This week on This American Life: A drug court program that we believe is run differently from every other drug court in the country, doing some things that are contrary to the very philosophy of drug court. The result? People with offenses that would get minimal or no sentences elsewhere sometimes end up in the system five to ten years. [full episode description here]
I just found this. A guy named Dan has curated some of his favorite Fresh Air interviews, with audio links:
The three interviews below are my personal favorites and also were recommended on Facebook. Beyond being fans of their work, I had a very myopic perception of who they were, basing most of my opinions on a few sounds bytes and on how the media portrays them. What I’ve learned is that to get to where they are today, meaning success, there’s a very real and personal struggle they must go through. Jay-Z poignantly explained why he had to sell crack cocaine, Russell Brand speaks of his grim bouts with heroin addiction, and Rza describes how difficult it was to satisfy his thirst for music given his humble beginnings.
Thanks Dan! Have any other suggestions to add to a curated list?
“We doesn’t always mean “you and I and the others.” Thanks to the semantic operation called metonymy, the word can jump from one thing to something else that’s connected with it. When I say “We’re parked out back,” I don’t mean me and my wife, I mean our car. And when the president of the Pep club shakes the tin where the cookie money’s kept and says “we’re almost broke,” she doesn’t mean that the members are all out of money, just the club’s coffers. And that’s pretty much what John Boehner and Jon Stewart mean when they say we’re broke. Call it stealth metonymy. We’re not broke, no more than we’re parked out back — it’s only the cookie fund.”—Our linguist Geoff Nunberg takes a look at the phrase ‘we’re broke’ and determines that the meaning depends less on the definition of ‘broke’ and more on the definition of ‘we.’
“I worked in Saipan, which is in the Marianas Island in the Pacific, and there, the dialysis population was increasing at about 18 percent a year, all as a consequence of diabetes and acculturation — exactly the same process as what’s going on with the Inuit. When you look at the curves, it’s clear how unsustainable it is. In 20 or 30 years, everybody on that island will either be a dialysis patient or a dialysis nurse unless something fundamental is done about the rise in diabetes. That’s no less true in Canada and in Samoa and Hawaii, and even in Omaha and Toronto. We all have exactly the same problem when we plot out those curves.”—Physician Kevin Patterson explains how processed foods and fast food are making the world both fatter and sicker.
You know what would be the best, if Fresh Air interviews were available before 5:00 p.m. I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to listen to the interview but forgot or had something to do in the evening/just don't want to sit still for an hour and listen. Doesn't NPR provide a live stream? Not quite sure why I have to wait until 5, I can work and listen to NPR but I can't drink and listen to NPR, I mean I could. You know what I'm sayin'?
They’re available before 5 on radio stations so you can stream it from an NPR station. (They’re all online and there’s also a live feed on npr.org.) We use the 3:00 feed for the web so we can correct any errors in our original broadcast.
“In middle and high school, there’s an awareness that some of us must be gay and we don’t know who’s gay or how you become gay. A huge part of what animates homophobia among young people is paranoia and fear of their own capacity to be gay themselves. I write “Savage Love” and everyday I get letters from 14 and 15-year-old boys, primarily, who are worried that they’re gay because they don’t understand how you get to be gay — how that happens. And in almost all cases, these letters are from boys who are straight — who are not gay — who are not going to be gay. But they believe that gayness is like some sort of cancer and it grows on you if you’re not careful and not vigilant. Where do they get that idea that gayness is chosen?”—Dan Savage, on the fear and paranoia that exist in middle and high schools about being gay.
“We’ve also had 20 years of an anti-gay hate campaign waged by the religious right where they’ve been telling parents who then expose their straight children to this rhetoric that ‘gay people are an attack on the family, that they’re trying to destroy the family.’ And [parents] at the mega-church listen to this stuff and they go to the ballot box and abuse gay and lesbian abstractions with their votes. Their kids go to school on Monday and there’s the queer kid or the kid who’s perceived to be queer because he’s gender non-conforming in some way. And they feel they have license to attack that kid because that kid attacked them first by simply existing. That’s what the religious right has injected into the culture over the past 20 years.”—Dan Savage, on the continued prevalence of homophobia in today’s teenage world, on today’s Fresh Air.
The latest Savage Love podcast (which may or may not be safe for work, depending on where you work. It is safe for where I work. But it probably is not safe for where you work. Still, maybe a home listen.)
“Social conservatives long to raise their children in a country where they don’t have to hear about homosexuality every time they turn on the news… Guess what? In countries like Canada — where the fight over gay rights is essentially over, where there is gay marriage, open military service and employment protections — homosexuality hardly ever makes the front pages of newspapers… Conservatives can’t get rid of us, but they can hear less from and about us. They just have to bend toward justice.”—Dan Savage: A Gay Agenda for Everyone - NYTimes.com (via feministhemes)
““… I’d really like to meet the person responsible for some graffiti I spotted in the men’s room at the Cornerstone: “Don’t Raw Dog A Random.” … It did take me a second to work out exactly what it meant, as I’m old, so here’s a quick translation for other olds: “Don’t raw dog a random” means “For heaven’s sake, don’t engage in unprotected vaginal intercourse—don’t have sex without a condom—with a woman you’ve only just met, particularly if you met her in this drinking establishment. Bro.””—Dan Savage (via twinklet*ts)
“The hate mail was of a much higher caliber back before email. I honestly believe the whole draft-hate-mail-find-envelope-insert-hate-mail-address-envelope-stamp-envelope-leave-house-drop-letter-in-mailbox routine set the hater bar just a bit higher. (Particularly the leave-the-house part.)”—Good To Know | Slog (via thesunshinekate)