Do we owe parents our gratitude for our upbringing? What if they haven’t done such a great job? And anyway, perhaps we inevitably resent all the forces that have shaped the characters that confine and limit us. If so, the quest for filial gratitude is ultimately hopeless. It could even be a kind of madness: a foolish attempt to transcend the same formative forces that we resent in our parents, to be “unaccommodated,” free of the “plague of custom.” Wes and Erin discuss William Shakespeare’s King Lear.
What’s the connection between voyeurism and what Jefferies calls “the intelligent way to approach marriage”? Wes and Erin discuss Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 film Rear Window.
Wes and Erin discuss how it is that aesthetic judgments can communicate a kind of truth that is not strictly descriptive or factual.
Wes and Erin discuss Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, which seems to suggest that witty banter is more than just good fun, and has an important role to play in getting to know others.
When egotistical weatherman Phil Connors gets trapped in a time loop in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, he gets drunk, steals money, manipulates women, binges on breakfast food, plays God… and finally grows up. The story charts Phil’s development over the course of thousands of repeated February 2nds. Along the way, it raises questions about our own capacity for growth. How do we go about improving ourselves? How can we escape boredom? Achieve fulfillment? Wes and Erin discuss the 1993 film Groundhog Day.
How do we know if two people are well-suited to each other? What makes a successful match? Is Mr. Collins actually the perfect man? Wes and Erin discuss Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
Why has this film done so well? It offers no spectacle, and good doesn’t triumph. It is psychologically true and expertly performed. The audience can enjoy tragedy and identify deeply with a social outcast and villain. The film successfully exploits the relationship between humor and violence, and comedy and tragedy.
At last, the full, public release of this discussion between Wes Alwan and Bill Youmans covering Shakespeare’s 1611 play about revenge, forgiveness, and authorship. Or maybe it’s about exploitation, or how we react to changes in status, or perhaps how a liberal education can give you magical powers! Listen and decide for yourself!
Wes Alwan is joined by Monica McCarthy of the Happier Hour podcast to discuss Anton Chekhov’s 1898 play about family dysfunction and potentially wasting your life.
Wes discusses the film with philosophy professor David Kyle Johnson. What is there to fear in artificial intelligence? How does this shed light on what it means to be fully human?
Wes discusses the Steven Spielberg film with philosophy professor David Kyle Johnson. What is there to fear in artificial intelligence? How does this shed light on what it means to be fully human?
Wes Alwan and Bill Youmans discuss the 1611 play about revenge, forgiveness, and authorship. Or maybe it’s about exploitation, or how we react to changes in status, or perhaps how a liberal education can give you magical powers!
The monster represents the return of a devitalized creator, where the loss of vitality represents a failure of creativity—driven by an inability to tolerate the imperfection of the creative process. The solution involves reconciling the fact of being a creature with that of being a creator.
Perfect childhoods are deadly traps, but neglecting one’s family—in favor of one’s creative ambitions—is no escape.
Creative commitment and perfectionism do not mix: There is nothing like a perfect childhood to produce the perfect monster.
In their “workshop of filthy creation”—in which their endeavors are monstrously incomplete—how do artists remain committed?
In a competition with already-famous poets, one of whom was her future husband, an 18-year-old Mary Shelley was asked to create a ghost story. Instead, she created a story of the perils of creative ambition, and the possibility that it might lead to a ghosting of the self.