Posted on: December 31st, 2009 Who Moved Doom’s Cheese? #1

There was one new book you could have purchased this week. The other was free. Why waste your time with a review? Just go get it.

I would, however, like to take this opportunity to debut a new “column”. Yeah, I’ve got Comically Challenged but what about the times I don’t want to talk about comic books? Enter: Who Moved Doom’s Cheese? The not-so-regular post by me when I just ramble on about whatever seems important to me. (Spoiler Alert: There will be a lot of posts on burritos)

Now before you get all, “What the hell is this” on me, allow me to explain. This little web gem is an amalgamation of a crappy self-help book I had to read for a class and one highlight of my childhood. Who Moved My Cheese? was a book by Spencer Johnson. Basically taught you how not to spaz out when things change at work. I don’t remember any of it. Granted, I’ve never gone into a panic attack at work, so maybe something took hold.

TTTAll right, let’s talk about Doctor Doom. I love that guy. Is it because he’s a badass? Nope. Is it because he looks sweet in a hooded cape? Kind of, but no. My entire obsession with this evil genius is thanks to Toyfare Magazine and the brilliant Twisted Toyfare (or Mego) Theatre. I’m sure you’ve read it. It was Robot Chicken before that was a nanite egg. Crudely edited pictures of toys in a comic strip form. I devoured those as a kid. Here’s a guy, covered in armor, in a green cape that constantly talks in the third person. Well of course that would be the character I latched onto! My favorite, MY FAVORITE was this strip when Doom was on Jeopardy. Imagine if you will, a young Auburn running around saying over and over “Someone has tampered with Doom’s button!” I think it goes without saying, I was adorable.

Boom! There you go. Who Moved Doom’s Cheese? First one ever, got to make a good impression. What do I open with? Podcasts. Pretty ballsy, kid. There are so many podcasts out there and so many of them are crap. No, that’s not open to interpretation. Some just suck. It’s only because ANYONE can do it. No Communication degree necessary, no voice lessons, just you and the built in microphone in your laptop.

In theory, the podcast is a beautiful idea. It’s like a radio show tailored specifically to your interests without the damn inconvenience of sitting in your car, out in the cold, late for work but you don’t want to leave because the DJs finally hit their stride and started being funny. If you don’t want to hear a story about the host’s kid that says the darndest things, you can move right on past it. Nobody thinks the crap that kids do is interesting anyway (unless it’s me referencing Doom). The main problem? People believe that they can carry a show by winging it and openly sharing their opinions. That’s NOT at all true. Do you do that with your podcast? Quit being an asshole. Follow the rules:

  1. Go in with a plan. Have items of interest that you want to talk about and for the love of God, write them down. We don’t want to hear 15 seconds of your “ums” and “uhs” while you try to remember the name of the actor in the movie you just saw.
  2. Commit to being explicit or clean. I don’t have kids; so it isn’t because of younger audiences. I just find it frustrating when I have to mentally interchange your scattered “frigs” and “poops” with their appropriate terms. It’s like watching an R-movie that’s been edited for basic cable. It’s distracting and exhausting.
  3. Think back in your past. Have you ever had a bad fight with your boyfriend/girlfriend and they’ve told you that the sound of your voice makes them want to puncture their eardrums with a rusty paperclip? If the answer’s yes-please don’t do a podcast. Chances are you just have a grating voice. Get it fixed.
  4. Copy/Paste Rule #3. Find: voice. Replace with: laugh
  5. The idea of a drunken podcast or a crazy-high podcast isn’t new. You aren’t being clever, you’re being a douche. Take it seriously, even if you do a comedic show-don’t rely on that crutch to be funny. It’s actually just annoying.
  6. Keep accurate show notes. If you’re going to talk on and on about a website, or a song, or a person-write it down. I don’t want to go sifting through your 2-hour show later to find that three second spot when you mentioned the artist’s name. Help me out here, I’m trying to understand what you’re talking about-throw me a link.
  7. Attempt to be fairly regular. It doesn’t have to be weekly. Maybe you’re busy, I don’t know your schedule. But if your life is so jam-packed with activity that you can’t take an hour or two out of your calendar to do the show, then don’t even bother starting one. I barely make it through commercial breaks when I’m watching real-time television. How the hell am I supposed to maintain interest in you if you’re posting a show maybe once or twice in 3 months?
  8. Make your stories relatable. Never tell a “you had to be there” story. Remember that one time when you got lost in China and talked to this mysterious woman that offered you a free boat ride in exchange for your unicorn jacket? Of course you do but I don’t care. That won’t ever happen to anybody but you. But remember the time you went to the gas station and tried their new flavor of taquito and was on the toilet for 6 hours? I see taquitos at gas stations all the time! Thanks. That’s valuable information to pass along.
  9. Edit. Don’t be lazy. Cut the dead time out. I have no interest in hearing you talk to your roommate about rent money. If he’s not a show host or a guest, then erase him out of the show.
  10. Care about the subject matter. Nobody’s making you do a podcast. You get to pick your subject! If you don’t want to talk about something-then don’t! I’d rather hear you talk about small topics with enthusiasm as opposed to hearing your lifeless voice drag on about something culturally important. Ideally, this is supposed to be fun for you.

I subscribe to a lot of podcasts but like a true junkie, I’m always looking for another hit. Have a recommendation? Send it on over. Here are a few of my current favorites:

· Around Comics-The Comic Book Culture Podcast: just a group of guys in Chicago hanging out in a comic shop talking books, writers, and artists. A lot of special guests.

· Critical Hit-A Dungeons and Dragons Campaign: The guys from the Major Spoilers podcast did a few D&D episodes and it eventually spun-off into its own show. They’re playing from the 4th edition and players range in experience from seasoned characters to first-timer (which is great in helping me learn because I’ve never played).

· Fanboy Radio: They had our very own Ryan Ferrier in representing Giant Killer Squid. What’s not to like? Since it’s a honest-to-goodness radio show, it definitely has a more formatted approach to the topics and guests. I like that. That’s why it’s Rule #1.

· Smodcast: come for the Kevin Smith, stay for the Scott Mosier. The role-playing bits are the greatest.

· Tom vs. The Flash: my favorite way to pass the time. Around Comics’ Tom Katers reads Silver Age Flash comics and peppers in some commentary. Formerly Tom vs. the JLA.

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5 Responses to “Who Moved Doom’s Cheese? #1”

  1. Ryan Ferrier Says:
    December 31st, 2009 at 10:57 am

    Great post, Auburn.

    Among my listens are:
    - The /Filmcast
    - The Totally Rad Show
    - Diggnation
    - Tetris Effect
    - iFanboys

    I know our own Dale is big into podcasts, I’m sure he’ll sound off on some.. Dale? Hello?

  2. Adam Says:
    December 31st, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    Stop Podcasting Yourself is one of the funniest podcasts out there! A couple of guys from Vancouver. You won’t be disappointed.

  3. Ryan Ferrier Says:
    January 1st, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    Oh and The Tobolowski Files (c/o slashfilm.com) is a fantastic listen. Each episode is a series of real stories from the great character actor Stephen Tobolowski.

  4. Jules Cressman Says:
    January 3rd, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    Better throw in my two cents. The watchtower podcast

  5. Auburn Says:
    January 3rd, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    Why thank you, guys. I have downloaded at least one of each of your recommendations. I was already subscribing to the iFanboys but so far Tetris Effect and Stop Podcasting Yourself (which spawned my new-found love of You Look Nice Today) have been fantastic. I look forward to hitting up the others…

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