About the show

Co-hosts Emmet and John plumb the depths of history, culture, and philosophy to understand why it is that despite calamities and rapid change nothing feels possible anymore. Guests include artists, scholars, and thinkers from all over the world.

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  • [teaser] Leo Strauss and the Three Waves of Modernity ft. Alex Priou

    November 26th, 2022  |  20 mins 1 sec
    america, american history, carl schmitt, leo strauss, liberal, liberalism, modernity, political philosophy, politics

    Alex Pirou from the New Thinkery podcast sits down with Emmet to talk about Leo Strauss and his posthumously published lecture "The Three Waves of Modernity. They talk about the split between the ancients and the moderns, what Strauss was really after, the tasks modernity presents us with today, whether or not we can recover lessons from the ancients, and more!

  • Episode 92: The Dirties ft. PsyOp Cinema

    November 18th, 2022  |  1 hr 23 mins
    cinema, columbine, film, programming, psyop, school shooter, social engineering

    Brett and Thomas from PsyOp cinema join Emmet to talk about the school shooter movie The Dirties (2013). They talk about Columbine, the role media plays in "traumatizing" its audiences, social engineering, media saturation as grand social atomizer, and more!

  • [teaser] Latour and the Problem of Science ft. Jacob Shell

    October 28th, 2022  |  15 mins 3 secs
    bruno latour, climate change, covid, philosophy, postmodernism, science

    Geographer and author Jacob Shell joined me to talk about his obituary of the late Bruno Latour who rose to prominence critiquing science and then turned his back on his most influential works of critical theory in 2004. We discuss the postmodern turn, science as ideology, the problem of critical theory, epistemic authority, "trusting the science," and more!

  • [teaser]Democratic Pluralism ft. Michael Lind

    October 22nd, 2022  |  20 mins 10 secs
    american history, degrowth, democracy, economics, economy, industry, managerialism, new deal, political economy

    Author Michael Lind joins Emmet to talk about his research speech on democratic pluralism in the 21st century. They discuss regime type, managerialism and technocracy, sector bargaining, the beauty of big, dumb, and simple, his forthcoming book on labor called Hell to Pay, and more.

  • Episode 89: The Agony of the New Left ft. Leighton Woodhouse

    October 14th, 2022  |  1 hr 21 mins
    american history, history, libertarianism, new left, nihilism, progressivism, san francisco, woke, woke ideology, wokeness

    Journalist Leighton Woodhouse joins Emmet to talk about the New Left of the 1960s and the values of the managerial class. They talk about progressive libertarianism, the difference between the old managerial order of the immediate postwar era and the post-70s era, cultural path dependency, the Port Huron statement, and more.

  • [teaser] Millennial Canon: Napoleon Dynamite, Juno, and Scott Pilgrim

    September 30th, 2022  |  15 mins 7 secs

    Kat Dee joins Emmet to talk about movies they couldn't stop texting each other about which they think define, in part, the millennial vibe. They talk about movies that give a shit that you're watching them, what happened to music as part of identity formation, the sexual weirdness of all three movies, being awkward as an early millennial meme, what millennials did to language, and more!

  • [teaser] Shock of the New: The Future That War

    September 26th, 2022  |  15 mins 9 secs

    Emmet and Josh wrap up their series on the Shock of the New.

    They discuss the modern art museum, Hughes's sick burns on everyone and everything, Superbowl Commericals as art appreciation ritual, Don Draper, and mourning the death of painting.

  • Episode 88: Oceania Has Always Been At Culture War With Eastasia ft. Michael Cuenco

    September 23rd, 2022  |  1 hr 13 mins
    conspiracy theory, culture war, end of history, marshall mccluhan, neoliberalism, oligarchy, populism, trump

    Essayist Michael Cuenco joins Emmet to talk about the totalizing permanence of the culture war. They talk about Ross Perot, Pat Buchanan, liberty, republicanism, oligarchy, living in a post-literate tribal world, and more!

  • [teaser] Shock of the New: From Munch to Warhol

    September 5th, 2022  |  50 mins 14 secs

    Josh and Emmet talk over episodes 6 and 7 of Robert Hughes's The Shock of the New. They get into Van Gogh, Edvard Munch, Rothko, and the dawn of the Weak Universal Forms.

    They discuss art as a window into the past and the schizo-world of television. And if painting can't matter in the way it used to, why did Hughes bother with the series?

  • Episode 87: The King and the Duke: So Long, Vince McMahon ft. Oliver Bateman

    August 19th, 2022  |  58 mins 11 secs
    con artist, huck finn, kayfabe, pro wrestling, scandal, trump, vince mcmahon, wrestling, wwe

    King of The Work and co-host of What's Left, Oliver Bateman joins Emmet to talk about the illustrious career of pro-wrestling mogul Vince McMahon after he stepped down from WWE. They talk about the hustler and con man as American architects, the intimacy of kayfabe, what people get wrong about their stale "politics as pro wrestling" takes, and more!

  • [teaser] The End of History and the Last Man: The Old Age of Mankind

    August 15th, 2022  |  1 hr 41 mins

    Matt Kelly rejoins the boys to talk about Fukuyama's weird liberalism, econ theory, the triumphalism of the 90s, Fukuyama as an OG anti-Islamic type, and more!

  • [teaser] The End of History and the Last Man: Our Pessimism

    July 28th, 2022  |  16 mins 13 secs

    Emmet and John begin their series on Fukuyama's seminal The End of History and the Last Man. They talk through its context, Fukuyama's background, trouble some of his assumptions, and kick the tires of his liberal triumphalism in the opening 50 pages.

  • Episode 86: California Uber Alles ft. Robert. Bryce

    July 24th, 2022  |  58 mins 50 secs
    california, climate change, electricity, energy crisis, gavin newsom, homelessness, nuclear energy

    6-time author and host of the Power Hungry Podcast Robert Bryce sits down with Emmet to talk about the downfall of California and its war on the poor, his time covering the Branch Davidian trials, our troubled electric grid, the balkanization of America, and more!

  • [teaser] The Boys Are Back In Town Bull Sesh

    July 1st, 2022  |  22 mins 11 secs

    We're back!

    This one opens with some housekeeping, then we move on to talk about the energy crisis, regionalism, localism, PMC intermediation, American political tradition, and more!

  • Episode 85: School Shooters, Nihilism, and Child Sacrifice ft. Geoff Shullenberger and Default Friend

    June 29th, 2022  |  1 hr 6 mins

    Emmet sits Geoff Shullenberger and Default Friend to talk about their respective articles on the Uvalde shooting, school shootings in general, "zeitgeist killers," the spiritual hole in our society, and more!

  • [teaser] Don't Say Disney ft. Geoff Shullenberger

    April 30th, 2022  |  11 mins 49 secs
    chris rufo, disney, don't say gay, family, florida, ideology, lasch

    Geoff came onto the pod to talk about what's going on with conservatives and Disney, though it's really a conversation about cultural power, Lasch, the family, ideology, political anemia, and more.

    This will also be our last Patreon episode until July. Don't worry, we've paused your payments. You won't be getting charged.

    We're going to come back in the summer with gusto.