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Saturday, November 01, 2008

RIP Studs 

I just found out that Studs Turkel has died. This makes me very sad, because he's one of those people I keep in my head as Someone Who's Working to Make It All Not Suck. He's been a vision for me of what a radical human can be throughout a lifetime: never relenting, never settling for "good enough".

For those who don't know (and don't care to check the Wikipedia link above), Studs Terkel was a radio journalist who interviewed thousands and thousands of ordinary people like you and me, then collected the interviews into books based on various topics: race, war, employment, economics, etc.

I read Working many years ago and found myself dazzled by the incredible variety of tales contained within. It was like reading a panorama of short stories about the most different kinds of folks you could ever hope to imagine – except they were all true. Other books of his have entertained me just as much, if not more.

One of his last books is entitled, appropriately enough, Hope Dies Last. I daresay his work will continue to inspire us, and that the hope he spread through this twisted world of ours will in fact never die.

Here's an hour-long video interview with Mr. Terkel. I haven't watched it yet, but I bet it's excellent.

Today I'm listening to: Chris Rock!