Week 4 2/7/18
Peter Laufer is a master of the room. This class has already offered an invaluable perspective from graduates of the J-school. Having a theatrical old-time radio man just broadens the panorama from which to survey the soundscape.
Learned about the stinger—da-da-daht, da-da-daht—and explored pacing via Paul Harvey.
“The Rest of the Story” is, according to Laufer, “one big carnival trick.” The storytelling is so good, however, is doesn’t matter if the end is a flop.
Further thoughts on the “Better off Dead” podcast…
This was extremely difficult to listen to. Especially considering I have someone close to me receiving a bone marrow transplant for leukemia as I type.
That being said, I am very curious how Denton was able to so intimately access this dying woman. His sensitivity without being pitying and his ability to inject (often gallows) humor without hesitation helped to ease tension and to break any barriers that lay between the interviewer and the interviewee, either of which might hold back for propriety’s sake.
Liz was a very strong woman and more interesting to me because I cannot relate to her situation. She faced death with grace and in a manner that I could not imagine.
Aubrey Bulkeley, “The Rest of the Story”
I never noticed how quickly Paul Harvey speaks while maintaining excellent pronunciation. And he still holds the gold standard for the pregnant pause. He really was a master at pacing.
I’m listening to these podcasts with a sense of nostalgia. My dad and I would listen to Paul Harvey on the way to his house when he’d pick me up for the weekend.
Paul Harvey’s point of view as the omniscient narrator, providing the perspective of each character, helps to build suspense.
I am curious who did the research on these stories. Heck, who even found these stories in the first place. Before the internet and before the Google machine at that!
Anna Glavash, “Heroin Stories”
Again, I am curious how host Jack Rodolico was able to get such uninhibited access to this woman with such a harrowing story.
Jennifer Couzins must be at least a year or two removed from this because she is able to maintain so much calm telling this story. Or maybe the emotional moments were edited out.
I understand Daniel Couzins’ desire to turn it off. This is why people drink, smoke, snort as well as meditate, run marathons and dive into freezing rivers: life’s tough.
This podcast hits close to home. When I left for college, many of my friends who stayed behind were beginning to experiment with harder drugs in order to escape the monotony of suburban life. Some began dealing cocaine, others heavily using and some turned to Xanax and Oxycontin, which led them to heroine.
21-years-old and home for Christmas, I got the call that one of them was dead. He left behind a loving wife and a baby girl. It still kills me that there was not enough in our world to provide him with definition and purpose.
Becky Hoag, “Not My Job” from “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me”
In the segment, one of my favorite guest hosts, Paula Poundstone, gets to be a little too much.
Sagel always has excellent questions for guests. I’m curious who and how many people write those. They let the guest brag a bit, they needle the guest just enough and finally let them off the hook with an easy game. I am sure that people enjoy appearing on Wait, Wait because they usually end up sounding cool.
“Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” is one of my favorite shows. I actually went to a taping in Chicago at the Chase Bank Auditorium with my then girlfriend. The live, in studio guest was Senator Mark Warner from Virginia.
The show did not really deviate much from how it appears on the radio except that it ran a good deal longer and there was quite a bit of profanity from the guest hosts.
Peter Sagel is a master of moving the audience, goading us to let loose and moving on from topic to topic and piece to piece with enough speed to keep our attention.
At the end of the show, we were dismissed, but invited to stick around for a couple of retakes and some bonus material. Most people, including ourselves, stuck around.
Carolyn, “The Conversation with Jason Campbell and Henrietta Gilland”
(Not everybody has iTunes access at home, especially those of us with Chromebooks. There’s other places that this story is linked. Let’s try to provide a universal URL next time.)
I couldn’t care less about this topic. Not putting anybody’s interests down as sports are my frivolous pursuit, but I don’t care to consider what defines beauty. (This brings up an interesting point, which I’ll address later.)
While I am on a critical track, I’m not sure if it’s the aesthetic that the hosts are going for, but it seems like they could try harder to make the production value better. It doesn’t take much to staple a foam sheet to the wall.
Jason and Henrietta are right to point out that the definition of beauty in the fashion world has expanded to include a variety of body types and skin colors and backgrounds. That’s nice because that’s how the whole human race already works.
Kind of funny that the Kardashians might have had a positive effect on culture by making big butts and full bodies more in vogue. I don’t mind that heroine chic has taken a back seat. I don’t find twigs attractive and I always felt for young women who felt like they had to starve themselves to be attractive.
It’s interesting that makeup, hair extensions, etc. are such an ingrained part of black femininity. I never observed this, but it’s obvious after the hosts point it out. And it’s cool that that sense of having to doll up so much as a black woman is receding with women like Alicia Keys who embrace their natural beauty.
As a man, I prefer women who wear little to no makeup as it is. It is curious how much popular culture and other women define what women should look like and what beauty is. Why does everyone have to get waxed, for example? Who decided that? Most guys I know, myself included, prefer that women present themselves as women, not trimmed, waxed, dolled up augmented beings…