In his new book A History of the End of the World: How the Most Controversial Book in the Bible Changed the Course of Western Civilization, Jonathan Kirsch explores the ways the Book of Revelation has been interpreted since its inception and how the final book of the New Testament has influenced literature, history and popular culture.
Steven Johnson, author of Everything Bad Is Good for You, aruges that rather than turning our brains to mush, entertainment options like video games are so complex that our brains rise to the challenge.
The Fresh Air critic has written a new book, Sore Winners (And The Rest of Us) in George Bush's America. Powers is critic-at-large for Fresh Air, and deputy editor for L.A. Weekly, where he writes a media/culture column called On. He's also an international correspondent for Gourmet magazine.
Syndicated cartoonist Aron McGruder. His strip âThe Boondocksâ follows the escapades of Huey and Riley two brothers from the inner city sent to live with their grandfather in a Chicago surburb, where most of their neighbors are white. The strip is read in over 35 newspapers nationwide. MCGRUDER has been publishing it for four years and he hasnât been shy about controvery. In his strip heâs taken on everyone from George W. Bush to rapper P. Diddy. MCGRUDER has several collections of the strip: âThe Boondocks: Because I Know You donât Read the Newspaper,â âFresh For â01. .
Shawn Levy is the author of the new book Ready Steady, Go!: The Smashing Rise and Giddy Fall of Swinging London. It's about London from 1961-1969. He writes, "for those few evanescent years it all came together: youth, pop music, fashion, celebrity, satire, crime, fine art, sexuality, scandal, theater, cinema, drugs, media: the whole mad modern stew." Levy is also the author of Rat Pack Confidential: Frank, Dean, Sammy, Peter, Joey & the Last Great Showbiz Party and the biography, King of Comedy: The Life and Art of Jerry Lewis.
Writer Gerard Jones is the author of the new book, Killing Monsters: Why Children Need Fantasy Games, Superheroes, and Make Believe Violence (Basic Books). A former creator of comic books, he's written text for Batman, Superman, X-Men, and Pokemon. This is his fourth media studies book. He lives in San Francisco.
Cartoonist Daniel Clowes. Drawn in 1950s pop culture style, his comics are darkly humorous satires of middle class America. His graphic novel Ghost World (first published in 1993) is the basis of the film of the same name. Ghost World has just been nominated for an academy award in the Adapted Screenplay division. Clowes' first comic book series was Lloyd Llewellyn, followed by Eightball
Journalist Orville Schell talks about his new book Virtual Tibet: Searching for Shangri-La from the Himalayas to Hollywood (Metropolitan Books). For centuries now, the mountainous and remote nation of Tibet has been the object of Western fascination. Today, Tibet is the subject of movies and Hollywood celebrities have taken on Tibetan Freedom as their cause. Schell talks about Tibet, real and imagined, and takes us through the history of the West’s infatuation. Schell has covered China and Tibet for many years.
Pokemon (POH-kay-mahn) is the latest kid craze and worldwide phenomenon. It hails from Japan, and began as an Nintendo game, featuring the superpowered animals called Pokemons. There are 150 characters in all. After the game came the trading cards, comic book series, and weekly cartoon. Now there's the Pokemon movie. We meet the American translator of the Pokemon characters, Gerard Jones.
Linguist Geoffrey Nunberg comments on the history of combing two words to create a new one. i.e. Swirl and Twist = Twirl.This is called a portmanteau. Today, they are common place, such infotainment, Reganomics, and Medicare.
We feature excerpts from a panel of Hollywood screenwriters discussing violence in movies. This was held 6/4/99 in Santa Monica, California. The seminar was title "Guns Don't Kill People." Among the panelists were Callie Khouri who wrote "Thelma and Louis," William Mastrosimone who penned "Extremities, and The Burning Season," Steven De Souza who wrote the first two Die Hard movies, and Miguel Tejada-Flores, who wrote "Revenge of the Nerds:" and Jack Valenti, a Washington lobbyist for the top Hollywood studios.
Azeezaly Jaffer is Executive Director of Stamp Services for the U.S. Postal Service. This branch has introduced the popular stamp collecting program which features pop-culture icons on the stamps. Some of the Post Office’s most popular stamps include: Elvis Presely, Marilyn Monroe, and Bugs Bunny.