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).
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Media critic Robert McChesney was in town this week to talk about his new book, co-authored with John Nichols, Tragedy and Farce: How the American Media Sell Wars, Spin Elections, and Destroy Democracy. The Old Mole's Denise Morris talks with him about what independent journalism needs in order to survive. McChesney is co-founder of Freepress, and you can read an article summing up his book here.
Book Mole Larry Bowlden reviews Portland writer Heidi V. Durrow's first novel The Girl Who Fell From the Sky. It's about being neither black or white in a world that thinks in black and white.
An archive of Larry's reviews can be found here.
Oregonians will be voting on two state tax measures that increase what corporations and wealthy individuals contribute to State government. Steve Novick from the Yes For Oregon campaign talks with the Old Mole's Bill Resnick about what the measures would do and the fallacies in the arguments of the opposition. You can contact the campaign at 411 N.E. 19th Ave. Portland, OR 97232 | 503-234-0444 or through their website.
James Cameron's new blockbuster movie Avatar has been widely debated: what is it really saying about people with disabilities, the environment, racism, colonialism, and other important social questions? Our Movie Moles Frann Michel and Denise Morris have a rousing good time taking down the pretensions of this huge movie phenomenon. Their blog has lots of quotes from and citations of the ongoing discussion of the film.
Can electricity be produced locally where it can be controlled by local communities? Yes, claims Judy Barnes of Oregonians For Renewable Energy Policy in this conversation with Bill Resnick. She points to the example of Germany where it is possible for residents to sell back to the system the energy they produce themselves with solar panels or windmills -- or maybe even by riding their stationary bikes! Barnes will be speaking at a Community Forum on Building a Green Oregon, Saturday, January 16 and the First Unitarian Church, SW 12th and Salmon, starting at 10 am.
Radical musicologist Brad Duncan talks with Bill Resnick about the political rap artists The Welfare Poets, Chosan, and Black Skeptik. We hear samples of their music followed by a discussion of their music as the poetry and the politics of everyday life. Here are links to videos of Black Skeptik, "Rent"; Chosan, "This is My America;" and The Welfare Poets, "Warn Them."
Hosted by Clayton Morgareidge, this show discusses Oregon tax measures with Steve Novick; the blockbuster movie "Avatar," making the power grid democratic, and the latest in political rap music.
To hear the whole show, use the play button below. To hear individual pieces and find more information, follow these links:
Kristian Williams, Portland writer and author of Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America, continues his discussion of last week with Bill Resnick about police violence. In this second part of the interview, Bill and Kristian look at what it would take to make policing non-violent.
Examining the case of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the young Nigerian man who tried set off an explosion on a plane from Amsterdam as it approached Detroit on Christmas day, Clayton Morgareidge suggests that terrorist acts can result from the frustration of the democratic desire for solidarity. For the text of this commentary and links to sources, go here.
Alain Badiou enunciates the communist hypothesis: The subordination of labor to a dominant class, (whether it be a class of capitalists or a class of party bureaucrats) is not inevitable. If so, then the existence of a coercive state, with the violent policing we heard about at the beginning of this show, is not inevitable either. Here is the Old Mole’s Frann Michel making the case for this hypothesis, and for the courage to weather the hard times of struggle. You can read the text and find her sources here.