“That’s just a fascinating effort because the changing of names – the Americanization of names – is such a part of the immigrant story of America. To see it now being scanned for potential red flags for terrorism just shows how much has changed in New York since 9/11, not just on the ground, but the way we view things in New York.”—New York City police officers keep track of every person in the city who changes his or her name. When that person’s name sounds Arabic, the police run an extensive background check that is then put in a database for future reference.
“It was really an effort to build databases of where Muslims live, eat, work, shop and pray.”—On Wednesday’s Fresh Air, AP reporter Matt Apuzzo joins Terry Gross for a conversation about his Pulitzer Prize-winning series, which revealed that the NYPD transformed itself after September 11 into an aggressive domestic intelligence unit and monitored hundreds of Muslims in their mosques, workplaces and schools – even when there was no evidence of any wrongdoing present.
“Writers and video producers live in dread of the wandering eye. Audio producers live for it. That’s what makes us, in our secret hearts, troublemakers. We want you to lose sight of everything in front of your face: to stare through that dish in your hand, ignore your children, drop into a glazed-over trance of our making. Maybe don’t drive off the road, but please do miss a few exits or get stuck in your car. Good audio should be dangerous that way.”—Julia Barton on Nieman Storyboard (via mialobel)
“Literally two days later, she started feeling better and a couple weeks later, when they went to sample the bacteria that was there, they couldn’t find the C. difficile anymore. It was just gone. The only thing they had done was essentially restore her ecology, essentially like restoring a wetland.”—Carl Zimmer wrote about a patient infected with the Clostridium difficile bacteria, which causes severe diarrhea and can frequently return, even when treated with antibiotics. The patient was treated with a transfusion of gut microbials from a healthy individual’s fecal material to restore the bacterial flora in her intestinal tract.
“But as everyone should know by now, liberties begin to erode when you have laws that are too widely drawn. And laws which say that under no circumstances can a court take any account of the Shariah are necessarily discriminatory. They’re necessarily over broad. And they necessarily create communal dissention for no good purpose.”—Sadakat Kadri on the movement to ban Shariah law in America.
“One thing I realized when traveling around the Muslim world is how closely these hard-line interpretations of Islamic law are associated with political consternation and turmoil. There isn’t a country anywhere in the Muslim world which has been applying Muslim laws continuously for hundreds of years and which is drawing on genuine tradition. It’s a revival of supposed traditions which don’t really pay much heed to history at all.”—Sadakat Kadri on interpretations of the Shariah over the last 40 years.
“The argument just tends to get so confused these days between people who attack the Shariah when actually what they ought to be attacking is the hard-line interpretations of Islamic law. By attacking the Shariah, basically a huge amount of mistrust and incomprehension is created between Muslims and non-Muslims. Because as far as a Muslim is concerned, an attack on the Shariah is an attack on God.”—On today’s Fresh Air, English barrister and historian Sadakat Kadri describes 1400 years of Islamic law and how it’s changed over the centuries.
A few years after her younger brother John died from AIDS-related complications in 1989, poet Marie Howe wrote him a poem in the form of a letter. Called “What the Living Do,” the poem is an elegiac description of loss, and of living beyond loss.
"When he died, it was a terrible loss to all of us," she tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. “As you know, as everybody knows, you think, 'My life is changed so utterly I don't know how to live it anymore.' And then you find a way.”
“Throughout the past four years, we keep hearing about the impact of this economy on the middle class, which of course, is important, but it’s having a great impact on these people, too. They can resort to strategies that make them seem unsympathetic. That’s what’s been missing from this debate. This recession aftermath has been so framed in terms of an impact on the middle class that the poor have largely been pushed out of the spotlight … and they’re really in political oblivion right now.”—On today’s Fresh Air, how the recession has impacted America’s poorest women.
“Poetry holds the knowledge that we are alive and that we know we’re going to die. The most mysterious aspect of being alive might be that — and poetry knows that.”—In honor of National Poetry Month, we’re replaying our interview with poet Marie Howe tomorrow.
I heard an author interviewed on NPR discussing the rich cultural legacy which slaves left upon America. Specifically, the influence of their spoken language upon Southern culture. Any idea who the author is?
Was it this interview with linguist Elizabeth Little on ATC? If not, anyone know what interview this might refer to?
“I was often dismissed as being cute. And it was like, no I don’t want to be cute, I want to be beautiful and smart. And that wasn’t happened and then I connected through music. So music became a way of identifying my particular niche. How lucky for me.”—Carole King talks about how music played a role in her earlier years.
“Most novels these days don’t look farther than their front yards for their subject matter, or sometimes just the bottom of the protagonist’s shot glass; Nadine Gordimer, however, like her great Eastern European contemporary, Milan Kundera, sees history, power, and a gnawing desire for something secular, yet entwined in every mundane gesture.”—Maureen Corrigan reviews Nadine Gordimer’s latest novel, No Time Like The Present.
Carole King is the guest on Fresh Air today. I asked some of my public media friends to help let people know via a sing-a-long on possibly the most hilarious medium to have a sing-a-long: Twitter. Naturally, This American Life started us off.