I have to admit, Dirty Feed and podcasts is a bit of a sore point. I did three episodes in 2012… and the fourth one has yet to materialise. Yes, a wait of seven years and counting is taking the fucking piss. All I can say is that it will return one day. I’ve spent far too much on jingles for it not to.
I have been involved in another podcast these last few years, mind. Over on Ganymede & Titan, the Red Dwarf fansite which is unaccountably still running and updated in 2019, we just published our 100th episode of DwarfCasts. The reason we managed to get to 100 episodes is because all I have to do is turn up and speak loudly and annoyingly about Red Dwarf, rather than actually do any of the hard work of getting the show prepped, recorded, edited, and published. So when I say I’m proud of that 100th episode, it’s nothing to do with me, and everything to do with Ian Symes, who put that beautiful little documentary together.1
Still, it got me thinking. Maybe 100 episodes of a podcast made over 13 years isn’t the most impressive thing in the world, even if that is 98 episodes more than most podcasts manage. But it strikes me that there’s something pleasant about devoting myself to the same thing for that length of time. Indeed, take a look at Ganymede & Titan as a whole – I’ve been writing for the site for 16 years and counting, and if you look back at the very first incarnation of the site, it’s been going for a full 20 years. And doing the same kind of thing for so long means that I’ve ended up writing and talking about areas that I never would have examined if I’d done what so many people did.
Because most sensible 90s Red Dwarf fans did the following: got a job, got a family, and stopped thinking that much about Red Dwarf. I managed the first two, but somehow never stopped doing the third. And sure, I’ve written about my frustration about that at times. I do have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the show these days.
But if I’d done what normal fans do, and drifted away from doing anything in fandom, I’d never have written some of my favourite pieces on the show. On the development of Holly in the early days of the show, on the very earliest stirrings of Rob and Doug playing with the nature of reality, or about how the glimmerings of one of Red Dwarf‘s most famous episodes can be seen in Hancock’s Half Hour, to name three of many.
All this is on my mind as we come up to this January, and the 10th anniversary of Dirty Feed. In one sense, anniversaries are an arbitrary waste of time. But as an excuse to take stock of where we are, and what’s to come, I find them useful. Over the last ten years, I’ve published stuff on here I love, and stuff which I now think is a bit crap. But the fact that I’ve been publishing stuff in the same place for a full ten years feels meaningful, somehow. As with the DwarfCasts, I haven’t been as prolific on here as I would have liked to have been; other bits of life got in the way. But over the years, it adds together into a really nice archive of fun stuff.
There’s an advantage to plugging away at the same thing for years, without getting bored and flitting to the next thing. You don’t have to give it endless chunks of your time each week. Nor do you have to worry about any kind of long-term plan, or where exactly it is you’re going. And after a few years, you may just look back in surprise.
Without even realising it, you’ve made something you’re proud of.
Shhhhhh. Don’t tell him I was nice about him. ↩