If you want to experience an unusually scintillating 100 minutes, watch or listen to the Rubin Report with guests Ben Shapiro and Jordan Peterson.
I’ve finally accepted that I’ll never do martial arts again, I’ve decided to use walking my dog as my primary form of exercise. To stave off the boredom I feel doing any exercise that’s not martial arts, I’ve started listening to podcasts as I go. I started by subscribing to Dennis Prager, whom I love so much I pay for Pragertopia, just so I can ensure access to his moral clarity.
Once I got the hang of the podcast thing, though, I branched out. In addition to Dennis Prager, I also subscribe to:
- The Rubin Report
- My History Can Beat Up Your Politics
- Louder With Crowder
- Uncommon Knowledge
- The Ben Shapiro Show
I know there are many other excellent podcasts out there, but the ones I listed more than fill the previously deadly dull time I used to spend cooking, folding laundry, and walking the dog. As it is, I have to cherry-pick those podcasts that seem most appealing, because there’s no way I can listen to all of them.
What I’ve been listening to for today’s iterations of household tasks is a podcast so good I have to share it with you. It’s the Rubin Report with Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro as guests, and it’s also available as a YouTube video:
I am not exaggerating when I say the above discussion ranks among the most interesting 100 minutes I’ve spent in years. It helps that they are three very interesting men, highly verbal, informed, and intelligent. But what really makes it work for me is the fact that they touch upon so many things near and dear to me, and that they do so in such an accessible way.
They talk about man’s unique, higher purpose, whether one is looking at it religiously or not. I discussed that point just last week.
They discuss the fact that there are certain things that cannot be subject to post-modern deconstructionism but that are, instead, moral absolutes, something I discussed just two weeks ago, although you’ll find the topic in many of my posts over the years.
They decide that their soaring popularity comes about because, through YouTube and Podcasts, they can develop long-form ideas, in contrast to the tightly defined, narrowly presented news on traditional media. I made that point a long time ago, although for the life of me, I can’t find the post in which I noted the difference between a three-hour discussion about an issue on talk radio, including call-ins from random people who offer differing viewpoints, as opposed to the carefully scripted little segments on NPR or the major networks, all of which use selected data to push a conclusion without ever developing the facts or delving into important underlying principles.
They also talk about their weaknesses: Ben Shapiro says that he fights the echo chamber. Peterson says his fear is that he’ll lose his sense of humor and indulge in overkill. I have both those problems.
Peterson’s weakness, though, reminds me of a story I read years ago in a biography that a lawyer-turned-agent wrote. It’s funny enough and pointed enough that I’ll repeat it here. I wish I could remember the lawyer’s name, to give him the attribution he deserves, but I can’t. Perhaps someone reading this story will recognize what book I’m relying upon.
The lawyer describes the first case he tried: He was a new prosecutor and had handed to him an open-and-shut case against a repeat-offender caught dead to rights in a strong-arm robbery.
This young lawyer was incredibly prepared and he was going to be tough on crime. Because the defendant exercised his Fifth Amendment right not to testify against himself, the lawyer never got a chance to question him. Instead, he had to make his case using other witnesses, including the defendant’s mother, a small, gray-haired lady with glasses.
The lawyer lit into the mother with his best Perry Mason-esque brutality. He was so tough, she started to cry (crocodile tears, he was sure). Then, when she went to wipe away her tears, she dropped her glasses. The lawyer, strident and striding, promptly stepped on them. He lost the case the moment that ominous crack sounded in the courtroom. Overkill — it killed him.
My problem, always, is controlling my anger. I am slow to anger, in part because I’ve never once made a good or smart decision when I’m angry. Sometimes, I’m so slow to anger that I let people say or do things that are wrong. And sometimes, I get angry despite myself and then, feeling hot and prickly all over, I say hurtful, stupid things that I bitterly regret later. At least when I’m in an echo chamber I don’t make that particular mistake.
Anyway, if you’re still reading my maundering, turn me off, and start listening to the Rubin Report I’ve embedded above. Your brain will thank you.