This week, the show was unfortunately not broadcast over the airwaves (damn you, CIA!), so no call-ins, except people telling me I’m inaudible. But, I lay out my notes on the New Paradigm, as I’m calling it here, and outlining some traits and strategies that I think will be helpful for us. The beginning was not recorded, sadly, and the end got cut off too, so you’ll have to wait for a more complete presentation. Look for the show notes as an article published on SpeakingBroadlyShow.com as well.
On this week’s show, I was joined by Dr. Elizabeth Knapp of Hood College in Frederick, Maryland (faculty page). I learned of her only a few days ago, upon seizing on the idea that Baudrillard is, properly speaking, a poet, a not a philosopher as such. Searching for “Baudrillard is a poet,” I stumbled on Dr. Knapp’s new collection, Requiem With an Amulet in its Beak, which has won the fittingly named Jean Feldman Poetry Prize for 2019. Her poems reference Baudrillard directly and indirectly, consciously and (perhaps) in some other way. As an example, here is
Today, I read of scientists’ warnings
about the potential dangers of sex
robots and thought of you. Some blame
the rise of right-wing populism
on postmodern windbags like you, holed
up in your university office, giving head
to your shadow. But Jean, you were right—
we are living in the desert of the real,
where signs metastasize like cancer cells,
and who hasn’t felt the Foucauldian
grip around her wrists, her ankles?
Even desire a simulacrum of itself.
I drowned in you as if in a frozen lake,
but either I or the lake was dreaming.
We tackle some of the themes from this poem, and more, as we discuss Jean Baudrillard’s prophetic and poetic prose, and the place of poetry in our discursively hectic world.
On this week’s show, I talk headlines: the OK boomer meme. I reference a 25 year old politician who responds to criticism with “OK Boomer,” talk about the escalating climate crisis, and talk about the quickly moving front of corporate Orwellian totalitarianism.
In the second half, I articulate my research project, which has us exploring culture, innovating with expression, and plumbing the depths of intergenerational trauma.
On this show, I plan to talk about world events and wind up laying down some of my philosophy of history and get sidetracked in a million nuances and side-plots. That’s the beauty of improvisational radio! I dub this the year of “World Revolution,” following Wallerstein’s analysis of 1986 as such in his essay “1968, Revolution in the world-system. I look at the bubbling conflicts in Hong Kong, with the Uighurs, and in Chile, and discuss why revolution hasn’t broken out in United States. A learned listener calls in and we discuss the slave trade and indigenous people in South America at length. I remain ignorant about many things, but I don’t claim to speak definitively on them, either.
I’m starting an open-source think tank, if you want to get involved message me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or anywhere else, and describe your interest and/or skills
Dr. Lindsay and I discuss the importance of getting students (or anyone we are engaging with) to be motivated to learn more about the subject, not simply to fill their heads with what we want them to think. We talk about the persona that a professor puts on to teach, and more dynamics that go into making a good classroom. I think that Dr. Lindsay’s ideas apply to our attempts to educate each other as well, and so their relevance extends far beyond the classroom into daily questions of motivation and conversational strategy.
On this episode, I deliver the second part of my theory on abolition as it brings together “identity politics” in its highest forms, the movements to abolish race and gender. I show how these movements lead naturally, if uneasily, to the Marxist project of proletarian self-abolition, whereby the proletariat destroys itself, and all other classes, it its coming to exist for itself as a class.
This paradoxical notion leads us to Nagarjuna, who 1500 years before Marx was already working through the problem of mounting a global movement of awakening (Bodhicitta or the Buddhist project of eliminating suffering in all sentient beings) while not believing in categories. Nagarjuna was an early anti-essentialist and also shows there is nothing European about questioning essentialism.
Lastly, we turn to Baudrillard for his own views on abolition (of the distinction between life and death), and his own blend of imminent uptopianism. True revolutionaries “speak of the world as non-separated,” and these sense informs all transpolitical activity.
Stay tuned! Next week I’ll be interviewing Dr. Peter Lindsay of GSU, and I’m sure we will have another episode soon on this abolition business.
I’m going solo this week to share with you the fruits of a book I got at the Radical Book Fair: “What Is Gender Nihilism?” I draw on essays by “Nihilist Women,” Monique Witting, Noel Ignatiev, Laboria Cuboniks, and more as I delve into gender nihilism, which means the denial that gender is a properly existent entity. The effects of its perception are not denied.
This opens the conversation onto gender abolition, which immediately brings along race abolition and tends toward class abolition. Thus, we have great cause to discuss abolishing whiteness, abolishing gender, and how they fit into the proletarian project of self-negation.
This is only part one, because next week we have a couple more essays from the reader to get to, and then citations by Marx, Debord, Baudrillard, and Nagarjuna to round out the analysis. Because we are not just satisfied with funneling identity politics into Marxism; it remains to be seen how Marxism is an identity politics and remains to be transformed by an encounter with Buddhism (Nagarjuna) and Baudrillard.
On this week’s episode, I’m joined by Chris Gabriel of the Meme Analysis YouTube channel. In his work, he applies the theory of Carl Jung, Wilhelm Reich, and William S Burroughs, among others, to the study of memes and their import for today’s “society.”
We dive into Ultra-Instinct Shaggy, the role of 4chan in meme culture, and tips and tricks for those looking to become meme lords, or at least gain a foothold into this uproarious and fascinating aspect of modern society,
On this week’s show, we are lucky enough to have Zummi come back and try to explain the relevance of the arcane knowledge which is part of the r/SorceryOfTheSpectacle research paradigm, and how even everyday people can find an inroad into this deep dive on symbolism, language, technology, and politics.
A caller calls in to say that Zummi was “excellent,” and talked about her own practice of “self-parenting.” The upshot of Zummi’s analysis is that whatever task we have in front of us, we will be held back by our relationship to language and concepts as long as we aren’t aware of the long history that got us to the present age of hyper-specific terminology. He explains how this change to “voidal” language (which can be grasped by thinking about the relatively recent invention of the concept of zero) is part of the origin of the relentless internal monologue that we all experience, even if we are too ashamed or afraid to share this experience.
So, if you’re trying to understand what all the talk these days about narratives and frameworks is all about, or if you’re wondering how to take the arcane madness in your mind and be able to talk about it in meatspace, this conversation will hopefully be a great resource!