Welcome back to The Real Brian Show! We've got a great lineup for you today, including special appearances from author Lee Stephen and Jedi Master Yoda.
"...The code is more what you'd call 'guidelines' than actual rules." -- Captain Barbossa Pirates of the Caribbean
In this week's episode of The Real Brian Show, there are a couple conversations about rules. It's interesting the way all these conversations came together, because it really draws out the dilemma we see on a broad scale in modern culture. On the one hand, we have rules that are meant to protect us. Laws that are put in place to try and get everyone on the same page, such as traffic laws. Stop lights, stop signs, speed limits, they're put in place to try and make people cautious and aware of the fact that they're driving a several hundred pound metal contraption that could instantly cause their death if mishandled.
On the other side, there are rules put into place that sort of establish a "status quo". They define how things can be done, but do not produce the same outcomes for everyone. When you disobey a traffic law, it puts your own life and other lives at risk and effectively breaks an operational paradigm. But when you disobey a law like, oh, how to record an audiobook, it can lead to ground-breaking success.
Lee Stephen joins Brian in this episode for a conversation that will really have you thinking about the value in leaving rules behind in favor of paving your own way. When it comes to finding a niche, finding success, Brian has done nothing but fight against the status quo! And we desperately need people like Brian and Lee to defy those odds in order to continue to produce good, new, unique content.
Part of the problem between the two sides of rule-breaking I've outlined, I think, is semantics. The English language has been rendered inert in so many critical aspects of conversation that we don't, and thus can't, reserve words for their pure intent. We use "monsters" to describe spiders and politicians; we use the phrase "who's your daddy?" to assert dominance or to literally ask who our father is; and we use "rules" to refer to instructions, guidelines, figures of speech, technique, or laws. In order to really understand what people mean, we have to have conversations. Which is not a bad thing, but it's hard to get those conversations going and, then, hard to get deeply ingrained idealisms to separate after years and years of coagulation.
Can you see where some people get the wrong idea about rule breaking? We teach kids, at very young ages, to sit still, listen to the teacher, don't talk when you're not supposed to, don't argue when you're supposed to be listening, and to regurgitate information on tests. Then, 15 years later when they throw their hats in the air, move on from college into the real world, they're suddenly supposed to have a mind of their own, come up with their own ideas and challenge the status quo.
We want people to obey the laws that keep them safe, but the code of conduct... it's just guidelines. Personally, I believe that because we don't use a lot of words the way they're meant to be used, and abuse educational institutions for behavioral correction, we lose a lot of structure in being able to communicate to kids, when they're most impressionable, the difference between the laws of physics and the laws of the road or the laws of the classroom. p = mv... do you disagree? Preventing children from behaving like children, preventing riled up little boys from behaving like the bundles of energy they are, we're raising a generation of kids who want to break rules. And that mindset permeates the barriers of physics, of the classroom, and of the road.
We are so happy to be back with an all-new episode of The Real Brian Show and are so thankful you're joining us once again. If you're wondering why this episode is labeled #1 (or 001, depending on where you're looking), don't worry... you haven't gone crazy. Or maybe you have, I won't judge. Brian used the first seven episodes of The Real Brian Show's initial launch to regroup, reassess, and reconfigure a few things, and he'll tell you all about it within the first five minutes of the show. So don't worry, you are in the right spot!
Appropriately, the phoenix in Greek mythology describes a creature which rises from the ashes of its predecessor. Part of the legend of this creature is that it first must die in a huge show of combustion before it can rise again. I wouldn't go so far as to say this "bursting into flames" happened to Brian before this mini relaunch, but the great part about legends is that they are interpretations and analogies to real life. Regardless, it is a great reminder to us all that even when something seems to fail or stall or not quite feel right, all of the essential components are very likely there, ready to arise from what was left behind.
And so we're back at it! In this week's episode, Brian tells us a little bit about why he started, stopped, and restarted the show; he gives an interlude for the upcoming American holiday; he talks about some topics he's looking forward to addressing in upcoming episodes; finally, John Lee Dumas joins Brian and they talk about John's foray into sustainable dietary habits, then John's pre-podcasting years and what led him to start EOFire.
The post-2016 Presidential Election era has been a dark and icky place. Personally, I took a break from social media for a full 10 days because it made me sick to read tweets and Facebook posts. The hate and blind rage that was coming out of people, particularly ones I would have never expected it from, was bringing me down. I physically felt a huge weight on my heart, and I didn't like it. But ignoring the posts and tweets will not help me in the long run; there is a larger issue that needs to be addressed.
Whether you hate the results of the election, don't care one way or the other, or are absolutely thrilled, we have the same mission as we've always had: live and work together. In my own opinion, I would go so far as to say that it is time we wake up and remind ourselves that the government will not save us. We cannot rely on laws or policy or elected officials or lobbyists to change the minds and hearts of the people around us, we must be that change. We must embody the absolute best of mankind in spite of what the government is doing, in spite of who your neighbor voted for, and in spite of the cogent fear that has gripped our nation.
In thinking about this topic a lot lately, I was reminded of a scene from Prince Caspian, the book by C.S. Lewis from from The Chronicles of Narnia. In this book, the Pevensie children return to Narnia after having been away only a year in their world, but many, many years have passed in Narnia. Power has changed hands many times, corruption has seized surrounding kingdoms and that corruption is now threatening Narnia. In the Narnia the Pevensies knew, the animals were considered "talking beasts". They were fully conscious and communicated with all manners of life. What was more, they were an essential part of Narnia's composition. However, in Prince Caspian, Lucy (the youngest), is confronted with a black bear, whom, of course, she tries to speak with. The bear growls and charges at her. He is not a talking beast. She's so surprised by this behavior that she is nearly mauled by the bear. But she's saved by Trumpkin, the cynical dwarf, who responds to her confusion by saying: "Get treated like a dumb animal long enough, that's what you become."
There are extensive studies about treating criminals like criminals, addicts like addicts, and how it severely implicates the recovery process. I think the same principles are relatable here. We cannot become the hate that we fight so desperately against, and in order to avoid becoming that hate we have to both stop spewing it and stop labeling others. Maybe you think it's easy for me to say "be love, not hate", but I firmly believe that the things worth fighting for are often the things that are hardest to fight for.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, show love this holiday season! This doesn't mean ignoring issues or placating the people who don't believe the things you believe, but it does mean being respectful and being willing to have tough conversations without erupting with anger. If you think you're on the verge of letting everything come spilling out, just stay away from the carving knives.
Sci-Fi November is almost over, but it's not too late to squeeze a little science fiction in. What science fiction mediums are you consuming? Books? Television? Films? Let us know! Leave a comment in the blog or send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.