Patricia Kullberg hosts this episode of the Old Mole, which includes the following segments:
The Bomb: Last week was the 77th anniversary of the US bombing of Hiroshima and Nagaski. The United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945. The explosion immediately killed an estimated 80,000 people; tens of thousands more later died of radiation exposure. On August 9th, the US dropped a second bomb on Nagasaki, killing an estimated 40,000 people. In his new film, "Oppenheimer," Director Christopher Nolan tells the story of the leading physicist behind the development of the atomic bomb. The film follows the rise of Robert Oppenheimer and his fall during the McCarthy era. Jan Haaken talks with Hugh Gusterson, professor of anthropology at the University of British Columbia, about the politics of the film and its portrayals of lead protagonists in nuclear weapons development. Gusterson has carried out research on the culture of nuclear weapons laboratories and has published extensively on nuclear weapons, international security, and the anthropology of science. His books include Nuclear Rites: A Weapons Laboratory at the end of the Cold War and People of the Bomb: Portraits of America's Nuclear Complex.
Pomegranate: Larry Bowlden reviews Pomegranate, by Helen Elaine Lee, a rich book on so many levels. Written though the eyes of Ranita Atwater, a woman just released from four years of imprisonment for opioid possession, the book leaps forward to her assiduous efforts to regain parental rights to her two children and then falls back to Ranita’s time in prison and the years leading up to it. A fascinating look at prison life, racism, and what it means to be a good parent. A deeply political and philosophical read.
The Age of Water Protectors and Climate Chaos: What do sanctions against Venezuela have to do with the Dakota Access Pipeline? In this 2022 talk for the Portland chapter of DSA, Dr. Nick Estes (citizen of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe) lays out the geopolitical context of land-based indigenous challenges to the fossil fuel industry. He makes the case for not only resistance to racial capitalism as the driving force behind fossil fuels, but also to colonial extractive capitalism that continues with the mining of lithium and copper for green technologies. Estes is the co-founder of Red Nation, an organization dedicated to the liberation of Native people from capitalism and colonialism. He is also Assistant Professor of American Indian Studies at University of Minnesota. He's the author of Our History Is the Future: Standing Rock versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance (Verso, 2019) and Standing with Standing Rock: Voices of the #NoDAPL Movement (University of Minnesota Press, 2019), which was co-edited with Jaskiran Dhillon.