I've got a general distrust of members of the punditocracy, be they from the right or the left -- I loathe the likes of Ann Coulter & Rush Limbaugh, but at the same time I'm not wholly sold on folks like Arianna Huffington or James Carville. Anybody who makes their living pontificating about their personal beliefs and how the world/country doesn't fit 'em is immediately suspect, in my book.
I have to say, though, that I like Jim Hightower a heck of a lot. It helps that he's a Texan, naturally -- it's awful hard for the right-wingers to deflate somebody who sounds quite genuinely like he's from the Flyover States. I've listened to his radio show & subscribed to the Hightower Lowdown for several years now, and I always end up feeling enlightened after listening/reading. The guy's a dyed-in-the-wool populist, the kind that I'm amazed to see get into office (like Hightower himself did back during Ann Richards' time as governor of this state). If there were more pundits like him, our country would be a very, very different place.
Besides all that, I've seen him speak a couple of times now, and he's consistently entertaining, whether he's addressing a stadium full of people or the crowd in some alternative bookstore. And luckily for us Houstonians, he'll be speaking this very evening here in town, from 7-9PM over at the Landmark River Oaks Theatre (2009 W. Gray). He'll be doing a reading from his new book, Swim Against the Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow.
Tickets to get in are $10 in advance & $15 at the door, and if you feel like splashing out you can pony up $150 for a down-home "Meet and Greet" w/Mr. Hightower -- not sure when that's supposed to happen, but I'm guessing it's beforehand, since it includes appetizers & "preferred seating" for the reading itself (and hey, you also get an autographed copy of the book).
Best of all, the whole thing's a benefit for Houston's own KPFT, which -- love it or hate it -- is an out-and-out necessity in our media-lockdown city with only one paper & nothing else but Clear Channel-owned radio stations (and KTRU, too; can't forget them...). You may not like every show, no -- I myself tend to tune out when a couple of shows come on, just 'cause, eh, they don't really do much for me (not gonna name names, tho').
Anyway, that's the deal -- get on out, see Hightower speak, & support the real "alternative" radio station in town, all at the same time.
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