In this episode of This American Life the topic was how children can be cruel. When I first picked out this episode I made the assumption that it would be a more direct focus on how children are cruel to one another such as the bullying “epidemic” that we seem to be enthralled with right now in America. I was not as impressed with this episode as I was the first.
The first story was just alright. It felt too much like an embellished tale than an actual account of how he was treated poorly as a child. It also seemed to stray from the theme a bit as he seemed to talk just as much about adults throwing around insults as other kids.
The second story about the man in the well felt like a tall tale from early. So hearing that it was a work of fiction at the end was sadly not surprising. Also it cheapens the episode. There are plenty of true tales of children and their cruelty to one another and yet he took a good portion of the show to share a fake account. While it may illustrate the subject it does so in a weak way.
The View From Kindergarten segment was by far the best. It is a shame that it did not lead off this episode as this would have been a much better hook than that long drawn out story of summer camp in Greece. Hearing the behavioral analysis of these children really shows how we as humans ignore or mistreat our fellow people. This seems especially true in the classroom setting. I am sorry that the rest of the episode did not focus on more of this type of material as it would have had much more of an impact on showing the problems with children and their cruelty to one another.