NEM#154: Chris Connelly (ex-Revolting Cocks/Ministry): From Apocalyptic Industrials to Poets in Love

Chris started in the Scottish electronic band Finitribe in the early '80s and then moved to Chicago in 1988, doing stints in Revolting Cocks, Ministry, Pigface, et al, before embarking on a 23-album solo career. We discuss "A Phantom Marriage" from The Birthday Poems (2021) feat. Monica Queen, the title track from Bloodhounds (2018), "De Testimony" by Finitribe from Let the  Continue Reading …

Philosophy vs. Improv #4: Death at Not a Doctor’s Office

Is death something to be feared? What's next? What are the DETAILS? Do not adjust your listening device or call an ambulance. That sound you hear is not ground hum nor tinnitus but is the sound of improvisation. Warning: We talk about suicide a bit. If you're feeling depressed, don't call the lava demon hotline, as it is a scam. We make a few references in this one that  Continue Reading …

(sub)Text: Gentility and Injustice in “Gone with the Wind” (1939)

On the moors of medieval Scotland, three witches hail Gone with the Wind— adjusted for inflation, the highest-grossing film in American history— has undergone several critical reappraisals in the 82 years since its production and release. Certainly the film romanticizes the Antebellum South and the Confederacy while glossing over the evils of slavery and stereotyping many of  Continue Reading …

Ep. 276: Hegel on Perception (Part One)

Subscribe to get Part 2 of this episode. Listen to a preview. Hear this part ad-free. On The Phenomenology of Spirit (1807), ch. 1 "Sense Certainty" and ch. 2 "Perception." After introducing Hegel's project in ep. 275, we now walk through the first two steps of his dialectic where he presents some basic theories of knowledge and shows why they're inaccurate. Sponsors:  Continue Reading …

NEM#153: Steve Kilbey (The Church) Reveals the Secrets to Being Prolific

Steve has written over 1000 songs across 17 Church albums starting in 1980, 13 solo albums and numerous collaborations. His style is theatrical and psychedelic, and his lyrics aim for "maximum ambiguity." We discuss "Love Song Yet to Be Named" by Steve Kilbey and The Winged Heels from The Hall of Counterfeits (2021) and some tunes by The Church: "Another Century" from man  Continue Reading …

Ep. 276: Hegel on Perception (Part Two for Supporters)

We quickly finish The Phenomenology of Spirit (1807), ch. 1 "Sense Certainty" and then focus on ch. 2 "Perception." Listen to part one first. Does Hegel's claim about the inadequacy of perceptual knowledge also indicate an incoherence in traditional metaphysical accounts? Since much of Hegel's emphasis in considering perception is the relationship between an object's various  Continue Reading …

Ep. 276: Hegel on Perception (Part One for Supporters)

On The Phenomenology of Spirit (1807), ch. 1 "Sense Certainty" and ch. 2 "Perception." After introducing Hegel's project in ep. 275, we now walk through the first two steps of his dialectic where he presents some basic theories of knowledge and shows why they're inaccurate. The first of these is direct realism, the idea that perception is a simple matter of being directly  Continue Reading …

Philosophy vs. Improv #3: Equality of Ignorance

Bill starts us with a scene: Behold the Doctor's Office, where anything can happen, and often DOES. Is this whole thing a bad idea? Do you think you're BETTER than this idea? Do you? If you need to tell yourself that, that's OK. In the post-game, we talk a little about Stoicism (listen to PEL about it, ego issues, and ephemeral art. Our recommendations include: Bobby Huff  Continue Reading …

PREVIEW-Ep. 275: Hegel’s Project in “The Phenomenology of Spirit” (Part Two)

Subscribe to get Part 2 of this episode in its entirety. Citizens can get it here. Continuing from part one on the Introduction to Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's big book (1807). We're up to section 81 now, getting more detail on what Hegel's goal in the book is and some of his basic terminology. He said that normally, we might think that in a philosophical  Continue Reading …

(sub)Text: Realism as Cruelty in “A Streetcar Named Desire” by Tennessee Williams

In the transition from stage to screen, A Streetcar Named Desire retained its long-running Broadway cast with a single exception: the role of Blanche Dubois, which passed from Jessica Tandy to Vivien Leigh. Like Blanche, Leigh was the odd woman out. A symbol of the glories of the studio system, married to the symbol of English stage acting, her classical training ran  Continue Reading …

Ep. 275: Hegel’s Project in “The Phenomenology of Spirit” (Part One)

Subscribe to get Part 2 of this episode. Listen to a preview. Hear this part ad-free. On the Introduction to Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's early opus (1807), featuring Mark, Wes, Dylan, and Seth. This is the first of three episodes on this very challenging book. It's a book that demands slow, close reading, and in fact we only had time to talk about just the  Continue Reading …

Ep. 275: Hegel’s Project in “The Phenomenology of Spirit” (Part Two for Supporters)

Continuing from part one on the Introduction to Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's big book (1807). We're up to section 81 now, getting more detail on what Hegel's goal in the book is and some of his basic terminology. He said that normally, we might think that in a philosophical investigation, there's some criteria for truth that is going to constitute the essence of that  Continue Reading …

Ep. 275: Hegel’s Project in “The Phenomenology of Spirit” (Part One for Supporters)

On the Introduction to Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's early opus (1807), featuring Mark, Wes, Dylan, and Seth. This is the first of three episodes on this very challenging book. It's a book that demands slow, close reading, and in fact we only had time to talk about just the Introduction (X pages) even though we also read the Preface (X pages). So what is this project?  Continue Reading …

(sub)Text: Prestidigitocracy in “The Wizard of Oz” (1939)

The Wizard of Oz is supposed by the land’s inhabitants to be its most powerful magician. But far from having any actual power, he is not even native to the place in which real magic is in plentiful supply. Oddly, this supernatural world seems to be secretly governed by mundane sleight of hand, and growing up, for Dorothy, involves uncovering the flimsy basis of adult authority.  Continue Reading …

Philosophy vs. Improv #1: We Have Always Already Been Improvising

What is this? Listen to the PvI trailer. The gauntlet has been thrown. In this first episode, Mark Linsenmayer and Bill Arnett channel their respective muses to try to enlighten each other about something having to do with ethics on the one hand and the continuity of improvisation with regular life on the other. Which lesson shall produce the most profound effect? Does this  Continue Reading …

Pretty Much Pop #101: The “Conjuring” Retroverse

With the release of The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, Mark, Erica and Brian explore the larger "Conjuring universe" that started with the 2013 James Wan film depicting the fictionalized supernatural investigations of Ed and Lorraine Warren (played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga). Largely using the plot-generating device of the couple's storehouse of haunted objects,  Continue Reading …

PEL Nightcap Late July 2021

After some musings about summer vacation and sunburn, we talk about our preparation for Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit. The plan since (virtually) finalized is that we'll record three episodes on the book: The first will come out next week on the Introduction (we didn't have time to talk about the Preface even though we read it). The second will be on the first two chapters:  Continue Reading …