Episode 15b - The Holidays, Part 2: rejecting consumerism, vegan excuses and your crazy family

Standing up to the consumerism that is destroying everything valuable. Congratulations on surviving another holiday season filled with overt and subliminal messages that we are terrible people if we don't participate in the zombie shopocalypse. Buying nothing is the only option if we care about others. A full takedown of the insanity awaits you. Clips from GrowthBusters, Adbusters, the Angry Hippie's Podcast, and a recommendation to check out the Story of Stuff. First we review why you should never feel obligated to put up with your family and/or do things you're not comfortable with in the name of tradition or convenience. If that means refusing to participate in family holiday dinners, so be it. You must prioritize your own sanity and inner peace over pleasing others for superficial reasons.

Do you have thoughts on the holidays, consumerism or veganism? Of course you do! Share them with the world! Send your comments, questions and suggestions for show topics and/or guests to, use the contact form or find me on Twitter @Unconventionist or my Facebook page. Subscribe in iTunes to be notified of new episodes. Support the show by sharing it widely, leaving reviews and getting in touch.

Episode 15a - The Holidays, Part 1: an Intellectual Critique of Halloween

Just in time for the holiday season, this is part one of the Politicized Radio holiday extravaganza. I offer what I may be the only intellectual critique of Halloween: how it promotes negative cultural norms such as consumerism, privilege and bigotry, and encourages arrogant, anti-social behavior. I think I said it better on the show.

I also mentioned an article from the excellent Yes Magazine on the Real Value of Stuff.

Part two on Thanksgiving, the National Day of Mourning, will be released next week, and part three will follow next month. Sometime soon we'll have a discussion of a basic / guaranteed minimum income.

Let me know what you think about my anti-Halloween ideas, and send suggested reading if you know of other academic or intellectual commentary related to Halloween or any other holidays. Leave a comment on this page, send email to feedback[at], find me on Twitter @unconventionist, or use the contact form.  If you like what you hear, please share it around and leave reviews on iTunes and other places. Subscribe to the show to be notified of new episodes.

Episode 12: Relationship Culture, Capitalism, & Vegan Pedicabs

Minku Sharma, host of the Vegan Pedicab Podcast, joins me in Chicago to rant about our cultural obsession with romantic relationships, the stigma of being "single", and how our society gives privilege to traditional heterosexual couples. We also talk about bike culture, driving a pedicab, and why you should ignore everyone's expectations and set your own work rules. Minku mentioned a few great resources:

Laura Ahearn, Invitations to Love, on the move away from arranged marriages and the rise of romantic love in Nepal;

Eva Illouz, Cold Intimacies: The Making of Emotional Capitalism, on the relationship industry: "Rather than being a haven from the marketplace, modern romantic love is a practice that is intimately complicit with the political economy of late capitalism."

The Chicago Teachers Union on their ongoing struggle against the privatization of our education system.

Howard Zinn, A People's History of the United States, on inequality, violence and other history you weren't taught in school;

Studs Terkel, Working, profiles of people and their labor: "Work is violence" when you don't control it.

The video, How to be Alone is courtesy of fiilmaker Andrea Dorfman and poet/singer/songwriter Tanya Davis: "It's fine to be alone once you're embracing it."

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