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07:58

61: Fiasco! – This American Life


Stories of when things go wrong. Really wrong. When you leave the normal realm of human error, fumble, mishap, and mistake and enter the territory of really huge breakdowns. Fiascos. Things go so awry that normal social order collapses. This week's show is a philosophical inquiry in the nature of fiascos - perhaps the first ever.

April 25, 1997


    <!-- <il> <b>PROLOGUE</b> <p> Ira tells the story about how Scott first got into radio. He was listening to a story on the radio one day, thought "I can do that," and promptly hitchhiked across the country to Washington, to the headquarters of NPR. (3 minutes) </p> </il> --> ACT ONE: Opening Night.

    Writer Jack Hitt tells the story of a small town production of Peter Pan, in which the flying apparatus smacks the actors into the furniture, and Captain Hook's hook flies off his arm and hits an old woman in the stomach. By the end of the evening, firemen have arrived and all the normal boundaries between audience and actors have completely dissolved. (23 minutes)

    ACT TWO: What We Were Trying To Do.

    A medieval village, a 1900-pound brass kettle, marauding visigoths, and a plan to drench invaders with boiling oil that goes awry. From Ron Carlson's book

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