Sunday, April 29, 2007
In Which I Spend The Evening With Greg Palast!
This is the third time I've been to see Greg Palast speak and he did not disappoint. I went to see him at the Immanuel Presbyterian Church, a beautiful old church that hosted him last time he was in LA. He's doing a book tour to promote the paperback edition of "Armed Madhouse", complete with updated material about the plan to steal 08 - and what we can do to steal it back!
The evening started out with a showing of his documentary about New Orleans, "Big Easy To Big Empty". Although we were in a smaller part of the church than when Armed Madhouse was first released, the place was packed - standing room only. This was the film that got Palast and his crew arrested by Homeland Security (is it just me, or does that term smack of "Der Vaterland" or "Deutschland Über Alles"?) for 'violating the anti-terror laws'. Yes - Palast and company committed the heinous, seditious offense of filming the evacuees in "Guantánamo - Platinum Edition" in their cheap little trailers surrounded by razor wire a hundred miles from New Orleans, while including the lovely, scenic backdrop of Exxon' Baton Rouge refinery, and the surrounding neighborhood affectionately known as 'Cancer Alley'. That is strictly verboten as the refinery is a CAVIP, “Critical Asset and Vulnerable Infrastructure Point.” Apparently, you can’t film a CAVIP. Tell that to Google Earth.
One of the more shocking but not surprising aspects of the New Orleans debacle was the fact that they were closing off the public housing, adjacent to that commercialized tourist mecca, the French Quarter, to the former residents, who were not even allowed back in to get their belongings - even though the buildings were not damaged by Katrina! That's right, they have decided that the land is far too valuable for poor black folk to live in, and are taking this golden opportunity to do what they've wanted to do for years - get rid of the public housing there and develop it so that rich folks could be close to the entertainment!
After the movie, he talked about the connection between the fired US attorneys and the election fraud that the Rove-bots (as he calls them) are continuing to perpetrate. He is always inspiring because, although he pulls no punches as he lays out the facts, he believes that if we take action, we can stop these thugs and take our democracy back if we choose to do so. If he didn't think that, he wouldn't be writing and speaking out.
When he signed my book, he remembered me and Hooterville from the other times I've been to see him and told me he'd send me another copy to review for the blog. The copy he signed to Hooterville I am going to give away in another "Habitat for Hooterville" Katrina relief fundraiser, so stay tuned! They still need us down there, friends! The Bush Administration sure as sh** isn't going to do anything worth talking about.
I also met Bree Walker, who introduced Greg Palast. She has a Saturday afternoon show on our progressive station KTLK. Her ex-husband is an old friend from the club my band has played at for 10 years, and he produces her show. He had talked to me about coming on the show, but I hadn't met Bree. I introduced myself, and we had a great conversation. It turns out she had come to see my old band the Scarletts, who her ex had raved about. She is amazing - really intelligent, sharp and well-informed, and just as sweet as she could be. I told her what the book was about, and she was way enthusiastic and said, "Come on the show, and let's get your book out there!"
All in all, it was a very fine evening. I'm looking forward to posting more about Greg Palast's book, and doing another "Habitat For Hooterville".
(The picture's kind of blurry, but it was taken by a kind passerby and there wasn't time to focus.)
Posted by Alicia Morgan at 8:07 PM