READINGS / REPARTEE / Uncategorized

This American Life’s Ira Glass tried Ecstasy. Results:

You read the (UK’s) Guardian, don’t you? Where else are you going to hear stuff like Ruth Spencer‘s chatty interview with Ira Glass (host and producer of This American Life)?

two flags

“This American Life is about to start airing on British radio for the first time, on Radio 4 Extra. Will it translate?

The name is definitely a marketing problem. I think you can tell we had no intention of being an international show. And there’s no one in Britain who’s like, ‘You know what I don’t get enough of? American culture.’

The shows that the BBC chose are really traditional, documentary with a capital D, ‘we-are-serious-journalist’ stories. The first one includes a story about the Holocaust, because everybody knows that that’s a classy story to put on the radio. They are feeling protective of us, [worrying] that their audience will notice that the tone is different and jauntier and more conversational, and not understand the seriousness of intent underneath it. I appreciate that whoever is programming for the BBC is trying to protect us.”

Somewhat disturbed to hear of the Holocaust referred to as a “classy story for the radio,” but we’re missing that dimension of meaning you get by hearing a voice on the radio. Certainly an interesting read, and you can find out about his ecstatic experience here.  And if you want a laugh, it’s well worth checking out TAL’s classic episode, First Day/Squirrel Cop.


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