1 AudioCommunique #45 – Dad Remembers Dictatorship
1.1 Today’s Show features my father’s experience immigrating from Portugal to the US in the 60’s, and more specifically; what it was like to live under a dictatorship.
1.2 First I have to mention listener mail; Brandon in China, Lotte in Amsterdam, Frank of the Overnightscape, its so cool to get email from other shows.
1.3 I miss VivaPodcast… come back Greg and Lisa!
2 On the Skype with Dad
2.1 Portugal and the fascist regime in the 1950’s.
2.2 Clandestine Behavior by doctors, students, etc.
2.3 Poor but happy
2.4 The decision to move to the US
2.4.1 The draft for the colonial wars in Africa and India. (Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, and what was almost a war in Goa, India.
2.5 Newark. NJ over the decades
2.6 Familiar ingredients of fascism in the US.
They hate public broadcasting. They hate it. They’ve hated it for decades. Wouldn’t you hate something that exposes you, as an incompetant world leader, for the fraud that you are? And you know that public broadcasting never got into the whole big graphics with american flags and exciting 3d animations in your newsreports bullshit.
So now they’re on the attack. They’ve had just about enough of this quality journalism crap! Say goodbye to BigBird and Frontline, they want to cut 25% of the PBS budget and thensome. And just to pour salt on the wound, they’re holding health and welfare programs hostage. Saying if you want to keep your health and social programs, they have to cut PBS, because -you know- SOMEBODY mismanaged the budget and spends billions on the colonization of the middle east.
Oh and as an extra kick in the head, several of the members of this congressional committee set to destroy public broadcasting are our supposed saviors: Democrats. If there’s one party I hate as much as I hate the republicans its those spineless dems.
Brighter news, the internets’ very own Lilia of Mathemagenic is speaking at the fishtank tomorrow! I’ve been asked to podcast it.. bicyclemark to the podcast rescue.
I went to grammar school (primary) in the lovely city of Newark, NJ. Not just any school, I went to a Polish Catholic school, since it was right across from where dad worked, and the leftover bastion of polish catholic strictness went well with the values of Portuguese brand catholicism. Something about the pulling of ears and wrapping over the knuckles with rulers that was supposed to be good for us.
Fortunately in my day, the revolution of personal liability lawsuits was beginning, so we students quickly learned the keyphrase “you hit me with that ruler and my parents will sue you.” Not that we ever said it directly, but after someone would get hit, a few days later, we’d get one of those long term substitute teachers.
But the wacky thing about this school wasn’t the phsyical abuse. Or the compulsery friday masses we’d have to attend in polish. Or that part of the school that was closed off and we all knew was haunted by dead students; murdered for talking during class.
The truely crazy thing about our school was we the students. In our brown pants and yellow shirts, we were mostly Portuguese kids, with some South American kids, sprinkled with some of the left over Polish (from Newark’s polish era) kids and the occasional Italian kid. Any time I went to the coat closet I could smell the aroma of a few dozen cuisines, my own reaking of whatever codfish we had last night. We’d speak English to each other, of course, determined to be what we thought was American. We watched the TV shows, begged our parents for the toys and other material things. Trying not to stick out, I think that was our thing.
I think about it alot when I tell people about my childhood. Despite having to attend hours and hours of Portuguese school and hearing only portuguese at home and on the street, so many of my generation woke up one day and just decided to close the book. They stuck to english and quit portuguese school. They refused to go to portugal for the summer and took up one of those sports like Baseball or Hockey that our parents had very little understanding of. Some might say it is a natural occurance when you’re raised with so many different influences in New Jersey. Natural or not… I just find it to be a huge thing… to be the person or generation that ends a tradition. That closes the book on languages or customs, and embraces new ones as theirs, while refusing to ever look back on their days in brown pants, yellow shirts, and cod fish dinners.
Thanks to the wonders of filesharing, I watch my Daily Show every evening over dinner. Well, I watch last night’s episode, but that doesn’t make it any less of a hilarious show. But what really fascinates me about this program is its popularity and its message.
When I was a college student in New Jersey, seemed like everyone stopped everything at 11pm to watch their Daily. And I’ve also been told that it’s more widely watched then most other news programs. But that’s not the cool part, what I find really cool, is that the Daily Show is very OVERTLY ciritical of the Bush administration and the hypocracy of both parties in congress. I somehow figured by doing that they would be branded as traitors and boycotted — but wonder of wonders — they are thriving! It’s a beautiful thing. One of those things someone like me can respond to non-Americans when they ask — Whats going on with the people in the US? I can say — well, on the bright side, they LOVE the Daily Show. Just like I do.