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.

Part Three: Napoleon III: The Worst Bonaparte

Part Three: Napoleon III: The Worst Bonaparte

Tue, 06 Dec 2022 11:00

Robert is joined by Matt Lieb for part three of our series on Napoleon III.

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I know, right? Like, immediately. Obvious problem. But second of all, I just don't, I've never heard that particular stereotype. No, I'm shocked and appalled. It's incredible, honestly, impressed with the creativity of the horrified. Every week, how are you not picking up on it? Wow. Anyway, this is behind the bastards. Chief Bastard being our producer, Sophie Lickderman and her. If you didn't know that for now. I don't know enough about Paraguay to fill this joke out anyway. No. Yeah, I had to dig into Uruguay to get something out of it. That's how little known Paraguay is to the staff of this podcast. Yeah. I know it's one of the Guay's. Yeah, there's a second Guay. Let's lean on that one. I feel like it's a landlocked Guay. I feel like all the Guays are landlocked, right? I feel like I'm not a Guay. Is that okay? No, I think Uruguay is pretty landlocked. Oh, well. There's no way to answer this question. With, for example, the devices we're all using to record this podcast. I did Google what are major stereotypes people have about Paraguay into what extent are they true and the first answer is... The short answer is there really isn't anything special in quotes about it. Wow. There's little known. So... I think they really like Lady Gaga. Oh, wow. Yeah, you can't get them shedding up about Lady Gaga. Yeah, I think that's true. Bunch of monsters. Did she call them monsters? Something like that? Her face? Yeah. I've forgotten most of the things about Lady Gaga. Yeah. Why? What should you do? I don't know. Nothing. There's so much has happened since Lady Gaga was in the news. Yeah. It's like, literally. Yeah. What do you remember about Aston Kutcher? Very little. I remember that his name's not Aston. Wait, Aston. Aston. Wait, Aston. Aston. See? That's how little I remember about his name. That's how I told you. I don't remember much about the man. He's my one interaction with him. I was at a coffee shop. He was ahead of me in line. He forgot his wallet and went back to his car to pay for his $2 coffee instead of being an asshole celebrity that was like, well, I'm Aston Kutcher. So I'm just going to take this. Dude, I've offered to pay for it. And then when I got up there, I'd be like, psych, you just got punked. And then I would have waited for him to see if I was joking or not. And then I would just stay there silent. I wasn't coughing at all to be clever. So I clever. That's very generous for this bit I'm doing. Anyways, this podcast is not about Aston or Aston Kutcher. This is a podcast. No, this is a podcast. No, where I don't know. I know. I know. Oh, okay, soprano's podcast. Sorry. Where we talk about, I don't know, soprano's character, book a de beppo. That's right. That's right. Man, you got to learn names, man. You got to know one of them's name is soprano. It is Tony, right? Tony, yeah, yeah. I got it. I got it. Remember that. I remember that. And I remember a lot about Napoleon III. Who we are, who we are talking about. Now, when we left off with our hero, he has just tried to take over France, failed, shot a man in the face for no reason, and then repeatedly attempted to commit suicide as he was taking J. Yeah. So not a great coup. Yeah, yeah. One of the worst, but I respect the attempt. I always respect a good coup attempt. I always respect a good coup attempt, right? This is, I think it's debatable. Is this a worse coup attempt than Hitler's? Hitler's ended with him and all of his men getting machine gunned in the street. And then he did try to kill himself. But there's something about the impotence of shooting an unarmed man in the face for no reason whatsoever. What's up? Yeah, in the mouth. Like, come on, man. Yeah. I mean, that's... I'm standing there. It's a weird panic button. You know what I mean? Or you're just like, I'm panicking. Oh, where's the nearest mouth? It was the nearest mouth I can put a fucking musket ball in. Good Lord. Yeah, that's what you do when you panic. Some people, you know, some people play better when they're panicking. Not him. Not him. No, he did not rise to the moment. No, he didn't. No, he had this... No, he had this... The opposite of Michael Jordan's flu game. This is... Yeah. The flu during game four of the NBA Finals and then shot Scottie Pippin in the mouth. Why did you say game four? I... I forget which game was the flu game. I might have been a game two. And was it game five when he had the flu? I believe it was game six. Game... So he won an NBA final with the flu? That's crazy. Let's find out. Let's fact check out the flu. That Michael Jordan. Pretty amazing basketball player. Yeah. I don't call him the Napoleon III of basketball. The 1997 NBA Finals against the jazz. I got it. Anyways, so Napoleon... So the reaction in the media... And the reaction in general from like the government to Kewtu was very different from Kew number one. One newspaper proposed that Napoleon III might have dementia. The government of Luis Philippe, who's the king, described the attack as a vain and vicious attempt to overthrow the government during which an unarmed soldier had nearly been murdered, which was accurate. So this is, you know, the first time Luis Philippe kind of just wants to usher him out. Like they have a court case, but he doesn't want him in the country. He doesn't really want to like punish it too harshly. Two is, I don't know, very mild credit. Luis Philippe reacts more stringently to this one. But it... And it's interesting because his Luis Napoleon's dad, Luis Bonaparte, has mostly been very much against all the things his son has tried to do and was against this coup attempt. But the invective against his son and like the public media and from the French government forces Luis Bonaparte to actually finally stand up in his son's defense. Now... Well, okay, okay. And my son's defense. Yeah. He's really bad at everything. And he didn't succeed. And so what do you know, it's win-win. Yeah. We had fun. We had fun. Everyone had fun. Okay, that's actually not that far from what he does. So obviously, being the guy that he isn't being a principled man, he can't defend his son's attempt to overthrow the government, nor he can defend like, defend like, shooting a man in the face. Yeah. So instead of doing that, he writes a letter to be published in the Italian press, which complains that his son is, quote, the victim of an infamous conspiracy seduced by flattlers, false friends, and perhaps from insidious advice. Dude, he's always a big friend. He was like... He was like, it's like a cult thing, right? Like he got wrapped up in by some bad people, but he's not a bad kid. He just got given some bad advice, you know? That is not completely wrong, because that's part of what happened, right? Louis Napoleon is not a very smart guy, and he's very vulnerable to the people around him if they're nice to him. This is hard. This is what it continues to be a factor in his life through his entire reign. And I think some of this is that actually Louis Bonaparte kind of understands his son, but he also, he's a little blinded too, because he can't believe that his son was really a driving force behind the attempt, writing the quote, it is quite impossible that a man surely not lacking the financial means and common sense should have with his eyes wide open, willingly thrown himself over such a political precipice. Basically, like, look, if he did, if he was a driving factor behind this, who would have had to be an idiot, and I know he's not an idiot. Right. Yeah, you are his dad. I can't blame you for... Yeah, yeah, he's a special little boy. We all got that. Yeah, yeah. So, Louis Napoleon goes to court this time, he's actually in country for it, and it does not go well for him law wise. Again, he's gotten kind of like, he got off the hook basically last time. But yeah, he got $200,000. Yeah, and acquitted. He's not going to get acquitted this time, but it actually kind of goes better for him, because Louis Napoleon is dumb in a lot of ways, but he understands some things about politics and the new mass media that no one has figured out yet. And as Hitler is going to learn about 80 years later, if you're on trial for trying to overthrow the government, you can do pretty well by firing off a populist rant that makes the case for your reign. Yeah. Yeah. And here's the speech that he gives, or an excerpt from the speech that he gives in court. For the first time in my life, I have been permitted to speak in France and to speak freely before the French people, in spite of the guards on either side of me, in spite of all the accusations I have just heard, I find myself here within the walls of the Senate that I had first visited as a child with Napoleon. And you're missed, you whom I know, gentlemen. I do not believe that I have to justify myself, nor that you could be my judges. A solemn occasion has offered me here to explain to my fellow citizens my conduct, my intentions, my projects, what I think and what I desire. The nation has never revoked the grand act of sovereignty, the one that had established Napoleon Bonaparte's kingdom. And as the emperor himself said, everything done without adhering to it is illegal, and that includes this trial. And two, do not think for a moment that I might have wanted to attempt any imperial restoration in France without the backing of the people of this country through a plebiscite. As for my undertaking at Bologna, I had no other accomplices, I alone and responsible. I represent before you a principle, a cause and a defeat, one principle, the sovereignty of the people, the cause, that of our empire, and a defeat, Waterloo. So he's saying like, you know, the government that my uncle established is still legitimate. This court has no right to hold me for anything. But also I never wanted to become the emperor without a plebiscite. I was only trying to do what I think the people wanted me to do. Right. I was just going to do a coup and then see if people were cool with that. You know, that's why it's called a coup. And it's not really a coup because a coup because like Napoleon's constitution is still valid. Clearly. Right. Yeah. Is it a coup if you guys are the ones who originally did the coup? Exactly. Back in the urban restoration. So. Who? Who? Who? Who? Who's line is it anyway? Who's who? Who's who's line is it any? So. Whatever. So this goes really well for him actually because again, Louis Philippe's a terrible king. Right. We're laughing at Louis Napoleon, but Louis Philippe is not a good king and his monarchy is kind of a shit show. People are very unhappy and they hear this guy. He's harkening back to this defeat which still wounds the French soul Waterloo and the victories of Napoleon before it and he's saying like, look, we never stopped being those guys who could win. We just let guys like this tell us that we weren't there anymore. And if we get him, we can make France great again, right? That's what he's saying. And it works really well. And the fact that this speech goes so well for Louis Napoleon does not at all mitigate the king's desire to see him lock the fuck away, right? Louis Philippe decides, I got to keep this dude in the fucking cage. And on October 6th, Louis Napoleon is sentenced to life in prison, which is honestly not an entirely unfair sentence for shooting an unarmed man in the face for absolutely no race. Yeah, yeah, but just beyond the even attempted coupart, just shooting a guy in the face. Look, I'm not a carceral guy, but of the things you might lock someone up for, randomly shooting a man in the face is not a bad one. Right. Yeah. I mean, we're talking like, you know, the 1840s France chances are you locking people away for far less. Yes, exactly, exactly. So broadly speaking, and again, his prison, this is not a hard prison, right? He has not locked away in the fucking Bastille. This isn't some like Lim Miserable shit where he's breaking rocks or whatever while Javere sings at him. He's got like a suite of rooms in what is effectively a castle. He lives, he has all of the books that he wants. He gets regularly visited. He gets invited to dinner by the, the warden. He is a celebrity prisoner. He lives better than a lot of people do today. He lives better than a lot of people do today. He is in fact writing a book. Yes. So, and part of the, you know, obviously he shot a man in the face and tried to overthrow the government. France has killed people for less. They were still guillotting dudes. That would not have been out of the, you could again, as the leader of the country, you can easily make a case for doing that. Sure. But Lewis Folley, or Lewis Philippe, sorry, God, there's too many fucking luices in this fucking series. King Lewis Philippe can't do that because there's unrest building all throughout the country. And right around the time that Lewis Napoleon is on trial, he has finally agreed and carried out this massive logistical hurdle to bring the corpse of Napoleon Bonaparte back to France a decade after his death. So while all this is going on, the French government and military are preparing for this massive ceremony where Napoleon's corpse is being carried through the country and put up a... Oh, this is an actual thing. Yes. They're actually going to exume his corpse? Yeah. Yeah. They're going to take it and bury it in a crypt, yeah, in France, back on his home soil. Hell yeah. Well, not his home soil because he was coarse again, but whatever. Right. Yeah. So this is, it's a dangerous time. You don't want to be executing his nephew while people, everyone is like weeping as his coffin is taken through the streets, right? Yeah. Because people still love Napoleon. The crowds to see Napoleon's casket numbered half a million men, many of them veterans. So again, this is particularly a crowd of people you don't want to piss off. Like there's half a million men in the street who have been under musket fire together. They stood for hours to watch his, you know, the, whatever, the thing with the coffin pass. Even though it was, so half a million people standing for like a lot of them eight to twelve hours to watch this procession when it is negative 22 degrees Fahrenheit outside. That's how much people love Napoleon. They really like this guy. They really like Napoleon. Yeah. Yeah. It says also a lot about how much, you know, the, the bourbons are fucking up all the time, you know, because they don't like him at the end. And Lewis Sleep is a, he's a, he's the duktor Leon. Yeah, he's the Leon, or Leon. Yeah, yeah. But, you know, I mean, he is part of that family. He's just like, they're all related. Yeah, yeah, they're all related except like it's, well, now the boat apart too a little. Not the boat, yeah, but it just shows how much they fucked up in that like at the end of like Napoleon's reign. Everyone's like, can we get this guy out? Cause he keeps trying to do invasions and stuff. We just kind of retired of it. And at this point, everyone's like, hey, remember when shit was cool. Yeah. When like Napoleon was around, we just kicking those fucking Austrians asses. Yeah, just like kicking everyone's ass. Just like, oh, dude, shit was so sick. Yeah. And also there was order and people love remembering order. God, people do love order as noted by the documentary, whichever Star Wars movie was the most recent one. Law and order. That's right. Actually, a Star Wars themed law and order could be a pretty fucking fun show. You could do a lot with that. You know, it's gonna happen. Yeah, you could make that work. You could make that work very well. Yeah. Anyway, look, we're gonna have to skip ahead a bit through the next piece of history because I have to tell you, this guy does so much in his fucking life. He's involved in so much shit. Anyway, to summarize the next part of his story, what happens after he gets thrown in prison, I'm going to turn to yet another book, The Last Emperor of Mexico, by Edward Shaw Cross. Quote, undeterred six years later, while the prison was undergoing construction, Lewis Napoleon dressed in the clothes of a workman, picked up a wooden plank, put it over his shoulder, and walked out the front gate before fleeing to London. It was so easy to break out of prisons. He didn't even have to get like a Rita Hayworth poster and like a tiny little Hicax. Soccer and blue, he walked out. Yeah, he's just like, excuse me, I'm just going to move this wooden plank. This was before the invention of the door, so people really had no way to keep someone in something. All prisons had worked on the honor system previously. Right. Exactly. He's like, oh no, he's a workman. He's the most famous workman in the world. He's fine. He has wood on his shoulder. Yeah. It can't be him. He would never hold wood. Limpara would never hold wood. He has not been shapero. At Le Home Depot. Yeah, he's just holding a piece of wood and a home depot back. It is funny. Excuse me. I'm 150 years apart when the son of, or the nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte and Rich Guy Ben Shapiro need to feel like a cut pretend to be a common man. They both pick the same tactic. I'm going to get some wood. Hold it up for my shelter. It's the number one thing that rich people think work like working class people do. Always just wood everywhere. Look, we're doing again. I think they just like hold wood and they go, that's what they do. That's what they do. Just hold pieces of wood. Hold pieces of wood and say, oh, my brow has beads of water on it. It's a sweat upon it. All right. I'm going to continue that quote. And there it would have ended had it not been for the providential moment Louis Napoleon had been waiting for the European revolutions of 1848. After the abdication of the French king, a republic was hastily proclaimed in elections announced despite no experience of democratic politics or a political party to support him. Louis Napoleon grandiously told a cousin, I'm going to Paris. A republic has been proclaimed. I must be its master. His cousin responded, you are dreaming as usual. And yet this is the wild thing. He's completely right. He wins this election in a fucking landslide. Obviously, the fact that he's a Napoleon is most of what a lot of the voters need to hear. And also that he had been very visibly in opposition to the hated king who had just been overthrown. But he's also, he is particularly unpopular with the people who had been the political elite and the only people who were able to vote previously to the proclamation of the republic. Alexis de Tocqueville, who is a political smart guy thinker. He was there. He was there fucking, I don't know, what's a terrible political column, Mr. Anac. Oh, Christel. He's there. He's there. He's there. Bari Wai. Yeah, he's there. Bari Wai. Yeah. Yeah. No, he's not. He's not a problem. I'm sorry. People are going to be so angry at me. I'll be the talk those scholars in the audience. But he does not like Louis Napoleon. He compares him to a dwarf who quote, on the summit of a great wave is able to scale a high cliff, which a giant placed on dry ground would not be able to climb, which is actually a really accurate summary of what's happened, right? It's not his own personal character because he is not accomplished a single thing in his life, other than shooting that guy in the face. Well, there's this wave and he expertly, the thing that he actually is good at is number one, he does have this degree of understanding of the French populace and he knows where to place himself to take advantage of this wave. I guess my only disagreement with Detoxel there is that like that is actually a skill. It's a really dangerous skill, but it is a skill. Most people are a bit of a cue thing. Yeah, it's like we all want it. It's the same type of critique that people have of Trump where you're just like he's stupid and he's like, yeah, he's an idiot. He's dumb in a thousand ways, but he is very good at manipulating people and he has a high political IQ. You would hope that like the thing we would get out of Trump and also guys like Dr. Ross and guys like what's the other fucking expert Ben Carson? Is that like intelligence isn't a thing. People are good at things and they are bad at things, but nobody is smart, right? Like that's not the way brains work. Yes, exactly, exactly. Like I'm really good at geography, but I'm an idiot. So me being good at geography doesn't make me a smart guy. It just means I'm good at one thing. No, and Elon must be a competent engineer in some specific things. Clearly does not make him smart in other ways. Yes, yes. Yes, very clearly like knowing why a blue check mark is a thing. It's good. So I'm going to continue that quote. Writer and politician Victor Hugo pinned a series of vitriolic attacks on Louis Napoleon, one titled Napoleon, Lippetite, exhorting the French to look at this hog wallowing in his own slime on a lion's skin. In a Dolph tears, leader of the conservative politicians in France who supported Louis Napoleon, but him an idiot who could be easily controlled. Certainly Louis Napoleon did not seem to have his uncle's drive, except when it came to women. Indeed, his mistress at this time and financial backer was an notorious English courtesan and failed actress, a combination too much even for French politics. To the relief of many, the constitution of the Republic limited the presidency to one four-year term. Louis Napoleon, however, was not going to allow a constitution he had sworn to uphold, to get in the way of destiny. So obviously when he comes to power here, 1848, this is a year of massive left-wing revolution. A lot of which fall just kind of a little short of actually, you know, it's this kind of failed revolution year in a lot of ways, not everywhere in a lot of ways. And prior to Napoleon III, most people who'd supported the return to monarchy, anywhere were staunchly anti-democratic, right? There was a wide understanding that democratic governments inevitably led to radical left-wing policies that would undermine and threaten the elites. Napoleon III's great innovation and the thing that actually is kind of genius from him is that he'd saw that this was bullshit, right? The masses would be perfectly happy endorsing hereditary, authoritarian rule if you sold it to them the right way. And in fact, that would make your rule more stable. More than this, he saw that royalist coups and crackdowns against democratic policies were fundamentally doomed. But if you could put a monarch on the throne through democratic acclaim, that would act to legitimate the regime using the ballot box. This is exactly what Napoleon did, holding two plebiscites in which he got voters to first back a coup against the republic and then declare him emperor. He won both with at least one of them was more than 90% of the electorate, right? And this is the thing, every dictator who follows after him, Napoleon is kind of the start of the wave of like, now, if you're a dictator, you don't just say, I'm the dictator and I'm in charge, you say, I'm the president or the premier or whatever. And I've been elected and we do an election every couple of years and I get 98% of the vote. Yeah, yeah, exactly. Now it's like you always have the guys of, I am a democratically elected president or prime minister or any of that stuff. Just make it up. The elections can be fake as long as it looks like you're democratic and you do lip service. That's all that matters. Yeah, and it's, I mean, yeah, it's interesting. This write up by history today provides more context as to why he was able to get so far with the electorate. He was a fresh figure on the scene, which was a great advantage. He had total faith in his destiny, which was another and he could parade as a person above party politics. Karl Marx sourly remarked because Louis Napoleon was nothing, he could appear to be everything. His opponents attempted ridicule. He were conturing him, writing a goose, he was trying to transform into an imperial eagle, nearly rebounded to his advantage by reminding people of his Napoleonic connection. He wooed the electorate with promises to restore France's lost glory and assurances of prosperity, advancement and a happy future for every group and social class in the country. As one of his biographers commented, he came down impartially on all sides. Yeah, he was everything to everybody. You could kind of just put your own politics into him. And this is, you know that Marx quote, history comes once as a tragedy and second as a farce. He writes that about Louis Napoleon, right? Napoleon Bonaparte is the tragedy because millions die and Louis Napoleon is the farce. Right, because he's literally a parody. He's literally a parody of a Zunko. Yeah. Yeah. Like our vision of Napoleon that we have now is actually just Louis Napoleon. It's like he's very, very tiny, weird mustache, like a bad goatee looks like a clown. That's the parody of his uncle. Yeah, it's pretty fucking cool. And you know what's a parody of bad products? What? The good products that support our podcast. Woo. That's right. I love it. I love it. I love that for us. I'm just going to say it. How does shit? Robert. I said the entire team, the Columbus. Yeah. Behind the bastards is brought to you by Better Help. It would be nice if life came with a user manual, but it just doesn't. So if you can't have a user manual, Better Help Online Therapy is basically the next best thing. Navigating any of life's challenges can make you feel unsure, whether it's a career change, a new relationship, or becoming a parent. Therapists start trained to help you figure out the cause of the challenging emotions that you're feeling and help you learn productive coping skills. Better Help is connected over 3 million people with licensed therapists. It's convenient and accessible anywhere, and it's 100% online. As the world's largest therapy service, Better Help is matched 3 million people with professionally licensed and vetted therapists available 100% online. You just fill it a questionnaire, and then you're off to the races. It's slash behind in order to get 10% off your first month at Again, slash behind for 10% off your first month with BetterHelp. This holiday season, the best deal in wireless can only be found in Mint Mobile. Right now, when you switch to Mint Mobile and buy any 3 month plan, you'll get another 3 months for free. As the first company to sell premium wireless service online only, Mint Mobile lets you order and activate from home with E-Sim while saving tons on phone plans starting at just $15 a month. Mint Mobile's best offer of the year is here. For a limited time, buy any 3 month plan and get 3 more months for free. By going online only with E-Sim and eliminating the traditional cost of retail, Mint Mobile passes significant savings on to you. So you can use your own phone with any Mint Mobile plan and you can switch easily and effortlessly with E-Sim. For a limited time, buy any 3 month Mint Mobile plan and get 3 more months free by going to slash behind. That's slash behind. So cut your wireless bill to $15 a month at slash behind. Hi everyone, I'm Lauren Braypateccico, host of Symptomatic, a Medical Mystery Podcast from I Heart Radio. Each week we unravel the medical mystery of a person's baffling symptoms and explore how their lives return upside down in search of answers. That's one of those ones that it's tough to revisit. So trauma is the only word I could probably use for that. That really scared me because if I had my kids in the car, you know, anything could have happened. I knew at that point that I needed to figure out what was going on with me. I could no longer ignore what I was going through. I had to find answers. You can listen to Symptomatic, a Medical Mystery Podcast on the I Heart Radio app or wherever you get your podcasts. Boy Howdy. I tell you what, we're back and I have never, I have never, never once. So we're talking about Napoleon III and how he got himself into the good books of the French electorate and one election and then became the emperor. And the strategy he makes of like being like, I'm going to restore our lost glory, everything is going to get better for everybody. It works really well with like particularly the peasants, the country folks, who in fact a big way in which they show there when kind of like these plebiscites are going on, of the ways in which Napoleon's strongest supporters show they love him is by marching around the streets, shooting guns in the air and getting wasted. Oh, yeah. Which, that sounds right. That sounds about right. Yeah, that sounds about right. That's how we celebrate everything. Yeah, you know, if that's the modern way of celebrating, it was created by Louis Napoleon. Yeah, I get it. I get why that would be the way that would happen. Yeah, if you've ever seen, you know, any team from Philadelphia win a championship in sports of some sort, you'll understand that this is how we celebrate. They also do do off the street, but yeah, that's probably going on here too. A lot of vets who had fought with his uncle put on their uniforms and would march around. They are funnily enough as they like march to the polls. Their shouting shit like death to the rich and aristos and usurers to the guillotine. Yeah. He is literally the nephew of the emperor. But he does very well. Quote, professional politicians were shocked, but the new president and most of France had had quite enough of them. He went on to rid himself of the party of order and destroy the second republic with the support of a handful of Bonapartists in the National Assembly. Steering his men into key positions in the army and the administration, he took advantage of an economic slowdown, downturn in 1851 to present himself as the strongman who would save France from socialism and collapse in December. He carried out a successful coup, put down his opponents by force and Cynthia Simbly packing. And yeah, it's interesting to me. I don't think this history is widely known outside of France, certainly not outside of Europe, but it's fucking fascinating to me that France has two democratic governments in a row, ended by members of the same family. Yeah. Like it's like if Hitler had come along in the 1970s, like another one and ended German democracy again, like you said, another Hitler or he's like, yeah, let's give him another shot. Listen, Greg Hitler is different than his uncle Adolf. Okay, we can trust Greg. Greg, a different kind of Hitler, a different kind of Hitler for a modern era, a modern Hitler for modern Germany shows him like arm and arm with a rabbi. Yeah, things are cool now between the Hitler's and the Jews. Yeah, it's going to be different this time. Yeah. And he did what? Goddamn it, he invaded Poland again. He did it again. That's son of a bitch. Oh, I should have known. Fool me once. Yeah, it is kind of insane that like how quickly he went from like being president, you know, Louis Napoleon to just immediately being going like, what are we doing here? We all know I'm going to be emperor and then boom, Napoleon III, just like that. Yeah, yeah, it's cool. So on December 2nd, 1852, Louis Napoleon became emperor Napoleon Bonaparte III. And technically it was wrong every time before this when I called him Napoleon III. But it's fine. He's Napoleon III. Edward Shawcross notes that he quote, aimed to plow a middle way between liberalism and conservatism, much like Bill Clinton. In this, he built the example of the recently overthrown King Louis Philippe, lover of the centrist just milieu. But Napoleon III was willing to go further and based his regime on direct democracy is expressed through universal male suffrage as one of his aphorism supposedly went, do not fear the people. They are more conservative than you. And this is, this is why I want to talk about this guy because he is kind of not, not kind of. He absolutely is the model of all future authoritarian populists and democratic societies. I find him fascinating for that reason. It's weird because his instincts were dead on and remain true to this day. Yes. He absolutely was not wrong about any of this stuff in terms of how to get elected and shit. I mean, he's a clown and he does all this stupid shit, he's shooting the guy in the mouth, he's just a couple of failed coups. So you're kind of just like, this is like what the ultimate fail son, right? Or failed nephew. But yeah, no, his instincts were 100% right on when it came to reestablishing the French empire. Yeah, it works very well. So the early days, as we said, the early days of his domestic policies are a staggering success. The French economy recovers from its long slump. The nation begins to industrialize rapidly and just as critically, Louis Napoleon turns France into a major player on the European stage again, right? The couple of decades after Napoleon, France is a bit of a pariah state, right? Kind of the same way the Germans were. We're going to be like, I don't know if we can trust these guys given, you know, history, everything that happens repeatedly, which is again, not an unreasonable thing to think. But this is where that all turns around. He brings France back into kind of the standing of a responsible nation state, right? You can call that bullshit or not, but like that's he effectively changes the way people think about France in a big way by changing the way France acts as a power. And the major way he does this, the first kind of big thing he does to turn around, you know, France's political position in Europe is to ally with Great Britain for the Crimean War in 1853. This is right after he could so basically one of the first things he does is limberer. Now the Crimean Wars often considered the first modern military conflict and it is one of the two wars, the other being the 1870 war between pressure and France that we'll talk about in the end of these episodes, that sets up the preconditions for World War 1. And the gist of this war is that Russia and Turkey, they've been fighting for each other for centuries, right? Like you got your Ottoman Empire and they're keep trying to push into Europe and they got the Balkans and the Russians are seen by a lot of Europe for a decent chunk of time. And the Russia is seen as like the great barrier to the Ottomans, right, to the Muslim horns. And these periodic military conflicts are ever complicated by the political situation over in the Holy Land, which at the time is under Ottoman control, but the English are involved in like mediating things. And you've got, it's not, you know, today we think about like religious conflicts in the Holy Land and it's like, oh, well, you got your Muslims and Jews and Christians and whatnot. Back in that day, one of the big conflicts is between Greek Orthodox and Catholic monks who are rioting. They are, there are times where they'll kill each other. There will be like riots over these like holy spaces where people are beating each other to death. It fucking rules. It's super funny. Anyway, the Tsar see themselves as protectors of Orthodoxy. And since the Ottomans are in charge of the Balkans at this period, so Ottoman Empire is still ruling what we would call a decent chunk of Eastern Europe today. Yeah. There are about 12 million Orthodox Christians living under Ottoman rule. And Russia wants to take that area away from the Muslims and also add it to Russia. And while, you know, you might expect all of the other Christian nations to back them, but everybody's scared of Russia. They're considered a dangerous power. And so for the most part, like, while they'll pay lip service to like, oh yeah, we've got to free those Christians from the evil Muslims. Most of the other states in this period are like, you know, we don't want Russia to have the whole Balkans. Like, yeah, that's, that's not a good idea. They're, they're also scary. Yeah, they're also very scary. Yeah. Both of these people are hordes people. Yeah. I don't want to deal with hordes anymore. We just don't like hordes that much anymore. Yeah. Just like, could you thin out numbers a little less hordes, more just couple of hordes? So for a lot of the 1800s, the British try to keep some sort of balance. They're often brought in as kind of the mediators here. Do, and they, you know, they've got, again, another part of this is that like the British have massive financial interests inside the Ottoman Empire. So they're like, because the Ottomans are kind of falling apart in this period, right? They're being called the sick man of Europe. And so the, the Russians are like, well, we actually, we could, we could take them right now. You know, we might be able to actually fucking push them out of here. And the British are like, well, but that's not, that's actually not going to work out great for us. We have a lot of it. It works out. We don't want to control. We don't want to take over the Ottoman Empire. That sounds like a giant pain in the ass. Yeah. It's expensive, but right now their government will basically do whatever the fuck we say. And so we can make a shitload of money, you know, not doing anything. It's, it's, it's cool. So there, you know, this goes on for years for most of the 1800s, in fact, and kind of massive conflicts are just barely avoided here and there. But then in July of 1853, the Tsar invades Moldova and Wallachia, which is like modern day Romania, now Lewis Napoleon had no desire to start off his reign with another land war in Europe. He'd campaigned on the premise that quote, the empire stands for peace. But the connections he built with the English prior to his rise for power. Remember, that's where he's hanging out the whole time as he's like in between coos. Means that he can't just sit back if they choose to get involved. This is further complicated by the fact that a lot of French people hated the English. So they didn't really want to be on their side. But they hated the Russians too, which I think helped a little bit. Ultimately, Lewis tells the French assembly that he's sending his army, some 300,000 men, east to help England to defend the Sultan against Russian aggression. And this war effectively brings France back to the world stage as a major player. And it is the, this is why, if you've ever wondered, given all of the centuries they were fighting each other, why do France and England wind up on the same side in World War One and Two? Well, it starts here, right? It's kind of the first time where they wind up wrapped together in a major war. Yeah. And it's, yeah, it's a big deal. Special relationship now. Yeah. This is the start of that. And this is often like in kind of the high level summaries of like what happens in the Crimean War, you'll hear it described as like, well, this is the first modern war. You know, the, the French and the British had had better rail lines and better transit and like the Russians were so just like fuck ups and stuff. But also the French and, and British militaries are also disasters in this war. This, this war is a terrible, terrible war for everybody involved. And it's a shit show because the military that France has built since Napoleon isn't really good at fighting in conventional wars. They've become a colonial policing force built to like lock down Algeria and West Africa. And Louis is calling upon them to like fight these human wave attacks. The logistical heritals are made worse by the fact that Louis picks his cousin Jerome Bonaparte as the divisional general who's running the, the military. Now Jerome gets the job because his cousin also named Jerome had fought alongside Napoleon Bonaparte. I know. It's so fucking stupid. That's two jerrys. Pick new names you asshole. Oh my god. I hate you. There's Louis and there's Jerry. No, there's only two kinds of names a person can have. Call him Mitch. Have a Mitch Napoleon Bonaparte. Like, fuck you. Like Derek. Derek Bonaparte. God almighty. So, so Jerome gets this job because his uncle had fought with Napoleon. But the thing his uncle was famous for was abandoning Napoleon Bonaparte during the March to Russia in 1812 and like fleeing the empire. Cause he did. Yeah. Which is not bad. Look, not bad judgment. Like not bad judgment. Yeah. But also that might be a red flag and sure enough the instant cousin Jerome sees gunfire. He goes home. He, he, he, he, he flees back to Paris. It's in the blood. It's in the blood. He learned the thing his dad learned about war, which is no, no, no, no, no. Fuck, I don't know what I don't mean. I don't know where that shit, yeah. So this earns him the nickname sans plume or gutless Bonaparte. That's what they call him now is, is, is gutless Bonaparte. Yeah. And that's quite a nickname. And I'm going to quote next from the book, the shadow emperor. It was a grim beginning for what was to prove a very grim campaign under sweltering summer temperatures as dysentery, typhus, typhoid, and the most deadly cholera epidemic ravaged the ranks. On the 15th of October, they fought and narrowly won the indecisive victory of Balaclava where the 7th Earl, the mad general, black bottle Lord cardigan, Louis Napoleon's landlord during his youth, Alexis Lundin, led his historic 661 man cavalry in the charge of the light brigade, of which only 414 young men, along with some 300 horses survived. So the charge of the light brigade guy is his former landlord. He hires his landlord. He hires his, well, the breed, the, you know, he does not charge the British army. This was followed by the allied victory of increment on November 5th, 1854, and then began the unanticipated 11th month siege against the Russian martial, martial minchikovs, 50 to 70,000 men. And they're statly defended port fortress of sabastopol. Here the French who had failed to bring the heavy artillery for this war were obliged to strip their navy of most of their guns to form 13 batteries of 30 and 50 pound cannon. So again, he sends the nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, an artillery man, sends his army to war without heavy artillery. And they take it from the boats. They take it from the boats. There's not like there's any water near the Crimea. No, it's very funny. And again, they win because this is also, look, you know, the Ukrainian military has gotten praised a lot for its stick to it. And if you spend time talking to people who are there, talking to people who have been over there, it's still a bit of a shit show. It's a messy military, right? But again, as is the case here, the Russians are just so much messier, right? Yeah. That like you, you can, you can afford to fuck up some when the Russians are here because they're going to make a lot of mistakes. Yeah. The Tsar is not going to be planning this very well. You only need to be just a little bit more organized than Russia. Just have your shit more together than the Russians. Yeah. But like barely. But barely. That is the case of everyone who wins a war against Russia. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So in the end, the Allies won. And the Crimean War was broadly good for Lewis's new regime. But much of this was due to luck and great Russian incompetence. Again, rather than good decisions by the Emperor, he sends 300,000 men into the Crimea and 95,000 of them die. Mostly from disease due to cholera outbreaks because he doesn't have anyone in his army who can manage sanitation very well. So you know, some people will say he's kind of traumatized by this just because like that Louis Napoleon, Napoleon III. Yeah, yeah, he feels like bad about this. Because he was the one who gets to make the decision, right? He was the one man who sent them into war and 95,000 of them didn't come back. And that does kind of fucking up. This is what your dad has been telling you. This is like, never. This is literally what your dad was warning you about. It's all he was saying. War's pretty bad. War's bad. You're going to feel bad. You don't do it. And then he does it. He's like, damn, dude, I don't know. He's going to feel that bad though. Oh, and I should know his dad is is parrot passed on by this point. His dad dies while he's in prison. So he doesn't ever get to be like, oh, yeah, I get what you were saying about war being bad. Yeah. All right. Peter, a real one. Yeah. But he's, you know, this is this is literally the exact thing you were told. Anyway, he finally gets it after Crimea. Louis reiterates his dedication to peace. And then he sends soldiers to Italy to crush an independence movement against the pope. This is basically identical to the independence movement he had fought for as a younger man and his brother had died for. But now that he was king, you know, the church is kind of an important ally for him. So he, he, he, he, he, he, he. Now to be fair, he kind of makes up for this in 1859 when he goes to war with Austria and defeats the Habsburg Emperor, France Joseph, who's a big ol' prick in battle for an idea of like France Joseph, massive piece of shit. He loses a war in 1859 that like leads to the end of Austrian domination of Italy, right? 1859, France Joseph loses that war against Napoleon III. Guess who the Emperor of Austria-Hungary is when World War I starts? Same guy. French Joseph. Same guy. What really? Yeah. 54 years later. Five years later. Same guy. Yeah. The Church of Austria-Hungary for for fucking ever. It is ludicrous. How long this guy is running that fucking country, that fucking train wreck of a country. And tonight's not that job security though. Yeah. France Joseph like never dies. It sucks so bad because he's terrible. He's still around. Yeah. He's still alive right now. He's still running Austria. Go over there. Yeah. He's trying to get hungry to come back. Yeah. I saw that there's that picture going around of that like one monk somewhere in Southeast Asia who looks like a skeleton because he's so old. Yeah. That's France Joseph. That's France Joseph. It's just fucking skeletor on the throne. It's just fun. It's just fun. It's just fun. Fight pressure. Fight pressure. So Algeria gets officially conquered in 1858. And again, they've said this a couple of times. But they basically crack down on the worst of the uprisings again in 1858. And after this point with like kind of Algeria temporarily pacified, French power begins to expand rapidly across Southeast Asia. During the time that Napoleon's like early to mid-Rain, the French military will conquer Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Creating what a yeah, what eventually become known as French Indochina. This is a nasty thing. There are a lot tens of thousands die and eventually millions are going to die because of this. Napoleon the third lets it happen. He is not a driving force behind it. Okay. And then he orchestrates this and push this are his generals and admirals. The French Navy is a big driving force with this. And the primary thing that you should blame Louis Napoleon for is that again, they kind of sit down and talk nice to him and he just agrees to let them do whatever they want. Right. Yeah. And yeah, it's it he doesn't resist and he he lets this thing happen in part because like people said nice things about him and he's kind of that's that's basically his big vulnerability. So it loves compliments. He loves when you know, it's like Trump with the Saudis, they let him hold the globe, you know, the glowing orb and he's like, all right, here have some more playing. You given out man an orb and he'll have an orb for a day. You teach a man to find his own orbs. Yeah. Teach a man to orb. The new book by Robert Evans. Teach a man to orb. Funded by Peter Teal. Finally, going to get that palantir money for something appropriate. Speaking of palantir, you know who sponsors this podcast. Palantir. Palantir. So go spy on somebody. You know, Palantir's new everybody's spy program. Just record someone. Anybody. Anybody who doesn't know you're recording them and then mail that in an envelope to Peter Teal. Just stick it up on a drop box somewhere. Don't worry about what happens to it. 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Hi everyone, I'm Lauren Braype Pichecco, host of Symptomatic, a medical mystery podcast from iHeartRadio. Each week we unravel the medical mystery of a person's baffling symptoms and explore how their lives return upside down in search of answers. That's one of those ones that it's tough to revisit. So trauma is the only word I could probably use for that. That really scared me because if I had my kids in the car, you know, anything could have happened and I knew at that point that I needed to figure out what was going on with me. I could no longer ignore what I was going through. I had to find answers. You can listen to Symptomatic, a medical mystery podcast on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. This holiday ad will be over in 27 seconds. Unlike the new DuraCell battery with power boost ingredients that can last 19,976 seconds in your kids RC motorcycle or 6,801 seconds on your beard trimmer for this year's family photo or 15,172 seconds on your electric frother for some holiday eggnog. And many more seconds to get more out of your holiday season. DuraCell, unlike this ad, engineered for more. Ah, we're back. Boy, howdy. I sure love recording people without their express consent. Me too. It's my favorite thing to do. That's why I enjoy the services of Palantir. Palantir. If you touch it, you'll see Sauron's great eye. It is so fucked up that a guy named a company and that. It's insane. It's so on the nose. If people talk about like, I wonder what token would have felt about like the Lord of the Rings movies and stuff like, no, I want to know what he would have felt about that shit. That there's like literally built a Palantir. It's named it Palantir. It's fucking ridiculous. It's a bit on the nose. Yeah, a little bit on the nose over here. That's an ox for dawn accent, whatever. What am I going to do? I always breathe. It's a good, cranky fucker. Say, I, you, you, me, down under, bitch. It's the two accents I can do. It would be funny to do a movie on Jair or token, but like hire somebody with what I can call the accent to play him. Or I would be, say, I got a token, yeah. Go to speak to you in office, boy, I am. Yeah, that's right. It's all Palantir, boy. It's all in English, yeah. Did, Brillie. So it's probably fair to say anyway, whatever. They conquer Asia. This is going to be a problem for tens of millions of people in the future. And it all happens at least without any resistance by Napoleon III. Back in Europe, the negotiations at the end of the Crimean War had made Napoleon III into one of the central diplomats of European power politics. Italian unification would eventually owe a great deal to his lobbying and fighting with Austria. He began to look overseas to the Americas, where Louis Napoleon was greatly concerned with the expansion of the United States. He'd liked America, and he admired a lot of aspects of like American, or technologically driven culture while he was there. But he was canny enough to see like, well, they kind of like murdered their way into control of most of the world's resources. They have like a dozen Europe's worth of country that they just own now. And it kind of seems like they might become the pre-eminent power in the world, and I should do something to stop that because I would like that to be France. Yeah, yeah, that's supposed to be me. That's supposed to be me. So in the late 1850s, he begins courting Maximilian Habsburg, who's the brother of the Austrian Emperor, France Joseph, and trying to convince him to become the Emperor of Mexico. So first off, brilliant plan. Incredible. No notes. Very, very, very wonderful plan. Yeah. You know, Mexico's there. Well, it needs an Emperor. What if, yeah, you know what, the solution to all of Mexico's problems are. A German speaking guy. A German Emperor. I think it's a great idea, dude. Fucking walk around Juarez right now. You know, you guys got a lot of problems with cartels and not enough water, all this good stuff. What if a German was in charge? Yeah. You think that'll help? So first, I want to say, Ola Koma is stars. It starts being great. Yeah. So I am going to be how you say El Hefe, right? El Hefe. And you people are just going to, you're going to be my amigos. Do you comprender? It's very hard to do it. You have basically gotten all of it right, though, that is this guy. Fucking Maximilian Habsburg. Just an out. So one of the things that I do for fun is I will troll Edward Habsburg, who is the current heir to the Habsburg family and a monarch is piece of shit. And like some weirdly a's under the Catholic church. He's a fucking asshole. He loves anime, though, weirdly enough. Anyway, I will troll him. I will troll him specifically about the fact that Maximilian von Habsburg is eventually executed by a firing squad. And every time I do I get fucking royalists and my mentions being like, well, he was actually a great leader in a Mexico. And no, he wasn't. They shot him to death. That doesn't happen to you if you're a great, great leaders do sometimes great leaders get assassinated by a lone guy with a gun share. We've all seen that happen. Great leaders do not get executed by the mass acclaim of the populace. Exactly. And then completely wiped from like the general history. Exactly. Like I like to think I know a little bit about Mexican history and I don't celebrate this guy. Yeah. Like so I know about like the whole like the Perferriato regime that happened during that time and whatnot. That all comes out of this, right? But the Ferio Diaz, I think, is his name is one of the generals, one of the generals who fights Maximilian. Yeah. So anyway, we're getting ahead of ourselves. So the way that Napoleon III proceeds with cooking this shit up is he gets a handful of Mexican academics and politicians, most of whom are living in Europe and have been like, because Mexico tons of civil wars, right? So you have a bunch of like Diaz for a guy who are like in Europe trying to like raise money and support for some kind of revolution or another. He gets a bunch of these guys back to back the idea that like the regular Mexican people are just like clamoring for a European emperor, just like the big countries, right? Yeah, yeah, please. There is zero evidence of this. There's absolutely no evidence of this. And in fact, so the like to music, we like to music. For an idea of like how little the Mexican people wanted an emperor. So there's this, you know, there's this like Mexico gets its independence in like 1821 from Spain and the guy who like leads the independence movement is this dude Augustine aturbied, who then declares himself the emperor of Mexico. And do you know what the Mexican people do to a turbine? They fucking murder him. They fucking kill him because they don't like having an emperor. Yeah, they're like, no, we're not with that. Yeah, which you might take as evidence that Mexicans don't want to have an emperor. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It seems to be historically true. Napoleon III assumes this has to just be some like like fluke of history. And he keeps on plotting. And while he's playing power politics, Napoleon III also presides over the creation of modern parry. The city as we know it today with its wide boulevards and iconic architecture was largely created during Louis Napoleon's reign. And I want to quote now from a write up in the conversation by Samuel Raybone, quote, Lewis Napoleon inherited a cramped crumbling and crime-ridden capital, Paris's 1 million inhabitants lived cheek by jowl in a vast tangle of densely packed buildings. There was even a slum in the courtyard of the Louvre. Modernizing Paris promised more than practical benefits. I want to be a second Augustus wrote Lewis Napoleon in 1842 because Augustus made Rome a city of marble. It meant glory so he hired a ruthlessly efficient administrator, Baron Houseman, to knock down the old slums. The city became a building site, Charles Marvel's photographs record the squalder of the slums, the chaos of their transformation and the spectacle of their rebirth. Thousands of men were drafted into an army of construction, battling away on this new field of honor for the glory of the nation and its increasingly power hung re-leader. Now the downside of using populist rhetoric to get people to endorse your dictatorial regime is that you really can't afford to piss your base off too much, right? Because that's how you've justified your power. And Lewis had taken power promising to renew France and bring hope for the working class. One commenter noted that quote, a week's interruption of the building trade would terrify the government. Everything rode on continued mass public employment so he's giving people jobs to do all this rebuilding and the perception of continuous progress. To ensure that people believed this, Napoleon III turned to the still very new silence of photography, which had only come about in the 1840s. He commissioned the best photographers of the day to document the renovation of the Louvre, the construction of new bridges in an opera house. These photos were published widely, building on a national and international image of Paris as a city being renewed. Other photographers at the time noted that the pictures Napoleon III commissioned focus on the titanic scale of his new public works projects and the clean lines of new construction. The workers erecting it by contrast were always tiny. Quote, trapped in the labyrinth of scaffolding as one commenter put it, the mighty inns for Napoleon stamped on every new project dwarfed the humans who made them. Raybone continues. As Napoleon III's interior minister knew, industry has its injured like war and the rebuilding of Paris II had its glorious war wounded. In 1855, Napoleon III ordered the construction of a convalescent asylum to care for workers injured during the building works. Charles Negra visited the asylum around 1858 to photograph its buildings, patience and staff. To get paid, Negra knew he had to tow the party line, yet the body he encountered had been wounded in the war for Napoleon III's self-aggrandizement, giving the lie to his image of populist benevolence. Negrist's challenge was to celebrate Napoleon III's care for their suffering without revealing his culpability for it. This hasn't happened before. Photographs have not been used in this way, and you can't use paintings and shit like this, right? There are ways to use them for propaganda, sure, but not the way that photographs. There's a sense that a photograph is a depiction of reality in a way that is not the case. Everyone even always understood like, yeah, the impure puts up these fucking statues in these reliefs, but like, they're carvings in stone. It's not like literal photograph, that's reality. Napoleon is the first world leader to really comprehensively use photographs in order to craft an alternate vision of reality in his propaganda. Yeah, it's as soon as we invent a new mass media technology, we're like, how can I use this for political propaganda? Um, never positioned patients and medical staff angled towards a marble bust of Napoleon III, his face clear and there's indistinct, individually meaningless. Patients could only be shown eating, playing, and reading. Actual medical procedures were forbidden to be shown, as was evidence of permanent disability or injury. Generations of authoritarians would build on the work Napoleon did to turn his photography into part of his cult of personality, but it all started here. It just, it sucks so much because it's, uh, you realize that like a lot of these people, you know, like you said, this empire's populist empire was built on like making sure the population is like, loves you and stays in line. And I think another big part of, uh, like the complete renovation of Paris and like, basically these people were employed to destroy their own homes and build newer, uh, different homes, uh, and wider boulevards that made it much, much harder to do a popular revolution. That is also a big part of why they're redesigning Paris this way. It's like, yes, we can't have in government skid over thrown by the people. Right. Cause like, it's like, it's gonna make that harder. I want to make it easier to shoot a lot of people very quickly. Right. Right. They're like, they built it. Remember, it's something like they built it to be just the size of a whole regiment of, uh, like cavalry or some shit. Like, uh, yeah, this is, this is him basically making it all those like cool barricades from the past, like not possible. And that sucks. Cause there's so much institutional history of them building them barricades, dude. Like what are people going to do with that knowledge? Yeah. Now you're never going to get the sequel to limizer obda. Yeah. That sucks, dude. But that's the tragedy. There's not going to be another role for Russell Crowe to sing in. Yeah. Fucking what's Russell Crowe going to do with his career? Yeah. Did anyone think about Russell Crowe before they expanded the boulevards? Yeah. Once think about Russell Crowe. I don't think so. Not once, not a single time. It's fucking bullshit. And is that his greatest crime greater than conquering in dochina, greater than killing all of those people in the rebuilding projects? You know, greater than, yeah. 100%. 100%. We're all in agreement. Yeah. Anyway, I love Russell Crowe. He's a Russell Crowe actor, but yeah. You know, he's just like, how did we get on Russell Crowe talk? I'm going to say it. Sophie, he's the only actor. That's not true. He's the only actor. No one else is an actor. What about Pedro? I know you love Pedro. Yeah. That's not acting. Not like Russell Crowe can. I'd love to see Pedro Pascal babbling, saying all of the tunes in Mr. Rob. Exactly. He couldn't memorize all those numbers. Did you actually watch that? He probably, it was, it is, look, there's some good parts to that visually, but man, Russell Crowe is not a singer. That's what I mean. It's like when he was a Pedro. He was, he was, he was, he was, he was in that band. Like it's something, however many feet of grunts. Yeah. I'm sure he's doing a lot of music. That's what I think. I mean, it's not, I will say this. The, the, the, the, the, Mr. Rob adaptation with Russell Crowe is not nearly as bad as the adaptation of Swini Todd with fucking, um, Johnny Depp. Yeah. Who? Yeah. And it's heartbreaking because I love Swini Todd. It's a great musical. It's a great musical. Fucking Alan Rickman. Incredible. Like his voice, very wonderful. The, the, the, the, they get to play Toby. Perfect voice. Beautiful voice. And then you've got fucking Swini Todd played by, like Johnny Depp out there. That's the side of all of the other things that are wrong with Johnny Depp. Yeah. Not a strong singer. And for fucking Swini Todd, you have to be a strong goddamn singer. It's, that's the lead. The lead in a Broadway, son time musical. Mm-hmm. Get a good singer. Got him. My name is Russell Crowe. Get Russell Crowe. Make him be Swini Todd. Yes. They should have done it, dude. That's the solution. That's the solution. Oh, I'm glad we figured all this out. Matt Leib, got any plug-uble-stuplug before we roll out for the day. So much to plug. Follow me on, you know, Instagram at Matt Leib jokes. But I do a podcast. I do a couple of podcasts that are TV rewatch podcasts. And pod yourself a gun is a soprano's podcast. And I'm going to be doing a live show of pod yourself a gun at San Francisco sketch fest Saturday, January 28th at 10 p.m. Piano fight main stage. Please, if you like the sopranos or the wire, because now we do the wire podcast, check that out. Go to sf sketch Look up, pod yourself a gun and buy tickets. Please, because that would be sick. The port, Matt. Support me, Matt. Check him out. Robert and I have a couple of events coming up. Don't we, Robert? That seems like a lie. Okay. One of them is a live virtual event that we are doing with moment house and featuring Margaret Kohljoy. It's a behind the bastards live stream show that will be happening on December 8th at 6 p.m. Pacific. And if you can't make it, we'll be on demand for up to a week. And you can get tickets at slash BTV. And it should be splattered all over socials. Is that how you say that splattered? I'm going with it. Yes. We're all over. Splosged all over social media. Wow. And if I remember, I will link it in the description. And Robert and I will also be at sf sketch fest. Hell yeah. Hell yeah. We will. Yeah. So, you know, what if we went on strike at sketch fest, you know, Matt? What if we struck for more? I mean, what do I remember about sketch fest? They gave us a bunch of those waters that are like, in big beer cans. The liquid debt. More of those. Yeah, let's strike for more of that shit. More liquid death. And I think also, I forget, I don't know if Audible is a sponsor again this year, but if they are, I say we strike for more free credit codes and gift codes. Yeah. Yeah. I like audiobooks and I don't like having to pay. I don't, I love audiobooks and I hate paying for things. So. Yeah. Help us help Matt and I strike against a sketch fest. It's a good people at SF sketch fest to a volunteer who have invited us to perform. But definitely by tickets, but also definitely by tickets, but also support our strike against their, their evil, not giving me like right now, I would like one of those liquid death cans that I don't have it and I'm furious, Matt. They make caffeinated. Anyways, I believe behind the bastards will be there on January 20th. I don't have any more information when we're recording this, but I'm sure you'll see more in the future also by Robert's book after the revolution. Yes. Did I do it? Did I do the plugs? Yeah. Alright, episode fucking over. Bye bye. God damn right. Bye. Behind the bastards is a production of Cool Zone Media. For more from Cool Zone Media, visit our website or check us out on the I Heart Radio app, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. 21 years ago, I decided to make my passion my lifestyle, traveling the world, drumming made me alive. The world has changed, but I refused to give up my passion for travel. I became a backpack trader. I developed a three step trading system that takes minutes per day to live that lifestyle. Want to travel the world living the backpack trader lifestyle? Go to now to learn a three step system to live your dreams. Go to now. It's gifting season and you have no idea what to get that special cook in your life. Want to know what I'm giving this year? Meter, a smart meter mom that keeps an eye on your cook and even alerts you in the meter app when it's ready to come out of the oven. Oh, and it works on the grill too. Meter makes meat juicy and perfectly cooked every time. So add meter to your list. It's the perfect gift for the perfect meal. 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