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

Tom McDonald awkwardgrace at yahoo.com
Tue Feb 20 12:00:49 PST 2007

Yep, I feel exactly the same kind of things as Levent and Sam. Well said. 
But there's lots to praise in TAL as well. It might seem watered down and domesticated compared to JF, but what doesn't? And compare TAL to most other radio fare and you realize it contributes something truly worthwhile. A few months ago a TAL segment even offered up some pedophilia jokes, including a jewish pedophilia joke. The segment gave a boost to my flagging esteem for NPR as a whole. Maybe it's slowly becoming less fearful of risk as the world gets more and more Boratized. 
And honestly there's downsides to JF as well. You get high highs with JF but the occaisonal low lows too. TAL keeps to the middle range, to the voice of reason as Sam observes.

----- Original Message ----
From: Levent <ghastly_fop at yahoo.com>
To: Joe Frank Mailing List <joe-frank-list at armory.com>
Sent: Tuesday, February 20, 2007 11:27:49 AM
Subject: Re: [joe-frank-list] Re: RE: Ira Glass etc (Steve Schneider)

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.

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