Virtue in the Wasteland Podcast

Marcos Ruiz brought the guys out to Miami Florida, to a pig roast at Grenada Presbyterian Church for a live recording, to launch the books Sexy and Monsters. Audience Q&A.


Direct download: Sex_Drugs_Religion_Live.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

What if we stopped focussing on abstractions and ideologies, and took a moment to consider virtue? Virtue is often defined literally as manliness--the Romans equated virtue with heroic human excellence. Since manliness means something a bit different, we discuss being humane, and consider how our culture could benefit from humanizing issues that are otherwise seen as abstractions. We go through an exercise where we consider several classic virtues and see whether Trump exhibits them. All in good fun.


Direct download: Virtue_Means_Humanliness.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Factors related to whether you or someone you care about should go on to a formal BA or grad degree, now that you've graduated. What college alternatives exist? What about going to Europe? Should you take a gap year?

Dan and Jeff won't answer these questions for you, but they will invite you to freely ask yourself who you really are and what that means for the next phase of life.

Direct download: Fourth_Annual_Graduation_Special.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Dan and Jeff do a short introductory discussion about divorce and the difference between Pharisees and Jesus on this matter. Some follow up about Dan's relationship and the status of the books. Then they shift to a long form interview with the girlfriend of Jeff's son Auggie (who you heard back in the old days from time to time, and the bass player in the opening/closing music). Her name is Sydnie, was the child of divorce, and didn't tell us exactly how she would answer questions before we pushed "record." So check out what she says. This ain't theory, but rather an honest reflection on life after a broken marriage.

Direct download: Divorce_and_Its_Effects.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

This is part two of a new focus, and this is where it gets a bit heavy. Don't give in to despair.

Check out for more information on Sexy: The Quest for Erotic Virtue in Perplexing Times and for more information on Monsters: Addiction, Hope, Ex-Girlfriends, and Other Dangerous Things.




Direct download: If_Books_Could_Kill_Part_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:01pm PDT

After four years, Virtue in the Wasteland reboots, starting a new focus on sex, drugs, and religion, with a conversation between Jeff and Stacie Mallinson and Dan and Beth Anne van Voorhis, in the Gramercy Park Hotel, in New York.

The first part gives some of the back story and there's some playfulness. The second part may get a bit more uncomfortable. But despite the changes long time listeners might notice, the end should be familiar. Take heart.

Check out for show notes and cool links.

Direct download: If_Books_Could_Kill_Part_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Sometimes, we feel the need to defend great artifacts and contributors to culture. But why not let them speak for themselves, whatever the critics may think?

We return to some reflections on a Father John Misty concert, discuss the cultural significance of Saturday Night live, explore the importance of a sixteenth century painter who's wilder than Dali.  Enjoy.

Direct download: No_Excuses_Needed.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Joel talks about the upcoming Crosswise Institute event in Irvine, transhumanism, robots, embodiment, and his trip to Iceland.

Direct download: Robot_Salad_and_the_Importance_in_Virtue_in_the_Coming_Age.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Father John Misty (the moniker for Josh Tillman, former drummer of the Fleet Foxes) dropped his third album Pure Comedy, through Sub Pop records this last week. Dan and Jeff discuss the cultural significance of this album, which is a contribution to the conversation about religion, politics, and technological culture today. Tillman reportedly was reading Zizek's Living in the End Times during the recording of the album. That book was part of a Virtue in the Wasteland "class" Dan and Jeff taught last year. Thus, it brings together ViW's favorite themes: where we are going culturally, whether everything will indeed be ok in the end, religion, philosophy, ideology, politics, and well-written pop music.

This may not be for everyone, but you may want to listen even if Father John Misty isn't your style. This is because he taps into a very real concern young people (but not just young people) are raising about why it seems so often that conservative religious people act "like godless animals."

By the way, the album cover is interesting: it is like a modern take on Hieronymus Bosch.


Direct download: Pure_Comedy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

This wraps up our series on the Reformation outside of German lands.

Direct download: Going_Dutch_Hard_Core_Calvinism_and_the_Spanish_Inquisition_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT