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The Rilkean Zoo
73 minutes | Oct 4, 2022
Ep. 105 - What Is the Value of Community?
In this episode we discuss the ideal of community. Activist talk about "fighting for the community"; corporations talk about "giving back to the community; public institutions talking about "serving communities"; organizations talk about the importance of "building community". Has "community" become a buzzword vacated of any substantive meaning? What values should be embodied in communal practices? What is the difference between a community and a mere interest group - if there's any difference at all? If you like what you hear, find us on Patreon at patreon.com/therilkeanzoo for more episodes. Text: Shigehisa Kuriyama, The Expressiveness of the Body and the Divergence of Greek and Chinese Medicine (New York, NY: Zone Books, 2002), 7-8.
67 minutes | Sep 29, 2022
Ep. 104 - Les trois questions
We didn't have a planned episode ready to go this week, but thankfully we've got some recordings in the stash. In a late night recording, JP and I returned to our familiar "3 questions" format to discuss moments of clarity, favorite baseball teams, and morning routines, among other things - all while drinking an inviting bottle of wine. If you like what you hear, find us on Patreon at patreon.com/therilkeanzoo for more content. P.S. Albert Pujols has now reached 700 home runs!
88 minutes | Sep 22, 2022
Ep. 103 - Talking about Sex, Part II
In this episode, we take up part II of our conversation on sex. JP is back with the crew, and we spend most of the episode engaging with his comments on part I. Much of the discussion turns on a debate about whether we can reliably assume that there are sexual skills and techniques that work well from person to person. Would it be presumptuous to think this? Further, we ask whether good sex - however variable its expression - is nearly always characterized by a certain set of values (e.g., responsiveness, vulnerability, creativity, etc.). If you like what you hear, find us on Patreon at patreon.com/therilkeanzoo for more content. Text: Edwin Arlington Robinson, "Richard Cory," in Selected Poems: Edwin Arlington Robinson, ed. Robert Faggen (New York, NY: Penguin Books, 1997), 9.
82 minutes | Sep 13, 2022
Ep. 102 - Talking about Sex, Part I
In this episode Bethany and Aaron discuss sex. What makes for good sex? Is there a general ethos regarding sex that we should take into our sexual encounters? What would that ethos be? Does internet porn (in particular) foster an undue sense of control over sexual arousal, leaving us less responsive to the uncertainties that come when engaging with another person? How might capitalist conditions hinder the possibility for better sex? Listen to part I of our discussion, and come back next week, when JP will back with us for part II. If you like what you hear, find us on Patreon at patreon.com/therilkeanzoo for more content. Text: Søren Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling/Repetition: Kierkegaard's Writings, IV, eds. and trans. by Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1983), 121-122. P.S. Please forgive some of the background noises (e.g., dogs barking, airplanes flying over head) that were difficult to remove from the recording.
77 minutes | Sep 6, 2022
Ep. 101 - Silence
In this episode, Aaron and I discuss the value of silence as a means of respite from constant stimulation via music, podcasts, media, etc. Does this constant stream of noise serve to distract us from ourselves, and silence allows us to regain a sense of focus and awareness? Or can silence serve as its own type of distraction? Is silence essential to the utopic vision? If you like what you hear, find us on Patreon at patreon.com/therilkeanzoo for more content. Text: Stephan Westmann, transcription from interview in the BBC's 'The Great War,' 1964.
78 minutes | Aug 31, 2022
Ep. 100 - Shooting the Shit: Out for a Walk
Episode 100, baby! For this milestone of an episode, Aaron and I go on a walking journey across various neighboorhods in Chicago (Andersonville, Ravenswood, Wicker Park, and Ukranian Village) and chat along the way. Join us as we meander and discuss the significance of names, crashing parties, the voyeurism of estate sales, our first trip to Chicago together, and more. To all of our listeners and supporters: thank you. If you like what you hear, check us out on Patreon at patreon.com/therilkeanzoo for more content.
43 minutes | Aug 24, 2022
Ep. 99.5 - From UAPs to Love
We're working on something special for ep. 100, and we aren't quite ready to drop that yet. So, we're taking a little half-step toward 100, and we've got a casual conversation about Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAPs) and love. We muse about the fascination of (apparently) inexplicable events in the sky. We then ask about whether love needs a facelift, if it's too cliche to be reliably believed. Enjoy! If you like what you hear, find us on Patreon at patreon.com/therilkeanzoo for more content.
81 minutes | Aug 16, 2022
Ep. 99 - Originality
In this episode, Aaron and Bethany (sans Jp) discuss the value of originality. Does originiality necessarily enhance the significance of a work, or do we overestimate the value of novelty? Are we afraid of being original because it would require vulnerability, and so choose irony? Is sincerity, perhaps, a superior quality than originality? If you like what you hear, find us on Patreon at patreon.com/therilkeanzoo for more content. Text: Jacques Derrida, The Beast & the Sovereign, Volume I, trans. Geoffrey Bennington (Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 2009), 5-6
71 minutes | Aug 7, 2022
Ep. 98 - The Death of The Other
In this episode Jp shares a recent medical scare in the family and we enter into a discussion about the inevitable death of those around us. How do we properly relate to the death of a loved one? What can such an experience hope to teach us? If you like what you hear, check us out on Patreon at patreon.com/therilkeanzoo for more content. Text: Jp Cohan, "Portions from a Eulogy," 2018
80 minutes | Aug 2, 2022
Ep. 97 - Attention
In this episode we discuss attention and the way it functions and is valued in contemporary capitalist society. We draw a distinction between 'lantern' and 'spotlight' attention and try to account for the relationship between the two. Further, we ask whether our value of attention is always mediated by social interpretation, or whether the ontology of attention evidences its own meaning? If you like what you hear, find us on Patreon at patreon.com/therilkeanzoo for more content. Text: Patricia Lockwood, Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals (New York, NY: Penguin Books, 2014), 5-6
3 minutes | Jul 16, 2022
To Die Well is to Die Revolting
Hey y'all! Aaron and I took last Friday off, so unfortunately we do not have a new main episode for you this week. However, here is a little trailer from our recent Patreon episode that should tide you over until next week. Enjoy! And if this shit sounds good to you--because it is good--check out our Patreon content at patreon.com/therilkeanzoo.
66 minutes | Jul 12, 2022
Ep. 96 - Happiness and Truth
In this Last-Call-turned-main-episode, we discuss the relationship between the experience of happiness and cognition of the brutal and depressing realities of the world. Does being happy require one, to some extent, to turn away from those realities? Are the affects of happiness and sorrow weighted differently? Is there strategic import to ignorance? If you like what you hear, find us on Patreon at patreon.com/therilkeanzoo for more content! We apologize for the delay in uploading--we are in a bit of a transitional phase right now and haven't had the opportunity to record much!
82 minutes | Jul 1, 2022
Ep. 95 - The Silicon Valley Mindset
In this episode we talk about the culture and mindset of Silicon Valley. How revolutionary are the ideas coming out of Silicon Valley? How socially useful are the products and services of our great innovators? Does the drive toward innovation become fetishized, blinding us to the fact that (in many cases) we don't suffer from a lack of bold, creative ideas but from a lack of political will to equitably distribute the resources that are already available. If you like what you hear, check us out on Patreon at patreon.com/therilkeanzoo for more conversations. Text: Jhumpa Lahiri, The Lowland (New York, NY: Random House, 2013), 8-9.
77 minutes | Jun 27, 2022
Ep. 94 - Vanity
In this episode, inspired by Aaron's discussion on alcohol, Jp shares his relationship to vanity and expresses concern for his sometimes obsessive want to feel attractive. We question whether or not his feelings really are obsessive and, if so, is that really so bad? We eventually articulate two distinct forms: healthy vanity and toxic vanity. Join us for Jp's therapy session! If you like what you hear, check us out on Patreon at patreon.com/therilkeanzoo. Text: Frasier, Season 9, Episode 18
90 minutes | Jun 20, 2022
Ep. 93 - Under the Influence
In this episode we get a little personal and talk about Aaron's relationship to alcohol and its (presumed) utility for philosophical practice? Does lowering one's inhibitions actually ripen the possibility for engagement, or does it dull the intellectual faculties to the point of uselessness? What would be the balance between drunkenness and sobriety in view of philosophical engagement? Doubtless it differs from person to person, but we share some of our thoughts on the matter. If you like what you hear, check us out on Patreon at patreon.com/therilkeanzoo for more content. Text: Langston Hughes, "Lament for Dark Peoples," The Weary Blues (New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf), 82.
64 minutes | Jun 10, 2022
Ep. 92 - "Can We Normalize This, Please?"
In this episode we give an assessment of the "normalize this" trend abundant on social media. We intended to discuss normalization in a more theoretical sense, but the realites of the trend often proved less serious than a genuine call for social/political change. Instead, Aaron and I talk about the 'capacious semantic function' of the word and that maybe some of y'all need to stop taking it so seriously. If you like what you hear, find us on Patreon at patreon.com/therilkeanzoo for more content. Text: Gus Hansen, Every Hand Revealed (New York, NY: Kensington Publishing Corp.), 208-209.
74 minutes | Jun 3, 2022
Ep. 91 - Shooting the Shit: A Good Week
In this Shooting the Shit episode, JP and I talk about his recent solo adventure to see Orville Peck, my highlights of the work week, and we cheers to my birthday. Enjoy! If you like what you hear, check us out on Patreon at patreon.com/therilkeanzoo for more content. Text: Byung-Chul Han, The Burnout Society, trans. Erik Butler (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2015), 38.
99 minutes | May 28, 2022
Ep. 90 - Aesthetic Experience
We're so happy to be joined by our dear friend Bethany Henning on this episode to talk about aesthetic experience. We ask about the nature, function, and possibility of a genuine aesthetic experience, and we talk about the relationship between aesthetics and politics. We'll have what would have been our regularly scheduled "Shooting the Shit" episode for you next week. If you like what you hear, check us out on Patreon at patreon.com/therilkeanzoo for more content. Text: Stephen Tyman, A Fool's Phenomenology: Archetypes of Spiritual Evolution (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2006), 17.
82 minutes | May 22, 2022
Ep. 89 - The Social after Social Media
In this episode we ask whether or not our history with social media has conditioned us to desire social relationships that - in a previous age - would've be interpreted as disconnected. If we've grown comfortable having our relationships mediated by apps, screens, and social media platforms, how unfortunate is that state of affairs actually? If you like what you hear, check us out on Patreon at patreon.com/therilkeanzoo for more content. Text: Aaron Darrisaw, "25th," Notebooks, 2011.
73 minutes | May 13, 2022
Ep. 88 - Clock Time
In this episode we discuss the oppressive experience of 'clock time' in the modern, neoliberal world. After all, "time is money". Can we create a world in which this oppressive experience is mitigated? Eliminated? Should we get rid of clock time altogether? We end with a discussion of Aaron's perpetual tardiness and the internalization of the capitalist value of promptness. If you like what you hear, check us out on Patreon at patreon.com/therilkeanzoo for more content. Text: Walt Whitman, "From Pent-Up Aching Rivers"
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