Stories about going to war come from the top down, from media corporations that manufacture consent for war among the people. Stories about not going to war move from the bottom up, starting in conversations between family and friends, people speaking out for no money but just because they feel obligated to speak. In this approach there’s a shift in context where fear is taken out of the narrative—we are not being attacked, maybe these people are not our enemy. Maybe the real enemy is our government and our media that are being controlled by the military industrial complex. I believe bottom up stories can break apart the power structure coming down from above, so this is one of them.
This is maybe what you’d call a pilot episode for a series that would be separate from Home of the Brave. I don’t have a title for it yet, but it would involve traveling around the world by taxi, or ride share, or just hiring drivers who can function as guides and translators. I think this is the best way to travel, but it’s expensive, so the series would need a big sponsor. Western Sound, a new podcast company in Los Angeles, sponsored this test run of the idea.
Here are some links to the music used in this story:
Ray Charles, Sweet Sixteen Bars from the album The Best of Ray Charles, Atlantic SD 1543
Greg Allen Jones, Monticello Rose and Boll Weevil from the album Crossing the Willamette
The Mountain Goats, Love, Love, Love from the album The Sunset Tree
I just got back from speaking at two radio conferences in Europe. I saw the leaves come out on the trees along the canals in Amsterdam. I woke up in Ireland next to a pasture with four wooly alpacas, one just a baby. I spent days talking about how podcasting works from the bottom up, forming a lattice of connections that reach around the skin of the earth. This is better than the top-down fear-mongering of the corporate media. I said these things with confidence, because of you. I get letters from every continent including Antartica and they all sound like they were written by the same person...because we’re all in the same lattice.
For more music by the Mermen click here.
This is a story I produced last summer for The New Yorker Radio Hour. It’s about a controversy over one of the newest long-distance hiking trails in the United States. It was a difficult story to cover and explain, but I had excellent help from the NYRH producers and editors. I’d like to work for them again.
A day inside the gang-ridden community of Chamelecon, Honduras.
Welcome to Season Two of Home of the Brave. This is the first of a series about the US/Mexico border and the present immigration situation. For background, I replay an interview with Charles Bowden recorded just a couple hundred yards from the barbed wire fence separating the two countries in the spring of 2005.
I need to take a break so let's call this the end of season one. And I'd like to play the second story I produced for the show, an interview with Alex Chadwick.
Thank you very much for your support. I'm going to turn off the subscription service (Pay Pal), but you can still donate and buy tee-shirts, tote bags, and patches. I hope to be back soon.
Music: Slow Bicycle by Mum.
Erica Heilman produces Rumble Strip from her home in Calais, Vermont. I like it because I never know what she's going to do next. This is a satire about modern life in America.
From following the news lately I feel like I don't know who to believe or who to trust, like I don't know what's going on or why and things are only going to get worse and there's nothing I can do about it. In times like this maybe surrealistic poetry and Dada make more sense than realism.
Which is worse--a campground or an oil well?