What Just Happened?
What Just Happened?
David Chang
What Just Happened? is a podcast about recent history. In each episode, host David Chang tackles current and often controversial topics head on, making sense of a nonsensical world.
Sleepless in Seattle (Spoilers!) (Ep. 138)
In 1993, Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks starred in the hit romantic comedy Sleepless in Seattle. With its quirky characters, clever writing, and stellar soundtrack, not only did the movie put the city of Seattle on the map, it was a huge box office success, and has since been recognized as one of the great romantic comedies. As it turns out, and to David’s surprise, Sleepless in Seattle was also one of teenage Eugene’s favorite movies. In this episode, David and Eugene stroll down memory lane, and discover a newfound appreciation for the craftsmanship of this film that neither of us recognized as kids. Eugene questions whether Walter was such a bad fit for Annie, while both David and Eugene discuss how little details like the peeling of an apple, dropping a bundle of mail, or sitting on piano keys are still memorable decades later. As always, thanks for watching! Threads @davidchang99 X @davidgchang whatjustpodcast @ gmail . com "I was just taking her hand to help her out of a car and I knew. It was like... magic.” - Sam Baldwin
Mar 5
1 hr 45 min
Drinking the Kool-Aid (Ep. 137)
As Eugene notes in this episode, it’s not a surprise that David has “authority issues.” In this second half of the discussion of Jocko Willink’s book, “Extreme Ownership,” we talk about the idea of being a true believer, whether Jocko is right when he says being a true believer is necessary to being a good leader, and David gets personal in his view of why his reluctance to “drink the Kool-Aid” would make him a lousy leader of any institution or organization.  In November 1978, American cult leader and mass murderer Jim Jones ordered more than 900 members of his cult to drink a mix of Flavor Aid laced with cyanide and commit “revolutionary suicide.” Since then, the term “drink the Kool-Aid” has come to mean believing in foolish or dangerous ideas based on a misguided faith. As always, thanks for listening!  Threads @davidchang99 X @davidgchang whatjustpodcast @ gmail . com “In order to lead, you must believe.” - Jocko Willink
Feb 20
1 hr 43 min
Extreme Ownership (Ep. 136)
My daughter thinks the phrase “you can’t swing a dead cat in this town” is absolutely ridiculous, and to be fair, she’s not wrong! That said, you can’t swing a dead cat these days without hitting a couple self-help gurus and podcasters who love them. But the self help book, “Extreme Ownership” by Jocko Willink caught my attention a while ago, and to me it genuinely reads different than what you typically see on the shelves. Willink is a former navy seal who emphasizes humility and detachment from ego as much as being "hard core." It’s also one of several books I’ve been meaning to talk about on this podcast. In this episode, David and Eugene discuss the concept of extreme ownership, what it means, its pros and cons, David fanboys about Jocko for a few minutes, and we discuss why the phrase “try harder” might mean something very different and ultimately more important than simply, for example, waking up two hours earlier or doing fifty extra pushups. As always, thanks for listening!  Threads @davidchang99 X @davidgchang whatjustpodcast @ gmail . com “There is no one else to blame.” - Jocko Willink
Feb 6
1 hr 36 min
Everything Everywhere (Ep. 135)
After a long time away, David finally gets a chance to ask Eugene the burning questions he’s been wanting to discuss. Ever a trooper, Eugene is a willing participant in following David down rabbit holes, even when addressing A.I., whether boys have positive role models, why parents should never turn their backs on their children, or how to respond to David’s severe case of Trump derangement syndrome. As always, thanks for listening!  Threads @davidchang99 X @davidgchang whatjustpodcast @ gmail . com Just open your window And follow your memory upstream To the meadow in the mountain Where we counted every falling star - Paul Simon
Jan 23
1 hr 51 min
The Hard Year (Ep. 134)
We’re back! David and Eugene reflect on the past year and look ahead to 2024. Eugene talks about why 2023 was such a challenging year, while David discusses his marathon goals, his desire to finally pick up a camera, and what Deion Sanders and marching band taught him last year. As always, thanks for listening! Threads @davidchang99 X @davidgchang whatjustpodcast @ gmail . com “These kids are ready. We prepare them not just athletically, we prepare them mentally for things and challenges that are going to happen in life as well. So, I like what I see on a daily basis. I really do. Matter of fact, I love these kids. I really do.” - Deion Sanders “A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men.” – Herman Melville
Jan 9
59 min
Past, Present, and Future (Ep. 133)
How has the way we parent changed, for better or worse, since David and Eugene were kids? How do we approach major life choices without anxiety or regret? We discuss these questions and more in the second half of our conversation with our dad, Dr. Jonathan Chang. We’re taking our yearly break for the rest of the summer and will return in the fall. We hope you have a wonderful summer. We appreciate your hanging out with us and as always, thank you for listening! Twitter @davidgchang whatjustpodcast @ gmail . com "The choices we make today create the future that we are dreaming of." - Kapil tetarwal
Jun 20, 2023
50 min
Why do parents reject their gay children? (Ep. 132)
CW: This episode contains conversations about parents who don't accept their child's sexual orientation.  It's helpful to have someone in your life you can ask hard questions. I'm lucky enough to consider both my dad and my brother Eugene among such people. In this episode, our special guest Dr. Jonathan Chang returns to the podcast to share his wisdom and a perspective that comes with age. Why do some public figures seem to go from relatively normal to abruptly crazy? What makes parents turn their backs on a child who they love but who comes out as gay? Critically, I should note that none of these questions are directed at dad personally in any way, nor do I expect he'll have all the answers. But it's precisely because I consider dad a safe person that we can raise sensitive and challenging but what I believe are important questions in an open manner. As always, thanks for listening! Twitter @davidgchang whatjustpodcast @ gmail . com "Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in." ― Alan Alda
May 30, 2023
47 min
Where are you from? (Ep. 131)
I (David) have always had a hard time answering this question. In part because I'm from a family of immigrants but also because we lived in so many places over my childhood. This is the second half of David and Eugene's episode about home. We discuss our "Alien Space Club," the difficult move to Wilmington, Delaware, and what home means for us. As always, thanks for listening! Twitter @davidgchang whatjustpodcast @ gmail . com "Home is where one starts from. As we grow older the world becomes stranger, the pattern more complicated ... a lifetime burning in every moment." - TS Eliot
May 16, 2023
48 min
Home (Ep. 130)
Home is where the story begins. Home is not a place but a feeling. David and Eugene have lived in several homes over time, in different parts of the U.S. In this episode, we discuss the places we lived, from our earliest memories to significant events (like the time Eugene broke his femur), and how these spaces shaped and influenced our childhood. As always, thanks for listening! Twitter @davidgchang whatjustpodcast @ gmail . com “The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” – Maya Angelou
May 2, 2023
53 min
To sleep, perchance to dream (Ep. 129)
Everyone I know, to a person, says they need more sleep. Yet the modern age is not conducive to getting a full eight hours. After a brief discussion about the modern weight loss "miracle cure" Ozempic, David and Eugene get into the nitty gritty of sleep habits, and some of the psychology and hard choices that keep us from going to bed. As always, thanks for listening!  Twitter @davidgchang whatjustpodcast @ gmail . com “A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.” — Irish Proverb
Apr 18, 2023
1 hr 5 min
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