Thursday, August 30, 2007

Breaking Up

So, I've been listening to podcasts on my bicycle commute, and I truly believe that you, dear reader, should work out a way to listen to podcasts that interest you. What would be even cooler is for you to listen to the same podcasts that I listen to so that if we're ever at a party together, one of us can say something like "Did you hear the great 'This American Life' podcast about detectives?" and the other person can say, "Totally."

The great thing about podcasts is that not only you can pick and choose the program you want to listen to, but you can listen to it whenever you want. I can't emphasize this enough. For example, while I love two or three NPR programs, I can't stand listening to NPR. "All Things Considered" just depresses the hell out of me for some reason. That woman's voice is enough to make me vote Republican.

Which brings me to this week's Podcast of the Week: "Break-Ups."

There's some kind of inverse relationship when it comes to telling and hearing stories about falling in love and breaking up. People would much rather tell their break-up stories than their falling-in-love stories. But when you're seeing a movie or reading a book, everyone wants a falling-in-love story, and no one wants a break-up story, with the possible exception of the Danes. I suppose there are exceptions to this rule. For example, every single country song ever written is about breaking up, so maybe it has something to do with scope. People can handle break-up stories only in short bursts -- poems, songs, and blog entries. If a novelist or director goes on and on about a nasty break-up, we can't handle it. I need a name for this theory. (No, Glen, not "Bob's Stupid Theory.") Something like, "The 5-Minute Rule for Break-up Stories." I'll think of something.


  1. I totally listened to the Detectives podcast. Good stuff, especially the "on assignment" bit with the midwestern detective.

    Robert, are you reading this? If we can't do Friday Stories, at least we can do "Friday simultaneous podcast listening," right?

  2. all my break-ups have taken less than 5 minutes. does that mean they were all interesting?

  3. "Bob's Stupid Theory" was the furthest thing from my mind, honest. But give me a "Stupid Bob's Theory" any old time... now that's really got a ring to it.

    In any case, I'm sorry to be bearer of bad news about your supposed authorship of this theory, but it's actually an old and well-known theory, being exactly the same as the 5-second rule for dropping food. Since a lover is sometimes considered different from a piece of food ("Love is not all, it is not meat nor drink..."), the 5-second rule just has a special 5-minute variant for dropping a lover. But please, no more than 5 minutes.