Madness: the Podcast.
By Steven Reisner
Dr. Steven Reisner shares his perspectives on current events, society and politics through the lens of his extensive career as a psychoanalyst, activist, and educator.
Beauty is Truth: A Tale of Covid in Two Cities
Have Americans, in the aftermath of Trump and in the time of COVID, lost our ability to appreciate beauty? And without beauty, how will we combat the ugly threats of the 21st century: the climate emergency, racism, violence and the most extreme wealth inequity in a century? Join Dr. Reisner as he looks for guidance from Oscar Wilde, Boris Karloff, Cornel West, Keats and Freud, who together make the case that when death beckons, we must face it together, drawing our courage from the soul’s yearning for truth and beauty, beauty and truth.
March 22, 2021
Election emergency: Can we pull America out of its death spiral?
America is in the midst of an emergency – an emergency which threatens our bodies, threatens our social fabric, and threatens our very souls. How we come out of this emergency, over the next days and weeks and months, will determine what kind of people we are and what kind of country this is. Simply put, whether America will be a force for evil or a force for good in the world.
November 01, 2020
In Praise of Shame
When Donald Trump steals our democracy, will Americans fight to save it? In Episode 7, Dr. Steven Reisner argues that if America is to be saved—if America is worth saving—Americans must reconnect with the emotion that psychoanalysts (and biblical prophets) believe is necessary for social change: shame
September 30, 2020
The Masque of the Black Death (Racism in the Time of Trump)
In 1842, Edgar Allen Poe wrote the Masque of the Red Death, a prescient short story about a country devastated by plague. “No pestilence,” Poe wrote, “had ever been so fatal or so hideous.” But the Prince of the land ignored the epidemic. He holed up in his castle and held a masked ball, insisting the revelers dress in grotesque fashion, as if daring the contagion to threaten their immortality. Psychoanalysis could barely do better in describing the madness of America’s current fear of death, manifested in the response to our dual plagues of COVID and racism. In episode 6 of Madness: the Podcast, Steven Reisner finds Black Americans taking to the streets to stand up to both: the Coronavirus that disproportionately affects their community and to institutionalized white supremacy that makes COVID so much more deadly. What will white people do now with our fears?
June 16, 2020
Mourn and Mobilize: Radical psychoanalysis confronts the climate emergency
Climate trauma – is it the result of the climate catastrophe or a consequence of our inability to really imagine such a catastrophe, even when it is taking place all around us? Dr Steven Reisner takes a deep dive into the psychology and history of trauma to show how the best way to cope with tragedy is with eyes and heart wide open.
February 09, 2020
Paranoia: Is it good for the Jews?
Paranoia - is it a mental disorder or a political strategy? Dr Steven Reisner exposes the underlying connection between our Trumpian culture of paranoia and the eruption of antisemitic violence by mentally ill assailants on the streets of New York.
January 18, 2020
The American Dream: Time to Wake Up?
A mega mall in New Jersey, a pile of shoes and toothbrushes in the Arizona desert, and an array of immigrant witnesses at the impeachment hearings. In 2020, these are the artefacts of The American Dream. In Episode 3 of Madness, Steven Reisner sounds a psychoanalytic alarm to wake us from the dream that keeps America sleeping.
January 06, 2020
Trump, lies & the American way: a psychoanalysis of political lying.
What was Trump’s very first lie? Steven Reisner explores the effects of lying on children, on politics, and ultimately on our democracy. And he asks the question, if Trump has been lying all along, why, now, is he being impeached? Is it because Trump actually exposed a truth about American politics? A truth that threatens the Democrats and Republicans equally?? Tune in to episode two of Madness: where psychology and capitalism collide.
November 07, 2019
A constitutional crisis without a written constitution?
The importance of eye contact, the “fascist nature” of traffic lights vs “democratic” traffic circles, how Britain’s unwritten constitution is holding up better than America’s written one; Steven Reisner weaves together these and other curious and unexpected details of our pixilated times in the first episode of his new podcast - “MADNESS”.
October 09, 2019