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 Hey there,

I've been binging the TV show Alone for the past couple weeks. If you're not familiar, it's a reality show where they drop 10 wilderness experts off in remote locations and then the person who is able to survive the longest wins a cash prize. It's surprisingly compelling to watch people build a shelter, avoid bears, and eat seaweed. But the show really gets going once they've been out there a few weeks without supplies. That's when the contestants reflect on whether the suffering and struggle of wilderness survival is worth it. I can tell 2020 has really radicalized me because I've paused the show multiple times to be like, "This is exactly why we need to reform our economy! She shouldn't have to be trapping squirrels in the Arctic for a chance at escaping debt! We can't depend on the History Channel for a social safety net!"

Anyway, that's a long way of saying that early voting has already begun in most states and please make sure you vote because I now know definitively that I won't be able to construct a functional yurt or scavenge for food if society crumbles.

Upcoming Events

- U.S. Election Day is Tuesday, November 3rd. But early voting has already started in many states! Get your ballot in early if at all possible. Here's a nicely designed and clear state-by-state guide.

- Thursday, October 15th at  5 p.m. PT / 8 p.m. ET
Back to School for Smile & Olive. I will be co-hosting this great comedy fundraiser with Maeve Higgins. We're raising money to help displaced Syrian kids get connected to schools and remote learning. And there's an incredible lineup including Jim Gaffigan, Lolly Adefope, Cole Escola, Marie Faustin and more. Donate to this great cause and get your tickets here.

- Wednesday, October 28th at 5 p.m. PT / 8 p.m. ET
HIDDEN EXPERT. I’m hosting the second show of this new storytelling series for LabX and the National Academy of Sciences. More info here.

This week's list

Daniel Alarcón is a novelist, journalist, and the executive producer of NPR's Radio Ambulante. While events in South America tend to get minimized or even completely ignored by many media outlets here, Alarcón makes sure that those stories get told. He just reported a story about Chile's political revolution and how the fight for a new and more just constitution is colliding with coronavirus. And then, less topical, but no less well done is this story he tells about finding a book of pre-written speeches while living in Lima, Peru. It's so funny and illuminating. I think about it a lot. Peruvian Tips for Public Speaking.

Jim Gaffigan writes beautiful, hilarious, perfect jokes and combines them with a relatable, hilarious delivery. Because he doesn't swear, I think he often gets thought of as non-confrontational. And while he certainly is a nice guy in person, as I've heard from anyone who's ever worked with him, I think his best bits are when he's on the attack. This is one of my favorites, where he is appalled and outraged by the idea of camping.  

(If you want even more Gaffigan, donate to the fundraiser I'm co-hosting and see him perform this Thursday!)

Leise Hook, a cartoonist and illustrator, moved from Michigan to the South the summer before she started high school. She tells the story of trying to find her way in a new place by juxtaposing her story with the history of "invasive" species in the U.S. It's really well done. Her illustrations and the story capture emotional nuances that you rarely get online. And I'll never look at kudzu the same way again. I just discovered Leise's work and I'm a big fan. The Vine and The Fish

Ok, that's it for this week! If you're enjoying these emails, please forward to a friend or spread the word. If someone forwarded you this email but you're not yet on the list, you can subscribe here.

Stay safe out there,

I'm Chris Duffy, comedian, TV writer, creator/host of You're the Expert, spoon enthusiast, a former fifth grade teacher and former fifth grade student.
Copyright © 2020 Chris Duffy, All rights reserved.

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