Web links related to the Back of the Book program of April 1, 2002

Good grief! It's Sunday afternoon 4/14/2002 16:24:01 and this page is done at last! The big news is that we got through the mail backlog on this program and so the next program will have letters and E-mails from the previous fortnight, as it should be! On the program I covered the below items and a bunch of mail. I have updated my pages about Pacifica, but there's more to come, as always. So don't get confused by any changes in tense below, different parts of this page were written at different times. Now I have to get tonight's program ready!

Here is the latest on the saga of Pacifica. I have updated 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 10:23 PM last night. The MP3 feed is now the preferred feed.

On a previous program I talked about the report from some astrophysicists that the universe is green. Well, scratch that. The universe is beige, or as some of us might put it, tope. Does this mean that things are more mundane than we'd like to think?

Speaking of the universe, if the experiments two teams of scientists have just conducted are indicative of reality then the universe may be teeming with life. This doesn't mean we're going to be visited by aliens in flying saucers soon, but there may well be microbes all over the place.

And the universe gives life, but it can also take it away. An asteroid came fairly close to us on March 8, but the big news is that no one saw it until after it was past.

There's less of Antarctica than there was a fortnight ago.

British Telecom is trying to claim that it “invented” hyperlinking, the technology you use every time you click on a link on this or any other Web page. The smarmy bastards are trying to get royalties from everyone who uses the Internet! Luckily, a Federal judge in the Southern District of New York has made a ruling that will make it harder for British Telecom to make its case.

The so called “Church of Scientology” has been pressuring the search engine Google to not list an anti-Scientology site, and so the Operation Clambake site was “inadvertently” completely removed from the Google database for a while. Now only some parts of that site are not listed.

This is a terrible abuse of the stinking Digital Millennium Copyright Act to silence critics.

We got current with the mail on this program! So here are the E-mails I read on the air. We reach into the backlog of skipped Fernando E-mails for this one about his father.

Subject: An American Family
Date: Sat, 2 Feb 2002 23:22:46 -0800 (PST)
From: Fernando
To: rpm@glib.com

Dear R. Paul,

My old man is cheap and always was. He always refused to go to restaurants that required reservations because for some reason, he always equated reservations with restaurants that were too expensive.

When I was a kid though, on new Year's Eve, he would get us into the car to go to a restaurant to ring in the new year. Of course, it being New Year's Eve, everyone was doing the same thing and since my father always refused to make reservations in advance, we usually ended up driving from restaurant to restaurant and constantly being turned away because they were all full. Eventually, we would return home where we would eat grilled cheeses and watch Dick Clark. Along the way, my folks would be fighting because my old man was stubborn and never learned.

One year, after just such an evening, I caught a show on PBS called An American Family. The show was some fifteen years old at that point and PBS was running a marathon of all the episodes. I am thirty two years old. Later I learned that this was in fact the FIRST reality television show. It debuted in 1970 and the show, pioneering a format which is all-too common today, featured the Louds, a genuine average American family being followed around by cameras that filmed their every move. This was long before Survivor or MTV's Real World. The bulk of the series is painfully dated and rather uneventful and boring. It was all just too real. The forced editting used on Survivor was not in play at the time. Noteable episodes however featured the divorce of the Loud parents and in the show's most famous episode, Mrs. Loud visits her son, Lance in New York's Village and discovers that he is gay.

Do you remember this show? I was reminded of it recently after learning of the death of recent Lance Loud. He was only fifty years old and had gone on to become a writer. In one obituary, it was written that his work appeared in the Village Voice. Do you know if this show is available on DVD? I like the extras on dvd's. If not, can any of your listeners offer any further information on this show? The audience was a big help on the matter of Uncle Floyd Vivino and his hatred of Joe Franklin.

Thank You,
Florham Park, NJ

Subject: A quick update
Date: Sun, 17 Feb 2002 10:06:58 -0800 (PST)
From: Fernando
To: rpm@glib.com

Dear R. Paul,

Thank you for your recent response to my question. I had asked you recently about cancelling my subscription to an adult website whose name I no longer remembered. You were helpful in your reply. A guy I know who is out of work told me that I can also go to the web site that appears on my credit card bill and cancel any further charges there. I did this and saved myself the embarrassment of having to call some customer service representative and have her learn that I amfrequenting adult sites. I am not ashamed of myself but I don't want the credit card people to think badly of me. I have a good credit rating and I am not ashamed of myself.

I also have to disagree with Pickles On The North. In your last broadcast the topic of women's dress sizes came up and Pickles said that a size 14 to 18 was about average. I have to disagree or at least point out that this may not be the average for my age group. I am thirty two (in years of age). I have a female friend I asked about this and she said she is about a size nine. Now she has a very average build that is bot too thin or two heavy. She is just right and even top heavy as she is very busty. In the thirteen years I have known her, I asked her out many times and she always turned me down because she was involved with a friend of mine. I no longer talk to either of them. I don't need that from her. I believe I deserve better seeing how she and I were intimate once.

Now this same girl told me her mother was a size 14 and she was an average fifty-something year old woman of average matronly proportions. A size 18, I'm afraid is too much for me. Please do not dismiss me as being interested only in the superficial but there has to be some physical attraction in a good relationship and I do my best to look my best. A man is also often judged by the caliber of woman he can attract so this is important in that respect. I am a good overall package, R. This President's Day weekend, a guy I know and I went to a strip club two nights in a row. This is a record for me and we want to be considered regulars so that the girls will treat us better and give us extras. I hope you have a good weekend, Sir.

With much appreciation,
Florham Park, NJ

Our next E-mail comes from someone who takes issue with what I said about the late Sylvia Rivera on an earlier program.

Subject: Back Of The Book / WBAI 3-3-02 / Sylvia Rivera
Date: Mon, 04 Mar 2002 07:48:24
From: ne cnva
To: rpm@glib.com

Dear R. Paul,

If you get around to reading this sometime before Gay Pride, I hope you'll correct the misinformation broadcast on your show of March 3rd.

I'm an old veteran of the Gay Rights movement (I participated - along with Randy Wicker - on a gay radio show on WBAI in 1962), and I knew Sylvia since before Stonewall. Although I wasn't at the Stonewall Inn on the night of the Police raid, I was present when she and other Village street queens talked about their roles in the riot within a few days of the rebellion.

BTW, The heterosexual hero of Stonewall, Dave Van Ronk, the semi-famous folk singer who was beaten and arrested for his part in the riot, (He tossed some pennies at the cops who were hassling the queens) also died in February.



Well, it's not misinformation. I said that Sylvia had never talked about this in my presence when she and I were both in the Gay Activists Alliance and knew each other in 1970, and that's a fact. I've always said that I do not know who was at The Stonewall then because I was 8,000 miles away when the riots happened. I have noted that after Ed Murphy died there was a sudden proliferation of people who claimed to have been there, however. Mr. Murphy was the bouncer at The Stonewall, which was a Mafia run bar, and is known to have been there that night because he was arrested! While he was alive he debunked any number of people falsely claiming to have been at this historic event.

Subject: Pterodactyls strafed my windshield...
Date: Tue, 5 Mar 2002 09:24:07 EST
From: Len Black Lotus Rosenberg
To: rpm@glib.com

Hi, R. Paul --

What is the reason for your playing “The Stripper” theme as an intro to reading letters from the listeners? I ask because it is obviously working as a “love call” to a certain resident of New Joisey who frequents the strip-joints. I myself have always imagined that it's you, R. Paul, who is disrobing behind the microphones. But then, my own erotic obessions more resemble corpulent Irishmen than “tall blonde chicks.”

If you continue to receive such frequent missives from New Joisey, and read all of them, it may be more appropriate for you to change your Letters themesong to Abba singing, “Fernando.”

I was rolling on the floor when you read Fernando describing himself as “erudite” and “irridescent” when his buddy walked off with the blonde he desired. Could Fernando be the illegitimate offspring of Professor Irwin Corey? Or the Professor's comedy writer?

I am saddened to hear that Uncle Sidney has apparently been abducted by Space Aliens. But I look forward to hearing his rollicking tales of how, with anal probes, implants and trans-dimensional vibrators, they attempted to re-start his sex drive.

Eventually the little Greys will evoke the following exchange from your tired saddle-pal -- read backwards, like the “Paul is dead” tape:


Palindromically yours,

-- Kalipadma

Well, some like Fernando's high volume, frequent missives and some don't. Later on we'll hear from someone with another slant on this issue.

Subject: more mail
Date: Wed, 06 Mar 2002 22:10:15 +0000
From: reynaldo
To: rpm@glib.com

enjoyed last program- are you nearly caught up with your correspondence? you are mostly into science now- will you ever reminisce about your past the way you used to? do you still keep a daily log, and do you ever see yourself editing it? could you be one of history's many diarists? if you want a good read, try peter ackroyd's LONDON:THE BIOGRAPHY. maybe one day, in some far century, you will be cited in a similar work about n.y.

I talk about the past now and again, but radio programs evolve, as they should, and topics come in and out of focus. I'm sure I'll talk about things in the past again. As for my journal, it's not as current or as thorough as it used to be. Maybe the fact that I'm not all alone in the world now has something to do with that. I seriously doubt that I'll be remembered by more than a handful of people after I kick that old bucket.

Date: Sat, 9 Mar 2002 20:38:02 -0500
From: Mary
To: rpm@glib.com

if uncle sidney will be out for awhile, and we have no carrier wave, why don't you , mr. rpm, have a weekly show? your fans love you, and can't get enuff of you. our best to pickles du la nord

This is a question that only the Program Director and maybe the WBAI Program Council could answer. No one told me to move into that time slot, and so I haven't.

This next E-mail relates to a comment I'd made on a previous program about having a Back of the Book trivia game. The author cites various things I've talked about, albeit only in passing, on some recent programs.

Subject: Back of the Book Trivia Game
Date: Wed, 13 Mar 2002 16:51:49 -0500
From: William
To: rpm@glib.com

Dear R. Paul -- I was intrigued (if not erudite) about the possibilities here, so I played a few rounds just for fun and got a score in the low thirties. I did well with a lot of the easy questions, remember what it was like to show off in front of parents while watching the old television show “College Bowl” -- my internal umpire would award no more than one point each for answers like: 1) North American you-know-who (identifies with entire continent, 2) The North (a compass reading is sufficient to identify Pickles, but attention must be paid to Inspector Fenwick's daughter Nell), and (but only for half a point, now) “thirty-two” -- maybe a tough one for new listeners, but not even the ghost of Orson Welles could've fooled me on that one. I gave myself a whopping twenty points for Guadalcanal and the .303 Springfields but this was disallowed because it came up post-Back of the Book while Carrier Wave was running, if I'm not mistaken. The umpire also nicked me on my answer “President Bush with staff in the Rose Garden,” insisting that this is really the ex-governor of Texas in disguise. Wait a minute, I sputtered, What about the panhandle of Florida? what about Voter News Service? not to mention Dona Ana county in Mexico, they've been crooked since Billy the Kid and Landslide Lyndon! ... well, no use, the umpire's official ruling went against me. Next question, I said, all determined like. “An electro-magnetic pulse, bounced off your thick Republican skull, in the direction of the third moon to the right of Jupiter, would take how long to reach the crew of Arthur C. Clarke's Two Thousand and Ten?” That's a trick question, I said. “Right” replied my internal umpire, but they did find a plausible alternative life form, didn't they? Well, R. Paul, I could see I was never going to do well on the really hard questions, so for five points -- Guess my favorite movie on WLIW? ...it was... “The Son of Monte Cristo” with Louis Hayward and George Sanders as the unlucky General Gurko of Lictenburg. “I fear your fall will be as spectacular as your rise!” You're the host -- you aren't required to have a favorite WLIW movie -- but tell us if you do, so we can award points in the future. Best wishes, Bill in Manhattan.

I'm not sure what my favorite old movie on WLIW is. I hazarded the guess that maybe D.O.A. (1950) might be it. It took a while for Pickles of the North to come up with the title, I'd forgotten it. Anthony Sloan also chimed in with it, so maybe he's done a bunch of watching of WLIW also. It's hard to tell which of those old movies I like the best. They were all very comforting to me in years past, and may well be again.

Next we have someone answering the question of who sang along with songs on the air at WBAI years ago, which was asked in a previous E-mail. Apparently I'd guessed wrong.

Subject: A good guess, but...
Date: Sun, 17 Mar 2002 23:05:07 -0500 (EST)
From: kkushner
To: rpm@glib.com

It was Rosebud, not Lynn, who usually did that, though at least once they did a duet. Rosebud is still in Philadelphia, and reportedly on TV there.

Subject: theme music
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2002 08:36:46 EST
From: Star44910
To: rpm@glib.com

Hi! R.Paul. Can you tell me the title song and/or artist you use for your theme on your Sunday morning show? thanks LynnS221@aol.com

My intro is Barracuda by Heart, the music I play just before baring it all and reading the mail is The Stripper by David Rose, and the outtro is Baker Street by Gerry Rafferty.

Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2002 09:15:18 -0500
From: rich
To: rpm@glib.com

hey R missed your last program this sunday(3-17-02),are your programs available on tape? i tried calling 831 radio number that someBAI producers give but that seems to be no longer in service.

No, Back of the Book is, at present, only available in real time. I don't know what that phone number is. I've thought about making an MP3 file of the broadcasts, but I can't get one that's small enough and yet has adequate audio quality to be listened to yet. My Web site does not have infinite capacity, and most people can't spend a huge amount of time downloading a big MP3 file. Tapes are way too time consuming, and, frankly, there's no demand for them.

Subject: monday a.m.
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2002 17:25:33 -0500
From: charlie
To: rpm@glib.com

Hi R.Paul,
Always listening to you from Boston !!
I called in this past show to let you know that you we streaming. As always, I LOVE THE SHOW !!!!!!!!!!! I really think you should record all your shows and burn cds. They would be jewels and precious to fans such as myself. Oh how I would love to have a direct from mic collection of your shows on cd !!!
Ok - I'll be listening and please be more conscious of your health! Say hi to Pickles Of The North.
Your **HUGE** fan,

Charlie is one of our Internet listeners. I'm glad he likes the program. During the program I'd asked if people could hear us and asked them to just call in and I wouldn't pick up the phone. As for burning CDs I'm wondering what to do about programs. A two hour program will not fit on a single CD in the regular audio format which would allow someone to put it into an ordinary CD player and play it. In fact a compressed .WAV file only compresses to about 76%, which still won't fit on a CD. So I'm wrestling with this question of what to do about archiving the program. I've been recording it on my computer for a little while now and I have the choice of cutting up the two hour .WAV file of the program and saving the pieces on two CDs, or settling for a constant bitrate 320 Kbps 44 KHz stereo MP3 file, which is typically almost 300 Mb. I can fit two programs on a CD that way, but you need either a computer or a special CD player to listen to them. At this time I've got a couple of programs compressed to 76% of their size on another hard drive, but I can't save many more that way. So do I use two CDs per program or do I settle for the MP3 quality and put two on each CD? Questions, questions.

This next missive didn't get read on the air in its entirety. As I said above, only the Program Director and Program Council can change my time slot or the frequency of the program. I agree that Pickles of the North should talk more and I encourage her to do so. As for the former and current General Manager, see the link within the E-mail below.

Subject: That horrible tyrant
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2002 16:35:43 -0800 (PST)
From: Lou
To: rpm@glib.com

I enjoyed last nights show as always. I appreciate the science stuff. I am glad you are not giving us too much as Fernando's missives. I wish you had more of Pickles talking. I often like a team of a man and a woman together on the air and her personality is interesting.

If I were program director I would give you and Sidney differant slots. In my opinion people need to be on once a week, and not alternate. It encourages me to listen, but even if the above is impossible you should be subbing for Sydney every week. I know that it might feel uncomfortable to agitate to take the slot temperarily since it has been given to what's his name until the regular host returns but it is logical.

I wanted to ask you a question. Has Valerie been “kicked upstairs.” I've read two mentions on the Goodlight board of this being so but have not heard anything else. Maybe I'll see you next 'thon. How do you tell how long someone has been at the station? By whether they call it a 'thon or a fund raising drive.

Subject: sony lets the hacker, AiboPet site back on.
Date: Wed, 27 Mar 2002 10:48:41 +0900
From: "Alan"
To: rpm@glib.com


a long story here, but here is part of it.



The DMCA and Robodogs
Image: Courtesy of AiboPet
ROBODOG PACKS, including this one owned by AiboPet, are common among Aibo enthusiasts.

I had to truncate part of the above because it could have caused a copyright problem. However the link goes to the article. It's about a type of robot dog that some people seem to like a lot and the conflict between owners and SONY, which makes it.

Subject: I listen
Date: Sat, 30 Mar 2002 20:02:41 EST
From: Attwld
To: rpm@glib.com

I enjoy your show Sundays. Could you update your website. I was looking for some information on who left WBAI.

Well, the Web site's pretty well updated at this time. I know who's left WBAI, pretty much, but I don't think it would be proper for me to give a list of names here.

Date: Sun, 31 Mar 2002 09:53:38 -0500
From: Mary
To: rpm@glib.com
dear rpm: how can listeners start a fernando fan club? he is so- so- different, shall we say. i think some regard him (perhaps yourself included) as being the correspondent one loves to hate. others see him (myself included) as a fine satyrist, a writer with a gift for irritating others with the tip of his pen. he is in the fine back of the book tradition of such correspondents as The Master of the Universe or Mr. Charm, both irritants supreme. however, like them, i think he means no harm- he just needs to express himself, in all of his puerility. yes, he possesses true puerility, but it is- it must be -something exaggerated in order to create a pose-fernando is an artist. three cheers for fernando! i am 46 yrs. old.

Subject: hang in there, spring is just......
Date: Mon, 1 Apr 2002 01:33:49 +0900
From: "Alan"
To: rpm@glib.com

2002 4/1
happy april fools joke day, hang in there, spring is just around the corner.

if you want to see a 4/1 joke, look here, http://www.mamselle.ca/error.html but only for this one day only.

you don't need that damn Www, but if i did not type it there, the link would not work.


Alan had originally sent us his home page, but then had second thoughts about it. What's above is the original page he'd gotten the joke from, and it's still there. Don't be too surprised when you see it and do read the words.

Subject: life and its beauties
Date: Mon, 01 Apr 2002 00:33:07 +0000
From: reynaldo
To: rpm@glib.com

i love your web-site! all of your fans get to connect! why no ads from tim? is that censorship? what does he want to push? as for gus- wow, $200,00! i haven't been able to make that much straight-but keep on the straight and narrow, my friend! susan from long island-yes, i remember all of those things- how about punks, miniature cat-tails that one would light and burn for no particular purpose?
last time you where on the air- i woke up just in time to hear my letter being read! i loved it! and i meant that it was a store selling hotel-style crockery.
yes, reynaldo, tell us your love for fernando! he is a doll!! did you look at his web-site? a tight armful of masculine pulchritude, even if his mother still drives him around. fernando, you are a comic genius! in the fifties, you would have written for sid ceasar.
love you, rpaul and pickles!

Subject: (no subject)
Date: Sun, 31 Mar 2002 22:25:59 EST
From: JOHN
To: rpm@glib.com



With this E-mail we are caught up with our mail backlog! We have a couple of Fernando missives that we've skipped, but we'll get through those eventually, maybe. I think, I'm not totally sure, that the last time we were current with the mail was back in early 1999.

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

Back to the Back of the Book page

Back to my home page.

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