Palin, Palin, Palin. The mainstream media is obsessed and the feminist blogosphere has been very interested in the choice of Sarah Palin as McCain's running mate. On many feminist blogs you'll see questions like "Is Sarah Palin a feminist?" or "Can someone who was given a free ride break a glass ceiling?" and an old favorite "Can someone who doesn't support reproductive choice be a feminist?" The Palin pick may cause a feminist identity crisis just as the Obama-Clinton primary season did.
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Jessica here, happy to be back in the good old USA. Nothing like two weeks out of the country to make you appreciate home again. Even if you have a wonderful time, as I did during the past two weeks in Vietnam, it is good to come home again. But enough of that; I have so much more to tell you about my trip.
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Jessica here with an update from Vietnam.
The past few days have been among the strangest, most challenging and most wonderful of my entire life. There is no way I could even begin to do them justice in this blog post. All I can do is bring you a basic outline of what has transpired over the past few days and promise you that soon after I return home we will begin work on a documentary to bring you this amazing story.
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I am sitting on my bed under a mosquito net in Pleiku, Vietnam, and I finally have a few spare moments to update you on the latest adventures of your favorite globe-trotting producer. Click "Read More" below for stories and pictures.
Well I see that my coworker Justin is trying to outdo me with multiple blogs from his trip to West Virginia. Since it is only 5:30 am at home and he is sure to be asleep, I will take this opportunity to do a little reporting of my own! Click "Read More" below for stories and pictures.
Then-Mayor Martin O'Malley at an Earth Day Planting at Gilmor Elementary in 2005Before I came to work at WYPR, I worked at a documentary company called Soundprint. While I was there, they were working on a series of stories about urban forests that delved into the unique environmental issues that cities face. For the documentary Watershed 263, we attended an Earth Day planting ceremony at Gilmor Elementary in Baltimore. Gilmor was one of a dozen schools in Baltimore that had converted their parking lot into a garden. Things like parking lots and roads are terrible for the environment. When it rains, the rain gathers up all the oil and other pollutants that have been sitting on the pavement and then whooshes it all into a storm-water drain. That all ends up in the Chesapeake, of course, where it wreaks havoc. A garden, on the other hand, keeps that water right there, and puts it to good use. It's a lot of fun for the kids, too, to get a day out of class to get their hands dirty and have a beautiful spot to play. The purpose of that whole long story was to tell you that on that day, then-Mayor Martin O'Malley was at that school, and ceremoniously planted the first flower in the soil. I remember being impressed that he would find time in a busy schedule to visit a school, make a speech, plant a flower, and hang out with the kids for awhile. I left with the feeling that he cared about the environment. The impression I was left with would please the now Governor, and those who work to craft his image. He has very purposefully cast himself as a "Green Governer". But what does that term really mean? As the environmental crisis in the Bay and beyond seems to grow more urgent, how does the criteria for being an environmental politician change? What is the gold standard in environmentalism for a politician? What is the leading edge-and is O'Malley on it? We'll discuss this today with people who all care deeply and have devoted their lives to the environment. Join us, to share your thoughts on what you would like to see happen in Maryland. Poll: Do you think Governor Martin O'Malley is a Green Governor?
Here are some pictures courtesy of one of our guests today, Gerry Winegrad. His descriptions are below:
There is this cool test on the BBC website I took last week that measures whether or not your senses overlap. As in, do you connect days of the week, letters or numbers with color? Is Thursday always green to you, and is the letter F always red? What the test is really measuring is whether or not you may have a neurological phenomenon called synesthesia. Synesthesia is only beginning to be understand by scientists and the people who have it. There are several different types, the most common called Grapheme-color synesthesia, which is where an individual associates letters and numbers with color. There is also spatial-sequence synesthesia, where numbers have spatial relationships to each other and to you-for example, 18 is further away and to the left, while 9 is rather close and above. There are many other kinds and you can read about them here. So what is life like for someone with synesthesia? Today we are going to talk with writer Alison Buckholtz, who wrote a great article for Salon.com earlier this week called The Letter E is Purple about her personal experience with the condition-and how she feels about the fact that her son may have it.. Join us!
12-1 pm Lea Gilmore shares her favorite music. Want to check out some of what she played? Here is the playlist.Tuesday December 18th
1-2 pm, Tom Hall shares from of his favorite music.
- Baby, It's Cold Outside, performed by Eric Byrd and Lea Gilmore
- Santa's Got the Blies, by Denise Lasalle
- Please Come Home for Christmas, by Charles Brown
- Santa Baby, by Eartha Kitt
- All I Want for Christmas is You, by Mariah Carey
- This Christmas, by Donny Hathaway
- Give Love on Christmas Day, by the Jackson 5
- So This is Christmas, by John Lennon
- Mary Did You Know, by Clay Aiken
- I am Not Forgotten, by Israel and New Breed
- Hark the Herald Angels Sing, by Norman Hitchens
- Silent Night, by Mahalia Jackson
- What a Wonderful World, by Louis Armstrong
- Oh Come, All Ye Faithful
- Come Colors Rise
- Thank you, by Dave Brubeck
- Gabriel's Message
- Yvette in English, by Joni Mitchell
- I Wish You Love
- It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
- Never Will I Marry
- Nine Crimes, Damien Rice
- Didn't My Lord Deliver Daniel
- Hallelujah Chorus
12-1 pm Jon Carney is the Concertmaster of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and he brought some of his favorite classical music for us. What did he play?Wednesday, December 19th
1-2 pm Jason Willett is the co-owner of the True Vine Record store in Hampden, as well as a member of a litany of fine bands including Leprechaun Catering and Half Japanese. We asked him to bring his favorite Christmas music, and this is what we heard - not quite in the order we heard them, go figure -
- Edward Elgar conducting the London Symphony- 1st movement of violin concerto featuring Yehudi Menuhin at age 16 - 1931
- Vivaldi - Largo from "Winter" of the Quattro Stagioni, Jon's recording w/ the Royal Philharmonic - 1992
- Camille St. Saens - from his "organ" symphony (#3) - Jean Martinon and French Radio Symphony - 1975
- Michael Nyman - Prospero's Books (miranda) - 1996
- Beethoven - slow movement from his opus 135 String Quartet - Guarneri Quartet 1987
- Bartok - Concerto for Orchestra - last movement - RPO w/ Danielle Gatti - 1997
- Bach - Chaconne for Partita #2 in D minor for solo violin - Henryk Szerying
- Fritz Kreisler - "La Gitana" for violin and piano - Jon's own recording w/ his mother on piano - 1995
- closing music: Michael Nyman - Quartet #4 - track 14
- James Brown - Santa Claus, Go Straight to the Ghetto
- Culturcide - Depressed Christmas
- Frieder Butzmann - White Christmas
- Hybrid Kids - Good King Wenceslaus
- James White and the Blacks - Christmas With Satan
- The Jethros - I'm Dreaming of a Wide Christmas
- Rotary Connection - Opening & Silent Night Chant
- finally, 3 awesome song poems called Snowbows, Santa Came on a Nuclear Missile, and Santa Goes Modern
12-1 pm Keith Covington is the owner of the New Haven Lounge, one of the best places around to see live jazz. He brought us the gift of great holiday jazz music; here they are in order:Thursday, December 20th
1-2 pm Rock and Roll has had something to say about Christmas since the 50's. Former disc jockeys Toby Bray and Michael Butscher came by and spun the following tunes.
- Slim & The Supreme Angels - Precious Lord
- Selah Jubilee Singers - When Was Jesus Born
- Kenny Burrel - Merry Christmas Baby
- Ramsey Lewis - Christmas Blues
- David Benoit - Christmas is Coming
- Ramsey Lewis - Merry Christmas Baby
- Chris Botti - Ave Maria
- Dianne Reeves - Carol of the Bells
- The Swan Silvertones - I'm Not Tired Yet
- Ramsey Lewis - God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
- Bobby Durham - Jingle Bells
- Van Morrison - Have I Told You Lately?
- The Original Five Blind Boys of Alabama (not to be confused with the Unoriginal Five Blind Boys of Alabama, seriously they're better) -This May Be the Last Time
- Do They Know It's Christmas? - Band Aid
- Father Christmas - The Kinks
- Wonderful Christmas Time - Paul McCartney
- Step Into Christmas - Elton John
- Happy Christmas (War Is Over) - John Lennon
- Santa Claus Is Coming to Town - Chicago
- White Christmas - America
- The Christmas Song - Linda Ronstadt
- The First Noel - Air Supply
- Merry Christmas, Baby - Southern Culture on the Skids
- Merry Christmas - The Ramones
- Christmas Wrapping - The Waitresses
- Blue Christmas - Elvis Presley
- Please Come Home for Christmas - The Eagles
- River - Joni Mitchell
- Santa Claus is Coming to Town - Bruce Springsteen
- Little Drummer Boy - Bing Crosby & David Bowie
- Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - Shawn Colvin
- The Christmas Song - Nat "King" Cole
- Jingle Bells - Frank Sinatra
- Let It Snow - Dean Martin
- It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas - Perry Como
- Santa Claus is Coming to Town - The Jackson Five
- Christmas Isn't Christmas (Without the One You Love) - The O'Jays
- This Christmas - Donny Hathaway
- L'il Saint Nick - The Beach Boys
12-1 pm Ed Polochick is a busy guy. He's conductor of the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra in Nebraska, Artistic Director of the Choral Artists of Baltimore, and Director of Choral Activities at the Peabody Conservatory. He was good enough to find time to come in and share his favorite classical and choral Christmas Music.
1-2 pm Hopefully you'll have some time to relax during the holidays. And if you do, maybe you'll want to go to the movies...but what to see? Never fear, we've brought together a great panel of film critics to tell you what to see. We'll talk to Violet Glaze of the Baltimore City Paper, Mike Speir from Variety, and Michael Sragrow from the Baltimore Sun. We really hope you enjoy all of this music and special programming. Happy Holidays! -Jessica, Justin, Marcus
- The First Noel, from the album Crystal Carols by Dean Shostak
- The Holy Boy by John Ireland, from the album A Christmas Garland
- Adeste Fideles, by Liszt, performed by Walker Marshall
- Many Moods of Christmas, Suite 2, by Robert Shaw, from the album Festival of Carols
- Candlelight Carol, from the album Christmas Night: Carols of the Nativity, conducted by John Rutter
- Christmas Night, Christmas Night: Carols of the Nativity, conducted by John Rutter
- Many Moods of Christmas, Suite 3, by Robert Shaw, from the album Festival of Carols
- Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah, performed by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Concert Artists Symphonic Chorale
- Worthy is the Lamb That Was Slain performed by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Concert Artists Symphonic Chorale
Time for one of our annual shows. HELICON, a great band that reunites once a year to play an annual winter solstice concert, will be in the studio today from 1-2 to bring you some great music. We'll be hearing Ken Kolodner on hammered dulcimer, hammered mbria and fiddle; Chris Norman on wooden flutes, tin whistle, small pipes and piano; and, Robin Bullock on guitar, cittern, fiddle and piano. The guys will be playing their 22nd annual concert at Kraushaar Auditorium at Goucher College, on Saturday, December 15 at 3:30 pm and 8 pm. Go here for more information. You are psyched. Don't deny it. The hammered dulcimer is hardcore. Join us today!
"Prostitution is hilarious!"I'm always shocked when I hear about some stupid group on a college campus having a Pimp's and Ho's party, or a "Ghetto" themed party where you are encouraged to bring 40's in brown paper bags and "wear your favorite gang colors!" I mean, do these people really not get it? Are they really unaware that someone is going to be offended by this? Where is the motivation, anyway? Why do people want to emulate ghetto stereotypes and celebrate the worst of human behavior? These are the questions that Cora Daniels asks in her most recent book, Ghetto Nation: A Journey into the Land of Bling and the Home of the Shameless. Why do people like Paris Hilton appropriate ghetto attitudes and style? How can corporate America defend it's practices of making so much money off harmful ghetto stereotypes? Do we really live in a world where Pimp and Ho" for children costumes are available? Yes. We sure do. Let's discuss...at Noon...
In 2004, Joel Hafvenstein went to Afghanistan as part of an aid program to help Afghan opium farmers find alternative ways to make money. Predictably, the program ran into resistance from the area's drug trafficking warlords, and responded with ambushes. Within just a few months, nine of his colleagues were dead. He's our guest today to talk about his time in Afghanistan, which is chronicled in the new book Opium Season: A Year on the Afghan Frontier. It's a really exciting account of his time there, and a quite educational story about the complexities of Afghan society and the larger issue of the problems present in U.S. attempts to bring aid to foreign countries. So join us, to hear this fascinating story....
Today, local author, Goucher professor, and friend Madison Smartt Bell is joining us to discuss his new book Charm City: A Walk Through Baltimore. The book is what it sounds like; the author takes us on a walk through Baltimore, pointing out the important cultural, historical, and social points of interest along the way. He visits typical Baltimore tourist spots like the Inner Harbor and Fells Point, but also goes to places off the tourist track, like the vibrant Greenmount Avenue and Greenmount Cemetery. Producer Justin went out with him last week and captured the sounds of some of these spots...we'll be playing those on the air today while we talk with Madison. So join us with your comments, questions, and stories of your favorite parts of the city!
Well, I hope if any of you aren't members, you will become one after today, because we're gonna be running up the phone bill here at WYPR! First--we're going to go to Iraq, to talk with Nancy Youssef of the McClatchy papers. She's going to share her first-hand perspective of the political and security situation in that country. Then, we're traveling to Pakistan. We're going to talk to Shahan Mufti of the Christian Science Monitor, who is reporting from Pakistan. We'll also talk to Washington College professor Tahir Shad, a Pakistani who is currently in Argentina. And we'll talk with Kamran Asdar Ali, a Pakistani and professor of Anthropology at the University of Texas. What do you want to know about the situation in Iraq and Pakistan? Bring them to the show!
Disaster capitalism. What an interesting phrase. It's the topic of Naomi Klein's new book, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. What is disaster capitalism? It's things like Blackwater, or the privatization of New Orleans schools after Hurricane Katrina, or Haliburton and the rebuilding of Iraq. It is the world in which private companies profit from disasters, natural or man-made. Is this an example of the triumph of the global free market? Or evidence that some of the events of the past decades have been engineered to profit certain corporations? Join us as we speak with Naomi Klein....and watch a short video inspired by the book. And then, we take a look at the special session in Annapolis. Is deal making and compromise occuring? Will slots pass? Will corporations and those with high incomes be paying more in taxes? We'll talk with WYPR's Senior News Analyst Fraser Smith and Kevin Dayhoff, columnist for The Tentacle. Join us! -Jessica
Sister Helen Prejean is our guest today. She's the nun whose work with death row inmates was profiled in the Academy Award winning movie Dead Man Walking. She joined Marc to talk about the death penalty, and why she believes it is not only morally wrong but replete with racial, economic, and geographic disparity as a result of a broken judicial system.
I mean WOW, just WOW. Right? Join us today. We're going to be talking about rape in the modern world--how we deal with it socially and legally. How does our culture treat people who allege they were victimized? How do we treat alleged assailants? Here is a link to the op-edwritten in The Baltimore Sun by Glenn Sacks, one of our guests, in which he supports the University of Maryland's decision to deny protesters a forum to publicly name alleged rapists. Bring your comments and questions....
“The concept, undergirding the Battle holding, rooted in ancient laws by English common law, views the initial ‘deflowering’ of as the real harm or insult which must be redressed by compensating, in legal contemplation, the injured party – the father or husband. … [I]t was the act of penetration that was the essence of the crime of rape; after this initial infringement upon the responsible male’s interest in a woman’s sexual and reproductive functions, any further injury was considered to be less consequential."
-from Court of Special Appeals, Opinion by J. Davis, filed February 9, 2007
When this book came in, I was immediately transfixed. We get a lot of books coming through everyday, and when a pretty one comes in, it's a nice break from the policy tomes we see all the time. But this book goes so far beyond that. It is way more than pretty pictures. It's a poetic argument in favor of reinvigorating architecture with a sense of purpose and spirit. It's a passionate plea from an architect who is seeing our world become increasingly devoid of metaphor and grace. This book is so visually stunning, and the conversation is bound to focus on a lot of the images of the buildings that Travis Price has designed and built. He was kind enough to let us use some of his images to create a little visual exploration for our blog readers. Just click here and enjoy! Join us on air or here in the blog to talk about your favorite buildings, what you think about American design today, and whether or not you think our world has lost it's way in terms of design. And don't forget to become or renew your membership!
Need I say more?
Today we're going to return to a topic we've been covering since the story broke, and that's the case of wounded soldiers being discharged from the Army under Chapter 5-13 "Personality Disorder." This enables the Army to avoid paying medical and disability benefits for these soldiers. It was being applied despite the fact that these men passed the Army's rigorous psychological entrance examinations and displayed no prior evidence of mental disorders. Joshua Kors from The Nation is the one who broke this story (the original article is here, and he's back with an update, which you can read here. We'll also be joined by Congressman Phil Harefrom Illinois, who has introduced legislation to stop this kind of discharge, and from Congressman Bob Filner from California, who is the Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs.We'll also have a statement from the Army. They declined to come on live. You can read their statement here. You can also read the statement they sent us on March 27, 2007 here. -Jessica
Beverly McIver "Oh Happy Day" 2001 Oil on Canvas 60 x 55 3/4 in. I first became aware of Beverly McIver in the November 2006 episode of Art News. The images of her paintings stopped me on my tracks. She depicted herself, a black woman, in black-face. She played off the "Mammy" stereotype. She painting herself dancing with a white man, but scratched her face out. She painted portraits of her mentally handicapped sister, whom she is the primary caregiver for. I have ambivalent feelings about contemporary art. I walked into a museum in Paris once where a whole room was filled with a table that had potatoes dumped on it, with wires going in and out of the potatoes. At that moment, I sort of broke up with contemporary art. So much of it feels derivative and irrelevant to me. So much of it is absurd and almost obscene in how removed from any real sense of aesthetics it is. Her art escapes that. To me it has both contextual and technical beauty and worth. It is brave and actually manages to shock and unsettle without resorting to ridiculous extremes in terms of medium. So when the card announcing her October show at the C. Grimaldis Gallery came, I told Marc, "You have no choice. You are interviewing this woman!" and he intelligently agreed with me. I've prepared a page with some of her work on it. Click here. I hope you like her stuff as much as I do. -Jessica
Are Pit Bulls just destined to be more aggressive and violent? Or do they only become that way because they have bad owners? Are laws regulating Pit Bulls unfair? Or do they provide needed protection for people? Lots of people get mauled by dogs each year. I can think of three cases in Baltimore City that got press just this summer. Two of the victims were seven year old children. Today we will talk with people on different sides of this issue. Let us know if you have a Pit Bull story, as an owner, or someone who knows a Pit Bull. Good or bad experiences, share them here.
from the New York Times. Read the accompanying article here.California is one of those places that sets trends. Making restaurants smoke free...the fitness craze..."green living" and nutrition. And if you think about it, they also show us what problems the rest of the country can expect. Illegal immigration, water shortages, gang activity, a real estate market more and more people are getting priced out of....California began to struggle with these problems before anyone else. With that in mind we were interested when we heard about a documentary that will air on the Discovery Channel on Sunday at 9pm called Breaking Point. It is an investigation into the problems of overcrowding in California prisons. Those prisons were built to house about 100,000 people. Today they have more than 170,000 inmates. Prisoners are being segregated by race and gang affiliation in an attempt to keep some kind of peace. Inmates are sleeping on cots in hallways and gyms. And it costs as much to house, clothe, and feed a prisoner each year as it does to send someone to Harvard. We'll talk with Ted Koppel who hosted and produced this documentary, and James Blue, an award w inning producer who worked on the documentary who just happens to live in Baltimore! and then....
"I'm coming for you, WYPR."He's not seeking the Democratic nomination for President of the United States this time around, but he still has a LOT to say about leadership, citizenship, and politics in America. Marc talks with retired General Wesley Clark about his new book A Time to Lead: For Duty, Honor and Country. -Jessica
She is in town today to give the 1st annual Korenman lecture at UMBC, today at 4:30 pm. Go here for more information! I don't know how one gets to become known as "an international feminist treasure," but I imagine it involves being pretty smart and interesting. She is the author of Bananas, Beaches and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics, Maneuvers, The International Politics of Militarizing Women's Lives, and, The Curious Feminist: Searching for Women in a New Age of Empire She writes and teaches about the interplay of women's politics in the international arena. One example she focuses on is the implications for women that exist in the War in Iraq. What does it mean for feminism? What does it mean for the welfare of women in the Middle East? Join us!