Sunday, January 12, 2014

Race Manners columnist Jenée Desmond-Harris
Show for Jan 12, 2014

Even the most commonplace social interactions can get awfully dicey when race is involved. Enter Jenée Desmond-Harris, who writes the Race Manners advice column at theroot.com, helping readers sort through racially charged situations in everyday life. Jenée and I talked about her own background, the complexities of contemporary race relations and the predicaments we find ourselves in.

A small sampling of the topics we discussed:

  • Identity as a matter of choice
  • Being biracial in America
  • Talking to kids about race
  • Aestheticizing and sexualizing race
  • The racist uncle at the dinner table and what to do with him

Click the Listen arrow at the top of this post to listen to the show, or you can download the MP3 here (if using a Mac, control-click the link and choose “Save Link As…” If using a PC, right-click and choose Save Target As…”)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Show for Nov. 17, 2013. David Harris-Gershon: What Do You Buy the Children of the Terrorist Who Tried to Kill Your Wife?

David Harris-Gershon grew up regarding Palestinians as the enemy: “They were just the latest in a long line of people wanting us dead, lined up throughout history: Arabs, Germans, Russians, Romans, Greeks, Persians, Babylonians, Egyptians.” So you might think a Hamas-orchestrated bombing in Jerusalem that left two of his friends dead, his wife badly injured and him with a nasty case of PTSD would only harden those feelings. Instead, it led to a re-evaluation, a visit to the bomber’s family and a more complicated view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. David and I talked about his new memoir and his change of heart.

Click the Listen arrow at the top of this post to listen to the show, or you can download the MP3 here (if using a Mac, control-click the link and choose “Save Link As…” If using a PC, right-click and choose Save Target As…”)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Show for Nov. 11, 2012: How to Predict an Election—Polling Aggregators Sam Wang and Drew Linzer

Nate Silver isn’t the only forecaster to project the results of last Tuesday’s presidential election with preternatural accuracy. Sam Wang of the Princeton Election Consortium and Drew Linzer of Votamatic both hit the bullseye, too, and they explained to me why it’s not really so preternatural after all (hint: statistics works). We talked about their methods, why so many pundits and political partisans missed the boat, and whether it’s bedtime for bloviators.


Fearless forecasters: Neuroscientist Sam Wang and Political Scientist Drew Linzer

You can download the MP3 here (if using a Mac, control-click the link and choose “Save Link As…” If using a PC, right-click and choose Save Target As…”)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Show for Sept. 9, 2012. Our Man in Hanoi: Historian Mike Vann.

Down the mean streets of old Hanoi goes Mike Vann, a historian specializing in Vietnam during its nearly 70 years under French rule. Mike has uncovered some wonderfully tawdry tales that reveal a lot about the whole strange business of colonialism, when much of the globe was claimed by a handful of European countries. We discuss sex in the colonial city, the great rat massacre, murder on the Rue Hue, Hanoi in the time of cholera, and some charming French postcards.

 
 
L to R: “La Mission Civilisatrice”; French Hanoi; colonial humor; Mike Vann at Angkor Wat.

Click the Play arrow at the top of this post to listen to the show, or you can download the MP3 here (if using a Mac, control-click the link and choose “Save Link As…” If using a PC, right-click and choose Save Target As…”)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Show for June 10, 2012. Crossing the Political Divide with Meghan McCain and Michael Ian Black.

When I spoke last April to comedian Michael Ian Black about his recent memoir, he mentioned his other new book, America, You Sexy Bitch, co-written with Meghan McCain. Michael’s a self-described East-Coast liberal. Meghan’s an avowed red-till-she’s-dead Republican (though an iconoclastic one) and the daughter of John McCain. Though hardly on the same ideological team, the two decry the hyper-partisan bloodsport that passes for political discourse these days in the USA. So they conducted a little experiment in fence-mending, crossing the country together in an RV in search of common ground. I talked to Meghan and Michael about their travels.

Click the Play arrow above to listen to the show, or you can download the MP3 here (if using a Mac, control-click the link and choose “Save Link As…” If using a PC, right-click and choose Save Target As…”)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Show for Oct. 16, 2011. Remembering Frank Kameny

As mentioned in an earlier post, I was saddened to learn this past week that gay rights pioneer Frank Kameny had died. For today’s show I replayed my 2010 interview with Frank, in which he looked back on his life as an activist. This is a somewhat longer cut of the original 2010 broadcast. In part 2 of the show, more on the subject of political activism and the sacrifices it sometimes calls for: an excerpt from a 2009 interview with former track star John Carlos, who talks about the famous black power salute he and fellow medalist Tommy Smith gave at the 1968 Olympic Games.

You can download the MP3 here (if using a Mac, control-click the link and choose “Save Link As…” If using a PC, right-click and choose Save Target As…”)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Frank Kameny, 1925 - 2011

I just got the unwelcome news that Frank Kameny died yesterday. Frank was an early leader of the gay rights movement in the US, an extremely effective activist, and certainly one of the most important civil liberties trailblazers that most Americans have never heard of. Aware that he’d been staging Fourth of July demonstrations for gay equality as far back as the mid-1960s, I interviewed him on my July 4, 2010 show. He was 85 at the time we spoke, feisty and funny and trenchant as ever. I had hoped to speak to him again. Regrettably, I never got the chance. But I’m grateful for the one conversation we did have, which you can hear below. The interview with Frank starts around the 32-minute mark.

You can download the MP3 here (if using a Mac, control-click the link and choose “Save Link As…” If using a PC, right-click and choose Save Target As…”)


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Pledge Drive Continues: Still Time to Give

Many thanks to those of you who made contributions during our pledge drive show yesterday. Same to all who’ve pitched in during this drive. And to those of you who haven’t (yet), there’s plenty of time. Just call 888-777-1507 or go to KUSP.org. It’s soooo easy. And tell them what your favorite shows are.

On yesterday’s 7th Ave Project, we aired some choice bits from the past year’s shows. An accidental (and pledge drive-relevant) throughline emerged. If you want to hear the full stories from which the segments were taken, here are the links:

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Show for Jan 2, 2011. Comedy from the Inside: Paul Provenza

Comedian and humor maven Paul Provenza returns to the 7th Ave Project. We discuss the recent history of comedy and Paul’s Showtime series The Green Room, in which he and fellow comics engage in freewheeling conversation, riff off of each other and occasionally argue (in a very entertaining way). The Green Room enters its second season in 2011. Here’s the website. And here’s a link to our previous show with Paul and photographer Dan Dion, discussing their book Satiristas.

Click the “play” arrow above to listen to the interview, or download the MP3 here.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Show for Nov. 28, 2010: Todd Gitlin—Israel, America and the Idea of Chosenness

Historian and cultural critic Todd Gitlin examines the special relationship between the U.S. and Israel and concludes that it goes deeper than geopolitics. He says the two countries have been shaped by a shared sense of heavenly purpose, a messianic belief that God is on their side. We discuss his new book The Chosen Peoples: America, Israel and the Ordeals of Divine Election, co-written by Liel Leibovitz.

Click the “play” arrow above to listen, or download the MP3 here.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Show for May 2, 2010. Political Scientist Brendan Nyhan; Wealth Reporter Robert Frank

Two entertaining, eye-opening and unsettling conversations highlight the shaky relationship between reality and perception. Political scientist Brendan Nyhan studies the impact of facts on political views, and finds that often, information doesn’t change minds. Wall Street Journal reporter Robert Frank says that despite fears that they’d lose their fortunes during the financial crisis, many of the wealthiest Americans are doing better than ever, the gap between rich and poor has grown and a new class divide may be emerging—between the rich and super-rich.

Click the arrow above to listen to the show. If you lack Flash player or have other playback problems, click this link for the MP3.

Visit Brendan Nyhan’s blog.
Read The Wealth Report by Robert Frank

Monday, March 29, 2010

Show for March 28, 2010. Gabriel Thompson: Working in the Shadows

So you think your job sucks? Journalist Gabriel Thompson went undercover to learn about the grueling, low-wage work mostly done by immigrants in the US. He harvested lettuce in Arizona, toiled in a poultry processing plant in Alabama and did time at a (surprisingly nasty) flower shop in Manhattan. He describes his year of living strenuously.

Click here to read more about Gabriel and his book Working in the Shadows: A Year of Doing the Jobs (Most) Americans Won’t Do