Back of the Book — September 16, 2023

This was the 37th anniversary program for Back of the Book. We talked a little bit about the program's history and we played a short piece that consisted of the first few minutes of the first Back of the Book program. We also did the traditional reading of Before the Law by Franz Kafka. We said goodbye to Summer, since it will have ended before we get on the air again. I plan to update this Web page, so check back for the updates.

The next WBAI LSB meeting will be on Wednesday October 11, at 7:00 PM. That meeting will be held on ZOOM, even though ZOOM compromises privacy and security. That meeting will be held as a teleconference meeting, as the 49 previous public meetings were because of the pandemic.

We had a LSB meeting this past Wednesday September 13. I gave a Treasurer's Report and the written version is here. There was scheduled a Q&A session with WBAI Management and any listeners who called in to talk to them. This Q&A session started at 6:30, a half hour before the LSB meeting was scheduled to begin. The General Manager took up most of the time and one listener asked a question. Some people go on and on about having the listeners being in on everything. Some people on the LSB make noises about having the listeners in general figure out how to fix WBAI's finances. It's obviously just grandstanding by those LSB members, but they behave as if no one sees through them. And I do not think that having a lot of people who are not aware of the realities of WBAI's finances hear some speeches will result in realistic actions.

The WBAI/Pacifica elections are going on. If you contributed enough, $25, to become a member by June 30, you get to vote. Apparently WBAI is lagging behind on the number of listeners casting votes. Pacifica and WBAI Management wants us to tell you to vote, if you're eligible. If not enough listeners vote in this election the election will have to be extended at all stations, at a cost of thousands of dollars.So vote already. They're sending out ballots every Tuesday. If you haven't gotten one yet write to the National Elections Supervisor, get your ballot and then vote.

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, so we have the following schedule:

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. Now I can again and there are a whole bunch of archive blurbs up there now.

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. As of November 2020, Back of the Book airs weekly.

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?

Program Note:Back of the Book is preempted on September 23, as a part of the 52 Week Schedule that Management has the entire station on. We're scheduled to be back on the air on September 30, 2023, at 5AM.

A radio

We celebrated the 37th anniversary of this radio program this morning. Back of the Book first aired on September 8, 1986, and since we got preempted for a special emergency on-air fund raiser last week when we'd planned to celebrate this annual milestone we're doing it this week. This radio program has covered a lot of ground over the decades. A Program Director in 1986, had the brilliant idea of making shows alternate with each other. So we were on for two hours every other week. The program aired from 1 to 3 AM on alternate Sunday nights/Monday mornings.

I did the program all alone for some years and then Radio's Pickles of the North and I met. She'd been doing another program with some other folks late in the last century. We got together, she sat in with me a for a while and she then she became my co-host at the end of the 20th Century.

This program has had its bumps in the past 37 years. We've had people threatening to take us off the air, we've had people blasting us for political reasons and we've also had people who really like this radio program. Back when we were on from 1 to 3 AM we used to raise more money than other overnight radio programs, and even some daytime programs. In 2020, certain interim Management people at WBAI moved us to this 5 AM time slot on Saturday mornings. I must say I do not fathom people, getting up so early on a Saturday morning, but you're all welcome to listen, the few of you who do listen. I'm not sure, but we may have more people listening to our archived programs than we have listening to us live. So we've really started our 38th year now. As part of our little celebration we played the first few minutes of the first Back of the Book program.

Of course we read the traditional Before the Law by Franz Kafka.

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We Said Goodbye to Summer

We said goodbye to the Middle Third early this month, and now we're about to say goodbye to the Summer season as well. Next Saturday morning the Autumnal Equinox will occur. It'll happen on September 23, 2023, at 2:50 AM (ET) that's ten minutes before three o'clock next Saturday morning. We're preempted next Saturday morning, so this is our last chance to say goodbye to the Summer of 2023. The Doors helped us to sing the season out. Sorry to hear it go.

sars_cov-2 virus with a francy, yellow mask
Deaths Are Significantly Higher

The CDC Web site isn't giving us all that much information about COVID-19 in America, although they're saying that Total Deaths in Americas are at 1,141,782 which means that 2,325 people have died of COVID-19 since our last program two weeks ago, That's 1,162 or 1,163 a week, well over the rates for the previous few weeks. We're hoping to get our COVID-19 booster EG.5 variant in time to avoid getting sick.

The pandemic is not over. Pickles of the North and I are still keeping our masks on. We've both gotten our bivalent vaccinations, and our bivalent booster shots. We're hearing that the new boosters are going to be ready as early as next month or surely by October. We'll probably wait until mid-October to get our new booster short against COVID-19 and the latest flu shot at the same time. It's a ritual we've gone though for the past couple of years.

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.

There used to be a number of mailing lists related to Pacifica and WBAI. Unfortunately, they were all located on Yahoo! Groups. When Yahoo! Groups was totally shut down in December 2020, all of those mailing lists ceased to exist. One year earlier their file sections and archives of E-mails, had been excised leaving only the ability to send E-mails back and forth among the members. Now it's all gone. Older Back of the Book program Web pages tell a little more about those lists.

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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