DeFlip Side #50: Gold and Diamond Jubilee

DS50.mp3

(NOTE: To avoid confusion, I decided to drop “Volume 2” from the cataloging of DeFlip Side segments on this site, though they’re still presented on the radio that way. Also, the myspace URL I mention in this episode is still active, but it now features links to this site. -CFD)

Welcome everyone. I’m Christopher DeFilippis and this is DeFlip Side.

Take out the party streamers and wake the kids! DeFlip Side celebrates not one but two milestones tonight: This segment marks both the 50th and 75th edition of DeFlip Side.

How can that be, you ask? Poor math skills? A rent in the fabric of reality? An accident with a contraceptive and a time machine? Well, yes, all of those things, but they had nothing to do with tonight’s joint gold and diamond jubilee.

No, for those of you who listen very carefully at the top of the shows which feature this segment, you’ve probably noticed that Howard always introduces it as DeFlip Side, Volume 2, Number so and so—fifty in this case. No doubt those same careful listeners have been scratching their heads low these four-plus years and saying, “But what happened to Volume One?”

Well, as all the dedicated DeFlip Side devotees—namely, Howard and me—already know, I began DeFlip Side way the hell back in the 20th Century as part of the now defunct First Light e-zine. When First Light closed up shop in 2001, Howard invited me to launch a second incarnation of DeFlip Side here on Destinies. And I have been droning on ever since.

But it was during my initial run at First Light that I began my monthly rants. I managed to eek out 25 columns before the walls fell. And now, here I am with 50 radio segments under my belt, and I’m still bitching. On the face of it, fifty shows seem like a lot, but it certainly doesn’t feel that way. And it begs the question: What the hell can I possibly have been talking about all this time?

I decided to find the answer. I looked back at the last fifty segments and broke them down, topic by topic. This means that I actually did math for you, so you damn well better pay attention:

It should come as no surprise to my regular listeners—if any do, in fact, exist—that a full 40 percent of my segments have been about books and writing. I was actually surprised that the percentage wasn’t higher.

The next biggest chunk of discussion has been devoted to television, 16 percent in all. And I’m proud to say that segments dealing with science fact come in a close third, at 14 percent. That includes advances in space exploration and reports on the state of NASA. It’s nice to know that it hasn’t been completely derivative.

The remaining shows have dealt in just about equal measure with movies, comics, exploration of the supernatural, fandom and discussions of the show itself, kind of like tonight’s segment. That’s two to three segments a piece.

But the bit of DeFlip Side esoterica I find most gratifying is that a full 8 percent of the segments—four in all—have been devoted to the history of Christmas and the real life origins of Jolly ol’ St. Nick. Claus is a gold mine of SF&F folklore!

A weird thing like that illustrates my favorite thing about DeFlip Side: if it’s on my mind, and I can find some kind of SF&F angle, then it’s fair game. Our genre is about so much more than hobbits and space battles. And I’m grateful to be able to go off on whatever quirky little tangents I want.

It’s this uniqueness and variety that makes radio my favorite electronic medium. I could so easily live without television, but I think I’d go crazy if I didn’t have a radio. Still, as much as I love both listening to and being on the radio, its biggest drawback is intangibility. If you miss a show, then it’s gone. That’s especially true for a show like Destinies, which hasn’t aired a rerun in its regular time slot for more than 15 years. I devote a fair amount of time to DeFlip Side, and I haven’t even heard all the broadcasts.

The Internet is changing this. A lot of shows are now archived online and some are even podcasting. So it is in this posterity-enhancing spirit that I have decided to cast my bread back on the digital waters. I am celebrating my 50th/75th anniversary by bringing DeFlip Side back to where it began. I have created an online DeFlip Side archive at www.myspace.com/deflipside.

There you’ll find all of my rants, starting with Vol. 1, No. 1, which I wrote back in 1998, right up to my most recent radio segment. Now this is nothing fancy; bottom line, I’m creating a blog that no one will read, to feature my radio show that no one listens to. But that doesn’t matter. You do something steadily for seven years and it’s bound to reach someone, somewhere (or anyway, I keep telling myself that). The website just provides another avenue to do so.

Fair warning: Many of the articles posted will be out of date; a few will express ideals to which I no longer subscribe; and it’ll probably take until early 2006 to get current, even if I post a few a week. But by that time, I hope to have audio files included. And since everyone and their brother is podcasting these days, there’s no reason I can’t get in on the act. Stay tuned.

And so the grand experiment continues. Whether this is your 50th episode or your first, I thank you for listening, and hope you’ll continue to do so, whether on air, online or on demand. Here’s to the next fifty.

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