Our contemporary political discourse is rife with claims that certain forms of art, literature or thought are poisoning our culture and advancing the decay of civilization. The right has whipped itself into a frenzy over “critical race theory” bogeymans and campaigns to ban any books that contain even a passing acknowledgment of LGBTQ life. While certainly less zealous, the left can be sanctimonious and counterproductive when it comes to genres and works of fiction we deem politically pernicious—or just bad. Of course, none of this is new. Pop culture has been a terrain of political struggle for about as long as pop culture has been around. In her forthcoming book, Dangerous Fictions, Art for the End Times host Lyta Gold traces the history of these “cultural” conflicts and the deeper social fissures they belie.

Studio: Maximillian Alvarez

Post-Production: Brent Tomchik


The transcript of this story is in progress and will be made available as soon as possible.

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Lyta Gold is a freelance writer and editor. She is also the host of the TRNN podcast Art for the End Times. Follow her at @lyta_gold.

Ten years ago, I was working 12-hour days as a warehouse temp in Southern California while my family, like millions of others, struggled to stay afloat in the wake of the Great Recession. Eventually, we lost everything, including the house I grew up in. It was in the years that followed, when hope seemed irrevocably lost and help from above seemed impossibly absent, that I realized the life-saving importance of everyday workers coming together, sharing our stories, showing our scars, and reminding one another that we are not alone. Since then, from starting the podcast Working People—where I interview workers about their lives, jobs, dreams, and struggles—to working as Associate Editor at the Chronicle Review and now as Editor-in-Chief at The Real News Network, I have dedicated my life to lifting up the voices and honoring the humanity of our fellow workers.
Email: max@therealnews.com
Follow: @maximillian_alv