The Heat Is On

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Monday, July 23, 2012

On today’s show: We’ll take a look at the myths and realities about censorship and government propaganda in the Chinese media. Then Kay Larson describes how composer John Cage’s life and work was influenced by his conversion to Zen Buddhism. Daniel Okrent, creator of “Old Jews Telling Jokes,” is joined by two of the show’s performers. And New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert examines the consequences of this summer’s heat waves and drought.

The Chinese Media

In the West, the Chinese media is often used as an example of government propaganda and censorship. Fred Teng, CEO of NewsChina, and Rong Xiaoqing, reporter for Sing Tao Daily, talk about the myth and reality of the Chinese media both in China and around the world. 

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John Cage and Zen Buddhism

Kay Larson talks about how Zen Buddhism influenced American artists in the years following World War II, especially experimental composer John Cage. In Where the Heart Beats: John Cage, Zen Buddhism, and the Inner Life of Artists looks at how his conversion to Zen Buddhism empowered him to compose his music and to inspire transformations in the lives of his fellow artists.

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“Old Jews Telling Jokes”

Daniel Okrent, a creator of “Old Jews Telling Jokes,” and performers Todd Susman and Audrey Lynn Weston, talk about the show, a revue that pays tribute to and reinvents classic jokes of the past and present. The show also features comic songs—new and old—as well as tributes to some of the giants of the comedy world. “Old Jews Telling Jokes” is playing at the Westside Theatre.

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Heat and Drought

New Yorker staff writer Elizabeth Kolbert documents this summer’s extreme climate changes—particularly heat and drought—and looks at their dire consequences.

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