Popular Culture

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.

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.