A Margot in a World of Roberts

This episode was supposed to be about Jennifer Egan’s Manhattan Beach, but mid-way through reading Cat Person came out and the game changed. We’ll talk about viral fiction (trademarked term, please do not steal), feminism, consent, bad sex, moles, SCUBA diving, and trying to not be a Robert.

Music by Ragana and (https://ragana.bandcamp.com/) and Couch Slut (https://gileadmedia.bandcamp.com/album/contempt)

The Handmaid’s Fail (We are DEVO)

Louise Erdrich has won every literary award save for the Nobel over a long and distinguished career… and now she’s written a literary post-apocalypse book that does a lot of what The Handmaid’s Tale did in 1985, only worse and with dinosaurs. We’ll talk Catholicism, indigenous identity, the hashtag-resistance, dinosaurs, guns, the literary post-apocalypse genre that should have began and ended with The Road, dinosaurs, and we’ll reveal the long-suppressed truth about de-evolution!

Music by Jassa (https://jassa1227.bandcamp.com/) and Thantifaxath (https://darkdescentrecords.bandcamp.com/album/void-masquerading-as-matter)

American War (What Is It Good For?)

On the first ever episode of DEATH // SENTENCE, I’ll talk about American War, a buzzed-about novel from war reporter Omar El Akkad about a second American civil war that starts because gasoline gets banned. Really. We’ll cover the book’s confused morality, its over-wrought dialogue, Darth Vader, solar panel efficiency, tailgate parties, bio-terrorism and making the jack-off motion so hard that it removes a layer of skin.

Music from Trenchgrinder (https://trenchgrinder.bandcamp.com/) and Malefic Levitation (https://maleficlevitation.bandcamp.com/)

The Cult Is Dead: The Alt-Right and Black Metal

After Charlottesville I would love to think, even for the second, that the end has begun for twenty-first century Fascism. I’d like to think that after an attempted mass murder, teenage boys whose critical faculties have been destroyed by South Park, who make up the bulk of what we call the Alt-Right, would desert. No such luck. The Alt-Right is an identity first, a political project a very distant second, and identities don’t go down easy.

Even if this isn’t the beginning of the end, there’s historical precedent that suggests that it may be the end of the beginning in another group of angry, sad, young, white men who took nerd culture and nationalism far too seriously: The Norwegian Black Metal scene centered around the Helvete record store in Oslo, a group of musicians and hangers-on who sometimes, perhaps ironically, referred to themselves as the ‘Black Circle.’

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The Silver Age of Television

It’s hard to really get excited about shows as brilliant as American Gods and The Handmaid’s Tale. Both are impeccably designed, beautifully shot and brought to life by incredibly talented actors. The former hews closer to the Gonzo end of prestige TV; the violence is more comic than tragic, the nudity is frequent, the camera corkscrews through scenes as if to say ‘this is television, it’s artificial, and I can do what the fuck I want.’ The latter’s violence is more tragic than comic, the nudity is less frequent (but has to be there, because we’re grown-ups after all) and the camera stays still, standing in awe of Elizabeth Moss’s performance.

It’s possible to watch both without feeling anything in particular, and come Monday morning neither are topics of discussion around the figurative water cooler, where we once pondered Lost before realising, embarrassed, that we’d been had.

Read More At Medium