Pages

Pages

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Open Call for Conversation: #ThinkMore Podcast With Dr. J

After many, many months of research, tech upgrades, trial-and-error experiments, and almost crippling self-doubt, I am finally ready to announce that I will be launching my new podcast #ThinkMore in the coming weeks.

I first want to give a shout-out to Myisha Cherry and her very excellent The Unmute Podcast for inspiring me to get my ish together and finally set things up to podcast on my own. If you haven't tuned in to The Unmute Podcast yet, stop reading and do so now.  There are a few good philosophy podcasts on the web-- check out Philosophy Now, History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps, Philosophy Bites, The Big Ideas, and (my favorite) The Partially Examined Life--but none of them have the panache of Myisha Cherry's podcast, which not only focuses its attention on underrepresented philosophers, but also has the superadded virtue of relaying conversations that are real and really interesting to listen to (mostly thanks to the hostess!).

I've got several recordings in the can--yes, I know that's film lingo but I don't yet know the audio analogue-- for my new podcast but I don't want to make it live until I get a few more. So, what follows is an OPEN CALL for interviewees.

OPEN CALL FOR CONVERSATION ON THE #THINKMORE PODCAST WITH DR J

Dr. J (@LeighMJohnson) is the hostess of the new #ThinkMore podcast. She is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Christian Brothers University and has been the sole author of the ReadMoreWriteMoreThinkMoreBeMore blog since 2006. Her teaching and research interests focus on social and political philosophy, critical race theory, feminism and gender studies, humanism and human rights, democracy,  technology, and film.  
Dr. J is an OMG really interesting person with whom to have a conversation!  No punches are pulled, no straw men are not set ablaze, no nuances are left unpacked, no presumptions are not rigorously investigated, and no bullsh*t is not called out. Are you up for a conversation like that?  
Fair warning: all #ThinkMore conversations will be recorded, edited, then posted on the Internet. And the Internet never forgets.
If you've got something interesting to say about philosophy, politics, music, or pop culture and you want to be heard on #ThinkMore, send your pitch (300 words or less) to leigh.johnson@cbu.edu and put "#ThinkMore pitch" in the subject line. I promise to get back to you within 48 hours. I will be incredibly flexible with scheduling interview times, but interviewees should know in advance that they will need reliable Internet access, a decent microphone (see here), a generous dispositional attitude, and probably a thick skin.
So that's the official call.  I hope regular readers of this blog will share it widely (and also please follow #ThinkMore on Twitter!). Come hell or high water, I'm launching this podcast no later than next week,so go ahead and buckle up.

Friday, July 01, 2016

Well Actually, This Is How Erasure and Appropriation Happens

Women's voices, ideas, engagements, and critiques are constantly being erased and/or appropriated-- in academia, on the internet, at workplaces of every ilk-- sometimes through slick and malicious moves, but much more often as a consequence of careless inattention.

Also, water is wet.

I was just recently "disappeared" in an essay by my friend Joshua Miller ("Friendly Fire and Fiery Friendship"; also reproduced on Daily Nous here).  Because this is not the first time I've experienced such, and because I want to think that something might be done about the "careless inattention" that so frequently causes it, I will, in the following, walk you through the anatomy of this case.  But first, three important caveats:

Thursday, June 23, 2016

30 Day Song Challenge, Day 23: Your Favorite Song This Time Last Year

It's funny how quickly pop songs start to sound "old." In order to figure out what I was listening to this time last summer, I'll admit that I had to consult iTunes and a couple of music blogs to see what the top tracks were for June 2015.  In almost every case, my first thought was whaaaa? that seems like AGES ago!, but nah, in every case I was wrong, because it was just one measly trip around the sun ago.

My pick for today is a song that I was 100% obsessed with around this time last year.  In retrospect, I don't think I'd put it in my top 50 Songs of All Time, but it could possibly squeeze its way into the top 200. Ask me again next year and I'll likely have changed my mind.

Before you get all judg-y about my selection, keep in my mind that I was not alone in my Rihanna-love last year.  This track was hotttttttt.

Here's my pick for Day 23, Rihanna's "B*tch Better Have My Money":



Pay me what you owe me.  Don't act like you forgot.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

30 Day Song Challenge, Day 22: A Song You Wish You Had Written

Ok, at this point-- I'm writing this on June 37-- I'm already six days behind on the 30 Day Song Challenge.  I was just about to give up and call it quits, but then I remembered that I've been doing this for a long time and, even if this year's iteration ends up being the last hurrah, I ought to see it through.  So, I've got a little less than 3 days to catch up and finish.

Hide and watch me do it.

My pick for today is Willie Nelson's "Always on My Mind," first released on his 1982 album of the same title.  It goes without saying, I hope, that Nelson is among the greatest of American singer-songwriters, but God also gifted that man with a very unique kind of warbly voice that somehow manages to caress and expose every bit of human vulnerability in its most rarefied form.  This little ballad of love and regret is one of his best.  Here it is:



Little things I should have said and done.  I just never took the time.

I could throw all of Willie Nelson's song lyrics into a bag, randomly pick out one line, and almost certainly find in my hand a First Principle for Living and Loving.  He's that good.  But "Always On My Mind" is my pick today because I wish I had the courage to be as honest, as vulnerable, as self-critical and as gracious as Willie is in this song.

This, to my mind, is the song that says all the things that everyone, at some point in their lives, need to hear... but which hardly anyone takes the time to say to those who need to hear it.

30 Day Song Challenge, Day 22: A Song You Want Played at Your Wedding

I won't ever get married-- partly because I object to the state institution of marriage, but also because I'm old and ornery and too attached to my own independence now-- so today's prompt is a bit of a strange one to answer. For the record, I love weddings, I love couples who pledge their lives and fidelity to one another, I love cake and flowers and Vitamixes and the chicken dance...I love love.

I just don't love the fundamentally exclusive, overdetermined and state-sanctioned cultural institution of marriage-- which bestows civic and economic rewards, for thoroughly undemocratic reasons entirely unrelated to merit, right or desert, which does so at the expense and to the detriment of more than half our democratic citizenry, which has no governing interest other than the managerial consolidation of private property and the compulsory regularization/normalization of sexual behaviors, familial structures and gender expressions-- and which has now been marginally modified by the highest court in the land to be a slightly-less-exclusive exclusionary institution.

/rant

Anyway, in a compossible world where marriage wasn't the horribly unjust institution that it is in this world, if I were forced to choose a song I would like played at my wedding, it would be this one, sung by Otis Redding, "The Glory of Love":



Give a little. Take a little. Let your little heart cry a little. That's the story of, that's the glory of love.

Y'all know what I'm talking about.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

30 Day Song Challenge, Day 21: A Song That Is Best Heard Live

Most of the kinds of music I like-- blues, gospel, country, rock n' roll-- are better heard live.  I don't know if this is true of all genres of music.  I've heard my jazz-loving and classical-loving friends speak of some of their favorite albums as if the recording were absolutely perfect, as if no "live" reproduction could ever do justice to the infinitely and perfectly repeatable production.

I love to hear live music and I try to get out and do so at every opportunity.  That's easy to do in a city like Memphis, where there is live music every night of the week, much of it "free." (I put "free" in scare-quotes because NO ONE should EVER think that musicians in this town work for free. If they're getting paid at all by the clubs, it's a pittance, so do not ignore the call of their tip buckets!)  There's something about the energy of listening to loud, live music in a small space with other people that feeds my soul.

Monday, June 20, 2016

30 Day Song Challenge, Day 20: A Song You Listen To When You're Angry

NOTE: I've gotten behind in my posts for the 30 Day Song Challenge, so the next few days are going to be short and sweet, so I can get caught back up.

If I choose to listen to music when I'm angry, more often than not I'm looking for some kind of cathartic release, rather than searching for a way to amp myself up further. Anger is something that ought to be discharged as soon and as nonviolently as possible.

My pick for today is a fairly peppy song, so it might seem like a counterintuitive selection, but the lyrics are where it's at, really.  You held me down, but I got up. Get ready 'cause I've had enough. I see it all, I see it now.
'Cause I am the champion and you're gonna hear me roar.

Here it is,Katy Perry's "Roar":

Sunday, June 19, 2016

30 Day Song Challenge, Day 19: A Song That Bar Bands Should Stop Playing

For the most part, bar band songs become "bar band songs" in the first place because they're the sort that people can hear over and over again without tiring of them. So I don't really have a beef with most bar band songs.  I wish that Beale Street bands didn't play "Sweet Home Alabama" so frequently, for what I hope are obvious reasons, and there are a few Elvis songs I could stand to hear less often, but other than those I really don't mind hearing the same stuff over and over.

Since I must choose one, though, I'm going with Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl," which is not one of my favorite songs to begin with, which is played too often and which has that unfortunate la-la-tee-dah-ing at the end that I find super-annoying.  Here it is:



For the record, I really like Van Morrison quite a bit.  "Brown Eyed Girl" is just a little too chipper-cheesy for my tastes, and it's gotten more insufferable over the years. I'd be fine if bar bands just stopped playing it altogether, but since that is unlikely, I suppose it serves as a good excuse to go to the bathroom during a show.

Click here to return to the "anchor page" for #30DaySongChallenge2016 with the full list of this year's picks

Saturday, June 18, 2016

30 Day Song Challenge, Day 18: A Song That Every Bar Band Should Know

I'd give roughly 10 to 1 odds that you don't know who that guy is in the picture to the left.

That's Rupert Holmes (born David Goldstein), British composer, singer-songwriter, musician, playwright, and novelist. He won two Tony Awards for his musical Drood and has released no fewer than 16 albums over the course of his lifetime (the most recent in 2005).

For our purposes today, however, Rupert Holmes is notable for penning the super-cheesy but deliciously addictive song that I think every bar band should know. When you're picking among "bar-band cover songs," the very best are always going to be super-cheesy and deliciously addictive in my book, and Holmes' is one of the best.

And, if you like making love at midnight in the dunes of the cape, you're going to loooooove this.


Friday, June 17, 2016

30 Day Song Challenge, Day 17: A Song You Hear Often On The Radio

A little more than a year ago, Memphis got a second classic hip-hop radio station when Cumulus switched the format of WKIM from talk radio to "100% Throwback." For the first week or so that WKIM ("The Vibe") was on air, I listened to it nonstop and, since then, it remains one of the pre-set stations programmed into my car radio.  I listen to NPR every morning and evening at home for the news, but I rarely ever listen to the radio anywhere else other than my car, so to pick a song that I "hear often on the radio" means (for me, anyway) that I'm basically picking from the regular WKIM rotation.

Lucky for me, there's a wealth of awesomeness to choose from there.

I'm at the age now where I can be non-ironically nostalgic about "throwback" stuff.  And since the birth of what we now call "classic" hip-hop pretty much coincides with my own entry into the world, stations like WKIM are right up my alley.