In 1988 John Carpenter, auteur of genre classics like Halloween, The Fog, Escape from New York, The Thing, and Big Trouble in Little China, wrote and directed a powerhouse cult classic movie called They Live. Starring professional wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper, the film crossed the sci-fi, horror, action, and lowbrow comedy genres while making a potent political statement about Ronald Reagan’s America and capitalism in the late Twentieth Century. The film follows an unemployed construction worker who discovers sunglasses that reveal the subliminal messages in our advertising and the alien invaders who are manipulating mankind’s fate. Now, thirty years after its release, what does the film have to say about our world?
Zizek on Ideology and They Live - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVwKjGbz60k
William Cavanaugh on Religious Violence - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NS2VVLpDyWE
William Cavanaugh on Consumerism - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vh22rJpL7zM&t
Special thanks to the band They Live Exclamation Point: Find them and their stuff at the following links:
Live show link:
An all-star lineup of geeks from the Christian Humanism Radio Network for this one. David Grubbs of the Christian Humanist Podcast and Charles Hackney of the Book of Nature Podcast both join Danny for a lively discussion about Quatermass and the Pit. The 6-part BBC miniseries aired in 1958/59 and has been an enduring classic in the sci-fi genre ever since. Furthermore, the influence of this series cannot be overstated, clearly inspiring artists like Stephen King and John Carpenter, and works like 2001, The X-Files, and a great deal of the “Ancient Alien” phenomenon. What makes this serial so effective? What are the philosophical and religious implications of its storyline? What are the connections with Dr. Who? What did Hammer Films do with these same tales? Are we all really just “Nazi Space Bugs” as Charles Hackney puts it?
Bonus: don’t forget to check out the upcoming Mount Aloysius College Teaching Conference! Details here: https://www.mtaloy.edu/teachingconference/
Quatermass and the Pit on YouTube
The Book of the Damned by Charles Fort
Danny gets his Blade Runner on! For this episode, Micah Redding of the Christian Transhumanist Podcast joins the show for a discussion about the Singularity, AI, and Transhumanism. Using Jonathan Merritt's recent Atlantic article, "Is AI a Threat to Christianity," as a jumping-off point, Christian Humanist and Christian Transhumanist come together for a enlightening discussion about technology and humanity. Are our machines part of God's creation? Will our technological offspring require salvation? Is death necessary? These questions and many more.
"Is AI a Threat to Christianity?" by Jonathan Merritt
Micah Redding's Website (Including link to his TEDx talk)
The Christian Transhumanist Podcast Facebook Page
The Christian Transhumanist Association
It's Halloween again and the Christian Humanist Radio Network celebrates with a massive crossover event. Here, Danny Anderson talks with Carter Stepper and The Book of Nature Podcast's Todd Pedlar about a couple of episodes from the essential TV series, The Twilight Zone. Danny, Carter, and Todd discuss two classics from the series, "To Serve Man," and "The Obsolete Man." How do these shows fit into the dystopian tradition? What political position do they assert? How much fun can three people have talking about TV? Listen for answers to these questions and more!
Once again, Sectarian Review explores the genre of Science Fiction. This time, Megan Von Bergen joins Danny for a conversation about how scifi engages with questions about God, creation, and theology. How can speculative fiction push people of faith to boldly go where no man has gone before? How can this type of story provide a safe space to try out dangerous ideas? Plus listen for Danny and Megan's recommendations. Also, if you'd like to write a review for the show's blog, visit www.sectarianreviewpodcast.com and check out the blog.
Megan has written a follow-up blog post about the show and its subject matter. You can read that here.
In an episode from beyond the universe, Danny is joined by Carter Stepper for a stellar discussion about science fiction and its role in social critique. Our intrepid explorers discuss the genre’s history of social criticism, and aim their blasters at the work of such mind-bending authors as H.G. Wells, Isaac Asimov, and Philip K. Dick. In addition, find out what Dune has to say about messianic authoritarianism and learn about what we can learn about our own current flirtations with authoritarian politics. Plus, Uhura! And stay to the end for some recommendations from across the galaxy!