American Culture

Sure, you loved "The Catcher in the Rye" at the age of 16...but would you still love it? You appreciated "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Cannery Row" way back when, but would that still be the case today? And on the other hand, if the plays of Ibsen or Shakespeare didn't exactly knock you out during that long-ago sophomore year of college, do you think they'd still miss the mark? Or might they be worth another shot?

(Please note: This show first aired in December of last year.) On this edition of ST, we speak by phone with Jacob Tomsky, whose new book, "Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality," has been getting some glowing reviews from all over. A longtime veteran of the hotel biz, Tomsky here offers a detailed and unflinching yet also down-to-earth and amiable --- and, throughout, quite well-written --- autobiography about what it's really like to work (in every capacity) at an upscale hotel in America.

"How the 99 Percent Live in the Great Recession"

May 10, 2013

If the stock market these days is surging higher and higher, and if corporations near and far are reporting record-setting profits, why is the American middle class struggling to get by with less and less pay for more and more work? And why, in the years since the Great Recession first hit, does every facet of business and industry seem to have bounced back except for the American work force?

Food, glorious food --- it's so much more, of course, than what we eat. Food is memory, food is family, food is love, food is culture, and food is community.

The "new KAKC" --- an AM Radio titan from the annals of Tulsa broadcasting --- emerged in the middle 1950s, when rock and roll was just starting to make its very significant mark on American culture. KAKC was the Top 40 station in our community, and invariably one of the most popular stops on the radio dial, well into the 1970s.

What does it mean when the recent financial meltdown is fully understood by only one American citizen (or two, at the most) out of every 100 randomly chosen individuals? What should we make of law-makers --- based in Washington, DC, or elsewhere --- who debate nuclear policy when they've never taken a class in physics? What happens when people everywhere become more and more reliant on technology even as they understand less and less of it?

Our guest on this edition of StudioTulsa is A.O. Scott, who's been a film critic at The New York Times since 2000. Scott will appear at a "Talking Heads" lecture/Q&A this evening (Thursday the 4th) at Congregation B'nai Emunah in Tulsa, near 17th and Peoria. The event begins at 7pm, and there's an optional dinner beforehand, beginning at 5:45pm.

"Hank Greenberg: The Hero of Heroes"

Apr 1, 2013

The 2013 Major League Baseball season officially got underway yesterday, Sunday the 31st, with a night game between the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers. Welcome back, baseball! And therefore, on this edition of ST, we're talking about the life, career, and influence of one of the all-time great hitters, Hank Greenberg, who joined the Detroit Tigers in 1933 and went on to share the spotlight with the legendary sluggers of that era, including Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, and Lou Gehrig.

Today on ST we speak by phone with Benjamin Lytal, who grew up in Tulsa and now resides in Chicago, and who has written for The Wall Street Journal, The London Review of Books, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Sun, The Believer, McSweeney's, and other publications. Lytal's first novel, "A Map of Tulsa," has just been published, and he'll be doing a free reading/signing in connection with this book tonight (Tuesday the 26th) at the Harwelden Mansion here in Tulsa at 7pm.

"Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch" (Encore presentation.)

Mar 25, 2013

(Please note: This program originally aired last year.) On this installment of our show, better living through savvy verb deployment. Our guest is Constance Hale, the bestselling author of "Sin and Syntax" and other books on language, writing, and word choice. A veteran journalist and teacher, Hale has a new book out called "Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch: Let Verbs Power Your Writing." It's a work in four chapters, each as informative as it is entertaining, and it's that rare example of a "how to" book on English usage that's genuinely accessible from start to finish.

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