WBAI-FM Upcoming Program
Arts Express

Wed, Nov 30, 2022 9:00 PM


** "My kids ask me, why are these people homeless, why are they living on the sidewalk. And twenty-two veterans commit suicide every day. I'm a person that's in recovery from drugs and alcohol, and we try to find - what do we have in common..."

Tom Arnold Talks MVP. The actor, comedian, and former bouncer discusses pretty much playing himself in this reality based sports drama touching on this country's main spectator sports exploiting essentially gladiators - damaged football players and soldiers alike - channeling PTSD, traumatic brain injuries, and actual homeless on the streets of LA as part of the cast.

And Most Valuable Player, based on the life of the director, screenwriter and star Nate Boyer, probes warts and all, the former army soldier turned player for the Seattle Seahawks - and who defended Colin Kaepernick on the field taking a knee.

Arnold also revisits his early struggles as a working class youth in an Iowa meatpacking plant - to survive economically in an America where nothing much has changed in the present time.

Along with his characters that have included Rip Van Winkle, portraying Forrest Gump twice, and his upcoming 'The Naked Umbrella' - in which he apparently is not the starring conspiracy theorist.

** "Our holiday wish gift list high mobility howitzer artillery rocket systems, with a range just out of this world."

Arts Express Playhouse: The Home Shopping Weapons Network. Stay tuned, and all will be revealed...

** "The dark web is regarded as an underworld, an illegal place where criminals meet. But the other argument is that it gives people freedom - it can stop governments from overreaching their boundaries, it can keep people and their ideas safe."

Screening Room: What Is The Dark Web, Really....How did it all start, where did that underground Internet come from, and where is it headed. And what it all has to do with US intelligence, money laundering and bitcoins, hackers, hit lists, rocket launchers, stolen identities and fake passports for sale - while at the same time crucial to whistleblowers, and a hidden wikipedia containing articles immune from censorship.

*Armageddon Time Review: Critical Race And Class Theory Cinema*

Unlike the giddy, sudsy and superficial fare that tends to define coming of age movies in this country, Armageddon Time, the best movie this year, is a sobering and meditative descent into that troubling time of life. As director James Gray pinpoints this very personal trauma mirroring both that psychological and political moment. 

In other words, middle class NYC youth Paul Graff (Banks Repeta) caught between the existential, unleashed creative driving force of childhood, up against the 1980s repressive tide of a changing, doomed society. And parallel to the euphoria and optimism of the renaissance sixties generation, crashing into the looming greed decade, recession plagued Reagan years - referenced on the living room television back then by Reagan himself, as the worrisome 'generation that might see Armageddon.'

And in a rare convergence of both economic class and class at school as a fatalistic mirror of that outside world, Paul is subjected to the crushing of his artistic urges. And how race and class simultaneously pervert inherent human communal and collaborative instincts. Personified here in the presence of black pariah Johnny Davis  - Jaylin Webb as the best young acting performance this year. An angry and alienated African American boy scorned and isolated from the others in Paul's class, bused in from his ghetto neighborhood. And yes, that court ordered school busing desegregation reality implemented up North back then as well.

And just as Paul finds common ground with Johnny in a world neither feels a sense of belonging, Paul's parents pull him out of the public school and ship him off to the local upscale prep academy, so as to push him up the present and future economic ladder against his will. And a new school where it turns out, Donald Trump's father Fred is seen presiding over and a patrician local ruling the academic roost.

While in the course of tragic events that ensue, Gray provides decisive insight into the ways in which racism and class divides traumatize the next generation - decisively passing on race hatred and class division perpetually through children. 

And even as Anthony Hopkins, portraying Paul's politically enlightened grandfather, attempts to convey courageous insight and determination - but to little avail against a brutal social tide drowning the world. Though the shining light in this tough love tale, is that it led to the creation of a bruised but determined class conscious filmmaker - James Gray.

Prairie Miller



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