“SQUELCHED ENTHUSIASMS”

That’s why the lamestream media now needs to destroy them

Counterintuitively, no, there is no such thing as a mainstream podcast – not even Serial, no matter how often written about or lampooned.

Pattern Recognition (excerpted), with a barman speaking first:

Time Out. The weekly. You were on a panel. You follow the footage.” Damien maintains, half-seriously, that followers of the footage comprise the first true freemasonry of the new century.

“Were you there?” Cayce asks, jostled out of herself by this abrupt violation of context. She is not by any means a celebrity; being recognized by strangers isn’t part of her ordinary experience. But the footage has a way of cutting across boundaries, transgressing the accustomed order of things.

“My friend was there.” He looks down and runs a spotless white cloth across the bar top…. “New segment.” Quick, under his breath. “When?” “This morning. 48 seconds. It’s them.” It’s as though they are in a bubble now, Cayce and the barman. No sound penetrates.

“Do they speak?” she asks.

“No.”

“You’ve seen it?”

“No. Someone messaged me, on my mobile.”

“No spoilers,” Cayce warns, getting a grip.

“The footage” is a samizdat series of inscrutable videos. Cayce indeed does follow the footage. She goes out and looks for it.

Podcasting is another in an unbroken succession of pull media. Here we encounter something else Wired got wrong: The magazine of the dumb digerati predicted (twice – in 1997 and in 2004) that the browser was passé and “content” would simply be pushed at you.

‘Wired’ cover with a palm facing us and the word PUSH!

I was of course online at the time and I specifically recall Netscape grinding pathetically away over a telephone modem as “push content” was pushed toward me to my discontentment.

Some defaults are downright evil (canonically, your computer actually pinging with each E‑mail you receive) while others are just a pain in the ass to deactivate. Now our version of push media is notifications. I have basically all of those turned off. Normiecucks have their lock screens festooned with them.

But those still are not podcasts, which you must affirmatively consent to receive. Condé Nast may “subscribe” you to the New Yorker if you previously subscribed to Wired (now you have two problems), but you cannot go from zero subscriptions to some subscriptions without opting in. Nor can the number of podcasts you subscribe to change by any action other than your own, save of course for blue-haired trannies deleting them behind your back. Your podcast subscriptions increase only because you chose to do that.

Fahrenheit 451–style repositories

Podcasting is not very decentralized now, but it was thus for a full decade and could be again. Hence podcasting as a medium cannot be destroyed wholesale the way gopher and newsgroups were. But the medium can be reduced to the level of a mindless beginner with no taste, and that process is underway now.

Meanwhile, you walk around with a uniquely permuted subscription list, but you do so with an immanent awareness that other fans of individual podcasts also walk the earth. You may not know them personally (though podcast meetups have happened and are a great idea), but you know they exist. You know you aren’t alone. You know you are not the only fan. All of you follow the footage.

Even if Apple and every podcast app decide to ban or shadowban a podcast starting today, everyone who is a fan yesterday can and surely will still listen to it. Unless and until the audio files are deleted (or just renamed, triggering 404s), you are still not alone. You perpetuate the oral tradition the way “books” in Fahrenheit 451 do – by listening to repositories. The difference is you do not later recite them verbatim. That recitation is handled by other fans’ podcast software.

For anyone other than a complete beginner with no taste or no independent mind, your subscription list makes you an army of one. But it’s not as though the military-industrial-entertainment complex could possibly let that stand. Podcasting indeed is the haunting fear that someone, somewhere may be subscribed to Alex Jones.

Hence the years-long campaign to warn you that podcasts contravene accepted thought (e.g., Joe Rogan), implying there’s something morally wrong with you for listening to them. Or the insistence that some podcasts (e.g., Red Ice Radio) contain hate speech, which term, like racism, merely refers to words the blue-haired-tranny ruling class disapproves of.

You and others who share a fandom of a podcast – this means subscribing to it and listening to it and enjoying it and even counting down the days to the next episode – are battalions of armies of one. All of you as a subculture are one thing. But because you don’t charge down a battlefield together, you do not create culture yourself.

Elsewhere in Pattern Recognition, Cayce “moves along until she finds a sandwich shop, small and preglobalized, but also rather smart.” And now, surprising us all, some small and preglobalized podcasts do induce creation of culture. They’re the only podcasts that could. You’ll learn about those here shortly.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2021.03.23 11:46. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
https://blog.fawny.org/2021/03/23/subcultures/

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