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Everything is Relative

From: Judah Bruce Leblang
Length: 02:46

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A humorous personal essay about growing older Read the full description.

Default-piece-image-1 "Everything is Relative" is a lot like life--serious, funny, and scary. The piece details the writer's experience in the unknown, waiting for more information about his skin cancer diagnosis. There's a sense of relief, in finding that the melanoma is superficial, and fear--it could happen again, he's still facing the prospect of surgery, etc. Ultimately, the piece is about the human condition, about the fact that we all deal with circumstances we would not have chosen, and that no one gets out alive. Finally, the piece serves as a reminder of the importance of taking precautions in the sun, and of early detection.

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Piece Description

"Everything is Relative" is a lot like life--serious, funny, and scary. The piece details the writer's experience in the unknown, waiting for more information about his skin cancer diagnosis. There's a sense of relief, in finding that the melanoma is superficial, and fear--it could happen again, he's still facing the prospect of surgery, etc. Ultimately, the piece is about the human condition, about the fact that we all deal with circumstances we would not have chosen, and that no one gets out alive. Finally, the piece serves as a reminder of the importance of taking precautions in the sun, and of early detection.

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Review of Everything is Relative

All baby boomers are clutching at the last vestiges of youth, and we are only kidding ourselves if we deny it. Judah has written a frank, concise yet layered piece about facing his own mortality and, yes, his vanity. He has superficial malignant melanoma. "Isn't that redundant? Isn't all melanoma malignant," he asks. Clever use of words contrast the feelings of the individual with the remoteness of the medical profession as he gets lost in its terminology. For those listeners who have ever faced the uncertainty of whether one does or does not have cancer, this piece will bring it all home to them again. For listeners who have never experienced this singular event, this piece will shed light on the uncertainity an individual feels when hearing that single word "malignant." This piece would work well around the health segments; it would also work well during May which is Skin Cancer Awareness month.

Broadcast History

Broadcast on WKSU radio, 8/2/06 and 8/3/06 (All Things Considered and Morning Edition).

Transcript

Everything is Relative

Judah Leblang/2006

Everything is relative.

I am in relatively good health, I think, even if I have dry eye, irritable
bowel syndrome, and now a mild case of melanoma. And I look good, youthful for a man of 49...
Or is that an oxymoron?

I must be a complete moron to believe this, to want it, to hold onto youth
when the train has left the station.
When will it sink in that I can?t wear Levi?s jeans, cargo pants or bikini briefs any
longer?

I am superficial. Where are my deeper values, my heft and gravitas?
And now, the nurses tell me,
I have superficial malignant melanoma.
Isn?t that redundant?
Isn?t all melanoma malignant?

These words have too many syllables, too many layers,
like the skin that clothes my body.
I am lost among them, looking for a way out,
waiting for the surgeon to show me an exit strategy.
I wait, pacing in...
Read the full transcript

Timing and Cues

no special cues

Related Website

http://www.judahleblang.com