What I’m Listening to in the Car

Great episode of This American Life, particularly Act II — about Emir Kamenica, the mysterious Miss Ames, and the fascination of how points of view and memories about the same experience can diverge. It’s one of those episodes you sit in the car listening to long after you’ve pulled into the driveway. (Side question: why does sitting in the car in the driveway increase the pleasure of the listening experience?) Plagiarism plays into the tale, and there’s an entertaining personal anecdote on that topic by the interviewer (Michael Lewis: Liar’s Poker, Moneyball, The Blind Side,) at the outset. Stick with it beyond that into the main story, though. It’s well worth listening until they succeed in tracking down Miss Ames and getting her take on the remembered events.


  1. Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says

    Recalls the best of Kurosawa.

    Thanks, Mr Potter.

  2. Yep, I heard it as well … great story.

    One reason the pleasure of the listening experience increases while sitting in a car in the driveway (or the parking garage at work) is that it is a way of stealing a few minutes from the hustle and bustle of one’s daily routine. Ordinarily, you’d have to beat cheeks in order to take care of this or that matter that needs tending to, but there you are in the comfort of your car instead, listening to Into the Mystic or what have you. And you hadn’t planned on it! It hasn’t been prompted by anxiety or some other sickness in your soul—it’s a gift, pure and simple. How often is Van Morrison played on the radio, anyway? Not counting Brown Eyed Girl? Never, that’s how often. Life really does have a few surprises left in store, even if it’s not having to listen to Fancy one more time, because, let’s face it … as transgressive and perhaps exhilarating as it may first have seemed, it’s already just one more moving part in the daily grind.

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