NPR logo Stages of Grief For The 'BPP': Denial

The Best Song In The World Today

Stages of Grief For The 'BPP': Denial


A denial, a denial, a denial Getty Images hide caption

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In our last week at the Byrant Park Project, we're using music to move through the stages of grief as defined by Dr. Elizabeth Kubler Ross.

Today, I took the first one, denial, for which I played Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit." It's a song that seems to be maybe just a mess of feelings until the very end, when Kurt Cobain sings, "a denial, a denial, a denial."

Now, as I'm listening to people around me prepping for their segments, I'm struck by how many songs could fit the bill. I think someone suggested "Walking on Sunshine" as an alternate for denial. Let's make a playlist. The stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Hit the comments, please.



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How can NPR shut down BPP? What will people do like that young man with ALS? I listen to BPP because BPP offers a fresh alternative to the CBC - the Chronically Boring Corporation - in the morning. Sigh. I'll miss you. Allison, I think you're a great host.

Sent by Tamsin | 8:45 AM | 7-21-2008

I second the above comment... the only damn NPR show that can target the growing 20 something's that the majority have gone to university, have disposable income and can relate to the staff on many levels.

The "BPP" would have been the first radio program I was willing to support without questioning. How the hell.. can NPR shut this program down??? An audience that NPR needs to keep abreast of what WE the 20's -- 30's want...this is blasphemy!!

The "BPP" is Refreshing! What a mistake NPR.


Sent by Ben | 9:13 AM | 7-21-2008

Keep you heads up BPP Crew and live every week like its Shark Week...(Next week actually is) I will miss you guys and hopefully our paths will cross again!

Sent by Mike O. | 9:16 AM | 7-21-2008


Ever go on vacation, and expect on return to work, stuff would have changed, and it didn't?

Well, for work it didn't this week, but shocked to turn on BPP this morning and learn of it's cancellation!!!

It's my fault, I can't go on vacation anymore.....

Sent by Eric B | 9:30 AM | 7-21-2008

I came back to NPR because of the BPP. I love the BPP. In my opinion it is the coolest radio show. What will I do now? I guess I can listen to "Smells Like Teen Spirit" all day....

Sent by steve | 9:33 AM | 7-21-2008

I was pleasantly surprised to find a radio show, much less one on NPR, that was relatively objective and non-partisan and wasn't hosted by a bunch of Baby Boomers. It hit a demographic that still isn't being sufficiently marketed to. You'll be missed.

Sent by Michael Powell | 9:37 AM | 7-21-2008

still in denial here. somehow someway i keep hoping there will be a reprieve. where's the future of npr if a show like the bpp isn't allowed to get off the ground?

i like other npr shows, don't get me wrong. i was slow to come around to the bpp, it was too flashy and bubbly and i was so used to things that were staid and a wee bit boring. but this show really grew on me and i do think it's the only show that would appeal to a younger audience- as a 30 year old i'm not quite a representative of that younger audience myself, but as someone on the bubble it seems obvious that this sort of thing would pave the way towards younger listeners to npr stations.

Sent by Vanessa | 9:43 AM | 7-21-2008

Here are three suggestions for death knell songs for BPP. "Poor, poor pitiful me" - Linda Rhonstadt, "I'm a Loser" - The Beatles and "Funeral For A Friend" - Elton John.

Sent by John Archibald | 9:45 AM | 7-21-2008

Why, Why, Why?
SO disappointed to hear this morning of the BPP cancelation....What a great refreshing show... I don't get?!

Sent by Holley | 9:52 AM | 7-21-2008

I want my BPP
I want my BPP
Gotta install microwave radio
Custom satellite deliveries
We gotta move these news refrigerators
Gotta move these colour TV's

I shoulda learned to play the guitar
I shoulda learned to play them drums
Bangin' on the bongoes like a chimpanzee
That ain't workin' that's the way you do it
Get your money for nothin' NPR for free

Look a' here
That ain't workin' that's the way you do it
You play the guitar on your NBC
That ain't workin' that's the way you do it
Money for nothin' and your BBC
Money for commercials and your CNBC
Money for FOX News and your MSNBC
Look at that, look at that
PBS for nothin' and your news for free
I want my, I want my, I want my BPP
Money for nothin' and news for free
I want my, I want my, I want my BPP

Sent by Mary Moore | 10:01 AM | 7-21-2008

"She'll Come Back To Me" - CAKE

After all, the BPP will come back to NPR, right? Of course it will. No worries here.

Sent by Rory | 10:03 AM | 7-21-2008

Really nice segment, Laura.

Sent by Dan M. | 10:09 AM | 7-21-2008

anything from the soundtrack to "Beaches"... because I will forver deny that I saw that movie.

Sent by Producer Pete | 10:10 AM | 7-21-2008

So glad to hear Allison's voice again, even if only for another week...

Sent by Renee | 10:17 AM | 7-21-2008

Denial - "We've Only Just Begun" by The Carpenters
Anger - "Somebody Kill Me Please" by Adam Sandler from The Wedding Singer, "Cruel Summer" by Bananarama
I'm skipping bargining and especially depression because one can really brought down just thinking about songs for that...
Acceptance - "Ooh Child" by The Five Stairsteps

Sent by Summer | 10:31 AM | 7-21-2008

WTF. This sux, great format and bam, it disappears. Move your show to the TWIT network, they can help you do it cheap.

Sent by Paul | 10:40 AM | 7-21-2008

I'm too much in denial to think of a song. The idea that next week this will all be gone just seems impossible....

Sent by Greg | 10:44 AM | 7-21-2008

I am SO angry and bummed about the cancellation of the BPP. NPR - PLEASE DON'T DO THIS TO US! Why are you not listening to all of these pleas to keep the BPP??? I have listened to NPR for many, many years but I will no longer listen or donate if the BPP is cancelled.

Sent by What a stupid decision NPR | 11:07 AM | 7-21-2008

The Smith's 'Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now' for depression. Actually, their entire body of work would probably fit, take your pick. It certaily summed up my feels when I saw your web page last Monday morning. "I Can See Clearly Now" would be good for acceptance.

Sent by Paul | 11:10 AM | 7-21-2008

Denial: "Alright" by Zap Mama. That song breaks my heart every time I hear it.

Sent by Virginia Franklyn | 11:21 AM | 7-21-2008

Laura, one of the best things I ever heard on the radio was a piece you did about jumping trains. It may have been a Best Song In The World Today. Any chance that you could work that back in this week so that I can save the podcast and play it over and over? Maybe that would be for the last (still can't believe it: denial) day.

Sent by Polly Price | 11:35 AM | 7-21-2008

Is is funding or ratings or a combination? Do they take into account satellite? We're in Indy and love your show (and we're old 45 and 54). Who can we complain to or send 50,000lbs of peanuts or something else like with Jericho?

Sent by beth | 11:36 AM | 7-21-2008

Stolen from a piece in the Yale Herald (I'm a librarian, I source what I find:

Their songs for denial:
"Girlfriend in a Coma" - The Smiths
"I Don't Want You Anyway" - Look Blue Go Purple

The article describes a playlist for the five stages of grief, so might come in handy for the rest of the week.

Me? Still in denial, moving to anger, so this is a hard task you've given us. No harder, of course, then what you all are going through: the breakup of the BPP.

Sent by Cheri (olevia on twitter) | 11:40 AM | 7-21-2008

I am a 29 year old white male Alabamian who has GREATLY (note caps) appreciated and enjoyed the approach, perspective and delivery of the BPP. NPR executives (sounds strange) are making a tragic mistake taking you off air. I listen on Sirius everyday and will be looking for a show to replace, or rather, substitute for this ground-breaking radio/internet show. Ya'll keep your heads up and know that you will be missed.

Sent by Joshua Adams | 12:29 PM | 7-21-2008

bargaining: Call Me Call Me - Steve Conte
anger: Hit Me Baby One More Time - the Ahmet and Dweezil Zappa version.
depression: Chop Suey - System of a Down
acceptance: Don't Bother None - Mai Yamane (it's in english)

Here's a song that I think sums up the BPP for most of us. It's from a band that I heard about on a New Music Tuesday segment; a band I now love. It's Bummer Time by Be Your Own Pet.

"I woke up early just for you
I'd wait all week long for you too
And there you were on my t.v. [radio]
I thought you were there just for me"

Sent by Sarah Lee | 12:31 PM | 7-21-2008

i was driving into work this morning and this song popped on...

meiko - the saddest song in the world

it is fitting to the whole BPP going away...

Sent by mf | 12:33 PM | 7-21-2008

NPR needs to move onto the next century. The BPP was refreshing to all drone of the other morning shows out there. What a mistake! Take a chance NPR...there ways to get funding...just have to ask for it...

Sent by ES | 12:48 PM | 7-21-2008

Why oh why? Finally I had found a show that satisfied my need for news AND my love of pop culture AND cutting-edge music... I looked forward to the BPP every morning.. This really sux

Sent by Dominique Bregent-Heald | 1:36 PM | 7-21-2008

There will now be a gaping hole in my morning commute. BPP will be greatly missed! This is shocking. BPP was my window to the world being that I do not watch television. It was not only informative but entertaining as well

A sincerely disappointed 23 yr old,

Sent by Sarah | 1:46 PM | 7-21-2008

NPR- for those of us who are tired of being regularly insulted by the news media, please do not cancel BPP. I loved the amount of information I could get in a short amount of time without it having someone else's opinion being presented as fact. It is an outstanding show- from 55 year old white female.

Sent by susan kirksey | 2:01 PM | 7-21-2008

I'm a regular listener (on Sirius) and even though I'm 20 years older than most of the target audience (age 53), I'm going to miss it as much as everyone else.

Denial Song: The Veronicas: "Mother Mother"

Sent by Rob | 2:04 PM | 7-21-2008

I really can't understand why, why, why, would NPR not continue to give BPP a chance. I am a 50 something and I LOVE the BPP, it gives me in depth conversations with people who always give me a different view of an issue. I even love the sports segments. I will miss you.

Sent by Susan Logan | 2:09 PM | 7-21-2008

For acceptance, how about "She's Leaving Me (Because She Really Wants To)" by Lyle Lovett.

Sent by Susie | 2:37 PM | 7-21-2008

Hi Laura,
Your commentary was well-spoken. I am in denial, as well. What will fill the void that Bryant Park Project filled? As a 30 year old woman, who never listened to NPR before I discovered the Bryant Park Project online, please know that I will greatly miss the show. I think NPR is making a mistake. As a listener, I know I became a more informed, educated, and entertained person from the Bryant Park Project. It also directed me to many other NPR shows. Hopefully, they can bring it back for the online audience. I feel like NPR is acting like Metallica did when Napster came out. They are fighting the inevitable, and looking really uncool in the process.

Sent by Lauren Romeo | 3:33 PM | 7-21-2008

I came to my South facing, South Florida office anxious to plug into the BPP's last week. What do you know, the air conditioning decided to die over the weekend and our office is a sweltering 90+ degrees. It is so hot we are not turning the lights on and working by the computer terminal and window light. The ONLY thing keeping me from breakingdown is the BPP. I will miss you all so much, even though you do not know me personally I feel like I am losing friends that I do not want to lose. The heat and humidity is making it hard to think so will have get back to you about my stage list.

Sent by Not so Jollygreen in SFL | 3:47 PM | 7-21-2008

BPP Haiku for the denial stage of grief. The pattern should be obvious.

Before Monday came,
Public radio seemed fine.
Perhaps it's a dream?

Sent by Matthew C. Scallon @mattsteady | 3:58 PM | 7-21-2008

Paylist for the stages:
Denial, "It Ain't Me, Babe" by Bob Dylan;
Anger, "Everything About You" by Ugly Kid Joe;
Bargaining, "If I Could Turn Back Time" by Cher;
Depression, "This is the End" by the Doors;
Acceptance, "You're Beautiful" by James Blunt (yeah, yeah, it's been played to death, but the chorus ending works "For I must face the truth/I will be never with you").

Sent by Matthew C. Scallon @mattsteady | 5:06 PM | 7-21-2008

Toward the end of her life, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross would often say that she wished she had never taught about the stages of grief. She was dismayed that so many people thought they would be fine once they checked each stage off the list. It's not like that -- we cycle in and out of these stages over and over, at varying levels of intensity, working with new waves of emotions that relate to that loss for THE REST OF OUR LIVES. The rest of our lives, NPR! Lives which might feel very long and empty without the BPP. We need you all to stay together, find a new venue, keep making us care!

Sent by Katherine | 5:53 PM | 7-21-2008

Dear BBP
I wish there were something we could do to have the BPP continue. I just started listening, and I agree with the person who said the show brought me back to NPR.

Sent by Mary Kiewicz | 6:44 PM | 7-21-2008

So sorry to hear about the cancellation this morning...I truly enjoyed and looked forward to the show. You will be missed.

Sent by Kas | 7:05 PM | 7-21-2008

How sad the last week has been and how sad it will be in the weeks to come without BPP. I have LOVED Alison Stewart ever since she kept me sane during World News Now on ABC when I either couldn't sleep or had to leave early for work. I am probably on the upper end of BPP's target audience as I am nearing 40 - but the show drew me in from the start, first because of Alison and shortly after due to the refreshing way news was approached. Hey, it even motivated me to buy an MP3 player just so I could keep up with the times! I live in the upper Midwest and was not fortunate to have a station nearby that carried the show. But I downloaded it as often as i could, and live-streamed it on a few occasions. (Darn those government computers - I can't stream while at work!) Most of the time, I just logged onto the web site to read the news briefs and to catch the photos and video clips. I even took part in the BPP Book Club, a fantastic way to share thoughts on books without having to travel to a book store or suburbia to add my two cents.

There is a part of me that feels guilty. Maybe if I had logged on more, synced the podcast more frequently - the show could have been saved. I am sure there are many of us thinking the same thing. Most of all, I don't think this show was given a sufficient chance to make it. It was aired on so few stations and didn't have a chance to build the audience that NPR wanted. But boy, did they underestimate how passionate its fans are. I truly hope NPR reconsiders this BAD decision. But most of all, I want BPP and its talented staff to find a home that will welcome it, and support it; one that I and all the other fans can enjoy and support in turn. Please be sure to share with us ways to stay in touch and any news about a possible move to a better place. I will miss you all but hopefully only for a little while.

Sent by Christine L | 7:57 PM | 7-21-2008

Since I lost my journalism job about three months ago, I feel your pain.

For that song of sad acceptance, I highly recommend "Up In A Puff Of Smoke" by Polly Brown. A great one-hit wonder tune and maybe the first real commercial disco hit back in the 1970s.

"Going up in a puff of smoke/and I'm all choked up inside/to see my dreams just turn into ashes/and all my hopes go up in a puff of smoke"

The runner-up tune is a somewhat retro tune from earlier this year. "About To Now" by Gary Yerkins.

Sent by Rick Ellis | 11:31 PM | 7-21-2008

"Denial" - Radiohead, House of Cards:

I loved the show most of the time.
We'll miss you.

Sent by Tom Grant | 11:27 AM | 7-22-2008

Denial - Jeff Buckley's "Last Goodbye."

Did you say 'no, this can't happen to me' /
And did you rush to the phone to call /
Was there a voice unkind in the back of your mind /
Saying maybe you didn't know him at all /
You didn't know him at all, oh, oh, you didn't know

They didn't know you at all, BPP. Oh, oh, they didn't know.

Sent by Sky Bluesky | 2:44 PM | 7-22-2008

I'm so bummed. Since getting Sirius radio I've been hooked on BBP. Different, fresh, funny; a great antidote to NPR's traditional way of reporting news. I'm so not excited about having to go back to Talk of the Nation.

Sent by Barb, from Buffalo | 3:35 PM | 7-22-2008

I second Radiohead's "House of Cards."

Sent by Addis | 3:56 PM | 7-22-2008