When the pandemic receded enough that we could get in our car with dogs, SiriusXM, and our kids in the rearview mirror, we drove to South Carolina. Tina had endured the last year and almost another half while her mother languished with aging pets, her husband in an institution, and ultimately his death. As the miles melted away, we switched between MSNBC, the Beatles Channel and a mixtape of Soul, Steely Dan and Bill Withers.
For years we had dreamed of living anywhere, and now the pandemic had made our reality a shared reality. We’ll see how much this continues as companies try to find a way to combine this digital acceleration with a semblance of business life as we knew it. But by the time we got to the Charleston driveway, we were tired enough not to care much about how the captains of industry were going to do things.
We had calculated the trip for a Monday and arrive on a Thursday, three 16-hour days and then a day to rest before recording the next gang session. Instead, we left on Tuesday and arrived the evening before the meeting. Surprisingly, the combination. a three-hour time zone shift and simply recording on Zoom, two M1 Macs, and enough WiFi to get away with all added up to a relaxed session. I’ve been using the Blur mode on Zoom for a few months now, so everything felt almost normal. I was even allowed to joke with a few people who couldn’t tell exactly which coast we were on.
The dogs eagerly joined their summer booths, roamed the fenced back yard for a quick check, and then settled on our bed in strategic places around us. Our daughters fueled the Facetime video link with stories from friends and babies (our oldest is in her sixth month) and extended lives seemed possible. As reality entered, it somehow arrived with a gentleness we hope to get used to. Dinner with our youngest godparents was careful – no masks, but no hugs either – as we made our way to the next.
Our first show here was followed by a train wreck consisting of dueling and uncomfortable management couples. The show started jokingly when Brent Leary tried to apologize (kind of) for his comments on one of his shows about the Gillmor Gang. It seems, he joked, that our show was rudderless and was often a good opportunity to take a nap.
But then Brent said he hoped neither Tina nor I would watch the reel in real time, which of course I was too. Now I was both pissed off and actually more amused. Brent’s instincts lie somewhere between Harpo Marx’s brilliant silence and an unerring ability to push back a question that was supposed to prove that he was not preoccupied with a comment that not only proved that it was him but that he preferred not to add anything say. Brilliant, devastating and friendly at the same time. So I used the moment to call him and say that of course I’m watching.
In the next gang recording session, there were Brent’s repeated attempts to apologize, or at least explain, but I kept interrupting him. The result was a fun but diffuse start to the show that turned into a debate about social media and the First Amendment that we often cannot avoid. As usual, no light was shed and the show remains unpublished.
from the Gillmor Gang newsletter
The Gillmor Gang – Frank Radice, Michael Markman, Keith Teare, Denis Pombriant, Brent Leary and Steve Gillmor. Recorded live on Friday, June 25, 2021.
Produced and directed by Tina Chase Gillmor @tinagillmor
@fradice, @mickeleh, @denispombriant, @kteare, @brentleary, @stevegillmor, @gillmorgang
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