Photograph taken in November, 1909 shows three members of the Payro family being “photographed” by their cat: Edmund, age 12, Ernest, age 8, and Cecilia, age 5.
Payro, J. (Joseph C.), 1862-1953 via Retronaut
I think people have those innate capacities or they don’t. The crisis draws it out of them. It allows them to see who they really are. And that’s why I chose the title, The Man He Became. I think he was that man before he became sick, but he only discovered who he really was through the ordeal of polio. So it gave him a kind of confidence in his own strength that perhaps no one can have until you’re tested.
Historian James Tobin on FDR’s polio
Our film critic, David Edelstein, reviews A Walk Among the Tombstones, based on a Lawrence Block novel and starring Liam Neeson:
"I’d be even more enthusiastic about A Walk Among the Tombstones if [Director Scott] Frank hadn’t swapped the book’s unforgettable ending for a climax so conventional I can barely remember it. The novel’s finale gives the story a grisly symmetry that’s near-poetic, and it perfectly illustrates the difference between Scudder’s [Neeson] passive acceptance of vengeance and the more hands-on approach of the people around him. I can see, of course, why Block’s ending didn’t make the cut: Scudder is on the sidelines, it’s gag-me-with-a-chainsaw gross. But as it stands, the film feels incomplete, as if a vital body part has been lopped off.”
All these years in, I don’t have to spend much time raving about why I love The Good Wife. The legal cases they dramatize are as intelligent, and as multi-layered, as the characters, and the acting, from the guest stars as well as the regulars, is marvelous. Each week on The Good Wife, the show’s opening credits don’t show up until about 10 minutes into the show – and they always catch me by surprise, because by that time, I’m so involved with the plot, I forget that the credits haven’t run yet. But when they arrive, with flair and a bit of dramatic punctuation, they always remind me, week in and week out, that I’m watching one of TV’s best dramas.
-Fresh Air TV Critic David Bianculli
Ken Tucker reviews the rich, experimental, and spooky new album from Pere Ubu, Carnival of Souls:
“Carnival of Souls is a series of scenes about a figure roaming across a barren landscape in the broiling sun, or wandering through city streets at night, looking for clues to a mystery that may only exist inside his head. It’s a dreamscape that’s never dreamy: it’s hardboiled, hard-headed stuff. It’s music made to endure. After all, Pere Ubu’s latest motto is a Latin phrase that roughly translates as, ‘Art is forever, the audience comes and goes.’”
When Zak Ebrahim was 7 years old, his father El Sayyid Nosair assassinated Meir Kahane, the militant ultra-orthodox anti-Arab rabbi who founded the Jewish Defense League.
Then, from prison, three years later, Nosair helped plot the 1993 World Trade Center bombing — and was later convicted as one of the conspirators.
Nosair’s terrorist acts sent the family into a downward spiral—and for much of his life, Ebrahim lied to people about his identity. In fact, he changed his name to distance himself from his father.
His new memoir, The Terrorist’s Son, is about how he came to accept the truth about his father and seek out peace in his own life.
In today’s interview, Ebrahim talks about his father’s involvement with the 1993 WTC bombing and how that changed things:
"I believe that from his prison cell he would often get visitors and have phone calls with many of the men who would eventually be involved in the World Trade Center bombing and involved in planning the attack.
When my father first went to prison [for the assassination of Meir Kahane], although he had maintained his innocence, there were certain people who thought he had done what he had done, namely because Kahane was seen as a very evil figure in particular in the Muslim community. …
I suppose I thought to myself that even if he was guilty that that was some sort of justification. It wasn’t until after the World Trade Center that it was very apparent that innocent people were being attacked — that even as a child I knew that was wrong and that I couldn’t accept any excuse for that. It was also when I realized that our family would no longer ever be together again.”
Watch Ebrahim’s TED Talk, "I am the son of a terrorist. Here’s how I chose peace."
21-year old Michael Jackson and 13-year old Janet Jackson in our latest episode:
Michael Jackson on Godliness
Who doesn’t love a game of telephone?
John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats joins Fresh Air to talk about his new novel, Wolf in White Van, his dark adolescence, and the best part of his job:
"I hang out and sign records for an hour or two hours every night and I like to hear as many people’s stories as I can, because if somebody wants to share their story with me, I want to honor that. … But if you’re hearing a bunch of [stories], it gets very intense. It’s a lot.
I feel a duty. … I really think there’s a lot of music you can use to heal and save yourself. It’s not like I have some magic power and I reached inside somebody and said, “Oh, you didn’t know this about yourself until I wrote this song.” That’s not true. What I did is I made a thing, and somebody who needed to find something found mine and chose to meet me out on that ground.
It’s this area of communication that is unique to music, I think. That’s a choice that the listener makes to share that part of themselves with the artist who hopefully shared part of himself. … It’s very intense to have those sorts of conversations, have people sharing stuff that may be a secret, but I try to be worthy of it. It’s an honor. I’ve worked a lot of jobs — this is the best one.”
Via Electric Lit.
Not sure if this is more encouraging or daunting, but it’s definitely interesting!
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Tomorrow John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats joins us to talk about his new novel, Wolf in White Van. We’ll also talk about his love of comic books, his chaotic and troubled childhood, and how he came to love metal.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Lawrence Wright likes to be at the cross-section of religion and culture. He has written about al-Qaida, Scientology and now, what happened behind-the-scenes at the Camp David Accords in 1978. His book, Thirteen Days in September, takes a look at what Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin wanted to gain—and what they had to lose.
Wright tells Fresh Air today that both Sadat and Begin came close to walking out and how President Carter reacted:
"Implicitly, [Carter] was threatening war because he was saying that if there’s another war, [the U.S.] is going to be on Israel’s side and Egypt will be alone and friendless in the world. It was a very sobering moment. Carter told me that he had never been angrier in his entire life. It was clear that he made a real impression on Sadat. Sadat had already ordered the helicopter; he had packed his clothes; he was out of there. He was worried that he was going to be asked to give up too much at Camp David and he wouldn’t be able to justify it when he got home.
[Begin] didn’t really have a position. He didn’t want to agree to any of the terms that Carter was putting forward. Finally, he began to realize that he was going to have to agree with something in order to preserve the relationship with the United States. Carter told him that if he left Camp David, he was going to make sure that the American people knew who was to blame [for the collapse of the peace talks]. He was going to go to Congress; he was going to lay it on them.
One of [Carter’s] speechwriters was told to draw up a speech in which Carter was going to ask the Israeli people to overthrow their government, through a vote, but imagine! You can’t believe how that would be received in Israel or even the Congress of the United States. Things had gotten so personal at the point. Carter believed so strongly that peace was worth it, but he was about to blow everything to smithereens — if either of these men walked out, they were going to pay a price and he wanted to make sure they knew it.”