In the 1930s radio had been around for a few decades, but it was only just becoming commonplace, and it was still an exciting new technology that was rapidly connecting the world and contributing to social and political change. In the US, radio was defining President Roosevelt's man-of-the-people image, with his inviting and personable fireside chats. In Europe, however, radio's effect was amplifying a much more virulent form of populism.


hitler and mussolini


Fascism was finding its voice. The blended pride and humiliation of national ego, and the simultaneously mocking and fearful portrayal of the weak and terrifying other, were tapping into impulses that were deeply human and capable of immeasurable cruelty. But by the 1950s, the world had adapted to its new interconnectedness, and it seemed certain that we had left true fascism behind for good. It wasn't until recently, with a new technology to connect us more than ever, that the cycle returned and society began finding its way back to those ancient and ruinous tribal divisions around the world.

This is the what comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, best known for his portrayal of Borat in the film of the same name, and for his cutting political series Who Is America?, was speaking to on Thursday night. He was giving a speech at the Anti Defamation League's International Leadership summit, when he said that "all this hate and violence is being facilitated by a handful of internet companies that amount to the greatest propaganda machine in history."

borat joke


The incredible communicative power of the Internet has the potential to unite us with the kind of populism that brought us the New Deal—or indeed the Green New Deal—or to divide us with a new era of fascism and hate. If CEOs like Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, and Jack Dorsey are unable or unwilling to face the tremendous responsibility this power places on their shoulders, we must either wrench this power from them through any regulatory means at our disposal, or face devastation that may well exceed the ravages of World War II.

Music Reviews

Hear Fritz Hutchison's New Album "Wild Wild Acres"

Watch Fritz perform at 3PM on Popdust's livestream on Saturday, May 30th.

Fritz Hutchison just released his debut album, Wild Wild Acres.

It's the kind of album that will make you want to lounge in a hammock all day or ride a horse across the country or just drop everything and howl at the moon—it sounds like that kind of freedom. Hutchison is alternatively blunt and sincere, a trickster with a performative flair and a penchant for sunny hooks.

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Walt Disney Studios

New Zealand-born director Taika Waititi is best known for his comedies, namely vampire mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows and Thor: Ragnorak (the only good Thor movie).

But even for someone who loves Waititi's screwball sensibilities, the premise of his newest film, Jojo Rabbit, might come as a shock. See, in his newest movie, Waititi (who's half-Māori and half-Russian-Jewish, by the way) plays Adolf Hitler. No, not the real Adolf Hitler! Just a child's good-natured, imaginary best friend version of Adolf Hitler. If that sounds absolutely bats**t insane, that's because it is. You can watch the whole trailer here:

JOJO RABBIT Trailer (2019) Taika Waititi, Scarlett Johansson www.youtube.com

The craziest thing about the Jojo Rabbit trailer is that it actually looks very promising. Although maybe that shouldn't be a surprise considering Waititi's excellent track record.

Billed as an "anti-hate satire," the plot of JoJo Rabbit focuses on a young boy in Nazi Germany who befriends an idealized, imaginary version of his hero, Adolf Hitler. As the young boy makes his way through Hitler Youth camp, his secretly anti-Nazi mother (Scarlett Johansson) harbors a young Jewish girl in their home.

The cast also includes Sam Rockwell as the Hitler Youth camp leader, Captain Klenzendorf; Alfie Allen as his second-in-command, Finkel; and Rebel Wilson as a brutish instructor, Fräulein Rahm.

Love it or hate it, there's no denying that this is one of the most original premises to hit movie theaters in ages.

JoJo Rabbit is set to be released on October 18th, 2019.