Wednesday, December 4, 2013

To Serve Man...

Remember that Twilight Zone episode where aliens come to earth carrying a large book in their own language? The seem quite friendly and experts begin the tough job of translating the book. The title, they figure out, is "TO SERVE MAN," The conclusion? These guys have an advanced civilization and they are here to help us. The aliens offer free trips to earthlings aboard their, so they can see for themselves what a great, advanced civilization they come from. It quickly becomes popular and droves of earthlings sign up for the trip, and wait their turn. The final scene has happy, well-dressed humans walking up the gangplank to the ship, including one of the young scientists. His assistant comes running to the ship, just as he is about to enter it....stop, she tells him, frantically....the book is...a cookbook!.

Well, Yesterday, that wonderful line came to mind as I was thinking about this unsavory group of characters who are currently completing the destruction of WBAI, while pretending to be saviors.
So I entered one of my shortest posts to the Blueboard:


You guessed it, Generalissimo R. Paul Martin removed it. I posted it again, and the same thing happened, but this time I also received an e-mail message:

I sent him a video clip of the scene!  With people like that involved, is it any wonder that the final curtain is about to drop?


  1. I don't know why I still listen - maybe in part it's force of habit and in part it's because there still is some decent stuff on in between the kooks, quacks and mystics. Anyway this last Monday night, apropos of the above post, Brady's show began with some guy lecturing about alien abductions! You just can't make this stuff up, this really happened! IMHO this guy belongs in an asylum, not on BAI where such nonsense only serves to discredit the decent stuff.

    1. Geofff Brady is definitely very loosely wrapped. I heard him the other night when his phone guest was a man from the UK, who has been on before, so Brady likes him and as the man spoke of reptilians who have come to earth to rob our minds and control everything. These creatures are super intelligent, so much so that we are neither aware of them nor their dastardly deeds. Brady, who agreed with everything this man had to say, expressed his enormous admiration for all the research he has done over the years, and promised that he would have him back on the program.

      Pacifica and WBAI's management know full well that such scams and lunacy is being aired, but they obviously also have a tabloid mindset. Sorry to say it, but the station now needs to be taken off the life support.

  2. My suspicion, as an outsider observing the long-unfolding bitter farce, is that Reese, I suspect bearing in mind consideration of the possible challenge of license renewal as well as all the other overwhelming negative factors, is simply moving as expeditiously as possible toward a PSOA. The PSOA may be sold as a bridge or temporizing move for WBAI to get its act together, but it may just as easily be used as a bridge to sale of the frequency, either outright or with a swap. With no access to insider information or to a meaningful read on the nauseatingly and pointlessly complex interpersonal internecine struggles, it’s impossible, in my judgement, to make an accurate read – but it’s my guess that that’s the principal strategy, that she’s been delayed a bit with the nonsense with Reimers, the requirements for formal approvals from boards, etc, but that that’s where she’s headed. If, on the other hand, she fails to pull that off for one or a number of reasons, many of them beyond her control, my equally uninformed guess is that the place simply collapses and the frequency goes commercial as Pacifica literally loses all control – it lost essential effective control long, long ago.

    ~ Indigo, Pirate

    1. Highly plausible, although I don't have the same faith in Reese's business smarts as you seem to have. Of course, she does have more knowledgeable contacts. Her aims, however, are likely what you imagine they might be. Given the choice of raising the Titanic (mission impossible) and selling a headache to facilitate easing lesser ones, I think the latter looks a lot better to those Californians. Lofty missions and distant dreams mean diddlysquat to them.

  3. It’s entirely possible that you’re right and that I’m overestimating Reese’s strategic smarts – you’ve observed her actions longer than I have.

    I think, from what I’ve seen, that Pacifica and WBAI have indeed, as you say, lost sight of anything resembling their foundational principles or even their sub rosa revisionist Progressive Politics 4 Dumm People R US ‘purpose’.

    As we might well agree, all organizations, perhaps particularly educational, non-profit, and governmental entities tend to evolve into closed worlds, their only purpose to continue on as they continue on to continue on and thus to serve the ‘needs’ of their internal constituents.

    Other than as a memory for some, no one actually even know these folks exist.

    Death by cruel, ugly, ultimately pointless farce.

    ~ Indigo Pirate

    1. Remember, it was Reese who Nullified Andrew Phillips' work in progress. Now a "holiday marathon" is based upon reruns from an earlier drive, one that barely made the goal, and only by taking things deeper into the gutter. There is no end to this, other than a final crash, because the bills keep coming in and the money...not so much. All these people slithering around with their fantasies, delusions, and ignorance are getting nowhere—WBAI can never take a real forward step as long as they stay.

      BTW, did you find my Twilight Zone quote as totally irrelevant to the present situation as the Generalissimo did? I guess I should have posted a video clip from "The Godfathe," which he apparently finds suitable. What a jerk this guy is!

  4. As I understand it there was apparently internal discussion of a PSOA at least as far back as last spring, and there’s been even longer discussion of a straight sale of the frequency to generate some cash for the mothership. You’re more familiar with these matters, and have followed them longer, so I suspect your ‘feel’ for the overall dynamic is better, and I’m operating on a more limited basis as to available information and sense of the situation.

    I’m inclined to assign a high probability to Reese’s having understood at least at some level some time ago that the situation was truly dire.

    I’d guess that Phillips was assigned his position on that basis. What she actually told him, I don’t know, but I’d guess it was what she half-believed or half-hoped herself, and what she preferred him to believe. In my judgement, that’s what you do in such a situation, whether you’re a ‘good guy’ or a ‘bad guy’ – not that I’m terribly clear what those notions mean in many circumstances.

    From what little we seem to know publicly, she gave him rein, and supported him, at least publicly, until the moment when the fund raising was below her needs, at which point she seems to have moved near-instantly to shove him aside and roll out the majical snake oil infomercial and other sales machines.

    I think Andrew was on the right track for what he understood his purpose to be, and I would support him in resigning on principle.

    I’ve been known to do the same, so I’m fine with that.

    It’s simply my suspicion that Reese is sharp enough to recognize the situation is essentially hopeless, but that whether because of her own emotional dynamics or as a straight cold Machiavellian play she’s working the possibility that WBAI has at least a slim chance of being ‘saved’.

    My guess is that she’s sharp enough to know that it doesn’t, but is maneuvering to try and get a PSOA past the hyper-dysfunctional boards and then see if it’s satisfactory as a temporizing measure while she attempts to organize an actual resurrection or on the other hand use it as a bridge to sale of the license. I suspect she’s not certain what way that aspect will play out, and is quite understandably looking to keep the options open – but for what little it’s worth I think she very likely holds the sort of thinking that WBAI can in some sense be saved in revised and relocated situ in as much contempt as we do – that it just ain’t gonna happen.

    So that’s my ramble of the moment, heaven knows how it will actually play, and except for those who remember Long Ago, and the present shabby shabby shabby circle of interest holders I can’t imagine it much matters.

    I wish it did, but I don’t think that it does.

    As for the Twilight Zone… :)

    I thought it a perfectly good natured riff-pun reference, in a place that can use a bit of good-natured humor.

    I’d responded with a ref to the Burgess Meredith end of the world sole survivor broken eyeglasses episode. I guess that was deleted, too.

    Minor footnote, don’t know if this ever came up, or if you’re aware of it. ira Weitzman, who went on to a very successful career as producer, and last I knew was director of Musical Theater at Lincoln Center, not only ran the extremely successful WBAI Winter Crafts Fair and the Free Music Store, but even after essentially moving on had been instrumental in setting up an alliance for WBAI with the then newly renascent Symphony Space – worthwhile, immediately drawing an audience, and clearly likely to grow massively. What happened? Samori dumped it. He needed to prioritize his return to Africa as a triumphal revolutionary leader or whatever, or end the station’s having some appeal to white devils, who knows?

    This in haste, therefore please allow for any infelicities, solecisms, or just plain ol' f**ckups :)

    ~ Indigo, Pirate

  5. It all must be the fault of the reptilians - maybe Kathy Davis can hold an on-air exorcism and, with the help of some angels, purge them, or maybe the name dropping meditation guru, who probably knows them well, can just ask them to leave.

  6. To Serve Man is an apt metaphor for how Pacifica/BAI treats its listener sponsors. It is not clear, however, that any lease agreement on the table will be more profitable than the fund-raising remittances from the listeners, and I have a feeling that even if the situation was not dire, even if the lease agreement WOULD fill the BAI coffers, the powers that be at the BAI will keep using the lease of BAI as a stick over the listeners heads to keep them sending money.

    1. I cringe whenever I hear them wave the lease agreement at listeners, like a threat. In the old days, we used to wave a Kate Smith recording at them....that worked, the very thought made them reach for their wallet. I don;t think the lease represents as much of a threat, because the diluted listenership just doesn't care enough. Ironically, some, recalling what WBAI used to be, might see a failed fundraising effort in a favorable light.