Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Stop to listen

Calling attention to good stories from 'This American Life' is a little like shooting fish in a barrel.

Or, is that shooting fish into a barrel, as was offered at our dinnertime conversation last night. Or is shooting fish in a barrel really that easy, my older son said last night, because of the light refraction and the fish is moving around and stuff. You can see how weird things can get around our table.

Anyway, the point is, you could click on any archive of TAL and be rewarded. But I just listend to this and got a kick out of it, so thought I'd pass it on: Go to This American Life's archives, and click on 'Wrong Side of History.'

Ira Glass is talking to a guy about something that has been covered to the nth degree in national media, but he does a slow reveal here, and it made me smile. And then the rest of the piece kept offering humorous little moments. It's just good storytelling.

You couldn't tell it this way, exactly, on paper. But think about how you could do it -- the interviewing you'd have to do, how you'd describe the way the people in the story talk, how you'd use dialogue and when you'd narrate to bridge the gaps and give people information they needed to understand what was happening.