The mind of Jason Peters is far from one-track. Just sit down with him for 30 minutes, and you’ll find yourself discussing everything from his disdain of flying cars to the inventor of the foam finger.
Peters has a lot of say about a lot of things, and, earlier this year, he found the perfect outlet to express his many thoughts — a podcast. In January, the Feasterville native and current South Philadelphia resident launched the first season of 2100 — a series that serves as a time capsule for the people of 2100 to help them understand our current culture.
According to Peters, the inspiration behind the podcast was two-fold — the Michio Kaku book Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100, and Peters’ hatred for the way history is taught to students around the world.
“The popular narrative is very rarely true. I wanted to leave behind something that is completely untouched by any corporate interests, any investment in the game. I’m someone who’s just on the sidelines. I’m poor. I have nothing to lose,” Peters told The Times. “I’ll leave the honest-to-God truth about my culture because one of my strong suits in my writing or in my personal life is that I keep it straight up, 100 percent honest.”
Rather than have the people of 2100 look back at 2019 and only see the “caricature” figures of Donald Trump, Elon Musk and Bill Gates, Peters wants them to comprehend the intricacies of our lives through the podcast…all while making them laugh.
“The idea for this podcast is, it’s not even for us. I’m genuinely in love with the idea of this being re-released in 2100 or being discovered by one guy,” Peters said. “I’m in love with the idea of people in the year 2100 listening to this and judging the sh*t out of us because we’re going to be so wrong about everything we say. That’s 80 years in the future. Eighty years in the past, people were getting lobotomies, getting their heads cracked open for no reason. What’s our lobotomy? I think there are a lot of things like that. I think fast food is going to be looked at like, ‘Jesus Christ, you people!’”
Each guest is asked the question, “What is the future like in the year 2100?” Topics are usually introspective, and range from mental health to when the world will end. The purpose of the podcast is to gather an idea of how the present sees itself, how the present sees the future, and how people really feel about the time they are living in.
“That’s one of my favorite things about this series is that the premise of 2100 makes you contemplate your own mortality,” he said.
Peters forces guests to dig into their beliefs and not throw out “shallow” responses such as “flying cars.”
“We’ll never have them. I’m so deeply opinionated on it. Flying cars are stupid. It’ll never happen,” he said. “It doesn’t logistically make sense. Tires falling from the sky. It doesn’t make sense but people say it so often and I’m like, “No, you’ve got to think deeper than that.’”
Episodes in season one include conversations with everyone from Steve Chmelar, the inventor of the foam finger, to Philly Jesus, a product of the opioid epidemic. Episodes for season two, which is set to air in January 2020, are slated to include interviews with the creator of the T-Rex game on Google Chrome, and both mayors of Niagara Falls.
So where does Peters get his ideas for 2100? The answer is simple.
“Really, the qualifier is, would anyone else do this? And does it make me laugh onsite? Does the premise itself laugh? A lot of it is me trying to get myself into weird situations because that’s what I feel is interesting,” he said. “The idea of me getting two mayors of the same town to meet in Canada, that’s funny on its face to me, so I want to do it and see what’ll happen. I have no real credentials. I’m just making this stuff up as I go, and luckily the traction has allowed me to get my way into different rooms.”
2100 is Peters’ third podcast series, with past attempts including Long Gone — an evaluation of the differences between life in America versus London.
“It was just scatter-brained nonsense and it didn’t take off because it wasn’t a good product. So now I have to be hyper-focused. There’s other projects I want to work on that I just can’t work on because everything has to go into doing this, and doing it right,” he said.
When Peters isn’t producing episodes for 2100, he’s juggling a slew of other responsibilities, including a full-time marketing job, freelance writing and aiding local musicians in lyric-writing.
Still, Peters wouldn’t trade his jam-packed schedule for anything. He’s doing what he loves, all while (hopefully) leaving an impression on future civilization. So far, his efforts are paying off, with the podcast reaching No. 5 on the UK iTunes Comedy Podcast charts and No. 147 in the American iTunes Top 200.
“I think the thing that sets me apart and makes the show special is that I have a different point of view or perspective that I can provide because of the things I’ve lived through and the types of people I’ve been around. I’ve lived a very diverse type of life for no reason. I’ve lived the life of a cartoon character, and I feel that it brings a lot to the table,” Peters said. “I don’t want to create something that’s ever been created before. I don’t want to do remakes. I want to be so outside of the box, and that’s what all these ideas are.”
When 2100 reaches 15,000 downloads (it’s currently halfway there), Peters has vowed to walk from City Hall in Philadelphia to the Atlantic Ocean, and will make a documentary.
“I have terrible knees and I shouldn’t be doing it, but I would like to try it because why not? This whole thing is about getting myself into precarious situations,” he said. “I very much believe in the philosophy of ‘different is good.’ Even if it’s bad while you’re doing it, the fact that you did something unique or different is good.” ••
Keep up with Peters and 2100 at jasonadjacent.com.
Samantha Bambino can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org