Ideas

Ideas in the Afternoon for September 2019

Ideas in the Afternoon airs Mondays at 2:05 pm on CBC Radio One.

Ideas in the Afternoon airs Mondays at 2:05 pm on CBC Radio One.

Monday, September 2
WALKING THE BORDER, WALLS THAT DIVIDE US
PT 1: THE PEACE WALLS OF BELFAST

Since the dawn of time we've been building walls. Sometimes to keep things in, but just as often, to defend ourselves against strangers, the enemy — the Other. It's why the Great Wall of China went up 3,000 years ago, why Donald Trump's wall may be going up today. But these kinds of walls don't work very well, and sometimes they create more problems than they solve.

The great 30-year sectarian clashes of The Troubles in Northern Ireland set Protestant and Catholic against each other. Families and communities were fractured. Thousands died. Walls were built down the middle of city streets to separate the warring factions, and great steel gates were closed at night to seal them off from each other. After over 20 years of peace, most of the walls remain — along with the old divisions. Are the peace walls helping or hindering community reconciliation? Nahlah Ayed went to Belfast to find out.

The Peace Walls of Belfast is part one of a five-part series called Walking the Border: Walls That Divide Us — featuring stories from places where borders and walls define the landscape.


Monday, September 9
WALKING THE BORDER, WALLS THAT DIVIDE US
PT 2: THE IRISH BORDER

Since the early 1600's, the large Protestant majority in the north-eastern corner of Ireland has had an often-fractious relationship with the Catholic minority. With the coming of Irish independence in the 1920's, the creation of a border, and the carving-off of Protestant Ulster from the new republic to the south, that conflict burst into flames. Now, after 20 years of peace and an invisible border, that peace is threatened and the fear of old conflicts looms once again. Nahlah Ayed went to Ireland to hear what people are saying. 

* The Irish Border is part two of a five-part series called Walking the Border: Walls That Divide Us.


Monday, September 16
JUST ONE STORY: JOSEPH CAMPBELL's 'HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES' AT 70
It inspired movies like Star WarsThe Lion King, and The Matrix. It drove curious minds to classes on mythology and religious studies. It was named by TIME magazine as one of the 100 most influential books of all time. Joseph Campbell's The Hero With A Thousand Faces was published in 1949 — a book that is simultaneously timeless, and very much of its time. The documentary, Just One Story, examines the massive influence of Campbell's theory.


Monday, September 23
REFRAMING MENOPAUSE
What's the story with menopause? In pop culture, it's often comedy: irritable mid-life moms "hot flashing" in front of their bewildered families. In wider society, it's tragedy: the end of youth and femininity, and a problem to be resisted and treated. This episode looks to two new books with different views on menopause. One describes an intense, identity-changing transition. Another sees it as a valuable fact of human evolution that has been co-opted and pathologized. Guests include historian Susan Mattern, memoirist Darcey Steinke, and physician Wendy Wolfman.


Monday, September 30
KILLER ROBOTS
What happens if autonomous weapons fight our wars? What if they select and kill targets without any human intervention? The world is closer to this scenario than ever before. But there's no consensus on whether — or even how — it would ever be ethical. Should human lives be taken only by other humans? Would using autonomous weapons be a tactical boon for armed forces? Would such weapons allay concerns about civilian casualties and PTSD? This episode delves into the complex conundrums of robot warfare.