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.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Episode 157: MFA Without the Slightest Belch

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In Jerry Mander's first of his Four Arguments, I look at what he feels happens to us when the doors of perception are all but closed to nature; through our unnatural media, autocracy rushes in to fill us. Hence, Episode 157: MFA Without the Slightest Belch.

(A Jim NB: I've decided to label the series episodes when I can with a TLA that indicates which of my current ongoing series I'm attacking. For example, this MFA is on Mander's Four Arguments. Got it? I'm not going back and re-doing names or anything like that; just from now on and such.)

In this episode, I read from: Jerry Mander's Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television; Upton Sinclair's Between Two Worlds (1941 [reprint Simon Publications, 2001], pp. 453-454.); and from Aldous Huxley: A Biography, by Sybille Bedford (Carroll & Graf, 1985, p. 92.). I played a bit of an interview with Aldous Huxley, shared on the Psychedelic Salon. Thanks very much to listener David M for recommending that interview to me. Thanks David! It's a couple of interviews with Huxley for which I would also highly encourage a listen.

Musically, I got lazy again and played only Podington Bear: first you heard "Lone Road"; then "Happy Transit"; then "Smolder". I opened the show with Bernie Sanders sharing Jerry Mander's concern about the future of concentrated media ownership, Bernie backed by KMFDM; and I'm closing today with Mistle Thrush.

I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Episode 156: Our Unbroken Economy

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For reasons too few truly understand, in our “economy,” too few citizens are invested profitably: in the position of holding assets that increase wealth simply by dint of ownership. I free-form rant on this in Episode 156: Our Unbroken Economy.

In this episode, I read from: John Michael Greer's book The Long Descent; David Graeber's book Debt: The First 5,000 Years; and Thomas Picketty's book Capital in the 21st Century. I recall from memory: Kevin Stroud's The History of English Podcast; the essay "The Passion of Antoine Lavoisier", published in Stephen Jay Gould's book of essays Bully For Brontosaurus: Reflections in Natural History; an NPR story about the niacin-deficiency plague in Italy that befell the peasantry after the introduction of maize (what most of us call corn); and finally, I relate a bit of what Henry George talked about in his 1879 book Progress & Poverty (which you can read for free in its entirety online!).

I open with KMFDM's "Attak" backing cohort Justice John Paul Stevens dissenting from the Supreme Court's Citizens United Not Timid decision, a decision that re-aligned the technology called political speech back toward those who possessed the technology called money. I close with Julie and Rolf and the campfire gang doing "Over the Rainbow".

I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Episode 155: Dueling Fictions, Dueling Crises

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We currently live through two plagues: one, CoVID-19; the other, vested interests pay not just to shove a plague of bad ideas at all of us, but also to keep good ideas as far away as possible. Hence, Episode 155: Dueling Fictions, Dueling Crises.

In this episode, I play Jeanine Jackson from Counterspin talking about The People's Bailout, and the corporate media's all-but-nonexistent coverage of it. Musically, I play: Jupiter Makes Me Scream doing "Dive Into"; and Podington Bear doing "Submerging Blue-Black". KMFDM backs Dmitri Orlov in the opening; and I close with Mistle Thrush.

I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Episode 154: MFA Mander's Four Arguments: An Introduction

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It should come as no surprise that, though influential and important, certain books suffer in reputation simply because they question more dominant media. I give an overview in such a book in this Episode 154: Mander's Four Arguments: An Introduction.

In this episode, I read from Jerry Mander's 1978 book, Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television. I also recount from memory interesting tidbits from Jane Brox's 2010 book Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light. In future episodes, I hope to use material from her book to support my quibble with Mander's insistence that electricity was the watershed invention that changed humanity forever. I also hope this will not diminish Mander's conclusions, but rather clarify them.

Music-wise, I played Lee Rosevere's "What's Behind The Door" throughout, including at the close, just for fun. I opened the show once again with KMFDM, this time backing Mark Stahlman's observation about television targeted advertising.

I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Episode 153: No News Is Still Bad News

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I admit it: I tend to get distracted and wander off topic. Today, I get back to observing the collapse of journalism—and trying to prevent it—with some unhelpful help from public radio personalities in this return Episode 153: No News Is Still Bad News.

I read from two books by Robert McChesney and John Nichols: first, Our Media, Not Theirs: The Democratic Struggle Against Corporate Media; and then from The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution That Will Begin the World Again. If you want a truly deep dive into journalism, go read these guys' books.

I play: The BeeGees, in reference to Brooke and Bob; On The Media's episode titled "No News Is Bad News"; KMO from the C-Realm Podcast giving us a sarcastic "great"; Tenacious D doing snippets of "The Government Totally Sucks", that from their hilarious movie, The Pick of Destiny; Raphae doing "Intro"; and Visciera doing "Seething". I opened with KMFDM backing Jeff Jarvis, and I'm closing today with Mistle Thrush.

I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0, attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Episode 152: The Nuisance Economy

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Once and a while, it's good to expend a little more effort in order to expend a bit less effort. It's complicated. Anyway, enjoy the result, a chat with Chad Hill of the Hip Crime Vocab Blog in this Episode 152: The Nuisance Economy.

I would highly encourage you to check out Chad's blog, but do keep in mind that, since he cares not one whit about checking his readership metrics, he won't even know you were there unless you leave him a comment, which, I'm sure, he will appreciate.

I open today's show with Mr. Ceglowski's observations about what makes a good advertiser, that backed by KMFDM's "Attak"; and I close today with Julie and Rolf and the campfire gang doing "Over The Rainbow".

I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0, share-alike, attribution, and non-commercial license.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Episode 151: A Rare Opportunity to Reimagine

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Never let a good crisis go unexploited, said someone, somewhere. It's good advice. It allows us to see what we've been missing, and maybe what we should keep missing. That's the idea in this Episode 151: A Rare Opportunity to Reimagine.

In this episode, I read from: The Wikipedia page for Philip Henry Gosse; the Stephen Jay Gould article "Adam's Navel", found in his 1987 book, The Flamingo's Smile; and the Amanda Mull article "Pandemic Advertising Got Weird Fast", published in the Atlantic magazine.

I play: audio from an online parade of pandemic advertising (that you really should see for yourself); and an expletive deleted ad introducing the Amanda Mull podcast extra from On The Media. Musically: the real Bee Gees briefly signaled mention of Bob Garfield and Brooke Gladstone; and Podington Bear's appropriately-titled "Button Mushroom". KMFDM's "Attak" backed Amanda Mull herself for the opening; and I'm closing once again with Mistle Thrush.

I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Episode 150: Ligers and Tigons and Joe

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Don't you hate it when someone comes along and makes you realize that everything you've grown used to supporting is just as toxic as what you really despise? I confront the compromise and the damage done in this Episode 150: Ligers and Tigons and Joe.

In this episode, I read from: my computer's quickie dictionary; emails from Nancy Pelosi and the DCCC; and Anne Nelson's book Shadow Network: Media, Money, and the Secret Hub of the Radical Right. Expect more from that book. It's right up the alley of this show.

I play: Joe Exotic entertaining Stephen Colbert from prison; D. L. Myers voicing the Powell Movement Stinger; and George Takei doing his signature Oh, My, that one from an episode of Futurama. Musically, I play: Podington Bear doing "Climbing the Mountain"; and Jahzzar doing "Wind". I open with Bernie Sanders bemoaning the concentration of media, that backed by KMFDM; and I close today with Mistle Thrush.

I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Episode 149: Watching the World Go To Health

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You exercise, and for what? Today, the devices that help you work out work against you, reducing your fitness sweaty efforts into further fodder for surveillance profits. That's what I cover in this Episode 149: Watching the World Go To Health.

In this episode, I read from Shoshana Zuboff's The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight For a Human Future At The New Frontier of Power. Again, this is a book well worth the slog, even through the notes.

I play: audio I pulled from a video sent to me by C-Realm host KMO of Professor Zuboff sharing her research and observations. Music-wise, I include: Lee Rosevere doing "Betrayal"; and Podington Bear doing "Rarified". KMFDM backs Professor Zuboff herself for a new surveillance capitalism opening; and Julie and Rolf lead the campfire gang in "Over the Rainbow" once again.

I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial episode.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Episode 148: …and Bernie 2020

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What happens when a presidential candidate’s positions threaten not just the business of news, but also offend the sensibilities of those personalities who are paid so very well to present it? I explore this phenomenon in Episode 148: …and Bernie 2020.

In this episode, I briefly quote McChesney and Nichols' Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex is Destroying America. I also quoted War of the Worlds 1938 radio broadcast coverage from the New York Daily News.

Ga'an's "I of Infinite Forms II" provided the montage backing music. In order of their vocal appearances were Douglas Rushkoff, Chris Matthews, James Carville, and Anand Giridharadas. Rushkoff and Giridharadas provide the counterpoint analysis to the foot-in-mouth escapades of Matthews and Carville. I open with Team Human guest Mark Stahlman backed by KMFDM, and I close with Mistle Thrush.

I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.

Oh, and once again, the days have been crawling soooo slowly since the lockdown that I just plum forgot what day it was yesterday, resulting in this, yet another inexcusable late posting. My Bad.

——Jim

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Episode 147: Blankstorm '95, CoVID-19, and…

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You might only realize how interesting the times in which you live really are when it's hard to distinguish which is worse: the reality surrounding you; or the commercial reporting on that reality. Hence, Episode 147: Blankstorm '95, CoVID-19, and…

In this episode, I read from: my computer's quickie dictionary; and from Jenny O'Dell's book How To Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy. I play the voice of former head of news for both the CBC and NPR Jeffry Dvorkin, a clip I pulled from his interview on Candaland.

Musically, I play: Visciera doing "Seething"; and Podington Bear doing "Grapefruit". I open with KMFDM backing then Mayor of Burlington Bernie Sanders, and close with Mistle Thrush.

I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Episode 146: Hitler Was An Ad-Man

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Perhaps if more people understood how insulting the tenets of advertising are, or how poorly ad-men regard their audience, more might avoid it, or consider restricting it legally. Consider the title of this Episode 146: Hitler Was An Ad-Man.

In this episode, I read from: from my computer's quickie dictionary for the definition of Liberalism; and from Tim Wu's The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads. (Again, all of the quotes, from Hitler, Goebbels, and Lerner, came from Wu's book unconfirmed. I hope they are accurate.)

I play: Senator Ted Stevens sharing his understanding of the Intertubes; Gene Wilder explaining to Cleavon Little why he should expect disappointment from the locals; Sydney Greenstreet demonstrating what in advertising works best; and listener Vincent once again correcting my French pronunciation with some good French cursing. (In his cursing, he says: "No, that is not it, shit!")

Musically, I insert: Podington Bear's "Firefly"; and Jahzzar's "Lullaby" and "Reflections". KMFDM opens with Justice Stevens pointing out just one of the problems with the Citizen's United Not Timid majority decision; and I close today with Julie and Rolf leading some campfire singing.

I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Bonus Episode: Radio's Second Chance

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Sometimes, rare books are rare not because they have no value, but because their value is perceived as topical only for a certain time. Sometimes, though, good ideas suggested for one time prove timeless. Hence this Bonus Episode: Radio's Second Chance.

In this episode, I read from: Victor Pickard's Battle for Media Democracy; and from Charles Siepmann's 1946 book Radio's Second Chance.

I open the show with a fragment of KMFDM's "Attack", and I play Lee Rosevere's "Curiosity" throughout.

I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0, attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Episode 145: All Is Fare In Law and War

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Some episode topics for this show are too obvious to even mention…until they affect me more grievously than a simple plea to get another credit card. I discuss that targeted, personal aspect of direct mail in this Episode 145: All Is Fare In Law and War.

In this episode, I read from a Wikipedia entry concerning the Supreme Court's 2018 Janus Decision. I mention a group listener Kevin turned me onto, a guerrilla art outfit called Advertising Shits In Your Head. These guys create what look like real ads, posters in kiosks and the like, but when you actually read them, totally indict the companies the posters mock. Oh, to have that kind of talent! I also play: a snippet of Brad Parscale opining on some of the tools of his trade; and D. L. Myers once again reading the Powell Movement Stinger.

Musically, I play: Podington Bear doing "Skeptic". I open with KMFDM's "Attack" backing Justice John Paul Stevens reading a selection from his dissent on the Court's Citizens United Not Timid decision; and I close with the Pietnastka's "Salto" (the intro of which I play earlier in the show).

(Also, just a reminder, these show notes pages are the bestest place for you to leave comments on the show. The chances I will find comments left in other places scattered around the internets are slim to none, sadly. So, please, leave comments here.)

I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Episode 144: WTN: The Thought Leader Three-Step

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Whenever you step on a stage, it's important to remember your lines, even if the very act of memorizing and later reciting those words warps and dominates your thinking… off-stage. I explore this in this Episode 144: WTN: The Thought Leader Three-Step.

In this episode, I read from: Anand Giridharadas' Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World; and from Daniel Drezner's The Ideas Industry. I recall without quotes an experiment first published in the Atlantic magazine.

I play: 100% Chevalier doing "La Mallette"* (which hammered out some segues); Podington Bear doing "Outmoded Waltz"; and Lee Rosevere doing "Under Suspicion"*. Henry Giroux was backed by KMFDM's "Attack" in the opening; and I'm now closing with Julie and Rolf leading the campfire gang in "Under The Rainbow".

Oh, and while you're here, leave a comment! If you leave it elsewhere, I'm unlikely to see it, or even know of its existence. Just saying. I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.

*Once again, things on the Inter Tubes, like source links, get moved around. I'll have to go through that music file of mine and do some serious updates. Soon. I promise.




Update: Friday, February 7, 2020: Through some Charlie Foxtrot of the data world, as listener ric2 pointed out to me, this episode uploaded for only a few minutes, then linked out giving a 404 error. I think I've fixed that; I need a few folks to try downloading to know if my delete-and-reupload works (the data equivalent of unplugging it, waiting, and plugging it back in).

More disturbingly, while trying to triage the FUBAR, I discovered I was unable to search for my podcast on the Fruity Toons store! It's happened before, so I'm not sure what gives. If anybody who subscribes through the Fruity Toons pod-aggregator will be so kind and let me know if it works for them, I would be greatly appreciative. Thanks!

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Episode 143: Maybe They Do Care

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A lack of any response from communicants can grow into frustration, over time building into a sense of utter hopelessness. By watching what they do, one can sometimes infer that someone might indeed be listening. Hence Episode 143: Maybe They Do Care.

In this episode, I relied on my own frail memory. If I got any recollections down right wrong, that's on me. I played: excerpts of ad and donation begging from both Radio Lab and Reveal; and a snippet from the Fight Club rules as voiced by Brad Pitt. Musically, I played two from Podington Bear, first "Sensitive" and then "Running On Empty". Because I mentioned the On The Media BGs (Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield), I also played the real BGs. KMFDM opened the show with Mr. Ceglowski, and I'm closing today with Mistle Thrush.

I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 share-alike, attribution, and non-commercial license.

(Oh, and for my perpentious listeners who were wondering why I released this episode a day late… I… took a nap? That went long? Like, a day long? It totally happens. Right?)

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Episode 142: 2020 Hindsight

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New year looks back should be done when conditions grant the best insights. What better sight is there than that described as 20/20? Hence, Episode 142: 2020 Hindsight.

In this episode, I read from: a Guardian article interviewing a NYTs editor, and the headline from Fox News it generated; Shoshanna Zuboff's book, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism; from Robert McChesney and John Nichol's book Dollarocracy; and a Guardian story listener Kevin sent me concerning companies pulling back from listening in on their customers (something mainstream media insists they simply do not do). I play: Frontline's James Jacoby interviewing Brad Parscale for a 2018 documentary.

Musically, I play: et* doing "Intro" and "Black"; and Podington Bear doing "Nocturne Opus 27 Number 1". KMFDM opens with Bernie Sanders correcting the record about what news does; and I close with et.

I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.

*Note: Again, the internets have concealed from finding… or scrubbed, in this case, I've no idea which… an entire band whose album I downloaded many years ago. I'm so going to have to update them files. I apologize for the continuing lack of linkage.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Episode 141: Campaign Season Greetings, Now Chunky Style!

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Sometimes, a company’s announcement causes not ripples but waves. Some laugh and grab their surfboards, while others panic and shout "Tsunami!" I look at one such policy change in this Episode 141: Campaign Season Greetings, Now Chunky Style!

In this episode, I read from: my computer's quickie dictionary; one, two, three articles concerning Searchie VP Scott Spencer's policy announcement via blog post; Scotty's post; and a quick quote from Dollarocracy by McChesney and Nichols. I play: Alexander Nix bragging about his company in ways that had everyone associated with it in complete denial; and Brad Parscale telling Frontline's James Jacoby in 2018 why FuckBook personnel worked with him on the 2016 election.

Musically, I play: the Vince Guiraldi Trio doing "Skating"; and Podington Bear doing "Trader Ho Hey". KMFDM backs Soledad O'Brien in a new opening for the show; and I close this show with Mistle Thrush.

I'm releasing this and all my shows under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Episode 140: As The Plots Thicken

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Take just about any phenomenon, and with enough searching it's usually possible to discover the first instance… or at least the first really, really popular occurrence. Serial broadcast drama is my focus on this Episode 140: As The Plots Thicken.

In this episode, I read from: Tim Wu's The Attention Merchants; from the findings of the Commerce Department's 1922 hearings on the future of radio; and from a Wikipedia page about Amos 'n' Andy. I play two recordings from the Amos 'n' Andy show, one of them probably a record released for the 1928 presidential election season, the other from their eighth anniversary broadcast featuring Walter Huston. (Oh, drat! The link for that last mp3 seems to be expired, along with the entire website!)

I also play the theme for the Amos 'n' Andy, a tune called "The Perfect Song"; and Jahzzar doing Moonxine "Part VII". I open the show with huckster Clark Gable backed by KMFDM, and I close with Mistle Thrush.

I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Episode 139: WTN: Fail to the Chief

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As we learn from George Orwell, the words we use limit what thoughts we can entertain. The Powell Movementeers spent millions over the decades to limit our political language, giving us what I hope to illustrate in this Episode 139: Fail to the Chief.

In this episode, I read from: my computer's quickie dictionary; and Wendy Brown's book Undoing the Demos. I play: the Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz accusing the Wizard of humbuggery; D. L. Myers voicing the Powell Movement Stinger; and president Barack Obama speeching from his neoliberally humbuggered 2013* Inaugural and State of the Union speeches. (Seriously, I can't believe I used to think that guy was liberal in any way.)

Musically, I play: Raphae doing "Opening"; and Rue de Prague doing "From Limbos". [Note: For some reason, the links to these bands are defunct, and I therefore cannot provide links to these songs.] KMFDM backs Noam Chomsky in the opening, and I close with Mistle Thrush.

I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.

*I realized too late for re-recording that I had mistakenly said 2012 in the closing credits, not 2013. I regret the error.



NB: Happy news! D. L. Myers, voice of the Powell Movement and its stinger, has published his first book of poetry, Oracles from the Black Pool!

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Episode 138: Digital Psychopathy

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When machines can read your expressions as well as humans, we should worry, especially when such predators, be they human or machine, feel not the slightest tinge of remorse. Hence, Episode 138: Digital Psychopathy.

In this episode, I read from: Shoshana Zuboff's Age of Surveillance Capitalism; and a Scientific American article by Kevin Dutton. Going by memory, I recount: a focus subject from the British documentary The Detectives; and Kevin Dutton's book The Wisdom of Psychopaths. I also play: Kevin Dutton talking about his book; The CBS Weekend News, amplifying some bad research; and Bill and Ted talking to themselves, from their Excellent Adventure.

Musically, I play: Lee Rosevere's "Content" and "What's Behind the Door", two tunes I used to separate and later join the two topics I spoke about today; and Podington Bear quite appropriately doing "Degradation". KMFDM backs Bruce Livesy commenting about relative corporate power; and I close with Mistle Thrush.

I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0, attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Episode 137: Something Else In The Air

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To understand the national anger at the first radio commercials, I find it helps to understand first and foremost that these ads came right into the home… like an intruder's pungent fart. Hence, Episode 137: Something Else in the Air.

In this episode, I read from: Tim Wu's The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads; and from a web site Mr. Wu turned me onto, one he himself used as a source for another of his books. It's a history of early radio, and an interesting one at that. Beyond the general overview I used several sub-pages, which contained lots of scans of historic content.

Sound-wise, I play: Sydney Greenstreet's evil industrialist character from the 1947 movie The Hucksters; and Monty Python's Terry Jones and Eric Idle, from the "Nudge, Nudge" sketch. Musically, I play: Metastaz doing "I'm"; Pietnaska doing "Superator"; and Podington Bear doing "Bad Seed". Clark Gable, also from The Hucksters, opens the show backed by KMFDM, and I close with Julie and Rolf doing "Over The Rainbow".

I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.

(Oh, and concerning the week-late posting, I came down with a bit of visiting family. They were where my attention was directed. It happens.)