Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hamburger Helper

Have you heard the one about the guy who got barred from Carnegie Centre for the crime of free speech in the theater program?

A woman eating with us on Sunday night at Carnegie said she had run into a guy at Tim Hortons who she used to see at Carnegie a lot. I recognized his name, but I won't use it. She asked him why he didn't come to Carnegie much any more. He said he couldn't stand the dirty politics, that it was run like "a kingdom" for staff. And he said he had been barred a couple of years ago for speaking up.

He was barred when he spoke up about the fact that Jay Hamburger, who was paid to spend a few hours a week working on lefty theater productions with the poor, was charging people $20 to enter their theater script in a contest. The winner got money. The guy who was barred took the position that marginalized people shouldn't be asked to fork over $20. Carnegie is after all richly funded to provide programs to low income people.

I won't know until I get a chance to interview the guy whether Hamburger, who was not a regular well-paid employee but was paid $12 an hour in grant money, arranged for him to be barred. My guess is that Hamburger did not explicitly say,"Bar this man!" There is no need to. Staff know that security guards will apply the one size fits all solution -- "You're barred!" -- to poor people who aren't pushovers.

Barrings generally work this way: a low income Carnegie member raises a concern with a staff person and is brushed off; they exhibit perseverence, a trait considered healthy in the population at large but not in the Carnegie low income population; the staff person doesn't want to have to do the work of communicating so they raise their voice slightly to announce, "I'm calling security." The task of communicating is then off loaded to a security guard who often has little education and even less communication skills, and can be counted on to do what's quick and easy.

Barring has become a staff convenience.

CBC: Biased Coverage of Israel

Close-Up Footage of Mavi Marmara Passengers Attacking IDF Soldiers

Today, as I listened to CBC Radio coverage of deaths on an aid ship to Gaza boarded by Israelis, I got the impression that Israeli soldiers were senseless murderers whom the world needed to keep in check. I knew there must be a lot not being said. So I looked to see what truepeers at Covenant Zone blog had to say and found the above video.

Coast to Coast radio had fair and balanced coverage of this incident this evening. Host George Noory, who is of Lebanese-Christian heritage, asked a good question: Since Turkey knew that Israel was allowing aids ships to Gaza (after first checking them for weapons), and this ship left from Turkey, why didn't Turkey tell the Israelis that this was an aid ship? It's as if they wanted this incident to happen.