Wednesday's Show

Courtesy Steven Barclay Agency

A Conversation with Michael Pollan

Food and nature writer Michael Pollan says his literary heroes led him astray when he first planted a garden. Theoreau and Emerson had taught him that wilderness is the ultimate form of nature. So, he skipped the fence, only to find himself in a gruesome battle with a woodchuck over the vegetables. Pollan is coming to Utah, and Wednesday, he joins Doug to talk about practical relationships with nature, his journey as a writer about food culture, and his latest interest, psychedelic consciousness.

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The First Love Story

May 16, 2017
Public domain

Tuesday, we’re talking about the oldest relationship in the Christian world: Adam and Eve. The writer Bruce Feiler says the two don’t get the credit they deserve, and in a new book he aims to redeem them for a new generation. According to Feiler, the tale of Adam and Eve is a timeless myth that still has much to teach us. They confronted the ultimate human fear—loneliness—and defeated it with the ultimate human expression—love. Feiler joins us to explore the meaning of the first love story.

Overdressed

May 15, 2017

Try to imagine 18 tons of clothes. It’s the image journalist and author Elizabeth Cline said surprised her the most while researching her book about the way Americans dress. That’s because that pile represented three-days of donations to one thrift store in one U.S. city. And what’s the impact of the cheap fashion we buy and toss on such a regular basis? Cline is coming to Utah, and Monday she joins Doug to explain what it means for our economy, our environment, and for our culture.

Casanova

May 12, 2017
Courtesy of personal collection / Bridgeman Images

The name Casanova is synonymous with seduction and sexuality. And while biographer Laurence Bergreen says that Giacomo Casanova’s favorite place was a brothel, it might surprise you that his second favorite was a library. The 18th century Venetian was born in poverty. He was intent on working up the social ladder though and saw sex as both pleasure and a “weapon of class destruction.” Bergreen joins Doug to talk about Casanova’s writing and philosophy … as well as his 120+ lovers. (Rebroadcast)

Phenomena

May 11, 2017

If you’re a skeptic, you’re going to be outraged by the “scientific projects” conducted by the U.S. government into mind reading and other paranormal phenomena. For more than 40 years the government hired magicians and hypnotists to try to figure out what the enemy was up to. Investigative journalist Annie Jacobsen’s latest book tells the story of this top secret program, and Thursday, she joins us to explain what would make people spend so much time, energy, and money on such strange ideas.

Greg Pye via Flickr (http://bit.ly/2mF1RKs) CC2.0 (http://bit.ly/1mhaR6e)

 

Wednesday, we’re talking about the value of rest. Of taking a break. From everything. For most of us, overwork is the new normal and rest is an afterthought. But the scholar Alex Soojung-Kim Pang says that by dismissing the importance of rest in our lives we stifle our ability to think creatively and truly recharge. Pang will join us to explain how long walks, afternoon naps, vigorous exercise, and "deep play" stimulate creative work and sustain creative lives. (Rebroadcast)

Josh Ewing, Utah Dine Bikeyah

A coalition of five sovereign Native American tribes was instrumental in last year’s declaration of Bears Ears National Monument. Those tribes all lived in the region long before white settlers, and tribal members say they depend on the Bears Ears for food, shelter, healing, and spiritual sustenance. For them, the landscape is alive. It has a heartbeat. It’s a valued member of the family. Tuesday, we'll talk about how Native Americans think about and relate to Bears Ears.

Public domain

“Few came so far, so fast, and so alone,” writes John Farrell in a new biography of President Richard Nixon. Nixon was an idealistic dreamer when he returned from World War II, and he quickly scaled the political ladder. After winning the presidency in 1969, he and his staff pursued progressive reforms and opened relations with China. But Nixon, says Farrell, had another, darker legacy: a divided and polarized America. Farrell joins us Monday to discuss Richard Nixon and the world he made.

Roco Julie (no changes; http://bit.ly/2lH52E2) (CC BY-SA 2.0, http://bit.ly/1hYHpKw)

A funny thing happened on the way to digital utopia: we rekindled our love affairs with the very analog goods and ideas that tech gurus insisted we no longer needed. What once looked outdated—stuff like paper notebooks, LP records, and board games—is cool again, breathing new life into many businesses that deal in tangible things. The writer David Sax calls this trend the “Revenge of Analog.” In a new book, he explores the real things renaissance, and he’ll join us to talk about it. (Rebroadcast)

The film High Noon was a hit when it debuted in 1952, and it remains a revered Hollywood classic. But the tale of a sheriff awaiting a showdown held deeper meaning for screenwriter Carl Foreman. For him, it was a political parable. Communist fear gripped the nation, and Foreman was called before the House Committee on Un-American Activities to answer for his past. Journalist Glenn Frankel has written a book about the making of High Noon and its high-stakes allegory. He joins us Thursday to talk about it.

Judy Fahys

Last week, President Donald Trump ordered Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review the designation of every national monument declared via the Antiquities Act since January 1, 1996. The order is especially relevant to Utah. Grand Staircase-Escalante was the only monument proclaimed in ’96. And Secretary Zinke said he would in short order make a specific recommendation on the state’s new Bears Ears Monument. Wednesday, we’re asking what this review means for Utah. We’ll also discuss the history and future of the Antiquities Act.

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Short Film

Gerda: Dementia Field Notes

Gerda Saunders has a fabulous sense of style, but she also has a progressive form of dementia. So will the effort she puts into her appearance be worth it once she can no longer manage it herself?

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Heard it on RadioWest

A guide to the lectures, screenings and other happenings you've heard on the show.

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Conversations on LDS faith, history and culture

About RadioWest

Listen weekdays at 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. MT on KUER 90.1