Common User

Me rambling on.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

World Service at 2am in the morning

I'm spending 2 days in Scotland for work which meant getting up pre-dawn this morning. This disrupted waking up time actually means i have even less sleep because feel compelled to toss and turn or rather listen to the world service all night for fear of oversleeping and so ..2 recommendations. (both broadcast last night between 1-3am GMT.

- Call That Justice
This was an astonishing 30 minute feature (part of a 3 part series - Pakistan last week) looking at the draconian punishments meted out, in some US states to children as young as 14 or 15. Rarely does radio these days inspire in you a raging sense of injustice or disbelief. But the 3 stories highlighted here; a youngster jailed for life with no parole at 15 (a felony crime) for taking part in an armed robbery which resulted in a death even though he never fired a shot or handled a gun. Another jailed at 14 (life with no parole) for accidentally firing a gun which killed another youngster. Another at 15 (life with no parole) for helping falsify evidence after his friend had killed his abusive mother but not actually commiting a murder; were all heartbreaking. The sober recollections of the jailed (all of whom seemed resignedto their fate) and their articulate expressions of disbelief to the situation they had found themselves in just made it worse combined with the crushing pay off "The state has recently passed legislation to allow prisoners parole after 40 years. This law isn't, however retrospective and doesn't apply to any of the voices you have heard in this documentary" This made you think and view the USA afresh. A painful, powerful 30 minutes of speech radio. You can download the podcast here.

I also heard, for the first time:

- Culture Shock
Presented by Front Row presenter John Wilson, its interesting in that it appears to be the first magazine programme I've heard about cultural memes. John's sidekick (in the same way that Bill Thompson does the same for Digital Planet) is the v.fine Russell Davies. and is surely the only radio programme in the world reporting, quite earnestly on the latest trends in Belgium. But hey I was half asleep and it was 2.30am.