Los Altos Institute is a non-profit socialist think tank based on North-Central British Columbia. We oppose intellectual property rights and so, consequently, we make the audio content of our online courses available for download for free.
Learn about identity politics, economics, popular culture and a host of other themes on which we teach right here.
Trailer Park Boys Course - Episode #11: Stealing barbecues and role model discourse
In Where the Fuck is Randy's Barbecue, Ricky is presented as a role model for a junior achievers' group. Again leaning on examples from and similarities to Black America, the lecture discusses the paradox of the role model figure in a community of oppressed people.
Trailer Park Boys Course - Episode #10: Race and Identity in the Park (Detroit Velvet Smooth from Moncton)
This is a longer class and more heavily edited than usual because it includes a pre-class discussion that the instructor entered the middle of at the start of the hour that had to be relocated and shorn of its most controversial/offensive material. Similarly, more material is redacted than usual as it includes biographical information about course participants and in personal anecdotes by participants and the instructor. Why so many problems and such a long class? Because Trailer Park Boys and LAI's students have important and smart things to say about race and identity.
Trailer Park Boys Course - Episode #09 - The Microuniverse of Sunnyvale Trailer Park
This course examines ideas of space, place and neighbourliness in Trailer Park Boys, including an abbreviated explanation of the rise of the concept of the neighbour in early modernity and an exploration of how the nature of trailer park space circumscribes the lives of its residents.
Trailer Park Boys Course - Episode #08: Substance Use and Addiction in Trailer Park Boys
This episode features some background information on theories of addiction, as well as some great anecdotes. The main body of the episode is a look at the ambivalence and complexity with which addiction and substance use are handled in the show.
Trailer Park Boys Course - Episode #07: Calvinism and Hyperreality meet in Sunnyvale
Like other classes, this follows the format of a 30-minute lecture, followed by a somewhat redacted (and consequently disjointed) question and answer session. We revisit Calvinism, via the work of Max Weber, in explaining why models of fated salvation make people work harder than models of earned salvation. We then use Jean Baudrillard's idea of hyperreality to illustrate Ray's epitomization of the Calvinist ethic through insurance fraud. In the Q&A, there is an informative discussion that touches a fair bit on CS Lewis and Mormonism.
Trailer Park Boys Course - Episode #06: Gender and Sexuality in Trailer Park Boys
Once again, there is a lecture, followed by a wide-ranging discussion about working class social conservatism and consequent views about marriage, homosexuality and trans identities.