Nation Topics - Arts and Entertainment

Topic Page


News and Features

If Elia Suleiman's face were a cartoon, then the single short, white
brush stroke dabbed into his black hair would perhaps be the beginning
of a thought balloon, perpetually forming above the l

The summer before 14-year-old Trent Lott entered all-white Pascagoula
High School in Mississippi, a 14-year-old black boy from Chicago named
Emmett Till convinced his mother to let him go down

In the new film version of The Quiet American, a photographer
races into a plaza in downtown Saigon, rather puzzling jaded British
reporter Thomas Fowler (Michael Caine).

Imaginary Friends, The Mercy Seat

Looking backward in the January chill, I feel my eyes shoot past the
films of 2002 toward a movie made some thirty years ago: a picture by
Martin Scorsese about violent, driven people in downto

How does a fiercely anticorporate musician feel about participating in a
corporate entertainment system?

Talking With Eddie Vedder, Boots Riley, Amy Ray, Carrie Brownstein, Tom Morello

Picture this: you're stranded on a desert island with nothing to comfort
you but sand, sun and, miraculously, the solar-powered sound system that
washed up with you.

Fifteen years ago, rappers like Public Enemy, KRS-One and Queen Latifah
were received as heralds of a new movement.

Russell Simmons, known for decades as Rush to his friends, is of average
height and build for a man his age (45), with a cleanshaven face, bald
dome and light complexion.


Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond and the science behind global warming.

February 18, 2010

The guy who put populist politics on the charts with a song title "Pink Houses" John Mellencamp performed at the White House last week, as part of a program titled: "In Performance at the White House: A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement." There was some powerful company, but Mellencamp was up to it.

February 16, 2010

Not to be too tough on the organizers of the opening ceremony of the Vancouver Olympics, but how come someone else had to sing the Leonard Cohen song?

February 13, 2010

"So the haters have Fox, the lovers who are afraid to be hurt again have MSNBC, but what about all the people who watched the speech and found it too straightforward and understandable? Well, there's always CNN."

February 11, 2010

News Flash: Winter Olympic officials in tropical Vancouver have been forced to import snow - on the public dime - to make sure that the 2010 games proceed as planned. This use of tax-dollars is just the icing on the cake for increasingly angry Vancouver residents. And unlike the snow, the anger shows no signs of abating.

February 9, 2010

The New Orleans Saints won Super Bowl 44. I can't believe I'm even typing the words. Five years ago this was the team considered most likely to be moved to Los Angeles. Four and a half years ago, after the levies broke, the concern was not whether there would be a Saints, but whether there would even be a New Orleans. Remember that after Hurricane Katrina, the Speaker of the House, Republican Rep. Dennis Hastert said, "It looks like a lot of that place could be bulldozed." But now Hastert is on the political scrap heap and New Orleans is the home of the Super Bowl champs. I'm not sure whether it feels like a dream or positively preordained. If nothing else, it's an emotional release from all the idiocy that surrounded the big game.

February 7, 2010

Hopefully you've read Professor Lawrence Lessig's provocative new essay, "How to Get Our Democracy Back." Lessig's piece is essential reading for people across the political spectrum, and we're doing what we can to reach everyone concerned about the future of our democracy. Lessig appeared on Democracy Now and on Bill Moyers Journal, but also on the conservative Hugh Hewitt radio show, and his piece was reprinted at Andrew Breitbart's As Lessig argues, whether you are a progressive who wants healthcare reform or a conservative who wants smaller government, none of it is possible unless we fix Congress first. You can view the Bill Moyers Journal segment here.

February 6, 2010

Billy Bragg, a living legend of the British punk and folk music scenes, just released a new song as catchy and relevant as anything he's produced in many years.

February 5, 2010

First let me put my cards on the table. I consider Jemele Hill, sports columnist for to be as incisive and interesting as they come. She has been a frequent and fearless guest on my radio show and is always aces on the air. That's why I'm so gobsmacked by Jemele's latest column, subtly titled, Laud the Courage in Tim Tebow's Stand.

February 3, 2010

The broadcast networks that air the Super Bowl have historically rejected advocacy ads. Yet CBS, which is airing the Super Bowl this year, has accepted an anti-choice ad by the ultra-conservative group Focus on the Family.

January 31, 2010