Monthly Archives: May 2002

The World Cup and the State of American Soccer

Listen / Download

Most of the world waits with baited breath for the start of soccer’s World Cup, the most watched sporting event anywhere. That is, most the world besides much of the United States, where soccer continues to struggle to capture the nation’s attention.

When the World Cup was played in the U.S. in 1994, American soccer fans hoped that would propel the sport into new popularity in America. But over the past eight seasons, has anything changed?

Major League Soccer is now in its seventh season, and there are more professional soccer players in this country than at any time in history. Many of America’s new immigrant populations are bringing with them the passion for soccer that grips much of the rest of the world. But one look at the sports pages in any major city will tell you that soccer is still an afterthought to even the most diehard American sports fan.

This hour, soccer — at home and overseas. We’ll preview one of the world’s premiere sporting events and ask why so many Americans aren’t even paying attention.


Jonathan Wilson, covered the last World Cup for “The New Yorker”

Seamus Mallin, soccer commentator for ABC and ESPN

Derek Rae, broadcaster in Korea covering World Cup


Listen / Download

Go on, get dirty, the weekend is staked out for the garden. Imagine it now, on you knees, pulling and twisting, past that stage where mud matters, when nothing but the back of your wrist is clean enough to sweep the sweat away, wearing the glorious garden war-paint of dirt.

It’s that return to the earth, the long-anticipated pleasure of just being outdoors without a jacket, feeling the sun through your shirt, watching the handle of the new trowel darken, smeared with the effort of turning and cutting into the soil. It’s caressing and investing in green life, the assertion and submission of steadily, messily working the earth.

Tennyson beckoned: “come into the garden Maud, I am here at the gate alone; and the woodbine spices are wafted abroad.”


Diane Ackerman, naturalist, poet, and author of “Cultivating Delight”

Michael Pollan, author of “The Botany of Desire”

Mort Mather, organic farmer in Maine, and author of “Gardening for Independance”


Listen / Download

Live music and talk with the London-based East meets West group Cornershop.

Cornershop’s latest CD, “Handcream for a Generation” is hard to label.

A little bit hip-hop and little bit heavy rock and roll a little bit reggae seasoned by samples, sitars, and syncopated beats.

At a time where the Southeast Asian influence is all over western pop culture with Bollywood films, bangrha music, and henna tattoos, Cornershop is riding the wave high.


Tjinder Singh, Lead Vocalist

Ben Ayres, Guitar

Peter Downing, Guitar;James Miln, Bass

Nick Simms, Percussion

Sheema Kukherjee,Sitar

Art in Academia

Listen / Download


Marjorie Garber, Chair of the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard

Robert Reed, Director of Undergraduate Studies at Yale

and Jack Beal, painter

New Doubts on the Death Penalty

Listen / Download


Rep. William Delahunt (D-MA), co-sponsor of Innocence Protection Bill

Dudley Sharp, director of death penalty resources, Justice for All

Rob Warren, executive director, The Center on Wrongful Convictions, Northwestern University

Austin Sarat, professor of jurisprudence and political science, Amherst College, and author, “When the State Kills: Capital Punishment and the American Condition”

The Debbie Smith Bill

Listen / Download

If women are second-class citizens, rape, compared to murder, is a second-class crime. Until now. Where DNA is changing the way criminal justice deals with murder; freeing convicted killers, leading to the arrest, conviction and imprisonment of others, genetic clues in rape crimes are often left on the evidence room shelf, the victims left to wonder and fear.

Now, however, rape and sexual assault are getting new attention from politicians, and potentially, the labs. In 1989 Debbie Smith was raped. She lived with fear for more than six years, until tests were finally run and the rapist nailed.

Her story has lead to the drafting of legislation that could mandate better management of DNA evidence, could identify other rapists, could help more women move beyond fear.


Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), co-sponsor of The Debbie Smith Bill

Debbie Smith

Wendy Murphy – Visiting Assistant Professor of Law, New Enlgand School of Law.

War Profiteering

Listen / Download

When President Bush unleashed the dogs of war last October, he also unleashed the vultures. Among the lobbyists, those tending to pet legislation saw the War on terrorism as just the ticket for bringing home the bacon, padding the bottom line.

The defense budget for 2003 is up 15 percent, and many spending measures that had little chance of passing pre-September 11 are sliding right through.

Watchdogs warn that in times of war, the purse strings loosen, the profiteers circle, and Congress will pass any bill remotely related to national defense. But others argue that it strengthens and grows the economy, that both the interstates and the Internet were born of military investment.


Barry Bluestone, professor of political economy at Northeastern University

Tom Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste

Who Speaks for Islam?

Listen / Download

Each year, the Institute for Philosophy and Religion at Boston University presents a series of lectures based on a common theme. The 2001/2002 lecture series is entitled “Promise and Peril: The Paradox of Religion As Resource and Threat.” On last week’s show, we presented a lecture titled “Who Speaks For Islam? A Sampling of Reformist Thinking” that was delivered as part of this year’s series by Boston University professor of International Relations, Richard Norton.

In this lecture, professor Norton examines the role of the Muslim religion in the shaping of both the domestic and foreign politics of the modern Middle East countries, especially Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Libya, and how Islam has affected their attitudes toward the West.


Richard Norton, Boston University professor of International Relations.

The Future of Humanity

Listen / Download

Behind the bioethical debates surrounding cloning and genetic engineering and other medical advances is a deeper question about what it all means for humanity. Philosopher Francis Fukuyama envisions a future where our understanding of humanity is completely turned upside-down — and he says we are already on our way.

It is a future where mood altering drugs like Prozac reach perfection; where the perfect babies are created; where humans are living well into their hundreds. All of these efforts seek to eliminate those things that make us human: imperfection; sadness; death. The generation of humans living in this future may have solved many of humanity’s traditional problems, but they will have lost what it means to actually be human.

But what is the alternative to Fukuyama’s Brave New World? Societies that resist scientific development must reject modernism, argues one critic. Unless the whole culture consciously decides to cease being modern, the biotechnology machine will continue to roll onward.

This hour, Francis Fukuyama looks ahead at the upcoming advances in biotechnology and how it could change the meaning of humanity.


Francis Fukuyama, professor of international political economy at Johns Hopkins University, author of “Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution”, member of the President’s Council on Bioethics


Listen / Download

America and Patriotism are big themes on the Chicago based rock group Wilco’s sixth album “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.” But this is not Hallmark’s America or Fox TV’s patriotism.

Wilco delivers eleven songs about American loss and redemption that critics have said “echo and update generation-old albums of the Band, Bob Dylan and Neil Young.”

Wilco’s songs range from love to apocalypse to self-invention. Written long before last September, the songs on this CD have an almost clairvoyant tone. It’s lyrics talk about tall buildings shaking, and its songs have titles like War on War and Ashes of American Flags


Jeff Tweedy, lead vocalist and guitar

John Stirratt, bass and back up vocals

Leroy Bach, various instruments

Glenn Kotche, drums

Sam Jones, Director of the documentary on Wilco titled “I’m Trying to Break your heart”