January 19, 2020
In this episode, Kiegan Irish and Alex Boos discuss the history of the figure of the clown from the Feast of Fools to Ronald McDonald, and its eventual development into the 'evil' clown, which plays a recurring role in particular as a signifier in the popular culture of today. Taking the horror genre as a pivotal point of departure, we then consider the political anxieties the evil clown embodies for our contemporary political moment.
Special thanks goes out to Dan Boos and Jacob Irish for editing and postproduction!
October 18, 2019
In this episode, Kiegan Irish, Mike Fong, and Alex Boos discuss Canada's upcoming federal election with a conversational approach, covering a broad range of topics. We talk through how to orient ourselves towards the different political parties and the political system in Canada as a whole. We talk about voting, not voting, democracy, the concepts of "voter apathy" and "strategic voting," Canadian history and identity, party rhetoric, the Canadian media and the construction of the Canadian public. Join us! And get yourself set straight (or maybe crooked) as you go into the voting booth this Monday! Special thanks goes out to Dan Boos for editing and Jacob Irish for postproduction.
Han, Byung-Chul. Psychopolitics: Neoliberalism and New Technologies of Power. trans. Erik Butler. Verso, 2017.
Simpson, Audra. Mohawk Interruptus: Political Life Across the Borders of Settler States. Duke University Press, 2014.
July 10, 2019
In this episode Alex Edwards, Kiegan Irish, and Alex Boos discuss false dichotomies in our political discourse. We look at how these dichotomies are set up intentionally by those in positions of political power to divide an electorate and achieve their goals.
We look at three examples of these false dichotomies. First, the 2016 American election of Hillary vs. Trump, second the Green New Deal vs. its detractors who oppose it to the labour rights of workers in the fossil fuels sector, and third the distinction between pragmatic and utopian politics in the face of a climate crisis.
June 15, 2019
The third and final instalment in our series on algorithms and the digital condition. In this episode Kiegan Irish and Alex Boos discuss what kinds of people we are becoming in a world dominated by communication media and surveillance. We talk about some of the implications of data collection for our daily lives and the way that companies and governments use data to incentivize certain kinds of behaviour. In the end, we speculate about ways of living and organizing around digital media that could serve as alternatives to the digital mechanisms of control and domination in the hands of the current ownership class.
Partial Series Bibliography:
Foucault, M. (1979). Panopticism. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
McLuhan, M. (2001). Understanding media. London: Routledge.
Stalder, F. (2018). The digital condition. Trans. Valentine A. Pakis. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.
Tufekci, Z. (2014). Engineering the public: Big data, surveillance and computational politics. First Monday,19(7).
Zuboff, S. (2019). The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for the Future at the New Frontier of Power. London: Profile Books.
Corrections: It is said that Edward Snowden worked for the CIA when in fact he worked for the NSA, Kiegan gets his acronyms for shadowy government spies mixed up.
May 30, 2019
In Part One of our three part series on algorithms and the digital condition, Kiegan Irish and Alex Boos discuss what an algorithm is, the history of algorithms, and the way that algorithms function to polarize our political culture in a digital environment.
April 29, 2019
Kiegan Irish and Pat Case discuss a chapter from Chris Hedges latest book and decide if his criticisms of antifa are warranted.
April 23, 2019
In this episode Kiegan Irish, Alex Boos and Alex Edwards discuss the movement in support of building pipelines in Canada and the constitutive environmental racism that comes along with it.