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Jessica Walter's Alter Egos

Jul 27, 2018

Jessica Walter is perhaps best known for her roles as Lucille Bluth on Arrested Development, and Malory Archer on Archer: two icy, booze-swilling mothers without much of a motherly instinct. But these roles came to her later in her career. Walter wasn't cast as Lucille until she was 62 years old. Before the Bluths came along, she wasn't sure if her career might be slowing down.

On the cover of Ten Day, Chance The Rapper's debut mixtape, a cartoonish-but-detailed illustration of the Chicago artist looks upwards in wonder, as pillowy clouds float in the sky behind him. It is, perhaps, a too-apt metaphor for the ascent that Chance's career has experienced since that 2012 release, from son-of-a-politician mixtape rapper to bona fide chart-topper, festival headliner and Grammy winner.

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Right to Speak.

About Elif Shafak's TED Talk

Turkish novelist Elif Shafak has seen firsthand what can happen when a country restricts free speech. She says democracy depends on the right to openly exchange diverse, even oppositional, ideas.

About Elif Shafak

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Right to Speak.

About Jeffrey Howard's TED Talk

Political scientist Jeffrey Howard says democracies should allow all types of speech — even if they're hurtful. The key, he says, is to respond with conversation rather than confrontation.

About Jeffrey Howard

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Right to Speak.

About Zachary Wood's TED Talk

In college, Zachary Wood joined a group that invites provocative speakers to campus, hoping to spark dialogue. But he soon learned not everyone wants to hear from those with whom they disagree.

About Zachary Wood

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Right to Speak.

About James Kirchick's TED Talk

When James Kirchick was in college, someone he found deeply offensive spoke on campus. Rather than protest, James attended the talk. He says free speech benefits everyone, especially the powerless.

About James Kirchick

Among the small delights corollary to a long bicycle ride is eating, with minimized guilt, a lot of food. Stoke your internal furnace hot enough, and it'll burn through quite a bit. That's true of people who pay to ride bikes — like the NPR crew currently riding RAGBRAI, an annual weeklong bike tour of Iowa, who for years has gone by the backronym No Pies Refused. It's just as true for people who get paid to ride bikes.

The first image in Robert Schwentke's The Captain is an open field. You hear World War II coming before you see it — an off-key trumpet, gunshots, the roar of a truck.

The only solid insight to be gleaned from Hot Summer Nights, a nostalgia-soaked coming-of-age drama set in 1991 Cape Cod, is learning the DVDs that doubtlessly line the shelves of its writer-director, Elijah Bynum: Goodfellas, American Graffiti, Boogie Nights, The Sandlot, and perhaps the complete Wonder Years box set, to name a few.

In the opening moments of the 2.5-hour Mission: Impossible — Fallout, producer/stuntman/star Tom Cruise's Ethan Hunt shares a tender moment with Julia Meade-Hunt (Michelle Monaghan), the woman for whom he tried to retire from the impossible mission business 12 years and three movies ago, and who's rated only a silent cameo since. Our Man Hunt's reverie is swiftly ended with the arrival of yet another soon-to-self-destruct assignment. This one comes in a hollowed-out book concealing an antique reel-to-reel tape recorder.

We are constantly rewriting our collective history, but few of us can do it with as much devilish glee as Scotty Bowers. Now 95, the onetime Hollywood hustler spent decades during Tinseltown's golden era providing sexual services to the biggest names in town, including Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, George Cukor and Rex Harrison. He'd rent out a trailer in the back of a gas station on Hollywood Boulevard for $20 per session and also make house calls, sometimes matching the celebrity with his tricks, often jumping into bed with them himself.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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An Aging Philip Marlowe Returns In 'Only To Sleep'

Jul 26, 2018

How odd it is to step into another writer's shoes. To pull on the suit of his most famous character and dance around in it for a little while. You gotta have a reason to do something like that. You've gotta be, for lack of a better word, invested.

Call it the Anti-Snyder Cut.

Let's be clear: One silly animated film aimed squarely at kids won't be enough to admit light and joy into the dour, dolorous and dun-colored DC Cinematic Universe.

(We're not supposed to call it that anymore, by the way. The company announced last weekend at San Diego Comic-Con that we are to refer to it exclusively as [checks notes] the "Worlds of DC.")

(You know: Like it's a theme park.)

Parker Posey is not the kind of movie star who seems distant and unapproachable. Instead, people shout her most famous lines at her when they pass her on the street. "I've gotten 'Air raid!' for, you know, 25 years," she says, referencing 1993's Dazed and Confused. "And Busy Bee, you know — 'Where's my Busy Bee?' From Best in Show," one of five semi-improvised documentary spoof films she's made with the director Christopher Guest.

The Kennedy Center annually recognizes artists who have had a uniquely wide and enduring impact on American culture. On Wednesday, the Washington, D.C.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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Michael Scott Moore is a journalist who traveled to Somalia to write a book about the history of piracy in the Horn of Africa. It did not go as planned.

The title of his new book tells you what happened. It's called The Desert and the Sea: 977 Days Captive on the Somali Pirate Coast.

Moore's ordeal began just after he dropped off a colleague at a small airport in Somalia. As he was heading back into town, his car came upon a truck full of armed men.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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Is it possible to slaughter animals and eat meat in an an ethical way? That's the question food writer Camas Davis set out to answer when she moved to the southwest of France to apprentice as a butcher on a small, family-run farm and slaughterhouse.

Being so close to the butchering process took some getting used to — "I had to really confront my own moments of cringing or turning away or not wanting to see or know," she says. But ultimately Davis felt she had the answer to her question.

Sean Spicer — testy, stumbling, and visibly unhappy — was not a very good press secretary. He seemed to dislike lying; the strain of it was evident.

Sarah Sanders, with her unembarrassed and bullish ability to just keep going, no matter how implausible the message, is much more convincing. Spicer just looked like the avatar of the Republican Party's moral crisis, sweating in a suit.

It was, he writes in The Briefing, his new memoir of his time in the Trump White house, "a lonely job."

In "The Baby," the first short story in Simon Rich's collection Hits and Misses, two expecting parents anxiously await the results of a sonogram. Ben and Sue are both thrilled to learn they're having a boy, but the father-to-be is less stoked when the doctor informs them that the fetus is holding a pencil. "It means you have a writer!" the obstetrician announces happily.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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This summer, All Things Considered is on the hunt for great reading recommendations. In our second installment — you can find the first here — Janet Webster Jones, owner of Source Booksellers in Detroit, shares her selections with NPR's Audie Cornish. Click the audio link above to hear Jones describe these great summer reads:

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "GOOD MORNING, VIETNAM")

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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This post discusses the events of Sunday night's POSE season finale.

It wasn't layered. It wasn't nuanced. It was didactic in some places, and mawkish in others, often reaching for sentiment only to achieve sentimentality instead. Characters didn't so much converse as stand and deliver long declamatory paragraphs at each other, in precisely the way real people don't — you could hear the writing, always. The cast approached the material with great fervor, if not, in all cases, great finesse.

San Diego Comic-Con wrapped up on Sunday. NPR comic buffs Mallory Yu and Petra Mayer discuss highlights of the convention's last day, in which women, writers of color — and monsters — took front and center.

Petra: Mallory, oh, my God, we made it. We made it. We almost got sidetracked just trying to find a place to sit down and eat some crummy convention concession pizza (although by Grabthar's hammer, crummy convention concession pizza was what my soul desired) but we made it through the week.

Oakland, Calif., means different things to different people.

For many, it's the birthplace of groundbreaking art and politics. But Oakland, like many major cities across the country, is changing.

That's the tension at the heart of a new film called Blindspotting. It tells the story of two lifelong friends and Oakland natives, one white and one black, as they grapple with fitting into this new world.

There's a vitally important word in the epic tale of Beowulf and, according to Maria Dahvana Headley, it's been translated incorrectly for a very long time. The word is aglæca/æglæca — no one's entirely sure how to pronounce it – and, as Headley explains, that same word is used to describe Beowulf and his three antagonists: Grendel, Grendel's mother, and the dragon.

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