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We babble on a bit about colors. Then we talk about our buddy John Bruening who wrote the Midnight Guardian series – which you should check out. And if you want more good books, listen to the Discovered Wordsmiths podcast.
We discuss the new spate of changing books so they aren’t offensive. Whoo boy. But when you hear things like what Scott Adams said, you understand the reaction to a degree.
Stephen: Oh, okay. Morning.
Alan: Good morning. Hey, there’s the the Baldis office. Instead of the background, you can kinda see the wonderful orange glow, the friendly orange glow. getting up in Skynet. There we go.
Stephen: Do you think maybe that when you were in school they were sending messages to your brain and that’s why you like orange
Alan: We. We just had a big conversation about this. Who knows why people like the colors that they do. I’ve always found orange to be like, energetic, and it just, it makes me happy. And I like the flavor of orange and I like many things that orange are involved in. But then people like don’t you worry about prison jumpsuits and safety cones and stuff like that.
And it’s those exist too, but that’s because orange is like an eye-catching color. And I think I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been incredibly lucky. Of course, I haven’t moved to cities to be able to get more orange, but I’ve lived in Chicago and then Champaign Urbana and now Cleveland where the sports teams are orange and blue or or that kinda thing. , orange and brown. And so it’s like I’ve never had problems going into a store. , when I’ve been all around the United States with Colleen, we’ve been all over the place because we’ve seen all the state capitals and you go into a gift shop and you’re looking for a fun t-shirt that’s gonna commemorate, Hey, I was at the Grand Canyon, and some places they’re entirely devoid of orange.
They think everybody only wants to wear black. Yeah. Or whatever. And I love Halloween as a holiday, but not because of the orange. But I’m happy to be at Halloween where it’s like more pumpkins, more it just, it really energizes me. And it’s funny. I, in, I wear a lot of orange. It, hon Honestly I do more variety on our podcast than I do in my real life.
I wear a lot of orange some people I’m in Mensa. We’re both in Mensa and. People that were meeting me as I expanded out of Chicago would be like, oh, you’re the orange man. It, that’s not a good connotation cuz apparently there’s some guy on the East coast that’s a creep and so it’s I’m not that guy.
I don’t know what the East coast orange reputation precedes me. But and it’s funny, I know at least one or two people said we’re just sitting here talking to you and you’re not at all creepy. Why do you have this reputation? It’s apparently there’s more than one guy, me and someone else that likes to wear orange.
So it’s and boy I’ll, it’s funny. I don’t know, maybe I’m like I’m a geyser, whatever. We start the show. I don’t mean to monopolize time, but I have all these things that kind of verbal around in me and this is my wonderful story.
Stephen: Yeah. That’s, yeah, that’s what happens.
it’s a trait, isn’t it? It really is. You know when you get a chance to let it out, because this isn’t. . I just have lag where I just run off at the mouth about nothing. I think all these are like cool or interesting. Yeah, or funny or whatever else it might be. There’s another thing that I just recently learned.
Alan: What an odd thing I my favorite number is eight. I don’t know that many people have a favorite number, but for me, I’ve always thought it’s got symmetry flipped on its side. It’s got infinity that my birthday is eight, eight uhoh. Please don’t come at me. Now all you people that you know are looking for birthday information so you can high my identity.
So I’ve often used eight or 88 as a number in a sports jersey, or if I get to a place where almost all was Alan Baldas has been sufficient to be unique when I’m signing up for a new service, a new email address, whatever. But sometimes they demand an a, a letter addition to make you unique. And I’ve often used like 88 or 88 88 or something like that.
No lie. It all is always amazing to me that when you learn something at 63, it’s like how have I not run into this word or this interesting fact? Especially so associated with a, apparently 88 is like a white supremacist code because H is the eighth letter of the alphabet. 88 means Hele. Hitler, fuck me,
There’s no way that I’m giving up eight as my favorite number. And what a, I hate that world. World of dog whistles where people tried to make the okay sign, or what is it, Pedro the Frog. They have all these weird things like why in the world embrace that? And especially why in the world now it’s like I don’t know that I wanna stop using it, but I really do worry about how many people have seen.
Alamo 88 and said, is he really declaring himself to be a
Stephen: goddamn that’s the problem in our world like that. I saw some news article about some char some young kid dressed up as one of the characters at one of the parks. I don’t remember which one. Okay. But the family complained saying that he gave whatever sign for white supremacists the okay thing or whatever.
And he got fired and all sorts of stuff. And it’s there’s a, I, man, it’s so hard because if that has been adopted and it is being used, yes. But does that mean if somebody does it even. , it’s a 2D picture of a 3D world. This is a guy in a big, bulky costume. It could have just been the angle and and, but, and I’ve said it before, I’ve said it here.
Yeah. Our problem with our culture is our reaction is completely to always go the opposite direction and overreact that way. And that’s not always the best Right answer. Unfortunate and all.
Alan: Like I said, all the disproportion, all the assumption that has to go with, he must know what he’s doing and he must be that it means Exactly.
And only this, so I don’t know. Isn’t there the 88th Parallel was a famous battle line.
Stephen: I’m trying to think of all the other 4 49, wasn’t it? Numbers have there’s I don’t know. I have for Colleen’s birthdays or our anniversaries or that kind of stuff. Done. Hey 60 is a big day.
Alan: I should, I found all the things I could associate with 60 that it was, it’s five dozen or it’s the cal, the chemical element, like cadmium or whatever else it might be. I don’t that I might be right. I think it is cause Academy of steel balls, like little magnets really powerful. I think that’s one of the things I got her.
So I like playing with that. If you’re looking at. the color yellow, for instance, it doesn’t only mean yellow. It means gold, it means dandelions, it means whatever. And so I try to find all those interesting associations. And because I’m so playful and like it means a dozen different things without even trying hard, it’s weird to have people say, now it means this and only this, and we claim it.
And boy, I hadn’t thought about this in a long time. was at U of I and they started putting up little posters that said on a certain Wednesday or whatever, wear blue jeans if you’re gay day. And it’s everybody wears blue jeans. And I don’t know, it doesn’t, I’m not gay, but I’m, everybody’s a little gay.
What? We know what I mean? Why all of a sudden was that weird co-optation and nothing about gay people or any group? Is that where any group claims that and tries to make it? And nobody can use this color, this number, this word, it weirds me out because it’s. And kinda like unfriendly to the max. Yeah.
That you’re gonna be able to like, maybe it’s a little bit of what has become canceled culture. I just need one fact to know about you and I judge you E.
Stephen: Exactly. And you may not even know and understand this group is claiming blue jeans and that now we’re, now you’re labeled and you’re this and worse it.
You’re guilty until proven innocent. But even when you’re proven innocent, it never goes away. That’s our culture’s a problem. Isn’t that funny?
Alan: And maybe that’s part of why people propose that, because it’s sly, like without realizing that you’re being seen as one of them. So their group looks larger if they’re trying to look like that’s a common thing, a majority thing.
I don’t know how to wear your hair or how to wear a bandana or what color to wear. And I’ve been told don’t go, I was grew up in Chicago. Don’t go into certain areas of the city wearing the wrong color because the Crips in the Bloods denote that means you’re in one gang or the other.
And hopefully the fact that I look like a Viking is I’m not an either gang bot. You guys I’m so suburban boy as opposed to any affiliation. And yet that’s the kind of warning that you start to get is checkerboards mean something, or rainbows now mean something.
I guess I get why people branding logo use is a really powerful shorthand for how to identify yourself or whatever like that. So when I’ve worn something that I thought was, I dunno really Mensa e it’s like I gave out little brain pins for a long time, years and years where I buy ’em from the pin store and you could get ’em at a reasonable price if you got like a hundred or 300 at a time.
And so I did I had my little cash of brain pins that I’d bring to gatherings and say, Hey, you wanna wear a brain? And the reason I thought they were cool is cuz it was a little tiny guy it looked kinda like a. Maybe like a little bug on you as opposed to a big brain. I Is that the first appearance of the cat in our show?
Stephen: Feel. Love it. I’ve got the cats in the office with me today. That’s
Alan: very sweet. Steven . I was like I liked that because it was a subtle thing. Instead of wearing a big t-shirt that said My brain’s enormous, or something like that. It’s cool that you can fight each other. Mens often have a thing where we’re gonna meet for lunch, how will we know each other?
Sometimes you can just say we’ll know. We can tell the smarties in a room cause they just have a certain. Look to them or something like that. But otherwise it was like, have a little, the Menzel logo is not that well known, so you could put that on a placard on your table or something like that.
Or what, whatever else it might be. This was very funny, the James Bond movie that first reintroduced Specter in, in the Daniel Craig era, do you remember their logo looked a lot like the Mensa logo. Yeah,
Stephen: it did. Wow. Suddenly. I wonder if that was on purpose. All
Alan: the things that people talk about. Oh, mez is a secret cabal of Big Brady people trying to run the world.
I guess Specter has formalized that for us. How pleasant ,
Stephen: Go. Going back to the colors for one second. Yeah. And we’re talking about. There are, there’s, I mean there’s a lot of studies about colors and what they influence on people. It can be like music and smells that trigger memories, colors, influence how you feel a lot from the studies.
And that’s why when you talk to graphic designers doing business, whatever they will let’s use this color, or let’s make your logo look like this. You’re trying to be warm and friendly. We use these colors. You’re trying to be strict business and we’re like this you’re approaching the younger crowd.
Use these colors, older crowd, these colors. There’s a real science behind it. And that’s probably why you like orange. I have no idea what’s what. I know blue is like the power business color. , .
Alan: It’s much of what you. I’ve reads you that anything in the sun color spectrum is energy, if you will.
That as compared to blues or greens, which are more calming or more in green case, earthy. The reason that this is prison clothing is often pink because it’s not only calming but emasculating if you’re a macho guy. And it really does have an effect of, they did the study that said, Hey, if we have ’em mold dressed like this, there’s 33% less incidents.
And of course, I’m grabbing a number out of the air, like many statistics nowadays. Yeah, , but I know that they, when they do house design and not in a mystic, feng shui way, and that’s not even the right word I want to use there, there’s cultural things where colors means different things as well, but you wanna have your bedroom not.
like you wanna have your kitchen be orange or yellow because hey, it’s morning, wake up, et cetera, et cetera. You want to have your bedroom be nice and calm and blue cause you’re going sleep and it’s a
Alan: color right? And I like all those things. And blue, like you said, it means solidity. Red means you want to stand out, but then you have to be worthy of it, if you will.
If you were read inappropriately, it makes you. Silly and maybe that’s my orange has always been, I don’t know that I have any problem without, yeah, that guy should be wearing orange. Cuz I am a fast talker and a high energy person and I’m enthusiastic and optimistic and I it’s a self-fulfilling thing.
I embody the color orange and then that’s why I like it, or vice versa and also I like contrasty things like orange and black. I love Halloween because that’s a really cool color. Whereas like red and blue, you get that weird color dissonance that it, you can’t read like text one on the other and stuff, right?
Because you’re rods and cones. Of course the cones is color right. The cones are the ones that are like, okay. Continually having to flip back and forth between how I process these things. And as you said, the whole primary color, secondary color, which are the associated ones. The best match for each of the secondary colors is the primary.
That’s not in the one that made it. So if orange is made out of red and yellow, then you’ll orange and blue together. It’s. Satisfying somehow. And I don’t, maybe they’ve now, what they’ve discovered is it is, but it’s not necessarily the why of it is not known. It’s just that human beings tend to like purple that goes with yellow or like maybe sports teams.
There’s a dynamism to the secondary and primary right colors. And I don’t know how when you go to tertiary colors and all the other shades, you start to get, we just sold my parents’ house in California and one of the things that we had to do, of course, was it was probably 40 years out of date and they had good classic taste.
It wasn’t like they had Andy Warhol walls up where it was all upward and stuff like that. But Mc Escher house, Mc Escher house. Exactly. In order to modernize it. It was I think I, we did we talk about this before, the kinds of things they were proposing. The colors no lie are called like. Agreeable beige and exceptionable gray and things like that where it’s like it’s built into the name that this is the color that nobody will object to.
Nobody will love it. It’s kinda all the off whites that we used to have. They had a thousand different eggshell in alabaster, whatever else it might be. And now that we’re at least offering some color, or maybe for the southwest, because they were in San Diego that’s a color that still goes with many other color schemes.
There’s a southwest color scheme that you probably have seen that is right. The colors of the desert and stuff like that. Sonora in color palette. But when I was looking at that, it was like, good lord, this house puts me to sleep grazed in beiges. I make a point of never wearing olive drab.
But having said that, when I wear gray, I don’t know why, but I look really good in it. Colleen likes me in gray and I’m like, oh my God, I’ve become part of the wallpaper. I’m invisible in gray, but no, your eyes pop or something. It’s what? , who knew that gray would make my hazel eyes. Stand out somehow.
So I know that there’s whole palette I, without, I think that the ladies know much more about this and perhaps care more about this because they pretty much regularly care about colors more and they go in and actually get that cool palette analysis. You’re a spring, summer, fall, winter, what will for your complexion and your, the, your overall, the mean of your features is going to be this color palette and I might wear it not so much to match me as to. Indicate what kind of person I am. Like that there’s not, it doesn’t have to match me. It has to be who I wanna be seen as. Maybe the lady do that too. They dress with various different, an actual a a cat adjustment. That’s very funny. That’s Willow. The Cyclops cat. She’s only got one eye. she SLS things maybe too hard on the one side or something. Yeah. . And so do you have a favorite color? I’m orange for me, but it, some people don’t and that’s kinda that’s cause whatever happened in my use to say that’s the one I don’t even know.
Did I come the womb saying, yep, I just like that cuz it, even before I knew colors had various different connotations you like, I don’t know. Cuz I liked the flavor. I’ve always liked the orange chuckle was the last one that I would eat out of the pack of six because it had that citrus zing and it.
You know what I mean? There’s all kinds of good associations that I have with Orange. I don’t know that I drink a lot of orange soda, but like when I get a I love sherbet. Of all the shertz, I like orange the best. And in fact like orange with, little vanilla. A dreamsicle is such a great combo. .
Stephen: I’m gonna get you some can orange candy or orange ice cream or orange something.
It’s bright orange, and then it’s going to be flavored like pickles or something like that.
Alan: They do stump things where it’s it’s meant to look like that. And then all if you do that, I’ll be, oh, curse you. . . I, it is funny to be, maybe if you’ve seen these tests too, where they have they have the color printed in another color and you’re supposed to just be able to go down and say, yes, that’s purple, but purple is written in blue and what’s.
Sensory apparatus has precedence in your brain for, can you say it from the print, even though the color is telling you a different story. It’s kinda interesting exercise. You know what I mean? Okay.
Stephen: Yeah. I don’t have a favorite color. Maybe I, it’s weird, but possibly black. But here’s my black story.
So when I was little, we got a box of cereal. And you remember the prizes in the cereal, right? Sure. You weren’t allowed to dig down to get the prize. You had to eat the cereal. All right. And earn your way down to it. That’s right. . So this prize was a trading card. It was an oversized trading card, but it was from this movie that was out that I didn’t know anything about.
But the character was so cool looking. He was all in black with a helmet, and it just looked so cool. That was my introduction to Star Wars and Darth Vader. And so that card. I unfortunately don’t have it. I have seen it at trade shows. Okay. So they do exist, but I was like, wow, black is way cool. . But I don’t have a favorite color.
I’m told. Red looks good on me and I’ve got some red shirts and I’ve got just about every color shirt, mostly black, because a lot of the nerd shirts are black. A lot of the Marvel and space That’s right. Skirts and stuff.
Alan: Yeah. Because rock and roll wants their logo to pop and so do comic books and so does science fiction.
That’s right. I think easily out of all the things I bought from Wizard World’s Comicon, et cetera, 80% at least have to be black cuz that’s what they had. I don’t know that I would’ve chosen black, but of course that’s what they have so that it contrasts well, okay. So
Stephen: before we run on to something else while we’re sitting here, I got a message that popped up and I just glanced over to see, it was from John Bruning, our author friend. Yes. Who I saw last week
Alan: at a Midnight Guardian book. Yes. Really good. So shout out to him. We if we haven’t had a conversation with him yet, I think he would come and join us, because that would be good.
He’s on an interesting journey similar to yours it’s small press or independent press, almost books and stuff like that. And yet he’s getting some acclaim and he’s good at what he does, just like you are. So that’d be, you haven’t already had him on your your yeah, I’m, I was thinking about asking him podcast.
Exactly. We, I think I’ve had multiple conversations with him now that indicated there was. Real connection instead of just, I like your books. Bye . That kinda thing.
Stephen: Okay. Yeah. I first ran into his publishing partner, Jim Beard, at a little conference down at the Native American Indian, whatever village over by pa, forget the name of it, but it was some weird little crypted conference.
And there was this author there and I went and talked to him and he’s written X-Files and several other pop shows and some good stuff. But he had done some comics and I went and looked through my comics and I found a Star Wars comic that Jim Beard had done. So next time I saw him, he signed it. Then I found out about his partner and you got me those books for Christmas, midnight Guardian.
And I just ran into him last week. That’s right. It was so funny because I walked,
Alan: it’s Flinch Publishing, I think.
Stephen: Yes. I’ll put a link
Alan: in Flinch. Okay. Yep. And it was funny cause I walked in. I didn’t know he was gonna be there. I just knew it was an author round table. They do him like every month.
Stephen: So I wanted to go to it. So I walk in, I’m like, oh, John Bruning is here. So I had chatted him before about seeing him at the Learn Owl up in Hudson. Yes. And so I was sitting there and I said, Hey, imagine my surprise. I walk into the round table and there you are. And I sent it to him. I didn’t know if he had it on his phone or he’d see it later, whatever.
So I’m sitting there and. Phone goes ping, and I pick it up and look and he says, Hey, I thought I recognize you. I look up and he’s going, , .
Alan: That’s very funny. When you do the, as you’re approaching, you’re on the phone with I hope I recognize you.
Stephen: Yeah. So it was kind of interesting cause the message just popped up from him.
He goes, Hey, but he sent me a friend request. We had chatted, but weren’t like on the friend request level. He sent me a friend request, I accept. He said, Hey, by the way, I was just perusing your page and looking at some of the posts you’ve done. I thought I liked you, but now I think I like you even more
I’m like, that’s great. Okay. That’s how’s that for, I’m posting. Who I am and how I feel and gathering the people that kinda are that same way, pushing out the people that aren’t we’ve talked about that before many times. That’s right.
Alan: I’ll tell you, the undiscovered, wordsmith thing is such a great idea because there’s people that are looking for guess not only publicity, but the right kind of publicity, if they’re writing niche fiction pretty genre things that are specific, they don’t need 101 approaches where they’re saying, so what do you guys do they need? Kinda I’m already into the pulp world or the science fiction world, or whatever else it might be. And yours looked like an interesting series compared to how much other stuff is out there.
Yeah. That’s, I discovered him because I went to a pulp convention over in Westlake, if I remember correct. And one of the him and his partner were there from Flinn and I’m like, wow, I kind of wanna. , every one of these . And they were like, you could if you want . And it was like how about if I take like the first of each of these various different series to sample them and find out if I like ’em or not?
And then after that, they did a reading right at a bookstore here in Lakewood. That is he, John did. And everybody is a little bit standing around. It’s a very lowkey casual thing. So there wasn’t, hey, clear the room. We got the next thing coming in. And so we ended up having one of those nice conversations and all you keep doing is throwing out.
So you’ll like Doc Savage and you’ll like Tarzan, agar, rice burros. And not only the pulse, but just as we talked, there were more and more interesting connections and our reflections on them were interesting that it wasn’t just, I read this and it’s the only thing I read. It was more a guy I was interested in getting to know more.
Yeah. And hopefully he, I so it’s kinda like you make the team for each other, I have a certain amount of filter up that says I really don’t, I try not to waste my time. I don’t want somebody that’s, I don’t need all my friends to be. I don’t know, experts or deeply into all my various different hobbies, but the real plebes or the ones that are a little bit hanger ony, I just don’t have as much time for them because I wanna spend time with quality and so forth.
And I want that to be that for other people. And by the way, please apologize to Colin because I missed the Adams figures and comic books. They had a little convention this Saturday. And I think once again, Pete Craig Russell was going to be there. Yep. And this is of funny, I guess I’m like this too ordinarily we’ve been like, oh my God, that’s yes.
To meet Pete Craig Russell. But you know what? I just met them again last year and the fire was not as hot. So Colleen and I had other things going on that day, and we stayed with them instead of the segue over to Akron and the particular the had more shrine temple or the exactly. The shrine. And so really hate when I say, yeah, I’ll try to make it.
And then I really had intended to, but it just was. You have to triage things sometimes, the hassle of giving up the last half of this in order to go there. I just and also that it’s much more for anything comic book or pulp or et cetera, related. It’s not as much Colleen’s thing as my thing.
And soon I feel bad about taking her away from something that we’re both enjoying to something that’s now just me. It’s we trade we’re very good at taking turns and that kind of stuff. But once in a while it says I already packed so much into my weekend. Maybe I’ll go with only seven things instead of eight.
I’m getting tired, . You know what I mean? So
Stephen: I have a whole activity calendar. I add things to in case I wanna go or feel like it or something changes or so I don’t forget it. Yeah. Or also on Facebook. So I’m triggering the algorithm, give me more things like this, so I, a lot of times that too. So speaking of books we brought up John. Speaking of books, this is A topic that I was like, man, I’m torn and I really don’t know how I feel about this. I can see both sides of it. So the article was The Estate of Roll Doll, who wrote Charlie in the Chocolate Factory and the Witches and the James and the Giant Peach.
Several other really good classic kids books. Exactly the estate. He’s not no longer with us. So his books are classic. He’s not writing anymore. That’s all there is. We got it. Millions of kids have read it through the years I’ve read ’em. I’m sure you’ve read at least some of them. It did. In
Alan: fact, I’ve read not only Charlie, the Talkback, which became Willy Wonka.
I read Charlie in The Great Glass Elevator, which is a much less known work follow up. Yeah. Other thing, like you said, the giant peach and so forth. Yeah I liked it because even when you were young, were like, this is not your standard kids’ books. There’s really like danger and tragedy as well as comedy in here.
There’s still some adult things. It’s snuck in on us, it’s got some disturbing ness about it. . Okay.
Yeah. But also great word play, I still use Verit Cades in conversation just to see if anybody else read the book. You know what I mean? Anyway, ,
Stephen: so the estate has released new additions of the book.
And they went through and edited them so they weren’t offensive to. People that it didn’t have offensive wording, offensive remarks. And lot of people got upset. These are classics. They’re set in stone in history. , which I get and agree with. Yes. But they the estate said, but look, if there are kids that don’t wanna read this, cuz it offends them, it makes ’em feel bad.
In today’s world, even though when it was written, this wasn’t looked down upon, but in today’s world it is that we don’t want them to miss out. Now that part of it is an argument I’ve had with my son back and forth that he’s these are just bad remarks. They’re racist, they’re this, I’m like, but for the time he’s I don’t care.
They should be this, that. And I’m like, oh, like Mark Twain. Mark Twain’s another big one.
Alan: Absolutely. Often used as an example of he really is a giant of literature and yet for the time he sure didn’t spare. Yes. What things were used at the time and being ri written again you gotta take in the context of the time period, and I’m.
Stephen: Oh man, I am not saying I approve of it and it should stay that way. And I’m not saying it was right. That’s not what I’m saying at all. But at the time, nobody was questioning what was being said. That was racist remarks that we consider now. It was a different way of thinking. So I’m not condemning them, but I’m not disagreeing with modern.
So they changed some of the wording. They changed some of the sentences, so it wouldn’t be offensive. And, huh. I again, I’m torn. These are classic literature and we’re just changing ’em are we gonna go back and change Homer because it’s got some offensive in it or yoga mesh , let’s change all that, but what they did, and I applaud them for this, is that they released classic editions, the unaltered versions, and then the new modern edition. So
Alan: people had a choice instead of only being railroaded into one
Stephen: or the other. Yes. And I was like, okay, you know what? I have no problem with any of that.
I don’t wanna hear other people saying, they shouldn’t even release those classics, right? Blah, blah. Again, don’t you make the choice for me, don’t you make the choice for my neighbor’s family? They may have their own reasons for wanting one or the other. Let’s, I hate that when it’s somebody else trying to decide what I should read or watch or listen to.
Alan: Absolutely. Colleen and I had a discussion just recently about this because there are places hot and heavy right now that are, the band books lists are getting longer instead of shorter, you’d think in the 21st century that we’d be like about freedom. About freedom of the press than freedom of expression and so forth.
And instead, people are fighting, not even like the memetic war, but just. I’m the only one that knows I’m the only one that has good taste. And you know what? That’s bs and that’s course that isn’t
Stephen: true it’s political and religious, oh, I, you can have free all the freedom of the speech you want.
You can have all the freedoms you want as long as it agrees with what I think is right. Because if you put something out that I find offensive it’s gotta. I’m not mature and responsible enough to just avoid it. I’m not willing to let you have your freedoms like I speak about. It has to be what I want.
Alan: That’s for a long time they were like, the reason that they were what I’ve heard often proposed is parents have to be like, they had to get a permission slip signed in order for them to be able to watch the movie Oliver, because it had one square word in it. , remember this? Yes.
And it’s okay, I like the fact that the parents are getting involved because that’s of course who should be making decisions about their kids is the parents. And then the minute that somebody else wants to assume parenthood instead of the parents like that, that it defies so much how society is well structured, that there’s all the variety and diversity of all the various different parroting ways to raise kids.
And I haven’t seen a standard yet. good rule of thumb for me about any kind of censorship is the person that puts their hand up wanting to do it. Absolutely not them. You know what I mean? The people that are eager to inflict their taste on everyone else that’s not the right person for the job.
There’s very few people that really are, that well-read that balanced, that circumspect about what really crosses the line. If you’re gonna do something I, and it’s funny, you see this all the time in the labeling of movies. Why would we get a PG to a PG 13 to an R and most of the time it’s for sexual situations or it’s for a graphic language or things like that.
Lately I’ve been seeing that they have things like smoking or, that there’s other things that have been added to that canon of what we really shouldn’t be showing. Cause it’s existence apparently is always an inducement to do it. Instead of somebody saying, that guy’s smoking, what a loser.
I’ve never taken up smoking. You know what I mean? So that. Lack of confidence in given the marketplace of ideas and the choices that can be made, we should allow all of them to be out there instead of ever shutting anything down. There’s never been a book burner that was the person who should be running society.
There’s never been a government that wanted to do that kind of thing. That was an advancement of civilization instead of a shutting down of all of what makes for civilization the free exchange of ideas about maybe, like the term that I’ve heard before is ation. There was a guy named Bler that took books and made them safe, especially in a Christian context, if I remember correctly.
And so they had, there was a bookstore just down Warren Road that had ized versions of films. They had actually excised pieces of movies that they thought were not good for kids, so that even r or PG 13 could be seen by younger audiences. And the big objection is, what about the artist? The artist has?
And especially when they had The contract that they had with the studio was that they get final cut. This really is the artist’s vision and he’s exactly like he wants it to be. And that’s not always the case. So sometimes wh when I don’t mind seeing an altered version is the director’s cut, hey, in order for the exact time for it to be in theaters, cuz they want to have a two hours instead of a two hour 20.
Cuz it affects how many times you can show it in the night or the various different studio executives really had a mad on about, that’s too many Fox, you can’t have that. When I said that, oh, park took care of
Alan: Slap Shop was one of those movies that what I was watching is this is like as true to life as I know because that’s what guys in the locker room are like.
That’s what. And general are like that. They’re always ragging on each other and they’re right. Vulgar but funny, vulgar and all that kind of
Stephen: stuff. , south Park addressed that in one episode. I don’t know if you saw that one. I think it was shit that they said, oh, they’re censoring shit.
We can’t say shit anymore. Nobody counter. Yeah, they counted it. It counted up and it’s making a point. And we’ve said that before, you know there are forms of art that can point out these things to us in society in South Park pointed that out. South Park and Simpsons a lot of times point out the ridiculousness and the whole censorship thing.
Who’s deciding those books that go on the band list? That’s right. That’s safe for our kids. I wasn’t included in that. Hey, since you added something you think should be on the band list, I’m going to say this is what should be added. Cuz I think so how about if we put the Bible on there, how many people do you think would say, oh yeah, the Bible should go on there.
Because you said so. What’s funny is there when they try to make up. It’s not just my taste, here’s my set of standards. I’ve actually written out what I find objectionable and the how many appearances of these kinds of things are allowed. And if it’s more than this, then it isn’t allowed.
Alan: If you’re looking for a book that mentions incest or slavery or name the terrible topics like the Bible gets tossed out along with all the rest of the things very readily. It has references to all kinds of inhumane things, unnatural things, supernatural things. You know what I mean? They can’t have talk in animals and mentions of demons and angels, and I’m trying, I think I used the term demonn instead of devil, but I’ve seen all the little things that say here’s why the Bible wouldn’t fit these criteria. But apparently it gets a pass because you’re the Bible. The God bother us, right? And you want to make sure that other things don’t compete with the Bible. More than that, these things are really inherently bad.
Stephen: So why don’t we add a trigger and a warning to the Bible , like they do on movies or other books, warning this book is about slavery and has words in it that may offend people. We’ll add that to the Bible too. And yeah, I know that’s like an extremist thing I’m saying is probably go really irritate people if you know they’re hearing it.
I could get my house burnt down because that’s the reaction. If you don’t agree with our religious views, we’re gonna burn your house, . You know what I’m saying? This is what I don’t like about our culture sometimes,
Alan: right? I’ve had this before too. There’s multiple Abrahamic religions there’s a route to the various different US and Juddaism and Islam and all of them seem to include, like women are equal.
All of them seem to inclu. They have supernatural aspects and so every time that I see when they talk about, Hey, we have to stay in Afghanistan because they’ve got Sharia law and we have to make sure that we don’t go to that. It’s have you compared what we’re doing here compared to there it we’re not far from it.
We have people that are actively working on doing that. If you really don’t want it there to be a religious element to your government, then you have to keep it out everywhere. Not, you don’t like it in Islam, but you’re accepting of it here. Like right now, our women can still drive, but they sure can’t have body autonomy in terms of un unfortunate, based on what the Supreme Court that just said. So I know we’re the thing that I have difficulties about religion. is, you know what, it isn’t about religion. It’s about free speech and the, whatever the excuse is. Cuz I’ve seen people do this for a lot of the patriotism that we’re talking about, false patriotism where we don’t wanna tell the real story of the Civil War or what forces led to it or what the outcome from it was.
There’s a racist element that’s very propagandized. There’s a an anti-feminist element that’s very in those things. And it might be that those things are still supposedly based on religion, but I think that’s very fake Christian bullshit, that there’s nothing in the Bible that said you that there’s the never, how about the seven tribes?
The ones that claim that they are like I’m pretty sure that anybody born here in the United. Isn’t in that . And I’m pretty sure that when I see images of Jesus Christ that he’s far more like ripped white guy Jesus than he is for sure. Someone who looked contemporaneous with everybody else in the Middle East back then, which would’ve been much like an Arab or a Jew, right?
Not like the Romans who came down from, do you know what I’m trying to say? Yep. So the authenticity is absolutely not there. They again, claim we’re the only ones that know what he looks like. I’m trying like just like we have an image of Santa Claus because it appeared in the Saturday evening Post and forever after.
Who was that? Like Coca-Cola ads? Yeah, Coca-Cola ads and stuff. And then same when we first started to. , those images of Jesus that really didn’t match historically accurate at all. Like I wish that someone would’ve said that almost certainly is not authentic to the Bible and to the time it was written and to the people that were around to write it.
And that isn’t that if he was born in Bethlehem, it went to Nazareth. He wasn’t the one white guy in all that area. He couldn’t have been. So I don’t know that, it’s funny. I don’t have so much to have a problem with religion in terms of I hate the fact that they keep claiming for themselves things that I don’t even have to worry about the Bible stories or the supernatural elements of it.
They so knowingly lie about things to be the weird European element of it, the white supremacist element. And I just find that I like the 10 Commandments. They’re a really good way to run a society. Every time that I see thou shall not lie, thou shall not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witnesses the right way, and that they do it in spades.
A muno, it’s wow, that all the other things that you might say are a Christian. Those are like the top 10. They that’s Moses coming down from the mountain with the tablets, et cetera. It’s like, how do you let yourselves do that so readily if you are really trying to lead a, not even a Christian life, a God-fearing life because Moses predates
You know what I mean? They pick and choose between the old and the New Testament. and there’s so much evidence that people you haven’t read the full Bible if you’re railing about what’s wrong with homosexuality and then two psalms not right versus later. It’s all the things about not wearing hav, not having tattoos, not wearing mixed clothing, not having there’s dietary restrictions.
There’s all kinds of things that they’re like we’re gonna give that a buy. Really harp on, pick and choose a combination
Stephen: or whatever, or make it up. I saw, okay, so I’ve been going back or make it up like
Alan: no fish on Fridays ain’t in the Bible, for instance. Exactly. .
Stephen: That was created by the Catholic church because the fish industry was not doing well and they asked the pope to help ’em out.
So they said all Catholics need the fish on Fridays. And it was just, it was political. They, the fish industry said here have a lot of money. They were an early super pack is what they were. ,
Alan: And also just when they have the dietary restriction, this kinda okay, traf you don’t want to have various different sea fish or organ meats, but I’m pretty sure that was because they had no refrigeration and those were what, not only rotted, but went lethal soonest.
And so out of having your people survive, you start to say, Hey, don’t leave the shrimp out in the sun and then gobble ’em And so it’s I’m enough of a modernist, a futurist that say, I’m pretty sure that’s the result. Not of God’s inherent word, but a matter of. What conditions they had.
They were a desert, nomadic, tribal society. And they, they really, at least were smart enough to say, unbalanced, don’t do this thing because milk does spoil, shrimp do spoil, et cetera, et cetera. It’s the telephone game over 3000 years. .
That’s a great way to put it. Exactly. .
Stephen: So I was watching an old episode of Supernatural the TV show and the Angel Castile at one part became God.
He took in all the souls and got so powerful he took over as God because God was absent. They didn’t know where God was. And he walked into a church meeting. And the preacher is going on and on about homosexuality and railing against that. And Castel as God shows up and he says, actually, I really don’t care about people’s sexuality.
That means nothing to me. But what does is lying in my name and saying one thing, and he said, preacher, how about if we talk about where your penis has been and in what bed you’ve been sleeping in? And the preacher’s what? Oh, and then Castillo went and killed him. I’m like, There’s something we don’t talk about is the vengeful God, do what I say, or You’re dead
Yeah. We don’t talk about that so
Alan: much. And actually you just, we made such an important reference. I’ve mentioned the lying, cheating, stealing. I’m pretty sure that thou shall not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain is high up in the list. I know that they’re not an ordered list.
They’re supposed to be these tender people. And yeah, that definitely appeals there. So every time that somebody tells you, God spoke to me, or this is God’s will, and they have no authority to say that more than you do, more than any other person does, I would classify that as taking the Lord’s name in vain.
And yet that doesn’t stop the Bible thumpers and the TCRs and all the others that because that is a great flaming sword to wield against others. I will find something wrong with you and condemn you for it. And especially the hypocrisy of. . Wow. You just condemned me for something that you do in spades.
Yeah. You are indeed the philanderer that fools around on his wife or you steal from your church coffers or you go on benders or whatever, whatever else it might be. That’s just this. It can’t be that God is guiding your every step, and then especially when they fall, and then they of course go to their parishioners and beg for forgiveness, and maybe the parishioners could go a little Old Testament instead of new saying, what we really want is for you to be gone from here forever.
You cannot be trusted. You are supposedly the one who leads the flock and you’re the worst example. Yeah. We could ask for about
Stephen: abuse of power, about aggress, but they don’t see that they’re blinded to it. Exactly. And I love. That. God spoke to me. Prove it. don’t have to prove it because I have faith.
I believe it. And you’re discrediting me because of my faith and my belief. It’s like such an easy out. It’s the same as it’s someone I used to live with that said, oh, I can’t do anything today because I’m having nerve pain. You are? Yeah. The doctors can’t detect it, but I am.
Okay. Oh, really? Every single time there’s housework to be done or there’s a chore, something to do, suddenly you have it. That’s crazy. Oh boy. It’s funny. You find these people that claim these medical things that the doctors can’t. Detect oh, I guess we’ll take the word for it.
And that’s what I see too often in the religion world, right?
Alan: That there it’s sad that there’s a relation there, but there really is, people learn, I don’t know. Early on when you’re young, you learn what little lie gets you outta stuff and then you never abandon that if you keep getting away with it.
I know I’ve made reference to this probably long ago. The prisoner’s dilemma is a big thing in game theory where if you’ve got a series of interactions with someone and they defect, they betray you. You can’t just write it off. You can’t say you had a rough day that day. You have to.
Betray them back, treat them poorly to get them back on an even keel so that you’re both in this together. Otherwise, they’ll never stop doing it. And I know that’s a terrible way to think of wow, if we’re gonna have a war, then we never have peace if we’re gonna have the need for vengeance is more important than the need for forgiveness.
And so it breaks down when you take it out of the artificial game theory thing and put it into many larger contexts. But having said that, I’ve seen the bad outcome, if you don’t nip it in the bud, if you don’t get people to stop doing the bad thing that they’re doing, they won’t stop. They don’t have a conscience.
They’re not necessarily a sociopath or a psychopath where they really don’t have a sense of morality or a sense of how they are still part of humanity, but they get trained by Wow my my family had to do work and I could just say the magic phrase and I got to relax. Or you name it, you name The thing that, that I think people are pretty cunning.
in learning what works for them. And it’s, have we talked about this before? I’ve seen this so much. I don’t know I’m a big guy, but I’m not like Adonis there’s guys, they’re so handsome or ladies that are so pretty that you can see quickly in interactions with them how they’ve learned to use their handsomeness or beauty to their advantage, right?
That people treat them better. They do things more for them. It’s our human nature to say, I detected them that they’re a better breeder because they’re beautiful and if I want to have a possibility of breeding with them, and it isn’t always that, it’s not that everybody I’m nice to, I want to do, but it is then in our genetics, right?
There’s a whole bunch of stuff civilization is a nice thin veneer of civilization on top of all kinds of animal instincts that say I scan a room and there’s these three out of 10 that I find attractive. And it’s funny how those are the ones that I’ll go over and talk to and be nice and try to be attractive to them and all that kind of stuff.
And so I think that I have always had a real problem with two handsome are two pretty people. When I see that they exhibit that narcissistic, take advantage of it type thing because. I don’t know. I guess beauty has value in the world. I like looking at beautiful things more than ugly things, but when it turns into, wow, they really, you name it, they got, somebody gave ’em a car because they were pretty somebody wow, that’s a pretty good payoff for . And it’s, or being a wed shaped or whatever else it might be. As a guy their d charisma role was an 18 . Exactly. And isn’t it interesting how a lot of our politicians and the TV evangelists have that. Trey, isn’t that
exactly. That’s it is very funny. D and d wise. I once played a character where I rolled a chara of three 1, 1, 1. And so I made so much use of that. When I would walk through the village, other people would be like trading with my partners, but kids would be running away screaming from me.
I’m walking down and I have a ear discharges and I’m spitting and I’m just the ugliest freaking thing, so it’s own odd superpower. If you wanna be repellent, you really can win all kinds of fights with just being so over Mike that people don’t wanna mess with you.
Stephen: Yeah. See I got friends that if they did that, they’d say, oh, go ahead and re-roll that. So why am I even rolling? Why don’t I just make all my numbers, 14, 15, 16 with an 18 just make ’em up. Because my
Alan: dungeon master did indeed immediately offer, oh, we can’t have that. And it’s I’m gonna go with it.
Stephen: I love doing that. Yeah,
Alan: absolutely. I, the guy that just has open wounds on me, I’m gonna video mean like I Oh love that. Whatever. It’s my breath was bad. My, everything about
Stephen: me was like, ugh. If I was the DM, I would definitely be like, okay, I gotta get him in a situation where he’s the one having to like free everybody from prison or something
Alan: and Right.
And they all have to say, yeah. As ugly as you are, you’re still our hero. .
Stephen: Yes. Before we move on to one of the other topics with the, going back to the book censorship type thing and the changing of books the estate of Ian Fleming has also been doing it with James Bond books. What do you feel, and I’m gonna say something else to that, but what’s your thoughts
Alan: on that?
And it’s funny, in the overall I had kinda as always, we, we digressed. I’ve never had a problem with the director, the author saying I’m going to issue a new version of this. It was missing some things that I wanted to be included. Or David Garrell did a couple things where he reissued certain of his books with, he thought about them more and made them better.
And I really respect that if there, there’s nobody that has the right to update things more than the creator, the originator. And having said that, it’s not Ian Fleming doing that. And it’s not ro al doing that, it’s his IT estate. And I don’t know if that’s even his direct relatives or it’s the people that own the rights of these things.
And what they’re seeing is it isn’t about the art, it’s about. Profit that can be made by keeping these things in circulation and making it so that they’re newly popular in a not one and two and three generations later. And so I guess a little bit of what you had said as long as they’re issuing two different versions, the classic and the new Coke, then I’m okay to give people the choice I would’ve been okay with if you, and I’m not sure about fully.
Okay. If you had this new version and what you had was a forward in the front that says new for the 2023 edition, we have indeed, and even detail it, we have indeed changed e instances of, you name it bad words loaded words nowadays, et cetera, et cetera, so that they’re more acceptable to current audiences.
And so I’m trying to think. And James Bond, maybe they changed. Black or negro to Jamaican
Stephen: That type of thing.
Alan: That kind of thing. And I know for instance, I know he had things in there like chiro, right? Which is a combination of a Chinese and Negro, right? And I don’t know how almost all of those, any kind of not even ethnic, but racial based, they’re all out of favor.
And so I can see that. But there’s also something to be said for it was that time. And that’s very interesting. This is interesting. There’s a shorthand to those kinds of things where the anybody who is mixed cased, if you will, where they’ve had to have a foot in both worlds, but never be accepted by either of them, it automatically adds information about the character.
And so in the same way that Trev Krevin Noah talks about this a lot, it’s really tough to be a South African combination. because neither tribe, neither camp ever accepted him. So he became who he had to a unique u human being because he didn’t have the ethnicity, the racial identity.
There’s so much identity politics nowadays that to be like no man is an island. That’s not true anymore if there’s cancellations from each side. So having said that back to, I don’t know that, I think that the justification for what they have done, that I would agree with a lot of those because what’s the value of it being classic and take it in context versus now it’s newer and safer.
There’s so many elements about those books that are really good without worrying about those words. I’m sure that the story, the heroism, the spycraft the great villains, those things are all still gonna be there. And so I’m guess I’m curious. If I was to read it, would I think, oh, this is so watered down, this is so vanilla now compared to the spicier many faceted thing that it used to be, or it might be that I don’t even notice it.
really might be that’s .
Stephen: So here, let me add this to that. So first of all, We think of it as, this is the story I read. That’s how it is. But we have to keep in mind that when these stories go to other countries, they’re, the publishers are already changing things. Harry Potter has certain words in Britain that they changed when it came to America.
And when you
Alan: get the philosopher stone versus the sorcerer stone, they created the title. The
Stephen: title itself. Exactly. That’s yeah. Yeah. And when things get translated to other languages, they change references, they change the meaning of the how many times have you heard in a movie or something?
Usually, but it’s oh it sounds much better in, in Spanish or in the Italian it the, you get that and you get this like music songs that get redone. And the versions are a little different, meaning, so we do always,
Alan: it’s European, it’s more Australian, whatever else it might be. More Arabian for the appropriate for the countries that it’s in.
Stephen: Okay. It has already been going on and existed and it’s never really been a trigger point. It’s just now seeming oh, changing this from a hundred years ago. So I think my feelings are, if they had done this originally, I wouldn’t have a problem with it cuz it’s what I was used to.
I think that’s the bigger issue for us particularly. Okay. Now with James Bond, Ian Fleming. When it came to America, he has notes that they said, Hey, some of these words, some of these phrases need changed because they’re thought of differently in America and there are notes already from him approving some changes when it came to America.
And so they said, we feel that if he was alive today, he would approve all of this and say, and we’re not, like you said, trying to change the story, trying to change every, it’s little bits here and there that are mostly unnoticeable unless you notice it. hear what you’re
Alan: saying and it is kind of funny going back to wh what you said earlier in the conversation.
There’s no story of Homer that hasn’t been translated multiple times into we’re not reading it in the ancient Greek. There was no story of Gilgamesh without my pulling out my Sumerian book. I think it was Sumerian. You know what I mean? There’s no bible with, unless you’re reading it in the original Aramaic.
You’re getting someone else’s idea of what these words mean, what they are in current society and what it was the 16 hundreds version of the Bible. And then 17, 18, 19, and now there’s multiple versions of the Bible now where they had, didn’t they have back in the seventies, eighties, like the modernized bible, the hip cool bible and all that kinda stuff.
So you are right. It’s not new. It’s ever been in place. And I guess it, there’s just something that, whatever the little discussion is of how much do you need authenticity and how much is it that the way you first read it is somehow then frozen in time? It’s, and that’s just not true. You’re reading something that’s already been maybe through some changes
Let me ask you this. Yeah. So take your fa, take Dr. No the Ian Fleming book for Dr. No. You’ve read it. I’ve read it. I’ve got the Dell Faucet Thin publication version. Yeah, exactly. So tell me chapter four, the third, fourth paragraphs, what were those? Wow.
Alan: Probably see seeing Honey Chili writer for the first time or something like that.
Stephen: is what I had to tell myself. My point is, once I’ve read it, I don’t remember every individual word. I don’t have idy memory. I remember the overall story and I remember a very synopsized version of that story. I don’t remember ev, you know the whole book? Harry Potter, another thing, 800 Stephen King.
I’ve read a couple of his books. How many times I could tell you the story, but I can’t tell you Every event in order and every action taken and word spoken.
Alan: Absolutely understand. So I remember a lot of stuff and yet I’m not, I either. And so it really is when. What is our version of that? Would it like, I don’t know that I’d be able to say what’s exactly different, but it would be like, oh, I got a feeling.
This isn’t what I read first. I’ve got a, it doesn’t ring true, or whatever that phrase might
Stephen: be. But if we can get a group of 15 year olds that pick up James Bond for the first time in 2023, and they read it and they’re not offended, they’re not going I can’t read something like that, but they go, wow, this is pretty good for an old book.
Now we have a whole new generation of fans. We’ve got more people to talk to, more nerds on our side. You know what I’m saying? Yeah. Its, it’s,
Alan: there’s something to be said for like, why is it a classic? Like people have turned these things. Classics. I hope that there really, there’s some I have this little complaint sometimes, especially when we talk about movies, that there’s a generation that thinks that the world didn’t exist before they were born.
They won’t watch black and white. They won’t watch anything before their year. And wow, that’s so much. I have always been maybe even the opposite. I wanted to know how we got here. I read early science fiction because it was the first science fiction. And I read the pulps and I read that all those kinds of things to get to here, 50 science fiction, very different than already what was going on in the sixties, seventies, et cetera.
So I guess I wanted to be that. If people are curious, they, and here’s an interesting thought too. If you really wanted to find the classic, what would you do? Go to the used bookstore and find the faucet paperback, and know that’s what came out to the public back in 62 or whenever. I think they started in the fifties.
Fifties. Might have been 62. And actually, it’s funny, that’s its own thing. Like when they make a movie out of a book, as you well know, it’s not the story told. They make tons of changes, many liberties. As I recall, like Dr. Noe died because he got, let’s see, blown up, dragged down into the water, et cetera, in the book.
Do you remember how he dies? No. He’s buried in ba guano.
Stephen: No, I didn’t remember
Alan: that. I’m not kidding about that. And there, there’s some things that like, I know, did they not have the budget for Bat Guano or they didn’t wanna show someone
Stephen: dying? Or did they change it because it was offensive at the time?
Alan: that we can’t have anybody diet in poop. And so I just I have lessened like, I don’t know George Martin. George r Martin, because he wanted to pay tribute to j r Art Hogan. Has a lot of things that he said I was involved in the first couple seasons of Game of Thrones and then not only was I less involved but they got ahead of my books.
And so they’re two separate creatures. Now, if ever he completes a song of Ice and fire, it’ll be almost certainly different than it’ll be informed by, cuz he must have seen a series as well, but it’ll be slightly different. So Artis that had to forever say, if I signed the way the rights to this, even if they have me as a creative consultant, it’s not gonna be my book word for word, translated to the screen.
It’s what stops certain things like Duke from getting filmed for a long time because they were so big and complex that they were almost thought to be unfilmable. Some artists like Alan Moore makes a point of his name not appearing in any of the credits for any of the adoptions adaptions and translations because it’s not his work.
This is what I wrote Watchman with Dave Gibbons and it isn’t what got into the movie and all kinds of other things like that. So the fact that we already have those things, Like very retranslated and things taken in and and taken out and put in and stuff like that. I guess I’m not overreacting to the new versions of these things cuz I can understand the motivation as long as they keep mo more both versions available and that they’re upfront about it.
The sneaky way would’ve been, they put it out and I would’ve Hey, I wouldn’t mind rereading this. What the hell? Now there’s a new character that didn’t appear in the original or this whole action. I know I’ve had this, some of the action sequences that I like from books, they didn’t make it into the movie.
It’s That’s like the heart of the book, right? You took out a really important thing here.
Stephen: Oh I think as long as they’re letting us know, I think having both versions available and the warnings, like at the beginning of movies, saying, Hey Instead of someone banning cigarette smoking, we’re just gonna tell you, Hey, this movie has somebody smoking cigarettes because the Constantine needs to smoke a damn cigarette.
It, like you said I have no problem with that personally because then again it gives me the choice and the right and somebody else isn’t trying to control my life, which is what our country’s about and think of all the time. Energy and politicalness. And religiousness we could save if we just said, oh we have both versions available.
It’s got trigger warnings and it’s America and we can make our own damn choices cuz we’re adults. Exactly. There I just saved everybody millions of hours
Alan: each year. . That’s right. They’re really, I’m not sure what thing it is in people’s brains that think acknowledging the existence of something is an endorsement.
and that’s never been true from the early days of the net that is the worldwide web. I had discussions with mens in some cases about we can’t link to that because that’s seen as an endorsement. And it’s it’s so not if you know anything about how hypertext linking works, it just acknowledges that this is somewhere, and in fact here’s, we’re doing this right now.
Here’s a bunch of links that talk about a certain topic and like they wanna say we’re gonna include these three and not this one. It’s like the whole point is to cover the range of things about the topic. And if you don’t like something about it, but you still have to acknowledge that someone else should read and make the decision for themself, whatever that is about people’s brains that say, if I can shut it down, if I can make it as if it’s ceased to exist, that’s so much not God.
You name it. Enlightenment thinking, the thinking. I just made some references to this online, so it’s funny. We often have our talks and then they are echoed in what we talk about here, but what I wrote like. The thing that brought us out of the dark ages was that there wasn’t only one way of thinking of things.
One truth, that science was investigating things. Cultures were bumping into each other and having to acknowledge that they’re just like us. They’re just as human. They’re just as civilized, but they eat different things. They sing in a different way. They wear different clothing, they have a different God, and yet that doesn’t make them evil or wrong or any other pejorative that you might attach to that.
And some people really can’t. They don’t handle that. They really think that if you don’t think and act and look and smell exactly like they do, that somehow, you’re not one of the tribe. Wow. I’m all for pluralism and diversity and all the wonderful outcomes of that I. , I have had so many I think I’ve mentioned before, I’m a futurist and one of the things that happens at futurist conferences is that you get ideas bumping into each other.
Nobody really, the future is not fact. It’s speculation. And so when you look at not only what do we know and what can we extrapolate to, but what would we choose out of all these possibilities, like the people that are making those choices you want them to have the full range of things available.
Should they make a wise, informed choice? Instead of I got this fucking blinders on view of the world and nothing’s gonna deviate. It’s like automatically. I don’t trust you, and I’m pretty sure you’re wrong because there’s been nothing in history that was a through line. There was, there’s always been those wonderful Venn diagram crossovers and deviations and odd, we that like, that’s like, how does nature work? Because things interbreed and make new composite creatures. You can’t say I believe in the purity of everything and then say, yeah, but you just bought a Labradoodle yeah. That’s not natural necessarily. Yeah. And they’re all, they’re canines.
Stephen: 8,000 Labradoodle
Alan: genetically canines are all the same. But you know that if you’re looking for how we’ve proven that there really is. Evolution. There really is. How our genomes work in combination. We just watched a very cool series by it called it the Gene on pb s by the way, that’s everyone should watch it because it’ll tell you the truth about what’s really going on.
And I’m pretty sure that’s also on somebody’s band list because there really aren’t anything like genes or chromosomes or r n a or d n a. No. It’s just God’s touch that made things the way it is. Oh no, it’s obviously not. Look around, look at the world right? You can’t. Why are we having multiple versions?
Multiple. Why is Covid still around? Because it keeps mutating and turning into. New versions that escape what we know how to combat it with. Oh oh So bringing it around all this talk of the changes in our woke culture or whatever. So we had an interesting, very nerd topic incident recently with Scott Adams and the flat the fallback fallout from that.
Stephen: Now, let me just say if no one, if you don’t know what the whole thing was yet, we’ll talk about that in a second. But I only saw little bits of headlines. . And at first, just based on the little bits I saw, I didn’t hear any details. I thought that he had written a character that was either racist or black and people were canceling him because of that.
And I’m like that’s not right. He’s a cartoonist and artist. It’s a reflection of societies. There are people like that. At first I was angry of this backlash, but then when I found out what had really happened, I’m like, wow, now I feel uncomfortable. With Scott Adams and I’m wondering if I need to get rid of my books.
And unfortunately, Dilbert’s a big nerd comic. It reflects office life very well, . And I loved it, but now it’s a little slimy, like similar to Bill Cosby. I’ll tell you I will not do anything of what you just said. I have 40 Dilbert books and up until now, I would not have said that there was anything in there that was racist.
Alan: Anti-feminist. There’s been elements of those things, lampooning, various different aspects of office or people culture. I thought that it wasn’t what was appearing in his comic strip. I thought that he was quoted as saying in an interview or other forum. Yes. Things that, and pretty much along the lines of we need white people need to stay away from black people.
Yes. Dangerous. And wow. That’s really a sweeping statement. I have always a problem of separating the art from the artist. I really haven’t stopped finding. Bill Cosby’s classic albums. Hilarious. They are funny, right? The albums, classic movies are hilarious. The fact that I know that there’s some aspects of them, and you start naming, there’s many people now that have a repugnant aspect to them that I don’t want to give them more money.
I don’t know that I don’t think they should be not allowed to perform, and maybe they’ll seek the audience. That is, they’re still funny. And I just know that I might hear something terrible in current sensibilities and stuff like that. I don’t like anybody else making that decision. For me,
Stephen: it goes right back to the same
Yes, my repugnant oter is different than a lot of society, and we’ve left about it. I swear more freely and I don’t think it’s cause I’m ignorant or because I’m filthy. It’s because there’s sometimes no better use than a certain square word for the context and the emotion and so forth that I’m trying to portray.
And so just that the I’m I’m sad. More than I am anything else? When you find out that someone that you really thought was like the character they’ve played in a movie or what art they’ve created, I really liked it. I really was behind it. And then you find out, oh, why’d you have to say that?
Music’s been like that forever. Cos Cosmo, the guy who plays why am I missing Michael Richards? Yes. Caught on film with kind of a racist rant and finding out that okay, who played Braveheart? Mel Gibson. Yeah. Has all kinds of antisemitic weirdness going on. And it doesn’t change Braveheart being a great movie, but it does say if I see less movies from you, I’m gonna understand why.
Because people don’t want to give you the opportunity, to work racist rants into a movie. I don’t think he’s done that, but I, there’s a certain amount of shutting that goes on when you find somebody who’s repugnant and it isn’t. shunning is everything right. You won’t eat with them, you won’t live with them.
You won’t make art with them. And so when someone whose lifestyle is based on having a whole crew of 120 people that have to get over the fact that I’m Jewish, but he just told me that I’m somehow wrong I’m not gonna work on that movie and , you know what I mean? Kinda like a little bit of what we said about the prisoner’s dilemma. They’ve offered a fence. Are we gonna let ’em get away with it? Or how much are we gonna stop them? I Is it about punishment versus getting back to equal? Cuz that’s what the prisoner’s dilemma thing is. It’s not necessarily about punishment, it’s about the reinforcement that you have to do back and forth so that every interaction is at.
Fair and reasonable and not o abusive, not a coercive or overpowering. And I don’t know, I, we just had, Tom Sizemore just died and is being lauded. Here’s his 10 best performances and so forth. But I got a feeling that I read things about him too, that he was. Not good to women, for instance.
I, I’ve said I’m so sorry that if I have smushed him in a way that I’ve mistaken him for somebody else. Cause unfortunately there’s a whole bunch of shitty lady beating bastards in Hollywood. And maybe he’s not the guy I’m thinking of, but I think i,
Stephen: that’s I’ve brought this up before.
I’m like, okay, bill Cosby, let’s use him cuz it’s been a little longer. We found out some things about him and how he treated women and what, how he used his influence and power and it did make him a bad person. And, but again, so now we can’t watch the Cosby Show or listen to his stuff cuz those were funny.
The art was good. What about music? There’s lots of musicians, even some of the big name ones that you find out later that they were pretty horrible in their personal life. And how many of these musicians or artists or authors or actors. Just, we don’t know yet that they’re bad people. , so I, I
Alan: wonder about that. This is funny. I don’t know that I’m a big biography reader either Otto or other, because in some cases I don’t wanna find that stuff out. This might be one of those things I always talk about, Hey I’m an information omnivore. I wanna know everything. What breaks my heart to find out that Big Crosby was a really bad father, right?
And other, we could start naming him because I don’t even have to seek that out. It just gets out into the public awareness of and it wasn’t that they were wearing a mask. In some cases they were very nice, but they had a bad aspect to them. Or they had a bad incident at one point, or they got drunk or whatever.
We used to getting drunk and that kind of stuff. I really I’m okay to have in that one. . I don’t like to see my heroes brought down. I don’t like to see feet of clay. It’s okay for me to just I’m gonna give ’em a pass. And then having said that, when you find out that something is my reugg, oter isn’t they got drunk and drove their car badly.
It’s more like they, they killed someone or they, they had a they had people who worked for them that they treated as servants and kept captive in their house. There’s whatever it is that goes beyond the pale to me that goes where I can’t just say I didn’t wanna know that.
Now that I know it I can’t stand it. I can’t confidence
Stephen: that. All of this talk with the cancel culture and people being one thing and portraying as and all that. What about rap music? Because rap music historically has had things in the lyrics against cops, against other groups of
All kinds of misogyny, all kinds of anti-authority. I hear you. Yeah. Promoting drugs and gun use and stuff, but it’s free speech, so it’s okay. Or I, if we say if we say, we gotta stop all this in rap music, that’s the black culture and then we’re so we’re against them and they can’t be freedom in their own culture.
Stephen: It’s none of, it’s like a black and white epi You. Thing that you can solve, but it’s issue. Cisco again, it goes back to the same thing as the Bible. If we’re going to , if we’re going to say we’re canceling this person for saying this maybe we should look at every instance of things we have to cancel,
I am have discovered far too much that I really care a lot about consistency and not being a hypocrite. And a lot of other people are just very accepting of it. When I raise that as a really big thing of like double standard, you can’t say yes and do otherwise for yourself. It really.
Rocks, me and other people. It’s that’s just the way people are. They’re in their situation and they do what they want and then they don’t retain next time I should do something that’s in line with what I did. They’re okay with just each time making a new decision and not trying to have it be that you could trust them to be you could see their characteristics come out from the preponderance of evidence and the, over the course of time, how they react instead of it being, it’s random and a new choice each time.
I hope that I am always trying to do the best thing and occasionally I stumble or even fall and, but I come back and return to trying to do the right thing instead of saying, you just don’t know what you’re gonna get with me. Cause that’s a crappy way how to me that’s one of those classics of if everyone did that, if Civilization did that and everything was a one-off, instead of what’s the pattern, what’s the behavior we’re trying to encourage and there are better versus worse behaviors.
I try to be. An example of, at least I’m always trying, I’m always thinking about it. Co Colleen has said this and it’s caused me problems that I’m very thoughtful in my decisions. I don’t think I’m whim full or random. And sometimes thoughtful is a tough way to be when you get, you’re confronted with a lot of evidence that something ain’t right, and how much are you going to accept it, participate in it, keep going with it whether it’s my neighborhood or Mensa or my groups of friends or whatever else it might be. So
Stephen: my, my personal thoughts, and it goes back to the same things we’ve already been saying with Scott Adams, pretty much every newspaper has now dropped him. His publisher has dropped them.
So we’re not gonna see any new books. And I’m not upset by. I don’t think it’s a wrong reaction. Again, it maybe it’s overreaction maybe it’s not, but I’m also not going to say he’s not allowed to put things on his own website anymore. He’s not allowed to self-publish new books. I’m not gonna say he can’t do that, but I may not get those new things.
I may not support his things any longer. I’ve already paid for the books. I’ve got and that’s, and, but the pe there are people that are like no, we have to like, go run him out of the country. We have to the what’s the point? I choose not, there’s, I brought up rap.
There are rap artists I listened to. There’s rap songs I like mostly the old eighties, nineties stuff. Okay. When I was young , but there were some that I didn’t like and care for and I don’t listen to. But I’m not saying we need to get them outta here. We need to cancel their contracts.
We need to stop those records. No, that, stop doing that folks. If they wanna do it, let ’em go do it. But that, but don’t turn it into then, oh, now look, see these rappers said people should carry guns and shoot the police. And now all these kids did it. It’s not a ramp’s fault. Maybe we should blame parents and maybe we should blame the way their schools are because they don’t have enough funding.
Alan: Maybe we should easy availability. Exactly. I the systemic repression of any opportunity for a whole subject of our society that makes it, that they think that the only way to be successful is to be a criminal. So yeah. It, I hear what you’re saying. I think that this is interesting.
I’m seeing now specials where hey we’re gonna go through the 50 year history of rap and hip hop and it’s wow. I guess it really is. Has it been around since 73? I’m trying to think of the earliest examples, cuz I know that when Blonie did Blonie Yeah. But but was that the first like maybe that’s his weird well first white rap, there was already street music, house music things like that beforehand that were underground and they weren’t on a label yet.
Yes. And having said that, 50 years, like that’s enough to have multiple generations, some maturity as artists. It, we, I , how many times have I seen the reason that Sting is not yelling things like the police anymore is cuz he’s not 17 and angry anymore. , he’s like a guy that sits on the beach
You know what I mean? There’s something about how do you maintain. You always have to have new generations to get that new energy and perhaps that new rejection of society, because that’s what teenagers need is my, my music that I love is what I was listening to when I was a sophomore or something like that.
And it was about rebellion and I’m my own person and et cetera, et cetera, . Okay.
Stephen: So before we go, you’ve mentioned like three weeks in a row the Gray Man and the Orphan X Books. Now I have seen the Gray Man Show, but I’ve not read either one of those and you keep saying how similar they are.
So tell me about those before we
Alan: go. And in brief, cuz I, you really do need to ha go. They’re amazingly like disturbingly similar. They’re about like an X, either a c I A or assassination program funded by the government. A guy that leaves that and becomes. An independent artist, ha that’s now gonna be doing, helping people out of bad situations or hiring on even doing bad things.
But for the right people, they both have a, an internal set of a moral code that they’re willing to operate by. And then having said that, there’s, they’re so similar in terms of the situations that they get themselves into and how there is a certain amount of corrupt government that is still after them, and how they The people that interact with them not fully knowing what they’re into, that a lot of times they get hurt because you can’t be an assassin for a hire and not have the families of the people you just killed maybe come after you that kind of thing.
So I’m sure that they’re independent works. It’s Mark Guerney and Greg Herwitz, if I remember correctly, that are doing those two theories and it just is. , I often read where I’m gonna, okay, I’m gonna read a a Spycraft thriller and then I’m gonna read some d and d stuff. Then I’m gonna read humor book.
And in trying to alternate and getting those in and out of my life, they’re too similar so that I actually have to paste them out further because they’re so similar. And I’m like, okay, is this an Orphan X or a gray man book? They’re the loving descriptions of weaponry, the way that they had to set their lives up so that they’re kind of always on the run, but maybe they have a little, a safe house, a fortress.
They can retreat to the kind of people that can be in their lives as a romantic partner that like, they might like, that they like the element of danger, or that they themselves have been through some crap and that they’re tossed together. Cuz there’s nowhere else each of them can go. So there’s lots of similarities.
I like ’em both. They’re, I don’t know that I have a favorite between the two, but I’m just, because I’m into both series, I’m like, wow. And I’ll say this, Warren Murphy a long time ago had a series of books called, Trace, if I remember right called, and maybe it was one was called, so one was originally like digger and then he changed publishers, but he already had a whole bunch of books ready to go.
So he went through them and changed the name of the main character and the name of a whole bunch of subsidiary characters, but into other names. But they were exactly the same book, an insurance investigator that was Colombo esque in terms of he just wouldn’t let things go that kind thing.
And I thought that was hilarious because it’s it really is exactly the same thing. Thank God for word processors. Cause he just went in and said, teach every occurrence of digger to trace. That kinda thing. So I, these books are almost like that, where it could be instead of, or x it’s great man.
Stephen: Maybe one of them was actually written in an alternate universe and it seeped into our universe. It’s actually the same writer in different versions. So real quick I have a bookstore owner on my podcast now about once a month, and he always gives new books. He brought up a fantasy book I’d never heard of, I’ll get what it is, but he read the back blurb of it.
It was almost identical Harry Potter , but 20 years early.
Alan: So that happens too, unfortunately. You know what I mean? Spinoffs happened because people are like, there’s money to be made here. Yeah. Just by having to be it’ll be in a dungeon instead of a castle. Right. You know what I mean? They really do.
I know that there was a whole bunch of that kind of stuff going on. Every big series, like James Bond is not the only spy book like that. There were Mac Helens and there were, and so I, I get to see that it’s not even a spinoff cause it isn’t the same series in characters, but someone goes to someone and says, if you can write a knockoff that we won’t get sued over
We’ll be happy to pay you a lot of money to do yep. Yep. That’s just the way it is. The Money’s a really good inducement. We haven’t even talked about the joys of capitalism . how I know I have certain authors that I really liked and then I found out that they were doing like an adaptations of Star Trek movies into books or things like that.
And that’s I think that’s just a paycheck, right? That’s not an artistic endeavor, . And yet, if you find out that you’re making for sure money in, instead of I’m gonna write this thing, and I think it’s really good, but what if it doesn’t find an audience? . I could see how, and also this is a sad thing, some people have like a book or three or five books in them, but they really might not have 20 books in them.
And I guess if you start to adapt others’ works and you’re good at that and good at understanding story and interestingly choosing what to put in and whatnot, that, that would be a way of extending your career. And I don’t know this about anybody in particular, that’s what they’ve done, but there must be some aspects of that.
This isn’t my having to stare at the paper until blood comes out my forehead, because I have to be creative. This is I’m gonna take this known work and distill it down. And I I, I felt sometimes betrayed because people stopped doing what I thought was really good. , but maybe they were just done.
Yeah. You know what I mean? And I are there, I know that there’s been a number of music people that like, wow, there are later albums. It’s very uncommon for someone to have a great 50 year career, or at least not, where they didn’t have a fallow period in the middle where they just didn’t seem as inspired and so forth.
And then something sometimes happens. Santana was one of those where I love his music, but each album seemed less breakthrough, less amazing. But then they had the thing come where who was it? Ame GaN or something, went to him and said if you work with other people do duets, if you will, that might inspire you to do, and that what was this, the album called supernatural maybe, or something like that, where every one of the cuts was not him writing it, it was him writing it with this great vocalist, this great other guitarist himself.
And it was a return to form. He really, maybe. Maybe sometimes you don’t want to be always the front man. You want to be in collaboration. Even David Bowie when he stopped making David Bowie album but did Tin Machine for a while, he really wanted to go into a studio and play with his band mates and not be responsible for every decision and every everything.
It must be reassuring that some people, when they’re in the band, then they really wanna do a solo project cuz they want to have everything is just like they want it to be. They got tired of not only the collaboration but the giving in where it wasn’t their be what they didn’t think was the best idea and, but they gave in because you have to do that to keep peace in the band.
Yeah. So it’s, it goes back and forth in all those ways of who needs solo, who needs collaboration anyway, there’s a, there’s another long but I digress type answer too. orphan X versus the gray man, so alright, I gotta get running. I got stuff coming up It was a pleasure, Steven.
Thanks very much
Stephen: later. See soon. Bye-Bye. .