In the past two decades, climate change (previously described as global warming) has been a polarizing and central topic in discussions both political and personal. Some look to governments and organizations to facilitate recycling, curb emissions and reduce waste byproducts. Others invest in individual contributions, like residential solar panels, composting and eco-friendly materials. But rarely do we think about the impact of food production on the environment. In 2014, documentary filmmaker Kip Anderson set out to explore the impact of animal agriculture on the environment. This week we sit down to discuss his film with Leland Holcomb. How have carnivorous habits been internalized on a cultural level? Could we, as a global community, alter our agricultural course for a more sustainable option?
In our cultural lexicon, we often casually note that we're "addicted" to the latest TV show, album or trend that enters our lives. But we rarely discuss the grave reality of actual addiction and the burdens it creates. This week, we examine a 2015 TED Talk given by Johann Hari on the subject. In particular, he looks at common misconceptions about how and why addiction takes hold. What are the social factors at play? What can addiction reveal about our deeper human nature? How might communities and governments better prepare and respond to citizens to mitigate addiction?
Humanity at large has been fascinated, confused and humbled by dreams and the threshold of death since time immemorial. But what would the crossroads of these two phenomena look like and how might it help us better understand our minds and our lives? This week we're joined by Lucy Iselin to examine a New York Times article published in 2016. The thought-provoking article includes insights and perspectives from professionals in hospice care, stories from the terminally ill and those who study end-of-life experiences. How might this article and its subject matter encourage empathy through further observations of dreamers and their experiences? How do dreams of the dying differ from those whose hold on life is firmer? What can these dreams tell us about the most deeply-buried concerns and memories of dreamers late in life?
A few weeks ago, Stride & Saunter ran into some technical difficulties on Apple Podcasts/iTunes and vanished altogether. As a personal endeavor, this was a frustrating time. But more importantly, it led me to reflect more thoroughly on the status of the show, the nature of the intimate connections afforded by podcasts and the value of asking for specific help from those around you. A shorter and different episode than you might expect, but we'll be back to regular episodes next week.
Modern film has become a dynamo for discussions about our world, our culture and our humanity. This role has been especially prominent with the release of a Wonder Woman film, starring Gal Gadot. Audiences have come out en masse to marvel at her superhuman strength, commitment to justice and to appreciate her role as a female superhero in a comic landscape which often highlights male narratives. As many critics of the film have pointed out, it serves as a tent-pole of sorts, one which may determine the market viability of future female-led superhero movies. This week we're joined by Aayesha Siddiqui to examine the commentaries made by the film and to explore its unique and widespread influence. What does the movie articulate about heroism, gender and personal growth? What arguments does it put forward about the horrors of war and the conflict between bravery and cowardice?