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Tuesday
Apr212009

PB4UGO

The title has absolutely nothing to do with the content. It's a license plate on a soccer mom SUV I saw this morning as Eva and I were running errands. Awesome.

Over the weekend, Ferris and I went with some friends to see Ira Glass speak at the Merrill Auditorium. We sat dead middle about 15 rows back. I tried my damnedest to get a good picture with my camera phone all to no avail. Not only was it too dark, but every time I raised my phone to get the shot Ferris would grab at my arm with the kind of intensity that insisted, "Must you always embarrass me with your incessant need to DOCUMENT EVERYTHING?" To which I raised my phone again and clicked.

Ira was no disappointment. He's a slight, gangly, older Jewish man...superhero nerd with superhero nerd glasses. He is imaginative, witty, smart, and completely clear about his craft. He's almost compulsive about story telling which I found video of and posted below. But more than simply being entertaining, he does a very good job drawing you in and captivating your attention. I would argue that most truly creative and inspirational people have one thing in common. They have a unique clarity about their craft, whatever that may be. They have an almost savant-like genius in their particular area of interest.

I have no doubt Ira Glass was made fun of on the playground. I have no doubt some people were supportive, but I bet the majority of people in his life had little understanding or appreciation of his creativity. That said, there must have been something compelling and motivating him to work at NPR from the bottom up to form and sustain one of the most popular radio programs in the country.

The most interesting point was made about the popularization of opinion journalism (Jon Stewart, Hannity, Rachel Maddow) and the flopping of 'real journalism'. He argued that opinion journalism has become more popular because the journalists (or hosts) speak like real people. I can't help but think that a similar thing has happened with blogs. Millions of people visit blogs on a daily basis partly because real people are creating real content. Sure, a fair amount of that content is total crap, but most of it is inspiring and good...very good.

My take home lesson (whether Ira intended it or not) was to feel great about my means of creative expression...my little space in the blogosphere...no matter who may misunderstand or criticize and to support anyone and everyone who does the same.

Reader Comments (2)

Check out episode 14: Accidental Documentaries - it goes into Ira's early interest in radio and how his father reacted to it.

April 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMaxwell

PBRB4UGO

April 27, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkrobar

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