Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Potpourri 8

New World Notes #628, 28:21 (May 26)
Broadcast quality MP3 (40 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)


A new bouquet of this and that, not random but loosely structured. Features a fine talk by Mumia Abu-Jamal, two classic satires by The Firesign Theater, and commentary by KD.
  
The commentary focuses on
  • corruption of language as a tool of the powerful 
  • the sea of propaganda in which we swim
  • the historical uses of potpourri
  • the sad similarities of 17th and (U.S.) 21st century responses to pandemics
  • the meaning of "Ring Around the Rosie"
And yes, the topics are all related.


Error: In my commentary I say that the bubonic plague struck London in 1655. The correct year is 1665. This error is entirely the fault of Obama, Lying Hillary, a secret laboratory in Wuhan, the Deep State, and the Inspector General. --KD

Mumia's talk, "Rebel Lawyers," was broadcast to a conference at Yale Law School in March 2019. Firesign Theater's sketches are from their LPs Waiting for the Electrician or Someone Like Him (1968) and How Can You Be In Two Places At Once When You're Not Anywhere At All (1969).



Monday, May 25, 2020

The Missing Installments

Dear listeners,

Because of exceptionally heavy demands on my time, I have been forced to air reruns over the past several weeks. And I have quite neglected this Web site. I apologize.

An entirely new installment ("Potpourri 8") is now available. (Scroll upwards for the installment's own page.)

Here are the links to the "archival presentations"--that is, reruns--broadcast over the past several weeks. Each link takes you to the show's original page on this Web site. Each page has the program description and links for download.
Thank you for your patience.
     --K.D.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

America: The Farewell Tour

Part 1: New World Notes #630, 28:35 (March 31)
Broadcast quality MP3 (39 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

Part 2: New World Notes #631, 27:53 (April 7)
Broadcast quality MP3 (38 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)


Journalist-prophet-activist Chris Hedges is in fine form in this new speech. With some new examples and new connections he explores the history and the bad effects of the corporate takeover of America.

The effects include the degradation of our culture, economy, politics, and freedom--and of the planet's ecosystem. As Hedges sees it, the only sane response is concerted nonviolent resistance.

Hedges spoke in New York City on December 8, 2018. The audio--from a video of the speech by Joe Friendly--was reengineered by Wilton Vought, of the YouTube channel and blog, Other Voices, Other Choices. Thanks again to Wilton.

Previously broadcast on NWN in February 2019. Files downloaded from the links, above, are identified as NWN #571 and 572.


Saturday, March 21, 2020

Pandemic Journal

New World Notes #629, 28:26 (March 24)
Broadcast quality MP3 (39 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)


Wry and satiric notes and comments (by K.D.) on the coronavirus pandemic as it gains a foothold in Connecticut.

Complementing K.D.'s chronicle are a new song by David Rovics, a classic poem by (and read by) William Carlos Williams, and commentary by progressive populist Jim Hightower.

David Rovics's "Viral Solidarity" is available on YouTube. Jim Hightower's comments courtesy of The Hightower Lowdown. William Carlos Williams wrote "The Yachts" in 1935 and recorded it in 1945.

And a new, unlovely term enters the national vocabulary:
"social distancing."



Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Jean Shepherd vs "Creeping Meatballism"

New World Notes #628, 28:08 (March 17)
Broadcast quality MP3 (39 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)


A look at radio great Jean Shepherd's humorous critiques--from the 1950s--of Americans' conformity, consumerism, and false sense of "progress."

KD reads (and briefly discusses) Shepherd's famous short essay, The Night People vs. 'Creeping Meatballism.' Then--on the same theme--we hear selections from one of Shep's late-night radio broadcasts (May 2, 1959).

Here Shep talks about credit cards ... Green Stamps ... a used atom-smasher for sale ... "progress" ... self-help advice from Senator Lyndon Johnson ... how many ice cream flavors Howard Johnson's restaurants actually have* ... and the brief but glorious crime spree of Ronald Medsker.

* (Claimed = 28. Highest number observed = 26, at the HoJo's at the New Bedford exit of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.)

Recording of Shepherd's 1959 broadcast courtesy of Flick Lives!  Many thanks.

Note: Previously broadcast on NWN. MP3s downloaded from the links, above, are identified as NWN #359.

Jean Shepherd, searching in vain for a size "small" tube of toothpaste. Illustration by Wally Wood to Shep's essay "The Night People ...," in Mad magazine, April 1957.


Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Ralph Nader and Chris Hedges

New World Notes #627, 28:15 (March 10)
Broadcast quality MP3 (39 MB)*
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

Ralph Nader

A conversation between two great Progressive activists and essayists: Ralph Nader and Chris Hedges. (Technically, Nader is interviewing Hedges.) They discuss
  • the corruption of the System, including the Democratic Party
  • the oppression by the 1% of everyone else
  • the sad plight of college students and other young people in the ravaged American economy
  • the necessity of nonviolent popular rebellion
And they agree that--by staying within the corrupt and corporate-controlled Democratic Party--Left-ish presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is doing more harm than good.

Introduction by KD.

Chris Hedges

Excerpted from an installment of the KPFK-FM program, Ralph Nader Radio Hour, July 11, 2015. Audio courtesy of ralphnaderradiohour.com.

* The "Broadcast quality" MP3 audio file has an updated introduction (March 2020). This unstallment was previously broadcast, as NWN #390, in August 2015. The "Decent quality" MP3 file is identified as (and is identical with) #390.

Chris Hedges' recent book is Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt (Nation Books, 2015).


Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Climate Doom But Not Gkoom

Part 1: New World Notes #625, 28:02 (February 25)
Broadcast quality MP3 (32 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

Part 2: New World Notes #626, 29:13 (March 3)
Broadcast quality MP3 (33 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)


The human species is doomed, and we'll be gone by 2050, says scientist and ecology professor Guy McPherson. Irreversible, rapidly escalating climate change--caused by our hydrocarbon emissions and their aftereffects--will destroy our habitat sooner than most people expect. And no captain of industry, university president, or politician would risk damaging his or her career to save the species.

Part One: What to do? That's next week's installment. This week McPherson focuses on how serious the climate change situation already is--and how deeply mired in denial are all the leaders and all the institutions of the "civilization" that is responsible for the calamity.

Part Two: First McPherson discusses whether any force will rescue us. Aliens? God? (In each case, probably not). Then he considers the ethical question, How should we behave in the face of our impending demise?

We end with a comic sketch by George Carlin, who--similarly--discusses ways of going out with style.

For both men, it's Doom yes, but Gloom not necessarily.


Introductions (to both parts) by K.D.

 Guy McPherson

Guy McPherson is Professor Emeritus of Natural Resources and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona.  His Web site is www.guymcpherson.com .

McPherson's words are from an interview in Winnipeg, Canada, February 7, 2014. Audio courtesy of the producer, Michael Welch, of Global Research News Hour on CKUW-FM, Winnipeg. Lightly edited and condensed by K.D.

Previously broadcast on NWN in May 2014. Files downloaded from the links, above, are identified as NWN #322 and 323.


Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Corporate Plunder and Popular Revolt

Part 1: New World Notes #623, 28:50  (February 11)
Broadcast quality MP3 (40 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

Part 2: New World Notes #624, 28:51 (February 18)
Broadcast quality MP3 (40 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)


Journalist Chris Hedges traces the rise of the Corporate State, the destruction of democracy, and the corporate plunder of society. And he surveys successful examples of nonviolent popular rebellion.

In Part One he discusses how corporations subverted democracy in the US since 1914. And he takes us to some of America's "sacrifice zones"--areas devastated by unrestrained corporate plunder. He concludes with a scathing critique of the Democratic Party for selling out the people to the corporations.

In Part Two Hedges discusses the Obama Administration's assault on civil liberties--a way of suppressing both dissent and popular resistance to corporate plunder, he believes. He ends with examples of nonviolent popular resistance toppling oppressive systems--for instance in East Germany and Czechoslovakia.

Top: Joe Sacco (illustrator) and Chris Hedges (writer).
They co-authored Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt.
Above: Occupy Wall Street, 2012.

Chris Hedges spoke in Seattle on June 29, 2011. Our installments contain most of the full talk, broadcast by Mike McCormick on Mind Over Matters.  Thanks yet again to Mike.

Originally broadcast, as NWN #236-237, in September 2012. Part 1 now contains an updated introduction (February 2020) by KD.




Sunday, February 2, 2020

The Map Is Not the Territory

New World Notes #622, 27:28 (February 4):
Broadcast quality MP3 (38 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

Click to enlarge (all graphics)

Illusion vs. reality in America today. Getting lost on Groundhog Day inspires a reflection by K.D. on S.I. Hayakawa's maxim, "The map is not the territory." The "map" of reality handed to us by the corporations and politicians falsely depicts the lay of the land (so to speak). Inaccurate maps are useful to Established Power, bad for the rest of us.

Plus--making similar points--a selection from Virtual Renderings' new audio collage. Includes commentary by Woody Harrelson, Chris Hedges, and Jordan Maxwell and a timely song by Jackson Browne.

Virtual Renderings' collage is titled, "Ponderings From Within Leviathan." The complete (56-minute) version is available for free download. (Lo-Fi version and program information page are also available.)

Above: S. I. Hayakawa
Below: Suzuki Hayabusa
(Easy to confuse!)

Originally broadcast, as NWN #310, in February 2014. Files downloaded from the links, above, are identified as #310.


Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Potpourri 7 (Football & Other Offenses)

New World Notes #621, 28:05 (January 28)
Broadcast quality MP3 (40 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)


A bit of this and that--with a fair amount of the "this" being football. Features Progressive sports commentator Dave Zirin (with Ralph Nader) on traumatic brain injury; George Carlin; radical Black activist and writer Mumia Abu-Jamal (discussing not football but Howard Zinn); yours, truly; and a satiric song by Tom Lehrer (1953).

Thanks to The Ralph Nader Radio Hour (January 2019) for our selection from the Dave Zirin interview, and to Black Agenda Radio (December 2019) for the talk by Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Tom Lehrer (1960)


Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Economics and Inequality

Part 1: New World Notes #619, 28:46 (January 14)
Broadcast quality MP3 (40 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

Part 2: New World Notes #620, 28:10 (January 21)
Broadcast quality MP3 (39 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)


Economist Joseph Stiglitz shows that economic inequality in the U.S. is bad, and it is getting worse. Likewise, inequality of opportunity. The causes of the problem--says Stiglitz--are the U.S.'s dysfunctional style of capitalism and a political system that increasingly serves only the economic elite, not "the 99%."

The situation is not only bad for democracy, it's even bad for capitalism, Stiglitz argues. (No socialist, Stiglitz wants to reform capitalism, not replace it.)

Stiglitz's talk is short of proposed solutions, but it is an excellent, lucid, and very listenable survey of the problems we face--and their causes.

Stiglitz's accolades include the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. He is former Chief Economist of the World Bank and former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors. He gave this talk, in Washington D.C., in 2012 on his tour supporting his book, The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future (Norton, 2012).

 Previously broadcast in February 2016. Files downloaded from the links, above, are identified as NWN #414 and 415.