Give Everybody Everything: The Financial Life of Bernadette Mayer
The life of a poet is rich with meaning and beauty. But the financial life of a poet is decidedly less rich. The poet Bernadette Mayer is a case study in how literary influence does not translate into income. She dedicated herself to art knowing it wouldn’t make lots of money. Still, at 73, she has unavoidable expenses. Forget Silicon Valley billionaires — can a poor poet make the best case for Universal Basic Income?
The Narrative Line
We’re constantly telling ourselves stories — who we are, where we’re going, what comes next. But what happens when the story you’re telling yourself turns out not to be true? Or, more fundamentally, what if the narrative form you’re bending your life story to fit only falsifies it? Can we find alternative ways of telling stories that are more true to life? Or do all narratives warp reality, only in different ways?
Consider the Grackles
Touring a punk act pushes the limits of physical endurance — driving all day, sweating on stage, eating badly, sleeping worse. What keeps a band going for 14 years without a major commercial success? And what would possess someone old enough to draw Social Security checks to put himself through it?
Death in Twin Peaks
Twin Peaks was never just a TV show: it was an obsession and an apparition. In its 2017 incarnation, the real-life deaths of several cast members hang spectrally over the proceedings. Legendary critic Howard Hampton meditates on how the show’s obsession with mortality in its fictional universe overlaps seamlessly with our own.
A Call in the Night
Your phone rings at 3:30 in the morning. You answer the call, and a person who's just been woken up with a call from you is on the end of the line. The call is being recorded. Both of your lives are changed forever. In this episode we explore the surprising intimacy of anonymity. What happens when wires cross and someone you begin speaking with a total stranger as though you’re lovers?