A journalist with expertise in China, Newsweek’s former Beijing bureau chief says, “The struggle between intellectuals and the merchant class continues in China, but at the moment it’s kind of like money trumps everything.” I’m glad I don’t live in a country like that. We defeated our intellectuals long ago. Produced with the China Institute.
An original cast member on Saturday Night Live (Connie Conehead!), she’s now a voice actor—Shrek, Finding Nemo. Her later-in-life pleasure: Coachella, but she won’t attend this year. “I can’t, I can’t, my knees just won’t take it any more.” We talk about phases of life and the inadequate seating at music festivals.
Many people share this writer’s admiration of John James Audubon as a naturalist and an artist, especially his magisterial Birds of America. “But fewer people know about him as a slave owner and a white supremacist,” she says. Birds, beauty, climate change, and racial justice: it’s complicated. And delightfully so. Produced with Orion Magazine.
His first feature-length documentary, The War Room, was Oscar-nominated. He won an Emmy for American High, a TV series. Years earlier he received this professional tip from his mentor, D. A. Pennebaker: “You’re not a director until you wake up screaming in the middle of the night.” Apparently I am a director. As are we all.
When he set out to become an actor, this Broadway great—Rent, Wicked, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels—was opposed by his conservative Catholic family. But they came around, even his Fox-watching father. “He loved Rent. My homophobic dad would come to Rent, probably once a month.” Tales of reconciliation. And show tunes.