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ASSIGNMENT: Please give a brief summary of this week’s This American Life podcast.

What is the topic of the story(s)? The theme of what the title states, “You reap what you sow.” Starts out with a lady who did a guy a favor when he ran out of gas getting her drive shoveled regularly by that guy out of gratitude and makes a comparison to another who refused to pay him for a job he had done who he says he piles up some extra snow in front of their drive. The majority of the podcast is all about Alabama’s strict illegal immigrant laws (designed so illegals will “self-deport”) which are presented as being horribly unfair and causing hardship on ALL immigrants and not just those who are illegal, causing hate crimes where children are hurt or killed and such and just all kinds of hardships. The end… comedy… bla, bla, bla… no obvious connection on the surface.

What made you laugh? The little folk/blues style song they played in that one part saying:

We gonna go where there’s no popo,

Tell’n ya  ya can’t stay here no more,

Every time ya find a little hide-away,

Someone come along and and say ya just can’t stay…

What surprised you? I find it most surprising that all these places want to make such a big deal out of illegal immigrants being persecuted by the government and how horrible the laws are to them when we’ve got real Americans who’s families have been here for generations and generations being persecuted by the government and bad laws as well and NOBODY CARES. Nobody will lift a finger or speak a word in support of anybody unless there’s some big headline to be made from it… some form of gratification. So now we’re supposed to make a big deal out of it because some people who aren’t even in the country legally get dumped on by the government. Yeah… some immigrants who are actually legal get caught up in it all… well… big whoop-tee-doo. I can’t even count the number of people I’ve known who were charged and convicted of crimes they didn’t have anything to do with, they were simply there in the middle of it. So there’s some spillover of some kind in every situation.

Describe the non-dialog elements used, such as sound effects, dramatic music, etc. How did these add or detract to the story being told? Once again… I think just about all the “non-dialog” elements were music of some sort. In the very beginning when they started off talking about plowing snow I heard a faint winters wind. Next I noticed was some light guitar picking, had an almost oriental sort of style to it. There were some more guitar chords, kind of a sad style, when they were talking about the increase of just plain old, outright racism in that part. Yeah, it was mostly guitar, or guitar style playing (could have been a lyre for all I know)… a few beats that could have been electric beats here and there.

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