"Theory wrapped me in an entire climate of description. Theory was simply, shoulder-shruggingly, the only thing that helped me to see what I was and where,"Read More
This weekend we are making a go at the KCRW #RadioRace. Stellar event bringing in exceptional producers from all around with some great ears behind the judging table. Besides eventually getting a new piece from us, what exactly does this mean for you?
Well, you get to track our progress. Social media is stressed by KCRW - so much so that an award is given for best use - so we will be representing. You may have noticed some extensive use of the desired hashtag aRound Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.
odd assortments of words
We are going to be very busy and probably overly tired. So, you must give us a pass as we try to entertain while live documenting what is not necessarily a unique experience for us (we have made pieces in shorter time spans), but usually happens quietly in our confines.
Enjoy the ride and have no fear, Sunday will still bring you a new episode of The White Whale. It's already in the bag.
If you follow our social media accounts you'll know we are spending this weekend amongst audio greats at Podcast Movement. First time visiting this particular conference, and already excited for the next one. Yes, they have it set.
This kicks off a couple busy weeks as we are continuing to put out The White Whale every Sunday, have some work for other shows in the mix and are playing participant to the 24-hour Radio Race from KCRW next weekend. Yes, we have asked ourselves what we are doing. Too fun to take that reality check.
If you are new to our podcast as of #PM15 please take a listen in whatever order you please. First season is chronological, but as conversation of the records and films speaks to listening and watching in whatever order you please we have designed each episode to be part of a larger whole that can be heard unto itself.
Cheers to all following and participating in this crazy business. We are having fun. If looking for us tonight we will probably be mixing some radio somewhere in the ether. Feel free to steal attention.
by John R. Barner
My second story idea revolved around the amount of what I call spiritual investment in our online presence. I use the word “spiritual” in a very general sense, and not indicative of faith traditions as such but rather those emotions that seem to define who we are as people: our personalities, hopes, dreams, needs for attention or consolation, our ups and downs, what we value and what we hope is valued in us by others. Hence, the great amount of time spent on “investment” in tools like computers and social media, which, if all is well, we get a “return” on, be in the form of “likes” or “retweets” or “friends.” But often we seek that kind of return, that “connection” and sense of community at the expense of real human interaction. What if that was all that was left? Only those digital traces cast adrift in the void of cyberspace—incorporeal and disembodied—that are today’s technological ghosts in the machines that connect our world.
I remembered immediately the Kate Bush song, “Deeper Understanding” from her amazing 1989 album The Sensual World (and later revisited on 2011’s Director’s Cut). The song was so eerily prescient about today’s technologically-informed social life and laid the foundation, in many ways, to the story I wanted to tell.
Another burst of information and inspiration came again from Rutledge’s Kūhaku. The hikikomori are the socially isolated youth of Japan. Government figures from 2010 suggest there are more than 700,000 individuals, most under the age of thirty, who live completely isolated lives, rarely, if ever, venturing out in the world and completely cut off from many forms of social life like family, friends, school or work. Many hikikomori get family support or are able to earn a living or have a solitary social outlet through computers, be it gaming, e-commerce, or virtual living spaces such as Second Life, but their lives are often filled with debilitating depression and psychic pain and the phenomenon can last for years, decades, or potentially the rest of their lives. I felt a tremendous resonance between what I was developing as a story idea and the tales I heard of the hikikomori. I was particularly impacted by a story I heard from a young woman who was the older sister of a hikikomori. In an interview, she stated that she empathized with her brother, and even respected his isolation, even if it meant he would not attend the funeral of their grandmother, but admitted that she herself suffered from an acute anxiety that the world itself might go out of existence and her brother would never know. It was as if, she said, he was already gone, already a ghost.