Leap Day

Existential Internet Culture La Boheme Personal Technology

Bugs Bunny as Figaro and Elmer Fudd as Bartolo in Rabbit of Seville

Yesterday was Leap Day, February 29, 2020. I spent the day in a mad frenzy, because about 24 hours earlier I suddenly realized time was running out for me to write, record, edit, assemble, publish and metatag the February episode of "Lost Music: Exploring Literary Opera", the podcast I launched a year ago. I try really hard to do one episode per month. I got the February episode out in February, because Leap Day saved my ass.

Creating podcasts is still a learning experience for me, and this is the fastest episode I ever created. Please listen to it! This is the one where I share my unabashed love for a very popular opera, Gioachino Rossini's "Il Barbieri di Siviglia". It's also the episode where I finally get to talk a lot about Bugs Bunny, which must have been a buried desire for me all along, since I evidently have a lot to say about Bugs Bunny and opera. I also blather on about lots of stuff like "Seinfeld", Harley Quinn, Groucho Marx and Freddie Mercury. Because, you know, it's a podcast about opera.

A couple of days before Leap Day, I went to an exciting reunion in midtown Manhattan of people I worked with at a major media corporation's legendarily unsuccessful website during the entire second half of the 1990s. This was a 25th year reunion of hard-bitten Silicon Alley tech/media veterans in the basement of an Irish bar, and it occasioned many laughs, memories and deep philosophical thoughts about the meaning of it all.

As happens at these reunions, I was occasionally asked what I was up to. I answered that I was now doing peace activism and running two podcasts. The response from my old friends and former co-workers was a bemused shrug, because they remembered my scattered mental state from 25 years ago, and the ravages of untreated adult ADHD can be a tragic thing to observe over time. Seriously, though, all of my former Silicon Alley internet workers seemed wiser, calmer and perhaps happier after the survival of 25 years. Life is funny that way.

There've been a few podcasts since I last wrote a blog post here! Here's the January episode of "Lost Music", featuring Meg Wise-Lawrence, professor of English at Hunter College and City College of New York, talking with me about Verdi's "Macbeth" and Shakespeare's "Macbeth".

Please check World BEYOND War for the podcast series we're running there. This is also a monthly series, and I'm really proud of the two episodes below. In January, we interviewed Iranian peace activists Shahrzad Khayatian and Foad Izadi in Tehran.

The February episode is a preview of World BEYOND War's upcoming annual conference, #NoWar2020, in Ottawa, Canada, featuring activists Katie Perfitt and Colin Stuart.

I work hard on these podcasts — this remains my all-purpose excuse for not blogging more often, because podcasting is the new blogging! — and I will also especially appreciate it if you give either or both of the podcasts I produce good ratings on iTunes, Spotify or whatever other podcast service you use. It really does help increase the visibility of these shows. Thanks, and I hope some of you are enjoying listening to these podcasts as much as I'm enjoying making them.

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