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620: To Be Real

620: To Be Real

Jul 14, 2017
Most of the time, we show the world a pretty superficial version of ourselves. "How about that weather?" But this week—people who try to go deeper, to get to something real, in some unexpected places: war, magic and porn.
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  • Producer Chana Joffe-Walt tells Ira about a man who decided to do a drag act at his child's elementary school talent show. (7 1/2 minutes)Chana Joffe-Walt

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  • Earlier this month, North Korea fired an intercontinental ballistic missile… one powerful enough, news reports said, to reach Alaska. People were shocked. But maybe that was because we were not being real with ourselves about what was going on in North Korea. How did we get to this point? Producer David Kestenbaum has been listening to a podcast called Arms Control Wonk that explains it. (17 1/2 minutes)David Kestenbaum

    Song:

    • "Marrow", Ani DiFranco
  • Ira with two magicians who take the premise of magic – that it’s all about deception – and try to stand that on its head to get to something utterly real, unfaked and emotional.

    David Blaine is on tour for the summer. Derek Delgaudio’s show In and Of Itself is running in New York through December.

    Here's the video we play in this act of David Blaine performing for Ricky Gervais.

    Ira Glass

    Song:

    • "Gimme Something Real", Ashford & Simpson
  • Jon Ronson has been working on a podcast for over a year that traces how one man changed the porn business, when he applied modern internet technology — keywords, search-term optimization — to porn. One big obvious consequence of this is that so much pornography is given away for free, people who make porn videos have a much harder time making a living. One way lots of them now supplement their income is by creating custom videos.

    Jon Ronson’s new Audible Original Series The Butterfly Effect will premiere at the end of July. You can pre-order it now. Jon Ronson

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    Song:

    • "Got To Be Real", Cheryl Lynn

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