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 very special episode, Sid and James sit down with Dr. Frank B. Wilderson, III for a lively and wide-ranging conversation about his new highly-anticipated book Afropessimism. Culminating much of Wilderson’s critical theoretical ouevre of the last twenty years, the trio discuss this coming-of-age narrative that chronicles Wilderson’s youthful journey via radical political movements in the US and South Africa and intimate relationships through which Wilderson came to realize his iconoclastic premises of Afropessimism: “Blackness is coterminous with Slaveness…[and] social death” (102). How does Afropressimism view the relation between the libidinal and political economies in generating and sustaining anti-Blackness? Are liberationist-abolitionist projects the ruse of the Human? Should one read Afropessimism as a slave narrative, in anticipation of aporia and oxymoron? And in an Always Already exclusive scoop for our listeners, Wilderson details the wild scene from one memorable night during his stint as a bouncer at Prince’s Minneapolis nightclub.
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, “Desiring Machines,” from their album FutureCommons; always already thanks to B for the outro music. For the mp3 of the episode click here.
In this special anniversary episode, your founding co-hosts John, Rachel, and B tackle the deconstruction of capitalism in J. K. Gibson-Graham’s classic The End of Capitalism (As We Knew It): A Feminist Critique of Political Economy. Challenging the (constructed) essential wholeness of capitalism’s presence in modern theoretical (and everyday) discourses, Gibson-Graham breaks capitalism in a thousand pieces in order to understand its multi-faceted connections. How has Marxism contributed to capitalism’s hold on the theoretical mind as something total, singular, unified? How can we understand multiple economies instead of “the economy”? Should, or can we, save Marx from Marxism? In what ways can Gibson-Graham’s work coincide with the complexities of daily life in gendered, sexed, and racialized modes of existence? Join the team as they work to undo the connective tissues holding capitalism, as we know it–and their foibles along the way. Plus, in My Tumblr Friend from Canada, we answer a question about “critical theory.”
Remember to support us on Patreon to help offset/reimburse the cost of our fancy new microphone, which we have named Lacan.
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 Leah Dion, Rocco & Lizzie, and B for the music.
J.K. Gibson-Graham profile and papers at Community Economies, a website related to the activist work of Gibson, Graham, Gibson-Graham, and their network of scholars, activists, and communities
This week we read Saskia Sassen’s Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy, an exploration of the underlying systems of logic that drive displacement, resource extraction and, ultimately, inequality. Sassen discusses the financial tools, strategies and “instruments” by which corporations and nations amass land, wealth and resources, from the securitizing of subprime mortgages leading to the financial crisis, to the extraction of resource from countries whose public sector shrinks in response. Listen as Rachel, B, and John discuss why this read was so refreshing and illuminating for theorists like us, especially as a model for incorporating data and concrete, contemporary examples into critical political/social theory. Why expulsions and not ‘neoliberalism’ or ‘capitalism’, we ask and and attempt to answer. We also lament the sad lack of advice questions and dreams in need of analysis from our listeners, and talk about Hegel party fouls instead. We know this will change in advance of our next episode! Why? Because we trust you.
Thanks to dmf from the Synthetic Zero website for suggesting the Sassen 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. This episode’s music by Jordan Cass and by B.
Join your faithful podcast hosts B and John as they welcome special guest-host Erika Iverson and delve into neoliberalism. We discuss chapter 9 – on American neoliberalism – from The Birth of Biopolitics by Michel Foucault “Neoliberal Worlds” from Constructions of Neoliberal Reason. Weaving the economic, the political, the state, and the historical ontology of neoliberalism is no small feat–but our hosts take on the challenge with gusto.We explore how to define neoliberalism, whether it should be defined, securitization, neoliberalism and the state, how neoliberalism and racism interact, how to teach neoliberalism, and more. Some of the more contentious and most contemporary topics include racial violence, the protests in Ferguson, MO, and immigration. We hope you enjoy this fascinating look into the connective tissues of neoliberalism(s) and lived experience.
In the “My Tumblr Friend from Canada” segment, we dispense invaluable advice on starting a band (hint: start a queer metal band), and how to say no to things in academia (and how none of us can do this).
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 Ricky Perry of Go-getter and by B.