Friday, January 10, 2020

The only thing worse than being blocked is to have a topic to roll with but be unable to get it down beyond the basic idea before it slides away. Ah, well. Maybe I should by a voice recorder but I really don’t like the sound of my own voice.

Therapist asked me yesterday if I was into doing a podcast. I let her know that mainly due to my contempt with and the boredom that comes listening to the average political podcast, I have no interest in them. Most podcasts or YouTube vlogs that don’t follow some sort of script get up my nose, as the meandering talk that’s mostly filler irritates.

Back before podcasts in the days of plain old streaming internet radio, I was the “leftist” voice of something called the Diagonal Perspective with three or four other guys who ranged from hardcore libertarian to barely comprehending basic political concepts. If you’ve heard the average podcast of two-to-eight dipsticks running their mouths and wagging their dicks while saying nothing, it was sort of like that.

Same with any sort of vlog, though podcasts are the worst. Don’t just blither on over whatever game or movie you’re “reviewing”, put a little effort into it and give a clear, concise opinion. Zero PunctuationSome More NewsJimquisitionGood Bad Flicks, etc. Very few people can pull off the blabfest without it being mind-erasingly dull. Red Letter Media’s Best Of The Worst is fun, but someone goes back and edits that down. Plus, those guys getting progressively more hammered is funny because they do it well. Same thing with OSW Review, but Irishmen, like Wisconsonites, are experts at being entertaining as hell when getting shitfaced. They do it well.

Of course, probably my favorite podcast is the BBC’s In Our Time, which is three people trying to explain a concept to an older gentleman who doesn’t quite get it. Of course, it’s always three people who’re academic experts in their fields, so it works. The rest leans towards scripted podcasts, like Stuff You Should Know and Stuff You Missed In History Class. Occasionally when I’m in the mood, I’ll spend time with The Partially Examined Life, philosophy by guys who studied it so there’s a little meat to it. I don’t really care for RadioLab because I don’t care for the hosts, but sometimes the subject is worth it to put up with them.

But a couple chowderheads with no real experience except for maybe some college classes yammering on about the week’s news extemporaneously? Nah, no thank you. Listening to actual working journalists is tedious enough. There’s a double handful of podcasters who’ve soiled the bed just via Twitter and I see no reason to waste my time giving them any air. Life is way, way too short to waste any time on every random goofball who thinks they know what they’re talking about.

Beyond all that, though, I can’t stand the sound of my own voice. Beyond the thick accent, the slight stutter and the tendency to let my brain run fast that my mouth, resulting in some very amusing malapropisms, I sound like my nose is stuffed up. I don’t think I should be trying to do something I have so much contempt for. Of course, I’ve no respect for the vast majority of columnists and opinion writers, but I can only stomach so much of my own hypocrisy at one time.

But writing is what I’ve been doing and there are times when I’m actually good at it. I’d be even better if I’d work on separate pieces at a time instead of doing the essay-a-day thing I’m doing here. I need to come up with a pithy catchphrase that sums up the whole business, the Gibberish and the News. Something like “chronicalling the rot at the heart of the American Dream,” but that’s at once too arrogant and at the same time too Hunter Thompson. I need something, though.

Anyhow, it was a good idea but I’m going to leave it be until it comes back. It concerned what I learned as a sports journalist and what we all can learned from it about dealing with the mass media and Big Time press from it. To wit, the only objectivity you’ll find in the papers in the box scores but everyone who covers anyone is a “homer” for someone. In any event, it was set for the Tumblr site anyway, so we’ll see later what comes out in the wash..

As for today, some stormy weather has moved in and is supposed to kick the shit out of us all weekend. So far it’s all just rain, but Momma’s battening down the hatches and digging out the storm radio, so we’ll see. As for the News, the Iran business is having it’s last gasps before Trump – who called Democrats “evil people” at one of his rallies yesterday – does something new incompetently. It is amazing, though, the parallels to Iraq in 2003, just spend up to a ridiculous degree. That’s life in the Trump era.

Impeachment’s still an issue, too, so wagging the dog didn’t work anyway. Nancy Pelosi announced she’s getting the articles together and will probably send them to the Senate sometime next week. Trump and Mitch McConnell are looking to exploit every dodge they can, from changing the rules to keeping John Bolton from running his mustached mouth.

So next week should be fun indeed. Let’s hope the weekend’s quiet.

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