Web links related to the Back of the Book program of March 18, 2002
It's Sunday afternoon 3/31/2002 16:44:23 and this page is finished, as far as I can tell. I talked about the below stuff on the program. I really read mail this time. I got within a few E-mails of caught up on this program. So there are some updates below, including what E-mails I got to on the air, and this page is finished at last.
Here is the latest on the saga of Pacifica. I need to update that page with stuff about the recent meeting of the interim Pacifica National Board in Los Angeles, CA, along with a couple of other items.
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.
Our colleagues from Off the Hook now have both a RealAudio streaming web cast operating, and a new MP3 stream both of which were working at about 10:49 PM last night. The MP3 feed is now the preferred feed.
The Vernal Equinox, when Spring arrives, will occur this Wednesday, March 20th, 2002, at 2:16 PM (EST).
I'll talk a little on the air tonight about an experiment that is going to look for other dimensions by using the Fermilab accelerator to smash sub-atomic particles together. While mathematicians have used multiple dimensions in their calculations for more than a century no one has ever discovered any evidence that dimensions beyond the four we know exist. So this could be a very important experiment.
Pickles of the North has started her new Web site. It's small now, but promises to grow over the next year.
On the program I gave an update about the situation in San Francisco involving two members of an AIDS crank group who were being held in prison on 19 felony counts in lieu of a combined bail of $1.1 million.
I'd covered this issue before, and someone took me to task in January for part of what I said.
Pickles of the North and I were waiting on line on W. 44th St. to get into the first night of the first full meeting of the interim Pacifica National Board on January 11, 2002. A guy cut in line ahead of us by talking to a friend who was already there. After a bit he asked if I was R. Paul Martin. I said I was. Turns out that he was one of the people involved in circulating a letter demanding that the alleged assailants, David Pasquarelli and Michael Petrelis, have their bail reduced. He told me that I was inaccurate in saying that Mr. Petrelis was an AIDS crank because Mr. Petrelis has said that HIV does exist and that HIV causes AIDS. I said I'd look into this.
It turns out that Mr. HI does indeed agree that HIV and AIDS both exist and that HIV causes AIDS. Mr. Pasquarelli does not, and that is also the position of the group ACT UP San Francisco.
But Mr. HI is a member of ACT UP, San Francisco and he takes part in their actions. I have to wonder if maybe this is even worse than merely being an AIDS crank and espousing their wacky mantra. Mr. Petrelis knows that HIV is real and causes AIDS. He's HIV positive himself and takes medications to deal with the disease. Yet he's helping to promulgate the message that neither HIV nor AIDS exist and that people who've been diagnosed as HIV positive shouldn't take medications. So while Mr. Petrelis may not be an AIDS crank himself he's certainly involved in promoting their lies, even though he evidently knows that they're lies.
In February a judge reduced the bail for Petrelis and Pasquarelli to a combined total of $200,000 and they made that bail and are now out, with yet another set of restraining orders.
I'll continue to talk about this case as it develops.
We got through a decent amount of the mail backlog on this program. Of course the snail mail doesn't go here, but I will post the E-mails that I got.
The first is a previously skipped E-mail from, who else, Fernando. He complains that I skip some of his E-mails and read other people's if they send more than one. Of course no one else bombards me with so many long E-mails as he.
Subject: Broadcast of January 7
Mon, 7 Jan 2002 16:50:02 -0800 (PST)
Dear R. Paul,
On your broadcast of January 7, you read a missive from another listener who provided some interesting information on the feud between “Uncle Floyd” Vivino and Joe Franklin and some speculation on why Uncle Floyd's show ended. This was very enlightening to me because I did not know this. Please extend my thanks to this listener.
I'd like to return the favor by reporting that in the mid-nineties Uncle Floyd brought his show to cable access stations, but it wasn't the same format and his supporting cast was not involved. What Uncle did was to bring a camera crew to different New Jersey communities where he would walk the streets, go into stores, and casually talk to passersby about the history of their town. Sometimes it was interesting and sometimes it was funny like when he would interview drunk bums. Uncle is VERY versed in New Jersey history. I think he is doing alright. He has a restaurant in New Jersey where I go on Sundays and watch him perform. I screamed “Shaving Cream” and gave him a dollar.
I'd like to respectfully make mention of a complaint I have, Sir. You refuse to read two of my missives in a row, but on your most recent broadcast, you skimmed the first, and then refused to read the subsequent e-mail. I feel a bit gyped and slighted, R. I can understand not wanting to read two of my e-mails in a row (even though you do this for others) but please read my missive in its entirety if you are going to limit me to one. R., will my skipped e-mails ever be read? I may have asked questions people want answers to.
I have a suggestion for your show, R. Another radio personality, Bob Grant, often does live shows from a diner here in New Jersey. Could you do a live show, R? Since your show is a literary show, I would suggest broadcasting from a bookstore. I recommend the Barnes&Nobles here in Clifton, New Jersey. It is not too far for me to go and see you. My mother can drive me there on her way to work or I can ride the bus alone. You can also throw T-shirts at the crowd.
I also would like to apologize for offering my age too often to you. This apparently irked you, but I was not sure if you remembered me from one e-mail to the next, but I guess you do by now. Incidentally, THIS year I will be thirty-three! Like Dr. Soran told Captain Picard in Star Trek: Generations, “Time is the predator which stalks us all!” Thank you for bearing with me.
Florham Park, NJ
Next we have a long piece from Susan From Long Island. I remember almost all of this stuff. In fact I remember when gasoline cost 29.9¢ a gallon. There are still places in Sheepshead Bay and Avenue U in Brooklyn that have those table side juke box things. As for reel to reel tape recorders, most of the produced sound on WBAI is still produced on these!
Subject: Fwd: The perfect age
Tue, 29 Jan 2002 13:47:10 EST
Susan From Long Island
Thought you might remember some of these.
The perfect age is somewhere between old enough to know better and young enough not to care.
How many do you remember?
1. Candy cigarettes.
2. Wax coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water inside.
3. Soda pop machines that dispensed glass bottles.
4. Coffee shops with table side juke boxes.
5. Blackjack, Clove and Teaberry chewing gum.
6. Home milk delivery in glass bottles, with cardboard stoppers.
7. Party lines.
8. Newsreels before the movie.
9. P. F. Flyers.
10. Butch wax.
11. Telephone numbers with a word prefix (Drexel-5505)
12. Pea shooters.
13. Howdy Doody.
14. 45 RPM Records.
15. Green Stamps.
17. Metal ice cube trays-with levers.
18. Mimeograph paper.
19. Blue Flash Bulbs.
20. Beanie and Cecil.
21. Roller skate keys.
22. Cork pop guns.
23. Drive in movies.
25. Wash tub wringers.
26. The Fuller Brush man.
27. Reel-to-reel tape recorders.
28. Tinker toys.
29. The Erector Set.
30. The Fort Apache Play set.
31. Lincoln Logs.
32. 15 cent McDonald hamburgers.
33. 5 cent packs of baseball cards...with that awful pink slab of bubble gum.
34. Penny candy.
35. 35 cent-a-gallon gasoline.
A TIME WHEN ...
* Decisions were made by going “eeny-meeny-miney-mo.”
* Mistakes were corrected! by simply exclaiming “do over!”
* “Race issue” meant arguing about who ran the fastest.
* Catching the fireflies could happily occupy an entire evening.
* It wasn't odd to have two or three “best” friends.
* The worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was “cooties.”
* Having a weapon in school meant being caught with a slingshot.
* A foot of snow was a dream come true.
* Saturday morning cartoons weren't 30-minute ads for action figures.
* “Oly-oly-oxen-free” made perfect sense.
* Spinning around, getting dizzy, and falling down was cause for giggles.
* The worst embarrassment was being picked last for a team.
* War was a card game.
* Water balloons were the ultimate weapon.
* Baseball cards in the spokes transformed any bike into a motorcycle.
* Taking drugs meant orange-flavored chewable aspirin.
* If you can remember most or all of these, then you have lived!!!!
Pass this on to anyone who may need a break from their “grown up” life... I double dog dare ya!!!!!!!!!!!!
Next we have an E-mail from Seth, who is a long time regular listener, correspondent and contributor to the program and WBAI. In fact he did Tally during the last marathon for Back of the Book. As for the GLIB meetings, I've missed a bunch lately.
Subject: Re: need phone volunteers...?
Wed, 30 Jan 2002 13:58:05 EST
In a message dated 1/30/02 1:48:11 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
<< Long time, no see. How are you? >>
I've missed seeing you and P.O.T.N. --are you still showing up at L&GIB meetings, and if so, when's the next one?
I'm busy doing architecture for the very rich (Who else can afford it?), and a bit of writing. And trying to be a good son to an aging parent (i.e.: lots of contact, spending time together, etc...).
Thanks for your excellent exegessis on the 13 month saga, during your last show. It really should be a book--or how about a Masterpiece Theater mini-series? What fun we could have casting it! Who'd play Utrice? Who'd play you? Do you think we could get James Mason to play Uncle Sidney--or better yet: Jack Lemmon. Of course, these days the whole group could be done by Pixar!!
Well, this next one starts out one way and then gets into an advertisement. I've removed the advertisement part.
Subject: Hi I Liked Your Show Last Night And Want To Send You Something! Tim
Mon, 4 Feb 2002 10:58:39 EST
I would Llike to meet with you sometime in the NY City if that is what you would like!
Your comments about the universe being green where and are interesting! Also microbes was interesting to me!
So much for Fernando!
[promotional material snipped]
.... I use these and do not distribute them however as I was listening to you these things were coming to mind so I am sending them to you!
Enjoy and please I ask find the tome to look them over maybe you are the universe and the hope for intelligent life here!
Looks like another burden on your shoulders Now!
Kidding a little!
Tim ... Have A Nice Day!
As it turns out, the universe isn't green after all. I'll talk about that on a future program.
Subject: Thanks for the sanity
Mon, 4 Feb 2002 10:56:59 -0600 (CST)
Dear R. Paul,
Unfortunately I've been out of hearing range for a year and a half. I now live in Arkansas, where Dog spelled backwards rains supreme. It makes no sense to me why I came this way. I guess one mistake deserves another.
Through out the 90's I listened to your show as it were a direct source of sanity in my insane dysfunctional life. I wanted to write and thank you every time I listened. You see, I was a Crack addict then. I spent 11 years and approximately $200,000 feeding the addiction. I've been clean for a year and a half as far as drugs go. I do enjoy some beer.
Your show was a refuge of intelligent life and all things good that I listened to at work (the Postal Service) on my walkman. I bought Gerry Rafferty's best of CD as a result of your show.
Love with a smile!
If I represent sanity then — EGAD!
Next we have a couple of missives from someone commenting on another correspondent and on larger issues.
Sat, 09 Feb 2002 19:48:47 +0000
OH BE STILL MY HEART! who is this FERNANDO who has cast his spell over me?
Resist, Reynaldo, resist.
Sat, 09 Feb 2002 20:11:43 +0000
ARE YOU HAPPY TO HEAR FROM ME? More to the point, do you remember me? I once wrote to your rat. Sorry if it bugged you.
Anyway, some time ago, for whatever reason (I think it had to do with WORK!?) i COULDN'T LISTEN TO YOU WITH THE RELIGIIOUS DEVOTION WITH WHICH I HAD PREVIOUSLY LISTENED TO YOU. i ALWAYS MADE THE EFFORT, BUT GENERALLY I CONCKED OUT AT AROUND 12:58. sometimes i would wake up and listen for a bit before i once again submerged myself.
r. paul, do you remember when i wrote to susan from long island, care of your program? she sent me a reply via you, and you were just about to release it over the airways when - i concked out once again. did she like my letter? too bad you no longer have it. you no longer begin your show with the announcement that you were working on her letter-was it ever finished? does she write anymore to you?
i htink, no i know that i began listening to you well before you grew your beard. old man, how long ago was that? and when did you shave it?
recently a correspondent wrote to you about his first rpaul experience- the show were you spoke of browsing in a hotel china shop to relieve your mind from pressing concerns. rpaul, i remember that show, too! in fact, shortly before -or after, the mind does forget-i was myself in that shop! is it still there? remember gemma's dilemma ( a much earlier shop, catering to - a different crowd- the hippie/suburbanite crowd of yesteryear. ah, sigh.
i am so happy about pickles of the north- although i personally think that you are really the rich scion of an immensely rich family, and she is your private psychiatric nurse hired to look after you. JUST KIDDING! happiness to you both.
hey, i can e-mail! ijust can't type luv and kisses mr. charm
Our next missive relates to my talk about having to go to Federal jury duty in Central Islip and my comments about the Federal court house there.
Subject: The Central Islip Federal Commode
Mon, 18 Feb 2002 02:54:43 -0500
Dear R. Paul,
I wonder if you heard us cheering during your commentary on the ugly monstrosity that is the federal court building here in suffolk county. Brett and I (he's been a loyal fan since at least '85 and he introduced me to you many years ago) live in the shadow of this hideous “eyesore” as the locals here call it. You are not alone in your impression of this thing. They redid all the roads around it which was just chaos and, apparently, at one point they had to stop the construction of the building area and tear a big part of it down and redo it ... I think it involved a man-made lake that didn't work out quite right or something along those lines. But don't worry, it's only money. Every courthouse needs a man-made lake!!
We drive past the federal court building all the time going here and there and watched this thing slowly grow into this concrete monstrosity that now probably hosts the most extensive goose dropping collection in the area based on the number of geese that flock to the now expansive field that surrounds it. During it's construction (pre - septemeber 11th) we used to wish it would collapse in on itself. After it was finished (although we weren't convinced it was really done based on the way it looked), there was an article in newsday on this thing explaining to us 'ignorant locals' how great it is to have this hideous thing in our backyards because it has amazing architecture. I guess we're just not worldly enough to appreciate it!
Your fans, Jen and Brett
Next we have an old on-line friend and listener explaining a wacky E-mail I got, which turns out to be wacky spam.
Subject: Your Time Travel spam
Mon, 18 Feb 2002 09:51:36 -0500
It is spam, been going around for years.
The funniest response to this I've seen is here at the moment:
[Broken URL removed]
As it's on a website that is no longer in existence (whatever happened to Accordion Guy, anyway?), I'll include a copy of it in this e-mail:
Thursday, December 13, 2001
A spammer needs help from a time traveller!
I just got the strangest mass-mailing I've ever seen:
Link to that original message.
I'm thinking about using this as a reply:
Well, here were are again. You have no idea who I am, don't you?
Not only am I capable of helping you, but I've done so twice already.
I can meet all your requirements except one -- the one where you retain your memories of everything's that happened to you up until now. Normally, it would be possible for you to remember the present (and all events leading up to it) when you go back into the past, but you kept insisting that you
I was willing to let things slide when things went horribly wrong the first time. Initially, it looked as though you were going to live a long and happy life: you had a successful business, you were in the best shape of your life, and you had just married one of the supporting actresses from Amer
While the course of your life has not been so catastrophic for the rest of the world this time around, you have still managed to make a mess of it for yourself. And this time, you're resorting to spamming in order to find a time traveller like me. That's really low.
The biggest shame of it all (and more so because you don't remember) is that your life wasn't as bad as you thought when you first came to me for help. You said you wanted to undo your so-called “terrible, terrible mistake.” In retrospect, I should never have honoured your request. Yes, it was an
I am truly sorry, but I feel that you're one of those people who will do the same kind of thing over and over, no matter what kind of circumstances they find themselves in. Please do not contact me anymore. If you see me on the street, please do not approach me or speak to me. I will claim not to
In closing, all I can do is offer you some advice:
1. Please try to think before you act. 2. If you don't do something about that haircut, you and many innocent people will regret it. It may seem trivial, but believe me, I know better.
[ end copy ]
Subject: Re: Thanks again
Tue, 26 Feb 2002 09:11:39 EST
You're certainly welcome. It was also great to work with P.O.T.N., and hear from her a bit more about the history of WBAI.
Quo vadis Uncle Sidney? I really missed his show, and Pickles mentioned that he had been laid off (because of the station defecit)--and that he was in a deeper state of depression than she'd ever seen him. Anything I can do?
Of course Seth was working Tally during the February marathon and Pickles of the North was taking phone calls then.
Uncle Sidney is on leave until May. Call it a stay in “Radio Hospital,” call it an adjustment to the switch in factions in charge at WBAI. We hope to see and hear him on Carrier Wave again starting in May.
Wed, 27 Feb 2002 09:34:02 -0500
hello i enjoy your web site very much, but sometimes it is hard getting to web pages for previous shows-every time i do, it is almost by happenstance-i click click click and then maybe i find a link. idea: have a show devoted to mail only and get rid of your backlog. you must have become popular because once upon a time any missive sent after a show would be read on the next show. i daresay your popularity with letter-writers rivals santa clause.
The Back of the Book archives are located HERE. For shows from previous years you need to scroll down and click on the little down arrow next to the white box that has an image of a radio next to it. When you've chosen the program you want to go to click on the radio and you should be brought right there.
As for the mail backlog, I may get through it, and become current, in the next program or two. I almost made it on this program, but just missed.
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.
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The contents of this Web page and subsequent Web pages on this site are copyright © 2002, R. Paul Martin