The Current

Checking-In: IPCC climate change report, labiaplasty, the end of bookstores and poet Dennis Saddleman

Find out how "The Day After Tomorrow" and other apocalyptic fiction can help with the hard reality of climate change in Checking-In today. And when we aired some of Dennis Saddleman's gripping poem "Monster" the reaction was overwhelming, we speak with him as we look back at stories of the week....
Find out how "The Day After Tomorrow" and other apocalyptic fiction can help with the hard reality of climate change in Checking-In today. And when we aired some of Dennis Saddleman's gripping poem "Monster" the reaction was overwhelming, we speak with him as we look back at stories of the week. 

Our Friday host, Piya Chattopadhyay joined Anna Maria in studio to help go through our listener feedback.

IPCC-thumbnail3.jpgClimate Change Report: Monday on The Current we looked at a new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The report says few people will remain unaffected by climate change. It predicts that by the end of the century, millions of people could be displaced, resulting in more violence and the global economy could tank.

This story had many of you hitting the keyboard. Brian Mahoney on Facebook posted:

The earth got along quite well before man ruined it and the earth will get along quite well after we all disappear.

Chris Donnelly sent us his two cents:

To paraphrase Darwin: Adapt or die.

And Colin Wright of Richmond Hill, Ontario had a different perspective:

What is apparent is that the IPCC's series of reports on climate change has spawned an entirely new industry that bridges multiple disciplines. The latest report posts that climate change may increase the risk of violent conflicts and societal breakdown. So now we get to hear from a whole new range of 'experts' who will share their alarming projections and scenarios alongside those of the physical scientists toiling away in the engine room of the climate change industry.

Speaking of the possibility for "violent conflicts and societal breakdown" spurred by Climate Change, part of what we were trying to answer on Monday was how to think about climate change, and where it could all be leading... especially if it's leading to the end of the world.

Well, there's a new course this year at the University of Oregon that suggests one of the best ways to grapple with climate change, is through culture -- namely the books, films and other cultural artifacts that imagine the ways climate change is changing our future.

You can call the genre, "Cli-Fi." The course is called The Cultures of Climate Change and it's taught by Professor Stephanie LeMenager, and she joined us from Eugene, Oregon.

bookstores-thumbnail.jpgIndependent Bookstores: Across the country, it's getting harder for people who run independent bookstores to keep their doors open in this digital age. Frans Donker, the owner of Book City in Toronto, spoke to Anna Maria about his final book sale this past Sunday.

Many of you were familiar with Book City in Toronto's annex and sad to see it go. Nora Cummin of Charlottetown writes:

I used to get onto a Greyhound bus and leave the small town I lived in and head to Toronto. The first time I stepped into a Book City was in the late 70's, and in all honesty, I thought I had found nirvana. The tables and shelves, stuffed to the rafters and all sorts of people. It was crowded and I had a surge of joy, love, envy, and sorrow ... because I wanted to work there, live there, be there forever. I never did, but in my heart I have never left. I returned to that store just last month with my youngest child, now a student at U of T. I am beyond sad.

Colleen Brzezicki of Toronto emailed us her thoughts:

I am a member of Book City on the Danforth. Entering a bookstore for me is better than Christmas. I would much rather shop for books than clothes. It's a frightening future if bookstores become relics. We need the written word on paper -- tangible. Otherwise the survival of our history becomes dependent on electricity and constant updating on new technologies. If this technology was available in the 800s would we still have the Lindisfarne manuscript?

trc-thumbnail.jpgThe Truth and Reconciliation Commission: Last Week the Truth and Reconciliation commission began its final hearings in Edmonton.

In May of last year Dennis Saddleman spoke at the Commission. The B.C. man performed some of his poetry, something he says has helped him heal.

Many of our listeners were moved by his poem we aired last week called "Monster".

Jordana Louise on Facebook wrote:

Sincerely the single most powerful thing I have ever listened to on the CBC. It left me in tears, sickened by the hurt, and in awe of Dennis Saddleman's strength. I am ashamed to say I did not feel the gravity of the Residential School atrocities until Saddleman drove it home.

Nora Ready of Vancouver wrote:

I heard Mr. Saddleman read his poem as I was heading to work last Thursday. I almost had to pull my car over because of the strong impact his voice and words had on me. I have visited Alert Bay twice in the past few years and have seen the remains of the residential school. Mr. Saddleman's description of the school in his poem brought back the image of the deteriorating brick building that stands as a testament to the horror of cultural annihilation that occurred there. Thank you for featuring Dennis Saddleman, his voice and his words on The Current.

We've reached out to Dennis Saddleman and he joined us from his home near Merritt, BC.

labiaplasty-thumbnail.jpgLabiaplasty: Yesterday on The Current we discussed labiaplasty. It's a procedure that is gaining popularity ... as more women seek to change the size and shape of their labia minora.

Well, we heard from plenty of you on this divisive issue.

Vee Kraniou of Toronto writes:

I listened in horror. Then became quite angry with the male doctor who suggested that women athletes have this surgery because large labia get in the way of their bike riding. If 6cm of labia gets in the way of these women, then how in the world do male athletes get on a bike at all? Let alone compete in Iron man or the Tour de France. If we are to believe this doctor and follow his argument, then no man should get on a bike unless he gets castrated or if this is even possible, have a scrotum reduction.

A woman in London, Ontario, whose name we are withholding, sent us this email:

I was surprised to hear a discussion of this subject this morning on your program. Mainly because I underwent Labiaplasty surgery in the early 1970's. I know I didn't have to pay for it at that time. I simply got it done because, after childbirth, I felt my labia were too large and unattractive -- no pressure from anyone else. I'm sixty-five now and I have never had any trouble with sexual performance issues since that day. I have been at women's meetings that have discussed the horrific procedures of Female Genital Mutilation and not once had it occurred to me that I had undergone a similar experience as those unfortunate girls and women.

‏@karendbaird tweeted:

Labiaplasty for "too big labia?" When was the last time a man had penisplasty for being oversized?

Janet Gadeski of Burlington, ON emailed:

Unbelievable that this procedure even exists in a world where basic medical care is still unavailable to so many. Athletic discomfort? Change your apparel. To those women whose partners pressure them to look like porn stars: Lose the louse, not the labia.

And not everyone thinks labiaplasty is a bad idea. A woman from Calgary shared her personal experience:

I became a single mother when I had my son at the age of 30. Almost immediately one side of my labia started to grow. By the time it finished, it was about a 2 inch long flap of extra skin. (Get out a ruler - that's a pretty long flap of skin!) It was uncomfortable and really just a weird thing to have anywhere on my body. In my early 40s, I met someone and decided to have my tubes tied. I asked the surgeon if, while he was 'down there', he could remove that flap of skin. I explained that it was not only unsightly but really uncomfortable. It was all taken care of - no muss, no fuss and no extra cost. I'm 58 now and have no regrets whatsoever at having that done. I think it's unfortunate that the female doctor you had on, dwelled on the porn industry.

Add your voice to anything you hear on The Current.

Tweet us @thecurrentcbc. Or e-mail us through our website. Find us on Facebook. Call us toll-free at 1 877 287 7366. And as always if you missed anything on The Current, grab a podcast.

This segment was produced by The Current's Lara O'Brien and Peter Mitton.

Last Word: Albie Sachs

We gave today's Last Word to our guest earlier in the program, Albie Sachs, an anti-apartheid activist who found alongside Nelson Mandela. His message of hope gets today's Last Word.


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