my soundbite shame

by uzwi

As a rest from The Girl Who Bought a House & Some Ikea Furniture Although Actually She Was Really Violent & Subversive I’m reading Nina Power’s excellent & thought-provoking One Dimensional Woman. Also enjoying Nina & Lara sharing their experience of Being Serious On The Radio. My experience of radio is limited to interviews in the 80s & 90s. Interviewers would start out enthusiastic & end up puzzled; mysteriously enough, though I was clearly the author of the book, I couldn’t produce a soundbite appropriate to their preconceived notion of it. Some had been smart enough to prepare themselves for this cognitive dissonance by not reading it. TV is worse. TV interviewers sit you down with a go-cup of really bad coffee & inform you in naive good faith, “This what we’re going to be saying about the subject under discussion.” While you’re trying not to reply, “I wouldn’t talk about it in those terms even if you felt able to offer me a date with Audrey Hepburn in Paris in 1960,” they add: “& we thought you would be perfect to contribute because of the clever thing you said recently about X.” But how embarrassing! What you said about X was in fact not that at all! It was the opposite of that! & it was about something else! Once they see the mistake, give them their due, they’re off quite quickly with their good faith intact to look for someone else who’ll say what they want to hear.