Back of the Book — November 25, 2023

We almost didn't get this program on the air. The official WBAI schedule had another special fund raising program preempting us again, that was after we'd seen that we were on this week. Some E-mails, and just forging ahead to get a program produced no matter what, got us on the air. We were preempted last week, so it would be pretty disruptive to get preempted two weeks in a row. We talked about Pickles of the North's adventure going up north for a visit, and especially her problems getting back south to New York City. AMTRAK has done wrong by its passengers. R. Paul talked about celebrating 42 years at WBAI. It looks like the CDC just isn't putting out information about the COVID-19 pandemic even though a thousand or more people die of it each week. R. Paul talked about how depressing these very early sunsets are. More to come. I'll update this Web page at some point so check back in for those updates.

You can now listen to this program on the official WBAI Archive.

The next regular WBAI LSB meeting will be held on Wednesday December 13, at 7:00 PM. That meeting will be held on ZOOM, even though ZOOM compromises privacy and security. This will be the first meeting of the 13th WBAI LSB. It might be a wild time, given some of the things that people are saying on the LSB mailing list.

We had a LSB meeting on Wednesday November 8, 2023. It was the last meeting of the 12th WBAI LSB. For the second LSB meeting in a row I did not get to give an oral Treasurer's Report but the written version of the report is here. We had an objection about the phrasing of an agenda item, and then we were supposed to have had a report from the station's General Manager, but his phone didn't work right and after some time was spent on trying to get it to work we went on to the next agenda item which involved going into executive session. And as we tried to do that we were told that the General Manager was trying to get on the call. And then the discussion turned to the General Manager needing 15 minutes to get on and another member got on the call. A motion to go into executive session was mentioned but not made and then we went to another agenda item, but then the General Manager got on the call and delivered his report instead. We never did get to that executive session. The LSB is supposed to do an annual Management evaluation but we seem to have lost that in the agenda mess.

Some years ago the WBAI LSB voted to hold its regular meetings on the second Wednesday of every month, subject to change by the LSB, so we have the following schedule:

These meetings are set to begin at 7:00 PM.

WBAI has a program schedule up on its Web site. The site has gotten many of the individual program pages together to provide links and such, so check it out.

Here is WBAI's current Internet stream. We can no longer tell if the stream is working without testing every possible stream. Good luck.

WBAI is archiving the programs! WBAI has permanently switched to yet another new archive Web page! This one is more baffling than the previous one. For some time I was unable to post archive blurbs, then I could, and then I couldn't again. Now I can again and there are a whole bunch of archive blurbs up there now.

This is a link to the latest version of the official WBAI archive. The archiving software appears to have been at least partially fixed. To get to the archive of this program you can use the usual method: you'll have to click on the drop-down menu, which says Display, and find Back of the Book on that menu. We're pretty early in the list, so it shouldn't be too difficult. Once you find the program name click GO and you'll see only this Back of the Book program. Management has fixed some problems that we'd been having with the archives.

For programs before March 23, 2019, we're all out of luck. The changes that took place once WBAI Management took control of the WBAI archives seems to have wiped out all access to anything before that date in March. You'll have to click on the same drop-down menu as above, which says Display, and find Specify Date, it's the second choice from the top. You are then given a little pop-up calendar and you can choose the date of the program there. Then click GO and you'll see a list of programs that aired on that date. For those previous programs you can get the audio, but nothing else, since I can't post anything to those pages anymore. Yeah, it looks like they'll have some alternating program's name prominently there, but if you have the right date it'll be our program. Good luck.

Since the General Manager has banned Sidney Smith from WBAI he's not alternating with us on the air. As of November 2020, Back of the Book airs weekly.

Bring Back Uncle Sidney!

Our friend, fellow WBAI producer and Saddle Pal Uncle Sidney Smith has been banned from WBAI by General Manager Berthold Reimers. The General Manager will not say why. He won't even tell Sidney why he's banned! This is grossly unfair to Sidney and constitutes abuse of Staff. Why did Berthold ban Sidney?

AMTRAK makes a mess
AMTRAK Stranded Pickles of the North

Pickles of the North talked about her recent trip up north, and how the train actually arrived at the north around an hour ahead of schedule, as opposed to being four hours late the last time she went up north.

But then there was a hole in a Manhattan parking garage and all south-bound trains stopped at Albany. AMTRAK said they'd provide transportation after that or that Metro-North would honor AMTRAK tickets going to New York City going south from Albany. Well, when Pickles got to Albany there was no transportation and no help at all from AMTRAK. She was lucky enough to run into two very nice people who saw this little, older woman in a jam and their grandma instinct kicked in and they gave Pickles a ride in their taxi to the Metro-North station on the other side of the Hudson River where Pickles had to buy her own ticket to New York City. Well, she got home safely, no thanks to the people who run AMTRAK.

sars-cov-2 with Guy_Fawkes mask
Has the CDC Given Up?

Once again the CDC Web site has not updated their statistics Web page. It's been three weeks since they updated it. Yeah, millions have died around the world and I guess a weekly total of a thousand deaths or more from COVID-19 isn't considered to be of interest anymore.

The pandemic is clearly not over. Pickles of the North and I are still keeping our masks on. We've both gotten our new shots, we don't want to get this disease.

R. Paul has been at WBAI for 42 ,years
R. Paul Has Been at WBAI for 42 years!

I talked about being at the station since November 1981, and about how I got here and some of the things that have gone on over those years. I also lamented that a lot of my archived radio programs are only on old audio cassettes. Will I ever get to digitize them or is that personal history to all be lost?

I talked about the sunsets being so early now. We are in the full gloom time of the year. The Sun set today, Friday, at 4:32 PM (ET) and will continue to set earlier and earlier into next month when it will set at 4:28 PM (ET) for about a week or so. We're in late Autumn now, as of November 21st. Next stop the Winter Solstice on December 21st, at 10:27 at night. Dreary, depressing times ahead. I have a chart of the seasons here.

There are a lot of issues that are considered hazardous to talk about on the air at WBAI, even though the gag rule was lifted in 2002. However, there is the Internet! There are mailing lists which you can subscribe to and Web based message boards devoted to WBAI and Pacifica issues. Many controversial WBAI/Pacifica issues are discussed on these lists.

One open list that no longer exists was the WBAI-specific Goodlight Web based message board. It was sometimes referred to on Back of the Book as the bleepin' blue board, owing to the blue background that was used on its Web pages. This one had many people posting anonymously and there was also an ancillary WBAI people board that was just totally out of hand.

In June 2012, I ended up having to salvage the bleepin' blue board, and so I was the moderator on it for its last seven years, until it got too expensive.

Sometimes we used to have live interaction with people posting on the Goodlight Board during the program.

Our very own Uncle Sidney Smith, whose program Saturday Morning With the Radio On used to alternate with us, has a blog these days. You can reach his blog here.

There used to be a number of mailing lists related to Pacifica and WBAI. Unfortunately, they were all located on Yahoo! Groups. When Yahoo! Groups was totally shut down in December 2020, all of those mailing lists ceased to exist. One year earlier their file sections and archives of E-mails, had been excised leaving only the ability to send E-mails back and forth among the members. Now it's all gone. Older Back of the Book program Web pages tell a little more about those lists.

We like to stay interactive with our listeners. Here are the various options for you to get in touch with us.

You can also send me E-mail.

And now you can even reach me on Twitter Twitter logo

WBAI related links

A WBAI Listeners' Web page

WBAI Management's official Web site

Back to the Back of the Book page

Back to my home page.

The contents of this Web page are copyright © 2023, R. Paul Martin.