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Whorin'

For a few years now, I've been an occasional guest on WLUW's Under Surveillance radio show hosted by Kevin Fullam. We've discussed various aspects of the junctures where politics and pop culture collide. It's a good show that I highly recommend even when I'm not on it.

Recently, Kevin's finally gotten around to providing some transcripts of past shows for your reading enjoyment; the first one was of our two-part talk about the Mafia in popular culture. If you never had the time or technical ability to listen to the show, now you can read it!

Check out the blog for the rest of the show, too -- there's links, audio archives, and fun aplenty. Hear my unpleasant voice droning on and on!

Comments

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perich
Jan. 28th, 2008 08:29 pm (UTC)
That was some fascinating stuff.
ludickid
Jan. 28th, 2008 08:53 pm (UTC)
If you haven't already, I highly recommend Gus Russo's The Outfit. It's actually quite stunning, the degree to which these guys entrenched themselves into mainstream society.
thebitterguy
Jan. 28th, 2008 08:46 pm (UTC)
The transcript was very interesting. As was the terrorist sitcom you mentioned.
ludickid
Jan. 28th, 2008 08:54 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it could be terrible but I'd love to see it get a chance. I wish I could remember the name of it.
eme_kah
Jan. 28th, 2008 09:29 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed that. There's a couple of things that I thought about in relation to the Mob and its portrayal in popular culture. One is that aspect of family you spoke about and the underlying tenet of loyalty. A lot of the cinematic portrayals of the Mob (culminating with how family is portrayed in The Sopranos) are exquisite explorations of corrupt loyalty and the iron-clad hold it has on the family members. Personally, I think it's an extremely accurate examination of these dysfunctional family dynamics: ie, the compartmentalization that you mentioned; the hypocrisy; the mind games; the uses of power as methods of manipulation within the family to continue "the honorable" tenets; the wilfull blindness on the part of the female family members; the inability to see reality and act ethically bc its members have been so immersed in the illusion of goodness (the latter always defined by the level of loyalty to the other members regardless of their criminal activity), etc. Of course, these same dynamics apply to totalitarian and autocratic states which leads me to... Well, isn't it somewhat interesting that The Sopranos' run coincided with the George W. Bush's presidency which took the same kind of corrupt loyalty into the highest levels of government? Again: the parameters of "goodness" and "moral righteousness" are seen almost exclusively in relation to an individual's loyalty to W and to his vision of reality. I don't know. It seems like an interesting cultural convergence.

I have another comment regarding the aspect of family in relation to the genre's popularity (and sparked by the interview) but I don't have any time to type it right now. I'll add it if anyone here shows any interest... Anyways, good interview.
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flavored with age
ludickid
Gun-totin', Chronic-smokin' Hearse Initiator
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PROPRIETOR

Leonard Pierce is a freelance writer wandering around Texas with no sleep or sense of direction. If you give him money he will write something for you. If you are nice to him he may come to your house and get drunk.

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