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 30

It Could Happen Here Weekly 30

Sat, 16 Apr 2022 04:01

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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 in a long stretch if you want. If you've been listening to the episodes every day this week, there's gonna 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 and some other stuff from time to time. I'm Robert Evans, and today we are going to chat once again with Romeo Kochansky Romeo, you are a Ukrainian journalist and an anarchist. We chatted with you right before the Russian expanded invasion of Ukraine. And now we're we're talking with you again now that the war has entered. Certainly a different phase, as as Russian troops pull out of the north of the country, pull out from around Kiev, and focus their remaining unblown up forces to the fight around the Donbass. How are you doing, Romeo? Yeah, thanks for having me on. It's been, it's been tough. We'll get into this a little later on, but obviously learning that. A town not far from your home has undergone a genocide is not the easiest thing to live through. Yeah. And knowing that that is not even the worst of the atrocities that we're going to discover in the coming weeks and months is is put the put the mental strain on, let me tell you, yeah, I don't think. I think thankfully very few people understand the experience of of learning that a genocide has occurred next door, essentially. And yeah, what you wanted to talk about specifically, obviously, when when we talk about the active genocide, we're talking about the massacre in Buca an exact budget count Bucha, sorry, an exact death count is is not available right now, but I think at least 280 civilians killed as the last number I've gotten. Yeah, that's the last like confirmed number. But obviously a lot of these people have been tossed into mass graves. They're lying around in various residences. It's it's going to. It's going to be a long time before, yeah, able to to come to any kind of accurate count of how many residents were were killed and murdered. For a brief overview of just kind of like what has been seen in the executions there, we have civilians often hands tied behind their backs as so they were clearly restrained, executed after having been restrained. Some of them were just left in the street, some of them dumped into mass graves. Satellite imagery. From before the town was liberated by Ukrainian forces shows corpses lying in the street in the same position they were discovered in uh when the Ukrainian military moved in, which is as solid open source confirmation of of the genocide as you're going to get with any kind of genocide. So that's that's the situation. Obviously the usual crew of bad actors and Russia defenders have kind of slid into the most common allegation I'm seeing, at least online, as people saying it must have been Azov battalion that did it, even though they're 440 miles away in circled by the Russian army. Yeah, yeah. But you know, it's the, it's the you you you're seeing like a lot of kind of bad open source responses to with people being like, well, why would the bodies, if you look at the satellite imagery, why are the bodies so evenly spaced? Which is just like, they're not. It's it's it's just like people people recognizing that if you like, circle **** on a grainy image and and tweet about how it's suspicious, you'll provide enough plausible deniability for other people to to doubt a genocide. You know, it's it's it's the same **** we saw with Syria. There was some disgusting denial where someone was claiming that they could see bodies being carted away by the Ukrainians for, you know, investigation and reburial, that the corpses were, quote, UN quote, moving. You can see, you can see this guy's hand move. Yeah, you're looking at dead bodies. Probably no one's ******* moving there. And by the way, when you move dead bodies, they move like pieces of the shock. It's it's a shock when you're driving over a street. That has been churned over by tank treads. Yeah. And you're you're transporting human corpses. Those corpses are going to get jostled around. Yeah, it's definitely. I don't know. You know, I don't want to be labor on this too much because I think we've talked a lot about how this, this disinfo works. I think what you came on specifically to talk about and what's really worth getting into in some detail is this manifesto that was published on RIA, which is a a Russian government. Controlled news. Agency. It's this. I don't know how. It's a fascist manifesto. Manifesto and honest you. You can find it if you if you just Google. Ria publishes Russian fascist manifesto. The new voice of Ukraine has a translation of it up if you want to read this thing, but it's it's pretty, pretty striking. And the the kind of focus of this is on justifying the Denotification campaign. And it opens one of the opening lines is when the theory that people are good, the government is bad no longer holds true. Admitting this fact is the basis of the denazification party. All of its associated measures, and the fact itself is the subject matter of the policy and the fact that this came out within a day or two of the discovering of the elements of genocide in in Bucha. Yes, yeah, is pretty. Predominant I I'd say like pretty noteworthy, yeah. So I had to translate this and let me tell you, it took a pretty big, pretty big toll on my sanity for a couple of days here and. I'm gonna be honest, as a Ukrainian reading this, this was. If you have ever, I don't know if some of your listeners while may have like been at protests, counter protests against fascist or or far right demonstrators where they're chanting that they will murder you. This is exactly how I felt. This is this was nothing less than someone reaching through the screen and telling me that they want to kill me and everyone I love personally, because I am, because I want their independence. So there's this, the kind of theme of this art. Article the term that they use most often is denotification and I think it really it is incredibly vital to explain just what this denotification means, because normally. Like you and I Robert, I think we'd both call ourselves anti fascists and we are pretty anti Nazi. That is. I I think that's a that's a pretty mainstream position to to not like Nazis and be anti Nazi. So the Russians use this term denazification to someone that has no context, no idea of what it refers to beyond the obvious meaning get rid of Nazis. Sounds like something even laudable. The problem is with the Russians mean by Nazis is not what you and I or any other normal, say and rational human being would consider a Nazi. This article does not justify its its thesis that Ukrainians are Nazis at all. In fact, there are there is a whole series of paragraphs that states that Ukraine does not meet, like any criteria of being Nazi. To to quote a bit from this, as horrible as it is. It reads there isn't, after all, a single important Nazi party. No fewer, no fully racist laws, only their curl tailed variants in the form of repressions against Russian language. As a result, there is no opposition and resistance to the regime. A particular feature of Nazified Ukraine is it's a morphosis eminent and ambivalent Ness which allows for the masking of Nazism as a desire to move towards a quote UN quote independent and quote UN quote European. Western and Pro American path of development in reality towards degradation while insisting that quote UN quote Ukraine doesn't have any Nazism, only private and singular excesses. So the article itself, it's that Ukraine is not Nazi in any way that we would recognize the term. Yeah. And it it's basically saying that like, it's Nazi. It's not. There's no fewer and there's no race like racialist laws. But the thing that makes it a Nazi is wanting closer union with Europe as opposed to Russia. And of course it it it notes like the so-called laws against the Russian language. Which I'm not aware of anything happening. I think what they're referring to is like attempts to encourage the Ukrainian language in Ukraine. Yeah, there are no laws or sanctions or repressions of the Russian language in Ukraine. There never have been. And in fact, when I was there, one of the difficulties I had with my interpreter is he he he only spoke Ukrainian. And so you can obviously you can speak with people who speak Russian if you speak Ukrainian, but it's a little bit like confusing and most people we were talking. Who spoke Russian natively? Like it's the I the idea that it's somehow like, been that the Russian language has been somehow, like attacked in Ukraine. Feels very silly as someone who, like repeatedly encountered the Russian language while in Ukraine. Yeah, it's it's it's simply propaganda and. The fact is that the Russians define Ukrainian Nazism. Not as having Nazi values or a Nazi party or anything that we would associate with with Nazism, but in fact simply the simply that Ukraine wants to be independent of Russia. That in itself is proof positive to the Russians of our Nazism. And nothing else. So when when people hear this word denotification what they don't mean getting rid of like far right elements in Ukraine. No, they mean being anti Russian or being or simply wanting to be separate from Russia is itself a far right position in Russia's eyes. And that is enough to call for our pretty much complete extermination. Yeah, and you know, to kind of go into this article a little more, one of the things that I find. Interesting about it is this line here the fact that the Ukrainian electorate shows Poroshenko's piece Poroshenko is the president before Zelinsky and Zelinski's piece should not be misled. I think they probably meant misread. Maybe Ukrainians are quite satisfied with the shortest path to peace through blitzkrieg, which the last two Ukrainian presidents transparently hinted at when they were elected. I how I don't understand how anything Ukraine has done could be considered a blitzkrieg since they never invaded Russian. Territory, and in fact lost territory to Russia in 2014. That's a weird definition of a blitzkrieg. I'm wondering if you can shed some light on what they might even mean on that, or is it just just complete fallacy? What they mean is basically that Ukraine in so within Russian propaganda you have to understand we're talking about a completely separate universe, a different reality. So the way every every single aspect of what you and I know does does not apply. Like they don't live in our consensus whatsoever. So what they mean is that Ukraine blitzkrieg, the elimination of Russian speakers and. Pro Russian culture and pro Russian sentiments in Ukraine during the year of my daughter in Russia's in in Russia's reality Ukraine carried out a genocide against these people in Ukraine in everywhere except the puppet authorities of the Luhansk and Donetsk people's republics. So basically Ukraine carried out this blitzkrieg. The reason Ukraine is so quote UN quote notified is because in the. This Russian alternative reality? Uh, Ukraine, genocide and all of the Russians, all the ethnic Russians, the Russians speakers, anyone with pro Russian sentiments. And this is what they mean when they refer to this, this blitzkrieg. That they that, well, Ukraine went through. They quickly killed everyone who was pro US, and now and now everyone out. Everyone who is left is a Nazi. Like the the latter part of the. This paragraph really makes that clear. They say it was this method of quote UN quote appeasement of internal anti fascists through total terror that was used in Odessa, harkening prisoner you bill and other Russian cities. So not only are are these Ukrainian cities Russian, this quote UN quote appeasement that they're referring to is a sarcastic way of referring to their supposed genocide of these people of of Russian speakers of ethnic Russians in Ukraine again. That is not only untrue, it's also ludicrous because everyone in Ukraine is has some Russian ancestry. Because it's a mixed country, everyone is everything. Like the entire Eastern European region is not some ethnic enclave. It is in fact, a melting pot, which the Soviet Union worked very hard to change. One of the things I kept encountering in FT Efca, which was is still under fire today and was under fire in 2014 for an idea of, like, how long chunks of the country have been. And like, now, it's spread all over Ukraine, but parts of Ukraine have been under continuous artillery. Fire for nearly a decade. But I kept encountering these old ladies who had grown up in the Soviet Union and were saying, like, I don't understand why they're doing this. They they, like, I've always considered myself Russian and and now this is happening. Like, I don't understand it. I don't understand it. It doesn't make any sense in in terms of, like, the denialism that we've been seeing lately, one of the reasons I I argued for because we had a debate in the in the editors room at envy when we were. When we were looking at this piece we had a debate over whether we were going to translate and publish it. And I pushed really hard to do so because I think there is no greater way to push back these claims of genocide denial that we we are seeing popping up across various parts of of the Western laughter and the anti imperialist left, whatever you call it. You think there's no better way to push back against these arguments than to present the Russians own words to them? Like this is such an openly genocidal fascist piece using pure the pure logic of of. Like like of just fascism. That is impossible I think to really say that this is like a fabrication or the like. The Russians aren't like this. Well, they're telling you in their own words, this is what they're like. Yeah. And I think the like putting focus on this isn't this wasn't written by, you know, some like far right extremist for some minor like online site that has like. Audience of 2000 like Russian fascists or whatever? No, this was a major article published in one of the Russian main media outlets by a respected political scientist within Russia. Yeah, and that's that's the thing that I think really needs to be gotten across is the degree to which I think there's a desire to believe that the Putin regime is like on its last legs and that most people recognize how ****** **. The the, the, the political status quo is there and that support for the regime is like pretty minimal as a result. And I. I'm not I'm not seeing the evidence of that and when I talked to I just we just did an interview with the Russian anarchist who his attitude was very much that like yeah most people broadly by the propaganda it is not like the the it's possible that's going to change over time because again the the the severe casualties Russia has taken have not really had a chance to totally filter out socially into Russia. I think people are still becoming aware of the scale of losses and. It's going to take some time for that knowledge to really circulate. UM. But I think this article represents how a very large chunk of the Russian populace are are seeing what's going on in Ukraine. And that's problematic for a number of reasons. For one thing, with this kind of logic that we see in this article, there's not much you can't justify, right? Like, there's very little that. If you if people believe what's being said in this article, there's very little you couldn't do. There's very few weapons you couldn't deploy, right? That's one of the arguments this is making is that you have to soldiers who have been nazified have to be wiped out completely. There's there's not soldiers that who have been notified. Anyone who has ever taken arms against Russia and anyone who has ever supported anyone who has taken arms against Russia, which at the current moment is over 90 percent, 95% of the Ukrainian population must, and I quote from this must be liquidated. Yeah, not not that it makes an argument a little higher up that these people can't be reeducated. So they can't even be sent to camps, to gulags. They can't be made to do forced labor. They must be liquidated, eliminated. And this is nothing less than simply saying, well, we are going to have to kill the grand majority of Ukrainians. Yeah, and I I don't. I don't know. Uh. What more like you can? For the folks who are kind of on the. Because there there's there's this tendency, I think within the chunks of the left that are not they haven't lost their minds. They're not they don't buy the Russian propaganda. They do see what's happening in Ukraine is terrible. They see the war is terrible. But they they still have this attitude of. Well, the best thing is to end it quickly and like you know, we should, we should push for some sort of negotiation. And 1st off I'm saying like whatever the Ukraine as a country decides is acceptable to them in terms of peace. I'm not going to argue against one way or the other because that's not my place. But I don't, I don't see. How you can negotiate with people who have this attitude towards you and and towards the existence of your people like I really don't see long-term. Where there's kind of an option for peace for Ukraine with this kind of rhetoric existing in Russia outside of smashing the Russian military to the greatest extent possible. Yeah, I mean. I I feel the same way. And that is a very terrifying thought. It's not great. Like. Yeah. Because my general attitude towards wars is that it's best when they're over. Yeah, exactly right. I have no, I have no strong desire to see to, like, bomb Russian cities. Well, I mean, OK, that's that's a little bit of lie, but no one, no one, no one can blame someone living in Ukraine right now for feeling a bit of a desire for for vengeance, even though I don't think that's. Particularly likely to help matters. Yeah, probably not. And I I generally don't want to. See like. A World War in Europe or anything like that. But I I really when I racked my brains of what can be done like how you can live with like these these people aren't. You know, thousands of kilometers away, around the other side of the continent, they're literally the neighboring state. And I, I just, I, I don't have any answers of how Ukraine is supposed to move forward while Russia remains in its current configuration. Like I I don't see a future, a coexistence of any kind that's possible when they are literally calling for our extermination. I I think that's also kind of the question of how do we have there. There's this, this phrase that you heard a lot, particularly kind of in the in the post World War Two period of like the need for rules. Based international order and the United States was as much a part as anyone of making sure that that was never anything more than a than a friendly lie. Right. You had a couple of brief moments here and there where it was attempted to be imposed Yugoslavia or well you know Bosnia being kind of a clear example. But it was always, you know, in between a bunch of illegal wars on behalf of a bunch of different States and illegal fundings of insurgent groups and all sorts of sketchy stuff and. Kind of culminated I and I and I think you can we keep going back to Syria, which is an important part of like, what allowed what's happening in Ukraine to happen. But the the invasion of Iraq by the United States was another one. Right. This idea that like and and and the things that like torture and stuff by U.S. forces, this, this the fact. I mean, that's what the Russian diplomats. Yeah. That's what Russian diplomats always bring up in, in the UN and in other, like international bodies whenever they're pressed on this question of human rights. They always invariably point to the US and say, well, the US did this, this and this in Iraq. How come the US gets to do whatever it wants with no pushback? And the implication being that Russia also believes it should be able to do whatever it wants with no pushback and obviously, like. The fact that the United States committed war crimes does not mean that Russia should get to commit war crimes, but from like a point of view of like. If we're looking at things from an international perspective, yeah. If the United States is going to do **** like that while other countries are going to do **** like that and see it as like, well, there are, there isn't. Like, why? Why are we bound by an international order but not you and I? One of the things that's so frightening about the kind of rhetoric coming out of Russia, is that it? It shows. Those kind of dreams that people had in the wake of World War Two, which again, there was no like Golden Age after World War Two, the United States went right to regime change in Africa and Latin America. All sorts of ****** ** ****. But it shows that, like any kind of international hope of something like that ever existing. Has uh has fallen apart. We are, we are if if if people want something like that and I do believe that some sort of rules based international order and and I'm not talking about like you in global government. I'm talking about broad ranging international agreements that for example you don't get to fire chemical weapons at civilians. You know like I think that would be nice a nice thing to exist and I I think. Part of what we're seeing here is that any chance of having that has kind of been reset to 0. Not that it was ever a reality, but I think the kind of, I think the rhetoric around the fact that that ever existed has completely dissolved now. And I maybe that's not like particularly bad because it's bad for people to believe something exists when it doesn't because that that international order never did really exist. But. I I think. What we're seeing here is kind of the final collapse of any belief that, uh, there's an inner there are international standards of morality and behavior for states. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, there's a lot of reasons why the Ukraine's President Zelensky gets a lot of props from from a lot of people right now. But one of the things that has absolute that I personally rate is absolutely, as the kids say based in recent days was zelenski's address in front of the UN where he called them basically cowards. If they don't kick Russia out and they can't even enforce their main, their main goal, which is peace, then they should dissolve. And honestly, I don't see any any issues with that argument that seemed. Get completely rational what? What is the point of this organization if it cannot even do something as simple or not simple, but if it cannot do something as straightforward as punish the perpetrators of genocide, what exactly is the point of this? That's exactly kind of where I am, which is like, why are we like right now we have this issue where like after Russian evidence of Russian genocide was uncovered, Russia set to the the UN, the human rights which McCall it. That they are. Yeah, human rights cancelled that they're permanent member of and like like basically filed a complaint against Ukraine for doing the genocide that they did. And, you know, there's talk about we we could dissolve and reform the Council without Russia. We could kick it like there's there's options, I guess, in a parliamentary sense. But broadly speaking, when one of the people sitting on that Council has is in the process of carrying out a genocide, which they are justifying in this way through their through their media organs, what is the ******* point of having that? It's just like what it was like the night of the invasion. I I sat and I watched. Everything happening in the UN and my, my thought the whole time as like every all of these international representatives were like, you can't do this right. You have to stop. You have to stop. Like try like begging for there to be some sort of peace in Russia. Just going ahead and doing it. It was like, you know what we what we saw. Not dissimilar to some of the **** that happened in the lead up to the Iraq war where it was like, OK, well a lot of people agreed this is ****** **. I guess that doesn't mean anything. But it didn't mean anything, and that's. Why have it like, why? Why pretend that it means anything? I guess that's where I am. I mean it's it's the same to draw parallel to to US politics it's it's the same as like the the the Democratic Party during the Trump era saying oh Mr. President, you can't do all of these obviously legal things you're doing that's bad. You should stop. Yes. Like here's here investigations that prove that you're doing the bad things. Please stop Mr. President. With all due violated the Emoluments Clause. OK like OK are you going to. This is funny. Enforce any of this, like without enforcement, all of this combined condemnation is literally just noise. It doesn't react. It doesn't result in anything in the material world that will have an effect in curtailing or restricting this behavior now or in the future. And if you cannot do that, then what I like to call it what you have is a job program for guppies. Yeah, yes, yes, in international rules based order I when I was in. Iraq during the war against ISIS and hanging out primarily with not just Kurds, but like Kurds who were natives of Mosul. When we were kind of back in Erbil, away from the front, the number one organization, the number one group that they complained about was not the United States, nor was it ISIS. It was the United Nations who were generally viewed to be a bunch of like they. They saw them the way like people see, like trust fund kids. They were a bunch of rich ******** tooling around in Land Rovers, staying in Nice hotels, and burning money on ******* ********. And and that's, I don't know, I it's so. The idea of the United Nations as what it was supposed to be, which is like, yeah, we should things like what the Nazis did shouldn't be allowed to get nearly as far as they did. And perhaps if all of the nations were sitting together and saying, well, that's bad, right? We don't want people doing that. Maybe some of these bad things would stop happening. And what it has turned into is, yeah, it's a jobs program for ******* yuppies. It's it's not that there aren't individual things within the UN. I've certainly been to a lot of places, particularly refugee camps. That had infrastructure because of UNHCR. Even though that's a very flawed organization, I can't deny that a lot of people got access to basic survival gear that was necessary because of UN HCR. You United Nations humanitarian crisis relief, but overall, it's just. It's nothing, you know, there there was a there's a really, I think, my favorite piece of graffiti ever, which was spotted in Sarajevo during the Serbian encirclement and and shelling of that city, and it's a spray painting of you in, in the style of the UN's logo and then underneath it united nothing. And and that was the attitude of a lot of people in the city as they, like, watched the UN bicker over what was to be done about the fact that an army had surrounded a city full of civilians and was pounding the high-rise apartment buildings with artillery and tank cannons all day long. Man, that sure sounds real familiar. It's a good thing that never happened again. I don't know what you're talking about. Sounds. But I mean, yeah, it's it's anyway Romeo's anything else you wanted to get through today as we. Stare at this thing. This bad thing, honestly, I just. As much as normally I would encourage people to not pollute their brains with with fascist agitprop, in this case I would recommend people read through my translation at the new voice. If you don't trust me for whatever reason, you can pull up the original and Google Translate it machine. Translate it yourself. It'll be a serviceable translation and just read it for yourself. Because. I want to make it very clear that Russia is no longer. Simply like some hyper capitalist kleptocratic oligarchy, it is literally fascist. It is using fascist rhetoric and fascist techniques to eliminate an ethnic group it considers to be inferior to its own in order to take its land and resources for itself. It is there is no greater distillation of. Fascism on this planet right now then the Russian Federation? Yeah they are, they are doing and I really would like people to understand, especially if you consider yourself anti imperialist or anti fascist or anything. The Russian Federation is a fascist government on the level of Nazi Germany and it is attempting to. To literally this article is called, is called. What should we do with the Ukrainians? Yeah. The Ukrainian question doesn't it's if you're asking the Ukrainian question, you know. And this article is proposing a solution to the Ukrainian question. So again, mostly that's what I would like to leave your listeners, Robert, with an understanding. And again, you don't have to trust me, you can go and read this for yourself. That's. The the greatest fascist threat on this planet right now is not the United States of America. As shocking as that may sound, and as hard as that may be to buy it is the Russian Federation, and it is right now trying to genocide the country and the people that I belong to. Yeah, so I don't know, maybe make a note of that, folks. Put that in your in your mental rolodex. It's, uh, I don't know. I I I hope you continue to stay safe. I'm glad your area of Ukraine is at least less under under the gun than it was earlier in this war. I'm glad, broadly speaking, that the Russian Federation has bitten off a hell of a lot more than they were able to chew and now are doing their chewing without nearly as many teeth. And yeah, I hope that process continues and I hope the siege of Mariupol is lifted. Yeah, thanks a lot. I really appreciate letting letting me make an appearance and. I'm going through this with me, and yeah, I think we share the same hopes here. All right, everybody, that's the episode and go, go away. Ohhh. That's a horrible way to begin. It could happen here. That's how we start a podcast. I'm Robert Evans podcast. Things falling apart, put them back together, all that good stuff. Co hosts here today, Garrison Davis, our our our buddy Chris and of course the Great Saint Andrew Andrew. Blessings. Be upon away. Take it away. Good morning. And in case I don't see you, good afternoon. Good evening and good night. Wow. Speaking of the Truman Show, solid reference. Well done. Thank you. I want to spend today's episode discussing a concept that has been brought up in the work of GMC. Scott and Christopher Ryan. That's the idea of human domestication. And before people start clicking off, I'm not going to go all anprim or anything. You know, it's just, I think it's an interesting thing to think about. I think that Scott explores it in a very interesting way in chapter two of against the green. And. So relating as I guess, to the Truman Show, because, I mean, why did I bring it up? Truman lives in a suburban picket fence, American Dream dorm of a world that's meant to keep him, you know, contained and content and ignorant about the fact that. He's on a TV show. Tremendous chopped in this wound that he kind of conformed to. But he kind of escape. Are these initially? And so you could tell that you know there's something wrong, and he probably felt that way for a long time. But it's only over the course of the movie that he developed sufficient awareness of his condition to leave home and become a. True mine. Thank you very much. I'll be here all week. All right. All right. Good episode, guys. What a what an episode. Yeah. And. Humans like Truman have been stewards and cultivators of the natural environment for a long time. Right when the only creatures who do that, by the way, I see a lot of people who see who kind of like adopt this assumption that humans just like imposing our will on the environment that is otherwise unscathed by our presence and all that. And I mean, yeah, we do a lot of very, very terrible stuff the environment, but. A lot of actions are also beneficial and we are the only creatures to shape and sometimes harm and sometimes benefit the national environment. I mean Beavers, elephants, Prairie dogs, bees, ants, termites, and not to mention the networks of trees and other plants, they're all manipulate their environment to suit them and. There. Comfort and their survival, you know, but there's no nature as we know it, as we see it. That sort of untouched, wild idea without the activities of humans. You know, humans weren't planting seeds and tubers, shaping the evolution of many plant species, burning undesirable flora, weeding out competition, pruning, thinning, trimming, transplanting, mulching, relocating bark, ringing, coppicing, watering and fertilizing. And for animals, you know, we have hunted even selectively you know, spared females of reproductive age or haunted based on life cycles or fish. Selectively managed streams to to promote spawning and shellfish beds. You know, transplanted the eggs and young of birds and fish. And even raised juveniles in some cases. That's kind of how we ended up domesticating a lot of animals, and I'm gonna get into that. So through fire, through plow through. Hunting through a whole array of different activities. Humans have domesticated whole environments, you know. Well, before you know the full, the full societies based on, you know, fully domesticated wheat and barley and goats and sheep. The spectrum of subsistence moods that we have utilized, whether we hunting, foraging, pastoralism or farming have existed and complement each other in a sort of harmony for millennia. And I mean for those of you who have read don't have everything, you kind of see that picture coming into sheep as it progressed through the book. But of course James C Scott also discussed it years before in against the green. So as he says, enter the dormus. Just as we transformed our landscapes, we transformed ourselves. The door mass was a unique and unprecedented concentration of tilled fields, seed and green stores, people and domesticated animals and hangers on, like mice and rats and corvids, all Co evolving with consequences no one could have possibly foreseen. You know, dogs and pigs and cats. All of them. Their entire evolution was shaped by their relation to these tumors, and humans are not. The exception. Of course there's some animals. They're easier to domesticate than others, which is why you don't see people commonly riding or hooding zebras and gazelle. They would make the best cattle or ride and probably knock your brains out if you tried so. It's probably best to stick to the ones that we have, sort of. Queen evolved with like, you know, llamas and goats and sheep and pigs, and over generations you see that domesticated creatures, unlike their wild counterparts, develop a level of submissiveness and a decreased awareness of their surroundings. Right? So. That emotional dampening is basically a condition of life, because when you're in that tumas you know you're. Under human supervision. That instant reaction to predator. And, you know, pre they no longer the most powerful pressures. Because you're in this sort of cultivated environment, your physical protection and nutrition is more secure than it would be in a more wild environment. So domesticated animal is less alert to its surroundings, less aware of its surroundings, than its cousins in the wild. And we could see as well, you know, with human sedentism there's also been, you know, a reduction in mobility. And that, of course, had consequences for our health. To be very honest with you, I was actually kind of concerned about covering this and I was trying to figure out a way to cover this in a way that. Doesn't make me look like. I'm trying to like. Retire into the. Deeps of Amazonia or something? Yeah. I just, I find it interesting to think about her environment. She was. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you you can think about these things without becoming a hermit and hiding in the woods as as as attractive as an idea as that may be at times. Well, yeah, for sure. For sure, I mean. Like, I have this, like kind of, kind of in my head of, you know, like the whole idea of multiverses. Yeah, I figure somewhere in the multiverse is a fusion of myself. We have retired into the forest and gone through this whole kind of like animated training arc and emerged as this, like one Punch man beast of a human. I would, I would. I would also like to be in that timeline. I think that would be very interesting. Yeah. Like I trained so hard that all my hair falls out. Just how you want to snap trees with just a breath is like, yeah. Maybe the the the quintessential Wildman. That's. Yeah, and I mean, I'm sure there's also a multiverse version of me where I'm. President or something? I know it would be pretty interesting to see like. I should be kind of cool. I decided an idea of like this. This team of versions of oneself that team up to, like, fight the evil versions of themselves across the multiverse. It's kind of like Kang the Conqueror, except I think in most versions of the Multiverse, he is evil. Yes, I have. I have, definitely. I've definitely read that comic before of the good ones fighting the bad ones. I mean, the injustice comics and video games are pretty, pretty, pretty big, pretty big staples of that genre. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. But of course it injustice, it's different characters, whereas. It'll be interesting to see, like a cast. That's all. Just one person. Oh, just look at the same dude, the exact same person. That's exactly what they they all grew up in such different environments. Even though they share the exact same DNA, they're like different people. It would be an interesting commentary on society because we do live in one. After all, we do live in a society, for better or for worse, yeah. But anyway, like I'm saying, you know, environments. Sheep us. We shape environments and to me we need to start shaping our environments again so we could either shape up or ship out of. Existence as a species, right? You know, because the way the trajectory we're on is not. Sustainable. So we can see, of course, in this transition to the Dumas, this sedentary, green growing sort of community that, you know, in archaeological studies of the bones of the inhabitants, you could see like repetitive stress injuries shaping their bodies. You're like the skeletal signatures of like grinding green and, you know, like. Cutting and sewing and kneeling and bending and. Moving in, you know, very repetitive ways. You know, and of course, with these concentrations of people, we also see like epidemics and stuff and parasites starting to fester, not just within humans or just not just within species, but also like cross species, pathogens and stuff, you know, and so. As we all on this kind of same are sharing this microenvironment, sharing our rooms and parasites, you end up getting more and more brutal bourgeons of like wild diseases, you know, because they basically go through the. The Iron gauntlet of, you know, like the the the disease Thunderdome where only one could come out as victorious. And so they battled out and became these more refined and more severe forms. Which is why you see in Europe where they had this high population densities, they the diseases that developed there when they were introduced to the quote UN quote New World, you know, it really ravaged population that didn't really live on that level of density. Not to say they didn't have cities. Because they did. They had cities and villages and. Collaborations and and such of people spanning across like large areas, but it wasn't organized in quite the same way. Of course I'm generalizing quite severely, but. You know, it's two whole continents, yeah. We also see that like. Nutritional stress starts to develop in the bones and teeth of more quote UN quote domiciled humans. You see like iron deficiency anemia in people whose diets were consisting increasingly of grains. And, you know, as I said, you know, their diets became narrower, you know? Less variety in both plants and proteins. And so that ended up leading to. You know, like declining tooth size and. Reduction in stature and skeletal robustness and. Of course this. Change and like our Physiology and dimorphism as a history such as like a lot further back than just the new lithic but. Sedentism and crowding. Definitely left an immediate and legible mark on the archaeological record. I do find it interesting I read this book. I think last year, gold botany of desire. And in it, the guy what is his name? And in it, Michael Pollan talks about how the plans we thought we were domesticating domesticated us, too. You know, because if you think about it, you know, you up in the garden. On your hands and knees, day after day, sun unrein weeding and fertilizing and untangling and protecting and reshaping an environment just to suits. You will tomato plant your little potato plant. And I mean, the plan kind of has it made, you know, they don't have to worry about the sort of things they would usually have to worry about. Outside of the Dumas, you know, you were there to make sure that their competitors are weeded out. You are there to make sure they get all the nutrients they need. You are there to make sure that no insects and stuff come in like ravage them, and you even help to fertilize them as well. And so you know. It's kind of like. I wanna see. A mutual relationship because. As you know, these domesticated plants have continued along this path of domestication. A lot of them can no longer thrive without our help. I didn't see him. We, you know, we can't just. Not go on without them. You know, we also are dependent on, like, a handful of domesticated cultivars. Like, we can't just suddenly switch and just be like, oh, we're not gonna grow wheat and corn and potatoes anymore. Yeah. I mean, that's been the foundation of our diets for too long now. That's what, you know, most of our food production, like, you don't have percentages. I wouldn't say most. I just see. A lot of our food production is like. Centered around that and so. Umm. You know, we can't just jump out of that. Especially with like population increases, we just have grown increasingly reliant on a few like grains and cereals and starches. So yeah, we do. We need them more than they need us in a lot of senses. Yeah, yeah, exactly, exactly. Because I mean a lot of them, they do still have like wild counterparts, not can always, you know, take over just the wild counterparts. So generally less appetizing than the ones you've gotten used to. I'm sure a lot of people have seen that picture of the different types of bananas over there. Going with the different types of cool one out there, of course there's a lot of corn species that are edible because, you know, they were cultivated in massive America. I would like to try them because. The coin that I've. Growing up with, got used to. I'm not sure what it's called, but I don't like it. Umm. I find the texture and taste of it to be kind of. For lack of a better word, revolting. So I mean like, and I've been this way for like a long, long time, right? Like I. Growing up. Used to be refusing to eat like an entire plate of food because it had corn in it. I didn't like corn. And people used to point out the irony in the fact that I would readily eat, like, corn pie, or I would eat popcorn, or would eat like, cornbread. Yeah, but to me, it's it's not the same. You know, like corn on the cob and and stuff is it's not the same. I said, like I've tried some different types of corn, like I've tried. It was kind of like soft baby corns that you get in like soups and stuff. Yeah, and those are? Delicious. You know, I I wouldn't set your sights too much on those various corn varieties, because one of the oldest ways of eating corn before we had really nice soft kernels. One of one of the oldest ways is is we would we would take, we would take the the heart, the, the, the hard corn kernels, pop them inside a. It's like a frying pan to make this start to expand, then crush that up and mix it with like a liquid to have a very disgusting starchy gruel. And that was the way that we ate cord for a long time. And eventually that was, you know, eventually we were able to take turns into like, like tortillas and stuff, but for a long time it was just kind of cordial. Yeah, this was this was a serious problem. This was a major problem during the Irish Potato Famine because, in short, the potato crops failed. And so the British Government imported a bunch of what they called Indian corn at the time, which was corn grown in the United States and this was even though Irish people were growing plenty of corn to feed themselves, but that corn was being exported and the Indian corn was seen, it was harder. So it was seen as of lower quality. So they had to develop a bunch of methods of grinding it. Down and eventually the government was just like, hey, just soak it for like several days and then boil it in water for hours and add some milk or some grease if you have it. And some of the problems that caused is that like the Irish people were starving to death. And because when you're starving to death your your stomach is not as Hardy as it is when you're not starving to death. And so the corn even after being boiled would cut their stomachs and there is severe Geo lining and cause. Like in some cases, people would like die. So yeah, corn, see, I could, I could add that's my reasons to despise corn. Like anti Irish violence. I'm gonna, I will briefly rant about corn subsidies, but I don't think I've actually done that on this show yet. We could talk. Yeah. Episode. I mean I think subsidies there's, there's, there's, there's a, there's a thing about that'll be high traffic domus. That's like. Like in terms of sort of domestication, in terms of human domestication, you know, and in terms of the the extent to which. We're being shaped. You have to be, I think, very careful to make sure that. You're attributing agency to the thing that actually has agency because there's there's a tendency to sort of attribute. Stuff to you know, OK, well, this is just a way the technical process works. And because This is why the technical process works. Here are the social structures that inevitably result out of it. And that's true to some extent. But, you know, for example, like, if we're talking about like, who's domestic and could we look at corn, it's like, well, yeah, because we grow and grow an enormous amount of corn. But it's not because of sort of like, like that. That's the reason we have so much corn is entirely political. It's entirely about the fact that, like, there's a corn lobby in the US that is enormously powerful. And because of the way the Senate works and because of the way sort of like the primaries work, you have to be pro corn. And this means that the American corn industry has billions and billions of dollars in subsidies. Like this is this is like the only thing every economist across the entire political spectrum agrees on. Like you, you, you will get like the Heritage Foundation agreeing with like Marxists who are agreeing with like like the standard liberal comes everyone agrees this is awful. The free trade people agree with this. The anti free trade people agree with this and it just sticks there because of you know because of a very sort of. A very contingent set of political processes. And I think that that's something that's important to keep in mind when you're thinking about stuff like domestication, which is that like. Yes, on the one hand that it it is true that you are being shaped by the production process, but it's also true like, for example, you know, if you go back to to, to the women in the story who you know you can see in in their bones, right, they've been sort of like bending over like husking. Crops and stuff was like, well that it it it it's true to some extent that's that's because of the production process. But the production process works like that because of social reasons like, OK, like why is it women doing this work? Right. Like there's, there's there's always simultaneously sort of human constructive social systems operating at the same time as you have these mechanical systems and people love to attribute all of it to the mechanical systems in a way that loses. You know it, it it. It naturalizes things that are bad and could actually be changed and loses the capacity for sort of. Well, yeah, I mean, so our our sort of culpability in both the fact that it could be different and the fact that we do it this way. Yeah, I mean, yeah, it's still, I think it's still important to like think about like how reliant we still are on it as a resource in terms of like maize and like you know, corn syrup and like getting like glucose, get like like it's so we rely on it for so many facets beyond just eating like corn on the cob. That and like, yeah, it's kind of, it's like, it's like a, it's like a, it's like a figure, right. Infinity Loop here, we've kind of, we've, we've kind of like tied ourselves into a knot. Yeah. Like like a lot of this stuff also has to do with the fact, like, you know part of the reason that there's that we use corn syrup is there were like taxes on sugar and you could get, you could get around and this has all these like, yeah, there's all these sort of feedback cycles of like we become dependent on something because of the social process, but now we're dependent on the physical process. And it's, yeah, I mean you can, you can like tie this into the idea of like once you switched over to large scale agriculture, we need to kind of have somebody that that governs how it works because now we're no longer reliant on smaller. More like individualized farms or forest farming. We're instead reliant on a bigger you know like a bigger stake in the land. So if that fails we're all more in trouble. Now agriculture does not equal sive that's not that's not an actually sound and the like a like anthropology. Like if if you look at the anthropology that's actually not a super sent argument. I think you can you can read the everything that make they make that point pretty clear. But still when you do have such when you do have a large population relying on. Very few like very large crop like, like, like of only a small diversity of large crops and there's a lot, there's a lot there's a lot more stakes on it. So you're going to, you know, there's going to be processes that are going to have like authority, authoritative hierarchical elements to help organize those crops so that they we don't get, you know, famines, which of course if you look at Matt with China you can see that worked out very well. Yeah, and I should note for the record, when we're talking about the Irish potato famine, that a lot of people didn't die because the government imported corn, which they stopped doing after the first year of the famine because Travali anyway, what what we'll do, we'll be doing an episode on the Potato Famine. I didn't want to completely **** on the corn that was imported by the government because it was critical. It's just. Also. Eating corn doesn't have historically as as was brought up earlier. Eating corn historically does not mean what you you think about now. Yeah, well, and you know what? We will also do things on, on the Mao famines. And part of that also was that the centralization of agriculture was like epochal disaster in a lot of ways that took like. Decades to recover from. Which did? Yeah, is A is a fun time, yes. And when Chris says a fun time here, he is not being literal for those new audience who are wondering. Thank you. Thank you, Andrew for that clarification. I was, I was slightly, I was slightly confused. Yeah. He is he IS/G, he is not slash SRS. Yeah. I mean it occurs to me that I'm not sure I've ever gone back into the records to see if anyone in my family died from the famines. I know people died later. I don't know if people died specifically from that, which is a good time. Say again with Chris has a good time. Actually mean it's not a good time, yeah. Yeah. Anyway, back to against the grain. Back to against the green. So as we're talking about, you know this reliance on this one staple whether it be corn or green or any cereal really. It kind of brings to mind, and also when we talk about the centralization of farming and how. You know, we've grown to be so reliant on these single things. And not only that, but less people know about the processes that go into our food and have before. Umm. We see kind of like as time progresses. And as James C Scott points out, hunter gatherers, you know, they had this host of natural rhythms that they had to observe. You know, they had like the movement of hoods, the seasonal migrations of foods, you know, the resting and nesting places of fish, the cycles of who was the different fruits and nuts. And if you in the Caribbean, you would know about things like, you know, Mango season and plum season and chenet season, all these different seasons at different times of year. To keep track of all those plus. Several more because they had such diverse diets. I mean the way to track the appearance of, you know, different mushrooms, the locations of different types of game. You know it's it all these activities that require toolkits, right? In different techniques. That have to be mastered, have to be understood, have to be shared from generation to generation. You know, they were also, in addition to that, you know, these forages, they had the ability to cultivate, you know, lots of different stands of, you know, cereal, they had the different tools, they had started to make sickles and you know. What do you call those again? Slingshots and blue dots and all these different tools that have used Spears? Arrows and. They also would have had to recognize the seasonality of sometimes different ecosystems. You know, they might have been crossing over white lands and forests and savannas and arid environments. And so as they understand, they had to understand these, these rhythms, and they had to be generalists and opportunists. That could take advantage of these different rhythms or the different episodic bounties that nature may provide. Or rather provide, but you know. Bring their we that they would have to kind of fight for in some cases. But they they have this sort of metronome, right? Farmers, on the other hand, you know. As we sort of moved to that sort of farming dominant sedentary. But if we have life, you know, you lost, you confined to this one single food web, right? You're 2, you're a teen has a particular temple, you still have the zoo. Observe. You know, different seasonality lies and different movements, but. It's a bit more limited. You know, you have a handful of crops that you have to bring successfully to harvest every year. And I mean it's complex. A lot of things have to look out for whether it be, you know, diseases and pathogens and you know, different insects and and pests at me. Come out to your crops. You know you have to look out for those different things, but. It's usually. Closer less. Expansive range of activities, at least in comparison. To hunt gatherers. On the other hand. Farming and the nuances of cereal grain farming are. Far more complex, require far more skill and much wider range of knowledges. Than you know, working on an assembly line, you know. As. Believe Adam Smith points on. Well, from the actions you know you have all these people on this assembly line making pins. But Alexis, they took. Carville asks, what can be expected of a man who has spent 20 years of his life putting heads on pins? You know, there's sort of a. Restriction in terms of a contraction, in terms of the range of knowledges and expertises that you know one can be expected to. Take on. And so I guess that kind of links into like my whole idea of anti work. It's this idea of moving outside and and beyond this kind of restriction to like one or two or a few rigorous activities that you expected to do for the rest of your life. And more so, opening people up to exploring a wider range of knowledges and expertises and experiences and practices. That you know they can. We have into their everyday life. It's rather than, you know, just one minutely choreographed routine of dance steps. You know, there's a bit more. Expression a bit more freedom in terms of, you know, how we live, in terms of how we work, in terms of how we educate, in terms of how we build. How we socialize. Being able to, sort of. Not just March to 1 beats, but sort of. Generates a cophony of music. Absolutely, absolutely. Because I think no matter whether or not you. Own A share in the PIN making factory. I think you're still gonna face alienation from your environment by just doing the same repetitive task 8 hours a day like, I don't. I don't think that's actually much better, I honestly. Yeah, yeah, exactly, exactly. And it requires transmission. And so for those who haven't seen, you know, I did a video on antiwork sort of discussing it so we could check that out when this comes out. I suppose I just want to point out that right now we live. In our society. That that is governed by institutions. That. Often demand behavior that conflicts with our innate capacities and predilections. You know, the millions of years of us living in these. You know, cooperative social sharing environments. You know where? Community, communal and individual. Rights and and such and such we were valued and respected. I mean, to sort of draw back to the Truman Show analogy, it's almost as if, you know, we went from living in the world to living in a zoo of our own making. We were just being. Well, I guess we're watching ourselves in this suit. Yeah, it's it's like the zookeeper who lives inside the zoo and is also the attraction. Exactly. And and so I think that. Well, obviously we can't switch back to like foraging and all. It's not necessarily desirable. I do think that we need to. Reconsider our approaches to, you know, health and security and. We can leisure and. The way we relate to the natural world. You have to sort of change the story and change how we organize. It's going to take a trial and error, of course. Anyone who's organized can tell you that it is far from easy and is. Replete with setback and failure, but. I think we have a responsibility to. Remake. This. Side of school. To right the wrongs of yesterday to the end tomorrow. That's it. Whoa. Throwing a couple of air horns here, Dan. Make sure they're pitched lower so that it's not horrible to listen to. No, never do that. Ah yeah, it could happen here. The only podcast that is on right now in your ears, where you can listen to us talk about things falling apart and occasionally more optimistic stuff. Harrison is this one of the more optimistic stuff days? Not really. Oh, great. It's think it's things falling apart, but in a slightly amusing way. Oh well, that's fine too. Yeah, it's it's it's going to be fine. So have has any is any of y'all's familiar with the devious licks? Vaguely, yeah, so. All of all of, I'm sure, all of the, I'm sure all of the link fans are going to be really excited about today's episode because the first half will be, we'll be talking about all of the all of Deluxe. So. For for those unfamiliar, the devious Licks meme challenge thing started with this video by a kid who had stolen quote UN quote, stolen a bunch of like COVID masks from his school, and then was showing off his his. His harvest on Tik T.O.K played over you know, played over a song or something as as you do on the tick tocks. So they they posted the video with this caption a month into school. Absolutely devious lick. And lick, I think lick just means like stealing. Like, like you, like, stole something and like, that's like, that is a lick. I was so sad when I first heard about this. I I heard, I heard someone say devious licks and I was like, they're like, oh channels. And I was like, oh **** people are like walking up to like, like, they're going to like, lick the other side of a bridge or something. And then it was not that. Unfortunately unfortunately not. Yeah, it is. It is. It is a real loss. So this, this video went very, very viral on tick talk very, very quickly, mostly among kids who's like their in person school had just had just started. This was his thing in like late August, early September of last year. You know, first with, you know the initial video then subsequently inspired a bunch of copycats, school related heists that then posted into Tik Toks first with people just stealing like small mostly low stakes. Things usually inside the bathrooms, you know, stuff like toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, soap from soap dispensers, light bulbs, you know, but like like floor tiles. Just like, just like small things. But after a while, the small fry was was not enough anymore. People started to get more brazen. Uh, more more more devious, you might say. Yeah, they they were they they moved on to like, full on toilet heists of and, you know, electric hand dryers there. They stole a teacher's entire desk and a whole bathroom sink. So yeah. And eventually they kind of dropped all pretense of this being heisting and just started just, like destroying the bathrooms but not even stealing things anymore. Yeah. Garrison, you and I have a friend who works at a school where this has been. We got accused of like. Yeah, pushing disinformation. When we talked about this on worst year, but it's like, no, we know people who work at a school that has not had functional student bathrooms in months. And it's very, it's very funny as a just just just to clarify my opinion on it, very funny. Yes, it's a. Yes, they put yeah, just just. It started. It started with stealing and then just got turned into let's just destroy the bathrooms, which is pretty funny. Kids rock, kids rock. So obviously schools, teachers and principals were scrambling their confusion only upsetted by their being upset. Because obviously they shouldn't have allowed children to be born into a world where tick tock could exist. Really is on them. And, you know, all of the upsetted. It's by teachers and schools only, like, contributed to the meme with, like, kids posting their principles, reactions to it, you know, like, like people like, like announcing over the intercom, like, like new rules about how to prevent the bathroom destruction. Schools are having to, like station staff members outside of bathrooms to like, like, check and hopefully, like, Ward off any possible destructive shenanigans. It was, it was this, it was, it was this entire thing. And it got to the point where Tik T.O.K actually had to step in. To kind of curb this meme, they banned the #devious slick. They took down any content that had anything to do with the trend, and this seemed to work. After a few weeks, the meme kind of reached the end of its virality cycle. Teachers got to breathe a sigh of relief. Maybe there would be no more smashed bathrooms or stolen desks. Oh you fools. You fools. But they're calm, do not last long by the end of September. There were rumors percolating around that devious little. Yeah, I got to Garrison. Percolating, percolating. Come on. I don't know. But it was. It was, it was, it was. It was said that the devious clicks may not have a wooden stake through its heart. And we may have only witnessed the the first wave with something much darker lurking around the corner. On Facebook, various parent, teacher and law enforcement groups started circulating. Some prior purported sorry started circulating some purported shenanigan plans from the kids on Tik T.O.K. There was this month by month calendar detailing 2 kids. What sick? Pranks they should play on their school for the for the entire rest of the year, and a few versions of this calendar were spread around. But they all shared the same basic overall structure and prank ideas. Just some, like wording and phrasing changed, and the first upcoming challenge for the month of October was slap, a teacher. Sorry, this spread beyond Facebook and including to local news. I'll now another tick tock challenge getting a lot of attention tonight, and it's a violent one targeting teachers. That Nevada Joint Union Superintendent asking parents now to tell their kids not to participate in this challenge, it encourages students to actually slap their teachers. So although the smack a teacher line was what really got this thing to go viral on Facebook, the the main screen shotted calendar that was being circulated, the actual October challenge was listed as a snack. Staff member on the backside. That was the. That was the actual phrasing, which is a little a little bizarre. Smack a staff member on the backside? No. November is kiss your friend's girlfriend at school, so again, we're weird phrasing. December is deck the halls and show your balls in school halls, which is that one was probably written by a child. But then we get other stuff like January is jab abreast, so more more sexual assault jokes. February, we have messed up school signs. March is make a mess in the courtyard or cafeteria. April, this one's weird. April is a grab some eggs, but eggs is in quotation marks with a Z at the end. May is ditch day. That's fine. June is flip off the front office. OK, who cares? And July is spray in April's fence. Wow. Graffiti. Scary. So, yeah, that is that is, that is the calendar of challenges. Some of these seem more. I mean, we talked about this a couple of months ago, and my feeling was that this started as something real, just like we could have kids doing anything. Yeah. And and this this **** was where it was. It became nonsense. Was just like people sharing things that were going to anger. Boomers this. And we will, we will get into this. Yeah, as as news about the tick tock challenges spread on Facebook, media orgs picked up on the trend and started shouting out headlines like Tik Toks shocking school challenges List 2021 revealed and devious Licks asks students via Tik T.O.K to smack a staff member. The nation's teachers are feeling burnt out. So great, great headlines there. So all of that sounds so obviously very scary. If, if if if if teens around the country are all united in this, in this. And in this planned destruction of our entire civilization that that, you know, we could all be brought on to the brink of via teens destroying their schools was. So that would be that would be kind of fun. But if you stop and think about the wording of that list for a SEC, you might notice some things that just seem off like no Gen Z kids are saying stat smack a staff member on the backside that is not like you you are the first member of. Generation Z to say backside, backside. And like the challenge for April is grab some eggs and eggs in quotation marks with a Z at the end because yeah, all of all of the cool kids today uses the at the end of words to make themselves cool again. It's some like ******* Gen X or maybe elder millennial ***** ** **** trying to make people angry on the Internet. And he's just like April. What what goes with April? April eggs? Eggs Easter. Excellent. Yeah. I don't know something, but like all of the language feels like what, what, what someone would write if they were trying to imitate what a cool 90s kid would talk like on TV. Yeah, yeah. It's a lot of people trying to write John Hughes movies. Yeah, but so but all this was very viral for like, it was the end of September. This was this was all massive. And we we will. Don't worry. I will explain why we're talking about this now because this does this. This will circle back to actually current events. And I'm not just talking about a September 2021 trend this this does this does relate to stuff happening currently. But yeah, like, suspicious language aside, the idea that the youths are purposely plotting on the tick tocks to assault teachers and we cavic all year long frightened many and adults, especially those that work in the education sector, who who might have to face the possibility of a coordinated Zoomer wrath. And you know, the past two years had already been kind of a **** show for schools with switching to remote learning then back to in person. There's all, all debate, all the debate around masks and vaccinations and the risk of being inside around densely packed, you know, groups of filthy germ written children. Plus there's all these kids that got used to being home alone for so long, learning have to like, like, having to learn how to, like socialize in the class environment, all while dealing with like the same mental trauma that we've all been dealing with around, around the plague. So. So just having to face the actual very real September devious licks that the promise of a year long tick tock wave of destruction obviously frightened many parents and teachers with educators on Facebook, uh, you know, starting to take this list as a very real threat with school districts, you know, issuing warnings and and parents were, you know, informed, like in mass about this very, very real, very real threat. Educators beware. That's the warning from the California Teachers Association. The group sent this message to educators letting them know about a potential Tik T.O.K trend calling for students to slap a staff member. Seminole County schools just sent this letter to principals warning them of Tik Tok's October challenge saying quote in the latest Tik T.O.K Trend, students are asked to calmly walk up to their teachers, slap them and then run off making sure they capture the whole thing on camera. OK, and we are back. So yeah, sure enough news of teachers getting slapped. And began to circulate from local media into the national sphere alongside headlines like a Tik T.O.K inspired slap a teacher challenge assault reported at Braintree's East Middle School and Covington police say disabled teacher injured in suspected Tik T.O.K Challenge assault by student. Yeah, so there was, there was, there was a, there was a few slapping incidents reported onto mainstream, on, on on to mainstream news. All all tied to the to the Tick Tock assaulted teacher thing as a student in Louisiana was arrested and faced felony charges with police saying the assault was prompted by a quote prompted by a viral social media application known as Tik T.O.K. We've done the notorious Hacker 4 Chan again. Everything circles back. Application known as Tik T.O.K. So yeah, in October there were definitely incidents of students hitting teachers. But it's like that. That in and of itself is not up for debate. This, this there, yes, but the actual scale of content spreading this list and the subsequent slapping videos on the Tic TAC platform is something to question. Because writing writing off of the September DV6 trend, almost all media, police, parents, educators were we're super quick to link this list and these few teacher thwacking things to the social media platform used by Gen Z. The application known as Tik T.O.K. So we we have we have all this talk on the news that on Facebook. But The thing is if you check Tik T.O.K or right like if if if you if you if you're actually on tick tock around this time you wouldn't find any viral videos of teachers getting slapped or anything about this Tik T.O.K list of challenges at all. It it wasn't actually there like it wasn't actually on Tik T.O.K. This this wasn't actually a thing. So you know then you know you might be thinking, well maybe Tik T.O.K is doing what they did previously to to shut down the original organic TV sticks. Challenge. What if they're just doing this like preemptively to taking down any content related to the list, any like corresponding hashtags, etcetera, etcetera. But when journalists ask to talk, if this was the case, they denied this, saying that we have not seen anything of this nature on our app. They said the first time they the Tik T.O.K said the first time they saw the list was of screenshots of it on other websites. It was, it was not, it was not from Tik T.O.K. It wasn't actually there. So as as more and more news circulated and blame was continuing to be put on Tik T.O.K for propagating this list of challenges and you know, encouraging teacher assaults, the social media platform made a public statement addressing the issue saying quote the rumored slapper teacher Dare is an insult to educators everywhere and while this is not a trend on Tik T.O.K. If at any point it shows up, content will be removed. So as as much as you would search online on Tik T.O.K or you know wherever, you wouldn't find any evidence of this list actually being spread through Tik T.O.K at all. The the only thing that you would find about this on Tik T.O.K is either kids reacting to news clips talking about this or teachers on Tik T.O.K complaining about this as well. It wasn't actually a trend the the list was being shared online a lot. It was very viral but almost exclusively in Facebook groups. For boomers or adults or teachers or police, uh, but people seemed real scared of trying to call all those groups boomers Garrison. OK, they noted. Yeah, it's it's it's it's like a mental ethnicity now. People, people seem really scared. You know, schools were scared. News Media loves turning this list into, like, a looming, looming boogeyman. But it it wasn't. It wasn't kids actually spreading it or turning into a challenge. Which leads you to wonder, where did this even come from and how did it actually get so viral? O multiple and multiple fully separate investigative kind of ordeals into the alleged tick tock list of challenges placed its original point of virality in the hands of of wait. Wait for it, wait for it. I'm waiting a police officer. Well, Officer David Gomez, a school resource cop who runs a popular Facebook page under the banner of quote the Truth About Youth, which is, oh boy, pretty cool. So Gomez works at a school in Idaho, Big Shocker. And back in September his Facebook page had over 33,000 followers. Now it has over 66,000 and and he uses it as a sort of information hub for parents. Educators and concerned citizens to talk about the dangers of kids on the Internet and all of that jazz, you know? Gomez basically tries to be like a kind of like influencer for this whole, like, concerned adult corner of the Internet. He he writes these long, long posts about, like, school life and digital safety, touching on many topics from like, how your kids are secretly buying weed and vape pens or like, how to tell if your kid is looking at pornographic materials. You know stuff, stuff of this nature. Like here, here's here's here's a few posts from him from from just from just a few days ago. Lots of inappropriate behaviors pushed on Snapchat desensitized kids to reality. Nude photos, drugs, parties, crimes, etcetera. Kids could order almost any illegal drug and have it delivered to them on at most any place on Snapchat, if only if only. So he's like, he's like one of these types of guy. He like, you know, you know who? Yeah, yeah, yeah. God, if we only lived in that world, I would be on Snapchat so hard I would be I love. I love the idea that Snapchat desensitizes kids to reality by telling them about parties and. Well. I mean, anytime I look, I have a profound negative mental health reaction whenever someone tells me about a party. So why would why wouldn't children? So, so as as the original devious licks challenge was dying down near the end of September, on September 22nd, Officer Gomez posted this list of challenges to his thousands of followers. In the next few days, the challenge list from his page circulated around the web, prompting many nervous school emails, terrified newscasts, and ending up actually making the list of challenges go completely viral. When asked about the origin of the list, he said the 1st place that he'd seen it. Is any smaller private Facebook group for people working in drug and alcohol enforcement and education? He called it a drug recognition group. It's like a group of like cops and stuff where like, I found this bag of leaves. What what is it? Can't, can I, can I arrest this person? It's like it's it's it's these people who like, yeah, post random stuff to figure out what drugs they're looking at. So he claims he first saw it in this Facebook group, but admitted that he was. I'm sure if it had actually originated from kids or not, let let alone on Tik T.O.K. He just posted it because he thought, you know, better safe than sorry. But you know, it's it's funny because Officer Gomez's intention may just have been to spread the word about this because he thought it was an actual threat. But it turns out that he was just the one that gave it online life in the 1st place. So so yeah. But for like the actual origin of it like like for it actually came up as as best as we can tell it seems to it seems to have stem from a school in California a principal claims that a student sent them this list. I'll be I'll be at a slightly more. Vogler version more in line with how kids kind of talk now. The teacher then uploaded it to a teacher Facebook group. It was then shared to this drug recognition group with Officer Gomez and then Gomez. Or someone along this process rewrote it to add the weird, like, Boomer Gens. Like, like, like a 90s cool kid language. And then Gomez posted it, and then that results in, like, the cool kids attitude. And then he posts it goes viral. But there's no evidence that it was ever on tick tock, like, at all. Like this, there's no like it's not actually appear on Tik T.O.K until the cop posts it. So the the other funny thing is that all of these slapping incidents reported on the news, including the one that resulted in an arrest, also turns out to have nothing to do with the challenge list or tick tock. It was just a regular, like interpersonal conflict between a student and a teacher because like, that happens like that happens just like every once in a while like that. But it had nothing to do with Tik T.O.K according to the school and. According to the police, we had an investigation, a substitute teacher, choke slam, one of the kids in my class, and we didn't even have a tick tock. We barely had the Internet back then. It was a pretty good day at school. The principal had to come in and apologize. It was very fun. That that sounds great. It was great. Yeah. So so yeah like in the end we're gonna the the the full arc of this, right starts in September with the actual real devious licks that that that that did that did exist. It wasn't Tik T.O.K, but it was just, you know, stealing stuff from bathrooms. It takes off and and and then eventually kind of just like making bathrooms into a mess. So but this this this takes off. It's it goes it goes it. Those pretty, pretty viral. Then Tik T.O.K starts to crack down on it and after like three to four weeks, the meme dies. It's it's, you know, people, people are bored. There's too much enforcement. It's not fun. It's not fun anymore. And then we have this calendar list of challenges, right? Possibly trying to spin off of like the DV6 thing and glam on from the previous trend or it was perhaps just written as like a like a non serious joke. But The thing is like it's not actually found on Tik T.O.K, right? So even if this list was originally made by a kid. It's it was not known by other kids, uh, I don't know on a national level either online or in person. But where it does get visibility is through adults and not on Tik T.O.K, but on Facebook initially being passed around by teachers and school administrators and other adults on ran on the Facebook platform and really accelerating from there. Right, we have, we have, we have Gomez and then it's all over Facebook, it's all over Instagram, it's all over news articles, TV stations and eventually does go, it eventually does get tick Tock, but not with kids talking about it instead. The teacher is talking about it. Uh, but at this point the story of the Tik T.O.K slap, a teacher challenge, was just too, like, enticing, right? It had like enough of a grain of truth by piggybacking off of the real devious licks, but it was able to grow into this, like, entire false reality because there were enough ingredients for a good story. And that's where you like perceptions of truth really flourish in is is good stories. And then we found out a few weeks ago. Whereas there was this article by Taylor Lawrence in the Washington Post that there actually may have been some kind of behind the scenes ******* making this trend to go as viral as it did. And we will, we will get into that after after this after this ad break. So have fun listening to these ads and then we will talk about. The behind the scenes of making these these false online trends. Hello, we are back. So turns out lots of lots of there's lots of lots of ******* happening to to make, to make, to make, to make narratives, to make stories. Right. It's all you know. Turns out that not everything you read on the Internet is true. Uh, pretty pretty shocking revelation here. So it came out a few weeks ago that Facebook was actually paying one of the biggest Republican consulting firms in the country to orchestrate a national campaign to turn the public opinion negatively towards Tik T.O.K. The the campaign was it was uh placing it. It include placing like op EDS and letters to editors of like, you know, Major, major, major news outlets promoting false, false stories about about like the the growth of alleged Tik T.O.K trends that actually had started on Facebook and then, you know, trying to push reporters and politicians into helping them, you know, damage the perception of Tik T.O.K on like a nationwide level eventually, you know Facebook. It's obviously funding this because it, you know, tick Tock is their biggest competitor at the moment, so. It's a it's actually pretty interesting. It's so it it's it's it's with this Republican digital consulting firm called Targeted Victory. So this this was the thing that Facebook was actually paying for 2/2 to prompt these false stories. Targeted victory has been routinely working for Facebook for over the years. You know, they were, they were involved in the 2016 congressional hearings around Facebook doing stuff. Like with like election meddling stuff, you know all the stuff related to like Cambridge Analytica, they were they were had a small part to play and that kind of thing as well. So they also receive a lot of Republican funding. They got I think over over a $237 million in 2020 according to data compiled by Open Secrets. That which is a yeah it's biggest, biggest payments came from a national GOP Congressional Committee and America First action, which is a. A super PAC ran by Pro Trump folks. So that this is, this is the group that was that was doing all of the behind the scenes stuff to specifically. Tik T.O.K onto onto onto making it look bad to specifically make Facebook look good and push people more onto Facebook. When this article first dropped I know Robert, you said that hey, this is a interesting, interesting little thing that is probably worth talking about in terms of how it affects politics and social media and like the intersection thereof. Yeah, maybe a little bit. So a lot of a lot of the news dropped about this because of employees with the firm were tasked to undermine tick tock through nationwide. Yeah, lobbying campaign and then lots of their internal emails for this like effort were shared with Washington Post. So this is, this is how we kind of found out about this more recently. Their task was to quote get the message out that well meta like Facebook is the current punching bag. Tik T.O.K is the real threat, especially as a four known app that is #1 in sharing data that young teens are using according to the director of the firm. So this is that's the type of stuff they're talking about behind the scenes in terms of how they're trying to push, push stuff. To get people stop talking about how bad Facebook is because this was also right after all of like the Facebook Breitbart stuff was happening in terms of how much Facebook pushes extremist content to you know, boomers and stuff. And then the other thing that they were doing was specifically trying to craft messaging to get bills passed and try to get attorneys general to to focus on to focus on this to. Launch investigations into how like tick tock harms children and teens. And that part actually was successful. So you can look at the emails talking about this plan. And then soon after there was actually a coalition of a state attorney general to launch a probe into whether Tik T.O.K is harmful to children and teens. So you can actually look at the behind the scenes stuff that they were trying to do and then see how fast they were successful in doing this stuff. And all this also comes at the point that Facebook was, for the first time actually losing users. And as soon as Tik T.O.K was launched and got so much more popular, it also took down a whole bunch of users from from Instagram, which is also owned by Facebook, obviously. So there's there's a Facebook researchers said that teens are spending about three times as more time on Tik T.O.K than Instagram. And this is this is all part of the same kind of overall effort to both like do stuff to influence elections and politics, but also just do stuff to make kids think Facebook is cool, which. Good luck with that one. Then in terms of like the devious look stuff in in other emails that that were that that were leaked we got we got a targeted victory. People urging their partners to push a false stories to look or or you know stories that are sometimes tied in truth but amplifying them tying Tik T.O.K to various like dangerous dangerous trends you know in terms of like save the children's rhetoric right this idea that face that that Tik T.O.K is harmful to the well-being of kids one of the emails. Has has a line here saying that the dream would be to get stories with headlines like from dances to danger, how Tik T.O.K has become the most harmful social media space for kids. So that's the type of headlines they're like trying to push. Yeah, it's. One of the things that they do is try to amplify negative tick tock coverage. They have this Google document titled Bad Tick Tock Lips, which was shared internally and included links to dubious news stories setting tick tock as the original point of various, like, dangerous teen trends. And they were they were trying to like, take these stories and push them out through other means, you know? So on Facebook and stuff, right? To take any instance of this and boost it, like, inorganically, right? It's people's jobs. They use social media to affect public opinion. So one trend that targeted victory specifically was enhancing was the devious licks challenge, including the initial one to vandalize school property. Through the bad Tik T.O.K clips document. The firm was pushing stories about the DB Six challenge across in in local media across Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Rhode Island and Washington DC. I do find it interesting that they have a lot of these ones closer to Washington DC to specifically affect. Politicians like they're doing stuff to amplify stuff, to convince politicians specifically to start making political changes. And this actually led a senator, Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, to write a letter in September calling on Tik T.O.K executives to testify in front of a Senate committee, saying that the app's been repeatedly misused and abused to promote behavior and actions that encourage harmful and destructive acts. So, yeah, like it worked. Like they're specifically targeting. The type of news that politicians will see in areas that politicians live to get them to start trying to affect change around social media, specifically the social media that kids use and amplifying the social media that boomers use. Facebook, which is already, is like a cesspool of spreading conservative disinformation. That's like the entire that's the entire bit that they're trying to do here. And so they were working on the original September challenge. Also in October, a targeted victory was working to spread the rumors of the slappa teacher Tick Tock Challenge, which as we know was not actually a tick tock challenge, but they they were doing, they were also contributing to inflating this, this, this trend. Which is funny because obviously they are being paid by Facebook. They were being paid by the GOP. And, you know, Facebook is the place where this actually started. Yeah. So you know, but like again with every if if you can tie anything to like a little bit of truth, it makes whatever story you're trying to make so much more impactful, right. The the firm was was careful to use both like genuine concerns and then just amplify them or exaggerate them into like unfounded anxieties to to you know get people to start questioning the safety of these of these applications. So it's a, it's a it's actually, it's actually, it's like it's a pretty clever setup they they have, they have going here. And they've been really successful like they it's it's like you know the the, the the October devious looks trend with like this with slap teacher was extremely, extremely, extremely successful in terms of how they affect what is seen as truth and how and how how much news story and how much news coverage was just kind of unconsciously and just mindlessly repeating the stuff that they have heard. The other funny thing that that target targeted victory does is they they help write letters that are from concerned parents, quote UN quote, that gets sent out to newspapers to be published in their like letters to the editor section. Yeah, there we go. Yeah, so. They they specifically try to write op EDS targeting Tik T.O.K and then place them around the country, especially in key congressional districts. On March 12th, a letter to the editor that targeted victory officials helped write a ran in the in the Denver Post. The letter said it was from a concerned new parrot and it claimed that Tik T.O.K was harmful to children's mental health, raising concerns over it's like you know data privacy and that many people suspect that China is deliberately collecting and. Behavioral data on our kids. Oh, God, they're trying to hack our children's brains. The letter also issued support for Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser. Weiser, weezers. I'm going to say Weezer. Yep, Yep, Yep, Yep. Phil Weezer's, famed founder of the band Weezer. There, yeah. But the the letter issued support for him, including his choice to join a coalition of of attorney general investigating tick tocks impact on American youths. So yeah, there was a very similar letter drafted by targeted victory again that ran in in in other other kind of smaller local papers throughout the country trying to link negative news stories about Tik T.O.K that targeted victory had specifically sought to amplify some of the letters that were getting circulated were signed by like. Members of the Democratic Party, they were, they were, they were signed by various politicians in terms of like, you know, trying to create this thing that looks grassroots to the spread and spread around. Be like, hey, we have these concerns. Do you want to do you endorse our concerns? So then they can then make it seem way more legit than just like a concerned parent. It's it's pretty good. You know an e-mail sent a few weeks ago targeted victory asked their teams to be prepared to share the op Eds that you're working on right now. Uh Colorado and Iowa can you talk can you talk about the tick tock op eds you got you you you both, you both got. So they're specifically targeting districts where the Senate Senate like challenges are actually more of a more more of a toss up. So specifically trying to do this whole tick tock is dangerous to the kids thing in these in these places it's a. Yeah, it's a it's it's it's pretty it's pretty fun because none of these letters, none of these op eds, if you read them, there's no indication that Facebook is funding them. There's no indication that the GOP is funding them, right. It's that is that it is the whole like, Astro Astroturf thing, right? That is that is the entire day is that they look, they they look totally legit. So. Anyway, that was that was my, my, my, my, the, the. Those. Those were my notes in terms of the what the DB slicks and the SAP teacher thing actually was. And then how there was all this behind the scenes ******* trying to inflate it. And how it's specifically getting inflated to tie into like local elections that are happening in the midterms. Yeah, what? What thoughts, what thoughts do y'all have on on these, on these fun, fun little disinformation rackets they have, they have going on? We might do like another full episode of this at some point, but there's an interesting angle here where Facebook was sort of taking the China angle on this a lot. And it's like, yeah, it comes up less than this, but yeah, you in, in this. They they they founded this. They founded this advocacy group called I Think it was American Edge, where they have all these things that are like, uh, that was like them. A bunch of weapons manufacturers, like founded this lobbying group and they they keep saying things like, oh, China is threatening our competitive edge, so we can't do antitrust legislation. If we do antitrust legislation, the Russia China Alliance will like, defeat the US and so it's interesting like they they're. Facebook seems to have like. Well, OK, so, so they have this problem where like the, the, the metaphor stuff just flops and they're like, oh sure did. Ohh no, we need to make money. And it's like, well, OK, so you know, there there's the, the, the, the, the two ways to make money are you create something that people want to use and that's hard. That's hard. They did that once and then they accidentally turned it into an engine that breaks democracy and accelerates ethnic cleansings. So you don't wanna, you don't wanna be trying to make another new thing. That will be all the other thing targeted victory was doing was specifically amplifying pro Facebook content. Yeah but like how Facebook is supporting local black-owned businesses and like all all all that sort of thing. Yeah. Yeah. So you you, you you have that on the one hand it's like other not doing anything else and the the 2nd way they you that you do this stuff is by strategic sabotage of your competition and this is what Facebook is doing right now. So they've launched basically full on into strategic sabotage angle they've launched into this sort of like preemptive defense stuff about. Antitrust being like, oh, hey, look at trying to if we, uh, yeah, if we don't have tech monopolies that doing genocides, China will have tech monopolies doing genocides. And it's like, that's the other funny thing is that whenever Zuckerberg gets accused of trying to create monopolies around social media, he's always like, but tick tock, tick tock exists. But no, it's it's great because like they like, they like specifically say this, they like their quotas. We need to get the message out that while Facebook is the current punching bag, Tik T.O.K is the real threat, especially as a foreign owned app like that. That is that is the actual quote. That's like, yeah, they're specifically doing that exact thing. Yeah they're learning is genophobia English because you can watch them sort of pushing all of the like the the political buttons over the last few years. It's like they're they're basically replaying like the Trump, like the Trump, right. This stuff, right. Like they figure out that rhetoric works. So they're doing OK. They're doing this sort of like like they're doing sort of anti China's aphobia. They're doing Save the Children. Yep. They're doing like they're doing all of this like your kids are unsafe stuff. And yeah it's it's working great for them. So this is this is fun. Yeah. Yeah. No, that's yeah, they're they're they're definitely trying. I mean the specific things that targeted victory tries to do the the place that's funded by both Facebook and the GOP. Is that they they specialize in a well they they say they do they do crisis practice and corporate affairs offerings for for their clients, growing need for the issues of management and and and executive positioning saying that it wants to focus on efforts to move toward authentic storytelling with a hyper local approach. So that that is that's all the words that you used to talk about how they do grassroots disinformation, authentic storytelling. With a hyperlocal approach, yeah. Faking letters from parents to local news sites who are hungry for content in order to cause a moral panic about Tik T.O.K. Yeah, I mean, on average, people trust their local news way more than they trust their national news. So if they shouldn't because they crash, they should not. It's all red by like, two companies, yeah? So yeah, being put like they have, they have a lot of money. They've they have a lot of money. It's there, it's there. They're one of the biggest recipients of Republican campaigns spending now. They're receiving money from Facebook. They happen for a while, but they're spending, they're spending more money now. Yeah. And I think this is a it's really important to be skeptical of online trends because turns out online trends can be pretty astroturfed. I mean, we can look right now at all like the groomer stuff, right? Online trends do not need to be organic. They are like I always say, the next time you feel like you see something on Facebook or Twitter and you feel like you want to share it because it's outrageous, instead, just go set off a bomb at a power substation, OK? Just. Simple ethical behavior that'll that that won't play into these people's hands. And in terms of all of the stuff that, like with Facebook trying to specifically demonize kids, demonized Tik T.O.K to influence elections. Like, if you're interested in what trends kids are actually into, just just like, ask them. Like you could like talk to them like with like words and like with your mouth and use your like human ears because it turns out they will actually explain it because yeah, if, if, if. If anyone asked a kid about this list of challenges in, like, October, they would say no, that's that's not a thing, that's that's not that's something like adults are really interested in. But Nope, that's not actually a thing. Just assume they're basically the same that kids always are, but with different. Like technology and ****. Like when I was a kid and our senior Class A bunch of kids conspired to crash a car into the little pond that was on campus because it was destructive and funny. Kids like to do destructive, fun, funny things. Kids don't like to do whatever April egg ******** or gravity teachers kiss. That's weird. All of the challenges that are just like, sexual assaults. You're like, that's actually not something that a lot of kids are into, it turns out. Back to being in like like 10th grade and would you have giggled at this? If so, it's probably a thing some kids have done, like it's as simple as that. So anyway, with this, this is episode we wanted to do specifically on how just like social media disinformation is trying to affect elections leading to leading the leading into the midterms. And then tomorrow we will discuss more midterm related stuff with all of this kind of stuff, with all of this like disinformation stuff, tik T.O.K and Facebook stuff, all kind of just like floating in the back of our minds. As we move on to talking about the midterms and why and and and how they might, you know, affect. Politics going forward and you know, how they might affect, you know, stuff around climate change, stuff around different, you know, mini collapses. All of that, all that good stuff. So but I think as it looks like we have, we have reached the time that we need to do today. So I believe that does it for us this week if you want to, if you want to do the social medias because hey after we talked about social media for like 50 minutes yeah let's let's, let's let's plug our social media Twitter and Instagram. Instagram owned by Facebook at Colson Media and happened here pod. Yeah anyway listen to the kids and don't believe trends. Aye. What's the horror of dead generations hanging off the backs of my? Modern everyone. Society. What? What are we what are we doing? That I stretched podcast? Are we doing job, Robert? So I'm gonna go. I'm gonna go. Take five. This is your favorite Electoralism podcast. It could happen here. The podcast that says just vote about it. Come on, you know, have you voted yet? Can you vote a little harder? You know, if if I could vote right, right now. I would. That is how dedicated I am. I know. Everyone says that about you, Garrison. That you're always ready to vote. Oh, we have, we have, we have, we have, we have an update on the Tik T.O.K thing which we just this this just dropped Tik T.O.K. There is now a a new, a new, a new tick Tock account launched to boost Biden with young voters. It it already has 100 fans. This this isn't a joke. This is actually an actual Garrison because that sounds like like a bad, like a like a Jimmy Fallon Saturday Night Live weekend update type type. So they completely real, Oh no, we have, we have to go to the polls again. A government funded Biden Pro Biden tick Tock account has launched and it has 100 followers. Guys. It would be funny if like. You know, like the gravel Institute, but good. They just steered it in really radical directions. So it did start like tweeting about Zerzan and and the importance of destroying time. The Biden, Tik, T.O.K account embraces ecological sabotage. I would, I would take, I would take, I would take government money. If they paid me to do that, I'll say it. I'll take government money for a lot of reasons. If there's, if they paid me to make an unhinged tick Tock account about how the scientists or the police, then yes, I would. I would do that. That's a fun joke for four people listening to this podcast. We're going to talk about the midterms. Yeah. So because count. Look. Official stance of the mostly anarchists. Make this podcast. Voting is dumb, but it's also bad when certain things happen electorally, like a bunch of insane fascists winning elected office. Two things can be true, especially when people are really set on killing trans people right now. Yeah, that's real problematic. #problematic things are going to happen could happen as a result of the midterms. I think the by by far predominant media narrative is that the Democrats are heading for a shellacking. Now, is that actually going to happen? The short answer is nobody knows, because polling, we should all be. We should all be. Accepting at this point that polling is not good at its job generally. So heads up. No one's really sure there are. Certainly, number one, if this is a normal midterm election after a presidential election, Democrats should lose a not insubstantial amount of seats because that's just usually what happens. The only time it didn't was the the midterm election right after 911, and everyone was out of their minds at that point. So you you can't really factor that one into the averages. And nothing like 911 has really happened like the war. The Ukraine is a is a whole thing but it's also not I'm I'm saying any evidence that it's causing any kind of like political realignment or affecting support for Joe Biden in any meaningful way. It's every everyone still pretty economy based in terms of what they're what they claim to be their biggest factors for voting. The war in Ukraine is a huge deal. Obviously we've talked about it a lot on on our shows, but also it's it's foreigners and Americans don't care about foreigners when it comes to voting. So look that's just a reality. That's a guy who's repeatedly tried to get Americans to care about things happening in other countries. We we don't. So in the absence of anything that has caused that could cause some sort of massive political realignment, the most likely thing historically is that the Democrats are going to lose control of 1 maybe both houses of Congress and a modest amount of seats. So if that happens, if it's kind of within historical dimensions, then that won't be. All that weird at all? If it's a huge blowout, then. That's a big deal. And if the Democrats don't lose or kind of barely lose ground, then those would both be big deals for different reasons. And again, no one knows what's going to happen and no one on this podcast is going to make a prediction. We're just going to kind of try to talk about what what is sort of evident right now? Well, you're not allowed to legally make predictions, Robert. I'm I'm not allowed to legally make predictions, although I will make one prediction, which is that at some point, at some point, we're going to see Joe Biden's whole ***. And 50% odds if we see the *** 50% odds that you can see some balls, 50% that is. I've gone back and forth with my polling experts on this and we're we're firm on that 50. Coin flip. Coin flip for the coin purse you toss up, toss up, toss up for the tossing of his salad. Which might be why we see his **** anyway. Here's your first on that could happen here. It could. It could happen here. That could happen here. It's not impossible. Someone has a picture of Joe Biden's **** right? It's out there. So yeah, so for everybody terms have the, the house has a has has all their seats go up for every two years the Senate gets gets, gets 1/3 of seats up because they serve six year terms because we like having fun here. Yeah. So it's it's gonna be it's gonna be interesting for both because yeah I mean obviously it's most likely that definitely Republicans will will win back a decent number of seats inside the inside the house and probably make make the divide there less extreme if not actually just like take the house also the Senate obviously more more of a more of a toss up because if we're only at a 5050 stance on the Senate at the moment. So that is definitely way more of a thing that they could totally seize. But even if they do seize it, that's not actually changing much. Because, uh, they're not. We're not we're not able to pass anything through the Senate anyway. They sure aren't. So it doesn't matter because, yeah, be like, it would only really suck if Republicans get extreme control, both the house and the Senate. But I think that's kind of unlikely in terms of getting like total control. And then we still have executives. So it is part of why it doesn't seem super likely is that like in the last couple sets, in particularly 2016 midterms, the Democrats lost basically all of their most vulnerable seats and so a lot of the seats. That are coming up are less vulnerable and they're more traditional. Yeah. And that does mean that, like, if the Democrats lose a bunch more, then again, it's a much more significant sign that we're seeing pretty predictive, potentially like pretty fashy political realignment in in the United States. It's it again, there's not like evidence that makes me think that's particularly likely. That's just what it would mean if that were to happen and and I think probably the number one thing I would expect if there were some sort of gigantic epochal shift. Where the Republicans wind up with like 60% of the seats in Congress or something like that is they're going to try to impeach by like they would have to, right? If they wound up in control of both houses, like they would have to try and impeach Biden because of the rhetoric. It's the bit, you know? Again, I don't. I'm not saying I don't think that is particularly likely based on what we're seeing. But like, if that happens, they're gonna do that. So yeah, I mean, that's not even a prediction. That's just like, well, they've been talking about it because, like, on average, the president's party has lost about 30-30 house seats during midterms over the course of like, the last century, and Republicans only need to gain five seats to win the chamber. But now, now gaining 5 seats is not the same as winning five seats. Obviously, it's a net thing. It's an ethic, yes. Like the party needs to needs at least 218 seats to win control of the House. So Republicans are actually, they have to flip, they have to, they have to do the flipping and they have to flip actually a good number of them because again the seats that they do, the seats that Democrats currently have are all like pretty firmly Democrat. So there's, there is, there is less toss ups and the other thing that's kind of interesting. Is that the uh redistricting process that has been going on? The past BIT has seemed to kind of favor favor Democrats. So if you if interesting, if if you want to have a good time, go go look at what go look at what the Democrats did to the Illinois map. It is hilarious. It's like there is a district that is like it starts in the like in the north in the South side of like the South side of Chicago and the district ends like literally like like. 9/10 of the way down the state in like a tiny town in southern Illinois. And it's like, and it's really funny because like 80% of what was going on there was like, someone annoyed, like elected a Nazi to the house. The chocolates were like, how? How can we. Well, it's funny things. Also, they didn't even do the optimal gerrymander because they're cowards and fools. But yeah, like this, you know, OK, like, the, the, the maps are always constantly gerrymandered and part of the reason that Democrats have been just, like, getting smashed for the last decade. Is that when they lost 2010 election they lost control of? Like the the gerrymandering. And so that like ****** them for like a decade and they've gotten to a a position that is slightly better for them. But you know again the like the important thing to actually take away here is that like basically every year like every every election that happens in the US on on like for the house is rigged like before it starts like at least partially because gerrymandering is just legal and you could do it. I mean it's amazing to me that they're they're connecting these little rural areas to the South side of Chicago because. And I'm sure you're aware of this, Christopher. It's the baddest part of town. And and if you go there, you just better beware of a man named Leroy Brown. Now, you know Leroy Brown is stood about 6 foot four. All those downtown ladies called him treetop lover. All the men just called him Sir, you know, bad, bad, Leroy Brown. Baddest man in the whole day. Baddest man in the whole. Damn, this is important electoral stuff, Sophie. He could win. He's better than old King Kong and meaner than a junkyard dog. So all of our so about 61 house races are seen to be viewed as competitive out of 435, but out of those amazing democracy. Like so and and and out of those 61, only about 16 are actually kind of viewed as toss UPS at the moment, with seven of those seats currently held by Republicans, 8 of them being held by Democrats, and one new seat in the in the state of Colorado. So yeah, like it it does seem like an order for Republicans to really get more control of the house they have to actually flip more traditionally democratic territories. So like they're kind of, they have to do most of that the actual like work here to actually get those things flipped. But again I, I don't I don't trust Democrats ability to be able to hold on to what they have anyway. So who knows? Yeah, I mean it it it's it's one of those things there's a lot of talk about like how incompetent. The Democrats are. And there's a pretty interesting article that dropped, oh, gosh, where was it about how millennials support for Democrats is like at its lowest point in recent memory or I wonder why. Yeah, yeah, millennial here, it's because they don't do anything. It's because they say they're going to do a number of very popular things and then do not do them, but also. Again, the people who gerrymandered all these districts, and as a general rule, just though the data we have on how midterms seem to go, all factors in the fact that that young people don't vote, you know, so the fact that the Democrats are worse than normal with youth may not actually have a huge impact on the midterms at this state especially. Again, there's not as many, at least based on the polling we have, which is, again, imperfect. Doesn't seem like there's a tremendous amount of super competitive districts. No, and it does seem to be the. The group of people that will be the most interesting deciding factor right now is a boomer. Women seems to be the ones that are actually they're going after. They'll probably be the deciding factor. I don't like that boomers are allowed to vote. Get him out of there. Get him out of there. On that note. On that note, should we take a quick little Addy break? You know who else doesn't want you to vote? That is true, Garrett. It's the Washington State Patrol, the oligarchs who support this podcast. Uh, we're back and we're again talking about the elections in the South side of Chicago. And there's a lot of reasons to wonder how this is gonna go. And I just want to point out that Leroy Brown keeps a 32 gun in his pocket for fun and a razor in his shoe, which should be factored in when you're thinking about, you know, how things might go down on Election Day. Thank you for that, for that critical analysis from Robert Evans. Yeah. The really, really on the cusp there. Thank you. Yeah, it's we are, we are, we are lucky to have such an academic mind on the pod. I say that a lot, but I'm. I'm glad someone else is finally, should we talk Senate, Senate seats that are potentially going to flip even though Garrison doesn't want to? Yeah, I read the article and I didn't. I found it kind of boring and I didn't find them to say anything super interesting. Well, yes, we can. So one of the one of the ones we got here is in Pennsylvania. Is that the one that's open? It is the one that is open. So yeah, this is a. The the seat, the seat opened up when the Republican senator Pat Toomey, good for him for having a funny name, announced that he would not be announced that he would not be having he he would not be running for reelection. So, so yeah, there's the Lieutenant governor. Is, is, is running in the Democratic primary and raising a good, good deal of money. Yeah, it's a, it's a yeah, it's a Trump has a Trump has, has, has, has stepped in to to fight between between the two, the two, the two candidates, which we have, David David McCormick, which is a former hedge fund manager and his Republican opposer is a friend of the pod doctor Mamadas. Oh yeah, I love that. I love that I have to care about a fight between Doctor Oz and a hedge fund. I'm glad. Awesome. Do you want to guess who Trump endorsed? Between the headshot banister and the and the good doctor? It's got to be doctor Oz. Yes, of course it is. That doctor Oz speak at CPAC? Yeah, yes, that's so immediate. Which is funny, because the hedge fund guy specifically went to Mar-a-lago to to to like, help get Trump's support. Said Trump endorsed the good doctor. Like, hey, like, what's your TV ratings? That's. Yeah. I don't know. You you if you don't have a like you were not. Oh no, no, no. Donald Trump is not a dumb man. He's just a very focused one. And the only thing he is focused on is the same thing that doctor Oz is good at, which is getting buzzed attention. Yeah. So, yeah, it's it's seemed to be kind of a toss up between these two Republican candidates. Both, both are both are pretty wealthy. Both are spending millions and millions and millions of dollars. And it's it's it is it is expected to be the most expensive race in the whole country because of the hedge fund guy because of doctor Oz and then the then the the one Democrat Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman who seems to who is raising a lot of money for on on on the for the from the Democratic establishment. So yeah that's that's the metal head right. I don't know. I don't know. I I want to talk about Ohio. For a second, because there's been some stuff out of there. That is it. Is it because it is also open? Yeah. So it's open. And the guy who's running on the democratic side is Tim Ryan, who's like a weirdo and like has sort of been a, like on the right wing, the Democratic Party for a long time. But like, so Tim Ryan's doing this, like it's been called economic populism. Ohh thing. Where OK yeah it's fun. So so let's read a quote shirt out of the yeah so so let's let's let's let's let's let's read some Ryan quotes. China, it's definitely China. One word. China, it's US versus China. So this is this is his his campaign basically is lyrical genius. What are you talking about? I mean I gotta say it seems very hinged for one. Yeah super hinged. It's an interesting thing because it's like OK so he's trying to do the like oh we're going to. Gonna do kind of populism. We're talking about how China is like taking jobs away from the Rust Belt. But it's also funny because, like, he's against Medicare for all. Like, so am I. So, like, he's like, he's like, not like a he, he's not actually like, like. Like on the left, any serious way. But, you know, there's this whole thing like he's, he's running as NAFTA, which is interesting because like, you know, in terms of economic populism, like Obama did run on that. Like Obama ran on get on on being against NAFTA and this is part of how we just like absolutely clobbered. John McCain. But like you know, the Democrats will literally never do anything about that. But like, yeah, you know, but there's, there's this whole sort of factor here where where Ryan's big thing is he's anti China. He's anti China. He he he he tried to be the House Speaker multiple times. Yeah. And there's just, you know, The thing is interesting about it is is. So he he's getting a lot of support for the like he looks so Asian American groups in Ohio were like, hey, what the **** are you doing? And he's just like, I yeah, I don't care and just kept doing it and and it's interesting because there's this sort of like, he's getting a lot of support from like. Republicans for this, like you'll there's been a lot of columns from sort of like Republican columnists who are like, well, I'm pro free trade, but also like this whole opposing China thing is good. And I think it's there's an interesting dynamic going on here where you have this like this is a very, very old tradition in in in American, I guess you could call American labor of there being this kind of like, well, OK, so the the solution to our economic problems is that China is taking our jobs away. I mean, like, you can see this like literally in the 1800s was happening. And you know happened in 1800 was that I'd they ethnically cleansed the entire West Coast and like most of the the Sunbelt states. Yeah. So like that. Yeah. You know statures mining going on. Yeah. This is just like ethnically cleanse all the Asian people out. And, you know, this is I think worrying in a lot of ways is the Democrats so far haven't. Really gone as hard on this as they were going in 2020, but this kind of stuff gets really, really bad really quickly and. You know, OK, like the the the worst, the anti Asian violence has been largely cloner virus stuff. But like if you go back to the 80s when this exact same thing was happening with Japan, that got really, really bad very quickly. People got murdered. Michael Crichton books were written with blocks that are very racist now, in retrospect. Yeah. And you know, and I think, I think it's important to remind people that like. You know, like, yeah, they're like, they're there were a lot of jobs that got moved from the US to China. And that happened because corporations were trying to find a we're, we're, you know, like this is the thing that corporations did not like the Chinese people. And the other part of the reason it happened was that the Chinese government ******* murdered, like, literally, oh, like just machine guns, a bunch of trade unionists outside of Tiananmen. And, you know, that, like that that had the effect of the shattering whatever was sort of left of the Chinese work of organization, the Chinese working class and so. The factory worker in China who is making like, if they're lucky, maybe like $16,000 a year is not your enemy, despite what ******* Tim Ryan and all these ******** are are trying to tell you. It's just it's it's it's not true. And the reason they're doing this is because they're trying to get you to not look at the people who are actually ******* stealing all your money. So he also seems pretty pro cop. Yeah, he sucks. Oh, the Democrats are all pro cop now. We have. Yeah, completely turned turned around on that one. Yeah, they were only anti cop for 11 minutes in 2020 when everyone was was scared that things were going to go Minneapolis in a lot more places. Yeah, the in that 11 minutes was when Nancy Pelosi was kneeling. That 11 minutes ruled though. Not that part of it, but a lot of parts of that part, that part. When when the CEO of Target had to come out and be like, it's cool if people, yeah that, yeah, that was maybe the peak. You know, I will say this, if if, if you if you want that back you can do it again, you just have to, you just have to burn a bunch of police stations and riot and loot things. So yeah, we can go back to Molotovs. That's a thing that could happen, and if it were, it could happen here. Has didn't happen here. That is the bit I hope that Georgia doesn't flip. Yeah, let's let's talk about, let's talk about, let's talk about Georgia, let's talk about Georgia because yeah, we got Raphael Warnock is running. Yeah, that's what I yeah, is is running for his first full term after winning the special election last year. So yeah he is obviously trying to trying to like since since Biden barely barely, barely won Georgia in the in the last election trying to kind of ride off of that that energy but Biden's approval like everywhere nationally but in Georgia his approval has taken quite the nosedive with like only like 33% saying he they approve of Biden's performance on the job. And then on the on the Republican side, we got the guy leading the race is a formal former NFL running back Herschel Walker. So he he has, he has, he has Trump's endorsement. So he's trying to trying to run off that, but he's he's pretty new. So it's kind of he's on. He's more. He's more. He's it's it's unclear because he doesn't have a lot of political background, so who knows what's gonna what's gonna, what's going to happen there? Well, and it's also one of the reasons why we're not one in 2020 is that while as has been shown, people in his district aren't big fans of Biden, they just really were tired of Donald Trump. So it is kind of a question as to like, well, what is the degree to which the Trump endorsements got a matter a ton in this because the fact that they're now don't like Biden very much does not necessarily mean they're less exhausted at the thought of a Trump type guy coming in again. So another another. It's open is actually North Carolina. Hmm. Which is which? Which is intriguing. Why? So that's, huh? Why? Well, N North Carolina's always had a pretty, a reasonably prominent left. Like it gets kind of like locked in by Democrats as like a right wing state. But it's not. I mean, there's certainly strong elements of that. There's a lot going on in North Carolina. Yeah, I mean the the person that they're they're trying to run is is a cherry Beasley, which is the first black woman to serve as a Chief Justice on the state Supreme Court. So she will probably win the primary. Republicans are still flip flopping between their Trump backed candidate and the former governor Pat McCrory. So it's that's that's still that's still kind of retiring. The fur yeah. Richard Burr is retiring. Republican Richard Burr, so yeah, it seems like. Republicans don't really think Cherry Beasley is going to be much of a threat. And again, Biden's approval rating is also nosediving at around 40%. So it's it's the the Democrats they can just hopefully hopefully wish that there's because of the vote is so split on the on the Republican side if they can stoke stoke Stoke divisions there and just go spy. But they don't seem to be doing much much work in North Carolina actually in terms of trying to like gain ground so. Yeah, yeah, it's. Because again, like the primary is going to be in May, so it's there's there's enough time to get support behind one Republican candidate. So yeah. Let's see, I I don't. I think that's all of the ones that are open races, but we also got more more stuff like in like a Nevada, Wisconsin, Arizona, Florida, Florida. But I Oh yeah, Flo Rida won a 22nd in the Eurovision Awards representing San Moreno back in 2021. Uh-huh. It's Rubio's seat that he. It is Rubio. Yes. That would be so that would be so fun. I would like I do enjoy the thought of bad things happening tomorrow. That would be so fun. Yeah. Currently Rubio is leading in the polls, but it's not it's not it. It isn't above 50%. It is. So it is it's it's pretty. It's still it's it's close. But I I've. I'm not going to get let down by Florida. I refuse. You know, you can't never expect good things from Florida or Texas. Yeah, yeah. That is, that is the general rule and never count out North Carolina. Yeah, sure I do. As a Texan, do count out, Texas. Look, if it happens, if it and it's good that that'll be lovely, but don't don't hinge your mental health on it. Well, do you know what you should hinge your mental health on? The products and services that support this podcast. That is right, Robert. You got is a little bit too literal to our major advertiser, Garrison. That's why I did it. I also hope Rubio gets kicked. Sophie. Ohh, welcome back. We're talking about the thing. I was just gonna make threats of violence against an alias sitting representative. But that is one of our favorite things, isn't it? Is one of our favorite things. That's why we're launching a new podcast, the actionable threats against Congressman Cast. Do we know anything about the person who is running against Rubio? Do they have a chance? Do they have a chance? That is a good question to us, so probably not. But because you can't rely on Florida, as we discussed Val, Val Demings is is is is waging the fight against against Rubio. And the the looks like the funding is actually pretty, pretty, pretty similar in terms of both having around $20 million in funding. But there is a lot of other Democratic challengers. There is. But I mean the Demings is the one that's going to do it, but there's a shocking amount of others like there is still like other millions of dollars getting spent on other challengers which are not going to succeed again. Great, great, great way to do democracy. Yeah, we really have it locked down. It is cool that Santa Claus is running for governor of Alaska. And they see they have a first past the post system. I think he's running for governor. Yeah. Santa Claus is, yeah. There's a guy who's the mayor of the North Pole, which is a town in Alaska who legally changed his name to Santa Claus. That's funny. You know, he's a big Bernie supporter. That is OK that's pretty rad. It is pretty dope because I, I know Santa Claus has been doing more, more acting recently. So it's it's yeah, I I mean, I can't wait to see the new crash more film. I I'm pretty excited about that as well. Turbo for Dunleavy. Vote for Santa. Hmm. Yeah. So what are we? What are we? What are we? Other thing I wanted to mention is that. Is that in terms of like, you know, the other recurring bit we've been having is people thinking that elections aren't actually real. A fun bit. So we have only 47% of Republicans are confident that the midterms will be conducted fairly and accurately. So that's less than half that. You know what that is? Is a recipe for stability. That's less than half compared to 76% of Democrats who think they'll be fair and and accurate. Yeah, but also it's not going to be a problem. Also, Republicans are more sure that everyone who wants to vote will be able to. They they just don't think the votes will be counted of versus, but they think everyone who has access to voting is can do it easily. Whereas Democrats say that voting access is more of an issue that actually could impact elections, which is, you know, if you actually look at stuff is actually true. Yeah, it's we have. We have one of the like, the fact that our elections are ran by volunteers is like one of the most absolutely batshit things. Yeah, it's, it's low key and existential threat to everybody listening to this. Yeah. And I mean, it's, you know, and this is one of the things I would say about sort of electoralism is like every, every single. You probably won't hear about it that much this year because it's not a presidential election, but every single time there's, there's, there's a national presidential election. There's a bunch of stories about how a bunch of people waited in lines for ******* 7 hours because there weren't enough stations. They didn't set them up in the right places and nothing ever will literally will ever be done about this. This has been like I I remember, I remember stories about this when I was like 10. And it is. It will never change. Nothing will ever be done about it. Every single time it happens, people say that they're gonna do stuff about it and they don't. And yeah, so that's that's fun. The elections are kind of pre rigged already for other fun kind of study things to help with to help with like trying to you know get the temperature of the room. So about 1/2 of white voters, 51% say that they would vote for a Republican candidate, 37% say that they will vote Democrat. I know I talked with, I mentioned this briefly, but 52% of women aged 15 up say that the economy is not working well and that's going to strongly impact their their electoral choices and this is what a lot of people. Are kind of looking towards in terms of indications of how they're going to vote and how results could be in in the end is like a you know older, older women who are Gen X and and and boomer women are seem to be kind of the people to go after at the moment. So yeah, 5052% say that they don't like the economy and it's not working well, that's up from 70, sorry, that's up from 37% in 2019. And it's it's most of it's around like a day, most of it's around like day-to-day budgets. So that's that's that's good. That's a that's an interesting thing in terms of how. How propaganda can be shifted around that. We know we've even seen that around, like the war in Ukraine was like, with like gas prices and stuff. And we have in terms of back to how kind of. Looking at looking at people of what race is generally trying towards what? What thing? Yeah, so over half say they do Republicans, about a third say they vote for Democrats if if if they are white. On contrast, we got like a a larger majority of black voters, 72%, saying that they prefer the Democratic candidates, 7% for Republican. Asian voters prefer Democrat over Republican from about like a 2 to one ratio, which is A7 like 60% to 30%. And Hispanic voters also favored Democrats about 50%. Will Republicans have about 28%. And the other interesting another interesting stat pulled from the Pew Research Center is that 70% of Republicans agree that party control of of of the House and Senate is the important factor, but only 60% of Democrats believe that. So that means 40% of Democrats don't think that the House and Senate is important, which is a little wacky. Which is also a down from 7 points because in 2018 in in the same in this under the same question. 67% of Democrats said that they valued House, House and Senate control, so that is so that that is down by almost 10%. Meanwhile, the Republican percentage points of that question have has turned it upwards, which makes sense because of, you know, whoever is affecting who's ever in the executive branch. Well, we'll say, Oh yeah, it's less important for the House and Senate, right. So yeah, we'll also Trump say it's it's less important now to them. It's more important, you know? And I also think with the Democrats, there's an angle of this which is like, OK, so we gave them power for two years and they did kind of nothing. Yeah. Like, it feels like nothing like they. Well, actually, that's not true. They gave, they gave police more money. They gave, they gave the Pentagon lots and lots more money, the most amount of money ever. Largest ice budget ever. Largest ice budget with global warming. We're going to need more ice y'all. Like, come on, come on. Uh-huh. I'm sure that was it. That was the joke. That's the joke. Temperature joke. Yes, I understand. It's also a climate refugee joke, though. Double, double meanings. That's what we call a double on tondre. You got it. That's how you pronounce the French Garrison. But yeah, it's only 17% of female voters aged 15 older have decided who they're going to vote for in November. So that is wacky that with so many good choices, how could they not know? So yeah, they're really, they're really trying to pull from there. And where do women over 50 spend a lot of time on typically? So yeah, Facebook is Facebook and the GOP are really trying to do a lot of stuff to influence elections right now. As we detailed in our last episode around around Facebook and the GOP funding all of the anti tick tock stuff and funding all the Pro Facebook stuff, they really want people to be on Facebook because it turns out that's how they spread their propaganda the best. And yeah, specifically with women aged over 50, that's like the prime demographic for Facebook, so. Neat, yeah? Anyway, that is a that is a lot of the a lot of the election notes that I had. Because again, I am as I, I keep up with all of the electoralism basically every day I wake up, every morning I go to, I go to that one polling website and I, you you text 530 the word vote every single morning. Truth. Your secret. Always, always. Here's what's weird. Always using a different phone. Tell the truth. You're never the same number twice. Tell us, tell us the truth. But that it's not that they're a pollster. It's that one day Nate Silver woke up with a splitting headache and Garrison leapt, fully formed, out of a hole in the side of his skull. But yeah, I mean in terms of all of like the anti trans stuff that is actually worth focusing on, obviously the ice stuff is really, really depressing in terms of buying, getting an office and giving ice millions and millions of more dollars, you're like great. But, you know, it seems like if more Democrats are in office right now, it seems like that will make life slightly easier for trans people. So that's it's, you know, it's the thing you always have to accept with our democracy, which is that it's foolish to say that the elections don't matter because they do. Because, for example, price caps on insulin or not passing more laws to make life a nightmare for trans people really does matter, but certain horrible things like the continued dominance. Of extractive industries that are pushing us towards climate disaster, or uh, the expansion of the carceral state and militarized policing in many different forms. In the militarization of the border that's going to keep right on trucking no matter who's in charge in the elections. Don't matter for that so far. Maybe someday they will, but I'd have to see it happen. You know I do, if it's possible. I do. Got good news for you, though, is that the White House is launching a new Tiktok campaign, and it already has. 100 followers after. Like, why don't you refresh that? Tik T.O.K Carson. Let's see how much they've gained since we started this episode. I want to see what they're up to. Because I'm curious if I've gained more followers on Twitter than on tick tock at this period of time. I'm. I'm checking, I'm checking. I'm checking. All right, here we go. Going to do it the the account is called building back together. So already pretty catchy. Of. How did they keep making these phrases worse? I know they cannot. Ohh, they're actually up since. So the the last news article I looked at, they had 94 followers. Now they're up to 1800. OK, so now the things are going better there. I think you are Joe Biden, an apology, I think. I think we got this. I think we got it. We this is a good sign. Anyway, I mean, there's a good there's an article about the the Millennial whisperer, or something like, oh, wait, no, sorry, it's dims. Turn to Ginza Whisperer to show her up, support an article from a day ago from RealClearPolitics. That that's that's that's that's fun. You know what? You know what Biden has to do? Biden has to get Mr Beast on the job and start making those videos. Politico and then I think, I think, I think, I think we'll have this one in the bag. Yeah, I mean, Garrison, just based on my knowledge of you, the main thing that Joseph Biden could do to to prop up Ginz support is to just start air dropping hormones to whoever wants them. I think air topped hormones and air dropped money. It would be the way to go because you couldn't. You could appeal to the right by giving them HGH. There's a lot of options here. Like it doesn't have to be just one. Everybody likes some kind of hormone, you know, hormones for all hormones. All steroids and estrogen for everybody. Well, yeah, yeah. I mean, like in terms of things that Biden could do to actually gains to actually get stuff to do, get to like get enough support is that he could start doing executive orders that actually do or that actually are helpful. He could they, we could we could. They could really start rallying around their marijuana legalization bill like they like, hey, if you vote for Democrats in the Senate, we can pass this thing, but we need to have more Democrats in the side. Like, they could do that, they could campaign, they could actually do things, but they're not that he could. He could, he could order the DEA to reschedule cannabis. That is a thing that the President can do. He can do more stimulus checks. He can do a whole bunch of stuff. He could forgive a bunch of student loan that just honestly making tangible progress on federal decriminalization of marijuana and forgiving a bunch of student debt in the time left before the midterms would be enough. That it would be a lot harder for people to say Joe Biden didn't do anything. Yep, there is ways to counter the arguments people are going to make. So, and they're they're showing. And by God, some of them are easy. Pot is a real, real free. Free space. I most of my family are like super right wing and absolutely none of them support marijuana being illegal anymore. Yeah, most of them now smoke pot like it's like we you can make this happen, Joe. Unfortunately, the President of the United States is the man who wrote, who wrote planned Colombia. So. Oh, just parts of it. Come on. He claimed responsibility for all of it. He sure did. He shared it. Really did. No one talks about it did. It's super funny. Not all the deaths because a lot of people died. But so that is our that's our little rundown on the midterms as it stands at this moment. There still is primaries happening. Obviously, that's going to keep going. But yeah, if, if, if, if, if the Democrats actually want to stay in office, which. I'm not sure if they actually do, but if, but if they do they could actually just start doing things. Things that are not hard that would that would that would that would actually, you know, if you want young people to vote for you, maybe you could give them drugs, whether that be estrogen or weed, and that might make them excited. Joe Biden's famous saying vote out with your sprouts out. Do do the thing. The thing it could happen. Here a podcast. It's it's it's her trying to happen, isn't it? They're really it's doing its best, you know? They're really going for us. What is? You know that. That thing by Yates, Great Beasts, Slouching to be born, time of monsters, all that good stuff. That's what's going on here with it. Could happen here. It's a podcast. Garrison, hi. How are we doing? So we're talking about the still ongoing and probably well, seemingly never ending. Hopefully it'll end eventually the. Maybe not. Hey, hold up on that one here. The escalating war on trans people. Yeah. And we we've brought on some some people who have been working to organize against the the kind of wave of bills and rhetoric legislation targeting trans healthcare, targeting the just existence of trans people in general. We're talking to Cat and Ada Rhodes from tear it up new new or organization dedicated to. Specifically, specifically fighting against these, these new bills. Hello? Hey, friends, I'm glad to be here. Yes, thank you so much. We've been, we, we've been, we've been talking for a bit because of how these bills have a. But also a thing for a bit, and we initially met up for Trans Day of visibility. I tagged along to go to a protest in Idaho. Then we we got on on transdata visibility, we we we we cooked up cooked up plans to sit down and have this chat. So it is it, it is a little bit late, but hey, it's it, doesn't it. Maybe we can have more than one day, maybe that's a good idea. Words, too. So yeah. Well, hopefully we could have more than two days and one of them not be just sad. Yeah, timely too, because, you know, they're still attacking. Oh, did they not? Did they not stop? Visibility did not, in fact, scare them back into their caves. I think This is why we need a trans day of 1 free murder. I love this plan. Yeah, yeah, really solve a few problems. Well, that's that's a great note to us. I mean, look, Caitlyn Jenner already used hers. Jesus Christ, though, that's going to be my contribution for the day. Well, this is a this is gonna really, really convince all of the all of the on the edge limbs who are somehow listening to this. Yeah, stumbled upon it trying to find a recipe. They thought it was terror, like a scale, and they were like I was trying to work my baking scale. What if I stumbled upon measure 100 grams of lentils and then arm all your local trans women? I would like to make a very, very trans cooking video in this style of David Lynch's keima video of but that is that is a deep cut for all of the lynch heads out there. As a Lynch fans call themselves anyway, we're we're talking about all of all of the all of the bills talking about. Umm. All of the rhetoric that we've seen been specifically increasing the past the past week as of recording probably passed you know maybe a week or two as of time of release for they're like they're they're really going for it for trying to get people to do like just violence against people who don't look like how they want them to look. And that's that's basically what they're trying to do. And we're going to talking, we're talking a variety of topics between we're going to talk, we're going to unfortunately. Just like the groomer thing, we'll talk about all the bills that haven't haven't passed and different ways that we can kind of stand up against this, this, this thing that's really trying to take take a hold, I guess I would like to start by discussing. The origin of, of, of tear it up and like how you know what what happened to. I mean obviously we know what happened to cause this to start to hatch, guys, this thing to be prompted. But again what was, what was like the specific process of being like, OK, it's it's all these things are happening. Let's actually get a group of people together to organize this thing across the country. Yeah, I guess I can talk about that. So tear it up actually grew pretty directly out of a previous group called Trot in Texas, which is the trans resistance of Texas, which started last year during their legislative session. And then really started to grow during the special sessions in response to this constant line of attack and realizing that. The techniques and the strategies being employed by a lot of the existing more liberal leaning groups we're really focused on like. Backroom conversations and deals and using like procedure to defeat things instead of actually like mobilizing people against anti trans state violence. And from there we started to adopt things like louder, more obnoxious protests, a lot of stickering firing posters, and then this year. I so I originally started trot, but I moved across the country and I was like, well **** things are just getting worse everywhere. And and I have a lot of friends all over the country from living in Portland and New York and Texas and Colorado and now the Midwest and reached out to sort of pull together a bunch of humans that I knew. Would be willing to fight back and to try and experiment with methods that we can pick up from our predecessors like act up and. Bring more attention and mobilize people more towards taking direct action instead of. Relying on these backroom lobbying groups that don't think really give a **** about trans people, but love to use a tax on us to raise money. Yeah, yeah. I mean, there's a number of number of examples we could point to, but I think we could be more productive and just talk talk about you guys instead. Yeah so yeah I really the the the transnational thing is really interesting point how it's like I know for for translate visibility there was there was a organized kind of dions and protests all across the country to happen at the same day obviously. Uh there was one in Idaho which I was lucky enough to join in on Umm and yeah but there was there was there was a lot of them and. I guess, yeah, it's on, on the lead up to like as as all of these bills are escalating and then there was the whole, there was the whole wave of organizing against trans people for the so-called like detransition day, which is really unfortunate because there actually would be a great discussion to be had there on people who choose to not continue on with transition. But it's been so used by turfs and the gender critical movement that it's now just like it's just it's just another day for more transphobia. Which is really unfortunate, but we have that happening at the same time as all of all of these bills and then we're like, OK, So what, what was, what was kind of the stuff that prompted all of the the dions and how were you like talking with people and all the and all the different states to kind of organize this thing together, but still also like separately for each location? One of the points that I'd like to come back to like we're going to talk a little bit more about the the details of the, you know some some of the specific legislation that has that has successfully into law and some of the other legislation that has not been able to pass into law. And you know we're we're drawing a contrast between ourselves and some of tear it up is drawing a contrast between itself and some of these more you know institutionalist liberal organizations not because that they not because they can't succeed in their stated goals sometimes right like the ACLU. Will Sue on some of these things, put those lawsuits maybe, maybe something worth celebrating. What's happening in Texas right now is a great example of that. But that said right, so like we we can acknowledge that these that these more institutionalized tactics can can lead to, you know, like it's a better outcome that these laws do not succeed obviously. But there is the impacts of this legislation and the discussion around this legislation is so much bigger and so much more profound than any of these individual. Laws, you know, specifically looking at them in terms of their like, material impact on people's lives, which are already abysmally ******* awful, but like the what the the place that teared up is looking to. Kind of champion is. The kind of hell raising that like enables us to empower each other, that enables us to be visible in a way that shows people on the ground all across the country that like that we are not just a a minority to be destroyed and ignored, that we are going to fight for ourselves, we're going to fight for each other. We're going to fight for our kids, we're going to fight for our families and we're going to fight for our rights and we're going to do it loud and as ugly as we need to. In order to make sure that trans pain is visible. Building on that. The. When we look at the start of last month, March or I guess late February, I think Texas was really kind of. The flashpoint and a lot of the country on this where we had a lot of these bills sort of boiling. I believe there are around 70 active at that point and we're now down to like the high 60s. So that's better, but. That was really where stuff started to boil over on this and we looked around and. Saw that the fight needed to focus on trans survival more than just the bills, and the bills are. Important to defeat because there are things trying to exterminate us. There's things that are trying to take families apart, to take away the things that are helping people stay alive, and to remove trans people from accessing public life. And that's going to really ruin a lot of humans. But we need to not just look at that individual fight and remember we're fighting for our survival and we're fighting for each other. And. Trans people, as a community, we've always had to kind of rely on each other via various means, be it like Susan's place or like go back to like transvestite. I even and like these systems that weren't necessarily always and these forms of communication that weren't always focused on. Necessarily legal wins in the more traditional sense and more just like forming community, even if those communities weren't necessarily great in the case of like. Transvestite A and like some of those much more. Respectable leaning groups. Could you try a little talk a little bit about what transvestite and Susan's place work? Because I'm going to guess a lot of people listening are not going to be super familiar with that history. I kind of am only casually heard anything about it. Yeah. So I'm a bit of a a queer history nerd and you can learn a lot about this. Actually, I have a can I plug my podcast? That's absolutely. What we would like to do is provide people with an ability to learn more about this kind of stuff. So yeah, please. Yeah. So I'm part of the. Totally Trans podcast network. And it's you can pronounce some parrot Twitter at like, totally trans pod. But we talk a lot about trans and queer history through the lens of, like, looking at it through pop culture and reading stuff into like, The Little Mermaid and things. And so we go in a lot about Virginia Prince and transvestite and there, because I'm kind of obsessed with this human from the 1960s who was like the first Twitter trans girl. She was very problematic, super racist. And classist and her argument was she led to a lot of 20th century confusion by saying that there's like heterosexual transvestites, which are what we would now just call like trans lesbians, and then like the homosexual, transsexual, which is now what we would call straight. Uh, trans folks and that the homosexual transsexuals are bad and should be shunned, but the heterosexual transvestite should maintain all of her previous privileges and she put out this magazine called Trans Vestia. She famously also got in trouble for sending nudes in the mail to another trans girl across the country. Wow. Yeah, fascinating historical figure who kinda ahead of the curve historically in terms of sending nudes. That's that's groundbreaking, groundbreaking with stuff. But transvestite though did have this big cultural impact on sort of being an early trans scene. Shortly after it, we started to see drag, which was much more focused on like the homosexual, transsexual and more like sexually liberated takes through like the 70s and then later. My favorite scene like gender, trash from Hell, which was out of Toronto in like the 90s and was very confrontational about trans rights. So we sort of exist in this larger history where we're looking at how trans community has survived and formed and learning from police things like star, which was the street transvestite action revolutionaries out of New York with Marsha P Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, as well as act up and HIV activism. And we're trying to take what we can learn from our ancestors and apply it to our current survival and. Play with it a little bit and update some of their tactics, because I don't. Think traditional nonviolent protests, the way it existed in the past. Gets attention anymore, and I think we need to figure out ways to be louder about it. And I'm a I'm personally a devout pacifist. Other people aren't. And that's a OK, I'm a good Quaker girl, but. We need to be seen. We need our lives to be seen, and we need our value as humans to be seen so. That we can love ourselves and each other enough to survive this horrible **** that's going to continue happening to us over the next couple of years. Yeah, I I want to see you back on that with with one thought that you were talking about the sort of like the this history of trans people drawing together to take care of each other. And you know, I'm just thinking about how today. Marjorie Taylor Greene releases a video that amongst a bunch of other just like terrifying, awful and occasionally super funny and it's incredible stupidity. Things that she's claiming in this video are that, like, trans people are basically like the, you know, the barbarian hordes that have come to destroy Western civilization and she's, you know, she says with a straight face. Like, you know, the the late Rome and modern America are very similar. Both of us rely heavily on Varangian mercenaries in order to maintain the sanctity of our borders. I always wanted to be a wizard, but I guess I'm a barbarian. But I I bring that up because there is this impression of trans power that, like trans people, that is a result of our increased visibility. You know, like what the media called 2014, the transgender tipping point, because suddenly people were like, oh, I guess Laverne Cox gets to exist. But like, with this increased visibility is this impression that we have. It's like incredible magical cosmic powers to seduce your people and ruin your civilization or whatever. And, like, actually, like, when I so I, I came out in 2004, I'm 35. And, like, I never imagined a world where we could even get healthcare covered when I was like, I was like a kid organizing with camp trans out in the woods of Michigan and like, I knew people who got orchiectomy dies in barns. I every single trans woman. I knew everything. And they knew about how to, like, get hormones and, like, manage their own transition. And like endocrine system, they learned from message boards. It was the only collective knowledge and existence that was, like, accessible to people. Because if you went to your doctor, unless you lived in San Francisco or New York and were particularly well connected, the response you were going to get is. I I don't know. Are you a demon? Right. Yeah, no, absolutely. That's the one thing I found it really insightful talking to the older trans people that I know because I'm like, you know, I'm a Gen Z genderqueer person on hormones. And it's very different because when when when I've been talking to the my, my transgender friends who are older, it's like, yeah, all of these bills are just are a reaction to the increased visibility and increased well-being of trans people, right. It's putting, it's putting things that used to be. Kind of just like unspoken or like obvious bigotry it's putting now that that's actually progressing, it's now putting that old bigotry into actual law because like, Oh no, we don't want things to progress further. So it's a it's a purposeful sliding back. So it's just like for a lot of people who are older, it doesn't even seem that new. It's just seemed to be it's it's resurfacing. The things that we're used to be normalized are now becoming, you know, are becoming more obviously bigoted, but they're putting that bigotry into actual law. And that's the. Yeah, that's the kind of interesting point is because. For there's a whole bunch of people who believe that, like the transgenderism arms and the gender ideology is like a point of power. It's like because it's affiliated with the left of and the left is seen as like the power. It's it's then like it, therefore you're actually punching up on it. Which is of course entirely backwards like that. If you have any political analysis, you'll you'll know, like, oh, that's not how anything works. But yeah, these people in, in their minds they think they're actually pushing up against like. Like the powerful forces of transgenderism. Yeah, you're like, no, we're just like punks who are poor, who are trying to, who are trying to get our home on injections. Like, leave us alone. I can't remember. It was like Tom Cotton or Matt Gates. Yeah, yeah, yeah, one of those guys. Guys, right? Being like, yelling at him because, you know, our military is being destroyed because somebody took a class about, like, respecting someone's pronouns. And the guys response is like, we can obliterate any target on the entire planet with no effort. Like, what the **** are you talking about now? There's that great, there's that horrible great tweet about the person that runs that 4 Chan trans account, who's who is who is like this, this trans person who is like a war criminal because they sell weapons. It was. It was, yeah. It was a wonderful 3 for a few days ago. I mean, one of, I mean, famously, a lot of companies in the arms industry like Raytheon, have a great reputation for hiring trans people because all Raytheon cares about is you can code a missile guidance chip. That's all that matters to Raytheon. They're they're they're very woke. Yeah, but it is, it is. It is intriguing to watch these people really justify their transphobia as a form of fighting against the system, because they've somehow affiliated of being trans with the Democratic Party. Therefore it's affiliated with the establishment. Therefore, it's actually this force of power which none of that's none of. That's true, but that propaganda is shown to be very effective. But people seem really convinced by that because it's it's it's a story that's easy to glom onto, and as long as we have a story that we can glom onto, then it doesn't matter what's true or not. It's it's all of the stories are what's actually true. So yeah, that is in an intriguing and intriguing point in terms of how. Yeah, how how it's how stuff has changed from like transphobia 10 years ago versus transphobia Now has has resurfacing some things that used to be. They used to just take shape in a slightly different form. Yeah, well. And so cats experiences in 2004 if you Fast forward a decade because I'm a little younger than cat, but not a lot younger than cat. Around like 2014, 2015, rise, trying to get on hormones, we also had, like, RLE. The kiddos these days know what that was the real. So it's real life experience, yeah, which is basically having to socially transition and come out and do all of this under the care of a therapist and a physician for between six months and a couple years before they'll allow you to access hormones. OK. And uh. That was kind of like the stepping stone between. The previous experiments where it was just like DIY or nothing, yeah. Or impossible gatekeeping. And then now where there's like more informed consent model. Consent model, which is what I which is what I do now. Yeah, yeah, and and a lot of these laws. Are just kind of reiterating that weight that comes from a really like flawed. Please like that weight didn't in any way benefit anyone. It's really, it's just torturing people and trying to kind of like. Like, beat the ****** out of you, make you go to the mall presenting as a woman while you feel incredibly awkward and get yelled at by some guy for like, trying to buy shoes and he's like. Right. Yeah, like if if you're a 9 year old who is experiencing precocious puberty, it is completely acceptable and no one is going to question whether or not, you know, prescribing puberty blockers to just make make like to make it so that you can experience puberty at what feels like a more appropriate developmental age. Assist people, politicians, the right wing. Generally people agree that that is an acceptable practice, but to use that same practice in order to help a trans child not die. That is a sin against God and leading to the decline of Western civilization. Wish. Whatever people are like, yeah, like trans people are are leading into this degeneracy that's going to bring down Western civilization. Or like, oh wow, that sure does sound cool. For me, hormones worked so quickly and I would having to live through like a year of trying to present in specific ways, well not on hormones sounds like complete hell because it it is it. I was very surprised at how fast even like mindset things changed, how it is like they're very like hormones are very useful and very interesting and how they and how they affect changes and being forced to I guess as the term now is like boy moding or girl modding. This is this is this is this is what the Zoomer the Zoomer kids call whenever they have to like like almost like code switch gender having having to like. Present in the way that you want to without these systems of hormones for a while, to even be allowed to have hormones as Mia Zoomer now sounds like horrible. It's literally dangerous. Like, yeah, incredibly dangerous thing to put people like experience to put people into. And I think that like, the that kind of gatekeeping, you start looking at it through a more intersectional lens and like, who is it hurting the most? It's hurting people who don't have a **** ton of money to like reget an entirely new wardrobe, that. People who you know, people of color who are more likely to be targets of violence if they're more obviously visible and red as trans. Really artificially diminished the number of trans people and just gender variance in general. Something that's been really interesting to watch as someone who kind of went into the pandemic as like a trans elder. Giving a lot of community work is the core in trans as a thing. And how much? Yeah, you we give everyone an opportunity to like, explore themselves and be introspective for a year. And how many people are like, **** I'm a girl. Or like, I'm no gender, or I'm every gender and all of these incredibly beautiful forms of exploration that couldn't have happened if they had to go through that and like their normal social situations if you just gave them an excuse to like. Do their own thing for six months. And yeah, RLE was a good way to keep people from being able to explore. And it's just one way that trans people's bodily autonomy is attacked. And that's what a lot of these bills come down to as well, is it's the same thing as like anti abortion or anti birth control stuff. It's all just about reducing people's bodily autonomy. I mean, yeah, because like, if I had to quote UN quote live as a girl for a year, I would have just never gotten hormones because I don't want to live as a girl. Like that's not, that's not what that's not what I want to even do. And yeah, having having all of that gatekeeping which is part, part, part of what they're trying to do because I mean as much as as much as they hate people who like are you know are find more comfort inside the inside the more like typical gender roles. They also really don't like the people who enjoy being more like overt gender freaks and like like outside of that it's like. So of course they're going to try to clamp down on any anything. It's worth noting to just the like there's there are a few different camps in. In in the sort of right wing response to trans people, one of the things that I've learned over the years is kind of looking at looking at what the alt right is up to. You know, I originally, I I really like thought of the whole Republican Party. The whole right wing is like a single cohesive ideological unit. And it seemed like they were disabled. Like get everyone on the same page and then go at something. And if you look closely you realize actually it's this huge, ever evolving coalition of people who mostly hate each other and if you're, if you're clever. You can. Break people off and disrupt things that there's different. There's different movements, different thoughts inside of the way that people are approaching this. And you have a lot of politicians who they probably never met a trans person. They certainly probably don't have any gay friends. They're just some random suburbanite ************* who know that sacrificing trans kids on the altar of political convenience will score them points with a radicalized base of bigots. So those people are just cynically. Hurting trans people because it will score them some, you know, pretend points that will lead to real structural power, yes. But there is also the evangelical community and a huge amount of the the deepest and scariest fervor against trans people comes out of the evangelical community. I was raised vaguely evangelical and as was I yeah yeah. And like when I came out I was definitely told I was going to hell. Like, if you look at the you look at the where this a lot of the incredibly, incredibly like. Eliminationist rhetoric is coming from, and that's coming from the evangelical community, who are like, it's not just that. I think that from a policy perspective, this is like, we need to like, retool how we're doing trans healthcare or something. Because if people wanted to have conversations about how to make the best possible systems, like, we want to have that conversation we can we can agree to, we can disagree about policy, but their policy is literally trans people are an army of demons who have come to win souls for Satan. And I'm like. I'm just trying to refill my prescription on like leave me the **** alone. And it also creates this really interesting looping effect of of politicians who get into anti trans and like and like all of this kind of like anti-gay stuff too, specifically win elections, right? We even saw this like Greg Abbott doing his like letters about about investigating parents of trans kids specifically around his primary election like so people definitely do are still very much getting into this specifically to win elections. As they know, it's a point that riles up the base. But then you also have people because that's been going on for so long. You have people who are maybe not necessarily super evangelical. But who grew up around this kind of culture of politicians need to say these things who are now getting again, even if politicians didn't really fully agree with it, they just they needed to do it to get support. But you have people who grew up around that and went into politics around that who are now just do that sincerely because because it was what they were exposed to previously. Now we have people like that who are trying to run for office for the first time, who are just that extreme. I think that's even a bit of what the Marjory Taylor Green thing is, is like someone who was exposed to extremist stuff. Online, who is now running for office herself and is completely sincere about all the stuff she's doing. Like she, she is a true believer in the way that some other people like Matt Gaetz may not even be a true believer. He might just be doing it because it's popular. But you also have the people who are just like fully, fully believe it because it's it's it's influenced culture long enough that it's now a full loop of sincerity. Well, and then specifically, the perception of trans people within the religious right specifically is actually shifted so much in the last. Decade, I guess. Now I'm trying to think how old I am. Because I was a student at Baylor University. Yeah, yeah. OK, cool, cool. Yeah, I have, I have, I have. I have some family who used to work at Baylor. Ohh boy, I have spent a lot of time in and around there. Yeah, top part of the world. Yeah, stickum for all of the the Quieras Baylor bears out there. But I became a student in 2010 and I graduated 2014, and being queer was against the rules the whole time I was there, despite me. We came out and started a student group my freshman year. Umm. But I had to face this really weird decision because in high school I had a lot of gender stuff going on, a lot of sexuality stuff going on. And I described myself as like a queer asexual because I'm like, I'm still figuring it out. Sometimes I'm a girl, sometimes I'm a boy. I don't know, I'll sort this out in my 20s and then I go to college where I thought I'd sort it out. And I was faced with this thing of like, you can either be out as queer and but you have to like, present as like a cyst, gay man, or you can transition, which will be totally acceptable. Within this culture, but you have to go deep stealth and you'll just show up next year as a girl and everyone will be fine with that and we'll all pretend it didn't happen and that you've always been a girl. And that was like the standard in a lot of the. Baylor's very upper crust religious right like very privileged group of people. But was you just kind of go away and we can just for a few months and we just pretend this is how it always was and now it's. Much more. And Inquisitional is the wrong word, but they it's like hunting trans people down. In a much more aggressive way where they can't just kind of be like, well, God doesn't make trash and instead they're like, oh, God condemns you to hell just very directly. And it's getting worse, and that's why. Tear it up is really important that we like to start. Now instead of like next fall, absolutely, because it's kind of be horrible next fall and this spring after that could be 2024 is going to is going to be real grim. Would love to talk more about like a tear it up and how you approach organizing and what's your kind of hoping to both expand into and the various actions that you have done in the past few weeks. So the first tear it up action officially was the 313 rally in Austin. Texas as the Transcript's cry for help rally where we had a bunch of people on the steps of the governor's mansion. Speaking and getting loud and we had a a few 100 people show up and that really mobilized a lot of folks in Texas that I know got activated from that and are still going. But while I was running an organizing that with trot and I actually flew down to Texas from Nebraska to do that and the various humans I'd reached out to and I was just like, I don't have time to explain directions right now. We need to organize the die in by the end of the month. Here's here's what I have. I just kind of threw it at them and they all ran with it and. I think that's the way that we need to approach this right now because we need to build this big machine because they've been building the machine against us for years. And and to build a machine that can rival that, we kind of need to be much more decentralized and much more agile about how we grow and how we do these actions. Cat, you were one of the first humans I reached out to and I was like, yeah, I would like to make a big trouble. What was that like from your side of things? Yeah. So I keep thinking about this from the perspective of kind of my own political motivation. So I've done various kinds of like lefty whatever, organizing for, for most of my adult life and in the last, like last, I guess, February and February or whatever. I think like probably a lot of people, especially little trans people. I had like a a couple week period of just like totally depressed doom scrolling and then. Information of Ukraine was happening and it's just like everything was bad all the time. It's still feel, still feels like everything's bad all the time. But I have stuff to do. Thanks to get roads over here. So what it I so like I said, I grew up. I was a child of the 90s. I grew up in a world that I knew was utterly hostile to my existence. I knew that trans people were like that, that to be trans was something deeply shameful and a secret that I either needed to die with or that if I came out it would like ruin the my the life of all of my family. Until I eventually you know I managed to not die all the way until 18 came out and then found a bunch of incredible queer people and have been alive since then. But I I I was shaped by that experience, by the experience of meeting to survive knowing that I had this secret all you know I knew when I knew in kindergarten I like just just knew with total certainty. And I also knew that it was evil and bad and that I should be ashamed and and there is a. All couple. There's like generation. There's a whole generation of kids right now growing up who. Have you know come out who have been born since 2014 and come out as tiny police folks? Invite floating. Right. So there's like a hole and then never mind. Like kids weren't born before that but who are in high school now, who are were coming out. And like they have existed in a world where pop culture and the sort of mass culture more generally speaking has like there are trans people on TV and they're not just serial killers or the murder victims in an SU story. There's legitimate representation. There is, you know, you have like the you have people in national government and in state government expressed explicitly. Defending trans people like they're they have been inculturated to this idea that they have some semblance of rights, and that civilization that the civilization they live in doesn't want to smite them out of existence. And those kids are watching this conversation shift, and I don't know what that's like, but. I can tell you that I have been motivated by anger to do a lot of things and I don't know that I've ever been quite as serious in my life as I have been the last the last couple of months, and so being drawn towards tear it up. To me is this opportunity to like. You know. I I love the Trevor project. I'm really glad that they exist. I'm really glad they do the work that they do. You know, like. That there's all these different orgs, absolutely, who are putting out positive messaging. But it's all pretty milktoast, you know? It's like trans people are cool. Maybe we should maybe we should give all the we should give all the tenderers baseball bat. Maybe that would be a more useful thing to do, to be space for like, they're ******* trying to kill you. Yeah, 13 year old, they're coming for you. This world is unsafe, and I need you to know that you have somewhere to run to, that there are adults in the world who will keep you safe. Who will show up for you? Who are going to go and raise a bunch of hell, make a bunch of noise, do a graffiti, put up some posters, go and, you know, get ourselves in trouble on the steps of the capitals all across the country so that those kids in high school right now who are feeling like the entire ******* universe is dissolving around them into a bottomless sea of fear and hatred that like. There's other people out there. If you're in Idaho, if you're, if you were a kid who's growing up in northern Idaho, like there is other people out there, yeah, you just have to get free. And we're specifically, so our first actions, we specifically targeted these states that tend to be ignored by sort of like the the mainstream liberal media. I'm trying to say that without sounding like a wackadoodle, but we're fully past that point. Cool. I have to, like, be professorial. We we we opened this show with a joke about Caitlyn Jenner. Kit, like something. That's true. We're fine. It is true. That happened. Ohh, we don't know. Yeah, I know. But yeah, like the mainstream liberal media doesn't give a **** about Iowa or Idaho. And frankly, I've since I've lived all over the country and been involved in queer activism for like over a decade. I have friends all over and a lot of the. More higher up folks and established orgs on the coasts and in big cities. Look at what happens in like, Iowa and Idaho and Texas and Florida and they're like, Oh no, this is a sign of what's to come and not this affects 1/4 of the country. It's already happening. Yeah, it's happened. Yeah, it's not. It could happen here. It's happened already. And we just fight for these kids desperately because. Their lives are at risk in so many ways right now, they're legally imperiled. The things that we're giving them hope for life are being taken away, and a lot of these laws most affect the kids that have supportive families. But we need to fight for the kids that don't chew and make sure that they know that. Like we see you in Iowa and we're gonna go do something melodramatic and cover ourselves in fake blood and lay on the steps of the Capitol in the in the state that you live in. So you can see that, like, your feelings are being externalized and. Hopefully that'll move you to knowing that, like other people are going through this too, and hopefully. Other people will see what's happening and it'll move them to action to protect those kids. And it'll give you a space to start building community and building connections for other trans people and other people in your area who want to help keep you alive. Exactly. And that's really the next step. And tear it up is this next month. I want to have us focus a bit more on a little community building and community events, which has always been a big part of my strategy with previous organizing as big, loud protests followed by a pizza party. Or we did a great picnic in Austin after the legislative sessions last year where we had a bunch of people show up and made a lot of good connections. And we had a lot of the little trans kiddos there. And some photos that were taken there were then used as like, the headline, like the the cover photos for like all these articles about the kids being attacked. Yeah, yeah, I think that this, that we, we pulled off our sort of first coordinated national set of actions that the model that we're. That we're looking at is groups like act up. So more of a a sort of decentralized national network of folks who are all working together to be sort of power amplifiers to like share resources, share share tools, make sure that you know, everyone has what they need and has backup in case anything gets out of hand, wherever they're whatever state they're in, whatever city they're in. That coalition building, they're like, the community building part is such a is such an incredibly important factor. Like I so I was coordinating, I was working on the event to have happen in Boise. And you know, one of the major things that I, that I ran into reaching out to all these different organizations is like, I mean they've been at war for a long time and they have like there are literally militia groups hunting anyone who shows up at a BLM rally in Boise. And when I talked to, you know, some of the, like executive directors of, like LGBTQ oriented nonprofits in Boise, they were like, hey, I'm really, it's really cool that you're doing this, but I we cannot send our kids we like, we can't participate in this because we don't know you and we don't know what's going to happen. And this is like this. You need to understand that this scene is like not safe. Totally fair. Yeah. So totally fair. And like, I think a big part of this next step is, is, is deepening those connections. You know, showing people that like we will show up, we are accountable. We are looking to be partners for long term action, for long term struggle. And one of the things. That is really cool about tearing up that I didn't expect because I am old. So my networking has always been phone trees and literally just like calling people out and being like you call these three people and and getting people out for actions. For tear it up, we have these amazing humans at building, like, online communities on discord, which makes me feel simultaneously like 20,000 years old. And also like the kids, they're all right. They know that how to do the trouble. And we're trying to not just build, do this traditional coalition building that I've been doing for a long time and making all these connections, but trying to build not just like a physical community, but an online community to stitch these physical communities together. Because if you're in like, middle of nowhere, Texas, you can see what's happening in Austin, but you can't always, like, physically make it there. So it's good to know that, like, these are my humans and they're fighting for me and I can be in the loop and get involved. Umm. And our long term strategy with that is to connect people like the Trevor Project we got. I love a lot of the humans. They're actually unlike trans lifeline in these groups because they. And and all these other like national groups that raise a lot of money, but they're actually not allowed to raise a lot of trouble because of like their tax status and all these things is like. The HRC like can't do a trouble because it'll look bad for them and they care about those sorts of things, but we can connect those people with these. Young activists that wanna like go stir up **** and cause trouble and need to like, let out that scream. And even if we can't defeat the laws in the moment, letting out that scream is a communal good. It lets people feel seen and it lets people know I need help right now. And shouting and crying and. A mashing of teeth and rending of hair and clothes is objectively good, actually. We need people to come together and we need people to see our suffering, and we need people to be moved to loving each other and helping each other and that's. And how that's how it was arrive. Right. If we achieve nothing beyond catharsis, then we've achieved something. Yeah, I loved your point about the online community component of things, because I feel like so much of Trans Focus online community is like. You know, do I look OK in this outfit or like, hey, we're all fans of the same like the anime or something, right? Like if they're, they're these very specific kind of. Projects, and there there's not. I don't feel like there's a lot of spaces that are like, hey, this is like the war room, like we. I mean, not that we can't talk about ******** but like the entire focus of this space is to connect as many trans people as possible so we can amplify our power together and, you know, begin to even remotely approximate the boogeyman that ******* Marjorie Taylor Green imagines us to be, right? Well, we need to become like the transexual menace, which is another protest group that I love from the 90s, where they create this iconography around like, oh, we are the transexual menace. And then it's a bunch of like very nice people. Yes, like very like normal looking folks. Yeah. But I think we need to reclaim that and take it in another direction and we need to not. Being menacing and you know, like. We need to be a good menace, we need to be a bit of an antihero for the trans community, and we need to do ******* trouble. And we need to cause problems for people. And frankly, I think too many politicians get to go to bed at night not listening to people call them ************* on a megaphone, and too many people get to have a nice lunch at their favorite restaurant without that being disrupted and having things shouted at them. I think we need to. Become the menace that we need to be to survive in this moment. I concur with this project and have that, yes, I concur with this and enjoy, enjoy participating in things that lead to those outcomes because it is, it's a because they want us dead anyway like that's that's that is that is what they're doing. That's what they're complacent with. I think it's also important to thing to note that. In terms of like good news, like not all of these bills are passing like on on this show. We've talked a lot about the bills that have passed. We have talked about all the stuff that has been going on. But there is not, not, not all the, not all of them are going through and that is an important thing to talk about. It doesn't mean the fights over because they're going to try again. But that is the other thing I think is worth is is is is worth mentioning and every states from you know Florida to Idaho to Washington, UT Virginia like at least there is not there is stuff that is getting blocked or at least not going through and. There's a lesson that needs to be learned from how the right operates in this because what they did for years was oppose equal rights, was opposed things in a variety of ways socially and through legislation that failed. And it was fail, fail, fail, fail, fail for a long time until they started to succeed. And part of why they succeeded is because they were continuously building a wide-ranging and powerful machine to push this stuff through learning from their failures. Grabbing more power, getting better at messaging and like that is ultimately the same attitude needs to be had. Like when when one of these laws gets struck down, it's not a sign that the fights been won, it's a sign to keep pushing. Like it's this kind of thing where you have to, you have to pay attention to the way they built this over the course of really 30 or 40 years, because it has to be done something a counter, a counterweight, a machine capable of of applying. Equal pressure in the opposite direction has to be built and it has to be built very quickly. Well in nine out of the nine out of 10 of these bills die, so nearly 270 I think it's 264 is the actual count of how many anti trans bills have been proposed in the last two years since the last election and only 27 have become law so. They're really just playing a numbers game, right? They're just forcing it through. And they're not gonna stop. And we. In Texas, it was so hard last year because I remember the last day of the legislative session. We were all there until midnight and cheered so hard when it was done. And we're like, this bill can't come back. And then we faced special session followed by special sessions, followed by special session where they're like, we are pushing through this trans legislation. And. The war's not. Gonna stop? We we. We're maybe gonna, we're gonna win a lot of battles, we're gonna win the majority of battles, but they're not playing it to win those individual fights. They're playing to eventually exterminate us and they're really gaining a lot of ground. And we're way behind on building our machine to fight it. And this is all happening in the context of, you know, a a very, very explicit mask off movement to essentially destroy American democracy and replace it with Christian fascism, right? We are the scapegoat. We are the enemy that they are currently identifying for elimination, right? So like, it's, you know, for them, they're like, I can score some points if I encourage this trans kid to kill themselves, right? And for us, it's like an existential threat that we may be watching the United States descend into. You know, an irreversible chasm of authoritarianism and violence. And you know that's going to be bad for trans people, too. Yeah, yeah, very. I love. Very understated. How can, how can, uh, if people are interested in tear it up and what they're doing, how can people find out more info online about how to keep up with stuff and and what what y'all do? So I think the the best place to I guess get little updates is the Twitter which is at tear it up org on Twitter and. Then additionally we have our website which is And yes, good. And then if you come and get involved and you can get invited to our discord, we're trying to grow that out a little slowly and stick with folks that we know are getting involved in the fight while we sort of build the initial foundation of this. But that's the place to find us right now. Twitter, Instagram as well. We're also teared up. Teared up org on Instagram and technically have a Facebook page, but who the **** uses Facebook? I mean actually, so our Facebook, we won't be posting a lot of stuff, but a lot of our events will go through Facebook because in a lot of the Midwest and the South, a lot of people still use Facebook, which is probably bad. Turns out that's not helping, I think. But those are the places. Go find us and and then come get involved. We're going to be doing a lot more. We've sort of been on a break for a week because we did a **** ton of events last month all at once and kind of needed a week off. But starting next week we're going to be posting a lot and organizing and pulling together some. Community and social events and some more protests show up and show. If you don't wanna, even if you don't wanna join, join the organization. Specifically. If you're a SIS ally who's listening to this and you're like, this sucks, I hate it, I'd like to do something. We're going to have things like, you know, posturing, like posturing resources and stickers and all kinds of stuff that you can that you can grab and, like, just go paint the town. Yeah, let it be. Let it be known that trans people won't be erased, that we are fighting back. Graffiti organization, please bully your local politicians and sticker every service surface you can get. Get some paint pens, I think. I think I'll do an upcoming episode on how to make or how to do wheat pasting. So yeah, as a as as some fun content for you for you fans of content out there. But yes, follow follow the tear it up account on the Twitters. That's how I've been. Mostly keeping up with it besides just asking people because I know who they are, but the Twitter Twitter is definitely a good. A good resource, yeah. I guess any, any kind of any other, any other thoughts or notes that she would like to to add before we before we wrap up here? Can I say **** Greg Abbott? Can we all just say **** Greg Abbott? Greg Abbott? Actually, KIV. So, Umm, yeah, **** **** lots of governors. **** a lot of the governors. Not most. Most of them. I think the vast majority of governors should go **** themselves and I'll see them in hell. Yeah, that's a good plug, your plug your history podcast, because queer history sounds like a great thing that people should learn more about. Yeah, well, so it's the the Totally Trans podcast network. We might also come up as totally trans searching for the trans Canon. We were originally just The One Show where we talked about pop culture and history. It was me and writer Henry Giardina. And now we have a a slate of shows that we do on the same feed. And one that talks about comics, one that talks about history that I love that the playwright Katie Coleman does and called our secret history. And then we have we just started the newest season of totally trans, searching for the trans cannon where we're talking about finding. Lessons from history and queer culture and pop culture. Love find it, yeah. Alright. Yeah, uh, buy some paint pens. Show up to actions if you can and learn to make some trouble, yeah. Also, megaphones are only $40.00 from harbor freight. Just saying you can get really loud, really cheap, and it's generally legal to shout at people from outside their homes, although not not always. That can get you in some trouble, but not bad trouble necessary. Check your local sound ordinances and bring a volume meter and really just amplify yourself just to that level and learn how to edit audio so you can really just. File it in, find a good lawyer and consult with them first. Yes. Also personally I would like to say forced from all anti trans politicians who say that you can be peer pressured into transitioning. I am personally trying to force them. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. It hasn't worked yet, but he's very insistent it will work eventually. So I do feel like the right way to pursue that is just by deregulation and then poisoning the water supply. Well, that does it for us today. Ohh. Hey, we'll be back Monday with more episodes every week from now until the heat death of the universe. It could happen here as a production of cool zone media. For more podcasts and 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.