At the beginning of Book 2, Cyrus is dead, but the Greeks are victorious. By the end of Book 2, every Greek general is dead through Tissaphernes’ treachery. How did this happen? What does this have to do with Clearchus, the de facto Greek general, and in particular with his piety? And what is the hidden meaning of… palm trees? Continue Reading …
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 contrary to that of her Method-trained co-stars. Thus to the clash of wills between Blanche and Stanley Kowalski was added a clash of acting styles— and the struggle between the death of Old Hollywood and the birth of Brando and the New. Which principle— Blanche’s fantasy or Stanley’s realism— makes for superior art? Can the conflict between magic and truth ever be resolved? And is all realism a form of cruelty? Wes & Erin discuss Tennessee Williams’s “A Streetcar Named Desire.”
After 101 episodes and a bit over two years, Mark, Erica, and Brian reflect on what we’ve learned and set a course for the future. What have we determined about how and why we consume? What’s the relation between consumption and creativity?
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On G.W.F. Hegel’s 1807 opus: A series of treatments of various theories in epistemology (among other things), seeing how they’re internally incoherent, which then moves us to more sophisticated theories.
Don’t miss Mark’s new podcast Philosophy vs. Improv.
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. Which magic is more potent: the childish imagination, or the symbolic power of grown-ups to educate it? Wes & Erin analyze the 1939 film, “The Wizard of Oz.”
An epic journey begins. Which path will produce the most profound profundity? The wisest wisdom? Bill Arnett eases us into first gear, but Mark Linsenmayer pulls the wheel toward murder.
Mark, Erica, and Brian delve into this 8-film horror franchise started by James Wan in 2013 through The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It. Do their demons scare us, and do their Catholic defenses provide a convincing antidote? Is it OK to valorize the Warrens, the supernatural detectives who were most likely hucksters in real life?
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Brian, Shilo, and Jeff start their reading of Xenophon’s great adventure story, “The Anabasis” — or “Ascent” — “of Cyrus.” We have a new Cyrus; is he the same as the old Cyrus? How is Cyrus the Younger different from Cyrus the Great? (Is he Cyrus the not-so-Great?) And whose ascent is Xenophon’s title talking about, since Cyrus the Continue Reading …
Thanks to our announcer, Erica Spyres.
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Concluding on Schelling’s System of Transcendental Idealism (1800), Parts 1 and 2.
What sort of self is created in the act of self-consciousness that according to Schelling grounds all knowledge? We further consider this primordial act.
Glen led smooth alt rock legends Toad the Wet Sprocket from ’88 to ’97 through six albums, has released 7 often folky solo albums (and 3 more Toad albums since their reunion) since then plus various side projects.
We discuss “Old Habits Die Hard” by Toad (a 2020 single), “Leaving Oldtown” from Swallowed by the New (2016), and “One Wind Blows” from Toad’s Bread and Circus (1988). We end with the title track from the 2021 Toad album Starting Now. Intro: “All I Want” from fear (1991). For more see glenphillips.com and toadthewetsprocket.com.
Director/writer/sound operator Heather Fink joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to discuss the role of the director in making a good comedy, covering TV vs. film, sex scenes, not telling actors how to read their lines, editing, and more.
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On Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling’s System of Transcendental Idealism (1800), Parts 1 and 2.
What is self-consciousness, and how did Schelling think that it grounds all of knowledge?
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To what degree to our childhood favorites persist into adulthood? Are we doomed to love the songs of our generation best? What causes the generation gap in musical tastes?
Mark, Erica, Brian, plus Jon, the host of The Hustle Podcast share their nostalgia and discuss “guilty pleasures,” the different pre-critical stages at which songs burrow themselves into our brains, aging pop stars, film soundtracks, and more.
Continuing on The Vocation of Man (1799), Book II.
We focus on how ethics fits in with Fichte’s epistemology in a unified theology with humans literally united (in this world or the next) in a shared, divine Will.
Cathal started in Ireland in 1980 with Microdisney, and after five albums with then broke that up to form Fatima Mansions in 1988. After seven albums with them, he started a solo career and has now after a decade-long hiatus (during which he released a few collaborations) has come back with his sixth solo release Song of Co-Acklan. We discuss “Unrealtime” and (in closing) hear the title track from that album, plus “Denial Of The Right To Dream” from The Sky’s Awful Blue (2002) and “Valley of the Dead Cars” by The Fatima Mansions from Against Nature (1989). Intro/outro: “Town to Town” by Microdisney from Crooked Mile (1987). For more, see cathalcoughlan.com.
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The Shawshank Redemption (1994, directed by Frank Darabont) was not a box office hit, it is now routinely near the top of many greatest movies lists. That’s a suitable result for a story that is in part about the redemptive possibilities of endurance and perseverance. And the film’s appeal lies partly in the hope that this idea inspires. It convincingly Continue Reading …
What is it for a super-hero to represent America? Recent Captain America media includes racial critique, and Mark, Erica, Brian and Anthony discuss The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Truth: Red, White & Black, comic runs by Ta-Nehishi Coates and Nick Spencer, and more.
Wes & Erin continue their analysis of T. S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” In Part 1, they covered roughly the first third of the poem. In Part 2, they begin with a discussion of Prufrock’s coffee spoons, and then continue on to: his allusions to John the Baptist, Lazarus, and Hamlet; the disjointed portrait of his probable love interest; and the twinning of aging and fantasy in the final stanzas.
On Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling’s System of Transcendental Idealism (1800).
What’s the relationship between mind and world? Schelling thought that our minds produce the world, but also that the perceiver-world dichotomy comes to us as a single piece. “Transcendental philosophy” is an exploration of the internal logic of that revelation.
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