Episode

1/19 When Men Accidentally Become Gods w/ Anna Della Subin

January 19, 2022

Sam and Emma Anna Della Subin, senior editor at Bidoun Projects, to discuss her recent book Accidental Gods: On Men Unwittingly Turned Divine, on the pervasive and frequently overlooked figure that began popping up at the dawn of “New World” imperialism, and has since emerged, both through oppression and resistance, countless times in the face of a singular authority. Subin begins by bringing Sam and Emma back to the end of the 1400s, looking at the “explorers” from Columbus to Cortez that saw their reception by indigenous folks as an expression of deification and mysticism, rather than an intense recognition of their sudden appearance and authoritarian claim to power. These stories were then told and retold by European settlers, bolstering the religious imperialism that defined their ideology, justifying their claim to the lands of entire civilizations, and explaining away the terror they wrought as, at worst, Godly fear that must occur to bring them the light of Christianity and the West. Next, Anna explores how these myths were central to the creation and recognition of race as a social signifier, as Spanish colonizers brought their blood puritanism to the Americas with the primary identifier shifting from religion to skin color as they converted the region. Moving forward in history, Anna, Sam, and Emma then dive into the roles of Accidental Gods that emerged under colonization, but without the imperial goals, such as Haile Selassie and Gandhi, as the imposition of their deification came from around them, bolstering the people’s belief in their resistance and emancipation, before they look at more contemporary examples of the vitriolic accidental gods that emerged, from Major John Nicholson to General MacArthur, as people they stood above attempted to reclaim the power exercised upon them. Lastly, they touch on the accidental deification that we see today, from Donald Trump to Capitalism as a whole, and the “cargo cult” of the British and American doctrine. Sam and Emma also touch on the disgusting politicization of MLK and Voting Rights, two things that never EVER had to do with politics.

And in the Fun Half: Josh calls in to chat about Bernie doing all of the heavy lifting when it comes to disseminating COVID information, Bob from FL totally debunks mistrust of the CIA, and Sam and Emma are blown away by Gary Chambers’s senatorial campaign announcement. Dan Crenshaw cracks under the pressure of a pre-teen using his own words against him, and Emma and Sam take on Ron DeSantis codifying protections for white fragility into Floridian education policy. They also explore Orange County’s health director being placed on administrative leave for questioning his department’s public health practices, and OAN possibly going under after losing their corporate funding from AT&T, plus, your calls and IMs!

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