Edge, Jerome — Unity and Healing After a School Shooting: A Native American Perspective

The shooting and deaths at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington, on October 24, 2014, brought sadness, fear, unity and a special form of healing to the Tulalip and other Native people of the area. 

In this edition of Radio Curious we visit with Jerome Edge, a Native American of Swinomish and Upper Skagit heritage, hip-hop activist and radio host at KSVR-FM in Mt. Vernon, Washington. When Jerome Edge and I visited from his home in Mt. Vernon, Washington, we discussed the trauma and sadness caused by the shootings and the turn toward healing that then occurred.  We also discussed a developing hip-hop focus — a way to instill values of personal and community respect and strength.  The song “Rise Up,” which you will hear in the program sung by Shaundiin Zollner, is used by permission.

Jerome Edge and I began our conversation on November 16, 2014, when I asked him to put the shootings in a context of time and place.

The book Jerome Edge recommends is “The Indians of Skagit County,” by Martin J. Sampson.

Click here to listen or on the media player below.

Levene, Bruce — James Dean in Mendocino

John Steinbeck’s novel, “East of Eden” was published September 1952 and the movie-made soon thereafter-is the subject of this edition of Radio Curious. Our guest is Bruce Levene, author of “James Dean in Mendocino: The Filming of East of Eden.” The Mendocino Film Festival will screen “East of Eden” on Friday, November 21 and Sunday, November 23, 2014.

Soon after “East of Eden” was published, plans began immediately for a motion picture. Warner Brothers bought the rights and director Elia Kazan hired playwright screenwriter, Paul Osborn to write the film script. After several attempts to encompass the sprawling 560-page novel, they decided to use only the last 90 pages—the story of Adam Trask, his sons Aron and Cal, their mother Kate, and the girl Abra.

It’s a story about the search for love, the desperate search for his father’s love, by the son Cal, the fanciful search for his mother’s love by Aron, and the futile quest by Adam for the love of all humanity. John Steinbeck wrote of his book, “The subject is the only one that man has used of his theme. The existence, the balance, the battle and the victory and permanent war between wisdom and ignorance, light and darkness, good and evil.”

By 1954, when Kazan began searching for locale to use for the filming of “East of Eden,” neither Monterey nor Salinas, where the stories took place, looked much like California in 1917. Warner Brothers had made “Johnny Belinda” in Mendocino in 1947, which might have influenced the director.

Or perhaps as one wire service reported:  “Like many other voyagers, he just wandered up the Mendocino Coast and found what he was looking for.”

In late April, preparations for filming began and the fist day of shooting took place on May 27. In that amazingly brief time the Mendocino scenes were completed and by June 3, the Warner Brothers production team was gone, leaving local residents with fond remembrances.

Bruce Levene writes, “I first saw “East of Eden” on the fan tail of a US Navy destroyer in the Caribbean in 1956. I’d read the book but never traveled west of Des Moines. California was unseen, Mendocino was unheard of. I thought “East Eden” had been filmed in Monterey and Salinas, wherever they were.”

“East of Eden” became Levene’s favorite motion picture. Not particularly because of James Dean, although he was certainly unforgettable.

“Whatever the man was in real life, saint or sinner,” Bruce Levene writes, “we will never really know.  It’s undeniable however, that in front of an audience or camera he was remarkable. And that, for an actor, is the best thing that can be said. Dean was just something else.”

For Bruce Levene, it was how he felt about the whole movie—the shoreline, the town, it’s people, the actors: Julie Harris, Joe Van Fleet, Raymond Massey and Burl Ives (Massey and Ives didn’t go to Mendocino), and Leonard Rosenman’s wonderful music. A totality in feeling, rare in motion pictures, was only enhanced to Bruce Levene when he moved to Mendocino in 1969.

When Bruce Levene and I visited from his home in Mendocino, California, on November 11, 2014, I asked him what prompted him to write his book “James Dean in Mendocino.”

The book Bruce Levene recommends is “The Immense Journey” by Loren Eiseley.

Click here to listen or on the media player below.

California Burning: The Mendocino Lodge Fire

California wildfires present a serious public safety concern, create fear of serious loss for many and cost millions of dollars to fight. In California each fire is given a name, as is done for hurricanes. We devote this edition of Radio Curious, to the Lodge Fire that occurred in Mendocino County, California in August 2014.  We visit with four Mendocino County people who meet the public need at times of crisis.

We begin with Mary Aigner, program director of KZYX and KZYZ, Mendocino County Public Broadcasting, the public radio station where Radio Curious was originally broadcast beginning in 1991.  She describes what local public radio is able to do at a time of crisis. We then hear from Chris Rowney, the Mendocino Unit Chief for Cal-Fire, the California fire protection agency, who explains what Cal-Fire does when confronted with a wildfire. We also hear from Mendocino County Sheriff, Tom Allman, whose responsibility it is to order a mandatory evacuation if a crisis so requires. Finally we hear from Dr. Sharon Paltin, a family physician in Laytonville, California, the community closest to the Lodge Fire.  She describes the public health effects of exposure to the extraordinary amount of smoke created by a wildfire.

We begin our conversation, recorded on August 29, 2014, with Mary Aigner from Mendocino County Public Broadcasting, describing the role of community radio when a wild fire occurs.

The book Mary Aigner recommends is “1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus,” by Charles C. Mann. The book that Chris Rowney recommends is “Young Men and Fires,” by Norman McClean. The book Dr. Sharon Paltin recommends is “A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster,” by Rebecca Solnit.

This program was recorded on August 29 and September 1, 2014.

Click here to listen or on the media player below.

Wells, Spencer — The Unforseen Cost of Civilization

In this edition of Radio Curious we revisit a conversation with Spencer Wells about his book, “Pandora’s Seed: The Unforeseen Cost of Civilization,” published in 2010.

Our interview is a follow-up to a 2003 conversation about his book, “The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey,” in which Wells traces our routes as small bands of hunter-gatherers when our ancestors walked out of Africa approximately 60,000 years ago and began populating the world.

“Pandora’s Seed” tells the story of what we humans, with our hunter-gatherer biological construct have created in the past 10,000 years. These multiple life style changes have produced what we call “civilization,” with systems and mechanisms that will not allow us to continue the life-styles that are emulated by many people world-wide, and exploited by those who have access to them. In other words, we can’t last much longer doing what we are doing without radically reducing the way we all live, if not outright killing our species.

Spencer Well is an Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C., where he leads the Genographic Project, which is collecting and analyzing hundreds of thousands of DNA samples from people around the wold in order to decipher how our ancestors populated the world. He is also a professor a Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

In this interview with Spencer Wells, recorded on July 19, 2010, we began by describing the changes necessary for our species survival.

The book Spencer Wells recommends is “The Histories,” by Herodotus, a 5th century B.C. Greek historian.

Click here to listen or on the media player below.

Hollenbeck, Holly — Sex Lives of Wives

How to ignite sexual passion from a woman’s perspective is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious, as we talk with Holly Hollenbeck, a former attorney from Omaha, Nebraska, and author of, “Sex Lives of Wives, Reigniting the Passion, True Confessions and Provocative Advice from Real Women.” Holly Hollenbeck says her book is not so much directed at how to please your mate, but how to please yourself by pleasing your mate. Her website is devoted to helping women find passion and inspiration in their long-term relationships. I spoke with Holly Hollenbeck from her home in Nebraska, in mid September 2006, and asked her to describe what motivated her to write, “Sex Lives of Wives.”

The book Holly Hollenbeck recommends is “Adults Only Travel: The Ultimate Guide to Romantic and Erotic Destination,” by David West and Louis James.

Originally Broadcast: September 20, 2006.

Click here to listen or on the media player below.

Mayer-Schonberger, Viktor — Remembering to Forget in the Digital Age, Part Two

What happens to the digital trails of our personal information and ideas that remain online when we research or upload data? Is this information accessible to others? Could it be used later to our potential detriment or character defamation? In this, the second of a two part archived conversation with Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Professor of Internet Governance and Regulation at Oxford University, and author of “Delete: The Virtue Of Forgetting In The Digital Age,” we discuss methods by which people may protect themselves from revealing personal information online and how personal information may be deleted.

His book asserts that the capacity for eternal memory can have unanticipated and often unwanted consequences. In this two part archive edition of Radio Curious with Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, we explore some of the ways in which our personal information, data, conversations and experiences are forgotten by us as individuals, but remembered digitally. We consider the future potential effects on society of digitally preserved information, as well as the consequences of remembering what is sometimes best forgotten.

Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, joined us by phone from his then home in Singapore on January 4th 2010. We began the second part of our conversation by discussing how to delete personal information so that it is no longer available.

The book Viktor Mayer-Schönberger recommends is “Collected Fictions,” by Jorge Luis Borges. The film he recommends is “The Lives Of Others,” directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck.

Click here to listen to part two or on the media player below.  

Click here to listen to part one.

Mayer-Schonberger, Viktor — Remembering to Forget in the Digital Age, Part One

What is the importance that forgetting has played throughout human history? What will be the effects on society, relationships and humanity now that so many aspects of our lives are digitally preserved? Viktor Mayer-Schönberger author of “Delete: The Virtue Of Forgetting In The Digital Age,” and our guest in this archive edition of Radio Curious, has some insight into these questions. He argues that the capacity for eternal memory can have unanticipated and often unwanted consequences. The potentially humiliating content on Facebook forever enshrined in cyberspace and Google’s search memory of the content and time of our all online searches may in the future reveal portions of our past we have entirely forgotten and wished everyone else had too.

In this two part archive edition of Radio Curious with Viktor Mayer-Schönberger we explore some of the ways in which our personal information, data, conversations and experiences are forgotten by us as  individuals. We also consider the future potential effects on society of digitally preserved information, as well as the consequences of remembering what is sometimes best forgotten.

Viktor Mayer-Schönberger spoke with us by phone from his then-home in Singapore on January 4th 2010 and began part one of our conversation by describing how the digital age is shifting the brain’s balance between remembering and forgetting.

The book Viktor Mayer-Schönberger recommends is “Collected Fictions,” by Jorge Luis Borges. The film he recommends is “The Lives Of Others,” directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck.

Click here to listen to part one or on the media player below.

Brown, Seyom — Contradictions in U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy

Contradictions in the United States’ nuclear weapons policy is the subject of this edition of Radio Curious. Our guest is Dr. Seyom Brown, who during the past 55 years has taught at major universities, been a special adviser to the Department of Defense and Department of State, and has written twelve books on the United States’ foreign policy and international relations.

Dr. Seyom Brown is currently an adjunct senior fellow at the American Security Project, in Washington, D.C. and previously held senior research and policy analysis positions at the RAND Corporation, the Brookings Institution, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and the Kennedy School of Government. He has served as a Special Assistant in the Office of International Security Affairs at the Department of Defense, and to the Director of Policy Planning in the Department of State. Dr. Brown has also taught at Harvard, Brandeis, John Hopkins, Columbia, University of Chicago, and UCLA.

His current work is the study of and writing about what he describes as the “disturbing contradictions” in United States’ nuclear weapons policy. When we visited in the studios of Radio Curious on July 4, 2014, I asked him to explain and discuss these contradictions.

The book Dr. Seyom Brown recommends is “Five Myths About Nuclear Weapons,” by Ward Wilson.

The article to which he refers in this interview, Beyond MAD: Obama’s Risky –But Realistic –Effort to Reduce the Role of Nuclear Weapons is found in the December 2013 issue of Survival Magazine.

You also may hear two 1995 Radio Curious interviews with Dr. Seyom Brown discussing President Clinton’s foreign policy here.

For full disclosure, Dr. Seyom Brown is the uncle to Radio Curious host and producer, Barry Vogel.

Click here to listen to the program or on the media player below.

Rovics, David — The Art of Political Song

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.”

Click here to listen to the program or on the media player below.

Dole, Robert — Homosexuality and Schizophrenia

In honor of LGBT Pride Month, this edition of Radio Curious discusses one man’s personal experience in recognizing his homosexuality. Until the mid 1970s many people considered homosexuality to be a mental disorder and/or a crime, as it is still in some personal and political belief systems. Homosexual people sometimes were housed in mental institutions, given medication and suffered an array of treatment methods, including shock therapy and other forms of behavior modification.

Professor Robert Dole, our guest in this edition of Radio Curious, was one of many individuals subjected to behavior modification. In his book, “How to Make a Success of Your Schizophrenia,” he explains how the “treatment” he endured as an attempt to alter his homosexual preference made him schizophrenic. His personal memoir describes his experiences growing up in the 1960s as a gay man, his institutionalization at the McLean Hospital in Massachusetts, the insanity that consumed him as a result of his treatment, his self-led recovery, partially based on a spiritual experience, and his subsequent extraordinary life in academia.

Professor Dole, who is fluent in seven languages, teaches English as a Foreign Language at the University of Chicoutimi in rural Quebec, Canada, where he has lived for 30 plus years. He is the author of several books including, “The American Nightmare.” Robert Dole and I visited by phone from his office at the University of Chicoutimi on November 4, 2011 and began our conversation when I asked him to describe the schizophrenia he experienced.

The books he recommends are: “The Death of Ivan Ilych,” by Leo Tolstoy and any book from Stefan Zweig. 

Click here to listen to the program or on the media player below.