Herm, Eric — Son of a Farmer, Child of the Earth

From the Radio Curious archives we visit with Eric Herm a 4th generation farmer from Ackerly Texas and author of, “Son of a Farmer, Child of the Earth: A Path to Agriculture’s Higher Consciousness.” Herm is transitioning his family farm into an organic farm. He recently returned from a march that began in Baltimore, Maryland, in October, 2011, and ended in front of the White House in Washington D.C. to oppose the use of genetically modified organisms, GMO’s. When we visited with Eric Herm from his farm in Ackerly, Texas on October 24th, 2011 began when I asked him to describe his experience in Washington D.C.

The book that Eric Herm recommends is, “The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture,” by Wendell Berry.

Click here to listen

Edward Sorel: An Actress, Her Lovers, and a Daft Caricaturist

Edward Sorel, a satirical caricaturist, and cartoonist, whose first book is Mary Astor’s Purple Diary: The Great American Sex Scandal of 1936, is our guest in this edition Radio Curious. Claiming to be daft about Mary Astor for about a half a century, Sorel describes Astor’s career as a Hollywood based actress who seemingly more than enjoyed a lustful and salacious life. Astor’s diary, which allegedly revealed the untold stories of her trysts and lovers, was the centerpiece of the sensational 1936 trial to determine the custody of her young daughter.

Sorel, whose pictorial satires have appeared on the covers of forty-six editions of The New Yorker magazine, visited Radio Curious by phone from his home in Harlem, New York City, on February 27, 2017. We began our conversation when I asked him for the background of his interest in Mary Astor and what drew him to write and illustrate his book Mary Astor’s Purple Diary.

Click here to listen to the interview.

The books Ed Sorel recommends are: Iron Dawn: The Monitor and The Merrimack, and the Sea Battle that Changed History, by Richard Snowand Terrible Virtue, a Novel, by Ellen Feldman.

Early, Steve: Remaking an American City

The power and success of local political action to meet the needs of a community is revealed in the book “Refinery Town:  Big Oil, Big Money and the Remaking of an American City.”

Written by Steve Early, with a Forward by Senator Bernie Sanders, “Refinery Town” describes the political change in Richmond, California, that began in 2000. Richmond was a largely working-class city of 110,000 people, with one of the highest per capita homicide rates, and twice the average jobless rate. Early tells the story of the community organizing that successfully raised the minimum wage, challenged evictions and home foreclosures, and sought fair taxation of Big Oil. In this case, the Big Oil is the Chevron Oil Company, which owns and operates a Richmond refinery, one of the largest oil refineries in California.

Steve Early, formerly a community organizer, activist, lawyer, and union representative, and now the author of “Refinery Town,” spoke with Radio Curious by phone, from his home in Richmond. We began our conversation as he described Richmond’s transformation.

You can listen to the interview here.

The books Steve Early recommends are: “Detroit: An American Autopsy,” by Charlie LeDuff; “Teardown: Memoir of A Vanishing City,” by Gordon Young; and “Home Town,” by Tracy Kidder. This program was recorded on February 20, 2017

Dr. Gordon Neufeld: Hold on to Your Kids (Archive)

The economic and cultural changes that have occurred in North American society in the past fifty or so years have resulted in today’s children looking to and associating with their peers, instead of their parents, for direction; for a sense of right and wrong; and for values, identity, and codes of behavior. This peer orientation works to undermine family cohesion. It interferes with healthy development and fosters a sexualized youth culture in which children lose their individuality and tend to become conformist, desensitized and alienated.

These concepts—and what to do about them to develop strong families and emotionally healthy children—are explained in the book “Hold on to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers,“ by Gordon Neufeld, Ph.D. and Gabor Mate, M.D.

When I spoke with Dr. Gordon Neufeld from his home in Vancouver, British Columbia, we began our conversation with a discussion of the importance of developing an attachment between the adult caregiver and the child, beginning at infancy.

Dr. Gordon Neufeld is the author of “Hold on to Your Kids:  Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers. The book he recommends is “The Anatomy of Dependence,” by Takeo Doi.

Click here to begin listening.

This interview was originally broadcast on October 25, 2005. More information about Dr. Neufeld’s work may be found on his website.

Eric Schlosser: Do You Really Want to Eat That? (Archive)

Fast food is what many people eat in America, and increasingly in other countries. It is advertised to be fun, tasty, and easily available. Americans spend more money annually on fast food than is spent on higher education.

Eric Schlosser is our guest in this archive edition.  He’s the author of Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal. Schlosser writes that it is not only what is served for human consumption that is the problem, but the art of mass-marketing to children through organized promotions and ads for the products—in school busses, hallways, and even bathroom stalls—has serious side effects on society.

Working conditions for employees at meat-packing plants and the resulting contamination of the product resulted in the July 19th, 2002 recall of 19 million pounds of beef. In addition to the acute health hazards of contamination, a fast food meal often contains more fat in one meal than the average person needs in a day.

This interview was originally recorded in mid-summer 2002.

The book he recommends is “Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing,” by Ted Conover.  Click here to listen to a two-part series with Ted Conover, recorded in 2001.

Click here to listen to the interview with Eric Schlosser.

Exxon CEO – Secretary of State?

This program is devoted to the pending Senate hearings and possible confirmation of Rex Tillerson as the next Secretary of State of the United States.

Tillerson, the Exxon Mobile Company Chief Executive Officer, chosen by Donald Trump to the head of the State Department, has a long history in the Russian oil business, as well has having an alleged personal friendship with Vladamir Putin, the Russian President.

Our guest is Andrew Kramer, a reporter for the New York Times, based at its Moscow, Russia bureau for the past ten years.

Kramer shares his reporting on Tillerson’s attempts on behalf of Exxon to gain access to the Russian arctic oil fields, as well as Tillerson’s personal connections to Russia. In addition, Kramer investigated and reported the activities of Paul Manifort in Russia, who within a week after those reports became public, resigned as Donald Trump’s campaign manager.

When Andrew Kramer and I visited from New York Times’ Bureau in Moscow on December 29, 2016, he began by describing Tillerson’s history in Russia.

The book Andrew Kramer recommends is “The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy,” by David Hoffman.

This program was recorded on December 29, 2016.

Click here to listen.

Farr, Sam — Trump and 23 Years in Congress

With the massive change in the government of the United States about to take place, I take this opportunity to share with you the views of Sam Farr, who is retiring after 23 ½ years as a member of Congress.  He represented Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties of the central coast of California.  About 80 miles south of San Francisco, this is one of the most beautiful coast lines in the world.

Sam Farr and I visited from his home in Monterey County on December 19, 2016.  That was his first full day at home, with no further responsibilities as a Member of Congress since June, 1993.  While in office he flew across the county twice a week, seven out of every eight weeks.

We began when I asked for his reflections on the changes in Congress between when he first arrived there and the current times.  Further in our visit we discuss what the nation might expect during the presidency of Donald Trump.

The book Sam Farr recommends is “Three Years in California,” by Walter Colton, published December 31, 1855.

Click here to listen or on the media player below.

Werdinger, Roberta: A Woman of Words

Story teller, writer, publicist and editor Roberta Werdinger is our guest once again.

In the course of our November 21, 2016, visit when Roberta Werdinger when her personal story Barb Wire and Flowers, it was clear that she had more to say.  Werdinger is a woman of words, who studies the origin of words and the way in which their meanings have changed throughout history.  Fascism is one of those words.

How to recognize and respond to fascism, work with fear and go beyond trauma, is part of our conversation in this program.   When Roberta Werdinger and I met in the Radio Curious studios November 26, 2016, she commented that she sees herself as having a hybrid life and modus operandi.  We began when I asked to describe her hybrid life and modus operandi.

The book Roberta Werdinger recommends is “The Unconquerable World: Power, Non-Violence and the Will of the People,” by Jonathan Schell.

Click here to listen to A Woman of Words with Roberta Werdinger

Click here to listen to Barbed Wire and Flowers with Roberta Werdinger

 

 

 

Tracy, Dr. Jessica – Pride: The Most Human Emotion

The science of pride, authentic pride, and hubristic pride is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious.  Our guest, Dr. Jessica Tracy, is the author of Take Pride:  Why the Deadliest Sin Holds the Secret to Human Success.  She is a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada and directs the Emotion & Self Lab as part of her work.

In Take Pride, Tracy explains her research, partially conducted in the most rural areas of the West African nation of Burkina Faso, in Athens, Greece among the athletes who participated in the 2004 Olympic Games, and with blind athletes at the Paralympic Games.  Her findings substantiated that pride is an emotion experienced and similarly expressed by all human beings:  Chest-expanded, shoulders-back and broad smile.

With pride as s cross cultural human emotion I became curious as to why it is considered a sin by some.  So when Jessica Tracy and I visited by phone from her office in Vancouver, British Columbia, on November 11, 2016, that’s where we began…

The book Jessica Tracy recommends is The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature, by Steven Pinker.

This program was recorded on November 11, 2016.

Click here to listen.

 

President Jimmy Carter – Life After the Presidency

The Virtues of Aging

Considering the alternatives, growing older is really not all that bad. The frame of mind that we develop and carry with us as we age controls much of how we feel and behave. James Earl Carter Jr., more often known as Jimmy Carter, the 39th President of the US, is the author of a book called, “The Virtues of Aging.” President Carter’s book covers issues from Social Security and medical expenses to the importance of staying active and involved. I spoke with President Jimmy Carter by phone, in the fall of 1998, and I asked him what prompted him to write the book.

President Jimmy Carter recommends “The Age Wave: How the Most Important Trend of Our Time Can Change Your Future,” by Ken Dychtwald.

Originally Broadcast: December 4, 1998

Listen here.