The Sunday Edition for May 31, 2020
Listen to this week's episode with host Michael Enright:
A COVID-19 confinement chronicle: week 11 — Michael's essay: "Governments of every stripe have ignored conditions [in long-term care homes] for decades. Why do we as a society not care? How is it that Europeans are much better at taking care of their elderly than we are? Premier [Doug] Ford said he was accountable for the horror. He was wrong. We all are."
Fighting Amazon's dominance to protect local economies and neighbourhoods: The economic shutdown spelled ruin for countless bricks-and-mortar stores, but it's only increased the power of Amazon. It was already a dominant retail force, but with the pandemic, Amazon became one of the only options for many households in a fast-emerging "touchless" economy. Stacy Mitchell has a big problem with that. She's an antitrust reform activist, a co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, and one of Amazon's fiercest critics.
2020 — The year of the balcony: When historians look back on 2020, they might call it, among many other things, the year of the balcony. All over the world, people have come out of their homes and put their outdoor perches to remarkable use. Hadani Ditmars is a journalist, author and singer, who has spent the lockdown at home in Vancouver. Her balcony has provided not just fresh air and relief, but a way to connect with her neighbours through music.
Zimbabweans finishing the last battle of the Falkland Islands War: When the Argentines retreated from the 1982 Falkland Islands War, they left behind an estimated 25,000 land mines. An army of de-miners from Zimbabwe have been sifting their way through the sand and peat of the Falklands since 2009, looking for these explosive devices. By the end of this year, their job will be done, but some have decided to make the Falklands their home. Jennifer Kingsley's documentary is called "This is Free Land Now."
Why hospital food is so bad and how we can make it better: Is there a more unappetizing phrase than "hospital food?" For Toronto chef and food activist Joshna Maharaj, good food is much more than a luxury. It is a fundamental right, and essential to the dignity and well-being of the people in institutions like hospitals, long-term care homes and prisons. Her new book, Take Back The Tray: Revolutionizing Food in Hospitals, Schools, and Other Institutions, makes the case for from-scratch cooking and locally-sourced ingredients.
Wedding bell blues in the age of COVID: In this age of physical distancing, most couples have called off their best-laid plans to get married and have a big celebration with family and friends. Kristina Allen, who owns the biggest wedding planning firm in Canada's smallest province, shares her view of life on the edge of COVID-19.
Remembering Larry Kramer (reprise): Larry Kramer was a writer who was most renowned for his award-winning 1985 play, The Normal Heart, but he made his most lasting mark as an AIDS activist who spoke fiercely with moral authority. His rhetoric was inflammatory and could be divisive, but when he was on a tear, people noticed and change happened. Kramer died this week at the age of 84, and we'll replay Michael's 2007 interview with him — an intense conversation with someone who changed both public attitudes and public policy.
The day that David Gutnick got a sore throat and went to a Russian steam bath (reprise): Once upon a time, the onset of a fever and sore throat wouldn't lead you to seek a nasal swab and immediately self-isolate. In 2013, David Gutnick was on assignment in Brooklyn, when he took ill. Someone suggested he visit a Russian steam bath for quick relief. He came out feeling better and with a whole new appreciation for striding into the unfamiliar. His documentary, "David at the Banya," first aired in 2013.
Icelandic Corner — Pufflings (reprise): Iceland is not only a beautiful, well-governed and highly egalitarian country. It's also a wonderfully strange place that we found endlessly fascinating during the first decade of The Sunday Edition. Thus was born one of the most popular series during the 20-year run of the program: Icelandic Corner. This week, we replay a 2004 installment that became an audience favourite — about the perilous lives of dauntless baby puffins, known as pufflings.
Music this week by: The Penguin Café Orchestra, Mozart, Brandi Disterheft, Sagapool, Hadani Ditmars, Montreal Guitar Trio, Alex Cuba, Rossini, Sigur Ros, Jimmy Cobb and the Yorkshire Kazoo Orchestra.