No, this is not a treatise on North American culture and our fascination with/addiction to celebrity. The internet is littered with thinkpieces about that. This is simply a personal observation inspired by events of the past weekend. I attended the terrific Now Hear This Podcast Festival in Anaheim, California. It was a fabulous weekend for many reasons, and one is that it really made me think—and brought me to a realization, which boils down to this tl;dr:
It’s all relative.
Early in the weekend I tweeted this:
Just saw the @pchh crew in the lobby & quietly squeed/nerded out. 2 min later, an excited listener approached us. #itsallrelative
— Erika FrankEnsign (@HollyGoDarkly) October 28, 2016
It was 100% true. We did have a happy listener track us down to hang out with us at the con. And I did have a serious fangirl moment myself mere moments before that. I listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour every week and admire the people who make that show happen. I did not go up and talk to them at that moment because A) they were just checking in to the hotel, which is a shitty time to accost someone, and 2) I am, at heart, a shy introvert. (Despite any perceived evidence to the contrary.)
What I did was attend their show and enjoy every minute of it—perhaps especially when Linda Holmes gave special recognition to Jessica Reedy for producing the show—as someone who does a lot of the unseen work for several podcasts, I’m always thrilled when the hidden engine of a program gets recognition. Afterwards, Steven walked up to Jessica, shook her hand, and thanked her for all her hard work. I was like “Why didn’t I think of that?” (Answer: shy introvert.) But I smiled and thanked her as well. Being at the same con all weekend, I wandered past the PCHH crew more than once, but didn’t get up the courage to say hi (or to thank them for inspiring our “happy things” segment on Verity!) until they were literally on their way out of the hotel. (And thus I missed meeting fellow Wisconsinite Stephen Thompson.)
Anyway, the point is not how nice they are or how cool they were or even the fact that Glen Weldon knew my name:
I think my crowning achievement of @NowHearThisFest was not fainting into a puddle when @ghweldon knew my name.
— Erika FrankEnsign (@HollyGoDarkly) October 31, 2016
The point is this: Continue reading