Emperor’s New Pod: Whole Wheat stops the Rants…

I’m totally like 2 weeks late on this one, but I was catching up on my WholeWheat audio magazines and found out they are calling time on the daily rants/muffins/whatever. I can totally understand the decision (I have wondered in the past about the contradiction of a regimented radio schedule vs. JimBob’s talk of why they went to Alaska in the first place) but it saddens me.

We (the podcasting/audio blogging community) NEED people like JimBob and Esther.


Well him and Esther are the conscience of podcasting/audio blogging/whatever you choose to call it – they are like the little boy that pointed out the emperor’s new clothes. You might not like what they are saying, you might not agree, but I’d rather listen to someone who makes me think and is critical of podcasting rather than the happy(back)-slappy fest that’s going on over at Podshow and other places.

Thing is, obvious self-congratulation and cross-commenting for peer-visibility and networking is as boring to listen to as much as the Stern-a-likes and the irate geekoid techies doing their versions of Zoo radio/talk radio, and ranting and raving just for show. Your actions have to have heart, and soul; cojones; direction; the intention and aim has to be purer than ‘just being liked’. Otherwise you’ll just fade away…

But I respect Jim-Bob’s and Esther’s decision; I disagree with what he said that any of it ‘sucked’; it was all good podcasting/audio blogging where I stood – well listened; but it’s the same PodFade and PodFatigue that we’ve all felt – trying to jump through hoops and do casts or entertain when you don’t feel like it is as ‘sucky’ as it gets and is, actually, work.

The problem I find at the moment with DJing and music creation scenes, podcasting, designing et al is that it’s all about recycling media, recycling the same old bullshit. I’m very aware of it; I work with studios and marketing to make brands and websites all ‘shiny lemon fresh’ and give them something nice to look at; it’s what pays my wage, I’m not proud of it.

What bothers me tho is when I see it in the very things I do to relax, get away from that world – the very recycling of media, or as Carrie from Sleatter Kinney talks in the latest NME about the fact people seem to need to record or do things so they can talk about them (probably on their podcasts or blogs)…this idea that you need to experience new things and record them to prove you were there. This ‘DJ Culture’ or endless recycling of stuff gets to me – sometimes it works and makes me laugh, dance in my chair, gives me hope, but it does the opposite when it seems like a churn, seems like work, people apply a work or commercial ethic to a free or hobby resource, when people are obviously remixing the latest chart shit to get a profile and not because they love the music, when I go to events like Bastard and everyone is talking industry shite. Stuff like that makes me want to give it all up and move to Alaska (and definitely NOT start up a radio station!)

But when Alan from Low (one of the things that gives me hope) stops the tour because of his mental illness, a very brave act which I respect, and talks about not being able to look a picture of John Peel in the face and the need to stop to get well, it not only puts things in perspective but also I understand that. You have to make sure that your actions are done for the right reasons and followed through because you want to, rather than pleasing other people. Doing things for other people, apart from being able to eat, and I’ve developed a professional ‘persona’ and seperation to cope with that, generally doesn’t work.

It dehumanises you.

It makes you a slave to the machine. It’s boring…

It’s like I DJ, I played at being a DJ for a while, I seem to be good at it and entertain people. But it’s not who I want to be, since I’ve seen people who DJ professionally and the all-consuming nature of it would destroy the very thing I like about music, and doing it. Ditto photography – I’m trained in it to a good level, I can take a mean picture and run a studio and print the results. I’m doubtful about making that my bread and butter because it will likely destroy the very thing I like about it. Sad but although it flies in the face of a hundreds of years of Prostestant western work ethic and Hollywood dogma (“you can be who you want to be!!!”) I think I prefer to be a technological and artistic dilletante. A sunday painter. A sunday podcaster.

And if it gets work for me, then I’ll stop just like JimBob, and go outside and breathe some (alas not as fresh as Alaska) air.

But until then, to end this ramble, as I wrote elsewhere about WWR and JimBob:

so the king is dead, let’s behold the podshow revolution! Umm I mean ‘bubble’.

Let’s pod that bubble shall we?

Sounds like a manifesto to me….search and destroy 😀


  1. May 14

    That is exactly how Ken and I feel about our podcast. We talked quite a bit off-line about what we did and did not want to do or become. We agreed with and learned from your statement about pod fatigue. It does indeed become work, a drain and a real drag. Together we have purposely chosen not to hop on any bandwagon that goes against our beliefs and the reasons why we began podcasting in the first place. If our enjoyment/entertainment in doing a podcast suddenly becomes a chore, we’ll stop doing it.

  2. Niloticbear
    May 16

    Glad the Low link was helpful.

  3. May 17

    Thanks nilotic for the Low link – sorry i forgot to credit you with it, I’ll amend that in Show 27 notes.

    Cindy – glad my ramblings have *some* point to them – happy to help; and likewise I’m not stopping anytime soon but didn’t want to get stressed about ‘not doing shows’ or expectations- I’m not paid to do this! Just wanna have fun…how’s Ken by the way – is he better?

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