Amy Povah, Anrica Caldwell on Those Left Behind, Keith Weiner on Debate Fallout

Why wasn’t criminal justice discussed in the debate? Amy Povah and Anrica Caldwell join David Gornoski to discuss this important question as well as the pandemic exposure in prisons across the country. Amy also highlights how Biden has, in his career, repeatedly struck down any hope of criminal justice reform and helping the victims of the drug war. Plus, Chalana McFarland, a first time offender who has served 15 years in prison, calls in to describe her home-confinement situation and her continuing fight for clemency.

Keith Weiner of Monetary Metals calls in to give us a rundown on the debate. Is there a way to unleash the market innovations that could overwhelm the anti-civilization forces in government intervention? Listen to the full episode to find out and more.

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The Apocalyptic Fallout from Biden-Trump Debate

As expected, nothing of value was discussed in the Trump-Biden debate. David Gornoski points to how the mainstream media’s twisted narrative was well represented by Chris Wallace’s woeful moderating. How will this debate impact our subconsciousness that identifies with the visuals? Will there ever be a discussion of real solutions, like curing cancer and other diseases, on the political stage? All the status quo cares about is getting rid of the heretic that has managed to gain control of the highest seat in the country. Listen to the full episode for David Gornoski’s breakdown of the debate and what must be done to escape this neverending mimetic crisis of blame-shifting.

Biden vs Trump: Battle of the Scapegoat Stories

David Gornoski resumes his exposition of the election media coverage that has mostly focused on Trump’s taxes but has failed to mention anything about Biden and Harris’ record of warmongering and locking up non-violent offenders. “The 1619 project is nothing but a sleight of hand,” David says as he points to the real problems like the media failing to hold their favorite politicians accountable and Big Tech censoring dissident voices online. What can’t we expect from the debate? We won’t hear about any real solutions like too-cheap-to-meter energy, ketogenic nutrition to counter diseases, and other voluntary market-based innovations. Listen to the full episode for an epic dismantling of political scapegoating.

John Zmirak on Biden Trump Debate, Marx’s Spiritual Roots

In today’s episode, David Gornoski is joined by John Zmirak, Senior Editor of The Stream and author of the ‘Politically Incorrect Guide to Catholicism.’ What can we expect from today’s debate between Trump and Biden? Zmirak cautions that Biden is not to be underestimated while expressing confidence in Trump retaining the presidency. Will there be riots if Trump wins the election? What will happen to the Durham investigation if Biden wins? Listen to the full episode for an anthropological and spiritual deconstruction of leftist politics and what needs to be done to counter what Zmirak calls ‘anti-Christ’ movements.

THINGS HIDDEN 21: Jean-Michel Oughourlian Interview

In this THINGS HIDDEN conversation, David Gornoski and Shannon Braswell are joined by Jean-Michel Oughourlian, psychologist and author of The Mimetic Brain. Oughourlian starts the discussion with an insider’s perspective as Girard’s collaborator and how he found breakthroughs in the field of psychotherapy upon studying mimetic theory.

“The mirror neuron is something fantastic,” Oughourlian remarks, “because if you experiment, if you put a CT scan or PET scan on your own head and mine, and I’m drinking a glass of water, and you are on the other side of the Atlantic just looking at me, in both our brains the same regions will be activated the same way. In other words, whether I do the action or whether you look at it, the brain functions the same way–it mirrors what I’m doing.”

How does this discovery relate to the right and left-hemisphere brain study by Iain McGilchrist? How has mimetic theory helped Jean-Michel Oughourlian in the field of psychotheraphy?

“What I try to do when I see a patient is not so much find out what he is suffering from but to find out who he is suffering from. In other words, who is his rival,” Oughourlian states, “This becomes extremely tricky because some people look like friends but they are your enemies, some other people you think are your enemies but they are friends, they want to help.”

Is mimetic theory connected to physics? What is consciousness, or more precisely, how does consciousness function? Since we’re all compelled to imitate, how should we select our role models? Listen to the full podcast to find out and more.

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Our Cannibalistic Desires: Shannon Braswell Interviews David Gornoski

Shannon Braswell, in his first episode of Polymath’s Paradise, sits down with David Gornoski. The two resume their discussion on the works of Rene Girard. David takes us through his disillusionment with mainstream Christian talking points and his introduction to Rene Girard.

“Jesus was basically an object for folks rather than the subject of your life,” David says, “Jesus had become an object with people to have a social status in comparison with others.” How do we make Jesus the subject of our lives?

How does the eucharist relate to cannibalism? How is civilization, as we know it, rooted in cannibalism? How has Christ affected humanity through this ritual consumption of the other in our species? Listen to the full podcast to find out.

Tho Bishop on Armenia / Azerbaijan Conflict, Sgt. Dan McKnight, Major Danny Sjursen on Smedley Butler

What’s going on with Armenia and Azerbaijan? Where does this conflict originate and how does it expose the way nations have been dealing with each post-cold war? Mises Institute’s Tho Bishop calls in to explain this complex scenario and why America should steer clear of intervention. Also, Sgt. Dan McKnight and Danny Sjursen call in for a Veterans Radio segment on General Smedley Butler who wrote the book ‘War is a Racket.’ Who was Smedley Butler and what caused him to become a critic of America’s interventionist wars? Listen to the full episode for the remarkable story of a truth-teller and more.

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Ron Paul Returns, Trump and Biden Prepare for Battle

David Gornoski starts the show by paying tribute to Ron Paul’s ability in uniting people across party lines through sheer integrity and concern for fellow man. “It’s very rare to find a person these days who actually believes in something.” David also comments on how the Democratic party has changed from being anti-authoritarian during the Bush days to espousing the worst aspects of both parties, being for war, censorship, mass incarceration, and mass surveillance. “What they call ‘Democratic Socialism’ is nothing but pure Fascism.” Is Trump using the Presidency for greed, as the media claims? Are Obama and the Clintons not guilty of the same when we read about their book and podcast deals with mega-corporations? Should Carla Bruni’s remarks on Trump be considered valid?

Celebrity – The Cornerstone of Modern America

Told the devil that I’m going on a strike
Told the devil when I see him, on sight
I’ve been working for you my whole life
Told the devil that I’m going on a strike
I’ve been working for you my whole life

Kanye West, ‘Hands On’

In the 1991 film ‘The Doors,’ Oliver Stone treats singer Jim Morrison as a modern-day incarnation of the ancient Greek deity Dionysus. It is apt that Stone treats the story of Morrison as a modern-day myth rather than a documentary-style factual narrative. After all, one of America’s biggest cultural exports (if not the greatest) and modern-day mythmaking consists of the celebrity.

Why export celebrity? Why not let it be confined within its borders? Jim Morrison, played by Val Kilmer, himself provides the answer in the film when he quotes Nietzsche: “All great things must first wear terrifying and monstrous masks in order to inscribe themselves on the hearts of humanity.” The celebrity, in all certainty, is a mask or, more accurately, it is a persona that is meant to be a model for worship and emulation.

Various celebrities, whether they be rock stars, movie stars, politicians, or even Church personalities, embody various types of personas. In Jungian psychoanalysis they are archetypes. In pro-wrestling they are ‘gimmicks.’ Dionysus is one such ancient gimmick; it has scraped through the inquisitions and witch hunts right into our modern-day embrace as the primary form of stardom.

Stone, very clearly and intentionally, portrays Jim Morrison as Dionysus with Morrison being intoxicated and promiscuous in almost the entirety of the movie’s duration. The rock and roll star was the tip of the thrust that was the 1960s sexual revolution—an era dominated by Vietnam war newreels and footages of naked, intoxicated hippies copulating en masse at events like New York’s ‘Woodstock’ and San Francisco’s ‘Summer of Love.’

The juxtaposition of the Vietnam war and hippie culture is to be seen as the break from something that should have been a common occurrence in ancient times. Violence and sex have always been used interchangeably in mythological narratives due to the proximity between taboo and death; an example is Zeus’ rape of Semele. During the 60s, however, the hippies raged against the Vietnam war, and not only did it rebel against the war but it did so as the first-ever extra-Christian attempt at protesting against war as a mass human sacrifice.

The hippie movement should be seen as the rise of a new adolescent religion that seeks to resurrect paganism without the element of human sacrifice. Anthropologist René Girard spoke of this naivety and argues that such an undertaking is bound to fail.

The indefinite multiplication of primitive and pagan gods look like an amiable fantasy to many in our time, something created for no serious reason—playful, we might say, or rather “ludic,” since the word is à la mode. It is a playful fantasy of which an overly serious monotheism, not playful at all, tries to deprive us. In reality, however, the primitive and pagan gods are not playful; they are mournful and destructive.
~ Girard, ‘I See Satan Fall Like Lightning’

The reason hippie culture fails (and has failed historically) is because it deifies celebrities as secular ‘icons.’ Celebrities such as Jim Morrison are not only the answer to Christian iconography but also cultural and temporal monarchs fattened for sacrifice. The reverie that exists around these icons is unmistakable; who wants to see a fat and dead Elvis Presley on the toilet seat or a vomit soaked Anna Nicole Smith dead in her bed? We’d rather remember these icons for their cultural and political boldness: the speech at the concert or the awards show, the endorsing of political candidates, the ‘speaking out’ against bigotry, the righteous twitter rants, etc.

One reason why Oliver Stone’s The Doors is impeccable is because it blurs the line between classical mythology and celebrity biography. In one scene, Morrison sings about killing his father and having sex with his mother, a scandalous nod to Oedipus—one that causes instant outrage but also hysterical adoration. In another scene, Morrison’s girlfriend Patricia Kennealy says that the crowd outside are calling for him and Morrison replies, “They don’t want me, they want my death… ripped to pieces.”

Patricia Kennealy earlier hints to the five-day riot carnival that witches would undertake in medieval times. During these five days, the witches would wander the hills, looting and devouring themselves and wild animals whilst “looking for Dionysus” whom they would “rip to pieces.” But in those days, the Dionysus—the victim—whom they would murder were often disfigured or marginalized outcasts. Today, this cannibalistic phenomenon has rid itself of coercion and, therefore, the victim has become willing and submissive to the ritual.

In The Doors, this voluntary sacrifice of Jim Morrison is alluded to in the movie’s ending. Morrison quietly says goodbye to his bandmates and one of them says he “made music with Dionysus himself.” A few minutes later, Morrison is shown dead in his bathtub. With his death, Morrison cements himself as the modern-day version of the dying and resurrecting god of old. It is perhaps in irony that the music playing in the background is the climactic chorus of LA Woman.

In secular imagination, the early death of celebrities is a guarantor of instant deification. Artists like Jim Morrison are today’s gods of a culture infatuated by stardom and, therefore, are models considered worthy of emulation. What is the ‘x-factor’ that talent hunters seek in aspiring artists? Why is this x-factor so ambiguous in its definition? It is because this unknown quality is made known in the narratives of ancient mythology. If one is puzzled by this line of reasoning then one should look at the current controversial Netflix feature Cuties; by doing so one can conclude how the emulation of Dionysus affects future generations.

The gospels, especially the Passion narratives, unearth the ancient human sacrificial ritual and robs it of its glimmer. But whether it will do so in modern times, where the victim and oppressors mutually carry out the sacrifice, we shall try to predict. In America and the rest of western civilization, where the mantra of ‘do as thou wilt’ remains more or less a primary force of how freedom is to be dictated, how can the Gospel, as it is perceived in the western psyche, defeat the sacrificial mechanism?

The issue becomes even more complex when we consider how, with the advent of social media, every single individual can now claim his/her very own Dionysian pedestal and, ultimately, the right to be sacrificed. With this phase of evolution, the American cornerstone has become a global cornerstone. Certainly, the Gospel can provide the shock treatment that might unravel this modern myth too.

Because of the contagious nature of imitation, we are seeing Christ’s shock treatment as an inversion of the Dionysian myth. The sheer ridiculousness of twitter culture has ensured that the gap between celebrities and their fans is non-existent. In a state of growing undifferentiation, celebrities now argue with fans online all the time. Why has this occurred and where is this heading? We must remember that the crucifixion of Christ has annihilated the pagan art of mythmaking, i.e. deifying the victims of sacred murder rituals.

The cross of Calvary has injected a sense of parody in the myth of Dionysus. Whereas the ancient Greek deity was a sacralization of drunkenness and chaos, the sacred drunkard today is ridiculed and mocked by a thousand other aspiring gods of drunkenness. A few like Kanye West have figured this out and has, remarkably, taken the path of inverting the Dionysian spirit of stardom through making a mockery out of the music industry. The celebrity is turning into the holy fool.

If society strives to “do as thou wilt,” Christ reverses that to mean “do what I do,” and He does so through making a mockery of pagan mythology just as He had done during the reign of Tiberius Caesar. Will there be a Christian end to the story of Dionysus? Only time will tell.

Jason Jones on René Girard, Divided Hearts of America

David Gornoski is joined by human rights activist and filmmaker Jason Jones. Together, the two discuss the legacy of Dr. Ron Paul, the anthropology of René Girard, victimism in politics, COVID shutdowns, his upcoming anti-abortion movie ‘Divided Hearts of America,’ and more. Is Christianity the religion of the weak as Nietsczhe claimed? How do we stand in solidarity with victims of real injustice without the use of victimism? How do we reclaim social justice for the victim-garbed politicians of the left? Listen to the full episode to find out.

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