“Of all the patterns that occur at many different scales, the most fundamental is the existence of pattern itself.” –David Christian
We interview John about Seeing Things As They Are (2015). What is perception? Searle says that it’s not a matter of seeing a representation, which is then related to things in the real world. We see the actual objects, with no mediation. But then how can there be illusions? Well, it’s complicated, but not too complicated, just some funny terminology that this episode will teach you.
Beth started doing band-type things in grad school, fronted Clear Blue Betty from 2000–2007, then starting in 2009, became a solo artist, co-founding Madison’s Girl’s Rock camp and letting music consume all of her professional activities. She’s a classic singer-songwriter of the write-chords-and-good-lyrics-on-acoustic variety, and her mission is to help others (ladies of all ages especially) unlock their creative rockery.
We talk about “Wrong Side of Gone” from the Beth Kille Band’s 2015 EP Stark Raving Songbird, “Dead Man in a Dream” from her Dust (2012), and “Through the Walls” from the EP of that name by Clear Blue Betty (2007).
We also listen to “Little Bit Drunk” from Beth Kille’s Ready(2010). The intro/outro music is “Go Back” from Clear Blue Betty’s Never Been a Rebel (2004).
Part two of a two-part discussion of Peter Novick’s That Noble Dream: The Objectivity Question in the American Historical Profession.
Continuing on Pierre Bourdieu’s Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste (1979) with guest rock star Tim Quirk.
More on Bourdieu’s survey of musical tastes: People use tastes to distinguish themselves and assert social superiority. The Kantian, upper-class, art-for-art’s-sake paradigm of taste rules out joining in a mosh pit, but are the Kantian and social types of artistic abandon really so distinct?
Also, check out MITpress.com/PEL to get Marc Wittman’s Felt Time: The Psychology of How We Perceive Time and other titles.
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Part one of a two-part discussion of Peter Novick’s That Noble Dream: The Objectivity Question and the American Historical Profession.
Phil is the long-time string arranger for Tori Amos and has done a heap more production, arrangement, and keyboard work. He has a very deliberate production style, carefully crafting a very natural-sounding theatrical background using both cutting-edge and very old tools.
We talk about “Cross the Channel” from the Brik & Shenale EP (2012), Phil’s arrangement and production of “Stars that Speak” by Willie Deville from Pistola (2008), and “Pornokiss” from a project Phil initiated called The Royal Macadamians from their album Experiments in Terror (1990).
We also listen to a brand-new Shenale instrumental “Gautama in Love.” The opening music is from “Yes, Anastasia” by Tori Amos from Under the Pink (1994). Learn more about Phil at johnphilipshenale.com.
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“If you drop a hammer on your foot, is it real or is it just your imagination? You can run that test, you know, a couple of times, and I hope you come to agree that it’s probably real.” –Bill Nye
On Pierre Bourdieu’s Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste (1979), introduction, ch 1 through p. 63, conclusion, and postscript.
How do our tastes in music, art, and everything else reflect our social position? This philosophically trained sociologist administered a few detailed questionnaires in 1960s France and used the resulting differences in what people in different classes preferred and how they talked about these preferences to theorize about the role that taste plays in our social games.
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“This mythical drama reminded men that suffering is never final; that death is always followed by resurrection; that every defeat is annulled and transcended by the final victory.” –Mircea Eliade
Continuing on Theodor Adorno’s “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception” (1944). We cover topics within art and entertainment like the role of style: You think you’re being so original with your personal style, but Adorno sees you has having already been brainwashed into being a clone, so your “authentic” expression is anything but. Also, humor is not, as you might think, a way of bringing an audience together in solidarity, but is the “eruption of barbarism!” And sex in the popular culture: what a tease! Manufactured entertainment products can’t even get tragedy right! They just condition us into accepting our crappy situation.
Bob leads the Madison, WI band The Getaway Drivers; he shares the vocal duties with his wife Shiela Shigley. Though Bob has displayed a lot of affection toward old-timey, world-weary music since starting off his major songwriting efforts around 2000 at the ripe age of 28ish, The Getaway Drivers’ new album Bellatopia is a conscious attempt to break with that, though Bob still likes telling stories informed by nostalgia for a long-gone past.
We discuss “Suburban Summer Shine” and “Signs” from the new album, as well as “Stuck” from the Bob Manor 2005 album Ghosts of Yesterday. We end by listening to “Stay” from The Getaway Drivers (2006). The opening/end music is from “A Call Out” from the new album.
“Historiography that aspires to get closer and closer to the documents—all the documents and nothing but the documents—is merely moving closer to incoherence, chaos, and meaninglessness.” –William McNeill
Come get involved in the coming month with a Not School group, or propose your own!
Is “Hungernachdeutschphilosophie” a made up word? Maybe, but it works.
On Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer’s “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception” from Dialectic of Enlightenment (1944), plus Adorno’s “Culture Industry Reconsidered” (1963).
How does the entertainment industry affect us? Adorno (armed with Marx and Freud) thinks that our “mass culture” is imposed from the top down to lull us into being submissive workers.
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An excerpt from Christopher Yeomans’s
In 1986 Nick van Eede released a song (“I Just Died in Your Arms”) that will be played long after we are all dead. But he’s got a lot more going on than that, and on his new album (still under the moniker “Cutting Crew”) he’s recorded his best songs from the last decade without regard for continuity with the sound that made him famous.
We discuss “Reach for the Sky” from The Scattering (1989), “Berlin in Winter” from Add to Favourites, “Frigid as England” from Compus Mentus (1992), and wrap up by listening to “Looking for a Friend,” also from the new album. Learn more at cuttingcrew.biz.
“Knowledge is a product of wrestling not only with the ‘facts’ but with ourselves. Where alternative visions of reality are not entertained as genuine possibilities, the product of thought tends toward blandness and unearned self-confidence.” –Hayden White
The last of our four releases on G.F.W. Hegel’s Encyclopaedia Logic, this time giving Hegel’s account of how Being supposedly leads, when you analyze the concept itself, to Nothingness, and then Becoming, Quality, and Quantity. And we also get Infinity in there, which is nice.
End song: “Flow’ by Gary Lucas with Mark Lint (2016). Listen to Mark interview Gary on Nakedly Examined Music.