On Critic Proof, Alyssa and Maureen discuss the shocking season finale of Sons of Anarchy. Alyssa praises the show’s female characters, but Maureen raises some concerns. Maureen suggests that TV shows need to maintain a certain level of credibility, citing Homeland as another example of a show that tries her patience. Alyssa bemoans how exhausting and unnecessarily complex TV dramas are becoming, which leads to a discussion of how procedurals could be reinvigorated. Finally, they explore how the British model of shorter seasons allows for more flexible storytelling.
Corey acts as host of The Glenn Show, interviewing Glenn about his writings on race and affirmative action. Going back forty years, Glenn explains the evolution of his views on the legitimacy of racial preferences. Corey asks about the objection that affirmative action stigmatizes its beneficiaries. Corey notes that there was a time “when affirmative action was white.” The two disagree about Chief Justice Roberts’s view that legally enforced segregation in the past is necessary to justify racial assignment of students to public schools in the present. Glenn stresses the importance and ineradicable nature of racial discrimination in the intimate private sphere. Glenn considers what he would say to the more conservative Glenn of the 1980s. They conclude by discussing the so-called “mismatch hypothesis.”
On The Mind Report, Tamar speaks to Andrew Solomon, author of the new book, Far from the Tree. Andrew explains how his eyes were opened to the rich linguistic culture of the deaf community. Tamar asks him if he thinks schizophrenia or anorexia should be valorized as identities. Next, Andrew tells the moving story of Clinton Brown, a dwarf who exceeded all expectations, and two stories about parents of transgender children in radically different communities. Finally, Andrew has some closing words on identity, illness, and parenting.
On Fireside Chats, Dorian and Josh talk about the recent Wal-Mart strike. Since Wal-Mart has over a million employees, why does it matter if 500 of them go on strike? Josh describes a horrible fire at a Wal-Mart supplier in Bangladesh as an example of the company’s workplace safety record. Dorian asks about the significance of the strikes to the wider retail industry, as well as the role of social media for labor organizing. Why do liberals love to beat up on Wal-Mart? And has 2012 been the year of the strike?