Tag Archives: Mark Haskell-Smith

The Annual Life Elsewhere Holiday Gift Show

As 2020 draws to a close a collective sigh of relief can be heard around our troubled world. Covid is not over, yet, but vaccinations are on the way and, a new administration is ready to lead with decorum and integrity. The holiday season this year may not be joyous rounds of non-stop gatherings but we can give each other a gift (albeit delivered) to celebrate the season. At Life Elsewhere towers, once again we present The Annual Life Elsewhere Holiday Gift Show. It’s our way of giving you an entertaining show with lots of unique gift ideas. We asked our panel of extraordinarily talented, and well-qualified guests to select three books and one non-book as gifts. The results are fascinating and intriguing when you try to figure out who selected what? Take a look at their photos below and then see if you can match each person with the gifts they selected. It’s far more difficult than it looks. Listen, closely, because you are in for interesting surprises.

Our guests are:

Kate Clarke Writer, whippet lover, country music fan, Mrs. Terry Clarke, humorist, and fervent Twitterer. Kate will be appearing on Life Elsewhere again, soon

Agustín Fuentes Primatologist and biological anthropologist at Princeton University and formerly the chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Notre Dame

Katherine May writer of both fiction and non-fiction. Her most recent works include Wintering – The Power Of Rest & Retreat In Difficult Times, The Electricity of Every Living Thing

Josh Idehen Vocalist, musician, including Benin City, Hugh, Calabashed, poet, spoken word artist, writer & actor. Josh appears on Life Elsewhere often

Amy Rigby singer-songwriter, recording artist, writer, blogger & Podcaster, her memoir is Girl To City. A frequent guest on Life Elsewhere

Mark Haskell Smith Writer of fiction, including Salty, Baked, Blown and non-fiction, Naked at Lunch: A Reluctant Nudist’s Adventures in the Clothing-Optional World, he is also a frequent contributor to Life Elsewhere

A Very Happy, Merry, Jolly, Holiday!

Show 402

Reactions To Election 2020

For the last four years on his nightly MSNBC show, Brian Williams has counted down the days of the Trump presidency. As November 3, 2020, drew closer, the polls and the pundits were giddy with excitement as they predicted a blue wave. Of course, true to form as in any soap opera or reality TV show, things never go as you expected. The producers make sure there is a dastardly twist at the last minute to keep you attached to the screen for yet another episode. In this scenario, the wicked villain had already telegraphed that he would make sure that there wasn’t going to be a ball unless he could be crowned princess and accompanied by his ugly sisters. (Ok, that’s a reference to traditional British pantomimes, but the concept is the same – the bad guy messes things up and has a tantrum). By around 2.20 am Eastern Time on November 4, when Trump slouched forward to the podium in the White House he assured the world he follow through on crying foul when not a single chicken had crossed the road. So it was with many votes still to be counted across numerous counties in a number of states, we asked a panel of guests to share their immediate reactions to Election 2020.

Our panel of guests, each with an abundance of acclaim in their chosen fields are:

Jared Yates Sexton Author and political commentator. He is an associate professor in the Department of Writing and Linguistics at Georgia Southern University. Latest book: American Rule – How A Nation Conquered The World But Failed Its People

Dr. Jennifer Mercieca Historian of American political rhetoric. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at Texas A&M. Latest book: Demagogue for President: The Rhetorical Genius of Donald Trump.

Dave Hill Comedian, actor, musician, radio host, and author. Latest book: Parking the Moose: One American’s Epic Quest to Uncover His Incredible Canadian Roots

Steve Brodner Caricaturist, illustrator, educator & political commentator

Dr. Binoy Kampmark Senior Lecturer in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University, Melbourne. Author & commentator

Mark Haskell Smith Author, fiction & non-fiction, including, Blown, Naked At Lunch, Raw, Moist, Delicious, Salty & Heart Of Dankness. Educator and cultural observer

Show 397

Four Traumatic Years Later

In the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election, we asked a panel of distinguished guests to share their opinions on the outcome. Dr. Jennifer, Mercieca, professor of communications at Texas A & M University questioned the media’s involvement, “They put the camera in front of Donald Trump for a year and a half and they gave him over five billion dollars in free advertising, and they helped to normalize him as a credible candidate when he was a reality TV star.” Dr. Binoy Kampmark, senior lecturer & researcher in Global Studies at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia opined, “The very individuals who did matter in this vital and different election, call them the forgotten people, or the invisible ones, did actually turn up to vote. The blue-collar, white voter, a strange species who have been neglected by policymakers over the years. They were in the states that mattered.” Best-selling author, Mark Haskell Smith chastised the DNC, “We have to take the super delegates to task, they chose Clinton before there was even a vote in the primaries. She has turned out to be a complete disaster.” Famed caricaturist, Steve Brodner was angry, “Trump will damage the constitution! His backers are the alt-right!” Entertainment entrepreneur, Terry Morgan was saddened, “The number of people who did not vote, that was shocking. It’s the old adage of ‘you get what you pay for’.” “I shocked and depressed.” Said talented author Stephen O’Connor adding, “One of the best things to come out of this is that we on the left have a common enemy, we know what we have to fight for.” Comedian, actor, musician, author, and radio host, the irrepressible Dave Hill did not hold back, “Less than 25% of the country has helped to put the greatest piece of s*+t in office! This is without question the saddest week of my life! This is a triumph of ignorance and hate!”

All of those quotes are from four years ago. Yes, four undeniably traumatic years have passed by. And here we are facing another election. The “most important election of a lifetime” is heard ad nauseam. We are less than three days away from Election Day, but it may be days, weeks possibly before the official result is announced. Yet by Wednesday, November 4th we should all be certain of the outcome. This is why we will once again ask our panel of esteemed guests to share their opinions on the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. 

Show 396

A Conversation On Life In Isolation With Five Creatives. Plant Love. Healthy Skin.

Perhaps you have become acclimatized to living through a pandemic? Maybe you have rearranged your everyday life to accommodate social distancing? Or, are you going stir crazy? These are some of the questions we asked five of our favorite creative guests at Life Elsewhere –  author, educator, Anna Dorn; musician, educator, Harry Stafford; author, educator, Mark Haskell Smith; musician, poet, educator Joshua Idehen; musician, author, educator, Martin Atkins. The conversation was conducted via Zoom, connecting to Stockholm, Manchester, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Their responses ranged from the need for physical contact to being content with a little solitude. And, as expected, all of our creative guests were eager to share their thoughts. Hosting a talk show remotely over the internet may well be the new normal when this pandemic is finally over. If it is, then this edition of Life Elsewhere proves how engaging it can be.

                                               

Also in the program, Summer Rayne Oakes, an urban houseplant expert, and environmental scientist has managed to grow 1,000 houseplants in her Brooklyn apartment (and they’re thriving!) Her secret? She approaches her relationships with plants as intentionally as if they were people. Summer joins the show to talk about her book, How To Make A Plant Love You: Cultivate Green Space In Your Home. Plus, James Hamblin, a  preventive medicine physician and staff writer for The Atlantic was curious about the new science of skin microbes and probiotics. He discovered that keeping skin healthy is a booming industry, and yet it seems like almost no one agrees on what actually works. In his new book, Clean – The New Science Of Skin, Hamblin explores how we care for our skin today. He even experimented with giving up showers entirely. His conclusion on the meaning of “clean” may be surprising and at times, humorous.  

Show #384

How To Enjoy Social Distancing

No matter who you are, where you live or how much money you thought you had at the beginning of this past week, the fact is, we are all now living in uncertain times. Is this the same feeling of uncertainty my parents suffered at the beginning and throughout World War Two? Can we equate this pandemic with anything we may have endured before? The rows of empty shelves at the supermarkets, the stockpiling of food and, yes, toilet-paper is bizarre and disturbing. Restaurants, bars, and almost all businesses are closed, streets are empty of people and rush-hour traffic has dwindled to mostly UberEats deliveries. “Weird!” “Unbelievable!” “Crazy!” Are just some of the descriptive words you hear repeatedly in any given conversation. And, a new vocabulary has stormed our everyday dialogue. “Coronavirus” may be slightly amusing if you choose to believe Mexican beer is associated with a plague from China.  “COVID-19” is just plain scary. Forget the initials, what does the “19” mean? Then, there are two words that you never thought you’d hear together, “Social Distancing”. Talk about a wacky contradiction. “Social distancing? It’s a bit millennial-biased!” Exclaimed my friend MS who also believes, “Good music stopped being made around 1977!” I will admit to feeling a little awkward when I first uttered, “social distancing”. It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue and yes, it does come across as a bit affected. Yet, here we are letting each other know we are doing it, we are “social distancing”. Now what? To help answer that bewildering question, we called upon some of our favorite guests who also happen to have exceptionally creative minds to share their thoughts on how to enjoy social distancing.

Film and media critic, Bob Ross, jaded as he sometimes pretends to be, always enthuses over his favorite movies. With a new book on the way, Demagogue For President – The Rhetorical Genius Of Donald Trump, Dr. Jennifer Mercieca turns away from politics to talk about baking while social distancing. The dry-humor of comedian, writer, musician, Dave Hill is unavoidable as he gives his sage advice on social distancing. While, best-selling author, Mark Haskell Smith offers pertinent tips for social distancing, plus enthusiastically raves about must-read books. Crosswords are Adrienne Raphel’s passion, her fascinating book, Thinking Inside The Box – Adventures With Crosswords And The Puzzling People Who Can’t Live Without Them was published just a couple of days ago, unavoidably in time for social distancing.

 

Show #365

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