Other Episodes

Unlucky Days Again

C. Travis Webb, Seph Rodney, and Steven Fullwood return to the topic of cyclical time. Every year in the Mesoamerican calendar there were five unlucky days between the end of the ritual calendar and the start of a new solar calendar. Are the days between Christmas and New Year a similar experience for twenty-first century Westerners?

Role Models: Inspiration or Imitation

C. Travis Webb, Seph Rodney, and Steven Fullwood apply some critical reflection to role modeling. Can one reject one’s status as a role model, as Charles Barkley famously did? Is there a difference between following a role model, and being inspired by one? Tune in and join the conversation.

Hagiography

“I’m not saying that there aren’t things to criticize about Bush…but I don’t see how it’s helpful… I don’t see how coloring a complex human being with such a simplified portrait is helpful for the country, for one another, for even yourself inter-personally.”

Porn, the Conversation, Part I: Liberty and the Body

When we say that we shouldn’t be looking at, watching pornography in public with other people around, essentially what we’re saying is, we shouldn’t be engaging in sex acts in public with other people around. This seems to be across cultures, right? There’s a taboo about that.

Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving

TAA 0047 – To celebrate the holiday, C. Travis Webb, Seph Rodney, and Steven Fullwood offer thanks. The hosts recount some of the things they’ve each been thankful for this year, and also offer reflections on the challenges of artistic creation and the difficulty of doing foolishly ambitious things.

What’s Going On: Where Do You Get Your Information?

TAA 0044 – C. Travis Webb, Seph Rodney, and Steven Fullwood discuss information. To live responsibly in a democracy requires access to knowledge about the world we inhabit. But acquiring that knowledge can be difficult. Where does it come from, and who can be trusted to dispense it? How does ideology interfere with or enhance our ability to make sense of the world? The hosts discuss their media diets, and how they can be improved.

Halloween, Horror, and Hamlet: What Scares Us and Why?

TAA 0043 – In honor of Halloween, C. Travis Webb, Seph Rodney, and Steven Fullwood discuss their favorite horror films. They explore why some movies affect them more than others, and what those susceptibilities say about their world views. Some of the films discussed include: Carrie, The Changeling, Prince of Darkness, The Skin I Live In, Ringu, and Cabin in the Woods.

Social Media Selves

C. Travis Webb, Seph Rodney, and Steven Fullwood discuss their social media profiles and what their profiles both reveal and conceal about their identities. Is it possible to remain nuanced and effective on Twitter or Facebook? Can one use social media without being leveled by it, or reduced to a caricature?

Brett Kavanaugh Meets #MeToo

TAA 0038 – C. Travis Webb, Seph Rodney, and Steven Fullwood discuss the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh in the light of the #MeToo movement. The conversation turns to issues of personal responsibility, power, integrity, and, as always, the history of civilization. This is part I of a multi-part discussion.

Fathers, Part II: How Do We Create Possibility from Pain?

TAA 0037 – C. Travis Webb, Seph Rodney, and Steven Fullwood continue their discussion about fathers. Picking up from last time, they consider what is and isn’t possible in our intimate relationships. From fathers to history, we are born into dynamic contexts that both injure and inspire us. What tools do we have to manage these overwhelming forces?

Picking Your Battles: How to Fight with Principle

TAA 00035 – C. Travis Webb talks about narrowing our critical targets to those who truly oppose progressive agendas. He argues against generalizations that describe Republicans as “racist,” “greedy,” “homophobes,” and suggests these generalizations are the equivalent of indiscriminate machine gun fire. Only by committing ourselves to principles of empathy and courage can we hope to defeat those who oppose progressive politics.

Fathers

TAA 0035 – C. Travis Webb, Seph Rodney, and Steven Fullwood discuss fatherhood. Being sons and having sons informs their exploration of masculinity, pride, misfortune, and the culture’s ambivalence towards traditional masculine values.

The Noble Lie: Are Some Myth’s Necessary? Part I

TAA 0033 -C. Travis Webb, Seph Rodney, and Steven Fullwood discuss Plato’s “noble lie.” Are some kinds of myths necessary to promote comity between strangers? Is the American Dream a worthwhile national story? How might we update it in the twenty-first century so that it remains relevant today?

Why Meme: what’s a meme and why do we make them?

TAA 0032 – C. Travis Webb discusses memes. He argues that typical discussions about memes, from their silliness to the gene-meme theory of Richard Dawkins, miss something very important about their function. He explains why The American Age produces memes and how they’re related to Buddhist prayer flags.

Is a Post-colonial Museum Possible?

C. Travis Webb, Seph Rodney, and Steven Fullwood discuss Seph’s recently completed book project. Seph has spent years studying how art museums cadre to and shape public expectations. Is it possible for the museum to be a neutral space of aesthetic engagement, or is it hopelessly bound to a political agenda?

Working to Music

TAA-0030 C. Travis Webb, Seph Rodney, and Steven Fullwood discuss the various ways that music does and does not shape the work they do. Does music boost or distract from your work? Just as musical tastes differ, so do preferences for listening.

Angry Races: Why Do We Care So Much About Color?

TAA 0029 – C. Travis Webb, Seph Rodney, and Steven Fullwood begin by discussing Rachel Dolezal, but quickly move to a free-ranging discussion of why we’re so bound up in racial narratives. What’s at stake, and what do African and European Americans gain by focusing on it?

Toxic Masculinity

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Space Force! Necessity or Inanity

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Twenty-Something Looking at Middle-Age

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Roseanne: The Weight of an Apology

C. Travis Webb, Seph Rodney, and Steven Fullwood discuss Roseanne Barr’s apology. How much credit should she get? Can we fight for a progressive political agenda and make room for forgiveness and empathy?

Politics in Art: How Much is Too Much

C. Travis Webb and Steven Fullwood discuss the role of politics in art. Artists have always been politically engaged, but can too much politics interfere with what is moving and provocative about great art?

The Blackening: Playing with Race and Racism

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UFOs

C. Travis Webb and Steven Fullwood discuss UFOs. From the validity of their sightings to the possibility that they are a conscious manifestation…

Unwanted Opinions

TAA 0017 – C. Travis Webb and Seph Rodney discuss whether or not its fair to ostracize intellectuals that have unfashionable opinions…

Liberty vs. Security

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Trump or Social Progress

TAA 0016 – C. Travis Webb and Steven Fullwood discuss the perils and the possibilities of a Trump presidency. Does symbolic cultural progress matter, and if it does, what does Trump’s election mean for the country?

Being a Middle-Aged Graduate Student

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Madness in America: Part III

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Conservatives in the Trump Age

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Madness in America: Part I

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Context Collapse

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Are Corporations Democratic Guardians?

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Violence in a Free Society

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Moral Responsibility in Corporate America

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Secrecy in Intimate Relationships

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Public Outrage: Part II

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Public Outrage: Part I

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Faith in the Future

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Unlucky Days

Podcast, Ep. 001 – In reality how much our sense of time–leaving aside the biological markers of time, and old age, and all the other things that go…

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