The masterful YouTube series Cobra Kai is the focus of this week's episode. This week, Danny Anderson is joined by Nathan Gilmour of the Christian Humanist Podcast and Coyle Neal of the City of Man Podcast to discuss the shockingly good Karate Kid sequel series Cobra Kai. How does this series move beyond simple, destructive nostalgia and create something contemporary and vital? How does it employ Shakespearean storytelling devices? What political statement is this series trying to make in the age of the Alt-right and Donald Trump? All this and much much more!
The Federalist on Cobra Kai
Masculinity on the Mat
Recently President Donald Trump caused a minor stir by signing Bibles in Alabama. The reaction was swift and predictably driven by either outrage or defensiveness. In this episode Danny Anderson is joined by Nathan Gilmour of the Christian Humanist Podcast and Matthew Brake of Popular Culture and Theology to discuss the situation with some nuance. Some topics covered: what is so special about an autograph anyway? Is the bound book something sacred to be defaced in the first place? How much of this has to do with Donald Trump's moral character? If another, less odious president were to sign a Bible would the backlash have happened? All this and much much more.
"Trump's Bible signing called Southern Tradition"
"Most Christians find Trump Signing Bibles Inappropriate"
"Yes Trump Signed Bibles in Alabama But it isn't as Strange as You Think"
This week, Danny Anderson is pleased to present a wide-ranging interview with Yahia Lababidi, an Egyptian-American poet, about his recent collection of aphorisms, Where Epics Fail. The aphorism is an ancient form of poetic wisdom, and we discuss what that form offers the modern world. In addition, Lababidi discusses his experiences an an Egyptian immigrant to America before an after the Trump presidency. Other topics include: the value of silence and solitude, how to be gracious and merciful while living in community with others, the challenges of social media, and the significance of alien invasion films!
Where Epics Fail: Book Trailer and Purchase Information
PBS Newshour Profile of Yahia and his Work
Discover how Goethe's Faust provides the template for the modern world. How does his version of the scholar who sells his soul to the Devil inspire and describe our world? Patrick Higgins joins the show this week to discuss the Faustian tale, theology, capitalism, Marxism, Evangelical Trumpism and ritual magic.
From Pen and Screen:
Manifestophilis: Ritual, Medium, Turnings
Manifestopheles: An Investigation into the Faustian Nature of Adaptation
Review of Patrick Higgins’ stage version of Faust
Marshall Berman’s All That is Solid Melts into Air
Owls at Dawn Podcast
Since the 2016 election, a racial tension within white Evangelical churches has been made apparent. Donald Trump's election, for better or worse, has become a seismic event in American history. This episode explores how, since 2016 Race has emerged as perhaps the preeminent problem for Evangelicalism, to the point where we need to acknowledge that much of what we have called Evangelical Christianity is really better thought of as WHITE Christianity. Joining the show today is Tamara Johnson, who recently wrote a piece for The Witness titled "For Those Who Stay." In this essay, she recounts her own reasons for leaving her largely white church and returning to the traditions and social spaces of the Black Church. Johnson answers the following questions: "How did you find yourself in a largely white church and how did the events of 2016 affect you in that space?" "What is the scope and scale of this "Black Exodus?" "Why do white people, and not their black friends, bear the responsibility for educating themselves about structural racism?" "What role did Charlottesville play in your Exodus?" "How does abortion serve as a wedge issue when dealing with racial justice in the Church?" "Why the distinction between White Church and Black Church?" "How has MLK been misused?" "What is your advice to Black people who stay in White Churches?"
"For Those Who Stay"
"If You Love Me, Do Your Homework"
"A Quiet Exodus" - NY Times
"Pass the Mic" Podcast
"Truth's Table" Podcast
Cloak and Dagger on Hulu
James Cone's The Cross and the Lynching Tree
Michael Eric Dyson's Tears We Cannot Stop
Ed Simon joins the show again to discuss Trump, Putin, and Russiagate. Liberals, eager to find a way to impeach Trump have been focusing on the investigation in all its minutiae, valorizing the American intelligence community, and finding conspiracy around every corner. Leftists, on the other hand, have been largely dismissive of the story, accusing Liberals of losing sight of more tangible, more structural issues. This episode, while agreeing that Liberals have gone a bit over the top, questions whether the Left is too dismissive of possible collusion between Trump and Putin’s forces.
Ed Simon’s home page
Michael Kazin’s “Five Reasons Why the Left Should Care About Russiagate”
“It Matters Yes But How Much,” by Nathan A. Robinson - Current Affairs
“Russiagate Can’t End Well for the Left,” by Seth Ackerman - Jacobin
“Trumpism It’s Coming from the Suburbs,” by Jesse A. Myerson - The Nation
Recently, President Trump spoke about his intention to create a sixth branch of the military, the “Space Force.” In typical Trump fashion, the unveiling was bombastic and rather silly (with Trump even going so far as to casually drop the phrase “separate but equal” into his speech somehow). And in the immediate aftermath of the announcement, a lot of jokes were made on social media (see links below). However, to Danny’s surprise, there were a lot of ostensibly Serious Media People who approved. What did the SMP’s see that we missed? To discuss the idea of militarizing space, Todd Pedlar, Professor of Physics and co-host of the Book of Nature podcast joins Danny on this episode. What are the technical difficulties of doing work in space? What are we fighting over in space in the first place? What are the legal, and more importantly, ethical ramifications of militarizing space? Plus Danny makes a 2001 analogy.
“Space Force Theme Song”
Al Jazeera’s critique
Chicago Tribune’s editorial
The Hill’s glowing support
In this episode, Danny is joined by Chris Burlingame to discuss the politics behind the adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho. The novel, which follows Wall Street serial killer Patrick Bateman, included Donald Trump as a central figure. Mary Harron's film adaptation, however, completely eliminates his presence. What motivated such a decision? Listen and find out about how the film adapts the novel in order to tackle issues of structural inequality, sexism, and white privilege. What can this film teach us about Trumpism today? Plus, NEW THEME MUSIC! Thanks to the Blind Revelators for providing us with our new theme song. Find their music here: https://theblindrevelators.bandcamp.com/
Special thanks to Andrew Burlingame for providing the cover art for this episode.
Subscribe to the show on your favorite podcatcher and leave us a nice review. Also, join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.
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Join Danny and the Christian Humanist Podcast's Nathan Gilmour for a fun, angry rhetorical analysis of the internet's newest laughingstock, Verrit.com. Learn about Hillary Clinton sycophant Peter Daou, nephew of Fear of Flying author Erica Jong, and his Freshman Comp capacity for essay-writing. What's a "Daouist?" What do Kenneth Burke, Aristotle, and basic logical argumentation have to say about Verrit? Why can't Liberal rhetoric succeed outside the "serious middle?" Will Danny finally be able to enter polite society after purging his rage over the stupidity of Verrit? All this and more!
The Strange Life of Peter Daou
The Dada Engine
Hilarious Jacob Bacharach Tweet:
Danny is joined by Coyle Neal (of the City of Man Podcast) and C. Derick Varn (of every other podcast in the world) for a discussion about Mark Noll’s seminal book Scandal of the Evangelical Mind. Rather than just discussing the book on its own terms though, the trio apply its analysis and conclusions to American Liberalism as well. The result is a sprawling, detail-rich episode, filled with plenty to consider as we think about the state of the American intellect in the Twenty-First Century.
Derick in Mormon-landia
CHRN back online
The listener contest concludes!
The Scandal, sacred and secular
Atheism tasting Protestanty
Jonathan Edwards as godfather
The Scottish Enlightenment
Cultural Panic and the Nashville Statement
Activism, Biblicism, Intuition, Populism
Evangelical College vs. Evangelical University
Patterns of Thought versus Participation in American Culture
Separation of church and state and “Religious Deregulation”
Political power over religion
The Joel Osteenification of Christianity
Applying Noll’s argument to the American Left and Right
Manichaeism in Evangelicals and Liberals
Ken Ham and “Thinking Correctly” through Intuition ugh
Religion’s importance for politics
Evangelicals and the Alt-Right
The Evangelical withdraw into their own media spaces
Urbanization and the Republic
Art rejecting didacticism
Can Democracy work?
City of Man on Marxism
Do Marxists accept original sin?
The problems of Enlightenment
Scandal of the Evangelical Mind
Nathan Hatch, The Democratization of American Christianity
Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism
Steve Bruce, God is Dead: Secularization in the West
Of what use is the "Evangelical" label in the age of Donald Trump and the Christian leaders that John Fea terms "Court Evangelicals?" Does it still maintain a theological meaning or has it devolved into, as Danny says, "Theocratic Libertarianism?" Coyle Neal, from the City of Man podcast joins Danny for a historical, philosophical, and political discussion about contemporary Evangelicalism. Is there still room for the "1910 Evangelical?"
Also, at the beginning of this episode, Danny announces the first-ever Sectarian Review listener contest! Click here for details.
Links for Curious People:
Coyle Neal's Review of The American Patriot's Bible.
"Defining 'Evangelical' by Jonathan Merritt.
"What Was Being Worshiped Yesterday at First Baptist Church in Dallas?" by John Fea
Well it was an accident, but the Sectarian Review Podcast is timely for once. In a conversation recorded before Meryl Streep's controversial political speech at the Golden Globes, Danny picks the brain of Symptomatic Redness host C. Derick Varn. The first in an anticipated series of "celebritism" episodes, listen to find out why liberalism is drawn to celebrity spokespeople. What are the possibilies and problems of this kind of politics? What does the Democratic party (and liberalism as an idea) gain or lose by handing their rhetorical authority over to the rich and famous?
The Guardian on Celebrity as the face of a corporate machine.
"Bad Ways to Criticism Trump" via Current Affairs
And The New Republic (of course)
Q1: So everybody has a “theory of everything” that explains Trump’s election, which seems like a chasing after the wind to me. Today, I just want to focus on some of American Liberalism’s failings. Specifically, its tendency to defer its rhetorical work to celebrities, I can see the roots of this in Jane Fonda’s public opposition to Vietnam. Am I wrong to place so much of this on the New Left?
Q2: You shared an article from Current Affairs recently called “Bad Ways to Criticize Trump.” John Oliver was a specific target of that piece’s scorn. What is the essential problem with the “Daily Show-style” of politics?
Q3: In Liberalism, there seems to be a divide between believing and doing. The whole celebrity thing is a convenient way to rallying behind a belief that requires no action. It leads me to wonder what we even mean when we say “politics.” Is celebrity activism really politics or is it posturing?
Q4: So people flock to the music and movies that feature these celebrities, yet their ability to impact the voting habits of much of that fan base is uncertain at best. Why the disconnect between popularity and influence? Is the problem that these folks are “brands” and therefore necessarily limited in their ability to connect to the political lives of much of the electorate?
Q5: Much of this style of politics explains Hillary Clinton’s unexpected failing among the general electorate in certain states. However, weren’t many of Bernie Sanders’ supporters partaking in a similar type of hero-worship? And Trump himself of course is a reality TV star. Is the real question not whether celebrity politics is effective, but what type of celebrity politics we’re talking?
Danny and Jay Eldred bask in one of the show's most stimulating interviews yet. This time, prominent historian John Fea sits down for an illuminating discussion about the study of History, the role of the humanities in higher education, the disturbing popularity of Donald Trump among Evangelicals, and the possibilities of public scholarship. In addition, Fea (a New Jersey native) talks a little Springsteen with the boys.
Fea considers leaving evangelicalism Pt 1
Fea considers leaving evangelicalism Pt 2
Fea’s Patreon page
Fea’s Twitter feed
Danny Anderson is joined by Jordan Poss and Nathan Gilmour to talk about Political Correctness and its many discontents. What are the term's roots and when did people start worrying about it? How did the Bill Clinton era affect us? What role did identity politics play in the election, and will become of the Democratic party's reckoning in the dawn of the Trump Dystopia? And finally, Danny asks "pitchforks and torches?" Plus listener responses to subject.
Frank Bruni on Democratic failures
Aaron Hanlon on the PC Left and language wars
Larry Summers on Political Correctness
Cracked on Donald Trump
Slate Star Codex: You Are Still Crying Wolf
Mad Dogs and Englishmen Podcast