+ + +On Wednesday, I heard the Musers' beachside interview of drifter/homeless/panhandler Tyrone. You can hear it here on the Incomparable UnTicket. Its riches are hard to describe, it must be heard.
I am conflicted about things like this.
By "things like this," I mean (mostly) Gordon and Corby interviewing people who are -- how can I put it? These interview subjects are not all the same. Some are just less fortunate. Some are afflicted. Some are addicted. Some are of well below average intelligence. Some have a poor grasp of English. None of them has asked to have his or her words broadcast to the metro and disseminated worldwide online.
So part of me doesn't like the ambush wireless mic/recorder interviews of the drunk black man or the thickwit white girl.
But I gotta tell you: On Wednesday morning, the other part of me just about drove off the road laughing at Tyrone's rap about drinking, his teeth (or absence of), and, of course, women: his preferences and an unexpectedly bitter conclusion to one particular encounter.
There was melancholy, too -- a four-year-old daughter he has never seen.
So I'm conflicted. Not sure where to land on this one. Unfortunate, unwell, and inarticulate people are out there. A lot of us never encounter them. A lot of us would prefer not to know they exist. I'm not saying that Gordon/Corby are performing a public service, but I am saying that it's not necessarily unfair to target people who look like they might provide a unique interview experience. (Now in this case, of course, Tyrone approached them for a handout, which he eventually got, so they didn't necessarily seek him out.)
I'd prefer, though, that they not be antagonized, subtly ridiculed, and badgered with schtick. That happens, and it's cringe-inducing when it does. But that didn't really happen in the Tyrone interview (we'll put aside Gordon's serial attempts to get him to sing, which he finally abandoned), so maybe that's why I'm not feeling all that hostile toward the exploitation of the inarticulate as I write this Friday evening.
Or maybe it's because it was hilarious.