Episode 172: "Honesty is the Best Policy"

The phrase "honesty is the best policy" has been a common utterance of parents, teachers and other moral guides in society. It points to a tendency and belief system many hope we might adopt and employ in our daily lives. But what is the philosophy behind the saying and what does it actually request of the individual? This week, we welcome Gabe Brison-Trezise to explore some of the morality and practicality behind the saying. Why does the word policy appear here? What values or behaviors might be more fitting than honesty? How do truth and falsehood permeate our lives in more subtle ways?

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Episode 171: Nice vs. Kind

We all face choices in how we deal with those around us. Your options can include apathy, hostility, curiosity and countless other variations. When it comes to showing differing levels of courtesy or respect, how might they differ? This week, we welcome Kathleen Duffy to examine the distinctions between being nice and being kind. What can we glean about interpersonal priorities through either expression? Does our society encourage one approach over the other? How do they require different energy, thought and sincerity from each of us?

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Episode 170: "God on Trial"

In a post-Holocaust world, the narrative of humanity is forever changed by the tragedy and atrocity of the period. For the religious among us, particularly the Jewish people, how can these events be understood in relation to an almighty being? This week, we're joined by Adam Bulmash to explore this questions through the lens of the 2008 BBC film, God on Trial, written by Frank Cottrell Boyce. The film takes place in Auschwitz, during World War II, and illustrates the real events of prisoners who put God on trial for the circumstances of the Holocaust. What commentaries does the film make about free will and faith? How has human relationship to a higher power shifted before, during and after the events of the Holocaust?

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Further Reading:

Episode 169: "From Sex Object to Gritty Woman..."

Over the last decade, the most sold images from Getty for the search term ‘women’ have evolved from photos of mostly naked models to active women to ones in which women’s appearance is beside the point. In 2017, based on the Getty photos most chosen by marketers and the media, to be a woman is to be on your own, physically active and undeterred by either sweat or circuit boards.
— Claire Cain Miller of the New York Times on September 7, 2017

Ours is a world absolutely brimming with media and the narratives behind their creation and distribution. In particular, photography and the digital revolution have shaped how people are captured and depicted on camera. This week, we explore a New York Times article published in September 2017 which discusses image search trends for "woman" on Getty Images, a popular stock photography site. What do these images individually say about our societal perceptions, expectations and sentiments towards women? What are the narratives that emerge from the images as a series, showing change from 2007 to 2017?

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Episode 168: Depictions of War

Because of the consistent role war has held over the course of human history, its relevance in culture persists. It's worth considering how we discuss, think about and view war, but equally useful to look at how artists and creators depict it and the effects it has. This week, we welcome Travis Partington to look at the forms of media which illustrate war and how they might fixate on certain elements over others. How could we be more conscientious of non-combatant roles? Why do we fixate on the most violent, energetic moments of war? Whose narratives do we recognize and whose might we neglect?

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