Decoder Ring
Play • 25 min

Why did the mullet become a thing? Why did everybody go crazy over Cabbage Patch dolls? And why would anybody ever go on a reality TV show? These are the typical questions you'd find asked in Slate's Decoder Ring, one for the smartest podcasts out there and one that more people should be checking out. In each episode, host Willa Paskin, usually the TV critic for Slate, picks up a different cultural object — a word, a phenomenon, a moment, a device — and subjects it to a simple question: why? This week, Nick talks to Willa about how she and her producer go about choosing the topics of their deep-dives, what makes her so interested in cultural histories and how they pulled together their epic two-part series on Jane Fonda.

This program is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

Our Body Politic
Our Body Politic
Lantigua Williams & Co.
February 19, 2021: Examining a provocative way to build Black voting power, why Covid-19 vaccination must be a global effort, and facing up to the limits of inclusion at the Golden Globes.
This week, Farai Chideya talks to Charles Blow, New York Times opinion columnist and author of “The Devil You Know: A Black Power Manifesto,” about his proposal for building Black political power in the South. Dr. Ashish Jha of Brown University explains why vaccinating against Covid-19 must be a global effort, and Dr. Debra Furr-Holden of Michigan State University says getting Black Americans vaccinated is a key part of that effort. Our business of entertainment contributor Casey Mendoza breaks down who was nominated, who was snubbed, and who might be miscategorized at the Golden Globes. And political roundtable regulars Errin Haines and Jess Morales Rocketto explain why it’s important to keep trying to hold former President Trump accountable for his actions, despite his acquittal by the Senate. EPISODE RUNDOWN 0:55 Writer and columnist Charles Blow explains how moving en masse can change the political dynamics of a state. 7:04 A central argument in his book, Blow dispels the myth that racism only exists in the South. 10:34 Blow says that because of implicit bias, multi-racial coalitions can be limiting for building Black power. 14:16 Dr. Ashish Jha explains how herd immunity works in the vaccination process. 16:26 Dr. Jha says there is promising research that current vaccines can fight against most variants of Covid-19. 17:54 Dr. Jha says that vaccination efforts must be global in order to eliminate the threat of Covid-19 variants that prolong the pandemic. 19:58 Casey Mendoza looks at past controversies addressing the lack of diversity in entertainment awards shows. 22:38 Mendoza reflects on the role of white creators in the conversation about diversity and inclusion in Hollywood. 24:38 Mendoza explains why the Golden Globes were highly criticized for the categorization of “Minari” as a foreign language film. 25:53 Categorizing international or foreign-language films still proves to be problematic, Mendoza explains. 30:00 Errin Haines reflects on her interview with Vice President Kamala Harris. 33:28 Farai Chideya discusses Charles Blow’s idea for obtaining Black political power with Errin Haines. 36:02 After the impeachment acquittal of former President Donald Trump, Jess Morales Rocketto says that the threat of Trump and Trumpism is still very real. 39:00 Chideya tries to make sense of the conflicting positions from Senator Mitch McConnell regarding Trump’s role in the January 6th insurrection. 41:27 Sippin’ the Political Tea’s experts discuss other ways people are trying to hold Trump accountable for the events of January 6th, and why voting to convict on an impeachment charge would have had different consequences.
48 min
Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America
Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America
Ben & Jerry's and Vox Creative
Revisiting Reparations
In 1865, General William T. Sherman issued Special Field Order No. 15— a promise to redistribute 40 acres of once Confederate-owned land in coastal South Carolina and Florida to each formerly enslaved adult to begin mending the seemingly unmendable. It never came to pass. H.R. 40, also known as the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act, has been brought to Congress repeatedly since 1989, first by the late Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich), now by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tex). Hear Jeffery Robinson, founder of the Who We Are Project and deputy director of the ACLU take on the past, present and future of reparations with veteran political activist Dr. Ron Daniels and legal expert and reparations advocate Nkechi Taifa. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES Baldwin, James. The Fire Next Time. Vintage, 1992 Coates, Ta-Nehisi. “The Case for Reparations.” The Atlantic. June, 2014. Du Bois, W.E.B. Black Reconstruction in America 1860 - 1880. Free Press, 1999 Foner, Eric. Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863 - 1877. Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2014. H.R.40 - Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act Lockhart, P.R. The 2020 Democratic Primary Debate Over Reparations, Explained., June 19, 2019 Marable, Manning. Beyond Boundaries: The Manning Marable Reader. Routledge, 2011. National African American Reparations Commission (NAARC) 10-Point Reparations Plan Taifa, Nkechi. Black Power, Black Lawyer. House of Songhay II, 2020.
33 min
Writers, Ink
Writers, Ink
J.D. Barker, J. Thorn, Zach Bohannon
"The Little Things" with John Lee Hancock
John Lee Hancock’s recent film, “The Little Things,” brings to life many key aspects of viewer engagement and character development that translate from the cinema to the page. Through excellently written mystery and complex, relatable characters, he hooks viewers early on and keeps them on their toes throughout the movie. Hancock is an accomplished screenwriter, director, and producer who is well known for his role in films like “My Dog Skip,” “The Alamo,” and “The Highwaymen.” To get tickets to “The Little Things,” follow the link below. From The "feel good movie" may never have had a bigger proponent than John Lee Hancock. As a writer, director, and producer of high profile feature films, Hancock introduced his earnest and often sentimental sensibilities to sports movies like "The Rookie" (2002) and "The Blind Side" (2009), show business pictures like "Saving Mr. Banks" (2013), and the occasional fairy tale jaunt, including "Maleficent" (2014). Achieving big numbers at the box office and awards recognition in the process, Hancock established himself over the course of his decades in the filmmaking game as a reliable perpetrator of crowd-pleasing entertainment. Although intermittent attempts at darker and more severe material proved substantially less fortuitous, Hancock powered through these missteps to become a veritable fixture in the family-directed film community. Whether you’re traditionally published or indie, writing a good book is only the first step in becoming a successful author. The days of just turning a manuscript into your editor and walking away are gone. If you want to succeed in today’s publishing world, you need to understand every aspect of the business - editing, formatting, marketing, contracts. It all starts with a good book, then the real work begins. Join international bestselling author J.D. Barker and indie powerhouses, J. Thorn and Zach Bohannon, as they gain unique insight and valuable advice from the most prolific and accomplished authors in the business. In this episode, you’ll discover: * What Hancock’s writing process looks like * How “The Little Things” was influenced by the times * Why Hancock avoided making the film contemporary * Why the existential third act is so important * How to break free from conventional genres * The pros and cons of certain creative decisions Links: Complete the listener survey by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on February 28, 2021 and win a chance for a private one-on-one consultation with J. D. Barker! - J. D. Barker - J. Thorn - John Lee Hancock - “The Little Things” - Story Rubric - Nonfict Rubric - The Career Author Summit 2021 - Proudly sponsored by Kobo Writing Life - Music by Nicorus - Voice Over by Rick Ganley - and recorded at Mill Pond Studio - Contact - --- Support this podcast:
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