News From Nowhere Ep. 08

What Just Happened

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Why Democrats really shouldn’t wish success to President Trump. Why fascism is spreading around the world and what to do now. (Apologies for audio interference—the clicks go away after a minute.)

Notes And Links

News From Nowhere Ep. 07

Adam Curtis And Reality Control

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I review the new Adam Curtis documentary, HyperNormalisation, about reasons for the breakdown of collective reality and the problems this has caused.

Notes And Links

News From Nowhere Ep. 06

The Carolina Cocktail

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I’m back in Bihar this week. I discuss why Donald Trump is a “big fan of Hindu” and why donating to the GOP after the North Carolina arson attack won’t save American democracy.

Notes And Links

News From Nowhere Ep. 05

The Paramilitary’s New Pants

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This week from Mumbai! Where the press sells magic conch sheels and covers fashion trends among right-wing street thugs.

Notes And Links

Some missing context on the story I read about the new RSS uniforms—a court ruled that the old uniforms made the paramilitaries look too much like real police officers

Rohit Chopra’s India Explained Twitter feed

Vastu Tips and just found! the $1,375 magic seashell

Wall Street Journal article on the Clinton/Blink 182 UFO connection

News From Nowhere Ep. 04

Nightmare Spelunking 2016

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The presidential candidates have infiltrated the collective unconscious. Corey interprets the great plague of political dreams.

Notes And Links

My Baffler column on political dreams and nightmares

Donald Trump promises to make every American dream come true

Hillary Clinton suggests young people are ungrateful

A Christian “prophet” sees Trump as a bulldozer tearing through the White House based on a woman’s dream

Latest Trump/Clinton dreams reported by Twitter users

New Podcast, New Column

I started a podcast and that now, after three episodes, the podcast is available in the iTunes store. This means more people will be able to find it than those of you who happened to catch me posting about it on social media. Which, given my new time zone, is I-don’t-know-how-many people.

The current format is basically me talking for twenty to thirty minutes, mixed with clips from elsewhere when the internet works well enough for me to find them. I read a little news and a little relevant history and interject where it feels right with my opinion. Simple. I miss BSing with my friends about the news over drinks and this is the best I can do to approximate that experience in a place where alcohol is outlawed and my friends are far away.

The podcast is called News from Nowhere. It may not appear in the actual iTunes search results for a few days, but you can always find it in these places:

There is and will continue to be plenty of crossover between this podcast and whatever I happen to be writing about.

The first episode dovetails with my latest Baffler column on conspiracy theories and the 2016 elections. It’s a longer-than-usual read so make sure you’re sitting down before you start. Given the powerful mind-altering nature of some of the material I cover, you may want to ensure that you have chemical assistance in hand.

I quote passages like this from one of Donald Trump’s favorite news broadcasters, Alex Jones:

Most of these old men you see at Bilderberg, there’s a reason they’re all whacked out of their minds—they’re taking DMT [dimethyltryptamine, a powerful hallucinogen] . . . They were jackin’ DMT seventy years ago. They were injecting it. They were in special tanks . . . It’s so hardcore people won’t even believe it. But that’s the stuff I never get in to because you’re not ready for it.

The globalists don’t believe in Satanism, they believe they’re contacting inter-dimensional aliens through the drug use and through the electronic interface . . . They believe they’re in contact with these entities . . . and the entities are telling them,

‘eternal life, total power, total control, everything you could ever want, just kill everyone, set up a world government, build this design we’re telling you, build what we’re telling you, build this, build this, let us through, build the Hadron Collider, open the dimensions, let us in, we’re gonna really help you, WE’RE FRIENDLY LITTLE GUYS! DEMONS? ALIENS? DON’T EXIST? I DON’T KNOW!

I only cover what I can prove.

The transcript doesn’t quite do justice to Jones’ deilvery. That’s what the podcast is for. Subscribe and tell your friends and click all of the shiny buttons on the iTunes page! Thanks.

Click the shiny buttons on iTunes

News From Nowhere Ep. 03

When Nerds Get Flirty… With Fascism

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This episode contrasts one jock hero, Colin Kaepernick, and one recently outed-as-nefarious nerd, Palmer Luckey, a Facebook executive and founder of Oculus VR.

I noticed only after mixing and uploading the episode that I mistakenly said “pledge of allegiance” instead of “national anthem” when discussing Kaepernick’s protest. I do realize there’s a difference and if you nag me about it I may invite you to work for free as my sound editor and production intern.

Notes And Links

Daily Beast story exposing Palmer Luckey as a key funder of a pro-Donald Trump “shitposting” operation

A few links on the relevant Reddit board notoriously populated by neo-Nazis

Luckey’s official corporate non-apology

Bemused UK Telegraph profile of Luckey

Gizmodo item about Luckey and his Gamergater girlfriend

New York magazine post I quoted, with links to other sources

Luckey credits his success to home-schooling

One more crusty old asshole moans about Colin Kaepernick

News From Nowhere Ep. 02

What If Trump Wins?

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Apocalypse, coup d’etat or four more years of mulligans and ineptitude? The most likely outcomes of a Trump presidency considered.

Notes And Links

Ronald L. Feinman article, “The Constitutional Crisis We’d face If Donald Trump Actually Became President”

New York Times article that leads with Hillary Clinton’s “apocalypse” quip

Anne Applebaum’s nightmares come alive in the Washington Post

My blog post, “Trump Means It: Time To Make Plans For The American Nightmare Scenario”

Student video by Dustin Wynn and Peteros Mekonnen, “Forcing Muslims to Wear Badges,” and the write-up by AlterNet

Brookings fellow and Lawfare blogger Benjamin Wittes’ essay on “Trump as National Security Threat”

News From Nowhere Ep. 01

This Election Is Totally Rigged, Man

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Hi from Bihar! This inaugural episode considers the role of conspiracy theories in the 2016 US presidential elections, with special guest appearances by Alex Jones, Donald Trump, the John Birch Society and an assortment of Holocaust deniers and the politicians who pander to them, such as Green Party vice presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka.

Notes And Links

My Magical Thinking column in The Baffler on conspiracy theories in the 2016 US presidential elections

Previous Magical Thinking columns

Alex Jones profile by Alexander Zaitchik in Rolling Stone

None Dare Call It Conspiracy by Gary Allen

Gary Allen obituary featuring Mike Allen in the Los Angeles Times

Mike Allen profile in The New York Times Magazine

John G. Schmitz’s obituary by his admirers in a Holocaust-denial outfit

The Blue Book of the John Birch Society by Robert Welch

Alex Cockburn column on how conspiracy theory filled the void of Marxist political economy in leftist politics

Update Your Address Books, I’m In India

My personal Brexit commenced last week with a move to rural India.

I’m living in a refurbished 1960s hotel compound in Bihar, one of the poorest states in India, and the most prone to flooding. Flying in to Patna airport, what my brain first registered as a large expanse of sand was actually the silty brown water of the overflowing Ganges. The town I’ve moved to, Rajgir, is on somewhat higher ground and abuts some striking mesa-like mountains dotted with caves where the Buddha lectured. The locals have been friendly and welcoming so far and I’m sure they will be even more so once I learn some Hindi beyond “yes,” “no,” “hello” and “thanks.” Until then, I’m that guy.

Once my stomach settles I’ll get started on my backlog of journalism assignments. This year, keep an eye out for more of my Magical Thinking columns in The Baffler and some new outlets, including other national magazines and indie efforts like Ken Silverstein’s new Washington Babylon website. Next year, according to the publisher, you can expect to see my Silicon Valley book on store shelves. Lastly, I hope to take advantage of my new social and geographical isolation and see a work of fiction to completion. I have a story in mind.

There aren’t many distractions here, which should help. The internet cuts out as often as the electricity—although not on the same schedule—and alcohol has been banned by the state government. But don’t let that put you off from a visit, especially if you already happen to be traveling in the region. Give me a heads-up and I will give you a short list of items I require.

If you won’t visit, at least sign up for my mailing list.