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Hot Fossils and Rebel Matters 217 – Tales from the 1960’s and Back

Sunday, June 23, 2013 4:00 pm Leave a comment

Peril Cover

“Why can’t we just do everything we can while we’re here for one another?” – Pearl Goodman, 2013

On today’s show I interview Pearl Goodman who has written Peril: From Jack Boots to Jack Benny.  In 300 pages, Pearl gives us portraits and vignettes of what it was like growing up in the nineteen-sixties and seventies.   This was a time when many holocaust survivors had ended up in cities like Toronto putting geographical if not psychic distance between them and the horrors of World War II.  Everything about her childhood is coated, clouded and influenced by her parents’ experience during the war and after.

Her parents were survivors of the Nazi’s attempt to exterminate the European Jews.  The remainder of their lives was infused with this terrible knowledge, the death, the suffering of entire family members, friends, neighbors and many others left behind.    As we roll ever closer to the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, the numbers of survivors who can still remember and tell us anything of those times are dwindling to a precious few.   All the stories we can find, first-hand, must be sought out, recorded and shared.  And those who can relay much of those untold stories and insights, as the survivors of World War II pass on,  do so as translators, interpreters and paraphrasers of the original tellings.   Ms. Goodman and other children of survivors must speak for them because they no longer can.

It is said often that we are doomed to repeat history if we do not learn from it.    Indeed, genocide has been attempted and succeeded many times to greater and lesser degrees before that war and after.    And Jews throughout history have been no stranger to attempts to being eradicated and removed from everywhere we have ever called home.   We see the story of the holocaust repeated over and over again in small and big ways in the modern era in such places as:  Cambodia, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, The Congo, and Pakistan.

In that sense, Ms. Goodman is not just telling her parents story and her own, but the story of all survivors and immigrants trying to overcome the persecution and oppression of their birth country.  Join me in my conversation with the author, on a pleasant spring evening in a local restaurant on the very street that Pearl grew up on.

Listen up:

Or download media:  Hotfrm 217 (33mb 36mins)

Links:

http://www.bridgeross.com/peril.html

http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/peril-from-jackboots-to-jack/9780987824462-item.html

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/peril-pearl-goodman/1113066890?ean=9780987824462

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Science Unites – Religion Divides

Thursday, December 23, 2010 12:38 pm 1 comment

 

Why?  Because 1+1 gives you the same value in China, or in Japan, or in the U.S. or in Saudia Arabia, Africa, or South America.    God is different across cultural, racial, national and individual boundaries.

The Search for Comfort is Not the Same as the Search for God

Monday, August 31, 2009 9:09 pm Leave a comment

religion-dm-500-789995

Hellbound Alleee of Mondo Diablo fame gets it right on the nose.  There is no rhyme nor reason to the world and this life.  There doesn’t have to be.  But that is not the subject of this post.   I am responding to her episode number 195 of Mondo Diablo where a believer says that the number one question of non-believers is “Why is there evil if there is a god?”.  Of course it’s the number one question that non-believers asks because the answer, that normally involves how god gave us free will to test our faith, is incomprehensible. It simply does not answer the question.   This whole business of free will and its relationship to evil begs the question of god,  as Alleee points out in Mondo Diablo #195 :    “What, indeed, do we need god for if we have free will”, she asks.  What exactly would be the point?

The whole question of a free will and the fallen world is very foreign to all other non-christian religions because no other religion has this concept of original sin.   Why bother to create an Adam and Eve if they’re going to disappoint you and once they’ve disappointed you why not just destroy the world and all its sinners and start over?  Oh sorry.  Is that what is supposed to happen with the coming of the apocalypse and Armageddon?  One might argue that the ways of the superior being are not understandable to us.   Then why bother at all believing?  If his ways are not penetrable, then why should I waste one moment on it?  I’ll tell you why:  because there are only about 1.5 billion of us in the world who are self described non-believers in a god and the rest believe in one (or many), much to the  puzzlement of non-believers, who spend a considerable amount of time defending ourselves against this offense to our sensibilities called “belief in a god and all that it means.”

Alleee hits another one right on the sweet spot in that episode.  I have to say it again because I love it:  “The search for comfort is not the same as the search for god.”   These are indeed and importantly two very different things.  A god is a very terrible thing to believe in.  A “bubba meisis” as my mother would say, “an old wive’s tale”, a scary monster thing to tell your children to keep them in line.   And then we tell them that it’s ok to believe in the scary monster because they’ll be rewarded when they die by some other fabrication called heaven or resurrection or rebirth as a brahmin, or with virgins in an afterlife that they can rape with abandon.

On the other hand I would like very much to remind Alleee how she got here –  Her wonderful show Mondo Diablo, that I have been enjoying for 4 years wouldn’t even exist if it were not for someone’s belief in god.  How’s that for a slap in the face?

hellbound_alleee

Hot Fossils and Rebel Matters 173 – Scarborough Dude Zen Master

Monday, July 20, 2009 11:46 pm Leave a comment
International Space Station (Photo from New York Times Nasa/Reuters)

International Space Station (Photo from New York Times Nasa/Reuters)

On this, the summer of the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing,  Special K and I head outside the house one late evening to catch a glimpse of the space station making its way round the earth.  We are surprised by its speed, size, colour and certainly by the fact that we are actually able to view it.   We have less than five minutes to watch it pass overhead.

Scarborough Dude (Photo by Ninja)

Scarborough Dude (Photo by Ninja)

On the first morning of Podcasters Across Borders in June, the Dude was called up for the first jolt session of the conference. This session is meant to be exactly five minutes and is intended to stimulate the mind and conversation during the break before the next longer scheduled session.  True to form The Dude expressed himself in his characteristic stream of consciousness way when the alarm sounded ending his five minutes.   We took pity on him however and gave him a precious few more moments to read a dude original poem –  irreverent yet moving.  By the way the Dude is completely NSFW : that is:  not safe for work.  You have been warned (audio of the Dude’s jolt courtesy of Whitney Hoffman).

Listen to it at