Old Mole Variety Hour
The Old Mole burrows down to the roots of the great issues of our time – the struggles of ordinary people for democratic and sustainable ways of life. The Mole goes where corporate media fear to tread, supporting grassroots challenges to top-down authority and giving voice to movements that shake the foundations of an unjust society. The Moles' perspective is democratic, broadly socialist, and feminist. (We count Karl Marx as a friend).
For individual segments and information about episodes, click the "audio" tab.
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How does music work as a form of organizing? What's the difference between protest songs sung by a musician from the stage and a song everyone sings together? Josh Wise, director of the Twin Cities Labor Chorus, discusses the music heard on this program (all of which is collected in this audio segment) and which he selected. Host Joe Clement conducts the interview.
Work done cooperatively and among equals gets better results than what comes out of a top-down, hierarchical organization. According to Dr. Robert Reid, this is demonstrated by the medical care provided by Group Health Cooperative, a consumer-governed, nonprofit health care system that coordinates care and coverage in Washington and Idaho. Here Reid talks with the Old Mole's Bill Resnick about this kind of medicine.
Denise Morris and Wendy Webb find a lot to discuss in Todd Solondz’s new film Life During Wartime, which follows up on his earlier film Happiness. This latest movie "pokes fun at the hypocrisy around American notions of freedom and democracy."
Hosted by Clayton Morgareidge, this program looks at how medical care is improved when delivered by people who are cooperating rather than being managed from the top; whether charity keeps us from dealing with the real probems; the new Todd Solandz movie Life During Wartime; and music that keeps lost causes from being forgotten so that they may rise again and succeed.
Wealthy people often give large amounts to charity, and everyone is encouraged to contribute to charities. But does charity, besides whatever good it does in the world, distract us from solving the real problems that charity so inadequately deals with? Joe Clement draws on Slavoj Žižek and Oscar Wilde to illuminate these questions. For an animated version of Žižek's remarks, go here. For a fuller version, go here. And to read Oscar Wilde's "Soul of Man Under Socialism," click here.
With the help of the Old Mole's radical musicologist Brad Duncan, we sample and discuss some music that keeps alive memories of lost battles that can nevertheless point the way to a better future. Among the battles are the Spanish Civil War, the 1984 British miners' strike, the life and death of Malcolm X, and the ongoing struggle for the rights of political prisoners in Northern Ireland. Here is a video of Ciaran Murphy's "Rebel Song" with images that give you an idea of what he's singing about.
Pictured here is Scottish musician Dick Gaughan, guitarist, singer, songwriter, composer and record producer. .
Book Mole, Larry Bowlden, reviews Pat Barker's award-winning "Ghost Road." It's the third in a trilogy about World War I. Larry explains:
"This is not a glorification of war book. Instead, it talks of the the war and battlefield in graphic and horrible detail that shows the bravery of the men who fought, but also the corruption of the British class-system and the money-interests of big business, especially as the war drags on long after it should have - with men dying not to the secure the victory, but to line the pockets of businessmen who are more interested in profits than the lives of soldiers."
Go to Larry's blog for this review and others in printed format.
Frann Michel surveys the news, blogs and scientific agencies to make sense of the unusual floods that have been happening in Pakistan. She makes the case for understanding these natural disasters as social phenomena.
- Genre: Other
- Length: 7:37 minutes (3.49 MB)
- Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 64Kbps (CBR)
Today's show, hosted by Denise Morris on the left, is about organic agriculture, the social conditions of otherwise natural disasters, plus reviews of Pat Barker's WWI-novel "Ghost Road" and the buddy-cop film "The Other Guys." Below are links to the individual segments:
Bill interviews Catherine Badgley about her research into the comparative outputs of organic and conventional agriculture. In an article she wrote with seven other colleagues, "Organic Agriculture and the Global Food Supply," she makes the case for organic agriculture feeding the world. This research begun when she visited a farm north of Ann Arbor where on 3-acres the farmer was growing 26 tons of produce organically. She responds to criticisms that organic agriculture receives from agribusiness.
Catherine Badgley teaches in the department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Michigan. Her primary interests are paleontology and the relationship between agriculture and biodiversity. Go to her faculty page to find other articles and talks she's given in these areas.