THE 90’s: Episodes 305 – 402

Streaming June 27th: Episode 305 – 402

The 90's, episode 305: America: Life, Liberty And..

Episode 305: America: Life, Liberty, And… (12am, 8am, 4pm CDT)

Episode 305 of the award-winning TV series The 90’s. This episode is called America: Life, Liberty, And…” and  features the following segments:

1:45 “Waiting for the American Dream” by Skip Blumberg. While waiting in line at the immigration office in New York, people from all over talk about America. A German woman says, “In America nobody cares what you do as long as you pay your bills.” A man from Ecuador: “Anything you need you can get it over here. You can get it right now.” An exiled politician from Guyana gets his fingerprints recorded. Skip buys the “Video Guide to Becoming an American Citizen” and plays a little of it.

8:09 “Sylvie” by Esti Marpet. A French woman says that the French are too cerebral and they don’t make things happen like Americans do.

8:47 “Foreign Press Center” by Eddie Becker. Controversy breaks out at the Foreign Press Center (part of the United States Information Agency) in Washington where director Jim Pope says, “People are surprised that we have no control over the writers – it’s none of our business.” Seema Sirohi of India’s “Telegraph” wrote a story on General Dynamics’ proposed plan to use nuclear weapons in India in the event of a war with Pakistan. She argues the story’s validity with Pope, who has yet to read it. Upon reading the story, Pope concludes that it is inaccurate and that Sirohi misconstrued the significance of a defense contractor’s rationale in its attempt to sell weapons to the Pentagon. In a separate interview Sirohi counters, “These people who sit in their think tanks and justify new weapons systems whether the world needs them or not, they just treat countries like little places on a chess board. No war has taken place in the U.S. in this century. They don’t realize that war means a lot of death and destruction, a lot of pain.”

15:16 “Peter Schwartz” by Starr Sutherland. Peter Schwartz of the Global Business Network talks about the failures of the U.S. government and concludes, “The world needs the abilities and leadership of a competent Washington.”

16:55 “Tarzan Anderson” by Jim Mulryan. Tarzan Anderson talks while gambling in Nevada. “Our system is completely opposite of what it’s supposed to be. We’re losing the planet. We lose the planet, we lose our lives. We’re gonna kill ourselves. They figure, ‘I’m gonna be dead. Leave it to the next generation.’ Now people are starting to think about taking care of the planet, which is good. We just gotta get more people involved. We’re supposed to be able to think. We don’t have to take ourselves out, but we’re going to. It’s basic nature. It still comes back down to money.”

22:40 “Wagon Ho” by Bianca Bob Miller. Music video for the song “Wagon Ho” by Raunchy Bob Yup Yup.

24:20 “Slices of a Strike” by Manhattan Media. A look at the Daily News strike in New York. Strikers harass the scabs, “You rotten dog, you scum bag, you low life bastard.” “We’re proud of what we’re doing,” says a replacement worker. Another replacement worker says, “Each person has to do what they have to do. That’s one of our constitutional rights. Why call me names because I’m choosing my own stand?” Robert Maxwell of Great Britain buys the paper and declares at a press conference that he expects a profit in the first year of operation. Of course, lots of jobs will be eliminated.

30:31 “Laura Flanders” by Rosalyn Baronio. Laura Flanders, a prominent feminist journalist who was born in Great Britain, claims that a British accent is practically synonymous with intelligence in America, but says that “the British deserve more suspicion than that.” Nonetheless, after living in a cockroach-infested apartment in New York she doesn’t buy the myth of American luxury; instead she sees the U.S. as comparable to a third world country.

32:23 “Super Barrio” by Che-Che Martinez and Marco Vinicio Gonzalez. Transformed by a mysterious light, a Mexico City street vendor turns into Super Barrio. The masked crusader defends poor tenants against greedy landlords and urges new forms of popular organization as the most effective means towards change.

35:19 “Todd Alcott” by Skip Blumberg. 90’s regular, Todd Alcott rants: “I’m a man. I’m an idiot. It follows. Have you ever looked in someone’s eyes and been reduced to the size of a pin? This is flesh. This is all they gave me. I didn’t get a book of rules. I didn’t get a wise old mind I didn’t get a mind that can see into the future, that can tell me things like: These feelings will die. That lovemaking will become rote and tiresome. That I‘ll lose interest. That we will get into fights over things like white out. It’s not meant to be known. It’s a feeling. I’m a man. I’m an idiot. It follows. I’m trapped in the jaws of love.”

39:03 “Willis Conover” by Eddie Becker. Willis Conover, the disc jockey for Voice of America’s Jazz Hour, talks about the parallels between jazz and American culture.

43:12 “Alexander Kosolapov” by Esti Marpet. Alexander Kosolapov, a Soviet artist living in New York, juxtaposes American icons with Soviet slogans and symbols.

44:59 “Legal Services” by Skip Blumberg. Attorneys for Legal Services in New York strike for better working conditions and pay. “Right and decency is more powerful than the bastards who want to put you down,” says Sam Meyers. Various workers talk about the need to make Legal Services a more attractive career option. Tony Feldmesser (a.k.a. Tokyo Tony) addresses the heads of Legal Services in the building, “You can’t run. You can only hide. You’re on the wrong side. So come down here with your friends. We are your friends.”

49:13 “Haiti” by Ludger Balant. A Haitian child talks about America: “Americans are thieves for a little bit of oil. They fight with each other and keep everything for themselves. Once you have something Americans have their sights on taking it away from you. They want to be the only ones who have anything. That’s why the world is in chaos.”

50:36 “Joe Begley” by Appalshop / Mimi Pickering. Joe Begley, who lives in Kentucky, talks about democracy: “We’re supposed to have a democracy. I believe in the Constitution of the United States as much as any man living. I hope it’s never amended or fooled with in any way, unless something more drastic comes along. Like John Kennedy said, we got a democracy, but sometimes it doesn’t work for the benefit of the people.”

51:22 “Il Gorini” by Don Reed. Kelly Bixler talks about her discovery of an Italian street person who is more than he seems. He sits on the street covered in birds, yet he is a free thinker , artist, and inventor. Bixler talks about people like the bird man, “I think they’re artists. They’re putting out a lot of information. People think they’re insane. I don’t think they’re insane. Maybe they know something we don’t know.”

54:48 “Vietnamese in America” by Fred Bridges. Vietnamese-Americans talk about the importance of maintaining the heritage of their homeland while analyzing what’s good about America.

56:24 Mexican music with homemade instruments by Che-Che Martinez and Marco Vinicio Gonzalez under credits.

The 90's, episode 306: Race And Racism - Red, White, And Black

Episode 306: Race And Racism – Red, White, And Black (1am, 9am, 5pm CDT)

Episode 306 of the award-winning TV series The 90’s. This episode is called Race And Racism – Red, White, And Black” and features the following segments:

01:09 Cold Open from “This Week in Joe’s Basement,” a cable access show in Chicago. A man on the street is asked what he thinks of black people. “I got a difference between black people and niggers. Niggers are gang bangers. Black people are people who have respect for other people…I like black people. Niggers, I don’t like.” A friend comes up and is asked what he thinks of black people. He replies, “I don’t like ’em” and walks away. The first man explains his friend’s views, “Some people have different opinions. He don’t have a difference. He don’t like blacks period… It’s just the way I was raised — my mom and dad. Well, really my dad, he was like that. I always heard ‘nigger’ come out of their mouths. I pretty much ran into that.”

2:01 The 90’s opening.

02:50 “This Week in Joe’s Basement” by Joe Winston. A man-on-the-street interviewer asks African Americans what they think about white people. The first, a half black, half white University of Chicago student laughs at the fact that the interviewer assumed he was black. A second man explains his trouble respecting white people due to persisting racial inequalities.

04:13 “On the street in Los Angeles” A woman in Los Angeles comments on the impact the publicity surrounding the Rodney King beating will have on black children. “Which is the child going to be more afraid of — the cop or the crack dealer on the corner?”

04:36 More from “This Week in Joe’s Basement”. A black woman comments, “To me there’s nothing wrong with the white people. I love them just as I love the blacks.”

05:02 “Do Y’all Know How to Play Dixie?” by Lisa Guido / Starfish Productions. Members of the Ku Klux Klan enjoy a down home music jam with their families while chilling headlines of racial terrorism across the country from 1980-1989 appear at the bottom of the screen.

09:05 Excerpt from 1940’s Anti-German propaganda film. The film depicts a distinguished-looking professor addressing a class of young German students: “There is no scientific proof that there’s any correlation between a man’s racial characteristics and his native ability or character… We must judge each man as an individual…” As he relays this controversial information, soldiers burst into the room to remove him. As they approach, he remains defiant: “And remember that there is no master race. That is a scientific truth! Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying!”

10:15 “Helen Wray and Sammy” by Jeff Spitz. Helen Wray sings about America’s immigrant history to her great-grandson, Sammy: “Columbus discovered America in 1492 / Then came the Englishmen and the Dutch, the Frenchman and the Jew… Then came the Swede and the Irishman / who helped the country grow / They keep a’coming and everywhere you go… If you’re riding on the subway train / And find that there are no seats / You’ll find they are taken by the Argentines, the Portuguese and the Greeks…”

11:16 “La Conversacion” by Deep Dish TV. A phone call between Guillermo Gomez-Pena in San Diego and Coco Fusco in New York who talk about the societal concept of the American melting pot. “The problem is that the blacks, Latinos, and the Native Americans have never been part of this cooking project.”

12:34 “Mohawk Crises at Oka” by Robbie Leppzer & Sara Elinoff. In Kanehsatake, Quebec, the Mohawk Indians have resisted the government’s attempt to take away a part of their sacred burial ground in order to build a nine hole golf course… A spokeswoman for the tribe says: “This is a community. This is not a house under siege. This is a whole community… Canada has violated international law, yet they condemn Iraq for the invasion of Kuwait. What kind of hypocritical government do you people agree to live under?”… Rick Hornung of the Village Voice comments on the crisis and its outcome with accompanying pictures of the Mohawk surrender depicting the unnecessary brutality executed by the Canadian troops.

18:47 Excerpt from “American In-Justice” by Denis Mueller & Deb Ellis. In 1969 Malcolm X says: “In America, democracy is hypocrisy… If democracy means freedom, why aren’t our people free? If democracy means justice, why don’t we have justice?” In Oakland in 1968, Black Panthers march and chant, “I am a Revolutionary.”

19:38 “Gil Scott-Heron” by Skip Blumberg. Gil Scott-Heron explains the meaning of his famous saying: “What that catch phrase – ‘the revolution will not be televised’ – what that was all about: The first change that takes place is in your mind. Your have to change your mind before you change the way you live… The thing that is going to change people is something that you can never capture on film.”

20:57 “Rose Auger” by Robbie Leppzer. Rose Auger, a medicine woman living Ecuador, urges Aboriginal peoples of the Americas to restore the spiritual balance to the world. “The world is really messed up. If we do not begin to act on it, the we are all going to be destroyed. The people of the modern society… to me their spiritual God is money and power… That’s not the way we’re supposed to be.”

23:43 “Between Two Worlds: Hmong Shaman in America” by Taggart Siegel & Dwight Conquergood. This piece examines the situation of the Hmong community in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago and Milwaukee, WI. This group is among America’s most recent immigrants. The videomakers profile a few individual Hmong before showing a healing ritual for a severely premature baby, which involves the sacrifice of a cow.

28:14 “Prof. William King commentary” by Jimmy Sternfield. “Capitalism is predicated on the principle of exclusion. Democracy is predicated on the principle of inclusion. So you gotta decide which one. You can’t have both.”

29:08 “Drive Through Watts” by Jim Mulryan. In a pickup truck driving through the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, James Woods, an African American man, and Matthew Lang, a white man, discuss racism in America. According to Woods, “Racism in America is like a disease, like alcoholism.” He lists the stages of dealing with alcoholism, emphasizing the prevalence of denial, in order to imply that most Americans are racist yet do not realize it. He discusses the difficulties faced by young African-American men who are looking for jobs, insisting that a white man with the same qualifications will always be chosen over the black man. Lang does not believe that racism is as extreme a problem as Woods claims, instead attributing the rampant unemployment of African-American males to other issues, such as poor education.

32:08 “Prof. Rudolph Acuna commentary” by Nancy Cain. Prof. Rudolph Acuna of California State University at Northridge refers to the recent act by the U.S. Government of forgiving 70% of Poland’s debt. He claims that at the same time that the U.S. was being so generous to this European country, services for minorities within the U.S. were suffering. He finds this to be part of a larger system of injustice against minorities. “It’s a white on white game.”

32:44 “Manufacturing the Enemy” by Ludger Balant and Gulf Crisis TV Project. This piece attempts to explain the mechanisms by which the U.S. government dehumanizes a group of people in order to gain support for military campaigns against them.

34:35 “Dr. Joel Kovel commentary” by Johnnie Jones, John Schwartz. Kovel explains his view that racism is an underlying structural problem that cannot be addressed simply by changing public opinion: “Racism will not disappear until the institutional forces that support racism disappear.”

35:32 “Ethnic Notions” by Marlon Riggs. A piece examining a racist cartoon from 1941 that depicts shameful stereotypes of African Americans.

36:39 “Matty Rich” by Maxi Cohen. Filmmaker Matty Rich describes the importance of media representations in developing public opinion. He says the only white people he saw as a child growing up in the projects were on The Brady Bunch. Subsequently, he grew up thinking that white people had no problems. “TV has a big effect on a lot of people. TV controls a lot of people’s minds in the way they think about another class… For many years, black people have been portrayed as drug dealers and pimps. And people think this is what we’re really like… As a black filmmaker, you have to say something positive. You owe it to your community to say something worthwhile.”

38:48 Excerpt from “Straight out of Brooklyn” by Matty Rich. A scene from Matty Rich’s first feature film. A black couple argues about how to make it in America. “There is no wrong way out of here. Look over there. [Points to Manhattan skyline.] You see that? You think they did that the right way? Know how they did that? By stepping on the black man, by stepping on the black family…”

39:30 More from “Driving Through Watts.” Lang and Woods argue about the importance of names and political correctness. Lang: “I’m not going to call you African-American… It’s a pseudo-statement.” Woods replies, “I call you what you want to be called.” “Call me Baby Doll,” says Lang, to which Woods says, “Baby Doll, I don’t mind that at all.”

40:03 “Black Memorabilia Show” by Eddie Becker. A visit to a convention of black memorabilia collectors in Washington, D.C. Collectors debate the issue of whether painful representations of African Americans should be buried or saved as reminders of the past struggle. A black woman points to a collection of “colored” restroom signs and says, “We need to have these up in our home so our children know.”

42:28 “Framing the Panthers” by Chris Bratton, Annie Goldson. This piece examines the FBI campaign targeting the Black Panthers and black civil rights activists, dealing specifically with the struggle of Dhoruba Bin Wahad, a Black Panther who was imprisoned for 19 years before having his sentence overturned. From jail, Wahad explains the FBI ‘s method of influencing public opinion: “The first thing you have to do to oppress a people is to denigrate their humanity.” His interviews are intertwined with archival footage from FBI training films and footage of Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, and social service programs run by the Black Pant hers. Huey Newton claims, “The police occupy our communities like a foreign troop occupying a territory.” We learn the history of Wahad’s arrest and court appeals, followed by his triumphant release from jail in 1990.

49:35 “Mandela in America” by Globalvision. Betty Shabazz (Malcolm X’ s wife) and Winnie Mandela (Nelson Mandela’s wife), talk about the legacy of Malcolm X.

50:24 “El Dorado Park, South Africa” by Andrew Jones. A piece about El Dorado Park, S.A., a “colored” township where blacks (and other ethnic minorities) were forced to live under apartheid. There are currently 300,000 residents. Jones interviews various “colored” individuals (who may be black, Indian, Chinese, or any combination), who describe the indignities of apartheid. One man points out the racial codes listed in every passport. “Black to us is not a skin color, it is a political position.” A black man concludes, “I have outgrown apartheid. I am a man. Period.”

54:43 “Fran and Tak” by Skip Blumberg. Fran Korenman talks about her mother’s reaction to her husband Takayoshi Yoshida. She says it was easier for her Jewish mother to deal with their interracial relationship when Tak demonstrated a minimal knowledge of Yiddish.

55:46 “Charles Cooke” by Jay April. Charles Cooke, a Chumash Indian Chief, is asked about his feelings about involving whites in his struggles for Native American rights. He replies, “You have to have the camaraderie, that fellowship, that brotherhood. That creates this type of thing where people have to come together.”

57:04 Contact information for The 90’s, then Gil Scott-Heron’s song “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” plays while footage of protesters are shown under the credits.

58:43 End of tape.

The 90's, episode 307: Video Kids

Episode 307: Video Kids (2am, 10am, 6pm CDT)

Episode 307 of the award-winning TV series The 90’s. This episode is called Video Kids” and features the following segments:

00:20 Cold open with Jade Carroll. “TV woos you in – you watch it and sometimes you become a TV addict!”

01:13 “Martha Dewing” by Skip Blumberg. Martha Dewing, editor of “Children’s Video Report,” cites some frightening statistics on the prevalence of TV in children’s lives. She says that parents don’t want their children to be exposed to violence on television, but it happens through ignorance.

02:33 Except from “Where the Wild Things Are” by The Maurice Sendak Library, C.C. Studios. From “Choosing the Best in Children’s Video” by Joshua Greene. Animated version of the children’s book.

03:17 “Jade Carroll and Molly Kovel” by Dee Dee Halleck. Jade and Molly, two young girls, review the findings of a “Weekly Reader” survey of 5th and 6th graders. This survey cla ims alarming levels of television viewing amongst children in this age category, including the fact that 23% call themselves TV addicts. However, the girls proudly proclaim themselves to be above this trend. As for Jade: “I’ve gone months without watching TV.”

05:51 “Media Class” by Appalshop and Suzie Wehling. A survey of the communications program at Whitesburg High School in Kentucky. Despite being located in one of the poorest counties in America, they have a newspaper, a weekly radio show and a video class. One girl comments as she puts the paper together: “The reason people put what we do down is because we’re doing stuff better than what they’re doing. They’re kind of amazed we got the skills to do that.”

10:15 “Rockin’ Robin” by Robbie Leppzer. In Holyoke, Massachusetts, four girls sing and perform “Rockin’ Robin.”

11:10 “Steve Delvecchio” by Joshua Greene. From “Choosing the Best in Children’s Video.” Steve Delvecchio, a children’s librarian in New York says, “The problem is not that they don’t watch enough video, but the problem is they’re not involved enough in books… The parents probably care, but they’re not around enough to enforce control.”

11:48 “Beauty and the Beast” by Hi-Tops Video/Lightyear Entertainment. From “Choosing the Best in Children’s Video.” A glimpse of an animated version of “Beauty and the Beast.”

12:08 “Michael Sporn” by Joshua Greene. From “Choosing the Best in Children’s Video.” Producer and director Michael Spoon says, “Cartoons shouldn’t talk down to kids. Smurfs are Smurfs and I guess they’re supposed to be appreciated. But I think they’re what adults think children want to see.”

12:48 “Ariana” by Skip Blumberg. Two little girls are asked what tape they’d like to rent at the video store if they could rent anything. The girls want to see “The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover” because it is NC-17 and they want to know what adult movies are all about. The girls think that adults are trying to hide funny parts and scary parts from them and that children are missing out on these funny things.

14:43 “Quartet Allegro” by Jacqueline Kinney. A quartet of teenagers performs Pachebel’s “Canon.”

15:48 “Philip Morris Protest” by Skip Blumberg. Skip Blumberg talks to the security manager (who is smoking a pipe!) at the Philip Morris headquarters in New York about getting an interview, but he is denied on the grounds that he has no press credentials. A group of protesters surround the headquarters. Their grievances include the way Philip Morris targets children and they demand a stop to advertising near schools and playgrounds. Children make up a large portion of those protesters. Anti-smoking activist Rev. Calvin O. Butts attempts to lead a coalition that includes Chicago community activist and Catholic priest Fr. Michael Pfleger to speak with the heads of the company. They are denied. Butts promises to return and take over the building.

23:51 “Erica Becker” by Eddie Becker. Erika discusses the issue of teen smoking with her father. She says, “Kids do things that are bad because their parents don’t let them do stuff… I have friends who are smoking because their parents don’t want them to smoke.” Her dad counters, ” So you’re saying you don’t smoke because your parents encouraged you to smoke?” She replies, “No, but they say, ‘It’s your life. You can ruin it if you want to.’ “

24:44 “Mixed Messages” by Kathy Brew. An experimental piece examining the messages that the media sends to girls and women. Opens with “Que Sera Sera” over archival footage depicting stereotypical images of femininity. The rest of the piece is a dreamy, reflective meditation on the power of images.

28:26 More from “Martha Dewing.” “We have to remember as adults that the kids are experiencing things now – they don’t have any point of reference from three years ago, ten years ago – they’re watching TV!”

28:46 “Copeira” by Bart Friedman. Scenes from a class of young people learning the acrobatic martial art of Copeira in Salvador, Brazil.

30:28 “Dr. Melanie Tarvalon” by Starr Sutherland. Dr. Melanie Tarvalon, a pediatrician, says that black youths between 15-25 have a better chance of being killed than graduating from an institute of higher learning. “There’s nothing connected with color that makes African-American youth engage in violent behavior… This is a society that has violence everywhere you turn… I think its a mistake to blame African American youth for the violence that occurs in our communities.”

32:13 “Sean Parker” by Fred Bridges. Ex-gang member Sean Parker warns a group of students against getting involved in gangs: “Gang banging will take you further than you want to go, make you spend more than you want to pay, and keep you longer than you want to stay. Gang bangers don’t live to become administrators or doctors and they don’t live to become lawyers and judges. They live to become prisoners… or you will find them in the grave…”

35:00 “Schooled Down Home” by Teresa Tucker-Davies. Piney Woods Academy in Mississippi orchestrates a program that brings down kids from Chicago housing projects to live in a safer environment. Philip Woods, a student in the program says, “Everybody should get an opportunity to go down there and get a taste of that atmosphere down there… I thought I’d have to look over my shoulder for the rest of my life [to make sure that there was no one behind me].”

38:57 “Backyard Home Schooling” by Ben Swets. A woman talks about her reasons for deciding to school her children at home, emphasizing love and human experience over strict traditional learning. She teaches other children besides her own and claims to have had success with children who were being left behind in the public school system. The kids agree that there are benefits to being schooled in such a customizable setting, which allows them to work at their own pace and reduces pressure to conform to other students’ learning styles. They emphasize that they do not move on until the student fully grasps the material instead of just having briefly memorized enough information to pass a test.

44:12 “Peter Bloch” by Maxi Cohen. Peter Bloch demonstrates a Compact Disc Interactive (CDI) program which he helped design as a computer tool for children’s education. He feels that kids interact best with learning tools that replicate video games.

47:11 “Irian Jaya” by Mary Lou Witz. Kids in Irian Jaya, Indonesia scramble after a yellow balloon.

47:30 “Betty Aberlin” by Skip Blumberg. Aberlin from “Mr. Rogers Neighborhood ” claims her success in children’s programming is due to her arrested state of mental development, claiming she functions better in “make believe” than in reality.

47:48 “Cheers Kids” by Skip Blumberg. In Brooklyn, a troupe of young girls perform a rhythmic cheer: “Hey Champions, ready for the first beat? Pick it up and bring back down…”

49:14 “Capital Children’s Museum” by Eddie Becker. In Washington D.C., we visit the animation lab at the Capital Children’s Museum. Kids prepare the animated explosion of New York: “It’ll be funny to look at New York sink” … Chris Grotke talks about 5-year-old David Cook’s piece, “The New Exciting Galaxy of Space Dog and Space Kid” from which some excerpts are shown.

53:06 “Boy with a Microphone” by Bill Stamets. Shelton, Washington. A little boy with a microphone wanders around, interviewing residents of a farm. He comes across some pigs and asks, “What do you explain?” The pigs oink, to which he replies, “Pigs, they don’t explain anything. They’re just pigs.” He then tells the pigs to shut up when their oinking interrupts his investigation of a toy box.

54:29 “Peggy Charren” by Joshua Greene. From “Choosing the Best in Children’s Video.” Peggy Charren of “Action for Children’s TV” says, “In my wonderful future children’s world, children’s television will be as diverse as the material in a good children’s library…”

55:08 An excerpt from “The Mouse and the Motorcycle” by Churchill Film. From “Choosing the Best in Children’s Video.” A live action version of the book featuring a mouse on a motorcycle who entertains a boy in bed.

The 90's, episode 308: The Anti-War Tapes

Episode 308: The Anti-War Tapes (3am, 11am, 7pm CDT)

Episode 308 of the award-winning TV series The 90’s. This episode is called The Anti-War Tapes” and features the following segments:

00:39 Cold open in which the Edwin Starr song, “War,” plays as a soldier points out a bullet hole in a helmet, then throws it into a creek.

01:55 “Piece of Mind” by Atriom Productions. Videomakers travel across the country attempting to capture the opinions of the nation as the U.N. deadline for Saddam Hussein to withdraw from Kuwait approaches. In San Francisco: “They [Congress] will delay allowing Bush to go to war”…”It’s time for every able-bodied citizen to fight”. In Reno: “I’ve killed. I’ve killed in ‘Nam…I saw no use in it…According to the military, you’re expendable”. In Salt Lake City: “I don’t think we needed it. We just didn’t need it [she cries]…The oil companies are the only ones who are going to profit. Are you going to profit?” In Wyoming: “Maybe it’s time to show the rest of the world what we’ve got and what we can do.” In Chicago: “I don’t trust the government. George Bush is a CIA man. Why should I believe what he tells me?” In D.C.: “This propaganda machine in the U.S. is equal to that in Iraq” …”George Bush has put me in the position that what I believe is considered out of the realm of possibility.”

10:45 “Inside Iraq” by John Alpert, Maryann DeLeo. Prior to the ground campaign in Iraq in early February 1991, John Alpert and Maryann DeLeo were the only American television crew in Iraq other than CNN. This footage was smuggled out of Iraq and not screened by Iraqi censors. The president of NBC would not allow it to be shown and declared that Alpert, a reporter who had a 14-year history with NBC news, would not have his tapes on NBC again. This airing represents its national broadcast debut. The footage reveals the effects of the war on the civilian population. We see demolished homes and businesses, casualties, injuries, pain, and outrage.

16:53 “War Essay” by Andrew Jones. An impressionistic view of war shot in Iraq and Jordan shortly after the end of the air and land war. We see images of demonstrations, the dead and wounded, the mourning, and the outraged.

22:41 “Trident Submarine Demonstration” by Jay April. In 1979, protesters demonstrate against the maiden launch of a Trident Nuclear Submarine, confronting those attending the gala event. When asked why we need this type of weapon, a woman attending the launch replies, “What do we need it for? To scare everybody else!” The videomaker responds, “What if it’s used?” and hears, “So what?”

24:38 “Dr. Blase Bonpane” by Nancy Cain and Jody Procter. Dr. Blase Bonpane, organizer for peace, comments: “Those who revere the past never repeat the past…People come along like the Bush-Baker twins. There is no reverence for the past. There is a profound ignorance…Empire never learns…Because you work from power, you cannot learn…”

26:37 “Straight Talk” by Robbie Leppzer. A documentary about Vietnam Veterans who are trying to counteract glamorous images of war put out by the military. This group goes to high schools in Massachusetts and tells true war stories of horror and suffering to the segment of the population most actively recruited by the military. “The military is not restricted by the truth and we are.” Al Miller: “I’m often at tears or close to tears when I talk about these things, and that’s not part of the masculine myth, is it? Rambo don’t do that shit. But it’s okay with who I am and who I want to be.” Thom Masterson: “History is not about the great leaders. It’s about the little people who suffer the consequences. Something has to be done to counter that image of war being something that’s a glorious endeavor. It’s not. It’s just a waste.”

34:48 “Ecofeminist” by Eddie Becker. At an antiwar demonstration in Washington D.C. on January 19,1991, a woman says: “Patriarchal state male-identified systems of ruling are constantly at war. That’s their basis. They’re violence prone. That’s why we have to more towards women-oriented, women-identified ways of dealing with people. Men are violence prone. Not inherently, but that’s the way it is now. They cannot stop fighting. That’s the way they resolve their conflicts and that is out of date. It’s passé. It’s gotta go.”

35:29 “Dear President Bush” by Herman J. Engel. A video letter sent to President George Bush in October 1990 by Alex Molnar, whose son was sent to serve in the Persian Gulf. “I kissed my son goodbye today”…”Where were you when Iraq was poisoning its own people with poisonous gas?”…”Is the American way of life, which you say my son is risking his life for, the right of all Americans to consume 25-30% of the Earth’s oil?”…”If, as I fear, you eventually order American forces to attack Iraq, it is God who will have to forgive you. I will not.” Christopher Molnar returned to the United States safely in March 1991. He has two years left to serve.

40:19 “Post No Bills” by Clay Walker and Marianne Dissard. A guerrilla poster brigade plasters Washington D.C. with posters depicting Dan Quayle coming out of George Bush’s head like a tumor. The text says, “Plan Ahead” in scrunched up letters. The piece opens with the audio of a classic Dan Quayle quote, “What a waste it is to lose one’s mind or not to have a mind is being very wasteful.”

42:34 “Ernesto Cardenal” by Nancy Cain, Jody Procter. Nicaraguan poet Ernesto Cardenal comments: “The president of the United States is not only the president of the United States, but he’s king of the United States, emperor, which means he also governs countries outside of his own nation.”

43:00 Excerpt from the documentary “Wintersoldier” by 20-20 Production (Home Video). A Vietnam veteran speaks candidly about his experience in the war. “They dehumanize you so much that the enemy is no longer a human being who has a wife and a child. He just becomes the enemy…When it comes right down to it, it’s not a man, it’s a target…I had to justify it some way because I was doing it. Then all of a sudden I realized, ‘No, there is no justification.’ What I’ve done is wrong, and I have to admit what I’ve done is wrong, and I have to tell other people before they make the same mistakes that I did.”

44:33 “War Essay” by Andrew Jones. Roving correspondent Andrew Jones recounts his first war experience, which occurred at the Burma – Thailand border while following revolutionaries fighting for democracy.

50:53 More from “Dr. Blase Bonpane.” “We have to deal with the ideology of militarianism… If it’s militarist, it’s anti-democratic. You have heard the President and the people who are with him speak of ‘kicking ass.’ This is hardly a democratic metaphor. I think they’d be happy to kick anybody’s ass as long as they disagreed with them.”

52:01 “Rosa Guillen” by Karen Ranucci. In Lima, Peru, Rosa Guillen says, “As feminists and Latin Americans, we are very afraid of the possibilities of war. We worry about people’s lives. As Latin Americans, we are afraid of this triumph of war. We never agreed with Kuwait’s invasion. The response of the United States with such forceful war is an answer that does not fit into a civilized world.”

53:15 “Third World USA” by Tony Avalos for Gulf Crisis TV Project. This film depicts the U.S. inner-city environment as comparable to that of a Third World country. A girl in New York’s East Village fetches water for her family from a hydrant.

54:33 “Allen Ginsberg” by John Schwartz. Poet Allen Ginsberg says, “What have we done and how are we going to make up for it? Hasn’t this been the end of the American century? Hasn’t this been the termination of the great experiment of American democracy? Hasn’t this been the flowering of Eisenhower’s prophecy that we should beware of the military industrial complex? Now it’s the military petrochemical atomic energy complex and it’s almost unbeatable.”

56:22 End credits.

The 90's, episode 309: The Street: Music And People

Episode 309: The Streets: Music And People (4am, 12pm, 8pm CDT)

Episode 309 of the award-winning TV series The 90’s. This episode is called The Streets: Music And People” and features the following segments:

00:55 Cold open: pigeons.

01:39 The 90’s opening.

02:19 “Downtown” by Mo Murphy. Mo Murphy sings the classic tune “Downtown” (with ’80s-style backing music) against a backdrop of drunks, bums, rats, hookers, trash, porno halls and drugs. “Downtown… Everything’s waiting for you.”

04:26 “Polka Dots” by Skip Blumberg. A delivery man loads polka dot dresses into his van via a cord that slides them down from a 5th floor window to the street. Skip asks the man what’s new in this year’s fashions. He replies, “Polka dots, a lot of Chiffon.” Skip retorts, “Yeah, that’s your company, but when you’re driving around on the streets, what are women wearing?” He says, “A lot of tights and tights with polka dots.”

05:17 “Shell Game” by Skip Blumberg. On the streets of New York, a con man runs a betting game.

05:39 “Earring Man” by Skip Blumberg. A jewelry store security guard sports a collection of studded earrings along the cartilage of his ear. “I guess you get a discount on earrings,” Skip says.

05:58 More “Downtown” music video by Mo Murphy.

06:49 “Across From City Hall” by Carla Leshne / Mission Creek Video. In San Francisco, Food Not Bombs attempted to open a free food line for homeless people, but the city shut them down for health violations and lack of a permit. We see various interviews with homeless people and activists. “What they’re saying is, you can eat out of a dumpster, but you can’t eat home-cooked food.” At a rally the homeless chant, “We’re tired; we’re hungry; we don’t like the government!” “How can they say you need a permit to help people who are hungry? ” “We have to change this value system so that human needs come first.”

10:50 “Robert Byrd” by Jim Mulryan. Robert Byrd, a homeless man, suggests that in order to deal with the problems of the homeless, everyone should take ten minutes out of his or her day to write a letter to the President. He then lists talking points for a sample letter.

12:43 “What Memphis Needs” by Alexis Krasilovsky. Poem over images of Memphis. “Memphis needs the National Guard gagging the media/Memphis needs more lady bugs in its magnolia trees… Memphis needs to have a wet dream.”

16:13 “Zimbabwe Homeless” by Andrew Jones. In Harare, Zimbabwe, videomaker Andrew Jones interviews Richard Raubenheimer, a white homeless man. When Jones expresses confusion about the number of white homeless men on the streets in Harare, Raubenheimer explains that most of these men are former Rhodesian soldiers. He says that many of these men face racism from black managers and are unable to find jobs, or are simply disinterested in working. In conclusion, Jones asks, “What’s special about being on the streets of Harare?” “Nothing. Nothing’s special.”

17:17 “The Old Balladeer” by Jim Passin. In London, an old man sings “The Northern Lights of Old Aberdeen” as he accompanies himself with accordion. The music plays over time lapse city images.

19:22 “The Wastebasket” by Skip Blumberg. Fred Kent of Project for Public Space, discusses the surprising ways that people utilize the space around a wastebasket on a busy street corner in New York through the use of time lapse film.

21:06 “Fresh Fish” by Skip Blumberg. Skip Blumberg goes to the market to check out the fish. He asks which fish is the freshest, and the vendor points to a box full of live, squirming catfish. “That’s pretty fresh!” says Skip.

21:40 “Smogophobia” by Maxi Cohen. Maxi Cohen goes to a health food store to find out what kinds of remedies are available to counteract the negative effects of Los Angeles smog.

23:04 “What’s That Smell?” by Skip Blumberg. Doug Skinner sings and plays ukulele on a song called “What’s That Smell?,” a jokey sort of song about bad smells. “It’s so abrasive and is so pervasive that you don’t feel well…”

25:33 “Times Square, 1991” by Esti Marpet. The sights and sounds of Times Square. John Tumelty of the NYPD likens the West Side to a good ham sandwich. Prof. Vernon Boggs of City University tells us how to spot an undercover cop car. Prof. William Kornblum of City University says nothing pays as well as pornography and points out the Show World Center – “a department store of pornography.” A chess match leads to an argument.

27:42 “Third Avenue: Only the Strong Survive” by Downtown Community TV. A male prostitute points out little kids hustling around Times Square. A young boy under 10 years old says he’s “trying to make some money… look for some homos… When I was seven, I came here. I needed some money. I found someone, so I went with him.”

29:14 “Art Pushes, Art Provokes” by Pedro Carvajal. A guerrilla art group covers alcohol and tobacco billboards in New York with their own PSAs. Among them include: “McDonald’s: Better Living Through Chemistry,” “Censorship is Good Because *********,” and “AIDS: It’s Not Just for Gays Anymore.”

31:39 “Woman Walking” by Skip Blumberg. A woman walking down the street talks about how a woman should protect herself when walking on New York City streets. “If you take precautions you’re ok.”

32:37 “Womanaware” by Skip Blumberg. A self-empowerment workshop teaches women how to defend themselves on the New York streets. In a staged confrontation, a woman plants her cowboy boots into her attacker’s face. She then credits Womanaware for giving her self-confidence and teaching her to read the street. “If you can run – run,” she advises.

33:48 Excerpt from “Overnight Man” by Tom Weinberg. In footage from 1978, all-night Chicago street reporter Joe Cummings phones in a mysterious death that occurred on the subway: “The man is 25 to 40, fully clothed and… dead.”

35:00 “Chicago Musicians” by Kathie Robertson. Various street musicians perform on subway platforms in Chicago. A tap dancer dances to “Nobody Cares About Me.” Nicholas Barron sings his original tune “I Wish I Was a Bird” and comments on the importance of street performance as a means to develop as an artist. In the meantime, the Chicago Transit Authority tries to ban street performers.

38:27 “Project Troubadour” by Stuart Leigh. A group of American musicians and dancers travel to Brazil to entertain rural villages in the troubadour tradition, which involves bringing messages and stories through song from town to town. They discuss the importance of reviving this tradition. “After a performance, we feel bonded with the people.” On “The Day of the King’s Festival” one participant reacts, “I didn’t understand it, but I didn’t feel I had to understand it because I could feel it.”

42:44 “Todd Alcott” by Skip Blumberg. The 90’s regular, Todd Alcott, rants about his paranoid fantasies and inability to interact with society: “I’ve had enough. Some times when I see people on the street, they’ll follow salutations with ‘How are you?’ I don’t know how to respond to this. I usually get all goggle-eyed and say ‘I’m here!’ They usually take this as a smart remark, a cutting barb, an anti-social jibe. I don’t know what they want me to say. I am there, after all… I’m already interacting like crazy… Sometimes when I walk by an iron fence with spikes on top, I’m always afraid I’m going to trip and impale my head on the spikes… I’m afraid of the subway trains… I can’t remember the name of the place that I work… I am embarrassed. I am unhappy.”

45:14 “Times Beach” by Bruce Lixey. A documentary about Times Beach, MO. From 1972 to 1973 the city contracted Russell Bliss to spray the roads with an oil-based formula to keep the dust down. In addition to oil, the spray also had dioxin in it, the mos t toxic chemical known to man. The town has since been closed down and purchased by the U.S. government. An ex-resident points out some of the sites of the town, which have since been overcome with weeds. The government knew about the contamination, but the EPA waited until 1982 to test for it. The woman pulls out photographs of her family. Her 18-year-old grandson is deaf, her granddaughter has leukemia and all of her female children have “female problems” In 1992, the government plans to incinerate the town and turn it into a recreational park.

51:01 “Baby Stroller” by Skip Blumberg. Danica Kombol demonstrates the trials of using a baby stroller on the streets of New York.

53:07 “One Man Band” by Nancy Cain. In Venice Beach, Cedric Stokes plays the saxophone and drums at the same time.

53:42 “Blind Walk” by Skip Blumberg. Lilly Barry, a blind woman, talks about the problems she faces getting around New York. At a street corner, Skip says, “Should we go?” and starts her walking across the street. Just in time, he realizes, “I guess we shouldn’t. It’s blinking ‘Don’t Walk.’ That was so stupid on my part.”

55:04 “Betty Aberlin” by Skip Blumberg. In New York, Betty Aberlin points out metal armrests which the city has installed on park benches to keep the homeless from sleeping on them. She deadpans that they couldn’t sleep there unless “they were extremely thin.”

53:36 “Federal Express” by Skip Blumberg. Skip walks to Federal Express office and sends some tapes to “The 90’s.”

56:37 The 90’s Mailbag segment with Joe Cummings.

57:00 End Credits.

The 90's, episode 310: Prisoners: Rights And Wrongs

Episode 310: Prisoners: Rights and Wrongs (5am, 1pm, 9pm CDT)

Episode 310 of the award-winning TV series The 90’s. This episode is called Rights and Wrongs” and  features the following segments:

00:21 Cold open: A man describes the effects of incarceration: “Every time you go back out and come back in, it takes a piece of your mind with you.”

00:39 The 90’s opening.

01:24 “Norval Morris” by Kathie Robertson. University of Chicago law professor and criminologist, Norval Morris, comments on the disproportionately high incarceration rate in the United States and the implications that has about racial equality. He notes that England has about 98 prisoners per 100,000 people; Canada has 107 and the US has 426 – almost 4 times as many! He also points out that there are more blacks in prison in the US than there are in South Africa.

1:55 “22 Cents An Hour” by Kiro-TV / Jesse Wineberry and Michael King. From Walla Walla State Penitentiary where he is serving a life sentence for murder, Alvin Paul Mitchell describes his incentives for joining a gang at ten years old. Tormented daily by gang members, he decided he had to join one of them for protection, rather than continue getting beaten up every time he went outside. His initiation consisted of killing a person of his choice, gang member or not.

05:01 “Professor William King” by Jimmy Sternfield. The University of Colorado professor says, “When there are 23,000 murders in this country a year, it is time to reconceptualize murder as a public health issue, rather than a criminal issue. Treating it as a criminal issue puts us in the position of always RE-acting when there are murders.” King feels that if we were to look at the issue as one of public health, we would be able to treat the systematic problems that lead to murders and thus prevent them, rather than simply punishing the end result of those systems .

06:45 “Nevada State Prison” by John Slagle. An inmate discusses the ways he feels that the criminal justice system goes wrong. In his opinion, most prisoners are in jail because they weren’t reached at a young age and set on the right track. Instead, the system just waits until they commit a crime. “These penitentiaries were built because those people out there were not doing their job when we were comin’ up… There’s a lot of people here that can’t read or write – 33 years old and can’t read or write! Whose fault is that?” The community needs to grab kids off the street and give them something to believe in.

08:18 “Project Inside Out” by Steven Ivcich and Fred Marx. An intimate look at a therapeutic workshop at Chicago’s Cook County Jail. A group of prisoners describe the issues they struggle with in prison, such as pain, loneliness, regret, etc. in front of a large audience of inmates. Afterwards, they conduct a symbolic ceremony where they write down these problems on pieces of paper and deposit them in a large pot. This vessel is set afire, in a gesture showing the participants are letting go of these painful feelings.

11:57 “Clarence Lusane” by Eddie Becker. The author of “Pipe Dream Blues” says, “The incarceration of young black people has reached such high proportions that we are witnessing an entire generation wiped out.” Lusane compares the situation in the U.S. to other countries that have been criticized for human rights abuses. Despite our feeling of m oral superiority, we actually have higher incarceration rates than these countries. He suggests that this indicates that America is using jail in the place of social services.

13:14 “Giang Ho: Crazy Life” by Ahrin Mishan and Nick Rothenberg. Black and white fictional film. A young Vietnamese man describes his experience immigrating to the United States as a teenager. Soon after his arrival, it became apparent to him that white Americans were not accepting him. He joined a gang for protection and landed in prison. He recounts his regrets in voice over as relevant images show on the screen. “I have to listen to the same stupid shit day after day after day.”

14:52 “It’s About Time” by Joe Balter. An impressionistic view of life in prison set to Pink Floyd’s “Welcome to the Machine.”

16:33 “Barbra Franklin” by Jeanne Finley. Barbara Franklin, a prisoner at Carson City, NV for the last ten years, describes how she ended up in prison and her trouble adjusting to life in an institution. “I had a hard time with the establishment… the cops.” She was able to make it through that rough time because of the kindness of her fellow inmates, who have since become close friends. “These women took care of me like maybe nobody did before… It’s sad you have to come here to feel that kind of love.” She is scheduled to be released soon, and is very apprehensive about losing the relationships she has forged over the last ten years. “Some of my friends, they’re doin’ life… I don’t have any friends out there.” She reads a poem she wrote for her friends in prison called “How do I leave my sisters?”

20:46 “Alexa Freeman commentary” by Eddie Becker. Freeman, an attorney with the ACLU, says that the majority of women in prison don’t need to be there. “I think our policy of incarceration is insane. As a result of this policy we’re training people to do nothing except go back to the same pattern.” Speaking candidly, she admits that the only solution in her mind is social and economic revolution, which will put women on equal grounds with men.

21:45 “Mumia Abu Jamal” by John Schwartz, Annie Goldson, Chris Bratton and Lamar Williams. An investigation into the incarceration of Black Panther co-founder Mumia Abu Jamal. Jamal was convicted of killing two policemen during a 1968 demonstration in South Philadelphia protesting a visit by Alabama Governor George Wallace. Despite his conviction, many people feel that Jamal was the victim of a corrupt judicial system. An attorney for the Partisan Defense Committee says there is no physical evidence tying Jamal to the crime. “His case is symbolic of the race bias and the class bias that is inherent in the judicial system.”

25:24 “Super Maximum Security” by Bob Hercules and Rich Pooler. A visit to Marion Federal Prison in Marion, Illinois. Warden John C. Clark explains that Marion Prison helps to preserve order in the rest of t he prison system by taking the most disruptive inmates from other prisons and holding them under tight security. In contrast, the inmates interviewed seem quite benign and mostly complain about oppressive boredom and a feeling of uselessness. One inmate says, “It’s not what it used to be – the types of prisoners have changed, they say it’s dangerous – how many have tried to escape? I’d say the biggest thing about this place is the reputation – real overrated.” Despite the warden’s claims that they have no political prisoners at Marion, all of the men interviewed claim to be in this high security prison because of political activities.

30:58 “The New Lake County Jail” by Jim McCarthy and Steve Martini. A peek at the new Lake County Jail. While on kitchen duty making french fries, an inmate says he likes the new prison better because the guards are more in control. “If you respect the guards, they respect you back.” This makes the prison safer and less hostile, compared to the old prison, where the inmates were in control. At the old Lake County Jail, a guard gives us a tour of the empty cells. He tells of one inmate who was so dangerous, he had to have his food pushed in to his cell from far away so he wouldn’t attack the guard through the bars.

33:13 “Jeanne McKinnis” by Jeanne Finley. McKinnis, a female inmate at Carson City, NV, gives a tour of the “kitchen, vanity, and bathroom area” of her shared cell. Unlike stereotypical male jail cells, hers looks like a regular woman’s bedroom, filled with accessories and photographs. She shows us how she’s learned to cook all sorts of meals in one hot pot. “When I get out, I no longer need a stove… I can cook a pot roast in here!”

34:38 More from Norval Morris. The University of Chicago criminologist says any intelligent citizen, given a map of their city, can easily point out the high crime areas. “It isn’t that we don’t know – we do know. It’s what to do about it.” We need to work on health, welfare, unemployment, etc, in these areas in order to reduce crime. “It’s not an excuse for people committing a crime; I just think we need a reasonable assessment of what the problem is.”

36:01 “We Love You Eric” by Kathie Robertson. Young black males incarcerated in Cook County Jail attending a special class led by Chuck Rankin, a teacher at the prison. He urges the inmates to “have purpose in [their] lives.” One inmate, Eric, says he was wild. The group circle around Eric and tell him “you can make it; be positive; we love you Eric; we love you brother.”

41:03 “Jefftown” by Missouri Department of Corrections. Inmates in a Jefferson City, Missouri prison learn how to use a camera, sound and editing equipment to make TV for other inmates. Members of the video crew say they feel like a family, all living and working together. Some of the “viewer inmates” say “TV is my life support system… without TV I don’t think I can maintain my sanity” and “I can go around the world in my cell through TV.”

44:39 More from “Norval Morris.” Morris tells us that while the crime rate has remained stable for the past decade, incarceration rates have doubled.

45:21 “John Daleb” by Candid Video / Garth Bacon. 21-year-old ex-inmate says its time to grow up and lead a better life. He started working for the town and got himself a house. He says, “I’ve done something for myself since I’ve been out these past four months. “He feels prison is non-rehabilitative, violates constitutional rights and describes the way “life prisoners” are put together with prisoners just waiting to be transferred to other states.  “Do you think they care what they’re doing to you? They’re doing life… What does it matter to them?”

48:56 More from “Alexa Freeman.” ACLU attorney says whatever gains were made to make prisons in the ’70s and ’80s in line with constitutional provisions have been eroded by the overcrowding problem. “The public is willing to give the money to build prisons but not for rehabilitation of prisoners… incarceration is not effective in stopping crime.”

49:46 “Prison Art” by Stephen Tyler and Neil Alexander. Sheriff Charles Foti of Orleans Parish and his art program for prisoners. The inmates beautify the city with their murals. one in particular on the Vietnam War. He describes the program as “symbolic restitution… attempting to give something back to the community so the community feels more at peace.”

53:16 More from “Super Maximum Security.” Oscar Lopez Rivera, prisoner at Marion for seditious conspiracy to overthrow the governments of the US and Puerto Rico, says the prison system in this country is very difficult to understand unless you are in it. “The level of dehumanization is great and getting worse. Prisoners are not given the tools to be productive in society once they are out.”

55:21 “Inside a Cell” by Bob Hercules. Prisoners’ eye view of a cell in Marion. The doors open to let the cameraman out.

56:27 End Credits.

The 90's, episode 401: Taking Chances

Episode 401: Taking Chances (6am, 2pm, 10pm CDT)

Episode 401 of the award-winning TV series The 90’s. This episode is called Taking Chances” and features the following segments:

01:36 “Bungee Jump” by Patrick Creadon and Randy Jaffe. Patrick Creadon prepares to bungee jump from a crane. he has a camera taped to his hand to capture the moment in all its glory. “It’s not that dangerous, is it?” Pat asks. “You’re gonna be just fine,” replies the jumping aid… And he is, despite a slight “drunk” feeling.

07:16 “Lilly Barry” by Skip Blumberg. Lilly Barry, a blind woman, talks about the perils of negotiating New York’s streets. She says the best way a sighted person can help her is to “just ask me if I need assistance.”

08:56 “Lane Sarasohn” by Nancy Cain. Lane Sarasohn, a lottery player, picks the following numbers: years he has lived in home, his daughter’s age, his son’s age, years married, wife’s age and his age. He partakes in this ritual as “insurance against a lifetime of self incrimination.” Nancy asks, “Is it taking a chance to buy it or not to buy it?” “It’d be courting disaster not to buy it,” he replies.

10:03 “Visa Lottery” by Nancy Cain, Eddie Becker, Miguel Kohan and Fabian Wagmister. A look at the chaos surrounding the visa lottery. Attorney Vera A. Weisz helps describe how the lottery works. A post office box in Arlington, Virginia, handles the millions of applications, which they accept for one week. Of the 19 million applications received, 40,000 will get a permanent visa, 16,000 of these must be of Irish descent… Applicants discuss their strategies. Sending in 400 applications is not uncommon. Eddie Becker encounters an Argentinean camera crew. They say “The 90’s” is one of their favorite channels. Eddie suggests that they submit a tape. They happened to have shot tape of the riot that ensued at the post office the previous night, which is shown here. The masses surge toward the mail bins, their future determined by the bin they get their application in… A screen roll indicates that both the Senate and the House are working on an improved process. Meanwhile, the US Post Office grossed $5.51 million from this year’s lottery.

17:47 “We Play For Tips” by Esti Galili Marpet. On the streets in New Orleans, Doreen’s Jazz Band belts out the classic “Down in New Orleans.”

18:46 “72 Stories Up” by Nancy Cain and Hector Garcia. A window washer cleans pollution’s residue off a Los Angeles skyscraper. On the smog, he says, “It’s kind of unsightly, but it’s also home.”

21:58 “Breathing in L.A.” by Aron Ranen. Aron Ranen visits a Los Angeles air quality control maintenance station. They have a machine that filters the air at the same rate of the human lungs. John Quigley, the caretaker of the station, displays a black filter, which had been white just 24 hours earlier. “The air is getting better,” he says without a hint of sarcasm. At the Dublin Fundamental Magnet School, members of a sixth grade class comment on their troubles breathing in Los Angeles: “It hurts. Real bad.” A bunch of the kids display their asthma inhalers.

29:05 “Tovey Halleck” by Skip Blumberg. In New York: Skip Blumberg “burns some tape” on his way to see Tovey Halleck, an artist. “I guess every time I go out shooting I’m taking a chance. Who knows what I’m going to find?” ponders Skip. Tovey takes Skip to his “studio,” an outdoor sculpture/shed, where he forges iron into art. Skip asks him if he was taking a chance by his career choice. “I think some people aren’t cut out for it. Some people have to learn in a hands-on way,” he replies. “From the outside looking in, some people would say you’re taking a chance,” says Skip.

34:22 “Fire Dance” by Judith Binder. In Bali, Indonesia, natives chant around a fire.

35:25 More from “Lane Sarasohn”. Lane Sarasohn, the lottery player, says, “I saw a guy on a PBS documentary who said, ‘Look, this is America. You can win the lottery and tomorrow be a millionaire.’ That’s not the American Dream. The American Dream is a house, a car, two kids and a dog. Now the American Dream is never having to worry about money again.”

35:29 “Bingo: You Betcha” by Suzi Wehling. In Cleveland: Sandy Collins gives a tour of a temple/bingo hall. She introduces us to the staff and various players. Tom Marzella says that bingo is the fourth largest form of gambling in the U.S

41:46 “Pat Arbor” by Tom Weinberg and Patrick Creadon. Pat Arbor, a soybean trader at the Chicago Board of Trade, says, “The risks we underwrite are different than the risks of a bingo parlor or Las Vegas. You don’t have to turn a card, you don’t have to roll a dice. The farmer, however, does have to plant the grain, because we have to eat. As soon as the farmer plants the grain a risk is created. All we do at the Chicago Board is underwrite that risk. We do not create that risk, the risk is already created.”

42:37 “From the Horses Mouth” by Jay April. A trip to the race track yields a collection of gamblers talking about the topic they know best. “What’s the biggest chance you ever took in life?” asks Jay. The man responds, “Getting married.”

46:02 “Simian Sapien” by Ben Arie Swets. Ben Swets straddles a rope that is strung up between some trees. Voiceover: “From my earliest memory I always identified myself as a monkey… I’m 33. I always enjoy climbing as much as I can… When you’re climbing trees, you’re climbing something very tall, very embracing, very nurturing.” Meanwhile he rips branches from this majestic life giving force as he frantically makes the endeavor to move form one tree to the next. While overcompensating for his frailty, Ben attempts an acrobatic move, only to fall to the ground. The cameraman fails to capture this pivotal moment. Ben continues his monologue from a hospital bed: “I was living on the edge… It probably was an ego problem… I was immediately ashamed… It’s too bad nobody got videotape of it.”

49:42 “John Schuchardt” by Andrew Jones. John Schuchardt, a former captain of the US Marine Corps, recounts his story of speaking up against the Gulf War while President Bush attended church in Kennebunkport, Maine. “We understand the church to be the place where urgent moral concerns belong and ought to be addressed… I stood up and said, “I have a concern… We must think of the 18 million people of Iraq… We must think of what it is to be bombed by 2000 planes a day’… Someone shouted for me to sit down and the congregation rose up to sing ‘God Bless America’ to drown out my voice. I continued, ‘I will speak for those who are suffering. Before we sing the Lord’s Prayer I have a word’ and it was for that statement that I was assaulted by the chief of police. I was expelled from the church. I lifted my voice and spoke, ‘I am the voice of the voiceless. Stop the bombing. Stop the massacre’ I was charged with disorderly conduct. They used the law as a weapon. They felt their purpose was to prohibit anyone from talking in front of the Commander-in-Chief.” Footage of Schuchardt being dragged away is also included.

56:25 End Credits.

The 90's, episode 402: Getting Older

Episode 402: Getting Older (7am, 3pm, 11pm CDT)

Episode 402 of the award-winning TV series The 90’s. This episode is called Getting Older” and  features the following segments:

02:15 “One to One” by Erna Wine Maurer. “The Singing Ukeleles,” a senior citizen musical group, perform and talk to a group of high school students. One man says, “We must never lose the opportunity to communicate. I’m sure we have a lot more in common than we realize.” A girl with her hair dyed pink comments, “We’re supposed to be respectful toward you, and I am; but, when you talk about war and all you have left us… You haven’t left us with very much.” A man responds, “I almost said the identical words to my father when I was her age. Every generation has felt they have inherited problems.”

04:59 “Taxi Driver” by Skip Blumberg. Skip Blumberg and a cab driver in New York talk about how old they each felt at different ages in their lives.  Skip: “When I was 10, I felt like 12. When I was 20, I felt like 25. When I was 30, I felt like 25. Twenty-five lasted a long time.”

05:59 “Chicago Kids” by Tom Weinberg and Patrick Creadon. Inner-city kids in Chicago talk about the best age to be. One girl replies, “Thirteen. Then you can do more things. When you grow up some people be on drugs and beat their kids a lot. Then the state has to take them away. That’s why I like to be young.”

07:36 “William Strauss” by Eddie Becker. William Strauss, author of Generations, comments on how Baby Boomers have grown up in an age where he government is more concerned with the elderly than with the youth, “In order to continue progress, you want to be kindest of all to your future. You want to care about children first. We were doing jut the opposite. It was terrible. It’s not that being kind to seniors isn’t kind and good. I can’t accept that it didn’t come as a conscious social choice to ignore the future.”

08:45 “I Wish I Were a Princess” by Terry Strauss / Coleman Advocates. Crystal, a young girl who grew up homeless in San Francisco’s Tenderloin, remembers what her life used to be like: “My mom was gone for a long time at night hustling money. She wore mini-skirts and tight shirts. She didn’t always get arrested, but sometimes she did. My mom was in jail… and we couldn’t touch her.” Crystal on the day she was adopted: “It felt good… I was for sure not sad then.”

11:01 “Hannah and Rachel” by Jeff Spitz. Hannah Joravsky, a 3-year-old, is on her way to the hospital to meet her new sister, Rachel. At the hospital, she demonstrates how big her mother looked when she was pregnant. She gets very excited: “I pee-peed, but that’s okay… That’s okay, Daddy can clean it up … Hannah holds her new sister and in response to the suggestion that “she’s beautiful,” Hannah answers, “She’s pink.”

13:53 “Brady Boomers” by Alene Richardson and Beverly Ginsburg. Over home movies, people in blue boxes a la “The Brady Bunch,” respond to questions about the show that shaped a generation. In response to the question “was your family like the Brady Bunch?,” one guy says, “My father was a communist and my mother was a sexually fixated neurotic.” In answering the question, “did you want your family to be more like the “‘Brady Bunch’?,” responses included, “I had fantasies… It never happened” and “I think I’ll take a real family over what I saw on ‘The Brady Bunch’ and I didn’t like ‘The Partridge Family’ either.”

15:28 “Real Live Brady Bunch” by Skip Blumberg. Julie Phillips, a writer, says, “We all watched the same episodes of ‘The Brady Bunch’; people of the same age and the same generation, and so we all feel as though we accomplished something together, done something together. When in fact, we were all spoon fed the same crap. It helps us to relate to each other, but that doesn’t make it good.” Jill and Faith Soloway, the co-creators of the off-Broadway hit “The Real Live Brady Bunch” talk about the play and their aspirations. Jill says, “A lot of people have had bad feelings: A play about ‘The Brady Bunch’? How stupid. But the play kind of makes fun of ‘The Brady Bunch’.” Members of the cast introduce themselves. Julie Phillips, the anti-nostalgia voice, and Jill Soloway, the resurrector of schlock TV, engage in a mock boxing match.

20:03 “Red M & M’s” by Bianca Miller. Singer Bianca Miller laments the loss of her favorite things: “I used to love red M & M’s until they said that they could kill me / Red dye number 2, I love you / And speaking of carcinogenics / Whatever happened to cyclamates / That they put in Fresca back in ’68…”

22:39 “Older Overnight” by Gary Glaser / The Selluloid Group. A teenage-mother describes how hard it is to bring up a child: “Everything I do I have to think of him first… Being a parent is really hard… It looks fun on the outside, but not on the inside.”

25:20 “Mary Ellen Serritella” by Judy Markey. In Skokie, Illinois, Mary Ellen Serritella talks about taking care of her elderly mother. “It certainly isn’t perfect. It certainly isn’t good all the time. I don’t know what else to do.”

29:13 “Gaston” by Eric Boutry. In Paris, Gaston, a 97-year-old man, performs on the trapeze. His trainer recounts the first time he met the agile senior citizen.

31:27 “Rix Bears” by Skip Blumberg. In Upstate New York, Albert Rix, 72, trains bears. Despite his age, he doesn’t plan on slowing down. The bears whistle and stick their tongues out on command.

34:15 “Stop me before I love again” by Betty Aberlin / Society of Late Blooming Flowers. Clearance Blouse (a.k.a. Betty Aberlin) reveals the state of her love life. “Stop me before I love again… Sometimes, I think my true love died in Vietnam… The available guys are scarce and the unavailable guys are a hassle… That’s what I really like to be – needed – to find someone that has more problems than I have… It makes me feel so together… Last night I heard this bump, and there was this guy laying right in the middle of the street. He’d been hit by a truck… I ran out in the street and here was this beautiful guy… His nose was filling up with blood… He was wearing these exquisite cow boy boots — sea snake. At first I thought he was, you know, gay… I kept talking to him… Then I realized he was dead. I’ve gone out with some pretty dysfunctional guys, but I’ve got to draw the line at dead.”

37:29 “Libido” by Liz Cane. Over film footage of couples dancing and a Sierra Club excursion, senior citizens talk about their sex lives… “We have excellent activities, so we both experience orgasm.”

41:54 “Looking Young” by Tobe Carey and Meg Carey; also “Linda Burnham” by Esti Galili Marpet. To be gray or to dye is the question. Meg Carey dyes her hair to hide the gray: “It makes me feel younger when I’m done, it makes me feel older that I’m doing it.” On the other side of the coin, Linda Burnham keeps her hair long and gray: “You can be gray, but you can still be youthful and contemporary in your approach to life.”

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