I have no idea what got into me yesterday but somehow the YouTube rabbit hole took me to an era just before my current incarnation.. I found myself watching Dick Cavett interviews from mostly the 70s. If you're a non American or a millennial it's very likely you've never heard of this man and are wholly unfamiliar with the breadth of his impact on American life.
He was perhaps one of the greatest interviewers of our age and had a gift for getting to the marrow of what makes his guests tick. In most all of his interviews there is an undeniable tension as the guests are all too aware that they are not going to be asked the fluffy easily digestible common questions normally posed to artists, writers, comedians, politicians and fellow journalists. Absolutely nothing was off limits and often times this brazen approach would result in unexpected and uncomfortable conversations that otherwise would have no platform to exist.
I mostly focused on interviews with the literary giants of yesteryear but I also watched Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier almost get into a fight, as well as Eddy Murphy being asked if the N word made him feel uneasy. Dick Cavett got under Richard Pryor's skin by asking if he was annoyed when white writers attempted to write dialogue for black comedians such as himself. He prodded in a similar vein with a young James Earl Jones, but what I found most intriguing was the one on one interviews with Truman Capote.
During these very intimate conversations between an eccentric genius from the golden age of American literature and a fearless young, balanced and well informed host in Cavett, the erudition present was unlike anything available in this modern day and age.
I was struck by the sobering and rather sad realisation that the purity of authorship in this world is dead. Not to say there aren't talented ingenious humans honing their craft these days, but the diversity of content as well.as the multitude of avenues to enjoy content have perverted the art of storytelling. Maybe I'm just being nostalgic for a bygone era that was being disposed of when I was born, and I'm dissapointed that all I got to see was the gruesome death rattle of a now out of fashion medium.
Our collective appetites have no doubt changed, and I'm not so rigid as to reject this evolution or logical progression that's being driven by technological advances. After all, here I am attempting to use the power of written word on an experimental platform such as this, using my phone no less. Instead of feeling hopeless or out of my element I'm actually more inspired than ever to consider the rather daunting and intimidating self realization that I am in fact a writer. Why should I allow what's going on around me and out of my control in this chaotic fast paced, attention deficit dominated world to dictate what creative pursuits I explore?
I might lose this focus later today, but I woke up as a timeless classic soul that has too much to offer this world to paint myself into a corner and let the fear of failing myself shape the rest of my days.
I have been afraid to admit to myself that I am a writer at heart mostly because of the perfectionism I know all too well will cripple the process and certainly lead to some challenging places within myself I've been avoiding.
If you have read this I appreciate you ingesting an atypical creation and just maybe something has been sparked within you that will take you to uncharted territories..
I have purposefully neglected to include an image with this post. Below is a link that I feel best sums up the Dick Cavett experience..
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