Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

It Could Happen Here Weekly 15

It Could Happen Here Weekly 15

Fri, 31 Dec 2021 21:01

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Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams, let's break or handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's Hey there, it's Ebony Monet, your co-host for the San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we're speaking with Doctor Jane Goodall about the fascinating journey that led to her social discoveries on chimpanzees. So four whole months, the chimps ran away from me. I mean, they take one look at this peculiar white ape and disappear into the vegetation. Bing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. In the 1980s and 90s, a psychopath terrorized the country of Belgium. A serial killer and kidnapper was abducting children in the bright light of day. From Tenderfoot TV and iHeartRadio, this is La Monstra, a story of abomination and conspiracy. The story about the man who simply become known as. Lamaster. Listen for free on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Hi, I'm Robert Sex Reese, host of the Doctor Sex Reese show. And every episode I listen to people talk about their sex and intimacy issues. And yes, I despise every minute of it. I mean, she she made mistakes too, right? And she kill everyone at her wedding, but Hell is real. We're all trapped here, and there's nothing any of us can do about it. So join me. Won't you listen to the doctor sex reshow. Every Tuesday on the iHeartRadio App, Apple Podcast, or wherever you get your podcasts after 30 years, it's time to return to the halls of W Beverly High and hang out at the Peach Pit on the podcast 9021 OMG. Visit Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling for a rewatch of the hit series Beverly Hills 90210. From the very beginning we get to tell the fans all of the behind the scenes stories to actually happen so they know what happened on camera, obviously, but we can tell them all the good stuff that happened off camera. Listen to 902. And OMG on the iHeartRadio App, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Give us your attention. We need everything you got fast waiting on reparations. We'd be the endless podcast TuneIn every Thursday. Politics and word play. We fight for the people because they got us in the worst way, from the hill to Brazil, Bombay to Kanye from the left enclave to what the neocons say every Thursday, copperhead he conversation and break us off with some bread cause we waiting on reparations. Listen to waiting on reparations on iHeartRadio. Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Hey everybody, Robert Evans here and I wanted to let you know this is a compilation episode, so every episode of the week that just happened is here in one convenient and with somewhat less ads package for you to listen to and a long stretch if you want. If you've been listening to the episodes every day this week, there's going to be nothing new here for you, but you can make your own decisions. Welcome to it could happen here, a podcast about things falling apart and occasionally also about what you can do about it. And today we're doing, we're going, we're going completely full into a what you can do about it episode. And specifically we're going to be talking about unions, union, organizing, the basics of what they are and also some of the history of it and to to talk with us. About this I I have brought, I brought my good friend John Heronimus, who is a nurse Stewart with national nurses united in Chicago. Hi, John, how are you? How you doing? I'm doing good. Yesterday was my first full day back at work after being out on light duty from having COVID for this last year. And so I got home yesterday and was pretty tired because I haven't walked that much in a day. No, it's fine, but I mean, it was a good day. I got lots of hugs from my coworkers. I didn't. I didn't forget anyone's name, which was I was terrified of. And didn't **** anything up. And then when I got when I got home, I hopped on. After I got my kids from school, I hopped on a union organizing call with 20 nurses from a hospital in the South. Were very excited about so. As it was, it was a big day. Schools. Oh yeah. Yeah, I guess I should also. Do a do a a very, very brief, long COVID check in, because this is another thing I think people are talking about that is also like a huge labor issue. Which is that yeah, like, long COVID ******* sucks. And like, I like, I know, like, like, like like one of my cousins had it and you know they they've been in bad shape for a long time like they still can't taste properly and like they I I think you got from what I remember. Like, pretty bad. Like in terms of yeah, sorry if you don't have to, if you don't want to, but oh, I don't care. I mean, I think people should, like know that this is still going on. Like the pandemic is still happening, people are still getting sick and some are still dying, which really sucks. And the long COVID thing is real. The I didn't get sick in the sense of showing up, having to be in like a hospital or ICU or anything like that. My I got sick. And the recovery like the the year or the month or so after I got sick was when things actually got bad because something happened with my my nerves and my neuroma. I had a neuromuscular variant of like the long COVID symptoms. And that led me to having all its kinds of issues with basically just being exhausted from basic things. Anything more than just getting up and walking around. I would have to like lay in bed afterwards, and it would add multiple episodes of the past year where. I would cross some invisible line in terms of like endurance and then be stuck in bed for a week. And so it's been a long thing, but I've been slowly getting better and people who fall into that neuromuscular thing do slowly get better. I think that's the The upshot. People with heart problems, those tend to be permanent and aren't getting better. Which sucks, but. Yeah, I mean, it's just like. I think that a lot of people, it's a very weird, surreal thing to watch. What is effectively like a, like a, a a global public health catastrophe, get politicized the way it has and treated the way it has been by everybody involved, so. Anyway, I just I'm doing better with that, and it's shaped me over the last year and it's shaped union organizing, and I'm glad that. I'll say this to people who are thinking about unions. I'm glad that I had the Union kind of backing me up. Even when I had to pull him a little bit in the right direction, it's much better to have that kind of collective power behind you when you're dealing with those kind of problems. Actually a good way into looking at. Just sort of in general what a Union is, because I think there's, there's, there's, there's two things here. There is what a Union is legally and what a Union actually is in terms of just the people in it and the sort of power behind it. And so I was wondering if you could well, one, I mean just on an incredibly basic level, explain what a Union is like legally, like what is legally defined as doing, because I feel like that's also something that is not as well understood as it should be. Yeah, for sure. So in the United States, there's a series of laws that kind of regulate, you know, the kind of collective bargaining and collective organization of workers at work. An important thing to understand is that those laws are mostly designed to constrain. Workers power to affect their their, you know, working conditions. And so when you look at what a a Union legally is, unions are. For the most part, they're. Legal organizations that kind of like operate on a dues basis. So if you're in a Union, you're paying dues out of your paycheck. If you work at a unionized workplace, those dues will get subtracted out on regardless of your membership or activity within the Union. One thing that people don't understand is that you can. If you don't want your dues to go to anything besides supporting organizing at your particular workplace, you can request. Unions are legally required to offer you that as an option. And then those dues get taken out of your paycheck, and they get used to do things like. Rent a union hall. Pay staffers to. Help you with your organizing. They get taken to do lobbying. Various types of political activity, and so for a lot of people. Unions will feel like in a professional association that lobbies on their behalf, rather than a collective expression of the will of workers in a particular workplace. But or it'll feel like patronage machine for, you know, Democratic Party, that sort of stuff. But that being said, unions all have bylaws, they all have mechanisms by which they are, you know, theoretically democratically accountable to the membership and. There are oftentimes campaigns by workers to change how unions operate. And and then also, you know when you're setting up a union, if you're in a new, if you're in a place that doesn't have a union and you're looking to get a union. Because you're fed up with not having any kind of power over your workplace, or you feel like people are getting discriminated against or bullied. You feel like you haven't gotten a raise, those sorts of things. You can pick the Union that you decide if you want to get a a collective bargaining agreement, which is a legal contract, kind of like dictating how your workplace operates in a uniform way. You can pick the Union that you want to organize with and their unions that are better to organize with that are more democratic and more collectively accountable, their unions that are more organized or more focused on actually building the Union power. And organizing new workplaces. And then there are unions that are kind of like they're, you know, and I'm going to say that kind of blur in the US there's like a blurry line between. Rank and file unions and business unions, because even rank and file unions are kind of constrained by the same pressures that business unions operate under. And I'll explain the difference. I've seen any difference in a second, but I just want to say that, like when you're when you're getting a new Union, it's really important for you to critically look at what your options are and you're set and who you're organizing with. Because unions have different cultures and different amounts of different kinds of politics. And you should be aware of that before you and your coworkers decide to commit to working with one union while you're getting an or a union organized. And then I can explain that next part if you want me to. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Alright, so yeah, so. And, you know, if you get deep into union history and deep into organizing and figuring out, like, what unions are and what they do and how they've worked kind of in the past. You'll find that there's different types of unions. So American unions started as like kind of like craft guilds where basically you would have a factory that might have like 20 different unions. Of each individual group of people in each individual skill set would be underneath the Union, and it was used as a way to kind of control who was able to do the work and who was getting hired in to do the work. And. A lot of times that would end up in the United States being segregated. And there would be these, called Union scabbing, where you would go in and do work against people who are striking because your Union was fine and you were cool with your boss. And these other people, whatever their problem is you're just going to keep doing, the boss will offer you more money and you'll do the work, right. So, and a lot of that has kind of carried into what we call trade unions in the US specifically, and trade unionism is particularly. Prominent in in construction. So you'll have carpenters and you'll have, you know, Masons and you'll have, you know, pipe fitters and iron workers and all these different guys and they all kind of come together and work as a crew for like a construction company and oftentimes their union. Operates more like a contractor than like a collective like expression of the the power of those workers. So then there are more. There are unions that are would be considered like industrial unions, so industrial unions. Industrial unionism was invented by a Union 100 years ago called the Industrial Workers of the world. And they were like, what if we got took? All of the workers in an industry and got them into one big union, right? And then what if all those workers in those different industries were talking to each other and building this their power and the the goal would be that you would become so powerful that you could basically take over industries as workers. And run them on a democratic basis so that you wouldn't have you kind of liquidate capital. And I want to say this briefly also. Like, yeah, so the bosses did not like this. I mean, the W, like, the W was so feared that like, like this something the Everett massacre, where it's like it got to a point in the early 1900s where just a group of IWW people showing up to a place was enough to get like, the, the, the, the entire, like, entire city police force and, like, rounding up literally. Every right winger they could do in deputizing them and then just opening fire like into the crowd because like the IWW had showed up on a boat. Like, this was yeah, yeah. These people were tired. Like, people were terrified of them. And and I think that the other thing I think is really interesting. About the early Iowa history is that is the so you know part of the response to them is like they they just mass and this is what the first red scare was basically was anti DW thing. And also you know they shot people, they arrested people they like they deported people. And but they also, you know a lot of the things that I think we, we have this tendency to look at as like a socialist reform where for example like putting workers on corporate boards, right. Or like like in internal democratic self management. But that's like you know that's still sort of boss controlled, right. It's like, well OK, you have like a council of people who can make recommendations or like even even down to, you know we're going to have our own internal like corporate unions like set up by the company but you know the corporate union gives you a workers Council and the Council conservative control production. But you know it's still, it's still run by the bosses. All of these things were stuff that, like the Rockefellers set up or like, even the early Liberals would set this stuff up because they were. They were so scared of people like they they they were so scared of people just taking over stuff democratically, just running it. Just literally through the Union that they were like, we will literally give you democracy in the workplace. We will give you like, we will give you like workers on corporate boards, literally. Just so long as you don't, like take everything over. Yeah, I I think that it's it's hard for people to. Imagine how? Intense, like the struggle for getting any kind of rights in the workplace have been in the United States in particular. I think a lot of people think that. You know. And maybe not so much anymore, but when I was younger, you know, 20 years ago, people would be like, oh, you know, we're in America, we've got, you know, like, we've got all these things, like, we get, you know, an 8 hour work day and we've got like a weekend and all this, like, and The thing is, is it literally people were murdered to win those things, right? Like, if you like, the reason why we have an 8 hour work day is because there was in Chicago a famous. A famous strike that ended up with a massacre of of it was like a police riot. And then they rounded up a bunch of union organizers, socialists and anarchists who were like involved in the the labor movement at that time. And then the state of Illinois hung them. And so the wife of one of the of one of those people who was murdered at the Haymarket, or they called them the Haymarket martyrs. Albert Parsons was one of them, her or his wife, Lucy Parsons, who was had a very a veritable kind of like. Not quite sure what her background was, but we do know that she was probably a former slave. Albert Parsons is a former Confederate. They got married in the South, became southern Republicans trying to like participate in radical reconstruction, and then they basically had to flee because they were with their lives to the north. And but after that whole trial and all that shook out, Lucy Parsons became a labor agitator across the United States, fighting for the 8 hour day and and they memorialized. The Haymarket Martyrs and something that I think some of your listeners will know about, maybe they won't, but you know, Mayday, Mayday. A lot of people are like, oh, that's Russian or some foreign sort of thing. Now that is a an American labor tradition that like started here. And it was because of a specific. Like the the labor movement and the movement for the 8 hour day in the United States. So. And that's kind of like once you go from the IWW in industrial unions as an idea. It got crushed in the 20s because it was so terrifying. There's a really good, a really good essay on all that called the stopwatch and the wooden shoe by a guy named Mike Davis, who kind of explains how it is that the IWW is the first union to not only try and build, you know, workers organization, but to challenge workplace organization and to make those. Push back on how production was happening. And fight something called the speed up where. I think a lot of people who have worked have experienced this time where a boss will come in and say we're going to do things differently and they'll either. Get rid of a worker and put all that extra work onto. People who remain or they'll change things so you're doing more with the same amount of time. They got, you know, they provoked the backlash. There were like spectacular, like. General strikes, uh, the first general strike in America. In Seattle, there were IWW members who were key members of the Seattle Labor Council, which took craft unions and got their radicals together and coordinated a general strike, which is where there's a lot of tweets about general strikes, but general strikes require a lot of organization and coordination, and we can talk about that later if we want to. But. Key thing is, the IWW was always pushing. For the organization necessary to pull off a general strike. And they did it. And so amongst those different things, and they're mine wars and Colorado, mine Wars and Virginia, West Virginia. They were the first union that was explicitly anti racist. They. They weren't perfect, but they were. But they organized multiracial unions in Philadelphia. The docks. And various other places. They were one of the few unions that really took the first steps into organizing in the South and the way that. A lot of unions have kind of failed to sense. And because they were so effective and so frightening, they got crushed. Yeah. I mean, also one other thing I want to say about them is that like, like, the WW fought in the Mexican Revolution because, you know, a lot of the IWW members in California in particular were like. A lot of, a lot of indigenous people, a lot of sort of a lot of Mexican immigrants. So, yeah, they had these like they they like they. I think I think to this day, this is still true outside of Puerto Rico. Like they they are the only leftist movement that is ever like taking control of an American city. Like they they they took to Mexico and Mexicali and like a bunch of those sort of the border area. Yeah, that that's that that's, you know, part of why. It just escalates to everyone starts shooting them because, well, and and they were truly an International Union. Yeah, because they were. They focused on like, longshore men and organizing and docks, that sort of thing. There were members of the IWW organizing basically everywhere in the world, and they were considered part of like, what was like a a global movement, and we called them syndicalists, which is kind of like a. An Italian term or French term which is this the you know like like the Latin version of of Union is syndicate or syndicate and. There were similar unions across the world up through the early 20th century until right about the time when the Russians the Russian Revolution happened. And then there were subsequent crackdowns and because of. These people were who, I mean, the IWW was. A mix of Native American, native born Americans and immigrants and they were painted as this foreign sort of force. They were unamerican. That was like the whole Nexus of an Americanism as like an idea. And the US state was able to mobilize after World War One to really put that down and so. Uh, so there's a lot of history there and that, but. The idea of the Industrial Union didn't go away right the the Union, the IWW, was effectively dismembered and scattered. But a lot of people who had experienced as IWW members who had been in those strikes. And, like, just disappear. They didn't all get deported or sent away. A lot of them, kind of. Took their heads down and went back to work, you know? And in the 1930s we saw the rise of another industrial the next step towards industrial unionism. So it's called the CIO, which is the Congress of industrial Organizations now. There were multiple at that point. There was the Communist Party USA. The Socialist Party of America. And former members of the IWW and various like anarchists who were participants in kind of the. Organization of the CIO and the thing about CIO was, was that when they came together. It was in the the Great Depression had really kind of kicked off and they were able to organize like really explosively across all these new industries. So they like the UAW. the United Auto workers was like part of the CIO and they would they pioneered forms of strikes called sit down strike. Which was basically a factory seizure. All the workers would just say we're not going to walk out, we're going to lock ourselves in and we're going to sit down and it's our factory now, and now you're going to have to negotiate with them. And it became this thing where it was like millions of people were in, like, the IWW. At any one time was like hundreds of thousands of people and the CIO became a thing where it was millions of people and. And at least in the beginning when they had their when they had were at the peak of their like power and militancy. They were able to mobilize workers to take over factories. Take over factories from some of the most powerful corporations on the earth on Earth. And you know it at the same time. While they're doing this. The the police and company, company security and vigilantes which had never gone away from like the IWW, we're doing the same sorts of things. So they would regularly beat strikers. They would regularly there would be, you know, regular labor, massacres, disappearances of various. Of Labor organizers or labor leaders, or even just random workers that they thought were like, oh, you're a unionist? You know, get in the back of this, get in the back of this truck and then they were never seen again. And then laws started to be enacted, I believe out of fear that if this. If this movement didn't get somehow put under, brought in under control that there would be a revolution and so. So that's when we started to see the enactment of laws like the National Labor Relations Act, which made having a Union like that was the first time when being in a union was considered legal at the federal level. And that. The, you know, FDR and the New Deal Democrats basically attempted to broker something called a labor piece. Where they would say we're no longer going to mobilize the state against workers in the way that we have previously now, local police would still side with bosses, that sort of thing, but and those sorts of massacres and that sort of stuff didn't really go away until like the 40s. But. That was the beginning of, because what you see is unions get channeled into. Once you have like a million people in the Union, you have. Just enormous amounts of resources. All these dudes coming in, you have the beginning of the labor bureaucracy, whereas before it would be, you know, there would be hired, you know, paid labor organizers. But they were always shifting around and they were, they were brought up as communists or socialists and they had ideological commitments to building the power of the Union and the power of workers that, you know, if you are just a, you know, an. Someone with some ambition and decide that you want to become a like anyone at this point you know who wants to can become a paid union staffer if you're like, you know if you care to and a lot of people. Then being a Union staffer was a different thing than it is now. It was, I think. I'm trying to remember the name of the president. I think it was John Lewis. John Lewis, who was a Republican back in the day, said, you know, I think famously said at one point, it's like if you want to build a union or if you want to build a house, you call a Carpenter. If you want to build a Union, you call communists. And so and so they would literally would go to like the, the, the, you know, the Communist Party and say we need organizers. And the Communist Party did a lot of work to training people to be organizers. And they were militant. They were ready to throw down because to them they were looking at this as part of a, you know, class struggle against, you know, bosses and you know, a way of overthrowing capital. That kind of went through until. World War Two. And. When World War Two hit, that's when the Soviet Union which? In many ways controlled what was happening with Communist with CPUSA. Basically said, we need a labor piece because we need to support the war effort. And so that's when unions started. Signing contracts with no strike clauses. They started agreeing that they would no longer strike and. And they started agreeing to things like speedups. There used to be a time when. These mass industrial unions, the stewards, would walk around with a whistle. On their neck and have a whistle on a lanyard. And anytime that workers decided that this is like a an example of how powerful these unions were. Not just like as like an organization, but every day at your your workplace if you thought that something was not right or you were not being treated fairly or somehow the contract was in breach. You would go to your steward and your steward would pull out this whistle and would blow the whistle. It's called a whistle. Stop strike and everyone would set down their tools until management would come out. And they would either agree to pay more or stop what was happening and fix it. And so there was a time when strikes. Would be you would have intermittent work stoppages so you wouldn't go out like indefinitely. You would go out on strike for like 3 months though that happened. You wouldn't just and it wouldn't just be your factory, it would be, hey, we're getting on the phone and we're calling our friends down the street at the next at your supplier that's called secondary strike. So if you're working at like a steel mill and your steel mills dependent on coke from the next factory over. You're calling up your friends in the same union down the way, say, stop sending Coke, stop sending materials, right? These things to us, we're on strike. You guys, you all set your tools down. You go on strike and it would. And these strikes would like massively expand so you would see things instead of seeing, you know, we just went through strike Tober, right? And we just, and so we saw like what we call a strike wave, but and and in some ways it was a strike wave. But I think that we still don't. I think it's so far away from living memory of what a real strike wave is, where people would go on strike in one factory and then the next factory and the next factory in next year. It literally would be a wave of people going on strike. And this was all the result of all the organization that people had in the militant attitude that people had about like how they were going to be treated. Work. Is worth mentioning that one of the so the National Labor Relations Act which is passed 1935 which is like the you know this is the beginning labor piece like you know it's OK we'll give you the right to union but you cannot do secondary strikes like this like this is this is explicitly banned in this if I remember in this right is that there's a specific thing that says you can't do secondary strikes anymore and you know this was this was you know. The, the, the, the, the, the basis of this piece was that like, yeah, you sort of said before it was like, well, OK, so the, the, the, the state will put their guns down, but the workers also essentially to put their guns down. And yeah, and this this starts this whole process of. You know, once once you lose. Like that kind of consciousness and once you lose just the the practical experience of doing this stuff it kind of it fades and overtime you know if yeah atrophies and and the unions get weaker and weaker because you know like without like you know once you once you've set aside right and you've decided that you're going to essentially you know OK we're going to follow the laws we're going to sit down we're going to do this. We're going to like negotiate in good faith. We're going to have all of this sort of, you know, we're going to go through the National Labor Relations Board. And it's like, well, at that point, people like people. People's willingness to pick the weapons back up that they'd put down just sort of continues to diminish. Well, I think what happens is, I mean and so there was like a 10 year. So first there was like the first five, you know, 5-10 years of CIO was when we received like this really like intense militancy within these unions. And halfway through like you know the the passage of that first law in the 1930s, that's when we started to see the erosion and we constantly see, I think, I think that people don't understand is that our bosses are always trying to assert their control over work. And we'll see that, like, bosses will do all kinds of contortions as long as they get to stay in charge and that they're unquestioned. And I don't think we understand quite how long the long game is for, for management, for our bosses and for capital. And so, you know, it starts with the National Labor Relations Act, and then it goes through, it goes through World War Two and during World War Two, that's when the CIO goes from, you know. You know millions of people to like 10s of 1,000,000 and it becomes like a thing where like that's when you know like 50% of Americans are in a union, right? Because I mean to the extent that. That. To the extent that there were those compromises happened, it didn't just compromise. It wasn't just like a failure of like, oh, like, we're just going to start capitulating. It's like there were interests inside the Union they were looking at like, well, this is a lot of resources and power that we have now, but wait until, like, it's, you know, 50% of Americans paying union dues. And there were people inside the Democratic Party who are willing to trade. That. Labor piece for the you would start to see. You know, that's when politicians would show up to. To union halls to talk and try and get, you know. And that's when you know the Democratic Party. It would be. It wouldn't be unusual to hear a Democratic politician. Say things about like labor that you would like that no politician would say today. And now that doesn't mean that they were like on the side of the workers, but you know, you'd have literally. Umm. President Eisenhower telling the President of US Steel to get ****** over like a general, like you, like you're you're trying to shut down. Like, you know, this is like the the steel industry is the lifeblood of backbone, of the American economy, you know? And you're trying to shut this down, trying to kill the golden goose, like, get back to work, let them pay these people they're asking. But you know, so you would see the people who kind of floated to the top of those unions trading their trading away their workers power and their workers well-being for more and more money. First off there would be more money. So you would you like they would start getting raises that were really substantial and it would boost up a a Union steel worker or union auto worker into what we consider like the comfortable middle class people could like. Buy a like a a fishing cabin or something up on a lake. Send their kids to college. All these sorts of things that were just kind of like unobtainable sorts of things if you were the same in the same industry 20 years earlier and. And that felt like winds, you know, to people. And also in the 1940s after World War Two, they passed the Taft Hartley Act, which basically meant that they they forced unions. Well, they did OK. They wrote into law that it was illegal to be a communist or an anarchist in in a union. And so there are literally still unions that still have language in their. Uh, in their membership cards or they're like, I declare I'm, I've never been a member of the Communist Party. I'm not an, you know, an anarchist. I mean, like, I've have friends who've pulled that out now. It doesn't have any effect now, but that was they basically took all the people, you know, the people that. That were, you know, the people that you would have called to build the Union 20 years later or before we're getting thrown out of unions. And that didn't happen in every, like there were attempts to do that in all kinds of countries. They tried to do it in the UK and the unions in the UK. Told UH basically told government to go **** themselves and they, you know, it's like. But because the leadership of the of the CIO industrial unions. Began to see themselves more in alignment with. Our ruling class and our, you know, like the Democratic Party. They decided that they were big enough that they didn't have to have militants involved anymore. And that's when you know. Uh, people were literally would get fired out of they'd either either militants and staff would get fired or they would get fired out of factories if you're like a rank and file worker. So, and that's when we begin to see the rise of what we call business unionism. And that's where we would have union bureaucrats would and. Which, you know, would basically start making concessionary contracts. And this started, you know, back in, you know, a lot of people are like, oh, you know, back in the 50s, unions are really powerful. And they were powerful to get, you know, like raises, but those raises came at the expense of control over the work process. That came at the expense of the speed up. And as unions like because the rank and file workers like you're saying, you know, rank and file workers and they see their thing, their these tools getting put down and they're more reluctant to pick them up. First off, it's because of the amount of money that they're getting paid. And but they did push back. They were like, this is, I mean like there's a really great book called the Next Shift by. Gabriel Winant, it's all about the shift from steel, the steel industry, as like the center of the US economy to healthcare. And how unions basically started to erode away their like throw it like hand over their power in exchange for money. And then when they were told like there was an attempt to get socialized medicine in the under the Truman administration. And when they were basically. They, they hit a speed bump in there and it got shot down. They decided that instead of trying to win those, those broad social reforms for everybody, they're like, well, we can use our our power to strike to get basically construct a private welfare state for our workers. And so that's when you begin to see things like the they call them like the gold plated insurance plans for certain types of unionized workers. And those would kind of. And those are kind of uses like a private welfare state for all those workers and it was built with the assumption that you're going to have low cost workers basically doing all this care work. And oftentimes it'd be women of color and. And through that you start to see this real sharp decline from the 60s in like in union militancy. And that's when factory when capital starts moving factories out of city centers, where it's very easy to organize the factory. When everyone lives within walking distance to the factory, and when they're done with their shift at the factory, they're all at the bar outside the outside the factory gates. You can just like, if you want to have a Union meeting, if you want organized, even a Wildcat strike. All you have to do is show up at the right bar and that's where everyone is after they're done with their shift. They started moving and dispersing the industrial capacity of the United of, you know, the the US urban core out into suburbs. So that's now where you'll drive through rural Indiana and you'll pass like 5 factories and they're surrounded by nothing but cornfields. It's because it's a lot harder to organize auto workers when they all live 30 minute drive from each other and none of them hang out at the same bar anymore. And then you start to see. And all through that time the commitments to anti racism are eroded. So you'll see jobs get start to get segregated out inside. It's like steel mills and things like that. But then, you know there's also the rise of rank and file movements to push back. So all the while we're talking about this, there's always workers who remember what these things were like and why, and the power that they used to have. And they would do the best that they could to get organized. So there's a really good. Documentary you can find a YouTube called finally got the news. It's about the Dodge Revolutionary union movement in Detroit, which was a rank and file reform movement organized by by Black auto workers that got like a fair amount of support from white auto workers because they were basically there's, you know, interviews with UAW. Bureaucrats, and they're just like, you know, we're getting people these raises. Why are they upset that they're like getting named in the factory, right? Or why are they getting upset that, you know, you know, black workers are constantly getting put into the ********* jobs or the 1st to *** **** off that sort of thing. And that's a, it's a really. I suggest anyone has time. And that came out of like the, I think that was immediately after the was getting organized after. The assassination of Martin Luther King and all the riots that were happening in the in the 60s had like that late 60s. Umm. In the 70s there was a teamster, the teamster rank and file rebellion. My grandpa was a teamster trucker. Was a teamster. She was a like a punch card operator, but. Yeah, sorry. Yeah, yeah. No, I mean like, teamster these unions got so big and they have all kinds of. That's how you end up with, like, there's UAW teaching assistants now, right? Like, how do you end up with these huge, like unions? And during the Teamster rebellion and my grandpa would tell these stories like, we're going on, there would be a Wildcat strike and they call it out over the CB radios. And the way they would enforce the picket line wasn't just like, oh, we're going to like, stand in the road or something. They would hang coke bottles full of rocks. Over the overpasses, just high enough up to like big cars and pass underneath them, but if you hit one and you were in a truck, you **** ** your day. And that was like a really a like a really kind of like powerful pushback by rank and file workers against what they saw was the erosion of their power because I think that. I think there's this sometimes amongst people who consider themselves to be left or whatever. There's like this kind of doom and gloom, like, oh, it's only like we're only losing, right? But, and there's been a lot of as the 70s happened and capital is kind of reconfiguring itself in the middle of all the economic upheaval, inflation. Basically, they got to the point where we can't maintain labor peace and maintain profits, right? So they could maintain labor peace and have something more like a socialist system or they could maintain control over the work process and just do everything in their power to destroy the power of workers and they decide to do that. So I think we we're coming out of this kind of era where. You know, if you are in a union and working in a factory, there was a real threat that they're like, well, we're just going to shut this factory down. And, you know, NAFTA gets signed. Well, first it was the the Petco strike with Reagan. Reagan gets elected and. Air air traffic controllers decided they're going to go on strike and. And they and Reagan decided he was going to break it. And they they brought in they basically there was this big recession. It was like this huge mess where people were really desperate for work and. You know, they said we're going to hire anyone to be at air traffic controller and we're going to break the strike. And that was the first real, the first like that, the the beginning of the end of that final like that big moment era of industrial unionism in the United States. And we went from a place where, you know, UAW had millions, the United Auto workers had millions and millions of workers. And if you drove a car or a truck in his main America, it was made by union worker. To this point where now the UAW is around 50,000 people. I was shocked when I heard that literally like 2 weeks ago, you know, we just had the big UAW strike at John Deere. And there's been, and you know, all through this, while this is going on, there's various union corruption scandals. And that's, again the cause of, like when you kick out all the people who have an ideological commitment to improving the lives of working people and building the power of working people out of this organization that's only existence is to, like, build the power of working people. Umm. Then you then you end up with people who are basically criminals. Like you end up like there would be. I think Reagan **** like Ronald Reagan was. I was a Union member, but he was like the Union member for like a corrupt, like there was like there was like a a battle between like the CIO controlled Union in like Hollywood and like the corrupt, like most mobbed up union. And the mobbed up union like that was the side of I'm 90% sure that that was the side that Reagan picked. Yeah. And and yeah. So it's like you could kind of. And there was a lot of like media where they would be like, you know, the waterfront and various like movies and things talking about union corruption. And I think that Union corruption is real and it's a, it's a when it happens, it's a huge problem. It shouldn't like, it's. In other countries like in like in Germany, if they found out like a Union Union official like misappropriated like €2000, it would be a nationwide scandal like. Also in in like European countries like you pay union dues on a voluntary basis, right in the US legally since we're close shop system. Like once you're at a Union union. Workplace your dues get taken whether you know whether you're happy with the Union or not. Now there are people who say that's really important because unions need every penny they can to fight for what they have. But when unions have to fight for membership and make sure that their membership knows that they're getting like, what they're paying for. You get a little bit more responsiveness. So I think that's another thing that especially people are thinking about unions and thinking about joining a union or creating getting any of the workplace. Just understand what a Union is and how they work and where your money is going to. And if you're unhappy with that? The best thing to do is to get involved with your Union to try and like, get connected with your coworkers who have similar complaints and change the Union because. There's a saying it's like any union is better than no union. That's not always true, but it generally is. There, there's like a very small chance that, like, you're like living in 1929 China and like, your Union is like, is controlled by, like a combination of the KNT and like literally the Chinese heroin trade. But you know that that like, yeah, that like. Doesn't mean really. There, there there are things where you'll have like there my dad worked at a factory and there was it was a teamster organized factory and like some of the stewards were bullies and literally like there were some people who were dealing drugs out of it. And they gave the. The workers like. Tried to bring in another union and and the management decided to offer to also try and decertify decertify the union at the same time, and the workers voted to desert and The thing is, is that. Now that factory shut down and gone and I guess like The thing is, is that you have to. It's far better for workers to assert their rights within their union, where they have some modicum of democratic control over what's going on. Then it is to just throw up your hands and like there's and do nothing. Because if you do nothing, the boss is always doing something like. That's The thing is like, management is always organizing. They're always coming up with ways to like. To undermine the control of workers at work. To pit people against each other. We can get into it later, but like they want, they'll use racism and those sorts of things to dole out favors or Curry favoritism and like, you know, pit people against each other. So I think that it's important to just say that like. The Union is going to be your only effective way to push back, well, the Union or collective action. Because I guess I also want to say that there are times when organizing the Union isn't the best solution to solving your problem at work. Ultimately, this is all about how do you solve problems at work, right? And there's sometimes when you can do collective action that is protected, as you know, as labor organizing, but it's not done within a union. And so and because America is a really messed up place and you have right to work States and places where like being in a union is like literally illegal. Sometimes, putting the time you like, you can't get into a union and therefore you have to come up with other solutions. Or sometimes, because of the nature of a workplace, like getting a union is like is very hard or like basically impossible. That doesn't mean that you can't organize, and I think that that's the thing that everyone needs to understand. I think there's a lot of like, boosterism of unions amongst younger workers because people just don't understand how they work or they haven't experienced them themselves. And I think that the main thing is, is that you've got to be. Very careful with your time and understanding, like building a union can take like 10 years. From the beginning of we're upset to now we have a collective bargaining agreement. Or now we have a collective bargaining agreement. It could be another 5 or 10 years before you actually get to the point where you organize them to go on strike. And people oftentimes think that that's like. They look back at the history of things and they're like, oh, it was so easy. But back then people were taking all they mean. They. It took them years to build the the, the US labor movement into what it was at its peak. It took decades, right. And I think that we are kind of used to this instant gratification kind of stuff. We have to understand that. It's like. If you're going to be in a workplace where you're there for enough time to build the trust and relationships and understanding of how the work workplace works and keep your job and be someone that people don't look at as like a shirk or whatever. Not that I don't think that people should. You know, people should work as hard as they can and not any more harder than that, but whatever. But I think that, you know, I'm anti work, but you know, that's a whole other thing. Unions are the best way to limit the amount of work that you have to do. 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Or they got fired, but then all of a sudden conditions approved afterwards and they look at that as like, oh **** we didn't get our union, but everyone got raises and they changed some things at work and that's actually a victory. So, you know, I think that think of each other as like collective building, collective power. And the amount of time it takes to do that is daunting, but I think it's the sort of thing that we need to do if we're serious about changing how. We can actually like how our lives work and how much power we have outside of work, because unions are also places where we do things that affect outside of our work as well. I'm Colleen Witt. Join me, the host of eating while broke podcasts while I eat a meal created by self-made entrepreneurs, influencers and celebrities over a meal they once ate when they were broke. Today I have the lovely AJ Crimson, the official Princess of Compton, Asia, kidding and Asia. The professor we're here on eating while broke, and today I'm gonna breakdown my meal that got me through a time when I was broke. Listen to eating while broke on the iHeartRadio app, on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Hi, I'm Robert Sex Reese, host of the Doctor Sex Reese show. And every episode I listen to people talk about their sex and intimacy issues. And yes, I despise every minute of it. I mean, she she made mistakes too. She kill everyone at her wedding. What hell is real? We're all trapped here, and there's nothing any of us can do about it, so join me. Won't you listen to the doctor's sex free show every Tuesday on the iHeartRadio App, Apple Podcast, or wherever you get your podcasts? In the 2020 George Floyd Uprising, you know, in Minneapolis, there were nurses, union nurses who walked out the door to support. You know, people who were basically having an insurrection against like, you know, police violence in in Minneapolis. When the when the 2020 COVID pandemic hit off, 2020 was a year of everything going off. Yeah, nurse nurses were going out and confronting union nurses or going out and confronting anti mask protesters. Like I was literally getting screamed at by like some Looney Tunes doctor holding a banner that said nurses are dying, go home with like 20 other union nurses and we were the only people out there who are like together, who are, you know, immediately impacted by this stuff. And and I think it made a difference. Like I think it's important. And so I think that and there's some idea called social unionism. So if you get to the point where building a union. And you're making progress and you get to that point where you have a Union always be advocating for to the extent that you can, that your Union is engaged in the kind of like connecting with your community around your workplace. Figuring out the things that are impacting people's lives outside of unions, because I think that's another thing that. For a long time, unions just ignored or let atrophy because they didn't think it was their problem anymore. It was, you know, mutual aid helped build the labor movement. You know, workers would get would literally like in West Virginia and may Twan they had a company, police throwing people out of their apartments who are on on strike. And the there were, you know, all of a sudden 2000 of your fellow workers showing up and throwing the police out of town. And putting people's, you know, belongings back in their house or, you know, and I believe we're getting back to that point where, you know, teachers went on strike in West Virginia and the Union and the teachers did everything they could to support their students while they were out because, like, I think there's this idea that. A lot of union workers at this point are, you know, everyone is like, you know, the American workforce is so desperate and so. And they've they've just been pushed around so much that, you know, there was this idea for a time like in Wisconsin. What was that, 2014? Or what was the Scott Walker Wisconsin uprising? Just 11, wasn't it? I think it was like right around Occupy. It was around there. And, like, there was this idea that's like, oh, you're a nurse. Oh, you're a teacher. Like, you should just be happy that your job has some kind of meaning to it. Right? And it was a lot of, like, weird discourse around in the media and about, like, how dare these people think that they deserve anything? And The thing is, is that how can you, like, as a nurse, how can I take care of my patients? Safely when I'm constantly having like more and more work put on me, right? And that that immediately affects the people that I'm taking care of so that when when we went on strike. In 2019 it was around our safe staffing. And if I've seen management make decisions about staffing that kill people? And I've seen management make decisions that lead to my coworkers getting injured. I management made decisions that led to me getting COVID and messed me up for a year. And so when people in these kind of care worker roles, which I think is become a more prominent part of the US economy as people are getting older and they need more like care work, home care workers, nursing home workers, hospital workers. Parents don't can't rely on family the way they used to to help take care of kids. School has become like this really important, like institution for. You know, working class survival. That you can't do those jobs as a worker if you don't have the resources. So like our our children were at the Chicago Public Schools and they're. That, you know, the Chicago Teachers Union, which was taken over by the rank and file, I think in 2005 or 6 by, you know, a group of black women led by Karen Lewis and they set up a group called like A A Rank and file caucus called the. Caucus of rank and file educators or radical educators core. Might be messing up, but it is called core. They went out on strike in 2015. And as a you know, as this, this is before my kids were old enough to be in those schools, I was out there still taking them coffee and doughnuts, right? Because I knew that they were in there, because things sucked. By the time my kids were old enough in 2019 for it to be a big thing, the teachers went on strike in Chicago. It had gotten so it's so bad that Chicago teachers are like Chicago Public Schools have the. The lowest number of staff. To students of any school system in Illinois, it's not even like half right and. And it's funny, because the state had been constantly trying to erode the power of the union they're making. Chicago teachers like pay their for their own retirement, basically in a way that no other like workers have to. They were making it so that Chicago teachers could only go on strike if over 75% of of the teachers voted to go on strike. So when, So what that does is there's kind of like a a little bit of a flip where, oh, we have to make 75% of, you know, people agree to go on strike. Well, let's organize so much that we get 90 / 90% of people to agree to go on strike. And then how powerful is our strike, our strikes going to be? We're literally. Like, uh, one of the things I do as a steward is I connect with all the different unions in at the University of Chicago where I work. Through a Labor Council, we were going, as you know, university workers to all the picket lines of the public schools around our neighborhood. And we're bringing out coffee, bringing out Donuts, talking to people, hey, I'm a nurse. We were on strike, like 6 or like two or three months ago. What do you all need? Connecting with people? And then and then, like, at one point when the teachers were like, we're not getting what we want. And this is Lori Lightfoot is trash. We helped organize this mass March where multiple marches of teachers and school workers and we're all out in the streets dodging cop cars until we have this big convergence. And it was really beautiful, like we had like multiple people with like multiple banners and different columns, each one saying we will win, going through the streets of our neighborhood. And, like, messing up like the commercial traffic area and in our very bougie neighborhood. But that was happening all over the city. And it's just like, when you see that happen, it's because we're literally in the support of the community for those strikes was so overwhelming because people knew that. It's like, these people aren't. I mean, like, First off, it's a hard job. There's no reason why anyone doing that job shouldn't have like a a materially comfortable life because how stressful it is and how much work they do. You know, I really like, I really need to emphasize this enough people there's this whole thing is like, ohh, teachers don't work over the summer. Like, ohh, but no, no. Like their job sucks. They have to, they have to deal with these kids all day. And the other thing is like, you know, the part of it that you don't see is they have to do all the lesson plans. They have to grade all the stuff to do all the stuff like after the school day ends, they have to do all the obviously all the time. This job is awful. It is extremely hard. And like, they don't. Yeah, the conditions are extremely bad giving all forget. And I I'll never forget when I ran into my 7th grade science teacher on the summer, she was waiting tables at a local restaurant. You know, I mean, and so I think that there's this assumption that like that especially care workers get some sort of, you can't, you know, you can't cash in fulfillment, right, or prestige or whatever, that doesn't pay the rent, that doesn't put, you know, groceries on your table, that sort of thing and so. You know, I think we're beginning to see this thing resurgence. And it started with teachers and I know for and teachers and nurses have been out fighting like hell for the past like five years. And it's beginning to kind of like spark other kinds of organizing outside of outside of the care work areas. And a lot of this stuff was, it's funny how it was kind of like predicted by Occupy and like revolt of the carrying classes, someone who wrote a really cool book that just came out. The grabber he was talking about, like, why is it that we are seeing all these people who are out in the streets like during Occupy, who are like social workers and nurses and teachers and all this stuff, they're there's something going on here and I think that. So you'll see places where organizing conditions are easier because the pressure on, especially care workers right now is immense in a way that it isn't as immense other places, but. Look at for those like when you're thinking about unions and whether to do build a union at your workplace or do some sort of collective organizing in your workplace. Do you have the dynamics where you guys are? Can you, the boss, shut down your your? Your workplace and move it like 10 miles without completely destroying their like their business, right? And so, you know, we've seen strikes happen in grocery stores. In Massachusetts. There was a really like, uh, pretty well publicized. Grocery workers strike and apparently there was like internal documents got released to like shareholders about how that was like one of the most like. It was like for a month in the winter or three weeks. And they said they lost like 75% of customers refused to cross the picket line. I mean, and I think we're thinking it's like. Getting to the point where you can go on strike is a lot. It's a process and it takes a lot of work, and I think that people underestimate what that looks like. Hence we see hashtag general strike. Things all the time. But like, when you get there, I think that we're at a point now where people have a lot more sympathy for workers and workers have become more visible in the way that they weren't before, like. The essential workers over the past year and a half have been the only workers that sometimes people will see. Right. So you'll see things also like you have, you know, Amazonians United, which is a union that's organizing, but they're trying to organize something called the Solidarity Union. So they're not, you know, at least the ones here in Chicago and I think some of them in New York. And this may be changing. Things are always shifting around, but for a long time, for a while through like pandemic. They were organizing on a like in contrast to the Bessemer Amazon campaign. Sorry. There was a a business union tried to organize a a union in Alabama and Bessemer, AL. At a Amazon warehouse. And there was a lot of like, media attention to that. Democratic politicians were paying attention to it, you know, Joe Biden said. I support the right of workers to choose to have the choice to have a Union, some really milked test ******** and a lot of celebrities showing up and what wasn't happening. Was you weren't seeing a lot of evidence that the workers themselves were very excited about the the Union? And it turned out that that campaign failed, whereas workers at Amazonians United up here like in Chicago. And granted, it's a very different organizing environment in Illinois than it is in Alabama. They haven't been focusing on getting contract, they've been focusing on getting work changes like they're. We want to have water like we need water breaks. And so they would, they have these stand up meetings at the beginning of every shift and they had coordinated where you have, you know, 30 of your coworkers all say we're not starting until we get water. And then management panics because they're not used to that kind of demand. They're used to. We're going to have a campaign, then we can, you know, mess with the votes and that sort of thing and make people afraid. Collective action. Overcomes fear, right? So when you have collective action. Even through a regular, like a more regular conventional union campaign, those collective actions are what lead to successful unions. So, like, so you know, they say we aren't starting the shift until we get water, and then all of a sudden a manager disappears and then comes back with pallets full of water, right? And all of a sudden people are like, I'm going to have a drink of water before I start, like all together. And then they go off and do their thing and it's like, you know, things like that build. The power of the Union to the point where they shut down that warehouse. But then Amazonians United popped up in the three new warehouses that they set up in Chicago. So it's like when you build that kind of collective power and people feel like this is how you get things, then it's hard to repress, right? It's one thing we're like, we lost an election. Why did we even bother? It's another thing where like, no, we won like all this, like this, that and the other thing, like we got, you know, like our regular schedules fixed, we got like water on our shifts, we got this. You know, that's what gets people into the mindset that they can change things. So I think this is the thing that a lot of people. Get it's it's like the difficult part isn't getting people to agree that things are ****** ** at your workplace. Most people understand that things are ****** **. Their workplace difficult part isn't saying that, like, well, this is a solution, right? The difficult part is getting people to understand that collective action is the only way to solve the problems, right? Even within unionized workplaces, getting your coworkers to understand that if we don't do this as a collective, we will fail. And so, like when there was. A. But the first successful private. Hospital Union Drive in North Carolina popped off early 2020. Throughout that campaign, they were constantly like demonstrations of collective power. We're going to do a vigil. How many people are going up to the vigil? We're going to all walk around stickers saying, like, safe staffing saves lives or like, you know. Patients over profits, that sort of stuff. And building that kind of collective power together is what gets you, is what gets you a successful. Like that's what builds a union. Fundamentally, Union is there's the legal thing and then there's the real thing. And the real thing is only as powerful as people are willing to fight for and build that kind of collective power together. When nurses were on strike and I talked a lot about nurses because I know a lot about nurses, but like, you know, or like, you know, in. In Iowa, when the John Deere strike happened, people were out on the picket lines and people were ready to get hit by cars to, like, stop scabs from coming, like crossing the picket line. And if you're not willing to do that kind of stuff, and I'm not saying that you need to put your body on the line for things, but you do need to be willing to draw outside the lines, right? There's the law, and then there's what you. Can get people to do and you will be surprised when people start moving. They move fast and they get really riled up like this. **** this. This is what we're going to do. And sometimes unions try and like bottle that energy up. Or, you know, if you're in a good union, you use that energy to. Fix things. So I think that's kind of where I land on all this stuff. It's like. Be aware of like the pitfalls of what organizing network means you everyone has a right to organize at work everywhere in this country. If you get fired for like for organizing, you can fight that. That sort of thing. It is it's federally protected. Like it's this is this is a federal government thing. Like, you know, this is this is this is what we got in exchange for everything else is like like this is. You know, like this this is what we got in exchange for putting our guns down. Is that like, yeah, the the the the the actual feds. Will be like. No, you can't do this. And yeah, I mean, and sometimes that doesn't selectively cold consolation and it doesn't always work. But, and I guess this is the other thing is there are people who are like, this is how we're going to, you know, we're going to win socialism as everyone's in the Union. And I guess like my take on it is, is this is how we build all the networks and get the skills and all the necessary things to be prepared to do bigger stuff down the road. So when we when workers are talking to each other across like, you know, at the Chicago, when Chicago teachers went on strike, they didn't just go on strike. That's the teachers. They also talked to the they lined up their strike to go out as same as education, like the school workers who are in SEIU. And they went out at the same time. In order to increase, improve the power of the strike, because the more workers who are out, the less able the bosses are to like, like to undermine the boss, either with people scabbing on each other or whatever. And I think it's just like. And like, that's the point of our Labor Council is like when, like, the grad workers at University of Chicago go on strike. We got teachers out or we got well, there were teachers from CU out on those picket lines. There were nurses from and NU on those picket lines, and we were doing everything we could to communicate to each other. Because, like in my work, it doesn't matter that I'm a nurse and you're a secretary. We have the same boss, we have the same problems a lot of the times, and so I think people. People want to do the thing which is to all have the glorious general strike that like overthrows capitalism or whatever or fixes all the problems that your work. But you know starting everyone forgets all the necessary intermediate steps to get to that point. And sometimes it means just get the Union and in the door in the 1st place. Because like at a campaign I was a part of here in Chicago where my University of Chicago bought a non union hospital that was out in the community just getting in there. They were able to expose like basically an entire hospital wide scheme of like racial racist like practices around races and compensation. And that is like that first step and then fixing that, right, because you don't want to have like white versus nurses making 20% more than black nurses and blacks. That 20% more than like the immigrant nurses like Filipino or like Mexican nurses get everyone on the same page so that you're fighting together instead of fighting each other. And you know, those are those first steps that you take and then and then you start reaching out to people and other other workplaces or other work areas and build. That kind of militancy across unions so that you can support each other. So like maybe a secondary strike is illegal right now, but that doesn't mean that you don't have. You know Teamsters who won't cross the picket line, right? You know how do you go out and make it? Or you can build that solidarity so that like in Buffalo when the. The CWA nurses went on strike and they won pretty impressive things around staffing ratios. They literally had other unions going out and picketing board members of their hospitals, businesses and like getting really, really. Like aggressive with that sort of stuff. So I think that. I think that people need to just big take away is. It's the biggest barrier to any of this stuff. It's just getting people to believe that as. It's the biggest barrier to any of this stuff. It's just getting people to believe that collective action is possible and they can get you wins. And then making sure that you. Take your time and be patient and understand that there's going to be losses, but in the grand scheme of things, don't. Don't. Don't mistake. What looks like a setback. When it's actually a victory for like, a victory like for a a real like a defeat. And and talk with people like that's what they hate that. Like bosses hate it when we're talking with each other and talk to people you're not comfortable with. That's that's the other thing is that people. Are very nervous to talk to people like, it's always funny when you run into people who are rah, rah, like unions, rah, rah, like socialism, yada, yada yada. And they don't talk to their coworkers, right? And your coworkers are the people you're going to be around for maybe some years and that's where you spend a huge chunk of your time and like, but you don't know what's going on. You're like, oh, they're all. Hostile. They don't want to know any, they don't want to do anything. Funny thing is, is that oftentimes the most people who seem very skeptical and anti union can be flipped. Sometimes those people become the best, like the most dedicated people to the Union. It also means that you're going to talk to people you disagree with. Like, yeah, there was a Trump dude who was on, like, the bargaining committee for, like, our last strike. He ******* loved that thing. He was like, we're going on strike. But, you know, it's also a union full of black women. And he shut the **** ** when you know, it wasn't like, you know, being racist and ****. But you know, you're going to be with those people. And part of The thing is, is that it's about how we're all moving together rather than making sure everyone is on the same page for every single thing. Because the biggest thing is the collective action and building. Collective power, and hopefully the collective power is hopefully the collective power outweighs. Yeah, it it's if you stand firm on principles like anti racism and fighting against discrimination and misogyny, that sort of thing, it actually builds the power of the Union. I think that's the other thing. So people are like, oh, I don't you know, like. You know, working class people are all racist or reactionary or whatever. So I'm going to do that, and that's how I'm going to get, that's my end. And it's like, I think there are a lot of people who, like, they really don't like, you know, they don't like being around loud racist ******** or people who, you know, say slurs like. Especially if it like I mean you can make the arguments like this is that's their way of dividing us. Our goal is to be together and historically speaking the one thing that's done the most to fight working class racism is union organizing. So and I think also like. You know, in in terms of like building something that's actually, you know, durable and powerful on top of sort of just the Division I mean, you know, even when it comes to stuff like transphobia, right, it's like. You know if if if you can convince people to fight like first, like fight for the person next to them, right? You know, this is the thing that people like said a lot during the. Uh, between the the the Bernie campaign. But it was like, you know, if if people like. Yeah, like if you can get someone to fight, like fight for the person next to you in a concrete way in the workplace, in a way that's actually real, for something that doesn't directly affect them. You the, you know a it's just like like the amount of power that you've built there is incredible. And then be also. OK, I forgot where I was going with that tattoo. Please cut that phone. Hold on, hold on. I can kind of build on. Yeah, yeah. Let me just say this. My personal experience is that queer women run the labor movement and that like, and that if you think that people who have been bullied from the day they like, stepped into like a into a kindergarten aren't going to be the the people who are most. Equipped to fight ******** bullying from a boss or injustice or ******** you are *******. Like like just get the **** out because you. Haven't been in a union and you don't know what you know. I mean, you like. The like people, unions are at their best when they incorporate, you know, all like when they are fighting for everybody. Because what a boss can get away with, with the weakest person. It's what they'll do to all of us if they get the chance. And so I think that there's this idea that's like, oh, we're going to set it, we're not going to. We're going to ignore this or that sort of thing, and it's like. You know, that's when people like you know, people will turn away from unions if they feel like they're not being listened to or taken seriously. And you don't know what people's like identities are just because you see how they look and. So I think that it's real important for us to understand that if we're going to fight these fights, we need to do so with the understanding that it's everybody and that the working class is a giant, multiracial conglomeration of every identity in this country, and that the more marginal your identity is, the more. Useful. Having a union is to like solving your problems. Like I said, like. Racist, racist compensation practices. There was no way that was going to get fixed. Like, it wasn't even uncovered. People didn't understand that it was happening until, like, the Union got in. Doesn't mean there are other ways to fix things, but it's one of the one of the most powerful ways to fix things. I think that people just like don't understand because they don't have experience, because they have an experience they end up with. They end up with misconceptions about what they're going to get into, and then they get disappointed. And I think the real, I mean, I think that the reality is not as bad as sometimes it seems, but also you got to go into all this **** with open eyes, and I think that there's. And that's the other thing. One of the fun things. Maybe this will make it in the podcast, I don't know. But one of the fun things is always like hanging out with. Like if you like. Every workplace has like it's lefties just about. And like hanging out with the lefties who just. Can't get their brains wrapped around the **** that you need to have a union. I think that there's like this idea that's like, oh, I'm going to talk to my friend. They're like, they're like, they say they're a communist, so the and then that all those people do not always, but they're they're sitting there. It's like talking a bunch of **** about like, uh, the union, they're a bunch of sellouts or that. And it's like literally it's the only thing you're going to do to get your, like, to fix the problem. And you're just like, we're just trying to get this problem fixed. Can we just set aside what you think needs to happen like that? You guys talked about it. You're like. Marcus League meeting or whatever. Yeah, like, oh, this isn't a real strike. Like, we're not going out until, like for like, you know, three months and it's like, you know, it's like the sort of thing where. Sometimes or oftentimes, and I think it's because a lot of people kind of pick up their politics almost like an aesthetic, as opposed to like a thing that like is about, like fixing the problems in their lives. And and sometimes even I'm like, you know, like. This is a problem that I face is like like. **** is real, like for a lot of people, and you can sit there and talk about this or that and like you're. You know, you think that things, you know, you've got this perfect ideal vision of what things should be, and then you've got this kind of imperfect thing in front of you that is, even though it's imperfect, it's basically what you've got. And so it's like you've got to kind of, you've got to work with what you have and fix it up and make it the best that you think it can be. But also understand, because it's an organization full of people, that it's not going to be perfect every time. And, yeah, maybe your Union is going to do some liberal **** you know, and you're going to, and that's going to annoy you. But, you know, like. Those people are still going to show up on the picket line. If you're like, if you're organized and you're good and like, you know that's it's not the end of the world, that your union isn't perfect, but you've got to do everything you can to do your best to make it better. Because if you don't, then then liberals will do whatever they're going to do, or conservatives will do whatever they're going to do, and then they'll be like, fritter away this thing. Like, you can destroy a union if you. Aren't engaged like a union can be destroyed by people who think that, you know, they're just like, I'm just want to get my raise and like, go home and like, you know, if peoples main concern is like their healthcare or like, you know, that hour of prep time before they start their shift or whatever should, you know, start their school day or whatever. You know, a Union can, like dissolve out from underneath you, and people are like, why is no one showing up to this thing? It's because. You didn't talk to people and find out what it is. I think that's the other thing. It's like, listen. Like, there's this idea that you're gonna get up and give a big speech and get everyone really excited about your about, like, being in a union. But the main thing is listening to people and listening to people who are critics. You know, your coworkers who have complaints aren't like people that you should ignore. Those are people you need to listen to because those are people who. They've got, I mean everyone's got legitimate problems with how, you know, work is happening. And like, just because someone's like, you know, a union is like, you know, trash, like then found, find out why they think it's trash and then try and be like, I want to try and fix that. What can we do to fix it together? That sort of thing I remember. When I was working, so I worked at like maintenance at a county facility for a while and you know, so I I was like a like, I was like, I was like a a summer higher basically. And so we weren't in the Union, but like everyone we were working for was in the Union and they all like, you know, these are old construction worker guys. And you know. Yeah, like they're in the Union. But, like, I remember that we had these conversations that were like, OK, so we have a Union meeting this week. Just like, do you want to be the person who tries to talk about raising wages? And it was like 1, which is like, no. And you know, people, you know, like these guys are like very right wing and they were just sort of like ****** *** all the time. But it was interesting because the thing they were ****** *** all the time about was that like. You know, their union didn't do anything. Like, you know, like they, they, they're, they're like they they were basically constantly annoyed that, like, the Union didn't. Like the union wasn't fighting for pay raises, using wasn't sort of fighting and and I I think that was, you know, an example of how this stuff sort of just fails if if people aren't like people don't feel like they can actually do something. Like I mean itself. I mean, and they call IT service unionism, there's this idea that like or like a like that a business union's job is to kind of serve you and you kind of like they do all the work. Like one of the complaints that some people who are not big fans of our Union, our hospital, is that like, Oh well, other other unions have lawyers negotiate the contract for you. And when we negotiate, we have a room full of nurses who are doing The Who are doing the negotiations. And the goal is to have. It'd be as transparent as possible and like the idea that you're going to hand over negotiations to a lawyer and somehow get a better deal than. Yeah. Then a room full of of the actual workers. And it's funny because we have our bargaining team and then like. We'll periodically do something called open bargaining because it's a thing that bosses hate. It's like they want to make a deal, like with the door shut, right? Yeah, but there's no reason why a Union has to do that. Like, you can invite whoever you want to your bargaining. You can invite community members to your bargaining if you feel like you are. It could be because management behind closed doors will say all kinds of things. They'll, you know, they'll, they'll trash talk everyone involved and they'll, you know, and they will make absurd demands about, you know, it's like, oh, you're all going to take a pay cut, you know, on this contract, that sort of thing. And they hate it. They absolutely hate it when, like a workers actually show up to these things and so. I think that. Understanding that like. I think there's this idea that, like, some people are big on, like, we have to be kind of like secretive to like, get the best, like, deal and like. We shouldn't be like, we shouldn't be transparent with everyone about what's going on because that's how like, because then they'll figure out some way to counter us. But in my experience, my understanding is that. The more transparent your Union is, the more involved people get and the more able people are, the more willing people are to put their time and energy into it. Because that's what comes down to is like, people have to like everyone's working and busy and their life. Life is hard and it sucks. And so like, do you have time to like, dedicate, to show up, to like, talk, to like if you why would you go to a union meeting if when you raise the concern like, we want higher wages and like the Union, like staffer. Doesn't care if you get higher wages because they're like, well, we're getting our union dues and like, what the **** do we care, right? That's like a huge problem. And the part of The thing is that those problems don't get solved if they if they exist, because they that definitely exists and some and a lot of unions, more unions than than not. If the workers don't get organized together. Like, right, we just saw a an election within the Teamsters international where? The Hoffa, I don't know. Jimmy Hoffa junior, one of the Hoffa kids was like president of the Union and was this like not doing a great job and and like there was a rank and file like push to get that guy unelected, you know, and put it replaced with a rake and file worker who wants to put. Actual time and resources into organizing. You know, like there's nothing sadder than a than like watching a union campaign fail because the Union clearly is phoning it in like that's happened. I've seen it happen not inside my union, but in other unions and. And I mean, like at my workplace there's several unions and I've seen, I've seen a failed campaign and it's like obvious, like there's a, you know, I'm not, I don't cosign everything that someone like Jamie Cavalry think it's Jeremy Cavalry. Has to say, she wrote, like, no shortcuts. I don't sign off on everything she has to say, but she has some really insightful things. It's like, if you're not organizing to win, like, you'll fail and like, you have to take this so seriously. And that's where, like, I'll say that, like, if you've got a choice between, I'm going to put time into a political, political campaign versus a union campaign. You are going to get way more bang for your buck. You're going to get so much more experience. You're going to get like a durable organization that's going to be around for years if you put that time into a Union campaign. Because like, imagine winning an election, right? Except the politician you're running against is the incumbent. And they can basically drag every one of their constituents into like a meeting and tell them how awful you are all the time and lie and say whatever they want. And then they can, you know, do all kinds of tricks to like basically dismantle your campaign. So I guess like the thing that I would say is that like if you, if you do it the right way and you actually win one of those campaigns, you're going to come out way ahead in terms of understanding. Like you have to talk to people, you have to be super organized. You have to know what people's issues are in their different bargaining units. You have to find people like part of like it's successful campaigns. I've been part of it literally going on a search to go find the like the the people that need to be like signed cards and stuff and you just have to be a very good listener and ready to talk and listen and hear what people have to say. And then turn that information into knowledge, knowledge and power and. I think that. If you pull it off, you have done something substantially harder than say like winning a school board election or something like that. I mean, it's it's it really is. It's like taking. Like those kind of skills that you would use to, like, win some sort of small municipal election, and it's like exponentially more hard because the rules are just so tilted against you winning. So if you are serious about it, if you're serious about changing the world, if you can't like someone, Oh yeah, I think Murray Bookchin once said. If you can't run for a dog catcher, you probably shouldn't be talking about revolution. You know, but I think that probably more, you know, more appropriate would be like, if you can't win a Union election, you probably shouldn't be talking about revolution. Because even if you want to do all the things you need to have the ability, the skills, the ability to mediate conflict, getting everyone on board to do the collective action that like you would need to do to successfully complete carry out. Like, you know, it's one thing to have the the grand insurrection, it's the other thing to carry it forward and keep carrying it to the point where you're over the line and you've completely changed the world. Right. So and I think that and so I just think that like. And I think that similar things go with like you know, tenant organizing, community organizing. There's various types of organizing that use a similar skills that you get in like a Union campaign and it's just a very different type of. Politics and organization and skills that you would get from, you know, showing up for your local justice stem and, you know, like knocking on the doors of strangers. You'll never, you may never speak to you again. You know, when you're talking with coworkers, those are your coworkers are going to be there until you're, you know, you're retired or you're fired or you quit. So anyway, that's I guess that's another good take away, I think, from all this. So one thing I wanted to make sure to get to is. So I think there's a lot of people who are listening to this who work in the non union workplaces and want to try to start this. And I wanted to know what would be your recommendations for them, you know, how do you start this process? What does this look like and what kinds of conversations? I should you be having with your coworkers? Yeah, for sure. So I think one of the first things that I think a lot of people. A lot of people don't understand is that there is an amount of risk and stuff to organizing and that you're like First off, like you should be chill and like not like running around telling everyone you want a union because it's a great way to lose your job. I think The thing is, is that you build relationships and find out what's happening. Like, just like. You know. Take from your experience and figure out what's like in like, man, it really sucks. Like, I got like, I got screwed over on my vacation requests. Or like, I, you know, man, our raises were really ****** this year, and I heard, like, you know, boss talking about, like, how much like, like they've made so much money, that sort of thing. Umm. So I think that it comes down to. You have to be. It's kind of like a combination of like. Like an investigative reporter. And like someone who is just really good at, like, talking to people and just kind of like understanding what's making them tick. And understanding also that maybe you're not the person who's going to get everyone on board, but that finding other people who ever like, I think the big thing is like, who's like the most respected person on, like in your work area, that sort of thing, who like they know that the unit or they know the work area, they've been there the longest. They have like the most experienced people look up to them. They're the people who train other people, that sort of thing. Those are the people who everyone looks to when it comes down to these sorts of things. And you know, just you don't have to be friends with everybody, but like doing it's. I think it's really good to just like to. Be open to listening to everybody that you work with and finding out what it is that's really going on. Yes, yeah. I've noticed, like in in a lot of places that I've worked. Like, yeah, the bosses often don't really know what's going on either. Like they, and I think that that's something I can give you if if you understand how the process works and who is doing what and what people like need, that gives you like a big advantage over the bosses who just have no idea what's going on. Which I think. Yeah, I think it's very it's very normal for bosses to really not know what's happening. And there's always someone who does, like figuring out the people who really know how things work are like, those are like the those are the people who you want to be talking with and figuring out, like, where they kind of stand on things. And. You know, I think like the first step is like just having good relationships and people trusting you and you know, you know if. You know, like, I don't think everyone needs to be a superstar worker sort of thing to be a good union organizer. But like they always say, it's like people who have the most problems oftentimes are. People that aren't don't make great organizers because people don't see them as people to follow. But. But I think that it's important to just like talk with your to like just figure out what's going on 1st. That's your first step. Figure out what's going on. What are the things, I mean and you can come around together in you know and like and how do you get people outside of the workplace. So you talk like, how do you like, do you have like a group chat or signal chat or like a WhatsApp chat or Facebook group and where do you just like start kind of like and you know, be very careful. Be careful about who's involved and just kind of like low key. Just like start talking with folks and identifying the people who. Who are outside of your work area, who know people like, sometimes it's, you know, you'll talk to people and they're like, I don't want to talk about a union, but you can be like, do you know anyone who care, who, who, who has said anything about unions before? And so talking to people to find out who they know, like these are all just kind of like crucial first steps like organizing. And I think The thing is, is that like. There have been times where you'll have a non union workplace where if the people in a particular area of a of like a of like a hospital or like a workplace, whatever, we'll do some collective thing that gets some sort of result. So I think it's always like, it's like, let's get people. To sign off on a petition about like, you know, like if. 80% of your coworkers. Are unhappy with like raises or something like that like the more people that are involved in those first steps? The more likely it is that. It won't result in retaliation and like you'll end up getting some sort of victory. So. I guess like the thing that I would say is just like be be ready for like people to look at, greet you with skepticism because like, it's it's hard. It's a hard thing to do and always just be finding out what is bothering people and then. Look at little things that you can do to kind of like flex power. Like to like collectively flex your power. And it can be as small as like, everyone bringing up the same issue at like a work meeting, right? Like if you. And it could be like, hey, let's talk about this at this work meeting, this is. And if we all say something together like, we're going to be fine, right? Uh, so, like, starting with those first steps, I think is the first like thing. Like the first thing is know what's going on, build relationships. Be a trustworthy person. Like, you can't be like the unit gossip or the the work area gossip that like, knows that's in everyone's business or stirring up stuff and be successful at this. But if you are, you know if you're someone that people like trust or look to, or you know, like a person that people are like, they help solve our problems. Those are the people who I mean. You're going to be well set to begin to kind of take the steps on that. And then, you know, as you kind of build those kind of like build that organization step-by-step, no, no union is going to. Invest the time in a Union campaign. If it's just you and like two other people like, you need, like, you need to get a room. They're always say like, well, if you get a room full of people together, I'm willing to talk to them. And that's kind of the thing. And, you know, zoom and stuff is actually made that a little bit easier. Umm. Which in some ways can be a weakness because you end up with like it's a lot less commitment to show up to a zoom meeting than it is to to show up at like a a bar or a place after work. Or a church, or wherever. It's like a good, like, like neutral, safe place that people feel like they can be honest with each other about what's going on, but at the same time, just like being the more the. The more people you get on board with the thing, the more likely it is it'll succeed. You'll attract support from, like, an actual union that is able to help you if you decide that that's how you want to do it or if that makes sense in the legal context. And so I just, like, always, like, start small, figure out the small things, be willing to do, like collective action to get little small victories. And that's a great way to get started, I think. And then, like, really do like, sleuthing and research, like, figure out how things actually work. That's like, you know, that was a problem with the best. Campaign down in down in Alabama with those Amazon workers as they didn't know how many people worked at that facility. And then all of a sudden they're like, Oh yeah, we're going to include like an extra 1000 people on this vote. You know, like six weeks out and, you know, like, I don't want to, I don't want to take a dump on the people who did that. But like, if you don't know that, there's like another 1000 people. Or you don't have like everyone on board? You're not going to succeed, so know everything you can as you're going in and do everything you can to find out things or make buddies with the friends or buddies of the people who are going to. You know, know these things and you know and then support each other like it means showing up when like someone. Sometimes what we do during these campaigns is someone will will have the contact for someone who's interested and then your job is to go and find that person where they work and talk with them and then talk with them while they talk with their coworkers or back up them while they're talking to coworkers because they trust their their coworkers trust their coworker, you know? You're a random stranger, you know? And then, like, don't be afraid to say I don't know, but I'll find out, right? There's like this, there's this pressure, I think, to, like, have all the answers to, like, whatever people's questions are. And I think that it's like. I think that it's like a. I think that it's. Important to be honest when you don't understand, but then do the work of figuring out the answers for people. And I think people respect that and it, you know a lot of people who are vocally against these sorts of things up front, it's because they don't know. And if you, you know you're like, no, we've got a right to do this or like you know the the, you know a management will say things like our management will say things like, oh you will. You know, the Union will get in between our relationship with, you know, with you and us, right. And the point is, is that like, well, the Union is us, we're the, we're the people doing it. Like everyone running. You can't run a union if you don't have a bunch of people involved from the workplace and you just like and making sure the people who are. Those people who end up being kind of like spokespersons for everyone else are people that folks trust. And they have like a good, like grasp of what everyone wants. And yeah, so. Yeah, and then, like, you know, don't get bogged down in the legal ****. Like, you know, collective action really is like your most powerful tool, all the other kind of like the grievances. And that's the stuff. It's important and you can't let it go. But it's also like, it's designed to kind of grind people down. So, you know, the more collective action you take, like, the more likely it is that you're going to be successful and keep people engaged and excited. Yeah, going back to what you were saying. Earlier this might wind up being last episode, depending on where this breaks down time wise, but. Yeah, I think it's also, it's just this is going to take time and a lot of work and I think it's it's it's important. How understand going into this is a long and difficult process that's not going to happen overnight and be that it's a lot of work like you have to, there's there's a lot of things that you have to do. There's a lot of sort of logistics, there's a lot of talking, there's a lot of. Like negotiating. There's a lot of sort of, I mean, just, just even. I don't know. Before anything gets off the ground, you have to spend enormous amounts of time and effort doing stuff and that's that's that's just the reality of it. So yeah, there's there's no, there's there's no, there's, there's, there's there's no magic bullet. Like there's no sort of, yeah, there's there's no just like one thing you can do that like magically makes a union appear. It's a bunch of people coming together and like fighting for it for a long time. Yeah, I think that that's like the main thing is like you're it's. It's a cliche that's like it's a marathon, not a Sprint. Umm. Sometimes I hate when people say that **** but it's true. Like you you really do have like. You're in it for the long haul, and a lot of times it's like you're you people are ready to do these things when they're like, this is like, I don't want, you know, it's one thing to pop up in a place and be there for like, you know, six months. Be like, I need a we need a Union, right? Knowing you know that works at that place, trusts you. They don't know who you are, like they're not going to follow you to do anything, or you know or take your, you know, follow your lead. It's the people who are like, I'm going to be here, this is my, this is where I want to be. And you know, this is a, a I'm want to be here for the next few years and think of it as like a long term investment in the quality of your life and the quality of life that your workplace. Because to win you have to be sticking around, you know? And I think that that's where it gets tough with people who are in like precarious types of employment or different types of and that's where you have to start looking at alternate ways to organize. Because maybe you're a precarious worker who does. Maybe you drive like for a rideshare service, or maybe you like do delivery or like, you know, for an app or whatever delivery for an app. And I think The thing is is like. That sort of thing. Because of how, and, you know, these aren't like new forms of work. This is actually a really old forms of work that are just, like been like rebranded by tech Pros who have, like, decided it's like they're like, they're like, they're great geniuses, like rebranding the kind of, like, precarious work that was really, like, prominent, like, throughout the 19th century. And it's like, so then what do you do is you come up with ways to organize people regardless of like, oh, like, I'm, you know, I work for this. Like, I work for Lyft. I work for Uber and it kind of switches back and forth. Like The thing is, it's like that's when you start talking with. You know, ride share drivers across different, like apps or whatever. And then you come up with a way to work collectively to, to change sorts of things. And sometimes that's and that's going to be, it's going to be tough, you know, and that's when I kind of look at those. That sort of thing is like, this is where it's a learning experience and maybe I don't get everything I want, but I, you know, it's really important. I mean, it's like building these networks that people who care about like, what their working conditions are like and you can pull things off. Maybe unexpectedly, that you didn't expect. We're going to be like the thing, you know, like. You may start with something that looks like a union drive, and then you end up with something that looks like very different. It could, you know, could go in all sorts of different directions, so. You know there and look outside of the US, you know, there are countries where like in. I think that there have been some pretty successful delivery, app organizing organizing in London. And, you know, I think that. To a certain extent, like formal extent, US unions have not been. Very successful at organizing those workers, because it doesn't. It's hard to do from the extent business union model. And so it's like a, it's one of those things where you know it used to be, you know they would have like, you know the fight would be instead of trying to get like workers to or. Like a a contract at a particular, like work site, you'd set up a hiring hall like the IWW would set up hiring halls in like, you know, for lumberjacks and that sort of thing. And those workers are always precarious, right? But they would go trying to set up so that, like, people would only take jobs out of the hiring hall. And that's how they would control their like, their work. And I think that. More unions need and part of this is like. I would if there's any. Yeah. Union people out there who are in staff and that sort of thing is like we there needs to be a serious re examination of how we do unions in this country. And I think a lot of people in inside unions understand that, but no one is quite done it yet in a way that's effective. And I think that we, we really do need to kind of reevaluate that sort of stuff. So just, you know, as someone who's going into like a new sort of organizing campaign, just understand that like. Getting the Union contract isn't necessarily the end goal. The end goal is to try and get your boss to do things differently so that you're not like miserable at work. And that might look like a contract, or it might look like. You know a A1 day like, you know app strike or something like that. You know you'll, you'll figure, you got to figure out how it's going to work, like. With, you know, in healthcare the, you know, there's this idea that like, you know, there's the gold standard of the strike where you strike until we win and we're out for like, you know, like two or three months, while the problem is, is that there's a industry of scab nurses and healthcare workers. Where at any point they can bring in people to replace enough of you that a hospital can maintain operations and unless you're super organized like they were up in Buffalo. With CWA like and have a big network of people and you're ready to go to like, you know, for like picket board members houses and that sort of stuff. Those long term strikes can end in defeat where you end up with, you know you're all replaced with scabs and and it sucks and it's happened and then you got to, I guess you got to learn from it. You know, like we there was a famous strike in Minnesota with. Healthcare workers, and they went out and they were out for months and months and there were people on, you know, going to the soup kitchen to feed their kids and stuff. And they lost, right? And so my union tends to do one day strikes, but instead of it just being at one hospital, we organize multiple hospitals across the country so that it soaks up all the like. This gap drives up the price scabs. And it really like that. I think ideas like intermittent strikes were actually a really powerful tool back when, you know, back when it was the CIO and it was like, we're going to just stop working until he fixed this problem. And that's why they made them illegal. And it takes a lot of work to pull them off. But if you can't pull them off, that could be an effective way. And if you're not in a Union, maybe getting people down for a one day, like work stoppage at your work or even, you know, maybe it's like we're not starting our shift, right. I've been in the room. I I've been in the room where it's like, no, we're not going out to take those. That assignment until like we get our staff situation set up like fixed. And, you know, sometimes it's just those collective actions. Our. You know, it's not the end, like there's no end all be all one-size-fits-all solution. Just be ready to kind of like explore what it means. Get all the resources you can. There's groups like there's still like the industrial workers of the world which has really good organizing trainings OT 101102 and I'll pitch that as a member of as a also a dual carding member of the IWW. But there's also labor notes and other groups like essential Workers Organizing Committee that sorts of things that like give you good like rundowns on how to do the organizing work. So. Just be careful. Always be careful. Be aware that people are afraid. Bosses use fear to scare you guys, to scare everybody and like the. The the more people on board with thing, the less fear. Like it's amazing when you're running up into a strike and you're really firing on all cylinders and like everyone in your life work area, it's like we're getting together to take a picture, like get ready to go on strike and it's like, literally. I mean when we went on strike, when our hospital on strike, it was the first time where like there was like 1500 nurses all in one place is the first time when all of us were in one place ever. It was this massive, like coming together thing experience, and it's really hard to describe when you when because you know we're always griping at each other about this or that thing. It's like, but when you're actually all out there together on the same time, when you pull it off, it's really amazing. It's hard. It's it's hard to describe, but when you do it, it's like, it's like the purest drug. And so I've, I've heard some people who are union skeptical be like well, you just experienced like the good **** and like what about all the features? Like, well, get the little hits, get the little hits here and there and you'll get yourself to the point where you can do the big thing. You know? The whole thing is like getting people to do The thing is like the is it's like the the perennial you know, curse at the left. When you do it or cursive, you know, like the the the organizer, activist or. You know whatever you want to call it. You know it's just. But you know, if you don't do anything, nothing happens. Can all sit and complain and nothing changes. So, you know, the only way to changes things is take those complaints and turn them into collective action. Yeah, I think, I think that's, that's, that's that's a pretty good positive note to end on. Just go do things. Go do the thing. Now. Stop tweet, stop tweeting. Stop tweeting about it. Go do the thing. Umm. Yeah, I think that's like I guess one last thing because I talked about social media and talk. You know, I talk smack. I like I've been off Twitter for some months now and it's it really cleared my brain, but. You know, being on finding the social media space where you're or your coworkers are at is really important. And that might mean setting up like a discord or, you know, WhatsApp or a Facebook group. You can set up secret Facebook groups that no one can see. And yeah, like, like. Facebook will periodically shut them down, but like. Our hospital has like a like a Facebook group with like 2000 nurses and we and that's where we got really amped up and it was a way for us to be talking with each other and talk each other through the stress of setting up, you know, this thing and then also like, you know people. Workers can organize like like people will do organizing even if like they don't have like that full support. So like some coworker or not coworkers, but members of my union went on strike at Cook County this year and the whole thing was organized practically without like staff, right? Because the staff were barred from being in meetings like in person meetings because of COVID and they couldn't go into the hospital because of COVID so. People were very ****** about how things have been going and they were talking to each other and we. We organize that strike, they organize that strike on their own, practically, you know, it lined up. They were off there. You know, they didn't have that no strike clause like operating at the time and and they pulled off like a pretty, like significant victory from there. One day strike. And it really, really, you know, like got them some big wins, but and they didn't, they didn't need the union to do it for them. You know, the Union was kind of like a facilitation tool rather than like the thing that got it. I think that's the other thing that there are people who think that, like, it's all dependent on like having like this hero, staffer sort of thing situation. And at the end of the day, like if it's not the workers doing it themselves, nothing's going to happen. Yeah, the the power. The power is with the working class itself, and if the working class doesn't use it, nothing will ever happen. Yeah, but if it does use it, I will trail off here. Sounds good. So John, is, is there any place that you want people to find things that you do? Like? Yeah, you're all user. I used to be off on Twitter. I periodically will show up on. Varne blog, which is I see Derek Varnes vlog on YouTube, there's I recommend people listen to, there's a group of podcast called The Emancipation Network. I I really like their stuff specially. Umm. There's uh, what's it called? General Intellect Unit, which talks about like cybernetics and the left. They have a a lot of particularly cool stuff that's just come out recently about about strategy. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. 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Com slash behind today to get 10% off your first month, that's better. energy that I think is really important for everyone to understand. I was a founding member of the Libertarian Socialist Caucus at TSA, but I'm no longer in DS A. There's a but that group is still kind of kicking around. We're coming up with new things and then I guess like. The University of Chicago Labor Council is a group that I spend a lot of time with, and there's also tenants United, Hyde Park, Woodlawn, which is a tenant union that you helped set up. And we're different too. Hell yeah. So you know go out there and you know don't don't listen to me or don't try and find follow me go like go figure **** out in your neighborhood and and set up a set up a million different you know like labor councils and worker committees and tenant unions and you know like build build power. That's why I think I sometimes we are afraid of the term power. I think that power is at its best when it's everybody and so I guess I've you might say. They go out there and build community and worker power and don't be afraid. Because fear is the one thing that they've got to wave over our heads, and sometimes. You just got to take that jump and do the thing and and that's how we're hopefully going to win one day. Yeah. Save the world. Yep. And you can do this just like all of these things. Everything we've been talking about for the past, like 2 hours, these were all just done by ordinary people. Like there's, there's, there's, it's all, it's all done by random people and you know that random person can be you. You just have to go and do. Go to the thing. Yeah, so yeah, this. That this has been naked happened here. You can find us on Twitter at happened here pod and also on Instagram there and. That there's other cool zone stuff? Oh, I guess. Yeah, we there's there's there's a new show called Megacorp that that we have. That's about how corporations are bad, and the first season is about Amazon. It's out now. OK, maybe it just doesn't have a Twitter, but yeah, it's it's called Megacorp. You could find it wherever fine podcasts are. Distributed, yes. OK, bye. The art world. It is essentially a money laundering business. The best fakes are still hanging on people's walls. You know, they don't even know or suspect that they're fakes. I'm Alec Baldwin and this is a podcast about deception, greed and forgery in the art world. You knew the painting was fake. Ohm. Listen to art fraud starting February 1st on the iHeartRadio App, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. I'm Eve Rodsky, author of the New York Times Bestseller Fair play and find your Unicorn space activists on the gender division of Labor attorney and family mediator. And I'm doctor Adidi Naukar, a Harvard physician and medical correspondent with an expertise in the science of stress resilience, mental health, and burnout. We're so excited to share our podcast, time out, a production of iheart podcasts. And hello sunshine. We're uncovering why society makes it so hard for women to treat their time with the value it deserves. So take this time out with us. Listen to timeout a Fair Play podcast on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcast. Welcome everybody to it could happen here podcast about I don't know, how things are kind of, kind of, kind of crumbling and how we can maybe put it, put stuff, put stuff back together. And today I am excited to talk with a senior. Let's see what is, what is, what is the actual, what's the actual term. I saw your program strategist, senior programs strategist at Wikimedia. Alex Stinson, hello. Greetings. Hi. It's so good to be here. I'm very excited about our talk today because I mean, this should this should surprise nobody that I used to. I used to be a Wikipedia editor back in the day. Not not shocking at all, if if if you know me. But yeah, we're going to be talking about what kind of Wikipedia just itself, and then also climate misinformation and disinformation and how we can maybe create a better understanding of climate change and its effects across kind of the world and how digital information works. Those are all kind of topics we talk about. Often enough, but never within the actual context of of like Wikipedia as an entity. So I guess let's let's just start there with with Wikipedia and like for those who don't, maybe maybe people like use website but they're not quite sure what it is like how how do you actually describe what Wikipedia is? Because it is like an interesting kind of amorphous entity. It's so many things I I think most people are used to thinking about. Wikipedia is like the fact checking device. Like I have a bar argument with my friends and I pull out. My phone, yeah. Yeah, yeah. Throws this website at website at me, right. It's a lot of things. It's 300 language Wikipedias, actually. It's not just one. Each of these communities has its own editorial community. At last I checked. It's like 60 million articles across the languages. It's it's really, it's a lot of different content and a topic can be on each of those Wikipedias, right. And and this is important as we start talking about disinformation is like each Wikipedia. Because it's edited by people in that language and it's written by that language community. You know, each article is different and has different perspectives, 280,000 volunteers editing every month. So this is a lot of people, right? But the bulk of that's happening on English Wikipedia and some of the larger languages that are spoken across multiple cultural contexts. And then there's also a lot of other content sitting behind Wikipedia, so there's a media repository. And there's a we called the Community of Commons. And there's a database called Wikidata, which kind of powers those little knowledge graphs on the right side of Google and a whole bunch of other parts of the Internet. Wiki data shows up in Amazon Alexa and all kinds of other places, right? And and so it's it's. We're not just like one website. It's many websites, lots of knowledge, lots of platforms, lots of context. And we'll come back to that a bit more as we talk. Yeah. Yeah. Well, one really interesting part of it is like, I don't know, my, my personal kind of. Social leanings. I generally kind of like things that are more decentralized in general. Other other hosts on the podcast are generally kind of on like the progressive left libertarian spectrum. And one thing I I do really appreciate about Wikipedia is is it's more like it's. It's not. I don't think it's like open source, but it it the way it has decentralized editing and all that kind of stuff. It's just a really interesting model of. Of like, what if a lot more stuff worked this way? And I'm not sure, like, how how much of, like, a decentralization focus is there, like, consciously at people at like the foundation and people who try to like, actually, like, run it behind the scenes and stuff? Yeah. So Wikipedia grows out of the, like, open source movement and kind of early days of the Internet, right? This idea that like knowledge wants to be free, technology wants to be free, software wants to be free. Let's let's use the legal infrastructure to, like, create freedom, right in that sense. And then. There's also the free as in, like anyone can edit and then the free to do whatever you want out there in the world. There there's people are like free as in beer and free as in speech, right? And those things are, those things are also there. They're always intention and they're kind of working. And as you can imagine, especially when you get outside of kind of multicultural Internet spaces like English Wikipedia, it can get challenging, like if you're in Croatia and everyone is speaking Croatian. There's a very small bubble in which to create that Wikipedia right, and so it's interesting in that sense, I think there's also another part of Wikipedia that a lot of people don't see which is the movement behind it, so there's the editorial community as people show up and make edits, but because there's this ideology that you're talking about this like decentralized like we need to share our knowledge or culture or language on the Internet. There's also a whole social movement sitting behind the scenes and there, there's a podcast. the Wikipedia story that kind of captured that, that essence of of that. And it's it's a lot of people like myself. So I started editing in high school. Yeah. Yeah, me too. Yeah, yeah. One of those, like, oh, I know how to click the edit button and I figure out how to use the Internet and that kind of thing. But there's a lot of people that. Like the intuitiveness of clicking an edit button on a piece of open source software to create content is just not, it's not clear, right? And so you have to organize and invite people in. And so we have a whole movement that does that too. There, there's about 100 and 4000 and 50 organizations around the world that we organize events, work with libraries and museums and educational institutions, and so there's always this. Kind of interesting dynamic, where are our values, which is this like open software platform stuff is also lived in our practice and our outreach like creating change through society by sharing knowledge and education. And so I think, yeah, it's it's it's an interesting, it's an interesting dynamic. Yeah, I think that does create a really. Oftentimes beautiful reflection. It can have some dark sides every once in a while, but it is, it is really nice to have like kind of the ideology driving it, being reflected in the actions of operating it and spreading it and that kind of thing. So this is something we kind of briefly touched on already, but I think I'd like to move on to kind of why, like how climate change and just kind of broader like social issues are covered on Wikipedia because you already mentioned like it's kind because there is not. They Wikipedia. There's many based on different languages and places. It feels like to me, whenever social issues kind of get covered on Wikipedia, it's going to be in some part like a local reflection of whatever is in that area. You know, if if there's like a white liberal writing articles in New York, it's going to be different than someone you know halfway across the world writing them in, you know, a much smaller country, let's say like Belarus, who's under like what I would call a dictatorship. So that's going to change kind of the nature of what people are making. Because of that kind of divide. So how how does that kind of crop up and is there any like solutions to that or because because because of the decentralized thing it's like how much can we like impose like like I'm, I'm, I'm, I'm not in Belarus, how much can I impose would I want their Wikipedia to look like? Yeah, there there's kind of two or three dynamics you're you're touching on here. The first is because there's kind of an intention bias, like something comes up in the news and our Wikipedia community, like people are within minutes of breaking news stories, are usually like editing the page, working to improve it, right. So if things show up in the, you know, European American press, it's very likely, especially something like English Wikipedia will pick up on it, and immediately. Cover it and because there are multiple perspectives and those press usually kind of the ideological kind of multi sidedness like works itself out because there's a lot of eyes and a lot of people who know how to edit their right. On in a kind of cultural, linguistic, geographic context where there's like one set of stories and there's not a lot of diversity, this this happens. And and I'm going to refer to Croatian Wikipedia because we we actually had an external researcher look at Croatian Wikipedia because part of it has been kind of caught by by folks with kind of very ideological leanings in a way that's excluding others. And this is not good, right? It creates a very one sided information environment. And it really reflects kind of the news dynamic going on there. So when like breaking news happens or when a topic like a social issue or not like climate change is not a social issue, right. This is a global like life threatening issue when when something becomes politicized, it's very easy for, especially in smaller language Wikipedias, for few people to kind of swing the whole perspective on that. So yeah, there there's this breaking news issue and and this is where our kind of organized communities are really important. So the example I want to point out of this working well is in medicine. So our our medical community during the Ebola outbreaks a few years back in West Africa were able to organize both on English and in languages that were accessible for local communities. High quality coverage of the medical content because it's like has impact on people's lives. And so they they recruited translators. They thought about, like, what's a simple way to communicate the story in that context? And like, what do the the workers, the OR the advocates or whoever on the ground who's working with that crisis? What knowledge do they need? Right. And you see, like other open technology movements do stuff like this, like humanitarian open street map has a similar kind of way of organizing. They're like, hey, there's a crisis happening. Let's pull people together from different parts of the world who have the right knowledge or skills and like address the knowledge gap. So, so you can solve it. It's just, it's complicated. And you know, we've been trying to address as a movement what we call the gender gap. So there's both less women editors, less women's content on many of the wikis and like it, it's taken years and it's very hard to organize. And even when there's investment in it, it's it's challenging to to make substantial progress because there might be contextual issues around it too. And so you can't just like. Drop in on a Central Asian language, uh, with a like Western perspective and expect to like change the culture of the wiki overnight. You have to engage with it consistently and be persistent and work on it over and over and over again. We are going to take a short break to hear a message from our lovely, lovely advertisers, unless it's ExxonMobil again, but we will be back shortly. OK, and we're back. One, one thing that we cover decently. Part of my job and and and and Robert Evans's job, is disinformation and misinformation and how this type of stuff spreads online. Particularly you usually kind of links to like political extremism or conspiracy theories or, you know, in in that general kind of bubble. And So what, what type of kind of climate misinformation has really been festering on various, you know, Wikipedias across the world really because we talking about like these topics and how and how and like, why it happens, like what are the main types of misinformation or disinformation that is much more like prevalent? Yeah. So the first is just kind of neglect of a content that's happening across the various things related to climate. But we've identified on English Wikipedia over 3700 articles that are directly related to climate change. We don't have a very big editorial community in English on that topic. That's like interesting, fluent in the science and fluent in the other stuff. And then you go out to the other languages and like some of the. Languages have like 3000 of them. Some of them have like 200, right. And so there is both. And some of that content was like translated several years ago, right, or five or ten years ago. And yeah, you know, and like the climate rhetoric has really changed. It's changed a lot. And like, and numbers and statistics, all that stuff gets updated every year and it's yeah, that is that is that there's a lot to keep up with and like reading the IPCC report or looking at any of the consensus science. There's like a lot of change that you have to be influent and like science communication. You have to understand like where to look for the information. And it's interesting. My partner is a Spanish language speaker and she was in a kind of workshop for journalists in Argentina for climate communication. And the the, the workshop was like, oh, you should cite the guardian, right, so even as to, to kind of understand this climate stuff. So a lot of these local language. Context. There aren't even good sources, and the sources they do have are often citing like, the dominant narrative that's going on and like the Anglophone news cycle, right, because there's not a lot of climate communication going on, and so there's just a lot of complexity involved and updating that much content all the time. And so the bulk of the stuff that kind of creeps in is like this neglect, right? It's like some dominant idea, and the narrative just hasn't been updated. And, like, we need someone to update it. And that's like an organizing problem, right? That's like, we need more people who are science literate, who speak the local language, who understand how to edit Wikipedia, and that's trainable. Like, we can do that. Yeah, the reason that matters, the neglect matters, is it stops people from making decisions about climate change because they don't have, like, an accurate sense of what we need to do, right, which is cut the false fuels and create increase resilience through adaptation. Like actual political change. Yeah. Right. And so, so that that's just it's a problem. The other stuff's a bit more, it's it's a little bit more complicated. One of the things that happens is that. As you know, there's quite a manipulation of narrative that has happened around climate change. Others is really great. Podcast by Amy Westervelt about how the fossil fuel industry like got its message into schools in the last 30 years in the US and like that narrative is just so prevalent. And so one of the things about Wikipedia is that we try to do a balance of positions if there are reputable sources. Kind of describing or analyzing a topic, and this is back to your polarization question too. If there are reputable sources describing a topic, we try to give them equal weight and balance across the article. The problem with climate is that some of the narratives that look like reputable sources are just pumped out of fossil fuel industry funded think tanks, right? And these things are not truthful narratives, right? And so. The BBC ran an Article 2 weeks ago on kind of climate denial and some of these smaller languages. A smaller language Wikipedias, and what they found was a lot of these narratives being given equal weight with the climate science. And I I took a look our community after that BBC article came out, started looking across all the language Wikipedia articles about just the main climate change page, and they found 31 Wikipedias that had some of that, like equal weight of bad climate science. Interesting, yeah. And you know, the BBC article only found like 5 or 10, right. We found another lot, a lot more. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And so it's it's like a it's a really. Like, these narratives just seep in. And, you know, again, I'm going to go back to the Croatian example, certain political rhetoric, too. Those narratives might have traveled from, like, the Anglosphere into these other spaces and then gotten stuck. Right? And it's just like, keeps getting recycled. And so that causes delay. And I was listening to your podcast recently about soft climate denial. Like, this is what's happening. And other language environments, right is people are rehearsing this misinformation. It's seems like a valid position because it's been rehearsed so many times by by folks. Some people who are championing that position are like doing so unknowingly, and in the process we're kind of disconnecting it entirely from the source of the information. And that is just it's it's really bad. 11 interesting thing that I I thought of when you were bringing up like sourcing how sourcing itself can be an issue in like in the states there's kind of like a joke that like wicked like when people use just Wikipedia as like as a source be like they they just they just link the article and like that is the default for so many people when they begin to begin a research project is like OK, what's the, what's the, what is, what does Wikipedia have on it? What's the source is Wikipedia uses and kind of branch off from there. It's a very common thing so. I I'm not sure what like how different Internet culture will be different in in other countries. But if they do not if they if they don't have like the base sourcing necessary to create like a decent home page article, then just sourcing from Wikipedia in the 1st place becomes so much harder. Because like you were saying like just use the Guardian. Is is is is is is like one of the things. And like that's not horrible advice but if it's only just from one thing then that that's going to change the entire nature of like coverage. And information on specific topics. Yeah, I've just been really interesting kind of thing that I never thought of before is how different countries Wikipedias or like language Wikipedias will have, will have like different sources. So then getting information from from the page is just going to be so different. And like, yeah, like, like the whole, like the whole, like tiered of sourcing is just completely changed. Yeah. And and I think, like, you know, in medicine, most medical practitioners expect most of the medical literature to be in a handful of languages like English and Chinese and that kind of stuff, right? And like, part of your professional work and part of, like, saving people's lives is being able to use those sources. And so if a medical Wikipedia article has a translation from, like, an English article into another language, and you're distributing that to medical practitioners and they find the citation and it's in English. And they can go follow the source. Like that's not such a big deal. But in a topic like climate, where the vast majority of the people that have to make decisions on this information do not have access to other languages, maybe they're access to English is through like machine translation. Yeah, Google or something like that. Like having not having sources in your local language. Or just having the sources that were translated from an English Wikipedia article, which happens a lot on these smaller language Wikipedias, is kind of like not helpful for climate decision making. And this is where it's and it's easy, for example, and a lot of these like Eastern European languages or Central Asian languages for like a politically spun news site opinion about something to kind of creep in. At the same level of of kind of validity as as another, as scientific research, as the the, you know, consensus understanding of the climate crisis. So how, how might I know? We talked about like like trainings for like journalists and and people to start editing Wikipedias in their language, but like how how do we kind of improve climate communication overall with Open Access to information and, you know, creating more linguistic diversity and stuff? Yeah. Well, I think there there's like a couple of opportunities and this and then I there's some other misinformation I also want to talk about too. But I, I think that this, the sourcing one is a particularly challenging 1. We need like more basic science based climate communication and more languages. And I'm not saying like just the the like more languages like the big UN languages or the ones that are kind of colonial across cultural languages like Spanish or French or Arabic or you know all these languages that have been used across cultures. We also need to in local languages and we need it to be evidence based and we need it to be audience based right? So if someone is like. Searching online in Swahili about how, like, drought is happening in Kenya, right? Or Tanzania or or the, you know, there's suddenly flooding or like, I need to deal with XY&Z adaptation to the climate crisis, which is by the way. What all of the global S is doing right now, right like the the global S is having to adapt to this crisis that polluting countries has have made. Yeah, and we're not actually giving them the resources to the to the problem that we've caused it. Well, it's not even like giving the resource. We're not even like the people who are like, we want to adapt our society. We're not resourcing the folks on the ground who have the agency, who have the understanding, who know how to do the research in the context, who know how to do the communication in the context, right? We're not even, like bolstering their their request for help, right, like the, the, the, the, the UN climate conference kind of failed on this adaptation funding, right. And this is, you know, this is where like a platform like Wikipedia and like kind of approaching this from a knowledge activist perspective where you're like there are people who need this knowledge to address, like, understand what's happening around them so they can make decisions that doesn't like. You know. Yeah, we need those kinds of information. We need open source knowledge, not just Wikipedia, but one of the platforms and and you know the you all do open source investigation and you're used to like open source software communities. And I listen a couple of your podcasts and you're kind of constantly speaking back to those open communities that that come out of like Anglophone software spaces and like. We need to acknowledge that. Like we we figured out how to open knowledge, but we haven't given all those tools. We haven't transferred the knowledge on how to do it, we haven't adapted those tools to other parts of the world and other languages, and so just like. Starting to look. For these other communities asking for the people like who's ready to organize, like giving them money to go do it right, these things are like really practical and and I think we're we're not, we're not often not listening or we're not looking for that solution. And a reminder like most of the people having to adapt are in the global S and speak other languages, like we need to be there in that language if we want the the climate crisis to like. Resolve itself without, you know, destroying people's lives. Yeah, absolutely. Umm. Yeah, that's that's the thing we we try to bring up is that the the people that's going to be. Initially worse affected are the people who are already kind of not in the greatest situation in the 1st place. That's like how how like how like the areas that are going that are gonna experience the most flooding, the most extreme weather events, all this kind of stuff. It's it's it's not it's not starting with something like New York City. It's starting with areas that are already dealing with a lot of like local issues. And now this is just something else on top. And yeah, fixing all of that is. Mean fixing all of it's impossible. You can only take, like small adaptive steps to, like, mitigate some of the worst effects. And yeah, I mean that's that's stuff that's comes up a bunch, but you mentioned you wanted to at least briefly mention some other forms of disinformation. Yeah. So we we've also witnessed a couple times where something will hit like breaking news or become a political position in a context, and then, like, we will see bad actors show up on Wikipedia. Then try to manipulate it. I have two examples of this the the first is about a year year ago. We found a group of accounts editing about some of the inter Amazonian highways that the Bolsonaro Presidency is building through through the Amazon where they were trying to remove the environmental and indigenous peoples impact assessments from the Wikipedia articles. And so, like, basic human rights stuff. Basic, you know, healthy environment. Things, yeah that the government is like expected to follow through on. We're being like manipulated out of the the articles for a more like pro economic growth narrative and so you know it's. We can't like the the shift. Towards this like very extreme right, like economic growth only version of reality does play out on the wiki now. We were we were lucky that this was fairly trans like fairly easy to see once we found it, but we had to coordinate across. English, Spanish and Portuguese to like address the problem. So, so we need like multilingual communities who are kind of coordinating and talking to each other to address that. The other thing we've seen is like, so did you, I don't know how well you follow the climate movement, but did you see when Disha Ravi got arrested and India? By chance? I don't think so. So she she's a youth climate activist that was part of Fridays for Future India, which is like a group kind of sister group with a group that formed in Europe around Greta Tunberg, right? And she. Umm. Her Gmail account got attached to a Google Doc just seen active on a Google doc that was about sharing social media about the India the farmers protests in India which have been like a real political sticking point issue. And I had written so I'm both a volunteer and a professional who organizes the community. And in my volunteer time I had written the biography of Disha Ravi like months before. The Indian government kinda identified her with this social media toolkit and when she got arrested for something that's like just basic social organizing tactic with social media. Uh, the the kind of Hindu nationalist social media environment, like, zoomed in on her Wikipedia article and on all these other social media presences she had and they tried to silence it, be like, OK, we need to leave this article. And fortunately, like a group of us were watching the page and we caught it and we were able to stop that. But there's kind of the, the, the kind of flash mob situation that happens a lot now. And social media, where it's like, this thing has been polarized, now we need to go attack it. And so you can imagine, like English Wikipedia has a healthy immune system for this kind of stuff. It it, like, sees it, it has enough. It has enough people that it can do that. Yeah, yeah. But you can imagine on a smaller wiki that the narrative could shift and stay permanently shifted quite quickly. If that happened and so that that's another concern, right. So there's like the subtle like a few accounts just like quietly removing things and then like the active political kind of intervention that happens. And in terms of like disinformation, do you see the Wikipedia as being kind of susceptible to like intentional disinformation campaigns of people slowly kind of editing the ideology of of articles to to push kind of some agenda, whether that be like individually and like and like, you know, more of like a crowd operation? Umm, or even like run by like people with political power like do you? How much of a risk do you see that with this? Like an open source idea is that of of like intentional slow dissemination of disinformation on like important articles and stuff? Well, so I I think I might reframe your question a little bit. Like all open source kind of knowledge spaces are susceptible to that, right? The question is to like what degree and how harmful is it going to be, right? Like is it is it like very open to this and will it cause a lot of problems? The bigger language Wikipedias have healthy immune systems that we we have a combination of kind of. Thoughts that are like AI generated, that flag bag edits, and then we have a lot of community patrolling happening. And even in some of the smaller communities that have like medium sized editor communities like Swedish Wikipedia, it doesn't take a lot for that local language community to patrol the pages and like be like, oh OK, these changes are kind of weird. I can roll it back like this doesn't seem like it fits our culture of Wikipedia. The problem is when. A language Wikipedia has very few editors and they're not active all the time and and so this is where we need kind of more eyes on the content, right? Because it's it's very easy for like a really small language community to kind of have a little bit of content but never see it maintained. And and this is where the like where where our communities are forming around these languages like a lot of the West African languages, for example. That our communities are are kind of organizing and we we like invest in those communities existing and like figuring out the governance and training people, how to edit and getting access to the kind of technical skills to do this. And you know, we have kind of systems that we're hoping over the next few years invest in that resilience, right, like building a code of conduct making it easier for communities to see this kind of stuff, but it it is 300 languages, right? Yeah, and it is a volunteer built system and you do need a healthy editorial community in order to keep a wiki from like drifting too much. So a good example of this, and again a reference Croatian because it's the one we've done research on. Like it was possible for a few people to push people who are more in consensus with the global position on various topics out of the wiki. And and that's just like we we have to find a balance between like local language and this is my personal opinion, right. We need to find a balance between kind of local language sovereignty on this stuff and also not like radicalizing. It's topical environment and we and we see this particularly on impactful topics, right, like ones that directly affect like politics or in the case of climate crisis, like peoples. Livelihoods and ability to function in society, right. And and we just like we need to be cautious about that but but you know Wikipedia is a common resource and I think this is really important like the the way Wikipedia works is you know the Community Foundation provides the servers. We fund our communities we support them we help them work through governance issues. But like the we we need editorial communities to maintain it that that's what those 280,000 people. Are doing as volunteers as they're building a editorial practice that makes the content work. And and we we need that. And so we need you know, like minded communities like the people for your podcast who are like, oh, we need the Internet to be reliable and have accurate information on it to show up because if we don't do that it's it's really like it's the common resource. We we we have a decent international listening base as well. And I'm thinking like what what would you like recommend people you know in in different countries or even people inside in inside kind of like, you know the the States America, Canada, the UK who are like multilingual. Would you at least encourage them to browse other language Wikipedias and maybe start making edits when they see this type of misinformation popping up? Yeah. So I two kind of perspectives on this one. Look for a local organized community. So we we have what's called Wikimedia affiliates. These are 100 and 3000 and 50 organizations around the world. They regularly run events, especially now that we're leaving COVID increasingly more in person events. They train folks like, look for them in your context, and if you need help finding, you know, find me on Twitter and I can connect you with those communities. And the the other part is small edits. So I I think a lot of people look at Wikipedia. And they think about like, a traditional publishing platform, right? Like, oh, you know, I have to write the whole, the whole article. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I have to be a master. And and the secret sauce to all of this is, like, most people start with one citation, 1, one type of fix. And they do a handful of those a month, and then they keep coming back. And as you do those small edits, you start reading the content more carefully and fixing the things you can fix. And so I I I recommend going into, like, add 1 citation, like. If you go and add 1 citation today that makes life better or you fix the communication on the sentence, the other part of it is, you know, I said there's these organized groups for the climate. In particular, I run this campaign called Wiki for Human Rights, which is focused on. It's a theme that we kind of identified with the UN human rights on the right to a healthy environment, which is this new human right that has been acknowledged by the Human Rights Council. And we're we're organizing kind of writing contests and edited the fawns and kind of trainings for communities to go and look for the human dimension of the climate crisis. So I think. When we think about climate communication, a lot of people are like science, right? They're like, oh, this is, you know, about how weather systems work and and how the atmosphere it forms and stuff and the the the content that's more impactful is this like human inflected stuff like how does the climate crisis infect you as an individual and agriculture in the cities you live in and the clothing you buy in the manufactured goods? Absolutely. Flying around the corner that's producing water pollution that's going to harm your children for the next 30 years, right? And and that is the the kind of stuff that we're encouraging communities to pay attention to is it is more the like justice and human rights oriented perspective on these topics and your cat is very cute. Just in a while, they they love to love to take the camera. And so yeah, so so if you follow me on Twitter, I will. I can hook you up with that campaign as well. Yeah, yeah. Where can people find you online? And to learn more information about, you know, the various kind of topics we've discussed today. So search if you're interested in climate change stuff on Wikipedia, English Wikipedia has a wonderful wiki project climate change that has a little tab at the so if you search wiki project climate change on Google. And you find there's a tab at the top that says, get started with easy edits and that kind of can get you oriented to like, where can you affect English? Wikipedia on this. And you know once you find the gap on English, it's easy to find it on other languages. For the kind of learning about Wiki for human rights, you can search for that and or follow me on Twitter. SAD ADS, sad ads on Twitter. We also have a group called Wikimedians for Sustainable Development, who's kind of communicating on Twitter, which is the group that's really focused on sustainability topics more generally. And, you know, the other way to look is find something you've been reading about about the climate crisis or stability issues in the news, look it up on Wikipedia, see if it's missing. If it's not, click the edit button, add a sentence. Right the good example of this I learned. About a park and the center of Nairobi that's being protested by environmental activists because some of the big trees were being cut down. Ahuru Park, right? This came by on my Twitter handle. Like, I'm not connected to this at the moment, right? But because I had news sources, I had three or four news sources. I could say really simply in 2001, the park came under scrutiny for a renovation that included removing old trees. That's a climate. Action. Yeah, absolutely. Right. And I think, you know, I am constantly overwhelmed by the climate crisis as as is a lot of people. Yeah. Yeah. And and, like, just being able to tell that little story, like, hey. The decisions people are making are not productive here, right? Just just gathering that story is important. And and what's important is Wikipedia plays institutional memory on this, right? Absolutely. You know, a lot of a lot of activist work is very temporal. It's very like in that moment, right? And if it doesn't get documented on Wikipedia, the local news sources are going to get lost in the window of time. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope. There isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. There's no luring you in with free subscriptions or streaming services that you'll forget to cancel and then be charged full price for. None of that. For anyone who hates their phone Bill, Mint Mobile offers premium wireless for just $15.00 a month. Mint Mobile will give you the best rate whether you're buying one or for a family. And it meant family start at 2 lines. All plans come with unlimited talk and text plus high speed data delivered. 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Listen to revisionist history on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. I've never seen less enthusiasm for a great idea in my life. Yeah, totally right. And and so I think, you know, to do your little activist motion like a sentence describing what happened. In a moment where resistance was happening is like a huge step forward, right? Because it connects the environmental crisis, climate crisis, human rights issues to like daily lives. Like, people look up this park probably on Google because they want to go there, right? Or they read about it because people are like, when was it created? What was that protest that happened there the other day? And if the source isn't there, then it doesn't really exist in their minds. Yeah, it doesn't exist in their minds. And and and I think that's like one of the big issues with climate crisis and, you know, amplified even worse in other languages, right, is that people aren't making that connection, they aren't seeing it around them and they're not, you know, kind of connecting action to how we address it. That that is a really good. That's a really good point. And yeah, I mean, I will encourage everybody to to start making small edits. That's what I did for a long time before I moved into like open source journalism and and reporting. It's a great way to get started and it's a great way to, yeah, just start start disseminating small bits of information because the only thing that we can really do is people is small steps. We can have like an adaptive goal in mind, but you need to take small steps to get there. That and that is a really great way to start influencing the way people think about climate and our situation. Yeah. And and I think too, you know, your your podcast kind of appeals to folks who are interested in like finding the truth and reality, right. And that that's that's like that, that investigation is what a Wikipedia article is. It is like 1-10 a 100 editors out there in the world trying to go like, what the heck is this topic about? Right. How do I compile my notes in a way that helps other people? And I think in the face of the climate crisis, Doctor Ayana Johnson says, like, find the thing you're good at. Find the thing you're passionate about, and find the thing that, like, or that that makes you feel good, and you're, you. You is rewarding. And find the thing that actually like helps affect the climate crisis. Right? And a small edit on Wikipedia meets your camera. Knowledge needs. It's very satisfying because people will read it. And it it is incremental change in the right direction, right, people will make decisions on it. Uh, yeah. I mean and and I guess the, I think that I think that probably closes this up today and see if anything else to add I guess what one more plug for your Twitter so we can get get more eyeballs on you and the work that you're doing. Yeah. So at SADADS is my long term handle on the Internet and you, you can find me all over the place and I tweet about Wikipedia and the climate crisis. Well, and we'll we'll link the Wikipedia wiki project to climate change page in the description for people to find. Thank you so much for taking time to talk to us all about these topics. I'm really, really great, really grateful to have. This type of knowledge readily accessible to more people. Also, you know, in in the spirit of Wikipedia. Thank you. So thank you so much. You can follow us by subscribing to the feed and on Twitter and Instagram at happen here, pod and Cool Zone Media. See you on the other side, everybody. Raffi is the voice of some of the happiest songs of our generation. So who is the man behind baby beluga? Every human being wants to feel respected. When we start with young children, all good things can grow from there. I'm Chris Garcia, comedian, new dad, and host of finding Raffi, a new podcast from iHeartRadio and fatherly. Listen every Tuesday on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. What's up, guys? I'm Rochelle Bilal, and I am Troy Millings, and we are the host of the earn your Leisure podcast, where we break down. Business models and examine the latest trends in finance. We hold court and have exclusive interviews with some of the biggest names in business, sport and entertainment. From DJ Khaled to Mark Cuban, Rick Ross and Shaquille O'Neal. I mean, our alumni list is expansive. Listen in as our guests reveal their business models, hardships and triumphs in their respective fields. The knowledge is in depth and the questions are always delivered. From your standpoint, we want to know what you want to know. We talked to the legends of business, sports and entertainment about how they got their start and most importantly how they make their money earning. Alicia is a college business. That's mixed with pop culture. Wanna learn about the real estate game? Unclear is how the stock market works. We got you interested in starting a trucking company or a vending machine business? Not really sure about how taxes or credit work? We got it all covered. The earning Leisure podcast is available now. Listen to earn your leisure on the Black Effect podcast network, iHeartRadio App, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. It's could happen here. That's the podcast that this is. It's about things crumbling and how to maybe unscramble some of the things that are crumbling. And today, when we think about the crumbles, when you start thinking about the hell world that that we're all increasingly inhabiting, the the scary **** that is getting scarier day by day number one on a lot of people's list. It's going to be the cops. Real cause of anxiety for a single day by day number one on a lot of people's list is going to be the cops. Real cause of anxiety for a significant chunk of people listening to this podcast right now, including its hosts Alexander, you and I have chatted before on the air our guest today, Alexander Williams. You were a police officer in the past and you are not currently and you want to chat about. The, the, the topic, kind of the way you pitched it to us is there's a lot of aspects of police training that are very similar to what cults do to indoctrinate people. And you kind of wanted to speak on that. Yeah, there's a lot of, there's a lot of cross sections. So, yeah, I used to be a cop. I was in law enforcement for just shy of 15 years until I woke up and got out, luckily and. All the stuff that's been going on over the last couple of years and the craziness and. Really ingesting a lot of stuff around, you know, cults. And I started going down that the little checklist that you go down of, like, are you in a high control group? And, man, they all just look just dinged in my head every single time of, like, oh, this is exactly what it was like being a cop. Oh, this is exactly what it was like being a cop. And I'm curious, kind of before we get more into it, do you want to walk us through a little bit more? Kind of. What was your process of? I don't know. Deradicalization isn't exactly the right term, but I think you know what I'm getting at. It's in the, it's in the, it's in the neighborhood. Sure, yeah. Mine. So I was raised in a cop family. My dad was a cop. He went the whole 9 yards of retirement, the whole thing and. When I got into it, just shy of 22 years old, which kind that's young to be making those kinds of choices, looking back on it. We had talked on the last podcast of of your season one about when my brother got arrested and got beat by my own team, my my own crew in the jail that I worked with, which is the jails is where I I primarily spent most of my time. And I think that that was item number one kind of on my shelf like people call it that's that's that's a big one that went right on the shelf. And during my training, I've always been an obstinate little *******. And I've always had that kind of like authority, defiance. And in training, they they start telling you really early, like, hey, you know what? You know where your family we understand you're going to get you. And then, like, the language, even then kind of flared red flags wrong for me. And whenever a group of people says we're your family and so right, like, it's like we're your family and you. Talk to us, anytime's. Fine. We're your family and I got your back. Fine. We're your family. And that's why you need to do this, right? Things have gone arise. It's it's it usually is where your family, now. Yeah. Yeah. And yes. So that that was like literally day one. It was where your family now where you're, you know, they use all that language, the familiar language where your brothers, your sisters. Yeah. And the one that kicked kicked for me and my brain was they said within a year you're not going to have any friends that aren't cops. Like all of your OHS civilian friends are going to be done because they're not gonna understand you. And they're not going to be able to be around you and handle you. So within a year, you know, we're going to be everything you got. And for me that was like, that was a line in the sand and like part of my brain was screaming like Nope, never letting that happen. I will not let my myself not have any non cop friends. Yeah, that's probably good because that's I mean you have like when it it gets to it's the same thing that happens to anybody, right. Like some people got like last year in Portland kind of activist brain where there was this all the people were spending time with other people were out protesting. And so we have this really intense bond and we also are kind of separated, increasingly separated from the people around us because we just can't communicate with anybody else and that kind of going on for years and years because this is your career for 20 something years and it's like yeah that would you'd be you'd be. After a couple of years of that, you're inhabiting a different planet. You really are. And it's the way how you said that. Like, you know, this is usually 20 to 30 years, you know, because you want to get that sweet retirement at the end after you've abused your mind and your body for three decades. It was it keyed off something that you and Garrison talked about in a previous episode of the hiring practices where the the the Washington State guys and they were they got busted because the therapist was showing tons of bias. And that brought up for me the hiring process because those psych exams are the only time as a cop that you get a psych exam. That's the only time you ever talk to a therapist mandatorily. Yeah, that's not great. Yeah, it's a really bad move. And there's a joke in cop culture of like, well, yeah, you gotta pass it before you get hired, because after you get hired, you're never gonna pass that test. Hmm. Because you know, being a cop is is micro dosing PTSD in your system the entire time? See, I I guess one thing I'm wondering because you you were in it for 15 years, so that's that's not an insignificant span of time. Has it gotten to be more that way? Because I knew about 15 something years ago when I was like 1819, just like I lived in this ****** little apartment complex and like the dude who lived below above me and then like the dude who lived 2 doors down were both Dallas cops. And. I don't know like I I, you know, I was not particularly political at that point, but I didn't they didn't seem to have trouble relating. Like they would hang out and **** after work. Like just like not like like we would be like barbecuing outside and they would drop by and stuff and it was never, I never got the sense that they were living in a separate planet. But this is like 15 years ago, right? And I'm wondering what to what extent do you think this is kind of increased in in recent memory like this the the the kind of you don't really. Socialize with people outside of of the the family, so to speak it it is kind of like that. So yeah, a lot of the language you're using is perfect because So what you're describing and what I remember from being a kid in the 80s and the 90s and stuff was community policing. And like, it's it's a literal style of policing going back to more of like the professional police style before it went military and in areas where people actively live in their community and engage with their community. There's a striking difference in the level of police violence that happens but nowadays. It's not the same thing cause a lot of, especially in bigger metropolitan areas. You're you're a cop there. You can't afford to live there. You're you're definitely not getting paid enough to live most of the time in the cities that you're supposed to be, you know, a part of. And it's gotten to the point where they actually teach this, like, method methodically. In academies, they'll be like, hey, if you want to be a cop in a big town, you need to start shopping around in the smaller cities around it to find a place to live maybe like an hour away. And then they also pitch it as a safety thing, because it's all about, you know, the killology Grossman. We're all under attack 24/7, so they'll teach people, you know what? It's it's safest to not live in the town where you're a cop now. So it's become intentional. And it's one of those things where, because I don't want to breeze past, this is not the episode we'll talk about community policing. There's very good criticisms of community policing and there's a lot of things it doesn't solve, but I think it's. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. We're trying to say, like the solution is just to get cops, you know, to be members of their communities. But it it is worse when they're driving in from an hour out of town and see it as like, I'm occupying almost this area like it does. Yeah, that language fits perfectly, especially with Grossman and all that. Yes. And we've got a 2 parter on David Grossman up behind the ******** if you want to check it out, but he's kind of the one of the big one of the big individuals who's who's done the most to like really push. I don't even like it's usually framed as militarized thinking, but I don't know a lot of soldiers who have been who were trained to think that way about ****. Like most of the people I know who we're getting shot at every day for years overseas, we're not thinking the way Grossman does, and that's because he never actually went and did anything. I I think maybe we should probably, Alexander, have you go start going through this, this document you put together kind of walking through. And I wonder if you might start when you kind of started thinking about police training and the mindset inculcated inside police departments from like a cultic perspective. When did that really start to come together for you? It probably really started to come together. When actually when I got involved, I used to be an instructor when I got, you know, behind that part of the curtain and I got involved in those things. And I started going to teaching and I started teaching other departments that would come to us. And it was, it was a joke in my head at first was like, ohh, we all speak the same language. And then that got my brain rolling on linguistics and how linguistics work and how that, you know, the words we use change how we perceive reality. And then I clicked and I was like, oh, we're like a we're a subculture. We're we're like no matter where you go in the country, we are a little subculture. We are a little, yeah, a little group. And that's what started to, to kind of push me towards like it's like being in a cult because, you know, you grow up around Central California and there's a lot of really religious people and you start seeing the intersectionality of it really fast. Yeah, and that's interesting because we, we've talked a few times on various shows I've done about how any good subculture, any really good party, has elements of like a cult, right? There's there's little bits of that, there's bits of that in friendship and whatnot. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's just a thing like cults are taking advantage, like pulling a bunch of things that people do together in order to manipulate human beings. Umm, I'm wondering kind of where where you think where some of the areas you think it kind of crosses the line with police from like this is, you know, a degree of, like, I'm sure firefighters have a degree of this, you know? These are people that like I hang around with all the time and we wind up in some intense situations together that causes. There are culty aspects that's always going to cause. I'm wondering kind of where where are the first areas you started to realize this, this is crossing that line. Probably the first area is in how much the department like and this was universal and lots of departments that I had contact with. Is how much the department owns you. And I mean, like, they use that language, they they'll tell you, like we own you, like anything you do in your personal life. Your first thought needs to be how does this affect my department and my share of my chief, my whatever. Like every single thing you do is supposed to be potentially PR for the department. So they tell you flat out in the forefront of your mind every waking moment you're on duty. You're you're. You're here. You're you. We own you. And that that was the first one that was just like, ohh man, like no, I punch out at the end of my shift and I go home. This isn't like, this isn't. This is a job. It's not supposed to be a life. It's it's and that that was the first one that started going it. Probably the second one that I really noticed was that you can tell anyone's a cop because they'll tell you within about 5 seconds of meeting them. But they're a cop. Hmm. If you're at a bar, you're at a party, you're at whatever they'll be like, hi, my name. My name's Alexander. I work for the Sheriff's Department. Like it's going to come out of their mouth in two seconds. Because it is. It's their identity. It's their entire sense of self. Yeah. I wonder cause one of the things we've seen in the last couple of years in particular is aspects of that bleed out like the thin blue line flags and stuff. And some of that's some of, that's just, you know, signpost, some of that's just I I know people who were in. Certain jobs where they transported things that were sketchy and had those flags is like, well, maybe the cop won't search Mary, you know, but like there and there's elements of they're just, you know, I don't want the cops to stop me from, you know, ******* with these people or whatever. But I, I I think there's also elements of that. And I think probably television is to blame for aspects of this but of kind of that sheepdog culture as, as as Grossman calls that are starting to bleed over into chunks of the civilian world. And I guess I'm wondering kind of like. Yeah, what that looks like as a as someone unlike the deep inside of that as a police officer, like what is it, I'm wondering like to what extent were you kind of conscious of that aspect of society, like filling out around you like some of these, like the cult of the of the heroic police officer kind of spreading to be something new which which really started doing from like 2018 up to the present moment is when a lot of that shift seems to have happened. Some kind of what I've saw, you know. No, that timeline fits perfectly because I remember when I first got hired, the thin blue line, it existed. It was a thing, but it was just a it was just a matte black with a blue line and that was it. And you didn't really even in cop culture, like, I didn't grow up seeing that thing in the 80s and the 90s, but much not at all. And then when I was in the department in the in the in the 2000s, you you kind of saw it. Every now and again. Someone might have a lapel pin like in the department, but out in public. Nobody had that stuff. No, nobody. Nobody had any of that rocking stuff. And it didn't. It never really bothered me until it showed up on an American flag. And then that was, that was a big red flag of like, ohh this this bad. Mm-hmm. I was like, this is this is nationalism, guys, this isn't good. And, like, my whole crew looked at me and go, what's nationalism? And I'm just like, ****. Is there this like sense that people are toadying? Or is it this sense that, like, this is kind of the silent majority that backs us in doing whatever hard work we need to do? I think it started out as toting it really did and it's, but it's now shifted into. This whole like, you know, you get those guys that are like, oh, if I see a cop getting in a fight, I'm going to get out of my car and I'm gonna jump in there and I'm gonna back him up because they're like, they're playing tough. They really want that authority or that whatever, but for whatever reason, they don't go do it. Yeah, but this has been a way of like kind of they get to see themselves as being like a a posse. Kind of a thing. Like I I'm in the I'm in the club, I'm not in the club, but like they're my buddies and and is there, I don't know, does that make being in the club cooler, the fact that there's these kind of posses forming around it, this people kind of worshipping the culture associated with it? I mean there probably is now, but honestly when I was in there it freaked me the hell out. It really, really creeped me out. I didn't like it at all. Yeah, I mean, you have to think about if you're, if you're a reasonable person, how weird it would be to see your job turned into a cult like Garrison. You know that feeling or you're you're going to learn when we. When we make the cult. Ah, yeah, yeah. OK. So I wanted to, I guess let's get back to this kind of list you put together because you were sort of going through different hallmarks of what makes something a cult. One of them is the group displays an excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader, and whether he is alive or dead, regards his belief system, ideology and practices as the truth, as law. And I'll remind you, we're not talking about my podcast, we're talking about Colts here. That's right. Yes. Stay quiet, Garrison. They're just smiling silently, staring at us through. Zoom, I see you. OK and you've written under this. The law is the higher power. They grant control of their actions. Blind faith in the system frees them from having to consider their role in the system. It's my job to arrest and charge high. Let the court figure out the rest. It sounds a lot like kill them all and let God sort them out. In this case, the criminal justice system is a direct replacement for God. I think this is a really good point. This is. Yeah, this is the thing. Even when I was like. Of a dumb kid and thought cops were fine. This was the one thing that even, like, just even still freaked me out about cops. Because every once in a while you would see a video of like, a Congress randomly, like, assaulting somebody, and then other cops nearby just mindlessly join in. And I'm like, whoa, that's such a weird kind of group dynamic of they see someone doing something and they just don't question it at all and immediately back it up, no matter what actually was happening. Because, like, I always tried to think things through more like, logically and that type of, like, mindlessness. Really freaked me out, and I think was maybe one of the first things that was like, huh, maybe it was one of the first cracks and like, maybe cops actually aren't good. I think, I think this is a really great point in terms of how this ties into like, yeah, it's my job to, it's my job to arrest and charge. I I don't sort out what happens afterwards. So it doesn't actually matter. Like, it's like, I'm not, I'm not actually hurting these people because if they did something wrong, it's going to get figured out in the court system. I'm just doing this like preliminary task. It's it plays into a whole bunch of like weird psychological things that make you feel better about horrible actions you're doing because you have so much backing that's going to make sure what you do actually. Went bad. Yeah, this is like this, you know, this arrest, which may be physical and ugly even if they're innocent later, is just part of what you have to do to get to the point where you determine whether or not they're innocent. So I'm not doing anything bad. Yeah. Yeah. And actually, Garrison, it's it's what you said is perfect because in the bottom of the thing where I was just spewing notes to myself, I I literally put down here. It's not a job to them. It's a central component of their sense of self. This is why they will do terrible things to validate their perceived reality. And how they see things. Yeah, they it's, you might say, like, imagine how. Like, think about how hard it is to get people to admit they're wrong about a political belief on Twitter, especially when their name is attached to their account. Now imagine you have like, imagine that's the thing. Being argued is like the central thing around which you organize your life, and also you get to shoot people who make you angry. Oh, it's it's a rough situation to be in. It is, it is, it's crazy and the the part that I wrote of it's my job to arrest and charge high. I think that's that's a part of the the mentality of it is like. Yeah, I don't wanna say it's like a game, but it almost is like a game. It's almost like they're trying to get points like score high. Yeah, talk to me about talk to me a little. When you say arrest and charge high, kind of what does that what does that sort of look like on the ground before we get into kind of why people do that. So when when you're using your powers over S you're, you're you're supposed to adhere to a Penal Code. But there is code, and I'm only speaking to California because that's where I got my training. They don't expect cops to remember every single element of every single PC code could, because that's ridiculous. No one's gonna be able to do that. So there's. There's wiggle room. There's play where I know you did this thing, and I know it's what they call a wobbler. Like, I can go felony, go misdemeanor. They'll teach you in the Academy. They're like, if it's a wobbler, you always charge felony every single time, even if you don't think it's gonna work, charge it felony. Kick it to the DA and let the DA See if they can make it stick. And if they don't, whatever. Who cares? That's not part of our job anymore. Wow. And yeah, and that's one of those things where a lot of people, I've had friends who got charged with felonies that got dropped, but, like, you're still living under your you essentially have to live as, like, the diet version of a felon while that's hanging over your head. Which is not fun, and it's a big part of the whole criminal justice. I'm sure you guys are aware that DA's look to crack deals they love to make their they make their little backroom deals, and facilitating that is cops charging high. You're in the room, you're facing felony charges, and the DA is going to be like, oh man, I can knock that down to a misdemeanor, but that's because he knows he doesn't have a case. Yeah, but he didn't get that opportunity without a cop charging the higher charge. Now you know who isn't going to charge high because their prices are incredibly low. So reasonable. Very reasonable, very fair. The products and services that support our podcast. Ah, we're back to the next thing you've got on here is kind of talking about cult characteristics. Questioning doubt and dissent are discouraged or even punished, and you've written academies are commonly paramilitary. They are working to break down and build up cadets. As discussed last season on my show, the FO program is where fresh cadets meet salty veterans and the cycle of abuse starts. The paramilitary environment is usually casual and unnoticeable until somebody questions orders or tradition. Questioning order gets the that's an order threat while questioning tradition and suggesting. Improvements gets that's how it's always been done. There is no forum for change or progress. Some places have these forums, but they're just for public relations. And this is the thing that I think people who are trying to engage with from a perspective of like reform or whatever, trying to change law enforcement, as a lot of people were last year. Where things get jammed up a lot is the there's this attitude among civilians, so to speak, among most of us that like, well, anything, the government. That should be subject to like, well, we should watch out. We should look at it. We should see if it works. If it doesn't work, we should change it to make it work better. And that's how kind of everything should work. And that's what you're getting at here is interesting because it's the, the, the, the reticence to actual change among police is legendary. But I don't think there's a lot of discussion of the psychology behind it. Yeah. I mean, it's that it goes back to that whole. We'll do anything to reinforce our perception of reality thing. Like I said earlier, grew up in a cop family and it's specifically in the department that I worked at. So, you know, we were called like blue bloods or legacy kids and. No matter what was going on, like anything that you questioned, it was always, well, that's always it's that's the way it's always been done. That's the way it's always been done. And I grew to hate that answer, like with a passion in my personal life everywhere. I refused to give that as an answer when I became a Sergeant eventually. And yeah, they'll do anything. I mean, they will. They will bend laws. They'll break laws. Cause who's gonna charge them too? Yeah, because it's what they've always done. Always. My department famously had our union, got all of our Union dues embezzled by people in our brass, and they got caught dead to rights. But that case never went anywhere. Nobody would touch it with a 10 foot pole. And even if you go and Google it, you try to look at archives from the local newspaper. It's gone. It never happened. And yeah, that's interesting to me because that's like cops getting screwed over by cops. Why? How is that? How is that? How is like, what it what what is the impulse to defend that? Well, because so there's a division in in cop culture of like, like ranks and occult, once you get to what they call brass, your your Lieutenant captain or higher. They they don't look at us the same way. They don't look at the the grunts, the line workers, the guys doing the 12 hour shifts. We're. All that family talk goes out the window and it's like, well, we're mom and dad now. And they they changed their role in that world. And again, to maintain that power and authority, they'll do whatever they have to do. Yeah, that's Umm. I mean it. It also kind of feeds into this, this idea that like, there used to be less restrictions. There used to be like, we used to really be able to like do this and do that like we like a lot of violence get justified that way. But it also, it provides an opportunity, I think, for like police who are trying to engage with reformers to do some sneaky ****. Because often this like community policing is referred to like, yeah, we need to go back to the old methods of policing. It's like, well, but there were prop. Do you remember the fire hoses? Being used to black people during the civil rights movement, like there were issues back before we got militarized. It's it's yeah. And I mean, and that was the stuff they were doing outside the jail I worked in because you bring up fire hoses. This is where I'm going. They we had big cotton fire hoses up on the floors in this jail, and it was actually built out of old parts of the Texas prison. And you know, everyone talks about the good old days when we could really do stuff. And the story that always went around was that when the inmates were getting rowdy, they would just walk down the tier with the hose and. Just nail them. And then Jesus Christ, put it back because. Yeah, again, who's gonna who's gonna tell on me? Who's gonna believe these guys? Yeah. And that was back in like 70s era, you know, it's the, it's the big fish story that guys used to always tell. But I'm like, I have no reason to not believe that story. It sounds, yeah, very. I mean worse stuff happens in prisons today. So, yeah, I'm, I'm not surprised. All right. Moving on down your list. This one's really interesting to me. And I'm, I'm I'm curious from some detail on this because this is not something I ever really thought about. Mind altering practices such as meditation, chanting, speaking in tongues, denunciation sessions or debilitating work routines are used in excess and served to suppress doubts about the group and its leaders. And you've written cop talk briefings. Evals are always negative and the work routine is abusive. It is paired with hypervigilance. I'm I'm extremely interested in that and and kind of like how it how it sounds like the the kind of language that you're talking about people using among each other when they're doing this so I you know. Almost. I mean, I'm not even almost in kind of a PTSD response, I've blocked out, like, a lot of my memories from those years. Like, but I'll talk to that makes sense. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'll talk to ex cops and they're like, hey, remember, blah, blah, blah. And I'm like, no. O. Cop talk is mostly slang, but it's like it's the 10 code stuff. But it gets stuck in your head and you start and it's it's one of those things where they talk about how you're gonna have friends outside of work. You're gonna start talking in this language. You'll say, you know, what's your 20? You know, I'm code 4. If you see someone who's acting a certain way, like, out of the ordinary, maybe a mentally ill person, you'll say, like, oh, that's a gay cat. Like, you'll use this jailhouse slang. And it just it permeates your brain. And like we said before, your words manipulate how you perceive reality and you just start seeing everything that way. The the big one is the hypervigilance cycle is the is the abusive part. That's the that's the part that really got me thinking of cults of how they'll you know. Deny you food, sleep, make you work crazy hours and do all these things. And that's that's that's the one that really keyed the whole called aspect for me was the hyper vigilance cycle, the studies that have gone into it. I learned about it from a book, this little guy right here. It's called emotional survival for law enforcement. It's by Kevin M Gilmartin, PhD. He's an ex cop who got a PhD in neuroscience and studies studied cops brains. And got to see how they function. And he's the one that kind of coined this whole hypervigilance cycle of you're always edging at this parasympathetic fight, flight, or freeze response time when you're on duty. Yeah, yeah. It just stays up there the entire time. I'm sure soldiers have had the same thing. **** I'm sure you had the same thing, Robert, when you were doing your, your war journalism stuff, man. Or **** just being in Portland last year. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It keeps you at that edge, that cresting peak, and then you crash. And you get back up and boom, you peek up again, and then you crash and. It's almost like a drug your brain becomes addicted to that peaked out feeling that you get from the hypervigilance, because you do hear a little better, you see a little brighter, better. Your brain's moving a little faster because there's that a heightened amount of adrenaline just constantly dripping into your system. And then you crash, and when you crash is when you're not at work. So you start associating, not being at work with feeling bad and being at work feels good. Jesus. Yeah. I mean, the same thing happens. I I'm sure, Garrison, it happened like during like the riots where you would feel ****** when you weren't out there. Yeah, some days I would go out. Not even to just to cover it, just to kind of just stand there like a block away because there was nothing else to do. Like there was. There was like I could sit at home and rest, but I'll just be watching whatever is happening. Doing anything else, you just it it it it feel it would feel more relaxing just to stand on a street corner at and watch people throw stuff over a fence because that that that's just that's more relaxing than laying down it was like it's a very, very weird dissociative like feeling that. Yeah like my my brain is it's accustomed to this environment now. So this is the environment I'm going to be in, right and look how fast your brain got into that groove now. You know, imagine doing it for 30 years. Yeah, instead of like six months or even though it's, it started only after like two months, right? And or even even in some cases like a month. Sympathy. Yeah, all right. So I wanted to get into the kind of the next thing here. Umm, the leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act and feel. EG members must get permission to date change jobs or Mary, or leaders prescribe what to wear, where to live, whether to have children, how to discipline children and so forth. Very classic cult **** right? Like the the nut, really, of what it is. All all that stuff. When I was a kid, I would guess that, like 99% of the time, if you ask someone for a quick definition of a cult, this is what they're going to say something. Or there this this is the kind of **** they're going to highlight. And I I'm interested in. Yeah, just talk. Because you already chatted a bit about about this. Just the fact that, like the way in which police policy works kind of restructures how you function off duty, which I think is something that people everyone understands elements of it, right? Like if you're a ******* dishwasher for a living, you will wash dishes differently forever, right? Like if you if you yeah, bag your like bag should at a grocery store, like that's something that you'll always kind of know how to do, like these bits and pieces of this, but it's not quite the same as what you're talking about. And I I wanna get kind of into why? Yeah, it's kind of like when you're when you're as an adult, you do something that you're like, oh, I used to do that at my first job and I was like 15. But yeah, it does stick with you. The muscle, the muscle memory sure sticks in those neural pathways that your brain gets carved unless you get the right kinds of mushrooms to fix that. So then you just throw **** in the bed. **** it. Yeah, smooth out those curves. But yeah, the leadership really does dictate. I mean, some of them are, some of them you can FOIA, and some of them are public. You can, you can pull up policies and procedures, standard operating procedures, and you can look at like there's a ton of policies that literally dictate what you are and are not allowed to do in your personal life. Things you're allowed to post on social media, places you're allowed to go in uniform. And it all just starts like tinking away at your armor of that of that sense of identity, that sense of self. And that's how. The job Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. 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In this special episode, we sit down with Doctor Jane Goodall to hear her inspiring thoughts on how we can create a better future for humans, animals and the environment. If we don't help them find ways of making a living without destroying the environment, we can't save chimps, forests or anything else. And that becomes very clear when you look at poverty around the world. If you're living in poverty, you can't afford to ask as we can. Did this product harm the environment? Was it cruel to animals, like, was it factory farmed? Is it cheap because of unfair wages paid to people? And so alleviating poverty is tremendously important. Listen to amazing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. Becomes your identity again. It permeates every corner of your life if you let it. If you don't have like the. I don't know the the mental strength to kind of resist that it washes over your real fast because while that's all going on. Especially as a young cop, you feel great. You're, you're special now. You're you're in this. You're in the magic club. You you have the the symbol on your chest and the gun on your hip and. It's really easy to let that slip and just become everything about you. Yeah, member permissions like so, permission to date and things like that might sound a little weird, but there are times where like. My wife and I don't dress like the typical conservative Central Valley person and act out of work functions. I would get I would get comments from people being like, hey, maybe you can hear what your wife has a lot of really colorful hair like. Maybe she should tone that down. And As for again, oh, that was another one where I'm like, what? No, that's my wife. She can do whatever she damn well wants. Yeah, I mean that's that's that's the kind of talking that should get somebody slapped upside the head. Yeah, should, yeah. Umm. The uh, the next thing you have here is the group is elitist, claiming a special exalted status for itself, its leader and its members. The leader is, and I'm interested in kind of because you you have you have elements of this right with it. Like the sheepdog thing. We're kind of like the cop is the center of the cult for people who are not cop Colts. I don't know like does this exist? Like I I don't see like cult a cult leader sort of within this this thing. I think it's it's almost more nebulous than that. Where this idea. Of the agent of the law is kind of the center of the cult that the people who are agents of the law buy into as well as folks outside of it. You know, I don't know. This is probably deserve any. I mean I'm interested in your thoughts on this probably deserves significantly more analysis than we're going to give it today. But I think it's a fascinating thing to think about, right. It's kind of like how I what I put earlier that the the criminal justice system is the direct substitute for God. It is God, the law is God. I mean how many times have you gotten into a debate with someone? Where they'll be like, well, it's ethically fine because it's legal. And you're like, well, no, legality does not equal, you know, ethical or moral. And there, but there's these people in America who are just like, no, if it's legal, it's legal. That means it's OK. Yeah, and the elitism, yeah, it's obvious. I mean if you've met is kind of a religious belief though that like, yeah, it's illegal so it's bad she there were criminals so they deserved X like making a yeah. I mean it's a home brewed cleric that believed in the law for D&D was pretty easy. To be like, yeah, this is a church, this is a religion. Yeah, it is. It is the sheepdog among on sheep and the, you know, it's US against the wolves and blah, blah, blah. And then we have a guy's name in here that I won't say for anonymity, but we had, we had a brass guy, Lieutenant, that would give us these prepared speeches whenever he thought someone's morale was getting low, where he would talk about how and and he was wrong that the word sheriff comes from like Sanskrit or Arabic Sharif, which is not true. It comes from Shire Reeve. It's old English. Squish, because English is a hideous language. But he had to. I mean, I I can't count how many times he told me that exact same speech to my face. Over and over again, as if it was the first time I was hearing the story. And it's to me that was another thing that clicked where I'm like, God, it's like talking. It's like a call and response when you're in church sometimes, yeah, anytime you confront a religious person, they just, they have that, that that's that dogmatic spew that regurgitates. And just like, well, here's my opinion that I was told by someone who told me, OK, so Alexander, we've got more to say. You've got a lot more that you've written here. We're going to, we've gone kind of a little over the time we had here. So I want to have you back on tomorrow. For Part 2 of this, before we roll out, do you have anything you'd like to plug? Maybe the Washington State Patrol? No no I don't really have anything to plug I'm I'm never say die where all the easier threes because I'm that elder nerd from the 90s on Twitter and. Saw hackers in the theater I I it's claim to fame. So yeah, sit down Twitter if you want to come see me. How are your hips doing stuff? Let's talk about that. It's OK. Garrison's never seen Wayne's World. Ah, I know that's true. That's true. Too young. It's too. I tried to show Wayne's World and my brother, who's still like five years older than Garrison and did not take, didn't take. It's it's a it's a time thing. My oldest is about four years younger than Garrison, and they've seen Wayne's World. I'm just saying. Wow, OK. Uh. Look to your children's eyes to see the true magic of a forest. It's a storybook world for them. You look and see a tree. They see the wrinkled face of a wizard with arms outstretched to the sky. They see treasure and pebbles. They see a windy path that could lead to adventure. And they see you. They're fearless. Guide to this. Fascinating. Find a forest near you and start exploring at, brought to you by the United States Forest Service and the Ad Council. Hey, lethal listeners. Tig here. Last season on lethal lit. You might remember I came to Hollow falls on a mission, clearing my aunt Beth's name and making sure justice was finally served. But I hadn't counted on a rash of new murders tearing apart the town. My mission put myself and my friends in danger. Though it wasn't all bad. I'm going to be real with you, tig. I like you, but now all signs point to a new serial killer in Hollow Falls. If this game is just starting, you better believe I'm going to win. I'm Tig Torres and this is lethal lit. Catch up on season one of the hit Murder Mystery podcast, Lethal Lit, a tig Torres mystery out now and then TuneIn for all new thrills in Season 2 dropping weekly starting February 9. Subscribe now to never miss an episode. Listen to lethal lit on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Ohh, where it's us, the podcast that we are, it could happen here. Behind the podcast. Bad stuff. It's it could happen here. Yeah, it is. It could happen here. OK. Yep. Well, Part 2 of why police are called. Thanks, Garrison. Thanks for doing the job. That is one of our jobs, certainly, but apparently not mine. Alexander Williams. Back again, Alexander. How are you? How are you feeling? Doing good life in a radically different place now than it was when we ended part one. Oh yeah, like no. Well, that's for the best, because anything that would change in about the 30 seconds between these episodes probably would not have been a positive change. In the magic out, people are going to know. Yeah, they they should know already. So. The next thing you've got here in terms of cult characteristics that you you saw inside the police is the group has a polarized US versus them mentality which may cause conflict with the wider society. Yeah. And I, I, I, I think this is the one that like, yeah, we've all, we all kind of saw that one last year. Are you sure about that one? I'm not convinced. The Eureka moment, right? Yeah, I do think it's probably worth a little bit of exploration about, like, what it means emotionally to be told like, I I want to defund or even abolish the police as a police officer. Like that's that's a. Yeah. Yeah. I remember the first time that I heard that, the concept of it when I was a cop, I think I was about five years away from getting out. And it blew my mind. It was it was like, like, you don't know, we don't have enough funding like how, how in the world. But we can't do our job because in, you know, in our in my head we're we're the thing holding society up. If we're not here, everything falls apart and crumbles. The idea of being told like, we need to defund the police for cops, it's it's an attack on your values and your role in the world. But it's also attack on like your personal life. Because because your life is police as well, right? And and and it's and it's like you been talking a lot about how the job becomes such a central part of your identity that it's not even just attacking like your paycheck, but it's attacking like your essence now as a person. If you've ever had a debate with with an extremely like evangelical religious person that it's the same as trying to tell a cop like, hey, you don't actually hold society up. You're not exactly as important as you think you are. And like I said, like we don't get, we don't get paid very much. Health insurance usually isn't that good. Our our unions that we towed as being the best are usually pretty corrupt. And they don't really go to bat for us and get us the good health insurance and get us the good pay. They get us just enough. And so when a cop hears like, hey, we defund the police, it's like. From our perspective, we think what we're hearing is we don't appreciate you. We already think you get paid too much. We we think of it less about, like, the structure of law enforcement, and we take it personally of like, oh, you don't think my kids should have dinner? Yeah, and that's. I mean, yeah, of course that has like, of course it ends the way that we saw it in, you know, or at least it continues the way we saw it continue last year, right. And it's I think it could help like. People like us are on one side of the line and you know the other people are on the other side of the line still. And I think it could help people on our side of the of the of the barricades to understand just how willing these guys are to do things and and. Things that they wouldn't normally do, things that you would never consider doing on your own. But for the job and as an order, they'll do it because again, it's part of their identity and it's it's. They're, you know, you're attacking me. You're also attacking my family. You're you're. It goes back to that Grossman thing of being we get told a lot of no matter what you do. You go home tonight. So no matter what I do on my shift, I go home tonight. It's better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6. Yeah, that one. Yeah, yeah. I'm, I'm thinking of like, the police, the riot line. And yeah, you can see them being like middle-aged conservative dudes. They're like, look at all these, like ******* like gay queer teenagers throwing stuff at me, right? It's like this specific thing. You're like, oh, you like, I'm getting attacked by like the lowest of the low of society. I'm being attacked by like, did, like degenerates and like this weird kind of scum. I'm the actually what society should be, you know, people that are fighting against me are like this weird antisocial thing, right? That's that's how it is. Their perspective, when almost in actuality, I I've been, I've been slowly kind of appropriating. That type of language for when I see a copy, something horrible. I'm like, wow, look at that, like, antisocial, violent freak. Because you can. You look at that language because it it flips the way we usually view. Like aesthetics when you know, because like when you see someone do something horribly, horribly violent, but they dressed in uniform, it is it has the appearance of being proper. But like, no, that actually still is antisocial and extremely violent. So I think I've been playing around with, like, flipping that language, but you could definitely see it on the cops. Pieces. When a whole bunch of like young queers **** people are throwing water bottles at them. Oh yeah you can't. And and the thing to thing to remember about most cops is their their their ego is paper thin their skin they think they cannot take a joke. They cannot take an insult. The the number of cops that I would see and I would argue that I saw some of the worst worst behavior than on the streets because because inside the jail you're you know you're in your own little world you're inside these walls the public can't see you unless you're on camera and pre body cameras you know where all the cameras are and. I the the amount of guys that like an inmate would call them like the the FSLR or any other slur, and the cop would just snap and just lose their mind. And me and another couple other guys being the only kind of cops that would get in the guys way and be like, no. And it was never, we couldn't say, no, that's wrong, don't do that. It was always, no, it's not worth it. Or no, you're going to get in trouble or no, you know, if you do that, he wins, man. Because if we said don't do that, it's wrong. We may have, we may have stopped that bad thing from happening, but we have now marked ourselves as being, you know, potential apostates. Against the cause. So yeah, that's yeah, calling them names works. 16 stones do break cops bones. Like, oh boy, it does work. Like in terms of if if the goal is make them extremely angry, yes, yeah, it does work. Umm. Yeah, obviously the next one you've got is the league. The leader is not accountable to any authorities which the police regulate and investigate themselves. That's one of the most basic ones, but it does. It kind it does lead to this. Like, it is interesting to think about the way the Church of Scientology handles misbehavior from its agents and the way that like, a Police Department does, because there's not a ton of daylight betwixt the two. There's not listening to you. The Elron episodes, anyone who hasn't listened to them, go back and listen to them. They're fantastic. One of my favorites. Yeah, listening to that and the way that they're little internalized security system was structured was very, very analog to exactly what happens in law enforcement with they're so, so-called policing themselves BS because God, they they don't. They'll do every little thing to manipulate the situation, to have the cop come out on top and not be in trouble because who's going to hold them responsible? That my own guy at my own department's interviewing me. I've known we've known each other since we were kids, or I've known his dad, or his dad's known me, or his, or he's, you know, related, or whatever. It never works when the you know the the the Watchmen are watching themselves. It doesn't work. I don't know. How? We don't. Why do you know how? But I really wish there was, if we do have to still have law enforcement. Civilian oversight with actual power. Actual authority to do. Yeah that's that's The thing is that everywhere and a lot of the times that's been a try to put into legislator, it doesn't it's always like neutered. It's always like and I'm like I've, I've, I've seen versions of it pop up in Portland and it just never does anything. Yeah. And that's I mean obviously the whole the question of is to what extent can increasing civilian oversight solve problems to what extent is it like papering. Over them, those are all things worth discussing. I think I want to kind of keep us focused on the the mindset that that implicates because that that's the thing that I don't think people get in in part because like most people who are part of these abolitionist movements, most people who are are on the sides that we are on this either probably don't know a police officer very well and certainly almost most of them have not been police officers. And I'm I'm kind of wondering. What are you actually scared of doing as a police officer? Like, what? What? What are you actually scared of in terms of like the the the the blowback, the fault? Like what? What is it you actually get worried about if it's not ******* off everyone else in the city who wasn't a cop, you know? So? Yeah, when it comes down to is you know that the. The Church of Law, the Church of of Criminal Justice and. What they're scared of is so if I get a dirty cop who's not blatantly doing something bad, like he just he hit a guy too hard or something, it's something that hasn't hit the news yet. But I have to morally, like, ethically on paper, I'm required to have an IA division investigate these people. The reason that in my head when I was there and being interviewed for these things. It's because you have to hold up the infallibility of the law. It doesn't matter what really happened. All that matters is what's in black and white on paper, in our files, if we ever get audited by a federal body. And we can say, look, a bad thing happened. Yes, we investigated it. Here's what here were the results. And it's all about holding up the infallibility of the law, because if it really gets out and cops really get in trouble for stuff like some of the stuff that's been happening where, where cops are actually being convicted finally for doing terrible things. It erodes the blind faith that the masses have in law enforcement because I I've heard people here in Utah, which is a very conservative place. Look at some of those shootings that have happened where the cops have actually been found guilty and they've actually been like, oh, wow, like, I never once thought a cop would do this. And it doesn't sound like much, but in their head, that's that's a seed that's setting. In their consciousness. And that's that's the whole point of the the the blue wall of silence and keeping everything in house is. If everybody realizes that we're just a little weird man behind a curtain, you know the Wizard of Oz doesn't work anymore. We have to maintain this false image that we are infallible and we know we know exactly what we're doing and we are taking care of you. You have to believe that. So they'll do anything to maintain the lie. Wow. Yeah, that makes sense. It's bleak, but it makes sense. Yeah, it is. Yeah, it felt bleak being in there. This ties into kind of. The. The role of like lying, right and and and and the kind of the cult thing you're tying this into is that like cults will often talk about how the the the things the cult is doing are so important that you can do terrible things to achieve them right. You see this in the Church of Scientology. They're dirty tricks program sending on head its its version of this. And you, you've written here we are taught to lie to get what we need. It's only true if it's on tape or written down. As long as it looks good, it is good. And I mean it. It made me think, among other things, of a guy I used to know who became a a local prosecutor and eventually quit because he kept being assured by police officers that like something that they had put in, like the charging document was true, and then being unable to. Move it in court and it it ****** him off after a period of time. And I'm interested like in the. I'm sure, like obviously some fraction of people doing it, or just like just literally don't give a **** but how does someone who actually does have a moral compass and believe in the the the law? How does someone who really believes justify lying to screw somebody over? Umm. So as the guy who was there who had morals, which is why I'm not there anymore, I couldn't and I actually got in trouble on a couple of instances of. Everybody was going one way on a story. And I was going the opposite direction and without using blatant terms, they use all the like the little. You know legal illegal ******* terms to not say what they're trying to say but implying and getting it across to you of like you need to get on the same page you need to tow the line you need to you need to get in here and I could I could never do it I just. I I I I don't know. It's just my moral fiber won't let me do that kind of thing, I once was told by a Lieutenant. That I have. My moral fiber was too high. Like he literally told me, he goes, you can't expect everyone else to live up to your moral standards. And I'm like. Dude, we're we're supposed to be, like, a little bit above the typical moral standard. We're supposed to be the example of, of how, you know, our civilians, our citizens are supposed to act. But it wasn't the truth. Yeah. I mean, my first, I think, kind of radicalizing thing very early on was just like the fake drug scandal in Dallas was realizing that, like, on a significant scale, local police had been planting **** on people in order to charge them. People had gone to prison, which happens other places, too, but like, yeah. And I'm bulk of the work making something like that happen isn't the people who are planting the fake drugs the people who realize that the department will look bad if it gets out and then dedicate themselves to stopping it from getting out even beyond. Because you have you know X number of people are willing to paint, plant fake drugs on a guy but a much larger number of people are willing to try to cover that up. So it's not a problem that's that's the thing I really appreciate about Alex. You are framing of this in terms of like their main we're not one of the motivations. It's not, you know. Actually doing the job itself, it's about it's about making sure that their reality and by extension what they want everyone else is a reality to be to stay the same like they all of the effort into whether that be lying for supposedly in in their view like moral reasons and all this kind of work. It's it's it's it's to maintain the specific version of reality. It's not it's not actually for like like it's it's not for like. Actually promoting what is like the law on the books by any means it's it's it's it's the it's the thing like in Hot Fuzz it's for the greater good that's that's what that is that is what they're trying to it's what they're trying to do. So even if they like is as long as their reality is maintained then you know we have some semblance of like order in the world whether that be you know this nostalgic semi like proto militaristic nationalist version of of order but that's that's that's the thing that is wants to be maintained. So every every task, everything that they're doing isn't just a simple task, it's all in the overall effort of maintaining this. Like this perception. That's a. Much more, I think. Interesting way to think about police. Yeah, it really is. These guys in, like, in pill talk, these guys would take the blue pill in a heartbeat, and then they'd arrest Morpheus for trying to deal drugs. Like, that's how dedicated these guys are to staying inside this version of their reality. Now I kind of, let's move on next to the the next kind of cult aspect. The leadership induces feelings of shame and or guilt in order to influence and control members and you're talking, you've written down here toxic masculinity and the warrior mindset. Do you have any kind of like case examples of how that that actually looks of like kind of using shame or guilt to people who aren't kind of in the this quote quote UN quote warrior mindset? Uh, yeah. I mean, it happened a lot. There was a lot of Monday night quarterbacking that would happen, especially with the advent of like cameras and things becoming more popular. I loved my body camera. That was my little best friend. But. We would go, you know you'd go back and you'd watch videos of incidents and things and if somebody wasn't like engaging fast enough they would get roasted hard like hazed and and you know made fun of and mocked and. When you're in this, you know, we're a family mindset and you're, you know, we're we got each other's backs and we only understand each other. And then all of a sudden you're on the outside because you dared to have even a remotely moderate to liberal position on anything or you didn't jump in on the, you know, the the *** beating on something fast enough. They turn on you fast like. The only thing I could compare it to is like. You know, every 80s and like 90s military movie or or you know, nerds movie where people just hazed the **** out of each other and it's that that dude bro. Everyone's got a barbed wire sun tattoo on their bicep just rampant everywhere. I mean, it permeated the whole place. It drove me that. That was one of the things that really drove me nuts, because I've never been that kind of guy. I've always been a a, a more of a. Deescalation person and a book reader, and that I think it helps explain a lot why you see some of these videos where it's just like, why did they go to zero to 10 from zero to 10 so fast? Well, because somebody's gonna make fun of them and call them names if they don't go hard enough, fast enough on somebody when they do certain things like and yeah, the zero to 100 thing also ties into that whole, that whole hypervigilance thing that always being a compressed spring. And then it ties back into that warrior mindset of like, they tell you flat out, like if anyone ever attacks you, they're trying to kill you. It's it's, there's there's no if, ands or buts. You need to act like they're trying to kill you because it goes back to the whole I'm going home at the end of the shift kind of thing. And once once that's ingrained itself into like, your muscle memory, and that becomes the reflex, that becomes the thought that passes in front of your mind when a critical incident happens. Then that's how you're gonna act, and you're gonna do, and you're gonna go from zero to 100, because you're going to assume that any little furtive movement. Movement, which God, there's that language, furtive movement. Any little movement that someone makes, like that's that's a green light, that's an excuse that I can end whatever interaction I'm having with this person with violence, because they flinched enough where I think, OK, I got this, yeah. Jesus. Now one of the next ones you have here is talking about recruitment, which obviously cults do, but also like it's a job and jobs do this constantly recruiting. I'm kind of wondering because you you've listed here things like Explorer programs which are like ROTC or the Boy Scouts, kind of these different, one of which Kyle Rittenhouse did like ways in which kind of people get onboarded. I'm wondering sort of what how you see how you see police recruitment as kind of different in a fundamentally cult here way, then, you know, every job has to bring in new people. Right. Like, yeah it's it's it didn't used to be this way, but I think in the in the 2000s especially when number staffing numbers really started to drop because the it's I don't know if they just realized it wasn't worth it or they found somewhere better to get paid. But Employment's gone down for law enforcement and so recruitment goes up in response. But now they have a more active role. Most places where it's almost on par with the military, they'll go to job fairs, they go to high school career days. They didn't used to do that. Enough. And when they do, they'll they'll find someone to, like, pull stuff out of the pop culture zeitgeist. What? We know what? Cool. Yeah, yeah, yeah. What can we what can we cash in on to try and draw these kids in? Because just like the military cops are looking to pull in. Disenfranchised kids who probably aren't going to go to college don't think it's an option. And here's this job all you need is a high school diploma. Here's the health insurance. Here's the retirement package, which is trash. But you're 17. You don't know that. You don't know how to read all this, but it looks real cool. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. The explorer stuff. I mean, you're familiar with that. So, but yeah, they get little kids to go out and you know, be little baby cups. And it's I mean it's it's one of those things. Like some of this is so much deeper than even the the individual departments or any choice made by the police because like as a kid, some of the first toys I had were cop toys, right. Like every every boy, I think, like, yeah, some of the first what you're going to get badge gun, you're going to play Detective, you're going to be watching cop shows. You going to be watching movies where cops are the. And that's, I mean that that that's a bigger subject than today. But like, yeah, no, that is like what the one of the most prevalent forms of media that's instilled in young boys, I guess. Yeah. You know what else is instilled in young boys? The love of capitalism and products and specifically use products and services. Find a child and whisper the names of our sponsor into their ears. Preferably a child that's yours, hopefully. No, any child. Any child throws something, so their parents look away and then lean down and whisper better help. It only counts if you get caught. We're back, and your next point was that the group is preoccupied with making money, which is a huge thing for cults. But all of them, there are some like, you know, there there are some cults that were, shall we say, pure. But they're nearly all about getting like, hey man, Manson, just it was all about the music and the heavens gate was a pure cult. Yeah, yeah, heaven's gate. It certainly wasn't just the money for heavens no, but yes, the moonies cops. Cops have civil asset forfeiture, which they they just took $100,000 from someone in Dallas and the person did not get charged with anything, which is usually the case. Yeah. But, but I mean, yeah, like you have written here that like the main, the main way is just increasing their budget as much as possible. Which, yeah, most police departments right now have the biggest budget they've ever had. Specifically in like Maine cities we have, they're, they're the most funded department in in for the whole city. There is there's there's this great gag in the opening episode of a show called Ugly Americans that's about trying to re refinance, realize the city's budget and they have like like a social spending and cop budget and they take like all of social spending and move it over and leave this one tiny sliver and they're like, oh there, that's better. That'll solve all the problems. It's it is a better sketch than what I I explaining it just like this sounds not funny, but this sketch is actually pretty good. You're not far off but yes and and it is and it is relatively accurate in terms of just moving all the funding from social programs over into law enforcement. Yeah. So there's you know there's the everyone gets their financing different ways. There's county, there's state, there's there's city. But a common thing that would happen was law enforcement agencies would try to. Take anything that they could under the umbrella of law enforcement. So if it was like, hey, we want to have more, you know, security equipment at the high school and then the cops will be like, no, no, no, no, no. You give us that money, we'll give you another, another officer on campus or they want to hire something for the, you know, and we will install lights, the City Park to increase security. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. You just give us that money. We'll make sure our guys patrol it more. So they actively try to just like poach money from everybody else. Yeah. I mean and you, you can see this in a lot of towns where like the number one use of public funds is the police. I mean it's it's. All over the country at this point. Yeah, that makes sense. So Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group and group related activities. Yeah, because you have written here four years with no days off, but scored a satisfactory, I was told to put in more time outside of work. Yeah, so like I said, our evals were always sounds so much like MLM. **** it is. It is they they every time you go in for an eval they nag you like no matter what our our scoring system was one to 10. Nobody ever got higher than A6, maybe. I think I saw like one or two sevens in my entire time there. And when I became a supervisor, I asked the the brass. I'm like, hey, I want to give this guy this, this upper grade of like A8 or A9. And he told me flat, because no, we don't do that. Like, no one's allowed to get higher than A7. And if you want a 7, you're going to have to, like, write a novel about how great this person is to get them this rating. There was just, yeah, it was. It was consistently just pinning you down the four years, no days off. So yeah, I did a four years straight without calling in sick once like I took vacations. But. When I went in for my eval and he slides me a thing that says it says attendance satisfactory. And I was like, what are you talking about? I was like, I haven't taken a sick day in four years, you know, and I have three kids. How do you think I manage that? Like I've sacrificed? To be here that much. And his response was, well, like, yeah, but I never see you at barbecues. I never see you at the Union meetings. I never see you at the fundraisers for the sheriff's reelection. Even though it's blatantly against policy and illegal to do. And I told him that in his response was what are you gonna do? Telling me you're gonna tell? Jesus. Yeah. Yeah. Hey, that makes sense. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, who are you going to tell you? Who are you gonna go to? Yeah. And it is. It's also just like this. It isolates you from other people. It stops you from knowing folks that aren't cops. And it's. Yeah, it's a lot like what your upline is going to tell you if you're selling Mary Kay that, that, that, that ties into the, that ties into the next point. Members are encouraged or required to live and or socialize only with other group members. And you say this is like part of the hyper. Vigilance, isolate isolation cycle. But I also see this in terms of like something I get into for fun is I join like a wife of cops Facebook groups just because it's fascinating just to have all of, just to have all of these, like, cop spouses in a Facebook group. And it's super, yeah, like, it's it's a really interesting like culture of like just associating with other people on the job. You know, there's like cop barbecues like you mentioned and all this kind of stuff where it's like we're the only ones that can understand you. So we're going to build. Like this, like, you know, force field around all of us and we can be together as a family and keep out everyone else because we're the ones that really know what's up. Yeah, it seems, uh, I mean, for some people who are really into it, I I guess that is, you know, that's how humans socialize in some ways. So, you know, for people who think being cops are good and quote UN quote, enjoy it, I'm sure they have a decent time hanging out with their cop buddies, right? And I'm sure the cop, spouse, Facebook groups, I'm sure they have a good time laughing about whatever viral video there is of someone using too much force. You know, who who knows what? Like how how they actually think about those types of very isolated environments because you know, it's it's about find, find, you know, it's it's almost like it's it's extending out into like fandom rules where you're associating with other people the same way fandoms work, which is very just very similar to how cults work. So yeah. Yeah, it's an armed militant fandom. And your last point here? The most loyal members, the true believers, feel there can be no life outside the context of the group. They believe there is no other way to be, and often fear reprisals to themselves or others if they leave or even consider leaving the group. Yeah, so I put in the note of just self-explanatory, but yeah. It's me. Quitting was. Weird, I knew I needed to do it. But I I had a massive existential crisis of identity and of of logistical things. But a lot of it was it was tied to my identity. And it was it was. Letting go of something that was like a core pillar of my personality and. It really freaked me out and I and I think that if I was more. Inside the group and I was more like one of the guys at Golden Boy or something like I probably would have never left. If I was if I was getting that constant reinforcement of of the good boy feelings, I don't think I would have quit. Umm. But after I did quit. That actually kicked off a cascade of people around my same age and with my same seniority level in looking at their job and looking at what it was doing to them psychologically and physically and with their families and thinking to themselves, oh, I I can leave that. That is how cult. That is how leaving cults work. Yeah, yeah. And so once I left, a bunch of other guys were like, oh, I I don't have to do this until I'm 55. I can I can go start another career somewhere else. I can go start another retirement plan at a different place. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. 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Get premium wireless service from just $15.00 a month and no one expected plot twists at That's Seriously, you'll make your wallet very happy at Mint Mobile. Com behind. Hey, it's Rick Schwartz, one of your hosts for San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we sit down with Doctor Jane Goodall to hear her inspiring thoughts on how we can create a better future for humans, animals and the environment. Anything, particularly young children out into nature so that they can experience it and take time off from this virtual world of being always on your cell phones and so on. And get the feel of nature so that you come to be fascinated, then you come to want to understand it, and then you come to love it, and at that point you want to protect it. And then we'll come to the sort of healthy world that I envision as a good future for us. And the rest of life on this planet. Listen to amazing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. And I just. It felt great to see other people tear away and and do that, but at the same time I know for some of that it hurt. Hmm, really bad to to leave that behind because once you're once, you are out. You are kind of out. Even if you leave amicably, like, hey, I just wanna go do something else with my life. You're no longer in those people's minds anymore because you're not part of the team, you're not in the club, you're not in the family anymore. You're that guy that used to be here. And I guess kind of at the conclusion of this. And this is, you know, when you, when the question is like how do you radicalize, get people out of colds? How do you like no one has a good answer to that. So I I don't think we should expect you to suddenly have like here's how to here's how to convince everybody to stop doing this because we can't do that for ******* Q Anon like D radicalization. 80% of the people who say they're involved in it are ******* grifting. Like it's it's it's a big mess of a of a ******* field in the 1st place. But I am wondering, do you have some insights into like, yeah, how the **** do we D radicalize these people? Like, I don't think there is. Like I don't think there is a cookie cutter answer for like pulling people out. You know we can't bag them in a white van and take them to a hotel. The only thing I can think of that would actually change the culture is a huge shift in our national culture around like. Mental health and toxic masculinity and. You know, wrapping your identity into into your job. Because it's not just cops that do this. There's a lot of it's it's it's it's like that is that is America now, that is that is like hustle culture. That is what the idea of a career is. My name is fill in the blank and I am a blank. Career comes from the word that means, like careening like you are going full force into this thing that is, that is what you are doing now. That is your existence is your career. You're going at it. That is, that is what this whole country is built on. So getting out of that for a lot of people, for just regular jobs is difficult. Now adding on the idea that you are the thing that holds society together, that is that, that has a whole other level of complexity. Like psychologically for the person inside it. Because I'm sure, like telemarketers, if you can get really into it and make money, sure, that can be a career. But you know, you're not holding society together and like, that's not, that's not a, that's not a delusion that you have and nobody outside shares that. No one knows he has like no one there's there's no, yeah sticker on the car. There is no sin telemarketing line of supporting you. So it is, it is different for like, police specifically, even more so than, like firefighters are like, EMT's. This particular fandom that's developed around police and and and like the the incredible self importance that they is that is cultivated to. Yeah like the idea of I'm doing this to maintain reality is like a very like big thing to tell yourself and get getting out of that seems challenging. Yeah, it really is. It's like, it's all, it's almost worse than most, like churches in a sense, because in this version it's so, it's so materialized. It's it's yeah, it's it's it's right in front of you. I can reach out and touch it because I'm part of society. But if I'm not here and we're not here. You know, anarchy, the the bad guy, the the way people think the word means you know everything's gonna catch fire and and the only reason people are good to each other is because the law makes them be that way and all that kind of toxic BS. So the only thing I could think of to be like to help de radicalize people is it's almost like treating someone in your family that listens to too much queuing on is to. You know, if you know a cop or you have a friend that used to be a cop and he ever, like, reaches out to you. Maybe with like kid gloves? Kind of be like, hey, how you doing? Just small things, because that could maybe lead to him putting them putting something on their shelf. Just like when people get out of religions and things, yeah, they'll often reach out to people and be like, hey, this is this is such a *******. It it it kind of means something if he's going outside of the group. And so, yeah, maybe recognize that, like you have an opportunity. Yeah, if if a cop reaches out to you, it's just like someone in a religious institution, they're reaching out to you because they they feel safe talking to you. Because you're not going to turn them in, you're. It's not going to have any. Immediate impact on their life right now. Yeah, that makes sense. Alright, well Alexander, anything else you wanted to get into? Uh, I mean, I could talk about this kind of stuff for days and days and hours and hours, the whole hypervigilance cycle. And like I said, I've, I've read a bunch of books on it. I really tried to get. Training on just the hyper vigilance cycle like, well, if you ask most cops about hyper vigilance, they would just look at you and be like, I don't even know what that means. What you talking about? Which is why I used to I used to give this book the emotional survival guide for law enforcement. I would I gave it to new hires. And some of those new hires didn't come back. And I'm fine with that. Yeah, that's good. I mean, that is the best case scenario. Yeah. Some of them looked at it and we're like, no, I'm not signing up for this because you you really don't know what you're signing up for, the real stuff that you're signing up for until you're in it. Yeah. Yeah, I mean also like a cult. Yeah, yeah. We'll all write. Alexander, thank you so much for coming on and for sharing this with us. I think it's a useful look behind the curtain. That that folks need, and this has been it could happen. Here you can find Garrison on the Internet. Go, go, go track down Garrison's fake Facebook account. You know what? Go. Go do that. You can. You can. I have. I have made it possible specifically for this reason. A cop wife group with Garrison. Me and Vanessa so we could discuss our husbands careers. For all you know you may cause the de radicalization of the cop. Or Garrison just gets really weirdly into role-playing as the wife of like, OK, Soccer episode. Episode is over, we are done. This is I am pulling the plug. Hi, I'm Robert lamb. And I'm Joe McCormick. And we're the hosts of the Science podcast stuff to blow your mind, where every week we get to explore some of the weirdest questions in the universe. Like, if sci-fi teleportation was possible, how would it square with the multitudes of organisms that inhabit our human bodies? Can we find evidence of emotions in animals like bees? Ants and crayfish. How would an interplanetary civilization function? Does free will exist stuff to blow your mind examines neurological quandaries, cosmic mysteries, evolutionary marvels, and the wonders of techno history. Basically, this show is the altar where we worship the weirdness of reality. If anybody ever told you you ask the weirdest questions, it is time to come. Join us in the place where you belong, the stuff to blow your mind. Podcast new episodes publish every Tuesday and Thursday. Bonus episodes on Saturdays listen to stuff to blow your mind on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. After 30 years, it's time to return to the halls of W Beverly High and hang out at the Peach Pit on the podcast 9021 OMG. Join Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling for a rewatch of the hit series Beverly Hills 90210. From the very beginning we get to tell the fans all of the behind the scenes stories to actually happen so they know what happened on camera, obviously, but we can tell them all the good stuff that happened off camera. Get all the juicy details of every episode that you've been wondering about for decades. As 90210 Super fan and radio host, Cincinnati sits in with Jenny and Tori to reminisce, reflect, and relive each moment. From Brandon and Kelly's first kiss to shouting Donna Martin graduates, you have an amazing memory. You remember everything about the entire 10 years that we filmed that show, and you remember absolutely nothing of the 10 years that we filmed that show. Listen to 9021 OMG on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Pearson, I don't trust Robert to me. You want me to start? Yeah. I don't trust Robert today. It's time, Garrison. It's time for you to learn. Wow. My advice is atonal shrieking. I am not doing that. Everyone's going like, Ohh, Garrison's just copying Roberts tone and cadence and like, you mean, you mean they're making sounds with my mouth? Yeah, that's that's how that's how communication works. Start the episode with that and trigger everybody like me. You use a microphone. It's very real. Yeah, you thief. We're recording. Let's let's do this. Hey, it's time for a stories we love. We love stories here at Attic. Could happen here. Pod, the podcast about how things are kind of falling apart and to maybe some ways to put them back together. I'm Garrison. I'm starting this episode today. I'm not sure why Roberts here. I'm really hungover. Robert is real hungry because I didn't trust Robert to do his job today. But I trust you, Garrison. Great. Generally not trust me to do my job. That's fun. We also, we also have Christopher here, yeah. And to do his job, though. And we have a writer, Rebecca Campbell. Hello? Hey. And what? Why don't you briefly explain who, who you are and what what's what's going on today? OK, well, I'm a Canadian writer and sometimes I'm a teacher, but mostly I just write really sad stories about climate change and ghosts and AI's and near future stuff like that. This story I'm reading is called thank you for your patience. It came out in reckoning 4, I guess, last year. And it's based on my partner's time when he was working in a call center and the kind of nightmarish stories that I heard from him every time he came home from work. But it's also about me being on the other side of the country from the part of the world that I love the most, which is the Pacific Northwest and, you know, watching Fukushima a few years ago and watching wildfires a few weeks ago and being separated from the things. That are important to you as they're all falling apart. Well, I'm just excited that this podcast is now 2/5 Canadian. So that's that's the main thing I'm excited about. Ohh no. Oh my God, I just a Tim horton's Cup just appeared next to me. Terrible donut holes I have. I do have a Tibetans cafe in my kitchen. Anyway, let's let's let's let's start this, start this, start this reading. Let's eat this popsicle stand. As they say, that's not a thing. Let's continue. Let's eat this. OK. Thank you for your patience. I'm lucky because they replaced a bunch of chairs last month and I got a new one. A good chair is important when you spend 10 hours a day in a cubicle talking to strangers about their problems. I've been here three years and worked on most of Western Morgan's services. Which means I can, with no thought, help Grandma set up her Wi-Fi, or troubleshoot banking software, or set up your cell phone plan, or help you with some app designed to find your soulmate that nevertheless fills you with hopelessness. I can't help you with the hopelessness. It's nonstandard, but I'm western Morgan's floater and Geordie or Kirsty just draw me where the calls are heavy or turnover is high. On Twitter I can answer questions within 5 seconds of some ******* in Toronto saying what the ****? My TV doesn't see the house network and I respond. I'm sorry to hear that Toronto *******. Let's see if I can help. I'm impossible to rile because I've heard everything. Every possible stupid question, every strange request regarding lapsed policies and missed payments, every paranoid rant, every sort of impotent rage. The management is ****** and the customers are irritable, but there's beauty and problem solving. The really bad stuff started at the end of last month when I had to do a one-on-one majority team lead for the floor. I've been fielding a bunch of questions regarding a recent patch that had broken everything. I had this rhythm hitting my 32nd AHT and typing without thinking. Mark here, how can I help you? But one-on-one is mandated interruptions. So I listen to Jordy brainstorm about improving morale. They stopped having barbecues because it was too expensive, even when the burgers were sawdust and soy. Also, no one wanted to be outside because Detroit was still burning and the PPM's up to something like Beijing. Listen to this, western Morgan Idol, Jordy told me. We judge three of the top ranked calls and we have a thing, and someone walks away with a Timmy's gift card, like 50 bucks. Jordy said that like it was a good thing. What about a key fob? I asked. We can't get out with what without one after hours, but only management can hold. Or the winner gets to wear jeans or keep their phone for a shift that didn't write an answer. The most frustrating thing about Western Morgan is that team leads have to hold your phone like you're an untrusted teenager who's been grounded. I feel like I'm lost in a cave or a space station when I do a lot of overtime. I arrive when it's dark and I leave when it's dark. And while sometimes I go around the corner for coffee or Mcnuggets, it always feels like I'm just visiting the world. I don't know what's happened if a governments fall on Earth. The ice shelf has collapsed if Detroit is burning again, or maybe California, or the Great Lakes, or dying at a slightly faster rate than they were before they left for work. Never knowing what's going on outside, I sit in my good chair and say that sounds frustrating to everyone, no matter who's talking or what they want. Let me see if I understand your problem. You could Judge, Jordy Stead said. Still talking about Morel. You're impartial, you hate everyone. I don't hate everyone, Jordy, I said reflexively. Though to be fair, I hate a lot of people here. After my mandated 15 minutes majority, I saw that Misty had a problem with my documentation, which has been rough since they changed policy on me. She's in the Philippines, where most of the real work happens. Upper management is all in India. They only have us because they need Canadian accents on the phones and they get tax breaks bringing jobs to one of the more desolate parts of the country. Downwind from Detroit, rampant West Nile and 90% of the provinces heavy metals processed at the plant out by the mall. 70% of the babies born here are girls. Something to do with residual PPA? Misty is on the other side of the Pacific in Legazpi. But you think she was right here, considering how aggressively she organizes us? You're **** at filling out forms marked. The write up is going to kill your rank where stack ranked every shift. It gets you points you can redeem, you can redeem, which honestly is worth it for the grocery store gift cards. Just tell me what I did wrong Legazpi. We were in the middle of a rough month, the flu hit everywhere at once and no one could afford to lose the work. So we had a bunch of people come in sick coughs, had juicy sneezes all over the floor, and half the time you got on the elevator and everyone was Gray faced and weaving. I came in over the weekend to cover mobile because they lost half their staff, so I'd been on for eight days by Monday when Jordy was manic, trying to call people in so he wouldn't have to go on the phones. He always says when we're smoking outside, and he's pointedly not looking at the place where the GM building used to be. It's not the extra $0.50 an hour, it's the fact I don't have to deal with people. He hated taking calls. He offered me overtime so I started coming in at 6 and leaving at 10 and I didn't even notice the weekend. I do remember going home those nights and thinking how hollow my room felt with my roommates playing Call of Duty in the living room and how my body seemed to vibrate. Caffeine maybe, or pseudoephedrine. I heard Phantom to high warnings and chimes and when I closed my eyes I could see the screen and call after call, flooding the queue. By Saturday, Western Morgan was a haunted house, but I still wasn't sick. That sounds frustrating. Let me see if I can help. I was dealing with this woman on Vancouver Island who couldn't generate invoices. We'd been at it for two hours and I could feel her getting upset when I told her to wipe the whole system and start again. I could help her with that, but she was like, no, we'll lose 2 weeks of work. There's nothing I can say to that. So we keep troubleshooting even though it's pointless. OK, I said, you can go back to your root invoice and try. Oh, she said. What? And that was it. I didn't hear anything but the line itself, which just went dead. That kind of absence you get when someone hangs up on you. Are you there, ma'am? I called back. But I gotta reorder tone. Not voicemail or an old-fashioned busy signal, but the one that means the whole system is busier blocked or down. I dropped out of the queue then, which you're not supposed to do obviously, and went looking for Jordy, who was chatting with Kirsty but Western Morgan Idol. I asked if they knew anything, but of course they didn't, and when I asked if I could at least grab my phone to see what was happening, Kirstie did a kind of elementary school teacher. Sigh. Documentation for 3990180. You're overdue. Mark Caller dropped. Saw that explanation. Happening across the board looks like the problems at their end. I didn't find out until Moe came back from break streaked wet in the way you are. If you've run out into that rain blowing in from Detroit because you don't want it to touch your skin saying earthquake on the West Coast, you know anyone out there? I thought about the woman trying to get the invoice together for a tiny order of sea salt from some equally tiny place on Vancouver Island, her business so miniscule it still fit into our cheapest subscription. In my unsubmitted documentation for Misty, I had written that her voice sounded like a hopeful but slightly overwhelmed great aunt trying to make the remote control work. No on how bad like 9.6 the worst since forever. Like for hundreds of years. Jesus, I said. Jesus, Jesus. I've had similar moments on calls when the shooting happened in Montreal. Not view Montreal, but the one where the kids ran downtown from McGill and the photographer caught the girl as the bullet tore at her right kneecap. I was on the line with this ******* and a coworking place on miss on Nov who was talking, who was asking to talk to my supervisor. Then mid wine, he stopped talking like he suddenly didn't care about my attitude. I could hear his phone pinging. Sir, are you there? Can you hear that? It's happening in the street, I can see. A faint popping voice raised and doors slammed. Then he cut the call. I kept in the queue. I helped someone update. I did a subscription renewal. The next person, though, needed a backup, and that took forever. So we chatted about hockey until she said. Did you hear about Montreal? No, ma'am, I said, thinking about the sound I maybe heard before his phone cut. Firecrackers, backfires. Some guy shot up the whole downtown. I think it was terrorists. Who knows? FLQ or Muslims. Maybe Red Power 50 dead. But it was going up every single time I refreshed the page. She kept going on like this while we did a backup and then I made sure everything worked and it had been like 3 hours at that point and I kept thinking of the guy and his silence and what was going on in the streets while we talked about his login and how unprofessional I was. I don't have any friends in Montreal. I went there once to drink when I was 18, but that's it. I just had that guy and the thump of footsteps fleeing the coworking space. When I took my break, the rain was falling again, the faintly Gray kind that runs down the sidewalks and the gutters, and when it builds up enough, you can see it's a little Milky because it's full of ash. If you think too hard about what's running into your eyes as you stand outside smoking until your pack is empty, you go eat a 24 box of timbits or six big Macs, or you stop for one beer on the way home and only leave when they push you out the door. Jordy was outside. I gave him a cigarette even though he doesn't smoke either, and he said it doesn't seem to be getting cleaner. Wasn't it supposed to get cleaner? He grew up in Detroit, though he was already over here when it burned last year. Maybe it's safer the home is worse. I thought the home was supposed to go away when they sent in the cleanup crews. We watched the warm ash colored water run down the gutters until it was ankle deep. This city is a wetland and there isn't far for water to go, so it ends up in people's basements. All that ashy, Bony water running through foundations and drains a constant trickle in the background. Sort of like the fate pop you might hear while you're on the phone with a guy from Montreal who wants to talk to your manager. Does it feel? Jordy said, and let another cigarette. What Jordy I hate how often he doesn't finish his sentences. Does it feel like it's happening more now, this sort of thing? I dropped my smoke into the rain water and I shrugged. Then I said I wish I knew what to tell you, which wasn't a real answer, and I used my tech support voice when I said it because I didn't want to have that conversation. On my first break after the earthquake, I smoked and watched the rain and videos on my phone. Someone live streaming the moment it hit board talked about food or weather. Then a strange look on their face. Their eyes darted upward. Then the phone falls. Overhead footage from helicopters. Of downtown Vancouver. All those green towers swaying and falling and the bridge swinging until the cable snapped like rubber bands. The worst in recorded history, worse probably than the last megathrust in 1700. I just kept thinking of that woman and the sort of quiet shock in her voice. Her oh, is that? And then nothing. And I was standing out in the rain, still warm, when it occurred to me that I might have heard her last words. I kept thinking about the texture of the silence after the call dropped, and what had happened the moment after that, if that had been the worst of it, the shock of the whole world rumbling, or if it had been worse for her after that, or right now, or tomorrow. I only had 10 minutes because call volume was increasing. My throat started to tickle in the world just suddenly out of nowhere started to look glassy, the light thick from the ceiling squares and my skin prickled when I ran my hands over my arms, which were covered with goosebumps. The floor was nearly empty, except for Jordy running around, supervising and not taking calls in. The queue was packed. My first call was Rob Way N along the coast. Prince Rupert, a woman calling about a password reset. I want mark, she said. He helped me before. Can I talk to mark? While I was documenting, I thought, **** it, I'm going to tell Misty what the old woman told me while we were waiting for the password reset e-mail. About how when you're that far north, you don't notice time passing and you feel good in an unimaginable way in summer, luminous and hopeful. And how in winter all you want to do is die and drink yourself into a coma so you know it balances out. After that I reopened 399-0180. An elderly woman I wrote on a phone trying to print invoices for locally produced sea salt looks over at the rack of glass jars in which she keeps her stalk because she hears A rattle. Then another, then she says, oh, is that? And nothing else, because at that moment the force of 25,000 Hiroshima has lit the Cascadia subduction zone, on which Vancouver Island rests like a cork in a bottle, centuries of continental tension released. I type that, then I hit send. Then I added a secondary note on her file. At 8:32 PM PST, a 9.8 hit the Cascadia subduction zone. And Misty was right there on Chad hive not telling me it was inappropriate, she wrote. Rest their souls and I was comforted by those temporary words, which surprised me. My grandparents were on Mindanao in the 1976 earthquake. You got anyone there? No. I heard the hum from Detroit. It was somehow a relief to know that across the world, misty was in a similar room among people evaluating documentation for apps and ISP's and accounting software. People saying that must be frustrating. Let's see if I can help. Something occurred to me. You hear anything about tsunamis? No word so far. Do you have your phone so you can get the alerts? They'll let us know we're so bad I'm taking calls, so I won't be fixing your dock until tomorrow. I wondered if Kirsty would let us know, or if she would dither about it until all we could do was climb to the top floor of the building and watch a wave consume what was left at Detroit before it swamped us too. A5 more calls and I refilled my water bottle, the one with the slogan on it, fueling small business with the tools to succeed that some now lost Western Morgan contract brought in and I was looking at my skin reflected in the sink, which was the color of those pale, lumpy smokers you see outside the entrance, the color of a raw filet of fish. I felt adrenalized like a moment before I'd been terrified, but I could not remember how or why. I wondered what it was doing to me inside all those cells now, remade into virus factories, turning to goo and mosh and sloughing off while the virus proliferated through my system, and I left traces of it on everything I touched. The water ran over the top of the bottle, clear. So far, the ash hasn't worked its way in through the city's water system. Or maybe it has, and it was invisible, like the microplastics in the lake. So you're gonna judge it was Jordy. We're going to do it next week. I was thinking would set a time limit like 5 minutes. You and me and Kirsty judge it. I'll grab a 50 for the Timmy's card too, man, I said. George, you just stared at me. You getting sick? You know what you need to do. You went on about akinesia and flu effects and I thought about the tsunami that was or was not traveling across the Pacific. Or just hammer your system with antioxidants and take a double dose of Nyquil. Without thinking, I pulled my phone out of my pocket. You know, you can't have that anywhere on the floor. I was already Googling Pacific tsunami alert, and it was rolling rainbows, and I stared at it so hard that it seemed to take over the whole world. And then I shivered, but Jordy was still talking. Don't make me write you up. I don't want to deal with it, OK? I said. It's about privacy for our users. They need to know that they can trust our integrity, our word and our system. The poster on the far side of the break room said. Integrity, word and the system. I saw that the alert had been issued for Japan. That's when he took my phone. You ****** the dog. I have to write you up. I don't want to write you up. Japan. In six hours, 8:00 PM I'd still be on. Then, while very far away, a wave crested on the seacoast, filling the river basins in the car parks. I know you don't have to surrender your phone. Even if they can require you to leave it at home, I know they're not supposed to lock you in either, or let you smoke within 3 meters of the door. Even when the ash is falling, they're not supposed to pay you in points. You can then exchange for grocery store gift cards, which you need because the new minimum wage wasn't even covering rent. But I needed a job. The next call I got was farther S closer to the epicenter. The first thing I did was ask about the earthquake. Oh, we felt it. And there's a tsunami warning, but we're far enough inland. It shouldn't be tsunami warning. So when I go out, try to log in. Tsunami. I keep getting the same error. It says my account is frozen. What does that mean? I need to do some invoices and yeah I just got the text like half an hour ago. Landfall is like an hour. The account was frozen due to miss payments, so I pointed that out and the guy insisted no. He set up an automated transfer and he kept me on the line while he chatted with the banks tech support on another line to sort out the direct deposit, and then I reactivated his account, all this time the tsunami traveling toward the coast, while the shallower bottom would raise the waves height by narrowing its length. Because the last time I'd been outside I'd looked at a GIF on Wikipedia that demonstrated how tsunamis Crest as they travel through shallow waters. The last thing he said wasn't thanks, it was there it is the tides going way out. I hope everyone's out of downtown. Then he was gone, and I could imagine it, the water running away from the shore like a huge exhalation and then collecting into a rising wave that would destroy them all. The tsunami warning I wrote in chat Hive, hoping Misty was there, Kirsty responded instantly. That is not appropriate chat. Hive is for important work stuff. We haven't heard anything but we were swamped. So who knows what's going on outside Chathi channel will only be used for appropriate business related business. Maybe you should get out. Chattai channel will only be used for appropriate business related business. I've been there for 16 hours and I couldn't remember the last time I slept a full night at home when I hadn't been buzzed on cold pills and exhaustion and the sound of Call of Duty from the living room. That week when I did sleep, I kept saying this is mark from Manicor, or this is mark from wherever I am right now, and heard explosions and the way voices carry over for the river from Detroit. The screams and the crowds and the gunshots. Or maybe I was never actually asleep. Maybe I was just off my head. I shouldn't have washed the pills down with beer. But there's that thing that happens when you stop in for a beer after work and the inertia of the whole thing, the job, the ****** beer and the fact that a person brings you food even if you can't afford it, it sticks you to your seat. It was bad last summer when we couldn't afford to run the AC, but the bar on the way home could. And it was full of familiar guys, broke and lonely and trying to avoid looking at what was left of the Detroit skyline or the Gray green clouds boiling to the north, and the hail and the lightning storms every afternoon like clockwork. The summers are definitely hotter and the mosquitoes are definitely worse. And the last summer I noticed that the birds don't sing anymore. All their whistles sound like video game lasers. I stepped outside for another cigarette and realized the door had been locked and I don't have a fob because I don't rate a fob. Jordy was there too, setting up his stupid western Morgan Idol. Piles of bright pink and green and blue post. It notes all over his desk. I need to go out. The doors are locked for the night. I need to go out. We lost another girl from online. You'll have to take over social media if we lose anyone else. Take your break here. I just kind of stared at him and my skin prickled like all the pseudoephedrine I'd taken had rushed to the surface and was blasting every single nerve ending in my body. I need to go outside. You can't. Like you physically can't. I kind of stood there and I'm ashamed to say I wanted to cry. Like a little kid who isn't allowed to use the bathroom, who just wants to sit with his dad but keeps getting dragged away by unfamiliar relatives. The kind of crying you see on the bus at rush hour when some little kid coming back from the mall loses it and lies in the aisle wailing, cramming Rd salt in his mouth and you just think. You and me both. I didn't actually cry. I hate myself because I just said begging. Can I please have my phone back? Please? Jordy looked at me like I was an idiot. Him in the middle of all the post, it notes that read. Congratulations and you're a winner and western Morgan Idol. I didn't say anything I left at first. I just sat in the lunch room, shivering and nauseated, staring at the plastic solo cup leftover from the barbecues they used to give before the ash. There will be worse moments in my life, no doubt. More pain, more sadness. But I can't imagine anything so wide-ranging in its desolation as that moment. The only thing I could focus on was telling Misty to get her phone back and watch the horizon and be ready to escape. A girl from online staggered through sweaty and pale and I knew that Jordy would be there in a minute to ask for another 8 hours overnight, answering strangers questions so perfectly that they treat me like a ****** customer service AI builds a serve. There aren't a lot of choices in life, are there? You can choose to have kids or not, to leave your hometown or not, or to stay in a terrible job you are for some reason very good at. But other than that, what is there? Just a lot of compliance and noncompliance. This moment didn't feel like a choice, I said to the girl. We need to get out of here, and she nodded. Then we headed down to the lobby. The doors were locked and no one carrying a key was in the building, and the girl just looked bad. But when I went to the fire escape, she still said no, no, we're not supposed to. We need to get out. They'll fire us, and I could hear the fear in her voice and I wondered how badly she needed this job, that she was here in the middle of the night, so sick she could hardly stand. Tell them I did it, I said. And hit the bar. Only it didn't move because the fire escape was locked too. The next thing I did was stupid, but I don't know what else I could have done. I walked back to the lobby and picked up a garbage can and began slamming it into the glass door. Behind me she was coughing and coughing and said maybe stop stop, but so faintly I could ignore it. Then we were out, and she was staggering toward the emergency room on Willett, and I was alone in the rain water, the same temperature as my blood. Then I went looking for a pay phone, because the only way to sort this out was to call in, but I couldn't remember which of Western Morgan's departments Misty was assigned to. So when I finally found the city's last payphone in the bus depot, I called them all, all the sad voices of men and women here and on the other side of the world. Welcome to Caiphus business systems. Jane speaking. Can I help you? Welcome to Tesla mobility. Can I help you? Welcome to Roscommon account services. Welcome to lighthouse mobility. I'm looking for Misty. She helped me before. I'm sure I can help you. What's your user number? Misty. Misty knows, I said, my voice cheerless and elderly. Put on Misty, I could hear the exhaustion and his silence than the compliance. One moment, I'll transfer you. Hey, Misty, I said. Misty. Misty, you need to get to high ground. What? Who is this? Just promise, Kay. There's no tsunami warning. It's on its way. It's passing Japan and Hawaii. It hit the Aleutians, California. I hope she didn't mistake me for what I felt like right then. A crazy old man, mad with loneliness, longing to hear a voice in the void, even if it was only to harangue them for the weakness of their service and the terrible nature of their product. Mark? Another six hours to landfall. I know you'll still be on shift. Promise. I waited for her to disconnect, which was OK because at least I told her. Then I think maybe she said thank you, Mark. Or maybe it was just the noise in my head. I held the line another moment, then hung up. I felt OK because I got through, because I wasn't in a cubicle anymore. Because I could walk home and enjoy the silence before Call of Duty marathons in the living room, enjoy the ashy rain falling across my slowly cooking skin. I walked home, misty. I walked home hoping, Misty said. Thank you, mark. It felt like I was slipping through a gap in the world between noises, a kind of silent passage, the way kids slip along the abandoned rail easements in town below grade the corridors of grass and rats and squirrels and birds, between the noise of the phones and Call of Duty. Between heartbeats, between cresting waves, the silence you hang on to for just a moment when someone hangs up before you go on to the next call. Because there is temporarily a respite from the tyranny of the queue. The silence after a bullet connects or a wave hits on the other side of the world. I just hope harder and harder and harder that misty would insist they unlock the doors and break the windows and they would escape before the wave arrived to wash the rest of us away. I don't know how to add a clapping sound effect without it just sounding horrible in the audio. Just do it. Air horns. You know what, Daniel? Yeah, Daniel. Already straight seconds of air horns or or or not, I think with the air horns are good. That was beautiful. Yeah. That was wonderful. It's really incredible. Thank you so much. And particularly relevant now. Yeah. Yeah, unfortunately, yeah. Yeah, it's with with, yeah, yeah, yeah. That is a extra, extra relevant thinking about the whole time what happened the past week. Yeah. Yeah, that is a. It sucks. Mm-hmm. If people want to find more of your work, or if there's anything you would like to plug, now is the time. Hey I have a website And I have, uh, geez, links to a bunch of my different short stories there. I have a novella coming out next year. A few years ago I published a novel, but if you're interested in the climate change stuff, there's probably one I'd recommend called. An important failure that was in Clarkesworld. It's available to read online, it's been translated into Polish, it's in a couple of different collections, and if I'm allowed to brag, which, yes, please do, it won the. The Sturgeon Award last year, which is a science fiction award handed out by an academic organization in the US, so, and it's about it's about climate change. It's all set on Vancouver Island and Vancouver. I I've heard you. I've heard you also have stories about ghosts. Can can I have a genre I'm trying to establish that I call obstetrical horror that I started writing when I was pregnant. Ohh ****. Yeah, giving birth is just such body horror. So ghosts, childbirth, all that stuff. Yeah, I read a lot about ghosts as well. You can find, like I say, a lot of that stuff on my website and links to anything that's available for free online. So yeah, And I'm on Twitter at Canadian list, but I don't really use it that much. So I am excited for the combination of climate change fiction with horror fiction. And by excited, it's like half, half actually excited, half dreading because a lot of it's going to probably be horrible in terms of people being like, you know what's scary? Climate change and be like, OK, but yeah, but oh, sorry, go on. I don't know, but I think there definitely is a good way to combine the the essential elements of both of those things into something that actually is really impactful, that plays on human fears and emotions and how we can get over those fears and move towards something useful. Yeah. And it's also that horror going back for, well, however long you want to, we've been telling stories has given us a series of structures to kind of process that. And I think that's really valuable, that there are patterns we can use to work through. And I mean writing climate change fiction, for me, I just finished another novella. That's Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. 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Very happy at Mint Mobilcom behind. Hey, it's Rick Schwartz, one of your hosts for San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we sit down with Doctor Jane Goodall to hear her inspiring thoughts on how we can create a better future for humans, animals and the environment. Eating particularly young children out into nature so that they can experience it and take time off from this virtual world of being always on your cell phones and so on. And get the feel of nature so that you come to be fascinated, then you come to want to understand it, and then you come to love it, and at that point you want to protect it. And then we'll come to the sort of healthy world that I envision as a good future for us. And the rest of life on this planet. Listen to amazing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. Typically about, like, near future stuff and about the wildfires a lot. But, you know, having a story to tell about it as a way of processing all the research I was doing was really valuable. It's super useful. Yeah. And just, I mean, you can call it therapeutic if you want, but I don't think it's that. I think it's organizing information in your head that is just simply too large for you to actually grasp. I mean, I can't actually grasp this stuff, but no, you can't. It's too big. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Yeah. Trying to yeah. Horror does that probably better than almost any other genre in terms of, I mean, look what horror does with adolescent anxieties or, you know, all sorts of different the fear of dying, the fear of aging, the fear of illness and stuff like that. So, yeah, I think we have structures in place with horror fiction. And with sort of science fiction horror that kind of are going to let us start to process things that are otherwise just too intellectual or not intellectual but too abstract. It's too, it's too, yeah, abstract. It's I think is the right term because I mean like like, it's my fear of that is that like climate change fiction is just going to resort to like the disaster story and it has very like, glamorized weird versions of like apocalypses and disasters and like collapse in very. Like big ways that impact everything around you, when in actuality the effects they have are very localized and small and are still horrifying. But the way that they're framed is always frustrating in films and you look at like, you know, a typical like, you know, like Apocalypse themed movie I think is I I'm afraid that. The bigger, you know, if you're turning, if talking about like big movies, how it's going to frame in that way instead of these more kind of personal stories of like the horror of being trapped inside a warehouse as a tornado comes and you're not allowed to leave. Which is way more horrifying than, oh look, all of New York City is crumbling because of this tsunami, which is so big and like, possible, I guess, but like that's so big you can't feel that. And what's more likely to happen is people getting trapped in buildings and not being allowed to leave. And that's that's that's like, that's actual horror. Yeah. And it's intimate, too, right? Like, it's not it's not in distant idea, it's intimate. It's the particular consequence of something for a community, for an individual, for relationships. And if I can go on, on this, there's an entire genre of apocalyptic fiction that kind of comes out of the early Cold War. And they're always these weirdly cozy apocalypses where one white guy survives, and in the new world, he builds this kind of feudal fantasy. So I've actually this one called the last Babylon, where a character says of these two spinster ladies that were miserable before the nuclear war, after the nuclear war, they're really happy because their lives have meaning now. And it's the story. It's those are the apocalyptic stories that we've had. We need a new kind of story, a new kind of horror that I think that does exactly what you're talking about, that doesn't default to that weird heroism. And one guy surviving kind of thing. There's a wonderful Cory Doctorow short story. That that I think pivots off that idea nicely in his his book. What is what is the book? Unauthorized toast, I think, or unauthorized bread. No, unauthorized bread is one of the stories in it. But the the book is has a different it's a collection of his short stories. But there's a post apocalyptic story that kind of follows a bunch of tech Bros trying to do the traditional like survive the apocalypse makes everything, you know better. For me, I get to be a cool warlord thing. It's it's good. It doesn't end well for them. Yeah, I I think the, I think the thing that is important to do is like focus on the horror of the little things. Like the little things on like a global scale. Like, like the thing that is so frightening about climate change is that all of these the the terrible things it's bringing are going to hit the same way mass shootings do, where it is a calamity for a community and people 50 miles away try to pretend it didn't happen in in. Get to doing like their, their daily stuff like that's what's. That's what's so scary about it. It's not like you said, it's not the buildings in New York collapsing from a tidal wave. It's the birds. Stop singing and you still have to go to work. I'm, I'm, I'm, I'm writing a script right now for probably this show about how climate change is hard to think about because because how how big it is. And one of like the models that I'm trying to draw comparison from is like it's almost like climate change is is like a type is like a type of cathulu in terms of the way it affects you. But. You'll probably get by. It's it can affect your neighbors, and you can watch it, and you can watch it affect other people. But like, it doesn't mean that your life is going to end this way because it's so it's so big and uncaring. It can attack so many places at once, but you don't know how, like how big this affects are and how and what, what, what, what the scale of them will be on your local area. So it's like this, it's this thing that is way more existential than anything else, because it it does not. It does not care. It has. It has no morality. It's. It's not. It's not out to get you specifically. It's this weird. This weird thing that's just getting imposed upon us now and that type of horror in fiction, I think is something that at least I want to explore in my next few years of writing. And I'm excited to read other people's work who kind of cover that similar side of horror and combining with like, climate change and the small ways it's going to start affecting us and places around the world. I think that what you said and isn't there someone who talks about the Catholic scene? I don't know. Yeah, that's a Donna Harraway. Donna haraway. That's it. Yeah. But, but also just how weak some of our previous narratives like, you can't, you can't bring in, you know, judeo-christian apocalypses to this kind of thing because we can't, there's not, you can't. We can't have that kind of moralizing in it that we need. And that's honestly Cathulu is really handy for that cosmic horror because it forces you to, as you say, face something on an existential level that how you feel and who you are and your individual experience does not matter. It's a freak. A lot of people like, you know us. We're watching what's happening in Kansas right now. And, like, I'm not in Kansas, I don't know anyone in Kansas. I'm looking at this calamity, and it's so distant from me. But yet it's also very close. And that's a weird feeling to deal with. And I can see, Oh yeah. Corporations are contributing to this specifically like climate change as in general but like like Amazon trapping people inside inside inside these warehouses is like, I can there's ways to fight extensions of this but you can't fight it. You can only fight it's extensions and that's and yeah it's it's it's a super it's a super interesting thing that I'm going to I think we we are going to see you know this this idea get dealt with more and more as these things start happening. More and more. And yeah, I mean, climate change, cosmic horrors, maybe, maybe the way to go. Yeah. Yeah, I think that's, I think that's a good line to end on or at least a good thought to end on. Thank you so much, Rebecca, for coming on and sharing your story. Would you mind plugging your website one last time since we've extra like 15 minutes? Oh, sorry. That's that's that's the reason. That's good. I just want you to people may not have noted it last time before the conversation. We should give him another chance. OK, so the website So WRR Excellent. Alright, well thank you very much Rebecca. Until next time everybody. Lose your mind with the cosmic horror of something, something, anything. Any kind of cosmic horror that causes you to anything to your your mind to scramble and you to begin worshipping in the dark corners of the world. Any anything that does that is is good. So. Well, thank you so much for having me. It's an absolute pleasure. Very, very happy to have you. When PT Barnum's Great American Museum burned to the ground in 1865, what rose from its ashes would change the world. Welcome to grim and mild presents an ongoing journey into the strange, the unusual, and the fascinating. For our inaugural season, we'll be giving you a backstage tour of the Always complex and often misunderstood cultural artifact. It is the American sideshow, so come along as we visit the shadowy corners of the stage and learn about the people who are at the center of it all. In a place where spectacle was king, we will soon discover there's always more to the story than meets the eye, so step right up and get in line. Listen to grim and male presents now on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Learn more over at grim and It could happen here too. Welcome thee. Evans, Robert podcast. End of the world, beginning of news. Yeah, I think we did it right. Evans, Evans Evans. Robert, who's here with us? That would be a killjoy. Margaret. Hmm. And lichterman, Sophie. I like this. Hmm. Let's keep it lickerman, Sophie. Killjoy, Margaret. Margaret, is my middle name. I could also attorneys general you. Killjoys, Margaret. One of my hobbies is anytime I pluralize something, attorneys generally it Margaret, how are you? How are you doing on this beautiful December? Day. I'm good. I just got my booster shot and the negative effects haven't kicked in yet. That's good. How does it feel to have, like, has your Internet speed up now that I have the boost? Yeah, I'm making the same. Everything is clearer that everybody makes because it's easier than thinking about the fact that Omicron looks like it's going to be a real. Real nightmare and the world's never gonna go back to. I you know it's not going back to normal. I miss it's it's being able to walk into a bar and not worry that I was going to catch a new variant of a plague. Yeah, yeah, that's a. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, how are you doing with the plague? I live completely alone and isolated, so yeah, well, I which I you know, I'm not sure. This is how I would have built my life if I hadn't done it during a plague. Yeah, I mean, I dream about interacting with humans. Yeah, just like a hugging a person that that you don't know all that well, and it not being like, involving both of you risking your life. It's like a blood pact to hug. Yeah, we're going to hug. And if we wind up in hell, we'll scream at Satan together. Come what may, you will hug. You have written another story. I mean, you wrote this a while ago, as you did with the last one, but we're doing we decided we. One of the things we wanted to do to close this year out was a little bit more fiction, because fiction, I think, plays an underappreciated role in. Revolutionary practice in. Kind of every aspect of of. Being someone who envisions a different world, so we we've always. I mean, it could happen here from the beginning, there was always a strong kind of focus on fiction, and I'm really happy to be presenting another one of your stories today. Thanks. You want to introduce this piece. Uh, sure. This piece is called the free works of Cascadia. It was first published in Fantasy and science Fiction, which is the name of a magazine. And this one was also really important to me because fantasy and science fiction FNSF was one of the magazines that my dad had a subscription to. Yeah, they go, that was a while. Yeah. And this was a very. You know, is a very important piece for me that it got published there. Yeah, that's awesome. Well, let's let's, let's let's take a take a hop in a public, publicly funded bus and roll down to storytown Speaking of taking one's life in one's hands. The story is called the Free Orks of Cascadia. You all know the first part of the story. The song ended in blood. It was two years ago in the summer. Rick Green, the singer of Goblin Forest crooned in his Osborne Esque voice to 15,000 goblin metal fans. A short man wearing green body paint and brown leather stepped out from backstage, drew a sword and cut the singer down from behind. The last lyrics Green ever sang were take me back, take me back, take me back to the Misty Mountains. The man with the sword, of course, was golfing ball, the rhythm guitarist for Crimper tool, the opening act. He and his bandmates escaped in the ensuing chaos and remain at large to this day. Neither band has released a song or played a show since the rest of Goblin Forest decided to call it quits without green and crimping tool. No one knew what happened to crimping tool. Fans deserted the genre in droves, and overnight goblin metal went from stadium rock fad to a niche interest of the obscure Canadian orc cults where it originated. It was no longer hip to be green. If golf and bull had been trying to take the goblin metal throne, as it were, he failed spectacularly. Rumors have flown about motives and locations, but there have been no arrests and no public statement from the band. All we've had to work with were rumors. Until now. Earlier this month, Orc Folk act ulcer with listed golf and bowl as the harpist in their liner notes of the single the Gray fog of a ruined forest. Ulcerate was as obscure as Krempita was infamous. The band had never done an interview, not even a photo shoot. Like everyone else these days, in countercultural music, their videos featured only masked performers. I've been casually obsessed with post civilization culture ever since the communique from the junkyard rats of the Rust Belt. And I've been covering music of pretty much every secessionist movement and subculture I could sink my teeth into since. After I saw those liner notes, I put out feelers to friends and friends of friends, and I waited. And last week I was invited to go to an orc village hidden away in the burned forests of Cascadia. I was invited to be the first person to tell golf and Bally's Story, a Hellfire Harriet exclusive. Usually I post full interviews for everyone, but reserve my travel diary for the patrons of my blog. This time, though, I'm foregoing that this story is too important, so I've interspersed to the two below. All I knew before I went was what everyone else knew. Three years ago, a bunch of metalheads and hippies and burners and nerds all decided to dress up like orcs and goblins, and some of them took it too far and decided to distance themselves from the rest of society. They got really famous one summer, then that fame died in a single bloody act, and who knows what kind of weird **** they're up to now? Before you get worried, no, I will never offer a platform to a fascist. Fascist. Fascism, as it turns out, is the furthest thing from golf and balls mind. What he's into is a lot weirder than that. Still, it's sort of lucky that I survived to write this story. So you killed a guy? Yeah, I killed the guy. We stared in silence at one another for a while. He wore rawhide and fur, and not much of either. He wasn't painted up, but his skin was sort of natural olive. His lower teeth were filed down to fangs like any serious orcs. There was still something unassuming about him that I have a hard time describing. You're waiting for me to tell you about it, aren't you? The interview was not off to a good start. Are you worried about how your words will sound in court? A killed Rick Green on stage with a sword in front of thousands of witnesses. Talking to the media isn't going to make anything worse for me at this point, and I don't respect the authority of the US government to hold me accountable for my actions. I will not go to court. So why'd you do it? The Old world is dying. My world. The Free Orcs of Cascadia. We're not going to replace the old world, but we will be part of its replacement. In order to do that, we have to take ourselves seriously. An element of that struggle is the struggle to create meaning, to create a new sacred. I killed Rick Green because he was defiling something meant to be sacred. How so? We share an aesthetic, but he didn't understand what it meant to be an orc. You killed him because he was a poser. I guess you could put it like that. So the lesson here is don't be a poser. Don't be a poser. You heard it here first, kids. Don't be a poser or golfing ball. We'll literally murder you. They picked me up in the parking lot of Grocery Outlet in Northeast Portland. That's a mundane detail, I suppose, but perhaps the single most remarkable thing about my trip was the ever present contrast between mundanity and the bizarre. I bought a case of coconut water while we waited. Works might like coconut water. Who doesn't like coconut water? They showed up in a mid teens Honda Civic sedan and I'd been hoping for something out of Mad Max, the two women who got out one says. One trans, both white, were dressed in clean Gray tank tops and leggings, like half the women who live in Portland. To be honest, I only noticed them in the parking lot at all because the trans woman was cute. Hellfire, this? This woman asked. She was tall and severe, with the fierce but almost trustworthy look of a lone shark. Or, as it turned out, an orkish enforcer. That's me, I said fenrick. The CIS woman offered her name, but no handshake, fist bump, or hug. I nodded. Norinda, a trans woman, said. Like a lot of trans women these days, she didn't bother to feminize her voice. Her name sounded familiar, but I couldn't place it. How is this going to work? I asked. We're going to drive around back where no one can see us, Fenrick said. We're going to take your phone and laptop and any electronics and put them in a Faraday in the car. Then we're going to put you in the trunk and drive out to the forest. We'll provide you with a recorder and notebook when we arrive. You'll get your stuff back when we leave. And nodded. I'd pretty much expected this. Do you need to use the bathroom? Norinda asked. Have any medical conditions we should know about? No and no, I said. Either of you want a coconut water. Goblin Forest sang in English but Crimper tool's lyrics were all in tokens. Black speech, dark speech are lyrics were in dark speech. Token referred to the language as black speech. Token mint? Well, but he was about the most influential, unconsciously racist author of the 20th century. All his villains were either green or Middle Eastern. When you engage with the work of historical authors, especially when you make derivative works a century later, you have to adapt to one's own social context. Calling the language black speech today is, at best, wildly misleading. Its name is a translation anyway. It's possible that dark speech is just as accurate. Besides, Token didn't write the language, he only wrote like. 16 words or something. We wrote the rest. Most of us prefer to translate the name of it as dark speech. Since when are murderers PC? My status as a person who has ended the life of another person carries no implications about my personal ethics other than that I clearly believe there are circumstances under which it's OK to kill someone. Imagine being at the Renaissance fair when the apocalypse hits and you're stuck trying to recreate society surrounded by swords and minstrels and these and those. You know that sounds like either heaven or hell, depending on who you are and also who you're stuck there with. That was my first impression of the village of Grey Morrow. The fires out West have burned forest after forest, in small town after small town, and no one tries to deny that pretty much every bioregion on the planet is going through a transformation right now. It's in the worst spots, these dead ecologies, that the post civilization movement has found its roots, like wildflowers growing up between paving stones or brats hiding in the walls, I guess depending on who you ask. Gray Morrow sits in the scorched graveyard of a Douglas FIR forest halfway up a mountain, occupying the remains of an evacuated town slab foundations are all that remain of the original structures. A seasonal Creek runs through what was recently a river bed at the edge of the village, and long abandoned train tracks skirt the Ridge above town. Even armed with all of that information, you'd still have at least 70 or 80 possible spots to search. Satellite imagery would help, of course. I can't imagine that the big six techs or the US government don't know where Gray Morrow is. The residents of Gray Morrow in general, and golf and bowl in particular, had an awful lot to lose by letting me write this report. Narenda let me out of the trunk, and she smiled when she saw me. Her bottom teeth were filed. That should have been unnerving, but I've always been a sucker for face tattoos or anything that really shows someone is going for broke. Venrick just stared at me, severe. Being severe was pretty much her thing, as far as I could tell. She took a sip from her coconut water. Three other cars filled a makeshift parking lot. The village itself was surrounded by a wall built from blackened logs, set upright and buried in the ruins of the road. My escorts had changed clothes and route fenrick looked like a bandit out of Skyrim, complete with iron pauldron on one shoulder and a hand axe strapped to her belt. I won't lie, it was a good look. I'm no fashion reporter, but I figure half the magazines in New York would love to get someone out here and take pictures of orcs like her. Narenda wore a simple, modest dress of undyed wool. Imagine a Viking kindergarten teacher who also wears a rather large dagger horizontally on her belt at the small of her back. My crushing on her intensified. She handed me a spiral notebook and an old fashioned digital recorder, and we walked into the village. A lot of people say that you killed Rick Green because you were jealous of goblin forests success. That the orkish code insisted that if you wanted the throne, you had to kill the reigning monarch. Golf and both stopped fidgeting and stared directly at me, his dark brown eyes boring into me. That's ********. I'm sorry, it's like 3 layers deep of ********. He was still staring at me. I was starting to regret this line of questioning. OK, to start, there are pretty much two ways to interpret the orkish code of Honor. It's not written down anywhere, but there's some strong central themes, like an interdependence between individual sovereignty and collective identity. We value strength, but the idea is that everyone develops their own strengths, whatever they may be. For the benefit of all, one should be as self-reliant as one is able to be, both for one's own sake and again, for the Community's sake, I care. Deeply about this. That same basic idea, though, can be interpreted two different ways. So there's a split in the orc community. Damn right there's a split. The Free Orcs are matriarchal and the orcein are patriarchal. Golf and Ball produced a cigarette from God knows where, considering how little he was wearing, and lit it with a lighter from the same mysterious origin. It wasn't tobacco, it wasn't weed. Maybe mugwort? The matriarchal way of interpreting those tenets is roughly anarchist. It's anti authoritarian and anti nationalist at the very least. We respect the wisdom of elders, children and women, self identifying women, but the hierarchy is anything but rigid and the guidelines are anything but laws. Most importantly, our sense of community or tribe is fluid Gray. Morrow is a free orc village. Go 15 miles SE and you'll find a larger village, lonely mountain there, or seen the patriarchal way of interpreting orkish. Sentences roughly fascistic. Authority is absolute, ranked within the hierarchy, effects every aspect of 1's own life. It's not racialized, but it's nationalistic. There are very specific considerations of who is and isn't a part of any given social grouping, and definitions of strength tend to skew toward boring **** like physical size and power. So you tell any doubters that you weren't trying to claim the Goblin throne because your faction of Orcs doesn't work that way. No Orkish culture works that way. Even those fascistic ***** don't work that way. Among the worst scene, if you kill your superior, people aren't going to just suddenly start kissing your ***. They will literally flee you and turn your skin into a battle flag. You advance in rank by demonstrating your capacity to lead. This isn't some ******* Hollywood ********. Evil is a lot more banal than that. I didn't have the heart, or maybe the courage to tell him that. To me, to pretty much any outsider, Hollywood ******** is exactly what the whole place looked like. When you say battle flag, what do you mean? Who do they do battle with us, the free orcs? Are you at war for the very soul of our culture? How'd that start? When I cut down Rick Green, the mountain king. You killed him because he was the leader of a rival faction then, not because he was a poser. They weren't a rival faction until I killed him, but sure, he was a poser though. All fascists are posers. Did you go on tour with Goblin Forest specifically to murder him? Yeah, probably. What do you mean? Probably. That was a very specific question about a very specific intention. I mean, I guess I had been thinking about killing him for a while. It was premeditated and it wasn't, you know. Knowing I don't know because I've never killed anyone. So it's like, I've known Rick Green almost five years, he and I and maybe 30 other people. We started this whole thing. Goblin metal, the Orcs, all of that. Rick Green's always been a ******* *******. I figured I'd probably kill him one day for being kind of a Nazi or whatever. Then we go on tour together and I tell myself, hey, if this goes badly, I can always just kill them on stage. You've got to understand orcas culture wasn't even a year old at that point. We weren't split into the free works and the orsen, yet there were only maybe 5 villages total. We were just starting to explore what it meant to be ourselves, what kind of culture we could build. Then, while we were on tour, I hear he's got himself crowned the Mountain King, and this isn't a game. I don't know how to get that through to you or your readers. This is our life. It's one thing to put on a silly hat and pretend to tell people what to do when some LARP somewhere, but Rick Green had gotten himself coronated for real dictator over actual people, so I killed him. The Free York split off the Orcein closed ranks, and we've been at war ever since. Am I safe here? He didn't answer me. At least he didn't stare me down again. He just looked off into the distance, maybe towards Lonely Mountain. I've been to larps before where when you show up, they make you put on garb. That is to say, they make you wear. Appropriate clothes, or whatever weird interpretation of. Appropriate that particular group of Larpers had come up with. As I met the denizens of the village, they all came out to the parking lots and introduced themselves. I realized they didn't insist on anything like that because they weren't Larping. Pretty much every one of them was dressed like either a Viking reenactor or fantasy game villain, but it wasn't an act. About 30 adults and eight kids lived there, running the age gamut from six months to 78 years. They told me their names and pronouns. About 1/3 told me she, a third he and a third day. Many of them were white or passed as such, but a significant minority were black. Narendra told me later there are orc villages with substantially higher proportions of people of color. That might be true, but I got the impression she said it to convince herself or me, that the free orcs aren't a specifically white phenomenon. No one, no one decent likes looking around their community or seen and seeing only white faces smiling back. After everyone introduced themselves, I immediately forgot all their names. There are only so many fantasy names like Lazzari and Demolin that you can hear before. They all just sound the same. Narenda and Fenrick flanked me as we walked through a gate in the wall into the village. It's strange to say, village in America. We don't really have villages here, but in some ways Gray Morrow isn't the United States and to be certain, it was a village, maybe 10 or 15 houses crowded together. Along either side of a single potholed St two architectural styles reigned junk yard shacks built out of railroad cars and regular cars, and traditional American log cabins. Many of them were adorned with solar panels at the end of the street. Near the black palisade, the beginnings of a stone tower stood 15 feet high. I wasn't sure if I was impressed or not. On one hand, the village could have been around longer than three or four years and they had already done so much. On the other hand, it was filthy. Everyone was filthy. I'm kind of obsessed with the post civilization movement, so I wish I could tell you. Everyone looked well fed and happy. They didn't. People looked proud, and they didn't look miserable. But there was an intensity in everyone's eyes you simply could not mistake for happiness. A trash pile needed tending near the front gate, and some of the animal hides stretched for tanning had begun to rot. Everything looked like it was about to fall apart, both physically and metaphorically. What now? I asked when we reached the central square, a stone cobbled chunk of what had been once an intersection, now decorated with poorly tended gardens and rustic benches of dubious quality. You're here to interview golfing baller you're not Venrick asked. I am golfing. Ball doesn't live here. I waited for her to elaborate golf and bull lives in the forest with the rest of his band. He's on his way. You'll meet him a bit outside of town. I'll take you to him when he gets there. Someone near the gate shouted, and both of my escorts flinched bodily and turned to look. It was just a kid chasing another kid with a wooden sword. Fenrick and Narinda were on edge. Something was about to happen. Tell me about your new band all sereth. What does the name mean? Also with is the dark speech word for the phase of the moon on the last night before the new Moon, the last sliver of light. Also, Wrath is a holy day, a day of self reflection. Our band's music attempts to capture that spirit of self reflection. On al sareth. We listen to our naysayer and think about ourselves and our community. You're naysayer. Free Orkish villages don't have leaders. We have naysayers. 2 years ago we tried rotating leadership. It was ineffectual. We didn't need leaders. We stuck with it anyway because we felt like we had to, because those were the rules we had come up with. Then one person said, basically, this is ********. We don't need someone to tell us what to do. We need someone to tell us what to stop doing. We need someone to tell us what we're doing wrong. Every new Moon, every village picks a new naysayer. That person spends the month picking apart group structures. Preserving what's happening. Being critical. An ulcer. If we fast and listen to the naysayer, they don't offer solutions, necessarily, but instead bring our problems to light. Does that work? Surprisingly well, except about 1/3 of the naysayers end up leaving after their month. Some go to other villages, some go to live in the forest, like Norinda Al Sareth singer did. But most leave the woods as we put it. Most go back to civilization. That's why Narinda's name sounded familiar. When she didn't, she introduced herself. To be honest, I saw your name listed in the liner notes and didn't pay much attention to the rest. That's an argument for me to take my name off our next release, if there is one. Why did you put it there in the 1st place? Why did you agree to this interview? And what do you mean if there is one? I told you we were at war. Yeah, we're losing that war. He took a deep breath, trying to keep himself calm. He didn't strike me as a man who was afraid to cry, but he was clearly trying to keep his composure. There's no way that Gray Morrow would have let you talk to me here. If any of us thought that Gray Morrow had a future, there's no way I would have talked to you at all if I thought I was going to be alive to see another ulcerate. Why are you losing? Why are you going to die? It's not a question of military efficacy or of bravery or strength or any of that ****. It's just a question of numbers. We're seeing society as a military society. Every member fights, as far as we can tell. They've got 1500 warriors, we've got 500. So use guerrilla tactics. Golf and Bull shook his head. Striking Rick Green down from behind was a cowardly action. I can justify it almost by the fact that Green had declared himself my monarch. But the Orsen warriors are my peers. They would not stalk me in the night. I will not stalk them. That sounds. I know how it sounds. So this interview. I want to be remembered. I want the free Orcs of Cascadia to be remembered. I put my name on the liner notes so that Someone Like You, an antifascist music Blogger, would talk to me. I leveraged my own infamy to draw attention to what we're doing, what we've done. I ******* hate the tragic utopian trope. What? Like, seriously, like **** you, OK, I know I'm here as a journalist, but I'm not gonna write your ******* obituary. I don't think I've ever turned on an interview subject like that before. I get it. Hopeless causes are beautiful. But as I understand it, the whole *** **** point of holding on to your Honor more firmly than your life is because the world is a better place for everyone. If more people did that right, OK. The world isn't a *** **** better place if you let your subculture, and I'm sorry, I know it's very serious and I'm not trying to downplay it, but that's what this is, a musical subculture be taken over by ******* Nazis and I respect that you're going to fight them for it. That's cool. But if you consider buying some guns, maybe a few drones, they'll come in here with Spears, right? And you'll fight them off with other Spears. It's 2025, man. They're ******* Nazis everywhere. If you don't give a **** about going to jail or dying, then you ******* shoot the Nazis or trying to kill you. You don't understand. You're ******* right. I don't. If I'm being honest, most of the time I was waiting and I spent flirting with narinda and avoiding talking to Fenrick, Narinda asked me to keep our conversation off the record. We didn't talk about Gray Morrow or the orc thing much anyway. Everything I learned about the village and its culture I learned by observation only. An elderly man came by and offered us cold tea and wood and mugs steeped BlackBerry leaves sweetened with juice from the berries, he said. No caffeine, no other particularly strong medicinal effects. The three of us took cups from his bladder and he continued down the street, passing out drinks. No one else approached us. I watched people go about their lives, though the tension in the air was thick. I saw a few people look at cell phones and spent a not inconsiderable amount of time trying to decide if that was hypocritical and or bad opsec. Eventually I gave up because frankly, it wasn't my business, and one of the most interesting things about all the post civilization groups is all the bits and pieces they choose to carry over from mainstream culture. Finally, after an hour, Fenrick stood up. Come with me. I followed her to the other side of town and through a smaller gate. On the other side, a box truck that had seen better days sat on a road that had two. We skirted around the truck and up into the Black Forest. The scorched hills looked more like meadows than forests, with green grass and undergrowth broken only by black spikes. A burned trees. We followed the path this way and that, and soon I was lost soon after, Fog said in. I was further through the looking glass than I had realized. I imagined us lost a mile from a town full of people who gave a double meaning to the word stranger, and probably at least an hour's drive from civilization. My guard hadn't shown me much in the way of kindness, and I was on my way to meet someone I knew to be a murderer. It's the kind of **** I live for, if I'm being honest. I love my stupid ******* weird job and the stupid ******* weird world we live in. Thank you my readers, for making that possible for me. Be sure to check out my Patreon page if this is the first thing you've read by me. Lots of members only content over there, including a few snippets of work song from Narinda. The only thing I saw in the distance was a single black Spire, thicker than the dead snags around me. As we approached, it came into focus as a boulder jutting up into the sky like an angry finger. Sitting at the base of it was a short man with a sword across his lap. Golfing bull. I'll leave you two to it, Fenrick said. She left me alone with an armed murderer. I sat down across from him, took out the notebook and recorder, and asked him questions. All right, convince me. We can't fight them dishonorably because you can't protect an idea by defiling that idea. We don't want them to destroy our way of life, but we don't want to destroy our way of life ourselves either. The basic problem with your scene is that they're interpreting your code of honor to mean might makes right. Yeah, yes. By facing them in open battle and nobly dying, or whatever your *** **** plan is, you're just letting them make mite right. You're letting their superior numbers dictate what your culture has to look like. It's like majority voting, but even Dumber because more people die. Expected him to double down on his position. Most men would. What do you suggest instead? ****. I don't know. Don't be here when they attack. Go somewhere else. Stay on the move. Build your strength. Oh, ****. That's what Rick Greene was doing, wasn't it? Huh? Goblin Forest singing in English a stupid name like Rick Green. All that **** was designed to make goblin metal more palatable to the masses, to get fans to get recruits for his stupid ******* fashy goals. Yep. Do that. I mean, don't become fascists or change your name or make your music worse. Everyone knows goblin forest. Enough **** on crimp, Atul. Just don't be obscure for the sake of being obscure. ******* advertise you have a decent thing going here. People are abandoning mainstream society left and right, no political pun intended to make it easier for them to get here. Make it so that when you fight the fashion you're epic swords and Spears. Viking deathmatch, you win. Better yet, make it so they don't even want to **** with you because they know they'll lose. I don't know whether that would work. Yeah, but dying doesn't work either. The archway of life isn't meant to be some revolution. It's not meant to supplant the mainstream. It will never appeal to the mainstream, not without losing its soul. Would you live like this? Would you want to? You're right, I'm obsessed with you weird subcultures. But I wouldn't want to live like you. We both stared at each other in silence. It wasn't an uncomfortable silence. We were both just thinking. OK, scrap that. You're never going to get big numbers. You don't need big numbers. You don't want big numbers. You don't need recruits. You need allies. What would that look like? *** **** dude, all Orcus men not actually listen to women's ideas. I'm used to guys just talking over me or shutting down completely if I get mad. Free orkish men, I would hope, know how to listen. Guns break the spell and the spell you're casting here? It's powerful, it's good. So no guns. Other people have guns though. Let those people stand guard or make their armed presence note outside or seen camps other people have access to, say, doxing. How many recruits are the orsen going to get if every time some wannabe forest Nazi dude joins someone tells his mother what they're about? Or access to the media? How many recruits are going to join if everyone knows the orsen or posers putting out substandard watered down goblin metal just to try and lure an impressionable military aged men to fight their holy war? You'll write those stories. I'm not going to write you any propaganda, but sure, I'll tell the truth. How do we get allies? But I had another single, maybe a full length. The grey fog of a ruined forest was the best **** I've heard in years. You're redefining folk music just like you redefine metal without **** like that and I'll cover it. Talk to more press, maybe someone other than you. Not everyone's going to be sympathetic to what you did, even if that ******* guy was a ******* tree Nazi. A hunting horn cut through the fog and through our conversation and my subjects face fell into despair for a half second before determination took over. What's that? Interviews over and I thought there would be more time, another day. At least. We have to get you out of here. Turns out Fenrick had taken us on a purposefully circuitous route into the woods. It wasn't a quarter of a mile straight downhill before golf and ball, and I reached the box truck at the back entrance to Gray. Morrow, Narenda, and Fenrick stood there, talking with a kid, maybe 15, who was out of breath. She was dressed in scraps of fur and leather and cloth, like, you might imagine, a medieval beggar. It wasn't until I noticed all the twigs and sticks and Moss tangled up in the fabrics. I recognized it as camouflage. I saw about 30 the scout for. That's what she was said about Fenric asked. Exactly. 3010 with Pikes, 10 with Tower Shields and Swords, 5 Archers, 2 Scouts, two command, one noncombatant. I'd guess a surgeon, but I couldn't promise. How far away? I asked. Fenrick glared at me for interrupting. 5 miles. Narinda said. Probably 3 1/2 by now. Downhill, we have time to get you out with the children and the elders. The scout had just run 5 miles uphill because she was too stubborn to use a walkie-talkie or a cell phone. We should evacuate everyone, golf and both said. What fenric cast. We've got walls and almost even numbers. **** them. This is our home. I wanted to shout at her. I wanted to shake her, to tell her this wasn't a ******* game, that it wasn't the 12th century, and that killing people or dying over some squatted chunk of nowhere was somewhere between stupid and reprehensible. It didn't, though. I'm a good journalist. This isn't the place for us to debate this, Narinda said. And all four of them walked through the gate and left me standing by the truck. That was why the gardens were untended, and the trash was piled up and the hides were left to rot. They were expecting this. They'd lost their will to pretend like their lives were going to continue to progress forward. I'm not the first to suggest that nihilism is the dominant effect of society today. With climate change destroying communities and bioregions all over the map, with the economic crisis deepening and the wealth gap widening, I think all of us are guilty of forgetting to tend our gardens. All of us have a hard time figuring out why it matters whether or not we deal with our trash. All of us have proverbial or literal Nazis marching on us. The Nazis the free Orcs of Cascadia are dealing with are the literal variety. Some cosplaying fascist was about to stick a sword between narinda's ribs. Bile rose in my throat. I don't know. I believe in love at first sight or any of that **** but I just couldn't handle the idea. I ******* hate honor. I will never be an orc. I got lost running through solutions to the problem of hypothetical arrows and swords that were going to interfere with marinas continued existence. Most of those solutions involved assault rifles, which I didn't have access to. Cars, though, were available. What's 30 warriors of medieval armor versus 1 station wagon driven by an angry woman with a lead foot? I put the odds in my favor. I wasn't going to do it, though. Instead, I waited to evacuate. I don't think that speaks well of me. Individually and in groups, people came out through the gate and loaded bags and baskets onto the back of the truck. Narendra returned with a simple backpack sewn from Rawhide. Most of her belongings were probably wherever she engulf table and the rest of ulcer with lived she handed me my phone. I didn't have service. I wondered whether or not she and golf and bull were dating. It wasn't relevant to the present moment, exactly, but my mind always is a way of thinking about ******** to avoid thinking about impending doom, another important effect of our generation distract ourselves with disaster, with petty things like love and jealousy. I don't know, you said the golfing bull, Narenda said. But whatever, it was worked. He just convinced everyone to evacuate everyone I asked, shocked everyone except him and Fenrick and Gorn. Which ones, gorn? The man who brought us tea. Do you remember him? He's old as **** though, I said. Because I have no ******* manners or common sense. Yeah, he's old as ****. He's a linguist. By training, his main hobby is writing morbid poetry and dark speech, and when he can't figure out how to say something, he just makes up new words. He developed about 1/3 of the language, did all that **** before Orc culture was even around. He's also a widower 3 times over. He doesn't give a **** about dying. His last chapbook was called. Soon I will return to the earth. Ohh. Gorn is going to die today, golf and bull and fenrick. They're going to hold the wall as long as they can and then fall back to the woods. And you? I asked. I'm driving us out of here to another village, then I'll take you home. After that, I don't know. Girl, I don't know. If I signed up for this I might leave the woods, go back to being a vet tech. I just nodded. I was too biased to offer objective life advice. Oh, and golfing Ball said to give you this. He said it's in case he dies. He says you're right, you shouldn't have to write as Abitur airy. So he wrote his own. She handed me a piece of paper. I piled into the back of the box truck with 40 other people. Many of them in tears, many of them in shock, and we drove away from Gray. Morrow. None of the three free orc survived the battle. Gorn died impaled on a spear while holding the gate. Fenrick was killed by an arrow that struck her in the back of the neck as she engulfing Bull ran. Golfing ball. Fenric's lover turned and stood his ground over her body. I didn't know any of that yet. I found out when Narinda found out two days later. Maybe all three of them would have survived if I hadn't interfered, and they'd all fought with equal numbers. Maybe more of them would have died. Maybe I can forgive myself. Maybe there's nothing to forgive. In the back of the truck, by the light coming in through a crack in the steel wall, I read golf and bull's note. All my life, I didn't give a **** about anything. I liked weed and metal and whatever counterculture trend was big in a given year. But my heart wasn't in it. I just went through the motions until I became an ORC. Saying I'm an orphan, meaning it isn't like a trans man saying he's a man and meaning it. Gender is a social construct that goes back, as far as I understand, to the beginning of humanity. There is always been gender and there have always been people who transgressed the roles assigned to them at birth. An orc is a social construct that we just ******* made-up. I mean, I guess the ORC is an archetype too, but it's a fantasy archetype. We know. It's make believe. Make believe is what gave my life meaning. I promise you that. For me, the day we decided we were Orks was the first day that the sun shone benevolence upon the world. It was the first day that color radiated from everything I saw. It was the first day that the rain on my roof tapped out codes of meaning. It was the first day of my life, my real life, my first ulcerate. I fell in love with the world. Everyone finds meaning in different ways. I found meaning by believing in some **** we made-up and letting that be real. I was born Jason Sanchez. I died golf umbul. I'm not sorry. That was great. That was so fun. I mean, not my narration, the story, the story, not my narration. Narration was perfect. The second we finished, we all just got that little smirk on her face like you. That was delightful. Yeah. Margaret, you're the best, yeah. I mean, if I were going to be an orc, there would be rifles, but it's own problems. Yeah, this is absolutely. This is like a really good example of what I mean, that when I write utopian fiction or, like fiction about other societies, I'm not saying, hey, everyone, go do this or, like, this is what people should do. No, I mean, I liked that. I like, I like that. I've had that experience in other cultures, you know, places like Slab city and different kind of encampments and whatnot that I've spent a lot of time in as a journalist where it's like, I'm fascinated by and I respect aspects of this, but like, I also think some of these things are. That you're doing or dumb or. I don't understand why you do it or this isn't like. You know, but you don't. Your notes don't matter. You know. That's not your job. Yeah, although. Actually, having an impact in that way is, is kind of. Yeah. I don't know. Somebody go. Somebody go make an work village. Yeah, yeah, I'll go out there. I'll report on it. We'll go. It'll be fun. Don't take the band name Albert, though. I already stole that. Yeah, there's a number of dope band names in here. Alright, people should make orc folk. I'd be really excited to hear make ORC folk abandon. Civilization to live as fantasy creatures. Fight fascists. All that good stuff. Yeah, Margaret, is there anything you'd like to plug? Well, I do have a new book out, or a reprint of an older book called The Country Ghosts that is a more directly utopian book. It's out from AK Press, came out last month and. I think that's it. That's the main thing. Oh, you can support me on Patreon. Although it's no longer supporting me on Patreon, it's supporting a publishing thing that I'm starting back up with, people called strangers in the tangled wilderness, and it will publish fiction and memoir and like the kind of like more culture side of radical politics and less the like theory and stuff. What's the patron? in the tangled wilderness, because why would I pick short names for things? Yeah, don't do that. Yeah, and we have, we have a a live show coming up, right, Robert? That doesn't sound like us. It's a virtual live show of for behind the ******** with our friend prop. That's on Thursday, February 17th. I can't confirm or deny that, OK. Yeah, we gotta get a lawyer on here before he can. Sure, yeah, let's get Moira on the horn. Won the war. And tell us if we're actually doing this thing that we're doing a live show. Yeah. Are we also? Are we alive? That's another question. Oh, I text her that most days. All right. Well, thank you, Margaret, and thank you all for tuning in, in the first year of the rest of the next year. Yeah. Hey, we'll be back Monday with more episodes every week from now until the heat death of the universe. And here is a production of cool zone media. For more podcasts from Cool Zone Media, visit our website, or check us out on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts you can find sources for. It could happen here, updated monthly at Thanks for listening. I'm Jake Halpern's, host of deep cover. Our new season is about a lawyer who helped the mob run Chicago. He bribed judges and even helped a hit man walk free until one day when he started talking with the FBI and promised that he could take the mob down. I've spent the past year trying to figure out why he flipped and what he was really after. Listen to deep cover on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. The Gangster Chronicles Podcast is a weekly conversation that revolves around underworld criminals and entertainers to victims of crime and law enforcement. We cover all facets of the game. Gangster Chronicles podcast doesn't glorify promoting mission activities. We just discussed the ramifications and repercussions of these activities because after all, if you play gangster games, you are ultimately rewarded with gangster prizes. iHeartRadio is number one for podcast, but don't take our word for it. Find the Gangster Chronicles podcast. By heart radio app or wherever you get your podcast. I'm Jake Halpern's, host of deep cover. Our new season is about a lawyer who helped the mob run Chicago. He bribed judges and even helped a hit man walk free until one day when he started talking with the FBI and promised that he could take the mob down. I've spent the past year trying to figure out why he flipped and what he was really after. Listen to deep cover on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's break your handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's Hey there, it's Ebony Monet, your co-host for the San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we're speaking with Doctor Jane Goodall about the fascinating journey that led to her impactful behavioural discoveries on chimpanzees. It wasn't until one of the chimpanzees began to lose his fear of me, but I began to really make discoveries that actually shook the scientific world. Listen to amazing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. In the 1980s and 90s, a psychopath terrorized the country of Belgium. A serial killer and kidnapper was abducting children in the bright light of day. From Tenderfoot TV and iHeartRadio, this is La Monstra, a story of abomination and conspiracy. The story about the man who simply become known as. La monster. Listen for free on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.