fare thee well, odyssey
note: though it may seem it, this post is not intended to be humerous or inulting to it's subject. i'm honestly a big fan of this show and am sorry to see it go.
since i started listening to npr, one of my favorite shows has been odyssey, hosted by intelectual super-hottie gretchen helfrich. the show was formatted as a conversation between gretchen and her guests, who would often be authors of books on whatever general subject that day's show delt with. one good example of their format was a five part series where they explored the five senses, and talked about their physical and sociological evolutions, their place in our culture, comparitive structures in other animals, and so on. conversations like this help you expand your perception of the world, and as a writer, i find this to be a good thing. sure the show had a tendancy to reveal the more pretentious aspects of being smart, but it also explored lots and lots of otherwise mundane subjects in thuroughly interesting ways, with fun and insightful questions posed to the subject du jour's formost experts.
i think i liked the show because i miss that extraneous intelectualizing that i got at cmu, where any gathering threatened to turn into a brain-bash on anything from nuclear proliferation to sexism in the health care industry. most of the formal education i recieved at cmu (grammar, sentence structure, trying hard) has dissovled over the years, but the curiosity that i brought into cmu was mercilessly encouraged, and that sticks with me to this day. odyssey gave me a similar experience, vicarious though it may have been, and i was moderately saddened to know that chicago public radio decided to cease funding on odyssey effective october 1. that meant that today's show, "ten films to see before you die" was the last, and starting monday, the world will take it's time slot.
on the bright side, they've kept a diligent audio library, with archived episodes dating back to the show's inception. give it a listen if you get a chance, and equally importantly, if you know the name of the theme song they use, let me know. i want something to remember them by.