Episode 034: A Squishy Affricate

You’d think that after 50 years, the nations of North and South Korea would have kissed and made up. But these days as we light up our barbecues and relish the summer heat, the Korean peninsula is once again on the brink of war. From across the seas in Ulsan, South Korea, Julie Meadows joins to compare the cultural, political, and linguistic quirks of her locale alongside me, Kevin and his former roommate Jordan Mueller (first heard in the background some time ago). So as you reflect on Memorial Day this summer, remember the lost, have a nice heaping helping of mother hand tasty blue director of a bureau, and enjoy this week’s BF…

This week’s post-show song pimpage: “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue” by Toby Keith. Buy it on iTunes, or we’ll put a boot in your ass.

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6 Comments on "Episode 034: A Squishy Affricate"

  1. Taz
    13/06/2009 at 11:28 am Permalink

    Hey BF.
    I found you guys on Podcast Alley about 2 weeks ago and have just managed to bring myself up to date. First, let me just get this out of the way: love the show, guys, keep it coming. Now, what follows is a collection of thoughts and criticisms that popped in and out of the old cranium as I listened to the back catalogue.

    * I was drawn to the show as, unlike other philosocasts I’ve encountered, you guys actually sit around and discuss the matter at hand, as opposed to reeling of text. The digressions 9/10 only make the whole thing sweeter.

    * You hooked me within the first couple of episodes as, and I can’t remember which ep. it was, you came to this wonderfully reasoned conclusion that the prescence of evil is, almost paradoxically, potentially the ultimate proof of God’s benevolence – should such a being exist.

    *I realise you’re Texans or have been living in Texas for a while but y’all say y’all a hell of a lot, y’all.

    * Get that professor back on (I apologise for allowing his name to escape me). The two shows in which he featured are amongst the best. This is no judgement on the quality of the rest of the guests, it’s just good to hear the thoughts of an authority every now and then. Also his presence seems to keep you meandering too far from the philosophy. Which brings me to my next point.

    * I love the rabbit trails, honestly I do, but sometimes it leads too far from the philosophy. I appreciate that with this show philosophy is not the be all and end all but acts more as a sort of base or reference point, but there was a while there where it seemed almost absent. I almost stopped listening to the podcast around the mid-twenties because the show seemed to be turning into just another vapid nerdcast without any real substance. As an illustration of this point in the episode about Dollhouse there seemed to be this gentle slope leading towards a discussion about philosophy of mind and philosophy of self (perhaps my favourite fields outside of theosophy) only to have the actual philosophy of the matter briefly mentioned and then brushed aside. However, Along came the episode “A BF Orange” and all was saved and you guys once again started talking about the good stuff.
    So, even though you guys are back on track, I raise this point just to keep you aware that listeners will come for the philosophy as much as the flagrant geekery, digressive banter and the theorising about the future. The balance you’ve kept over the past month or so is brilliant.

    * I love the fact that your panel doesn’t consist entirely of straight up philosophers. The fact that everyone comes from different fields and bring something different to the table is perhaps your greatest strength.

    * You’ve helped to break down some of the stereotypes I, as a Brit, had about Texas and America in general.

    * Tell Kevin I think he is, unfortunately, very wrong. Anarchy will never work for the same reason that communism won’t: it relies too heavily on people being balanced, rational and without greed. It’s a beautiful ideal though.

    Finally, before I pile on the closing congratulations, something really struck out and kicked me in the head while I was listening to “A BF Orange”. There was a portion during which you were talking about how we treat law breakers and you mentioned, in a really quite offhand sort of fashion, that the worst criminals get thrown into deathrow. I’ve got to admit that I was really taken aback by your blasé attitude towards it, but, after I thought about it a bit I realised that it really highlighted a massive social difference. Then I thought about it some more. For many years now I’ve settled on a very straightforward approach to the morals of taking another life (animals included). I decided that it is completely, unforgivably morally wrong to take a life except for 2 reasons. General Survival – as in food (and subsequently clothing etc. also as it’s a shame to waste any part of the body) Direct Survival – as in you take the life of one who is directly endangering the life of another (essentially kill or be killed that very instant.
    Obviously this a very brief outline as I’ve already waffled on for long enough, however I wanted to raise the point because I honestly think the morallity of the death sentence would make a sweet topic for a show. If you all think it’s for the right, then why? Does potential prevention work as a viable reason to murder (after all, there’s no 100% guarantee that those offenders will offend again). Is rehabilitation ever impossible? And also, who’s fault is it that the offenders have ended up the way they have? If it’s the fault of society then surely a) we owe it to the offender to help them b) the drain on resources incurred by keeping the offender in prison acts a sort of punishment to that society for allowing matters to get so bad.
    Those are just a few points to think about in the event that you think you could do an episode on the topic. It would be freakin’ awesome to hear what the BFers thoughts about it.

    Anyway, that’s a hell of a lot of babble, so I’ll move along now. Love you guys, love your show and I look forward to hearing more.

  2. StephenTorrence
    13/06/2009 at 11:54 am Permalink


    That is possibly THE most intelligent, thoughtful, helpful feedback we have EVER gotten on this podcast. Thank you so much for taking the time to write all that out! It’s sometimes difficult for us to see BF from an outside perspective, so we are incredibly grateful for this. I’ll make sure all the guys involved see it. Heck, we might even discuss it on a Weekly Why or something. You will definitely like the episode we recorded on Thursday; possibly our “deepest” episode in a while. I’m also in the process of lining up some more members of the TTU philosophy department to come on the show.

    Thanks so much for listening, Taz! It’s fans like you that keep us going. You rock! 😉

  3. Kevin Saunders
    13/06/2009 at 12:38 pm Permalink

    Hey, Taz!

    Thanks for noticing us, hope you continue to stick around.

    I’ll attack your points in an order that I deem fit.

    *Yeah, I say Ain’t and Y’all and even greet people with Howdy (although I don’t know if that’s shown up on the show yet.) I’ll soon be moving to Ohio, where I’m sure this will be pointed out to me on a regular basis, and I look forward to that. Differences make us fun.

    I actually was worried about straying too far from Philosophy in some of the various podcasts in the past, but as the resident expert on nothing I really have little in the way of steering us back on track (at least during the discussions) with any luck, we’ll keep that balance that we love so much between philosophy and bad.

    If I recall correctly I wasn’t on the BF Orange episode, and if I had been I probably would have stayed on the Death Penalty a little longer. I’m against it, and could articulate why, but I think I’ll save it for an upcoming episode. But it is worth pointing out that as crazy as it seems, the death penalty is rather ignored over here. We seem to prefer focusing on things like whether or not Eminem was really mad about Bruno’s crotch in his face. That and how can we (meaning the government) spend our way out of a depression.

    Tell your friends. It’s gong to be a thing.

    Oh yeah, that whole anarchy thing. I almost forgot. I don’t know if real true anarchy would ever work as I haven’t tried it myself, but I will always veer on the side of less control than more control. As an idealist (I’m a playwright for crying out loud, it’s hard too get more idealistic that trying to make money in what some would consider a dead medium) I’m always going to push for the extreme in hopes of getting just a little closer.

  4. Taz
    14/06/2009 at 2:20 pm Permalink

    S’up again.

    I’m glad you liked the feedback and that it could be of use. Now I’m up to date with the all and all (or at least once I injest the next ep.) I’ll try to throw in my two sense every now and then. Also, I know I could probably check on the site but, as I’m here, when do you think you’ll get around to another live show? I could seriously go for a bit of that action.

    Firstly, I don’t think I hear the word “howdy” enough. Secondly, I personally feel that being an expert on nothing helps with philosophy as it tends towards less learnt prejudice of thought. Any issue, I feel, is usually best solved with a sort of “cognitive splat”; cover everything and see what sticks, if you will. Finally, I too agree with less control over more control, for sure. But there are pros and cons to both. If you haven’t read Plato’s Republic – a man I consider to be largely “wrong” – then give it a glance as it has much to say on the matter. His argument about the contract between the individual and the state is, not to put too fine a point on it, most awesome.

    To wrap up, bring on the BF, Stephen. I wait with bated synapses.

    Thumbs up for slupees, y’all.

    P.s. Incidentally, who entered “thumbs up for slurpees” into urbandictionary?

  5. Nathan Wind as Cochese
    14/06/2009 at 10:07 pm Permalink

    Alas, I’m finally caught up. I feel I can comment without making you strain your brains thinking about what in Cocytus I’m talking about.

    I’ve long had a term for the kind of jingoistic jackass (Man, that would have been a GREAT Ubuntu release name) Kevin made an example of. Long before this guy’s self-appellation, I’ve referred to them as Murcans and have even developed something of a mythology on them. The Murcans’ natural enemies are the Turrists. Unfortunately, Murcans tend to confuse Furners for Turrists. And Furners, as defined by the Murcans, are anyone who isn’t aMurcan. I either picture them as red, white, and blue neanderthals or red, white, and blue bipedal fish creatures, similar to Murlocs in World of Warcraft.

    I did continue a bit about this on a long dormant blog in a post entitled Rise of the Murcans. It’s not Hunter S. Thompson, but I think it’s worth a read.

  6. Brown Bear
    21/06/2009 at 3:23 pm Permalink

    Hello BF panel,

    I appreciate that you guys/gals are willing to discuss “hot button” issues at times, and I’d like to weigh in on the patriotism issue.

    I’m an American by birth (but of Mexican-American heritage), and, thus, support the American effort, but not necessarily because of blind allegiance, but because I’m willing to pay taxes, help create job growth, and pay for my freedom, or until taken away, of course. Think about it, if you stop paying taxes, your freedom is taken away. Interesting, but a fair tradeoff.

    I did not see the Iraq war as necessary (nor the Vietnam war, for that matter), and we all see that we’re no better off for it considering the countless lives (US and Iraq), and the dollars that have been grossly misappropriated. Who’s to say we’re any safer? Is this an unpatriotic stance? Clearly not. I’m just asking legitimate, hard questions. And we have the freedom in this country to say such things.

    Iran, as we’re all seeing unfold, is about to enter into revolution unless the religious government is willing to concede and hold “legitimate” elections. Can you imagine the propaganda machine in place by the Supreme Leaders to keep a puppet like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in office? Americans may not be willing to accept that we, too, are under machinery such as this. Of course, we’d like to think that our patriotism is principled, and maybe even divinely sanctioned in order to “find their spider hole and smoke ’em out,” like “W” was so fond of saying. It’s no wonder we’re so hated around the world isn’t it? With cowboy politics like that who needs diplomacy? Our god will smash your god, anyway. Oh, and with the help of patriotic American’s, too.

    This is in no way a dismissal to those service men, and women who fought honorably as a condition for government employment. I blame entering into unwarranted conflicts, however, squarely on the shoulder of foolish
    politicians trying to appease their constituency who keep them in office. That’s not to say, also, that we don’t need a strong, standing military force, but bilateral cooperation is paramount in this global effort to suppress rogue governments like N. Korea.

    Patriotism is merely the PR objective while our standing military force is the “business end” of that extension. Am I a patriot? Well, let’s just say, I’ve got a Toby Keith CD loaded in my F-150 Ford pickup, and when I turn on CNN and see the horrors of oppression that are in theocratic or dictatorial countries, I tell myself, “Man it’s good to be in America. Oh, hell yeah!” The PR still works.

    Raising a cold beer to all of you fine BF panel members,
    Brown Bear

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