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On this week’s episode, the critics discuss The Normal Heart, an HBO film adaptation of Larry Kramer’s 1985 play about the AIDS epidemic in New York and how the gay community mobilized a response. Next, inspired by the spate of student protests of graduation speakers at elite colleges, the gabbers discuss commencement addresses, a literary form destined to make even the best writers banal. And finally, the critics tour the 9/11 Memorial Museum, which opened on May 21 in lower Manhattan. Is it too soon to create a history museum of this tragedy?
Links to some of the things we discussed this week follow:
- Willa Paskin’s review of The Normal Heart on Slate
- June Thomas and J. Bryan Lowder discuss the importance of The Normal Heart for a 21st-century gay audience on Slate
- The Normal Heart on HBO
- Larry Kramer’s 1985 play, on which the HBO adaptation was based
- The 2011 documentary We Were Here
- The 2012 documentary How to Survive a Plague
- Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize–winning play Angels in America
- The 2003 HBO miniseries based on Kushner’s play
- Nip/Tuck created by Ryan Murphy
- American Horror Story co-created Ryan Murphy
- And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic by Randy Shilts
- Free for All: Joe Papp, The Public, and the Great Theater Story Ever Told by Kenneth Turan and Joe Papp
- Frank Rich’s 1985 New York Times review of The Normal Heart at the Public Theater
- Mike Pesca talks to Cathy O’Neil about IMF head Christine Lagarde’s disinvitation from Smith’s commencement on Slate’s The Gist
- Slate’s David Plotz and Hanna Rosin deliver the 2014 Ripon College commencement address
- Congratulations, by the way: Some Thoughts on Kindness, George Saunders’ 2013 speech to the graduates of Syracuse University
- This is Water, David Foster Wallace’s speech to the 2005 graduates of Kenyon College
- Sheryl Sandberg’s 2011 commencement address at Barnard College
- The 9/11 Memorial Museum, which opened on May 21 in Lower Manhattan
- Holland Carter’s New York Times review of the museum
- Steve Kandell, whose sister died in the attacks, writes on BuzzFeed about his experience of the museum
- United 93, directed by Paul Greengrass
Dana: Penciltopia, a group that teaches kids to create stop-motion animation and Claymation.
Julia: Wild, Cheryl Strayed’s memoir of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.
Outro: Pomp and Circumstance March
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This podcast was produced by Chris Wade. Our intern is Anna Shechtman.