https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/traffic.libsyn.com/partiallyexaminedlife/NEM_ep_110_11-20-19.mp3Podcast (nakedly-examined-music-podcast): Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:23:57 — 77.0MB) 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 Continue Reading …
What role does improv comedy play in popular culture? It’s deployed by certain film directors (e.g. Christopher Guest), in some of the TV work of Larry David, Robin Williams, et al. But only a rare show like “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” makes it obvious. Is this art form doomed to live on the fringes of entertainment?
Mark, Erica, and Brian are joined by Tim Sniffen to discuss different types of improv, how it relates to other arts, its self-help angle, Second City, and more.
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Concluding René Descartes’s Rules for Direction of the Mind (1628).
We finish rule 12 through the end, talking about simples, the faculties of intuition and judgment, perception and imagination, necessary vs. contingent truths, and how to do Cartesian science, including what constitutes a “perfectly understood problem.”
End song: “Perfect Design” by Ian Moore, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #94.
Boston-area listeners can see Wes live talking Joker on 11/22; see partiallyexaminedlife.com/joker.
Are YOU the target audience of what you watch? While shows used to be aimed at a white majority or “niche group,” now much media aims itself seemingly at everyone.
Rodney Comedian/actor/writer/producer Rodney joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to discuss the experience of watching outside your demographic, whether identifying with characters requires physical commonalities, “black voice,” and the evolving TV landscape.
Continuing on René Descartes’s Rules for Direction of the Mind (1628), covering rules 7 through the first part of the lengthy rule 12.
We try to figure out what he means by “enumeration”; the faculties of imagination, sense and memory; the virtues of perspicacity and sagacity; his psychology of the senses, the “common sense” where all sense data comes together, and the understanding; how Descartes recommends we do scientific investigation; why syllogisms stink; and whether some people are just better at philosophy than others.
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Guy has been a highly sought-after British producer/keyboardist since the early ’90s and is just now releasing his debut album, STET. We discuss “Mono No Aware” and “Dorian” from that album and “Unravel” from Björk’s Homogenic (1997). End song: “Let’s Go” by Frou Frou from Details (2002). Intro: “Crazy,” co-written with Seal from his debut album (1991).
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Is the most popular writer of our time actually a good writer? Or maybe he used to be good? While you’ve been thinking about those questions, King already wrote another book, so ha!
Mark, Erica, and Brian share their experiences with and opinions about King’s oeuvre and the films and shows that have come out of it.
Are stand-up comedians the Modern Day Philosophers? This is the premise of Daniel’s podcast, but really, only some comedians express original claims; many just tell jokes. Are those exceptional comics philosophizing? Does telling the whole, tragic truth rule out being funny? Daniel, Mark, Erica, and Brian consider Carlin, Gadsby, Chappelle, and others.
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On René Descartes’s Rules for Direction of the Mind (1628).
Is there a careful way to approach problems that will ensure that you’ll always be right? What if you just never assert anything you can’t be sure of? This is Descartes’s strategy, modeled on mathematics. We likewise carefully move step-by-step through this text.
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Continuing on Kwame Anthony Appiah’s “Race, Culture, Identity: Misunderstood Connections” (1994), Charles Mills’s “But What Are You Really?, The Metaphysics of Race” (1998), and Neven Sesardic’s “Race: A Social Destruction of a Biological Concept” (2010) with guest Coleman Hughes.
Racial classifications vary geographically, therefore race is socially constructed. Given this, can we retain the positive aspects of group identification without hierarchies and what Appiah calls “imperialism of identity”?
End song: “Tired Skin” by Alejandro Escovedo, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #60.
Ace bassist Mike started with punk legends MINUTEMEN in the early ’80s, broke into the majors with fireHOSE going into the ’90s, and was so beloved by the alternative music scene that his first solo album in ’94 was star-studded, with Eddie Vedder and Dave Grohl in the supporting tour. Mike has released three concept albums over the years and has collaborated on dozes of projects as well as backing Iggy Pop in the reformed Stooges.
We discuss “Bob Dylan Wrote Propaganda Songs” by Minutemen from What Makes a Man Start Fires (1983), “The Boilerman” from Contemplating the Engine Room (1997), the first, second, and last sections from Hyphenated-Man (2011), and “I Got Marty Feldman Eyes” from the Big Walnuts Yonder self-titled album (2017). We conclude by listening to “Yeah, We’re Gonna Learn to Fall” by Jumpstarted Plowhards from Round One (2019) featuring Todd Congelliere. Intro: “Walking the Cow” by fireHOSE from Flyin’ the Flannel (1991). For more, visit mikewatt.com.
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How does the recent spate of media discussion on this site fit in with our larger dedication to philosophy? Mark explains how the new spin-off pop culture podcast is part of the dictum to know thyself… but maybe don’t get so pompous about it.
Mark, Erica, and Brian examine the conventions, techniques, and staying power of the beloved ’90s sitcom. Are we supposed to identify with, or idolize, or merely like these people? What makes the formula work, did it sustain itself over its 10-year run, was it successfully replicated, and what parts haven’t aged well?
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On Kwame Anthony Appiah’s “Race, Culture, Identity: Misunderstood Connections” (1994), Charles Mills’s “But What Are You Really?, The Metaphysics of Race” (1998), and Neven Sesardic’s “Race: A Social Destruction of a Biological Concept” (2010). With guest Coleman Hughes.
Opera used to be a central part of European pop culture, Pavarotti was as big a pop star as they come. But still, it’s now the quintessential art-form of the wealthy and snobbish. What gives?
Guest Sean Spyres from Springfield Regional Opera joins his sister Erica along with Mark and Brian to discuss opera’s place in culture (including its film appearances), how it’s different from music theater, the challenges it faces and how it might become more relevant.
Continuing Ian Hacking’s The Social Construction of What (1999) and Peter Berger’s “Religion and World Construction” (1967).
We break down Hacking’s typology of construction arguments: Are they exploring where our ideas came from or trying to change things? Are they trying to state facts about nature vs. nurture or essentially political solicitations for us to reconceptualize in healthier ways? Plus, more about the supposed divide between science wars and the culture wars and Berger’s picture of the nomos (custom) defining what it is for us to live a meaningful life.
End song: “The ConstruKction of Light, Part 1” by King Crimson; listen to Mark with Trey Gunn on Nakedly Examined Music #21.
Barry started in ’77 playing keys with XTC and after two albums started his own band Shriekback in ’81, with whom he’s had 14 releases plus some solo albums. He’s known for inventive soundscapes placed over solid grooves and philosophical lyrics delivered in a low chant.
We discuss three Shriekback tunes: “Such, Such Are the Joys” from Why Anything? Why This? (2018), “Amaryllis in the Sprawl” from Glory Bumps (2007), and “Stimulate the Beaded Hamster”/”Pond Life” from Naked Apes and Pond Life (2000). We conclude by listening to a solo tune, “Virgin of the Ladder” by Barry Andrews from Contaminated Pop (2019). Intro: “Nemesis” from Oil & Gold (1985). For more, see shriekback.com.
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TV news reporter Paul Beban (ABC, Al Jazeera, Yahoo, and now featured on the Discovery Network’s Contact) joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to discuss the appeal of UFO narratives. Do you have to believe to be entertained? What’s the connection to humor, religion, and anti-government venom?
On Ian Hacking’s The Social Construction of What (1999) and Peter Berger’s “Religion and World Construction” (1967).
Guest Coleman Hughes from Dilemma joins us to survey the types of social construction arguments: the “culture wars” (e.g., race, gender) and the “science wars” (scientific findings are not read off the world but emerge from history). Something can be constructed, yet still be an objective truth we have to deal with.
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John founded the Brooklyn space-rock cooperative Oneida in the mid 90s and has put out 13 albums with them plus four as his solo project Man Forever and several others as collaborations or as Kid Millions.
We discuss two tracks by Man Forever from Play What They Want (2017): “You Were Never Here” and “Twin Torches” (feat. Laurie Anderson), then Oneida’s “All in Due Time” from Romance (2018), and listen to “Nine Years of Facing a Wall” by Fox Millions Duo from Biting Through (2019). Intro: “Sheets of Easter” by Oneida from Each One Teach One (2002). For more, see johnwilliamcolpitts.com.
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