About This Show
Essay Questions is the podcast in which your hosts, Joe & Josh, read an essay that's interesting to them and/or of historical importance, and then talk about it. Pretty simple, right? Well, we like to think we're using these essays as a starting point for conversations that end up going in strange and surprising directions. Nothing makes us happier than dragging luminaries like Mencken, Orwell, Adorno, and Didion into our own long-standing obsessions with conspiracy theories, the National Security State, media consolidation, high and low culture, and the meaning and purpose of religion. But this isn't a seminar, and we're not scholars or experts. Joe is a comic, Josh is a writer, and for them, this is just fun. So if you love to read but feel like you don't do enough of it, and you think you might enjoy hearing two ordinary guys shoot the s*** about things other than sports, politics, or pop culture, this is the podcast for you. Each episode, we choose a reading that's publicly available and encourage all our listeners to read it beforehand so you can follow along with our conversation. And of course, you can also always contact us with your thoughts, too!
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Mark Fisher (1968-2017), aka k-punk, was one of the most sensitive and original Leftist writers the internet age has yet produced. In both his major work, Capitalist Realism, and his many essays and blog posts, Fisher expounded on literature, technology, and pop culture from a class-conscious but undogmatic perspective. For his gentle but firm critique of the pseudo-progressive call-out culture that still dominates online spaces, "Exiting the Vampire Castle," he was viciously - but predictably - attacked by petulant children obsessed by a bourgeois sense of proprietary, disguised as liberal political sentiment. In this episode, Joe & Josh discuss his legacy and ask how his thought and writing offer an alternative to both the toxicity of the Alt-Right and the narcissism of the fake Left.
“Exiting the Vampire Castle” by Mark Fisher, The North Star, 2013
“Mark Fisher, 1968-2017” by Alex Niven, Jacobin, 2017
“The Safety Pin and The Swastika” by Shuja Haider, Viewpoint, 2017
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