Ideas

Ideas for August 2019

Highlights include: the power of Gwich'in storytelling (Aug. 8); a look back on Paul Kennedy's 1983 biographical series on Emma Goldman (Aug. 16) and lessons learned from the environmental success story of Sudbury (Aug. 28).


Thursday, August 1
PIERRE-ESPIRIT RADISSON: THE 17 CENTURY'S FORREST GUMP
At a time when most Europeans died within a day's journey from where they were born, Pierre-Esprit Radisson criss-crossed the Atlantic 10 times, was adopted into an Iroquois family, and was kidnapped by pirates. Historian Mark Bourrie documents the explorer's adventure-filled life and counters stereotypes about the entire colonial epoch — especially Iroquois society — in his book, Bush Runner: The Adventures of Pierre-Esprit Radisson.

Friday, August 2
KEN LYOTIER: HOW TO HANDLE GARBAGE
When Paul Kennedy first met Ken Lyotier he simply called himself a "dumpster diver." Lyotier organized street people, who were collecting refuse on the streets of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, to obtain bottle deposits. Those people eventually owned, and operated a storefront recycling business called "United We Can." They ultimately changed environmental legislation in B.C. and in other jurisdictions throughout North America.
 



Monday, August 5
THE 2018 CBC MASSEY LECTURES: ALL OUR RELATIONS, PT 2
Prize-winning journalist Tanya Talaga (author of Seven Fallen Feathers) explores the legacy of cultural genocide against Indigenous peoples — in Canada and elsewhere — in her 2018 CBC Massey Lectures, All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward. In her second lecture, Talaga looks at the issue of land, one of the tools of colonization that she argues has been the forced severing of Indigenous people from their land. It's had a devastating effect on Indigenous people's sense of identity.

Tuesday, August 6
THE IDEAS OF TONI MORRISON
In this rare, personal interview from 2002, Nobel Prize-winner Toni Morrison talks candidly about her life as an African-American writer with IDEAS producer Marilyn Powell.

Wednesday, August 7
THE NERVE, Part 6
From the team behind the Peabody-Award-winning documentary The Wire, another sonic adventure series exploring the beauty and mysteries of our relationship with music. Episode 6 of The Nerve: Music & the Human Experience considers music and emotion. The Nerve first aired in 2008, and is presented by Jowi Taylor.

Thursday, August 8
LANGUAGE, LAND & LAUGHTER: THE POWER OF GWICH'IN STORYTELLING
The Gwich'in language — like too many Indigenous languages in Canada — is seriously endangered. Paul Kennedy recently spent some time in Whitehorse, co-hosting a series of radio plays with people from Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, in Old Crow and with the Gwaandak Theatre Company in partnership with the Vuntut Gwitchin Government. Together they are attempting to preserve the language through a series of bilingual radio plays.

Friday, August 9
WHEN HONG KONG FELT LIKE THE MIDDLE OF THE WORLD: PAUL KENNEDY
In the decade before he became host — between 1990 and 1999 — Paul Kennedy spent a lot of time in Hong Kong. The Crown Colony was scheduled to be handed back to China in 1997, after more than a century of British rule. With special guest Lady Lavender Patten, wife of Hong Kong's final British governor, Paul revisits several of the documentaries that he prepared for IDEAS during that time.



Monday, August 12 
THE 2018 CBC MASSEY LECTURES: ALL OUR RELATIONS, PT 3
Prize-winning journalist Tanya Talaga (author of Seven Fallen Feathers) explores the legacy of cultural genocide against Indigenous peoples — in Canada and elsewhere — in her 2018 CBC Massey Lectures, All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward. This lecture looks at kinship, inclusion, equity and acceptance — the values of Indigenous peoples everywhere. But they have also inherited a similar combined history of broken treaties and racist laws, broken families, and the separation from the traditional way of life.

Tuesday, August 13
WILDE WOMEN IN A MAN'S WORLD
Irish-born Oscar Wilde was Britain's most famous playwright in the late 19th century. He was also famous, or infamous, for being gay. But the people who arguably had the most important influence on him and his work were women. From the Stratford Festival, a discussion featuring writer and director Peter Hinton, literary scholar Carol Tattersall and theatre director Lezlie Wade.

Wednesday, August 14
INTERNAL HARD DRIVE: WHAT'S LOST WHEN WE FORGET TO REMEMBER
We rely on our handy smartphones to remember everything from phone numbers to our friend's birthdays. Those sleek devices serve as a type of 'external hard drive' for our memory. Contributor Jess Shane explores what happens when the art of memorization is lost.

Thursday, August 15
EXPLORING THE EIGHTH CONTINENT WITH CANOPY MEG
Trees and forests could hold the key to the survival of life on our planet. Meg Lowman started climbing trees when she was still a painfully shy primary school student, in a small town in upstate New York. They became her closest companions whenever her human classmates started bullying her. She eventually became a pioneer of canopy science, and created a system of forest walkways that now extends around the world. She's been hailed as "Einstein of the Treetops," but is better known by the nickname, Canopy Meg. Paul Kennedy visited the self-described "arbonaut" in person to ask her whether trees can save the world.

Friday, August 16
HOW LIVES ARE LIVED: IDEAS ABOUT BIOGRAPHY
For almost as long as he's been reading, biography has been Paul Kennedy's favourite narrative form. In this episode, Paul discusses a four-part 1983 series about Emma Goldman — the anarchist/feminist autobiographer. His guests are 2019 Massey Lecturer Sally Armstrong, and historian Margaret MacMillan.
 



Monday, August 19
THE 2018 CBC MASSEY LECTURES: ALL OUR RELATIONS, PT 4
Prize-winning journalist Tanya Talaga (author of Seven Fallen Feathers) explores the legacy of cultural genocide against Indigenous peoples — in Canada and elsewhere — in her 2018 CBC Massey Lectures, All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward. Generations of Indigenous children have grown up without the basic determinants of health: clean water, safe houses, supportive families. Talaga argues that a people's health is the outcome of their social and political circumstances.

Tuesday, August 20
SHEPHERDS OR SCAPEGOATS: GAY PRIESTS IN LIMBO
Gay priests are often rolled into the blame game in the Catholic Church's sex abuse crisis. There's a Vatican prohibition on gay men entering seminaries, even as the stories swirl about how many high-level clerics are sexually active. Producer Sean Foley explores the psychological, historical, and pastoral paradoxes of clerical sexual identity at a pivotal time for the Church and the world.

Wednesday, August 21
THE MUSIC OF MATTER: 150 YEARS OF THE PERIODIC TABLE
The world, the universe, is a mess of molecules and muck. Within the chaos, a cosmic harmony plays the secret song of nature, and the music of matter. You just have to be able to read the music. Contributor Ian Wilkinson unravels the universal chords as the world honours the 150th anniversary of Dmitri Mendeleev's creation of the Periodic Table of the Chemical Elements.

Thursday, August 22
BEYOND TRAGEDY: THE LIVING HISTORY OF NATIVE AMERICA
The massacre of over 150 Lakota at Wounded Knee in 1890 is often taken to be the "end" of Native American history — a notion unintentionally reinforced by Dee Brown's groundbreaking 1970 book, I Buried My Heart at Wounded Knee. This idea of history as tragedy is something that Ojibwe writer David Treuer tries to undo in The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee. He argues that both before and after contact was made with colonizing Europeans, Indigenous peoples have always found ways to adapt, survive and thrive — and that's exactly what they're doing now.

Friday, August 23
LEARNING TO LISTEN: PAUL KENNEDY'S TAKEAWAY LESSON
In order to make his first-ever IDEAS documentary, back in 1977, Paul Kennedy paddled a 14-foot canoe down the 1,600 km Mackenzie River. He recently revisited the area in March 2019, and talked with some of the people he met 42 years ago. Those conversations provide the context for Paul's final IDEAS episode.
 



Monday, August 26
THE 2018 CBC MASSEY LECTURES: ALL OUR RELATIONS, PT 5
Prize-winning journalist Tanya Talaga (author of Seven Fallen Feathers) explores the legacy of cultural genocide against Indigenous peoples — in Canada and elsewhere — in her 2018 CBC Massey Lectures, All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward. This lecture is titled, We Are Not Going Anywhere. Indigenous peoples have been subjected to genocide in many places: Canada, Australia, Brazil, even the Arctic Circle. But Talaga points out that First Peoples have a history of resistance.

Tuesday, August 27
THE AUDIENCE TALKS BACK: THE 2018 MASSEY LECTURES
On the CBC Massey Lectures tour, each lecture concluded in an audience discussion with Tanya Talaga — most of which was never broadcast. In the original broadcast of the Massey Lectures, we invited you — the radio audience — to send in your questions for Tanya Talaga. In this episode, Talaga shares her experience of delivering the Massey Lectures, plus responds to some of the questions you sent in, and includes some of the best moments from audience discussions on the tour.

Wednesday, August 28
THE SUDBURY EFFECT: LESSONS FROM A REGREENED CITY
They said it couldn't be done, but Sudbury did it! Forty years ago, nickel mines and smelters around a relatively small city in Northern Ontario had created one of the most dramatic examples of environmental devastation in the history of this planet. The adjacent landscape was completely dead and totally blackened. Nothing could grow, and people were dying. These days, Sudbury boasts the cleanest air of any city in Ontario. Lakes — and there are 330 substantial lakes within the city limits — have come back to life. The surrounding countryside is almost completely green!

Thursday, August 29
ON THE MOVE: COMMUTING, WORK, LIFE
Seven years ago, a large group of interdisciplinary scholars from all parts of Canada (and beyond) started to examine issues connected with 'work-related mobility'. How are new technologies changing the nature of employment? Some people now find it desirable — or even necessary — to work from home. Others are expected to spend more time travelling to and from the workplace than they actually spend doing their job. How do these changes in the way we work affect every other aspect of 21st century life? As the project nears completion, participants approach conclusions.

Friday, August 30
IS NEOLIBERALISM DESTROYING THE WORLD?
Deregulation. Infinite growth. Self-correcting markets. All are hallmarks of neoliberal thinking. But they're more than just assumptions about the economy. They undergird much of the most influential thinking about governance right now, and dominate political and economic thinking everywhere. The results, according to some, have been disastrous. Investigative journalist Bruce Livesey asks four experts about the rise and rule of neoliberal thought, and what it may mean for societies around the world.