Arts & Culture Podcasts

From 2020-21: Show of cultural criticism aimed at the artificial images of MAGA masculinity. The host played a ferocious professional smart-aleck going off like a rocket, picking fights with swaggering bullies and hollow-shirted heroes. It was a withering but playfully hypermasculine critique of hypermasculinity with enthusiastic swearing.


United States


From 2020-21: Show of cultural criticism aimed at the artificial images of MAGA masculinity. The host played a ferocious professional smart-aleck going off like a rocket, picking fights with swaggering bullies and hollow-shirted heroes. It was a withering but playfully hypermasculine critique of hypermasculinity with enthusiastic swearing.






What's wrong with kids?

Asher Black says, "I like kids. I'm not sure there are any left." What happened? Episode explores the empty watering holes, lawns, driveways, and trees that once had kids getting dirty, skinning knees, climbing, swimming, fixing bikes, building forts, and throwing balls around.


Some People Are Afraid of Food

Know someone who doesn't eat vegetables? Yeah, it's a thing. "I'm a meat and potatoes man!" But Asher Black suspects it's being scared of oysters, afraid of eggplant, aquiver at sushi, and creeped out by hummus. WTF is hummus? Welcome to another episode of Manhearted. The show about being a man I'm Asher black, your host powered by spunk. And once again, we'll aim to get to the heart of it, manhood people all the time asked Me what the show's about. You know, what the heck is man hearted. Anyway, man hearted, it's really a show of cultural criticism. I remember back in the days of public intellectuals, that this was more common. The idea that we do cultural criticism instead of just sort of take sides and sit on opposite sides of the island, sling mud at each other, everyone wasn't also just handing out advice as a loss leader for their personal coaching practice, which the internet is made possible and unfortunately, incredibly prevalent, but they were weighing instead culture and its meaning. And if you remember, you know, people like Noam Chomsky and way before him, you know, Upton Sinclair there, lots of these guys that were talking to us about culture and its meaning, and that's no different than what we're doing at man hearted. We're just plugged into a particular aspect of the culture that I think is one of the linchpins of how we think what we expect and the lives that we build for ourselves around the three questions that I mentioned in the last episode, who am I, what is my relationship to the world? And what do I do now? Or what do I do about it? Those are the three questions of the ancient quests, the three universal questions that all human beings, if they don't ponder, at least in some regard they pursue. And you can see that even in people that aren't particularly thoughtful as they confuse things like manhood, for instance, with their identity and a particular definition of manhood. And so on, they're still trying to answer the question, who am I, what is, what is my identity? And we are addressing those questions from a completely different perspective. And one that I would argue is older and far more traditional and far more tolerant and open and, and interesting than some of the canned answers that we're getting today. So man hearted, as a show of cultural criticism, there's really not much more to it than that. We're talking about all kinds of different things. And for instance, today, we're talking about fear of food. I know strange topic, right? And for those of you who aren't interested in exotic foods or have, you know, we all have levels of exotic. You know, some of you have eaten, you know, poisonous puffer fish, and other people live animals. I'm not doing that. Sorry. We all have limits, et cetera. But tonight my dinner included among a number of items I got from the Indian restaurant through delivery through seamless of course was baby kale, pakora. If you know Indian food, you know what a Procore is, it's basically a deep fried appetizer. It's delicious. It's better than potato chips. But if you, if you're not into Indian food, you you're going, what the hell is that I understand. Let's just say that somebody took kale and fried it in so much stuff that you, you think you're eating a pretzel. It's delicious. What can I tell you? And if you can deep fry, a Snickers bar or a banana at the county fair, you can eat deep fried kale and it can be lovely now. And I know, I know it sounds all whisky, right? Baby kale did eat your baby kale. We're going to get into that. So the topic, the core topic I want to address last is fear of food. And you see this, I don't know, have you seen this people afraid of not just one or two things, but a number of things I've seen this in the Midwest where people are afraid of vegetables. Can't tell you how many, mostly men, but how many people have told me, I don't eat vegetables. I'm a meat potatoes kind of guy. You get that...


You Are NOT Entitled to Your Opinion—Who Told You That?

No one's going to put you in a pen for your thoughts. Look around—neo-Confederates, Incel psychotics, Vaccine mythologizers, Nickelback fans, and Rudy Giuliani are all running wild and free. Asher Black asks, "Are you really ENTITLED to your beliefs?" All right, here we go. For another episode of Manhearted, the show about being a man I'm Asher black, your host powered by spunk. And once again, we'll aim to get to the heart of manhood. Now, in this episode, I want to pick up on something that we left off within the previous one, which is the topic of belief. Now I mentioned a couple of things. I'm going to state them again. And then we'll, we'll go on. My generation, grew up hearing that they have the right to believe, whatever they want. And no one pointed out that rights only work in a context of rationality and beliefs are supposed to correspond to reality. And so of course, what we have now is people believing all kinds of things without any felt need for those things to correspond, to verifiable facts, empirical data, anything like that. Essentially, you hear people saying, oh, we have his beliefs. So I'm going to believe this. And that I think is not only a shirking of one's intellectual duty, but as a distinctly unmanned hearted thing to do, I like Lewis black, the comedians comment. You're not entitled to your opinion, who told you that you're entitled to your informed opinion. And again the definition of information needs to be that which corresponds to empirical reality, not something somebody says and you believe because enough people are saying it or the right people are saying it, or it fits with your preexisting framework, et cetera. Same with me. Not something I believe because I want to. So I'm going to kick off the show by defining what I think a Manhearted way of thinking about this is, which is it is Manhearted to face unpleasant facts. I grew up that way facing things that I didn't want to do facing things that were true, that I didn't want to be true. And the adults around me who were reared in the world war II generation, and just after that, and many of my family were military said to me, this is part of what being a man is. And they meant part of what being an adult is. I just happen to be male, but they were saying that we have to do things and we have to understand things that we don't like to do and understand. I can still remember the time that the sewer backed up and the sink clogged. And my father had to reach his arm, you know, all the way to the shoulder, down into the drain in this muck and try to free it up, et cetera. I said, God, how can you stand to do that? And he says, I can stand to do it because it has to be done. And I'm like, why didn't you get somebody else to do it? And he's like, why would I do that? You do these things yourself because you know, it's your mess. And so you deal with your mess. If you can, if I couldn't do it, I would get somebody, but because I can do it and it needs doing, I do it well. I think that way about intellect and about ideas, fundamentally, what we think is a mechanical construct. We put together our thoughts, we conjure beliefs, but what we think is something that's constructed out of a relationship with. We have and one of integrity, hopefully to verifiable reality. So facing unpleasant facts is I think part of what it takes to be made right-hearted, but also we have to face facts that don't reaffirm our existing worldview. And I find a lot of people really fall down and we'll miss out on that. Like seriously, if a fact doesn't support the thing they currently support or the person at whose feet they're currently worshiping. Groveling if the fact does not align with the platform they want to push, then the fat gets discarded. It gets dismissed. And you know, I hear people saying, well, both sides will accuse you each other of that. And the first problem I have is the idea that there's only two sides,


Subcontracting Your Identity—The Autophobic Response

Man-groups, militias, boogaloo, proud boys, Qanon. There's always an option to outsource our identity to some "Mantifa". Truck w. a Harley sticker. Guy with Viking braids and Thor jewelry. Asher Black asks if we're just scared to be originals. Welcome to another episode of Manhearted. The show about being a man I'm Asher Black, your host powered by spunk. And once again, we'll aim to get to the heart of it. Manhood. This episode is about subcontracting, your identity, which is an interesting phrase. I've taken from Douglas Copeland, who has written about generation X and he's known for his novel micro serfs and other books and articles, etc, a controversial figure. But one of the things that I really dig about what he said using that phrase is he's describing a concept called auto phobia and auto phobia. He defines his fear of being an individual and he might think, well, you know, isn't individualism built into the heart of what it means to be an American and a, and to be a man. The rugged individualist, that's our icon, right? The Marlboro man, rugged individualist, the Levi's wearing Ford truck driving, Budweiser drinking individual. It's funny because I just named three corporate brands whose logos appear all over these rugged individuals, lifestyles, and, and you know, luggage and so on. And, and it's funny that people use that concept of a rugged individualist and then go ahead and brand themselves with sort of these clone brands that look like everyone else. So the point that he makes is, and this is quoting him being an individual is hard work, no wonder. It's just easier to subcontract your identity to Q Anon or Antifa. I may have said this before. I'm one of those people that doesn't believe Antifa exists, even for those people that call themselves members. I think it's a construct that lives in their head. It's like if I said I was a member of the Jedi order that doesn't mean there's this thing called the Jedi order that I can, that one can go and find, right? It's more like a Dungeons and dragons fantasy than it is an actual thing. But Q Anon is also an open a morphous movement, but it's got self-identified members who you know, showed up and trashed the Capitol building in a failed attempt to invade it and take over our government. So that's a little bit more sort of visceral and tangible, but that aside the point being, you know, he makes this excellent observation that it's just easier to be a member of something to assign yourself an identity that is essentially fealty to a group. So let's talk about that a little bit. So going back to the logos for a minute, you know, this is a thing I, I lived in the south for a certain portion of my life, and I, I remember seeing all these trucks driving around with Harley emblems on the window of the truck, on the back window. And you know, we'd look at each other and say, if you got a Harley logo, just drive a Harley, you know, what are you doing in a truck? You know, half of those guys don't even own Harleys, right? And you see all these people and it'll say, you know, Smith and Wesson, Colt 45. You know, I always think, I don't want another man's name on my clothes. I'm not going to be a walking billboard for somebody else's brand, you know, Louisville. Instead, I'm going to put my name on my clothes. I'm freaking Asher. I want, I want clothes brand or nothing. I don't, I don't need some other guy's name too, to make it right. But you know, it's just part of that whole gun culture. You're just mentioning Smith and Wesson, you know, you'd go out and buy your store bought, man. You know, I've got my two friends, Smith and Weston. It's like, well, you couldn't do it yourself. You had to go get help. Something you picked up at a Walmart, you know, like wants to be a tough guy by leaning on some other brand right there. But this Harley thing, you know, it's not, you know, that's a cliche, but look around you. How many people...


Father's Approval—Seizing The Torch When It's Not Passed

In this extended Father's Day episode, Asher doesn't laud fathers (since that's what everyone else is doing). Instead, he explores the mission of fatherhood to convey a child from uncertain youth to confident adulthood. And what can anyone do about it, if a father abdicates that responsibility? Welcome to another episode of man hearted. The show about being a man I'm Asher black, your host powered by spunk. And once again, we'll aim to get to the heart of manhood with father's day imminent at the time of this recording possibly passed. By the time you listened to it, it felt right to go ahead and talk about fathers, uh, for a father's day episode. So, uh, we're going to deal with that. And instead of being the usual thing, which you, uh, you know, it's funny, I think the two days that, um, a lot of men go to church is the, our Christmas and, uh, father's day, uh, there's, you know, usually a father's day sermon, et cetera. And of course they're glowing and they Lord fathers, and we're gonna hear all kinds of pains to fathers all throughout, uh, you know, whether it's on local news or, or wherever everybody's going to bring it up. And so we're going to distinctly not go that way. Uh, so instead, and talk about a little bit of the trouble, uh, with our fathers, uh, and, uh, see if, if you don't identify with some of this and some of this, I'm going to tell, I'm going to do a little storytelling. I'm going to tell you about my own experience. Um, and the reason I'm willing to do that at the risk of somebody saying, well, this show's too personal. It's about your experience. Is that, uh, almost every man I talked to every other man, let's just say at least half or more, um, have similar experiences and have shared this with me. And so, uh, this is not going to be a cry Fest or we're not going to be hugging and, and beating each other with rubber bats and letting out our primal scream in the wilderness or anything like that. Don't worry. Uh, but at the same time, I don't have time for it either. I hope you don't. Um, but at the same time, uh, I do think we gotta, we gotta deal with what's up, right. And make it okay. To sort of bring this out for a second and deal with it because father's day is it's like Christmas, right? It's a holiday where you fight with your relatives. Well, that's Thanksgiving. Okay. So thanks for leaving, but no, but father's day is, is a dual edged sword, right. Because you know, you have to deal with your dad, so, or you don't, or you've decided not to, in which case you're, you're at one end of the sword. So maybe you don't have the option. There's obviously many men that don't. Um, but the fact is you still carry your dad with you in, in memory one way or another, regardless of what they were like, uh, if you knew him at all. So I want to talk a little bit about, um, the trouble with fathers and it, it differs for everybody, right? Some people have the problem of paternal absence. Uh, he's not around, never was some people have the problem of paternal rejection. Your father doesn't respect. You doesn't treat you as though you're an equal or have reached the stage of manhood. Um, or there's the problem of fatherly advocation, where the father doesn't hold up his end of the bargain. And there is one, you know, and says the stuff like, well, I clothed you. I fed you. I put a roof over your head. Yeah. Okay. That's good. That's a baseline. But the state would have done that if you didn't. So, you know, the sisters of charity, the little sisters down the street would have done that, but there was a little bit more required. Right. So the thing is, we don't talk about this stuff as men very often. And I think it's because there's shame involved in having a frustrated relationship with your father. We don't tend to bring it up at least not without knowing somebody really well. And even then he might know a guy for years and, and not really go there. Right. Um, and I...


Why John Wick is a Wuss and Rambo Isn't

Who's a tough guy?—John Wick, Rambo, or Walt Kowalski (Gran Torino)? Asher makes the argument that the John Wick TYPE, while a fantasy meme for self-appointed warriors in general, is actually a wussified representation of their delicate disposition. These cultural icons are fundamentally different beings with a distinct ethos, and John Wick represents the sociopathic prig among us who is just as likely to participate in a mass shooting or overreact to a mask mandate. Asher also conflates Gran Torino w. El Camino (faux pas!). Welcome to another episode of man hearted. The show about being a man I'm Asher black, your hosts powered by spunk. And once again, we'll aim to get to the heart of manhood today. I want to explain why I think John wick is a wuss. Now I know many of you probably like that sort of film and like John wick in particular, and you know, it's fine if you do, That's independent liking the film, liking That genre is independent of whether in fact, John wick is a wuss. And while that may seem a fairly esoteric pursuit to solve that puzzle, I think importantly, we can learn a thing or two for what that was Snus means for the rest of us. Now, first I want to say, don't get me wrong. I like Kiana reefs. And I'm for those who are detractors of counter Reeves and say that he doesn't act, he has no acting skills, I don't buy it. I think he's awesome. I think he's done a lot of great films. I even, I even liked to walk in the clouds film and that a lot of people famously desk and on top of that, you know Kiana was just a decent person. And that counts for a lot, I think in a sometimes jaded industry and jaded world, but his character, John, where can, if you're not familiar with these, this film, basically there's a retired Hitman, a retired Hitman named John wick. And some stuff gets done to him and he ends up going on a vengeful rampage. So it's about revenge and he just Moes down person after person. I don't have a final body count, but I'm guessing it's gotta be 300 people, at least that get killed in this film. And not, not because they keep doing stuff to him so much. It's just, it's this initial thing. Right. And you know, there's famous lines from the film that people who love it love and it's become a whole franchise, but it's things like, you know when they, when they, you know, you're talking about when you want to get the boogeyman, when you want to scare the boogeyman, who do you call? He called John wick. Right? Well, here's the thing, John, what happens to John wick? John? There's a quote from the film. I lost everything. That dog was a final gift from my dying wife. Okay. So what do they do? These guys break into his house. Okay. So there's point number one, I get it. That's annoying. I I've had my house broken into, I don't enjoy it. He was beaten up. That's no fun. That happened to me in junior high school. I didn't like it. But all of those people are, if they're not alive, I didn't do it to them. I it's not that I haven't thought about it. Go back and find them now. But what I know is they're probably half of them are probably dead from diabetes and you know, running some car lot and they're overweight and they've got everything from broken marriages to erectile dysfunction. I don't need to make their lives worse. Life has a way of paying you off anyway. So those people are alive, even though they broke in my house, they beat me up, et cetera. Then what did they do? They stole his car. I've had my car stolen. I had a soup dot Cadillac. He used to drag race around the city for gas money. And I love that car. And and I put a lot of effort in that car. I had a stereo in there with Jensen quadratic seals and a souped up 120 watt power booster. And I used to drive it around doing Uriah Heep and Ronnie James Dio and stuff like that in the middle of the night, four in the morning, I'm rattling. People's windows and no anybody back then, I didn't own any...


That Thing You Always Meant To Do But Never Did—Manning Up to Boyish Dreams

A lot of us would like to go back and do things differently (learn guitar, study karate, skipper a boat) except, to start over we'd have to go back. Or do we? Asher cast shade on bucket lists, giving up, and getting old (in the sense of setting aside childhood dreams). He makes the case for telling "Dad" to go to Hell (if need be), relabelling 50 (if that's us) the new 16, and getting off our ass to do something cool. Screw the midlife crisis. There's a midlife awakening! Today I would like to talk about recovering those dreams that we had when we were young and doing them. Now it's not dwelling on the past with some kind of nostalgia. How many movies are out there where it's Scooby doo remade, the Brady bunch remade something else from our childhood remade. So, you know, for the older set to remember how it was and the younger set to maybe get introduced, to invest in these things, God, they're terrible. But my point is, I'm not lingering on the idea of stallion. I'm talking about, you know, being man hearted and doing something about it. So I'm going to get into more of that in a moment, but first I want to reiterate a couple of things. So our excellence and manhood award for the month goes to Anderson Cooper. I'm sorry, not Anderson Cooper. Anderson Cooper was last month, but this month is Brian [inaudible]. And if you've been following the episodes, you know why capital officer Brian sickening stood against a bunch of cowardly bullies who attacked our democracy, attacked our Capitol, attacked the American form of government and did it all in the name of their whiny, axed, all in the name of being disappointed with their lot in life and needing something to blame. And it's not like they did it with a better idea. Somebody that actually has something to bring. These are guys that took a dump on the Capitol carpet. Their only idea was to tear down and deface and accordingly, they bashed this guy in the head with a fire extinguisher, maced him with bear mace and pummeled him savagely. And on the other hand, Brian [inaudible] was a man. That's the difference, Brian, sick Nick, as opposed to the capital insurrectionists was an actual man. And so he gets the excellence in manhood award. I just want to continue to remember officer [inaudible] who died this year in 2021. And of course, if you're interested in the Lily livered Wolf's award, the L L w a you know who I gave it to last time, but I don't want to wait for the next one because the list is too long. You know, we're going to have to go through this a lot more frequently. So you know, I've been itching to do this for a long time, so I'm not holding back. The L L w a this time is going to early. We're going to issue a special edition of the L L w a. It's going to Kyle Rittenhouse. Yes, the little punk kid that shot up a protest of unarmed people. He got an assault weapon to go after people that didn't have any weapon. He shot up people that the big scary people, what they were doing was marching. He shot unarmed people, which is the mark of every cowardly was out there. And this is a guy that instead of facing up to it, like a man said, well, you know, the underground, the alt-right the Patriot movement. These guys will protect me, man. He's in such need of protection, I guess, but he's done nothing, but defy refuse to man up and be accountable for his actions and keeps looking for somebody else to protect him. Because, oh, in his mind, he's a freedom fighter. But in my mind, he's a wuss deserves to get his kicked. I hope he does. You know, if the kid wasn't that much younger than me, I I'd love a cage match myself. God, when an annoying was all right. So that gets the awards out of the way. Let's go back to this thing we're talking about, by the way, for those of you right in who think this was political, I don't give a what your politics are being a man. Isn't about choosing a side. I'm sorry, but you know, there's men on both...


Rock Music as Masculine Energy—Sex, Art, and American Feminism

Asher introduces the rock music writings of non-traditional feminist Camille Paglia (in extenso). Quoted with interspersed commentary by Asher, Paglia's paean to RAWK comes through, effectively "mansplained" by Asher (because just reading books on the air is not fair use). Asher underscores Paglia's observation that one cannot simultaneously laud masculine energy and denigrate the experience out of which it arises. Paglia calls rock musicians "America's most wasted natural resource." This is Asher black, your host, and this is the podcast about being a man. I want to pick up where The last two episodes left off, which is about music and about rock music in particular and take this in a bit of a different direction. Now I'm a huge fan of a particular feminist, not the only one, by the way, I've read some Gloria Steinem and stuff like that, but there's a particular one that I did just because her way of cutting through and talking is I think it's very man hearted. And, you know, granted, she is an outcast by what I would call mainstream feminism, but she is ardent and is, you know, has much more extreme views than I do that are quite feminist, but she's a lightening rod very much like iron Rand another person I'm fond of or Hannah, aren't a person. I, I like a lot is a lightning rod. These days. One has trouble disagreeing with somebody's views without sort of nuking their whole village in sort of cancel culture on both the left and the right, what you end up with is if you don't agree with me, I have to completely block you out and reject your entire being. And I've never found that useful. I think that's a fad. I think it's anti-intellectualism, I think it is part of the decline of, of Western culture. And so I reject it because you know, when we're talking about rock and roll, man where do you think that stuff comes from Western culture? I'm into it. You can derive what you want. I'm sure somebody in the comments sections will say, oh, you know, let me tell you everything that's wrong. Western culture never denied it. I was there for Vietnam where you, but I will tell you that you can't say everything is wrong with it without finding the good. If you can't find the good, then I call into question your perspective in the first place. So what I want to talk about with regard to Camille Paglia is a particular book that she's written. Now, she's known for this massive tome, which is kind of a literary philosophical work called sexual persona. And that's not the one, I mean, this one's called sex art and American culture. And it's about that. It's about sex, art, American culture. I dig it. So you'll find articles in there about prince Madonna, rock and roll, the rolling stones, you know, it's quite awesome. And Puglia, by the way, writes for Playboy. I mean, in that sense, she's kind of in the vein of an iron Rand who wrote quite pithy articles for the New York times among other places and would, would have rather controversial interviews it campuses. And in this particular book, much like Iran's book on romanticism and aesthetics, Paglia is talking about rock and roll and sex and almost in the same breath. And so I want to read a few excerpts from the book and make a few points based on it. So, whereas my view, and this is a quote, whereas my views on sex are coming from the fact that I'm a football fan and I'm a rock fan and football are revealing something true and permanent and eternal about male, energy and sexuality. They are revealing the fact that women, in fact, like the idea of flaunting, strutting, wild, masculine energy, the people who criticized me, these establishment feminists, these white upper-middle-class feminists in New York, especially who think of themselves as so illiterate, the kind of music they like is like Suzanne Vega, you know, women's music and the, the ho the, the host at spin. This is from spin magazine. The host says yuck. I found that hilarious, that...


Will There Ever Be Another Bowie?—Dire Straits? Deep Purple?

Asher invites guest and colleague Steve Pruneau to answer the question, "Will there ever be another David Bowie?" (or The Clash, Blondie, The Police, etc). Steve agrees to search for "good" 21st century version of classic rock music, and Asher bets hard against him. Inevitably "Free Bird" comes up, but also Mumford and Sons and Townes Van Zandt. Today we're going to be joined by my colleague For know who many of you have heard before. So let's get on with the show. Steve we're back with you again, this guy — I've invited you here because few people know that you're a musician I know from, from college anyway, and you've got the soul of the musician. The artist is in you and you and I are collaborators that talk about music a lot as a meme and use certain examples. So for instance, David Bowie, and some of the, the creative Verve that that guy put out, I liken him to Freddie mercury. It's now a thing to look at Freddie mercury and queen with all the documentaries that have come out. But I, if you look at Queen's versatility, if you look at the body of work, they put out, these are people that are superhuman compared to us laurels in terms of the volume of stuff you and I put out from our desk on a daily basis, the average person out there probably puts out, you look at something like what Freddie mercury has done. And it's whether you like his music or not. It's nothing short of. It's like talking about Mozart. Is there not going to be another David Bowie? There's not going to be another David Bowie. So you can start the morning process. Now, Steve, you didn't know, you could have, let me down easy. You could've barricaded To say I had a sort of feel that, you know, anyway, we just Got done talking, right previously about you know, when you feel strongly about something you just going to come Out with. That's my point. I'm teasing. Yeah, go ahead. When you give it to me, rip the bandaid off, do it. Don't I love the nurses, the big Husky Germanic nurses, that when I say they're going to give me a shot, that's one of these things. That's the size of a, of a tube of toothpaste that I say, is this going to hurt me? Oh yeah. Like, thank you. That's ma'am that's all I wanted was honesty at it. Somebody give it to me stab. They just stab you. Yeah. Most of our men squeal a little bit. Anyway. Yes. You look like a man who respects the truth. You ask them to come on, let's go. No more David Bowie. So please continue. I gotta revise your intro. I need to add the word amateur musician, and let's emphasize amateur big time, but certainly everything else is true that music is a big part of my life. And I look to it for inspiration and, and so forth. And I look like I look to music and performers and, and the history of bands, you know, to kind of figure out well, how did you all chart your course? How did you figure out what worked and how did you shake off what the industry said you should do? Or the producer or the record label said you should do and so forth. So that's the creative process. And all of that is, is a big part of my interest because it helps with other parts of my life and business and, and the things that I build and work on. I've heard, I've heard people, even when I was a kid, the complaint from people who are a generation or two older than me, when I was in my teens, say, music's not like it used to be, you know, they don't have the classics anymore. And they were referring to what they call the oldest standards from the thirties and forties as though there was a lack of talent. And so I part ways on this question of, oh, you know, we don't have the same talent nowadays and we for sure don't have the same. John rhe music continues to evolve. It, it doesn't stay the same. Didn't even stay the same. You know, in the 16 hundreds, people kept getting inspiration from each other and then it would bounce back and forth. And the political and social times...


WTF Happened to Music (with balls)? "We NEED to Rock."

Asher wants to know why there's no good contemporary rock music, why there's not a current Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Rush, or Pink Floyd. Comments on Classic Rock, Prog Rock, and music with balls. Asher argues something has changed, and it's not just the 'natural evolution' that always happens, but a dilution from which you can't get back to awesome. This time we're going to be talking about music. Music in general. Well, sure. But with some emphasis on rock music and I should probably acknowledge my tastes. You might say my bias. So I like music up until about 1984. That's the easiest way of saying it. If I had to cut off some period of music and just throw it out and do with the rest, I think you wouldn't hurt me too much. If you made 1985 the year we threw it all away that he arguably it was, there was some good stuff produced after that. I'm not saying nothing good came after 84. You know, the Joshua tree album by YouTube is pretty good. I did Mumford and sons more recent group, and there's a variety in, Americani got Ray LaMontagne and in every genre, there's some interesting music. Okay. But it's just so much less. I mean, you know, when I was growing up the music from the sixties and the seventies it filled the radio except for the top 40 stations. We have these top 40 stations, but me and my friends didn't listen to that. And we listened to cream on the radio and Steppenwolf and deep purple and all that stuff, maybe less Steppenwolf, but we listened to the kind of stuff that, you know, in my view is the root of so much contemporary rock music up until 84. And, you know, it was the generation right before mine that essentially invented punk. But it was still going strong. When I was in high school, heavy metal, my generation is the one that sort of made it mainstream. And then of course, you know, the new wave came in and there was some good eighties music. I didn't care for it then, but you know, I've come around. I liked it. It reminds me of the time and sandwiched in between punk and heavy metal is something we didn't have a name for. Most of us kids just call it rock and roll. And our parents called it hard rock, which they contrasted with soft rock, which I think must must've come out of disco, but it was sort of like the air supply, easy listening version of rock and roll. You know, it didn't have a lot of balls so to speak. And so that includes people like back in the day, Jackson brown, Tom petty, Billy idol, Eddie money, good old working class, beer swilling, hard hat wearing kind of rock and roll bolt-on neck, fender, guitar, Marshall stack, vamps, you know, that sort of thing. And you know, that stuff even changed once Jackson brown did the lawyers in love album and you know, it kinda went downhill. It's not like Boulevard back in the old days, Tom petty you know, I don't really dig all that free falling stuff reef, no, it's gotta be back in the days of needing to, I need to know. And refugee and American girl you know, she was an American girl, all that stuff that it's the guitar licks and the attitude you know, and Billy idol did white wedding. It had that sinful collar turned up a scandal built into it and everything sorta got cleaned up after that. Granted there was Madonna prince and all that sort of thing, Michael Jackson, but that's high points going out in my opinion. So I dig Americana, you know, Townes van Zandt, not Taylor swift, not top 40 country, not Travis Tritt, yes. To Johnny Cash and all of that. Sure. Willie Nelson, I did heavy metal not all the fattest derivatives. I don't need goth metal and death metal and you know, all of that stuff, but share ACDC black Sabbath led Zepplin. I think of that as progressive rock, but, you know, yeah. Good stuff. Punk really liked it. You know, I listened to the dead Kennedys back in the day. I'm into the clash. It was back then. And you know, there's been more than one sort of punk wave. And I like...


Where Plain Speech Went (to die)—Has it Died?

Asher invites guest and colleague Steve Pruneau to comment on the first episode. Asher shames modern movie dialogue and the cultural fad of avoiding words that contain commitments. In a world of indirect utterances, there are no tough guys, only understatements. Comments on Aaron Sorkin, Jerry Brown, Ed Rendell, and others. The podcast, the show about being a man, I'm your host, Asher black. And we're going to be joined by a colleague of mine. Steve porno (Pruneau). Steve has worked with me on a variety of projects and I with him and we've known each other for quite some years and have learned to disagree with style and verb. Sometimes it's heated, sometimes it's not, and we just shake our heads and walk off. I don't know what we're going to end up with in, in this particular episode, but we want to pick up where we left off, which was me ranting about the changing speech patterns in a monologue about the decline of the culture. And if I know Steve at all, he will have a completely different perspective on this and I will find great points in it. And probably still largely I think what I think at the end, I don't know. So we're about to find out. So what's your take on the language having evolved? Has it evolved to be less effective or less clear, or if, you know, to use our adjective less man hearted, our movies representative of that change in the culture, or are they anomalous and not reflective of the culture? I think the reflective of the culture. Look, if you understand yourself and what you're about, you're going to hedge your language a lot less in moments where there's an issue that's important to you, but that's the thing is if you know what you're about, you're going to be a lot less concerned. So, you know, if you're in a company and you're not worried about your job, you're going to say a lot more of what you think and believe, or if you're in a group of people and you just committed. Look when you're centered about who you are and what's important to you, you're going to care less about other people. Now, I think you're actually making a distinction between normal courtesy and actually having some hesitancy about causing offense. And there's a big freaking difference. And I, I agree with the basic premise that look, you know, if you know what you want, it's going to come tumbling out like Boger or Rhett Butler. This point that when you speak, if you qualify every phrase as buffer, if you prevent educate, if you're circuitous, a couple of things happen, one, you risk not having your point get across to you. Rob the language of it's rhythm, it's directness, it's ability for the tone and the language itself to carry your point and three, you create a communication pattern with people in general and foment this in society that is circuitous indirect, cautious walks on eggshells does not say what it means and buffers to the point of, of not being understood. So when I hear it guys say, look, you know, I want to tell you something and I kinda sorta want to just tell you, this is where I'm coming from. You know, I feel this. I'm not saying it's true. And if you have a different point of view, that's okay. My God, I remember Tony soprano, his right-hand guy has conciliary. It started off, you know, like, Hey Tony, some of the guys and I've been talking and you know, you know, we, we love you, right? And he's like, skip the preamble and got to the point. What do you want? The guy says, yeah, we think you're wrong. Do you think this is an issue? Or is it a manufactured issue? There are so many manufactured issues these days, which bathroom should there be a third bathroom, but what do you think? I don't think it's an issue with language. I think it's an issue with hesitancy and confidence. I, I see this with directors and writers and artists. And you use this example, actually I think with artists, which is, if you look into the audience, you know, you're a little bit unsure. You're...


Talk Like Bogey, Don Draper, and Rhett Butler

Tired of circuitous speech, vocal fry, upspeak, endless qualifiers, and the word "like" in every sentence? Asher goes through examples of categorical speech from Mad Men, Humphrey Bogart movies, and Gone With the Wind. He calls for us to embrace rather than fear ManHearted communication. Asher argues current, fashionable speech patterns and fad-banter lacks heart, soul, and brains. Personally, I've always chafed at walking around on eggshells versus using plain blunt speech, which is itself a speech pattern. And we've taught a generation of adults that ingratiating apologetic, cautious circuitous in making a point language is more adult. So imagine if Rhett Butler had said possibly Scarlet, and I'm not saying this is like the only way to like look at it, but I don't so much care as maybe you would like hear that question at the end. Or what if bogey said, I feel like maybe I shouldn't have a hundred percent change from scotch to like martinis, and I'm not saying there's anything wrong with martinis, but I'm not going to talk like that. I hope you're not going to talk like that. And I think something fundamental is missing when we force ourselves into that external shell, that if we're truly adults, instead of using plain direct blunt speech, we have to be so circuitous that we can't be understood. One of my favorite films is lay on the professional. And by the way, if you have not seen the international version, which is called lay on the professional, if the only one you've seen as the American bowel, the rise cut down safe, nice version called the professional. You haven't seen the movie. Everyone else in the world is seeing one with three scenes that haven't been cut out for our safety and protection, which are kind of stupid. And it's a different topic, but I encourage you to watch the uncut version for a variety of reasons. We can talk about if we ever address the topic of film, which I'm sure we will lay on the professional. You know, it's got Natalie Portman and John Reno and Gary Oldman as the dirty DEA agent the mega villain, et cetera. And I just love this, you know, he's, he's just gotten through eliminating an entire family along with his crew of agents in a busy apartment building. And so they hear sirens and everybody says, ah, let's leave. And he says to one of his guys, you stay here. So the police are coming out. Yeah, you stay here. What should I tell him? He says, tell them I was doing my job. I love it. It's that simple. There's not that he didn't say like, just kind of convey that like we were, you know, in the process of trying to be pre none of that crap, he said the words, and you could say this is because it's movies, but I think that movies reflect the intention of a culture and the model that we're holding up for the kinds of people that we want to be. And I've seen a distinct evolution in movies and in popular media, in song, in film, in literature and in every other venue in political speech on Twitter and Twitter demands that you now it's 320 characters, but it used to be 140 demands that you be terrorist. And we still see people mostly not saying it anything because they may Andrew to get to the point. I love it. When the police do confront Gary Oldman, his character says, I have time for this Mickey mouse. So I want to do a quick tour of some of the lines that we've come to know and love if you're my age or even 10, 15 years younger than me, or you're really young and just have a fancy for the kinds of film and TV that I like. So in other words, if you like things like Humphrey Bogart, you know, Maltese, Falcon, and you, you see in those some signs of what we might call or universally understand to be manhood. If you like that kind of stuff like me, then you're going to recognize some of these lines. Let's start with Rhett Butler. Because I actually think that a Rhett Butler does not get as much play as the classic tough guy, classic male icon as he...