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Topic: Addressing the problematic stuff in a podcast

I intended to launch a Bond podcast last year. Planned on going through everything the franchise has to offer - novels, movies, music, clothes, etc - and I wanted to get my practice reps in by first doing the books in order. One of my minor goals with the show was placing Bond (and the listener) in the proper geopolitical context of the time (whatever time that may be, depending on the work). Once upon a time I was an international relations graduate teaching assistant. Kinda my wheelhouse.

But orienting the structure around "providing context" sorta derailed me. The first couple of episodes basically devolved into my apologizing for being a Bond fan. Despite a decent outline. The sexism and racism of the time were just... too much. And I'm not an expert in these matters. Just a dude going "oof, wtf, Ian?" And that's obviously a terrible podcast no one wants to hear. So I never released the episodes. Largely because I didn't want to talk about these books and only pay lip service to the problematic cultural issues - my name would be going on this show. By the same token, I didn't wanna lecture anybody either. Rock/hard place.

Today, I think I've devised a decent solution for the episodes covering books/movies which contain especially problematic material. I'll end them with little interviews with various experts and activists. We'll discuss the offending issues. Sort of like a swear jar but for Bond fandom.

Something like this appeals to me. And I think will allow me to compartmentalize how I approach Bond within the episodes. Because I'm both a fan and a severe social critic.

...I'm actually not sure what the point of this post is. Mostly thinking it through in real time and you've been my unwitting sounding board. But I'm open to suggestions/thoughts!

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Re: Addressing the problematic stuff in a podcast

Sounds like a real labour of love, as we say. I've done some radio and appreciate the problems facing you- your solution seems a good one.
Please give a link once you're ready, it sounds worth hearing.

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Re: Addressing the problematic stuff in a podcast

Good luck with your podcast.

For an example of how not to address "problematic" issues, listen to James Bond & Friends. They go out of their way to get offended at every turn.

It's very difficult to judge art that was created in a specific time and place. I have no idea what it was like to live in England after the war. Without context, someone could very easily gloss over Fleming's descriptions of food, considering it examples of excess and gluttony. However, Fleming gave color and texture to the masses living off of rations. Regarding hot topic issues, consider how much we knew and what was accepted versus the current social awareness. I'm not accusing Fleming of anything, nor am I forgiving him either. But, you can't judge someone for not having information, in much the same way you can't test a student on information they haven't been taught. We are fortunate to live in a modern society where voices are being heard and the opportunity for learning is so much more available.

The older I get, the more I look back on things I've said and realize how insensitive I had been. We have to be able to learn from our past, collectively. And if that means keeping around books like Live And Let Die and Gone With The Wind, then so be it.

I guess consider your audience and your objective.

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Re: Addressing the problematic stuff in a podcast

I think if you put in as much work as you are talking about then you will no doubt have listenership. I find that if the content is enjoyable, interactive and the presenters/hosts are having fun then it doesn't have to be perfect. Think about all the content that we have been consuming of late from the Zooms, Livestreams for hours on end, podcasts with sound issues, funny & accidental things that happen like some of the things that happen in some of David Zaritsky's videos that are so damn entertaining, and more. We all are aching for more JB as it leads up to NTTD, and after. If you make it fun, I promise we will listen. "If you build it (or Podcast it) they will come."

frommeyer wrote:

I intended to launch a Bond podcast last year. Planned on going through everything the franchise has to offer - novels, movies, music, clothes, etc - and I wanted to get my practice reps in by first doing the books in order. One of my minor goals with the show was placing Bond (and the listener) in the proper geopolitical context of the time (whatever time that may be, depending on the work). Once upon a time I was an international relations graduate teaching assistant. Kinda my wheelhouse.

But orienting the structure around "providing context" sorta derailed me. The first couple of episodes basically devolved into my apologizing for being a Bond fan. Despite a decent outline. The sexism and racism of the time were just... too much. And I'm not an expert in these matters. Just a dude going "oof, wtf, Ian?" And that's obviously a terrible podcast no one wants to hear. So I never released the episodes. Largely because I didn't want to talk about these books and only pay lip service to the problematic cultural issues - my name would be going on this show. By the same token, I didn't wanna lecture anybody either. Rock/hard place.

Today, I think I've devised a decent solution for the episodes covering books/movies which contain especially problematic material. I'll end them with little interviews with various experts and activists. We'll discuss the offending issues. Sort of like a swear jar but for Bond fandom.

Something like this appeals to me. And I think will allow me to compartmentalize how I approach Bond within the episodes. Because I'm both a fan and a severe social critic.

...I'm actually not sure what the point of this post is. Mostly thinking it through in real time and you've been my unwitting sounding board. But I'm open to suggestions/thoughts!

"History isn't kind to men who play God." - DC "I gave him the limp." - PB  "Better make that two." - TD

"Keeping British end up, sir." - RM "This never happened to the other fellow." - JL "I must be dreaming." SC

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Re: Addressing the problematic stuff in a podcast

Thanks! I'll def. be sharing the show once it's ready. I'm going to record as soon as I can. But right now Renato Mariotti has all my gear so he can continue doing his On Topic podcast. His regular recording booth shut down due to COVID and I figured it's more important for his show to continue than mine (I run a different show about Chicago politics). So it could be another few months. That's fine though. I'm not sure it's possible to overprep for this project.