Years ago when I was doing The Casting Game, once the gaps between episodes was getting longer and longer, and the votes on the polls fewer and fewer, and the effort to get panelists harder and harder, I realized that it was just time to let it go.
Today, I’ve come to realize that there is something else I need to let go of. Over the past year, disasters have been piling on and on, both financial and technological, and the past three months in particular have been sending me a pretty clear signal.
I just can’t podcast anymore.
Today, I was informed that it’s very likely that as a result of the newest Windows update, my hard drive is dead. And since the disc drives in that rig were already not working, fixing it is going to be impossible. Heck the rig itself was a hand me down after the last computer I’d paid for died unceremoniously last December. My current financial status shows zero sign of improvement, as I can’t even get volunteer work to fill the gap on my resume. Yes, despite everything I am somehow unqualified to read Goodnight Moon to kindergärtners at the Library. If that isn’t a “fuck you” from reality I don’t know what is. Based on that, I can look forward to buying a new computer never.
My family here in California has been too kind to me, so I could continue recording Singular Achievement over here once and Gilmore Girls Re-watch bi-weekly as I’ve been doing the past month, but I just can’t do that in good conscience, regardless of what they say. I’ve taken enough advantage of their goodwill as is.
So, after recording the next episode of GGR tonight, and after it goes out on Tuesday, that will be the end of Arkle Studios. I am retiring from podcasting. The universe, through job loss, three computer deaths in the space of 13 months, sound card problems, illnesses, loss of unemployment benefits, and loss of home has sent me a clear message. It doesn’t want me to do this anymore.
This is not a pity fishing expedition. I do not want any donations made to the tip jar, as even if every listener I had gave something it would not be enough to buy a new rig, seeing as I lost most of my listeners thanks to the Mevio debacle where they shut me down, then lied to me about letting post an episode letting people know we’d be moving. That there was probably another sign that I should’ve quit.
I will still listen to podcasts, and still call in to the ones that have voicemail lines from time to time. That is, until I lose my phone in April, because I know I won’t have a job by then; I haven’t even had an interview since late May, not even for (as I said above) volunteer work which wouldn’t even pay me anything, just give me some extra experience and something to pad the resume with. And I’m sure as hell not going to ask Mom to buy another phone card for me, she’s spent more than $50 keeping this thing that only ever gets calls from mean spirited condescending dishonest debt collectors turned on as is.
Oh, and I’d better let Summer Brooks know I’ll have to back out of the planned re-launch of Kick Ass Mystic Ninjas.
So, yeah. It’s been a good run. I’ve come a long way from my first ever podcast, where I didn’t have a proper pop filter and spent a chunk of it telling the then-kitten Keepsie to stop clawing me. And all things being equal I’d love to not only keep doing SAP, and finish GGR, but I’d have loved to start a Fringe Re-watch podcast with Tara from What The Fuck Is Wrong With You, and I even had an idea for a show about AFI’s Top 50 Movie Villains list.
But the writing’s on the wall. These last several problems have all occurred right at the height of my excitement of getting back into doing a weekly show. Every hard drive death, every job termination, every vicious cold or flu, every website going tits up.
At a certain point, one needs to accept reality.
The website is going to stay up, and I will at some point get back to fixing all the links so that all the available Arkle Studios podcasts episodes can be listened to, but again, starting Tuesday, there will be no more new content barring an absolute miracle. I can’t even say barring a Lotto win as you can’t purchase those with food stamps, which is all I have; I’ve not had hard currency since my Dad sent me some cash for Christmas. And as an Atheist and a Skeptic, I don’t believe in miracles. I don’t even really believe in ‘signs’ per se, there is no malevolent supernatural force out there that is seeking to ruin my podcasting career. It’s just how things happened. I can’t really blame anyone, not entirely (though I still hold some bitterness towards both Mevio and Taco Bell for contributing to the situation).
I’ll still be on-line too, though a bit less frequently. You can still find me on Tumblr, and Facebook, and Twitter, and the TGWTG forums, and in RDA on Monday nights and JesuOtaku’s stream on most Saturday nights except for RPG night with the family. So do keep in touch if you can. And if you are upset at this news I’m sorry, but I’ve been around podcasting long enough to know that most people who face issues like mine give up on it much sooner than I have. For what little consolation that is.