Friday, July 11, 2008

If you want to win their hearts...

Andrew Klavan writes in City Journal about visiting an inner city elementary classroom, and fascinating the kids, not just with his storytelling ability, but because of his unknowing example of being, as the teacher put it, "a man - obviously tough - who's not a gangster." Klavan writes:

The teacher told me that she once had to explain to the class why her last name was the same as her father’s. She dusted off the whole ancient ritual of legitimacy for them—marriages, maiden names, and so on. When she was done, there was a short silence. Then one child piped up softly: “Yeah . . . I’ve heard of that.”

I’ve heard of that. It would break a heart of stone.

After delving more deeply into the heartbreak of the kids' situations, Klavan, a conservative, challenges:
Conservatives respond to this mostly with finger-wagging. But creativity has to
be answered with creativity. We need stories, histories, movies of our own. That
requires a structure of support—publishing houses, movie studios, review space,
awards, almost all of which we’ve ceded to the Left.

And he ends his story with these great words:
If you want to win their hearts, you have to tell them stories. I have reason to believe they’ll listen.


Gary Baumgarten said...

Andrew Klavan will be my guest on News Talk Online on Thursday July 17 at 5 PM New York time.

Please go to and click on the link to talk to Klavan. There is no charge.


Gary Baumgarten said...

You'd think I'd be able to spell my own name correctly!

The correct URL is