"Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things...and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."
---Walter Elias Disney

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

32 Days: We Done Been MouseRanted!

It's been eye-opening seeing the vast world that is Disney podcasting. I knew it existed before, but largely because I couldn't figure out how to play my phone through the car radio (yeah, I know, #oldguyproblems), I had never listened to one. Then I was invited to join a podcast and ended up volunteering to produce what is now the three-episode-old MouseLife Podcast. I figured I had better study up, so I noodled out the phone-to-car radio thing and have been listening to a bunch of my fellow Disney podcasters the last few weeks. Some are very professional, some not so much; some I've learned a lot from and some aren't my cup of tea. There are probably hundreds of these things out there, something that surprised me, but it's a labor of love for the people who produce and participate in them, so the fact that so many exist makes me happy.

Thing is, that apparently doesn't make everyone happy. In any gathering of people, either real or virtual, there are the drama queens (male and female, not being sexist here) who revel in rivalry and criticism and basic middle-schoolness. Seems ol' Barry who brought us together got on the wrong side of one of these people, and he stumbled upon MouseLife and tore it apart on his show, Mouse Rants.

Look, I'm not offended or hurt or angry. I'm thoroughly amused. The whole thing is funny, if in a bit of a sad way. Leaving aside the whole Jerry-Barry (Jerry is the MouseRanter) issue and looking at the criticisms of our podcast (and others, part of the shtick of the show is trashing other shows), they largely boil down to a lack of originality. My man even points out that MouseLife is a pretty generic name. Yes, the guy who named a show based on ranting about Disney "Mouse Rants" said that.

And that's the funny part. We're being called out for lack of originality by a guy trying very hard to be the Disney Podcast version of Howard Stern. If you are at all familiar with Howard's show, you'll get it immediately. DisHoward even has a female sidekick who behaves exactly like the Howard Stern Show's Robyn. As DisHoward screams and drops forced F-bombs (because saying "fuck" on a podcast is all edgy and whatnot, don'tcha know) DisRobyn provides the laugh track and agrees with DisHoward and basically just kisses his butt, much like the real pair operated. It's hilarious, at least for a few minutes, or long as you can pretend it's intentional parody.

The part that made me a little sad was noticing that DisHoward almost always refers to podcasting as "radio." It's a bit cute, but I have to wonder if radio wasn't DisHoward's dream and this is as close as he could get to it. More power to him in the sense that a podcast is a spoken audio medium and maybe it makes him feel better about not being a DJ, but I suspect that's where some of his anger comes from---frustration at not being a real radio personality. And that's sad.

So I guess that's our official welcome into the wider social sphere of Disney Podcasters. DisHoward and DisRobyn did play a bit of our show on theirs, and they have quite a few listeners, so that's not all bad. And he gave out our iTunes address! Say what you want, DisHoward, just spell our name right ;-)

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