I love public radio. There, I said it. Just like every other college-educated, urban, liberal person on the planet, I love public radio. Particularly more so lately, it seems.
Last weekend, my husband and I attended the birthday party of my cousin’s 7-year-old son, which was two hours away. Understandably, my husband would rather do more than a few things than spend the better part of a perfectly good Saturday at a birthday party with his distant in-laws. He also had to work the next day – a rare occurrence, yes, but nevertheless a reality on this particular weekend. As we drove home, leaving just early enough to catch the early sunset daylight savings time brings, we tuned into NPR and caught a peculiar trivia show featuring none other than the punk rock icon Ian McKaye. The show was interesting and funny, and my husband, being the punk rock aficionado he is, was specifically interested in the show. The program carried us through our journey in the dark, distracting me from the mundane, dark drive, entertaining my husband, and sparking conversation between us about music, literature, and life.
A few days later, heading back to the office after a some quick lunchtime errands, I caught a segment on MPR with Ari Shapiro about his time as White House Correspondent. He recalled a time when an assignment to report on the debt ceiling – again – made him pursue a story angle from the perspective of the “English major-type,” asking literary experts what we can learn about this perpetual conflict from great authors and works of literature. He was delighted to gain wonderful, insightful answers that helped him craft a compelling story. I was delighted to hear good words about my kin – the English majors, who so often get publicly ridiculed and discouraged. Even by Garrison Keillor.
My local alternative music public radio station, The Current, recently interviewed Lucius, a lady band out of Brooklyn. Their music was great, their interview was charming, and guess what? They wear matching clothes. I’m hooked.
Keep it up, public radio.