I listened to my first ever podcast today. Frankly it was not so much an underwhelming experience as a complete waste of time (aside from comically suggesting that perhaps the forthcoming Halo movie will be “at least as good as Super Mario Bros.“). First off, the name “podcast” implies some bold new step in the digital world led by our brave new world leaders at Apple. Actually what it means is streaming compressed audio over the internet. In other words, yes, downloading an MP3 file from a website. Sure, “podcast” is easier to say, but it has absolutely nothing to do with the green fruit company. However, they have made it popular. What we’re actually experiencing is much like the blogging explosion, a phenomenon where suddenly everyone had an opinion which they wanted heard not just by their friends, but by the other 700 million net-connected people too.
Now that’s all well and good of course. It would be ever so slightly hypocritical (even by my standards) for me to fault them for that in my blog. However now instead of being able to scan through the dross and swiftly extract the information I want (not to mention the fact audio can’t be indexed by search engines, so finding the damn things will be nigh impossible), I have to listen to it being spoken by incoherent muppets, complete with “umms” and “errs” that extend a two minute read into a 30 minute Apple-branded test of patience. It’s sort of like playing solitaire while blindfolded with cards that have a habit of drunkenly swaying back to their previous positions without warning. In short, I’ll sit this fad out thanks.
Meanwhile, with the electoral roll data collection forms flying around once more, people are discussing the unfair system of expecting the head of the household to be responsible for submitting details of all adults living there. The alternative is, of course, to make it a criminal offence for anyone not to be on the register, rather than simply the nominal head of the household (it may be somewhat telling that no other country shares our system). The ancillary suggestion is then to make it compulsory to vote. Whilst Chima will naturally blanche at the very suggestion, I’m not entirely opposed to this. However, people must be aware that the only thing worse than people not voting is uninformed people voting. Currently a large portion of the apathetic voters do not bother to politically educate themselves either. I would hope that that once people realised their time was going to be “wasted” by being forced to vote anyway, they’d feel they may as well find out what’s going on. So if you’re worried about democracy being subverted by all those extra votes, I encourage you to display one our new “Careless Votes Cost Lives” posters. After all it was those people who voted Labour back in and just look at the bodycount now…
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