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This American Live

Ira Glass held his audience in the palm of his hand once more as he show-cased the many mediums of This American Life to a thrilled Saturday night audience, in the sumptuous surroundings of the Tuschinski Theatre – the jewel

JOE NO LOVETALK TO AN IRAQI

Ira Glass held his audience in the palm of his hand once more as he show-cased the many mediums of This American Life to a thrilled Saturday night audience, in the sumptuous surroundings of the Tuschinski Theatre – the jewel in Amsterdam’s cinematic crown.

A glorious follow-up from Saturday morning’s radio-show presentation, the ultra-charming Mr Glass demonstrated how he transferred his extraordinary storytelling smithery from audio to video – including radio interviews accompanied by cartoon animation, and documentary shorts of the CAN’T. STOP. WATCHING school.

Two years ago, as the tenth anniversary of his hit radio show approached, Glass was lured by a TV network to “give it a try”. Resist as he might, he eventually conceded – and boy are we happy he did!

Personal highlights were the story of Joe, a 14-year-old anti-love activist who equates felling in love with self-inflicted torture and “barbaric pleasure”, seeking solace rather in Dungeons, Dragons and being adorably un-badass. Where does Glass find these exceptional characters? Or does he seek out exceptional qualities in the familiar? He somehow tracked down this Iraqi student in New York, who was on a quest to find out – from the horse’s mouth – why America backed the Iraq war. New Yorkers told him, “if you want to know the answer, go to the Mid-West”. And that he did, armed with an intercultural therapy booth of sorts, inviting passers by to “Talk to an Iraqi“. Some utterly intriguing encounters ensued with a full spectrum of US citizens – from an 11-year pacifist girl to a proud perpetrator of child abuse at Abu Ghraib – as they absorb (or in some cases inflict) each others’ standpoints.

We highly recommend these Glass spectacles: they help you see things more clearly. I’m gonna buy me a pair!

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