Well, it’s another year come and gone, and this – the twentieth for Gorilla Radio – has spun faster than all the rest. Naturally, that’s what the older set always say; and to the youngsters out there, their eyes all a-roll I say, “You’ll see!” Or will you?
If the climate crisis is what is promised, perhaps there will be no more “some days” to come; but to those that believe that’s the case, I can only remind of my own experience. When I was young, so long ago, the threat of instant immolation in the nuclear fires of America and the Soviet Union hung over our young heads, a Damaclesian nightmare that made planning our bright future’s difficult, and sometimes seemingly pointless.
But here we are nearly forty years after Ronald Reagan, and in many ways the World is a better place than it was then.
I was recently publicly savaged for even contemplating that we were not all going to be drowned in an imminent Arctic meltdown as a dastardly “climate change denier”. Fight on Greta and all who oppose the polluters of both the psychic and physical environments I say. I’ll be there, doing my bit as I’ve done these twenty years past. But, and it’s an enormous one: never surrender the future to despair. Even though, to quote the late, great Robert Anton Wilson, “This planet is…populated and largely controlled by domesticated primates who are not in all respects reasonable men and women.”
Still, Wilson insists, though we are, according to the mathematical models of Prigogine and other physicists, evolving towards higher complexity and technical organization that promises societal breakthroughs rather than breakdowns, for the confirmed pessimist, those who find that prospect alarming, he advises, “…take comfort in the thought that, although human success is highly probable, there is still a small chance that we can blow ourselves up or that your favorite apocalyptic scenarios might still occur, despite the general trend toward higher coherence and intelligence.” And he reminds, “…of course, even if humanity seems condemned to overall success, you can still mess up your personal life.”
So Happy New Year everyone, and let’s hope we see the whole of it!
Now, I’ll be leaving the usual interview format today to look over the past year’s shows, play a couple clips and adding some musical filler too. I recently spoke with Andy Worthington, the aptly named Londoner who has, for the last eleven years mounted a campaign to Close Guantanamo, the American military prison and torture centre located on occupied Cuban soil. As part of the campaign, Andy has travelled to the US in hopes of inspiring enough Americans to challenge their government to uphold the national beliefs they profess and either put those men remaining in Gitmo on public trial, or release them, as “habeas corpus” the rule established in the Great Charter of England, foundational document of what eventual became the Parliamentary tradition, demands. Here’s Andy in an interview we recorded in January of 2019. But first, a little music to set the mood: Cuarteto Patria from the disc Putumayo Presents Cuba.