Every morning, well most mornings, I get up at around 7 a.m.-ish, eat a light breakfast, write for an hour or so and then run to the local gym where I exercise for about 30 minutes before running back to my apartment. The run is not too long, maybe a half mile each way and together with the workout eats up about an 60-70 minutes of my day. During that time of physical activity I typically listen to a podcast. Most of the time it’s a sports podcast, but I also mix in some political, literary and culture-related podcasts. One podcast that I love — that was introduced to me by our editor-in-chief David Higginbotham — is “Radiolab.”
If you’re not familiar with Radiolab it’s officially described as a “a radio show and podcast weaving stories and science into sound and music-rich documentaries,” hosted by two amiable fellows Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich. How would I describe it? Simply, very compelling, science-centric narratives.
So, this morning as I was running to the gym I was listening to the latest Radiolab podcast, titled, “Sight Unseen,” about a photojournalist, Lynsey Addario, for Time Magazine and her encounter with a Marine who was fatally wounded in 2009 while on a night patrol in Afghanistan. It was utterly gripping. I highly recommend you listen to it. And because of that I won’t give too much away.
However, what I will say as kind of an anecdote is that while I was at the gym listening to it I began to get emotional. For me, getting emotional, that’s very rare. My eyes were welling up with tears as I was doing shoulder raises to the point where I had to stop working out altogether and collect myself or risk crying in public, which would have been quite awkward in the weight room. Can you imagine?
In any event, I point that out because I hope this story will resonate with you as well. Maybe it won’t to the degree it did with me, but you should find it to be rather touching. Plus, it reminds us all that the sacrifices of our veterans and their families should not be forgotten, minimized or dismissed. Our veterans are the reason why this country is so great.
Listen and enjoy! And if you’d like to, feel free to weigh in on the questions they raise about military photographs. Right now, I’m not sure how I feel but to say I think that Time Magazine made the right call in this particular case.
Here is how Radiolab described the podcast:
In December of 2009, photojournalist Lynsey Addario was embedded with a medevac team in Afghanistan. After days of waiting, one night they got the call – a marine was gravely wounded. What happened next happens all the time. But this time it was captured, picture by picture, in excruciating detail. Horrible, difficult, and at times strikingly beautiful, those photos raise some questions: Who should see them, who gets to decide who should see them, and what can pictures like that do, to those of us far away from the horrors of war and those of us who are all too close to it?