Maestriprieri, Dario — The Primate Within Us

 We humans are a lot like the other primates on earth, but because we don’t associate with them, we often assume that our interpersonal behavior—how we make friends, work together, interact with strangers, relate to our spouse—is the product of our unique personalities and environment.

 In this edition of Radio Curious we visit with Dario Maestripieri, author of “Games Primate Play: An Undercover Investigation of the Evolution and Economics of Human Relationships.” He’s a professor Comparative Human Development, Evolutionary Biology, Neurobiology and Psychiatry, and Behavior Neuroscience at the University of Chicago.

 Professor Maestripieri and I visited by phone from his office in Chicago, Illinois on April 16, 2012 and began with his description of the close relationship humans have with other primates.

 The book Professor Dario Maestripieri recommends is “Auto-da-Fe,” by Elias Canetti.

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Ley, David — The Myth of Sex Addiction, Part One

 Most people are familiar with sex. Some like it. Some like it a lot and seek to engage in sex more than others. Some people are inclined to think that the desire for “too much sex,” however much that may be, is due to a mental disorder.

 In this edition of Radio Curious we visit with David J. Ley, Ph.D. the author of “The Myth of Sex Addiction.”

 In this first of two conversations with Dr. Ley, the argument that “sex addiction” is a fraudulent concept is presented. In part two we discuss the evolutionary development of human sexuality and the many cultural approaches to sexual expression.

 We spoke by phone from his office in Albuquerque, New Mexico on August 6, 2012, and began part one when I asked him to explain why he characterizes “sex addiction” as a fraud, not as a disorder.

 The books Dr. David Ley recommends are “Nymphomania: A History,” by Carol Groneman, and “Is There Anything Good About Men?: How Cultures Flourish By Exploiting Men.”

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Stiefel, Frank — “Ingelore” Speaking Without Hearing

What would it be like for you if you were deaf? If you could not speak your first word until you were six? If you had three years of education, your first language was German, and you later emigrated to another country where they speak English?  Ingelore is the first name of a woman who was born in Germany in 1924, and came to America in 1940 at the beginning of the Third Reich, right after Kristallnacht. The film “Ingelore” was made by Inglelore’s son Frank Stiefel, and it tells his mother’s story.

In this edition of Radio Curious, we begin with Ingelore in her own words from the documentary “Ingelore.” As you hear her ability to articulate words in English it’s important to remember she cannot hear.

This interview was recorded on May 29th, 2010 with Frank Stiefel from his home in Santa Monica, California.

The books that Frank Stiefel recommends are “Hand Of My Father,” by Myron Uhlberg, and “The Road,” by Cormac McCarthy.

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Benton, Robert — The Human Stain

This program is about “passing,” a term sometimes used to define a person of color who passes as white. From the 2004 Radio Curious archives we revisit a conversation with film director Robert Benton, about his film “The Human Stain.” It’s a movie about the life of Coleman Silk, an eminent Jewish intellectual and devoted husband; a professor of classics at a small New England college.  The truth about Coleman Silk, portrayed by Anthony Hopkins, is far more complex than expected or thought to be.  He hid behind a veil of lies, having masked his African-American origins in order to find a freedom he thought would otherwise be impossible to achieve.  But his world of deception unraveled after embarking on a romance with a much younger woman.

Our guest, Robert Benton, is a three time Academy Awards winner for his work as the Director of “Kramer Vs. Kramer,” “Places in the Heart,” and “Nobody’s Fool.” His film, “The Human Stain,” takes place in the 1990s and is based on the third novel of Phillip Roth’s “American Trilogy” describing the post World War Two turmoil in America.

The title “The Human Stain” emerges from the idea that no matter what a person does, a human being leaves a mark on the world, whether by rage, desire, ambition or accident, a kind of scar; stain that cannot be undone.  For Coleman Silk that stain is the deception and concealment he carried for decades. The human stain is the mark we leave on everything.  It speaks to the fact that we can’t get through life without marking the world around us in some way. We have no choice. It’s part of being human.

Robert Benton and I visited by phone in the fall of 2004.

The books Robert Benton recommends are “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night,” by Mark Haddon and “The Manuscript Found in Sargossa,” by Jan Potocki.

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Dalton, Joan — Dogs in Juvenile Hall

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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Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner: Survival Is Indigenous

The consequences of the control of reproduction and the reproduction of daily life that began about the time of the creation of the moveable type printing press, in approximately the year 1440 is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious.

Our guest is Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner, the Founding Director of the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation in Fayetteville, New York and member of the Adjunct Faculty at Syracuse University, in Syracuse, New York.   Sally Roesch Wagner was one of the first two women to receive a doctorate for work in women’s studies, with a Ph.D. awarded to her in 1978 from the history of consciousness program by the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Wagner, a Radio Curious veteran guest is the author of “Survival Is Indigenous,” a book that describes the consequences of the societal control shortly after the development of the printing press, fomented by western religions, which she argues exists to the present time.

Sally Roesch Wagner and I visited in the Radio Curious studios on January 6, 2016, to discuss “Survival Is Indigenous,”  and began our conversation when I asked her what is indigenous about survival.

The books Dr. Wagner recommends are “Braiding Sweetgrass:  Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants,” by Robin Will Kimmerer; and “My Life on The Road,” by Gloria Stienem.

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

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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Martin, Buzzy — Teaching Guitar in San Quentin Prison

Buzzy Martin began teaching music to at risk kids in Juvenille Hall. He then taught guitar in San Quentin Prison for three and a half years, where he gained a unique “insiders” perspective about prison life, prisoners, and the guards. His book, “Don’t Shoot! I’m the Guitar Man,” chronicles his experiences teaching prison inmates, including rapists, child molesters and murderers how to play the guitar. Martin shares his experiences with incarcerated youth, to teach them that prison is not a “badge of honor,” and he reveals how music can be a universal language to open the hearts of people who may think they don’t have one.

Buzzy Martin’s memoir will be made into a movie. Visit his website for more information. 

The interview with Buzzy Martin was recorded on October 11th, 2010.

The book he recommends is, “The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, A Toltec Wisdom Book,” by don Miguel Ruiz.

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Barnes, Annie Ph.D. — Racism in America

Racism has, for too long, been a part of the American experience: the Civil War and the constitutional amendments that followed, the Supreme Court decisions ordering the desegregation of schools, and the Civil Rights movements did not end racism in America.

Annie S. Barnes, holds a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from the University of Virginia and is a retired professor of sociology and anthropology at Norfolk State University in Virginia. She is the author of “Everyday Racism, A Book for All Americans,” a book based on the racist experiences suffered by 146 black college students. Professor Barnes describes the effects of racism on black people, and what all people can do to combat it.

The book Annie S. Barnes recommends is “Driving While Black: Highways, Shopping Malls, Taxi Cabs, Sidewalks: How to Fight Back if You Are a Victim of Racial Profiling,” by Kenneth Meeks.

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Burgo, Joseph Ph.D. — Narcissists:  What They Do, Why, and How to Avoid Them

How to identify the narcissists in our lives is the topic of our conversation with Joseph Burgo, Ph.D. He is the author of “The Narcissist You Know: Defending Yourself Against Extreme Narcissists in an All-About Me Age.”

Dr. Burgo describes narcissism as a more-common-than-we think personality type, based on shame, that covers a wide spectrum of frequently and cleverly disguised deceptive behaviors. 

Once a narcissist’s behavior is identified, it is possible to learn how to coexist and avoid being trapped.  This may be achieved without compromising one’s own mental health, integrity, or ability to succeed, or losing ourselves in the process.

When Dr. Joseph Burgo and I visited by phone from his home in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, on October 5, 2015, we discussed two of the eight most common types of narcissists:  the bullying narcissist and the seductive narcissist.  We began our conversation when I asked him to describe narcissism.

The book Dr. Joseph Burgo recommends is “Why is it Always About You?: The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism,” by Sandy Hotchkiss.

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