ROCK PAPER RADIO is a dispatch for misfits & unlikely optimists by your favorite hapa haole, beet-pickling, public radio nerd. It’s a weekly email newsletter that shares three curiosities every Thursday - something to hold on to (that’s the ‘rock’), something to read (that’s the ‘paper‘), and something to listen to (you guessed it, that’s the ‘radio’). Themes include but are not limited to: rebel violinists, immortal jellyfish, revolution. Thanks for subscribing and spreading the word.
SOMETHING TO LISTEN TO
If you’re also over trying to figure out what a “hedge fund” is and how a bunch of Redditors inconvenienced some Wall Street bros this week, I humbly recommend turning your attention to this story I produced for KUOW Public Radio: Empathize with Trump voters? A Progressive and a Libertarian agree to disagree.
There are two versions of the audio feature included here - one that’s 6-minutes, and another that’s 13.
One of the highlights of the extended version is that I was able to remind the world of the time Mellina White, Seattle’s dapper contrarian, questioned the reality of systemic racism in front of a theater full of shocked and mostly white public radio listeners. I may not agree with all of Mellina’s politics, but I am a big admirer of her moxie.
I’m also a fan of the work Seattle School For Boys co-founder Jerome Hunter is doing to remind young people that empathy is also a kind of civic engagement. It felt like a balm over the last few hectic weeks to be in conversation with Jerome and Mellina to produce this story. Thanks for listening and sharing.
SOMETHING TO READ
In 2015, Lisa Jaffe and Maura Hubbell divorced after Lisa concluded that she couldn’t find her “inner lesbian” following Maura’s gender transition.
When Lisa reached out wanting to share the story of her last date with Maura, our Seattle Story Project team knew there was a something there, but one piece was missing. So, in the sprit of nothing about us without us, we reached out to Maura to share her side of the story. Lucky for us, she was game.
I had the good fortune of being able to edit and shoot their collaborative essay for KUOW: With marriage and a gender transition behind them, they dined at Canlis. It was so lovely to work with both of them and to witness how they continue to come together and evolve after everything they’ve experienced together and apart. Their essay is a excellent reminder that love can still win, even when people have to go their separate ways.
SOMETHING TO HOLD ON TO
You can take the teacher out of the classroom, but you can’t take away her unbridled enthusiasm for assigning homework.
In addition to sending out this misfit newsletter every Thursday, I have also found other creative ways to revel in my fondness for telling people what to read and listen to. Curiosity Club is one such endeavor.
I created this nerdy supper club to connect inquisitive community members to our KUOW newsroom around one question: Can a shared meal and compelling storytelling transform a group of strangers into a community? So far, we’re seeing exciting evidence that the answer to that question is yes.
In this 6-minute film produced by Let It Ripple, Curiosity Club: One Night to Turn Strangers into a Community, you can see highlights from our most recent dinner party.
We gathered over Zoom shortly after the 2020 election to talk about pandemic rollerskating, the #MeToo movement, Black joy, and, of course, the political divide that’s swallowing America. If you try a version of Curiosity Club in your community, let me know. I love seeing how people make our experiment their own.
YOUR ASSIGNMENT THIS WEEK: ORANGES
That’s a wrap on issue 26, friends. Thanks for listening, reading, holding on.
And thanks too for all the social media love for ROCK PAPER RADIO. Each of your posts is like a little beacon to other misfits to join our crew. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Before next week, try to find some time to put on two masks, a pair of latex gloves, and some protective googles, and get yourself to the grocery store. Sumo orange season is finally upon us. Like all good things, these don’t last long.
See you next Thursday.
You can find ROCK PAPER RADIO on Instagram and Twitter @RockPaperRadio. You can help spread the word about our community of misfits and unlikely optimists by sharing this issue on the social medias with a comment that says SUBSCRIBE TO THIS NEWSLETTER AND NEVER FEEL “UNCERTAIN” AGAIN. Or something like that.