Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ira Glass & This American Life

Sometimes things just fall into place... like last night my boyfriend and I popped in our brand-spankin new copy of the This American Life television show (season #2!), then this morning he sent me a link for an interview with Ira Glass (the host of both the radio & TV versions of TAL), and then to complete the trifecta, I stumbled across a link in Something's Hiding in Here Blog to make your own Ira Glass's glasses.

Well now that I have a crafty tie-in, I figure the message is that I need to share with you my love for This American Life.

TAL is originally a radio show, broadcast on NPR out of Chicago. If you're a public radio junkie like me, you've likely heard it weekends on whatever your personal NPR station of choice, between Weekend Edition and Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me! (both of which I highly recommend!)

However, if you're less into NPR and more into your iTunes, don't worry, there's a free podcast weekly.

The basic premise is that every week (since 1995!), Ira shares a short story that intoduces a theme for the hour-long program. The rest of the hour is a collection of 1-4 different stories told by real people, about things that have happened in their lives based around that theme. The stories are almost always riveting. You laugh, you cry, you see a new perspective on things you once thought you understood. Sometimes they do specials- like a couple done recently on the economic crisis, where they interviewed people involved directly on Wall Street, and those effected directly on Main Street. I learned more in those two hour-long segments then I have in 6 months of trying to desperately follow and understand the news from a myriad of sources.

I find myself constantly sharing these stories with friends and family. My boyfriend and I listen to the podcasts in the car on the weekend- sometimes more then once they're so good.

And then a couple years ago the show made the leap to television. They continued the radio show- much to my relief, because they understand that TV isn't necessarily better, its just different. Some stories lend themselves to being seen- and Ira & the producers on TAL have really figured out the formula in season 2.

So grab some scissors, make yourself a pair of uber-nerdy Ira Glass glasses, and download a podcast or two. I promise, you'll be hooked.

1 comment:

SolSisters said...

I am a huge fan of TAL :) although I will skip the ira glasses


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