Episode #620

Angels, Slackers, Cintra

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Saturday, May 14, 2005

Kurt Andersen and writer Cintra Wilson look at the decade bookended by end of the Cold War and the terrorist attacks of 2001. We'll hear about the hazy allure of the slacker and discover how hip-hop crossed into the cultural and commercial mainstream. And Frank Rich, Stephen Spinella, and Tony Kushner talk about how Kushner's groundbreaking play Angels in America so perfectly captured a millennial moment. Plus, country music legend Merle Haggard drops by the studio and explains why he’s recording jazz standards these days.

Guests:

Cintra Wilson

Slackers

What was special about the young people who came of age in the 90s? The label Generation X, from the Douglas Coupland novel, has stuck to this group. They were called an unwelcome, unwanted generation, and pilloried by their elders. And there was always a subset of youngsters who ...

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Rugrats

In the 1990s, when animation took on a new edge, subversive wit became the order of the day, with the rise of The Simpsons, Beavis and Butthead, Ren and Stimpy and dozens more. We asked Paul Germain and Joe Ansolabehere, creators of The Rugrats on Nickleodeon, why the 90s was ...

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Angels in America

Tony Kushner's Angels in America was a sprawling, epic 2-part play that burst onto the Broadway stage in 1993. Kushner, along with his director George C. Wolfe and a stellar cast, crafted a monumental response to the 1980's. The play created a world populated by ghosts, angels, ...

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Rick Moody

Rick Moody burst on the scene in the 90s with novels about the dark side of suburban America. He's best known for his book The Ice Storm which was made into a film in 1997. Moody told us how he fell in love with the grunge and ...

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Hip-Hop Crosses Over

In the early 1990s, rap music was sounding angry, even militant. Today, many of those angry young men are mainstream movie and TV stars. So what on earth happened to hip hop over the 90s? How did all the rage against the machine get co-opted? Hip Hop journalist Bakari ...

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Merle Haggard

Casual Merle Haggard fans may be surprised to hear the singer-songwriter of rowdy classics like "Mama Tried" and "Okie From Muskogee" crooning standards like "Stardust Memories" on his new album, Unforgettable. But as the country legend told Kurt Andersen in the studio, Haggard has experimented with his music ...

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Special Guest: Cintra Wilson

Cintra Wilson is a playwright and performer with a penchant for pop culture. She's a regular contributor to Salon, where her annual scathing review of the Oscars, is a must-read each year. She's the author of A Massive Swelling: Celebrity Reexamined as ...

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