Saturday, 23 October 2010

The Radio Bug


Sadly, the Speechification blog, main source for the last two radio posts, has gone off the air. You may still get some joy by searching Google’s cache of the site, at least for a limited time.

On the plus side though, BBC radio seems to be keeping ever more programmes available online for longer, for example The Age of the Genome, a four part Radio 4 series presented by Richard Dawkins from June is still available. Some Radio 4 programmes which are no longer available for streaming after a week, then turn up on the BBC World Service available indefinitely.


From across the Atlantic, here are three programmes looking back on the last seven years of war in Iraq, in order of my preference.

First, from This American Life on WBEZ, Iraq After Us, an outstanding hour of radio built primarily on interviews with Iraqis recorded in Iraq.

Second, on PRI’s The World, Reflections on Serving in Iraq, Former U.S. Army Captain Blake Hall interviewed by Jeb Sharp of How We Got Here.

Third, on WHYY’s Fresh Air, A Foreign Correspondent Reflects On Iraq War, Anthony Shadid of the New York Times interviewed by Terry Gross. The interview focuses on this story about the trials of a family trying to locate the body of a family member kidnapped, tortured, murdered, and dumped.

I had minor reservations on that last interview, to do with distracting comments by the interviewer, but I still recommend it.

Related, Roland Dodds writes, State Building in Iraq has Just Begun.


From those same three sources, let’s have some other topics.

Here’s a This American Life broadcast from 22nd of May 2009, Turncoat, on red-baiting amongst America’s Vietnamese population, on Brandon Darby’s trip from anti-cop anarchist activist to FBI informer, by way of encounters with one of FARC’s pals in Venezuela and a pro-Hamas bombing conspiracy in the US, and ending with reading a short story from Israel by Etgar Keret.

And another from PRI’s The World, Revisiting the Trial of Slobodan Milosevic, lawyer Judith Armatta talks about her experience of monitoring the trial, and of her book Twilight of Impunity. Interviewer Jeb Sharp includes a report from the trial she recorded in 2003.

Three related blog recommendations: Café Turco, Greater Surbiton, and Americans for Bosnia.

One more from The World, in the science archive, Seeking the Roots of Kindness: The Life and Work of George Price, in which Oren Harman talks about his book, The Price of Altruism.

And a blog post related to that, at Stumbling and Mumbling, Gamu Nhengu and the context of justice, on altruism, asylum, and familiarity.

A bunch from WHYY’s Fresh Air: Mark Feldstein talks about Jack Anderson and Richard Nixon, ruthless journalist vs ruthless politician, David Bianculli talks about The Smothers Brothers (see earlier post), Eric Foner on the evolution of Lincoln’s thoughts on slavery, and Isabel Wilkerson on the Great Migration (see earlier).


Finally, not really radio, from Wolfgang’s Vault, a 1978 interview with David Bowie. You’ll need to register for this, but it’s free, it just means being put on their mailing list. More Bowie at Bob’s.

PICTURE CREDIT! The comic strip is The Radio Bug in ‘If 8:15 isn’t a good hour, what is?’ by Walt McDougall, reprinted in Jerry Robinson’s The Comics, an Illustrated History of Comic Strip Art, soon to be reissues in a new edition. Copyright © Walt McDougall.

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