Saturday, December 13, 2008

Dec 15-19 Programs

Jean’s Pick of the Week: Al’ America! In spite of a few misgivings on my part about what looked on the surface like a flimsy premise propped up by pop culture, Jonathan Curiel managed to convince me that there are indeed deep Arabic and Islamic roots in American culture. It was a fun hour as well as an illuminating one. I was particularly fascinated by the connections he drew between Mississippi blues and the Call to Prayer. We forget that many of the slaves brought here from Africa were Muslim, some highly literate and deeply devout. So it’s not so much of a stretch, after all, to imagine that their Islamic influence would persist and survive, just as West African voodoo made its way to Haiti, and New Orleans, where it got mixed up with Jelly Roll Morton and Elvis Presley.

Monday: Cuba on the Threshold of its 5oth Anniversary: The speculation is that the election of Barack Obama opens the way to a thaw in Cuban-American relations. We’ll ask New York Times reporter Roger Cohen who wrote “The End of the End of the Revolution” in a recent issue of the Sunday magazine.

Tuesday: The Evolution of Faith: Parker Palmer traces his own journey with the Christian faith. Parker is unfailingly excellent in the way he delivers his message, and Jossey Bass has just re-issued his very first book, The Promise of Paradox: A Celebration of Contradictions in the Christian Life.

Wednesday: Gay Rights: A Universal Principle? During the last ten years there has been a growing acceptance of homosexuality - at least in the "Western" world. France recently proposed that gay rights be added to the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Vatican is opposed. There's a lot of public debate -- both for, against and in the fuzzy in-between. We’ll cover it all and get your views as well.

Thursday: The Winter Solstice Poetry Circle of the Air with Molly Peacock: Molly’s chosen a bright, upbeat poem for this darkest of times. Look for it on our website and join in with your favorite poem of the season.

Friday: Broccoli and Other Tales of Food and Love: It’s broccoli but it’s not really broccoli. It’s actually a collection of stories by the gorgeous Lara Vapnyar that links food to lonely, loveless dating among recent Russian immigrants – described by Publishers Weekly as a take on the poignant oddities of New York Russian émigré life that is universally palatable.

You can’t say we’re not eclectic.

Coming up in February: we’ve been promised a program with Philippe Petit, the crazy Frenchman who walked a tightrope between the twin towers of The World Trade Center –- one of my personal heroes and the star of Man on Wire, a documentary which has been nominated for an Oscar.

I’m outa here. Go crazy this weekend.


1 comment:

so NOT cool said...

I wanted to join in for the poetry circle, but I wasn't in the right place at the right time. I don't know if I can fit/format my poem into the comments, so I'll include a link. :)

poem link

Happy Solstice!