I immediately thought of itsasickness when I read this:
“Almost anything you pay close, direct attention to becomes interesting”
– David Foster Wallace, ‘The Pale King’
– Ira Glass on the art of the interview:
“Most people aren’t great storytellers in general, but if you stumble on the thing that really means something to them, you’ll get a great story out of them. This is one of the insights of therapy, actually. If you read all the early Freud stuff—you know how when he stumbles onto the central issue with his patients, suddenly stories flood out of them in pure narrative, with these incredible poetic images? That’s what happens when you’re working out in your head something that isn’t totally resolved and then you speak about it. It comes out as narrative.”
There are TV shows about illness.
Those shows are about addicts with addictions.
Those shows are about the imbalanced with obsessive disorders.
Those other shows’ treatment of their subject matter ranges from clinical diagnosis to freakshow exploitation.
itsasickness celebrates interesting people – the most interested people in the world: the sick.
When I met my wife, it struck me that she was the most interesting person I had ever met in my life. In our first conversation that night she geeked out about her obsessions. At the time they were Django Reinhardt, her friend Frankie Manning, poet John Donne, the chemistry of nutrition and more. I geeked out about my then-current obsessions which were the math of classical Indian ragas, politics, film, Salinger. We talked all night and into the morning. I would have married her that very day.
Last year I wrote about the difficulty of social networking for a purpose – vis-a-vis politics and governance. I believe I have a solution to the problem presented in my essay, “What LinkedIn’s Reorganization and OFA 2.0 Means for Politech Online”. The problem in a nutshell was:
Many internet theorists speak of social networks online as a ‘map of the relationships between individuals.’ Politech thinkers and online organizers like myself, have taken these principles and used them to inform the social software we built for campaigns and political advocacy organizations with mixed success.
itsasickness was an obsession network honoring sicknesses; the objects of our obsession.
That thing you geek out about, that you could talk about endlessly, obsessing over the minutia, that’s your sickness. The itsasickness project hinges on the fact that people who are most interested are the most interesting.
We celebrated the most extraordinary people that we found in our online obsession network with short tribute films on itsasicknessTV; Alan Cumming was the emcee.
The website itself [offline as of 3/14/15] was a proto-Pinterest website app that the TV production crew would use for story leads, research and as a branded-content feedback loop.