Friday, March 31, 2017

Searching for words in all the wrong podcasts

It's almost two weeks since my last post, and I've got nothing to say. I must be reading the wrong books. Or listening to the wrong podcasts.

All's I know is I'm doing something wrong.
A shout-out, then, to Joel -- for providing me with better listening than I have been able to locate on my own.

I recently gave a second listen to Dan Carlin's summary of the M√ľnster Rebellion. This time around his delivery did not chafe quite so badly (though I'm still not crazy about it). Carlin was originally drawn to this episode when he heard that rebellion ringleader Jan Van Leiden and his cronies were sentenced to the most torturous method of execution of the day (hot tongs -- you probably don't want to know more, but if you do seek out details, don't say I didn't warn you). That these ideological-turned-bawdy reprobates would be singled out for such treatment is saying something. I was struck anew by the utter contempt with which human life was held by people just coming out of The Dark Ages. Weirdly enough, hearing this prolonged account of human cruelty and suffering and senseless carnage -- garnished with acts of lunacy and stupidity, some of which yielded astonishingly lucky breaks -- put me in a decidedly Lenten frame of mind. This is a rarity for me, so I am doubly grateful.

Joel also pointed me to this exchange between Sam Harris and Jordan Peterson.

Harris probably needs no introduction -- encounters with him quickly slot most listeners as either fans or discontents. Count me in the latter camp -- I believe a nudge toward nuance would greatly benefit Mr. Harris' way of thinking, if only to spare the rest of us the unpleasant imagery conjured by the chosen name of his podcast: Waking up with Sam Harris. Was Peterson the nudge?

I'm not spoiling anything by saying, "No." But the exchange manages to be candid and revelatory, at least where Peterson is concerned (Harris, as ever, is an open book -- to a point), and was well worth the two hours I devoted to it while taking care of janitorial duties.

Oh -- introductions. For those not in-the-know, Peterson is something of a gadfly in Canadian academia -- tarred by the press and his opponents as declaring a one-man war against political correctness. When I initially read this piece I thought Peterson guilty of overstatement for effect. Alas, recent events convince me of nearly every claim he makes. If this is the direction the academic Left is committed to, its house is already a shambles -- and deservedly so.


Joel Swagman said...

thanks for the shout-out.

I've picked up a number of interesting articles and books from your blog over the years, so I'm glad the exchange is beneficial both ways.

P.S. if you're looking for more podcasts, it looks like this one by our mutual friend Phil might develop into something interesting.

Whisky Prajer said...

Gulp -- you're calling me out! I initially cheered Phil's announced podcast, then swallowed hard when I saw he was reading and discussing Bill Gass. Not among my "beloved authors," but perhaps that recommends the podcast further. I will listen -- as gently as possible.

Joel Swagman said...

I never even heard of Bill Gass, and had no idea of a lot of what they were talking about in the podcast. But I got the sense that they knew what they were talking about, and it sounded intelligent. I found myself enjoying it. Of course I had it on in the background while I was surfing around and looking at other things, so it never really had my full attention, but still...

Whisky Prajer said...

Yeah, I'll definitely give it a listen -- I just need an hour's worth of dishes. Or toilets, depending. :)