Culture

Culture, Ideas, Religion

The Story of Pain

Feb 15, 2017

What is pain? You know it when you feel it, but it’s almost impossible to properly describe. And it turns out, our idea of what that suffering is and means has changed significantly over the centuries. Wednesday, Doug’s guest is British historian Joanna Bourke, who has written a book that investigates “The Story of Pain.” We’ll explore how knowing the history of pain helps us acknowledge our own sorrows and the suffering of others.

Ruby Ridge

Feb 14, 2017
PBS/American Experience, Courtesy of Dave Hunt

In August 1992, a tense and disastrous event took place at Ruby Ridge in northern Idaho. The family of Randy Weaver had been holed up for months with a cache of firearms at their mountaintop home. He was wanted for a federal offense, and when U.S. Marshals surveilling the property crossed paths with the Weavers, a firefight broke out. The ensuing standoff mesmerized the country and inflamed anti-government sentiment. Tuesday, we’re talking about what happened at Ruby Ridge and its resonance today.

The Perfect Horse

Feb 8, 2017
Judy Fahys

 

Wednesday, the story of a daring rescue of horses caught up in the Third Reich’s vision for genetic supremacy. Horses still played a role in the military, and Hitler aimed to use stolen purebreds to create the ideal war horse. But with the stud farm under imminent threat from the starving Russian army, the Nazi officer in charge asked General Patton himself for help. Author Elizabeth Letts joins us to explain why soldiers set aside alliances and risked their lives to save The Perfect Horse. [Rebroadcast]

Last week, President Donald Trump reiterated his pledge to eliminate a little-known tax law that bars charities, including churches, from endorsing political candidates. It’s called the Johnson Amendment, and the IRS has rarely enforced it. Proponents say it maintains an important barrier between church and state. Those who oppose it say their free-speech rights are being infringed. Tuesday, we’re talking about the history of the Johnson Amendment and what its erasure could mean for the political landscape.

Wednesday, we continue our Through the Lens series with Fred Peabody’s documentary film All Governments Lie. It’s inspired by the work of I.F. Stone, an investigative journalist and gadfly in the early 1950s to the `70s. Stone’s modern torchbearers—journalists like Matt Taibbi, Glenn Greenwald, Amy Goodman and others profiled in the film—produce their adversarial journalism outside mainstream media. Peabody joins us Wednesday to discuss the value of alternative news and the role of independent journalists.

 

Wherever you turn these days, commercials, sponsored social media, and other advertising efforts await your attention. The influential thinker Tim Wu says we have the “attention merchants” to thank for that. In a new book, Wu argues that the concerted efforts of advertisers to attract our attention at every opportunity has made us more distracted and less focused than ever before. Wu joins us to explore the rise of the attention merchants and the human costs of their efforts. [Rebroadcast]

MormonLeaks

Jan 30, 2017

Monday, we’re exploring MormonLeaks, an online platform where LDS Church employees and insiders can leak private Church documents. Nothing all that incriminating or even interesting has come out yet. The videos and papers have basically shown the LDS Church to be a byzantine bureaucracy run much like a business. But MormonLeaks founder Ryan McKnight says he’s not looking for scandals, just transparency. We’ll talk about the leaks and what they reveal about Mormonism today.

In September 2001, immediately after the terrorist attacks in New York, the United States began a secret war in Afghanistan. Fewer than a hundred Special Forces soldiers infiltrated the country, successfully drove the Taliban from power, and disrupted al-Qaeda. In the new documentary film Legion of Brothers, director Greg Barker tells the stories of these brave men and the harsh lessons of modern war they learned. Barker joins us Wednesday as we continue our coverage of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

Tuesday, we continue our coverage of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival with an examination of the perils and duties of the free press. Director Brian Knappenberger’s documentary film Nobody Speak explores the court battle between online tabloid Gawker and pro wrestler Hulk Hogan as case study, among others, of how big money can use litigation to check the freedom of the press. It also asks what a thin-skinned billionaire in the executive branch could do to media outlets that anger him.

Friday morning, KUER brings you NPR special coverage of President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration.

At 7:00 p.m., tune in to RadioWest for a conversation about eloquence. We all know it when we hear it. The skillful delivery of language delights us, captivates us, persuades and moves us. Most importantly, says the linguist David Crystal, speakers and listeners alike enjoy eloquent speech. Crystal has dissected the qualities and practice of eloquence. Partly, he wants to better understand how it's achieved. He also wants to show that eloquence is a talent everyone who uses words can possess. Crystal joins us to examine how the gift of gab works. (Rebroadcast)

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