Milestone, Millstone: Feeling Moody About Hitting 250

Well, as announced previously, this is the 250th entry in the broadcastellan journal. I don’t know how you do it—or why you keep it up; but this is my take on keeping a public if none too prominent journal. To keep this snappy (because I cannot trust myself to get to any point fast enough to keep anyone’s interest), I have once again called upon noted and notoriously bristly radio journalist Wally Windchill (previously heard here) to help me mark the occasion. Let’s go to press, Mr. Windchill.

Windchill: What are you still doing here?

broadcastellan: Gee, you are getting straight to the point, aren’t you?

Windchill: I know it’s practically a foreign concept to you; but let’s just say you’ve been handed a dictionary. So?

broadcastellan: I guess it is both compulsion and conviction that keeps me from calling it quits. That, and the debates I get into with fellow webjournalists like this, people who might not go on about the airwaves as I do but are equally fascinated by the medium and its messengers. And while it may take me some time to catch up with other old-time radio journals, like this one, I very much enjoy sharing my thoughts on the subject.

Windchill: Does it ever occur to you that many who stop by here might object to being subjected to it?

broadcastellan: Yes, it does. But, as Gertrude Stein put it, I write for myself and strangers. I know this journal is not what you might call popular, even though I am writing primarily about so-called popular culture.

Windchill: Don’t try to make it sound ironic. You are long-winded and refuse to mention Paris Hilton.

broadcastellan: I can’t say that I feel apologetic about the latter deficiency. My diction, I agree, is not entirely suited to blogging. But I have made a few adjustments in recent months. For one, my paragraphs have gotten shorter.

Windchill: That amounts to inserting a few spaces here and there. Not exactly a feat.

broadcastellan: I won’t comment further on style. Talk content, if you must.

Windchill: All right. Not that I want to encourage you, but have you ever considered keeping a second online journal, or a third? For anything that you can’t or won’t say here and would like to share?

broadcastellan: Yes, I’ve thought about that, often. But instead of branching out and fragmenting myself, I try to make this a personal journal reflecting my everyday. In fact, whenever I don’t remember what I did or how I felt on a certain day, I google myself and consult this journal.

Windchill: It’s hardly a confessional, though. It seems to be mostly about a past that’s not your own. Just how do you decide on the topic of the day? Do you pay attention to current events, or is it mainly a matter of ransacking your collection of scripts and recordings?

broadcastellan: Generally, I dig into my recordings library first to find out what I’ve got to match the day. Sometimes I look at the birthdays listed in the Internet Movie Database, which furnishes me with the occasional idea. Then there is the History Channel, which has a serviceable “On This Day” section. Then I set out to find a radio angle. I particularly enjoy it if the angle is not immediately apparent. I’m not so much writing about what I know, but about what I want to know. This is what keeps me interested in my subject. Nonetheless, I have often been dissatisfied with my own “On This Day” column; because whatever matches the day may not match my day at all. Or anyone’s present day, for that matter. As a result, my discoveries may seem trivial.

Windchill: And regardless of all the pointless anniversaries you insist on celebrating in your journal—including this anniversary of your journal—you resent nothing more than trivi-alienate your visitors.

broadcastellan: “Trivial” is about the most pitiful word in the lexicon. It means to squander the potential of any datum to matter in the present day. It is not just a way of dissemination meaningless information, but of making information meaningless—like on one of those quiz programs that turn what’s not current into currency and reward you for having a good memory. That is, an indiscriminate one.

Windchill: You are criminally forgetful. Is that it?

broadcastellan: True. I’ve learned to make the most of this deficiency. For one, it helps me to approach anything old anew, often without realizing it. At least I don’t end up reprocessing my own thoughts.

Windchill: You underestimate the importance of recycling. By the way, what’s with the pig?

broadcastellan: A picture from a recent trip to St. Fagans, a sort of recycling centre for Welsh culture. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a stale cake to slice into . . .

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