Sunday, August 23, 2009

Aug 24-28 Programs

Jean’s Pick of the (Short) Week: I really enjoyed the mental workout on Wednesday’s program Into the Wild on international nature writing. There was a moment of real revelation when I surprised myself by blurting out, “There is no such thing as nature.” The fact is – and this is what emerged in the course of the conversation – what we call “nature” differs dramatically from culture to culture and is heavily influenced by religious belief. The transcendentalists looked to nature as a way to get beyond ordinary experience. But our Pilgrim ancestors thought of the wilderness as an evil place full of heathens and devils. I still think we need a new kind of nature writing, one that displaces Adam from the Garden of Eden, and comes to terms with the new evolutionary understanding that we are as much the product of evolutionary processes as trees and bats and wolves – all those things that we persist in thinking are “Out there.” There is no escaping nature or ourselves, and whatever fate lies in store for the planet - i.e. “Nature” - is entirely in our hands.

Next Week on Here on Earth:

Monday: Cold: With the mind of a scientist and the heart of a poet, Bill Streever, author of Cold, takes us into places most people never venture : the coldest places on earth. In July, he immerses himself in 35 degree F. water on a beach three hundred miles north of the Arctic Circle, to experience firsthand the laws of thermodynamics!

Tuesday: Pray the Devil Back to Hell: The amazing story of how Liberian women forced an end to a brutal civil war and brought Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first woman to lead an African nation, to power. We’ll talk with producer Abigail Disney.

Wednesday: On Kindness: British psychoanalyst Adam Phillips argues that a life lived in instinctive, sympathetic identification with others is the one we should allow ourselves to live.

Thursday: We’ll be commemorating the 46th anniversary of the March on Washington—at which Marion Anderson sang—with composer Bruce Adolphe and librettist Carolivia Herron, creators of the one-act opera, Let Freedom Sing: The Story of Marian Anderson.

Friday: The Psychology of Wine: Writer/sommelier son and psychologist father, Evan and Brian Mitchell present their case with humor and verve: that wine has evolved to be a mirror of ourselves.

Nice line-up?

Have a great weekend,



Anonymous said...

Jean, as I listened last week to Into the Wild, I found myself getting frustrated with your guests' equating the approach most men take to nature with its harmful exploitation. (I'll listen again to see if my impression was warranted.) I was especially bothered by one guest's description of Chris Candless as arrogant. (Am I remembering correctly?) I can except woefully unprepared and idealistic to a fault, but arrogant? A provocative program I enjoyed hearing. I should have called in!

Anonymous said...

Gosh, I hate making spelling errors. I meant "accept" of course. By the way, this is Kevin G.