WBEZ | Dan Granata http://www.wbez.org/tags/dan-granata Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en The Landlord's Game http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-07/landlords-game-100612 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/monopoly%20flickr.Dave%20Rutt.jpg" style="height: 200px; width: 300px; float: right; " title="(Flickr/Dave Rutt)" />George Parker might have called this game &quot;a real downer,&quot; but as actor and writer Dan Granata explained at<a href="http://www.facebook.com/events/432094046811581/"> a special All-American edition of <em>The Paper Machete</em></a>, this American classic that you probably fought with your grandmother over (perhaps&nbsp;<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0O6d0UpizDw">a little too violently</a>) has an interesting past. Read an excerpt below or listen above:</p><div><em>The United States is mired in a recession. Decades of explosive growth have created unheard of wealth - and massive income inequality, exacerbated by a sudden collapse of the financial system. Tension between the haves and have-nots is nearly at a breaking point - people are taking to the streets to demand change.</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>This is America at the dawn of the 20th Century. The excesses of the Gilded Age, powered by the Second Industrial Revolution, had given rise to unimaginably vast personal fortunes in the hands of men like John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie and JP Morgan. While a laissez-faire government generally tolerated the price-fixing, child-labor-exploiting, strike-breaking antics of the robber barons, there was a growing clamor among political and economic activists for more regulation and a society that wasn&#39;t controlled exclusively by top-hatted, be-monocled dicks.</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>During this period, a remarkable instructional tool - what one historian calls &quot;likely the most intricate simulation...of its day&quot; started circulating among the progressively-minded. Designed by acolytes of the political economist Henry George, for more than two decades it was propagated by leftist business school professors and committed Socialists as an exhibition of the dangers of unchecked capitalism, and a door-opener for George&#39;s prescription for comprehensive tax reform. Originally called The Landlord&#39;s Game, this radical propaganda piece survives to this day - in fact, if you&#39;re like me, it&#39;s probably ruined more than one family holiday gathering under it&#39;s new name: Monopoly.</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><a href="http://thepapermacheteshow.com/" target="_blank">The Paper Machete</a>&nbsp;<em>is a weekly live magazine at the Horseshoe in North Center. It&#39;s always at 3 p.m., it&#39;s always on Saturday, and it&#39;s always free. Get all your&nbsp;</em>The Paper Machete Radio Magazine&nbsp;<em>needs filled&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/tags/paper-machete" target="_blank">here</a>, or download the podcast from iTunes&nbsp;<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-paper-machete-radio-magazine/id450280345" target="_blank">here</a></em>.</div></p> Sat, 07 Jul 2012 08:44:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-07/landlords-game-100612 Finding our place in the world, one transit of Venus at a time http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-06/finding-our-place-world-one-transit-venus-time-99858 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/transit%20of%20venus%20flickr.rwarrin.jpg" title="The 2012 transit of Venus. (Flickr/rwarrin)" /></div><p>The <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/get-filter-and-look-dot-venus-99815">Transit of Venus came and went this week</a>, not to be seen for another one hundred years or so. But most people partook in viewing parties without knowing the science or history of this planetary spectacle, save that there was a very cool thing in the sky that they should pay attention to.</p><p>But like many things that only come around once in awhile, transits of Venus are important. For one, they &quot;gave us <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallax#Solar_parallax">the solar parallax</a>, which in turn gave us the first real measurement of what lies beyond our world. The earth-sun distance &ndash; about 150 million kilometers &ndash; became the Astronomical Unit,&quot; explains actor Dan Granata. &quot;It was the first step that allowed us to find, and take, our place in the universe.&quot; Read an excerpt below or listen above:</p><p><em>My friends. We seek the solar parallax.</em></p><p><em>That just sounds awesome, doesn&#39;t it? It sounds like a thing Loki would use to subdue the Avengers. It is the perfect name for a thing that appears scribbled on parchment in long dead languages. An object of desire for centuries, which has launched obsessive quests to exotic locales, where adventurers risked life and limb in the single minded pursuit of this elusive and priceless prize. Picture fevered prophets, beautiful native girls, danger on the high seas. Can you picture it? Isn&#39;t it exciting?</em></p><p><em>Good, because to get there, we&#39;re going to have to talk about math. Just for a second. I promise.</em></p><p><em>Say you want to know how far away something is, but you can&#39;t get to it. Perhaps it is quite far away from you, or perhaps you&#39;re just very lazy. A popular method since antiquity is triangulation. To find the distance to point X, you just have to measure the angle to it from two different points (we&#39;ll call them A and B), and then measure the distance between A and B. </em><em>Now you have a triangle with A and B at the base and X at the top. A couple of quick calculations gives you the distance from the base (where you are) to X. </em></p><p><em>Now, I know Geometry hasn&#39;t been taught in U.S. schools since the Coolidge administration, but believe me when I tell you, you probably understand this better than you know. Your brain is doing it right now, taking the information from each of your eyes and using it to tell you how far away I am. Or, if you&#39;re drunk, it&#39;s trying to figure out why I am so wavy. (And if you are drunk at 4 p.m., nice work!)</em></p><p><a href="http://thepapermacheteshow.com/" target="_blank">The Paper Machete</a>&nbsp;<em>is a weekly live magazine at the Horseshoe in North Center. It&#39;s always at 3 p.m., it&#39;s always on Saturday, and it&#39;s always free. Get all your</em>&nbsp;The Paper Machete Radio Magazine<em>&nbsp;needs filled&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/tags/paper-machete" target="_blank">here</a>, or download the podcast from iTunes&nbsp;<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-paper-machete-radio-magazine/id450280345" target="_blank">here</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 07 Jun 2012 08:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-06/finding-our-place-world-one-transit-venus-time-99858 The Paper Machete Radio Magazine 8/9/11: Biracial Spider-Man, Tina Brown, and an Alternative to Lollapalooza http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-08-10/paper-machete-radio-magazine-8911-biracial-spider-man-tina-brown-and <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-August/2011-08-10/289599_2260481800786_1510677894_32548583_1847105_o.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-August/2011-08-10/289599_2260481800786_1510677894_32548583_1847105_o.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 375px; " title="(Photo by JD Schramm)"></p><p>Learn why Christopher opens the show every week with Anita O'Day singing "And Her Tears Flowed Like Wine." In more topical news,&nbsp;Jack Tamburri explains exactly how Spider-Man became biracial. From the archives, Will Nedved takes a bite at Tina Brown's role as Newsweek's Editor-in-Chief, which is especially interesting, given the recent Michele Bachmann cover drama. And Kristen Studard becomes Harlem Michigan, a lesbian indie rocker hosting "a much better alternative to Lollapalooza." Finally, we've got several amazing Neil Young covers by Bethany Thomas, of Court Theatre's 'Porgy &amp; Bess.' As usual, if you can hear us, this magazine is LIVE.&nbsp;Download it&nbsp;<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=450280345" style="color: rgb(0, 104, 150); " target="_blank">here</a>, or listen below.</p><p><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332483593-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/2011-08-06-papermachete-radio-mag.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p><p>Coming up next week, Christopher will be on a much-needed out-of-town cruise (I made that up, he has wisely not disclosed his location to me). Anderson Lawfer will be guest-hosting, but he's had plenty of practice hosting <a href="https://www.facebook.com/andstuffproductions">The Game Show Show</a>&nbsp;so fear not. On the docket we have actor<a href="http://blog.dangranata.com/"> Dan Granata</a>, Dyan Flores of <a href="http://impresstheseapes.com/">Impress These Apes</a>, <a href="http://chlochlofosho.blogspot.com/">Chloe Ditzel</a> of Playground Theatre, <a href="http://www.strawdog.org/index.php?section=company&amp;person=seanmallary">Sean Mallary</a> from Strawdog Theater, and Walker Parrish, who is so fresh I don't have anything to tell you about him, except this might be <a href="http://remixedreviews.wordpress.com/">his blog</a>? Walker, if you're out there and you want a better link, hit me up.</p></p> Wed, 10 Aug 2011 15:10:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-08-10/paper-machete-radio-magazine-8911-biracial-spider-man-tina-brown-and