Shadows and Light

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Tuesday, October 09, 2012

We’ll kick off today’s show with a panel discussion of the power of dark money on political campaigns. Ty Burr takes a look at the nature of modern fame and why our culture has always obsessed over movie stars. Daniel Mendelsohn explains the art of criticism. Paul Elie talks about how some musicians are reinventing Bach by finding ways to make him new for our time.

Revealing Dark Money and Big Data

Bradley Smith, Chairman and Co-Founder of the Center for Competitive Politics, Adam Rappaport, Chief Counsel of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, and ProPublica’s Kim Barker discuss how social welfare nonprofit groups, known as 501(c)(4)s are avoid regulation to finance the campaigns. They’ve already spent more than $71 million on television ads, more than all super PACs combined, according to estimates from Kantar Media's Campaign Media Analysis Group. Kim Barker has been reporting the series Revealing Dark Money and Big Data for ProPublica.

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Movie Stardom and Modern Fame

Ty Burr, film critic for The Boston Globe, explores how and why we obsess over movie stars. In Gods Like Us: On Movie Stardom and Modern Fame he leads an entertaining journey through modern fame at its flashiest, most indulgent, occasionally most tragic, and its most revealing.

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Daniel Mendelsohn on Culture and Criticism

Cultural critic Daniel Mendelsohn, who writes for The New York Review of BooksThe New Yorker, and The New York Times Book Review talks about the highs and lows of culture. His new collection, Waiting for the Barbarians, brings together 24 of his recent essays on subjects from "Avatar" to the poems of Arthur Rimbaud, from our fascination with the Titanic to his dissection of "Mad Men."

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Reinventing Bach

Paul Elie tells how musicians have made Bach’s music new in our time, both restoring Bach as a universally revered composer and revolutionizing the ways his music fits into our lives. In Reinventing Bach, Elie reveals that Bach was on the technological frontier in the 18th century—restoring organs, inventing instruments, and perfecting the tuning system still in use today. Elie also looks at the pioneering musicians have made Bach’s music enduring—organist Albert Schweitzer, cellist Pablo Casals, pianist Glenn Gould, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

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