E72: All the President’s Men, Pt 1

This is episode one of two on All the President’s Men, a film directed by Alan J. Pakula, starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman. In this episode, we look at the relationship between media and politics. Woodstein reporting brought down the Nixon presidency because it was truly on to something. The Fourth Branch of Government has real influence, but it must be truly independent and not fall to its own version of regulatory capture. The press aren’t the police, but they do have a responsibility to the public not to cry wolf. A bad press is like a compromised immune system.

E40: Ender’s Shadow, Pt. 1 “No Book is Produced Individually”

This is episode 1 of 3 on Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card. In this companion novel to Ender’s Game, we really get a better look at the world conditions that produce the International Fleet world government apparatus. We look at the social conditions that allow dystopia and we examine how it is that the International Fleet was not really poised to take over, and how the Ender’s Game series shows a power choosing to turn away from creating dystopia. That, and commentary about the good old Soviet secret police. Can’t leave out the stuff about secret police!

Episode 9: 1984, Pt. 3 “By Making Him Suffer”

The third and final episode for this series on George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. Arrests, purges, and executions are central to the continuation of Party rule. Totalitarianism makes humanity the beginning, middle, and end of life, and it’s awful: it even abolishes science! Crime and punishment are no more as the mind is to be changed by any means necessary before it is blown out.