Here’s my latest Zoom webinar, with Prof. Joel Beinin, Emeritus Professor of Middle East History, Stanford University. We take a look at what Trump has wreaked in the region and what Joe Biden might do differently (spoiler alert: not much, actually).
Joel was my first guest when I launched Other Voices TV a little over 23 years ago (November 1997). Back then the format was a lecture followed by Q&A with the studio audience. We broadcast live in those days and that could be pretty exciting. As in nerve-wracking.
With the pandemic, we’ve been doing the program online, of course. And that makes another connection to Joel. Back in July 2014, Joel was the guest for our very first online edition of Other Voices. It was an “emergency” broadcast to address the massive Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip that was known as Operation Protective Edge. We wanted to have a program on the war ASAP, but the TV studio was all booked up. So we tried out the fairly new Google+ Hangouts program and broadcast live over YouTube. It worked pretty well! If you’re interested, that video can be found here.
If you had told me back then that in seven years we’d be doing all our programs online, well, you know how that kind of thing goes …
I and my friend TD are relaunching a video series that we created way back in the George W. Bush Error … um, Era. It’s called Orwell Was An Optimist. They’re short satirical videos. Think of them as live action editorial cartoons. Why are we doing this? To rephrase Lenin, sometimes you just have to be “as ridiculous as reality itself.”
As long as I’m strewing your path with links, early on in this conversation a brief reference is made to Prof. Clay Carson of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Institute at Stanford. His appearance on Other Voices Online a couple of weeks ago, which prompted the reference, can be found here. (h/t to SR for suggesting this link)
Judge Cordell has a very long CV, so I’ll let her tell you herself. I lifted this from her website. Watch the video.
My first crack at hosting a webinar is now online. Another lively conversation with Dr. Jack Rasmus about the pandemic economy — or what’s left of it. We need a major stimulus bill aimed at creating jobs, green jobs. We’re not getting that. We are getting more talk about tax cuts for the rich. It’s sick.
I’ve been away from the blog for a bit because I’ve been helping my former employer, Peninsula Peace and Justice Center, organize an online Virtual Climate Rally. In addition to learning and testing the online platform (Zoom … what else?), I’ve mostly had my head buried in Adobe Premiere editing the video you see above. It was worth the effort.
Friday, April 24 was originally set as the date for another round of global protests like the Global Climate Strike that took place last September. The virus dashed those plans.
As a result of going virtual, however, we’ve ended up with a film filled with inspiration. As the individual videos arrived from the student activists who had been invited to speak, I was touched time and again. Here they are facing two immense threats to their future — a global pandemic that is still burning out of control and the specter of climate change — yet each of them expressed determination and hope.
“Virtual” anything is a poor substitute for the real thing. But the dedication and commitment evinced by these young people is absolutely authentic.
In addition to the inspiration, the video features a moving musical interlude from blues man Kenny Neal and some fun video surprises engineered by editing wizard TD. After watching, please share far and wide!
Here’s the contact info for everybody appearing in the video.
Aria Luna – Young artist and climate activist Aria Luna, who showcases a short animation she created for this special event. https://www.arialuna.com
Kristy Mualim – Kristy Mualim is formally trained as a computational geneticist at Stanford University, and is also part of the Sunrise Movement fighting for state-level Green New Deal policies. email email@example.com
Kenny Neal is known as a modern swamp-blues and multi-instrumentalist. His Grammy nominated songs draw from the sizzling sounds of his native Louisiana. http://www.kennyneal.net/
It was a pleasure to be able to sit down with my old friend Pierre Labossiere last night. What has happened politically in Haiti since the catastrophic earthquake is a tragedy. After the great optimism of the Aristide years — an optimism rooted in real advances in alleviating poverty and inequality — the elites have seized absolute control once again. And the repression of dissent hearkens back to the dark time of the dictatorship. And it hardly merits a word in the media. That’s why I put time and energy into alternative media.
This entire program was worth doing for the concise definition of “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” alone. But there’s so much more, including an analysis of the effect of this scandal on Ukraine, delivered by a long time expert in the region. Matt Harrigan is a lecturer in political science and Janey Curry is a professor of political science. Both are faculty at Santa Clara University.
This past summer was defined by 50th anniversary commemorations. First out of the gate was the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing, a historic event certainly worthy of review. And did it ever get reviewed — TV specials, newspaper inserts, even a commemorative coin issued by the U.S. mint.
Then came August and the 50th anniversary of Woodstock. The Woodstock celebrations were personal for me as someone who had actually gone to Woodstock. More commemorative events and publications. Even a stamp. But no coin as far as I know.
Coming up soon is another significant 50th anniversary event, another one with deep personal meaning for me — the anniversary of the massive Vietnam War Moratorium March on Washington, which took place on November 15, 1969, exactly three months after Woodstock. I was there, too.
The latest installment of Other Voices TV was taped just last night, making it just in time for the 150th anniversary of Gandhi’s birth today (10/2/1869). The basic thrust of the program was to discuss the upcoming conference at Stanford University called The Gandhi-King Global Initiative, an effort to forge an international network of organizations and activists dedicated to nonviolent struggle for human rights. And we did talk about the conference, but we also reviewed the personal journeys of Gandhi and King as they developed their own ideas about nonviolent resistance. My guest was Clay Carson, the founding director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford.
I thought one observation that Clay made was quite interesting: that Gandhi and King made their significant impacts on their respective societies in remarkably different time scales. Gandhi came to activism relatively late in life, met with limited success early on, but kept at it over a long period of time. King, alternatively, started young and had a very short period of activism (12 years) before he was assassinated. Moral of the story: there is no how-to guide for activism.
I interviewed Clay once before, back in 2014 for a program marking the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer (1964). It remains one of my favorite OV programs. You can see it here. The Freedom Summer episode was taped before the studio went all HD and it’s a bit jarring to see it today in comparison with our current video quality. But still well worth your time (as is the current episode, of course).