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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In times like these -- times like the 1930s and 40s -- a tradition of protest music emerges that sings from the viewpoint of working people and people who can't find work. Last week's show was about contemporary rap music. This week, we feature music from the Great Depression by the likes of Pete Seeger and Josh White. These musicians consciously made music that touched on many aspects of the growing working class movement: unemployment, Jim Crow and lynching, union organizing, anti-fascism, etc. They wanted to bring a generalized pro-working class perspective to the popular arts. Radical musicologist Brad Duncan is back to talk with with Bill Resnick about all this.
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.
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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.
Hosted by Clayton Morgareidge, this first show of 2010 proposes that another, better world is possible. Portland writer Kristian Williams tells Bill Resnick what it would take to provide domestic security without violent policing. Clayton reflects on the recent terrorist attempt on an airliner to find connections between terrorism and the frustration of social connection. Psychologist Felix Warneken describes experiments showing that toddlers want to help others -- indicating that humanity is capable of living cooperatively. And Frann Michel explains Alain Badiou's "communist hypothesis": that the subordination of labor to a dominant class is not inevitable.
To hear the whole show (and how all the pieces hang together and support each other), use the play button below. To hear individual pieces and find more information, follow these links:
Are human beings capable of living in a better society in which cooperation predominates over competition? Harvard psychologist Felix Warneken discusses experiments showing that kids of 18 months have a spontaneous impulse to help others in need. More about this here.
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.