June 11, 2004


Perhaps there was a time when the rules of polite society were clear. No longer. This week, we bring you stories of people forced to try to figure out how to maintain their dignity—and decency—in some very unsettling situations.


It seems apples for the teacher is a bygone tradition. Host Ira Glass talks to Mindy, a first-grade teacher, about the rather racy gifts her students give these days at Christmas. (6 minutes)
Act One

Government Says The Darnedest Things

The FCC says it just wants a little civility on the nation's airwaves. And by tightening the rules on what swear words are allowed, government officials say they're protecting kids. The only weakness in their argument is that the facts don't happen to back them up. Ira talks with Dr Timothy Jay, author of Cursing in America and Why We Curse and John Cody, legal aide to FCC Chairman Michael Powell. Read the fascinating landmark FCC decision that's changing the rules, and the ACLU's Petition for Reconsideration. (30 minutes)

Act Two

Dems Gone Wild!

Ken Kurson, a Republican, runs for New Jersey State Assembly in a very, very Democratic district. He expects disagreement and debate. He doesn't expect his neighbors and friends to turn into vulgarians. (8 minutes)
Act Three

Swiss Near-miss

Out with a man on a moonlit walk on Lake Geneva, an American woman does the proper thing. He does not. Samantha Hunt is the author of the novel The Seas. Her story was read by Claire Beckmann. (11 minutes)