Sunday, July 31, 2011

All things considered

I love NPR, that's National Public Radio for those of you who don't know. I have loved it since I was a little kid and my hometown's little college had a radio station that broadcast it. There would be classical music sometimes and jazz others and I would listen at night while I was trying to go to sleep. Sometimes it worked, other times I was too interested in what was on to fall asleep. The hosts always sounded so intelligent and cosmopolitan to me as a small town boy.

I will admit, some people think of the Delicious Dish skit from SNL as seen here:

It is pretty funny I will admit, its about the only time I can stand Alec Baldwin, but the ladies really capture the tone of voice and the delivery of the hosts that I love.
One great thing about NPR is that you can tune into it almost anywhere. Having moved back and forth between Idaho and Arizona many times I have found some long lonely stretches of road with no radio to listen to but NPR. About a year ago we moved to Arizona (again), having left some things behind I had to make a solo trip to pick them up. For about four hours I listened to interviews about fonts and typesetting, it was so fascinating. Did you know that Verdana is font created specifically for the Internet? I was totally absorbed. A while later on All Things Considered they talked about the Oh Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack (one of my favorite albums ever) and did an interview with Dr. Ralph Stanley that was awesome. The interviews are part of the appeal of NPR for me. Going behind the scenes with people. I really enjoy getting a better understanding of why artists do what they do or where their inspiration came from on a certain project.
NPR will also expose you a lot of things you may not find on your own. A Prairie Home Companion, for example. It is a spectacular variety show heavy on the comedy and folksy music of the mid-west. The actors and musicians are great and since it is typically presented over the radio they really have to be good at setting a scene and conveying information strictly through sound. I think of the good old days before television and families gathered around the radio in the evening listening and being so involved in the stories being portrayed. I love the imagery it evokes and makes me miss an era that I shouldn't be able to miss since it happened 40 years before I was born.
Maybe this nostalgic feeling that NPR conjures up is why I like it so much. I would love to be a host on NPR. I would love to speak in those dulcet tones and interview interesting people. I would love for people to hear my interviews and think "wow, that was a really intelligent interview." Unfortunately, that probably won't ever happen. You see I am pretty conservative politically and NPR leans to the left. I don't know if they would admit that. Maybe, more likely they would think they are centrist and above something so trivial as political leanings (they are so smart after all) anyway, I probably wouldn't get past an job interview. So for now I'll just have to keep listening and loving from afar. From (not) NPR, this has been All Things Considered.