The 90’s, episode 217: Life In The Grey Areas

Episode 217 of the award winning series, The 90's. This episode is called "LIFE IN THE GREY AREAS" and features the following segments:

00:55Copy video clip URL “Advice Ladies” by Skip Blumberg. Women who give advice on New York City streets warn us: “People are doing the wrong drugs. Instead of all the good drugs that they did in the ’60s they’re doing drugs that mess you up, like crack and heavier versions of crack. If people just changed their drugs, everything would be fine.”

1:49Copy video clip URL “Agribusiness” by Gary Glaser. A glimpse into a greenhouse full of cultivated marijuana plants with accompaniment from Neil Young: “Homegrown is a good thing/Homegrown is the way it should be.”

02:20Copy video clip URL “Wavy Gravy” by Pat Creadon. At Weedstock in Black River Falls, Wisconsin, Wavy Gravy, the perennial countercultural figure, speaks about legalizing marijuana. He says: “Let’s get real, herb should be legalized, I’m tired of my friends getting put away for smoking a little herb. Part of my spiritual life is smoking herb.” “The ’90s are the ’60s standing on their head.”

03:51Copy video clip URL “Indian Alley” by Jim Mulryan. Homeless, alcoholic Native Americans talk about their problems on the streets of Los Angeles. Conrad Hunter: “We drink so much, the thing is we’re losing each other…We sold our buffalo hide…just for the alcohol…It makes me feel real good. When I open the bottle. Drink…I don’t care about nobody but myself…but now when I’m kinda sober, I realize who’s hurting who. I’m hurting myself.”

07:56Copy video clip URL “Gray Area III: Rhythm and Form” by Gregory Anthon. To the beat of drums, black and white graphics flash across the screen and develop into photographs superimposed upon each other – a collage of humanity.

09:08Copy video clip URL “Rev. Calvin O. Butts” by Esti Galili Marpet. Rev. Butts speaks: “The politicians really have no concern about the people of the United States of America…The only concern is with the dollar…If they can exploit America in this process they will…There really is no love for the children of this country…I think it’s a cruel hoax and I think it’s deception… It really approaches evil…The infrastructure of America is weakening, so we become vulnerable to our enemies. And the captains of industry and commerce will just go wherever they can to make their quick cash. ”

10:55Copy video clip URL “Bob Mustang on Capitalism” by Russ Miller. With the American flag sailing at his back, Bob Mustang performs a satirical monologue on the free-market system: “I’m Bob Mustang and I’m a capitalist. I’m talking about hands-off deregulation…It’s the gold. It’s the girls. It ‘s the wealth of nations…Adam Smith, a Scottish guy. We’re listening to a Scottish guy!?…Government. Get that government off my back. Get ’em off. Bob is trying to do some business…Essentially the rich get richer, the poor get poorer…Oh, don’t worry. The middle class. We’re the biggest company in America. Spill a little oil, it’s alright, we’ll bend over and pay for you. We’ll pay…Hey. the S&L’s break…Don’t worry, we’ll pay…We got plenty of money. We’ll take it. Bend over, we’ll take it – give it to me…Marijuana is a big cash crop…We don’t want to legalize it. It would mess up what? Capitalism…If you legalize that price will drive you right down. That’s the framework in which we operate here.”

15:52Copy video clip URL “Street Drugs” (AKA Father Bill Davis / Christic Institute) by Eddie Becker. Father Bill Davis spent the last ten years in a poor, drug-infested neighborhood a stone’s throw away from the nation’s capital in Washington D.C. He’s outraged at the government’s “war on drugs.” Davis comments that “It’s just a PR campaign… how can we purport to have a major war on drugs when foreign policy supports drug cartels?” He is convinced that drugs are only part of the problem – unemployment, housing conditions and hunger are the real issues. “People who have very few choices in their lives are told to say no,” he says.

19:00Copy video clip URL Richard Dennis, chairman, Advisory Board Drug Policy Foundation, speaks: “The current drug policy is doing kids a disservice…it’s saying that all drugs are the same and it’s setting up kids to have endless doubts about what authority figures say and if they can be trusted. Minority neighborhoods are being used as staging zones for drug warriors to attack dealers in order to protect people in the suburbs from themselves…the War on Drugs is regressive.”

20:07Copy video clip URL “Dope Dealer” by Allah’s Army, The Empowerment Project/Portiflex Media Center. An anti-drug rap performed by little kids and a few adults.

23:27Copy video clip URL “Tom McKean” by Joel Cohen. Ex-cocaine addict McKean does open line radio and talks to school kids in Chicago’s inner city about how to avoid peer pressure and drug use. He says that “government is not the answer, prison is not the answer, rehabilitation is the answer…The reason we do drugs is because we live fast-paced lives and we have needs and we don’t know what to do…Kids need to be loved off drugs.”

27:25Copy video clip URL “Weird Amsterdam” by Charles Gatewood. A comedic monologue about the culture of Amsterdam.

31:39Copy video clip URL More from “Wavy Gravy.” Gravy tells us of his dislike for cocaine.

32:18Copy video clip URL “Crackfish” by Byte By Byte. Computer-generated fish are blown up. PSA warns: “Crack gets you out of school. Permanently.”

32:06Copy video clip URL “Spraypaint” by Nick Gorski. Artist Scott Williams cuts out the dark parts of photos and spray paints over the stencil. Stephen Barr, video producer and agent, “His art is really what popular art should be. Why does that Geisha Girl have a kimono over the Elvis Presley image? That’s making the biggest pop cultural statement you can make, because Elvis Presley is the ultimate American icon and Japan – we have this stereotype of Japan – with this culture that’s thousands of years old versus this American pop culture. They just collide into this surreal accident.”

38:11Copy video clip URL “Bombing Los Angeles” by Gary Glaser. Kids talk about their graffiti art and the police harassment they deal with. During filming, an angry owner tries to get them off his property and a debate ensues, culminat ing in the classic rebuttal, “If you think it’s artwork, do it on your own house and see what your father does.”

43:40Copy video clip URL More from “Gray Area III.”

42:24Copy video clip URL “Robert Sundance” by Jim Mulryan. Robert Sundance on the DTs, “I didn’t know if you cut yourself off from booze, you’d get withdrawls, which is the DTs…It was a horrible experience. After you go through them 50 or 100 times you kinda know what to expect.” He goes on to say that the secret to success for the Native American Indian is sobriety. Only then will the Native American be able to rightfully control his affairs. “We should be getting something out of all our natural resources which are being stolen from us. The federal government doesn’t want that to happen. So alcoholism for American Indians is a conspiracy between the United States of America and the giant multinational corporations who want to get into the treaty lands and exploit the resources. The genocide of today is alcoholism.”

47:00Copy video clip URL “Ain’t Gonna Pee in the Cup” by Bianca Miller. A comical, anti-drug testing music video.

49:15Copy video clip URL “Captain Ed” by Chuck Cirino. Captain Ed takes us through a tour of his head shop in Los Angeles. As the camera pans a selection of bongs and other paraphernalia, Ed says, “These are the things that they want me to stop carrying. We’ve been an honorable business, we’re under the gun. My business shouldn’t be harassed.” In the black light room Ed talks about voting, “If Byrne votes in 1992, they’ll give us what we want the next time around…If you don’t use it, you’re gonna lose it…If we vote, they’ll be on our list.”

53:49Copy video clip URL “Portrait of a Modern Day Minstrel” by Douglas Lunsford. Michael Stanley Rizza plays the Dobro guitar and sings on a couch in an oil field.

56:33Copy video clip URL Joe Cummings reads Viewer Mail under the end credits. “Yes, good news, PBS has scheduled The 90’s in prime time starting in April.”

58:33Copy video clip URL Promo for The 90’s.



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