This American Life
This American Life describes contemporary life with themed episodes and a variety of stories on that theme — mostly true stories of everyday people, though not always. The stories presented are engaging, intimate, surprising, funny, disturbing and bittersweet.
Stories from faraway, hard-to-get-to places, where all rules are off, nefarious things happen because no one's looking, and there's no one to appeal to.
For millennia, people have tried to reach a spiritual promised land by fasting. Jesus did it. Buddha did it. Monks and saints and new age gurus have done it. And, for for this episode, the late David Rakoff tried it. He did a 20-day fast, to find out if it would bring him any form of enlightenment. Also, contributor Starlee Kine tells a story about getting as close to one promised land as you possibly can, without actually going in.
It’s nice to belong, to feel connected to others. But what happens when you realize that your fundamental beliefs don’t line up with the people you want to be close to? Do you bring it up? And, what does that conversation sound like? Including a story by Mariya Karimjee, pictured. Guest host Sean Cole sits in for Ira.
While the seniors danced at Prom Night 2001 in Hoisington, Kansas—a town of about 3,000—a tornado hit the town, destroying about a third of it. When they emerged from the dance, they discovered what had happened, and in the weeks that followed, they tried to explain to themselves why the tornado hit where it did. Plus other stories that happen on Prom Night.