An Interview with Kumiko Ibaraki, Author of The Worry Free Kitchen

I can never claim to be a cook, however one of my favorite type of books to browse through are Asian cuisine cookbooks. Last year I was able to purchase The Worry Free Bakery, so this year I was quite happy to learn of Kumiko Ibaraki, the author was releasing a second translated cookbook of The Worry Free Kitchen. She was also in New York around the period of Book Expo, so I was able to get an interview with this Japanese author/dietician/teacher on Thursday with interpretation from Ioannis Mentzas, Vertical‘s Editorial Director. Here is a transcript of my interview with Ms. Ibaraki. Continue reading “An Interview with Kumiko Ibaraki, Author of The Worry Free Kitchen”

Millennial Generation Hero Interview with Daniel Debowy, M.D., Ph.D.

On July 23, 2009, I attended the “Comics Arts Conference Session #5: Fan Power” at Comic Con San Diego. I was attracted to the words “fan power,” thinking it might be about squeeing fangirls and glowering fanboys, and wound up with more to think about than I’d anticipated. This interview is the product of my ruminations on Dr. Debowy’s talk and the questions I either didn’t think of or was unable to ask at the panel.

Ginger Mayerson: If I understood your talk at Comic Con, the millennial generation hero wins by not engaging in the competition and sacrificing himself. The way our society in the U.S. is now, how would new leaders emerge based on this new myth?

Daniel Debowy: The key here is that the millenial generation hero competes, but avoids traditional conflict with the prior generation. This is not to say that the values of the prior generation go unchallenged. In fact, it is precisely by avoiding conflict on the prior generation’s terms that the Millenial Hero advances real change. This can sometimes be by avoiding a fight, as Peter Petrelli does on Heroes, when he refuses to take sides between his older brother and his father. Or it can be by fighting back in a novel fashion, as Peter does when he assists an “underground railroad” for fellow super-humans in response to his brother initiating mass arrests and detentions. At Comic-Con, I highlighted the most striking novel form of protest in the Millenial hero, sacrificing self and/or power. This is what Luke Skywalker does at the climax of the Return of the Jedi. It is what another protagonist on Heroes, Hiro Nakamura, does at numerous points in the series. This is not the same as giving up the quest, so self-sacrifice can only occur if the hero is already an inspiration to others, and heroic action continues after the hero has given up his/her powers.

New leaders might occur in the real world, using such mythic themes, by inspiring others to carry on the torch even if they are killed, and then continuing to campaign for their cause despite losses or risk to self. This dynamic did not just start in the last 30 years, but it could become more prominent, even within leadership roles that have traditionally been unitary sources of supreme power, such as presidencies, super-celebrities, and military leaders.
Continue reading “Millennial Generation Hero Interview with Daniel Debowy, M.D., Ph.D.”