December 23, 2020 #1 of podcast: Autobiography of a Non-Conformist
At last, I started a podcast. It’s The Very Not Normal Podcast. I wanted to do it for a long time.
It will be about challenging the normative by analyzing social constructs, propaganda, conformity, totalitarianism, capitalism, technology, media, etc.
I think my insights are worth sharing because I come from a statistically very rare place. How many of our contemporary social critics grew up with strict gender segregation, with no television or theatre, and had their spouses picked out at eighteen? Not many, to be sure. Much of my understanding comes out of the juxtaposing of my former-Hasidic community with the secular. There is plenty to learn from this, but I can’t promise that the lessons will be feel-good. I do promise to try my best to be searchingly honest.
My analysis will be humanist, old school leftist (that means class analysis, not identity politics) and deeply, deeply skeptical of the techno-utopian vision. This means I’ll take a critical view of a lot of our current status quo institutions and the technologically focused solutions to education, socializing, entertainment, medicine. The last includes, yes, pandemics.
I have been critical of the Covid19 measures from the very start, with blog posts like this and this and this cartoon one, and by being openly involved in the lockdown skeptical reddit community. It is never good for business to be lockdown critical. But I can’t prioritize business over values when my business is my values. I won’t – and can’t! – hide my views —- even though the world expects a good, well adjusted ex-Hasidic woman not to have any opinions at all. If I censored myself, what would be the point of my entire body of work, which is on challenging dogma? Why come all this way only to become a projection of other people’s archetypes, the very thing I escaped?
No matter how much I’d like to please every single upturned nose, I can’t. I’ve tried too many times. My stubborn conscience always gets in the way. So alas, I am being forthright. I step into this project with the hopes to free myself from pigeon-holes and stale expectations. To challenge myself, maybe also you. I hope this might be valuable to some of you out there.
Since I anticipate the audience for this type of analysis to be much more niche than the audience for ex-Hasidic feel-good stuff, I would be very grateful if the receptive listener could spread the word. Please help me reach like-minded free-thinking folks.