I’m Dennis Michael. I’m a writer, voice talent, Journalist and even, from time to time, an actor. I’ve worked in a wide variety of media, but you’d have had the best chance of hearing me as the voice of CNN’s “Hollywood Minute” for 18 years. What I’m doing here is another short-form feature, harking back to my late 1970′s Series “Cosmonews” intended to amuse, educate and amaze, playing in the aforementioned “Grand Panoply of Historical Events. Come Back Tomorrow, it’ll be different!
Why am I doing this for free? This kind of column/segment/podcast/feature is something I have enjoyed doing professionally, both on Radio and on Television. Currently the economy and circumstance prevent me from doing this for a living in those media. But with the evolution of easy-to-reach technology, I’ve decided to do it myself regardless of support. (And the sound quality of the feature is an ever-evolving element. I’m doing it without even a shoestring budget using stone tools and mostly freeware. I figure it’s part of the charm)
Everybody is selling things to other people, as if that were an end in itself. I want to make something, instead, so here it is. I enjoy doing this, and I am doing it for its own sake. If you like it, I’m thrilled, tell your friends. Tell people you don’t know, even. If you know someone who has the magical power to make a website go viral, by all means, tell that person. Tell everyone.
I have (nearly a year and a half in) established a donation button on the front page, the “Totally Optional Donation Option.” It’s a paypal link. Should you decide, in a rapture of historic whimsy inspired by one of my entries, to offer financial support to the Almanac of Absurdities, that button will enable you to do so. You’ll be able to do so quickly and easily, so there is a chance that the donation might be completed before you reconsider, which is one of the great operational secrets of all internet commerce, but I’m off the subject. Donations of any size and magnitude will be gratefully accepted. Five Cents, Five Bucks, or a Foundation Grant to Operate for Five Years…or any increment in between. The money would go towards new equipment…I could use an updated USB Audio Interface, and better microphones are always a gauzy dream, as well as an improved pair of monitor headphones, which would help me hear what should be heard when I’m mixing. Or, Hell, someday even a copy of Protools, and a box fast enough to run it on. And there are also always the very popular ways to spend money, like fending off starvation, maintaining a survivable shelter, and keeping that old Mazda running. But the fundamental basis of our donation policy is, as the label suggests…TOTALLY OPTIONAL. If you want to drop by every day and listen totally for free for the rest of your life…actually, that would be great, and I’d thank you, sincerely, for doing so, and bring your friends to do the same. On the other hand, if you feel like helping out with a couple of bucks because I told you something funny or amazing or unexpected, or gave you something to talk about in line at Starbucks…Then it’ll be easy to do it. But either way, It’s TOTALLY OPTIONAL. Guilt is not in my toolkit.
And if the Paypal approach is not to your taste, or you want to get in touch with me about that Foundation Grant, or that syndication deal that will make us both very comfortable financially while providing a true cultural service that so far has illuminated the lives of literally dozens of people, I have this means of communication: You may email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Name? I just wanted it to be easy to remember. Other feedback CAN be sent that way too, but imagine how disappointed I’ll be when I open it, and it’s not money. (Wait…that’s GUILT…can’t say that…)
Happy to Acknowledge many of the sound effects heard on The Audio Almanac are the work of Mike Koenig and Drum8. Many-to-most Musical Motifs are provided through the courtesy of Kevin MacLeod and Incompetech.Com Licensed under Creative Commons “Attribution 3.0″ http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/. This guy is really good, and exceptionally versitile, Thank you Kevin. Others sounds may be presented under the authority of the “Fairness Doctrine.” Still more sounds…an increasing number…are coming from Field Recordings of my own, as that is another of my pursuits in cheap digital audio.
Writing, mixing, editing and narration by the Blog Author.
You know what? (This section added at the time the Totally Optional Support Option was added, at about a year and a half into the project:) This has turned out to be one of the most fun hobbies I have ever taken on. This has aspects of Ham Radio, because I’m hearing from people all over the world who are listening to my academically suspect retellings of history and, in large part, seeming to enjoy them, instantaneously and, literally, globally. At the same time, I’m doing what I have always enjoyed, working with sound, writing and editing and being a smart ass. I’m learning much more about digital production every day, and more about history, and being surprised by the past every day when I go looking for a story for you. All things I enjoy. So doing this for myself is already a payoff. I’m just trying to keep it going, and make it better. But I’m not changing my email address.
(email@example.com. All One Word. All One Idea. )