American Cliche #256

I’m typing this from the warm dry confines of my office in Santa Barbara. It’s been sort of a gloomy week here, but with all the crazy winter weather happening around the country, I shouldn’t complain. One thing I’ve been thinking all week was a comment left by Jeff Shaw on last week’s episode. I’ve been pondering my response and I’ll share that with you this week.

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Also on the Show:

* Woman Coughs Out Surgical Scissors
* Japan Suspends Whale Hunt Temporarily

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24 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Jim

    I really tried to give Peikoff and Objectivism a chance when you first started advertising them late last year. I listened to dozens of podcasts and even read halfway through Atlas Shrugged.

    Unfortunately, that book is really just a drawn out “straw man” argument (where Rand represents those who have opposing philosophies to her own in such an underhanded way, and only presents her side of the argument in a favorable light). I truly don’t understand how it has such a strong following.

    I also considered the Objectivism/Egoisom philosophy that Peikoff and Rand support, but ultimately rejected it. I do agree with the philosphy’s view on individual property rights, and a “hands off” government. However, Peikoff’s view regarding the individual is taken to the extreme–to the point that he basically asserts man’s purpose is to look out only for himself. To me, this is not only cold and heartless, but it suppresses what I think it means to be human. We are people that were meant to live as a community, to thrive in an environment where we help each other. Charity should certainly not be a goverment mandate, but our world would be a much worse place if everyone was completely interested in his own affairs at the expense of his fellow men.

    I think a healthy balance between the extremes of Rand’s Individualism and Marx’s Socialism is a more prudent philosophy. No one can be forced to help others–it has to stem from a geniune desire to share one’s blessings with his fellow men. But at some point in our lives we are all dependent on the charity and kindness of others. And I believe Rand’s philosphy would ultimately do more harm to the individual she is advocating.

    That’s my perspective anyways!

  2. Jim,

    Thanks for your comment. Good to hear from you. It’s been awhile.

    I can’t disagree with anything you’re saying. Mainly because you’ve obviously taken a much deeper dive on this concept than I have. I learned more about Leonard’s philosophy reading your comment than I had during the multi-month relationship I’ve had with his company.

    I don’t necessarily agree with his thinking, but as a sponsor of this show, I appreciate what he’s doing for independent media and respect his individual view of the world.

    Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.


  3. Chad Ball

    Hey Scott…just a quick note re: hiatus and your time.

    I am going to assume that the guy (Jeff, I think?) that gave you a hard time about your hiatus is on his own. Obviously, a lot of us love your show, viewpoints, chat, etc., and yeah — I’m disappointed when it isn’t there. But I would also assume that 99% of us also realize the reality of the situation for you.

    Listen, you don’t need me to tell you to ignore the bulls*** that some people deal, but I would pretty surprised if this guy’s opinion is a wild exception.

    Best of luck with your work, both paid and not-so-paid.

    High fives from Eastern Canada.


  4. Chad Ball

    …and obviously, I need to re-read my posts before I hit submit. I meant to say that I would be surprised if the opinion was NOT an exception. Sorry. Glad I caught that.

  5. Barbara

    Perfectly stated, Chad. I couldn’t agree more. I’m pretty sure that I can speak for most of your fans from Santa Barbara and say that we have your back :) .

  6. love the whale wars. We’ve been watching since season one. We know Paul’s friend Peter from season one from cape cod.

  7. Thanks all for the comments. It’s great to get some more rounded feedback.


  8. Re: Jeff’s comment:

    I agree that his comment was worded douchily, but I can understand where he’s coming from. The boundary between your marketing job and the approach to the show is blurred more than most podcasters, who are in it as a hobby and would continue no matter what kind of money or sponsorship they make. There becomes an expectation that all content on the internet is (and should be) free and on schedule, no matter how much effort or work is put into it.

    The most patronising part – “Think bigger!” – might be from the misguided notion that you owe us, the audience, as our listener-ship gives you popularity and legitimacy allowing you to have sponsors and make money (for what Jeff assumes you would do for free anyway). Instead it’s the other way round, where we owe you for many years of free content.

    Disclaimer: I don’t agree with Jeff, so don’t hate on me please :)

  9. Jeff S

    Geeze guys!

    Think bigger was supposed to mean that I want MORE shows. It was supposed to be inspirational for Scott to give us more, not less.

    Douchily, really?

    At no point did I hurl an insult. Nor will I.

  10. Chad Ball

    …but you definitely inspired conversation. Nice to have new material in this forum.

  11. Missy J

    Hey Scott!
    I’m not going to address Jeff’s comments but I’ll just share my perspective as far as shows go. I mainly listen to podcasts at work, I’m a graphic designer and I like to zone out on them while I’m making things look pretty. I subscribe to a lot of different podcasts, Keith and the Girl, Smodcast, a bunch from the How Stuff Works network… and of course American Cliche (which is probably my favorite). There are so many podcasts out there and I have a hard time staying caught up on the ones I already have, I’m pretty much OCD about it. I love that AC is only a half hour show, you pack so much good information into it and I don’t have to listen to you ramble on about anything I’m not interested in like some of the shows out there. It’s always a treat to find a new AC in my iTunes but I don’t get angry or disappointed when there isn’t one. I know that it takes a lot of your time and that you aren’t compensated like you should be. It’s obviously something you do because you like to, it’s sort of a hobby. If someone was up my ass about sculpting or one of my other hobbies it would take some of the fun away in doing it so I hope people stay off your back and have a better understanding now. Have a great week and as always, thanks for the show.

  12. Rod

    Dear friend:

    I believe your listener is obviously a regular listener and finds great value in your program.

    I do think the “Think Bigger” comment was cryptic and unhelpful.

    As a consumer, I would rather have 90% of value than 0% of no value.

    I really think this is more about your listener than you.

    To your listener:
    Providing a more honest comment, that speaks to your specific need, would be a wonderful beginning.


  13. Matt Armstrong

    Hi Scott,

    I just wanted to add my voice to those above. I absolutely dont begrudge you missing episodes when life prevails or sponsorship isn’t there.

    Fingers crossed on people come forward to continue to support the show.

  14. Karsten

    hey there – about constructive critisism – thought your last show was boring as hell – sorry for being honest. take care:-) , karsten

  15. Karsten,

    How is that constructive? Clearly you don’t comprehend the term. That was you just being an unhelpful troll.

    Sorry to take up 30 minutes of your life that you’ll never get back. You should do us both a favor and stop listening.

    Take care :)


  16. Karsten

    wow what the hell is your problem? Jeeze I’ve been listening to your show and have even donated to your program… I just thought the last episode was boring as hell. Who cares if it’s constructive critisism or not. Apparently you need people to stroke your ego. Not a big suprise for an advertising professional… So you sure I have no problem in not listening to your show – jerk

  17. Karsten,

    You insult me, yet I’m the jerk?

    Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the fact that you’ve donated, but don’t think that gives you free reign to insult me and expect that I lay there and take it.

    I don’t need my ego stroked. I invite meaningful dialogue every time I do this show. Comment on a story. Tell me my view of something is wrong and tell me why you think so – That is part of a helpful and productive conversation. But, telling me my show is “boring as hell” is not helpful in the least.


  18. Jeff S


    Lots of discussion. Jerk is a fun insult, but a bit droll.
    I prefer boob, sap, chump, as-swipe, dick or if you don’t mind the Bard’s approach “cream faced loon” or “lilly livered swine”

    I reserve all of them, but Scott deserves none.

    I have been pondering my “think bigger” quip.

    When I look back, I was really thinking that Scott Parent and American Cliche was going to blossom into something that was more mass media.
    I guess that I was sort of expecting that the show was going to become a segment on MSN or NPR.
    With the coverage around show number 250, I kind of expected it to rocket up to the level that we would no longer have a grass roots show. That seems to be how success usually goes. So my criticism was based on a fantasy assumption that Scott was going to go corporate.

    Think bigger was a mental sway toward that goal.

    Now that I rethink it… screw that.

    I do not want AC to become something where SP is unapproachable. No way.

    I never was interested in insulting Scott, but he DID respond to my post. There is no way that Anderson Cooper or Glenn Beck would do that.

    Oh yeah, I got mustard on my green American Cliche tee shirt the other day…


  19. Lupe

    Hello Scott,

    I love listening to your show. In the last few years my life has steered me away from being able to listen to your show each week. I enjoy the show when I have the time available to do so.

    I fully understand that your life comes first and without sponsorship you are unable to do this show. If people are not able to understand that, I feel sorry for them. I don’t think anyone would donate 7 weeks each year, time away from their child, to give us what you do.

    Thank you.

  20. Karsten

    ähm to refresh your memory… all I said befor you “flipped out” was “hey there – about constructive critisism – thought your last show was boring as hell – sorry for being honest. take care:-) , karsten”

    So what is the problem with that jeeze I mean dude lighten up some shows are good and some are bad (from my point of view” What do oyu want me to do write an essay on every point that I thought was boring?! You should be able to take the statement as it is or do you really think that us listeners just absolutely adore you and we would never say otherwise?? come on… anyway you know I like most of your show but jeeze take critisism with a grain of salt – if you put yourself out ther then you should expect people to say I liked that or not without having to tell you in minute details why or why not.

    no hard feelings try to lighten up a bit…

  21. Karsten,

    I’m responding to this against my better judgment, since I’ve already said what needs to be said in my last post. I don’t need my ego stroked.

    I do welcome all opinions and want discussion. What I don’t want and don’t need frankly is someone that comes here hurling insults without adding anything to the conversation.

    It’s easy to yell insults at people from the cheap seats without having to back anything you say up. It’s also lazy.

    It’s a lot harder to instead step into the spotlight and engage in meaningful dialogue with someone about why you think they are wrong or off-course. If you don’t see the difference between those two approaches than I can’t help you.


  22. Jeff,

    Thanks for your last comment. I haven’t meant to ignore it. I’ve just had lots of stuff on my plate of life and AC stuff has taken a back seat for a bit.

    To address your point about the show blowing up and becoming a segment on NPR or MSN. I’m flattered that you have such a high opinion of what I do, but that’s never going to happen. This show had it’s day in the sun for a year on Sirius. I don’t ever see it going beyond that. As for the coverage of show 250 you mentioned – well I assume you’re referring to what I said about it in a following episode. That was sarcasm my friend. The 250th episode wasn’t covered anywhere – it was just me being silly.

    I’m never going to be unapproachable to people. I actually hold this community very close to my heart. I appreciate those of you that listen to the show and take the time to comment and make contributions. I realize I’ve had to put it aside at times while I focused on bringing in sponsorship, but hey, that’s part of business.

    I’m hoping to be back with a new set of shows in April if the stars line up.

    Have a great weekend all.


  23. You insult me, yet I’m the jerk?

    Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the fact that you’ve donated, but don’t think that gives you free reign to insult me and expect that I lay there and take it.

    I don’t need my ego stroked. I invite meaningful dialogue every time I do this show. Comment on a story. Tell me my view of something is wrong and tell me why you think so – That is part of a helpful and productive conversation. But, telling me my show is “boring as hell” is not helpful in the least.

  24. Just a quick update for those that care:

    Hope you’re all well.


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