Thursday, October 20, 2011

'propaganda' Into The Hall

On Friday, I will head back to my old stomping grounds in Cleveland to make a donation to the Rock 'N' Roll Hall Of Fame. The Hall has asked me for my archive of my old radio shows! I am wholly honored.

My radio 'career' in Cleveland was primarily at WCSB, 89.3-FM at Cleveland State University, and my longest-running show was called 'propaganda', airing from September 1989 through August 1995. It began as a music show, and later evolved into a program covering odd phenomena, conspiracy theory, and bizarre music. The 1989-90 music shows were the most valuable, as I look back at it, having interviewed Cleveland bands and played their music. I moved away from the long-from interviews at that point, and the sounds I pursued moved from punk and hardcore to grunge and then noise and math rock- bands like Halo of Flies, Helmet, Craw, Pavement, Jesus Lizard, etc.

I recorded most of the shows on cassette tapes. My big project over the last two years has been to convert the tapes to digital files, on CD, then backing up as m4a files on my hard drive. I'm giving the RnR Hall of Fame the cassettes and my original playlists for their archive, and lending them the CDs for easy transfer. The cassettes often needed pitch correction, and the cassette-to-CD unit I used has Pitch Control on it. It will be much easier for their archivists just to transfer the digital files.

I'm giving them the 'propaganda' shows on Friday. The conversions aren't finished, so the next time I visit, I will provide them with the remainder of my shows. Here's the list of my shows at WCSB:

1987-89: Blows Against The Empire, with Matt Dudas
1988-89: The B-Sides, my first solo show, graveyard shift
1989: The Grunge Match, out of the graveyard, playing Nirvana before they made it
1989-95: propaganda
1995: Laissez-Faire! Libertarian news & comment
1998: Blood & Shaving Cream, AM drive playing the 'punk & alt hits'
2000-02: Rock N Roll Radio, with Shelly Gould-Burgess
2001-02: Laissez-Faire! Libertarian news & comment

Here's a breakdown of the evolution of 'propaganda':

Sept 1989-Oct 1991: 5-hour show with long form interviews with Cle bands
Jun 1991: Added the Church of the SubGenius' "Hour of Slack". WCSB still runs it.
Oct 1991-Jan 1992: 3-hour show, no interviews, music becoming more experimental
Feb 1992-Mar 1993: Moved to Sunday nights
Apr 1993-June 1993: Burned out on music, looking to make show more adventurous
July 1993-April 1994: co-hosted with Rev. John X. Piche, hilarious freeform shows
May 1994-Feb 1995: co-hosted with Steve Wainstead, moving towards politics
Mar 1995-Aug 1995: politics had taken over, the show would be re-named Laissez-Faire! and air in the same time slot.

I really want to go to the Rock Hall with Matt Dudas to present those show tapes together. Matt was instrumental in getting me involved at WCSB. If he hadn't reached out to me, I may never have found my way.

Those were some fun days. Too bad we didn't have digital cameras then. The pics are very few and far between, and while the audio archives are fun and in some few cases valuable, to see the mayhem of those days again would be priceless.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Why The Righteous Indignation?

A friend forwarded a link to an article regarding theft at Zuccotti Park in New York:

Occupy Wall Street protesters said yesterday that packs of brazen crooks within their ranks have been robbing their fellow demonstrators blind, making off with pricey cameras, phones and laptops -- and even a hefty bundle of donated cash and food.

“Stealing is our biggest problem at the moment,” said Nan Terrie, 18, a kitchen and legal-team volunteer from Fort Lauderdale.

“I had my Mac stolen -- that was like $5,500. Every night, something else is gone. Last night, our entire [kitchen] budget for the day was stolen, so the first thing I had to do was . . . get the message out to our supporters that we needed food!”

$5,500 for a Mac? That's the Cadillac of Mac's, it would seem. The last one we bought for Ame was not much over $1,000.

Security volunteer Harry Wyman, 22, of Brooklyn was furious about the thievery -- and vowed to get tough with the predatory perps.

“I’m not getting paid, but I’m not gonna stand for it. Why people got to come here and do stupid stuff? All it does is make people not wanna come here anymore,” Wyman fumed.

Why the righteous indignation? And, why call it theft? It's just a method of wealth redistribution. To each according to their need, from each according to their ability. Heck- I should go get some. I can't afford $5,500 for a Mac. Maybe it's just a case of community standards being played out, and the redistribution of money and items is just part of fulfilling the social contract at Zuccotti Park.

What? You didn't sign a social contract? We have even more common ground than I thought!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Libertarian Takes On Occupy Wall Street

I've previously mentioned the common ground I believe libertarians can hold with left and right alike on Occupy Wall Street. Mainly, the bailouts to financial institutions were not just. If we just keep it right there, we can get along. If we start shading it, the coalition that would be falls apart- fast.

I really like what Libertarian Party Chair Mark Hinkle had to say about OWS and crony capitalism, in a recent press statement:

"It's true that 99% of Americans do not enjoy the special benefits of crony capitalism. Crony capitalism is very different from real capitalism. In crony capitalism, government hands out special favors and protections to politically well-connected businesses.

"The TARP bailouts, Solyndra, and the military-industrial complex are all facets of crony capitalism.

"Libertarians love free markets and hate crony capitalism.

"Unfortunately, hypocritical Republican politicians have taught a lot of Americans to think that 'free markets' means freedom for government and big business to engage in crony capitalism.

"That's not what free markets are. A free market is where the government leaves businesses alone, does not attempt to pick winners and losers, does not stifle competition, does not hand out corporate welfare, and does not absolve businesses of liability for their actions. Most of our economy today does not resemble a free market at all.

I would be interested in seeing an OWS reaction to this statement. Can people on the left agree and draw the distinction between actual capitalism and crony capitalism? Can the left agree that corruption is dependent upon crony capitalism, or do they actually like crony capitalism- so long as the winners chosen are ones they favor, such as green business?

For that matter, can the right see the same distinctions? Can they shed crony capitalism when the chosen winners are military suppliers?

Doug Masson has some similar ponderings today:
It’s always seemed to me that the corporate form should be anathema to Libertarians. It’s a government construct that exists for the purpose of evading personal responsibility.
I quite agree. It's interesting to see some libertarians and folks on the right who love all things business, and should equally cherish self-responsibility, overlook the latter in embracing corporations, merely because corporations are business entities. Business in and of itself is not the same thing as free enterprise.

We all have blind spots. These are the days when it would be a great idea to self-examine and find those blind spots, and acknowledge them. We end up with shitty solutions when we're full of shit.