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Bush & Bohemian Grove

Date: 07-26-08
Host: Ian Punnett
Guests: Harry Shearer, Carole Travis-Henikoff

During the first two hours of the show, comedian, actor and musician Harry Shearer joined Ian Punnett for a discussion about his life, career, and a variety of other topics. Shearer spoke about his early work on the The Jack Benny Program and the influence of actor Mel Blanc, who voiced many Looney Tunes animated characters, as well as corrected some erroneous biographical information on IMDB.com.

He discussed his film Teddy Bears' Picnic, a parody of the Bohemian Grove conspiracy. Shearer said he was invited to be a guest at the Grove and was allowed to research at the Bohemian Club in San Francisco. In his opinion, Bohemian Grove is a place where the elite go to recreate "their sophomore year in college." Shearer also talked about his new album, Songs of the Bushmen, a political satire of the Bush Administration.

Cannibalism

In the last half the program, author and independent scholar Carole Travis-Henikoff discussed her research into the taboo subject of cannibalism. According to Henikoff, the first evidence of cannibalism appears 800,000 years ago. Stone tool cut marks on butchered human bones and cracked long bones (from which marrow is extracted) have been found from that time, she said.

Henikoff listed several types of cannibalism, including survival, endocannibalism (eating members of one's own group), exocannibalism (eating members of an enemy group), religious, token (Christian communion), ritual, funerary, medicinal, gastronomic, and self-cannibalism. She pointed out examples of cannibalism in the Bible, noting that war, overpopulation, and famine often lead to incidences of humans eating other humans.

Henikoff talked about Columbus' encounter with the Carib Indians, the people from whom the word 'cannibal' originates, as well as the cannibalistic tribes Cortez found along the coast of Central America. Henikoff also suggested that everyone likely has a cannibal somewhere in their family tree, and shared several stories about cannibalism. She spoke of a tribe in New Guinea that still practices eating humans, a province in China whose citizens may have killed and eaten as many as 10,000 people during the reign of Mao Tse-tung, and a group in Canada whose initiates run up to other tribal members and take a bite of flesh out of them.

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