This American Life: Spies Like Us

Posted: September 16, 2010 in Uncategorized

I chose the episode 278 from 2004 entitled “Spies Like Us”. Listening to it was like listening to a book. The radio broadcaster hosted a handful of different people who told stories where they found themselves spying on others. In the first instance a man accidentally is able to pick up a security camerea from a hotel lobby in his city. He explains how he becomes obsessed with one female who always shows up in frame. He descripes how he alters his daily routine to accommodate his new habit of watching the lobby cam.

In the second instance a woman uses a baby monitor for her baby. Although, she picks up more than the baby’s cries. She picks up drug deals over cell phones from her neighbor. She becomes obsessed with spying on him and finding out what he’s doing, who he’s selling to, and what is going on. She ends up concentrating so much on him that she doesn’t really got to know her actual neighbor who is dying of cancer. She gets to know the sick lady shortly before she passes away. Her actions that she makes to get to know the lady are somehow known by the rest of the neighborhood. She realizes that while she was watching her neighbors, they were watching her.

The broadcast was like listening to a book on tape. Even the descriptions of the episode reveals that they are fictitious stories. However the way the show was produced made it seem real. Like the McKee article, the producer uses music, silence, spoken word, and a mixture of music and speaking to enhance the experience.

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