Manufacturing Dissent Since 1996
New interviews throughout the week

There is something pure and good about Wellbutrin, or bupropion hydrochloride. Something that keeps me perceiving the world and processing information in a way that prevents me from losing my place in society. I suffered for this place in society. It's not a spectacular place, but it is an advantageous place, considering where some people end up. The story of Cruella DeVille and the hundred and one Wellbutrins is heartbreaking. How can someone be so greedy and selfish and obsessed as to recklessly seek to take from me what I need to make my life go relatively smoothly? Eh?

In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen spins a tale of depression medicine, Canadian pharmacy problems, Indian pill packaging, debit cards, work related travel, mental illness, grammatical innovation, Disney villains, empathy, the social order, and the stack of pills (just barely) keeping everything in its place.

Read the transcript here


Posted by Alexander Jerri

On This Day in Rotten History...

In 1618 – (398 years ago) – the Elizabethan courtier, politician, soldier, explorer, and poet Sir Walter Raleigh was executed by beheading in the Old Palace Yard of Westminster. In his sixty-five years, Raleigh had become one of the richest and most famous men of his time, having led troops in battle, headed expeditions to the Americas, founded an ill-fated colony in Virginia, and popularized the use of tobacco in England. But he’d also angered the wrong people, including Queen Elizabeth I, King James I, and the Spanish ambassador to England. Raleigh was imprisoned in the Tower of London more than once and spent several years of his life there, but he managed to use that time constructively — not only writing several books, but also conceiving a son. Raleigh’s execution drew a big crowd. When he was shown the ax blade that would kill him, he remarked: “This is a sharp medicine, a physician that will cure all my diseases and miseries.” He then lay down on the scaffold and yelled to the executioner: “Strike, man, strike!” Raleigh’s severed head was given to his wife, who carried it home in a leather bag and kept it in a cupboard until the day she died. 

In 1929 – (87 years ago) – a rash of panic selling on the New York Stock Exchange, which had gone on for several days, reached its peak as the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 12 percent of its value in a single day. Known as “Black Tuesday,” it was the worst day of the most severe stock market crash in US history. This failure of capitalism ushered in the Great Depression, which wiped out fortunes, threw millions out of work, and created material deprivation across the industrialized world. The depression would not end until, several years later, some thirty national governments declared war on each other and put their citizens back to work building ships, airplanes, weapons, and equipment for a global bloodbath that would last six years and kill an estimated fifty to eighty million people.

In 1971 – (45 years ago) – the Southern blues-rock guitarist Duane Allman, co-leader of the Allman Brothers Band, who also did session work with Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, and other soul greats, was riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle through the streets of Macon, Georgia, when he plowed into the end of a flatbed truck that had stopped... read more

Episode 924

College Norms

Oct 29 2016
Posted by Alexander Jerri

Listen live from 9AM - 1PM Central on WNUR 89.3FM / stream at / subscribe to the podcast


9:10 - Sociologist Forrest Stuart examines the harsh policing of poverty in LA's Skid Row.

Forrest is author of the book Down, Out, and Under Arrest: Policing and Everyday Life in Skid Row -from University of Chicago Press.


10:05 - PEN America's Omar Safadi explores the tension between inclusion and free speech on campus.

PEN America released the investigative report And Campus for All: Diversity, Inclusion, and Free Speech at U.S. Universities.


11:05 - Writer Thomas Frank explains how the beltway media wrote off Bernie Sanders from page one.

Tom wrote the Harper's cover story Swat Team: The media’s extermination of Bernie Sanders, and real reform


12:05 - Journalist Greg Palast investigates Crosscheck, a massive Republican vote erasing program.

Greg's latest documentary The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: The Movie is screening in theaters and available online now.


12:45 - In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen drinks the tears of Saint Peter.

If you squint real hard you can sort of see Jeff pictured in Caravaggio's The Denial of Saint Peter.

Posted by Alexander Jerri

Here's what Chuck is reading (and watching!) to prepare for Saturday's show:

Down, Out, and Under Arrest: Policing and Everyday Life in Skid Row - Forrest Stuart [University of Chicago Press]

And Campus for All: Diversity, Inclusion, and Free Speech at U.S. Universities - PEN America

Swat Team: The media’s extermination of Bernie Sanders, and real reform - Thomas Frank [Harper's]

The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: The Movie - Greg Palast


Episode 923


Oct 22 2016
Posted by Alexander Jerri

Chicago and Chicago-adjacent This is Hell! fans:

Tonight's your chance to see the new Greg Palast documentary "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: A Tale of Billionaires and Ballot Bandits" in a special screening.

Greg and his hat investigate the secret voter purge lists and racist policies erasing millions of votes from American democracy - and the billionaires bankrolling the whole scheme. Plus - Willy Nelson!

Catch the film tonight in Pilsen.

  • Uri-Eichen Gallery - 2101 S. Halsted, Chicago
  • Saturday, Oct 22nd - 7PM
  • More info - 312.852.7717
  • Free!

Can't make it tonight?

Rent the film for $3.99 or read the 57 page comic.



Posted by Alexander Jerri

Listen live from 9AM - 10AM Central on WNUR 89.3FM / stream at / subscribe to the podcast


9:10 - Sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild examines America from the eyes of the right.

Arlie is author of the new book Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right from The New Press.

Episode 922

Backs to the Future

Oct 15 2016
Posted by Alexander Jerri

On This Day in Rotten History...

In 1894 – (122 years ago) – Alfred Dreyfus, a French army officer of Jewish descent, was arrested for treason and falsely accused of passing military secrets to the Germans. His case would spark intense public debate after newspapers reported that evidence proving his innocence was being covered up by the army. Dreyfus was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment at Devil’s Island in French Guiana. Meanwhile, protests led by prominent intellectuals culminated in a front-page newspaper piece entitled “J’accuse . . . !” by the writer Émile Zola, accusing the French military command of being motivated by anti-Semitism to convict an innocent man. Zola’s article and his subsequent trial and conviction for libel led to a reopening of the Dreyfus case. And although Dreyfus was again convicted, the French president bowed to public outcry in granting him a pardon. It was only in 1906 — twelve years after the original arrest — that further evidence and litigation led to Dreyfus being officially exonerated and readmitted to the French army with promotion and honors.      

In 1940 – (76 years ago) – the last president of Catalonia was executed by a Spanish fascist firing squad. Lluís Companys had been active for years as a lawyer and leader in Catalan nationalist groups that sought to create an autonomous political entity within a larger Iberian federation. Amid the turbulent Spanish politics of the 1920s and ’30s, Companys held increasingly important offices and was in and out of prison more than a dozen times. In 1934 he was elected president of a newly proclaimed Catalan state, only to be to be arrested and jailed after just a few hours in office. In 1936 he was released from prison by the new left-wing Republican Spanish government, just in time to be caught up in the violent chaos of the Spanish Civil War. In the struggle against right-wing Nationalists led by General Francisco Franco and aided by Nazi Germany, Companys reluctantly cooperated with Marxists and anarchists in Barcelona until they were finally crushed by Franco’s forces and the civil war came to a bloody end. Companys escaped to France for a few months in exile, but was captured by Nazi German occupiers who sent him back to Spain, where he was quickly tried and executed. The main stadium used in the... read more

Posted by Alexander Jerri

Listen live from 9AM - 1PM Central on WNUR 89.3FM / stream at / subscribe to the podcast


9:10 - Sociologist Peter Frase examines the future beyond climate change, capitalism and other disasters.

Peter is author of the new book Four Futures: Life After Capitalism, part of the Jacobin series from Verso Books.


10:00 - CIP Americas director Laura Carlsen finds anger and organization two years after the crime of Ayotzinapa.

Laura wrote the article Ayotzinapa’s Message to the World: Organize! for NACLA.


10:30 - Political scientist Gustavo Setrini profiles the rising Primavera Estudiantil social movement in Paraguay.

Gustavo wrote Paraguay's Student Spring for NACLA.


11:05 - Writer George Ciccariello-Maher explores the past and future of radical democracy in Venezuela.

George's new book Building the Commune: Radical Democracy in Venezuela is part of the Jacobin series from Verso Books.


12:05 - Invisible Institute's Jamie Kalven details the mechanisms of silence within the Chicago Police Department.

Jamie wrote the 4-part series Code of Silence for The Intercept.


12:45 - In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen talks about his one unconscious non-racist reflex.

Hoping he doesn't have time to touch on the others then.