Sam and Emma host Adam Tooze, Professor of History at Columbia University and author of the Chartbook newsletter on Substack, to discuss his recent book Shutdown: How Covid Shook the World’s Economy, tracing the development of the pandemic and its shockwaves from January 2020 to January 2021. Professor Tooze first reflects on the collective difficulty in processing those twelve months, and how he came to write this book, before he, Emma, and Sam jump all the way back to the start of last year and dive into the mistakes in the original response from the Chinese government, and the massive impact their eventual tactics had on their economy. Next, they reflect on the US’s and much of Europe’s near-immediate botching of their response, completely overshadowing any initial failures of Xi Jinping’s regime and clearly expressing lacking elements of cultural consciousness in the US when it came to masks and social responsibility. Sam jumps on this element, exploring the relationship between cultural consciousness and experience when it comes to responding to pandemics, before they move on to discuss the role of minority media circles, driven by conspiracy, and Emma dives into the role of individualism and atomization in driving the individual skepticism that helps this catch fire. They wrap up the interview by looking back to parallels with the recovery from the 2008 financial crisis, looking at how the 2010 election saw an attempt to push the US back to normalcy and away from the redistribution and social welfare they had set up over the crisis, as well as the important reminder that aid to big businesses had not and would not stop over that time. Prof. Tooze uses this to emphasize the importance of investment in technology as a key was to move US culture forwards, looping in both climate and pandemic policy, before Sam and Emma conclude the free half with a CA recall discussion.
And in the Fun Half: Nomiki joins Sam and Emma as they dive into the discourse on AOC’s Met Gala appearance, following a brief but very necessary explanation of what it even is for Sam, taking on the elements of performativity, and where they stand, particularly when the performance, debatably, fell short. Next, they get a free Masterpiece lesson on journalism from karaoke journalist Michael Tracey (both in that he performs mostly for crowd engagement and that he uses a karaoke machine) on Covid regulations at Connecticut College, before Terrell from Conn College, calls in to give his own perspective. They also chat CA recall and what rhetoric Dems should push moving into the midterms, plus, your IMs!
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