Well, it’s come down to this, hasn’t it?
I have to write on this big, blank page.
This page is what is left after the artwork, the music, and the structure of the show has been decided. It is what is left after gear and bandwidth and microphone placement. It is what is left after hours of conversation, many false starts and many real stops, after two guys have emerged from the rolling hills of Ohio and the pine forests of Seattle with something.
But what is it?
To be honest, I don’t think either of us really knows what it is. I can’t explain to you the theme of our little introspection exhibition or give you an elevator pitch that encapsulates what we are going for and why we are doing it. I’ve been trying and failing, and I think I know the reason.
I can’t do it, because I don’t think it matters, and in the end I think that’s what matters the most.
You now have a billion trillion flavors of distraction at your fingertips. It’s an overwhelming pull for most people. Some react to it by moving away from the torrent, tossing out TVs, limiting social media, and generally portioning out the plethora of entertainment options like it was a narcotic. Others have gone the other way, diving face-first into the flow, injecting themselves with RFID chips, hooking into VR, soaking in the big screen river of light and sound, swiping, and typing, and other one-word-buzz-verbs. Most people are in-between and struggling with balance.
Regardless, you can’t ignore the beckoning. Once you give in, it’s hard to pull away. If it’s not social media, it’s movies or television or books you can have in your home in less than 48 hours, or devices or games or dating apps or photo sharing sites or sports outlets or newsfeeds…. or podcasts.
There’s a driving force common to all these distractions. We keep coming back to it, whether it is in a darkened cave around a fire, in some tavern after a long day’s ride, heckling from the cheap seats at the Globe, craning our necks in the front row of a Saturday movie serial, leaning back in recliners as images literally stream into view in front of our eyes.
There’s this old trope about how everyone has a story. I’m sure you’ve heard it.
It’s hardly a profound or novel statement. If you took that statement and tried to sell it down some dark philosopher’s alley, you’d barely get bus fare for it, but what you do down dark philosophers’’ alleys is no concern of mine.
Story is the driving force I’m talking about. It is what binds us together. We need it because it’s the only thing that lasts, and the only thing that truly unites our common experience, giving us some semblance of understanding of the world we’ve been thrust into and observe and participate in for a very limited amount of time. When story is married with connection, it’s irresistible.
Scott and I have known each other for over 25 years. We like each other a great deal, even though we are in many ways very different people. No matter the path of our relationship, it always finds its way back to some kind of joint creative project. We start with some notion and then feed off each other and usually don’t care much how the original idea morphs or what it turns into. In fact, we’ve gotten this far in our process with the podcast without really verbalizing the idea of it as it stands now.
Simply put, we have stories to tell, and we’ve decided to tell them in public in front of you, into your ears or your speakers, for no other reason than we need to do it, just like we need to listen to others do it.
Maybe there will be a connection, some kind of spark that resonates on some level with you. Keep listening. Maybe you’ll ebb and flow out of our podcast, or stay with us for a while until you have what you need. The door is always open. Maybe you’ll find nothing here of any interest, in which case I’ll point out the billion trillion other options available to you with the flip of a switch.
So after all that, this is what is left. We are going to tell each other our stories. We are going to try to make you and ourselves laugh. We’ll be honest with what we share, but will share the boring stuff and the remarkable stuff with the same amount of reverence. We’d love for you to listen, to laugh, or just feel a sense of commonality with us as we continue our path through our lives.
Whatever else happens, it’ll be news to us as well.