In this episode, Natalia, Niki, and Neil debate the White House’s announcement to end DACA, the death of New Age guru and publisher Louise Hay, and the prospect of an all-female Lord of the Flies remake.
Here are some links and references mentioned during this week’s show:
- We discussed the recent history of DACA and its unique policy history; we all found this Vox article by Dara Lind helpful.
- New Age pioneer Louise Hay died last week, leaving millions of her readers and followers bereft. We discussed how her strain of positive thinking has shaped the self-help genre, as Boris Kachka argues in New York, and that it has early origins in 19th-century New Thought, a movement Harvey Green explores in his book Fit For America. Natalia referred to Barbara Ehrenreich’s searing critique of the world Hay helped create in her book Bright-Sided: How Positive Thinking is Undermining America.
- Lord of the Flies is being remade with an all-women’s cast, but with an all-male writing team. We debated the limits of this strategy as a form of feminist liberation, and Niki cited an article in The Lily that made that argument.
In our regular closing feature, What’s Making History:
- Natalia discussed Esther Perel’s article in The Atlantic “Why Happy People Cheat” and surmised that it signals a shift in American morality.
- Neil commented on a new interpretation of the Kellogg-Briand Pact (1928) put forth in the New York Times: that the measure often used by historians as an example of failed idealism actually succeeded in changing the nature of global warfare.
- Niki talked about the “better baby” contests of the early 20th century, which exemplify how eugenics and Progressivism converged.