Friday's Show

Luke Isley, Courtesy Ballet West

The Nutcracker

The dance scholar Jennifer Fisher says that The Nutcracker, at least in North America, has become as "regular as clockwork." Some may find it cliche and for some it may be obligatory. But Fisher argues that Tchaikovsky's piece is one of the most powerful traditions in the world of ballet and that it tells us a lot about the values we share. Friday, Doug talks to Fisher and Ballet West CEO and Artistic Director Adam Sklute about The Nutcracker and the place it holds in our culture. (Rebroadcast)
Read More

When the Mormon Church’s LGBT policy made headlines last November, it shocked a lot of people. Most mainstream Mormons have worked through it with official clarifications, but faithful LGBT members are still in pain and struggling to understand their place in the LDS Church. Critics say it’s also led to increased youth suicides, broken families, and mass resignations. Thursday, we’re talking about the effect of the policy at its one-year anniversary.

Last November, the LDS Church made policy changes that deeply affected LGBT members and their families. It labeled people in same-sex marriages as apostates subject to discipline and said children living with an LGBT parent would be barred from sacred rituals like baptism. Wednesday, in the first of two conversations on the policy’s anniversary, we’re asking how these changes came to be, why they took so many people by surprise, and what it says about LDS leadership and faith today.

Photo courtesy of The Orchard

As a young boy, Owen Suskind went years without saying a single word. He was autistic, and his parents worried that he’d never be able to relate to other people. One day, they discovered they could communicate with the help of classic Disney animated films that Owen adored. He could recite the films verbatim, and they helped him understand the complex cues of social interaction. Director Roger Ross Williams' film Life, Animated is about Owen’s emotional coming-of-age story, and he’ll join us to talk about it.

Courtesy McMullin for President Committee, Inc.

By now, you’ve probably heard about Evan McMullin. He’s running for president of the United States as an independent third party candidate, which isn’t all that unique. Unlike essentially every other such candidate though, McMullin has a legitimate shot at winning electoral votes, specifically here in his home state of Utah. But who is this upstart? And what does he mean when he says he wants to build a “new conservative movement”? McMullin joins us on Monday to discuss his presidential bid.

Jerry Schatzberg

Thursday, Doug sat down with novelist Jonathan Lethem as part of the Utah Humanities Book Festival. It’s hard to pin him down to one genre, but Lethem’s wry humor and stinging social commentary have earned him accolades like a MacArthur “genius” grant. His new novel follows a handsome, international backgammon gambler who is, in Lethem’s words, “being reworked by life.” Friday, we’re airing our conversation with Jonathan Lethem about his artistic journey, and why it is he’s never read one of his own books.

Benjamin Bergen is a cognitive scientist and he loves swearing. He actually studies it for a living. In a fascinating new book, Bergen examines why we use swear words, why they’re so powerful, and how they work in our language and on our minds.  Swearing, he says, can be useful, funny, and cathartic. It also helps us express the strongest human emotions. Doug spoke with Bergen earlier this week, and Thursday we’re airing that conversation. But don’t worry: we’ve bleeped all the swear words.

DesignsByKari via Flickr/CC, http://bit.ly/2eDkTR7

Late last week, the LGBT activist group Equality Utah filed a lawsuit against the Utah State Board of Education and others over what it calls “anti-gay school laws.” The law explicitly prohibits “the advocacy of homosexuality.” Opponents say it limits free speech, denies equal protection to LGBT students, and puts them in harm’s way. Others say there shouldn’t be any discussion of sex in public schools. Wednesday, we’re talking about the lawsuit and the effects of so-called “no promo homo” laws.

Taber Andrew Bain via CC/Flickr, http://bit.ly/1SVrd1W

 

In a new book, legal scholar Mehrsa Baradaran argues that America has two systems for personal banking. The rich have personal bank accounts at brick-and-mortar businesses, while the poor either don’t bank at all or rely on payday lenders and check cashers that charge exorbitant rates and fees. The result, Baradaran says, is a sadly ironic situation where “the less money you have, the more you pay to use it.” She joins us Tuesday to explain how we got into this mess, and how we might get out of it.

Ghostland

Oct 24, 2016

Monday, we’re taking a haunted tour of America with writer Colin Dickey. Don’t worry though, we won’t try to convince you that ghosts or the paranormal are necessarily real. Dickey’s new book explores the bigger cultural questions behind these tales. Traveling to haunted mansions, brothels, industrial ruins, parks, and more, he asks why we tell these stories and how they help us make sense of our world. Dickey joins us to talk about what he calls “an American history in haunted places.”

Trapped

Oct 21, 2016

Abortion may be legal in America, but conservative legislatures have been working for years to pass laws that restrict women’s access to it. Hundreds of those laws have been enacted this decade, and they’ve forced many abortion clinics to close their doors. In a new documentary, filmmaker Dawn Porter tells the stories of clinic workers and lawyers fighting the restrictions designed to regulate abortion out of existence. Porter’s film is called Trapped, and she joins us Friday to talk about it. (Rebroadcast)

Pages

Monday's Show

Religion and the Brain

Researcher Jeffrey Anderson says Karl Marx wasn’t far off when he likened religion to opium. Anderson is a neuroradiologist at the University of Utah, and he’s been studying how the brain reacts to religious experiences. What he’s found is that religion works like love, gambling, drugs, and music: they all light up the brain’s reward center. He’ll join us Monday. We’ll also talk to science journalist Erik Vance, whose cover article for this month’s National Geographic looks at faith and healing.
Read More

Radio Hour with Plan-B Theatre

December 8, RadioWest and Plan-B Theatre deliver two family friendly holiday tales with THE GIFT OF THE MAGI and THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL. Then, slip in your earbuds for anti-Claus THE BLACK KNIGHT.

Calendar of Events

Heard it on RadioWest

RadioWest interviews many guests who have events in and around the state or in cyberspace. Trying to plan your month? Here's your guide to the lectures, screenings and other happenings you've heard on the show.
Read More

Utah Profiles

Utah is full of characters that make our state a vibrant home. Here's a collection of conversations we've had with some of these passionate and thoughtful people.

VideoWest

Building a Language

Trent Pehrson lives in American Fork with his wife and 8 children. As a child, he started creating his own language, "Idrani." Language, he says, is the world we build inside of our own mind.

Connect With Us

Find RadioWest and KUER on your preferred social media platform. Share your own thoughts and find photos, info on upcoming events, behind the scenes details and more.

LDS Topics

Conversations on LDS faith, history and culture

Local Music Series

There's a young vibrant music scene in Utah. RadioWest brings some of the newest and best bands into the studio to talk about and to play their music live.

About RadioWest

Listen weekdays at 11:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. MT on KUER 90.1. Join us at 801-585-WEST or radiowest@kuer.org