Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Gems amid the cultural wasteland

It's easy to feel like we are immersed in a cultural wasteland--how many brain cells died slow and painful deaths watching "The Bachelorette" grand fiasco, I mean "finale" on Monday night? Hopefully that episode will put the final nail in the coffin of the misguided premise of televised arranged marriages (of course I am not holding my breath).

As an antidote, today I was fortunate to come across two wonderful radio gems that had me bawling as I drove down the road. I recommend you check them out--in the safety of your own living room.

On the radio show The Connection, today's broadcast "Portraits of Interrupted Life" featured photographer Lynnette Johnson and her work taking photographs of terminally ill children and their families. Lynnette is carrying out an incredible labor of love and creating lasting, joyful memories of the children who will be lost. Her stories will touch your soul. You can listen to the program through The Connection's website.

The February 25, 2005 episode of This American Life, called "Remember Me" contains a story that starts out about a girl's cherished music mix tape, and evolves into a meditation about the bittersweet nature of remembering and forgetting loved ones. You can listen to the show through the website, or buy it from Audible.com and download a copy to take with you as a CD or MP3 file.

It's worth making the effort to learn how to use these new ways to access audio content on demand. iPods and downloads aren't just for teenagers--they are great tools for decluttering your mental environment and filling your mind with stories and music that you enjoy.