327: By Proxy
Mar 9, 2007
Stories of proxy fights, proxy arguments, and proxy situations of all kinds.
- This American Life producer Nancy Updike talks with a man, Eric Molinsky, about a weirdly heated argument he got into with a good friend, over corporate tax loopholes. Midway through, they both stopped to think: Why were they getting so upset over an issue they didn't really care about that much? And then they realized: Eric's ex-girlfriend was a political activist, and Eric's friend's ex-boyfriend was a hedge fund manager. Eric and his friend had had a 20-minute proxy argument on behalf of their exes. Host Ira Glass also talks about how a lot of his opinions about TV are just proxy opinions that he holds on behalf of his wife. (5 minutes)
- This American Life regular contributor Davy Rothbart talks about the time a friend asked him to make a decision for her that she really had to make for herself: Whether she should have an abortion. Davy is the founder and publisher of Found Magazine and author of a book of short stories, The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas. (14 minutes)
- Basim, an Iraqi national, worked as an interpreter for the U.S. Army. He talks with host Ira Glass about the time he had to purposely mistranslate in order to keep a situation from turning violent, as well as the day interpreters became the prime targets for insurgent assassins—even more prized than American soldiers. (22 minutes)
- Robert (pictured) had a bad reputation as a kid who didn't do his schoolwork and had little respect for adults. But his best friend, Lilly (holding picture), thought he was misunderstood. After Robert died, Lilly decided to step in and do for him what he could never do for himself: Tell people how great he was. And also tell his teachers how much he'd appreciated their efforts, even though he'd never shown it. Eve Abrams, one of Robert's former teachers and a freelance radio reporter in New York City, tells the story. (12 minutes)