Very much appreciated your thoughts, in particular:
“In my mind, this podcast will not just be a window into our friendship, but a celebration of friendship writ large. American society is weirdly myopic when it comes to human relations; we care a lot about who is having sex with whom, and care about blood relations, but give little weight to friendships (for proof of this, open up People or any of its knockoffs and see how many of the stories are about celebrity friends vs. celebrity lovers). I think we agree that this is a shame, and I hope our banter will inspire an appreciation of just how wonderful a good friend can be.”
I think when we do talk about friendship, it tends to be in extremes- “there for me when I experienced the world as a terrible place,” in some way or another. Yet so much of how we live is not dramatic. Most days are not deaths, cancer diagnoses, break ups, war. Maybe some other conditions: hunger, anxiety, microbetrayals of ourselves and others. If you ask me, we might need friendship to get through the tough times, but that’s not why we like friendship — I mean no one likes going through a rough patch, friends not withstanding.
The butterflies associated with romance are also arbiters of unpredictable moments, like Pan or the Trickster, they can only be trusted in a very abstract way- the conviction that butterflies are good for a person, in the long run. Friendship is not this way, it is reliable, it has the precious property of premising itself on the recognition of one another for no magazine reason, simply for the value of it in itself.
A podcast about friendship highlights the best parts of friendship: the easy camaraderie, the time before it becomes a reference, a signifier but rather while it is still happening. Live Action Friendship. Replayable LAF. Humor in its moment, not bogged down by what it all means. The experience of closeness, as opposed to the signaling of closeness.
This is actually a tall order. Most podcasts don’t get it right, even some of the most popular ones. Most of these talk podcasts kinda sound like Charming Chads Chatting, which is okay for about a minute. And how do we present JP as both the ludicrous thing that it is and also the sheer wonderfulness of it?
How does a podcast stay loyal to its truth? Not easily. That is our challenge.
Thinkin’ thinky things,
PS: What the eff are we gonna call it, anyway?