Sunday, May 28, 2017

Shit Town

Shit Town was my first podcast. Through several episodes (7?) the narrator, Brian Reed, recounts the story, using interviews with everyone involved, of an extremely eccentric and unique man in the deep south. He emerges as brilliant. John B was a strange, obsessive, talented and deeply lonely man who lived on many acres and had an intense inexhaustible contempt for the world in general and his town in particular. His rants, in his deep accent, were stupendous screeds against everything that is wrong with this country. Basically everything he said was on target, and it almost makes you wonder how the rest of us are so complacent and unafraid.

Shit Town starts off when Brian Reed is contacted by John B to investigate a murder in his shitty town, but it soon becomes the greatest character study I have ever encountered. We learn about John B's talent as an antique clock restorer, his amazing maze he created on his grounds, his unlikely friendships, particularly one with a disturbing yet engaging young man, the breadth of his knowledge, and the unrelenting psychic demands of his world view. From interviews with family, business associates, old friends, and town officials, and the ever compassionate narration of Brian Reed, a complex, unsettling, and deeply sad portrait of John B is painted. One that broke my heart.

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