Web links related to the Back of the Book program of March 4, 2002
It is now Monday morning 3/11/2002 03:58:26 and this page is finished. I got to some items on this program that I'd not been able to get to on the previous program. I also had some sad things to talk about because some people I knew had died in the previous fortnight. I did make a serious dent in the mail backlog and I think I went off on a couple of tangents. Below is the usual mixture of tenses because of parts of this page being written at different times. We all have to live with that. So this page is done, enjoy.
Here is the latest on the saga of Pacifica. I have the information there about the next meeting of the interim Pacifica National Board in Los Angeles, CA, along with details about the agenda.
Here's what I was saying about the WBAI part of the overall crisis in August. I seriously need to update this.
I'm very glad to note that at WBAI the gag rule is dead, for now.
As we move into the next phase of the Pacifica Crisis some listeners are more convinced than ever that only open elections will provide a long range cure for the Pacifica Crisis. Here's an election proposal.
Our colleagues from Off the Hook now have both a RealAudio streaming web cast operating, and a new MP3 stream both of which were working at about 8:05 PM last night. The MP3 feed is now the preferred feed.
We had a marathon program for the last show and I'd like to thank everyone who contributed as well as the folks who took the pledges: Bob, Mike, Marsha, Rat Girl of the West, Maxwell J. Schmid and of course Seth who did the job of Tally. I couldn't have done it without them. And we got $1,650 pledged.
On a previous program I was talking about the serious possibility of life on other planets, as opposed to the “alien abduction” sort of discussion. At that time I was talking about the probe that was going to be sent to the Jovian moon named Europa. Well, the bean counters at NASA, and that idiot George W. Bush, have cancelled the project!
I talk about science a lot, and so it's bothersome that some morons in Ohio are trying to force some stupid superstitious nonsense on the Ohio school system.
I talked a bit on the program about some old friends the news of whose deaths reached me in the fortnight before the program.
Sylvia Rivera was a new member of the militant Gay Activists Alliance (GAA) when I met her in the Spring of 1970.
Sylvia became famous that Spring when she was carrying the first ever petition for gay civil rights. This was called “The Greitzer Petition” because it asked the City Council person from Greenwich Village, Carol Greitzer, to introduce legislation that would provide for civil rights for gay people. In those days the word “gay” was considered to cover everyone. The balkanization and separatism hadn't set in yet.
Sylvia was a drag queen and could be quite flamboyant. While most of us hawked the petition through the streets of Greenwich Village Sylvia took the petition to Times Square and 42nd St. to get signatures. While she was getting signatures the police came along and told her to stop, and to get off 42nd St. But there was still someone signing the petition. The cops said to go. Sylvia insisted on having the person signing finish signing the petition. The cops arrested Sylvia.
This was quite a First Amendment case. Those of us in GAA thought that it would be obvious to anyone that getting signatures for a petition for redress of grievances, as it says in the Constitution, was exercising a fundamental right and should be protected, whether they were wearing a dress at the moment or not. But when we attempted to get the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) involved they refused to take the case, the lawyer saying, “We wouldn't touch this case with a stick.” The idea that a gay drag queen would or should have rights was a bit advanced for them then.
Luckily, a young, idealistic lawyer named Hal Weiner was there in the court room and was outraged at the violation of Sylvia's rights and also at the reaction of the ACLU lawyer. So he took the case and it got a lot of publicity.
I'd like to say that we fought the case and smashed the City's prosecution in court. Unfortunately, the case ended up petering out more than anything else. The arresting officers just never showed up in court. The City kept going to court, court dates went on getting set and then turning out to be exercises in no one from the prosecution's side showing up. Eventually it all got dismissed because of the delays. Obviously this was less problematic for the City government than a high profile First Amendment case would have been.
Around this time Sylvia was also one of the founders of a group called Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR). The word “transvestite” in the group name varied from singular to plural and back again several times over the lifetime of the group.
Sylvia contracted AIDS a few years ago and when I last saw her she was very thin and looked ill, even though she was holding down a job and was able to do day to day things while still seeming as happy go lucky as ever. In the end I've read that it was liver cancer that took Sylvia from us.
I doubt that Sylvia would be accepted in most gay/lesbian/bisexual/trans groups today. Hell, I doubt that most of the membership of GAA would be accepted in most gay/lesbian/bisexual/trans groups today!
I also reminisced about John Paul Hudson , who wrote under the name John Francis Hunter. He wrote The Gay Insider, among other books. He was also an actor and a gay activist. I knew John from GAA also.
The Vernal Equinox, when Spring arrives, will occur on Wednesday, March 20th, 2002, at 2:16 PM (EST).
On the program I read from a piece in the New York Times that says, “In navigating the world and deciding what is rewarding, humans are closer to zombies than sentient beings much of the time.”
This article's thrust is in line with other brain research which says that we're all walking around in a waking dream for our entire lives. So when we think we're doing things for the reasons we state, we're frequently wrong. Ah, the delusions we inhabit.
And of course I did get to some of the mail on the program. We got through a number of snail mail messages, including some from Fernando about space aliens. Here are the E-mails we read on the air.
Ah, well, Fernando's his usual self. Next we have a missive from a listener who says she's the 20th Back of the Book listener! And considering that she is from British Columbia, which Pickles of the North confirmed on the air is way off in Canada, she may also be one of the farthest listeners, and was probably the most distant contributor during the last marathon.
My intro is Barracuda by Heart, the music I play just before baring it all and reading the mail is The Stripper by David Rose, and the outtro is Baker Street by Gerry Rafferty.
And Judy's Web site is interesting too. Some of her work reminds me of what my first girlfriend The Evil Morelab used to do.
Next we have North American Shirley dropping a hint about my diet and how it affects the tiny fragment of brain I have lodged in my skull.
Oh, gosh, I'm blushing. But I'm certainly glad that she likes the program.
As is obvious there are a number of people vying for being the 19th or 20th listener to Back of the Book. This listener is from another continent! One of the things that the Internet connections have done is give some of us who are on in really bad times slots listeners in places on the globe where we're on in pretty good time slots! But for Taka here I'm apparently on at an even worse hour. Oh well.
I'm certain that the late hour and alternating nature of the program's time slot are a part of the reason why we have so few listeners. Yeah, but they're good listeners, they really listen!
I'm not sure I know what Taka means about child molesting through.
Next, we have an E-mail from Sharon, the wicked witch of the east (side) where she talks about George W. Bush, who is not President, and his amazing adventures as his alter ego “Pretzel Boy.”
Another long distance Internet listener! Unfortunately, neither WBAI nor I have an archival copy of the program ready for streaming. MP3 files of the program that sound good are too big to fit within my web site, and ones that will fit are of too poor sounding an audio quality for me to want them up. Some day, however, we may figure it out.
In January the “gag rule” was lifted and I spoke on the air very freely about my analysis of what's been going on at WBAI and within Pacifica. Here's a listener who appreciated what I said.
I'm not sure who that was. Could it have been our old friend Lynn Samuels? She seems to be doing okay these days.
I have been listening to your show for some time now. But you show this week, (1/22/02) has given me a new level of respect for you, and here is the reason why.
The recent battles of WBAI has been interesting at best but I always knew that in a dispute like this, you rarely get the truth from either side. Some people said I should believe the so called “dissidents,” but why? Simply because they say so?I needed more proof than that.
Some that I still have respect for, (such as Amy Goodman, who had my respect ever since her interview with then President Bill Clinton). Some of them I don't anymore. (in particular ______ ______ who tonight acted like a sniveling bitch of a man on his show _________ night/________ morning).But enough of this stuff about the other personalities.
There are a lot of issues that we can't talk about on the air at WBAI. But there is an Internet list called “Free Pacifica!” which you can subscribe to, and these issues are discussed there. If you subscribe to it you will receive, via E-mail, all of the messages which are sent to that list. You will also be able to send messages to the list.
If you want to subscribe to the “Free Pacifica!” list just click on this link and follow the instructions, and you'll be subscribed. Could open your eyes a little bit.
The above list has occasionally produced a high volume of E-mail because of the attention that these issues have drawn. If you would prefer to subscribe to a low volume list that only provides announcements of events related to these issues then subscribe to the FreePac mailing list.
Another list that's sprung up is the “NewPacifica” mailing list. This one is very lively and currently includes over 400 subscribers coast to coast. Being lively, of course, it sometimes also gets a bit nasty. All sorts of things are happening on this list. With that warning in mind, you can look at the NewPacifica list here, and you can join the list from that Web page too, although you'll have to deal with Yahoo! to do so.
There is also the more WBAI specific “Goodlight” Web based message board. This one has a great many people posting anonymously and there's also an ancillary board that's just totally out of hand.
The “Goodlight” Web based message board has expanded to cover all Pacifica stations.
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