Arts & Culture

Arts & culture

Nothing like a comedy festival to make you think so hard your head hurts. Immigration, #MeToo, bullying. Pain has long been at the root of great comedic material, and it was no different at this year's annual Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal, where hundreds of comedians perform, attend panels and schmooze with agents, TV network reps and each other. "We're an industry built on outsiders," Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby told a roomful of her peers at the annual Just For Laughs Awards Show on Friday. She also urged the crowd not to forget it.

Jon Batiste comes from a family of musicians; he played drums and percussion with the Batiste Brothers Band as a kid, and his debut album came out before he could vote. His band Stay Human is the house band on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and his album Hollywood Africans comes out in September.

Since Batiste is the leader of Stay Human, we've decided to quiz him on robots.

A Postman Signs Off

Jul 28, 2018

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Growing up as a child in Bogotá, Ingrid Rojas Contreras was almost the victim of a terrible crime. Violence reigned in Colombia under drug lord Pablo Escobar — bombings, kidnappings and assassinations were commonplace. Contreras didn't know it at the time, but her mother was receiving threatening phone calls detailing the routines of her daughters' lives: "They got off the bus at this hour. We know what the bus route is. We know what they look like."

Here's a weird fact about American comics: When writers and artists collaborate, the writer's name usually comes first on the book cover. And yet the medium is defined by pictures; highbrow types even call it "sequential art." A poorly drawn comic will almost always fail, no matter how good the story. But powerful illustrations can often sweep up and overwhelm a comic's weak story, resulting in a book that works almost despite itself.

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The New Yorker magazine has published an article by Ronan Farrow detailing accusations of sexual harassment by CBS CEO Les Moonves and other men at the company.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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Jessica Walter's Alter Egos

Jul 27, 2018

Jessica Walter is perhaps best known for her roles as Lucille Bluth on Arrested Development, and Malory Archer on Archer: two icy, booze-swilling mothers without much of a motherly instinct. But these roles came to her later in her career. Walter wasn't cast as Lucille until she was 62 years old. Before the Bluths came along, she wasn't sure if her career might be slowing down.

On the cover of Ten Day, Chance The Rapper's debut mixtape, a cartoonish-but-detailed illustration of the Chicago artist looks upwards in wonder, as pillowy clouds float in the sky behind him. It is, perhaps, a too-apt metaphor for the ascent that Chance's career has experienced since that 2012 release, from son-of-a-politician mixtape rapper to bona fide chart-topper, festival headliner and Grammy winner.

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Right to Speak.

About James Kirchick's TED Talk

When James Kirchick was in college, someone he found deeply offensive spoke on campus. Rather than protest, James attended the talk. He says free speech benefits everyone, especially the powerless.

About James Kirchick

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Right to Speak.

About Elif Shafak's TED Talk

Turkish novelist Elif Shafak has seen firsthand what can happen when a country restricts free speech. She says democracy depends on the right to openly exchange diverse, even oppositional, ideas.

About Elif Shafak

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Right to Speak.

About Jeffrey Howard's TED Talk

Political scientist Jeffrey Howard says democracies should allow all types of speech — even if they're hurtful. The key, he says, is to respond with conversation rather than confrontation.

About Jeffrey Howard

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Right to Speak.

About Zachary Wood's TED Talk

In college, Zachary Wood joined a group that invites provocative speakers to campus, hoping to spark dialogue. But he soon learned not everyone wants to hear from those with whom they disagree.

About Zachary Wood

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