Berkowitz, Eric — Sex and Punishment Part One

“Sex and Punishment: Four Thousand Years of Judging Desire” is a story of the struggle to regulate the most powerful engine of human behavior. This engine that drives the human species is substantially different in us than in other mammals. In our million years of evolution, physically and socially we have developed the ability to communicate ideas and the expected, if not “required” behaviors of women and men and children regarding sexual thought, expression and procreation. The history of these ever changing definitions and controls of this fundamental aspect of our lives are visited in this two part series of conversations with Eric Berkowitz, recorded in the Radio Curious studios on December 29, 2012.

Part One discusses the effect the topic of sex has on other people; the development of laws dealing with adultery and women as property; enjoyment of sex; and the way humans dress compared to other animals.

Part Two discusses the issues of young women having sexual relationships with considerably older men; the intention and effect of religion in relationship to sex; prostitution; and same sex intimacy.

The books Eric Berkowitz recommends are “Nemisis,” by Philip Roth, and “Love and Exile: An Autobiographical Trilogy,” by Issac Bashevis Singer.

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Rabbi Levy, Naomi – Healing Through Prayer

What is prayer, how is it done, and what good does it do?  The ability to mourn and grieve is one of the many things that distinguish humans from other animals, as is the ability to pray, or consciously not pray.  When life is good, people often pray less than when times are tough and tough times occasionally visit all of us, with or without prayer.  Our guest is Rabbi Naomi Levy is the author of “To Begin Again, the Journey Toward Comfort Strength and Faith in Difficult Times.”

Rabbi Naomi Levy recommends “The God of Small Things,” by Arandati Roy.

This program was originally broadcast in 1999.

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The Art of Political Song: Part One with David Rovics

Songs of a political nature are not surprising given the similarities and parallel community structures of politics and religions with each community promoting the behaviors and concepts it supports as being the most appropriate.  The art of Political Song which has been crafted and heard world wide since time immemorial is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious.

In this program we visit with singer–songwriter David Rovics, a veritable troubadour and folk musician of our time.  He visited the studios of Radio Curious on December 9, 2012, and began our conversation when he described his work, his songs, and how he creates them.

The following is his biography taken from his website ”David Rovics grew up in a family of classical musicians in Wilton, Connecticut, and became a fan of populist regimes early on. By the early 90’s he was a full-time busker in the Boston subways and by the mid-90’s he was traveling the world as a professional flat-picking rabble-rouser. These days David lives in Portland, Oregon and tours regularly on four continents, playing for audiences large and small at cafes, pubs, universities, churches, union halls and protest rallies. He has shared the stage with a veritable who’s who of the left in two dozen countries, and has had his music featured on Democracy Now!, BBC, Al-Jazeera and other networks. His essays are published regularly on CounterPunch and elsewhere, and the 200+ songs he makes available for free on the web have been downloaded more than a million times. Most importantly, he’s really good. He will make you laugh, he will make you cry, he will make the revolution irresistible.”

Based in Portland, Oregon, David Rovics spends most of his time on tour.  The book he recommends is “Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves,” by Naomi Aldort.

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Smith, Janna Malamud — Why Mothers Worry About Their Children

Is the concept of  “mother blame” a method to control women?  Is motherhood really a fearsome job?  Will a mother’s mistake or inattention damage a child?  Radio Curious discusses these questions and more with Janna Malamud Smith, clinical psychotherapist and author of “A Potent Spell:  Mother Love and the Power of Fear.”

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Schaeffer, Jessica — The Harp: The Second Oldest Human Musical Instrument

The harp, in its early form, is second only to the flute as the oldest known human musical instrument.  The Radio Curious theme music this week is played by professional harpist and harp teacher Jessica Schaeffer, our guest in this edition of Radio Curious.  Intrigued by the harp when she saw it at a piano lesson when she was four years old, she began her formal training to play the harp when she was ten.  Jessica Schaeffer holds a bachelor’s degree in the study of the harp and a Master’s Degree in music; she plays in symphony orchestras and teaches the instrument she loves.  We visited in the studios of Radio Curious where she brought her harp, played for us and told stories, on December 3, 2012.

Jessica Schaeffer’s website is  The book she recommends is “The Power of Now,” by Eckhart Tolle.

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Krassner, Paul — Confessions of a Raving Unconfined Nut

Blessed with a sense of absurdity, journalist and satirist Paul Krassner was characterized by the FBI as “a raving, unconfined nut.” He liked that and incorporated those words into the title of his revised auto-biography, “Confessions of a Raving, Unconfined Nut:  Misadventures in the Counterculture.” Krassner wrote a lot about his personal philosophy, so when we spoke by phone on November 24, 2012, from his home near Palm Springs, California, we began when I asked him to tell us about his philosophy, what it is, and how it came to be.

The book Paul Krassner recommends is “Johnny Got His Gun” by Dalton Trumbo.

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Kleinedler, Steven — A Word For Everything

What does that word mean?  Why don’t you hear it on this radio station?  Can you use it in Scrabble?  Do you want some answers?   If so, don’t touch your radio dial even if your radio doesn’t have one.

Our guest in this edition of Radio Curious is the Steven R, Kleinedler, the Supervising Editor of the 5th Edition of the American Heritage English Language Dictionary.

Curious as I sometimes am, I wanted to know where all the words came from in the 2,084 pages of the American Heritage Dictionary.   So, when Steven Kleinedler and I visited by phone from his home near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on November 16, 2012, we began when I asked to explain the origin of word lists that we now call dictionaries.

The book that Steve Kleinedler recommends is “Cryptonomicon,”  by Neil Stevenson.

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Miller, Geoffrey — Sex, Evolution and Consumer Behaviour

Consumer behavior is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious in a conversation with Geoffrey Miller, professor of evolutionary psychology at the University of New Mexico, and the author of “Spent: Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behavior”.

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McCabe, Martha — Culture & Racism

Life, culture and racism is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious, in conversation with attorney/novelist Martha McCabe, author of “Praise at Midnight.”

Martha McCabe worked as a civil rights and criminal trial lawyer in deep east Texas from 1974 to 1985.  Her goal was to pour the raw material from her personal experiences as a lawyer into her story.  It took Martha McCabe ten years to complete “Praise at Midnight,” her first novel.  The deeper level into which she fell during that ten year period was recognizing the importance of consciousness and self awareness in avoiding the projection of one’s own dark side onto other people and then killing them, not only on a local level, but an international level as well.

Martha McCabe and I have been associates, good friends and colleagues since 1969 when we met at the University of Santa Clara where I was a law student.

When I spoke with Martha McCabe from her home in San Antonio, Texas on July 29, 2006, we began with her description of the culture of deep east Texas when she lived there from 1974 to 1985.

The books she recommends are “Reading Lolita in Teheran” by Azar Nafisi and “Caballero: A Historical Novel” by Jovita Gonzalez and Eve Raleigh.

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Kitchell, Mark — The Road to Ruin Is Paved — A Fierce Green Fire

The movie “A Fierce Green Fire: The Battle For a Living Planet”, produced and directed by our guest, Mark Kitchell tells the story of environmental activism – people trying to save the planet, their homes, the future.  In a chronicle of five decades of grassroots and global environmental movements, Kitchell explores how we arrived at the present world-wide crisis.  While exploring broader ideas and deeper meanings, A Fierce Green Fire brings together eras in the past 50 years from conservation to climate change.

The Mendocino Film Festival presents the world premier of A Fierce Green Fire: The Battle For a Living Planet, November 9, 10, and 11, in Ft. Bragg, Mendocino and Pt. Arena.  You may learn more at and

Mark Kitchell and I visited by phone from his office in San Francisco, California, on October 26, 2012.

The film Mark Kitchell recommends is “Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time.”  The book he recommends is “The Shock Doctrine:  The Rise of Disaster Capitalism,” by Naomi Klein.

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