Sometimes, committing to sustaining a blog creates an analytical anxiety. Determined not to be one of those bloggers who tells you which shoes I decided to wear today or some other trivial matter (not because I think there isn’t a place for online diaries that put people in touch with likeminded people, but because, for myself, I’m certain that nobody needs to know the minutiae of my life – if you feel better offloading your every twitch and feeling to the cyberspatial community, then more power to you), I feel an imperative to pass some kind of comment on every film I write about, but sometimes this can be paralysing. While I still like posting longer articles here, that’s not all that blogging is useful for (if this kind of self reflection seems like a statement of the obvious, let’s just same I’m not a natural blogger, so I’m frequently modifying my thoughts about it and trying to come to terms with how it might be useful as a teaching tool or communicative medium), and occasionally I like to write a brief post about something that’s delighting me. But then, that’s a very long preamble to excuse my brevity. Must try harder.
Last year, Tuesy bought me an iPod, since when I’ve been regularly hooked up to the podcastosphere (yes, I made it up, but if you know a better word I’d love to hear it). Aside from the BBC, which is of course a staple part of my aural diet already, I’m enjoying the generous offerings of NPR from the USA; sometimes they even talk about other countries, and there’s bound to be something in their directory for everybody. For comedy, I can’t resist the homemade charm of Answer me This! If nobody has put you onto this yet, you might want to pick up on it before they get famous and lose the underdog factor that makes it such an enjoyable listen. On the film front, I’m still looking for more shows to add to my collection, but I do enjoy Filmspotting and The Film Talk. And don’t miss out on Harry Shearer’s excellent, weirdly compelling Le Show; political satire, sketches and commentary, all with the voice of Kent Brockman. You’ll find a few more podcasts in the right hand column of the main page of this blog. But what’s really been filling my ears with pleasure (eww) this week is Orson Welles: On the Air, a week-by-week collection of radio recordings of Welles’ big-voiced radio appearances, with a hefty archive that includes the series The Lives of Harry Lime. It’s one section of Relic Radio, which offers many hours of old time American radio serials and comedies for anyone interested in media history or straightforward nostalgia. After a long day, this is great stuff to pump into your head.
I’m off to London tomorrow, on a trip that will include attendance at the And/Or Book Awards: I wish I could be cool and nonchalant about it, but it’s my first book and it’s quite exciting just to be shortlisted. Whatever happens, I’ll be back next week to pester you, dear reader, with more of my musings about Jan Svankmajer and probably a bunch of other stuff.