EPISODE 53 Diogenes: The Punk Rocker of Ancient Greece

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“A Socrates gone mad.” — Plato referring to Diogenes 

“Had I not been Alexander, I would have liked to have been Diogenes.” — Alexander the Great 

"If I wasn't Diogenes, I would be wishing to be Diogenes too." — Diogenes

“There are nowadays professors of philosophy, but not philosophers… To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, nor even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and trust. It is to solve some of the problems of life, not only theoretically, but practically.” — Henry David Thoreau 

“I am a citizen of the world.” — Diogenes

“Free from what? As if that mattered. . . . But your eyes should tell me brightly: free for what?” — Friedrich Nietzsche 

“He maintained, moreover, that nothing in life has any chance of succeeding without strenuous practice, which is capable of overcoming any obstacles.” — Diogenes Laertius 

2,400 years ago, long before punk rock was created, there was a man in ancient Greece who embodied the spirit of punk as much as anyone ever did. He was known as Diogenes The Dog. And Sid Vicious had nothing on him. 

Between the end of the Peloponnesian War, the bloody reign of the Thirty Tyrants, Socrates’ death… the times he lived in were wild ones, but Diogenes was considerably wilder than his historical context. As a master of frugality, he lived on the streets as a homeless philosopher inviting people to stop being slaves of their possessions. In this episode, we’ll see him clashing with the father of Western philosophy, getting busted for manipulating the currency, being the recipient of the good graces of celebrity sex workers, planting the seeds at the roots of Stoicism, defying Alexander the Great, getting kidnapped by pirates, rejecting nationalism, and pushing forward ideas that were as outlandish in Ancient Greece as they are today. The Amazons, the Oracle at Delphi, Game of Thrones, The Clash, The Temptations, The Princess Bride, and Nicki Minai also make an appearance in this episode.  And before we wrap things up, we’ll consider the limitations of punk as a worldview. 

If you'd like to keep following my work on Luminary, please follow my personal link to their platform to sign up. Thank you for understanding that this move is necessary to keep History on Fire viable. luminary.link/history 

Onnit has shown me love from day 1. So, please check out their supplements, special foods, clothing, and exercise equipment at http://www.onnit.com/history and receive a 10% discount. 
My lady (and author of History on Fire logo, plus producer and editor of History on Fire) has a FB public page about her art & fighting: https://www.facebook.com/NahryEm/

This is my public FB page: https://www.facebook.com/danielebolelli1/ 

Here is a link to the audiobook of my “Not Afraid”: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/not-afraid-audiobook/ 

For those of you who may be interested, here is a lecture series I created about Taoist philosophy: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/taoist-lectures/

"For any questions or problems with downloads, please email bodhi1974@yahoo.com"

EPISODE 52 The Lady and Her Gun

“It's just incredible that this little hand has killed Nazis, has scythed them down by the hundreds, without missing…” — Charlie Chaplin 

“Miss Pavlichenko's well known to fame, 
Russia's your country, 
fighting is your game, 
Your smile shines as bright as any new morning sun, 
But more than three hundred Nazi dogs fell by your gun.”
— Woody Guthrie 

“Charging together, we would dash into battle and forget about everything else in the world.” — Lyudmila Pavlichenko

“Gentlemen, I am 25 years old and I have already managed to kill 309 of the fascist invaders. Do you not think, gentlemen, that you have now been hiding behind my back for rather too long?” — Lyudmila Pavlichenko

During WW II, women in the Soviet Union had many reasons to fear German soldiers. But in some cases it was the German soldiers’ turn to be the targets of Soviet ladies. Among the many women who would fight tooth and nail and send quite a few Axis soldiers to a premature death, one stood out among the rest. Germans would know her by name, and would grow to fear her. And they had good reasons to fear her since it was by killing 309 of them that she would become the most deadly female sniper in history. Legends about her would grow both among her own comrades and among the terrified Nazi soldiers who heard rumors about this vengeful female demon who seemed to have made it her personal mission to make them pay for any outrage committed by anyone wearing their same uniform had ever. Some told stories about how a witch in some village near Odessa had cast a spell deflecting enemy bullets away from her. Others swore that she was followed by the lord of the forest himself—a wood sprite with a huge tree-like body who protected her, made her invisible and gave her the supernatural ability to move through the forest without making a sound, to know what was happening a mile away, and to see in complete darkness as well as normal people see in daylight. She was Lyudmila Pavlichenko aka Lady Death.  

Among other things, in this episode: Operation Barbarossa, caught between vicious dictators, Stalin (even better than Nazis at killing his own people), Nazi guns in front of you and Soviet guns pointed at your back, a song by Woody Guthrie, Charlie Chaplin kissing her hand, Lyudmila disappoints Yoda, bringing Belgian chocolates as a gift for your girlfriend (after looting them from a corpse), love found & love lost, bloody revenge, hanging out with the American First Lady. 

"For any questions or problems with downloads, please email bodhi1974@yahoo.com"

EPISODE 51 A Life for a Whistle: Emmett Till and the Birth of the Civil Rights Movement

“Until the philosophy 
Which hold one race superior and another
Inferior
Is finally
And permanently
Discredited
And abandoned
Everywhere is war”
— Bob Marley, War, inspired by a speech by Haile Selassie 

“Emmett Till is dead and gone… Why can’t people leave the dead alone and quit trying to stir things up?” — Roy Bryant 

I think black peoples' reaction was so visceral. Everybody knew we were under attack and that attack was symbolized by the attack on a 14-year-old boy.” — Rose Jourdain 

“The audience fell silent, wondering if Wright would risk his life to accuse a white man in open court. For a moment no one moved. Excruciating tension filled the room while people waited for Wright’s reply. Then, in one of the most dramatic moments in Mississippi trial history, Mose Wright, a poor Black sharecropper, stood up, raised his arm, pointed at Milam, a white man, and said, ‘There he is.’” — Chris Crowe 

By 1955, in United States, people liked to say that the worst racial abuses belonged to the past—that the culture that had led to nearly 5,000 people getting lynched between the end of Reconstruction and the mid-1940s no longer existed. But then a 14-year old boy from Chicago jokingly whistled at a white lady in Mississippi, and what followed was a familiar script: the flashing of guns in the middle of the night, kidnapping, torture, African Americans looking for their relatives where bodies were normally dumped, and a justice system that was anything but just. What was not part of the familiar script was Mamie Till’s choice that led to a public funeral attended by tens of thousands, and—many people argued—that lit the spark for the birth of the Civil Rights Movement. 

Among other things, in this episode:

  • The culture of lynching and the gutsy Southern ladies standing up against it 

  • How ‘Brown vs. Board of Education’ set the South on fire 

  • Paranoia over integration and Communist plots 

  • William Faulkner and the fear at the roots of white supremacy 

  • Getting away with murder and boasting about it 

  • How white supremacists won a battle and lost the war

But the craziest thing in this whole story is realising this happened not so long ago… 

If you'd like to keep following my work on Luminary, please follow my personal link to their platform to sign up. Thank you for understanding that this move is necessary to keep History on Fire viable. luminary.link/history 

Onnit has shown me love from day 1. So, please check out their supplements, special foods, clothing, and exercise equipment at http://www.onnit.com/history and receive a 10% discount. 

My lady (and author of History on Fire logo, plus producer and editor of History on Fire) has a FB public page about her art & fighting: https://www.facebook.com/NahryEm/

This is my public FB page: https://www.facebook.com/danielebolelli1/ 

Here is a link to the audiobook of my “Not Afraid”: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/not-afraid-audiobook/ 

For those of you who may be interested, here is a lecture series I created about Taoist philosophy: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/taoist-lectures/

"For any questions or problems with downloads, please email bodhi1974@yahoo.com"

EPISODE 50 The Father of Martial Arts: Jigoro Kano (Part 2)

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“I teach Kodokan judo as a way of life.” — Jigoro Kano 

“Even though he was drunker than usual, Saigo came to the driver’s aid. The burly sailors laughed out loud: “Scram, midget!” Much to their great surprise and considerable pain, in a flash, the pocket Hercules subsequently hurled each of them into the river.” — John Stevens 

“I have not been able to transmit my ideals to many students, and there are unfortunately few instructors who can impart proper Kodokan values.” — Jigoro Kano 

“The teaching of one virtuous person can influence many.” — Jigoro Kano 

In the second half of the 1800s, after the United States made Japan an offer it couldn’t refuse, Japan experienced a period of crisis and extremely fast modernization. Swept by efforts to copy everything that made the West powerful, Japan turned its back on much of its traditional culture. Martial arts were considered anachronistic and irrelevant, and looked well on their way to disappear into the dustbin of history—much in the same way as they had done in other parts of the world. In 1882, a small, nerdy man named Jigoro Kano made his stand to reverse this process. Kano was only 22 years old, and had only little over 5 years of martial arts practice. But what 22-year old Kano started in some spare rooms in a Buddhist temple was going to affect the lives of millions of people.

This story is about martial arts, but is also about much more. This story is about the dramatic transformations in Japanese history in the 1800s (and without understanding them, it’s pretty much impossible to understand the role played by Japan in WWII.) It is a story about how one individual can radically impact millions. It’s about how cultural traditions that are seemingly anachronistic can be reinvented to provide value in a modern context. It’s a story about Taoist philosophy, Olympic Games and U.S. presidents, pro-wrestling and helping society, the tension between globalization and nationalism, the role that physical education can play in shaping a person’s character, and a bunch of other things that have only marginally to do with martial arts per se. Among other things, in this episode: 

Shiro Saigo, Kano’s pocket-sized enforcer
Blood oaths
History’s first black belts
The four ‘heavenly lords’ of the Kodokan 
Judo gaining a reputation through challenge fights
Leglocks
Shiro Saigo and his NWA attitude
Akira Kurosawa movies
Kano clashing with nationalism and militarism
Theodore Roosevelt
Mitsuyo Maeda
The origins of pro-wrestling 
The Olympic Games

So, with this in mind, let’s get rolling. 

If you'd like to keep following my work on Luminary, please follow my personal link to their platform to sign up. Thank you for understanding that this move is necessary to keep History on Fire viable. luminary.link/history 

My lady (and author of History on Fire logo, plus producer and editor of History on Fire) has a FB public page about her art & fighting: https://www.facebook.com/NahryEm/

This is my public FB page: https://www.facebook.com/danielebolelli1/ 

Here is a link to the audiobook of my “Not Afraid”: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/not-afraid-audiobook/ 

For those of you who may be interested, here is a lecture series I created about Taoist philosophy: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/taoist-lectures/

EPISODE 49 The Father of Martial Arts: Jigoro Kano (Part 1)

HOF-49-JigoroKano-Pt01-FatherOfMartialArts.jpg

“It was a period of stupendous change and immense challenge; the entire social, political, and economic landscape of Japan would be transformed within a few decades. Just as this new era was dawning in Japan, Jigoro Kano was born, on October 28, 1860.” — John Stevens 

“In my childhood, I had heard that there was a thing called jujutsu thanks to which even a weak person could defeat a strong person. I definitely thought about learning it.” — Jigoro Kano 

“Some people believe that Judo means simply practicing at the dojo. This is applying the principle of judo at the dojo when practicing defense against attack, and through it is certainly one aspect of judo, it is only a small part of it.” — Jigoro Kano 

In the second half of the 1800s, after the United States made Japan an offer it couldn’t refuse, Japan experienced a period of crisis and extremely fast modernization. Swept by efforts to copy everything that made the West powerful, Japan turned its back on much of its traditional culture. Martial arts were considered anachronistic and irrelevant, and looked well on their way to disappear into the dustbin of history much in the same way as they had done in other parts of the world. In 1882, a small, nerdy man named Jigoro Kano made his stand to reverse this process. Kano was only 22 years old, and had only little over 5 years of martial arts practice. But what 22-year old Kano started in some spare rooms in a Buddhist temple was going to affect the lives of millions of people.

This story is about martial arts, but is also about much more. This story is about the dramatic transformations in Japanese history in the 1800s (and without understanding them, it’s pretty much impossible to understand the role played by Japan in WWII.) It is a story about how one individual can radically impact millions. It’s about how cultural traditions that are seemingly anachronistic can be reinvented to provide value in a modern context. It’s a story about Taoist philosophy, Olympic Games and U.S. presidents, pro-wrestling and helping society, the tension between globalization and nationalism, the role that physical education can play in shaping a person’s character, and a bunch of other things that have only marginally to do with martial arts per se. So, with this in mind, let’s get rolling. 

If you'd like to keep following my work on Luminary, please follow my personal link to their platform to sign up. Thank you for understanding that this move is necessary to keep History on Fire viable. luminary.link/history 

My lady (and author of History on Fire logo, plus producer and editor of History on Fire) has a FB public page about her art & fighting: https://www.facebook.com/NahryEm/

This is my public FB page: https://www.facebook.com/danielebolelli1/ 

Here is a link to the audiobook of my “Not Afraid”: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/not-afraid-audiobook/ 

For those of you who may be interested, here is a lecture series I created about Taoist philosophy: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/taoist-lectures/