The commentary on the commentary on the Left, including articles in the latest issue of the Platypus Review.
Ep. 32: On Brad Troemel, and Art & the Capitalist State
In this special episode of SPS, we discuss Joe Biden's inauguration and the relationship between Art and the capitalist state. Professional creative artists are facing unemployment at rates well above the national average. We take up the proposals for WPA-style intervention, a Ministry of Culture, and a White House Office for Culture. In the second half, we consider the artist Brad Troemel and his attempt to reinterpret “Liberal Cringe” into meme art.
Images and videos for this episode can be found at: https://caesuramag.org/montezsps01292021
SPS is a production of the Platypus Affiliated Society, more at: https://platypus1917.org/
Links for this episode:
Alison Hewitt Ward, 2010, RIP Art Trump
Letter of resignation from the President's Committee on the Arts & the Humanities (2017)
Chris Cutrone, 2010, What was postmodernism? -- Habermas’s critique
An incomplete project? Art and politics after postmodernism
Platypus Art & Politics syllabus
Brad Troemel, Patreon
Barbra Kruger’s Selfridges campaign in London with Behance,
Ryan Long, 2020, When Wokes and Racists Actually Agree on Everything
Jason Farago, "The Arts Are in Crisis. Here’s How Biden Can Help," New York Times
Susan Buck-Morss, response to Visual culture questionnaire (1996)
Efraim Carlebach, “Forgetting Mark Fisher” Platypus Review 115 (April 2019)
Original tracks by Tamas Vilaghy
Hosted by Sophia F. and Pamela N.
Ep. 31: On Social Media Censorship & Left Responses to the Terror Attacks
In the latest episode of the cancel culture saga, social media companies have taken into their own hands to censor content. Trump’s tweets, Zero Book’s videos, & Brad Troemel’s memes, have all been subject to the policing eye of so-called “fact checkers.” In the first part of this episode, Laurie joins Pamela to discuss the new wave of censorship under our Silicon Valley dystopia and the realignment of liberals in the Age of Trump.
In the second part of the episode, we focus on how the German-speaking Left has responded to the recent terror attacks in France and Austria. Our European Correspondent, Andreas, joins Sophia and Pamela to discuss the responses by the anti-imperialist left, featuring Der Funke, the Austrian faction of the International Marxist Tendency (IMT) and Marx 21 in Germany. Second, Andreas interviews Michael Fischer, an Austrian anti-fascist and recent contributor to the anti-German publication Bahamas. Fischer presents his critique of political islam and his thoughts on the anti-imperialist left today. Finally, Frankfurt Platypus member, Jan Schroeder joins us to reflect on the trajectory of the anti-German Left, from its origins through its opposition to the Balkan Wars and support for American intervention in the Gulf, and their present iteration as defenders of “class politics”.
Brad Troemel’s Biden-Clinton meme
Glenn Greewald, “Instagram is Using False “Fact-Checking” to Protect Joe Biden’s Crime Record From Criticisms” (December 2020)
Pamela C. Nogales C., “The Cancel Wars: The Legacy of the Cultural Turn in the Age of Trump” (Platypus Review, November 2020)
Laurie Rojas, “The Culture Wars in the Age of Trump” (Platypus Review, November 2020)
Der Funke, “Wien: Gegen Terror und nationale Einheit” (November 2020)
Marx 21, “Frankreich: Muslime unter Generalverdacht” (November 2020)
Efraim Carlbach, “The Unchanging Core of Marxism: Interview with Ian Birchall” (Platypus Review, December 2017 – January 2018)
Spartacist League, "Down with the Islamic Reaction! For Workers Revolution in Iran! A Special Issue on Iran" (Women and Revolution, Fall 1979)
Michael Fischer, “Die neue Rassenlehre: Moderne Rassenideologie im antirassistischen Gewand” (Bahamas 85 / 2020)
Jan Schroeder, “Althusser’s Marxism” (July–August 2019)
Jan Gerber, panelist on the “Crisis Of Neoliberalism” panel at the Platypus German Conference (January 2020) (in German)
SPS Reflections on the 2020 German Conference can be found here:
Hosted by Pamela N., Sophia F.
with European Correspondent, Andreas W.
music by Tamas Vilaghy
Ep. 30: The Left After the Election 2020
***U.S. election special***
On this episode Pamela and Sophia catch up with Conrad Cartmell (Class Unity caucus, DSA), Mara Henao & Kaitlin Buck (Philly Socialists) and Benjamin Studebaker (British Academic Union) to reflect upon the Left under Trump - and what lies ahead under a Biden administration.
This episode contributes to a larger body of work by the Platypus Affiliated Society, attempting to make sense of the Left’s reaction to the changing political reality. A panel event, with a similar topic was recently held at George Mason University(1).
Be sure to follow us on social media. On Instagram were ‘shitplatypussays’, and on Twitter: ‘platypussays’. Visit us on Facebook under the Platypus Affiliated Society or visit www.platypus1917.org.
If you like the podcast, share it, rate it, and write us a review!
(1) Platypus Panel, held at George Mason University: "The Future after the Election: What's Left?": https://youtu.be/7SPBRSfqB5Q
(2) Beyond the Vote: Base-Building for Class Independence in Philadelphia: https://regenerationmag.org/beyond-the-vote-base-building-for-class-independence-in-philadelphia/
(3) This Time Isn’t Different: DSA leadership should shut up about supporting Joe Biden, Class Unity: https://classunity.org/this-time-isnt-different-dsa-leadership-should-shut-up-about-supporting-joe-biden/
Hosted by Pamela C., Sophia F., with editing assistance by Michael W. Music by Tamas Vilaghy.
Ep 29: On the US Election 2020 & the EU's Migrant Crisis
Pamela Nogales and Sophia Freeman discuss the shaming of black celebrities who dare to question the black loyalty to the Democratic Party. In particular we address the Left’s reception to Ice Cube’s ‘Contract for Black America,’ proposed to both the Democratic and Republican parties. Pamela sits down with Chris Cutrone to discuss what another four years of Trump--or Biden--might mean for the Left. In the last segment Sophia catches up with our new EU Correspondent, Andreas Wintersperger, to discuss the Left’s response to the on-going migrant crisis and their reaction to the recent fires that have destroyed large migrant camps in Greece.
(1) West Coast Platypus election watch party, Tuesday Nov 3, starting at 7:00pm Pacific time: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMrcuCvrTsjHtaNlh1UVGprn63LKqpSuV-K
(2) Chris Cutrone, Marxism in the Age of Trump, Articles from the Platypus Review 2015 – 2017: https://www.amazon.com/Marxism-Age-Trump-Articles-2015-2017/dp/0996206132
(3) Efraim Carlebach, Returning to Marxism in the Age of Trump, 2020: https://platypus1917.org/2020/11/01/returning-to-marxism-in-the-age-of-trump-in-2020/
Hosted by Pamela N., & Sophia F., with editing help from Michael W.
Music by Tamas Vilaghy
Ep. 28: On Cuties, Polanski & the "Pope of Marxism"
In this episode of SPS, Sophia and Pamela discuss the moral panic surrounding Netflix's new film, Cuties (2020), and take up the responses by Spiked Online and Jacobin magazine. Platypus members Marco Torres and David Faes join us to reflect on Polanski's critically-acclaimed J'Accuse (2019)and how it speaks to the present. In the final segment, Sophia interviews Jack Conrad from the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB). They consider how the 'Left' uses and abuses Karl Kautsky's legacy in order to avoid Kautsky's Marxism and discuss what the CPGB is up to.
If you want to learn more about Platypus, and get involved, read the Platypus review, visit us on Facebook under the Platypus Affiliated Society or visit www.platypus1917.org. You can follow us on Instagram: ShitPlatypusSays, and on Twitter: @PlatypusSays. If you like the podcast, share it, rate it, and write us a review.
(0) Theodor W. Adorno, "Sexual Taboos and the Law Today" (1963)
(1) Brendan O'Neill, Cuties Review
(2) Eileen Jones, Cuties Review
(3) The Spartacist League on Polanski, “Stop the Puritan Witchhunt Against Roman Polanski!” printed in the Workers Vanguard, No. 192, 10 February 1978
(4) Platypus' 'Kautsky in the 21st Century' Panel (2020) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aL2TWNd1ntc
(5) Communist Party of Great Britain's website
(6) The CPGB's Weekly Worker website
(7) The CPGB's Communist University 2020
Hosted by Pamela C., Sophia F., with editing assistance by Michael Woodson, Audrey Crescenti and music from Tamas Vilaghy.
Ep. 27: On Jon Rafman, Police Brutality & the Left, and an interview with Joshua Citarella
Pamela Nogales, Sophia Freeman and Laurie Rojas discuss the call to cancel artist, Jon Rafman, and the revenge campaign led by the @surviving_the_artworld instagram account and break down the anti-sex and anti-art impulses of the culture industry. Pamela & Sophia sit down with Platypus members, Ethan Kaimana (U. Penn) and Will Lushbaugh (San Francisco State), two organizers behind the recent panel, "Police Brutality and the Left," with speakers Andrea Pritchett (Berkeley Copwatch), Conrad Cartmell (Democratic Socialists of America), Larry Holmes (Workers World Party) and Gerald Smith (a former member of the Black Panther Party and the Spartacist League and current member of the Oscar Grant committee). We listen to clips from the panel recording and give our impression of the conversation.
In the last segment Pamela & Sophia talk with Joshua Citarella, an artist and cultural thinker whose books, Politigram & the Post-left (2018) and his most recent book, 20 Interviews (2020) offer an in-depth survey of young political spaces online, including interviews with Zoomers that provide and insight into the trajectory of their political education. We sit down with Joshua to discuss what motivates his work and his critique of the millennial generation.
(1) Police Brutality and the Left, a panel discussion by the Platypus Affiliated Society
In the wake of the killing of George Floyd by police, against the backdrop of the covid shutdown, protests have erupted in every state across America raising the issue of police brutality. The relationship of the Left to these protests, however, has been unclear. Following disappointment with the Bernie Sanders campaign and the nomination of Joe Biden, the Left has sought to politicize the protests and police brutality in different ways. How can the Left address police brutality today? How has it sought to do so in the past? What is the role of the Left in the current moment?
(2) Joshua Citarella
Find 20 Interviews: https://www.patreon.com/joshuacitarella
Customer ReviewsSee All
This is a great monthly podcast with penetrating commentary and interviews on topics timely and untimely.