Our drive to Arizona is always interesting. This year was no exception. When I am on holidays, like this one, I always know I will miss CBC radio. When I am in the US, I have come to love National Public Radio but not quite with the passion I hold for CBC radio. Today we listened to a celebration of 1,000 shows of Sunday Edition, one of my favourites, hosted my Michael Enright. To celebrate the illustrious event of the 1,000thepisodes in the series, they replayed classics from the past shows.
The show opened however, with a personal essay by Michael Enright as it usually does. Today the topic was radio. Here is part of what he said,
“Radio kills distance. It shrinks time into manageable components.
At its core is connection. It puts us in touch with one another. It is personal, it is immediate; it is intimate.
It is there to comfort when we hurt or tease, and distract when we relax. It is there when we need to know.
It is family. It is the community meeting place in the towns and villages of Newfoundland, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, the North. It is the newcomer’s great companion in the unforgiving city.
Radio, the CBC’s kind of radio, cannot be wallpaper. It has to be engaged. Watching television is a passive behaviour.
Radio demands attention and compels involvement.”
The special show we listened to our first day out on the trip, included small snippets of some outstanding interviews over the years. They concentrated on people with passion. Passion for many different kinds of things. These are my kind of people. Their passion makes them interesting.
There was an interview with Stephen Lewis on the AIDS epidemic; Margaret Atwood on how writers think; John Cleese on how to gently, but firmly, poke fun at religion; and Azar Nafisi, one the best critics of English literature in the world today, on how she refused to wear a veil when she was teaching at the University of Tehran and was dismissed as a result. There were many more. All were interesting.
They also repeated some outstanding interviews with musicians and some fascinating recordings. There was 12 seconds of revolutionary music at the beginning of “West End Blues” by Louis Armstrong. I never realized how wonderful the opening is. Steve Earle sang his classic country song “Copperhead Road” and talked about it. Petula Clark talked about how she participated in a recoding of “Give Peace a Chance” with John Lennon and Yoko Ono in their “bed-in” at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal.
There was a reading of part of one of my favorite poems of all time by William Blake, namely “ Auguries of Innocence”. You should read it all but here is a small part of it:
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour…
Man was made for Joy & Woe;
And when this we rightly know
Thro’ the World we safely go.
Joy & Woe are woven fine,
A Clothing for the Soul divine;
Under every grief & pine
Runs a joy with silken twine.
We are indeed “clothing for the soul divine”! Well at least Blake qualifies.
CBC radio–I love it.