My new political comedy video thing; this time with 30% more computer animation!
Honestly, I thought this was going to go crazy viral but it’s about the slowest start any video of mine has ever gotten. I made it while the news was still fresh so that could be it but maybe it’s just not that great. You decide!
UPDATE: It seems that I got featured by the editors on the Huffington Post and the hits have picked up.
If you don’t know his work already, Ira Glass is the host and producer of This American Life, the best radio show ever. I arrived late to the TAL party. I discovered it about five years ago when I signed up for Audible.com but once I found it I went through the archive page on their website and gobbled up as many episodes as I could.
The TAL formula is honest, interesting, unusual stories that also provide some sort of deeper truth. Glass, like his broadcasting hero Howard Stern, created the show he wanted to hear and stripped away a lot of the phoniness that is rampant on the radio. Well, everywhere, really.
Glass has obviously thought a lot about what he does and why it works. I found this article called ‘Mo Better Radio a few years ago and it really got me thinking about it, too…and personally inspired me to get producing stuff.
In our lives in this country, it is hard to maintain a kind of empathy. Because we are so various as a nation, it’s hard to remember to feel for people around us who are so separated. And it’s not the only mission of journalism, or the mission of radio, or the mission of public radio, just to tell us the facts and and to analyze the day’s news.
It’s also, I would say, the mission of public broadcasting to tell us stories that help us empathize and help us feel less crazy and less separate. And just, you know, go straight to your heart.
If you’re an filmmaker, podcaster, video blogger, writer – seriously, please watch the next four videos as soon as your busy schedule allows. Glass is so heartfelt and he’s so right. He plays embarrassing tapes of himself, he explains why a lot of creative people fail for a long time…watch the videos and for extra credit, here’s a post from the amazing blog Presentation Zen about this series with summaries and additional ideas.
But it could have been different. It could have been Doctor Glass.
Here’s a good interview where Ira talks about the genesis of the show, both on radio and tv. Glass also talks about TAL’s production company, indie legend Christine Vachon’s Killer Films, the weird specificity of NPR’s Terry Gross and the fever dream that is a busy schedule and a new puppy.
Here’s Ira on David Letterman, talking about how his encounterchicken activist Karen Davis made him become vegetarian. It’s funny. I still like to eat chicken, though, and my wife wants to own a bunch someday.
This American Life became a tv show on PThis American Life tv show. Pay special attention to the photography especially – the gorgeous work of D.P. Adam Beckman and his crew. (Here’s the link to Beckman’s demo reel , with including the best acting performance I’ve ever seen by actor / healer Steven Seagal)
Finally, here’s something tangential I found from a Christian pastor named Josh Harris who was featured on This American Life. I’m not a Christian so I don’t agree with Harris on a lot but I found it interesting and entertaining in a ‘hip sermon’ sort of way. It will probably make some people nuts. I think the general theme of ‘stay true to your beliefs and don’t worry about other people’s opinions’ is a good message, though.
After a long pause, I’m back with political comedy…although I really confused people over at DailyKos.
I was really saddened I heard about the recent death of Danny Federici from Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. Danny had been with Bruce forever. I used to own about a hundred Springsteen bootlegs and ‘Lil Danny was all over songs like Thundercrack and a really fun live version of Bishop Danced with Danny on accordion.
So this announcement was nice…
Columbia Records will release Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s ‘Magic Tour Highlights’ on July 15 via all digital download stores, including the iTunes Store. The release will consist of four audio tracks with four accompanying videos, all recorded live in concert during the ‘Magic’ tour.
‘Magic Tour Highlights’ Track Listing
1. “Always A Friend” (performed with Alejandro Escovedo)Recording Date: 04/14/2008 (Houston, Texas)
2. “The Ghost of Tom Joad” (performed with Tom Morello)Recording Date: 04/07/2008 (Anaheim, California)
3. “Turn Turn Turn” (performed with Roger McGuinn)Recording Date: 04/23/2008 (Orlando, Florida)
4. “4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)” (Danny Federici’s final performancewith the E Street Band)
On sales of these downloads, the artists, songwriters, and music publishers are waiving all of their royalties, and Columbia Records is donating all of its net profits, to the Danny Federici Melanoma Fund. The iTunes Store is donating their first year’s net profits as well.
And somehow connected, Madame Marie has left, too…
The psychic reader and advisor was 93. She became known worldwide from Bruce Springsteen’s homage to her in his music.
“Did you hear the cops finally busted Madam Marie,” Springsteen sang in his 1973 song, “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)” “for tellin’ fortunes better than they do.”
“That was just the Boss,” said Asbury Park Deputy Mayor Jim Bruno. “She was never arrested. But Springsteen turned her into an icon.”