From bingo to the Bellagio, Elaine Wynn’s life hasn’t followed what one might term a “conventional” path. Despite a very successful life, Elaine never lost focus on equity for those less fortunate. She’s particularly interested in the lives of children, helping children affected by poverty gain access to support through the organization Communities in Schools (CIS). Listen to the brilliant Elaine Wynn as she and Charlie muse on the urgency of climate change, leadership, community service vs individualism, philanthropy and
If you enjoy the introductory music that begins our show, you’ll really love this episode — host Charlie Bresler is talking with composer and musician José González, who generously agreed to allow his music to grace Musings on Ourselves and Other Strangers.
José has had a fascinating history: his parents fled the dictatorship in their native Argentina in 1976. Because José’s parents were at university and his father was an activist, they were targeted by the government. They were able to flee through Brazil, and ultimately the Swedish embassy helped them to relocate to safety. They landed in Sweden, where José was born.
As you might guess, politics and activism were frequent topics around the family dinner table. José himself prefers to communicate his thoughts and reflections through his music, with allusions and metaphors that can speak to us on a deeper level. “Many songs have a crystal-clear, secular humanist agenda: anti-dogma, pro-reason,” he says.
A scientist by training, José left academia to pursue his music career, but he admits to missing learning and reads broadly to pursue his interests. Though he’s created “only” three solo albums in 18 years, each album is intricately designed, the music’s apparent simplicity belied by a deep, inner complexity. He regularly plays to sold-out venues and devoted followers.
José says his music takes on the Big Questions, the existential conundrums that reflect the journey of “smart apes on a quest to understand ourselves and our place in the cosmos.” Like Charlie, José is interested in why humans — himself included — behave the ways we do, and his music gives us openings to view ourselves through.
We hope you’ll enjoy this episode. To find more music by José, visit his website jose-gonzalez.com.
In this episode, guest Professor Joshua Greene and host Charlie Bresler hit upon an important question — and have somewhat different answers. Many of us claim to be pretty “moral” human beings with an admirable set of values. But do we always live up to it? Obviously not, or we likely wouldn’t need police or lawyers or jails. The question Josh and Charlie found thornier is the why.
Musing with Michael (Mike) Schur is a bit like playing chess with Garry Kasparov. No matter what conversational move you make, he has a counter that will likely stun you. No wonder his book is called How to Be Perfect: The Correct Answer to Every Moral Question… Creator of the critically acclaimed NBC comedy The Good Place, co-creator on Parks and Recreation, Brooklyn 99, and Rutherford Falls, writer on The Office and Saturday Night Live, Michael has a long history