Parallax Views w/ J.G. Michael
Ep. 83: Brian Rosenquist on the Christian Scare Films of Ron Ormond (EASTER SPECIAL!)

Ep. 83: Brian Rosenquist on the Christian Scare Films of Ron Ormond (EASTER SPECIAL!)

April 20, 2019

On this Easter weekend edition of Parallax Views, filmmaker Brian Rosenquist, a member of Nicholas Wendig Refn's byNWR collaborative project, joins us to discuss the Christian scare films of Ron Ormond. Evangelical convert Ron Ormond, along with his wife June Ormond and the help of Baptist minister Estus W. Pirkle, created supremely bizarre, gory, and shocking movies meant to literally scare the hell out of sinners and convert them to Christianity. Ormond's notorious "Christsploitation" films The Burning Hell, The Believer's Heaven, The Grim Reaper, and the anti-communist Red Scare flick If Footmen Tire You What Will Horses Do? scarred a generation of Sunday school children before becoming sought after cult classics of the cinematic underground vis-à-vis the legendary experimental band Negativland's sampling of If Footmen Tire You What Will Horses Do? in their hit single, played at college radio stations across America, "Christianity is Stupid". Brian fills us in on the life, times, and films of the Ormonds in this edition of Parallax Views.

Brian Rosenquist

Members Exclusive: Journalist Sameera Khan on Tulsi Gabbard, Narendra Modi, & Hindutva Fascism

Members Exclusive: Journalist Sameera Khan on Tulsi Gabbard, Narendra Modi, & Hindutva Fascism

April 16, 2019

Foreign policy analyst, political writer, and 2015 Miss New Jersey winner Sameera Khan joins us for an member's exclusive episode of Parallax Views to discuss Democratic Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard's problematic ties to Hindutva ideology. Sameera takes us through the reign of India's current Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the extreme nationalism of groups like the RSS and BJP. What does the progressive Tulsi have to say about all this? Sameera Khan argues she hasn't said nearly enough and gives the details as to why this should concern progressive voters who view her as an anti-war candidate despite Tulsi's neocon rhetoric about the War on Terror and Islam. Additionally, Sameera gives her take on the Gravel Teen phenomena and the arrest of Julian Assange.

Supplemental material for this this episode:

Outrage over BJP promise to 'remove every single infiltrator' from India - CNN

BJP tweet calling for removal of "every single infiltrator" in India

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) - Wikipedia Entry

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) - Wikpedia Entry

Tulsi Gabbard on the War on Terror

Sameera Khan Interviewed by Comedian and Redacted Tonight Host Lee Camp

Keep Up With Sameera Khan on Twitter

LISTEN TO PARALLAX VIEWS EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH SAMEERA KHAN!

Ep. 82: Bobbie Brown on Modeling, Dating Rock Stars, & Life on Hollywood’s Sunset Strip

Ep. 82: Bobbie Brown on Modeling, Dating Rock Stars, & Life on Hollywood’s Sunset Strip

April 16, 2019

Drugs. Sex. Rock 'n' Roll. Big hairdos. They're the hallmarks of 80s/90s glam metal, which is finally experiencing its nostalgia moment thanks to the new Motley Crue biopic The Dirt on Netflix. Everyone knows the stories of sleazy rock star debauchery on the Sunset Strip, but what about the female perspective on those wild days? Joining us on this edition of Parallax Views is Bobbie Jean Brown, author of Dirty Rocker Boys: Love and Lust on the Sunset Strip and a starring figure in Fuse's reality TV hit Ex-Wives of Rock, to discuss the her life on the Sunset Strip from activating a millions of teenaged libidos in Warrant's "Cherry Pie" music video to marrying Warrant's Jani Lane and dating Motley Crue's Tommy Lee.

Bobbie Brown as "The Cherry Pie Girl" in Warrant's "Cherry Pie" music video

The conversation begins with Bobbie and I discussing the Alice in Wonderland-esque "down the rabbit hole" nature of Bobbie going from a quite life in Louisiana to becoming the hottest girl on L.A.'s Sunset Strip. From there we get Bobbie's take on modeling and her long winning streak on Starsearch before delving into how she became the it girl of glam metal in Warrant's "Cherry Pie" music video. We discuss what life was like in Hollywood in the 90s and her experiences dating rock star's like Warrant's Jani Lani and Motley Crue, the later of whom controversially broke things off with Bobbie to marry Baywatch's Pamela Anderson. Additionally, we discuss some of Bobbie's experiences working on Married... With Children,her former interest in the occult, thoughts on the #MeToo movement, the Netflix's Motley Crue biopic The Dirt, online dating, and her recent work in the realm of stand-up comedy!

Bobbie Brown and Warrant's Jani Lane

Bobbie Brown and Motley Crue's Tommy Lee

Bobbie Brown still rockin' today!

Check out Bobbie's new book Cherry on Top! Coming out in July!

bobbiebrowndirty.jpg

And be sure to read Dirty Rocker Boys

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Ep. 81: Journalist Jenna Orkin on 9/11’s Deadly Dust

Ep. 81: Journalist Jenna Orkin on 9/11’s Deadly Dust

April 11, 2019

A fine detail of the latest budget proposal by President Donald Trump is that it will defund the federal agency responsible for compensating first responders to the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attack who were adversely effected by the dust and degrees at Ground Zero in New York. The story of 9/11's "Deadly Dust", however, goes much deeper and the lives it has damaged reaches far beyond the heroic first responders of that fateful September day. Joining us on this edition of Parallax Views to discuss the full story of 9/11's Deadly Dust is Jenna Orkin, who has tirelessly pursued the saga as a journalist, activist, and concerned parent in the vicinity of Ground Zero since its earliest stages.

Jenna Orkin

We begin by discussing how Jenna became involved in activism related to 9/11's deadly dust. From there we delve into a number of different areas including the EPA's assurances that "the air is safe to breathe" after 9/11 and the conflicts of interest that existed with then EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman. Jenna and I dive deep into the asbestos and toxins that were inhalable throughout New York in the aftermath of 9/11 and the lives adversely affected by it, including schoolchildren. We also discuss how the media covered the story initially and how the saga of 9/11's deadly dust has changed since those days. Additionally, Jenna tells us about her work with investigative journalist Michael C. Ruppert, the 5th anniversary of whose death will occur on April 13th, and how Ruppert's work on 9/11, peak oil, Wall Street, and energy issues ties into not only Jenna's writings on the 9/11 deadly dust but also a broader picture of our world and where it is headed.

Read
Ground Zero Wars:
The Fight to Reveal the Lies of the EPA in the Wake of 9/11
and
Clean-Up Lower Manhattan
by
Jenna Orkin

Read

Scout:
A Memoir of Investigative Journalist Michael C. Ruppert
by
Jenna Orkin

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Ep. 80: Ben Burgis DESTROYS the Right w/ LOGIC, FACTS, & REASON

Ep. 80: Ben Burgis DESTROYS the Right w/ LOGIC, FACTS, & REASON

April 10, 2019

There's a meme, perpetuated by figures like "Facts Don't Care About Your Feelings" Ben Shapiro and "Not An Argument" Stefan Molyneux, that the left runs only on emotion while the right are the bastions logic, reason, and Rationality(TM). Ben Burgis, author of the upcoming book Give Them An Argument: Logic for the Left, disagrees and joins us on this supersized edition of Parallax Views to DESTROY the right-wing noise machine. Ben Burgis is a regular contributor at The Michael Brooks Show, The Serfs, and Zero Books (publisher of Ben's upcoming book) as well as a Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University.

Ben Burgis DESTROYING someone like Ben Shapiro on The Majority Report w/ Sam Seder

 The conversation begins with Ben describing his background as a professor who teaches critical reasoning before explaining what drove him to write the upcoming book Give Them An Argument: Logic for the Left. We then delve into online obsession, particularly on YouTube, for debates with "[X] DESTROYS [Y]" in the titles and how Ben feels about the way rhetoric, logic, and debate have been twisted by the right. In addition, Ben and I discuss some of the fallacies that occur during debates such as the ad hominem and the appeal to authority.

From there the discussion takes many twists and turns too numerous to get into in this synopsis. We discuss issues such as transgender acceptance, "Social Justice Warriors", deplatforming, cultural appropriation, the notion of "The West", Hume's Law as it relates to Ben Shapiro, social constructivism vs. standpoint epistemology, how Ben DESTROYS the right's "I AM AN APACHE ATTACK HELICOPTER" argument, equality of opportunity vs equality of outcome, and the ideas of Karl Marx amongst much, much more. We even get into the idea of panpsychism unexpectedly but naturally!

Hear Ben Burgis on
The Michael Brooks Show Patreon's Exclusive Segment "The Debunk" Every Week! 

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Ep. 79: David Golumbia on The Silicon Valley Ideology, Racism, and AI

Ep. 79: David Golumbia on The Silicon Valley Ideology, Racism, and AI

April 8, 2019

On this edition of Parallax Views, we probe the possible intersection between the ideology of Silicon Valley tech culture's obsession with strong AI, or General Artificial Intelligence, and the issues of racism and white supremacy with David Golumbia, author of The Cultural Logic of Computation, The Politics of Bitcoin: Software as Right-Wing Extremism, and the recent essay (and subject of this episode) "The Great White Robot God: Artificial General Intelligence and White Supremacy".

We begin the conversation by discussing how David became interested in the topic of philosophy and ideology as it relates to tech culture. David explains how he was interested in the analytic philosophy of figures like Hilary Putnam, specifically the philosophy of language as it relates to mind, and its relation to the left intellectual tradition. In particular, David discusses the computational model of understanding the mind and why he has been critical of it. Additionally, David notes how he saw the early tech culture, or computer liberation, as engaging with right-wing ideology as opposed to left-wing intellectual traditions. During this portion of the conversation we delve into the philosophical differences between the left and right's intellectual traditions, and especially how they view freedom in extremely different ways.

From there delve into what's been called the Silicon Ideology or the California Ideology, and in particular it's obsession with logic and rationality. During this portion of the conversation we delve into the elevation of rationality to a place of almost quasi-religious veneration by both elements of the tech community and the alt right as well as the denigration of emotion by both these elements. This leads us into the main topic of this episode, namely David's essay "The Great White Robot God: Artificial General Intelligence and White Supremacy".

Sam Harris, the New Atheist leader that has become embroiled in the race/IQ discourse

David explains how New Atheists like Richard Dawkins and, in particular, Sam Harris served to spur his interest in writing the Great White Robot God essay. David notes that figures like Harris and Dawkins have become entangled in Islamophobic rhetoric and the race/IQ discourse. We delve into how the ideology of New Atheists seem to coincide not only with a number of right-wing talking points but also the Silicon Valley tech culture. David navigates us through the ways in which Artificial General Intelligence, or strong AI (see The Terminator or The Matrix movies for pop culture imaginings of the topic), seems to coalesce with the race/IQ discourse. During this portion of the conversation we discuss how the popular conception of AI is, in David's words, philosophically incoherent, why David views ideas like Ray Kurzweil's Singularity as crankery, and delve into the ideas of Eliezer Yudkowsky and his Machine Intelligence Research Institute (MIRI). Although Yudkowsky steadfastly distances himself from the alt right, David argues that Yudkowsky's thinking, along with much of the Silicon Valley tech community as a whole, dovetails with the alt right.

David Golumbia

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Ep. 78: The Satanic Panic & the Repressed Memory Myth w/ Joseph L. Flatley and Lucien Greaves

Ep. 78: The Satanic Panic & the Repressed Memory Myth w/ Joseph L. Flatley and Lucien Greaves

April 5, 2019

On this edition of Parallax Views, we uncover a world of mass hysteria and medical malpractice known colloquially as the Satanic Panic with journalist Joseph L. Flatley, author of Satan Goes to the Mind Control convention, and Lucien Greaves, founder of The Satanic Temple.

In Reagan's America, the 1980s, the suburbs became gripped with a paranoia. Through and amalgamation of the Christian Right, television hucksters, and "repressed memory therapists" a narrative arose that cadres of secret-devil-worshippers-next-door were conspiring to bring impressionable youths under the thrall of Satan through everything from Dungeons and Dragons to heavy metal. Out of this came a number of people claiming to have been victims of "Satanic Ritual Abuse" and mind control alongside a number of dubious mental health professionals who bolstered them. Joseph and Lucien describe how this strange moment in American pop culture came to be and it's serious ramifications for both those accused and for the patients taken advantage of by the mental health figures that helped promote the panic.

Dr. Colin Ross

At the center of Joseph's telling of this sordid affair is the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation and it's founder Dr. Colin Ross. Joseph and Flatley fill listeners in with what this seemingly credible-sounding organization really believes and what they promote including conspiracy theories about Satanic ritual abuse, mind control, and other conspiracy theories. In addition we delve into the character of ISSTD's founder Dr. Colin Ross and the case of one of his patients, Roma Hart, who suffered greatly under Ross's "care". Ross claims to be an expert on mind control, often citing the legitimate and disturbing CIA project MK-ULTRA, but, Joseph and Lucien argue, seem to engage in some of the very same practices of MK-ULTRA and various cults. Roma's story, in particular, is a chilling one that we cover in-depth.

Additionally, we discuss "The Satanic Panic" in light of the "conspiracy presidency" of Donald J. Trump and conspiracy theories like QAnon and Pizzagate. Also, Lucien discusses some matters related to the Satanic Temple including his appearance on Tucker Carlson's FOX News program and the Satanic Temple bid to erect a Baphomet statue at the Oklahoma Capitol in response to the Christian Right's attempt to install a Ten Commandments Statue there.

Joseph L. Flatley

Lucien Greaves

Grey Faction, a Campaign by the Satanic Temple to Expose the Past and Current Impacts of the Satanic Panic and ISSTD

Ep. 77: Journalist David Bixenspan on Reporting on Pro Wrestling & Wrestlemania 35

Ep. 77: Journalist David Bixenspan on Reporting on Pro Wrestling & Wrestlemania 35

April 3, 2019

On the eve of WrestleMania 35, which will be presented by WWE this Sunday April 7th, 2019, journalist David Bixenspan joins us on this edition of Parallax Views to discuss his reporting on the world of pro wrestling. Hot off the heels of John Oliver's recent segment on treatment of pro wrestlers within the industry, David and I discuss all of wrestling's various controversies from pay to steroids to the depiction of race and gender in the sports entertainment spectacle. Additionally, we discuss how media has covered the topic over the years and how the product has changed through the decades.

Links and Resources for This Episode:

Fall Guys: The Barnums of Bounce

David Bixenspan Article Archive

The Concussion Legacy Foundation (founded by former WWE superstar Chris Nowinski)

Ep. 76: JP Sottile on the Mueller Report and Russiagate Fallout & Jaya Sundaresh on Journalism and Ishmael Reed’s Anti-Hamilton Play

Ep. 76: JP Sottile on the Mueller Report and Russiagate Fallout & Jaya Sundaresh on Journalism and Ishmael Reed’s Anti-Hamilton Play

March 29, 2019

On this edition of Parallax Views it's another double feature! Two guests, one episode! First up a return conversation with "The Newsvandal" JP Sottile recorded only hours ago on the hot off the presses developments in the fallout from Russiagate and the end of the Mueller Probe. Then journalist Jaya Sundaresh joins us to discuss a number of topics related to media and activism as well as her recent piece on a new play by the legendary playwright Ishamel Reed that criticizes the musical phenomenon of Hamilton on historical and political grounds.

JP Sottile

Jaya Sundaresh

Ep. 75: Confronting the Right w/ Twitch Streamer “Destiny” Steve Bonnell II & Antifascist Activist Shane Burley

Ep. 75: Confronting the Right w/ Twitch Streamer “Destiny” Steve Bonnell II & Antifascist Activist Shane Burley

March 26, 2019

The far right has been on the rise internationally as many citizen around the globe feel themselves disaffected by globalization. How should the Left respond to this dangerous development. On this edition of Parallax Views, two guests join us to answer that question. First up is Twitch gaming steamer Destiny aka Steven Bonnell II who has become popular for debating right-wing ideologues on topics like race, immigration, gun control, gender identity, and more. Then, noted antifascist activist and author Shane Burley rejoins the show to discuss the VICE's Lords of Chaos, fascism and antifascism in the black metal and neofolk scenes, and the recent Christchurch terror attack in New Zealand.

Destiny aka Steve Bonnell II

Our first guest is Destiny aka Steve Bonnell II, a video game streamer turned political debate maverick. Destiny fills listeners in on his journey into political debating from the gaming world and his transition from libertarianism to a more center left position. From there Destiny and I delve into his infamous debate with the popular YouTube and video game personality JonTron, which garnered coverage in TIME for showing JonTron's transition to the alt right. We use this to discuss how much of the New Atheist movement went in an alt right direction. Destiny and I then discuss the right's rhetoric of "facts don't care about your feelings" and "realz over feelz" and why Destiny believes that it is actually these reactionaries who are arguing from a place of emotion rather than rationality.

We then begin to discuss how Destiny tries to counter some of these arguments and how he views the people he is debating. Destiny argues against assuming that the vast majority of people he debates are acting in bad faith. We then discuss political debates as they relate to families, which has become a major topic since the election of Donald Trump, and Destiny's debates with his highly right-wing mother. From there we delve into the topic of social shaming, how right-wing pundits like Dave Rubin try to claim the mantle of being "left", the controversies around de-platforming, and free speech.

We then pivot into the topic of Destiny's debate with white nationalists describing themselves as "race realists" and biological determinists who rail against changing gender norms and the transgender community. During this portion of the conversation Destiny and I define the concept of social constructivism and his recent debate with Carl Benjamin aka Sargon of Akkad about transgender people. Additionally Destiny gives his take on the right's flirtation or outright acceptance of biological determinism. At the same time, he says, many of them believe in libertarian free will. Destiny, in contrast, says he is a hardline determinist but that his determinism is more related to environmental determinism.

We then delve into what actually persuades people when it comes to debates. Destiny argues that facts and logic aren't what convinces people to change their minds. Instead, he argues. We then discuss the story of how Destiny exposed fellow YouTuber JF Gariepy, a self-described "race realist", as a sexual predator who takes advantage of disabled women. Destiny gives his take on why JF's supporters defended him despite the facts of the situation. We then discuss how reactionaries falsely accused Destiny of being involved in sexual abuse of underage girls, how this led to a visit from the FBI. Additionally, Destiny and I briefly discuss his banning from Twitter.

We begin wrapping up by discussing Destiny's debates with the Deplorables Choir and Jesse Lee Peterson, a black conservative media personality who refers to Trump as the "Great White Hope". We briefly cover his latest appearance on Peterson's show debating gun control with Vincent James. Finally we delve into Destiny's views on capitalism. While Destiny takes a pro-capitalist view he does feel that there is a need for reform to help the most vulnerable members of our community.

Then, returning guest and antifascist activist joins us to discuss his critique of VICE's Lords of Chaos movie and how the movie obscures some of the far-right underpinning of the book it is based on. Shane argues that Lords of Chaos's author, Michael Moynihan, paints the Norwegian black metal scene as a force of total nihilism driven by a racial awakening against modernity. Shane explains how Moynihan's portrait of Norwegian black metal is also driven by a strange Jungian mysticism.

From there we discuss Jonas Akerlund's cinematic adaptation of the book, which Parallax Views previously covered in a recent episode with Alex Gendler. Shane takes a very critical view of the movie and feels the Akerlund's portrait of the Norwegian black metal scene is too sympathetic given the serious outbreaks of violence that came out of the Norwegian black metal scene. From there we discuss Shane's take on the film's depiction of Varg Vikernes, who serves as the film's protagonist, and how Vikernes has reacted to it. I then ask Shane what he believes was the impetus behind adapting Lords of Chaos. Additionally, Shane gives his overall take on why the movie's depiction of the events that make up Norwegian black metal's early history is irresponsible.

Shane points out, however, that the black metal scene as a whole is not fascist and that fascism only makes up a small part of the scene known as "National Socialist Black Metal" (NSBM). From there we discuss Shane's upcoming article on antifascist black metal bands like Feminazgul and Neckbeard Deathcamp. We then use this as a launching point to discuss Shane's work attempting to highlight antifascism in the neofolk scene, a genre prevalent in the goth subculture that is dominated by a Nazi element.

We then wrap up by looking at the Christchurch terror attack and it's fallout. How has the alt right reacted to the events and what what does it mean for the revival of white nationalism? How can events like this be prevented in the future and how can antifascists continue to pushback against this movement? Shane answers some of these questions and the hope there is for antifascist action going forward.