Pop the Program #1: Waking Life

This week marks the death of the podcast “Pop the Left” and the birth of a new podcast called “Pop the Program.” Varn has grown tired of the left, profoundly tired of it, but he enjoys conversing about all manner of subjects with me, and in an effort to keep the conversation going we’ve renamed our joint effort. What you can expect in the future are conversations about literature, art, music, philosophy, and perhaps even conversations about dead white dudes like Marx or Guy Debord, but “the Left” will no longer be our primary subject.

This week, at the outset, we discuss the revolutionary ideas in Richard Linklater’s 2001 film “Waking Life,” and as such this first episode is a transitional podcast. It was recorded for “Pop the Left” but edited as the first episode of “Pop the Program.”

Back in 2001 Roger Ebert celebrated Linklater’s film and its release: “Waking Life” could not come at a better time. Opening in these sad and fearful days after Sept. 11, it celebrates a series of articulate, intelligent characters who seek out the meaning of their existence and do not have the answers. At a time when madmen think they have the right to kill us because of what they think they know about an afterlife, which is by definition unknowable, those who don’t know the answers are the only ones asking sane questions.


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