Episode 27 has Graeme Watson talking about the philosophy of happiness and the politics of well-being. He’s finishing his PhD in political theory at Queen’s, examining different approaches to achieving happiness and how politicians (especially those in the UK) have brought the notion from twee to power.
Graeme discusses the ascendancy of the notion ‘Well-Being’ into a watchword of Tony Blair’s New Labor and David Cameron’s New Tories, as well as predictions that it will be one of the ‘Big Ideas of the 21st Century’. He explains how the personal is being made political and how the consumer industry of happiness is feeding into a new kind of politics — attracting Middle Class Lefty Guardian Readers, among others.
Plus, Graeme offers some visions of our coming post-human future, his low-grade hedonism, some secrets to happiness, and his planned cult.
Michael Mahadeo has lived in Northern Ireland since the mid 1980s, when he moved here from British Guyana. He speaks about growing up in Guyana during its decolonization, and about the most notorious part of the country’s recent history — the Jonestown massacre, in which hundreds of American citizens killed themselves on a compound in rural Guyana. Michael also discusses being an ethnic minority in Northern Ireland, adjusting to the Troubles, and whether it’s ever possible to become a local here.
Dorothy Hagan died at the age of 87 this February. Episode 12 features an interview with her recorded in December. She recounts her life: growing up in Pittsburgh during the Great Depression, working for the FBI, starting a family while her husband was overseas in World War II, raising 9 children, and living through the upheavals of the past century.
This week, the program goes to the Falls Road for an interview with a black taxi driver about his experiences giving tours and being taken hostage.
In the second half, Claire Hagan discusses her work with people with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder at Johns Hopkins medical center in Baltimore.
The program visits Kentucky’s Creation Museum and interviews Dr David Menton, who lectures there. He belongs to Answers in Genesis, a Creationist group working to publicize and explain the ‘Young Earth’ view of the origin of the universe, which follows a strict interpretation of the Bible. Dr Menton discusses how he reconciles Creationism and science; how the museum was established in the face of local protests; how he deals with people who criticize and mock Creationists; and why he believes that dinosaurs and humans walked the Earth together.
Episode 4 starts off with Colin Wililams, an executive producer of Sesame Tree, the new local version of Sesame Street. Then it turns to politics, with a conversation with Mary Alice Clancy about the international dimension of post-agreement politics, and the Bush administration’s involvement here. Finally, Aidan McGarry speaks about his research on the situation of ethnic minorities in Northern Ireland and his activism within the lesbian/gay community here.