Monday, January 30, 2023
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The Spectacle Podcast: The Fungus Among Us – The Last of Us and American Politics & Culture



In this episode of The Spectacle podcast, what’s planned to be a regular discussion of American politics quickly turns into something else altogether. Melissa Mackenzie begins with a discussion of a YouGov poll covering political orientation and how we see different religious denominations, and then Scott McKay mentions the new post-apocalyptic HBO series The Last Of Us and off it goes.

If you’re not aware, The Last Of Us launches from a premise that an invasive and deadly fungal infection spreads across the globe turning humans into monsters and wrecks civilization, and in the ruins is a possible cure. That’s far too good a metaphor not to run with, and Scott and Melissa keep coming back to it – but it’s not all the discussion touches on. Before it’s over there’s Dune, and how a failed initial project to turn it into a movie revolutionized the sci-fi genre, the continued success of Angel Studios and their great project The Chosen – and how it could be revolutionizing the delivery of cultural content and putting Hollywood out of business, and Hollywood’s slow response which includes an Oscar Best Picture nomination for Top Gun: Maverick.

And there’s politics: Antifa and the Democrats in Congress, the Atlanta insurrection and the falling-down of public education.

It’s a long episode, but it might be the best Spectacle discussion yet!