Episode Seven, which felt like it took awhile but fell fairly neatly into that ideal three-month schedule, is out on podcast providers and Youtube. It’s another long one, I think it was about 20,000 words – which I stayed up one night to record (quite hard to avoid noise when you are recording in your home). Eagle-eared listeners might pick up on some birds here or there, or perhaps a couple of slightly slurred words as 3am approached and the one or two whiskeys I’d had to keep myself perky took effect.
But I am happy with the result, happy with the content and glad to have got this one done considering the busy period it was in my life.
I’ve tried to keep up the momentum and begun work on the new episode already. As I discussed in the intro of the latest release, we need to broaden the scope way back and head to Europe again to discuss the ideological birth of Marxism and perhaps the actual start of the Cold War in the wake of WWI. This episode will need to get our vocabulary of terms up to scratch with the slightly complex ideas of Marx and Engels… Proletariat, Bourgeoisie, Bolsheviks and Mensheviks… fun stuff. We need to know how these ‘ideas’ develop for a variety of reasons and I believe the episode will not feature much from Cambodia, perhaps just some of the echoes we can identify between some aspects of soviet ‘terror’ and eventual Khmer Rouge actions, much like we did with the French Revolution.
At the moment it’s looking as though it will cover the industrial revolution all the way up to the beginnings of World War Two, which will fill in the picture that was left dark in Episode Seven quite nicely. Then we will be exploring WWII in Southeast Asia, the end of this conflict, the bipolar world and the ‘proper’ Cold War beginnings – as well as the start of independence movements in Indochina. That will be Episode Nine and soon enough we will get to the Vietnam War, the Cambodian Civil War and the nightmare of the Khmer Rouge, hopefully by the end of 2020 (crikey!)
At the end of this year, which basically brings us to the two-year anniversary of the show, I just wanted to thank everyone for listening and engaging with the show. It makes me really proud to produce something that more and more people seem to be connecting with, and if I had shown some of the numbers that I am getting for the show to me from two years ago, I would have been amazed.
I would also like to particularly thank the people that have taken the time to review the show on itunes or wherever they might listen to it. I think the US itunes store has more than 37 ratings and a solid amount of written reviews, a recent one was quite touching. It was from a 33-year-old Khmer person who had immigrated to the US following the end of the Khmer Rouge period, born in a refugee camp. Their parents did not speak much about it but had experienced losses like most Cambodians, including family members being taken away and killed. They said that the show was a way for them to learn about their culture and heritage... something they barely knew anything about. This isn't the first time someone has contacted me with this kind of comment and this really makes me proud to have tried to ‘do something’, however basic, with some of the time and energy I’ve spent learning about this period of history and it makes the energy I put into making the show really feel worthwhile.
Another person spoke about how the podcast had been a companion for them on a recent trip to Cambodia. This was another great example for me because I really hope that the show can act as a kind of contextualisation for what a lot of people see and do in Cambodia.. I know that many people don’t have time to read a book and many movies and documentaries don’t quite tell the whole story. So I hope the podcast can act as a kind of intermediary for some people who visit the country, and that makes me really proud too.
Finally, I’d like to extend a very special thank you to two people who contributed financially to the show in the last year: Will Swope and Bunra Long. Together the amount they gave has covered the cost of the microphone that I purchased two years ago, and probably one or two of the books that I’ve bought to help research the show. I appreciate very much that not everyone is in the position to be able to spare money for a show that they can access for free, and I did not set up this show for financial gain. But the show does cost money to produce and keep on the internet/podcast hosting websites.
For full transparency I will give a breakdown of the costs:
15 AUD per month for an Audioboom subscription which posts the show to numerous providers including Spotify.
18 AUD per month for website hosting with Weebly
40 AUD for the domain name annually
So, around 450 AUD per year (that's about 300 US for those who may be interested)
As I said, this project has not been set up for financial gain. I pay to keep it running. As the support page says, if you’d like to donate to a Cambodian charity like the Cambodian Children’s Fund, I would recommend you do so. But for those in the position to help out with the costs of running the show, if you would like to do so, it does make a big difference and makes the show a sustainable financial prospect for me. So, thank you to Bunra Long and Will Swope once again for doing that, it means a lot.
So, I guess that is about it. If you are reading this prior to December 31st, have a good new year. I will have a new episode up hopefully not too far down the track.
I also have some potentially exciting news regarding an interview with a historian whose work I greatly admire and have mentioned on the show so far… so keep a look out for that too
All the best,