Joan Blades is the co-founder of Living Room Conversations, a movement dedicated to fostering meaningful dialogue between Americans of different political ideologies. In addition to her work with Living Room Conversations, Joan was also a co-founder of MoveOn.org and MomsRising. She’s also partly to thank for the After Dark screensaver and flying toasters, which isn’t germane, but is damn cool.
I learned about Joan through Mark Mykleby and she immediately found a place on our “Must Interview” list because she was actually creating the very types of discussions Micah, Neil, and I had hoped to spark with The Conversation. Unsurprisingly, Joan and I talk extensively about the value of conversation, where it is (and isn’t) possible, and its limits. You’ll also hear a lot about American politics—a little more tangible than we usually get in The Conversation—and the role of media and corporate money in shaping thought.
Before jumping into the episode, Micah, Neil, and I would like to say hello and welcome back to all our listeners. I was derailed by a variety of things over the past year but I’ve returned to the land of the living and will, hopefully, be editing the final ten episodes over the next several months. After that, we’re going to discuss The Conversation’s future more seriously—which could involve sending the project out to sea in a burning longship, continuing it in a limited form, or something less predictable.