Culturetopia

Culturetopia: Paradox Edition

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This week's podcast of NPR's best arts and cultural stories is named for Lynn Neary's piece marking the 50th anniversary of Joseph Heller's novel Catch 22. The story of "an everyman soldier trying as hard as he can to get out of the war" but who gets caught in the eponymous catch resonates more terribly today than it has in many years.

And we've got a piece about how mainstream coverage of hugely popular electronic music festivals tend to sensationalize such risks as drugs and injuries. Reporter Sami Yenigun says romanticizing and demonizing enormous music festivals have basically been the norm since Woodstock.

The new comedy The Big Year hasn't exactly taken wing at the box office, but the story of hardcore birdwatchers played by Steve Martin, Owen Wilson and Jack Black, is based on the real experience of three people, one of who talks about his experience here.

And film critic Bob Mondello wonders whether Hollywood might be out of ideas in a year where more than a dozen remakes have hit the big screen —and that's not even counting sequels. And he postulates that perhaps...that's not a bad thing.

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