Podcasts

Back in the day (15 years ago) when the con­tent-man­aged web was learn­ing to tod­dle and Web 2.0 was the only thing peo­ple talked about and blog­ging was hot shit and there was a thriv­ing blog scene in Cleve­land and I was fre­quent­ly meet­ing and talk­ing with all kinds of blog­gers and we were going to upend the pow­er dynam­ics of Cleve­land through cit­i­zen jour­nal­ism and we would meet with actu­al real jour­nal­ists and have argu­ments about what con­sti­tut­ed news and ethics and fair report­ing and oth­er fairy tales, this oth­er group of nerds, even nerdier than blog­gers, were talk­ing about how pod­cast­ing would do all that same shit, except as a radio pro­gram you could down­load and lis­ten to at any time.

I thought the idea of a down­load­able radio pro­gram was ludi­crous. I have always pre­ferred to ingest infor­ma­tion by read­ing. Watch­ing video or lis­ten­ing to some­thing feels like a waste of time. In my ear­ly 20s I was drink­ing beers on ran­dom Tremont porch­es and at DIY shows half the nights of the week or poet­ry read­ings the oth­er half. I had near­ly no com­mute at the time, so my enter­tain­ment dance card was full.

I still think most pod­casts are ludi­crous, but I’ve man­aged to find a few that are pret­ty damn great. I also spend 80 min­utes a day every oth­er week going from home to my kid’s school to work to my kid’s school to home and even I get tired of lis­ten­ing to music that much. I’ve learned that I can only deal with a pod­cast if it is 30 min­utes or less. It needs to be well-pro­duced and not ram­ble. It needs to be infor­ma­tive, insight­ful, or artis­tic but not melo­dra­mat­ic. Stur­geon’s Law holds true with pod­casts as with every­thing else, and my tastes are eclec­tic enough that it is very dif­fi­cult to sift through the gril­lions of cook­ie-cut­ter true crime pod­casts and two hour ram­bles with bad acoustics and worse jokes.

If you ever want to tor­ture secrets out of me, play banal con­ver­sa­tion­al pod­casts at me for about 5 min­utes and I’ll tell you any­thing you want to know. 

The good ones are very good, and I’ve been edi­fied and enter­tained for a good year & a half by them so far. So, here’s to pod­casts, I guess.