Parallax Views w/ J.G. Michael

Was Gilligan’s Island Communist? w/ Documentarian Cevin Soling

October 4, 2019

On this edition of Parallax Views, a previously unpublished conversation with filmmaker Cevin Soling on his fascinating documentary The Gilligan Manifesto, which argues that Gilligan's Island acts as a depiction, inadvertently or otherwise, of Karl Marx's communist ideals. What's perhaps most interesting about Soling's documentary is that is neither a left-wing or right-wing polemic. Instead, The Gilligan Manifesto seeks to deal with philosophical issues related to utopianism, cooperation, and more through the lens of Gilligan's Island and the writings of Karl Marx. Cevin deftly argues that Gilligan's Island, despite it's reputation as a low-brow sitcom in it's time, is actually an extremely radical and subversive show and that it has a great deal to say about social relations built on a cooperative, as opposed to competitive, foundation. In the course of our conversation we cover the myriad of reasons that Gilligan's Island proves to be a subversive sitcom that challenges many of our ideas about capitalism, communism, and the concept of paradise. But will we get to the biggest question of them all? Namely, Ginger or Mary Ann? You'll have to listen to find out!

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