I think I’d just like to make the point that we tend to think of income inequality in this country as though it were a force of nature, that people really don’t have any control over. And certainly there are some underlying structural trends - the decline of unions, the increase of globalization and global trade - that are driving inequality to a certain degree.
But on top of that, and pushed by the Republican party, you have a tax policy that is favoring people who are getting more and more wealthy as a result of these structural trends and rewarding them with tax cuts that are allowing them to get richer still. And that is a new story in America and it’s not the one that we like to tell ourselves.
“This is a man who had defused himself, who had tamped down his desires. And when he came out, it was the beginning of him becoming more vivid and hot and present, which was often messy but always wonderful.”—Filmmaker Mike Mills talks about his father, who came out when he was 75.
We need your help for Monday's interview. Etiquette questions?
On Monday, we’re interviewing Philip Galanes. He’s the person who writes the New York Times advice column Social Q’s where he “offers lighthearted advice about awkward social situations.”
For example, he’s answered questions like:
What to do when you have a mistress and a son and you accidentally text your son instead of your mistress?
My husband’s grandmother takes really offensive photographs of my double chin and then sends them to our entire family, what do I do?
What should I do when strangers in coffee shops ask me to watch their stuff and I don’t want to?
We want to pose some modern day social etiquette from our listening audience to Philip on Monday. So if you have a burning question about your relatives, the holidays, technology, email gaffes and/or dating, please ask away!
“But when a saga popular with pre-adolescent girls peaks romantically on a night that leaves the heroine to wake up covered with bruises in the shape of her husband’s hands — and when that heroine then spends the morning explaining to her husband that she’s incredibly happy even though he injured her, and that it’s not his fault because she understands he couldn’t help it in light of the depth of his passion — that’s profoundly irresponsible.”—NPR’s Linda Holmes reviews Twilight Breaking Dawn, Pt. 1 (via diandrabird)
“Anytime you cast a movie and you need someone famous in the lead part, you’re a prisoner of whoever happens to be famous in the six month window in which you’re trying to get a film financed. I lament that many times, a director has to compromise about who these lead actors must be, simply in order to get the film financed — when that’s the single most important element of the film that should be never compromised.”—Director Alexander Payne is lucky, having cast George Clooney, Jack Nicholson, Reese Witherspoon and Paul Giamatti in his films. But he says many directors in Hollywood have to make casting compromises to finance their projects. [complete interview here]
“If you don’t like the nature of what government does — you don’t like that it funds a social safety net, you don’t like Medicare, you don’t like Social Security — it’s actually a good strategy to leave the government in a perilous fiscal situation, because energies will be directed into cutting spending and paring back these programs.”—Tim Dickinson on the neoconservative ‘starve the beast’ strategy that was designed to create a fiscal problem by cutting taxes. [full interview here]
“Almost without exception, every proposal put forth by GOP lawmakers and presidential candidates is intended to preserve or expand tax privileges for the wealthiest Americans. Most of their plans, which are presented as commonsense measures that will aid all Americans, would actually result in higher taxes for middle-class taxpayers and the poor.”—Rolling Stone’s political correspondent Tim Dickinson explains how the tax policies pursued by the Republican Party have changed in the past 14 years — and says those changes have led to greater economic inequality in our country.
“I love “Jersey Shore.” But the reason why I love it is because I have nothing in common with these people. I’m fascinated. It’s like watching “National Geographic.” … I want to see how they live in the wild … The Situation will go by a club, he’ll be like nah, I don’t want to go in there. There’s not enough people in there. … I’m the opposite. I’m like there is too many people in that bar. I’m not going to go in that bar. I want to go to a place where no one is.”—
Jimmy Fallon talking to Terry Gross about “Jersey Shore”
You follow a huge amount of tumblrs, right? Like, even more than tumblr usually allows. How does that work?! I feel like I barely have the time to go through my dash everyday and I don't follow nearly so many. Also, how do you decide what to reblog? Are the reblogs supposed to represent NPRFreshAir, or are they really just Mel being Mel?
I didn’t realize there was a limit at first but I mainly find my reblogging things through keywords (though when I need a break I scroll through the Dash.)
I think of Tumblr as a place where I can a) reblog things that enhance the listening experience or b) are simply things that our audience might like. It’s me, but it’s also me working for a national show (in that I don’t post, like, personal stuff.)
“You’re really popular, Bee-an-COOL-ee!”—Regis to Bianculli after Bianculli’s cell phone rang during the interview yesterday. [Bianculli previews the interview on his blog. Will post the interview once the website is edited.]
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