Mar 21, 2007

Try it, you'll like it

Lileks on This American Life:
It’s smart and clever and quirky and reveals the vast broad breadth of our society, et cetera, but it bugs me. The host’s voice bugs me. The pacing really, really bugs me: one line of dialogue, some music, another line of dialogue, music, a nasally injection from the host, music, and so forth. They’d take nine hours to recite an e e cummings poem, and you’d get the sense that someone had spent an entire week auditioning music that sounded perfectly lower case.
I know what he means, and yet I still like the show. I hardly ever listen to it anymore since I'm unable to get a radio station--any radio station--in my apartment. So these days I hear it in my car if I happen to be in my car whenever it happens to be on and that generally only happens when I'm driving to Delaware on a weekend morning to visit my parents. Which reminds me of a story. Or rather a nonstory, kind of like the kind featured on This American Life.

So, I generally get in my car to go see the parents just when TAL is starting. I listen to the show as I'm driving up I95 through Maryland but the reception starts to go somewhere near the Maryland/Delaware border. I generally don't care, but thrice--that's three times-- I've listened to a long meandering story about a woman who reconnects with the Polish family who sheltered her Jewish mother from the Nazis only to have the radio turn to static just as the narrator was finally--one might even say mercifully--winding up.

It's a long, convoluted story and at this point I've invested quite a lot of time in it. So I really would like to hear the end of it. I suppose I could go to the TAL website and possibly listen to it there. But that seems like an awful lot of work. And I never remember that I want to hear the whole story until I'm sitting in my car listening to it. It's kind of like Groundhog Day, only the days I repeat are months apart. And I learn nothing from the experience.

No comments: