Much of the health advice we receive today tells us that in order to be healthy, we must consume a Spartan diet, exercise with the intensity of an Olympic athlete, and take a drug for every ailment. We constantly worry about the foods we should or shouldn’t be eating and the medical tests we have neglected to take. And all that worry costs us dearly–financially, emotionally, and physically according to naturopathic physician Dr. Harry Ofgang and health journalist Erik Ofgang in their new book, The Good Vices. The sub-title is From Beer To Sex, The Surprising Truth About What’s Actually Good For You. Clearly, the Ofgangs have a sense of humor, but we questioned if sex or beer should be labeled as vices. Make sure you listen to hear their answers.
Aging, sex, and death. When combined together, these three emotive words become taboo for many people. In Jill Ciment’s latest novel, The Body In Question she thrusts the question of age and sex and death to the forefront of her imaginative and provocative story set in central Florida. A sensational murder trial is about to get underway. Two of the jurors: Hannah, a married fifty-two-year-old former Rolling Stone and Interview Magazine photographer of rock stars and socialites (she began to photograph animals when she realized she saw people “as a species”), and Graham, a forty-one-year-old anatomy professor. Both are sequestered (she, juror C-2; he, F-17) along with the other jurors at the Econo Lodge off I-75. As the shocking and numbing details of the crime are revealed during a string of days and courtroom hours, and the nights play out in a series of court-financed meals at Outback Steak House (the state isn’t paying for their drinks) and Red Lobster, Hannah and Graham fall into a furtive affair, keeping their oath as jurors never to discuss the trial. During deliberations, the lovers learn that they are on opposing sides of the case. Suddenly they look at one another through an altogether different lens, as things become more complicated. After the verdict, Hannah returns home to her much older husband, but the case ignites once again after public outrage over the verdict. Then, the judge receives an anonymous letter telling of “two fellow jurors who had sexual contact.” This happens as her husband is dying. Ciment reveals in our conversation, her own story of aging, sex, death, and how she used her experiences for her moving and powerful book.
“If men are not naturally sexual predators, why does it happen so often?” Asks author and professor of anthropology, Agustín Fuentes. An article he wrote for Psychology Today, a couple years back, is more than relevant today, what with the tawdry accusations surrounding Harvey Weinstein and Bill O’Reilly plus the unabashed sexual bragging of one Donald J. Trump. Professor Fuentes goes onto to say, “Those three individuals, Weinstein, O’Reilly and Trump, they have a lot in common, I think that is a big part of the discussion about sexual coercion. These are individuals in our society, older, white men who have particular positions in particular economic structures that enable them to commit incredible uses of power of a wide array, not just sexual…and get away with it!” Agustín Fuentes, the author of The Creative Spark: How Imagination Made Humans Exceptional, joins us for the next edition of Life Elsewhere. Also on the program, to cover current topics is a frequent contributor, Dr. Binoy Kampmark, senior lecturer at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. Never one to shy away from offering his well-considered take, Binoy weighs in on Weinstein, O’Reilly, and Trump. Plus, he may cause Hilary devotees to smart a little with a not-so-flattering view of the failed Presidential contender. We’ll also bring you a musical interlude, courtesy of Turnover, a trio from Virginia Beach. “Their new album, Good Nature is well worth your time investigating!” Says Norman B. Life Elsewhere airs at all the outlets and times listed below and the Podcast is now available at NPR One and iTunes.
Sundays 12 noon ET at The Source WMNF HD3
Mondays 5.00pm PT & Wednesdays 2.00pm PT at NWCZ Radio
Thursdays 6.00pm ET at Internet Radio Network
Fridays at 9.00pm GMT on Cornucopia Radio
Life Elsewhere is now available at NPR One & iTunes
If you miss any editions of Life Elsewhere, go here then go to the Listen On-Demand panel, choose the date of a show and click play.
Life Elsewhere Music airs:
Mondays at 6.00pm & Wednesdays at 3.00pm Pacific Time on NWCZ Radio
Fridays at 10.00am Eastern Time on IRN
Cornucopia Radio airs Life Elsewhere Music throughout each week
You can hear all the volumes over at Mixcloud
The latest edition of Life Elsewhere began with a conversation about #yesallwomen and the backlash against women speaking out about the pervasiveness of violence against women. Our guests were Audrey Bilger,author, professor of literature and gender studies and Faculty Director of the Center for Writing & Public Discourse at Claremont McKenna College and Shira Tarrant, author, professor & social critic, political scientist and associate professor of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies at California State University, Long Beach. The two professors eloquently gave their well-considered insights on the topic and provided valuable links. Audrey Bilger shared When Women Refuse a Tumblr where women share their stories of violence inflicted on them because they rejected sexual advances. Shira Tarrant shared three links to groups involving men working to prevent men’s violence, White Ribbon, Men Can Stop Rape and Voice Male Magazine. We here at Life Elsewhere encourage you to visit all these sites and mention we sent you.
This week’s Hit That Never Was featured English chanteuse, Jade Williams, aka Sunday Girl with her enchanting cover of Where is My Mind, a song from the Pixies debut album, Surfer Rosa.
In the last segment of the program, Norman B introduced Jowita Bydlowska the author of Drunk Mom: A Memoir, by saying, “This book is Harrowing! Brutally Honest and Courageous!” Ms. Bydlowska tells the painfully true story of her struggles with motherhood and alcoholism. Its a brutally frank account of how Jowita spent her time trying to figure out where she could buy her booze, trying to hide her drinking from her boyfriend, and perhaps most difficult, calculating how much she drank and how much time needed to pass before she could safely nurse her son.
Get the Life Elsewhere Podcast here
The latest post at BACK. features links that will keep you busy for, well, a long time. Beautiful videos, photos of cats, books that help us to understand Russia, sex and food (not always in that order and sometimes together), artists and their manifestos, furniture from polystyrene and much more. Plus a brilliant sample of how sampling can be so very, very creative.