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maxnmona
Mar 16, 2005

if you start with drums, you have to end with dynamite.

Mogambo posted:

I'm curious if there are any episodes that people really don't like. I've been listening to TAL for a few years now, and without fail it's always been fascinating and great.

I've been spending the last couple years going through This American Life in order from the beginning (I'm still only up to 2001. There are a lot of episodes), and there are some pretty weak ones now and then, especially towards the start.

One I heard recently that might be the most boring episode they've ever done is Return to Childhood. You want to hear a bunch of middle-aged white guys talk about how things were different when they were a kid for an hour? Oh, no actually you're a sane person?

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maxnmona
Mar 16, 2005

if you start with drums, you have to end with dynamite.

tooooooo bad posted:

Speaking of frustrating shows, anyone remember which episode was about the woman judge who ran the totally crazy, super-harsh jail thing for kids? Only episode I can think of that left me actually furious when I had finished it.

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/rad...very-tough-love

Yeah, occasionally they do an episode that just gets you angry at the ridiculous injustice of it.

Another one is this one http://www.thisamericanlife.org/rad...u-are-city-hall

maxnmona
Mar 16, 2005

if you start with drums, you have to end with dynamite.

Speaking of humanizing Ira Glass, this interview with Ira and his wife is fascinating and really far from his This American Life persona

http://howwasyourweek.libsyn.com/ep...s-anaheed-alani

maxnmona
Mar 16, 2005

if you start with drums, you have to end with dynamite.

soggybagel posted:

I really wish they would denote that its a repeat.

On the website, they always tell you the original air date.

maxnmona
Mar 16, 2005

if you start with drums, you have to end with dynamite.

AquaticIguana posted:

Middle school is pretty poo poo for most people.

The only segments I actively dislike are when they have david sedaris or the guy with the weird stuffy voice do a piece. Part of it is that the real stories are so solid that those guys feel like they're wasting time. I actually like sedaris's books, but his stories just never feel like they fit.

Ira Glass was the person who discovered David Sedaris, and the show was basically built to fit Sedaris's style. The early episodes are 50% just Sedaris talking.

I'm not sure what you mean by "real stories". Other than the occasional animal fable, everything Sedaris does is memoir.

maxnmona
Mar 16, 2005

if you start with drums, you have to end with dynamite.

AquaticIguana posted:

By real stories I meant the usual "send a reporter to tell about a thing" stories. I must have gotten unlucky with Sedaris episodes. Beides one episode about his screwed up Dad, all I remember are his animal fables.

A good place to start with him is the story that made him famous, The Santaland Diaries. You can hear it here: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/rad...as-and-commerce

Incidentally, if anyone ever wants to look up episodes by contributor, the website has a really easy way to do that here http://www.thisamericanlife.org/contributors

maxnmona
Mar 16, 2005

if you start with drums, you have to end with dynamite.

UltraRed posted:

I'll also join in on the Sedaris hate. How can you even tell what's fictional and what's not. Even the real stories of comedians are filled with exaggeration and hyperbole. They're just big wastes of time.

I remember the stories about the cruelty of children and there was a story about a man in a well. Thanks for the story about what cruel children might do.

The man in the well wasn't Sedaris. It's also one of the more memorable stories TAL has ever had.

maxnmona
Mar 16, 2005

if you start with drums, you have to end with dynamite.

UltraRed posted:

When I first heard Ira's voice, the first thing I thought was, "this guy does not have a voice for radio."

I was also shocked to find out he wasn't in his 20's.

I think most people are more shocked to find out he isn't gay.

danifestmestny posted:

I like Glass's voice. Am I the only one who thinks he and Alex Bloomberg from Planet Money sound EXACTLY alike?

There was one Planet Money podcast where he was interviewing someone and he introduced himself as being from public radio and the woman immediately said "Oh yeah, I love your This American Life."

maxnmona
Mar 16, 2005

if you start with drums, you have to end with dynamite.

C2C - 2.0 posted:

My favorite act aired years ago; 10-12 or maybe more. I don't remember the theme, but the act was about a guy who impersonated Willie Nelson. Bizarre, touching, and sad all at the same time.

as it happens, you're in luck. I just listened that episode in my slow process of listening to every episode in order.

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/rad...185/golden-calf

Incidentally, I just got to the series of episodes they did right after 9/11. Not the cheeriest ones they've ever done.

maxnmona
Mar 16, 2005

if you start with drums, you have to end with dynamite.

kuddles posted:

Yeah, when I listened to it, I originally acted smug as a non-Apple fan until I looked online and found out most of the electronics I own may have been made at Foxconn. Kinda made me feel like poo poo, especially because I chose most of it because it was the cheapest price at the time.

If they weren't made at Foxconn, then they were made at a place exactly like it next door.

I saw Mike Daisey's show live, and it was breath-taking. Haven't heard the episode yet, but you can't get much better material to base radio on.

maxnmona
Mar 16, 2005

if you start with drums, you have to end with dynamite.

Phone posted:

Speaking of depressing TAL stories: http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/...lly-fabricated/

Thanks Mike Daisey for deceiving TAL's producers and getting all of your shows sold out.

If you actually read through the details, I'm with Mike Daisey on this one.

The problem was taking a piece of theater and presenting it in the context of journalism, which was more the fault of the TAL producers than Daisey. They approached him, not the other way around.

All of the facts under dispute are whether he personally met some of the people he discusses in the monologue, not whether the conditions he described are true.

And given the context of the piece, that he invented personally meeting people affected by things that really happened is fine, given that those people exist and the events that affected them happen, and given that it is presented as a piece of theater.

That This American Life considers itself journalism rather than theater is kind of its own thing to sort out, not Daisey's.

edit: also, it should be noted that he did not need This American Life to sell out shows. He was selling out long before they aired the show. He is one of the most talented and well-respected monologuists working today, he doesn't really need help getting gigs.

maxnmona fucked around with this message at Mar 16, 2012 around 18:36

maxnmona
Mar 16, 2005

if you start with drums, you have to end with dynamite.

Phone posted:

I wasn't aware of Mike Daisey before this and I don't doubt that he sold out shows before this on a regular basis. He did have money on the line though because after the story aired, I am positive that the potential customers to his show increased dramatically, and due to the magic of supply & demand, he would be 100% in the clear to charge a premium over what he was previously charging.

Whether you were personally aware of him or not, he had a thriving career before this. He has been doing monologues for years to sold out crowds in large theaters. While this certainly didn't hurt his career, I doubt he was actively trying to make a huge amount of money through TAL.

And, as far as I know, the price of tickets for the show did not go up at all after he was on the radio.

maxnmona
Mar 16, 2005

if you start with drums, you have to end with dynamite.

Solkanar512 posted:

Uh, Daisy presented the piece as journalism. He knew it would be treated as such on the show. He outright lied to TAL's fact checkers. This has been discussed at length in the GBS thread, but it shouldn't go unchallenged here either.

I don't understand why you defend him so much - he's a loving liar and has done significant damage to those who wish to see better working conditions in China and elsewhere. There's really no defense for this at all.

That part of it wasn't clear until the actual episode came out tonight, and I responded to it in the other thread.

But having heard everything, I agree that Daisey definitely did a lovely thing here.

Also, things like making up the guards holding the guns crosses the line into lies about the facts, which is different from pretending to have met people who you only did research on, which is perfectly fine in the context of theater (although obviously not ok in the context of journalism).

maxnmona
Mar 16, 2005

if you start with drums, you have to end with dynamite.

Blackula69 posted:

Wrong, he lied to them. They fact-checked what they could, but they had to take him on his word for some of it - and his word was false.


You're glossing over a pretty big point here. What he did was fine on the stage - he's using investigative techniques to tell a mostly true story, etc. But when it's presented as journalism, which his work was, it has to be verifiably true. He had no direct knowledge of what he was speaking of, and he created false characters to illustrate points that were based on information he hadn't directly observed.


It wasn't a piece of theatre. It would be fine in the theatre because the story is what matters. But TAL is journalism, not theatre. They use the techniques of drama to tell true stories, he uses the techniques of journalism to tell fictional stories.

It's on him to make clear to the producers what is and isn't embellished in his piece, and it's clear that he did not do that. We'll hear the whole story tomorrow

e: I guess there's probably a thread for this, but I really don't want to read what GBS has to say about journalism

2e: it's surprisingly not that bad, although I don't get what his weight has to do with anything

That post was made based on the info in the press release only. Once I heard the full story, I changed my mind, as you can see a few posts down.

maxnmona
Mar 16, 2005

if you start with drums, you have to end with dynamite.

The Bunk posted:

I didn't listen to the original episode because it didn't sound that interesting, and listening to the update I'm glad I skipped it. Even putting aside all the "the translator must have wandered away when the 13 year old factory worker told me how old she was, and her friends looked the same age so I said I saw a 12 year old" bullshit, I can't imagine listening to a whole story in Daisey's serious monologist voice. Dude is no Mike Birbiglia.

You may think that based on short excerpts, but I've sat in a theater for the entire monologue, and there's a reason Mike Daisey has been selling out theaters for over a decade. Mike Birbiglia is a stand up comedian whose pretty good at telling a story. Daisey is a storyteller like no one else working today.

He can have an entire large audience laughing one second and then leaning forward intent on every word he's saying the next. His ethics aside, he is a monologist of remarkable and rare talent.

maxnmona
Mar 16, 2005

if you start with drums, you have to end with dynamite.

Glitterbomber posted:

Or you could just let someone not like his style without freaking out yet again to defend him against anything at all against him. I'm not super into his style either, even aside from the whole 'lied and damaged his cause because he's a moneygrubbing piece of poo poo' thing, his voice is a bit 'off' to me, it's a personal thing.

I know people like things to be binary because that's easier to grasp, so he must either be all good or completely worthless, but his talent is not subjective, and it's not one that you are in a position to judge unless you've seen him in person, which is how he actually works.

It wasn't just that I liked him, I saw his effect on a huge group of people. There are very few people working today that can do that to an audience, and almost none that can do it as well as he can.

maxnmona
Mar 16, 2005

if you start with drums, you have to end with dynamite.

Phone posted:

I don't think I've agreed with a person more than Rob Schmitz. He was so on the money with Mr. Daisey being a smarmy piece of poo poo who wouldn't answer anything.

Also that video of him being absolutely in shock and awe when a group of people walked out in protest of his show is fantastic.

Is there a new video?

If you're talking about the one that's been around for awhile, it had nothing to do with this issue. It was a Christian group offended that he was swearing.

maxnmona
Mar 16, 2005

if you start with drums, you have to end with dynamite.

A longer written response from Mike Daisey http://mikedaisey.blogspot.com.au/2...en-greatly.html

and the prologue he added to the last few shows of the stage version: http://mikedaisey.blogspot.com.au/2...-delivered.html

maxnmona
Mar 16, 2005

if you start with drums, you have to end with dynamite.

Blackula69 posted:

TAL didn't edit to make Daisey look bad - they didn't edit that stuff at all

Of course they edited it. The actual interview was not fifteen minutes long. And Glass summarized several of Daisey's answers instead of playing them.

Not saying he edited it to make him look bad, but it's silly to claim that we were listening to an unedited source tape. They chose which questions and answers to play.

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maxnmona
Mar 16, 2005

if you start with drums, you have to end with dynamite.

Glitterbomber posted:

You literally thought he meant that he thought the real interview was 15 minutes, and not that his problem was the long awkward silences. You have a super strong devotion to defending every aspect of this dude to the point of self-imposed insanity.

People are so offended by what Daisey did wrong that it's impossible to sort out the overblown statements from the mere confusing ones(no one has ever said that the long silences were edited in, so I don't know how I was supposed to infer that meaning).

In any case, I'm not on Daisey's side. I think he hosed up and did several wrong things. I just find the situation nuanced and not something I'm upset about, whereas some people are working themselves into a rage over something that doesn't affect them at all.

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