The Relentless Picnic-logo

The Relentless Picnic

News & Politics Podcasts >

More Information


Ep. 28 - Ragnarok

It’s time to talk about America. We’re looking at ways to deal with what’s coming, from that bug-out bag full of spare magazines, to terrifying self-sacrifice on South Carolina’s spiritual battlefield, to Hollywood’s last-ditch play for immortality with the forces of global capital. Join us on the beach to watch the blood-dimmed tide roll in. SOURCES: - "In A Dark Time" by Theodore Roethke (1963): ; - "Preppers are Crazy" by SensiblePrepper (03/2012):...


Ep. 27 - The Wreckage

How did this happen? What went wrong? We obsess over the brokenness and try to eyeball the true nature of intimacy: fading, faded, and yet-to-fade. ft. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jordan Catalano, Don Draper, the miserable modern self, someone you once genuinely loved, and other dangerous creatures of the heart. SOURCES: - "How Friendships Change Over Time" by Julie Beck in The Atlantic (June 2015): ; - "Mimi O'Donnell Reflects on the Loss of Philip Seymour Hoffman...


Ep. 26 - This Is Marketplace

Like I always say, if the markets are a-singin', you better know how to make 'em dance. Today on the program, it's a deep dive in the shallow pond that is NPR's Marketplace. We'll ask the question: are there Nazis in-studio forcing them to be like this? Or is there a more covert kind of fascism within the neoliberal soul? I'm Kai Ryssdal, and this sinking ship is called Marketplace. SOURCES: - "Buying 450 Million Ripple? - $1Billion Ripple XRP Buy - XRP Ripple CryptoCurrency," by the right...


Ep. 25 - Drench the Spark

To die, to sleep — perchance to be judged no longer viable in society and sentenced to burn alive from within. Who is truly avenged by our cocktails of untested heartstoppers? Justices: why did we stop, then start, doing this again? Join us at the top of the scaffold of lies we tell ourselves, where we countenance barbarisms and watch the clock till it runs all the way out. SOURCES: - Michel Foucault, Discipline & Punish: The Birth of the Prison (1975): ; - 60 Minutes,...


PATREON: The Announcement

There's a new channel for hot audio content from The Relentless Picnic. It's on Patreon: Our episodes will still be released for free, and in the same way as always. But, as a Patron, you'll receive weekly "treats" from us, delivered to you via the Patreon. Among the "treats" you might expect from us each week are: ▪️ interviews, conversations, and informal chats with intriguing guests ▪️ question & answer sessions where the Picnic responds to your...


Ep. 24 - The Tightrope

Inspired by an O.G. paragon of male toxicity — Odysseus — this week we confront the meaning of our obligations, the phenomenon of gaslighting, and a certain typified masculinity near-feral in its ineptitude and shimmering in its self-denial. All in the space of a Homeric reverie. Special thanks to Sir Ian McKellan. SOURCES: Homer, The Odyssey, 12.30-200; 23.231-288 (tr. Fagles, read by Sir Ian) ; "Some Clinical Consequences of Introjection: Gaslighting" by Victor Calef, M.D. & Edward M....


Ep. 23 - Like This or Die

The medium is our message. We sleuth out data points along the demographic trendlines, and follow them straight towards the beating, gray heart of TV―and beyond. How does it all end? We jump off the edge and file dispatches from the abyss. SOURCES: "E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction," by David F. Wallace (Review of Contemporary Fiction 13:2, Summer 1993); _Network_, by Paddy Chayefsky, dir. Sidney Lumet (1976). _Within the Context of No Context_, by George W. S. Trow (Atlantic...


Ep. 22 - Shanksville

We hit the pavement to grapple directly with the National Park Service's Flight 93 National Memorial, and with 9/11. An album of photographs to aid your listening experience: SOURCES: - Flight 93 National Memorial, NPS Brochure: - Timeline for United 93: ; - Flight 93 National Memorial Cell Phone Tour: ; - Memorial Committee Jury Report: ; - Environmental Impact Report:...


Ep. 21 - No World

Lose yourself in the wild-eyed fearsome shadow of totality. Come see what hippies the Moon made of our steely-eyed missile men. Plus—Elon Musk trips over his own simulated shoelaces, and the Moon Matrix is fully decoded. Join us, but only if you've got the right glasses. SOURCES: Quora queries: Elon Musk speaks with Walter Isaacson at Vanity Fair's New Establishment Summit: ; "Elon Musk: The Chance We Are Not Living In a...


Ep. 20 - Secret Teaching

This week from our special plans department: Leo Strauss—a guide for the perplexed. Politics, both ancient and modern; the allure of elite cabals; a whiskey spill Rorschach test; polemics, hermeneutics, and sex in the stacks. Plus—Iraq, intelligence, independence, and other declarations of the great atheist priest: Text. WORKS CITED: Leo Strauss and the Politics of American Empire (Yale University Press, 2004), by Anne Norton; The Enduring Importance of Leo Strauss (University of Chicago...


Ep. 18 - Happy Nation

Chaos reigns! The Relentless Picnic emerges victorious after the heinous destruction of our National Caverns! Justly! Jurassic Park, )))Ace of Base(((, Future Trump Scandals, Groundhog Day, and yet more dredging at the limit of human intelligence.


Ep. 17 - The Cave (5/31/17)

Like the man said: We're chained to the earth, like a silent slave; trying to break free out of death's dark cave. Bones in South Africa, hoarding in New York City, and finally, a dispatch from our friend Matt Tice as he takes heavy fire, and glimpses reinforcement, on the front line of life. - "Geological and taphonomic context for the new hominin species Homo naledi from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa." (Sept. '15): ; - Map of the Dinaledi...


Ep. 16 - Word Alert (5/14/17)

Our three-man justice team takes on red ball after red ball: our books, our selves, and our bookshelves; words in the wild; words on screens; mysteries & heresies. Plus—blah blah blah Robert Frost!


Ep. 15 - His Favorite Child (5/1/17)

Can computers learn & are Redditors ever right? We do some psychologizing of the modern American cornered by the paranormal. Plus. Are you there, Dad? It's me, Science! Thanks to the bold redditors who shared their stories: u/Parrot-Tamer, u/desk_jockey26, u/[deleted], u/brennnnz, u/TheThirdWheel, u/matics, u/khaustic, u/Squirly, u/[deleted], & u/americanslang59. "Alien Knowledge: When Machines Justify Knowledge," by David Weinberger (Apr. '17): ; 2008 San Diego...


Ep. 13 - Your Blunder Today (4/14/17)

It's an all-out lazer tag dance-off this week. The film Silence, state violence; great 90's dance pop, old-timey newsmen; planes and doctors, & incipient global war—plainly doctored. Plus: guess who's coming to Seder? - "Capitalism Is Violence" (4/12/17), by Matt Bruenig in Jacobin:


Ep. 12 - It's Not Nothing (3/25/17)

Let's move past the gollys and gee-whizzes from nominee Neil Gorsuch with some newly obtained recordings. Plus: we take confused tween investigator Devin Nunes to task for his tricky tick-tock; & why members of a certain angry caucus aren't enjoying their House freedom. - "Comey’s testimony humiliates Trump," by Jennifer Rubin (WaPo, 3/20): ; - "Devin Nunes Vanished the Night Before He Made Trump Surveillance Claims," by Tim Mak (Daily Beast, 3/24):...


Episode 11 - Hurting the Right People (3/12/17)

We sit down with Frank Luntz, a man on a mission to civilize. His newest book is called "The Lonely Win: Longing for Death in a Buyer's Market." Plus—why America should just surrender and accept the permanent financial aristocracy. Op. Cit. - "The Agony of Frank Luntz," by Molly Ball in The Atlantic (Jan. '14): - "Cheering Up Frank Luntz, and Ourselves," by Jim Geraghty in the National Review Online (Jan. '14): Media 1. Interview, Real Time...


Episode 10 - Jeff Sessions Confessions (3/3/17)

Despite wafting our fans we still get the vapours during Jeff Sessions's recusal announcement. Plus: we plunge the dipstick into thinkovator Jeff Jarvis & Blort seeks someone to take them post-business. "Here's a blueprint for radical innovation in journalism education," Jeff Jarvis (Sept. 2012):


Episode 9 - Shakespeare-Sized Hole (2/24/17)

Art as the material excrement produced when you self-transcend, selling your self in a buyer's market, 10,001 strategies for leveraging your friendship with a reclusive poet. - “The Culture of Celebrity,” Joseph Epstein (Oct. 2005): - “Jean Cocteau, The Art of Fiction No. 34.” Interview by Joseph Fifield (1964): - “What Is Art?” by Leo Tolstoy (1897): - “A Hunger Artist” by Franz Kafka (1922; tr. Ian Johnston, 2009):...


Episode 8 - Fight Song (2/12/17)

A free-form, Saul-into-Paul hour-long lightning round. With a white-knuckle tour of Mark Zuckerberg's babyteaching, shirtshooting, A.I.-in-the-home. Plus: a deep scan of Paul Ryan's cowardice and a meditation on the Court's Snuggie addict supreme, Sam Alito.


Try Premium for 30 days

Live games for all NFL, MLB, NBA, & NHL teams
Commercial-Free Music
No Display Ads