As Brian returns from Boston, the gents talk about eastern North Dakota’s own “Yankeedom.” Also discussed are all things Turkey: Paul of Tarsus, Kojin Karatani’s theory of “isonomia,” and Kurdistan as both the seat of this century’s decentralized model of political organization and the source of a new theology. Why? Because as with the Christian Church, it’s unlikely that the nation-state will make it out of this century without a similarly egalitarian and decentralized pivot left.
We’ve already called for the disenfranchising of the Boomers, so why not Generations X and Y as well? As Greta Thurnberg and her allies demonstrate, only the current generation of high schoolers and activist teens (e.g., Parkland, Florida’s, Emma Gonzalez) really matters. Everyone else is just in the way, yours truly included. Plus: Standing Rock, Occupy, decentralized organizing, and critiquing the humanitarian-industrial complex.
Rough week. Jair Bolsonaro burns the Amazon to the ground and Boris Johnson suspends Parliament. The acceleration is accelerating. As A&E are almost literally speechless in terms of how to respond to these events, this be a shorter episode. Good thing Greta Thurnberg is on her way to the U.S., offering us a smidge of hope. Also, Jeremy Corbin, Bernie’s Green New Deal, and Extinction Rebellion.
Amos and Ex go all IDF-after-reading-Deleuze and spend the hour discussing the Left’s failure to weaponize its own critical/cultural/media theory. But guess who has instrumentalized this stuff since at least the 1990s? The Right. Put another way, we came up with the ideas–rhizomes, psychoanalytic criticism, the hyperreal, the propaganda model, and encoding/decoding–but News Corporation, Facebook, the military, and the American President put it to use in ways not even the Left attempted to do, to the world’s detriment. But possible ways out of this conundrum include not only taking our own theory seriously, but self-produced projects like Chappo and Red Scare.
Cleansing the Temple: as it was with Jesus so it may be with Pres. Bernie. But if so, who’s this moment’s John the Baptist? Marianne, duh. And Andrew Yang is this new Church’s Peter–the Rock–right? As the second democratic debate in July demonstrated, the “theological” angle to the current crop of candidates is emerging in interesting ways, argue Amos and Ex. Plus: Toni Morrison and Abdullah Ocalon.
Look, we all know that this whole Area 51 takeover thing is just a trial run for an actual attempt at organizing en masse and fundamentally changing society in productive and collective ways. The Lord’s Work, really. So just lean into it, okay? Also discussed: Mekons, memes-as-discourse, and how the commitment to an idea–even an unpopular or allegedly “irrational” one–can become powerful and transformative in moments of unrest.
In the face of ecological collapse, which is bound to be interpreted in messianic and otherwise theological ways, it makes sense to envision a way out through the creation of a new mythology. For as we have seen in examples such as caged children at the border, the industry-made opioid crisis, and capitalism’s commodification of human life, we’re still living in what can only be described as a primitive era. So let’s reimagine the civilized future we want for ourselves–which just might serve as the basis for a new storytelling–and bring the story to life.
Abortion. The (Christian) Right has for decades made restricting reproductive rights the core of its increasingly militant mission. But why this issue above all? Theology aside, it is because they recognize that controlling not only women’s autonomy but their access to health care services is the key to preventing the fall of all the subsequent dominoes the Right fears, such as Medicare for All, fighting income inequality, greater access to education, real climate activism, and on and on. Amos and Ex discuss.
Where is the leadership on climate change? And why do most of the leaders so-called of our western institutions seem incapable of actually leading anything productive and progressive at scale? After hearing a brief statement on ecology by Slavoj Zizek, Amos and Ex discuss the emergence of “leadership” as its own discipline–or perhaps historical artifact–in so many universities at a time when actual leadership seems to be on the decline, at least among the political class, on the most pressing issues of the era.
Admit it–you know you want to vote for Marianne Williamson. And you can! That is, unless our increasingly un-patriotic anti-society devolves into a balkanized pseudo-state first. Oh, and climate change. Amos and Ex discuss all of this–the Orb Queen, patriotism, and the Right’s increasingly insurrectionary behavior–on the eve of Independence Day 2019.