Whiskey & Cream for February 4th, 2021
Host: Ari Shapiro
0:46-11:08: “Discovering the tools left by our fathers”
The journey we all face after suddenly losing a parent is not only unique to each and every human born on this planet, but it tends to codify and amplify our future outlook on life itself. In essence, it can steer us down an abyss of self-loathing and deep regret but also offers us the chance to recalibrate our priorities on what really matters. Although death is often talked about as being a part of life, it also gives us the rarest of opportunities to find solace in the places that were constructed by those who loved us most. In doing so, we not only honor their memory but also restore our faith in the face of lingering despair and perpetual grief.
Dan Robson (@RobsonDan) is an author and sports writer who suffered the loss of a parent when he least expected it. As his childhood anxieties overwhelmed him in facing the reality that the person who fixed everything everyday was gone, he used feelings of guilt or abandonment to learn how to deploy the very tools that his father left behind – literally. His upcoming book “Measuring Up: A Memoir of Fathers and Sons” is a powerful autobiography which chronicles the importance of learning to grow while keeping things together after the end of an era for a traditional, close-knit family.
11:08-19:40: “When things are getting objectively worse”
Remember when you were a kid and you held this utopian resolve that things would eventually get better because grownups had your best interests at heart? The truth is, it feels like we haven’t made much progress in the past few decades. Almost every measure of momentum in modernized society has failed to live up to its billing. With a caretaker President taking over from a destructive administration built on the foundation of a colonial legacy that’s produced a brand of crisis capitalism not seen before, the stakes are higher than ever. Over 400,000 Americans and 19,000 Canadians are dead alongside evidence of a disproportionate impact on racialized and indigenous communities; it seems that families across North America have been thrown into chaos under the weight of corrosive neoliberalist policies that never birthed the very ideals they claimed to represent.
Nora Loreto (@NoLore) is an author, podcaster and activist from Quebec City. She’s been featured in The Washington Post and National Observer and writes passionately about feminism and labour unions in the post-modern world. For her, the last couple of years have shown us the full scope of the damage caused from political hypocrisy and the scourge of Trumpism. As such, this brand of capitalism built on the shoulders of a disenfranchised and marginalized working class has revealed a disturbing trend that’s leading North America on a downward spiral.
19:40-29:31: “Going to California with tear-stained eyes”
California has always caught the attention of anyone who subscribes to the belief that the American dream still exists. As a trailblazer for conversations about politics, art, and technology, it’s very much the epicentre of modern progressive thought for an entire nation. With a population of over 40 million that’s defined by urban and rural diversity in ways you couldn’t possible imagine, it remains one of the most enigmatic states of the union and is considered both a progressive beacon and a stunning indictment of how the best laid plans have gone awry. Between struggling with a profound underinvestment in their public health system, overlapping government control with a tendency for passing the buck, and an existential struggle for truth on social media, California has never seen these kinds of problems all happening at the same time.
John Myers (@johnmyers) has spent more than two decades in radio and television news. He’s an award-winning reporter who’s cited by state and national organizations as one of the country’s top political journalists. Although he remains optimistic about the lessons learned from the pandemic and our societal discord, his belief that we need to support the places which generate truth is also underscored by a fundamental desire to see a new paradigm in managing delicate democracies across the globe.
29:31-36:02: “In search of dinosaur bones and long-term fan equity”
The Toronto Raptors are a basketball team out of time and space; besieged by a virulent pandemic and dealing with the loss of fan favourite stalwarts as they transition their identity to a younger nucleus of developed talent. Between the logistics associated with playing in a US city during a pandemic and having to deal with an unprecedented level of family displacement, it’s hard to tell what they’ve become or which direction they’re heading. The team continues to struggle mightily with media exposure even though they’ve become the gold standard for NBA franchise success given what they’ve achieved on and off the basketball court.
Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) is a staff writer for The Athletic covering the Toronto Raptors and has worked for Vice, Dime Magazine and FanGraphs. Although he concedes that hockey and baseball will always dominate his city’s sports culture, he remains intrinsically hopeful that the profound afterglow of a championship in 2019 coupled with the legacy of contending for eight straight post-seasons will be more than enough to compete for fan interest for years to come.
“Whiskey & Cream Theme” written and performed by Chris Henderson.