On this episode of the podcast, we discuss how to determine if something is art or entertainment, the main philosophical points of Immanuel Kant, the differences between the literary genres of modernism and postmodernism, “Conflation” by Frank Marcopolos, and “Peter Elroy: A Documentary by Ian Casey” by Elizabeth McCracken. “Conflation” is part of the 10-story collection entitled INFINITE ENDING, which can be purchased by clicking this very link.

Approximate time stamps and general topics of discussion are listed below:

0:00 Frank’s intro to the podcast, including a clever pitch to entice you into buying INFINITE ENDING: TEN STORIES

2:39 General group discussion, including an experience with an Austin-loving woman, themoth.org, oral storytelling, different art forms, Spaulding Gray, spoken word, poetry being too subjective, what it means to do art, what it means when a society doesn’t know the difference between entertainment and art, review of the stories performed recently in Austin Texas, professional storytelling and art, Story Core, objective rules of art forms, Bruno Kirby’s oratory skills, Howard Stern, Wallace Shawn, Bill Hicks, stand-up comedy, Synanon, therapy, being a show-off, art vs. entertainment (again), genre writing, expectations of the performances, Austin vs. New York art scenes, story about female rights and China’s cultural attitudes toward women, Christmas cake, sentimental crap, Duchamp and the urinal in a museum, Campbell’s soup can as art, Crabby Appleton, complaining about the complainable, the craft movement, Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, academics’ ability to judge the rules of art, sentimentality vs. emotionality, melodrama, mawkishness, maudlin, marriages breaking up, more on the China lady’s story, Raymond Carver, Richard Ford, David Eggers, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, driving on the Pacific Coast Highway, and Serial podcast.

30:46 Group discussion of article on Modernism and Postmodernism, including the confidence of modernism, materialism, numenal, phenomenal, Kant, phenomenology, this bottle is apprehended phenomenologically, Kant’s argument for God, objectivism, subjectivism, Socrates, the Socratic method, killing Socrates, Lacan the French neo-Freudian, the subconscious reaction to the unknowable, Nietzsche, Western and Eastern philosophy, gnosticism, Elphius Levi, Martin Buber, Spinoza, Swindberg, Thomas Aquinas, Kierkegaard, John Stuart Mill, Einstein, Foucault, structuralism, post-structuralism, Passion of the Western Mind, Sophie’s World, Will Durant – The History of Philosophy, Swerve by Greenblatt, Terence McKenna’s podcast, getting out of the limits of our 5 senses, DMT, ayahuasca, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Hunter S. Thompson, mescaline, Buddhists, transcendental meditation, science as a way to understand reality, Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, science as a narrowing down of philosophy, The Matrix, reality as everything being an illusion, Hume, “Nothing is 100% true,” Ayn Rand, pragmatism, heart transplants, epigenetics, Jules Verne, higher consciousness, Robert Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Childhood’s End, autistic children, TMI, modernism (again), making it new in art, postmodernism is a recycling of old things, postmodernism acknowledges this recycling, going to the moon, Stanley Kubrick, what art truly is, wasted genius, practice and flow, being a craftsman, flash mobs, Roland Barthe, deconstructing, social objects, Heraclitus, the relativity of time, Heigel, World War 2, technology in culture, Starbucks, making the world smaller, and impatience.

1:11:21 Group discussion of “Conflation” by Frank Marcopolos, including enjoying the first paragraph, body/mind fissures, language, bullshit, not being an actual critique, bothersome sentence structure, really enjoying and interested in the story, enjoyable sentence structure, painkillers, not comprehending the ending, being in a lot of trouble, scolding the author, enjoying the idea of the dichotomy of body and mind, Jacob’s Ladder, tomatoes and oranges, and “Eroticoffica” by Frank Marcopolos.

1:16:15 Group discussion of the Elizabeth McCracken story (“Peter Elroy: A Documentary by Ian Casey,”) including length, feeling like a real story, plot summary, having questions at the end, Chris Rock, people needing and wanting to be offended so that they can then rant and rave on social media and wallow in their self-righteousness, and more plot discussion.

1:23:33 End of Podcast

Posted by Frank Marcopolos

Frank Marcopolos founded "The Whirligig" literary magazine in 1999, which has been called "a landmark, demonstrating the power of the literary underground." It has been said that "you get this true lion-roaring sense that Editor Frank Marcopolos knows what he likes, and how to read, and how to publish, and he has guts, and eats insects on Wheaties with bleach." His long-form fiction has been reviewed with such praise as "thorough-goingly entertaining" and "highly readable...recalls the style of Michael Chabon or John Irving. A literary gem that should not be missed." A broadcasting-school graduate, his unique literary-audio work has been featured in movie trailers, scholastic environments, and on YouTube, with one of his audiobooks achieving over 100,000 "views" there.

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