The author and broadcaster explores how we reached our current state of extreme tribal division over everything in a new podcast series.
Jon Ronson’s books, podcasts and broadcasts have long explored aspects of outsider thinking, extremism and what we now call The Culture Wars. His book So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed remains the best study of ‘cancel culture’ – written before that phrase even became a thing and his brilliant series The Butterfly Effect was a sympathetic look at the American porn industry and the seemingly unconnected – and entirely unexpected – series of events that can be traced back to the launch of PornHub.
So we’re pretty hyped for his new BBC podcast Things Fell Apart, which promises to explore how we reached our current situation where opinion is polarised and determinedly tribal and where people on all sides become wholly absorbed in identity politics that allows no nuance or consideration and turns the most minor disagreements into life-or-death struggles. The series promises to explore where all this came from and how it has developed. It’ll also probably upset a lot of people along the way – both So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed and Ronson were subjected to attempted cancellation after the book’s publication by some people who took offence to the central suggestion that destroying a person’s life over a bad joke is not admirable or productive behaviour.
We might come back to this subject – it is, after all, something that is never that far from our minds – after the series has been broadcast and we’ve had a chance to check it out. It begins on November 9th 2021. Meanwhile, you can hear the trailer for the series here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p0b1rg7c
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