Around this time of year, the Internet and TV shows and people turn up the volume on an ongoing 9/11 discussion that permeates our nation’s consciousness. I’ve been debating whether I was going to write about it, but I’ve ultimately decided to keep it short and to share something that’s inspired me over the past year.
It’s called StoryCorps.
As their website explains, they’re an “independent nonprofit whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives.” My interest lies mainly in their animated shorts, which are directed by the brilliant Rauch brothers.
Through these shorts, they do what I hope to do in my future through the mediums of animation and writing. In just a few short minutes, each video teaches you about what it means to be human. And that’s some powerful stuff. I had the privilege of seeing them speak in New York, and I’ve been hooked on their work ever since.
So, whether you talk about 9/11 with your friends and family or keep thoughts, if any, to yourself, watch this video called “John and Joe.” It’s important that you do.
You don’t expect to cry while watching reality TV.
This was the condition under which I was operating while watching “So You Think You Can Dance” this season, so I feel compelled to write about the Experience I had while doing so. I don’t watch much reality TV, but I just caught up with this season of “SYTYCD” and feel comfortable saying it’s the only reality show I’d consistently follow.
Let me explain:
The only other time I’ve cried while watching a TV show was during the series finale of “Six Feet Under.” That said, I’ve cried during almost half of the “SYTYCD” episodes this season. My brother doesn’t understand how I could get emotional while watching someone dance, and I’m sure he’s not alone in this feeling; not anyone who watches the show is going to connect with it.
I tried to explain my attachment, though, beginning by saying that dancing—like any art—is an incredibly personal thing, requiring the dancer to externalize the internal, to take emotional turmoil and filter it through the movement of the body. When someone is willing to do this in the public eye—in combination with incredible technique—the result can be something transcendent and beautiful. Magic, really.
So go watch this video and cry. It features Sasha, who I believe should’ve been this year’s winner. And if you feel nothing, you’re a robot, metaphorically speaking.