The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. - Dorothy Parker
What makes a good interviewer?
Curiosity, and the willingness to let guests talk about the subjects close to their hearts. In this regard, Shannon X. Caine was probably one of the best interviewers that public public access television in Fayetteville has had for many years.
Her program, The Caine Interviews, has run for several years in Fayetteville, on what was once known as Community Access Television (CAT) and is now known as Fayetteville Public Access Television (FPAT - ah, well). The former radio DJ and author has won awards not only for her public access work, but also in creative writing, oratory and music.
From non-profits to the Fayetteville Freethinkers, Shannon Caine brought many to her studio, and they attracted the audience not only to her show, but to public access. It’s to people like Shannon Caine that public access television in Fayetteville today owes much of its success and popularity.
She was also involved with the long-running Abbey of the Lemur program, and several pieces featuring Shannon can be found on YouTube. She is edgy and she is smart, and it shows itself well in the clips.
One of her passions over the years has been obituaries, and headstones, and she has written several books on the subject, appearing on my own show to talk about the it. I have an entirely new appreciation for art of the obituary after my interviews with Shannon Caine.
This week Shannon and her husband left Arkansas for Florida. The cliched thing to do is to say “We wish them well in their future endeavors,” but maybe we should hold a mini-wake here in Northwest Arkansas, because yet another talented person has left the area.
In 2004 I interviewed the folks behind Abbey of the Lemur for the Little Rock Free Press, and posed the question to them that one critic ( echoing those who would like to turn the public access channel into an “arts” channel) posed at the time about so-called “controversial” programming” on public access Television:
“What if a young executive and his family were staying at the Radisson, and they saw this? What would they think of Fayetteville?”
Shannon Caine's response? “They might see there was art in this damn town! That argument has always struck me as blatantly bogus. What if somebody saw it? Well, they might think that gee, we're not a one horse cow town.”
.She went on to say about such critics, “They don't understand that not everybody has to watch shows suitable for five year olds.”
You helped made the community a more interesting place to live in.
Fayetteville Public Access Television: Come and jump in the pool
Why, yes, now that you mention it, Rambunctious Reader, there are classes free to the public at Fayetteville Public Access Television. Why not not give them them a call at 444-3433, or drop in at 101 W. Rock and tell them the guy at the bus station told you about them?
The Closing of Hull House
One of my heroes in elementary school was Jane Addams of Chicago, who founded Hull House, which was founded in 1889 to provide much-needed services to immigrants and the poor while at the same time helping them through education and recreation. This later morphed into citizenship classes, medical help and other services.
At one time, Hull House served more than 9,000 people a week.
Yesterday Hull House closed after more than 120 years. Due to shut down in the spring, the money simply ran out, leaving more than 300 people without jobs - and who knows how many people without the services they provided?
No good news there.
Quote of the Day
He who cannot change the very fabric of his thought will never be able to change reality. - Anwar El-Sadat