New radio product
Freshly posted to my radio archives:
January 15, 2011 Mark Ames, author of Going Postal and editor of The Exiled, on Tucson and how the U.S. is like a decaying Russia • Jefferson Cowie, author of Stayin’ Alive: The 1970s and the Last Days of the Working Class, on the politics of that unfairly maligned decade
Digging the archived shows – thanks for the link. What’s the opening theme?
Great stuff; keep up the good work.
Mark Ames is a good extemporaneous speaker, and his intention to link psychotic murderous rages to the depredations of the existing neoliberal order is not the worst sociology, but I am still not persuaded.
Ames seems to imagine in the psychotic shooters some sort of affinity with his (and perhaps our/your) anti-systemic rage, but that is far from the truth. The Virgina Tech shooter frightened his classmates terribly, talking about his girlfriend “Jello.” Loughner took the time to type that a 35-number long number was distinct from two other 35-number long numbers. They, and McVeigh and “Mucko” McDermott were psychopathic males, insane, misogynist and murderous.
Chomsky took the time to use Joseph somebody, the anti-IRS kamikaze, as somehow worthy of political understanding, but this is wrong – these unaffiliated men of horrific violence are , like the suit-and-tie militarists and war criminals, to be abjured.
What is remarkable is the stoic and doomed efforts of the drifting males and females who stay true to their humanity and retain their cognitive functioning. Most people, in situations far worse than these lunatics, do nothing with a gun, or knife, or fist.
I think we can all agree that these are irrational actions, to say the least. But I can’t divorce them entirely from social context.
Loughner was a sick man but a sick man who lived in an alienating, gun-filled, xenophobic, economically-depressed Arizona. Maybe (and just maybe, I can’t say for certain) had he been the son of a 19th century English squire he would’ve lived out his days talking to trees like a P.G. Wodehouse character.
A response to a given social context is still a response, even if violent, irrational and uncommon.
I enjoyed this broadcast, and went to The Exiled web site and I found that he was promoting this show, saying that he talked to radio legend Doug Henwood.
Congratulations on becoming a radio legend, and thanks for the more regular issues of Left Business Observer