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Tangentially Speaking

359 – Ben Joseph Stewart (Filmmaker/Musician)

By January 1, 2019September 14th, 20195 Comments


  • Aaron Frost says:

    Can’t find an active invite link to the discord server you mentioned. The link you read seems to be dead.

  • Phil says:

    Just wanted to mention, the music from this episode, Inexile by Capercaillie, is Scottish Gaelic. Chris mentions that the band plays "world music", but actually they play traditional Scottish Gaelic songs with modern instruments/technology.

    You can find the lyrics to that song here:

    I just happen to care because I’ve been learning to sing Scottish Gaelic, I think it’s a really beautiful language, and it is going extinct: only 20k to 60k people speak it. It was fun to hear it on the podcast!

    And thank you Chris for introducing me to so much variety of good music!

  • Conspiracies are the slippery slope into the dankiest regions of the rabbit hole. One has to be careful or pretty soon you’ll never be able to see the light of day again.

    They can start pretty innocently at first, the way they grab hold of your reasoning processes. You might start by checking out the Zapruder film on Youtube, or seeing the collapse of Building 7, but the Youtube algorightms are specifically primed to coax you into checking out more conspiracy-related stuff, and pretty soon you’ll end up in Flat-Earth La La Land, Soros Sorrows and Q-Anon nonsense. I’ve seen it happened to some of my best friends.

    And the thing is that, like you said, the mainstream is responsible for people embracing conspiracy culture. They manipulated history books and media narrative for so long –NOT because there was someone telling them, but because the momentum of the culture dictated the censorship– that eventually the cognitive dissonance became too much. Take UFOs for example: The media has been using it as a cultural punching bag for so long, and loves to show the usual talking heads like Neil DeGrasse Tyson and the late Stephen Hawking to keep reminding us that only hoaxers and trailer trash are the ones who report weird lights in the sky, and yet if you look at the data you see that the higher incidence of reports coincide with a higher level of education. That doesn’t necessarily mean smart people are not easily fooled –on the contrary! And you also see that in conspiracy theory, where very intelligent individuals are the ones who are more easily converted to fringe thinking.

    I worry about it a lot, because I don’t think a society can properly function if the populace does not trust their appointed leaders and higher institutions. Imagine if NASA were to announce that a giant asteroid is going to hit the Earth in 5 years, so we need to prepare for it. I guarantee you that after 4 years people would still be debating whether NASA was telling the truth or not. This is EXACTLY what has happened with climate change, and the sad part is the asteroid already hit us without us noticing.

  • Mark says:

    Hi Chris, regarding your comments about authenticity at the opening, I want to say that most definitely a "fake" persona played with sincerity is authentic. If this were not the case acting would be the most meaningless art there is. Most musicians create some kind of performance persona even when that persona is one that pretends to be "authentic" and runs around dissing sell-outs while attempting to achieve success. It does nothing to the musical and theatrical expression if Bruce does or does not have factory experience any more than it would if a country western singer drives a pick-up or a Prius.

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