Category Archives: Action

Hot Air: From March To Movement

From Mark E. Moon, La Mere Vipere alum and music savant:

Now, the women’s marches this weekend were inspiring, if only for the number of folk who showed up. However, the marches ultimately mean nothing to me, in the same way that the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations meant nothing ultimately. With a [nod to] Saul Alinsky, I repeat that social change only comes when people organize around an achievable goal, analyze exactly how that goal can be achieved & then get on with it!

And from Barbara Ehrenreich, one of my fave investigative reporters extant:

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.



Radio Heads

The fact that I’ve almost completely stopped listening to NPR in the morning — there are enough toxins in this world to make me want to retch; I don’t need to constantly hear the term President Trump, thank you — added to the fact that the people I tell about same seem also to be avoiding broadcast news these days makes me wonder what NPR’s numbers are since the election.

So, I went hunting.

I stumbled upon a crowing press release from NPR dated October 18, 2016, informing the planet that the public broadcaster had been drawing listeners like flies to…, well, y’know. Apparently, the HRC/L’il Duce joust, especially when the two started running neck and neck, was riveting drama for the intelligent radio masses.


Now that the drama/joust/horserace/American dream is finished, are the brainy multitudes turning to Atar Arad (Charlotte Zietlow) or Earth Wind & Fire (me) for aural stimu. rather than recounts of President Gag’s latest oral spewings?

The Pew Research Center has found that NPR listenership had been on a healthy, if not dramatic, upward trend between 2005 and 2010, with a plateau since then. Pew’s numbers run up only to the end of 2015, though.

So, what of the last couple of months? Apparently, the Nielsen/Audio (formerly Arbitron) numbers for that time period haven’t seeped out to the gen. public yet (only $ubscribers get Nielsen’s quarterly radio reports). Of course, the last quarter of ’16 included the pre-election bump for NPR as well as a possible post-race fall-off.

Me? I’ve tried several times to get back into my Morning Edition habit but it’s hard, man — really, really hard. This ain’t 1980-81 with the Reagan thing or 2000-01 with GW Bush. Sure, I’d have rather drunk old bathwater than hear that those two doughheads had become prez but, somehow, I was able to overcome my distaste for the sound of their names in due time. I still cannot fully accept the simple fact that a carnival barker/con man is now our leader.

In any case, I’ll be keeping an eye open to see if the NPR audience has shrunk in the Gag era.

Calling A Spade

Speaking of NPR, one of the members of WFIU’s community advisory board stopped by Hopscotch‘s Table No. 1 (mine, natch) just as I was typing the previous entry.

This person informed me that a few board-ers as well as numerous other opinion-sharers are teed off at both the national NPR operation as well as the local outfit for their refusal to call out President Gag every time he makes one of his patented false statements. The New York Times, virtually alone among the various media, has taken to parsing every single utterance emanating from his befouled trap. Why, some are asking, aren’t NPR and its affiliates doing the same?


My take? The latest generation of journalism careerists is too married to the theoretical ideals of “balance” and “fairness,” neither of which are entirely possible human achievements. Nailing Pres. G on every instance of his delusive obsession seems to be unfair play to too many pro. stenographers who carry media credentials these days.

Too bad, that.

In The Airbig-talk-logo-usable-screen-shot-copy

Warm up your click finger and give an ear to my interview w/ aerial silks performer and drag king Sue Rall on yesterday’s Big Talk.

Go here for the feature on WFHB’s Daily Local News and here for the original, pretty much unedited interview.screen-shot-2017-01-27-at-11-12-33-am


I’m hoping to have some science guys on next week’s show but haven’t nailed down my preferred guests as of this writing. Stay tuned.

Their Cheatin’ Hearts

Don’t miss the Herald-Times‘ two-parter on certain empoyers in our sprawling megalopolis screwing the bejesus out of their minions. Pt. 1 of Reporter Kurt Christian’s expo ran yesterday with the follow-up today. The best part of the story — names are named.


One restaurant, with three area locations, fleeced its workers out of 150 Gs. A number of other well-respected establishments squeezed their staffs, although not as blatantly. The figures are from the US Dept. of Labor’s regional office.

I’d suggest staying away from the offenders for a finite period of time, just to let their operators know their trickery doesn’t play well in this locale.

[h/t to Pat Murphy for the tip.]


Hot Air: Inaugurate The Revolution

At last!

Just sat down with printmaker-extraordinaire Danielle Urschel and Nicci B, one of the bosses at The Back Door, and got the full dope the big Inaugurate the Revolution bash a week from Friday here in Bloomington.

While President Gag is being sworn in on Jan. 20th, the rest of us who possess any remaining shreds of sentience’ll be swearing at him and the entire electoral racket that put him in power despite his losing the popular vote by nearly 3 mill. His swearing will, of course, be broadcast around the globe and throughout the immediate solar system while much of ours — I’d been figuring to this point — would be done in private.


No more. At least in this sprawling megalopolis, we’ll get a chance to meet and greet other anti-Trumpists, actually do positive, productive things to reverse the regressive course our holy land is  apparently on, and then scream our fool heads off at an evening rally. Inaugurate the Revolution, it’s hoped, will be the start of something big. Here are the highlights:

  • Four locations around town
  • Nearly 40 workshops
  • Activist art exhibits
  • Resistance poetry
  • Movies
  • A march
  • A rally

Click on over to the event website for a detailed schedule of events. The day begins at 9:00am and runs through 8:00pm, so wear your comfortable shoes and pack a lunch. Then again, if your endurance is iffy, you can pick and choose, cafeteria-style, the events and activities you want to participate in.

While some of our lucky sisters are hieing over to the nation’s capital for the Women’s March on Washington, we Hoosier-bound souls can start making things happen right here at home.

Now we’re getting somewhere.

[MG Note: Keep an ear on WFHB radio, 93.1 FM, for more words about Inaugurate the Revolution. I’m told by News Director Joe Crawford that Doug Storm’s Interchange and Clarence Boone et al‘s Bring It On! programs will feature bits on the event over the next week.]

Big Talk Is Back, Babies!

Speaking of WFHB, tune in tomorrow afternoon at 5:00pm for the latest installment of Big Talk on the Daily Local News.

big-talk-logo-usable-screen-shotMy guest will be Anne Hedin, one of the brainstormers behind Sunday’s “The Fierce Urgency of Now”: Time to Choose environmental advocacy event in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s b-day.

Tune in Thursday afternoon for the broadcast and, remember, if you miss it, you can always catch the podcast on WFHB’s website or on this global communications colossus.

I’ll talk to you then.

The Start Of Something Big

Steve Allen was one of the coolest guys ever to host a late night TV show. He was one of the pioneers of the genre, as a matter of fact. He was so popular as the first host of the Tonight Show that network bwanas gave him his own prime time, eponymous variety showcase that aired from 1956 through 1964, and from which the clip below is taken.

Allen’s repertory company included the likes of  Don Knotts, Tom Poston, Louie Nye, Pat Harrington, Bill Dana, Gabriel Dell, Gene Rayburn, and Skitch Henderson. The Steve Allen Show featured some of the earliest national TV appearances by Elvis Presley, Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis, Louis Jordan (with his Tympany Five), and The Treniers. Allen’s shows were noted for their uproarious shticks, gags, and bits, many of which continue to inspire the writers of today’s late nighters like Conan, Colbert, Myers, and even that Phallus…, er, I mean, Fallon guy.

Anyway, Allen, who’d been praised by Lenny Bruce as “the most literate and … the most moral comic I ever met,” railed and raged against the Mob’s influence on Hollywood and Las Vegas, America’s entertainment Babylons. [For more info on that, check out the Gus Russo books, The Outfit and Supermob.] For his efforts, Allen was frozen out of booking top talent for his prime time show, leading to its eventual cancellation.

It’s said Allen wrote more than 1000 songs — although critics liked to say most of them were variations on this one:

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