Episode #808

Iraq & Company

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Studio 360 Episode 808, Iraq Jefferson, length of service unknown (Suzanne Opton, “Soldier”)

Studio 360 looks at how the war in Iraq is affecting the culture back home. Kurt Andersen talks with Jane Smiley, who set her sexy novel Ten Days in the Hills against the tense backdrop of the opening days of the invasion in 2003. And we’ll see how the war's harsh realities get hashed out in a distant sector of the universe, in Battlestar Galactica. And a group of young soldiers sit for a portrait series by photographer Suzanne Opton. Later in the show, stars from Broadway's Company, the Stephen Sondheim musical, stop by to perform in the studio.

Jane Smiley

The Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Jane Smiley sets her latest novel, Ten Days in the Hills in a fancy home high above Los Angeles. Sex, Hollywood, and soap opera-like personal drama give the novel a frenzied energy. But there's another element the author adds into the mix. Kurt ...


Battlestar Iraqtica

In the 1960s and 70s, Hollywood turned to the Western to depict the racial, moral, and military issues of the Vietnam War. Today, directors and screenwriters are again grappling with war indirectly, through genres like fantasy and science fiction. Critics Lisa Schwartzbaum and Laura Miller show ...



Last spring some billboards appeared along a highway near Syracuse, New York, just over an hour's drive from the Ft. Drum Army Base. On each billboard was an enormous close-up of a young man's head on a plain dark surface. Suzanne Opton took the pictures. Produced by ...


Iraqi Metal

We often picture U.S. combat troops huddled in an armored vehicle in the desert, listening to heavy metal music like Slayer, Metallica, or Megadeth, at full volume. The heaviest of heavy metal also inspired a few young Iraqis to form a rock group. Based in Baghdad, they call themselves


Design for the Real World: Thinking Outside the Mouse

Along with a keyboard, the mouse is the main tool most people use to control their computers. But it’s not exactly subtle. Bill Verplank, one of the founding fathers of interaction design, tells us about the past and future of the mouse. Produced by



The story is simple: a thirty-something guy is single in New York – all of his friends are married. When Stephen Sondheim's Company debuted in 1970, no Broadway musical had portrayed sex, dating and marriage in contemporary America so frankly on stage. But now, at the ripe age of thirty-seven, ...


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