The past is not the present; Do food animals have rights?; Alberto Manguel's curious mind; The Great Hunger
The allure and the dangers of "presentism":
Michael weighs in on our impulse to judge historical figures by the moral and ethical standards of the present day. Here's an excerpt: "T.S. Eliot and Evelyn Waugh both reflected the casual anti-Semitism of the Twenties and Thirties. Should we then condemn the poetry of Eliot or the novels of Waugh because we now realize that any form of antisemitism is pernicious and downright dangerous?"
Is it a crime to give a pig water on a hot day? The thermometer hit 28 degrees last summer, when Anita Krajnc pushed a water bottle into a truck-load of pigs on their way to slaughter. Krajnc was charged with criminal mischief. Public outrage and concern over animal welfare blew up, and Krajnc became an international hero. Karin Wells brings us Krajnc's story in her documentary, "They're Not Human, You Dumb Frick'in Broad!"
The Bad Mother: When she was 30 years old, Marguerite Anderson escaped a bad marriage, and left her two boys behind. They were apart for a year and a half. Ms. Anderson wrote about her experience - in French. La Mauvaise Mère won the 2013 French Trillium Award. Now, it's out in English. In honour of the occasion, we re-air an excerpt from Alisa Siegel's documentary about Marguerite Anderson, "Good Enough."
Alberto Manguel's unquenchable Curiosity: Alberto Manguel is renowned as a prolific writer and a dedicated champion of serious reading. His own library contains more than 35,000 books, and he has just been appointed chief librarian of the National Library of Argentina. His latest passion is an examination of the perils and promise of curiosity.
The Great Hunger: As a back-drop for next week's program about the 1916 Easter Rising, historian Mary Daly explains the devastating toll and far-reaching consequences of the Irish potato famine. In the 1840s, the population of Ireland was about 8.5 million. Over about 2 years, a million died and a million fled. Michael talks to Professor. Daly on board the Jeanie Johnston, a replica of one of the "coffin ships" that brought tens of thousands of starving Irish people to Canada.