Except it is 2 hours, and a bit difficult to notic when the live radio begins and ends, since, unlike, say Ellen D.'s KGB sf/f/horror reading series, when the 'guests' and hosts leave the mics, the participants in this series don't leave the room. Nor do the attendees. They stay and talktalktalktalk and continue drinking, way into the night. We might still be there except at 11 p.m. I told Vaquero, "Hey, buddy, I gotta go -- and so do you, if you're smart!"
We had a really good time, meaning a fascinating night, filled with really interesting people who do all kinds of interesting things.
To start with go here. Then, go here. Check out the co-writer of American Gangster. This radio series is Mark Jacobson's project. He's also an investigative journalist, with a long bibliography of articles published all over. New York Magazine even has an archive of his articles. There's more about him in this Wiki entry.
We met Mark for the first time last month, at the Brecht Forum part for The World That Made New Orleans. Mark was brought by another friend, Kurt, who runs a rare and out-of-print storefront out of the street level of his Jumal Terrace brownstone and his equally interesting wife. Camilla is currently at Jefferson's Monticello, working for two month, hands on, and hands in, in the gardens, restoring the 18th Century fruits, flowers, and other botanicals that actually grew there while Jefferson was still alive -- she's also a couturiere, working up specialty designer wardrobes to order. Camilla -- and Kurt -- were brought in first class last week by Vienna's annual transgender festival, to provide the costumes and so on for the runway show and other presentations for the week. I've seen the photos -- oolalala! But Camilla's first love is historical horticulture, particularly 18th century American. Her couture work pays for it. Anyway, Kurt and Camilla know an endless supply of really interesting people, who do interesting work, and that's how this night came to be.
But -- how cool was it, that I got to hang out with The Family's author, Jeff Sharlet? And I knew his book and articles in Harpers, etc. about this shadowy religious organization, that is interested only in the powerful, wealthy movers-and-shakers? Jeff is also a lot of fun and very nice, as well as being really, really smart. One of the most interesting things discussed was one of the biggest differences, as I understand it, between Clinton and Obama. Clinton's old school, top-down, while he is street style activist, of bottom-up. This shows even in their respective churches: she's that top-level elite form of Methodism, speaking as God's representative, while he's the Black Church Liberation Theology, street level activism. Clinton's a friend (official Family term), if not full-blown member, of the Family, as told in The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power. What I also liked about Jeff, was how he explained that, while this is a conspiratorial organization, it isn't the most dangerous one the nation is facing by a long shot. But it is another wheel within the machine that manufactures and keeps power in place and functioning.
Mark, who also has infinite number of really interesting friends doing interesting things, including the owner of KGB, takes on this persona as host for his show as a dimwitted drunk. However Mark is ANYTHING but dim. Or drunk. I can vouch for the fact he hadn't drunk anything, until the mics were shutoff. One of his old friends present was the biggest male porn star of the 70's -- not for gay porn but hetro. Not that I would know coz I don't pay attention to that stuff, except occasionally, but that's what I was told.
Bob Christgau was also a participant. The actual discussion was kinda disoriented. But Vaquero played two songs: "Kiss You Down South," and "Pastor Ted's Valedictory" (for Jeff, of course!). Sold some more books too.
The night began with Bo Diddley and ended with Bo Diddley. It was lamented that he hadn't been able to live so long as to see the first black president. Bo was born 2 weeks after Martin Luther King. The official part that is. The talking and drinking continued unabated. Indeed we the audience participated as much as anyone else, asking questions of anybody as we felt like, making comments and so on. It was a lot of fun.