Dear Joanna,

For the last month, we’ve been kicking around the idea of starting a podcast. You suggested fleshing this out in the public sphere, so here’s my attempt.

If we were doing a proper pitch in an attempt to get funding, we’d have to answer the questions “Why you? Why this? What will make your podcast stand out from the million podcasts already in existence?” Let’s take those in turn.

Why are we doing a podcast?

If we’re being honest, this podcast is for us first and foremost. I want other people to enjoy it, and anyone who creates content for the public should feel the same, but that’s not the impetus for the project; it’s to perpetuate and celebrate our friendship. Keeping a strong distance friendship going is a lot of work, which is presumably why so few people do it; a monthly(?) podcast gives us a scheduled way to keep in touch and a shared project to collaborate on. It also allows us to develop our media production skills, and to find a more stable venue to share our strong opinions (you use Twitter, I use Facebook; these platforms are ephemeral, controlled by publicly held corporations, and not designed for the sort of thoughtful engagement we try to bring to discussions).

That said, I think a good chunk of people will get a kick out of listening to us.

What sets this podcast apart? Why would anyone listen to it?

In my mind, this podcast will not just be a window into our friendship, but a celebration of friendship writ large. American society is weirdly myopic when it comes to human relations; we care a lot about who is having sex with whom, and care about blood relations, but give little weight to friendships (for proof of this, open up People or any of its knockoffs and see how many of the stories are about celebrity friends vs. celebrity lovers). I think we agree that this is a shame, and I hope our banter will inspire an appreciation of just how wonderful a good friend can be.

We’re also pretty thoughtful people, and I think we’ll be able to bring an unorthodox perspective to current events and popular media, particularly in an age of hyper-partisan hot takes.

When we begin, this podcast is going to be listened to by people who already know and like us; that’s just the way it is. And if it never grows beyond that, I’m okay with it. But I think it will be a great adventure and some special souls will enjoy coming along for the ride.

Okay, so what are you actually doing?

A good chunk of the podcast will be dedicated to spending JP and reporting back on experiences. For those just joining us, JP (which stands for Just Points) is a non-monetary betting system that Joanna and I created. We bet JP when we have factual disagreements or want to make predictions about future events. The winner can then spend JP to get the other party to better themselves in some way – watch a movie they otherwise wouldn’t, go out and have a life experience they otherwise wouldn’t get to. Nothing extreme, but enough to give us a positive push outside our comfort zones.

It’s pretty great in theory, but for many years we’ve failed to follow through on the part where we spend it. This podcast will fix that; we’ll have regular sections where we try new things and report back. It should make for some nice variety of conversation!

More than that, we’re still figuring out. We’ll certainly discuss current events and popular (or unpopular!) media, and there will probably be some oddball humor.

What ideas have you? Do you have a different vision, a different pitch? What are your hopes and dreams (and maybe your fears?) Inquiring minds want to know!

With measured breath,