We decided to take a break from movies to talk about the heaviest of heavy subjects — evil. Using Claudia Card’s 2002 treatise, The Atrocity Paradigm: A Theory of Evil as our jumping off point, we did our best to think through the present-day utility of this very loaded word. It’s complicated.
Topics covered: capitalism, climate change, radical feminism, the relationship between language and political action, Kant, Joe’s philosophy of everything.
We took a break from movies this week to discuss Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson, published in August 2020 by Random House. In it, Wilkerson contends that racism in the United States is closely akin to the caste system in India and the violence of Nazi Germany. The book’s reception has been overwhelmingly positive since its release. It was a #1 New York Times bestseller, has won or been nominated for numerous awards, has sold over half a million copies by year’s end, and Netflix has plans to produce an adaptation directed by Ava DuVernay.
We……did not receive it as warmly. The book gave us a LOT to dig into, however. Charisse Burden-Stelly’s review, “Caste Does Not Explain Race” offers an extremely sharp critique of the book that helped inform our thinking on Wilkerson’s arguments, and we highly recommend you read her piece (even if you don’t plan to read the book!).
Thanks to slfhlp for providing us some SICK BEATS for our intro and outro.
As always, send yr comments, questions, and movie suggestions to twoforspacejamplease @ gmail.com and subscribe on iTunes or wherever you do your podcast business.
This week’s movie is a book. That’s how things go down here sometimes. Cheryl just read adrienne maree brown’s visionary self/society/galactic help book 2017 Emergent Strategy. Joe read it a year ago. We both are thinking about how to be in this f-ed up world, so we hit record and started talking. brown’s 2019 Pleasure Activism is at the top of our pile. Watch out for our conversation about it in 2021. Also, we will watch a movie soon, we promise.