Part deux of our monster M*A*S*H-athon conversation starts by tackling gender issues in the show and ends up with an imagined future for Hawkeye that involves hanging out with Timothy Leary and becoming an anti-war activist. In between, we cover sexism in the military, Freudian psychology, and nerd out about the show’s groundbreaking use of creative narrative devices. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of anti-imperialism chat too!
Attention all personnel, we’re doing something a little different for the next two episodes. In early January, Sarah was sucked into the antiwar brilliance of ‘70s T.V. comedy M*A*S*H — and inspired Joy to come along for the binge-watching ride. Fresh off being emotionally devastated by the famous final episode, Sarah and Joy sit down to tackle the big questions: How, in the ever-living fuck, was this unapologetically anti-imperialist show so insanely popular in America? And why, in 2021, are we STILL not heeding its overtly anti-war message? This conversation also provides insight into Joy’s deployment experience and (potentially) illuminates some of Sarah’s questionable decisions. Stay tuned for part two next week!
Featuring covers of “Suicide is Painless” (Johnny Mandel/Michael Altman) and “I Bombed Korea” (Cake) performed by Joy Damiani.
The endearingly profane anti-folk pioneer and artistic rabble-rouser Ed Hamell, aka Hamell on Trial, joins us for this one, and helps us make a large announcement that we’re excited to share with you! We were able to squeeze in almost two hours of his tour stories (featuring the likes of fellow anti-folk legends Ani DiFranco and Kimya Dawson), shared Syracuse roots, and good-natured political debate, so settle in and get ready to spend some quality time with this truly wholesome anti-folkery. Later in the show, we get into WTF is anti-folk, anyway, and note the looming 18th anniversary of the Iraq War.
Featured songs are “Values,” “Social Distancing,” and “Gonna” by Hamell on Trial, courtesy of the artist.
We’re joined by Carla Gover, a musician, dancer and activist whose work is informed by her deep Appalachian roots. We talk about breaking regional stereotypes, building connections across different communities, the wealth extraction that underlies Eastern Kentucky’s problems, and the importance of learning “granny skills,” especially during the pandemic. Afterwards, Sarah and the artist-soon-to-be-formerly-known as Emily discuss liberal snobbery towards the South, the Texas freeze, and get a preview of one of your What the Folk hosts’ new moniker! We also give a shout out to our What the Folk Fam, as we have now officially dubbed thee, our lovely listeners.
Featured music is “I’m a Snowflake” and “Dangerous Women” by Carla Gover, courtesy of the artists.
We are joined this week by SLC-based musician Talia Keys and her partner Melahn Atkinson. Besides offering a whole host of amazing livestream events in these strange times, Talia and Melahn have also been working with the houseless community in Salt Lake City. This interview covers a lot of ground: showing up for ALL your neighbors, being an out-and-proud radical in Utah, running Rock Camp SLC during the pandemic, and giving so few fucks you incur the wrath of bigots. Afterwards, Sarah and Emily read an update from Talia about the destruction of Camp Last Hope and talk about how our system conspires to keep folks houseless.
Featured music is “We’re Here” and “Guns Out” by Talia Keys & The Love, courtesy of the artists
We’re kicking off the first week in February with an extra What the Folk Wednesday drop! We sat with the newest poet laureate of San Francisco, Tongo Eisen-Martin, to talk about poetry as a tool for radicalization, the gentrification of American cities, how the current political moment we’re in is a rerun and how to reclaim our consciousness from the inherent violence of the colonial project. Afterwards, Emily and Sarah ruminate on what the folk they learned from this incredibly thought-provoking interview.
All featured poetry by Tongo Eisen-Martin, courtesy of the artist. Follow Tongo on Twitter and Instagram
Comedian Ron Placone joins us for this joint! We talk about Ron’s journey into standup comedy, digital rights issues, pushing back against the current of corporate media, The People’s Party, and, of course, cats cats cats. Lightening the collective mood while taking on the heavy stuff is the vibe here. Afterwards, Emily and Sarah talk about the first feels around the Biden administration, Democrats Democrating and bad neolib “feminist” readings of Bernie memes.
**Content Warning: discussion of sexual assault and cult violence**
In the last days of 2020, we got up early, brewed some coffee, and sat down (er, Zoomed) with Maya Azucena, singer-songwriter and cultural ambassador, who has been riding out the pandemic in Turkey. Maya’s inspiring, infectious — and highly danceable — music has taken her on a worldwide outreach journey, and we hope you enjoy coming along for the ride as much as we did. We talk about the power of personal storytelling to connect across differences, how to have a global artistic career, and what it really means to be fearless. Afterwards, you can hear Emily and Sarah discuss their respective hair journeys and then switch to the much lighter topic of the riot at the Capitol. If you feel the analysis of last Wednesday’s events has lacked certain insights, as well as fashion critique and a (hopefully mostly accurate) summary of what happened at Jonestown as it relates to the ongoing Q phenomenon (and cults in general), have we got the commentary for you.
We deep dive with Dr. Serena Chopra, a multitalented and multifaceted teacher and artist. Join us for a fascinating and thought-provoking conversation about the different approaches to time, what we mean when we describe something as “queer,” turning our personal trauma into collective defense, and the role of mysticism in creating what comes next. It’s not just about examining the structures we live in, we also have to turn those structures on their heads to approach them differently. We hope you leave this conversation with the same sky-eyed perspective we did. Afterwards, Sarah is all jazzed up on Aquarius vibes and Emily talks about energy, because we’re both kind of hippies.
Featured poem is “Seduction After the Great Plains” by Dr. Serena Chopra. Featured music is “Love Yourself” and “The Only Point” by our own Emily Yates – a preview of her about-to-drop new album, Notes to Self and Others. All tracks appear courtesy of the artists
Happy episode 15 of What the Folk! In this episode we are joined by historian, writer and educator, Dr. Matthew Heidtmann. We talk about the importance of teaching history, making academia accessible to a wider audience, and all those great myths of imperialism and exceptionalism that we swim in as Americans. History may not repeat, but it definitely rhymes. Then afterwards, Emily and Sarah talk about pandemic politics and gendered culture…but also about Finding Nemo and small town Colorado restaurant drama.