PATT MORRISON SCHEDULE
Friday, March 16, 2012
CALL-IN @ 866-893-5722, 866-893-KPCC; OR JOIN THE CONVERSATION ONLINE ON THE PATT MORRISON BLOG AT KPCC-DOT-ORG
1:06 – 1:19: OPEN
1:21 – 1:39
Ask your Congress member: Rep. Xavier Becerra talks to his constituents
Patt welcomes back Rep. Xavier Becerra as she continues a mini-series checking in with some of our local Congress members. Rep. Becerra has publicly voiced his concern about the rise in gasoline prices in recent weeks, blaming Wall Street oil speculators for manipulating the market. Patt gets the representative’s take on the sticky situation. What can Congress do to stop possible price gouging? The House of Representatives is also considering the “JOBS Act,” a package of bills introduced by Republicans, which Becerra claims offers too little, too late. What is Congress doing to create jobs? A few weeks ago, Rep. Becerra joined a group of six lawmakers traveling to Cuba, Haiti and Colombia to widen agricultural trade with Cuba, inspect recovery efforts from the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and discuss antidrug efforts in South America. While in Havana, two members of the group, Senators Patrick J. Leahy and Richard C. Shelby, met with President Castro and discussed Allan Gross, an American aid worker currently serving a 15-year sentence in Cuba. The Senators, to no avail, tried to persuade Castro to relinquish custody of Gross. Patt covers everything from unemployment to the first high-level meeting between the U.S. and Cuba in nearly two years. Call in with your questions.
Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-California’s 31st District (Los Angeles); Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus; ranking member of the House Ways & Means Subcommittee on Social Security
1:41:30 – 1:58:30
That’s Disgusting! Why we have a love-hate relationship with ‘disgust’
Why do we watch disturbing horror movies or gross-out comedies? Why are so many of us repulsed by anything oozy, wiggly, or putrid? Psychologist Rachel Herz answers these questions and more in her new book “That’s Disgusting: Unraveling the Mysteries of Repulsion.” Disgust, according to Herz, is one of the six basic human emotions, the only one that is unique to humans, and is a product of both instinct and culture. Herz maintains that disgust significantly shapes our culture and our everyday lives by way of our diets, sex lives, social etiquette and more. What vile things repulse you and why? What disgusting things fascinate you? In what ways has the feeling of disgust influenced your everyday life?
Rachel Herz, author, “That’s Disgusting: Unraveling the Mysteries of Repulsion”
2:06 – 2:30
“I am undocumented:” National “Coming Out of the Shadows” Week remains contentious
Last year, activists and advocates for undocumented immigrants in the United States repurposed gay activist Harvey Milk’s 1978 request to his city’s gay community – “you must come out” – by instituting a national “Coming Out of the Shadows” week. What began as a week became a movement, with large numbers of youth and adults stepping forward and admitting to being in the U.S. illegally. This year’s National Coming Out of the Shadows week started Monday [March 10]. The movement is contentious for multiple reasons, and not just among those who would like undocumented immigrants to just “go home.” Some of the undocumented themselves feel pressured to come forward when it might not be in their best interest. If you are undocumented, how do you feel about this movement? Has a friend or co-worker surprised you by telling you that he or she is in the country illegally? Should youth who were involuntarily brought to the United States be given a break and allowed to become citizens? Is the United States too harsh with its immigration policies or not harsh enough?
2:30 – 2:50
Satire or bias? Controversy over comic strips, from ‘Doonesbury’ to Lalo Alcaraz
Satire has been a part of American discourse for ages, from controversial skits about the Vietnam War during “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” in the 1960s to Jon Stewart’s politically tongue-in-cheek “The Daily Show.” Recently, two different comic strips have come under fire for straddling that fuzzy line between satire and appropriateness, showcasing issues of free speech and censorship. Dennis Wilen, former editor of the AOL Patch.com site for Brentwood, revealed in a blog this week he had been fired last spring after posting a cartoon by nationally syndicated “La Cucaracha” comic strip artist Lalo Alcaraz that satirized attitudes towards Cinco de Mayo in a ritzy Los Angeles neighborhood. Wilen claimed higher-ups said the cartoon was racist. Also this week, newspapers and websites across the country, including the Los Angeles Times, decided to print a series of controversial “Doonesbury” comic strips on the opinion page rather than the comics section because they were considered too over-the-top. The six-day arc lampoons abortion politics, depicting a young woman at an abortion clinic being called a “slut” by a male legislator. What’s the line between satire, bias, and the right to mock? Or not? Are Americans too sensitive to satire?
Lalo Alcaraz, “jefe-in-chief” of the recently-launched Pocho.com; creator of the first nationally-syndicated, politically-themed Latino daily comic strip, “La Cucaracha”; and host of the “Pocho Hour of Power” on KPFK; He is also a professor at the Otis College of Art and Design
Ted Gournelos (Gore-NEH-lohs), author and assistant professor of critical media and cultural studies at Rollins (RAH-lins) College in Florida, and co-editor of the 2011 book “A Decade of Dark Humor: How Comedy, Irony, and Satire Shaped Post-9/11 America”
2:50:00 – 2:58:30
Is Los Angeles really the smelliest city on Earth?
Some might say that “smelly” is in the nose of the beholder, but the City of Angels was recently ranked as the smelliest city on the planet by GQ Magazine. GQ seems not to define smelly as exclusively malodorous - citing L.A.’s signature ocean breezes, eucalyptus and jasmine along with the more rank elements of the local olfactory offerings like car exhaust and hot asphalt. But how does the scent of taco trucks, Dodger Dogs, sun tan lotion and loads of farmer’s market flowers stack up against Parisian smokers, Seattle’s coffee shops, Mumbai’s curry spices or Peoria’s notoriously rank rotten French fry stench? The well-traveled and odiferous comedian Greg Proops helps us sniff out some other cities’ olfactory offerings. Which municipalities can’t you get out of your nose – for better or for worse?
Greg Proops, comedian and host of the weekly podcast, "The Smartest Man in the World"; frequent guest on KPCC’s Comedy Congress
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