In February, PBS and AOL launched Makers, a video archive containing personal stories and anecdotes told in the first person by women, many of whom have sparked groundbreaking changes in American culture. [more inside]
IMAGINE THAT THIS MINUTE, ON THIS STATION, YOU RECEIVED WORD THAT WE HAD MADE CONTACT WITH A CIVILIZATION ON ANOTHER PLANET. THE CLOSEST THING IN HUMAN HISTORY TO SUCH AN EVENT TOOK PLACE IN 1493 WHEN NEWS REACHED EUROPE THAT COLUMBUS HAD ENCOUNTERED A NEW WORLD.
Forty-nine published plays. Four Pulitzer Prizes. Three marriages. A suicide attempt. A celebrity for a father. A drug-addicted mother who blamed her habit on her son. A daughter estranged, a son who committed suicide. A Nobel Prize, the only ever awarded to an American playwright. Eugene O'Neill from inside out: a documentary film for American Experience. More inside.
On PBS last week, Senator Bob Graham said that there is "evidence that there were foreign governments involved in facilitating the activities of at least some of the terrorists in the United States," but that "It will become public at some point when it's turned over to the archives, but that's 20 or 30 years from now. And, we need to have this information now because it's relevant to the threat that the people of the United States are facing today." Do you trust the government to keep the right informatin classified, or do we need to know?
The First Measured Century contains quite a bit of information about American society; population, work, education, religion, health, money, politics, crime and more. Everything from the median marriage age to the percentage of Americans who believe it is wrong to go to the movies on Sundays (13%).
Is American "Roots Music" here to stay, or will it peter out like the "folk revival" of the 1960's? The recent PBS series, as well as re-issues of classic bluegrass sets, portend well for those of us who love bluegrass. But is it just a flash-in-the-pan? What was the magic behind O Brother, Where Art Thou? Does anyone remember the old masters like Doc Watson, Merle Travis, or Vassar Clements? (Not to mention the Queen of the genre, Mother Maybelle Carter.) Or maybe you prefer the newcomers like Alison Krauss/Union Station.
Americans like to pretend that we live in a classless society but we don't, not by a long shot. I caught this PBS documentary a few days ago called People Like Us (the link is to the companion site) which focusses on class in the US (what it means, how it works) in a refreshing way. I'm sure they'll be replaying it soon. I didn't much care for the companion site, but it did provide a link to this creepy marketing service that tells you what sorts of people live in your neighborhood (based on your zip code) and what products they're likely to buy.