Next radio show to air Saturday night 18 Feb 2017 at 6:50 PM EasternAnd again Sunday night 19 Feb 2017 at 8 PM
WBCA-LP 102.9 FM Boston
Alternative Theories: What Else Is Going On?Hosted by Jumana Hashim and Rosemary Schmidt
Blog & audio link to accompany the show will be published after the show airs.
But first: A quick recap of the Jan 2017 showDemocracy: It’s All About Showing Up - And Being Pithy!
When we started recounting our experience at Professor Michael Sandel’s talk on Democracy last fall, held at Faneuil Hall as part of HUBweek, we quickly discovered that we had walked away with very different takes on it. While I had a beef with both the questions and the audience not showing up, Ellen countered that the audience did in fact show up – just in the way that the liberal elite show up, prepared for a cerebral discussion, but lacking the juice. Even going back to the days of the revolution, it helped the colonists by having a pithy saying to rally around: “Taxation without representation is tyranny.” So, I quipped, all the Democrats need is a class in how to say things in 140 characters or less? A Twitterversity?
Where are the Democrats now? And the reasonable Republicans? We speculated that the Democrats are feeling beaten down, like they lost. This despite the fact that Hillary got about three million more votes. The Republicans meanwhile perhaps are cowering, in fear of losing their jobs. (We still don’t know to what extent Russia influenced the outcome.) Maybe it would appear heavy handed for the Democrats to say too much before the new administration took power.
Yet, it all seems so fragile, so tenuous. It feels like it could all be undone, with the pull of a thread.
There is a great quote, by George Takei, an LGBTQ activist, drawing on his experience when he was interred with his family and other Japanese-Americans during World War II, in which he shares some advice from his father:
“He told me that our democracy is a people’s democracy, and it can be as great as the people can be, but it is also as fallible as people are.”
What can we do? Be vigilant, and show up! And make our Democracy great again!
And show up we did:
175,000 strong in Boston
250,000 in Chicago
500,000 in D.C.
And hundreds of thousands more in towns across the world, from Anchorage to Zurich.
If the Democrats’ problem has been a lack of pithiness, and short, bright sound bites to rally around, there was no shortage of pithiness at the March. Each sign was a gem. Our cups runneth over now with pithiness.
What struck me is that I’m not sure any of this would have happened if Hillary would have won. It would have been more business as usual. Democrats would have been satisfied, but there wouldn’t have been people in the street.
Songs have been a huge part of the story as well, all of us going back and digging up protest songs from decades ago.
“Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
‘Till it’s gone”
~ Joni Mitchell
“This Land Is Your Land” seemed to be everywhere, too, and was lauded as perhaps the most singable protest song of the weekend in an article by Amelia Mason for WBUR:
“Music abounded at the Boston Women’s March on Saturday, but if I had to pick a winner, it would be Woody Guthrie’s ‘This Land Is Your Land.’ I heard it blasted by a brass band as they paraded down Beacon, and sung lustily from a balcony on Charles. I heard it on the MBTA on the way to the march, rippling form the far end of the car down the ranks of protesters packed shoulder to shoulder, patiently awaiting their release onto the streets.”
All the more ironic, then, when Lady Gaga sang both “God Bless America,” followed by “This Land Is Your Land,” during the Super Bowl halftime show, from her perch high atop the stadium at NRG field in Houston.
Then there was the song by MILCK, “Quiet,” that absolutely triggers goose bumps every time I hear it, and was adopted as an anthem by some marchers: We can’t keep quiet.
Morning Joe on MSNBC also nailed it, totally rocked it that Monday morning after the inauguration and all the rallies, playing the classic song from 1966 by Buffalo Springfield, “For What It’s Worth (Stop, Hey What’s That Sound),” showing alternating pictures from both events. After the video, Joe Scarborough remarks:
“Two days in January, a Saturday and a Sunday, I think incredibly described in the most prescient manner by Buffalo Springfield fifty years ago.”
You can find the video on Joe Scarborough’s twitter feed on 23 January 2017, or view an unofficial version on YouTube:
This line rang so true:
“A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs.”
I was so struck by the sea of pink kitty hats at all the rallies. Mostly hand-knit, which made me think of one of the last things we had said in the prior radio show: Everything feels so tenuous, like things could be undone, all with the pull of a thread. But, at least for one day, these pink hats literally, figuratively, and metaphorically knit us together.
And then the Executive Orders started rolling out and the unraveling began.
To be continued in the next radio show & blog!
About WBCA-LP 102.9 FM Boston:
WBCA is a low-power FM radio station sponsored by the Boston Neighborhood Network, and is on the air from 6 PM to 2 AM each night.
Radio Beantown is on the air! Jumana Hashim is a current member of Beantown Women’s Rugby Club, while Rosemary, aka Rosebud, Schmidt has been retired a few years.
Thank you again to guest host, Ellen Iorio, for helping to guest host the January show, and bringing all her pithiness!
Andrews, Travis M. 2017. If You Thought Lady Gaga’s Halftime Show Was Apolitical, Consider the Origin of ‘This Land Is Your Land.’ Washington Post, 6 February 2017.
Hilton, Robin. 2017. A Flash Mob Choir At The Women’s March Turned This Unknown Song Into An Anthem. NPR.org. 23 January 2017.
Mason, Amelia. 2017. From Flash Mobs to Janelle Monae, Women’s Marches Join a New Wave of Protest Music. WBUR.org. 24 January 2017.
© 2017 Rosemary A. Schmidt
Rose Schmidt is the author of “Go Forward, Support! The Rugby of Life” (Gainline Press 2004). The views expressed herein are solely those of the author, and do not reflect the views of any other agency or organization. Use of individual quotes with proper citation and attribution, within the limits of fair use, is permitted. If you would like to request permission to use or reprint any of the content on the site, please contact me.
Radio Broadcast © 2017 Jumana Hashim, Rosemary Schmidt and Ellen Iorio. For permission to re-print or re-broadcast the radio shows, please contact the radio hosts and/or WBCA-LP 102.9 FM Boston for permission. The views expressed in the radio broadcast are those of the hosts, and not any other agency, entity or organization. Every effort has been made to give proper credits and citations for material quoted/cited. Any errors or omissions are not intentional and every effort will be made to make corrections as soon as they are brought to our attention.