169: Pursuit of Happiness

169: Pursuit of Happiness

Sep 29, 2000
We as a nation declared our independence based on, among other things, the right to pursue our happiness. But what does it mean, over two centuries later, to grow up in a country with an inalienable right to pursue happiness? Stories of people pursuing happiness, and sometimes, achieving it.
  • Ira talks with producer Blue Chevigny about how a prank caller taught her that when it comes to pursuing happiness, Carole King, the world of independent cinema and the New York City Police Department have a lot more in common than she ever imagined. He also talks with MIT Professor Pauline Maier, author of the book American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence. (10 minutes) CityMusicPoliceTheater

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  • David Rakoff tells a story about an actual pursuit—a scavenger hunt—that takes hundreds of hours to create ... done for the sheer pleasure of it. (18 minutes) City
    Song:
    • "Everybody's Gonna Be Happy", The Kinks

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  • Thomas Beller tells the story of how we go from innocently amusing ourselves, to less innocent activities—all in the pursuit of happiness. It's an excerpt from his novel The Sleep-over Artist. (7 minutes)ChildhoodFiction

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  • Every year, the Emerald Society, an association of Irish Chicago police officers, flies in policemen from New York City for Chicago's two big St. Patrick's Day Parades. Every year they're met by a group of Chicago South Side women, who are big big fans of the NYPD. This American Life producer Julie Snyder tells the story. (11 minutes)AlcoholCityFood/Drinks/CookingHolidaysPoliceRomanceTravel

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  • Finding happiness is serious business. At least, for most us, it requires an act of will. Nancy Updike tells the story of a boxing coach named Marcus Johnson, and how he decided to turn something that made him unhappy...into the opposite. (18 minutes) ChildrenJobs/EmploymentSports

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