How David Sedaris became a Christmas writer — and how he started writing stories about the holiday that are so dark that sometimes it seems that he's trying to single handedly destroy Christmas. We hear from members of David's own family, and from David, all of whom insist that David loves Christmas.
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A Hollywood TV producer tries to convince a church of evangelical Christians to sell out a member of their own congregation. Matt Malloy reads. He was one of the stars of the acclaimed independent film In the Company of Men.Also in this act: Dickens vs.
David Rakoff on how he tried to pass as a local once he moved from Toronto to New York. He claims that there must be a chip in his head — or something like it — that automatically tells him when someone or something famous is Canadian.
Ira Glass talks with David Axelrod, who was an advisor to Harold Washington and to Barack Obama as well. In 2007, when we last broadcast this show, Ira recorded an interview with Axelrod who was riding on Obama’s campaign bus, during the Democratic Primary in Iowa.
An Allen Ginsberg poem and Ira Glass.
Story of a romance that began in a mental hospital. Sometimes, the line between crazy and not crazy is blurry; certain behavior could mean either thing.
Ira reads an excerpt from James Ellroy's memoir My Dark Places.
Ira with 19-year-old Claudia Perez at a furniture store in Claudia's Mexican neighborhood.
Foreign correspondent Jim Biederman reports from a cell phone inside the Louvre, in front of the Mona Lisa, on what people say while they're standing in front of some of the world's greatest works of art. It turns out to be pretty banal.
Host Ira Glass goes to the Federal Express hub at Memphis to watch 1.2 million pieces of overnight mail get sorted in one night and to talk to the adrenaline junkies in the FedEx Command Center.
Samantha Martin trains raccoons to play basketball and rats to bowl. She says that what we want from animals is for them to imitate humans.
Michael Lesy reads.
Dr Patricia Deegan hears voices in her head. She's a psychologist and she believes that the only way mental health workers can really understand what their patients go through is if they hear voices themselves.
The small town dilemma.
Ira Glass's grandmother.
Host Ira Glass talks to Amanda, who's 16 and lives with her mom in a Christian commune in Chicago.
Ira with an expert in medieval manuscripts, Sandy Hindman.
South Carolina native Jack Hitt discusses the Confederate Flag's prominent place over the statehouse.