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 31

It Could Happen Here Weekly 31

Sat, 23 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. And then the. Welcome to. It could happen here, a podcast that is today about something that did happen here and absolutely sucked. And with me to talk about the Atlanta shooting is Garrison. Hello. Hi. Not happy to be here. Yeah. Yeah. No, this is this is not a we're not talking about a current event. This happened, like, what was it last year? Yeah. So, yeah. Had a case. Someone's listening and wondering if there was another one. No, no, this is specifically. Actually there there have been a couple of shootings in Atlanta since then. Obviously there yes, but we're talking like we're talking about is is. Is from from last year and it ties into many of the topics we discussed on the show. Yep. A March 16th, 2021, Robert Aaron Long, a regular at Young's Asian massage, refused to tip. After getting a massage, Shao Jitan, the spas owner, confronted him about the tip. Long simply walked away. He got dressed, went to the bathroom, pulled out his gun and started shooting, leaving Shaucha Tan dying on the floor. Driving from Spa to Spa, Long shot 9 people and killed 8. The lone wounded survivor, Alicia Hernandez Ortiz, got on his knees and begged long not to shoot. Long shot him anyways. There's a there's there's a tendency, when confronted with true horror, to retreat into abstraction. As if the abstract is sheltered from the violence of the storm, I intend, if briefly, to do it myself. But there is no safety there, only the same violence repeated again and again and again in 1000 ways, with 1000 names wearing 1000 faces. Because this is hell and we live in it. O, onto the abstract. There's a concept in Marxism called Treger. It's a German word. It's usually translated as bearer in the sense of an individual capitalist being the bearer of capitalist social relations. They enact this relation by, you know, turning capital into more capital, which is based on the capitalists. There is, you know, literally endless debates over what this actually means. Most of it is pointless, and the meeting is contested enough that I'm going to abuse it a bit further and argue that a person can become a bearer of historical forces larger than themselves. Robert Aaron Long was the bearer of a great number of historical forces. He bore the violence of capitalism, of misogyny, of racism, of horror phobia, of whiteness, of Christianity itself. And he unleashed it into the world. It's just like the idea of like invoking, right, drawing on these external ideas into yourself and then becoming them for like a brief period of time. Yeah, I mean, I think it's slightly different in that with bearing, it's it's not so much that that you're briefly invoking them, it's that you're you're constantly a part of the relation. So the relation defines you and it it and you you sort of. You constantly enact it by. The things that you do and indeed doing sort of like the relation real, it's more like an ever present thing that is. Yeah. Yeah. It's it's it's, yeah. It's something that just sort of structures how society works. Right. Like we're all sort of like enacting the wage relation, right. Every time we like do it, like, you know, like doing this right now by doing our jobs. Yeah, we are, we are enacting the wage relations. OK. Got it. Yeah. And, you know, I think. I think a lot of people after the shooting were left asking, you know, why? And, you know, we we can name social and historical forces, we can talk about sort of initiation, violence and racism and homophobia. But what does it actually mean? And you know what? What are the forces that long unleashed into this world? What do they look like? And I think I think we have, we have a good example of this from. Right after Long was arrested, a police captain, Jay Baker of the Cherokee Sheriff's Department, said this to reporters at a press conference. This is about logging in the shooting. He was pretty much fed up and at the end of his rope and yesterday was a really bad day for him and this is what he did. He apparently has an issue, what he considers a sex addiction, and he sees these locations as something that allow him to go to these places and it's a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate. Now yeah, there there was a lot going on in in in in those like 2 sentences. So, you know, Cherokee Sheriff's Department. Oh yeah, there is. There is so much going like right there. Yeah, somebody, somebody, somebody layers to this. Yeah. It's incredible. One of the things that we're going to go more into next episode is that like this? This is where. Uh, what's his name? This is where the guy who just like, drew a random line on a map that he found from like that he pulled out of his, like, National Geographic thing who divided Korea in half. Like this is where he's from. OK, there's this is, yeah, there is a there is a lot of historical violence in this very specific part of Georgia that that is all coming together here. And, Oh yeah, his school was also super racist. Like, there's they they had a mascot that was like, doing all the racist stuff. Yeah, sure. Yeah, and, you know, before we go any further, it's worth mentioning that, like almost immediately after. The the, The the honorable police captain gave that press conference. A bunch of people on the Internet found out that Baker had posted a like a shirt that said COVID-19 and imported virus from China. I, I I I remember this. Yeah, yeah, the sheriff was. Be pretty racist himself. Yeah. A part of many, many anti Asian tropes relating to conspiracy theories. Yeah, this is you know, this is classic twenty 20s like anti Asian rhetoric. It's, you know, it's stuff that's led directly to hundreds of attacks on Asian Americans since the start of the pandemic and. You know the race is onslaught driven by every sector of American Society. Now people immediately start speculating that Jay Baker had collaborated with long to cover up the racial like motivation for his violence. And OK, I I think there's some truth to this. The cops have been collaborating with long and his family in various ways. I'm going to read a part of an article in Vanity Fair written by the journalist mahjong called how the Atlanta Spa shooting the victims. The survivors tell the story of America, which is it's this is one of the best things that anyone's written about the shooting so far. I'm going to read a little bit of it because it's. Oh boy. I rang the bell at the family home. No one answered. Before I could decide what to do, a police cruiser showed up. An officer who introduced himself as Sergeant Clement explained that the neighbours, multiple people, had called to report suspicious activity. The one good thing about Cherokee County, he told me, is that we lookout for each other. It's like how it used to be in the 70s. I asked Clement what specifically the neighbors were worried about. To be honest, he said, what they are worried about is they are afraid of revenge. What is the context for the like revenge line? Yeah, I mean it was basically just they they were released. Like they were terrified that like Asian people were going to show up like to this community and take revenge for the shooting. Thought they were like attack like the church or something. Well no, like they thought they were like show up to like the families house and like attack the neighborhood. Ah, yeah. When is when, when is that ever happened? Yeah, yeah. You know and and and you know and. You can like what this demonstrates. A is just the kind of community you're dealing with here. And be also like you just, you have very obvious close connection between the cops and like Long's family at this point. Yeah and I mean in terms of like the covering up. The the covering up of like the anti violence part of it. Honestly, I don't even know how intentional that would be because I don't think he even recognizes that as racism and I'm not sure how much the cops recognize that as a super big part since that they are already pretty pretty racist against Asian people. OK? Like I I don't even know how much they recognize that as being like a thing that isn't normal. Yeah, but I but I think also like. I don't know it. The the the explicitness to which particularly Baker is being racist like makes me suspect that he that he he would have been able to figure it out because he's like, like, you have to go out of your way to like have a shirt that says like COVID imported from China. Like, yeah, but I don't think that he would consider that racist. Right. Like it's so it's so racist that but but he can't even consider that he just think it's just like normal, right. Like he's possible. Yeah, I can see like that's like. In terms of like them trying to cover up any kind of anti Asian stuff leading towards the shooting, they may not see that as like as anything to be covered up because they think that's just normal. So they're not going to like even focus on it because they're like, yeah, I mean obviously. Right, like, yeah, it's just that we're so far down the rabbit hole that it's hard to, even, like, recognize it. I don't know. I'm just. I'm just. I'm. I'm just simple. I know it makes it makes sense consciousness. And I think also the other thing that's going on here that that's I think the other part of why they wouldn't have recognized it if they didn't is that like, OK, so like most people see this and they're, you know, they kind of like analytically, they kind of throw up their hands. They're like, well, this is anti Asian violence. They talk about like the stuff that particular dangers faced by like Asian women and sex workers and they sort of call it a day and their analysis of like stops there and like, they're right. Like this is anti Asian violence. The violence is primarily inflicted on women. And it particularly on sex workers or in any, this is also very important people who are perceived as sex workers no matter what they actually do. And yeah, like it's got worse since the pandemic, but. There's a very, very specific kind of violence that long is doing here. It is. It's not. It's related to, but not identical to the the sort of post COVID stuff and I think people. Really? Like? Did a disservice to what happened and did a disservice to help people understand it by not actually poking at it because this shooting is at its core an evangelical shooting like this is this is, this is evangelical finance, this is Christian violence and this is this is purity culture. And you know, if if you want to understand what actually happened here, you have to actually have to go back and you have to understand the Christianity angle because it is critical. Now, East Asia's contact with Christianity in the last 200 years has been, broadly speaking, extremely bleak. Conclusion of the First Opium War in 1842, which Britain forced China to buy opium to cover Britain's trade deficit with the country. And then they Britain also stole Hong Kong and then allowed. Yeah, it also had the effect of allowing Christian missionaries into the country. And it it is genuinely unclear which one of those acts has the highest body counts. I the the product of the Christian missionaries work was the Taiping rebellion, in which the self-proclaimed brother of Jesus Christ waged a failed war against the ruling Qing dynasty. That like even if even if you use like the lower estimates of the body count that war makes World War One look like a minor border skirmish. It is a just incredibly devastating war. And you know that the product of this is. There's. There's famines. There's also just a bunch of floods that happen at the same time, and this sends an enormous number of immigrants and refugees fleeing from their homes, looking for any way to survive. And a lot of those people find their way to the US and they get imported by American capitalists who are, you know, looking for a new labor force to serve. It's like a racial, racial buffer between right black workers after the Civil War. And the other thing is, like, it's really hard to get to the West Coast in the 1800s. Like they don't Panama Canal, you have to go over land and it sucks and it's hard. So they need a labor force that they can just get to the West Coast and it's literally easier for people to come from China. And you know, and so they do it. It is a, it is a brutal existence. Chinese workers are worked to death building the railroads. And they, you know, they they struggle to carve out a life for themselves and. They do, haltingly and leaps and spurts, but they create communities that build towns and temples and cultures in the beginning of a new society. And that's when the white working class decides they want to exterminate them. Because this is a this is a great country, yeah. White workers, you know, immediately start blaming Chinese workers for the low wages, and they use their workers organizations to ethnically cleanse the West. That the result of this is a series of maskers that goes on literally for decades, stretching like into the night like this. These things start in like the 1870s, and they're still going in like the 19. Like, like in the in like the early 1900s? And it's at this point we're Christianity gets involved. I think like most people who are listening to the show have probably heard at least in passing, of the Chinese Exclusion Act, which is the sort of like the great triumph of like the Dark alliance of racists and the white working class. But what I think is less known about is the page act of 1875, which banned, quote, lewd and immoral women from entering the United States and this is, this is like, this is directly targeted at Asian and Chinese women who were seen as a threat to the sort of racial and moral character of like. The white Christian American nation because of like they're supposed to, like inherited immorality demonstrated by the popular. Usually demonstrated by the popular image of all Chinese women as sex workers. And you know, I think like. Looking back on this, this is extremely recognizable. This is literally just anti trafficking panic. Like this whole thing is just, it's like this, this, this is this is like, this is like proto, this is like proto Q ****. Umm. And you know, and like like there there is, there is legitimately like sex trafficking going on but. The existence of like like the fact that there is sex trafficking gets used. As this sort of like political and racial image because projected onto just like all Asian women who get portrayed as as trafficking victims and you simultaneously be like saved but then also expelled from the US to preserve both there and the US as purity. And you know, like this image of Asian women has literally never changed. You will find it today. Like, to this day, people fight people using like the exact same racist projections, like consciously or unconsciously to talk about Asian immigrants and like particularly spa workers. It's it's just like, it's just like incredibly toxic mix of like Christian moralism, sexism, homophobia and racism. And the racism element is really important because like, OK, well, this is going on like, prostitution is legal in California. Like you could just do this like there's no law against it. You know, it's it's a you'd think that like, oh, hey there, you know the the sort of like Christian panic would just be targeted against brothels. Like, no, it's like very specifically against Asian women. And it's, you know, this is because. All of the sort of like the Christian fears about sex work is. You know, and in their horror fobia is and and still is today, incredibly, deeply fused with this sort of like that, this, like, incredibly racist, like concern over the purity of the race. Uh-huh. Yeah, yeah. You know, this will sound familiar to anyone who's been like. Paying attention at all to any of the trafficking panics and if the anti trans stuff any of just mean interracial dating was only extremely recently allowed at all of like the biggest Christian universities. Yeah like like they have like they yeah not a it is, it's a, it's a thing, it's a yeah, it's. And like the thing about it, it's it's really. It's it's really close to the surface, right? Even even when they're not explicitly saying it. Like, if you look, you spend about 2 seconds looking. It's like, oh, this is what's going on here, huh? Yeah, yeah, and. You know, so that that's sort of, that's sort of one side of, of this whole thing, right, is you have this sort of like you have this sort of like Christian like anti trafficking panic that that creates that, like, you know, it creates this sort of image of what age women are and has a lot of effects. But the other side of this coin is that there is a just incredible amount of sexual violence that America has inflicted on Asian women, like particularly through its war, successive invasions of. The Philippines, China, Korea, and Vietnam saw American soldiers committing just. Untold and horrific sexual violence on Asian women. Like to to the extent that like. The US essentially just inherits Japan's like mass military rape system in Korea and just runs it for itself. Like, there's this. All of all of those things came home so massively. All the things that were normalized overseas just came right back with all the soldiers came back. Yep, Yep, yes, next year, like, and this, this has a. Like? I don't know. I I think people get the relationship between pop culture depictions and of, you know, racist depictions of people in pop culture and the actual culture backwards. Like they don't help and they spread it, but like, you know, the the, like me love you long time **** from like Kubrick like that doesn't come out of nowhere. That's not just Kubrick, like, that's that is. That's something that was brought home by the American racists and, you know, like when when they got back and that stuff, like, it's it's not just that, like, this stuff's being spread by media. It's that the media is being influenced by the people who did this stuff and then came home. It is the full circle thing. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And I mean, even still now there's such a such a degree of like Asian women being like an object to possess even more so than right, like even more so than like regular women, which obviously under under like a lot of like patriarchal stuff in the States and you know, overseas everywhere, you know, women are seen as objects to possess. But specifically there's is that is so much heightened for women of color and specifically like Asian women that that idea. I mean you you see that everywhere for like the libertarian. Asian girlfriend trope you like. You see this in media all the time. That, like, the Asian wife is something you own and it's it's a it's very, extremely pervasive. Yeah, and and I think the reason why is that like. This image gets refreshed every time a generation comes home from a war in Asia. And you know that that's because the US has been fighting wars in Asia, like forever. I mean, basically since, like they've been fighting wars with agents late 1800s. And, you know, like the violence of each subsequent generation just sort of refreshes this image of, like, Asian women as prostitutes. Bodies are supposed to just be, like, accessible to white men at all times. But this has a sort of there's a kind of clash that happens here, too, because, like, on the one hand you have this sort of like, racial and sexual fetishization, and on the other hand, you have Christian homophobia. And this gives you this culture where, like, Asian women are at once seen as like, hyper desirable and hyper available, but are also just, like utterly despised for both. And this sort of like racist pathology, this, this, this, like, this, this sexual desire mixed with loathing is at just the absolute core of of the Atlanta shooting. And as if to remind us if it's origin, long carries out his massacre on the 53rd anniversary of my lie. And we're bad. So I I think we now have enough context to like go back to Long's initial description of why he carries out the attack, which is a self-described sex addiction, is desire to quote eliminate temptation? Yeah, because I mean we cannot overstate the degree to which both the police, the church, and the shooter himself framed this not as an anticipation thing, but as like as a as a something addressing his sex addiction. That was the angle. He talked about it. Now there's all of the initiation stuff that is like right under the surface. That is like probably up so much of what's going on. But the thing that they were publicly talking about was this so-called sex addiction. Yeah. And and I think this is, this is, you know, this is, this is a very important angle of this is we should actually talk about what that is and because and to understand because he's not like, OK, so like sex addition is I think like actually sort of a thing. But that is a hotly debated yeah. I don't know. I'm not a psychiatrist. Don't take advice to me. I think it's the slightly more legit of the two things that that of the two like fake syndrome things we're going to talk about here. But this is not what's going on with him. And if you want to understand. Yeah, what's going on with this, we need to go back to enemy of the show, purity culture. Friend. Friend of friend of the pod? Yeah, I'm gonna say no. I refuse. I had I had friends in there a couple of times and I was like, I refuse to call this friend of the show, damn it. Like I can't bring myself to do it. All right, Joshua Harris. Just unsubscribed. O long, like by all accounts, is extremely religious. He's heavily involved in both his church and his high school. Like his high school, he is Republic High School, but the public high school has like Christian athletic groups. Yeah, which is a fun thing that they let you do in public schools. Yeah, it's great. So, you know, to get it to get an understanding of like, the kind of baptism we're dealing with here, here's a line from the church's bylaws, quote. We believe that any form of sexual immorality such as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, polygamy, pedophilia, *********** or any attempt to change one sex or disagreement with one's biological sex is sinful and offensive to God. Yep, you know, and all of that's in the Bible. Yeah, they have you. You can tell because they cite 3 passages. Note if they do say that, well, I know there is. There is beastiality stuff. Yeah, Beastiality is and I think incest is in there. Well, sort of. I mean they they keep doing this stuff, but parts of the Bible are pro incest, parts of the Bible are antigens. Yeah, it's the Bible has a real sticky relationship with the topic of incest. But yes, I'm sure they thoroughly cite all of their passages for they talked about when they talk about bisexual conduct. Yeah, it's yeah. Well, I mean, you know, the, the the the one that's great is the attempting to change one sex or disagreement with one's biological sex a thing that I I I'm guessing they're citing God created males and females and males and females. He created them. I don't actually think so because they're not. They didn't. I OK yeah. This this is me being poured in a full I didn't I'm just I'm just speculating based on my experience in these in these types of types of groups. Yeah. So Speaking of these types of groups, so long is like OK so long church like expels him after the the the shootings the murders. Yeah. Because like I'm I'm 99% sure they violated their own bylaws because there's no way they could have done their expulsion. They're actually expulsion protocol and that amount of time because they would have acted like. To send people to visit him in jail. See, I think you're overestimating the degree to which churches care about what their bylaws actually say. Well, I mean, it's the only blinking that it was the thing. Matt, Matt, 18. There's like the thing that churches have that's like their expulsion protocol and they, like, send someone to. Yeah, this is, this is this is the thing I've ran into. I think you're, I think you're slightly overestimating how much people actually care about that. Yeah. It's all just a racket used to prop up the authority of the leaders and push people towards whatever political gains that the movement has. Yeah, pretty much, yeah. Speaking of getting people to submit to authority and pollution. Instant movement. Yeah. So we've talked about purity culture on this show. We have like, we have dazeem. So we're not going to go into an enormous amount of detail about it here. The very should at least describe what it is. So the very, very, very short version is it's like, it's an incredibly patriarchal like. Evangelical Christian religious system in which, like sex before marriage, is seen as like an incredible sin and there's just like focus on like the purity or the wife and like. Like a woman is essentially the property of her husband, and the entire goal of her existence is to like. Bear and raise children and yes. So it was it was invented. It was the modern version. It was invented in the 90s. Yeah. Strongly influenced by a book written by someone named Joshua Harris. It was called I kissed dating goodbye. The book promotes a pro courtship to marriage pipeline. Instead of dating, dating, dating will probably encourage you to have sex before marriage, which is of course bad and under, under all of this, under like the actual like, you know if you if you start to dig into this, all the stuff it talks about in terms of like sexual purity. Is about, you know, women are responsible for men's sexual like, since right? Like if if if a man lusts for a woman, that's the woman's fault, not the man's fault, right? It's because women must be presenting in a way that causes that to happen, right? So women's women's bodies and clothes should be designed in a way so that it will not cause men to stumble. And by stumble they mean *** *****. And, you know, it's something that, you know your your body's both this thing that should be pure, but also you should be ashamed of it, right? Because it causes this sin. Women can't really have any sexual desire on their own. Women aren't going to really enjoy sex. It's specifically for men, and it's for procreation. It's in, in, in, in in the tense value tied to your idea of, like virginity and virginity extending out to like, personal purity and spiritual purity. Like if you have sex before marriage, you are like, like unclean. It's it's like, it's like you're it's like you're chewed up gum like you like you would not pick up someone, like if you found some chewed up gum on the street, you would put it back in your mouth, right? So that's the idea. Like if you if if you're not a virgin you are, you are like chewed up gum, like you are already used, you're spent. So you have you. So you save save her marriage so that only your husband can chew up your gum. And then after your marriage, you're just stuck there forever, right? It's also like very, very, very anti divorce. Yeah, there's really no difference. Like, there's they they don't really, there's not much discussion around consent, oddly enough. You know, as you know, that may surprise you based on what I all just said. Like, obviously they don't care about consent. There is like they they view any, they view sexual assault just as bad as consensual sex before marriage. They see them as the same thing. It's it's basically this, it's the same structures that they're both in equal sin. Uh. And I mean that is that is purity culture 101. We could, we could just do an entire episode on purity culture and we probably would do, we could do series on it. Like, yeah, like, yeah, yeah, yeah. And I think the important thing about it is like, this is basically like in in terms of their sort of being like a like, I don't know if you call it a counterculture, but they're sort of being like a an evangelical cultural machine. Like it's this. Like this is this is what they're pushing is like is like their mass movement for for youth especially in the 90s and 2000s. We have we have stuff like purity rings, which is like you know when you when you're a teen you'll get these like objects or jewelry which are like like almost like magical items you put on to like show that I am going to keep myself pure. And by doing this, by doing this action, it's symbolizing that and therefore internalizing it. There's also a purity balls, which is not what you're so. But use the word purity ball. Certain things will come to mind, right? Unfortunately, they're not as fun as what as what you are thinking. A purity ball is just like a formal dance event, you know, like a ball that you put on which is meant to is. It's a, it's a meant to. Usually it's a like fathers take their daughters there and then their daughters swear to make a virginity pledge to protect their purity of mind, body and spirit so that they will not. And infect, you know, boys, uh, and cause them to stumble and and commit the sin of lust, which again is an incredibly weird thing to do at a ball. Like, yeah, yeah, it's so weird. Well, also, yeah, it's. Yeah. Most. Most. Yeah. It's I we I think I think we've got into enough about yeah about this specific sort of thing. I think the the the last thing I will walk in there is one more thing that we're OK at length but so before that I I do want to point out that Joshua Harris who like is is in a lot of ways responsible like single handedly responsible for an enormous amount of this. She is Japanese and yeah ******* thanks for that one, buddy. Great job. Good **** man. Like also. Job in 2019, he announced that he and his wife were divorcing. Yeah, so you know, and and and now and now no longer considers himself like the type of Christian he was before. I'm unclear what his actual spiritual beliefs are at the moment, but he did. He did try to distance himself from his from, from what I've read, like it's unclear that he knows. So, oh, he he knows. He he definitely knows I can, I can, I can, I can guarantee that. He's he seems to be running. He doesn't do grift now. It sucks they they always get new grips, but actually when we will, yeah, we will get into the new grift industry in a second. But yeah, one of the other things that's that's a big part of this is a like a deep and abiding hatred of ****. Like, to the extent all of this is. Yeah. Like, as you said, like in the list of bylaws, watching **** again is the same as sexual assault. Yeah. Like, this is it's morally the same level of sin. Yeah. And and like, you know, I mean, and and you can read that both ways as how seriously they take watching **** and how not seriously I take sexual assault because it does, it does go both ways. And this, this thing. The fact that this is this is like considered a sin is the apotheosis like with the apotheosis of this is is **** addiction, which again like not really real dubious existence. This is, this is even more dubious sexist than sex addiction. Like there's no there, this is this is like, this is just fake. But there's an entire culture that's that's like developed around stopping men from seeing poor on these. Like these incredibly elaborate accountability setups where like there's like apps you install on your stuff, like. Leads to alter your IP address to block certain sites. Yeah. Robert Aaron Long, the shooter, like he he uses a flip phone instead of a smartphone because he thinks having a phone will like, lead into temptation now. Long yeah, the product is there's there's like this entire industry that has built up around quote UN quote treating the **** addiction. Yeah, and it's it's all ********. But Long had spent had twice been in one of these facilities called Hope Quest. Now, Hope Quest is an affiliate for old friends that focus in the family. But that's not actually the part I want to talk about. Because what's more interesting about Hope Quest is that it's founded by Roy a Blankenship, a former ex gay who left both Hope Quest and the ex gay community to live with his husband. Now, now this. What a, what a what a what a funny pattern we keep finding ourselves here. Yeah now, I think might you listeners, if if you were, if you were not as as cursed as as as as as we are as we are. And you don't know what an ex gay is ex gays were they were this movements of like evangelical gays who claimed that like this thing starts in like the nineties 2000s. They they claim that like they've gone to conversion therapy and it made them not getting worse. Yeah yeah and and this and you know and partial part of partial was going on here is they claim that that like they they they did it voluntarily because like involuntarily doing conversion therapy had gotten to a point where it was like bad PR wise because Jesus Christ you were like torturing children and they're torturing children but this time they're like, no it's voluntary. This is like a big this is the rights big cultural campaign against the guy right through the 90s and 2000s and like I I would say this like it's it's not exactly the same thing as the way they used to transitioners. But like there's a lot of it's very similar and of course obviously that we now have the ex gay movement. Yeah. Yeah. And and you know, and and two, two like, OK. So like the the XE movement falls apart at in in like the late 2000s and thousands because like it doesn't work. Like there's still the leaders personal gay. All the leaders were initially gay said they were. OK and then kept having *** *** because that rule. Yeah. Yeah. And they all kind of realized maybe we should stop doing this thing that keeps killing kids. Yeah. And Blake Blankenship, to his credit, like, he'd been a big person doing this. And then he was just like one of his friends, like, commit suicide. And he's like, oh ****. And so, like, he stops and he, like, he's announced his conversion therapy and he's now Proclear. So many of the focus on the family, people who were involved in, like, love one out all of these programs. So many of them. Then renounced it, accepted their their gayness, and then moved to Portland ******* Oregon. Yeah, so many of them did. No, there aren't you want this, though. Like, this is this is what's interesting about this. So, OK, so so while he was sort of figuring this out, Blankenship had founded Hope Quest, right? And so he leaves with the people who are running it now, like, are ex gays who they're like the only ex gays left who didn't renounce it. And who, like, still claim to be. I mean they they they they've taken their stuff about how like, homosexuality should be, like dealt with by saying, by having, by marrying women and just not acting on it or whatever. Like they they they they took that stuff out of their BIOS. But they apparently they still believe it. Like these people have never publicly come out against it. And you know, what essentially happened was that like, enough of enough of the ex gays like that the thing collapsed enough that, like, they had to find and they had to find a new thing to do and the new thing. That they found to do was they went and they went into the **** addiction treatment industry. Yeah. And also if you want more background on like the XK thing, you can listen to my, my 2 parter on focus on the family and James Dobson for behind the ********. Also for our week on the war on trans people, we discussed some of the same stuff for the first episode, which is the evangelical gay marriage like thing that. So we we we have, we we we do have, we do have some like produced. Scripted stuff on these topics if you want more background on them. Yeah, unfortunately this is this is a story where there's like, every single thread you've ever done suddenly is is coming together in one moment of horrific violence. This is where it long, like, winds up for his like, treatments for like, **** and sex addiction addictions, which I cannot emphasize enough. This is literally what he's talking about is literally that he watches ****. Like, like that. That's what **** and sex addiction like means. And because none of this is real, the treatments like, don't work because, again, it's all fake. I do. And also say Hope Quest is operates out of Georgia. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. But, you know, so, so. So he he, so he he goes into treatment twice and he he says it like Maverick, which is just like recovery center. Umm. And doesn't work, and he goes home and his parents kick him out of his house for watching ****. And, you know, and I think this is something that like is important to understand, which is that the people inside of this world really deeply believe this stuff, right. And and, like, watching **** has real social consequences for them. And it has, you know, this, this has, this has as has a like a profound effect on how these people think. I'm going to read a quote from a Washington Post article. Bayliss, who was Long's roommate at Maverick Recovery, a sober living facility in Roswell, GA, in 2019 and 2020. In the months between his stay at home stays at Hope Quest, said Long felt his very salvation was at stake as he told his roommate that he was, quote, living in sin and not walking in the light. He was walking in darkness. So this, this is how these people like see this stuff, right? Like, this is this is literally about whether you're like very intense sold. Yeah. This is about whether you live in or hell. They're talking about like something extremely existential, like it like it is. This all seems very silly to people who are not inside it, because it is, it is, it is absurd. But for the people involved in it, it is like the totality of the universe. Like it is. It is so big. It's like the biggest thing. It's so important because you're you're determining what you're. What you will, what's your conscious being will exist for for thousands and thousands of years like like this is what they actually believe. So it's super important. Like it's it is it is worth killing for because yeah, that's that's how important this is like like, I think, I think there's incentive which it is more important than life or death because you dying like, OK you die once you go to your physical death doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. Your spiritual death is so much more important. Yeah. And and this, you know, and and you know we talked about this like it's there. There's those things. There's a social consequences. You can get kicked out of your house, you can kick out of your church. If you keep doing this like, like, these churches will kick you out. And and this, you know, this makes the ideology at work here incredibly powerful and provides a mixture of this, like this, this really incredible self hatred for like falling into sin and giving into temptation. And it also creates a hatred of the temptation itself. And this brings us all the way up to the shooting purity culture. Purity culture is the key that unlocks, you know, the meaning of logs words. We can understand the explanation that the police gave, which again, like he apparently has an issue, what he considers a sex addiction and sees these locations as something that allows him to go to these places. And it's a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate, you know, and he. There there was A at. The memorial for for the shooting last year's sex worker organizer Kaylin Jiang said this. They hate us so they can hate themselves less. And I think that's, that's a really great, yeah, that is a really good analysis. Yes, yeah, it's perfect calculation of like what's happening here. But this is the part of the story with the media. Just. Violently and spectacularly ***** up to enact they, they dropped the purity ball, you might say. Yeah, I mean it's it's it's really horrible there. We've essentially done is an ACT 200 years of racist violence against people who had either literally just survived a mass shooting or who are literally dead. And the way they do this is the press reads, long talking about sex addiction. Addiction. And they immediately assume that the women in these massage parlors have been having sex with him. And they start there's like this whole hunt that they do to, like, search for evidence that massage workers were doing, like, full service sex work based off of, again, the words of a literal racist mass murderer and their own racist preconception that, like, all Asian women, especially spa workers, are also sex workers. And like, you know, on the one hand, yeah, it's true that this stuff is fueled by horror phobia and also, like, morally, who gives a ****? What they were doing. But the immediate problem here is that by doing this witch hunt, you're sticking the police on the survivor. Yes, you're putting, you're putting survivors in immense legal and physical danger. Yeah, and and we, we will talk about this more next episode. But like, these women have already seen more police violence and police raids than all of the journalists writing about this combined have seen in their entire lives. And if any of these people had bothered to spend 5 seconds thinking about what period culture is, they would have realized that long is from a fanatically. Iranian culture, a culture where, for example, in message given by a woman where the man is like almost entirely naked, is something that would absolutely have been considered a sexual service. And like. You know and if you think about this again for like 5 seconds, right? When he's talking about removing temptation. He he already thinks of all of these women as sex workers. Yes, because that's that's what he thinks the massage is. He thinks like that, that, that, that's that's how he thinks about massages. It's yeah, it is it it women are the like, women do this, then they cause men to sit, right. It's not it's nothing to do with what's going on with the man. It is specifically what the woman's doing. Yeah, well, and even then, like it doesn't actually like, I think, I think that the important distinction here is that. It does not matter when long talks about how this is a place that was giving indentation and also like like he was giving invitation and he was like he was going there for his sex addiction like. It doesn't actually matter to him whether or not any of these women have ever, like, no exchange money for sex at all. It doesn't, it doesn't. It doesn't need to be sexual at all. Absolutely not. No. Yeah, because these people are ******* like it. Just engulfed in like so totally engulfed in this incredibly like violent and racist and misogynist and horror phobic ideology that it just sort of, you know, like that that's just how they think. And I think this is where we're going to return one final time in this episode to race. Because there there's a mistake that people make thinking about this analytically that prevents them from understanding both what's happening in Atlanta and how sort of capitalist and racist violence happens everywhere, which is that like, OK, so right when this happens. Like when when when the press conference dropped, you got there were a lot of people like, I think Glenn Greenwald did this, like Lee Fang, like, there was a whole crew of people who were like, this isn't about Asian racism at all. This is about him like hating sex workers. And OK, it it is true that human labor has been transformed into a commodity that can be bought and sold at will. Now, on a more theoretical level, right? You you you will see sort of incredibly theory brain people who will talk about how you know in in March's critique of political economy. Right all labor is abstract, interchangeable. Each each unit of Labor time is equivalent, identical and exchangeable. But here in the massage parlor, this is a deadly simplification. This labor, the labor that is going on here, is Asian. It is indelibly stamped with race and ethnicity and nationality and hundreds of years of violence and perception. Ruma as Patcha, assistant professor at the Institute of Women's Studies at the University of Georgia, wrote a piece last year called White Supremacy in the Wellness industry, or why it matters that that this happened at a spa. And I'm, I'm, I'm gonna read a passage on it, because it's very good. Massage spas, also called salons or parlors like the one where these crimes took place, are part of a broader industrial complex that capitalizes on the racist belief that Asian people, and Asian women in particular, possess magical, spiritual and sexual healing abilities. These attitudes belong to an entrenched Orientalist infrastructure in the United States that connects yoga and meditation and massage to tourism, pleasure and escape signaled by the exotic tropical flower in the photo above. And there's a photo of. Flower at a parlor. Yeah. You know and and this this labor the the the labor of of of the massage that's happening here. Is. It depends almost entirely on a very specific performance of a specific kind of Asian femininity. And, you know, when this sort of gendered and racialized violence, when this gendered and racialized labor comes into contact with long and all of the sort of historical forces that he's bearing, he murders the workers. And. Yeah, I think. Yeah, this is the part of the story of the Atlanta shooting that I think if people know about Atlanta shooting at all, like, this is the part they know about, right? They they know the story of Robert Aaron Long. But there are other stories here. Stories that aren't. Stories that in large part are just not about the US at all. There are the stories of the victims, the survivors, and the absolute hell that brought them into the massage parlor in the 1st place on that horrific night. And those are the stories that we're going to tell in Part 2. Yeah well that does it for us today. I do want to say I know, I know Chris was planning these for the anniversary of the shooting, but they proved to be quite the daunting task to put together so had to get put, had to get pushed back for a while. So but but big thanks to you for doing the work to. Read through all of the horrible things. Yeah and oh boy, if and like everything I say about this. Like if you if you think this is bad, wait till Part 2, which is even more wide spanning and has. Horrific and disturbing violence in a way that will, I don't know, reduce the media tears multiple times and yeah, we'll leave you an existential dread of the condition of this world. Yeah, and I guess. Again, there there is, there, there is ways to combat it, right? Because all of these, a lot of these things are, you know, problems with like viewpoint and ideas in terms of how we view sex, how we view women, how we view race. And there are things that when you see you can interrogate in people. Especially if you're especially if you're a Christian, if you're if you're going to church. These are things to watch out for and you can push back on because it's and doing so can maybe save people's lives because these ideas have a death count. Yeah, and I think. I think. There's another part of this too, which is that. You know, I mean, the reason we talk about purity culture stuff so much, the reason we talk about the the mobilizations of of the evangelical right so much is that they keep producing these movements that. You know that, that put that put our lives in danger. And. The only way that we can stop this, and this is a thing that we can do, is you have to actually destroy their movement, right? You have to, you have to actually break their power. You have to, you know, you have to find various ways to break the power, break the power of these searches and you have to find ways to break the power of their political movements. And that is not an easy task. But if, if we want to live in a world, well, I mean just point blank if, if, if we want to live in a world and not in, you know, like 4 degrees. Fahrenheit like unlivable, death scape like we have to deal with these people. Because they are the source of almost every right wing movement that that we're facing and they have to be crushed before they do this again. Yeah. And they're they're gonna try. I mean there's been. Yeah, like the the biggest thing would would say is like. Reaching out to people who you know are in this or if you if you go to church. I think it's your duty as a Christian to push back on these things. Yeah, because I'm I'm not gonna bash anyone specifically for whatever religion they have. Like, I understand why people have this. I, I, I, I I can see how they work. You know, I was was raised in something very similar, but you can you can still push back up on the type of rhetoric that leads to these things and the type of like of like objectification and racism that necessitates. Violence and gets people to be OK with violence and pushing back against, like, Christian apocalyptic worldviews and like the idea that you your your actions will determine your you know how the spiritual quality of your soul and where it's going to reside for all of eternity, right? All these things are are ideas that are pretty, pretty like innately dangerous. And there's ways to do religion that don't have that. Yeah. But. I think, I think that is a. Good enough place to leave it for today, because I know Part 2, we're going to have some more. More. Fire. Why? Why? Widespread problems, yeah. Alright well this this is the naked happened here. You can find us in the social media places at happened to your pods. You can also flee into the woods and flew into the woods. But but before you flew into the woods, subscribe to the pod and leave a 5 star review. Bye. Bye everybody. Bye. See you tomorrow. Yep. It's it could happen here a podcast. About things falling apart. And some other stuff occasionally. I'm Robert Evans. Welcome to the show today, our guests, fresh off their new hit movie by Paramount, Garrison Davis and and what yeah, what, what, what? I'm doing like a I got a thing, Chris. Garrison Garrison's lost the thread. Why don't you pick it up? I I also have lost the thread, so here's the new one. This has been very confusing for yeah, two of an episode, just absolutely baffling. Look, you want things to not be confusing. You have somebody else introduce your podcast. That's just the way it goes. Noted yeah, so. Welcome to Part 2 of the Atlanta shooting. A year back with actually less Atlanta this time, but more shooting. Oh, good. Sorry, this is a very absurd situation. We found ourselves, said, dear God, I just a normal day at work. Take it away, Chris. You got this, you got this. We believe in you. There's, there's a tendency, I think among Asian American writers where. When we get confronted with what our? You know, considered quote UN quote Asian American stories. Uh. There's almost inevitably an autobiographical pivot that happens like at some point in the piece mahjong the the author of the Vanity Fair piece I mentioned last episodes. That's been a major source for both these episodes. It doesn't her piece. So do I mean like dozens and dozens and dozens of Asian American writers who are, you know, much more accomplished and talented than I am and. Like, I get it, I I don't blame them for it. I think it's a powerful way to anchor a story and to understand a story. And I also think that it's why. We miss like half of the story that we when we talk about things because. You know the the. The the audio autobiographical focus has this tendency to narrow the scope into looking at just sort of the US. And. This story, and the story of Asian Americans in general, isn't just a story about sort of a minority in the US or about American imperialism. It's about Asia itself, and here especially, it's about China and Korea to lesser center Japan. And. You know the the the histories of these places have as much to do with why the people. Who died in Atlanta were in those rooms on that day, as Christian purity culture does. And you know by by actually looking at this, we get to introduce another key player in this horror show who only sort of appeared transiently in part one, which is capitalism. Because capitalism is about to show up and make just all of this monumentally worse. Yeah, it's kind of like Steven Seagal in that way. Yeah. Umm, I think more, much more active than Steven Seagal, but, well, some of them barely move. Yeah. Capitalism, unfortunately moves at an incredibly relentless pace. Yeah, capitalism's knees are in incredible shape, yeah. So and and and this, this this brings us back to Atlanta itself. Now you'll Fong died a hero. In the final moments of her life, as shots rang across Young's Asian massage, she motioned for Marcus Leone. Still half naked on the massage table to stay still and wait for her to walk in front of him before he dives behind the massage table. By covering Leon's movement as she opened the door, she sacrificed her life to save the life of a man she'd met just minutes before. Her aboard, in typical American fashion, was a bullet in the head. It took six days for her family in China to realize that she'd been killed by village custom. The remains of an unmarried woman who left the village could not re-enter it to be buried. Her body thus lay unclaimed in ambord for 19 days before she was buried in the land of her killer at a funerals attended entirely by strangers. March is Leone the Mandaluyong Fong sacrificed her life to save, was forced to return to work at FedEx just three days after surviving the massacre. Ohh, the sound of the packages he dropped on his delivery runs sounded like gunshots. He quit soon after. There is no justice in this world, only an unending parade of horror, the details of which? Are somehow each worse than the last. And it is. Yeah, this is I think, what I wanted to sort of what I wanted to talk about in this episode, which is that like. It's not just that there was a shooting, it's that. Each element of why everyone is there? Is. Its own successive Horror Story. And. The conditions that, like, produced this for are not, you know, they're not just the conditions that produce robot Aaron Long. They're not just the conditions that produce the shooter. They are the conditions that produce cellular Fung, who spent almost her entire life as a migrant worker supporting a family whose most pressing concern was attempting to marry her off. And and I think it's worth tracing out these conditions and how they develop because a 12 year old girl drops out of middle school to work at a factory 250 miles away and then eventually is gunned down by an American racist is not how the future of Asia was supposed to go. Like, you know, I, I, I I don't have much love. Imagine not. Yeah, it's like, I don't have much love for mail. But I don't think if you showed Mao this, he would be like, Oh my God, this is the future that I wanted for my people like this. Things have gone very badly wrong, and I think to understand how we got to this hell, we need to go back to another hell, which is the beginning of the Korean War. Hmm. And you know what? We've talked about the effects that the Korean War had on Korean women in the last episode, but I think there's a few other things that are worth emphasizing here, one of which is that. The absolute devastation that the war wrought on. North and South Korea is incalculable. I mean the the effects of this are still felt to this day. It was a. Utterly devastating war. Umm. But it it also has sort of more subtle effects. On the sort of politics and economics of. Of the region because. What one of the you know, one of the very important things about this war is that the US is fighting in East Asia, and this means that the US is going to leave an enormous army in South Korea, which has its own military and sort of political and economic consequences. And you know, those troops are still there to this day. Like technically fighting a war which has never formally ended. And, you know, we'll come back a bit to this later, but this has enormous implications for the entire region. I've talked on ******** before about like. You know about some of the effects it has, but you know Korea and later Vietnam are a major like the the war is. the US fights there are a major factor behind the industrialization of Japan which sees, you know, enormous U.S. investment as part of this attempt to, like, shorten American supply lines by exporting their military industrial complex to East Asia. You know, we talked about the Japanese angle of this, but South Korea is likewise industrialized by American capital for, you know, pretty much the same reason, you know, and and and and this goes on to the extent that like Korean troops like. Fight on the side of the US in Vietnam. And you know, in South Korea's production base proves a sort of a pivotal military asset for the US war machine in the east. Now the the thing, I think and I think, I think that part of it, like is understood decently well because you know, if you, if you, if, if you, if you like, you know literally anything about this region, you you've seen the effects of this stuff. But. The part of it I think is less understood is that in China this the war has a similar effect, which is that Communist leadership fights this war, right? And. It immediately becomes clear to them that there is a looming possibility they'll have to fight the US again, and they're going to fight the US again. They need an actual sort of modern industrial base to fight a war against the US and. This, you know that this leads to sort of militarization, industrialization, and you you get a look at 2 very different kinds of state LED developments, which I'm going to call state LED development, corruption and state state LED development, socialism? Which sort of which sort of play out in China and Korea and? You know, I I think it's it's it's worth actually talking about this because. Both of these systems are essentially going to collapse, and when they do, they are going to send an enormous number of people both in China and Korea. You know, spreading it, spreading across the world, seeking like any kind of sort of. Economic salvation and. A lot of the people who are killed in Atlanta. Are in Atlanta because of these, because of these crises? Yes. So, so the the first of these is the chaebol system in Korea, which is sort of informally established by the dictator Park Chung. He is like the core of his plan for economic development. And it generates a number of extremely powerful family owned mega conglomerates with intimate ties to the state and these sort of various political factions and and these conglomerates which control just vast sections of the Korean economy like, like like to this day Samsung which is the largest remaining tables like. I I think, I think they, they're the their total percentage of the GDP of Korea is like 17% or something. It's like, it's it's absolutely absurd. Wow, Jesus. Yeah. Like and and and and like and The thing is, you know, it's sort of amazing about this. Is that like? The tables are much weaker than the House to be. For reasons that we will get to in. A bit. And you know when when they're founded with the sort of at the height of their powers. They have, you know, they, they're, they're, they're established with three goals. There's an attempt to develop the economy. You know, there's there's an attempt to sort of the fuel. There's attempt to sort of fuel the American and South Korean war machines, and the third thing that trying to do is to make a lot of people in the government, their allies, indescribably rich and. It works sort of amazingly, which is a weird thing. To say about a development regime started by military dictatorship. But they have, they have an enormous amount of mill of of. American Capital military aides and. Like they they do successfully develop, they kill an enormous number people in the process, but you know they do it. On on the other side. You have Chinese daylight developments, and this is also about economic development and fueling the military. But you know, the goal here is to create this economic base for socialism, and this does not work. Umm. There there's a number of sort of complicated reasons for this. The the the simplest one is that China just doesn't get the kind of investment in technology transfers South Korea gets until like way later. But. The other really important element of this for this story is about the urban rural divide, and this is another thing I talked about, ******** like. I've talked about ambassadors a bit, but I think it's worth going into the details a little bit, because otherwise. A lot of the stuff that's going to happen. That is, you know the, the, the. The part of the story that is directly sending 12 year olds off to a factory in Shenzhen like don't make any sense without it. So to make a very complicated and shifting set of economic programs like as simple as possible Chinese industrial policy dream, what sort of called the socialist. Is about extracting grain from the countryside and fueling and funneling it into urban industrial developments and, you know, to get it, to get it like understanding of what we're talking about here. So. The CCP is essentially deliberately under developing in the countryside in favor of developing cities. And, and this is this is explicit state policy. From 1953 to 1980, five 80% of the Chinese population is doing agricultural labour. But agriculture receives less than 10% of state investments over the same. So they are like really, really, really incredibly not funneling any resources back into into rural areas. Yeah. I mean, is there a degree to that? Is there a degree of that that is maybe related to like, I know in the USSR a lot of the early left wing resistance to the Soviet regime came from rural areas. Is it anything to do with that? Like is it kind of a desire to to avoid developing these places that are less controllable? No. And this is the sort of interesting about China, is that? I mean OK so the the the CCP originally has an urban base but they they managed to get their retired urban base killed. So OK now that'll that'll yeah it's yeah this is this is this is the cause of like. Like this. This is one of the reasons for the Soviet split like this is. Basically like Stalin and Trotsky or bickering, and they're bickering gets like a million Chinese communists killed. And that means that you know this, this, this is this is where the sort of rise of Mao comes in. Because Mao is a mouse, a peasant organizer, and once the entire rural party is dead, it's like, well, OK, so now we have a peasant base and they have, they actually have a really? They have. They've like a basically unprecedented level of of sort of buy in from the countryside, but the problem is that. The party just isn't interested in in rural development because the thing that they want is they want to be able to develop military power and they want to be able to develop like heavy industry. And those aren't things that they think you can do in the countryside. And so their strategy is just to just let me just literally it's just pure grain extraction from the countryside and then using that to to feel industrial development. Which they're doing for. I mean largely ideological reasons, but it also does have to do with the fact that China like. Like people, people talk a lot about how like. You know, the communist revolution in Russia happens and like the least developed country in Europe. And it's like, yeah, but like Russia had like several times more industrial capacity in Russian Revolution than China does after the war. So this is a country that is like a complete economic backwater and so, you know, this is this is part of what they're doing though. It doesn't, it doesn't work and. You know, I should mention there's one other thing that they're doing here, which is that. So the the they're based in the peasantry is fairly solid, but. The other thing they have to use this grain budget for is to buy off this like incredibly militant working class that they've inherited. Because these people are on strike, like constantly and this is, this is, this is a really serious problem for the CCP. And so they, they, they, you know, they have all these welfare programs, they have all of this sort of these resources that they're putting into sort of buying off this class. And the result of this is you have just incredible rural poverty because. Like one of the things that happens here is. I guess, I guess you call them benefits, but things like housing, education, like medical care, this stuff is all distributed like through your work and through your household registration. And so. You know, if, if, if, if you're someone who has a job in the countryside. You, you, you. The resources that you're getting are also from the countryside. And that means that you have just these, like, awful, underfunded services or benefits are terrible. And even if you can somehow get a job in the city, which is really hard because China also has these like, really intense internal, like immigration restrictions. So, like if if if you're like in another province that you're not supposed to be like you, you will get deported back to your home province. There's all these really tight controls, and this means that like. If you eat a rural area like, your livelihood is tied to. Your family unit, in a way that's like not happening anywhere near as intensely in the cities and and when I say your livelihood is tied to your family unit, what I mean is that like. Other than this, like brief, like token attempt they made to socialize like housework, reproductive labor in the Great Leap forward. Men in the state are just like entirely dependent on uncompensated housework and production by women. Which, well, yeah, you know, it's not just a China thing. Yeah. I mean, yeah, it's OK. It's like, oh, hey, this sounds like a modern system. And like, yes, this is true. But on the other hand, the Socialists, like ideologically, are claiming to be better than this, so I'm holding them through their own standards, giving them just sure D on this, because this is unfair. Like, yeah, yeah. I mean, like, I think this is really one of like. You know, OK, so they failed to end capitalism. Like, I think if you look at like, what is the other great failure of Chinese revolution, it's that. They never dealt with the patriarchy. And this means, like, you know, when Mao is saying stuff about like, women hold up half the sky, like what he actually means is that, like, women's labor is holding up like 70% of the budget and they're getting like 20% of the pay. And. This this is extremely important for reasons that we will get to in a second, because it turns out if your entire economy is based on patriarchy, it really bad things start happening in terms of your gender politics. Which is a thing that has never has literally never happened in any other regime. And we should not at all take any lessons from this about how our own economy works. It's great. It's completely fine. The other thing that we need to talk about is. The CCP's just. Utter full scale war against his urban workers. And this is not the kind of like abstract class war that you hear leftist talking about all the time. That's, you know about like wages, unionization and so forth. Like, this is an actual war that is resolved by the by just the PLA, the Chinese army just butchering the Chinese working class. And this comes to a head in the Cultural Revolution. And you know, I, I have, I have a whole rant about the culture revolution that I will do sometime. That's not now, but the short version of it is that. One of the things that happens in the culture revolution is that. The CCP. Crushes these sort of rebel worker factions, and they kill a million people, like, from from from from these students, a lot of people. Yeah, yeah. I mean, it's like, it's really. It's really like comparing it like to the scale of like the great anti Communist purges like this is I I think, I think it's actually more, I think it's 1,000,000 people. I think it's more people than than Suharto killed. It's like where you go see there's some left right unity. Yeah, it's well I mean the mount. Mount Mount Undisputed greatest anti communist has the highest number of communism kills. Well I don't know. Let's let's. I mean Joseph Stalin's in that running that's true. You've got a you've got a you've got a couple of Titans battling it out here. Yeah, it's, it's, it's it's it's it's difficult choice but. Yeah, I mean like they are like like this EP is literally fighting a war against against civil workers. And like this is even by like the mid 70s there, there there are moments where the army is sending like 10s of thousands of work, of 10s of thousands of troops like into cities to break up strike waves. And this is, this is an enormous problem for CCP, you know? OK, like it's no problem for them politically because. It turns out that being a Communist Party and then the thing that you're doing all of the time is sending soldiers to shoot workers is really bad for your political system ideologically. Well. OK, that's your opinion. Yeah. It it it doesn't go great for them. And and the the other problem they have is I, you know, this this creates this like this incredible militarization of society and this leads to stagnation and there's all this corruption that's happening. The other problem is like. OK, so if you're like a cadre like planner, right, and there's always people on strike, you need to not be on strike because you need to produce stuff for your like central planning, production schedules? And so all, all of these, like caudry planners start being like, OK, these workers keep going on strike, like, where, where can we get labor that won't do this? And they start looking at the countryside. And they start going like. Beard stroke. Can we send this over here? And meanwhile, like, the actual rural, like, rural lights are fed up with just being treated like ****. And they start depoliticizing their farms because, well, OK, there's a lot of reasons why they're doing this, but they essentially start forming these things that become called town and village enterprises, which are these, like, the simple explanation of it is that they they basically start forming capitalist companies and trying to make money. But the ownership structures are a bit different because they're like, you know, it'll be like a village, right, and like the village. Like technically, collectively owns, dislike company that makes tires or something, right. And this is where you start getting markets coming back to China and the CCP looks at this and goes like, yeah, sure, this is fine that this, this won't stop our communism thing because. We're having budget shortfalls right now, and if we let someone else do this work, we don't have to pay for it. And these, so these town and village enterprises which are called TVE, like mostly what they're doing is they're like selling parts and stuff to like these giant state owned enterprises which are, you know, your state owned enterprises are things that are building like bikes, like tractors and refrigerators. So they're like, you know, they're selling them like wheels or like refrigerator parts. And this is this is. The thing that becomes the core of the Chinese economy, particularly in Dao, Fung's home province of Guangdong, because one knows a really unique. Well, OK. Really unique province, I guess is the thing you can say about literally every province, but Guangdong is particularly unique in this. Because right next to Hong Kong. And this means that. The I mean, there's always been sort of like capital kind of through really shady black markets and like people passing each other like notes under dinner tables and extra like all, all of the weird, like diplomacy stuff that like. I like Kissinger and Nixon get up to is happening through these like weird back channels that a lot of which are running. There's a lot of stuff that's sort of running through there and when. This stuff starts to happen. Umm. You Guangdong gets these special economic zones and this becomes sort of the the the prototype for China is like. Eventual sort of capitalist centric like export development model Umm Guangdong is like they're literally. They're, they're, they're taking like foreign capital from Hong Kong and they're using it to produce good for the market. And this is the world that Daniel Fong and. Shutan grew up in it. It's a world where. On the one hand, there's enormous economic growth, but on the other hand, like all of the safety Nets that Chinese socialism have put in place are just like. Being completely destroyed and everyone is once again dependent on wages to survive. And it's also an incredibly, deeply patriarchal world, you know, and we've we've seen this already, right with. Diane Fong's village just like refusing to bury her body because she's not married. And you know this is something that's only gotten worse as the sort of as the 80s where when you get into their form. You have simultaneous you have the one child policy which. Is this incredibly draconian state enforced destruction of bodily autonomy and it also serves this really horrific. Role and devaluing girls because girls are seen as having less economic value than boys and so you get all these things like you get these, you get targeted at like gender targeted abortions. These masterization that happen and. Yeah, it's this just enormous patriarchal engine. And it sucks. And there's also, there's a return to Confucianism as well because, like, this is one of the things like the most infuriating about this, because like, like, 80% of like, what the original Chinese revolution was about was like, hey, Confucianism sucks. Like this, this incredible like reactionary patriarchal ideology is, in fact, bad. And then. Like, 40 years in, they're like, hold on. Wait, what if we bring this **** back? And it is, it is, it is extremely bad. And, you know, and it serves as a sort of like like this pacifying picture or ideology that they're using to sort of hold the family unit together because the family unit are like, so a lot of the the firms in this. Are just like owned by families, right. And you know, you, you, you. There's a lot of similarities here between if you look at your like. You know, you're you're sort of like right wing, like culturally Christian, like small business owner families. And you look at this and it's like, huh, we've, we've, we've redeveloped the wheel here. We have once again created the patriarchal death engine. Yay. It's it's great. It's. Yeah, and. This this is basically this is the world that. Daniel Fong like. Grows up in and. This is the period where the the old urban working class is just hammered to pieces so that the state and capital could just gorge itself as welfare benefits and the new Chinese working class is born. And. This migrant working class. It's vanguard are these women who are given 2 imperatives by their families and these these these imperatives are given, I mean literally dying, Fong like Daniel, Fong like directly and I I think indirectly to shout Jitan. OK, so like, without your phone, be like, we literally have the quotes of this, right? Like she she is told by her family, get married and find a job. And. Shutan gets married off at 20, but a a middle school Dayong Fong like drops out of school. And just goes to work in a factory in Shenzhen. And this. Like, these are the women who built modern China. Like these, these are these are literally, these are the people who turn Shenzhen from a tiny rural town into a world class manufacturing club that is literally larger than any city in North America. And I mean, this happens in the span of like a couple of decades. And they get Jack **** for it. Like the wages they are working for. Like Don Fong's brother is working on rubber rubber plantation. He's making $5 a month. And you know, in in Diana Fung case, like the other thing she's dealing with is literally these constant demands for her family to get married. And Fong just refuses. They try to do as a young adult she goes no. And they try to try to get like when she's like 38 they like they bring her back to her village and her like pick a husband and she goes no. And she just like, they keep showing your guys, she keeps coming like, no. And you know, what she does instead is charter her own path by. Managing to secure a visa to the US. Where this this is so Dang like. Is American worker for ages and eventually, I think like 2016, she moved to the US to support her family again from afar. That there's there's only there's one more piece of macroeconomics that we need to talk about before we can follow Daniel Fong to the massage parlor and. This one is going to get, like everyone else, to the scene of this massacre. So when we last left our Korean corruption chapels, business business was booming. And in the early 90s, business is like even more booming. It is this is this is the best I've ever done economically, and the reason is the best I've ever done economically is because is is by is in large part because of the thing that I am just perpetually cursed by when I do research for this show, which is the Plaza accords. I've talked about this before, but I will once again do a brief summary of this, which is that. So in the 1980s, I, as people probably are aware, the US US manufacturing economy is dying. And this is a real problem for Reagan, because everyone's like. Reagan why does the economy suck? And his solution to this is just basically at gunpoint forcing Japan and West Germany to like. Let the US devalue its currency relative to the yen and the Deutschmark, and it's like, OK, this is a this is a boring, technocratic thing, but the thing it actually does is. If. If your currency is weaker than another currency, it's easier for you to like sell them to have an export economy and sell them stuff. And this sets off just like an incredibly catastrophic chain of events. Where do us manufacturing actually comes back because? You know, hey hey, look, the dollars dollars weaker. Now we can produce **** again. But it just, you know it it it it combines with this like structural weakness. Japan's economy Japan's economy is implodes. And Japan goes, OK, **** it, how do we keep the economy going without manufacturing sector and their solution is invest in other countries and do real estate speculation? And you know, OK, so obviously nothing bad ever happens happens when you do real estate speculation. And the Japanese economy was completely fine until it collapsed like five years later. But this, this is a series of effects. One of them is that the Korean chaebols. You know those those companies that are doing like literally the best business I've ever done. The reason they're doing this is because of Japanese credit and the fact that like. The There's there's more complicated currency ******** going on, but basically like the the value, the value of the Korean currency was pegged to the dollar, and so when the dollar is value decreased, the want also decreased. And so you know this, this, this gives Korea like a big manufacturing, competitive manufacturing edge. But then you know Japan goes under and they start to lose credit and then the US in 1995 does the reverse Plaza accords where they just reverse the thing that they did before. And so now the dollar is incredibly strong again. Every other currency is really weak well due to it and this just like. This just obliterates like every economy in East Asia. Like they all just implode. Thailand goes under and most countries have never recovered. Like Thailand particular like the I mean South Korea kind of does, but it's basically the only one. All the rest of the economies are just obliterated and. You know this, this is, this is the the the Asian economic crisis. And, you know, saddled with like enormous debts and declining profits like this table starts collapsing left and right, and South Korea just is just on the edge of bankruptcy. And right on cue, the IMF shows up and makes everything worse. Because, yeah, yeah, it's great. It's the IMF. They. Yeah, they they they usually, they do normal IMF stuff and they, you know, they impose a bunch of austerity measures and this just this annihilates the Korean middle class. Like it's just it just gets obliterated. This is. This this is just his death knell and it is it also it has you know has a lot of effects but one of the other ones is the Korean labor movements is really severely damaged by. Just all the economic debate that's happening around them. And the product of this is just a sort of rural poverty drives Dongfang and. Churchton from their villages, the economic collapse drives Hyung Jung Kim Grant, who's one of the other people who died in in this shooting from Korea to the US. And this is something that this is there's there's something about. The US here. Well, OK. The something about the US is that its economy is incredibly strong and the dollar is incredibly strong and even people who come to the US. For other reasons, two of the women who wind up here, like are here basically because they buried someone. And but even, you know, like there's a couple, like they marry someone and they they break up divorce, but they stay in the US. They stay in the US because. Like the the the median American income is like three times the median American income in China. And that's like, now. And so. You know, and the combination of that, the strength of the American, the American dollar sort of it brings. It brings the brave, that desperate and justice, the love struck to our shores. Now if you remember. LCS Hernandez Ortiz, who's who's the man that long? Like shot while he was on his knees begging for his life. Umm. Hernandez Ortiz was in that mall because she was wiring money home to his family in Guatemala. And you know, we we could do another entire story here about Guatemala. You had a fruit company and these the US back cruise and genocides, but. I think. The thing about this story is that. Every atrocity is tied to every other atrocity. You know and. It creates this web of death that we sort of, you know, we euphemistically call it capitalism or society or reality. And the survivors of this are just flung from meat grinder to meat grinder, desperately looking for a new life and new country. And you know, they get there in the country, just buries them instead. Dongfang was also, you know, constantly sending money home to her family. When she arrives in the US, she she's supporting like ten members of her family off of a salary, that is. Like, I mean, like she supporting members of her family off of the salary that you get from massage work. British, yeah. Like I I think this is like like, again, I think something that people don't understand about the US is that like, yeah, American wages are low, but the dollar is so strong that even like. Eat like you like small amounts of money. That you can send like small amounts of money in dollars you can send back home have this enormous economic impact. And there is, there is an enormous like an absolutely enormous sort of network of of immigrants in the US who are here basically to work in the center of Betances back home. And this is, I mean this is like this is an enormous part of how the economy of the Philippines works because of. Yep, yeah, a bunch of these just incredibly ****** ** stuff that the Marcoses did. Yeah, and. You know, for for Asian women in particular. Once they get here, they're often drawn to spot work because. There's a lot of reasons we'll get into in a second, but these spas? These spas are in some sense, just like a microcosm of the US like the pay is good, and the people doing the work often, like prefer it to other jobs that are accessible to immigrants. Well, OK, there's sensible to immigrants with their levels of of political and economic capital and social connections, which is usually really not that large. But the problem is, you know, as as with everything in the US, it's also often dangerous, like the particular kind of. Sort of. Exposure and performance of femininity that you need to do. This leaves these workers incredibly vulnerable to stalkers and you know, they face sort of constant like racial misogynist abuse. Butterfly, which is a Toronto based sex worker group, released a report that said that half of all massage parlor workers reported some kind of threat to their Safety at Work. Jesus, yeah, it's, it's workplace is both incredibly dangerous and then, you know, and then we're saying like threat to their workplace that doesn't. That's not even like, that's not even counting the police. And if you've read anything about this, you'll read people saying things like massage parlors face constant police raids. And this is true. But if anything, it understates how bad it actually is because, like, Asian massage parlors are subjected to two different kinds of police raids that just happened constantly. I'm going to read a thing from BuzzFeed. Yeah, it's it's great. It's it's really fun. From 2016 to 2020, ninety 4% of people arrested for unauthorized practice of a profession for any job requiring a license in New York were Asian and 96% were women, according to data from the New York Division of Criminal Justice Services and more. Institution is a misdemeanor defense. Unauthorized practice of a profession, which is the charge that covers unlicensed massage, along with roles like veterinary medicine and engineering, is a felony that carries higher penalty, including up to four years of jail time. Now, I'm I'm no expert, but that sure does sound like racism and misogyny. Like, yeah, there's an argument to be made. Like if you're if you're moonlighting as a bridge engineer and you're not qualified, yeah, sure, maybe that's a felony, but it really just calling me out on on the pod just right right in the. Garrison, we've agreed not to talk about all of those people who died when that bridge collapse that you built in Florida on that university campus, nothing of value was lost. No, it was Florida. Like that's why. That's why the DA is not coming after you. Yeah. U.S. government not pressing charges. It's Florida. Hmm, so. OK, back-to-back to back to the racism. It's like, OK, so you see you, you have these raids that are like literally only, like targeted against Asian massage workers. And then on top and you know, so that's type one. And the second type of raid is that the other thing that happens at these places constantly are are these anti prostitution and anti trafficking raids. And I'm putting both of those in enormous quotations because heavy quotation mark, you know, this is OK. I'm gonna go on a side tangent rant here, which is that like, OK, so like every single person who does reporting on this and I don't know if this is like a journalistic standards thing, but like even the good reporting on this, they like almost always have like a section. That says I, oh, the, the, the, the. Georgia, like Georgia, is like resources on sex trafficking, says that I salon. Asian salons are a a place where there's a bunch of sex trafficking, and it's like. Really like this? This, this is what you're putting in your article about a bunch of people getting murdered by a racist dude? Like this is the thing that that you're going to put in here. You know and like this. This is sort of. Like all of our software talked about, like last episodes about Robert Aaron Long. Like all of your objectification and the racism and the homophobia and it like. Mixture of like desire and loathing like. The cops have this, like, also the journalists who are writing about this have this stuff, and these are the people who don't are sort of like picking up on the on the sort of like avient racism. And so you get all this coverage that's just focused on, like, trying to figure out if there was sex work going on here. And, you know, and like, I talked about last episode, like, this is really dangerous because. Exposing people. Exposing these sites to police investigation beads, you get more of these stings. And. You know, like we we we mentioned at the beginning that Dongfang like, no, no, no one she knew showed up to her funeral. And the reason that no one she knew showed up to her funeral is that no one wanted to be at a place where there could potentially be cops so they wouldn't be deported. Right. Yeah, how could anyone who knew her come to her funeral? Because yeah, that would be well. And her her brother wanted to come, but. The the like travel to the US was was expensive enough that he was just like, yeah, we can't do this. And you know and like and I. That these these anti trafficking, anti prostitution raids. Are so common that two of the Atlanta victims have been arrested as part of raids. Like before this, and even though both of them are innocent, Sunchang Park was convicted of criminal trespassing anyways. Again, which is like. One of the most insane things I've ever heard of my life because she was arrested at the place where she worked and they convicted her of criminal trespassing. Because this entire system is made-up of just like Robert Iron, long levels of of racism. But they have it. They have a legal outlet to do it so they don't have to just go murder people. And and sometimes they still do murder people. Yeah, definitely. Yeah. I mean, we we talked about very generous with that sometimes, Garrison. Yeah. I mean, there, there, there. There's a really horrific story of that. There was, there was a Chinese sex worker who. The NYPD, like, repeatedly attempted to force her at gunpoint to to have sex with them, and she refused. And they so and, you know, because because she refused, the NYPD kept doing raids on her. And eventually she died because she jumped out of a window trying to escape one of the raids. God, because these people are just literal monsters. Yeah. Yeah. And, you know, Sunchang Park, like, she's convicted of criminal trespassing and she gets, you know, the, the sort of particular. British humiliation of being forced to wear an ankle monitor that you have to pay for around your house while being under house arrest. And. I, I've, I've. I have talked about this with the journalists, but again, like there, this is an entire system full of Robert Aaron longs. It's the judges, it's the prosecutors, it's the social workers, it's the journalist, it's the cops. And this is this is an incredible level of of systemic state violence that makes these already tenuous migrant worker communities even more vulnerable. Because, you know, if someone's harassing them, they can't call the cops. Because if the cops show up, it's like, oh hey, it's good, this is this is even worse than the harassment. And that's, I think, where I want to want to end here today on with things that can actually be concretely done about this to help small workers and sex workers. There's two proposals that spot and sex worker cursive backing, one of which is just ending the licensing licensing requirement for massages because it's it's literally only ever used to target Asian massage workers. Yeah, that seems that seems like a good call. Yeah, it's definitely not the law, but Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. Getting rid of it, getting rid of it. Probably clarify there. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it's, you know, like. This, this this is my this is my like, my most. My most libertarian position is just being against like. A lot of these licensing things because that's what's next, a license to make in your own toaster. If it's a thing that people just do all the time and in fact cannot be stopped from doing under any circumstances, then it shouldn't require a license to do like flying a plane, like flying, like flying a plane, like performing surgery, you know, like being a police officer. Just make everybody, everything, all licenses. Sorry, I've lost the thread. It's OK. I mean, what I think that the actual thread here though is that like. You know, OK. So, like, yeah, on the one hand, in theory it is good to have licenses that that, you know, like have have a way to tell who knows how to do something and who doesn't, right? Yeah, but The thing is, that's not what the state does. Yeah, it's massage and like and the thing of the state actually does even with licenses like and they they they do this with driver's licenses like even even with drivers licenses, which is the thing that like, yeah, like people should know how to drive before you put them behind like the the, the, the four wheel death machine. Like, what do they do with it? It's like, oh, they used to go afterward documented immigrants because the state is just incredibly racist and that this is the thing that's happening with these licenses is, yeah, they just, they just do racism with it. Well, it's it's why you can't have like, the common sense. I would be like, oh, OK, well, we're going to have sex workers. So there should be some sort of system to make sure that people are getting tested for things and that basic, you know, certain safety procedures or that at least people know what safety procedures are being, you know, used at the place or whatever. But what it always boils down to is this is an excuse for police to **** with vulnerable people. Yeah. The thing that this brings us to is the 2nd proposal, which is just decriminalizing sex work. Like, don't prosecute people for this. Don't send the cops after them. Just don't do it. Like it it it it it it it only ever causes violence. Against people who are already the the most marginalized people doesn't actually help against trafficking either. In fact, it makes it makes spending against trafficking actually harder. There's people feel not able to talk about things when they see stuff that's questionable. It's it's I'm sure we can do more content content. I'm sure we can do more stuff about sex work in the future. But yeah, it really should be. Not a crime, yeah. And and I think this is something like. You know, it's it reminds me a lot of like. Of of the anti trans stuff where it's like, OK, so you should care about this stuff because you should care about trans people. You should also care about the stuff because it affects people who are not trans. And this this is a this is a thing where these massage workers are like most of them are not sex workers and it doesn't matter at all. And it's the the, the, the splash over effects are hitting them too. And yeah, the the consequence of that is eight people are dead. Yep Yep go hope your local sex worker organizations and go hope your help your local spa workers associations like get rid of this licensing stuff and. Fight for decriminalization because. This, this, this kind of **** doesn't have to happen. Ends we can. This is something that we actually can concretely do and win. That will make an enormous number of people whose lives are. Incredibly precarious. Enormously better. Yep. OK, so we have already seen before our eyes that you can do you can do things that involve safety, where the police are just useless. We we have seen. We we we have seen, we have seen Zach. Wait, is his name Zach? Zach is his name. Yeah. Yeah. But look, we, we, we, we, we have, we have. Tools we have seen Bodega Zach Outwit, like outdo the entire police force, even after literally the guy called them to turn himself in and Bodega Zach still got there before they did, so beat the entire New York Police Department himself in and left his wallet and gun to see like. And again, this is, this is, this is, this is, this is a $10 billion police force. The thing that the thing that they mostly do is harass homeless people and sex workers for the love of God. We don't need them. We could like, literally one man could do their job for them. Yeah, get get rid of them. Yeah, that sounds nice. OK, well, there we go. We did it. Happy episode, everybody. Yeah. It's an introduction. Good for you. We did it. Yeah. I love that. What? What show is this? This is this is it could happen. Here is show that is also currently in the middle of about 17,000 personnel disasters. But it's fine. Yeah, I am. I'm Christopher Wong, and with me is Garrison. Hello. Hi. Good morning or afternoon or evening, depending on when you're listening. And also Sophie. Hello. So we are, we're here to talk about something that is, I guess, technically over. But was extremely weird and did a lot of harm and that is the very weird stuff that. Texas General General Jesus hopefully not Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who doesn't generally the General of Texas Greg Abbott. I mean like you're kind of not wrong, but I he wasn't like that he wishes, he wishes he was the General of Texas. I mean I feel like asking one of those things like that that's when we know the coup started is when he just commits himself to general takes over Texas. Uh-huh. So Greg Abbott is extremely mad and he's extremely mad because Biden finally decided to end one of like the absolute worst Trump era border policies, which is called Title 42. And it's so Title 42 is like nominally and anti pandemic. Measures like the, the. CDC, that's the. I don't know why it took me like 5 seconds to remember the name of the CDC, the central Defense Agency. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That one. Yeah. So it's normally supposed to be a thing where it's like, OK, you can you you cut off migrants from coming into the country because there's a risk of a pandemic. Now, OK, if, if if you have lived the last two years, you know that the US just literally does not give a single **** about the pandemic at all. Like it's actually pretending. Yeah. Yeah. This whole thing really has just been a justification to just. Boot out this prevent every like asylum seeker and refugee and immigrant getting into the country and you know and you can tell this because. The, the title 42, when it was originally invoked didn't cover people who were like, driving trucks across the border. Like it didn't cover economic activity. Of course not. Yeah. So it's it's it's just a way for the US to, like, not have asylum seekers. And Biden let this go for like another ******* year while he was in office. And so you like. Like late last month, he, like he finally got rid of it. And you know, this means that like immigrants and refugees now once again have their legal right under both American and international law to petition for asylum, which again the US doesn't give a **** about because you know US, doesn't care about laws unless they do bad things. But. This finally happens and Greg Abbott, who is once again we must remind everyone the great Cabot is, is running for. Election in November and is thus. She's just just literally running through the entire right wing, like every single right wing scare we could possibly think of. And don't worry, Chris. Don't worry, Chris. Beto will get him. I I believe I believe in Beto this time. That's by like 30 points landslide. You know what? OK, so the thing that could stop him from this is Greg Abbott decides to do like 2 PR stunts and one of them is he's taking buses of of immigrants, museum seekers and just busting through DC. And I want to talk about this for a little like a second because like this is really ****** and that shouldn't be legal, that shouldn't be allowed to basically traffic. You're trafficking people across the country. For a political stunt that's like that, that shouldn't be allowed. Yeah. Like, like, I think, like everyone's like, oh, this looks like it is. But like, the thing with American political science is that real people get hurt constantly. Yeah. And we're gonna come back to that theme more in a second as we talk about the second stunt that he did, which was. So. Essentially what Abbott did is there are an enormous number of trucks that cross the the the US Mexican border into Texas, like every day, right? I mean, there's like there there are individual bridges that are moving 6060 to $70 billion of just produce like every day. And so that produce when it when it comes into the US, it goes through a bunch of checks by the Border Patrol and stuff, and there's all these checks and this whole thing. But I Abbott went on this incredibly bizarre rant about. Well, I mean, it's not as if you're right. We went on this rant about, like, the cartels and there's immigrants and we need to stop them. And so he very scary. Yeah. Yeah, it's really weird. OK, so he's doing all this fear mongering and he's like, OK, we need to stop these people from getting across the border. So we're going to inspect all of these trucks, which again, like, they're already being inspected by the feds, like, this is, this is, this is, you know, this is where, like, the horrible ice budget is going, right? So he he does this and he he calls in a bunch of just like the Border Patrol to just literally do all of the same checks again. And this has an enormous economic impact. I'm going to read a quote from the American statesman. The delays have resulted in a 60% drop in commercial traffic at the border, according to US Customs and Border protections. The agency said the delays are a direct result of, quote, additional and unnecessary inspections being conducted at Abbott's request. I I do like that the same people who were shooting moms in Portland in 2020 are now inspecting produce at the Texas border. It's it's pretty well. I mean, I think, I think there's an important thing to note here, right? Like, so why, why are these the people who are like doing both these things? And the answer is that like. The the those those organizations like the thing that they're designed to do is to protect the interests of American capital. And you know so the interest of American capital are we need to move capital across the we need to move goods across the border and we need to just like absolutely obliterate like a bunch of teenagers who don't like us. So those are those are that is pretty much their bit. I mean yeah I know we've talked in the past about us like Customs and Border and border protections and the weird did the. Heard like agencies and weird kind of almost militias that they operate and how they get deployed into certain areas. If they're, you know, X miles away from the border, they would be worth talking about more in depth in the future because I know Roberts done some historical background on them. ********. But I think, yeah, that is something I would. I would be down to talk more about. Yeah, I think they are very bizarre agency. Yeah, they're very weird. They're also really not at like in this story. They're basically just sitting there being mad because it's taking longer to get. That is what they do. Yeah. And and, you know, because and because again, like, these these, these actual, these inspections are being run by, like, state troopers. OK, OK. And, you know, because Abbott has more direct control over state. Yeah, because, yeah, direct power for them. And this means that, like, OK, so you have your truck, right, your truck has a bunch of produce in it. You're right across the border. This usually takes about 2 hours of, you know, being like, sitting there in a truck while you're stuck. You're everyone's cargo gets inspected and stuff, which I will say the truckers don't even get paid for that when they're waiting 2 hours. Yeah. And and and you know what would make that worse? Oh yeah. Now it takes between 10 and 30 hours because every intentionally on purpose was like, OK, we're just going to put 6000 like people total to do this whole thing. And so, you know, hundreds of millions of dollars of produce like things like onions and tomatoes and avocados are just sitting in these structures rotting in the Texas heat. Yep. I mean, hopefully the trucks are refrigerated, but still. Well, the trucks are refrigerated, but like the people in them, I'm sure the cabinets are not. Yeah, I'm sure it gets mighty well. You know, I I do have some family who were truckers, and some of the cabins can be nice, but. Still, that's today for 30 hours without getting paid because you only get paid when you are moving, which is a not a great way to, you know, run our entire economy. I'm, I'm going to read a quote. I'm going to read a section from the paragraph from the Texas Tribune. Felix, a 60 year old Mexican trucker who was transporting tomatoes, onions and avocados, waited about 13 hours in line at the bridge. He asked to be identified only by his first name for fear of retribution and targeted inspections from CPB officials hearing of the delays at the border. We packed water and food for a few days, but other truckers didn't come as prepared and were sitting in standstill traffic without anything to eat or drink, Felix said. He was told by a CPA official that the agency would be putting portable bathrooms along the bridge for the gridlock truckers, but he never saw them. Once Felix made it to the state troopers inspection point around 9:00 PM, he said they didn't even peer into his truck, which had been sealed since Mexican authorities inspected at about 600 miles away in the state of Sinaloa. There's no possibility of bringing illegal immigrants in the merchandise or in the cabin, he said, referencing one of Abbott's explanations for the inspections. I can't bring any illegal immigrants here for money because I know inspectors are going to discover them. It's not a thing here. I don't know what the politicians ideas are. I don't know what they're talking about, so that seems not good. Yeah, it's. Really bad and and like again like this is this whole thing is nonsense like this. There's no I didn't even I didn't even think about having to you know use the bathroom for three hours. Yeah and and and like do you think the thing was is like this the the backups are 8 miles long so like if you want to go to the bathroom you have to walk for like miles depending on where you are in this backup. And you know this is having like these just enormous horrifying because these enormous horrifying knock on effects. Umm. Because, you know, it's not just the truckers really affected by this. There's a bunch of workers whose job it is, you know, it's to process these goods, right? Take them out of trucks, put them onto American trucks to, like, sort through the vegetables and figure out, like, which ones are good and which ones are not. And again, like, just enormous amounts of. Produce that is like fresh and good to eat. It's just being intentionally destroyed because it's being forced to sit at the border for this long. There's a bunch of these people whose whose job like, who are contract workers, whose job it is to like go through this stuff, and they're all getting fired because they're there's no work for them to do. There's all of these people who like. Their their jobs are they run bodegas, are they run like, like they run restaurants did. They run a bunch of stuff on the border for these truckers and they also don't have any work. And those people have to on a day by day, like it's like, I think it's like $1500 per day to rent a terminal. In in like the God. Yeah. And why they're making nothing and it's it's it's horrifying. There's all, there's just enormous economic devastation. That that that's been sort of like. You know that that that that's been happening because of this and. Well, you know. You know what else reminds me of? Economic devastation. Care the fact that the fact that our paychecks are solely reliant on the products and services that support this podcast. It's true. I yeah, we'll we'll talk about the problems they're having. In a second after this break, Yep, one second. Wow, that was a that was a fast second. Wow, that just that flew right by. Time is not real. Destroyed the clocks. The scientists are the police. Alright, what's next? Second, if you press Fast forward, if you press the, if you press the 32nd button four times? Yes. Yeah. You gotta be real speedy now, this is having other problems because as we talked about the show literally ad nauseam, our supply chains are really bad. And it turns out that that doesn't seem to be a recurring character on the pod, is that? Supply chains. Uh, not the most stable thing we've invented. Yeah. And and especially with, especially with with with fruit and vegetables. Well, I mean. Like, we'll be getting some other supply chains that are like, **** because of this, but like fruit and vegetables in particular, like the, the, the, the, the, the way that we do them, they're they're designed to be in motion for like a very specific amount of time so that when they show up to you, they're ripe. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. You know, you add a few hours on to that, everything falls apart. And this, like, I I'm not sure if it happens because I'm not in Texas, but there was there a bunch of articles that talk about like, yeah, like avocados in Texas are going to cost five more dollars. Like, like a single avocado price is going to increase by like $5 over the weekend. Because like, because it was just the enormous amount of products that's that's being destroyed here and. You know, there, there there's there's a lot of other stuff going on here because American and Mexican supply chains are enormously integrated from now. I mean they've always been integrated to some extent. But like, yeah, particularly post NAFTA, there's a lot of like auto supply chains in particular that are that are tied to, to plants in Mexico. And you actually this occasionally has like interesting effects like Mexico's has a lot of auto strikes and you get like, you'll get these things where like people will like tuck messages into like auto parts and like send them to the US, people will open these messages. I'm like a a worker in Mexico to yeah, you need this and it's it's it's cool that there's lots of interesting stuff there, but this also means that like, yeah, so if those parts aren't moving across the border, there was just in time. Production schedules are even more Omega screwed than they've been already. And so, yeah, there's been a lot of, sort of. Economic stuff that's been happening here. And, you know, the other people who are getting just completely screwed by this are the Mexican truckers. Yeah. And so. Yeah, so so so this this this starts on April 6th on Monday, April 11th. Alright, the truckers are just like, **** this and they start just completely blockading the the the the largest border crossing between like this. It's on this giant bridge. They said they literally just blockade the bridge. And by prevent any goods from getting in. And this, this has an enormous impact because again like you know it was going like yeah it was reduction was down by 40 by 60% but that still means that 40% of the getting through and now you know and but by by by the 11th it's just nothing. Umm. I do. I do hope the one the one good thing that can come out of the whole. Canada's COVID isn't real. Protest is that people have learned that blocking off supply chains is a really effective way to do protest. Because you can stop the import of thousands and millions and billions of dollars of trade pretty easily, actually. And it would be cool if more people realize, hey, obviously the COVID stuff that we're talking about and the whole overthrowing the government part to install a right wing dictator. That part. It's obviously bad, but some of their tactics were actually. Pretty interesting. Yeah. We're going to get more into that, uh, like later. Good. Yeah. I mean, I will say like I think that the thing with the US is that, like, I think there's been a lot of focus on the American left on ports because, yeah, yeah, there's a lot of reasons for that. But like you could use the border crossings too and the, the, the, the the the the Mexican truckers blockade, which really effective, I mean, OK. So this has been a thing where it's it's, it's kind of hard to get information from. I saw a few like newspapers. Talking about. Like? Cartel people like like attacking the blockade and lighting trucks on fire to try to force goods to go through again. Which it's possible I I don't know. But this, you know, once once there are like, once the block like the border is completely blockaded, this completely changes like the entire political situation, because now. Like, you know, Abbott's been running this thing sort of as a political stunt. And as this game he's playing with, you know, he's trying to play a game with Biden. Right. And he's like, OK, well, yeah, you got to do something about the border or whatever. Like, you know, she's been challenging Biden over, like, immigration ********. But, you know, now, now there's a there's a third party involved, and that third party is the Mexican truckers. And now, and now. And it's not just in the it's like Abbott in a confrontation with the people that he needs to make the entire Texan economy run. Yep. And this starts going very badly for him. And the other thing that starts going very badly for him is that I. It turns out if you shut down cross-border trade, you really, really **** *** the bourgeoisie. Turns out, turns out that'll happen if you ain't careful. Yeah. Yeah. It's really interesting. And, you know, and and and and I think I should mention, like, stress. Like, they're ****** *** on both sides of the border. And, like, obviously you could talk about the extent to which, like, yeah, they're the same class, but like, capitalists on both sides of the border start exerting their political pressure because they're, they're losing enormous amounts of money off of this. That's what they do. Yeah. And, you know, their ability to do capitalism as capitalists, they're gonna be mad. Yeah. Which, again, you think you would think that the Abbott would like, get this? Uh-huh. But she just, it seems to have not occurred to him that he was going to **** *** like that or like he he thinks he didn't care enough and thought it wouldn't matter. But like, no, it turns out like. You know, one of the things that happens, yeah, it's it's amazing. Like he he's, you know like, I mean I think this is this is you know I think this is this is sort of a symptom of like. People lose like right wing politicians losing sight of what their actual base is because like this is all, this is all supposed to be like campaign trail feeding the anti immigrant base, but like. You know, you, you, you are a politician in the US your actual constituency is the capitalists. And and like, you have an actual job. And that's to make the economy keep going and keep the people in power to have all the power. Like you're not just like, that's one interesting thing that Trump was kind of one of the first big indicators for which just like a politician now, is just the endless cycle of campaigning. And they don't actually have a job. It's just always campaigning and there's always campaigning. And they're like. Oh, I guess I should do my actual job that I was elected for. Or I could just do more rallies and that seems like it would be less work. Yeah, but I think, I think what Trump it was like. There was set to which the bureaucracy kept functioning. And, you know, like, he, like, Trump got Trump got the tax cut, right? Yeah. And, like, he didn't really start getting in trouble with them until he started doing the anti China stuff, which was sort of a disaster because there was a lot of people who turned out, like, indeed those trade connections to make money. And you saw, like, it like, it was weird. It was a very weird thing. Like, you started to see even some of his, like, like, domestic, like, small business base started to get really mad at him because he's putting all these sanctions up. And it's like, oh, hey, look, all these sanctions mean that all these people who are reliant on Chinese supply chains have to pay this stuff. And an avid Abbott has like done this in microcosm and like these these people, like they start going to the press. I'm going to read a quote from Bloomberg. Some retailers, particularly those in growth in the grocery industry, have experienced supply chain delays resulting from the extended wait times along the Texas Mexico border, John McCord, executive director of Texas Retailers Association, wrote in an e-mail. So like. You know, these are like like the the Texas Retail Association is like, this is like the most Republican solidly institution in the country and and you can watch them overtime like these people are getting really mad like one of. I was like like what? What if Abbott's like? I forget the exact title. Like what? One of Abbott's? Like, secretaries? Like they're like the secretary or some sort of like economic bureaus was like, yeah, man, avocado is gonna cost five more dollars. And, you know, you know, this really hits me hard because everyone knows it's about me. I care a lot about retail. Retail is like my one of my big, poor core personality traits. And you know, who else wants you to care about retail? Oh my goodness. Is that the Washington State Patrol? That is right, Sophie. It's the Washington State Patrol. Are, are, are good friends. So here, here is some here's some messages about about how you can improve your retail decisions. OK, I I can't find this George Bush quote that I was going to use as a bit, so that's fine. Instead of that we will return to this and. You know, one thing I think we should also mention is if you ran into this on Twitter. Umm. You will see a lot of videos of people like Democrats, like standing at the border and pointing at the trucks and going, uh, this is this. This is about attempting to like, make inflation to get worse by sabotaging the economy. Cringe and like. Cringe. Cringe moments. Yeah, like, OK, like. I I cannot rule out that this was like a part of what he wanted to do, but that's not really why he's doing this. Like this. This is this is like mostly I saw people talking about like oh this is like the the the truckers blockades in Chile and I'm like no, no no it's not at all. Like like yeah yeah yeah like yes. Chile has a bunch of right had a bunch of right wing anti communist truckers unions that tried to shut down the government. But like that's not what's happening here. This is the state and Abbott. Going to do this is like an immigration PR thing like this isn't like he's not. She's not actually trying to destroy the government because. The the the the only way you can get stuff like that is if. Like is is, is it? The capitalist class is, like, genuinely afraid that they're about to get like, like wiped out by communists. And it turns out that I, Biden is not about to not be nice the entire US. I don't think that's actually a looming threat at the moment. No. So yeah, it's like, no, it's like it's it's not. It's not really about that, like. It's it's it's it's mostly about this sort of this sort of like border game that the commies are coming for your avocados. Well, I mean this is sort of. This is the the interesting thing here, because it's like. You have this really weird scenario where, like, it's it's it's the right wing governor, like, shutting down the flow of commodities. And like the Liberals are like, we must restore the flow of commodities and like the Bush was here, like we must restore the flow of commodities and like, even the cartels or some extent, like, come on, like we all, we all need the border open. Uh, and really, it it it really does just showcase the entire bit. Yeah, you know, but I mean, like we've been talking about the human cost of this and. The reason this stuff works is because American politics is literally just a machine that turns human suffering into stories and then turns those stories into percentage points at the polls. And that's Abbott's entire wait. Am I getting him confused with? No, Greg Abbott, the governor, I I momentarily got him confused with the UK guy. Tony Abbott. Kunos also bad in very similar ways. Yeah, but I think, I think we're allowed to have two bad habits. Yeah, I thought there were Australia too, but well. The bad habits are multiplying. Someone has got to get on this. We need to deal with the Anglosphere before they provide the force produced. A fourth one and we get the four horsemen of the apocalypse. That would be funny if you just have 4 Abbots. Bring in the apocalypse. Yeah but but but I think I think the thing that's important to understand about like about Abbott is like that that everything that Abbott does is just about inflicting suffering on people and trying to use that to to to do polls right. Like he has genuine right wing beliefs but like the timing of everything that he does. Yeah that's with all of his that's that's that's what all said anti trans stuff is, is that he could beat his primary challenger who was trying to campaign a little bit further to the right than Abbott was. Yeah and this is the thing where. Like politicians are allowed to play games with real people's lives like that. That's their job, right? That's their entire body. Get elected. But they're allowed to do this up until the exact moment at which those real people are the bourgeoisie. And the moment, and this is the thing that Abbott is learning, is that you can do this kind of stunts all you want. Like you can, you can like, you can shoot every trans kid you can like, I don't know, like you can. You can ban like every school from like saying the word race, but you can't **** with the buzz. And you know this is this is the problem that he has. Is is by by like by like the middle of last week he has the like. The ruling class is turning on him, the truckers are blockading the bridges, are preventing all travel and Abbott is like. Basically scrambling to find a way out. And the, the, the thing that he does to do this is he, like, he goes through a bunch of Mexican governors who who are elected the governor of border States and these governors had like sent him letters being like, hey, like, what are you doing? Like we need like we we we need our economies to function. Can can can you actually do this and? You know, so she starts doing these negotiations with him where he's like, well, OK, if you guys, like, inspect all of these trucks or whatever before and you ensure that there's no immigrants in them or whatever before they get here, like, we'll reopen the borders. And you know, so they do this and I think. There's a couple interesting things about this. One is that most of these, I think there's one guy who's from the PRI, but like almost all of these governors are from the PA, which is Mexico's like far right wing party. And like these guys, these guys are also like hard, right, like war on drug hardliners who hate immigrants and and this, this has been another big part of how this sort of border regime works, which is that like, yeah, on the one hand you have, you have Abbott, you have like Texas or you have just the US government, like projecting its power like into Mexico, which is, you know, another big part of what this is. But the other part of it is, has been the US essentially outsourcing its, its border regime and border policy just like to Mexico. And so you get a lot of, there's been a lot in the last, especially during Trump administration. I mean, it goes back much further than that. But like in the in the last, like five years have been a lot of really egregious examples of just like Border Patrol ship but by the Mexican police. Because a, it turns out there's also a bunch of people in Mexico who ******* hate Central American refugees and be the police or the police literally everywhere. And yeah, and this, this also, for example, like this, this is how, this is how a lot of the border regime stuff works in in Europe. Frontex, the European border like thing makes you like, makes like basically just negotiates with like. Literally every. Like? I don't know, you call it like border state, I guess in Africa to like ensure that, like refugees coming up to North Africa, like don't ever get to Europe. And like, this is the way they make deals with Gaddafi, they made deals with the people who came after Gaddafi. Yeah, there's it. The border system is horrible, and this is sort of the border system like working as intended. Now the other thing that we should mention is that, like, OK, so they're they're stopping and like supposedly searching all of these trucks and they find literally nothing the entire time. Because, like, there's, there's, you know, there's anything there, but you get all these press conferences that were like, well, yeah, of course there is nothing. It's because the cartels were tipped off of of the raid because we did press conferences about it and that's why they announced we announced the thing that we were going to do. So it gave them a chance to outsmart us. Wow. Whoa. Ohm so that that that's been fun. And the last thing I want talk about, yeah, which is part of what we were talking about earlier, which is that like, yeah, this is the second time this year that we've seen right wingers like Brock Block off a border for political reasons. And I think there's a few interesting things here. One is that this is the kind of stuff that from like basically from the start of Occupy and even before then until like the Bernie campaign. This is like the core of like what marks we're thinking about in the US and also anarchists some extent. Like if you go and read anything from that. Like it's all about logistics and kind of logistics and how you can like disrupt them and whether or not we try to take control of logistics. And you know, and I think you see here like. Like attacking, logistics is a very powerful political tool, but it's tool that has like limited. Like it? It has limited utility for the right because, you know, the right depends on the backing of capitalist. For the politics to work, they really, really need buying and capitalists and those capitalists need cross-border trade. And you know, and the other thing like they also need, they also need migrant workers to make their money. And if you cut that stuff off, your political base starts to collapse. And the second part of it that's interesting is you get to see how powerful this is as a weapon for, you know, like the working class because of just. Like how instantaneously Abbott back down when the trucking blockade starts, because this this is all over last Friday I think the what date is that? That was Good Friday. I mean it. The good 15th. The goodest. The Goodest Friday, yeah, the the the 15th. It was like, oh, oh, it's all over. We secured the border. Yeah, everything secured the border. Sure, buddy. OK, yeah. But, you know, and you but, like, that's the thing. Like you you can see. Like yeah, you you you gotta see you gotta see a rare moment of like Mexican workers and also like the sort of international capital class working on the same side and you got to see how fast they just like clobbered their politicians because yeah, like, yeah, like the state is the state is a powerful force. But it turns out it's it's class politics all the way down and and I think. I don't know. Between this in Canada, I think there's a couple of interesting things. One is which, OK, yeah, like if if you're on at the left like already automatically you're going to be fighting the capital. Business should just always mad at you. So that's less of a concern. You will face more suppression immediately, obviously. This is, this is this is how the game is played. Yeah, you'll face more expression immediately, but it's also like that. That's not like a your base turning on you like that problem doesn't stem from capitalist not making money. The problem you have with your base turning on you is about being able to provision supplies to people. And I think this is, you know, it gives, you know more about this than I do, but I will finish this sentence and then stop talking, which is that like like, yeah, if you look at Canada, it was like. Part of the reason their occupations failed was that, like, yeah, like, just like a bunch of ordinary people got really, really mad at them because their whole their cities were being locked down. Yeah. Yeah. They started impacting not just the economic drivers, but the people who live in those areas regularly and need them to operate. And that gave politicians enough of enough of an incentive to be like, see, it's actually hurting real people. It's not just hurting the economy, but it's hurting, you know, your grandma who could be living in like, Ottawa or something, right. So when you when you use these tactics. It's about balancing the propaganda of like not severely impacting the people who actually live in these places very much, but but targeting the economic policies and the, you know, you know, the the corporate elite or whatever kind of framing you want to use because as soon as you start doing tactics that just hurt, you know, regular people. That is such an immediate like propaganda L as the kids would say. Because yeah, you you're you're just giving them the tools to easily fight you back. And yes they're gonna they're gonna try to invent tools to to to stop you no matter what. Like they're going to try to do something via propaganda lens. But there's some propaganda is way easier and much harder than others. So I think a big part of these types of things when you're starting to like block off you know, routes to cities block off supply chains as you need to be cognizant of making sure that the people who you're like. Immediately next to kind of things that you're also cool because that can give you so much more legs. I mean, we saw this in the Red House in Portland. There was a there was a lot of effort to make the immediate neighbors not hate the occupation there to, to stop the family from being evicted. And there was a lot of debate around, like how much graffiti should be allowed in the surrounding area because, you know, you don't want to **** *** the neighbors too much. And now this can obviously stem in bad directions in terms of like there was then like self appointed. Security guards like beating up and shooting people with paintballs who were doing graffiti, which is obviously like, not great and not not how you do good anarchism. But then there was other stuff being like, no, we should just trash this area anyway. It's all in the process of being gentrified, which I mean it is. But you're like, yes, I understand that emotional impulse. And you may be right in a lot of senses, like, like more like more correct morally, but to play the propaganda game, to actually stop a black family from being evicted, maybe we can actually. Look at this at a more tactical level. Yeah. And and I think there's a lot of examples of things we can learn from strikes that use very efficiently. Like one of the one of the reasons the Wildcats in West, the Wildcat teacher strikes West Virginia in 2017 worked was that the striking teachers in West Virginia were very, very careful about making sure that they did things like, you know, like making, making sure that kids got, like, the meals that the that the school would have been. Yeah. Yeah. Like providing like, like, you know, like. This is why. This is why mutual aid is extremely important, because it lets you, it lets you provision services not just when they collapse because of like, you know, oh, hey, the government's doing weird stuff or like, there's a plague. It lets you do it lets you shut down logistics lines yourself and still have community support and still be able to provide people to think, to provide people things that they need. And this is like, you know, if you carry this all the way to like, the macro, macro level, it's like, yeah, OK, so like, why did why did the Russian Revolution? Not work. And, you know, like, like, why did the Paris Commune fail? And it's like, well, yeah, it's because instead of, like, giving peasants things, they went into the countryside and shot them into attempting to get those things. And it's like, yeah, like, you have to. What, what, what, what? Whatever. The thing that you're doing is in, in, in your sort of like base area, right? Whatever. You're like you're doing a strike, you're shutting down a bridge. You're like, you know, you're blocking a border, trying down a port, right? You, you you have to make sure you're constantly expanding and building out support outside, outside of that, outside of that action and making sure you're able to provision the people who are affected by it. And if you don't do this, you end up like Abbott. And it's like, yeah, you know, he Abbott had like the entire power of the American state behind him and he was able to keep this up for like less than two weeks. Before he had to just pull out. So yeah, we can do this better and for things that are good and in ways that don't hurt people or at least hurt people significantly less. Or, you know, don't not hurt the wrong people. Instead, try to try to hurt the right people, just like the incredible lack of, like, thinking. That's my. That's my summary is yeah. Better do think like, yeah. And I think also like again, like Abbott, Abbott's politics, like, is entirely about like, inflicting cruelty on people, right. And ours, like shouldn't be and shouldn't. It's not me. And the fact that we actually care about people makes our politics more effective. I guess I should in theory. In theory they should. And any time we may take a misstep from that, I think is a is a big loss. Yeah. There's one more strike thing that I just remembered that I was going to talk about, which is I. So he's also trains a lot, that there's a type of strike whose name I'm forgetting because I'm a hack and a fraud where like the people, the people will just like take over a train and they'll run it, but they just won't take fares. That is incredibly big. Yeah. And you know, so that that's that's that's like level one of it and then level two of the strike is inside of just we're on strike, but we're running the series and not taking any money. It's we now control this train and that that has happened. Several occasions and, well, you hear that? It's cool. You heard it here. First, take over your local train. It could happen here. We could we we can do it, yeah. Anarchism can make the trains run on time. Oh, hi. I am not sure about that. Chris. Punch. Punch time is A is an unstoppable force. OK, here's the thing. Here's the thing, right? Like punk time. Like, OK, so you don't have the punks running the trains, you have to train nerds running the train. You have people who spend all of their time playing train simulator running the trains. OK? And the trains will run great. All right. That is, that is completely fair. Where can people find you and or the show on the Internet? You can find me at Itma E3 on Twitter. If you want to do that for some reason, you can find us that happened to your pod on Twitter and Instagram. There's also the cool zone we cool zone media. Yeah, we have a we have a new podcast that is coming. So if you want to do this podcast we actually got, we got two new ones for you coming soon. We have a ghost church by Jamie Loftus. Episode one is out April 25th. And then we have cool people who did cool stuff. Hosted by Margaret. Killjoy trailer is out next week and episode one is out on May 2nd. Check both of them out there. So many, so many pods in the pipe as we say. That is, that is the technical term. Yeah. Pods in the pipe. These, these are genuinely legitimately very good shows and you should listen to them. And I'm really excited. So yeah. All right. Well, thank you for listening and go, go take over a train. Greetings, listeners. In the podcast verse. This is it could happen here, the podcast about things falling apart and sometimes how we can put stuff back together. I'm Garrison Davis, our resident gender mass. In the past few weeks, we've been talking a lot. Here on the show about the escalating war on trans people and queer folks in general, there's been a wave of bills making any gender affirming healthcare a felony for people under the age of 18, which forcibly did transitions, teenagers and multiple States and we've had a lot of banning trans people from participating in sports and trying to ban books and discussion in schools about the just the existence of queer people at all. But today we're not really going to be talking about that. We've talked about that. Plenty for the past few weeks. It's good to have a little, little bit of a break, but we'll still be talking about stuff around trans people because with all the discussion around gender affirming healthcare, I thought it would be a good idea to put something together talking about what HRT or hormone replacement therapy actually is as since it's the most common form of trans healthcare and since many states are trying to or already have criminalized it, perhaps I can use the pod two point people towards alternative means of receiving. There, you know, in the vein of the putting stuff back together side of the show. Now, I want to clarify up front that we're not giving anyone medical advice, obviously. I'm just making observations and talking about things as they exist and talking about things that many trans people have been doing for a long time. And that includes DIY HRT. My doctorate program is in parapsychology, not medical science. So just keep that in mind first. I will quickly clarify what? HRT or hormone replacement therapy actually is for specifically non cisgender individuals because HRT has a term is also used for CIS women to describe similar but different treatment. So HRT as a form of gender affirming treatment is when someone receives sex hormone medication that produces a number of desired secondary sex characteristics. There are two broad types of hormone therapy that one would receive depending on what. Direction you want to go in gender wise. There's feminizing hormones and masculinizing hormones. Feminizing hormones produce more typically feminine traits, right? Big, big shocker there. It usually consists of a form of estrogen usually called estradiol. There's different types of estradiol, and also it can include a antiandrogens AKA testosterone blockers. Masculinization therapy consists of taking testosterone. Or androgens, and then also less commonly antiestrogens. But usually just taking testosterone will suffice. Now, I'm no expert in hormones despite my weekly eshot, but lucky enough I was able to sit down with an actual expert on hormones and talk over zoom. So what follows is segments from our conversation. I guess first, do you want to introduce yourself? Sure I am. The Reverend Dr Victoria Lunabee grieve. I'm an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy. My primary clinical focus is on gender affirming hormone therapy, other kind of advocacy work in queer healthcare. And I do a lot of other stuff on the side. Pedagogy, ludic instructional design, game design, just anything that strikes my fancy. Really fun, fun stuff. In with within the kind of our our coverage of trans stuff the past few weeks and months it's been mostly unlike the bills and like the politics side of things. I've definitely had some people like reach out and be like OK but how? Like why, why transgender? What why hormones? Like why are hormones actually important like could you actually explain like what like you know with all of these all these states banning hormones let's, I would like to kind of explain why it's such a big deal and like how much these things. Actually are like life saving medication for so many people? Yeah, so why hormoz? I I love it because it's a question that as like a species we've been, we we have known the answer to for like 5000 years. It's it's very funny, but hormones are OK. A big part of this requires to, like acknowledge something that is very wrong in in, like the medical literature. There's a lot of elements of healthcare that are coordinated between like male and female. And there's a kind of like obviously is a little. So there's a lot. I mean, like from like from people I know when trans people talk about interacting with the medical system, it's always like, Oh yes, we're going to be doing this ********. Yes, of course, yeah. Well, but it even goes to it like a really deep. Well, like if you're in the hospital and you get a CBC count, there's a male profile and a female profile of what your hematocrit should be, unlike what the level of red blood cells are. And and the general understanding and like the health industry is that there's a biological anatomical difference between them. And for the longest time, certainly in this country, trans women would have, would be compared against the male profiles. But but it's nonsense. It's actually should be thought of in form of hormone dominance because the vast majority of medical differences. They're not anatomical, they're hormonal. And and that right there should should give the game away, which is really funny, which is why I why I kind of hate the term biological woman whenever people start using that, because that's not really how biology works. Yeah, I mean the joke is my, my nesting partner, my fiance wishes that she could be a robot. And then if she were to do that and upload her brain into an immortal robot body, she would no longer be a biological woman, but she would still be a woman. It's just cybernetic. Yeah. I hate that. It's like organic. Organic just means it has carbon in it. Like, give me a break. Yes. So yeah. Hormones. What's what's what's the deal? Do they? Because I know all of people will be like, well, all of these trans people sure do seem sad. I want that's how. How how can we make things better? Does this thing actually work? Oh well, so it's somewhat multifactorial. I I have a friend who does sell imaging, and her like working theory, which I'm a little dubious of, is that like, the brains of trans people like have receptors for hormones that the body doesn't make, and we should think of being transgender as having like, a form of hypogonadism. Yeah, there's there's a lot of different trains of thought there in terms of the different theories of why trans people exist and how it's like, you know, girls, brain boys body and blah blah blah blah blah. Which all if you dig deep. Stuff goes back to eugenics. So it's all *******. Yeah. I've never, I've always not liked that model. I've always, it's always, I've always found it to be a little bit uncomfortable because I I take hormones because I want to, and I don't think it's because my, my my brain is like, secretly looking for girl receptors or something, right? I I totally agree. Like, it also requires a certain, like, extremely binary understanding of gender, which I also do not ascribe to. So it's a very, like, odd thought, but putting aside. All of that, if you just wanted to look at the like, why people want hormones because when a person who wants hormones gets the hormones they want, their suicidality goes down, their anxiety, depression goes down, gender dysphoria, if you want to you know talk about the problems with that, go essentially like goes away and they get, they start to get treated like the way they want to be treated in society. So from the if you want to look at it, not from like the causes, but from the results. Giving gender affirming hormone therapy to a person who is requesting gender affirming hormone therapy has a 99% success rate. The the the rate of regret from starting hormones is 1% or less, which is unbelievable in the healthcare field. Like like having a child. Like biologically giving birth has a 7% regret rate. Like the idea of any therapy having that high of a rate of preventing death. Uh, anxiety, depression, uh, bullying. Like all of the different effects being that successful should be like a miracle. It should be looked at as the thing we in healthcare are like should do absolutely ethically. And it it is, it is so much more complicated than that. So like hormones from the results obviously make sense. It aligns your body's shape and like fat, fat deposits and the way that you feel, the way that you relate to your emotions. It all goes back to the way that hormones work on your body and it there's, there's like the old saying that like, assist person would never want to try. Gender forming homerun therapy. So, like, if you have the, if you want to try it, you should be allowed to try it. I mean, like, you're you're kind of a good example, right? Care. Like, yeah, I know sitting. Yeah, if you're sitting around a bar with a bunch of like, SIS guys and you're like, hey, who wants some estrogen? They would all, like, shrink away from it. Like, no, absolutely. Because yeah, it's definitely a thing. Like, I'm not the most dysphoric person, but I'm like, sure I'll take estrogen. That sounds fun. That's like, it's like that. That sounds like a thing. That I could enjoy watching my body change and I'm, you know, it's it's I'm happy that we're moving more towards that and not having to deal with the oh, I'm so dysphoric, I want to die, which is obviously very a big thing for a lot of people. I'm not, I'm not minimizing that, right. But also a lot of trans people who've had more kind of complicated feelings on gender, whether they're like genderqueer, nonbinary, have in the past had made it more difficult to get gender affirming care because they don't fit into those specific like male female boxes. As easily. Mm-hmm. Alright. And and what you're talking about is really something that's relatively recent, the idea of gender euphoria, like the idea that people want to take your phones because it gives them joy to like dress or act or feel a certain way and that. I mean Healthcare is all about, at least up until. Well, the reality of Healthcare is that it is all about finding problems to solve and not really looking at like your life, just better in general. Yeah, exactly. So you know, I know plenty of people who started hormones of any type just because they felt it would make them happier and they were correct. And that gender euphoria is just as good of a reason to take it as the dysphoria. The problem ends up in how the medical industry treats it because dysphoria. Quote UN quote is something as long. Oh my gosh. I could go into the whole history of that if you wanted, but I'm sure we could talk about the DSM four and DSM 5 for a long time. Oh, it's so frustrating. I spend I spend a 2 hour session in my queer healthcare class specifically just dunking on the DSM 5. The definition of gender dysphoria. But the, the, the, the real problem is like this focus on this negative quality and how that actually damages a lot of the conversations around gender affirming hormone therapy and trans people in general. Uh like instead of seeing it as like this manifestation of people like truly taking control of their lives to become authentic in like the truest way. Like you have never met a more truly well self-made man than a trans man who gets hormones like it it's I mean it's and it's still something we're even we're we're we're not quite at the at the gender utopia mean obviously because of all of the anti trans stuff but even like even on like just purely. Purely the medical side, like I even for for informed consent, I still needed to get diagnosed with gender dysphoria at the Informed Consent clinic and in order in order to get hormones, which is in part like an insurance thing and you know, it has has all of these, all of these ******** reasons. But that is that is something we're still we're still definitely dealing with. Oh my goodness. Yeah. And the the better informed care clinics are the ones that they realize it's just like an effort in box ticking. So they're just like, Yep, sounds good. You came here to this clinic and you asked about hormones. Sounds like gender dysphoria to me. Like tell your insurance, whatever. We gotta say yes, eventually we'll go into like hormone blockers as well. But I want to talk about there's a lot of this is there's a lot of rhetoric that's been growing for a long, long time about the the extremely damaging, irreversible effects of of hormone replacement therapy and how they're going to permanently alter your biology if you give these to children and there's five year olds taking testosterone and it's going to like you're like. They're like, oh really? That sounds very scary. So that's something I would like to discuss is like because a lot of people when we when we talk about hormones they think of this as this like big extremely life altering thing that has like these, you know, irreversible effects on your you know your bones are going to get weak and tripled and never and never get big again and all of all of this very scary stuff. What's up with that? I think a lot of it goes back to that biological essentialism, because hormones, even for the people who give them are considered partially like reversible because the majority of the things that happen one take a long *** time. Like you will know whether or not this is a good idea for the majority of people well before the physical manifestations occur and and considering like one of the biggest problems we have with certain formulations like in the once a week or once every other week. Injectable version of estrogen, by the time you get to right before your next dose, your estrogen is so low you're feeling it and it's starting to like reverse some of those. So like if you're feeling it after two weeks, how irreversible could it be? And some of it depends on like 8 timing because if we're talking about a person who has say, already gone through a testosterone mediated puberty, then some of the things are just not going to be affected. You can't change like bone size, height or anything like that there. There's some interesting things about like hip like flexion and and and and pivoting and more of that recently. Yeah, actually, yeah. Yeah. And and even like shoe size can can change because of the way the ligaments work on hormones, but like. The phones aren't going to change once they're done growing, but that's sort of where the puberty blockers come in that we can, we'll talk about later. But for the for the majority of people, if you are going through, if if you have gone through a puberty that you did not want, you can take hormones to go through puberty you do want and get the effects that you do want. And some of the elements sure, like, you know, growing breasts or gynecomastia as we would call it an assist man, which is another whole nonsense. Is not irreversible. Like you can have them removed if you decided that you needed to like D transition, which is a whole nother story, but even then. It takes like five years to see their final breast size. Like, yeah, if you if you're on hormones for five years and you're worried about the irreversible, quote UN quote effects, like, what are we doing here? I mean, and even I've heard from a lot of my elder trans friends that whenever they go off hormones, sometimes their breasts just kind of go away because they're not massive to begin with. Like, if it's generally, generally you don't get the massive, massive honkers immediately. Working on it. I know, I know we're trying but a lot of a lot a lot of even the you know that was one of the big things that informed consent thing was like the you know a lot of these changes are reversible except for breasts. These are these are, these are these are permanent change. Be careful and like all my transients are like. Yeah, man, a little bit. But I mean, like, your ******* won't shrink. Like your ******* will definitely be bigger and that that won't change. But a lot of, like, the size actually does fluctuate. And I, I I can even tell that on, like, depending on if I like, miss a dose or something, being like, Oh yeah, like there is a lot of, a lot of fluctuation even like on like, you know, like temperature and stuff. How cold is will determine how, how, how, how, how my chest looks. It is. It is. It's pretty fun. I mean, I am. I I just like the biohacking thing in general. It is like the cyberpunk in me. Yeah, I guess. I guess we could talk about Homer hormone blockers as well, because this is the other kind of thing you hear a lot about when conservatives are very scared about trans people. The idea of hormone blockers, like making people infertile or making permanent changes to Children's Health or something, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. That's the thing that is like really, really frustrating for me, specifically because puberty blockers the Canada. Have been the GNRH antagonist and agonist which have been around for like a long time for like ever for for. I want to say it was like 100 years, but I I might be misquoting something that I'm half remembering but they've been around for like a really long time to the point where we have generics and in the in the Pharmaceutical industry that means that it's been like decades at the very least something that had rigorous testing that has an indication with the FDA for precocious puberty which just means. The person who is usually says who for whatever reason has puberty at a very young age with some of the some of the specific cases that I've seen that I've that I've looked into involve giving puberty blockers to like a three or four year old because their body is trying to undergo puberty. So even the idea of like, Oh well, I don't know, this 12 year old being on a puberty blocker for three years, that sounds very dangerous when we have a person over here who is on it for 15 years with no ill. Effects like like no long lasting I'll effects the the idea of anybody describing it as like experimental is absolutely a historic outside of the realm of reality. Yeah, they're just it's it's basically anti anti intellectualism. Because yeah, we've been giving cyst children hormone blockers for a long time for early onset puberty and turns out they they work and they're pretty safe. So yeah, maybe we should give those to trans kids too if they want them. Seems like something we could at least try and see if it improves. Mental health. And then it's it's not even a matter that we have to try it. We've been doing it for like almost 10 years, like the, the IT was first. I think it was like 2013. There's a there's a Ted talk I use in my class of A of a physician who, like, pioneered the use of puberty blockers in trans kids and showed that any trans kid who got puberty blockers and then was allowed to undergo the puberty that they desired at an appropriate age, which is actually like 1415 at the same time as their peers, but even if they had to wait till 18. The psychological effects of having in in appropriate puberty are essentially nullified. They are otherwise psychologically and physically like identical to their their cisgender peers. So it it's like we have actual evidence that it is extremely beneficial and extremely worthwhile. And like the one kind of long term side effect is, you might be up to an inch shorter than you otherwise be, which is a wildly like problematic like. Study that was done because, like, we don't have time machines to know whether or not that worked. Like, what would your control group be? And it's just wild. It's very bothersome to me because a lot of the gender affirming hormone therapy, the evidence is all over the place for a variety of political reasons and and historical reasons. But for hormone blockers? Or for puberty blockers specifically? The evidence is like. Really solid, really strong. And this is, this is a question I actually have because I'm actually unfamiliar with this specific thing. But yeah if if you give like hormone blockers to like a kid who's 10, they they still kind of like grow at the same rate as a lot of as a lot of their peers. And that is a, it's just, it's it's the specifically like the secondary sex characteristic changes that get put on pause. But there's just so much, yeah. There's just so much fear around the whole even even just the home run blocker thing right when we're getting, you know, just like prescribing hormone blockers, being like a felony offense in multiple states now you're like, that's like, it's it is just an extreme degree of anti, anti intellectualism. Just like just like purposeful like ignorance and just extreme hatred and bigotry and. It's it is. I mean yeah it's a I kind of speaking to the choir here but of course but but but that's the trick and and even like the puberty blocker thing like you were saying your body will still make human growth hormone you will still grow. It's just that the modulation of that with say testosterone which would increase the overall growth like just doesn't there and people say make a lot of you know talk a lot about the idea of bone mineral density because you don't have testosterone or. Virgin, which are both necessary, one or the other necessary for your like bone mineral density to not like have like easily fractured bones. But like you don't even have that until you go through puberty. If you're just like preventing 1 puberty, the endogenous puberty, and then providing the hormones for an exogenous puberty. They're fine. Like they they have the hormones they need, their bones are happy. So yeah. I like to talk about, I guess kind of access to hormones and in like the like the different models of of mean. Obviously we're not giving up medical advice, but like yes, access to hormones and the different ways that people can go about that now through doctors, through informed consent and all of all and all of that jazz. Yeah. So the informed consent model is a much more recent option, and it's not available everywhere. I have a friend in Texas. We had to find a clinic that was like 2 hours away to get her hormones. But here where I live, we actually have two informed consent clinics. So it's pretty convenient, but it varies wildly by by region. And the informed care clinics are great. It means you come in, they say this is what's going to happen. Do you still want to do it? You say yes, they take some blood, they run some tests. You come back in two weeks and they go, here you go. Like that, that's they they work really well depending on the clinic I guess and but the more traditional quote UN quote standard model would be going to your PCP or or whoever and saying that you want to do this. Which makes most of them very concerned because most physicians, pharmacists, nurses, they don't get taught anything about trans people or caring for trans people or gender affirming hormone therapy in their school like. So they have nothing to fall back on. So that makes them. Very nervous to do it. And then if you if you look at wow, gosh, I really want to tell you about the the guideline stuff at some point here because it is buckwild. As to why that would be a concern, but another part of it is is also the insurance. You know, America's original sin and in our healthcare dystopia, if you will, the. Insurance is historically have required and and part of this is also from antiquated guidelines that has been somewhat like just grandfathered in to excuse the term. This idea of like, we used to go to a therapist, if you go to a psychologist and they have to say that you have gender dysphoria, that's why it's in the DSM. And then after you do that, some places require you to socially transition before getting hormones or anything, which can be extremely problematic for some individuals. That just increases like visibility and bullying and and such. In a way that it might drive people, it's it's sort of was intentionally required back in the day to drive people to not want hormones anymore. And it's all of these gatekeeping steps. And it's even worse. If you wanted to get a surgery later on where you have to have been on hormones for a certain length of time, you have to have two different generally like cisgender right healthcare practitioners who don't necessarily understand like the full, like everything that's going on, write you letters before the and most insurance is up until recently. Wouldn't even cover it. So it it's just gatekeeping. Step after gatekeeping step because even the big guidelines, which is WWW path, which is about to put out their Silk 8 guidelines, there's a guidelines out of San Francisco, and the Endocrine Society has guidelines from 2017 that are. But all of those are made by cisgender people, usually with the intent to gatekeep this care because it either they're uncomfortable with it because they're unfamiliar with it, they have some kind of ideological reason to be against it. Or whatever, whatever else. There's a survey that I often quote to my students in class that they surveyed a whole bunch of trans individuals trying to get care from their physicians. And it was nearly 1/4 of them said that they avoided healthcare because of discrimination, and half of them reported having to teach their healthcare practitioner how to care for them. Which is wild, like imagine going to the hospital with like. Heart failure and having to, like, talk your physician through how to care for you. Can you can you live for two years with heart failure first before we give you treatment? Ohh my gosh, could you imagine if we treated other things this way? I'd be like, well, Are you sure that you have diabetes? Are you sure that you're like, well, we can't treat your diabetes, you're too fat. Look, your BMI is too high, so we can't give you the insulin. Like, give me a break. What is happening? Seems like a basically what you're saying is that we got a good system, we got it. We gotta figure it out. Absolutely no notes, 100% perfect in every way. Well, that does it for us today. Other could happen here. Well, specifically if I could, it's really interesting from like the healthcare perspective because or from you know the practitioner's perspective because there's essentially two kinds of like treatment. There's guideline based medicine and evidence based medicine and a lot of schools like my school teaches a lot of guideline based medicine which is for something like hypertension or diabetes is put out by like large organizations with a ton of evidence that is actually like pretty reasonable. But that means that if you're going along with what they say. That means that you believe that they read those studies correctly and that their interpretation is in no way compromised by like sources of their income, say, and that those guidelines actually match your patient. So it's a lot of assumptions that you're making which can be extremely problematic. And evidence based is where you dive into the literature and you figure it out yourself, which is very time consuming and and requires an awful lot of like professional, like, you know, criticism in a way. But when you look at it for for trans care, for for gender affirming hormone therapy, those guidelines are unbelievably compromised. To give you an example, a hotly contested issue in feminizing therapy is the use of micronized progesterone in feminizing care. It's kind of like all over the place. There's a long history of it, of of this controversy in the upcoming W Path Soak 8 guidelines that I had like a preliminary copy. To to provide notes on there that there's a single statement that just says that this there's a controversy that exists and you should not use micronized progesterone and transfeminine care and they list a study, OK. If you pull up that study, the title of it is progesterone is important for transgender women's therapy, applying evidence for the benefits of progesterone in CIS women and it is like a pretty long document that concludes that it is like. Ethical imperative to offer it. So the idea that the people who are writing the W path guidelines read this article read this this like meta analysis and went yeah I don't really agree with any of that. I'm just going to say no. He's just so infuriating. Again that seems like we got a good system going here. Yeah 100% no no it's like it's on that note let's I want to discuss some of the some things that are talking about as much as like anti androgens, progesterone Spiro and what all kind of those do and. How they can kind of supplement a regular estradiol prescription, I guess regimen, yeah. Regimen regiment, yes. That sounds. That sounds fancy. Sure, sure. So generally speaking if you're maybe give a baseline for, for folks who are unaware, the the way that we do feminizing therapy is we offer estradiol which is a bioequivalent version of E2 because there's like 3 different versions of of estrogen and an anti androgen because testosterone tends to be somewhat of an overriding hormone, the presence of testosterone. Override the effects of estrogen to a certain extent depending on doses and stuff like that, which is for the transmasculine individuals. Why we just give testosterone? It just does the job. You don't need to block the estrogen, so. Huh. There's a, you know, there's a lot of history in just those hormones as well that we could talk about, like conjugated estrogens versus estradiol and all the different other stuff. But for the anti androgens that we give historically in this country, we give spironolactone which is a mineral corticoid. It's a potassium sparing diuretic and it's just really good at higher levels. We usually use it in like cardio issues like it. It can be used for like hypertension and some other things and I believe it makes you pee a lot that is. That's what I've heard. So it's a diuretic, meaning that it makes you urinate an awful lot, and it's a potassium sparing because it prevents your body from eliminating potassium, so no more eating bananas well. So that is. That's the thing that I think is really, really wild because you're using these high levels of it. It is preventing your production of your endogenous production of testosterone and making you pee all of the time, which spoilers. Estradiol also makes you pee more often, so like that's a real fun. Combination. But then physicians, if they don't know what the heck they're doing, they might say something like, well, you can't eat any bananas. And like, historically, the people who are on feminizing therapy are healthy enough that their body just accommodates for it. And if you have hyperkalemia, which is like too much potassium, you're going to know, like your muscles are going to ache and there's going to be a lot of, like, telltale side effects. Usually it's only a problem if you are, like, only consuming a, like salt alternative. That has potassium instead of sodium, which is OK like not not super common, not super common. Or if you have some other reason why your body is like holding on to potassium. So it's not usually an issue. It doesn't, and spironolactone isn't sufficient for everyone. There's plenty of people who have like refractory testosterone after some time, and there's some other options. There's kind of a weird controversy about it that is sort of heralded by the San Francisco guidelines I mentioned earlier that spironolactone leads to OK, wait, I want to make sure I get the wording right. It's leads to premature fusing of the breast bud and overall smaller breast size, which. The document that they cite for that is a real weird retrospective study from like a bunch of years ago on the rate of trans women getting breast augmentation. And it found that the vast majority of trans women who were on spironolactone got breast augmentation. Breast augmentation, OK, but the problem is, like of their sample group of like 2-3 hundred people, almost all of them were on spironolactone. Like there's like a sampling error, like it's it's not, it's it's very silly. And also. Even like that premature fusing of the breastfed, I have never been able to find anything that suggests that that's a thing, or even like a way to explain what that statement even means. But the San Francisco guidelines, to go back to the my guideline thing actually says has some, like maybe don't use parental lactone, even though it's something we've been using since literally like the 50s or 60s. For this purpose in other countries you'll use what's called cyproterone, which is a synthetic progesterone. It's not actually approved. And the states, because it has a like, there is actually some evidence that it causes increase in certain specific cancers, but it's like a pretty limited overall risk. Like, it's not like something like, you know, going outside increases your risk of cancer. It's not like a huge deal, but it was enough that they, they don't. It's not approved in the states, but in a lot of other countries, you know, you might get cyproterone, which there's a lot of, you know, controversy around that, too. For those reasons here, the other option that we usually see is finasteride. Which is a 5A reductase inhibitor that essentially is preventing testosterone from being turned into dihydrotestosterone, which we use normally for to prevent quote UN quote male pattern baldness, and in higher doses for prostate cancer. Because it's real good at because it like reverses some of the feedback loops, just reducing testosterone production. Yeah, so it it it's just fine like it. That one has like very limited side effects, but it might not have. As substantial of a reduction of testosterone that spironolactone does and then the the kind of third one that we really we don't see very often, but there's a lot of interesting evidence about is called bicalutamide. It's also a prostate cancer medication. It actually blocks all of the receptors of testosterone in your body while not reducing the production of it. So you'll see a person who has like, you know, they have like 700, they're their testosterone comes back is like. 706 hundred whatever, yeah, but they're entirely feminized because none of it has anywhere to work. But the problem with that is bicalutamide being an anti cancer Med primarily is ridiculously expensive. I think it's like 50 bucks a dose or something like what a good system we have here. It's so great. They will say and and for my gender queers out there or any anyone else, you can also just take estrogen without any without any blockers and you still get results as I can as I can confirm. For a subset of the population, just taking estrogen at a sufficient dosages will also reduce your levels of progesterone of testosterone like it's. Your body knows what it's doing. Is it? Is it? Is it. It is pretty cool how much you can just change things up and everybody is like, oh, we're doing this now. OK, got it. Great. I have all these mechanisms. It's wonderful. And with that, that wraps up part one of our little two-part series of episodes talking about hormone replacement therapy. Tomorrow I'll talk more about access to gender affirming treatment and touch on DIY HRT. A special thanks to Doctor Victoria Luna, Brendan Grieve for chatting with me about gender affirming hormonal treatment. You'll get to hear more of my discussion with her tomorrow as well, including a brief tangent about the Syrian priestesses, which I was. It was very, very, very excited to talk about, but that does it for us today. You can follow this show at happened here pod and Cool Zone Media on Twitter and Instagram, and you can look at my late night gender tweets at Hungary bow tie on, so see you all on the other side. Welcome back to it could happen here, the podcast about things falling apart and sometimes how we can put things back together. I'm Garrison Davis, a spiraling Rebus, and this is Part 2 of my little two-part series talking about trans hormone replacement therapy. Last episode we discussed what HRT is. It's various benefits as gender affirming treatment and the informed consent model of receiving hormones. Before we continue on with my discussion with Doctor Grieve, I would like to talk a bit more about informed consent. So the informed consent option can be great for many, many people as it attempts to bypass some of the red tape around receiving gender affirming healthcare for informed consent. All you got to do is set up an appointment. In the forms, maybe get some blood work done and then pick up your hormones, right. You don't need to live as trans for like 2 years or have letters from therapists. It's it is. It is just up to you. So it is it is really convenient if you can get that option. Some places even let you do it via telemedicine appointments so you can just sit at home holding your little IKEA shark and then get your hormones, which does sound very, very nice. Planned Parenthood offers informed consent trans healthcare in many States and in the show. I will link a Google map of the informed consent clinics from across the country. Depending on your insurance, you can get hormones for little to no extra cost this way. It can be really convenient. The biggest* for informed consent is that since it's based on, you know, informed consent, it often is just for humans age 18 and older, or sometimes teens a few years younger, but only if their parents or guardians sign the forms. Obviously, this is not. I feel for a 16 year old with transphobic parents who would really be helped by receiving like hormone blockers or something right? Another potential drawback is that the clinics can sometimes have quite the wait list. I started off with the informed consent model because it was the easiest, but by the time I needed more blood work done and my prescription refilled, setting up more appointments at Planned Parenthood became kind of a nightmare. I was continuously having appointments being cancelled on me last minute. And justice getting pushed back and months and months into the future. Eventually I just resorted to getting hormones through my regular doctor instead of just continuing on with informed consent. Now, this is obviously a regional issue, right? I I don't know what it's like in Florida, for example, but the COVID-19 pandemic has stressed a lot of the medical infrastructure here in the States and scheduling some appointments in these clinics can be still quite challenging. And as you know, a big theme of this show is that maybe we shouldn't assume the structure is that hold up our society, our concrete permanent fixtures. The term the crumbles that we use to describe the slow deterioration of the systems that we rely on was initially coined in reference to our medical system by a friend of the show who works in the medical field. Listen to the first five episodes of The Daily Show talking about climate change for more on that, but a part of the criminal's. Mia is trying to learn how to become less reliant on the systems that we take for granted, right, trying to solve for the fallacy of misplaced concreteness before it's too late. On that note, back to my discussion with Doctor Victoria Luna Brennan Grieve, assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy. For places that are getting, you know, all of these anti trans bills, criminalizing all of this stuff for minors. And then, you know, eventually maybe even, you know, my big fear is that, you know, First off they're gonna colonize it for minors and they're going to say the brain is not fully developed. So you're 25 and they're going to criminalize until you're 25. They're just gonna criminalize it for everyone after that. So for all of these places that are making access to healthcare so much harder, what, what is, what is 1 to do like if these, if there's these kids. And then even adults who are like just find it so much harder to get stuff like, I I know there's the informed consent clinics, but and there's there's like there's like a few in Texas, but I don't even know what they can even offer anymore, right. Like, it's really unclear. Yeah. Well, I'll tell you, some of that fear is already becoming reality here in Pennsylvania. Just two days ago, HB, I think it was HB972 passed by the the House and in down in Harrisburg that prevents, it's a ban on trans people playing sports up through the college. Level. Not just high school and grade school. It's all the way up through, you know, secondary education. And even though our governors like has vowed to veto it, like, who even knows what's going to happen? But they're already taking taking aim at this higher level kind of thing. And there's a lot of precedent for that. But my goodness, if there's a long and and storied history of DIY hormone therapy, and it's easier for the transfeminine individuals because. Testosterone is actually a Schedule 2 controlled substances. I think it's scheduled 2 schedule three. It might be a three. I think it's a Schedule 3 steroid. I'll, I'll, I'll write a little thing about it and I'll say it in the episode. And it's such a funny reason too because it's just you can use it to dope for endurance based like like cycling and running because it will increase your red blood cell count. That's it like and so it's a controlled substance because people can use it to dope for, for, for, for sports. So it's a little bit harder to get a hold of in like a a meaningful way, but there are a lot of different. Allegedly there are a lot of different places online that you can acquire estrogen or estradiol relatively easily. Now I'm going to actually pause the discussion with me and doctor Grieve to talk a little bit about DIY HRT or for those anti acronym people out there do-it-yourself hormone replacement therapy. Now again, I'm not a medical doctor. Unless you have a problem regarding parapsychology, I cannot offer you any expertise, but I can talk about DIY HRT as it's existed for trans people for the past two decades. Because an unfortunate truth is, although it's gotten much easier to get gender affirming care and hormones the past few years, even in states that aren't facing this wave of anti trans healthcare bills, the medical establishment hasn't been the most trans friendly place in general. A recent Center for American Progress report found that nearly half of transgender people and 68% of transgender people of color reported having experienced mistreatment at the hands of a medical provider. Including refusal of care and verbal or physical abuse just in the year before the survey, which took place in June of 2020. So this is this is still very much an ongoing issue. One in two trans people reported that their access to gender affirming healthcare was curtailed significantly during the pandemic, and nearly one in two transgender adults have had insurance providers denying them coverage for gender affirming care. And very often, doctors don't even know how to properly treat transgender patients. And often it's up to the patients to educate the doctors on trans healthcare issues. The Center for American Progress survey from last year found that one in three trans people report having to teach their doctors about trans people to get them appropriate care, and 15% reported having been asked invasive or unnecessary questions about being trans which were not related to the reasons for them visiting the doctor. The report cited a 2018 brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation that found that more than half of medical school curriculums lack information about unique health issues the LGBTQ community faces and doesn't cover treatment beyond HIV prevention and care. So obviously that leaves a lot to be desired for people wanting to receive transgender healthcare. Between medical mistreatment, insurance complications, and doctor ignorance, many trans folks have taken it upon themselves to get the drugs necessary for hormone replacement therapy. Because the alternative is often just having to face not being able to receive the health care that in many cases makes it possible to live. The Center for American Progress Survey found that 28% of trans folks report having postponed or not gotten necessary medical care for fear of discrimination. Taking your endocrinology and hormone treatment into your own hands has a lengthy history and used to be much more common in the days before informed consent. In a survey of trans people in Washington DC circa 2000, over half of the respondents said that they had used non prescribed hormones, also known as DIY HRT. So information on how to go about DIY and your HRT spread via online forums and websites in the early 2000s and after some trial and error the information is kind of consolidated into a few main information hubs, that being the DIY HRT, wiki, HRT. Cafe and DIY HRT dot GitHub dot IO now obviously when you're getting into taking drugs from online sources, you need to be extremely careful and cautious about what foreign chemicals you're putting into your body, including and trying to only acquire drugs from trustworthy sources, doing drug testing if you can, and doing your own blood testing before and after to keep an eye on your testosterone and estrogen levels. It is possible to order blood tests via online. And send it through a lab that you have to ship your blood to. But often it's just easier to do it by going through the medical system. Now one massive caveat with dry HRT is although it's more straightforward to acquire estradiol and antiandrogens like Spiro from online sources, getting testosterone for masculinization therapy is much more tricky because in most places it's a restricted drug. Here in the states it is a scheduled 3 substance, so technically buying it without a prescription would be a felony. So for this reason, most DIY HRT stuff focuses on feminizing hormones since that is less legally complicated. Now obviously you know steroids exist so it is possible to get them uh but I will not be giving out guides on how to do that here on the pod. But you know you can, you can look into it if you so desire. For feminizing hormones, the main way of going about it requires obtaining bioidentical estradiol. It can come in a few forms of pills which are not difficult to acquire and assuming you get the dose right, it's pretty easy because it's just a process of dissolving the little pill tablets under your tongue and. That's kind of it. You know dosage is its own thing, which you can figure out if you do reading, but the actual taking of it is pretty straightforward. Transdermal estrogen or transdermal estradiol is kind of the new hot thing. Usually this has you taking weekly estradiol patches which you just switch out every week. Or you can also do daily gels that you just rub out your body. Although unfortunately for dosing gels, it could be more tricky if you go DIY because it's hard to. To know what concentration just the gel is if you're just rubbing a save on yourself if it's not already prepackaged, but the patches are pretty good. And lastly, the classic method is injectable estradiol at various concentrations in the form of some oil solution. This can usually be the cheapest option if you can figure out how to buy estradiol, and needles and syringes can be bought at any pharmacy just over the counter in most countries without a prescription. For feminizing hormones, some people also take antiandrogens, AKA testosterone blockers like spironolactone, which can be acquired online and are almost always taken orally in the form of a pill. Now, when getting these drugs online, there are two main categories that purchase there's pharmaceutical grade and home brewed. Pharmaceutical grade refers to HRT produced by legitimate pharmaceutical companies that are licensed and subject to regulation. They should be of the same quality as those found in your local pharmacy, and they can be ordered without a prescription from websites based in countries that allow for the legal exportation of certain medications. These will almost always carry less inherent risk versus receiving and taking home. Rude hormones, which leads us to the second version that you can buy, which is home brewed. This refers to HRT produced by individuals by sourcing raw estradiol or whatever other chemical you're taking in the form of a powder and then compounding the medication themselves. They do not synthesize or correct from scratch these hormones, but they do use the powdered versions of them and they get them from sources from drug manufacturing companies to synthesize it into their own estradiol or whatever other drug. Taking but you know, in the antiandrogen list there's there's too many, too many to name. Now, while this this concept does sound scary and it can obviously go wrong if someone's not synthesizing it correctly, there are a couple of well respected members of the community that have been known to produce high quality and safe HRT medications. But before anyone decides to take drugs that you get on the Internet, please, please, please, please do lots of reading beforehand on on dosage effects, side effects, and be very cautious with your drug sourcing. Right. You should know who you're buying it from. You don't want to just buy from whatever sketchy website. You should make sure that what you're doing is other people are backing up on this decision and make sure that it's there's you, you you can cross reference information here because there's a lot of information out there online and not all of it is good information obviously. But really try to cross reference information on any drug sources on hormone dosage on and any possible drug interactions if you're taking multiple drugs or you already have prescriptions. Now I should I should note that supply chain. Jews that affect the medical system can even extend out to DIY HRT. There's no true escape. There's no true other. One of the main pharmaceutical grade online sites to source HRT from is currently out of estradiol pills, so there there is there is no true escape sometimes, but to learn more about DIY HRT you should check out DIY HRT dot GitHub dot IO or HRT dot CAFE and the DIY trans dot wiki. And keep in mind not everything you read on those sources is necessarily good advice or up to date with the current information on how these drugs work. Recently I was reading a guide I found via one of those sites on how to homebrew my own estrogen by buying the powdered version of it and then synthesizing it myself to level up my alchemy stat. And I found the guy that I was reading contained quite a bit of outdated misinformation about progesterone. So don't take everything you read as gospel, but those resources are at least a good place to start anyway. Now back to the interview, the problem that you might run into. With the iying it is you might not be able to get the bioequivalent estradiol in some form. You might have to settle for conjugated estrogens or even something like an ethynyl estradiol, which is like hormonal birth control, which because they are synthetic, they actually have a much rougher time on your body. And that's where a lot of the side effects. Quote UN quote like come from like all of the the worry about like blood clots and things from taking estrogens comes from conjugated estrogens, ethanol estradiol. I didn't know that. Yeah, the actual study that a lot of that is citing goes all the way back, and it was studying the rate of clotting in cisgender women taking hormonal birth control. OK, and it's just like, OK, so this is the wrong population with the wrong medication. Yeah, that seems like not a great scientific study. Right. What do we do? I mean, it, it might be great to talk about for the rate of clotting percent. Yeah. Right. Which which for trans women or doesn't really want to take, right. It doesn't. It doesn't really help so much. And what I think is also pretty wild. I mentioned the progesterone thing earlier. A lot of that controversy comes from the fact that the original studies on whether or not it could be beneficial. We're done with medroxyprogesterone, a synthetic progesterone that has a really nasty side effect. Profile in a lot of different ways. And now that we have micronized progesterone where the evidence suggests that not only is it safe, it actually makes estrogen safer. And now they're like, no, we can't give that. That's just, that's just crazy talk. I will say I have heard from people with more experience taking hormones than me that progesterone does make you way too *****. So just just a heads up for for side effects. Hashtag can confirm, but. But, but, but progesterone can have a lot of other really beneficial side effects. It can really increase the fat deposition to various places. It can help with your mood. It can help with your sleep. It actually reduced the period symptoms that I was having because I because that there's surprise. People on estrogen can also have periods. And because your body again knows what it's doing, it's going to modulate it through the E1E2E3 pathway, like throughout the month in a cyclical fashion. And you can get bloating and cramps. And I, I had really bad morning sickness like for for three days. Every 28 days for months until eventually I started micronized progesterone and those symptoms alleviated. Which makes a kind of sense if you know that progesterone only birth control reduces periods. So like, there's a there's a lot of precedent. A lot. It makes a lot of like sense that it would work. God, I. I need to tell you have have you ever heard of the powers method of of No Oh Garrison, I am so excited to introduce you to this person. Like Doctor Powers is a fascinating grifter in the trans healthcare space because he is a he's a physician who like has has made it his duty to to to make sure that trans people, especially trans women. Actually doesn't like really have anything to say about trans men because the the therapy is so like. Easy to to to do, yeah. That he has wild postulation as to like better ways to give hormones. And he has things where it's like we don't need anti androgens, you just give really high levels of injectable estrogen, which like, I mean that'll probably work because it turns out for some people, but yeah, yeah, but but also estrogens, like really safe and so like you can give it to an unbelievably high level. It's not really going to speed things up. Exactly like it will, maybe a little bit, but not that much. And any of the side effects you might experience which could also come from the the excipients the the non active elements of it. Like you can be allergic to those. If you ever really high dose it could be a real problem. But the big thing for him is he pushes that micronized progesterone is not only necessary and good, especially for breast size, you should also stick the oral capsules in your ****. I where we are, we are officially boofing estrogen now. Yes, yes. OK, well, I'm, I'm switching back to pills. This sounds very exciting. Well, so, well, Oh my gosh. So the, the, the idea is his line is that the, you know that the oral capsules, you only get a tiny fraction of the total progesterone and you get a lot more if you stick it up. You get the whole dose if you stick it up your ****. Which like if you know literally anything about pharmacology is both right and entirely insane because anything that you take orally it there's a bioavailable, like level of it like so oral. Micronized progesterone has a bioequivalence of I think like 2 or 3%, which is why when you take like 100 milligram capsule you get like a certain blood level. If you take it rectally, it's like a 12%. It's still not the whole thing, which is why the the micronized progesterone rectal suppositories are 25 milligrams to give you the same exposure. So it's four times the the systemic absorption, which means that if you are boofing a micronized progesterone. Repsol, you are getting three to four times the dose that you should be getting, and the I pulled because I I get into fights with people all the time about this. I pulled the original FDA filing for micronized progesterone and they suggested that 300 milligrams is basically getting to what like a cisgender person's maximum progesterone levels would be. Meaning that if you're boofing one or two, as some of his regimen suggest. Like you might be essentially overdosing on progesterone for no reason. Like there's no real reason to do that and it is just crazy. When when I started this call today I did, I did not think we would get to boofing progesterone. It is a weird. Like a weirdly large part of my Twitter interactions have been fighting people to stop boofing progesterone, so I needed to say it. Unfortunately, you just exposed this idea to millions of more people. Well, no, I'm saying don't do it well. And so you know, you know, you know that's not how that works. I do know that's not how that works. But I mean, I, I tell you, if if if your your friend Robert Evans were here, I could pitch a hole behind the ******** on this. Doctor Powers, guy said. He sounds fascinating. He has a subreddit like all good physicians do. I love my doctor has a subreddit and my my favorite post other than recently he's been pushing this like miracle hair tonic that he made, which is like, come on buddy. Like like now it's just obvious. He calls it tonic. Yep, Yep. The the verb, he might call it. He might even call it an elixir, which is very funny, but come on, come on for my magical hair. Got it. Exactly. And it's so funny because one of the components of it, I think, is finasteride. Like, I I looked at the and I'm like, yes, that is something for bulk, for male pattern baldness. It will probably work. Congratulations, you just remade Rogaine. But the the, the, the single post that I feel like perfectly encapsulates this guy's mentality is there's this big post that went around through like cisgender, like, kind of like centrist spaces that every trans person I saw was just like, excuse me, what? **** where this guy was secretly microdosing injectable estrogen that he prescribed himself, which sounds kind of illegal not gonna lie. And messed up the dose by 1000% by a by a * 1000. Yeah yes, yeah and like I can give you the link. I can. I know exactly where it is. I can give you the link if you wanted to read this. It is buckwild. But the The thing is he goes on to describe this like acute dysphoric episode that he had from 1 high dose. Of subcutaneous estrogen, a thing that is not physiologically possible and in completely insane. That and he but he was like but I understand the pain that trans women go through because I ****** ** a dose where I was secretly taking estrogen to make my face look younger. So I understand your pain and have so much empathy for for the trans women that I am trying to save and it is so frustrating to me how many people give him. Like, Creedence give him credit because he he has, he has claims like apply progesterone cream to the the the smaller breast to even them out. And it's like, OK, my dude, have you ever met, like, people with breasts? One is larger than the other. That's how breasts work. And it's like, what's your evidence for that? Well, I had two people who did it and they said it worked. OK, cool. Do you have those, those reports? No, no, no. They got burned up in a house fire, and it's very sad. And I can't give you that, actually. Say that. Yes. So. Oh wow. So he worked in a clinic that a friend of mine actually moved to after they got rid of him because he made all these wildly anecdotal claims and whenever anybody challenged and then his house burned down, which is actually very sad because his cats died in it and he didn't deserve his cats. Because cats are perfect creatures and this man is insane and a grifter. Nothing wrong. Cats never do anything wrong. Cats are are perfect magical beings. I love yours. So much as they keep crossing in front of the screen as they do, they're perfect. But. So whenever anybody challenges him on literally any of his claims, he goes, well, I had all of that data, but it burned up in my house. And then he like makes it a *** story about like how like like horrible this was, which like, I'm sure it was really bad. Like, I'm sure it was like really, really bad. But even his like PowerPoint presentations that he has that he like goes through to like really like, talk about the powers method and make it sound like really, really good, has a like fire safety section specifically so he can garner. Just like sympathy. So people will not question his claims that have no evidence behind them. And so it's just such a fantastic examination to me. I like. It's just so weird seeing like a space that has historically been denigrated in the evidence. You know, you had that whole episode on like the Hershfeld Institute and you know, we see all this like anti anti trans, like propaganda and legislation going on right now that there's a lot of, like empty space. In the medical record and in the evidence record for what to do in these situations, there's a lot of confusion from the guidelines and these other societies like I was talking about and in steps this guy who sees an opportunity to be like a like popular like powerful individual in this space to give people hope that he can cash in on and since the medications and since the hormone therapy is so safe. He doesn't actually hurt that many people, and it's it is so wild seeing this juxtaposition of individuals being like, well, this is unsafe experimental nonsense, and seeing this guy flagrantly overdosing people on hormones with no ill effects because they're that safe. Ah, that is, that is pretty funny. Yeah, yeah, it's it's it's funny in that, like laughing until you're crying kind of way. Yes, yes. What is the way that people can try to combat all the medical disinformation around HRT specifically because we do this specifically? We've seen this a lot in the Save the Children rhetoric, we see this a lot for just anti trans stuff in general and like. Yeah, just in terms of someone who has to deal with this stuff on a professional level, like. Even when we're just faced with all of this, just blatantly just like wrong stuff of being treated as absolute fact. When you're experience, what's kind of the best ways to go about that? When people, Oh my goodness, it kind of depends on the audience. When I'm talking to other other healthcare practitioners, I. I can I I have historically because I do a lot of like teaching and advocacy in this area to other healthcare practitioners and. Holding sessions like volunteering for to to hold sessions of like to educate on this and say like these are the kind of regimens that are commonly used in clinics. This is why these are things to look out for and to stress the importance of believing the the patient and the importance of you don't want to gatekeep because if if which they're they're not that dangerous. But if there is to be a problem, you would rather have that patient want to work with you. To solve it. Is like such a big part of it like even just understanding that from that level that you're not like delivering this kind of like life saving medication to them as this like Lord on high. It's this idea that like, no, you should be working with this person and if you're not familiar with it you need to do your ******* research and I I will give you the resources for that. I will, I will walk you through those resources. And that's that's awfully convincing for the majority of healthcare individuals at any level because I've done, I've done talks for students. Nursing programs and physical therapy programs all the way up to like actively practicing physicians, nurses and pharmacists and it's basically the same you just you, you make the argument, you show the evidence, you give them the evidence and you walk them through like kind and and then and then have a robust question and answer period where they will ask you those questions and you can explain why they are wrong. Having that kind of dedicated space can be really beneficial, but not scalable in a way that's necessarily helpful. Like, I've made a positive impact on my city, but that doesn't really necessarily help if you yourself are not a healthcare practitioner and want to, like, explain this kind of stuff. And I I mentioned earlier that on Twitter, I've spent a lot of time, like, arguing that people shouldn't be boofing their progesterone. But I've had to stop because it's exhausting every single person, like, coming back. It's like the same conversations over and over again. And there's no good way to, like, have a central location that just has all that information that anybody's going to believe because of the way the Internet works. So I guess my answer is, I'm not sure. Like there, there's so much misinformation out there and so much of it is so wrong and not in alignment with reality that looking at it at all, it falls to pieces. And and the idea of the majority of people so. I guess I could say if a person is coming to you and asking legitimate questions and they don't really know, like they're just, like parroting stuff that they heard, they they're much easier to convince because you can show like, oh, like, we have a long history of doing this. Like, look at the, you know, I, I tell my students about how, like, 1952 was the first, like, recognized hormonal mediated transition in the United States. Like if she was like a, a movie star. And and you know, I talk about a lot of the history to be like, this isn't new. This is something like we have been here forever. My favorite story, do you know about the story about the Syrian priestesses? Yes, I actually do, but I would love for you to explain it. But I Oh my God, I found out about that a few months ago and I was like, Oh my God, it makes me so happy. So, so to to explain very briefly, I think it it's an old, I think it was like Herodotus, it's like an old like cretian like author that we have information author, philosopher, whatever historian, but they talk about in one of the texts the siphnian priestesses, who essentially. Still, the poison of woman, they call it, in one of the texts, which I think is such a great term, from pregnant mare urine, which interestingly enough, we actually still make today conjugated estrogens. The brand name is Premarin because it comes from pregnant mare urine. Like, are you are you serious? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. That's that's literally a thing that we still do today. That is hilarious. It's beautiful. It's so good. And so they they were priestesses. Or like, you know, people would come to them to seek out their wisdom, and they're like this, like spiritual thing. And it was it was like a bunch of trans women who like, got high, told stories and probably ****** each other. And that sounds like a polycule to me. But like the silly, the civilians were like a nomadic group of people who would travel all around kind of what is now the Middle East. And yeah, it's, I mean, I I do love the idea of trans people having like specific, like more esoteric insight almost naturally because they've had to deal with ideas of ontology and ideas as ontology is just like the nature of being. And so having you with that, having to deal with like the nature of reality from a much younger age, because their whole perception of reality and self is obviously so different because of their experience of being what is now called trans. So it makes a lot of sense that a lot of these people would have been like basically different forms of stabbins mediums or just have like esoteric insight because they've been thinking about these types of like, reality altering topics for so much longer because it's so much more personally affecting to them. But yes, what I specifically read about the Syrian priestesses, I'm like, Oh my, they're just like doing the thing, they're just doing the thing. It turns out we've been doing this forever. My favorite account is a one of the reasons they commanded respect of the. Like masculine leaders that would come to get information was because they were all terrified that they would inflict the poison of women, which it does spread by the way it is. It's highly contagious and it is contagious. But it just the idea that like there was like some of the respect was from like this fear of being forced femmed is hilarious from like this early BC the primordial fear of the primordial fear. I was going to say Garrison, you mentioning like ontology. My original degree was in psychology and philosophy. Or, like, let's go, baby, we can go deep on some of this stuff. Oh, I'm sure, I'm sure, I'm sure we could talk about mysticism and magic and gender for a long, long time. Oh my God, there'd be a whole another podcast as those. Those are big areas of interest. But I but I but I super agree with you because I've been thinking about this and I've ended up having conversations with a lot of my peers in pharmacy and in the university because people might not recognize this, but pharmacies actually one of the more conservative spaces in healthcare. Like, my my school had a dress. Code for the students. Until two years ago, when I fought hard enough to get it removed, like, it was wild. Like the code of Conduct Committee tried to get me, tried to prevent me from getting my ears pierced. Like, really? Yeah, it's a wild space for me to exist. Then it's extremely conservative, extremely traditional. Like the some like, yeah, I I got stories that I'd love to tell if you wanted to hear them. But the the thing that I think is really interesting is when. You look at me in comparison to my my colleagues who are predominantly like Christian, predominantly like traditionalist, predominantly capitalist. And I roll in as this, like anti capitalist, like anarchist, trans woman, who's Poly, who's pansexual, who's a Pagan, all the peas. And it's like, well, once I question gender, I started realizing all of culture and society is ******** and now I can tell you the truth. Come to me for the truth of reality. No, it even makes sense in terms of like, you know. Why, why did 2 trans women make the matrix? You're like, yeah, no, it's like it's, it is, it is the same thing as your your entire nature and basis of reality was severely questioned. So you're trying to trying to understand these feelings and for you know, mid modern days we have like stuff like simulation theory, we have the matrix and then you know, but before, before then, you know it would have been taken out in like spiritualism and religion and you know, the different levels of reality on like the whole like Mystic side of things as opposed to like the more sci-fi. A lot of things, right. But yeah, like, it's it's all the same stuff. Like you're you're you're you're playing with this same things. Yeah, it is. It is just a funny, a funny trend that once you once you notice it, you'll you'll start seeing it in in like different places. Yeah. So we are still Mystics who understand the true reality of the world and will force them you if you don't give us respect. I just don't see what the problem is. I believe that that was my take away from matrix resurrections. Oh yeah, I mean 100%. Well, of is. Is there anything else you would want you would want to add? Oh my goodness. I don't know. Fight for trans people. One of the things that I end up always having to talk to my students about and colleagues and things is what ally means because I I I've literally gotten into arguments with people who are like, Oh yeah, it's LGBTQIA. Because a stands for stands for allied. And I'm like, oh, I will knife you. Like, like, it doesn't stand for it stands for any sexual or romantic or agent romantic or agender. Yes, all of it. All of all of the. These are ace, yes, but it's the it's this thing where people think being an ally is just being like, like, OK with a person existing. The kind of like, well, if it makes you happy, which is like, OK, ************. That's not like that is so. Belittling of the experience. That's not allyship. To be an ally, you have to leverage your privilege by not being a member of that community, to protect people in that community. You can be tolerant, but not an ally. And that's sort of where the old saying comes from that we if that's what being an ally is to you, we don't need allies. We need accomplices. And with the current legislative push against trans people, I mean, like, literally what I do is like a felony in three states now or almost a felony in three states. Well, and it's going to be a growing number of states, yeah and and and it's just so unbelievably depressing and there aren't enough and there's a lot of trends and and non binary and and every kind of expression you could want people in this country way more than than a lot of surveys suspected. But. We're not enough to necessarily fight this in a way that isn't going to end up with increasing violence. I mean the the FBI statistics of random violence against like hate crimes specifically, has been rising against LGBT people, especially trans people in the last couple of years. And I'm sure it's only going to get more in the next few years. Still with all of the with the wave of stuff happening in the past few months, yeah. So if you're, if you're not, if you're assist person and you want to be an ally, you got to. Right, for us. And if you're a trans person, if you don't have other reasons why you can't maybe arm yourself in some way at this point, if you feel mentally capable, capable of doing, it's not a bad idea to learn how to do things. It's not a not a bad idea to get stop the bleed training, not a bad idea to get, you know, emergency first aid training, right, all of all of all of the things, absolutely. Because things are things are happening and they're going to keep happening. One might say it could happen here. Wow. I know. We really, we really pulled this together. Just pulled it back. Just just really encapsulated it. So, yeah, I think that does it for us today. Do you have do you have any plug cables that you would like to plug? Yeah, sure. So if you wanted to talk to me more, you can. I I'm on Twitter for now. Assuming that Elon Musk doesn't make it entirely unlivable at Vixen. Which but the. Was two VI. Don't post a whole app, but you can you can find me there. You could also just straight up e-mail me if you had questions my like work e-mail for that purpose is just I'd have. I'd be happy to answer any questions that people have. And it's a robust university firewall so if I get hate that that's fine, it won't get through. The, the and then outside of like my classes and stuff, the only other thing I wanted to plug because you brought it up. I am a frequent guest on a podcast that a friend of mine hosts called School of Movies and we actually did matrix 2-3 and four, and I was on those episodes and talked a lot about the trans narrative therein. We also did an episode on Priscilla, Queen of the Desert that I'm really proud of. That's great. I was. I was lucky enough to watch for the desert a few a few months ago with some queer friends. Line with Hugo Weaving and in in both of those, he is it is pretty. It is pretty fun watching Hugo Weaving go from Adrian Smith to his character in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. It's beautiful. It's a beautiful metamorphosis. It's it is it. It is very good. But yeah. Thank you so much for coming on to talk. Yeah. Anytime. Thank you for listening to my little 2 parter on hormone replacement therapy. If you want to start reading more on the DIY and mutual aid side of things, check out DIY HRT dot GitHub dot IO, HRT dot Cafe and DIY trans dot Lucky as a jumping off point, but obviously don't take everything I read on the Internet as gospel. I do think it is worth learning how to make your own drugs possibly, and learning how to source your own estrogen. From places that are not just a doctor, because who knows what other states will start criminalizing getting drugs from a doctor, right? It's it is right. There seems to be a trend of making HR illegal via the medical system. So this is something definitely to look into because it seems more and more people will face restrictions in this vein. So yeah, that's kind of a big reason for why I wanted to talk about this today on the pod. Big extra special thanks to Doctor Victoria, Luna Brennan, Grieve for coming on to talk. For me about gender affirming hormonal treatment, you can check her out or ask her questions on her Twitter, which can be found at Vixen Witch with A2V for the W in Witch. Or you can e-mail her queries at and that does it for us today everybody. You can follow the show at happened here, pod and cools on media on Twitter and Instagram and you can look at my late night gender hostile tweets. At Hungary, bow tie. See you on the other side. 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.