ctrp365 An Indian Quest in America

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Cover: RoadrunnerThe name of the book is Roadrunner, the story is that of journalist and world citizen Dilip D’Souza. A passionate traveller and a writer who has a talent for finding the soul in everything.  From down in the Bayou of Louisiana to out in the desert on Route 66, Dilip watched the changes in the landscape as well as the people around him. When there were people! Throughout the journey he reflects on what these parts of the US have in common with his home country of India, and how two places that might seem so different, aren’t.

My guest on today’s podcast is Dilip D’Souza. You can find his book, Roadrunner on Amazon.com

Dilip’s blog is here

ctrp364 Venezuela in 2011

by bicyclemark 8 Comments

photo by flickr member: rahuldluccaIn 2011 Venezuela still gets a certain kind of press coverage by many in the mainstream media, as it has ever since President Hugo Chavez was elected. For the past few years, Eva Golinger has been taking a close look at how this reporting is done and who is behind it. Her work has led her beyond the media and into the world of American politics and Latin America Policy.

Joining me to discuss her work, Chavez, wikileaks, twitter, press freedom and to help give us an idea of how things are in Venezuela today, all the way from Caracas;  journalist, author and attorney Eva Golinger. She blogs at Postcards from the Revolution. She is also the editor of the english language edition of Correo del Orinoco.

We mention her book: “The Chávez Code: Cracking US Intervention in Venezuela”

bmtv120 Retweet Risks

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A vlog entry regarding how tweets from conflict zones often get repeated and then expanded or exaggerated and then at some point becomes the story.. even if it isn’t accurate. Not to say twitter should be filled with fun, creative lies, and general randomness.. I like that too. But this is specifically about situations where we are getting our information from twitter about places where we can not go or are not able to get to in a moment.  Places where sometimes, even the people who are there nearby, can still get the story wrong.

The Language of War

by bicyclemark 1 Comment

The De-Landmined Kabul Golf Club

Afghanistan is a country of many ethnicities, tribes and languages, which many people can explain to you if you have the time to listen.  But there is one language you don’t often read about that is spoken throughout Kabul and no doubt the nation. In café’s and restaurants, over lunch and late into the night after dinner, Afghans and foreigners alike, are speaking the language of war.

The language of war consists of words connected to violence and armed conflict, both in the present and the past tense.  It is made up of the saddest and most terrifying stories; about murder, kidnapping, threats, moments of extreme panic, and people who have been lost to any of these.  It is spoken by those who have been here for 5 years or 5 days, spoken while passing the rice or just passing time at a friend’s house. Beyond any of this, it is spoken with an ease and regularity that makes it one of the most widely spoken and understood languages in the nation.

I find history to be one of the most important and interesting topics one can discuss, no matter how exciting or mundane. I find personal experiences to be a constant source for learning and inspiration. Yet after almost one month listening the accounts of what it was like in what terrible situation, from both participants and observers, I find myself hating history and personal experience.  Unable to listen to the language of war because something about it seems so bad for everyone in the conversation.

Surely there are import lessons to be learned from discussing these topics.  Surely if our nations, our fellow humans, can carry out all the terrible actions of war, then we can confront them and not be afraid to examine these events among friends. Why should the language of war be considered taboo, when hiding the truth can only serve to keep us from learning lessons and not repeating mistakes.

While I know how important testimony and understanding are, especially in the context of war or violence, I am taken aback by the language of war.  I want to stop the stories. I want to turn up the music. As strange as it may seem, the more the language of war is spoken, the less meaning it has to me, the previously outspoken citizen journalist.