In 1964, the original 7 UP – in which children talked about their hopes and dreams – was broadcast as a one-off special in the UK. Michael Apted (Coal Miner’s Daughter; Gorillas in the Mist), took over as director on 14 UP and has returned to interview these same 14 individuals every seven years since. Roger Ebert, A few months before his death, wrote of the series, “It is a mystery, this business of life. I can’t think of any cinematic undertaking that allows us to realize that more deeply.” 63 UP is in theatres.
In his latest book, THEY DON’T REPRESENT US: Reclaiming Our Democracy, Harvard Law School professor LAWRENCE LESSIG points out big problems the U.S. is NOT solving, and adds, “The crisis in America is not its president. Its president is the consequence of a crisis much more fundamental…The core problem with our democracy today is that it is essentially unrepresentative. We should secure, finally, a representative democracy…let’s just try it for once… and see if things get better.” We talk about how democracy is broken and how we can fix it.
I talk with JEREMY RIFKIN, advisor to China and the European Union, and author of 20 books about the impact of scientific and technological changes on the economy, society, and the environment. In his newest book, THE GREEN NEW DEAL: Why the Fossil Fuel Civilization Will Collapse by 2028, and the Bold Economic Plan to Save Life on Earth, he draws on successful lessons from bold initiatives in Europe and China to flesh out what it will take to pull it off in the US.
In his documentary SEX, DRUGS & BICYCLES, high-tech entrepreneur JONATHAN BLANK asks, “How scary is life in a social democracy?” Beyond windmills, cannabis “coffeeshops”, and the red light district, Holland has one of the best economies in the world, is top 5 in almost every quality of life index, #1 for work-life balance. Dutch kids are the happiest in the world, the healthcare system is #3, and the government runs a budget surplus. Boo!
As soon as I picked up and started reading LESSONS FROM A DARK TIME, I wanted to have this conversation with ADAM HOCHSCHILD. As a writer, he doesn’t waste your time. He brings an artist’s touch and a moralist’s conscience to the issues and events he grapples with. He’s one of the founders of Mother Jones Magazine, and threaded through his journalism and his books – King Leopold’s Ghost, Spain in Our Hearts among them – is his concern for social justice and the people who fight for it. How did we get thorough dark times in our past? How are we going to get through these?
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WHAT DO YOU THINK?
“Change the Story to Change the World.”
We hear it all the time. How are we doing with that?
When have we been successful?
How do we do it?
What stories do we need to change?
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