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This All-Too-American Life 

Reader editors,

I enjoyed Michael Miner's 2/3/2006 account of the elegies for This American Life's putative Chicago "feel," though I might be able to muster a few more tears for Ira Glass's departure to NYC if I thought it surprising that fellow mourners spend their Friday afternoons shopping at Marshall Field's, nibbling sandwiches at the Berghoff, and sipping mai tais at Trader Vic's. Fifteen years ago I used to rush home myself on Friday afternoons in time to hear The Wild Room, Glass's previous radio project. The principal difference is that, like most of The Wild Room's audience, I was coming home from, well, work. It was only when Glass and cohost Gary Covino parted ways and the show was canceled that we learned just who had been contributing the genuinely "wild," seditious content and who had been flattering the suits at NPR and its corporate benefactors while angling for bigger things. TAL's audience might think it a mere coincidence that the program has followed Marketplace, American Public Media's daily forum for edgy, hipster capitalism, for several years now. More likely, they smirk at what they take to be the "ironic juxtaposition." We'll probably never fully comprehend how social class operates in the United States until we can recognize that there is no irony here, certainly not in the minds of those who program the polite marginalism of "public" broadcasting.

Ed Tverdek

Albany Park

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