Over the last month, we’ve published six blog posts about Stoicism by Jennifer Dziura, based on the letters of Roman philosopher Seneca. You can read the Letters from a Motherfucking Stoic series here.
We then got an email that would change our lives! Or at least this blog. Longtime friend of Bullish and Bullish Society member Bonnie J. Stinson got in touch offering audio recordings of our posts. When they arrived, they were even better than anticipated: There was music! There was drama! There was stoicism.
The audio recordings have now been added to each of the stoicism blog posts, and all on the same page below.
We would also like to present a conversation between Jennifer Dziura, author of the posts and adder of the swear words, and audio artist Bonnie J. Stinson. We regret that Seneca died in 65 AD.
Letters from a Motherfucking Stoic: The Audio Recordings
A Conversation About Stoicism, Feminism, and Mastering Your Damn Feelings
Jen Dziura: Hi, Bonnie! First, I want to thank you for these incredible dramatic readings of our “Motherfucking Stoic” posts. What gave you this idea?
Bonnie J. Stinson: It was my absolute fucking pleasure! I read these Motherfucking Stoic articles and knew instantly that I wanted to produce them in audio form. There is something delightful and reassuring to me about listening to an authoritative and self-confident female voice. Right? This is especially true when it’s a fresh take on a male-dominated area like ancient philosophy. Honestly, I feel like we don’t have enough examples of self-satisfied female (and non-binary) voices in our culture. I identify so hard with the tone of these articles, like everything else on Get Bullish. But I can’t always summon up my own confidence. So, reading someone else’s words was actually a really great exercise in confidence building! Additionally, I know more and more people are choosing to listen to their content (podcasts, audio books, etc). With the evolution of voice interfaces and AI conversational bots, audio is such a cool format to explore (but I digress!). I recorded these articles to help provide an audio option to access Bullish content for people who prefer to listen to their epic content.
JD: Tell us a little about yourself – what do you do when not swearing about ancient Roman philosophy?
BJS: I moved to Toronto in 2018 from Portland, Oregon, to get my Master of Digital Media. Professionally, I spend a lot of time reading about themed entertainment, immersive hospitality, and responsive environments. My thesis project was called “Room for Truth: A New Ritual for Meaning-Making in a Digital-Physical Future.” I am slowly but surely moving towards a career in experience design. It’s been fascinating to see how industries built around in-person experiences are pivoting. I am also passionate about accessibility, neurodivergence, work-life balance, exploding the gender binary, and my two perfect (and annoying) cats. There is also a lot of baking and streaming of shows like Workin’ Moms happening in my house right now.
JD: Do you feel … stoic? Are there any aspects of stoicism you’ve incorporated into your own life?
Listen, I am a double Capricorn, INTJ, and I have Asperger’s. I am the literal definition of stoic. For instance, I am the sort of person who does silent meditation retreats
, with no eye contact, no physical contact, and no reading or writing for 11 days (and I love them). I did an installation project in my master’s program called ‘Master Your Feelings’. I have had Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations
on my shelf since I was a teenager. Like the Stoics, I regularly imagine what could possibly go wrong in my life and then I make my fucking peace with it. Overall, my philosophy has always been one of realistic optimism, and I like to think this is a good way to carry on the stoic tradition in modern times. I try not to be elitist about it. Obviously I fail a lot of the time since being stoic has served me pretty well — except when I don’t want to do the dishes, and then I forgo being stoic in exchange for having someone else do it for me (but honesty is also v stoic!). I am trying to be curious about how different people create meaning in their lives. But I think ultimately I’m destined to be stoic for life.
Hey fuckers, that was some fucking Seneca, more or less. Peace is nice, but your peace of mind comes from within. You have to find meaning and inner peace in your own fucking self or it’s just fuckers getting their armpit hair ripped out 24/7. Want more stoicism? Here’s the goddamn book. Peaceful words abound. And make sure you read the other installments in Letters from a Motherfucking Stoic.
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