Monday, June 25, 2007

this american life

forgive my tardiness with regard to posting on this blog. there have been much goings-on going on at my other blog intraspace - which i heavily recommend you subscribe to.

here's a post replicated from intraspace...

podcasting is great. i mean, basically a lot of it is people doing amateur radio shows - kind of the radio version of blogging actually. but of course there are lots of 'official' podcasts as well - and some are by actual radio stations.

one of these is called 'this american life'. it is a radio show that has run on american public radio for over 10 years - apparently now it is also a tv show. but the part i love is that they release their weekly radio show as a podcast.

'this american life' is a very eclectic [liberal] show, but it has as its heart an examination of american culture. i personally think it is very useful for us non-americans to study the american culture in this way because it influences the rest of the world so much. i think it gives us useful insights into this dominant cultural force.

each week, 'this american life' has a seemingly random theme and then people are interviewed, tell their stories etc based on that theme. some recent themes include: 'road trip' (about the american road trip tradition), 'big wide world' (mainly about a young iraqi guy who works as a translator for the western media in iraq - excellent episode) and 'notes on camp' (people telling their stories about summer camp).

but the episode that inspired me to write this review was one about
guantanamo bay. i really and honestly think everyone should listen to this podcast - whether or not you think you are interested in the goings-on at america's terrorist prison. the episode is somewhat mysteriously called 'Habeas Schmabeas 2007' (all will be revealed when you listen to the podcast). it is a rerun of an episode that 'this american life' aired last year (i think), with some updates. in this episode they interview some actual past detainees of guantanamo bay and some of the attorneys that are representing current prisoners. it is very enlightening.

the original episode won a peabody award - whatever the heck that is (oh, here we go). which means, that is it very very good. a quick hunt reveals that unless you were a 'this american life' podcast subscriber (free, through itunes, or by using this link when the episode came out, then you can no longer download it for free - very sad. but you can stream it for free online. i recommend doing that at your earliest convenience my friends.