Thursday, February 3, 2011

Selected listening for 3 February 2011

KQED's Forum
Jewish Secular Culture
In his new book "Not in the Heavens," author David Biale chronicles the development of Jewish secular culture which, he claims, began with the Bible and continues to this day. Biale joins to discuss his exploration of the roots of modern Jewish secularism within the religious tradition it rejects, and what the role of Jewish secularism is today.
(review, feed)

Fresh Air
Hezbollah, Israel And Egypt: What Happens Next?
Story: Journalist Thanassis Cambanis puts what has been going on in Egypt in a historical context — and explains what the popularity of other political parties, like Hezbollah, could mean for relations with Israel and the United States.
(review, feed)

Stuff You Missed in History Class
The Last Emperor of Ethiopia
Haile Selassie wasn't just the last emperor of Ethiopia -- he is also hailed as a messiah. In this episode, Deblina and Sarah explore the astonishing life of Haile Selassie. Tune in to learn more.
(review, feed)

Revolution in Iran
During the first week of February in 1979, an Islamic revolution began to unfold in Iran. Mohsen Sazegara was close to the heart of events.
(review, feed)

Chris Hedges - Big Ideas

I am currently listening to many issues of Big Ideas and I think I will make a combined review later this week, but here I'd like to shortly separate out a lecture by Chris Hedges on his book The Death of the Liberal Class. (feed) On the same book he was interviewed by Christopher Lydon at Radio Open Source which I reviewed as well.

Hedges is extremely critical of western and especially American society and in addition to that extremely pessimistic. After you have listened to him, you really feel that fascism is going to take over really soon. At the Big Ideas lecture you get some insight as to where his dedication and inspiration comes from. This is not only left leaning politics, which has become clear in other shows just as well, nor his experiences in the wars in Yugoslavia, although none of these should be underestimated as influence.

I was surprised to learn of his Christian angle, which is just as unconventional as it is conventional. Pay attention where he says: I didn't study so many years on the seminary, only to find... In addition to his left politics it is also his religion that has imbued him with high social standards and which make him angry, sad and deeply disappointed to find that in modern society these values are mindlessly and systematically trodden. That makes you understand why he is so bleak.

More Big Ideas:
Needham about China,
The Reluctant Fundamentalist,
Ayaan Hirsi Ali and the quest against Islam,
Jewish Humor,
JRR Tolkien versus CS Lewis.

More Chris Hedges:
On Open Source,
On Media Matters.