The Partially Examined Life Philosophy Podcast

The Partially Examined Life Philosophy Podcast

By Mark Linsenmayer, Wes Alwan, Seth Paskin, Dylan Casey

The Partially Examined Life is a podcast by some guys who were at one point set on doing philosophy for a living but then thought better of it. Each episode, we pick a short text and chat about it with some balance between insight and flippancy. You don't have to know any philosophy, or even to have read the text we're talking about to (mostly) follow and (hopefully) enjoy the discussion. For links to the texts we discuss and other info, check out www.partiallyexaminedlife.com. We also feature episodes from other podcasts by our hosts to round out your partially examined life, including Pretty Much Pop (prettymuchpop.com, covering all media), Nakedly Examined Music (nakedlyexaminedmusic.com, deconstructing songs), Philosophy vs. Improv (philosophyimprov.com, fun with performance skills and philosophical ideas), and (sub)Text (subtextpodcast.com, looking deeply at lit and film). Learn about more network podcasts at partiallyexaminedlife.com.

Episodes

Ep. 305: Cormac McCarthy's "Blood Meridian" (Part One)

On McCarthy's 1985 anti-Western novel, featuring Wes, Seth, and Dylan. How does violence play a role in the way the world works? This novel about a rogue band of scalp hunters presents a pessimistic, nihilistic philosophy where violence is central to the human condition and is the way to self-knowledge. Get more at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to get ad-free episodes and tons of bonus discussion. Sponsor: Subscribe to Talk Nerdy with Cara Santa Maria.
28/11/22·41m 11s

PEL Presents (sub)Text: Production for Use in “His Girl Friday”

Before she settles down to life of homemaking, security, and insurance policies with Bruce Baldwin in Albany, star reporter Hildy Johnson has one more story to write for her ex-husband and ex-boss Walter Burns, editor of the Morning Post. Hildy must write up an interview with convicted killer Earl Williams that will grant him a last-minute reprieve on the basis of insanity. The ingenious angle she finds to prove he’s insane: Earl listened to so many soapbox speeches in the park about the socialist concept of “production for use” that when a gun was placed into his hands, he had to shoot it. Howard Hawks’s 1940 film His Girl Friday knits together two plots from two very different genres. One is a romantic comedy that intends to reunite its main couple in something like wedded bliss. The other is a dark drama of murder and corruption, complete with a gallows lurking just outside the window and a suicide attempt that takes place on screen. Yet Earl Williams and Hildy Johnson’s fates in their respective plots are twinned. Both are, in a sense, looking for their own reprieves. And Hildy has her own production-for-use dilemma. What was she made for—the life of a newspaperman, or the life of a housewife? To what kinds of production should we devote our own lives? What are we made for—risk and adventure or security and insurance? Wes & Erin discuss. Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon or directly on the Apple Podcasts app. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website
27/11/22·53m 32s

PREMIUM-PEL Nightcap November 2022: Listener Testimonials

We recently put out a call among our supporters for some short audio clips of folks telling us about their relationship to PEL, and here they are. Mark, Seth, and Dylan play and respond to some of these. If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
27/11/22·9m 14s

PEL Presents NEM#184: Mike Baggetta Feels Out the Guitar

Mike has put out 18 releases of largely instrumental guitar music since 2004 and is now playing with legendary bassist Mike Watt and with drummer by either Jim Keltner. We discuss the title track to Everywhen We Go (2022), "Hospital Song" from Wall of Flowers (2019), and "The Mystery Of" from Main Street Stop Valve (2020). End song: "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Social Justice" from mssv Meets Nels Cline (a 2022 EP). Intro: The title track by Tin/Bag from There, Just As You Look For It (2005). For more see mikebaggetta.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsors: Upgrade your showering at nebia.com/nem (code NEM). Get 15% off at at MasterClass.com/examined.
24/11/22·1h 25m

Ep. 304: Dworkin v. Hart on Legal Judgment (Part Two)

Continuing on Roland Dworkin's "The Model of Rules" (1967) and Scott J. Shapiro's "The 'Hart-Dworkin' Debate: A Short Guide for the Perplexed" (2007), plus some of Dworkin's "Hard Cases" (1977). How do Hartians respond to Dworkin's initial attack? Can Hart's theory incorporate the fact that judges consult their culture's moral standards without making the law dependent on morality? Get more at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to get ad-free episodes and tons of bonus discussion including the supporter-exclusive part three to this episode. Sponsor: Check out the Profoundly Pointless podcast at profoundlypointless.com.
21/11/22·46m 40s

PEL Presents PMP#138: What Are "Creatives"?

Is there really a division in today's culture between those who create and the merely receptive masses? Mark gathers three artists in different media about the place of the artist in society: sci-fi author Brian Hirt, art photographer and academic Amir Zaki, and musician/novelist/ex-English prof John Andrew Fredrick (of The Black Watch). We touch on art education, the self-understanding of artists, the relation between artist and consumer, art vs. commerce, bad art vs. non-art, and much more. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by subscribing via Apple Podcasts to the Mark Lintertainment Channel.
20/11/22·48m 45s

Ep. 304: Dworkin v. Hart on Legal Judgment (Part One)

On Ronald Dworkin's "The Model of Rules" (1967) and Scott J. Shapiro's "The 'Hart-Dworkin' Debate: A Short Guide for the Perplexed" (2007). How do judges make decisions in hard cases? When the law "runs out" and doesn't definitively decide an issue, do judges then just draw on their personal moral judgments? Dworkin says no, that moral principles are (contra Hart) built into the legal principles which guide judges, even if these principles are not written out in legal rules. Get more at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to get ad-free episodes and tons of bonus discussion. Sponsor: Visit StoryWorth.com/pel to save $10 making it easy for your loved one to write their story.
14/11/22·41m 19s

PEL Presents Philosophy vs. Improv #42: The Worth of a Human Life w/ Carneades the YouTube Star

The anonymous policy wonk who runs the Carneades.org YouTube channel joins Mark and Bill to discuss the core concept of his new book, Are All Lives Equal?: Why Cost-Benefit Analysis Values Rich Lives More and How Philosophy Can Fix It. Should economics really be measuring the value of life at all? Can it do this in any principled way? Can economists really understand how much joy cat videos really bring us? What should parasitic micro-organisms value? Were all the world's religions originally infections diseases? No question is off the table! Mark philosophizes at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Bill improvises (and teaches) at chicagoimprovstudio.com. Hear more at philosophyimprov.com. Support the podcast to get all our post-game discussions and other bonus stuff.
13/11/22·53m 22s

PEL Presents PMP#137: Slashing the "Halloween" Film Franchise

What's the appeal of this 13-film franchise that started with John Carpenter's 1978 film Halloween and has purportedly wrapped up with David Gordon Green's Halloween Ends? Mark Linsenmayer, Al Baker, Lawrence Ware, and Nathan Shelton debate the ideology and effectiveness of the various films. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by subscribing via Apple Podcasts to the Mark Lintertainment Channel. Sponsor: Check out The Create Unknown podcast.
13/11/22·1h 3m

PREMIUM-Ep. 303: H.L.A. Hart on the Foundations of Law (Part Three)

On The Concept of Law (1961), ch. 6, "Foundations of a Legal System," on Hart's concept of a rule of recognition that ultimately determines what will count as a law in a given society. This ends up being more complicated than merely "The Constitution," but the action itself of officials respecting, obeying, and enforcing that Constitution. If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
11/11/22·10m 30s

PEL Presents NEM#183: Neil Gust (No. 2, Heatmiser) Walks Around

Neil is known as the long-time collaborator of the late Elliot Smith in the Portland band Heatmiser, which released three albums and an EP starting in 1993. Then Neil fronted the band No. 2 for two albums before taking a break until recently from music. We discuss "You Might Be Right" (and listen at the end to "I'm on a Mission") from the new No. 2 album First Love, "Critical Mass" from No Memory (1999), and "Why Did I Decide to Stay" by Heatmiser from Cop and Speeder (1994). Intro: "Rest My Head Against the Wall" by Heatmiser from Mic City Sons (1996). Hear more at no2music.bandcamp.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsors: Upgrade your showering at nebia.com/nem (code NEM). Check out the Unsung Podcast for more music chatting.
08/11/22·1h 4m

Ep. 303: H.L.A. Hart on the Foundations of Law (Part Two)

Continuing on "Positivism and the Separation of Law and Morals" (1958) and The Concept of Law (1961), ch. 5 and 6. If law is not based on morality, then why obey the law? What makes a legal system exist at all, as opposed to a lawless state? Is saying something is legally required just a way of predicting that people will generally obey it? Get more at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to get ad-free episodes and tons of bonus discussion including the supporter-exclusive part three to this episode. Sponsor: Get 10% off a month of therapy at BetterHelp.com/partially.
07/11/22·52m 16s

Pretty Much Pop #136: Nathan Fielder's "The Rehearsal"

Mark, Lawrence, Sarahlyn, and Al convene an emergency podcast recording to react to this brilliant, mind-blowing, possibly immoral HBO comedy docuseries, wherein Fielder supposedly helps ordinary people rehearse difficult personal confrontations. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by subscribing via Apple Podcasts to the Mark Lintertainment Channel.
01/11/22·48m 11s

Ep. 303: H.L.A. Hart on the Foundations of Law (Part One)

On "Positivism and the Separation of Law and Morals" (1958) and The Concept of Law (1961), ch. 5 and 6. What's the relationship between law and morality? If law isn't founded on morality, what is it founded on? Hart's legal positivism makes a sharp distinction between law as a human invention and morality. Get more at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to get ad-free episodes and tons of bonus discussion. Sponsor: Try the Mind Escape podcast to explore consciousness and fringe narratives.
31/10/22·44m 4s

PEL Presents Philosophy vs. Improv #41: Situatedness in Three Persons w/ Sarah Shockey

What is personhood? How can a group best collaboratively invent a scene? Sarah is a host of Marty and Sarah Love Wrestling and a repeat guest on Hello From the Magic Tavern. We fit in THREE scenes, some discussion of the various layers of what it is for something to be (or not be) person, and some musings about the weather and such. Mark philosophizes at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Bill improvises (and teaches) at chicagoimprovstudio.com. Hear more at philosophyimprov.com. Support the podcast to get all our post-game discussions and other bonus stuff.
30/10/22·58m 7s

PEL Presents NEM#182: Allan and Barb Vest Together as doubleVee

Through the 00's and four studio albums, Allan led the "baroque pop" Oklahoma band Starlight Mints. Then he met his wife Barb; as doubleVee, they've released two albums and an EP since 2017. The three of us talk about "The Middle Side of Me" from Treat Her Strangely (2022), then the title track from Jack the Rider (2017), then "Submarine #3" by Starlight Mints from The Dream That Stuff Was Made Of (2000). End song: "Map the Channels" from Songs for Birds and Bats (2019). Intro: "Eyes of the Night" by Starlight Mints from Drowaton (2006). More at doublevee.net. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsors: Buy and sell music products like beats, loops, etc. at beatstars.com/NEM, which is free for beginners, or get a free one-month virtual store using code NEM. Upgrade your showering at nebia.com/nem (code NEM).
30/10/22·1h 4m

PREMIUM-Ep. 302: Erasmus Praises Foolishness (Part Three)

Mark, Wes, and eventually Dylan recap The Praise of Folly, getting into Erasmus' ambivalent take on asceticism. In the full episode, we get seriously personal and cover his sexism and comments on love, the folly of fandom, and the role of humor in philosophy. If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
29/10/22·10m 30s

Ep. 302: Erasmus Praises Foolishness (Part Two)

Continuing on The Praise of Folly with guest Nathan Gilmour. Can foolishness actually make us more prudent? Is it necessary for us to all get along in the world and accomplish things? Erasmus critiques pretentious, performative theologians among many others. Get more at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to get ad-free episodes and tons of bonus discussion including the supporter-exclusive part three to this episode.
24/10/22·47m 11s

Ep. 302: Erasmus Praises Foolishness (Part One)

On Desiderius Erasmus' The Praise of Folly (1509), featuring Mark, Wes, Dylan, and Nathan Gilmour from the Christian Humanist podcast. Does some amount of foolishness enhance life? Get more at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to get ad-free episodes and tons of bonus discussion. Sponsor: Visit Shopify.com/pel to start your free trial growing your business.
17/10/22·46m 5s

PEL Presents PMP#135: The Breaking Bad-O-Verse

Given the end of Better Call Saul, Mark, Lawrence Ware, Sarahlyn Bruck, and Al Baker discuss this strange TV "franchise" that amazingly produced a prequel that was arguably better than the original. We cover the characterization and pacing, novelistic TV vs. not having a plot roadmap in advance, and whether we want to see another installment in this world. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by subscribing via Apple Podcasts to the Mark Lintertainment Channel.
16/10/22·46m 16s

PREMIUM-PEL Representation Nightcap October 2022

Mark, Wes, and Dylan explore the question, "Is it necessary for us to have representatives of an affected group with us as guests when we talk about an issue in philosophy that affects that group?" What do you think? If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
14/10/22·16m 33s

PEL Presents PvI#40: Rules and Voices with Stephen West (Philosophize This!)

Stephen West from the juggernaut Philosophize This! podcast joins Mark and Bill to learn to say no and talk about reason vs. emotion in grounding ethics. What do the voices in your head (or at your lunch table) say to you? Mark philosophizes at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Bill improvises (and teaches) at chicagoimprovstudio.com. Hear more at philosophyimprov.com. Support the podcast to get all our post-game discussions and other bonus stuff.
13/10/22·50m 6s

Ep. 301: Is Abortion Morally Permissible? (Part Three)

Jenny Hansen joins us to cover "On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion" by Mary Anne Warren (1973), with more thoughts on "A Defense of Abortion" (1971) by Judith Jarvis Thomson. Get more at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to get ad-free episodes and tons of bonus discussion including a supporter-exclusive Nightcap discussion of representation on our episodes: Is having a woman join us essential for a topic like this? Sponsor: Get 10% off a month of therapy at BetterHelp.com/partially.
10/10/22·49m 7s

PEL Presents PMP#134: Unpopular Music Genre Fandom

With the dissolution of popular music culture by the Internet, what is it now to be into music genres that aren't currently popular? Is it still an act of rebellion, or is even that passé?  Mark is joined by composer/multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Segel from Camper van Beethoven, philosopher Matt Teichman of the Elucidations podcast, and musician and Internet DJ Steve Petrinko to talk about our relation to the mainstream, the different types of unpopular music (popular 30 years ago vs. never popular avant garde), post-irony, and more. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by subscribing via Apple Podcasts to the Mark Lintertainment Channel. Sponsor: Get a huge discount and free month at NordVPN.com/pmp.
07/10/22·53m 4s

Ep. 301: Is Abortion Morally Permissible? (Part Two)

Continuing on Judith Jarvis Thomson's "A Defense of Abortion" (1971), plus Don Marquis' "Why Abortion is Immoral" (1989) and a summary of Mary Anne Warren's "On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion" (1973), which we'll continue next week in part three with Jenny Hansen. Get more at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to get ad-free episodes and tons of bonus discussion.
03/10/22·43m 23s

PEL Presents PvI#39: Cutting Edge Post-Patternation

Mark and Bill break former patterns by each bringing in not a lesson but a question, which we knew about beforehand, and those questions are about pattern-breaking and about what current philosophers worry about. With special surprising scenes conveying cutting-edge podcasting/instructional techniques. Mark philosophizes at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Bill improvises (and teaches) at chicagoimprovstudio.com. Hear more at philosophyimprov.com. Support the podcast to get all our post-game discussions and other bonus stuff.
02/10/22·49m 24s

PEL Presents NEM#181: Robyn Hitchcock Forgets Himself, Sharply

Robyn has been producing a distinctive flavor of very British rock with surrealist lyrics for 35+ albums since 1979. We discuss "The Raging Muse" (and close by listening to "The Shuffle Man") from Shufflemania (2022), "Mad Shelly's Letterbox" from Robyn Hitchcock (2017), "Television" from Spooked (2004), and "Glass" from Fegmainia! (1985). Intro: "I Wanna Destroy You" by The Soft Boys from Underwater Moonlight (1980). More at robynhitchcock.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsor: Upgrade your showering at nebia.com/nem (code NEM).
30/09/22·1h 14m

PEL Presents NEM#180: Rebecca Pidgeon's Inner Speech

Rebecca has balanced her musical career with her acting career since the mid '80s, starting in Scotland with Ruby Blue and then moving to New York in 1989 and releasing 10+ solo albums. We discuss "Silent Sound" from Parts of Speech Pieces of Sound (2022), the title track to the Stark Naked EP (2020), and "24 Hours of Love" from New York Girls' Club (1996). End song: "You Have Got My Number" from Blue Dress On (2013). Intro: "So Unlike Me" by Ruby Blue from Glances Askances (1987). More at rebeccapidgeonmusic.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsors: Buy and sell music products like beats, loops, etc. at beatstars.com/NEM, which is free for beginners, or get a free one-month virtual store using code NEM. Upgrade your showering at nebia.com/nem (code NEM).
26/09/22·57m 54s

Ep. 301: Is Abortion Morally Permissible? (Part One)

We discuss widely read papers about abortion, including an excerpt from Roe v. Wade (1973) and Judith Jarvis Thomson's "A Defense of Abortion" (1971). Get more at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to get ad-free episodes and tons of bonus discussion.
26/09/22·49m 16s

PEL Presents PMP#133: Predator (Films) and Prey

Thanks to the new film Prey, we now have six films (starting with 1987's Predator) featuring the dreadlocked, camouflaged, infrared-seeing race of alien hunters who have apparently been flying around collecting our skulls for 300 years. Mark is joined by Lawrence Ware, Sarahlyn Bruck, and Al Baker to talk about the appeal of this franchise and what makes a good Predator film. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by subscribing via Apple Podcasts to the Mark Lintertainment Channel. Sponsor: Get a huge discount and free month at NordVPN.com/pmp.
25/09/22·47m 44s

PREMIUM-Ep. 300: Nietzsche on Relating to History (Part Three)

Mark, Wes, and Dylan conclude our discussion of “On the Uses and Disadvantages of History for Life” (1874). What is the practical upshot of Nietzsche's recommendations for using history well and not letting it overwhelm you? If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
23/09/22·11m 5s

Ep. 300: Nietzsche on Relating to History (Part Two)

Continuing on "On the Uses and Disadvantages of History for Life" (1874), we get into the antiquarian use of history and the critical approach to history and Nietzsche's humanistic goals in his essay. How can we use history to help refine human nature? Get more at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to get ad-free episodes and tons of bonus discussion including the supporter-exclusive part three to this episode. Sponsor: Visit NordVPN.com/PEL for a risk-free massively discounted 2-year plan, plus one free month. Visit Shopify.com/pel to start your free trial growing your business.
19/09/22·44m 19s

PEL Presents Philosophy vs. Improv #38: The Bones of Tragedy with Jay O. Sanders

Jay Sanders, famed not only for his appearances on Law & Order: Criminal Intent and The Day After Tomorrow and many many other screens and stages, joins us to talk tragedy, how he's applied the lessons of improv to his scripted acting, and more. Jump into the improv maelstrom with us! In the post-game, which just this once, we're sharing with the general public, we more about Jay's projects and getting recognized on the street for things. Mark philosophizes at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Bill improvises (and teaches) at chicagoimprovstudio.com. Hear more at philosophyimprov.com. Support the podcast to get all our post-game discussions and other bonus stuff.
18/09/22·1h 4m

Ep. 300: Nietzsche on Relating to History (Part One)

In this live-streamed show, we discuss “On the Uses and Disadvantages of History for Life” (1874), aka Untimely Meditation #2. What is the healthiest way to relate to our history? Nietzsche describes some approaches to history which meet human needs but which can also become oppressive. Get more at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to get ad-free episodes and tons of bonus discussion. Sponsors: Get 10% off a month of therapy at BetterHelp.com/partially. Download the Zocdoc app free to find a top rated doctor at Zocdoc.com/PEL.
12/09/22·44m 1s

PEL Presents PMP#132: "Too Soon" in Comedy?

To honor the death of Gilbert Gottfried, we discuss jokes like the 9-11 one he was pilloried for. Can comedy really be "too soon" in relation to its tragic subject matter? Is comedy really tragedy plus time, or are jokes in fact most needed immediately when pain and discomfort are most acute? Mark is joined by three comedians: Adam Sank (of the LGBTQ-themed Adam Sank Show), Twitch-streaming songster Meri Amber, and returning guest Daniel Lobell (graphic novelist and podcaster). We get into tailoring jokes for an audience, coping with grief, triggering, and more. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by subscribing via Apple Podcasts to the Mark Lintertainment Channel. Sponsor: Get a huge discount and free month at NordVPN.com/pmp.
08/09/22·57m 23s

REISSUE/RE-EDIT-Ep. 1: "The Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living"

To celebrate (and postpone) our big ep. 300, here's a brand new mix and edit by Tyler Hislop (and Mark) from the original voice files of our very first discussion, covering Plato's "Apology." Recorded by Mark, Seth, and Wes on April 19, 2009. Contact us to let us know what you think of it. Get more at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to get ad-free episodes and tons of bonus discussion. Sponsors: Get a discount on the #1 meal kit for eating well at GreenChef.com/PEL135. Visit NordVPN.com/PEL for a risk-free massively discounted 2-year plan, plus one free month.
05/09/22·1h 18m

PEL Presents NEM#179: Mike Lindup's Atlantean Visions and Level 42

Mike played keyboards and shared lead vocals for synth jazz-pop Level 42's initial run for nine albums from 1982-1994 (and rejoined in 2006) and is working on his fourth solo release. We talk about his new single, "Atlantia," plus "Madness" from On the One (2011) and Level 42's "Weave Your Spell" from The Pursuit Of Accidents (1982). End song: "Heart of the Matter" from Conversations with Silence (2003). Intro: "Something About You" by Level 42 from World Machine (1985). More at mikelindup.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon.  Sponsor: Upgrade your showering at nebia.com/nem (code NEM).
04/09/22·1h 18m

PEL Presents NEM#178: Chastity Brown in Wonderment

Chastity has since 2007 released seven albums from Minneapolis that she calls "new blues," but which spread into pop, Americana, soul, and Irish-flavored spirituals. We discuss "Wonderment" and listen at the end to "Back Seat" from Sing to the Walls (2022), "Drive Slow" from Silhouette of Sirens (2017), "Many Prayers" from Do the Best You Can (2007). Intro: "Colorado" (a 2014 single included on 2017's Silhouette of Sirens). More at chastitybrownmusic.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsors: Buy and sell music products like beats, loops, etc. at beatstars.com/NEM, which is free for beginners, or get a free one-month virtual store using code NEM. Get 15% off at at MasterClass.com/examined.
04/09/22·1h 6m

PREMIUM-Ep. 299: Philosophy in Shakespeare's "Timon of Athens" (Part Three)

Mark, Wes, and Dylan conclude our discussion of Shakespeare's play. Chiefly, we talk about the exchanges about art in the play: How does art relate to life and to commerce? If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
03/09/22·11m 40s

PEL Presents Philosophy vs. Improv #37: Season One Final Round

It's all down to this. Which discipline, which host will prevail?  All stakes are on the table, and if this thinking isn't critical enough, if these scenes aren't congruent enough, if we fail the big scan-tron test that is life, then it's all been for nothing. Tune in for this, the most exciting single podcast episode you've ever heard in your whole goddamned life. Mark philosophizes at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Bill improvises (and teaches) at chicagoimprovstudio.com. Hear more at philosophyimprov.com. Support the podcast to get all our post-game discussions and other bonus stuff.
01/09/22·55m 19s

Ep. 299: Philosophy in Shakespeare's "Timon of Athens" (Part Two)

Continuing to discuss the play, now with guest Sarah Manton. We get into Cynicism, the Alcibiades sub-plot, a feminist angle on the play, and more. Get more at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to get ad-free episodes and tons of bonus discussion including the supporter-exclusive part three to this episode. Sponsor: Visit NordVPN.com/PEL for a risk-free massively discounted 2-year plan, plus one free month.
29/08/22·52m 38s

PEL Presents PMP#131: Hope for Jordan Peele's "Nope"

Jordan Peele's launch from a solid comedy base with Key & Peele to the unexpected Get Out was so impressive that he's generated a huge amount of good will that allows him to play the full-on auteur with huge budgets. Did that pay off with his third film, the monster movie Nope? Mark is joined by Lawrence Ware, Sarahlyn Bruck, and Nicole Pometti. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by subscribing via Apple Podcasts to the Mark Lintertainment Channel.
24/08/22·49m 7s

Ep. 299: Philosophy in Shakespeare's "Timon of Athens" (Part One)

Jonathan Bate, editor of the new RSC complete Shakespeare, joins us to talk about the role of money in the play, the psychology, cynicism, and more. Listen to our performance of the play first. Get more at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to get ad-free episodes and tons of bonus discussion.
22/08/22·42m 37s

PEL Presents PMP#130: CODA and Deaf Culture

The 2022 Oscar winner for Best Picture was CODA, a story about a musically inclined girl with a deaf family. Kambri Crews, herself a CODA, joins your host Mark, Sarahlyn Bruck, and Al Baker to talk about how deaf culture interacts with film. Films tend to show deafness as tragic, which is not necessarily how the deaf community views themselves. We talk about balancing the demands of a story, how real life works, and the need for positive representation.  For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by subscribing via Apple Podcasts to the Mark Lintertainment Channel.
20/08/22·51m 28s

Shakespeare's "Timon of Athens" Audioplay (Part Two)

Continuing our performance of William Shakespeare's play, finishing things up with acts 4 and 5 plus some post-performance discussion with the cast. Start with part one. Get more at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to get ad-free episodes and tons of bonus discussion. We'll be live-streaming video for our big ep. 300 on Friday, Aug. 19 at 8pm ET. More info at partiallyexaminedlife.com/pel-live. Sponsors: Maximize the impact of your charitable giving via GiveWell.org; choose "podcast" and enter "Partially Examined Life." Download the Zocdoc app free to find a top rated doctor at Zocdoc.com/PEL.
15/08/22·1h 19m

PEL Presents Philosophy vs. Improv #36: Authentic Authenticity w/ Skye Cleary

Skye teaches and Columbia and the City University of New York, and she recently published How to Be Authentic: Simone de Beauvoir and the Quest for Fulfillment (which is very good, and NOT snake oil). She joins Mark and Bill to talk about what authenticity might mean for an existentialist, how it relates to truth, responsibility, and picking a theme for your birthday party. Mark philosophizes at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Bill improvises (and teaches) at chicagoimprovstudio.com. Hear more at philosophyimprov.com. Support the podcast to get all our post-game discussions and other bonus stuff.
14/08/22·55m 34s

Shakespeare's "Timon of Athens" Audioplay Feat. Jay O. Sanders, Michael Ian Black, and Michael Tow (Part One)

The PEL players do an unrehearsed reading of Shakespeare's least popular play, which is about money and cynicism. This part includes Acts 1-3. Get more at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to get ad-free episodes and tons of bonus discussion.
08/08/22·1h 22m

PREMIUM-Ficino-Flavored Nightcap Early August 2022

Mark and Wes consider more passages from Ficino's Commentary on Plato's Symposium on Love, getting into Ficino's religious psychology and how this relates to Kierkegaard's. If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion (in which we cover more of Ficino, plus PEL Live, our upcoming audioplay, podcast listenership rankings, and more), sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
05/08/22·12m 38s

PEL Presents NEM#177: Susan Cattaneo Leaves Nashville and Finds Herself

Susan teaches songwriting at Berklee and has released six albums since 2009. She wanted to be a Nashville songwriter, decided to then sing country songs herself, but that felt phony, so she remade her whole style. We discuss "Broken Things" (and listen at the end to "Time + Love + Gravity") from All Is Quiet (2022), "Revival" from Haunted Heart (2014), "Shave" from Heaven to Heartache (2011). Intro: "Work Hard Love Harder" from The Hammer & the Heart (2017). More at susancattaneo.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. The supporter version adds a bonus song with more discussion with Susan. Sponsor: Upgrade your showering at nebia.com/nem (code NEM).
04/08/22·1h 11m

Ep. 298: Marsilio Ficino on Love (Part Two)

Continuing on Commentary on Plato's Symposium on Love with guest Peter Adamson. We consider F's views on beauty and fill out his neo-Platonic epistemology. Get more at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to get ad-free episodes and tons of bonus discussion.
01/08/22·50m 18s

PEL Presents PMP#129: Wherefore the Cover Song?

Is re-playing or re-recording a song written and performed by someone else an act of love or predation? Mark is joined by Too Much Joy's Tim Quirk, the Gig Gab Podcast's Dave Hamilton, and the author of A Philosophy of Cover Songs Prof. P.D. Magnus to talk about different types of and purposes for covers, look a little at the history, share favorites, and more. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by subscribing via Apple Podcasts to the Mark Lintertainment Channel. Sponsors: Find a top-rated doctor by visiting ZocDoc.com/PMP and downloading the free ZocDoc app. Check your rate for a loan at upstart.com/PRETTY.
29/07/22·1h 0m

Ep. 298: Marsilio Ficino on Love (Part One)

On Commentary on Plato's Symposium on Love (1475), with guest Peter Adamson. What is the role of love in the universe? Ficino tries to combine Plato's theory of love as reproduction in the presence of beauty with an unorthodox take on Christian theology. Get more at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to get ad-free episodes and tons of bonus discussion..
25/07/22·45m 46s

Philosophy vs. Improv #35: Submarine Observations w/ Chris Rathjen

We talk about observations and how they relate to theories and other types of preconception. Is there such a thing as pure observation?  We tour a submarine and plan a party. There is no Chumbawamba in either case. Improver Chris starred in the Improvised Star Trek podcast and has been a recurrent guest and now an editor on Hello From the Magic Tavern. Mark philosophizes at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Bill improvises (and teaches) at chicagoimprovstudio.com. Hear more at philosophyimprov.com. Support the podcast to get all our post-game discussions and other bonus stuff.
24/07/22·55m 28s

PREMIUM-Ep. 297: Heidegger on the Human Condition (Part Three)

Concluding our close reading of Being and Time, on ch. 3, sec. 15 and 16 on the world as "ready to hand" or equipment. If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
23/07/22·10m 40s

PEL Presents NEM#176: Bill Lloyd's Power Pop from Nashville

Bill has been a hit-making country songwriter for his duo Foster and Lloyd as well as artists like Martina McBride and Trisha Yearwood, but his true love has been power pop, starting with Sgt. Arms (our intro song is the 1982 single, "Caught in Traffic," a 1982 single) through his 10+ solo albums. We discuss the title track from Don't Kill the Messenger (2020), "What Time Won't Heal" (co-written with Graham Gouldman) from Working the Long Game (2018), and "Off and Running" a track from the expanded version of his first solo album Feeling the Elephant (1987). End song: "Rough Edges" by Cimarron 615 (a 2022 take on a song that he wrote with Rusty Young and Radney Foster for the band Poco). More at billlloydmusic.net. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Supporters will get a bonus song with more discussion with Bill about his collaborations and formative projects. Sponsors: Upgrade your showering at nebia.com/nem (code NEM). Get 15% off at at MasterClass.com/examined.
22/07/22·1h 9m

Ep. 297: Heidegger on the Human Condition (Part Two)

We continue on Being and Time, now in ch. 2 on what "the world" is in our Being-in-the-World and so what it is for us to encounter objects and how this is different than, e.g. the interaction of two physical objects. Get more at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to get ad-free episodes and tons of bonus discussion including the supporter-exclusive part three to this episode.
18/07/22·44m 0s

PEL Presents PMP#128: Jurassic Shlock

Mark is joined by NY Time entertainment writer/philosophy prof Lawrence Ware, novelist/ex-actor Sarahlyn Bruck, and filmmaker/Remakes, Reboots, and Revivals host Rolando Nieves to discuss the Jurassic Park franchise in light of the new film, Jurassic World: Dominion. Is the mere presence of cool dinosaurs enough to justify a film, or are these actually good films by any standard? What childhood itch do these scratch? How do these films work as sci-fi and political commentary? For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by subscribing via Apple Podcasts to the Mark Lintertainment Channel. Sponsors: Get 15% off great wireless earbuds at BuyRaycon.com/pretty. Find a top-rated doctor by visiting ZocDoc.com/PMP and downloading the free ZocDoc app.
17/07/22·47m 29s

PEL Presents PMP#127: You Down With Downton Abbey?

We discuss the appeal of this Julian-Fellowes-penned British historical drama in light of the new film. Is this really "a new era" or just more of the same, and is that bad? Mark is joined by returning guest Jon Lamoreaux (host of The Hustle music podcast), plus a couple: former newscaster Corrinne MacLeod and her husband, the photographer Michael MacLeod. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by subscribing via Apple Podcasts to the Mark Lintertainment Channel.
15/07/22·51m 25s

Ep. 297: Heidegger on the Human Condition (Part One)

We continue on Being and Time (1927), now into ch. 1 (sec. 9) on Existenz and how our way of Being is different than that of the objects of science, and what this means for authenticity and choice. Get more at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to get ad-free episodes and tons of bonus discussion.
11/07/22·41m 1s

PEL Presents Philosophy vs. Improv #34: Possible Diners w/ Barry Lam

Barry hosts Hi-Phi Nation, and his most recent season had a run on David Lewis, America's foremost philosopher of possible worlds.  So we talk about that notion that Hollywood has had so much fun with lately, and then we have fun with it in a couple of variations on a classic diner scene. Cheese salad, anyone? Mark philosophizes at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Bill improvises (and teaches) at chicagoimprovstudio.com. Hear more at philosophyimprov.com. Support the podcast to get all our post-game discussions and other bonus stuff.
10/07/22·49m 31s

Ep. 296: Heidegger Questions Being (Part Two)

Continuing with our close reading of Being and Time, we talk about why time is the focus of Heidegger's analysis of the human condition, what are phenomena, and so what his phenomenological method looks like and why it must investigate us in our "average everydayness." Hear more PEL at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Get episodes ad-free with tons of bonus content at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
04/07/22·1h 0m

NEM-Pretty Much Pop Crossover: So-Called Greatest Albums Feat. Mobley, Noah Berlatsky, Jon Lamoreaux

It's a music discussion episode! How does canonization work in popular music? Is Rolling Stone's 500 Best Albums of All Time list just a modest record of the favorite albums of people associated with Rolling Stone? Is it a statement of what “experts” in popular music enjoy? Does it reflect English-American popularity, and what responsibility to list-makers have to experience and include world music, indie music, and other music by those not powerful enough to have promotional backing? Mark is joined by  journalist Noah Berlatsky (who wrote The Best Greatest Albums of All Time Ever), musical artist Mobley, and The Hustle podcast host Jon Lamoreaux to discuss the album as a format, music curation, the subjectivity of taste, and our childhood love affairs with particular albums. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsor: Upgrade your showering at nebia.com/nem (code NEM).
02/07/22·54m 34s

Ep. 296: Heidegger's Questions Being (Part One)

Continuing from our overview in ep. 32, we do a close reading on selections from the introduction of Martin Heidegger's Being and Time to consider Heidegger's Being in relation to Aristotle's Categories, what questioning means, and some of Heidegger's basic terms. Get more at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to get ad-free episodes and tons of bonus discussion.
27/06/22·49m 49s

PEL Presents Philosophy vs. Improv #33: Virtuous Garbage Director w/ Jack Newell

Bill is a sad but steadfast street sweeper. Mark has secret character traits. Filmmaker Jack C. Newell is our inaugural non-philosopher, non-improviser guest, and his film knowledge leads to us talking about ethics in terms of film tropes plus some meta-historical-reenactment. Mark philosophizes at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Bill improvises (and teaches) at chicagoimprovstudio.com. Hear more at philosophyimprov.com. Support the podcast to get all our post-game discussions and other bonus stuff.
23/06/22·58m 34s

PEL Presents NEM#175: Richie Ramone Builds His Own Brand

Richie Reinhardt drummed for The Ramones for three albums and has released two solo albums and some singles. We discuss his new single "Not Afraid," his 2013 solo version of "I Know Better Now" from Entitled (2013), "Human Kind" by Ramones from Too Tough to Die (1984), and "I Fix This” from Cellophane (2016). Intro: "Somebody Put Something in My Drink" by Ramones from Animal Boy (1986). End song: "The Last Time" (a 2018 single). For more see richieramone.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsors: Upgrade your showering at nebia.com/nem (code NEM). Get 15% off at at MasterClass.com/examined.
23/06/22·1h 1m

PEL Presents PMP#126: Political Sci-Fi in "The Expanse"

On the novel series and TV show written by James S.A. Corey (aka Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck). Mark is joined by fact-checker Al Baker, educator Sabrina Weiss, and voting rights guy/former reality TV editor Colin Cole. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by subscribing via Apple Podcasts to the Mark Lintertainment Channel. Sponsor: Find a top-rated doctor by visiting ZocDoc.com/PMP and downloading the free ZocDoc app.
21/06/22·1h 1m

REISSUE-Ep. 32: Heidegger on Being (w/ new Intro)

Discussing Martin Heidegger's Being and Time (1927) back in 2011, mostly the intro and Ch. 1 and 2. When philosophers try to figure out what really exists (God? matter? numbers?), Heidegger thinks they've forgotten a question that really should come first: what is it to exist? He thinks that instead of asking "What is Being?" we ask, as in a scientific context, "what is this thing?" This approach then poisons our ability to understand ourselves or the world that we as human beings actually inhabit, as opposed to the abstraction that science makes out of this. But first, a 2022 retrospective introduction to situate this with regard to our eps. 296/297 which will revisit this text with some close reading. Get a longer version of that intro and other vintage episodes like this by becoming a PEL supporter. Sponsor: Learn about St. John's College at sjc.edu/pel.
20/06/22·1h 58m

PREMIUM-Ep. 295: Kant on Preventing War (Part Three)

Concluding on Kant's "Perpetual Peace," plus Jurgen Habermas' "Kant's Idea of Perpetual Peace, with the Benefit of Two Hundred Years' Hindsight." If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
18/06/22·9m 59s

PEL Presents NEM#174: Drew Grow’s Subconscious is the Through Line

Portland's Drew Grow has put out around 10 albums since the 90s, gradually developing his jagged, visceral style through several projects. We discuss the title track from Cockroach in a Ghost Town, the debut album from his new band Slang with Janet Wiess, then "Abandon" from the eponymous album by Modern Kin (2014), and "Spider" from his debut solo album Next Lips (2007). End song: "King Gunn" also from the new Slang album. Intro: "Lights" by Careen from Crash Couture (2005). Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsors: Upgrade your showering at nebia.com/nem (code NEM). Get 15% off at at MasterClass.com/examined.
14/06/22·1h 1m

Ep. 295: Kant on Preventing War (Part Two)

Continuing on Immanuel Kant's essay "Perpetual Peace," we go further into how Kant's politics relate to his ethics and consider his actual policy proposals: each state must be a republic, they should join in a federation, and we all owe each other hospitality as a cosmopolitan right. Get more at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to get ad-free episodes and tons of bonus discussion including the supporter-exclusive part three to this episode.
13/06/22·45m 26s

Ep. 295: Kant on Preventing War (Part One)

On Immanuel Kant's essay "Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch" (1795). Do nations have the "right" to go to war? What principles ground just international relations, and are there structures and agreements that we can embrace to prevent prevent future wars? Get more at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to get ad-free episodes and tons of bonus discussion.
06/06/22·39m 49s

PREMIUM-Ep. 294: Quine on Science vs. Epistemology (Part Three)

Concluding on W.V.O. Quine's "Epistemology Naturalized" (1969). We talk more about the attempt to found epistemology on psychology.  If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
03/06/22·14m 6s

(sub)Text: Escape into Art in Keats’s "Ode to a Nightingale"

Second in our series on the odes of John Keats is Ode to a Nightingale, in which Keats imagines a journey into the realm of negative capability, a concept introduced in our previous episode on Ode to a Grecian Urn. Keats hears a nightingale’s song and it inspires him to ponder such questions as, what makes an ideal artist? How might we access the world of artistic creation? How does art unite humanity across the ages? Wes and Erin discuss whether artists, however inspired, can escape the anxieties of a potential audience. The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon. Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website Thanks to Tyler Hislop for the audio editing on this episode.
03/06/22·1h 24m

PEL Presents PMP#124: What Is Batman?

In light of the recent release of Matt Reeves' film The Batman, we consider the strange alternation of darkness and camp that is Batman. Is he even a super hero? What's with his rogues' gallery? What's with DC's anti-world-building? Mark is joined by philosophy prof/NY Times entertainment writer Lawrence Ware, improv comedian/educator Anthony LeBlanc, and Marketing Over Coffee host John J. Wall. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by subscribing via Apple Podcasts to the Mark Lintertainment Channel. Sponsor: Lower your monthly credit payments at upstart.com/PRETTY.
02/06/22·47m 10s

Ep. 294: Quine on Science vs. Epistemology (Part Two)

Continuing on "Epistemology Naturalized" (1969), we work further through the text, getting into what this new psychology-rooted epistemology might look like and how Quine changed empiricism. Plus, more of us trying to figure out his claims about the indeterminacy of translation. Get more at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to get ad-free episodes and tons of bonus discussion including the supporter-exclusive part three to this episode.
30/05/22·34m 57s

Ep. 294: Quine on Science vs. Epistemology (Part One)

On W.V.O. Quine's "Epistemology Naturalized" (1969). What justifies scientific theory? Not theory-free observations, as Quine shows us by considering how we figure out foreign languages. Instead of basing science on epistemology, Quine thought we need to make epistemology part of science. Get more at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to get ad-free episodes and tons of bonus discussion.
23/05/22·44m 43s

Philosophy vs. Improv #32: "On the Standard of [Bad] Taste" w/ Babette Babich

Babette teaches at Fordham and recently edited the collection "Reading David Hume's 'On The Standard of Taste,'" which Mark made use of for PEL#289. So, more philosophically beefy than our typical PvI episode, and yet also live and hence unpredictable. Taste it!  Mark philosophizes at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Bill improvises (and teaches) at chicagoimprovstudio.com. Hear more at philosophyimprov.com. Support the podcast to get all our post-game discussions and other bonus stuff.
22/05/22·54m 57s

PEL Presents PMP#123: We Are All Jackass

Mark is joined by comedian Matty Goldberg; filmmaker/podcaster Rolando Nieves; and comedy juggler Josh Casey to discuss the franchise that began in 2000 in light of the new film Jackass Forever. This is perhaps our sole remaining form of popular entertainment that relies on sheer physicality, without the gamesmanship of sports. What's the appeal of this divisive extreme stunt/comedy revue? For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by subscribing via Apple Podcasts to the Mark Lintertainment Channel. Sponsor: Find a top-rated doctor by visiting ZocDoc.com/PMP and downloading the free ZocDoc app.
19/05/22·51m 21s

PREMIUM-Ep. 293: Donna Haraway on Feminist Science (Part Two)

Continuing on "Situated Knowledges" and other essays with guest Lynda Olman. We try to get at the practical import of Olman's scheme and get further into her use of metaphors and what those mean for her critical stance. If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
16/05/22·10m 45s

PEL Presents NEM#172: Mark Stewart (The Pop Group): Mad Processing w/ Haikus

Mark led the Pop Group through two albums in the late 70s two later reunion album and has released nine solo albums of trippy, experimental dance music. We discuss "Rage of Angels" (feat. Front 242) from VS (2022), "Age of Miracles" by The Pop Group from Citizen Zombie (2015), and "Liberty City" by Mark Stewart & the Maffia from Learning to Cope with Cowardice (1983). End song: "Cast No Shadow (Leather Strip Mix)" by feat. Stephen Mallinder and Eric Random from VS. Intro: "She Is Beyond Good and Evil" by The Pop Group from Y (1979). More at markstewartmusic.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsors: Upgrade your showering at nebia.com/nem (code NEM). Get 15% off at at MasterClass.com/examined.
13/05/22·1h 7m

Ep. 293: Donna Haraway on Feminist Science (Part One)

On "Situated Knowledge" (1988), "A Cyborg Manifesto" (1985), etc. featuring guest Lynda Olman. What is scientific objectivity? Haraway rejects both relativism and traditional, "god's eye" objectivism in favor of a "cyborg" view that looks for alternate ways of seeing and acknowledges the ways that science and technology are tied to politics. Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support or via Apple Podcasts.
09/05/22·54m 12s

PEL Presents (SUB)TEXT: Work as Madness in “The Bridge on the River Kwai” (1957)

In the beginning, Colonel Nicholson seems to be a stickler for principle, willing to die rather than have his officers do menial labor in a Japanese prison camp. In the end, his principles seem to be a cover for personal vanity. He is willing to put his officers to work building a bridge for his enemies, as long as it leaves him with a legacy. The Bridge on the River Kwai is a reflection on the meaning of work, and whether the ravages of time, if not war, imply that being happy in one’s work—to use a phrase repeated several times in the film—is nothing more than futility and madness. Is work the key to freedom, or is it inevitably a form of bondage? How do we distinguish the desire to be creative from the desire for prestige? When is destroying something more creative than building it Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon or directly on the Apple Podcasts app. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website
08/05/22·55m 41s

PEL Presents PMP#122: Maus as Tragic Comics

We discuss Art Spiegelman's Maus (1980-91) and other war-related graphic novels like Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis (2000) and George Takei’s They Called Us Enemy (2019). Mark is joined by comics scholar Vi Burlew, comics blerd/acting coach Anthony LeBlanc, and comedian/graphic novelist Daniel Lobell. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by subscribing via Apple Podcasts to the Mark Lintertainment Channel. Sponsor: Lower your monthly credit payments at upstart.com/PRETTY.
06/05/22·51m 39s

PEL Presents NEM#171: Ben Vaughn's Primitive Fever Dreams

Ben has released over 20 albums of retro rock since the early '80s, written for TV soundtracks, produced bands like Ween, and hosts a radio show. We discuss "Wayne Fontana Was Wrong" from The World of Ben Vaughn (2022), "I’m Sorry (But So Is Brenda Lee)" from Vaughn Sings Vaughn (Vol. 1) (2007), "Too Sensitive For This World" from from Dressed in Black (1990), and "Candyman" by Alan Vega, Alex Chilton, Ben Vaughn, from Cubist Blues (1996). We listen to his lockdown single, "Dancing in My Mind." Intro: His 1985 single, "My First Band." For more, see benvaughn.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsor: Get 15% off at atMasterClass.com/examined.
04/05/22·1h 8m

PREMIUM-Ep. 292: Langer on Symbolic Music (Part Two)

Concluding on Susanne Langer's Philosophy in a New Key (ch. 8-10). We continue discussing whether and how music is symbolic. Sing along with us! If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
02/05/22·14m 58s

Ep. 292: Langer on Symbolic Music (Part One)

On Susanne Langer's Philosophy in a New Key (1942), ch. 8-10. Is music (the supposedly non-representational artform) a language? If it's "expressive," what exactly does it express? Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support or via Apple Podcasts.
25/04/22·47m 45s

PEL Presents PMP#121: Protesting Protest Songs

Are protest songs effective, either as protest or songs? Four songwriters including your host Mark Linsenmayer, Lilli Lewis, Rod Picott, and PMP's audio engineer Tyler Hislop discuss how protest works in various musical genres, who it's aimed at, and when it goes wrong. Has the day of the protest song passed, or is it alive and well? For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by subscribing via Apple Podcasts to the Mark Lintertainment Channel. Sponsor: Find a top-rated doctor by visiting ZocDoc.com/PMP and downloading the free ZocDoc app.
20/04/22·51m 16s

PREMIUM-Ep. 291: Cassirer and Langer on Myth and Ritual (Part Two)

Continuing our discussion on the symbolic value of religion and its antecedents, primary at this point discussing Susanne Langer's Philosophy in a New Key, ch. 7. If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
18/04/22·13m 5s

Ep. 291: Cassirer and Langer on Myth and Ritual (Part One)

On Ernst Cassirer's An Essay on Man (1944), ch. 6-7, and Susanne Langer's Philosophy in a New Key (1942), ch. 6-7. Why do people produce ritual, mythology, and religion? According to our authors, these are spontaneous, symbolic modes of self-expression. They're not opposed to rational, scientific thought, but are necessary preconditions for it. Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support or via Apple Podcasts. Sponsors: Get one month's access to a huge library of guided meditations at Headspace.com/PEL. Get 10% off a month of therapy at BetterHelp.com/partially. Learn about St. John's College at sjc.edu/pel.
11/04/22·44m 47s

PEL Presents NEM#170: Bob Mould From Hüsker Dü to Sugar to Now

Bob has released 20+ albums since the early '80s. We discuss  "Forecast of Rain" from Blue Hearts (2020), "I Don’t Know You Anymore" from Beauty & Ruin (2014), "JC Auto" by Sugar from Beaster (1993), and "In A Free Land" by Hüsker Dü, 1982 singe remixed for Savage Young Du (2017). End song: the title track to his new acoustic EP, The Ocean. Intro: "If I Can't Change Your Mind" by Sugar from Copper Blue (1992). For more see bobmould.com.  Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsors: Upgrade your showering at nebia.com/nem (code NEM). Get 15% off at at MasterClass.com/examined.
11/04/22·1h 3m

(SUB)TEXT: What Falls Upon the Living in James Joyce’s “The Dead”

In 1906, presumably finished with his short story collection Dubliners, James Joyce wrote to his brother with dissatisfaction that, though he set about to create a comprehensive portrait of Ireland’s capital city, he had not managed to render its famous, unrivaled hospitality. His efforts to rectify this omission resulted in “The Dead,” the book’s final story. It takes place chiefly at a party in the home of the elderly Morkan Sisters on the Feast of the Epiphany, and fittingly its central character, the Morkans’ nephew, Gabriel Conroy, will have his own epiphanic experience by the story’s end. Gabriel preaches about Irish hospitality in his after-dinner speech but does not realize that he will grapple with a stranger of sorts later that night. How might the virtue of hospitality include the need to incorporate difficult feelings about our families, our homelands, and ourselves? And is the story’s ending, with its incorporative vision of snow falling on both the living and the dead, hopeful or hopeless? Wes & Erin discuss. Thanks to our sponsor for this episode, Buck Mason. To get a free t-shirt with your first order, head over to buckmason.com/subtext.  Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon or directly on the Apple Podcasts app. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website
10/04/22·1h 3m

PEL Presents PMP#120: Dexter the Loveable Serial Killer

Mark is joined Lawrence Ware, Sarahlyn Bruck and Michael Paskaru to talk about the Showtime TV horror-dramedy shows inspired by Jeff Lindsay's novels, in light of the revival show Dexter: New Blood. People loved this character so much that they were very mad that he didn't die at the end of the show's initial run (2006-2013). What was the appeal of this killing-the-killers show? Love of justice? A parable about addiction? A compelling anti-hero? Did the revival do its job in fixing the original show?   For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by subscribing via Apple Podcasts to the Mark Lintertainment Channel. Sponsor: Lower your monthly credit payments at upstart.com/PRETTY.
07/04/22·48m 2s

PEL Presents PvI#29: Personal Panpsychism w/ Jack Symes

Panpsycast host Jack brings his promiscuous philosophy of mind to the show, wherein mind is here, there, and everywhere. But what does that mean? Skits about renting a flat for nefarious purposes and designing software for Nozick's experience machine reveal all! But the question remains... So what? You have to care! Mark philosophizes at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Bill improvises (and teaches) at chicagoimprovstudio.com. Hear more Philosophy vs. Improv. Support the podcast to get all our post-game discussions and other bonus stuff. Sponsor: Get 15% off premium earbuds at BuyRaycon.com/pvi.
05/04/22·53m 46s

PREMIUM-Ep. 290: Susanne Langer on Our Symbol-Making Nature (Part Two)

Continuing on Philosophy in a New Key (1942), ch. 1-5. Is symbolism the software running on the hardware of our senses, or are symbols baked even into that hardware? We talk pictures vs. symbols, types of symbol-pictures, and what it means for experience to be symbolic. If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
04/04/22·12m 29s

PEL Presents NEM#169: Wesley Stace (aka John Wesley Harding) Likes Words

Wesley started performing as John Wesley Harding in the late '80s (often eliciting comparisons in his early work to Elvis Costello), moved from England to the U.S. in 1991, and has 20+ releases, switching to his own name in 2013 as a result of his success as a novelist. We discuss "The Impossible She" (and end by listening to "Come Back Yesterday") from Late Style (2021), whose music was written by David Nagler; "When I Knew" from Wesley Stace (2013), and "Your Ghost (Don’t Scare Me No More)" from Awake (1998). Intro: The title track from Here Comes the Groom (1990). For more see wesleystace.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsors: Upgrade your showering at nebia.com/nem (code NEM).
01/04/22·1h 17m

Ep. 290: Susanne Langer on Our Symbol-Making Nature (Part One)

On Philosophy in a New Key (1942), ch. 1-5, plus as background most of us looked at Ernst Cassirer's An Essay on Man (1944), ch. 1-5. What does it mean to say that humanity is homo symbolicus, the symbol-making creature? Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support or via Apple Podcasts.
28/03/22·49m 6s

PEL Presents PMP#119: Disgraced Artists Like Cosby

Comedian Genevieve Joy, philosopher/NY Times entertainment writer Lawrence Ware, and novelist Sarahlyn Bruck join your host Mark to discuss how we deal with entertainers like R. Kelly, Michael Jackson, Woody Allen, et al. We all watched W. Kamau Bell's Showtime documentary We Need to Talk About Cosby. Can we separate the art from the artist? For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by subscribing via Apple Podcasts to the Mark Lintertainment Channel. Sponsors: Find a doctor at zocdoc.com/PMP. Lower your monthly credit payments at upstart.com/PRETTY.
23/03/22·48m 6s

PEL Presents NEM#168: Clive Nolan (Arena, Pendragon, etc.) Moves Forward Relentlessly

Clive is a keyboardist, orchestrator, singer, and composer of three musicals and several concept albums as a solo artist or collaborator. He's played with Pendragon since 1986 and has led the bands Shadowlands and Arena since the 90s. We discuss "Dragon Fire" from his most recent solo album, Song of the Wildlands (2021), "Silent Words" from his musical King's Ransom (2017), and "The Tinder Box" by Arena from The Seventh Degree of Separation (2011). We conclude by listening to "A Descent into Madness" by Clive Nolan and Oliver Wakeman from Dark Fables (2021). Intro: "The Key" by Strangers on a Train from The Key Part 1: Prophecy (1990). More at clivenolan.net. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsors: Upgrade your showering at nebia.com/nem (code NEM). Get 15% off at at MasterClass.com/examined.
22/03/22·1h 15m

PREMIUM-Ep. 289: Aesthetic Sense Theory: Hume (Part Two)

We get into more detail on David Hume's "The Standard of Taste" (1760). How does he resolve the paradox that it seems both that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, yet some judgments about beauty are obviously wrong? If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
21/03/22·12m 58s

Ep. 289: Aesthetic Sense Theory: Shaftesbury, Hutcheson, Hume (Part One)

How do we know what opinions about beauty are correct? We read The Moralists: A Philosophical Rhapsody (1709) by Anthony Ashley-Cooper, aka the third Earl of Shaftesbury, Part III section 2 "Beauty," and An Inquiry Concerning Beauty, Order, Harmony, Design (1725) by Francis Hutcheson, and "The Standard of Taste" by David Hume (1760).  Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support or via Apple Podcasts.
14/03/22·51m 51s

PEL Presents (SUB)TEXT: Finding Home in Stephen Spielberg’s “E.T.”

Stephen Spielberg once said that he was “still waiting to get out of [his] Peter Pan shoes and into [his] loafers.” Being a filmmaker, he said, was his way of remaining a child. Sort of. While his film “E.T.” is told from a child’s vantage point, it does not completely honor the wish to remain there. Like the alien he befriends, Eliot has been abandoned. And to this, many of us can relate. But in the end, the point of phoning home isn’t to get rescued by adults, but to avoid—even as we succumb to the responsibilities of adulthood—alienating our childhood talents for imagination and play. Thanks to our sponsor for this episode, Buck Mason. To get a free t-shirt with your first order, head over to buckmason.com/subtext. Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon or directly on the Apple Podcasts app. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website
13/03/22·1h 0m

PEL Presents Philosophy vs. Improv #28: Enhanced Interrogation w/ Adal Rifai

Today's episode is about questioning: how one might question, what sets the parameters for a proper answer, and how to give those answers in an informative and/or dramatically effective way. Watch out for dream pigs! Also, how to get into the VIP room at Stuckey's. Perhaps a pair of paralegals can help. In the post-game, included JUST THIS ONCE for public enjoyment, we reflect on improv in the real world and some potential spin-off improv podcasts from our episode. Mark philosophizes at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Bill improvises (and teaches) at chicagoimprovstudio.com. Hear more Philosophy vs. Improv. Support the podcast to get all our post-game discussions and other bonus stuff.
11/03/22·1h 9m

PEL Presents PMP#118: Adapting Agatha Christie

In light of Death on the Nile, we discuss the continuing appearance of the works of the world's most successful mystery writer in film and TV. Mark is joined by repeat guests Sarahlyn Bruck, Al Baker, and Nicole Pometti to discuss the recent Kenneth Branagh films, the Sarah Phelps TV adaptations (like The ABC Murders), the Poirot BBC TV series, and earlier films. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by subscribing via Apple Podcasts to the Mark Lintertainment Channel. Sponsors: Get 15% off great wireless earbuds at BuyRaycon.com/pretty. Lower your monthly credit payments at upstart.com/PRETTY.
09/03/22·57m 58s

PEL Presents NEM#167: David Christian (Comet Gain) Sings for the Awkward and the Wayward

David has released 8 albums and some EPs as the London-based Comet Gain since 1994, putting out literate, energetic, sloppy rock, typically splitting the lead vocals with a female voice. As a pandemic project, he just released his first album under his own name. We discuss "Mum’s and Dad’s Other Ghosts" from Those We Met Along the Way (2021), "An Arcade From The Warm Rain That Falls" from Howl of the Lonely Crowd (2011), and "The Kids at the Club" from Realistes (2002). End song: "Mid 8Ts" from Fireraisers Forever! (2019). Intro: "Strength" from Magnetic Poetry (1997). More at comet-gain.bandcamp.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsor: Upgrade your showering at nebia.com/nem (code NEM).
08/03/22·1h 8m

PREMIUM-Ep. 288: Scruton on Ethical Art (Part Two)

Concluding on Beauty (2009). Why would we be attracted to beauty if on Scruton's account it takes so much work? We consider the form/function distinction as it applies to architecture and human beauty. If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
07/03/22·11m 45s

Ep. 288: Scruton on Ethical Art (Part One)

On Roger Scruton's Beauty (2009), ch. 5-9. Scruton argues against aesthetic relativism on moral grounds: That the "flight from beauty" in modern art and the crassness of popular art deny important things about being human. Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support or via Apple Podcasts.
28/02/22·46m 16s

PEL Presents PMP#117: Roguelikes Like Hades

Supergiant's Hades is now the first video game ever to have won a Hugo award and has set a new standard in the Roguelike genre. What is this genre, and what makes Hades unique? With guests Jamie Madigan from psychologyofgames.com, Al Baker, and Tyler Hislop. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by subscribing via Apple Podcasts to the Mark Lintertainment Channel. Sponsors: Find a doctor at zocdoc.com/PMP. Lower your monthly credit payments at upstart.com/PRETTY.
27/02/22·50m 43s

PEL Presents PvI#27: Normaliticitizationism w/ Andrew Lavin

We are joined by the young purveyor of the Reductio podcast, who wrote his dissertation on normality, which was such a normie thing to do. Can "abnormality" be morally neutral, or is that term cursed? You down with OTPs? How many towels do you need? Mark philosophizes at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Bill improvises (and teaches) at chicagoimprovstudio.com. Hear more Philosophy vs. Improv. Support the podcast to get all our post-game discussions and other bonus stuff.
27/02/22·46m 52s

PEL Presents NEM#166: L. Shankar's World of Violin and Voice

Shankar played with John McLaughlin in Shakti in the mid-70s and has released over 25 solo albums while backing A-list artists including Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Frank Zappa, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Metallica, Korn, and more. We discuss "Can't Wait" (feat. Jonathan Davis) from Chepleeri Dream (2020), "Back Again" from M.R.C.S. (1991), and "Darlene" from Touch Me There (1979), plus we introduce "Savior" from Christmas from India. Intro: "Psychic Elephant" from Vision(1983). For more, see lshankar.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsors: Get 15% off at Masterclass.com/NEM. Upgrade your showering at nebia.com/nem (code NEM). Hear Chuck D. host Words + Music at audible.com/songs.
22/02/22·1h 0m

PREMIUM-Ep. 287: Roger Scruton on Beauty (Part Two)

Continuing on Beauty (2009), ch. 1-4. Does apprehending beauty really have to involve reason, or can it be merely sensory? If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
21/02/22·11m 26s

PEL Presents PMP#116: Good Grief! Peanuts Persists

Animator/musician David Heatley, comedian Daniel Lobell, and academic/3anuts author Daniel Leonard join your host Mark Linsenmayer to discuss Charlie Brown and his author Charles Schulz from Peanuts' 1950 inception through the classic TV specials through to the various post-mortem products still emerging. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by subscribing via Apple Podcasts to the Mark Lintertainment Channel. Sponsor: Lower your monthly credit payments at upstart.com/PRETTY.
15/02/22·46m 24s

Ep. 287: Roger Scruton on Beauty (Part One)

On Beauty (2009), ch. 1-4. What truths about beauty does any theory of beauty have to acknowledge? Scruton argues that appreciating beauty is a cognitive act: something we argue about, and not just "in the eye of the beholder." Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support or via Apple Podcasts.
14/02/22·47m 48s

NEM#165: Paula Cole Beautifully Picks at Wounds

The Grammy winner and 90s hitmaker has released 10 studio albums since 1994 after backing Peter Gabriel on his Secret World tour in the early '90s. We discuss "Blues in Gray" from Revolution (2019), "Father" from 7 (2015), and "Hush, Hush, Hush" from This Fire (1996). We also listen to "Steal Away/Hidden in Plain Sight" from American Quilt (2021). Intro: "I Don’t Want to Wait," also from This Fire. For more, see paulacole.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsor: Upgrade your showering at nebia.com/nem (code NEM).
10/02/22·1h 11m

REISSUE-Ep 16: Arthur Danto on Art (w/ New Intro)

We newly introduce the classic 2010 episode on Danto's "The Philosophical Disenfranchisement of Art," "The Appreciation and Interpretation of Works of Art," and "The End of Art" (1986). What effect should the avant garde have on our understanding of what art is? Danto gives a picture of philosophy and art at war throughout history: Philosophy says that art can't get at truth and is otherwise useless, yet philosophers like Plato seem afraid of the power of art to corrupt. What's the deal? Want to hear more vintage, behind-the-paywall discussions like this? Become a PEL Supporter at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
07/02/22·2h 15m

PREMIUM-Ep. 286: Malebranche on Causality and Theology (Part Three)

Concluding on On Dialogues on Metaphysics and Religion (1688), with consideration of his explanation for why we can't prove the existence of the external world, but that we can reasonably take this on faith. Also, theodicy! If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
07/02/22·13m 13s

PREMIUM-Ep. 286: Malebranche on Causality and Theology (Part Two)

Continuing on Dialogues on Metaphysics and Religion (1688), dialogue 7 where he gets into his occasionalist theory of causality. How does this relate to mind-body interaction and concepts in physics like inertia? What is the metaphysical relation of natural law to things in the world? If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
31/01/22·11m 49s

PEL Presents SUBTEXT: Mother Nature's Nurture in Wordsworth's "Tintern Abbey" (Part 1)

After an absence of five years, the poet William Wordsworth returned to the idyllic ruins of a medieval monastery along the River Wye. The spot was perhaps not so very different from his last visit, but Wordsworth found that he had undergone a significant transformation in the intervening years. In a long blank-verse meditation, he explores the changes that the memory of this landscape has affected on his psyche and the role it played in his now-mature comportment towards nature, impulse, and desire. What can Wordsworth’s poem teach us about our own relationships to the natural world? Can Mother Nature truly exert a parental influence? Can nature even make us better people? In this Part One of a two-part episode, Wes & Erin discuss the first three stanzas of Wordsworth’s 1798 poem, “Tintern Abbey.”  Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon or directly on the Apple Podcasts app. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website
28/01/22·51m 13s

PEL Presents NEM#164: James McMurtry Doesn't Have to Make Sense

The legendary Texas singer-songwriter has put out 10 studio albums since 1989. We discuss "If It Don't Bleed" (and listen to "Blackberry Winter") from The Horses and the Hounds (2021), "How'm I Gonna Find You Now" from Complicated Game (2015), and "Be With Me" from It Had to Happen (1997). Intro: "Choctaw Bingo" from Saint Mary of the Woods (2002). For more see jamesmcmurtry.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsors: Upgrade your showering at nebia.com/nem (code NEM). Get 15% off at at MasterClass.com/examined.
26/01/22·58m 17s

Ep. 286: Malebranche on Causality and Theology (Part One)

On Dialogues on Metaphysics and Religion (1688), dialogues 5-7. We get clearer on M's rationalist epistemology and into his occasionalist theory of causality. Is M's theory as archaic as its theology makes it sound? Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support or via Apple Podcasts.
24/01/22·50m 20s

PEL Presents PvI#24: Game Time w/ C. Thi Nguyen

The philosopher of games joins us for a frustration game. What is a game, anyway? We ask dumb questions on a museum tour.  Mark philosophizes at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Bill improvises (and teaches) at chicagoimprovstudio.com. Hear more Philosophy vs. Improv. Support the podcast to get all our post-game discussions and other bonus stuff.
19/01/22·1h 11m

PREMIUM-Ep. 285: Nicolas Malebranche on Knowledge (Part Two)

Continuing on Dialogues on Metaphysics and Religion (1688), ch. 1-4. We talk about the character of the intelligible world, how we generate general concepts, the existence of God, seeing God, original sin, and more. If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
17/01/22·12m 28s

PEL Presents PMP#114: The "West Side Story" Story

Did it make sense for Steven Spielberg to remake one of our nation's most beloved musicals (with music by Bernstein and Sondheim!), attempting to fix the parts that did not age well politically? Is the new version a modern classic or a doomed Frankenstein? Your host Mark Linsenmayer is joined by Broadway scholar, theater critic, and actor Ron Fassler; Remakes, Reboots, and Revivals co-host Nicole Pometti; and Broadway actor and long-time PEL friend BIll Youmans. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by subscribing via Apple Podcasts to the Mark Lintertainment Channel. Sponsors: Find a great doctor fast via the free Zocdoc app at zocdoc.com/PMP. Get 15% off great wireless earbuds at BuyRaycon.com/pretty.
16/01/22·56m 27s

PEL Presents (SUB)TEXT: The Fool Gets Hurt in Fellini’s “La Strada” (1954)

Fellini called his film "La Strada" a dangerous representation of his identity, and had a nervous breakdown just before completing its shooting. Perhaps this identity, and its vulnerability, have something to do with the film’s representation of a disappointed hope that love might vanquish pride, if properly assisted by the forces of playfulness and creativity. The problem is that such forces are often themselves an offense to pride, and become the target of its cruelty. And so while the clown and tightrope walker Ill Matto convinces tenderhearted Gelsomina to stay with heartless Zampanò, his murder severs their tenuous, highwire connection. Thanks to our sponsor for this episode, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Aspiring filmmakers and screenwriters can learn more about their online courses at tischpro.smashcut.com/subtext. Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon or directly on the Apple Podcasts app. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website
14/01/22·51m 38s

PEL Presents NEM#163: Lilli Lewis Is Not Just a Jazz-Singing Pianist

Lilli is also an activist, folk-rock diva, and record label exec. She's released 10 albums and 3 EPs since 2003. We discuss "Coffee Shop Girl" and listen to "Copper John" from Americana(2021), "Warm and Gentle People" from We Belong (2019), and "Song for the End of Days" from Castles of Her Crystalline (2005). Intro: "Lady" from The Coming of John (2003). Hear more at folkrockdiva.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsor: Upgrade your showering at nebia.com/nem (code NEM).
11/01/22·1h 17m

Ep. 285: Nicolas Malebranche on Knowledge (Part One)

On Dialogues on Metaphysics and Religion (1688), ch. 1-4. We walk through M's rationalist (post-Descartes, pre-Leibniz) epistemology with its surprising implications for the metaphysics of causality and the role of God in nature. Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support or via Apple Podcasts.
10/01/22·47m 51s

PEL Special: Nightcap New Year's Party to Welcome 2022

Welcome to an extra special, intentionally public edition of Nightcap to catch you up on what Mark, Wes, Seth, and Dylan are all up to personally and intellectually and hash out what we want to potentially cover on the show over the next year. Get this ad-free by signing up to support us via partiallyexaminedlife.com/support. Sponsors: Have a donation to charity of up to $250 matched through givewell.org/PEL. Get a free month's access to a vast library of guided meditations at Headspace.com/PEL. Learn about St. John's College at sjc.edu/pel.
03/01/22·51m 32s

PEL Presents PMP #113: The Matrix Regurgitated

Mark is joined by Brian Hirt, Erica Spyres, and Mark's son Abe Linsenmayer. With the release of The Matrix Resurrections, we talk through the franchise as a whole. What made the first one remarkable, and does that a bar that any sequel can reach? We talk through the choices that fed into the new film, why people don't seem to care about their matrix families, the endless fight scenes, and more.  For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by subscribing via Apple Podcasts to the Mark Lintertainment Channel. Sponsors: Find a great doctor fast via the free Zocdoc app at zocdoc.com/PMP. Lower your monthly credit payments at upstart.com/PRETTY.
03/01/22·50m 55s

PEL Presents (SUB)TEXT: False Roles and Fictitious Selves in "The Awakening" by Kate Chopin

In the late 19th century, the "New Woman" was a term coined by Henry James for a particular kind of feminist who demanded freedom of behavior, dress, education, and sexuality. Out of that paradigm came The Awakening, a novel that scandalized critics upon its publication with its tale of New Orleans society wife Edna Pointellier, who tries to throw off the shackles of society's expectations for women and follow her own passions. What might the novel have in common with a fairy tale? How do Edna's artistic ambitions frustrate her role as a wife and mother? And do Edna's efforts to cast off her so-called "fictitious self"; and live honestly constitute a triumph or a tragedy? Wes & Erin discuss Kate Chopin's 1899 novel. Subscribe: (sub)Text won't always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon or directly on the Apple Podcasts app.
02/01/22·1h 0m

PEL Special: Nightcap New Year's Party to Welcome 2022

Welcome to an extra special, intentionally public edition of Nightcap to catch you up on what Mark, Wes, Seth, and Dylan are all up to personally and intellectually and hash out what we want to potentially cover on the show over the next year.
02/01/22·47m 25s

PEL Presents PvI#23: Things Mean Things w/ Tommy Maranges (aka Philosophy Bro)

Can we have an entertaining discussion inspired by Aristotle's most boring book? Bill leads Mark and our guest Tommy through some let's-describe-what's-in-an-imaginary-room exercises.  Mark philosophizes at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Bill improvises (and teaches) at chicagoimprovstudio.com. Hear more Philosophy vs. Improv. Support the podcast to get all our post-game discussions and other bonus stuff. Sponsor: Learn about St. John's College at sjc.edu/improv.
01/01/22·47m 13s

PEL Presents NEM#162: Ray Benson (Asleep at the Wheel): Texas Swing for Half a Hundred Years

Ray started Asleep at the Wheel in 1969 and has put out 26 albums of original tunes and classic covers while touring constantly. We discuss the title track from Half a Hundred Years (2021), "Pedernales Stroll" from Keepin' Me Up Nights (1990), and "Am I High" from The Wheel (1977). Intro: "The Letter (That Johnny Walker Read)" from Texas Gold (1975). Closer: "The Road Will Hold Me Tonight" feat. Emmylou Harris and Willie Nelson, recorded in the early 80s but only released now on the new album. Learn more at asleepatthewheel.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsors: Gift one annual membership and g Gift one annual membership and get one free at MasterClass.com/examined. Get 3 months free of Amazon Music Unlimited at Amazon.com/nempod.
30/12/21·59m 24s

PREMIUM-Ep. 284: Mark Twain’s Philosophy of Human Nature (Part Two)

Continuing on "What Is Man" (1905). We work through Twain's metaphors for human nature, say what he means by "instinct," contemplate his notion of identity and why he thinks you are apparently different from your body-machine, and gauge the practical upshot of his stances. If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
27/12/21·10m 53s

PEL Presents PMP#112: Class Critiques in Squid Game, Succession, etc.

Popular shows have commented on wealth inequality by showing how dire the situation is for the poor and/or how disconnected and clueless the rich are. How effective is this type of social commentary? Mark is joined by philosopher and NY Times writer Lawrence Ware, novelist and writing professor Sarahlyn Bruck, and educator with a rhetoric doctorate Michelle Parrinello-Cason. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by subscribing via Apple Podcasts to the Mark Lintertainment Channel. Sponsors: Find a great doctor fast via the free Zocdoc app at zocdoc.com/PMP. Get 20% off your first box of cool Bespoke Post stuff at BoxofAwesome.com (use code pretty) at Lower your monthly credit payments at upstart.com/PRETTY.
25/12/21·52m 23s

PEL Presents NEM#161: Chuck Prophet Is On the Couch

Chuck joined Green on Red as guitarist in 1985 and has released 15 solo albums of tuneful guitar rock since 1990, touring constantly and doing a lot of co-writing. We discuss "Womankind" from The Land That Time Forgot (2020), "Your Skin" from Bobby Fuller Died for Your Sins (2017), "Castro Halloween" from Temple Beautiful (2012). We conclude by listening to "Wish Me Luck" from Night Surfer(2014). Intro: "Summertime Thing" from No Other Love (2002). For more see chuckprophet.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsors: Gift one annual membership and get one free at MasterClass.com/examined. Upgrade your showering at nebia.com/nem (code NEM). Hear Eddie Vedder on I Am Mine at audible.com/Vedder.
21/12/21·59m 39s

Ep. 284: Mark Twain’s Philosophy of Human Nature (Part One)

On "What Is Man" (1905). Twain describes a person as a machine. We have no free will and always act to win our own self-approval. This was a bleak enough picture that the essay was not printed until after Twain's death. Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support or via Apple Podcasts.
20/12/21·40m 9s

PEL Presents (SUB)TEXT: Attachments "Die Hard" at Nakatomi Tower

It’s a Christmas movie, some say, and in the end the holiday classic “Let it Snow” plays over the credits. But what counts as snow in the final scenes is a confetti of smoke, debris, and millions of dollars of bearer bonds, not to mention the Euro-villain who tried to steal them. These descend from the blasted-out upper floor of a skyscraper onto a scene of total destruction. Worse, it all happens in Los Angeles. Is Die Hard actually a Christmas movie? And what is a Christmas movie, anyway? Wes & Erin try to figure out if there’s anything like a yuletide miracle in this story about the violent defense of marriage and family against materialism, globalism, status, and other forces of social dissolution. Thanks to our sponsor for this episode, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Aspiring filmmakers and screenwriters can learn more about their online courses at tischpro.smashcut.com/subtext. Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSSBonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | WebsiteThanks to Nick Ketter for the audio editing on this episode.
18/12/21·53m 16s

PEL Presents (SUB)TEXT: The Pain of Anonymity in “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946)

Though sometimes accused of a sentimentality dubbed “Capracorn,” Frank Capra’s films are clear-eyed about the suffering of the everyman. A quintessential director of the Great Depression and World War II eras, Capra expressed better than most the desperation at the heart of a young country’s ambitions. And as a chronicler of his age’s disillusionment and alienation, he joined an American cultural landscape stretching back to Hawthorne, Melville, and Twain. How is George Bailey, a purveyor of the American dream, representative of the anonymyzing terror of 20th century society? And how might Christmas, rather than providing merely the heart-warming scaffolding for Capra’s tale, form an integral part of his message? Wes & Erin discuss the 1946 holiday classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Thanks to our sponsor for this episode, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Aspiring filmmakers and screenwriters can learn more about their online courses at tischpro.smashcut.com/subtext. Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon or directly on the Apple Podcasts app. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website Thanks to Nick Ketter for the audio editing on this episode.
18/12/21·56m 7s

PEL Presents PMP #111: Our Beatles Love-Fest

Mark is joined by musician David Brookings, Gig Gab host Dave Hamilton, and OpenCulture writer Colin Marshall to discuss Peter Jackson's documentary Get Back and the enduring popularity of The Beatles. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by subscribing via Apple Podcasts to the Mark Lintertainment Channel. Sponsors: Book a top-rated doctor by getting the Zocdoc ad at Zocdoc.com/PMP. Get a loan to lower your monthly payments at Upstart.com/PRETTY. Get 20% off your first Box of Awesome from Bespoke Post at boxofawesome.com, code PRETTY. Get 15% off your next gift at uncommongood.com/PMP.
14/12/21·56m 5s

PREMIUM-Ep. 283: Alain Badiou on Love (Part Two)

Continuing on "What Is Love?" (1992). We consider B's account of love as resolution of a paradox: The positions of man and woman in no way overlap, yet all truth is generic, i.e. accessible to everyone. Love makes it happen! If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
13/12/21·10m 47s

PEL Presents PvI#20: The "Other" Story w/ Jenny Hansen

What is "othering"? Why did Bill get such a bad grade? Is it because of his feather quill pen? Our first real philosophy professor guest joins us for some office hours and anti-vaxxer drama. Mark philosophizes at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Bill improvises (and teaches) at chicagoimprovstudio.com. Hear more Philosophy vs. Improv. Support the podcast to get all our post-game discussions and other bonus stuff. Sponsors: Visit betterhelp.com/improv to be matched with a licensed, professional therapist. Learn about St. John's College at sjc.edu/improv.
11/12/21·50m 18s

PEL Presents PvI#21: Sentient Garage

The scene is its own entity. What else might be its own entity? Can a machine that passes the Turing test know what it's like to be a bat? We bring in emotions from irrelevant contexts, and we keep hearing them long after they're gone. Mark philosophizes at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Bill improvises (and teaches) at chicagoimprovstudio.com. Hear more Philosophy vs. Improv. Support the podcast to get all our post-game discussions and other bonus stuff. Sponsor: Learn about St. John's College at sjc.edu/improv.
11/12/21·54m 14s

PEL Presents NEM#160: John McCutcheon Learns the Lessons of Folk

John has released 45 albums since 1975 of original folk, traditional folk, children's music (garnering six Grammy nominations for those), and instrumentals: He is fluent on guitar, banjo, violin, dulcimer, and more. His songs very often tell stories, and we discuss several of those: "Atonement" from Bucket List (2021), "Soup" from Wintersongs (1995), and "Water from Another Time" from Gonna Rise Again (1987). We end by listening to "The Night John Prine Died" from Cabin Fever: Songs from Quarantine (2020). Intro: "Christmas in the Trenches" from Winter Solstice (1984). For more, see folkmusic.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsors: Gift one annual membership and get one free at MasterClass.com/examined. Get 3 months free of Amazon Music Unlimited at Amazon.com/nempod.
07/12/21·1h 11m

Ep. 283: Alain Badiou on Love (Part One)

On "What Is Love," which is ch. 11 of Conditions (1992). We see what it means to call love a "truth procedure": It's a new way of seeing, through the eyes of the Two, not the merger of two souls or the loving of god through another. Does B's pseudo-mathematical language about this make sense? Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support or via Apple Podcasts. Get it now or listen to a preview.
06/12/21·43m 56s

PEL Presents (SUB)TEXT: Mad as Hell in "Network" (1976)

Diana Christensen is a television executive in search of an angry show—something that articulates the rage of the average viewer. In Howard Beale, failed newscaster turned mad-as-hell prophet, she seems to get exactly what she’s looking for. Yet in doing so, she reduces political and social discontent to a form of entertainment focused on generating audience excitement and television ratings. Wes & Erin discuss the 1976 film Network, which seems to suggest that with the advent of mass media, acts of anti-establishment defiance tend to be incorporated by the systems they oppose. Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website Thanks to Nick Ketter for the audio editing on this episode.
04/12/21·55m 8s

PEL Presents PMP#110: The Dune Franchise Tries Again

Mark is joined by Brian Hirt, Erin Conrad, and Brian Casey to discuss the new film, the old ones, and the book series. Is it really adaptable given the deep lore and the vast time jumps? For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by subscribing via Apple Podcasts to the Mark Lintertainment Channel. Sponsors: Book a top-rated doctor by getting the Zocdoc ad at Zocdoc.com/PMP. Get a loan to lower your monthly payments at Upstart.com/PRETTY.
03/12/21·50m 40s

PEL Presents PvI#18: Utopias w/ Jill Bernard and Michelle Gilliam

Featuring TWO guest improvisers, Jill, co-founder of HUGE Theater and her friend Michelle, owner of Improv MKE. Bill and our guests each start a scene to explore something of what utopia might amount to, and of course how it will inevitably go bad. Could there be some single utopia for everyone? Mark philosophizes at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Bill improvises (and teaches) at chicagoimprovstudio.com. Hear more Philosophy vs. Improv. Support the podcast to get all our post-game discussions and other bonus stuff. Sponsors: Visit betterhelp.com/improv to be matched with a licensed, professional therapist. Learn about St. John's College at sjc.edu/improv.
02/12/21·50m 8s

PREMIUM-Ep. 282: Alain Badiou: What Is Philosophy? (Part Two)

Continuing on Conditions, "The (Re)turn of Philosophy Itself." What makes philosophy possible? The four "conditions," i.e. mathematics, politics, art, and love, generate the truths, and philosophy is the pincers that gather these together in thought. But how exactly? If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
29/11/21·12m 7s

Ep. 282: Alain Badiou: What Is Philosophy? (Part One)

On Conditions (1992), Ch. 1 "The (Re)turn of Philosophy Itself." Against post-structuralists who deny Truth, Badiou argues that truths are generated by the truth conditions (politics, art, love, and science/math) which philosophy then thinks into a unified vision. Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support or via Apple Podcasts. Get it now or listen to a preview.
22/11/21·49m 41s

PEL Presents PMP#109: Dueling in Film

In light of the release of The Last Duel, we talk about the trope of the honor-resolving duel in movies and TV. Mark and guest co-host Dylan Casey from PEL are joined by Clif Mark, host of the Good in Theory podcast. We touch on The Duelists, A Knight's Tale, The Duelist and The Duel (two 2016 films), Dune, Hamilton, and philosophers like Hegel and Nietzsche. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by subscribing via Apple Podcasts to the Mark Lintertainment Channel. Sponsors: Get 20% off your first box from Bespoke Post at boxofawesome.com. (code pretty). Get 15% off your next gift at uncommongoods.com/PMP. Use the code "Pretty" at Nebia.com/pretty to get 10% off a superior shower experience.
20/11/21·56m 48s

PEL Presents NEM#159: Steve Bartek (Oingo Boingo) Is a Writer, Not Just an Arranger

Steve is best known as guitarist/arranger for Oingo Boingo through their eight albums from 1981-1995 and for following its leader Danny Elfman into a life creating movie soundtracks. However, his activity as composer goes all the way back to the late '60s. We discuss "Tango" by jackiO from their self-titled album (2019), "The Wake" and "Checking Out/Streets of Managu" from his soundtracks to Guilty as Charged (1991) and The Art of Travel (2008), and "Rainy Day Mushroom Pillow" by Strawberry Alarm Clock from Incense and Peppermints (1967). Outro: "Nothing to Feel" by Fejj from Alive (1979) Intro: the title track to Dead Man's Party by Oingo Boingo (1985). Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsor: Upgrade your showering at nebia.com/nem (code NEM).
17/11/21·1h 1m

PREMIUM-Ep. 281: Paul Feyerabend's Anarchist Philosophy of Science (Part Two)

Continuing on Against Method (1975) about the non-rational progress of science. Given that according to F., epistemological conformity can't proceed by an appeal to reason, how does it proceed? Through indoctrination, propaganda, and coercion, even when our goal is to encourage freedom and rationality. If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
15/11/21·13m 2s

Ep. 281: Paul Feyerabend's Anarchist Philosophy of Science (Part One)

On Against Method (1975). In dialogue with Lakatos, Feyerabend claimed that scientific progress can not be explained rationally, so how does it progress? Is F. just arguing against the possibility of any philosophy of science? Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support or via Apple Podcasts. Get it now or listen to a preview.
08/11/21·50m 23s

PEL Presents PMP/NEM: The Music of Your Youth w/ Jon Lamoreaux

To what degree to our childhood favorites persist into adulthood? Are we doomed to love the songs of our generation best? What causes the generation gap in musical tastes? Your host Mark Linsenmayer, plus Pretty Much Pop regulars Erica Spyres and Brian Hirt, and Jon, the host of The Hustle Podcast, share their nostalgia and discuss "guilty pleasures," the different pre-critical stages at which songs burrow themselves into our brains, aging pop stars, film soundtracks, and more. For more Pretty Much Pop, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsor: Get 15% off an annual membership at MasterClass.com/examined.
07/11/21·56m 7s

PEL Presents PvI#17: The Imitation Game (with Toaster)

Riffing on resemblance. Eventually invoking the spirit of a toaster. Mark is wrong: the God Emperor of Dune can't drink water at all, just dried food. Mark philosophizes at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Bill improvises (and teaches) at chicagoimprovstudio.com. Hear more Philosophy vs. Improv. Support the podcast to get all our post-game discussions and other bonus stuff. Sponsors: Visit betterhelp.com/improv to be matched with a licensed, professional therapist. Learn about St. John's College at sjc.edu/improv.
06/11/21·46m 50s

PEL Presents (SUB)TEXT: Autonomy and Incest in Sophocles’s “Oedipus Rex”

His first claim to fame was the solution to  a riddle that earned him a kingdom by sheer force of intellect. His second was a doomed attempt to escape the particularly gruesome fates of patricide and incest. With his first act, Oedipus saved the city of Thebes from the sphinx; with his second, he afflicted it with a plague. In his retelling of this myth, Sophocles reflects on the competing claims of three paths to knowledge: reason, revelation, and experience. Why can’t Oedipus’s brilliant mind save him from the enactment of a prophecy? Why might we be most vulnerable to the fate we’re most determined to avoid? Can we truly be free, or are our attempts to transcend the limitations of character central to its pathologies? Wes & Erin discuss Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex. Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website Thanks to Nick Ketter for the audio editing on this episode.
05/11/21·1h 6m

PREMIUM-Ep. 280: Imre Lakatos on Scientific Progress (Part Two)

Continuing on "Falsification and the Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes" (1970). We distinguish various kinds of falsificationism and give more details about Lakatos' concept of a scientific research program. If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
01/11/21·9m 41s

PEL Presents PMP#108: Board Game Ideology

As board games are becoming increasingly popular with adults, we ask: What's the relationship between a board game's mechanics and its narrative? Does the "message" of a board game matter? Mark is joined by game designer Tommy Maranges, educator Michelle Parrinello-Cason, and ex-philosopher Al Baker to talk about re-skinning games, designing player experiences, play styles, game complexity, and more. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by subscribing via Apple Podcasts to the Mark Lintertainment Channel. Sponsors: Get 20% off your first box of cool guy stuff from Bespoke Post at boxofawesome.com. (code pretty). Book a top-rated doctor by getting the Zocdoc ad at Zocdoc.com/PMP. Get 15% off your next gift at uncommongoods.com/PMP. Get a loan to lower your monthly payments at Upstart.com/PRETTY.
28/10/21·57m 14s

Ep. 280: Imre Lakatos on Scientific Progress (Part One)

On "Falsification and the Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes" (1970). In what way is scientific progress rational? Lakatos splits the difference between Popper and Kuhn to argue that some scientific research programs are more progressive than others, meaning that they make dramatic, unexpected predictions. Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support or via Apple Podcasts. Get it now or listen to a preview.
25/10/21·52m 18s

PEL Presents PvI#16: The Legend of Kermit's Gold w/ Tim Sniffen

Do you believe in miracles? If doctors believed in miracles, would they just let surgeries finish themselves? Do assumptions of a logical universe make it not just unjustified by psychologically impossible for us to really believe in miracles? Read about our VERY FIRST guest, Tim Sniffen at timsniffen.com. Mark philosophizes at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Bill improvises (and teaches) at chicagoimprovstudio.com. Hear more Philosophy vs. Improv. Support the podcast to get all our post-game discussions and other bonus stuff. Sponsors: Visit betterhelp.com/improv to be matched with a licensed, professional therapist. Learn about St. John's College at sjc.edu/improv.
24/10/21·49m 33s

PEL Presents NEM#158: Dar Williams: Songs as Thought Processes

Dar has released 11 albums on labels since 1993 of highly literate, introspective folk-pop songs. We discuss "Berkeley" (and listen to "Today and Everyday") from I'll Meet You Here (2021), "Empty Plane" from Emerald (2015), and " Are You Out There" from End of the Summer (1997). Intro: "As Cool As I Am" from Mortal City (1996). For info see darwilliams.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsor: Get 15% off an annual membership at MasterClass.com/examined. 
22/10/21·1h 8m

PEL Presents (Sub)Text: Gender Opera in "Tootsie"

How do you become the many you truly are? Try becoming the woman you aren’t. While Michael Dorsey can take the blame for his desperate transformation into Dorothy Michaels, it’s she who gets the credit for making him a better man. How are gender dynamics reflected in our relationships to ourselves? When are we staying true to ourselves, and when are we just acting out a role for others? Wes & Erin discuss Sydney Pollack’s 1982 film, “Tootsie." Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website Thanks to Nick Ketter for the audio editing on this episode.
21/10/21·59m 34s

PREMIUM-Ep. 279: Aristotle's "Categories" of Being (Part Two)

Continuing on the Categories, considering artifacts, social construction in cutting up the world, different kinds of properties, and more. If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
18/10/21·9m 38s

Ep. 279: Aristotle's "Categories" of Being (Part One)

On the Categories (ca. 350 BCE), which purports to describe all the types of entities that exist. We mostly talk about substances, as A's presentation raises interesting questions about, e.g. the status of the species of substance, and the rest of the categories (e.g. quality, quantity, relative) rely on substances existing. So how exactly do these other categories relate to substances, and why does A divide the world the way he does? Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support or via Apple Podcasts. Get it now or listen to a preview. Sponsors: Get a free month of Great Courses lectures and lots of other great content at Wondrium.com/PEL. Get a free month's access to a vast library of guided meditations at Headspace.com/PEL.
11/10/21·54m 28s

PEL Presents PMP#107: Cult Bands and Cultish Fans

Mark Linsenmayer is joined by Tim Quirk of Too Much Joy, Aaron David Gleason, and Chris Sunami to talk about what makes a cult band. We touch on artists like Tom Waits, Velvet Underground, Big Star, XTC, and The Cure. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by subscribing via Apple Podcasts to the Mark Lintertainment Channel. Sponsors: Get a loan to lower your monthly payments at Upstart.com/PRETTY. Use the code "Pretty" at Nebia.com/pretty to get 10% off a superior shower experience (excludes pre-orders).
10/10/21·54m 1s

PEL Presents Philosophy vs. Improv #14: Action Idealism!

Are so-called "material objects" really just a scam? These two cut-ups (Bill and Mark) cut up the world in various ways, showing you how to teach, how to act, and how to haggle. Mark philosophizes at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Bill improvises (and teaches) at chicagoimprovstudio.com. Hear more Philosophy vs. Improv. Support the podcast to get our post-game discussion and other bonus stuff.
07/10/21·43m 11s

(sub)Text: Our Name is Subtext, Podcast of Podcasts. Hear our “Ozymandias” Discussion, Ye Listeners, and Despair!

The land is not just ancient but “antique,” and while many of its artifacts end up as the possessions of distant museums, they may yet be capable of overpowering their audiences. Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Ozymandias” is traditionally taken as an exploration of hubris, and of the obliviating effect of time on power and its pretensions. But the poem also speaks to the power of art to preserve, and how this is accomplished by a hermeneutic collaboration between artist, audience, and subject matter. If there is something alive in the passions reproduced within an artist’s inanimate medium, then our creative powers may ultimately not belong to us. Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website Thanks to Nick Ketter for the audio editing on this episode.
06/10/21·57m 46s

PEL Presents PMP#106: Stand-Up Comedy in the Internet Age

Mark discusses how Internet culture has changed stand-up with three comedians: past guests Rodney Ramsey and Daniel Lobell, plus Dena Jackson. How have YouTube, social media, and virtual spaces changed the way comedians work? We talk about story-telling vs. one-liners, repping your hometown, comedy cliques, surviving negativity, and more. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by subscribing via Apple Podcasts to the Mark Lintertainment Channel. Sponsors: Use the code "Pretty" at Nebia.com/pretty to get 10% off a superior shower experience. Try The Class X Podcast.
05/10/21·49m 49s

PREMIUM-Ep. 278: Derrick Bell on the Dynamics of Racism (Part Two)

Continuing on Faces At the Bottom of the Well (1992), with guest Lawrence Ware. We discuss "The Racial Preference Licensing Act" (ch. 3). If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
04/10/21·10m 54s

NEM#157: DEVO’s Gerald V. Casale: Guises of Social Critique

Jerry is DEVO's co-frontman and chief philosopher. They've released nine albums since 1978. His solo career has been sporadic, with a release as Jihad Jerry & the Evildoers in 2006 and a few singles. We discuss his new song and video "I'm Gonna Pay U Back," and one of those Jihad Jerry tracks (that album now reissued to include the new track) "The Owl," and the 1979-recorded Devo track "Fountain of Filth" (released on Hardcore Devo Vol. 2). We conclude by listening to his 2016 single "It's All Devo." Intro: "Whip It" by Devo from Freedom of Choice (1980). For more see geraldvcasale.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsors: Save 10% on Nebia shower stuff by using code nem at nebia.com/nem (excludes pre-order products). Get 3 months free of Amazon Music Unlimited at Amazon.com/nempod.
01/10/21·1h 3m

Ep. 278: Derrick Bell on the Dynamics of Racism (Part One)

On Faces At the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism (1992), a foundational text in critical race theory that presents thought experiments in the philosophy of law, including "The Space Traders." With guest Lawrence Ware. Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support or via Apple Podcasts. Get it now or listen to a preview.
27/09/21·45m 55s

PEL Presents NEM#156: Emma-Jean Thackray's Modern Mix of Jazz, R&B, and More

Emma-Jean is a trumpeter, singer, multi-instrumentalist, and techie who runs her own label. She's had five releases since 2016. We discuss "Say Something" (and listen at the end to "Spectre"  from Yellow (2021), "Open - Remix feat. Blu" (a 2020 single), and "Um" from Um Yang (2020). Intro: "Baro Bop" from Walrus (2016). For more see emmajeanthackray.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsors: Get 15% off an annual membership at MasterClass.com/examined. Get 3 months free of Amazon Music Unlimited at Amazon.com/nempod.
26/09/21·1h 16m

PEL Presents (sub)Text: Sex and Tech in "Alien" by Ridley Scott

The Nostromo is a labyrinthine spaceship, a hulking ore refinery run on a sophisticated computer operating system and manned by a crew of seven. But somehow it’s not the most impressive piece of technology in Ridley Scott’s 1979 film Alien. That distinction belongs to the title character, an organism with blood of acid and two sets of jaws, highly-evolved, adaptable to any climate. Its scientific mission, if you will, is to fulfill a basic biological imperative: to become a parent. Fitting, then, that it chooses to prey on a ship controlled by its own problematic Mother. Just what kind of existential threat does this techno-sexual organism pose to a man-made and sterile future? And how does one woman manage to defeat it? Wes & Erin discuss.  Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website Thanks to Nick Ketter for the audio editing on this episode.
25/09/21·1h 14m

PEL Presents PMP#105: The Death of Soap Operas (Is Greatly Exaggerated)

Mark is joined by novelist Sarahlyn Bruck and playwright Kayla Dryesse to discuss the conventions, evolution, and influence of daytime soaps. Are they actually terrible, or is critical dismissal of them largely sexist? Are prestige TV shows like Downton Abbey and White Orchid really just soaps in disguise? For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by subscribing via Apple Podcasts to the Mark Lintertainment Channel. Sponsors: Use the code "Pretty" at Nebia.com/pretty to get 10% off a superior shower experience. Get a loan to lower your monthly payments at Upstart.com/PRETTY.
24/09/21·55m 46s

REISSUE-Ep 36: Hegel on the Social Dimension of Self-Consciousness

For our final 2021 installment on G.W.F. Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit, we give you a second episode originally posted in 2011, where Mark and Seth continue from ep. 35 with guest Tom McDonald to cover the rest of chapter 4, focusing on sections 178-230. We cover the famous "master and slave" parable, plus stoicism, skepticism, and the "unhappy consciousness" (i.e. Christianity). Hear more vintage episodes like this one by becoming a PEL supporter at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
20/09/21·1h 28m

PEL Presents PvI#11: The Trolley Opportunity

Bill gets to have the power of live and death, with a bit of moral luck. Is he enthused? Mark philosophizes at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Bill improvises (and teaches) at chicagoimprovstudio.com. Hear more PvI. Support the podcast to get our post-game discussion and other bonus stuff. Sponsor: Learn about St. John's college at sjc.edu/improv.
20/09/21·35m 37s

REISSUE-Ep 35: Hegel on Self-Consciousness (w/ New Intro)

We re-introduce an episode from ten years ago that's long been behind our paywall on G.F.W. Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit, Ch. 4A, "Self-Consciousness," which features guest Tom McDonald. We've removed the "review" section of the old episode (the first half), because it's duplicative of our recent three-episode run on this book. The discussion thus picks up in the book right where ep. 277 leaves off. Get more vintage episodes like this by becoming a PEL supporter. Sponsors: Get a free month of Great Courses lectures and lots of other great content at Wondrium.com/PEL. Get a free month's access to a vast library of guided meditations at Headspace.com/PEL. Save $15 plus free shipping for hair as strong as you are at Nutrafol.com, promo code PEL.
13/09/21·1h 17m

PEL Presents NEM#155: Melvin Gibbs Protests w/ Bass, Jazz Composition, Production, Sound Design

Melvin has played bass on over 200 albums since 1980 in the worlds of jazz, rock, and hip-hop, and has numerous songwriting credits, playing with Defunkt, Arto Lindsay, Henry Rollins, Bernie Worrell, Vernon Reid, etc. We discuss his solo tune featuring Kokayi "Get Some" from 4+1 Equals 5 for May 25 (2021), the title track from The Terror End Of Beauty (2018) by his trio Harriet Tubman, and "Howard Beach Memoirs" by Power Tools (with Bill Frisell and Ronald Shannon Jackson) from Strange Meeting (1987). We end by listening to "Canto por Odudua" by Melvin Gibbs' Elevated Entity from Ancients Speak (2009) Intro: "Melvin's Tune" from Defunkt (1980). More at music.melvin-gibbs.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsors: Visit HelloFresh.com/examined14 and use code examined14 for up to 14 free meals with free shipping. Save 10% on Nebia shower stuff by using code nem at nebia.com/nem (excludes pre-order products).
13/09/21·1h 11m

PEL Presents (sub)Text: Dead Wall Reveries in "Bartleby, the Scrivener" by Herman Melville

Melville’s “Bartleby the Scrivener” is subtitled a “Story of Wall St.,” yet there is almost nothing in it of the bustle of city life, and entirely nothing in it of the hustle of the trading floor. The story’s walls block out the streets, serving on the one hand as a container for a colorful assortment of human Xerox machines, on the other as a blank projection screen for the reveries of a man who seems to quietly rebel against the very concept of imitation. Can we continue to live and work, if we strongly prefer to do nothing that is derivative? What happens to our aspirations, if we come to fully appreciate the gravity of fate? Could we continue to tell our own stories, if we were liberated from all idiosyncrasies of character? Wes & Erin discuss.  Thanks to our sponsor BetterHelp. Get 10 percent off online therapy at betterhelp.com/subtext. Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website
11/09/21·56m 43s

PEL Presents PMP#104: King Arthur Reigns O'er Pop Culture

With the recent theatrical release of The Green Knight, Mark and Brian along with Den of Geek's David Crow and the very British Al Baker consider the range of cinematic Arthuriana, including Excalibur (1981), Camelot (1967), King Arthur (2004), King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017), First Knight (1995), Sword of the Valiant (1983), Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (1973), and Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975). For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by subscribing via Apple Podcasts to the Mark Lintertainment Channel. Sponsor: Visit hellofresh.com/14pretty and use code 14pretty for up to 14 free meals plus free shipping.
09/09/21·59m 6s

PREMIUM-Ep. 277: Hegel on Our Understanding of Physics (Part Two)

Continuing on The Phenomenology of Spirit, ch. 3, "Force and the Understanding." We start off by considering the players in force: the thing exerting the force and the thing receiving. By arguing that these are not so different, Hegel moves to arguing that knowledge and the world are likewise not sharply distinguished. If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
06/09/21·11m 48s

Ep. 277: Hegel on Our Understanding of Physics (Part One)

On The Phenomenology of Spirit, ch. 3, "Force and the Understanding." What is "force" as physics describes it? And scientific law? Do these terms denote objects in the world, or models for how we describe the world? Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support or via Apple Podcasts. Get it now or listen to a preview.
30/08/21·53m 53s

PEL Presents PMP#103: Queering Video Games w/ Naomi Clark

"Queering" doesn't just mean adding LGBTQ+ representation to games; it's disruption of norms through added player freedom. Mark and guest co-host Tyler engage game designer Naomi Clark on sandbox games, character creation, how games train us, glitches, speed runs, and more, touching on The Sims, The Last of Us, Cyberbpunk, Mass Effect, and her own games like Sissyfight 2000 and the card game Consentacle. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by subscribing via Apple Podcasts to the Mark Lintertainment Channel. Sponsor: Get a loan to lower your monthly payments at Upstart.com/PRETTY.
30/08/21·58m 55s

PEL Special: Nightcap Early September 2021

A little political ranting precedes a consideration of what we might read in aesthetics, philosophy of science, and philosophy of sport. What do we remember about emotions? Finally, Seth's morbid interests and Devo. If you enjoy this kind of free-form discussion, you can get it on the reg by becoming a PEL Citizen via one of the methods identified at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
29/08/21·30m 9s

PEL Presents (sub)Text: Cursed Kids or Psych-Au Pair? "The Turn of the Screw" by Henry James

The story begins and ends with two variations on the meaning of the title. On the one hand, to give another turn of the screw is to ratchet up the horror of a good ghost story, in this case by involving children in it. On the other, it’s to treat the cause of that horror as if it were just another of life’s many obstacles, to be overcome both by screwing one’s courage to the sticking place, and by suppressing awareness of what is revoltingly unnatural in it. Whose screw turns out to be looser—the audience that enjoys such stories (and sometimes believes them), or the teller who manufactures them? Wes & Erin discuss Henry James’s “The Turn of the Screw. Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website
28/08/21·1h 27m

PREMIUM-Ep. 276: Hegel on Perception (Part Two)

Focusing on The Phenomenology of Spirit (1807), ch. 2 "Perception." Hegel's critique of the adequacy of perceptual knowledge has metaphysical aspects: The relation of substance to properties, properties to each other, and things to other things and to the perceiver all create difficulties that call for more active participation by the mind. If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
23/08/21·10m 48s

PEL Presents NEM#154: Chris Connelly (ex-Revolting Cocks/Ministry): From Apocalyptic Industrials to Poets in Love

Chris started in the Scottish electronic band Finitribe in the early '80s and then moved to Chicago in 1988, doing stints in Revolting Cocks, Ministry, Pigface, et al, before embarking on a 23-album solo career. We discuss "A Phantom Marriage" from The Birthday Poems (2021) feat. Monica Queen, the title track from Bloodhounds (2018), "De Testimony" by Finitribe from Let the Tribe Grow (1986), plus we listen to "God Gets Religion" by Cocksure from Operation C.O.C.K.S.U.R.E. (2020). Intro: "Stowaway" from Whiplash Boychild (1991). For more see chrisconnelly.com and thebirthdaypoems.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsors: Visit HelloFresh.com/examined14 and use code examined14 for up to 14 free meals with free shipping. Get 15% off an annual membership at MasterClass.com/examined.
20/08/21·1h 18m

PEL Presents PMP#102: What the Pop? Season 1 Wrap-Up

After 101 episodes and a bit over two years, Mark, Erica, and Brian reflect on what we've learned and set a course for the future. What have we determined about how and why we consume? What's the relation between consumption and creativity? For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. Sponsor: Get a loan to lower your monthly payments at Upstart.com/PRETTY.
19/08/21·54m 29s

Ep. 276: Hegel on Perception (Part One)

On The Phenomenology of Spirit (1807), ch. 1 "Sense Certainty" and ch. 2 "Perception." We walk through the first step in considering Hegel's dialectical analysis of theories of knowledge. Sense-certainty claims that we have direct access to sensory particulars which can act as foundational. But can we really refer or point to a particular thing without bringing some universal concepts to bear, like "this" (which can refer to any number of things), as well as "here", "now" and even "I"? Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support or via Apple Podcasts. Get it now or listen to a preview.
16/08/21·58m 6s

PEL Presents Philosophy vs. Improv #7: Meritocracy Now!

Does it make sense to try to have everyone get what they "deserve"? Your hosts Mark Linsenmayer and Bill Arnett (Chicago Improv Studio) act out the desert machine but yet get no predictable cake. Hear more PvI at philosophyimprov.com. Support the podcast to get bonus stuff and good karma!
15/08/21·39m 2s

PEL Presents (sub)Text: Gentility and Injustice in "Gone with the Wind" (1939)

Gone with the Wind— adjusted for inflation, the highest-grossing film in American history— has undergone several critical reappraisals in the 82 years since its production and release. Certainly the film romanticizes the Antebellum South and the Confederacy while glossing over the evils of slavery and stereotyping many of its black characters. Yet it may also provide a sharp critique or even satirization of its white characters— the ambivalent, arrogant, and deluded plantation owners who fail to acknowledge that their so-called “fairy-tale kingdoms” are built on the backs of slaves. What can we make of Rhett Butler’s characterization of the Confederate “Cause” as the “Cause of Living in the Past”? And why does even the modern, adaptable Scarlett O’Hara remain in thrall to a childhood dream that, like the “gallantry” of the Old South, was nothing more than a fantasy? Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website Thanks to Nick Ketter for the audio editing on this episode.
14/08/21·1h 15m

PEL Presents NEM#153: Steve Kilbey (The Church) Reveals the Secrets to Being Prolific

Steve has written over 1000 songs across 17 Church albums starting in 1980, 13 solo albums and numerous collaborations. His style is theatrical and psychedelic, and his lyrics aim for "maximum ambiguity." We discuss "Love Song Yet to Be Named" from The Hall of Counterfeits (2021) and some tunes by The Church: "Another Century" from man woman life death infinity (2017) and "Is this Where You Live?" from Of Skins and Heart (1981). Intro: "Under the Milky Way" from Starfish (1988). We conclude with the title track from Steve's solo album Sydney Rococo (2018). More at thechurchband.net and thetimebeing.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsors: Use code NEMPOD to get 30 days free of Amazon Music Unlimited. Get 15% off the Nebia by Moen Shower Spa and other Nebia products at nebia.com/NEM.
13/08/21·1h 28m

PREMIUM-Ep. 275: Hegel's Project in the "Phenomenology of Spirit" (Part Two)

Continuing on the Introduction, we get into more detail on Hegel's goal and his tricky terminology. If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
09/08/21·11m 51s

Philosophy vs. Improv #5: What Is Bread? Are You Bread?

Two scenes reveal our underlying definitions. How will we overcome the lag between our words? How many beats in an heirloom beet if an heirloom hair-looms beets? Mark philosophizes at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Bill improvises (and teaches) at chicagoimprovstudio.com. Hear more PvI. Support the podcast to get bonus stuff and good karma!
05/08/21·44m 58s

Ep. 275: Hegel's Project in the "Phenomenology of Spirit" (Part One)

On G.W.F. Hegel's 1807 opus: A series of treatments of various theories in epistemology (among other things), seeing how they're internally incoherent, which then moves us to more sophisticated theories. Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support or via Apple Podcasts. Get it now or listen to a preview. Don't miss Mark's new podcast Philosophy vs. Improv.
02/08/21·1h 0m

PEL Presents PMP#101: The "Conjuring" Retroverse

Mark, Erica, and Brian delve into this 8-film horror franchise started by James Wan in 2013 through The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It. Do their demons scare us, and do their Catholic defenses provide a convincing antidote? Is it OK to valorize the Warrens, the supernatural detectives who were most likely hucksters in real life? For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. Sponsor: Visit hellofresh.com/14pretty and use code 14pretty for up to 14 free meals plus free shipping.
01/08/21·46m 43s

PEL Presents (sub)Text: Realism as Cruelty in "A Streetcar Named Desire" (1951) by Tennessee Williams

In the transition from stage to screen, A Streetcar Named Desire retained its long-running Broadway cast with a single exception: the role of Blanche Dubois, which passed from Jessica Tandy to Vivien Leigh. Like Blanche, Leigh was the odd woman out. A symbol of the glories of the studio system, married to the symbol of English stage acting, her classical training ran contrary to that of her Method-trained co-stars. Thus to the clash of wills between Blanche and Stanley Kowalski was added a clash of acting styles— and the struggle between the death of Old Hollywood and the birth of Brando and the New. Which principle— Blanche’s fantasy or Stanley’s realism— makes for superior art? Can the conflict between magic and truth ever be resolved? And is all realism a form of cruelty? Wes & Erin discuss Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire.  Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website Thanks to Nick Ketter for the audio editing on this episode.
30/07/21·1h 33m

PREMIUM-Ep. 274: Schelling on Self-Consciousness (Part Two)

Concluding on Schelling’s System of Transcendental Idealism (1800), Parts 1 and 2. What sort of self is created in the act of self-consciousness that according to Schelling grounds all knowledge? We further consider this primordial act. To hear the full second part, you'll need to go sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
26/07/21·9m 3s

PEL Presents NEM#152: Glen Phillips (Toad the Wet Sprocket) Builds His Capacity

Glen led smooth alt rock legends Toad the Wet Sprocket from '88 to '97 through six albums, has released 7 often folky solo albums (and 3 more Toad albums since their reunion) since then plus various side projects. We discuss "Old Habits Die Hard" by Toad (a 2020 single), "Leaving Oldtown" from Swallowed by the New (2016), and "One Wind Blows" from Toad's Bread and Circus (1988). We end with the title track from the 2021 Toad album Starting Now. Intro: "All I Want" from fear (1991). For more see glenphillips.com and toadthewetsprocket.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsors: Visit HelloFresh.com/examined14 and use code examined14 for up to 14 free meals with free shipping. Get 15% off an annual membership at MasterClass.com/examined.
23/07/21·1h 12m

Philosophy vs. Improv: An Introductory Trailer

What is Philosophy vs. Improv? Hear about the new podcast by Mark Linsenmayer (The Partially Examined Life Philosophy Podcast) and Bill Arnett (Chicago Improv Studio, The Complete Improviser author). Go listen to the show at philosophyimprov.com or subscribe via Apple, Audible, Stitcher, Spotify, or however you get your podcasts. Get more episodes than are now publicly available plus supporter-only content at patreon.com/philosophyimprov, or you can sign up for a premium subscription to the Mark Lintertainment channel on Apple Podcasts, which gets you bonus content and ad-free episodes for not only this new podcast, but also Mark's other efforts, Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast and Nakedly Examined Music. Thanks to our announcer, Erica Spyres. Logo by Solomon Grundy.
22/07/21·1m 54s

Ep. 274: Schelling on Self-Consciousness (Part One)

On Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling’s System of Transcendental Idealism (1800), Parts 1 and 2. What is self-consciousness, and how did Schelling think that it grounds all of knowledge? Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support. Get it now or listen to a preview.
19/07/21·46m 11s

PEL Presents PMP#100: Directing Comedies w/ Heather Fink

Director/writer/sound operator Heather Fink joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to discuss the role of the director in making a good comedy, covering TV vs. film, sex scenes, not telling actors how to read their lines, editing, and more. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. Sponsor: Get a loan to lower your monthly payments at Upstart.com/PRETTY.
19/07/21·49m 58s

PEL Presents (sub)Text: Prestidigitocracy in "The Wizard of Oz" (1939)

The Wizard of Oz is supposed by the land’s inhabitants to be its most powerful magician. But far from having any actual power, he is not even native to the place in which real magic is in plentiful supply. Oddly, this supernatural world seems to be secretly governed by mundane sleight of hand, and growing up, for Dorothy, involves uncovering the flimsy basis of adult authority. Which magic is more potent: the childish imagination, or the symbolic power of grown-ups to educate it? Wes & Erin discuss the 1939 film, “The Wizard of Oz.” Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website Thanks to Nick Ketter for the audio editing on this episode.
17/07/21·1h 17m

PREMIUM-Ep. 273: Friedrich Schelling's Foundationalist Idealism (Part Two)

Continuing on the Introduction to Friedrich Schelling's System of Transcendental Idealism (1800), focusing on the harmony between mind and world and imputing intelligence to nature. To hear the full second part, you'll need to go sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
12/07/21·10m 4s

Ep. 273: Friedrich Schelling's Foundationalist Idealism (Part One)

On Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling’s System of Transcendental Idealism (1800). What's the relationship between mind and world? Schelling thought that our minds produce the world, but also that the perceiver-world dichotomy comes to us as a single piece. "Transcendental philosophy" is an exploration of the internal logic of that revelation. Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support. Get it now or listen to a preview.
05/07/21·48m 30s

PEL Presents NEM#151: Cathal Coughlan (Fatima Mansions, Microdisney): Pyschogeographic Tales

Cathal started in Ireland in 1980 with Microdisney, and after five albums with then broke that up to form Fatima Mansions in 1988. After seven albums with them, he started a solo career and has now after a decade-long hiatus (during which he released a few collaborations) has come back with his sixth solo release Song of Co-Acklan. We discuss "Unrealtime" and (in closing) hear the title track from that album, plus "Denial Of The Right To Dream" from The Sky's Awful Blue (2002) and "Valley of the Dead Cars" by The Fatima Mansions from Against Nature (1989). Intro/outro: "Town to Town" by Microdisney from Crooked Mile (1987). For more, see cathalcoughlan.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsors: Get 15% off an annual membership at MasterClass.com/examined.
05/07/21·1h 8m

(sub)Text: Formulated Phrases in “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”: Part 2

Wes & Erin continue their analysis of T. S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” In Part 1, they covered roughly the first third of the poem. In Part 2, they begin with a discussion of Prufrock’s coffee spoons, and then continue on to: his allusions to John the Baptist, Lazarus, and Hamlet; the disjointed portrait of his probable love interest; and the twinning of aging and fantasy in the final stanzas. Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website Thanks to Nick Ketter for the audio editing on this episode.
04/07/21·1h 32m

PEL Presents PMP #97: The Girl in the Wooder: Our Mare of Easttown Show!

What distinguishes this small-town Pennsylvania murder mystery from the many other crime dramas on TV? Mark, Erica, and Brian discuss the plot structure, casting, and other creative choices and try to figure out how the show relates to Broadchurch, The Undoing, etc. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. Sponsor: Visit hellofresh.com/14pretty and use code 14pretty for up to 14 free meals plus free shipping.
29/06/21·48m 4s

PREMIUM-Ep. 272: Fichte's Idealist Theology (Part Two)

Continuing on The Vocation of Man (1799), Book II. We focus on how ethics fits in with Fichte's epistemology in a unified theology with humans literally united (in this world or the next) in a shared, divine Will. To hear the full second part, you'll need to go sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
28/06/21·9m 5s

Ep. 272: Fichte's Idealist Theology (Part One)

Our second full discussion on The Vocation of Man (1799). What are the ethical implications of believing that the world is all in our minds? You could be a solipsistic nihilist, but Fichte thinks the path of faith is unavoidable for a reasonable person: faith that the world is real and matters, that other people have moral status, and yes, he's going to argue for God and heaven, though unconventionally. Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support. Get it now or listen to a preview.
21/06/21·56m 18s

PEL Presents NEM#150: Josh Caterer (Smoking Popes): Punk + 40s Melodies (+ Occasional Jesus)

Josh released three albums and some EPs in the 90s with his brothers as the Chicago-area punk band Smoking Popes, then became a Christian and released an album and a half as Duvall, then reformed the Smoking Popes to release three more albums since 2008. He's also released some religious material as a solo artist, and his new album is composed of live covers of classic songs and reworkings of his own material. We discuss "Need You Around," originally from Born to Quit (1995) and re-arranged for The Hideout Sessions (2021). We then turn to the Popes' "Amanda My Love" from Into the Agony (2018) and Duvall's "Taking Me Home" from Volume & Density (2003), and we conclude with another new recording, "My Funny Valentine" (Rodgers/Hart). Intro: "Megan" from Destination Failure (1997). Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsors: Visit HelloFresh.com/examined14 and use code examined14 for up to 14 free meals with free shipping. Get 15% off an annual membership at MasterClass.com/examined.
21/06/21·1h 13m

PEL Presents: (sub)Text: Disturbing the Universe in "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T. S. Eliot

It was T. S. Eliot’s first published poem. Written when he was only in his early 20s, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” rode the crest of the wave of literary Modernism, predated World War I, and presaged an age of indecision and anxiety. The poem is the dramatic interior monologue of the title character, a middle-aged man whose passivity and ambivalence are threaded with artistic allusions, epigrammatic observations, and meditations on the nature of time, the fraudulence of relationships, and the risks of eating a peach. Should Prufrock dare disturb the universe? Should we? Wes & Erin discuss.  Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website Thanks to Nick Ketter for the audio editing on this episode.
20/06/21·1h 3m

PREMIUM-Ep. 271: Johan Gottlieb Fichte's Transcendental Idealism (Part Two)

Continuing on The Vocation of Man (1799), Book II. In this preview, we clarify whether Fichte is trying to keep the notion of a "real world" beyond our experience or not. It's part of the progression of the text that while at first he assumes that there must be something real behind this experienced world we as individuals create, he gives up that notion in the middle of Book II. So how does he get to his startling reversal? To hear that full second part, you'll need to go sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
14/06/21·9m 37s

Ep. 271: Johan Gottlieb Fichte's Transcendental Idealism (Part One)

On The Vocation of Man (1799), Books I and II. What is reality? Fichte's armchair journey starts him considering nature and thus himself as determined, but then he backtracks to say that actually, experience doesn't tell us whether we're determined or free. In Book II, he argues that since our experience is always of something going on in ourselves, then causality, the external world, the self, etc. must be our own mental creations. So we're free after all, yet everything is drained of significance! Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support. Get it now or listen to a preview.
07/06/21·51m 11s

PEL Presents (sub)Text: At Home with War in "Apocalypse Now" (1979) by Francis Ford Coppola

Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore doesn’t flinch for enemy fire, loves the smell of napalm in the morning, and would literally kill for good surfing and a beachside barbecue. His attempts to re-create home within the theater of war render him the perfect foil to a certain upriver madman, who seems intent on making high culture serve the purposes of primitive horror. And yet Kurtz is ready to argue that it is his methods that are more sound, just because they embrace their ruthlessness more honestly, in contrast to the impotent half-measures of an imperial power that can rationalize its atrocities as collateral damage in the service of a larger humanitarian goal. Which approach should evoke more horror? Wes & Erin analyze Francis Ford Coppola's 1979 film “Apocalypse Now.” Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website Thanks to Nick Ketter for the audio editing on this episode.
06/06/21·1h 14m

PEL Presents NEM#149: Rod Abernethy's Return to Acoustic (from Video Game Soundtracks)

Rod released his first album "Solo" in 1975, played in some bands, but after losing on Star Search, turned to soundtrack work, emerging only in 2018 with three straight albums of acoustic singer-songwriter and instrumental material. We discuss "My Father Was a Quiet Man" (and listen to "Whiskey & Pie") from Normal Isn't Normal Anymore (2021), "How to Forget" from The Man I'm Supposed to Be (2018), and "Working the Mill" and "Battle in Laketown" from The Hobbit Official Soundtrack (2003). Intro: "Driving to Dan’s" from Rage Original Game Soundtrack (2011). For more, see rodabernethy.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon.
04/06/21·1h 4m

Pretty Much Pop #94: Psychology of Video Game Engagement w/ Jamie Madigan

Why do people play video games, and what keeps them playing? Mark, Erica, and Brian are joined by the host of the Psychology of Video Games podcast to discuss player types, motivation vs. engagement, incentives and feedback, as well as the gamification of work or school environments. We touch on Donkey Kong, Dark Souls, It Takes Two, Returnal, Hades, Subnautica, Fortnite, and Age of Z. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. Sponsor: Get a loan to lower your monthly payments at Upstart.com/PRETTY.
03/06/21·54m 32s

PREMIUM-Ep. 270: Classical Indian (Vedanta and Nyaya) Design Arguments for God (Part Two)

Continuing (without Stephen Phillips) on God and the World’s Arrangement: Readings from Vedanta and Nyaya Philosophy of Religion. What does this treatment give us that's fundamentally different than the Western version of the design argument? We talk about these readings in the context of liberation and reflect on reason vs. revelation in this milieu. To hear that full second part, you'll need to go sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
31/05/21·10m 48s

Ep. 270: Classical Indian (Vedanta and Nyaya) Design Arguments for God w/ Stephen Phillips (Part One)

On God and the World's Arrangement: Readings from Vedanta and Nyaya Philosophy of Religion with one of its translators, Stephen Phillips. Does nature require an intelligent designer? Śaṅkara (710 CE) and Vācaspati Miśra (960 CE), commenting on the Brahma-sūtra (ca. 200 CE) and Nyāya-sūtra (ca. 200 BCE), argue that it does against atheistic Buddhists, Sāṃkhya believers in a primordial matter that acts on its own, and the Mīmāṃsā conservatives who so venerated scripture that they ruled out a God who created it. But if we're all Brahman (God), just trying to discover that we are and so escape the cycle of rebirth, then where is there room for a particular deity who created us? Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support. Get it now or listen to a preview.
24/05/21·59m 16s

PEL Presents NEM#148: David Cross (ex-King Crimson): Electric Violin Dinosaur Battles

David played in perhaps the most revered line-up of King Crimson at the end of its original run from '72-'74. He released his first "solo" album (as Low Flying Aircraft) in '87, then eight more under his own name plus several collaborations. We discuss "Predator" by Cross and Jackson from Another Day (2018), "The Pool" by The David Cross Band from Sign of the Crow (2016), and "Awful Love" from Closer than Skin (2005). We conclude with the title track from Crossover by David Cross and Peter Banks (2020). Intro: "Exiles" by King Crimson from Larks' Tongues in Aspic (1973). For more, see davidcrossband.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsors: Get 15% off an annual membership at MasterClass.com/examined. Visit nebia.com/nem and use code NEM for 10% off your shower upgrade and accessories.
22/05/21·1h 21m

PEL Presents (sub)Text: Unsound Methods in Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness”

On his journey to the heart of the Congo, Marlow learns of a famed ivory trader named Kurtz— a remarkable man; a “universal genius;” a painter, poet, and musician; a man whose success in his trade has been unparalleled, but whose “unsound methods” have put him at odds with local bureaucrats. When Marlow finally meets Kurtz, he hears firsthand the trader’s essential characteristic: a deep and commanding voice which, combined with his methods, has earned him disciples and inspired local tribes to worship him as a god. But what message does Kurtz speak into the terrible silence of the African wilderness? And what deficiency, as Marlow calls it, might be hiding beneath his eloquence? Wes & Erin analyze Joseph Conrad’s 1899 novella, Heart of Darkness. Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website Thanks to Nick Ketter for the audio editing on this episode.
20/05/21·1h 28m

PREMIUM-Ep. 269: Arendt on Totalitarianism (Part Two)

Continuing on two of Hannah Arendt's 1953 essays on totalitarianism. We further discuss its logic and in the full episode get into its relevance for contemporary political movements. To hear that full second part, you'll need to go sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support. Sponsor: See headspace.com/PEL for a free month's access to a library of guided meditations. Try The Class X Podcast on Spotify or Apple, or look it up wherever you listen.
17/05/21·10m 30s

PEL Presents PMP#92: Collectibles and Collecting w/ Matt Young

What drives someone to collect Star Wars figures or Transformers or LEGOs or whatever else? Mark, Erica, and Brian are joined by guest Matt Young of the Hello from the Magic Tavern and Improvised Star Trek podcasts to talk about this potentially expensive and life-eating habit. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. Sponsor: Get a loan to lower your monthly payments at Upstart.com/PRETTY.
11/05/21·53m 50s

Ep. 269: Arendt on Totalitarianism (Part One)

On "On the Nature of Totalitarianism" and On the Origins of Totalitarianism ch. 13 (both from 1953). Is totalitarianism just an especially virulent form of tyranny, or something unique to the modern age? Arendt says that unlike other forms of government, totalitarianism is not animated by an active psychological principle that motivates its participants. Instead terror is designed to make citizens incapable of agency altogether. Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support. Get it now or listen to a preview.
10/05/21·47m 16s

PEL Presents NEM#147: Steve Almaas: From Punk to the Rodeo

Steve was in one of Minneapolis' first big punk bands, The Suicide Commandos, but after one album in 1977, he soon left for New York City and eventually hit it relatively big with two records on IRS as Beat Rodeo, with a solo career continuing the country-rock style beginning in 1992 through nine albums. We discuss "The Way I Treated You" (and listen to "Goodbye Nicolina," featuring The Jayhawks' Gary Louris) from Everywhere You've Been (2021), "Try Again" by The Suicide Commandos from their reunion album Time Bomb (2017), and the title track from Steve's first solo record East River Blues (1992). Intro: "Just Friends" from Staying Out Late w/ the Beat Rodeo (1984). Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsor: Visit nebia.com/nem and use code NEM for 10% off your shower upgrade.
10/05/21·54m 44s

PEL Presents (sub)Text: On the Lam with “Thelma & Louise”

Two women—one a straight-laced waitress, the other a naive housewife—leave town for a quiet weekend getaway. But after a deadly encounter with a rapist, the two become unlikely...and then increasingly confident...outlaws. Though a kindly police officer tries to convince the women to turn themselves in, their refusal to surrender to a future scripted by forces more powerful than themselves drives them to a shocking and iconic ending. Is their fate triumphant or tragic? Wes & Erin discuss Ridley Scott’s 1991 film, Thelma & Louise. Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website Thanks to Nick Ketter for the audio editing on this episode.
09/05/21·1h 29m

PREMIUM-Ep. 268: Neil Postman's "Amusing Ourselves to Death" (Part Two)

Continuing on Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business with guest Brian Hirt. Is the written word really so much more suited for providing context than television? To hear the full second part, you'll need to go sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
03/05/21·13m 21s

PEL Presents NEM#146: Nels Cline Writes Fusion (And Plays Guitar for Wilco)

Though best known as lead guitarist for Wilco since 2004, Nels has recorded 30+ instrumental albums, often as band leader. We discuss "Headdress" by The Nels Cline Singers from Share the Wealth (2020), "The Nomad’s Home" from Coward (2009), and "Fives & Sixes" from his first solo release, Angelica (1987). We conclude by listening to "Imperfect Ten" by The Nels Cline 4 from From Currents, Constellations (2018). Intro: "You Are My Face" by Wilco from Sky Blue Sky (2007), co-written with Jeff Tweedy. More at nelscline.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsors: Get 15% off an annual membership at MasterClass.com/examined. Visit nebia.com/nem and use code NEM for 15% off your shower upgrade.
01/05/21·1h 24m

Ep. 268: Neil Postman's "Amusing Ourselves to Death" (Part One)

On Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business (1985) with guest Brian Hirt. How does the form in which we receive media affect how we think? Education theorist Postman (building on Marshall McLuhan) claimed that television has eroded our capacity to reason and given us the expectation that everything in the world must entertain. Is this a viable piece of social construction theory? How does the critique apply to the Internet age? Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support. Get it now or listen to a preview.
26/04/21·44m 42s

PEL Presents PMP#90: Godzilla vs. Kong vs. All the Kaiju!

Are giant monsters stomping on cities just stupid fun, or do they channel deep fears of helplessness? Do we care at all about the humans in these films? Are they legit sci-fi or political commentary? Mark, Erica, and Brian reflect on the MonsterVerse films, plus the filmic histories of Godzilla and King Kong, Pacific Rim, Colossal, The Host, Cloverfield, and more. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. Sponsor: Get a loan to lower your monthly payments at Upstart.com/PRETTY. Watch Erica's cabaret at lyricstage.com.
25/04/21·49m 45s

PEL Presents (sub)Text: Spiritual Matters in Chekhov's "The Student" and "A Medical Case"

In Chekhov’s stories, beautiful natural surroundings are often a setting for unnatural lives and ugly social conditions. This sets the stage for a reflection on the relationship between physical and spiritual needs. His story “The Student” suggests that material deprivation--whether it is the exhaustion of the apostle Peter or the poverty of the Russian peasant--can undermine the capacity for fidelity and cultivation. In “A Medical Case,” a young heiress is made physically ill by her guilty awareness of oppressive conditions in her family’s factories. Can art, science, and faith truly redeem the individual human spirit without first transforming its social environment? Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website Thanks to Nick Ketter for the audio editing on this episode.
24/04/21·1h 14m

PEL Presents NEM#145: Jay Gonzalez: Concise but Colorful

Jay is best known as sideman for Drive-By Truckers since 2008 but has written songs for Athens bands like The Possibilities and Nutria since the 90s and has three solo releases. We discuss the title track (and listen at the end to "I Wanna Hold You") from Back to the Hive (2021), "&#%&#!" and "Shenorock Lane" from <em><a href= "https://amzn.to/3d4IOGe" target="_blank" rel= "noreferrer noopener">The Bitter Suite</a></em> (2015), and "Turning Me On" from <em><a href="https://amzn.to/3sab7Y5" target= "_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Mess of Happiness</a></em> (2012). Intro: "Tough to Let Go" by Drive-By Truckers from <em><a href="https://amzn.to/39YSfVO" target="_blank" rel= "noreferrer noopener">The New OK</a></em> (2020). For more see <a href="http://www.jaygonzalez.com/" target="_blank" rel= "noreferrer noopener">jaygonzalez.com</a>.</p> <p><a href="http://www.nakedlyexaminedmusic.com/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Hear more Nakedly Examined Music</a>. <a href="https://www.facebook.com/nemusicpodcast/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Like our Facebook page</a>. <a href= "http://patreon.com/nakedlyexaminedmusic" target="_blank" rel= "noreferrer noopener">Support us on Patreon</a>.</p> <p><strong>Sponsors</strong>: Get 15% off an annual membership at <a href="https://www.masterclass.com/examined" target="_blank" rel= "noopener">MasterClass.com/examined</a>. Visit <a href= "https://nebia.com/nem" target="_blank" rel= "noreferrer noopener">nebia.com/nem</a> and use code NEM for 15% off your shower upgrade.</p>
23/04/21·1h 5m

PREMIUM-Ep. 267: Avicenna on God and Soul w/ Peter Adamson (Part Two)

Continuing on Avicenna's arguments for the existence of God and on the soul's immateriality. What metaphysical and epistemological picture grounds these views? To hear the full second part, you'll need to go sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
19/04/21·9m 13s

PEL Presents PMP#89: The Chicago 7 (and the Aaron Sorkinverse)

Brian, Erica, and Mark consider one of this year's Oscar-nominated films, The Trial of the Chicago 7, and the film and TV career of its writer/director Aaron Sorkin. We get into The West Wing, The Social Network, Steve Jobs, The Newsroom, and more, focusing on his recurring characters, plots based on true stories, and whether his speechifying is manipulative in the ways that we enjoy or not. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. Sponsor: Get premium wireless service starting at $15/month from MintMobile.com/PRETTY.
14/04/21·44m 58s

Ep. 267: Avicenna on God and Soul w/ Peter Adamson (Part One)

On selections and commentary about Avicenna's argument from around 1020 C.E. for the existence of God as a necessary being, plus arguments to prove that God has the person-like properties that Islam imputes to him, and his "flying man" argument for the soul's essential independence from matter. Featuring Mark, Dylan, and our guest Peter Adamson from the History of Philosophy podcast. Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support. Get it now or listen to a preview.
12/04/21·56m 27s

PEL Presents PMP#88: Indie Animation w/ Benjamin Goldman

Animation is so labor-intensive that it seems designed for corporate domination a la Disney. Mark, Erica, and Brian are joined by animator Benjamin Goldman to discuss doing animation on your own. What qualifies as "indie?" What are we as adult viewers looking from this medium? How do images relate to narration? How realistic should the animation look? You may want to watch Benjamin's short film (currently featured by The New Yorker) "Eight Nights." For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. Sponsor: Get premium wireless service starting at $15/month from MintMobile.com/PRETTY.
11/04/21·47m 40s

PEL Presents (sub)Text: Art and Action in Chekhov's "The House with the Mezzanine"

In this story, there are two sisters: one introverted, frail, and bookish; the other dominant, opinionated, and politically active. In meeting them, an accomplished artist seems to be confronted with a dilemma. Should art subordinate itself to the project of creating a just society? Or should it focus on serving more spiritual needs? These questions make Chekhov’s “The House with the Mezzanine” an interesting meditation on the relationship between politics and the arts, and whether the windows of our proverbial dwellings are best used to illuminate a new path forward, or to articulate the beauty of the world as it is. Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website Thanks to Nick Ketter for the audio editing on this episode.
11/04/21·1h 20m

PEL Presents NEM#144: Dennis Davison (The Jigsaw Seen): How Much Is Enough?

Dennis fronted the Baltimore punk band Ebenezer and The Bludgeons in the late 70s, and after some transitional projects moved to L.A. where his '60s-ish guitar pop band The Jigsaw Seen released nine albums from 1989-2015. We discuss "Museum Piece" (and listen to "Shadow on a Tall Tree" at the end) from his debut solo album, The Book Of Strongman (2020); "Idiots with Guitars" from Old Man Reverb (2014); and the title track from My Name Is Tom (1991). Intro: "Jim Is the Devil" (a 1989 single). For more, visit dennisdavisonmusic.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsor: Visit nebia.com/nem and use code NEM for 15% off your shower upgrade.
10/04/21·1h 3m

PREMIUM-Ep. 266: Jonathan Lear's Plato: Psyche and Society (Part Two)

Continuing on Lear's Open Minded: Working Out the Logic of the Soul (1988). Our highlight is about the relation between the three parts of the soul: which (if any) is basic? To hear the full second part, you'll need to go sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
05/04/21·10m 50s

Ep. 266: Jonathan Lear's Plato: Psyche and Society (Part One)

On essays from Lear's Open Minded: Working Out the Logic of the Soul (1988): "Inside and Outside the Republic," "Eros and Unknowing: The Psychoanalytic Significance of Plato’s Symposium," and "An Interpretation of Transference," which compares Socrates' questioning with psychotherapy. Is Plato's analogy between mind and state in The Republic a good one? What can we learn from it about what makes for a stable, healthy character? How does eros (desire) fit into this picture? Lear gives a creative, helpful reading of Plato informed by psychoanalysis. Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support. Get it now or listen to a preview.
29/03/21·51m 5s

PEL Presents (sub)Text: Nipped by Love in Chekhov's "The Lady with the Little Dog"

Dmitri Gurov does not take love seriously. His wife annoys him, long-term relationships scare him, and his love life consists of brief affairs with women he meets at vacation resorts. In Anna, he finds someone who appears to be the usual victim—traveling alone, tired of her husband, and unlikely to make any effective demands for intimacy, something that seems to be revealed in the diminutive portability of her traveling companion. This time, however, he has met a match too powerful for his predatory ambitions. When is love’s bite bigger than its bark? Wes & Erin discuss Anton Chekhov’s “The Lady with the Little Dog." Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website Thanks to Nick Ketter for the audio editing on this episode.
28/03/21·1h 9m

PREMIUM-Ep. 265: Plato's "Phaedo": Philosophy as Training for Death (Part Two)

Continuing on the Phaedo, we start with a point from Plato's physics that's supposed to hep prove the immortality of the soul, then lay out his theory of Forms. To hear the full second part, you'll need to go sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
22/03/21·10m 52s

PEL Presents PMP#86: What Irish Means w/ Black 47's Larry Kirwan

St. Patrick's Day has passed: What sort of representation of Ireland has made it to the U.S. through such celebrations? Who gets to decide what's authentically Irish? Mark, Erica, and Brian are joined by writer and musician Larry to talk about his immigrant experience, covering history, music, humor, language, slurs, stereotypes, and his new book Rockaway Blue. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. Sponsor: Get 15% off your personal safety alarm at ShesBirdie.com/PRETTY.
19/03/21·43m 53s

Ep. 265: Plato's "Phaedo": Philosophy as Training for Death (Part One)

On Plato's middle dialogue depicting the death of Socrates (390 BCE) depicting the death of Socrates. Should philosophers fear death? In the course of giving arguments for the immortality of the soul, we get an elaboration of the recollection theory of knowledge (from the Meno) into Plato's first full account of Forms. But how literally are we supposed to take the words of Socrates as he comforts himself facing mortality? Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support. Get it now or listen to a preview.
15/03/21·42m 24s

PEL Presents NEM#143: In Search of Eric Dover (Imperial Drag, Slash’s Snakepit, etc.)

After joining Jellyfish in 1993 just before its demise, Eric's big break came when he was asked to sing for Slash's Snakepit. He then returned to Roger Manning from Jellyfish for an album as Imperial Drag, worked as sideman (e.g. for Alice Cooper) and studio guy and had two releases as Sextus. He's now back with Roger in The Lickerish Quartet, which released two EPs. We discuss "The Dream That Took Me Over" by The Lickerish Quartet from Threesome, Vol. 2 (2021), "Wishing You Well" by Sextus from Stranger Than Fiction (2008), and "Boy or a Girl" from Imperial Drag (1996). End song: "What Do You Want from Me?" from The Eyes of Alice Cooper (2003). Intro: "Beggars & Hangers-On" by Slash's Snakepit from It's Five O'Clock Somewhere (1995). More at thelickerishquartet.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsors: Get 15% off an annual membership at MasterClass.com/examined. Visit nebia.com/nem and use code NEM for 15% off your shower revolution.
12/03/21·1h 5m

PEL Presents PMP#85: What the WandaVision!? w/ Rolando Nieves

The debut Disney+ Marvel series is... a tribute to classic sit-coms? Mark, Erica, Brian, and guest Rolando try to figure out whether this experiment was successful, whether you have to be a die-hard to get it, and the potential for future oddball superhero outings.. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. Sponsors: Get 15% off wireless earbuds at BuyRaycon.com/PRETTY. Get AudiblePlus for 30 days free at Audible.com/pretty or text pretty to 500-500.
09/03/21·47m 33s

PREMIUM-Ep. 264: Plato's "Timaeus" on Cosmology (Part Two)

Continuing on the Timaeus, we consider some quotes and details starting at the beginning of the dialogue where Plato argues for differences between the perceived, created, impermanent world and its perfect model.  To hear this second part, you'll need to go sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
08/03/21·9m 55s

PEL Presents NEM#141: Robert Forster (The Go-Betweens) Looks Back Novelistically

Robert co-fronted the Australian-born post-punk band The Go-Betweens through nine albums in the '80s and '00s with Grant McLennan before the latter's death in 2006 and has also released seven solo albums. We discuss "No Fame" from Inferno (2019), "Here Comes a City" by The Go-Betweens from Oceans Apart (2005), and "On My Block" by The Go-Betweens from Before Hollywood (1983). We conclude by listening to "Let Me Imagine You" from Songs to Play (2015). Intro: "Clouds" by The Go-Betweens from 16 Lovers Lane (1988). Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsors: Get 15% off an annual membership at MasterClass.com/examined. Visit nebia.com/nem and use code NEM for 15% off your shower revolution.
07/03/21·1h 9m

PEL Presents NEM#142: Rebecca Rego: This Is Your Life!

Folky, soul-singing Rebecca has had six releases since 2007. We discuss "Mama" from her solo EP, Songs for Cleaning Women, Pt. 1 (2020), "No One Knows Me" by Rebecca Rego and the Trainmen from Speaking of Witches (2019), "Gave Me" by rego off of From the Royal Arcade (2009), and "Cruel" from Lay These Weapons Down (2016). Intro: "Call My Mother" from Tolono (2014). See rebeccaregoandthetrainmen.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsor: Visit nebia.com/nem and use code NEM for 15% off your shower revolution.
07/03/21·1h 0m

Ep. 264: Plato's "Timaeus" on Cosmology (Part One)

On the later Platonic dialogue from around 360 BCE. How is nature put together? Plato speaks through the fictional Timaeus (not Socrates) to give a "likely story" about the universe, physics, and biology involving a Craftsman (Demi-Urge) who created everything based on a pre-existing perfect model (the Forms!). Timaeus derives his whole story from the principle that the world is good, and so the Craftsman must necessarily optimize creation, with any imperfections being introduced only by the necessity involved when a perfect blueprint gets embodied to create ever-shifting, impermanent matter. Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support. Get it now or listen to a preview.
01/03/21·42m 5s

PEL Presents PMP#84: Musician Memoirs w/ Laura Davis-Chanin

Mark, Erica, Brian, and guest memoir author Laura talk about the appeal of this type of book whose production has exploded in recent years. We each read a book, covering Elvis Costello, Carrie Brownstein, Ozzy Osbourne, and Debby Harry respectively. How are these better than a film depiction or documentary biography? For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. Sponsors: Get 15% off your personal safety alarm at ShesBirdie.com/PRETTY. Get premium wireless for $15/month at MintMobile.com/PRETTY.
01/03/21·48m 4s

PEL Presents (sub)Text: Business Gets Personal in “The Godfather”

Out of the darkness of the opening frames comes a supplicant— Buonasera the undertaker. He pleads for the justice that the American legal system denied him. As the camera draws back, we see the outline of a face, a hand... Don Corleone holds court at the confluence of loyalty and duress, generosity and calculation, power and fragility. It is not money, but friendship that he asks of Buonasera. Within and without the world of the film, can one consider Don Corleone a great man? Or does his moral code, like his favor, always hide a transaction? Wes & Erin give their analysis of Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 film, “The Godfather.”  Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website Thanks to Nick Ketter for the audio editing on this episode.
28/02/21·1h 21m

PREMIUM-Ep. 263: Lise Van Boxel's "Warspeak" on Strategies for Valuing (Part Two)

Continuing on Warspeak: Nietzsche's Victory Over Nihilism with guests Jeff Black and Michael Grenke. To hear this second part, you'll need to go sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
22/02/21·12m 50s

PEL Presents PMP#83: Disabled and Other-Abled Representation w/ Kayla Dryesse

Media representation of disability needs improvement, as does inclusion of disabled actors and writers. Playwright Kayla joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to talk about hurdles, disability culture, negative stereotypes, and how disability relates to comedy and horror. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. Sponsor: Get 50% off your customized vitamin plan at TakeCareOf.com, code pmp50.
21/02/21·45m 3s

Ep. 263: Lise Van Boxel's "Warspeak" on Strategies for Valuing (Part One)

On Warspeak: Nietzsche's Victory Over Nihilism (2020) with Dylan, Seth, and guests Michael Grenke and Jeff Black. What's a viable counter-ideal to the asceticism that Nietzsche thought is so pervasive? Lise's book works out strategies for re-valuing that emphasize Nietzsche's positive comments about the feminine and the power of words. Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support. Get it now or listen to a preview. Sponsors: Get 50% off The New Yorker and a free tote bag at NewYorker.com/PEL. Use Uber.com/pel to get $50 credit to buy rides or meal deliveries. Visit TheGreatCoursesPlus.com/PEL for a free 14-day trial of unlimited access to The Great Courses Plus Video Learning Service. Organize your Inbox: Get a free trial and save $25 at sanebox.com/pel. Learn about St. John's College at SJC.edu.
15/02/21·41m 14s

PEL Presents (sub)Text: Love and Nostalgia in Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall”

Alvy Singer is not, he tells us, a depressive character. It’s just that as a child he always worried that the expanding universe would one day break apart; and as an adult that romantic relationships must always fall apart. With Annie Hall, he thought he had finally found something that would last, in part because she could -- like the audiences of Woody Allen -- endure and make sense of his fragmented neuroticism: by finding it, on occasion, funny, or endearing, or even informative. While Annie’s patient, quirky fatalism does not prevent her from outgrowing Alvy and leaving him behind, the nostalgic and wistful frame of Allen’s film does have something to say about what helps keep love alive, and people connected. Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website Thanks to Nick Ketter for the audio editing on this episode.
14/02/21·1h 5m

PEL Presents PMP#81: Radio vs. Podcasting w/ Jason Bentley

Jason was music director at KRCW, the LA NPR station, is also a DJ with a lot of experienced interviewing musicians, and now hosts a new podcast, The Backstory. He joins Mark and Erica to discuss the creative and business possibilities of podcasting in comparison to radio, what their futures may hold, and his own journey between the two media. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. Sponsors: Get 15% off your personal safety alarm at ShesBirdie.com/PRETTY. For the special President's Day offer, visit Audible.com/pretty or text pretty to 500-500.
10/02/21·50m 59s

PREMIUM-Ep. 262: Nietzsche on Self-Denial (Part Two)

More on essay three of Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morals on the meaning of ascetic ideals. How does asceticism fit into N's overall morality, and how does he use it to critique scientists? To hear this second part, you'll need to go sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
08/02/21·11m 49s

PEL Presents PMP#80: Reliving Groundhog Day (and Palm Springs, Russian Doll, etc.)

Happy Groundhog Day! The '93 film has had dozens of imitators spanning various genres in recent years, but the idea goes back more than a century. Mark, Erica, Brian, and guest Ken Gerber touch on popular and obscure examples examples from film and TV to explore the philosophical themes and storytelling techniques.  For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. Sponsor: Get premium wireless service at $15/month from MintMobile.com/PRETTY.
02/02/21·48m 57s

Ep. 262: Nietzsche on Self-Denial (Part One)

On Friedrich Nietzsche's The Genealogy of Morals (1887), "Third essay: what do ascetic ideals mean?" Self-regulation, where we tamp down certain aspects of our personality, is necessary for disciplined action, but it can clearly go too far. Nietzsche uses this concept of asceticism to analyze both geniuses and the masses. It is a chief tool of the will to power, highly dangerous to human flourishing but also unleashing many new capabilities beyond our animal nature. Does this picture of motivation and greatness make sense? Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support. Get it now or listen to a preview.
01/02/21·46m 6s

PEL Presents (sub)Text: Yielding to Suggestion in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”

On the moors of medieval Scotland, three witches hail the nobleman Macbeth as the future king—despite the fact that King Duncan is very much alive, and Macbeth is not in line to the throne. At the suggestion of power, Macbeth’s mind leaps to murder. Later, he fancies he sees a floating dagger leading him to Duncan, and after more bloodshed, believes he is haunted by the ghost of a friend. Is Macbeth merely a victim of divination, goaded by suggestion and his own imagination? To what extent is every ambition an imaginative act—and perhaps a form of prophecy? Wes & Erin discuss the Scottish Play: Shakespeare’s shortest tragedy, "Macbeth." Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website Thanks to Nick Ketter for the audio editing on this episode.
31/01/21·1h 32m

PEL Presents NEM#140: Larry Keel: Hillbilly Shredder to Singer-Songwriter

Larry has appeared on 20+ albums since co-founding Magraw Gap in 1990 and then becoming bandleader on '97. He's known for his lightning flat picking and has more recently added a good dose of social commentary and fundamental questioning to his songwriting. We discuss "Mars’ Cry" (and listen to "Try") from American Dream (2020), "Crocodile Man" from One (2019), and "Diamond Break" from Backwoods (2009). Intro: The title track to The Sound (1999). For more, see larrykeel.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsor: Get a month's free trial of guided meditations at headspace.com/NEM.
30/01/21·53m 12s

PEL Presents PMP#79: The Fargo Formula w/ Tamler Sommers (Very Bad Wizards Crossover)

On the darkly comic '96 film and the 4-season crime show. Mark, Erica, Brian, and Tamler from VBW consider its style, "tundra western" setting, "Minnesota nice", gender issues, stunt casting, absurdism, and more. Yes, there are spoilers, but it barely matters. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. Sponsor: Visit amazon.com/prettyRX for free two-day prescription deliveries (and save money when not using insurance).
27/01/21·46m 40s

PREMIUM-Ep. 261: Derek Parfit on Personal Identity (Part Two)

More on Parfit's Reasons and Persons (1984), ch. 10-13. In this preview, we consider how Parfit deals with Bernard Williams' materialist thought experiment to show that the whole concept of personal identity doesn't make sense. Also, split brains! To hear this second part, you'll need to go sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support. 
25/01/21·12m 23s

Ep. 261: Derek Parfit on Personal Identity (Part One)

On Reasons and Persons (1984), ch. 10-13. What makes a person persist over time? After using various sci-fi examples to test the Lockean (personhood=psychological continuity), physicalist (same brain=same person), and Cartesian (same soul=same person) theories, Parfit concludes that the whole notion is incoherent and isn't actually what we care about when wondering "will I die?" Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support. Get it now or listen to a preview.
18/01/21·50m 43s

PEL Presents (sub)Text: Clever Hopes in W. H. Auden’s “September 1, 1939”

W. H. Auden hated this poem. He called it the most dishonest he had ever written, and eventually had it excluded from collections of his poetry. And yet it quickly became one of his most popular poems. And after the attacks of September 11, it was published in several national newspapers and widely discussed. This might seem to be a strange result, given that the poem is not a call-to-arms, but an invitation to self-critique. What explains the enduring appeal of Auden’s September 1, 1939? Was he right to repudiate it? Wes & Erin discuss. Thanks to Martin Köster for allowing us to use his painting New York at Night III for the cover art to this episode. Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website Thanks to Nick Ketter for the audio editing on this episode.
17/01/21·1h 18m

PEL Presents NEM#139: Don Rauf's Life In A Blender

Don started the NY-based Life in a Blender in the late 80s and has put out ten albums of tunes with off-kilter lyrics and increasingly elaborate arrangements. We discuss "The Ocean is a Black and Rolling Tongue" (and listen to "Soul Deliverer") from Satsuma (2020), "Falmouth" from We Already Have Birds That Sing (2014), and "Chicken Dance" from Two Legs Bad (1997). Intro: "Mounds of Flesh" from Welcome to the Jelly Days (1988). For more see lifeinablender.net. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsors: Get three months free Internet privacy protection at ExpressVPN.com/NEM. Get 15% off MasterClass at masterclass.com/EXAMINED. Get a month's free trial of guided meditations at headspace.com/NEM.
15/01/21·1h 6m

PEL Presents PMP#77: The Big Screen Experience

What's the post-COVID future of movie theaters? Mark, Erica, and Brian compare past moviegoing habits and reflect on the big-screen vs. small-screen decision. How would we optimize the theatrical experience? We consider films affected like Tenet, Soul, etc. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. Sponsors: Visit ExpressVPN.com/pretty to get three months free.
13/01/21·48m 20s

PREMIUM-Ep. 260: Locke on Moral Psychology

One last take on John Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1689), covering Book II, ch. 21 and 28. What makes a moral claim true? Do we have free will? What makes us choose the good, or not? In this coda to our long treatment of Locke's opus, we bring together all he has to say about morality, which is strangely modern yet also just strange. This is but a preview, less than a third of what you'll get in the full discussion by signing up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
11/01/21·19m 47s

PEL Presents PMP#76: Wonder Women (84 and Others) w/ Vi Burlew

Returning heroine Vi (now a grad student in comics history) joins Erica, Mark, and Brian to put the new film in context, bringing in the weird ideas of WW's creator as shown in the 2017 biopic Professor Marston and the Wonder Women. Do the new film's themes actually make sense? We talk political ideals, truth, love, feminist utopias, '70s TV, and more. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. Sponsor: For a free audiobook and 30 days free, visit Audible.com/pretty or text pretty to 500-500.
06/01/21·50m 21s

Ep. 259: Locke Clarifies Misleading Complex Ideas (Part Two)

More on Book II (ch. 22-33) of John Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding.  On relations, then personal identity, with more on substances (spiritual and material), the various ways in which ideas can go wrong, and how mental association can entrench irrationality that disrupts clear thinking. Listen to part one first, or get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition, which will also get you the end-of-year PEL Nightcap that you'll hear a preview for here. Please support PEL!
04/01/21·1h 4m

PEL Presents (sub)Text: The “Human Position” of Suffering in W.H. Auden’s “Musée des Beaux Arts”

As war loomed in Europe, the poet W.H. Auden left Britain for the United States. One of the poems he wrote just before leaving is about the nature of human suffering—or as Auden puts it, the “human position” of suffering: for the most part, it happens invisibly, and the procession of ordinary life leaves it unacknowledged. Yet, the representation and transcendence of suffering are tasks important both to religion and the arts. Is suffering’s “human position” something that can be redeemed? Wes and Erin discuss Auden’s poem Musée des Beaux Arts. Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website Thanks to Nick Ketter for the audio editing on this episode.
03/01/21·1h 3m

Ep. 259: Locke Clarifies Misleading Complex Ideas (Part One)

On Book II (ch. 22-33) of John Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1689). Simple ideas get complex quickly when you put them into words, and can give rise to various philosophical problems that are either easily cleared up when you figure out how the complex idea is built out of simple ideas, or if they can't be so broken down, then we really don't know what we're talking about and should just shut up. Don't wait for part two, get the ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL!
28/12/20·42m 27s

Mark Lint's PEL Network Holiday Party 2020: Merry Chatting and Songs

Join the office party, where Mark holds mini conversations on philosophy, art, and life with all PEL and PMP co-hosts, plus Ken Stringfellow, Jenny Hansen, and the members of Mark Lint's Dry Folk, whose 12 tunes are presented in succession with nary a partridge in sight. Will these 12 spirits turn you (or Mark) from errant ways? BYOB!
24/12/20·2h 5m

PEL Presents PMP#74: Micro Comedy w/ Tiffany Topol

What has the Internet done to comedy? Tiffany, purveyor of social media bits and song parodies, joins Erica, Mark, and Brian to think about new ways of making and consuming comedy over TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and other social media. Maybe given current events we should describe the goal as something other than "going viral"? For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. Sponsors: Get 10% off a month's counseling at BetterHelp.com/Pretty
22/12/20·47m 28s

REISSUE-PEL Ep 37: Locke on Political Power (w/ New Intro)

A 2011 episode on John Locke's Second Treatise on Government (1690), with a fresh introduction connecting it to the present. What makes political power legitimate? Like Hobbes, Locke thought that things are less than ideal without a society to keep people from killing us, so we implicitly sign a social contract giving power to the state. But on Locke's view, nature’s not as bad, so the state is given less power. But how much less? And what does Locke think about tea partying, kids, women, acorns, foreign travelers, and calling dibs? Featuring guest Sabrina Weiss. Hear the full, new reconsideration of this episode by Mark, Wes, and Dylan on the latest Nightcap available via partiallyexaminedlife.com/support. End song: "Lock Them Away," by Mark Lint (2003). Sponsors: Save $35 off meal delivery at SunBasket.com/PEL, code PEL. Have your donations matched up to $250 at givewell.org/PEL (select podcast and Partially Examined Life). Learn about St. John’s college at sjc.edu/PEL.  
21/12/20·1h 49m

PEL Presents PMP#73: Beloved Bad Films w/ Manos' Jackey Neyman Jones

What makes a film transcendently bad? A cult classic, as opposed to merely unwatchable? Child Jackey appeared in 1966's Manos: The Hands of Fate, and she joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to discuss growing up in community theater, being reintroduced to her family movie by MST3K, and the over-confident auteur.  We also touch on Birdemic, Catwoman, The Happening, and Battleship, as well as films about the making of bad films: The Disaster Artist, Best Worst Movie, Ed Wood, and Dolemite Is My Name.  For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. Sponsors: Get 10% off a month's counseling at BetterHelp.com/Pretty. Visit ExpressVPN.com/pretty to get three months free.
16/12/20·47m 32s

Ep. 258: Locke on Acquiring Simple Ideas (Part Two)

Continuing on Book II (through ch. 20) of John Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1689). How do we acquire our ideas of pain and pleasure, duration and motion? We talk primary (shape, size) and secondary (color, sound) qualities, the former of which are supposed to be actually in objects, and the latter just in our mind. Plus, is Locke really an atomist about experience? Start with part one or get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition. Sponsors: Organize your Inbox: Save $25 sanebox.com/pel. See headspace.com/PEL for a free month of guided meditations. Have your donation matched up to $250 at givewell.org/PEL (choose podcast and partially examined life at checkout).
15/12/20·55m 49s

PEL Presents NEM#138: Markus Reuter: Composer or Tap Guitar Hero?

Markus began composing as a teen, "found his tribe" in getting connected to King Crimson's Robert Fripp in the early 90s, and has put out 40+ solo and collaborative albums of experimental music since 2000, including work in Stick Men with Crimson's Tony Levin and Pat Mastelotto. We discuss "Swoonage" from Truce (2020), "Boon" by Marcus Reuter and the Matangi Quartet from String Quartet No. 1 'Heartland' (2019), and "11-11" by Tuner (Pat Mastelotto and Markus Reuter) from POLE (2007), and end by listening to "The Cult of Bibbiboo" by centrozoon from The Divine Beast (2001). Intro: "Condition IV" from Falling for Ascension (2017). More at . Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsors: Get three months free Internet privacy protection at ExpressVPN.com/NEM. Buy one MasterClass annual membership and get one free to gift at masterclass.com/EXAMINED. Get a month's free trial of guided meditations at headspace.com/NEM.
13/12/20·1h 31m

Ep. 258: Locke on Acquiring Simple Ideas (Part One)

On the first half of Book II of John Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1689). How do we get our ideas? Simple ideas must come in through perception, but this doesn't just mean the senses; also reflection on our own minds, and this added layer of complexity allows us to bring in memory, concepts, time, and more. Don't wait for part two; get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL!
07/12/20·40m 46s

PEL Presents PMP#72: Comic Book Supremacy w/ Fred Van Lente

Fred writes for Marvel and his own Evil Twin Comics, in both non-fiction (e.g. Comic Book History of Animation, Action Philosophers) and stories (e.g. Marvel Zombies, Cowboys vs. Aliens). He even wrote a play about Jack Kirby. He joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to discuss playing in the Marvel sandbox, the role of humor, comic-to-movie transitions, and more. Learn more at fredvanlente.com. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. Sponsor: Get 10% off a month's counseling at BetterHelp.com/Pretty.
06/12/20·45m 50s

PEL Presents (sub)Text: Against Specialization in Ibsen's "Hedda Gabler"

Hedda Gabler is not a fan of specialization: not in the professor she has married, and his esoteric scholarly interests; not in domesticity, and the specialized affections required by marriage and motherhood; not in any lover’s infatuated specialization in her; and perhaps not in the form of specialization arguably required by life itself, with its finite and confining possibilities. Is there any way, short of suicide, to transcend such limits? Wes & Erin discuss Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler. Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website Thanks to Nick Ketter for the audio editing on this episode.
05/12/20·1h 17m

Ep. 257: Locke Against Innate Ideas (Part Two)

Continuing on Book I of John Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1689). We consider Locke's arguments that since there are no universally agreed upon principles, therefore there are no beliefs that we're all born with, or that we all (without the need for experience) immediately recognize as true as soon as we gain the use of reason or are otherwise equipped to understand them. Start with part one. Hear the whole discussion with no ads and get access to our latest Nightcap: Join us at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
30/11/20·49m 3s

PEL Presents (sub)Text: Order and Innocence in Melville's "Billy Budd"

Bill Budd is a beautiful man. Not just good looking, but exquisitely good natured, something that costs him no effort and has required no instruction. And yet it is ultimately his beautiful soul and good nature that get Billy killed. Wes & Erin discuss Herman Melville’s final and unfinished work of fiction, and whether a good heart and good intentions are more important than obedience to authority and adherence to civilized norms. Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website Thanks to Nick Ketter for the audio editing on this episode.
27/11/20·1h 32m

PEL Presents PMP#70: RISKy Confessional Comedy w/ Kevin Allison

Kevin (The State, RISK!) joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to talk about his telling/curation/coaching of confessional stories. Do they have to be funny? True? How does this form relate to essays a la David Sedaris? How personal is too personal (or indicative of PTSD or something)? What's the role of craft in this most populist endeavor? Listen at risk-show.com. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.
24/11/20·53m 15s

Ep. 257: Locke Against Innate Ideas (Part One)

On Book I of John Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1689). How do we know things? Locke thought all knowledge comes from experience, and this might seem uncontroversial, but what are the alternatives? We consider the idea that there are some ideas we're just born with and don't need to learn. But what's an "idea," and how is it different from a principle? Clearly we have instincts ("knowhow") but is that knowledge? We consider occurrent vs. dispositional nativism, the role of reason, and what Locke's overall project is after. Don't wait for Part Two; get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL!
23/11/20·48m 34s

PEL Presents NEM#136: Mark Bingham: To and In New Orleans

Mark got signed as a teen in 1966, left to play theatrical prog jazz in Indiana during college, had a spell in a "no wave" band in New York, and finally settled down in the '80s as an in demand producer and collaborator in New Orleans, working with groups like R.E.M., Flat Duo Jets, and John Scofield. He's only finished two solo albums but has a ton of archive recordings being released soon, and now plays guitar in a cajun band. We discuss "Pissoffgod.com" from Psalms of Vengeance (2009), "Ash Wednesday and Lent" by Ed Sanders (music by Mark Bingham) from Poems for New Orleans (2007), "That's Why" by Social Climbers from their self-titled album (1981), and then listen to "Blood Moon" by Michot's Melody Makers from Cosmic Cajuns from Saturn (2020). Intro: "Flies R All Around Me" by Screaming Gypsy Bandits from Back to Doghead (1970). Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsors: Get three months free Internet privacy protection at ExpressVPN.com/NEM. Buy one MasterClass annual membership and get one free to gift to a friend at masterclass.com/EXAMINED. Get a month's free trial of guided meditations at headspace.com/NEM.
23/11/20·1h 0m

PEL Presents PMP#69: Story Songs w/ Rod Picott

Plenty of songs try to tell stories, but do the pop song format and narrative really mix? Songwriter and short story author Rod Picott joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to talk about classics by Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash, formative nightmares like "Leader of the Pack" and "The Pina Colada Song, borderline cases like "Bohemian Rhapsody," and more. How does this form relate to theater, videos, and commercials? For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. Sponsor: Visit ExpressVPN.com/pretty to get three months free.
17/11/20·47m 34s

PREMIUM-Ep. 256: Kropotkin's Anarchist Communism (Part Two)

Mark, Wes, Dylan, Seth get into specific points and textual passages from Peter Kropotkin's The Conquest of Bread (1892). In this preview, we start by considering that Kropotkin is right that mutual aid is a natural tendency and so communism is very much feasible, why hasn't it happened already? In the full discussion, we discuss K's version of the "you didn't build that" argument, plus guaranteed minimum income, identity and criminal justice in a stateless world, religion, and more. To hear this second part, you'll need to go sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support. 
16/11/20·7m 37s

Ep. 256: Kropotkin's Anarchist Communism (Part One)

On Peter Kropotkin's The Conquest of Bread (1892). If we want an egalitarian society, do we need the state to accomplish this? Kropotkin says no, that in fact the state inevitably serves the interests of the few, and that if we got rid of it, our natural tendencies to cooperate would allow us through voluntary organizations to keep everyone not only fed and clothed, but able to vigorously pursue callings like science and art. Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support. Get it now or listen to a preview.
09/11/20·47m 51s

PEL Presents (sub)Text: The American Dream in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby"

We all know this story, in part because it captures a period that will always have a special place in the American imagination. Prosperous and boozy, the Jazz Age seemed like one great party, held to celebrate the end of a terrible world war; the liberating promise of newly ubiquitous technologies, including electricity, the telephone, and the automobile; and a certain image of success as carefree, inexhaustibly gratifying, and available to all who try. And yet perhaps this fantasy is rooted in disillusionment, and a denial of inescapable social realities, including the impossibility of genuine social mobility. What do we mean when we talk about the American Dream? Is it realistic? Wes & Erin discuss F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby.” Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website Thanks to Tyler Hislop for the audio editing on this episode.
08/11/20·1h 23m

PEL Presents NEM#135: Peter Milton Walsh (The Apartments): No Assembly-Line Recording

Peter started The Apartments in Australia in the late '70s and has been its only consistent member. After releasing his first full album in 1985 and being featured on a John Hughes soundtrack, he released four lush, moody albums in the '90s but then retired when family tragedy struck until the late '00s; he's had four releases since 2011. We discuss "What's Beauty to Do?" and "Where You Used to Be" from In And Out Of The Light (2020), then "Sunset Hotel" from Fete Foraine (1996), and finally listen to "Looking for Another Town" from No Song, No Spell, No Madrigal (2015). Intro: "Help" from the Return of the Hypnotist EP (1979). More at theapartments-music.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon.
06/11/20·56m 39s

PEL Presents PMP#67: Borat Pod Show! Very Nice! With Aaron David Gleason

Mark, Erica, Brian, and musician/actor Aaron consider the comedy of Sacha Baron Cohen, especially Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, where his co-stars are unwitting dupes and embarrassment is served in large helpings. We talk through the ethical and political issues, why Cohen's targets act how they do, and what this is as humor.  For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.
04/11/20·41m 43s

PREMIUM-Ep. 255: Sun Tzu's "The Art of War" (Part Two)

If you'd like to hear more of the discussion on Sun Tzu that we started in part one, you'll need to go sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support. Here are some exchanges from part two, where we continue with Brian Wilson working through the text, considering Sunzi's strategies and assumptions, and how these might (or might not) apply to competing in the business world.
02/11/20·8m 41s

PEL Presents PMP#66: Scary Movies w/ Nathan Shelton

What scares us? Why do people enjoy being scared by films? Are there good horror movies that aren't scary and scary films that are still bad? Mark, Erica, Brian are joined by actor/special effects-guy Nathan Shelton (who runs the Frightmare Theatre Podcast) to present our picks for what scared us as kids, and we consider Halloween, Blair Witch, Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Stephen King, and the new wave of art horror. Plus body horror, what scares women, tropophobia, and horror movie music. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.
28/10/20·53m 53s

Ep. 255: Sun Tzu's "The Art of War" (Part One)

On the Chinese military treatise from around the 5th century BCE. How does a philosopher wage war? The best kind of war can be won without fighting. The general qua Taoist sage never moves until circumstances are optimal. We talk virtue ethics and practical strategy; how well can Sunzi's advice be applied to non-martial pursuits? With guest Brian Wilson. Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support. Get it now or listen to a preview.
26/10/20·47m 56s

PEL Presents NEM#134: Laraaji’s Free Association Meditations

Jazz multi-instrumentalist Edward Larry Gordon Jr. became Laraaji around the same time he started releasing meditative zither music in the late 70s and was then discovered by Brian Eno, who produced our intro, "The Dance No. 1" from  Ambient 3: Day of Radiance (1980). Laraaji has since had around 40 releases of largely improvised music. We discuss "Hold on to the Vision" (and hear "Shenandoah") from Sun Piano (2020), the single edit of "Introspection" from Bring On the Sun (2017), and "All of a Sudden," a 1986 vocal tune released on Vision Songs, Vol. 1 (2017). More at laraaji.blogspot.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Visit masterclass.com/EXAMINED for 15% off a MasterClass All-Access Pass.
23/10/20·53m 38s

PEL Presents PMP#65: Cosmic Satire w/ "Bill & Ted" Writer Chris Matheson

Chris Matheson has written many comic movies and has converted religious texts into funnier books, most recently with The Buddha's Story. Mark, Erica, and Brian talk with him about what unifies these projects: Why the big ideas of religion and sci-fi are begging to be made fun of. How does humor relate to fear? Would a society based on Bill and Ted (or Keanu Reeves) actually be desirable? How bad is the evident literal absurdity of many religious texts? Plus, the B & T joke that has not aged well, and much more! For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.
21/10/20·44m 42s

PREMIUM-Ep. 254: Michael Sandel Against Meritocracy (Part Two)

Mark, Wes, Dylan and Seth continue the discussion on The Tyranny of Merit to talk further about how social values can and do change, and whether these changes can be engineered in the way that Sandel seems to want. We interviewed Michael Sandel in part one. To hear this second part, you'll need to go sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support. This preview includes a couple of exchanges from near the beginning to give you a flavor of what to expect.
19/10/20·11m 6s

Ep. 254: Michael Sandel Interview: Against Meritocracy (Part One)

On The Tyranny of Merit: What's Become of the Common Good? (2020). Do people get the wealth and status they deserve? And if they did, would that be good? Michael critiques the meritocracy: It's not actually fair, leaves most people feeling humiliated, and makes those on the top arrogant and disconnected. The commitment to meritocracy is shared by both political parties and helps explain our current dysfunction. Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support. Get it now or listen to a preview.
12/10/20·1h 5m

PEL Presents NEM#133: Jon Hassell (and Rick Cox): Fourth World Improvisation

Jon started playing trumpet with composers like Terry Riley and La Monte Young in the late 60s, has since guested with Peter Gabriel, Talking Heads, Ani DiFranco, Ry Cooder, et al, and has released 18 solo albums since 1977. We discuss "Unknown Wish" from Seeing Through Sound: Pentimento Volume 2 (2020), "Manga Scene" from Listening to Pictures: Pentimento Volume 1 (2018), "Toucan Ocean" from Vernal Equinox (1977), and listen to the title track from Last Night the Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes in the Street (2009). Intro: "Chemistry" by Jon Hassell/Brian Eno from Fourth World Music I: Possible Musics (1980). For more see jonhassell.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon.
10/10/20·1h 9m

PEL Presents PMP#63: Superhero Ethics (and The Boys) w/ Travis Smith

Travis joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to discuss our seemingly endless appetite for super-hero stories. His new book matches up heroes like Batman vs. Spider-Man for ethical comparison: What philosophy should govern the way we try to do good in the world? Also, The Boys, which assumes in the tradition of Watchmen that folks who wield that kind of power probably have something seriously wrong with them. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.
06/10/20·44m 37s

PREMIUM-Ep. 253: Leibniz on the Problem of Evil (Part Two)

If you'd like to hear more of the discussion on Gottfried Leibniz’s Theodicy that we started in part one, you'll need to go sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support. This is just a few tantalizing snippets from part two, wherein we talk about the metaphysical status of evil and about the multi-layered character of will.
05/10/20·6m 32s

PEL Presents (sub)Text: Worrying about the Future in Mike Nichols' “The Graduate”

Benjamin Braddock is a little worried about his future. He’s a recent college graduate who moves back in with his upper-middle-class parents and feels smothered by their vapid, materialistic lifestyle. But he begins an affair with a woman from his parents’ circle… And then he falls in love with her daughter. Like Benjamin, we wonder what the future can and should hold for us. Can it be free of the negative trappings of our society and culture, of our parents’ influence, of the past? Wes and Erin discuss Mike Nichols’ 1967 film "The Graduate." Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website Thanks to Tyler Hislop for the audio editing on this episode.
04/10/20·1h 21m

Ep. 253: Leibniz on the Problem of Evil (Part One)

On Gottfried Leibniz’s Theodicy (1710). Why does God allow so many bad things to happen? Leibniz thought that by the definition of God, whatever He created must be the best of all possible worlds, and his theodicy presents numerous arguments to try to make that less counter-intuitive given how less-than-perfect the world seems to us. Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support. Get it now or listen to a preview.
28/09/20·47m 28s

PEL Presents (sub)Text: Slouching Towards Bethlehem in W.B. Yeats’ “The Second Coming”: Part 2

Wes and Erin continue their discussion of W.B. Yeats’ "The Second Coming." In Part 1, they analyzed the first stanza of the poem, in particular Yeats' use of "gyre"; the meaning of the phrases "things fall apart" and "the center cannot hold"; and the conflict between aristocratic and revolutionary values. In Part 2, they discuss -- with a little help from Nietzsche -- the anti-redemption of the second stanza, and the meaning of Yeats' vision of a "rough beast" slouching towards Bethlehem.  Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website Thanks to Tyler Hislop for the audio editing on this episode.
27/09/20·43m 12s

PEL Presents NEM#132: Chris Frantz Looks Back on Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club

On the publication of his memoir, Remain in Love, Chris and your host Mark Linsenmayer discuss "Psycho Killer" and "Warning Signs" by Talking Heads from Talking Heads '77 and More Songs About Buildings and Food (1978), plus "Bamboo Town" and "Who Feelin' It?" by Tom Tom Club from Close to the Bone (1983) and The Good the Bad and the Funky (2000). We conclude with the title track to Tom Tom Club's Downtown Rockers (2012). Plus, Tina Weymouth jumps in at one point! For more see tomtomclub.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Visit masterclass.com/EXAMINED for 15% off a MasterClass All-Access Pass.
25/09/20·1h 1m

PEL Presents Pretty Much Pop #61: Philosophy of Photography w/ Amir Zaki

Amir the photographic artist and prof (see amirzaki.net) joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to consider decision making in picture taking, how our purposes for photography have changed with the advent of new technologies, iconic images, witnessing vs. intervening, capturing the particular vs. the universal, and more. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.
24/09/20·49m 47s

PEL Special: Nightcap Late September 2020

We're releasing JUST THIS ONE Nightcap to the wider public so induce you all to go support us and so gain the ability to hear these free-wheeling, feeling-sharing, email-reading fiestas between every regular episode. This time we gripe about Habermas and reflect on what secondary sources we use. We consider whether to have an episode on anarchism and if we should ever have guests on who are hard-core adherents of the philosophy we're discussing. We reveal which reading we've covered has pleasantly surprised each of us the most. Finally, we talk about how to front-load our episodes so that folks who do not sign up to hear the part 2's still get a satisfying, self-contained experience.
21/09/20·23m 17s

PREMIUM-Ep. 252: Habermas on Communication as Sociality (Part Two)

If you'd like to hear more of the discussion on Jürgen Habermas' "Actions, Speech Acts, Linguistically Mediated Interactions, and the Lifeworld" (1998) that we started in part one, you'll need to go sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support. We're just sharing a few minutes of part two here to get you all hot and bothered. You're welcome!
21/09/20·5m 14s

PEL Presents (sub)Text: Things Fall Apart in W.B. Yeats’ “The Second Coming”: Part 1

In 1919, the world seemed to have descended into anarchy. World War I had killed millions and profoundly altered the international order. Four empires, along with their aristocracies, had disintegrated. Russia was in a state of civil war, and Ireland was on the verge of its own. It’s these events that helped inspire William Butler Yeats’ poem “The Second Coming,” which famously tells us that “things fall apart,” that “the center cannot hold,” and that a new historical epoch is upon us. Just what rough beast is it that slouches, as Yeats has it, toward Bethlehem? Wes & Erin discuss.  Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website
20/09/20·36m 7s

PEL Presents PMP#60: Manga 101 w/ Deborah Shamoon

Mark, Erica and Brian (all manga noobs) are joined by Japanese Studies prof. Deborah Shamoon to talk about barriers for Americans to appreciate manga, different manga types (Deborah works on shojo manga, i.e. for girls), Osamu Tezuka (the "god of comics" who created Astro Boy et al), classic vs. new manga, gender portrayals, and more. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.
16/09/20·49m 30s

Ep. 252: Habermas on Communication as Sociality (Part One)

On Jürgen Habermas' "Actions, Speech Acts, Linguistically Mediated Interactions, and the Lifeworld" (1998), with guest John Foster. What's the relation between individuals and society? Habermas says that language has ethics built right into it: I'm trying to get you to agree with me, to engage in a cooperative enterprise of mutual understanding. Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support. Get it now or listen to a preview.
14/09/20·50m 53s

PEL Presents NEM#131: Ward White Audited

Ward has issued about ten releases of lyric-driven, stylish pop since 2003. We discuss the title track from Leonard at the Audit (2020), "Titans" from Diminish (2018), and the title track from Pulling Out (2008). Intro: "Sabbath" from Ward White Is the Matador (2014). End: "Bubble and Squeak," also from the new album. For info see wardwhite.net. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon.
14/09/20·1h 2m

PEL Presents PMP#59: David Lynch's Popular Surrealism

Mark, Erica, Brian, and guest Mike Wilson discuss the director's films from Eraserhead to Inland Empire plus Twin Peaks and his recent short films. We get into the appeal and hallmarks of his mainstays--Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart, Lost Highway, and Mulholland Drive--and also consider outliers like Dune, The Elephant Man, and The Straight Story. How many of these films actually make sense, and is failing to do so bad? For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. Sponsor: Get 15% off earbuds at BuyRaycon.com/Pretty w/ offer code "Pretty15."
08/09/20·45m 33s

Ep. 251: Simone Weil's Ideal Society

On "Theoretical Picture of a Free Society" (1934). What's the ideal living situation for us all, given the peculiarities of human nature? Weil describes fulfillment as coming from being able to picture goals and plans and knowingly put them into effect, so social groups need to maximize that power by being small and cooperative. End song: "Libreville" by Bill Bruford, as interviewed for Nakedly Examined Music #25. Get this episode ad-free with a PEL Citizenship, which also gets you access to our PEL Nightcaps and future Part Two episodes.
07/09/20·1h 10m

PEL Presents NEM#130: Mark Farner (ex Grand Funk Railroad) Back from the Dead

Mark led Grand Funk Railroad through 13 albums in the 70s and early 80s and has had around eight solo releases. We discuss "Nadean" from For the People (2006), "Not Yet" from Some Kind of Wonderful (1991), and the title track of Born to Die by Grand Funk Railroad. End song: "Take You Out." Intro: "I'm Your Captain" from GFR's Closer to Home (1979). For more see markfarner.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon.
02/09/20·58m 30s

Ep. 250: Simone Weil on Human Needs (Part Three)

Concluding on "The Needs of the Soul" from The Need for Roots (1943). This time we cover punishment, security, risk, private property, collective property, freedom of opinion, and truth. Start with part one or get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition. Supporting PEL will also get you access to our PEL Nightcaps End song: "Even Though the Darkest Clouds" by liar, flower. Mark interviewed KatieJane Garside on Nakedly Examined Music #127.
31/08/20·54m 16s

PEL Presents (sub)Text: Truth as Beauty in Keats’ Ode on a "Grecian Urn"

The poet John Keats is famous for the concept of “negative capability,” his description of the ability to tolerate the world’s uncertainty without resorting to easy answers. Literary minds in particular should be more attuned to beauty than facts and reason. In fact, truth in the highest sense is the same thing as beauty, he tells us at the end of his poem Ode on a Grecian Urn. What does that mean? Is it true? Wes and Erin discuss these questions, and how it is that aesthetic judgments can communicate a kind of truth that is not strictly descriptive or factual. Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website The cover art is based on Keats’ tracing of the Sosibios Vase, which may have helped inspire the poem. Thanks to Tyler Hislop for the audio editing on this episode.
28/08/20·1h 8m

PEL Presents PMP#58: "TAYLOR SWIFT RULES!" (Conversation with a Swiftie)

Prompted by the release of new album Folklore and the 2020 documentary Miss Americana, Mark, Erica, and Brian speak with Amber Padgett about her love of Taylor, ranking the albums, why the hate, weird levels of fan engagement, double standards for female artists, and more. Designed to interest fans, haters, and folks curious as to what all the fuss is about. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.
26/08/20·48m 6s

Ep. 250: Simone Weil on Human Needs (Part Two)

Continuing on "The Needs of the Soul" from The Need for Roots (1943). We got started in part one with our need for order, and in this part we add liberty, obedience, responsibility, equality, hierarchy, and honor. We'll conclude with part 3, covering freedom of speech, punishment and more, but you needn't wait: Get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition now. and you'll also get our Nightcap recordings.
24/08/20·51m 54s

PEL Presents PMP#57: Back to the Damn Arena - The Hunger Games Prequel

Remember when The Hunger Games was everywhere? Suzanne Collins returns to Just War Theory lessons with the prequel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Mark, Erica, and Brian review the new book and look back on the YA novel/film franchise. Does the work critique yet glorify violence at the same time? Will the film version of the new novel be our next Phantom Menace? For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.
18/08/20·43m 49s

Ep. 250: Simone Weil on Human Needs (Part One)

On "The Needs of the Soul" from The Need for Roots (1943) and "Meditation on Obedience and Liberty" (1937). What are our needs that should then drive what kind of society would be best for us? Weil says we need liberty yet obedience, equality yet hierarchy, security yet risk... and none of these words mean quite what you'd think. And to start off, why do the many obey the few? Don't wait for Part Two; get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL! Support for this discussion came from listener Charles, who dedicates it to Temple Grandin. 
17/08/20·47m 38s

PEL Presents PMP#56: Black + Nerd = BLERD w/ Anthony LeBlanc

The Interim Executive Producer of The Second City joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to discuss the scope of black nerd-dom: what nerdy properties provide to those who feel "othered," using sci-fi to talk about race, Black Panther, afrofuturism, black anime fans, Star Trek, Key & Peele, Get Out vs. Us, and more. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. Sponsor: Get 15% off earbuds at BuyRaycon.com/Pretty w/ offer code "Pretty15."
15/08/20·51m 25s

PEL Presents NEM#128: Roger Joseph Manning Jr.'s Crazy Fun with Arrangements

Roger rose to fame as keyboardist/songwriter for Jellyfish in the early '90s, then formed Imperial Drag, The Moog Cookbook, TV Eyes, backed Beck, and finally released two albums under his own name starting in 2006. He's recently released a solo EP and one with The Likerish Quartet that reunites him with some other members of Jellyfish. We discuss "Lighthouse Spaceship" by The Lickerish Quartet from Threesome, Vol. 1 (2020), "The Turnstile at Heaven’s Gate" from Catnip Dynamite (2008), "Time to Time" by Malibu (a solo techno project) from Robo-Sapiens (2007), and listen to "Operator" from his solo Glamping EP (2018). Intro: "The King is Half-Undressed" by Jellyfish from Bellybutton (1990). For more, see thelickerishquartet.com and rogerarranging.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Visit masterclass.com/EXAMINED for 15% off a MasterClass All-Access Pass and use code NEM15 at BuyRaycon.com/nem for 15% off wireless earbuds.
14/08/20·1h 29m

PEL Presents (sub)Text: Love and Wit in Shakespeare’s "Much Ado About Nothing"

At the center of every courting ritual, there’s a great unknown. How do we know when we’ve met someone we can love? How do we know the other person is actually who they seem to be? In the beginning, all we have to go on is surface appearances, which amount to a kind of hearsay. The question is how to get beyond them. Wes and Erin discuss Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, which seems to suggest that witty banter is more than just good fun, and has an important role to play in getting to know others. The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon. Subscribe: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Follow: Twitter | Facebook | Website Thanks to Tyler Hislop for the audio editing on this episode.
13/08/20·1h 29m

Ep. 249: Dewey on Education and Thought (Part Two)

Continuing on John Dewey's Democracy and Education (1916) ch. 1, 2, 4, and 24 with guest Jonathan Haber. How is education different than mere conditioning, and how does it relate to habits and growth? We discuss how much of what Dewey recommends lines up with liberal education and multiculturalism. Also, can education change taste? Start with part one, or get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition, which will also get you our PEL Nightcaps. End song: "Too Far to Turn Around" by The Ides of March; Jim Peterik appears on Nakedly Examined Music #126. Sponsors: Get 15% off game-changing wireless earbuds at BuyRaycon.com/pel. Visit SJC.edu to learn about St. John's College. Visit TheGreatCoursesPlus.com/PEL for a free trial of unlimited learning from the world's greatest professors.
10/08/20·1h 7m

PEL Presents (sub)Text: Mastery and Repetition in "Groundhog Day"

When egotistical weatherman Phil Connors gets trapped in a time loop in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, he gets drunk, steals money, manipulates women, binges on breakfast food, plays God… and finally grows up. The story charts Phil’s development over the course of thousands of repeated February 2nds. Along the way, it raises questions about our own capacity for growth. How do we go about improving ourselves? How can we escape boredom? Achieve fulfillment? Wes and Erin discuss the 1993 film Groundhog Day. Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website Thanks to Jeff Mitchel for allowing us to repurpose his poster for the cover art. Thanks to Tyler Hislop for the audio editing on this episode.
10/08/20·1h 0m

PEL Presents PMP#55: Food as Pop w/ Thi Nguyen

Mark, Erica, and Brian are joined by Utah philosophy prof and former food writer C. Thi Nguyen to talk food as art, foodies, elitism, food TV, cooking vs. eating, and how analyzing food is like analyzing games. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.
05/08/20·45m 42s

PEL Presents NEM#126: Jim Peterik Eyes Much More Than the Tiger

Jim has released 30+ albums since 1964 with Ides of March, Survivor, Pride of Lions, et al.  We discuss his new solo single "Empty Arena" and two Ides of March tunes, "Friends Like You" from Play On (2019) feat. Mindi Abair and "L.A. Goodbye," recorded in 1992 but originally from Common Bond (1971). End song: "The Spirit of Chicago," a 1992 recording released on Ideology: Version 11.0. Intro: His biggest hits, the title tracks of Vehicle (1970) and The Eye of the Tiger (1983). For more, see jimpeterik.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Visit masterclass.com/EXAMINED for 15% off a MasterClass All-Access Pass and use code NEM15 at BuyRaycon.com/nem for 15% off wireless earbuds.
04/08/20·1h 12m

PEL Presents (sub)Text: Expediency and Intimacy in Billy Wilder’s "The Apartment"

You know, it’s that old story of boy meets girl … girl is dating boy’s married boss … girl tries to commit suicide … boy saves girl’s life …. Okay, that sounds pretty dark. But somehow it’s the basis for a classic romantic comedy, Billy Wilder’s 1960 film, The Apartment. The film raises the question of how we distinguish authentic relationships from relationships of utility and convenience. What cultivates human intimacy? What compromises it? When are we just using people? Wes and Erin discuss. Cover art is based on a French poster for the film. Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website Thanks to Tyler Hislop for the audio editing on this episode.
03/08/20·57m 5s

PEL Presents NEM#127: KatieJane Garside Is an Impulse of Chance

KatieJane gained fame fronting British grunge band Daisy Chainsaw, left after their first full album but resumed the project under the name Queenadreena for four albums in the '00s, then partnered with Chris Whittingham in 2007 to live on a boat and play as the stripped-down Ruby Throat for four albums. That band has now become loud again and been re-christened Liar, Flower. We discuss "My Brain is Lit Like an Airport" and hear the title track from Geiger Counter (2020), then look back to "Hu'u" by Ruby Throat from Baby Darling Taporo (2017) and "Lesions In The Brain" by Lalleshwari (a one-off solo moniker) from Lullabies in a Glass Wilderness (2007). Intro: "Love Your Money" from Daisy Chainsaw from Eleventeen (1992). For more, see katiejanegarside.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon.
02/08/20·59m 41s

Ep. 249: Dewey on Education and Thought (Part One)

On John Dewey's How We Think (1910) ch. 1 and Democracy and Education (1916) ch. 1, 2, 4, and 24. What model of human nature should serve as the basis for education policy? Dewey sees learning as growth, and the point of education as to enable indefinite growth. With guest Jonathan Haber. Don't wait for part two; get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL!
02/08/20·48m 38s

PEL Presents PMP#54: The Genius(?) of Rick and Morty

Mark, Erica, and Brian address critically acclaimed Adult Swim show. What kind of humor is it? Can we take the sci-fi and family drama elements seriously? How smart are the show and its fans? Is Rick a super hero, or Dr. Who? What will this serialized sit-com look like in longevity? For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.
29/07/20·47m 4s

Ep. 248: Racism and Policing (Al-Saji, Merleau-Ponty, et al) (Part Two)

Continuing on Alia Al-Saji’s “A Phenomenology of Hesitation” (2014) and other things with guest Phil Hopkins.  Can we restructure our (and the police's) reactions and live with each other? We further explore the psychology of habit and Al-Saji's notion of hesitation. How does it compare to other types of heistation recommended by philosophies and religions? Start with part one, or get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition. Includes a preview of our Citizen Hang. End song: "Every Man's Burden" by Dusty Wright, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #89.
27/07/20·1h 7m

PEL Presents PMP#53: The Hamilton Phenomenon w/ Sam Simahk

Erica, Mark, and Brian are joined by Broadway actor Sam to discuss this unique convergence of musical theater, rap, and historical drama. Does Hamilton deserve its accolades? We cover the re-emergence of stage music as pop music, live vs. filmed vs. film-adapted musicals, creators starring in their shows, race-inclusive casting, and the politics surrounding the show. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.
22/07/20·52m 23s

Ep. 248: Racism and Policing (Al-Saji, Merleau-Ponty, et al) (Part One)

On Alia Al-Saji’s “A Phenomenology of Hesitation” (2014), bits of Maurice Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception (1945), and Linda Martín Alcoff’s Visible Identities (2006), plus Alex Vitale's The End of Policing (2017). Is there sub-conscious racism, and how might we root it out and fix our policing problems? Ex-cop Phil Hopkins joins to look at how phenomenology can help. Don't wait for part two, get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL!
20/07/20·50m 54s

PEL Presents: PMP#52: The Twilight Zone from Serling to Peele

Something's strange... Is it a dream? If it's a morality tale with a twist ending, you're probably in the Twilight Zone. Brian, Erica, Mark, and guest Ken Gerber are in it this week, discussing the thrice revived TV series. Does the 1959-1963 show hold up? What makes for a good TZ episode, and does Jordan Peele's latest iteration capture the spirit? We talk about episodes new and old, the 1983 film, plus comparisons to Black Mirror and David Lynch. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.
14/07/20·54m 31s

Ep. 247: Aristotle on Rhetoric and Emotions (Part Two)

Continuing on the Rhetoric (ca. 335 BCE) book 1, ch. 1–6 and book 2, ch. 1–5, 18–24. We finish up with enthymemes (rhetorical arguments), maxims, and signs. We then move to emotions, where we chiefly talk about anger: Is it always a matter of status injury, or is frustration equally (or more) foundational? Begin with part one, or get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL! End song: "Reason with the Beast" by Shriekback, whose leader Barry Andrews was interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #107.
13/07/20·50m 18s

PEL Presents PMP#51: Pictures Telling Stories w/ Joseph Watson

Is it really true that "every picture tells a story"? For Joseph, a Las Vegas artist who illustrates Go, Go GRETA!, narrative is essential, but how does the story an artist has in mind actually convey to the viewer? He joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to tell art stories and touch on Guernica, Where the Wild Things Are, Dr. Seuss, Narnia, and more. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.
08/07/20·41m 10s

Ep. 247: Aristotle on Rhetoric and Emotions (Part One)

On the Rhetoric (ca. 335 BCE) book 1, ch. 1-6 and book 2, ch. 1-5, 18-24. What role does persuasion play in philosophy? Aristotle (contra Plato) argues it can and should be used for good: in law courts, political debates, public speeches. He describes the arguments forms used in rhetoric ("enthymemes") and analyzes the emotions that an audience might have so that speakers know what points are worth dwelling on and how to best argue them. Don't wait for part two! Get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL!
06/07/20·53m 10s

PEL Presents NEM#125: Victor DeLorenzo (ex Violent Femmes) Starts with Drums

Victor started as a singer/songwriter, drummed with the Femmes for five albums in the '80s, and has since recorded six solo releases and five more with nine thirteen, plus other collaborations, jazz jamming, and work in the theater. We discuss "Invisible Shadows" from Tranceaphone (2020), "Carry Me" from Victor DeLorenzo (2013), "Arco, Pizzicato" by Nineteen Thirteen from The Dream (2016), and listen to "Audrey" from Pancake Day (1996). Intro/outro: "World Without Mercy" by Violent Femmes from The Blind Leading the Naked (1985). More at victordelorenzo.weebly.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon.
04/07/20·1h 7m

REISSUE-PEL Ep 75: Lacan & Derrida Criticize Poe's "The Purloined Letter" (w/ New Intro)

Enjoy this normally paywalled episode from Apr. 2013 about Jacques Lacan’s “Seminar on ‘The Purloined Letter'” (1956) and Jacques Derrida’s “The Purveyor of Truth” (1975). How should philosophers approach literature? Lacan read Edgar Allen Poe’s story about a sleuth who outthinks a devious Minister as an illustration of his model of the psyche, and why we persist in self-destructive patterns. Derrida thought this reading not only imposed a bunch of psychobabble onto the story, but demonstrated that Lacan just didn’t know how to read a text. Plus, Mark starts things off explaining some things about these Friday releases and what's ahead. Ep. 74 introducing Lacan is now available with a $1 Patreon pledge.  End song: "Came Round" (solo version) by Mark Lint. Read about it.
03/07/20·2h 11m

PEL Presents PMP#50: MJ's Last Dance w/ Seth Paskin

Brian, Erica, Mark, and Seth from The Partially Examined Life interrogate the 10-part ESPN documentary on Michael Jordan's Bulls' six championships. Was it worth ten hours? Does its time-jumping structure work? Is it really hagiography, or is the vision of ultra-competitiveness repulsive? Why are sports amenable to creating cultural icons? Does the doc's success mean many more? For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.
01/07/20·51m 48s

Ep. 246: Susan Sontag on Interpreting Art (Part Two)

Continuing on Sontag's essays “On Style” (1965) and "The Death of Tragedy” (1963). Mark, Wes, Seth and Dylan keep talking about the appropriate distance to retain (or not) to a work of art, which is supposed to be relevant to moral action in the world. We also spell out how this is relevant to our recent episodes on tragedy. Start with Part One or get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "Mela" by Julie Slick, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #115.
29/06/20·52m 16s

PEL Presents (sub)Text: The “Intelligent Way to Approach Marriage” in Hitchcock’s "Rear Window"

L.B. Jefferies has the perfect girlfriend—beautiful, intelligent, wealthy—but too perfect, he insists, for marriage. And so he spends his time spying on the love lives of his neighbors, and ropes his girlfriend into this project as well. Which, strangely enough, turns out to be a really effective form of couples’ therapy. What’s the connection between voyeurism and what Jefferies calls “the intelligent way to approach marriage”? Wes and Erin discuss Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 film Rear Window. Thanks to CranioDsgn for permission re-purpose his poster for the cover art. Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website
26/06/20·1h 11m

PEL Presents PMP#49: Conspiracy Theories as Pop w/ Al Baker

Al works for Logically, a company that fights misinformation. He joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to try to discuss the appeal of conspiracy theories, whether their fandom is like other fandoms, the relation between pernicious and fun theories, and theories that end up true. We touch on echo chambers, the role of irony and humor in spreading these theories, how both opponents and proponents claim to be skeptics, Dan Brown Novels, Tom Hanks, the Mel Gibson film Conspiracy Theory, and documentaries like Behind the Curve and The Family. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. Sponsor: Visit sunbasket.com/pretty and use promo code pretty to get $35 off healthy, delicious meal deliveries.
23/06/20·50m 19s

Ep. 246: Susan Sontag on Interpreting Art (Part One)

On Sontag's essays “Against Interpretation” (1964), “On Style” (1965), and "The Death of Tragedy” (1963). What is it to understand a work of art? Sontag objects to critics' need to decode art into its "meaning" or "content," divorcing it from how this content is embodied. She argues that the content vs. form distinction isn't tenable; that the style of a work is an essential part of experiencing it. Sontag thinks we're too analytical, too divorced from our instincts, and a direct encounter with art is essential to enliven us. Please support PEL!
22/06/20·45m 44s

PEL Presents NEM#124: Alev Lenz's Tracts of Blood and Sisterhood

Alev started in Germany with her metal band "Alev" in the early '00s and has released three atmospheric, idea-filled solo albums since 2009 plus several soundtracks and collaborations. We discuss "The Chair" (and at the end listen to "Cigarettes & Blow") from 3 (2019), plus the title track from Two-Headed Girl (2016), "Flowers of Love" from Storytelling Piano Playing Fräulein (2009), and "In this Mouth" by Anoushka Shankar feat Alev Lenz from Love Letters (2020). Intro: "Fall Into Me" from the Black Mirror Soundtrack (2016). For more, visit alevlenz.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Visit masterclass.com/EXAMINED for 15% off a MasterClass All-Access Pass.
19/06/20·1h 6m

PEL Presents PMP#48: The Arts in Reality TV w/ Skin Wars' Robin Slonina

Fine art and reality TV are typically rated our highest and lowest forms of entertainment, yet creative competition shows combine them. Robin Slonina, who was a judge on the body painting show Skin Wars, helps Mark, Erica, and Brian figure out the degree to which that format lets the art shine through. We also touch on Work of Art-The Next Great Artist, Face Off, American Idol, Project Runway, cooking shows, art as commodity, public art like the BLM D.C. street mural, paint-offs and other game-show gimmicks, and the RuPaul ethic. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.
16/06/20·50m 50s

Ep. 245: Fashion (Derrida, Foucault, Sontag) w/ Shahidha Bari (Part Two)

We conclude with Foucault's "The Ethics of the Concern of the Self As A Practice of Freedom" (1984) and add Susan Sontag's "On Style" (1965). After our guest's departure, we give some concluding remarks about her book Dressed: A Philosophy of Clothes (2020) and Derrida's "The Animal That Therefore I Am" (1999). Start with part one or get the ad-free, unbroken Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "Clothe Me in Ashes" by K.C. Clifford, interviewed for Nakedly Examined Music #121.
15/06/20·48m 58s

Pretty Much Pop #47: Sitcom Premises: Genius, Bonkers and Otherwise

Sitcoms traditionally provide a cozy, relatable, changeless environment, but streaming and serialization have changed this. What are the limits on the format? Mark, Erica, and Brian consider After Life, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Community, the Parks & Rec reunion, the Space Force pilot, the stain of Chuck Lorre, and much more. Plus, which weird premises are real: a quiz! For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.
09/06/20·43m 29s

Ep. 245: Fashion (Derrida, Foucault) w/ Shahidha Bari (Part One)

On Jacques Derrida's "The Animal That Therefore I Am" (1999), Michel Foucault's "The Ethics of the Concern of the Self As A Practice of Freedom" (1984), and our guest's Dressed: A Philosophy of Clothes (2020). Philosophy devalues appearances, but our changing dominant metaphysics (there is no "underneath" but rather a complex built out of appearance itself) should have changed this. Our guest provided us with readings that elaborate this change, arguing for our continuity with animal nature (Derrida) and the ethical importance of self-care (Foucault). Please support PEL!
08/06/20·51m 3s

PEL Presents: NEM#123: Rick Kemp (Steeleye Span) Slows Down

Rick played bass on 15 albums with Steeleye Span between 1971 and 2016 and had released five solo albums since 1996. We discuss "Race Against Time" from Perfect Blue (2018) and two Steeleye tunes: "Cromwell's Skull" from Dodgy Bastards (2016) and "Samain" from They Called Her Babylon (2004). We conclude by listening to "Bachelor’s Hall" from Steeleye's All Around My Hat (1975). Intro: "John Barleycorn" from Present - The Very Best of Steeleye Span (2002). For more, see rickkemp.co.uk. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon.
05/06/20·1h 6m

Pretty Much Pop #46: "Casual" Games with Diner Dash's Nick Fortugno

The famed game designer joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to discuss fundamental questions about gaming and what makes a casual game. We touch on everything from crosswords to Super Meat Boy. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com. Sponsor: Visit sunbasket.com/pretty and use promo code pretty to get $35 off healthy, delicious meal deliveries.
02/06/20·54m 45s

Ep. 244: Camus on Strategies for Facing Plague (Part Two)

Continuing on Albert Camus's 1947 novel, covering the old functionary Grand, the criminal (or just paranoid?) Cottard, and more of our narrators Dr. Rieux and his doomed friend Tarrou, plus more on the overall message of the book and how it might relate to our current situation. Start with part one or get the unbroken Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "You Will Kill the One You Love" by Jack Hues, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #122.
01/06/20·1h 5m

Pretty Much Pop #45: Film Riffing with MST3K's Mary Jo Pehl

Mary Jo was a writer/performer on Mystery Science Theater 3000 and has gone on to make jokes during movies for Rifftrax Presents and Cinematic Titanic. She joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to talk about the joke-writing process, riffing styles, what kinds of films make for good riffing, the MST3K legacy, and more. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.
27/05/20·46m 29s

Ep. 244: Camus on Strategies for Facing Plague (Part One)

On Albert Camus' existentialist novel The Plague. How shall we face adversity? Camus gives us colorful characters that embody various approaches. Yes, the plague is an extreme situation, but we're all dying all the time anyway, right? Join Mark, Wes, Dylan and Seth to tease out Camus' positions from this bleak yet colorful text. Don't wait for part two; get the unbroken Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL!
25/05/20·47m 17s

NEM#122: Jack Hues (from Wang Chung) Plays Jazz and Prog

Jack fronted Wang Chung for five albums in the '80s, left the limelight to produce, and got a jazz combo going by 2000 which he's released five albums with, reformed Wang Chung, and only now is having a debut solo release, the double album Primitif. We discuss "Whitstable Beach" from that album, "Class War and Sex War" by Jack Hues and the Quartet from A Thesis on the Ballad (2015), and "Brahms Blues" by The Quartet from Illuminated (2006). We conclude by listening to “To Live and Die in L.A.” by Wang Chung from Ochesography (2019). For more see jackhues.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Visit masterclass.com/EXAMINED for 15% off a MasterClass All-Access Pass.
22/05/20·1h 12m

Pretty Much Pop #44: Local News w/ Deion Broxton

The recently memified NBC Montana reporter joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to discuss news as entertainment, local news consumption, its uses and abuses, reality vs. media portrayals of reporters, and more. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.
19/05/20·42m 16s

Ep. 243: Aristotle's "Poetics" on Art and Tragedy (Part Two)

Continuing on the Poetics from around 335 BCE, on the structure of plot (every element must be essential!), the moral status of the heroes, Homeric poetry, the difference between tragedy and history, and how Aristotle's formula may or may not apply to modern media. Begin with part one or get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "Structure of a Tragedy" by Mark Lint. Read about it.
18/05/20·53m 47s

Pretty Much Pop #43: The Korean Wave w/ Suzie Oh

Parasite, K-Pop, and K-Dramas have reached the U.S. as part of Hallyu, an official Korean effort to expand cultural influence. Suzie Hyun-jung Oh joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to decode the zeitgeist in hopes of understanding films like Snowpiercer, A Train to Busan, The Burning, A Taxi Driver, etc. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com. Sponsor: Visit sunbasket.com/pretty and use promo code pretty to get $35 off healthy, delicious meal deliveries.
12/05/20·40m 1s

Ep. 243: Aristotle's "Poetics" on Art and Tragedy (Part One)

These notes from 335 BCE are still used in screenwriting classes. Aristotle presents a formula for what will move us, derived from Sophocles's tragedies. What is art? The text describes it as memesis (imitation), and tragedy imitates human action in a way that shows us what it is to be human. Aristotle has lots of advice about how to structure a plot optimized to our sensibilities. Join Mark, Wes, Dylan, and Seth to see if you think he's right. Don't wait for part two; get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL!
11/05/20·48m 57s

NEM#121: K.C. Clifford on Brokenness and Power

K.C. has created seven releases of confessional folk (sometimes gospel, sometimes country) since 2000. We discuss "No More Living Small" and listen to "You Couldn't Stay" from her 2020 self-titled album, then talk about "Broken Things" from Orchid (2010) and "Find My Way Home" from Teeth-Marks on My Tongue (2004). Intro: "Emily" from Times Like These (2000). For more see kcclifford.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon.
08/05/20·1h 4m

PEL Presents PMP#42: Star Trek Lives Long and Prospers (Intermittently)

In light of Star Trek: Picard, Brian, Erica, Mark, and Drew Jackson discuss our most philosophical sci-fi franchise. What makes a Trek story? How do you world-build over generations? How did Picard measure up? Plus Trek vs. Wars and step-children like The Orville and Galaxy Quest. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.
06/05/20·56m 30s

Ep. 242: Stanley Cavell on Tragedy via King Lear (Part Two)

Continuing on Cavell's essay "The Avoidance of Love: A Reading of King Lear" (1969), shifting away from Lear in particular to a more general discussion of tragedy and Cavell's psychological insights. Begin with Part One or get the ad-free, unbroken Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "Out of Your Hands" by Gretchen's Wheel, i.e., Lindsay Murray, as interviewed for Nakedly Examined Music #81.
04/05/20·43m 35s

Pretty Much Pop #41: Made-for-TV Musicals w/ Craig Wedren

Why are we now seeing a resurgence of musical TV shows? Craig has created musicals for many TV shows (like Glow, Shrill, and Wet Hot American Summer) and joins Mark, Erica, and Brian due to his work on Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist. We talk about narrative excuses for breaking into song, musicals on TV vs. film vs. stage, musical episodes on non-musical shows, and more. Watch Craig's daily Sabbath Sessions at facebook.com/craigwedrenmusic. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.
29/04/20·53m 39s

Ep. 242: Stanley Cavell on Tragedy via King Lear (Part One)

On Cavell's essay "The Avoidance of Love: A Reading of King Lear" (1969). Can money buy you love? What is tragedy? With guest Erin O'Luanaigh. Don't wait for part two; get the full Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL!
27/04/20·43m 41s

NEM#120: Steve Harley is Wiser and Less Hungry

Steve started fronting Cockney Rebel in the early '70s and has released a dozen albums of of narrative-driven, tuneful songs. We discuss "Compared with You (Your Eyes Don’t Seem to Age)" and listen to "Only You," his two originals from his new solo album Uncovered (2020) then look back to "Faith & Virtue" from Stranger Comes to Town (2010) and Cockney Rebel's "Bed in the Corner"/"Sling It" from The Psychomodo (1974). Intro: "Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)" by Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel from The Best Years of Our Lives (1975). Learn more at steveharley.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon to get the ad-free feed. Visit masterclass.com/EXAMINED for 2-for-1 on MasterClass All-Access Pass.
24/04/20·1h 8m

Pretty Much Pop #40: #MeToo Depictions in TV and Film

Heavily watched media like Bombshell, The Morning Show, Unbelievable, and 13 Reasons Why attempt to cover sexual assault and harassment while still entertaining. Does that work? Erica, Mark, and Brian consider what makes for a sensitive as opposed to a sensationalized portrayal. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.
21/04/20·50m 32s

Ep. 241: Political Philosophy and the Pandemic

How should we think politically about the current global crisis? Do extreme circumstances reveal truths of political philosophy or do they reinforce whatever it is we already believe? Mark, Wes, Seth, and Dylan talk about applying philosophical insights to real-life situations rife with unknowns, John Rawls' veil of ignorance and Adam Smith on our interconnectedness, utilitarianism, libertarianism, and more. A source we used was "How Coronavirus Is Shaking Up the Moral Universe" by John Authers. Please support PEL! End song: "Date of Grace" by Rob Picott, as discussed on Nakedly Examined Music #80.
20/04/20·1h 4m

PEL Presents (sub)Text: Filial Ingratitude in in Shakespeare’s "King Lear"

Do we owe parents our gratitude for our upbringing? What if they haven’t done such a great job? And anyway, perhaps we inevitably resent all the forces that have shaped the characters that confine and limit us. If so, the quest for filial gratitude is ultimately hopeless. It could even be a kind of madness: a foolish attempt to transcend the same formative forces that we resent in our parents, to be “unaccommodated,” free of the “plague of custom.” Wes and Erin discuss William Shakespeare’s King Lear. Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website
17/04/20·1h 25m

Pretty Much Pop #39: TV and Other Plans in Subjunctive Stasis

A discussion of what to watch during lockdown is what happens when you're busy making plans about what to include in a hypothetical discussion of what to watch during lockdown. Join Mark, Erica, and Brian to talk Tiger King, Star Trek, Parks & Recreation, Devs, Zoey's, 13 Reasons Why, Ozark, Westworld, Larry David, endless tributes to the dead, anthology shows, unreleased pilots, and circus arts. Plus Tyler returns to talk Buffy, video games, and more. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.
14/04/20·37m 21s

Ep. 240: David Lewis on Possible Worlds and Language Games (Part Two)

On "Scorekeeping in a Language Game" (1979) and "Truth in Fiction" (1978). Lewis's account of possible worlds can be applied to conversation: As we speak, each sentence adds to the "conversational score" (the set of assumptions that enable us to understand each other) while reducing the field of possible worlds that the picture we're painting together could potentially represent. What are the gravitational forces within this kind of scorekeeping? Also, when an author creates a fictive "world," how do facts about that world logically relate to those of the actual world? With guest Matt Teichman. Start with part 1 or get the unbroken Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "Real Life" by Matt Wilson, as interviewed for Nakedly Examined Music #118.
13/04/20·1h 10m

NEM#119: Chris A. Maxwell: The Power of What You Don't Fully Understand

Chris fronted Gunbunnies in the early '90s and was then a member of Skeleton Key, but he's best known for being half of the production team Elegant Too. Since 2014 he's released two solo albums. We discuss two songs from 2012's New Store No. 2, the title track and "Most of What I Know I Learned from Women." We then talk about Elegant Too's work with They Might Be Giants (feat. Doughty) on "Mr. Xcitement" from Mink Car (2001) and also working with St. Vincent on the Bob's Burgers tune "Bad Girls" (2013). We conclude with Chris's "Imaginary Man" from Arkansas Summer (2016). Intro: "Stranded" by Gunbunnies from Paw Paw Patch (1990). Outro: Elegant Too's theme for ESPN's 30 for 30. For more see maxwellsongs.com and elegatnttoo.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon to get the ad-free feed. Sponsor: Visit betterhelp.com/nem for 10% off your first month of online counseling.
10/04/20·59m 16s

Pretty Much Pop #38: Costuming w/ Whitney Anne Adams

How does clothing mesh with other elements to create a mood for a film? Costumer Whitney (Happy Death Day, The Great Gatsby) joins Erica, Mark and Brian to discuss how clothes on screen relate to clothes in life, historic vs. modern vs. genre, when costumes get distracting, her current TV and film costuming picks, and more. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.
08/04/20·54m 18s

Ep. 240: David Lewis on Possible Worlds and Language Games (Part One)

On Ch. 4 of Lewis's book Counterfactuals (1973) and the essays “Scorekeeping in a Language Game” (1979) and “Truth in Fiction” (1978). What makes a sentence about possibility true? Lewis things that we need possible worlds that really exist in order to make sense of our modal intuitions. He uses this possible world talk to make sense of conversations and the worlds created by fiction writers. With guest Matt Teichman from Elucidations. Please support PEL!
06/04/20·52m 30s

Pretty Much Pop #37: Everything is LEGO

Why has a children's toy become a brand attached to virtually every media type, partnering with the most ubiquitous franchises, and serving as a pastime for many adult hobbyists who will gut you if you call LEGO a "children's toy." AFOL Brian Hirt talks with co-hosts Erica Spyres and Mark Linsenmayer about creative play vs. following the printed directions, building purists vs. anthropomorphizers, LEGO qua corporate overlord, LEGO media, and more. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.
01/04/20·46m 47s

Ep. 239: Montesquieu Invents Political Science (Part Two)

Continuing on The Spirit of the Laws (1748) by Charles Louis de Secondat, aka Baron de Montesquieu. Mark, Wes, Dylan, and Seth talk more about the "motive force" behind each type of government and the separation of powers. Begin with part 1 or get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "King of the Hill" by MINUTEMEN. Listen to Mark interview Mike Watt on Nakedly Examined Music #108.
30/03/20·50m 47s

NEM#118: Matt Wilson (Trip Shakespeare) Is Still a Writer

Matt released 4 albums and got on a major label with Trip Shakespeare in the late '80s, released a solo album in '98, ran bands with fellow Tripper John Munson for three albums over many subsequent years, ad has now released his first album as Matt Wilson & His Orchestra, When I Was a Writer. We discuss "Decent Guy" and listen to the title track from that album and look back to "Dreams" by Twilight Hours from Stereo Night (2009) and "Sun Is Coming" from his solo album Burnt, White, and Blue (1998). Intro/outo: "Toolmaster of Brainard" by Trip Shakespeare from Are You Shakespearienced (1989). For more see minneapolismatt.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon to get the ad-free feed. Sponsors: Visit betterhelp.com/nem for 10% off your first month of online counseling. Visit masterclass.com/EXAMINED for 15% off a MasterClass All-Access Pass.
27/03/20·1h 4m

PEL Presents: PMP#36: Criticism w/ Noah Berlatsky

Do we need professional critics regulating our entertainment intake? Noah writes for The Washington Post, NBC News, The Guardian, Slate, Vox, The Atlantic, etc., and he now joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to talk about the function of criticism, criticism as art, and the joy of negativity. We talk 1917, Midsommar, Marvel vs. Scorsese, Yesterday, Bob Dylan, Twilight, and more. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.
25/03/20·43m 58s

Ep. 239: Montesquieu Invents Political Science (Part One)

On The Spirit of the Laws (1748) by Charles Louis de Secondat, aka Baron de Montesquieu. What keeps a society functioning? Montesquieu, though of course not the first political philosopher, was perhaps the first to systematically explore correlations between characteristics of a government, its people, its climate, dominant industries, religion, and other factors. Some of his ideas directly influenced the American Constitution, and some of them are very very weird. Please support PEL!
23/03/20·43m 24s

Pretty Much Pop #35: Video Game Storytelling w/ Don Marshall

Do you play video games for the plot? Mark, Erica, and Brian are joined by former video game professional (current TV development exec) Donald E. Marshall to talk through types of video game narrative, ways of weaving story into a game, balancing gameplay and storytelling, and more. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.
17/03/20·50m 36s

Ep. 238: Lingering Questions

Mark, Wes, Dylan, and Seth summarize thoughts about our recent series on social construction, gender and sex, and Judith Butler's notion of "grievable lives." Should we stop covering so much contemporary work and/or political topics? End song: "The Size of Luv" by Mark Lint from Mark Lint's Dry Folk (2018). Get this and every episode ad-free with a PEL Membership. Please support the podcast!
16/03/20·1h 14m

NEM#117: Chris McQueen (FORQ, Snarky Puppy): Like Fusion, But Cool

Chris has played guitar for Snarky Puppy since it started in 2004, has led rock bands and explored acoustic guitar duets. We discuss "M-Theory" by FORQ from Four (2019), the title track to Western Theatre by Matt Read and Chris McQueen (2019), and "Coven" by Snarky Puppy from Immigrance (2019), and end with "Strut" by Foe Destroyer from their self-titled album (2013). Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon to get the ad-free feed. Sponsor: Visit betterhelp.com/nem for 10% off your first month of online counseling.
13/03/20·1h 27m

Ep. 237: Walter Benjamin Analyzes Violence (Part Two)

Continuing on Benjamin's "Critique of Violence" (1921). Mark, Wes, and Seth keep trying to figure out this difficult essay. Is Benjamin really advocating a workers' revolution to end the state, or just reflecting on a hypothetical to explore the limits of the concept of violence? According to Judith Butler's interpretation of the essay, the takeaway is the alternative to motivation through force, i.e. speech, which Benjamin (in other essays) gives some religious significance, but the way he actually concludes the essay is in a discussion of "divine violence" as somehow transcending means-end analysis and the corruption inherent in violence. Begin with part one or get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "Jericho" from hackedepiciotto, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #116.
09/03/20·45m 17s

Pretty Much Pop #34: Escape Rooms and Other Puzzlers w/ Adal Rifai

You know "the comic" and "the tragic," but what kind of entertainment is "the puzzling?" Improviser/podcaster Adal Rifai joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to discuss escape rooms, riddles and puns, group problem solving, puzzles in films and video games, lateral vs. algorithmic thinking, and more. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.
04/03/20·50m 49s

Ep. 237: Walter Benjamin Analyzes Violence (Part One)

On "Critique of Violence" (1921). What is violence? Benjamin gives us a taxonomy: law-creating, law-preserving, mythological, and divine. Then he deconstructs his own distinctions to demonstrate that all state power is rotten through its being founded on and continually re-established by violence or the threat of it. Don't wait for part two. Get the full ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL!
02/03/20·42m 42s

NEM#116: hackedepicciotto: Nomadic Cinematographers

Einstürzende Neubauten's Alexander Hacke and artist/singer Danielle de Picciotto have released seven albums of experimental music together since 2011, the last four as hackedepicciotto. We discuss "The Banishing" and "Third From the Sun" from The Current (2019) and "Propehcy" from Menetekel (2017), plus intro music is "Let There Be Joy" from Joy (2018). We conclude by listening to "Survivors" from Danielle's solo album Deliverance (2019). For more, see hackedepicciotto.de. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon to get the ad-free feed. Sponsor: Visit betterhelp.com/nem for 10% off your first month of online counseling.
28/02/20·1h 19m

PEL Presents PMP#33: The Heroine's Journey w/ Vi Burlew

How has Joseph Campbell's "hero's journey" as famously leveraged for Star Wars evolved with more female action heroes in film? Vi Burlew joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to talk not only about Rey, Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, Black Widow, and Mulan, but also bring in Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, The Wizard of Oz, Little Women, Jane Eyre, Working Girl, and of course Road House. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.
27/02/20·50m 24s

Ep. 236: Judith Butler Interview: "The Force of Nonviolence"

On The Force of Nonviolence: An Ethico-Political Bind (2020). What is it to be nonviolent in political activity? Most ethics allow for self-defense, but Judith has a problem with defining "self" as well as "violence," and offers a full critique of the individualism that underlies typical Western approaches to both ethics and politics. Mark, Seth, and Wes interview Judith about these issues and the connection to Gender Trouble. End song: "Dancing with Death," discussed on Nakedly Examined Music #111 with Marty Willson-Piper. Get this episode ad-free with a PEL Citizenship. Please support PEL!
24/02/20·1h 3m

PEL Presents: PMP#32: Judging "The Good Place"

Mark, Erica, and Brian discuss Michael Schur's NBC TV show. Is it good? Does it actually teach moral philosophy? We talk sit-com tropes, TV finales, the show's convoluted structure, the puzzle of heaven, and more. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.
19/02/20·45m 18s

Ep. 235: Judith Butler's "Gender Trouble" (Part Three)

Concluding "Gender Trouble" (1990), with just Mark, Wes, and Seth going carefully through pt I, sec v: "Identity, Set, and the Metaphysics of Substance," and pt III, sec iv: "Subversive Bodily Acts: Bodily Inscriptions, Performative Subversions." Start with part one or get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "I'm a Boy" by Lys Guillorn as interviewed for Nakedly Examined Music #44.
17/02/20·1h 6m

NEM#115: Julie Slick: Pedal Art Visualizer

Julie joined the Adrian Belew Power Trio in 2006 and released two solo albums starting in 2010. She then joined another bassist, Marco Machera for four albums, the last three as Echotest. Why two basses? Because Julie uses tech to change the sound of her bass to allow her to cover an orchestra's worth of parts. We discuss "Ladies' Legs at the Temperature Hotel" and "No, You Are Dead/The Gate of Light" by Echotest from Daughter of Ocean (2019), plus "Pi" from her solo album Terroir (2012), and listen to "Supercell" by Echotest from From Two Balconies (2017). Intro/Outro: "Mela" from Julie Slick (2010). For more, see julieslick.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon to get the ad-free feed. Sponsor: Visit masterclass.com/EXAMINED for 15% off a MasterClass All-Access Pass.
14/02/20·1h 23m

Pretty Much Pop #31: Robin Williams' Celebrity Struggles w/ Dave Itzkoff

Dave the New York Times culture reporter joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to consider issues raised by his 2018 biography Robin: What is with our f'ed up relation to celebrity, and what are strategies that celebrities use to deal with that asymmetric relationship to the world? Plus, Joaquin Phoenix, interview technique, the value of interviews, and more. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.
12/02/20·50m 55s

Ep. 235: Judith Butler's "Gender Trouble" (Part Two)

More Gender Trouble (1990) with Jennifer Hansen. We get into the metaphysics of substance (is gender an attribute that a person has, or is there a better way to describe the situation?), performatives, Beauvoir vs. Irigaray on femininity, and the available mechanisms for changing gender norms. Start with Part One or get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL!
10/02/20·1h 6m

PEL Presents (sub)Text: Marital Economics in Jane Austen’s "Pride and Prejudice"

An advantageous marriage is Elizabeth Bennet’s only potential escape from a foolish mother, a disinterested father, three very silly sisters, and a house that’s entailed away to her idiotic cousin Mr. Collins. But she turns down fabulously wealthy Mr. Darcy because he’s prideful—and maybe a little prejudiced. But then, so is she. How do we know if two people are well-suited to each other? What makes a successful match? Is Mr. Collins actually the perfect man? Wes and Erin discuss Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon. Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website Thanks to Abbie Smith for allowing us to repurpose her poster for the cover art. And thanks to Tyler Hislop for the audio editing on this episode.
07/02/20·1h 20m

Pretty Much Pop #30: Why Every Film Will Win the Oscar! (A Debate)

The 2020 Academy Awards are imminent (or maybe past, if you're hearing this later; it's fine!). Mark, Erica, and Brian, each argue in favor of three of the best picture nominees: that it should win, or maybe just will win. What is it to be an Oscar winner as opposed to the type of film that people actually like? For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.
05/02/20·53m 3s

Ep. 235: Judith Butler's "Gender Trouble" (Part One)

On Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (1990). Is gender socially constructed, and if so, how? Butler describes gender not as an essential quality of a person, but as "performed," as habits of acting in certain ways in accordance with customs. Her idea of social construction is so totalizing that even biological sex itself is constructed. With guest Jennifer Hansen. Please support PEL!
03/02/20·51m 37s

NEM#114: Michaela Anne's Hyper-Reflective Country

Michaela has released four albums of carefully styled, lyrically rich country since 2011.  From her latest, Desert Dove (2019), we discuss the title track, plus you'll hear "By Our Design" as the intro and "Somebody New" as the closer. We also discuss "Worrying Mind" from Bright Lights and the Fame (2016) and "Is This What Mama Meant" from Ease My Mind (2014). For more, see michaelaanne.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon to get the ad-free feed.
31/01/20·1h 7m

PEL Presents PMP#29: Martin Scorsese the Auteur w/ Colin Marshall

We consider The Irishman in the context of Scorsese's body of work and the styles and themes that his films tend to exhibit. Writer/podcaster Colin Marshall joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to talk about connecting with Scorsese's sensibility and their status as "art films." Plus S's use of music, comments on Marvel, CGI age alternation, and more. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.
29/01/20·55m 51s
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