With Bruce Springsteen in the country at present (although, sadly, I’m not going to one of his concerts) I thought it would be good to feature an excellent and thoughtful interview with Springsteen. The interviewer is Marc Maron, and the audio was released 2nd January 2017.
This is a YouTube recording of the audio.
“…Two Jersey guys hanging out, talking about dads, depression, fear, fulfillment and the future. Bruce tells Marc how and why he constructed "Bruce Springsteen" and what he's learned about the struggle we all go through to become who we really are.”
The downloadable podcast can be found here.
This post follows on from my most recent one to this point. The School of Lifeis committed to developing emotional intelligence. It was founded by Philosopher Alain de Botton. I have been aware of the school through their book series, which have included a wide range of titles.
What I discovered yesterday evening was their YouTube channel ("How to Live" / see short introductory video here) and the wide-range of short-educational films they've produced on a really large range of subjects.
So, given that yesterday was marketer-invented Valentines Day, I decided to illustrate their film-style by posting their short educational film entitled: How Romanticism Ruined Love. I also include a link to a paper of the same title here.
If Philosophy is more your interest you can check out a short film on Michel Foucault, or this one on Jacques Derrida.
“What if the first question we asked on a date were, “How are you crazy? I’m crazy like this”? Philosopher and writer Alain de Botton’s essay “Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person” was, amazingly, the most-read article in The New York Times in the news-drenched year of 2016. As people and as a culture, he says, we would be much saner and happier if we reexamined our very view of love. How might our relationships be different — and better — if we understood that the real work of love is not in the falling, but in what comes after?”
You’ll find the podcast here. The NY Times article can be found online here. I also recommend Susan Quilliam’s How to Find a Partner (from The School of Life series. It has useful and interesting insights on the basis of relational love,whether you're in an established relationship, or looking for one)
One of the small delights of a New Year is wondering about who my conversation partners might be over the coming year. But, when I say “conversation partners”, I’m not just talking about the people I might physically talk with, I’m also thinking about the books I’ll read (or listen to), the films I’ll watch, and the online interviews and conversations I will listen to.
I also took some time to review all the conversations I listened to on On Being with Krista Tippett. Listening in on her conversations has been a practice of mine since her early days on Speaking of Faith, and the range and depth has been such a gift.
Here are my Top 7 conversations from her show over the course of 2016. They’re not in any order, other than they’re the seven conversations that have stayed with me, and particularly nourished my own journey and exploration.
“On Being - Taking up the big questions of meaning with scientists and theologians, artists and teachers — some you know and others you'll love to meet.”
Summer is always a time to reflect for me, and each year my focus is a little different. This year, it’s been politics that has captured my imagination: politics and the interface between justice, community-building, and human thriving. I reflected a little in late December, and have continued to read and listen. Deepening inequality and injustice profoundly concern me. I’m concerned by the rise of fascism. Thinkers like Tim Jackson have entered into the conversation. Other conversationalists have been Pope Francis, Noam Chomsky, US-born Iranian film director Ramin Bahrani and his profound 2015 film 99 Homes(spoiler alert – review here), Michael Moore, and US-historian Thomas Frank (his most recent book is a stunner and is sure to be both provocative and controversial (for some) - Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? (March 2016)
Documentary filmmaker and author Michael Moore, always controversial, does a fabulous job at getting the issues out on the table in his 2009 film Capitalism: A Love Story (watch for early Bernie Sanders, who back in 2008/09 still made a lot of sense). While featuring Barack Obama in a positive light (Obama having in 2008 becoming the US President-Elect), I imagine Moore would have had a very different take of him at the close of his second term if that documentary had been released in 2017. Certainly I’ve been deeply disappointed by Obama’s two-term Presidency. So much potential for change squandered and allowed to be bought. I watched Capitalism: A Love Story for the first time earlier this week. Worth re-reading, this side of the US-elections, is Moore’s prescient“Five Reasons Why Trump Will Win” (from memory it came out around July 2016)
There have been numerous other documentaries well worth watching, e.g. 2005’s The Corporation. Or 2011’s The Inside Job. Or Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.
I also highly recommend listening to Thomas Frank, here (The US Election and those who have been left Behind) and here (Thomas Frank and the New “liberal”). Neither conversation is particularly long, but both pack a punch. While his latest book focuses on the US Democratic Party, it nonetheless has real relevance in other Western countries such as my own.
Today, a wonderful conversation with one of the most profound influences on my Jesus-following journey, Eugene Peterson. Peterson is talking to Krista Tippett on On Being. The interview aired 22 December 2016.
“"Prayers are tools not for doing or getting, but for being and becoming." These are words of the beloved biblical interpreter, teacher, and pastor Eugene Peterson. Frustrated with the unimaginative way he found his congregants treating their Bibles, he translated it himself and that translation has sold millions of copies around the world. Eugene Peterson’s down-to-earth faith hinges on a love of metaphor and a commitment to the Bible’s poetry as what keeps it alive to the world.”
You’ll find it here. The photo credit is Greg Fromholz, himself an interesting character. For a filmed conversation between Bono and Peterson (released earlier this year), see this April 2016 post.
‘Dr Iain Provan's new book Convenient Myths talks about how modern culture constructs myths to suit the temper of the time.
Iain Provan has been the Marshall Sheppard Professor of Biblical Studies at Regent College since 1997. In this interview he takes on modern tendencies to re-write history and create myths to suit current thoughts and attitudes.’
I was surprised by how much this 30 min conversation engaged me. You can find the downloadable podcast here.
And again, another link to an earlier post highlighting the recent lecture series delivered at St. Martins-in-the-Field, London (Sept-Nov. 2016). Specifically, I want to highlight the lecture delivered by US Theologian Stanley Hauerwas. It was delivered ahead of the 2016 Presidential Elections, and as a “yellow dog democrat” his early vote had been for Hillary Clinton. His hope, along with many many other people in America and all around the world, was that she would convincingly beat Donald Trump.
But as we all know, that wasn’t to be the case and the US (and the wider world) has to contend with President-Elect, and soon to be 45th President of the United States of America Donald J. Trump.
Hauerwas is well worth listening too and he offers some useful theological / Christian insights into Trump and the state of the US, John Milbank and a range of other subjects. So, I particularly want to single that talk out from the other fine lectures delivered by equally fine thinkers.
You’ll find his talk (audio) here, along with the question and answer session. You’ll fine a ‘hard’ copy of his address here.