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.

The Debate of the Century (LET027)

After starting with a new report on the cheaper-than-the-current-system cost of Medicare for All, Amos and Ex discuss the “inevitability” of a Bernie nomination (Joe Biden and the DNC notwithstanding), polling, and upstart oldster Mike Gravel. Also addressed are Noam Chomsky’s take on Donald Trump and the so-called “debate of the century” between Slavoj Zizek and Jordan Peterson.

Progressive politics as Hawking radiation (LET026)

Black holes. They’re everywhere. Especially Washington. Perhaps this is why so many good ideas go there never to return: universal health care, Net Neutrality, higher minimum wage, free public college, and so on. And now we have an actual picture of a black hole. Having recently lost a previous episode to the ether, Amos and Ex approach the event horizon of the future by chatting about campaign polling, the ecosystem under our feet, Greil Marcus, and the sucking hole that is the American university.

Beto O’Rourke is not what he owns (LET025)

Russian time travel? Mushrooms on Mars? What reality is this? Amos and Ex discuss. And speaking of fantasy, we also riff on the so-called “punk” presidential campaign of Beto O’Rourke and how his name-dropping of groups like Fugazi in the media marks a potentially dangerous move by the Democrats to “aestheticize politics” (to quote Walter Benjamin) when what we need today is to politicize art.

LET020

Are you ready for a brand new beat? Summer’s not yet here, but Amos and Ex are talking the evolution of pop music from often radical to largely benign and the significance of Bernie Sanders’s announcement of a second presidential campaign. Other topics include labor organizing in North Dakota and elsewhere, gas fracking, and the power of public opinion in American politics.