In this episode, Emily, James, and John enter the Worrisome World-Making of Disney (™) via How to Read Donald Duck, a 1971 Chilean Marxist critique of the American imperial-capitalist project of Disney, republished in 2018. Our trio approaches the book in form and content, and they discuss its social opposition through state censorship — whether as literal book-burning under the Pinochet regime or the banal violence of copyright infringement litigation in the United States — as well as praise the clarity of its cultural studies analysis of the Donald Duck comic strip (1938-1995). The comic, let us remind you, depicted the bourgeois imaginaries of the ne’er-do-well Donald Duck; his miserly ol’ Uncle Scrooge McDuck; everyone’s pal Daisy; our favorite triplets Huey, Dewey, and Louis; and all the aspiring burghers of Duckburg…and the realms beyond.
Does the “fantasia” and “magic of Disney” truly serve to mystify the processes of primitive accumulation? Is Scrooge McDuck’s Monroe-Doctrine, Robber-baron aesthetic the farcical return of Hobbes’ Leviathan? What might the fetishization of gold teach children about the value of labor? Why are there only uncles and aunts in Duckburg? What happened to production, reproduction, labor, class, and social antagonism? What does Donald Duck make invisible, and what does it seek to make natural? Is Donald Trump Scrooge? Is the Marvel Cinematic Universe the bourgeois ideology machine of our time?
Bonus: Find out why you should be simultaneously terrified of the acronym E.P.C.O.T. and grateful Walt Disney’s delusions of grandeur sank right back into the swampy Florida glades from which they sprung. Double bonus: critical mallard studies.
Always Already Medici Club patron Jason H requested we discuss this book, thank you Jason! Requests for texts for us to discuss? Dreams for us to interpret? Advice questions for us to answer? Email us at alwaysalreadypodcast AT gmail DOT com. Subscribe on iTunes. Follow us on Twitter. Like our Facebook page. RSS feed here. Patreon here. Thanks to Bad Infinity for the intro music, “Post Digital,” from their album FutureCommons; always already thanks to B for the outro music. For the mp3 of the episode click here.
In this episode we (finally!) get to the third section of Rosa Luxemburg‘s The Accumulation of Capital, “The Historical Conditions of Accumulation.” This juicy–and oft-quoted section–addresses the ongoing nature of primitive accumulation and the violences of capitalism, the non-capitalist markets required for the expanded reproduction, and the ways this reproduction necessitates imperialism and militarism. The team mulls over what, precisely, Luxemburg means by external, non-capitalist markets (can they be internal to capitalist states? Does she necessarily mean colonized states “abroad”?) We parse the difference between Luxemburg’s “political geography” and “social economy”, the implications of her critique for neo-Marxist framings of neoliberalism, and the ways she enlivens, expands, and reinvigorates Marxist thought. And, most importantly, we raise the eternal question of whether Crate & Barrel is part of Marx and Luxemburg’s schematic Department I or Department II of the capitalist economy. Join us for the final episode of the trilogy!
Requests for texts for us to discuss? Dreams for us to interpret? Advice questions for us to answer? Email us at alwaysalreadypodcast AT gmail DOT com. Subscribe on iTunes. Follow us on Twitter. Like our Facebook page. RSS feed here. Thanks to Bad Infinity for the intro music, “Post Digital,” from their album FutureCommons; always already thanks to B for the outro music. For the mp3 of the episode click here.
Emily, John, and B take on cinema theory at the intersection of critical race theory in this installment of Always Already, discussing Kara Keeling’s book Witch’s Flight: The Cinematic, The Black Femme, and the Image of Common Sense. How does the concept and figure of the “black femme” create the conditions for the possibility of rethinking race, gender, and sexuality–or common sense? But, conversely, what conditions the creation of the black femme in cinematic space that make the normative white and capitalist subject safe? Using Deleuze as a creative font, Keeling offers us a glimpse into “the cinematic” in order to untangle how a radical repositioning of our thinking can offer new ways of understanding common sense. Along the way we also talk about the figure of the witch, Afro-pessimism and Black optimism, racial capitalism, the importance of affectivity and the sensor-motor complex, rationality, and Keeling’s interventions into critical theory.
Don’t miss out on advice on how to deal with family members during the holidays disrespecting your romantic partner, and dream analysis for a nightmarish dream featuring accidental killing.
Thanks to listener Hanna for suggesting the Keeling text. Requests for texts for us to discuss? Dreams for us to interpret? Advice questions for us to answer? Email us at alwaysalreadypodcast AT gmail DOT com. Subscribe on iTunes. Follow us on Twitter. Like our Facebook page. Get the mp3 of the episode here. RSS feed here. NEW intro music, “Static Loops”, from our friend Leah, with the old standby music from B as our outro music. Stick around all the way until the end for the full version of another of Leah’s original songs, “Swim Swim Swim”.
In this episode of Always Already, our brilliant guest co-host, Sid Issar, joins B and John to engage with Lyotard’s affective reading of Marx in his Libidinal Economy. Sid breaks down Lyotard’s complex ontological reading of Marx. John points us toward how Lyotard elaborates a practices a unique mode of reading. And B, well, B thinks Lyotard is intellectually dishonest! How shall we proceed? Do we stroke Marx’s beard, as Lyotard requests? Do we avoid critique and rather take from Marx all of Marx’s affects? Or do we listen to ‘little girl Marx’, whose desire for holism and ideality beg us to interpret, critique, and undermine the desires that permeate Capital? The conversation ranges across the meaning of interpretation, the concept libido, the question of what capitalism is, subjectivity, what Lyotard would say about shopping at H&M, and more. Listen in and join our fantastic discussion.
In My Tumblr Friend from Canada, the group advises on proper Grindr/Tinder etiquette for academics and on the all important question of sacrilege.
Thanks to Deniz for the Lyotard request! Requests for texts for us to discuss? Advice questions for the show? Email us at alwaysalreadypodcast AT gmail DOT com. Subscribe on iTunes. Like our Facebook page. Get the mp3 of the episode here. RSS feed here. This episode’s music by B.
Join us for another hearty episode of Always Already Podcast with B, John and Rachel. This time we’ll be discussing Dipesh Chakrabarty‘s “The Climate of History: Four Theses.” Exploring the relationship between capitalism, climate change, and the role of humans as a species in the warming of the planet, Chakrabarty pushes us to rethink narrow constructions of history that minimize a longer-range geological perspective. In this podcast we discuss the People’s Climate March in New York City, Flood Wall Street, the potentiality and limits of the term “species” in organizing efforts, and universality. We conclude by digging into the implications of a geopocentric take on climate change for political theory.
During the Shoddy Advice portion of our show we entertain a question from Regan in British Columbia about how to pick up somebody in the library. Good riddance and good luck, Regan.
Thanks for Ittai Orr for suggesting we read Chakrabarty. Requests for texts for us to discuss? Advice questions to submit? Email us at alwaysalreadypodcast AT gmail DOT com. Subscribe on iTunes. Like our Facebook page. Get the mp3 here. RSS feed here. This episode’s music by B (intro and outro) and Jordan Cass (inter-segment).