Joe Rogan Experience, the world’s biggest and most influential podcast, migrated to Spotify on Sept 1st 2020. Dozens of the show’s key episodes have been purged from the migration; and there’s a sly opacity about the apparent censorship – a familiar authoritarian strategy. The media bogeymen and policed language episodes excluded follow a clear theme. Is it Spotify abusing corporate privilege, preying on Rogan’s contract loopholes, or is Joe bending the knee and sacrificing his reputation for the big money payoff?
A sculpture of a black woman who took part in a Black Lives Matter #BLM protest in Bristol, England has been installed on the plinth where a statue of slave trader Edward Colston used to stand. It lasted 24 hours. The city council removed it without consultation or vote. Another missed opportunity.
Friend versus enemy, faithful versus corrupted, good versus evil: choose your favorite dichotomy, it doesn’t matter. Tribalism is compelling. It’s melodrama designed to misdirect public discourse away from scrutinizing the real business of exploitation. Governments, corporations, institutions, vested interests, city halls, these power dynamics use the same method. Democracy itself subordinates to this corrupt pantomime.