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I’m Really Bad At Asking For Help. November 6, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in Politics and Society.
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…And quite circuitous, too.

As a usual part of my “work day,” I try to catch some of “The Round Table,” the morning show on my favorite Public Radio Station. WAMC out of Albany, NY. It’s amazing, really, to hear this team of on-air and behind-the-scenes folks put on three hours a day, five days a week, of local interest stories, commentary on National news, daily interviews with local politicians with generally astute analysis by their Resident Expert, Dr. Alan Chartock (who by the way is another cunning runt, only without the capital letters, ’cause I’m runtier!)

Add to that a “Poll Question of the Day” with insightful call-ins from The World’s Best Informed Audience and a half-hour segment of live music performed in real time by local and visiting musicians, and you’ve got one helluva show!

But my favorite part of the morning, if my work schedule permits, is a fifteen minute or so conversation with an author of note, discussing their latest book. Usual Interviewer Joe Donahue has a way of getting an awful lot out of his guests, asking insightful questions and letting the author “run with the ball.” The result is nearly always stellar.

Today Joe spoke with American historian and author Jay Winik about his new book, “The Great Upheaval – America and the Birth of the Modern World. The book is ostensibly about the transformation of Governments and Societies which occurred from the 1780s to 1800 and beyond, a time in which the top-down control, the Absolute Power of Monarchies and Empires began to give way to government with a representative voice of the proletariat.

At this point I’m tempted to huck a “Hyuh, Right!” into the mix and go off on how that chapter of human history seems to have ended, hosed down the drain by the political reverse-peristalsis of our current King George The Lesser, but then I might never get to the point I wanted to make.

After missing a chunk of the interview, I got back into the van just in time to hear Mr. Winik describing how both Napoleon (a cunning proto-runt) and Russia’s Catherine the Great (a running, um, proto-cunt, by all accounts) had invaded the Ottoman Empire with the intent of subjugating the Muslim world, and despite initial claims of “Mission Accomplished” brought on by spectacular military victories, both were slowly bled dry by years of guerrilla warfare, their Empires unable to fully quell the slippery resistance movements, and how France in particular, financially weakened by it’s support for Our Own Little War, collapsed under the strain of it’s endless war effort, with discontent on the home front devolving into the offing of many, many heads.

And here, finally, is the afore-alluded-to point of this little rant:

How Fucking Wrong is it to see the United States make this same mistake a century later, when the consequences of our impending mis-steps are already documented by history?

How Fucking Sad is it to see our Drunken AWOL Frat-Brat President be so willfully ignorant of that little bit of history?

How the Fuck can We The People elect such a Homicidally Incurious Half-Wit to lead our Country, not once, but twice??

It boggles my mind, it really does. It blackens my heart with hatred, it withers my soul with despair. It makes me fear for the world my children will inherit.

It makes me wish ill on another human being. A rattler in the Texas brush, a stroke out in the hot sun, a head-busting tumble on the tarmac.

I hate feeling this way. I fight it, but some days I lose.

‘Scuse me, Neighbor, but if I could borrow a cup of hope just for tonight, I’ll pay you back tomorrow.


A Favorite Place September 24, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Politics and Society.
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Anyone who’s been stopping by here for any length of time knows that most of my favorite places are deep in the hills, far from the crush of cars and people and bigotry and pollution.

But there are some Places of Man (sorry, Ladies) which can bring me down from the hills, and this is one of them:

The Montague Book Mill in Montague, Massachusetts. Used (mostly) books in a place with more character than any business could ever need.

I love this cloth sign, their tongue-in-cheek (albeit true) motto, the un-subtle suggestion of the proper way to use a television, and the view clear through the building from this vantage (and many others!)

Add two cool restaurants trending from The Lady Killigrew, fully casual with wireless internet access, to-die-for lunches, the best cup of joe in the world and a nice selection of beers and wines ’till late into the night, and The Night Kitchen, with more complex fare served on gorgeous stone patios overlooking the cascades of the Sawmill River.

What you get is what I got.

Dig it!

Bernstein on Clinton June 14, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in Politics and Society.
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1 comment so far

Well yesterday I had hoped to catch the WAMC Round Table interview with Carl Bernstein about his new biography of Hillary R, but things got busy at work and I only caught snippets of what sounded like an interesting conversation.

What I did hear, I’m sorry to say, diminished my respect for both Carl and Hillary: the words “disingenuous” and “unauthentic” filled the air like autumn leaves on a windy day. It was enough to make a democrat flush with embarrassment.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not a big fan o’ the lass, but as an atheist who’s praying for a Democrat to win the next Big One I was sorry to hear the current Dem front-runner savaged thusly. I was also sorry to hear an investigative reporter of Bernstein’s caliber come off sounding like an intern at The National Enquirer. If anyone thought Hill was carrying too much baggage to win the White House in ’08, picture this as another hefty bedroll being strapped to the appaloosa’s rump.

Both ABC News and The Washington Post seem to have gotten the same impression: while the book may be factually accurate, it just doesn’t have that Pulitzer Je ns sais quoi.

Unless of course you’re one of the sharks reporters over at Faux sNooze, in which case it’s time to play Chumming For Chumps.

You can hear Part Three of this interview at WAMC.org on Thursday between 9 and 10am Eastern. I’ll try to have it covered, but The Boss has his panties in a bunch and I might be busy trying to bail him out.

Why Would You Read Another Book About Hillary… June 12, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in climbing, Politics and Society.
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1 comment so far

…Unless it was written by Pulitzer Prize -winning journalist Carl Bernstein. And even then you might want to get a sense of it before you Plunk Down the Chunk.

Well, tomorrow is your lucky day: WAMC Public Radio out of Albany, NY will have the first part of a three-part interview with Mr. Bernstein at 9am Eastern (yeah, I know, sucks to be on the Left Coast, eh? Maybe they’ll archive it or something.) Ace interviewer Joe Donohue does an excellent job of getting to the meat of the matter and cutting his guests loose, so expect to hear something you wouldn’t get elsewhere.

I’ll be working, but I’ll try to catch enough to do a brief synopsis for you Cali-heads.

The program is called The Round Table, and can be heard live on the web at WAMC.org.