recurring themes on the destruction of land and the rise of political street gangs. He practices hoodoo and is open about his egoist philosophies.
“I started writing publically two or three years ago,” Bones said. “I wanted to be a horror writer but I realized the true horror stories of today could be found through journalism.”
Bones wears his views openly on his sleeve — or in this case, his face. He wears a red bandana mask with a yellow hammer and sickle and dark sunglasses.
“I’m not here to build a revolution,” Bones said. “I’m not shooting for a goal. I just want to keep people alive.”
Despite the differences between the guests, Farnsworth chose them as back to back guests to continue the conversation.
“I see the reason why I chose these guests, it makes sense to me,” Farnsworth said. “But we’ll see what the audience thinks.”