Popular Culture

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.

On this edition of our show, we offer an interesting 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.

(Please note: This show first aired earlier this year.) On this edition of ST, we speak with Craig Nelson --- who's written for Vanity Fair, Salon, Popular Science, and other periodicals, and who's the bestselling author of "Rocket Men" as well as a biography of Thomas Paine --- about his newest book, which is an engrossing cultural history of the Atomic Age. "The Age of Radiance: The Epic Rise and Dramatic Fall of the Atomic Era" is, as was noted by Kirkus Reviews, "no impersonal 'march of science' story.

As soccer fans --- whoops, make that "football fans" --- everywhere will tell you, the fun gets underway tomorrow. Yes, it's finally upon us: The World Cup.

On this edition of ST, a discussion of the distinctive films of writer/director Wes Anderson, whose vivid, detailed, and meticulously crafted movies include "Rushmore," "The Royal Tenenbaums," "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou," and "Moonrise Kingdom" --- as well as "The Grand Budapest Hotel," which is still in theaters nationwide. Our guest is Matt Zoller Seitz, a critic for New York magazine who has a new book out about Anderson's decidedly ornate cinematic world.

Hemingway once noted: "There are two kinds of stories. The ones you live and the ones you make up. And nobody knows the difference. And I don't ever tell which is which." Great writers aren't the only ones who feel compelled to tell stories. It's something we all do. We have to. Doing so makes us human; sharing stories makes life easier, richer, more coherent, more meaningful. On this installment of ST, we learn about a story-driven event for the Tulsa community that's happening this weekend.

"Love and Treasure: A Novel"

Apr 23, 2014

On this installment of ST, we're pleased to speak with Ayelet Waldman, the well-known novelist and essayist whose previous books include "Red Hook Road," "Love and Other Impossible Pursuits," "Daughter's Keeper," and "Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes." Waldman tells us about her newest book, a novel called "Love and Treasure." It's been getting some rave reviews lately --- The Washington Post called it "absorbing [and] moving [and] a marvelous panorama of early-20th-century attitudes about women" --- and it was thus summarized in Booklist: "Classics scholar Jack Wiseman, in the la

The "Collected Poems" of Ron Padgett

Apr 1, 2014

On this installment of ST, we are pleased to welcome Ron Padgett back to our show. This Tulsa-born, New York-based poet, translator, and editor published his "Collected Poems" last fall, and he'll be reading from that book at 7pm tonight (Tuesday the 1st) at the AHHA / Hardesty Arts Center in downtown Tulsa; this event is co-presented by Book Smart Tulsa, Louder Than A Bomb: Tulsa, and This Land Press, and it's free to the public.

"Play ball!" Weather allowing, 26 of the 30 teams that comprise Major League Baseball will be taking the field today. There may have been two games last week in Australia between the Dodgers and Diamondbacks, and a game last night between the Dodgers and Padres, but MLB's Opening Day for 2014 is actually today --- Monday the 31st --- and to mark the beginning of the new season, we at ST are pleased to present (as is our custom) a baseball-driven interview.

On this edition of ST, we're pleased to speak by phone with the terrific jazz singer Rebecca Kilgore, who'll be performing here in Tulsa tomorrow night (Saturday the 29th) in the Emerson Hall at All Souls Unitarian Church. The concert starts at 7pm; tickets (for $20 each) will be sold at the door.

On this installment of ST, we welcome Christopher Bruce, the highly regarded British choreographer and dancer who served as Artistic Director of the Rambert Dance Company from 1994 until 2002. Bruce, whom London's Daily Telegraph once called "the Nureyev of contemporary ballet," was appointed Houston Ballet's Associate Choreographer in 1989, and this world-renowned company has served as his artistic home in America since then.

On this edition of our program, we speak with Jeff Martin, the creator and host of Book Smart Tulsa, the popular reading series here in our city that's now celebrating its fifth anniversary. Book Smart is marking the occasion with three different events this week, on Tuesday the 11th, Thursday the 13th, and Friday the 14th.

"When the mathematician would solve a difficult problem," as Henry David Thoreau once wrote, "he first frees the equation of all incumbrances, and reduces it to its simplest terms. So simplify the problem of life, distinguish the necessary and the real. Probe the earth to see where your main roots run." But how might one do so today, in this ever-hurried, hyper-complicated digital age? Our guests have some answers.

The Tulsa Voice, a new publication on the city's print-media landscape which hits newsstands every first and third Wednesday, and which grew out of the now-defunct Urban Tulsa Weekly, has been attracting the attention of readers for its sleek design, quality writing, and focused arts/cultural coverage. The publication originated late last year, and our guest today on ST is Natasha Ball, its managing editor, who addresses The Tulsa Voice's presence and purpose in our community --- as an arbiter and chronicler of the local arts scene as well as an observer and participant in same.

On this installment of ST, our guest is Sam Harris --- who grew up in Sand Springs, Oklahoma, and who is widely known and admired for his work as a singer and songwriter, and for his appearances on Broadway, film, and television; his legendary performances on TV's Star Search led to a multi-million-selling recording career. Harris --- who grew up, by the way, with Rich Fisher, our program's host --- has a new book out, an autobiographical collection of essays and stories called "Ham: Slices of a Life," and he tells us about this book on today's show.

"Here Is Where: Discovering America's Great Forgotten History"

Jan 24, 2014

On this edition of ST, an interesting chat with Andrew Carroll, a writer and historian best known for the Legacy Project, which he created, and which tirelessly archives wartime correspondence as culled from across the nation; Carroll is also known for "War Letters," a bestselling book which he edited, and which inspired an acclaimed PBS documentary.

(Note: This program first aired last year.) On our show today, we speak by phone with David Skinner, an editor and writer whose work has appeared in The Weekly Standard, The Wall Street Journal, The New Atlantis, Slate, The Washington Times, and other publications.

On this edition of The Best of StudioTulsa, we revisit our conversation with the celebrated young writer Nathaniel Rich (born 1980), whose essays and short stories have appeared in Harper's, McSweeney's, and elsewhere, and whose latest novel is called "Odds Against Tomorrow." Rich speaks with us about this entertaining and thoughtful work, which takes place in a New York City of the very near future, and which tells the story of one Mitchell Zukor, a gifted young mathematician and "disaster-probability expert" who works for a financial consulting firm called FutureWorld.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, our last newly recorded program of the year, we tap into the unmistakable holiday cheer that's currently wafting through our offices like so much thick fog in a John Durkee crack-of-dawn weather report. In other words, we sit down with a few of our co-workers here at Public Radio Tulsa to chat about which Christmas songs matter most to them and why.

On today's show, we speak with John Wooley, host of the popular "Swing on This" program here on Public Radio 89.5, which airs every Saturday night at 7pm. Wooley is also a prolific and longtime writer/critic/advocate/fanboy concerning many various facets of American pop culture: horror movies, Western Swing music, comic books, pulp fiction, Oklahoma music and filmmaking, etc.

(Please note: This interview first aired earlier this year.) Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) was a key player in the electrical revolution that transformed life itself at the dawn of the twentieth century. His inventions, patents, and theoretical work formed the basis of modern AC electricity, and significantly contributed to the development of radio and TV. Like his competitor Thomas Edison, Tesla was also one of America's first celebrity scientists --- yet he's not nearly as famous as Edison today. Why? Our guest is W.

(Please note: This show first aired earlier this year.) Our guest is the writer Kate Christensen, whose six novels include "The Great Man," which won the 2008 PEN/Faulkner Award. Her reviews and essays have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Bookforum, Elle, and elsewhere --- and her popular blog can be accessed here. Her latest book is "Blue Plate Special: An Autobiography of My Appetites," an acclaimed memoir, which she discusses with us on today's ST.

On this installment of ST, we speak by phone with Dr. Richard Kurin, the Smithsonian Institution's Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture, who oversees most of the organization's various museums as well as many of its educational programs. An anthropologist and cultural historian by training, and a former Fulbright fellow with a doctorate from the University of Chicago, Dr.

(Please note: This show first aired earlier this year.) Our guest is the celebrated American author, Philip Caputo, who was a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist in Chicago before going on to write several notable works of fiction, nonfiction, and memoir, including 1977's "A Rumor of War," one of the most highly praised and widely read volumes ever published on the Vietnam War.

On this edition of ST, we speak with Machele Miller Dill and Michael Wright, two University of Tulsa faculty members who are currently co-directing the TU Department of Theatre and Musical Theatre's presentation of "Beehive." (Dill is also doing the choreography for this production.) Created in the 1980s by the late Larry Gallagher, this show is a music revue --- rather than a "jukebox musical" --- that moves through the sea-change of a decade that was the Sixties by focusing chronologically on the work of popular "girl groups" like The Chiffons, The Shirelles, and The Supremes as well as o

On our show today, we speak by phone with David Skinner, an editor and writer whose work has appeared in The Weekly Standard, The Wall Street Journal, The New Atlantis, Slate, The Washington Times, and other publications. He's also the editor of Humanities magazine, which is published by the National Endowment for the Humanities, and he joins us to discuss his book, "The Story of Ain't: America, Its Language, and the Most Controversial Dictionary Ever Published," which is just now out in paperback.

(Note: This show originally aired earlier this year.) On this edition of ST, we speak with the celebrated young writer Nathaniel Rich (born 1980), whose essays and short stories have appeared in Harper's, McSweeney's, and elsewhere, and whose latest novel is called "Odds Against Tomorrow." Set in a New York City of the very near future, this novel tells the story of one Mitchell Zukor, a gifted young mathematician who works for a financial consulting firm called FutureWorld.

On this installment of ST, we present an interesting discussion with Paul Bogard, who teaches creative nonfiction in the Writing Program at James Madison University. Bogard has a new book out that's getting glowing reviews from near and far. It's called "The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light" --- and The Boston Globe says it's "a lyrical, far-reaching book.

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