“What if I did an imitation of a butterfly at rest?”

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Zero Mostel and the truth of the absurd: Listen on SoundCloudiTunes, Stitcher, and Pop Up Archive.

When actor Zero Mostel was under trial by the House UnAmerican Activities Committee in 1955, the committee asked what he was doing at an anti-HUAC meeting. Mostel replied: “What if I did an imitation of a butterfly at rest? There is no crime in making anybody laugh.”

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“It was a toilet, plush-lined.” Lena Horne and Harlem’s Cotton Club.

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When the Negro was in vogue: Listen on SoundCloudiTunes, Stitcher, and Pop Up Archive.

On Popcast: What does it mean to “act like a Negro?” Lena Horne speaks about being a black performer in the early 20th century.

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A love poem to a 2,000 year old stranger

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Seamus Heaney and the Long Dead: Listen on SoundCloudiTunes, and Stitcher.

“I almost love you,” poet Seamus Heaney writes of a female bog body in the poem Punishment, “but would have cast, I know, the stones of silence….I who…would connive in civilized outrage / yet understand the exact / and tribal, intimate revenge.”
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15 rooms, 15 visions of Womanhood

 

Welcome to Womanhouse

The rooms were full of menstrual blood and Kotex, rubber breasts and stumbling brides, fragmented bodies in linen closets and simulacra of babies being born. It was 1972, and this was Womanhouse: a rickety Victorian house turned into a home for radical feminist installations by the students of Judy Chicago’s Feminist Art program at CalArts.

The rooms were full of menstrual blood and Kotex, rubber breasts and stumbling brides, fragmented bodies in linen closets and simulacra of babies being born. It was 1972, and this was Womanhouse: a rickety Victorian house turned into a home for radical feminist installations by the students of Judy Chicago’s Feminist Art program at CalArts.
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The Freedom Singers kick off Popcast Season Two

The Freedom Singers: Listen on SoundCloud, iTunes, Stitcher, and Pop Up Archive.

It was the early days of the civil rights movement. Across the South, black students staged sit-ins, marches, demonstrations and protests that were violently repressed. In this podcast, two voices from the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) talk about the song “We Shall Overcome” – three simple words that became an anthem of strength and conviction for their movement.
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Freud in the Night Kitchen

When Maurice Sendak’s now classic children’s book Mickey in the Night Kitchen was released in 1970, it caused a scandal. Its protagonist, a young boy, is bare naked throughout the book, amidst a landscape phallic milk bottles and free-flowing liquids. Parents cried pornography. Armchair psychologists jumped to analyze its Freudian subtext. But the kids? They just laughed.

In this Popcast, we play you excerpts from Sendak’s 1970 conversation with legendary interviewer Studs Terkel. Sendak balks at the idea of writing down to kids. In fact, Sendak thinks it’s the kids who have “crap detectors” that allow them to tap into the real spirit of his books. Together, Sendak and Studs consider that it’s the adults who can’t understand children’s literature, and not the other way around.

Hear the full interview in The Studs Terkel Radio Archive collection on Pop Up Archive, from The WFMT Radio Network: https://www.popuparchive.com/collections/938/items/37552

The song banned by NASA

Astronauts don’t have days and nights like we do on earth, so they need some help regulating their sleep. Turns out, it takes a whole team of engineers down on earth to rouse NASA’s elite from their slumbers. In this Popcast, hear about the NASA tradition of “wake up songs” from Mission Control, including the one song that went too far.

Written and produced by Eliza Smith, narrated by Eliza Smith and Jacob Winik, with editorial help from Emily Saltz. Listen to more audio from the NASA Collection on Pop Up Archive, or read Terry Watson’s fan letter to “The Ledge.”

Bob Hope and Atomic Bill

A podcast about the time Bob Hope taught the US of A a little something about nuclear physics. It was 1950, just five years after the US dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Soviet Union had just built their own bomb. And what did Americans, huddled around their radios, want to hear? Comedian Bob Hope, joking about the world “blowing itself up.” In this Popcast, Eliza Smith talks about “The Quick and the Dead,” a 1950 NBC special about atomic energy, hosted by Bob Hope and produced by Fred Friendly.

Original audio can be found on Pop Up Archive, courtesy of the Broadcast Archives at WILL and Illinois Public Media:

Bob Hope and Atomic Bill

A podcast about the time Bob Hope taught the US of A a little something about nuclear physics. It was 1950, just five years after the US dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Soviet Union had just built their own bomb. And what did Americans, huddled around their radios, want to hear? Comedian Bob Hope, joking about the world “blowing itself up.” In this Popcast, Eliza Smith talks about “The Quick and the Dead,” a 1950 NBC special about atomic energy, hosted by Bob Hope and produced by Fred Friendly.

Original audio can be found on Pop Up Archive, courtesy of the Broadcast Archives at WILL and Illinois Public Media: