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).
Our graphic lettering is by Charlie Ertola.
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Is PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) a useful concept for thinking about how people deal with a society saturated in violence? What is gained by using it to treat soldiers suffering from the results of battle mayhem? Can it be extended to understand women in abusive relationships, or children growing up in a police state? Two mental health professionals discuss the history of the concept, its usefulness and its limits -- the Old Mole's Jan Haaken and Rebecca Hyman, a student of trauma theory.
Do higher taxes on businesses and wealthy individuals drive down investment and cost us jobs? Not at all, according to Karen Kraut of United for a Fair Economy in this wide-ranging discussion with the Old Mole's Bill Resnick. In fact, higher taxes keep surplus wealth out of the finance casino and puts it to work in the real economy. The conversation is specific to Oregon where the modest tax increases on the rich and on comporations will be up for voter approval in January. Kraut also recommends this website relating to Oregon. See also The Green CPA, the source of this image.
This show is hosted by Tom Becker (pictured here), and covers this variety of topics: What has to happen to include jobs in the economic recovery (it's not happening now); a new film about Hip Hop culture spanning the distance between Portland and Sierra Leone; how stories about PTSD and psychiatry are being used to protect the planners of war from the guilt and trauma of war; and Elizabeth Strout's pulitzer prize book of fiction Olive Kitteridge.
To hear the whole show, use the play button below. To hear individual pieces and find more information, follow these links:
The economy is recovering -- but without jobs. Heidi Schierholz of the Economic Policy Institute talks with the Old Mole's Bill Resnick about what can and should be done right away to create enough jobs for everyone. Schierholz is one of the author's of the annual report The State of Working America.
Bridging the gap between the US and Africa with Hip Hop youth culture -- that's one of the aims of the new film Moving 2 the Beat, produced here in Portland and in Sierra Leone. Abdul Fofanah, co-director of the film and a Sierra Leonean -American, talks about the film here with Tom Becker.
Elizabeth Strout's book Olive Kitteridge is a set of short stories revolving around a central character, and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2009. Our reviewer Larry Bowlden tells us what's great about it. You can find more of Larry's reviews here.
Reponding to the recent shootings at Fort Hood, Psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Maureen Katz talks with the Old Mole's Jan Haaken about how the military uses psychiatry, and how the media portray PTSD and mental illness among soldiers and mental health workers. Who carries the trauma and the guilt produced by wars set in motion by the State? Katz is the author of an article on these matters: "Prisoners of Azkaban: Understanding Intergenerational Transmission of Trauma Due to War and State Terror (With Help from Harry Potter)."
What keeps us at war -- and without universal healthcare -- is not the moral failings of politicians but the system within which politicians -- including presidents -- are forced to act. That's the argument of investigative journalist Russ Baker in this conversation with the Old Mole's Bill Resnick. Baker is the author of Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, the Powerful Forces that Put it in the White House, and What Their Influence Means for America. He's also the the founder of the new website WhoWhatWhy.com where you can find more of his work.
Our Movie Moles Frann Michel and Jan Haaken give their psychoanalytic take on two current films dealing with the theme of mothers and sons: Antichrist, by the Danish director Lars von Trier; and Where the Wild Things Are, directed by Spike Jonze. Find out here which one they think you should see!
Jean-Paul Sartre's play "No Exit" is playing at Imago Theater, across the street from KBOO, through November 15. Here are Clayton Morgareidge's thoughts about what we can learn from it and it's famous line, "Hell is other people." You can read the text of this commentary here.