[joe-frank-list] Re: RE: Ira Glass etc (Steve Schneider)

Levent ghastly_fop at yahoo.com
Tue Feb 20 11:27:49 PST 2007

I think you nailed it, Sam.  
I listen to TAL all the time, and I desperately WANT
to love it, or even like it.  But time and time again,
I find myself either wanting more, wanting to be
surprised and/or moved, or just being flat-out
disappointed by what I've just heard.
There's this defensive kind of smugness at work in TAL
-- a kind of "I'm better than you" smugness coupled
with a "Don't hit me!" wimpiness.

--- Sam Holland <sam.holland at gmail.com> wrote:

> I don't think Ira Glass could fairly be called
> derivative except in
> the broadest possible sense, but his show is much
> less interesting
> than Joe Frank's. I often have conversations with
> people who are fans
> of This American Life--I don't know anyone who
> listens to NPR who
> doesn't at least claim to be a listener--and they're
> always very
> enthusiastic, and they want to talk about the show,
> and talk about
> what a visionary radio producer Ira Glass is. And I
> always tell them
> that I think This American Life is boring by
> comparison.
> TAL is "safe" in the way that NPR is "safe." At
> least--and I might be
> completely wrong on this--the way I perceive it:
> that even when
> addressing dark or unsettling subject matter, I
> never lose the sense
> that I'm listening to the voice of reason, the
> authoritative tone. Am
> I talking out of my ass? And on Joe Frank's show,
> anything could
> happen. Reason is abandoned. I might be listening to
> an entire
> episode's worth of lunatic ranting. The only thing
> I'm really sure of
> is that it's going to be either sixty or thirty
> minutes long. I don't
> get that from Ira Glass. And I don't really feel
> that Glass is an
> artist so much as an editor or curator, presiding
> over the
> storytelling equivalent of Sound and Spirit.

The fish are biting. 
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