19 September 2015 – Nothing worth doing just pops into being with a big bang. Well, the entire universe did but other than that nothing else is just suddenly there, fully formed and ready to go. Hopping Mad with Will McLeod and Arliss Bunny certainly has been and will be in the process of evolving. As I write there is still much to be done and over the next few weeks, as we gain our footing, all manner of things will experience either evolutionary or revolutionary change. Still, we have been on this path for some time so it is probably worth looking at where we are coming from and where we intend to go.
Will and I do not live in the same city. We don’t even live in the same state. We have never met person-to-rabbit. We met on-line as guests on the Netroots Radio program, The After Show. Both Will and I had been on as regular guests for some time already. He generally focused on politics on Monday and I talked about monetary policy and financial news on Thursday. Justice, the host, decided we might be good together, bouncing off of each other (we Rabbit Americans have serious bouncing chops), so we became co-guests on Fridays. We had a great time and as this past year went on we became progressively more comfortable working together. I don’t recall now whose idea it was but all of the sudden I was sitting at my desk trying to think of an appropriate name for a show that Will and I would co-host. We intend to cover not just politics and economics but all of the issues which are priorities to progressives not just in the United States but around the world.
One cannot help but to note the election of Jeremy Corbyn, to lead the Labour Party in the UK, and the strength of the Bernie Sanders campaign here in the US, the battle being waged by the left in Greece against the deadly bullies of the Troika, the growth of the left in Spain, Portugal and even revived whispers in Ireland. It’s a tide. It’s rising. There will be ebb and flow, there always is, but enough is enough and you can’t keep a good rabbit down…or human either. The battle is joined. This isn’t a time to be kicking back on your couch with a bag of kale chips. There is thinking both on the right and even the left that Occupy didn’t matter but you have to ask yourself, would the Sanders campaign be as strong if Occupy hadn’t gone first?
Tune in to Netroots Radio on Mondays at 8AM Eastern or download our podcast from Stitcher, Libsyn or iTunes. You can even listen to the player which will be on our “Hopping Mad Podcasts” tab. It used to be that organizing progressives was like herding cats but lately the GOP has (laughably) picked up that ball and we are moving forward. Social media and the web are integral to our collective success. We at Hopping Mad are doing our part to spread the word (and to laugh and point at the Tea Party but that’s only because they STILL can’t spellcheck their protest signs.) Join us, it’ll be a thumping good time.
– Carrots to you and yours – Arliss
21 September 2015 – I wanted to take just a moment to tell you about the music we are using as part of Hopping Mad. Music is a large part of both of our lives and we wanted to reflect that in the show. In fact, just last night Will sent me a link for Mongolian rap. I know what just flashed through your mind…Will is crazy. Okay, that’s true but the link he sent took me to an incredible video. How DO Mongolian throat singers do that? Really, if you aren’t already a fan of Mongolian rap then you simply must listen to this. After you come back I’ll tell you about the music we are using in the show.
Our intro music is a small snip from the lead-in to the great James Taylor’s song, Stand And Fight. It’s a deep cut from Taylor’s 1981 album, Dad Loves His Work. This is a song every progressive around the world should, at the very least, hear and I recommend you purchase it so you can listen to it whenever you need to remind yourself why the hell you are doing all this (fill in the blank) anyway. Here’s a link to the complete song on iTunes: Stand and Fight.
Liz Carroll isn’t just any traditional Irish fiddler. First of all, she was raised in the American Midwest. Still, Liz made her mark in traditional Irish music early when she won the All-Ireland* senior category competition in fiddle (a very competitive category) at the age of eighteen. She was also honored with a National Heritage Fellowship Award in 1994 and became the first Irish-American traditional Irish musician nominated for a Grammy (2010) for her album with John Doyle. We feature music from two of Liz’ albums, Lake Effect (2002) and On the OffBeat (2013). From the former we are using The Rock Reel/Morning Dew/Reeling on the Box and from the latter we are using Liam Child’s/Balkin’ Balkan/The E-B-E Reel. Even from the very short selections we are using on Hopping Mad it is clear that Liz is an extraordinary musician and composer. She is also just a generous and lovely person. We thank her for allowing us to use her work and encourage you to download more of her music. Trust us when we say, it doesn’t get better than Liz.
[*Note: the “All-Irelands” are the major international competition for Irish music…obviously.]
Our outro music is by one of my very favorite singer-songwriters, John Gorka. Here’s a tip as to how old I am – the first several John Gorka albums I purchased were on vinyl. Then I bought them again on cassette. Then I bought them again on CD. Then I downloaded them from iTunes. Oh – and I have seen him in concert more than a dozen times. If you could see the iTunes section of my computer you would know that I listen to a LOT of music. So much so that my iTunes music library has to live on its own terra-drive and at any given time I limit myself to a mere 2000ish songs downloaded onto my phone. Even amidst all of that, I listen to John very frequently. His songs Lightning’s Blues and Flying Red Horse feel like old friends. Still, those songs were from early in John’s career and he just continues to get better. The song we are using as an outro is Ignorance and Privilege. It is from John’s 2009 album So Dark You See which, I have to tell you, doesn’t have a weak song on it anywhere. The message of Ignorance and Privilege is both powerful and timely. Please support music, support John and support us by purchasing some of John’s music. It will make your day. – Carrots! Arliss