Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Winning Hartmann and minds

If you've never listened to Thom Hartmann's radio program, you're in for a shock - but a pleasant one.

Thom specializes in delivering honest-to-goodness real information about our nation and world - how it works, how it doesn't work; what needs to be done to turn it right side up again and feel as if we have some control over our lives.

He speaks at international conferences on a subjects so vast and thought-provoking it feels like he should be leading the country instead of taking any time to educate and empower us to do our duty as citizens and be sure the nation is run by people who actually represent us, our best interest and the constitution of the United States.

This guy is so well informed in every arena influencing politics - history; economics; culture; racial, age, sexual orientation and gender bias; law; spirituality and the constitution - that although he is a genuine progressive, conservatives chat with him almost daily, engaging in some great - and real - debates on his radio program.

No bells, whistles, sound effects or name-calling for this guy. Just real knowledge and listener empowerment.

If that sounds dull compared to the self-righteous shouters we're used to hearing on the radio, his soft-spoken, articulate demeanor says he actually listens to and respects his guests - of all political persuasions - as well as those who listen and call in. Again, of all political persuasions.

Oy! The quality of callers Thom receives is impressive - well informed and educated ordinary citizens as well as those with more familiar names.

They can mention the most obscure political incident in the history of humankind, and Thom breaks a riff or two not only about the incident, but what caused it and then its ramifications on this and several other nations; what's more, how it continues to affect us today. And will tomorrow. And in 2090 because ...

You get the drift.

Unlike the vast majority of other radio commentators, there's very little repetition of the same information about the issues facing us today; the man does his homework and it shows.

Maybe his down to earth, positive and easy style comes naturally because he ordinarily broadcasts from his home station in Portland, Oregon, USA.

There's something fresh, unique, independent and informed about his approach - which matches the essence of the Northwest USA personality; we live among tall trees, clean air and great mountains (OK, a few are volcanic so we're not always so laid back!)

I listen while I write. Fascinating stuff. I believe I'm pretty well informed, but feel like a kindergartner when I listen to this chock-full o' real facts program. IMO, no disinformation is even tried here. That's not to imply that he speaks "over our heads," because he doesn't. He's clear, articulate and speaks in language anyone speaking English can understand.

A point of view? He has one, to be sure. But no attempt is made to twist the listener or influence him or her with anything other than the facts, man, just the facts.

Oh - he's also written a dozen books or so, including a couple describing how to succeed if you're living with ADHD.

Earlier this week, Monday, and today (Thursday) he's broadcasting live from the Czech Republic because he's speaking at the international forum on Transforming Culture: From Empire to Global Community.

Thom has some serious issues with the international corporate financial culture - which has allegiance only to the corporation and profit, not people or nations - and self-anointed "royal" conservative American political families like the Bushes. Despite their folksy exterior, they apparently believe they are several classes above the rest of us; more valuable and important than us ordinary citizens who are defined as "created equally" by our constitution.

I admit, it took a little getting used to Thom's style because he simply draws you in. He doesn't hit you over the head with anything other than solid evidence; he neither pushes you into a defensive corner nor does he try to convince you what or how you should think; he assumes you're smart enough to do that just fine for yourself.

It airs Monday through Friday on Air America, 12-3pm EST/9am-12pm PST.

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