Episode 286: Bruce Janz!

Episode 286 of The Drunken Odyssey, your favorite podcast about creative writing and literature is available on iTunes, or right click here to download.

This is a bonus episode, on the 1 year-anniversary of our national tragedy, the election day of 2016. I talk to the philosopher Bruce Janz about how to stay sane and process the current state of American democracy, and how our reading habits can console us.

Bruce Janz & John King 3
Photo by Lisa Roney.


Episode 286 of The Drunken Odyssey, your favorite podcast about creative writing and literature is available on iTunes, or right click here to download.

3 responses to “Episode 286: Bruce Janz!”

  1. I must say this is one of the bet episodes I’ve heard in a year or so of listening. Bruce Janz is sane, funny and says a lot of stuff I have to re-listen to because he’s complex without being obfuscator. And it’s nice to see someone else viewing American politics from the pinnacles of objectivity you can have from opposite ends of the Commonwealth. If you’re chin-deep in shit it seems really important, and America right now is a giant toilet bowl, but it’s one of a large number of them scattered across the globe.

    About an hour in (my stupid phone won’t tell me how many minutes – iOS 11, you know. If only Microsoft made had made a phone) he mentions that great art comes from diversity and impurity, but then he cites blues and jazz as coming from that diversity. But weren’t these art forms invented in homogenous racial monocultures (eg, African American) but later copied or borrowed from by European Americans? What I’m questioning here is that diversity makes fro great art. Oppression certainly seems to, but then you have to wonder about Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo and the classical composers. Perhaps the art is seen as being greater because it’s the result of oppression.

    Podcasts that make me think are thin on he ground, so it was good to get a bonus episode this week. Cheer up! Zuck in 2020!

    1. DJ,

      Thanks for listening!

      In terms of blues, I hesitate to make a ruling, although besides work songs, spirituals and country music seems to have some overlap in its formation.

      Everything I have learned about jazz has told me that it was the result of a unique cultural mixture of New Orleans (certainly not a monoculture) of the late 19th and early 20th century, in its European and African roots. To be sure, in time many white bands rendered the sound bland for safe consumption by white audiences, as bands would later do with rock and roll, and crowded out the more vital musicians.

      Oppression does seem to add drama to the stories we tell ourselves about those who create art.

      As for your wish for Microsoft to make a phone, I own a Windows phone, and it is less than stellar.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


The Drunken Odyssey is a forum to discuss all aspects of the writing process, in a variety of genres, in order to foster a greater community among writers.


%d bloggers like this: