Journalist and Author Mark Jacobson joins co-hosts Medaya Ocher and Eric Newman to discuss his timely new book, Pale Horse Rider: William Cooper, the Rise of Conspiracy, and the Fall of Trust in America. The result is a Trump-era gem: equally depressing and hilarious, with as much sociological and political insight as can be packed into one show. Jacobson addresses the phenomenal rise of conspiracy theory culture through the underground history of its most influential text, Behold a Pale Horse by William Cooper; who emerges as a sincere and at-least-somewhat redeemable character, the tragedy to Alex Jones' farce. The detour the conversation takes through Hip-Hop culture is worth the price of admission itself!
Also, philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah returns once more to recommend a text he never tires of teaching, John Stuart Mill's On Liberty.
Author, Publisher, and Art Critic Chris Kraus joins hosts Eric Newman, Kate Wolf, and Medaya Ocher to talk about her new collection, Social Practices; which is described as "Essays on and around art and art practices" by Semiotexte, the legendary radical imprint where Chris has been a driving force since the '90s. What follows is a wide-ranging conversation about the role of art and art criticism in contemporary society; with detours into the recent cultural history of LA, the back-story to her novel I Love Dick, and the importance of good old fashioned description when your beat is radical creativity beyond your comfort zone.
Also, Kwame Anthony Appiah, who chaired this year's Man Booker Prize, returns to recommend the book that won fiction's most prestigious award, Milkman by Northern Irish author Anna Burns.
Philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah talks with host Eric Newman about his new book The Lies That Bind: Rethinking Identity. Appiah tackles questions of cultural appropriation, how we come to feel that we possess our various identities, and why it is past time that we start restructuring our relationship to identity and our relationship to others. While Appiah’s work has long engaged questions of how we relate to others through and across difference in pursuit of a more peaceful world, these questions take on a special weight in today’s perilous times as the President inflames racial and political divisions and the commentariat ponder whether we have entered a new “Cold Civil War.”
Also, Dan Lopez returns to honor poet Tony Hoagland, who died last month, by reading from and recommending his Application for Release from the Dream.
In conversation at the finale of the Lambda LitFest in October, Patrisse Cullors, author of When They Call You a Terrorist: a Black Lives Matter Memoir, speaks to host Eric Newman about her activism, the philosophy that undergirds #BlackLivesMatter and how queer writers and activists from the 1960s and 1970s continue to shape her political vision and practice. While Cullors celebrates recent victories against police brutality and the prison system in Los Angeles, she also gives the audience inspiration for fighting back on the eve of Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.
Also, Author Dan Lopez returns to recommend Autonomous by Sci-Fi author Annalee Newitz.
"Shirkers" is a film that Sandi Tan and her friends made in 1992, in Singapore, when they were teenagers. Then the film was lost - stolen. 20 years later it was recovered. Tan's new documentary on Netflix, also called Shirkers, tells the story behind the original film, the tragedy of its theft, and the mystery of its recovery. Co-hosts Medaya Ocher and Kate Wolf ask Tan about her life as a teenage auteur in Singapore and how she came to work with Georges, an older mentor, who shot the sumptuously gorgeous footage and then betrayed her trust. Tan evokes the DIY spirit of early '90s Indie cinema, and her magical relationship to the few great films she saw (in the era before instant access); providing an uncanny re-encounter, at mid-life, with the dreams of an inspired youth.
Also, Dan Lopez drops by to herald Haruki Murakami latest novel, Killing Commendatore; reflect on the magical humanism of the master's flawless formula; and confess that he, like legions of fans around the world, never wants it to end.