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Karen Joy Fowler Special Guest on It’s A Question Of Balance with Ruth Copland Saturday 20th June 9-10 PM

This week as her special guest from the arts Ruth Copland is pleased to be interviewing Santa Cruz resident Karen Joy Fowler, internationally best-selling and award-winning author of six novels and three short story collections. If you enjoy Ruth’s interview with Karen you can meet Karen in person at Bookshop Santa Cruz on June 22nd at 7:30 PM

Consistently loved by critics and readers alike, most of Karen’s titles have been New York Times Notable Books and named to many best-of-year lists. Her work traverses science fiction, fantasy, and literary fiction but often defies genre categorisation. The San Francisco Chronicle comments Karen has “An astonishing narrative voice, at once lyric and ironic, satiric and nostalgic…Fowler can tell stories that engage and enchant.” Her novel We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves won the PEN/Faulkner Award as well as the California Book Award for fiction 2013, and was shortlisted for the British Man Booker Prize the first year it was open to Americans. The Jane Austen Book Club spent 19 weeks on the New York Times bestsellers list, was a New York Times Notable Book, and was made into a major motion picture. Sister Noon, was a finalist for the 2001 PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction and her debut novel, Sarah Canary, was a New York Times Notable Book, as was her second novel, The Sweetheart Season. In addition, Sarah Canary won the Commonwealth medal for best first novel by a Californian, and was listed for the Irish Times International Fiction Prize as well as the Bay Area Book Reviewers Prize. Karen’s short story collection Black Glass won the World Fantasy Award in 1999, and her collection What I Didn’t See won the World Fantasy Award in 2011. Born and raised in Bloomington, Indiana, Karen and her husband, who have two grown children and five grandchildren, now live in Santa Cruz. Karen holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in South Asian studies and she is the co-founder of the James Tiptree, Jr. Award and the current president of the Clarion Foundation (also known as Clarion San Diego). In recognition of her prominent literary status, Marian Wood Books/Putnam is re-issuing Karen’s short story collection Black Glass: Short Fiction available from June 22nd.

Tune in Saturday 9-10 PM to find out more about the life and art of Karen Joy Fowler. For more info and to hear previous shows visit www.itsaquestionofbalance.com

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‘Does Your Age Define You?’ It’s A Question Of Balance 8-9 PM Saturday 13th June

This Saturday 13th June 8-9 PM on It’s A Question Of Balance with Ruth Copland we consider ‘Does Your Age Define You?’

Have you had an experience where you felt like you were perceived or treated in a different way just because of your age - whatever that age might have been? Do make judgements about people based on their age? What do you think you will know about someone when you know their age that you didn’t know about them before? There are old people who are not wise and young people who are not full of life and vibrancy. Why do you think we don’t just judge people on their individual merits? George Eliot said ‘It is never too late to become what you might have been.’ Do you subscribe to this or do you think you have to achieve certain things by a certain age or not try? Does your age define you?

What do you think? Ruth Copland gets the views of people on the street 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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Trash McSweeney Special Guest on It’s A Question Of Balance with Ruth Copland Saturday 13 June 9-10 PM

This week as her special guest from the arts Ruth Copland is pleased to be interviewing Trash McSweeney singer, song-writer and creator of the five-piece orchestral art band The Red Paintings, which was officially born at the dawn of the millennium. After suffering a near-fatal seizure, visionary performer Trash McSweeney now sees colour in music and seeks to share with the world the ideas he has seen and felt. Originally from Australia, Trash is based in London and Los Angeles and is currently in the middle of a world tour in support of the release of The Red Paintings album ‘The Revolution Is Never Coming’. Trash originates all The Red Paintings musical and staging concepts and the band is known for its unique and compelling live performances featuring theatrical and art elements. Band members are costumed elaborately with themes ranging from geishas to aliens to sea creatures. The Red Paintings are renowned for inviting artists local to their shows to come and paint living and blank canvasses during the musical performance to reflect their feelings about the music. The band’s multimedia performances stimulate the senses and the mind and appeal to baroque-pop steam-punks, metal-heads, indie-rock fanatics, and beyond. The album ‘The Revolution Is Never Coming’ was 5 years in the making and features a 35-piece orchestra, 22-piece choir, harp players, French horn, Theremin and more across 13 tracks of biting, futuristic alternative rock. The album was recorded and mixed in world-class studios around the globe and the two singles released from the album have charted in the UK, Europe, America and Australia. The innovative Alice in Wonderland-themed music video for the single "Streets Fell Into My Window" picked up a wide range of awards at festivals worldwide. The band has a dedicated following and the album The Revolution Is Never Coming was largely funded by donations from fans all over the world. The album’s producer, Bryan Carlstrom, stated: “In my entire 30 year career I’ve not mixed such a diverse, colourful and emotionally dynamic album such as this, it’s like a 21st century War of the Worlds.”

Tune in Saturday 9-10 PM to find out more about the life and art of Trash McSweeney. For more info and to hear previous shows visit www.itsaquestionofbalance.com

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‘Do We Still Value Professional Journalism?’ It’s A Question Of Balance 8-9 PM Saturday 6 June

This Saturday 6 June 8-9 PM on It’s A Question Of Balance with Ruth Copland we consider ‘Do we still value professional journalism?’

"Burke said there were Three Estates in Parliament; but, in the Reporters' Gallery yonder, there sat a Fourth Estate more important far than they all." So spoke Thomas Carlyle in his book On Heroes and Hero Worship about a parliamentary debate in 1787 on the opening up of press reporting of the House of Commons in Britain. It is one of the first comments about the power of the press. Recognising this power, standards grew up around professional journalism. According to The Elements of Journalism (written by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel) “Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth” and its “essence is a discipline of verification”. New technology has given rise to ‘citizen journalism’ with ordinary people creating blogs about news and spreading information about issues and events through social media both in written and visual form. This kind of informal journalism isn’t held to the same standards; it is often not fact-checked or supported by second sources. Sometimes it wilfully spreads disinformation with the audience often accepting this news at face value. Is this as a problem? Or do you think the benefits of getting breaking news or less traditional perspectives is worth the risk? Do you have trusted sources of information for news that you defer to or do you have an egalitarian approach to news sources? Do you weight citizen journalism equally when it comes to news gathering? Or do you still value professional journalism?

What do you think? Ruth Copland gets the views of people on the street 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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Ranking Roger Special Guest on It’s A Question Of Balance with Ruth Copland Saturday 6 June 9-10 PM

This week as her special guest from the arts Ruth Copland is pleased to be interviewing British vocalist and toaster Ranking Roger. As an original member of seminal 80s 2-tone band The Beat, or The English Beat as they are known in America, Roger has a career in music that spans over three decades. Joining The Beat at just 16, his mum had to sign his first record contract for him. The Beat’s first single went straight into the Top Ten in the UK and three albums followed with multiple hit singles including Mirror In The Bathroom, Too Nice To Talk To and Hands Off She’s Mine. From the outset the band offered messages of hope and peace with an insight into sociopolitical topics which would later, alongside The Specials, see them heralded as forerunners of the whole 2-Tone Ska movement. Ranking Roger and Dave Wakeling led with vocals while Andy Cox and David Steele took guitar and bass with Everett Morton supplying distinctive drums and renowned saxophonist, Saxa, adding the warm Jamaican ska instrumental flavour that is forever associated with the band’s sound. After the band split Roger formed General Public with fellow Beat member Dave Wakeling and the band found great success in North America. In the 90s Roger joined members of The Specials to form Special Beat, which toured and released two live albums. Roger has also recorded two solo albums Radical Departure and Inside My Head, which includes traditional reggae and ska with influences of electronica, jungle and dub, and an album of collaborations with other artists. Roger continues to play live, performing both Beat songs and material from throughout his career. He heads up The Beat in the UK, and the band regularly tours and records. The current line-up includes Roger’s son Ranking Junior, who contributed vocals and songwriting to The Beat’s 2014 album, and Roger’s daughter Saffren.

Tune in Saturday 9-10 PM to find out more about the life and art of Ranking Roger. For more info and to hear previous shows visit www.itsaquestionofbalance.com

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‘Can Restraint Be As Courageous As Action?’ It’s A Question Of Balance 8-9 PM Saturday 23rd May

This Saturday 8-9 PM on It’s A Question Of Balance with Ruth Copland we consider ‘Can Restraint Be As Courageous As Action?’ A few years back a British soldier Maj. Gen. Nick Carter, who at the time was in charge of the international forces in southern Afghanistan, suggested that soldiers could someday be awarded medals for restraint that prevents civilian casualties in combat. This followed a strategic protocol put in place by the British army called Courageous Restraint, where there were a strict set of criteria that had to be met to fire on targets so that civilian deaths were limited. The absolute opposite of ‘shoot first ask questions later’. Both the protocol and the medal suggestion valued the concept that to hold fire and more fully assess a situation may increase the danger for the soldier and thus require courage. Does this kind of restraint seem courageous to you? If so, do you think a medal is an appropriate way to honour this kind of courage? Would it perhaps help change the mindset of how a conflict can be won if acts of restraint were equally honoured with action? Why does action seem to be valued so much more highly than restraint? Do you think this idea of courageous restraint would also be of benefit within American society, for example in our police force?

What do you think? Ruth Copland gets the views of people on the street 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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