This week we speak with Noah Kumin (~librex-dozryc) about the Mars Review of Books, an attempt to bring the forces of NYC and Urbit together to make a product inspired by the early NYRB.
Author Jordan Castro joins the ladies to talk about his new book, The Novelist: A Novel, scatology, eschatology, “the program,” jealousy vs. envy, pride vs. vanity, and more.
Gio and I discuss the work of art in a digital age, as well as make some tangential remarks about shifting political forms in an era where the internet shapes culture.
I speak with Ben about life as an expat in Eastern Europe as storm clouds are gathering, the Zeitgeist of the last few decades under the shadow of all-encompassing technology, the new landscape of conservative magazines, identity as a product, navigating Twitter beefs, and his book “Noughties: Eleven Echoes of a Dismal Decade.” Ben Sixsmith is a writer from the UK who currently lives in Poland, he’s written for The Spectator, UnHerd, Quillette, The Critic, and American Conservative among many other outlets, and is the owner-operator of The Zone Substack.
“And so a legitimate question popped up in the show’s criticism from trans rights activists: If Gervais supports trans rights, which ones does he support? The “trans rights supporter” can’t exist without total surrender to the creed. “Trans” is a category that relies on the concession and support of the outside world for validation. Which parts of this game does Gervais think he can opt out of? “Trans” is an appeal to join the faith, and outside of the faith, there are only infidels. “Don’t tread on me” is a useless norm in front of a new virulent religious paradigm, one of whose central tenets is that gendered souls are trapped in and tormented by ill-fitting bodies. If you don’t buy that story and don’t wish to validate it in others, there’s no way around your transphobia.”
The Great Debasement: The institutions tasked with the preservation of art are reducing great works to moralizing message-delivery systems
Essayist and poet Alice Gribbin joins me to discuss her recent essay in Tablet, “The Great Debasement,” on the ideological transformation of museums and other cultural institutions into propaganda organs; the utilitarian attitude to art; the continued relevance of John Berger’s “Ways of Seeing”; and more.