Saturday, September 20, 2014

Beauty and Diet

Part 1: New World Notes #242, 27:19 (September 23)
Broadcast quality MP3 (38 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

Part 2: New World Notes #243, 27:15 (September 30)
Broadcast quality MP3 (37 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

All photos: Click to enlarge

The big publicity for New York Fashion Week--featuring models who look not only skinny but grim--inspired this week's show. Rebecca Anshell Song is the speaker.  She gives a wide-ranging and very interesting talk about our bizarre standards of beauty.  And about women's feelings of inadquacy that result.  And about the causes and purposes of these weird standards.

While Song includes some abstractions in her discussion--sexism, objectification of women--she doesn't pin the blame on abstract forces. In large part, women are persuaded to dislike their bodies because acutal people, organized into business corporations, have learned that they can make money from that dislike.

Introductions and afterwords by KD.

In Part 1, Song gives great examples from the fashion industry, the weight-loss industry, the cosmetic-plastic-surgery industry, the food industry, the drug industry, and more.

In Part 2, Song focuses on the weight-loss crusaders (including Michelle Obama) and the so-called War on Obesity. She finds this "war" a classic case of blaming the victim while the perpetrator--in a nutshell: capitalism--rakes in the profits. Plus some suggestions on how to organize and fight back.

I have edited the audio slightly.  Original recording courtesy of  Song spoke in Chicago on June 27, 2013.

Runway photos from New York Fashion Week, September 2014. Designers Alexander Wang (top), NicholasK (above).

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Can the People Save the Environment?

New World Notes #341, 29:24 (September 16)

Broadcast quality MP3 (40 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (14 MB)

Americans realize that no leadership on our environmental crises will come from our political "leaders." So people have begun making changes on their own. The show explores several approaches people are taking--including bicycling, modifying everyday behavior, and raising backyard chickens. Then Derrick Jensen explains why only political action will make any difference at all. What to do? Maybe all of the above.

Music added: James McMurtry, "God Bless America"

This show was originally broadcast in October 2009.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Militarized Police

New World Notes #340, 29:00 (September 9)

Broadcast quality MP3 (40 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

Illustration: Eric Drooker, "Ferguson, Missouri,"
copyright (C) Conde' Nast 2014

Events in Ferguson, Missouri, have drawn attention to the militarization of local police. This militarization is a big problem, but it's just a part of an even-bigger problem: the state's control of its "have-nots" through force and violence.

We explore these issues in detail, from the glut of army weapons given to Connecticut's local police ... to the many police shootings of unarmed young Black men ... to the larger issues of social control. Features local news stories, analysis by KD, commentary by Glen Ford, and a song by David Rovics.*

* "Watch Out For the Cops," from Meanwhile in Afghanistan (2012)