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).

Here is why we call this show "The Old Mole"

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 Our theme "Mole in the Ground" is by Bascom Lamar Lunsford  (1924), somtimes blended with a newer versions, like the one  by dj/rupture, sung by Sindhu Zagoren.  It's on the album Special Gunpowder

Our graphic lettering is  by Charlie Ertola.

You can leave comments for the Moles at  oldmolevarietyhour@gmail.com or by clicking on the comment section for any of our audio pieces.  

 

Episode Archive

Old Mole Variety Hour on 09/02/13

Air date: 
Mon, 09/02/2013 - 9:00am - 10:00am
Short Description: 
Lifestyle Drugs, Left and the Law on Chelsea Manning, D. Graeber on jobs, labor-themed Well-read Red

Joe Clement hosts this Labor Day Old Mole and we hear:

Old Mole Variety Hour on 08/26/13

Categories:
Air date: 
Mon, 08/26/2013 - 9:00am - 10:00am
Short Description: 
Social Security, "Fruitvale Station", and money and political cynicism

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Tom Becker hosts this show featuring Bill Resnick interviewing Max Richtman about the need to defend and extend both Social Security and Medicare; our Movie Moles reviewing Fruitvale Station; Clayton Morgareidge presenting an argument from David Graeber about how deeply money controls politics and how to overcome  the  resulting cynicism from both Right and Left about politics; and Tom reading from the left press.  

Old Mole Variety Hour on 08/19/13

Categories:
Air date: 
Mon, 08/19/2013 - 9:00am - 10:00am
Short Description: 
People's movements for freedom, "Orange is the New Black," more on community radio

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Clayton Morgareidge will host this show featuring a hopeful discussion the rolling and global wave of people's movements for freedom, a review of the TV series about women in prison "Orange is the New Black," more of our series on community radio with Paul Roland, and  Larry Bowlden's review of Jane Smiley's recent novel "Private Life".  

Old Mole Variety Hour on 08/05/13

Air date: 
Mon, 08/05/2013 - 9:00am - 10:00am
Short Description: 
Capital Social Relations and "economic man", South African politics, anarchist organizing

Joe Clement hosts this episode and we hear:

Old Mole Variety Hour on 07/29/13

Air date: 
Mon, 07/29/2013 - 9:00am - 10:00am
Short Description: 
A program of social and political commentary from a socialist-feminist point of view.

Old Mole Variety Hour on 07/22/13

Air date: 
Mon, 07/22/2013 - 9:00am - 10:00am
Short Description: 
Egypt, LGBTQI workers' rights, book mole, class & workers' co-ops

Old Mole Variety Hour

Frann Michel hosts the July 22, 2013 episode of the Mole, and we hear from

  • Bill Resnick talking with an expert on Egypt and left responses
  • Book mole Larry Bowlden reviewing Susanna Moore's novel, The Life of Objects (first published in 2012)
  • Joe Clement interviewing wobblies Adam & Daisy about the often missing or distorted class dimensions of worker-ownership schemes
  • Denise Morris talking with Yasmin Nair about anti-discrimination for lgbtq and the need to build a broader movement to fight at will labor law

 

 

Old Mole Variety Hour on 07/01/13

Air date: 
Mon, 07/01/2013 - 9:00am - 10:00am
Short Description: 
Hour of social and political commentary from a socialist-feminist perspctive

Joe Clement hosts this episode of the Old Mole and we hear:

Old Mole Variety Hour on 06/24/13

Air date: 
Mon, 06/24/2013 - 9:00am - 10:00am
Short Description: 
Mondragon and economic democracy, the politics of community radio, Nietzsche and Neoliberalism

Iven Hale hosts the next episode of the Old Mole and we hear:

Audio

Book Talk: Player Piano, by Kurt Vonnegut

program date: 
Mon, 08/04/2014
Joe Clement and Peter Frase talk about Kurt Vonnegut's first novel, Player Piano, originally published in 1952. The story of Player Piano is set not too long after WWII, and is about social anxieties and alienation in class society in the shadow of the machines that replaced much human labor in the United States during the war. It focuses on a soul-searching engineer, Paul Proteus, and his clandestine recruitment into a revolution against the machines. Joe and Peter discuss the novel's economic vision, how it reflects anxieties of its time and how they might still resonate today, the crisis for patriarchy technology creates and the patriarchal bias Vonnegut still has beneath his satire, the politics of sabotage and direct action in the economy, and more.

The originally aired interview was 10 minutes long. This version adds 15 minutes of conversation.

Peter Frase is a co-editor of Jacobin Magazine, has been on the Old Mole before to talk about the politics of work, and is currently working on a book that expands on his Four Futures article for Jacobin
  • Title: PlayerPiano
  • Length: 25:19 minutes (23.19 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)

Beyond Liberalism

program date: 
Mon, 08/04/2014

Clayton Morgareidge argues for why we need to "learn to see passed liberalism" and why "we must join and form and nurture political organizations that aim at transforming the capitalist and militarist system of power, which now governs our lives." He does this after admitting the many points of agreement between socialists, anti-capitalists, and liberals about poverty, inequality, war, racism, sexism, etc. He explains the problems of liberalism in terms of fetishizing moral persuasion before the power structures of state and corporate capital.

Clayton draws from Robin Marie Averbeck's Jacobin article Why I Am Not A Liberal. The song after Clayton is from a single released by Mischief Brew in 2013, "Free Radical Radio Fever".

  • Title: BeyondLiberalism
  • Genre: Other
  • Length: 9:33 minutes (8.75 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)

Movie Moles: Snowpiercer

program date: 
Mon, 08/04/2014
Frann Michel and Iven Hale review the film, Snowpiercer, currently playing in Portland at the not-for profit Hollywood theater, and available as video-on-demand for home viewing.

Loosely based on a French graphic novel of the same title, and co-written by Kelly Masterson and director Bong Joon-ho, Snowpiercer is the first (mostly) English-language film directed by South Korean Bong, whose earlier films include the 2006 monster movie The Host.

The premise of Snowpiercer is that an attempted technological fix for global warming has led to a massive ice age, and the only survivors are those on a perpetually moving train that circumnavigates the globe. The first-class passengers are in the front cars, while the tail section is filled with the poor who jumped on without tickets. Guards arrive at intervals to provide protein blocks for subsistence and sometimes take away children, or adults with useful skills.

The latest in a series of rebellions is led by Curtis, played by Chris Evans, and the rebels move forward several cars to the prison section where they free Namgoong Minsu, the man who built the doors dividing each car, and Namgoong frees his daughter Yona. (They are played by Song Kang-ho and Go Ah-sung, respectively, who also played father and daughter in he Host). By bribing Nam with the drug Kronol, and by fighting their way through variously defended and variously decorated sections of the train, the rebels manage to approach the engine. . . .

They discuss the film as an allegory of capitalism, and as addressing inequality more obviously than exploitation, how the film portrays the crisis inherent to capitalism, whether there is an alternative, and the figurative way the film's ending offers

They note it has a great cast but is another instance of characters of color relegated to secondary roles, and it
barely passes the Bechdel test.

It seems more optimistic with a figurative reading, or if you fancy the end of humanity.

But it's great visually, and worth  seeing.


Portland Teachers Improving Education

program date: 
Mon, 07/28/2014

Bill Resnick continues his conversation with Gwen Sullivan and Elizabeth Thiel of the Portland Association of Teachers. They discuss the importance of teachers' academic freedom to design classes tailored to the needs of their diverse students, as well as the importance of making sure that funding allocated to education is actually spent on classroom learning. They dispel common misconceptions about charter schools and public schools, and describe what professional development should mean, and what it often means in practice. The discussion concludes with the recognition that to improve education we need to end poverty and inequality, and that this will entail teachers coordinating with other unions and other movements.

You can listen here to part one of this discussion, broadcast 7/21/14.

  • Title: Gwen & Eliz Part2
  • Length: 17:47 minutes (8.14 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 64Kbps (CBR)

movie moles on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

program date: 
Mon, 07/28/2014

Movie Moles Joe Clement and Frann Michel discuss Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014). They consider the film's representations of war and peace, human nature and technology, gender and race, and offer some contrasts with the earlier series of Planet of the Apes films. They also comment on Dr. Susan Block's critique of the film on counterpunch. The first part of this discussion was broadcast on the Old Mole Variety Hour on 7/28/14; the second part is web-only content.

Juan Cole on Gaza

program date: 
Mon, 07/28/2014

Laurie Mercier talks with historian and Middle-East specialist Juan Cole about current events in Gaza. They discuss Israel's motives in launching its attack, and the history of Israel's occupation of Palestine, attacks on Hamas, and expansion of settlements in the West Bank. In addition, Laurie and Professor Cole discuss the role of the US: the failure of much of the US mainstream media to report adequately on events in Palestine; the US support for Israel; the impact of financial contributions on corrupt US legislators; and the possibility that the US could make all the difference by withholding its veto of UN security-council measures censuring Israel. The discussion also addresses the Boycott-Divest-Sanctions movement and various boycott targets, and the surge in global support for Palestinians prompted by the use of photography and video to expose Israel's actions in killing non-combatants, especially young people who comprise the majority of the population in Gaza.
You can read more on Juan Cole's blog, Informed Comment.

Old Mole Variety Hour 28 July 2014

program date: 
Mon, 07/28/2014
Old Mole Variety Hour
This episode of the Old Mole is hosted by Frann Michel, and features discussions of uses and misuses of media representations--of Gaza (including failures of the mainstream media and the power of visual images), of public education (including misleading stories about charter schools and what makes learning possible) , and of science-fictional futures.  The episode includes musical clips from M1 All Stars, Barbara Dane, and Michael Franti & Spearhead:

Laurie Mercier interviews Juan Cole about Gaza

Bill Resnick continues his conversation with Gwen Sullivan and Elizabeth Thiel of the Portland Association of Teachers

Joe Clement and Frann Michel discuss Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (this version of review with bonus web content)

To hear the whole show, click below; to hear individual segments (and for prequels, follow-ups, and more links), follow the links above.

You can friend or follow us on Facebook;  contact us there, here, or at oldmolevarietyhour =at= gmail dot com.
  • Title: omvh28july
  • Length: 54:11 minutes (24.81 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 64Kbps (CBR)

A Win for Portland Teachers and Students

program date: 
Mon, 07/21/2014
Portland's teachers recently won a contract with the School Board enabling them to turn more of their attention to their work.  Two leaders of the Portland Association of Teachers  Gwen Sullivan and Elizabeth Thiel talk with the Old Mole's Bill Resnick about how this came about with help from students and their families.  Part 2 of this interview, in which Gwen and Elizabeth discuss how Portland's teachers will be able to use their improved position to better educate children, will be aired on next week's Old Mole.  

The Free Store

program date: 
Mon, 07/21/2014

Could there be a store where everything is free?  Why must every exchange be a commercial one?  To question the idea that you never get anything for nothing,  The Portland Free Store has been established.  Its founder Karen Carr talks here with the Old Mole's Joe Clement about how it works.   This is an extended web-only version of the interview in which Karen and Joe discuss the larger political questions the store hopes to raise.  

The next Free Store will be held this coming Saturday, July 26, from 1 to 3 pm, at the Community  Supported Everything Building at 1626 NE Alberta.

  • Length: 18:26 minutes (16.87 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)

Left and The Law: Death Penalty

Categories:
program date: 
Mon, 07/21/2014
The Old Mole's Left and the Law team of Mike Snedeker and Jan Haaken discuss the recent court ruling that California's death penalty is unconstitutional.  They look at the grounds for the decision, how widely it might apply, and what it means for the future of the anti-capital punishment movement.  

Comments

Avatar's Jake Sully is ---- Tarzan - - -

 

A great review I've seen on Avatar (and how the soldier will save the people):

http://www.progressive.org/mp/danto010510.html

There is a link from there that exposes Cameron's plot as a mirror of Pocahontas, amazing parallel!      http://failblog.org/2010/01/10/avatar-plot-fail/

 

Since watching Avatar, I have viewed older videos on DVD and would rate that ahead of Avatar.

 

mel

 

 

 

commentary transcripts

It's convenient to have the Old Mole audio files available.
Even more useful for some of us would be transcripts of the commentaries (Clayton Morgareidge). Written material allows a person a chance to review, consider, digest and refer to mentioned references & thinkers. The "Well Read Red" commentary from 4 Aug 08 is a good example of a piece I'd like to read at my own pace.

transcripts

We will see to it that this happens whenever there is a prepared text. Thanks for the suggestion. Clayton Morgareidge The Old Mole Variety Hour

These folks are so profound

These folks are so profound and fascinating, especially the Resnick guy. Wow!

 

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