19 Apr 2014, 7:25am
Diet Soap Update
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Diet Soap Podcast #209: Are Corporations Really Hogging Workers’ Wages?

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The guest this week is Andrew Kliman. Kliman is the author of The Failure of Capitalist Production and a regular guest on the Diet Soap podcast. This is a conversation about Kliman’s recent essay for Truthdig! Are Corporations Really Hogging Workers’ Wages?

Andrew’s answer is no. He says in the essay:
Careful analysis shows that before the recession, average hourly compensation of employees at large did keep pace with productivity—unless “compensation” and “productivity” are measured in a highly misleading way.

Also on this podcast I announce the coming of a new podcast. I will be co-hosting a biweekly podcast for Zero Books starting in late May. David Blacker is the other host and we’ve decided on a direct and simple title: The Zero Books Hour. The podcast will be an interview show featuring authors from Zero Books as well as other cultural studies and critical theory presses. The aim will be to corrupt both the young and the old. Look for it and listen.

Double Feature #1: Cloverfield and Planet of the Apes

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The Double Feature podcast with Jim Farris and Douglas Lain is landing here, on the Diet Soap podcast feed, until it finds it’s own home. This is a bit different from the Former People podcast in so much as it isn’t as high brow and will take a look at more B pictures and middle brow fare. It is also different in so much as Jim Farris is a grumpy old man with a history in Hollywood whose knowledge of movies and movie history is extensive rather than a poet or an aesthete or something else grand like that.

The films reviewed in this first podcast are Franklin J. Schaffner’s “Planet of the Apes,” and JJ Abram’s “Cloverfield.”

On Cloverfield Farris believes that the film comments on 9/11 in the way Godzilla commented on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, whereas I believe the film fails to comment on anything but affirms our cultural narcissism through its single camera perspective.

Both of us enjoyed Planet of the Apes quite a lot, especially Heston’s performance. Cut from this episode is a discussion of the character Nova because Douglas liked this character too much and it made everybody sick to their stomach to listen to him talk about her.

Diet Soap Podcast #208: Egyptian Impasse/After the Impossible

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The guest this week is the philosophy professor and no good commie David Blacker. Blacker is the author of the book “The Falling Rate of Learning” from Zero Books, but this week we discuss his vacation to Cairo Egypt and why he hates anarchists. Blacker is a regular guest and I was glad to talk to him again.

I want to thank John L, John Spillane, Andy M, and Jacob L for their recurring donations to the podcast and to thank Jake C for making a one time donation to the podcast. And urge everyone who enjoys Diet Soap to consider pressing on the paypal buttons and dietsoap.podomatic.com. You can also follow me on twitter, friend me on Facebook, send me an email through my website which is doulgaslain.com.

As some of you may have heard I have started writing a book called “How to Watch Star Trek” for Blacker’s publisher Zero Books, and I hope to share excerpts from the book as I go along. I also hope to talk to Andrew Kliman, Daniel Coffeen, Andy Marshall, Jason Horsley, and Margaret Kimberley in the weeks to come and maybe even talk to some new people as well. I’d really like to interview the author Jonathan Crary whose book 24/7 describes my life, for instance, and I also hope to land an interview with the editor at Verso who recently released a collection of Althusser’s essays. There will also be more film podcasts from Former People and a new possibly recurring movie podcast with my friend Jim Farris.

The music you’re listening to right now is Steve Martin’s King Tut as performed by Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, but in just a moment you’ll be listening to David Blacker and I discuss An Egyptian Impasse/After the Impossible.

Diet Soap Podcast #207: Difference and a Space Odyssey

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The guest this week is the pop philosopher Daniel Coffeen. Mister Coffeen is a recurring guest to Diet Soap and this week we discuss aliens, alienation, difference, 2001 and the Men in Black.

I want to thank Felix B for making a one time donation to the podcast and urge everyone who enjoys Diet Soap to consider pressing on the paypal buttons at dietsoap.podomatic.com. You can also follow me on twitter, friend me on Facebook, send me an email through my website (that’s douglaslain.com) or just wait for the visitors to bring me a message.

At the start of this episode Daniel Coffeen and I mention a critical outline/essay about Kubrick’s film 2001 that was written by Margaret Stackhouse when she was a junior at North Plainfield High School in 70s. The essay was originally published in Jerome Agel’s book “The Making of 2001.” Here’s an excerpt from her essay:

I. The monolith – source of infinite knowledge and intelligence

A. Perfection represented in its shape; its color — black —
could symbolize:

1. Evil and death, which result from man’s misuse of knowledge;

2. The incomprehensible — man, with his limited senses, cannot
comprehend the absence (perfect black) of color or light