Poly Planet GAIA | ecosexual love | arts of loving | global holistic health | eros | dissidence: Podcasts - Radio Shows
Showing posts with label Podcasts - Radio Shows. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Podcasts - Radio Shows. Show all posts

Monday, May 24, 2010

Three Podcasts about GAIA, from the University of Puerto Rico

Hi everyone!

It is a momentous time at the University of Puerto Rico!  We are keeping the new silly governor from selling the university down the river.  A groundswell of awareness has manifested in defense of this public institution and what it makes possible.

What could be a better time to blog about a series of Three Podcasts about GAIA whose underlying research was too visionary to be done under the aegis of any other institution?  Developing a theory about the planet that hosts the life of our species, and the energy of love that sustains it, is what I had in mind 12 years ago when I came to Mayaguez to teach.  "What is planetary health, and how can we practice love in ways that sustain this common well being?" was the one-million dollar question that ailed my consciousness when I came back to academe after six years of activism in the sexual freedom and holistic health movements.

I could not have found a better place to search for answers than the University of Puerto Rico.  At Mayaguez, my soul was nurtured by a bunch of friendly, inspiring, passionate colleagues; my classes became spaces for intellectual communion and exploration of new ideas; and the most esoteric research projects were funded by benevolent administrators with a touch of the visionary.

In California I had experienced the consequences of a fatal mistake of the Reagan years: Investing in punitive rather than educational systems.  You invest in universities and you produce people with college degrees, you invest in prisons and you produce delinquents.  Which state is going to go bankrupt first?  No wonder in the 1990s California had more prisoners than Italy, France, and England combined!  Puerto Rico, I reflected when I arrived here, is smarter than the Golden State in this: It may be poor but it's putting its money where its mouth is.  Students pay a reasonable tuition and that makes teaching pleasant.  And free.  Because I can be myself in the classroom.  Because I can really give the gift of professing the wisdom my love of knowledge has graced me with over the years.  And students know when that happens.  Because authenticity excites and inspires young people.  Even in a tough, demanding teacher like me.

Now that miserliness has taken hold of the island's state system, an upsurge of organized, peaceful, wise, humble activism has raised in defense of the patromonio comun.  We were only teaching.  Students knew.  Their consciousness coalesced to live up to the contingency.  Now is the time to thank the university for its multiple gifts: gifts to me, for being conducive of seeking answers to that million dollar question; and gift to the world well beyond Puerto Rico for hosting una servidora as I speak publically about these answers in the social media.

Thank you, Universidad de Puerto Rico, for being so gifted!  The island-wide movement that is keeping you from being sold down the river models the paradigm shift the world needs.  Eleven campuses acting in unison!

No more privatizations that lead to "markets" where the poor get swindled.  Investments in the commons that will elaborate the sustainable knowledge of the future.  Recognition that we are in this together, as a species!  That we can only survive if we learn to love one another and appreciate our differences!

Here are my three small gifts.

An Interview on Gaia, Health, and Environmental Theory.  On Progressive Radio Network: The Gary Null Show, March 24, 2010.  Hosted by Gary Null (begins at 46th minute in 1-hour show).

Interview on Gaia, Global Heath and Ecology, World Peace, Empires that Upsurge and Collapse, the Sexual Freedom Movement, the Arts of Loving, Polyamory, the Abuses of the Pharmaceutical Industry, the AIDS Dissidence Movement, Tantric Form of Amorous Expression.  On Truther, hosted by Sean Hardin.

Interview on Gaia, Interpretations of AIDS and other Epidemic Diseases, Holistic Sexual Health.  On How Positive Are You? Hosted by David Crowe and Celia Farber.   

Thanks for listening.  Please support The University of Puerto Rico.  Eleven Campuses, one UPR System, or Once Recintos, Una UPR!  Today is a decisive day for UPR Mayaguez.  Listen to the podcasts and share with your friends.  Post your comments!  Find out more about what's happening in the UPR system!  Follow the Huelga day after day on Planeta Educativo!  Recognizing what we share is the key to the future. 



Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Multisectorial Strike and Occupation at the University of Puerto Rico, All 11 Campuses, Supporting Public Education, Resisting Privatization

Listen to all of it and view on Democracy Now!

In Puerto Rico, an ongoing strike by students at the University of
Puerto Rico is coming to a head. Riot police have surrounded the main
gates of the university’s main campus and are trying to break the
strike by denying food and water to students who have occupied the
campus inside. The strike began nearly four weeks ago in response to
budget cuts at the university of more than $100 million. On Thursday,
a mass assembly of more than 3,000 students voted overwhelmingly to
continue the strike. The next day, riot police seized control of the
main campus gates. We go now to Puerto Rico, inside the occupied
campus at the university. [includes rush transcript]

To read, listen to, or watch the whole story:


Giovanni Roberto, student at the University of Puerto Rico and a
spokesperson for the striking students.

Christopher Powers, professor of comparative literature at University
of Puerto Rico.

Rush Transcript

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AMY GOODMAN: In Puerto Rico, an ongoing strike by students at the
University of Puerto Rico is coming to a head. Riot police have
surrounded the main gates of the university and are trying to break
the strike by denying food and water to students who have occupied the
campus inside.

The strike began nearly four weeks ago in response to budget cuts at
the university of more than $100 million. Students called on the
administration to reconsider the cuts and sought guarantees, such as
no fee increases and no privatization of campus services. Students
initially called for a forty-eight-hour strike, but more than three
weeks later the strike continues and has spread to ten out of eleven
campuses. On Thursday, a mass assembly of more than 3,000 students
voted overwhelmingly to continue the strike. The next day, riot police
seized control of the main campus gates.

The striking students have received widespread support from professors
at the university, as well as unions around the country. Crowds have
gathered outside the university gates, where police have encircled the
striking students inside. Parents, family members, other supporters
have tried to throw bottles of water and food over the fence to
support the strikers.

We go now to Puerto Rico inside the occupied campus at the university,
where we’re joined by Giovanni Roberto, a student at the University of
Puerto Rico and a spokesperson for the striking students. We’re also
joined by a professor at the university, outside the campus, who’s
supporting the students. Christopher Powers is a professor of
comparative literature at UPR. He joins us on the phone.

We welcome you both to Democracy Now! Giovanni, we’ll begin with you.
Describe the scene right now and what your demands are.

GIOVANNI ROBERTO: Hi, Amy, and hi, people watching.

Our first—our main demand was that we reject certification of the
trustees of the university that tried to limit the tuition waivers to
students. Especially they tried to make people that have a Pell Grant
or other economic help not to be part of the tuition waiver, which in
the University of Puerto Rico, which is a public university, most of
students have economic aids in order to go to the university and
study. So we identify that the administration, what they wanted to do
is to attack especially poor students, trying to limit their right to
have a tuition waiver.

Right now in the university, we are inside. We remain for more than
twenty-seven days on strikes. We are occupying the whole campuses. As
you say, ten out of eleven campuses are shut down by students. Inside
the university is calm. We are—we have been receiving a lot of people
outside the fences helping us to resist the possibility of the police
to get in.

Since the first day, the administration demonstrate no will to
negotiate with students. Our first demand was that they’re beginning
to negotiate. We only want to negotiate with the administration our
demands. We have been working for more than one year. And after that,
we have no other solution than to go on strike, as we’re doing now,
trying to push the administration to negotiate. And they only use the
force. They’re trying to get the police in and trying to make us get
out. And that’s one of the demands.

AMY GOODMAN: Let me bring Professor Powers into this, professor at the
University of Puerto Rico. Can you talk about the scene there, as
well, the students outside, the professors—the students inside, the
professors outside?

CHRISTOPHER POWERS: Yes. Well, thank you for having me on the show.

I’m a professor at the Mayagüez campus of the UPR, so I’m not in San
Juan right now. But I can report that the strike is being maintained
at all of the eleven campuses—that’s a minor correction—because the
eleventh campus was closed today by the staff union, which represents
about 2,000 maintenance workers in the system. The staff union has
also closed the administrative buildings, the central administrative
buildings located in the botanical gardens, this morning. They moved
in heavy machinery, closing the gates, and have called for a weeklong
strike in support of the students. So all of the campuses are closed
right now. And the union is calling for the closure, as well, of
auxiliary institutions, as well. So the strike has indeed spread to
the entire system.

It has also sparked widespread support on the part of professors, for
one, but also the broad public. Parents are involved in supporting the
students in an unprecedented way compared with the strikes in the
past. The use of force to close the main campus has sparked wide
sympathy with the students. It should also be noted that the
University of Puerto Rico is a university of 64,000 students. It’s the
largest university in the Caribbean. And it’s also the premier
institution of higher learning in the country. It’s considered part of
the cultural patrimony of the island. It has produced the island’s
best and brightest. And in the context of the colonial status of the
island, in which historically so much of Puerto Rican—Puerto Rico’s
resources have been sold out to foreigners, the UPR is widely regarded
as the last best resource that the nation has to keep. So attack on
the integrity of the institution, the restriction of access for
working-class students, and the fears of privatization of the
university have sparked very wide public support.

AMY GOODMAN: Who controls the budget exactly, I mean, in relation—for
people on the mainland in the United States, given the relationship
between the United States and Puerto Rico?

CHRISTOPHER POWERS: Right. Well, the budget of the university is
controlled by the presidency and the board of trustees. According to a
law from 1966, 9.6 percent of the income into the general funds of
Puerto Rico are to be used by the university. However, the current
conservative, pro-statehood New Progressive Party government issued a
law called "Law No. 7," which is widely unpopular on the island, which
gave them emergency powers to effect fiscal measures. And this law has
been implemented in the, oh, year-and-a-half or so of the Fortuño
administration to lay off public workers, and now it’s been applied to
deny funds that have been historically available to the university.
This has caused a deficit which could be $100 million or more,
although those are based on estimates at this point.

At any rate, the austerity measures that the board of trustees and the
presidency are trying to impose have been disproportionately directed
at students, professors and staff and have not at all touched the
bloated budgets for the central administration and the chancellors’
offices. So there’s a very—you know, a sense of injustice and
unfairness in the application of the austerity measures, and the
students are not taking it. They have maintained the strike and
haven’t budged from the camps that they’ve set up at the gates of the
various universities.

It’s a very multi-sectorial movement, the students. It’s not just the
traditional activists who are protesting. The tuition waivers that
Giovanni was mentioning apply to groups like athletes and musicians,
so these students are also involved in the protests. It’s a very
exciting movement. And the mood is quite electric. And the students,
like I’ve said, have inspired a lot of inspiration and support on the
part of the population. There’s a phrase circulating now that this new
generation of students is the basta ya generation, the "enough is
enough" generation.

AMY GOODMAN: Giovanni Roberto, what are your plans now, with the SWAT
teams having moved in? Where do you go from here?

GIOVANNI ROBERTO: Well, we’re still demanding the administration to
negotiate, actually. I think the general strike called for tomorrow is
a good step forward in order to push the administration and push the
government, as part of that administration, to sit down in the table
of negotiation. We’re only demanding that we need to negotiate our

Right now, we’re going to still have—we’re going to continue to
strike. We are not going to let us intimidate by the police. We know
that if the people remain supporting us, as they have been doing for
the last three weeks, we don’t think the police are going to get in or
try to get in, because that will be a political—a serious political
problem for the government, because we think that all that support, in
water and food or in picket lines in front of the university, will
transform in mass mobilization in this country. And that’s what we’re
hoping, that all of that solidarity that have been expressed in
different ways in the last three weeks transform, today and tomorrow
and the rest of the weeks, in mass mobilization and mass protest,
especially in the strike of tomorrow. So we are going to remain on
strike, and we’re going to continue asking negotiation with the

AMY GOODMAN: Have you had support from students on the mainland United
States? And what have been the effect, for example, of the student
protests in California? Have you been following them, Giovanni?

GIOVANNI ROBERTO: Yeah, we received a letter of students and
professors of Berkeley and CUNY in New York, from Canada, from Spain,
from Venezuela, and from other countries, from República Dominicana.
We have received international attention, because, like in California,
we are receiving attacks, a budget cuts attack. And we think that the
defense of the public university obviously is not only here in Puerto
Rico; it’s an international fight against privatization and against
things that affect students. So, obviously, what happened in
California affects us. Before the strike, we made two occupations of
two faculties, in some way inspired by what’s happened in Berkeley and
the fight that Berkeley was having there. So I think for them to us
and from our fight to them, there’s a relationship between our fight
and an inspiration, a mutual inspiration, right now.

AMY GOODMAN: I understand there was a father who was trying to bring
food to his son, a student inside, who was attacked. Giovanni Roberto,
what happened?

GIOVANNI ROBERTO: Yeah, he was trying to get in bread and water, which
is in the morning for breakfast, and the police attacked him and
pushed him to the ground and then arrested him in front of all the
students. We have a video of that. That same day, in the morning, too,
another student was trying to get in, and the police attacked the
student, pushed him to the ground, hit him while he was on the ground,
and then arrested him. That happened two days, yesterday, happened
again with artists that wanted to get food inside the
university—actors, singers, famous Puerto Rican singers. They didn’t
allow them to get food, and they had to throw it over the fences in
order to get the water inside the university. There’s a law that don’t
allow any food or water to get in, according to a judge.

So, right now the situation is tense outside. We have more food than
ever. That’s important to people to know. We are creating ways to get
food and water inside. And the solidarity of the people is so
impressed that now we have food like for two weeks. So even there you
see the picture. No matter the police, what try the police, we know
that we’re going to continue the strike and that we’re going to win
this strike. We have the whole country on our side. We have the right
to do this. And we are defending only public education, public
university. That’s not a crime. One of our slogans is that we are
students, not—we’re not making crimes, you know? So—

AMY GOODMAN: Christopher Powers, the support of unions, can you talk
about that, like the AFL-CIO?

CHRISTOPHER POWERS: Yes. Well, there’s a general strike called for
tomorrow. This strike was called both by the coalition of unions,
which includes the Change to Win, the Federation of Workers of Puerto
Rico, the Puerto Rican Workers Union representing a broad variety of
the union groups and leaders. It’s also being called for by all of
Puerto Rico for Puerto Rico. The spokesperson, Juan Vera, the
Methodist bishop, called for massive support and all of the members of
this coalition of community and religious groups, known for their
involvement in the Free Vieques movement, to participate in the
strike. And as I mentioned earlier, also the staff union of the
university is going on strike for the entire week and closed down the
central administration facilities, as well as auxiliary facilities. So
the union support for the students is massive.

AMY GOODMAN: This is hardly getting attention on the mainland. Can you
talk about that lack of press coverage?

CHRISTOPHER POWERS: Well, I suppose one could relate that to— again,
to the colonial status of Puerto Rico. This is really, I think, in my
opinion, a very important struggle, in that the University of Puerto
Rico is more important for Puerto Rico than, say, public universities
in the States are for their states. And so, what is happening now is
that the students are defending the right to a quality public
education, that they are staying firm in the face of the attack on the
integrity of the institution, the restriction of access for
working-class students, and they are really serving as a model, as
Eduardo Galeano wrote in a message of support to the students. He says
that they are showing the shining path towards the future, while the
rest of the world gets used to what is already there.

AMY GOODMAN: Christopher Powers, we’ll have to leave it there,
professor at the University of Puerto Rico. Giovanni Roberto, student,
one of the student leaders of the strike, speaking to us from inside
the campus that they are occupying. Tomorrow, a major strike called
across Puerto Rico, and of course we will cover it.

Monday, May 10, 2010

How Positive Are You? Open Dialog on Love, Sex, and Health

"How Positive Are You?" is a weekly podcast about surprising news and views about HIV and AIDS.   Episode 22, hosted by David Crowe and Celia Ferber, is a frank discussion of sex, sexuality, symbiosis, GAIA theory, fear, death, love, and health.  

Listen and leave a comment HERE

Don't miss this fascinating excursion into the correlated questions of our time, including:
  • What conjunction of cultural and political forces has caused the misalignment of sex and health we have observed in the "AIDS Era"?  
  • Why did allopathic interpretations of the crisis become dominant so early?  
  • How have practices of love evolved since then?  
  • What communities have continued to be 'sex-positive' and how have they intersected?  
  • How have these practices co-evolved with a new notion of health?  With holistic practices of health?  
  • With environmental notions of planetary health?  
  • Why is the body and ecosystem and how can we practice love in respect of its balance and health? 
  • How does the respect for our bodies' ecosystems align with the respect for Gaia,, or 'mother earth'?
  • Why (and to what extent) is anal pleasure good for one's health?  
  • How has the LGBT community grown and diversified in the AIDS Era?  
  • What did bisexual people  bring to the sex positive movement?  
  • What is it like to position oneself 'in between' gays and straights as one navigates the AIDS Era?  
  • What new paradigms can emerge from this experience? 
  • What new politics of love can help to realign sex with health?  
  • What do we really mean by holistic sexual health?
Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio is a professor at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, and the author of the new book GAIA and the New Politics of Love, a Silver Winner in Cosmology and New Science for the 2010 Nautilus Book Awards. 

For more information on these subjects, visit Serena at www.serenagaia.com and http://polyplanet.blogspot.com. She also recommends reading Our Daily Meds by Melody Petersen, Exploring Intimacy by Suzann Robins and Mystery Dance: On the Evolution of Human Sexuality by Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Science of Gaia: What Does it Say about Polyamory and Sexual Freedom?

Hi everyone!  

It was a pleasure to interview with Sean Hardin, a journalist who runs a podcast called Truther. He was a terrific listener and gave the interviewee, yours truly, all the time necessary to explain the connections between Gaia, the scientific concept of an interrelated planetary ecosystem, and practices of sexual freedom, including polyamory.

The interview was posted on April 9th, 2010, and runs about two hours.  It's roughly divided in three sections.  

The interview begins with a discussion of the science of Gaia, including its implications for human life, planetary ecology, and world peace.  This section continues with a discussion of the new paradigm for knowledge that Gaia science proposes, why this paradigm represents the only possible sustainable future for humanity and why it is still considered dissident. 

The subsequent section focuses on the Gaian principle that we humans, like all other parts of the biota, are already always related.  A relationships can therefore be considered a simple actualization of the potential implied in a given relatedness.  The challenge of creating healthy relationships is that of actualizing this potential with balance and authenticity. 

The final section discusses Gaia science in the context of other scientific theories that are still met with disagreement because they oppose common beliefs, including interpretations of AIDS that emphasize the ecosystemic aspects of the disease.  The section emphasizes the need to verify the accuracy of a scientific hypothesis before using it as a basis for legislation and regulation of behavior.  It concludes with a perspective on social spaces where one can experience practices of love that involve multiple participants in safe, positive, and self-empowering ways. 

Whether you agree with yours truly's views or not, don't miss this interview!  It opens up vistas for significant interconnections from both scientific and humanistic viewpoints.  Hardin does a terrific job of plugging in all the main references, including scientists James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis, humanists like Gore Vidal, Deborah Anapol, and Suzann Robins, organizations like World Polyamory Association and others.

The most curious and brightest of you will want to know more about what Gaia means for polyamory and sexual freedom in general.  The book upon which the interview based is Gaia and the New Politics of Love.  Rush to get your own copy while it's still on discount! 

If interested in the holistic health aspects of Gaia science and theory, you can check a recent edition of The Gary Null Show where yours truly is a guest speaker.  The segment starts at the 45th minute. 

Last but not least, stay tuned for more information about upcoming events and features.  Please post your comments too.  It's unmonitored and free!  Yours truly is very active and energized by all the new connections her work is generating. 

In faith,


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Podcast - Gaia Science: Path to Human Love, Health, Relatedness

Listen to Podcast 03/24/10 - Start Serena's Segment at 44th Minute HERE

Now the story!

PRN, or Progressive Radio Network, describes itself as "The # 1 Radio Station for Progressive Minds."  It's also known as "the thinking person's forum."  I found out I was invited as a guest to talk about how Gaia science impacts human emotions.  "Wooow!" I thought, "your first time live on a radio show, Serena. You better make sure you know what's you're saying as your voice goes on the air."

I looked up my hosts.  PRN does indeed live up to its descriptions as far as I know.  On the Progressive Radio Network archives page I saw a whole range of interesting radio shows, with topics including energy, news, community, politics, writing, women, consumers, animals, health, and more, all in the context of critical thinking and presented in the form of debates.  "Great!" I thought, "this seems like the kind of place where one finds like minded people who have not stopped asking questions, regardless of how out of fashion critical thinking might be at the moment.  How refreshing!" 

One is Gary Null, who describes himself as the radio host who "takes on the real issues that the mainstream media is afraid to tackle."  His show covers a wide range of topics, including local and global ecology, the environment, science, religion, spirituality, nutrition, health, and human relationships.  He welcomes a stream of interesting guests, including scholars, professors, reporters, and other kinds of experts.  He heard of my new book, Gaia and the New Politics of Love, and invited me to speak of the Gaia Hypothesis and what it means for relationships among humans and those with other species.  "How wonderful," I thought, "I can't wait!"

"You studied the Gaia Hypothesis" Gary said, "Can you tell us what it is and how can it help us better understand human relationships? Relationships with other species?" he asked.

"The Gaia Hypothesis is the most important scientific hypothesis of our time," I explained, "because it is the foundation for the paradigm shift toward the new system of knowledge that will enable humanity to make peace with Gaia, the third planet, rather than commit suicide on it."  I gave the references to James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis, on whose science the hypothesis is based.  "If this hypothesis is true, then all of the biota, including atmosphere, biosphere, and, of course, ourselves, is a body of interconnected life made of symbiotic elements.  This means that we are all already always related.  So developing healthy relationships is simply allowing this relatedness to actualize its potential in the most authentic form." 

Gary asked me about dissident science, including AIDS science.  "I have the highest respect for science that differs from commonly accepted knowledge because without these differences knowledge cannot evolve.  For example, Gaia science is still a form of 'dissident' science, since the Gaia Hypothesis is not the prevalent paradigm upon which today's accepted knowledge is based."

I then proceeded to explain how for myself I have chosen a vegetarian path to health and a holistic one as well.  In a Gaian context, one's health is a result of the health of the symbiotic elements with which one chooses to surround oneself.  For me, time-tested indigenous remedies make more sense than recently invented pharmaceutical drugs, especially when used regularly.  When something has been used from generation to generation, its impact on the body's balance is known.

It was a pleasure to be a guest on this program.  There were many more questions I would have been happy to address, and I would welcome another invitation.  It was great to have my work recognized by a host of Gary's experience and courage.  I hope more listeners become aware of how Gaia and the New Politics of Love can be a resource for them.

Listen to Podcast 03/24/10 - Start Serena's Segment at 44th Minute HERE 

Stay tuned for more PODCASTS featuring Serena Anderlini-D'Onofrio