This American Life

I love This American Life.  I am conservative and evangelical, so in theory, I have no business listening to NPR, but I love TAL.  Week in and week out Ira Glass and company present compelling stories about extraordinary people.  Obviously, it's important to listen critically and realize that every contributor brings a set of preconceived notions to every story.  With that understanding in place, the show is a valuable storytelling tool.

TAL is a constant reminder that everyone has a story to tell.  It could be for example that your neighbor was Noriega's pen pal when she was a schoolgirl in the '70s.  It could be that the man sitting next to you on your last flight was originally from a small town on the coast of Alabama in which, once a year, thousands of fish and shrimp wash up on shore only to be collected by hungry townspeople armed with buckets.  They call this bizarre event a "Jubilee".

Both examples are true and taken from TAL episodes.  Everyone has a story.  The storyteller's job is to find it.


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