Culture

Culture, Ideas, Religion

Monday, we're talking about our massive food waste problem. A full forty percent of food in America ends up in the trash. Activist Tristram Stuart joins us to talk about why we waste so much food and what we can and should do about it.

It's All Relative

Nov 9, 2017

You’ve probably got that one family member who just drives you crazy. Maybe it’s their politics or their constant talk about their cat’s eating habits, but you put up with it because their family, right? Well, experimental journalist A.J. Jacobs wants you to think more broadly, because the way he sees it, we’re all cousins. His latest book is a dive into genealogy and the new ways we’re understanding the human family. He’s coming to Utah, and joins us to talk about the world’s family tree.

Blurred Lines

Nov 8, 2017

Wednesday, we’re talking to journalist Vanessa Grigoriadis, whose controversial new book looks at sex and sexual violence on college campuses. Grigoriadis interviewed more than 100 students, as well as parents and college administrators, to try to understand how sex, power, and consent work on campus these days. The answer is really complicated with good and terrible sides to the story. There’s also a lot of what she calls the mushy middle. Her book is called Blurred Lines.

Jeffrey Jones via Flickr (http://bit.ly/2Ajfk23), CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 (http://bit.ly/1hYHpKw)

What do you do when a panhandler approaches you? Do you give money? Do you give food? Maybe you don’t give the person anything. Maybe you donate to a homeless services organization, or volunteer at the soup kitchen instead. But what should you do? That’s what we’re asking on Monday’s show. Our guests work closely with Utah’s homeless population, and they all agree, there are no easy answers when it comes to the ethical questions around panhandling.

From Here to Eternity

Oct 31, 2017

There are death rituals around the world that might strike you as morbid, disrespectful, or downright gross. In Japan, survivors pick through their loved one’s cremated ashes with chopsticks to find bone fragments. In Tibet, bodies are eaten by vultures. Tuesday, mortician Caitlin Doughty joins us to talk about the rituals she chronicles in a new book. Doughty says these traditions give families time and space to mourn, something she argues is sorely missing in American culture today.

Wheeler Copperthwaite via CC/Flickr, http://bit.ly/2szlOWg

The journalist Sam Quinones has called opiate addiction “the closest thing to enslavement that we have in America today.” It’s a scourge fueled by pharmaceutical companies and drug cartels, and it takes advantage of some heavy cultural baggage on either side of the border. Poor people in Mexico are looking for a leg up, while disaffected people in the world’s richest country just want to check out. Quinones joins us to discuss the culture of the opiate epidemic. (Rebroadcast)


Thursday, we’re talking about what happened to Russia. The fall of the USSR was followed by a period of liberalization, and the country appeared to be on the path towards democracy. Then Vladimir Putin rose to power. He invaded neighboring countries. He led a crackdown on political opposition. He’s waging war on the concept of Western democracy. But where has his regime left Russia and its people? Journalist Masha Gessen joins us Tuesday to share what she’s learned about how totalitarianism reclaimed Russia.

istock

Our guest Wednesday has written a book with a slightly off-color title: The A--hole Survival Guide. Robert Sutton is a Professor of Organizational Behavior at Stanford University, and his book is a how-to for dealing with the jerks in your own life. And the problem isn’t just them. Sutton says research shows that if you work with a jerk, there’s a good chance you might become one. Robert Sutton joins Doug live to talk about identifying, outwitting, and disarming the a-holes around you.

Dream Hoarders

Oct 19, 2017
Bill Dickinson, CC via Flickr, http://bit.ly/2w4BumE

The scholar Richard Reeves was raised in the U.K., and he hates the sense of class consciousness he says pervades there. That was part of the appeal in becoming an American citizen. In his latest book though, Reeves describes a growing chasm between the upper middle class and the 80% of Americans whose opportunities have stagnated. Reeves joins Doug Thursday to talk about the ways this “favored fifth” is pulling away from the rest of the nation, and what it means for the American dream. (Rebroadcast)

Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

From 1947 to 2000, the LDS Church ran the “Indian Student Placement Program.” It took 50,000 native children from reservations and placed them in Mormon homes. This effort to educate and convert them came naturally out of Mormon theology, which taught that Native Americans were descended from a lost tribe of Israel and were cursed for their wickedness. Wednesday, we’re talking about the program and what it reveals about Mormonism’s complicated relationship with Native Americans.

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