Cannibal! The Podcast, with Nature Vs Narcissism and Sketch Nerds

There are many reasons why an individual or group of people would eat other people, such as religious rites, shows of superiority, and signs of respect, but also out of necessity. Few people think of the Donner party’s ill-fated trek through the Sierra Nevadas or the rugby team whose plane crashed in the Andes in 1972 without thinking of people driven to cannibalism in a desperate attempt to stave off death. So we can split cannibalism into four often overlapping categories: by choice, by necessity, endo-cannibalism (eating people within your group), and exo-cannibalism (eating people outside your group).

It would probably be more accurate to refer to today’s topic as anthropophagy, meaning the eating of man, rather than cannibalism.  The word cannibal comes from a group of people who may not have eaten human flesh at all. “Cannibal” comes from Canibales, the name that the Spanish gave to the Caribs, the natives of the Caribbean islands.  The Spanish accused the tribe of ritualistically eating their enemies, but most of the initial reports came from Christopher Columbus, who had both personal and political reasons to make them seem as savage as possible. (more…)

Words You Can’t Say On TV Or Radio, with JoChristie

Hollywood in the 1920s was haunted by a number of scandals, like the murder of director William Desmond Taylor and alleged fatal sexual assault by movie star “Fatty” Arbuckle, which brought widespread condemnation from religious, civic, and political organizations.  Political pressure was increasing, with legislators in 37 states introducing almost one hundred movie censorship bills in 1921. Faced with the prospect of having to comply with hundreds of local decency laws in order to show their movies, the studios chose self-regulation by way of a single church official.  

The movie studios enlisted Presbyterian elder Will H. Hays to rehabilitate Hollywood’s image.  Hays, Postmaster General under Warren G. Harding and former head of the Republican National Committee, was paid a lavish sum equivalent to $1.4 million in today’s money inflation.  He served for 25 years as president of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA), where he “defended the industry from attacks, recited soothing nostrums, and negotiated treaties to cease hostilities.”  The move mimicked the decision Major League Baseball had made in hiring judge Kenesaw Landis as League Commissioner the previous year to quell questions about the integrity of baseball in the wake of the 1919 World Series gambling scandal.  That was the one you might have seen dramatized in the 1988 movie Eight Men Out.


Short-lived, Long-remembered, with Based On A True Story podcast

Special guest: Dan LeFebvre from Based On A True Story podcast.

There are some musicians that leave an enduring legacy through long and storied careers, like the Rolling Stones, who formed in 1962 and swear 2018 for be their final year touring, for real this time.  There are actors who are iconic because they have been on our TV’s or the silver screen for decades, like Sean Connery, James Earl Jones, and our beloved Betty White. But by the same token, there are musicians, actors, and shows that are like a stone dropped in a pond — their appearance was brief, but their ripples continue to this day.

For years and years, if a music journalist wanted to compliment a guitar player, they would do it by likening them to Jimi Hendrix.  That practice continues to this day, even though Hendrix only recorded from 1967 until his death in 1970. Jimi Hendrix was born Johnny Allen Hendrix (later changed by his father to James Marshall) on November 27, 1942, in Seattle, Washington.  He had a difficult childhood, sometimes living in the care of relatives or acquaintances. He and his brothers were estranged from their mother, who had had Jimi when she was seventeen and died at age thirty three.  (more…)

Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month runs from Sept 15 to Oct 15. Join us in celebrating cultural touchstones and famous people, as well as learning things like the distinction between Latino and Hispanic.

The first thing we need to do is to clear up some confusion on nomenclature, specifically the terms Latino and Hispanic. The first thing to get out of the way is that a Spanish person is a person from the country of Spain. Hispanic refers to people of Spanish-speaking descent. Latino refers to a person of Latin American descent. There are also terms specific to one country, such as Chicano for someone from Mexico, or those referring to a specific ancestry, such as Boricua, for the native people of Puerto Rico. While there are many people who are both Hispanic and Latin American, the terms are not interchangeable. For example, a Brazilian person is Latino, but not Hispanic, as Brazil is a Portuguese-speaking country. (more…)

Banned Books – Kids, YA, LGBTQ

From Shel Silverstein inciting cannibalism to a book about a baby penguin that’s consistently among the most challenged and banned books, we look at children, young adult, and LGBTQ books challenged or banned for silly reasons. See part one for full show notes.

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