Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Jimi Hendrix - Entitled Opinions

Last year, thanks to Jesse Willis of SFF Audio, I was exposed for the first time to the podcast Entitled Opinions and it took me some time to really begin to connect. It is an acquired taste so to say. Host Robert Harrison rides his own interests, starting from his own scholarly level of knowledge and this can be a handicap for the unfamiliar, but basically is a strength in the end.

The podcast is also a radio program with semester seasons. Spring 2009 has been closed with the last show, which is a solo show, that means there was no guest whom professor Harrison interviewed, about Jimi Hendrix. If the shows have a personal touch all along, this solo show has it even more so. And that personal touch is, needless to say, Harrison's own fascination and adoration for Jimi Hendrix. We surf with him on the tones of the music, propelled by the lyrics through the show.

Harrison treats Hendrix as a phenomenon and concentrates on the effort to come to grips with the nature of this phenomenon. How can you explain this power of expression? What drove him, what inspired him? Harrison rejects the application of any kind of psycho-analysis, or socio-political embedding of Hendrix. He takes the man as a kind of singularity, an angel, an alien, a voodoo child and joins Hendrix's lyrics into this search into the mystics of True Identity and Deeper Nature. Listening to the podcast turns into an experience pur sang.

More Entitled Opinions:
Sartre's Existentialism,
Five Free Favorites of Jesse Willis.

Logical Positivism - In Our Time

Before the episode is going to be taken off line tomorrow, here is a reminder to go ahead and download BBC In Our Time's latest issue Logical Positivism.

Somehow, it was especially fascinating to hear this episode so shortly after finishing the BBC Reith Lectures by Michael Sandel. Maybe it is my personal impression, but somehow, Sandel's plea to allow for morality to enter the public debate seems to fit not so well with logical positivism. Logical positivism was all about pushing away from science (and thus in many ways, away from the public debate) all issues that could not rationally be decided by data and systematic observation. By all means this seems to reflect our qualms to debate issues of morality, religion, spirituality and grand ideologies.

Certainly, logical positivism only addressed science, not the public or the political debate. But in a technocratic society, science seems to be the highest authority to turn to for ultimately deciding about false and true. Albeit, truth is a rather tricky fellow to capture and it is therefore surprising that the program about Logical Positivism hardly addressed Karl Popper's contribution through the approach of falsification. But surely this is because Popper had his own chapter of In Our Time.

More In Our Time:
The Sunni - Shia split,
Revenge Tragedy,
The Augustan Age,
The trial of king Charles I,
St. Paul.

More BBC Reith Lectures 2009:
A politics of the common good,
The bioethics concern,
Morality in Politics,
Morality and the Market.

Bommel Hoorspel podcast - NPS podcast recensie

Twee jaar geleden schreef ik al over het Bommel Hoorspel (Website: podcast NPS | Bommel) dat ik destijds als een beetje kinderachtig afdeed. (feed) Het viel me op dat na al die jaren de podcast nog steeds bestaat en ben maar weer eens gaan luisteren.

Nu zit ik in het midden van een serie die een van mijn Bommel favorieten De Grote Onthaler als hoorspel brengt. Het verhaal wordt prachtig gelezen door Maartje van Weegen en het spel is net een beetje pittiger dan ik me van twee jaar geleden herinner. Verder zijn de muziek en geluidseffecten nog geraffineerder geworden. Kortom, wat mij destijds wat flauw en versukkeld overkwam is nu een heel aangename ervaring geworden.

Meer Bommel Hoorspel:
Bommel Hoorspel.