Ordinary Unhappiness

Ordinary Unhappiness

A podcast about psychoanalysis, politics, pop culture, and the ways we suffer now, featuring Abby Kluchin & Patrick Blanchfield

Episodes

April 13, 2024 95 mins

Abby lost her voice, so we're unlocking a favorite from behind the paywall! We'll be back next week with more Wild Analysis followed by an interview with the brilliant Sara Marcus on her book Political Disappointment.

Unlocked Patreon episode. Support Ordinary Unhappiness on Patreon to get access to all the exclusive episodes. patreon.com/OrdinaryUnhappiness

Behind the safety of the paywall, we get work...

Mark as Played

Subscribe to get access to the full episode, the episode reading list, and all premium episodes! www.patreon.com/OrdinaryUnhappiness

In the latest installment of the Standard Edition – and our penultimate episode on the Freud-Fliess letters! – we are joined by novelist and literary critic Christine Smallwood. We ask what “phantasy” is as opposed to our everyday senses of the word “fantasy,” and then embark on Freud’s catal...

Mark as Played

Abby and Patrick welcome Ajay Singh Chaudhary, Executive Director of the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research and author of The Exhausted of the Earth: Politics in a Burning World. In our conversation, Ajay breaks down competing left- and right-wing versions of climate “realism” and how fantasy, cynicism, and opportunism explain the gaps between carbon goals in treaties, optimistic projections, and the grim facts on the ground. B...

Mark as Played

Subscribe to get access to the full episode, the episode reading list, and all premium episodes! www.patreon.com/OrdinaryUnhappiness

Abby, Patrick, and Dan take on Denis Villeneuve’s Dune Parts 1 and 2, Frank Herbert’s novel Dune, and a loud noise that goes [BRAAAAM]. After a crash overview of the franchise universe and a synopsis of the series plot, we unpack our various investments in the original Frank Herbert source ma...

Mark as Played

Abby and Patrick welcome writer Sophie Lewis and writer and psychotherapist M.E. O’Brien to discuss their recent books on family abolition, Abolish the Family: A Manifesto for Care and Liberation and Family Abolition: Capitalism and the Communizing of Care. They discuss the roots of “abolition” as a philosophical concept, why it doesn’t simply mean “destruction,” and the historical relationship of family abolition to movements for ...

Mark as Played

Subscribe to get access to the full episode, the episode reading list, and all premium episodes! www.patreon.com/OrdinaryUnhappiness

In the latest installment of the Standard Edition, we discuss a number of the letters in the Fliess section of SE Volume 1 with novelist and literary critic Christine Smallwood. We examine a complex letter about memory, repression, and what patients do and do not remember; what Freud means by...

Mark as Played

Abby, Patrick, and Dan conclude their adventure through Lacan’s mirror stage! They reprise Lacan’s parable of the mirror-besotted baby and tie together the many threads – theoretical, clinical, and philosophical – woven through it. They walk through how Lacan musters evidence for his argument using both cases of pathology (i.e. psychosis) and “normal” dreams and fantasies, and how his situating of alienation within the ego puts him...

Mark as Played

Subscribe to get access to the full episode, the episode reading list, and all premium episodes! www.patreon.com/OrdinaryUnhappiness

In a perfect pairing with our ongoing series on Lacan, we come in from the cold and go underground by watching Theodore Flicker’s neglected classic, “The President’s Analyst” (1967). James Coburn stars as a psychoanalyst drafted to serve as the president’s shrink, and who swiftly goes from st...

Mark as Played

Our journey through Lacan’s “mirror stage” continues as the scene before the mirror unfolds into a tragic drama. Abby, Patrick, and Dan unpack the many meanings of “identification” and how, for Lacan, the self-identification the baby “assumes” from the slick image in the mirror offers a template for all subsequent identifications. They also talk about mirrors both literal and metaphorical; biological models, developmental teleologi...

Mark as Played

Subscribe to get access to the full episode, the episode reading list, and all premium episodes! www.patreon.com/OrdinaryUnhappiness

In the latest installment of the Standard Edition, we valiantly soldier through more of the Fliess Extracts section of SE Volume 1 with novelist and literary critic Christine Smallwood. We discuss the Freud-Fliess sibling dynamic; a case study of a recently married singer suffering from anxie...

Mark as Played

Abby, Patrick, and Dan kick off their 2024 Lacan era by tackling his single most famous essay and concept: the mirror stage. Because Lacan is notoriously difficult, this is going to take multiple episodes, of which the first is devoted to stage-setting, demystifying, and unpacking exactly why Lacan is both so notoriously difficult, and also notorious in general. What shakes out of their ensuing conversation includes Lacan’s biograp...

Mark as Played
January 20, 2024 5 mins

Subscribe to get access to the full episode, the episode reading list, and all premium episodes! www.patreon.com/OrdinaryUnhappiness

We set out to discuss the Eras tour film but got drawn into the broader cultural phenomenon that is Taylor Swift. Along the way, we talk about the concepts of cathexis and the Big Other; our own embarrassing childhood attachments to music; how the Eras tour is like Nietzsche’s eternal return;...

Mark as Played
January 13, 2024 87 mins

Abby and Patrick are traveling, so enjoy this unlocked Patreon episode. Support Ordinary Unhappiness on Patreon to get access to all the exclusive episodes. patreon.com/OrdinaryUnhappiness

We talk about one of the biggest cinematic releases of the year: Barbie. We get into the film’s gender politics and vision of sexual difference; dolls, children’s play, and various forms of playfulness; dreams both literal and metaphoric...

Mark as Played

Subscribe to get access to the full episode, the episode reading list, and all premium episodes! www.patreon.com/OrdinaryUnhappiness

We reflect on an (overdetermined) nine-month anniversary for Ordinary Unhappiness, including conversations with guests and reading recommendations – and then we take your calls! The mailbag includes a question about the libidinal dimensions of leftist political organizing, why people feel dri...

Mark as Played

Abby and Patrick welcome psychoanalyst and clinical social worker Brian Ngo-Smith, President of the American Association for Psychoanalysis in Clinical Social Work (AAPCSW). Focusing on his paper “This Couch Has Bed Bugs: On the Homelessness of Psychoanalysis and the Psychoanalysis of Homelessness,” they talk about psychotherapy with unhoused clients and tensions between the priorities of psychoanalysis versus social work, the desi...

Mark as Played

In the latest installment of the Standard Edition, Abby continues the conversation about the Fliess Extracts section of SE Volume 1 with novelist and literary critic Christine Smallwood. We discuss fragments, continuity and discontinuity, and narrative and lack thereof; the first instances of the use of the terms libido and projection and what they mean at this point; the relationship between anxiety and melancholia; a fascinating ...

Mark as Played

Abby and Patrick welcome philosopher Kate Manne, author of Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny (2017), Entitled: How Male Privilege Hurts Women (2020), and the forthcoming Unshrinking: How to Face Fatphobia (2024). They discuss our moral emotions – shame, contempt, disgust, abjection – and what they signal; the ideological ranking of bodies into specific hierarchies, the contingencies of when and how fatness has been valued, and the h...

Mark as Played

Abby and Patrick welcome Jade E. Davis, author of the new book The Other Side of Empathy. They discuss Jade’s critique of naïve notions of “empathy” and what she calls “empathy culture.” They examine the ways empathy can flatten suffering, demand particular performances of suffering, and serve fantasies that there’s one “right way” to suffer and that the Other can always be assimilated into the self. Other topics include Davis’ gen...

Mark as Played

Subscribe to get access to the full episode, the episode reading list, and all premium episodes! www.patreon.com/OrdinaryUnhappiness

In the second – overstuffed – installment of our two-part Thanksgiving Special, we discuss the social demand to perform “thankfulness”; the parable of primal murder and subsequent myth-making at the heart of Freud’s first foray into armchair anthropology, Totem and Taboo (1913); Christianity,...

Mark as Played

Subscribe to get access to the full episode, the episode reading list, and all premium episodes! www.patreon.com/OrdinaryUnhappiness

In the first installment of our two-part Thanksgiving Special, we discuss the so-called “Holiday Syndrome” in general and with an eye towards the upcoming US holiday season in particular. We explore how holidays catalyze some of our most elemental anxieties and fantasies as embodied in the in...

Mark as Played

Popular Podcasts

    Current and classic episodes, featuring compelling true-crime mysteries, powerful documentaries and in-depth investigations.

    Death, Sex & Money

    Anna Sale explores the big questions and hard choices that are often left out of polite conversation.

    Stuff You Should Know

    If you've ever wanted to know about champagne, satanism, the Stonewall Uprising, chaos theory, LSD, El Nino, true crime and Rosa Parks, then look no further. Josh and Chuck have you covered.

    Crime Junkie

    If you can never get enough true crime... Congratulations, you’ve found your people.

    Start Here

    A straightforward look at the day's top news in 20 minutes. Powered by ABC News. Hosted by Brad Mielke.

Advertise With Us
Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeart App.

Connect

© 2024 iHeartMedia, Inc.