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Snap Judgement – Striker

Again, I’m happy to say an episode of Snap Judgement left me completely satisfied. This is a near-perfect anthology-style radio program – a profile piece aggregator I’m always happy to listen to. These are the kind of tales you’ve heard after your companion hit his or her stride at a bar – and found that entertaining sweet spot somewhere between beer one and total blotto.

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There is one thing about the show that could use a tune up. The intros can be corny, and normally I’m fine with corny. But I don’t want to cringe before I start listening to a show. No spoilers here, but the word “badonkadonk,” was used. This was certainly a testosterone themed episode, but badonkadonk?

In Snap Judgenment #516, Striker, your intrepid host Glynn Washington, introduces us to Mark Sayer, a Thai Boxer, that wound up doing battle in a Thai prison under questionable circumstances.

Then we heard from Harry Redknapp, a would-be soccer hooligan plucked from the stands to play for West Ham United. This one had a twist.

And finally, we heard from George Garrett. This was the most emotional of the stories. It speaks to the need men have to prove themselves physically, why they do it, and what can happen in extreme circumstances – when someone defines themselves as a scrapper not to be trifled with.

Another great one here.

Snap Judgement – The Stranger

Yes, I just covered this show. I’m sorry. But it’s good, like every week it’s good. Such attention to production. Such a high bar for story quality. It’s all there. Snap Judgement’s latest episode, The Stranger, took a look at secret identities, hidden histories, and forgotten love.

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The people that have become distant or unfamiliar in my life have done so gradually. A missed phone call here. Canceled dinner plans there. It’s been slow and easy. But the stories we hear in this week’s Snap deal in overnight metamorphosis–where the people with whom we were once intimately familiar suddenly become strangers.

These are sad stories. Funny stories. Some deal in celebrity. Others, simple humanity.

“The Susan Lefevre Fugitive Story” remains compelling even after its umpteenth telling. Sent to prison as a young woman on a minor drug offense, Lefevre was given a 20-year sentence after she’d been promised probation. With the help of her grandfather (someone I would’ve liked to hear more about) escaped the Michigan penitentiary where she was to spend the second half of her young life. It took the law 30 years to find her.

Every news outlet and daytime talk show covered the slightly sensationalized piece in 2008. But it somehow took on a different life on Snap, a stranger to its Oprah and Today incarnations.

The rest of this episode probed estrangement through the suffocating sadness of schizophrenia. There were lighter pieces about future rock stars bearing mix tapes. And strange stories about acquired amnesia. Few felt unfamiliar. None were strangers entirely.

And that’s the genius of Snap Judgement—host Glyn Washington and his production team don’t break their backs to break news. They find stories that are already out there. Some may have run their course, others may have just been neglected by major media outlets. But the sum of these, not necessarily new, vignettes, drive home a theme that resonates with you throughout the week.

One thing that was missing: The Cure’s Killing and Arab