Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Mental Illness 2 (Stranded between Brilliance and Madness)


Teets remind Justine of the trend toward natural births, taking place at home instead of in a hospital, where pregnancy is considered something that requires treatment. Zach agrees, pointing out that the medical profession tries to find illnesses where there are none. A way to consummate its role in the world. He mentions Eleanor Longden’s Ted Talk, Hearing Voices:

 

http://www.ted.com/talks/eleanor_longden_the_voices_in_my_head?language=en

 

Ethan tries to run away, but Zach and Justine take his shoes taken away. And Zach tells the story of how he was involuntarily committed to a mental hospital right before the White Light experience. He wanted to escape to London, to get away from the membrane of Philadelphia. But they never would have let him into the U.K. with that sort of attitude! Ethan, on the other hand, once thought he was in The Truman Show. And Justine wanted to escape to Seattle where she would be the next big thing…basically the equivalent of the lovechild between Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. 

 

God talks to the Trio! “Don’t fly too close to the sun,” he says. Descartes doubts whether this is God, or whether it is a voice in their heads. “People crave the logos!” Descartes objects. And Ethan believes him, insisting that insanity has an origin everyone experiences during their lives. Zach actually went THROUGH the origin of mental illness and came out the other side. Ever since then, he has been a devotee of the White Light, bravely wielding the sword of brightness. But Justine the Grey counter-attacks and Zach the White is stunned into abasement. He is returned all at once to his days as Clark Kent, a dreaded normie. 

 

Despite his reduced state, Zach still manages to piss Ethan off, when he suggests that hospitals are not actually trying to help people. But Justine comes to the rescue by pointing out that mental illness is as much a social phenomenon as it is a physical or emotional one. The show ends, as it began, with everyone realizing that the opposite of comedy is porn. 

 

For some interesting and harrowing tales of mental illness, check out the following book, from the Icarus Project:

 

http://www.theicarusproject.net/navigating-space-reader-printer-version-available-online

 

 


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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Mental Illness 1 (One Flew Over the Normie's Nest)


Special guest and friend of the show Justine Parks is on tonight’s program! The Trio is scandalized by the presence of this 3rd (or is it 4th?) person. Yes, that’s right, it’s a regular quartet tonight. But don’t worry, there won’t be any barbershop numbers. Or will there…!?!…Nope, definitely won’t be.

 

The Ethan, Zach, and Justine Quartet share their experiences with mental illness and the mental healthcare system. The gang defines what a “normie” is, joins the Heaven’s Gate cult, debates the merits of mental illness as a concept, wanks it at the mall, and gets in touch with their inner-dwarf.

 

Zach insists on introducing Justine live on the air. And Ethan insists on not editing any episode. Ever! Which leads everyone into a Hot Tub Time Machine, a movie whose title betrays its complexity. Zach claims that he’s a card-carrying mental illness professional. Justine defines her own circle of non-normies, and together they adopt Mad Pride.

 

Do we have HAVE bipolar? Or ARE we bipolar? This is an all-important question. Are mental illnesses separate from us? Or are we partially defined by them? Justine maintains the latter, and Zach walks under it, mistaking it for a ladder. As it turns out, all four of us were locked in the loony bin for a while. But it wasn’t like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Because we all eventually got out.  

 

Lastly, Ethan doesn’t want to poop on Sigmund Freud. Justine discovers the opposite of comedy is porn. And Zach has a thing, but forgets it, and finds a slide whistle instead. 

 

 


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Friday, April 24, 2015

Stalin, for Starters 4 (The Divine Right of Delusion)


Zach and Ethan talk about the Glenn Greenwald lecture, which can be found here:

 

http://www.ted.com/talks/glenn_greenwald_why_privacy_matters?language=en

 

Ethan confesses that he wants to be seen naked. Steve Jobs and Jesus - real Americans - take a gander at Ethan’s bare booty. Zach reveals the seedy underbelly of the paranoia around privacy. Namely, that people are afraid of being normal, unoriginal, and boring. And the notion of being watched spoils the false assumption that we are all special. The NSA is aborting the creative potential of the American psyche. Which is worse - abortions or spies?

 

Zach claims that America is a bunch of white people who killed a bunch of Native Americans. Ethan, once again misses the point about the Native Americans, and instead maintains that being spied upon actually makes someone feel special. And furthermore, once you’re exposed, you become famous. Don’t ever give the finger to the Mother Gandhi Theresa. Cuz you might become famous in a bad way!

 

What happens when you’re caught masturbating? Do you feel boring? Lewd? Special? What’s the difference between masturbation and murder? Never mind! Forget murder! Ethan and Zach disagree about the origin of the concern over privacy. But what else is new! Mitt Romney and Mel Gibson make a guest appearance, to offer their viewpoint as people who have been caught being a-holes.

 

 

The Trio ends with a question: Is it a good thing that mental health can be preserved by illusions? But before they can answer, a bomb drops! Ethan changes his mind about the myth of paradise. It turns out the paradise is attainable. And that all things come back to the matrix. In other words, the decision Cypher makes to eat the steak sums it all up. The illusion is pretty compelling, but Cypher is also the bad guy, so what do we do? I d’know. What we do know is that there is a 1:3 correlation between Neo and Steve Jobs. 


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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Stalin, for Starters 3 (The NSA Speaks!)


Just when Zach and Ethan start to get complacent, the SWAT team crashes in! The NSA has a fly on the wall. The lost cinema of Germany seems to play an integral role in all of this, but Ethan fails to see Zach’s point. Zach insists that the Nazis were like a cool boy-band. They were this ultimate fear: that the government will use its information to become a tyranny. 

 

In other news, fear of the NSA is just a two-year-old playing it up. Seeking a paradise lost, or at the very least, a return to paradise and the golden age. Diapers are merely a way to closet in the necessary excrement of the baby. Anal retention leads to a banishment from paradise. Keeping the shit from coming out of their asses is a baby’s way of succumbing to the pressure of the “No,” otherwise known as “The name of the father,” if we ask Lacan. 

 

There is a sense of mutuality between tight-asses, which is the necessary cause of anti-social disorder. Coming home is the only way to find peace. To this end, Zach claims he's never out of ideas. Zach questions Ethan's motive. Harry Houdini is an apt example that supports Zach’s point of view. And Whale Polo is the greatest sport of all time! So everyone wins. 

 

Ethan gives up hope of making his point, so instead resorts to empty truisms like: “Freakin data!” Finally, an actual NSA employee-that’s right, a real member of the NSA-makes his way to the stage. Sir Robertson Dandaniel finally makes his claim to fame. Despite his flippant accent, Dandaniel is an authority with which to speak! Zach interrogates him, but he's plump as a plum!

 

 

 


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Monday, April 20, 2015

Stalin, for Starters 2 (We Live For the Applause)


Moulin Rouge is the Khmer Rouge plus time…or timing. Either way, in this part of the conversation about privacy, Ethan pronounces French very badly. Zach and Lady Gaga both live for the Applause! And they both sing like angels. People denounce being spied on and at the same time want to be rescued from not being important enough to be spied on. This is known as the cult of celebrity, and it is pervasive. Nevertheless, many people who become famous resent the fact that they lose their privacy. Eminem is one such example, but an example that forces Ethan to admit that he doesn’t know what he wants. Nor who he is.

 

Zach thinks he's naturally famous, and does himself no favors by admitting it. But he recognizes his motive as being one and the same as Lady Gaga. Ethan thinks there's a natural desire, among performers, to be seen. There is also a desire to peer inside others. Zach tries to talk about porn, but fails. What’s so bad about porn? What kind of porn is Zach talking about, where women get duped. Ethan auditions for his job at UrbanDictionary.com. And there’s a whole lot of discussion about slang words for lady parts.

 

Ethan lays down the arguments against privacy. That is, the arguments on the side of “It’s not so bad.” All the benefits we get from technology come with a cost. Not to mention, the doozy argument: "Why worry about privacy if you've got nothing to hide?” Ethan also argues for a moderately sized government. Which is to say, a larger than small-sized government. The sort of government a libertarian would hate. Ethan suggests that the current state of affairs is one of our own making, and he maintains that we are moving in the right direction. But he knows his argument will offend some people. Most notably, Zach!

 

And it wouldn’t be an episode of The Ethan and Zach Trio if our two heroes didn’t fight over the sound-effect machine. In this episode, Zach gives Ethan the steering wheel. And Ethan finally discovers the magic of the device, so he compares it to Vladimir Putin.

 

 


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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Stalin, for Starters 1 (Privacy, and the Peeping Tom of Oz)


You should be feeling verrryy nervous by now! Ethan and Zach think the audience is invading their privacy. The psychology of being spied upon is explored, whether this spying occurs voluntarily (like with a self-imposed recording device meant for a podcast) or against one’s will (like with the regimes of Joseph Stalin and Saddam Hussein). For a more cogent and singular dialogue about this topic, check out Glenn Greenwald's TED talk. 

 

What are the chances that America will ever become a Stalinist tyranny? Ethan says there’s nary a possibility, and maintains that the whole privacy hoopla of the modern age is overly dramatic, and rhetorically treacherous. Zach tries to insist that, from the perspective of the Native Americans, America IS a Salinist tyranny, but Ethan's white privilege ignores him. On the other hand, Ethan may have just learned to tune Zach out. Meanwhile, Zach is making a shawl, that will double as a shower curtain and, on rare occasions, a shovel. Point is, Zach chose a topic that is safe, because he holds no controversial opinions about it. Ethan is worried about offending liberals and conservatives alike!

 

John Oliver shows what really matters by demonstrating that people don’t even know who Edward Snowden is. And yet, they don’t want to show their genitals to the government. What kind of world are we living in! Ethan asks Zach to stop pushing his buttons, then tries to push Zach’s buttons, but fails. The NSA is the Peeping Tom of Oz. What's the difference between being picked up by Stalin's goons, and having your reputation destroyed on the internet? Is it death? Exile? Or will Zach consider a more morbid example involving a trash bag and body parts? 

 

The Star Wars Kid makes a special guest appearance. And for those of you who have given up on the internet for reasons of privacy, the Star Wars Kid is a viral YouTube video in which a Kid swings around a fake lightsaber in the spirit of Star Wars. He nearly falls on his face, making audiences all over the world laugh Schadenfreudally. Ethan questions whether or not he knew that the camera was on when he swung his lightsaber so enthusiastically. Ethan swings his lightsaber on a daily basis, hoping that someone is watching. But no one ever is.

 

There's an instinctual desire for privacy. Zach describes the human soul as cute and little. Ethan's large, furry soul takes offense. This drama is the real crucifixion of the human being living under a Stalinist regime. The myth of paradise is held by many cultures. Ethan says that this is not a new problem, that as far back as civilizations goes, there was an invasion of privacy and a myth of paradise. Zach hates the fact that he agrees with Ethan. Finally, the relationship between the "Paradise Instinct" and the modern fear of having your privacy invaded is explored. Zach has something interesting to say, but Ethan cuts him off.

 

 

 


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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The White Light 3 (Incest, Magic, and Bullscrement)


In the final part of the saga, Ethan and Zach dissolve almost completely into the White Light. Zach asserts that he has a superiority complex, wrought by The White Light, and that it’s okay. Because a superiority complex is a way to neutralize social interactions, by alerting the other person to your character flaws. He further asserts that it all starts in middle school. Ethan wants to be part of the in-group, so he agrees with him. 

 

But no sooner has Ethan agreed, Zach insists that incest is okay. Yes, that’s right. In light of The White Light, one can SPEAK of incest WITHOUT the necessary HATRED in the debauched rhetoric of those shadowy others. Ethan strongly accuses Zach of claiming to be a god...nay, being one! 

 

But Zach instead speaks about ram folklore and the greek alphabet. First, we discuss the legend of the two rams dueling it out on a log over a chasm (You’ll have to tune it to see how this story ends!) And then, we analyze some greek letters. In short,

 

Zach=omega=outcast wolf

 

Ethan=epsilon=dueling rams

 

The Third Person=delta=The Bullscrement

 

 

 


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Sunday, April 12, 2015

White Light 2 (A Tunnel at the End of the White Light)


Just when the White Light is too bright to bear, a wormhole takes Ethan and Zach to Morgan Freeman, of all people. Along the way, a Jedi is born, Ethan exhibits the beauty that a difference can make, and Zach resists the temptation to shuffle off this mortal Trio. We hear the sound of a trumpet upon entering the realm of Psychology. Just when all is lost, Jesus comes back with his hit song, the Resurrection Swing. Zach points out how vastly limited people are by thinking they're alive. The Hindus score a point against the Christians. Sleep is scientifically proven to be the White Goo in question, and Grey is the new Orange.


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Friday, April 10, 2015

The White Light 1 (Life, Death, and the In-Between)


In tonight’s episode, Zach reveals the story behind the white light. In his early 20s, Zach was drugged against his knowledge. What resulted would catapult him down a careening path of non-committal sooth-seeking. Zach’s white light has shaped who he is and gotten him to this point. So it must be worth a listen, right?

 

Well, Ethan thinks otherwise. Ethan offers his own explanation of the white light as a near-death experience, knowledge, or the essence and source of sight. He suggests that the white light is underlying all of matter, and that it represents a unification of body and spirit. Zach, on the other hand, sees all of matter, every profession, and every sector of society as a different color in the rainbow. 

 

This episode features a varied array of non-sequiturs. Come, here us speak of Joseph Campbell, The Matrix, Cake, Queen, and that hot new band: Queen Cake. Comedy Bang Bang makes a special guest appearance. Not to mention, that old adage from the film: Le Film de Lego. “Everything is Awesome!!!” 

 

Lastly, Ethan and Zach discuss optimism and its problematization. And in case it wasn’t clear during the show, the problem with optimism is that it neutralizes the drive to get better. Zach ends by describing in greater detail what happened after he saw the white light. How he wanted to escape and blah blah blah. But who wants to hear any of that!

 


Check out this episode!

The White Light 1 (Life, Death, and the In-Between)


In tonight’s episode, Zach reveals the story behind the white light. In his early 20s, Zach was drugged against his knowledge. What resulted would catapult him down a careening path of non-committal sooth-seeking. Zach’s white light has shaped who he is and gotten him to this point. So it must be worth a listen, right?

 

Well, Ethan thinks otherwise. Ethan offers his own explanation of the white light as a near-death experience, knowledge, or the essence and source of sight. He suggests that the white light is underlying all of matter, and that it represents a unification of body and spirit. Zach, on the other hand, sees all of matter, every profession, and every sector of society as a different color in the rainbow. 

 

This episode features a varied array of non-sequiturs. Come, here us speak of Joseph Campbell, The Matrix, Cake, Queen, and that hot new band: Queen Cake. Comedy Bang Bang makes a special guest appearance. Not to mention, that old adage from the film: Le Film de Lego. “Everything is Awesome!!!” 

 

 

Lastly, Ethan and Zach discuss optimism and its problematization. And in case it wasn’t clear during the show, the problem with optimism is that it neutralizes the drive to get better. Zach ends by describing in greater detail what happened after he saw the white light. How he wanted to escape and blah blah blah. But who wants to hear any of that!


Check out this episode!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Word Games 3 (Word Game of Thrones)


Tune in to the stunning conclusion of this conversation about words...and numbers, as it were! Zach and Ethan continue their debate about the best number of them all and the futility of adding 1...

 

Before long, they drop into infinity and so on to the universe. Is it infinite? Find out here! The conversation quickly devolves into a discussion of the Gregorian Calendar. Special guest appearance by the moon and the first-ever #shoutout to the Big ol' Bible.

 

Finally, Zach and Ethan discuss the most popular fantasy television series of all time: Game of Thrones! Why did Ned Stark have to die? And what does this say about humanity. Zach is particularly enthralled by argumentum ad populum, the art of appealing to the people for your ground. Take, for instance, Jerry Springer. Or the Kardashians. Zach loves them all. Because you all hate them.

 

This episode is brought to you with the generous support of the Foundation for the Upraising of the Cognitively Underprivileged (FUCU) and the Shut the F#@& Up (STFU) Foundation.


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Sunday, April 5, 2015

Word Games (Part 2: Playing with Numbers)


In part 2 of the conversation, Ethan tries to pull the attention to the root of all problems, as he sees them: Language! Zach, of course, tries to pull him back from the edge of the precipice. But in a sustained effort to debunk the Ethanator, Zach showers him with complements of adorable cuteness. Zach also plugs his new organization: The Foundation for the Upraising of the Cognitively Underprivileged, or FUCU, for short.

Zach and Ethan hit up just about every hot topic under the sun in this part of the convo. They talk about love, and beans, and hyperbole. What else could you need! They also demo their new hit single, "Love is Just a Number," and they discuss ranking systems and favorites of word games like Scrabble and the D Programming Language. 

Finally, Ethan and Zach duke it out as the two most prominent numbers of all time! First, in the blue shorts, the macdaddy of trinities, the slayer of dualism, the magic himself: Numberrrrrr Three!!! Next up, in the red trunks, the modern mystical experience, the mother of all movements, the quarter-cracking canker sore: Number Fourrrr!!!!


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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Insides & Outsides

We speak of the inside and outside of bodies only in relation to another onlooking body. The outside is everything that can be perceived, sensed in some way, or known definitively about the first body. The inside is everything else that defines that body that remains hidden.
A critique is performed using the outside, and only the outside of the body. An exegesis is an attempt to understand the inside, but assumptions have to be made.
We can always speak of a body of work, like an ouerve. This too has an inside and an outside. To think how much of a writer’s works never makes it to the light of day. But then there are also his inner thoughts that never even had a hope of coming to light. The unheard writing at least stands a chance. So we can speak of the inside of a body from the perspective of another body, but can we speak of it from the perspective of that body itself? To be sure, there are parts of our bodies we will never know. The ever-minute space between. But what is it to know except to know oneself? Once before, we remarked how those on the outside looking in have, in a way, a better sense of our bodies than even we do. They see us and come to define us in a way that we never could hope for.
To know something is to be exposed to it. But once we have become exposed to it we can be sure that we have only ever experienced the outside. For if it were the inside, then it never would have presented itself to us. Thus the inside and outside are never innate aspects or portions of the body, but always projected onto it. Even the body itself comes to define its own inner and outer selves. The important difference is that the body itself can project certain attributes, bring them to the fore, so to speak.
And what of the words that are spoken? The words themselves, the sounds, must come to be a part of the outside, for they are heard by others. But their meaning…
Meaning is always an inner characteristic. Thus the words without meaning are the outside and the meaning of the words form the inside. It is by a trick of the mind that we come to think we know anything at all about the inside of a person. Their private desires and thoughts. Their goals and aspirations. Their fetishes. Nevertheless, it is a worthy pursuit to try and find the inner essence of a thing.
When we speak of exposure to bodies, we imagine a two-fold process. One in which the other body makes itself known to the first. But also a means by which the first body opens itself up to the second. We never really lose our awareness of ourselves when we venture forth from the first realm to the second realm. But we become intermingled with the second body. We become aware of the second body as a thinking body and one which is also receiving us. Finally, the third realm would be the departure from our own body and the realization of the second body as one among many.