It’s the Safe Spaces Podcast – Episode 54! The timing couldn’t be any better as May 5th, 2018 was the 200th anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx, author of The Communist Manifesto and (eventual) progenitor of the planned state. The Utopian Dream, you might say. Despite nearly two-hundred years of abject failures, genocides, famine and repression there’s still a sizable contingent of folk out there that still hold Marx and his philosophy in high regard. There’s no accounting for taste.

From here our sly hosts segue from failed socialist utopias (an oxymoron if there ever was one) to the surprising return of actor Jeffrey Tambor, star of Amazon’s Transparent and – shockingly – Netflix’s new season of Arrested Development. You’ll have to listen to see how such a transition (get it?) is made (hint: it involves subversive comedy like The Death of Stalin), but just wait until you hear how they manage to throw anime’s most controversial sub-genre, tentacle porn, into the mix.

If the choice is between cozying up with a yellowing copy of Marx’s Communist Manifesto or firing up Legend of the Overfiend (Urotsukidōji) on the boob tube, we’ll take the tentacles any day.

Does Tambor’s return, as well as the hotly contested denial of NBC’s recently-accused ex-anchor Tom Brokaw, finally signal the last gasps of the shockingly effective #MeToo movement? Or are we merely seeing the commercialization of ‘movement art’ for money’s sake, skillfully blended into a market that’s already saturated with undefined “diversity” and “inclusion” for the sake of diversity and inclusion. Our hosts take an astonishingly frank and open look at the rationales behind these seemingly disparate fields and what they could – and probably will – mean for your next employer.

Wrapping up an already chock-full episode of absurdities and peccadilloes is a brief look at the continuing lionization of Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson, i.e. the so-called champion of the disenfranchised. And by that we mean white right-leaning males who may have voted for Donald Trump. While even our hosts will admit to a certain fondness for the doctor, that doesn’t mean they necessarily agree with any and everything he says.

A quick peek at some of his recent statements and generalizations have raised a slight call for concern, especially as renewed interest in how the Enlightenment-era philosophies of John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau continue to influence and define modern politics and culture-clashes.

Communism, tentacle anime, and the evolution of Enlightenment era politics in one podcast; that’s not a combo you’ll find on NPR, or anywhere else really. With all that on the menu you’d forgive us for not mentioning the wild ride of hip-hop superstar Kanye West and his recent ‘troubles’ online. It took everything we had. Hero’s work, really.

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