Co-hosts Emmet and John plumb the depths of history, culture, and philosophy to understand why it is that despite calamities and rapid change nothing feels possible anymore. Guests include artists, scholars, and thinkers from all over the world.
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Episode 74: Welcome to the Desert of the Political ft. Anton Jager
Anton Jager sits down with Emmet to talk about how we moved from the post-political age of technocratic consensus to the noisy stasis of our current hyper-political present. They talk about whether the right and left descriptors handed down from French parliament hold today, politics as fandom, the death of political responsibility, and more!
How the World Went from Post-Politics to Hyper-Politics by Anton Jaegar, Tribune.
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Check out Emmet's new Substack, Nuclear Barbarians.
Closing Song: Parasocial Contract by Future Nauseous.
[teaser] The True and Only Heaven 9: The Spiritual Discipline Against Resentment
Emmet and John take on the ideas of Reinhold Niebuhr and his impact on neocons and MLK. Then they look at Lasch's interpretation of MLK's intellectual life and political career. They compare the Southern and Northern Civil Rights campaigns and contemplate the deadlock, in part created by King himself, left in his wake. They close by discussing resentment and its politics.
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Episode 73: American Canon: Joan Didion's "Insider Baseball" ft. Luke Thompson
Luke Thompson returns to talk with Emmet about Joan Didion, who recently passed. They focus on her essay "Insider Baseball," her coverage of the 1988 presidential primary season, and discuss the nature of American presidential campaigns, the campaign press, the nature of Didion's insights, what made 2016 so weird, and more!
Insider Baseball by Joan Didion.
Closing Song: "Journey to the Darkened Empires" by Forlorn Kingdom.
Episode 72: The Art of Forgetting
Emmet and Mike discuss medieval techniques of memory and forgetting. They discuss Cornelius Agrippa's assault on those techniques as an assault on the corrupted scholastic world. In Agrippa's thought we see the germs of modernity. The discuss opens up into a contemplation of ancient science and tech, the propaganda of the Enlightenment, the disciplining of the mind and the gaze, recovering tradition, and more.
Feel free to email or DM us for pdfs of the sources we used for this episode.
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Closing song: Habit Necessity by TAD.
[teaser] The True and Only Heaven 8: Work and Loyalty
Emmet and John work through questions of the democratization of work and culture in the era of mass production and mass culture. They also trace the relationship between cultural bohemians and elites with the workers' movement, including the forgotten legacy of Mabel Dodge Luhan. The close by talking about national loyalty, the repeat of debates from 100 years ago, another look at property as a political concern, and more!
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Episode 71: Closing Your Loop ft. Josh Bregman
Emmet and returning guest Josh Bregman sit down to talk about the movie Looper. They look back at what makes it such a successful film, but also what it captured about the year it was released, 2012. They talk about Mark Fisher, life before social media, "the slow cancellation of the future," what kind of interregnum we're in, and what Looper had to tell us about our future.
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Closing Song: Free Nation - Naked Raygun.
I started the podcast earlier this year while trying to better understand Lasch, and haven’t left since. Emmet is a great story teller and always allows his guests to speak and make their points. John is seemingly always sick, but his dry demeanor is quite enjoyable. Would (and have) recommended this one
Serious about ideas
This podcast continues to deliver accessible and compelling discussions about topics that don’t get enough attention from other shows. Both hosts are serious about ideas, but they never come off as elitist or obscure. I credit this show with helping open my eyes to the importance of nuclear energy in the transition away from fossil fuels.
Deeply insightful and approachable. Highly recommend the after virtue series (on the patreon feed)