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.
Host Ira Glass reads from a letter Benjamin Franklin wrote, and discusses it with Jack Hitt.
Ira with Lloyd Natoff, on killing chickens.
Ira with chicken photographer Tamara Staples.
A history of the brief mayoral career of Harold Washington, and its lessons for black and white America, as told by people close to him. Many are activists and politicians: Lu Palmer, Judge Eugene Pincham, Congressman Danny Davis, then-alderman Eugene Sawyer.
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.
Host Ira Glass talks with "Jim Steel," who tells a story about the social rules at his high school in Wisconsin.
Ira reads an excerpt from James Ellroy's memoir My Dark Places.
Ira with Lynnette Nyman, who, as a girl, recorded her parents fighting with a cassette recorder she got for Christmas.
Host Ira Glass reads an ad from American Handgunner. People who love guns and people who hate them have a hard time seeing eye to eye, but this ad bridges the gap. As this week's show does.
Geoffrey Canada, author of the book Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence in America, talks about what it's like to carry a gun. He also talks about what poor neighborhoods in New York were like before the proliferation of handguns among young people. When he grew up in the South Bronx, kids had fistfights in a very formal arrangement with formal rules that everyone lived by. He reads from his book and talks with Ira.
Host Ira Glass, on the beach with Chris McKinney, a boy scout who is single-handedly trying to stop erosion on one stretch of beach in Mason Neck State Park in Virginia.
How an audience of children derailed Late Night with Conan O'Brien.
A communist, the filmmaker Marcel Ophuls, the band Camper Van Beethoven, and other people who may be stuck in the wrong decade.
Karl T. Wright's and Wendy Miller's game show wedding.
A former addict and a former prisoner discuss the developmental retardation their experiences caused.
Host Ira Glass talks to three teenage boys who buy computer equipment using stolen credit card numbers.
The people of Chicago speak out.
Howard Rabinowitz and The Truth About Cats and Dogs. (4 minutes)
First, an interview with Jim Nelson, then, an interview with Eli, a computer hacker who was thrown in prison by federal authorities for his crimes.
Mary and Manfred Rauer have been married 22 years. He's a devout Christian, goes to church every week, reads the Bible every day, was head of his congregation.
Danny Toro, a member of a Chicago street gang for ten years, explains what gangster movies he liked most in his gang years and why. Scarface, with Al Pacino, was a good movie to get him pumped up to go out with his boys. A Lucky Luciano film taught him a lesson in how to be more compassionate with members of his own gang.
Brett Leveridge was standing on the subway. A guy comes walking down the platform, stopping in front of each passenger and delivering a quiet verdict: "You're in.