Language of the Soul Podcast

Narrative and History with Harvard Scholar Theodore Young

February 09, 2024 Dominick Domingo Season 2024 Episode 2
Narrative and History with Harvard Scholar Theodore Young
Language of the Soul Podcast
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Language of the Soul Podcast
Narrative and History with Harvard Scholar Theodore Young
Feb 09, 2024 Season 2024 Episode 2
Dominick Domingo

A stimulating conversation with Harvard scholar Ted Young, presently Associate Provost at Art Center College of Design. We explore the nuances of Historical Fiction, Foundational Fictions, and even modern trends toward whitewashing, revisionist history and aspirational retellings. We parse between propaganda and Renaissance-style self-fashioning, exploring the intent of a given work versus its ultimate exploitation in historical dialectic.

Guest Bio: Ted Young is a college administrator and professor. He received his Ph.D. in Romance Languages & Literatures from Harvard University, his MA in Spanish & Portuguese from UC Santa Barbara, and his BA in English & Portuguese, also from UCSB. He has published a book in Portuguese on a 2,600-page Brazilian historical novel, co-edited the book A Twice-Told Tale: Reinventing the Old World-New World Encounter in Latin American Literature and Film, and has published numerous papers and delivered lectures nationally and internationally on topics including literature, film studies, Latin American and foreign language studies, and issues of race and cultural identity. His most recent book chapter is “The Role of Community Colleges in Liberal Arts Education” in From the Desk of the Dean: The History and Future of Arts and Sciences Education. Ted has worked at UCSB, Harvard, UCLA, FIU, and Pasadena City College. Currently he is Associate Provost at Art Center College of Design. 

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Support the Show.

If you would like to make a one-time donation, CLICK HERE, or you can click the support button for other monthly support options.

To learn more and order Language of the Soul: www.dominickdomingo.com/theseeker

Think you would be a great guest for our podcast; please submit a request at LOTS Podcast Guest Pitch Form.

Now more than ever, it’s tempting to throw our hands in the air and surrender to futility in the face of global strife. Storytellers know we must renew hope daily. We are being called upon to embrace our interconnectivity, transform paradigms, and trust the ripple effect will play its part. In the words of Lion King producer Don Hahn (Episode 8), “Telling stories is one of the most important professions out there right now.” We here at Language of the Soul Podcast could not agree more.

This podcast is a labor of love. You can help us spread the word about the power of story to transform. Your donation, however big or small, will help us build our platform and thereby get the word out. Together, we can change the world…one heart at a time!

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A stimulating conversation with Harvard scholar Ted Young, presently Associate Provost at Art Center College of Design. We explore the nuances of Historical Fiction, Foundational Fictions, and even modern trends toward whitewashing, revisionist history and aspirational retellings. We parse between propaganda and Renaissance-style self-fashioning, exploring the intent of a given work versus its ultimate exploitation in historical dialectic.

Guest Bio: Ted Young is a college administrator and professor. He received his Ph.D. in Romance Languages & Literatures from Harvard University, his MA in Spanish & Portuguese from UC Santa Barbara, and his BA in English & Portuguese, also from UCSB. He has published a book in Portuguese on a 2,600-page Brazilian historical novel, co-edited the book A Twice-Told Tale: Reinventing the Old World-New World Encounter in Latin American Literature and Film, and has published numerous papers and delivered lectures nationally and internationally on topics including literature, film studies, Latin American and foreign language studies, and issues of race and cultural identity. His most recent book chapter is “The Role of Community Colleges in Liberal Arts Education” in From the Desk of the Dean: The History and Future of Arts and Sciences Education. Ted has worked at UCSB, Harvard, UCLA, FIU, and Pasadena City College. Currently he is Associate Provost at Art Center College of Design. 

We would love to hear from you! Sent US a text message.

Support the Show.

If you would like to make a one-time donation, CLICK HERE, or you can click the support button for other monthly support options.

To learn more and order Language of the Soul: www.dominickdomingo.com/theseeker

Think you would be a great guest for our podcast; please submit a request at LOTS Podcast Guest Pitch Form.

Now more than ever, it’s tempting to throw our hands in the air and surrender to futility in the face of global strife. Storytellers know we must renew hope daily. We are being called upon to embrace our interconnectivity, transform paradigms, and trust the ripple effect will play its part. In the words of Lion King producer Don Hahn (Episode 8), “Telling stories is one of the most important professions out there right now.” We here at Language of the Soul Podcast could not agree more.

This podcast is a labor of love. You can help us spread the word about the power of story to transform. Your donation, however big or small, will help us build our platform and thereby get the word out. Together, we can change the world…one heart at a time!

Speaker 1:

Hi guys, and welcome to Language of the Soul podcast, where life is story. I'm your host author, dominic Domingo, and I'd like to say a quick hello to our producer, extraordinaire Virginia, who is going to get the same title she was given this morning, because we're shooting two episodes back to back, or recording two episodes back to back. You are still the overdue Valentine nail lady.

Speaker 2:

Yes, I am Welcome, Thank you.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we don't need to re-litigate the nails.

Speaker 2:

No, I'm not going to.

Speaker 1:

Okay, maybe we'll put a picture in the show notes.

Speaker 2:

Yes, I can.

Speaker 1:

Anyway, thank you for being here for our second episode of the day, and then again, before we introduce today's guest, who is patiently waiting in the green room, I'd like to make a few announcements that I never seem to quite fit in. Usually I say, hey, check out the YouTube channel, and I'm going to say it again there's a lot of supplemental content that hopefully you'll find inspiring, and be sure to like it and subscribe. That'll really help us grow our platform. Secondly, we are in the top 50% of podcasts. I'm really speeding this up, but, based on our downloads and our stats, after only two and a half months, we are in the top 50%. So thank you to our amazing guests, including today's, and for our listeners. So thank you, especially to those who have tuned in regularly. Be sure to subscribe or follow us, though, because then you'll get updates on when we've dropped a new episode. And then, as always, there's a little heart at the bottom of every episode that says support To help us reach a larger audience and a larger listenership we've got to promote, so please consider giving a one-time donation or monthly commitment, however big or small, and both those options you will find. By hitting that heart, it says support. Okay, thanks again, everybody for tuning in and now, by way of introduction, I'm going to read today's guest bio, ted. If I botch it, this is your opportunity to set me straight on anything I might have gotten wrong.

Speaker 1:

Okay, ted Young is a college administrator and professor. He received his PhD in Romance, languages and Literature from Harvard University no small thing His MA in Spanish and Portuguese from UC Santa Barbara and his BA in English and Portuguese, also from UCSB. He's published a book in Portuguese on a 2600 page Brazilian historical novel, co-edited the book A Twice Told Tale Reinventing the Old World New World Encounter in Latin American Literature and Film, and has published numerous papers and delivered lectures nationally and internationally on topics including literature, film studies, which I would love to talk about with you, latin American and foreign language studies and issues of race and cultural identity. His most recent book chapter is the role of community colleges in liberal arts education and, from the desk of the dean, the history and future of arts and sciences education. Ted has worked at UCSB, harvard, ucla, fiu and Pasadena City College. Early, he's associate provost at Art Center College of Design, and that's where our paths crossed. All right, ted. What did I get right and what did I get wrong?

Speaker 3:

That's in a nutshell. That's pretty good, all right, sounds like you. Sounds like the version of me that is in academia, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Well, exactly, you have mentioned, it was a temporary stop at one point, but you found yourself right still in academia at Art Center. So, by way of sort of dipping a toe in the water, I would love to hear about what led you to literature in the first place and then how that. I don't want to put words in your mouth, but it seemed like it was a bit of a tangent for you to go the academic route. Is that fair to say?

Speaker 3:

Well, it's more. I'll say I'll back up High school. I came out of high school planning on being an attorney. I loved literature, I became. I declared English major as an undergrad because I was told that's a good major if you're going to be an attorney and that's what I thought I wanted to do. My wife is an attorney and so she's sick of hearing me make this joke or make this comment that I realized pretty soon into college that I felt like I'm too ethical to be an attorney.

Speaker 1:

Maybe a defense attorney. Is she a defense attorney?

Speaker 3:

Yes, she is Criminal attorney.

Speaker 1:

Okay, Is she an ambulance chaser?

Speaker 3:

No, no, definitely not. And she used to do civil litigation, large law firm, huge cases, as one of a team, a giant team of attorneys representing Citibank and the Enron. Their slice was about a billion dollars, billion with a, B. So she did that and then she ended up moving into. She went to a smaller firm and got into criminal defense and she likes to say that the people she represents now are not as criminal as the people she used to represent.

Speaker 2:

There's probably some truth to that.

Speaker 1:

Right, yeah, so that sounds perfectly commendable. I think these are just tropes, right. But I mean to sort of hone in on, I think, your point. What do you mean exactly by too ethical to become an attorney? Well, how did that lead you to literature?

Speaker 3:

Well. So that led me to give up on the idea of law and at the same time, as an English major, I was studying a lot of literature and I'd had great literature teachers in high school and I just love literature and it was kind of inertia, frankly, that kept me doing that. I also I lived in Brazil in high school and I wanted to go back and the Education Abroad program at University of California. They had a program in Brazil and I wanted to go on that program. So I was taking Portuguese classes and that becomes literature after the first two years, or about language and then writing. But then you studied literature and I entered immediately. I already spoke Portuguese. They put me in the lit courses and I just got more and more caught up in it and I love reading literature. I love teaching literature on the side, the part of my life that's not within academia. I like writing my own literature.

Speaker 1:

Did you learn Portuguese in the home or why did you already know it?

Speaker 3:

I lived in Brazil. I had heard Spanish growing up from my mom's family, and it's very similar to Portuguese, so it didn't Portuguese didn't sound so foreign to me.

Speaker 1:

I was going to say I speak French. I was smart enough to learn it as an adult, right, Considering language skills peak at seven. I got the brilliant idea to learn French at Disney as an adult, and when I hear Portuguese I get excited because of course there's no one with whom to practice my French. There is no one in Los Angeles with whom to practice my French. But then it takes me a few seconds and I go nope, that's Portuguese in it's Spanish and French in a blender, basically.

Speaker 3:

There are particular phonemes in Portuguese that are very similar to French. There's some vocabulary that for the most part, portuguese and Spanish are much closer. They evolved together along with other Iberian languages, but there are a few things like the word for street in Portuguese is who are you a right Right.

Speaker 3:

You know it's not something that sounds like Cayenne, spanish or, you know, via in Italian or something like that. It's different. So you get that and I've heard that many times from people where they'll hear especially Brazilian, portuguese and and think, oh, that sounds like French influence.

Speaker 1:

My ears prick every time and I just think they're out to confuse me. You all are out to confuse me, but it, yeah.

Speaker 3:

So I, I had that particular aptitude, familiarity with phonemes, even if it was a passive familiarity. Growing up I didn't, I did not speak Spanish very enough, but my mom did. She. She grew up bilingual and I had an opportunity to be an exchange student in Brazil in high school. So I went down there and loved it, created an amazing bond. The year before my sister had lived with a family and a boy from the family lived with us, and then that family invited me to come stay with them the next year. So I stayed with the same family that my sister had been with, and my Brazilian brother, who had lived here in the States with us, was my Brazilian brother when I lived in Brazil. Then he and and and two other brothers and a sister, and it's it's a bond that we even.

Speaker 3:

That was in 1977 and we're in touch continually more than daily more than daily, multiple times a day, with the family, with the guys I went to school with down there in high school. You know, we're we have different WhatsApp groups and and we just we communicate all the time. The my different Brazilian nephews and nieces have been to the States and a couple of the nieces lived with us here. I used to go to Brazil. Well, I lived there that first time. I lived there during undergrad. I lived there between undergrad and masters and then I would go back once I became a professor. I would spend three to four months out of the year, every single year, in Brazil. So I was there continually and, yeah, that's it's, it's my second home and and you know it's, it is my second language. But I mean, I wrote my, my doctoral dissertation in Portuguese.

Speaker 1:

Right, I'm, I'm blown away by that, so it's clearly in the blood.

Speaker 3:

It's definitely a part of of who I am in a big way and it informed my career up until I became, but really up until I came to art center and even my previous job before art center as a dean at Pasadena City College it was the newly formed languages division and so having a background teaching language and literature, foreign language and foreign foreign language literature that was a qualification for that job, so there was a direct relationship there.

Speaker 1:

This is definitely a tangent, but I'm sure you know at art center a lot of the students get their general edit Pasadena City College. Did you happen to run into any of those former students from PCC at art center?

Speaker 3:

I probably have seen them, but at art center I don't deal with with students very often.

Speaker 1:

You know I see Right.

Speaker 3:

The only time I really deal with students is when there's a problem, it's really unfortunate. Right, right, but there there are faculty members, or several faculty members, at art center that I know from PCC Right.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and now art center, more and more, is actually recruiting straight out of high school. It used to be even when I went there from 89 to 91, they were like, yeah, why don't you go get your general ed and grow up a little bit, and then you know, consider coming here. But younger every day. And PCC is a great school, isn't it?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, as a community college. You know it always. I haven't checked the rankings lately, but it was always really high up in the rankings for community colleges and overall, I mean, I think the community college system is just an amazing social mechanism to be able to bring education, post-secondary education, to a much larger population than in most any other place I know of.

Speaker 1:

Of course. Do you see it ever being free?

Speaker 3:

Well, it used to be, you know, when I was a kid.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it was $50 a term when I went, regardless of how many units you took.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I think it's gone. Yeah, they added that it's gone up a lot more than that. But you know that's something that you know, that's something that you know. That's, I think, would be very helpful to have. That would increase opportunities. Part one of the drawbacks is community colleges in California tend to be over enrolled. There's not enough room for all the students who are there Anybody. If you apply, you're admitted. There's not a selection process to get in, but you have to find classes. They need to be available and that was always a huge problem in the oh. What was it about? A dozen years I was a dean. We just never could have enough classes available for the demand, the student demand, because the budget's determined by the state and that translates into numbers of sections you can offer.

Speaker 1:

So yeah, maybe I'm just trying to figure out if you're a socialist or not. Yeah, if you're a Bernie or a dire. Anyway, I wanna really start out here by dipping a toe in the water, very much in the spirit of this podcast. So I wrote down a couple of questions. Some of them are based on your prompts, but I immediately considering you're an academic, and just my opinion. But I've kind of noticed, especially with literate. My nephew studied French literature and I just think there can, of course, be an elitist attitude toward pop culture, even cinema, and I was pleasantly surprised that you had studied film studies as well. So my question is this my book, as you probably already know, and this podcast are just about storytelling in general, and that encompasses all formats and genres, and I would even be so bold as to say since right oral tradition around the campfire throughout human history. So my question to you is do you see an overarching function of storytelling and culture or an overarching role that it has?

Speaker 3:

I think it's the most fundamental aspect of human communication is storytelling. I mean, I don't think that could be emphasized enough. There's an incredible work by Hayden White. He's one of the founders of the new historicism and he has an example of. He takes a definition of narrative, a story from Todorov and somebody else. So that's from Todorov and somebody else, but the different kinds, the elements that are necessary, and then he shows these chronicles from early medieval, what's now Germany, that the annals of something, a saint, somebody, I forget which saint, but it's a list of dates and major occurrences.

Speaker 3:

So you have the year 680, blood, 690, giant fire and like that, this battle, that battle, just things like that, and it's important data and understanding things, but you don't get any of the connections. You just become aware of particular events that the chroniclers, whoever they were over time, felt were important. So you'll see that there was a king died, another king came to the throne, there was a battle someplace, there was a plague, there was this, there was that. No connections were made. There's no greater meaning to it. You don't understand. You have to guess what the meaning might be for the people of the time. There was a war. Okay, we can imagine what happened, but we don't have that detailed information. Did they win? Did they lose? Did it wipe out half the population? What's missing is the narrative, is the story, that connecting tissue that makes it meaningful for human existence. Love it, yep.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, my mom used to. Really there was a speaking of junior college, la Valley College. There was a really great art history instructor and I'm an artist, so numbers don't stick for me. I've joked like history doesn't stick because I don't understand war in the first place and studying history is largely studying war and so nothing ever stuck. But the minute I learned philosophy for dummies in my 30s at Disney, I just started reading in the gym and suddenly everything clicked because you could explain world events according to the overriding philosophy on the planet at any given time. Of course there's the Western European Judeo-Christian tradition and there's Eastern ones, but largely there seems to be a cutting edge that explains all world events. But anyway, this one art history instructor at LA Valley College my mom loved him because he would just tell you the dirt, like here's what Bruno Lesky or whoever this is what Michelangelo did to get this commission, and suddenly it kind of stuck.

Speaker 1:

You're kind of hinting at another prompt that I have here. My book is largely about the micro and the macro. Storytelling serves both patron and artist on the micro level but then by extension, hopefully evolve society. So the catharsis by consuming storytelling is largely what I call transformation and then by extension, through the ripple effect one hopes policy right the noosphere is ultimately affected and I call that evolution. So with that premise I point out in the book that the word for history is l'histoire. It's the same Story and history are the same word. So I noticed you kind of hinted in that in your form. What is the connection in your opinion between story and history? You kind of hinted at that that it fills in the gaps and explains the significance of the world events. But is there more to it than that?

Speaker 3:

Well, the point that Hayden White is making is that history is the story and there are histories. There's no one capital age history. He gives many examples of the selection. Basically, you say any history is, in a way, a work of fiction. Right, right, even if you're using actual facts that are true. It's the ones, the facts you choose to include and the ones you choose to exclude.

Speaker 1:

Exactly, create a narrative and that's an editorial choice to include or exclude right, Exactly.

Speaker 3:

And there's a really interesting exercise. I could read it for you. It's two paragraphs. Do it Okay, I will.

Speaker 1:

We're all about exercise.

Speaker 3:

Because, well, if I explain the thing in advance, then it loses the impact. So what?

Speaker 1:

is there? How quickly are you gonna find it, though? That's the question.

Speaker 3:

Look at all those books. No, yeah, I'm not gonna go dig through the show, I think.

Speaker 1:

I see Darth Vader behind you, you do. Speaking of 1977, by the way, that was the year Star Wars came out and it was made for me. By the way, it was nine years old. You were 15 in Brazil, right.

Speaker 3:

I wasn't in Brazil when it came out. I went to Brazil soon after it came out, but I saw it in theaters and we can. That's another rabbit hole if you wanna go down that and talk about the whole the heroes journey, so I used to teach a summer class at FIU film studies.

Speaker 3:

It was a sci-fi fantasy film and I looked at issues of genre. But when I dealt with what was then, it was the original trilogy of Star Wars and then episode one. That's all that was out. But looking at the hero tradition not just Joseph Campbell but his sources, but that's a. Well, while you're looking for the exercise, I have it, you have it, okay, yeah.

Speaker 1:

We definitely need to go back there because it's all interrelated, but we had a guest who was very passionate about telling the stories of the marginalized, the regional stories that are not part of patriarchy or the Judeo-Christian Western European tradition. Yes, it's time we told those stories of those who have been silenced, right, but she you remember this Virginia was pretty kind of a rebel without a cause. When I would talk about universality or sort of any comparative religion tradition, like Joseph Campbell's concept of the masks of God, or she was like oh well, that's just another tool of the patriarchy to oppress and silence. So where do you go from there? If there's nothing universal about the human condition available to us through storytelling, where do you go from there? I know there's a lot more nuance to it than that, but well, let's come back to that. I'm kind of intrigued by your exercise. Did that make any sense to you at all, though? Oh, it did.

Speaker 3:

Some people.

Speaker 1:

The hero's journey makes their the first stand up on their neck, because it's just another form of patriarchy, and I walked away thinking well then you really don't understand the template, because it's about all of us. It has nothing to do with any one institution, or certainly not patriarchy. But that was just my knee-jerk reaction to that.

Speaker 3:

We definitely should come back to that. Yeah, all right. So once there was a man who fought in a war that his country lost, he returned home to a devastated community. The imperialist powers that had defeated his country imposed extreme economic controls on the losing nation in order to maintain those people under control and, at the same time, steal their wealth. He felt frustrated by his personal condition and by the extreme economic hardship all around him. He banded together with others who felt equally victimized, calling for social and political change.

Speaker 3:

He joined the socialist party and became active in street protests and demonstrations against the elites who ran the country. Eventually, he was arrested for his part in the protests and spent time in prison. When he was released, he helped to better organize the party and get members elected to Congress. Because of the way they championed the cause of the displaced, they gained a majority in the government and this leader became chancellor. He led initiatives to nationalize many sectors of the economy, revitalize depressed industries, get blue collar workers fully employed, created social structures to incorporate all sectors of society and overhauled education under a strengthened national history. He sounds great. He sounds like a really great guy. The country prospered greatly, economic inequalities lessened greatly and the people hailed the leader for freeing the country from the tyranny of imperialist oppression. He was a hero. The next paragraph.

Speaker 2:

Yes.

Speaker 3:

Once there was a man who fought in a war that his country lost. He returned home psychologically scarred, with exacerbate, which exacerbated his previous instability. He cultivated his hatred for those he saw as different, dirty and guilty of betraying the country. He joined with others who thought like he did and formed street moms that harassed and bullied those who didn't agree with them. They staged a violent riot and many were arrested, including this man.

Speaker 3:

During his time in prison, this man planned his strategy to impose his ideas on the country. When he was released, he and those like him organized across the country to dominate elections through misinformation and coercion, with an eye toward seizing political power. They fomented racial hatred and brutality Through the spread of their ideas and intimidation. They were able to control the Congress. Once they had a majority, this leader became chancellor. He created agencies that took control over industry and education. He instituted extreme censorship and a secret police to squash all opposition. He violated international borders and waged war on all of his neighboring nations. In his homeland and throughout the conquered territories, he imprisoned, tortured and murdered millions of people, that part of his plan to purge the world of undesirables. This man was evil and, of course, both histories are true and both are the same man, right, right.

Speaker 1:

Fascinating.

Speaker 2:

I like that because, as you guys were talking about everything too, it made me think of when someone writes a personal narrative, it's from their perspective, and so it's how they view it at that time, depending on what their vantage point is. So that's really Right.

Speaker 3:

And when I first and this I reconstructed this a while back. Actually, I wanted to share with my kids. I've told them it, but I found this version that I reconstructed when I first saw this and I'm reading through it and at first I thought that the first person was Che Guevara. And then I get to the part of Chancellor and stuff like wait a minute, what's going on here? And then I get to the other one and I go that's Hitler.

Speaker 1:

All right. Well, chancellor was the big giveaway.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

You didn't mention that he was a frustrated art student there. I didn't you lost that out.

Speaker 3:

I should have put that in there. That's the crux of the whole, but the whole idea that you can have such radically different views of somebody using it's the facts that you choose and then a little bit the way you say it.

Speaker 1:

Right, that's kind of what I keyed into is you can tell any story through any lens, right, the editorial choices of what to include and what not to right, the very subject matter or premise that you choose to share. But then there's the nuances of word choice, right, everything's got a connotation. A language is not an exact science. Everything's got a culturally relative connotation and denotation. So, yeah, every single word choice paints a picture. But in a more broad sense and this has been coming up a lot too is like where is the universal? Philosophically, some people believe there is what I call universal truth or objective reality, and others would say, no, there's nothing but the subjective reality based on the way our brains reify information, our biases, our past experiences, those goggles we all wear. So in human resources, people would say, oh, the objective reality, the ultimate truth, is consensus. Other people would say, well, god sees all right, so God's omniscient and God knows the truth. Do you believe there is some kind of ultimate truth or is it all subjectivity?

Speaker 3:

So I'll answer that, referring to another school of literary theory reader response criticism the idea is that if you have a particular literary work, that work, you can't step in the same river twice, you can't read the same book twice.

Speaker 1:

Because you've changed and grown the second time you read it, or yes, you have a different experience.

Speaker 3:

So there used to be. It's really common to look for the meaning of a work of literature and that meaning might have been the author's intent, or it might be the meaning within a particular historical context. And that's the true meaning. With reader response, criticism, the meaning is what you as an individual get from it.

Speaker 1:

It's your responsibility, Real quick is reader response criticism. Is that what you called it? Reader response criticism? Is that part of the new criticism movement Does that click for you, which says the artist's intentions are secondary and it's the projections of the patron that matter? Yes, yes, I agree with that and I will go on to say, as a writer, when I read not even liturgy but literary criticism, I think that's all projection, the art, and I like to think I'm in touch with right how writers think. So I'm like, well, and this does speak to something that's hopefully going to come up later that you mentioned in your prompts Historical fiction A lot of times.

Speaker 1:

It's just the setting. It's a character-driven story about either the inner workings of the human heart or the human condition in general, and the setting is the best way to support that thematic content, right. But literary criticism will often put that the cart before the horse and put a little too much emphasis, in my opinion, on the meaning behind the particular war. That's really just a backdrop, like I'm thinking of, obviously gone with the wind at the moment. It's largely a human story, about the human heart and loss and all these really profound themes, but it is really just a setting.

Speaker 3:

It's interesting that you've mentioned gone with the wind specifically. My wife and I were talking with our kids over the winter break and then with another friend about gone with the wind specifically. And my wife loves a novel, loves a movie. She sees it and she used to only see it as the story of a strong woman who overcomes all the adversity and will not be kept down and is triumphant. And she loves stories about bad-ass women. That's how she relates to that and so that's all she saw.

Speaker 3:

And I remember that my first impression of that movie when I was a kid and I saw it in theaters when it was re-released sometime in the 70s and for me the focus was a love story. It's about this love story and the ways in which these two main characters get together and don't get together, and that is the crux of it. But then later as an adult, I looked at it as wait, this is about the Civil War. This is about people who are trying to maintain an oppressive society. They want to keep slavery in place and also I need your reaction that's the South they lost. They were wrong. Slavery is evil. They are all bad guys. So how could this be a nice story Like that and I came to realize Gone With the Wind is all about.

Speaker 1:

It's exactly. Well, that's what I heard. I was about to jump in and say it is all of that Under the umbrella, maybe, of survival, surviving loss and reinventing, and people handle it differently, and so in that way I would say war is the go-to trope for moral ambiguity, if that makes sense, because all bets are off. When I hear terms like the ethics of war, I'm like I'm sorry, that's a contradiction in terms, right. So it's almost that Lord of the Flies where anything goes. And what place do ethics really have when everybody's in survival mode, you know?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, Well, I mean ethics of war, it's, it's like rules of engagement. So Norberg trials after the fact defined what were war crimes and then punished people for that.

Speaker 1:

But you know what I'm saying. I think war is sort of life in a nutshell, upping the stakes a little bit, and I just think it's a great template for, like moral ambiguity. Because the stakes are so high, what would you do to survive? Speaking to the dude with the funky mustache, I've often said you know what? I would die for my principles, I wouldn't sell out. But who really knows?

Speaker 2:

Well, you know you bring it back back to. You know the examples that we were, of course, given how both those histories are of Hitler. If you think about it, I mean the first one you read and of course I know Dominic, you were like wow, he sounds like a great guy, even though you know. I know I'm saying, but I know you're saying that you know, but the reality is, if you think about it, if you were, I'm German, that's my heritage.

Speaker 1:

But I have that too.

Speaker 2:

Yeah so one of my breeds, yeah, yeah, but I think of, like my, my ancestors that are from there, that came to US and actually had family who fought, family, you know, german relatives who fought World War II against German relatives who were Nazis. Anyway, speaking about that is, I and I had a few foreign exchange issues heard from Germany and I remember talking to them. I mean, if you lived in Germany at the time and you heard that first perspective of who Hitler is, you know, going back to the whole perspective, I mean a lot of that's true, like that, that would, of course, which is why he got so many people to support him is because you know you felt that way, you, I mean, you saw the good that he was doing for your country, even though there was this, obviously, the second side of that history, which you shared, which was the very adverse.

Speaker 1:

Well, that's, that's why it took hold, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Well, and that's what was going on. I think that's where war, like why people use as a backdrop is so nuanced, because there is both, you know, going back to like we. I know, dominic, you and I talked about this early that you have that, you know, duality of the two sides constantly in conflict.

Speaker 1:

Well, to be honest, you know, let's assume that's all true and that desperation can excuse all kinds of things. Right, Survival can excuse making nuclear wars for living, to put food on the table and roofs overheads, and it has for generations. But let's say we can rationalize anything under the guise of survival. Yeah, that's why I wrote my book is so that we can parse the stories that were internalizing by default, if that makes sense. So I would say, in this moment very few people look to history to understand you know what demagogues have always been fear mongers. Demagogues have always used the tribal instinct to demonize the other, to find escape code, you know, and people just are really blissfully ignorant to the handbook that. Do you know what I mean? The dude with the mustache directly handed to the orange asshole, Like come on already. So I just hope we can get a little smarter about these mythologies we're talking about these national identities we create through narratives and begin to just, you know, be a little more discerning about what we internalize.

Speaker 3:

We talk about national identities created through narratives and you know that relates to the notion of foundational fictions, and Doris Summer has a really good book on that, about the in Latin America. She talks specifically about Argentina and the way in which the national identity was consciously created by the people in political power at the time, you know, after they broke off from Spain, and then they had lots of internal wars and they created a kind of. You know, the unification was a modern state of Argentina. It excluded what is now Uruguay, parts of what is now Brazil, and they ended up with Argentina. And how are they? A peoples distinct from the other peoples? Those of you know?

Speaker 2:

they were.

Speaker 3:

Spanish. Before you know, yesterday I was a Spaniard and today I'm Argentinian. What makes me an Argentinian today? And they created their own mythos through works of fiction.

Speaker 1:

Well, would you call that propaganda at that point, though, if it was a conscious effort, or is it a byproduct?

Speaker 3:

It's both propaganda and you know, it's like the renaissance notion of self-fashioning, making yourself, creating your own identity.

Speaker 1:

Well, to tie this back to Art Center, by the way, our shared alma mater of Art Center there was a really great presentation, probably 30 years ago, now 25 years ago, and they literally brought the third Reich style guide. Have you ever seen a presentation? No, and it was. You know, we like to excuse again a number of ills by saying, I mean, I used to catch myself saying, well, there's really nobody with a twisty mustache in a swiveling chair petting a cat here. It's just human nature plays out. You know what I mean. According to human nature, it's hard to explain. But when people say, oh, governments always use materialism to oppress the populace, I'm like no, people are people, they're pretty shallow Like. So I always excuse it.

Speaker 1:

But it couldn't be clearer when you look at this third Reich style guide that it was so calculated and these things do get passed on by world leaders. It was like use this typeface, not that one. And of course, the propaganda films. Yeah, that was very express, if that makes sense and conscious, but the style guide even more so. Again, this typeface, not that one. I'm not going to remember everything, but when you use a core shadow on a character to idealize them, it must be carved out with right angles, like it was so well thought out Wow, that would be, that would be fascinating.

Speaker 1:

Maybe it'll come back. This was years ago.

Speaker 2:

I want to say, to some degree though, when it comes to literature, to art, everything you know as the person who is creating it. To some degree, I think that you, you know, you pick certain style choices and make certain decisions because you are trying to invoke a certain feeling.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think propaganda and art is the line between propaganda and art is in the eye of the beholder, by the way, yeah.

Speaker 3:

No, yeah, Sorry, Ted, and well, and what I would say is that there is an intentionality for what I'd call pure propaganda. That's somebody who knows I'm going to do this to try to influence people in this way and promote this version and not that version. You know that's propaganda, but not everything that can be used as propaganda have that intent coming from. You know the creator of that.

Speaker 1:

Right, exactly. And well, I'm being a little bit of, I'm being facetious a little bit. I mean, I'm enough of an elitist to say where I draw the line is, yes, the intent. So just, I don't want to lose you, ted. But again, big part of the book is like even with AI.

Speaker 1:

All these conversations about what constitutes the human touch in the creative process or in the product of it, I don't really care. You know they talk so much about rights and intellectual property rights and using my image, I don't care about any of that. What I don't want to lose is the understanding that true inspiration in the creative process actually comes from what's needed by the universe, what's needed by collective consciousness. And I'm that romantic about it. The lightning strike of inspiration comes because that, in the dialectic of human evolution, consciousness knows what's needed at that moment. So I do separate that. Call me an art center elitist if you want, but I separate that from, yes, a conscious decision to, like you said, promote one narrative over another for an end cause, whether that end result is the almighty dollar or political alignment, that sort of thing, or persuading the masses. There's a distinct difference.

Speaker 3:

Right, that's what I would say. I mean, as an artist, you can have that lightning strike that you just talked about, that, that bolt of insight that comes to you. You're inspired, you're going to do this, and it may or may not be a useful tool for somebody else. But that's very different than saying, okay, this is my end objective, right. So I want to create something to get to that objective. So now I'm going to figure out how do I create this, this painting, this sculpture, this, this novel, whatever I'm going to create to get to that specific objective. And for me, that's the key difference.

Speaker 1:

Yes. Well, someone would argue, though, that the Wallace model of the creative process is different than the other seven, right, and that those steps can come in different order. But that's why I call it intentionality. It's not the order the steps come in. And I also will backpedal a little bit and say I think every delusional artist thinks it was divine inspiration, right, I'm sure I guess I'll say his name. I'm sure Hitler thought he was inspired. You know that everybody needed his message, I'm sure. So I'm just that's the caveat. I think every delusional artist thinks, right, their inspiration was divine.

Speaker 3:

Well it's, you know, every, every true believer thinks that this, you know, my way is the right way. Right, you know, and that's, that's what I want to do.

Speaker 1:

There's well, and that's why, going back to every particle of the universe being entangled and everything being interdependent, right that actually I think I say amen for the pendulum swings. It's a silly example, but even our two party system it's like. Imagine how far off the rails we would have gone a long, long time ago if we didn't at least have opposing viewpoints creating some kind of crazy balance. So I do thank God for all the forces. You know what I mean. If one person's worldview forms because they're very charismatic forms of movement and that movement catches on and it becomes policy at some point, that all of these little ripples right that come from an individual and become a movement, that become a policy, they become social reform, they do work together for the sole purpose just my opinion of propagating the effing species. Does that make sense? Like there is value to all of it, but we're quick to judge anything that doesn't align with our own worldview.

Speaker 3:

Oh very true, it takes a lot of faith.

Speaker 1:

It takes a lot of faith to say amen for all of it. Then you have to explain starving children in Africa and things like that.

Speaker 3:

Melend Fender has a quote in his book Encounters. I think it was like the last thing he published, but he's talking about the absurdity of people who believe that they themselves are truly right and that people who don't think like them are truly wrong.

Speaker 1:

Well, isn't that called narcissism, or what would you call that?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, what does he call it? Solipsism? I don't remember, but it was sociopathy. Well, he's talking in terms of friendships, of animosity and friendship, but he's talking about friends who he believes that he is right, his opinions, but then he has friends who think differently and yet he's aware that he could be wrong and he's open to the fact that, as positive as he is, he still could be wrong.

Speaker 1:

I like the question would you rather be right or would you rather have peace? Thank you, it comes down to ego. Right, it's always ego.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I mean, that's the huge question and the only way, and if we're going to talk philosophically about world peace right, that's what every beauty contest you have to talk about. I want world peace Right, but that has to start with denying the ego to an extent and accepting the fact that I believe I'm 100% right, but you also believe you're 100% right, you know, and we need to find some way to have common ground. We need to come up with that commonality because otherwise we just polarize more and more, yep, and then it comes down to who wins the war.

Speaker 1:

Right. Well, again, a big reason I wrote the book and a big thrust of the book is a lot of this divisiveness. Right, it's really popular to say we live in a divisive time, Whether or not right. That's true is in the eye of the beholder, but certainly feels that way to me in this country. So I wrote the book to say you know what A lot of its imaginary, even this right, empiricism versus rationalism or science and faith, it's a silly, false right.

Speaker 1:

They're not mutually exclusive and if you change your perspective and semantics a little bit, there's a hell of a lot more to agree on than there is to disagree on. So, again, if you start analyzing the stories, even internalized in a way I take 300 pages to make this case, by the way but by really understanding the role of narrative in the stories we tell ourselves, about ourselves and the stories we tell about our tribe, but also the human condition at large, If you start to really just pay attention to all of that, some of the divisiveness can dissolve away because you understand the role of right, this narrative that's being communicated through this lens, with all of its biases and prejudices versus another one.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I mean, you've got me thinking about an experience I had as a professor. I used one of my own short stories for a reading comprehension exercise. Just make sure it's an undergrad class and make sure they understand. You know what's being told in this story and it was a story that I wrote. It was an experience that I had as a college student in Brazil, so it was really what happened to me. Names are changed to protect the guilty and all that. So I know what the story is about because it happened to me. And then I'm the one who wrote it, but the students didn't know that I used the pseudonym for the author. The students didn't know that, but so I know the reality. Quote unquote I know the author's intent because I'm the author, so I know what it means Absolutely. So I'm absolutely right about my interpretation of this.

Speaker 3:

And this one student wrote a response to one of the questions and he was wrong and I marked him wrong. I returned the papers and I always any kind of a test. I go over it with everybody In a classroom. A test is a learning opportunity. I understand we need to have grades and you need to have points, you need to have all that kind of stuff. But, most importantly, you know, I'm a teacher, I'm trying to teach, and so this is an opportunity to teach and for students to learn. And this student asked me why I'd taken the points off, because he thought he was absolutely right, right, and I knew for a fact he wasn't right because it happened to me and I'm the guy who wrote it, but I didn't say that.

Speaker 3:

Right, I couldn't. I couldn't tell him that, because we're looking at this work of literature. It's a separate thing. It's this short story that exists over there in its own little vacuum, and he started to explain why he thought it meant this other thing.

Speaker 1:

I hope you're going to tell me you learned something from this.

Speaker 2:

That's what I was thinking.

Speaker 3:

Oh yeah, no, I listened to him. I had to get over the fact that I absolutely knew what it was about and and other students hadn't seen it the way he had. But he justified his interpretation and and I realized, oh my God, yeah, you can read that way too. He's right, thank you, he got full credit. Ok, good, thank, the whole class knew he got full credit. Ok, I have to jump.

Speaker 1:

I have to jump in here, because we were talking a moment ago about the new criticism right that the artist's intentions are secondary. The projections of the patron are truly where the relevance and the significance lie. Here's what I'll say. I'm not saying I have a better take on any of this than you, but I will say I try to run. You were all writers here so maybe you'll relate when I strive for the universal.

Speaker 1:

I'm aware that the projections of the patron. I leave room for that if that makes sense. So I know sometimes if a symbol one example is a butterfly came in and landed in one of my stories and Madeleine Lingle talks about this a lot like, oh, I didn't want that character to die, it just kind of happened and I had to let him die. And so sometimes my strongest metaphor in a given piece comes unplanned and I just trust it and I don't analyze it and I just make sure to foreshadow it and bring it back. And anyway this butterfly came in and landed and it wasn't the old cliche of transformation. It turned out to be something entirely different but I trusted it.

Speaker 1:

But I guess what I'm saying is, my most rewarding experiences and getting feedback are when I hear from audiences. For example, one of my films. The diamond was supposed to be truth, beauty, redemption, freedom, any number of things. But I trusted do you know what I mean that it was a strong enough archetype that it would transcend the projections of the patron. I read we had a little guest book at the premiere and people wrote oh man, I was so cathartic when she lifted up that diamond that was supposed to be left as a tip because I read it as dot dot dot. They hit on all of them Truth, beauty, redemption, the meaning in life, freedom, all of it redempt. I say redemption and I was like holy crap, I couldn't have felt better that. Do you know what I mean? I trusted that archetype and it. I love the projections To this day.

Speaker 1:

My sister uses one of my stories in her humanities class and probably, like you, you know they're supposed to be looking for the micro and the macro and identifying the character arc and the story arc and the inherent themes in that the resolution of the conflict and how it results in that theme. There's some pretty technical stuff they're meant to look for, but every term she gives me the feedback and this is a piece that was published. So I feel like, yeah, it's got to have some merit, you know, and I just look forward to their interpretations because it's always right, in line with what I intended, but something unexpected. I never would have worded it that way, if that makes sense.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I thrive on that.

Speaker 3:

It is. It's, it's a great situation there's. I was at a conference years ago at UCSB and Joseph Saramagu, he Nobel Laureate from Portugal, was there and he had just published a book called Lano da Mocha, ricardo Hayes, the Year of the Death of Ricardo Reyes. And so there was a early first half 20th century Portuguese poet, fernando Pessoa, who wrote in what he called heteronyms. It wasn't, they weren't pseudo names, they were in different voices. He created completely different personae and he published in early days of his career. The reading audience and the literary world actually thought these were all different physical human beings. They had different backgrounds, different ages, different styles. So he had all of these different voices that came from him and he published it like that. One of the characters he created it's easiest to think of them as if their character is in a play or, you know, in a film. One of them got sent into exile, went off to Brazil, ricardo Reyes. And then when, when the physical person, fernando Pessoa, died, the, the kind of joke was there wasn't one person who died, it was all of these people who died, except for Ricardo, because he's in Brazil.

Speaker 3:

And so fast forward many decades and you and you have Saramagu, who was a cantankerous, frowning, grumpy old man at the time. He wrote this book and publish it, in which he takes those characters, that Pessoa, all those heteronyms, and he puts them together in a very ironic way and creates his novel. And so he was the keynote speaker at the conference talking about his book that had just come out, and he's, he's explaining, talking about Fernando Pessoa or Ricardo Reyes, or or, or you know the other, or all the different heteronyms, but sometimes he's talking about, like Fernando, the actual person who existed, and sometimes he's like my, his, his character in his novel. So he finally had to start explaining. He's like, well, fernando, I mean my right, right is doing this, and then the real Fernando, and then my Fernando, and he kept doing that.

Speaker 3:

Lunch break, after lunch, this poor guy, a professor from somewhere, is presenting a paper about Saramagu's novel, with the author sitting smack dab center front row glaring at him. This, this Nobel laureate, who is not friendly and outgoing, and he's just glaring at him. You know like, oh, there's poor guy and the, and the guy is trying to explain his interpretation of the novel. And and you know what Saramagu is doing in this, in this chapter, what you know what he's trying to show or what he demonstrates over, and he's saying this stuff with Saramagu staring at him. So he he starts to talk and he says that, and then he stops and he looks, makes eye contact with the author and he says my Saramagu is trying to do this, that and the other, and the guy looks like well played, wow.

Speaker 3:

You have your interpretation of me, I don't have to agree with it, but but isn't that?

Speaker 1:

isn't that the beauty? I love that though? That is. The beauty of art and literature is its openness to projection. I mean, I really do thrive on that, and I have no ownership. I really got it Sounds so romantic, doesn't it? But all this divine stuff that comes through my fingertips, I don't claim a lot of ownership in it, I try to do it justice, and then I'm always blown away by the projections of the patron, and it's always I guess I'm lucky, it's always been in alignment with my intention.

Speaker 1:

I think all writers, right, have an intention. And again, virginia, this comes up every week, right, you might serve your concept or your premise, you might serve the thematic themes and you might even have a sort of a resolution of the conflict that results in those themes. But there's always sub levels, right, little things that you're working out in your subconscious, right? So in this case it's like well, every character could be thought of as an aspect of the writer's psyche, and if you become aware of it, you can sort of exploit that. In the seeker, icarus and Amityas are absolutely dual aspects of my psyche, and once I recognize that, I strengthened it. One is also ego and the other is pure love, so that helped too. I'm not that prideful about the outcome, I guess, unless they absolutely hate it.

Speaker 2:

Well, here's a thought. Just because I know both of you have lived outside of the US, this is going to be my little not ever living outside the US thing and listening to you guys talk to and kind of talking about the narrative and how the author who creates the work, this is where their mindset is, and then of course, you get the reader feedback or how they interpret it, especially the same to you guys, and I definitely my mind made it more concrete that this is probably what it is, as our cultural dynamics of where we're from is also how we're going to perceive that literature. You know that the artistic, literary, you know work, because I mean the US, I mean we're very individualistic, yep, and in a society you go to somewhere where it's more of a collectivism mentality, they're going to have a completely different spin on something that's written in the Western world and vice versa.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, yeah, do you have anything to say?

Speaker 1:

I mean, everything is culturally relative on the part of the writer and the patron right. So I think do you account for that as well in your intention, that it's you know.

Speaker 3:

So when you're talking about writing and you know you kind of, you have an audience in mind when you're writing the putative reader. Yeah, everybody who creates something in some way envisions who this might be for. Sometimes you might have multiple audiences in mind, but you know, there could be. The Brazilian author George Amado wrote Donald Florent and her two husbands, Gabriela Cloven, cinnamon a whole bunch of bestselling novels like that. There a guy did his dissertation on the in group humor in Amado's novels. They're jokes that I don't get, you don't get.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 3:

Nobody else is going to get it.

Speaker 1:

So humor is the toughest.

Speaker 3:

Well, but it's what it is, the humor.

Speaker 3:

He will take friends of his and use that name to create a character, very ironically, who's very different, for example, than what the person is, or create a situation, a dramatic situation that would be really funny to the real people who his friends he hangs out with. They're going to get the joke because there's an irony for their actual lives, but any other reader isn't going to get it because it's not. It's not. It's not a humor, that's built into the narrative itself. It's completely referential to something completely outside of that. And the only way you're going to get that is if you study his personal life and you read this guy's dissertation and things like that.

Speaker 3:

But it was. For me, it was very eye opening to it and I think it's interesting. So I wrote a short story that I my my best friend from Harvard days. He's now a professor, he's he's a department chair, senior professor and doubt chair, all this kind of stuff, but it's referencing things that we did when we were in college together. But nobody else is going to get that reference, except you know. I sent him a copy of it, I hear Joe.

Speaker 1:

Well, have you ever heard the saying that the more personally you can make a work, the more universally it will land? It takes a minute, but I use Tori Amos as a silly example. Like her, lyrics are so obscure, you have no idea what the hell she's babbling about half the time, but it resonates. It has a truth to it. So I think you know I kind of operate on that level too. You know if it's authentic it's going to transcend. But I do think humor is culturally relative and it's the toughest one you know to really communicate in another language. But I want to go back a little bit. I think it'll relate to something that was said a moment ago.

Speaker 1:

In my book I make a case a little bit that modern literary criticism actually has its roots in liturgy, right? So even the gospel. Each book was written by a different prophet for a different readership. You know, a pagan readership or a Jewish readership, and so it absolutely is considered in the writing but also determines how it lands. So I don't know what the point was, other than when I write I definitely think of readership, and sometimes I think you know what this is for an elite few it's not for the masses. This is again the elitist in me, but sometimes I'm aware this is not going to speak to people and that's okay. It doesn't have to and I choose my readership if that makes sense.

Speaker 3:

Well, yeah, that there is an intentionality then to what you're doing, when you're writing something that's for a specific, limited audience.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and sometimes I just say fuck them if they can't take a joke.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, clearly, within literature and within artistic creation in general, there's, you know, an infinite number of possible approaches to everything and obviously, sometimes the creator of a given thing has no idea how it's going to resonate.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, you can't always later yeah.

Speaker 3:

Ideally, you know we all, if we're writers, we want to be Shakespeare, who, hundreds of years later, people are still reading and debating and making adaptations, you know, making a West Side Story or whatever that still makes sense.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, well, I Don Hahn, the producer of Lion King when I was at Disney, and a lot of the big ones, aladdin. We interviewed him at CTN and of course I knew he would be passionate about the role of storytelling and culture, but I didn't know what to greet to what degree. He was awesome. He gave us some really good sound bites and one of the things he said was hold on. This happened from it's our second episode today. I'm kind of burnt out. What were we just talking about? Oh, he was. Yeah, he was saying a lot. He'll get the question a lot. Well, why did you redo dot dot dot? And I'm not talking about the live action remakes of our classics, necessarily, but like even Beauty and the Beast, he's gotten the question a lot. Why would you even bother retelling Beauty and the Beast? And his answer was because we hadn't. It hadn't been told in the nineties yet. And I said are you talking about universal themes landing because you've changed up the setting for to give it more relevance to modern audiences, for example? And he said yes, all of that. He said when we made Lion King, apartheid had just rumbled. Do you know what I mean? It was a very. It was all about the new landscape and the new possibilities versus sort of duty. You know what I mean. And so he said, if we retold that now, it would take on a whole new relevance.

Speaker 1:

I have another question. It seems like we're hinting at culture relativity quite a bit, and I think in your prompts you mentioned a little bit about I don't want to put words in your mouth, but sort of how you know when colonization takes place, right, you can either assimilate the existing cultures or you can wipe them out and erase them and silence them. I think you've talked about that fine line between maybe forging a new cultural identity with your impressors or your colonizers. So I want to ask you this and I actually wrote it down, I just so make sure I word it correctly. So we've kind of talked about how we're all products of the stories we've internalized and even those we tell about ourselves. Right, whether the source is internalized negative messaging from your home life or the status quo through socialization, we do internalize stories. And then, collectively, we've talked about how society is the amalgamation of all the stories a given tribe tells about itself or human beings have told about ourselves since the dawn of time, assuming we have the power to swap out those lenses you know, especially the ones that limit our capacity and potential.

Speaker 1:

So if you believe in epigenetics and you believe the stories we're telling, we can make them more productive, right. So we aid in the march toward human potential, if you, if you, agree with any of that. I guess what I want to ask you is this both of you have you noticed a trend and I have toward what I call aspirational storytelling. It's not a whitewashing of the past and it's not necessarily revisionist history, but I noticed a lot of sort of playing fast and loose with history and I wonder if there's any kind of responsibility that comes with that. So I've got some examples that I'll get to. But does that click immediately like aspirational storytelling that plays kind of fast and loose with history?

Speaker 3:

I'll ask you for your example before I answer, because I'm thinking of things offhand, but I want to know what you mean. What examples are you going to aspirate?

Speaker 1:

Well, I think you would agree, even you know it's not even a political issue. But I noticed on both sides you have this idea of revisionist history or whitewashing. I mean, I think it's fair to say, it's not controversial to say, that the right would like to sanitize the way we teach history in schools, clean it up a little bit, right. And then I think maybe the left wants to use revisionist history to call the jellyfish the fucking sea jelly. Now right.

Speaker 1:

Like we're really correcting our language in a lot of areas and I'll leave it at that. But the aspiration, the examples I have of aspirational storytelling and it's cinema, unfortunately, but have either of you seen once upon a time in Hollywood? It's quite a Tarantino?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, that's an amazing, so I hold on.

Speaker 1:

Sorry, go ahead yeah.

Speaker 3:

I was just going to say that. When it came out, my first reaction as somebody who lived through that very dark episode I thought how could he make a movie about this? How horrible for everybody involved. How dare he. And then I was disturbed watching the movie, the portrayals of the people, and it seemed so. It's ridiculous. I mean this we're looking at Sharon Tate. She's going to be brutally massacred.

Speaker 3:

Exactly, and I was so disturbed by the whole thing. It took a long time for me to actually watch it, and then I realized this is the fairy tale version. That's why I said once upon a time that he completely inverted the reality of what had happened.

Speaker 1:

So did it win you over.

Speaker 3:

I thought the mechanism was really interesting and it made me then have to think, when I realized, when, finally, the light bulb went off and I realized this is a Hollywood fantasy version of history. Right, but to what end? Well, that's my question. That's what I don't know.

Speaker 1:

Okay, then let me give you a couple examples and maybe you'll connect the dots that I'm trying to make.

Speaker 3:

Let me just say that I suspect for, like my kids who saw it, one of my sons loves Tarantino For them who were not familiar with the history it was, they missed the fact that it was whitewash, that it was changed it Right, and I think that's a disservice.

Speaker 1:

Thank you. Well, look, I don't have a strong stance on this. I'm asking sincerely, and Virginia, did you see, or did either of you see wants to? No, I just said that. Did you either of you see the Netflix series Hollywood? It was about Scotty Bowers. I don't know if you know Scotty. Anyway, I actually met him in my neighbor. He was the Hollywood jiggaloo, I guess. He had a gas station and he cared to you name it, you name it Vivian Lee and all you know Catherine Hepburn, and he was dismissed for a long time. But now that most of the guilty have passed he's been exonerated and people are giving him a lot of credence. So, anyway, he ran a little gas station, he had male hustlers and he catered to a Hollywood clientele. Anyway it's. It was a Netflix series and you're watching it going well, this is clearly a what if? You know. That's why I call it aspirational. What if there was no racism in early Hollywood? What if and I mentioned him a minute ago Rock Hudson was free to be who he was? So it is uncomfortable for me.

Speaker 1:

I liked Tarantino. Let me say I loved Pulp Fiction. I thought it was genius. But he's hitting miss for me. So when he does like the Grindhouse films.

Speaker 1:

It's like, okay, you're really good at mimicking a genre stylistically, but that doesn't hold my attention. You got to be saying something. So he's hit and miss for me. What I will say is when you?

Speaker 1:

So when he did Inglourious Bastards again, maybe I'm uptight, but I thought you know I like when Mel Gibson plays, kind of ridicules Hitler because he's got a horse in the race and it's not appropriation, if that makes sense, I loved that. But somehow when Tarantino did it I thought, eh, do we get to play fast and loose with history? It seems too sacred to me, and I'm not even Jewish, you know what I mean. So I was uncomfortable with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, only because, yes, sharon Tate died with an embryo in her or whatever, with a fetus inside of her. So it just seemed a little too sacred for me to mess with. And I just wondered because one of your prompts was about the relationship between narrative and history If you feel like over time we're actually evolving these narratives to a point where the cautionary tale might get lost or sort of the value might get lost.

Speaker 2:

Um, not trying to get political, but like the one thing with the run, my where you're talking about that is the 1619 project that I know became really huge, especially, um, I want to say I think about during the COVID lockdowns.

Speaker 1:

What? I'm sorry, what is that? The?

Speaker 2:

1619 project. So it's basically, um, I'm not, I'm not going to say where my people stand, so I just might. I think this is my thing with that. Okay, so the 1619 project, which is of course Jamestown, which is the slavery storyline, so it's kind of I don't want to say it's rewriting American history, but it's focusing more on the negative side of history because of Jamestown, of course that's the South area and slavery and all of that and obviously horrible. But it started to overshadow the fact that in um the you know, plymouth Rock, which is the 1776, which you know kind of speaks more to some other stuff. So, um, where I'm going at that is both irrelevant, but everybody's like focusing more on Jamestown versus like Plymouth and like how that's a jectuary of how each colony viewed coming to the new world. You know one a little bit more of a positive light one more office was more impressive and negative.

Speaker 2:

And so when I see that kind of stuff happening, that bothers me because I think both are relative. It kind of goes back to like you know, ted, how you're sharing like the two stories of Hitler, like they're both important. You can't just focus on one versus the other, you need to tell both. And that's what I think is kind of the problem. When I see whitewash, I mean I mean let's just talk about Charlie and the chocolate factory, I mean we all know like well, yeah, the Oompa Loompah is the problematic.

Speaker 2:

uh, a goose, you can't. You know, he literally in there, they call him fat and it's like that's all being taken out of literature and it's like but that's how you know we're going to do a whole episode, right, we're talking about this but that's, that's so when you talk about.

Speaker 2:

that's why I'm like now going from more of an actual historical thing that's going on with our starting of our country to more of the fictional side. I mean, they're doing it with, they did it with Mark Twain stuff. You know, they've kind of cleaned it up. To me, I feel like when you do that, I see it as a way of erasing history and I because it doesn't matter if you're on the left, right in between, whatever I don't care. The point is is at that time when those stories were written, it speaks to how people viewed the world at that time and even if it's offensive now, we learn from that and if you erase it, you take it away. How do you learn, you know?

Speaker 1:

that's why I'm going back to like you know I'm. Tom Sawyer is the best example of that. Go ahead, ted.

Speaker 3:

I have something to say, of course, but I want to hear you know I was just going to say that a work of literature is a historical artifact. It's a product of, of you know, the culture and the time in which it was created. Any any right and to to edit and whitewash and erase what was in that work is denying what the, the historical moment was. If there's something problematic in it, that should be looked at in the as a cautionary tale, right Through a modern lens.

Speaker 3:

Right, and we were talking about gone with the wind before. I think it's important to look at a work like that and see what's disturbing, what's not disturbing, what are the multiple narratives that you can extract from that one work?

Speaker 2:

So here's one for you, cause this is like one of my favorite movies and I know being Crosby kind of has issues as a personal person, but putting that aside, so I love the movie holiday and I actually like a lot of being crossbred, but like white Christmas and holiday and are my two favorite movies and holiday and we all know that it talks about the different patriotic holidays of the U? S and one of them, of course, is about Abraham Lincoln and he comes out in blackface and that they now edit that out.

Speaker 1:

Right, well, a lot of the Disney films, right? The Tar Babies song of the self kind of get put in the vault yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and it's like, but that's a part of I mean, it's as horrible as it is now to look back and we know that it is something that we learn from you know, and so to me it's like you're taking away the fact like that's how they view things Doesn't make it okay, but that's how things were done back then and we've to me, I think it's also takes away our milestone markers of look how far we've come.

Speaker 3:

Right, right. So what do you guys think about trigger warnings? You know, in academia it's very common to say well, we're going to show that film, for example, and include the blackface scene, but you know we're going to give you this warning in advance and if you're uncomfortable then you know we have an alternative assignment, or things like that. What do you think?

Speaker 2:

about that that doesn't bother me. And so bringing up World War Two, the Holocaust, I remember my history teacher telling us the week that we were going into that we were going to actually watch real footage out of Germany from the Nazi party, where they it was live footage of the concentration camps. And he let us know it was going to be a trigger warning. I mean, I wanted to be there because I wanted to not miss and learn from that experience. But I had a lot of friends who weren't even Jewish. She were like I'm out of here.

Speaker 1:

Well, ted, you know, the first time we spoke, I think the first time you charmed me was at a diversity and inclusion meeting, you remember.

Speaker 3:

I remember being in those meetings and talking to you. I don't know if that was the first time that we spoke.

Speaker 1:

It could be Well, I do feel like. Anyway, it was a. It was a, it was an illustration department meeting and it was a diversity and inclusion meeting.

Speaker 3:

And I'll never forget, oh, the one, the yeah in the in the FDR.

Speaker 1:

Maybe, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Anyway, you may remember. Then there's a fellow, a colleague of mine, an illustration instructor that's got a good 15 years on me. I won't say any names, but you know we were talking about the nuances of diversity and inclusion and he spoke up in the middle of the meeting and said what the fuck is a microaggression? Like not even on his radar. It was so comical. So I'm a gen gen Xer, right, so I could be part of the problem, not the solution. But I would ask a question I know you're not supposed to answer a question with a question but safe spaces, like have we gone too far with trigger warnings and safe spaces? Because at some point will the cautionary tale be lost? So I would ask you, short of PTSD, what is the worst thing that could happen when somebody's triggered? You know what I mean. Is it actually PTSD sorry, ptsd, that that we're worrying about here, or what? What's the worst that could happen?

Speaker 3:

One of the problems in in college post-secondary education. We're supposed to push people out of their comfort zone.

Speaker 1:

We're supposed to challenge people especially at an art school, when art's entire role is to provoke. Go on.

Speaker 3:

Exactly and and so, in some cases, trigger warnings. It defeats the purpose of what a class is supposed to be. I don't have an answer because I think it's a tricky question sometimes, but I see a lot of people where it's almost like the whitewashing you're talking about. We're going to make sure we don't have anything that anybody could possibly find offensive. It's all just plain white bread with no crust.

Speaker 1:

I think it's ironic at an art school when art is there to provoke. Sorry, go on.

Speaker 2:

This is what goes through my mind. I'm going to use Little Mermaid. I'm a huge Grim and Andrew Cushion Anderson fan. I have the complete works of both. I know the real story of the Little Mermaid. I was excited when Disney did it, knowing it was going to be Disney All sunshine and rainbows, which is not the true story of the Little Mermaid. Because she does not marry Prince Eric. She dies, I think of, like Aesop Fables. Why were those stories written back then? It was exactly what you guys were talking about. It was to help people learn and not whitewash and put them in these little bubbles.

Speaker 1:

I use Pocahontas as an example, since we're talking about my employer of 11 years, disney feature animation. I never defend Disney, but now that we're talking about hey, what is the responsibility that comes with sanitizing? I call it idealizing. Disney's brand is to idealize. I see a lot of beauty in that. Actually, back in decades past, I think the aspirational imagery was actually a good thing. In some ways, pocahontas it's the same thing. She didn't marry John Smith. It was an entirely different settler that she married. She was taken back to England and she died of syphilis. I don't think that makes for a really good plush doll with Disney merchandising.

Speaker 2:

It's not the happily ever after ending that of Disney's going for, but it's true. When you think about trigger warnings, I think it's important to. I think somebody has a good reason Going like what you're saying, dominic, about the PTSD thing. For example, I talked about my history class how our professor in college was like, hey, we're going to see real footage from the Nazi party. I could tell if somebody was Jewish and had a family member that they've heard the stories from who was in the concentration camps.

Speaker 1:

I was very sincerely asking. When it comes to transgenerational or intergenerational trauma, there are very real triggers. It could trigger PTSD, but where do we draw the line?

Speaker 2:

That's what I was going to say. I think that's a real reason to believe. But, like I said, I had college friend students who were not Jewish, who literally didn't have, as you always say, a horse in the race. They were just like I'm out because they just didn't want to see a comfortable.

Speaker 1:

The question is what is the motivation? For I think we live in a litigious society. We're walking on eggshells for the wrong reasons. That's my only objection.

Speaker 2:

Well, you're right.

Speaker 1:

I was at Art Center from 1985. I went to Saturday High in 1985. I went there from 89 to 91. I then founded their entertainment track and taught there for over 20 years. So in total it's an over 30 year relationship with that school. I saw all the changes, I saw the reasons it changed when I was there from 89 to 91, yes, there was one instructor that you know. You're painting naked bodies all day right, so all bets are pretty much off right, you're just there to paint naked bodies. He made the mistake in a crit of saying the two words together zucchini breast. The parents got involved. It was the first time you really saw parents coming to campus and getting involved. Now, right, helicopter parents swoop at the drop of a hat, but this was the first time we ever saw it. And, yeah, the department chair of course did not support this individual and he was booted. But it's been a progression of the tale coming to wag the dog, in my opinion, if that makes sense.

Speaker 2:

I agree with you. I think sometimes we worry too much about everybody's feelings, which makes it we worry about everybody's feelings and, yeah, we go too far, because everybody can stay there offended.

Speaker 1:

My contention is we're not worried about their feelings, we're worried about their litigious parents.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and that too.

Speaker 3:

But that is a reality. I mean, it's funny. You're talking about having nude models and we had to deal with an issue where somebody signed up for a life-drying class I don't remember if it was Brian painting photography but they were not expecting nude models.

Speaker 1:

Were, they triggered.

Speaker 3:

Yes, they were triggered Really, yes, wow, which led to the reaction for most people like this is an art school Everybody knows. Well, that person didn't know, and long story short is, we came to the conclusion that for the classes like what used to be called Art Center for Teens or Saturday High, we've got it's gone through several names. But Public programs, those yeah, that's another old name oh really, yeah, those kinds of classes, okay, they don't have nude models, and then the credit ones do, and so there's a mention of that in the catalog. Yeah, we have less color.

Speaker 1:

Flesh colored thongs, and that was way back in, like I said, 85 flesh colored thongs which I found more obscene, right Than the beautiful naked body God gave us. I found it obscene, but anyway that nudity is neither here nor there.

Speaker 3:

That's a whole other. We can talk for a long time about that too.

Speaker 2:

But no, I do agree, dominic, with you. I think that sometimes we do go too far, because we're trying to be everything to everybody and you can't.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah. And again, I just feel like the reasons are a little skewed. It's that we're litigious and we're protecting people. I mean, here's another way of looking at it too, and it is related to the role of storytelling a little bit. Right, there are crucibles in life where we are out of our comfort zone, where we are being challenged and actually we might have cognitive dissonance that's demanding to be sort of synthesized right To opposing thought forms that are meant to be synthesized. If we start sanitizing life to the degree that we no longer have to resolve that cognitive dissonance, we never arrive in new territory. It's called emotional maturation and spiritual maturity. Right, If we Sorry, I'm preaching a little bit but if we take, If we remove all those crucibles from our path, there's no growth to be had. So I'm not playing the Gen Xer Like, oh, like we've talked about it, oh, I drank out of the hose and I haven't grown a third arm Like go ahead and eat dirt It'll.

Speaker 1:

Your immune system will flourish Like none of that. But yes, my opinion is we've gone a bit too far and maybe there's some growth that we're being robbed of right. When I mean you're a parent, ted, I have 22 nieces and nephews. I've watched them all grow up and I'm not kidding. Art Center has started recruiting directly from high school, so I've seen the changes with each incoming generation. My generation tends to try it's like every generation give their kids what they didn't get. So if we were famously un-parented as latchkey kids, maybe you people You're a little older, ted, but maybe my brothers and sisters and peers are over-parenting you can't protect your child from everything in life. They've got to stumble and get back up, am I right?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and as a parent, that's One of the difficult decisions is at what point do I let them make their own mistakes Right and what things do I want to tell them in advance? And it's an ongoing situation. Exactly, it's interesting. I have twins. They're 19. They're in their second year of college. They, in many ways, they are legally their adults and in many ways, they are on their own as adults, and yet for many things they ask our permission for stuff that they don't have to.

Speaker 1:

It's not like asking Well, they want their input, right.

Speaker 3:

Well, no, they will literally ask for permission, which is different than input. So input, I was talking with my son, who's here right now, about housing for next year, and so that was input. It's like I've got this option, that option, these roommates, those roommates what do you think? That's great and that's a different conversation. But when? Oh, can I buy X? Do you have the money? Then you can buy it or not, up to you, but they'll ask permission on some things.

Speaker 1:

What is that? What is that? And?

Speaker 3:

I take this class. Well, that's up to you. Do you want to take that class? Does it fit? But so they're transitioning and you want to as a parent, you want to? Oh, let me fix that for you.

Speaker 3:

Let me do that for you, let me help you, because I don't want you to have to suffer on anything ever. But that's not helping them if I do that for everything, because it's going to hurt them. They need to learn how to stand on their own two feet, which is I'm very glad to see that they are doing that, but it's trickier. And even though I mean I'm tailing the baby boom, I'm a generation before you.

Speaker 2:

So you're the young boomer, I'm a young boomer.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it's funny because when that became slang my kids would call my wife hey boomer. You'd say that to her more and she's not a boomer.

Speaker 1:

Oh right, how did that go over?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, she didn't like that. But I would say, hey, that's me, I'm a boomer.

Speaker 1:

Have we run the numbers? Ted? I feel like you're my aunt's age. I haven't aunted.

Speaker 3:

I was born in 61.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I was going to say so, like to get a perspective, because I'm a gen X with Dominic, I think I'm what nine years younger than you. I was born in 75. Anyways. So I have a 27 year old, I have an 18 year old, both are going to be 28 and 19 soon, which is going to be weird. And then I have a stepmom who's literally 12 years older than me. So she was. I don't know what would that be? That'd be 63 when she was born.

Speaker 1:

Actually that's my oldest sister is 63. So she's two years younger than you, Ted. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

So I will sit and have conversations with my stepmom quite a bit, because I have siblings who are like 14 and more younger than me. Like Louie, I have a brother or sister around my oldest child's age and so we'll talk. And it's interesting to see the difference between her parenting style versus mine, because I'm a latchkey kid. I grew up with very little supervision. Growing up, I mean, I legitimately was a latchkey kid and I can tell that I have to be better about not doing the helicopter thing because, like, for example, my oldest is 27, going on 28, hasn't lived in my house for six years and we'll still like, hey, is it okay if I do this? I'm going, you're almost 30, you know, but I want to like, give them an answer. And I'm like, and I can't give you an answer because you're almost 30. But then my soon to be 19 year old, who lives in my house last night we're all at dinner turns to me and is like hey, I'm going to put this application to.

Speaker 2:

So I don't, you know, because I kind of want to get on my own and live in the dorm and basically be, whether they are RA or whatever the you know people will receive, like all the people on the dorm. Yeah, and she wasn't asking, she was just letting us know what she's going to do and all of a sudden, like her dad and I was looking at her like well, let's talk about this, and I had to stop Cause I'm like she's technically adult, she's been in college for a year under our roof and she just wants to, like this is like a safe way for her to kind of get out on her own but not be too far from home and not have that added expense, cause obviously she gets room work for free. And I'm going okay, don't, don't do it, don't tell her, we'll know. So, yeah, it's kind of interesting how that happens.

Speaker 1:

Well, I hope there's a parallel here, cause I think this is the definition of a tangent, but it seems a little reflective of, like we said, the climate of trying to protect ourselves from everything all the time. So I'm a graceful way to trace that back to story.

Speaker 2:

Well, the story is is, you know, like talking about the parenting, and just you know how we're talking about you know, trigger warnings and stuff Like that's the same thing when we're even as writers, you know, or someone who's a scriptwriter, or yeah.

Speaker 1:

That's the episode we've talked about. Doing is like the walking on egg shuls thing.

Speaker 2:

We tend to start to, I think, internally censor ourselves because we're yeah, I think comedy.

Speaker 1:

Comedy is the most pronounced genre and format in which the art suffers. When you have to walk on eggshells in comedy, it just falls flat. So yeah, thank God I'm not out to please all the people all the time and I hope you know the pendulum swings too. I think we're wrecking. Most people are recognizing it's gone too far. And what goes out with the bathwater right, Nuance? I'm going to write a whole book about nuance. Remember nuance? Yeah, Everything gets forced into some binary category. That's often political. You remember during the pandemic Q tip, somehow they politicized a Q tip, I remember how.

Speaker 1:

I wrote it down. I don't remember. I was like that's, that's it, that's the straw that broke the camel's back.

Speaker 2:

Well, here's what let's talk about. You know the mask and I think you think about, like in a lot of Asian cultures, when they're sick. That's been something they've done for years. And then all of a sudden, when people are told like you must wear a mask, goes like you're taking away my rights. I'm going wait what. Like, okay, you're getting a little, and I mean, you know, obviously the vice versa would be said, but you get my point, like because culturally we weren't, it wasn't something we were used to.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean, we read it as socially awkward. I have a neighbor that spent time in Japan and she's right at home. She wears her mask all day, every day, and she wouldn't have it any other way. You take off your shoes when you go into her apartment. Yeah, and it seems socially awkward to us through our lens. Anyway, ted, I feel like you. You have a lot to say. We will wrap it up very soon, but I feel like you're biting your tongue.

Speaker 3:

No, actually, to be honest, I can hear that my wife and my son have come home.

Speaker 1:

I figured, yeah, we should wrap it up, but I think we always have plenty to talk about and there are a few things on this list I've thought about way back on. I'm using this list of including relics and of actual historical fiction based on the facts. And I would love to have it on to. Maybe we'll好 and do it I think when.

Speaker 3:

I come around I have the fifth one in the list. I know you're part of Toria.

Speaker 1:

I know you know you know, I know one of the reasons that you know me is because you know the things that I like to do. So Ikk again, I'm like you know they are. I don't care, I'm not going down down side in the top of BC Ещеnmore, but gesehen in silver and obviously that has.

Speaker 3:

on that, I would love to come back. It's a pleasure to talk with both of you.

Speaker 2:

Well, thank you.

Speaker 1:

Thank you so much, yeah, and we'll do more exercises next time too.

Speaker 2:

No, I like that. I think it helped us kind of get our juices fun and starting to think about things in new ways, which goes back to which is another thing we can obviously come back to, because I know we kind of touched on it. But earlier in the green room when Ted and I were talking, you know the whole confirmation bias about you know going back to the art center that when you have so many and again of course you know trigger warnings and worrying too much about safe spaces that we get that confirmation bias. Because we were kind of talking about that a little bit in the green room before we got started in the episode and I think that all kind of we will, we will wrap up, but I'm not sure I quite follow that.

Speaker 1:

So trigger safe spaces and trigger warnings confirm biases in some way All kind of ties in.

Speaker 2:

You can kind of look at all that where you start getting a lot of like oh, like you live in a bubble If you're in a protected family. Yeah, so therefore you start going into that confirmation bias kind of mentality, yep.

Speaker 1:

We'll fix it all the podcast and the book. We're going to fix it all. Anyway, thank you so much, ted. So we have. Do you have any links? Do you have anything you want to promote? I actually didn't realize that you were a writer to that degree.

Speaker 3:

So I have not published any work of fiction for many, many decades. It's you know, when I have some free time I try to write some stuff, and you know I'm getting to the age where retirement shouldn't be too far in the future. I have to deal with kids in college and stuff first, but then then I want to focus on that. That's what I want to dedicate my time to.

Speaker 1:

Man, I support you in that 100% yeah absolutely. That sounds like heaven.

Speaker 3:

No, it would be great. So I have. I'm just gradually amassing things that at some point, you know, I share with some friends and then at some point I want to try to see about, you know, publishing and doing more and all that. But right now I've got. I, you know, got to pay the bills, got to do?

Speaker 1:

It's a common problem.

Speaker 2:

Well, we thank you for coming on.

Speaker 3:

Well, thank you so much for having me, and I do. I would love to do this again, so you'll be a regular. We'll be in touch and you know my wife can can attest to the fact that I can talk for ever.

Speaker 1:

We depend on that. I've actually said my sister you remember, virginia, I said you are our best guest because you're a great combination of expertise, but accessible, right, and then just profound insights but, above all, a conversationalist. You know it's no fun to pull teeth. So thank I. Thank God, ted, you're awesome.

Speaker 3:

Well, thank you, okay, and it's been so much fun.

Speaker 1:

All right, we'll talk soon. And to our listeners, thank you for tuning in and remember life is story and we can get our hands in the clay, individually and collectively. We can write our own story. Take care.

Academic Background and Language Learning
The Connection Between Story and History
Perspectives on History and Truth
Art, Propaganda, and Intent
Interpretation and Meaning in Literature
Interpretation and Intention in Literature
Aspirational Storytelling and Historical Responsibility
Limits of Trigger Warnings and Safe Spaces Debate
Parenting Styles and Cultural Differences
Expressing Gratitude and Future Collaboration