vol. 5 episode 35
What’s the point to life if there is no joy, no beauty, no clean dirt to play in?
Such a line of questioning is the current that runs through this conversation with novelist, podcaster, and all-around muckraker, Greg Olear. It’s Greg’s second visit to the podcast, this time to talk about Sunday Pages, the pause for reflection he offers in between his other work uncovering the “fuckery” of fascists as part of PREVAIL, his home on the Substack platform.
Greg and I laugh a lot as we enter into a deep — and deeply irreverent, yet never irrelevant — conversation about the importance of art and beauty in politics in order to “recharge the spirit”, and why today there is a movement afoot to quash and control the words we use.
It’s an erudite conversation, but not a stuffy academic one. And there are a few salty words, which makes things tasty.
We discuss the rise of fascism in the US, whether it’s been there all along, and whether and how it might continue. We muse about the role of the Roman Empire in spreading Christianity and how that impacts our public policies today, prompting me to posit my theory that we might be “misremembering” the actual nature of the birth of Christ and all that was supposed to mean for humanity, a theory that scandalizes the Jesuit-educated, Catholic-raised Greg (but only for a moment).
Plus, Greg reads a few lines of poetry and shares a funny story about a bar in Hoboken, New Jersey and a little ditty called Jessie’s Girl, and we agree that residents from the Garden State tend toward a certain practicality we’d all do well to aspire to…
Which is why we agree that in a democracy, even fascists should have a voice, regardless of whether it’s dead wrong.
Thanks for listening!
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