What do any of us really know?
For the most part, our understanding of reality is based on what we’ve been told; told by parents, teachers, friends, and the media.
And who told them?
There is though another path to discovery. Go to the places where things are happening; talk to the people making them happen, then decide what’s true.
But, and it’s a vitally big but; be careful what you ask, for you could find out more than it’s safe to know.
As the first cracks of the Soviet Empire’s eroding iron facade opened, Australian-born author, political essayist, professor of political science, and policy advisor to presidents and prime ministers, John Helmer headed for Moscow, determined to establish what was to become the longest continuously operating foreign press bureau in the capital.
From his position as an independent of single-national, or commercial sponsorship reporter, he ventured into the country’s unpredictable, and often precarious economic transition period; a time that would see coup attempts, the undoing of international political superstar, Mikhail Gorbachev, and fall of Russia’s communist system itself. It would too usher in the tempestuous Age of the Oligarchs.
Some of John Helmer’s book titles include: ‘The Deadly Simple Mechanics of Society’, ‘Drugs and Minority Oppression’, (with Claudia Wright) ‘The Jackal’s Wedding – American Power, Arab Revolt’, ‘Grand Strategy for Small Countries, Case Studies in Transforming Weakness into Power,’ (and with Ajay Goyal) ‘Uncovering Russia’. His latest book is the newly out political and personal memoir, ‘The Man Who Knows Too Much About Russia‘.
John Helmer and a special, Gorilla Radio double-yolker, getting to know too much about Russia.
And; Victoria-based activist and long-time contributor to Gorilla Radio, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the three-quarter mark, bringing us up to speed with some of what’s good to do in and around our town in the coming week. But first, the man who knew too much, John Helmer.
Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.uvic.ca. He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/