Episode for December 3, 2021
Jared Yates Sexton then Christian Finnegan and Ophira Eisenberg Episode 490
Jared Yates Sexton is the author of The Man They Wanted Me to Be and The People Are Going to Rise Like the Waters Upon Your Shore. His political writing has appeared in publications including The New York Times, The New Republic, Politico, and Salon.com. Sexton is also the author of three collections of fiction and is an associate professor of creative writing at Georgia Southern University.
From writer and political analyst Jared Yates Sexton comes a journey through the history of the United States, from the nation‘s founding to the twenty–first century, which examines and debunks the American myths we‘ve always told ourselves. In recent years, Americans have faced a deluge of horrifying developments in politics and culture: stolen elections, fascist rallies, families torn apart and locked away. A common refrain erupts at each new atrocity: This isn‘t who we are. In American Rule, Jared Yates Sexton upends those convenient fictions by laying bare the foundational myths at the heart of our collective American imagination. From the very origins of this nation, Americans in power have abused and subjugated others; enabling that corruption are the many myths of American exceptionalism and steadfast values, which are fed to the public and repeated across generations. Working through each era of American growth and change, Sexton weaves together the origins and perpetuation of these narratives still in the public memory, and the acts we have chosen to forget. Stirring, deeply researched, and disturbingly familiar, American Rule is a call to examine our own misconceptions of what it means, and has always meant, to be an American.
Ophira Eisenberg is a Canadian-born standup comedian and writer. She hosted NPR’s nationally syndicated comedy trivia show Ask Me Another (airing on 400+ stations) where she interviewed, joked, and played silly games with some of the biggest and funniest folks in the world.
Lauded as “hilarious, high risk, and an inspiration,” Ophira filmed her comedy special Inside Joke, when she was 8½ months pregnant. The show’s material revolves around how she told everyone that she was never going to have kids, and then unexpectedly found herself expecting at “an advanced maternal age.” Inside Joke can be found on Amazon and iTunes, along with her two other comedy albums, Bangs!and As Is.
She has appeared on Comedy Central, This Week at The Comedy Cellar, Kevin Hart’s LOL Network, HBO’s Girls, Gotham Live, The Late Late Show, The Today Show, and VH-1. The New York Times called her a skilled comedian and storyteller with “bleakly stylish” humor. She was also selected as one of New York Magazine‘s “Top 10 Comics that Funny People Find Funny,” and hailed by Forbes.com as one of the most engaging comics working today.
Ophira is a regular host and teller with The Moth and her stories have been featured on The Moth Radio Hour and in two of The Moth’s best-selling books, including the most recent New York Times Bestseller Occasional Magic: True Stories About Defying the Impossible.
Ophira’s first book, Screw Everyone: Sleeping My Way to Monogamyi s a comedic memoir about her experiments in the field as a single woman, traveling from futon to futon and flask-to-flask, gathering data, hoping to put it all together and build her own perfect mate.
She is also sought after as a brilliant interviewer and moderator, and has interviewed dozens of celebrities, writers, and actors.
Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Ophira graduated with a Cultural Anthropology and Theater degree from McGill University. She now lives in Brooklyn, NY where she is a fixture at New York City’s comedy clubs
Finnegan is perhaps best known as one of the original panelists on VH1‘s Best Week Ever and as Chad, the only white roommate in the “Mad Real World” sketch on Comedy Central‘s Chappelle’s Show. Additional television appearances as himself or performing stand up have included “Conan”, “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson”, “Would You Rather…with Graham Norton”, “Good Afternoon America” and multiple times on The Today Show and Countdown with Keith Olbermann, and on History‘s I Love the 1880s. He hosted TV Land’s game show “Game Time”. As an actor, Finnegan portrayed the supporting role of “Carl” in the film Eden Court, a ticket agent in “Knight and Day” and several guest roles including a talk show host on “The Good Wife“. In October 2006, Finnegan’s debut stand up comedy CD titled Two For Flinching was released by Comedy Central Records, with a follow-up national tour of college campuses from January to April 2007. “Au Contraire!” was released by Warner Bros. Records in 2009. His third special “The Fun Part” was filmed at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston on April 4, 2013 and debuted on Netflix on April 15, 2014.
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