this american life

Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take a while. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.
—  Ira Glass’ (from This American Life)

Comic Mike Birbiglia on how he stopped procrastinating when he was writing the screenplay for his new movie, Don’t Think Twice

“I was procrastinating writing the movie. I had the movie in my head, but I wasn’t writing it. But I noticed this trend in my life which was that I was showing up to lunch meetings or business meetings, but I wasn’t showing up to meet myself. So I wrote a note next to my bed — this is so corny — but I wrote “Mike! You have an appointment at Café Pedlar at 7 a.m. with your mind!” It’s so corny, and I would show up! I never didn’t show up and I wrote this movie [in] spurts of essentially three hours, like I’d write from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and the reason why I would do that is because I was essentially barely awake. Because I feel like that moment, at 7 to 10 a.m., you’re not afraid of the world yet.”

More from today’s Fresh Air interview with Birbiglia: 

Comic Mike Birbiglia On His Best Failure And The 3 Rules Of Improv

Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

I have a serious problem I started listening to podcasts about a month ago and now I’ve got like 80 different podcasts I’m actively listening to.

anonymous asked:

Hello, the other day me and my brother fought about a phrase that he said about an actress "she's pretty for a fat woman" and I couldn't convince him that he actually though she was pretty regardless of her weight, he could not see beyond his prejudice. I would like to hear your opinion about how to talk to people like that, or if you already have a post about it, thx <3

Our culture hates fat people. Fat people are relentlessly dismissed, demeaned, and demonized. Fatness is seen as either the culmination of bad life choices or a mean-spirited punchline. In a culture that moralizes and medicalizes bodies, a particularly virulent version of this occurs when it comes to fat bodies. So it’s no surprise that being fat is so often synonymous with being ugly and unhealthy. Breaking away from these toxic and insidious cultural messages is no easy task. It takes a deliberate effort to recognize, understand, and subvert what, for most of us, has become deeply ingrained ideology regarding health and beauty standards. The reality is that fatness is just fatness. It does not and should not necessarily have any bearing on perceptions of health or beauty. 

There are some indications that the social tides are turning and we are becoming more accepting of diverse body types in general—but this is, of course, not without a good deal of resistance from the mainstream. We continue to be inundated with messages that fat people are less-than, that we simply make bad choices, that we are lazy, gluttonous slobs who lack will-power and discipline, that we are deserving of shame and ridicule and derision and that such treatment is ‘for our own good.’ We, as fat people, are told that we need to change our bodies, that there’s something wrong with us if we don’t, that we should think of ourselves as merely temporarily-embarrassed skinny people, that our true selves, our true potential can be unlocked if we would just drop the pounds. And after that, after we alter who we are, only then are we finally allowed to be beautiful. 

So how do you fight against this type of message? How do you talk to someone who thinks that fat people are inherently unattractive because they are fat? I wish I knew. Audre Lorde once described talking with men and white women about social issues as constantly having to ‘reinvent the pencil.’ I suppose it would require something like that: a complex and patient educational undertaking in the hopes of the person recognizing the implicit biases and social influences that shape every aspect of our worldviews. I wish you the best of luck.

As a starter, here are a few resources that might act as a decent introduction to some of the more problematic or prevalent aspects of fat shaming. One on people’s phony concern for fat people’s health, one on phrases that you may not think are fat shaming but actually are, and a fantastic episode of This American Life about the impact and role of fat shaming in our culture

“You will be stupid. You will worry your parents. You will question your own choices, your relationships, your jobs, your friends, where you live, what you studied in college, that you went to college at all… If that happens, you’re doing it right.” - Ira Glass, This American Life

  • <p> <b>21 Chump Street:</b> *the part where Naomi is trying to convince Justin to take the money and the ensemble is hauntingly singing her name*<p/><b>Me:</b> 👌👀👌👀👌👀👌👀👌👀 good shit go౦ԁ sHit👌 thats ✔ some good👌👌shit right👌👌there👌👌👌 right✔there ✔✔if i do ƽaү so my self 💯 i say so 💯 thats what im talking about right there right there (chorus: ʳᶦᵍʰᵗ ᵗʰᵉʳᵉ) mMMMMᎷМ💯 👌👌 👌НO0ОଠOOOOOОଠଠOoooᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒ👌 👌👌 👌 💯 👌 👀 👀 👀 👌👌Good shit<p/></p>

Hey fandom peeps, want to be on This American Life?

So this might seem a little random, but a friend of mine is a producer on This American Life, and they’re putting out a call for stories that might be relevant to the people who follow me. She asked me to put a call out to fandom to see if anyone would be interested in sharing a cool or emotional story about the way fiction can bleed into reality.

The brief is below, but I wanted to preface this by saying that my friend is very sincere and kind, and they’re not seeking any narratives that are exploitative of fandom. My friend knows I’ve been active in fandom for a long time, and thinks fandom is pretty cool.

Feel free to DM me with any questions, and feel free to share or reblog. This is a real request. Here’s the brief:

Seeking stories for an upcoming episode of This American Life. The working theme is Fantasy Meets Reality. We’re interested in the convergence of the imaginary and the actual: stories in which fantasy and reality co-exist or layer over each other. Less interested in stories where fantasy is thwarted by reality … though a story about preferring fantasy to reality could work. A story about a crush might be nice.

A few examples of pieces we’re pursuing: a Dungeons and Dragons–type role-playing game becomes a forum for a teenage boy to replay—and exact revenge for—actual events; a toy gun inspires real legislation; a family visits open houses at mansions and poses for photographs—on sweeping staircases; atop canopy beds—as if they actually live in these houses.

Please feel free to email ideas to Stephanie[at] or susan[at]