We've heard the state of the union speech from the president. Now its time to hear voices of contemporary troubadours whose songs may stir the imagination, helping us contemplate visions of darkness and of light beyond those lurking in the official spectacle. And we may discover that some of the president's proposals are efforts to seem in tune with the songs now rising. Please tune in.
culture of protest thurs 1/26/12 6-7pm pst kcsb 91.9fm www.kcsb.org
I’ve been meaning to post information about a variety of cultural/political efforts and items that you might want to look into:
First, I’m involved in and hope you’ll appreciate knowing about these:
+Port Huron Statement @ 50: a national conference at UCSB February 2-3. The ‘manifesto’ of the Sixties New Left and the founding of Students for a Democratic Society in 1962 will be observed in Santa Barbara with an exciting cast of speakers and chances for intergenerational dialogue about the possibilities for democratic change. Go to http://www.history.ucsb.edu/projects/labor/porthuron50.html for all the details. Things get going at 2:30 PM on Thursday Feb 2 at Corwin Pavilion at UCSB and all are welcome.
+Speaking of music, you might be interested in my recent piece in Jewish Currents magazine on the great and socially conscious lyricist Yip Harburg (Over the Rainbow, Brother Can you spare a dime, etc.) See the website: http://jewishcurrents.org/ it’s a magazine worth your notice for lots of reasons!
+You can find a podcast of a two hour program I did with Elizabeth Robinson on KCSB listening to Sean Hannity when he got his radio start at KCSB in the 80s as a gay-bashing shock radio guy and the storm of controversy that resulted. Go here: http://www.kcsb.org/interviews/revisiting-sean-hannity-audiopodcast, Hundreds of people have listened to this in the last couple of weeks!
Some things I recommend that you might otherwise miss:
+David Zeiger and co. have a new film “This is where we take our stand” telling the story of the hundreds of Iraq/Afghanistan veterans who staged the 3 day hearing about the wars a few years ago. PBS stations around the country are showing it in the next couple of weeks. KOCE in LA has a showing on 1/15. Check the schedule and website: http://thisiswherewetakeourstand.com/?p=376
+Also on PBS: Connie Fields important multi-part documentary on the freedom struggle in South Africa about to be shown on Independent Lens. And Bill Moyers has unexpectedly and significantly returned to public television with a new series, inspired in part by the Occupy movement. These programs are major—and need our support and engagement.
+I want to recommend John Sayles’ recently published novel, A Moment in the Sun a blockbuster book situated in the midst of the wars and social turmoil of the last years of the 19th century. A marvelous piece of writing which is deeply instructive about empire, race and class in the lives of an amazing cast of characters. It’s a 1000 pages, but you’ll love it—and you can get an e-book version that you can actually hold in your hand. Meanwhile Sayles made a film Amigo—a fictional tale about the Philippine war that parallels part of the novel. It’s a wonderful movie but it won’t get to theaters since its dialog is a mix of English, Spanish and Tagalog. I think you can get it on ‘on demand’ TV and it’ll probably soon be a DVD.
+Watch for some exciting (to me) upcoming CDs. Ani Difranco has a new ‘political’ album called ‘Which side are you on” out this week. And watch for big CD compilations honoring the Woody Guthrie Centenary and Bob Dylan.
Tags: port huron statement, music and change, yip harburg, sean hannity, john sayles, winter soldier, connier fields, bill moyers
we featured a radio program in honor of MLK's birthday on the radio Thursday evening with a sampling of the many songs reflecting his life and legacy and of his speeches.We featured the last speech at Memphis, remembering that he lost his life in support of a strike of public workers there. King's voice still speaks to us...
This was a remarkable year of struggle and protest. In the process a huge number of new songs were made and old ones remade. So on this week's radio show we'll use a sampling of these songs to track the history making of the year just past.
Dick Flacks here...sociology professor emeritus at UCSB. Budget cuts mean that I can't continue my annual course on political sociology. Maybe a blog will be a space for me to continue to ruminate and pontificate. And maybe (as a veteran teacher on these matters) I can offer some ways of thinking about what's happening nationally and locally that will be useful, as we struggle to make sense of the tortured complexities of these times.
I've been a leftwing activist for more than 50 years. What we've been struggling for all these years is full democracy--to increase the opportunities for people to have real voice in the decisions that affect them. Step by step over these years we've made some gain...but it is a long march, and one that never ends. The big barrier to democracy in our society is the concentrated power of corporations. At the same time, democracy is undermined by the felt powerlessness of people in their daily lives--the persistent belief that our problems are only our own personal concern. It's a strong cultural theme--such individualism--constantlly reinforced by mass media and everyday circumstance. But the current big crisis of the economy maybe makes it more possible for more people to understand that we've got to have social reform and economic reform. So my writing here is aimed at helping us figure out what to think and act on that so that we can hope for new democratic possibilities. WE'll be talking about the local and the national.
The blog name comes from an old labor union hymn:
Step by step the longest march can be won. Many stones can form an arch...singly none. And by union what we will can be accomplished still. Drops of water turn a mill, singly none, singly none.
For 27 years I've had a weekly radio show on KCSB (91.9 fm. www.kcsb.org) It's called the Culture of Protest. It's comes from my fascination with music and social movements. I collect 'political' and 'protest' music and that's what we play each week (Thursdays 6-7 pm). So sometimes here we'll share and talk about that.
I'm worried about one thing about the blogosphere. And that's the way that some people use the blog comment space for anonymous nastiness. I'm sick of the kind of political blather that assaults the motives of others, and sees dark conspiracy behind every thing one doesn't like. This kind of stuff is helping to poison the political atmosphere. So I'm going to strive for a civil tone to whatever interaction may happen on this blogsite.