Can you imagine your true self undistorted by the masks you’re expected to wear?
Episode EF42 is dedicated to Justin Vernon, the singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and creative genius behind the band Bon Iver. Called the greatest songwriter of his generation, Vernon is known for creating richly layered music accompanied by deep lyrics and haunting vocals. From his Grammy-winning album For Emma, With Love which is a solo singer-songwriter masterpiece, to the innovative full-band powerhouse that is 22, A Million — all in only one album iteration — Vernon (and Bon Iver) are the musical embodiment of evolving faster.
The big question driving Episode EF42 is … What does it mean to be an individual? Sam Payne is finishing her Ph.D. in physics under the advisement of a professor making a controversial claim as to why the Big Bang wasn’t the beginning of the universe; his new theory of everything posits a universal force which is being interpreted as proof that God exists. Sam gets caught in the crossfire between the professor and the angry mob of protesting college students who believe he is trying to bring Creationism to universities. On a knife’s edge in life and career, the increasing pressure on Sam’s individualism is insisting on a drastic plan. Will Sam have the guts to carry it out? Humanity’s rise to the top of the food chain is due to our success as social creatures, so it can be confusing to sync that reality with our drive to also be individuals. With deep introspection into what got you to this point in life, can you actually define what it means to be a real individual? How would you to prove you have what it takes? Are you capable of creating completely new ideas that aren’t influenced by your predecessors, as Transcendental philosophers like Walden and Thoreau? Or maybe you think you must climb the mountain alone to create a better world, as Ayn Rand believed?