Month: December 2021

EP8.1: Bantering with Bannon [Rebroadcast]

EP8.1: Bantering with Bannon [Rebroadcast]

Note: As the one-year anniversary of the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol approaches, we are revisiting an episode on Steven Bannon and traditionalism with a rebroadcast of this bonus episode from late January 2021.

In this bonus episode, host Gordon Katic speaks with Ben Teitelbaum, author of a fascinating new-ish book called War for Eternity. He spent over 20 hours with Steve Bannon, as well as a wider network of far-right thinkers and strategists. Honestly, the things they say will surprise you. These proto-fascist thinkers of today are Traditionalists, with a capital T. They’re nothing like old-school conservatives; they have a lot more in common with hippies and new age gurus than people like William F. Buckley. We touched on this school of thought in the last episode, but in this bonus episode we really dig in. Why do their bizarre ideas appeal, and what can we do to combat them?

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To stay up to date, follow us on Twitter and Facebook. If you’d like to write us, email darts@citedmedia.ca or tweet Gordon directly.

—————————-CREDITS——————————

Our lead producer is Jay Cockburn, our chase producer Marc Apollonio, and our research coordinator is David Moscrop.
Our composer is Mike Barber, and our graphic designer is Dakota Koop. Our host is Gordon Katic.
We receive funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Our lead academic advisor is Professor Allen Sens at the University of British Columbia. We are also supported by a wider project looking at the rise of far political ideologies – that project is run by Professors Andre Gagne, Ronald Beiner, and A. James McAdams.
Darts and Letters is made in two places: Toronto, Ontario, and Vancouver, British Columbia. Toronto is on the traditional land of Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat People. Vancouver is on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.
This is a production of Cited Media. We make other fine shows like Cited Podcast and Crackdown. You can find both of those and others wherever you find your podcasts.
EP44: Gamify Everything (ft. Sebastian Deterding, Paris Martineau & Mostafa Henaway)

EP44: Gamify Everything (ft. Sebastian Deterding, Paris Martineau & Mostafa Henaway)

Setting goals for the new year? Learning a language? Going for a run? Delivering food? Picking packages off a warehouse shelf for delivery? There’s a game for that. Or, at least, a gamified system designed to nudge you in a series of pre-programmed directions in the service of the state, techno-capitalist overlords, or any number of other groups and entities that chart the course of our hyper-connected, cutting-edge, dystopian 21st century lives. This week on Darts and Letters, guest host Jay Cockburn and our guests take us through gamification of…everything.

Also, on a quick programming note: host Gordon Katic is off this week and we are all off next week for the holidays. Happy holidays! We’re back ahead of the new year on our regular programming schedule.

  • First (@5:01), we met Dave from Knoxville, Tennessee, on a subreddit for Lyft drivers, though he also drives for Uber. He tells us how the rideshare companies use quests to keep their “independent contractors” on the roads.
  • Then, (@9:03) is gamification inherently dystopian? Not necessarily. Sebastian Deterding is Professor of Digital Creativity at the University of York and a translational designer. He knows gamification. Deterding tells us the long history of gamification (from Plato, to war games, to today’s app economy, and more), and explores the contrasting philosophies of gamification.
  • Next (@23:48), gamified workplaces sound like hellscapes. Paris Martineau is a journalist with the Information, where she covers Amazon. She dives into the gamified warehouse workplace, including PvP (that is, worker versus worker) showdowns, and the tracking and surveillance that comes with the territory.
  • Finally, (@28:26) it’s one thing to study or write about Amazon warehouses, but what is it like to work in one? Mostafa Henaway is a community organiser at the Immigrant Workers Centre and a PhD candidate at Concordia University who studies Amazon. He took his work one step further when he took a job in one of its Canadian warehouses. He brings us inside the bizarre system, from the automated application to the alienating, monotonous, minutely-surveilled-and-tracked warehouse floor.

——————-FURTHER READING AND LISTENING——————

——————-SUPPORT THE SHOW————————-

We need your support. If you like what you hear, chip in. You can find us on patreon.com/dartsandletters. Patreon subscribers usually get the episode a day early, and sometimes will also receive bonus content.

Don’t have the money to chip in this week? Not to fear, you can help in other ways. For one: subscribe, rate, and review our podcast. It helps other people find our work.

—————————-CONTACT US————————-

To stay up to date, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. If you’d like to write to us, email darts@citedmedia.ca or tweet Gordon directly.

—————————-CREDITS—————————-

Darts and Letters was hosted and produced this week by Jay Cockburn, with editing from Gordon Katic. Our managing producer is Marc Apollonio. David Moscrop is our research assistant and wrote the show notes.

Our theme song and music was created by Mike Barber, our graphic design was created by Dakota Koop, and our marketing was done by Ian Sowden.

This is a production of Cited Media. And we are backed by academic grants that support mobilizing research and democratizing the concept of public intellectualism. The founding academic advisor of the program is Professor Allen Sens at the University of British Columbia. This episode was also a part of a wider series looking at the politics of video games housed at the University of British Columbia and Waterloo University. It was given support by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

Darts and Letters is produced in Toronto, which is on the traditional land of Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat Peoples.

EP43: The Dumbest Books of 2021 (ft. Luke Savage, Matt McManus, Lyta Gold, Daniel Bessner & David Moscrop)

EP43: The Dumbest Books of 2021 (ft. Luke Savage, Matt McManus, Lyta Gold, Daniel Bessner & David Moscrop)

As we prepare for a series of 2021 retrospectives looking at the highs and lows of the year, the bests and the worsts, Darts and Letters is embracing the chaos, looking to the printed word, and scouring the stacks to find the dumbest books that found their way to print. We did not have to look far. In fact, the hard part was choosing from a bursting cornucopia of awful. In the spirit of the new year, this week we feature a roundtable with three guests and two call-in friends, each of whom makes the case as to why their book is the dumbest of 2021.

  • First, (@4:09) the two Michaels and Meng affair gripped Canada and the world for the better part of three years. Could a single book capture the intricacies, context, and implications of that behemoth geopolitical moment? Washington Post columnist, podcaster and Darts and Letters show-notes writer/guy writing this sentence David Moscrop argues…maybe. But it’s certainly not The Two Michaels: Innocent Canadian Captives and High Stakes Espionage in the US-China Cyber War by Mike Blanchfield and Fen Osler Hampson.
  • Then, (@17:39) some argue trust is the glue that holds society together. But what if a book mangled the concept and mobilized it with a series of vapid phrases designed to superficially inspire centrists as only such a book–and maybe an episode of the West Wing–could? And what if that same book was written by one of the least trustworthy people in politics? Jacobin staff writer and co-host of the podcast Michael and Us Luke Savage makes the case for Pete Buttigieg’s Trust: America’s Best Chance.
  • Finally, (@29:01) the left needs to understand and contend with serious, right-wing books that seek to chart the course for the future of the ideology. Scholar, PillPod podcaster, and writer Matt McManus has found two offerings that are…not that. But they need to be reckoned with in their own way anyway. He takes down Ben Shapiro’s The Authoritarian Moment: How the Left Weaponized America’s Institutions Against Dissent and Mark Levin’s American Marxism.

——————-FURTHER READING AND LISTENING——————

Listen to Matt McManus’ podcast PillPod and have a look at his book The Rise of Post-Modern Conservatism: Neoliberalism, Post-Modern Culture, and Reactionary Politics. Plus, see more of his work at Jacobin.

 

——————-SUPPORT THE SHOW————————-

We need your support. If you like what you hear, chip in. You can find us on patreon.com/dartsandletters. Patreon subscribers usually get the episode a day early, and sometimes will also receive bonus content.

Don’t have the money to chip in this week? Not to fear, you can help in other ways. For one: subscribe, rate, and review our podcast. It helps other people find our work.

—————————-CONTACT US————————-

To stay up to date, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Also, we have a new YouTube channel, where some videos of these interviews will be available next week.

If you’d like to write to us, email darts@citedmedia.ca or tweet Gordon directly.

—————————-CREDITS—————————-

Darts and Letters is hosted and edited by Gordon Katic. Our lead producer is Jay Cockburn. Our managing producer is Marc Apollonio. David Moscrop is our research assistant and wrote the show notes.

Our theme song and music was created by Mike Barber, our graphic design was created by Dakota Koop, and our marketing was done by Ian Sowden.

Darts and Letters is produced in Toronto, which is on the traditional land of Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat Peoples.

EP42: The Road From Roe (ft. Becca Andrews, Chelsea Ebin & Laurie Bertram Roberts)

EP42: The Road From Roe (ft. Becca Andrews, Chelsea Ebin & Laurie Bertram Roberts)

For years, abortion rights advocates have worried about the United States drifting towards abolishing Roe vs. Wade. Could this be the moment? The Trump-heavy, right-wing, partisan Supreme Court is hearing a challenge to Mississippi’s ban on abortion after 15 weeks in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The court may overturn two decades’-old decisions–Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey–that protect the right to an abortion. At the same time, a Texas case that bans abortions after six weeks is also making its way through the court. On this episode of Darts and Letters, we look at the road from Roe: years of court cases and anti-choice activism that have led to the current showdown that threatens the right to choose.

  • First, (@8:28) anti-choice activists have long used the courts to try to rollback or block abortion rights. Becca Andrews is a writer with Mother Jones and the author of the forthcoming book on the history and future of Roe v. Wade, it’s called No Choice. She takes us through the court cases in Mississippi and Texas. Plus, she talks about what it’s like reporting on abortion while living in Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Then, (@26:14) what is it like to drive hundreds of miles to get an abortion only to be met with some onerous, anti-choice regulation that forces you to drive back? Laurie Bertram Roberts is the head of the Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund and the Yellowhammer Fund in Alabama. They discuss their own reproductive rights experience and their work on the ground helping folks secure access to reproductive health–from rides to gas money, hotels, and more. They also take us through the broader battle for reproductive justice in the United States.
  • Finally, (@54:35) Abortion used to be primarily a Catholic issue. Today, it is the wedge issue for conservative evangelicals in the United States. How did that come to be? Chelsea Ebin is Assistant Professor at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky and the co-founder of the Institute for Research on Male Supremacism. She looks at the strategy and coalition building that turned abortion into a partisan mission to build a radical future.

——————-FURTHER READING AND LISTENING——————

——————-SUPPORT THE SHOW————————-

We need your support. If you like what you hear, chip in. You can find us on patreon.com/dartsandletters. Patreon subscribers usually get the episode a day early, and sometimes will also receive bonus content.

Don’t have the money to chip in this week? Not to fear, you can help in other ways. For one: subscribe, rate, and review our podcast. It helps other people find our work.

—————————-CONTACT US————————-

To stay up to date, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Also, we have a new YouTube channel where you can see interview videos. If you’d like to write to us, email darts@citedmedia.ca.

—————————-CREDITS—————————-

Darts and Letters is hosted and edited by Gordon Katic. Our lead producer is Jay Cockburn. This week’s assistant producer is Ren Bangert. Our managing producer is Marc Apollonio. David Moscrop is our research assistant and wrote the show notes.

Our theme song and music was created by Mike Barber, our graphic design was created by Dakota Koop, and our marketing was done by Ian Sowden.

This is a production of Cited Media. And we are backed by academic grants that support mobilizing research and democratizing the concept of public intellectualism. This episode is part of a wider project that supports episodes on the rise of far-right political ideologies. This project is supported by professors André Gagné at Concordia, Ronald Beiner at the University of Toronto and A. James McAdams at the University of Notre Dame. The research assistants on these episodes were Isabelle Lemelin and Tim Berk.

Darts and Letters is produced in Toronto, which is on the traditional land of Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat Peoples.