In this episode, I sit down with Tina Vavages-Andrew, the host of Cultivating Indigenous Voices and Tohono O'odham Young Voices podcasts. We discuss her experience growing up in the Tucson area and her perspective on Tucson's history as a Native woman. We also discuss the unique experience the Tohno O'odham have with the U.S. - Mexican border given that it runs right through the middle of the reservation. Tina gives us a more in depth historical look as what Shuck'son once was and why it is the way it is today.
In this episode, I sit down with digital artist and long time Tucson resident, Daniel Buckley. Once a journalist for the Tucson Citizen, Dan has produced and documented art and culture in Tucson since 1971. We discuss Tucson's collective character, its resilience through different "urban development" projects, and its wholly unique "personality." Dan describes his documentary in the making, The Mariachi Miracle, a film chronicling the incredibly positive social impact of mariachi youth programs in Tucson schools. Overall, he provides an optimistic view on Tucson's future for those of us who feel skeptical about changes coming in from the outside.
In this episode I sit down over coffee and Alvernon Doughnuts with Jenny Bell, a friend who has a lot to say and teach us as a culturally rich American society. We discuss her upbringing, her journey to settling down in Tucson, and her experience as a biracial woman learning to feel comfortable in her skin. We discuss the challenges and importance of becoming vulnerable in sharing our stories as we look to understand and be understood.
In this episode I discuss the importance of having principles in our lives, particularly when it comes to choosing where to live, where to work, and how we treat others. Should we sell our houses just to turn profit? Or is there something more important about keeping an area affordable for others? Should I work for an organization whose values do not match up well with mine, even if it pays well? Should I distance myself from friends whose values greatly differ from mine? I suggest a way to make answering these questions "easier."
In this episode I discuss what constitutes a community from my perspective. There is often talk about the need for thriving communities and participation in them, and I agree. Where I depart a bit from the current popular way of creating community is the idea that we can will it into existence with technology and hard work. Community entails investment of time and being patient for something lasting to truly come about.
In this episode I discuss what I learned recently having graduated with a Masters of Communication from Northern Arizona University. I talk about the unique challenges we face when we don't have sufficient information or know someone who does. I talk about why it's better to charge headlong into uncertainty than to remain certain in our own stagnanation.
In this episode I reveal the results of an Ancestry DNA test I took recently. There were some surprises, and the results caused me to consider that the ways in which we identify by "ethnicity" are really more about culture and appearance. I suggest how this way of seeing identity should shape how we interact with the whole of humanity.
This special episode features my wife, Mele Martinez, with whom I discuss a recent controversy over what some refer to as White Evangelicalism. Hip-hop artist, Lecrae, recently began moving away from identifying as a Christian in that specific context and has instead opted to look at a form of Christianity that allows for multiple cultural expressions in the American church. The decision generated articles from high-profile pastoral figures such as John Piper and has added something to the overall discourse that both Mele and I have wanted to address for a long time.
In this episode I examine violence as an innate part of who we are as human beings. I acknowledge the death and destruction that comes with it, but suggest reasons we should not seek to rid ourselves of it completely. It is struggle and risk and absolutely necessary. We would not have made it to this place we enjoy without it.
In this episode, I critique an event unique to Tucson, AZ: The All Souls Procession. I discuss it's similarity to Dia De Los Muertos (Day of The Dead) in Puebla, MX and suggest it may represent a borrowing of culture done the wrong way. I analyze the Facebook page for the event and discuss what the marketing strategies may be for the organization that holds the event.
In this episode, I talk about why art isn't safe. It has become disturbing to observe how ideological groups have engaged in creating art while simultaneously censoring art they don't like. I tell the story of a poetry event I recently attended where we were encouraged to talk to management if anything that was said "triggered" (or offended) us. I discuss why I'm against the idea that those observing art can talk to an authority figure to change the standards of art that is presented in that venue.
In this episode I discuss the allure of music....how it influences our thinking and our actions. I recall how certain songs take me back to feelings or memories from childhood, and I discuss the good and bad of reliving them. We all love music, but I suggest we should examine how any given piece of music influences the consistency with which we live out our lives in light of our moral and ethical codes.
In this episode I discuss the Scott Peterson trial and question whether or not the jury had been competant in determining his guilt. I pose the question as to whether or not we should have a baseline measurement of intelligence when we select juries for trials that may lead to jail time and/or a death sentence for the accused. Would the intelligence of the jury be important to you if you were the one on trial?
In this episode I discuss two controversial issues: DACA/immigration and campus sexual assault policies. We tend to have emotional responses to an issue before we consider the nuance or complexity of all that's involved. I discuss the danger of simplistic "taking of sides" and not giving due consideration to all aspects of a given issue. I detail the good and bad of these two issues and make a case for developing a more well-researched, well-reasoned stance.
In this episode I focus on self-communication. We think we know what we believe, but how can we be sure unless we articulate it somehow, even to ourselves in writing? Have you ever said something you believed and immediately realized it was stupid? I have. I discuss my process of articulating to myself my own personal "heaven" to attain and "hell" to avoid using the Future Authoring program developed my clinical psychologists. For more information, go to www.selfauthoring.com.