Thursday, May 10, 2012

  • Playwright Tony Kushner Hails Obama’s Support for Same-Sex Marriage: "I Felt the Earth Move"

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    In an historic announcement, President Obama has become the first U.S. president to support same-sex marriage. We get reaction from acclaimed playwright and activist Tony Kushner. In 2003, he and his partner became the first same-sex couple to appear in the Vows section of the New York Times. "I felt the earth move," Kushner says. "It’s one of those moments where you feel a corner being rounded and the actual change, or the groundwork for change, being prepared. It’s been astonishing to watch over the years the slow but steady progress of marriage rights and, in general, of the enfranchisement of the LGBT community. It’s at a pace that’s faster than I honestly anticipated it would be. And it’s incredibly moving." [includes rush transcript]

  • Maurice Sendak (1928-2012): Tony Kushner on the Life and Legacy of Legendary Children’s Author

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    Playwright Tony Kushner reflects on the life of his friend Maurice Sendak, the writer and illustrator best known for his children’s book, "Where the Wild Things Are." Sendak died on Tuesday at the age of 83. "Maurice had that ability to speak universally, which I think was evidence of the fact that he really was a genius," Kushner says. Kushner adds that he regrets Sendak, who was gay, did not live to hear President Obama embrace same-sex marriage. "He believed in decency and in fair play and in integrity, which is why I think he really liked our current president and would have been very moved to see change happening." [includes rush transcript]

  • Tony Kushner on the Overlooked "Radicalism" and Lessons of Abraham Lincoln’s Presidency

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    For his latest project, Tony Kushner is writing the screenplay for an upcoming Steven Spielberg movie about Abraham Lincoln. Kushner says an understanding of Lincoln’s presidency carries valuable lessons for political life today. "I think that [Lincoln’s] incredible ability to finesse very, very treacherous political circumstances and continue to move the country forward, I mean, to lead the country forward in the midst of the most horrendously difficult period in its history, I think, is breathtaking and awe-inspiring." [includes rush transcript]

  • Mexican Poet Javier Sicilia Leads U.S. Peace Caravan to Expose Drug War’s Human Toll

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    One of Mexico’s best-known poets, Javier Sicilia, laid down his pen last year after his 24-year-old son was murdered by drug traffickers in Cuernavaca, Mexico. In his son’s memory, Sicilia created the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity to urge an end to the drug violence — violence that has left an estimated 60,000 dead, 10,000 disappeared, and more than 160,000 Mexicans displaced from their homes over the past six years. Sicilia is now in the United States to launch a month-long peace caravan to "bring to the American people’s conscience their shared responsibility for the thousands of dead, missing and displaced in the drug war." [includes rush transcript]

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