Not Cover Story – Introduction

Hi. I’m Conrad.


Hello, Kakos Industries listeners. If you haven’t gone much further than this podcast feed, than you probably haven’t heard too much from me as a person. I also realize that it can be kind of difficult to introduce myself effectively after more than five years, but we’ll try. I should say that listening to this is totally optional. If you’re not interested in knowing anything about me, then you can skip this without issue. I will also say that I do not believe there are any topics in this that require a warning, but there’s some personal stuff, so it’s totally understandable if you’re not in the mood right now. Future installments may require warnings, so please check the description of the episode if there’s anything you’re on the lookout for. I’ll try to keep those updated if I miss anything when I’m writing or recording.

Hi. I’m Conrad Miszuk. I make Kakos Industries, and now The Never Rad Miscellany. Numbers are difficult to get for podcasts, but Kakos Industries has around 10,000 active listeners at any given time. That number could be a lot bigger, and only a little bit smaller. We’ve been nominated for several awards over the years, including the Audio Verse Awards and the Parsec Awards. You have to pay to enter the Webbies so we left that alone. I have several other projects in the works as well. This is one of them. I admit that I don’t usually share that listener number too much. For people that aren’t involved in stuff like this, it seems really big. For people who might know differently, there’s a lot bigger stuff out there. 10,000 subscribers used to put you in the top one percent of podcasting. It might still. But there’s a lot of podcasts out there. I think the numbers thing is so hard because it gives an exact number to your reach as a creator. I struggled a little bit not to put “value” there in place of reach. While I think most creative types are satisfied not to have the following of those huge e-sports names on YouTube because of the sacrifices that come with being that, talking about your numbers still makes you vulnerable to comparison. 

Hi, I’m Conrad Miszuk. I make podcasts. I watched that one Ted Talk about finding your life’s purpose and I arrived at helping other people to feel less alone. Of course, that’s what a lot of us on the Internet do. Let’s Plays on YouTube or Twitch streams serve the same function. Someone being beamed into your house or wherever to make you feel less alone. I would say something about the growing disconnection of society, but I’m not sure that’s actually true. It’s just one of those things people say. I make Kakos Industries because it’s weird, but I think it also says some important things that need saying, or at least reaffirming. It was perhaps a strange choice choosing Evil as the subject matter, and I have to be honest it’s been less fun to write about Evil since reality became stranger than fiction. People sometimes tell me that they fall asleep to this podcast. I take that responsibility seriously, though I’m probably not going to stop making weird abrupt sounds. I’ve been considering tagging the episodes that don’t have any to make it easier for people to fall asleep if that’s what they’re going for. I love that people listen to my work for comfort. I’ve used so many different pieces of media for comfort in my life that it feels good to return the favor.

Hi, I’m Conrad Miszuk. People sometimes ask me about my sexuality, etcetera. Okay, maybe just the one time. So I’m an ostensibly straight, ostensibly white, ostensibly cis man. That is the way that the world sees me, and I do little to challenge that view. I’m 30 years old. You can rest assured I probably have at least one unfortunate opinion that I have never examined. I do think about my identity in those regards a lot when I’m creating. Really, I think we’ve reached peak neurotic white guy, and sometimes I wonder if I really have something new to say, or if I just think I do because it’s part of the whole neurotic white guy schtick. I try to learn a lot, and I try to have complex, nuanced opinions on things, but I don’t always get it right. I change my mind. I improve. I do my best.

Hi, I’m Conrad Miszuk. I have anxiety and depression and obsessive tendencies that have been present my entire life. My earliest memories are of panic attacks I had as a child, and of ridicule from those around me who didn’t understand what was happening or how to deal with it. I felt like a burden almost immediately because I could tell what I was experiencing wasn’t normal, but it just kept happening. I’ve been on around half of the anti-depressants that are out there, which is enough of them to pretty much rule them all out for me. My therapist, who I see on a weekly basis, tells me that something like 20% of people are unresponsive to anti-depressants, but I think he might just be trying to make me feel better. I think it’s funny saying that I have these issues. I know it’s the preferred terminology, but it takes all of the energy out of the situation. I may have anxiety and obsessive issues, but I feel fucking nuts. I think I identify with “fucking nuts” more than I identify with “anxiety”. Anxiety is a medical issue, “fucking nuts” is when you have an idea so stuck in your head that the only way you think you might be able to get it out of your head is with a hand axe, or an ice pick, or a chunk of metal moving at roughly two times the speed of sound. I feel like I have to add that I’m okay. I’m not a danger to myself or anyone else. Saying that itself is a learned response for sure. But I mean it. I’m getting along. The number of bad days fluctuates, but there are good days to celebrate. I’ve been in therapy for around ten years straight, or it would have been if I could have afforded it during a lot of that time. I can’t afford it now, but at least I get it for free. I always recommend therapy to people, but you might be inclined to ask the question why things haven’t improved in ten years if it works so well and I would struggle to argue with you. I think as I’ve grown older I’ve grown more comfortable with the idea that this is just me and it’s not supposed to change. But that doesn’t make the hard days any easier. If you’re listening to this and you’re in a dark place, please get help. I’ll trust you to know what that means.

Hi, I’m Conrad. I’m a graduate of Arizona State University, Summa Cum Laude, and Barrett, the Honors College at ASU. I have a degree in Film and Media Production. I have two years experience as a professional Television Editor, and more than five years experience as an audio editor. I am proficient in Final Cut, Adobe Premiere, After Effects, Motion, Ableton Live, Reason, Microsoft Word, WordPress, and Compressor. I can record and direct professional voice overs for you or your business. I am an electronic music composer, a podcasting consultant, a videographer, a graphic designer, a web designer, a social media guru, and a field recordist. I speak English and Spanish and I have a US Passport. My miscellaneous skills include playing the bass guitar and drums, venue sound, and soldering hobby electronics. I would be a valuable member of your team, and I appreciate the opportunity. Thank you for your time.

Hi, I’m Conrad, I’m six-foot-two, and I am single. I like dancing, binging Netflix or YouTube, and that thing where your significant other lays on your back and the weight of their body feels like an extra hug. I got out of an eight year relationship around two years ago, so I have no idea how to date anymore. I don’t want anything super serious because the thought of settling down again makes my palms sweat and my eyes well up. I wonder if I’ll be able to love again, not because my ex was so wonderful, but because a part of my brain actively seeks out and exaggerates and obsesses over the flaws of anyone I get close to. It’s difficult not to when I know how long something can last even when it’s not quite working. And I don’t want to do that again. I’ve got a lot of experience at being in relationships, and if I’m being totally honest, people who haven’t had longer than a three month relationship in the last decade kind of scare me. My dating profile here used to be a kind of choose your own adventure story because I was trying to be unique, but that wasn’t working either. I’m starting to think that I might be somewhere on the demisexual spectrum, so I would really prefer to be friends first and see what happens from there. If I had to describe my perfect relationship, I would have to say it might involve being kidnapped by a coven of witches that like to keep a boy around for occasional entertainment. But like, real witches, not jade-egg-in-vagina witches. Actually, scrap the witches and make them a band of space pirates. For what it’s worth, I’ve never taken a picture of my penis and I don’t plan to. Send me a phrase you don’t think has ever been said before.

Hi, I’m Conrad and I have chronic pain. I can’t remember exactly when it started, but a few things were going wrong in my life in college and I tried to compensate with yoga. I think that was a bad idea. I’ve had such frequent headaches that I don’t think I can remember what it feels like to have no pain in my head at all. I have back pain and neck pain. Sometimes the pain just seems to be everywhere. I’ve had a doctor use the term fibromyalgia, but I’m not sure if it was a diagnosis. The relationship of my pain to my mental health issues, and also to my allergies, is complicated and it makes finding a solution complicated. I’ve recently had some good luck with physical therapy. The times when I’m not actively in pain, though, feel less “good” and more like there’s something there I can’t feel just waiting to come back. Pain is just the worst.

Hi, My name is Conrad and I have no idea what I’m doing with my life. I have a lot of friends that are relatively put together with real jobs that require meetings and pay actual money that they can use on things like housing and self-sufficiency. Some of them are even having kids or at least thinking about it. I went a different way. I think when I started Kakos Industries in 2014 at the ripe old age of 24, I had hoped that it would take off to be such a huge success that I would have so many other opportunities and jobs that I would be carried to greater and greater heights by my talent. I thought that whatever Night Vale had done right, I had done better and people would see that soon enough. Obviously, there was a lot I didn’t know and a lot I needed to learn. I have grown really skeptical of young successful people. There is just so much that they cannot possibly know that someone just out of view must be helping or pulling the strings entirely. I don’t think that I imagined that I would be 30 and doing the exact same thing I was doing at 24 or 25. I don’t think I ever really imagined I would be thirty. I’ve heard this sentiment before from people I follow, that when you’re young and depressed the future seems like it’s never really going to happen to you. You don’t have the most specific idea what will keep you from it, but just the vague sense that you won’t be thirty, or forty, or fifty, or ninety-nine. But every day you make the same deal with the cosmos. One more day doesn’t seem so bad. Maybe things will be better in three days. And those days add up. And you can find yourself suddenly middle-aged, or just shy of middle-aged. Or ninety-nine. And you can get there without knowing what the hell you’re doing.

Hi, I’m Conrad. I care. I really care. I care about things being good. I care about being a useful member of society. I care about bettering myself and helping others to better themselves. I’m not in this, whatever this is, simply for the attention. I’m here because I want to make something worth making. I want to leave behind something worth remembering. I want to inspire and to collaborate. I want to be useful and helpful. I want things to be less shit for everyone. I want you listening to this to be okay. I want you to be happy. I want you to have a good life. I am frustrated to no end by the people who find contentment in this mess. There is so much wrong, and so much that needs fixing, and so much that desperately needs to change. 

I’m Conrad Miszuk, and I approve this message. Drug users shouldn’t be in jail. Prohibition kills. You shouldn’t have to go completely bankrupt to get healthcare, or never ever try to improve your life to receive assistance. Money we spend on education today is money we don’t have to spend on police and prisons tomorrow. Drone strikes create terrorists. If we are really proud of our country, we shouldn’t let anyone in it go hungry. How we do elections is probably going to be one of the biggest issues of the next fifty years whether we realize it or not.

Hi, I’m Conrad Miszuk, and this is not free of artifice. I wrote these words. I looked them over several times. I added. I subtracted. I read them into a microphone, stopping to do additional takes if I made mistakes. The emotion was probably more authentic in draft one than now. I could be acting for all you know. I edited these words together and paced things out. I chose to say these things. You might choose to wonder why. Are my motivations pure? Can motivations ever be pure? Can anything be so simple?

Hi, I’m Conrad. Thank you for listening.

6 comments to “Not Cover Story – Introduction”

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  1. Thank you Conrad! I wish I could write you a note as beautiful as yours this week to express how Kakos has been there in my ear over the years. This week especially, I listened and felt less alone. I am okay and hope you are too.

  2. <3 I deeply appreciate your emotional honesty. I'm an old lady now but I remember very similar situations/issues and the pain and confusion they wrought. It would be nice af if, when we did our best, things worked out right and people cared about others. Especially those whose decisions affect so many. You are incredibly talented and I ♥️ Kakos Industries.

  3. Hi Conrad, your show is amazing and you try your best to make your show in a way that is powerful to me and many many other.

    But please don’t take this as a burden. But as a collective we love you.

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