The 90's, episode 309: "THE STREET: MUSIC AND PEOPLE"
00:55 Cold open: pigeons. 04:26 "Polka Dots" by Skip Blumberg. A delivery man loads polka dot dresses into his van via a cord that slides them down from a 5th floor window to the street. Skip asks the man what's new in this year's fashions. He replies, "Polka dots, a lot of Chiffon." Skip retorts, "Yeah, that's your company, but when you're driving around on the streets, what are women wearing?" He says, "A lot of tights and tights with polka dots." 05:17 "Shell Game" by Skip Blumberg. On the streets of New York, a con man runs a betting game. 05:39 "Earring Man" by Skip Blumberg. A jewelry store security guard sports a collection of studded earrings along the cartilage of his ear. "I guess you get a discount on earrings," Skip says. 10:50 "Robert Byrd" by Jim Mulryan. Robert Byrd, a homeless man, suggests that in order to deal with the problems of the homeless, everyone should take ten minutes out of his or her day to write a letter to the President. He then lists talking points for a sample letter. 16:13 "Zimbabwe Homeless" by Andrew Jones. In Harare, Zimbabwe, videomaker Andrew Jones interviews Richard Raubenheimer, a white homeless man. When Jones expresses confusion about the number of white homeless men on the streets in Harare, Raubenheimer explains that most of these men are former Rhodesian soldiers. He says that many of these men face racism from black managers and are unable to find jobs, or are simply disinterested in working. In conclusion, Jones asks, "What's special about being on the streets of Harare?" "Nothing. Nothing's special." 17:17 "The Old Balladeer" by Jim Passin. In London, an old man sings "The Northern Lights of Old Aberdeen" as he accompanies himself with accordion. The music plays over time lapse city images. 19:22 "The Wastebasket" by Skip Blumberg. Fred Kent of Project for Public Space, discusses the surprising ways that people utilize the space around a wastebasket on a busy street corner in New York through the use of time lapse film. 21:06 "Fresh Fish" by Skip Blumberg. Skip Blumberg goes to the market to check out the fish. He asks which fish is the freshest, and the vendor points to a box full of live, squirming catfish. "That's pretty fresh!" says Skip. 23:04 "What's That Smell?" by Skip Blumberg. Doug Skinner sings and plays ukulele on a song called "What's That Smell?," a jokey sort of song about bad smells. "It's so abrasive and is so pervasive that you don't feel well..." 25:33 "Times Square, 1991" by Esti Marpet. The sights and sounds of Times Square. John Tumelty of the NYPD likens the West Side to a good ham sandwich. Prof. Vernon Boggs of City University tells us how to spot an undercover cop car. Prof. William Kornblum of City University says nothing pays as well as pornography and points out the Show World Center - "a department store of pornography." A chess match leads to an argument. 29:14 "Art Pushes, Art Provokes" by Pedro Carvajal. A guerrilla art group covers alcohol and tobacco billboards in New York with their own PSAs. Among them include: "McDonald's: Better Living Through Chemistry," "Censorship is Good Because *********," and "AIDS: It's Not Just for Gays Anymore." 31:39 "Woman Walking" by Skip Blumberg. A woman walking down the street talks about how a woman should protect herself when walking on New York City streets. "If you take precautions you're ok." 32:37 "Womanaware" by Skip Blumberg. A self-empowerment workshop teaches women how to defend themselves on the New York streets. In a staged confrontation, a woman plants her cowboy boots into her attacker's face. She then credits Womanaware for giving her self-confidence and teaching her to read the street. "If you can run - run," she advises. 33:48 Excerpt from "Overnight Man" by Tom Weinberg. In footage from 1978, all-night Chicago street reporter Joe Cummings phones in a mysterious death that occurred on the subway: "The man is 25 to 40, fully clothed and... dead." 35:00 "Chicago Musicians" by Kathie Robertson. Various street musicians perform on subway platforms in Chicago. A tap dancer dances to "Nobody Cares About Me." Nicholas Barron sings his original tune "I Wish I Was a Bird" and comments on the importance of street performance as a means to develop as an artist. In the meantime, the Chicago Transit Authority tries to ban street performers. 38:27 "Project Troubadour" by Stuart Leigh. A group of American musicians and dancers travel to Brazil to entertain rural villages in the troubadour tradition, which involves bringing messages and stories through song from town to town. They discuss the importance of reviving this tradition. "After a performance, we feel bonded with the people." On "The Day of the King's Festival" one participant reacts, "I didn't understand it, but I didn't feel I had to understand it because I could feel it." 42:44 "Todd Alcott" by Skip Blumberg. The 90's regular, Todd Alcott, rants about his paranoid fantasies and inability to interact with society: "I've had enough. Some times when I see people on the street, they'll follow salutations with 'How are you?' I don't know how to respond to this. I usually get all goggle-eyed and say 'I'm here!' They usually take this as a smart remark, a cutting barb, an anti-social jibe. I don't know what they want me to say. I am there, after all... I'm already interacting like crazy... Sometimes when I walk by an iron fence with spikes on top, I'm always afraid I'm going to trip and impale my head on the spikes... I'm afraid of the subway trains... I can't remember the name of the place that I work... I am embarrassed. I am unhappy." 45:14 "Times Beach" by Bruce Lixey. A documentary about Times Beach, MO. From 1972 to 1973 the city contracted Russell Bliss to spray the roads with an oil-based formula to keep the dust down. In addition to oil, the spray also had dioxin in it, the mos t toxic chemical known to man. The town has since been closed down and purchased by the U.S. government. An ex-resident points out some of the sites of the town, which have since been overcome with weeds. The government knew about the contamination, but the EPA waited until 1982 to test for it. The woman pulls out photographs of her family. Her 18-year-old grandson is deaf, her granddaughter has leukemia and all of her female children have "female problems" In 1992, the government plans to incinerate the town and turn it into a recreational park. 51:01 "Baby Stroller" by Skip Blumberg. Danica Kombol demonstrates the trials of using a baby stroller on the streets of New York. 53:07 "One Man Band" by Nancy Cain. In Venice Beach, Cedric Stokes plays the saxophone and drums at the same time. 53:42 "Blind Walk" by Skip Blumberg. Lilly Barry, a blind woman, talks about the problems she faces getting around New York. At a street corner, Skip says, "Should we go?" and starts her walking across the street. Just in time, he realizes, "I guess we shouldn't. It's blinking 'Don't Walk.' That was so stupid on my part." 55:04 "Betty Aberlin" by Skip Blumberg. In New York, Betty Aberlin points out metal armrests which the city has installed on park benches to keep the homeless from sleeping on them. She deadpans that they couldn't sleep there unless "they were extremely thin." 53:36 "Federal Express" by Skip Blumberg. Skip walks to Federal Express office and sends some tapes to "The 90's." 56:37 The 90's Mailbag segment with Joe Cummings. 54:43 "Fran and Tak" by Skip Blumberg. Fran Korenman talks about her mother's reaction to her husband Takayoshi Yoshida. She says it was easier for her Jewish mother to deal with their interracial relationship when Tak demonstrated a minimal knowledge of Yiddish. 55:46 "Charles Cooke" by Jay April. Charles Cooke, a Chumash Indian Chief, is asked about his feelings about involving whites in his struggles for Native American rights. He replies, "You have to have the camaraderie, that fellowship, that brotherhood. That creates this type of thing where people have to come together."