Stop Shopping, Start Hearing on the National Day of Listening

StoryCorps's National Day of Listening broadcasts dialogues between regular folks as a rejoinder to the loud consumer chaos of Black Friday.

To watch the local news the day after Thanksgiving is to witness a sort of national day of shouting; surely the most disconcerting thing about Black Friday isn’t the desire for discounted sweaters, but the shoppers' odd capacity to ignore everyone else in line. A little listening certainly seems to be in order. And that’s what the National Day of Listening aims to encourage. Begun on Black Friday 2008, it’s an offshoot of the popular StoryCorps series, which records dialogues between regular folks and broadcasts them weekly on NPR. The idea was to designate a shared moment when people could take an hour to cut their own StoryCorps-style conversations. And the date was no accident; the Day is designed as an antidote to 5:00 a.m. shopping sprees. “[It’s] a meaningful alternative to holiday consumerism,” says StoryCorps’s Sacha Evans. “Listening to one another is the least expensive and most meaningful gift we can give.”

The thesis here is that a good yarn is one thing everyone has and deserves to preserve. “The stories of everyday people are just as interesting and important as the other stories you see in the news,” Evans says. The goal being accessibility, StoryCorps has structured the project as a highly doable DIY. Participants can download a guide to home recording, complete with question suggestions. And when they’re done, they’re encouraged to share it—or just leave a note about the experience on a “Wall of Listening.” In keeping with the larger StoryCorps project, which is serious about its charge as a chronicler of oral history (all its recordings go the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress), the Day of Listening seems to go small to go big: Its individual tales add up to a striking common story.

via Jason S Campbell / Twitter

Conservative radio host Dennis Prager defended his use of the word "ki*e," on his show Thursday by insisting that people should be able to use the word ni**er as well.

It all started when a caller asked why he felt comfortable using the term "ki*e" while discussing bigotry while using the term "N-word" when referring to a slur against African-Americans.

Prager used the discussion to make the point that people are allowed to use anti-Jewish slurs but cannot use the N-word because "the Left" controls American culture.

Keep Reading

Step by step. 8 million steps actually. That is how recent college graduate and 22-year-old Sam Bencheghib approached his historic run across the United States. That is also how he believes we can all individually and together make a big impact on ridding the world of plastic waste.

Keep Reading
The Planet

According to the FBI, the number of sexual assaults reported during commercial flights have increased "at an alarming rate." There was a 66% increase in sexual assault on airplanes between 2014 and 2017. During that period, the number of opened FBI investigations into sexual assault on airplanes jumped from 38 to 63. And flight attendants have it worse. A survey conducted by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA found that 70% of flight attendants had been sexually harassed while on the job, while only 7% reported it.

Keep Reading