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.
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
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
The importance of eye contact, the “fascist nature” of traffic lights, 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”.