". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Thursday, June 5, 2008

KGB Radio Hour: NYC's only live radio show with live drinking

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.


Renegade Eye said...

I know how good the experience feels, when you meet accomplished artists, who bring an interesting perspective.

I think Obama represents a break from Reaganism and its cousin Clintonism. I do think that you shouldn't overestimate what he will accomplish. He is ridiculous about Afghanistan, Israel and Cuba. He's to the right of Clinton on healthcare and Social Security. he is to the right of Nixon in practice.

I'm supporting Cynthia McKenney. She is a strong supporter of the New Orleans based Reconstruction Party.

You might know me by now, to know I use the word support and endorse precisely. I support Cynthia, but only endorse my comrades.

Foxessa said...

O Ren -- Do not concern your pretty little head about me expecting more from Obama than he will deliver.

He's a corporatist. I can't stand his health care program -- which is so like Clinton's -- mandatory health insurance for people like us who can't afford health insurance NOW?

If there's any household who is on top of his ignorance about Cuba, the Caribbean and Latin America, it is this one, as I've posted many, many times over the period of this blog.

However, that he would allow me to travel again to Cuba is a lot more than I've had since 2003.

I believe a lot of people are going to be disappointed, as I've been saying for months, even if he does make the Oval Office.

On the other hand, if he does make the Oval Office, and wants to stay there, and keep his base -- he may well have to do more than maybe he was prepared to do.

At the same time the present occupation of the OO are doing their best 24/7 to keep him from doing anything, like pulling out of Iraq.

So that's why I don't do the FDR rhetorical hope of maybe, in office, Obama will blahblahblah. Different time, different people, different conditions.

Then -- well an Obama in the OO, is all those differences right there. Much prefer that than the same worn out Clintonista stuff that forced us to support them when they were bad -- i.e. Hillary first debacle as health care maven, and Clinton as a guy who possibly put the needs of others before his own.

Love, C.