Saturday, June 2, 2012

Labors of Love

Most of us have a day job, the labor that brings in enough income with
which to enjoy life. Others are students, who spend time studying to
become employable, or are between jobs and spend time seeking
employment. The rare few, perhaps, are paid to do that they love. For
the most part, however, we do what we do because it's the best, most
remunerative use of our time and talents.

Then we use our spare time to do what we love. Perhaps that's hikiing in
the mountains, painting portraits, watching television, or getting drunk
in a seedy bar. We don't judge. Much. Many both consume and create - we
read blogs and fiction but may write blogs or fiction; we listen to
music or to podcasts but may compose music or record our own podcasts;
we watch videos but may also shoot our own. Technology has made it
possible to create more on a small budget than ever before and to
disseminate what we create more widely than ever before.

Importantly, these efforts are labors of love. We do them when we can,
because we enjoy the activity. We're not owned an audience, but the
converse is that we owe nothing to the audience. Other things - jobs,
family, the messiness that constitutes "real life" - come first.
Recently, my friends at the Clockwork Cabaret have had a series of
unkind comments directed at them about changes to the show as it moved
from a weekly radio broadcast/podcast to a podcast-only format.* The show
went from two hours to one, and eliminated much of the in-show banter.
Truth be told, I liked the odler format better, too. But the ladies can
now record at a sane time, in half the time. They have jobs, families,
and obligations about which most listeners (including me) know nothing.
Emmett and Mingan Davenport create and host the show on their own dime,
charging nothing for the hour of Steampunk music that goes out once a
week. Listeners are entitled to expectations about the show, and are
free to stop listening, but listeners need to remember that the
Davenport sisters owe them nothing. Basic decency dictates that any
requests or suggestions about the show are made politely and without
demands. Shame on listeners who act otherwise.

* Listen, e.g., to the first few minutes of episode 224.

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