Virginia Tech Shooting, The Deluge, Mark Green Responds to His Email, Gramercy Finale for Maron Rollins & Garafolo......
Bear with me here... I've got pumps running in the basement and the intrepid Panda Garden deliveryman boating up here through the floods with $50 worth of Chinese food, in the interest of growing boys who want MEAT!! (and my little broccoli rabe and tofu steam on the side...though roast pork calls with a pretty intense voice....)
School was canceled and half my town is shut down...and I cant even describe the mess.
This is what it is going to be like as coastal areas go under water due to global warming. Maybe we wont have an alarmed Jake Glyndenhall looking over his shoulder at the ice wall rolling through Wall St., but the consequences of rising water and the inability of the ground to hold it all, is very real here at sea level...and even my place which is 200 feet above the water and sits up from the road on an upward sloping mountain of sorts, is completely overcome by the new amount of water that is coming down all at once, and over a long period of time. The water is shooting up out of the boulder in the basement, and as ready as I can be is not enough in the face of this thing. I'm a little scared at how this is playing out so quickly...and just from a layman's point of view, in the number of years that I have lived in this area, its changed pretty rapidly weather-wise. I don't need to read a scientific report that warming is real or have Rush Limbaugh tell me that this is part of a natural cycle and that I shouldn't worry...This is really happening, and something has to be done about it right away.
Meantime, people are shooting each other here and blowing up and shooting each other in Iraq and the clear voices that I've been listening to lately, speaking truth to... whatever it is anymore out there powering this thing (fear?), are dwindling as I work my way through the last podcasts on my iPod that mean anything ...I am struck by what I'm reading and what is going on, and the little tiny moments of clarity that Ive been having.
First the unclear: This Virginia tech shooting is unfolding horribly today, and as much as this sorta thing tends to happen from time to time (though apparently not on this level) and will undoubtedly be dissected over and over in the next few days, I view this as a tragedy that is part of the natural progression of a sick society that solves things with violence, and doesn't provide health care for its citizens. If its a crazy guy who did this, who would ever have known unless circumstances were just right? We're so busy trying to get them over there before they get us here ....and we want to spread our own brand of democracy so badly that we are willing to give up the rights that come with that democracy...but meantime, all we've really been doing is making sure that back in the homeland the profits of the health insurance companies, drug companies, and oil companies are safe.
So, while our down-armoured surge troops may be bravely trying to hold Baghdad, we're really at the mercy of the underpaid campus police, and the constraints of whatever healthcare, educational, and social system this guy was raised in.
For Christ's fuckin' sake, how is it possible that such a huge portion of OUR money is being funneled into the pockets of unregulated corporations and we are not taking care of our own people?
I cant possibly say that any specific event could be prevented, but I know for sure that its getting harder and harder for everyone in this country to stay even partially sane and get anything at all done besides the grind of work, family, crap you need to do, and trying to navigate the fucked up system and the huge amount of information coming at us all, much of it nonsense and noise. There is nothing to shoot for, for most people, and the American dream seems to be more about that winning the Lotto fairytale than any realistic plan of community coming together to make a better world...So, there is naturally so much more obsessive compulsive feeling about every little thing and an increase in depression too. If every loss, slight, or just the pain of living, eats away at so many of us, who is gonna be next? Who cares and who is even paying attention in an increasingly alienated society? ...and what are we thinking when we spend our resources to fight an ideological lie that doesn't have an end, much less any hope for victory or defeat,rather than taking care of our citizen's own safety and health?
Whats missing besides community and oversight is what might be possible if family were supported in our society; Why aren't we teaching critical thinking and ethics in school? What happened to philosophy?...even in the lower grades of public school in my own very good district, I see am early push towards cutting corners, the easy way out, and what is the best way to pass the test that allows the school to get funds. Lost in there somewhere are the patient steps necessary to actually solve problems, do research, figure things out, and knowledge of how to accomplish a task while learning. There is a lack of empathy all around and little time to address the needs of overcrowded classrooms full of kids who often just don't care....and its not that the teachers and school administrators aren't trying or don't care....they are victims of the priorities of our government; a government that used to value education, stability, and community above all.
So, will it be a spurned boyfriend? A foreigner? ...A local?....Will the police have screwed up?... the university? What sort of real security is there anywhere for any of us? Who are the campus police in our own lives?
This is just a tragic microcosm of the way things are going.
I don't want to go on too much about the Air America Radio situation because I'm pretty much gone from there and have only to cancel my premium, but I was struck today, first of all by Bobby Kennedy Jr's comments on Sam Seder's last show, that he had spoken to Mark Green and that he just cant understand what Green is thinking. That a terrible mistake is being made.
I love Bobby Kennedy Jr.....but, he doesn't understand? What must it be like for Mark Green, who is basically politcally impotent to have to have Bobby Kennedy Jr come to give him advice? Who's in charge now, Bobby?...But, it doesnt work that way, really. Bobby actually knows a thing or two, and the idea that he would have that conversation with Green and get nowhere is just incredible to me.
I've had more than one person imply that I'm being too conspiratorial in my growing feeling about this situation, (and I am NOT a conspiracy theorist by and stretch,) in that the blogosphere is full of comments that Green is moving the network towards center and into a safe political zone. It is not an understatement to say that that Sam Seder has been the heart of the place since certain shows were canceled and other certain people left the network...but more than that, there is something about Sam that makes him a great broadcaster. He isn't as multi-talented as Maron or as famous as Franken or as ...whatever...but the whole package has developed in a way that has made him into such an excellent voice for the network and the liberal viewpoint, that it makes no sense to get rid of him...unless he is too left for the new owners of the network, and one in particular who is always positioning himself in the power elite of NYC politics. I think that this slimy move to Lionel and the less substance model of broadcasting is something that he thinks will bring him closer to his goal of....?
I'm sure this must be a joke, but I'm struck by it nonetheless.... Via Jill to the Seditionists blog....its a joke, right? Jill: Draft Mark Green For President in 08...
With a big hat tip to Move To Iceland here is what Green had to say on AAR's page about the outpouring of protest emails of support for Sam Seder:
Comment from Mark Green about Sam Seder
I want to thank all of you who took the time to contact us at Air America about the Sam Seder Show. It shows you care and are part of our extended Air America family, even if we can't agree on every lineup judgment.
I, too, think Sam is terrific and was eager to keep him on air. After we discussed various possibilities, I'm very happy that we agreed on a new show that's really unlike anything else on radio (or television). The three hour program, as I wrote in my posted "Message" earlier week, will focus on "networks and netroots" -- that is, a review of the Sunday political talkfests with mostly bloggers as commentators.
Please know that, consistent with my 35 year history as a dedicated progressive advocate and author, I'm devoted to keeping Air America as the leader in progressive talk and to taking it from the red to the black. Both.
I believe when we're done with all our plans for the new Air America 2.0 -- in terms on overall lineup, new platforms, better marketing, important collaborations (like our partnership with MoveOn this week broadcasting the "Virtual Town Hall on Iraq") -- you'll be as optimistic as I am that Air America will both survive and thrive after a roller coaster past year.
Does Green think that we are idiots? They "agreed" that Sam should do this Sunday thing? He thinks that we all just don't agree on a simple lineup judgement, but are really part of an extended family? And he wants us to buy this shit about turning round the station that they got on the cheap into some fantasy-land of profitability? With Lionel at the morning helm?...Sam, Armstrong Williams, The Young Turks, Thommm Hartmannn?
No, this is so much more than that.
This was my answer to that in a comment on Move To Iceland:
... as a hard core AAR listener from the get go, I think that Mark Green is totally wrong in his shifting views of 2.0 and short sighted retooling.
We have to know that the old model of terrestrial radio as the only outlet for the programing that he thinks speaks to...um...the future(?) is living on borrowed time, as even old folks will eventually find themselves buying radios with the capacity to get internet content and wireless will reach 50 miles or more before we know it.....
To move ahead into a model that cuts out the strongest move towards the interactive, internet... movement is foolhardy.
regardless of Mark Green's political aspirations and what goes on in the power centers of NYC politics, where he has been scratching at the door for so many years, he is stone cold wrong to think that the only way that AAR will be a force will be through earnings.
He has thrown away more money on Starbucks for his campaign staff than it would cost to invest in the future of broadcasting....
But I don't see him doing that...I see him promoting his own vision of the good old boy's network...
Good luck Greens....
I think we used to call this penny dumber and pound dumber....
They've lost all of the best established talent who had already made the inroads and contacts that are paving the future....
Go on and serve the lowest denominator....
see ya at your future learning annex course on how to run for office...or how to run a radio network....
All I have left is a few observations from last night in New York City for the final night of the Garafolo/Rollins/Maron show.
First, the storm didn't keep anyone home...it was a pretty full house and a very good crowd. Also,Janeane is not as emaciated as Jill was thinking she is, nor does she really have the old lady upper arms that she seems to think she does. She was fantastic and brilliant. I was happy to see her again. She took off her coat!
I cant say much about Maron because you all know that I am too big of a fan of what he does to give you anything new....but he kicked ass...again!
Rollins does a great piece on what Wolfe Blitzer should have said to Cheney when Cheney shut him down about the gay daughter questioning. This is something that I hope he has written or put on a CD because it is so true in a universal sense about how the press should grow some balls. I really like it when Henry does these specific rants about current and real events in his life....I like it less when he goes off into his singing in the rain/isn't New York wonderful spiel....I like that he is positive but I don't get the feeling that he is revealing who he is...or maybe he is and its a little much for me....? I could watch him only 1.25 times over the course of 2 shows and hope to someday soon see him in a different venue to see if its any different. Following Maron isn't easy...that's something else I realized...their crowds are a little different and some people left. maybe it was the rain and that it was Sunday, but it was also a little too loud... unnecessarily so. That's just how he uses the mic. I like Henry but I would like to see him more focused.
Catch them in LA if you can, April 24th-29th...and also try to catch any of them separately wherever and whenever you can....its honestly a great time; you'll laugh, you'll cry...you'll wonder why these folks don't have more of a forum to talk to the world without all the corporate bullshit getting in the way.
I drove home through the Bronx listening to the Replacements, old Elvis Costello, and
Marvin Gaye...and managed to avoid all the cars that were hood deep in water, and the closed highways along the coast....
I love a good Nor'Easter....