The New Renaissance is a project begun in 2013 by Nathan Shafer. Its aim is to help bridge some of the cultural and political divides in America by exploring culture, especially popular culture, and shining a light on the common themes of individualism and liberty that run all throughout the culture.
"Find me a movie, a TV show, a book, a song," Nathan offers, "that is both wildly popular, and which does not in some way magnify the importance and worth of the individual. It can't be done. In this culture, we identify so strongly with heroes—with individuals who stand out and boldly assert their values, their intrinsic worth as a person. This is the same across all genres, and across all bands of the political spectrum."
Individualism is the foundation of liberty. Seeing and understanding this, and celebrating how it manifests in all areas of culture, is what The New Renaissance is all about!
About Nathan Shafer
Geek, musician, actor, artist, foodie, wine-lover: Nathan is a passionate enthusiast of just about every form of cultural expression there is—in many cases because he's tried them himself. "When I was growing up, I was absolutely SURE that I was going to be a professional actor," he explains, "except for the bit where I was absolutely sure I was going to be a comic book artist. Then in college, I was absolutely sure I was going to be a professional musician.
"In many ways, this is a dream come true for me, a perfect excuse to spend as much time as I can reveling in the arts, seeking out new food experiences, going to every single movie I can (and catching up on old ones I missed), and then writing about it! The podcasting and speaking feeds my need to be on stage, the blog feeds the writer in me, and best of all, everything I am doing works toward making the world the kind of place I desperately want to see it become."
Raised by parents who believed passionately in both liberty and fierce debate, Nathan honed his ability to cut through to the heart of an issue in uncounted dinnertime political debates. "My father encouraged and challenged me to always be ready to defend my views on any subject," he says. "This helped me develop my ability to think through an issue, to try to get right to the heart of the question at the center of any debate."
About "Big Messy Bites"
"Big messy bites" is a philosophy of life. It asserts that the way to live a proper life is not to nibble politely around the edges, but to dive in, get wet, get messy! Explore and experience as many things as you can. This is obviously not a new philosophy; it's an idea that has been expressed from antiquity to the present, in various forms from the classic "We eat and drink, for tomorrow we die" to Robert Heinlein in Time Enough For Love ("Everything in excess! To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites. Moderation is for monks.").
To be a man (or woman) of the New Renaissance is to take life in big, messy bites.