This time we are honoured and delighted to welcome special guest Kelly Weill of The Daily Beast (etc) to talk to us about her new (and excellent) book Off The Edge, a history of Flat Earth, the current state of the Flat Earth movement, and our cultish and conspiratorial times generally. A fun and thoughtful – and sometimes melancholic – discussion.
In rank defiance of all the various conflicting things we’ve told you Episode 105 would be about, here is an episode about 2015’s (and sadly also 2022’s) Lauren Southern (lying, untruth-telling nazi liar-nazi) and the mainstreaming and normalising thereof.
In this episode we consider Lauren’s career (in brief, owing to the fact that chronicling her trail of lies and evil acts has become something of a cottage industry for the online left), her departure from politics and regrettable return, her ostensible changed nature (lol), her pub-excluding ideological lenses, and her sitcom life which comes complete with eccentric stereotype boyfriend, slapstick boat adventures and rollerblading accidents, and snarky one-liner strewn bickering with her mismatched (or is he really so mismatched?) buddy ‘Destiny’.
We take a stop-off with fan-favourites Posobiec, Elijah Shaffer, and (by mention) Rittenhouse, via Lauren’s lie-filled ‘documentary’ Crossfire. We listen in on Lauren’s conversation with Nicky-Boy Fuentes’ old friend (turned undeadly enemy) James Allsup back at the time of Unite the Right. Then we also pop in on Lauren’s friendly and boozy and giggly stint as a guest of our old ‘person we talked about’ Tim Pool. It is possible that unflattering nicknames were mentioned, and not just Tim’s. We then round it off with some seriously nerdy shit. Elvish swords at the ready for the protection of pan-Western civilisation or some such stupid bollocks.
We were sitting together in her living room, while she scripted a video, when her new boyfriend emerged from the bedroom. George Hutcheson, who was 30 at the time, runs a Canadian group called Students for Western Civilization, which works to “advance the interests of European peoples.” Her most recent boyfriends had also been adherents of far-right ideologies. She had nearly gotten engaged to a prominent conspiracy theorist, and had had an on-again-off-again fling with a Croatian neo-Nazi. “Maybe I’m too picky,” she’d mused before Hutcheson joined us on her IKEA couch. In appearance, Hutcheson is the caricature of the Aryan ideal. His undercut haircut, known in the alt-right as the fashy(short for fascist), and his fit, thick, soldier-like frame give him a Teutonic air. He and Southern decided to go out to dinner, and to let me film them. Hutcheson refuses to eat food originally from nonwhite countries, such as ketchup, whose origins are in China, so the two, facing limited restaurant options, chose the British-style Oxley Public House in Toronto’s Yorkville neighborhood.
This time, we look at the recent AFPAC conference, Nick Fuentes’ gathering of the Groypers, i.e. the even worse version of CPAC, attended by Marjorie Taylor Greene and Joe Arpaio, among many horrible others. Controversies, squabbles, coalition-building, Christian dominionism, and very long, weird speeches. Daniel and Jack both do voices.
Hey Eruditorum Press readers. I have two new shows out. I genuinely think both these shows are, in their different ways, among the best shows I’ve been involved with recently.
The first is a new episode of It *IS* The Same Log, with myself, George Daniel Lea, and Elliot Chapman. This one is on Nicolas Roeg’s mesmerising and mysterious film about grief, marriage, murder, and precognition in Venice Don’t Look Now (1972).
Here. (My Patreon supporters got this a week ago.)
The second is, of course, a new episode of I Don’t Speak German with Daniel Harper, this one on the removal of Art Spiegelman’s classic graphic novel about the Holocaust and historical memory, Maus, from the curriculum by the McMinn County School Board in Tennessee.
So, McMinn County School Board in Tennessee decided to remove Maus – Art Spiegelman’s classic graphic novel about the Nazi Holocaust and historical memory – from their syllabus, on the grounds that some simply sketched mouse nudity and a few very mild swears would upset and corrupt their pupils, which is obviously very reasonable and evidence of extremely well balanced priorities. Actually, alongside the epidemic of attempts across the US to remove certain sorts of books from school libraries and curricula, it is evidence that an insidious reactionary agenda is gaining traction.
In this episode we talk about the decision of the school board, and look through the minutes of the meeting. Daniel even gives an impromptu dramatic reading. We talk about where the appalling decision comes from, and what it really means both for the students and in terms of the wider culture. Along the way we consider the lies of slimy propagandist Christopher Rufo and the spluttering fanaticism of the increasingly unhinged James Lindsay.
Content very much warnings.
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“Continuing the recent spate of conservative book-banning initiatives, The Mcminn County School board just voted to ban the Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel “MAUS” by Art Spiegelman from all of its schools, citing the inclusion of words like “God Damn” and “naked pictures” (illustrations) of women.”
The December ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) workshop was led by the Heritage Foundation’s Bridget Weisenberg and featured Heritage’s Jonathan Butcher and Angela Sailor, Discovery Institute’s Christopher Rufo, American Enterprise Institute’s Ian Rowe, and Woodson Center’s Robert Woodson. Thirty-one state legislators from 20 states attended, along with corporate representatives from Guarantee Life Insurance, EDP Renewables, and State Farm Insurance.
In the second part of our Rittenhouse coverage, we start with a look at Kyle’s reception as a rock star messiah at Charlie Kirk’s Turning Point USA and follow the thread where it leads, from more on Elijah Shaffer to Tucker Carlson and his ‘Trial of Kyle’ to Mike Enoch and the National Justice Party via “a twentieth century philosopher” (who Eruditorum Press readers will remember me writing about in the past ). In the process, we consider the currency of the concept of ‘Anarcho-Tyranny’ and how the term Blood Libel is being appropriated. Dialectical? Yeah, we’re dialectical AF. And we don’t apologise.
And so we kick off 2022, IDSG’s fourth year, with an episode about the Denver shooter and self-published SF novelist (who put himself and his own murder plans in his own books) Lyndon McCleod, AKA Roman McClay, and his relationship to the infamous ‘Manosphere’, AKA a network of misogynistic and ‘masculinist’ fashy chudlingers like Jack Murphy, Jack Davenport, etc. We follow up a bit on our last episode (Part 1 of our post-verdict Rittenhouse coverage) and drop back in on the nauseating You Are Here podcast, and Baldy McDickface’s Tim Pool’s show, as we explore the recent flap around Jack Murphy’s ‘Cuck Letter’ (don’t ask… well, just listen), before delving a tad into McCleod/McClay’s fiction and his worldview, including some hardcore stoopid genetic determinism. Lots going on in this one, and so we’re issuing bigtime content warnings, not least for the recorded voice of a multiple murderer.
On a specific Eruditorum Press-related note, let me just note that El and I (along with others, of course) were covering the issue of toxic reactionary shit (written by toxic reactionary shits) in the world of niche SF fiction publishing a loooong time ago. c.f. Search Results for “puppies” – Eruditorum Press
For Episode 99, Daniel and I talk about the Sines vs. Kessler trial (the civil trial of the Unite the Right organisers etc), the way in which the far-right (including the defendants) have conceptualised it, the long-awaited aftermath in the wake of the verdict (which dropped just before Thanksgiving), and the reactions and attitudes to the whole thing among the far-right, including lots of inexplicably buoyant Cantwell lunacy.
For Episode 100, Daniel has prepared a bevvy of clips of Kyle Rittenhouse, the Kenosha Killer Kid, pre and post verdict. Compare and contrast his tears on the stand to those he cried in the police interview room. Compare and contrast his claimed trauma with his concerns – as expressed to his interesting Mom – immediately post-‘incident’. Compare and contrast his attitude on Tucker Carlson’s and Charlie Kirk’s respective shows, to his cheeky antics as a guest on another show that Daniel has discovered in the course of his listening…
This is not an episode calibrated to fill you with the Christmas spirit, to be honest. But there is a point to this. It demonstrates something, which will become evident as you listen, and be developed next episode.
Joshua Smith, one of the attorneys, is representing Matthew Heimbach, Matthew Parrott, and the Traditionalist Worker Party, a neo-nazi group that helped put on Unite the Right in 2017. Calling in remotely to cross-examine a witness on November 11, Smith went on a meandering digression about so-called ‘ethnostates’. He claimed that expert witness and sociologist, Peter Simi, was ‘anti-white’ because he wouldn’t address Smith’s view that China and Singapore are ‘ethnostates’, and falsely said that white people are responsible for most advances in civilization and technology.
When trying to confuse jurors about sociological concepts like in-groups and out-groups, Smith asked Simi if Hillary Clinton was white supremacist, and soon after he told Judge Norman Moon that cross-examinations can be “conversations” with witnesses, before sheepishly admitting his scattered tangents were “trying to keep it lively for everybody.”
Another attorney in the Charlottesville lawsuit trial, Cincinnati-based, James E. Kolenich, is an antisemitic far-right Catholic. Kolenich told the Cincinnati Enquirer in 2018 that his motives in this case were simple: “My willingness to get involved is to oppose Jewish influence in society.” He questioned the accuracy of long-accepted scholarship about the death toll of the Holocaust: “You can’t call the Jew Holocaust into question, right?
First, George and I fulfilled a longstanding plan to team up to talk about The Shining with Kit. As you’d expect, a long conversation ensued which ranges freely over the various incarnations of the story. That can be found here.
Then, George and I rejoined Elliot for a discussion of Peter Strickland’s Berberian Sound Studio. Here.
We’ve just recorded the next episode, on Exorcist III / Legion, taking in various other subjects including the other parts of the franchise (film and book) and some other stuff including Hannibal. Look out for that. As always, my patrons will get it a little sooner than everyone else. Jack Graham is creating Criticism, Analysis, Essays, Podcasts | Patreon
The longest Shabcast ever – both in terms of its total running time and of how long it has taken to release – draws to a close.
In this final fantastic episode, Holly offers some closing remarks about texts, fan art, fan fiction, fantasy and its relationship to real action, play, etc.
As you might expect by now, these remarks are complex, thought-provoking, and challenging. They take in matters of great delicacy, and even darkness and danger. Touched upon in our final discussion are: the nature of fantasy, the line between the pornographic and non-pornographic, unregulated fan spaces, attempts to regulate them through community pressure, accusations and abuse in fandom, the safety of children to think through their development through fiction and gameplay, possible exploitation of young fans, good and bad faith in discussions of what is or isn’t appropriate, the complexity of moral judgement and legality re representations of criminal and immoral acts, realism as ideology, the tension between exploration and normalisation, etc, etc.
Some of this is knotty stuff so content warnings abound.
Elliot, George, and I continue our podcasting odyssey into the Media Hauntological, branching off into a related but new direction with Robert Eggers’ gripping, multilayered, enigmatic, terrifying 2015 masterpiece The Witch.
Patreon backers got this last week. Subscribe for as little as one dollar a month for advance access to all these shows, plus access to Bonus Episodes of I Don’t Speak German, and The Backer Street Irregulars, an ongoing series of shows with Kit Power and Daniel Harper in which we talk about all the original Sherlock Holmes stories in order – almost certainly not to be published for anyone but backers.