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Interchange – What Makes Us Vulnerable: The Essential Ellen Willis

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Our topic for the next hour is the cultural and critical writing of Ellen Willis who was the New Yorker‘s first rock critic and the cofounder of the radical feminist group the Redstockings. Her essays have been described as always unsettling, combining passion and moral clarity, espresso for the feminist soul, and relevant as ever, with a continuing influence on critics of American culture today.

Ellen Willis was a great fan and a great “reader” of Bob Dylan. I’ll have to admit as someone with little invested in Dylan and it was only in reading Willis’s “breakout” essay on Dylan published first in the magazine Cheetah in 1967 (and called “Dylan”) that I was intellectually engaged in thinking about Dylan and the album that the song appears on, John Wesley Harding. This album, appearing to be a retreat back onto well-trod ground, was rather a work serving the purpose of liberation…that is liberating Dylan, and the rest of us, from the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper. More on that in the program.

Joining us via phone is Nona Willis Aronowitz, the daughter of Ellen Willis, who has edited two collections of her mother’s essays both published by the University of Minnesota Press, one called Out of the Vinyl Deeps, consists of Willis’s Rock criticism and the other, The Essential Ellen Willis, spans four decades and seems to cover nearly every topic of social and cultural importance you might think of (abortion, radical feminism, sexism terrorism, the family, male supremacy, terrorism, motherhood, racism, Judaism, fundamentalism, liberalism, and on).

A key theme that often runs through Willis’s work is vulnerability and her writing style seems to be pitched towards always understanding that common quality. The best way to understand this I think might be to think of it simply as respect for any audience to which she might be speaking. This seems more and more a very rare quality.

Guest
Nona Willis Aronowitz is the editor of TalkingPointsMemo’s The Slice and TPMCafe. Previously, she was an education and poverty reporter at NBC News Digital, a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, and an associate editor at GOOD magazine. She’s written for The Atlantic, Washington Post, NYMag.com, The Nation, The American Prospect, Tablet, and Rookie, among others.

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Ellen Willis Tumblr
There are photos and many links to Willis’s essays and reviews of the two collections edited by Nona Willis Aronowitz along with some video.

Music
“All Along the Watchtower” by Bob Dylan
“Maybe” by Janis Joplin
“Someday Never Comes” by Creedence Clearwater Revival
“Beginning to See the Light” by The Velvet Underground

Credits
Host & Producer: Doug Storm
Board Engineer: Joe Crawford
Executive Producer: Joe Crawford

Interchange – Shadows Are Black: Slavery’s Long Setting

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Tonight’s show, Shadows are Black: Slavery’s Long Setting, features a discussion on the text and context of Herman Melville’s 1855 novella “Benito Cereno.” “Benito Cereno” is clearly about slavery; but it also seems a deep meditation on the limits of the mind; on the ignorance of other ways to be minded; on the commonality of humanness (for “good” or “bad”). It is about America, it is about Spain, it is about Africa, and it is about cultural blindness and interpretive misconstrual. The stage setting is borrowed from Spain, the actors are nearly all African, and the play we’re watching turns out to be “The Ignorant American,” and the director is Babo.

Guests

Maisha Wester, an Associate Professor in Indiana University’s Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies, and author of African American Gothic: Screams from Shadowed Places.

Christopher Freeburg, an Associate Professor of English at the University of Illinois, and author of Melville and the Idea of Blackness: Race and Imperialism in Nineteenth Century America.

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Books Unbound – “Benito Cereno” by Herman Melville

Books Unbound – “Benito Cereno” by Herman Melville, Part Two

Books Unbound – “Benito Cereno” by Herman Melville, Part Three

Credits

Producer & Host: Doug Storm
Board Engineer: Jonathan Richardson
Social Media: Carissa Barrett
Executive Producer: Joe Crawford

Books Unbound – “Benito Cereno” by Herman Melville, Part Three

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“Benito Cereno” is based on the memoir of the real-life Captain Amasa Delano, who during his voyages in 1805 came upon a Spanish merchant-ship in distress. Melville preserves the main elements of the story—the ship is manned by a skeleton crew of Spaniards under the haggard and enigmatic captain Benito Cereno, and carries Africans for the slave trade—but provokes interpretation by altering some historical facts. He sets the story in 1799, and renames the ship San Dominick. In this and other details, Melville evokes the Haitian Revolution of 1791–1804 in the French colony of Saint-Domingue.

Haiti is the only republic founded as the result of a slave revolt. But white Americans, despite their own revolution only a couple of decades earlier, sided against black Haitians fighting for freedom, and feared that slave revolts would spread throughout the Caribbean and into the slavery-based southern United States. Melville’s story captures this unease.

In the third of a four-part program, Captain Delano finally discovers the true nature of the enclosed society on board the San Dominick. The painstaking interiority of the first half of the story switches abruptly to violent action.

This episode features guest Maisha Wester, an associate professor at Indiana University and author of African American Gothic: Screams from Shadowed Places. Wester discusses the Haitian Revolution as background to Melville’s story, and Babo as a figuration of the white inability to “read” the black slave.

The episode was produced by Doug Storm and Cynthia Wolfe with Sarah Torbeck, and written by Cynthia Wolfe with Doug Storm, who is the reader and interviewer. Special music comes from River of Light by Richard Danielpour, as recorded by Tim Fain and Pei-Yao Wang.

Announcer: Berklea Going
Host: Sarah Torbeck
Theme music: The Impossible Shapes

Books Unbound – “Benito Cereno” by Herman Melville

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The first of a four-part program on Herman Melville’s masterpiece of historical fiction, “Benito Cereno.” This American novella is based on a chapter from the memoir of the real-life Captain Amasa Delano, who during his voyages in 1805 encountered a mysterious merchant-ship carrying a skeleton crew of Spaniards, an ineffectual and perplexing captain, and 150 Africans for the slave trade. In changing some of the details from the original factual account, Melville creates a dark and suspenseful allegory of race and class, fraught with tragic irony, that appeared during the crisis years leading up to the American Civil War.

Listeners are advised that the story is told mainly from the point of view of Captain Delano, who harbors the racial stereotypes characteristic of most white Americans at the time. The novella raises such compelling questions about race that Ralph Ellison took his epigraph for Invisible Man from Melville.

Our reader is Doug Storm. Special music for the episode comes from River of Light by Richard Danielpour, performed by Tim Fain and Pei-Yao Wang. Produced and written by Cynthia Wolfe with Doug Storm.

Credits

Host: Sarah Torbeck
Announcer: Berklea Going
Executive producer: Alycin Bektesh
Theme music: The Impossible Shapes

Daily Local News – January 20, 2015

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As President Obama prepares to unveil his proposal for free community
college in tonight’s State of the Union address, a local legislator is
putting forward his own plan; Police are still looking for information
about a Bloomfield woman who has been missing for nearly three weeks; The
First Baptist Church in West Baden Springs has been taken off the state’s
10 most-endangered building list; The Monroe County Commissioners heard a
request to better maintain the Vietnam Veterans memorial outside the
County Courthouse; Democratic U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly is pushing again
for Congress to repeal a medical device tax that helps pay for the
Affordable Care Act; The city of Bloomington is launching a new fair labor
initiative to encourage fair labor practices in Bloomington eating
establishments; The Indiana State Department of Health has introduced a
new awareness program in hopes of improving Indiana’s dismal infant
mortality rate.

FEATURE
Yesterday an action was held in Bloomington in commemoration of Dr.
Martin Luther King’s birthday, which focused on the issue of police
mistreatment of African-Americans and the recent calls for justice for
those victims. WFHB correspondent David Murphy was on the scene to talk to
some of the participants for today’s WFHB community report.

INS AND OUTS OF MONEY
What would it take for Monroe County residents and businesses to cut
energy use by 10 percent? Molly O’Donnell of Monroe County Energy
Challenge thinks she knows the answer: 5 million dollars. Find out who’s
putting up the money, what has to be done to meet the challenge, and how
trying our best will benefit us all.

CREDITS
Anchors: Lindsey Wright and Chris Martin
Today’s headlines were written by Jack Hanek, Cathi Norton, Anson Shupe
and Carmen Gozalo.
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access
Television Services.
Our feature was produced by David Murphy.
The Ins and Outs of Money is produced by Dan Withered, in partnership with
the Monroe County Public Library and The United Way of Monroe County.
Our engineer is Joe Crawford.
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.
Managing Producer is Joe Crawford.
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Interchange – Hoosier: What’s In a Name?

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Hosts Doug Storm and Trish Kerle’ are joined by historian Jim Madison to discuss the Hoosier through history. Madison has just published a new book, Hoosiers: A New History of Indiana, published by Indiana University Press.

Our three segments cover the origin and cultural identity embodied in the very word “Hoosier,” the geographical make-up of the state and attendant migration patterns for settlers from the East and the Upland South; the “contradictions” of an anti-slavery state that is also deeply troubled with racism; the development of the state as an industrial “mecca.”

Credits:

Host: Doug Storm
Co-Host: Trish Kerle’
Board Engineer: Jonathan Richardson
Executive Producer: Alycin Bektesh

 

Interchange – Indiana Moral Mondays

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Host Doug Storm is joined by William Morris and Joe Varga to discuss the genesis of the Moral Mondays Movement in North Carolina and how it has begun to form a broad coalition here in Indiana.

A Mother Jones article from April, 2014 describes the impetus for Moral Mondays as being political action against a Republican agenda in North Carolina. The Republicans ”who in November 2012 took control of the state Legislature and the governor’s mansion for the first time in more than a century. Among their top priorities—along with blocking Medicaid expansion and cutting unemployment benefits and higher-education spending—was pushing through a raft of changes to election laws, including reducing the number of early voting days, ending same-day voter registration, and requiring ID at the polls.”

But perhaps deeper than this “fusion politics” is an engagement with an ethics of care.

The Indiana Moral Mondays Mission Statement:

We, the people, coalitions and faith communities of Indiana hereby form Indiana Moral Mondays Movement in order to promote a just society in which every person is valued, and resources are used for the common good.

In doing so, we seek to embrace the moral values and the enduring qualities of love found in the secular and spiritual communities from which we come.

Find out about this weekend’s event in Indianapolis, “Forward Together with Reverend Dr. William Barber II”  at the group’s website, Indiana Moral Mondays.

Guests:
William Morris is an attorney with Indiana Legal Services where he works on low-income housing and homelessness prevention. Prior to that he was a civil rights lawyer for a dozen years in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Morris is a member of the Indiana Moral Mondays Steering Committee.

Joe Varga is an Assistant Professor of Labor Studies at Indiana University. He is a former Teamster shop steward and long time labor activist, having worked for the IBEW and the New York State Working Families Party. He is currently working on a project detailing the spatial history of de-industrialization in Southern Indiana. Joe is also active in Jobs with Justice, and numerous other activist causes.

Credits:

Producer & Host: Doug Storm
Board Engineer: Jonathan Richardson
Executive Producer: Alycin Bektesh

Interchange – Policing Race in America: Ferguson, Missouri

On tonight’s program, Policing Race in America, we discuss the way racial minorities are denigrated and devalued through institutional violence using the August 9 police murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri as an example that is all too common in the U.S.

Darren Wilson, the officer who killed Brown, is a resident of Crestwood, MO which is 94% White and under 2% Black, working in a Ferguson Police department (whose racial makeup is actually nearly that of the suburb of Crestwood) which polices a community that is 67% Black and 29% White (according to Wikipedia).

Joining host Doug Storm for this discussion are Jeannine Bell, an expert on police behavior and hate crime at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law and Valerie Grim, professor and chair of the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies.

Credits:
Host & Producer: Doug Storm
Board Engineer: Jonathan Richardson
Executive Producer: Alycin Bektesh

bloomingOUT – March 13, 2014

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Regular guest Reverend Irene Monroe discusses her presentation about homophobia, religion and racism for students at the United Nations private school in NYC, the continued banning of LGBT participation in Boston’s St Patrick’s Day Parade, Pope Francis and civil unions and Katy Perry’s ‘blasphemous act of free speech.’ Canadian native and co-founder of Indiana AIM Chapter Kylo Prince is in studio to talk about the abysmal conditions on the Pine Ridge Reservation especially during this previous winter, Indian activism and the revival of ‘lost languages.’ IU students Maggie Oates and Jesse Menefe stop by with information about their new “Let It Go” Queer Cover Project during which they will create a collaborative all queer audio/video rendition of Disney’s “Let It Go.”

www.irenemonroe.com
www.facebook.com/kylo.prince
www.queercoverproject.com

Producer Carol Fischer
Executive Producer Alycin Bektesh
Associate Producer Sarah Hetrick
News Director Josh Vidrich
Original Theme Music Mikial Robertson
Announcer Sarah Hetrick

Interchange – W. Kamau Bell: Jokester Without Borders

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Guest W. Kamau Bell with WFHB General Manager Cleveland Dietz, Interchange host Trish Kerle, and Interchange producer Doug Storm.

Guest W. Kamau Bell with WFHB General Manager Cleveland Dietz, Interchange host Trish Kerle, and Interchange producer Doug Storm.

Host Trish Kerle’ welcomes comedian W. Kamau Bell, whose work openly challenges racism, sexism, homophobia, and more. The New Y0rk Times called Kamau “the most promising new talent in political comedy in many years.”  Face Full of Flour, his standup comedy album, was named one of the Top 10 Best Comedy Albums of 2010 by iTunes and Punchline Magazine.  His comedy series, Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, premiered in August 2012 and became a critically acclaimed, though short-lived, television show executive produced by Chris Rock.  W. Kamau Bell has just launched his first major comedy tour and he will be performing at the Comedy Attic here in Bloomington, Indiana on March 12, 2014.

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