Due to Illness, the part of CJ will be played by... CJ.

Well, that failed miserably!

Okay, it wasn't that bad.  My first attempt at audience participation and collaboration ended in slight disappointment.  While I did indeed receive a number of submissions from readers, none really fit.

There were a couple of very well-written pieces on the American presidential race, a few on our own Canadian political scene, the comparative microcosm of Winnipeg City Hall, and even an essay on the recent Planned Parenthood funding issue.  Great topics all, but not for Conceit & Sociopathy.  I've encouraged the writers to start their own blogs, as I'm certain they'd do well.

I also received a number of submissions that can only be described as abusive, but after twenty-plus years of Usenet posting, it rolled right off my back.  Apart from the pictures of a rock and a stool sample (as mentioned last post), I was also treated to a picture of a child with Down's Syndrome, which I did not find funny.  Both were submitted by a user with a disposable Gmail account.  I advised the submitter to go back to the Winnipeg Free Press and CBC comments section until they grow up.

So, while the idea didn't quite work the way I'd hoped, I may try it again sometime in the future.  As every exagerratedly proud man knows, when life knocks you off your (high) horse, you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back in the saddle.

Now, for my next trick...

Work on the podcast, Public Disservice, is coming along.  Still have a walking tour, a bit of writing, and a bit of organizing to do.  I'm trying to work on my breathing and cadence as well, so I don't run out of breath & gasp for air between sentences.  Working with a diminished lung capacity certainly doesn't help... neither does this cold I can't seem to shake.

It's been an interesting experience nonetheless, certainly different from my other works in terms of presentation.  When writing for magazines, blogs, and webpages (other than my own), I never really concerned myself with presentation.  I just wrote whatever I was writing off the top of my head (I never use outlines), checked spelling and grammar, reworded when necessary, and let the layout people deal with the rest.

For me, audio production is trickier.  Hitherto unknown territory for me, I find myself having to think in three dimensions.  As mentioned before, I'm working on my breathing and cadence, but also on keeping the tone of my voice consistent, while trying to stay on topic.  To help with that, I'm learning to work off an outline for the first time ever.  I thought about writing a script and reading off of that, but then it'd sound like I'm reading from a script, and I'd rather like to avoid that if possible.

My final issue is one of episode length.  While I have enough planned to keep me talking for a couple of hours, it won't leave me anything for the next episodes.  Right now I'm leaning toward a half-hour run time.

At any rate, the premiere episode of Public Disservice will rear its ugly head near the end of February, and will be announced here on Conceit & Sociopathy.


  1. Paying attention, giving listening time to a podcast (audio theatre) is a big ask from a listener. Having consumed a couple of my son's early attempts which ran to 30-45 imns, I kind of wish he'd been more rigorous in the editing. But he's 13, so... If it becomes easier to package shorter programmes, you could make your investment in time go further and the listener's invested time all the richer. And being unfettered from broadcast slots means you can be pretty flexible with podcast duration. Looking forward to whatever comes nex!

  2. Thanks for the perspective, Rob! One of the other reasons I'm considering a 30min run time (or thereabouts) is to keep myself from rambling on and on and on, and boring my listeners ;)


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