It’s about life.

Sometimes good things come to you in unexpected ways: I’ve been following Emily Martin’s Blog for some time now (I think, to be precise, it’s been years). I’m really fond of it, because it was one of the first blogs about this whole tinkering-selfmade-creativness, that’s grown big now, even in Austria, I stumbled upon. However, one day in March 2009 I read her blog entry about this radio show she was listening to and about this host called Ira Glass. I clicked the link and read a little about it on the This American Life homepage.

But at first it was just some of this web-things to me – you come across dozens of recommendations every day, when you’re browsing the net. And most of them just pass you by or end up in some link collection. Strangely I started to remember about her entry on This American Life now and then, something had made me curious. Until one day, I think it must have been the summer of 2009 by then, I just downloaded the This American Life App to my iPhone. I remember being fed up with my music collection and in need of a change.

The first episode I listened to was “Return to the scene of the crime” and it spooked me a little bit. It was very serious and a little bit creepy and not the best choice for me to get an impression of the show. Then again, months passed before I tried it again. I can’t remeber which episode I chose next, but it must have been one, that was absolutely made for me. And that’s how, after some complications and rough patches, I fell in love with This American Life for good. I listen to it regularly – sometimes I listen to two shows a day over weeks. Then it happens that I need some break and squeeze in some days of music on my way to work and home. But sooner or later I’m browsing the archive again for a title that fits me at the moment.

I’m thinking about how I could describe this radio-show at best… For me as a girl from Austria it’s really about America and to get a better impression about what is really going on in this land, that sometimes feels very near but also is far far away. It’s about finding many similarities in the daily lifes of Americans and Austrians or every other European country you like, but at the same time seeing and trying to understand the distinctions. For me it’s kind of a ambassador, that comes to your living room, or a pen pal from Chicago that writes you on a weekly basis.

But eventually it’s really just about people and their lifes – and that’s the thing that unites us very much. Because everyone has the same fears and hopes and sorrows in the end. This American Life starts you thinking about yourself and people around you. It gets you to laugh or to think about things in a different way and sometimes it makes you cry. But it’s always okay, because you know you are in very good hands.

To round things up, here’s my top ten of This American Life shows, in no distinct order:

Apart from radio shows there are also tv shows now (but I haven’t watched them yet) and there are live shows, they record now and then. One of my biggest wishes is to see one of their shows live and not only hearing, but seeing Ira Glass speaking the words that have grown so much on me:

It’s This American Life from WBEZ Chicago distributed by Public Radio international. I am Ira Glass.


Oh, these nerd glasses.

I must say, I have a thing for nerd glasses – and there are some men, who can really wear those! ;)

Elvis Costello

Michael Stipe

Ira Glass