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'Can We Retain Empathy in the Face of Fear?’ It’s A Question Of Balance 8-9 PM Saturday November 8th

This Saturday November 8th 8-9 PM on It’s A Question Of Balance with Ruth Copland we consider ‘Can We Retain Empathy in the Face of Fear?’ America is known for its defense of freedom and civil liberties, yet at times it seems that fear-based hysteria can build, reducing empathy and compassion, and eroding defense of civil liberties. Responses to HIV/AIDS, terrorism and threatened health epidemics spring to mind, the recent Ebola scare in particular. Do you think that it is a choice whether we live in fear or not? Do you think the media has a responsibility not to incite fear? There doesn’t seem to be much compassion in the reporting of the Ebola epidemic compared with famine victims, for example. There has also been a bubbling witch-hunt mentality about travelers from foreign countries and exposed health-workers. There are hundreds of things more likely to kill us than Ebola, including our own choices about such things as not addressing clinical obesity, high usage of alcohol, drug-taking, extreme sports, smoking, as well as many diseases. Where does our fear of Ebola come from? Why have we so quickly jumped to concern for ourselves? And if we can’t help but be afraid, can we at least retain empathy in the face of fear and moderate our responses accordingly? What do you think? I get the views of people in the local area for our Out and About feature. Join us on Saturday 8-9 PM! For more info on the show and to hear past shows visit www.itsaquestionofbalance.com 

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Jane Smiley Special Guest on It’s A Question Of Balance with Ruth Copland Saturday November 8th 9-10 PM

This week as my special guest from the arts I’m pleased to be interviewing Jane Smiley, Pulitzer-Prize-winning novelist and essayist. Praised as ‘a diverse and masterly writer’ and ‘one of the premier novelists of her generation’ Jane has written 14 novels, five non-fiction books and a series of horse books for young adults, as well as many essays and articles. Her novel A Thousand Acres won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1992, and her novel The All True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton won the 1999 Spur Award for Best Novel of the West. She has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1987. Her novel Horse Heaven was short-listed for the Orange Prize in 2002, and her novel, Private Life, was chosen as one of the best books of 2010 by The Atlantic, The New Yorker, and The Washington Post. She received the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature in 2006. Her most recent novel SOME LUCK, the first volume of a trilogy, the story of an American farming family across a 100 years ending in 2020, has just come out. Join me Saturday 9-10 PM to find out more about the life and art of this masterly writer. And if you enjoy the interview you can meet Jane live at Bookshop Santa Cruz November 12th at 7 PM. I’ll be going so I hope to see you there! For more info and to hear previous shows visit www.itsaquestionofbalance.com

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‘Should artistic expression ever be censored?’ It’s A Question Of Balance 8-9 PM Saturday November 1st

This Saturday November 1st 8-9 PM on It’s A Question Of Balance with Ruth Copland we consider ‘Should artistic expression ever be censored?’ Historically artists are considered highly influential, imbued with the power to touch the soul and conscience of the people and drive change. Various regimes have decimated artist populations in order to ensure the stability of their political agenda. Very few people would argue this is a good thing. However, the potential of art to offend and subvert remains a concern in ‘civilised’ society, with such things as misogynistic pop songs being targeted for criticism. Should artists have the right to shock and appall, confront religious taboos, question political stances, and step beyond the norm or are there instances where their artistic license should be curtailed? Can some art be so offensive that banning or censoring it is the right thing to do so that it doesn’t contaminate our society? Or should artistic expression always be allowed free reign, without any restriction? What do you think? I get the views of people in the local area for our Out and About feature. Join us on Saturday 8-9 PM! For more info on the show and to hear past shows visit www.itsaquestionofbalance.com 

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Saleem Special Guest on It’s A Question Of Balance with Ruth Copland Saturday November 1st 9-10 PM

This week as my special guest from the arts I’m pleased to be interviewing popular comedian and actor, Saleem. Originally from Dayton, Ohio, Saleem is known for his dynamic stage presence, his bold and refreshingly original material, and his ability to appeal to a broad audience without compromising his distinctive comedic “voice”. His credits include appearances on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”, NBC’s “Last Comic Standing”, TBS’s “Lopez Tonight”, FOX’s “Best Damn Sport Show…Period” and BET’s “Comic View.” He has also worked with music greats “The Temptations”, “Boyz II Men” and Vanessa Williams and comedy legends such as George Carlin, Joan Rivers, Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, D.L. Hughley, Kathleen Madigan and Gary Shandling. Saleem has appeared internationally in the UK, Canada, The Netherlands and the Caribbean, has performed for charity in Israel and Mexico, and has had the honor to perform on tours supporting United States Service personnel for The Armed Forces Entertainment Network in Iraq and Kuwait, clearly demonstrating Saleem’s universal comedic appeal. As an actor he has appeared on ABC’s “Sons & Daughters”, Universal’s “Blind Date” as well as in many popular commercials. His comedy is clean, confident, original and irreverent, contributing to his wide appeal. Join me Saturday 9-10 PM to find out more about the life and art of this very funny man! For more info and to hear previous shows visit www.itsaquestionofbalance.com

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‘Do we still need public libraries?’ It’s A Question Of Balance 8-9 PM Saturday 25th October

 

This Saturday October 25th 8-9 PM on It’s A Question Of Balance with Ruth Copland we consider ‘Do we still need public libraries? In this age of the internet and e-books what is the role of the public library in society today? Thomas Jefferson in 1809 wrote “I have often thought that nothing would do more extensive good at small expense than the establishment of a small circulating library in every county”. Funding of libraries is constantly under attack in budget cuts and has seriously declined in recent years even though 90% of Americans say the closing of their local public library would impact their community*. Publishers are ambivalent or even hostile about libraries fearing reduced book sales. With their core mission of promoting reading, however, do libraries create new readers (and thus new purchasers)? 82% of Americans believe libraries should provide free literacy programs to young children*, which may include traditional reading, writing and comprehension as well as technology and new media literacies. Is this a good use of public money or should parents be responsible for providing these skills? Many people have home access to the internet for research and e-books but does this replace the cultural and intellectual experience of the library and its role as a vibrant community center? Is the library more than a repository of books? Libraries now provide free access to the internet and computers – is this as fundamental a right to information as the original intent of libraries providing access to books (and thus knowledge) for all people regardless of socio-economic standing? What do you think? I get the views of people in the local area for our Out and About feature. Join us on Saturday 8-9 PM! For more info on the show and to hear past shows visit www.itsaquestionofbalance.com 

*Pew Research Center.

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Azar Nafisi Special Guest on It’s A Question Of Balance with Ruth Copland Saturday October 25th 9-10 PM

This week as my special guest from the arts I’m pleased to be interviewing Azar Nafisi, New York Times best-selling author, essayist and academic. Azar is perhaps best known for her book Reading Lolita in Tehran, which tells the story of how, against the backdrop of morality squads and executions, Azar taught American literature to her students in Iran. It is an exploration of the transformative powers of fiction in a world of tyranny. Reading Lolita in Tehran has sold over a million copies, spent over 117 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list, has been translated into 32 languages, and has won diverse literary awards. In 2006 Azar won a Persian Golden Lioness Award for literature, presented by the World Academy of Arts, Literature, and Media. She is the author of Anti-Terra: A Critical Study of Vladimir Nabokov’s Novels, a children’s book (with illustrator Sophie Benini Pietromarchi) BiBi and the Green Voice and Things I Have Been Silent About: Memories, a memoir about her mother. In addition, Azar has written for The New York Times, Washington Post, The New Republic and The Wall Street Journal. Azar Nafisi is a Visiting Professor and the executive director of Cultural Conversations at the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC, where she is a professor of aesthetics, culture, and literature, and teaches courses on the relation between culture and politics. Her new book The Republic of Imagination has just been published. Join me Saturday 9-10 PM to find out more about the life and art of this inspirational woman! For more info and to hear previous shows visit www.itsaquestionofbalance.com 

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