Preposterous Universe

Tuesday, July 12, 2005
The wine-dark sea

Sad times for Chicagoans and public-radio lovers everywhere: Odyssey, the noontime "talk show of ideas" on Chicago Public Radio, has been cancelled by the WBEZ board. Despite being syndicated to over 30 stations nationally, the show was judged to not quite be worth the cost.

This is a huge loss, as Odyssey was some of the most intelligent and stimulating conversation you could find on any sorts of airwaves. I admit that I'm biased: I've appeared on the show myself, and host Gretchen Helfrich was even a guest-blogger here at Preposterous. But just because I'm biased doesn't mean I'm not right. The show offered serious and substantive discussion about intriguing issues with top-flight experts, often academics who were stars in their fields -- a serious intellectual consideration of difficult ideas, not the kind of Crossfire-style empty babbling that Jon Stewart skewered so effectively. Consider some of the topics considered just in the last couple of weeks:
  • Founding America: Beyond The Fathers
  • Religious Meanings of the Ten Commandments
  • The Social History of Computers
  • Domesticating the American Man
  • Torture and Democracy
  • Identity Politics
Hell, they even had a show about blogging. Okay, but other than that, we're talking about some really substantive discourse here.

Josh Andrews, senior producer of Odyssey, recently started blogging at The American Sector, where he talked a little about the shock of this decision. Here's hoping that he and Gretchen and everyone at the show land on their feet -- the airwaves will be a lot poorer without them.

Update: More comments from Henry Farrell at Crooked Timber. If you'd like to complain to WBEZ, write to Torey Malatia:

Torey Malatia
General Manager, WBEZ
848 E. Grand
Chicago IL 60611

Ideas on culture, science, politics.
Sean Carroll

Preposterous Home
Atom Site Feed (xml)
RSS Feed
Technorati Profile
Bloglines Citations
Blogroll Me

About Last Night
Alas, a Blog
The American Sector
Asymmetrical Information
Big Brass Blog
Bitch, Ph.D.
Body and Soul
Brad DeLong
Chris C Mooney
Collision Detection
Creek Running North
Crescat Sententia
Crooked Timber
Daily Kos
Daniel Drezner
Deepen the Mystery
Dispatches from the Culture Wars
Dynamics of Cats
Electron Blue
Ezra Klein
The Fulcrum
Girls Are Pretty
Jacques Distler
James Wolcott
John and Belle
Julie Saltman
Lawyers, Guns and Money
Leiter Reports
The Loom
Matt McIrvin
Matthew Yglesias
Michael Bérubé
Michael Nielsen
Mixing Memory
Mr. Sun
Not Even Wrong
Obsidian Wings
Orange Quark
Paige's Page
Panda's Thumb
Playing School, Irreverently
Political Animal
The Poor Man
Quantum Diaries
Quark Soup
Real Climate
Roger Ailes
Rox Populi
Shakespeare's Sister
Simple Stories
Sisyphus Shrugged
Smijer & Buck
TPM Cafe
Uncertain Principles
Volokh Conspiracy

Powered by Blogger
Comments by Haloscan
RSS Feed by 2RSS.com

February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005