Pax (funcrunch) wrote,

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Not long after 9/11, I was working out in my bedroom and turned on the radio. What was on the air seemed to be a news show, but was highly critical of the administration, which seemed strange given the patriotic fervor of the nation at the time. I found that I was listening to KPFA, a community-supported radio station that was located just a few blocks from my apartment.

That was actually not the first time I had heard of KPFA; I had recently dated a journalist/media critic who used to host a radio show for that station. But it wasn't until I met boyziggy that the station started to be on my radios a lot more than anything else. Ziggy listens to Democracy Now every morning that he's not working; it's a great alternative to the mainstream news.

Yesterday as I was getting ready for work I heard that a couple of interesting speakers would be on later, so I set up Audio Hijack (which I had acquired to record the Nick Drake documentary) to record them at work, burned them CD, and brought the discs home where I could listen without distraction.

The first show was about anti-depressants, a topic of interest to me as I have suffered from depression at various times and have been advised that these drugs may help me. Dr. Peter Breggin described how many these drugs don't really cure depression, can cause violent behavior and other problems, and have a high profit motive. In one example he cited, out of 20 clinical trials a drug had 18 failures and only 2 moderate successes, and that was still enough for the drug to be released to the marketplace.

I will have to do more reading on this subject before making a judgment, but it's food for thought. I have never been comfortable with the idea of medicating myself just because I don't feel as happy or content or socially functional as I'm "supposed" to be. I'm the kind of person who doesn't even take aspirin for a headache unless I'm in severe pain. I think that this society is becoming severely over-medicated and I don't really want to contribute to that trend if possible.

The next show featured David Goodstein, author of Out of Gas: The End of the Age of Oil, who states that we will very likely run out of new oil sources within the next 20 years. Now Goodstein is not some tree-hugging vegan wacko like myself, but Vice Provost and professor of physics at Caltech. So maybe, hopefully, someone will listen to this man and take what he has to say seriously.

Ziggy and I may not own a car, but we will be affected like anyone else when the end of cheap gasoline is a reality in this country. I remember the gas lines of the 70s; I was very young then but my family was still affected. I can see riots and worse if the government doesn't start seriously preparing, and I don't mean just hydrogen fuel cells. I strongly believe that this country's vast network of roads and dependency on private transportation is as much as if not more of a problem than the kind of fuel we're burning.

KPFA is having a pledge drive right now, and Ziggy and I plan to contribute as soon as we decide which "premium" we want. I heard this morning that there would be a reading of Not Turning Away: The Practice of Engaged Buddhism at A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books* in July, so I might pledge to get that gift (or just buy it).

* Wow, they must have really jumped on the WWW bandwagon early to get the URL

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