I know how difficult it can be to keep the ball in the air when you’re doing an interview, so I’m not faulting David Poland‘s way with talent as far as that aspect is concerned. I’m certainly no expert at the form and am hardly one to talk. Poland keeps it going and the ball is definitely batted back and forth. The problem is that what results is a kind of frothy intellectual fervor with everyone grinning and chuckling in a way that feels simultaneously loose and manic and aimless.
Too much alpha chuckling can be an unwelcome thing, and I don’t mind saying that Poland’s relentless chuckling can feel truly oppressive at times. After a while it can feel like a form of torture.
What happens in these DP/30 interviews is that people talk a lot — expressively at times and certainly at great length — but every so often they drive me crazy because it hits me that all I’m watching is a lot of chuckling and effusive blather because Poland’s questions are sometimes inane and forced and/or anxious, and because nobody’s really saying anything. It’s Poland going ‘bee-duh-bee-duh-bee-bee-bee-bee’ and the interview subject going ‘well, okay, hold on…I’m going to answer you, of course, but I want to slow it down a bit.”
It’s like some kind of polar opposite of that vibrant atmosphere that Tom Snyder had going with Sterling Hayden way back when.