Author Archives: Aidan Coughlan

About Aidan Coughlan

Podcaster.

Coming Soon: Dr. Richard Carrier Interview

Dr. Richard Carrier is an author, speaker, philosopher and historian.

We talked about the origins of Christianity, the historicity of Jesus, Christian apologetics, and much more. The episode will – of course – be released over the Easter weekend.

For more information on Richard, see https://www.richardcarrier.info/

To subscribe to The Aidan Project, click here.

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The Aidan Project Live #2: Insane

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Hollie Thubron, singer, songwriter and author, was my guest, exclusively on Facebook Live, on Wednesday 28 March. I talked to Hollie about her debut novel, Insane, a psychological thriller which explores different perceptions of morality. To view the video on Facebook, please click here.

#79 – The People Versus Saul Goodman and Lionel Hutz

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In this edition of The Aidan Project, Aidan is speaking to Steven Keslowitz, author of books including The World According to the Simpsons, The Tao of Jack Bauer, and Why You Better Call Saul. Steven is a practicing attorney and pop culture expert, and in this episode, Steven explains the success within popular culture of disreputable fictional characters, including the lawyers Saul Goodman (Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul) and Lionel Hutz (The Simpsons). Also considered within this fun episode: ‘Cultivation Theory’ (an examination of the effect that watching television over the long-term may have on the ability to differentiate fiction and reality), what is the relationship between celebrities (including the late Stephen Hawking) and The Simpsons, how does The Simpsons deal with controversial issues, such as gun control, and how accurate are the legal proceedings in Better Call Saul? Also mentioned within this episode are the famous comments made about The Simpsons by former US President George HW Bush. At the 1992 Republican Convention, Bush said: “We’re going to keep trying to strengthen the American family. To make them more like the Waltons and less like the Simpsons.” Steven has written about this very quote in The World According To The Simpsons, and shares his view of the relationship between The Simpsons and the ideal of the American family.

For more information on Steven, you can view his website at http://www.stevenkeslowitz.com/, his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/skeslowitz/, and his Amazon author page at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Steven-Keslowitz/e/B001JS3LLC/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1522146986&sr=8-1 (UK) and https://www.amazon.com/Steven-Keslowitz/e/B001JS3LLC/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1522146986&sr=8-1 (US).

Expanded show notes:

‘Stephen Hawking would ‘just turn up’ to Simpsons script readings’, The Telegraph, 15 March 2018, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/tv/2018/03/15/stephen-hawking-would-just-turn-simpsons-script-readings/.

A selection of episodes with a popular culture element:

#29 – Project Extra: Under Siege
#15 – Project Extra: Folklore
#13 – Pokemon Diplomacy and Transnational Culture

Coming Soon: The Aidan Project Live #2: Insane

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Hollie Thubron, singer, songwriter and author, will be my guest on Facebook Live on Wednesday 28 March from 1930 UK time. I will be talking to Hollie about her debut novel, Insane, a psychological thriller which explores different perceptions of morality. Hollie is greatly interested in analysing the psychology of serial killers, and has some fascinating philosophical insights to share.

In the meantime, be sure to follow The Aidan Project on Facebook.

Further information:

Insane on Amazon UK
Insane website

#78 – Notes on The Irish Famine

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In this edition of The Aidan Project, Aidan examines the claims regarding culpability and blame within the historiography of The Irish Famine (circa 1845-1850). The Irish Famine devastated Ireland’s population: it is estimated to have killed a million people, with around two million more people forced to leave the country. Furthermore, this appalling event is a key example of the uneasy history between Ireland and the United Kingdom. At the time of the Famine, Ireland was a formal part of the UK, following the Act of Union in 1801. Did the British intend to extirpate the Irish, as has often been claimed, or were the British simply incompetent? The genocide charge dominates the historiography of the Famine. This debate over culpability and blame is, of course, a contentious one. This episode, after providing a brief introduction to the Famine, will summarise the competing arguments. This episode includes audio from episode 24 – The Irish Famine: Tragedy and Propaganda, which featured an interview with Professor Liam Kennedy, Emeritus Professor of History at Queen’s University Belfast. Aidan and Professor Kennedy discussed the comparisons made by Irish nationalists between the Irish Famine and the Jewish Holocaust. Professor Kennedy’s most recent book is Unhappy the Land: The Most Oppressed People Ever, the Irish.

Expanded show notes:

#24 – The Irish Famine: Tragedy and Propaganda

‘Blair issues apology for Irish Potato Famine’, The Independent, 1 June 1997.

Bibliography:

D. George Boyce and Alan O’Day, The Making of Modern Irish History: Revisionism and the Revisionist Controversy, (London: Routledge, 1996).

Richard English, Irish Freedom: The History of Nationalism in Ireland, (London: Macmillan, 2007).

Peter Gray, The Irish Famine, (London: Thames & Hudson, 1995).

John Mitchel, ‘The Last Conquest of Ireland (Perhaps)’, Boston College Libraries, https://archive.org/details/lastconquestofir00mitc, accessed on 11 February 2018. [Note: Digital version of The Last Conquest of Ireland (Perhaps) (1882). Other publishing dates listed are 1860 and 1873.]

Cormac Ó Gráda, The Great Irish Famine, (Cambridge: Macmillan, 1995).


#77 – Defending Trump’s Presidency

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Dr. Larry Fedewa says that Donald Trump would do well to tweet less often and to rein in some of his unseemly language, but, nevertheless, Dr. Fedewa argues that Trump is doing a good job as United States President. In this edition of The Aidan Project, Aidan is speaking to Dr. Larry Fedewa, a conservative political commentator, with countless media contributions to his name, including the Washington Times. How successful has Trump’s administration been in gaining legislative support? What can be said of Trump’s foreign policy? Is Trump a new Ronald Reagan or is he more akin to a much earlier President, Andrew Jackson? Could Trump face impeachment, and if so, how does the impeachment process work? What is the future of the odd relationship between Trump and the mainstream media? All of these questions, and much more, are considered during this intriguing episode.

Aidan also spoke to Dr. Fedewa for the bonus audio episode, #75 – Project Extra: The Gun Debate.

For more information on Dr. Larry, you can visit his website at http://www.mypoliticalinsights.com. Larry is also on Twitter at https://twitter.com/lawrencefedewa, and you can view his Amazon author page at https://www.amazon.com/Lawrence-J.-Fedewa/e/B076P8Q1W8 (US) and https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lawrence-J.-Fedewa/e/B076P8Q1W8 (UK).

Expanded show notes:

‘Trump says Kim meeting is ‘in the making’ despite concerns’, BBC News website, 10 March 2018.

‘Even when Trump is right, mainstream media downplays it rather than be honest — and more media embarrassments’, Fox News website, 10 March 2018.

“He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side; if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion.”

John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)

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A Podcast Spin-off

INSIDE VEGANISM (1)
I will be launching a new, separate podcast in the coming weeks. However, fear not, The Aidan Project will continue as normal on its mission of thoughtful coverage and analysis of current events, history and culture. I will be adding more live content, too, as part of my commitment to the continual development of The Aidan Project.

The new podcast will allow me to express myself in unreserved detail on a specific cause that is of great importance to me. However, I do not want veganism to be the raison d’être of The Aidan Project, which has an identity of its own.

If veganism and associated considerations are of interest to you, then you will be pleased to know that Inside Veganism begins in April. Nevertheless, it is business as usual for The Aidan Project, where my concerns regarding the suffering of non-human animals, and the unmitigated horror show that is factory farming, need not reside. I have talked about these concerns before on The Aidan Project, but additional coverage, in my estimation, necessitates a different outlet.

Indeed, regardless of your level of sympathy towards non-human animals, The Aidan Project is a podcast about current events, history and culture. It shall remain so.

Thank you for your continuing support of The Aidan Project.

Aidan

Related links:

Inside Veganism on Facebook
The Aidan Project Live: Inside Veganism
#39 – Animal Liberation: Ethics and Speciesism