Thursday, December 15, 2011

This American Life

A few years ago, I was subscribed to Meet The Press (with the late, great Tim Russert), Lens Work Publishing, VOD Cars, The Moth, This American Life and roughly ten other podcasts.  It's interesting how some podcasts had grown tired but others had endured.  I do think, that the attributes of a good podcast include both the production and content.  Others have excellent content but are somewhat cheaply done.  However, This American Life is probably the best of all the podcasts that I've ever listened to.  I can still remember the first time I heard T.A.L. on the radio.  It was a Sunday evening and I decided to head to the gym to get a late workout.  I was living in Pasadena and got to 24-Hr Fitness but I was just captivated by the storytelling.  I sat in my car for a good half hour listening to 89.3 KPCC until T.A.L. ended and I've been hooked ever since.  The format is perfect -- an hour, just a little more than an average commute to work; and after 5 years of listening to the show, I think of the host, Ira Glass as a friend who I get to talk to every Sunday evening.  If there is ever any public radio show that is worth giving to, T.A.L. is it.  And more recently, I found out that the show has really broad appeal.  My 13-year old son, Sam had been downloading several dozen episodes on his iPod and even has his own favorites.  Everybody loves a good story.  My top ten episodes are as follows:
1) #361 Fear Of Sleep
2) #178 Superpowers
3) #393 Infidelity
4) #81 Guns
5) #379 Return To The Scene Of The Crime
6) #110 Mapping
7) #442 Thugs
8) #339 Break-Up
9) #414 Right To Remain Silent
10) #443 Amusement Park

12/19/11 Update:  I decided to donate to This American Life, finally.  Been listening to NPR for years and have never joined or become a member.  However, This American Life defines our culture as we know it today and I truly believe this show must go on and be appreciated by future generations.

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