Come Fly With Me: The World of The Pan Am Stewardess Before “Me Too”

March 29th, 2021
39680170-0-image-a-49_1614109395518.jpegThose of you that are old enough, will remember when people got dressed up to fly. When having a meal onboard, especially on a transcontinental flight was like dining in a fine restaurant. When inflight service was more than peanuts and admonitions about the size of carry on bags.

It was also a time when those that provided that inflight serve, were a different breed than Cassie Bowden in The Flight Attendant. It was an era when air travel was awash in glamor not the horrors of today.

The flight attendants or stewardess, as they were known, were a select breed. Especially for global airlines like Pan Am. They had to have the right look, the right BMI, the right education, speak more than one language and abide by a strict dress code. By today's standards the requirement would probably generate a class action discrimination or “me too” lawsuit that would put the airline out of business.

This is the retro world that Julia Cooke takes us into in Come Fly the World: The Jet-Age Story of the Women of Pan Am My conversation with Julia Cooke:

The Royals Have Outlived Their Value: Gilded Lives at the Expense of the British People

March 22nd, 2021
Queen_Elizabeth_II_Coach_3x2-700x470.jpegIt’s been a while since the British monarchy was so front and center in our consciousness. The Crown, on Netflix, and Meghan and Harry have pulled back the curtain on the sometimes romantic notion of royalty. But more importantly, it’s also given us a look into what’s been called The Firm or The Institution, the British monarchy and its wider political economies of wealth and power. Because behind the scenes is simply a corporation, engaged in capital accumulation, profit extraction, labor relations, national and international finance arrangements, and a network of legal status, all of which converge with, and impact on, contemporary Britain.

Prince Philip, the husband of the Queen, and the Duke of Edinburgh, is quoted to saying back in 1969 that “It’s a misconception to imagine that the monarchy exists in the interests of the Monarch. It doesn’t.”, he said “It exists in the interest of the people.” In fact, history tells us that nothing could be further from the truth. The monarchy is more precisely, in the words of the late Christopher Hitchens, “What you get when you found a political system on the family values of Henry VIII.”

To bring all of this in perspective, I’m joined by the right honorable Norman Baker. Norman Baker was a Member of Parliament from 1997 to 2015, and established a reputation as one of the most persistent parliamentary interrogators in the modern House of Commons. 

 
His most recent book about the British monarchy entitled ...And What Do You Do?: What the royal family don’t want you to know In his spare time, he’s also an established singer-songwriter and has released three albums.
 
My WhoWhatWhy.org conversation with the Right Honorable Norman Baker:
 
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Frida Kahlo and the Timelessness of Her Work and Her Ideas

March 18th, 2021
Screen%2BShot%2B2021-03-18%2Bat%2B3.01.13%2BPM.pngRacial identity, socialism, the role of art in society, the responsibilities of artists and the position of the artist in popular culture. These subjects which sound like they are taken from today's headlines are also part of the life of Frida Kahlo.
 
They are all a part of new biography of Kahlo by Celia Stahr that looks at Frida in America: The Creative Awakening of a Great Artist.
 

My conversation with Celia Stahr:

Coffee, Globalization and and Why We Care About A Hill of Beans

March 11th, 2021
Screen%2BShot%2B2021-03-11%2Bat%2B11.40.49%2BAM.pngWhile the world has changed in so many ways lately and turned most of our routines upside down, the one constant I suspect for many is their ritualistic morning coffee. For the moment it may not be in your favorite coffee shop, but nonetheless, the magic elixir helps start each day and power it along with consistency as the uncertain future unfolds.
 

But how did Coffee of all things become not just our universal drug of choice, but an essential lubricant in connecting us to each other and to the world?

It’s a story that begins in the volcanic highland of El Salvador and is often as complex as the taste of your hand-selected organically grown coffee beans. This is the story that Augustine Sedgewick tells in Coffeeland: One Man's Dark Empire and the Making of Our Favorite Drug.

My conversation with Augustine Sedgewick:

Rethink Everything You Know About Policing

March 1st, 2021

Screen%2BShot%2B2021-03-01%2Bat%2B11.20.36%2BAM.pngGeorgetown law professor Rosa Brooks was working at the Pentagon when she heard about the D.C. Metropolitan police corp program. Intrigued, much to the consternation of friends and family she joined up. Suddenly she had a badge, a gun, a uniform and a whole lot of academic ideas about cops, criminal justice, law enforcement and what it means to protect and to serve. 

Suddenly she was over and inside the blue wall. It was as if she was going into another country. She had to learn a new culture, a new language, and even her family feared not only for her safety, but that she’d be somehow co opted by the journey. 

What she found should radically change how we think about police and policing in America. Hint, it’s not anything that is part of our current rhetoric. She spells it all out in Tangled Up in Blue: Policing the American City 

My conversation with Rosa Brooks:

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