Celebrity Versus Heroism in American Culture

We in the USA toss off the word “hero” quite easily in the media, and even in everyday speech.  However, sometimes, what might really be meant is “celebrity,” which is not the same thing. This long form documentary contrasts celebrity and heroism, and explores what the conflation of these two ideals has to say about who we are right now, and what being human might be about deep down.

Posted in Americana, Long form docs (15" and up)

Arlandria Renters Strike (VERY archival)

This is the first piece I had on the air for which I was actually paid (God bless Pacifica).  It dates back to 1986, and chronicles one rent fight in a low income area of Arlandria Virginia, just outside DC.

Posted in Uncategorized

Profile of the Poet Annie Finch

Annie Finch is one of the most intelligent, sensitive and prescient poets writing about poetry and women’s poetry in particular.  Here is a story I did about her when a new collection of her poems had been published. What a voice!

Posted in Arts, Poetry, Profile, Women

American Profile: Tony Kushner

Tony Kushner is one of America’s foremost dramatists, and not only because of his epic Angels in America.  He also probles and continues to probe our culture and its values — about sexuality, money, race — and other things many of us would rather just leave alone.  Here is my American Profile of Kushner, which was broadcast near the time that “Caroline, or Change” made its pre-Broadway opening.  (Raw interview elsewhere in this blog).)

Posted in Americana, Arts, Profile

Allen Ginsberg Raw Interview February 3, 1994

Allen Ginsberg was one of the greatest poets, and most generous Americans of the 20th century.  I interviewed him quite a bit in 1994 in connection with the publication of his collected poems, and for later for the post-mortem tribute I produced after his death in 1996 (also on this blog).  I thought my conversation with him (warts and all) might be of interest to those who knew or know and appreciate him.  So I put it up here with no editing at all, just for bumps.

Posted in Americana, Buddhism, Poetry, Profile, Religion, Spirituality

America’s Search for the Spirit

Despite our technically secular society, questions of meaning and the spirit are as meaningful as ever. In his long form documentary narrated by Gary Edquist, Adam Phillips spoke to experts and everyday people alike about that hunger, the roots of its urgency, and what some are trying to do to live lives of quiet “non-desperation.”

Posted in Uncategorized

Affective Computing at the MIT Media Lab

Much silicon has been programmed and ink spilled about the human/machine interface and how to make computers truly interactive.  No one has been more busy or more intelligent and playful about this than the folks at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab.  Here we talk with Justine Cassell (now at Carnegie) about what interactivity is, and her dreams of world where computers aid in helping us to realize our very human potentials.

Posted in Science

Conversation with President Adamkus of Lithuania (1998-2003)

Valdus Adamkus was part of the anti-Nazi resistance in Lithuania during World War Two, and fled his native land for the US following the war, where he had a nice life, and rose high in the EPA bureaucracy in Chicago.  After the fall of the Berlin Wall and Lithuanian independence, there was a question about who would be his nation’s next president.  He said “Why not me?” and returned to win the election.  I spoke with him by phone from the presidential palace.

Posted in Uncategorized

A Day in the Life of a Good Humor Man

We all know what it’s like to jump at the sound of an ice cream truck, but what is it like for the mustachioed purveyor of those eclairs, sandwiches etc once he tootles away down tot he corner and a new sale?  This is a profile of one Good Humor Man as he makes his appointed rounds.

Posted in Uncategorized

The Wonders of the Hand (book)

A world famous surgeon who became famous for being able to reattach entire hands and restore their functions writes about this most amazing miracle-that-comes-in-twos.

Posted in Health, Science Tags: , , ,
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