January 01, 2009

Pt 1: Margaret Atwood - A few years ago, Margaret Atwood got interested in our relationship with debt. So much so that long before the words "sub-prime mortgage crisis" had entered our lexicon, the celebrated Canadian author was already knee-deep in what she saw as an ancient and central motif in religion, literature and social thought. The result is a book called Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth. In it, she looks at two of the most basic features of human relations -- what we owe and how we pay. She also explored this - our relationship with debt - in the 2008 CBC Massey Lectures.

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Pt 2: Dina Babbitt - Dina Babbitt lives in a small cabin with a big yard in the mountains of Northern California. There's a room -- just off the kitchen -- that she calls the cat room, where she feeds strays. It's also where she keeps the boxes she's filled with copies of the paintings that saved her life. She painted the originals back in the 1940s ... when she was a prisoner at the Auschwitz concentration camp. And she painted them at the behest of Joseph Mengele the notorious Nazi doctor and war criminal known as "The Angel of Death.

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It's Thursday, January 1st.

The top ten google searches in Canada for 2008 included "Google" itself.

Currently, Also on the list... "How do I find the Internet?"

This is The Current.


Margaret Atwood

A few years ago, Margaret Atwood got interested in our relationship with debt. So much so that long before the words "sub-prime mortgage crisis" had entered our lexicon, the celebrated Canadian author was already knee-deep in what she saw as an ancient and central motif in religion, literature and social thought. The result is a book called Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth. In it, she looks at two of the most basic features of human relations -- what we owe and how we pay. She also explored this - our relationship with debt - in the 2008 CBC Massey Lectures.

Anna Maria spoke with Margaret Atwood back in October, shortly after her book came out ... and just days after the 700-billion-dollar U.S. bailout was passed. The timing suggested a certain amount of clairvoyance on her part ... so she began by asking her when she started writing the book.

 

Dina Babbitt


Dina Babbitt lives in a small cabin with a big yard in the mountains of Northern California. There's a room -- just off the kitchen -- that she calls the cat room, where she feeds strays. It's also where she keeps the boxes she's filled with copies of the paintings that saved her life. She painted the originals back in the 1940s ... when she was a prisoner at the Auschwitz concentration camp. And she painted them at the behest of Joseph Mengele the notorious Nazi doctor and war criminal known as "The Angel of Death.

Dina Babbitt is 85 now. She's an accomplished artist. And she's fighting a legal battle with the curators of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. She wants her original paintings back. The museum wants to keep them as part of its collection.
Anna Maria spoke to Dina Babbitt back in June. And she began by asking her what she remembered of her childhood, before she and her mother were taken away by the Nazis.


Last Word

Since it is New Year's Day, we'll leave you with a little music as you ponder whatever resolutions you may or may not have made for this year ... or try to mend whatever bridges you may have burned last night. In either case, Otis Redding and Carla Thomas can help. This is "New Year's Resolution.

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