Comments by Kiera Feldman

Comment for "Four More Years"

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Review of Four More Years

"Four More Years" is a hilarious parody of a celebrity documentary, complete with family member testimonials, childhood aspirations, the rise to fame, realization of The Dream, The Inevitable Crash, and, of course, The Comeback. Except, the twist is that the celebrity in question is Charlie Schroeder, a George W. Bush impersonator. Just like the TV specials it's parodying, this piece is sleek and punchy.

Presidents' Day is February 20th...I would swoon if I heard this on the radio. This is the kind of thing I link my friends to.

Comment for "Vanished"

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Review of Vanished

Call it a snapshot, an audio postcard, sudden (non)fiction--whatever it is, it's terrifically hypnotic. The writing, the delivery, and the music just suck you into the world of the narrative. If I heard something like this in the car I'd probably miss exits and veer into lanes that are, you know, not the ones I'm supposed to be in. That's my kind of radio.

You should also listen to "Letter." I'm kind of hooked on Mueller's seductive and gently Germanic voice.

Comment for "Spelling Bee Hipsters" (deleted)

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Review of Spelling Bee Hipsters (deleted)

While the premise was great, I feel that this piece didn't realize its potential. The spelling audio was good and a few of the audience sound bytes were pretty good (eg Gabe's). However, the central question of "Are spelling bees now hip?" remained unanswered. A big problem I had was that qualifiers like "hip" and "cool" were never defined. Whenever you're dealing with labels like "hipster" you really need to clarify your own working definition (or, better yet, a range of definitions). For example, Norman Mailer's definition of the hipster forty years ago as a great figure of counterculture--the redemption of 1950s suburban conformity--is rather different than mine. I think of a hipster as a pretentious person who attempts to exude hip through calculated consumption (the shoes that will make me me, the obscure music that will align me with a very selective community, the right books that will make me seem smart...). Importantly, everyone you ask will have a different idea of "hipster" depending on their community memberships and various identifications.

Alright so let's look back at the piece's idea of "hip." The producer asks, "Are spelling bees cool?" but she needed to ask, "What makes it cool?" or "What even IS cool?"

Comment for "Obesity"

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Review of Obesity

Smart and sassy. I really enjoyed this piece. Its strongest aspect is that the narrator has a lot of personality, and, importantly, she allows for the personalities of her interviewees to come across marvelously too. The best line I have heard in a long time is when Jennifer asks, "Can you define badonkadonk for me?" This line of questioning is consistent throughout, where instead of asking the generic question of "What do you think about obesity and youth?" she poses the question "What does obesity mean to *you*?" In this way she constructs a polished piece that thoughtfully explores the social meanings of youth obesity.

Jennifer covers an impressive amount of ground in less than 4 minutes, but I think this piece would be improved by having more depth in the section on the causes of obesity. She begins to go here when she includes the doctor's comments on the "evolutionary advantages" of excess weight. Yet, obesity is much more than genetic background. There is much left to be explored here, such as the socio-economic causes of obesity and how they factor into the ways in which obesity is tackled. That said, it was very enjoyable as a whole and it was great being introduced to all of those characters.