October 27, 97

Vol. 13 , No. 04   

The Storm Clouds of Media Censorship

As many CMC students are aware, one of the most critically acclaimed television drama series is the Emmy- winning Law & Order, in its eighth season on NBC. With its unique, two-tiered format, the program realistically depicts how New York City police and the District Attorney's Office work together to protect the rights of citizens, bring felons to justice, and avenge the victims of crime in the Big Apple.

There is no mystery to the appeal of Law & Order among intelligent television viewers: its realism, its complexity, its outstanding writing, and top-flight acting garner the appreciation of the most sophisticated and best-educated viewers. Dick Wolf, the creator/producer of this extraordinary series, has long enjoyed a reputation for his involvement in, and advocacy of, "television that's too good for television." The same commitment to quality and to high-principled artistic endeavor that resulted in his many successes has driven Wolf to oppose the "v-chip" and the recently proposed television ratings system attached to that technology. One of the v-chip's most pernicious effects, Wolf maintains, will be a kind of economic sanction of adult-oriented programming and, ultimately, either unacceptable compromise or outright extinction of such programming. As one who began his career in advertising as a copywriter/producer, Wolf well understands the dynamics of commercial sponsorship and the influence it can exert on artistic-creative decisions.

In his presentation Wolf will describe the workings of corporate and government oversight of the entertainment industry from the perspective of a seasoned practitioner. Wolf speaks as part of the series Censorship, Politics, and the Culture of Transgression, sponsored by the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies.

Poet Reads From Her Work

Native American writers are creating a body of literature that has its roots firmly planted in a rich and ancient oral tradition. But stories once told around campfires have evolved into stories grounded in the present as these writers explore what it means to be Native American. Joy Harjo's several books of poetry acknowledge their indebtedness to those oral roots and forge a link between the traditions of the past and today. "We are evolving as tribal cultures," says Harjo. "We're viable, living cultures, not artifacts as we are still depicted in most forms by others. All Native American writers are links in the growth and expansion of our cultures. It's a natural progression," she says.

Harjo was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1951 and is a member of the Muscogee (or Creek) Tribe. She was graduated from high school in 1968, from the Institute of American Indian Arts, and from the University of New Mexico in 1976. She received her M.F.A. in creative writing from the Iowa Writer's Workshop at the University of Iowa in 1978. She also completed the filmmaking program at the Anthropology Film Center. Harjo has received numerous awards for her art, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas, the American Book Award, and has been the recipient of two NEA Creative Writing Fellowships. Among her publications are five books of poetry with another forthcoming. Her most recent publication is the The Woman Who Fell from the Sky (1994). Harjo does not limit herself to poetry: she has also narrated The Native Americans (1994) series on TBS and the Emmy Award winning Navajo Codetalkers (1994) for National Geographic. She also plays saxophone with her band, Joy Harjo and Poetic Justice. The band performed at the 1996 Cultural Olympiad in Atlanta and has toured the United States and Europe.

The Spoils Society

In The Good Life and Its Discontents: The American Dream in the Age of Enlightenment 1945-1995 (1997), Robert Samuelson looks squarely at a society that has never had it so good yet never felt so bad. With an analysis that takes in history, economics, psychology, and popular culture, he argues that the American Dream has been transformed into an American fantasy whose inevitable failure has left millions of us anxious about our future.

Based in Washington, DC, Samuelson began his journalism career as a reporter on The Washington Post's Business Desk in 1969. Four years later he left to become a freelance writer and has been published by The Sunday Times (London), Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, and the Columbia Journalism Review. Samuelson joined The National Journal as an economics correspondent in 1976 and began writing the "Economic Focus" column. He became a contributing editor in 1981 and left the magazine in 1984 to join Newsweek as a contributing editor.

Samuelson has earned many journalism awards, including the 1993 John Hancock Award for Best Business and Financial Columnist, and the 1993 Gerald Loeb Award for Best Commentary. He was named a Loeb finalist in 1988 for his columns on the October 1987 Wall Street crash. Before joining Newsweek, Samuelson also won a 1981 National Magazine Award and a 1983 Loeb Award.

Robert Samuelson comes to the Athenaeum as part of the series Perceptions of the American Dream and to discuss issues raised in The Good Life and Its Discontents, a New York Times Business Book Bestseller and a Business Week Best Book of the Year.

Monetary and Fiscal Policies for Growth and Development

Claremont McKenna College just wouldn't be the same place without Michael Parkin. His Economics (1989) is the most frequently used text in introductory CMC economics classes, and in its third edition has become one of the standard economics texts in America's colleges and universities.

Professor Parkin received his training as an economist at the Universities of Leicester and Essex in England. Currently in the Department of Economics at the University of Western Ontario, Canada, Professor Parkin has held faculty appointments at Brown University, the University of Manchester, the University of Essex, and Bond University. He has served on the editorial boards of the American Economic Review and the Journal of Monetary Economics and as managing editor of the Canadian Journal of Economics. Parkin's research on macroeconomics, monetary economics, and international economics has resulted in over 160 publications in journals and edited volumes, including the American Economic Review, the Journal of Political Economy, the Review of Economic Studies, the Journal of Monetary Economics, and the Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking.

Outside of the academic realm, Michael Parkin was a leading figure in both the efforts to discredit wage and price controls and the movement toward European monetary union. It is a great privilege to welcome to CMC one of the world's leading economists.

The Tom Harrell Quintet: A Jazz Concert
TOM HARRELL, trumpet
GREG TARDY, saxophone

Trumpet players tend to be the most extroverted jazz musicians. It's natural; their sound can dominate even a large ensemble, and nothing stirs an audience as reliably as a bravura trumpet solo that climaxes in shrieking high notes. But Tom Harrell is not showy. Offstage, the bandleader seems to shrink into himself. He stands curled over with his chin on his chest, looking at the floor. His hands shake, the result of powerful tranquilizers prescribed for his schizophrenia.

That frailty drops away when he moves to the microphone, draws himself up to his full height and puts the horn to his battered lips. But even then he isn't selling pyrotechnics. He doesn't own the fattest tone in jazz, or the flashiest technique. What has won Harrell the acclaim of his peers-and, at 50, a growing following-is something as simple as it is rare: pure melodic genius.

In the December 1996 edition of Down Beat, the jazz aficionado's magazine of choice, Harrell swept the trumpet category in the annual readers' poll. In the first half of this decade, Harrell established himself as a leader and recording artist for independent labels like Criss Cross, Contemporary, and Chesky. His success grabbed the attention of the major label RCA Victor, which released Harrell's latest and perhaps most ambitious work to date-the dark-toned "Labyrinth"-released shortly before the Down Beat poll.

The Athenaeum is privileged to host this rising star of the jazz world with a reception and dinner beginning at 5:30 p.m., followed by a performance by the Tom Harrell Quintet at 6:45 p.m. This concert is made possible by generous support from the Stumm Music Fund.

Creating a World for Our Children: Present Day Implications of the Lakota Sioux Prophecies

Chief Joseph Chasing Horse, ambassador to the United Nations for the Lakota Sioux Nation, is an ordained Sun Dance Chief and a direct descendant of the great spiritual leader, Crazy Horse. Chief Chasing Horse is also the spiritual helper to Arval Looking Horse, the nineteenth carrier of the sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe-one of the most sacred instruments in the Sioux spiritual tradition. World-wide he conducts spiritual ceremonies and activities and is a consultant for the Native American Cultural and Educational Services. He is active and instrumental in preserving Native American sacred sites and is an activist in saving the last remaining free-roaming bison herd in Yellowstone National Park.

During his appearance at the Athenaeum, Chief Chasing Horse will speak about the great relationship of healing, community, and the natural world. He will discuss the teachings of the Lakota Sioux elders and the influence of traditions upon our world cultures. Specific emphases will be given to man's relationship with and responsibilities to the buffalo herd in Yellowstone National Park.

Chief Chasing Horse will be joined by his son, Nathan, a seventh-generation descendant of Crazy Horse. Nathan, a co-star of the film Dances With Wolves (1990), is an ambassador of the United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY) and speaks to youth groups throughout North America.

You won't want to miss the opportunity to meet this important and revered Native American spiritual leader.

Turkish Folk and Sufi Music Ensemble

It is a truth that the music of any people reflects the cultural, religious and geophysical terrain of their world.

-Hamza El Din

Latif Bolat, singer and composer, is one of the distinguished Turkish musicians in the United States. With a vast repertoire that includes songs in classical, folk, and Sufi music styles, Bolat accompanies himself on the baglama (long-necked lute) and various other traditional instruments from the Turkish folk music tradition. The ensemble will present Turkish Sufi songs from the Anatolian peninsula. The lyrics of these songs are taken largely from the great 13th century mystical poets Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi and Yunus Emre. The most important characteristic of this music is the trancelike quality, with its mesmerizing rhythm and devotional lyrics. Yunus Emre, the first great Turkish humanist, stood strongly against Moslem dogmatists in expressing the primary importance of human existence. In Yunus, it is love that gives the mystic the gift of immortality.

I love you, so the hand of death can never touch me.
If I am a lover, I can never die.

Now residing in California, Bolat is a native of the Turkish Mediterranean town of Mersin. After receiving his degree in folklore and music at Gazi University in Ankara, Turkey, Bolat taught traditional music throughout Eastern Anatolia. He then went on to manage a musical theater company, Ankara Halk Tiyatrosu, which performed traditional musical plays. The California Art Council awarded him a grant in 1991, and he now serves as musical director of the Mevlevi Association of America, a renowned Sufi organization which stages public performances of dance movement with live Turkish classical music.

Come to the Athenaeum for an evening rich with exotic poetry, music, and food.

Will Cloning Feed the Planet?

When a Scottish biological research team headed by Dr. Ian Wilmut introduced a seven-month old Finn-Dorset lamb named Dolly to the world, long-standing barriers in science disappeared and long dormant ethical questions rose in their place. Dolly represented the first successful cloning of an adult mammal and signaled a major breakthrough in the possibility of someday being able to clone a human being. As the initial furor over the experiment begins to die down, the scope of the pressing medical and philosophical implications continues to expand.

Wilmut is a member of the Roslin Institute. He earned his Ph.D. from Cambridge University on the topic of freezing boar semen and did post-doctoral research on frozen embryos. The research leading up to Dolly's cloning stemmed from efforts to genetically engineer sheep and cows so that their milk would contain human proteins with medical properties. Engineering each individual animal, however, would prove too arduous and expensive. Engineering one animal and then cloning it would be much more efficient.

Previous studies, unfortunately, showed that a mature mammal's genetic material could no longer grow and divide. Dr. Wilmut and his team overcame that limitation with the discovery that if a cell's DNA was rendered temporarily dormant and then implanted into an egg, the egg's nutrients would kick-start the cell's DNA into developing a new organism. The birth of Dolly proved their theory and stunned the world.

The controversy over the future possibilities of cloning humans has government and scholarly institutions scrambling to put ethical guidelines on cloning research into place. Wilmut, though, possesses enough confidence in his fellow researchers to ease any worries. "We all have concerns about this research being misused, but I don't have any sleepless nights. I believe we are a moral species."

Wilmut tackles the question of the ethics of cloning in his presentation. He also outlines the future of research in the field, previewing the incredible advances predicted to follow in pharmacology, genetics, husbandry, and agriculture. Using exclusive video of the Dolly Experiment, Wilmut offers his audience a peek into a future that only a short while ago was considered science fiction. Wilmut's appearance at CMC is cosponsored by the Dean of Faculty at CMC, the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies, and the Keck Graduate Institute for Applied Life Sciences. The dinner at the Athenaeum is for members of the CMC community only. The public is invited to the address at 6:45 p.m. and overflow seating will be accommodated in McKenna Auditorium with live, remote broadcast.