PODCAST

The Neutral Ground Podcast with Dr. Joe Meyer

Dr. Joe Meyer

My name is Dr. Joe Meyer. I started The Neutral Ground Podcast for people who are craving intellectual, meaningful conversations without the divisive arguing. My show focuses on great works of literature, philosophy, religion, the importance of heroic narratives, how history shapes us, and society & culture. I have solo episodes where we learn about important literary figures, and we also have plenty of guests who have written books on various topics of interest in the world. If you're tired of the divisiveness and anger, this is the podcast for you. Join us on the Neutral Ground today.

Should we Fear the Collapse of Morals More than Physical Harm? | PJ Wehry #49
Jun 22 2022
Should we Fear the Collapse of Morals More than Physical Harm? | PJ Wehry #49
It seems to be getting more difficult to find reasons to laugh today, so let us do it for you. Our guest this week on The Neutral Ground Podcast with Dr. Joe Meyer is PJ Wehry of the Wehry Dads podcast and Chasing Leviathan, both of which are fantastic shows. In this episode, PJ and I talk about a potential crisis in young men and why mentoring is important; we discuss the importance of establishing positive relationships between parents and children; we give our take on a disturbing video that caused me great concern. (the link of the video is at the end of the description).  One of the questions we try to answer has to do with whether or not we truly are getting worse as a society. I like PJ's answer, and I think you will as well. Make sure you hit the subscribe/follow button, and leave a kind rating and/or comment where applicable. Every little bit helps.    // EPISODE LINKS // You can find both of PJ's podcasts at his main website, Candid Goat Productions: // EPISODE OUTLINE // 00:00 Teaser about moral vs physical harm 00:30 Introduction 02:01 Start of conversation. Did someone say, free sandwich? 03:50 What prompted you to start Wehry Dads podcast? 13:01 What is one trait in young men today that needs more mentoring? 18:49 The importance of creating moments for bonding wit 31:20 The disturbing video on the subway and why it bothers me 34:53 PJ's reaction to the video 44:20 Have we become a herd of prey animals? 48:05 PJ and I give our best fighting advice when on a subway.   52:19 Are negative videos on the internet causing more of a disconnect between us and humanity? 55:44 What is the #1 reason married couples sight as the reason they go through with divorce? 58:52 I give marriage advice to my college students 1:07:42 I thank my guest 1:08:23 Closing thoughts   // LINK TREE WITH PODCAST AND SOCIALS// Link to disturbing video on subway: // SUPPORT THE PODCAST // 1. Subscribe/follow the podcast. 2. Leave a kind rating/comment wherever applicable. 3. Visit the main website for The Neutral Ground Podcast at and send me an email or leave an audio message for me with some thoughts or questions about one of our topics. 4. Buy me a cup of Ko-Fi at Patreon: one of the above items is equally important to me. I am genuinely humbled and moved by the feedback I'm receiving, and the support that I'm getting from all of you. Thank you  #humanpsychology #philosophyoflife #humanity #neutralgroundpodcast #wehrydads #pjwehry --- Send in a voice message:
Psychopaths and our Media Fascination with Evil | Dr. Elizabeth Howell and Dr. Sheldon Itzkowitz #48
Jun 14 2022
Psychopaths and our Media Fascination with Evil | Dr. Elizabeth Howell and Dr. Sheldon Itzkowitz #48
Millions of people are consuming podcasts, tv shows, and movies about the psychopathic killer. What does it mean? What is a psychopath exactly, and are they always malicious killers? You might be shocked to find what our specialists have to say about that question. This week, we have two guests: Dr. Sheldon Itzkowitz and Dr. Elizabeth Howell. They have published a fascinating--and, at times, horrifying--book on psychopaths and why it is so important for specialists to take the threat of psychopathy seriously. We talk about why we are so interested today in psychopathic killers and why we are throwing watch parties for True Crime podcasts. I learn a valuable lesson about language, and I tell them about a terrible video involving a man on the subway in NYC that came across my YouTube feed. This leads us into a conversation about whether or not we have become a herd of prey animals who are only happy when we know we are not the ones being hunted. As always, if you like the conversation, hit the subscribe button, the like button, and leave a positive comment. I really appreciate the support. // EPISODE LINKS // Shelly and Elizabeth's book from this episode (affiliate): Dissociative Mind in Psychoanalysis(affiliate): Dissociative Mind (affiliate): LINK TREE WITH PODCAST AND SOCIALS // EPISODE OUTLINE // 00:00 Teaser on evil 00:31 Introduction word of warning 01:55 Reading from Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man is Hard to Find" 03:20 Introductions for our guests 05:16 Start of conversation 6:04 Were there parts of the study of psychopathy that needed further clarification? 7:02 How does psychopathy differ from Sociopathy? 15:18 Can we say psychopaths are making decisions if their neurology only shows them one pathway of thinking? 18:00 I say something "brilliant." Wait for it...because I'm about to ruin it. 19:21 I make the very mistake I just "brilliantly" uncovered in my prior comment. 21:06 I admit my mistake and learn a valuable lesson. 21:38 Why we need a framework for understanding evil in the world 22:44 Did professional colleagues push back at your use of the word evil? 24:15 Throwing out the word "evil" can shut down a conversation very quickly 26:59 Does our interest in the psychopathic killer through podcasts and True Crime shows tell us something about ourselves? 34:57 Should we be worried about our interest in consuming psychopathic killers in our entertainment? 37:46 I talk about a terrible video I saw of a man on the subway. Are we becoming a herd of prey animals? 44:07 We are receiving physiological signals from our bodies when we engage with psychopaths 54:21 Sometimes, we have to be decisive and forthright with people 56:13 Closing thoughts SUPPORT THE PODCAST: Subscribe/follow the podcast. Leave a rating/comment wherever applicable.  Visit the main website for The Neutral Ground Podcast at and send me an email or leave an audio message for me with some thoughts or questions about one of our topics.  Buy me a cup of Ko-Fi at   Patreon tiers with everything from shout-outs to extra content. Patreon PageAny one of the above items is equally important to me. I am genuinely humbled and moved by the feedback I'm receiving, and the support that I'm getting from all of you. Thank you --- Send in a voice message:
Tolkien, Psychoanalysis, and the Importance of Enchantment Today | Dr. John Rosegrant #47
Jun 7 2022
Tolkien, Psychoanalysis, and the Importance of Enchantment Today | Dr. John Rosegrant #47
Fans of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien have long known about their ability to connect with individuals on a level beyond simply plot and character development. In fact, Tolkien even had a word that he coined to help him account for moments in a story that can cause great emotional and spiritual connection: eucatastrophic. This week, our guest is Dr. John Rosegrant. Dr. Rosegrant is a clinical psychologist, and he has written a fantastic book about how Tolkien's works connect psychoanalytically with many of the concepts that help ground us in our humanity. The title of Dr. Rosegrant's book is Tolkien, Enchantment, and Loss. This is an exceptional book for Tolkien fans who want to learn more about how Tolkien is able to connect with us through the human condition. We talk about the importance of creativity; how we must be consciously aware of when we are becoming gollums; how Galadriel and Shelob are manifestations of feminine power; the role that mirrors play in reflective our true selves; and why we need to approach the abject with honesty and playfulness. Make sure you leave a comment, like the video, and hit the subscribe button. This is a great episode and we have more to come, so consider supporting the podcast. // EPISODE LINKS // Dr. Rosegrant's Book (affiliate): website: // EPISODE OUTLINE // 00:00 Teaser 00:37 Introduction (I'm reading from Tolkien's Lord of the Rings) 4:00 Beginning of conversation 4:31 I only ask question; I never ax questions. 4:55 What effect did the Hobbit have on you at 6 years old? 6:10 Anecdotal story of a friend of mine who at a very young age chose to read the Hobbit over coming out to play. 7:21 How do you define enchantment and disenchantment in your study of Tolkien? 9:00 What was causing this threat in the Modern world to enchantment? 12:02 Is the potential loss of creativity also a part of this discussion within Tolkien's world? 13:55 What happens to the individual who loses the locus of creativity? 15:38 What do you mean when you say that enchantment can be disenchanting? 17:15 Does not engaging in enough enchantment or play in the individual have potential ramifications on the maturation process? 20:43 Are you seeing a lack of enchantment in our young adults today? 22:22 Can you talk about D.W. Winnicott's role in your book on Tolkien? 27:33 what happens if you become trapped in the two worlds Winnicott mentions? 29:31 Let's get abject for a moment with Julia Kristeva and Tolkien 32:13 Does a lack of honesty and playfulness with the abject lead us to become a type of Gollum? 33:37 How did Tolkien come up with the first line of the Hobbit? 38:55 How were Galadriel and Shelob representations of female empowerment in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings? 43:32 Is Tolkien commenting on motherhood and the ability to spark adventure and crush it? 46:54 What do Tolkien's reflective objects reveal to us about humanity? 52:16 What is your Eucatastrophic moment from Tolkien's works? 55:03 Closing thoughts // LINK TREE WITH PODCAST AND SOCIALS// you like to do your part to help bring civility back to our conversations? We need to get The Neutral Ground message in front of more people, and you can help with just a few keystrokes and some clicks of a mouse. 1) Start by hitting the subscribe button and turning on notifications. 2) Then, hit the like button. 3) Leave a thoughtful/uplifting comment for others to engage with. 4) Watch another video on the channel. 5) Share the channel or a video with someone else on your social media accounts 6) Head over to my website at on the website, you can actually go to the contact section and leave an audio comment for me to use on the podcast.
Special Memorial Day message and No Episode This Week, but a Great One is Coming on Tolkien
May 31 2022
Special Memorial Day message and No Episode This Week, but a Great One is Coming on Tolkien
First and foremost, I would like to give my thanks to the veterans who have served and to the families of veterans who have served on this Memorial Day. There are links in the episode notes for those of you who might be struggling to find your way back home from your service. Remember, there is no weakness in seeking help–there is only strength in the recognition that we accomplish the most as a species when we work together. So, if you need help; reach out for it. It is there for you.   Now, as for the podcast information: there is not going to be a full episode this week. I have been away for a few days at a family member’s wedding. I just couldn’t get the editing finished for the episode, and I didn’t want to rush it. This next episode is going to be epic–as the kids like to say. It focuses on a book by clinical psychologist Dr. John Rosegrant and his reading of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. Honestly, it’s a fascinating conversation. I enjoyed it very much and I’m looking forward to bringing it to you all next week. So, hit the subscribe/follow button and turn on notifications so you can be in the know for when it goes live next week. Until then, try to keep one foot firmly planted on neutral ground, and have a great day.    If you’re a veteran who is struggling with mental health, or you know someone who is struggling, consider passing on the following information:  We have a list of apps focused on wellness and mental health and another page on relaxation techniques that our therapists often recommend to our clients. I also recommend linking to Military OneSource's list of mental health resources, as well as this resource list from Rand. Finally, CVN has some great educational resources, like their Tools for Stress and Worry - a free online curriculum for military/veteran families.   If you’re a veteran who is struggling with mental health, or you know someone who is struggling, consider passing on the following information: We have a list of apps focused on wellness and mental health and another page on relaxation techniques that our therapists often recommend to our clients. I also recommend linking to Military OneSource's list of mental health resources, as well as this resource list from Rand. Finally, CVN has some great educational resources, like their Tools for Stress and Worry - a free online curriculum for military/veteran families.  University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine: Apps that can help: Relaxation techniques: Military One Source: Rand Social and Economic Well Being: Cohen Veterans Network: Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: Send in a voice message:
Algorithms and the future of human communication | Dr. Elena Esposito #46
May 24 2022
Algorithms and the future of human communication | Dr. Elena Esposito #46
Algorithms are everywhere. It's likely that one brought you to this video. And, depending on whether or not you like this episode, it might bring this video to someone else who will enjoy it, or the algorithm could crash it right into the place where content goes to die--or to be eaten like Stephen King's Langoliers. Let's hope that you enjoy it enough that it can stay amongst the living. Our guest this week Dr. Elena Esposito, and she has written a fantastic book that studies algorithms and their impact on communication. The title of her book is Artificial Communication: How Algorithms Produce Social Intelligence (Strong Ideas). In this episode, we talk about how algorithms preserve a kind of immortality, our enjoyment of the muddiness and work that goes into human communication, and we even bring Nietzsche into the discussion as well. This is a fantastic episode with an amazing guest. Make sure you feed the algorithmic gods by liking the video, subscribing to the podcast, and leaving a kind, thoughtful comment. Enjoy the episode.    // EPISODE LINKS // Dr. Esposito's Book: // EPISODE OUTLINE // 00:00 Teaser 00:18 Introduction 01:57 Beginning of conversation 03:40 Isn't the ability to communicate a sign of intelligence? 06:35 Why is beginning our study of communication with the listener so important? 14:19 The work that we need to put into our communication with another human is valuable 20:59 Why are lists so powerful when it comes to data and algorithms? 23:44 How do algorithms use distance reading? 26:31 Is there a problem with data dictating literary canon? Yes, I think so. 31:42 We have a Nietzsche sighting, so we must explore it.   32:00 Does anyone appreciate my Debbie joke? No? I understand. 32:36 Is the imperishability of data on the web a Faustian agreement for immortality? 35:32 Personal story about teacher certification back in 2003-04, I think.   41:01 Business communication through algorithms has its own problems 43:01 What should we be mindful of from your study?   44:18 Where can people learn more about your work? 45:25 Closing thoughts // LINK TREE WITH PODCAST AND SOCIALS // Would you like to do your part to help bring civility back to our conversations? We need to get The Neutral Ground message in front of more people, and you can help with just a few keystrokes and some clicks of a mouse.    1) Start by hitting the subscribe button and turning on notifications.   2) Then, hit the like button. 3) Leave a thoughtful/uplifting comment for others to engage with.   4) Watch another video on the channel. 5) Share the channel or a video with someone else on your social media accounts 6) Head over to my website at on the website, you can actually go to the contact section and leave an audio comment for me to use on the podcast.   7) You can also subscribe to the podcast on any one of the following platforms as well: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Joemeyer.substack.com   I realize that you do not have to do any of this. Therefore, even f you do just one of those items listed, I am genuinely grateful. Try to keep one foot firmly planted on the Neutral Ground, and have a great day.  #algorithms #data #humanity #neutralGroundpodcast #elenaesposito --- Send in a voice message:
The Big Bang: origins of the universe and other questions with a cosmologist | Dr. Will Kinney # 45
May 17 2022
The Big Bang: origins of the universe and other questions with a cosmologist | Dr. Will Kinney # 45
How did the universe come into being? Was there much of a bang to the Big Bang? Is there a parallel universe out there where I like tiramisu? We answer at least two of the three questions listed above. I won't tell you which two, however. You're just going to have to watch. We're very fortunate this week to have as our guest Dr. Will Kinney from the University at Buffalo. We spend the majority of the episode discussing Dr. Kinney's new book: An Infinity of Worlds: Cosmic Inflation and the Beginning of the Universe. I highly recommend the book because it does not coddle the reader; it is challenging. I appreciate that. We talk about cosmic inflation; the soundtrack of the universe; multiverses; and the importance of alcohol at conferences when pitching difficult ideas to peers. It's a great episode. If you enjoy the conversation, hit that subscribe button, and leave a kind comment for me or Dr. Kinney. Most of all, thank you for taking the time to listen. I appreciate it.    // EPISODE LINKS // Dr. Kinney's book (affiliate): Kinney's faculty page:   // LINK TREE FOR PODCAST AND SOCIALS//   // SUPPORT THE PODCAST // 1. Subscribe/follow the podcast.   2. Leave a kind rating/comment wherever applicable.    3. Visit the main website for The Neutral Ground Podcast at and send me an email or leave an audio message for me with some thoughts or questions about one of our topics.    4. Buy me a cup of Ko-Fi at    5. Patreon:   Any one of the above items is equally important to me. I am genuinely humbled and moved by the feedback I'm receiving, and the support that I'm getting from all of you. Thank you --- Send in a voice message:
Is Orwell right about language? Do we have a problem with labels today? | Dr. Nick Enfield #44
May 12 2022
Is Orwell right about language? Do we have a problem with labels today? | Dr. Nick Enfield #44
Does language impact our ability to think? George Orwell seemed to think so. I ask this question to our guest this week: Dr. Nick Enfield. Dr. Enfield has written a fantastic book: Language vs. Reality: Why Language is Good for Lawyers and Bad for Scientists. We talk about the problems of framing through a dissection of the Ivermectin debate; we discuss how language can shape reality, but more specifically how it socially coordinates reality; and why it's so difficult to have meaningful conversations when labeling becomes weaponized. This a great episode that is packed with wonderful content. Make sure you let me know by leaving a like, a kind comment, and making sure you're subscribed to the podcast. Thank you for taking the time to be with us today. // EPISODE LINKS // Link to Dr. Enfield's book (affiliate): Enfield's Website: PODCAST INFORMATION // Main website: SOCIAL MEDIA // Instagram: SUPPORT THE PODCAST // Subscribe/follow the podcast.  Leave a rating/comment wherever applicable.   Visit the main website for The Neutral Ground Podcast at and send me an email or leave an audio message for me with some thoughts or questions about one of our topics.   Buy me a cup of Ko-Fi at   Patreon: one of the above items is equally important to me. I am genuinely humbled and moved by the feedback I'm receiving, and the support that I'm getting from all of you. Thank you --- Send in a voice message:
Why James Joyce's Ulysses Matters 100 Years Later | Dr. Sam Slote #43
May 3 2022
Why James Joyce's Ulysses Matters 100 Years Later | Dr. Sam Slote #43
2022 marks the 100-year anniversary of James Joyce's novel Ulysses. Why is this text still so widely read? What makes it such a difficult novel to read? I was first introduced to Joyce as an undergraduate, and it was difficult to read through, but incredibly rewarding. You feel like you've accomplished something special when you get through a text like Ulysses or Finnigan's Wake. This week on the Neutral Ground Podcast, our guest is Dr. Sam Slote. Sam is an Associate Professor at Trinity College Dublin. His area of specialty is James Joyce, so he's the perfect person to speak to about this topic. We talk about the difficulty in reading Ulysses; how Joyce used multiple genre's within the text; the important role that Shakespeare played in inspiring Joyce's work; why Joyce respected Dante's epic over all others, including the Odyssey; the Bloom's Day phenomenon; the philosophy of Stephen Dedalus; Nietzsche's influence on Joyce; and where Joyce studies are going today.  // EPISODE LINKS // Dr. Slote's Works (Affiliate): SOCIAL MEDIA // Instagram: THE PODCAST: Subscribe/follow the podcast.Leave a rating/comment wherever applicable.Visit the main website for The Neutral Ground Podcast at and send me an email or leave an audio message for me with some thoughts or questions about one of our topics.Buy me a cup of Ko-Fi at one of the above items is equally important to me. I am genuinely humbled and moved by the feedback I'm receiving, and the support that I'm getting from all of you. Thank you I realize that you do not have to do any of this. Therefore, even f you do just one of those items listed, I am genuinely grateful. Try to keep one foot firmly planted on the Neutral Ground, and have a great day. --- Send in a voice message:
Cybersecurity, Celebrity Hackers, and Global vs Domestic Cyberwars | Dr. Duane C Wilson #42
Apr 26 2022
Cybersecurity, Celebrity Hackers, and Global vs Domestic Cyberwars | Dr. Duane C Wilson #42
It has been said that the next great world war will not be fought on land, sea, or air. It will be fought in the cyber world. If this is true, we will need all the help that we can get. That leads us to our guest for this week: Dr. Duane C. Wilson. Dr. Wilson has both professional and academic experience in cybersecurity. He has two companies of his own: Wilson Innovative Solutions provides companies with much-needed professional researching in cybersecurity; Wis Education provides continuing education in the field of cybersecurity, training the next generation. In this episode, we talk about the six main goals of cybersecurity; we discuss VPNs; anonymity online; how thieves are able to steal data and leave almost no footprints; blockchain technology and how it is connected to cryptocurrency; domestic and global cyber attacks; and the celebritization of hackers. This is a great conversation. If you enjoy the discussion, make sure you hit the subscribe/follow button, leave a kind comment or rating where applicable, and consider sharing the episode with a friend on social media. We want to bring our message of civil discourse to as many people as possible. Thank you for taking the time to listen to the episode.    // EPISODE LINKS // Dr. Wilson's Book (Affiliate): Wilson's website: Innovative Solutions: INFORMATION: Main website: Apple: Google: Amazon: Stitcher: RSS: SOCIAL MEDIA: Instagram: Facebook: LinkedIn: SUPPORT THE PODCAST: Subscribe/follow the podcast. Leave --- Send in a voice message:
The Importance of What We Read to Children, Depictions of Fathers, and Positivity | Ashley Finley #40
Apr 12 2022
The Importance of What We Read to Children, Depictions of Fathers, and Positivity | Ashley Finley #40
We all know that it is important to read to children from a young age; however, what we read is also important. It is understandable for parents today to be worried about making sure that children are aware of potentially negative outcomes within the world, but we must also arm children with resiliency and a strong awareness of the good in the world. This week, our guest is Ashley Finley. Ashley is an author of children's literature and owner of JJ Carson Press. Her two books, Jade's Secret Ingredients and No Limits, teach young children to be inquisitive, to be reflective, and to be courageous--but that they also have the loving guidance of their parents. If you're looking for books for your young children, you simply cannot do much better than these. In this episode, we talk about Ashley's background in social work, the importance of positive depictions of fatherhood, and why even young children should spend time learning how to reflect properly for their own mental wellbeing. We spend a little bit of time in nostalgia for Uncle Phil, played by the late, great James Avery from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. I also try to sell parenting to Ashley as a heroic call to action, but she is far too humble to take me up on it at full face value. Make sure you subscribe to the channel, hit the like button, and leave a kind comment. We want to bring the Neutral Ground message of civil discourse in front of as many people as possible. // EPISODE LINKS // Ashley's Works (Affiliate): Carson Press: INFORMATION: Main website: MEDIA: Instagram: THE PODCAST: Subscribe/follow the podcast.Leave a rating/comment wherever applicable.Visit the main website for The Neutral Ground Podcast at and send me an email or leave an audio message for me with some thoughts or questions about one of our topics.Buy me a cup of Ko-Fi at Send in a voice message:
12 Angry Men and the Triumphant Journey of Author Reginald Rose | Dr.  Phil Rosenzweig # 39
Apr 5 2022
12 Angry Men and the Triumphant Journey of Author Reginald Rose | Dr. Phil Rosenzweig # 39
12 Angry Men is often near the top of many lists of top 100 films. However, it was not always certain that this would become the classic that it has become. This week, our guest is Dr. Phil Rosenzweig. We're going to discuss his book: Reginald Rose and the Journey of 12 Angry Men. We're going to discuss some of the inspiration behind Rose's penning of the play; his early connections with the great Rod Serling of The Twilight Zone; the casting of the film with Henry Fonda, Jack Klugman, Lee J. Cobb, E.G. Marshall, Ed Begley, etc.; the early perceptions of the film; some of the complications that it faced when it premiered; how it has become a great tool for educators; and how it continues to impact how we think of the justice system and what justice even entails.   Make sure you hit the subscribe button for this one. We've got more great conversations coming out. GUEST'S WORK (affiliate link): Reginald Rose and the Journey of 12 Angry Men:   PODCAST INFORMATION: Main website: MEDIA: Instagram: THE PODCAST: Subscribe/follow the podcast.Leave a rating/comment wherever applicable.Visit the main website for The Neutral Ground Podcast at and send me an email or leave an audio message for me with some thoughts or questions about one of our topics.Buy me a cup of Ko-Fi at one of the above items is equally important to me. I am genuinely humbled and moved by the feedback I'm receiving, and the support that I'm getting from all of you. Thank you --- Send in a voice message:
Masculinity, James Baldwin, and the Unexpected Insurgent | Dr. Marlon Ross #38
Mar 29 2022
Masculinity, James Baldwin, and the Unexpected Insurgent | Dr. Marlon Ross #38
How many roads must a man walk down before you can call him a man? This question remains at the heart of societies and cultures everywhere. Rituals, rites of passages, and cultural norms all attempt to answer this difficult question. In this episode of The Neutral Ground Podcast, my guest (Dr. Marlon Ross) and I talk about the spectrum of masculinity, especially within the African American community, through Dr. Ross' book: Sissy Insurgencies: a Racial Anatomy of Unfit Manliness. We discuss the natural broadening of the spectrum of manliness; James Baldwin's amazing speech at Cambridge during his debate with William F. Buckley Jr.; we talk about the history of gendering black speakers as a means of suppression; Frederick Douglass' powerful message on knowledge; Lil Nas X; the Fab Five from the University of Michigan and their competition with Duke University. It's quite a packed episode. As always, I appreciate your time in listening. If you want to support the podcast, make sure to hit the subscribe/follow button, give it a thumb's up/like, and leave a kind comment or rating where applicable. It is very much appreciated. // EPISODE LINKS // Dr. Ross' Book: Faculty profile: INFORMATION: Main website: MEDIA: Instagram: THE PODCAST: Subscribe/follow the podcast.Leave a rating/comment wherever applicable.Visit the main website for The Neutral Ground Podcast at and send me an email or leave an audio message for me with some thoughts or questions about one of our topics.Buy me a cup of Ko-Fi at one of the above items is equally important to me. I am genuinely humbled and moved by the feedback I'm receiving, and the support that I'm getting from all of you. Thank you --- Send in a voice message:
Video Games, Violence, and the Ethics of Fantasy | Dr. Christopher Bartel #37
Mar 22 2022
Video Games, Violence, and the Ethics of Fantasy | Dr. Christopher Bartel #37
The conversation surrounding video games and violence has continued to be a polarizing topic, which makes Dr. Christopher Bartel's book a perfect addition to The Neutral Ground family. Bartel's book (Video Games, Violence, and the Ethics of Fantasy) takes a much-needed nuanced approach to the discussion. Instead of looking at the games, Bartel asks us to look at the players. Rather than saying this game promotes violence, Bartel asks the players to assert more agency in their gaming experiences--to be more aware of what the game potentially does to you and you alone. In this episode, we talk about how games test our ethics, how they blur the lines of social etiquette, and what parents can do to help make sure their children's gaming experiences are as healthy as possible. I also tell a rather personal story of my father taking me to Funcoland (remember those?) on September 13, 1993--also known as Mortal Monday--to purchase Mortal Kombat on the Sega Genesis. This was significant because it was one of the first games to receive a "mature" rating. I had worked all year cleaning up for a mechanic's shop to save up my money. Did my father let me buy it? Find out in the podcast. Don't forget to hit the subscribe button, the like button, and leave a kind comment to help support the podcast. PODCAST INFORMATION: Main website: MEDIA: Instagram: THE PODCAST: Subscribe/follow the podcast.Leave a rating/comment wherever applicable.Visit the main website for The Neutral Ground Podcast at and send me an email or leave an audio message for me with some thoughts or questions about one of our topics.Buy me a cup of Ko-Fi at one of the above items is equally important to me. I am genuinely humbled and moved by the feedback I'm receiving, and the support that I'm getting from all of you. Thank you --- Send in a voice message:
Russia-Ukraine War and Putin's Pull toward Narrative | Dr. Stephen Norris #36
Mar 16 2022
Russia-Ukraine War and Putin's Pull toward Narrative | Dr. Stephen Norris #36
Is Putin being led by a pull toward narrative? What does that even mean? Putin is a student of history--specifically, he loves to talk about the exploits of various Russian figures in history: Catherine, the Great being a prime example. Does Putin see himself as the next "great"? Is this one of the main reasons why he is doing this? I've discussed on this podcast that one of the defining traits of our Neomodern culture is the urge to create stable narratives, to define one's self and make sense of one's place in history. Although the history and circumstances surrounding the invasion of Ukraine is complex, I do believe that part of the story is Putin's yearning to create narrative. Leaders have been doing this for thousands of years, and they will continue to do it. Why? Is it power? Sometimes. However, I think it often has more to do with the classical understanding of glory. For the Greeks, glory was not riches and lands; glory was a sustainable story of one's deeds that would transcend the life of the individual. Is Putin seeking glory? That might be a part of it. It is for this reason that I have invited Dr. Stephen Norris on the show, the Walter E. Havighurst Professor of Russian history at Miami University-Ohio. In this episode, we talk about narratives, history, NATO, and the people in both Russia and Ukraine who are fighting to end this war. EPISODE LINKS: Links for helping the people in Ukraine:   Razom:   for Children:   by Dr. Stephen Norris: site: INFORMATION: Main website: MEDIA: Instagram: THE PODCAST: Subscribe/follow the podcast. Leave a rating/comment wherever applicable.  Visit the main website for The Neutral Ground Podcast at and send me an email or leave an audio message for me with some thoughts or questions about one of our topics.  Buy me a cup of Ko-Fi at   Patreon: one of the above items is equally important to me. I am genuinely humbled and moved by the feedback I'm receiving, and the support that I'm getting from all of you. Thank you --- Send in a voice message:
The Hero Emerges, Standing in the Midst of Chaos, and the Origin of Jake Jetpulse | Led Bradshaw #35
Mar 8 2022
The Hero Emerges, Standing in the Midst of Chaos, and the Origin of Jake Jetpulse | Led Bradshaw #35
Who needs a hero? We all do. In times of great anxiety, depression, and cynicism, the hero reminds us of what is good in the world and what is worth fighting for. This week on The Neutral Ground Podcast, my guest is Led Bradshaw. Led is the illustrator and co-author of Jake Jetpulse comics. Jake Jetpulse is based on Led's son, Jacob. He can fly, fight, and save the world like any other superhero, but there is one thing that separates our hero from Superman, Batman, and Captain America: Jacob has Autism Spectrum Disorder. However, that does not stop him from beating bad guys, helping others, and showing that heart and courage are still the two greatest ingredients that are necessary for saving our world. In addition to Jake Jetpulse, we discover another hero in our midst: the father figure. Led's story for how much he loves his son is truly inspirational. In this episode, Led and I talk about the origin behind Jake Jetpulse; we discuss the importance of embracing chaos at times; and we talk about the importance of the hero in relation to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It's a fantastic episode. Make sure to hit the subscribe button, and check out Led's works through the links below.    // EPISODE LINKS // Jake Jetpulse: website: website: Main Site YouTube: YouTube Channel Apple: Apple Podcast Page Spotify: Spotify Page Google: Google Page Amazon: Amazon Page Stitcher: Stitcher Page RSS RSS Feed SOCIAL MEDIA: Instagram: Instagram Profile Facebook: Facebook Profile LinkedIn: LinkedIn Profile SUPPORT THE PODCAST: Subscribe/follow the podcast. Leave a rating/comment wherever applicable.  Visit the main website for The Neutral Ground Podcast at and send me an email or leave an audio message for me with some thoughts or questions about one of our topics.  Buy me a cup of Ko-Fi at   Patreon tiers with everything from shout-outs --- Send in a voice message:
Moby-Dick's Captain Ahab, and a Warning We Need for Today | Dr. Joe Meyer #34
Mar 4 2022
Moby-Dick's Captain Ahab, and a Warning We Need for Today | Dr. Joe Meyer #34
Captain Ahab is not crazy; he's mad. That's not the same thing. In this episode of the Neutral Ground Podcast, we're going to take a look at chapter 132 of Herman Melville's classic Moby-Dick. We'll bring in John Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion; the writings of C.G. Jung, including Answer to Job. We'll talk about the abject lineage from Genesis: Cain, Ishmael, and Esau. And we'll discuss one of the most underappreciated villains in the DC Universe: Vandal Savage. What? You've never heard of Vandal Savage? You should. He's pretty interesting. We'll bring in Superman as well to help set the stage. By the end, we'll learn a little bit about what it means to be monomaniacal. Don't forget to subscribe to the channel. PODCAST INFORMATION: Main website: Main Site YouTube: YouTube Channel Apple: Apple Podcast Page Spotify: Spotify Page Google: Google Page Amazon: Amazon Page Stitcher: Stitcher Page RSS RSS Feed SOCIAL MEDIA: Instagram: Instagram Profile Facebook: Facebook Profile LinkedIn: LinkedIn Profile SUPPORT THE PODCAST: Subscribe/follow the podcast. Leave a rating/comment wherever applicable.  Visit the main website for The Neutral Ground Podcast at and send me an email or leave an audio message for me with some thoughts or questions about one of our topics.  Buy me a cup of Ko-Fi at   Patreon tiers with everything from shout-outs to extra content. Patreon PageAny one of the above items is equally important to me. I am genuinely humbled and moved by the feedback I'm receiving, and the support that I'm getting from all of you. Thank you --- Send in a voice message:
Salvation for the monstrous and the horror of being | Dr. Jon Greenaway #33
Feb 22 2022
Salvation for the monstrous and the horror of being | Dr. Jon Greenaway #33
Is there salvation for the monstrous? This is just one of the important questions we explore in this episode of the Neutral Ground Podcast with my guest Dr. Jonathan Greenaway. We talk about some familiar characters in this episode: Milton's Satan, Frankenstein's creature, Aliens, Scrooge, Bram Stoker's Dracula, and a little Jekyll and Hyde. At the core of the question is the relationship between the created and the yearning for theology. I think this episode connects nicely with our Neomodern concepts that we've been discussing for some time now. I hope you enjoy the episode.    // EPISODE LINKS //  Jon's book: Vanguard: on Youtube: INFORMATION: Main website: Main Site YouTube: YouTube Channel Apple: Apple Podcast Page Spotify: Spotify Page Google: Google Page Amazon: Amazon Page Stitcher: Stitcher Page RSS RSS Feed SOCIAL MEDIA: Instagram: Instagram Profile Facebook: Facebook Profile LinkedIn: LinkedIn Profile SUPPORT THE PODCAST: Subscribe/follow the podcast. Leave a rating/comment wherever applicable.  Visit the main website for The Neutral Ground Podcast at and send me an email or leave an audio message for me with some thoughts or questions about one of our topics.  Buy me a cup of Ko-Fi at   Patreon tiers with everything from shout-outs to extra content. Patreon PageAny one of the above items is equally important to me. I am genuinely humbled and moved by the feedback I'm receiving, and the support that I'm getting from all of you. Thank you --- Send in a voice message: