Acquired Why We're Polarized by Ezra Klein (Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster)

America’s political system isn’t broken. The truth is scarier: it’s working exactly as designed. In this book, journalist Ezra Klein reveals how that system is polarizing us—and how we are polarizing it—with disastrous results.

“The American political system—which includes everyone from voters to journalists to the president—is full of rational actors making rational decisions given the incentives they face,” writes political analyst Ezra Klein. “We are a collection of functional parts whose efforts combine into a dysfunctional whole.”

In Why We’re Polarized, Klein reveals the structural and psychological forces behind America’s descent into division and dysfunction. Neither a polemic nor a lament, this book offers a clear framework for understanding everything from Trump’s rise to the Democratic Party’s leftward shift to the politicization of everyday culture.

America is polarized, first and foremost, by identity. Everyone engaged in American politics is engaged, at some level, in identity politics. Over the past fifty years in America, our partisan identities have merged with our racial, religious, geographic, ideological, and cultural identities. These merged identities have attained a weight that is breaking much in our politics and tearing at the bonds that hold this country together.

Klein shows how and why American politics polarized around identity in the twentieth century, and what that polarization did to the way we see the world and one another. And he traces the feedback loops between polarized political identities and polarized political institutions that are driving our system toward crisis.

This is a revelatory book that will change how you look at politics, and perhaps at yourself.

Ezra Klein Why the media is so polarized — and how it polarizes us (Vox) () (#)
Watched Don McNeill's Breakfast Club (Part 4) from YouTube
After watching most of an entire show on YouTube a few observations as relates to the broader picture of these sorts of shows.

Though I’m sure it originated more in vaudeville and even earlier forms, there’s a solid example of a sidekick/foil/straightman operating here, though the he operates almost more in the visual than he would have in the radio version which loses much in the translation without vision.

There is an early example of a request for monetary support for a respirator which is an analogue of modern day Patreon/Kickstarter sort of fundraising within a community to help a community member.

This is obviously a direct precursor to more modern morning shows both on the radio and on television including Good Morning America, the Today Show, Regis and Kathy Lee, etc.

There are examples of having callers put on the show, but in this version they didn’t use the telephone, but instead did it via mail.

There were lots of live musicians, an art form we don’t see in public as much, though the highest end talk shows still have them. I was intrigued that they were all wearing sunglasses so early in the morning, and perhaps the studio lights were on the bright side, but they may have also been up all night playing other gigs before showing up in the morning. Another woman mentioned this herself on the show which I found warming to have had my own thoughts pre-echoed.

There was an interesting cultural discussion about diet thrown in with an audience member. Not surprisingly it was aimed at a female guest who was asked about her regimen. Certainly an early example of social pressure put on women, especially as I recall that she appeared to be in better shape than her husband.

There was at least some effort at making audience participation here. Not as sophisticated as some that would be seen later on shows like Leno who took it to a higher art form. McNeill did bring up some visiting Brownies, but the segment was so pedestrian compared to those seen today.

I was a bit shocked that he took some time out to do a prayer live on the otherwise secular show. Definitely shows a precursor to the 700 Club and other religious-themed talk shows.

He ended the show with the sign-off, “So long and be good to yourself.”

Following Johns Hopkins’ High School Film Contest & Festival

Followed Johns Hopkins’ High School Film Contest & Festival (https://krieger.jhu.edu/film-media/)
Johns Hopkins University's High School Film Contest and Festival is designed to showcase and reward the most exciting and remarkable work by high school filmmakers from around the USA and around the world. Only high school students under the age of 18 may submit work to this contest and festival. We are committed to finding the filmmakers of tomorrow, today, bringing them to Baltimore, and showcasing their work at the historic Parkway Theatre. We offer prizes for Grand Prize, Best Documentary Short, Best Narrative Short, Best Comedic Short, Best Dramatic Short, and Best Experimental Short. We also offer a Best Maryland-Made Short prize, a prize for Best Short With a Budget under $250, and a cash Audience Choice Prize. We also offer free workshops with industry professionals during the festival. Submit today!

JHU Arts Entertainment Media Entrepreneurship (AEME) Group Event

Over the past several months, I’ve been helping to set up an affinity group for the Johns Hopkins Alumni Association to bring together alumni who work in areas related to the entertainment industry.

For the past several weeks, we’ve been making plans for our first official event to be held in conjunction with a week long Intersession course being offered by the Film and Media Studies Program at Hopkins.  We’re happy to announce the details for this event on January 7th and hope everyone can join us. There will be a panel discussion as well as ample time to chat with a variety of fellow alumni, current students, and faculty.

Are you a member of the Arts, Entertainment, Media, or Entrepreneurship communities in Los Angeles?

Join us as we welcome Linda DeLibero, Director of the Hopkins Film and Media Studies Program,​ and current Film majors from the Film and Media Studies Intersession Course for a diverse and dynamic panel discussion featuring creative and successful Hopkins alumni working in the industry. Learn relevant information, make connections with fellow LA area alumni and talk with the current students.

Hosted by:
Donald Kurz ’77, Johns Hopkins University Trustee and School of Arts and Sciences Advisory Board Member, and
the Arts Entertainment Media Entrepreneurship Affinity: LA Group

January 7, 2016
6:30 pm
at Omelet, LLC, 3540 Hayden Avenue, Culver City, CA 90232
No Charge for alumni and guests

RSVP now for this event.

 

For more information:
Johns Hopkins University Alumni Association AEME LA Reception
Office of Alumni Relations
800-JHU-JHU1 (548-5481)
alumevents@jhu.edu

 

As part of the reception, we’ll have a panel discussion with a variety of local alumni who work in the entertainment and media sectors.

Panelists

Jason P. Somerville, ’97
Founder and Managing Partner, EIG
Mark Swift, ’93
Screenwriter
Dalia Ganz, ’05
Director, Digital & Partnership Marketing at ABC Family
Mitch Tenzer, ’75
Partner, Ziffren Brittenham, LLP
Sunny Boling, ’99
Casting Director

 

A number of students from Hopkins will be in attendance at the event as part of an Intersession course being offered by the department. The listing for the course follows:

The Entertainment Industry in Contemporary Hollywood

This week-long course in Los Angeles gives students inside access to the entertainment industry through daily meetings and workshops with key figures in film, television, new media, and music, many of them JHU alums: directors, producers, screenwriters, studio executives, agents, exhibitors and more. We will visit studios, major agencies and production companies, and will end the week with a JHU networking event and panel discussion with alumni who work in film and television.The course runs from January 4 -8. Open to all Film and Media Studies majors and minors, with preference given to seniors. Students outside FMS may apply if slots remain open after all FMS students have registered.

Course Number: AS.061.377.60
Credits: 1
Distribution: H
Days:  Monday 1/4/2016 – Friday 1/8/2016
Times:  M – 9:00-4:00PM | Tu- 9:00-4:00PM | W- 9:00-4:00PM | Th- 9:00-4:00PM | F- 9:00-4:00PM
Instructor: Linda DeLibero

 

Update

The event was a wonderful success.  I wanted to share a few of the photos I took during the panel discussion:

20160107_202153_002
Students, alumni, and faculty look on at the Johns Hopkins Arts, Entertainment, Media, and Entrepreneurship Panel Discussion

 

20160107_193110
Johns Hopkins Arts, Entertainment, Media, and Entrepreneurship Panel Discussion featuring Dalia Ganz, Mark Swift, Jason Sommerville, and Sunny Boling.

 

Omelet group photo
Here’s just a few of the many alumni who came out to the LA meetup at Omelet! It was a pleasure to see so many graduates interested in helping the current students and young alumni break into the film industry. — with Amelia Voos, Lydia Youngman, Dael Norwitz, Cole Spivak, Juliana Veracka, Taylor Veracka, Errol Koenig, Elena Thompson, Chris Aldrich, Howie Mandel, Evelyn Jerome Alexander, Josh Siegel, Don Kurz, Grant Lease, Linda DeLibero, Kathryn Alsman, Mark Swift, Brian J. McConnell, Will Mason, Josh Raphaelson, Caitlin Duffy and Jess Ambrosetti at Omelet.