1. TUESDAY - How American politics went tabloid.   The new book All The Truth Is Out, is about how the Gary Hart sex scandal in 1987, ended his presidential candidacy, and was a turning point in how the media cover politics, emphasizing quote character issues, over political experience.  We’ll hear form the book’s author, Matt Bai, former chief political correspondent for the New York Times Magazine. View in High-Res

    TUESDAY - How American politics went tabloid.   The new book All The Truth Is Out, is about how the Gary Hart sex scandal in 1987, ended his presidential candidacy, and was a turning point in how the media cover politics, emphasizing quote character issues, over political experience.  We’ll hear form the book’s author, Matt Bai, former chief political correspondent for the New York Times Magazine.

  2. fresh air

    interview

    tabloid

    politics

    news

  1. Lena Dunham, the creator and star of the HBO series Girls, has a new collection of personal essays called Not That Kind of Girl. She joined Fresh Air to talk about oversharing, feminism, OCD, and why she thinks most depictions of sex in movies are destructive.  

  2. lena dunham

    GIRLS

    not that kind of girl

    women

    feminism

    fresh air

    interview

  1. This true story has obviously been sweetened a bit, and while Pride has plenty of harsh notes—disappointments, rejections, rabidly homophobic antagonists, even brutality—the vibe is upbeat. It works on you, this movie. Nearly every line makes you cackle or puts a lump in your throat or both—and it’s not easy to cackle with a lump in your throat. You make a lot of weird tubercular sounds.

    — 

    David Edelstein, film critic 

    The new film Pride gathers a group of actors, among them Bill Nighy and The Wire’s Dominic West, to tell the story of a 1980’s British coal miner’s strike unexpectedly joined by a coalition of gay men and women. 

  2. pride

    movie review

    fresh air

    lgbt

  1. Anthro-zoologist John Bradshaw is the author of the books Cat Sense and Dog Sense and is an expert in animal behavior.  Fresh Air spoke to him for both books and today we’re playing bits of each interview back-to-back. Whether you’re a cat person or a dog person, Bradshaw’s got you covered.
From the Cat Sense interview:

"I think cats are much less demonstrative animals than dogs are. It’s kind of not their fault; they evolved from a solitary animal that has never had the need for a sophisticated social repertoire in the way that the dog — having evolved from the wolf — had that ready-made. So their faces are just not terribly expressive, and some people read into that, that they’re kind of cynical and aloof and those sorts of things. But I don’t believe that for a moment. I think cats show, by their behavior, even if it’s a bit more subtle than a dog’s, that they really are fond of their owners."

From the Dog Sense interview: 

"I think dogs have a right to sniff things whenever it doesn’t cause a problem to us. When I meet a dog, I hold my hand out. I don’t stick my fingers right out, just in case, but I just make a loose fist and put my hand out to the dog. If it’s a small dog, I’ll squat down. And that dog will want to come and sniff my hand and lick it if necessary. That’s a greeting, and I think if we don’t do that, I think it’s as upsetting to the dog as if we were talking to somebody that we never met before and covered our faces at that point in time, as if we were trying to disguise who we were."


Photo: Andrew Tallon via Flickr View in High-Res

    Anthro-zoologist John Bradshaw is the author of the books Cat Sense and Dog Sense and is an expert in animal behavior.  Fresh Air spoke to him for both books and today we’re playing bits of each interview back-to-back. Whether you’re a cat person or a dog person, Bradshaw’s got you covered.

    From the Cat Sense interview:

    "I think cats are much less demonstrative animals than dogs are. It’s kind of not their fault; they evolved from a solitary animal that has never had the need for a sophisticated social repertoire in the way that the dog — having evolved from the wolf — had that ready-made. So their faces are just not terribly expressive, and some people read into that, that they’re kind of cynical and aloof and those sorts of things. But I don’t believe that for a moment. I think cats show, by their behavior, even if it’s a bit more subtle than a dog’s, that they really are fond of their owners."

    From the Dog Sense interview: 

    "I think dogs have a right to sniff things whenever it doesn’t cause a problem to us. When I meet a dog, I hold my hand out. I don’t stick my fingers right out, just in case, but I just make a loose fist and put my hand out to the dog. If it’s a small dog, I’ll squat down. And that dog will want to come and sniff my hand and lick it if necessary. That’s a greeting, and I think if we don’t do that, I think it’s as upsetting to the dog as if we were talking to somebody that we never met before and covered our faces at that point in time, as if we were trying to disguise who we were."

    Photo: Andrew Tallon via Flickr

  2. cats

    dogs

    pets

    interview

    fresh air

    animal behavior

    john bradshaw

    kitten

    puppy

  1. David Bianculli reviews a new series on Amazon, Transparent, starring Jeffrey Tambor (Arrested Development).  Tambor plays Mort Pfefferman, the patriarch of a fractured family, who, at 70, decides to transition to be a woman—Maura.  

"Tambor plays this character completely straight — so to speak — without any hint of cheap humor. And it’s Tambor’s commitment to the role that makes Transparent work so well, and so quickly. When Maura, dressed in a wig and a loose-fitting blouse, explains to her support group where she is in her journey to a new sexual identity, there’s no condescension whatsoever. Not from the group — and certainly not from the way Tambor plays her.”
View in High-Res

    David Bianculli reviews a new series on Amazon, Transparent, starring Jeffrey Tambor (Arrested Development).  Tambor plays Mort Pfefferman, the patriarch of a fractured family, who, at 70, decides to transition to be a woman—Maura.  

    "Tambor plays this character completely straight — so to speak — without any hint of cheap humor. And it’s Tambor’s commitment to the role that makes Transparent work so well, and so quickly. When Maura, dressed in a wig and a loose-fitting blouse, explains to her support group where she is in her journey to a new sexual identity, there’s no condescension whatsoever. Not from the group — and certainly not from the way Tambor plays her.”

  2. fresh air

    review

    david bianculli

    trans

    transgender

    transparent

  1. Tomorrow’s show is all about the science of dog and cat behavior, so stay tuned.  View in High-Res

    Tomorrow’s show is all about the science of dog and cat behavior, so stay tuned. 

  2. cats

    dogs

    puppies

    kittens

    fresh air

  1. When we want to understand what’s happening in Iraq, Fresh Air frequently turns to Dexter Filkins. His stories are like movies that grab you and make clear all the complexities and horrors over there.  He returned to Iraq this summer to report on the Kurds. The U.S. is arming and training the Kurdish military forces, the Peshmerga (pictured), who stood up to ISIS in northern Iraq after the Iraqi soldiers retreated as ISIS approached.  But the Kurds want independence, and fortifying their military doesn’t sit well with the government in Baghdad. Filkins’ new article, The Fight Of Their Lives, is in the current issue of The New Yorker. 


Terry Gross: Why did you want to go to Kurdistan for this piece?
Dexter Filkins: [When you say] ‘Iraq,’ what do you think of? You think of chaos and car bombs and bloodshed and political strife and stalemate and everything else and when you go to Kurdistan, this small corner of Iraq, it’s nothing like that. …  Baghdad is a wreck. It looks pretty much the way it did during the war.  Then I got on a plane and I flew to Erbil, which is the capitol of Kurdistan and you feel like Dorothy. It’s amazing. There’s a Jaguar dealership in Erbil and there’s sushi restaurants and there’s dance clubs and I remember one night I had been out of town and I drove back … and I found a liquor store open and bought a six-pack of beer at 3 o’clock in the morning in the Middle East, I mean, that’s impossible anywhere for a thousand miles! It’s such a shock when you see it. You think, ‘God! I can’t believe I’m still in Iraq,’ and …  that’s really what the story is about. In a way, it’s really not part of Iraq.  Not anymore. 
Gross: They don’t want to be part of Iraq anymore. 
Filkins: Technically they’re part of Iraq but they don’t want to be and in a de-facto way, in very real way, they’re not part of Iraq, they’re pulling away. They want to make it official and I think probably … it will be independent I think sooner rather than later—though it’s hard to tell exactly when. 
Gross: So how close is ISIS now to Kurdistan? 
Filkins: It’s right on the border. It’s really weird, actually. The Erbil that I just described, you know, sushi restaurants and Jaguar dealerships and high-rises being built everywhere—30 miles away is ISIS and the 8th century. It’s weird because you can just drive, you can leave your fancy hotel, get in a car and drive to the front line in an hour and there it is. I was on a canal south of the city of Kirkuk and … and right across the canal was ISIS and you could see, they were flying their flags, they were driving around, you could see them over there manning their checkpoints, and I have to say it felt really eerie, like I was on the border of two countries. 


Photo Credit: Spencer Platt / Getty Staff
Caption: KIRKUK, IRAQ - JULY 03: Soldiers with the Kurdish peshmerga walk at an outpost on the edges of the contested city of Kirkuk on July 3, 2014 in Kirkuk, Iraq. View in High-Res

    When we want to understand what’s happening in Iraq, Fresh Air frequently turns to Dexter Filkins. His stories are like movies that grab you and make clear all the complexities and horrors over there.  He returned to Iraq this summer to report on the Kurds. The U.S. is arming and training the Kurdish military forces, the Peshmerga (pictured), who stood up to ISIS in northern Iraq after the Iraqi soldiers retreated as ISIS approached.  But the Kurds want independence, and fortifying their military doesn’t sit well with the government in Baghdad. Filkins’ new article, The Fight Of Their Lives, is in the current issue of The New Yorker

    Terry Gross: Why did you want to go to Kurdistan for this piece?

    Dexter Filkins: [When you say] ‘Iraq,’ what do you think of? You think of chaos and car bombs and bloodshed and political strife and stalemate and everything else and when you go to Kurdistan, this small corner of Iraq, it’s nothing like that. …  Baghdad is a wreck. It looks pretty much the way it did during the war.  Then I got on a plane and I flew to Erbil, which is the capitol of Kurdistan and you feel like Dorothy. It’s amazing. There’s a Jaguar dealership in Erbil and there’s sushi restaurants and there’s dance clubs and I remember one night I had been out of town and I drove back … and I found a liquor store open and bought a six-pack of beer at 3 o’clock in the morning in the Middle East, I mean, that’s impossible anywhere for a thousand miles! It’s such a shock when you see it. You think, ‘God! I can’t believe I’m still in Iraq,’ and …  that’s really what the story is about. In a way, it’s really not part of Iraq.  Not anymore. 

    Gross: They don’t want to be part of Iraq anymore. 

    Filkins: Technically they’re part of Iraq but they don’t want to be and in a de-facto way, in very real way, they’re not part of Iraq, they’re pulling away. They want to make it official and I think probably … it will be independent I think sooner rather than later—though it’s hard to tell exactly when. 

    Gross: So how close is ISIS now to Kurdistan? 

    Filkins: It’s right on the border. It’s really weird, actually. The Erbil that I just described, you know, sushi restaurants and Jaguar dealerships and high-rises being built everywhere—30 miles away is ISIS and the 8th century. It’s weird because you can just drive, you can leave your fancy hotel, get in a car and drive to the front line in an hour and there it is. I was on a canal south of the city of Kirkuk and … and right across the canal was ISIS and you could see, they were flying their flags, they were driving around, you could see them over there manning their checkpoints, and I have to say it felt really eerie, like I was on the border of two countries. 

    Photo Credit: Spencer Platt / Getty Staff

    Caption: KIRKUK, IRAQ - JULY 03: Soldiers with the Kurdish peshmerga walk at an outpost on the edges of the contested city of Kirkuk on July 3, 2014 in Kirkuk, Iraq.

  2. fresh air

    dexter filkins

    iraq

    kurdistan

    war

    new yorker

  1. Did you catch the Colbert Report last night? There was a steamy appearance by our lady, Terry Gross. (It starts around 3 min into the episode) 
Stephen and Terry have talked many times, but here’s the latest one.  View in High-Res

    Did you catch the Colbert Report last night? There was a steamy appearance by our lady, Terry Gross. (It starts around 3 min into the episode) 

    Stephen and Terry have talked many times, but here’s the latest one

  2. colbert report

    stephen colbert

    terry gross

    fresh air

    npr

    gif

  1. When New York Times columnist Charles Blow was 7 years old, he was sexually abused by his cousin.  The traumatic experience sent him on a path of self-questioning in hopes of understanding how it happened, why it happened, and what it meant. His new memoir, Fire Shut Up in My Bones, is a unwavering account of his abuse and how he healed. 

    In the interview Blow discusses the correlation between victims of child sexual abuse and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender identity:

    "What the data shows us indisputably is that people who will later identify as LGBT have disproportionate rates of having been victims of child sexual abuse. So there are two ways to think of that — one of which I completely disagree with and one I agree more with.

    On the one end, the abuse is making these young people LGBT. The science for that is completely flimsy. I completely disagree with that idea. On the other side … children who will eventually identify as LGBT are more likely to be targets of sexual predators. If you think of it that way, it changes our concept of how we need to nurture and care for children who are different. …

    If you look at it that way you realize that in some cases, not all of course, in some cases the predator is targeting children who they already see as kind of having some kind of characteristics that will later be different. And that difference means they’re isolated. That difference means that they are already outside of the social mores, that the predator behavior is now somehow justified because this person is already outside the norm.”

    Photo: By Chad Batka, NYT 

  2. LGBT

    Interview

    fresh air

    charles blow

    abuse

    fire shut up in my bones

  1. Today André Benjamin, aka André 3000, joins us to talk about portraying legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix in the new biopic, Jimi: All Is By My Side. 

    What was it like learning how to play like Hendrix?

    "I had to learn everything from playing behind my back to playing with my teeth to rolling around on the ground playing. I watched all the footage and I mimicked everything to a T, just to have it in the arsenal, just in case we needed it.

    One of the hardest parts [was] I’m a right-hand guitar player. I’m a horrible right-hand guitar player. I wouldn’t even call myself a guitar player; I just pick it up and fiddle with it every now and then. And I think any guitar player would agree with me, Jimi is the most comfortable-looking guitar player in the world. I’ve seen a lot of great guitarists that are probably much better skilled than Jimi Hendrix, but some players look like they’re doing a task or … putting in a lot of work, giving a lot of effort. One thing about Jimi, he never looked like it was uncomfortable to him. …

    When it came time to do the left-hand thing, I almost had to [do] finger choreography, learning where the chords are, learning the actual chords of the song with my left hand, learning where the notes are, learning how my fingers should lay. But it was really, really difficult, because it’s almost like walking backwards and making walking backwards look normal.”

  2. jimi hendrix

    andre benjamin

    andre 3000

    all is by my side

    fresh air

    interview

  1. Posted on 23 September, 2014

    605 notes | Permalink

    Reblogged from back-then

    Maureen Corrigan reviews The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters. The novel opens in 1922 in the ‘suburban backwater’ of London, where Frances Wray and her mother have fallen from the middle class and must take ‘paying guests’ into their home to stay afloat. 

"The Paying Guests is no simple period piece. As alert as Waters is to historical detail, she’s also a superb storyteller with a gift for capturing the layered nuances of character and mood. Any reader familiar with Waters’ earlier novels like Tipping the Velvet will know that she’s especially drawn to the subject of lesbian relationships. What’s so immediately compelling about our protagonist, Frances Wray, is that, in a way that doesn’t seem at all anachronistic, she’s comfortable in her own queer skin. It’s most of the rest of the world — and, tragically, some of the people in her own house — who have serious problems with Frances and her so-called “unnatural” sexuality.”

Girls playing ukuleles, 1926
  View in High-Res

    Maureen Corrigan reviews The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters. The novel opens in 1922 in the ‘suburban backwater’ of London, where Frances Wray and her mother have fallen from the middle class and must take ‘paying guests’ into their home to stay afloat. 

    "The Paying Guests is no simple period piece. As alert as Waters is to historical detail, she’s also a superb storyteller with a gift for capturing the layered nuances of character and mood. Any reader familiar with Waters’ earlier novels like Tipping the Velvet will know that she’s especially drawn to the subject of lesbian relationships. What’s so immediately compelling about our protagonist, Frances Wray, is that, in a way that doesn’t seem at all anachronistic, she’s comfortable in her own queer skin. It’s most of the rest of the world — and, tragically, some of the people in her own house — who have serious problems with Frances and her so-called “unnatural” sexuality.”

    Girls playing ukuleles, 1926

     

  2. maureen corrigan

    review

    1920s

    london

    fresh air

    the paying guests

  1. We’re recording with Lena Dunham on Thursday! Her memoir, Not That Kind Of Girl is out Tuesday September 30th. 

“If I could take what I’ve learned and make one menial job easier for you, or prevent you from having the kind of sex where you feel you must keep your sneakers on in case you want to run away during the act, then every misstep of mine was worthwhile. I’m already predicting my future shame at thinking I had anything to offer you, but also my future glory in having stopped you from trying an expensive juice cleanse or thinking that it was your fault when the person you are dating suddenly backs away, intimidated by the clarity of your personal mission here on earth. No, I am not a sexpert, a psychologist, or a dietician. I am not a mother of three or the owner of a successful hosiery franchise. But I am a girl with a keen interest in having it all, and what follows are hopeful dispatches from the frontlines of that struggle.”

    We’re recording with Lena Dunham on Thursday! Her memoir, Not That Kind Of Girl is out Tuesday September 30th. 

    “If I could take what I’ve learned and make one menial job easier for you, or prevent you from having the kind of sex where you feel you must keep your sneakers on in case you want to run away during the act, then every misstep of mine was worthwhile. I’m already predicting my future shame at thinking I had anything to offer you, but also my future glory in having stopped you from trying an expensive juice cleanse or thinking that it was your fault when the person you are dating suddenly backs away, intimidated by the clarity of your personal mission here on earth. No, I am not a sexpert, a psychologist, or a dietician. I am not a mother of three or the owner of a successful hosiery franchise. But I am a girl with a keen interest in having it all, and what follows are hopeful dispatches from the frontlines of that struggle.”

  2. lena dunham

    girls

    interview

    fresh air

    not that kind of girl

  1. "To put in terms of an SAT analogy question, Gotham is to Batman as Smallville is to Superman – a prequel series where we don’t get the costumes, but we do get lots of motivation and character development. The Gotham pilot, which airs tonight on Fox, looks cinematic, and features some strong performances – especially by Donal Logue as a somewhat shifty detective and Robin Lord Taylor as the man who would be Penguin. It’s definitely worth a look.”

    - David Bianculli 

    More on the Fall TV Lineup

  2. gotham

    tv

    david bianculli

    fresh air

    review

  1. Jazz pianist Jason Moran's new album All Rise began in 2011, when he staged a dance party salute to pianist Fats Waller in Harlem, featuring singer Meshell Ndegeocello. Now that party has become a touring project, and a new album. Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead admits to mixed feelings. View in High-Res

    Jazz pianist Jason Moran's new album All Rise began in 2011, when he staged a dance party salute to pianist Fats Waller in Harlem, featuring singer Meshell Ndegeocello. Now that party has become a touring project, and a new album. Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead admits to mixed feelings.

  2. jazz

    review

    jason moran

    all rise

    kevin whitehead

    fresh air

  1. Today actor Ron Perlman (Sons of Anarchy, Hellboy) joins us to talk about his new memoir, Easy Street (The Hard Way).  In the interview he tells us about what it’s like acting under heavy prosthetic makeup:

"You look like you’re doing a lot of stuff because you’re covered, but the makeup is so seamless and so liquid. The more subtle you are, the more expressive you are. Everything you’re doing, even if you’re just thinking something without moving a muscle, it shows through. When I realized how little I had to do in prosthetic makeup and that the makeup was nothing more than an enhancement — an addition, another layer that added to the texture of the character — it was a liberating feeling for me."


View in High-Res

    Today actor Ron Perlman (Sons of Anarchy, Hellboy) joins us to talk about his new memoir, Easy Street (The Hard Way).  In the interview he tells us about what it’s like acting under heavy prosthetic makeup:

    "You look like you’re doing a lot of stuff because you’re covered, but the makeup is so seamless and so liquid. The more subtle you are, the more expressive you are. Everything you’re doing, even if you’re just thinking something without moving a muscle, it shows through. When I realized how little I had to do in prosthetic makeup and that the makeup was nothing more than an enhancement — an addition, another layer that added to the texture of the character — it was a liberating feeling for me."

  2. ron perlman

    hellboy

    sons of anarchy

    special effects makeup

    film

    interview

    fresh air