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Aaron Ross Powell Show

Aaron Ross Powell Show

By Aaron Ross Powell
Interesting conversations with interesting people about interesting things.
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Talking about Authority and the State

Aaron Ross Powell Show

Talking about the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Lee Herrige
The movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe set records with their popularity. But are they any good? My feelings about the movies have always been lukewarm. They’re fun, competently made, and consistent. But none of them have wowed me, and while I’ve enjoyed every Marvel movie I’ve seen, I haven’t felt a desire to watch any of them a second time. My friend Lee Herridge disagrees and offered to come on the show to explain to me how I’ve gone wrong in evaluating the MCU. We talked about the quality of the films, the scope of the project Marvel undertook, how these movies compare to others in the genre, and were the MCU should go from here. Subscribe to my newsletter at
July 13, 2020
Talking about Star Wars with Paul Crider
I didn’t much like the Last Jedi. And I rather love the Rise of Skywalker. Which puts me at odds with a lot of Star Wars fans, including my guest today. Paul Crider is an editor at Liberal Currents, with interests in political philosophy and social justice, as well as Star Wars. He lives with his family in Silicon Valley and daylights as a semiconductor engineer. On today’s episode, we discuss all things a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, including our assessments of the new films, Disney’s stumbles with the franchise, and the evolving politics of Star Wars. And, as always, if you enjoy this show, please take a moment to rate and review it on Apple Podcasts.
June 11, 2020
Talking about Batman with Cory Massimino
You can make a strong case that Batman is the most famous western fictional character of all time. He's also pretty clearly the coolest. On today's episode, I'm joined by Cory Massimino. He's the Students for Liberty Academics Coordinator and a fellow at the Center for a Stateless Society. But what matters most for our purposes here is that he's thought a lot about Batman, and has a ton of interesting things to say about him. If you enjoyed our conversation, or any of the conversations I've had on this podcast, and want to hear more from me, take a moment to sign up for my very infrequent newsletter, where I talk about what I'm working on, reading, and thinking about. You can find it at
May 15, 2020
Talking about Tabletop Games with PJ Hambrick
Social distancing is an odd time for tabletop games. On the one hand, these are by nature social, in-person activities, the players sitting around the table pushing cardboard and dice. On the other, a great many of us suddenly have a lot of time on our hands to play them. So we're making do, with Zoom and Tabletop Simulator, but it's not the same. On today's episode, I talk with my friend PJ Hambrick, who I met through our shared love for tabletop games, about why these things are so great. If you enjoyed our conversation, or any of the conversations I've had on this podcast, and want to hear more from me, take a moment to sign up for my very infrequent newsletter, where I talk about what I'm working on, reading, and thinking about. You can find it at
May 12, 2020
Talking about Narrating Audiobooks with Scott Feighner
I grew up listening to my dad play to audiobooks on road trips, and I've always loved what a good narrator can do with a good text. But the process--how you actually go about bringing a story to life in audio form--has been mostly unknown to me. And I'm sure to a lot of us. All I know is it must be more complicated than "Read it out loud." Which is why today it's my pleasure to talk with not just a good narrator, but a great one. Scott F. Feighner has narrated dozens of books, mostly in the horror genre. I know Scott because I had the honor of having him narrate one of my own, my short story collection, Animus. Scott and I talk about what makes audiobooks so magical and how he does what he does, from picking material to inventing the voices of characters to putting it all together into the final book.  And if you stick around to the end, you'll get to hear Scott narrate one of my own stories, a twisted little tale called "Snowed In." Some of Scott's work: Strangewood by Christopher Golden Whispered Echoes by Paul F Olson Animus by Aaron Ross Powell
April 21, 2020
Talking about Ancient Literature with Brian Wilson and Paul Meany
Today Brian Wilson, host of Combat & Classics, and Paul Meany, host of Portraits of Liberty, join me to talk about the value and appeal of ancient philosophy and literature. Combat & Classics Portraits of Liberty
April 13, 2020
Talking about Video Games with Adam Bates
On today's show, I'm joined by my friend Adam Bates. Each of us made a list of our top five video games of all time--and there's only a couple of points of agreement.
April 02, 2020
Talking about Authority and the State
Welcome to the very first episode of my show! I kick things off with a discussion of one of my favorite topics: the remarkable difficult question of whether we’re obligation to obey the law. Plus, I manage to work in a Star Wars reference.
April 02, 2020
Talking about Postmodernism with Akiva Malamet
It feels like nobody knows what postmodernism is, yet everyone has an opinion about it. Today’s conversation with Akiva Malamet is an effort to bring some clarity to an unclear topic. We explore the basic ideas of postmodernism and then move on to their implications for culture, society, politics, and individuals. About my guest: Akiva Malamet is completing his degree in Government at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya, Israel, where he was a long-time senior member of the RRIS Debate Society. He is a contributor to the sites Liberal Currents and Sweet Talk Conversation. His paper “Spontaneous Order as Social Construction: A Social Analysis of Emergent Institutions” was a co-recipient of the 2018 Carl Menger Award from the Society for the Development of Austrian Economics. Some stuff we mention during the conversation: Akiva’s essay introducing postmodernism Jay Garfield interview about Buddhist philosophy Adrian Vermeule’s call for Catholic fascism “Gender as Art” by Jason Kuznicki Jean-Francois Lyotard, “The Postmodern Condition”
April 01, 2020
Talking about Science Fiction with Will Duffield
Today I'm joined by my friend Will Duffield. We discuss our favorite science fiction novels.
April 01, 2020
Talking about Buddhism with Jason Kuznicki
Jason Kuznicki talks with Aaron about Buddhism, its appeal, what we think is true about it, what might be questionable, and our own practices. At the end of the episode, Jason recommends two books by Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu. Both are available as free downloads. "With Each & Every Breath: A Guide to Meditation" "The Wings to Awakening: An Anthology from the Pāli Canon"
March 23, 2020