• January 12th, 2021

    Fred Leone: Song Man

    Twelve months ago, the Australian bushfires were center stage. I was in Australia for the final leg of the "there will be no intermission" tour and all that mattered was raising money to help the effort. With the support of my patrons, we made Forty-Five Degrees: Bushfire Charity Flash record and on March 8th 2020, we staged a fundraiser. I recorded this interview with Fred Leone, who participated in both the record and the fundraiser, two days before that show, and less than two weeks before Covid really upended the globe. A conversation about the marginalisation of first nations Aboriginal Australians and their culture might have lost its impact after the craziest year in living history, but you know what? It’s all so fucking RELEVANT. Our ability to communicate with each other well  - through words, through music - is the glue that holds us together and if we can learn anything from recent events in the US, it’s that Western culture’s glue is no less vulnerable to erosion than any other. Fred has worked for years to preserve the language and rituals of Aboriginal culture, through the traditional means of storytelling, music and art. We talk about how tech has usurped these channels, how it might be repurposed to reopen them and how swiftly their disruption leads to extinction. It’s weird how a conversation can be so sad and yet full of hope. And Fred's voice...I could listen for days. I hope you hear the music under it all. It’s more important than ever to keep sharing our stories and singing our songs. It’s our light in the dark.

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  • January 5th, 2021

    Masarat Daud: I Am Not Responsible for your Ignorance

    We had little to do in 2020 but contemplate our connections. To our planet, to our lives and most importantly, to the flesh-and-blood humans who surround us. And yet with every day that passes, the spaces we inhabit feel increasingly intolerant and hostile, progress towards a more inclusive, thoughtful world crushed beneath the weight of internet-yellings and fake news-wars. My guest this week, TEDx curator and education activist Masarat Daud, has dealt with the consequences of exclusion on the basis of her appearance since she began wearing a burqa at 17... and she has much, much, much to teach us about the way our judgements and biases form, manifest and harm others. We talked about everything from how to flip expressions of hatred into resilience to the casual removal of agency by the feminist who told her ‘you’re oppressed but you don’t know it yet’. Ooh boy. There’s never been a better time to stop and reflect how we look at the world, at other people and wonder whether we ourselves could be more compassionate - and more willing to embrace difference - than we imagined. I hope you find this conversation (and Masarat’s penguin headscarf) as enlightening as I did. Enjoy!

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