Thursday, 29 July 2010

American Storyteller(s)

Over the last few days I've been doing a spot of decorating at my mums place. I used the time to listen to This American Life online. Created by Ira Glass, Broadcast from Chicago on Public Radio International this is one of the most compelling archives of storytelling I've ever heard. There isn't one single episode that I've listened to that isn't praise worthy. If you like storytelling (and I'm guessing you do, as you're wasting what would otherwise be valuable time reading this) get an ipod and download the podcasts for those random moments when you'd like to feel smarter and better informed, or just fancy seeing the world through new eyes. For readers in the UK Mr Glass is a bit like an American cross between Mr Fry and that guy from D-ream who did the physics show. Clever, witty, with an infectious enthusiasm for the side issues that drive the story. Way Cool.

Poultry Slam is an investigation into our relationships with fowl and what our attitudes say about us, as ever on TAL the voices are diverse, and serve to counter point each other creating a 'whole' commentary.

"Humans have turned chicken and turkey into what we want them to be. 
Which means that chickens and turkeys are a mirror of ourselves." 

In act 3 Michael Lewis' piece about goose hunting is also very good.

Guns is a great piece of journalism, conflicting responses to gun violence, moments of terror and joy, how 'strawman' purchases come to be made, insight into the changing culture of violence among inner city kids and the HILARIOUS Sarah Vowell takes a trip home to Montana [thanks Chad] to spend some 'family time' with her gunsmith father.

'Some things were said during the Reagan administration, that cannot be taken back.'

As with my recent comments exchange with Hippo - realising that we in fact ARE our dads is the hardest thing to bear. And therefore the funniest.

Best thing on the radio.
PS Should you find yourself in need of an urbane felt Ira Glass this is where you get them from


Josh said...

I'm an occasional fan of TAL. Sometimes it's a tad too urban-hipster for me, but usually it's very sincere. Their pieces on the aircraft carrier and the Archer Daniels Midland bust over fixing the price of lysene are brilliant, as was the gun one.

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

I knew I wouldn't be the only one

GoofyGirl said...

Dearest SBW-
I must admit, I am beyond shocked that this particular blog post is not crawling with comments from your readers. TAL is a fabulous radio program, and worthy of all praises. Thanks for posting this.
♥ GG

Chad Love said...

This American Life is one of my favorite NPR programs, and of course I do have most of Sarah Vowell's books (she was born, I believe and still has family in Oklahoma). There was a TAL TV show on Showtime for a while but I don't know if it's still on.

The Suburban Bushwacker said...


Thanks - edited to her correct home state

She's proper funny, Which book do you recommend?

Do all the girls in OK have that accent?


Chad Love said...

Actually I may be wrong on her birth state. I think she was born here, I know she has family in Oklahoma but she grew up in Bozeman, Montana.

All her books are sublimely droll, but I really like her first three books, "Radio On" "Take the Cannoli" and "The Partly Cloudy Patriot."

As for her accent, I'm not sure what it is, but it's not a typical Oklahoma twang.

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

Thanks for coming clean, I'll change it back!

Her accent? Well lets just say its an unlikely voice for radio