Author Archives: wkamaubell

About wkamaubell

I end racism... or make it worse depending on your perspective.

We fought Fighting Bob Fest in Madison – A blog better late than never

He's passed way more laws than you ever will.

Whew! The tour is finally over! Well, it’s at least half over. We were in five cities in nine days. Seven if you count Nogales twice, since it is both in Mexico AND Arizona. We closed with one of the best shows of the trip in Madison, Wisconsin, where we got a crowd who was definitely, LATM friendly. We spent the day at Fighting Bob Fest, watching speeches by a variety of people from the left push their brand of liberal politics in our faces and then rub our noses in it. Flippin’ socialists! Fighting Bob Fest is basically like Liberalpalooza. It was in a basketball arena filled with progressives, angry about the state of America… but in a good way. Thom Hartmann, Greg Palast, Bernie Saunders, and others. AND BECAUSE NATO AND JANINE HAD TO GET COFFEE WE JUST MISSED CORNEL WEST!!! (No hard feelings at all, of course.)

Now because Fighting Bob Fest is in Wisconsin, it was overwhelmingly white, but because it was a day of progressive team building, it felt like a Tea Party rally minus the fear of others.

As usual, we started off the day with a loose plan: Go to Fighting Bob Fest; pass out flyers for our show that night, & shoot interviews with whoever we could get. Well we managed to finish the day with an overstuffed hard drive of interviews and random interactions. According to Mike and Evan, the filmmakers, they are going to have to buy new hard drives because we are taking up (and talking up) so much space. The only interview we had scheduled was with Peter Rickman, a community and labor organizer from Wisconsin’s AFL-CIO. but while we were walking around the arena, I heard someone shout, “Kamau!” I looked and it was John Hershberger, my number one Facebook friend. John had generously donated to our Kickstarter and we got a few minutes on film with him talking about everything that is going on with the unions in Wisconsin. After we finished and he had walked away I heard him call back to us, “You need to interview him.” And he pointed at a man who I soon found out is the longest serving state legislator in the country, Fred Risser. State Senator Risser very kindly talked to us. And he didn’t seem to be phased by the fact that in the middle of the interview, Nato taped me out, so he could take over with his stentorian tones and aggressive intellect. The best part was when Nato told St. Senator Risser that we learned in Arizona that many of it’s problems are the fault of retirees relocating there from the midwest, State Senator Risser exclaimed, “Hey! Don’t blame Arizona on us!” Thank you for entertaining our questions, Mr. Risser.

That night we did our show at The Bartell Theatre in Madison, and we got OUR crowd. A bunch of liberals and progressives with a senses of humor, who didn’t always agree with us, but didn’t mind us pushing them or us steering them down alleged comedic alleys with dead ends. Afterward we took the advice of Eide Alwan from the mosque in Dearborn and we passed the hat for donations to help us get this crazy documentary finished and the audience politely filled our hat… uh… basket.

Later we went out for some Wisconsin sausage and beer, and gorged ourselves. It is amazing how well it feels like this first week went, and we all anxious and excited to do the second leg of the tour in November. But we are also in desperate need for time to recover. See you all again soon.


Tonight Chicago!: This should’ve been up yesterday. Arizona’s wifi is also criminal.

Yesterday we went to Mexico! TWICE! And we didn’t have any tequila or Mexican food. Which sucks because I hear it’s really good down there. But we didn’t have time for that because we had a tight schedule of finding out out exactly how fucked up the immigration policies are of Mexico and the U.S. (HINT: They are veeeeeeeeeery fucked up.) After spending yesterday in an American court room to see the result of crossing the “border” illegally, today we got to see how harrowing it is to make that trip in the first place. As you can see I put “border” in quotes, because after going to the “border” twice yesterday I can definitively say that it is not real. I looked and looked and there was no line anywhere to divide the two countries. There were check points and people with guns, but it is clear that this whole “border” thing was just made up to make some people’s lives unduly difficult and to make other people’s wallets unduly fat. Mission accomplished. The real part is the pain, the sorrow, the death and the injustice.

For more details check out presente.org and puenteaz.org.

We’ve gotten some great footage for the documentary and we’ve rubbed shoulders with some incredible CultureStrike people including Dream Hampton, Roberto Lovato, Elizabeth Mendez Berry, Rinku Sen, Jeff Chang, and even the legendary Maxine Hong Kingston. Special note: she doesn’t seem to enjoy having her shoulders rubbed. At least not by me.

Here’s our first bit of footage, featuring two typically arrogant Americans.

It has been an incredible trip overall and we feel truly honored to have been a part of it. We are even thinking about starting JokeStrike. All the knowledge is bubbling and fomenting in our brian pans and I’m sure the people of Chicago are in for some half baked observations that may only make it to funny by the time we get to Madison.

We are now on a plane to Chicago for our show tonight. We had three less than three hours of sleep and are all a little bit punchy. Before we went to sleep we called a cab to pick us up at 4:30am. And this morning at 4:30am it was no where to be seen. We called them back and the dispatcher told us, just because we make a reservation doesn’t mean a cab will show up. He said, “I can’t force them.” Which has led to a new slogan for Tucson tourism…

Tucson: Come for the oppressive policies towards undocumented workers and general level of racism toward all Latinos, and stay for the fact that you can’t get a fucking cab.

Maybe it’s a little wordy, but I think it gets the message across.

Also the wifi and cellphone service sucks.

Thanks for your support!

Kamau


1st show of #LATMTour is in the books… umm… camera.

It is almost midnight here in Phoenix and #LATMTour (That’s our hashtag if you roll Twitter style.) has had a great 1st show and day of filming. After some airport hijinks — We will get into that on another post. — we went straight from the Phoenix airport to interview Carlos Garcia of Puente AZ. He was super knowledgeable, committed, and patient with our tardiness. — Again we will get into that later.

Then the three of us sat down with the S and M Podcast which is the local comedy scene’s version of WTF with Marc Maron. And despite the fact that Nato and Kamau needed naps after that, we went straight to the show at Space 55, and it was great. It really felt very similar to the Bay Area shows. Kevin Gassman who interviewed Kamau on KWSS radio earlier this week was in the audience. Also Jeff Chang from CultureStrike was there, as was Steve MArek and Jaime Sanderson from the S and M podcast. We will be doing lots of stuff with CultureStrike in the next couple days, including taking a trip across the border to Mexico. That will be Kamau’s first trip.

We ended the evening eating a taco truck with Carlos, his wife, Janine’s girlfriend, her girlfriend’s friends and family, Jeff, Keri (our manager), Evan (our lone camera person). The truck had a sticker on it that basically certified it a safe place for all people to eat, documented and otherwise. Pretty intense stuff. And very delicious food. More soon. I’m about to pass out. Long day.

Oh yeah… Happy September 11th Day. Seriously, have a happy one. It won’t be easy.

 

Follow these people on Twitter

@puenteAZ
@zentronix (Jeff Chang)
@CaptPiggles (Steve Marek of The S and M Podcast)
@Kevingassman
@space55


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