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Before you write, yes, we know that at the hour mark when we take a break you can hear us shouting underneath the music. No, you can't know what we were fighting about, but Dan thinks Jeff was overreacting.

How many professors does it take to define virtue? Well, we packed 6 into a hotel room and chatted about the definition of virtue, but more importantly, we asked, "can it be taught?"
We were on location in Los Angeles at the annual conference for The Association of Core Texts and Courses. We started the podcast discussing the best cities in the world. The question we then asked ourselves (and have been asked by others), "can you teach virtue?" is a question that doesn't just effect us as professors, but also as parents. Can you teach someone to be 'virtuous'? What are the virtues? Are they intellectual, moral, etc...? Isn't this just moralizing?  We have Dr. Scott Ashmon (PhD, Ancient Near East Studies at Hebrew University), Dr. John Lu (PhD, Psychology UCI), Dr. CJ Armstrong (PhD, Classics UCI), Mr. Dan Deen (PhD Cand. Philosophy Florida State) and Dan (Phd, History University of St. Andrews) and Jeff (DPhil, Oxford). That is a lot of student debt, and possibly, a crap load of hubris. Luckily, we bust each others chops enough that we hope you will enjoy us trying to figure out a problem that we should probably all think about. 

This is our first show with the brand new equipment given to us by a generous anonymous donor. Dan still managed to hit his mic, and with 4 headsets and 6 profs, we do move them about (but the sound is so much better). 

We discussed: Aristotle on Virtue, the Enuma Elish, Virtue Ethics, The Rwandan Genocide, Philip Zimbardo and more... click on the links for more info.

 
 
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Dr. Stanley Lombardo is a classicist,  professor at the University of Kansas, and translator of the Iliad, Odyssey, Aeneid, and other great texts.  You can read an interview with him here.  Listen at least as long as it takes to hear him recite poetry in the original Greek.  Learn what it means to do a loyal translation.  Learn how Lombardo's interest in Zen Buddhism helped him with his approach to translation.  This is one interview you won't want to miss.  Consider listening to ViW40wc for background on the Iliad with Dr. C.J. Armstrong.  By the way, if you tried to read the Homeric epics and didn't enjoy them the first time through, consider trying Lombardo's translations.  

 
 
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So, you've noticed something different about this episode already. First, it is neither an "a" or "b" side. But rather a "wc". Before you go making antiquated jokes about the toilet, understand that this is our designation for a series of podcasts centered on great texts. The "Wasteland Companion" is a podcast 
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that centers around the discussion of a book for an audience that has either a) not read the book b) read the book a long time ago or c) just read it, and wants to hear some people talking about it. You see what we did there? EVERYONE fits into one of these categories! With a wealth of talent living around us, we decided that, from time to time, we will offer a companion to a great text (ancient, modern, pop, classic). Our "third wheel", Classicist Dr. CJ Armstrong sat in to discuss the greatest war story ever told. We hope you enjoy the occasional foray into these texts, as these are not merely good stories (though they are) but ultimately point us beyond ourselves to think about the nature of truth, goodness, and beauty. (Thanks to Char and Forme Design for our "bookish" logo for the Wasteland Companion series)
This episode will be available here, on iTunes, Roku, Stitcher and your other favorite mediums at 5am PDT on Sunday, April 6th
 
 
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Dr. Uwe Siemon-Netto has seen it all.  The JFK assassination coverage, the rise of the Nazis, a famous drinking horse in Germany, the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall, and of course the Vietnam War.  Uwe talks about getting a doctorate after a not so good high school experience.  We learn why our news media has gone so far away from its original calling or vocation today.  Learn why you should not criticize a German town’s beer. Learn who can drink more beer and not slur: Catholic priests or Lutheran pastors.  Find out how clumsy and immature JFK was, but also how he rose to the occasion when global annihilation loomed.  What should a journalist do when they come across a scandal?  Find out why Uwe wouldn't mind being a horse poop specialist.  By the way, you wish you were as cool as the guy in the picture here.  I suppose you can be.  Just become a journalist in the old school style.  Learn about how Uwe came to study with Peter Berger, thanks to his wife, Gillian's wise sense of Uwe's suitability for the clergy ranks, or lack thereof.  

 
 
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Sit back and enjoy as we continue to discuss art and aesthetics in the form of the written and (usually) bound word. Our good pal CJ (who you will hear on an upcoming special episode) sat in as we took our various periods of expertise (Ancient, Early Modern, and Modern) and suggested three books that turned us on to the great ideas, important events, etc...
While we do not pick obscure difficult books to read, we do stay in the traditional category of great books. All three of us came up with our list on short order and thought that we would be made fun of for what we excluded. We found out that we all really liked the lists we were ready to critique. Feel free to contact any of us about the books we mention if you decide to pick one of them up and go for a romantic, dark, whimsical, political, or comic stroll through its pages. 

Click "Read More" to the bottom left of this post to see our list with links to editions we endorse


 
 
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Like most of our shows lately, this one seems a long time coming. We had wanted our pal Rachel Hayes to come over and record with us since the Summer. Rachel came over on a friday night to sit down and talk about Banksy, Embroidery, Faith....Whatever.

Jeff and Dan talk will talk a bit about the history and philosophy of art from the perspective of the practical nature of, and the"uses and abuses" of art. Rachel discusses her own work (see the link below and watch the video), and devastates Jeff by crushing his love for the street artist, Banksy.

8 Months pregnant and in the middle of a semester, the delightful Professor Hayes brought a homemade pie, came loaded for bear to chat about art and meaning, and her own work.

Rachel's work, "addresses the space of personal memory where fact and fantastical myth merge, and where memories may emerge within both the intimate and immense nature of drawings" check out her site here and watch her video here

(Halfway through the show, we start laughing a good bit. To understand what we are laughing about,  check out this painting, which calls to mind this. All of this was part of the unravelling of Jeff's faith in banksy).

Enjoy the show, and share it with friends.
As always, feel free to comment here, or email us questions at dan@virtueinthewasteland.com. 





THIS SHOW WILL BE AVAILABLE HERE, ON ITUNES, ROKU, AND STITCHER ON MARCH 23RD AT 5AM PDT 
 
 
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On this Bonus B-Side we FINALLY get the chance to chat with Faithful Masks founder Dr. Uwe Siemon-Netto. We discuss the cultural significance of the Vietnam War today, but most importantly (and interesting) is our talk about his time as an embedded reporter during the  War. His stories are engaging, hilarious, and heartbreaking. While we only scratch the surface with Dr Siemon-Netto, you can get the whole story in his book (now in it's second edition) The Triumph of the Absurd: A Reporters Love for the Abandoned People of Vietnam. Next week we will air more of an interview with Dr. Siemon-Netto on his life as a journalist. As a B side, we are able to go long-form and let him do most of the story telling. So sit back and enjoy an astounding a story from a remarkable man.


"For 57 years, Uwe Siemon-Netto, an international journalist from Germany, has reported about major world events including the construction and the fall of the Berlin Wall and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. He covered the Vietnam War over a period of five years, from 1965 until 1969 and then again in 1972. He has also written extensively about topics ranging from wine, food, classical music and modern art to religion. At age 50 he interrupted his career to earn an M.A. at a Lutheran seminary in Chicago and a doctorate in theology and sociology of religion at Boston University. His doctoral dissertation titled, The Fabricated Luther: Refuting Nazi Connections and Other Modern Myths, has been widely acclaimed as a resounding argument against the charge that the 16th-century German reformer could have been Hitler's progenitor. As part of his theological studies Siemon-Netto served as a chaplain to Vietnam veterans in Minnesota and wrote a significant book on pastoral care titled, The Acquittal of God: A Theology for Vietnam Veterans."

 
 
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Former guest (and student) Joe Laughon is Mexican and Irish, and he asked us about celebrating Cinco De Mayo and St. Patrick's Day. So we took him up on his question, and asked him to come by and sit in on the recording.
NOW, this show does play a little light, and does dance gingerly around issues of race and culture. But stick with us here. 
Do we have a civic responsibility to observe holidays? If we are observing ethnic holidays shouldn't we take some time to learn the history behind them? How do these holidays foster ethnic stereotypes? How can they serve as opportunities to learn about immigrant cultures? 
We give some practical advice to celebrating holidays amidst a sea of stereotypes, mariachi music and green beer. Joe tells us a bit about Irish history (because Dan can't), Jeff discusses St. Patrick and his peculiar method of cultural assimilation (it's uncomfortable), and Dan talks about the nature of holy/holi-days (and may have possibly said something that made Jeff edit out a portion). 
You'll hear music from the Chieftans, Public Enemy, the Pogues, and Mariachi El Bronx. 
Éirinn go Brách and Ole! 

 

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THIS SHOW WILL BE AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD ON SUNDAY MARCH 16TH AT 5AM PDT
 
 
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Mailbag! Instead of one topic, this week we go after as many as we can. These topics have been selected by YOU, the listener. We have been asked various questions, asked to clarify a few positions that we've taken, and asked, as we did in the last episode "Are You Insane?"

On today's show we start with a brief "state of the podcast" discussion, correct ourselves, and answer a few questions about politics and education. Did Dan really attack single people on a past show? Is Jeff an Anarchist? What's that kook, Vladdy Putin up to? Why does the intro sound different? The quality of the intro is crap this week (we are working on it!) but the content has changed for a reason.

Listen in and listen up, we've taken your questions and comments and made a show out of them.  It's just the tip of the iceberg, after you listen, let us know what questions we didn't address.

When we discuss Myers-Briggs, we don't fully explain it for those who aren't familiar with it. Here is an explanation (click here)

Dan is an INFJ, which stands for Introvert (not extrovert), Intuitive (not sensing), Feeling (instead of thinking), and Judging (rather than perceiving). This is the rarest combination. Jeff is an extrovert and then follows the same pattern as Dan, this is the second most rare.

As always, continue to comment, follow us and ask questions on twitter @jeffanddanpod on our Facebook page and on Instagram

Jeff also talks about his unhealthy obsession with Lana Del Rey, and Dan admits his love of the dreamy Matthew Mcconaughey and True Detective.

Enjoy. And have a delightful week.

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On this, our 50th episode (enter fanfare) we discuss the nature of sanity and insanity. Wait, before you think that this is a highfalutin' philosophical show (well, it does have some philosophy) we came to this show by way of a question we asked ourselves: who is the sanest person we know?
This lead us down a rabbit hole for a week as we tried to put together a composite of the "sanest person" we know. Perhaps, sanity is illusive. Perhaps we are all insane. Or, like most things... it's complicated and we're not quite sure. But, join us as we discuss Dan's adventure with his two boys and missing cat, Jeff's new bike, and we think out loud through the thought of G.K. Chesterton, Soren Kierkegaard and others. We play some Old 97's and Beastie Boys and get around to making a little more sense of the world, our collective selves, and what it means to be sane.  The closing song is a cover of "Crazy Train" by the Denver country band The Railbenders.

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