Back of the Book — May 2, 2020

This is our fourth Pandemic Special, pre-recorded, program. It's very strange doing the program like this. It's supposed to be a free-form live radio program. Of course a pandemic can cause disruptions in a lot of people's lives, so we have to do what we can in a recorded format rather than live on the air. We talked about the below stuff and a little bit more on this program. We're hoping to make reading listener mail a more regular feature in coming programs. I will try to update this Web page.

Did you know that I've got a brief synopsis of some of the WBAI LSB meetings?

I have also posted a whole lot of the minutes of the Pacifica National Finance Committee. I'm a member of that committee because I'm the WBAI LSB Treasurer.

The next WBAI LSB meeting is scheduled to be held on May 13, 2020, it will be held as a teleconference meeting, as the March 11, and April 8, 2020, meetings were because of the pandemic.

The WBAI LSB met on Wednesday, April 8, 2020.

The LSB met via teleconference. People were elected to the Program Director Search Committee and non-LSB members were nominated for it. Oh, it was a bit of a rocky meeting due to the technical limitations of meeting via a certain service that has privacy and security problems. Before the meeting I had put out a written Treasurer's Report for all to read.

Some years ago the WBAI LSB voted to hold its regular meetings on the second Wednesday of every month, subject to change by the LSB, which gives us the following schedule:

All of these meetings are set to begin at 7:00 PM.

WBAI has a program schedule up on its Web site. The site has gotten many of the individual program pages together to provide links and such, so check it out.

Here is WBAI's current Internet stream. We can no longer tell if the stream is working without testing every possible stream. Good luck.

WBAI is archiving the programs! WBAI has permanently switched to yet another new archive Web page! This one is more baffling than the previous one. For some time I was unable to post archive blurbs, then I could, and then I couldn't again. You can take a look at it and see if I've been able to post anything on it lately. There are still some limitations, but I am assured that I can plug in the archive blurbs that were lost in the latest upgrade.

This is a link to the latest version of the official WBAI archive. The archiving software appears to have been at least partially fixed. To get to the archive of this program you can use the usual method: you'll have to click on the drop-down menu, which says Display, and find Back of the Book on that menu. We're pretty early in the list, so it shouldn't be too difficult. Once you find the program name click GO and you'll see only this Back of the Book program. Management has fixed some problems that we'd been having with the archives.

For programs before March 23, 2019, we're all out of luck. The changes that took place once WBAI Management took control of the WBAI archives seems to have wiped out all access to anything before that date in March. You'll have to click on the same drop-down menu as above, which says Display, and find Specify Date, it's the second choice from the top. You are then given a little pop-up calendar and you can choose the date of the program there. Then click GO and you'll see a list of programs that aired on that date. For those previous programs you can get the audio, but nothing else, since I can't post anything to those pages anymore. Yeah, it looks like they'll have some alternating program's name prominently there, but if you have the right date it'll be our program. Good luck.

Since the General Manager has banned Sidney Smith from WBAI he's not alternating with us on the air. There is sometimes a pre-recorded program in the alternate week's time slot.

Bring Back Uncle Sidney!

Our friend, fellow WBAI producer and Saddle Pal Uncle Sidney Smith has been banned from WBAI by General Manager Berthold Reimers. The General Manager will not say why. He won't even tell Sidney why he's banned! This is grossly unfair to Sidney and constitutes abuse of Staff. Why did Berthold ban Sidney?

More to come.

Socially isolated pussycat
Socially Isolated

Of course we talked about the COVID-19 pandemic and all of the things around it that are changing our lives, and challenging our sanity in some cases.

That moron Trump has proposed that people somehow get bleach or disinfectants into their bodies in order to kill the virus. He was actually asking doctors about this. He said that since bleach and disinfectants destroyed the virus within a minute that this might be a good idea for a cure. He asked the doctors present to ask other doctors if this would be a great thing to do.

Of course this malignant narcissist thinks he's a great genius so he would imagine that he's thought of something new. Doctors, and almost everybody else over the age of five, knows that ingesting or innoculating these harsh chemicals would cause serious bodily damage or death, depending on how much a person got into themselves before they passed out from the experience. How stupid must one be not to intuitively know that these chemicals are poisonous and would kill a person? And this level of stupidity is what's running the most powerful county in the world right now.

We also talked about the social isolating phenomenon and how we're coping with it. The pussycat in the accompanying photograph is socially isolating and looking at a world it can't play in, as are we.

We talked about our refrigerator partially not working. The freezer works, the rest of it doesn't. The regular refrigerator part, where most of the food we want to preserve goes, can't chill anything lower than about 56° F. It's costing us money because we have to buy some things that won't perish, or buy things in small quantities that we can eat within one day. We're looking for a fix for this. Of course there may not be one.

And to make the pandemic even worse there are right-wing idiots who are trying to break the social distancing discipline and spread the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Some real jerks invaded the Michigan state house armed with semi-automatic rifles. Really, this is America these days?

One of our planets is missing! Well, maybe not one of our planets. We talked about the exoplanet Fomalhaut b which apparently never actually existed. Cosmic gremlins appear to have fooled the astronomers, until the trick was discovered.

It's the Middle Third! The Middle Third is made up of the four months in the middle of the calendar, May, June, July and August. I really like the Middle Third because there's plenty of sunlight, usually, and it's not cold out, usually. This year, of course, getting out into the nice weather, where the Sun sets after seven o'clock in the evening, is not easy. We're locked down, and it's looking like we maybe be in this situation for the entire Middle Third. R. Paul may have to wait for the release of a vaccine for COVID-19 before he can safely venture out into the big, wide world. And that vaccine may not show up for another 18 months! Well, we do have windows. We can look out on the world, what we can see of it, and see more sunlight and feel the warmer air wafting in through the screens. This will be a Middle Third to remember, all right.


We actually got around to reading some listener mail on this program. We plan to get to the mail again soon.

There are a lot of issues that are considered hazardous to talk about on the air at WBAI, even though the gag rule was lifted in 2002. However, there is the Internet! There are mailing lists which you can subscribe to and Web based message boards devoted to WBAI and Pacifica issues. Many controversial WBAI/Pacifica issues are discussed on these lists.

One open list that no longer exists was the WBAI specific Goodlight Web based message board. It was sometimes referred to on Back of the Book as the bleepin' blue board, owing to the blue background that was used on its Web pages. This one had many people posting anonymously and there was also an ancillary WBAI people board that was just totally out of hand.

In June 2012, I ended up having to salvage the bleepin' blue board, and so I was the moderator on it for its last seven years, until it got too expensive.

Sometimes we used to have live interaction with people posting on the Goodlight Board during the program.

Our very own Uncle Sidney Smith, whose program Saturday Morning With the Radio On used to alternate with us, has a blog these days. You can reach his blog here.

One formerly popular mailing list is the NewPacifica mailing list. Founded October 31, 2000, this list has been moribund for a couple of years due to de facto censorship by the group owner. As of February 2019, it had 696 subscribers coast to coast, but postings on it had become very infrequent. During the WBAI Coup of 2019, traffic picked up on that board again, for a while.

Back in the day it sometimes also got a bit nasty. All sorts of things used to happen on that list and official announcements were frequently posted there.

You can look at the NewPacifica list here, and you can join the list from that Web page too. If you subscribe to the NewPacifica mailing list you will receive, via E-mail, all of the messages which are sent to that list.

There is the option to receive a digest version of the list, which means that a bunch of messages are bundled into one E-mail and sent to you at regular intervals, this cuts down on the number of E-mails you get from the list. You will also be able to send messages to the list.

We like to stay interactive with our listeners. Here are the various options for you to get in touch with us.

You can also send me E-mail.

And now you can even reach me on Twitter Twitter logo

WBAI related links

A WBAI Listeners' Web page

WBAI Management's official Web site

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The contents of this Web page are copyright © 2020, R. Paul Martin.