October 6: 1926 Father Coughlin ‘On the Air’ and the rise of right wing radio
October 13: 1971 Alice Waters Opens Chez Panisse; Local Food and the Promise of Healthy School Lunches
October 20: 1973 The First US Mobile Phone Call; Always within reach!
October 27: 1987 The Roaming Mobro Garbage Barge; Garbage, Garbage Every and no direction home!
Briefly, our reasoning for choosing the topics:
Father Coughlin was the first priest who understood that radio could be a ‘bully pulpit’ Initially, a supporter of FDR, after 1936 he turned on the New Deal and its President and adopted a conservative anti-Wall Street agenda. His popularity grew and it is said that in many neighborhoods of the industrial East and Mid-West when Father Coughlin was on the air, his show could be heard as you passed people’s open windows. His flirtation with anti-Semitism and Nazism eventually paved the way for his demise but not before he left a lasting impression on the future of radio. Today’s conservative talk show hosts can certainly trace some of their ideas, passion and delivery to the 1930’s Priest of Radio.
When Alice Waters opened Chez Panisse in a Victorian house in an assuming neighborhood of counter culture Berkeley, California in 1971 with the purpose of providing good food in a nourishing environment. As her restaurant gradually evolved into one that emphasized the use of locally grown,and fresh ingredients, she had no idea that she was starting a revolution. Ms Waters didn’t stop there. She questioned how food was produced in the United States and what people ate, especially children in school lunch programs. In 1995 Alive Waters began the Edible School Yard and worked with the King Middle School in Berkeley to grow organic food for their cafeteria. The ‘New American’ cuisine, farmer’s markets, slow foods, healthy school lunches…these are some of Alice Waters’ legacies.
Start a conversation with anyone about mobile phones and be prepared to stay for awhile…complaints about kids and texting … drivers who suffer from Cell Phone drunkenness … Twitter is destroying the English language! … Why do I always have to be in touch?…on and on. An informal discussion like this started me thinking, why not an Action Speaks topic! The first US mobile phone call and its aftermath. Follow our pre-show discussion on Twitter or Face Book!
Many people don’t remember that over twenty years ago a garbage barge roamed the seas of the Eastern Seaboard in search of a home. No one wanted the garbage. It became a symbol for our consumer society and its excesses. That discussion has not been silenced by recycling or recession, but instead the idea that our society is about consuming seems to be more and more a topic for consideration and for some, consternation.
Can’t wait to hear your comments on these topics. Please do write it will help me to formulate my questions for the fall, any books I should read or panelists we should invite.