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.
On this week’s episode Emily, Rachel, and B attempt to crack Max Horkheimer’sEclipse of Reason, written in 1947 in the aftermath of World War II. We focus in particular on chapter 2, “Conflicting Panaceas,” and chapter 3, “The Revolt of Nature.” We begin by discussing his somewhat surprisingFreudian turn in chapter 3, his critique of the scientific method, positivism and neo-Thomism, and his brilliant use of the term “philosophical technocracy” in critiquing the instrumental use of reason. Next, we attempt to unravel whether there is somewhat of a latent philosopher-king in his analysis of the cultural crisis of reason. In our segment on all dreams big and small, “One or Several Wolves,” we keep it brief and sweet–some dreams are just that transparent.
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. Thanks to Leah Dion and to B for the music.
In this episode of Always Already, Emily, John, and B engage in a little film analysis for their first time on the show (and possibly in their lives!) Starting with the Pakistani cartoon Burka Avenger, your critical team struggles to uncover whether there is a reproduction of liberal rights discourse. Is there a colonized narrative behind the superheroine, whose full burka cloaks her schoolteacher identity as she confronts evildoers with books and pens and the ancient arts of inner peace? Always Already then tackles the highly abstract movie, “Upstream Color,” wondering WTF?, linking its metaphysics from Descartes to its more clearly metaphorical references to rape, trauma, and agency in a completely confusing world. What does it say, we ponder, about the relationships between human animals, non-human animals, and nature? We also deconstruct a dream about a plane in autopilot, and determine each others’ Star Wars characters. Don’t miss it!
Thank you to Brett for suggesting we watch Burka Avenger, and to Carter for asking after Upstream Color. Requests for texts for us to discuss? Dreams for us to interpret? Advice questions for us to answer on 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 Rocco & Lizzie and by B.
Interview with Haroon, the creator of Burka Avenger + debate on the show on India’s NDTV
Join The Always Already trio as we contentiously read two selections from Heidegger’s Elucidations of Hölderlin’s Poetry: “Hölderlin and the Essence of Poetry” and “As When on a Holiday…” Not only do we get to read poems, but we do some philosophizing about it too! Discerning the essence of language, that of Being, and the nature of poetry in Heidegger’s work, Rachel, B, and John come to intellectual blows over Heideggerian ontology and his ‘method’. B gets a little passionate in his approach to the reading, using Levinas to resituate Heidegger’s Being in terms of ethics. Is it a good ethical fight? Listen and find out.
In this week’s advice giving, we offer up some favorite recipes and talk about how to choose which journal to submit an article to.
Thanks for Peter for suggesting we read Heidegger. 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, poem reading, and outro) and Ricky Perry (inter-segment).