2017 in Review via the Brilliant

  • Posted on: 3 January 2018
  • By: thecollective


The Brilliant podcast is a way to have a deeper conversations than allowed in the text boxes of websites. On the one hand a podcast is one way communication but on the other it allows the intimacy of radio, of a voice in your ear that is yours alone.

We live in a world where most stories are just variants of the same story; Good beats evil, Cowboys and Indians, profits and loss. This story has been told a thousand, million times and the ubiquity of it is a great tragedy, a tragedy because of the consequences it has on our imagination and our relationships. A tragedy because it is the same old sad song told over and over again.

The Brilliant podcast is an attempt to tell different kinds of stories, ones with complex moral plays, ones that aren’t so clearly stories, and ones that are of human size. Our motivation to tell these tales is a desire to see a proliferation of different stories and not just the simple morality plays of popular culture or the inverted, but otherwise identical, stories of the radical milieu.

We believe that a world of free people is possible. We call these people, anarchists, the brilliant, or practicioners of the beautiful idea and they are our concern. If we were different people we’d discuss these people as our community, and they are, but they also aren’t because the tension of community within mass society means it is not a stable term. The free people we live, fight, and learn from grow and shrink, flare and cool, dim and shine brighter than the sun.

This year has been a great one for the podcast. Here are some highlights.

(as always you can find new episodes at The Brilliant – http://thebrilliant.org/)
Conversations about Technology

Our recent conversation about technology did not perhaps push the conversation as far as I would have liked BUT was a fantastic snapshot of what some of the luminaries of contemporary post-left anarchism have to say on this matter among others.

http://thebrilliant.org/podcast/episode-59-technology-i/ The Youth speak!
http://thebrilliant.org/podcast/episode-60-technology-ii/ PZS from Brazil
http://thebrilliant.org/podcast/episode-61-technology-iii/ Ramon Elani
http://thebrilliant.org/podcast/episode-62-technology-iv/ Rydra from Free Radical Radio!
http://thebrilliant.org/podcast/episode-63-technology-v/ Jason McQuinn

The conversations on exclusion reflected on my BASTARD conference presentation and discuss the practical and theoretical consequences of social exclusion for anarchists

http://thebrilliant.org/podcast/episode-55-exclusion-i/ Ben
http://thebrilliant.org/podcast/episode-56-exclusion-ii/ Soren, Dominique, and the shitshow called Oakland
http://thebrilliant.org/podcast/episode-57-exclusion-iii/ Mitchell Halberstadt
http://thebrilliant.org/podcast/episode-58-exclusion-iv/ Andy Robinson and theory
Discussions with Isaac

Our series with Isaac Cronin has been rewarding. Isaac is one of the first set of American post-situationists and was the creater (with lots of help) of “Call it Sleep”. We have had seven discussions with Isaac so far.

http://thebrilliant.org/podcast/episode-31-isaac-cronin-i/ Origin
http://thebrilliant.org/podcast/s02e05-aka-episode-34-isaac-cronin-ii/ Berkeley in the 60s. FSM.
http://thebrilliant.org/podcast/episode-37-s02e08-isaac-iii/ Berkeley and the Vietnam War
http://thebrilliant.org/podcast/episode-39-s02e10-isaac-cronin-iv-1969/ 1969 The Council for the Eruption of the Marvelous
http://thebrilliant.org/podcast/episode-43-isaac-v-1970-1972/ post-CEM. James Carr
http://thebrilliant.org/podcast/episode-46-isaac-vi-mid-seventies/ Paris in the mid-seventies
http://thebrilliant.org/podcast/episode-48-isaac-vii-call-it-sleep/ Call it Sleep
http://thebrilliant.org/podcast/isaac-vii-the-pharmaceutical-industry/ The pharmaceutical Industry

We’ve been in the middle of a shitton of needless and hyperbolic controversy around our publications of eco-extremist material. This is mostly by people too young to understand the context of anti-social anarchist activity that stretches back 150 years, too trained by our sensationalist outrage culture to critically engage with people who they only know by communique and/or the Internet, or too cynical to come out and say what their issues are with the idea of publishing controversial idea.

More here http://littleblackcart.com/why-do-we-publish-such-objectionable-things/

In response we’ve had a few episodes on the topic.

http://thebrilliant.org/podcast/episode-41-atassa/ A three part conversation about Atassa
http://thebrilliant.org/podcast/episode-49-abe-cabrera-atassa/ Conversation with the editor of Atassa
http://thebrilliant.org/podcast/episode-50-concerning-its-with-bellamy/ Critical conversation with Bellamy about EE and ITS
http://thebrilliant.org/podcast/episode-53-a-round-table-discussion-i/ Round table discussion after dustup in Seattle

Thank you so much for your attention and feeback.



many thanks for the year of engaging conversations. definitely looking forward to new episodes!

thanks for the work that you do. i am also excited for future episodes. i find the show to be the best anarchist podcast in a time of plenty of noise.

I really appreciate this podcast. The episodes that stand out as exceptionally special to me are the Andy Robinson and the Ramon Elani interviews. I thought Jason McQuinn was funny (in a delightful way, not as an insult. Something about how all of the tech critiques were so disappointing cracked me up).

I enjoyed all of the Isaac Cronin episodes. I don't know much of the context of his stories (history, theory, whatnot), but I just generally like hearing people share their histories, especially from an individual so engaged with their life.

Also, Ramon Elani mentioned cooking pots. I was inspired to write an intentionally silly cooking pot analogy about technology.

"Tech is like a cooking pot with a lid. You gotta know when to put the lid on. If the stew is at a rolling-boil, a lid will leave the stove-top a mess. But lids are handy, like for rice. It’s about what’s in the pot and the heat source: electric, gas, wood, etc. ...

So, big cities are at a rolling-boil. Temper the pace of Toyota-time or whatnot, people will suffer hard. Agricultural towns are at a simmer: put the lid on, and neighbors tend to warm-up to one another or the change isn't dangerously shocking...

Cooking-pot theory holds with individuals. If someone’s normal is apps and restaurants, they’ll lose their shit if the pipes freeze or the service-industry strikes. People who plan for the average “uh-oh” are at a simmer, so to speak. ...
Tech is like a still. One can distill water to stay alive, distill a ferment to make tinctures, distill a ferment to make drinking liquor. The wrong tincture-dose can harm/kill. Too much liquor can harm/kill. But throwing out the still could result in water-born death. Tech."

Really enjoyed the Tech series podcast with Paul Z. Simons! Will have to get around to listening to the rest of the series.
Also, the A! vs JZ saga is getting rather tiresome. Gotta say however that A! makes much better podcasts than JZ. I enjoy some of JZ's writings, especially his earlier work, but in radio / podcast format JZ doesn't have a lot to say and what he does say is boring and repetetive and is quite sleep inducing!

So why spend most of your post continuing 'the tiresome saga?' It's simple, Aragorn! concocted a tech series of podcasts to have several digs at JZ. The tech series was the vehicle Aragorn! schemed up. Why? JZ's critique on tech, both past and present, is bang on sharp. Maybe Aragorn! is pissed because his promotional efforts of ITS, egoism and nihilism haven't taken off as well as he had hoped. I listen to the Brilliant, most of it is dull in my opinion with a gem here and there. I appreciate Aragorn! makes the effort of putting the podcasts together. I'm sure JZ would accept an offer from Aragorn! to be a guest on the show, would Aragorn! make John the offer?

"Aragorn! concocted a tech series of podcasts to have several digs at jz"
wt actual f?
grandiose delusions much?

That's actually not *that* grandiose, JZ is obviously the biggest name in anti-tech anarchist thought, the series was about anti-tech anarchist thought, and he was at least mentioned in every episode. I'm a fan of the podcast, and I'll admit it's not too much of a stretch to think that this series was at least in part motivated because A! wants the discourse to move on so JZ can stop being relevant.

Yeah, this is pomo-nihilism 101 here. Take a well-defined position and attack it while offering nothing in the process, then stand back and claim others don't understand you. Like a kid complaining about their parents.

because when I retire my pension will be bigger and so will yours. Many pension schemes invest in war. It's a winner. Violence is a sure thing in this life. It's where the smart money goes. "War is Prosperity" "Long Live War" scream the workers as they protest and demand more war. Ethical pensions have a much smaller return.

easily the best anarchist podcast

What I learned from listening to the brilliant - Aragorn is more concerned about describing his scene than engaging his topics. If JZ is the Nightly News, then Aragorn is Inside Edition.

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