The voice and opinion you hear each week is that of Dana Sciandra, the host of ‘Stimulated Boredom’.
Impassioned, sarcastic, opinionated, tangential and often times goofy; Dana brings his unique perspective to whatever topic he decides to discuss. Whether it’s politics, history, science, social commentary and news…or video games, emerging technology, movies and music…listeners can rest assured that he has an opinion on all of it!
Q: Why did you start ‘Stimulated Boredom’?
“The early seeds of the program were originally sown by the 1990 movie, “Pump up the Volume”. In the movie, a disenfranchised teen starts a pirate radio station in which he is able to say whatever he wants and – to his surprise – realizes he has garnered a loyal following of listeners. I always found this concept appealing, the idea of saying what is on your mind – and being organic / conversational – without the limitations of regulations, overproduction and/or censorship.
I started the program back in 2005 as a reaction to my frustration with the 2004 Presidential election and needing a place to vent. I found that my friends and family were getting tired of my incessant need to express my opinion and debate…and setting up stuffed animals to listen to my rants proved to be…well, creepy. In my nightmares, I can still see their cold black plastic eyes staring blankly back at me…*shiver*…but I digress.
At the polite suggestion of a friend, (“Dude, you need your own talk show…now, for the love of Jesus and Baby Jesus, shut the hell up!”) I began to look into ways to realize my own ‘pirate radio’ station.”
“It was a massive success…I’ll be accepting my Peabody Award next month, not to mention a Tony Award for the Broadway adaptation.”
“Fine. I began the show using a basic headset microphone and a laptop. The first show was roughly 45 minutes long, however I don’t recall much of it, as I have repressed that memory.
In all honesty, I broke my one (self-imposed) Cardinal Rule on that first show. I had convinced myself that I would not be able to talk straight through an entire show – without editing – therefore I would record 5-10 minutes that I was pleased with, stop, then record another 5-10 minutes…later editing all of the ‘snipets’ together into one ‘seamless’ 45 minute show.
Despite my chagrin relating to that first show, to my surprise (drum roll please) people started listening and emailing me with their comments and feedback almost immediately! I was hooked from that moment on. I also resolved to take a, ‘hit RECORD and go’ approach to every show that followed…meaning I would always record in one sitting (resulting in numerous mason jars filled with urine), with no post-production edits, no pauses…just an organic conversation, imperfections and all, just as any conversation between normal people would go.
To my delight, this remains one of the most common comments I’ll receive from listeners…that they like the show because of how organic and conversational / accessible it feels, that the program is not overproduced and trying to pretend it’s something it is not, that they (listeners) feel like they know me personally.
This loyalty will come in handy when I enact my master plan for World domin…wait…I’ve said too much.”
Q: What Political Affiliation Are You?
“I am a staunch Independent. In regard to discussing topics on the show, I am neither liberal, conservative, libertarian, moderate or progressive. As should be the case with any intelligent human being who is contemplating the complexities of domestic, foreign and social issues, I am in fact all of these descriptions…the adjective that best describes my stance is wholly contingent upon the individual topic or issue…not a broad based and naïve acceptance of all of the planks of a particular parties platform or ideology. There seems to be an abysmal divide between accuracy and ideology. However, let there be no mistake, as I am a deeply opinionated and passionate person who stresses being informed and seeing all sides of the debate, including the right and ability to change my mind. A virtue that appears to be lost in today’s ‘my team versus your team’ political environment…”
CLICK HERE for more on my personal politics
Q: Why No Co-host(s)?
“I have tried. Twice. The short of it is that it can be difficult to try to produce a show with another person when the level of commitment, dedication, topics of interest and time are not perfectly aligned.
Not to mention that Grandma (first co-host) kept falling asleep and wetting herself during long sessions.
Lazy, damp whore. I’m glad she’s dead.”
Q: What Makes You Qualified To Host a Talk Show?
“Ask your Mom”
Q: That Doesn’t Even Make Sense
To answer your “question” (more like liberal media “hit-job”): Absolutely nothing.
Honestly, I am just a guy with a lot of interests and opinions who has been told that I have an interesting way of looking at and talking about things. I have been described (by people that I pay) that I, “Know a lot about a little and a little about a lot”.
I am a student of human behavior and have a tremendous amount of experiences throughout my life that inform my opinions. I love debate and the integral aspect of looking at all sides of an issue before forming an opinion. I am a voracious reader and love to learn new things. I like to stay informed about the World around me and am passionate about being engaged. I put a premium on being accurate, even if it doesn’t support my personal belief on a subject (I don’t shape information to fit a particular narrative)…I just try to make clear what the different arguments are, what my opinion is and how I came to that opinion.
If you like what you hear, great. If you don’t, you can shut off the show and go back to coloring because you are probably too stupid to understand what I’m talking about anyway.”
Q: You Sound Angry
“Go fuck yourself…
…speaking of which, where *is* your Mom? Next question.”
Why The Name, “Stimulated Boredom”?
“I was trying to come up with a name that would encapsulate the wide diversity of topics that interest me personally and that I would want to talk about. At the same time, I did not want the show to take itself too seriously by pretending to be or emulating other talk shows. Since the show would cover so many random discussions, ideas and opinions (i.e. cell phones, elections, third-rail issues, history, science, religion, news, my hatred of the Dutch…those smug clog-wearing bastards etc), ‘Stimulated Boredom’ was the perfect name. It’s a nice purposeful oxymoron, meant to denote that it’s something stimulating to listen to when you’re bored…each topic is discussed in such a way that the listener comes away with a clear understanding or new opinions and ideas to consider for themselves.
The show easily transitions from the serious to the silly at any given time with the intent to always entertain and educate at the same time. Whether it is a complex and detailed discussion of WWII, The Big Bang Theory, Stem Cell research, Natural Selection or Socio-economic policy…or a lighter topic such as movies, music, relationships or video games.”
Q: Do You Swear On The Show?
But, “uncensored” does not necessarily translate to profane, but that opinions and comments (including language) are not influenced by FCC regulations or sponsors and therefore can be truthful, direct, honest, impassioned and thought provoking.”
Q: How Has The Show Changed Over The Years?
“You mean other than it originally being about scrap-booking?
I would say that the show has evolved, but has always maintained it’s core principles: organic, conversational, unedited, well-informed, entertaining, educational and/or interesting. When I originally started the show, I wasn’t 100% certain exactly what it would be and what I would discuss. Therefore in the earlier shows I tried different ‘bits’, incorporating sound effects or audio clips to comment on etc. Other than that, the only other changes have been in hardware (better microphone, software, increased technical proficiency etc) and show length.
At one point, the show was upwards of 15+ hours per week! I am pretty sure that there is a mental condition named after people who can talk to themselves for that long. Over time, I have reduced the show length to a more manageable 3-5 hours a week in length. Doing 15+ hours is detrimental to your personal life, as it is pretty much a part-time job when you factor in recording and all of the technical things that need to be done before a show is launched each week.
But I think the program has settled into a ‘groove’ a long time ago and listeners always know what to expect.”
Q: Why Not Terrestrial Radio (AM/FM)? Why Internet Radio and Podcasts?
“I have actually been offered positions in FM radio, but this goes back to the original premise for my wanting to do the show…not to mention that AM/FM pays less than a part-time shift at Wendy’s.
The FCC does not regulate internet radio or podcasting, therefore I don’t feel constrained by advertisers, FCC regulations, station affiliations etc. I really just wanted something that allowed frank discussion and not having to think twice before saying something or have restrictions that might influence content. I would only consider satellite radio and have had multiple discussions regarding syndication of the show. We’ll see.”
Q: Do You Get Paid To Do The Show?
“Nope. But I do accept tips.
I get asked this a lot, especially why I put so much effort into something without compensation. The simple answer is that I enjoy it and to me it’s no different than putting countless hours into a hobby that you love. I am passionate about the things I talk about and the show is a great outlet for this.
If people want to support the show, they can either purchase show merchandise, donate through Paypal or buy the mobile apps…of which all money goes back into doing the program. However, I have no intention or inclination to make people pay to hear the show either.”
Q: What Do You Do For A Living?
“I am a Fluffer at the local bus stop glory hole. Understandably, it only offers dental benefits. Hahahaha! Get it?! Dental…Oral…hello? *cricket*”
Q: Lastly, What Are You Most Proud Of When It Comes To The Show?
“I would say that I am most proud about the way that it has grown over the years. The fact that it has listeners in all 50 states and over 100 countries still blows my mind…that people are willing to listen to my special brand of bullshit.
I still get a big kick when a new listener writes the show and mentions that they voted for the first time, became better informed or interested in a subject or are looking at a topic a little differently because of the program. Of everything, these have always been my favorite comments!
I also like the community that has developed around the show. Listeners getting in on the joke with other listeners, interacting with one another…this is always fun to be a part of. Because of emails read on the show or references to jokes made by or at the expense of me or another listener, I like that people feel a part of the show and with each other (group hug).
Ok, can I go now?”
Q: You Were Free to Leave at any Time, You’re the One Asking and Answering All of the Questions
“Oh, well in that case, go fuck myself.”