Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 11:03 am
There are three phrases that are almost always bad news for a piece of cultural writing.
1. "The masses."
2. "Middle America."
3. "The lowest common denominator."
All three are ways to separate the writer and her sensibility — which are presumed to be congruent with the reader and her sensibility — from invisible and undefined others, for whom bad cultural content is produced and by whom it is unquestioningly gobbled up.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Later in the program, we will pay tribute to the late Leroy "Sugarfoot" Bonner. The leader of the funk band, The Ohio Players, died earlier this week at the age of 69 and we will tell you more about him in a few minutes.
It's been two years since Hosni Mubarak was ousted as Egypt's President. Today, there's new leadership, but the country is still in turmoil. And some Egyptians wonder if things are changing for the best. Host Michel Martin speaks with NPR Cairo Bureau Chief, Leila Fadel, to learn more about the new Egypt.
We turn now to an all-too-familiar story of violence here in the U.S. In Chicago, 15-year-old honor student Hadiya Pendleton was shot and killed on Tuesday. She was the 42nd person killed in Chicago since the beginning of the year. Last year, there were more than 500 killings. And a number of these murders, particularly of young people, brought the city to tears, but Pendleton's death has brought national attention because she recently performed with her high school drill team at the president's inauguration in Washington, D.C.
On a new box set collecting the first four albums of Jack DeJohnette and his band Special Edition, two discs are gems and the other two have their moments. DeJohnette's quartet-slash-quintet was fronted by smoking saxophonists on the way up, set loose on catchy riffs and melodies. The springy rhythm section could tweak the tempos like no one this side of '60s goddess Laura Nyro.
Ten months on the road playing Richard III in theaters around the world is a good way to prep for playing a ruthlessly ambitious politician and Washington insider — according to Kevin Spacey, at least.
Just before he took the role of Francis "Frank" Underwood, the fictional majority whip of the House of Representatives who hatches a plan to take down the president in the new Netflix original series House of Cards, Spacey spent nearly a year playing Shakespeare's murderously ambitious king.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. When the huge golden cookie that stood for 100 years outside the headquarters of a big German cookie maker went missing, the company put up a reward. Then the kidnapper sent a ransom note. I have the biscuit, it said with text cut from magazines. It demanded the company donate cookies to children in a local hospital, and the reward to an animal shelter. Signed: Cookie Monster. Cute. But so far the bakery has not bitten. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Sunday's Super Bowl - a contest between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers - is also a battle of craft breweries. Maryland's Flying Dog Brewery made a bet with Anchor Brewing of San Francisco. The loser must pour the winner's beer in its taproom for a week. And the loser's brewery tour guides will have to wear the winner's Super Bowl championship gear. Could be tough, but if they need a beer after all that, they're all set.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
This is the time when we begin to find if the emotional power of the Newtown school shooting will translate into political change. People affected by mass shootings are now talking with state and federal lawmakers.
Susan Aaron's daughter escaped the shooting in Newtown after seeing her teacher and friends killed.
NPR's business news starts with advertisers liking Facebook.
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MONTAGNE: Facebook says its mobile advertising business nearly doubled from the third to fourth quarter of 2012. As a whole, the company's ad business grew at its fastest rate since it went public last May.