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
2019-12-05 06:49
last episode published
2019-12-04 14:01
publication frequency
2.24 days
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Number of Episodes
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Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors

1101: Before and after the Yellow Vests.

Student and Plateforme d'Enquêtes Militantes member Effix on the Yellow Vest movement today and tomorrow, and his group's text "Back to the Future: The Yellow Vests Movement and the Riddle of Organization." PLUS: In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen tri...
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1100: The right's shadow network.

Writer Anne Nelson on the Council for National Policy's influence in government and conservative culture, and her book "Shadow Network: Media, Money, and the Secret Hub of the Radical Right."
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1099: The dawn of cultural anthropology

Writer Charles King on his book "Gods of the Upper Air: How a Circle of Renegade Anthropologists Reinvented Race, Sex, and Gender in the Twentieth Century." PLUS: Chuck is tired of seeing / not seeing his family, and This Week in Rotten History...
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1098: Mourning Thanksgiving.

Historian David J. Silverman on the realities behind America's Thanksgiving myth and his book "This Land Is Their Land: The Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and the Troubled History of Thanksgiving."
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1097: Beyond capitalist education.

Eli Meyerhoff on education radicalism, the capitalist university and his book "Beyond Education: Radical Studying for Another World" from University of Minnesota Press. PLUS: Chuck can't wait to be miserable on Thanksgiving, and This Week in Rotten Hi...
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1096: Racism and retribution at the CIA.

Jeffrey Sterling on his book "Unwanted Spy: The Persecution of an American Whistleblower" from Bold Type Books.
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1095: Power and violence in post-coup Bolivia.

Journalist Jacquelyn Kovarik on her article "Bolivia’s Anti-Indigenous Backlash Is Growing" for The Nation.
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1094: Real estate racism / War and sleep.

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor on her book "Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership" / Franny Nudelman on her book "Fighting Sleep: The War for the Mind and the US Military"
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1093: The US hand in Latin America.

Live from Caracas, journalist Lucas Koerner on his FAIR articles "Media Conceal Chile’s State Criminality, Delegitimize Bolivian Democracy" and "Whitewashing Neoliberal Repression in Chile and Ecuador."
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1092: Beyond misogyny / Out of the neoliberal wreckage / Lula free.

Writer Liza Featherstone on her New Republic article "Moving Beyond Misogyny: Why do they hate us?" / Theorist Wendy Brown on her book "In the Ruins of Neoliberalism: The Rise of Antidemocratic Politics in the West" from Columbia University Press. / Br...
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1091: Towards counterculture / On economic imperialism.

Writer Curtis White on his book "Living in a World that Can’t Be Fixed: Reimagining Counterculture Today" / Sociologist Intan Suwandi on her book "Value Chains: The New Economic Imperialism."
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1090: The alchemy of meth.

Anthropologist Jason Pine on the industrial alchemy of meth in late capitalist America.…alchemy-of-meth PLUS: Chuck gets anti-capitalist ASMR tingles and the week in Rotten History.
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1089: Chile rises up.

Live from Santiago, organizer Bree Busk reports on Chile’s civil uprising against neoliberal authoritarian rule.…face-of-repression/ PLUS: Jeff Dorchen examines some momentous events through the lens of The Great Emanc...
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1088: The price of cash bail.

Social scientist Christine Scott-Hayward on the deep social cost of a money bail system. PLUS: Chuck explains what This Is Hell! actually is.
This Is Hell! author

1087: Notes from Hell world.

Journalist Luke O'Neil on his book "Welcome to Hell World: Dispatches from the American Dystopia" PLUS: Chuck explains what the show isn't, and this week in Rotten History.
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Episode 1086: Turkey's fascist war.

Journalist Max Zirngast and his Jacobin article "Turkey’s War in Syria Is a War for Fascism."…rdogan-isis-kurds Plus: Chuck thanks Donald Trump for raising awareness about racism / Question From Hell.
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Episode 1085: White evangelicals in opposition.

Religious studies scholar Tad Delay on the psychology and anti-politics of evangelicals, and his book “Against: What Does the White Evangelical Want?” PLUS: Chuck asks to speak to a manager.
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1084: Squatters in the capitalist city.

Sociologist Miguel Martinez on urban democracy, a right to the city and his book "Squatters in the Capitalist City" from Routledge.
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1082: Carbon Cowboys from Norway / The Symposium

Writer Henrik Olav Mathiesen on his Dark Mountain Project essay "Cowboy Nation: Norway's Wild West fantasy" / Jeff Dorchen listens to a podcast about the Joker movie.
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Episode 1082: Five years after Ferguson / The abortion fight now.

Andrea Boyles on Black community organizing five years after Ferguson. / Jenny Brown on the long fight for abortion access.
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Episode 1081: In the deportation machine.

Journalist Madeleine Schwartz on her New York Review of Books article "Inside the Deportation Courts."
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Episode 1080: Clarence Thomas's Black Nationalism

Political scientist Corey Robin on his book "The Enigma of Clarence Thomas" from Metropolitan Books.
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The Price of water / What went wrong at UAW / The exceptional Jew

Anthropologist Andrea Ballestero examines the future of water - as right and/or commodity / Writer Thomas Adams explores a history of corruption in United Auto Workers leadership / In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen notes the limits of Jewish exception...
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The future of meat / The evangelical mind / Guns on El Paso

Benjamin Adles Wurgaft on the future of meat on planet Earth / Adam Kotsko on the evangelical mind under endtimes capitalism / Andrew Kennis on violence and fear in El Paso
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Holidays in the Anthropocene.

Anthropologist Amelia Moore on tourism and climate collapse in The Bahamas. Amelia is author of "Destination Anthropocene: Science and Tourism in The Bahamas" from University of California Press.
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What it means to be comrades.

Political theorist Jodi Dean on comrades, allies and political belonging. Jodi is author of the new book "Comrade: An Essay on Political Belonging" from Verso.
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On the deadly mechanism of US sanctions.

Policy researcher Kevin Cashman on his article "US Sanctions Are Designed to Kill" for Jacobin.
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The right, the Constitution and power / The dust up.

Law scholar Jack Jackson explains how the American right seized power beyond law. Jack is author of the book "Law Without Future: Anti-Constitutional Politics and the American Right" from University of Pennsylvania Press.
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Order, situational dyamics and protest violence.

Sociologist Anne Nassauer examines power and violence in political protests. Anne wrote the book "Situational Breakdowns: Understanding Protest Violence and other Surprising Outcomes" for Oxford University Press.
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There's no recycling out of the plastic waste crisis.

Journalist Sharon Lerner investigates the global environmental disaster of plastic waste. Sharon wrote the article "Waste Only: How the Plastics Industry is Fighting to Keep Polluting the World" for The Intercept
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Episode 1073: People in Cages (Compilation - September 14 2019)

Recent interviews on the incarceration machine.
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Stress and trauma in the city / For Those We've Lost at Sea.

Therapist Jonathan Foiles explores the trauma of daily life in urban America. Jonathan is author of the book "This City Is Killing Me: Community Trauma and Toxic Stress in Urban America" from Belt Publishing. / In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen refuse...
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New politics at the end of this world.

Activist Keir Milburn explains how left politics opened up for a generation of young people. Keir is author of the book "Generation Left" from Polity.
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Torture and the bomb that never existed.

Writer Alex Adams examines our fictional justification for real life torture policies. Alex is author of the book "How to Justify Torture: Inside the Ticking Bomb Scenario" from Repeater Books.
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The future of Hong Kong's protest movement.

Journalist Brian Hioe reports on Hong Kong's protest movement after defeating the extradition bill. Brian wrote the article "Withdrawal of the extradition bill in Hong Kkong is likely too little, too late to put an end to protests" for New Bloom.
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The Green New Deal, labor and what needs to happen / Spiders.

Historian Aviva Chomsky looks at what the Green New Deal is, and isn't, and could be. Aviva wrote the article Jobs, the Environment, and a Planet in Crisis for TomDispatch. / In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen looks too closely at spiders.
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Medical work, neoliberalism and Black labor.

Sociologist Adia Harvey Wingfield examines the labor of Black healthcare workers under racial outsourcing. Adia is author of the new book "Flatlining: Race, Work, and Health Care in the New Economy" from University of California Press.
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The online spiral.

Writer Richard Seymour explains what social media is consuming when we consume social media. Richard is author of the new book "The Twittering Machine" from The Indigo Press.
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Capitalism needs cages.

Writer Richard Hunsinger sees the future of capitalism in America's migrant concentration camps. Richard wrote the article "Holocaust Capitalism" for Cosmonaut.
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The anti-Sanders campaign / Who set the Amazon on fire?

Writer / podcaster Katie Halper examines the New York Times's anti-Sanders campaign. Katie wrote the articles "Sydney Ember’s Secret Sources" and "MSNBC’s Anti-Sanders Bias Makes It Forget How to Do Math" for FAIR. / Live from Sao Paulo, Brian Mier re...
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To be antiracist.

Historian Ibram X. Kendi looks to an antiracist society, and the path towards it. Ibram is author of "How To Be An Antiracist" from One World Literature.
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What we mean by "free" speech.

P.E. Moskowitz examines the problems with free speech in an unfree world. P.E. is author of "The Case Against Free Speech: The First Amendment, Fascism, and the Future of Dissent" from Bold Type Books.
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Exploring the past and future of the Bering Strait.

Environmental historian Bathsheba Demuth explores the long history of the Bering Strait. Bathsheba is author of Floating Coast: An Environmental History of the Bering Strait from Norton Books.
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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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