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We get on the topic of politics. Didn’t really plan it, but there is quite a bit to discuss. Our politicians don’t always seem to be doing what’s in our best interest, and this has affected our culture in many ways.
Hecate is a a minor goddess in the Greek pantheon, and she was of magic and illusion, maybe misdirection. What’s the Roman equivalent of Hecate?
Alan: We’ve got this background from
Stephen: before morning. Now we just
Alan: I need to give us a different background here. Oh,
Stephen: Yeah. I was thinking I need, I got my green screen there. I need to put it up and get some backgrounds again. Yeah. How about
Alan: Big Ben? And, alright, perfect. There we go. Okay. Alright.
Stephen: It’s only been attacked in how many movies.
Alan: true. Is that, isn’t there a whole series now of London has fallen, Olympus has fallen, I think has fallen. What’s the name of our guy from I ice myself up here. Yeah. In 300 and he’s now a good action adventure hero. Let’s see. It’ll come to us.
Stephen: I wanna say Aaron Eckhart, but he was the president in that first series.
First one of that series. Him.
Alan: Anyway it’ll pop out. Yeah, it’ll pop out. Okay, so speaking Boy, I’m getting I just got done with Sorry. Please go ahead. No,
Stephen: No. Please. What, what’d you get done? I was gonna give you a revelation. I wanna hear what you got though.
Alan: That I just took a covid test.
Nowadays it’s, I don’t first yay, negative second. Anytime nowadays that you get a sore throat or sniffles or anything involving respiratory, whatever. And it really could be, oh no, I didn’t have my humidifier on last night, even though it got forties in. Therefore the heat constantly running. Just that weird little catch in your throat or any kind of thing has you thinking covid, because instead of us being civilized, we’ve let this thing drag on for four going on five years.
It’s an implacable enemy. I know that it’s a difficult one. And yet all the things that we had done to stop similarly implacable ones we abandoned and we are still suffering for that. We got rid of the task force. We got rid of the c d c early response, early detection team. We, it’s, and now we’re declaring that it’s over, even though 250 people are still dying every day. It used to be that we stopped a single life from falling to something like this because we have the technology and we have the will and we it, I can’t stand it. Everything has become so incompetent and so political and acceptable.
Acceptable. Exactly that. And if it is it, I make fun of this online, but I’m not really making fun. Have we joined a death cult? We worship guns, we allow diseases. We have
Stephen: But guns are fine and okay, but we really need to ban those books because they harm children.
Alan: Just that, the, it’s funny.
This really is a theme that seems to get no traction, except between Colleen and I, there’s so much disproportion nowadays about what people care about and act on and put their money into and everything else. So like you just said, it’s provable that these things kill people, wreck families, destroy lives, and yet we’re not gonna spend a moment.
On what we really could do with minor repairs. We have that weird, if we can’t do a silver bullet a single thing, we’re not gonna do anything Instead of all the incremental progress that real civilization does to keep moving towards a solution and experimenting with what works and what doesn’t. And and decide, even though some things have been working, to just say, no, we’re done with that.
We’re rescinding all that. And going back to how bad it was 20 and 40 years ago. Damn. The facts. Damn the statistics, damn. The progress made. I so much
Stephen: Don’t get it. The, I exact. Yes. I was just gonna say that the problem is, That’s not how we think. So thi because it makes logical sense. It’s this just makes sense.
That’s what we do. That’s the, end of the story. And it’s very hard for us to understand the viewpoint of the people that are supporting all these things that make no sense and Right. The thing, the problem is and this could be a very simplification, but I think it gets to the base of the issue, is the people in power that want these things know how to get other people to support them and keep ’em in power.
And that’s all it is that they have. That’s right. Power. That’s
Alan: not by convincing them of that this is the wise thing to do, but just and that’s funny. I I hate trite things and yet sometimes they’re just so perfect. Someone once said, the way people deal with things nowadays is something must be done.
This is something it must be done. And those two things don’t follow. They’re not matched, they’re not correct. And yet that’s what people do. The first thing that gets said or the thing that gets yelled the loudest Yes. Becomes what we work on. Instead of it being we have alternatives. How will we decide between those alternatives?
That’s the whole crux of the enlightenment. Not only how will you, in your heart, in your gut feel things, intuit things, but how would you be able to share that with others in a approvable, at least an understandable way. And people have just decided, no, nothing’s more important than what witnessing, we it’s ridiculous.
And yet we’ve reverted. We’ve undone all of that. Here’s how science works, here’s why it works for all of us equally, and how important that is. And instead, we just now say, I looked into his soul or named a trite, ridiculous thing you’ve heard. I just know it. I just know in my heart
Stephen: than that. No, it’s not even that.
It’s Alan’s. Alan’s a smart guy and I hate smart guys. So I’m gonna say the opposite and louder. That’s right.
Alan: It’s not only that they’re trying to be convincing on themselves, they’re just in denial. They are denialists beyond what I ever thought I would see from an adult human being. I know that a little kids no.
And if, that’s what I hear from some of these people, that they don’t have an alternative. They don’t have an explanation for why they think or feel as they do. They use the same words about, we’ve done a study or think or do your own research, but none of that matches how decisions are really made by a rational adult rational.
Stephen: Making temperature.
Alan: Exactly. I dunno. I, I. I really have gotten out of the habit of having discussions with those people. The minute I see someone who’s ridiculous, a troll, et cetera, I’ve ushered them outta my life by getting rid of ’em on Facebook, or I don’t interact on and like I tend to be, this is funny.
I really realize this. I’m in parts of all different kinds of groups on Facebook as well as on my own wall. Where do I most often post on my own feed? Because there at least I have not control, but I can maintain the consistency and maintain the audience that I want to be interacting there. And that’s why I’ve been able to ferret things out that are terrible.
I’m in so many groups that I would be considered a lurker because there’s no reason to reply to the worst of the idiots, the worst of the assholes, the worst of the people are trying to get a rise out of others. I used to have that excuse of I’m not talking to them. I’m talking to everybody else so that they can see that not everybody agrees with this, and yet that’s not where my time is best spent.
It hardly ever seems that people change their minds about things. And I don’t wanna be the guy. Am I gonna learn their tactics? Am I gonna yell louder? Am I gonna brute force it? Am I gonna tell lies in order to get my way? So sophistry compared to philosophy is there’s such a huge difference. J Jerry Springer just died.
And was that the start? Him and Mor Povich of, we’ve talked about this before. Nothing matters more than that. I have the microphone. It doesn’t matter that I have something to say. It doesn’t matter that what I have to say is I’ll just terrible. My God. I had incestual relationships, with my sister and then my dog and and people are in the audience going, yeah, tell us more.
How in the world did everybody knock? Turn away in disgust from those kinds of spectacles, and now we see it all the time. Yeah. They just had an interview on 60 Minutes with Marjorie Taylor Green, and she’s a nut there. There’s, you can’t count on her to say anything reasoned or proportional or truthful.
You can’t count on her. And yet the people that have made a career out of journalism, of trying to be the person that gets the truth, even Leslie Sta usually a good interviewer, was flummoxed by, I don’t even know how to go here. I can’t get her to calm down. I can’t get her to answer a direct question of mine.
I and I, and I always just think, can’t you just turn her mic off? If you know that you’re not gonna be seeing anything rational, hearing anything rational from what’s more dangerous than a maniac with a mic? It used to be that those were the crazy Street preachers and apocalyptic crazies, now they’re the politicians and you would just kinda turn away as you walk past, but now the crowd gathers and they not just egg them on as if making fun of the village idiot.
They’re like, yeah, they’re saying what I’m thinking and
Stephen: feeling. Oh my God. Yeah. How can you,
Alan: how can you hear this and not go, that’s ridiculous. Ridiculous. It worthy of ridicule. You know what I mean? These words nowadays.
Stephen: Exactly. And again you’re a thinking, a mature and thinking adult.
That’s the difference. And that’s not what they prey on. They go and this sounds insulting, but they really go for the lowest common denominator. I, okay. This is, every time we say shit like this, we we know it sounds so freaking elitist and all that, but the average IQ is a hundred. That means in America, out of a million people, that there are 500,000 of them below a hundred.
Alan: Oh, that that they barely passed high school. They barely can read and comprehend what they just read. They won’t retain it to the next session. They can’t put two facts and say, which is probably more true. They can’t use statistics to say what probably means. There’s always, I, another thing I’ve adopted in these last, I guess 10 years, maybe 20, is the Dunning Kruger effect.
That there’s so many people that not only are they incompetent daily, but part of their incompetence is not knowing how incompetent they are. Yes. That doesn’t stop ’em, it used to be that shame did or a certain amount of I want to learn and I can learn more by listening than by blathering. And yet they don’t.
They just, whatever they last heard, whatever
Stephen: they Oh my God. Because the difference is if we’re in an rg, we’ve got. 20 people at a table and out of that 20 you might have two or three that agree with you. So you’ve only got two or three supporters, but they can now get online and get a million viral supporters like that.
And it justifies what they’re thinking. I must be right. Look at this.
Alan: And that it is, I mean that, I guess again, that’s a why am I not a participant in all kinds of these groups online is because I’ve always had that signal to noise ratio idea, where’s my time best spent? And I, it’s not really jumping around cause this all just one follows into the other.
I just had the anniversary of one of my posts, which was, Hey, I got a good test result post melanoma. I’m still here. There’s no sign of recurrence. I get to live a little longer. And one of the big things of getting through that, honestly, pretty terrifying thing, was you get an idea of you don’t know how much time you have left and therefore you don’t wanna waste any time.
And it’s not only am I watching silly TV or I don’t know. Cleaning the house too much or too little. But it is so much of my interactions with people. I don’t wanna waste my time with people that it’s not worth it. And it’s unfortunate how it really is half the world.
There’s if it really was that we were just, I can go enjoy a sporting event and, go to a movie and all different kinds of things, then it doesn’t matter the relative intelligence. But all those online discussions, it absolutely does. And that doesn’t stop people from doing it.
They love that the echo chamber that they create. They love the, hey, someone else not realizing they’re equally as ignorant as I agrees with me. And that encourages them and egg them on. And there’s all kinds of and again, they won’t believe this cuz it’s statistics about how many people, once they think a certain way, it’s so hard to get them to change.
Especially if the way they made that decision in the first place wasn’t based on evaluating facts and seeing where the preponderance of evidence is. And then when more evidence comes in, you’ll change. They don’t do any of that. And so what could, like a change of heart, there’s these things posted all the time.
Who will have to die before you think gun control is a good idea. A direct member of your family? How many, like a person that, a girl at school that your daughter
Stephen: plays with? How many people said, oh, I don’t think Corona virus is real. I think it’s all stupid wearing the mask and, oh my God, my husband just died.
Why didn’t we do something? Oh, yeah. Crazy.
Alan: I honestly and maybe that’s, unfortunately, storytelling witnessing is part of how you have to, if you can get through to those people in any way, you have to give them that story for hope that their emotions will finally get them to say, it’s, it can’t be worth the risk.
It can’t be worth my righteous feeling if it really is that if I’m wrong, the penalty is so high, and yet for some people it never, it doesn’t seem the penalty can be high enough. It matters so much to them. The death to their ego being wrong is so unable. Yeah. About my,
Stephen: The mysterious hidden pile
No. What’s funny is it’s May 2nd. I just changed all my calendars to May 1st to May, and I we have a plaster and lathe house, and so nails don’t go in perfectly. And sometimes after you’ve done it a couple times, plaster doesn’t hold anywhere near like drywall. And then whatever that pr what’s the physics equation that says 300 days is just right?
301 days and it works its way out quietly. And then indeed the calendar comes down and then if it hits something on the way down, then I get that little cascade of effect of, oh, now I gotta clean up that stack. So anyway and sometimes it’s funny because here I am, it just happened right behind me.
And so I heard it and could figure out right away when I’m like downstairs reading my, last things of the day. And then you hear a noise in the house, you’re like, I don’t think that’s a burglar. What could have fallen, what could have been the nail that finally worked its way loose. It’s just haunted and that’s, it must be that, oh I knew that.
I smelled ectoplasm, did the wood get cold? It’s, that’s what it was. You
Stephen: know, I just saw an article talking about a surveys, something that they found that 62% of college students feel it’s okay that if you don’t agree with a talker presentation to shout the presentation down to yell and scream and cause a scene if you don’t agree with something.
Alan: What? Because they’ve had that ridiculous example of people screaming, liar, people throwing a shoe. What? Like you there, whatever. There’s, I don’t know how this happened. The social contract that used to make it, that we were all in this together. There’s 7 billion people on the planet. There’s a hundred people in that room.
You’re. The stealing of all those people. Time and attention used to stop people from doing that. And they don’t seem to feel that I should be weighing my needs, the needs of the many versus the needs of the few. And the few is often just one, but they’re like stimulus response machines. They can’t help but say something if it really is, so important to them.
And no matter how much you say, you don’t know what you’re talking about. None of that seems to stop certain people. And all it takes is a couple people, the crazies like Trump, who talked over everybody at a presidential debate, the crazies in Congress who yelled during the State of the Union address.
Once you have that fine example, it gives people permission to act out in a way that they just wouldn’t have out of. Your mother must have taught you better than that. Your teachers must have, your priest must have every influence in your life couldn’t possibly have been. Let’s have anarchy. Let’s have everybody shouting at once.
Cuz that’ll get so much done and we’ll convince each other that way. Yeah, it the fact that they are shedding all of what they must have been if they were rowdy children. Somebody must have said, you need a time out. You need to be quiet. You need to let the person that knows what they’re talking about talk.
Because no matter what you think, you can’t know as much as this. And we’ve talked about that, the disregard for expertise. You know what I mean? This person has studied you name it. Diseases climate change for 40 years. They made an entire career out of it. And yet, hey I spent 10 minutes on the Google and I found something cuz I was looking for denial of this exact thing.
And then they just run with it instead of whatever that thing is of learning how to wave between evidence and gather it and say, wow, a hundred scientists say this. Why would I side with the one? Why not go with all these other seasoned, reasoned smart people who have really studied it? It’s amazing to me.
And the illogic now we’ve got, there used to be that there was a whole set of, here’s the ways in which to make sure that the logic of an argument carries forward. You don’t have sweeping generalizations, you don’t have straw men, all that kind of stuff. Nowadays, it seems that there’s a list of how to make your point that doesn’t work, doesn’t make sense, but it’s what you do.
So if you don’t like what they’re saying, attack the sayer, not attack the facts, not attack the reasoning behind the facts like, So many people have adopted the worst of that. If I was in high, I was in high school debate. If that would’ve been how it was then all people did was you’re a mother and, just said ridiculous, ugly, loud things. I just would’ve, wow. I can’t stand being in the room with you. Is there a way that are there any rules that are gonna get this clown gotten rid of every time that we’ve had that happen in a, on TV or in Congress or whatever, somebody, some bailiff or some, master of the chamber or whatever, like that should have come, escorted them out so that the real business that needs to get done can get done.
Because the cost isn’t only, this big thing, if you will, of we don’t have seasoned discourse anymore because people are yelling out. It’s that there really are things that have to get done, make a budget and pass the law and do some response to energy and education and ecology and e all the ease.
All the ease. And yet every time that we spend time on. How low should somebody be allowed to wear their pants instead of what can we do to maybe stop crime? That’s not a crime in comparison to rape, pillage, plunder, murder financial irregularities. And yet, people spend their time on terrible trivia and how is that they lost so much sense of significance instead and of
And what you’re saying about the justification Trump started his own social media so he could post whatever he wants and everybody agrees with them. And then it’s just, see, everybody agrees with me. It’s like self feeding and created. And then I read an article about this one senate book committee, whatever, and it had whatever five topics they were gonna talk about.
And Marjorie Taylor showed up 10 minutes late, right when they were starting the topic she was interested in, she interrupted, yelled, scream, kad a fuss. Got all the cameras. All the pictures, of course. And then when they moved on the next topic, she got up and left. And she was a part of the committee. She was supposed to be there the whole time, but she only showed up to get her sound bites and her arguing and people to go, yeah you’re go, you’re saying it for us.
No she’s not.
Alan: And you would think exactly that. Once you see that, that’s how it’s done. Doesn’t somebody somewhere say she doesn’t care about her responsibilities to the committee. She’s not there to help make good decisions on the other four issues out of five. She’s there to get her TV time, she’s there to just screech and then my screeching is done. And so you guys can is she the asshole that comes in on a project and says I’m gonna do nothing, but I’m gonna still get the same grade as all of you. And that’s a,
Stephen: The couple that do speak up are suddenly then attacked by her.
You know what they were, they use their own they rip this money off from their committee, and that’s why they’re driving this such and such a car and, and they just make up stuff and point the camera at that person. It’s suddenly the person’s under attack. That’s right. And believe me, I’ve had that happen to me getting under attack for something you didn’t do.
Absolutely. And it’s whoa, wait a second. And then no one believes you you’re guilty because you can’t prove you’re innocent, and,
Alan: and that’s boy in the personal way and in the big way. This is so incredibly frustrating. And unfortunately it’s not only like government at large, how many groups am I in nowadays that it only takes one drop of urine to spoil a whole gallon of milk.
Some jerk shows up and wrecks it. And so that’s one of the reasons that I’m not involved in certain things I used to spend a lot of time in is because I didn’t wanna deal with the jerk. And even when I tried to deal with the jerk, I wasn’t getting a lot of help from other people that I thought would’ve cared about it as much as me.
And so you, I, was I going to fight? Was I gonna have every month horrible, like gut pains about what meeting I’m gonna go into and what kinds of things people are like, are you not gonna be responsible for the money? Are you not gonna be like I have sometimes stayed in, fought for too long and resented it, and sometimes I just said my time, what I just said, I, I had cancer.
You think that I care two shits about what you’re trying to do at this academic setting or this volunteer setting or this political setting and you just, like nowadays it’s funny vocabulary grows because the word Flo came into being because assholes that loved getting good people to get out of a group and the good person in parking would say, here’s why I can’t be here anymore.
Yep. Because this. Relentless negativity and this relentless lying and all of these things that I like. I don’t know. I, we have one group that there’s a gag rule in place. Whatever the group decides, you can’t then share with outsiders how the group decided what your opinion was. You didn’t have to speak in support of the thing and who does that?
Who really says, okay I I can’t be part of a group like that where you, I want to be able to justify to other people, how did you make the decision? What facts did you use, what numbers, whatever else it might be. And that way it’s not just the dictatorial, hey the 21 of us decided to do this.
And now you have to abide by it. You wanna persuade, you want to convince, you want to inform. And that’s not how soon people are when they get in power. And and then when I say that thing, like I, it’s flouncing is, oh haha, we got his goat. We made it so unpleasant for them to be around that now we get to be in control of these resources.
We get to speak for what once was a good thing. So I guess we win and then they watch. The numbers drop and they watch the money go away, and they’re like, wow, I guess we should have learned how to. But you’re,
Stephen: you’re wrong. I think you’re wrong there that the ones that push and do that, they don’t hit that next step.
They don’t hit the, oh, look at the consequences of our actions. It’s just we won Good for us. And they move on. And that’s the exact same thing with the riot. And they don’t, it’s a, all these people go going I, I had this argument with a relative that I wish Trump was back in charge because at least the gas prices weren’t this high.
Do you think that Trump said poop, all the gas prices need to be lower and everybody lowered it. I’m like, how do you explain gas prices in Brazil or England or Australia? He didn’t affect any of those. They went up all over the place, not just in America. So I, and then my joke became, it’s every time something happened, it’s scientists discover this new neutrino.
Thank God Trump got them to do that. And now this new car came out with 57 miles to the gallon. Thank God Trump did that. It was a ridiculous, but you
Alan: can’t be ridiculous enough. They’re ready. I know. To see that And you just beat ’em to it. Yeah. You know what I mean?
It’s, wow. It, I know
Stephen: that. And the thing. What you’re saying here is exactly why we’re losing all of our teachers. Because teachers, that is the mo. I’ve had several teachers on my podcast and we talk about learning and teaching and some of the things I’m wanting to do with kids, and they’re like, oh, you’d make a great teacher.
I’m like, no, I wouldn’t wanna do that job. I’m like, because teachers can’t teach. They’re told you have to do this curriculum, even though the common core stuff, even though it’s just for the numbers and the kids aren’t learning anything. And the minute a kid wants to complain, everybody supports that.
And the teacher’s in trouble, even if they didn’t do anything wrong, because the school and the board’s too afraid, the parents are go turn right around and sue the school so kids can do whatever they want and nobody does anything or can do anything about it. And the teachers are in the middle and the ones in trouble, and it’s why are we lose?
Why can’t we get any good teachers? Maybe it’s because everybody’s a freaking idiot. And instead of when your kid don’t
Alan: support them, when they, yeah.
Stephen: I had problems with scouts in, when I was in scouts that these kids were getting bullied and picked on. The school’s answer was to tell the parent of the bullied kid why don’t you pull ’em outta school and homeschool ’em, not doing anything about the bully because, and not even calling the parents into work
Alan: them the asshole.
Stephen: I had that situation. I’m like, are you kidding me? These kids are gonna do it again. How is this the answer?
Alan: It’s because sometimes I don’t care only about always being faithful to logic, the good guy. Once in a while it’s fun to just cut to the chase and say, when someone says something ridiculous, say, wow, your parents sucked.
They didn’t teach you any of this. Like right away I wanna be like, Let me talk about your mother and what a whore she is. Please don’t at world, I don’t do that all the time, but once in a while when the person is hyper aggressive and is, has already gone beyond the boundaries of reason, it’s let’s fight then let’s fight.
You think you can beat me if we get into an insult fight? I’m a big enough guy. I don’t have to back down, maybe you have a gun. Oh, no. That would be an unfortunate thing. You’ve brought a gun to a book discussion group or whatever else it might be. It’s I talk about this with Colleen all the time.
We, out of following the social contract and trying to make society a better place, we swallow little indignities all the time where someone doesn’t give you good service or someone cuts in front of you at line or someone’s a shitty driver or whatever else it might be. But then once in a while you meet the person that they’re really so bad that all that little frustration that’s built in.
Unleash it. Give them both barrels they deserve, it might be out of proportion at that time, but it feels so good for yourself, for your own psyche and self-worth, and just your position in society to be like, I just don’t want to eat one more. Gosh, I guess I’ll have to think about that. We’re both entitled to our opinions.
No, once in a while. It’s just, I don’t know. Yeah, I we’ve talked about this early in the podcast world. I wait for the world to catch up 99% of my life, I think very quickly, and I make connections quickly, and I have a lot of information in me. And most of the time, maybe it’s also a little bit of, we don’t get surprised by movie plots anymore and all that kind of stuff, but especially about those kinds of things in realtime discussions, there’s hardly ever a time when I’m worried about someone’s going to present me with a new fact or surprise me, because you see the patterns develop early on of they’re just reciting the idiot playbook and I’m already like three pages down, and how will I head them off from wasting more of our in the group’s time?
It once in a while, it’s just no you don’t know what you’re talking about. And every time they start to speak up, sh it’s just like the best solution that I can come up with is you don’t get to talk. It is obvious that you’re wasting everybody’s time and that you don’t care about that.
So I can’t tackle you and muzzle you, but. And it’s funny. I don’t do it like aggressively to be the jerk too, but it’s fun to make fun of it. Like the Dr. Evil scenes in Austin Powers, which, and just let watch them boil over. Frustrated with what? I don’t get to grab the floor whenever I want.
I don’t get to grab the microphone and force you to listen to me. No, you really don’t. Once in a while you’ve just, you’ve lost, you can’t hold the shell. You can’t hold the con. No one wants to hear what you say. And once in a while, it’s also, you turn to the group and you say, does anybody want to hear what this interrupter wants to say?
Instead of the presenter? No one does. And so shut up and let the presenter finish. And sometimes the presenter is me. Yes. And that’s what I had to do after I’ve had three interrupted question like, folks, I brought a lot of interesting material. I think that you came here to hear it. Is it okay if I tell this guy that we’ll get to this after the talk, and if he can’t control himself, then we’re gonna have him shown out.
Is that okay? And almost always the room is on your side. And I don’t think that’s bullying. I don’t think that’s my being a control freak or having to be the one speaking instead. But
Stephen: you’re the one supposed to be speaking. They’re the
Alan: disruptor. They’re the bully, they’re the ass.
Alan: I saw you have to see something, right?
If somebody’s looking at their phone in a theater and I kick the back of their chair, and people are like, why are you making a scene? I’m not making the scene. I’m trying to stop the scene, which is this glowing blue in the blue of a darkened theater because their life is oh, they must be a doctor taking a call so they can rush off and save a life.
No, I can see that they’re looking at TikTok or whatever bullshit is in their life, right? Oh
Stephen: I I did see I, I loved it. I saw one of your Mad magazine talks and there was a guy that interrupted you several times. And wanting to say mean nasty things about this, that, and the othering and bring pol politics into it and all sorts of stuff.
And you’re like I understand you have thoughts. That’s right. And opinions. But this is my, because a links talk you’ve met had talked about Trump. Yes. Yes. I said, you said this is my talk. I’m going to give my material and we’re not going to be interrupted by you. If you don’t like that, you are more than welcome to leave, but I’m not taking any more interruptions like that.
Or something along those lines. Yeah. And I was like, alright.
Alan: Cause what was funny Righteous is not that you feel that you’re right. Righteous is when you really have more facts and you should grab the bully pulpit and say, so he was talking about, can we please not have any insults to Trump?
Yes. And it’s if you knew anything about Mad Magazine, which is what I’m trying to tell you, there has not been a single president since Mad Magazine started in the fifties, that they haven’t found a way to lampoon and tease and tell the truth about and why should he be any exception. Of course, he’s not, you’re saying he’s an exception to all the presidents, right?
No. It isn’t that he deserves it more, but he sure doesn’t deserve none either. And in trying to explain that, you can see all the heads nodding in the room and so yes. Why are you gonna talk about Mad Magazine if you really don’t even get the heart of what Mad is, which is to make fun of everything.
Everything. Nothing is taboo, now
Stephen: Trump did get his own special edition book from Mad Magazine, so we’ll give
Alan: him that much because there was so much material. He, someone who lies 20,000 times while in office. You don’t have to hold back. You kind, he’s writing the material for us. All he to do is comment a witty
Stephen: way on all the ridiculous things he said and did.
Ridiculous. Some people say evil, always try and find the silver lining something good out of everything. There you go. For the four years Trump was in, it was enough material to keep Mad Magazine in business. Exactly.
Alan: And exactly. It’s every parody site. The onion and Babylon Bee and everybody, I’ve seen any number of interviews where it’s you guys must have had a field day during that time.
It’s actually no. One of the points of parody and satire is to compare things to the real world in a way that’s just a little bit different so that people have to think about, wow, that’s uncomfortably close to the truth. When you have someone that is themselves a living parody, they say things that you can’t believe they’re saying it because it’s so ridiculous, so ugly.
Like you, you can’t write a satire that isn’t unbelievable because someone is doing those things for real, and so it makes their job harder instead of easier when you’ve got someone who’s a living lampoon. Anyway, I, yeah,
Stephen: Okay that wasn’t even like a topic we had for today, but before I, I had a revelation, and this is a personal revelation like when you said at that one me meeting that you were talking at, you said, how.
Rock and roll is blues based, but Prague Rock is more classical based. And I was like, oh my gosh, I’ve been listening to it wrong all these years. And when you listen to it with the classical ear, trained to it. Yeah. It’s a different experience. And I’m like, oh my gosh. It was a revelation.
So I had another revelation along those lines between DC and Marvel, because they’re different brands of storytelling for the superheroes and people like one or the other. And I was like, but what really makes ’em different? So I think for me, at least the way I think of DC and Marvel to describe them is DC is like telling the Greek mythologies through a soap opera.
That’s what it is. Okay. Marvel, on the other hand, is a new age Pulp Fiction cereal. And they, it’s a little bit like how they’re different in their storytelling and the way they do it, because marvel’s that bigger flashier more loose. Whereas DC you sometimes it’s quote unquote a little more mature based and a lot more interactions sometimes and stuff.
So that was just my thinking the other day. I was like, wow I like that description.
Alan: Yeah. So I, boy, I gotta think about that because any number of other, it’s hard to do a monolithic. A statement about things that have been running for 60 years. 60, 70 years. Because there have been changes in what Marvel and DC have done over the course of time.
And what made Marvel so successful in the sixties was that they were hip, current, more personalized compared to the archetype stories, if you will. And maybe the absurd things that DC was doing at the time. And then DC adopted some of Marvel’s things of let’s personalize the heroes. Let’s have it not only Biff bam pow, but they must have a love life.
They must have, families that must be generational things going on. And as DC adopted some of that, and as Marvel adopted some of the that’s funny. I think that Marvel has led in almost every way, and that there’s been some trading back and forth. But I can’t think of the breakthrough that DC had compared to Marvel except for the longevity.
You know what I mean? That they’ve been around since the thirties instead of the sixties. And that they already had the stable of Golden Age things and Let’s see. I guess I might say if we’re talking about the multiverse, DC had that first where they had flash of two worlds and then the Justice League crossovers and stuff.
And I just talked about this a little bit that it was very cool for them to think we’ve got these corpuses, these bodies of work and is there a way that we don’t have to, like there was a, there was in the late fifties Silver Age things were done to modernize, make new versions of the flash, greed, lantern, Adam, et cetera, et cetera.
And then someone who was either nostalgia or bigger storytelling or dollar sign said, if there’s a way that we could have both of those, we could appeal to the people who still like the golden Age Green lantern as well as the ma magic based and the more modern science based, and what could we do to bring those together.
And they found a way. So I thought that was cool. The multiverse idea, that explosion of It wasn’t like when they talked about in the modern DC that those were just stories. And then you find out actually they’re biographies that those people really did exist. So I like that.
It. I have been catching up on a ton of stuff from going to the library, honestly, bringing home a bag of all the graphic novels and collections that are now available because I’m not buying regularly and wow. Such cool stuff. For instance, going on in X-Men where they have oa, the island that’s enabled X-men to be.
So a little bit of if you’re gonna have that, it used to be that the stereotype was nobody really dies. They find a way to bring somebody back, whether it was the Lazarus pit or whether it was, or a bring a, an earth, two alternative back into Earth one or something like that.
But now they have this way of. The scope of things of what they’re doing in the X-Men to have death and rebirth be a complete cycle and what can happen if that gets screwed up. And I just read what’s called the Health filer ga Health Hire Gala, where they, the mutants are not, they’re not dictators, but they sure are influencing the world in a big way.
And they just decided to terraform Mars. The accident of OS had a problem with, we’re gonna go to Kenosha Island. And then what if that place gets attacked by the ultra sentinels or whatever it was, and we had a horrible genocide near genocide. Now it’s let’s go to another planet there. We’ll be relatively safe there because there’s only so many military crazies that can reach us.
They gotta build a rocket and put enough armaments on that rocket. So the scope of that, of whoever came up with these cool stories about here’s the pub, the quiet council. Here’s the people that and. It isn’t only X-men heroes versus villains. Now they’re really trying to say what matters is that all mutants band together?
Because we’re all under attack, all under duress. But then you have that little bit, what we just talked about on the Quiet Council. You’ve got people that really are working towards the betterment of mutant kind. And some people, they got their own agendas and if anything, they’re there. Even just to des just to disrupt and still be villains don’t have to be megalomaniacs.
Some people just want chaos. They just wanna see the world
Stephen: burn. We were just, were talking about that. Invited him in. Sorry we were just talking about that.
Alan: That’s what I’m saying. And so it’s, I love I don’t know, I read a whole bunch of ghost writer and a whole bunch of, and honestly, whatever they tried to do to expand the scope of Ghost Writer or I read the Canal series where the Symbiotes came from the other planet.
There was a whole series of interconnected annuals and stuff like that. And it wasn’t. Big and novel. It’s the earth has been attacked by the Cree, the scrolls, the the, our what was it? The, an nihilists wave. There’s all kinds of other kind of cosmic things, but then it’s just a matter of like distance and bring in more races.
Oh, the bad are involved, oh, the whoever else, but it wasn’t different enough. Whereas some of these things are just like Jonathan Hickman who did vast expansion of the Fantastic Four, and then the Avengers, and then the X-Men. God, hold onto that guy. He’s just done so much of that reconning that I love, where it’s like everything that’s gone before all that still matters.
All that’s real. What was really going on over here? I’m gonna tell you the story of that, and you find out about the Illuminati and how they really had been trying to run the world and like he picked these six particular people. Why would they have been the ones that would appoint themselves that, why would they be the ones that would exclude others from doing it?
And. Just I dunno. I’m really enjoying comics and of course, what am I really going is, oh, I wish I would’ve been reading these as they were coming out. Because part of the joy of that is you get to the cliffhanger ending in an expend and you gotta wait another month. And as I’ve often talked about, isn’t a delight to be like what’s going on there?
What would I do? What would I like to see happen? And you talk to your friends and you maybe I haven’t always gone online because I don’t want spoilers and I don’t want. I don’t know. I don’t like to discuss it as much as I just like to think about it and see what is unveiled, but there just that there’s been all kinds of good stuff that I’m thinking I, and this is a terrible thing. Maybe you have this too. I go to the library and of course, what do they have? 1, 2, 3, 6, 7? And I’m like am I really gonna jump to six, seven and miss what was going on in four and five?
I want to, I have to, cause I got these and I gotta turn to the library. But then when they, of course back reference cool things, it’s I hope I find that one day because it sounds like a really great story. All the things that have been going on with the Hulk to make it, that it’s not just gamma radiation.
There’s actually some sinister supernatural elements going on there. Joe, fix it, his back because the hug has been de powered. All kinds of cool stuff. And I, it’s there’s so much to talk about in the world of comics that I just love seeing they continue to create and what an interesting thing to be.
Comics are not the sales force that they once were. The sales are only limited to a certain thing nowadays who really reads, maybe people do it online digitally or they wait for the movies to come out. And a lot of ways comics only exist to be the, yeah. Proving ground, the launching for new characters, new storylines, that kind of stuff.
So why do we have Kang or Thanos or an Nihilists or Ultron, because those were some of the big bads, when they make the quarterback saga finally, where it was Michael, like unto God so powerful, et cetera, et cetera. I’m wondering how they’re gonna portray that because a lot of the power of that was not that it had many years built up like Kang did, but that he appeared.
Like what would happen to this thing if it was suddenly hyper powered? And with great power comes with responsibility also. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. And this was a huge playing out of exactly those philosophical opposites. Jim Shooter, who just talked to the Cleveland Comic-Con, talked about that, that’s one of the works that he’s proudest of.
And when I went back to there, it was like, I remember reading that in college and going, this really kicks it up a notch. This really is better than most of what’s going on. That would be, it was in the same league as. Alan Moore on Swamp Thing, which was revolutionary and like stu and I, my, my best friend in college roommate, every issue that was coming out I’d read it cuz it was mine. And then I hand it off to him and they’re like, as you could see how deep he was getting to the comic code and he’s you could tell what scene he was getting to because he was having the same reaction of Ah, that’s so cool.
That’s so well written. It’s oh
Stephen: and I, and we’ve talked about this before, especially me because I don’t live really close, so if I go to the library, I want to get what I want. So Akron, Cleveland, COGA, you can get online and search and request to hold and they’ll put everything and hold it for you.
Or now a lot of the new stuff is on Hoopla, which is connected to your library.
Alan: So that’s very handy. I regularly think, read things in Comicology cuz I have a subscription and on hoopla, because libraries are starting to have things that even the big, On online for the paid services. It’s all a matter of licensing and things drop in and out because of licensing.
Whereas the library, once they have it funny, they have it forever. They own that copy and and that’s gonna start to happen again, jumping around a little bit, Netflix, as just announced as of September. They are no longer doing discs. It’s only gonna be streaming. I’m heartbroken about this.
I have so much caught up on various different things by watching everything in this CD box set. D sorry. How did I catch all the X-Men, not by waiting for it to finally be streaming, but because I got them and watched them faithfully, four episodes of disc, whatever like that, and the Cool commentary by Chris Carter and stuff like that, and behind the scenes and all that stuff.
And they used to make DVD box sets that really had all those value ads and stuff like that. And soon you’re like, I’ve gotten things from the library that they’ve already been watched so many times that they’re kinda like getting scratchy, if you know what I’m trying to say. Yeah. And in my lifetime, it’s gonna be again to, I wanna watch a movie from the fifties, but unless I find the place that has it and borrow it, rent it physically, they don’t seem to stream a whole bunch of, maybe I’m not going to the right places.
There’s Turner Classics, there’s places that specialize in each of the various different kinds of movies. There’s tons of anime, there’s tons of old black and whites and stuff like that. And having said that, I gotta get really good at something you and I have talked about. I don’t, I’m gonna have to look at, okay, I’m gonna turn this service on, watch the hell out of things for two or three months, because I don’t wanna have it forever.
I don’t wanna pay 9 99 every month, hun. 120 bucks a year. To just have the ability to watch it. I want to get in there, watch all the, what I wanna watch, catch up on all the old filmed noir, dial him for murder and whatever else it might be, and then shut it off. Because as compared to new stuff always coming out on Netflix and Amazon, if you watch the historic stuff, they’re not making old historics.
I mean they’re making new historic stuff.
Stephen: You really time travelers haven’t done that yet.
Alan: And our aficionados thing that we had going on where we watched a hundred movies of all time based on the American Film Institute, we had to get those on disk almost all the time. They were just starting to do streaming that they had these older movies.
And so when I have often proposed, man, it was a great experience, you should do that too. To all my friends. I’m not realizing they’re gonna have a much harder time of it because they’re not gonna be able to use Netflix to dutifully send them the next disc. They’re gonna have to find them. And if their local library isn’t complete, hopefully they have.
The expanding network of library systems that you can say, I would like both Godfather one and two, please. But then it’s in demand and maybe you are not gonna get it for six months or whatever it might be.
Stephen: Or sometimes, libraries will trade and switch and stuff, but they have different programs.
Sometimes it’s like you, you pay a $3 fee or something and that becomes it’s gonna cost me five bucks and I gotta wait six weeks to get this movie. Is it worth it? And people, and it’s weird because for the, for quite a while now, we’ve been able to say, Hey, our kids, pretty much everything that’s ever been made is available, but like you said, that’s going to be disappearing.
DVDs are slowly dying. Everyone’s got Blu-Ray. But even then more, more people are just doing the streaming and if it’s not available, oh they just don’t think about it or care.
Alan: Yeah. I’ll tell you, this is another thing, a revelation I guess, that I, Colleen and I, and Scott and whoever else did Aficionados came to is that I have talked about we like active.
Actively choose what we’re gonna watch. Some part of my wanting to be a completist, a collector, it fi filters into this. If I’m gonna watch who’s the best directors of all time, Alfred Hitchcock, for instance, I wanna watch all of them. And then you really have to seek out who’s got what. And I wanted to watch him in chronological order to watch his development as a director.
But that was next to impossible to do. And so we’ve seen, I’d say 80% some we just couldn’t get from anywhere. Some like the weight was too long. And so we went on and maybe one day they’ll become available. And it’s almost like a little celebration when Netflix says, now it’s not in the what is it?
The suspense queue down at the bottom, but it’s the actual queue. It’s now we better get it, because that one copy that they’ve got, it’s gonna get chewed up by other people before. I having said that, and the revelation is, I don’t know that many people that are active watchers like that, they love their series.
They will watch, each episode of Ted Lasso as it comes out or their Star Wars fans, obviously on Star Trek and various different things. But that all seems to be often seems to be it’s what’s coming out now. I sit down on TV and I bop around with my streaming device and it’s oh, a new episode and they go in.
I don’t know that many people that like maintain a list like I do that I really have. I really would like to watch Let’s see, colack, the Night Stalker. Some people know it exists and that it really was the progenitor for X-Files and all those monster of the week type things. Supernatural, that kind of thing.
And yet I don’t know that many people that are doing that, even though I’ve recommended and said, it’s so fascinating to see old stars when they were young and really at the height of their powers. It’s very cool to see the first time that a different camera technique was used, someone had to do the simultaneous zoom in and zoom out where it’s really disorienting where you’re coming in on someone’s face, but the room is fading away.
And like someone thought of doing that first. And I guess that’s a little bit, again, it’s geeky here before we talk about it here on our wonderful, we’re Letting Geekery podcast, but like knowing that was the first time that they did some of those things. The first time there was a double image and we’re going back to the twenties and stuff like that, right?
The cabinet of Dr. Cag, whatever else it might have been. And
Stephen: Phantom Carriage.
Alan: The phantom ca. Thank you. Exactly. Exactly. I like that. And I think that, That part of what builds your appreciation is if you start doing that, then you get an idea of, wow, those old ones really had excellent acting, excellent dialogue.
The things might seem a little primitive compared to today, but stories weren’t primitive. You know what I mean? They really were like, when you see the first version of. The first movie made about the Titanic, and it’s not James Cameron’s, there’s been like five before.
I, I just, I guess I like the history of that and I like the craft that went into Yes. When you didn’t have a CGI server farm that could create whatever you wanted, but you had to find some way of portraying. Another dimension or a planet, a, an island that you had never been to. How do you portray a dinosaur in lost world when you don’t like, have a dinosaur in a stable outside, so they had to do the stop action stuff. They had to do the special effects that were available at the time, and Ray Harry Howen is. Renowned for, how did he do it so well that he looks like he’s really battling skeletons in the seventh Williams of Sinbad. And, and some of the things are so corny, you watch Old Flash Gordon, and that the little spaceship coming in, like on the string. It’s obvious that it’s
Stephen: what we said earlier about listening to Gaar guitar Rock, and Prague rock. It’s different ways of listening to it. Watching Marvel endgame as opposed to the cabinet, Dr. Callegari, it’s two different ways of watching it.
You can’t watch them the same. And there’s some people that just don’t want to, don’t care to and aren’t bothered, oh this movie’s stupid. And their only criteria is the big crisp screens that look like real spaceships. That’s a movie. This is stupid. And you really gotta have a.
A different way of looking at some of this
Alan: stuff. That’s a great way to put it. And in fact, that would make, I have been so remiss in this. We have many good ideas for lists top tens, and one of the things that would be one of the top 10 movies that initially people, modern people would poo it because that’s not, splashy special effects.
It’s not, it takes too long to tell the story, et cetera. But if you showed ’em this movie, they would learn how well crafted it was to build dread that when the final scare happened, it wasn’t a series of jump scares that just had you startled, but it’s like you really were like getting uneasy because oh my God, what’s going on?
That guy’s gonna get it. Don’t go down there. Don’t go. And like the haunting of hillhouse, like there’s certain movies and certain scenes, it’s You won’t be able to believe how much they had you by the throat in fear. And it wasn’t showing anything. It wasn’t, here’s the monster. Lots of tentacles, blood teeth.
No, it just was all your imagination. And yet they were great with the sound, affection, the camera work and the i, that I, we can start naming movies that are like that, that if you want to get a feel for Big battles, that it isn’t necessarily countless c g i soldiers and or extras in the Star Wars movies.
Go back to something like Lawrence of Arabia where there really were like 10,000 extras, bashing into each other in the desert and stuff like that. And someone really choreographed all of that. And really, it looks like serious, like people are dying and stuff like that,
Stephen: Ben, her, didn’t Ben her bring about the whole animal protection in movies stuff?
Alan: That’s right. Because horses were getting, yeah. In the, yes. I, so the fact that they could make it that realistic and maybe unfortunately it was realistic. Yeah, there were animal laws. There really might have been. Somebody run over a dog getting hurt or something. Course. That kinda stuff.
Anyway, I, that, that would be an interesting thing just out of not trying to be pedantic, that’s not a history lesson, but it’s more appreciate that I don’t know. And it’s not only movies, it’s books. When people read something from 50 years ago, it’s not only corny science fiction, like if it’s 23, the fifties is 73, there was all kinds of fantastic, like that’s the birth of cyberpunk.
You know what I mean? The very first things coming out from the first idea of the metaverse that there is a virtual world that you can inhabit and stuff like that. So from. And I’m trying, what else? The first idea like biological horror. That it wasn’t just that things were outside, ghosts and goblins and werewolves, but that what if it was like a virus that took you over?
And anyway, I just, it, it would be interesting to try to say, what are the formative movies in that way that people will get an appreciation for it, for its time. It was fantastic and it still holds up pretty well. You know what I mean? Yeah. Cause
Stephen: some people, yeah, me and Reese talk about that a lot with the horror movies, of course, because we’ve watched, we watch a lot of modern movies, but they’re movies that most people haven’t heard of that are from other countries are hard to get.
But we’ve watched a couple from the sixties, even one back to 1921, silent movie. So we, we talk a lot about that, how some of the modern ones. We don’t think they’re quote unquote horror scary just because it’s a slasher jump throw and Okay. Yeah. We like the gothic feel, the dread the buildup and that.
Alan: Yeah. In fact, this is, and it’s funny, I hope that one of the things it’ll get is people, I want. I hope that people will appreciate that things are not as they always have been like they are now. I, by luck, I visited with my mom yesterday. I still go see her multiple times a week over at Arden Court.
And often she’s in the activity room and then it’s doing whatever’s going on. But once in a while, we’re in the TV room and whatever happens to be up and they often watch old black and white movies, cuz that is in some cases very calming, very solace to people that’s what memories they have. So the Court of Eddie’s father came on and it was Glenn Ford and Shirley Jones.
I’m trying to think who else. And it really was a little over the top. The emotions were like, you went from nothing to anger. You went from anger anchor to anguish. The little boy had a screaming fit because his goldfish died. And it’s okay that’s pretty loud and it’s going on too long.
But having said that, They, it wasn’t they took their time showing those things instead of it being little boy has a fit, oh, let’s, let you make ’em better, give ’em a chocolate cupcake, whatever else it might be. They took time to explore the emotions and the relationships. And back then maybe it was men were men and women were women, and it wasn’t a lot of roles were that people had roles that they regularly inhabited for who’s the leader in a relationship.
And it isn’t that’s the way it should be, but to understand what was going on in this movie, you have to say this guy’s just become a widower and he’s heartbroken. And so he’s, revert, reverting to his most male macho. I make the decisions, I’m in pain, et cetera, et cetera. And how someone has to Work their way into his confidence and be kind enough and sweet enough, but also assertive enough to get him to come out of his defensive shell that he’s created because of the pain that he’s in.
And I’m sure there are modern movies that also discussed similar things, but this was pretty breakthrough for the fifties that it was done in. If that was when the Honeymooners was going on and everything was about what blustering asses men were, maybe still are. And that they just had, it was very interesting to see, despite the stereotypes of, from Mad Men of what went on in the fifties, there were still nuanced.
There was still, women weren’t only pants wearing Annie Oakley or fem fatals or, like p t a moms that they had complex characters even back then and things like that. So I, I. Don’t know that I watch as many of those as I could and should, because the pull of, Hey, the newest baking show is on.
Here’s Ted Lasso newest comedy special. I will say that. Do you know who John Elaney? You’ve seen John Mul comedy, his latest comedy special hit all the wrong buttons for me. Oh. So if you haven’t seen it, it’s called, I think Baby J if I remember right. Sweeping statement. I think that tales of someone who’s been an addict and then and f hurt so many people wrecked his life and comes back out of it.
What I always say for those tales is, Hey, how about if you weren’t an addict in the first place? How about if you weren’t so weak and wrong and meaty and That you didn’t do all that shit and then somehow you’re the hero now because you recovered, but left all this wreckage in your wake. Long ago, I remember seeing, I did a book called Permanent Midnight or something like that where he was so high while he was working as a screenwriter in Hollywood that he actually cut the umbilical cord of his baby without realizing he was even there.
He was so high. And like, how is that heroic? You almost. Killed your child. How can that be something that you are embarrassed then like sometimes the coming out in embarrassment of all these stories that might be cathartic for him. And it might be that gains you a little bit of home braver. It shouldn’t be celebrated though.
You know what? A would’ve been braver to be a human being that didn’t let themself fall so deep into that pit that they lost all their money, wrecked their marriage, almost killed their child. How about that? How about the people that quietly go on the Charles Bronsons in the Magnificent seven who have the bravery to do the necessary little things instead of it only being about how far can I fall?
Oh, but then I make a recovery and now I’m the hero, right? When you see that, oh, I haven’t shaded it too much. Cuz still very funny parts. But that overall thing of like where people are so proud for handling their difficulties. You mean the self-inflicted ones? You mean the ones where you totally fucking screwed up.
I don’t like you now I like him at less as a person cuz I now I know that. And some part of that is, and we can, we, like, when I hear someone nowadays say this thing that Ted Cruz did finally, I just can’t be a fan of his anymore. And I’m like, so this thing, not the first hundred things that Ted Cruz did that were all appalling and file and evil and nasty.
This is the one that puts you over the top. What’s wrong with you? What’s wrong with you? Don’t have discerning enough taste to say, I don’t need to give this guy anymore rope. When someone tells you, shows you that they’re an asshole. Believe them. You know what I mean? They’re not hiding much more. You can count on them to be that jerk a lot.
All the time. Forever after you’ve seen a pattern develop. Why people get to that weird, I’m gonna give ’em a hundred first chance because the first hundred weren’t enough to be convincing. Yes. So that’s part of what’s going on here too, is I wish that Keith talks about there’s a, he had his friends had an intervention for him and I, there’s a whole bunch of friends that were like, oh, we gotta pull you back from the edge.
How come the friends didn’t in the three years that he got himself to this terrible place, say, stop taking drugs, stop. You know what I mean? There could have been all kinds of chances for little intervention instead of the big dramatic walk into a hotel room. What are you all doing here? I don’t know.
And I can’t, I’ve had people that have had difficulties in their lives and only once in a while I’ve actually like myself, been brave enough to take ’em aside and say, Are you sure you know what you’re doing here? You know what I mean? This really seems that it’s costing you a lot. How does this serve you?
How is this good for those around you? And, but most of the time it’s kinda like I, I don’t know that I feel, what would you call it? Authorized to say such things. I don’t have insight into people’s lives in a way that you don’t know why they’re in that situation. All the details, all of it. But once in a while, there really are time to speak up, time to speak up, and not let Rush Limbaugh take Oxycontin and buy from a drug dealer and et cetera, et cetera.
Somebody decent in his life should have said, This isn’t you. You shouldn’t be doing this. You shouldn’t be spending your money on this. You shouldn’t be lying about it. You shouldn’t be the hypocrite that says how bad these things are while you’re doing it themselves. No, nobody came to the guy and said that kind of stuff.
So I guess I, John Elaney has some good enough friends, and I don’t know if you’re glib, cunning wonderful. In so many other ways, you can just paper all that stuff over. So I’m sure that he was really good at deflecting and hiding and, and yet wow. He just made how much money from that special, and there’s other people that would’ve been, maybe you should slink from the scene.
This isn’t anything to be proud of. This is terrible stuff that you here. My,
Stephen: so my one thing with that is, he’s big popular everyone. Oh, look at this and great, like you said, but what about the poor person who has two kids and is single and had to struggle through the same thing and almost lost their kids and came back and then people look down upon them you were a drug addict.
It’s a total two, two sides that people look at and don’t treated
Alan: of celebrity that people use to get out of things that other people would’ve gone down for. You know what I mean? That kind of thing too. So I guess I don’t mean to be totally condemning, like I said, he’s brave and insightful about his ability to look back at what kinds of things he did and that he can’t believe that he did it, but he’s gonna share it with you because that’s part of his.
Apology, if you will, for it. And yet he got away with a whole bunch of bad stuff and I don’t know, I’m not getting away. He really did wreck his marriage, lose money. He has to rebuild his career. He’s un bookable in certain places because you can’t do that kind of drugs and not show up for your show that they just sold, 10, a hundred thousand dollars worth of tickets to, or whatever else it might be.
So there’s penalties here, and yet I’m not as easily a forgiver. Of self-inflicted stuff. People that have been through stuff that the world really turned on them and they got through terrible situations. I so much am encouraging of them and support of them and how can I help them. But like when there must have been people that were saying, Hey man, John staying up 72 hours on cocaine might not be a good idea.
And he’s no, I can handle it. After a while you stopped talking to him, don’t you? Yeah. You stopped giving him good advice cuz he’s abandoned it the last 10 times. I’m sure we both had friends of Yes,
Stephen: yes. Times. I have tried to say something, I had some ex family members now that they were not healthy people didn’t take care of themselves, didn’t eat right, didn’t get any exercise, and were very large.
And then they ran into a lot of health problems. And one, one of them went basically blind because of it had a, their system so poisoned and. They, when they would want something, they’d call and just expect people to drop everything to come help ’em out because well, I’m so unhealthy I’m too big and I’m blind and blah, blah, blah.
And it’s but you did that to yourself. Why should I drop everything and disrupt my life for this Saturday afternoon to help you out? That’s right. I don’t mind helping, but gimme time. And like other family members were down upon me because they need help. I feel sorry for them and stuff. Okay.
To a point. But it was their choosing essentially. They chose this. Exactly. They knew. They, it could have happened and it did. So why do I have to now be burdened? Because they chose to do this, which sounds very callous and selfish cuz then it’s what if something happens to you? What’s the situation?
Was I obey, obeying the speeding limit and somebody else blindsided me and now I’m paralyzed. That’s a little different than choosing to lead an unhealthy lifestyle,
Alan: exactly. And it, the person calls you and says, Hey, can you help me out here? Okay, what do you need? Some cigarettes and a coffee cake from ent min’s and a six pack of beer.
It’s sure, I’ll stop by and pick up the self-harm trifecta for you.
Stephen: Anything else you need? How about what I mean, how about six cheeseburgers?
Alan: Because yeah. Now you’re like, am I the enabler that I see your situation and you’re asking me to join in with you on this difficult state you put yourself in, right?
I. Long ago. My LIFESPRING courses were a lot about that. Speak to someone’s strength, speak to someone’s improvement. Don’t let them get you to buy in on, they can’t. They’re too scared. They’re too incapable because they have put themself into many situations. It’s all over the map. Not everybody’s like that.
Sometimes it really is a matter of happenstance and the world hasn’t treated you kindly, but those kinds of things. The self limitations. The self-harm. It’s really hard for me to say, yeah, you lost your license because you drank so much. Now I gotta give you rides. No, I guess maybe some of the tough love is going to be look at what you did to wreck your life.
If you want to get your license back, you need to stop drinking to where you were putting all of us out on the road at risk. You know what I mean?
Stephen: Wow. Wow. Absolutely. All right, we ran over a little bit. Oh, so interesting though. This is the geeky stuff though. Yes. The geeky
Alan: thing that is, how do you help someone in their life?
I still want it to be, if I had to explain to somebody else what I’m doing, here’s my rationale, here’s what I’m thinking and feeling while I’m doing it, and I’d like the other person to go, okay, that makes sense. Instead of, what are you doing? You know what I mean? It’s important to be seen as a rational person, to be a rational person to get that example out there.
So at the heart of relentless geeky is the day-to-day philosophy of. Be thoughtful, anyway, I know we’ve gone over and I’ll shot. Nope. Yep. I have a trivia contest for you. A trivia quest. Yes. For you. So yes. Culture quest, we, culture quest, and we’ll do this next week, but there’s all kinds of good things.
Hecate is a a minor goddess in the Greek pantheon, and she was of magic and illusion, maybe misdirection. What’s the Roman equivalent of Hecate? Not Loki, is it? No, it’s not. But at the trickster gods like that, like Coyote and Loki are along the lines. And by the way I guessed and got it wrong, CERSI because I knew that she was a magician, but she’s not really a goddess.
She’s just an accomplished woman, if you will. She’s the queen of her island, that Jason and the Argonauts. And it’s not Jason, it’s Odysseus in Greek mythology, but the Roman equivalent vacate is trivia. Oh, that’s cool. Isn’t that a great mocking question to put on a trivia contest, yes. Is that trivia doesn’t just mean the opposite of significance, that there really was a minor Roman goddess named trivia.
So as you might imagine culture question, not only do the whole thing 200 questions in 90 minutes, oh, five of us work, have fun doing it, and then you have to look up all the ones you didn’t get or that you thought you had. And that was one of the ones that when I read it, it was like hats off to the test writers for having such a wonderful little bob there.
Stephen: That’s awesome trivia. So there, I’ve never even heard that one. So that’s me too. That’s pretty cool.
Alan: I often talk about mythology. I’m, I know a ton. I read so much when I was young and I still love it. And so it’s like for let’s say 80% of the questions, I’m really good. Pretty automatic about it.
Not this one. Never heard of this one. Isn’t that cool?
Stephen: I’m still learning. I love that. Love it. All right. Cool man. I’ll put, this was a
Alan: Stephen for everybody. Okay, Steven, later. Okay.