Didactic SynCast #87: An Evening with Avner Vengosh

After an insanely long hiatus, we’re back! And we’ve got a special guest: Avner Vengosh! (Yes, the Avner Vengosh!)

DS #87: An Evening with Avner Vengosh

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Another Reason to Dislike Tyler the “Creator”

A sad article from Australia, about Tyler the “Creator”, about whom I have written before. Here’s the new outrage:

I’m a 23-year-old psychology student from Sydney and in June this year, I was subjected to a horrific torrent of abusive tweets from fans of touring American rapper Tyler Okonma. I challenged Okonma’s lyrics which encourage rape and violence against women by vocally supporting a petition on change.org that suggested he shouldn’t be playing all-age shows.

At Tyler’s concert in Sydney the next day, he told his fans he hoped my children got STDs, and “dedicated” songs to me that included lyrics like “punch a b—h in her mouth just for talkin’ s—t”.

The abuse started almost instantly. First a drip, then a rush, then a flood.  I felt physically sick. He had 1.7 million fans, and it felt like every single one of them had some violence stored up for me – a promise to assault me, the threat that they would rape me, an expression of hatred for my life and my freedom.

It was terrifying at first, and then I started to feel totally disconnected from myself. When one of them said he was going to mutilate my body, I couldn’t comprehend that he could be talking about me.

Obviously Tyler can’t be blamed for what his fans do. But — like the Dr. Dre / Dee Barnes incident — this shows the horrible crossover potential of misogynistic lyrics into real-life threats and even assault. (And let’s not forget that written violence directed at an individual can be extremely assault-like.)

As always, this is not to attack vulgar lyrics, because they can provide catharsis and insight into twisted minds. (Just like Poe and Lovecraft did.) But as a lifelong lover of hip-hop, I’m tired of seeing it used as a weapon against women, and I’m sick of hearing people say “it’s just an act”. We choose our personas, and Tyler has chosen one that is horrible.

Didactic SynCast #84: Pegatron and the Cult of Money

It’s only been, what? Four years since the last episode? I hope it was worth the wait!

DS #84: Pegatron and the Cult of Money

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Sir Mix-A-Lot: Swass

Didactic SynCast #83: Return of the Snot Burglar

The clouds of depression have lifted and I’m back, baby! This show is all about cheating in schools and fracking and robot therapists. Enjoy!

DS #83: Return of the Snot Burglar

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Ahmad: “Come Widdit”

Ahmad: “Back in the Day”

Didactic SynCast #82: Trading Through The Puke

This episode has a gross title, but it’s a real quote from Dark Pools, the book I’m reading right now about high-frequency trading. Also this episode: stabbing people with letter openers, psychotic robots that follow you into the bathroom, killer super weeds, and cinder blocks to the face! Enjoy.

 DS #82: Trading Through The Puke

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Snoop Lion on Tavis Smiley (Sorry, the PBS embed isn’t working.)