Re: So, America's dying to know: how do you unwind?

1

Listening to TED Talks and shit on the internet is so much worse. But possibly I'm biased.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-15-12 5:47 PM
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They're less uninteresting when they're transcribed. You can skip.


Posted by: Jim | Link to this comment | 07-15-12 6:03 PM
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3

Is there a particular interview that inspired this post?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-15-12 6:14 PM
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Totally agree.


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 07-15-12 6:32 PM
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http://www.bloggingbeirut.com/archives/1608-Playboy-interviews-Walid-Jumblat-1984.html


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-15-12 7:16 PM
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2: I'm with Jim. Videos, podcasts, etc. do not get any attention here.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 07-15-12 7:56 PM
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7

This is nuts.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-15-12 8:05 PM
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Interviews with boring people by unprepared journalists are boring. The three volumes of collected interviews with Heiner Müller are amazing. The best one is "Literatur muß dem Theater Widerstand leisten," but "Ich wünsche mir Brecht in der Peep-Show" is also good. The interview is definitely a more widely developed art form in Germany.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-15-12 8:10 PM
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9

Not a Studs Terkely fan then?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07-16-12 12:40 AM
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10

Dammit. Terkel.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07-16-12 12:40 AM
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I chanced upon an interview with novelist C P Snow in an old issue of Review of English Literature (July 1962). It's deferential to an almost embarrassing degree. This is how it opens:

Sir Charles is a large man, of great presence, and a wholly natural and unforced dignity. The decisive nods of his massive head reinforce the habitual authority of his talk, which has an almost Johnsonian weight, as if everything he says has been long and deeply pondered. Yet, though undeniably formidable, Sir Charles is not in the least forbidding. His manner is one of immense kindness and humanity; he is warm in his encouragement, generous in his praise; in conversation, though never unserious, he is always lively and often humorous.

The questions follow this same toadying manner ('Interviewer: Your work seems to me not only a very distinctive achievement but a very deliberate one...') People don't interview like that any more.


Posted by: Adam Roberts | Link to this comment | 07-16-12 1:19 AM
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That Playboy interview with Walid Jumblatt is better than you'd get in Foreign Affairs today.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 07-16-12 1:59 AM
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Another amazing collection of interviews (again German, sorry) is Guten morgen, du schöne by Maxie Wander, from the 1970s. East German women of all different ages talking about their lives.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-16-12 3:51 AM
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Is there a particular interview that inspired this post?

More a general observation that if I click a link and it turns out to be an interview, I go X the tab without even giving the interview a chance. Unless it's in German.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-16-12 5:23 AM
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Funny, I was struck just this week by how much I enjoyed this interview with Michael Keaton over at Grantland.

It's the second in a series. The first, an interview with Aziz Ansari, is also good, but that's partly because I was hungry while reading it and all the food they were talking about sounded delicious.


Posted by: Grandma Kirie | Link to this comment | 07-16-12 6:46 AM
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Sometimes interviews are awesome. From the Groan:

Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Met police commissioner, has been asked on the live webchat whether Olympics visitors from the Netherlands are allowed to smoke marijuana in the capital.

Instead of providing the news of the day, Hogan-Howe answered:

"Dank, assuming this is a serious question the answer is that it is an offence in the UK to use controlled drugs. Marijuana is a controlled drug. It is illegal to use it so I suggest you don't!"


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-16-12 7:40 AM
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16: Aw, don't cut us off before the funny part!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-16-12 8:41 AM
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More a general observation that if I click a link and it turns out to be an interview, I go X the tab without even giving the interview a chance. Unless it's in German.

Interesting. If you already know it's going to be an article about a famous person, what are you hoping for other than an interview? I find an interview more readable than some writer pontificating about the social significance of Actress X or Rapper Y.

I X the tab when anything turns out to be a video, or even worse, a sound file.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-16-12 9:04 AM
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I should say "has more potential for readability" than "is more readable". The famous person in question may be extremely boring or annoying. But often they aren't.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-16-12 9:06 AM
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I find an interview more readable than some writer pontificating about the social significance of Actress X

"Though an unlikely candidate for the face of the modern black power movement, she catapulted to prominence -- and gained the favor of the Nation of Islam -- when she changed her last name from 'Witherspoon' to simply 'X'"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-16-12 9:11 AM
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Pooping!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-16-12 7:44 PM
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22

Ivebeen listening to some great interviews lately, mostly on podcasts of The Story (American Publib Media). One of my favorite episodes is Burning Arizona.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 07-16-12 7:48 PM
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5, 12: Tweety's comment reminds that there was a time when it really was worth reading Playboy for the interviews. Alex Haley's with Malcolm X and Miles Davis for instance. Not your usual early '60s media fare.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-17-12 4:53 AM
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23 written about noon yesterday and discovered in my browser here at work this morning. Posted for the benefit of web historians.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-17-12 4:56 AM
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23 in reference to 21.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-17-12 4:57 AM
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Racist! ... although as I think recall (been years) relevant to one part of Malcolm X's autobiography.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-17-12 5:15 AM
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At last I am able to post this comment!:

I generally skip any interview in transcript form, because it hasn't been edited enough to highlight the parts that will be interesting to me. The subject's original conversation with the reporter is generally rambling and contains a lot of casual remarks that aren't much more than small talk.

If an interview has been digested into a profile piece, the interesting comments from the subject are going to be featured prominently and contextualized with biographical information and stuff like that.

Mostly interviews in transcript form are just the reporter being lazy.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-17-12 7:23 AM
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And now it doesn't seem that interesting.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-17-12 7:23 AM
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I like the format between those two options: in Q&A form, but edited.

The interviews with the East German women I mentioned above are in that style where all the questions are edited out, and you just have the interviewee's words. As if she were just talking about her life, maybe jumping to a different topic now and then. It works really well for interviews meant to give broad pictures of people's lives and experiences. (Is that how Working is constructed as well? It's been a long time since I looked at it.)


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-17-12 7:51 AM
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