Past Shows

The Costs of War

A trillion dollars here, a trillion dollars there — pretty soon, as the man said, you’re talking real money. But you’re not even close to counting the costs of the US “forever wars” in the ...

2020 Hindsight on Iraq

We have a formal stand-down, meaning no war this week, between the US and Iran. On the long horizon of empires, rising and falling, it looks like an interval of restraint between hubris and nemesis—the ancient ...

The Inimitable Johnny Hodges

There’s a big difference between the two greatest jazz stars on the alto horn. Charlie Parker had imitators without number; Johnny Hodges was simply inimitable. Parker, known as Bird, broke frontiers of speed, harmonic invention, ...

Ben Lerner’s Literary Charge

This week we have an Open Source literary treat. It’s our producer Adam Colman in conversation with Ben Lerner, the MacArthur Genius who speaks as a poet, theorist, and storyteller in everything he writes. Ben ...

Labour’s Love Lost

Britain’s long, lurching political campaign of self-discovery, on the eve of ours in 2020, was a shocker. Thunder on the right, collapse on the left, bye-bye to Europe and banging the door on the way ...

Impeachment Lite

The impeachment season just opening begins to look like a required scandalous course for citizens on how your government actually works, and as the New York Times noted this week, it will not be pretty. ...

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 ...

Etcetera

May 5, 2016

Ireland Rises Again!

It has been 100 years since Ireland’s Easter Rising, a fascinating, tragic episode that blended literature and liberation, defeat and victory, national reverence and remorse, and, in William Butler Yeats‘s high poetic oxymoron of “Easter, 1916“, ...
February 14, 2019

Gandhi and “The Years That Changed the...

Mahatma Gandhi led the liberation of India from British rule in the first half of the 20th Century, by massive and peaceful resistance. He is said to be out of political fashion in India these ...
May 10, 2018

Trump Goes Rogue In Iran

Dropping out of the Iran nuclear deal has the feel of dropping into the John Bolton phase of the Trump era.  Trump in Full. Trump Extra. The theme is No More Mr. Nice Guy, or ...
August 31, 2017

Amiri Baraka: Ennobled by Coltrane

Amiri Baraka‘s death prompts me to repost a conversation we had about the music of John Coltrane, which inspired Baraka and ennobled the ambitions of his Black Arts movement. “Trane was our flag,” Baraka remembered ...
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