The Podfade Question
While the term doesn't technically apply, since Pagan podcasts are not some collective series, I think there is an element of 'jumping the shark' attached to the inception and growth of the show The Pagan Rapport. It's a podcast about podcasts and podcasters. We've gone meta, folks.
Don't get me wrong. I love the Pagan Rapport, and I am very glad it exists. The host asks the questions many folks, myself included, have always wanted to ask our favorite personalities that keep us company on commutes, road trips, gym excursions, and house cleaning. But, it's definitely a full circle concept. If I'm being very honest, and I suppose I am, my opinion is that most of the longest running shows are kind of running on fumes these days. Shows that used to be about content and challenging, innovative conversations have become 5 minutes of introduction followed by 60 minutes of music. Shows that used to offer magical advice or tips on witchy living have devolved into diaries showcasing what they had for lunch on Tuesday. All of these things are nice in their own way. I like to be introduced to music I may not have otherwise found, and many of these voices have become like friends and I enjoy hearing about their lives. But, it's not why I tune in to Pagan podcasts.
In short: I think most of us have said what we wanted to say.
Each of us gets into podcasting for a different reason, but more often than not the reason I've heard from fellow podcasters is that they wanted to make the show they wanted to hear. They wanted to offer something that didn't really exist in the ether. And, it's a labor of love. It's incredibly time-intensive, not to mention energy-draining, to create regular shows based on innovative discussions of religious and spiritual topics geared towards one of the smallest religious communities on the planet. We get no money, no compensation, and very little in the way of interaction. Yes, there are the emails and tweets and facebook messages, but we don't get the audience numbers of big comedy shows or podcasts run by already famous personalities. We're dealing with audiences in the hundreds to thousands or people. Which might sound like a lot, but in the grand scheme simply isn't.
To a certain extent, what Gillian said in her latest blog post is true. There just comes a point when you don't have anything to say. No big main topic to cover. No new concept to tackle. With a show like mine, I can continue to discuss current events and social issues, but the biggest segment has always been my take on the spiritual. If that's not there, personally, I don't tend to record a show. As you may have noticed, I've been less than inspired spiritually these past 4-5 months, which has only exacerbated the lack of shows due to an increased work schedule. Mo' money, mo' problems, less podcasting, amiright?
However, I think we can also say that this past year has been a tough one for most of your favorite personalities. There have been divorces, job changes, faith crises, money issues, time issues, and issues that haven't been aired in public. There have been internal issues and external issues and honest to god lack-of-wanting-to-take-your-only-day-off-to-podcast issues. And, since there aren't any new podcasts out there, it seems like most folks are going away. We're not. At least, I'm not. We're just human and, sometimes, need to work shit out. We're allowed, especially since our priorities are in our mundane lives - families, jobs, food on the table, clothes on our backs, etc. - which are frankly not provided for by podcasting.
Personally, I'm just coming out of a spiritual upheaval, and, thankfully, I'm coming out of it positively. On good footing, but still a little shaky. Also, and I've been hesitant to share this, but I think my biggest, most pervasive issue has been a combined lack of conviction and determination. I've not felt the care I used to feel about issues, possibly because - due to the Dementor-like soul-sucking of retail - I've become rather complacent and self-doubting. It's been the basis for both my spiritual and personal halting. Fire Lyte, as a personality, doesn't doubt himself. This persona of FL is strong. Convicted. He's self-assured, and it's all that I can do to put that mask on every now and then and sit in front of a microphone.
I got this packet in the mail this past week. It's from the state of Illinois. It's about a job opening in my field. It gives a date and information for my big interview that's happening on April 24. And, while this news hasn't completely filled my cup up, it has stirred something very deep within me. I've started watching the news again. With retention. I've started yelling at the TV again. Taking notes again. I've started outlining shows and making notes of things I actually have an opinion on, for once in a long while.
What I'm saying is that...at least for me...I think I'm coming around the bend. Should this new job happen, it would mean being able to put my feet on my chosen path for the first time in years. Years. YEARS. It's been years since I've gotten paid to do something I loved doing, that I felt a purpose doing. That I felt like the work I did actually mattered. This job, this calling, is important to me. It's one of the sources of how and why I care and the glasses with which I see the world.
As of late those glasses just see endless opportunities to gripe about how people don't fold their own damn clothes back after trying them on.
See how icky a podcast like that would be?
To answer the question: the Pagan Podcasting world isn't over. The era isn't quite done. I think, mayhaps, that 2012 was a breathing, transitional period for many of us. And, now that some dust is settling, we're all gearing up for a seriously witchy 2013. So...the only thing you need to ask yourself is...
Are you ready for a Riot?
Love and Lyte,