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.
We spend a month at a Jeep dealership on Long Island as they try to make their monthly sales goal: 129 cars. If they make it, they'll get a huge bonus from the manufacturer, possibly as high as $85,000 — enough to put them in the black for the month. If they don't make it, it'll be the second month in a row. So they pull out all the stops. Photo gallery here. NOTE: the Internet version of this episode includes un-bleeped curse words. Bleeped version here.
Where you live is important. It can dictate quality of schools and hospitals, as well as things like cancer rates, unemployment, or whether the city repairs roads in your neighborhood. On this week's show, stories about destiny by address.
Much of this story is told to Nancy Updike by ProPublica reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones, whose series on the Fair Housing laws — with more stories, research and interviews — is here.
Stories of people breaking the rules fully, completely
and with no bad consequences. Some justify this by saying they’re doing it
for others, or for a greater good. Some really don’t care. And, unlike the
mealy weaklings you usually hear on this program: None of these wrongdoers
seem regretful about what they’ve done in the slightest.
Producer Sarah Koenig's mother lives by a set of rules about conversation. She has an actual list of off-limits topics, including how you slept, your period, your health, your diet and more. You don't talk about these things, she says, because nobody cares. This week we try to find stories on these exact topics that will prove her wrong.