Ideas for April 2018

Highlights this month include: "Sir John A. Macdonald on Trial" (April 11 & 12) -- a special episode that puts Canada's first Prime Minister on trial for "crimes against humanity"; "It's Alive: Frankenstein at 200" (April 16) -- exploring how Mary Shelley's horror story reflects the anxieties of our modern times.

Monday, April 2
HOW CAN WE BETTER UNDERSTAND OUR WORLD & MAKE IT A BETTER PLACE
How can we fix our broken world? And what does it actually mean to love your neighbour? Those are some of the questions raised by Payam Akhavan in the 2017 CBC Massey Lectures — on air, and on tour. We also invited you, our listeners, to send us your questions. In this episode, we hear excerpts from the audience discussions after the five lectures, along with Payam Akhavan in conversation with Paul Kennedy answering questions sent in by our listeners.


Tuesday, April 3
THE ENRIGHT FILES
Our monthly Monday night feature with Michael Enright, host of The Sunday Edition, in conversation with some of the most original and influential thinkers of our time.


Wednesday, April 4
THE ENDURING POWER OF ALBERT CAMUS' L'ÉTRANGER
It's been 75 years since Albert Camus published L'Étranger. It continues to be the most translated book from French into English -- an amazing feat for someone who came from an illiterate family in Algeria. Given how intense questions about "the other" are across the globe — who really belongs where and who doesn't — Camus' book is even more relevant than ever.


Thursday, April 5
WHY DEMOCRACY DEPENDS ON HOW WE TALK TO EACH OTHER
Does democracy have a future? It's a question being asked in democracies everywhere. People are frustrated with politics and politicians. And politicians appear weary of democracy. Now populist uprisings to protect the status quo are threatening the foundations of democracy itself. Michael Sandel is a world-renowned political philosopher at Harvard University — and the 2017 LaFontaine-Baldwin lecturer.


Friday, April 6
HOW MARTIN LUTHER INVENTED THE MODERN WORLD
It has been 500 years since Martin Luther supposedly nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. There's no proof he ever did that — and it may not matter. We're still living in the aftershocks of the religious, political and social revolution that he began. This program looks at Martin Luther's legacy, and why he still evokes impassioned debate today.
 



Monday, April 9
KEN DRYDEN ON CHANGING THE IDEA OF HOCKEY
On one level Game Change, written by NHL legend Ken Dryden, is about the increasing number of concussions hockey players suffer. But it's also about changing the way decision-makers make decisions. As he tells Paul Kennedy, being right isn't enough. That's why Dryden has turned the old adage "where there's a will, there's a way" on its head. He argues passionately that if there's a way, there's a will. And the will to change the idea of what hockey actually means is more urgently needed than ever.


Tuesday, April 10
WHAT IS LIBERALISM? 
By the end of the Cold War, liberalism emerged triumphant around much of the developed world — until the recent rise of populism in Europe and the U.S.  Suddenly, the political landscape is looking ominous. What is liberalism's future? A debate amongst public intellectuals from London's "Battle of Ideas" festival.


Wednesday, April 11 - Thursday, April 12
SIR JOHN A. MACDONALD ON TRIAL FOR CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY
As the celebrations of Canada's 150th birthday fade, the controversy around Sir John A. Macdonald's legacy is building. This special episode of IDEAS puts Canada's first Prime Minister on trial for "crimes against humanity". Prosecuting Macdonald is renowned Métis lawyer, Jean Teillet, founder of the Métis Nation of Ontario, and the great-grandniece of Louis Riel. Defending him is award-winning criminal defence lawyer, Frank Addario, who is also Vice-President of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. The judge is The Honourable Ian Binnie, former Supreme Court Justice, described by the Toronto Star as "one of the strongest hands on the court". The programs are based on a public recording at Queen's University.
 

Friday, April 13
CONFRONTING THE 'PERFECT STORM': HOW TO FEED THE FUTURE
We're facing what could be a devastating crisis — how to feed ourselves without destroying the ecosystems we depend on. We already produce enough food to feed everyone on the planet. Yet 800 million people are undernourished, while another 2 billion are overweight or obese. And at the same time, almost one third of the food we produce goes to waste. In partnership with the Arrell Food Institute at the University of Guelph we seek out creative solutions to a looming disaster. In this episode we hear from waste expert Tammara Soma and international food security expert Tim Benton. Part 2 airs April 20.
 



Monday, April 16
IT'S ALIVE: FRANKENSTEIN AT 200
In 1818 the world was introduced to an entirely new kind of monster. Mary Shelley published Frankenstein: or The Modern Prometheus and her creation has stalked the stage, then the screen, inspired art, and filled the pages of countless sequels and comic books ever since. Frankenstein's creature became the most famous monster of the modern era. In this episode we explore how this remarkably original horror story captured our imagination so completely, and how it reflects the anxieties of so many aspects of modern times, from birth, parenthood and human identity, to scientific creation, to the fundamental question of good and evil.


Tuesday, April 17
THE GENDER TRAP
How does gender drive identity? And what do we mean by gender anyway? We live in an age of something far more fluid than the standard male/female dichotomy; maybe it's not surprising that the identity of our society is related to the identity of the individuals in it. And what's LGBTQQIAAP2S? Because almost certainly someone you know and love answers to one of those descriptors. From The Stratford Festival, a discussion featuring "radical reverend" Cheri DiNovo, writer Rinaldo Walcott, artist Syrus Markus Ware, and trans activists and educators Kim Katrin and Tiq Milan.


Wednesday, April 18
PLAYDOH'S REPUBLIC: CHILDREN AS NATURAL PHILOSOPHERS
Why were we born? Is life just a dream? What makes something wrong or right? Children often ask questions like these — sometimes to the exasperation of their parents. But children really want to know why the world is the way it is. And they want to know how we know. Maybe that's because they're open, curious and inquisitive — they're natural philosophers. In this episode we explore the Big Questions — and even some attempted answers.


Thursday, April 19
ROAMING IMAGINATION: WHAT THE STORIES WE TELL ABOUT BEARS SAY ABOUT US
Bears hold a powerful place in the human psyche. From early cave drawings and myths as old as language itself, to modern scientific research, the family Ursidae has captivated the imaginations of humans around the world. At the heart of our obsession are contradictions: a magnetism that draws us in and fear that pushes us away. Contributing producer Molly Segal explores the stories we share about bears, what they say about us and our future.


Friday, April 20
THE HIDDEN POWER OF FOOD: FINDING VALUE IN WHAT WE EAT
In Canada we waste about a third of the food we produce. And yet four million Canadians experience food insecurity. In partnership with the Arrell Food Institute at the University of Guelph, we hear from Dawn Morrison whose work focuses on Indigenous food sovereignty and Bryan Gilvesy, a long-horn cattle rancher who puts sustainability first. Part 2 of a 2-part series.
 



Monday, April 23
THE GOD AND GUN SHOW
Donald Trump's inauguration in January 2017 inspired many Americans to reflect on what America actually is. Contributor David Zane Mairowitz is originally from New York, but has been living in Europe for over fifty years. He returned to the U.S. to travel through five states of the South, a region he'd never been to before, to record his encounters with everyday people in the aim of gaining insight into an America he's now struggling to understand. 


Tuesday, April 24
SEED BANKS: RE-SOWING PARADISE
In the face of climate change and declining biodiversity, one of humanity's oldest cultural practices – seed saving – has a new urgency. Maria Zytaruk explores how preserving seeds reflects the deepest of human fears and hopes, whether it's done in a high-tech seed bank in Britain, or a simple storage closet lined with jars at a convent in Kingston. 


Wednesday, April 25
HOW FACEBOOK, GOOGLE, APPLE AND AMAZON ARE MANIPULATING OUR LIVES AND THREATENING DEMOCRACY
The internet began with great hope that it would strengthen democracy. Initially, social media movements seemed to be disrupting corrupt institutions. But the web no longer feels free and open, and the disenfranchised are feeling increasingly pessimistic. Dr. Taylor Owen argues that the reality of the internet is now largely one of control, by four platform companies Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple — worth a combined $2.7 trillion —  and their impact on democracy is deeply troubling. 


Thursday, April 26
MISS UNDERSTANDING AND MISS BEHAVIOR
Is drag a mockery of femininity, an earnest tribute, or something else entirely? Willow Yamauchi, a drag queen's daughter, unpacks her father's gowns, secrets, and illusions, and works through his little black book to find his answers— and her own.


Friday, April 27
OLD MASTERS: Decoding prehistoric art with Jean Clottes
The songs and stories of prehistoric humans are gone. All that remains of their culture is their art. It's the one thing that can bridge the vast, silent chasm of time between then and now. IDEAS contributor Neil Sandell introduces us to the French archaeologist Jean Clottes, a man who's devoted his lifetime trying to decipher the rich, enigmatic world of cave art.
 



Monday, April 30
EL SISTEMA: HOW THE POWER OF MUSIC HELPED CHANGE VENEZUELAN LIVES
In 2017, a musician named Armando Canizales was shot dead by police during protests against the Venezuelan government. The young violist had played with the Simon Bolivar Orchestra — the pride of Venezuela, and the product of El Sistema, a radical music education programme designed to get young people off the streets and into music. Now, Armando Canizales, his viola, and indeed, music itself, are symbols in the ongoing protests. As his friends and fellow musicians fight for their future, we pay a timely revisit to this documentary on El Sistema's founder Juan Antonio Abreu. The documentary is called Playing for Their Lives.

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