"Once I became afraid of my child..."
That quote, from the second act of this week's episode of This American Life, "Special Ed," deals with a mother whose son (with a severe genetic disorder) had some profoundly disturbing emotional and behaviorable problems. They mentioned that the child was put on Zyprexa. That should say something, since that drug is a pretty powerful antipsychotic.
I don't make any secret of my affection for Ira Glass' This American Life. Of all the programs on the radio today, it is one of the most intelligent, sensitive, witty, and - often - downright funny. Now, the format and the style has left the show open to criticism. The Onion, in particular, had a savage and dryly witty parody, here:
This American Life host and producer Ira Glass began work on the project in 1995 in Chicago, where he found himself inspired by and catering to an audience of professionals who dine out frequently and have a hard time getting angry. Glass and his team of producers, writers, and interns set about the exhausting task of gathering all available information on a range of subjects from minor skirmishes with the law to the rewards of occasionally talking to poor people. The raw data was then analyzed, deconstructed, reconstructed, re-deconstructed, organized under a broad philosophical title, and interspliced with musical interludes by rock duo They Might Be Giants.Despite that, which is probably fair, it is still one of the few reasons that I listen to radio anymore (WNYC's Radio Lab, being another). Now, in the interest of fairness, I should note, as an aside, that I am the sort of person who would like This American Life. I'm not going to go into that, but it's probably the case. They made a smart move making podcasts of the episodes freely available through iTunes. I don't really do the "radio" thing at home, since the mighty Interweb has made it unnecessary, but having the episodes on my iPod for convenient and readily available listening is really nice.
I suppose that, then, this post is about the freely available episodes of This American Life. In an age when entertainment is cheap - cost- and quality-wise - it is nice to see quality programming available for free. Better, too, than the Plain White T's song, "Hey There, Delilah," which I see iTunes is shilling.