A few Sundays ago, my wife and I went out for an entertainment event for the first time since the pandemic lockdowns began in March of 2020. We bought the tickets to see comedian Hasan Minhaj (of PATRIOT ACT show fame) months ago. It was the first time we’d been in a crowd of any size; there were undoubtedly thousands at this very restrictive (vaccination / negative covid test required and cellphones bagged) event at the Long Center across from Auditorium Shores here in Austin.
We both thoroughly enjoyed the show and Hasan’s very personal stories about becoming a father at the same time as he was becoming a social media comedic-activist-icon.
Besides hearing about the dangers to his family’s safety resulting from his work on his PATRIOT ACT show – particularly his fears concerning Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – he also described an incident from his childhood in 2002 that he says spurred his aspirations of becoming a comedian.
Hasan related his childhood experience of with an extreme body-builder fellow who wanted to convert to Islam and joined the Mosque that his family attended. He told of how obvious it was that this non-Muslim was an infiltrating law-enforcement provocateur who was trying to spur young Muslim kids into confessing to wanting to commit acts of terrorism. Hasan went on to describe the police and anti-terror task force descending on he and his friends after he (Hasan) decided to prank the obvious government shill … all of which convinced Hasan of the power of humor to strike back against those who would abuse their power and influence as this infiltrator (and so many more, as it turns out) had done.
He went so far as to show clips of the CNN news reports on these and other such FBI infiltration campaigns, including a report which specifically showed the body-builder agent~!
As someone who has reported for decades (with great concern for the implications for our country’s soul) about such FBI-entrapment efforts, this story was not surprising, and it made me very happy to know that someone directly effected by one of these ludicrous efforts had used it to turn his life towards a path of empowering himself and others against such discriminatory tyranny.
– SMiles Lewis
For more on these types of FBI entrampment cases, see the links below.
Raiders Of The Lost Archive – KUT’s ATXplained Covers the Mysterious Warehouse that is part of my fantastic Day-Job
Imagine my surprise driving to work the other morning and hearing a familiar refrain on the radio during KUT’s latest ATXplained project episode as they began to describe the warehouse in which I used to work in terms of the secret warehouse at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. It was a nice little audio episode but I was disappointed at not hearing them mention the portion of the facility that is a part of my day-job: The Talking Book Program. They focused on the front facing facility, State and Local Records Management, but ignored (at least in the audio portion of the program) our fantastic service’s circulation operations located in the back of the facility. Well, at least they mentioned us (and our space’s use in the opening scenes of the 2006 Mike Judge movie Idiocracy) in the online article.
There is another building next door, which houses the Texas Talking Book Program, a federally funded program that provides books on tape for people with visual impairments across the state. (It was also featured in one of the opening scenes of the 2006 Mike Judge movie Idiocracy.)
As we leave, I can’t help but think back to that Raiders scene when government officials squirrel away the Ark of the Covenant in a similarly expansive warehouse. Did we really see it all?
“Well, I don’t think we saw it all,” Eric joked. “Maybe four floors below here – they didn’t take us in. This is all a cover! All this we saw here … this is all just an elaborate ruse to cover up what’s in the basement. That’s my story.”
Saw José González and Bedouine at the Long Center last night!
Bedouine was great! Hadn’t heard her before…
José G is a fantastic acoustic guitar player… He didn’t say much between songs but acknowledged “Doomsday people cults” as inspiration for one of his songs. He played some great tunes and closed out his encore with Teardrop.
“Where José’s previous albums, “Veneer” and “In Our Nature,” might have sounded sparse and barren in parts, “Vestiges & Claws” has an altogether new feeling to it, at once warmer and darker than before. He talks about how he’s found inspiration in sprawling ’70s Brazilian productions, American folk rock and West African desert blues this time. And how he’s decided to waive the principle of having everything on the album reproducible in a live context.
Opening for José González is the Syrian musician Bedouine, touring to promote the release of her eponymous debut—sixties folk meets seventies country-funk with a glimmer of bossa nova cool. Sweeping and hypnotic with a nomadic heart, the music of L.A.-based Bedouine is impressionistic, with careful words and striking, cultural conviction.”
The Long Center and KUTX present José González plus Bedouine, Saturday, February 3 in Dell Hall. Read More ›
THE PATH: EVOLUTION; Special Premiere Austin Screening
Tuesday, Oct 18, 2016, 6:15 PM
The Moviehouse and Eatery 8300 N FM 620, Bldg B Austin, TX
22 Consciousness Explorers Attending
THE PATH: EVOLUTION Special Premiere Austin Screening with the ProducersHosted by INACS Tuesday, October 18th, 2016, 6:15–9 pmThe Moviehouse and Eatery 8300 N FM 620, Bldg B, Austin, TX 78726 After you enter, go to theater #3To attend, please register and pay…