This Is Hell!

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This is Hell! is a weekly radio interview show broadcast without the virtue of money or the vice of political agenda. Every Saturday morning, your bitter, blind, broke, gap-toothed host Chuck Mertz works off his hangover talking to the journalists, authors and activists working to make this world a slightly less hellish place. And we do it all live, uninterrupted and unedited, Saturdays at 9 AM Central on WNUR 89.3FM Chicago and podcast to the world shortly after.

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Long-form interviews with writers, thinkers and workers from around the world and across the spectrum of experience.
🇬🇧 English
last modified
2019-08-17 22:45
last episode published
2019-08-17 08:37
publication frequency
2.22 days
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Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors

Episode 1069: Toward Feminism (Compilation - August 17 2019)

Recent interviews on visions of feminism. Writer Jessa Crispin rejects today's mainstreamed, neoliberal feminism [13:22] / Laura Carlsen reports on the “First International Gathering of Politics, Art, Sport, and Culture for Women in Struggle” in Zapat...
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Episode 1068: Black labor in the 19th century US (Compilation - August 10 2019)

Recent interviews on Black labor in 19th century America. Gerald Horne on the apocalyptic legacy of settler colonialism in North America [10:02] / Talitha LeFlouria on the incarcerated labor of Black women in Reconstruction-era Georgia [1:01:00] / Ann...
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Episode 1067: The Future of Water (Compilation - August 3 2019)

Past interviews on the present and future of water on planet Earth.
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A new understanding of global capitalism / Twittering and dread.

Sociologist William I. Robinson points toward a new understanding of global capitalism in the 21st century. William wrote the book "Into the Tempest: Essays on the New Global Capitalism" for Haymarket Books. In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen takes bab...
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Facing the war machine.

Peace activist Kathy Kelly speaks for the victims of an omnicidal war machine - from Gaza to Kabul. Kathy wrote the recent articles The Ongoing Dread in Gaza: So Many Names, So Many Lives and Remnants of War for Voices for Creative Nonviolence.
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On urban-digital exclusion.

Geographer Desiree Fields explores the mechanisms of exclusion and heirarchy in the digital housing market. Desiree wrote the article "Uploading Housing Inequality, Digitizing Housing Justice?" for Public Books.
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Puerto Rico, in the middle of something big.

Our Man in San Juan, Dave Buchen reports on the rollercoaster that might become a revolution in Puerto Rico.
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On fugitive Blackness / Bird notes.

African American studies scholar Marquis Bey traces the fugitive politics of Blackness and queerness. Marquis is author of the book "Them Goon Rules: Fugitive Essays on Radical Black Feminism" from University of Arizona Press. / In a Moment of Truth, J...
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In Defense of Public Lands.

Political scientist Steven Davis explains what people lose when public land is privatized. Steven is author of the book "In Defense of Public Lands: The Case against Privatization and Transfer" from Temple University Press.
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Understanding Portugal's Carnation Revolution.

Historian Raquel Varela explores the work and the workers behind Portugal's 1974 revolution. Raquel is author of the book A People's History of the Portuguese Revolution from Pluto Press.
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Hong Kong's mass extradition bill protests won't stop.

Journalist Brian Hioe reports on the mass protest wave against Hong Kong's extradition bill. Brian wrote the article "No End in Sight to Demonstrations in Hong Kong After Another Refusal by Lam to Withdraw Extradition Bill" for New Bloom.
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Buying and selling Lincoln Park / Thanks, advisory conservatives.

Policy analyst Daniel Kay Hertz examines the gentrification of Lincoln Park, and who got left behind. Daniel is author of The Battle of Lincoln Park: Urban Renewal and Gentrification in Chicago from Belt Publishing. / In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen...
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Global imperialism and international apartheid resistance.

Historian Gerald Horne explores a century of international struggle against apartheid and Jim Crow. Gerald is author of "White Supremacy Confronted: U.S. Imperialism and Anti-Communism vs. the Liberation of Southern Africa from Rhodes to Mandela" from ...
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We are in the age of jackals.

Cultural critic Henry Giroux surveys a political horizon of hate, brutality and populist authoritarianism. Henry is author of "The Terror of the Unforeseen" from Los Angeles Review of Books.
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Capitalism's engine runs on fossil fuels.

Energy researcher Simon Pirani explains how fossil fuels powered global capitalism and the climate crisis. Simon is author of "Burning Up: A Global History of Fossil Fuel Consumption" from Pluto Press.
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Teachers and class revolt / The Astrocrats!

Journalist Eric Blanc explains what labor and the left can learn from striking teachers. Eric is author of "Red State Revolt: The Teachers’ Strike Wave and Working-Class Politics" from Verso. / In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen critiques our magical-t...
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Understanding the mobile home housing crisis.

ociologist Esther Sullivan examines housing insecurity in America's mobile home parks. Esther Sullivan is author of from "Manufactured Insecurity: Mobile Home Parks and Americans’ Tenuous Right to Place" from University of California Press.
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On logic and the left.

Writer Ben Burgis explains why and how the left should talk about leftism. Ben is author of "Give Them an Argument: Logic for the Left" from Zero Books.
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A radical new politics of surrogacy.

Theorist Sophie Lewis explores surrogacy's place in a new, liberatory gestational politics. Sophie is author of "Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism Against Family" from Verso.
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Episode 1063: Trailer Hitch (Broadcast - July 6 2019)

Surrogacy radicalism [21:10] / Logic and the left [1:08:29] / Mobile home housing crisis [2:04:32] / The teachers' revolt [3:07:24] / The Astrocrats! [3:51:10]
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How we lost the planet / Debate me(me)

Writer Nathaniel Rich traces a 40 year history of knowing everything and doing nothing about climate change. Nathaniel is author of "Losing Earth: A Recent History" from MCD Books. In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen reviews the memes of the first Democ...
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On Chavs and UK working class culture.

Organizer D Hunter explores struggle and solidarity on the wrong side of the class war. D is author of Chav Solidarity.
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Return to the radicalism of Stonewall.

Activist Andy Thayer explains what LGBT activism has lost - and must relearn - since the Stonewall uprising. Andy wrote the article "Why Stonewall Matters Today" for Jacobin.
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The corporate disinformation war on Venezuela.

Live from Caracas, journalist Lucas Koerner reports on the media disinformation campaign aimed at Venezuela. Lucas wrote the article "There’s Far More Diversity in Venezuela’s ‘Muzzled’ Media Than in US Corporate Press" for FAIR.
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Torture in an American prison / Limit breaks.

Journalist Aviva Stahl reports on isolation, torture and secrecy in an American prison. Aviva wrote the report Force-Feeding Is Cruel, Painful, and Degrading—and American Prisons Won’t Stop for The Nation. / In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen thinks ab...
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Abolition, feminism and socialism at the same time.

Writer Zillah Eisenstein explains why the next revolution must be feminist and abolitionist. Zillah is author of "Abolitionist Socialist Feminism: Radicalizing the Next Revolution" from Monthly Review Press.
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Okinawan women in the shadows of US occupation.

Writer Akemi Johnson explores the lives of Okinawan women living under US occupation. Akemi is author of "Night in the American Village: Women in the Shadow of the U.S. Military Bases in Okinawa" from The New Press.
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Toward the promise of reparations.

Law scholar Katherine Franke examines the radical potential of reparations for Black Americans living under White supremacy. Katherine is author of "Repair: Redeeming the Promise of Abolition" from Haymarket Books.
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Episode 1060: The Best of 2019: So Far (Broadcast June 15 2019)

Highlight interviews from the first half of 2019. Featuring Marco Roth, Richard Seymour, adrienne maree brown, Barnaby Raine and Marshall Auerback.
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Brazil's strike and Western silence / Monster Q&A.

Live from São Paulo, Brian Mier reports on mass student and teacher strikes across Brazil. / In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen reads an interview with a monster.
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On the crossroads of place and race.

Chicana/o studies scholar Genevieve Carpio explores the intersection of spatial mobility and racial formation. Genevieve is author of the book "Collisions at the Crossroads: How Place and Mobility Make Race" from University of California Press.
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What we don't talk about when we talk about rape.

Cultural critic Mithu Sanyal considers rape and how we consider rape. Mithu is author of the book Rape: From Lucretia to #MeToo from Verso.
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Farmers, climate denial and flood politics.

Writer Ted Genoways explores disaster politics, agriculture and austerity in a flooded Midwest. Ted wrote the article River of No Return for The New Republic.
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Episode 1058: America's Drug War - The First Century (Playlist - June 1 2019)

Recent interviews on America's Drug War. Johann Hari on the first days of the war on drugs [1:05] / Lisa McGirr on Prohibition and state power [46:30] / Suzanna Reiss on empire and pharmaceutical dominance [1:23:05] / Sam Quinones on opiate distributi...
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The future of psychedelics / RIP Danny Thompson.

Writer Garrison Lovely explores the past and future politics of psychedelic drugs. Garrison wrote the article "Make America Trip Again" for Current Affairs. / In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen honors Danny Thompson, A Legend of The Arts gone too soon.
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Workers, capital and the border.

Development scholar Suzy Lee makes the strategic case for abolishing borders. Suzy wrote the paper "The Case for Open Borders" for Catalyst.
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On democracy, whatever that means.

Writer Astra Taylor dreams of democracy's radical potential, and one day reaching it. Astra is author of the book "Democracy May Not Exist, but We'll Miss It When It's Gone" from Metropolitan Books.
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The case against the European Union.

Journalist Thomas Fazi explains why no one is voting for democracy in the European Parliament elections. Thomas wrote the article "The European Union Is an Antidemocratic Disgrace" for Jacobin.
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The Devil in the New Green Deal / Nostalgia time again.

Writer Jasper Bernes examines the old problems with the Green New Deal. / Jasper wrote the essay Between the Devil and the Green New Deal for Commune. / In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen remembers nostalgia.
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Why and how to do nothing.

Artist Jenny Odell reclaims time, and attention, and life from the demands of capitalism. Jenny is author of "How To Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy" from Melville House. PLUS: Rotten History
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The possibilities of socialism in America.

Jacobin's Bhaskar Sunkara explores a path to socialism in American politics. Bhaskar is author of "The Socialist Manifesto: The Case for Radical Politics in an Era of Extreme Inequality" from Basic Books.
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Capitalism and the Boeing 737.

Market analyst Marshall Auerback watches global capitalism crash with the Boeing 737. Marshall wrote the article "Boeing might represent the greatest indictment of 21st-century capitalism" for Salon.
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Capital and the rise of the cattle-beef complex.

Historian Joshua Specht explains how the beef industry shaped American history. Joshua is author of the book "Red Meat Republic: A Hoof-to-Table History of How Beef Changed America" from Princeton University Press.
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Blood, lies and the American empire.

Black Agenda Report's Danny Haiphong traces a 300 year history of fake news in America. Danny is author of the book American Exceptionalism and American Innocence: A People's History of Fake News—From the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror from Sky...
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On class in Black politics / Whiteness in a box

Political scientist Cedric Johnson examines the realities of class in Black political life. Cedric wrote the article What Black Life Actually Looks Like for Jacobin. / In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen opens a box of Whiteness.
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The future of infinite war is now.

Journalists Allegra Harpootlian and Emily Manna explore the present and future of America's AI wars. Allegra and Emily wrote the article "The End of War Is Just a Beginning" for TomDispatch.
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The Biden problem / The Fault In Our Deflection.

Journalist Andrew Cockburn reviews 43 years of Joe Biden-inflicted disaster on the world. Andrew wrote the Letter from Washington "No Joe! Joe Biden’s disastrous legislative legacy" for Harper's. / In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen catalogues evidence...
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Tech, the census and a history of racial sorting.

Investigative journalist Yasha Levine explores a century of technology and racism in the US census. Yasha wrote the article "The Racist - and High Tech - Origins of America’s Modern Census" for Medium.
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Dividing the new global borderlands.

Anthropologist Ruben Andersson traces the new borders being drawn by Western state violence. Ruben is author of "No Go World: How Fear Is Redrawing Our Maps and Infecting Our Politics" from University of California Press. PLUS: Rotten History.
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Ecosocialism or extractivism?

Political scientist Thea Riofrancos examines the space between Latin America's left and extractive capital's future. Thea wrote the article "What Comes After Extractivism?" for Dissent. PLUS: Chuck comes out against legal weed.
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