Arts & Culture

Interviews and stories about art, culture, music, books, food / dining and sports.

President Trump issued his first pardon in August 2017, just about seven months into his presidency. Three years and three dozen clemencies later, some patterns have emerged.

Mark Savage

In some ways you’d think Nissan would own the large SUV market.

Its small Rogue is extremely popular as is its mid-size SUV, the Pathfinder. Consider too that Nissan’s large SUV boasts the most power in its class and is one of the lower priced big people haulers on the market.

READ: 2020 Ford Explorer ST AWD Review

But, when I mention the Nissan Armada, do you think of a top-tier large SUV?

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Cardboard beds. Urban farms. Roving mariachi bands.

These are some of the ways that regular folks are solving problems and spreading happiness during the pandemic.

The solutions aren't perfect — public health experts have some critiques and suggestions. But at the same time, they applaud the ingenuity and positive vibes.

Read the stories of six grassroots change-makers — then nominate your own at the bottom of this story.

If I could get away with it, I'd read my kids Hilary Mantel's The Mirror and the Light at bedtime so I might actually have time to finish it. As it is, I am so tired at night that I can barely read a few pages before I conk out, which is too bad, because it's REALLY good.

I'm not sure they would go for it. I mean, they haven't even read Wolf Hall yet (ha)!

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And finally today, a new documentary highlights one of the most storied careers on Capitol Hill. It's called "John Lewis: Good Trouble."

(SOUNDBITE OF DOCUMENTARY, "JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE")

Thomas Chatterton Williams, along with more than 150 prominent journalists, authors and writers, published a letter in Harper's Magazine on Tuesday, decrying what it called the "intolerant climate that has set in on all sides" of debate. The letter set off a heated controversy over free speech, privilege and the role of social media in public discourse.

The American dream takes on new meaning in photographer Eliot Dudik's series Paradise Road.

Through the images, Dudik takes the viewer on a journey across the U.S., from empty grasslands to suburban lawns, from dirt byways to mountain valleys, all along different roads named Paradise Road. Each photograph unveils a different view of a potential paradise through expansive landscapes and stoic portraits of people he meets along the way.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Bugs Bunny is back, wike (ph) BJ Weiderman (ph), who does our theme music. The wascaly (ph) wabbit (ph) and his pals star in a new "Looney Tunes" series on HBO Max.

(SOUNDBITE OF CARL JOHNSON'S "MERRY-GO-ROUND BROKE DOWN")

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Remember Utopia Avenue? Elf, their keyboardist and singer — a voice from the clouds. Dean, the bluesy Cockney bass virtuoso. Griff on the drums — who didn't love gruff Griff? And of course, the peerless Jasper de Zoet, shredding, I mean shredding the guitar.

Their great hits — "Abandon Hope," "Smithereens," "Mona Lisa Sings the Blues" — propelled Utopia Avenue from seedy Soho clubs to Top of the Pops, and then America in the enchanted times of bell bottoms, the Beatles, drugs, sex, and street protests. Remember?

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Is Charlie Kaufman's debut novel a satire, a surreal confessional, a self-parody, an act of literary retaliation, or - it is massive.

(SOUNDBITE OF THUMP)

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Jameela Jamil was already a successful radio host in Great Britain when she decided to move to Los Angeles and try to get into the entertainment industry. She went on one audition, booked the job and became a star on the sit-com The Good Place — a totally typical, not at all out of the ordinary Hollywood story! We've invited Jamil to answer three questions about the various places you might find wood.

Click the audio link above to find out how she does.

There's an argument that a review of Palm Springs, new this weekend on Hulu, should just say, "Watch it; it's fun. Andy Samberg, Cristin Milioti, romantic comedy hijinks — just watch it." That's as much as I knew about it, and I enjoyed seeing it reveal itself, and if you're willing to take my word for it, then off with you! Watch it; it's fun.

Now ... what to say to the rest of you, who need a little more, or who have already seen promotion for the film that you can't unsee. Promotion that gives away the premise.

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