Last night, I tuned into the blogtalkradio show Red State Pariah. My FB friend Lisa Alvarado was a guest, in discussion with the hosts on the theme "America the Violent." My connection was bad, so I missed pieces of the broadcast, here and there.
The recent gun violence in Tuscon was addressed, as was Sarah Palin's "blood libel" remark. This was in the broader context of our country's history of violence. And in the even wider context of how insidious power structures result in less bloody but still horrific forms of institutional mayhem against ordinary citizens. Scapegoats -- illegal immigrants, so-called (what is the higher law?) -- are sought by the unthinking populace. Hatefulness is directed toward these human beings who simply prefer not to starve in their native land. While the real culprits sit in Wall Street, destroying politics, fomenting irrationality, and assaulting citizens via economics. At least, I think all that was the gist. Like I say, I lost connection a few times. Had to piece things together on the fly, so to speak.
Okay, I'll be honest (what an odd sentence). Over the years, my brain has dulled a bit when it comes to discussions of injustice. When those discussions are not people shrieking at one another, it's usually preaching to the choir. Yes, if I was in some present misery of injustice, my brain would not have dulled a bit. Anyway, I tuned in mainly to hear my friend's voice for the first time.
Then I heard Lisa speak. Jumping Jehoshaphat! I was not really prepared for that melodious flow of words, like a wondrous waterfall of passion and insight and coherence and personality! Lisa speaks with a measured eloquence. No fumbling for words and no loss of focus. She is a dynamic speaker. The forcefulness of her opinions -- which comes from lived experience -- is harmonized with or made gentler by a soulful humanness. And subtle layers of humor. I loved listening to Lisa's voice. To her expressiveness and earned conviction. Yes...my mind did a weird thing: it somewhat detached itself from the issues at hand, in order to bask in the sentences themselves. Writing impressive prose is one thing. It is rare to hear impressive extemporaneous speech.
You can access the archive and listen to the show via this link:
Some neat stuff about Lisa, as well as webpage links, can be found on her FB Info page: