The story of a typical American family—imaginary poultry—and a handpuppet.
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Ira with Lloyd Natoff, on killing chickens.
Ira with chicken photographer Tamara Staples.
When is a chicken your friend? When is he your dinner? This American Life's former webmeister Elizabeth Meister talks with Kamiko Overs, an 11-year-old girl at the annual poultry exhibition run by the American Poultry Association in Columbus, Ohio. Elizabeth Meister is a producer with Long Haul Productions.
Last year, a woman named Karen Davis started a national letter writing campaign to try to get This American Life to stop the very program we are broadcasting today—the annual Poultry Slam. In this portion of our show, she explains what it is that we just don't understand about poultry, and why the whole idea of this poultry show was wrong-headed from the start.
Host Ira Glass reads from a letter Benjamin Franklin wrote, and discusses it with Jack Hitt.
Michael Stumm on the uses of chickens in South African sangoma (witch doctor) culture.
When Danielle's family serves poultry at their dinner table, no one utters the word "chicken." Instead, it is always called "fish." Danielle explains why with the help of her friend "Duki." (16 minutes)
When Danielle's family serves poultry at their dinner table, no one utters the word "chicken." Instead, it is always called "fish." Danielle explains why with the help of her friend "Duki." (20 minutes)
Ira and his friend Danielle, whose family says they're eating fish when in fact it's turkey or chicken, for an unusual reason.
When Francois Mitterand knew he was about to die, he decided that the last food to cross his lips would be poultry...a tiny bird that is actually illegal to eat in France. It's a bird that, by tradition, is eaten with a napkin covering your head.
Host Ira Glass point out that it's not enough this time of year that we eat millions of turkeys. Someone also went to the trouble to make up a song about turkeys getting the supernatural power to play baseball.
In the 1960s, the adventures of "The Greatest Crimefighter the World Has Ever Known"—Chickenman—were heard on hundreds of radio stations. On today's show, the winged warrior flies again.
The story of a typical American family, and how their family dynamic has reorganized itself around an imaginary duck, invented in childhood, who somehow stayed alive well into adulthood. (14 minutes)
Scharlette Holdman's story continues, in which she and the rest of a legaldefense team try to save a man on death row by finding a star witness — achicken with a specific skill.
Ira Glass talks with Scharlette Holdman, who works with defense teams on high profile death row cases, and who has not talked to a reporter in more than 25 years. Why did she suddenly end the moratorium on press? Because her story is about something important: Namely, a beautiful chicken.
Ira accompanies photographer Tamara Staples as she attempts to photograph chickens in the style of high fashion photography. The chickens are not very cooperative. Her photos have been collected in a book, "The Magnificent Chicken: Portraits of the Fairest Fowl." (15 minutes)
One of the things we were excited to investigate when we went to Alabama was to answer the question at the heart of the immigration debate: what does it cost taxpayers when we let in millions of immigrants, documented and undocumented? In Albertville, how much was it? We asked economist Kim Rueben and her colleague Erin Huffer to run the numbers.
We’ve visited Albertville, Alabama many times now, to figure out exactly what happened when the population shifted from 98% white in 1990, to a fourth Latino twenty years later.
In the early years, when immigrants first arrived in Albertville, the things that bothered the locals weren’t the things you usually hear about when people talk about immigration. Not jobs or wages or crime.
In 2012, the fever broke, and the Albertville city council stopped targeting Latino residents. The mayor says he and the council are taking a cue from the public schools.
Suddenly realizing just how many Latinos had moved to town, longtime residents jumped into action, fueled by a wave of national and statewide anti-immigration fever. Then in 2011, Alabama adopted the most extreme anti-immigrant law in the country.