Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Tanks a Lot

I've found that it's a bit of a weird experience to listen to a podcast when you know the people making it. I've learned this listening to Rocky Mountain Geek Tank, hosted by Guy S. Davis and C. Troy Fluhr.

I've known Guy for -- oh my -- approaching three decades here, and his podcast unspools like countless conversations I've had with him over those years. It's just that this time, I'm not actually part of the conversation. Which is particularly odd, as one-sided conversations are definitely not what my friend (or this podcast) does.

In each episode of Rocky Mountain Geek Tank, Guy and Troy (sometimes with a guest) ping-pong about a different subject with some geeky slant. It's never an adversarial dialogue; Guy and Troy don't generally seek to persuade their audience (or each other) of a particular viewpoint. More generally, they try to explore all around a subject -- as thoroughly as they can in 40-ish minutes. But just because the show isn't adversarial doesn't mean it can't be provocative. The best episodes are, in fact -- delving into more spiky subjects like misogyny in media, "fan entitlement," or tone deaf convention panels.

I'm also learning that even weirder than listening to a podcast featuring people I know is reviewing something here on the blog made by people I know. That's because this is normally the part of my review where I start ticking off good things and not-so-good things about whatever it is I'm reviewing. It's odd in this case because I could actually say to my friend, "I really love this!" or "Have you ever considered changing this?" You know, privately, in a discussion, rather than starting another one-sided "conversation." But then, this is a longtime friend I enjoy talking to, and the podcast is like eavesdropping on a conversation with him. In short, there's not much here I don't enjoy.

In fact, my only complaints really just have to do with wanting to hear more of those conversations. First, the fact that the podcast is recorded in public settings means that ambient noise can sometimes muddle what people are saying. Second, accessing the podcast's back catalog could be easier. Most of it is available only through the Geek Tank's web site, and can't be downloaded or accessed with my podcast app. And lastly, that catalog only goes back so far in any case, because while RMGT started out as a "weekly" podcast, its release schedule has become more irregular and sparse since. (Not that I'm unsympathetic about producing free content on a schedule for a tiny but thirsty audience....)

If you're into geeky things (and I know you are if you're at this blog), then I'd encourage you to check out this podcast. Don't get tripped up on the "Rocky Mountain" part of Rocky Mountain Geek Tank if you aren't a Colorado local; geekiness comes in many flavors, and certainly isn't bound by geography.

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