We welcome back long-time friend of the show Antony Rotunno for a wide-ranging conversation on the 2016 BBC documentary HyperNormalisation by Adam Curtis.
Borrowing the word "hypernormalisation" from a book by ex-Soviet citizen Alexei Yurchak, in whose writing it described an officially-encouraged delusional state of mind in the gradually-collapsing Soviet Union, Adam Curtis creatively applies the term to the West since the last quarter of the 20th Century; a time in which, he argues, both politicians and citizens have "retreated" from hard problems in favour of "fake" versions of reality, while the banking and technological elites have continued to fill the vacuum with their technocratic systems of "stability" and "control".
While we remain unpersuaded by elements of Curtis's overall narrative and gently critical of his somewhat pretentious style, we nevertheless find the documentary rich with fascinating subjects, and share our own perspectives in a relaxed and fairly unstructured way.
Warning: Listeners unfamiliar with HyperNormalisation may find parts of the conversation difficult to follow. This is a reflection of the documentary itself which is rather disjointed and too ambitious in scope. So it might be a good idea—though not necessary, because I do try to explain as much as possible—to watch the documetary first (if you have time, that is!).
(Download Podcast - HQ 128 kbps)