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Bob Edwards Weekend

November 2009


 

November 7-8, 2009

 

HOUR ONE

 LISTEN

Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid, is a conceptual artist, spoken word artist, writer and musician whose work has appeared in the Whitney Biennial, the Andy Warhol Museum and the Village Voice.  His video, “Rebirth of a Nation,” ran at the Lincoln Center Festival and the Acropolis in Athens, Greece.  Last year he traveled to Antarctica for a new, large-scale multimedia performance piece.  Miller discusses those projects, including his book titled Sound Unbound, and his most recent album, “The Secret Song,” which he describes as “meditation on hip-hop and electronic music’s relationship to philosophy, economics and the science of sound.”

 

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, Bob talks with executive director Dan Gediman about the essay from General Lucius D. Clay.  During World War II, Gen. Clay was Director of Material for the Army and then Deputy Director for War Mobilization and Reconversion. After the war he was U.S. Military Governor of Germany. Clay ordered and organized the massive air-lift to feed people in Soviet-blockaded Berlin.

 

HOUR TWO

 LISTEN

For three years, director Joe Berlinger gathered the footage for his new documentary Crude.  In the classic battle between the haves and the have-nots, Crude examines both sides of the legal case known as the “Amazon Chernobyl.”  30,000 residents of the jungles of Ecuador claimed that the American oil giant Chevron contaminated an area roughly the size of Rhode Island, resulting in high levels of cancer, birth defects, and other health problems.  Crude was an official selection at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.

 

Salon.com book critic Laura Miller shares her favorite new books for fall.

 

Jonathan Lethem describes his new novel this way: “It’s set on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, it’s strongly influenced by Saul Bellow, Philip K. Dick, Charles G. Finney and Hitchcock’s “Vertigo,” and it concerns a circle of friends including a faded child-star actor, a cultural critic, a hack ghost-writer of autobiographies, and a city official.  And it’s long and strange.” Chronic City is Lethem’s seventh novel.  His previous novels include the best-sellers, Fortress of Solitude and Motherless Brooklyn.

 

 

November 14-15, 2009

 

LISTEN 

HOUR ONE

We visit the Army’s billion-dollar National Training Center and meet some of the people who help prepare our troops for combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Covering more than a thousand square miles of California’s Mojave Desert, Ft. Irwin and the NTC includes realistic mock villages populated by role playing Iraqi nationals and military wives who aim to give the soldiers a taste of what’s to come overseas.  We also witness a group of Army reservists training in a “trauma lane.”  Amid IED blasts and sniper fire, the untested medics have to deal with role players pretending to be the enemy, frightened villagers demanding their attention and actual amputees who act like they just lost their legs in the explosion.  Their commander, Sergeant First Class Bertran Schultz, describes the action and gives a blow by blow account of what his soldiers are getting right and wrong.

 

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, Bob talks with executive director Dan Gediman about the essay from Mrs. John G. (Percy) Lee.  She served four terms as the national president of the League of Women Voters from 1950 to 1958. The daughter of the inventor of the Maxim gun silencer, Lee passed up college to marry at age 19 and raise a family.

 

HOUR TWO

LISTEN

From the loveable bartender known to the world as “Woody Boyd” in the television series Cheers, to the off-color publisher of Hustler Magazine, Larry Flynt, Woody Harrelson has proven to be a highly diverse actor for more than twenty years.  In his most recent film, Harrelson is teamed with actor Ben Foster as members of the Army’s Casualty Notification service – representatives of the military who must deliver the sad news of fallen soldiers to the families.  Harrelson, Foster and writer-director Oren Moverman discuss the film, The Messenger, and their experiences making movies.

 

Writer Barbara Kingsolver is one of America’s most beloved and respected novelists.   She won the National Book Prize of South Africa in 1998 for The Poisonwood Bible and in 2000, President Bill Clinton awarded Kingsolver the National Humanities Medal.  Her new book, The Lacuna, is Kingsolver’s first novel in 9 years.

 

November 21-22, 2009

 

HOUR ONE

LISTEN 

Hal Holbrook is best-known for his iconic portrayal of Mark Twain. His first solo act as Twain was in 1954. More than fifty years later, Holbrook is still at it and nobody can bring Mark Twain alive like he can. Now Holbrook stars in That Evening Sun, a Southern Gothic film about a man refusing to face the waning years of his life and his worth.

 

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, Bob talks with executive director Dan Gediman about the essay from Barry Bingham, Sr., He was the long-time owner, editor and publisher of The Courier-Journal and The Louisville Times. His family’s leadership of the newspapers as well as radio and TV properties in Kentucky led to numerous journalism awards including multiple Pulitzer Prizes.  Then, Bob is joined by Molly Bingham, one of Barry’s grandchildren. She recalls some favorite memories of her grandfather and describes how his example of journalistic courage prompted her to become a photojournalist and documentarian.

 

HOUR TWO  

LISTEN

 

In her new book, The Year of the Flood, Margaret Atwood has created a dystopian world that can be read as a commentary on religion, politics, science and the environment.  Atwood has authored 15 books of poetry but she’s best-known for her novels including The Handmaid’s Tale, The Blind Assassin, and Oryx and Crake.

 

In the early 1990’s, Maryland artist Billy Pappas set out to draw the impossible. For the next eight years, Pappas worked to capture what is normally unseen in portraiture, each pore, each individual strand of hair. His obsession was matched only by his obsessive pursuit to show his opus to the acclaimed modern artist David Hockney. Julie Checkoway is the director of a film about Pappas. She talks with Bob about Waiting for Hockney which debuts on the Sundance Channel on Monday.

 

 

 

November 28-29, 2009

 

HOUR ONE

  

LISTEN 

 

As Americans start shopping for the holidays, the investigative journalism website globalpost.com is taking a closer look at conditions for workers in some of the factories that make the components for the hottest electronic gadgets this season.  Bob talks with Managing Editor Thomas Mucha about their special series, Silicon Sweatshops.

 

Werner Herzog’s film career began in the mid-1960s and includes more than fifty films.  His newest is a drama titled Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans. It shares a title with a 1992 movie, but Herzog insists that his film is NOT a remake or a sequel of that Bad Lieutenant.  Herzog’s movie stars Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendes and Val Kilmer and is set in the Crescent City soon after Hurricane Katrina.

 

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, Bob talks with executive director Dan Gediman about the essay from Charles Henry Parrish. As a professor of sociology at the University of Louisville, Parrish was the first African-American to be appointed to the faculty of a southern university. In addition to his teaching, Parrish was a part-time public relations consultant for the Domestic Life Insurance Company.

 

   

HOUR TWO

 LISTEN

 

Perhaps no one in the history of American entertainment is more influential and tragic than Orson Welles, the young auteur who created shocking dramas on stage, on the air, and on screen. Welles struggled to live up to his early successes, and at the end of his life was seen as a caricature, lending his famous voice to TV commercials, and releasing few films in this country. Bob talks with Chris Welles Feder about her father – his devotion to his art, and his distance from his family. Welles Feder is the author of the new book, In My Father’s Shadow

 

Tom Russell is a visual artist, an author and an accomplished musician.  He’s also a songwriter whose tunes have been covered by the likes of Johnny Cash, Guy Clark and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott.  But Russell isn’t just an artist: he holds a masters degree in  Criminology, he taught in Nigeria during a civil war, and while working as a cab driver in Queens, a chance encounter with Robert Hunter of the Grateful Dead kick-started his return to the music business. Tom Russell joins Bob to discuss his life and to play some tunes from his new album Blood and Candle Smoke