I lived in L.A. at such a weird time. I was vaguely drawn to the comedy scene initially and then pulled in fully once Facebook and podcasts exploded (almost simultaneously). Then the fame game took over. I knew them, but they didn’t know me. It was all so seductive, especially for a single woman alone in the big city, but ultimately, for me, it was a tease.
This is not the fault of the podcasters, although I think they are playing with fire by producing such intimate shows. After all, if I had been socially embedded in a group of like-minded people, I would likely not have been listening to podcasts at all. When I was in college, for example, I never turned on the TV or paid attention to celebrity culture. I didn’t need to– I was surrounded by drama and fun and fascinating peers. It’s only when we are alone that we turn to the media to fill that void.
Maron: Look at Howard Stern, look at [NPR Fresh Air’s] Teri Gross, the medium is more versatile than radio now, where you decide what you want to listen to and when it. People can listen in their car, in their cubicle, at the gym. I get emails from all around the world. I’ve got soldiers in combat listening. I’ve got Americans abroad. They can listen wherever and however they want but I would say 99 percent of the time they’re listening to it in solitary. You’re in their head. You’re talking directly to them. Their relationship with you is very personal. It’s the nature of this medium. Then when people come to my shows and they’re waiting in line to meet me or take a picture or buy a t-shirt or a CD, I know they have an honest and candid relationship because of the type of radio I’m doing. And I respect that. I also realize that I don’t know them at all, and they know me very well, so I try to make myself as available as possible.