Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Episode 206: Good News For News?

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Extra! Extra! Read all about (maybe) good news for newspapers! Hey, a guy can dream, right? Best of all, this might be the very thing that ends our scourge of disinformation! I look into this possible solution in this Episode 206: Good News For News?

In this episode, I read from: a Wikipedia article about the Old English poem Beowulf; two articles by Matt Stoller, both from his newsletter Big (which I highly recommend); Robert McChesney and John Nichols' book The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution That Will Begin the World Again; and my computer's quickie dictionary.

I play: listener Vincent, cursing once again at my inability to clearly speak his native French language*; and KMO from The C-Realm (who also draws and writes comics and hosts other podcasts!) gave us a "great." Matt Stoller opens the show backed by KMFDM, and I close today with Julie and Rolf and the Campfire Gang doing "Over the Rainbow."

*Thanks again, Vincent, for recording those curses. Every time I play them, they make me giggle.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Episode 205: All That You Can Be

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What each of us shall find in our future, sadly, too often depends not upon good planning, smarts, and gumption, but rather on who happen to be your mom and dad. Thus it's hardly a meritocracy that dictates Episode 205: All That You Can Be.

In this episode, I read from: Malcolm Gladwell's book Outliers: The Story of Success; and listener Kevin and his friend John riffing on Kevin's Fuckbook page. Thanks again to both of them for giving me permission to read their contributions. I also share the results of a focus group related to me by an anonymous friend. Thanks again, anonymous friend!

I played: a marines recruitment advertisement, gotten from a site that cinematically broke down the ad; Marine General Smedley Butler addressing the Bonus Marchers in 1932; and the theme from The A-Team. Chuck Mertz noted in the opening that people aren't dumb, backed by KMFDM (which might explain the dystopias predicted by young people today); and I close with Mistle Thrush.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Episode 204 Our Howie Holidays… of Work

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Let's remember Howie's 1958 holiday, the one that turned out to be “I Must Work More!” In this Episode 204, Our Howie Holidays… of Work, I explore just some of the forces that try to convince us to stop worrying, but to never, ever stop working.

In this episode, I read: Jacob Goldstein's comments made on the podcast You Are Not So Smart; and from Benjamin Hunnicutt's book Kellogg's Six-Hour Day. I played: a video from the Bank of England concerning broad money creation; and from a recording of Michael Hudson relaying key moments in his life (I wish I could remember where I got it!).

At the end, I also play an old audio montage about money creation, something I originally assembled in 2011, built of clips from early C-Realm Podcast episodes, and last heard on this show back on Episode 8: The Buck Starts Here. In order of vocal appearance, we find in the montage: C-Realm host KMO; John Michael Greer (from #262: Assume the Can is Open), Ellen H. Brown (from #102: A Vocabulary of Control); Thomas H. Greco (from #265: Legal Tender and the Credit Clearing Function); Dmitri Orlov and Richard Heinberg (from #266: A Black Hole of Debt); Charles Eisenstein (from #272: Emperor of What); and Doug Lain (who has not articulated the tidbit himself as far as I am aware, but I included his voice as well) (from #269: A Better Laugh Track). Ably backing those voices was Ga'an's "Servant Eye".

I open the show with Henry Giroux explaining how lies are perpetrated by the moneyed right, backed by KMFDM. I close with Julie & Rolf and the Campfire Gang.

Addendum: Listener and old friend Bleak Nemesis did a little digging and found the Michael Hudson interview I have. I followed Bleak's Stitchup link and found what seems to be a now-defunct show called Left Out. According to the link: "This autobiographical interview was conducted at Peking University on May 7, 2018 by Lau Kin Chi of the Global University for Sustainability."

I still don't know how it got on my computer, but now we know more!

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Episode 203: KSD Unquieting Hearts For Profit

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We last left the six-hour workers at the Kellogg's factory when the war ended in 1946. What new challenges to their shorter work shift will confront them next? That is the question for this Episode 203: Unquieting Hearts For Profit.

In this episode, I read from: Benjamin Hunnicutt's book Kellogg's Six-Hour Day. I also mentioned in passing a book I found pretty darned interesting: Daniel Pink's Drive.

I play: Pee Wee Herman's observation about people with large posterior impediments; KMFDM's "Attack," which backed Dmitri Orlov; and I close today's show with Mistle Thrush's "It's All Like Today".

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Episode 202: Right In The Heartballs

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We humans are hyper-social critters. For that reason, it can be difficult for us to discover which of our ideas social pressures unknowingly impose upon us. Changing our minds can thus require a kick implied in this Episode 202: Right In The Heartballs.

In this episode, I read from: David McRaney's newer book How Minds Change: The Surprising Science of Belief, Opinion, and Persuasion; the Wikipedia pages for both the Ashe Conformity Experiments and the Overton Window; the political blog Bending Left, written by thereisnospoon; and the website for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

The voice of Joseph G. Lehman, the current President of the Mackinac Center gives us an intro into the Overton Window; and D. L. Myers intones the portentous utterance of the Powell movement. KMFDM's "Attak" opens the show backing Noam Chomsky's mention of the Powell Memorandum itself. I close today with Julie and Rolf and the Campfire Gang doing "Over the Rainbow."

[Oh, and yes, this episode is posted a couple days late, due to the heat wave and its deleterious effects on electronics. I'm as sorry as I can be over the weather and my inability to control it.]

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Episode 201: After Long Silence

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After over eight years of doing this show, I still maintain the best source for show topics comes directly from listener feedback. I have listeners and commenters Pim and Dode to thank for this Episode 201: After Long Silence.

In this episode, I summarized a bit of Jacques Ellul's 1965 translation of his 1962 book Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes. I read from: two comments left by listeners Pim and Dode. Thanks to both of you for those insightful observations!I also read from: Jaron Lanier's book Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now; and an article that addressed misspellings in ads.

Musically, KMFDM backs a brand new intro I cobbled together with the voice and message of Douglass Rushkoff, concerning the inadvisability of customized news. I close today with Mistle Thrush.

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Episode 200: Shees Reminded Me of Science!

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Time to review my first experiment conducted to try to determine if my phone listens to me… when it should not. To see if I manscaped well or if I nicked the berries, check out Episode 200: Shees Reminded Me of Science!.

In this episode, I read from: Shoshana Zuboff's book The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight For a Human Future At The New Frontier of Power; and bits of selected spam sent by random shees. I reference an article concerning a patent held by Zuckerfuck's company the Effin' Bees.

(Oh, you really should see that article, if only to marvel at the picture they provided. It shows old Marky Zuck sitting at (I assume) his desk. Some sharp eyes noticed that on Zuck's computer, pieces of tape blocked the built-in camera and microphone jack. I guess if you know exactly what dangers lurk around those supposedly innocent devices, exactly what nefarious and evil people can do with them without your knowledge, you can't call it paranoia.)

Musically, KMFDM opens the show with "Attak" backing Shoshana Zuboff's warning of the hidden dangers of surveillance capitalism. Julie and Rolf and the Campfire Gang close the show with "Over the Rainbow."

Again, if you leave me a message here, remember that I'll be laid up for a few weeks, so allow some time before I answer.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Episode 199: Ultima Ratio Plebium

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I will maintain as long as I am able to speak that we must learn from history, if only to avoid making mistakes already made… well, making them again… and again… and…. I look back to the Crash of the 1930s in this Episode 199: Ultima Ratio Plebium.


My title's inspiration.


In this episode, I recalled: a bit of David McRaney's book You Are Not So Smart, the book I covered in my last show; and the detail about the "last argument of kings," which I originally encountered in Neil Stephenson's Snow Crash. I read from: Michael Perino's The Hellhound of Wall Street: How Ferdinand Pecora's Investigation of the Great Crash Forever Changed American Finance; and my quickie dictionary.

Musically, I threw in a bit of Podington Bear at the end, with "Feather". KMFDM backed Mr. Ceglowski in the opener, and I close today with Mistle Thrush.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Episode 198: We Are Not So Smart

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We humans bear complex mental mechanisms, which are often general enough for experiments to tease out some rules that govern our behavior. Knowing how these rules can manipulate us helps us realize the title of this Episode 198: We Are Not So Smart.

In this episode, I read from: my computer's quickie dictionary; David McRaney's You Are Not So Smart (Penguin Random House, 2012); and Rose George's Ninety Percent of Everything: Inside Shipping, the Invisible Industry That Puts Clothes on Your Back, Gas in Your Car, and Food on Your Plate (Metropolitan Books, 2013). Strictly from memory, I shared details from the movie Flight From Death.

I play: Pee Wee Herman commenting on large exceptions; and a bit from Animal House of Neidermeyer swinging the bat to induct a young Kevin Bacon to the ways of fraternity life… and economic life in general. Musically, Tristan Harris opens the show with KMFDM. I close with Julie and Rolf and the Campfire Gang doing "Over the Rainbow".

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Episode 197: KSD The Rabbits and the Work-Hogs

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Workplaces are social dynamos. Quite often—and often by design—how we are paid and scheduled interferes in what people really want from their work. This is the long-existing division I discuss in today's Episode 197: The Rabbits and the Work-Hogs.

In this episode, I read from Benjamin Hunnicutt's book Kellogg's Six-Hour Day. I also did not quote from, but sought some clarifying information from a helpful article found at the Department of Labor concerning the original legislation for maximum work hours, the Black-Connery Bill, which eventually became the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.

Musically, Henry Giroux expounded the benefits of civic literacy, backed by KMFDM. Julie and Rolf and the Campfire Gang now close us out with "Over the Rainbow."

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Episode 196: The REALLY Big Necessity

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History has shown again and again that an incomplete or just mistaken understanding of how the world really works leads to most of the problems we suffer. To change our world, we must first change our minds; thus Episode 196: The REALLY Big Necessity.

In this episode, I read from four books: First, I recall a bit of Rose George's The Big Necessity: the Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters; then, Steven Johnson's books, Interface Culture: How New Technology Transforms the Way We Create and Communicate and The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic——and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World; and finally, Jaron Lanier's Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now. I also quote Upton Sinclair's most quotable quote ever quoted, so quotable I call it The Sinclair Maxim (which was originally published, as far as I know, in I, Candidate for Governor and How I Got Licked).

Musically, Pietnastka did "Superator" near the end. I open with KMFDM backing Tristan Harris in the opening, and Julie and Rolf and the Campfire Gang take us out with "Over the Rainbow".

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Episode 195: I Miss Magazines

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After seeing some of the best magazines I've ever read go quite extinct, some have wondered if the lack of advertising killed them. I would ask, rather, if magazines can afford to advertise at all. Still, in this Episode 195: I Miss Magazines.

In this episode, I read from: a 1990 Gloria Steinem article titled "Sex, Lies, and Advertising", reprinted in the collection Our Unfree Press: 100 Years of Radical Media Criticism; and an article from the Nation on the demise of Mad magazine that quotes Ms. Steinem. I play Pee Wee Herman noting the prevalence of large final exceptions. (Oh, and I forgot to mention the voice of D. L. Myers intoning the Powell Movement Stinger. Sorry, D. L.)

Musically, I play: KMFDM backing then-Mayor Bernie Sanders commenting on the concentration of media; and I close today with Mistle Thrush.

(For the curious, I recommend this page.)

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Episode 194: Something Old, Something New

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Lately, it seems, how long we owners of tech can use our things has been shrinking, as ever-more monopolistic powers extend toward a product totalitarianism that favors newness over usefulness. This I explore Episode 194: Something Old, Something New.

In this episode, I read from John Michael Greer's book, The Long Descent (which no longer appears to be available from my library, darn it). Though I borrowed heavily from a couple wiki articles about certain computers and noise makers, I didn't directly quote any of them, so there.

Musically, KMFDM backs Representative David Cicilline decrying the monopolistic state of corporate power. Mistle Thrush plays in the closing.

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Episode 193: KSD Lazy, Do Nothing Idlers

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Have you ever thought how weird it is that experts in labor—issuing pronouncements about how long shifts should be—never work those job shifts themselves? It's another argument supporting the title group in this Episode 193: KSD Lazy, Do Nothing Idlers.

In this episode, I read from: an anonymous 18th century pamphlet; Benjamin Hunnicutt's book, Kellogg's Six-Hour Day; and my computer's quickie dictionary.

I play: in honor of black history month, Martin Luther King expounding about the evils of "gentlemen of massive verbal persuasion," his quote backed by KMFDM's "Attak"; and I close today with Julie and Rolf and the Campfire Gang doing "Over the Rainbow".

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Episode 192: The Right To Be Lazy

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Everyone seems aware of the appalling working conditions afflicting the poor in the 18th century; fewer seem aware, though, of what rationale drove employers to such torture. I dip into a book from that period in this Episode 192: The Right To Be Lazy.

In this episode, I read from: a snippet of William Blake; the 1883 English translation of Paul Lafargue's book The Right To Be Lazy; and my computer's quickie dictionary.

Musically, I open the show with KMFDM backing Henry Giroux's observation about civic literacy. Mistle Thrush closes the show once again.

Also, listener Vincent voiced his frustration at me butchering his native language with a bit of foul French cursing. This one "bordel a queue", translates roughly to "a line outside a brothel." It's an oath uttered in frustration. "Damn it," it seems to say, "I won't get laid for hours!" I still giggle every time I quote his curses on this show! Thank you again, Vincent!

While I'm here, let me ask: are their any other listeners who can curse a blue streak in their native languages, and who would be willing to record some doozies for the Attack Ads! Podcast? If so, let's talk! Drop me a comment!

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Episode 191: An Apology For Idlers

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Today’s society values industry and work, specifically hard and grueling work. This has happened before. We should look to 1877, where good advice was given in an essay, the title of which I've stolen for this Episode 191: An Apology For Idlers.

In this episode, I read from: my computer's quickie dictionary; the original 1877 essay bearing the title "An Apology for Idlers" by Robert Lewis Stevenson; Daniel Markovits' book, The Meritocracy Trap: How America's Foundational Myth Feeds Inequality, Dismantles the Middle Class, and Devours the Elite; Annie's Box* by Randall Keynes; Passionate Minds* by David Bodanis; The Big Test by Nicholas Lemann; and tiny, unquoted bits from Evolution's Captain: the Dark Fate of the Man Who Sailed Charles Darwin Around the World by Peter Nichols, and one of Jane Austen's books (probably Pride and Prejudice).

I play throughout a snippet from Episode 1, Season 1 of Jeeves and Wooster, starring Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry. Musically, I play: Podington Bear's "Gamma Ray". KMFDM backs Douglass Rushkoff in the beginning*; and I close today with Julie and Rolf and the Campfire Gang doing "Over the Rainbow".

[NB: My local library did not have two of the references, and I carelessly misplaced the source for the new Rushkoff intro. I regret my oversight. I will edit this and include it as soon as possible. I doubt I will be able to do anything, though, about my library's oversight, since they are really good books that people in Seattle really should read.]

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Episode 190: How To Do Nothing

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With all the bad news in which we wallow, it's natural to feel the need to do something. Sadly, that is just what the people who got that news to you would like you to do. Better instead to follow the advice of today's Episode 190: How To Do Nothing.

In this episode, I read from Jenny O'Dell's book, How To Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy. There's lots more in her book that I was unable to even touch on, some of which she touches on in an interview.

I play: Podington Bear doing "Flutterby". Tristan Harris opens the show backed by KMFDM; and I close with Mistle Thrush.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Bonus Episode: FDR's 1938 Message to Congress on Curbing Monopolies

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Every now and again, I discover a quote I deem relevant enough to share. Less often, I’m moved enough to share most of the original source. In this Bonus Episode, I read from one of those rare finds: FDR's 1938 Message to Congress on Curbing Monopolies.

Other than a snippet from KMFDM's "Attack," I play: the muzak version of "The Girl From Ipanema", which was featured in the movie The Blues Brothers.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Episode 189: Memento Mori, Motherfacer

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Context is everything. Sadly, context is often lost in the transition to digital communications. We need to remember that, especially when the context is not happy, cheery, with nary a care in the world. Hence, Episode 189: Memento Mori, Motherfacer.

In this episode, all the stories are of people I personally knew. Call it anecdata if you need, it makes no nevermind to me. Because it's such a short episode, I've provided a little non-Fuckbook tale after the credits for your amusement.

I did play the voice of Mark Zuckerfuck himself giving "testimony" before Congress, as to the way they make their money. I also played KMFDM backing Tristan Harris summarizing how the tech community makes their money. I close, as I often do, with Julie and Rolf and the Campfire Gang doing "Over the Rainbow."

Monday, November 29, 2021

Episode 188: The Hyporeality Vortex

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Of course, not all we learn in commercial media can be trusted. It's always good to remember, though, how tenacious some efforts at mis- and disinformation become, swirling to form something described by the title of Episode 188: The Hyporeality Vortex.

In this episode, I read from: Jerry Mander's 1978 book, Four Arguments For the Elimination of Television; two Guardian articles by George Monbiot; Naomi Oreskes and Eric Conway's book The Merchants of Doubt:How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues From Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming; and Jane Mayer's book Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right.

I play: D. L. Myers intoning the Powell Movement Stinger; Burlington, Vermont Mayor Bernie Sanders, backed by KMFDM; and I close with Mistle Thrush.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Episode 187: Sharing A Little Mulled Whine

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I'm sometimes embarrassed to admit that I might produce this show even without an audience; it's therapeutic. It's good to know people do listen, and often share their provocative thoughts, which prompt this Episode 187: Sharing A Little Mulled Whine.

In this episode, I read from: listener Pim's disquieting concern; and Jacques Ellul's 1962 book, Propaganda: the Formation of Men's Attitudes. Musically, I open the show with Mr. Ceglowski backed by KMFDM, and I close with Julie and Rolf and the Campfire Gang doing "Over the Rainbow".

Links to this here stuff can be found at the show notes at AttackAdsPodcast.Blogspot.com.

Of course, thanks again for the provocative observation, Pim!

Monday, November 1, 2021

Episode 186: MFA An Internal Scarcity of Contentment

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Jerry Mander's 1978 book still packs rhetorical punch, enough that reviewing the notes I took on it lead me to realize a cause, perhaps, of today’s extreme political sectarianism. I'll dive into that in Episode 186: MFA An Internal Scarcity of Contentment.

In this Episode, I read from: a Harvard Business Review article called "Advertising Makes Us Unhappy"; and Jerry Mander's 1978 book, Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television.

Musically, I play: Jahzzar doing "Invisible" (which was perfect backing for all of Jerry Mander's content I was not going to mention). Brian Kaller mentions the anger McNuggets on their phones, backed by KMFDM; and I close today with Mistle Thrush doing "It's All Like Today."

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Episode 185: WTN Destabilizing Our Collective Understanding

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I’m worried. To me, America may be suffering enough social anger—technically called "political sectarianism"—to lead to upcoming upheaval, perhaps in the near future. I'll discuss this in today's Episode 185: Destabilizing Our Collective Understanding.

In this episode, I read from: My computer's Quickie Dictionary; Karen Kaplan, "Fed up with the election? Science explains how politics got so awful" (LA Times, October 29, 2020); Nicholas Lemann, The Big Test: The Secret History of the American Meritocracy (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1999); William Straus & Neil Howe, Generations: The History of America's Future, 1584 to 2069 (William Morrow & Company, 1991); Jane Mayer, Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right (Random House, 2016); Matt Stoller, Goliath: The 100-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy (Simon & Schuster, 2019); Charles Peters, "A Neo-Liberal's Manifesto," The Washington Post, September 5, 1982; Thomas Frank, Listen, Liberal, or What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? (Metropolitan Books, 2016); Arlie Russell Hochschild, Strangers In Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning On The American Right (The New Press, 2016); and Michael J. Sandel, The Tyranny of Merit: What's Become of the Common Good? (Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux, 2020).

I play: quotes from both KMO from the C-Realm Podcast and listener Kevin W., who were gracious enough to record their opinions for me (my many thanks to both of them); Lance Strate, a guest on the Hermitix Podcast, "Amusing Ourselves to Death with Lance Strate"; "Those Were the Days", the opening song for the long-running CBS show, All In The Family; a Bill Clinton campaign speech (at National Education Association); a Barack Obama speech (Remarks by the President on Investing in America's Future, 10/25/2013); a Michael Gove and Faisal Islam debate; two On The Media episodes, first "Constitutionally Speaking", and then "Aftershocks".

Oh, and quick note: as they say, I shot my wad with this one (meaning in this case my monthly bandwidth allotment). Since I am, as they say, cheap, look for the next episode in early November.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Episode 184: His Tomorrow Is Our Today

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Henry Ford wrote in 1926*, “The machine is a symbol of man's mastery of his environment.” He also wrote other things of “public service” and the “wage motive” you should hear. I'll share these concepts in this Episode 184: His Tomorrow Is Our Today.

In this episode, I read from: a web site called the Quote Investigator concerning Walter Reuther's great retort; and Henry Ford's book 1926 book, Today and Tomorrow.

Musically, I played: Podington Bear doing "Holding Hands." Representative David Cilliline opened the show talking about monopolies, backed by KMFDM, and I'm closing today with Mistle Thrush.

*I said 1925 in the show by accident. Oops. I also failed to mention Sydney Greenstreet's voice talking about proven facts, that voice taken from the 1947 movie The Hucksters. I regret the errors. Oh, and I really regret forgetting to post this episode until it was two days late. My forgetful bad.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Episode 183 ¡D'Liv'rin' In Vivo, Boca!

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We all have preferences for products, habits that sometimes last most of our lives. We should, though, be aware of what product makers can do to get us hooked… before we’re even born. With apologies to Ricky Martin, Episode 183 ¡D'Liv'rin' In Vivo, Boca!

In this episode, I read from: a 2011 book by David Linstrom called Brandwashed: Tricks Companies use to Manipulate our Minds and Persuade us to Buy; and from my computer's quickie dictionary.

Musically, I played: Lee Rosevere doing "Intervention". KMFDM backed Henry Giroux in the opening, and I'm closing this time with Julie and Rolf and the Campfire Gang doing "Over the Rainbow".

(Very quickly, the name of that researcher I mention in the show? Minna Huotilainen. See? If you're not a Finnish speaker….)

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Episode 182: KSD The Fight To Guide The Plodders

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I've shown how the Kellogg's six-hour day became just one form of work sharing during the Great Depression. I haven't shown you yet why this schedule option was all but abandoned. Consider the title of this Episode 182: The Fight To Guide The Plodders.

In this episode, I read from: two books by Henry Ford, first My Life and Work (which my library does not carry, sadly; and you know better than to ask for a Shit River link!) from 1922, and then Today and Tomorrow from 1926. Mostly, though, I read from Benjamin Hunnicutt's book Kellogg's Six-Hour Day. Musically, I throw in a snippet from "Eight Hours", the marching song I introduced back in Episode 180. It was recorded by Cincinnati's University Singers and released in an album called The Hand That Holds The Bread: Progress and Protest in the Gilded Age Songs from the Civil War to the Columbian Exposition. That was released back in 1978. I open the show with KMFDM backing Dmitri Orlov, and I close the show with Mistle Thrush.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Episode 181: KSD Kellogg, Brown, and Roots

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Under standard business practice, any company action needs to be cleared by its owner and manager. Therefore, when a company does a thing, look to those people. I look at Kellogg's ultimate authorities in this Episode 181: KSD Kellogg, Brown, and Roots.

In this episode, I read from: Benjamin Hunnicutt's book Kellogg's Six-Hour Day. I played KMFDM backing then Burlington mayor Bernie Sanders in the opening, and Julie and Rolf and the Campfire Gang are singing and playing us out with "Over the Rainbow."

(I do regret the shorter episode. It's unavoidable do to calendrical synchronicity, which demand of me three episodes this month, which, as per the storage limitations of my hosting service, means one of them gets a bit of a haircut. I'll be back to closer to the regular length on the next show, I promise.)

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Episode 180: KSD The Calvinistic Worship of Toil

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Something fascinating happened 90 years ago; but today, almost no one knows about it. Knowing it was amazing requires, though, knowing what happened… before. I try to correct that historical loss in this Episode 180: The Calvinistic Worship of Toil.

In this episode, I read from: Harvey J. Kaye's book, Thomas Paine and the Promise of America; Jenny Odell's book, How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy; my computer's quickie dictionary; and, of course, Benjamin Hunnicutt's book Kellogg's Six-Hour Day. You'll be hearing quite a bit from that book in installments for this series, of course.

I play: a few snippets from The Hucksters, most from Sydney Greenstreet's evil character; and a bit of his brand of soap. Also musically, I play Podington Bear doing "Running On Empty". Henry Giroux opens the show back by KMFDM; and I close with "Eight Hours", a tune I noted (and partially quoted) in the show, which I later found online!


That song! It was recently-ish recorded!

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Episode 179: How To Blow A Bubble

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Not knowing how a system works, one seeks answers when that system fails. Sadly, if the sought answers are wrong, one may extrapolate between similar systems, perhaps disastrously. I share my market bubble theory in Episode 179: How to Blow a Bubble.

In this episode, I read from: Tim Hwang's book, Subprime Attention Crisis: the Time Bomb at the Heart of the Internet; and from Thomas Greco's book The End of Money (sadly, though I got that book from the library, it no longer seems to be available, and I absolutely refuse to include a Shit River link; so there you go). Musically, I play: KMFDM, backing Jeff Jarvis' observation about the tendency for the internet to destroy intermediaries; and I close with Mistle Thrush.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Episode 178: Knowing the Trick

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Time to update you with some new, and some merely clarifying information on topics I have already covered. Why? There's magic in advertising, dark magic; but the more you know about it, the less it works on you. Hence, Episode 178: Knowing the Trick.


From the Signal article.


In this episode, I read from: my computer's quickie dictionary; Victor Pickard's book The Battle for Media Democracy; a Signal article titled "The" Fuckbook "Ads You Will Never See"; a John Michael Greer essay titled "The Mask of Disenchantment"; a passage from Jerry Mander's Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television; and a fun bit from Michael Pollen's book The Botany of Desire.

I play: a few excerpts from Vic Norman, the Clark Gable character from the 1947 MGM movie The Hucksters (where we also got the intro backed by KMFDM); Lee Rosevere's "Ingenuity"; and et's aptly named "Do Not Relax In Traffic". I close today with Julie and Rolf and the campfire gang doing "Over The Rainbow".

Oh, and many thanks to listener Pim who sent me the link to the Signal article over at the show notes some time back. It's Pim you should thank for the link to the notes now being included in the feed notes, which some of you get with your poddy apps. Thanks, Pim!

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Episode 177 WTN …and Disgust

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People often seem stupid. Sometimes, though, they simply don't have better choices. Their reactions are guided by innate morality, even if others vehemently deny what the people are collectively reacting against. Hence, Episode 177: WTN …and Disgust.

In this episode, I read from: Thomas Frank's book Listen, Liberal, or What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?; and John Michael Greer's 2019 essay, "Dancers at the End of Time, Part Three: A Mortal Splendor".

I play: D. L. Myers invoking the Powell Movement stinger; Kevin Bacon's hazing into the preppy frat from the movie Animal House; and an excerpt featuring researcher Karen Wynn, from the Nova documentary "The Violence Paradox". Musically, I play: two from Lee Rosevere, first snippets of "Curiosity", and then "And So Then". I open with Henry Giroux backed by KMFDM, and close with Mistle Thrush doing "It's All Like Today."

Monday, June 7, 2021

Episode 177: …and Betrayal…

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Having only two viable presidential candidates to choose often leaves voters confused, especially when it later becomes clear that lately the two parties are not very different at all… when judged by their actions. Hence, Episode 176: WTN …and Betrayal….

In this episode, I read from: Thomas Frank's book, Listen, Liberal, or What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?; from Sara Wachter-Boettcher's book, Technically Wrong: Sexist Apps, Biased Algorithms, and Other Threats of Toxic Tech; and from John Patrick Leary's book Keywords: The New Language of Capitalism.

I play: a portion of President Franklin Roosevelt's Economic Royalists speech from 1936; and D. L. Myers invoking the Powell Movement Stinger. Musically, I play: a snippet from the Broadway play Hair. Mr. Ceglowski opened the show with his observation of liars, backed by KMFDM; and I close with Julie and Rolf and the Campfire Gang doing "Over the Rainbow."

As you can see, I've gotten my access to the website. The experience of being without access, and——much worse!——having no non-automated assistance available, has gotten into my head that maybe changing the show notes to something more expensive (and more convenient) might be in my future. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Episode 175: Negotiations, and…

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Unions are more than just meetings and yelling at each other. I think. It sure seems that way. No, union activity in the workplace is a show of strength for one purpose only: to note the importance of the subject of this Episode 175: Negotiation, and….

In this episode, I share some formative events in my so-far short career of union activity. I read from: Henry George's 1879 book Progress & Poverty; and the John Nichols & Robert W. McChesney book, Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex is Destroying America. I also recall from memory details from Upton Sinclair's 1917 book King Coal. Finally, I play the first of my tests on the stereo systems of a certain make of car that had been bedeviling me for the last month, but….

Henry Giroux noted the importance of learning one's civic literacy in the opening, backed by KMFDM. I close today with Mistle Thrush's "It's All Like Today."

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Episode 175: Car(Un)Jacked!

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Those who make our cars today have figured out ways to make our behavior pay. Shoshana Zuboff gave us this lesson in her book; but I may have stumbled on a perfect example at work. I'll fill you in on my theory in this Episode 175: Car(Un)Jacked!

In this episode, I recount from memory a NOVA documentary and some seemingly random anecdata. (Oops! I said in the episode the car company fixed their security flaw. I guess took longer!) I open with Shoshana Zuboff backed by KMFDM warning about the hidden nature of surveillance capitalism. I close the show with Mistle Thrush.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Episode 173: MFA Our Influencing Machines and Their Masters.

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Time to dive once again into Jerry Mander's 1978 book, this time selecting just a couple of his reasons to eliminate television. These are reflected in the title of Episode 173: Our Influencing Machines and Their Masters.

In this episode, I read from Jerry Mander's 1978 book Four Arguments For The Elimination of Television. I play two from et, first "Intro", and then "Black". Dmitri Orlov opens the show backed by KMFDM, and I close with Mistle Thrush.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Episode 172: Flirting With Disaster

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Ads are not yet everywhere. That's good. That doesn't mean, though, that there aren't people plotting to capture attention in a new space, one that cannot be blotted out. Those idiots tempt fate, as I describe in my Episode 172: Flirting With Disaster.


The infamous device itself.


In this episode, I read from: the Wiki article for the Antikythera Mechanism; an article titled "This Startup Wants to Launch Giant Glowing Ads Into the Night Sky"; and my computer's quickie dictionary. I play: the 1957 sound of a radio picking up Sputnik 1's signal. Musically, I play: Pietnaska doing "Salto". KMFDM backs Amanda Mull observing what is happening in the ad biz now; and I close with Julie & Rolf and the Campfire Gang doing "Over the Rainbow".

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Episode 171: Testing Our Glob of Assumptions

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Too many of us lately seem to assume that the negative forces guiding brains are… a thing. (Well, that’s my assumption.) As a general rule, maybe we all just need to heed the advice found in the title of Episode 171: Testing Our Glob of Assumptions.

In this episode, I read from: a political tract called Caste: A Brief History, a very silly book that attempts to erase biases (without apparently realizing that bias is also the positive force that causes people to accept as well as reject one another); my computer's quickie dictionary; and Michael Crichton's book Eaters of the Dead. I play: elements from two On The Media episodes, first "40 Acres", and then "Well, That Was Some Weird Shit"; the actual BeeGees singing; and DL Myers once again invoking the Powell Movement Stinger. KMFDM backs political economist Mark Blyth in the intro, and I close with Mistle Thrush.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Episode 170: That Great Gray Slurry

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Sometimes companies manage to get really big; but what is too big? When they regard their benefit to society as less important than their profit model, we should consider their future, even if they make the stuff of Episode 170: That Great Gray Slurry.

In this episode, I played: Mark Zuckerfuck himself, testifying to and almost smirkingly making an ignorant ass of Senator Orin Hatch; Alexander Nix, head of Cambridge Analytica; Angry Armani Gnome and 2016 online campaign manager for the former president, Brad Parscale; and CNN's Anderson Cooper completely missing the point with Effin Bee Monika Bickert. Finally, I put three sarcastic greats into my Making America "Great" Again stinger. Three! That's how important I think this is! The "great" voices were: George Hrab from the Geologic Podcast; KMO from the C-Realm Podcasts; and L33t Minion, longest time listener to this here podcast.

I read from: Antonio Garciá Martínez's book Chaos Monkeys; Ian Bogost's Atlantic article FuckBook's "Dystopian Definition of 'Fake'"; my computer's quickie Dictionary; and an installation from Matt Stoller's newsletter Big called "Facecrook: Dealing with a Global Menace."

Musically, I played: Podington Bear doing "Fits"; Matt Stoller warned about the implications of letting companies get too big in the intro, backed by KMFDM; and I'm closing now with Julie & Rolf & the Campfire Gang doing "Over the Rainbow".

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Episode 169: Eliminate (Well, De-emphasize) the Negative

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What happened to that forgotten way of looking at the world? It seems by changing the language through repetition, nuance was transformed into a more easily challenged binary… and quashed. Hence, Episode 169: Eliminate (Well, De-emphasize) the Negative.

In this episode, I read from: Victor Pickard's book The Battle for Media Democracy; and Charles Siepmann's 1946 book Radio's Second Chance. There's still a lot of good stuff in both these books that I hope one day to address.

I play: Mudlark doing "fine ointment"; and Podington Bear doing "In My Head". KMFDM backs Clark Gable in the intro, and we close with Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters doing "Accentuate the Positive", a tune written in 1944.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Episode 168: Accentuate the Positive

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Every now and again, I find myself stumbling upon a forgotten way of looking at the world, one so useful—and in hindsight obvious—that I have to wonder what happened to it. That's the first half of the story in this Episode 168: Accentuate the Positive.

In this episode, I read from: Charles Siepmann's book Radio's Second Chance; Victor Pickard's book The Battle For Media Democracy (which was also the source for all of the other quotes from journalists and FCC letter writers); and Upton Sinclair's seminal 1920 book on journalism The Brass Check [NB: the Sinclair book links to a PDF].

Musically, I keep it light with Full Load of King doing "Envelope Infrared Part I". KMFDM's "Attak" backs Clark Gable in the intro, and I close with Mistle Thrush's "It's All Like Today".

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Episode 167: Talk Blocked, or This Does Not Agar Well

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Something has increasingly come between us; mediated our learning; butted in and substituted actual conversation for what we access on our devices. Sadly… who pays the piper calls the tune. Hence, Episode 167: Talk Blocked, or This Does Not Agar Well.

In this episode, I briefly read from my computer's quickie dictionary, and relay once again Upton Sinclair's Maxim. I play Ted Stevens sharing his revelation about what the Internet really is. Musically, I play Podington Bear doing the appropriately named "Degradation". Douglas Rushkoff opens the show backed by KMFDM in a brand-new intro (well, one I made some time ago and finally found an appropriate show to use); and I'm closing today with music from friends I actually on occasion talk to… well, used to talk to, and will talk to again, once we can hit the campfire… and the keg… and….

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Episode 166: Dreaming of an Off-White Xmas

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For the sixth year now, I present some holiday cheer (well, more accurately, "cheer" as defined by me, a sick snickering cynical bastard). Enjoy my completely off-color, in-no-way safe for children or work Episode 166: Dreaming of an Off-White Xmas.

In this episode, I play: the Vince Guiraldi Trio doing "Skating" (as usual); and Eric Idle doing his version of a holiday song before a live audience. Mistle Thrush also makes an appearance.

(Oh, and I should apologize for what you are about to hear in the title; sadly, I've already used the title "Apologies in Advance", and I really don't want to re-use titles. So, there's that. You've been warned.)

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Episode 165: Dear Nova

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No matter what the crisis, it is critical that people are given options. When options conflict with well-vested opinions—or worse, business models—don't expect them to be explained well. I protest one such money silencing in this Episode 165: Dear Nova.

In this episode, I quote: extensively from a Nova documentary called "Can We Cool The Planet?"; from a web page put out by the XPRIZE Foundation; and from Jane Mayer's book Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right.

Musically, I play: Lee Rosevere appropriately doing "Betrayal"; and Podington Bear doing "Aim Is True." KMFDM backs Bruce Livesy in the intro; and I close today with Mistle Thrush.

[Oh, and sorry for the late episode posting. I forgot. —Jim]

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Episode 164: Something On Which You Can Depend

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Knowing the cost of what advertisers spend to get your attention is not the full story. For that, you really need to appreciate the value that attention is worth to those that hire those ad men. And that is Episode 164: Something On Which You Can Depend.

In this episode, I read from: Upton Sinclair's novel A World To Win; Simon Winchester's book The Man Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom; an article by Bryan Many-Goose (alright, alright: Menegus) titled "What Am I Worth to Advertisers? My Obsessive Quest to Put a Price on My Attention"; A Guardian article about cat posters invading a London Tube Station; Tim Wu's book The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads; and Edward Bernays' book Propaganda.

I play: Sydney Greenstreet's evil, repetitious, and irritating capitalist advertising character from the 1947 movie The Hucksters. Musically, I play: two from Lee Rosevere, first "Under Suspicion" and last "Tension"; and Podington Bear, who filled the Rosevere bread in the middle with "Skeptic". KMFDM backs Mr. Ceglowski in the opening, and Julie and Rolf and the Campfire Gang close with "Over the Rainbow".

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Episode 163: The Sheer Amount of Space in Our Day

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Have you ever considered how much is spent befouling our attentions with ads? In other words, how much do people pay to get your attention? I'll examine an article that attempts to discover that in this Episode 163: The Sheer Amount of Space in Our Day.

In this episode, I read from Bryan Menegus' article, "What Am I Worth to Advertisers? My Obsessive Quest to Put a Price on My Attention." Again, I'll conclude with my take on his test in the next episode.

I play: Bill and Ted reading each others' minds; and et doing a perfectly named tune "A Song of Sadness" (another tune which is, once again, difficult to find on the intertubes), something to back the rectangles in our hands and lives, no doubt. I open with a new intro with Matt Stoller backed by KMFDM, and close with Mistle Thrush.

[Well, Pim, how did things work?]

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Episode 162: WTN The Ad-Fueled Dumpster Fire

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When the news chooses to focus on everything politically except at an entire movement drastically changing the world, they fail everyone. Our news becomes nothing but the title of this Episode 162: The Ad-Fueled Dumpster Fire.

I read quite a bit in this episode, namely: Three Wikipedia Articles relating to the World Trade Organization and the 1999 protests against the 20th Ministerial Conference here in Seattle; Peter Kruger's article "What Don't Most Liberals Realize?"; and a few sentences from Ha-Joon Chang's book Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism.

I play: Al Franken singing to his campaign phone, from an interview he did on Terri Gross's show Fresh Air; Hillary Clinton's observation about half the supporters of her opponent gathered in a basket; and Jake Tapper talking with William McRaven about his endorsement. Musically, I weave Lee Rosevere's "Let's Start At The Beginning" throughout; and use Podington Bear's "New Old Toys" as a rant backing. KMFDM backs Henry Giroux's endorsement of civic literacy; and I close with Julie and Rolf and the Campfire Gang doing "Over the Rainbow".

Links to that material can be found at the show notes at AttackAdsPodcast.Blogspot.com. (Oh, and I'll throw one more link at the notes to a This Is Hell! interview on trade agreements with Nick Deardon that is well worth hearing, but that I just heard and could not squeeze into this show.)

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Episode 161: WTN Aphoristic Dissonance

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We all use language to codify and structure the reality around us. We have to be careful, though, not to hide within unexamined aphorisms internal impossibilities that mask from us what is really going on. Hence, Episode 161: Aphoristic Dissonance.

In this episode, I read from: Wendy Brown's book appropriately named Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism's Stealth Revolution; my computer's quickie dictionary; and from Anand Giridharadas' book Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World. There's a lot more good stuff in this book, which I'll give you in dollops in future episodes.

I play: President Barack Obama proving that he isn't liberal by quoting a bit of his 2013 State of the Union Address; and Travis Kalanick dismissing with extreme prejudice his own complicity in bankrupting others.

Musically, I play: two from Visciera——first "Grinder", and then "Coming Back"; KMFDM opens with Socialist Mayor of Burlington, Vermont Bernie Sanders pointing out the silly of television; and I close with Julie and Rolf and the Campfire Gang doing "Over the Rainbow".

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Episode 160: Three Necessary Tiers of Freedom

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In the last episode, I bitched about not finding my show in a portal search; but what might happen next? Things could get so much worse for podcasters who refuse to bow to ad pressures, as I explore in this Episode 160: Three Necessary Tiers of Freedom.

In this episode, I read from: A February 8, 2020 article written by Matt Stoller for his anti-monopoly newsletter Big (the name of which contains a certain Stain I'd rather not mention by name); and from Tim Wu's 2010 book The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires.

I play: Pee Wee Herman observing buts; and Sydney Greenstreet telling Clark Gable how advertising really works. Musically, I play: three from Jahzzar; first "Mr. Bleach", then "Servants", then "about u"; KMFDM opens the show with Representative David Cicilline opening congressional hearings into big tech; and I close with Mistle Thrush.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Episode 159: Now You Find Me….

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It sometimes takes an event well beyond my ability to "fix" before an idea worth indulging motivates me to create an episode. Imperious corporate impediments to increasing my show’s listenership prompt this Episode 159: Now You Find Me….

In this episode, I read from: podcaster frustrations and some most dismissive advice from a FruitiToons help page; from my podcast host company's own monetization advice; and from my computer's quickie dictionary. I've got a lot more stuff to read on this topic of podcast hosting, trust me; but it will have to wait for another two weeks and the next episode!

I played: Podington Bear's "Trickledown"; and Viciera doing "Me Burning". KMFDM backs Representative David Ciccilline opening a congressional investigation I'll tell you about in the next episode; and Julie and Rolf lead the campfire gang, closing us out with "Over the Rainbow".

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Episode 158: From a Crawl to a Walk

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In this Episode 158: From a Crawl to a Walk, I share a discovery that is more than simply monumental and epic in its own right, it's oxymoronic: a Walkable Crawlspace.