Partially Naked Self-Examination Music Blog, Week 9

This week I mixed a demo from a failed 2000 collaboration: “Mush.” One of the first musicians I met in Madison upon arriving in 2000 was Ken Labarre. “Mush” was a song he wrote for his previous band, and it rips on people who bare their feelings on daytime talk shows (not the kind of […]

Episode 15: Hegel on History


Discussing G.W.F Hegel’s Introduction to the Philosophy of History. Though he didn’t actually write a book with this name, notes on his lectures on this topic were published after his death, and the first chunk of that serves as a good entrance point to Hegel’s very strange system.

How should a philosopher approach the study of history? Is history just a bunch of random happenings, or is it a purposive force manipulating us to fulfill its hidden ends? If you have asked yourself this question in this way, then you, like Hegel, are mighty strange.

Mark’s Inspirational Speech

Responding to a listener request, here’s the text of the inspirational speech from the end of episode #14, so you can have it tattooed or mounted or embroidered or perhaps written in frosting on a birthday cake. I have rendered it in BOLD MAGENTA #3 (C031C7) for your pleasure: What you see before you, i.e. […]

Partially Naked Self-Examination Music Blog, Week 8

The first newly completed song from the “Madison Lint” album: “Cold.” I’ve been singing this a lot to myself as I walk around this horribly frozen wasteland that is Wisconsin and thinking about when I wrote the words to this while wandering around the building of my crappy office job back in early 2001, when […]

Partially Naked Self-Examination Music Blog, Week 7

Here’s another new recording: “Ann(e).” It’s a pretty old song, written I think late in 1991, back when I was in a psychedlic band called The MayTricks, and though the recording is entirely new (OK, I started the click track and the acoustic guitar back in 2000, i.e. this is another tune destined for the […]

Episode 14: Machiavelli on Politics


Reading Niccolò Machiavelli’s The Prince and Ch. 1-20 of The Discourse on the First Ten Books of Titus Livy.

What’s a philosophically astute approach to political matters? What makes a government successful? Should you keep that fortress or sell it for scrap? If you conquer, say, Iraq, do you have to then go and live there for the occupation to work out? Is it OK to display the heads of your enemies on spikes, or should you opt for a respectful diorama?

Partially Naked Self-Examination Music Blog, Week 6

More video this week: The linked song is one of two I’ve just put up there from a 1997 gig by The Fake Johnson Trio. This was the very last gig for that band, and one of the few played as an actual trio: I switched to bass for a couple of shows for […]