Reflection on TAL: Reruns

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This American Life: Reruns

I enjoyed listening to this episode of This American Life with the overall topic of reruns. It caught my attention because I love reruns. I watch my favorite shows hundreds of times and I read my favorite books until there are creases in the spine. In the prologue, as well as  throughout the entire radio show, you get a better understanding of what Ira Glass meant when he talked about “good taste” and being ruthless. The message of the show was clear and the show was fun to listen to because the important details were what stood out.

In Act One, all the topics that Ira Glass talked about on youtube were perfectly exemplified. There were the building blocks: the anecdote and the reflection. The anecdote being the actions of the movie, while the reflection is the interview with Trent Harris. It had the element of finding a great story, both in Starlee Kine finding the story of Trent Harris and in Trent Harris finding Beaver. Trent had good taste in making this movie over and over again. He never put in anything that would take away from the movie and always kept the important details in the movie. Also, the element of personal interaction was evident in Act One. Many connections were made through just one basic story and through those interactions you can internalize that story and see the real drama of the story come out.

The entirety of Act Two was centered around the basic building blocks of story-telling. The personal anecdotes that people tell and the reflections on why do these certain stories get re-told. I liked that in Act Two, there was more focus on why certain stories are told and how these stories affect personal interactions. In the case of Robert and Tamar, the story is now something shared between them because of a variation in detail.

In Act Three, the reflection raised an interesting issue of why people compare themselves to Rosa Parks. It made me stop and think of how the story of civil rights activists are carried through the years and used (improperly) as analogies. This act shows us how personal interaction is a powerful tool in story telling. The interaction between Rosa Parks and the bus driver is a great image for many people, but many distort the overall interaction that lead to this memorable event.

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