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“‘Oh!’ say the technophiles, ‘Science is going to fix all that! We will conquer famine, eliminate psychological suffering, make everybody healthy and happy!’ Yeah, sure. The technophiles are hopelessly naive (or self-deceiving) in their understanding of social problems. Thus it will take a long and difficult period of trial and error for the techno…
 
“It may be objected that primitive man is physically less secure than modern man, as is shown by his shorter life expectancy; hence modern man suffers from less, not more than the amount of insecurity that is normal for human beings. But psychological security does not closely correspond with physical security. It is true that primitive man is powe…
 
“The Industrial Revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race. The continued development of technology will worsen the situation. There is no way of reforming or modifying the system so as to prevent it from depriving people of dignity and autonomy. If the system breaks down the consequences will still be very painful. But…
 
“One writer says that Brown's peculiar monomania made him to be ‘dreaded by the Missourians as a supernatural being.’ Sure enough, a hero in the midst of us cowards is always so dreaded. He is just that thing. He shows himself superior to nature. He has a spark of divinity in him. They talk as if it were impossible that a man could be ‘divinely app…
 
“Most men, even in this comparatively free country, through mere ignorance and mistake, are so occupied with the factitious cares and superfluously coarse labors of life that its finer fruits cannot be plucked by them. . . . Some, not wise, go to the other side of the globe, to barbarous and unhealthy regions, devote themselves to trade for ten or …
 
“I perceive that we partially die ourselves through sympathy at the death of each of our friends or near relatives. Each such experience is an assault on our vital force. It becomes a source of wonder that they who have lost many friends still live. After long watching around the sickbed of a friend, we, too, partially give up the ghost with him, a…
 
Cabin is the new season from The Relentless Picnic. It's one story told over multiple episodes. It's a story about solitude and isolation, community and loss, Henry David Thoreau and Ted Kaczynski—and it's told through audio recorded throughout 2019 and 2020. New episodes weekly.Support us at patreon.com/relentlesspicnic for access to a ton of bonu…
 
Are we further apart? Are we being fooled? This is an episode about our phantom selves, how we're doing right now, and the feeling that something important has gone wrong.SOURCES: - "Ep. 27: The Wreckage," The Relentless Picnic (Feb. '18): bit.ly/2GhA6CW ; - "How Do We Write Now?" by Patricia Lockwood, Tin House (Apr. '18): bit.ly/2Gfyj1p ; - "In t…
 
The world is a snakepit of competing takes and diverging minds. How is anybody supposed to live? In this episode, we play a game called Passage Potluck to straighten it all out. We assembled a packet of short excerpted texts, and forced ourselves to connect dots between, through, and around them, at random. The passages we wound up discussing are a…
 
The confidence we’ve always had as a people isn’t simply some romantic dream, or a proverb in a dusty book we read just on the Fourth of July. In this episode we’re talking democracy and consumerism through those American specters John Dewey, the thirty-ninth President James Earl Carter, and the citizen-reviewers of Amazon dot com.SOURCES: - Jimmy …
 
Let's talk about movies. How would you talk about a movie if it wants you to shut up? Climb aboard for a one-way trip down the river of striking images, dream-like sequences, and too many meaningful looks. From the ridiculous to the sacred, we examine the examinations of the unspeakable silence at the heart of life.SOURCES: - 2001: A Space Odyssey,…
 
This week it’s fourteen conversations about one thing. We do a little research on the symptoms of fascism and begin to feel like an expendable character in the first act of a horror film. Plus: TED talks are blindfolds at the museum, why you must laminate the best parts of your body, and the moral arc of the universe bends toward destruction, but a…
 
It’s time to talk about America. We’re looking at ways to deal with what’s coming, from that bug-out bag full of spare magazines, to terrifying self-sacrifice on South Carolina’s spiritual battlefield, to Hollywood’s last-ditch play for immortality with the forces of global capital. Join us on the beach to watch the blood-dimmed tide roll in.BONUS …
 
How did this happen? What went wrong? We obsess over the brokenness and try to eyeball the true nature of intimacy: fading, faded, and yet-to-fade. ft. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jordan Catalano, Don Draper, the miserable modern self, someone you once genuinely loved, and other dangerous creatures of the heart.SOURCES:- "How Friendships Change Over Ti…
 
Like I always say, if the markets are a-singin', you better know how to make 'em dance. Today on the program, it's a deep dive in the shallow pond that is NPR's Marketplace. We'll ask the question: are there Nazis in-studio forcing them to be like this? Or is there a more covert kind of fascism within the neoliberal soul? I'm Kai Ryssdal, and this …
 
To die, to sleep — perchance to be judged no longer viable in society and sentenced to burn alive from within. Who is truly avenged by our cocktails of untested heartstoppers? Justices: why did we stop, then start, doing this again? Join us at the top of the scaffold of lies we tell ourselves, where we countenance barbarisms and watch the clock til…
 
There's a new channel for hot audio content from The Relentless Picnic. It's on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/relentlesspicnicOur episodes will still be released for free, and in the same way as always. But, as a Patron, you'll receive weekly "treats" from us, delivered to you via the Patreon. Among the "treats" you might expect from us each wee…
 
Inspired by an O.G. paragon of male toxicity — Odysseus — this week we confront the meaning of our obligations, the phenomenon of gaslighting, and a certain typified masculinity near-feral in its ineptitude and shimmering in its self-denial. All in the space of a Homeric reverie. Special thanks to Sir Ian McKellan.SOURCES:Homer, The Odyssey, 12.30-…
 
The medium is our message. We sleuth out data points along the demographic trendlines, and follow them straight towards the beating, gray heart of TV―and beyond. How does it all end? We jump off the edge and file dispatches from the abyss.SOURCES:"E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction," by David F. Wallace (Review of Contemporary Fiction 13:…
 
We hit the pavement to grapple directly with the National Park Service's Flight 93 National Memorial, and with 9/11.An album of photographs to aid your listening experience: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm4zgYqdSOURCES: - Flight 93 National Memorial, NPS Brochure: http://bit.ly/2hbF1g7 - Timeline for United 93: http://n.pr/2hcDZg4 ; - Flight 93 National Mem…
 
Lose yourself in the wild-eyed fearsome shadow of totality. Come see what hippies the Moon made of our steely-eyed missile men. Plus—Elon Musk trips over his own simulated shoelaces, and the Moon Matrix is fully decoded. Join us, but only if you've got the right glasses.SOURCES:Quora queries: https://www.quora.com/topic/Elon-MuskElon Musk speaks wi…
 
This week from our special plans department, Leo Strauss: a guide for the perplexed. Politics, both ancient and modern; the allure of elite cabals; a whiskey spill Rorschach test; polemics, hermeneutics, and sex in the stacks. Plus—Iraq, intelligence, independence, and other declarations of the great atheist priest: Text.WORKS CITED:Leo Strauss and…
 
We're trying to get at the allure of permanent consequences, the moral underpinnings of hitchhiking, and the secret greenhouses of your text-based relationships. Whither goest thou, America? And can you get us there before bed, we have to be up early?LINKS/SOURCES:a relationship beset by far-left podcasts: https://twitter.com/yungneocon/status/8770…
 
Like the man said: We're chained to the earth like a silent slave; trying to break free out of death's dark cave. Bones in South Africa, hoarding in New York City, and finally, a dispatch from our friend Matt Tice as he takes heavy fire, and glimpses reinforcement, on the front line of life. - "Geological and taphonomic context for the new hominin …
 
We want you to hear our rollicking satire of venture capitalists, which involves lots of loose talk about cat masturbation. Here's how to hear it:1) Leave us a rating/review on iTunes. Be real with us. We can take it.2) Screengrab that ish.3) Either a) e-mail that screenshotted review to relentlesspicnic@gmail.com, or b) DM that screenshotted revie…
 
Can computers learn & are Redditors ever right? We do some psychologizing of the modern American cornered by the paranormal. Plus. Are you there, Dad? It's me, Science!Thanks to the bold redditors who shared their stories: u/Parrot-Tamer, u/desk_jockey26, u/[deleted], u/brennnnz, u/TheThirdWheel, u/matics, u/khaustic, u/Squirly, u/[deleted], & u/am…
 
This week, we try and wrap our heads around money via several parables and case studies. We inquire after the history of the gold standard in America, the implications of certain prison economies, and the predicament of the penny. Plus—who'd Andie MacDowell marry, and what ended the marriage life?SOURCES: - MarriedWiki: http://bit.ly/2oJzOuB & http…
 
Let's move past the gollys and gee-whizzes from nominee Neil Gorsuch with some newly obtained recordings. Plus: we take confused tween investigator Devin Nunes to task for his tricky tick-tock; & why members of a certain angry caucus aren't enjoying their House freedom.- "Comey’s testimony humiliates Trump," by Jennifer Rubin (WaPo, 3/20): http://w…
 
We sit down with Frank Luntz, a man on a mission to civilize. His newest book is called "The Lonely Win: Longing for Death in a Buyer's Market." Plus—why America should just surrender and accept the permanent financial aristocracy.Op. Cit.- "The Agony of Frank Luntz," by Molly Ball in The Atlantic (Jan. '14): http://theatln.tc/2nwAxys - "Cheering U…
 
Art as the material excrement produced when you self-transcend, selling your self in a buyer's market, 10,001 strategies for leveraging your friendship with a reclusive poet. - “The Culture of Celebrity,” Joseph Epstein (Oct. 2005): http://tws.io/2l86EaU - “Jean Cocteau, The Art of Fiction No. 34.” Interview by Joseph Fifield (1964): http://bit.ly/…
 
The definitive moral posture re: punching Nazis. Plus, we examine fact-chefs Conway and Spicer, expose their snake hearts and x-ray their snake hearts to see whose snake heart beats with greater fidelity to the party anthem. - "What happens when you tie your career to Donald Trump? Ask Sean Spicer in a few months." (This is an actual WaPo headline …
 
A deep dive into recent legal action initiated by two named, frozen embryos, and a long snort of the condiment kingdom awaiting them here on Earth. - "A New Condiment for the Modern Family" (Jan. '12): http://on.wsj.com/2iNsLyY - "Nicholas Loeb: Forget All the Rest, He's Mr. Condiment" (Oct. '13): http://nyti.ms/1OJkLvP - "Sofia Vergara Embryo Case…
 
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