to AMERICAN MOSAIC in VOA Special English.
Johnson. This week:
tell about the growing importance of young voters in the presidential election
next month ...
to new music from Conor Oberst ...
And answer a question about the actor,
race car driver and humanitarian Paul Newman who died two weeks ago.
experts are predicting a record number of voters in the American presidential
election next month between Senators Barack Obama and John McCain. Many believe
this increase is partly because of the number of young people who will be
voting. Both candidates have made big efforts to reach out to the more than
forty million Americans between the ages of eighteen and thirty. Barbara Klein
the past, many young Americans did not think it was important to vote in
elections. Experts say candidates and their political parties ignored young
voters. But young people are becoming more politically active.
For example, in the election of two
thousand four, twenty million young people voted. This was an increase of two
million voters from the election of two thousand.
expert Larry Sabato predicts high numbers of young voters next month.
are going to equal their percentage of the population and I think that is
remarkable. They had been well below their percentage of the population at
least since that early period when young people got the vote in the early
Across the United States, students at colleges and
universities are helping their classmates complete the documents necessary to
vote. Jessica White is a twenty-one year old student at the University of
Virginia who is helping students register to vote.
JESSICA WHITE: "I have seen
a lot of enthusiasm in a lot of the first-years coming in for orientation
sessions here at school, and they seem really excited."
Young works for the organization Rock the Vote. She says this year's election
is based on issues that are very important to young people. Miz Young says these include the economy,
the war in Iraq and health care. She says young people are unhappy with the
direction the country has been going. And she says many young people agree with
Senator Barack Obama's call for change on these issues.
study by the Harvard University Institute of Politics shows that fifty-five
percent of young voters support Senator Obama.
Thirty-two percent support Senator McCain. Mister Obama's campaign has
been built around paying attention to these young voters.
like Rock the Vote and Declare Yourself are using technology to get young
people interested in the political process and to help them register to vote.
They use Web sites like Facebook and MySpace to connect with large numbers of
young people. People from these organizations also travel to schools and
colleges to meet with young people. The
candidates also are using these Web sites to stay connected to the young voters
who may decide the election on November fourth.
week's listener question comes from Iran. Mohamed Firouzi wants to know about
the actor Paul Newman, who died last month.
Newman was one of the most famous, well respected and good- looking actors in
American movies. He often played rebellious characters who were very likeable
and real. During his more than fifty-year career he made over sixty-five
movies. Some of his most famous roles were in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof", "Cool
Hand Luke" and "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid." "The Hustler" came out in
nineteen sixty-one. Paul Newman plays the role of Fast Eddie Felson who plays
the game of pool against other players to gain money.
Eddie: "How should I play that one, Bert?
Play it safe? That's the way you always told me to play it, safe, play the
percentage. Well, here we go, fast and loose. One ball, corner pocket. Yeah,
percentage players die broke too, don't they, Bert?"
Leonard Newman was born in Cleveland, Ohio in nineteen twenty-five. During high
school and college, he enjoyed acting in plays. After serving in World War Two,
Newman continued acting in small professional theater companies. He also
studied theater at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Paul Newman acted
in television plays and on Broadway in New York City before finding work in the
movies. His first movie, "The Silver Chalice" was not successful. But Paul
Newman made up for a bad start with a series of great movies that have become
favorites around the world.
Newman met his second wife, Joanne Woodward, while he was acting in New York
City. They married in nineteen fifty-eight and appeared in several movies
together. Newman also directed several
movies starring his wife, including "Rachel, Rachel" and "The Glass Menagerie."
his career he received ten Academy Award nominations. He won for his
performance in the nineteen eighty-six movie "The Color of Money." This movie
continues the story of Fast Eddie Felson from "The Hustler."
Newman was not only a great actor. He was also a skilled racecar driver. And he
was a political activist who fought for liberal causes. But what Paul Newman would probably most
like to be remembered for was his social activism. The "Newman's Own" food
company has donated more than two hundred fifty thousand dollars in profits to
humanitarian causes. He helped create the Hole in the Wall Gang Camps in the
United States and several other countries.
This organization provides free summer camp experiences for children
with serious sicknesses like cancer.
Newman died on September twenty-sixth of cancer. He was eighty-three. He was a
star both in the movies and in real life.
learn more about Paul Newman on the Special English program People in America
Oberst has been making music since he was thirteen years old. The twenty-eight
year old musician from Omaha, Nebraska is best known for his band, Bright Eyes.
Conor Oberst released his latest album under his own name. His aim was to
create simplified songs with only a few musicians. These songs tell about love,
death and traveling. Bob Doughty has more.
was the song "Moab" from the album "Conor Oberst." It expresses the
ways in which travel can be healing. Oberst and his Mystic Valley band would
know. They recorded this album in Mexico. Oberst said he did not feel like
being in a studio while making this new album. He wanted to be somewhere warm,
beautiful and far away.
is the song " I Don't Want to Die (in the Hospital)." It may sound like a sad
song. But Oberst says it is a "jailbreak song." Oberst's seventy-five
year old friend told him that he was not afraid of dying, but did not want to
die in the restricted space of a hospital. The friend wanted to be outside
under the stars instead. He told Oberst to help him escape if he ever became
stuck in a hospital.
have praised Conor Oberst as a musician and songwriter. He is often compared to
the great musician Bob Dylan. And, Rolling Stone magazine named Oberst one of
the best songwriters of this year. This fall Oberst and his band will travel in
Australia and the United States performing their music. We leave you with the poetic song "Cape
Johnson. I hope you enjoyed our program today.
written and produced by Dana Demange. To read and listen to our programs
online, go to voaspecialenglish.com.
your questions about American life to firstname.lastname@example.org. Join
us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC, VOA's radio magazine in Special
CORRECTION: In the story about Paul Newman, the text should have read: "The 'Newman's Own' food company has donated more than two hundred fifty million dollars in profits to humanitarian causes."