Web links related to the Back of the Book program of February 4, 2002

Holy hell! It's Sunday night 2/17/2002 18:47:29 and I'm back on the air in another 6+ hours! And I'm just getting this Web page done. Oh well, it is done, at least. I talked about several things on this program, including life on other planets, or moons, or something. I also talked about some WBAI/Pacifica stuff as well. I only got through some of the mail backlog, but it's more than it may seem from looking at this Web page because several pieces I read on the air were not E-mail. I think this page is done, and I'm already working on the next program's Web page! As usual we have an assortment of tenses below because different parts of this Web page were written at different times.

Here is the latest on the saga of Pacifica.

Here's what I was saying about the WBAI part of the overall crisis in August. I seriously need to update this.

I'm very glad to note that at WBAI the gag rule is dead, for now.

As we move into the next phase of the Pacifica Crisis some listeners are more convinced than ever that only open elections will provide a long range cure for the Pacifica Crisis. Here's an election proposal.

Pat Dix
19?? - 2001

When I got to the station to do this program there was the now usual immense clutter on the front desk of all sorts of leaflets and things. Among them we found a notice that Pat Dix, who used to be a producer at WBAI, had died on December 5th, 2001. I don't know the cause of death and I was not that close to Ms. Dix, but I did know her and I'm saddened by another death among WBAI people. She was a lot closer to other folks I know, and I know that they're sad about this too.

Our colleagues from Off the Hook now have both a RealAudio streaming web cast operating, and their new MP3 stream working at about 8:35 PM last night. The MP3 feed is now the preferred feed.

Since I've talked before about the end of life in the universe, tonight I'm going to talk about life starting out in the universe.

There's a hell of a lot of life on Earth right now. But a mere half billion years ago the life on this planet was still fairly primitive. This means that it's possible that life tends to start out very slowly and then pretty much burst into complexity.

Some organisms are very robust and can hang on in conditions that it was previously thought that life couldn't exist in.

I find this sort of scientific speculation about life on other planets far more intriguing than the wacky stuff some people come up with, primarily because this speculation about life elsewhere is real and there's the possibility that such life may actually exist. For those of you who would like to take part in a serious search for extraterrestrial intelligent life you can hook up with the SETI @ Home project, and you can download their software here.

I didn't get to this on the last program, so I'll try again! I talk about the universe a lot, at least I have for the past couple of years. Well, it turns out that Kermit The Frog may have had some insight into the universe that no one else had! The Universe is green!

Of course there was mail on this program! The backlog didn't get dealt with on the previous program because I spent most of it revelling in the fact that the gag rule was removed and I could talk about all of the stuff that's been going on at WBAI and in Pacifica over the past few years.

But this time we read some mail. Besides the nice Valentine's Day card from Martha from Queens we got some hard copy mail, which we read, and we also got some E-mail which I'm posting here.

We started with a couple of previously skipped E-mails from Fernando. In this first one he's complaining about personals ads. I told him that, yes, some of those ads were probably really come ons for prostitution operations. Pickles of the North took him to task for his attitude about women, especially women whom he deems to be “too large.”

Subject: a Missive on the Personals
Date: Sun, 2 Dec 2001 22:29:40 -0800 (PST)
From: Fernando
To: rpm@glib.com

Dear R,

My name is Fernando and I have written to you previously. I deeply appreciate your replies and when asked for, your advice on various matters legal and otherwise. R, I am thirty-two years old.

At present, I am very disturbed by the quality of women I come across in the personal ads. When I scan the ads on Yahoo!, I have noticed the following:

1) A number of the girls have the same exact pic.

2) A number of the girls have very sexually explicit ads.

Paul, I believe these are prostitutes and I'm not ready to open that door yet, sir.

I have placed my own ad and I was very disappointed with the results. I received a note from a girl who admitted to being a size 18 which is larger than I prefer. I ignored her response for obvious reasons.

I received another note from a girl that sounded promising and so I called her back. She seemed very religious and told me about her brother who had a problem with heroin. She really sounded like she was nuts but I still gave her a chance since I thought she might still turn out to be hot. Well, I agreed to meet her, R, and she was very unnattractive. She looked like an old lady and she was only twenty-seven. She was a real mess! We met for lunch and at one point I went to the men's room and I sat in one of the stalls debating whether or not to run away home. I even wanted to call a guy I know to come get me. I toughed it out, Paul, because I thought that was the right thing to do but I never called her again and I screened my calls until she stopped calling.

I am not superficial, R. but a girl's suitability as a breeder is very important to me. I have the next generation of Fernando's to think about if you know what I mean. Have you ever tried the Personals, R? If so, do you have any tips? My mother and I fight about this all the time. Please help! While I am not religious, I do lead a very proper and moral lifestyle. I do not drink. Marijuana is very wrong.

I look forward to your reply and I will continue to listen. I have been unable to find “Back Of The Book” at my store.
All my best,
Florham Park, NJ

Here's Fernando's other delayed missive. On the air I told him the simple way to stop the charges to his credit card. So do you think I'm being trolled by Fernando?

Subject: A Question Regarding Computers
Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2001 16:40:16 -0800 (PST)
From: Fernando
To: rpm@glib.com

Dear R. Paul,

I am a regular listener to your show on the radio. I have sent you previous e-mails and often you have answered questions I have asked. I thank you for that and I am thirty-two years old. Lately, I have been spending a great deal of time cleaning my cellar and looking for junk I can sell to people for money.

You are very computer-savvy and seem to know a good deal about the internet and so I thought you might advise me about a jam I am in. Last year, I found a porn site on-line that wouldn't let me look at the naked pictures unless I subscribed to their site. I just had to look at the pictures so I did subscribe and I gave them my credit card numbers. This is the problem. I was a member of the site for the month and I enjoyed many of their pictures. It was nothing very raw. It was only nude celebrities like Lynda Carter and Victoria Principal. It was not material that was too graphic.

After a while, however, I forgot about the site and stopped going there. Now my problem is that my membership is automatically renewing and every month my creditcard is getting hit for 24.95. I don't go to the site anymore and what's worse, I can't remember what site it is. How can I cancel my membership, R? I don't want to pay 24.95 forever! I've been hoping that the site just goes under like a lot of these internet things do, but it's not happening. This is a very prescient problem. Can I call someone?

This guy I know told me to call the credit card and to block that charge, but I am afraid the girl on the phone will see that I went to a porn site. I don't want that to get around, R. The name on the site doesn't appear on my credit card bill. What do I do? I look forward to your response. I know you will help a guy like me. Thank you.

Florham Park, NJ

And, finally, we had this next E-mail from a listener who is being sort of tongue in cheek about our recent crisis, and the new phase of the pacifica/WBAI crisis. I have made some elisions below to remove some WBAI producers' names.

Subject: marksmanship lessons
Date: Sat, 05 Jan 2002 07:11:57 -0800
From: Richard
To: rpm@glib.com

Is it true that WBAI will be offering marksmanship lessons to its remaining producers? I heard that this was being implemented in a response to recent incidents of producers shooting themselves in the foot, most recently ___ ____ and ____ _____. I'm waiting on pins and needles to hear whether you will do likewise. Wouldn't it be neat if all the long-time producers, including the untouchable ____ ____, simply walked out in protest, leaving the inmates to run the asylum until they bored each other to death and cleared the way for a triumphant return of the sane and competent?

To hurry things up, after the walkout you could lock Munroe in the studio until the inmates beg for mercy.

Producers not getting along with each other never before reduced the station to the mere aroma of ethereal vibrations it is today, so some other dynamic must be at work, and I haven't been able to figure it out. So I say reconstitute the station the way it was in 1975 and rebuild from that base. Steve Post never finished reading Swann's Way, and I'd like to hear it. Lynn Samuels: come back; all is forgiven! Have you heard the no-brow trash that passes for late-night radio?

If something doesn't happen soon, I'm going to hold my breath. R. Paul, you are an activist; please do something.

There are a lot of issues that we can't talk about on the air at WBAI. But there is an Internet list called “Free Pacifica!” which you can subscribe to, and these issues are discussed there. If you subscribe to it you will receive, via E-mail, all of the messages which are sent to that list. You will also be able to send messages to the list.

If you want to subscribe to the “Free Pacifica!” list just click on this link and follow the instructions, and you'll be subscribed. Could open your eyes a little bit.

The above list has occasionally produced a high volume of E-mail because of the attention that these issues have drawn. If you would prefer to subscribe to a low volume list that only provides announcements of events related to these issues then subscribe to the FreePac mailing list.

Another list that's sprung up is the “NewPacifica” mailing list. This one is very lively and currently includes over 400 subscribers coast to coast. Being lively, of course, it sometimes also gets a bit nasty. All sorts of things are happening on this list. With that warning in mind, you can look at the NewPacifica list here, and you can join the list from that Web page too, although you'll have to deal with Yahoo! to do so.

There is also the more WBAI specific “Goodlight” Web based message board. This one has a great many people posting anonymously and there's also an ancillary board that's just totally out of hand.

The “Goodlight” Web based message board has expanded to cover all Pacifica stations.

My voice mail number at WBAI is 212-209-2996. Leave a message.

You can also send me E-mail.

WBAI related links

Free Pacifica Web site

WBAI Listeners' Web page

WBAI Management's official Web site

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The contents of this Web page and subsequent Web pages on this site are copyright © 2002, R. Paul Martin