Saturday, December 17, 2005

Rushed post, Mark Crispin Miller and Eleanor Clift on The Laura Flanders Show Sunday

The Laura Flanders Show is on its second hour.

Mark Crispin Miller will be a guest on Sunday.

Currently Jonathan Tasini is on.

Listening, I'm reminding of a point that C.I. made this week. Laura Flanders' voice sounds like she's got a cold or worse. That's not a complaint in terms of listening. It's like when Phoebe on Friends had her sexy voice. But Amy Goodman had laryngitis this past week and had to miss a day (Juan Gonzalez filled soloed that day) and someone (Kyle?) wrote in asking C.I. where Goodman was?

It was Kyle who wrote in. Here's a section of that entry by C.I.:

Kyle missed Democracy Now! yesterday. He caught today's show on the radio and wondered where Amy Goodman was? The medical answer, which she gave yesterday, is that she has laryngitis. The metaphorical answer?
How about this? How about it's time for people to stop pointing to Amy Goodman and saying, "Oh well she talks about it." Yes, she does. She reports on it, she analyzes it. She puts herself out there. A lot of people don't.
Are you supporting the voices who do that speak to you? Are you making a point to listen or read or watch the voices that speak to you? Are you getting the word out the way Carl did this week by having friends over to listen to
The Laura Flanders Show together?

I think the metaphorical answer is one to think about. And I know I love Laura Flanders and Amy Goodman. I am glad that they and other strong voices are there. But we can listen and gather strength and encouragment absolutely. But it shouldn't stop with listening.

We all have voices and we need to use them. You love Amy and Laura, they're voices that speak to you and nourish you? Why let them be lonely voices?

You use your voice and you speak out.

By the way, Laura Flanders voice just kicked in. That was weird. She was speaking about the war and it was as though the passion of her beliefs gave her voice the strength.

Did it medically? I don't know.

But metaphorically, it did.

If we use our voices, we are all more powerful.

It's great to listen Laura or Amy or anyone who speaks to you. But are you sharing what you learn or your view with the world around you?

Are you discussing the war or do you suffer from a nasty case of "War Got Your Tongue?"

This is not a time to be silent on the issues effecting us.

The public had a case of laryngitis after 9-11. You saw nasty little bullies puff out their chests and try to shame people. Through their echo chamber, they challenged everyone and voices of dissent were hard to find in the mainstream media. Things are only slightly better now in terms of the mainstream. But a lot of people learned to turn to alternative media.

Why is this alternative media? A huge number of people are reading it, listening to it or watching it.

If we're using our voices then we might be able to force the mainstream to open up. But if we're really using our voices, we don't need mainstream media. If we're really using our voices, we're empowering ourselves and empowering the country.

If we're wasting our voices by staying silent or filling the void with junk, we're harming ourselves and others. I do music reviews for The Common Ills. In those reviews, I can address the war, sexism or any number of topics. Nothing stops me from doing that. I could stop myself. I could choose to write about music in a sterile environment, to divorce it from the world and act as though it's "only" music.

Or I could "position myself" to be "liked" and give shout outs to really lousy rags like The New Republic. I could sell out my beliefs and do that. I could follow the designated path which is to reposition yourself and avoid anything "controversial." Maybe not embrace the Republican position but not make a point of advocating any left or "left" position.

There's a lot of money to be made doing that as the pundit circles have demonstrated.

But I'm not willing to pay the cost of selling out my soul. I'm not willing to have a voice and a platform of any kind and waste it by talking about junk in noncritical terms. Or to divorce myself from the world around me.

Some people are.

And they'll argue that away from their platform they do this or they do that.

I don't think it matters. I think it matters how you use your platform.

Let's say you read my site and you nod along and maybe you contact your representatives to back up your beliefs. But within the people around you, where you could make a difference, you say nothing. That's the same thing as having any kind of public platform and refusing to address any issues.

I agree with C.I. that we need to be taking our issues into our circles. I agree that we need to be sure people know where we stand.

When Bully Boy tries to demonize or Dixie Chick, it works only if others are too scared to speak and if they think they're alone.

We need to use our voices. We have power when we do. Own your power, don't turn from it.

Heads up to a debate Laura Flanders will be moderating:

December 20th, 7:00 pm
Tarrytown Music Hall
Tarrytown, NY

Cedric's going to posting in the middle of our Third Estate Sunday Review session and has most of it written already. Rebecca says she'll get something up in the next three hours.

Lastly, thank you to Ruth for her wonderful Ruth's Morning Edition Report that went up today. Those are always wonderful and a treat to read but I did appreciate the kind words she offered. It's always a pleasure to read Ruth and today it was also an honor to be mentioned. Thank you, Ruth!