The Things That Matter

We cribbed the title of this week’s show from Charles Krauthammer’s book as it perfectly describes what we’re feeling this week after the announcement from the good doctor and the deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. We get reactions from our guests, Rod Dreher and Andrew Klavan, who also delve into other topics, including psychedelics, why Trump is a great President, cake baking,  and more.

Music from this week’s show: The Sound of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel


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There are 19 comments.

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  1. Barry Jones Thatcher
    Barry Jones

    Wow. Powerful end music and comment by Dr K.

    • #1
  2. Dick from Brooklyn Thatcher
    Dick from Brooklyn

    I’d wish Rob Long a happy birthday, but this episode is tautologically unavailable. :)

    • #2
  3. Arahant Member

    Barry Jones (View Comment):

    Wow. Powerful end music and comment by Dr K.

    “Wow,” was exactly what I said. Good show, gents.

    Although, really, Rob, either you need to let the master work or do all the spots.

    • #3
  4. EJHill Podcaster

    I have suggested that Rob set a membership goal and, if we hit it, he hits the acid. And we televise that on a live stream for members only.

    • #4
  5. Arahant Member

    EJHill (View Comment):

    I have suggested that Rob set a membership goal and, if we hit it, he hits the acid. And we televise that on a live stream for members only.

    That is some out-of-the-box thinking.

    • #5
  6. GJP Inactive

    Happy Birthday Rob, mine was yesterday. GEMINIS ROCK.

    • #6
  7. Dick from Brooklyn Thatcher
    Dick from Brooklyn

    “Peyote Sachet” is a great band name. 

    • #7
  8. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby

    Regarding local newspapers: The local newspaper has a valuable role in local stuff, and I am willing to pay for it. We have a very local weekly in our suburban town with an energetic young writer/editor who does interesting and useful reporting on the local town and village doings. We subscribe.

    But, our metropolitan newspaper (part of the Gannett USAToday chain, in fact here in Rochester, New York is where Frank Gannett started building his chain of newspapers) has had less and less local content, and by about a year ago most of the content was national feed from the parent company. That national feed almost always had a “theme of the day” advocacy slant, and much of the “local” content was a local angle to the national “theme of the day.” I really wanted to subscribe, and through the 2015 – 16 election cycle I put up with the blatant pro-Hillary bias of the Gannett coverage, but as the local content became almost non-existent, there was no longer enough reason to keep paying for a subscription. 

    • #8
  9. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby

    Regarding the “market” punishing business owners with “wrong” opinions: But what happened to the fitness gym (and several other businesses) isn’t the “market,” but a mob on social media, most of whom never had nor never will have any real contact with the pummeled business. Shouldn’t we be decrying narrow-minded, intolerant mob action?

    • #9
  10. Kim K. Inactive
    Kim K.

    I appreciated James’ pushback on the subject of religious experience being enhanced by mind-altering substances. As a Christian I want my decisions to be informed by Scripture. Even as I study what others through the ages have written, my desire is to see how it aligns with what I believe is the revealed word of God. It was telling that scientific studies were referenced, ancient mystics were referenced, personal experience was referenced, but there was no mention of what the Bible may or may not have to say about using substances to reach God.

    • #10
  11. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot

    Great conversation with Rod Dreher. I especially enjoyed listening to Rob open up about his relationship with God and what holds him back in that relationship.

    But for crying out loud Rob, take the acid and report back to us.

    And just as I commented the last time you talked about micro-dosing, if it works for you, send some to the Pope – he needs help.

    • #11
  12. Functionary Thatcher

    When Rod suggested that one might be opening one’s mind to the other [demonic] side [by taking LSD and removing the Id from the equation] Rob said that he was terrified.  Me too!

    • #12
  13. Leslie Watkins Inactive
    Leslie Watkins

    In the years 1971 to 1973 I experimented at least a dozen times with LSD, not micro-dosing, which intrigues me, but ingesting tabs of what were called purple leary and orange sunshine. The experiences really were “trips” to other forms of reality. So intense were the hallucinations that, after our first journey together, my childhood friend and co-participant agreed with me that we could never again be so afraid of losing our minds. (If you let your mind wander while watching the visual effects, you’d suddenly catch yourself becoming embedded like a puzzle piece into the Peter Max-like screen before your eyes and would have to struggle mightily to get out.)

    I was one of those who was doing it for spiritual enlightenment. Vietnam and the bomb were freaking us out at the edge of adulthood. Racial segregation in my Deep South hometown was so obviously unfair and evil, that one found herself disbelieving and distrusting the state–as the late Texas columnist Molly Ivins once wrote, it was tough acknowledging that our beloved, god-like parents had lied to us about race.

    I did not find a recognized spirituality there, but I do credit these experiences with opening me to the possibility of making my own peace with the grossly tragic randomness of life, of helping me see that reality is less binary and linear than wave-like, and of discovering, in recent years, that quantum entanglement offers, for me, a more workable matrix of the divine than historically stuck, people-focused monotheism. It also, though, made me respect religion as adhering to the recognition that we are forever in search and that to find god is to die.



    • #13
  14. RufusRJones Member

    I think the only places where socialism “works” are countries that, in reality, actually practice welfare capitalism. They have a lot of socialized services, but they keep their mitts off of the golden goose otherwise known as the private economy. We don’t even do that here. It takes a certain culture to pull it off, and the populace actually ends up eating a lot of hidden regressive taxation. 

    • #14
  15. Charlotte Member

    Time for Rob to microdose or get off the pot. Please either do it or stop talking about it.


    • #15
  16. Arahant Member

    Charlotte (View Comment):

    Time for Rob to microdose or get off the pot. Please either do it or stop talking about it.

    He might be doing it already, but just not admitting it, since it could be a bit illegal where he is.

    • #16
  17. dicentra Member

    Here’s the thing about suicide: it’s not just the pain.

    Something goes wrong in the brain. Something that removes the aversion to death. Something that removes the ability to think about how your actions will affect others. Something that prevents you from having any kind of hope.

    It’s like standing on the 103rd floor of the WTC on 9/11 and having to decide whether to burn slowly to death inside or to jump and end it quickly. And you have to decide NOW.

    It’s an altered state of mind — not a conclusion you arrive at or a decision in any ordinary sense of the word. We should look at suicides the same way we look at aneurysms: death from a brain malfunction.

    And you don’t get angry at people for that.

    It would appear that Bourdain was in agony most of the time because his brain didn’t work right, hence the self-medication with hard drugs. He had an f-all attitude, which probably came from the torment he was in. The suicide was caused by the same thing that drove him to use drugs and be a jackwagon.

    Those of you whose brains have never malfunctioned like that can’t imagine the compulsion to kill yourself, the compulsion that you fight until you fix the physiological problem or you lose the battle against the compulsion.

    No mystery, actually. No mystery at all.

    • #17
  18. RufusRJones Member

    You lose the drive for self-preservation. It’s better if you never, ever think like that at all. 

    • #18
  19. kedavis Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Charlotte (View Comment):

    Time for Rob to microdose or get off the pot. Please either do it or stop talking about it.

    He might be doing it already, but just not admitting it, since it could be a bit illegal where he is.

    Maybe Rob is holding out hope for political office in the future, and wants to be able to say that he didn’t “inhale.”

    • #19