Welcome to GR’s Year Ender/Holiday Special. Here’s a look behind the curtain of the award-winning Gorilla Radio program.
Happy New Year’s to one and all!
1:00:00 2:00 (Fire This Time – Grant Wakefield bg) Welcome to GR, etc. Yes it’s that time of year again, wherein we leave the well-worn Gorilla Radio format to celebrate guestless the ending of the long year past, and look forward with hope and trepidation to what the New Year promises. I’ll play music, perhaps read a story, and otherwise fart and tap dance for your amusement and educational edification.
But before getting to any of all that, it’s become a tradition here over the last decade or so to begin the show with our good friend Ini Kamoze, and though the day be passed, all his Christmas wishes. Take it away Ini!
1:02:00 4:00 Ini Kamozie – All I Want for Christmas – Putumayo’s Christmas Around the World
1:06:00 3:00 (Fire this time bg) 2016: A Year So Far
You may have already watched and or listened to year-end wrap up shows. What is immediately apparent, as we approach the New Year, is a sense of doom and foreboding. Though still in the adolescence of the 21st century, there’s a definite fin de siecle vibe going, a sense that we’re at the very ends of a rope with a long drop below us. It’s an epoch’s finish kind of feeling; democracy’s end brought finally in a coup de grace delivered by a reality television clown, replete with face paint. But, and it’s an amazingly large butt, it’s not just in the Trump Republic where the modern democratic experiment is expiring. Take a look across the waters at Britain’s surveillance society where every day approaches nearer England’s greatest dystopian, George Orwell’s vision of a future he illustrated as “a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.” Regard France, the land of liberte, egalite, fraternite, where today freedom of speech is curtailed, equality before the law for the country’s dusky skinned, and Arabic named is a sad joke, while fraternity among its, and all Europe’s enlightened citizenry, becomes a more remote possibility by the day.
And speaking of brotherly love, I read a Christmas-inspired article from America the other day. In Houston, the folks at Antimedia inform, the city police forced homeless people to throw not only food donated by Food not Bombs and other caring Houstonians into a dumpster provided especially by the city for the occasion, but also their blankets, tents, gifts and any other possessions capricious authorities demanded. They did this, those trusted to serve and protect the people and the peace, as the city later explained, because: “[F]eeding the homeless food that has not been cooked in a certified kitchen could spread illness.” Adding, “Feeding the homeless is only enabling homelessness.” Merry Christmas Houston, and Happy New Year to those jurisdictions sharing Houston’s tough love philosophy, and the men and women who enforce it – you know who you are.
1:09:00 5:49 Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra – End of Days – The Blanche Album
1:15:00 3:00 (Fire this time bg) – 2016 GR Recap – Global
No matter how fast a year can pass – as they seem ever more fleetingly to do – they will always contain 52 weeks. Generally speaking, Gorilla Radio airs fifty show a year, most consisting of two interview segments, plus features, (the “features” being a music break and more often than not Janine Bandcroft’s coming events). Looking back over some of the issues covered this year makes for a long list, so I’ll condense to quick: Internationally; the ongoing war in Syria has to be the biggest single issue covered, though the lesser reported and equally egregious destruction of Yemeni society by the “good guys” deserves mention. Those white hats blasting Yemen would be America, Israel, and the Gulf Cooperation Council, or GCC nations. Officially, the GCC consists of; Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman, but the influence these country’s exert is considerably broader than the minuscule area of the planet they occupy. It seems the outraged indignation expressed by the West and their allies over Syria is an inverse ratio to the deathly silence afforded the innocents indiscriminantly slaughtered in Yemen. On the contrary, the United States, Great Britain, and the entire retinue of nations who serve as a beacon of civilization for the World to emulate, are all busy selling the bombs, bullets, missiles and muskets to better facilitate the turkey shoot there.
Meanwhile, in Syria, and recently liberated Aleppo particularly, the true nature of the West’s involvement in fomenting the nearly six year long journey into chaos the people have experienced is becoming clearer. Just last week, news of the capture of a number of GCC military “advisors” within “East” Aleppo, along with at least one Israeli officer and an American offers a glimpse of what the real game being played there is, and who the players moving the pawns on the ground are. And, just in are disturbing new reports of mass graves being unearthed in the so-called “rebel” held enclave of Aleppo, the bodies unearthed bearing signs of torture and execution. Revealed too is a Western press that, either through incompetence or blatant mendacity has mischaracterized almost every aspect of the Syria disaster from the start. Just as they have lied about Afghanistan and Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Ukraine, they are lying now about Iran, Russia and China.
1:18:00 4:00 Trans-Global Underground – – Community Music
1:22:00 3:00 (Fire this time bg) – 2016 GR Recap – Canada on the Global Stage
Canada is, as Ottawa often reminds, a global player. “Punching beyond our weight” is just one of the tired phrases trundled from an ever-narrowing commentariat stable when regarding the nation’s role in the broader World. But, what does that mean, exactly? For all our public investment in news and information, more than a billion dollars a year to the CBC’s English language service alone, you might expect Canadians to be well informed about both the workings of the government within the country, and its doings abroad. The sad fact though is, Canadians have little more than a self-satisfying illusion of themselves as a universally welcome and widely accepted benevolent actor, roaming the frontiers of interational diplomacy in Dudley Do-Right fashion, just trying to help. As simple-minded and astonishing that kind of delusion is when juxtaposed against the actions of the United States, somehow it seems less obvious when the culprits are Canadian business and government, engaging in the same mercenary practice, in pursuit of the same venal goals.
Canadians were gifted in November of 2015 with the end of Stephen Harper’s ten year Conservative party reign. The decisive ascension of the Liberals then had the air of a second coming, led as it was by Justin Trudeau, heir to the very epitome of liberalism in the person of his father, Pierre Elliott Trudeau. But after a year in parliament, Justin is looking like just another politician, and worse, just another conservative one. On both the national and international fronts, Trudeau has differed so slightly in substance from his hated predecessor, Canada’s centre-left can expect a populist upwelling similar to the Trump surprise down south come the next election go-round. Sensing that reversal, a hoard of political screw-balls and Trumpish wannabes have crowded the Conservative party’s nominating process, making of it a circus necessarily reminiscent of the Republican experience. Front and centre is Canada’s answer to Trump’s reality teevee persona, rightist blow hard, Kevin O’Leary who while denying the parallels to the “make America great again” campaigner in the States, insists Canada is “deeply broken” and vows to “to scrape all the stupid policies out of Ottawa.” With just more than three years before the next scheduled poll it may be premature to think about elections, but considering the endless-campaign model taken hold in America, O’Leary early move may be right on time.
1:25:00 4:00 Funk Asylum – Dinner is Ruined – GasCD
1:29:00 1:00 Cart(s)
1:30:00 3:00 (Fire this time bg) – 2016 Recap – Canada @ Home
As disappointing as the prime minister’s foreign policy has been, his first year hasn’t been great at home either. In British Columbia, Mr. Trudeau’s pre-election performance had lefties and greenies swooning at the prospect of an eco-friendly administration, ready to address climate change and beat back the threat of the pipelines slithering through the mountain passes east, across rivers and dales to the port of Burnaby. But, no extractive industry dragon slayer is Justin. Instead, it’s coal in the Christmas stockings for Lotus Land; LNG over forests, and oil on the ground and in the Salish Sea. Yes, the Liberals tossed a gnawed bone in the form of Enbridge’s doomed Northern Gateway to assuage the hippies, (an already dead-letter issue, broadly thought to be little more than a stalking horse) the real prizes all got the “good to go.” Site C dam and LNG fracked mining expansion in the northeast, and the so-called “twinning” of Kinder Morgan’s TransMountain, taproot for Alberta’s planet-killing Tar Sands ambitions to supply Asia’s Satanic Mills.
Another depletion of the new PM’s political capital comes on the heels of his star turn in Paris at the COP climate conference. The Liberal turnaround on the country’s stated Greenhouse Gas emission goals has created a glut of the same kind of cynicism that sank Clinton, when the left out left-wing of the party went elsewhere on election day. For Trudeau, upon whose shoulders alone rides the Liberal party mantle, reversals on environment, foreign policy, democratic, (remember promises to end first past the post?) and marijuana law reforms has darkened his image, face-planting his popularity numbers. Good news for the wannabe northern populists of the Conservative party, and great too for a moribund New Democrat Party, who unlike the Tories, can’t fill a phone booth with leadership hopefuls. But, this is Canada afterall and we lumber on…
1:33:00 4:00 Hawksley Workman – We Ain’t Broken Yet – Old Cheetah
1:37:00 3:00 (Fire this time bg) – 2016 Recap – BC
2016 will long be remembered as infamous by environmentalists in B.C., and as bad and potentially catastrophic for the province’s environment the greenlighting of the corrupt and inept Kinder Morgan’s TransMountain pipeline is, the most dastardly betrayal of the public trust and future well-being of both the people and wilds of British Columbia is the forwarding of the Site C megadam project in the Peace River Valley. Over the last few years I’ve hosted several guests from the region, all of whom outline a corrupted process, at best paying lip-service to the stated principles of democracy and the constitutionally guaranteed meaningful inclusion of First Nations in decision-making on projects that effect their lands and treaty rights. Site C has been buffaloed through to the stage where premier Christy Clark says it is “beyond stopping,” but still the battle goes on. Even as BC Hydro clear-cuts riparian zones along the Peace, and boots farm families from their homes, court cases are lining up. Recently, New York Times reporter, Dan Levin took a trip north to see what it was about. His article, ‘Canada’s $7 Billion Dam Tests the Limits of State Power’ lays bare the inproprieties employed by both the provincial and federal governments to take this turkey to market, but the one thing he can’t answer, and in fact no-one who looks at Site C through anything other than a purely political lens can figure out is: “Why is this project happening?” Less than two weeks before Christmas, Peace River farmer and outspoken proponent for keeping the Peace River Valley above water, Ken Boon discovered BC Hydro had taken his home and business, the family farm, into its possession, and he and his family are now merely tenants with a few short months left to pack up and get on down the road. Though his land, the same farmed by his forebears, is not slated to be submerged by the dam, Hydro says it must be mowed down for a highway, planned to accomodate increased heavy truck traffic to the fracked gas fields, and along the suspected power grid meant to service the Tar Sands. That last is supposed to be a secret, like so much of planning for Site C not for the ears of the people who will ultimately be paying for this white elephant for generations to come.
1:41:00 7:28 Deep Dark Woods – The Sun Never Shines – Winter Hours
1:49:00 3:00 (Fire this time) – 2017 Precap
As the year disappears in the mirror, now a look at how the events and trends of 2016 will influence the next year coming. The reality of the Trump presidency will be for many the first shocker of 2017. AS welcome as a cartoon character tattoo after a bender, all the rubbing in the world isn’t gonna get rid of the Donald. He’ll be there every day, relentlessly pounding you senseless, his evil defying even banality.
In the wars and rumours of wars department, Trump will find himself in the early days of his presidency, if not before the inauguration, manoevred into a hard-line position on Syria, one demanding more US boots grounded in far-flung wars, compromising his star-crossed bromance with Vladimir Putin, that sadly to be sacrificed on the altar of realpolitik. It seems the powers behind the Pennsylvania Avenue throne are determined to ratchet up a new Cold War with Russia, (and maybe China too) while continuing the decades-old “long war” rampage in western Asia.
Trump will also have to deal with his recalcitrant Pacific allies in the Philippines and Japan, and throughout a World grown weary of following the diktats of an increasingly violent and erratic America. In light of the current global zeitgeist, the U.S. could not have chosen a new leader more poorly. Trump will quickly find diplomatic bluster and sabre-rattling ill-received, and ultimately ineffective. There will be domestic war too to be dealt with, as environmental, and social justice issues allowed to fester under Obama will come to full boil – so to speak. And, laws drafted to control the internet, through draconian criminalization, and other provisions will to soon be all the news.
All in all, a good year to be a social critic, if not necessarily a comic one.
1:52:00 4:00 Neutral Milk Hotel – On Avery Island – Where You’ll Find Me
1:56:00 1:00 Thanks to J9, Christina, Blayne, and everyone and good night and good luck; upcoming.
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