How Will Trump's Saudi Arabia Trip be Spun?

05.22.2017 / Politics

two kings?

Listening to Trump’s speech in Saudi Arabia, and watching all the pomp and circumstance… It’s all very interesting. First, it makes me glad I’m not a politician. I’m too ADD to sit through all that.

More interesting, though, is trying to imagine how the current President’s political enemies are going to try to spin this. I can’t do it yet, but I’m sure it will happen.

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Why They Keep Re-Making Classic Fairy Tales

05.22.2017 / Culture

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You know all those new fairy remakes or satires that keep coming out? From Wicked, to Malevolent, to Shrek, etc. etc?

They all have a unifying premise. Let me break it down it for you:

Classic tale: Once upon a time there was a hero who was good, and a villain who was evil. The hero defeated the villain; good conquered evil.

Remake: It turns out the villain wasn’t really evil, just misunderstood. In fact, the villain was abused by someone else once. The villain is actually a victim, so it makes sense that he or she would act out. As a matter of fact, maybe the non-empathetic “hero” was actually evil for misunderstanding and killing the villain.

The end.



The Knight of Cups -- Socratic Film-making

05.17.2017 / Culture

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The Knight of Cups is, I daresay, a great and beautiful film.

I cannot recommend it without reservation because of the nudity (the shooting of which manages to convey the lewdness of Rick’s sex life and natural beauty of the female form). Rather, I recommend it with those reservations to true Malick fans and to Hollywood actors.

The surest way to hate this film is to compare it to Tree of Life. It’s just not Tree of Life. If one compares them, of course Knight of Cups doesn’t “do” as much for me as even New World – but don’t compare! If you want to watch Tree of Life, go re-watch it. Malick is moving on, moving on; he is not stuck in the past.

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Disney Gets Blackmailed -- Theatrical Releases in the Age of Digital Media

05.16.2017 / Culture

pirates pick

Deadline reports that some hackers stole a digital copy of the new Disney movie and are planning to release it bit by bit unless Disney pays a ransom.

The coercion comes from Disney’s desire to keep the market anticipation high for their new movie – anticipation and curiosity that can only be satisfied by the market paying money for movie tickets.

Which presents an interesting problem in the digital age: should big studios continue to rely on the excitement of a new release to generate ticket sales? Or would people still go to the movie theater (for the sound, the size, the group experience) even if they had the choice to stay home at Netflix it on the day of the premiere?

(As a sample case, even if Disney released Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi digitally the same day as the theatrical release, I would go to the theatrical release – because I’m so excited about the theater experience, the loud sound effects, the excitment and buzz of the crowd.)

Regardless, Disney is forced to decide what to do in this case – and more importantly in future cases.

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Student Feedback Highlights

05.15.2017 / Academia

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Spring of 2017 is my last semester teaching philosophy at the University of Kentucky and Asbury University. Next fall, I’ll be teaching history, theology, writing, and ancient Greek at a secondary school. I may (or may not) end up teaching adjunct at local colleges.

With that in mind, it is nice to look at some student evaluations and see how I did. Some of the below comments are funny, some serious, some moving. Enjoy…


A quiet and cynical atheist business student didn’t mind a garrulous and loud, optimistic religious philosopher professor

“Thank you for being the best professor I’ve had while at UK. You made business ethics, notably a boring subject, into my favorite class of the semester. I know you probably couldn’t tell that I enjoyed either class by the lack of me talking but I did. I probably skip an average of 50% of all my classes, attendance policy or not, but I rarely ever missed any of your classes, for me that is saying a lot. I’m sad to see you leave but I know you’ll do great in California. Thanks for all you’ve done.”

It’s Basically All About the Puns for This Student

“Philosophy has been a semester long class where getting up at 8 am has had its ups and downs. I have gotten into a pun war with Dr. Buhler which made my semester. I still talk about it. Also, Dr. Buhler is so passionate that, even if you don’t like philosophy, you’ll at least catch a smidgen of the excitement that he brings to the course. The book work is long, and sometimes you feel like your head’s about to explode. Any idea you explore seems to be wrong in the end, and you’ll use a lot of logical fallacies in your paper that you didn’t know about. That’s okay. I believe the class is about exploration, and not the kind where you move from place to place. This class helps you go on a journey both through your own head as well as others. You have got to overcome obstacles that are within your own understanding. Otherwise, you’ll never grow as a person. The journey you go through as you explore yourself is what I consider to be the main theme of philosophy class as much as I loved the puns.” (Introduction to Philosophy, TY Asbury 2017)

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Children Understand Everything

05.03.2017 / Culture

dostoeyevsky

In his novel The Idiot, Dostoevsky’s innocent Prince Mushkin explains how much children understand:

“One can tell a child everything, anything. I have often been struck by the fact that parents know their children so little. They should not conceal so much from them. How well even little children understand that their parents conceal things from them, because they consider them too young to understand! Children are capable of giving advice in the most important matters….

“However, most of the people were angry with me about one and the same thing; but [their teacher] simply was jealous of me. At first he had wagged his head and wondered how it was that the children understood what I told them so well, and could not learn from him; and he laughed like anything when I replied that neither he nor I could teach them very much, but that they might teach us a good deal.”

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Keith Got a Job in CA

04.27.2017 / Academia · Classical education

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I am happy to report that God has answered with a full-time job at Trinity Classical Academy in Valencia (just north of LA). In the fall, I’ll be teaching some fun subjects like Roman history, writing, rhetoric, and ancient Greek. Thanks to all who prayed, hoped, and shared their well-wishes on this journey.

Trinity is a wonderful private school, offering a challenging K-12 classical education. They employ a half dozen other PhDs already, lead by a crackerjack team of administrators. Graduates are attending Berkeley, Princeton, and other good schools.

All in all, this is truly a “dream job”. We’ll be about an hour and a half from family in the OC. My son will be able to attend kindergarten when the time comes.

We’re so grateful to take this new step in my career as a classical teacher and to put this PhD to good use introducing the next generation to the best of western civilization.

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Life is Suffering, and Other Jordan Peterson Quotes

04.25.2017 / Philosophy · Academia

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Life is suffering. Love is the desire to see unnecessary suffering ameliorated. Truth is the handmaiden of love. Dialogue is the pathway to truth. Humility is recognition of personal insufficiency and the willingness to learn. To learn is to die voluntarily and be born again, in great ways and small. Speech must be untrammelled so that dialogue can take place; so that we can all humbly learn, so that truth can serve love, so that suffering can be ameliorated, so that we can all stumble forward to the kingdom of God.

Apr. 24, 2017. Hosted by the Young Americans For Liberty chapter at Linfield College as part of the Speak Freely Series

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The Buhler Report aims to enlighten and entertain by publishing timeless wisdom and the latest news about academic philosophy, classical education, politics, and more. Your comments are read and appreciated. All opinions contained in this site are the author’s alone and do not represent the views of any organizations he is affiliated with.

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