Lycaon’s Metamorphosis

We begin Series 7, which will attend to moments from Ovid’s great compilation of myths, the Metamorphoses. First we see the metamorphosis, or transformation, of primeval Chaos into the world as we now know it. But then comes evil, specifically in the form of the impious Lycaon. You are invited to attend.

[First heard on Cambridge 105 Radio]

rla on August 16th, 2021

We attend to several Outrageous Voices, speaking about walking without conscious intention, Gooch’s Paradox (“things not only have to be seen to be believed, but also have to be believed to be seen”), the mediaeval habit of using other means than sense perception to authenticate reality, putting on an act in order to be yourself, advancing not by being sober, responsible, and cautious, but playful, rebellious, and immature, Tom Graves’s Nasruddin’s Law (“If something can go right, it probably will – if you let it – and usually in the most unexpected way”), and finally the attitude of contrariness, with Wendell Berry. You are invited to attend.

[As heard on Cambridge 105 Radio]

Curly is asked to “tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”, but it sounds like Pig-Latin to him. Do we want to be like Jesting Pilate and ask “What is truth?” Attend with us as we look into this question. (As heard on Cambridge 105 Radio)

We attend to the poem that gave us the phrase “ignorance is bliss” and reflect on what it means there, then a few songs on various kinds of ignorance and finally a George Ade fable about a “Learned Phrenologist” and the “Human Being” who gets a “good Jolly” and remains blissful in his ignornace. You are invited to attend.

[As heard on Cambridge 105 Radio]

rla on July 5th, 2021

We attend to the theme of Worrying, first with songs by the Beach Boys, Ricky Valence, and several by the Kinks, then poetry by Gwendolyn Brooks, Langston Hughes, Robert Frost, and Wendell Berry. You are invited to attend. [As heard first on Cambridge 105 Radio]

rla on June 21st, 2021

As heard on Cambridge 105 Radio, Part 2 of our discussion of Dylan’s album Oh Mercy.

We attend to the timely tracks on Dylan’s Oh Mercy album, with a few Declaration of Independence moments to begin with. Part 2 to follow next time.

As heard on Cambridge 105 Radio.

Walt Whitman
I am he, bringing help for the sick as they pant on their backs,
And for strong upright men I bring yet more needed help.

Picking up on Whitman’s offer of help, we start with songs about helping and being helped, and then some absurd attempts at help, and then, moving further into Whitman, we draw upon Ralph Waldo Emerson’s call for us to “enjoy an original relation to the universe”, based on our own experience, not on what other’s have experienced. Blake comes into it, too, so does Joseph Campbell on myths. You are invited to attend.

rla on May 10th, 2021

We attend to more songs and literary treatments of trains: Robyn Hitchcock, Flanders and Swann, Solomon Burke, Louis Armstrong, Josh White, O’Jays, Duke Ellington, and Emily Dickinson, Charles Dickens, William MacGonagall, and others. You are invited to attend.

[As heard on Cambridge 105 Radio]

rla on April 26th, 2021

From the Archives, we attend to many, varied songs and poems about trains. More here than meets the eye. You are invited to attend.

[First heard on Cambridge 105 Radio]