Pop the Left #10: From Henry Flynt to an Electric Ant

This month’s Pop the Left features a conversation about Henry Flynt’s lecture “An Autopsy of the Left.” The conversation, as is typical, wanders, and in the end Varn and I end up mentioning the difficulty of escaping from our current ideology.

Henry Flynt is a musician, a member of Fluxus, and the last Communist standing. I wrote to him and asked him onto the podcast, but this email met with scorn and ridicule, which was really too bad. If you know Henry Flynt please tell him that I did not mean to insult him when I called him a commie.

For your edification here is a definition of Fluxus as lifted from wikipedia:

Fluxus—a name taken from a Latin word meaning “flow, flux” (noun); “flowing, fluid” (adj.)[1]—is an international network of artists, composers and designers noted for blending different artistic media and disciplines in the 1960s. They have been active in Neo-Dada noise music and visual art as well as literature, urban planning, architecture, and design. Fluxus is sometimes described as intermedia.

In this episode you’ll here a song inspired by the Philip K. Dick story “The Electric Ant” and a clip from “The Thirteenth Floor.” Here’s an essay I wrote for Tor.com about both the short story and the movie.

Diet Soap Podcast #169: A Time for Post-Marxism?

The guest this week is the author and professor McKenzie Wark. Wark is the author of the books the Hacker Manifesto, Gamer Theory, Virtual Geography: Living With Global Media Events, and most recently The Beach Beneath the Street: The Everyday Life and Glorious Times of the Situationist International. This is McKenzie Wark’s second visit to the Diet Soap podcast and this time we discuss the late great Karl Marx and how one should properly worship him…I mean understand his work.

The next Talkshoe after party will occur on Sunday the 27th at noon PST or 3pm EST and I encourage everyone who is listening to participate. On the 13th we had Brendan Cooney participate and in the future I will try to get podcast guests involved with the Talkshoe conversation whenever possible. I also want to thank Caytlin G and Michael P for donating to the podcast and encourage everyone who likes the podcast to donate or become a monthly subscriber. I’ll be reinstating the Podomatic page soon, probably in February, and donations help to speed the reappearance of the Podomatic page along.

I should also point out that I recently discovered that the Marxist Humanist Initiative has scheduled a meeting for Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013 entitled the “Impasse in Movements for Social Change and the Need for the ‘Organization of Thought’.” I mention the meeting because the MHI has suggested that participants listen to episode 165 of Diet Soap as preparation for the teleconference. Number 165 was the episode wherein C Derick Varn and I discussed Adorno’s essay “Resignation.” I’m quite pleased to have influenced people to think about the questions posed on Diet Soap.
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Diet Soap Podcast #158: Are Abstractions Necessary?

The guest this week is the youtube star and Marxist Brendan Cooney and we discuss Marx and Hegel. This is the second half of our conversation, slightly edited. You can find more from Cooney on his Kapitalism101 blog.

I am still planning on canceling the Podomatic feed for Diet Soap and moving the podcast to douglaslain.com. If you subscribe to podcast through podomatic you’ll need to change over to the new feed by the end of the month, that means that this podcast will be the last podcast on the podomatic website and next week you’ll find instructions on how to switch the feeds instead. When I make the switch I’m also going to restart the Diet Soap philosophy workshop and that workshop will continue weekly, or at least it will be a part of every episode. That means that while I’ll continue on discussing Hegel once a month, I’ve decided to expand the workshop to a weekly format. After each Diet Soap episode subscribers to the podcast will get a chance to participate in a conversation about that episode. So, yes, there will be regular Hegel episodes, but subscribers will also get a chance to discuss all the different subjects that we cover or bring up their own ideas. Finally, I am also going to start a monthly podcast with C. Derick Varn called Pop the Left. We’ll take a critical look at the politics of the Left from a Leftist perspective and, at first, that’ll be hosted through the same RSS feed as Diet Soap, but if a few more people donate or subscribe I’ll start a second feed for Pop the Left on its own. So, you can help me start a new podcast by donating today.

Diet Soap Podcast #157: Real Abstract Robots?

The guest this week is Brendan Cooney and we discuss his Law of Value youtube video series (I play the soundtrack for his second video), and discuss real abstractions as explained in Marx’s bestselling book Capital. We start off discussing whether Data from the television show Star Trek the Next Generation would generate value if he time traveled to this current Capitalist economy.

I am still planning on canceling the Podomatic feed for Diet Soap and moving the podcast to douglaslain.com. If you subscribe to podcast through podomatic you’ll need to change over to the new feed by the end of the month, that means that the next podcast will be the last podcast on the podomatic website. In that episode I’ll try to explain just how to find the Diet Soap RSS feed from Blubrry. When I make the switch I’m also going to restart the Diet Soap philosophy workshop and that workshop will continue weekly, or at least it will be a part of every episode. That means that while I’ll continue on discussing Hegel once a month, I’ve decided to expand the workshop to a weekly format. After each Diet Soap episode subscribers to the podcast will get a chance to participate in a conversation about that episode. So, yes, there will be regular Hegel episodes, but subscribers will also get a chance to discuss all the different subjects that we cover or bring up their own ideas. Finally, I am also going to start a monthly podcast with C. Derick Varn called Pop the Left. We’ll take a critical look at the politics of the Left from a Leftist perspective and, at first, that’ll be hosted through the same RSS feed as Diet Soap, but if a few more people donate or subscribe I’ll start a second feed for Pop the Left on its own. So, you can help me start a new podcast by donating today.