Saturday, November 26, 2016

Apokaluptein Tales

New World Notes #456, 29:24 (November 29)
Broadcast quality MP3 (40 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (14 MB)

Occupy Wall Street, 2011

An intriguing audiocollage (from 2010) by Virtual Renderings--condensed for radio by KD. It weaves together political commentary, music, clips from The Matrix, and more. It combines critical views ranging from the Left (Noam Chomsky) to the far Right (stefbot)--and music ranging from the Stones to Harry Shearer to J.S. Bach & more.

It's an engaging, intelligent critique of a U.S. corporate state that pretends to be capitalism and pretends to be democracy. Wrong on both counts!

This program was previously broadcast, as NWN #298, in November 2013. Audio files downloaded from the links, above, are identified as #298.

The unedited, hour-long version of "Apokaluptein Tales" is available in both high-fidelity (56 MB) and low-fidelity (14 MB) versions. 110 additional audiocollages by Virtual Renderings  (at last count) are available on  For a listing, click on the link in the gray sidebar on the right-hand side of this page (under the heading, "Worth a Look").

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Hollow Men

New World Notes #455, 28:51 (November 22)
Broadcast quality MP3 (40 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

First, K.D. contrasts Halloween (good) with Black Friday (bad)--setting the stage for historian Morris Berman's brilliant and witty talk (ca. 2013).

For Berman, the essential hollowness of America's leaders reflects the hollowness at the core of many of us--and the hollowness of The American Dream (which seems to be just a wish for more stuff). "The System" seems to be collapsing--leaving Morris with very mixed emotions.

Then singer-satirist Roy Zimmerman offers a more upbeat view of the oddness of American life. And last, a few lines from the poem Berman is alluding to, T.S. Eliot's "The Hollow Men."

Thanks to Robin Upton, of Unwelcome Guests, for Berman's talk.

This installment was previously broadcast, as NWN #297, in November 2013. MP3s downloaded from the links at the top of this page will be identified as #297.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Norman Finkelstein on Palestine

New World Notes #454, 28:05 (November 15)
Broadcast quality MP3 (39 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

Norman Finkelstein

Mideast expert Norman Finkelstein reviews the horrors of Israel's attacks on Gaza and then explores Palestine's three options for regaining its freedom. Two of them--diplomacy and armed struggle--have failed to work, Finkelstein argues.

That leaves nonviolent mass resistance--with an immediate focus on ending Israel's blockade of Gaza. The tactic has worked before, including in Gandhi's India, in apartheid South Africa, and in fact in Palestine's FIrst Intifada. It can work again--if Palestine can overcome the handicaps of a demoralized population and corrupt political leaders.

Introduction by KD. I have condensed and edited Finkelstein's talk.

Finkelstein and Tariq Ali discussed the Israel/Palestine situation at the 2016 Left Forum. Ali's talk was broadcast in NWN #446, in September.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Firesign Theatre Election Special

New World Notes #453, 28:59 (October 18)
Broadcast quality MP3 (40 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

For Election Day 2016: selections from The Firesign Theatre's 1970 classic, Don't Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers.

Masters of irony, parody, travesty, and sound effects, Firesign created radio dramas satirizing a nation unable to tell reality from the nonsense on TV--nonsense concocted by prostitute politicians and corporate greedheads. The perfect program for this Election Day!

The Firesign Theatre

The plot (such as it is): Flipping TV channels late at night, retired actor George Leroy Tirebiter finds dreck galore plus two old movies starring him, playing simultaneously on two different channels. These are Parallel Hell (a war movie) and High School Madness (featuring all-American teenagers Porgy and Mudhead). In one--or is it both?--of the movies, Tirebiter is running for office: either Dogkiller or People's Commissioner. (You decide!)

With an updated introduction by K.D. The Firesign Theatre material was originally broadcast, in NWN #244, on November 6, 2012.

God Save the Republic! (What's left of it, anyway.)