At last! I think the website issues are resolved. The problem seems to have been that my hosting company had shifted the website to a different server (which I knew about, but I understood that there would be no problems) which resulted in some weird confusion between the old and new servers. As a result, some of the latest pages at TMR were deleted, but it shouldn't take me too long to reinstate those. Thankfully, I have now been able to get that latest podcast out that I'd been unable to post for the last few days. Thanks, as always, for your patience,
We welcome back the author Philip Kraske—who joined us in 2019 to discuss his novel, 11/9 and the Terrorist Who Loved Bonsai Trees—for a discussion about his latest book, A Legacy of Chains and Other Stories, a novella plus six shorter stories that "range from the personal to the political, from the comic to the dramatic".
In the novella, A Legacy of Chains, Kraske engages imaginatively with the issue of American POWs allegedly left behind in Vietnam after the Vietnam War, and crafts a vivid tale of nine American servicemen—now in their sixties and seventies—who turn up on the south coast of Spain having escaped from Vietnam after decades in captivity. By way of contrast in the short stories—"The Rainmaker", "Pioneer Woman", "Shoccer", "Alan the Newsboy", "Pirates" and "Exposures"—Kraske explores subjects as diverse as soccer, blackmail, poinsettia theft, and the imagined back-room planning for the "Raid" on Osama bin Laden's "compound" in Pakistan.
Join us as we discuss a few of the more "conspiratorial" aspects of the stories and consider some of the historical claims that underpin the fiction.
We shall be joined by Rev Phill Sacre—an ordained minister in the Church of England with two additional online ministries—for a second conversation on "COVID and the Churches".
How have the churches responded to the seemingly endless stream of diktats issuing from government? Have such "rules" been submitted to adequate rational and theological questioning? Or have the churches too often just toed the line because that has seemed like "the right thing to do"? (Has it always been "the right thing to do?")
“Phill is a Christian minister. He is ordained in the Church of England and spends about two days a week in a parish on the Essex coast. The rest of the time he works on his online ministries: Understand the Bible (https://understandthebible.uk/) and Phill Sacre : Making Sense of the World from a Christian Perspective (https://www.youtube.com/c/PhillSacre/featured).”
We shall be joined again by our good friend Antony Rotunno for a conversation on the subject of "Propaganda in the COVID Era".
Antony is the host of three podcasts—Film Gold (https://anchor.fm/filmgold); Glass Onion : On John Lennon (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/glass-onion-on-john-lennon/id1473867166); Life and Life Only (https://lifeandlifeonly.podbean.com/)—and a musician whose work can be sampled via Bandcamp (https://antonyrotunno.bandcamp.com/).
Antony has joined us many times on the show over the last several years.
In-between interviews, we shall continue the TMR Movie Roundtable sessions with a growing list of titles that connect with themes covered on the podcast over the last several years.
On the list at the moment—in no definite order—are: Capricorn One (1978) (yes, I'll get to reveal my thinking about the Moon Landings); Minority Report (2002), the conceptual-science-fiction action film, starring Tom Cruise; Fahrenheit 451 (1966), directed by François Truffaut; THX 1138 (1971), George Lucas's first feature film, starring Donald Pleasance and Robert Duvall; Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984), starring John Hurt; and (oh yes) The Sound of Music (1965), starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer (for which treat we shall certainly be joined by Johnny Iron!).
Our roundatble guests will be drawn from the usual talented crew—Frank Johnson, Mark Campbell, GK, Johnny Iron, Jenifer Thyssen and Anthony Rotunno—but you never know, the guest list keeps growing, so there's no telling what will happen.
We shall welcome once again the one and only Alan "Howling Laud" Hope, leader of the UK's Official Monster Raving Loony Party, for an interview on his new book "The Great White Hope : The Life and Times of Alan ‘Howling Laud’ Hope".
"Alan ‘Howling Laud’ Hope – Hampshire lad, father, grandfather, Rock and Roll star, hotelier, publican, Mayor of Ashburton, and Leader of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party. The longest serving Party Leader in Great Britain in over 150 years. A man who has rubbed shoulders with Prime Ministers and Rock Stars, and everyone in between. A man who enjoys life. A life of many highs, and some lows. If you have an interest in politics, are excited by Rock and Roll, or both, you should read this book and trace Alan’s life from the birth of Rock and Roll to today’s political confusions. And for the very first time, you can read the full story of when Alan sent The Beatles packing with their tails between their legs in December 1961. Alan has lived his life to the full. Or better, has lived all his lives to the full. Some might say that Alan takes the ‘P’ out of ‘Politics’. But Alan would just say: “It’s all been ‘Sutch’ good fun!” "—Publicity
We hope to be joined once again by the theologian and lecturer Dr. Martin Erdmann, Director of the Verax Institute, for an interview on Volume Five—"A Religious Quest for an Ideal Society"— of his massive five-volume magnum opus, The Triumph of Progressivism.
"American Civil Religion is the most effective rival religion to true Christianity in the US"—Martin Erdmann
As a fish is unaware of the water in which it swims, so the majority of Americans do not perceive that there exists in the US today a state religion, incompatible with true Christianity, yet not openly opposed to it. Feeding on the many symbols, events, ideals and heroes of America's history and public life, and borrowing from the language and metaphors of Christianity, this state religion vies for the allegiance of every citizen. Arguing that every state cultivates its own particular brand of civil religion, Dr. Erdmann encourages us to stand firm when our allegiance to Christ is challenged by the state, and advises us to remain vigilant as we approach the days of a global civil religion.