Past Shows

Origin Stories

Origin stories can be educated guesses, or leaps of collective imagination as to who we are, how we got to this point. The Big Bang is one kind, Adam and Eve make another. 1492 and ...

Hong Kong Crackdown

“May you live in interesting times” was never in fact a Chinese curse. It’s a modern American cliché that could work as a caption on both China and the US as 2019 winds down. We’ve ...

Billionaire Noir

The most honored movie of the year looks to be Parasite, from Korea, about the soul-crushing advance of mega-wealth and the heartbreak of poor people with a dream of catching up. From the Pacific Rim, ...

In Hoffa’s Shadow

Jimmy Hoffa will never be found, and won’t be forgotten either. What was it about the Teamster tough guy that’s more compelling 45 years after his perfect-crime murder than in his larger-than-life career? He was ...

Lovecraft Country

H. P. Lovecraft’s frightful horror fiction—dated between Edgar Allan Poe’s and Stephen King’s—is the weirdest of the weird. Lovecraft found ravenous, man-eating rats in the walls and foundations of our houses, and in our hearts ...

Monopoly vs. Democracy

It’s new for most Americans that we’re embarrassed by our democracy. We don’t know where it went wrong, or whether it’ll survive. Matt Stoller explains it this way: we’ve come to do politics the way ...

Harold Bloom’s Spark

Harold Bloom sat for 60 inspired, combative years at the high table of the All-American book group. His passing this week can be said to mark the extinction of a very rare breed. He was ...

The Neuro-Adventures of Oliver Sacks

Oliver Sacks was the beloved doctor of strong souls in afflicted bodies. He was a neurologist with an eye for the invisible, the medical detective who found himself addicted to his patients in the back ...

Etcetera

May 8, 2018

Lisa Halliday’s ‘Asymmetry’

This is an unlocked, bonus segment of Open Source. You can hear weekly conversations and extended interviews like this one by subscribing and supporting our work on Patreon. The writer Zadie Smith first clued us ...
December 15, 2016

Post-Democracy in America

"Donald Trump is a post-democratic leader. The liberal democratic model—of which Obama was the last president—is completely dead."
February 4, 2016

Sanders, Socialism, and the Youth Vote

For the election watchers who were dissatisfied after the statistical stalemate in the Iowa caucuses, here’s a result worth wondering over: six to one! That’s the margin by which Iowa Democrats between 18 and 30 ...
March 29, 2018

Van Morrison’s Cosmic Accident

In the annals of rock music albums, Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks is one of a kind. In an earthy medium, it’s a masterpiece of abstraction.  Indecipherable. Irresistible. Influential. Accidental, it seemed, from the first licks ...
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