The State of Things

M-F 12 Noon, M-Th 8p, Sat 6a

We bring the issues, personalities, and places of North Carolina to you. We're a live show, and we want to hear from listeners. Call 1.877.962.9862, email sot@wunc.org, or tweet @state_of_things. Follow us on Facebook or Tumblr.

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State of Things
9:44 am
Wed January 11, 2012

Love and Superheroes

Burn Baby Burn
Credit www.amazon.com

James Maxey writes fantasy novels. You’re more likely to encounter magic and dragons in his books than the harsh reality of fatal illness. But when the woman he loved was diagnosed and died of cancer, James found a way to memorialize his struggle in writing. The result was his new e-book called “Burn Baby Burn” (2012). It is available already, but James has another novel called “Greatshadow” (Solaris/2012) coming out this month.

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State of Things
9:05 am
Tue January 10, 2012

Pity the Billionaire

Pity the Billionaire
Credit tcfrank.com

Best selling writer Thomas Frank has a new book out that talks about how conservative politicians rewrote the script for the economic collapse of 2008 and turned it to their advantage. In “Pity the Billionaire: The Hard-Times Swindle and the Unlikely Comeback of the Right” (Metropolitan Books/2012), Frank takes us through the great recession that began at the end of President George W. Bush’s second term as president. Frank says the recession was the result of failed faith in the free market, and that by all rights, the public should have turned against Wall Street and looked to government for better regulation. Instead, Republicans hijacked the conversation and shifted the blame for the economy onto government.

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State of Things
8:49 am
Tue January 10, 2012

Midnight Session

Laura Leslie
Credit www.wral.com

The North Carolina House made an unprecedented move last Thursday when it held a special 12:45 a.m. session to vote on a veto by Governor Bev Perdue. The legislature was scheduled to vote on Perdue’s veto of the Racial Justice Act only. Instead, the GOP also scheduled a vote on a veto of legislation that would prevent the North Carolina Association of Educators from collecting automatic payroll dues from teachers. The vote passed during the surprise session. Critics of the move are calling it unconstitutional. Host Frank Stasio talks to WRAL-TV Capitol Bureau Chief Laura Leslie about the unprecedented move.

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State of Things
9:09 am
Mon January 9, 2012

Meet Orin Starn

Orin Starn
Credit www.golfpolitics.blogspot.com

Orin Starn’s first experience with a culture different from that of his parents came when his father, a historian of the Italian Renaissance, moved the family to Florence. Orin went to public elementary school there, learning about Catholicism, cigarettes and girls. Orin did everything he could to avoid getting a university education, including dropping out of two different colleges in the 1970s before wandering onto a Native-American reservation 
and working as a janitor and cook. His natural inquisitiveness about other people, their communities, rituals and customs, sent him back to school and into anthropology because it was the path of least resistance. As he learned about anthropology, his love for the science grew, and eventually he decided he wanted to be a part of a generation of anthropologists combining intensive study with engagement and action. He has since turned his anthropologist’s eye on political unrest in the Andes and Native-American issues in the United States. His newest book is called “The Passion of Tiger Woods: An Anthropologist Reports on Golf, Race, and Celebrity Scandal” (Duke University Press/2012) He reads tonight at The Regulator Bookshop in Durham, but first he joins host Frank Stasio to talk about sports, the cultures of sports and the new age of anthropology.

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State of Things
3:10 am
Mon January 2, 2012

State of the ReUnion Specials

Sate of the ReUnion
Credit Sate of the ReUnion

The first week of January (Jan 2-6), we'll have a week of special programs in place of SOT. It'll be State of the Re:Union, hosted by Al Letson.Jan 2 (noon & 9pm)

The Bronx-Still Rising from the Ashes

The Bronx has long been a symbol of America's failings. It's still the poorest urban congressional district in the nation, and for many who live in New York's other boroughs, the Bronx is usually a place to avoid. But despite the area's troubles, some have stayed and put down roots, intent on surviving and making their borough better. This episode looks at the hold-outs and the dreamers who've committed their lives to building community in the Bronx.

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State of Things
8:00 am
Fri December 30, 2011

Frank's Favorites 2011

Frank with author Lee Smith at the Murphey School Radio Show

Host Frank Stasio wraps up this week of retrospectives with his favorite interviews of the year. In 2011, he particularly enjoyed talking to Sister Helen Prejean, author of “Dead Man Walking,” about why she believes the death penalty should be abolished. He also loved a conversation on restorative justice, the practice of bringing the victim and the offender together in an effort to heal rather than punish.

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State of Things
8:00 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Amber's Favorites 2011

Amber and her adorable son, Sammy

The week of highlights from 2011 continues as host Frank Stasio chats with producer Amber Nimocks about her picks for the year's best shows. North Carolina author Clyde Edgerton jams out to James Brown, humorist Celia Rivenbark pitches a Southern version of "Prairie Home Companion," Mississippi writer Tom Franklin tells the saddest funny story of the year and Brian Hoyle, RBC Center announcer for the Carolina Hurricanes, tells us how to say "Woo!" in Finnish.

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State of Things
8:00 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Lindsay's Favorites 2011

LFT rocking the mic at karaoke night

This year, the story of Biscuitville, a pair of baseball players and a Grammy-nominated band made the short list of “The State of Things” Managing Editor Lindsay Foster Thomas’ favorite segments of 2011. She joins host Frank Stasio to talk about why she especially loves fast food in North Carolina, athletes who also write books and The Foreign Exchange – the group that will go down in history for telling Stasio he has “swag.”

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State of Things
8:00 am
Tue December 27, 2011

Alex's Favorites 2011

Alex and his new fiancé, Mandy

Producer Alex Granados joined the State of Things in July 2010 and brought his own particular brand of weirdness to the show, reflected in his favorite segments from the past year. He joins host Frank Stasio to review his favorites, including a look back at the madness of "Weird Al" Yankovic, the elusive nature of consciousness and the bizarre beauty of a ska version of the KISS song "Love Gun."

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State of Things
8:00 am
Mon December 26, 2011

Susan's Favorites 2011

Susan and her silly son, Milo

There's nothing better than the end of the year "The State of Things" staff favorites week. Senior Producer Susan Davis kicks it off again for 2011 with moments from a conversation about the wildlife of our bodies with North Carolina State University biologist Rob Dunn. Davis also enjoyed a discussion about Alzheimer's disease and how writers are treating it in a show about the literature of forgetting. Author and marketing expert Steve Stoute talks about race relations and what he calls "the tanning of America." Also, Southern Culture on the Skids plays some spooky Halloween music…plus, there's a quick appearance by the Jade City Pharaoh.

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