Guest Picks: Bob Massie

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Activist, environmental leader, and priest Bob Massie was on the Lopate Show to talk about his remarkable life. He also told us what he's reading and listening to these days!

What have you read or seen over the past year that moved or surprised you?

        Terrence Malick's film The Tree of Life..   A lot of people couldn't understand the constant iteration in the film between the cosmic scale of star-birth and the small daily life of a family in Texas, but that's the way my own mind works.  Immense realities keep popping into my head in the middle of normal daily activities.  I thought Malick utterly captured the mystery of individual human stories floating in a vast universe.  

What are you listening to right now?

        Almost exactly a year ago my friend, the singer songwriter, Bill Morrissey died very suddenly.  For a long time I couldn't bring myself to listen to his voice, but now I find myself turning to his amazing gravelly voice and stunning song-writing to ground me. One of his most famous and touching songs is Birches.


What's the last great book you read?

        I haven't finished it yet, but I am reading David Graeber's Debt: The First 5,000 Years - a powerful book that is giving me a whole new perspective on the drive for a more just and sustainable economy.   


What's one thing about you're a fan of that people might not expect?

        I play the five string banjo and I find that the speed and intricacy of excellent banjo playing lifts my spirits every time.  Bela Fleck and Steve Martin rock.


What's your favorite comfort food?

        That's a really hard question because it depends on the season.   We are in summer now, so I would say really good St. Louis barbecued ribs.