Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Malcolm Gladwell Lecture//Episode 9: "Julia Sweeney"

I've finally hit the next episode, after getting the opportunity to see Malcolm Gladwell speak (for free! Score!) at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga last night (I highly suggest seeing him if you can. Good stuff). I felt like I was in a real life episode of "This American Life" or something. He spoke on leaders who are so sure of themselves that causes the missteps. Comparing the financial meltdown to a Civil War battle was something I would have never thought of, but made total sense. I feel very enlightened and admittedly, slightly hipper, having gotten the chance to see such a popular and awesome speaker.

Anyways, onto the episode...

Julia Sweeney was on Saturday Night Live back in the day and this episode of  TAL is parts of her stand up from 1994-1995, speaking on her experience having cancer, while her brother also has the disease. I won't ruin the episode by saying too much about what goes down in her story, but it is a very interesting one and I can't hate on it because it is such a strong episode. Much of the hour, I almost couldn't stand how personal and real her stories are and I had such a response to it, but then I considered my thoughts on art: if it makes you have a strong response, it's good.

Well, I had a strong response, so I guess it could be considered art. The nonchalant way that
Julia tells the story is almost painful at moments, yet it is worth the listen. As Ira notes in the show, the stories lighten up some when Julia begins speaking about her diagnosis of cancer, which is appreciated after the utter dark cloud over part one, but it is still clear it isn't all sunshine in her life and her families lives.

Overall, even if it doesn't sit easy with you, listen to this one. It's pretty good.

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