Humor and irony can be ways of deflating those who oppress us--but they can also promote stereotypes and immunize us from passions for serious causes. Jan Haaken and Bob Samuels discuss the complex issues posed by the popularity of The Daily Show, Stephen Colbert, and the movie Religulous. Samuels is the author of Teaching the Rhetoric of Resistance.
Hosted by Clayton Morgareidge, this program has discussions of the collapsing economy, the politics of humor and irony in popular entertainment, and the situation in Afghanistan. To hear the whole show, click on the arrow above. To hear individual pieces, follow the links below.
This show also featured songs with words by Woody Guthrie, set to music by Billy Bragg. Unfortunately copyright limitations require us to limit the length of the clips available on the web. The album is Mermaid Avenue.
Dr. David Naimon hosts an Interview with Charles Barber about his book "Comfortably Numb: How Psychiatry is Medicating a Nation." Barber explores the ways pharmaceutical companies exert pressure on Americans to medicate themselves, how America has come to account for 66% of the global consumption of antidepressants, and how without an industry to promote them, non-pharmaceutical approaches that have the potential to help millions, are tragically overlooked.
Large drug companies use various means to create an artificial need for their expensive (and highly profitable) products, then rush in to fill the orders. Drug marketers intentionally blur the distinction between everyday problems and what used to be considered serious mental illness in such a way that people under the daily stress of modern life can be easily persuaded that a quick fix for stress lies in a pill bottle. Direct-to-Consumer advertising plays a large role, as well as the time and expense related to non-drug therapeutic options, in convincing consumers to request medication in cases that just 10 years ago would have considered drugs to be inappropriate treatments.
Host Per Fagereng speaks with Robert Parry, award-winning investigative journalist for Consortium News. Parry's books include Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & "Project Truth;"Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq; Secrecy and Privilege: the Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq and "Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush," written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat.. His recent pieces include "The Danger of Keeping Robert Gates" and "Obama Risks Clinton-Era Mistakes," which states: "After a masterful campaign, Barack Obama seems headed toward some fateful mistakes as he assembles his administration by heeding the advice of Washington's Democratic insider community, a collective group that represents little 'change you can believe in.' ..."