Lethal Theories

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.

“I came not to bring peace, but a sword.”

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.

Storming the Bastille

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.

 

We need new myths, or, becoming Rambo Gizmo

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.

Domino Theory

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.

The Leadership Minor

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.

All Hail the Orb Queen

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.

The Worstest Generation?

The Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) like to take credit for ending the Vietnam War and Nixon Administration and civilizing the United States through their work in the women’s and environmental movements in the 1970s. A more complete and historical analysis, though, tells the story of this “generation of sociopaths,” according to writer Bruce Gibney, who argues that this uniquely narcissistic and short-sighted nature is responsible for the social and economic policies that have brought our nation and planet to the brink of collapse. Amos and Ex discuss–let the Oedipal jokes fly, haters–connecting the Boomers to neoliberal economics, climate change, our crumbling of public infrastructure and education system, and the dismantling of social solidarity and American democracy generally.

 

Joe Biden is not your friend

Consider this long public record: opposition to bussing for the purpose of school desegregation, votes in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act and the Iraq War, longstanding approval of the Hyde amendment outlawing use of public funds for anything resembling abortion services, and staunch support for the financial industry that continues to concentrate wealth and power in the hands of fewer Americans…. Southern conservative, right? Nope. That’s the legacy of “Uncle” Joe Biden, who, if this record were not enough to disqualify him from the democratic nomination for president, is also a rather handsy guy. Today Amos and Ex discuss the wide variety of reasons why voters can and must send Joe back to Delaware sooner rather than later.