I went on a rant at the start of yesterday’s fifth segment.
Usually we do four, 14-minute segments of "Civil Discourse Now" on Saturday mornings. If we are having fun with a particular topic, or it is proving too difficult to cover in only four segments, we will go five segments.
Yesterday, our guests were Jeff Cox and Kurt Lorey. We discussed whether the United States is biased toward Israel. Co-host Paul Ogden, between segments, commented that the discussion of history might be boring for some people.
1) I pointed out at the outset that none of us was Jewish or of Arabic or Palestinian descent.
2) I believe that a lot of people in this country do not know enough about history—the world’s or our own. During the first four segments of yesterday’s show, we discussed the first diaspora and second, development of nearly two millennia of prejudice against Jews, the culmination of that prejudice in The Holocaust, the creation of the Modern state of Israel.
3) I do not believe three 14-minute segments constitute a comprehensive examination of two thousand years of history, but at least we tried to communicate ideas to which many people are not exposed or of which they lack familiarity.
4) Without an understanding of the roots of the problems—the history of the problems—we cannot expect to intelligently address and reach resolution of those problems. The problems in the Middle East are what we need to understand. To understand those problems, we need to understand history.
5) This is the internet. There are tens of thousands of websites to which people can go to learn things. The internet is a platform for podcasts to meet the tastes of nearly everyone. There are people who want to listen to (what we hope is/strive to make) rational discussion of problems in our world. When TV consisted of three channels (four, where I lived, if the weather was right and you could pick up Channel 4), there was no room in programming for shows with small audiences. Sure, one could go to 2 a.m. and find something odd, but generally broadcasters looked at polls and ran or cancelled programs based on those polls. Transmitters are/were expensive, as are/were FCC licenses. Cameras, editing equipment, and all the other necessary gizmos were extremely expensive.
With the arrival of the internet, matters changed. We do not need an FCC license to run "Civil Discourse Now" on the internet. We do not need a broadcaster to allow us to send The Show out through its 50-whatever-mega-watt transmitter. Cameras are relatively cheap. Software for mixing, etc., also is inexpensive. So people are free to watch many more types of programs than they used to be able to do. Maybe a discussion of two thousand years of history was boring to some people. I do not like monster truck racing, championship wrestling, opera, or soocer. I do not watch programs that consist, in large part, of those activities. I enjoy listening to people discuss the arts and history, amongst other topics. I have the choice to tune out the shows I do not like.
So, on a program about civil discourse, I went on a rant—about civil discourse. It is at the top of the fifth segment. The only thing I would change about it is to add a couple of the details I wrote here this morning. Otherwise, I stand by what I said and how I said it.