Saturday, July 08, 2006

RadioNation with Laura Flanders: Sat. Ann Wright, Kris Delmhorst; Sunday: Robert Scheer, Dr. Mona

Kat: "Where are the posts?" I actually called C.I. and asked that. They're here. C.I.'s holding the Times entry to include Mike and Cedric. And Ruth's got an amazing thing that C.I. and Ruth are trying to figure out where to cut. All of it's going up but it's long and they're trying to figure out where the natural break is so it can go up in two parts. C.I. explained that there was a guest on this weekend's RadioNation with Laura Flanders that the community wasn't going to be too excited about. I knew that already. I knew that because I saw him does his little whimpers on the Zapatistas. (I wrote about that Wednesday when I filled in at Rebecca's site.)

I said, "No problem." Because C.I. was wondering how I was going to note the show. If you haven't noticed, C.I. hadn't, if I don't care for a guest, I don't note them here. There was a time when I'd just copy and paste the guest list here in full. I stopped doing that. I'll note the ones I like or the ones I don't know about but that sound interesting. But, for instance, when there was anti-Ireland guest (or anti-Irish Catholics who wrote this crappy little thing once attacking them), I didn't note that guest. If that guest were on this weekend, I wouldn't note the guest again. I'm Irish-Catholic.

If there's a guest that I know the community doesn't care about, I respect that. The show's worth listening to for Laura Flanders. I have no problem, regardless of guests, of noting it for Laura but if someone's on that I don't like, I either listen to that segment for a little bit to see if maybe the guest is going to surprise me or I use that time to run some errands or do something else.

So here are the guests I'm noting. On Saturday, which we're not sure we're going to be covering at The Third Estate Sunday Review because we've got a lot we want to do in this edition, there's going to be discussions on Gaza which should be really interesting. And I'm really looking forward to hearing Ann Wright discuss the Troops Home Fast at the White House. Kris Delmhorst will discuss her new CD Strange Conversation and the role and power of art. That's what I'm looking forward to.

Then on Sunday, Dr. Mona El Farra will be a guest and she'll be discussing Gaza. Rebecca always tries to get her full name and usually ends up calling her "Dr. Mona." That's actually what a lot of people call her. If you don't, chances are you're not familiar with her. You should make a point to listen. Dr. Mona is an important voice. I don't know Leland Kim but he'll be on discussing Korea and I'm sure that will be interesting. So will Robert Scheer who has a new book about his years covering politics and presidents.

Are there other guests? Yes, there are. They don't speak to me if I don't note them, or not I'm aware of them. I'm not interested in someone's hate speech about Ireland as they rush to assure they were working for the US government over there and they know what it's like. I know what it's like over there too. My family usually visits each year. It's where our roots are. I don't need the hate speech, honey.

I don't care to highlight someone who trashes the Zapatistas. They really have become the Ralph Nader and maybe we can all wake up to the fact that sometimes what costs a candidate votes is the fact that they run a weak campaign?

In other news, I know Goldie and West are working on their own newsletter that will be up and running by next week because Polly has told Goldie, "You do so much and we never hear about what the young people are doing. Just on how lazy they are." Polly thought that was just the way news traveled to England. Nope, it's here too. And you can get attention by playing dumb on the youth of America and decrying their lack of enthusiasm and activism. It's not like much of the media (any form of media) bothers to cover what the youth of America is doing.

For instance, it was here and only here that I heard about the conference that's going on right now, "Generation Y Puts a New Face on the Peace Movement: Youth Anti-war Organizers & Young Iraq Vets Talk Strategy On Ending The War." But just as women can always get mainstream coverage by trashing the feminist movement, youth 'voices' can always get attention by peddling some conventional wisdom about how the youth of America is failing to get active. Lot of people make a name for themselves as the queen bee, the exception.

Right now, a number of authors, filmmakers and activists are unearthing many of the uncovered actions and activism during the Vietnam era. Maybe in a few decades, we'll hear about the movements that were going on today?

I highlight what I want when I do these entries. Laura's always worth highlighting but, in terms of guests, I started listing only those who spoke to me or that I knew nothing about a long time ago. If you listen this weekend and you hear someone I didn't note there's one of two reasons: I didn't know they were going to be on the show or they're not someone who speaks to me.

If I know a guest has offended the community, I'm not going to do a hard sell on them or tell the community, "You're wrong! They're a great guest!" I mean, maybe if I thought that. But the consensus of the community is usually something I agree on.

I said, in the first thing I ever wrote for this site (back in December of 2004), that we needed to draw the line. I have no problem drawing it. The youth movement in America is alive and well. I knew they were concerned from visiting the art classes that friends teach. As C.I. and I became friends and C.I. started involving me in some of the stuff going on, I saw that there were real leaders. I won't spit on them by saying, "Guys, there's this young American who's going to be on discussing how the youth of America is directionless and you are so going to love it!" They aren't directionless but it's probably an easy way to win a contest. If you think about it, that's been going on for generations. Young writers in the thirties, forties, fifties, sixties, all the way up to today, have always seemed to instinctively know that they could win an award from older people by writing about how directionless their youth was. It's a self-pleasing narrative. It's not truth, it's not reality, but it's self-pleasing. They get patted on the head, handed a gold star and made an exception. That's probably been true since the beginning of time.

When our latest entry in 'the stab my own generation in the back' crowd came along, a number of younger members in this community were outraged. It's why West and Goldie are teaming up to cover the actions of young America in their newsletter. Face to face, I spoke to a young woman at a party at C.I.'s Thursday. She brought up that article and then listed the hours, from just this week, that she'd given to activism. She didn't list all the time it took to stay up on the news, just the hours she's put in this week on the war, on the bulldozing of the farm, on a number of issues. She'll never win a prize, she's too busy being active to be 'reflective.' But a million Nicky Kristofs are born on any given Sunday. They don't get links from me or word of mouth.

And I could've walked through that party and spoken to any other young person there and heard a similar story of what they were doing, how many hours they were giving. There's always apathy in any generation (at any age of the generation) and there's always activism. As C.I. would say, on crime rate and activism, "It's the demographics, stupid." That's really true. And in terms of the "sixties," you had one of the largest youth generations. Every baby boomer wasn't out marching but when the pool from which activists is drawn is so large, it's easy to assume that they were.

I drew my line. It's up to each member to draw their own.

RadioNation with Laura Flanders airs from seven to ten p.m. on Air America Radio, XM satellite radio and online, Saturdays and Sundays. Posts, or entries, are going up here. Show some patience and make a point to listen Laura this weekend.