What a month it’s been! As I write this, Philia has been listened to 145 times, far more than I ever expected for the first, fledgling episode of this little passion project. Thanks so much for listening, for your kind comments and messages, for offering to be interviewed (keep those offers coming! I want to hear your stories), and for sharing Philia in your social media universes.
The very first episode of my radio god, This American Life, aired almost exactly 20 years ago: November 17, 1995. In it, right at the top, Ira Glass (blessedbehisname) says something I’ve been thinking about a lot over the past month:
Well, one great thing about starting a new show is utter anonymity. Nobody really knows what to expect from you . . . We’re one minute five into the new show. Right now, it is stretching in front of us, a perfect future yet to be fulfilled. An uncharted little world. A little baby coming into the world, no little scars on it or anything.
Nobody hearing my words right now is thinking, “Oh, man, remember that show, back when it used to be good? That show, I never missed that show back in the old days, back in the first couple years before it got so-called popular. Back when it was still good.”
No, actually, I think that force, that human desire to say that is so strong, to say that “I was there back when that show was good,” that force is so strong, it is so basic to who we are as people that I know– OK, what are we? We are two minutes into the program– I know that somewhere out there, one or two of you are saying, “Oh, sure. I used to listen to that show back in the first 30 seconds, back when it used to be really good. Remember back when they used to do all that crazy stuff? When they had that guy on the phone? Remember back then?”
Fortuntately, I’m pretty sure that you’re all going to like the second episode, which is about my good friend and colleague D Gilson, a beautiful poet and writer. Look for it on December 11th, and thanks.