Crumbs of The Internet No. 5: Pussy Riot, Demon Possession and Storytelling

'Pussy Riot Putin' photo (c) 2012, AK Rockefeller - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

As I wrote this post, I’m sitting in a crowded Starbucks shop. I’ve been spending a lot of time in coffee shops this week, mostly trying to work through writing.

I would interview sources and ask very dumb questions. I collected too much information. And now, as I work on getting the rough draft of this story into something I would be okay showing another human being, I find myself working against writers block.

I attribute all of this to this one article by Poynter: What you can learn about video storytelling from the Budweiser Super Bowl commercial [Video]. Al Tomkins goes shot by shot through Budwiser’s commercial, “Puppy Love,” and shows why it’s a good story. Although he talks towards people telling stories through video, us scribblers can learn a thing or two.

You’d think crafting a story with all of the elements described in the video would be simple, but no. Gotta work with the material that’s given you, and it’s hard to compete with puppies and horses.

Another piece of “inspiration” I found was this video of Malcolm Gladwell in which he describes the strategies underdogs can use to succeed. And that’s why I’m pulling longer hours in coffee shops these last few days.

It’s purely coincidental that I read two stories about demon possession this week. The first one comes from Esquire Magazine where it profiles an exorcist in the Catholic Church.  On its own, the story is mildly interesting, but don’t you ever wonder why demon possession is never documented? Most of those accounts boil down to hearsay.

But the story in the Indianapolis  Star titled “The exorcisms of Latoya Ammons has some weight to it: it cites medical documents, third party witnesses. After reading, it’s hard to form an opinion about it afterwards. The comments at the end of this GetReligion blog post helped.

Let’s end this post with a true longform piece by Buzzfeed about the band Pussy Riot. The piece doesn’t just explain the origins of the “band” and why it’s music is almost nonexistant. It continues deeper to explore the connection of the Orthodox Church and government in Russia, and to explain the culture of Russia.

Now, if I can only write a longform piece like that…

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Crumbs of the Internet is a weekly post where I link to some of the interesting stories I read online over the last week. 

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