Bar Crawl Radio

  • 222. Ellen Jovin: "Rebel with a Clause"

    49:17
    This is the first "Park Bench Chat" of the 2024 Summer Season – a production of Bar Crawl Radio. During the warming days of spring and summer, Rebecca and I sit at our favorite park bench in the “You’ve Got Mail” garden in Riverside Park on the Upper West Side and talk with our neighbors. Today’s topic--“grammar.” Ellen Jovin is a self-proclaimed “grammar nerd.” She has degrees from Harvard and UCLA in language-related subjects and has studied bunches of languages because she lives in NYC -- a multi-verse of languages. Ellen is a cofounder of Syntaxis, a communication skills training firm, and the author of several books on language. For this program we talked about her recent bestseller Rebel with a Clause: Tales and Tips from a Roving Grammarian (HarperCollins, July 2022). “Roving” because Ellen is the creator of a traveling, pop-up grammar advice stand called the Grammar Table, whose adventures serve as the basis of her book and a soon-to-be-released documentary of the same name. And this afternoon, Ellen set up her Grammar Table below the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument to talk with Sunday strollers about grammar.Alan WinsonBCR Podcast Producer
  • 221. Love Your Street Tree Day -- Spring, 2024

    47:33
    The majestic trees in front of Goddard Riverside on the Upper West Side of Manhattan were blushing brightly as the community gathered to learn about and spruce up the beds of our leafy neighbors for the seventh annual “Love Your Street Tree Day” – May 7th 2024. Rebecca and I learned a lot about our urban forest and how to take care of our barked friends – not our barking friends. Which reminds me -- "Don’t piss on our street tree" signs were passed out to our UWS neighbors -- along with buckets of mulch -- and donuts – and coffee.The event was sponsored by the West 80s Neighborhood Association – and we talked with two of its leaders. But before we talked with Melissa Elstein and Kim Johnson, we had some fun with a few UWS tree huggers.CONTACT: barcrawlradio@gmail.com
  • 220. "I Am Gitmo": A conversation with film director Philippe Diaz

    44:12
    PHILIPPE DIAZ is a film director – producer – and promoter of “intelligent films.” Born in Paris France, he studied philosophy at the Sorbonne. Since 1980 he has produced and distributed international films by auteur directors for world audiences.  Diaz has directed both documentary and feature narrative films on political, economic and social issues. In 2003, Diaz and his team created Cinema Libre Studios -- producing and distributing socially relevant independent narrative and documentary films. The director was in Manhattan to promote his newest narrative film – “I Am Gitmo” -- premiering at the Cinema Village.   I am Alan Winson and with my BCR partner Rebecca McKean, we talked with Philippe Diaz at the Moxy East Village Hotel bar.CONTACT: barcrawlradio@gmail.com
  • 219. Voices of the "Sacred Peace Walk" 2024

    01:07:05
    Rebecca McKean and I walked during Easter week 2024 in the desert north of Las Vegas to the Nevada Nuclear Bomb Test Site– with a community of people who know about the imminent danger of a targeted and ready-to-go American nuclear arsenal. This BCR podcast will not counter the insanity of the deterrence argument – rather here are a few of the people who walked to the white line at the entrance to the most bombed place in the world – run by the U.S. Department of Energy and protected by the U.S military When you are aware of a great danger - even one that is – probably -- unavoidable -- there is some comfort in working with others doing something positive.Alan Winsonbarcrawlradio@gmail.com
  • 218. We Are Guantánamo: U.S. Courts are Surreal w/Gabor Rona

    34:36
    This is a must listen conversation with Gabor Rona -- Law Professor at Cardozo Law School – and in the past served as the International Legal Director of Human Rights First.   For over 20 years our government has imprisoned 100s of innocent Muslim men in the Guantanamo Prison and tortured them repeatedly for no good reason – and now cannot try them because they were tortured and cannot release them because they are not allowed on US soil, and it is not clear what other countries would do to them – and they are getting old and have been physically and mentally traumatized – and all in our name. This BCR series is called “We Are Guantanamo.” You may have been looking away from the horrors perpetrated in your name by the U.S. military and political powers – but you really shouldn’t. You are Guantanamo!Alan Winson - barcrawlradio@gmail.com
  • 217. We Are Guantánamo: 7 Voices

    42:37
    “We Are Guantanamo” – in other words – you and I -- all of us identifying as "American" are complicit – and insofar as the Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp remains an active US military and illegal entity – it belongs to us.Since 2002, the Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp has held 779 Muslim men accused of attacking the US on September 11 2001. Nearly all were innocent. 740 have been transferred someplace – 30 remain – 9 died there.I have been speaking with seven people who have tried to close Guantánamo since 2004. My conversation with Gabor Rona – former Legal Director of Human Rights First – will post next week. They were asked three questions:How did you first learn about GITMO, and why did you get involved?As far as you know, how are the detainees treated?How is Guantanamo a reflection of American Values?Other topics came up along the way.When you attempt this thought exercise -- you will also hear words from one of the former detainees, Mansoor Adayfi, who was born in Yemen and held without charge at Guantánamo from 2006 to 2016. You may remember Mansoor who in 2022 alleged that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis oversaw beatings and force-feedings of Guantánamo detainees. The seven testifiers:Martha Hennessy -- Kings Bay Plowshares 7 & Catholic WorkerDebra Sweet -- World Can't WaitHelen Schietinger -- a registered nurse and organizer of Witness Against Torture.Jon Krampner -- an American journalist and author of biographies, popular history and short stories.Gabor Rona -- formerly International Legal Director of Human Rights First / Presently Professor at Cardozo Law School.Jessica Murphy -- Peaceful TomorrowsChristopher H. Brandt -- Witness Against Torture / Fordham University professorCONTACT: Alan Winson barcrawlradio@gmail.com
  • 216. Libraries/Radically Open Spaces: Emily Drabinski & Lauren Comito

    53:46
    For this BCR program, we talked about that age-old American tradition – book burning – or more precisely – thought control. Our guests were two brave librarians – practicing a profession that is at the core of any effective democracy. Emily Drabinski heads-up the American Library Association [ALA] and Lauren Comito leads Urban Librarians Unite [ULU]. According to ALA findings efforts to ban books in this country are growing at a high rate and the groups engaged in this activity probably do not have children. Librarians and authors fight back, but it is an exhausting struggle. Lauren Comito talked about how the ULU keeps parents and children and the performers safe at Drag Story Hour -- popular among parents -- but potentially dangerous as groups -- such as The Proud Boys -- protest violently near and in our libraries.This conversation was recorded at Gebhard's Beer Culture Bar.Alan Winson -- barcrawlradio@gmail.com
  • 215. Two Jewish Israelis

    01:05:05
    For this BCR program, we spoke with two Jewish Israeli's. Nahum Schnitzer is my cousin. Ariella Dubrowin is my cousin once removed. Both have raised their families in Israel, Nahum -- 40 years – Ariella – 20. The conflict in Gaza has encased their world in ways that neither I – nor most of you listening to this podcast – can fully get. Ariella wrote me about a month ago. She was troubled about a recent program I posted – "I want to say Kaddish" – which presented both the intense protests in the US against the actions of the IDF in Gaza and the general obliviousness of winter-break tourists in NYC.  So we invited Nahum and Ariella to join Rebecca and me for a conversation.  But I did not want to talk about the never-ending conflict. Rather, I sensed it would be more useful – positive – connecting – life affirming – to learn about their lives in their chosen country, which – as you will hear – they so dearly cherish.So this will be a program about two Israeli Jews – originally from the North East region of the United States – living within trauma – in a place that fulfills them.At the beginning of this program I said that Israel is "crumbling." In a recent email my cousin -- Nahum -- disagreed and wrote: "I think you did a masterful job editing. I have only one reservation. In your opening remarks you said that Israel is crumbling. That is the opposite of the situation. Israel is battered – but very strong. Israeli military strength is the least of it – our resilience and inner fortitude, spiritual resources, solidarity and mutual support are what makes us truly strong."Again -- thanks to Ariella and Nahum for sharing a bit of their lives in their "battered" land.Alan Winsonbarcrawlradio@gmail.com
  • 214. Poverty & American Justice

    01:04:10
    In 1963, when the Supreme Court overturned Gideon v Wainwright, Justice Hugo Black wrote: “Even the intelligent and educated layman requires the guiding hand of counsel at every step in the proceedings against him. Without it, though he be not guilty, he faces the danger of conviction because he does not know how to establish his innocence.” The public defender is that legal bulwark that works for a balance in our justice system. For this BCR conversation we heard from two public defenders from Prince George's County Circuit Court. Yahshauh Ford and Brandon Ruben contrasted the public defender's nuanced, human approach to justice with the blunt force of the prosecutor. They spoke of the difficulty of establishing a rapport with their clients -- poor and, for the most part. African American -- who sense that justice will never apply to them in this country -- and of the unequal power of the better-paid prosecutor to control the charging and sentencing process.
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