Thursday, February 7, 2008

SlateV Redeemed (partially)

I know that SlateV is supposed to trade on the popularity of YouTube and demonstrate Slate’s commitment to passe internet buzzwords like “vodcast”, but I learned pretty quickly that their deft combination of vapid subject matter and complete lack of intellectual curiosity left me wanting hit myself in the head with the nearest blunt object. Seriously, this blog isn’t breaking any new ground in the expansion of human knowledge, but dancing hamsters and The Really Big Button That Doesn’t Do Anything are more valid uses of bandwidth than Dear Prudence. We are all dumber for SlaveV being out there somewhere.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I stumbled upon NPR personage extraordinary Alex Chadwick on SlateV doing a series called Interviews 50 Cents. It turns out that Interviews 50 Cents is an old project of Alex’s that has recently been repurposed by the blind squirrels over at SlaveV.

Typical of Chadwick, the idea is simple, but what is produced is amazing for it’s honesty in exploring the scope of human experience. Basically, it’s an interviewer set up at a public place with two microphones, a card table and a homemade sign reading “Interviews 50 Cents.” On display is Chadwick’s genuine interest in people and their stores. Alex’s style was basically the inspiration for Ira Glass and This American Life, and you can see the connection pretty clearly here.

Definitely worth checking out, if only to see Alex looking like Hannibal Lecter from the last scene of Silence of the Lambs.

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