Thursday, January 6, 2011

Listening to Brian

I first heard Jake Warga's taped conversation with his college friend Brian on This American Life. It's one of the most haunting things I've ever heard on the radio. Here's TAL's description:

This story wasn't originally made to broadcast on a radio show. It's a tape made by a guy named Jake Warga, who'd never put anything together for radio. He made it to give to his friend Brian, who wanted to kill himself. After Brian tried to overdose, Jake took him out to a park bench to talk, and brought along a recorder. Later, Jake decided to edit the conversation down and give it to Brian as a gift, hoping that if Brian heard what he was saying, if he heard how he sounded, it might stop him from trying again.

I tracked down the original piece which is slightly different than the version aired on TAL. The link is below. Among other things Brian talks about his Lutheran upbringing, his fears about life after death, views on sin and forgiveness, and the limits of self-motivation. "As my therapist says -- it has to come from within. There doesn't feel like there's much within. You know."

Listen here

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