Episode Archive

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Season One (2013)

7. Unemployment: The national unemployment rate continues to hover just under 8%. It’s been like this for about a year. That’s higher than the 1991 recession. And the unemployment numbers are starting to match the recession of the early 1980s, just before unemployment hit over 10% in 1982. This program looks into whether or not the jobs are really coming back. Are we avoiding a serious problem that we don’t have the courage to stare in the face? To what degree are we repeating history? We meet a man who motivates the unemployed in library basements, get experts to respond to Chairman Bernanke’s recent claims that unemployment will fall between 5.8 and 6.2% by 2015, discuss the finer points of Beveridge curves with economics professor William Dickens, chat about how the last four decades of labor developments have contributed to the unemployment crisis with Down the Up Escalator author Barbara Garson, discover a company that protected the unemployed against discrimination with the National Employment Law Project’s Mitchell Hirsch, and learn about discrimination and how local labor policy reveals national labor policy with Dr. Michelle Holder of the Community Service Society of New York. (59:55)

6. Bullies: Bullying is the most common form of violence in America and often carries into adulthood. Every day, more than 160,000 students stay home from school because they fear being bullied. This week, we discuss bullying at length. Poet Shane Koyczan uncovers the dark beginnings of “To This Day,” a poem abut bullying that went unexpectedly viral. We talk with Emily Bazelon, author of Sticks and Stones, to learn more about the bullying phenomenon. Dr. William Copeland reveals how bullying’s long-term effects extend into adulthood and discusses an unprecedented study that followed 1,420 kids from North Carolina for twenty years. Distinguished author James Lasdun tells us how a relentless student cyberstalked him and refuses to stop to this very day. And we find out how an innocent girl with progeria was relentlessly tortured by cyberbullies who reviled her for no good reason at all. (58:30)

5. Rebels: The rebel. You’d think that a culture that gave us John Brown, Margaret Sanger, and Rosa Parks would be more encouraging of this proud American tradition. But in this show, we examine why rebels get the short end of the stick. We talk with historian Jeanne Theoharis about how Rosa Parks’s rebellious life has been swept under the carpet of modern American history, examine Pussy Riot’s rebellious legacy with many of the band’s supporters, suss out rebellion in Times Square, offer an allegorical parable called “Robbie the Rebel,” and chat with a rebel journalist about a mysterious shooting in Missouri and the pros and cons of assumption. (58:30)

4. Aid: Giving aid to nations and people who desperately need help has been an American staple for more than a century. Yet in 2013, aid has become more beholden to red tape and incompetence than ever before. In our show devoted to aid, we go to Staten Island to talk with the organizers and volunteers of Occupy Sandy to find out how they helped people when others could not and get a sense of their philosophy. We also talk with Jonathan Katz, the only full-time American journalist stationed in Hatii during the 2010 earthquake and we reveal how billions of dollars given by Americans to help the impoverished and the homeless ended up in the wrong place. (56:15)

3. Cycles: Are our lives and our culture locked within cycles? Are we aware of it? Should we be aware of it? Or is there a certain folly in paying too much attention? Our quest for answers has us talking with Brooklyn bike shop owners and a Finnegans Wake reading group. We reveal how Raiders of the Lost Ark caused two teenage boys to become consumed by a relentless cycle of remaking the movie they loved with limited cinematic resources. We also talk with Scottish novelist Ian Rankin about how he returned to Inspector Rebus and got caught up in cycles he couldn’t quite describe and Lesley Alderman, the author of The Book of Times, shows us how being aware of time doesn’t necessarily preclude you from finding enticing new cycles of existence. (58:45)

2. Guns, Part Two: In the second of a two part program, we make efforts to interview the NRA and uncover what $35 a year gets you during a very strange telephone call, talk with Sezin Koehler about how she’s coped with the gun-related murder of her best friend, and discuss the history of the Glock with Paul Barrett, revealing how large magazine handguns have pervaded American culture. (51:30)

1. Guns, Part One: In the first of a two part program, we talk with people in the Bronx about their gun experiences, learn why acclaimed Porochista Khakpour fell in love with guns, address Alex Jones’s CNN meltdown by untangling the Second Amendment’s true roots with historian Saul Cornell and constitutional scholar Adam Winkler, and meet Craig Whitney, a pro-guns liberal. (58:30)

0. Michael Apted: This radio special serves as a transitional episode between The Bat Segundo Show and Follow Your Ears. It features an interview with Michael Apted, director of the Up documentaries — a series of films shot every seven years following the lives of fourteen British children since 1964. The conversation revolves around 56 Up, the latest installment. (29:24)

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