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).
For individual segments and information about episodes, click the "audio" tab.
You can leave comments for the Moles at firstname.lastname@example.org or by clicking on the comment section for any of our audio pieces.
An "incendiary mix of punk rock, Celtic folk music, and anti-imperialist, working-class, left-wing politics" ---that's how our radical musicologist Brad Duncan describes Alistair Hulett and Roaring Jack, the band he formed. This segment contains excerpts of his songs and a discussion of his life and music with Brad and the Old Mole's Bill Resnick. Hulett died in January. Here's an obituary with several video clips.
This edition of the Old Mole Variety Hour is hosted by Denise Morris. It deals with making energy locally, the racial, gender and class politics of the Southern plantation household, Alice Munro's latest book, a novel by Nobel Prize winning Turkish author Orhan Pamuk, and a big leftist confab coming up in New York. ("Variety" is our middle name.)
To hear the whole show, use the play button below. To hear individual pieces and find more information, follow these links:
Here is a review and appreciation of Turkish Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk's latest novel The Museum of Innocence. The reviewer is Josh Erdahl, and the novel is a story of class, culture and personal struggle in a changing society.
Will the transition to Clean Energy lead to decentralized, worker and community controlled energy production? Or will it be centralized under corporate and state control and promote high usage and consumerism? John Farrell works with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance which supports environmentally sound and equitable community development. Here he talks with the Old Mole's Bill Resnick about many communities, including some in the US, are building ways in which families and communities can produce energy locally and cut back on their consumption. You can find an article by Farrell here.
"The best living writer anywhere," is how our Book Mole Larry Bowlden describes Alice Munro. Here is Larry reviewing her most recent book of stories. Larry's past reviews are here.
What really went on between black women slaves and their mistresses on the plantations? Thavolia Glymph, author of the prizewinning book Out of the House of Bondage: The Transformation of the Plantation Household, talks with the Old Mole's Laurie Mercier about how black women's struggles--before, during, and after the Civil War--shaped the long civil rights movement and can inspire and inform us today in struggles for social justice.
The Center Cannot Hold: Rekindling the Radical Imagination
This is the theme of this year's Left Forum Conference. The Left Forum brings together organizers and intellectuals from across the globe to share ideas for understanding and transforming the world. Bill Resnick and Seth Adler discuss the Forum's upcoming annual conference in New York that draws thousands to a rich banquet of panels, speakers, arts shows, films and informal discussions. It runs from March 19 to March 21. You can learn more about it at the Left Forum website, where you can also find videos of last year's panel discussions.
What is wage slavery? Why are even well-paid workers nevertheless slaves? Could work be abolished? What is the real value of work? These are the questions pondered by Old Moles Clayton Morgareidge and Frann Michel, and Poet Marge Piercy in this portmanteau segment with musical breaks by Thelonious Monk and Stephan Grapelli. The image here is a Mural at the Frederick Douglass Library/ University of Maryland by Mike Alewitz, "The Creation of Wealth." And you can find Frann's text and her sources by clicking here.
Employers often fail to pay the wages workers have earned: they commit wage theft, affecting millions of American workers. Kim Bobo is the author of Wage Theft in America, and in this interview she talks with the Old Mole's Bill Resnick about the many ways this happens, why companies get away with it, and what we can do about it.
Bobo will be speaking at an event for Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon this Thursday evening at the Friends' Meeting House, SE 43d and Stark; and on the topic of wage theft at SEIU Local 503, SE Foster and 64th Avenue on Friday evening.
Having returned from Haiti just before the Earthquake, human rights activist Stuart Hammond has a good idea of the impact that the earthquake and the incursion of military personnel is having on the political climate. Here he talks with the Old Mole's Laurie Mercier about the various NGOs working in Haiti and which ones we should support in KBOO's February 18 all-day Fundraiser, as well as Haiti's recent history with the US and Canada. Hammond himself is with the Canada-Haiti Action Network.