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Canice
06-22-2007, 06:44 PM
Did anyone here listen to last week's show, "Big Wide World"? I'm thinking specifically of Act 1:

Act One. Teen Wolf...Blitzer.

When he was a teenager, Haider Hamsa worked in the Iraqi Ministry of Information. He was specially trained to talk to visiting dignitaries and foreign reporters, and he loved his job. It was exciting, and he was treated like a celebrity. Then the war broke out, his family fled, his job disappeared, and Haider suddenly had to figure out what to do next: hide, like his father wanted, or jump into the fray—in one of the most dangerous ways possible. Gideon Yago tells the story. (28 minutes)

I caught a rebroadcast today and found the story positively captivating on many levels: One young adult's experience with the war, of course, but also the father-son dynamic and how Hamsa's world got bigger. Not just from his work, or seeing war, but his natural growing maturity.
I should add that the piece is totally apolitical: it stands on its own, and IMO is a perfect example of what Ira Glass and co. do best.

You can listend or download it here (http://www.thislife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?episode=335) if you're interested.

KristiB
06-22-2007, 07:39 PM
I have this on my ipod. I haven't listened yet.
Love the radio show and occasionally catch the TV show.

SugarNSpice
06-22-2007, 08:42 PM
I didn't catch that particular piece, but I am a huge fan of the radio show and have only just delved into the Showtime series.

I watched the first three episodes right after another and was just captivated by the story telling and the people.

Has anyone seen the second episode (?) about the cloned bull, Second Chance who was named after the first Chance, but ultimately became nothing like the orignial. I would never have thought something like that would have hit so close to my heart.

lisas3575
06-22-2007, 08:43 PM
I listened to it (podcast version) this week. What struck me was what was left at the end-- Hamsa, feeling at odds going to University in the US (and fulfilling a childhood dream) while feeling somehow he's betraying his country by living with the enemy, so to speak. He wasn't able to come to terms with that dichotomy when he first went to work as an interpreter for the US shortly after the invasion started. I wonder what changed?

Another thing that really hit hard was the description of the mother holding her son's body after he'd been killed by a bomber during their pilgrimage. As a mom, stories like these hit home a lot more than before I had Owen. Heartbreaking.

Canice
06-22-2007, 09:28 PM
I listened to it (podcast version) this week. What struck me was what was left at the end-- Hamsa, feeling at odds going to University in the US (and fulfilling a childhood dream) while feeling somehow he's betraying his country by living with the enemy, so to speak. He wasn't able to come to terms with that dichotomy when he first went to work as an interpreter for the US shortly after the invasion started. I wonder what changed?
....

That was interesting to me, as well -- the inner conflict (which is one of the things I was thinking of re the way TAL captures an individual's story). It was more complex to me when he spoke of his mixed feelings about being an interpreter for the US, though, than about studying here. What I picked up about the latter was an almost odd surprise that he was here on the US tax-payers' dollar, though I got the sense that he was good with his situation in general. Loved the juxtaposition of his having been a token spokesperson for Iraq under its Ministry of Information...and then defacto as a university student here!

SugarNSpice, I still haven't seen the TV show but should record it. Like so many people who love radio, I was skeptical -- but the show got good reviews. The cloned bull episode was used on either Fresh Air or Talk of the Nation, because I recall hearing snipets of it. (How funny - radio clips of a TV show based on a radio show.) I think that was supposed to have been startling - that the story could end up being so moving.

KristiB
06-23-2007, 07:03 AM
The cloned bull episode was great.

I also liked the one where the guy did a film on his father who had one pop hit in the 80's and still thought himself a rock star. It was pretty sad and a little funny and a little pathetic.

The way his mother ran on that treadmill sticks in my mind every time I'm on mine. Those who saw that episode know exactly what I'm talking about.