Sunday, April 17, 2005

The Laura Flanders Show today, Flanders speaking dates, Goodman speaking in Las Vegas tonight and why we address these events

Here's what's on The Laura Flanders Show today (which is this evening, tonight, or this afternoon if you listen live, depending on where you live; seven pm to ten pm eastern time):

As bad economic news piles up, will our side stop Congress from making matters worse? TIA SWETT of the Mobilization for Global Justice will call in live, from the weekend's protests in Washington at the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. Then representative SHERROD BROWN, D-OH, and author of "Myths of Free Trade: Why American Trade Policy Has Failed," on the upcoming congressional fight over CAFTA, the Central American Free Trade Agreement. And one day before the Catholic Church begins its deliberations on who the next Pope will be, ANGELA BONAVOGLIA, journalist and author of "Good Catholic Girls," on how Catholic women are leading the movement to bring change to the Catholic Church. Join the blog and check out Laura's book tour schedule. This week she's in Burlington, Houston and Austin, with Tariq Ali. Come out and introduce yourself!

Burlington, Houston and Austin? Here are Laura Flanders upcoming speaking dates:

Burlington, VT
Monday 4/18, 7-9 pm
Conversation with Tariq Ali at The University of Vermont.
Ira Allen Hall.
Co-sponsored by Vermont Progressive Party and the UVM Women's Center.

Houston, TX
Tuesday 4/19, 7:30 pm
Conversation with Tariq Ali at The University of Houston.
Houston Room, Second Floor, University Center.

Austin, TX
Wednesday 4/20, 7-9 pm
Conversation with Tariq Ali at The University of Texas.
Jester Auditorium, A121, 21st & Speedway.

Durham, NC
Monday 4/25 Noon
Brown Bag Lunch.
Duke University.
Perkins Library, Rare Books Room.
Co-sponsored by The Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History & Culture.
7 pmThe Regulator Bookshop.
720 Ninth Street.
(919) 286-2700.

Boulder, CO
Monday 5/24 pm
Lecture at The University of Colorado, Old Main Chapel.
Followed by reception with the Women's Studies Department at the Women's Studies Cottage.
7 pm
Word is Out Women's Bookstore.
2015 10th Street.
303 449-1415.

Tuesday 5/3
12-1 pm
Lecture at Denver University.
Co-sponsored by the Gender & Women's Studies Department.
The Chamber Center.
The Garden Room.
5:30-7 pm
The Denver Woman's Press Club.
1325 Logan Street.
7:30 pm
The Mercury Cafe.
2199 California Street.
(303) 294 9258

Thursday 5/5
4 pm
Keynote address at The University of Colorado Women's Studies graduation ceremony.
Old Main Chapel.
St Louis, MO

Thursday, 5/12,
7 pm
Left Bank Books.
399 North Euclid.
(314) 367-6731

Friday, 5/13,
2 pm
The National Conference for Media Reform, panelist, "Creating the Solution."

Jonah e-mails asking if "announcements take up time and space that could be devoted to real issues?" While I understand what Jonah's asking, I think Laura Flanders' or Amy Goodman's or
whomever's speaking events are real issues.

The book industry has lagged and cut back on speaking events. I'm not sure who puts together Flanders' and Goodman's speaking events, but they are doing a great job (as are the two women) because as Lucy noted last week, "Thank God, someone other than Cokie Roberts is coming to my university!"

From my own college days, I can remember the Republican chapters turned out this speaker or that speaker and the Democratic campus chapter didn't have anyone. (Has to do with funding and you can read David Bock's The Republican Noise Machine for more on that.)

I don't know that Goodman or Flanders claims a party affiliation (they are of the left) and voices not supported by either of the two major parties are even more important because they increase the dialogue.

Amy Goodman is in Las Vegas tonight.

Let's note that again:

Las Vegas, NV:
Sunday, April 17, 7pm
The Reading Room

3930 Las Vegas Blvd. South Suite 201
Las Vegas, NV 89119
Book signing event Free and open to the public

[Addtional speaking dates for Amy Goodman's Un-Embed the Media Tour can be found at The Exception to the Rulers web page -- which is also a permalink on the left side of this page.]

Hopefully it will be a sizeable turnout. But it goes beyond that. The people who attend will tell friends about it. The people in the area who learn about it (some after the effect) become aware that other voices are out there.

You can call it getting ideas into the market place (I'd call it getting ideas into the discourse) but
it does make a difference. And it makes a difference whether ten or fifty or one hundred or more attend. Both Goodman and Flanders are strong speakers and inspiring ones.

And any voice not appearing to plug the Fortune 500 is a big thing.

It's about planting seeds and getting ideas out there.

Anything that goes beyond the usual appearences that push Cokie Roberts as a Democratic (oh, my sides are hurting from laughing) increases our understanding not just of what's out there but it also lets us see that brave individuals (such as Flanders or Goodman, or Danny Schechter earlier with WMD) don't just have some regional appeal but have strong support if their ideas are able to be put out there.

I think it's great what they're doing (and the series that The Nation is planning). And notice something about the dates for Flanders or Goodman or anyone similar -- they aren't just going to "swing states." Unlike the Democratic Party's recent idea of how to run a campaign and connect with people, Flanders, Goodman, et al aren't taking the attitude of, "Oh, that state always goes Republican so what chance does little me have there?"

That's an attitude I hope Howard Dean strongly deals with. I think the country's tired of seeing shy, retiring national candidates.

Let's deal with two cities considered "extremely liberal" by the mainstream: New York City and San Francisco. Maybe they're so "extermely liberal" because they have more access to speakers and events than some other towns?

If an area is exposed to only one set of ideas (which media consolidation on all levels, but especially locally has allowed and encouraged), I think it's a big step to stereotype the area without considering how many "drop outs" you may have. People drop out all the time. They get tired of hearing the same exact thing being mouthed by various faces. They disengage from the process because they are getting one message and they realize that message doesn't speak to them. (And if you need to supporting evidence, you can look at voter turnout.)

Seeing a flyer or advert for Flanders, Goodman, The Nation, Schechter or whomever, means maybe you don't go to the event, but you may think, "Who is that person?" And if you see a book or a film or flip the radio dial or TV channel and come across one of them, you may pay attention. The mainstream media has focused on the right and some centerists and it's effected the country.

I realize what Jonah is saying and this isn't a slap on the wrist to him. We certainly have a ton of things to talk about and don't get to most of the things I have on my own list (I do try to get to the things members e-mail in regarding). There are days when I think, for instance, "Okay, today we're going to hit hard on what's going on in Iraq" (which requires going way beyond any reporting in the New York Times) and then a member e-mails something and Iraq (or whatever) gets put on hold.

On this end, I long ago had to let go of the idea that I could plan what we'd talk about because this is a community that's driven by members needs and interests. And we don't play gatekeeper by saying, "Oh that topic? Mmmm. No."

The occupation is very important, the environment is very important, human rights are very important. We could go on and on. But the most important thing, from members e-mails and I'd agree with this, is getting the word out. And certainly, anyone hearing a voice like Goodman or Flanders or Schecther or whomever is going to be exposed to more than one topic.

We can multi-task. (Even if I do a poor job of that.) We can focus on more than one issue at a time. And we need to because issues are related and we need to start integrating. And I'm summarizing an old college term paper here so I've probably lost everyone there. But briefly, in the atomist age we learned how to divide the atom, how to divide this that and everything else.
Classifications and systems and ladders, that's all great. It helps you analyze and learn. But we need to move towards integrating what we're learning and seeing. (Which isn't my original thought, Anais Nin spoke of that in great detail, and with great excitement, when she began to learn of computers in the early seventies and hoped that the integrated circuit might provide us with the means to start pulling things together.)

So I'm guessing that Jonah has some issues he wants addressed that he feels are getting lost.
We can get to those (e-mail what they are Jonah) and we can deal with those but we need to move towards synthesis and integration of ideas and that only happens if we get the word out. That's getting the word out as a community for us here. And that's what Flanders, Goodman, Schechter, The Nation, et al are attempting to do when they travel here, there and everywhere (to steal from the Beatles). So we'll note these things when members bring them up or I happen to notice them. (Members are better able to juggle and remember than I am.)

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