Letters: Immigration, A Year to Live, 'Snakes' Buzz

Melissa Block and Michele Norris read from listeners' letters and emails, including comments on the immigration debate, our story on a woman who cared for her husband while he battled a brain tumor, and a report on the Internet buzz surrounding the upcoming movie, Snakes on a Plane.

Copyright © 2006 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

MICHELE NORRIS, host:

Thursday is the day we read from your email.

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

We've spent quite a bit of time on the program talking about immigration and the different proposals being considered on Capitol Hill. So that's where we're going to begin.

NORRIS: Listener Tom Hope says he missed something in one of our recent shows. He writes, “You must be pro-illegal immigration. I listened to a half hour of in-depth coverage of the issue. You didn't even interview one true opponent of illegal immigration.”

He continues. “And why do we care what Mexico thinks anyway? Do they care what we think when they publish comic books describing how to cross the border? Will they reimburse us for the billions in government services rendered here to their citizens?”

BLOCK: Tom Hope was referring to my interview with former Mexican Foreign Minister Jorge Castaneda.

Listener Christine Perry(ph) of Mesa, Arizona had some comments as well. She writes, “We are allowing another country to direct the domestic affairs and immigration policy of our country. We're allowing their government to resolve some social issues by encouraging the poor to leave the country. NPR and other media outlets allow Jorge Castaneda to set the pace of his interview. I've only heard a few interviews where he or others were challenged in any manner regarding how Mexico is treating its own citizens.”

NORRIS: Earlier this week producer Mary Beth Kirschner brought us the story of Rebecca Peterson who took care of her husband while he battled a brain tumor. We received a number of comments praising the story and Rebecca Peterson. This one came from Carol Bridalf(ph) of Winters, Calif.

BLOCK: She writes, “Thank you for airing Rebecca's story of searching for transcendence during a horrible time. Yesterday I packed up the last of the care giving and bereavement library I collected during my husband's brief and hopeless battle with melanoma. I'm glad you had the courage to say that sometimes the reality isn't pretty. Sometimes the best we can do is put one foot in front of the other, and that's a lot.”

NORRIS: Some listeners were unhappy that we took time to speak with a young man named Skyler Bartels. He spent part of his spring break living round the clock in a Wal-Mart Store.

Jackie Abadaca(ph) of Los Angeles sent this. “What exactly about that story was newsworthy, provocative, culturally significant or even the slightest bit interesting? He admitted to having no thesis he was testing, and not having learned anything, said he aborted the experiment when he ran out of money after a measly 41 hours. Who cares?”

BLOCK: And finally we return to this story.

(Soundbite of Snakes on a Plane parody trailer)

Unidentified Male#1: First I will put my army of snakes into a box. And then I will put that box on a plane. Then I will release the snakes, and there will be snakes on the plane. And then that will happen. And I will rule the world. (LAUGH)

NORRIS: That's a fake trailer for the new movie Snakes on a Plane. We used it in a piece last week about the buzz on the internet about the film.

BLOCK: Well David Nicks(ph) of Aiken, South Carolina heard our story and he wasn't buying it. He writes, “I turned on my radio on the way home from work today, and had to check my watch to be sure it wasn't April 1st. This surely had to be one of the renowned NPR April Fool Day gotcha stories. But no, this was for real. Now I'm on my guard.”

NORRIS: Of course, we have no idea what he's talking about. But we'd love to hear from you and what you think about our program. The best way to reach us is to go to NPR.org and click on contact us at the top of the page.

(Soundbite of song for Snakes on a Plane)

Unidentified Male#2: (Singing) Snakes on a Plane, you'll never see them coming. Snakes on a Plane, Samuel's a gunning for Snakes on a Plane, they're taking you for a ride. Snakes on a plane, you'll never see them coming, Snakes on a Plane, old Samuel's a-gunning. Snakes on a Plane, they're taking you for a ride.

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