Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Yashinsky Blog: The Storm Fool's Tale, Pgs. 29-50

The apparent purpose of the 'Storm Fool' chapter analogy used by Yashinsky was to define what emotional and belief system one must have to become a storm fool teller. He describes the Storm Fools as committed tellers who would journey through a cold, hard world to pass the myths, legends, news of the tribe, tall tales and jokes, for the specific purpose of keeping their people connected to the community.

As written by Yashinsky on Page 30: " Storm fools...include all the storytellers who have ever left their on house and village and set out to bring their stories to new listeners in other places." He then goes on with multiple stereotypes such as Homer, Peire Vidal, Ruth Sawyer's description of the Irish Traveller in The Way of the Storyteller , and Martin Buber's evocation of "The great Jewish Rabbi known as the Baal Shem Tov." A lot of examples in a small space, with Yashinsky' summary being that "I include myself in this alliance of storm fools.

With that commitment he then goes into a lengthy dissertation that provides his personal view of today's high tech, mall driven, traffic jammed world, and the storyteller's role in rekindling the oral tradition that will "...eventually be of connecting to each other, to the land, even to the mall-centered world around them."

Yashinsky then goes into a five page dissertation (pages 33 to 38) on HIS Telling Bee curriculum project and concluded with: "If you'd like to run your own Telling Bee, you are welcome to visit (yes, digital!) . The guidelines are free for the borrowing."

Yashinsky then goes into four pages (pgs.38-41) touting his taking his talking stick to a Talking Stick show broadcast over a national Canadian radio network, where he "...taped storytellers at kitchen tables, cafes, festivals, concert halls, and other natural habitats of the oral tradition in today's society." He describes several of the adult teller performances in a very good way. He then provides his assessment of the outcome: "That summer we discovered that radio is a great medium for the art of storytelling." Yashinsky's evidence for that conclusion is personal rather than data based.

Yashinsky then tells a a personal story (pgs.42-46) about his performance in Graz, Austria, a sidebar event that led him to tell a free story to a group of Turkish immigrant children he discovered by accident, and a miraculous moment as his performance at the official Graz festival came to its end.

Yashinsky then provides his personal opinion (Pg.46): "I think one thing that pulls storm fools away from their own hearths and out into the world is the conviction thatstories can make a difference in the ongoing struggle for social justice, freedom, and equality. They are tools for bringing about social change." My assessment of his opinion is that stories come from many cultures and and social justice, freedom, and equality are not the same across all borders. There are many kinds of fools and they do not all tell thesame stories.

Yashnsky then moves from his personal opinion of storm fool missionaries to a two page description (pgs. 48-49) of his job as UNICEF Canada's first storyteller in residence. He describes his approach and provides a story that underscores people not starving by helping each other. He then provides another tory hecrafted for UNICEF.

On pages 49-50, Yashinsky then concludes his Storm Fool analogy with his criteria of what it takes to become his storm fool: " need three things: a headful of stories, a willingness to hit the road, and a belief that storytelling can change the world. I don't recommend following the storm fool's way if you are looking for for fortune, glory, and fame."

Personal Assessment of The Storm Fool's Tale Chapter: This chapter was not too interesting to me. It reminded me of when the Avon lady, Fuller Brush Man, and Encyclopedia Britanica salespeople would drop by our home when I was a child. Now it's done with SPAM, but the feeling is the same. I want a headful of stories, have a willingness to hit the road, believe that storytelling can change the world, and am not seeking fortune, glory, and fame, but change must come one-by-one.

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