Manufacturing Dissent Since 1996
New interviews throughout the week
1003andrewhartman

It's a good thing if more and more people are moving to the left, especially those who might 10 or 20 years ago voted for centrist Democrats. In that way, I welcome polarization, but I think we need a clearly defined polarization that takes into account class division, and seeks common ground on some of the culture war issues, or at least seeks to put those issues secondary, as we try to go back to a 99% vs 1% division. To me that's the number one priority.

Historian Andrew Hartman visits the new Trump front of American culture wars of the 1980s and 90s (and 60s and 70s) - as longstanding divisions around class and identity remap themselves onto a new cultural and economic landscape in the decade after the 2008 financial crash, and increasing polarization presents both a challenge and an opportunity for the left.

Andrew wrote the article The Culture Wars are Dead: Long live the culture wars! for The Baffler.

 


Episode 916

Out Of Office Message

Sep 3 2016
Posted by Alexander Jerri
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Listen live from 9AM - 10:30AM Central on WNUR 89.3FM / stream at www.thisishell.com / subscribe to the podcast

 

9:05 - Author John K. Wilson looks for meaning from the mouth of Donald Trump.

John is author of the new book Trump Unveiled: Exposing the Bigoted Billionaire from OR Books.

 

9:45 - Live from São Paulo, Brian Mier conducts a post-mortem on democracy in Brazil.

Brian is an editor for Brasilwire and has been reporting on politics in Brazil for This is Hell! since 2014.

Episode 915

Street View

Aug 27 2016
Posted by Alexander Jerri

THE MOMENT OF TRUTH

The thirst that is the drink.

"A long long time ago. I can still remember how that music used to make me smile." Don MacLean, singer/songwriter who penned the hit song "American Pie," knew that if he had his chance he could make people dance. So they might be happy for a while. Normally they were sad. It was, after all, February, 1959, and the newspapers had nothing but bad news in them. Not exactly sure what MacLean had to complain about other than the cold. The Cuban Revolution had just happened, ousting dictator Fulgencio Batista, which caused US-based mobster Meyer Lansky to flee Havana for the Bahamas. At least at that moment, the future of Cuba looked bright.

Down in North Carolina, four students had just staged the first Civil Rights sit-in at a whites-only lunch counter. Pope John the XXIII inaugurated Vatican II, the radical refocus of the church toward human rights and the needs of the poor, which has since been undone. Only now, 40-some years later, with the accession of Pope Francis, is the Catholic church beginning to bring itself back on course. True, the South Vietnamese government had used intimidation, bolstered by almost a billion dollars in US aid, to stage an election victory, but that should have come as good news to the white, innocent US citizens of the late 1950s.

Oh, that's right. Buddy Holly was killed in a plane crash. That was the bad news on the doorstep. That was the day the music died. It's worth noting that Buddy Holly himself chartered the plane, on which Ritchie Valens, rock 'n roll's first Latin crossover hit-maker, also died. And that's racist.

But I won't debate Buddy Holly's racist assassination of Ritchie Valens here. The man did a lot for white coolness. Elvis Costello would have had to dress in a denim shirt and cowboy boots on the cover of My Aim Is True if it hadn't been for him. Holly also helped launch the career of country music legend Waylon Jennings, all the while penning rock 'n roll standards that would give George Thorogood material to fatten up his albums.

The Book of Love and faith in God and the Bible were the values we lost that day, according to MacLean. He was a lonely teenage broncin' buck, but he was shit out of luck when that plane went down. I mean, his girl was dancing to R&B in the gym with another guy. Black music was just beginning its reign of terror.

Don MacLean said goodbye to those quintessentially American... read more

Posted by Alexander Jerri

On This Day in Rotten History...

On this day in the year 410 – (1,606 years ago) – the city of Rome was occupied and sacked by a foreign army for the first time in almost eight hundred years. Alaric, king of the invading Visigoths, had previously fought alongside the Romans, losing thousands of his men in battle, but then had grown disenchanted with Roman rule. After leading raids and blockades through Greece and Italy, he and his troops laid seige to Rome and sacked the city. Then they moved southward down the Italian peninsula, reaching the town of Cosentia, now known as Cosenza, where Alaric suddenly died of a fever. Legend has it that his troops built a dam to divert the Busento River, buried their dead commander in the river bed with a pile of his Roman loot, then removed the dam, returning the river to its original course. Sixteen centuries later, Italian archaeologists armed with ground-penetrating radar and other high-tech gear are still searching the river for Alaric and his buried treasure.

On this date in 1883 – (133 years ago) – after a long series of increasingly severe tremors and eruptions, the volcanic island of Krakatoa in the Dutch East Indies (now known as Indonesia) finally collapsed in the most powerful explosion in recorded history. Four times as powerful as the biggest nuclear bomb ever detonated, the blast was clearly heard by people three thousand miles away, and the global shock wave was detected as far away as the English Channel. Two- thirds of the main island, along with several smaller islands nearby, simply disappeared. The explosion and its associated tsunamis killed at least 36,000 people, and some estimates go as high as a 100,000. The thick, soupy cloud of volcanic ash, four miles high, spread into the atmosphere, causing brilliant red sunsets and strangely altered weather patterns around the world for the next five years.

On this day in 1896 – (120 years ago) – the sudden death of the sultan of Zanzibar precipitated the Anglo-Zanzibar War, now known as the shortest war in history. The dead sultan had been supported by the British, who preferred that he be succeeded by Hamid bin Muhammad. When the sultans’ nephew, Khalid bin Bargash, seized power instead, the Brits assembled five warships in the nearby harbor and issued an ultimatum, ordering him and his troops to stand down. When the deadline passed with no response, the Brits... read more

Posted by Alexander Jerri
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Listen live from 9AM - 1PM Central on WNUR 89.3FM / stream at www.thisishell.com / subscribe to the podcast

 

9:10 - Author Arun Kundnani previews Hillary Clinton's neoconservative agenda in the Middle East.

Arun wrote the Alternet article Why Hillary's Neoconservative Foreign Policy Will Make The Problem of Islamophobia Worse, and is featured in the collection Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter from Verso Books.

 

10:05 - Writer Sarah Jaffe profiles the new radicalism rising up from modern American protest movements.

Sarah's first book, Necessary Trouble: Americans in Revolt, is available now from Nation Books.

 

11:05 - The Radical Pessimist, Kevan Harris reports on a summer vacation spent watching social unrest abroad.

Kevan will be reporting on political and social upheaval in Armenia, Greece, Lebanon and Ukraine.

 

11:35 - Journalist Julianne Tveten explains how Silicon Valley is erasing the gap between work and life.

Julianne wrote the article HR Comes Last at Startups, and Women Pay the Price for Vice's Motherboard.

 

12:05 - Cultural critic Henry Giroux examines the new authoritarianism permeating everyday life in America.

Henry's new book is America at War with Itself from City Lights Books.

 

12:40 - In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen rehashes some leftover hash from the 1960s.

Jeff told me this won't be like that episode where Dan and Roseanne smoke their old weed, in case you had your hopes up.

Posted by Alexander Jerri

Here's what Chuck is reading to prepare for Saturday's show:

Why Hillary's Neoconservative Foreign Policy Will Make The Problem of Islamophobia Worse - Arun Kundnani [Alternet]

Necessary Trouble: Americans in Revolt - Sarah Jaffe [Nation Books]

HR Comes Last at Startups, and Women Pay the Price - Julianne Tveten [Motherboard]

America at War with Itself - Henry Giroux [City Lights Books]

Episode 914

The People's Rerun

Aug 19 2016
Aug 13 2016
Posted by Alexander Jerri

Interviews we played on the Black Liberation Playlist 'best of' episode of This is Hell!:

On the origins, and persistence, of racist thought in America. - Ibram X. Kendi

How the Clintons built their political power over the top of Black lives. - Donna Murch

Extremely disruptive and extremely loud: The new power of Black activism. - Ashley Williams

Ferguson forever: Liberals won't solve racial injustice as long as they are part of the problem. - Bruce Dixon 

On Black politicians, White opinion and other roadblocks on the march to racial justice. - Glen Ford 

Bright years of resurgence: The revolutionary potential of #BlackLivesMatter. - Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

Black futures are built on the fight for economic and racial justice. - Janae Bonsu

 

Similar interviews we recommend listening to:

Why the practice of racism itself produces and prolongs the illusion of race. -  Barbara and Karen Fields

The pushout: How racism and sexism collide to criminalize Black girls. - Monique Morris

#SayHerName gives a voice, and power, to Black women brutalized by police violence. - Kimberlé Crenshaw