Black History Month is drawing to a close: the perfect moment to enjoy Hidden Figures (an inspiring dramatization of the NASA careers of three brilliant African American women at the time of both the "space race" and the Civil Rights Movement) and to visit the African American Museum in Philadelphia (and read pages from Martin Luther King Jr's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" that include the quote "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.") Week #52 is also the end of Jeff and Cynthia's first year of living in Philadelphia: the perfect moment to press the pause button, take a breath, and reflect upon whether or not this podcast is serving the purpose for which it was intended. The jury is still out, audience.... and you are the jury!
Our podcast population triples this week, as we simultaneously welcome Guests #10, #11, and #12 - A Whole Family of Guests! Trey Lyford (is he a clown pretending to be a magician, or a magician pulling of the illusion of being a clown?) and Suli Holum (writer, maker, performer, and oral historian in the making) recently moved to Germantown with their nine-year-old daughter Coralie (currently studying Harry Potter and Star Wars, while preparing for her role as Scar in The Lion King) and join us to report on how the transition is going. In response to Coralie’s request for a “protest song,” Cynthia offers up a family-style-folk-choir version of Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin.’”
Wellness is pursued from the outside in and from the inside out. During the healing process that results, it becomes tricky to diagnose which fabulous experience is most responsible: was it the colonic (or “bowel irrigation”)? The flotation tank (or “forced relaxation”)? Or could it have been a performance artist's impersonation of a physician (or “fake doctor”)? But the more crucial question may become: can America achieve “integrated wellness"? The song of the week (a medley of national anthems and Civil War hurrahs) offers old-timey suggestions.
Fabulous living systems architect Frances Rose (Guest #9) discusses K is for Kitchen, the community supported kitchen run out of faer home. In response to faer request for a song of the week about how cross pollination is fun and sexy, Cynthia presents a cover of a song by Ethan Lipton titled The Flora and The Fauna (Lipton’s fantastic version can be found via iTunes, from his album Mr. Softy - thanks Ethan, for making fun and sexy songs to inspire and delight during dark, scary times!)
We welcome Guest #8 Silke “Sunshine” Tudor, survivor of a California hippie commune upbringing and current activist on behalf of all sorts of human rights and social justices, to give us hope for the future in the wake of Trump’s very, very poorly attended inauguration.
Cynthia forgets to describe the title event this week, due to a episode-length tangent about constipation. Is her constipation a direct result of spending a week working in New York? Is it due to anxiety about an impending "job" interview? What is Cynthia's constipation trying to communicate? Will its message ever be accurately fact-checked? And will Cynthia's bowels ever move again, or will they end up preserved in a glass jar at the Mutter Museum, alongside other fatal pathologies?
The ghost of a deceased performance work (in the form of criticism of Cynthia's portrayal of a ghost in that performance work) comes back to haunt Cynthia at a critical juncture.