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July 2, 2021

There. I Fixed It.

Solving problems using very extreme measures.

Olivia Fields

Note: The internet version of this episode contains un-beeped curse words. BEEPED VERSION.

Prologue

Ira Glass talks to Sam Ashner, whose debilitating fear of spiders was ruining his life. So he opted for an extraordinary treatment — the nuclear option — to deal with it. (6 minutes)

Sam's treatment was featured in the documentary series A Cure For Fear, directed by Lana Wilson and made for Topic.

Catching Deer When You Wanted Lions

When the United States Congress saw a problem — sex trafficking — it acted to eliminate it. Producer Lina Misitzis looked into how the law played out for its targets and the others swept up in the “fix.” (33 minutes) 

The Lonely Island

For the last year, writer Karen Cheung has been watching her hometown of Hong Kong change in big and small ways under a new law, and wondering when and if leaving will be her last resort. (15 minutes)

Song:

“Not Gonna Get Us” by t.A.T.u.