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The Top Left Corner — 2021/01/27

We want to hear from you! Listeners can participate live during the show using the chat box on our show page at Radio Free Berkshires or message us on Twitter @RadioFreeBerks.

LIGHT (OR NOT)

A dog owner in the UK named Russell Jones injured his leg and needed to walk with crutches for a few days. The next thing he knew, his dog, Bill, seemed to have injured his leg. After spending $400 at the vet’s, Russell finally figured out what was really going on.

If you’re looking to zen out or zone out for a few minutes (or all day), check out this snowflake generator by artist and game developer Vivian Wu.

We speak with Doug Jones, executive director of Images Cinema in Williamstown, about the monster movie, or Kaiju, “Godzilla vs. Kong” comes out in March. The genre has morphed into a Hollywood blockbuster machine, but it didn’t start out that way. Actors in rubber suits were making a serious statement as they smashed their way through Tokyo in miniature.

LOCAL

Amanda Burke reports in the Berkshire Eagle that Methuselah, the North Street bar owned by Pittsfield City Councilor Yuki Cohen, has been hit with a two-day suspension of its liquor license. The city’s licensing board received a number of complaints regarding violations at Methuselah of COVID-19 safety protocols. In a letter to the Eagle last week one Pittsfield resident noted that politics in Pittsfield has gotten particularly venomous of late, particularly among members of the City Council.

THE COMMONWEALTH

The Massachusetts Democratic State Committee (DSC) has a lot to answer for when it comes to the homophobic smear campaign against Alex Morse they supported during the Democratic primary last year. We have four state committee members here in the Berkshires: Helen Moon, Sherwood Guernsey, Adam Hinds, and Richie Neal campaign consultant Lee Harrison. None of them were willing to bring forward any of the numerous complaints calling for Gus Bickford, the DSC chairman, to resign during a statewide meeting last fall. In the wake of the homophobic slur hurled at Cambridge Ward 3 city councilor Dan Totten during a meeting of DSC members earlier this month, we’ve invited all of them to participate in this week’s show.

For more background on the incident, including the smear campaign that triggered the initial call for DSC chairman Gus Bickford to resign last year, check out Eoin Higgins’ and Ryan Grim’s reporting at the Intercept.
Governor Baker delivered his annual State of the Commonwealth speech on Tuesday evening. You can read the full text here. We’ve taken a look and will fill you in on the interesting bits.

NATION

Among the world’s 193 nations, only 14 do not mandate paid sick leave for employees. Guess which group the United States belongs to?

Matthew Stoller, author of “Goliath,” a great book on the history of monopolies and antitrust enforcement in the US, is optimistic about the Biden administration’s incoming antitrust officials.

OUR GUEST THIS WEEK

Joining us this week is Dan Totten, a Cambridge city councilor and member of the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee. Dan was the target of a homophobic slur directed at him by George Goverman during a DSC meeting earlier this month. Dan published his own account of what happened in the Cambridge Day. Dan will join us to discuss the incident and how he thinks the DSC can be reformed.

WHO WE’RE READING AND LISTENING TO THIS WEEK

David Graeber on the “extreme center.”

Tom Nueberger, a long-time political observer and writer, on what could be in store for the United States as our next neoliberal president takes office. Spoiler alert: It’s not good.

TLC Episode 98

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