This Year on GR
by C. L. Cook
December 26, 2019
Well, it's another year come and gone, and this - the twentieth for Gorilla Radio - has spun faster than all the rest. Naturally, that's what the older set always say; and to the youngsters out there, their eyes all a-roll I say, "You'll see!" Or will you?
If the climate crisis is what is promised, perhaps there will be no more "some days" to come; but to those that believe that's the case, I can only remind of my own experience. When I was young, so long ago, the threat of instant immolation in the nuclear fires of America and the Soviet Union hung over our young heads, a Damaclesian nightmare that made planning our bright future's difficult, and sometimes seemingly pointless. But here we are nearly forty years after Ronald Reagan, and in many ways the World is a better place than it was then.
I was recently publicly savaged for even contemplating that we were not all going to be drowned in an imminent Arctic meltdown as a dastardly "climate change denier". Fight on Greta and all who oppose the polluters of both the psychic and physical environments I say. I'll be there, doing my bit as I've done these twenty years past. But, and it's an enormous one: never surrender the future to despair. Even though, to quote the late, great Robert Anton Wilson, "This planet is...populated and largely controlled by domesticated primates who are not in all respects reasonable men and women."
Still, Wilson insists, though we are, according to the mathematical models of Prigogine and other physicists, evolving towards higher complexity and technical organization that promises societal breakthroughs rather than breakdowns, for the confirmed pessimist, those who find that prospect alarming, he advises, "...take comfort in the thought that, although human success is highly probable, there is still a small chance that we can blow ourselves up or that your favorite apocalyptic scenarios might still occur, despite the general trend toward higher coherence and intelligence." And he reminds, "...of course, even if humanity seems condemned to overall success, you can still mess up your personal life."
So Happy New Year everyone, and let's hope we see the whole of it!
Now, I'll be leaving the usual interview format today to look over the past year's shows, play a couple clips and adding some musical filler too. I recently spoke with Andy Worthington, the aptly named Londoner who has, for the last eleven years mounted a campaign to Close Guantanamo, the American military prison and torture centre located on occupied Cuban soil. As part of the campaign, Andy has travelled to the US in hopes of inspiring enough Americans to challenge their government to uphold the national beliefs they profess and either put those men remaining in Gitmo on public trial, or release them, as "habeas corpus" the rule established in the Great Charter of England, foundational document of what eventual became the Parliamentary tradition, demands. Here's Andy in an interview we recorded in January of 2019. But first, a little music to set the mood: Cuarteto Patria from the disc Putumayo Presents Cuba.
11:04:00 9:10 Andy Worthington - w/ - Cuarteto Patria - Al Vaiven de mi Carreta - Putumayo Presents: Cuba 11:13:10 1:00 Worthington extro...
Andy Worthington has many other irons in the activist fires, check out his website, AndyWorthington.co.uk and my December interview with him at Gorilla-Radio.com, where we talked about the way the year ended in Britain with the election of Boris Johnson in the one-issue Get Brexit Done! election campaign. ...More from the Gorilla Radio Year Ender after this message.
11:14:00 2:12 Beans on Toast - Media Circus - Standing on a Chair 11:16:12 2:00 Intro John Helmer on Skripals, Media
No other single guest has appeared more often, or more saliently, on the myriad instances of media manufactured reality on this program than John Helmer. John's a journalist and author, academic, advisor to governments, and the engine behind the business news website, Dances with Bears, specializing in all things Russia related. It was hard to avoid Russia in the 2019 version of reality created by American media; to hear them, you'd think it was Vladimir Putin and his legions running roughshod across the globe, setting up hundreds of military bases, overthrowing democratically elected governments, and fomenting wars for the profit of the resource extractivists, their concommitant war materiel industries and financiers. We spoke first in 2019 about the mysterious case of the Skripals, father and daughter victims of Novichok poisoning in Salisbury, England, (if we're to believe the narrative provided) and held still in communicado on an American air base in Britain.
11:18:30 17:32 John Helmer - w/ Neutral Milk Hotel - You've Passed - On Avery Island 11:36:00 2:00 Helmer extro/ Melzer intro
The Skripals are still, in the final days of 2019, held in communicado somewhere in Britain, and the case of Russians attempting to murder their former foreign asset and his daughter in the middle of an English town square, as it was framed, is more likely than not, if Occam is to be followed, a dangerous fabrication of British intelligence designed to demonize further Vladimir Putin and Russia. And, as John Helmer suggests, one of its unintended victims, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has since, thanks to whistleblowers, had its credibility blown out of the water on its handling of poison gas attacks, allegedly mounted by the Assad government in Syria. These late revelations from OPCW insiders reiterates the vital importance of whistleblowers, especially when dealing with issues that could easily lead to war. There is no more infamous instance of abuse of a whistleblower than the case of Julian Assange; in the news again last year, and on this program too. United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Nils Melzer on his visit with Julian Assange at Belmarsh Prison after the break.
11:38:00 3:50 Buffy St. Marie & Tanya Tegaq - You Got To Run - Spirit of the Wind 11:41:50 11:46 Nils Melzer on Julian Assange 11:53:00 2:00 Melzer extro/Andre Vltchek intro
That comes from an interview I did with Nils Melzer in September. Assange is still in Belmarsh Prison, his health becoming more frail by the day. It is clear, Assange is a martyr to truth, and being made an example to all journalists what can happen if you tell the stories the powers that be don't want heard. It's also an abject lesson in just how much of what we call Western Civilization they are willing to sacrifice on the altar of personal ambition.
I talked last week with someone who knows all too well the evil these men and women in power do. Andre Vltchek is an independent journalist who has spent a lifetime chronicling the effects of capitalism and militarism on the poorest of the World. Andre's currently in Hong Kong, putting together a book that is a compendium of the last couple years he's spent going from one revolution to another. I'll air a special interview I recorded with him from Hong Kong next week, but here's a bit of seeing a year in the World from an unaccustomed viewpoint, in Boliva after the coup with Andre Vltchek.
11:55:00 4:00 Andre Vltchek short 11:59:00 1:00 Thanks to Andy Worthington, John Helmer, Nils Melzer, Andre Vltchek, J9; upcoming. 12:00:00 --:-- Porno for Pyros - Freeway - Good God's Urge