I’ll admit it upfront. Last week, I had no idea whether a 'podcast' was: animal, vegetable, or mineral? This week, ‘Iokepa Hanalei ‘Imaikalani and I were participants (?) subjects (?) occupants (?) of one.
Naturally, those of you who have followed the Return Voyage journey know that for ten years ‘Iokepa and I lived without phone, television, radio, internet - and more - without house, income, and often food. But those of you who have followed this journey know too: That until those years, we were successful links in the American system: we had both the aspirations and the toys. Then came the epiphany, the surrender, this other life.
So we are neither unsophisticated nor ignorant humans. We are simply following a destiny that requires a different kind of life, in order to do work that is less about ourselves and more about community responsibility and cultural freedom.
I suspect that my not-knowing what manner of species, a podcast, has less to do with the choice ‘Iokepa and I made to surrender one life for another, than it does with my age.
I imagine that early in the last century there were those who balked at getting behind the wheel of a car. (My own mother--now 99 years old--refused to get a driver’s license until she was in her forties.) I imagine too that there were folks who could not trust an airplane with their lives or microwave in their home.
The older one gets the tougher the technological learning curve.
In the face of these technological challenges, we ask our children. (And some of you were wondering why we had children.) Here is why: they teach us, more than just advance in technology.
So when we were asked by Joanna Harcourt-Smith to be interviewed (and I have been interviewed in the past by many major American television talk show hosts) on her widely attended, much respected 'Podcast,' www.FuturePrimitive.org - I balked. Who is this woman? And what is a 'podcast'?
I called Sam. Sam is my thirty year old, technologically comfortable, adorable, intelligent - and occasionally sarcastic - eldest son. He said this: “Mom, there is a divide, and it happens around….hmm…I’d say, age thirty-eight. Just about everyone over thirty-eight has no idea what a podcast is. For all of us under thirty-eight, it is our life. It depends how old you were when you got your first iPod.”
I still do not have an iPod. I do not have a Blackberry. Here is what I’ve gleaned: in the same way that some of us might pick up a remote control and click around the television choices, or turn the knob on the radio - iPod listeners download music or talk shows.
And like us knob spinners or remote clickers, it doesn’t take long to identify those shows that speak to their interests, tickle their fancy, amuse, educate or entertain them. .
We sat yesterday for a one-hour interview iith Joanna - and it was without a doubt the deepest and most provocative interview that I’ve taken part in, in my life. And what’s more, we were strapped to neither microphones nor cameras. We sat on sofas and in upholstered arm chairs in a lovely Santa Fe home, with the tiniest piece of technological miracle held at some distance by Joanna’s husband.
I’ll speculate that the simplicity of the technology and the human comfort contributed to the authenticity and power of the interview.
Turn in (if you know how) to our interview. It will be released, downloadable, and broadcast on February 25.