As with many good things, the beginnings of The Cluttered Desk Podcast are steeped in friendship and beer. In the throes of a busy semester teaching English, Andrew and Colin instituted a casual monthly meeting to relax, imbibe, and converse. In their discussions, any topic or argument was worth exploring; conversation ranged from comics to theology, from politics to podcasts -- which, of course, is where the idea came to create a podcast of their own, to share these fascinating and entertaining conversations with anyone who might care to listen (or even join in).
THE FULL STORY
In 2014, while in the throes of an incredibly busy semester of teaching, Colin and Andrew decided to institute an informal, monthly meeting where they would drink, converse, relax, occasionally commiserate, and enjoy the rarity one another’s company. Neither was certain if these monthly meetings would last, but quickly enough, these sessions became routine.
Thanks in part to the unabashed consumption of libations, these conversations were meandering yet precise, arcane yet grounded. What both Colin and Andrew learned about one another was that their differences were, in effect, superficial. They approached and processed the world from equally curious and receptive positions. No idea was too outlandish; no line of argumentation was not worth exploring.
After some not-so-subtle suggesting, Andrew took Colin's recommendation to listen to more podcasts and became equally enamored with the podcast form. In those early days, Andrew championed Harmontown, and it frequently surfaced in their conversations (it continues to do so — Andrew was and remains a Harmontown completist). Andrew celebrated the sense of community that podcasts like Harmontown invariably cultivate. Colin praised the virtues of podcasts like Slate's Culture Gabfest and their insistence on addressing any topic that interests them regardless of how esoteric and niche it seems. By sharing their mutual appreciation for podcasts, Colin and Andrew quickly realized the versatility of the podcast form.
They based the inevitable decision to start a podcast of their own on a simple idea: they wanted to share their conversations with anyone who would listen. Not only did they find those monthly sessions fascinating and intellectually stimulating, but also enjoyable and entertaining. Thus, The Cluttered Desk Podcast was born. In the first episode of The Cluttered Desk Podcast ("The Zero Episode"), Andrew describes the central metaphor of this project: “I like the Cluttered Desk as a place to start because it indicates not only those things with which I am intimately familiar, and those things towards which I've given a great deal of time and energy and work, but also those things toward which I still aspire." At the Cluttered Desk, one is both a novice and a master, an expert and an amateur, a teacher and a student.
This is The Cluttered Desk Podcast. Please stay with us, won't you?