Today I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Dan Schneider, a widely successful various arts and culture host. Here’s the link to the interview.
What a cool way to meet someone! Dan is highly intelligent and efficient, well read in lots of areas of science and in the arts. He reviews films and writes poetry; I get the impression that he is involved in the practice of other arts as well. If you go to https://www.youtube.com/user/cosmoetica today you’ll hear him interviewing three art history professors discussing Andrew Wyeth, a major early twentieth-century American painter. I take it that interviews like that are a major portion of what he does. But he is also interested big questions about the way of living. If you go to this link, you’ll also see the Japanese kanji character explained below.
He began with planned questions and then improvised. The planned questions got things going in a responsible and diverse way from one segment to the next. Astutely, vibrantly, he probed each major category in this website–truth, beauty, and goodness. His spontaneous follow-up questions I found particularly thrilling in their weave of strands of theological thought, observations of the way our society is going, and personal experience. I learned today that he grew up Missouri Synod Lutheran, being taught that humans have no free will, and that God sends adulterers, murderers, and other comparably serious sinners to everlasting torment in hell. He is now agnostic. He mentioned cherishing Melville’s Moby Dick as a novel of universal significance; and expressed great appreciation for Mozart and Beethoven. Late in the interview, you’ll hear about the inspiring death of his father and then his reaction to the heavy make-up that the funeral parlor put on him, disguising his emaciated state after three years of decline with cancer. His question in the interview made it natural for me to share my extraordinary spiritual experience after my father’s death. From start to finish, the interview was vigorous, challenging, and real. I loved it.
A few minutes ago I wrote asking him the meaning of the kanji character that is his logo, and here is his reply:
It’s Japanese, and is Mu, which signifies nothingness.
It’s the lone inscription on the great Japanese filmmaker Yasujiro Ozu’s gravestone. He believed we come from nothing and return to nothing.
If you ever get a chance to watch his films, do so, especially his Noriko Trilogy:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ozu-Noriko-Trilogy-Spring-Summer/dp/B0002OHZPM
All 3 are great. They deal with small moments and family life; the import of duty and family and love across generations. Tokyo Story is on many greatest films lists. He’s my favorite director.
For more about Dan Schneider’s work, visit http://www.cosmoetica.com/. I love this man.