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  • Writer's pictureChris Russell

Outro S3 E20 - Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics...

End of season

Hello my survivor friends. Here we are at the end of season 3.

I don’t know about you, but I’m quite in awe of what we’ve accomplished here, together. You, me, my editors and friends all combined to keep the apocalypse narrative going for 60 episodes, and keep it interesting, maybe even compelling.

It’s been a real joy to watch the universe develop and live with these characters.

This episode did not exit the creative birth canal peacefully. It took some long thinking to get the ending the way I thought was acceptable to the themes of the show and the characters. To give you the kind of quality narrative you deserve.

I needed two epidurals and an emergency episiotomy to get this one out.

(Ha! Just made every female listener flinch! Which, as we will talk about in a bit, I can’t afford to do, because they are only 25% of my listening demographic to begin with.)

But, we got the episode written, produced and out into the ether here we are!

I’ll go a bit longer today because I have a few things to cover, so get comfortable, lean back in the rocking chair, and take a sip of moonshine from the jar and bear with me.

… First topic! Statistics and Demographics and the sausage party.

We are still running around 20K plus downloads a month and have about 350,000 total since we started.

We have 360 members in our Facebook group as of this morning.

Now Facebook gives me data on the members and I thought you might be interested.

Demographic-wise, it’s an older crowd, skewing towards the 35+ and it is, 75% male…so welcome to the sausage party!

I’m going to try harder to be inclusive – starting today!

… Second topic – Dire Straits!

One follow up from the last episode where I was talking about the movie Local Hero – I forgot to mention that the soundtrack is by Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits and is really good.

In fact, one of my top 5 favorite albums? Do we say albums? What do we say? Collections? Aggregations?

(And that, my friends, right there, is why we win the over 40 demographic!)

For anyone listening, regardless of how many times you have ridden this planet around the sun, go acquire the Dire Straits musical agglomeration referred to as Live Alchemy – you can thank me later.

Find a quiet place, put on some noise canceling headphones and let yourself be transformed by the beauty of that music.

And, wait for it, the last track on side 2 of the CD, or side 4 of the double album, is the theme from Local Hero.

… Next topic! “Days Gone By”

I listened through season one of the show last week as I was out doing my workouts. For those of you who are veterans of my old RunRunLive show – yeah I’m getting my mileage back up and I feel pretty good!

Anyhow - It was the first time for me to go back and listen contiguously through the full season.

My normal process is to write and edit the episodes. Then I listen through and edit Robert’s production of the work. Then I produce it all into the show and release it. Finally, I listen to them through my podcast app when they are released. Just to make sure everything came through ok.

At that point I’ve spent 8-10 hours with the episode, and I’ve listened to it like 5 times – so I don’t go back to listen again.

This was a new experience for me listening through a whole season, season one, one episode after another, with my after-show comments which kick in around episode 6.

All in all it hangs together.

I found it interesting how Robert’s reads have changed and adapted over the seasons. The first few episodes were very ‘standard-audio-book’ rhythm and tone but then as we start to get comfortable with the story and the characters the reads become more vibrant.

I also found some cringeworthy stuff that I’m going to need to go back and edit out.

It’s kinda fun to live the temporal disconnection of listening to 8 months of work from 2 years ago in 2-3 days!

As I listen to the comments I also realize the things that have not worked out the way I intended – where I had to change gears – Like - I had originally planned to convert each season into a book and did indeed start that process with season one but ran into a wall with the mismatch between my available time and the effort required.

I will still get there, maybe this summer.

Anyhow – that was a useful experience – bingeing through the history like a new listener would – and I plan to do the same - work my way through season 2 and 3 as the editors and I ideate seasons 4 and 5.

And that is still the plan, 5 seasons. 20 episodes each.

…Next Topic – read another book!

I’ve been busy but I did manage to work through another post-apocalyptic book. It is a novel called “Bloom” by Wil McCarthy from 1998. The story starts with humanity being banished to the outer reaches of the solar system by an all-consuming techno-fungus that has turned all the inner planets into mushroom mush.

It’s a good read. It’s one of those books that was written by an actual scientist, so the details hang together very well.

I saw the end coming, but I still give it a solid B.

Worth a summer read while you’re lying in the hammock trying to avoid your husband (see what I did there?).

…Next Topic! The first of the last of us…

I watched the first episode of the last of us, because they give you one episode for free. I thought it was very good. I might pay to watch the rest but I’m not signing up for HBO just for that.

While I was watching I counted off the Zombie tropes that we had talked about a couple episodes ago. Maybe I should print up a bingo card so you can be insufferable when you’re watching TV with your husband.

· You have to shoot the head. Check.

· They don’t want to eat you, they just want to infect you. Check.

· Old people zombies. Check. Child zombies? Kinda, they mercy kill an infected little girl.

· The dangerous quest for the cure. Check.

· The zombie siege. Check – and in a fortified Boston no less.

For a score of 5 out of 10.

I give them extra points for running around in the subway tunnels in Boston. Those are the oldest subway tunnels in North America and they are super cruddy and grungy.

Very apocalyptic.

I give them points for killing off a main character in the first episode. Very Walking Dead of you.

Looks like a great series but I’ll wait until it’s more easily accessible.

The current state of cable TV and streaming in the US is broken. You pay $200 a month for access and then another $15 a month for every channel. I just don’t get it. Who can afford to spend that much money on subscriptions?

But, I guess it doesn’t matter, because soon all the content will be generated the AI specifically for you. We’ll become like the Eloi from H.G. Wells The Time Machine, fed, entertained and pampered, (and ultimately eaten) by the Morlocks of AI.

OK my friends, final topic - where do we go from here?

I will continue to develop, write and produce the last two seasons on schedule. I’ll probably start up again in a couple months depending on my summer schedule.

To fill the dead air I will release some other things. Some stories from other people. Maybe some interviews.

In the mean time, thank you for joining us on this journey. Thank you for your attention.

Share the show with your friends and social networks.

Let me know if there is anything I can do for you.

And, as always, keep surviving.

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