Podcasting – the last frontier

I have a new addiction, Podcasts.  I feel this is the last untouched forum of both expression and entertainment.  I also know someone will ruin this.  So, I want to document and capture it’s awesomeness before we lose it.  The reason why I love podasts, and listen to at least one a day, is they are ungoverned and unregulated… for now.

At least with what I listen to, they are the province of comedians.  Adam Carolla just received the ‘guniness book of world records’ for most downloads.  I love his podcast, and have been listening for almost 2 years.  He is a huge pioneer in the field.  He is also incredibly funny and insightful.  Most importantly… he is entertaining.  Each podcast, no matter who it is from, is usually about an hour.  There is no MPAA, no ratings board, no Christian Right… nothing.   yet.

He sits with other comedians and they just riff.  chat.  Whatever you want  to call it.  These shows are rarely if ever edited.  Because the interviews are long form, unedited, and uncensored… you really get a feel for the guest.  I listen to about ten podcasts regularly.  half are comedians, and the other half are NPR.  They are:

WTF with Marc Maron

The Adam Carolla Show

Fitzdog Radio – Greg Fitzsimmons

Proopcast – Greg Proops

This Week with Larry Miller – Larry Miller

Ace on the House w/ Adam Carolla (home improvement podcast)

and these are all NPR podcasts.

Car Talk

This American Life

Fresh Air

Stuff you Should Know

Stuff you Missed in History Class

RadioLab

the other thing about Podcasts is they are generally free, and generally updated once a week.  You can listen online, but it’s way easier to do it through your iPod.  They update automatically.  Adam’s podcast also catapulted him to being a New York Times bestseller with ‘In 50 years, we’ll all be chicks’.  Anyhow, it is true freedom of expression by funny and interesting people.  This simply can’t last.  You can say on a podcast “I want to kill puppy dogs and then screw them in the eyehole”.  No one is going to stop you, especially if they understand you are joking… or using hyperbole.  Adam used to be able to say whatever he wanted, because only Adam fans were listening.  Well, once he started getting press for being the most successful podcast in history, I guess other listeners came in.

Adam took a modicum of shit for some riffing he was doing on transgendered people.  Specifically, he said ‘since when did we start giving a shit about these people?’  This didn’t offend me.  I didn’t even notice it when I heard it until the press caught it.  Adam Carolla has always been pro gay, and pro gay rights.  So, I don’t much care if he makes some tasteless jokes.   He is a comedian and it is his job to say thought provoking things.  I don’t see the scandal here, but others do.  That is fine, but here is what scares me.   Adam Carolla had to apologize.

I’m sorry my comments were hurtful. I’m a comedian, not a politician

I don’t care that he had to apologize.  His comments were dumb and mean spirited.  But, I do worry that he will have to censor himself going forward… or that interest groups will make iTunes rate their podcasts and rate their content.  This is coming.  He will  be told what is and what is not appropriate to discuss.  This, then, will neuter the podcast.  Anotyher dumb bomb dropped when Andy Dick was on Greg Fitzsimmons podcast last week.  Andy is on pretty often, and Greg’s podcast (like a suprising amount of others) is broadcast from his garage.  LoFi, low budget, two comedians riffing.  Then, for some reason Andy Dick went off on Howard Stern calling him a dirty jew bastard.  Obviously, a petulant and unwise comment to make.  However, if I am listening to a conversation between Fitzsimmons and Andy Dick… I am bound to here things like that.  I mean, Andy Dick is insane.  You know this.  He has no peerage in the self destruction pantheon… except maybe Courtney Love.

So, I expect to hear these things.  I like that volatility in conversation.  It makes it real.  Want to see real famous people talking in the olden days?  Watch this.  It is brilliant.  They are all getting tanked on live TV, and smoking… even Carson.  Watch what Dean Martin does at the two minute mark.  That is funny shit, and that would NEVER be on tv today.  Maybe it shouldn’t be.  If it were, though, I would watch it.  For now, the podcast is it… until whitey *gets a hold of it.

* Parents Television Council were resonsible for 98% of the content complaints the FCC recieves.  this is the guy, a single guy, who would rather your kids see dead bodies on all those cop shows instead of a boobie.  Who pissed in his cornflakes?

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