Monday, April 10, 2006

Waiting for Godot broadcasts on WBAI public radio tonight

A Special Presentation [on WBAI]
Monday, April 10, from 9:00-11:00 pm:
Commemorate Beckett's centenary and the 50th anniversary of the American premiere of his masterpiece, Waiting for Godot, by listening to a special broadcast of the play featuring the original Broadway cast: Burt Lahr, E.G. Marshall, Alvin Epstein and Kurt Kasner. Hosted and with an introduction by Simon Loekle.

Heads up to the above. On WBAI which you can listen to for free online.

Questions came in about the laptop. When it finally would start to boot back up there was a message about "allocated space" being used when not needed and it went through some process before it was operating again. Though a number are still in California, I did have to return (or risk cancelling appointments which I do not like to do at the last minute). Please visit Mikey Likes It! for Mike's thoughts and criticisms.

"White House Defends Bush Intelligence Disclosure" (Democracy Now!):
The White House has publicly admitted President Bush authorized the disclosure of pre-war intelligence on Iraq. But White House spokesperson Scott McLellan said the disclosure wasn't illegal because information disclosed by the President is considered declassified. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, has testified that President Bush authorized him to leak a highly classified intelligence document on Iraq to the press in an effort to defend the administration's decision to go to war.

I have no idea what lie Bully Boy will finally tell on this but it's obvious that he's going to have to say something, offer some sort of remark. He'll probably make it in front of a carefully chosen group. It will be heavily reported and that the "faithful" applauded will also be heavily reported. Dick Cheney will announce "the people have spoken" because a few people who were handpicked by the White House to attend the event applauded. Then the mainstream press will take the attitude of "He has spoken, we need to move on."

Because that is how they've operated in the last few years. People wonder why, in the rare times when Bully Boy holds a press conference, there are no follow up questions? Where are the follow up stories?

There are no follow up questions because there are no follow up stories. All the press needs is some sort of a quote and they announce that the story is closed. "Bully Boy, what was the White House involvement with Enron?" "Ken Lay eats green cheese." They would report the green cheese remark and then "move on" to some other story. If questioned, they'd argue, "We reported on that!" When note taking becomes reporting, we're all in trouble.

"Mass Protests Continue Around the US For Immigrant Rights" (Democracy Now!):
Hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated in cities across the country Sunday urging Congress to pass legislation that would legalize the estimated 12 million undocumented workers in the US. An estimated 500,000 people took to the streets in Dallas. The marchers filled the downtown streets with chants of "Si Se Puede!" -- Spanish for "Yes, we can!". In St. Paul, Minnesota, 30,000 people rallied at the state capitol. In Birmingham, Alabama, demonstrators marched along the same streets where activists clashed with police in the civil rights struggle of the 1960s. Other protests were held in New Mexico, Michigan, Iowa, Alabama, Utah, Oregon, Idaho and California. Michael Martinez, who attended a rally in San Diego, said: "It's not about flags, it's not really about race. It's about just equal opportunities for everybody and nobody being above or below the law and nobody being exploited by the law. It's that simple." More protests are planned for today in nearly 100 cities across the country.

That is so wonderful. If you think about it, certain lawmakers in Congress were under the impression that they could do exactly as they wanted without any input. That's been the process for some time now. So to see this massive surge of democracy is really amazing and a lesson in what can be done.

"Want More Bush? Elect McCain" (Helen Thomas, Common Dreams):
He is against abortion rights and gun-control laws and believes students should be taught the religion-oriented "intelligent design" theory of creation as well as the theory of scientific evolution.
His painful experience as a POW during the Vietnam War led him to buck the White House on the question of using torture to interrogate detainees and prisoners of war. Despite White House opposition, he triumphed with a 90-9 Senate vote on his anti-torture amendment to the defense appropriations bill.
Well, almost.
In signing the bill, the president issued a statement that under his constitutional authority as commander in chief, he did not have to abide by the anti-torture amendment. This is a dubious claim of presidential power that should be challenged.
McCain's political record is not entirely pristine. He was a member of the so-called Keating Five -- five senators linked to Charles Keating in the savings and loan scandals in 1991. But a special investigator found that McCain had not been substantially involved in influence peddling but criticized him and three others for "questionable conduct."
That searing experience may explain why McCain has been an avid advocate of campaign finance reform.
With his "hail fellow well met" persona and tendency to jaw with the media and pundits in the back of the campaign bus, he has created the impression in some quarters that he is a "moderate."
Forget it. His voting record speaks for itself.

I do like Helen Thomas. I do not like John McCain. For that reason, I'm noting the above. I assume, now that he's cozying up to Jerry Fallwell, that he'll shortly issue a press statement for attending the funeral of Mark Bingham.

Today, I caught Cat Radio Cafe on WBAI (airs from two p.m. to three p.m.) had a really interesting discussion about art and artists. I came in late to the show. Probably ten minutes after Janet Coleman began conductin the interview. But among the ones discussed were Brecht, Lillian Hellman, Norman Mailer and George Eliot. I had no idea, for instance, that Bertolt Brecht had been involved in Hollywood movies. He came up with the story for Hangmen Also Die which I looked up at IMDB. Here's a summary of the film:

On May 27, 1942 the Nazi Reichsprotector of Bohemia/Moravia, the "Hangman" Reinhard Heydrich, died from the bullets of unidentified resistance fighters. Hangmen Also Die is the story of Heydrich's assassination in fictionalized form. It was Bertolt Brecht's only comparitively successful Hollywood project; the money he received allowed him to write "The Visions of Simone Marchand", "Schwyk in the Second World War" and his adaptation of Webster's "The Duchess of Malfi". Hanns Eisler won an Academy Award for his musical score.

That was written by J. Arnold Free. There's also a summary by Jim Beaver. Somone else might recognize other names in the cast but I recognized three. The first was Anna Lee, who died in May 2004. She was famous as Lila Quartermaine on General Hospital to many but I'm sure to many (including me) she was famous for playing Sister Margaretta in The Sound of Music. Walter Brennan was in the film as well and the first movie that comes to mind for me there is To Have and Have Not with Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart. (Second film? Meet John Doe starring Barbara Stanwyck and Gary Cooper.) The film was directed by Frtiz Lang famous for M, Metropolis, Fury and more.

Brecht had a habit of taking credit for the work of women in his life. I wasn't aware of that but I only know some of his work and not a great deal of his life. Rebecca probably already knew about that. George Eliot came off better in the artist's eyes (I believe Edward Sorel was the artist interviewed). The discussion of the authors was the chief portion of the broadcast but it was also followed by a discussion on improvisation.

Kat is covering KPFA's Guns and Butter each week and Rebecca's covering Flashpoints. All of us are attempting to get the word out on Pacifica and, equally important, to help Ruth out so each Saturday she's not thinking, "Okay, seven days and twenty-four hours each day, I can cover this." There's no way she can. So we're all attempting to note Pacifica at least once a week at our sites.

I'm a "floater" meaning that I haven't adopted one show. It will probably depend upon what is going on that week and what I know is on. I'd mentioned to Ruth this weekend, when we were all together in California, that I had a Monday hour free due to a cancellation (no problem, dentist trumps all). I was hoping for some suggestions of programs she enjoyed or something you hadn't been able to get to that members of the community were requesting. She recommended Cat Radio Cafe because she enjoys it and it is a community favorite. Janet Coleman was the host I heard but David Dozier is also a host. Both are part of the The Christmas Coup Players.

Pacifica is popular within the community and I hope everyone works hard to get the word out. I noticed that C.I. worked in a mention of Law and Disorder during "Book Discussion: 2 Books, Don't Count the Minutes" and we really should be able to do that, to offer those kind of references. Not, "Oh, I was watching CNN" or "Oh, I was listening to NPR" but to note the sources that matter because they believe the world matters (as opposed to believing the world is a teeter-totter and "balance" is a religion). So my committment online is that I will try to note, in addition to Democracy Now!, at least one Pacifica program a week. Because that should be the ideal, what C.I. did. We're discussing Arundhati Roy's An Ordinary Person's Guide To Empire and she addresses the issue of torture. C.I. wanted to make a point about the Guantanamo prisoners and, in the middle of that point, works in Law and Disorder as a point of reference. (By the way, "I don't know that they are doing it" by C.I. refers to combining the practice of loud volume with no volume. I've added "[doing the next part]" to the transcript because I had an e-mail asking if C.I. was refuting torture by sound at Guantanamo and, no, that wasn't the case. C.I. spoke hesitantly on it and afterwards it was asked, "If they aren't doing it already, did I just advise them a way to improve torture?" I don't think so. I think it was a good point and that it's probably already being used but the connection outside of Guantanamo hadn't been made. I followed it but in case anyone else was confused, I've added that clarifcation.)

If we really worked at that, their would be an awareness, a very real awareness, of exactly what was out there on the media landscape beyond the consolidated, heavily referenced media we hear too much from and too much of. With that and the limitations of big media in mind, I've composed the peace quote for this evening.

Peace Quote (from me):
Peace requires many voices and the awareness of them.