A FRIENDLY ARGUMENTabout the alternative radio network, Pacifica, about Amy Goodman and Democracy Now, about Berkeley’s KPFA 94.1 FM. I started shouting in the car, bouncing in my seat, yes, even swearing. My friend’s contention: alt media was “all bad news,” not giving the “other side,” ridiculing those who disagree. I’m not working and I listen 3 hours a day to KPFA public affairs, and I don’t hear ridicule. I hear the voices of the voiceless, and some of them are pissed off, just like the Iraqis. Just this week I heard many articulate, mature commentaries: Asad Abu Kalil, Gail Sheehy, Robert Fisk, Larry Bensky, voices from the 9-11 families who haven’t had their questions answered. I heard John Dean, 40-year White House reporter Helen Thomas, Hans Blix. I heard Prothap Chattergee (corpwatch.com) and Aaron Glantz, unimbedded reporters from the streets of Iraq, telling what they see; I heard the manager of a radio station from Palestine talking about daily bulldozing of homes with people inside by Israeli army with U.S. made Caterpillars.
I remember how the world stood still while a Chinese protester in Tiennamen Square faced down a tank, but when Rachel Corrie faced down a 2-story high bulldozer about to destroy a doctor’s home, or when kids throw stones at tanks, they have the life crushed or shot out of them and there is no fuss made. Pacifica’s mission is to get this information out. Nobody bugs People magazine because it isn’t Newsweek. Why bug KPFA because it isn’t KQED or KJZY? They have different missions. I comforted to know that millions of people around the world and around this country think the way I do; that there is community out there in spite of the ultra right wing takeover of our government. Feeling that kind of commitment and caring is not “bad news” to me; these are people taking exception to the rulers.
Tomorrow I’ll write about orgasm and my film debut.
And, here’s a poem sent to me by college professor, editor and poet friend, Brian Boldt.
Fallujah, Iraq, 2004
The Americans came again last night, at three in the morning.
They battered down our door without warning.
My brother Ali was dragged outside, naked,
In the blinding glare of the helicopter searchlights.
I saw a soldier beat him to the ground with his rifle,
Then stand with his boot on Ali’s neck while our mother screamed.
Three weeks ago, their helicopters killed seventeen of our tribe.
We were demonstrating against the way they treat our women,
Humiliating them in their night clothes, beating our brothers and fathers,
Dragging them away from the village. We have heard nothing of them.
Now our grandfather Abdul and the babies cannot sleep at night.
Ali and I will plant bombs in the road tonight, and deaf old Abdul will
Wait for them to come again, cradling a grenade in his leathery hands.