#5 – Easter and Thoughts on Religion

Sunday, April 21 2019 – 9pm till Midnight CST

This was a live recording hosted by William with no guests. He discussed religion etc on Easter 2019.

0:03:00 – “The Feeling Begins”: Passion: Music for The Last Temptation of Christ (1989) by Peter Gabriel
0:22:15 – “Easter”: Rant In E-Minor (1997) by Bill Hicks
0:40:37 – “Of These, Hope”: Passion: Music for The Last Temptation of Christ (1989) by Peter Gabriel
0:45:00 – “Odd Beliefs”: Relentless (1991) by Bill Hicks
0:46:00 – “Christians for the Death Penalty”: Shock and Awe (2003) by Bill Hicks
0:52:20 – KRS-One: “The Truth”
0:58:50 – The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker
1:03:50 – Bill Hicks: “It’s Just A Ride”
1:04:30 – “Lazarus Raised” etc: Passion: Music for The Last Temptation of Christ (1989) by Peter Gabriel
1:09:30 – David Foster Wallace: “This is Water”
1:47:35 – “In Doubt”: Passion: Music for The Last Temptation of Christ (1989) by Peter Gabriel
2:12:00 – A Course in Miracles
2:13:00 – Marianne Williamson, Krishnamurti, Deepak Chopra
2:14:12 – “Dinosaurs in the Bible”: Arizona Bay (1997) by Bill Hicks
2:28:40 – President Trump’s tweet re: Rep Omar
2:33:05 – “Zaar”: Passion: Music for The Last Temptation of Christ (1989) by Peter Gabriel
2:39:30 – Blasts Targeting Christians Kill Hundreds in Sri Lanka
2:44:00 – John Lennon: “Imagine”
2:48:17 – “The Sanctity of Life”: Relentless (1991) by Bill Hicks
2:55:00 – “Opiate”: Opiate (1992) by Tool

note: all timestamps are estimated

#4 – Star Wars Celebration and Mr Biewer

Sunday, April 14 2019 – 9pm till Midnight CST

This was a live recording hosted by William. He discussed attending Star Wars Celebration with his daughter, and then spoke with Christopher Biewer (Twitter: @chrisbiewer), a friend of over 20 years. They discussed his experience/perspective of the entertainment industry, @chancetherapper and advertising, difficult subjects in school, critical thinking in education and media, personal politics and WikiLeaks. Apologies to Ms Chapman.

0:01:30 – “The Thrill is Gone”: Live from Cook County Jail (1970) by B.B. King
0:06:00 – “No Future/No Past”: Attack on Memory (2012) by Cloud Nothings
0:10:00 – Star Wars Celebration
0:59:20 – “Fast Car”: Tracy Chapman (1988) by Tracy Chapman (gets cut off)
1:03:00 – conversation begins
1:07:00 – Vendors pilot
1:30:40 – “doing commercials is gross”
1:50:20 – …ending slavery in Ancient Greece would ruin their way of life…
2:06:00 – A People’s History of the United States
2:18:00 – Hopelessly in June
2:26:00 – Nuclear Power & Global Warming
2:40:30 – Bill Clinton’s support for the death penalty
2:50:10 – people per US Representative
2:57:50 – Casten and Trump’s taxes
2:58:00 – 10 days in Sweden: the full allegations against Julian Assange
3:00:00 – Julian Assange: Campaigner or attention-seeker?
3:02:00 – What we know — and don’t know — about WikiLeaks, Julian Assange and the 2016 campaign
3:03:00 – Hillary Clinton email controversy
3:05:00 – WikiLeaks
3:07:00 – The U.S. Government’s Indictment of Julian Assange Poses Grave Threats to Press Freedom
3:10:00 – Daniel Ellsberg: Assange’s Arrest Is the Beginning of the End
3:22:00 – “Fast Car”: Tracy Chapman (1988) by Tracy Chapman (gets cut off again)

note: all timestamps are estimated

#3 – Assange, Spring Break and Kurt Cobain

Sunday, April 7 2019 – 9pm till Midnight CST

This was a live recording hosted by William with no guests. Ugh. He discussed Julian Assange, a spring break trip from Memphis to Atlanta to Nashville to Louisville, and what the 25th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s suicide meant to him.

0:00:30 – “Renegades of Funk”: Planet Rock: The Album (1986) by Afrika Bambaataa & Soulsonic Force
0:11:30 – “Corporation”: Boarding House Reach (2018) by Jack White
0:16:40 – Julian Assange
0:43:40 – “Ice Station Zebra”: Boarding House Reach (2018) by Jack White
0:52:00 – National Civil Rights Museum & Central BBQ
0:53:00 – the power of reason and empathy
1:17:00 – 1964 Presidential Election
1:30:00 – Sun Studio
1:39:00 – Rock & Soul Museum
1:39:30 – Uncle Lou’s Fried Chicken
1:41:00 – Elvis Presley’s Birthplace
1:43:00 – Georgia Aquarium
1:43:40 – Aviva by Kameel
1:43:50 – CNN HQ
1:53:00 – Sublime Donuts
1:54:00 – Atlanta Botanical Garden
1:55:00 – Incline Mountain
1:56:00 – 1885 Grill
1:58:00 – The Hermitage
2:03:00 – The Parthenon
2:04:00 – Double J Stables & Mammoth Cave National Park
2:10:00 – Mike Linnig’s Restaurant
2:11:00 – Churchill Downs
2:12:30 – Kentucky Horse Park
2:15:30 – Eiderdown
2:18:00 – Martin Luther King, Jr – Beyond Vietnam
2:21:00 – “Galileo”: Rites of Passage (1992) by Indigo Girls
2:26:00 – Sound Opinions 325: Monterey Pop and the Live Music Explosion
2:34:10 – payola
2:35:10 – Elvis and Dewey Phillips
2:35:40 – Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground, 1981–1991
2:37:24 – Nielsen SoundScan
2:46:40 – Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge
2:57:00 – beyond the tyranny of government – cultural pressure:pathetic dot theory
2:59:00 – Eddie Vedder and Kurt Cobain
3:00:30 – “All Apologies”: In Utero (1993) by Nirvana

note: all timestamps are estimated

#2 – A Conversation with Carl Nyberg

Sunday, March 31 2019 – 9pm till Midnight CST

This was a live recording hosted by William with Carl Nyberg (Twitter: @CarlNyberg312), a long-time friend & Chicago activist. They discussed #JussieSmollett, #RussiaGate, racism, capitalism and Chicago/Illinois government and politics.

0:00:30 – “People Of The Sun”: Evil Empire (1996) by Rage Against the Machine
0:03:00 – “Burn the Witch”: A Moon Shaped Pool (2016) by Radiohead
0:06:40 – conversation begins

note: all timestamps are estimated

#1 – Pilot

Sunday, March 17 2019 – 9pm till Midnight CST

This was a live recording hosted by William with an anonymous guest. They discussed recent events, and then the host tried to explain the point of this endeavor. It will get better.

0:03:08 – “Roots Radicals”: And Out Come the Wolves (1995) by Rancid
0:08:20 – conversation begins
1:32:06 – conversation ends and explanation begins
2:25:20 – “Disconnect”: Weight (1994) by Rollins Band
2:25:43 – “Liar”: Weight (1994) by Rollins Band
2:30:17 – “The American Dream” – Life is Worth Losing (2005) by George Carlin
2:33:57 – “Wake Up”: In Concert (1991) by The Doors
2:35:29 – “Slaves with White Collars”: Fight Club (1999)
2:36:35 – “Choose Life”: Trainspotting (1996)
2:38:50 – “The Primal Forces of Nature”: Network (1976)
2:42:34 – “What Do You Wanna Do?”: Good Will Hunting (1997)
2:43:26 – “NSA”: Good Will Hunting (1997)
2:45:16 – “Reason to Believe”: Nebraska (1982) by Bruce Springsteen
2:49:40 – “Spiritual Crisis”: The End of the Tour (2015)
2:50:42 – “Run the Jewels”: Run the Jewels (2013) by Run the Jewels
2:54:06 – “Marketing and Advertising” – Arizona Bay (1997) by Bill Hicks
2:56:20 – “Ænema”: Ænema (1996) by Tool
3:03:50 – “(-) Ions”: Ænema (1996) by Tool

note: all timestamps are estimated

Hypothesis: Positive Human Feedback

Beyond satisfying our physical needs, we are evolved to desperately desire Positive Human Feedback (#PHF). It’s the baby monkey choosing to cuddle a box wrapped in fur. It drives all our social interactions, at both the level of personal relationships and every creative endeavor. The question becomes what kinds of actions our culture generally teaches us will make us worthy of this #PHF. It ties together our needs for purpose, identity and community. Consumer culture is targeted towards making us think that what we buy will elicit this from others, by making them appreciative of the value we provide for them or that others will think more highly of us for what we do or possess. It’s why people want to be famous, that others will think of them often and like them. You’re thought of as cool if you fit in to some group whose opinions you value. We want love because that person can provide this feeling for us most directly and reliably. We usually do what’s expected of us to earn the general approval of those we interact with most regularly. Weirdos simply prioritize the opinions of some groups of cultural outsiders more than they do the general public. The true artist simply values the opinions of those who understand their perspective over the consumerist perspective above. Religions provide the religious with a community to give them those feelings, and often a sense that their relatives (and God) think well of their devotion.

The Work of Politics If You Care About Democracy

Trump’s election exposes the limits of a politics of persuasion. Instead of trying to convince people to vote for someone, we should be helping them to see through attempts to manipulate them, doing our best to get the general public the most good information possible and providing a political system where people can vote their conscience. The candidate’s job is to explain how they want to vote/govern. Then the people can choose wisely.

America is free and democratic to the degree to which it creates citizens, not just consumers, courageous critical human beings who are willing to keep it free and democratic every generation. If they don’t do it, you lose it. And you’re going to end up with a crypto-fascist America. Nothing. The laws of history in terms of the role of complacency and cowardice and apathy rule in America too. Plato’s great critique of democracy. Show me a democracy and what? I’ll show you a group of people who are driven by so much unruly passion and pervasive ignorance that it will produce a tyrant. That’s Plato. That’s why we wrestle with Plato. Not his conclusions. We don’t need philosopher-kings. The critique. Powerful then, and powerful now.

What #MarchforOurLives Wants

The movement has a website and there appears to be 3 sections that make demands:

Mission Statement

Not one more. We cannot allow one more child to be shot at school. We cannot allow one more teacher to make a choice to jump in front of an assault rifle to save the lives of students. We cannot allow one more family to wait for a call or text that never comes. Our children and teachers are dying. We must make it our top priority to save these lives.

This is not just schools, though. This is churches, nightclubs, concerts, movie theaters, airports, and more. A child should not fear a bullet on their walk home. We may be children, but we are not fighting for just children. All lives are precious, and our country must make the safety of its citizens a number one priority.

March For Our Lives is created by, inspired by, and led by students of all ethnicities, religions, and sexualities across the country. We will no longer sit and wait for someone else to take action to stop the epidemic of mass shootings.
The mission and focus of March For Our Lives is assure that no special interest group or political agenda is more critical than timely passage of legislation to effectively address the gun violence issues that are rampant in our country. We demand morally-just leaders to rise up from both parties in order to ensure public safety.

Specifically, we are working towards…

  1. Universal, comprehensive background checks
  2. Bringing the ATF into the 21st century with a digitized, searchable database
  3. Funds for the Center for Disease Control to research the gun violence epidemic in America
  4. High-capacity magazine ban
  5. Assault weapons ban

We came together on March 24th and through continued unity, we will save lives. We will not stop our advocacy until we see the change we demand – a change that is necessary in order to save innocent lives across our nation.

How We Save Lives page

1. Fund gun violence research and gun violence prevention/intervention programs.

We must provide the CDC with dedicated funding to research gun violence as a public health issue. Even the original sponsor of the law that limits the CDC’s ability to do this research, former Congressman Jay Dickey, said that it was a mistake. More than 100 medical organizations have called on Congress to restore funding. Furthermore, we believe that gun violence and prevention community work is essential to reducing gun violence and these groups should be funded fully.

2. Eliminate absurd restrictions on ATF.

The gun industry has operated mostly unchecked for far too long. ATF, the only federal agency with jurisdiction to regulate the gun industry, has been operating with one hand tied behind its back – unable to even digitize records of gun sales – or require gun dealers to conduct annual inventory checks to make sure they aren’t missing any guns. The ATF needs to become a modern agency, one capable of keeping receipts and efficiently regulating this massive industry.

3. Universal background checks.

It is too easy to obtain a firearm. Right now, federal law only requires you to obtain a background check if you purchase a gun from a licensed dealer. We must close the private sale loophole and make sure all sales undergo a background check.

4. High-capacity magazine ban.

High-capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds serve only one purpose – to allow someone to shoot as many bullets as possible, in the shortest amount of time. These magazines are devastating and need to be banned.

5. Limit firing power on the streets.

Weapons of war have no place in our communities. Our nation requires a comprehensive assault weapons ban that prohibits the future production and sale of these weapons and provides a solution for dealing with those assault weapons that are already owned, such as a buyback program or registration. Limiting high-powered weapons to the military has worked elsewhere to eliminate the opportunity for mass shootings.


An Act to Protect & Save Your Children

We support the right of law-abiding Americans to keep and bear arms, as set forth in the United States Constitution.

But with that right comes responsibility.

We call on all the adults in Congress elected to represent us, to pass legislation that will protect and save children from gun violence.

Our elected officials MUST ACT by:

1. Passing a law to ban the sale of assault weapons like the ones used in Las Vegas, Orlando, Sutherland Springs, Aurora, Sandy Hook and, most recently, to kill 17 innocent people and injure more than a dozen others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Of the 10 deadliest shootings over the last decade, seven involved the use of assault weapons.

No civilian should be able to access these weapons of war, which should be restricted for use by our military and law enforcement only. These guns have no other purpose than to fire as many bullets as possible and indiscriminately kill anything they are pointed at with terrifying speed.

2. Prohibiting the sale of high-capacity magazines such as the ones the shooter at our school—and so many other recent mass shootings used.

States that ban high-capacity magazines have half as many shootings involving three or more victims as states that allow them.

Limiting the number of bullets a gun can discharge at one time will at least force any shooter to stop and reload, giving children a chance to escape.

3. Closing the loophole in our background check law that allows dangerous people who shouldn’t be allowed to purchase firearms to slip through the cracks and buy guns online or at gun shows.

97 percent of Americans support closing the current loopholes in our background check system.

When Connecticut passed a law requiring background checks on all handgun sales, they saw a 40 percent reduction in gun homicides.

22 percent of gun sales in this country take place without a background check. That’s millions of guns that could be falling into dangerous hands.

A background check should be required on every gun sale, no exceptions.

The children of this country can no longer go to school in fear that each day could be their last.

The Meanings of Words & Symbols

I took a trip with my brothers this weekend to Houston and the Lone Star motorcycle rally in Galveston. During my travels, I thought I figured something out. And then I heard a podcast about DFW and his post post-modernist understanding of language (52 minutes in…), which reinforced some of the same thoughts. Then I was repeatedly told about some wisdom Mr Coates imparted to us all about the word nigger, and I felt compelled to write up my ideas.

Words & symbols gain their value by our collective agreement about what they mean. These words & symbols do not mean anything until we decide they do, and whatever meaning I assign to them is at best useless unless others agree. But our understandings of many of these words & symbols also differs based on experience, and then the context of their use also matters a lot. So there can be a lot of misunderstandings but also sometimes people are intentionally tricky, using words & symbols to make others think something while claiming that wasn’t their intention at all.

What I am trying to get at is that something like the Confederate flag can have different meanings to different people. Some see it as a horrible symbol of racism anytime it shows up, while others don’t connect it to slavery at all. They call it the Rebel flag and it adorned the General Lee car in the Dukes of Hazard for years without most people making the connection. For others, it all comes down to context, who is displaying it and how and perhaps why if that can be truly determined. But the key is to recognize we don’t get to control how others interpret words & symbols. While anybody can take offense to anything, being nice means trying to accommodate popular opinion.

But this can suck. It can be difficult or annoying to have to stop using a word or symbol because now other people have decided it is offensive, when you never intended it as such. And people can develop incorrect and damaging views of others because of this kind of misunderstanding. Or sometimes the change is hard to understand or does not feel justified, or unfair when the context of who is using the word or symbol is a huge factor in how offensive it is to others.

Personally, I think it would be most useful if we could all really just try to calm down. Disputes over what to do now about the same words & images that have been around for a long time clearly can’t be symbolic of a rise in hateful feelings, but can only be a recognition of what was always just a more quiet offensiveness to some. Some of this unrest must also be coming from our increased cultural division, a failure to understand the perspectives of others and a loss of faith in the goodness of others. And a media that sows discord in their endless search for more attention and engagement.