Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, David Curtis, Joe Emersberger Janine Bandcroft Feb. 6, 2020

It’s easy to forget, living here as we do in Canada’s “Majority Culture”, embraced by comfort and taking as granted ready access to amenities both necessary and frivolous, that there are other ways of being, ways that beyond the train-schedule regularity making up most of our day to days constitute an entirely different kind of existence. And though seeking a “path less taken” is not unique to any one time or place, there is something quintessentially Canadian in my first guest’s story of people finding that other way here – or very near here.

David Curtis lives in the North. He’s a man of many colours, counting as his professions commercial salmon fisher, carpenter, and artist. He recently added too independent filmmaker to his list of vocations, proving it with his directorial debut, ‘Sovereign Soil‘.

It’s a film he describes as “a big exploration, with friends and neighbours, of what is at the core of people’s spiritual and philosophical connection to the land…”

Sovereign Soil will have it’s Victoria premier next week as the Victoria Film Festival draws the curtain up on its 26th year.

David Curtis in the first half.

And; Donald Trump treated the nation to his third State of the Union speech Tuesday evening. Among the participants of his one-ring pantomime was Juan Guaido, whose specialty act is impersonating the president of Venezuela. To be honest, it’s the only act Juan has, and he found a receptive audience in the US Congress, receiving a standing ovation from both sides of that body’s undivided foreign policy establishment.

Last Saturday I recorded an extended interview with Joe Emersberger. Joe is a Canada-based writer whose work appears at FAIR.org, VenezuelAnalysis, The Canary and is primarily focused on media lies, distortion, and confabulation.

Joe Emersberger and Canada’s welcoming of the Venezuelan pretender, Juan Guaido, the Bolivian coup, and the scheduled May 3rd election, and more in the second half.

And; Victoria-based activist and long-time Gorilla Radio contributor, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events Bulletin of some of the good things to be gotten up to in and around our town in the coming week. But first, David Curtis and finding a little Sovereign Soil.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.ca.  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Joe Emersberger raw February 1, 2020

Joe Emersberger sits down to talk with me about Canada’s welcoming of the Venezuelan pretender, Juan Guaido, the Bolivian coup and scheduled May 3rd election, and if Bernie Sanders’ team will follow Jeremy Corbyn’s disastrous electoral example in the American election.

Joe Emersberger is a Canada-based writer whose work, primarily focused on media distortion and confabulation, appears at FAIR.org, VenezuelAnalysis, The Canary, and Counterpunch.org.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.ca.  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, John Walker, Eva Bartlett, Janine Bandcroft Jan 30, 2020

Before listening to today’s program, a warning: human communication in this medium, radio is made of words and music. We welcome all tongues, idioms, and strains of both here at CFUV. But, and it’s an enormous but; there are those who find “natural language”, that is to say the way people actually communicate with each other, so offensive they would make an offence of it.

We’ll be talking about them, and others like them today, in the rude, crude, and necessarily scatalogical lingua franca favoured by the hoi polloi. You’ve been warned!

Assholes; you know them. You probably have to deal with one or more almost every day. Perhaps you’re one yourself; and certainly, truth be told, haven’t we all been on at least one occasion? It’s just natural.

But, even though you’ve known some doozies in your time, you’re likely not aware of the vast array and dazzling plentitude of the genus; or realize the profound effect assholes, both singly and collectively, have on all of our lives.

John Walker is an award-winning Canadian documentary filmmaker. He’s a multi-Donald Brittain Award nominee and co-founder of the Documentary Organization of Canada, advocates for, and foremost voice of the nation’s community of independent documentary film creators. The producer, writer, cinematographer, and director has made films on both sides of the Atlantic, and his titles include: ‘Quebec My Country Mon Pays, ‘Arctic Defenders’, ‘A Drummer’s Dream’, and the Canadian dramatic classic, ‘A Winter Tan’. Walker’s latest is, ‘Assholes: A Theory‘, inspired by the Aaron James’ best-selling book of the same title.

John Walker in the first half.

And; it’s been almost two years since that April morning when Donald Trump let fly more than fifty Tomahawk cruise missiles into Syria. The bombardment was meant as a demonstration to Syria’s president, Bashir al-Assad of America’s resolve in answering Assad’s alleged chemical attack against Al Qaeda affiliated forces in Douma. But the story was suspect from the beginning. Now, the narrative spun by the US and its ally in this subterfuge, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has unraveled, with whistleblowers inside the OPCW saying their report on the attack was corrupted.

Eva Bartlett is an independent Canadian journalist and activist who has lived in and reported extensively from Gaza and Syria over the last decade. She’s been one of the few Western witnesses to the destruction of war from where the missiles and bombs land, and one of even fewer to fix properly the blame on the Western powers responsible. I spoke to Eva in April of 2018, as she was preparing for another foray into Syria.

Eva Bartlett and back to Syria in the second half.

And; Victoria activist and CFUV Radio broadcaster at large, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with some of what’s good to do in and around our town in the coming week. But first, John Walker and Assholes: A Theory. 

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.ca.  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Maximilian C. Forte, Dimitri Lascaris, Janine Bandcroft Jan. 23, 2020

Lies and propaganda abound. We live in a mediated world, where what we believe is based on a reality few of us actually know from experience.

In the age of war and rumours of war, the emergence of “fake news” and now its technologically advanced progeny, “deep fake” audio and video transmissions, our understanding of the world we inhabit, and even the possibility we can understand, is challenged in ways the fathers of modern propaganda may not have been able to equal, but they certainly envisioned.

Society is today in exactly the place the totalitarians of old wanted us; distrustful of media and unable to discern fact from fiction; in short, left without a clue as to what in the world we can believe.

Dr. Maximilian C. Forte is a scholar, educator, author, and creator of the Zero Anthropology Project, a “Canadian anthropological approach to the study of empire and the human condition”.

Max teaches Anthropology and Sociology at Concordia University in Montréal, and publishes The New Imperialism series, which features research by students in his advanced seminar in the field. He publishes cultural reviews and articles at the project’s website, ZeroAnthropology.net, where his recent article, ‘From Hollywood to Hitler: Rethinking the Cultural Politics of Propaganda‘ appears.

Forte teaches Anthropology and Sociology at Concordia University in Montréal, and publishes The New Imperialism series, which features research by students in his advanced seminar in the field. Forte authored the books: ‘Ruins of Absence, Presence of Caribs: (Post)Colonial Representations of Aboriginality in Trinidad and Tobago’, and ‘Slouching Towards Sirte: NATO’s War on Libya and Africa’, (a finalist selection for the Quebec Writers Federation Mavis Gallant Prize for Nonfiction).

Max also served as editor for the books, ‘Indigenous Resurgence in the Contemporary Caribbean: Amerindian Survival And Revival’ and ‘Indigenous Cosmopolitans: Transnational and Transcultural Indigeneity in the Twenty-First Century’.

Maximilian C. Forte in the first half.

And; in December, NDP leader, Jagmeet Singh was invited to speak with select members of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, ostensibly to address political “issues of interest to the Jewish community.” Some of what Singh said during that meeting was released in a podcast, and apparently runs contrary to the NDP’s official position on Palestine.

Dimitri Lascaris is a Canadian lawyer, human rights activist, and reporter for the Real News Network. Dimitri left the corporate world at the height of his profession to “devote himself to journalism, activism and pro bono legal work.” In Canada’s 2015 federal election, he ran for the Green Party of Canada in London West, and subsequently served as Justice Critic in the party’s Shadow Cabinet. He currently holds that position in the Shadow Cabinet of the Green Party of Quebec.

Dimitri Lascaris in the second half asking, “Just how deep does the NDP’s support for Palestine go?”

And; Victoria-based activist and long-time Gorilla Radio contributor, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events Bulletin of some of the good things to be gotten up to in and around our town in the coming week. But first, Dr. Maximilian C. Forte and ‘From Hollywood to Hitler: Rethinking the Cultural Politics of Propaganda‘.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.ca.  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Matthew J.L. Ehret, Christopher Black, Janine Bandcroft January 16th, 2020

The New Year took up where the old decade left off, with American belligerence, bluster, and criminality leading to the death of innocents and the promise of its endless, burgeoning wars seeming even more intractable.

By now most have heard of the assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, killed at an airport by a US drone missile attack in Iraq as he was met by Iraqi high officials. There were immediate repercussions of the unprovoked bombing: an Iranian missile attack against the airfield that launched the US drone, and the later collateral consequence of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, shot down moments after departing Tehran’s Imam Khomeini airport January 7th with all aboard killed.

What further calamities come from the dragon’s teeth Trump has sown in Iran we’ll have to wait to see.

Matthew J. L. Ehret is a journalist, lecturer, author, and founder of the Canadian Patriot Review. His book titles include: ‘The Time Has Come for Canada to Join the New Silk Road: A Blueprint for the 21st Century’, ‘The British Roots of the Deep State Exposed: A New Trans Pacific Alliance May Now Take Shape’, and in three volumes, ‘The Untold History of Canada’. Ehret’s articles also appear at, among other places: Asia Times, The Duran, ZeroHedge, and Strategic Culture Foundation where his recent piece, ‘Trump Steps Back from the Edge. Neocons Rage Accordingly‘ appears.

Matthew Ehret in the first half.

And; when asked if the United States bore any responsibility in the downing of Ukraine Flight 752, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters,

“This is something that happens when you have conflict and war. Innocents bear the brunt of it and it is a reminder why all of us need to work so hard on deescalation, moving forward to reduce tensions and find a pathway that doesn’t involve further conflict and killing.” 

A surprising comment for both what it says about recent events in Iran, and the Prime Minister’s understanding of the situation.

Christopher Black is a Toronto-based criminal lawyer specializing in international war crimes cases. He’s also an executive member of the Canadian Peace Congress. Black’s articles on international law, politics and World events appear at New Eastern Outlook among other places, and reveal the relentless chicanery of nations risking a third global war. His new novel, Beneath the Clouds is freshly out and is, “a story of how people, acting collectively, can defeat tyranny.”

Christopher Black on international law and the unrestrained criminality of Empire in the second half.

And; Victoria-based activist and long-time Gorilla Radio contributor, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with some of what’s good to do in and around our town in the coming week. But first, Matthew Ehret and what Trump’s tentative steps back from the brink of a new war against Iran may portend.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.ca.  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/

Left Coast Events Bulletin with Janine Bandcroft January 16th, 2020

Left Coast Events for week of January 16-23rd, 2020.

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Alan MacLeod, John Helmer, Janine Bandcroft January 9, 2020

Last week, America came closer to accomplishing its long-sought Clash of Civilizations magnum opus. Where George Bush and Barack Obama failed, despite years of financial sanctions, support for terror attacks, and covert assassination operations, Donald Trump has succeeded in goading finally Iran into direct military retaliation.

But, Mr. Trump’s real fight is just beginning; not to be conducted on some obscure battlefield in a distant land, but instead played out between the ears of every citizen in a concerted effort to woo the heart while beguiling the mind of a war-weary America.

Dr. Alan MacLeod is an educator, essayist, and author whose research interests include media theory, propaganda, social media and South American politics.

His first book is, ‘Bad News From Venezuela, 20 Years of Fake News and Misreporting’, and he served as editor of ‘Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent’, described as “a collaborative volume which updates Herman and Chomsky’s propaganda model for the twenty-first-century media landscape”.

MacLeod’s a MintPress News staff writer, whose articles too appear at CounterPunch.org, and FAIR.org, and his latest is, ‘In Redux of Iraq War Run Up, Media Cheers on Assassination of Soleimani’.


Alan MacLeod in the first half.

And; though America and its allies have worked diligently to foster instability in West Asia for decades, the real chaos is only now beginning to peak. With everyone armed and fighting, largely through proxies, it seems all that’s needed to set this metaphorical tinder box aflame is a spark struck by accident or design to embroil local and regional powers alike into a potentially global conflagration.

John Helmer is a journalist, author, broadcaster, former political advisor to governments, and principal behind the news website, Dances with Bears. He’s also one of the most widely read Russian specialists in the business world for his news-breaking stories on Russian base and precious metals, diamonds, mining, shipping, insurance, food trade, and business policy. Helmer’s book titles include: ‘The Deadly Simple Mechanics of Society’, ‘The Jackal’s Wedding – American Power, Arab Revolt’, (co-authored with Claudia Wright) and his latest is the political memoir, ‘The Man Who Knows Too Much About Russia’.

John Helmer and a dangerous quickening in the second half.

And; Victoria-based activist and long-time Gorilla Radio contributor, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events Bulletin of some of the good things to do in and around our town in the coming week. But first Alan MacLeod and tuning the media orchestra for an Iranian danse macabre.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.ca.  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Andre Vltchek, Janine Bandcroft January 2nd, 2020

Welcome to our 2020 inaugural show. Today, an interview I recorded just before Christmas with Andre Vltchek. Andre’s been on the show a number of times over the years, but no matter how many times I’ve introduced him – listing his many accomplishments as a writer of plays, poetry, novels, documentary film scripts, or his many, many articles on the conditions for the poorest of the poor – I never feel I’ve credited enough this remarkable and intrepid witness to the state of the World and his times.

Andre’s many book titles include: ‘China Belt and Road Initiative: Connecting Countries, Saving Millions of Lives’. ‘Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism’, ‘The Great October Socialist Revolution’, ‘Fighting Against Western Imperialism’, and, with Noam Chomsky, ‘On Western Terrorism: From Hiroshima to Drone Warfare’.

Andre is Hong Kong now, working on his latest book, a compendium of sorts of these tumultuous last few years of political unrest from Europe and West Asia, to the Americas and Far East.

Andre Vltchek in both the first and second segments.

And; Victoria-based activist and long-time Gorilla Radio contributor, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events Bulletin of some of the good things to do in and around our town this week. But first, Andre Vltchek and …A World So Fragmented!, live to tape from Hong Kong.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.ca.  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/

Gorilla Radio 2019 Year Ender Show with Chris Cook, Andy Worthington, John Helmer, Nils Melzer, Andre Vltchek Dec. 26, 2019

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.

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Andre Vltchek Hong Kong (raw) December 22, 2019

Welcome to GR, etc. And welcome to our last show of 2019. Hard to believe time has flown so quickly, etc. Today, an interview I recorded over the weekend with Andre Vltchek. Andre’s been on the show a number of times over the years, but no matter how many times I’ve introduced him – listing his many accomplishments as a writer of plays, poetry, novels, documentary film scripts, or his many, many articles on the conditions for the poorest of the poor – I never feel I’ve credited enough this remarkable and intrepid witness to the state of the World and his times.

Andre’s many book titles include: ‘China Belt and Road Initiative: Connecting Countries, Saving Millions of Lives’. ‘Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism’, ‘The Great October Socialist Revolution’, ‘Fighting Against Western Imperialism’, and, with Noam Chomsky, ‘On Western Terrorism: From Hiroshima to Drone Warfare’.

Andre is Hong Kong now, working on his latest book, a compendium of these tumultuous last few years of political unrest from Europe and West Asia, to the Americas and Far East.