Sunday April 16, 2017

Airline nightmare; The Good Immigrant; St. James Infirmary

Listen to Full Episode 1:42:27

Once a luxury, now a nightmare; Why airline passenger comfort always comes last - Michael's Essay:

Here's an excerpt: "Flying is now an ordeal, a nightmare whose constituent elements are premeditated and orchestrated to frustrate, infuriate, embarrass and humiliate. Delays are common. Lineups are strangulating. You are served snacks you wouldn't feed your cat."

Doyali Islam and the poetry of stillness: If awards are any measure of excellence, Doyali Islam is a very good poet! She is nominated for a slew of them this year, and has just won the League of Canadian Poets' National Broadsheet Contest. A recent fellowship allowed her to explore the relationship between parkour, place and poetry. When she's not writing, Ms. Islam is swinging from bars, running at tall structures, and learning how to fall gracefully. 

The Good Immigrant: Good - but with tongue firmly planted in cheek. The Good Immigrant is a book of essays about being anything but white in Brexit's Britain. It came together through crowdfunding, and then blew the lid off the bestseller lists. David Gutnick goes to Bristol to meet  Nikesh Shukla, the editor of The Good Immigrant . He also meets some of the young, tough, no-apologies contributors.

The strange odyssey of St. James Infirmary, one of the most enduring, shape-shifting songs of all time: St. James Infirmary has been recorded hundreds of times, by some of the biggest names in the history of music. It sounds as old as the blues itself, and yet, utterly contemporary. It's a lament for a dead lover and a self-aggrandizing funeral fantasy. Many people claim to have written it, but the songwriter most widely credited with writing it didn't even exist. 
    
One woman's journey between atheism and belief:  It turns out there are evangelicals on both sides of the God divide. Those who thunder about the absolute truth of God's existence. And those who are absolute in their atheism. Candice Debi has lived her life between the poles. And then something happened that made her think about it all in a new way. Her essay is called, "Dad's Church".

Your reaction to: Michael's interview with Preston Manning, and to his essay about clichés with an athletic bent -- (for example, reaching out, stepping up and drilling down.)

Music this week by: Irving Berlin, Oscar Peterson, the Misses Satchmo, J.S. Bach, Jeanne Lamon and the Tafelmusik Orchestra, Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Van Morrison, Rickie Lee Jones, Hugh Laurie and Cass Wilson.

stories from this episode

  • United Airlines-Flight Attendants

    Once a luxury, now a nightmare -- why airline passenger comfort always comes last

    Here's an excerpt: "Flying is now an ordeal, a nightmare whose constituent elements are premeditated and orchestrated to frustrate, infuriate, embarrass and humiliate. Delays are common. Lineups are strangulating. You are served snacks you wouldn't feed your cat."

    Listen 4:29
  • Doyali Islam

    Doyali Islam and the poetry of stillness

    If awards are any measure of excellence, Doyali Islam is a very good poet! She is nominated for a slew of them this year, and has just won the League of Canadian Poets' National Broadsheet Contest. A recent fellowship allowed her to explore the relationship between parkour, place and poetry. When she's not writing, Ms. Islam is swinging from bars, running at tall structures, and learning how to fall gracefully.

    Listen 11:51
  • Nikesh Shukla

    Young, smart and anything-but-white: surprise British bestseller 'The Good Immigrant'

    The Good Immigrant is a collection of 21 essays by emerging writers about what it is like to be anything but white in Britain today. It has surprised everyone by becoming a British bestseller. David Gutnick was in England a few weeks ago, just as Article 50 — the Brexit plan — was triggered. He spoke to the book's editor and several contributors.

    Listen 23:02
  • St James Infirmary

    "St. James Infirmary" -- the elusive history of a timeless song

    "St. James Infirmary" has been recorded hundreds of times. It's a song that has endured and shapeshifted over the decades like few others, keeping its DNA intact while continually evolving. Michael Enright talks to Robert Harwood to trace the song's elusive and often contradictory history.

    Listen 40:46
  • Candice Debi

    One woman's journey between atheism and belief

    It turns out there are evangelicals on both sides of the God divide: those who thunder about the absolute truth of God's existence, and those who find religious belief incomprehensible and are absolute in their atheism. Candice Debi has lived her life between the poles. And then something happened that made her think about it all in a new way.

    Listen 6:34