Zero Squared: Radical and/or Racial Politics?

Glenn Loury is the guest this week as we discuss black anger, white victims of police violence, and the ins and outs of structural racism. Loury is a former conservative who became a man of the left in the 90s. He has a predisposition to go slow and a strong inclination to favor reform over radical change. He is also a good guest. A professor at Brown University, a onetime contender for Undersecretary of Education, the author of the book The Anatomy of Racial Inequality, and the host of the Glenn Show at bloggingheads.tv, we were glad to have him back.

Some Zero Books titles that you should check out: Daniel Coffeen’s Reading the Way of Things, Eliot Fintushel’s book Zen City, and Jerry Barnett’s Porn Panic.

In this episode you’ll hear about Functionalist Assumptions in Sociology, a clip from the 80s film Repo Man, Iggy Pop’s theme for Repo Man, an excerpt from a speech by Omali Yeshitela at an African People’s Solidarity Committee conference, an excerpt from the comedy sketch program Mr. Show, and the Wellness/Plaza Vaporwave Mix from the youtube star Akanein Tokio TV.

Zero Squared #76: Black Anger and Black Politics

Margaret Kimberley discusses black anger and BLM on this week’s episode. A regular columnist for the Black Agenda Report, Margaret Kimberley is also a regular guest on the podcast. We discuss broken window policing Michael Eric Dyson, white racism, police brutality, and the politics and the anti-politics of Black Lives Matter.

Next month’s book releases from Zero Books includes Daniel Coffeen’s Reading the Way of Things. If you’re a long time listener to my podcasts then you’re probably familiar with Daniel Coffeen and his Deleuzian guide to reading the world is available in paperback and as an e-book. I also want to announce that our membership site is about halfway to completion and that Coffeen has volunteered to be one of the first authors to lead our upcoming Zero Books’ philosophy workshops.

This episode includes clips from Glenn Loury’s bloggingheads.tv show wherein the author John McWhorter describes the need for a list of white victims who were killed under similar circumstances to Philando Castile or Eric Garner. McWhorter finds his list. There is also a clip from Heather MacDonald discussing her book “The War on the Cops,” a clip of Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men, and some music from the Vaporwave artist Macintosh Plus. If you’re a fan of Vaporwave (or want to learn more about it) you might pick up Graton Tanner’s book Babbling Corpse which was published in June.

Zero Squared #52: Political Self-Censorship

Glenn Loury is a reformed neo-conservative “man of the left” with some serious reservations. He is a professor at Brown University, a one time contender for Undersecretary of Education, the author of the book The Anatomy of Racial Inequality, the host of the Glenn Show, as well as a regular contributor to the New Republic. This week we discuss his 1994 paper “Self-Censorship in Public Discourse.”

In his paper Loury points out that:

When speakers are choosing words intended to stimulate a particular response, strategic listeners cannot simply accept the literal content of an expression as its meaning-in-effect. To take the speaker literally is to behave naively, and thus to risk being deceived. Sophisticated listeners must look behind what is spoken or written, in an effort to discern all that is implied by the act of speaking or writing in a given way.
At the same time, being aware that his speech act is subject to such interpretation, and wanting to create a desired impression, a skillful speaker will structure his message mindful of the inferences which listeners are inclined to make.

Before I plunge into this episode I do want to mention the passing of the pop icon David Bowie, certainly not to inform anyone about it, nor to merely mark my own shock and horror to realize that such a mythical man can be brought down and extinguished, but also to point out that some of the best analysis on Bowie’s legacy are available at Chris O’Leary’s blog “Pushing Ahead of the Dame.” O’Leary is a Zero Books author and is, according to the cultural critic Mark Dery, the uncontested dean of Bowie studies.

In this episode you’ll hear excerpts from Steve Martin comedy routine as well as clips from the film In the Loop, Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, and a stretched version of the Vitamin String Quartet’s cover of Life on Mars?

Zero Squared #30: Participation or Revolution

Margaret Kimberley has been an editor and Senior Columnist of Black Agenda Report since its inception in 2006. Her work has also appeared on sites such as Alternet and Counterpunch and in publications such as The Dallas Morning News and The Chicago Defender. She is a regular guest on radio talk shows and has appeared on Al Jazeera English, Russia Today, the Real News Network and GRITtv, and this week she’s on Zero Squared to discuss two seemingly separate subjects. First we talk about the Greek economic crisis and then we cover a small incident at the Netroots conference involving leaders from the Black Lives Matter movement and US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. On this topic Bruce Dixon, the managing editor at the Black Agenda Report, wrote:

All in all, the NetRootsNation confrontation wasn’t the stirring of black women activists “taking their rightful place at the front of the progressive movement,” as one breathless tweet called it. It didn’t tell us anything we didn’t know about O’Malley or Sanders, or about hypocritical Hillary.

It was about flying the #BlackLivesMatter flag to jockey for positions inside the machinery that is the Democratic party and its affiliates.

In this episode you’ll hear a clip from Rick and Morty, the music of Negativland from their album Negativland, a clip from an interview with Michael Nevradakis at the Real News network, Blonde Redhead’s For the Damaged Coda, Mazzy Star’s Look On Down From the Bridge, Bernie Sanders as he’s interrupted by Black Lives Matters, and another Negativland song called Booper Symphony.