Goodbye Angry Mac Bastards

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,, for our kick-ass intro music.

  • Sorry to see you go, Peter, but also very good to learn that AMB will continue, and that it’s in good hands.

  • Marcus

    Thanks SO much Peter. I first found you and Jim via Gene Stienberg’s TECH NIGHT OWL LIVE, and after hearing you promote AMB at the end of every segment you did, I finally tuned it- and BOY was I glad I did. It quickly became a very anticipated event each week. And you guys have undoubtably contributed to many, MANY people thinking I was crazy as I laughed like a maniac walking my dog in the mornings. Bravo.

    Over the past couple months I’m sure many listeners could hear how tired/exasperated you were becoming; more frequently just sitting back and letting John and Darby do most of the heavy lifting. So I’m not at all surprised that you’ve chosen to step away.

    I was just terrified your departure would bring an end to the show, which would hurt my feelings. Thankfully that’s not the case and I think it will make the times you do show up for guest spots that much more compelling. I love it when you’re on fire!

    I’ll never get tired of hearing you yell!


  • I have to admit, you were my favourite frothing lunatic on the show. When you got into it I could close my eyes and see the spittle. But it’s better to move on than continue if your heart is not into it.

    But I confess to being behind, which is probably why I haven’t heard you letting the idiocy wear you down.

    And Kelly is excellent, and will get even better with more practice. 🙂

    • Top comment

      • I don’t know. I feel like there should have been a “fuck” in there somewhere.

  • Moeskido

    Many thanks for your clarity on AMB. I hope your other work continues to engage your interest, because a lot of it certainly engages mine.

  • Boo, no more Peter.

    Yay, more Kelly!

    Going to miss you on the show, Peter Cohen, but you will always be around in a variety of media and that’s okay by me.

  • Erik Moller

    Please don’t be a stranger to podcasts. Your opinions are rich and thoughtful. You have a lot to offer.

    • Peter Cohen

      Thanks, Eric – I plan to stick around for a while.

  • I said what I wanted to say there, so all I’ll say here is; thank you, it’s been a great ride.

    • Peter Cohen

      Thanks for listening. 🙂

      • I didn’t say this in my blog post, but AMB has been and still is one of the two podcasts I never miss or skip (the other is The Bugle Podcast).

        It’s been a pleasure my friend.

  • My supply chain sources tell me that Peter’s exit from AMB is directly related to Apple’s impending doom, which is due in large part to the non-announcement that Apple will push back the Apple TV announcement to some time in Janutober of 2015.

    This draconian behavior of Apple not commenting on a non-announcement of a product that may or may not exist yet is causing a lot of extra work for analysts – who have had to resort to pulling predictions and analysis out of their ass – a process which is not only painful, but difficult to accomplish inside Apple’s draconian closed and not open walled garden.

    • Peter Cohen

      As long as your supply chain sources are in the mystic Orient, they must be accurate.

    • I see what you tried to do, but you need a lobotomy first to really get the effect. 🙂

    • As Peter would probably say Fuck off you dribbling twat

      Except he would, unlike me, realise you are being joky face irony

  • Neal McAuley

    As soon as I saw the posting about changes to the show, I thought to myself, “Hmmm, guess Peter is leaving.” Not sure why I knew that but there it is. I’m glad the AMBs will continue onward as it’s one of the few podcasts I listen to on a regular basis. A tip of the hat to you my friend….

  • Mau Sandoval

    Shit. Now i want to go and listen to past episodes.

  • End of an ear hole full of diatribe

  • Yer man @flargh is an excellent chap of best regard. But his mantle passed to Kelly is top. Kelly is brilliant in vim and vigour

  • John David

    Thanks for making AMB one of the can’t miss podcasts of each & every week. I shall miss you, but look forward to hearing you on the other shows you appear on.

    Also, thanks Peter for giving me not only great insight but for also making AMB a heck of a lot of fun to listen to. Your J. Gerry Purdy Ph.D rant, a classic if there ever was one, shall live on for ever!

  • Salt Abdullah

    And so long AMB – the show died after you left. Let’s be honest, you were the ringmaster to that circles of dancing monkeys.