The struggle in terms of the strange

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Jack Graham

Jack Graham writes and podcasts about culture and politics from a Gothic Marxist-Humanist perspective. He co-hosts the I Don't Speak German podcast with Daniel Harper. Support Jack on Patreon.


  1. Elizabeth Sandifer
    February 15, 2015 @ 11:39 pm

    Which questions was I too boring over to include? lol


  2. Jack Graham
    February 16, 2015 @ 9:37 am

    I took out some of the more explicit death threats, that's all.


  3. 5tephe
    February 23, 2015 @ 10:58 pm

    Finally managed to get around to reading this (it's been a busy month, with my wife's video blog) and loved it.

    Very interesting to hear you both talk about Material Social Progress, Game of Thrones, and the other wide ranging topics: Phil, I look forward to your Solarpunk novella. Seriously, I'll buy that right up.

    On GoT, I have this view of fantasy fiction that it divides neatly down the middle of the Atlantic, and would like both your thoughts, considering your two perspectives. Here's the divide that I see:

    English fantasy tends to be about the rise of a Reluctant Prince into a Great King – Harry to Henry V, Strider to Aragorn. Because this reinforces and placates the insecurities of a nation that is comfortable with its hereditary power structure.

    USAan fantasy is almost inevitably about the rise of a Disenfranchised Prince into a Worthy King – a bastard, or orphan, or farm boy, or lowly frontier noble, tends to Earn his way above his mostly nobly born counterparts. Can't think off the top of my head of anyone other than Garion becoming Belgarion in David Eddings' ridiculous series. And Jon Snow, of course. This is of course prevalent because it reinforces and placates the USA's own great myth of the self-made man, wresting the frontier under his own control because he was better than other men (or worked harder, or whatever).

    Thoughts? Comments? Dismissive ridicule? All more or less welcome. Just wanted to chat to someone smarter than me about this for a while.


    • Jarl
      July 14, 2017 @ 6:29 am

      2 years out of date, so it’s super timely, and there’s no reply notifications so you may very well never know that I posted this (indeed, this comment is aimed solely at ghosts) but I think your mention of farm boys pretty solidly hangs a lightsaber on another example of this phenomenon, even if his birthright is less royal than monastic. Though, amusingly, the twin takes up the royal (and, later, the martial) heritage of their parents instead, and does so in much more the British tradition of this model.

      Also, to the ghost of Phil Sandifer, there’s always the doctor who general wikia if the tardis data core isn’t grabbing your attention the same way.

      To the ghost of the Solarpunk discussion, the only thing coming to mind is I remember a lot of discussion on this topic coming up around the first Black Panther trailer. With the thought in mind that Afrofuturism is primarily an African American movement, would it be fair to speculate that Wakanda, especially the more utopian vision of Wakanda, is therefore an attempt at constructing an “African America” homeland? A society in which all the dispossessed diaspora can project the views, hopes, and anxieties encompassed in the phrases “the Old Country” or “the Old World”?


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