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Conversation of Our Generation

Conversation of Our Generation

By Nick Jamell
Join me in the Conversation of Our Generation as we discuss ideas of today with reference to the history of thought. We will look at politics, news, religion, philosophy and more with the hope of diving below partisanship and bias to understand the Truth better.
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164. Dispelling Common Catholic History Myths

Conversation of Our Generation

164. Dispelling Common Catholic History Myths

Conversation of Our Generation

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173. Book Review | The Prince By Niccolo Machiavelli
In order for you understand the modern political landscape, it is important to read Machiavelli's The Prince. It includes detailed and wise accounts of how rulers gain, retain and lose power. The version that I recommend in this video also includes a couple other works by Machiavelli. In these other works, he describes the forms of government and which are most preferable and why. What can be learned from The Prince? Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince is a political work that teaches how to rule pragmatically, rather than philosophically. Instead of describing the best form of government, Machiavelli teaches those in power how to remain in power. Unlike Aristotle's Politics, The Prince is a handbook for leaders. In this book, he explains practical steps for rulers to take given certain situations. In other words, this book reads more like a diagnostic manual for rulers than a treatise on government. Niccolo Machiavelli"The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him." Grab your copy of The Prince About Niccolo Machiavelli Machiavelli has become somewhat of a shadowy figure in history. He is often thought of as a very mysterious figure. However, Niccolo Machiavelli was a rather normal politician whose work has likely inspired good and leaders. In fact, he's not much of a mystery at all. We know quite a bit about him. Machiavelli was  an ambassador and military adviser in the Florentine Republic. But, he was not a highly-ranked figure. That said, his knowledge of history and understanding of politics ensured he had the ear of his superiors. His acumen as a tactful observer helped him to see the big picture and predict outcomes fairly well. If you want to learn more about Machiavelli, you can do that here.
15:53
November 27, 2020
172. Power of Ancient and Esoteric Wisdom
I recently sat down with Brendan Heard of the Aureus Press to talk about traditionalism and power of ancient and esoteric wisdom. After his book about the decline of Western Art, Brendan continued to writing. This led him to start the Aureus Press website where he publishes articles. This conversation will teach you a lot about a range of problems facing us today. For more of this discussion, listen to the interview. Or, if you're a subscriber you can watch below. Importance of Beauty As you know, I've talked with several accounts about art, architecture, and beauty. And, I've talked a lot about restoring the arts, despite being in an ugly culture. Furthermore, I think there is a connection between truth and beauty - that they're both objective. Brendan and I discuss that quite a bit as well. That said, I think much of what we tried to get at is perfectly summed up below by Francis Bacon. "Beauty itself is but the sensible image of the Infinite." Francis Bacon What Is Esoteric Wisdom? Basically, esoteric wisdom is knowledge meant to be somewhat hidden - or at least not widespread. According to the dictionary, esoteric means: "intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest." This is, in other words, a type of knowledge that requires a lot of studying and work to acquire. However, that doesn't mean it's out of reach.  It is something that each of us can attain, in fact. The quote below explains why that's the case: "Esoteric or inner knowledge is no different from other kinds of human knowledge and ability. It is a mystery for the average person only to the extent that writing is a mystery for those who have not yet learned to write." Rudolf Steiner Subscribe to the Conversation of Our Generation.
51:33
November 24, 2020
171. Book Review | The Meaning of Conservatism by Roger Scruton
Roger Scruton is one of the leading conservative philosophers of the last century, and potentially of all time. His book, The Meaning of Conservatism, was instrumental in developing how I think about politics. So, I want to share this book with you. Honestly, I think anyone - whether conservative or not - would learn a lot from this book. Interested? Check out the podcast here: "All conservatism is based upon the idea that if you leave things alone you leave them as they are. But you do not. If you leave a thing alone you leave it to a torrent of change." -G.K. Chesterton Grab your copy of here. What is the Meaning of Conservatism? Well, that is the big question, right? Conservatism is a way of approaching problems that is different. Instead of discarding the old, conservatives seek to understand why those who came before them found things valuable. They don't just let things remain, but actively seek to preserve them. Furthermore, they aren't just reactionaries as Roger Scruton explains: "A reactionary is fixed on the past and wanting to return to it; a conservative wishes to adapt what is best in the past to the changing circumstances of the present." -Roger Scruton Conservatism v.s. Liberalism There's a healthy tension between conservatism and liberalism. Scruton explains in The Meaning of Conservatism how the debate over whether or not something is worth preserving is a constant question. By seeking to preserve what is time-tested, the conservative argues in favor of tradition. Liberals, on the other hand, will push for change and novelty, challenging the status quo. When both the conservative and liberal can discuss issues, they will be able to decide together how to move society forward by changing and preserving the right things. This debate is essential, and the conservative is an essential part of it. Without him, it would simply be a lecture - not a discussion.
16:09
November 20, 2020
170. Culture From the Conservative Perspective - Alan Cornett Interview
Today, many people don't understand what it means to be conservative. In fact, the whole conservative perspective is often misrepresented and misunderstood. However, I think that is largely due to to bad branding rather than bad arguments. Here, you'll get a great discussion about culture with Alan Cornett, creator of the Cultural Debris Podcast and the Eat Kentucky Podcast. In this conversation, we covered a bunch of topics related to culture. Here's some of what we discussed: Social media Post-election divisiveness What conservatism means Roger Scruton, Russel Kirk, and other great thinkers What is the Conservative Perspective? "All conservatism is based upon the idea that if you leave things alone you leave them as they are. But you do not. If you leave a thing alone you leave it to a torrent of change." - G.K. Chesterton Basically, the conservative perspective is to hold onto what works until there's sufficient reason to turn away from it. Rather than casting aside anything old, the conservative seeks to cherish, uplift, and celebrate traditions. Instead of severing the link between ourselves and our ancestors, the conservative works to strengthen those bonds. In order to understand our culture fully, we must know how conservatives and liberals approach the different problems facing us. Where do they put the strongest emphasis? How do they understand and tackle problems? In this episode, I get a thoughtful, conservative perspective on the culture. Russell Kirk's Influence on Conservatism “Men cannot improve a society by setting fire to it: they must seek out its old virtues, and bring them back into the light.” - Russell Kirk Russell Kirk's The Conservative Mind was instrumental in shaping the next half-century of conservative thought. Although conservatism has a bad brand, it is a tough philosophy to contend with. Over his lifetime, Kirk worked hard to forward conservatism and argued in favor of the conservative approach.
1:02:09
November 17, 2020
169. Book Review | State of the Nullification Movement
The nullification movement is something that has been pushed by the Tenth Amendment Center and other people concerned with limiting Federal power. Basically, the goal is to help states reclaim their sovereignty. Instead of letting the federal government hand down dictates at will, our founders provided us with the means to push back. So, if you want to learn about nullification, listen below and check out the Tenth Amendment Center. Grab your copy of State of the Nullification Movement What is the Nullification Movement? The focus of this movement is to bring power back to the states. Why do we need to do that? Despite the attempt to limit government, it has grasped more power over the course of the progressive movement. However, things were not always like this, and they don't have to be like this either. Luckily, the founding fathers foresaw this problem and offered a solution. Thus, we have nullification - the ability for states to deem federal laws unconstitutional and not comply with them. Tom Woods explains below: "Nullification is the Jeffersonian idea that the states of the American Union must judge the constitutionality of the acts of their agent, the federal government, since no impartial arbiter between them exists." Tom Woods The Tenth Amendment Center To be honest, I am a card-carrying member of the Tenth Amendment Center. I believe in their mission, which may make me a bit biased. That said, this organization is doing tremendous work in the pursuit of liberty and government accountability. Below, you'll find the text of the 10th Amendment. That's what the TAC is fighting to preserve. "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." "Whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force." -Thomas Jefferson
13:19
November 13, 2020
168. Drawn in by Beauty - Stained Glass Zealot Interview
Recently, I sat down with the Stained Glass Zealot to talk about the beauty of stained glass, and how it draws you in. Check out his Twitter account here or his Substack to see what he's doing to show how beautiful this art is. Mostly, we discussed the beauty of churches. But, we dove into several other topics like the Lindy Effect, Divine Light by Abbot Suger, fashion vs. eternal beauty, and much more. Listen here or subscribe below to watch the interview: One theme that came up again and again in this interview was that beauty draws us in. We know this from our own experience, if we stop to reflect. Generally, when we fall in love, it starts with some attraction to beauty. In a grocery isle, our eye jumps to bright, beautiful packaging. Beauty captures our attention. It captivates us, pulling us in. "My interest in art must have started with my Catholic upbringing. Art was everywhere: churches with its paintings, sculptures, stained glass, textiles, and fine metalwork." -Cheech Marin Stained Glass and the Lindy Effect According to Wikepedia, the Lindy Effect, "is a theory that the future life expectancy of some non-perishable things like a technology or an idea is proportional to their current age, so that every additional period of survival implies a longer remaining life expectancy." Basically, the longer something has been around, the longer it will last into the future. Therefore, much of the beauty we find in stained glass windows, some hundreds or a thousand years old, will remain beautiful for. along time. Obviously, they have to be maintained for that. to be the case. But, the principles of beauty they follow will last. The Origin of Stained Glass This art was largely inspired by Abbot Suger of St. Denis. His work of Divine Light was meant to encourage the use of beauty to inspire people to pursue Christ. In essence, he believed that beauty could be used to bring people into the Church. In fact, people took this idea even further and used the art itself to teach the faith. Today, many churches have stained glass windows that teach the gospel and of the saints. Join the Conversation of Our Generation.
57:38
November 10, 2020
167. Book Review | Nineteenth-Century Thought by Richard Schoenwald
A lot of change started happening in the 18th century and by the 19th century it was full steam ahead. With change came a lot of difficulty adapting. Due to that difficulty, a new school of thought arose. Thus, nineteenth century thought was marked by a grappling with change and how to handle it. Political thought went through a transformation in the wake of this new school of thought. "I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term of Natural Selection." -Charles Darwin How These Philosophers Laid the Groundwork of Progressivism Progressivism preaches an inevitable outcome - that we are marching toward some future state regardless of our choice. However, this is largely unfounded. Thinkers like Darwin and Marx have been proven wrong. Although their ideas weren't completely demolished, their body of work has taken numerous hits. Instead of marching toward inevitable utopia, we have wavered between progress and regress. -John Stuart Mill"All political revolutions, not affected by foreign conquest, originate in moral revolutions. The subversion of established institutions is merely one consequence of the previous subversion of established opinions." Grab your copy of Nineteenth-Century Thought: The Discovery of Change This book is a dense read, for sure. Despite that, I really enjoyed it. But, you will have to dedicate some attention and energy to this book as you read it. If you do, I think you'll get a lot out of it. The way it's laid out is very interesting. Simply put, it is a collection of works and writing from several different authors. You'll get input from writers like Marx, Darwin, John Stuart Mill and more. So, if you want to learn more about the groundwork of Progressivism, this book is for you.
17:24
November 6, 2020
166. Election Thoughts, Libertarianism, ACB and More with Sean Boston
With the election today, I thought it would be good to share a discussion I had with Sean Boston where we talked about our election thoughts and much more. We talked about ACB, Libertarianism, and our secularizing culture. Furthermore, we were able to agree and disagree, while having a lively discussion. Plus, it helps that Sean is a very funny guy, and much sharper than he gives himself credit for.  A day without laughter is a day wasted. -Charlie Chaplin Final Election Thoughts I wanted to be sure to get this episode out before the election was over. Mainly, I was hoping to be able to get my thoughts and predictions out there before it happens. This quote from Benjamin Netanyahu sums up my thoughts on what will likely happen with Trump pretty well. And, this is how I evaluate what's going on around me in politics to make a decision. "I always lose the election in the polls, and I always win it on election day." -Benjamin Netanyahu Plus we dove into more than just Election Thoughts Also, we discuss much more than just our thoughts on the election and potential outcomes. We looked at what it means to be a "real libertarian," if there even is such a thing. Moreover, we talked about the woes of the Libertarian party, and my misgivings about Jo Jorgensen. Next, we dove into our thoughts on the nomination (that hadn't happened at the time) for Amy Coney Barrett. We talked about the secularization of our society and  some of the fallout we expect to see. And, we discussed much more as well. If you enjoy, funny and insightful conversations, I think you'll get a lot out of this one.
1:11:13
November 3, 2020
165. Book Review | Shocking Secrets of American History by Bill Coate
In keeping with this week's episode on history, I decided to bring out a book from my library on history to review today. In this episode, we'll look at some of the secrets of history from this book. Basically, this book is a collection of short stories that many may not know about American history. Despite being a history buff, I hadn't heard many of the stories, so I think there's a lot of learning for anyone. Tune into this episode, I'll show you why you should pick up your copy. "It's a very good historical book about history." Dan Quayle Grab your copy of Shocking Secrets of American History by Bill Coate "History's like a story in a way: it depends on who's telling it." -Dorothy Salisbury Davis Some Shocking Secrets of History How much about history do you really know? Did you know about Aaron Burr's debauchery? How about John Edwards' wayward grand nephew? If you want to learn incredible stories about our past, this book is where you want to look. In fact, some of the stories are truly unbelievable. Despite that, these did happen, and I think you'd be amazed by some of these stories. It's definitely important to know the broad themes and movements of history. However, these little stories are great to know as well, and can make for a great way to get people interested in history. Why History is Important to Learn History is a part of our heritage, and it's important to know where we come from. Furthermore, knowing history allows us to identify solutions in our current situation. There's a common saying that those who don't study history are doomed to repeat it, and that's true. Most importantly, it offers us the knowledge we need to make decisions about our world. This is because it puts things in perspective by broadening our frame of reference.
11:13
October 30, 2020
164. Dispelling Common Catholic History Myths
There are so many Catholic history myths out there that are so ingrained in our minds that we just believe them. But, are these stories we know for sure about our history really true? Brendan Lane from the Catholic History Show joined me to explain why our understanding of history is mistaken. The Catholic History Myths The Catholic Church is the recipient of a lot of scorn in America. I would argue it is one of the last acceptable forms of bigotry in America, and I'm not alone.  So, I wanted to refute some of the myths our culture puts out there about Catholic history. That's why I talked to Brendan about these several topics - to separate fact from fiction. Blase J. Cupich"The long arc of history that recounts the Catholic Church's embrace of people of all faiths and none in providing health, education, and welfare in society is as incontestable as it is impressive." https://youtu.be/0bYBHeieOv0 Christopher Columbus History Myths Christopher Columbus has a bad reputation nowadays, but is that really deserved? Actually, much of the negative stuff about Columbus we have is either slanderous or exaggerated. In fact, he was a very good man, impressive explorer, and a genius. He did have his faults. But, each of us is imperfect, and to hold historical figures to today's standards is unfair and childish. The Crusades and Myths The Crusades are also terribly misrepresented by historians. Although it is a complicated series of wars, it is boiled down in history books to a simple religious squabble. And, the Christians were totally in the wrong, according to today's historians. However, this is incredibly ahistorical. In reality, anyone who looks will find out that there's much more to the Crusades. And, Brendan helped unravel that story in this interview. Myths of The Inquisition There's more to the Inquisition than the Monte Python sketch. In fact, it is one of the most misrepresented periods of history. Brendon shows how the myths surrounding the Inquisition don't hold up to the historical record. Furthermore, he demonstrates how much of what Catholics think they know is wrong as well. Enjoy solving today’s problems with the wisdom of the past? Join the Conversation of Our Generation.
1:10:47
October 27, 2020
163. Book Review | The Analects, The Doctrine Of The Mean, and The Great Learning by Confucius
I wanted to review the Doctrine of the Mean and the Analects because I think they are full of amazing wisdom. Confucius is, in my opinion, on par with some of the greatest Greek philosophers. Having now read more of Plato's work, I would compare these works to something like the Symposium or Republic. The question-and-answer style is very engaging and I think makes for a good demonstration of how to discuss ideas. The Wisdom of The Analects This is a readable, short discourse on morality, propriety, and virtue. It is an incredibly insightful work that delves into a range of topics, each one focused on making people better. Also, it has a familiar form of discourse where Confucius' students ask him questions and he answers. To those who've read works by Plato or the Gospels, these techniques will be familiar and, in my opinion, inviting. "The superior man is catholic, not partisan." -Confucius Although Confucius is from China, his ideas are incredibly similar to what we find in western philosophy. Furthermore, I believe the ideas expressed give a unique perspective since they don't come from the West. Despite the similarity, there are differences that come out of this work in comparison to one from Aristotle or Thomas Aquinas. But, there is tremendous wisdom in this for anyone who is seeking truth. Grab your copy of The Complete Confucius: The Analects, The Doctrine Of The Mean, and The Great Learning What is the Doctrine of the Mean? The mean is an idea that exists in both in the East and West, and has a number of expressions. Different expressions of the Doctrine of the Mean are due to the fact it's hard to pin down exactly. Aristotle, Confucius, Lao Tzu, and others have sought to explain the mean. Basically, the mean boils down to how to act morally and ethically. "Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous." Confucius Enjoy solving today’s problems with the wisdom of the past? Join the Conversation of Our Generation.
16:34
October 23, 2020
162. How To Engage In Discussions - Conversation The WGN Podcast
I had the chance to talk to the guys at the Winner Gets Nothing Podcast about a range of topics. In this episode, we discussed, politics, religion, and much more. One of the main things we talked about is how to engage in discussions. I think this is a huge part of what's hurting our society today. We dove into a range of different topics. But, I think the whole time we were flowing on a lot of different topics. Hopefully, this episode serves as a guide for those of you who want to have good, productive conversations. "The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis." Dante Alighieri The guys at the WGN Podcast are not sitting idly by, but are engaging in the conversation. And, that's one of the reasons I wanted to talk to them. If you're interested in politics, religion, libertarianism, conspiracies and more, you'll like this podcast for sure. How To Engage in Discussions First, keep a level head. Don't get angry or upset if people disagree. In the moment you can simply agree to disagree and think about things and think about it later. Secondly, you should find common ground and seek to understand the other person. Instead of looking to win the argument or undermine the other person's argument, look for ways to be productive. Finding common ground and building on that can be great. And, learning a new perspective can be really helpful as well. Lastly, I recommend you talk about things you and the other person are knowledgeable on and passionate about. If you can do that, you have a way to move forward on the conversation and can get into the flow of it. I think we had that flow going, which is why I wanted to share this conversation with you. Enjoy solving today’s problems with the wisdom of the past? Join the Conversation of Our Generation.
1:31:59
October 20, 2020
161. Book Review | Titus Andronicus By William Shakespeare
Titus Andronicus is a beautiful tragedy out of the collection of William Shakespeare's works. I think it's important for modern people to read tragedies from the past. We are so disconnected from our history and heritage that it's easy to dissociate from what they went through. Obviously, this is a fictional story; however, there is a way that we can see what our forefathers experienced in these stories. These are real depictions of what life was like, although fictionalized. And, in this book review, I'll explain why you should read this masterpiece from Shakespeare. "Tragedy is a tool for the living to gain wisdom, not a guide by which to live." -Robert Kennedy Why You Should Read Titus Andronicus Firstly, this play is a classic. Getting to know Shakespeare's works is crucial for anyone trying to learn about Western Literature. Secondly, it is beautifully written. All of Shakespeare's works are well-written, and this is no exception. The lofty rhetoric is something that I think we need more of in our society, especially with our current state of discourse so debased. Lastly, I thought it was a truly wonderful and fun story to read. The entire time I was reading it, I was wondering what would come next. And, the way it lays out is a great tragedy from which you can take valuable lessons. Grab a copy of Titus Andronicus While I don't have this version of Titus Andronicus, I did use these a lot in high school for other Shakespearean plays. So, I trust the accuracy and notes that are there to help readers. I know you'll be in good hands with this because it's the publisher I used all through high school for my Shakespearean reading assignments.
12:19
October 16, 2020
160. Restoring Traditional Architecture - Zach the Architect Interview
The art of architecture has been corrupted. It is no longer aiming at beauty, but either purely utility or novelty. Instead of aspiring to lift up people's hearts and minds to beauty, ugliness that adheres to leftist ideology is put forth as architecture. So, I talked with an architect about the problems he sees with the art and the industry - as well as some solutions to the problems he sees. Several Problems with the State of Architecture: Architecture schools are ideologically possessed Modernism encourages novelty over beauty Traditionalism is scoffed at or ignored Architects in the professional world are beholden to their clients Traditional buildings are expensive to build "The mother art is architecture. Without an architecture of our own we have no soul of our own civilization." -Frank Lloyd Wright https://youtu.be/MHLcSTIZ-ZQ The goal of the architect should be to combine beauty and functionality. However, that's not what we find. What we often get instead is insolent designs, many of which serve no other purpose than inflating the architect's ego. So, we need people to step up and push for beautiful architecture again. Then, we might actually see a change. Buildings like Penn Station attract our protective instincts not only because of their beauty but because we fear what will come to replace them. -Roger Scruton What Solutions Are Available? Well, the fact is that solutions will require a lot of energy and determination to bear fruit. With dedicated and talented people, things can change. Here are a few things Zach and I discussed. There are surely more potential solutions, but I figured it would be good to offer these for your consideration. Firstly, we can promote traditional schools of architecture like Notre Dame's. Secondly, professional architects should educate the next generation in the traditional way. This is easy to do with cheap online courses. I believe there are solutions, but I also don't have all the answers. If you listen to the episode and have your own solutions, let me know. Some of the accounts mentioned in this podcast: Wrath of Gnon Christopher Liberatos Eric Bootsma Frank Cunha The Aureus Press Western Traditionalist Tudor architecture The Traditionalist ArchitectureRevival Enjoy solving today’s problems with the wisdom of the past? Join the Conversation of Our Generation.
50:25
October 13, 2020
159. Book Review | Jefferson's Great Gamble by Charles Cerami [A look at the Louisiana Purchase]
One president and two future presidents worked together on the Louisiana Purchase. This book dives into the story of how they did that, and what it took to coordinate the deal with Napoleon Bonaparte's France. If you don't know this story, I recommend you listen to this book review. So, listen below to learn why you need to know this story. Problems of the Louisiana Purchase The purchase of the Louisiana Territory was no small feat. Nor was there a clear deal to be made. In fact, Napoleon and his forces were planning on occupying the territory at first, squeezing the western Americans out of their best seaport. But, what started as peace negotiations from a point of weakness soon turned into a much different conversation as time went on. "The happy Union of these States is a wonder; their Constitution a miracle; their example the hope of Liberty throughout the world." -James Madison Grab your copy of Jefferson's Great Gamble Fallout of the Louisiana Purchase The Monroe doctrine is one of the major developments that came from this deal. This is the idea that America would push any major powers out of our hemisphere. Instead of allowing European and Asian powers to meddle in politics on the Americas, the Monroe Doctrine insists that the United States would lead. Furthermore, this deal more than doubled the size of America, posing new problems. How will America fill this vast, new expanse? How much land did they actually buy? What's out there? All these questions and more were dealt with throughout the 19th century. And, the answers were crucial in the shaping of the America we know today. Enjoy solving today's problems with the wisdom of the past? Join the Conversation of Our Generation.
14:22
October 9, 2020
158. Justice, Politics, Reading and More with The Vital Masculinity Podcast
I had the chance to sit down (virtually) with Brian Murphy and Stephen Sloyer from the Vital Masculinity Podcast to talk about some of the things that have been on our mind recently. Since it had been a while since we talked, we had a lot to cover. So, if you want to catch up, you can check out my previous conversation with the Vital Masculinity crew. But, you can also dive into the interview below. In this interview with the Vital Masculinity crew: Justice, and the misconceptions about it in our culture How to talk about politics as a virtuous man The current political climate Great books we're reading right now And much more... https://youtu.be/7OnNIpw-dl4 -Gad SaadLet us stop pathologizing masculinity. Instead, let us appreciate the endless ways by which men and women are similar to one another, as well as the important ways in which the two sexes differ. Virtue Makes the Man... Stephen and Brian reiterate this great piece of advice on their podcast each time they sign off. And, I argue that they are embodying this in what they do and talk about on their podcast. So, if you want to learn about the virtues and what it looks like to live them out, check out this conversation and their work. -Marcus AureliusThe happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature. About The Vital Masculinity Project Our goal is to restore classical masculinity by encouraging men to pursue virtue and brotherhood. While there are many competing voices on manliness today, most have forgotten this foundation of character while instead focusing on externals. We strive to provide practical steps for all men to begin their journey to becoming virtuous. Visit our Journal for reflections virtue and manliness or check out our podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any of your other favorite podcast providers to listen to rich conversations about them.
1:03:29
October 6, 2020
157. Book Review | Letter to a Suffering Church by Bishop Robert Barron
I know the abuse scandal was a huge obstacle in my faith. I felt as though I couldn't trust the Church or the pastors who were supposed to shepherd me. It was a betrayal. Despite all this, I found a way to separate the sins of shepherds from the mission they pursue. Letter to a Suffering Church is a great, short book that can be very comforting to anyone who's angry about this. The reason for this book review is that Bishop Robert Barron's work here really impacted my thoughts and feelings on this subject. Because of that, I think this book review will help Catholics and non-Catholics understand this crisis and dispel myths. So, get your copy of Letter to a Suffering Church or listen to my review for more. The secular culture we live in is not only anti-religion, but also often overly sexualized. In this book, you'll find all the problems that stem from the culture and its influence on the church. Bishop Barron doesn't make excuses, but owns up to the abuses. He calls out those who are guilty and calls people to account. However, he does show how this didn't come from thin air, but arose in a certain context. “The Emperor Napoleon is said to have confronted Cardinal Consalvi, the secretary of state to Pope Pius VII, saying that he, Napoleon, would destroy the Church—to which the Cardinal deftly responded, “Oh my little man, you think you’re going to succeed in accomplishing what centuries of priests and bishops have tried and failed to do?” -Bishop Robert Barron Grab your copy of Letter to a Suffering Church here. The reason I'm bringing this out now is there are a lot of people who enjoy being critical of the Church. And, many of these people make money from their critical lens. Not to mention, lots of these people are in the Church or leaving it due to these. Lastly, I like this book because it offers solutions. It diagnoses the problems, offers context, and then shows what people can do to make things right. And, with the Conversation of Our Generation's goal of solving problems of today with the wisdom of the past, this resonated with me. So, I want to share it with you here.
11:35
October 2, 2020
156. Art From the Point of View of an Artist - Amy Mastrine Interview
I sat down to chat with Amy Mastrine, a talented artist, about her work and the state of art today. Beauty and art are essential to culture. When the arts decay, so does the culture. And in our culture, it's hard to argue our arts are in a good place. Luckily, there are talented artists like Amy fighting to create a culture of beauty. Full show notes here An artist's look at art Artists don't always have the ability to analyze the full meaning of their art. But, they are capable of analyzing the beauty and form of art. Thats why I looked for someone who was not only a talented artist, but a sharp thinker as well. Artists can see things a layman doesn't. Instead of just offering my opinion on the arts, I asked an artist for her thoughts to call on her expertise. My goal of this conversation was to learn more about what it takes to create beautiful art and the obstacles facing those who try to do that. "Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse." -Winston Churchill The current state of art: We covered a lot of ground in this interview. Firstly, we looked into many of the problems holding artists back. Then, we dove into the importance of art and the relationship between art and culture. Moreover, we discussed how Amy, and other artists, are going back to the old methods with a new twist. This, I believe, is where we can begin to go back to true art that lifts the soul. For my fellow Roger Scruton fans, we discussed his thoughts on beauty and aesthetics as well. More about the artist: Amy Mastrine is an artist interested in mysticism, beauty, and truth. Amy was born in western Pennsylvania, and her last name is Italian for “master of a trade or craft.” Her style has been described as feminine, whimsical, and representational. Amy’s work is intended to honor the divine and sacred. You can find her on Instagram, Twitter, and her shop.
37:04
September 29, 2020
155. Book Review | How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
About the author, Dale Carnegie Dale Carnegie's life is a story of success - a true rags to riches tale. Though he shares the last name of the steel titan, Andrew Carnegie, they aren't related. Dale Carnegie actually changed the spelling of his last name to match the industrialist's spelling to gain clout. But, this book review is not about that. It's a look at How to Win Friends & Influence People, a fantastic guide to dealing with people. Why I chose to review this book: I found this book tremendously helpful as I left college and entered the business world. It was difficult to talk to experienced professionals, and I needed a confidence boost. Before graduating college, I worked in retail and had no problem talking to customers. But, being thrust into a new world, I was out of my element and needed help. If you ask me, this book is a must-read for anyone looking to lead a successful life. "Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy." -Dale Carnegie Readability of the book: I find it easily readable. Written in a conversational tone, it's like he's transcribing some advice he gave a friend. The stories are intriguing, although sometimes a bit outlandish. That said, the lessons you draw from them make it feel more like a parable than a lie or hyperbole. Grab your copy of How to Win Friends & Influence People here. Sections of the book: Twelve Things This Book Will Do For You Fundamental Techniques in Handling People Six Ways to Make People Like You Twelve Ways to Win People to Your Way of Thinking Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment
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September 25, 2020
154. How To Become A Published Author
I sat down with Matt Nunes, author of Last Call to learn what it takes to become a published author. If you're interested in writing and publishing your work, this interview will give you what you need to get started. The insights Matt brings are great. I know I learned a lot, and I'm sure you will too. Listen or watch below. It's important not only to discuss ideas, but to write them down. I find that as I write, my ideas become clearer and better defined. If we are to improve our discourse we have to engage in long form conversations. And, books are a great way to have those extended, thought-out dialogues. Because I find that important, I sat down with Matt to have him explain what he did to become a published author. "Every author in some way portrays himself in his works, even if it be against his will." -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Some of the keys of being an author we discussed: Different writing and editing processes Finding the right publisher The publishing process Working with an agent Differences between Fiction and Non-Fiction More about the book and the author: Last Call is the first of a series of mystery novels featuring former Naval Officer Paul Costa, a man who thought he was seeking a quieter life for himself and his daughter in civilian life, only to find the biggest threats still lie ahead. Matt is a former Merchant Marine Officer, bartender and often times cog in the corporate machine. He has done a range of jobs to give him, which includes bartending - and that's what gave him the idea for this book. Matt is an interesting person, and I'm glad to have the privilege to talk to him about how he completed this amazing feat.