I found myself on the Seattle PI website today and noticed that they are launching a photo/audio project (“photofilm’ in their own description) starring editorial cartoonist David Horsey. Sponsored by Hearst and MSNBC.com, Horsey is doing the “talk to real Americans” tour, which goes for all the cliches of this much-traveled genre — roadside diner, wayward vets, cowboys, migrant workers, bad motels.I guess Americans never get tired of the “Travels With Charley” storyline. Off the top of my head, similar fiction and nonfiction versions include: * Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon
* Kerouac’s On the Road
* Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
* Charles Kuralt’s shtick on CBS Sunday Morning
* The granddaddy of them all, Democracy in America by de Tocqueville
* And the great-grandaddies, Lewis & Clark Still, Horsey has a good narrator’s voice, and the photos are good. I almost prefer the photofilm format to regular web video … more accessible in some ways. Check it out. But better than Horsey’s version is David Lynch’s Interview Project. He’s using real video, and he’s letting a cast of down-at-heels types tell their own stories without any narrator getting in the way. I’m just as much a sap for “real Americans” stories, as cliched and misleading as they can be, and Lynch tells them really well.?? Wish I had more time to watch them.