Well dear listeners, this is it – the final episode of Escape Velocity Radio (for the foreseeable future anyway). And it’s not even a real episode. It’s about one-tenth of an episode – and even then it barely got made. But we felt that at the very least we owed you 6 more minutes top-drawer† podcasting before we closed this chapter, so here it is. Thanks for listening and for all the support, and we’ll see you on the other side. † assessment of quality has not been verified by an independent third-party
After celebrating Winnipeg’s triumphant victory as Canada’s most racist city, we look at the disconnect between viewing racism as bigoted acts by individuals and seeing it as a colonial system which operates beyond any individual person’s attitudes or actions. We then buckle in for the thrill ride that is the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, offering our official review of Canada’s newest national museum: from the wings of the white dove, through the bodegas of despair, and up to the tip of the flume ride and back. Lastly, on G7 Radio, we look at Rhythm Activism’s strange and amazing 1998 album Jesus Was Gay.
This month we get into the copious feedback we received from last episode, specifically reflecting on the dissonance between our discussion of sexual assault and two of our past G7 releases. Next we look at the recent spate of highly-publicized police killings of black men in the United States, and wonder aloud what might be more effective in preventing such extra-judicial murder: police body cameras, or a fundamental power shift in race, policing, and justice? Then we make the mistake of once again trying to review a Hollywood movie with Interstellar, but end up on a tangent about our obsession with science fiction and space travel, human triumphalism, alien saviourism, and the barf scene in Team America. Lastly, in the fourth installment of G7 Radio, we discuss I Spy’s 1998 discography Perversity Is Spreading … It’s About Time!
In the wake of widespread allegations detailing disgraced CBC Radio personality Jian Ghomeshi’s long history of violent sexual assaults, Winnipeg-based writer and journalist Melissa Martin (@DoubleEmMartin) joins us in the basement. We discuss her experience being introduced to the “open secret” of Ghomeshi’s unsettling behaviour towards women; how that kind of open secret is mirrored more broadly in society; why the criminal justice system is not the right model for dealing with sexual assault; and how our twisted and deficient views on consent and sexuality allow abusers like Jian to believe they’ve done nothing wrong. Then to lighten the mood, we bring you the third installment of G7 Radio, this time featuring The Weakerthans’ debut album “Fallow”.
Boo! It’s October, which means another terrifying Halloween episode! This month we visit the home of Anishinaabe/Metis comedian and podcaster Ryan McMahon (@RMComedy) – which, like most homes in North America, is probably built on a haunted ancient Indian burial ground. We chat with Ryan about his stand-up comedy and his Red Man Laughing podcast; how Idle No More has influenced his work; the history of colonization in Canada; and how we might work towards a more just and sustainable future. Then, on the second installment of G7 Radio, we discuss Consolidated’s artistically-advanced yet commercially-untenable 1997 album “Dropped”.
This month we delve (very-shallowly) into our personal video game histories in order to reveal just how little we know about games and gaming, then discuss Anita Sarkeesian’s Feminist Frequency and Tropes vs Women in Video Games projects. We then touch on the new Canadian Museum for Human Rights and how it may or may not be of any value to anybody anywhere currently facing human rights abuses, and see how it compares to the nearby Museum of Canadian Human Rights Abuses. Lastly we break ground on a new segment called G7 Radio, where we step back through time and discuss the records we released while running G7 Welcoming Committee Records. This month: …But Alive’s Bis Jetzt Ging Alles Gut.
We return from our summer travels (and travails) with stories of colonial homesteads and colonial privilege, followed by a debunking of prominent atheist and neuroscientist Sam Harris’ absurd article and podcast defending Israel over the (apparently) mindless barbarian Arabs who comprise “her enemies”. We then chat with Electronic Intifada associate editor Nora Barrows-Friedman (@norabf) about the origins of the Israel/Palestine conflict, Zionism as a colonial project, what the deal is with Hamas, and what lies ahead.
We start by discussing the new documentary Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret, which delves into how animal agriculture is the primary source of environmental degradation on the planet, and asks why major environmental organizations aren’t doing anything about it. Then we are joined by veteran lecturer and media analyst Jean Kilbourne to discuss her pioneering work looking at how advertising depicts women; how it creates and enforces gender roles and impossible beauty standards; and how it contributes to rape culture. Lastly, we review some feedback on the Chris Hedges plagiarism debacle.
As we return from our extended absence, Chris brings us tales of Propagandhi’s Australian sojourn, including their introduction to the RISE organization, and their time with Sea Shepherd. Then we give our half-a-cent on the plagiarism charges being levelled at Chris Hedges; look at new and probably-terrible ideas to alter how we eat via technology; and relatedly review some feedback on last episode’s interview with Leigh Phillips about GMOs. Lastly, we discuss Dr. Gabor Maté‘s humane yet difficult perspective on the Rob Ford spectacle; and on Kickstarter Corner®, we bring word of Will Potter’s Drone on the Farm project.
In this month’s extended installment of the podcast, we begin by taking a field trip to a corporate chain movie theatre to watch better-than-average Hollywood slop in the form of Darren Aronofsky’s Noah. Then we take a field trip to our houses to watch better-than-everything sciencey television in the form of Cosmos. Next, our interview guest – science writer and EU affairs journalist Leigh Phillips (@leigh_phillips) – joins us to mount a leftist defence of genetically-modified food. Lastly, we review some listener feedback, and discuss the Inuit #sealfie campaign (and the Canadian government’s success in conflating the commercial and subsistence seal hunts to its own shit-mouthed benefit.)
To celebrate the vernal equinox in the tradition of Chris’ ancestors, we at once lamely lament the continued dearth of female voices on our podcast, and simultaneously criticize The Agenda for their disingenuous comments about their own sausage party. We then recap this year’s Canada Reads series and how it brought some passionate discussion about colonization onto the mainstream airwaves, as well as the critiques and responses around Joseph Boyden’s book The Orenda. Then Chris launches an Escape Velocity Radio Reads segment featuring books he hasn’t yet finished, and we discuss some ideas on how decolonization, indigenous resurgence, and animal liberation might relate to each other.
With the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia just winding down, we sit down with Jules Boykoff – author of Celebration Capitalism and the Olympic Games and Activism and the Olympics – to talk about what’s inspiring and what’s sickening about the Olympics. Chris and Jules discuss the gargantuan (and publicly-funded) cost of the games, the ubiquitous corporate sponsorship of athletes, the politics of Olympic boycotts for both athletes and spectators, and ideas for reclaiming the Olympics from corporate profiteers. Also: Chris and Derek recap the Maple Leafs “Forces Appreciation Night” parody website; reflect on Joshua Oppenheimer’s insane documentary The Act of Killing (brief re-enactment included), and note the recent resurfacing of two of the left’s most controversial activist scholars (excluding your charming hosts of course).