Michael Hirschorn’s take-down of ‘contemporary quirk’ (i.e., Flight of the Conchords, Arrested Development, Wes Anderson, McSweeney’s, etc.) in the Atlantic Monthly hits pretty close to home, gives better analysis to the little voice in the back of my head, and pricks my guilt. It’s not all correct (check out This American Life’s episode on counting the deaths of Iraqi), but it’s very close. It also includes an interesting formulation of my discipline:

[This American Life] as has been apparent for years, is really the opposite of documentary reportage. It’s more like sociology, wherein the paradigm is set and specific circumstances are nipped, tucked, torqued, and squeezed until they fit the theme.

Well, at least a particular version of sociology. Hmpf. Anyway, as to the power of radio as a medium–and a counterexample to Hisrchorn’s argument–listen to the TAF episode on counting Iraqi deaths.


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