Love permeates the next edition of Life Elsewhere. Since the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage, rainbows have suddenly appeared, on almost everything, everywhere. You’d be forgiven if you thought everyone was delighted that love and marriage now included gay people. Except, of course, not everyone is so jubilant. So what happens when your family members follow a strict religious dictum that says homosexuality is an abomination? Can you discuss the notion of same sex marriage with them? What do you say when your family are outraged at your happiness for your gay friends? This is the dilemma that faced a learned professor, which resulted in her writing the following on her FaceBook page: “My heart hurts. I have tried this week to engage honestly and respectfully with my family about the SCOTUS’ decision on gay marriage. I did so because I firmly believe that we are all good people who do not want others who suffer, who, if we could step away from the rhetoric could find a way to live and let live. I found that we cannot. I should perhaps not be surprised, but I am so profoundly sad and disappointed.” Professor Julie Langford, who wrote those powerful yet despondent words will join the program to talk about an issue that concerns more families than all the rainbow flags may suggest. Professor Langford teaches courses in the cultural, social and political history of Ancient Rome. We’ll ask her how the Romans handled same-sex love…and marriage.
Love is also the central theme of a new book, The Good Shufu: Finding Love, Self, and Home on the Far Side of the World by Tracy Slater. She tells us that shufu means “housewife” in Japanese and that was the last thing she thought she’d call herself. She was a writer and academic with a carefully constructed and fiercely independent life in Boston. But then everything in her world upended when she fell head-over-heels for a most un-likely mate: a Japanese salary-man, who barely spoke her language. “I lub you”, he told her and so began a poignant adventure and the clash of two cultures. Tracy Slater will join Norman B to recount some of those adventures and how “lub” won the day.
This week’s Hit That Never Was features a beautiful love song by Martin James Norman Riley, better known as Jimmy Riley, who was a member of the successful Jamaican harmony group, The Sensations. Riley left The Sensations in 1967 and as a solo singer and writer, he worked with a host of Jamaican producers, including Bunny Lee and Lee “Scratch” Perry, before settling in with the legendary drum and bass duo, Sly & Robbie who released Love & Devotion on their Taxi imprint. Although a number one in Jamaica, the single never saw the attention it deserved in the US of A, making it deservedly, a Hit That Never Was that fits right in with our love theme edition of Life Elsewhere.