Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Conversation With Author Jonathan Lethem About 'the Culture of Disreputability'

Jonathan Lethem is the featured guest on this week's installment of the podcast known as The Chauncey DeVega Show.

He is the author of many award winning books including Dissident Gardens, The Fortress of Solitude, and Motherless Brooklyn.

Jonathan conducted a master class and did some wonderful sharing about the culture of disreputability, the movie They Live, race and class, generational politics, and shared some stories about growing up in a pre-Disneyfied New York City.

This episode also features a conversation with psychologist Dr. David Reiss about the loss of the great and amazing professional wrestler known as "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes, and why his death has hit fans of the sport so hard, and the reasons that so many people felt a personal connection to him.

In addition, portions of this episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show were recorded in the very moments when The Charleston Massacre was a "breaking news event" on the cable news networks.

Instead of editing out those segments, they have remained in the show as a type of archive and online testimony to the power of that moment. At the end of this episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show, Chauncey reflects on the week's happenings since The Charleston Massacre, the news cycle, the Right-wing hate media, and the GOP's efforts to derail any conversation about white domestic terrorism, guns, and toxic white masculinity.

This great conversation with Jonathan Lethem is the third podcast for the June fundraiser at and WARN.

June features special content and guests as a way of saying "thank you" to the friends and fans of the podcast, and also as a way of demonstrating to the listeners and fans of the show the type of quality content and value that we strive to offer every week.

I would like to thank all of the good folks who have donated during the fundraising drive, and who chip in on a monthly basis, to support and my various other online projects.

Your support for The Chauncey DeVega Show and its related projects is essential. If you can, and are able, please do throw some change into the collective begging bowl that can be found on the right-hand side of the screen under the Paypal link.

This episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show with Jonathan Lethem and Dr. David Reiss can be listened to below or "watched" on the official Youtube channel for

The Chauncey DeVega Show can also be followed on Itunes and listened to via Stitcher on your smart phone or like device.


MarsAttacks said...

Great episode. I appreciate leaving in the original beginning with your realtime reaction. Howard Stern's great (though highly problematic, of course) 9/11 broadcast came to mind.

What was there a story behind the WWF job interview?

chauncey devega said...

Thanks. Sucks that the damn host is down. A sign that we need to migrate. I am giving them till Monday and then going to Soundcloud or libsyn.


It is hard to listen to again, but I felt like we were all in it together. WWE story? Hmmmm....a mystery.

joe manning said...

The political vacuum left by the demise of the USSR is a welcomed subject. You're intellectually stimulating conversation with Lethem showed how it allowed our humanitarian "first nature" to be supplanted by a pseudo-individualized second nature.

One wonders why the powers allow such pop cultural critiques as They Live, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and The Thing. I guess such serves a pressure valve function for the masses and makes the power elite seem confident and magnanimous.

I know what you mean about the consumer fetishism and war mongering of the XYZer's being scary but with a little coaching most are more than capable of critical thinking.