Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sunday - Mesilla - Amy Goodman (or "Make Tacos Not War")

Sunday Mrs. Dada and I ventured up to (formerly sleepy) Mesilla, NM. It's a favorite place, a kind of 19th Century state of mind being laid siege by 21st Century reality, i.e., the encroachment of "civilization" and "progress," most often mistaken as partners rather than accomplices.

The occasion was Mesilla's 15th annual "Border Book Festival." Our goal was to catch their featured guest, Democracy Now's host, Amy Goodman. Amy is a member of our national news media, with one exception: no one owns her as they do the other members of that *club* on which so many, many Americans rely for objective, reality based, unbiased news. (Choke!)

The event was held at the La Mesilla Community Center and we were very fortunate to be joined by dear friends Border Explorer and "Tom and Brenda." The event was a great success, judging from the sell out and undoubted violation of local fire codes. (The Dadas arrived very early as you can tell by the missing crowd in the background. This assured very good seats.)

I snapped this picture of Amy shortly before she spoke. She is shown here applauding something her presenter, Steve Klinger -- publisher of the local independent Grass Roots Press -- had just said. Steve said a lot of good things, prepping the audience for Amy. His impressions of Amy's excellent talk are posted over on Grass Roots Press. I was going to report on some of what Amy said, but Steve did such a fine job, I find it unnecessary.

One point Amy made, however, I should like to mention here:

“Embedding has brought the media to an all-time low. Embedding reporters is trading truth for access.” In other words -- my own, not Amy's -- the asses of special interests are crammed full of the heads of mainstream media embedded "up in their nether regions."

photo courtesy of Doug Wagner (as updated by Dada)

No better illustration of embedding was the story yesterday from Glenn Greenwald, as picked up over on Information Clearing House, about David Barstow's Pulitzer Prize awarded this past Monday. But you won't hear his name or the subject of his stories on NBC, CNN, Fox or others about the Pentagon and its ass-sucking "news" network's whose military generals with their *expertise* propagandized us into war while many of those same generals were on the payrolls of war industry profiteers. And yet, it's an ongoing story that NBC and others would like you to just forget about by not reporting on it.

But so much for old news, new news, endless news. After her presentation, Amy signed books for admirers outside on the porch of the Community Center as the throng lingered, hesitant to depart the experience they had just intimately enjoyed.

I browsed around inside the Book Festival before adjourning to the High Desert Brewing Company with our friends for a debriefing of what we had all just experienced. As a souvenir, I went away with the following T-Shirt as memento of the occasion. It's just like the one Amy Goodman had been presented by this event's organizers.


eProf2 said...

You and Steve have done some great reporting on Ms. Goodman's appearance in Mesilla. You prove the point that independent journalism is still breathing, if only barely. By the way, I read Glenn Greenwald every day on Salon.com. He's great and never fails to go deep and deeper into everything he reports on. So, thanks, Mr. Dada Reporter!

Dada said...

Gee, thanks eProf. "Aw shucks, tweren't nuthin!"

Actually, I'd intended to write more about what Amy had to say but, as I was sitting beside Border Explorer who was taking copious notes (and knowing the awesome reporter she is), I opted to just relax and "leave the driving to us" as the old saying used to tell us.

Afterwards, I nodded in agreement with B.E. who said rather than write this up, she might just savor it as the wonderful personal experience that it was.

Steve at Grassroots Press, however, really did a good job of capturing much of the message from Amy, so it pretty much worked for all of us.

a ball of Light said...

well if you won't share your date with amy... tell us about the drunken rowdiness at HDBC and it's aftermath... did you get stopped by the boys in green on your way back across the border to the soon-to-be foreign country of Texas?? are you going to need a passport to eat tacos at Chope's in late May?

did you find any good books?

and from earlier & elsewhere, on the mac you might try Xpad or Bean. both are very fast and free (as in beer - at least the first round if iam there).

sck01 said...

Ah, how smitten are we lowly citizen bloggers and journalists in the presence of the exalted Ms. Goodman! It did take a certain quantity of HDBC IPA to debrief And if times get really tough perhaps I can auction off my autographed front page of Grassroots Press on eBay.

xandtrek said...

Shouldn't Amy Goodman have asked the Editor and Publisher of Grassroots Press for his autograph?

Dada said...

xandtrek: How does Amy sign an online version of Grass Roots Press -- the "wave" I suspect, until those offended (and in control) "pull the plug" on all independent journalists and their internet access.

Dada said...

sck01: Well, while Amy didn't get her GRP copy autographed, she signed her book you bought. While your remorse may be heavy at the moment -- that she didn't think to ask you to reciprocate -- it's not difficult to imagine a not too distant future day when you're desperate to stave off that inevitable move beneath a freeway bridge for shelter, that you try to hawk your Amy Goodman autographed book to everyone you pass on the destitute ladened streets....when, Lo and behold! - a wretched homeless person drops her head at your offer, picks up her shopping bag of worldly possessions and heads for home (Beneath the overpass of Exit 42 on NM I-10) - and you recognize her to be - Amy Goodman)!

Don't you know she then wishes she'd had you autograph that copy of GRP you gave her back in April 09? It may have saved her a night (or two) of homelessness, or maybe at least got her a free cup of coffee from a sympathetic counter clerk at the last remaining McDonald's in Las Cruces? (Well, ok, so I'm prone to hyperbole. How about a free drink of water from that clerk?)

Dada said...

abol: OK, to answer the easiest question first, "did you find any good books?"

Having recently discovered via an internet article I've been "Google-ized", i.e., the internet has facilitated my inability to attend to lengthly tomes. I haven't read a book in years (save for a Michael Moore but, lord knows, those aren't books in the classical sense of pages and pages of meat between two cloth covered cardboard covers. So, no. I didn't even look for a book.

In fact, I just today returned my once renewed, two day overdue library book I swore I would complete (I made it 1/2 way thru! - sigh, oh well, I tried).

Re the boys in green and implication of Texas as a foreign nation (we can only hope): But I am really pissed because I have advocated for a far safer world via secessions long before the tea baggers got hissy because they now must endure what we've had to contend with for the past 8 years (or 28 years as I believe).

But yes, let us look foward to May, now only 5-6 days away, knowing this year holds more that just another memorial with -- instead -- a very very memorial day sometime at the end of the month.

enigma4ever said...

damn....I am sooooo envious....wow....good for you....( Helen Wheels met her this week too....damn she better come to Cleveland...oh that's right she did- and I was working ( waaaahhhhhhh )...

she is wonderful......

( hey Dada-email me- I have a project I want to discuss- art....project..)