Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lit at NPR

I seldom listen to NPR radio. It’s on the order of the BBC World News: the Imperialist viewpoint. This morning, though, I listened to the local station, WHYY, on and off, flipping back and forth to an AM sports station.

NPR, frankly, is bad radio. It has tepid bumper music interspersed between announcers who sound like they grew up in uptight WASP households where no one was allowed to raise their voice. They’re every moment being careful not to too much raise their voices. Evenly modulated.

There was a smidgen of local and national news, a promo for a discussion about the “Fundamentalist threat to democracy” (I suspect they weren’t referring to Islam), then a story from Pakistan. I went back to sports. When I returned to NPR a reporter from Moscow with an upper-class Brit accent was talking about the political situation in Russia. I went back to sports. Then, a bit later, I gave NPR another shot.

The announcer was interviewing a woman writer about what seemed to be a children’s book. At least, it was about fables. The author stressed that there were no morals in these fables, the gist being that concepts of good-and-bad or learning something useful were outdated. The woman used an example of what not-to-do, feeling good about yourself if you were well. Presumably no should feel good, especially if it’s to the detriment of others. We’re all the same, ya know, even if we’re not. The new kind of fables sounded horrible. She added that she didn’t think much of plot.

At the end of the interview the interviewer gave the woman writer’s name: David Sedaris. I’d been faked out. I flipped back to sports.

(See the link at www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130143871 )

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