Duplex Planet v. 180
Posted by Matthew Moyer on December 3, 2009
A familiar cliche of journalism is that everyone has a story. Famed writer/broadcaster Studs Turkel embodied this maxim, spending most of his professional career, in print and broadcast media, letting everyday people tell their stories. One would think that now, with a profusion of online media platforms and outlets, someone would have stepped up to continue Terkel’s work. Not so. So much online media is consumed with either first person accounts or celebutainment that the art of the interview is increasingly lost
I think one of the people hewing closest to the spirit of Turkel’s work is David Greenberger and his Duplex Planet zine. Since 1979, Greenberger has published this zine, drawing upon his time as a nursing home employee in Boston. He regularly interviews the senior citizens on all manner of topics, just letting them talk and absorbing their insights without interruption. It doesn’t matter who they are, everyone gets their say. The theme of this issue is music, and cleverly juxtaposed against slightly out-of-focus performance shots of flamboyant indie musicians are wry and touching observations on dancing, singing, and how a song can soundtrack a precious moment. Greenberger pulls off a coup here; his conversations transcend easy stereotypes like “the Greatest Generation” or “Grampa Simpson” to present a view of the elderly as they are, just people.