Thursday, July 16, 2009

Listening to podcasts

In my free time, I have been listening to a lot of podcasts. Some of them are political, like Common Sense with Dan Carlin; others are about history, like Hardcore History (again Dan Carlin); some are about economics: EconTalk.

(And you didn't think that I had any interests outside of Golden Dawn and my hack writing: silly you. But just wait...)

But a lot of them are Golden Dawn related.

( knew that I was headed in that direction, didn't you?)

Now, I am not going to name podcasters or the names of particular podcasts. Partially, this is because of the grief that I have gotten for doing book reviews; partially, it is because my comments can actually be applied to several podcasts at the same time.

(If you feel a stab wound when I am talking about a podcast, ask yourself why you feel upset at the comment: are you guilty of the offense? And can you prove that I am talking about your podcast?)

Now I will admit that I have kicked around doing a podcast myself. But those people who have met me in person know that my voice is not the best voice to be recorded. Twelve years of speech therapy have made me understandable maybe a quarter of the time; the rest of the time people just nod politely.

Even Regardie and Crowley sounded better than I do.

For the record, I have recorded the last two Open Full Moons that I have led...and I have yet to bring myself to listen to either one of them.

There is also the fact that it would just be me and a digitual recorder. A loon with a recorder and no editing program or skill. Therefore I think that it is best that I do not inflict a podcast on the world.

Nevertheless, there are some things to be said about the podcasts that I have been listening to.

I suspect that some podcasters have not thought their podcast all the way though.

(The same goes for their websites and blogs. Maybe it is just the critic in me that makes me think this. Heaven forbid that I am actually right about something.)

As proof, look at the number of podcasts that seem to be forgotten already. Of course, that may be because of the hidden cost of doing a podcast (time, online storage, and bandwidth). Or it could be the simple lack of things to talk about (which I find hard to believe as an excuse; but then again, my secrecy oath is less strict than most). But I suspect that a lot of magic, pagan. Thelemic, and Golden Dawn podcasts were not outlined before they were started. Hence, the lack of new espisodes.

It is even more frightening when you are listening to an espisode and realize that the caster has no idea where they are going. You never want your listener to ask at the end of the podcast: "What was the point of that?"

(Another reason for me not to do a podcast. I digress a lot.)

Organizing and outlining a podcast is not that hard to do. Or at least, I do not think that it is. The two guys sitting in the dorm room managed to figure out that a gameplan is necessary.

(I actually like that podcast. And all the others I am talking about; otherwise I would not be listening to them. Remember I grew up around truckers and construction workers; talk radio and podcasts are birds of a feather. You can swear at them both and still like the show.)

Then there are those who seem to think that advertising their book, website, lodge and Order is a good enourgh gameplan. These podcasts border on annoying. It is like listening to an infomerical.

And there is a dozen podcasts out there that sound like this.

(The podcasters that you would think are most guilty of this are not actually the biggest offenders either. Ironic, isn't it? Maybe it is because anyone with a touch of business sense knows better.)

Of course, there are the standard technical problems. I am glad that we can all laugh about them considering they plague everybody.

But overall, I think that we all most agree that it is fascinating to watch this new development in magic, covens and Orders. We live in a world where even a complete Neophyte can talk about esoteric subjects and have an audience. I do not think that anyone could imagine this twenty years ago. Or even ten years ago.

I will leave you to ponder what effect it is going to have on the esoteric world.

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