Matching houses on matching blocks with matching kids and dogs. The suburbs have long been thought of as dull and sterile. However, the ‘burbs are changing. Today we explored the changing demographics of the American suburbs. And we asked listeners to share their thoughts on living in suburbia. Dawn from New Jersey writes on our website:
Suburbs are only "dull and boring" if you are lazy and unimaginative. My suburbs have neighborhoods, lively shops and boutiques, great restaurants (some gourmet), libraries with events and talks, small clubs and theatres with great live music and plays. I have a yard, a garden. Room for myself, my husband, my pets, my books, and my friends and family when they visit. I can get to the City when I need to, then leave it when I need to. Suburbs offer advantages in a different way than cities do. And I will never, ever have to worry about being stuck in a "hipster enclave" -- hipsters hate suburbs. If that's not a reason filled with win, I don't know what is. Viva suburbia!
The effects of the recession are being felt all over – even in our houses of worship. This morning on the show we talked about what to do if you’re a spiritual leader without a job. Beth Kobliner outlines some ideas here. And Takeaway listener David, from Worcester, Mass., writes:
Maybe the recession will push churches that are built on capitalistic models to service models. It seems from my information; the philosophies of all religious organizations are based principally on service to others, which doesn’t seem to agree with a paid clergy model.
Smaller families are cheaper, but is money really a good reason to limit family size? Are siblings worth the extra cost? (And by cost, I mean a whopping $280,000 investment per kid before college.) Sure there are many, many reasons to have more than one child: your sense of family, rewarding sibling relationships, more kids to tend to the farm… But as our budgets shrink, perhaps it makes more sense to raise smaller families. At least, that’s what our two guests on this morning’s show said. We heard from Lauren Sandler, author of an article in Time Magazine called “The Only Child: Debunking the Myths” and Susan Newman, author of “Parenting an Only Child.” However, despite the economic reasons to limit family size, listeners weren’t so sure that this should be the main consideration when planning a family.
Could you live without air conditioning? Could you live without electric light? Could the Gulf live without its birds? Or birds without the Gulf? We spent time on this morning’s show exploring this theme of living without. We were particularly focused on air conditioning (it’s been really, really hot out, so it’s on everyone’s mind) and talked with Stan Cox. He wrote "Losing Our Cool: Uncomfortable Truths About Our Air-Conditioned World (and Finding New Ways to Get Through the Summer)." And he had a lot to say about how the trusty (and electricity-guzzling) A/C has changed American life.
We asked listeners to weigh in and tell us what you could live without. From technology to food, you had a lot to say.
Yesterday, we took a closer look at Andrew Moore’s photographs of Detroit. These pictures show abandoned buildings, empty streets, and broken objects. The images are rich with color and nostalgia; they are beautiful. However, some see a danger in finding such beauty in a destroyed place and the question was posed: Is this art or “ruin porn”? Listeners weighed in:
What do you do when your unemployment check stops coming? Michelle Ives, who was on this morning’s show, watches CSPAN regularly to see whether Congress will extend unemployment benefits. But, as Congress goes on vacation, this unresolved issue has one Takeaway listener from Ohio concerned:
"My benefits expired a few weeks ago and I'm very worried. The Senate should be not taking breaks with taxpayers’ money… apparently they can sleep at night. Me? Not so much!"
How old do kids have to be in order to leave them at home safely? That was the question posed this morning during our weekly family segment. “Every parent really has to know their child, know what the situation is, and really use their common sense,” says Bruce Boyer, director of the Civitas Child Law Clinic at the Loyola University Chicago School of Law.
On today's show, we took a look at the controversy surrounding "The Last Airbender," a movie set in a sort of alternate Asia, but where most of the cast is white. Should Asians have been cast? Can we aspire to more diverse faces on our movie screens? Is it all about marketing? Celeste Headlee writes about this issue here and the evolving role of minorities in movies. And our listeners had a lot to say.
Author David Lipsky told us about the five days he spent traveling by car with David Foster Wallace. It was an emotional journey that he chronicled in his book, "Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace." And it got us asking, who would we want to ride around with? John Hockenberry said Edgar Allen Poe. (I wonder what kind of car he would drive.) Listeners also responded, several saying that David Sedaris would be a great traveling companion.
A Minneapolis magazine, Lavender, outed an anti-gay pastor who attended a support group for men grappling with same-sex attraction. The group is called Faith in Action and is the Minnesota affiliate of the Catholic Church's Courage program. The reporter went undercover to write his story, and by outing the pastor, ended up breaking one of the rules of a 12-step program: anonymity. We asked "the ethicist" Randy Cohen from The New York Times what he thought. He told The Takeaway, "Even public figures have a right to their intimate lives, except when they voluntarily choose to make that relevant to public positions they take."
But listeners disagreed. We received telephone calls and comments about this story, many from people who had attended 12-step programs themselves.
Following the death of Sen. Byrd we asked you about seniority. John Best responded on our website, “Wow! This is an important subject for me and my wife,” he wrote. “We are both retired teachers from the Arts. We found, over the years, that "tenure" and "seniority" mean a lot until you get them. Once you acquire them, they are very easy to lose.”
Keep the music suggestions coming! Today we spoke with Saturday Night Live's Fred Armisen to get his summer music mix picks. Check them out! And as always, you had many great additions to the list.
Angel from Miami, Fla. tells this story:
It's 1987 and I cue up "In the Air Tonight", by Phil Collins. The first song on my summer playlist. Rev up the convertible and race through downtown Miami's empty streets in the AM hours. Red stoplights blinking overhead and exhaust notes echoing high, as I sliced through static warm air until I reached the boulevard and met up with cool sea breezes. I'd throw the car into a four-wheel drift, changing course. SoBe calling. Glen Frey's "Smuggler's Blues" would come on as I flew up the causeway. Repeat the ride the following weekend. The convertible died later that year.
We’ve all now heard about the Rolling Stone article which led to the resignation of Gen. Stanley McChrystal and the nomination of Gen.David Petraeus to replace him. But not everyone thought that this was the right move. And some listeners had questions as to how this article could have possibly been a surprise. Didn’t the White House know what was coming?
Is still a major disaster. We asked you to tell us what the spill should be called and ideas ranged from "gusher" to "devastation" to "a complete disaster! Not natural!" On the show, New York Times columnist, Ben Zimmer had a lot to say about the significance of these words and the historical connotations behind some of the words like "gusher" and "rupture." But one thing was clear, the word "spill" is not adequately defining the leaking, gushing, spewing, messy oil in the Gulf.
We talked extensively about whether the time commitment and monetary commitment that graduate school demands pays off in the end. Takeaway contributor Beth Kobliner says that most of the time a grad degree is not worth the debt one incurs. However, not all of our listeners agreed.
Caitlin Shamberg here with a look at tomorrow’s show.
We continue to follow the fallout from Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s interview with Rolling Stone magazine. He’s apologized for the profile, but what do his incendiary quotes say about the underlying tensions between the White House and the military? We speak to Retired Col. Jack Jacobs for some insight into military etiquette.
President Obama released his plan to end homelessness. The plan seeks to put an end child and family homelessness in ten years, while getting rid of homelessness among veterans in five years. We get closer to the story to see if this is a move toward Housing First, a commitment to getting people into their own homes as the first measure toward social stability.
Is immortality possible? “Long for this World” author, Jonathan Weiner tells us why the quest for the fountain of youth is so embedded in the human psyche and whether immortality is even a realistic goal.
We’ll go live to South Africa to get the latest on the World Cup. The New York Times's George Vecsey is in South Africa where he’ll tell us what to look for in the crucial US-Algeria match.
And get ready for our summer pie (think blueberry, not apple) smackdown! Melissa Clark joins us to talk about the delicious intricacies of cherry pie while Smitten Kitchen’s Deb Perelman is all about the blueberry. The competition will be judged, and the pies will be devoured.
We continued our DIY health series today with a segment on the four priorities to help you lead a healthy life. They sound simple: quit smoking; eat five servings of fruits or vegetables each day; get to a "healthy" weight; and exercise vigorously for 100 minutes each week. But staying healthy can be challenging. Listeners joined the conversation to share their tips for healthy living.
It's Father's Day on Sunday and to celebrate, we asked you to help us compile a list of our favorite dads in movies. Rafer Guzman of Newsday and Emily Rems of Bust Magazine shared their favorites, which ranged from the heartbreaking (Roberto Benigni in "Life is Beautiful") to horrific (Jack Nicholson in "The Shining"). On Facebook and on our website, listeners weighed in with their favorites. Here's a list:
We had a lively conversation about whether we need the dreaded performance review. Listeners responded with their own performance review horror stories. Ken from Boston and John Morse both wrote in to the website, where they shared stories of performance reviews gone bad. Ken writes:
One year, a reviewer admitted to me that she was giving everyone poor marks in one specific area regardless of individual performance. That was particularly galling to me because it happened to be an area where I took special care and made extraordinary efforts.
When I challenged her, she said "Oh, no, you're work is great but WE think everyone can do better." In other words, all the managers had gotten together to conspire to make the department seem like it was screwed up in this one area. The managers, having identified this "problem," could then turn to their bosses to announce how they were cracking down on the staff."
Who was the favorite in your family? We spoke this morning about how favoritism isn’t that unusual and that it may not even be that bad for the kids. This prompted a lively conversation online, where listeners shared heart-wrenching stories of favoritism that tore families apart.