Monday, March 03, 2008

Home from the Sea

We're finally back from the Air America Cruise, and what a terrific week we had! It was an honor and a privilege and a pleasure to meet so many of the brightest stars in the talk radio firmament, including my own personal favorties, Thom Hartmann, Rachel Maddow and especially Randi Rhodes, with whom we were seated for dinner one night. She is as sardonically super-funny in person as she is on the radio, and she's pretty much the same in person as she is on her show. Because the conversation was so intense and interesting and entertaining, our table was the very last one to leave the dining area that night.

It was also great to meet all of my blog readers who contacted me prior to the cruise: Becky, Gary and Linda from Colorado, Bonnie and Mark from New Jersey, Sharon and her family from Virginia, Alex from California, and especially Marilyn and Steve from New York -- thank you all for making it a memorable and exciting week. In addition, several other fellow cruisers saw my Farnsworth badge and told me in passing how much they like reading this blog. Thanks to all of you.

And a big thank you as well to all of the other people whom we met on the cruise, too numerous to list, but who also made the week a memorable and exciting one.

I especially want to thank our good friends from home, Bob and Debby, who made the trip with us. At dinner, Randi Rhodes asked Debby to give an impromptu speech on political organizing at one of the final sessions. Her presentation went over so well that I was able to bask in her reflected glory ("You're friends with Debby? Wow!") for the rest of the voyage.

There were some 400 Air America listeners from all over the country who were on the cruise and I wasn't able to connect with everyone, however much I wanted to, and for that I apologize. But the good news is that this is only the first of what we hope will be many Air America cruises, so maybe we'll meet up on a subsequent one.

In the meantime, I think everyone came away overflowing with a lot of renewed political energy (personal energy is another story -- that we are still trying to recover, and after a week of gentle pitching and rolling on the high seas, I find myself still experiencing some "phantom motion" even as I sit here in front of my computer) and we are all fired up for this year's election campaign.

As Thom Hartmann's signature signoff phrase has it, "Democracy begins with you -- tag, you're it!"


Debby Pattin said...

Speaking of reflected glory, it was a delight to discuss with Farnsworth's fan club on board his novel, A Bad Attitude, to share stories of our 'Veterans for Kerry' campaign adventures, and the wild adventure of peace marching in DC.


The Future Was Yesterday said...

I had no idea you were such a celebrity.:) Is there an admission charge here, now?:)

I'm glad that liberals from anywhere were able to get together, and support one another.

Happiness hasn't been falling off trees, lately.

Farnsworth68 said...

TFWY-- I actually didn't know it myself. But there really were people on the voyage who actually had purchased my book -- and more importantly, had read it!
But Debby is trying to divert attention away from herself. She was the rock star from the Upper Left (i.e. the state of Washington) and I was the poor redheaded stepchild at the family reunion...
You'll have to try to make one of the future voyages. It was worth every single penny that we spent.

mrln said...

Whoever thought it would be so hard to find one Pissed Off Veteran among 400 liberals? But suddenly--right after I gave up, saying to Steve, "If it's meant to be...", there you were--in all your (own and reflected) glory! It was so much fun to talk with you (clearly it's FARNSWORTH who has the bad 'tude, not you!!), and I can't wait to read your book.

It was worth every white-knuckle minute as this total phobic braved the snowy skies and the rolling seas, to be with 400 like-minded WONDERFUL people; truly a life changing experience for both Steve and me! I have returned to my life with restored enthusiasm and tremendous hope for the future. And Debby is AWESOME!

When does the boat stop rocking?

I LOVE this blog!

drainbamage said...

Shiaatt, glad you had a great time!
Now can we get back to the problems of the world?

Good to have you back.

Anonymous said...


Resisting the War Abroad, Resisting the War at Home
A Night of Resistance and Insurgency

Friday March 7th, The Evergreen State College
Lecture hall 1

Speaker panel and movie at 6 pm

Folk starts at 8 PM with headliner DAVID ROVICS, AND DANNY KELLY WITH MARK ECKERT.

Join us for an evening of musical acoustic insurgency

with David Rovics, Danny Kelly and Mark Eckert.

This will be a benefit for Carlos Arredondo who made national news after hearing that his
twenty-year-old son Marine Lance Corporal Alexander Arredondo was killed
in Iraq. In his distraughtness after learning of his son’s death, Carlos lit himself on fire, but has since recovered from his wounds and become an anti-war activist and speaker. Carlos is a member of Gold Star Families for Peace along with Cindy Sheehan.
An interview with Carlos by Amy Goodman is located here:

David Rovics has been called the musical voice of the progressive movement
in the US. Amy Goodman has called him “the musical version of Democracy
Now! He has shared the stage regularly with leading intellectuals (Noam
Chomsky, Howard Zinn), activists (Medea Benjamin, Ralph Nader),
politicians (Dennis Kucinich, George Galloway), musicians (Billy Bragg,
the Indigo Girls), and celebrities (Martin Sheen, Susan Sarandon). He has
performed at dozens of massive rallies throughout North America and Europe
and at thousands of conferences, college campuses and folk clubs
throughout the world. Check out

Danny Kelly is a long time leftist political folk singer currently
residing in Olympia. He has shared the Activists stage w/ Patti Smith,
Loudon Wainwright III, Tom Tomorrow! in NYC, LA and Seattle...He has been
writing songs for the past 25 years and is currently working on a new
solo recording with Mark Eckert…Olympia’s best and brightest guitar player
on slide…Danny got his start in the critically acclaimed psychedelic band
HELIOTROUPE, still going strong 25 years alter. You can find his previous
solo effort "....simple songs for children & drunks" at _www.antifolk.net_
“If you are waiting for someone to save us you just better get to work;
have you had a enough?

Speakers and movie immediately preceding show at Lecture Hall 1 at The Evergreen State College
Starting at 6:00pm…

With a panel discussion on the San Francisco 8, COINTELPRO, repression and
torture and screening of the film “Legacy of Torture”. Panelists include
Hank Jones of the SF 8, Claude Marks (producer of the film) and Maisha
Quint of the Committee to Free the Eight, and former Black Panther Party
and Seattle George Jackson Brigade member Mark Cook.

Directly following this will be a concert for Carlos Arredondo starting at
8pm at the same location, featuring folk musicians David Rovics, Danny
Kelly and Mark Eckert. Donations for Carlos will be accepted at the event.
(see more information below)

This event is being put on by Olympia SDS.

Stop the Use of Testimony Obtained By Torture From Being Used To
Prosecute Black Americans!

Court Ruled that Murder Charges Against Former Black Panthers was Based on
Confessions Extracted by Torture.

Eight former members and supporters of the Black Panther Party, now known
as the San Francisco 8, have been targeted in a vindictive prosecution in
San Francisco for their political activities of over 35 years ago.

Hank Jones is an elder and a defendant in the SF 8 that you will
absolutely want to meet and hear. He refused to testify before the San
Francisco grand jury two years ago, and was imprisoned during the life of
the grand jury for his principled refusal to cooperate, and in January
2007 was charged along with several others with the killing of a SF police
officer in 1971. This charge is based upon false statements obtained by
torture of three Black Panthers captured in New Orleans in 1973. The
charges were dropped in the 1970s because of the use of torture.

Join us for a showing of the 28 minute DVD "Legacy of Torture" and the
following panel discussion about the current issues, the Black Panther
Party (BPP), and COINTELPRO, with Hank Jones of the San Francisco 8,
Claude Marks and Maisha Quint of the Committee to Free the Eight, and
former Black Panther Party and Seattle George Jackson Brigade member Mark