18-13 Segment 1: A Spy in the Civil Rights Movement

 

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The Civil Rights Movement was a momentous period in the history of the United States. Iconic photos of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Emmett Till Trial, and many other important events that occurred during the movement cover pages of history textbooks and articles honoring their work in changing the country.

But, who took these famous photos? The photographer was a man named Ernest Withers who learned how to take photos during his time serving the army in World War II. While many of Withers’ photos are widely circulated and well known for their effectiveness in rallying people to join the Civil Rights Movement, there is an aspect of his life that has been less popularized over the years. Marc Perrusquia, author of A Spy in Canaan: How the FBI Used a Famous Photographer to Infiltrate the Civil Rights Movement, explains that Withers was recruited during this time to be a spy for the FBI. Perrusquia states that he was an appealing recruit for the FBI due to his outgoing personality, photography skills, involvement in the community, and time spent in the military and the police force. Despite working in favor of the Civil Rights Movement, Withers helped the FBI to identify and keep track of a number of individuals that they believed were being influenced by Communist beliefs, some of which were very involved with the movement. While his work for President Hoover and the FBI who thought that the leaders of the Civil Rights Movements were dangerous can be seen as controversial in accordance with his other work, Perrusquia explains that he does not believe that Withers’ work for the Civil Rights Movement should be viewed as any less important.

In order to learn more about the history of the Civil Rights Movement and Ernest Withers involvement, listen to author Marc Perrusquia as he joins us on this week’s show. For more information, purchase a copy of his book A Spy in Canaan: How the FBI Used a Famous Photographer to Infiltrate the Civil Rights Movement.

Guest:

  • Marc Perrusquia, author of A Spy in Canaan: How the FBI Used a Famous Photographer to Infiltrate the Civil Rights Movement

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18-13 Segment 2: Practicing Kindness

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Everyday, the news seems to present us with more and more bad news which can be discouraging, and often affect our outlook on the world. But, these daily occurrences do not have to influence us as much as they do. Tara Cousineau, clinical psychologist and author of The Kindness Cure: How the Science of Compassion Can Heal Your Heart and Your World, explains that if people can learn to counteract the predisposed negativity around them by being more thoughtful and less judgmental, they may experience more kindness in their lives. Yet, many people have a difficult time doing this because it is often difficult to unlearn behaviors.

However, there is hope for people who are willing to practice being more kind. Cousineau explains a tool she calls “kindfulness,” which people can use to fight back against the abundance of negativity in the world. Kindfulness involves an individual learning how to accept the world around them, practice controlling their stress response, and pausing life. She also explains the importance of being kind toward oneself because that can influence a person to have more positive interactions with others. Many of Cousineau’s techniques focus on being more attentive to the positive events rather than the negative ones.

In order to learn more about bringing kindness to the world, listen to Cousineau on this week’s episode and check out her book, The Kindness Cure: How the Science of Compassion Can Heal Your Heart and Your World.

Guest:

  • Tara Cousineau, clinical psychologist and author of The Kindness Cure: How the Science of Compassion Can Heal Your Heart and Your World

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Culture Crash 18-13: Spoilers in Trailers

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Movies trailers are celebrated in the internet age with a passion. Studios hype up the release of new trailers days in advance and many fans post videos reacting to the trailers instantly after they’re released.

But other fans are hesitant to even watch the trailers in the first place, because they’re so afraid of catching spoilers.

It’s not a new problem, back in 1994, the movie Speed had a trailer that totally gave away the ending and, yes, people complained.

But the problem has matured in the current era of YouTube and internet message boards. Trailers are dissected and anaylzed to such a degree that people can pick up on even the smallest details.

What does that mean? It means weeks before The Avengers: Infinity War is even released, fans are predicting which characters die by comparing the cinematography to certain comics where characters died on the page. It means fans complaining back in 2016 that the Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer spoiled the main villian and the would-be surprising reveal of Wonder Woman.

While some fans love predicting the movie’s beats, other fans can’t stand it.

Some trailers have tried to subvert this effect. Last year’s It Comes At Night trailer intentionally misled fans into thinking it was an entirely different kind of movie which, again, came to mixed results. Some people loved the misdirection while others called it false advertising and lamented buying their ticket in the first place.

Movie trailers are obviously not going anywhere anytime soon. The bigger tentpole movies mean even more dollars on the line and bigger incentive for movie studios to hype up their movies.

But fans complaining about trailer spoilers isn’t going anywhere, either and it’s a tough balance to strike.

I’ve tried to mitigate the trailer-spoiler problem by avoiding trailers for the movies I can’t wait to see. But inevitably, the hype machine gets to me and I can’t help myself. In that case, I have no one but myself to blame. Such is life as a movie fan in the age of the internet.

I’m Evan Rook.