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(sub)Text: The Pain of Anonymity in “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946)

Though sometimes accused of a sentimentality dubbed “Capracorn,” Frank Capra’s films are clear-eyed about the suffering of the everyman. A quintessential director of the Great Depression and World War II eras, Capra expressed better than most the desperation at the heart of a young country’s ambitions. And as a chronicler of his age’s disillusionment and alienation, he joined  Continue Reading …

NEM#110: Joe Louis Walker’s Blues Soup

Joe has played alongside B.B. King, Ron Wood, and even back to Hendrix, Hooker, and Monk. As a solo artist he's put out around two dozen albums since 1986. He's a blues man but mixes in gospel, soul, rock, and many other styles. We discuss the title track of Hellfire (2012), "Keep the Faith" from Hornet's Nest (2013) feat. the Jordanaires, the title track from The Gift  Continue Reading …

Can Meditation Help Enable Human Flourishing?

A few years ago, philosopher Owen Flanagan appeared on the Partially Examined Life podcast to discuss his 2011 book, The Bodhisattva's Brain. In this work, he argues that the Buddhist theory of human flourishing, when rendered in naturalistic terms, should be of interest to many in the West. For Flanagan, implicit in Buddhism is the promise that one can achieve “a stable sense  Continue Reading …

Lessons on Social Justice from an Unexpected Source

What the Left—and Everyone Else—Can Learn from the Public Pedagogy of Jordan Peterson A professor who instructs people to clean their rooms in lieu of protesting emerged in the fall of 2016 as an unlikely hero among many millennials—especially among young adult males who like YouTube. Jordan Peterson, a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, became a  Continue Reading …

Ep. 71: Martin Buber’s “I and Thou”

On Buber's 1923 book about the fundamental human position: As children, and historically (this is his version of social contract theory), we start fully absorbed in relation with another person (like, say, mom). Before that point, we have no self-consciousness, no "self" at all, really. It's only by having these consuming "encounters" that we gradually distinguish ourselves  Continue Reading …