At Macworld Expo in San Francisco back in 2009, John C. Welch and I were having drinks At Dave’s, a bar on Third Street in San Francisco, just stumbling distance across the street from the Westin San Francisco Market Street hotel. It was our usual haunt after hours during Macworld Expo. As we are wont to do, John and I were complaining. We complained about the stupid things we’d read about Apple in the mainstream press. We complained about bloggers who didn’t have a clue. We complained about analysts whose prognostications about Apple and its products seemed as far-fetched from reality as bad science fiction. (Yeah, Gene Munster, four years later, we’re still waiting for your goddamned Apple television.)
At one point or another it dawned on us that rebelling against the stupid things we’d read was perfect fodder for a podcast. We recruited Darby Lines, who went by the nom de Twitter “@Angry_Drunk.” He was on the same wavelength: posting impassioned, alcohol-fueled retorts against the stupid on his own site. We found a kindred spirit and a brother in arms (not to mention a formidable drinking buddy). Thus Angry Mac Bastards was born.
For the past 213 shows – more than 4 years (we took a few weeks off here and there) – we have, each week, dissected and exposed what we consider to be the worst Apple-related news and analysis we could find. And we’ve done a pretty good job of it. We continue to do a good job of it.
The show isn’t for everyone, obviously. We yell and scream a lot. We use dirty words. We say some really nasty things. It’s puerile. It’s occasionally obscene. We’ve gotten our knocks in ratings on the podcast section of iTunes from people who just don’t like it, or us. And that’s okay. AMB was never intended to be popular or mainstream. It’s our version of pirate radio, speaking truth against power. Or against stupidity, anyway.
At first, it was just us entertaining ourselves, then people started listening. Then they started sending us links. Now each week we filter the stuff we come up with and the stuff that people send us to create a clown parade of the worst buffoonery imaginable – from self-aggrandizing “columnists” on Forbes’ blogs who tout themselves as subject matter experts to people who really ought to know better – experienced pundits, bloggers and tech reporters willing to distort facts to suit their own narratives, to analysts who just generally prove quarter after quarter that they don’t have the slightest clue as to what Apple is doing or how it works.
I’m very proud of the work that we’ve done, and I find it endlessly rewarding when people approach me online or in real life, as many did at WWDC, to say how much they enjoy the show. We’ve got a group of very loyal sponsors who have made it worth our time to keep the show going all this time, and to them I’m very grateful as well.
But a while ago I realized something: AMB had stopped being fun for me to do. It had begun to feel like work. Like drudgery. I’d just lost my energy doing the show, and I was tired of hearing myself yell. I figured if I was tired of hearing myself yell, others probably were too. And that seemed like as good a reason as any to step away from the mic.
Starting next week, I’m handing over the reins to our frequent guest-host (and podcaster extraordinaire) Kelly Guimont. Every time we have Kelly on we always get a flood of responses from listeners who love what she brings to the show – a different energy, a different sensibility, and an infectious laugh. She’s razor-sharp and has absolutely no bullshit tolerance. In short, a perfect (and formidable) Angry Mac Bastard.
I’ll continue podcasting – I’ve already told John and Darby that I’m open to occasionally guest-hosting or filling in for someone when they can’t make it, and I’m a frequent guest on other podcasts. I’m also a weekly fixture on the iMore podcast (where I’m managing editor). In the end, I’m very happy to be leaving the show in John, Darby and Kelly’s hands, and I can’t wait to see what they’ll do next.
And thanks, as always, to Jim Dalrymple at the Loop, Loopinsight.com, for our kick-ass intro music.