Show 199: Reverend Lennox Yearwood

This week, Sunsara Taylor returned with Reverend Lennox Yearwood, President of the Hip Hop Caucus, about the appropriation of the Civil Rights Movement’s legacy by the very same Right Wing Christian Fundamentalists who once upheld segregation.

They will discuss this and the role of black religious leaders who have aligned themselves with President Bush, including in the wake of Hurricane Katrina which Yearwood organized many protests around, and the ultimate need for a radically different, socially conscious morality.

Show 198: Victor Stenger

Atheism has taken a turn toward the right, some have said, as writers like Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins and others have penned best-selling books on religion and faith which tend to see religion as the major problem in today’s society while leaving out politics and the economy. And while the Left ought to recognize the inherent dangers in religious fundamentalism, they also should understand the many complex reasons religion exists in the first place, and how fundamentalisms arise.

While on this program we have featured what some critics have dubbed the evangelical atheists in the past, we have also had folks like DS Wilson, Scott Atran, Robert Dreyfuss and Robert Pape on to take us deeper into the many facets of religion, its causes, and how we could begin to reign in the more dangerous verities.

Still, it is always useful to listen to anthropologists like Hector Avalos who cut to the roots of certain sorts of religious violence, and today’s guest, physicist Victor Stenger who takes a purely scientific view on the supernatural. Can science prove God does not, can not, exist? Many scientists, atheistic scientists in fact, disagree on the answer to this question.

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Show 197: Alfie Kohn

This interview was originally aired in part on February 2, 2007.

From Wikipedia: “Alfie Kohn is an American lecturer and author in the fields of education, psychology and parenting, residing in Belmont, Massachusetts. He is an outspoken critic of American work place management, public education and parenting techniques. Kohn having been an educator himself has written many books on education. Probably the most comprehensive being The Schools our Children Deserve. However he has reserved the most attention from his stance on the trend toward pervasive standardized testing and excessive homework. He has written several books attacking “common sense” notions about competition, rewards, and parenting.

“On the home front, Kohn has challenged parents in Beyond Discipline: from Compliance to Community and Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason to give up the “because I’m the Mom” mode of parenting and switch to a cooperative, loving, guiding form of parenting which places children on more equal footing with parents.”

His latest book is called The Homework Myth.

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Show 196: Annalee Newitz

In this kick-off to Equal Time’s periodic series on “Humanism’s Economics,” we will investigate the dehumanizing aspects of capitalism – our current non-humanistic economic system in America – via the way it plays out in American movies and novels. How do these arts tell the story about life under capitalism, and what are these artists trying to tell us about its cost?

In Pretend We’re Dead, Annalee Newitz argues that the slimy zombies and gore-soaked murderers who have stormed through American film and literature over the past century embody the violent contradictions of capitalism. Ravaged by overwork, alienated by corporate conformity, and mutilated by the unfettered lust for profit, fictional monsters act out the problems with an economic system that seems designed to eat people whole.

Newitz looks at representations of serial killers, mad doctors, the undead, cyborgs, and unfortunates mutated by their involvement with the mass media industry. Whether considering the serial killer who turns murder into a kind of labor by mass producing dead bodies, or the hack writers and bloodthirsty actresses trapped inside Hollywood’s profit-mad storytelling machine, she reveals that each creature has its own tale to tell about how a freewheeling market economy turns human beings into monstrosities.

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