Streams

Ben Brock Johnson

Ben Brock Johnson appears in the following:

Contemporary Steinbecks: Where is Your "Grapes of Wrath"?

Monday, May 16, 2011

If you were to write a classic novel about the financial crisis and how it affects regular Americans, what would it be called? 

A recent article from our partners at the BBC looked at literature from the Great Depression, and asked why there aren't more pieces of work — like Steinbeck's "The Gapes of Wrath" — being produced about the current economic downturn.

There are certainly compelling story lines in the news, from Bernie Madoff's fall to the heart-wrenching stories of families being forced out of their homes despite good financial standing. So we've been asking listeners to send us their title for a contemporary novel dealing with the great recession and its impact.

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A 'Common' Misunderstanding

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Michelle Obama is hosting a poetry program tonight at the White House, and her guest will be hop-hop artist, Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr., better known as, Common. Many conservatives are outraged by this decision, Fox News called the rapper, "vile." Conservatives are pointing to a set of lyrics from Common's "A Letter to the Law," where he says:"With that happening, why they messing with Saddam? Burn a Bush cos' for peace he no push no button. Killing over oil and grease, no weapons of destruction."

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Video: Osama Bin Laden Dead, Celebrations in Times Square

Monday, May 02, 2011

Early this morning, a few hundred people gathered in Times Square to celebrate the news that Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks and the most wanted man in the war on terror, is dead. Below, a video of the scene there.

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Osama Bin Laden Dead, 9/11 Family Members and Others Celebrate in Times Square

Monday, May 02, 2011

While a large gathering at the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan featured cheers, tears, and even the popping of champagne, a somewhat smaller but still-jubilant gathering was happening in Times Square early in the morning.

A few hundred people, waving flags, chanting "USA" and even singing the song "Don't Stop Believing" by American power ballad band Journey packed into the middle of the street at 42nd, as onlookers and journalists on the periphery watched.

Watch the video and slideshow below:

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Who Are the 'Gang of Six'?

Monday, April 18, 2011

They represent what may be the last great hope for a grand compromise on the budget crisis facing America. Their success or failure could mean either a new tone in Washington or a long fight to the finish of the 2012 elections. The fight also includes everything from raised retirement age and Medicare changes to higher taxes. But who are the Gang of Six? With the help of Todd Zwillich, The Takeaway's Washington correspondent, we take a closer look at six men in whose hands the fate of a giant policy resolution may rest.

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Your Take: Government Shutdown and Essential Jobs

Thursday, April 07, 2011

As a government shutdown looms, we're asking listeners who they might hold accountable, and you've got a lot to say on the subject. After the announcement that even after a shutdown, some "essential" public jobs would remain, we've also been asking about how one defines essential jobs. When you think about your own job, do you think you're "essential"? Why or why not?

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American Ax-Men: The Met Celebrates Luthiers

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A new exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art features about 65 guitars handcrafted by masters living in New York City in the early part of the 20th Century. The show, called “Guitar Heroes,”  embodies America’s nascent fascination, and ultimate adoption, of the European acoustic instrument. Jayson Kerr Dobney, associate curator of the Met’s Department of Musical Instruments discusses the show.

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Radiohead's 'The King of Limbs,' Visionary or Cautionary?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Radiohead is famous for for pushing the envelope in music, even as the band sells millions of records. But in recent years the group has also taken a hard look at the music industry itself, and made some very public bids for new ways for major bands to interact with fans in the music marketplace. The latest of these moves comes today, as the band releases its seventh proper studio album "The King of Limbs" directly to the masses. Fans can choose from four options, from a $10 digital download to a $53 custom package, including clear vinyl records and over 600 pieces of artwork. Are their efforts revolutionary, or run-of-the-mill?

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US Policy Towards Egypt Evolving With Crisis

Friday, February 04, 2011

Protests in Egypt have consistently shocked the region and the world in recent days, catching President Hosni Mubarak off guard with calls for his ousting. But President Mubarak wasn't the only one surprised by Egyptian activism; the U.S. leadership has also scrambled to adapt to a changing diplomatic situation, in a region where Egypt's stability is seen as incredibly important.

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Wide Spectrum of Music at Coachella 2011

Friday, January 21, 2011

The incredibly long lineup for 2011's Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival was announced this week. A three-day festival in the desert of Indio, California that features some 150 bands, an annual bloom of tents and human civilization, Coachella is one of the biggest contemporary music festivals in America (last year the event drew 75,000 visitors each day). But it's also an event where people expect to see supergroups, up-and-comers, and some of the mainstream acts they've come to love. Does this year's event measure up? 

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Coachella 2011 List: More Proof of Indie As The New Mainstream?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

This week, the list of performers at the giant Coachella music festival was released. The list of performers for 2011 include everyone from big names like platinum-selling Chicago-born rapper Kanye West to underground Rhode Island noise rock outfit Lightning Bolt.

But in the digital age, how visible is the line between the mainstream and underground? Arcade Fire, who headlines the festival on Saturday April 16, was just a few years ago an "indie" band — and perhaps one some would still argue represents something outside of the mainstream. Now they're headlining one of the largest outdoor music events in the country.

If you're a music fan, who in the lineup do you think is "mainstream," and who is "underground," and is that line blurring?

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Soul Queen Sharon Jones On New Year's Performances

Friday, December 31, 2010

Not far away from New York City's famous ball dropping ceremony in Times Square, another bombastic New Year's celebration will occur: Sharon Jones will perform with her band the Dap-Kings at Best Buy Theater. The second of two nights, the performance is likely to be one of the night's best bets in the city — the group is recognized as one of the best soul-revival bands working and critically acclaimed for their magical ability to recreate the sound and soul of the 1960’s.

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Who Taught You Something in 2010?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

On tomorrow's show, we'll be talking about teachable moments in 2010. There's been a lot, from the Gulf Oil Spill to the WikiLeaks diplomatic cables leak. We'd like to hear from listeners.

Who taught you something in 2010, and what was the lesson? 

Let us know your thoughts. Leave a comment or call us at877-8-MY-TAKE.

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Pro Bowl Roster Features Michael Vick: a 'Second Chance' Example, or Exception?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Pro Bowl roster was announced today, and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick was at the top of the list of starters. Anyone who knows football knows this is no surprise, but it is another piece of news in a narrative of Vick as an example of someone who was given a second chance after jail, and who — thus far — seems to have been successfully reformed by the prison system. 

Was Vick an example of how people in America can get a second chance, or an exception, as a pro-athlete who doesn't need to live by the same rules as others? Did you or someone you know ever receive a second chance?

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Your Big 2010 Moment, and Your 2011 Resolution

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What was the biggest moment of 2010 for you? There are plenty of options, from the highly personal to the big picture. We've been asking listeners to use The Takeaway's iPhone App and send their picture or sound to sum up 2010.

But we're also looking forward. What about 2011? Do you have any New Year's resolutions? Share them with us so we can share them on the show.

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What Movies Should We Add to The Library of Congress?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

As somewhere a producer is surely considering a bigger, badder sequel to "Snakes On A Plane," the Library of Congress continues its careful selection of films to add to the National Film Registry. How do they pick the right ones, and are they choosing wisely? 

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Your Holiday Music Picks: The Good, The Bad, and The Barking Song

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It was wafting through pharmacies, gas stations and shopping malls as soon as Halloween was over, and love it or hate it, it won't be going away until all the figgy pudding is consumed and the presents opened. That's right; we're talking about holiday music.

Luckily, there's an impressive spectrum of the stuff performed by a plethora of performers: From Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, to James Brown, Ella Fitzgerald, The Ramones, The Ronnettes, and even a wizzened Bob Dylan and an exhuberant Stephen Colbert. Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly have done "The Little Drummer Boy," and Run-DMC had a hit with "Christmas in Hollis." 

We've been asking people to Remix the Holidays all week, and that includes listeners. Specifically we've been asking for your favorite and least-favorite holiday music. 

You've had plenty to say on all sides of the issue. Here are some more of your responses, via text, phone, and web.

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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees: Not Bon Jovi...Neil Diamond!?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Today around the office, the debate raged over this year's inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Alice Cooper? Of course; the dude's rock credentials are as solid as his knowledge of Milwaukee. Even Tom Waits, who host John Hockenberry characterized as more of a beat poet, has enough edginess and bombast as a performer to deserve rock star status. Other inductees on the list included New Orleans veteran Dr. John, singer Darlene Love, and Leon Russell

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The Secret of Giving: Do You Have It?

Friday, December 03, 2010

On Monday's show, we're talking to "the real" Santa Claus and etiquette expert Peggy Post. We'll be asking them about giving during the holiday season, and we wanted to start with you: What are your gifting secrets? What is the worst or best gift you've ever received or sent someone else? You can also post your questions for Santa and Peggy Post, and we'll ask them on the air. 

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Mystery Missile? UFO? Watch the Video and Tell Us

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Monday evening residents near Lost Angeles, California saw something strange shoot into the sky, leaving a squiggly, smoky tail in its path. Some wondered if it was a missile launch, but after local military didn't take responsibility for the mystery incident, questions remain. Experts have mused that it might have been merely a jet, seen departing from a strange angle, while others wondered if it was a ballistic launched from a submarine. What do you think? Take a look at the CBS News video and tell us your theory. 

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