Friday, August 03, 2007
I've worked, for many years, as a psychiatric nurse's assistant as an assistant/attendant for the disabled. I'm very comfortable, dealing with people with alternative mental states, disabilities, brain disorders, etc.
I approached you, several months ago, about this project. This was a conversation in your office, and I don't expect you to remember it. So, this is a reminder.
Ali and I had discussed the possibility of a nindependent producer's grant, in order for him, primarily, to produce a program on TBI, with my assistance. He had energy for content, but had no idea how to deal with the technicalities of such a production. He also made it very clear he had no interest in involving himself with UNM HR. He's concerned about the impact a grant would have on his eligibility for human services, disability insurance,etc. I told him I would be willing to executive produce the project, deal with the financial aspects,editing, recording/engineering, etc., if he would actually conduct interviews and establish the contacts. HE has with the TBI community in Albuquerque. We agreed that I would pay him half the IP grant, in exchange for his work. He has never been interested in the money; his primary motivation was the production and its potential educational value.
That part, you knew.
Here's what you didn't know.
I suggested that Ali and I meet, for about two months, every Monday evening at 6pm, at the station, for preproduction meetings. My purpose was to familiarize him with the application process, production requirements, interview skills (we invited Paul Inglesto that particular meeting), and all aspects of how such a program might work.
I had another purpose, as well. I was honest with Ali about this. I wanted an opportunity to assess Ali's capabilities, interests, levels of ability. I wanted to know if he would or could follow through on any aspect of the production, if there might be roadblocks we could overcome to make it happen, and if or whether he really had interest in following through on the project, or was just "pipe dreaming." I did not want to get involved in a cooperative project if it meant my partner could or would not meet his obligations and responsibilities.
Much has changed in Ali's personal life, since we began meeting. He's now involved in Vocational Rehabilitation, where his skills were assessed as he temporarily worked for Goodwill Industries. He will now be given training and employment options, based on their assessment of his skills and limitations. His life is in more serious flux than even he can appreciate, as a result.
In our most recent meeting, he suggested that he cannot be as involved in such a project as he'd previously believed. I found this a relief. Based on my experiences with him over the prior months, I'd concluded that some of his expectations of the project-- and of himself -- might not be realistic. I was planning to have a very uncomfortable (for me, anyway) conversation with him, during that meeting, about what I'd observed from him in the past, two months. Fortunately, he beat me to it, and bowed out of co-producing the project.
We have renegotiated the roles we'll be playing in the production, as a result. He still wants to conduct interviews, when he can. He still wants to provide me with contacts. And he's interested in editing some sound, in order to lay music beds in parts of the piece. But he is no longer interested in producing or directing it. This is totally fine, by me. I can edit interviews into cohesive segments, easily. I can schedule studio time, call interview subjects, investigate the piece, etc. I was pretty much planning on doing all of that,anyway.
Ali's life experience, as a TBI survivor, is important to the production, in my opinion. I'm hoping to contact another KUNM volunteer who survives TBI, as well.
I don't expect anything from Ali. I will use what I can of what he brings to the project, if anything. He can interview; whether he will or not remains to beseen.
As with most of the projects I've produced (with the possible exceptions of radio plays), not much about them looks, in the final production, like the application I put forward to you. Things change, as I contact people who may or may not follow through. I can afford to be flexible. In fact, I find it interesting, to watch a piece I produce begin to evolve over time. It makes for much better radio, than expecting everyone and everything to follow my directions in lock-step. And it's very satisfying, creatively.
Even one of my radio plays evolved in such a way: I had to edit down the original script from nearly 2 hours to 58 min. At first, the play write, who's pretty famous, was miffed and threatened by my editorial decisions. But he came to believe -- and still does -- that my edits actually improved the script. That piece, "Epilogue," is now in the Museum of Radio and Television. I'm pretty damn proud of that.
So, Ali is no danger or threat to the completion of this project. He's an asset to it. Don't worry about how or whether he'll screw it up. He's only interested in producing an educational, evocative, informative piece of radio. He's absolutely not interested in getting in the way of the production, just to salve his own ego.
I picked a good guy to work with. I just need to let him be Ali, and not someone he can't or won't be.
I can do this, with or without his help, support or input. And it'll be good radio.
I forgot about Santa Fe: My truck gets 10 mpg. I rarely drive it out of town. I have a scooter that gets 90mpg, but is not suitable, as it would take all day to drive the round trip. And New Mexico drivers are ultra-lethal, esp. on I 25.
I'm not sure HOW I'll be interviewing people yet, WHERE I'll be interviewing, etc. I'm suggesting this as a possible option for my production. Nothing is written in stone, yet. I'm just factoring in variables to satisfy the application process, right now.
I just paid Beaver cash, out of my funding. Actually, I had to take out a payday loan to pay her, at 25%interest/mo., because HR took so long to process my paperwork
Ali doesn't need to be on the payroll. I've paid engineers, actors, voice talent, etc. out of my IP funds, before. It's up to THEM to declare it on taxes,etc., so it's not a UNM HR issue.
I need to say the following to you, because my anxietyl evel about KUNM is way, too high, and my experiences with you are a serious part of that.
I never know where I stand with you. I'm not talking about this application business, although you'll see that the tension and apprehension I feel when I interact with you is reflected by my fears of double standards. I don't feel I can trust you, and I don't feel you trust me
.I strongly suspect that you don't respect or like me. I don't need to be liked, but respect is very important to me. People have wiped their posteriors with my dignity, whenever they could. It's just about the only resource I have left, and it's sorely damaged. For survival purposes, I've been REQUIRED to pretend my dignity wasn't a priority, and have allowed people to use me to gratify their own, neurotic purposes.
It continues, to this day. I'll have to risk assault by homeless, single, male drunks -- who hang out near the dental clinic, because there's a package liquor store across the street -- at 5am, for first-come-first-served dental care. I have no option. The clinic isn't open at that hour; the community center it's in is closed; there's no security. But my body is riddled with infections from my teeth. And I wake every morning with the smell of death in my mouth. The clinic is my ONLY option in New Mexico. I'm weak, dizzy and light headed from the infections. And teeth are VERY close to the brain
.I've approached you as a necessary evil. This is my fault, not yours. I hope you won't take offense.
When I first arrived at KUNM, I was very happy to have a chance to work with you as my temporary news director. I have a lot of respect for you as an editor. I knew you, primarily, as station voice talent, and was impressed when you subbed on NAC, etc.
Things have disintigrated, over the years. I've felt, whether it's true or not, that you were short-tempered with me and that you believed me to be either: irresponsible, mentally defective, contemptibly "street," or otherwise not acceptible for KUNM.
It's gotten to the point where I feel my chest tighten, when I see an email from you, or hear your voice in the halls. I'm always worried that I'll have offended you.
And, no matter how much I've "proven" myself, I never feel that you respect me or my work.
Now, I have a temper. You've seen that.
I need you to know I'm not coming from a place of trying to hurt YOU when I'm trying to defend myself, my position, my work.
I'm really all I have. I have no family. I have no close friends -- in Albuquerque, anyway -- for moral support or to have my back. I've lived under circumstances that would drive a LOT of people to drugs, mental illness, suicide or seriously antisocial behavior. I survived it all by being quick on my feet, constantly vigilant and VERY assertive about my needs. That's the UPSIDE of PTSD.
The down side of PTSD includes: I have a terrible memory when I'm under stress. I can't stop adrenal "rushes" when I feel threatened. I have lousy impulse control when I'm angry or afraid.
Given all that, I'd say I've done a pretty good job,when it comes to KUNM. I've never screamed at people, hit anybody, destroyed property, showed up chemically impaired, stolen, threatened, intimidated or otherwise exhibited the antisocial and unacceptable behaviors I'we personally witnessed or heard about from so-called "normal" people at that station.
Now, I'll NEVER be what's so smugly called, "normal." But I've been a devoted and hard-working member of the KUNM community under some pretty unacceptable circumstances. I guess I'm saying I'd like that acknowledged by you, as management.
I just don't want to feel afraid when I interact with you,. Whether either you or I like it or not, you are, by default, a role model and authority figure for many of us at KUNM. I don't want to fear you.
I try really hard not to bother you, annoy you, cause you extra effort, distract you, etc. Have you noticed how rarely you even see me, anymore?
If there's something I can do to improve communications and interactions between the two of us please let me know. I'll consider any feedback you have as PERSONAL correspondence, and will NOT hold against you anything you honestly care to express. I do NOT want to cause trouble for you at KUNM. I want to make things better. I want to work well with you. That's my motivation.
I did try to call within the last hour, but got voicemail, so I figured you were gone for the day.
I don't like "ratting out" people at the station, as the office politics are very toxic there. But it is a fact that R told me today was the deadline. I was covering for her, but I really need not to have my app. rejected over an otherwise minor miscommunication. But I ALSO don't want R to suffer any fallout over such a minor thing!
Well, if you have to reject my application on atechnicality, I can't do anything about it. You knowthis is important to me, so I don't need to campaignfor it.Marcos isn't in his office, so I can't contact himand, apparantly, wouldn't have been able to do so forabout a week prior, anyway.Please forgive the tardiness. I've always beenmore-than-punctual, in the past. Does it help that theattachment is dated for July?
Application for KUNM Independent Producer Position
NAME: Rogi Riverstone
TITLE OF PROJECT: “Brainstorm: Traumatic Brain Injury”
NUMBER OF PROGRAMS: 2
LENGTH OF PROGRAM(S): 28 min
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF PROJECT
Exploration of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) through interviews with survivors, caretakers, family members, friends and loved ones. What diagnostic facilities, rehabilitation, support systems exist in New Mexico for those who face recovery from TBI? What are the social challenges: stigmatization, economic impact, contact with law enforcement, etc. How can TBI survivors be better assisted in our community? I may need some studio time, production assistance and assistance with PR.
HOW DOES THIS PROGRAM PROPOSAL ADDRESS THE PRIORITIES FOR PROGRAMS AS PRESENTED IN THE APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS?
This is an educational program, involving University and other hospitals’ personnel, clients and others who deal with TBI. It addresses the scientific, sociological and personal impact of TBI in the New Mexico community.
What specific benefit or service does this program provide?
Educates the larger population about the special needs and challenges of TBI survivors and those who care for and love them. Reduces the stigmatization and prejudice TBI survivors and families face. Begins a dialogue on care taking in our community.
2. What audience segments do you intend to serve with this program, and how do you intend to reach that audience?
This is designed for the general community, as most of us have little experience, information and recognition of the challenges of TBI. It will offer some insights into the decision-making processes of medical professionals, social services providers, law enforcement personnel and local governments with regards to TBI. It will address the effects on the community.
Is this a service/benefit readily available on KUNM or elsewhere? If so, how would this program complement existing service?
I've never heard anything on KUNMfm or any other station, for that matter, which covers this subject in any detail. Local, commercial media outlets haven’t covered the story, at all. As thousands of military personnel begin returning from overseas wars, TBI will be an issue of intimate and immediate importance to the communities to which they will be returning. Are we prepared? In addition, this story is of national significance. As populations swell the infrastructures of cities across the country, communities will be making serious decisions about the handling of TBI survivors. Albuquerque is a microcosm of the national discussion.
Please check below the interests that the proposed
program addresses. (Taken from the Regents' Policy on KUNM)
CHECK 1. HIGH QUALITY, DIVERSE PROGRAMMING SERVING
DIVERSE INTERESTS PRIMARILY NOT AVAILABLE ON COMMERCIAL RADIO STATIONS.
Does the proposed program:
___YES!__ A. Present information and informed commentary including the arts, the sciences and culture generally?
___YES!__ B. Present information and discussion of significant issues facing society, thereby contributing to the development of an informed citizenry?
___YES!__ C. Convey diverse cultural richness of our society, and by presenting it, making it known to the present generation and also preserving it for future generations?
__YES!___ D. Develop diverse local programming?
___YES!__ E. Encourage listeners to enrich their lives through music and the arts and encourage new insights concerning life's experiences and the relationships between individuals, society and our cultural milieu?
CHECK 2. PROGRAMMING WILL COMPRISE AN INTEGRAL COMPONENT OF THE UNIVERSITY'S ACADEMIC MISSION.
Does this program:
___YES!__ A. Encourage creative initiatives from all sectors of the university?
__YES!___ B. Present scholarly and cultural activities such as broadcasting of lectures, recitals and other appropriate forms of faculty, staff and student expression?
__YES!___ C. Provide opportunity for experience in public radio station programming and operations?
PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION ELEMENTS (detail proposed interview sources, natural sound, music and other production sources you plan to use):
Person on the street interviews, ambient sound, interviews with professionals and officials who are associated with the project, TBI survivors and their loved ones, etc.
PROPOSED TIMETABLE (suggest the amount of time you expect to need for gathering source material; b) pre-production; c) final production): I’m giving myself 2 months for this project. It will take at least that long to get sources to speak with me, to locate interview subjects, to do necessary back story research, etc.
ESTIMATE THE TOTAL NUMBER OF HOURS TO COMPLETE: 150-200 apx.
YOUR DEADLINE FOR COMPLETION: October 1, 2007
PROPOSED AIR DATE: same or later
PAYMENT AMOUNT REQUESTED (max- $900): $900
The following expenses are not extracted from the
payment amount approved by the committee.
1) ESTIMATED SUPPLY NEEDS:
DAT TAPES (max- 10-120 min DATS) ___________ 0
CASSETTES (max 15-90 min CASS) _______________ 0
REEL TO REEL (max 4 full reels) _________________ 0
OTHER (not guaranteed) CDs $5.00
Describe how tape will be used:
Air checks, copies for guests, copies for later broadcast
(NOTE: Your estimate may exceed the limit on the following but the total on 2-7 must be < $277)
2) ESTIMATED LONG DISTANCE PHONE USE: (max-$100 per program)
Explain Long Distance needs: I’ll need to interview specialists in the field of TBI. Some of these won’t be local.
3) ESTIMATED TRAVEL MILES (.25/mi)/PER DIEM (max- $60
per program) $60
Explain your travel needs: I’ll be all over the city, interviewing people. In addition, I hope to go to Santa Fe, Belen, Bernalillo, Los Lunas and other, local communities, which have significant TBI populations, services, hospitals, etc. Hopefully, I’ll also make contact with some Native American community clinics.
ESTIMATED POSTAGE (max- $10 per program) $10
Explain postage needs: mailed out fliers, business cards, letters and other information to community organizations involved with TBI.
ESTIMATED PRINTING (max- $7 per program):______ $ 0 estimated
Explain printing: done at station
6) ESTIMATED UPLINK (max- $100 per program) $100, if necessary. I might need to interview people at the Santa Fe community radio station from KUNM studios.
7) OTHER EXPENSES (please explain in detail-reimbursement for these items is not guaranteed) $100 for Ali Liddel, TBI survivor and KUNMfm volunteer as voice actor. I can’t read copy with my bad teeth.
TOTAL OF ITEMS 2-7 (cannot exceed $277) $276
YOUR PRODUCTION HISTORY
(List other programs that you have produced or assisted with. Be specific about the programs and your level of involvement in the production. Your best production work should be included on the required demo tape that you turn in with this application.)
Producer(s) and related experience/background: Rogi Riverstone: reporter, KUNMfm, Albuquerque, NM; reporter, KUSPfm Santa Cruz, CA; Women's Issues broadcaster, KAZUfm Pacific Grove, CA; talk show host & student, KCRWfm Santa Monica, CA; formerly-homeless Queer; independent producer; writer.
Interview: Mike Farrell KCRW. Produced, hosted 15 min. interview with Mr. Farrell on his trip to Nicaragua.
Interview: Coven KCRW. Produced, hosted 15 min. interview with witches for Halloween.
Apx. 15 pieces, 3-6 mins. in length, for KUNM Evening News
Apx. 5 pieces, 1.5 min. in length, for National Native News.
2 pieces, 1 min. in length, for Free Speech Radio News.
1 piece, 2 mins. length for Women's International News Gathering. 50 hours live interviews, music programming, etc. for My Sister's House, KAZUfm Pacific Grove, Ca.
50 hours news reporting, editing, production for KUSPfm, Santa Cruz, Ca.
KUNM VOLUNTEER HISTORY
(Number of years, general activities) Three years: news, fundraising, radio theatre, substitute hosting, editing, clerical, webmastering, production assistant, etc. Apx. 2,000 hours, to date.
Independent Producer Grant projects: Homelessness Marathon, Epilogue, Wounded Warriors: Native American Veterans with PTSD
Monday, July 02, 2007
Earlier today KAZU in Monterey, Calif. received a suspicious e-mail with anattached invoice from a firm claiming to be a vendor. In fact, we have no record of dealing with this firm--Beckman Instruments which is a legitimate company located in Fullerton, CA.
According to a blog entry I found at PC World magazine(http://blogs.pcworld.com/staffblog/archives/004662.html) the attachment KAZU Development Director Doug McKnight wisely chose to leave unopened is a sophisticated piece of malware that's quite effective at creating an ongoing HTTP path for harvesting data. We share this with the list because, unlike the usual clumsy and obvious phising attempts we all receive every day, this message was carefully directed and may be consistent with an attempt to ply data from pubcasters.
The subject line on the suspect message was: Subject: FW: Proforma Invoice (Attn: Douglas McKnight - Director ofDevelopment) [30e034fb3cf2230048e84aed041b6106] FWIW.
Duncan Lively General Manager 90.3 KAZU, NPR for the Monterey Bay Area
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
We who still darken the doors of KUNM bear our scars and remember the names of the fallen, even though our neighbors have forgotten.
Congratulations to management, if you've had any influence on Renee's decision to finally walk away from the destruction she singlehandedly caused to very good, hard working, decent people.
It's a shame she got sick during her probation period. Otherwise, she'd have shown her true colors soon enough to be let go, years ago.
I'm not blaming you, per se, or even Richard, for the misery that woman caused to many people. She's responsible for her own dysfunction. Unfortunately, as with so many dysfunctional people, she has left the overworked to clean up her messes.
But I can never trust a system that wouldn't or couldn't protect us from her, respect us enough to believe there was a genuine problem, and do something to heal it all.
I will never think of Renee with respect, but only with fear and grief, and neither will quite a few others, including the poor UNM maintanance guy who had to empty her trash.
I don't wish her harm. I just continue to wish her gone, as I have for 3 years now.
So, the reference to St. Crispain is an honorarium to those of us who struggled, and failed, against her totalitarianism, unpredictability and brittle ego.
I meant it to be obsure. Only those directly affected need to understand the tribute.
I just finished transcribing Paul's Peace Talks http://paulingles.com for May. I don't usually post these here, but this one's an exception, IMO. It's not just sports; it's academics, employment, class status..... Things that make me go puke.
This is the BEST analysis of why I have always hated sports that I've ever heard. I've often suspected someting like counter empathy, but had no language for it. It covers domestic abuse, too; people KNOW what hurts, and like to see others suffer.
INGLES: Your book, No Contest: The Case Against Competition, was first published in 1986. It begins with the sentence, “Life, for us, has become an endless succession of contests.” You wrote that over twenty years ago. I was thinking that the competition imperative has only been amplified over the last, twenty years. All you need to do is look at television, to see reality show after reality show, based on being chosen and beating – by hook or by crook – a field of competitors. I was thinking it might have you wishing for the good old days of the competitive environment of the 1980s. What’s been your reaction to this trend?
KOHN: It’s going to be discouraging for an author who hopes that his or her book will make some difference. I had no illusions that any book – mine or someone else’s – would instantly transform a culture that is marinated in the imperative to defeat other people. There are some encouraging signs, in some arenas. But you’re quite right. Competition is dug in, deep. Now, we get to watch, not only things like hockey and football, but poker and spelling bees. There’s no limit to our appetite to watch other people try to defeat one another.
INGLES: A lot of times people will say, “Let’s make it fun. Let’s make it a contest.” You’re suggesting that we be on the alert for that and say, “Do we really have to make a contest out of this?”
KOHN: Right. At the very least, the most moderate position here would be to say, “There are other ways to have fun, without all of the disadvantages attendant on a contest. The stronger argument would be that there is something decidedly un-fun, or twisted, warped, form of enjoyment in which I have to triumph over you. I spend a chapter, in No Contest, trying to dissect the ideas of fun, play and recreation, to show that competition actually gets in the way of enjoyment
INGLES: Let’s spend a few minutes, talking about sports in more detail. Some say, “Competition does prompt superior performance.” Speed records, performance records, all seem to fall as athletes compete to top each other. They would say, “The winners look so happy.” What do you say is missing from this picture that you’d like us to be conscious of?
KOHN: First, even the winners in a sports contest aren’t happy for long, typically. Mark Spitz, in the early ‘70s, who won an unprecedented number of gold medals for swimming in the Olympics, later told interviewers he didn’t know how far, how fast, you could fall. That’s typically true with competition. Even when you win, you feel great – for a while – you’re euphoric; you’re impossible to live with. Then, you come crashing down to Earth. You need more and more victories at more public events, in order to try to reclaim that same feeling. It gets increasingly impossible to do that. It’s like building up a tolerance to a drug. Meanwhile, you’ve got the “losers,” some of whom have spent their entire lives, preparing for this moment, utterly devastated now. From a psychological perspective, it’s completely unnecessary. Moreover, there’s evidence to show that, even with gross motor stuff, competition doesn’t always lead to better performance than other, alternatives. But let’s assume that I’m wrong here. Let’s assume that, if you didn’t compete, you wouldn’t have people reaching higher and higher levels of proficiency. I’m talking about the .001% of the population who are professional, or Olympic, athletes. They’re able to jump higher and run faster than ever. So what? Especially when you compare that, or contrast that, with the manifestly destructive effects of competition. The fact that we’ve got a lot of obese kids here – for many reasons – but, in part, because the only game in town is a competitive game. If you recoil from competitive sports as a child – and I think that’s a sign of health – that’s it. There are very few other, physical activities where you can really enjoy yourself and get all the other advantages, if it’s not about trying to step on someone else’s face. I’d gladly give up some Olympic record, in order to help our society re-conceive physical activity in noncompetitive terms.
INGLES: Even if it’s not about beating someone else, but it’s about beating a record . . .
KOHN: Well, that’s different. Beating a record is not really competition, unless you really stretch the word beyond a point of usefulness. I don’t object to the idea of trying to do better today than you did, last time. If I go swimming, I might try to swim an extra, couple of laps. You can get carried away, even there, where it’s not fun anymore.
INGLES: It depends on how you feel about that effort.
KOHN: That’s right. But let’s say we do it in a way that does provide challenge. Improvement, trying to improve my record since yesterday, I don’t find that objectionable, particularly. It’s a way of rescuing the idea of competition, by defining it so broadly that an innocuous example like that is used to try to justify the whole concept, including the real kind of competition, which is where I’m trying to beat you.
INGLES: But, if you feel like a loser, when you haven’t topped that performance. . .
KOHN: There are some people who will feel like “losers,” I suppose, even when there’s no real competition involved. I’m not suggesting that all psychological problems and deficiencies and self-esteem can be laid at the feet of competition – just a lot of them.
INGLES: Let’s go back to the source of this. There’s a point, in almost everyone’s childhood, when you cross a line, I think, from playing to play and playing to win, from playfulness to competitive sports. It’s when the parents ask the question, “Do you want to join the soccer team? Do you want to play on the football team?” Playfulness and competitive sports, you say, are two, very different things. I’m guessing you see that as a sort of developmental fault line that might be a way to raise parents’ consciousness about this transition, or this opportunity.
KOHN: I think we can raise parents’ consciousness from the time they’re thinking about having children, not just when their kids go from bouncing around on the trampoline to have fun to a point where they’re told, “If you want to stick with this, you’ve got to get serious, and that means being a competitor in tournaments.” What a sad, sad thing that is. There’s no way to be good without being better than others, or trying to do so and, maybe, even failing. Parents need to think about that, well before that age is reached. They need to think about it when they’re starting to have kids. They need to be encouraged to think about their own experiences: the ways, perhaps, their parents drove them into competitive sports, taking a vicarious satisfaction: “My kid is a winner. Therefore, I’m a good parent.”
INGLES: Can we talk about the “us versus them” paradigm that is endemic to sports, even outside of the competitors? It seems pretty common to have kids, absorbing their parents’ ideas about all kinds of preferences, whether it’s Ford over Chevy or the Red Sox over the Yankees. People say, “I’m a Denver fan; I hate the Cowboys. I’m a Red Sox fan; I hate the Yankees.” You go to a pep rally and they’re burning the other team in effigy. Many would look at those kinds of scenes and laud it as great fun. School spirit is good. But it feels like there’s an ugly side, as well. Where’s the rub that relates to some of your research?
KOHN: If we look at participants in sport, there’s research showing that moral judgments have become less sophisticated in a competitive context. It actually retards ethical development, to put people in a situation where they are trying to beat someone else. Other considerations then become secondary. Sometimes, they’re pushed out of the picture, entirely. You learn to hate other people or, at least, talk yourself into that, because the goal is pretty much at the bottom of any sort of hierarchy: it’s just to see other people as a means to your success. When you watch this, there is often a very, as you say, “ugly” kind of dynamic that is created. Social psychologists call it, “B.I.R.G.,” which stands for, “Basking In Reflected Glory:” I have a little bit of spark in my own life – not because of anything I’ve done, but because a bunch of athletes who, probably, aren’t even from my town, are triumphing over their counterparts in another sports franchise. It’s a pretty sad reason to be excited about a school – or a city – when you think about it. And it carries dark, dark echoes of far more violent “us against them” situations. It’s not innocuous and it’s not an alternative to primitive impulses; it’s a replaying and a reviving of those impulses. And it’s not the way I think we ought to be socializing our children.
INGLES: I played high school basketball. I heard the old saw, back then, that “You have to want it more than the other guy. The other guy only wants to make you look bad. The other team is worthy of derision. There’s little or no honor in a loss.” The fans adopt all this, too. When you step back from it a little bit, sometimes, it can look real ugly: whether it’s the cruelty of the wildest, student sections at a high school or college game or stories of individual athletes who keep ramping up the “us versus them” philosophy. Here’s an example. It’s a piece on NFL linebacker, Bill Romanowski, who was on “60 Minutes” a couple of years ago. He played for 16 years and lead defenses to four Super Bowl wins. He also admitted to taking steroids, to extend his career. Here, he’s interviewed by Scott Pelley of “60 Minutes.”
ROMANOWSKI: “I felt I could take myself to a place where other guys weren’t willing to go. ‘cause, come Sunday, after a game, I already started hating the next opponent. I started hating the guy I was going to go against. I hated their coaches. I hated their fans. I hated their families. You name it. By the time I got on to that field, come Sunday, watch out, because there was rage.” [Sounds of players tackling, grunting, growling, as crowds cheer]
PELLEY: “Number 53 rode that rage to become one of the most feared linebackers in the NFL.”
INGLES: Most sports fans would say that Romanowski is sort of an exception, that he’s an extreme example, that most players aren’t so hell-bent on hate. Is there a cautionary tale in a case like Bill Romanowski ?
KOHN: Think of it in concentric circles. In my book I quote another football player, who talks in almost exactly the same way about that drive, that hatred, which fuels the victory. But go a step out. It’s about football, itself, not just about the most extreme players of that game. But it’s not just about football; it’s about sports. And it’s not just about sports. It’s about competition. And I mean all sorts of competition. It doesn’t always manifest itself in these egregious terms, of people saying, “I hate him; I want to kill his family.” There’s been social psychology evidence now, for some time, suggesting that, if you take ordinary people, and you put them in a situation where they’re told they’re going to compete against somebody else – at some kind of game, not even a physical sport – people develop something. Psychologists had to invent a new word for it. They call it, “counter empathy.” Ordinary people, put in a competitive situation, begin to take pleasure in the distress, or failures, of those who have been arbitrarily designated as their adversaries – in some temporary game – and to be saddened, or upset, by the successes of these people. These are people they never knew before. The problem is not with individual psychopathology. It’s not just the guy who rips the leg off someone else, the guy who breaks the rules. It’s not just about the aggressors and cheaters. We love to do that in our culture, to blame the individual, so we can keep the structure intact. It’s about competition, itself, as a system, which plays itself out in different ways on our playing fields and battlefields, but also in our workplaces, our classrooms, and even our families. Whenever you set up an arrangement where I have to try to make somebody else lose, that, necessarily, brings out the worst in people. We start to envy winners, to have contempt for losers, and to lose our natural, human connection to just about anyone who can be defined as a “competitor.”
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Reply to an email by Halima Christy, host of Sage Health Online, member of the Free Speech Movement.
Theoretically, I agree with the Free Speech Movement.
Here's my issue: the infrastructure is not in place to support it.
Our culture DOES NOT encourage THINKING freely, for damn sure.
Education is so bad that less than 30% of kids in Detroit graduate with a High School diploma.
Video games, released by Bill Gates' (Mr. Philanthropy) company give bonus points if the player "kills" prostitutes.
We don't have an informed democracy; lobbiests control the GOP, thanks to Rove et al; GOP spin doctors are calling people faggots and "immoral."
Mega churches get federal funding for social "services" which promote homophobia and sexism, not to mention superstition and doomsday prophesies. AND they own TV channels & radio stations for which -- apparantly -- Liberal faiths have nothing to offer by way of equal time or alternative channels. Example: WHY, after all these years, does not the Unitarian Universalist Association produce a Liberal broadcast???
I was just verbally assaulted by a drunk when I walked to the corner restaurant for a hamburger. I expect such things on the streets. But I don't want it in my house!
I know: just turn off the radio. Right. Some solution.
Our culture is SATURATED with visciousness, terror and hate.
I won't question Street Beat, its personnel or its program content . . .
IF I see a genuine, heart-felt commitment to generating even MORE, local programming in which such issues are addressed in a SERIOUS attempt to HEAL some of this venom! Or, at least, invite an attempt at such dialogue.
And I don't mean some ivory-tower, upper-middle-class academician, pontificating the illusion of "objectivity" on NPR news.
And I DON'T mean some sanctimonious, holier-than-thou, I-know-more-than-you-do, Chicken Little commentator for the Party Line of the Left, either.
When I produced KUNM's segment of the live, national call-in show for the Homelessness Marathon, Queer kids from the streets walked into the studios of KUNM for the first time and "spoke truth to power" to an enthusiastic audience. Street hookers, drug dealers, incest survivors... people who are affected intimately by hate speech FINALLY had a venue to express their joys and sorrows. It's one of the greatest accomplishments of my life.
What have we contributed to the Homelessness Marathon since?
And I'm NOT saying I'm Saint Rogi, avenger of the downtrodden and that all programming on KUNM should be done the way I do it.
It doesn't MATTER to me WHO produced that program; it matters to me that it WAS PRODUCED.
IF we, as KUNM, have a commitment to address these life-and-death issues, to contribute even more to an informed democracy, to spotlighting aspects of our community infrastructure which are disintigrating from neglect and corruption, to encourage the genius of our fellow New Mexicans -- if that, then I have no problem with occasional, problematic lyrics in music programming (and, yes, Don, especially spoken word programming.)
I still assert that it seems healthier, to me, to attract a thousand people who'd donate a dollar each than to pander to ONE donor of a thousand dollars (because of the potential for undo influence, corruption, etc.)
The way to attract those thousand people is to address their issues: the issues that put their daughters in danger as they walk to school, that endanger their sons with violent behavior and emotional disability, that take money from their wallets and food from their tables.
That's my opinion.
Believe me, I'm accustomed to rough language. I can dish it out, too. No problem.
I want safe harbor for every aspect of our community: respect, dignity, education, inspiration.
I know: I'm living in a fool's paradise. It's not going to happen, right?
Well, it won't happen if I don't try to make it happen.
We've got Ann Coulter to teach us how to call people faggots.
I'm just wondering if we need KUNM to do it, too. At least, do we need KUNM to broadcast such things WITHOUT any discussion, dialogue, examination, conversation?
PS, Don: I was using the term, "gangsta cRap," to describe a SUBGENRE of hiphop, not the entire genre. I'm sorry that wasn't clear in my writing, but that's what I mean.
And, Bob, as to the issue of self defense, I do defend myself. But some people can't. Those people still deserve the right to walk to the store in peace. That's all I'm saying.
Monday, March 26, 2007
My problem with "gangsta" cRap music (institutionalized exploitation by white, recording executives who only see the bottom line and RESTRICT diversity of opinion/expression in the hiphop genre) is that it CONSCIOUSLY encourages oppression, racism, sexism, Black-on-Black violence, internalized racism & self-hatred (drug use, alcoholism, measuring success by "bling" intead of moral integrity, REFUSAL of fatherhood, unsafe sex, etc.)
Shakespeare utilized violence for artistic effect, for social commentary as WELL as for entertainment. I believe the same could actually be argued for "Mack the Knife," which was one of my favorite, childhood songs, too, by the way. I was a strange child.
The Bible is part historical record, part allegory, part morality apologia and part Entertainment Tonight (in my opinion, informed by several years' study for the ministry.)
Sure, there are lots of socially-unconscious examples of icky subjects in art. Picasso exploited the hell out of women. Most commercial, motion pictures still ARE racist and sexist.
In the "gangsta" cRap industry, people are making CONSCIOUS decisions to promote the WORST forms of oppression, of the very people they've pimped out to record it!
It is institutionalized hate speech. It is designed to produce contempt, anger, hatred (all masquerading for fear, I believe) between people.
My neighbor just pulled up. He blasted his sound system. Racial and gender epithets filled our flower-dotted street. Threats of the most hideous tortures and abuses bounced off our neatly-painted walls.
A fetid, murky fog of hell settled over our street. Neighbors looked at each other in our yards with such helpless grief. We don't want to hear it. We don't want our kids to hear it. It's toxic.
I can't WAIT 'til that pack of yahoos gets evicted!
There's a difference between art and propoganda and hate speech. Yes, they often lop over onto each other.
But this is BRANDED hate speech. It depends on racism, homophobia, mysogyny, violence and internalized versions of the above to prosper.
I can't justify giving it more air time than it already gets.
Subscribing to KUNM is a lot like paying taxes. Oh, it's more voluntary, sure. But I can't earmark that my taxes not pay for nukes and health clinics that won't discuss birth control and "faith-" based Queer bashing in homeless shelters. And I can't tell the Development or Programming Departments, "hey, can my money go to generating original Queer and feminist programming, and not hate speech?"
I know we're in the middle of a pledge drive, and these are dangerous words. I've already alienated KUNM management a lot with my raggedy, off-the-wall self.
But I live on less than seven hundred dollars a month. And I gotta wonder, am I supporting something that supports me if I subscribe? I mean, am I REALLY? 'cuz hundreds of thousands of dollars to NPR and Performance Today could SURE buy a LOT of alternative news (like WINGS, the international women's news broadcast) and could sure fund a LOT of locally-produced programming that's part of the solution, not part of the problem.
I'm just asking.
Friday, March 23, 2007
. . . and people are tired.
Let's not get too cranky about the whole Street Beat thing, ok? We're all trying to do good radio. It's just that we don't agree on what that means. Let's not spill each others' blood, in an attempt to make our points. I guess I'm to blame, too, since mine was the first, very assertive opinion. I'm sticking to it, by the way.
I understand the value of free speech, believe me. I would have been active as a volunteer several years earlier, if not for the General Orientation I experienced under a different Volunteer Coordinator.
When discussing the concepts of obscenity and indecency (our policies have modified since then, btw), I became concerned as to the viability of discussions of human sexuality. Specifically, I was concerned that any programming about safe sex for women -- especially Lesbians -- couldn't be broadcast, except during Safe Harbor hours. How does one discribe the placement of a dental dam on female genitalia, the use of female condoms, etc., without mention specific body parts? How could one broadcast a story -- either during regular news broadcasts or during Women's Focus -- without getting the FCC on our backs?
My concerns were met with silence by the Coordinator and by sniggers by the potential volunteers assembled. I stopped attending Orientations and didn't volunteer at the station until several years later. It was an uncomfortable experience.
We need more, not less, conversations among ourselves as to our motivations, visions, etc. for KUNM and its programming.
Nobody's suggesting micromanaging programmers, or the Program Director, for that matter.
See, for me, this isn't an intellectual exercise in philosophy. I've attended too many memorials, made too many hospital visits, cried over too many news stories of hate crimes to be "objective" on these issues.
Frankly, I question the very concept of "objectivity," as portrayed by the Academy. I have a sneaking suspicion this so-called, "objectivity" IS an opinion, even though it's concidered bad form to admit it.
I don't want my speech curtailed, for sure. I always think I'm right. And I want others to hear my opinions, and those of people I respect.
'course, I'd say that, for the most part, I'm pretty responsible about my speech. I realize it's not just a right; it's a responsibility.
I hate being called epithets. I hate hearing others called epithets. I SERIOUSLY believe it leads to physical violence and discrimination.
I also think a bunch of white business dudes are pimpin' angry Black men who can rhyme to sell CDs to angry white men who can't. I don't wish to encourage that dynamic. Yes, I, too, saw that PBS special on hypermasculinity and latent homoeroticism in cRap music.
I wish we could have this discussion on air. I wish we could have it on Street Beat.
Anyway, this email's too long.
We all have a commitment to KUNM; we just have different approaches. Frankly, I think it's good for the station & its programming that we DON't agree on the approaches, but all approach.
I'm trying my damnedest to appreciate the fact that people with whom I SERIOUSLY disagree are just as committed -- probably more so -- as I am to the station.
Have a good weekend, everybody.
Thanks for caring SO MUCH about KUNM.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
A volunteer at KUNM posted an email to the volunteers' ideas list, with a link to a letter in the UNM "Daily Lobo"
KUNM Show Promotes Discrimination
The Program Director replied with some limp arguments about how the program in question, "Street Beat," is broadcasting programming that wouldn't be heard anywhere else.
Here's my reply:
I have a great idea!
Let's get some students, volunteers and community members with an interest in art for a project!
Let's send them out with dump trucks and shovels to collect feces from male bovine.
We'll have them bring it up to the 3rd floor lobby in wheelbarrows and smear it all around the lobby, leaving big piles for people to walk through!
It'll be an art installation.
True, people will slip and fall in it. It'll cause diseases. Lots of people will suffer, because the smell will drift all around the community. It'll affect progamming, staff efficiency and the number of people willing to either volunteer at, or contribute to, the station. We'll have a pretty bad reputation, all over the state. It'll be dangerous and counter-productive.
But we'll say it's art and freedom of speech, even though everybody else calls it a steaming pile of bullshit.
If Nazis broadcast that crap, someone would complain to the FCC and we'd lose our license. That's in addition to the protesters outside.
We're just lucky so few people even listen to a program that's produced by people who don't even interface with the KUNM community, staff, listeners or other volunteers.
People are DYING from hate speech. We need the air time for REAL programming.
As to outreach and inclusiveness, we need to look to our own house. When a former Volunteer representative to the radio board can sit in a General Meeting and blithely question the capabilities of a staff member, simply because that person has no bachelors degree, without any interest in that person's life story, AND that person is Black, AND it is said in the presence of another staff member who is struggling to complete said degree, how can we not say we've alienated the hell out of the community we're supposed to be serving? Prejudging people, based on tickets, economic privilege, ranks and credit ratings is just as oppressive as racism, sexism and homophobia. Nobody -- including me -- challenged that person in that General Meeting. It has been a source of constant shame and frustration for me, ever since.
I can't worry about the consequences. The State of New Mexico, PARTICULARLY Gay men in rural areas, NEED a voice, not excuses.
Friday, February 09, 2007
George W. Bush is trying--yet again--to slash funding for NPR and PBS.
This week, Bush proposed a new budget with devastating cuts to public
broadcasting . "Sesame Street" and other ad-free kids' shows are under
the knife. So is the independent journalism our country needs.
Enough is enough. We've fought this fight before and won--but we can't
afford the risk anymore. With the new Congress, we can make sure this
never happens again. We need Congress to insulate NPR and PBS from the
We can make it happen if enough of us sign this petition: "Congress must
save NPR and PBS once and for all. Congress should guarantee permanent
funding and independence from partisan meddling." Clicking here will add
your name to the petition:
After you sign, please forward this email to your friends, family, and
co-workers to keep this campaign going. We'll deliver the petition to
members of Congress as they consider Bush's budget--offering a public
counterpoint to this dangerous attack.
Congress can protect NPR and PBS from future cuts. The long-term solution
to save public radio and TV is to:
* fully restore this year's funding
* guarantee a permanent funding stream free from political pressure
* reform how the money is spent and keep partisan appointees from
pushing a political bias
Bush's budget would cut federal funds for public broadcasting by nearly
25% . According to PBS, the cuts "could mean the end of our ability to
support some of the most treasured educational children's series" like
"Sesame Street," "Reading Rainbow," and "Arthur." 
As telecommunications chair Rep. Ed Markey said, "In a 24-7 television
world with content often inappropriate for young children, the public
broadcasting system represents an oasis of quality, child-oriented
educational programming. We owe America's children and their parents this
free, over-the-air resource." 
The cuts could also decimate one of the last remaining sources of watchdog
reporting on TV--continuing the partisan war on journalism led by the
ex-chair of public broadcasting, Ken Tomlinson . More people trust
public broadcasting than any corporate news media . President Bush
would rather undermine our free press than face reporters who are asking
Let's put an end to the constant threats to NPR and PBS. Let's ask
Congress to guarantee funding and stop partisan meddling. Clicking here
will add your name to the petition:
Thank you for all you do.
--Noah, Marika, Eli, Adam G. and the MoveOn.org Civic Action Team
Thursday, February 8th, 2007
P.S. Our friends at Free Press have more on how to save NPR and PBS once
and for all:
1. "Bush Proposes Steep Cut to PBS Funding," TV Week, February 5, 2007
2. PBS' Ready to Learn program (funds "Sesame Street" and other children's
3. "Tomlinson Slinks Away," MediaCitizen, November 3, 2005
4. "2005 'Open to the Public' Objectivity and Balance Report," Corporation
for Public Broadcasting, January 31, 2006
Friday, February 02, 2007
here in Albuquerque all the way to Kansas City and back. We're shooting
video for an Independent Study project of hers at college. It'll be a
video documentary, based on a radio play she produced several years ago.
So, the truck needs cleaning out; bedding and cooking utensils need
washing; goats & chickens need extra feed (so do cats). Clothes need
packing; cameras need batteries, film, etc.
It's a lot of work. As usual, she can't help, because she works full
time and has other classes, too.
It's her last semester. She'll graduate, with honors, in May. Maybe then
I can fall apart! I've never known her without tremendous pressure on
Besides all that, Dudette at http://net4tv.com Games has offered me a
job, writing about WebTV stuff for her users. I'll have a blog; it'll
have a forum, so readers can reply, etc. I'm also helping her set up
online greeting cards and email signatures.
So, I've been awful busy!
BTW: I'll be gone from the 9th through the 19th of February. We're
taking the WebTV and a small TV set with us. We'll periodically stay in
hotels. That way, we can post still photos online, check email, etc.
I'll try to post in my newsgroup and blogs then, but who knows?
Mostly, we'll be sleeping in the truck, on an air mattress, in February.
We go through Colorado, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and, of course, New
Mexico. Nothing like a camping trip, in the DEAD OF WINTER! brrr.
Monday, January 29, 2007
Help Journalist Fight Army Subpoena
As you may know, I've been subpoenaed by the Army totestify about an interview I did with 1st Lt. EhrenWatada, the first officer to publicly refuse to deployto Iraq.
I have taken the position that it's not a journalist'sjob to participate in the government prosecution ofpersonal, political speech, and that the subpoenaserode the barrier between press and government, chillspeech, stifle debate and subvert the notion of apress free of government meddling.
I've gotten really amazing and diverse support: fromthe National Press Club issuing a release last weekdenouncing the subpoenas, to antiflag posting amessage on their blog doing the same! I'm asking thatyou all do two things, if you are willing to spend afew quick minutes lending a hand.
First, go to the web site http://www.defendthepress.org/ to send a letter to theArmy and the Pentagon asking that they drop thesubpoenas of journalists in the Lt. Watadacourt-martial. Also, you can sign onto the journalistopen letter calling on the Army to "back off." :)
Second, please send an announcement/alert to your ownfriends, colleagues, lists and networks. I would loveto be be able to deliver thousands of emails andletters to the Army by the end of the week, and Ireally need help getting that accomplished! I'vedrafted up a sample alert below. Feel free to edit atwill and send out to whomever you'd like!
Also, free free to call or email off list if you haveany thoughts or questions.Thanks so much for your help with this!
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Date:Tue, 16 Jan 2007 15:55:46 -0800From:"Rogi Riverstone"Subject:Re: [KUNMIDEAS-L] Fwd: plantation MentalityI just lost my free speech to blog. Google boughtBlogger. Now, I can't access it from my WebTV. I mustuse a computer. I'm privileged; most webtv users don'town and can't afford a computer. Their blogging issilenced.See: http://msntv.blogspot.com/Rogi Riverstonehttp://rriverstone.comDate:Tue, 16 Jan 2007 16:42:37 -0800From:"megan kamerick"Subject:Re: [KUNMIDEAS-L] transcript of moyers speechit's herehttp://www.commondreams.org/views03/1112-10.htmMegan--- Halima Christy wrote:>> tried to send this earlier-- hope you are tuned> in to this->> --- the forwarded message follows ---> > From: "Halima Christy" > Subject: plantation Mentality> Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2007 11:46:44 -0700>> hi-> i just heard a very unusual media speech- on> "Democracy> Now"> (on TV- 10am Ch27 in Abq) by BILL MOYERS at the> Media> Conference in Memphis-->> Moyers passionately spoke- fire in his belly!--> about> --'elite plunder' of the very rich across the boards> in US> --- in everything, including radio, tv , cable,> and they are going after internet more than we> dreamed...> -- conspiracy of the rich> --"The American Dream vs The Gospel of wealth" (a> book)> --Censorship of Knowledge in the Media for last 50> years> -- Oligarchy's 'view from the top' in all media, and> the> effect it has repressing democracy> --Media language concealing reality> -- time to challenge the "Plantation mentality' we> are all> being subjected to by Washington & the corp> media> -- great book called "Digital Destiny"- must read> for> media lovers>> It seems like Moyers really did listen to Jos> Campbell and> to> many of the healers in both of his historic series> in the> 80's> while so many others were opting into the yuppie> dream....> Moyers> talks about salvaging freedom of the press with> digital-> even tho> the corp plundering has started--> R Murdoch bought 'myspace', and Google already> bought> Utube, etc, etc-->> Moyers notes that with digital, 'everyman' has a> pen, is a> Tom> Paine, and corp cannot be the only storywriters...>> Hoping that we all understand the nefarious> ramifications> of> the 'plantation mentality', Moyers said maybe the> civil> rights> movement in media starts when we stand up from our> obsequious> labors and realize " this ain't the product of> intelligent> design">> He spoke of the original goals for radio- "classroom> for> the Air",> and how they were exchanged for commercial> sponsorship> goals in the> 40's and 50's....>> THIS is a GREAT speech, not to be missed by anyone> who> values> Free Speech in any form. As one who worked in the> FSM-> the Free Speech Movement> meetings started in the house next to mine on> Carleton> Street,> and i have never fully recovered from that blast of> intelligence-> listening to Mario Savio, (whom i sometimes think> of as> the> 'last best orator), and the others, being present at>> Sproul Hall Plaza> from the first FSM demonstration on== with all the> police> tear gas> attacks and arrests, etc etc--> i don't get to hear GREAT SPEECHES nearly enough--> most> politicians> and media people seem possessed with serious early> Alzheimer's..> (except for public media, bien sur),> and the ONLY national TV show (are there others?)> worth> attention> seems to be DEMOCRACY NOW-- which helps me> to believe that free speech/democracy is just> temporarily> comatose..>> THIS Bill Moyers speech is GOOD FOR THE INTELLIGENT> HEART....>> TREAT YOURSELF to some sane and brilliant thinking-->> listen today> at 4 pm on www.KUNM.org (Albq time) if you are out> of the> area,> to Bill Moyers on "Will the media foster democracy> or> quench it?">> Health democracy for all,>> Halima