I’ve started something.
For some years a friend of mine, Sydney-based IT journalist and commentator (to pick just two of his many hats) Stilgherrian, has produced a podcast, The 9pm Edict. The Edict is an irregularly scheduled program of irregular length in which its host regularly berates, bemoans and bewails the state of the nation and the world. If you wish to learn about the status of Australian politics, society and the condition of Stilgherrian’s wine cellar and you don’t mind periodically being shouted at by a grumpy, middle-aged man, it’s just what you need. Check it out. If you like it, kick in a buck or two.
During one episode late in 2014, Stil issued an invitation for comments for inclusion in the show, in audio format. The invitation’s still there – you can Skype or call Stil at any time, details on the website. Late one night I was, as is perfectly usual these days, angry at the state of politics in Australia, and in particular our scandalous policies towards asylum seeker arrivals by boat, so I recorded 90 seconds or so of depressive bile and sent it in. Stil played it in his next episode, disavowed with his usual professionalism my implied call for the violent overthrow of the state, and I am sure neither of us thought anything further of it.
For a time. Because a little while later Stil repeated his invitation, and I was in a puckish mood. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and my children had utterly failed to burn down the house that morning, so I set to with a lighter heart and recorded a little piece on the merits of Hopscotch. Once again, in it went and out it went with the next podcast. And then Christmas was upon us, so I sent in a whimsical piece involving a ham sculpture of the Commonwealth Attorney-General.
And then, a funny thing happened. A handful of people very kindly said how much they liked my bits, which is not something I hear very often these days. I was enjoying writing and recording them, Stilgherrian was happy to keep bunging them in the cast, and sometimes when I listened to them back even I thought that there were one or two half decent jokes in there, so maybe it was worthwhile keeping going.
The “comments” are now in the process of becoming officially a “segment” of the Edict, and we’ve settled for the time being on The Arch Window as a name. You can hear the Window by subscribing to the podcast but I am also posting them here as stand alone pieces because (a) you might wish to hear them without having to listen to Stilgherrian throwing empty wine bottles at the picture of Parliament House he has taped to his bedroom wall, (b) because I have been looking for a use for this domain and dormant blog for some time, and (c) because someone asked once where he could find my stuff.
The answer is: here.