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Friday, October 31, 2008

Studs Terkel, RIP

America has lost its greatest chronicler and oral historian. Please take some time and listen to Stud Terkel's radio programs on his Web site. I remember driving across the country in the summer of 1974, listening late into the night to his gravely voice and the stories of the unsung, unknown Americans he immortalized.

Between about 1981 and 1988, I worked as an oral historian for the UCLA Oral History Program, and Terkel was definitely one of my most important influences.

Update: The New York Times has just published an obituary.

It's going to take a whole lot more than a Democratic majority to save us. So says my journalist-blogger-prof pal, Marc Cooper, in one of his last columns for the L.A. Weekly--with which he has had a parting of the ways. As Marc points out, Obama's election is just the first step in the political process that must now take place.

Over-confidence or justifiable confidence? Charles Blow makes fun reading in the November 1 New York Times. Why not just be happy and get out the vote--the rest will be history.

2 comments:

Anne Gilbert said...

I was shockd and saddened to hear of the passing of Studs Terkel. He was kind of a "fixture" of my younger years, and in some ways, an influence. And I heard of his passing from an equally saddened announcer on my local classical music station, of all places. Apparently the announcer had actually worked with him, while living in Chicago.

As to the election of Obama being the first step in some very much needed change in this country, I can only agre with you. But like Marc, I don't think this change is going to come from Obama, although to his credit, he has run a successful campaign bynot "moving to the center", but by addressing real concerns that people can identify with. Nor do I think any impetus for change is going to come from the Democrats. As the moderator of one e-mail list I happen to be on puts it, the fat cats will just go to ghe Democrats with their hands out, and the Democrats will just become beholden to them. No, the change that is needed is going to come from ordinary citizens like you and me, who dare to speak up and start demanding it.
Anne G

terryt said...

Regarding Studs. I used to have a magnificent recording of him interviewing Bill Broonzy, Brownie McGee and Sonny Terry. Very informal session. Remarkable.

"Obama's election is just the first step in the political process that must now take place". A couple of friends and I, after downing a few suds the other night, came to the conclusion that Obama's election could be a second American revolution.

"the change that is needed is going to come from ordinary citizens like you and me, who dare to speak up and start demanding it". When I first heard of the world trade centre attack my first reaction was, "America's chickens have come home to roost". (I think someone else also said that). My second was, "Perhaps the American people will now wake up". It's taken a while but I think it's happening.