CELESTE HEADLEE: This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee, Michel Martin is away. Coming up, having honest conversations about race can require a lot of patience, but the writer behind the "Yo, Is This Racist?" blog says there's value in getting angry and even profane in those debates.
Asian-Americans and Latinos trace their roots half a world away from each other — literally. But their cultures, and especially the foods they love, have more in common than you might think. These days, they're colliding in new and interesting ways – from Korean barbecue taco trucks to finer dining.
I hear variations on this theme all the time from readers. Titrating fact and fantasy can give a story a mysterious energy. Writers fetch up those details that sate the senses, allowing us to touch and taste, hear and feel how things were once upon a time. A woman steps out in Gilded Age New York City. Would she wear muslin or silk, petticoats or a hoop of whale baleen? Short kid gloves or long satin ones? How deep is her decolletage? All the particulars, please!
If you asked me to name my favorite movie scene, I'd choose the one in Citizen Kane when newspaper owner Charles Foster Kane steals his rivals' best reporters, then throws a party in his own honor. As musicians literally sing his praises, we watch Kane dance with chorus girls wearing a look of radiant delight. It's a moment bursting with promise and cockiness and joie de vivre, made all the more exuberant because Kane's pleasure is so obviously shared by Welles himself.
In the introduction to his book, Savage Continent, Keith Lowe writes:
Imagine a world without institutions. No governments. No school or universities. No access to any information. No banks. Money no longer has any worth. There are no shops, because no one has anything to sell. Law and order are virtually non-existent because there is no police force and no judiciary. Men with weapons roam the streets taking what they want. Women of all classes and ages prostitute themselves for food and protection.