“Mexico’s Red Days” by Charles Bowden in GQ on the escalating Juárez, Mexico murders:
The killings have the cold feeling of butchery in a slaughterhouse, and they are everywhere: done in broad daylight, on streets, in markets, at homes, and even in Wal-Mart parking lots. Women, children, guilty, innocent—no one is safe.
You don’t want to think about prostate problems. What man over 50 would? Jeff Metcalf certainly didn’t; until the diagnoses in 2004: prostate cancer. That’s when Metcalf, an English professor at the University of Utah, began keeping a journal. His diaries open as a play this summer.
Here’s the HV radio version, written by Jeff Metcalf, performed by Paul Kiernan, recorded by Scott Carrier, produced by Larry Massett, music by Parazitii, “A Slight Discomfort: My Prostate Diaries” (53:00 mp3):
“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.” –Thomas Paine 1776
For the first time boots-on-the-ground soldiers testified before Congress (C-SPAN) in May 2008 about how the Iraq war is being waged. Those testifying were members of the Iraq Veterans Against the War.
A couple months earlier the group gathered to record soldiers and marines “giving an accurate account of what is really happening day in and day out.” They called the event Winter Soldier, taking the name from a similar 1971 movement of Vietnam vets.
These are some of the voices of the IVAW “Winter Soldiers” (7:25 mp3):
The above audio is edited excepts from former marines Jon Turner and Michael LeDuc, former soldiers Clifton Hicks and Garrett Reppenhagen, Jon Turner again, and former soldiers Jason Hurd and Kristopher Shawn Goldsmith. Longer unedited excerpts from their and other IVAW testimony is at our Winter Soldiers page.
[Mr. Massett explains why the media explanations of the mortgage crisis explain nothing.]
When the US credit markets began to blow up last year, every newspaper in the country served up two explanations for the mess: “sub-prime mortgage” and “collaterized debt obligation,” or “CDO.”
A sub-prime mortgage sounds bad on the face of it, so no problem there. But CDO has no obvious meaning. Only a few days ago I watched an NPR journalist try to figure it out from the words themselves (“let’s see, ‘collateralized’ refers to ‘collateral,’ so there must be a thing like a house or a car someplace, and ‘debt’ means, well, debt, and an ‘obligation’ means, um, you have to do something, right?”) The usual fudge is to drape the riddle with adjectives like “opaque,” “complex,” and “hard to understand,” as if these were explanatory principles. The phrase “complex and opaque financial instruments known as CDO’s” doesn’t tell you anything, really, but at least it sounds bad. Dern near as bad as a sub-prime mortgage. Moving right along, in other news…
The trouble is CDO’s were never meant for the average investor, or the average journalist. They are Wall Street inventions designed for the big players, investment banks like Citi or Merill or Bear Sterns. To understand them you have to think like an investment bank. This is no harder than thinking like a Martian. More…
NPR has changed. As evidence I offer this early 80s promo produced by Jesse Boogs for NPR. This imagistic radio dramatic audio artistic style said NPR then. Now, not so much; “Morning Edition promo” (1:00 mp3):
C’mon, bait your line. Let’s go smelt fishin’ on the ice. Ten shacks on a frozen river are filled with ice fishermen for ten weeks each year. Owner Steve Leighton provides the bait; his patrons bring the beer; and the fish take care of the rest. Produced by Grant Fuller of the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, premiered on Weekend America, “What Are You Gonna Do with 400 Fish?” (5:13 mp3):
In 1963-4 two Atlanta residents collected live recordings at freedom movement events in the deep south, mass meetings, sermons, rallies, interviews. Their collection, now at the Library of Congress, is called “Movement Soul.” This interview is with one of the recordists, David Baker; slideshow sequenced by Max Darham. “Movement Soul: Civil Rights- Live:”
An audio slideshow about the Burmese political rock band, Iron Cross. Photos, text and audio by Scott Carrier (from his HV/NPR story); music by Iron Cross; slideshow sequenced by Max Darham. “Rock the Junta: Iron Cross- Burma:”
This week’s HV cast is for Poetry Month. Sonia Sanchez performs her poem written to “all you young girls.” Produced by Steve Rowland and mixed by Joe Waters (a commission from WXPN with funding from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts) with original music by Jamaaladeen Tacuma. “Song #2” (mp3 1:56):
Using our NPR story “Listening to Northern Lights” (NPR Lost and Found Sound), Joel Halvorson of NASA Earth-Sun Museum Alliance made a video for the Minnesota Planetarium (for use in dome, thus the circular frame of the images):
Jake Warga made a slideshow of his radio story “The Person I Admire the Most” (NPR All Things Considered). It’s been viewed 18K19K23K 29K times on YouTube; who’s gonna make it 18,00119,00123,001 31,001: