Friday, August 26, 2011

Programs for the Week of 8/29

Jean’s Pick of the Week (watch video): Redeemers: Power Brokers Who Shaped Latin America: Just before going on the air on Tuesday, I got a call from Wisconsin’s former Lieutenant Governor Barbara Lawton who has an abiding interest in the politics of Latin America. She was effusive. “Oh, I just found out that you have Enrique Krauze on your show today. What a coup! He is so great!” And so he was, blazing a path through Latin America’s complicated political and intellectual history, bringing to life the great literary and revolutionary figures from the past whose legacy endures today. Best of all was the overall message: the image of the caudillo that began with Simon Bolivar who famously prophesied, “Out of my grave a thousand dictators will spring,” may very well end with the post-modern caudillo Hugo Chaves. Democracy has taken hold south of the border. Maybe we should pay closer attention. We might learn something.

Monday: The Inter-Species Language of Grief: Ever since her husband lost the ability to speak after suffering a stroke, Diane Ackerman has been grieving. She finds that, out of empathy, her acute sense of loss has connected her with the losses and grieving of others, including animals.

Tuesday: Environmental Degradation as Slow Violence: Nigerian activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa, refused to let the oil industry's disastrous effect on his community go unnoticed. He's just one voice showcased in Rob Nixon's new book urging us to see environmental degradation as a kind of slow violence affecting the poorest in our communities.

Wednesday: Pearl Buck in China (encore): A blond blue-eyed daughter of a Presbyterian missionary, Pearl Buck grew up in rural China amid bandit raids, beheadings and battles, when infant girls were strangled and thrown to the dogs. Helen Spurling's biography looks at the years that shaped Buck as a writer and gave her magic power. (Rebroadcast from July 19, 2010)

Thursday: Rambunctious Nature: Environmentalist Emma Marris says it's time to abandon the idea of preserving nature in its pristine state, and move forward instead with creating the "rambunctious garden," which she describes as "a hybrid of wild nature and human management."

Friday: Odd Bits: When it comes to meat, the prime cuts seem to get all the attention. Australian Jennifer McLagan, author of the infamous "Fat," explores why we shy away from odd bits, from tongues and brains, to gizzards and trotters, their taste potential, and how we can approach them with more confidence in the kitchen.

It’s sad to see summer fade away, especially after such a glorious – and mosquito free – month in Wisconsin. No dog days this August. Happy grilling!


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