Popular Culture

(Note: This program originally aired in July.) On this edition of our show, we offer a how-does-society-affect-our-mental-health discussion with Joel Gold, who, with his brother Ian, is one of the authors of "Suspicious Minds: How Culture Shapes Madness -- The Truman Show Delusion and Other Strange Beliefs." Dr. Joel Gold is a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine and was an attending psychiatrist in the department of psychiatry at Bellevue Hospital Center for nine years.

The Department of Theatre here at TU will soon present one of the greatest plays of the modern American stage, "The Glass Menagerie" by Tennessee Williams. It's the play that made Williams a household name in the mid-1940s -- a clearly autobiographical drama, set in Depression-era St. Louis, in which an aging and rather unstable Southern Belle longs for her youth and dreams of a better life for her children: the restless would-be poet, Tom, who narrates this memory play, and the shy if not reclusive Laura, Tom's elder sister.

The Internet is changing life itself, and it's doing so rather quickly, and we all know this. But how is it changing...us? We speak with Luciano Floridi, Professor of Philosophy and the Ethics of Information at the University of Oxford.

On this edition of ST, an in-depth discussion with David Rose, an award-winning entrepreneur and instructor at the MIT Media Lab who specializes in how digital information interfaces with the physical environment. Rose also founded Ambient Devices, which pioneered the technology used to embed Internet information in everyday objects like lamps, mirrors, and umbrellas.

On this edition of ST, we cover some interesting and less-familiar Tulsa history by way of a new biography of Cy Avery. Our guest is the Missouri-based author Susan Croce Kelly, author of "Father of Route 66: The Story of Cy Avery," which is just out from OU Press. Kelly will be speaking about and signing copies of this book on Saturday the 27th at the Tulsa Historical Society; the event is free to the public and begins at 10:30am.

On this installment of ST, we speak with the award-winning Canadian actor, playwright, and humorist Rick Miller, who will present his one-man show, "Boom," on Saturday the 20th at 7:30pm at the Tulsa PAC's Williams Theatre. As Miller tells us by phone, his 100-minute production offers a sweeping, fascinating, and maybe even educational exploration of the Baby Boomer generation -- from Che Guevara to Janis Joplin, from Buddy Holly to Nikita Khrushchev, and from Walter Cronkite to Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Tulsa Library Trust's Anne V. Zarrow Award for Young Readers' Literature, inaugurated in 1991, aims to "give formal recognition, on behalf of the Tulsa County community, to nationally acclaimed authors who have made a significant contribution to the field of literature for children and young adults." Past winners of the Zarrow Award include Jim Murphy, Jacqueline Woodson, Jane Yolen, Gary Paulsen, Katherine Paterson, Madeleine L'Engle, and S.E. Hinton -- and this year, the highly deserving recipient of this award is Jack Gantos.

The Internet is, of course, bringing massive changes to our lives -- and bringing them rapidly -- but how often do we really consider what these changes mean, or how they will affect us? In the not-too-distant future, for example, no one will remember what life was actually like before the Internet. What does this unavoidable fact mean? What lessons can we draw from it?

On this edition of ST, we speak with Jayne Anne Phillips, the acclaimed fiction writer whose previous books include "Black Tickets," "Machine Dreams," and "Lark and Termite." In her newest book, just out in paperback, Phillips both explores and re-imagines a real crime that occurred in 1931, in a West Virginia town not far from where she herself grew up. Phillips tells us of this novel -- called "Quiet Dell" -- on today's program.

On this edition of ST, we speak with the well-regarded author, essayist, and cultural critic Chuck Klosterman, who has published a number of books and also writes the weekly "Ethicist" column for The New York Times Magazine. Klosterman's latest title, "I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains (Real and Imagined)," is just out in paperback; it's a far-reaching, often funny, and highly entertaining exploration of why we as a society are so attracted to -- yet also, of course, repelled by -- villains both fictional and nonfictional...as well as the very notion of villainy itself.