Woodbine, Onaje Ph.D. — Black Gods of the Asphalt Part Two

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The transcendent experience of street basketball is the topic of two conversations with Onaje X. O. Woodbine, author of “Black Gods of the Asphalt: Religion, Hip-Hop, and Street Basketball.” Woodbine grew up in the inner-city of Roxbury, Massachusetts, became a skilled street basketball player and attended Yale University on a basketball scholarship. After two years as a star player on the Yale team, he chose a different life path and quit.

 

After graduating from Yale, Woodbine earned his Ph.D. in religious studies from Boston University. His book, “Black Gods of the Asphalt” presents a social-anthropological view of this inner-city sport where coaches often assume the role of father, mentor and friend. He contrasts the lessons learned on the street basketball courts, with those learned at the predominantly white basketball courts and locker rooms of Yale University.

Onaje Woodbine visited with Radio Curious by phone on August 13, 2016, from his home in Andover, Massachusetts. In part one we discussed his experiences growing up and playing on the basketball courts in the inner city and how that differend from the Ivy League schools he later went to. In part two, we began our conversation when I asked him to explain the ethnographic research and methods he used in making his book, “Black Gods of the Asphalt.”

The book Dr. Onaje Woodbine recommends is “Jesus and the Disinherited” by Howard Thurman.

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Dr. Bill Fry – Psychology of Humor

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Our guest in this program was Dr. William Fry, a psychiatrist who has done extensive research in the field of humor. We discussed the psychology and genetics of humor. Much of Dr. Fry’s research has concentrated on Cocoa, the gorilla, and we discussed that as well. This program was originally broadcast in March of 1992, when Radio Curious was called Government, Politics and Ideas.

Originally Broadcast: March 2, 1992

 

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Saul Diskin – Identical Twins

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The End of the Twins, a Memoir of Losing a Brother

Ever wondered what it would be like to have an identical twin—how alike would you be to that person? How much of an individual would you be? Saul Diskin and his identical twin brother Marty grew up together in New York City where Saul and Marty were inseparable. As adults, they began to live separate lives, Saul in Phoenix and Marty near Boston. In 1991, Marty, who had suffered from leukemia for 20 years, needed a bone marrow transplant, which he received from Saul. In his extraordinarily intimate book, “The End of the Twins, a Memoir of Losing a Brother,” Saul Diskin chronicles the rich relationship beginning with their early childhood and ending well past Marty’s death in 1997, shortly before their 63rd birthday.

Saul Diskin recommends “Entwined Lives,” by Nancy Segal and “Cosmology and Creation: The Spiritual Significance of Contemporary Cosmology” by Paul Brockelman.

Originally Broadcast: September 22, 2001

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Osborn, John Jay, Esq.:  A Marriage as a Separate Entity

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“Listen to the Marriage” is a novel by John Jay Osborn, a retired lawyer and law professor. The story centers a marriage counselor and a recently separated couple with demanding jobs and two small children.  All thirty-one short chapters take place in the therapist’s office and reveal the angst, anger, and hidden love that the couple Gretchen and Steve, have for each other. Sandy, the therapist guides the sessions, while keeping her thoughts about her clients to herself.  An empty green chair representing their marriage sits between Gretchen and Steve during each visit.

“Listen to the Marriage” is Osborn’s sixth novel, the first one being “The Paper Chase,” published in 1971, a year after he graduated law school.  “Listen to the Marriage” is based in part on the experience Osborn and his wife had with a marriage counselor beginning about ten months after they separated in the mid 1980s.  They remain happily married.

John Osborn visited the Radio Curious studios by phone from his home in San Francisco, California, on December 14, 2018. We began our conversation with his description of the therapist’s goal: To get the couple to look at the marriage they created as being separate from themselves.

The book John Jay Osborn recommends is “Happy All the Time,” by Laurie Colwin.

The program was recorded on December 14, 2018.

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Dr. Gordon Neufeld: Hold On to Your Kids

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The economic and cultural changes that have occurred in North American society in the past fifty years have resulted in today’s children looking to 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.

The book Dr. Neufeld recommends is “The Anatomy of Dependence,”  by Takeo Doi. More information about Dr. Neufeld’s work may be found on his website.

Originally Broadcast: October 25, 2005

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Dalton, Joan – Dogs in Juvenile Hall

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I once had the good fortune of seeing “If Animals Could Talk,” a movie made by Jane Goodall.  A segment was about The MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility in Woodburn, Oregon. The boys incarcerated there have committed serious criminal offenses; some of them are given an opportunity to train dogs, develop relationships with the dogs and in doing so learn responsibility, patience and respect for other living creatures. There is a zero recidivism rate among the juvenile inmates who spend time training dogs at MacLaren.

Joan Dalton is the founder and executive director of Project Pooch, a non-profit corporation linked with MacLaren, where incarcerated youths train shelter dogs and find them homes. We visited by phone from her home near Portland, Oregon on February 15, 2010 and began our conversation when I asked her to tell us how Project Pooch came about and then about Project Pooch itself.

The books that Joan Dalton recommends are “Children And Animals: Exploring The Roots Of Kindness And Cruelty,” by Frank R. Ascione and “Rescue Ink: How Ten Guys Saved Countless Dogs and Cats, Twelve Horses, Five Pigs, One Duck,and a Few Turtles,” by Rescue Ink and Denise Flaim. 

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Boothman, Nicholas: Getting People To Like You

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How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less

Making people like you is a skill that anybody can learn. By reading body language and synchronizing behavior, it is possible to make meaningful connections with almost anybody in almost any circumstance. We appreciate and like people similar to ourselves, people we understand and people who are open. “How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less” is the title of a book by Nicholas Boothman, a neurolinguistic practitioner who lives in Toronto, Canada.

Nicolas Boothman recommends “Love in the Town of Cholera,” & “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” both by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Originally Broadcast: January 2, 2001

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Livingston, Gordon M.D. – How To Love?

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Everybody thinks about love and many people say “I love you”, but how is love defined? The book “How To Love” written by psychiatrist Dr. Gordon Livingston grapples with these and many other questions about love, and how to find a compatible and pleasurable partnership. In this interview, we discuss how to choose more carefully, in matters of love to get what we desire and deserve. The song, “Do You Love Me?” from the musical “Fiddler On The Roof,” is our background music. Dr. Gordon Livingston spoke from his home in Columbia, Maryland on July 13th 2009, where he lives and practices psychiatry. The conversation began when I asked Dr. Livingston to define love.

The book Dr. Gordon Livingston recommends is “All He Ever Wanted,” by Anita Shreve.

 

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Rosenthal, Ken Paul — The Space Between Brilliance and Madness

 

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In this program we discuss cultivating wellness in the space between brilliance and madness with Ken Paul Rosenthal, an independent film maker based in San Francisco, California. Rosenthal says his “work explores the geography of madness through the regenerative power of nature, urban landscapes, and archival footage from social hygiene films.”

His 2011 film “Crooked Beauty”, Crooked Beauty chronicles artist-writer Jacks McNamara’s journey from psych ward inpatient to pioneering mental health advocacy.  Rosenthal’s 2018 film “Whisper Rapture” Whisper Rapture is a ‘doc-opera’ about the life, music, and radical mental health advocacy of cellist-vocalist Bonfire Madigan Shive. The music you are hearing now is by Bonfire Madigan Shive on her cello, with permission.

Not a stranger to demons of the mind, Rosenthal readily shares his personal experiences, and describes how communities of like-minded people can collectively ease their individual pain by creatively navigating the space between brilliance and madness.

When Ken Paul Rosenthal and I visited by phone from his home in San Francisco, California on July 30, 2018, we began our conversation when I asked him to describe what many people call ‘mental illness.’

The books Ken Paul Rosenthal recommends are both by David Abram: “The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World,” and “Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology.” The film he recommends is “Leave No Trace,” about a father and daughter who lived off the grid in the wilderness.

www.kenpaulrosenthal.com   www.whisperrapture.com

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Miller, Geoffrey — Does What You Buy Make You Happier?

Why do you buy what you buy? What do you hope to gain from it and will it make you a happier, sexier and more successful person? In these days of economic downturn many of us may be questioning whether we really need all this “stuff” and how it impacts our lives?

In this edition of Radio Curious we meet Geoffrey Miller, a tenured professor of evolutionary psychology at the University of New Mexico, and the author of “Spent: Sex, Evolution and Consumer Behaviour.” During our visit we discuss how our purchasing choices are driven by thousands of years of evolution, how marketers can take advantage of this and how we might try to better understand our consumer instincts.

I spoke with Geoffrey Miller from his home in Australia on May 29, 2009 and began by asking him to define his field of evolutionary psychology.

The book Geoffrey Miller recommends is “The Life You Can Save: Acting Now To End World Poverty,” by Peter Singer. 

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