Sunday, December 14, 2008

Down on love ... at 14

My friend Em, who is one of my Netflix friends, recommended that I give "This American Life" a try. I watched six episodes from Season 1 over the weekend and overall, I would say it was a mixed bag. Some of the episodes I really enjoyed, like the senior citizens making a film and others I didn't care for at all, for example, the hot dog stand in Chicago where employees and customers hurl insults at each other.

The episode I enjoyed the most was "My Way," which featured a teenage boy named Joe who says he never intends to fall in love, calling the act "barbaric" and saying it makes people act like idiots. I was a bit troubled however when he said that while he likes his parents and that they are good people, he doesn't really love them.

Here's a brief preview:

Another segment in the episode features photographer Marcus Halevi, who was working for the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune on December 3, 1990 and went out to shoot photos of a storm hitting the shores of Plum Island, Massachusetts.

Halevi shot a photo of a woman, Sandra Cook, standing near the shore. Literally seconds after he got the shot, a huge wave came ashore, knocking out the area where Cook was standing and pulling her into the water.

Halevi saw a lifeguard run toward the water to help Cook, so he kept shooting photos. Another person got to the water before the lifeguard and started to help Cook, but then drew back. A huge wave, which Halevi estimated to be around 20 feet in height, came and pulled Cook under the water. Her body washed ashore three hours later.

Ethical questions arose about whether Halevi should have made an attempt to save the woman instead of shooting photographs of her last moments, a question Halevi still struggles with.


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