It has been a busy week for me. First, I have a thing up at The Baffler that looks at the last time we turned schools into fortresses because the political process was unwilling to question any of its fundamental assumptions (even if it meant embracing lunacy). Here's a real shocker – it includes tales from the Cold War!
Even more exciting, Episode 003 of Mass for Shut-ins is now available. Here are the episode notes. The audio is available via iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, and other podcast providers (give it a moment to update if you're trying to find it Friday morning. It'll be there soon if not already). Podcasting is FUN AS HELL but also a lot of work. Each episode is an improvement on the one before! If you tried a previous episode and didn't like it, give this one ten minutes – I'm confident you're gonna dig it.
Story: DEATH BY UMBRELLA: The Georgi Markov story. A tale of intrigue and covert operations from the late Cold War that John Le Carre couldn't have scripted any better.
Guest: Mike Konczal (@rortybomb), Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute and contributor to Vox, The Nation, Dissent, and other fine publications. Mike and I discuss the art of punditry, appearing on TV without pants, the myth of a democratized economy, and stock buybacks. We also do Professor Brothers voices.
Performance by ANDREW BENTLEY. See below for information on Andrew's upcoming live performances in Chicago.
Topic: Why we're living in the Golden Age of Gerrymandering. Hint: It's not just because Republicans are assholes. But it's definitely partly because Republicans are assholes.
Cocktail of the Month: Lime Rickey (aka Gin Rickey, but we'll get into the complicated nomenclature soon enough)
Support Mass for Shut-ins via Patreon. Contact me via Facebook, Twitter (@gin_and_tacos), or the venerable website Gin and Tacos.
Thanks: Mike Konczal, the bands that contribute music (Waxeater, IfIHadAHiFi, The Sump Pumps, Oscar Bait), Zachary Sielaff, Question Cathy, and all Patreon supporters, subscribers, and listeners. Hear more of Andrew Bentley on 3/31 at the American Writer's Museum as part of International Tom Hanks Day, at Write Club Chicago on 4/17, and on 4/7 at C2E2 in a musical comedy on the Cards Against Humanity stage.