Saturday, April 18, 2015

Stalin, for Starters 1 (Privacy, and the Peeping Tom of Oz)

You should be feeling verrryy nervous by now! Ethan and Zach think the audience is invading their privacy. The psychology of being spied upon is explored, whether this spying occurs voluntarily (like with a self-imposed recording device meant for a podcast) or against one’s will (like with the regimes of Joseph Stalin and Saddam Hussein). For a more cogent and singular dialogue about this topic, check out Glenn Greenwald's TED talk. 


What are the chances that America will ever become a Stalinist tyranny? Ethan says there’s nary a possibility, and maintains that the whole privacy hoopla of the modern age is overly dramatic, and rhetorically treacherous. Zach tries to insist that, from the perspective of the Native Americans, America IS a Salinist tyranny, but Ethan's white privilege ignores him. On the other hand, Ethan may have just learned to tune Zach out. Meanwhile, Zach is making a shawl, that will double as a shower curtain and, on rare occasions, a shovel. Point is, Zach chose a topic that is safe, because he holds no controversial opinions about it. Ethan is worried about offending liberals and conservatives alike!


John Oliver shows what really matters by demonstrating that people don’t even know who Edward Snowden is. And yet, they don’t want to show their genitals to the government. What kind of world are we living in! Ethan asks Zach to stop pushing his buttons, then tries to push Zach’s buttons, but fails. The NSA is the Peeping Tom of Oz. What's the difference between being picked up by Stalin's goons, and having your reputation destroyed on the internet? Is it death? Exile? Or will Zach consider a more morbid example involving a trash bag and body parts? 


The Star Wars Kid makes a special guest appearance. And for those of you who have given up on the internet for reasons of privacy, the Star Wars Kid is a viral YouTube video in which a Kid swings around a fake lightsaber in the spirit of Star Wars. He nearly falls on his face, making audiences all over the world laugh Schadenfreudally. Ethan questions whether or not he knew that the camera was on when he swung his lightsaber so enthusiastically. Ethan swings his lightsaber on a daily basis, hoping that someone is watching. But no one ever is.


There's an instinctual desire for privacy. Zach describes the human soul as cute and little. Ethan's large, furry soul takes offense. This drama is the real crucifixion of the human being living under a Stalinist regime. The myth of paradise is held by many cultures. Ethan says that this is not a new problem, that as far back as civilizations goes, there was an invasion of privacy and a myth of paradise. Zach hates the fact that he agrees with Ethan. Finally, the relationship between the "Paradise Instinct" and the modern fear of having your privacy invaded is explored. Zach has something interesting to say, but Ethan cuts him off.




Check out this episode!

No comments:

Post a Comment