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Essay Questions

Jester Radio Network

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Essay Questions
Essay Questions

Essay Questions

Jester Radio Network

1
Followers
8
Plays
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About Us

Essay Questions is the podcast in which your hosts, Joe & Josh, read an essay that's interesting to them and/or of historical importance, and then talk about it. Pretty simple, right? Well, we like to think we're using these essays as a starting point for conversations that end up going in strange and surprising directions. Nothing makes us happier than dragging luminaries like Mencken, Orwell, Adorno, and Didion into our own long-standing obsessions with conspiracy theories, the National Security State, media consolidation, high and low culture, and the meaning and purpose of religion. But this isn't a seminar, and we're not scholars or experts. Joe is a comic, Josh is a writer, and for them, this is just fun. So if you love to read but feel like you don't do enough of it, and you think you might enjoy hearing two ordinary guys shoot the s*** about things other than sports, politics, or pop culture, this is the podcast for you. Each episode, we choose a reading that's publicly available and encourage all our listeners to read it beforehand so you can follow along with our conversation. And of course, you can also always contact us with your thoughts, too!

Latest Episodes

Who Went Nazi... And Who Will?

EIn this little wrap-up of Season 2, Joe & Josh discuss Dorothy Thompson's famous 1941 Harper's essay "Who Goes Nazi?" In it, Thompson asked readers to look around the room at their next dinner party and guess who would collaborate with a fascist government in the United States. This piece, and the grim parlor game it describes, made the rounds on social media immediately before and after Donald Trump's election, and it has a lot to say about the personality types that are attracted to far-right movements, and maps pretty well on to the profiles we've read this season of major Alt-Right figures. We also tease our topic for Season 3, which hopefully will get to record before the world actually ends."Who Goes Nazi?" by Dorothy Thompson, Harper's, 1941https://harpers.org/archive/1941/08/who-goes-nazi/Let us know what you think: essayquestionspodcast@gmail.com

49 MIN2018 APR 30
Comments
Who Went Nazi... And Who Will?

Virtue Shaming

EMark Fisher (1968-2017), aka k-punk, was one of the most sensitive and original Leftist writers the internet age has yet produced. In both his major work, Capitalist Realism, and his many essays and blog posts, Fisher expounded on literature, technology, and pop culture from a class-conscious but undogmatic perspective. For his gentle but firm critique of the pseudo-progressive call-out culture that still dominates online spaces, "Exiting the Vampire Castle," he was viciously - but predictably - attacked by petulant children obsessed by a bourgeois sense of proprietary, disguised as liberal political sentiment. In this episode, Joe & Josh discuss his legacy and ask how his thought and writing offer an alternative to both the toxicity of the Alt-Right and the narcissism of the fake Left.“Exiting the Vampire Castle” by Mark Fisher, The North Star, 2013http://www.thenorthstar.info/?p=11299 “Mark Fisher, 1968-2017” by Alex Niven, Jacobin, 2017https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/01/mark-...

93 MIN2018 APR 23
Comments
Virtue Shaming

Nationalist Born Killer

EDylann Roof's murder of nine people at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC shocked the nation in 2015, the most appalling act of right-wing terrorism in the U.S. since the Oklahoma City bombing - and the first inspired by the proliferation of racist, neo-fascist, and Alt-Right ideas online. Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah's masterful 2017 essay for GQ captures the heroism of Roof's victims, the rage of their survivors, and the world of Roof himself, who emerges as both mentally unstable and also utterly earnest in his racist ideology. He was also clearly infatuated with a certain mythologized version of American history, which is what Joe & Josh spend most of this episode talking about. They also ask if the word "terrorism" has any value, discuss American gun culture, and return to the Confederate monuments debate.“A Most American Terrorist” by Rachel Khaadzi Ghansah, GQ, 2017https://www.gq.com/story/dylann-roof-making-of-an-american-terrorist“Racism, Medievalism, and the White Supremacis...

132 MIN2018 APR 16
Comments
Nationalist Born Killer

Wild Broodmares Can’t Be Broken

EAs this season's readings have already made clear, male grievance and organized misogyny are a crucial feeder into the fevered swamps of the Alt-Right. So why would an otherwise sane, smart, independent woman want to make common cause with the Nazi contingent of the #gamergate and MGTOW crowd? In this episode, Joe & Josh discuss what motivates right-wing women, starting with the portrait of Lana Lokteff and her fascist sorority sisters in "Rise of the Valkyries" by Seyward Darby, from the September 2017 issue of Harper's. They also examine conservative sexism, the link between biology and gender roles, mis-pronounce "Hindutva," and ask once again how much attention to the Alt-Right is too much.“Rise of the Valkyries” by Seyward Darby, Harper’s, 2017https://harpers.org/archive/2017/09/the-rise-of-the-valkyries/Optional:“The Alt-Right Doesn’t Know What to Do With White Women” by Hannah Gais, The New Republic, 2017https://newrepublic.com/article/145325/alt-right-doesnt-know-white...

95 MIN2018 APR 9
Comments
Wild Broodmares Can’t Be Broken

Gaslighting Chambers

EThe road from paranoid conspiracy theorist to out-and-out Nazi is a well-trod one, but no one has followed that road further than Andrew Anglin, the 5'4" American Goebbels of internet fascism. Founder of The Daily Stormer, perpetuator of long-discredited anti-Semitic canards, Filipino child bride-seeker, and man who is maybe 5'7" in his skinhead boots, Anglin is the big (but not tall) fish of the Alt-Right. In this episode, Joe & Josh break down why anti-Semitism has such staying power, whether or not no-platforming works, and how media outlets can best report on the likes of well-under-average-height hatemonger Anglin. Our discussion ranges from Luke O'Brien's December 2017 cover story in The Atlantic to Anglin's own short (get it?) Alt-Right explainer for normies.“The Making of an American Nazi” by Luke O’Brien, The Atlantic, 2017https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/12/the-making-of-an-american-nazi/544119/Optional:“My Journey to the Center of the Alt-Right” by L...

92 MIN2018 APR 2
Comments
Gaslighting Chambers

Dearth of a Nation

EIt seems like "traditionalist" neo-Nazi organizer Matt Heimbach has reached the end of his ignoble career, facing accusations of vicious assault in the wake of a sordid affair with the wife of his top deputy, who is also Heimbach's wife's stepfather. (Good work on keeping the family sacred, Heimbach clan.) That story is bonkers, but in this episode, Joe & Josh catch Matt at the inauspicious start of his white nationalist campaign, as the founder of a "White Student Union" on his college campus in 2013. Wes Enzinna's profile captures a group of dough-faced youths more silly than sinister, though the days of streetfighting with AntiFa were just around the corner. Also discussed: Is the free speech crisis on college campuses real? How should journalists write about Nazis? Are there any Jews in Ohio? Read all about it - (and look, the essays are short this time! You damn slackers...):“Here Comes the White Power Safety Patrol” by Wes Enzinna, Vice, 2013https://www.vice.com/en_us/articl...

112 MIN2018 MAR 26
Comments
Dearth of a Nation

(((Mrs. Enoch)))

EDid you hear the one about the Jewish gal who was married to a Nazi? How about the sorrowful dad who disowned his Nazi son after Charlottesville? Or the one about "edgy" podcasters who went from making dark Holocaust jokes to humorlessly advocating for a second Holocaust? Pure comedy. In this episode, (((Joe))) & Josh examine Andrew Marantz's oddly moving New Yorker profile of white nationalist podcaster Mike Enoch - and of his grieving father - and talk social media cocoons, anti-semitic parentheses, and the limits of sympathy. They also begin a conversation, to be continued through the next few episodes, about the origins and persistence of anti-Semitism.“Birth of a White Supremacist” by Andrew Marantz, The New Yorker, 2017https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/10/16/birth-of-a-white-supremacistOptional:“Threatening Jewish Prosperity” by Steve Sailer, Taki’s, 2017http://takimag.com/article/threatening_jewish_prosperity_steve_sailer/print#axzz50zOK3Qyj“Enemies of My Enemy” ...

90 MIN2018 MAR 19
Comments
(((Mrs. Enoch)))

Ethno-Statesman

EOnce a prominent figure only in the wilderness of right-wing internet culture, Richard Spencer has become the smug public face of the so-called Alt-Right. He can lay at least a partial claim to originating the phrase "alternative right" itself, and he has been the subject of numerous profiles since Trump's election, some of which have been criticized for glamorizing him as "dapper," even dashing. How did this seemingly generic frat-kid type from the Texas suburbs become the public face of American fascism? Graeme Wood's de-mystifying account is especially helpful in providing some answers, given Wood's minor but nonetheless significant personal history with Spencer. In this episode, Joe & Josh delve into that backstory, along with the inevitable question of whether or not we should punch Nazis.“His Kampf” by Graeme Wood, The Atlantic, 2017https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/06/his-kampf/524505/Optional:“The Alt-Right’s Jewish Godfather” by Jacob Siegel, Tablet, 20...

99 MIN2018 MAR 12
Comments
Ethno-Statesman

Mansplaining the Manosphere

EManosphere. Men's rights. MGTOW. All dumb names for the same controversial thing. But is it malevolent? Is the connection that so many journalists and analysts have made between these men's movements and the Alt-Right justified? In this episode, Manischewitz & Mendacity red-pill you on Warren Farrell, an early proponent of therapeutic misogyny, with help from a 2015 Mother Jones profile by Mariah Blake. We'll also look at the world of pickup artists and at various attempts to connect the hookup culture with the Decline of Western Civilization. So assume your Alpha Male body posture and call your family court lawyer, we're about to kino escalate Season 2 into the manosphere.“Mad Men: Inside the Men’s Rights Movement” by Mariah Blake, Mother Jones, 2015http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/01/warren-farrell-mens-rights-movement-feminism-misogyny-trolls/Optional:“Sexual Utopia in Power” by F. Roger Devil, The Occidental Quarterly, 2006https://www.toqonline.com/archives/v6n2/Dev...

88 MIN2018 MAR 5
Comments
Mansplaining the Manosphere

Mad as Hell, and Taking it to the Internet

ELiberals and leftists hated Andrew Breitbart in life and cursed him in death. "F*ck him," wrote Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone immediately after Breitbart's death was announced in March 2012. "I couldn’t be happier that he’s dead." But even Taibbi had to concede that Breitbart's public humiliation of then-Senator, not-yet-pariah Anthony Weiner was a triumph of crass showmanship and perverse humor. But how to separate Breitbart the brand from Breitbart the man? Did his rage-fueled drive to build new, online conservative media help open the sewers for the Alt-Right? What would he think, were he still alive, about the site that still bears his name and the ugly trajectory it's followed in the past few years? Joe & Josh explore these questions by looking back at Rebecca Mead's 2010 profile of Breitbart, in which he's revealed as a petty visionary who screams a lot.“Rage Machine” by Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, 2010https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2010/05/24/rage-machineOptional:“F...

71 MIN2018 FEB 26
Comments
Mad as Hell, and Taking it to the Internet

Latest Episodes

Who Went Nazi... And Who Will?

EIn this little wrap-up of Season 2, Joe & Josh discuss Dorothy Thompson's famous 1941 Harper's essay "Who Goes Nazi?" In it, Thompson asked readers to look around the room at their next dinner party and guess who would collaborate with a fascist government in the United States. This piece, and the grim parlor game it describes, made the rounds on social media immediately before and after Donald Trump's election, and it has a lot to say about the personality types that are attracted to far-right movements, and maps pretty well on to the profiles we've read this season of major Alt-Right figures. We also tease our topic for Season 3, which hopefully will get to record before the world actually ends."Who Goes Nazi?" by Dorothy Thompson, Harper's, 1941https://harpers.org/archive/1941/08/who-goes-nazi/Let us know what you think: essayquestionspodcast@gmail.com

49 MIN2018 APR 30
Comments
Who Went Nazi... And Who Will?

Virtue Shaming

EMark Fisher (1968-2017), aka k-punk, was one of the most sensitive and original Leftist writers the internet age has yet produced. In both his major work, Capitalist Realism, and his many essays and blog posts, Fisher expounded on literature, technology, and pop culture from a class-conscious but undogmatic perspective. For his gentle but firm critique of the pseudo-progressive call-out culture that still dominates online spaces, "Exiting the Vampire Castle," he was viciously - but predictably - attacked by petulant children obsessed by a bourgeois sense of proprietary, disguised as liberal political sentiment. In this episode, Joe & Josh discuss his legacy and ask how his thought and writing offer an alternative to both the toxicity of the Alt-Right and the narcissism of the fake Left.“Exiting the Vampire Castle” by Mark Fisher, The North Star, 2013http://www.thenorthstar.info/?p=11299 “Mark Fisher, 1968-2017” by Alex Niven, Jacobin, 2017https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/01/mark-...

93 MIN2018 APR 23
Comments
Virtue Shaming

Nationalist Born Killer

EDylann Roof's murder of nine people at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC shocked the nation in 2015, the most appalling act of right-wing terrorism in the U.S. since the Oklahoma City bombing - and the first inspired by the proliferation of racist, neo-fascist, and Alt-Right ideas online. Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah's masterful 2017 essay for GQ captures the heroism of Roof's victims, the rage of their survivors, and the world of Roof himself, who emerges as both mentally unstable and also utterly earnest in his racist ideology. He was also clearly infatuated with a certain mythologized version of American history, which is what Joe & Josh spend most of this episode talking about. They also ask if the word "terrorism" has any value, discuss American gun culture, and return to the Confederate monuments debate.“A Most American Terrorist” by Rachel Khaadzi Ghansah, GQ, 2017https://www.gq.com/story/dylann-roof-making-of-an-american-terrorist“Racism, Medievalism, and the White Supremacis...

132 MIN2018 APR 16
Comments
Nationalist Born Killer

Wild Broodmares Can’t Be Broken

EAs this season's readings have already made clear, male grievance and organized misogyny are a crucial feeder into the fevered swamps of the Alt-Right. So why would an otherwise sane, smart, independent woman want to make common cause with the Nazi contingent of the #gamergate and MGTOW crowd? In this episode, Joe & Josh discuss what motivates right-wing women, starting with the portrait of Lana Lokteff and her fascist sorority sisters in "Rise of the Valkyries" by Seyward Darby, from the September 2017 issue of Harper's. They also examine conservative sexism, the link between biology and gender roles, mis-pronounce "Hindutva," and ask once again how much attention to the Alt-Right is too much.“Rise of the Valkyries” by Seyward Darby, Harper’s, 2017https://harpers.org/archive/2017/09/the-rise-of-the-valkyries/Optional:“The Alt-Right Doesn’t Know What to Do With White Women” by Hannah Gais, The New Republic, 2017https://newrepublic.com/article/145325/alt-right-doesnt-know-white...

95 MIN2018 APR 9
Comments
Wild Broodmares Can’t Be Broken

Gaslighting Chambers

EThe road from paranoid conspiracy theorist to out-and-out Nazi is a well-trod one, but no one has followed that road further than Andrew Anglin, the 5'4" American Goebbels of internet fascism. Founder of The Daily Stormer, perpetuator of long-discredited anti-Semitic canards, Filipino child bride-seeker, and man who is maybe 5'7" in his skinhead boots, Anglin is the big (but not tall) fish of the Alt-Right. In this episode, Joe & Josh break down why anti-Semitism has such staying power, whether or not no-platforming works, and how media outlets can best report on the likes of well-under-average-height hatemonger Anglin. Our discussion ranges from Luke O'Brien's December 2017 cover story in The Atlantic to Anglin's own short (get it?) Alt-Right explainer for normies.“The Making of an American Nazi” by Luke O’Brien, The Atlantic, 2017https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/12/the-making-of-an-american-nazi/544119/Optional:“My Journey to the Center of the Alt-Right” by L...

92 MIN2018 APR 2
Comments
Gaslighting Chambers

Dearth of a Nation

EIt seems like "traditionalist" neo-Nazi organizer Matt Heimbach has reached the end of his ignoble career, facing accusations of vicious assault in the wake of a sordid affair with the wife of his top deputy, who is also Heimbach's wife's stepfather. (Good work on keeping the family sacred, Heimbach clan.) That story is bonkers, but in this episode, Joe & Josh catch Matt at the inauspicious start of his white nationalist campaign, as the founder of a "White Student Union" on his college campus in 2013. Wes Enzinna's profile captures a group of dough-faced youths more silly than sinister, though the days of streetfighting with AntiFa were just around the corner. Also discussed: Is the free speech crisis on college campuses real? How should journalists write about Nazis? Are there any Jews in Ohio? Read all about it - (and look, the essays are short this time! You damn slackers...):“Here Comes the White Power Safety Patrol” by Wes Enzinna, Vice, 2013https://www.vice.com/en_us/articl...

112 MIN2018 MAR 26
Comments
Dearth of a Nation

(((Mrs. Enoch)))

EDid you hear the one about the Jewish gal who was married to a Nazi? How about the sorrowful dad who disowned his Nazi son after Charlottesville? Or the one about "edgy" podcasters who went from making dark Holocaust jokes to humorlessly advocating for a second Holocaust? Pure comedy. In this episode, (((Joe))) & Josh examine Andrew Marantz's oddly moving New Yorker profile of white nationalist podcaster Mike Enoch - and of his grieving father - and talk social media cocoons, anti-semitic parentheses, and the limits of sympathy. They also begin a conversation, to be continued through the next few episodes, about the origins and persistence of anti-Semitism.“Birth of a White Supremacist” by Andrew Marantz, The New Yorker, 2017https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/10/16/birth-of-a-white-supremacistOptional:“Threatening Jewish Prosperity” by Steve Sailer, Taki’s, 2017http://takimag.com/article/threatening_jewish_prosperity_steve_sailer/print#axzz50zOK3Qyj“Enemies of My Enemy” ...

90 MIN2018 MAR 19
Comments
(((Mrs. Enoch)))

Ethno-Statesman

EOnce a prominent figure only in the wilderness of right-wing internet culture, Richard Spencer has become the smug public face of the so-called Alt-Right. He can lay at least a partial claim to originating the phrase "alternative right" itself, and he has been the subject of numerous profiles since Trump's election, some of which have been criticized for glamorizing him as "dapper," even dashing. How did this seemingly generic frat-kid type from the Texas suburbs become the public face of American fascism? Graeme Wood's de-mystifying account is especially helpful in providing some answers, given Wood's minor but nonetheless significant personal history with Spencer. In this episode, Joe & Josh delve into that backstory, along with the inevitable question of whether or not we should punch Nazis.“His Kampf” by Graeme Wood, The Atlantic, 2017https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/06/his-kampf/524505/Optional:“The Alt-Right’s Jewish Godfather” by Jacob Siegel, Tablet, 20...

99 MIN2018 MAR 12
Comments
Ethno-Statesman

Mansplaining the Manosphere

EManosphere. Men's rights. MGTOW. All dumb names for the same controversial thing. But is it malevolent? Is the connection that so many journalists and analysts have made between these men's movements and the Alt-Right justified? In this episode, Manischewitz & Mendacity red-pill you on Warren Farrell, an early proponent of therapeutic misogyny, with help from a 2015 Mother Jones profile by Mariah Blake. We'll also look at the world of pickup artists and at various attempts to connect the hookup culture with the Decline of Western Civilization. So assume your Alpha Male body posture and call your family court lawyer, we're about to kino escalate Season 2 into the manosphere.“Mad Men: Inside the Men’s Rights Movement” by Mariah Blake, Mother Jones, 2015http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/01/warren-farrell-mens-rights-movement-feminism-misogyny-trolls/Optional:“Sexual Utopia in Power” by F. Roger Devil, The Occidental Quarterly, 2006https://www.toqonline.com/archives/v6n2/Dev...

88 MIN2018 MAR 5
Comments
Mansplaining the Manosphere

Mad as Hell, and Taking it to the Internet

ELiberals and leftists hated Andrew Breitbart in life and cursed him in death. "F*ck him," wrote Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone immediately after Breitbart's death was announced in March 2012. "I couldn’t be happier that he’s dead." But even Taibbi had to concede that Breitbart's public humiliation of then-Senator, not-yet-pariah Anthony Weiner was a triumph of crass showmanship and perverse humor. But how to separate Breitbart the brand from Breitbart the man? Did his rage-fueled drive to build new, online conservative media help open the sewers for the Alt-Right? What would he think, were he still alive, about the site that still bears his name and the ugly trajectory it's followed in the past few years? Joe & Josh explore these questions by looking back at Rebecca Mead's 2010 profile of Breitbart, in which he's revealed as a petty visionary who screams a lot.“Rage Machine” by Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, 2010https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2010/05/24/rage-machineOptional:“F...

71 MIN2018 FEB 26
Comments
Mad as Hell, and Taking it to the Internet