Last year, for various reasons, I found myself listening to a lot of episodes of the Public Radio show This American Life. And so I’m listening and I’m listening, and at some point, I start feeling like all the stories are about being wrong. And my first thought was, “I’ve lost it. I’ve become the crazy wrongness lady. I just imagined it everywhere,” which has happened.
But a couple of months later, I actually had a chance to interview Ira Glass, who’s the host of the show. And I mentioned this to him, and he was like, “No, actually, that’s true. In fact as a staff, we joke that every single episode of our show has the same crypto-theme. And the crypto-theme is: ‘I thought this one thing was going to happen and something else happened instead.’ And the thing is we need this. We need these moments of surprise and reversal and wrongness to make these stories work.