Russian history scholar and political scientist Michael Iasilli joins us to discuss, what else, the war in Ukraine. Besides giving us a fascinating tour through Russian and Ukrainian history, Iasilli also has a lot to say about avoiding xenophobia against Russians during this time. Naturally, your hosts and Michael got along swimmingly because we all agree that we have much more in common with the regular people in other countries than we do with our respective governments. Afterward, Joy and Sarah riff on the idea of finding common ground, living in a world of multiple truths, and discuss the latest infuriating developments in the Assange extradition case.
Featured music is “Soul Creature,” “Staircase,” and “Scary Days” by Michael Anthonia
The Affirmative Action Empire: Nations and Nationalism in the Soviet Union by Terry Martin Red Nations: The Nationalities Experience in and after the USSR by Jeremy Smith Russia in Flames by Laura Engelstein Red Famine: Stalin’s War in Ukraine by Anne Applebaum
The fabulous Lauren Flynn returns to the pod! We talk about the inspiration for her awesome new band, Buried Blonde, trust and intuition in the creative process, why artists are essential workers, and grappling with death at the Cheesecake Factory. Afterward, Joy and Sarah discuss the lessons they have learned during the pandemic, Colonel Bruce Hampton, and how to have a non-monogamous relationship with yourself.
Featured music is “Like a Scar” and “Perfect Machine” by Buried Blonde, and “Good Riddance Fake Bitches” by Joy Damiani, courtesy of the artists.
We’re baaaack! Again! Thank you, dear listeners, for being understanding about our (sometimes variable) apocalypse release schedule. We are rewarding your patience with a fantastic episode featuring Nicole Foerster, an advocate for psilocybin mushrooms as a treatment for cluster headaches, a mental health professional, and a proponent for the full decriminalization of entheogenic plants and fungi. In this episode, we talk about their work as director of Decriminalize Nature Colorado which recently submitted a ballot proposal to decriminalize entheogens in the 2022 Colorado statewide election, why decriminalization offers a more intentional and just model for psychedelic access, and the emerging models for holistically supporting mental health. Afterward, Joy and Sarah wander through strange metaphors as they reflect on these strangely psychedelic times in the Society of the Spectacle.
How do we enter into dialogue across differences, especially in a world where we are actively discouraged to do so by the powers that be? That question is not only at the heart of Corey Nathan’s work on his podcast Talkin’ Politics & Religion Without Killin’ Each Other, but also a principle we put into practice during this episode. Corey and your folking hosts come from different (at times, vastly different) perspectives but we navigate thorny subjects such as religion, democracy, and cancel culture without losing our shared goal of unfucking the world – or our senses of humor. This episode is praxis-y af, y’all! Afterwards, Joy and Sarah dive further into the ideas of dialogue, curiosity, and building shared spaces in our “this AND that” reality.
We would like to wish our What the Folk fam a safe and, hopefully, joyous New Year. Or at least a year where the silver linings stay in view. Onwards to 2022!
Featured music is “It’s All Right to Not Be Okay” and “Brains in Meat Suits” by Joy Damiani.
Happy holidays What the Folk Fam! Our gift to you – not sure you asked for it, but you shall receive – is a whole hour of Sarah and Joy’s stoney shenanigans! Joy has a new single and accompanying video, “It’s All Right to Not Be Okay,” dropping on December 21st. We dive into the therapeutic and combat-sport inspirations for the song and vid, as well as the challenges of trying to get your work noticed as an independent solo artist in the algorithm wilderness. This mini-interview is sandwiched with talk of Assange, abortion rights, creating utopia, and Sarah’s rather embarrassing amount of basic Matrix references. Wishing a safe and cozy holiday season to all, whatever you may or may not be celebrating.
The power of vulnerability and going with the flow are at the top of the conversation menu with guest Samantha Hart, author of a new memoir, Blind Pony: As True A Story As I Can Tell, about her unconventional journey from traumatized teenage runaway to creative force in the Hollywood music and film industry. Sam shares her thoughts on independent marketing, self-publishing, and disrupting the book industry, and Joy and Sarah follow up with a healthy discussion about intuition, the 100th Monkey, and whether life is a paradox, or we are just high. Listen to the end for a sneak peek of Joy’s new single!
As part of our extended Veteran’s Day of Our Discontent celebration (er, we’ll call it that, sure), Joy sits down with fellow writer, musician, and veteran Rosa del Duca to discuss the various strategies they have both undertaken to unfuck their minds from the Army’s fuckery. As a conscientious objector, Rosa’s journey through the star-spangled unlearning is an especially enlightening and inspiring one. Stay tuned after the convo to discover the reason for Sarah’s mysterious absence, hear the gals try some “light banter” (goes about as well as you’d expect), and come up with a million-dollar Kickstarter idea. Well, technically, Frank Herbert came up with the actual idea in Dune but we came up with the idea to crowdfund it — and, no, it’s not the spice melange. But, if anyone has the spice hookup, hit us up.
Featured songs are: “Orion,” “Painting the Roses Red,” and “White Lies” by Hunters, courtesy of the artist.
This episode features the incredible, and incredibly real, Jenny Pacanowski, founder/director of Women Veterans Empowered and Thriving, in a conversation that explores moving beyond organizations that serve as trauma-swaps, the challenge of incorporating ritual into collective spaces, and much more. After singing the praises of Jenny’s ever-evolving, holistic approach to community-building, Joy and Sarah discuss art as a container for complex reality, the facade of “apolitical” organizations, and preferable ways to acknowledge vets on Veterans Day — featuring appearances by some basic Howard Zinn quotes and, as per usual, weird accents.
Featured poetry is “Combat Dick” by Jenny Pacanowski. Featured music is “Try Not to Be a Dick” and “Smoke Break” by Joy Damiani (released under Emily Yates).
The fabulous Lola Jean Darling returns for the latest episode of What The Folk! We go on a journey through the NOLA mutual aid response post-Hurricane Ida, discuss why adaptability is better than planning, consider how to turn anxiety into art — and even find time to throw some casual side-eye at René Descartes. Extra laughs and extra realness abound in this one. Afterward, Sarah and Joy dive into their shared fed-up-ness with the vaccine discourse and their shared loathing of comic sans font, while wrestling with various issues of human nuance. If you stay till the end, you will be rewarded with some questionable Canadian accents too!
For this joint, we’re joined by anthropologist and filmmaker Marty Otañez to dive into under-discussed labor issues in cannabis, using digital storytelling to disrupt academia, and how anthropology can inform public policy. There’s a lot of hope in this episode, as well as lots of drug discourse, which is truly our favorite type of discourse. Afterward, Joy and Sarah discuss the shouldn’t-be-that-surprising revelations about Facebook, ponder whether algorithms have sentience yet, and generally do an awesome job navigating the English language.