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 and Instagram.

 Or join our live audience for remote broadcasts from Greensboro's Triad Stage and Raleigh's Museum of Natural Sciences. And you can listen to Political Junkie Ken Rudin Fridays on the program.

Get a daily show update, and special news. Subscribe to our podcast.  Have a story pitch?

Book Cover For 'In A Different Key'
Crown Publishers

The term "autism" dates back to the 1930s when a pediatrician named Hans Asperger coined it to describe young boys he was treating who had high intelligence but limited social skills.

The new book, "In A Different Key: The Story of Autism" (Crown/2016) looks at the term and documents how scientific and popular understanding of the disorder have shifted and evolved tremendously in the past century.

An image of George Gershwin
Public Domain / Wikipedia

As the U.S. endured the Great Depression in the 1930s, productions on Broadway like George Gershwin's "Of Thee I Sing" and Marc Blitzstein's "The Cradle Will Rock" showcased stories criticizing corporate greed and political elections.

While the plays had short lives on Broadway, the music lived on in cultural entities like Gershwin's "Great American Songbook." 

Greensboro skyline
Scott Moore, Flickr, Creative Commons

Approximately 1,000 people gathered in Greensboro on Sunday to protest a controversial new law passed by the General Assembly and signed by Gov. Pat McCrory.

Participants voiced their opposition to HB2. Gov. McCrory signed the bill into law immediately following its passage. The measure addresses a bathroom ordinance passed by the Charlotte City Council, but it has other provisions that hinder the ability of municipalities to prevent discrimination.

David Bolton

There is a kind of musician who stays true to his or her passion, no matter the cost.

They may have to hustle at side jobs to make ends meet, but they will do whatever it takes to make it to their gigs at local bars. While that narrative is somewhat romanticized, it holds true for many professional musicians.

Diana Matthews / Algonquin Books

Lee Smith started writing stories when she was nine years old and sold them for a nickel a piece.

Many of them were inspired by the gossip, true stories and daily grind she observed at her father's dime store, deep in the coal mining mountains of Virginia.

That is where she developed her extraordinary ability to tell a story, listening to the joy and conflict of the lives that defined Appalachia.

Image of Ken Rudin, the Political Junkie
kenrudinpolitics.com

The backlash against North Carolina's House Bill 2 continues.

Protesters in Chapel Hill shut down Franklin St. this week in opposition of the law that leaves LGBT people out of the state's non-discrimination policy.

Gov. Pat McCrory has taken the lead in defending the law, claiming it protects public safety.

Meanwhile, the chair of the North Carolina Republican Party, Hasan Harnett, says the rift between himself and the state party's leadership could cause chaos in the GOP primary. 

Lust And Wonder

Apr 1, 2016
Augusten Burroughs

Author Augusten Burroughs has a habit of making the private public. His memoir “Running with Scissors” (Picador/2003) traces his chaotic childhood with a mother with mental illness, and his eventual guardianship by her psychiatrist. His best-selling book “Dry” (Picador/2013) chronicled the painful outcomes of his drinking and drug use, and detailed his tumultuous journey to sobriety. Burroughs' newest book tackles an even more intimate topic: love. “Lust and Wonder” (St.

Image of Second Line Stompers
Gregg Gelb

While many types of jazz include some kind of improvisation, New Orleans-style jazz involves multiple performers improvising at the same time. It takes talent, trust, and rhythm--three things employed by the Second Line Stompers, a Triangle-based jazz group. The group performs jazz standards from the 1920s-1940s, including many made famous by Louis Armstrong. They perform at the Irregardless Café in Raleigh tomorrow and the Glenwood Club in Raleigh on Sunday.

Flag of the United States of America, backlit, windy day.
Jnn13 / Wikipedia

The divide between America's top earners and the rest of the population is wide and getting wider. 

Many experts point to the way in which the so-called "one percent" have used their economic power to tighten their grip on privilege as one reason for the widening gap.

Two of the key players are David and Charles Koch, who in 1980 started to spend millions to elect conservative libertarians to all levels of American government. 

Image of Malika Ndlovu
Malika Ndlovu

What is home? For many in Africa and its diaspora, the meaning of the word "home" has been altered, deconstructed and recreated by external forces like war, colonialism, and globalization. Narratives of home and decisions around the home have also been historically framed from the male point of view, while women bear the brunt of these decisions.

Pages