George Floyd and the Intellectuals
A YouTube chat with Brandon Van Dyck
I had an interesting conversation with my friend Brandon Van Dyck (who founded the Mill Series at Lafayatte University) on his YouTube channel last week, and it’s posted as of Sunday.
You would do well to check out his whole channel—full of insightful discussion among smart people. He is a skilled interviewer and a serious, fair-minded scholar who has thought hard about a wide range of essential questions.
We covered a fair amount of ground (including some brief diversions into stand-up comedy and boxing), but the fundamental topic is how and why things changed on university and college campuses in the wake of the George Floyd Revolution of 2020, with special focus on the place that currently employs me.
I’ve been at this project now for more than six months. Hardly seems possible, but I just checked the calendar and I believe that is the right math.
So, this is a note to you: Thank you.
I’m tremendously flattered by your interest in what I have to say about life, art, politics, death and I’m grateful that you read my ramblings. Every writer desires to be read (Lovecraft’s letter accompanying his submission to an editor notwithstanding) and thus owes a debt that cannot really be repaid to readers, however much the writer sometimes pretends not to recognize this (it’s part of the persona, you see…).
So that’s something I want to be sure to say and say again: THANK YOU.
Now, the other reason for this little note.
I finally got around to doing the technical stuff necessary to provide a paid subscription option.
What does a paid option mean?
It means it’s an option. At present, everything on this account remains open to all subscribers, paid or free. Even if I move at some currently unforeseen point to separating material here into paid and unpaid categories, I still plan to always make the great bulk of it available when it’s produced without cost to everyone interested in seeing it. I’m tremendously appreciative that you read this site and want to do everything I can to ensure you continue to be interested in doing so.
I am hopeful though, and I make so bold as to ask, that if you have a few extra dollars rattling around, you’ll consider kicking some of them my way to help make it more feasible for me to spend more time on this project.
Inevitably, and despite my deepest feelings about writing, I think at least a bit about possible material returns when I am allocating time to writing projects. I have two kids who eat and are in constant need of new clothes and a house in which things are constantly breaking down. Add to that the fact that, to my great regret, I do not have infinite time to dedicate to writing, and it emerges necessarily that sometimes the possibility of writing things for pay trumps writing things here. This is so even though I much prefer writing here precisely because it allows me more freedom to engage with the topics I find most interesting.
If I can generate some paid subscriptions, then, I can spend more time doing this writing, the writing I most care about, and the writing that I hope you find valuable. If I generate enough, I may even finally find enough time and energy to get around to dipping my toes into Podcast World, which is professionally speaking probably the last thing I should do, given my tendency to say things that get me into trouble, but YOLO, as I’ve heard they say.
I hope you’ll consider a paid subscription and, whatever your decision on that, I look forward to writing more for you as All Things Rhapsodical Phase II gets underway. Should you decide to “go paid,” you need only click the button below and it should lead you in the right direction.
Cheers, and thanks again! And very special thanks to those who have already switched to a paid subscription!
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Hi Alexander. Great chat! As I was listening I realised I had read your book review on Lenin (on books by Sebestyen, McMeekin, and Courtois). An excellent review. I have Sebestyen and McMeekin, and like McMeekin especially, as I do his other books. I wish I could read Courtois, but my French is terrible. Unfortunately there's no translation in Dutch, German, or English. Any idea if a translation is in the make?
In the mean time I'll order the volume I found on Amazon that you edited, The Totalitarian Legacy of the Bolshevik Revolution.