Canada’s intellectual culture is now like a barren soil that struggles to give life to even the simplest flora. They’re just not that smart. We make too many right wing cranks, self-help charlatans, blood-thirsty reactionaries, insipid centrists, and third-rate Hayekians. But which are our worst? We invite our new friends from the Harbinger Media Network to help scour the national intellectual wasteland to find Canada’s dumbest public intellectual. The idea is simple: each guest makes the case for why their pick is the best at being the worst. Plus, Andre Goulet talks about the Harbinger Network and the state and future of left podcasting in Canada.
- First, (@7:03) Hilary Agro nominates Jordan Peterson. The failson philosopher became an international sensation for those looking for…something. Salvation? A father figure? The meat sweats? He appeals to a certain type of person. You can guess who. Hilary is a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia and was the host of the Marxist drug podcast Bread and Poppies, and she’s had enough self-help hokum.
- Next (@18:04), Kate Jacobson nominates Max Fawcett. Max is a Calgary-based columnist with the National Observer and proud centrist. You can never go wrong in Canada riding the centre line and attacking the conservative right. The Laurentian Consensus abides. Kate is host of the podcast Alberta Advantage, and she’s had enough nuance-mongering.
- Then (@34:35), some writers are so bad that their writing becomes an inimitable work of art. The fellas at Big Shiny Takes — Eric Wickham, Marino Greco, and Jeremy Appel — explore in awe and wonder at three such figures: Vancouver-based Washington Post columnist J.J. McCullough, former George W. Bush speechwriter and Atlantic regular David Frum, and political scientist and Consevrative luminary Tom Flanagan.
- Finally (@1:01:52), Darts and Letters is proud to be a part of the Harbinger Network. Andre Goulet is the network’s executive director; he talks about the network, the importance of solidarity, and why he does the work he does.
——————-FURTHER READING AND LISTENING——————
- Check out Hilary Agro’s podcast Bread and Poppies and visit her Patreon. Also, dig deeper into Jordan Peterson’s handling of addiction over at Read Passage with a piece by Eli Fox.
- Listen to Kate Jacobson’s podcast, The Alberta Advantage and read Max Fawcett’s article asking whether or not Jason Kenney is…a socialist. (Spoiler alert: he is not.)
- Pull up some episodes of Big Shiny Takes, starting with their episode on J.J. McCullough.
- Visit the Harbinger Network and support them here.
——————-SUPPORT THE SHOW————————-
We need your support. If you like what you hear, chip in. You can find us on patreon.com/dartsandletters. Patreon subscribers usually get the episode a day early, and sometimes will also receive bonus content.
Don’t have the money to chip in this week? Not to fear, you can help in other ways. For one: subscribe, rate, and review our podcast. It helps other people find our work.
If you’d like to write to us, email email@example.com or tweet Gordon directly.
Darts and Letters is produced in Toronto, which is on the traditional land of Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat Peoples.