Back in July, we dedicated a Kickstarter Korner blog post to Blank On Blank, a Kickstarter campaign that aimed to take recorded interviews that might not otherwise be heard and give them new, multimedia life. The campaign reached its $10,000 goal, which is great, and the site is already up and doing its thing, which is also great. Just how great this all is can be seen in the video below.
Of course, the story behind the video all but assures as much. Michael Aisner, a documentarian and journalist, was a 17-year-old aspiring radio host in 1966, when he scored what surely qualifies as one of the greatest gets in the history of high school journalism: an interview with then heavyweight-champion Muhammad Ali.
The interview was the result of a happy confluence: a champion who delighted in talking like virtually no athlete before or since, and some precocity cases from Winnetka, IL's New Trier High School who had the pure high-school balls to cold-call that champion and get him out to a high school campus for an interview. It's hard to believe that such a story could happen, but here it all is: the awed high school voices and Muhammad Ali delighting in being Muhammad Ali, which is to say gracious and brash, effortlessly and endearingly goofy and cool-eyed in his worldliness.
Blank On Blank has the full version of Aisner's interview with Ali hosted on SoundCloud. The video, though, is exactly what we hoped for from Blank On Blank, and precisely why we do the Kickstarter Korner thing. We wrote, back in July, that a world with Blank On Blank in it would be more interesting without. We can't say "we told you so" with the gracefulness or charm of Ali, but... yeah, check out the video, and agree: