Wednesday, February 07, 2007

SF Bay Guardian

I enjoy reading the SF Bay Guardian for a number of reasons, not least of which is their hold-no-punches articles on local politics and events.

A couple of articles caught my eye as I perused the latest edition this morning while at work (on my break, of course).

The first article I read was a piece titled, "Kids get Addicted to War" by Amanda Witherell, a great news item on a new comic book that's about to be released into the San Francisco public school system for 10th to 12th-graders. It's been touted by the likes of Susan Sarandon, Noam Chomsky, Helen Caldicott, Cindy Sheehan, and Howard Zinn and covers a 230-year span of warfare by this nation of ours.

Here's an excerpt:

Many peaceniks may be familiar with the 77-page comic book that was originally conceived in 1991 to highlight the real story behind the Gulf War. With spare wit and imagery, Andreas plainly outlines how combat is the very expensive fuel that feeds the economic and political fire of the United States.

In outlining this history, Andreas doesn't gloss over the lesser-known and oft misunderstood conflicts in Haiti, the Philippines, Lebanon, and Grenada. He draws on multiple sources to portray America's purported need to overthrow foreign governments and establish convenient dictators, including Saddam Hussein, in order to fill the pockets of the most powerful people and corporations in American history. Andreas also includes the blinded eyes of the mainstream media, whose spin and shortcomings keep this business rolling.

Full story here.

The second article was even better than the last, a piece written by J.B. Powell titled, "The Search for Spocko: San Francisco blogger draws corporate and conservative wrath for educating KSFO's advertisers". What a treat it was to read about my local blog-hero Spocko of Spocko's Brain.


For the better part of a year starting in late 2005, San Francisco blogger Mr. Spocko waged a quiet campaign against right-wing talk radio station KSFO, 560 AM. He wrote to its sponsors and played for them explicit portions of the station's programming, such as shock jock Lee Rodgers's call for antiwar protesters to be "stomped to death ... just stomp their bleeping guts out."

The idea was to educate corporations about exactly what they were sponsoring, in the hope that Spocko's work might staunch the free flow of hateful rhetoric.

He also posted these audio clips on his blog, Spocko's Brain. Several advertisers pulled their ads as a result of his campaign. But after MasterCard decided to cancel its KSFO spots in July 2006, Spocko said hostile commenters started to arrive on his blog and declare that he was in legal jeopardy.

"They said things like 'They're going to find you and sue you for everything you've got,' " Spocko told the Guardian by telephone, the only way he will be interviewed because of fears for his personal safety if people learn his true identity.
Full story here.

I'm proud to say that I was a participant in that campaign to notify advertisers. I'd like to think we made an impact on the vitriol that spews forth on a regular basis from Hate-Talk 560 KSFO.

J.B. Powell puts forth an outstanding piece that chronicles Spocko's continuing journey through hostile Romulan territory including being cast adrift by his spineless internet hosting company, 1&1 Internet. Be sure to check it out.

And to round out my morning reading, I got a really good chuckle out of the latest "This Modern World" cartoon by Tom Tomorrow. For those of you without 20/10 vision, click on the cartoon for a larger version of it.


At February 08, 2007 8:58 AM, Blogger azgoddess said...

amazing - it was all 2 scary to read along and see where they go from point A to point X -- too scary!

as far as 'addicted to war' - i've added to my amazon wish list -- so when i have a no-shipping-cost toal -- i'll get it -- thanks for the recommendation! i have all of howard zinn's books!

At February 08, 2007 4:12 PM, Blogger Peacechick Mary said...

Addicted to war. I think so many young people sign up trying to believe they will be made mature and people will respect them - all because of the recruiters sales job. No recruiter is going to say, Come on, sign up. Be fodder.

At February 08, 2007 6:04 PM, Blogger dada said...

kick-ass blog, PT--Thanks! After reading this comic, maybe we should euthanize all kids now 25 or under (to assure humanity a generation's span of 25 years free from war to 'kick our habit'? Or, maybe the alternative--euthanize all leaders over the age of 57 1/2 sending our kids 25 and under to fight their frickin' wars?)

At February 08, 2007 7:09 PM, Blogger PTCruiser said...

Thanks for the Howard Zinn recommendation. I'll hae to check out his work.

Those recruiters are pretty slick. They convinced me I wanted to work on nuclear missiles instead of becoming an aircraft mechanic (a career field that would've made it easier to get a job when I got out).

I'm thinking of inventing something along the lines of a nicotine patch. My scientists are still working on a formula.

At February 09, 2007 1:13 AM, Blogger mdhatter said...

same as it ever was

At February 10, 2007 9:17 AM, Blogger Donnie McDaniel said...

Great post PT. I tried to comment when you first put it up and blogger was being a bitch that day.


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