In the computer age, humans have lost a bit of oral history. There’s really no need to listen to our elders tell stories when we can just watch the iMovie on YouTube. This is neither good nor bad, it’s just reality. Oral history used to be a large part of what made humans human. But stories still guide our lives, they help us make sense of the chaos and provide order to an indifferent universe.
Ross Capicchioni lives in Detroit, and his story about the time he was shot in the inner city is captivating. It’s just one kid in front of a camera telling the world about the moment that changed his life. It’s a testament to the power of oral history, a reminder that the telling of stories still makes humans human, whether we are using technology to tell that story to family and friends or the entire world.
Revealing any of the details of the story — like who shot him, what the circumstances were, the outcome, all of that — would ruin Ross’s storytelling prowess. Listen to the cadence of his words, the inflections in his voice, the subtle pauses for dramatic effect.
His story and the way he tells it — the way he has formulated this particular story of his life over and over in his mind, polishing it to perfection — is nothing short of riveting. It’s like an episode of This American Life but in video form. And just when you think his story can’t get any better, it does.
Everyone has a story that deserves to be told. What’s yours?