Checking-In: Listener Response
Our Executive Producer, Jennifer Moroz joined Anna Maria in studio to help get through listener response to the program.
US Election: The US election has been dominating headlines this week and yesterday, we dissected the results. After the show aired, Sam Sanjabi tweeted this:
Your pundit called Obama "more conservative than Nixon". By what measure exactly? Spending? Gay rights? Health reform?
And Becky Wagner posted this:
President Obama hasn't accomplished much. People are worse off than 4 years ago. This Canadian supports Mitt Romney.
On Tuesday, Election Day, we heard from Conservative pundit and author, David Frum ... as we assessed which candidate would make a better President from Canada's standpoint. His views always prompted lots of comment. Jennifer Clarke Arorra of Vancouver sent us this:
David Frum's perspective is outdated. A high percentage of Canadians are very concerned about oil pipelines. We understand the need for economic development, but Canadians are conflicted about the oilsands. Even conservative voters in Canada have become concerned about the oil sands and our environment. This is especially true here in B.C.
And yesterday, we brought you coverage of Barack Obama's successful bid for another term as president of the United States. But many Americans were focused on a different tight race up for vote in several states - the right to same sex marriage. Washington State, Maine and Maryland voters approved marriage for same-sex couples.
For more on this, we were joined by Carrie Evans, who has dual Canadian and U.S. citizenship and is the Executive Director of Equality Maryland. She was in Baltimore.
Home for Colored Children: Yesterday, we brought you the powerful stories of former residents of Nova Scotia's Home for Colored Children ... stories of physical and sexual abuse they say they were subject to while they lived at the orphanage. More than 100 are now involved in legal action, including a proposed class action suit, against the institution and the provincial government.
During that discussion, one of the former residents described - in very graphic detail - how she was raped at age 9. We decided not to air her description in full ... and heard about it from some of you.
Margo Lamont of Vancouver wrote:
Thank you for doing the documentary on The Coloured Children's residential school in Nova Scotia and for bringing the survivors' struggle with a class action suit to light. I was disappointed, though, that you chose to edit out parts of the story that you deemed too 'graphic' for our ears.
While I am not particularly keen to hear such details, at the same time I think we actually do have to hear what went on and not have it sanitized even for the best intentions. That is partly how perpetrators got away with these atrocities for so long -- because nobody wanted to believe this kind of thing occurred, it was so out of their ken, so "unspeakable."
M. Larkin of Picton, ON, who had a 4-year-old daughter in the car during the broadcast, had a very different take. That email reads:
I do appreciate you cutting out the full story on air, but even what was left was unbelievably graphic, and honestly, has affected my whole day. The vivid picture painted won't leave my mind, and that's something I don't need...
Well, we should tell you that we talked a lot about what to do in this case ... as we do with all potentially graphic and disturbing content. It's about balancing what listener needs to know versus what's appropriate for a daytime audience, with kids and adding warnings, etc.
Numbered: Three generations of the Ravek family have an intensely meaningful relationship with four numbers. The numbers were tattooed on Livia Ravek's arm many years ago in the Auschwitz concentration camp. But even when Livia passes on, the numbers will be remembered in her family because her son and grandson have had the same tattoo marked into his own skin.
Richard Fleming of Pickering, Ontario had this to say about it:
I recently had a memorial tattoo done of my dad's initials.
I realize that the tattooing of a Nazi camp number may be troubling to some. But the number tattoo would be a reminder of the past and a symbol that they have overcome that past.
And we also played a comment from our voicemail.
Here's one more comment. Evelyn Tauben is a grandchild of a Holocaust survivor. She writes from Toronto:
My grandmother was a prisoner at Auschwitz. We do not give energy or focus to the number tattooed on her arm. When she passed away, away went the number -- as it should be.
My grandparents did not survive the horrors of the Holocaust to be recalled as Holocaust survivors. They were good, hard working, resilient people ... with a love of Jewish tradition and community.
I cannot conceive of a more perverse, disrespectful way to "honour" my grandmother than by taking up the brutal gesture of her persecutor.
Evelyn Tauben joined Anna Maria in our studio. She is an independent producer and curator who focuses on Jewish art.
Jonathan Goldstein Special: Last Friday, we had a different take on The Current, as special guest host, Jonathan Goldstein took to the airwaves. Jonathan's regular gig is of course hosting CBC's Wiretap. But hearing him on The Current, prompted lots of opinion from listeners.
Diego Giugovaz of Toronto had this to say:
The difference in style of Jonathan Goldstein's delivery and that of The Current - is akin to having Mr. Bean host The National. Come on!
But lots of listeners liked what Trevor Banks called our "mash-up". Ruth Narvey of Calgary emailed this:
Such political anguish being felt in the US has its reverberations. Jonathan's ability to embrace these struggles with comedic empathy allows some diffusion.
And Derek Webster of Montreal added:
It was wonderfully meta ... like a Charles Ives symphony ... the sound of one show breaking into another. Or perhaps more like the ending of Blazing Saddles.
To weigh in on whatever you hear on The Current, tweet us @thecurrentcbc. Or post on Facebook. Feel free to call us day or night, toll free at 1 877 287 7366.
And on our website, you can email us by clicking on the Contact link. And while you're there, check out our special tenth anniversary features or download our podcast.
We also wanted to remind people in Toronto that our 10th anniversary show is coming up. On November 19th we will be broadcasting live from the Glenn Gould at the Broadcast Centre. And we would love to see you in the audience. It's free, but you do have to register for tickets. You can email email@example.com.
Artist: Gotan Project
CD: Ultimate Chill Out
Cut: # 4, Triptico
Label: Water Music
Last Word: Conrad Black Reading
Because the U.S. election was so close, nearly half of American voters are unhappy about Tuesday's results. Former media baron Conrad Black didn't vote of course, but he's still plenty fed up. In a blog post for the Huffington Post, Mr. Black calls the election one of the most unsatisfactory in U.S. history.
The full post can be read online, but we have a shorter version, read by a shorter person. For today's Last word, we ended our program with five-year old Mitchell Cait-Goldenthal reading from the works of Baron Black of Crossharbour.
Other segments from today's show: