Wed. Nov 24: Sex, Death, and Hope

“Sex is easy; love isn’t”: That’s the theme of the new film “EASY” . It opens in LA this weekend at Laemmle theaters. We’ll speak with writer-director Jane Weinstock.
Watch the trailer for “Easy”:

Death, love and liberty in the American ballad: GREIL MARCUS and SEAN WILENTZ have been listening to some classic American songs, and now they have put together a CD of the songs and book about them, both called “The Rose & the Briar.”
Listen to the CD:

Hope in the Dark is the title of a great book by REBECCA SOLNIT. She wrote it before the Nov. 2 election, but we certainly need it now. She’s an activist and writer who won a Lannan Literary fellowship and the 2004 award for criticism from the National Book Critics Circle.

Web extras: Friday is Buy Nothing Day: check “9 theses against corporate rule” at

Wed. Nov. 17: HOWARD ZINN

HOWARD ZINN says the argument that “Kerry won” is a diversion from the left’s real task: building the anti-war movement. His new book is Voices of a People’s History of the United States.
LISTEN TO HOWARD ZINN at the Radio Nation audioblog:

plus: the Mideast after Arafat: comment and analysis from AMY WILENTZ, former Jerusalem correspondent for the New Yorker. She also writes for The Nation, the LA Times Opinion section, and the New York Times op-ed page. She wrote the award-winning novel Martyr’s Crossing about Israelis and Palestinians.

and TERRY GROSS of NPR’s “Fresh Air” talks about what went wrong in her interviews with Hillary Clinton, Nancy Reagan, and Bill O’Reilly. Her new book is All I Did was Ask: Conversations with Writers, Actors, Musicians and Artists.

Web Extra: Read Howard Zinn at on Voices of a People’s History.

Wed. Nov. 10: Election fraud?

Was the election stolen? Did something more foul than minor slip-ups and routine political chicanery occur? DAVID CORN of The Nation has been investigating: he concludes that those who say yes–at this point–are relying more on supposition than evidence. David Corn wrote the book The Lies of George W. Bush.

Plus: historian SEAN WILENTZ says the real electoral division isn’t between the coasts and the heartland. It’s between cities all over the United States and the rest of the country. Sean writes for the L.A. Times op-ed page; he is co-editor of The Rose and the Briar, a new book about American ballads.

And TORIE OSBORN of the Liberty Hill Foundation talks about what we lost — and what we can learn — from last Tuesday’s election.

And DAVID COLE comments on the resignation of John Ashcroft — who, as Cole wrote for The Nation, is “zero for 5,000” in prosecuting 9-11 terrorists. David’s book is Enemy Aliens: Double Standards and Constitutional Freedoms in the War on Terrorism.

Web Extra: “SORRY EVERYBODY” -or- a wonderful new site where people post photos and messages apologizing to the world for Bush’s election — you gotta check this out, and flip through the hundreds of postings.

Wed Nov. 3:Election Day– What happened?

How did Bush win? comment and analysis on last night’s disaster from

ROBERT SCHEER of the L.A. Times — he co-authored The Five Biggest Lies Bush Told Us about Iraq;

HAROLD MEYERSON of the LA Weekly and the American Prosect;

JOHN NICHOLS of The Nation — he wroteDick: The Man who Is President ;

and TOM FRANK; his book What’s the Matter with Kansas? seems especially relevant; it’s about the fact that so many working class and poor voters in the middle of the country “insist on re-electing the very people who are screwing them.”

Wed. Oct. 27: ERIC SCHLOSSER on KPFK 4pm

ERIC SCHLOSSER, author of the classic Fast Food Nation, talks about Prop. 72, requiring big companies to provide health insurance for workers — like the people who work for MacDonalds. Eric writes for the L.A. Times op-ed page and other publications.
More info:

Also: “Yes on 66,” the initiative to amend the Three Strikes Law to limit it to violent felonies: GERI SILVA of Families to Amend Three Strikes and DOROTHY ERSKINE will explain.

Plus: LIBERTY VOTE is a poineering “voter engagement” campaign of the Liberty Hill Foundation to change the political culture in low-income neighborhoods — we?ll speak with campaign manager KAFI WATLINGTON-MACLEOD.
Read Jon Wiener in The Nation on Liberty Vote:

finally: Polls show the voters evenly divided; Can Kerry win? JOHN NICHOLS of The Nation has been following the campaign: he writes “The Online Beat” for, and his new book is Dick: The Man who Is President.

Fri. Oct. 15: JOHN SAYLES on Radio Nation

JOHN SAYLES, award winning independent filmmaker whose films include “Return of the Secaucus Seven,” “Brother from Another Planet,” “Matewan” and “Sunshine State” — now he’s published a book of short stories, Dillinger in Hollywood

Plus: JOHN NICHOLS, he writes “The Online Beat” for The Nation, talks about the campaign and Dick Cheney — his new book is Dick: The Man who is President.

Also: ART SPIEGELMAN won the Pulitzer Prize for his Holocaust story Maus — now he’s done comix about 9-11, the book In the Shadow of No Towers — a Sept. 11 story that is both highly personal and intensely political.

Web extra: “Rocking the Youth Vote” — how Bruce Springsteen, REM and the Dixie Chicks are following John Lennon’s strategy from 1972:


ART SPIEGELMAN, who won the Pulitzer prize for Maus, a Holocaust story, has a new graphic book out: In the Shadow of No Towers — a Sept. 11 story that is both highly personal and intensely political. “I hadn’t anticipated that the hijackings of September 11 would themselves be hijacked by the Bush cabal that reduced it all to a war recruitment poster.”

Plus: GISH JEN: her new novel, The Love Wife, is a candid, delightful and imaginative story about cultural collisions in one Asian-American family.

Also: Dick Cheney debated on TV last night — JOHN NICHOLS of The Nation magazine comments on “the man who is president.” John writes The Online Beat column for The Nation; his new book is Dick: the Man Who is President.

WEB EXTRA: SEE drawings about 9-11 from Art Spiegelman’s new book:

Wed. Sept. 29: FRANK RICH

FRANK RICH, who writes those great essays about politics and popular culture in the New York Times every Sunday, will talk about politics, fiction, and the new Philip Roth novel, The Plot Against America, in which a fascist is elected president of the U.S. — in 1940.

Also: IAN WILLIAMS, UN Correspondent for The Nation, will preview the upcoming presidential TV “debate” –and talk about whether Bush’s Vietnam-era record in the Texas Air National Guard is now off-limits in the mainstream media. Ian’s new book is Deserter: George Bush’s War against Military Families, Veterans, and his Past.

Plus: “THE YES MEN” is a movie that follows a couple of anti-corporate activist-pranksters as they impersonate World Trade Organization spokesmen on TV and at business conferences around the world. “We target people we see as criminals,” the Yes Men explain, “and we steal their identities to try to make them honest.” Ella Taylor of the LA Weekly calls the film “an uproarious and appalling piece of consciousness-raising.” (“The Yes Men” is currently playing in LA at the ArcLight and Laemmle’s Monica 4-Plex.)

WEB EXTRA: Watch “The Yes Men” movie trailer online:


HOWARD ZINN talks about Kerry, Iraq, and activism — and the new film about his life, “Howard Zinn: You Can’t be Neutral on a Moving Train.” It opens in LA at the Music Hall Friday Oct. 15. “He has changed the consciousness of a generation” — Noam Chomsky.

from the archives: MacArthur award winner DAVID WILSON talks about the Museum of Jurassic Technology.

Plus: cultural comedies and political tragedies: LAWRENCE WESCHLER talks about his new book Vermeer in Bosnia. He’s speaking at the L.A. Public Library Thursday at 7. “There’s no writer alive with more raw and contagious enthusiasm for the world” –Dave Eggers.

KPFK Sept. 15: Marjane Satrapi

MARJANE SATRAPI‘s comic strip memoir Persepolis described growing up in the Iran of the Ayotollas as the daughter of Marxist radicals; the book was captivating, funny and smart. Now the sequel is out: Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return: it’s about her teenage years: sex, drugs, rock n roll — and a million dead in the Iran-Iraq war. She’ll talk about her life and work.

Also: What should Kerry do? HAROLD MEYERSON of the LA Weekly, the American Prospect and the Washington Post op-ed page has some ideas.

Plus: How they could steal the election: RONNIE DUGGER will explain; he knows more about the problems with computerized voting than anyone alive. He’s the founding editor of The Texas Observer and has written biographies of Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan, as well as hundreds of articles for Harper’s Magazine, The Nation, The New Yorker, and The Progressive.