« Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard

Jonathan Safran Foer

2019-11-14

Jonathan Safran Foer is an American novelist. He is known for his novels Everything Is Illuminated, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Eating Animals and We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast. Jonathan sits down with the armchair expert to discuss his struggle to eat vegetarian, his first book getting  rejected by every publisher and he walks us through a traumatic childhood event he experienced. Dax wonders if Jonathan was nervous to write a second book following the success of his first and Jonathan talks about the efficacy of moderate changes. The two talk about climate change, hypnosis and there is a special visitor in the fact check. 

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Welcome. Welcome welcome to armchair expert experts on expert I'm Dax Shepard, I'm joined by Emmy nominated Monica black men. Do you think I'll, say Plasmin. So frequently some peoples are thinking. Your name is what I'm nervous about that. Far yeah Forsman deals inside yeah yeah sure I got a look out for myself in a brand. We have a awesome gas today, Jonathan Safran Foer, He is a novelist. You know, launch a big books. Everything is illuminated extremely loud and incredibly eating animals tree of codes here. I am in his new book. We are the weather. Saving the planet begins at breakfast. You know I really joy Jonathan made too. It was really interesting. What it yeah very cool story is an incredibly cool story once a cool actually traumatic, only got accelerator invasion. What's crazy is everything
fell apart. I heard a military chopper looked out the window to see what was see huge bug crawling on the window. Now I'm thinking about a bug infestation, I saw that earlier. You did yeah, you didn't say anything, that's okay! Well, Jonathan! He has a certain energy. He had it was so soothing for me and in we joined his energy, which I love. When that happens, yeah. That's true! I was like no, no I'm going to be me and you'll meet me there, and we did. I loved me too. He also really got into my crawl about my fx a little bit. Well, not not because of him. He just made you think he made me think yeah he made me realize I could do better and I probably need to make an attempt to do better. Yeah anyways he's incredibly fast meeting and he's got a really great message and he's just a really interesting I really enjoy talking to, and I hope you guys enjoy Jonathan Saffron Foer
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lots a awesome and delicious products and recipes at Bob's red mill, dot com, Slash Dax in while you're there be sure to enter for a chance to win an exclusive bob's Red Mill Prize pack in an armchair expert t shirt, that's Bob's red mill, dot com, Slash Dax he's not, How are you doing? Are you are you? Are you tired? Now? I feel good. You do feel good feel great, but you came in from Toronto, yep and you're on a book tour. do you know what's interesting about writers? I think in general is that the in by the way, this extends to actors on some level as well as, like you hire them 'cause. They the skill set, which is they can pretend, there's something or they can memorize lines, I'm not sure what the skill set is, but then you're then required or expected to go, sell this.
Product which those aren't necessarily the same skill set and quite often there opposite skill sets, and I would say it's even more: part of being a writer which is a very solitairy activity. Totally I mean actors have charisma. Well, some some have something like charisma. All of 'em. And a lot of writers become writers precisely because they selling them in real life and run it through and then yet writers are then asked to go on book tours and promote their product, and I gotta imagine ever anxiety and actor? Has it's just got to be times five for a writer yeah, but some Would you is there anyone, I'm thinking of someone specifically and I'm wondering if you will have the same? Is there anyone that you think is a very artful job of being a public version of themselves as a writer and job like they succeed at it or, like I respect it like they're, almost
as interesting as their writing. If not more, you know who I did yeah I'm talking to him right now, which is exciting. Let's see David Sid Heiress like well David, said: there's there's like no line between who he is as a person who is jazz, which is great. I mean it's. Why people I like, I like him very much as a person and as a writer in it he can like he can do public readings worry, really holds cord and takes you on a ride right, yeah, just verbally and in the moment yeah his signings last. no, no joke that can last like six hours, eight hours the reading is, I understand I've been to was readings, but the reason like an hour and that's just like the apple, and then everybody's there for the interaction with him afterwards, and it just goes on However, he hugs every single person takes picture with every single person makes Google for every single person, something that would kill any.
other person's career in the book like he, We had him on and he would say, like he'd written in someone's book like I hope you get raped in the ass and it's like well, you know, there's very few people that write that sentence in America, and be totally good got the trust her in there. That's true, I did this. I did once when I, but they sent me to the warehouse to sinus. Like eight thousand and one day and they mailed those to stores all over the country, so it could say autographed copy whatever, and he was the guy. Who was there before me before, and they have a wall that you write on afterwards and you say like thanks. So much boys, my hand, tired yeah, and his was something like you know, fifty three years of jerking off at this is in this conservative place in the Midwest and they painted over it with white yeah, so his teacher doesn't
It's just very interesting in culture, who's in trouble and who's not trouble and I think largely when I'm circling as an idea is if you're hiding some. it's a story and if you're not hiding something, that's not a story. Do you think that's possibly part of the equation? I think it is possibly part of the equation. I mean. Trump is sort of proof of that yeah. Well, yeah, it's all out loud yeah. He just is what he is, there's no shame, there's no concealing it. So there's also doesn't live in America and I think for whatever reason he sort of subject to different rules because it does yeah. I I've been a mansion, it's liberating! Now you grew up in DC yeah. Then you have learned and parents not really. No fully ignorant parents, professional and degrees and stuff they have degrees they bounced around through a lot of different jobs. My mom shorten pr for awhile and for the last one thousand and fifteen years she sort of
calling running this sort of the ninety, the 92nd 92Nd Street Y is no Shame on you tell us it's a kind literary arts community center. On the Upper EAST side they have a jewish day school, but it's also where it's like a writer is coming to New York. Will probably do an event at the 92nd St Y. Ok, so she ran something like that in DC. That was in an old. What once was a synagogue that was a Baptist church and now is this center, where they host cultural events, yeah and my dad trained as a lawyer, and then my grand Father started a jewelry store in DC and he died of a heart attack. Very very suddenly. My dad had to step in just ended up doing that for a long time. He started to include the American Antitrust Institute, and that is a you want to break up big conglomerates, yeah really sort of thing
but it was like a think tank of one really. He ran out of our house in DC ha he's. My dad, like an old fashioned, liberal ha ha believe what he believes in. Fights as hard as it can. He had a surgery. I don't know one thousand and fifteen go ahead. I cuss stint. It's called Charlotte into. an artery artery is an everybody in the family. Wasn't particularly dangerous, but We all gather to be there when he woke up. We were all standing around my mom, my two brothers eyes like open one at a time like dad dad and so we really got him. We said what he's like the bastards the monopolies, bottom, and that was like his first thought upon returning to consciousness in. Why? Where do you think his desire to topple the monopolies started? Was he subject, or was his father subject to some kind of strong arming by a multinational,
not at all thanks six, sometimes in life, you just pick up a pet issue for whatever reason: aha was there a villain in his world view, villains have changed as the monopolies of change. Okay, sure it's not nice about Amazon, not nuts, about Facebook. Maybe what in the eighties, when your kill like g e, maybe or what so he didn't get into this until two thousand Oh my! So it's a good time to get into that yeah? That was a racket? Does he feel about Facebook? Probably not great, He doesn't feel great with anything that has a name that we would all recognize he doesn't feel great about. Although what about Costco, I think that's a really good company, big fancy Costco, ok, that makes sense they are, but you know, there's a difference between being a fan in life and practice and being a fan conceptually, so they buy plenty of ship from Amazon's. Yeah, you have to yeah. I mean that that is in fact the problem with monopolies. Is you end up
doing a lot of things. You wish you weren't doing because it doesn't feel like there are other ways of doing them anymore. Yeah. No. I have a kind of anti progressive view on some monopolies, based solely on reading Titan and being obsessed with John D Rockefeller an then recognizing that his goal for his monopoly was literally to stabilize the rate of lamp oil it was ten dollars a gallon one day there was five cents and it just it's someone needed to do something and then ultimately one benefited from that thing, so I've seen a version of it where I'm like. Well, I don't know, there's I guess. There's versions to be honest, nothing, I know a hell of a lot of you don't care! You didn't think that I care a little, but I don't care a lot right. Ok, that's fair and Judaism is a big component of your childhood life. Is that accurate?
in a not not from a religious family. Okay at all, I went to hebrew school, but that was it just kind of part and parcel with where I came from everybody, I knew went to hebrew school, I didn't go to a jewish school, but it is effectively jewish. You know, it sure seems like everybody went there was jewish yeah definitely a very culturally jewish atmosphere, kinds of friends. I grew up with the kinds of stories I was told tv. We watched in grandmother on your mom's side was a holocaust survivor yeah in if my mom was born in Europe, born, spend her first couple years in a dp camp and then came to America when she was four it would, He nearly impossible for you not to of inherited the weight and stakes of what it means to be jewish. The planet. Earth. I think that's right, but you know there are things that you don't believe that they're true
until you're presented with evidence like moment in a trial when the prosecutor waived the bloody glove and says like well, the defendant's been telling us that he couldn't have been at crimes in the defendants telling us you have no motive to do this horrible act, but his blood on the glove so yeah and I've had a lot of moments like that with jewish identity. Where you know you're asking me what my identity and I'm not even sure, I'm the best person answer the question right. I don't walk around feeling the identity, but I do walk around doing things that would suggest the identities in more to me: well isn't that so often the case it's like we have an ideology of who we are and then, if one of any anthropologists to guard our guard, biologists goes through our trash. The likely know a lot more about us than we are keenly aware of him. Is that word garb? yeah, that's a sub, it was. It was started because it one specific ethnic. They were doing of this town. They were trying to figure out the diet of the town and what mothers this was in a given a fifty.
We're feeding their children and when questioned they they would say. Oh I cooked a meatloaf on Monday and then I made a casserole on Tuesday, blah blah blah blah blah, and then one of them had the idea of like let's go through the town dump and look at what's in the trash. And if you look at the trash it was like You know umpteen one thousand boxes of Kraft, macaroni and cheese is there is always stuff in you. They quickly realize like well. This can all be true at the same time and it be created up a whole field called garbled g in anthropology. Even when they're look, in that remains in the archaeological record. So much of what they're going through is just the trash site where they were putting all their their crap. That's what they're figuring out from that think that, bizarrely sexy in Jurassic Park, when Laura Dern goes elbow deep in the dinosaur, crap, oh sure, sure sure she was just having her period or whatever it was. I can't remember what the discovery was I wanted. I should go watch that after this yeah I grew up in area of Michigan Adjacent two w
home field in Bloomfield Hills, MI, which incredibly high concentration to jewish folks, an many people just went to school, as if we had sent our kid to a private school. We just, I guess we just be like well, you know what private schools, I guess, affordable, that our friends are going to, and I think that's often the case of how you end up right at you know, quote jewish pre k or something yes, so you know again, my school was not jewish right. I went to school at Georgetown, a which is like that's high school or that was k through twelve. I went there pretty much k through twelve going public school through fourth grade something like that. and then it became hard to stay in the public school system for junior high and go my older brother switched. I just went with him yeah in your middle child, yeah three voice. Ok, three boys, I'm a middle child, but there's a gal below Maine. What is the age
gap between these. So my older brother is two and a half years older, my younger brothers, five and a half years younger so is brother. Like quintessential older brother is you'd like first born. Are you guys falling into that pattern at all? Are you a lost child in your bedroom? There's a baby and there's a teenager and there's really? No US air left for you. I don't know. My older brother is a very, very warm. He is a big brother type, but I think it's a big brother to people that are not even his brothers. You know he's the kind of guy you go to he edited magazine for years, the New republic and is like a trustworthy guy, very stable, even keel, yeah, a good guy good men share as he was anyway. He was kind to you as a little brother. He really So we didn't notice that I threw a joystick stick at his head once that's literally the only strife I can remember from my childhood, but that that is its own slightly odd thing, I suppose like just to return to what you were touched on with being the grandson of a survivor in the son of a survivor as well
there are a lot of ways to deal with trauma and historical familial trauma, and one of them is to like really emphasize what's good and not talk so much about what's difficult or bad because relative to that historical trauma, like Are you complaining about in a well deal that to me is what I would get a chip on my shoulder about, because I think of this as of I'm in a and I go to a meeting at someone's house and it's mostly private airplane problems right and service. I could go like what the fuck are. These can people complaining about both? My conclusion is like we as the seas going to ruminate on and it doesn't really matter is the suffering of the wanting of some different state of mind or being, and that's all relative. So it's like, find some issues in Eden in in soda a constantly have your turns be diminished by this historical event that will never be topped, doesn't feel entirely fair to it item.
Lately agree more strongly. Yeah, I mean, like your pain, is your pain? Yeah? You know whatever? Whatever the references funny. I remember when I had when my older son was really little my kid tripped or something like that- then I did a year. Okay, it's alright you're, fine! You know pop up and I said my dad. I think I could talk him out of pretty much any pain I think, there's a way to say it's not that bad you're right come on. Let's get all your great at dealing It's all man, you're so brave, and he said you probably could, but then you're not letting him be. Oh like letting him experience pain, which is part human drama. When we were press like really fundamental parts of the human drama, we can get in big trouble yeah. Yes, I totally agree, but it's interesting, my grandmother, who is the matriarch, of our family and really the sun around which everything orbited she passed away last year.
last year for life. She kind of came into her body in a way that I had never witnessed before, and we came to a physical relationship in a way that I'd never had with her before she like a stupid example, which maybe isn't stupid at all, but felt really poignant that she start to eat. Of. the last year for life should listening to music. I didn't seen her do either of those things no wow and ads in this? Isn't in the context of our body giving out entered into her body- and I was very very close with her- I received- who knows how many 10s of thousands of kisses you know from her, but I never kissed her. Actually, it was just something that like wasn't done, uh in my family, which was just as loving as they come. I mean it still is like I have a wonderful relationship with my parents and with my brothers it's not a lot of physical affection, which may be a kind of something jewish. She wartime residual
doubt it like almost if you expose yourself to me to love, then you acknowledge what can be lost you're, also showing your cards to the people around you who are praying upon any weakness it this is weirdly a display of your vulnerability. I think you're right and it's funny, because if you think about what is that, like jewish residue of trauma, it's humor and most of the humor is like I'm going to punch I self, in the face before you punch me in the face Aurora, and you think you can make fun of me. I can definitely make fun of me better than you can make fun of me yeah, which is, I suppose, a kind of like perverted safety did feels like the opposite of giving a kiss like to make a joke at your own expense, yeah. you know. I have no data to support this. It's all anecdotal, but having worked in this business for one thousand five hundred and twenty years ago, proportionate amount of jewish comedy writers? very significant chunk. I want to say, like in the third
cent range of writers on staff at tv shows in yet jewish Americans make up. I don't know where it is. Two percent of population is getting less. We can figure that out at one point yeah. It is interesting. There's like there's a couple of the Canadians to they do very well in comedy in, this country, that's hard to explain. Well, my theory on that is they are close enough to understand everything, and yet they are outside enough to have some pretty great observations about us. I can has says us, but yet they have a different lens that they're seen us through could be they probably us of like a better education system, and we have yeah. There may be something I was in Amsterdam just a couple weeks ago, and He explained the design sensibility of the Scandinavians, which is like the best in the world. You know every age people who live in their own houses, arranged little objects in their windows and just everything is like a little diagram. A little museum exhibit, and so much of the great design of 20th century was made by Scandinavians
and, as explained to me, that was so unpleasant outside it's very dark. It's very cold is very rainy that all of the emphasis is put inside yeah, and so one can put the emphasis inside physically, like arranging things, making beautiful things, making a house comfortable or you can do it you know emotionally or intellect they have a word right. That's it would translate basically to warmth bigger yeah yeah: he sure my pronunciations, yeah that drives the aesthetic and all the decisions. Is this yeah and they have an where to write, which is like the perfect amount, they're obsessed with not too much and not little, which I thought was an honor yeah, I think, is an amazing pursuit. It is a real thing I mean have you ever changed like a texture in some place, that you really care about or given thought to like trying to be close to a fireplace, for example, are using like wall lights instead of overhead lights or even
it sounds so pretentious and precious to talk about it, but using a candle instead of actually, I don't really want to be necessary, a guy should have candles all over the house. But I bet, if I were I'd, be mellower. I can Are you the example that immediately comes up to me? Is my wife collects damage dogs and we got one now that just appease every single day in the house, and so we've had to basically get rid of any fuckin' rugs in her house, and they all smell, and I hate our living room now. I've hated it for four months feels harsh. It does 'cause it's just a wood floor now and I'm like. I hate this room. It was that little bit of fabric, Making the difference between weather mean loving the living room for fifteen years are now hating him. I've had similar experiences. I got divorced about eight years ago, seven years ago, and the first thing I bought afterwards when I was moving homes with this incredibly softap rug.
the kind of thing where, like you, could drop a deck of cards in it and lose it and, like you know, you got your shins and I have three dogs now in my house and they think it's outside it's that, and so they crap. I didn't even blame them for it yeah it does become like a little bit of a Sophie's choice. Yeah yeah physical environment is a huge impact on your mood. I know 'cause. I have seasonal, affective disorder self diagnosis, but it is so funny how different every day could be the same of what you're doing, but if it's right outside or if it's gloomy outside the mood is so shifty yeah, it's fascinating, yeah, we're sensitive little creatures some of us more than others, is true. Okay, so I went my mother
there's a single mother. Three kids took us on a trip to DC to see the monuments and whatnot and we were on a very tight budget and we stay in place. that was very, very scary, that is my memory of DC for a long long time, and then we went back my wife and I for like the White House correspondents dinner. Something I was like this place is beautiful. It's like Europe, but all that to say DC in the eighties was a little dicey. Was it not? I mean it was a yeah. This is the murder capital of America for quite a long time. Do you yeah. I think it's I don't know it's still near the top, but this is not unusual city because it's very divided, it's very racially segregated and it's very segregated by economics as well, and it's also separated by the federal parts and by the neighborhood parts, the transient population, that comes when there's a new administration and people like my parents and grandparents on my dad side
which is been there for along time. Didn't work in government live in these kind of old fashioned neighborhoods, and that is how I grew up and I wasn't anywhere near the monuments or any of that kind of stuff. It was people whose, like parents Parents lived in the same area. Kids went to the same schools that their parents went to it a great place. To be a kid really. Replace my brother and I had two or three public parks within walking distance. We could walk everywhere. We walked to school. Then we had like summer jobs. It feels like something doesn't even exist. yeah yeah yeah yeah. We were just. We had someone in who had grown up in an area of New York. Kind of similar to the area Michigan. I grew up and I was like yeah Halloween, like Did you go to the cider mill around this time of year and she's like? Oh, my god? He has this item and then we start talking about field parties and plug in. Hey Ryan only has of- and I thought, yeah wow that's, my kids are not going to have any
play football on the lawn on Thanksgiving yeah down to the mall. The mall meeting with the monuments are Fourth of July we would all get drunk or get high and lay on our backs and watch the fireworks like fall down on us. Get sneak into the ground Different embassies in like Haram is a good place, but it's changing. Now you went to this Georgetown Day School, it's it's affiliated with the university! No, it's not know that stretch of prep, which is where Cavanaugh went very differently in my school, is really progressive. You called the teachers by their first names, teachers would smoke. oh class I'll, go there now yeah, I have sex per student for only the first yeah, very liberal mellow place not associated with anything but itself. Now. Why did you then aspire to go to Princetonian
Georgetown, no reason you want to get out of there or what I didn't really aspire to go to Princeton I aspired to go to other places that I didn't get into like. Where, where did you not get that Harvard and Yale and now the question is, why would I even aspire for that? Well, that's obviously I don't know why that was like you know. Every kid has expectations, some of which are like explicit, some of which are subtle or invisible, most of which are invisible and subconscious, and I guess there's a trajectory that my family took from like everybody, but my grandmother being murdered. She came to the states started managing grocery stores and living above the grocery stores that they managed my grandmother clip coupons to the day she died and her life's dream, which she accomplished was to send her kids to school to college. She did then my parents Psych inherited a lot of that ethic of let's go.
Kids the best education that they can get them and let them fill a kind of american dream, which is basically to have more than your parents. Had you know this is the problem we're facing right now the call yeah yeah mine, globally, only half of what I've done guaranteed yeah and they should yeah I mean it's not a good dream. The american dream is not a good dream know. I know I know you gotta get it, though, to realize that don't you we're going, have to figure out a way for that not to be the case because it's unsustainable and every single sense sure so
What I hear there is that, on some level, you're kind of living out of previous generations wishes. You must be aware of the impact you getting into on of those schools will be and how you have been fulfilling everyone's dream. In my case, I had a mother who really believed in me. I mean, like you, know, preposterous levels of what she thought I was capable of, which was awesome. I wouldn't trade it for the world, but it also did for me was I got good at compartmentalizing, so I was like I was living out, some expectation and then there and then I had another side of Dax. No one really knew about which ultimately caught up with being by the time I turned thirty, but did you have any any kind? split personality stuff going on. Did you have like a secret Jonathan? That was for you yeah, I mean first of all, I I would. I can't imagine that there that there's any buddy, who doesn't have some version of what you just said. I wouldn't trust somebody who didn't have some version of what you just said: uh huh, like an exterior and interior life that aren't really matching or kind of like
alien nation from oneself. We're so used to talk about alienation from others, but I think much more powerful is alienation from oneself like than uh aj that this isn't exactly me This me that I'm walking around performing Sometimes it is sometimes the overlaps are like pretty complete but there's Ernest that there's just somebody else that you are yeah and I had that it wasn't explicit like it. Wasn't that wasn't secretly ok or secretly an addict or anything like that, but I was secretly somebody a little bit different Then I presented myself as an it's taken: along time to figure that out what it means it can be subtle and hard to articulate, but it's also impossible to miss. If you are experiencing that distance, you know it. Yes, I think that it's so hot,
when you're younger to even know that this is happening, because you don't have a life to compare your life to. But, as you get older and things start to branch and you meet different people have different kinds of experiences life as different chapters. Then you can look back and say for this. Is this thing that was happening to me at that time and for me the office when I feel the relief of the end of the that kind of alienation that I can recognize what it was that I had in the first place, stay tuned, armchair more if you dare We are supported by audible, a product at a value than any other products. I use it every single night to go to sleep. We love a lot of all for me. It has been the biggest help in mind Sammy. I love listening to dance, historical, non fiction and I yeah I smack in the middle of that Brilliant Robert Caro Lyndon B Johnson Series now listen audible as the world's law, the selection of audio books and audio entertainment, including
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that's through the summer, and it really resembled school and I was in a is called a talented and gifted program, but there was no threshold of talent and gift that gifted give the g. The XP to get in just anyone who wanted to was was sufficiently talented and gifted and is the first day of that camp. The first period in fact, was a science class and we are making sparklers for the fourth of July and which is a at the end of the first semester. I mean I, project I mean we already know. The story is going to end up bad, but yeah is that an ideal activity for a year the in the mid eighties yeah yeah yeah, like Homey, long charts or something that will now the kinds of things that we did. So, in fact, was a substitute teacher, the teachers,
to be there. That day I don't know what it a stomach bug or something so there's a substitute teacher who had done this before it wasn't part of the regular curriculum. We were divided into tables of four kids at each and we each had a pot in the middle of the table and we adding chemicals that we would get from its funny. I haven't really remembered it in this kind of detail in quite a long time getting chemicals from a sort of like island at the front of the class, where the teacher stood according to this recipe. I remember there is called a recipe that was written on the chalkboard. And I just sort of zoned out for a while. I found it kind of boring. We take turns in getting the mixing them. So it's turn your. What could be more boring, boring number one to the bathroom and it's kind of stood there in PA just hung out in the bathroom for awhile. They came back and I got a drink.
water, and I mean this. This may sound like an invented memory, but I really remember the drain. The water fountain really vividly remember looking at it the holes in it. Little circular holes the water go down, went back into the classroom and we're looking at the board at this recipe, and then there was just this incredible event in retrospect I know it was an explosion. But at the time I I didn't really. If you told me the ceiling fell on you. I would also believe that can continue back over once again yeah. So where were you what you just described about going to the bathroom and stuff, it sounds like you were stoned basically like we were you order.
Kind of was one. I definitely wasn't ominous. No, no. I know your eight yeah, I think, was there some kind of toxic in the air? No, no! Okay! So we know we gotta go peeing, you Justin P, it's not because you were like it's because that's what I was like: oh okay, yeah, okay, yeah. I also sort of yeah yeah when you were describing. I was like, oh that that's me walking around the house down. No one is that if it had some yeah, okay, okay, huge explosion at the table that I had been working out to the three kids who are at the table with the three kids were really bad. injured, a sort of somehow got out of the room? I don't really remember how I don't remember a door or anything. I just said I got. The room is like smoke another class of kids started to file out. My brother was in America wave to my brother and we sort of said
ok, I'm ok and that was just to kind of chaos in his chaos in the real world in a cast in my mind as well, and it's hard to differentiate sharp there's two chaos is, I saw my best friend ground, and he was really really like nearly fatally burned. Oh my gosh yeah yeah we had this exchange where I spoke to him for a little bit he's sitting, there slumped I looked at him. I asked him. What do I look like and he was like? What do you mean and I said 'cause you know your your skin is like not on your face and my skin? On my face an you know, this is the one of those moments that you spend your life wishing you could take back like yeah. I wish you could be the comfort friend says you're in the middle of trauma. Yeah yeah yeah, but you do. You do beat yourself up regardless of that yeah it doesn't matter, the reason doesn't really think yourself out of it yeah. So we
that exchange and then some adult at some point pick me up wrapped up in a blanket and downstairs and a lot of other crazy things happened that day I am there been hypnotized. No. I went to a hypnotist a couple years ago because I thought I might try to write about this event yeah and just curious. What would happen is that a hypnotherapist like yeah, not a guy who's at frat parties, but a guy who charges like five hundred dollars an hour with a four hour minimum session, and it was really profound how he walked me. Through this event and one of the things that he said about hypnosis is it's not like it gives you? access to something that was concealed. From you in your mind or repressed. What happens? Often we tell stories is there's a part. We can't get past either because we can't remember a detail or it's painful, and so we just stop. There is if it's as if it's a permanent impasse,
hypnosis can help you get around to get over that impasse. You can find the rest of the story. I don't really know what he was talking about until we went through this event yeah- and I got up to the point that I just told you about this exchange. I had with my friend and I was like, and that's a pretty much it right and he said well what color shirt was your friend wearing's like? Who cares? I don't know he was like just tell me. I have no idea yeah, they said just tell me even if you're wrong, I said I don't know gray, they said, and then what happened like? Oh and then then I started tell the rest of the story, so he distracted you enough. Maybe have gotten past this impasse yeah, and what did you then number. Oh, I remembered when I was carried downstairs. The conversation that I had with the camp director who took me into his office and had hit the insurance
I'm on the phone hey was that manages, and then I was taken into the school office to call my parents and the kid who is actually most badly injured, was sprawled out on the sofa and his african American, which made burns look a lot worse. You know because, like the pale flesh against the dark skin was just more graphic dhea, but he was really screaming and totally out of control, just antenna animalistic and then I remember firemen who tricked me into going to the hospital who said that there was this girl who said I was friend and she was afraid of going alone and what I just go in there and do all that there yeah. I think I don't even care if I was being tricked at that point you know like I wanted an adult to tell me what to do. You want it to be in the care of adults, yes, not the substitute teacher yeah. I mean the substitute teacher, oh my god. I feel horrible for that person. For who the teacher
kind of I mean I do in retrospect 'cause that's because we kind of hit what caring that wait. For the rest, your life, who hasn't found themselves in a situation in life for their like. I guess I just got a wing. This you know in most of us get really lucky you don't wing it with gunpowder, though In retrospect, you're ready, I would just get brought like some Reese's pieces cut them open. I will be on yeah. No, you don't, but I'm speaking so it in a trash can thrive in yeah, so that's a summer right there. I guess I don't think equation right. What are you made it? You know I was gonna just point that out too yeah. I think that says ready at one point: yeah. It was a he yeah wow. Oh that's. What does your dad does? What color was our own? No, that's fascinating. Did you use it?
is Monica she's currently, so what were the extent of the other children's injuries? with a in the hospital for awhile yeah. I was there for two nights: three nights: what were your injured just like second degree burns? in my hands on my only concussion or anything, no okay. What's so funny is that I always, I always think about like how differently in tension frames, are opinions of things like if you were in Belfast in your English. In this, the exact same explosion happens to you, but you know that there was some in tion of terrorism. Now that thing becomes something, but this one is like: it's been nine, but the low level of physical traumas identical it's just very I it's fascinating, to me. That's a really really interesting point that I never thought about, and the but Ninus of it is is actually one of the most terrorizing parts
that, because in this is you know we talk about this on here before Dan Carlin history are of your list, got our car historical, like a high yeah, he's amazing, but one of the things that he he articulated- that I would never really put together in my head. Is that the reason people love conspiracy theories? Is that it's just to see area. To imagine, there's a man, some bozo in debt plus who can affect the course of history by shooting Kennedy. That is too scary for us, because that means there are seven billion variables in we're all fucked. But if there's a gray and schema Grand intelligent design of all this. Somehow that's more comforting, and yes, yours is like oh great, so I guess now any where you're at any given time ship can fucking blow up I have to imagine a very unsettling worldview shifter for you yeah. I think a struggle with like a feeling of safety in my life. Because of that- and I would imagine you already inherited a nice day
It's a feeling, your safety and it's weirdly confirmed at that point. Even if you're I don't know you're at that age it to do it, but you're hearing, grandma and then you're he's got be like that yeah I get it is Germany, or that was Ukraine. That was one thousand nine hundred and forty no guys stop it. We live in and then you go to school. That happens like their fucking right. This is a day. This place to be yeah, I mean life. Life is in fact a dangerous place to be it's a hard thing with kids. You know to be honest about specially in an age of like school shootings in an age of climb, change to talk about what it means to be safe, that in a way, that's both honest, but also in a Turning, I remember when my my older son was whatever two three surpassed my death and I ask my therapist a goof God. What's the right move here, you know,
like yeah you're, dead, you're dead forever? You don't feel anything, you don't dream and he comes to visit you after a day or two or what- and he said you know he has like the rest of his life to figure out what he thinks about it. But at this age, like just making feel safe, is the best thing that you can do, because you can really get screwed up. If you start to have anxieties, when not that you can get screwed up, they can be hard to undo any childhood anxieties. So I I decided he said. Why is Tom this happen. You know in that goes against everything that I believe I have a sense of what I believe happens after you die yeah, but there's a part of me that very strongly believes in offering comfort where their comfort can be had, especially to a kid is not yet as an adult with this conversation where I'm so afraid of dying, so it has like gritted my teeth and Winston I was like. Well, you know you'll go to Heaven what's that. Like
well, it's really great and it's really just super's ice cream, everyday ice cream, everyday grammar bar there do. I have to do homework now. I don't know Don't anyway culminated with him saying like I want to die, Now how you know what's funny is I we had the exact same thing right. I think our oldest daughter was then maybe for she said. Are you It's going to die and I said yes, we're going to die, but not for a long time. She said I'm going to die and I said yes you're going to die too, but in a much longer like one hundred years from now, and she said in that I'm going to die, and I said but in a long time she started crying. She got scared. I was looking at my wife when you're both like, oh god, I know this you should just say that there's a habit and you'll be out of this, and then I was like So this is how it's perpetuate it like, and then we were like panicking. We're looking each other to kind of like steel, our resolve and then by God, seconds later. She was done crying complete
government went on with their day. That was pretty much it and I was like oh wow. I was like about five more seconds right now to be like who, but there's a heaven and you're, going to meet your my dad and she's a pastor of a mega church thirty years ago. Again, I don't advise anyone. I have no opinion on what people should do. I just that was our experience where I was like. I was panicking for ninety seconds and then it just like every other fucking thing it just passed and she went on her way and that's that Gramma was visiting and she was telling my or you're my now four year old she's talking about I'm dying. My father word she go and my mother in law is like Heaven and she goes what's happened and she you know. Heaven is where you're going you die and you're with your family and- and I was like yeah, but where, where is it? It's like it's above the clouds. is knowing how my kids are like this is getting worse and worse, like if you now put it somewhere physically in space. Welcome to twenty five more questions about Why can't? I see it all off. Looking at a map
it didn't resolve with just getting bored. She got bored, she totally disabled, but one thing that their school does. Those kids, which I think probably is why she was able to get over at ninety seconds, is like from age two. The spider will be dead on the ground and they'll, be like oh look this at the end of its life cycle and so like they will kind of putting it in from day one. This is a normal thing that happens. Yeah they've had a few pets that have died. the chick in, and then they had a service for the chicken they buried the chicken at the school. Like all this stuff, I was like. I wish I woulda had just any of this is like yeah, I don't know: What's your experience now- and I forget about kids, just I find these things harder and harder to think about wish. There's nobody telling me stories. You know and well here's what I do. I go. It's gonna be blackness, that's heartbreaking, but then I remind myself I'll have no awareness that it it's blackness wanna make. I'm I'm fearing an emotion, it's never coming! I'm fearing us
of LOS it's never coming, I'm fearing, but on the fearing the absence of the emotion, that's never coming the mental gymnastics. I do I go. I won't experience, It's almost like telling me you know! Last night, while you were dead asleep, you got up and jump the Grand Canyon on a motorcycle. Are you? Are you scared you do that? Well, I don't. I don't have any memory of that, so I in my business almost but that's okay, because he woke up today. Yes, you know that's the by the way. I was that total. I once a total. I was at seventy percent peace. With this world view I have to like kids, because the thought of not being able to see my fucking daughters is insufferable. So in that way I definitely like boy. I hope, I'm wrong boy, I'd love to be wrong. love the come to you and go hey in twos to blink. Your kids will be here with you. I feel like that's actually a version of the and the and the and we were talking about before, like I want so badly to believe and I
can't can't. I can't bring myself to the place. Instead, you have drill down into because I I've drilled down and like why you so sceptical. Why, by nature you this skeptical and I have my reasonings from my childhood to do. You then try to track. Why you're, even that way, because it's that skepticism is in keeping with everything else about me, except for my desire to believe. Do you think there was anything in your childhood that made you dis? Just what you are being told? Well, they weren't telling me about Heaven I mean my parent. don't believe anymore than I believe, there's a jewish philosopher named Frans Rosenzveig, who was asked if he was religious and the answer he gave, which is my favorite aunt that question is not yet any knowledge meant that, it's not where I am right now and also adding knowledgement that if I could get there that that may be where I'd like
be sure I would really yeah if we could take one of the two pills I certainly would. I would enjoy the comfort of thinking I'll see. My kids for eternity. Yeah may require a pill. Yeah so may exist. It doesn't end there you're. So is it your your story with the explosion? Is not in there you you, you recover, obviously from the burns and whatnot, but you then, for for three years I have kind of a of mental distress. Yeah. Yes, it is delayed. Actually, so the following year is pretty much fine. All right, I seem to be fine. I went to school every. It was seem cool. It wasn't going to shrink or anything like that, and then I guess there's two years later, I just start to have a very hard time. I was just nervous timer. That was the word I applied to it. Maybe it wasn't nervous at all, but when I would try to describe to people what I was feeling my parents doing nervous, I was. terrified of being called on in class or that I would have to read
out in class. That was like the worst thing I could possibly imagine. I often just wouldn't go to class for fear of being called an couldn't sleep over at anybody's house. I would in my pants just like out of control and it kept like crescendoing becoming worse and worse and worse, and I remember thinking at one point- you either have to stop doing this, but you're going to have a very badly something really bad going to happen and you're going to make other people's lives really bad, and I just stopped then why you again? It's like you pay a price for Stop it yeah, it's not great for the system, but it looked okay
able to go to school again and all of the ways that the problems were expressing themselves just stopped, and I think I started to become a different person around then like when I was a kid I was very flamboyant think I would dress. I wear like bow ties and ring then it's just like you're, like a magician like a yeah and a good title for something and and then I was like, not a magician without tricks like I was more like the person who, sitting across from me now yeah like fairly conservative, the dry like I, and this would have been around eleven thousand ish, even like eleven, oh uh huh. I remember my bar mitzvah under thirteen by is like from a sitcom, I went into the rabbi's office. Before I start crying cuz. I was nervous that feeling nervousness really came back and I
Did it because you know I had to what what you going to do. Call off the party flowers go, and then go home. Caterer go home. Relatives from out of town go home. I just couldn't do it an maybe that is actually what it was to have a bar mitzvah in some way like to move into a kind of adulthood where there's more being a participant, rather than being the of my own show. But again it's not a complicated yeah. I can't relate at all to having had an experience like that, but I it does make me think of being in like tenth grade. You know just hating how it, looked and dressed in ninth and tenth grade, and then one day just waking up and going. You know what we're not betting on your looks you got. You got a good personality and that's your fucking ticket out of this thing and it's time to shift gears and it was a very like you know, specific thought.
This is in a decision, and I launched out on this new thing, and it is interesting that young people can make those kind of decisions and, yeah. I think about that. A lot now, actually watching, like Greta, Thunberg and watching kids. That age. Do you know there there's a a Washington Post poll or survey couple weeks, two weeks ago that found that the majority of american teenagers are scared by climate change and angry about climate change. When I was at and I was scared and angry too and, like I felt very much at the mercy of what the adult world was doing, you know or well. We grew up in the cold war, the movie the day after, like you literally had in the back of your mind. Oh nuclear holocaust is an option. Yeah short of that just bargain basement Holocaust A and I think it's. I think I don't envy teenagers now it's gonna to be really hard
yeah and then coupled with far higher level of isolation fire far higher. You know, there's so many things happening You yeah you go to Princeton was it was not your first pick you'd much rather Harvard Monica Meyer we're really going to that term. Yeah. You fancy schools, schools that we can go through, so we really dig it. We think it's cool, but I have to say we have anyone from Prince and when we read that he was going to present, I only really what hey what happened? A prince that uses Hey when I was growing up is like Princeton or Harvard Princeton Harvard. Now I don't feel like that's what people say it's like you know. I don't know what is Stanford and I don't really know The sad and I honestly I went to visit with my dad and it was like the weather was nice. I had a good sandwich this looks great. This looks like a college for sure it was a totally totally uninformed decision totally uninformed. If I done like the tiniest bit of research
Probably I would have gone somewhere else and it was fairly conservative campus doesn't just I wasn't the most obvious fit well a big department, departure from your school, where you called you know your science teacher, add and stuff. He almost the opposite experience yeah, but they were wonderful, about it because of that they have amazing our department and creative writing department and is currently clamoring to get into the classes. This is not where that the the interests of the student body liar did or didn't back down. Yeah they're all future world lead, There's basically yeah feature world destroyer yeah, so I got to take you writing classes with, like Joyce Carol, Oates 'cause, I apply The was really easy and baby your philosophy major. So that was was that initially on a it's basically to tell you. I didn't choose a major until the last possible moment whenever that was I want to like Junior year, then
remember. I was sitting on a bench. That's like I got pick a major. What am I could do English? I guess but I don't really want to do that because maybe I'll be a writer and it just feels like putting sour cream cream cheese like two similar I don't want. I could be a psych major, but them all then, as I can oh sound great, as if I were philosophy. Major, the rest of my life, telling people philosophy major, and that was pretty Let's also isn't that's one of the most common transfers for law school. Isn't it a lot of a lot of add layers are philosophy. Did you have favorite authors at that age where you obsessed with
I really wasn't a big reader and other enough, I'm still not a big reader like I didn't, come to writing through a love of literature mmhm, as for the more through a back door of flank. First, I love having control of my time and not having a boss. Yeah I like being able to explore different, I mean being a writer, is not at all different than what you're doing right now. Thank you got to just to explore. things and think about things and talk, except that I'm talking to myself instead of somebody else well, I initially was trying to be a writer. I've self submitted. Eight thousand, you know stories. The whole thing I was obsessed with several different writers and I've only later come to realize that I just love the control of it. I loved, creating a world for everything. I said when yeah and I deeply desired that control and it's a way to close that distance that we were talking about-
The page, I'm myself? Oh yeah, you must have a lie to yourself and say like no one's ever going to read this just write this thing in pretend no one is going to read it. I just kind of oh see, I don't even think about it. Writing, I'm just writing, and it's the the one place in life, where there's no addy, there's no expectations. I don't have to please anybody is really an strained, and that makes it hard because then, if it sucks, it's 'cause, you, so the limitless options creates fatigue almost right, yeah, that's why I like to create a boxes are sometimes so useful. Select only gonna make it work right here. There's a script for has story about that help in getting this right, but to two kings and they challenge each other to create a labyrinth, that's more difficult to get out of, and so king a puts king be in this enormous.
labyrinth and the size of a city with the million forking, pads and dead ends, and all of that and it takes king, be three years in of stumbling around making Rogers we finally gets out, and then king be puts king in the middle of the desert, and he says get out of this and you know if the if there, no walls, there's no way to escape yeah yeah yeah an oftentimes with writing. I feel like the freedom of it, is itself a kind of like enslavement yeah for sure. Ok, so you start working with Joyce Carol Oates and she gives you some encouragement right. She kind of likes. What you're right in in in in really encourage you to to to pursue that. You end up doing a thesis sentence, largely about your grandmother, yells and yeah I mean was it the my thesis was it was a draft of my first book. Everything is illuminated. How much of everything is illuminated, is your grandmother's story or inspired by your grandmother story like how much it's really none of it actually is her actual so yeah. So
My grandfather had a wife and a baby and he worked, side of the village and the Nazis came through while he was working outside the village and killed everybody an when he was on his way home. He had no knowledge of that anything happened. A friend of his stopped him just a couple kilometers outside of town and said you can't go back. This is what happened, and he said I'm going back, I don't care, they can kill me. I don't care what happens anymore. Just let me go and his friend had to physically constrain him like forced him to survive and he ended up being hidden I some christian family An you know made his way like survived today at a time and ended up meeting a grandmother in a dp camp while so there is a photograph of him with this family. The christian family. Yes, this is a real thing where they baptizing him in the photo.
They were eating white bread so and, like my guess, is this more after my junior year of college before the summer is ended, squares about what I should do like. Should I get a job? Should I, as you know, maybe I'll just kind of you know what led me to this thought, because it's not the kind of thought that I would have had at that time, except that I did have it, they will just go, like check out where my grandfather came from the Ukraine yeah. Ok, I shouldn't say the Ukraine right. It's just Ukraine, you know trouble sorted out when we get to transfer the mono version. I don't know what I was thinking sort of like the decision to go to print and it was I was Totale, and this is one thousand nine hundred and ninety nine yeah. This is ninety eight, so it's probably pretty bleak there yeah, well, where I was going with superbly Caminos just out of time just out. I was dirt roads horse, yeah yeah, yeah and because
done. Almost no preparation. I just found nothing. I was like an idiot. I I got off train as like all right. Let's anybody know any of these people in the picture you have literally like that, but because it was such a complete failure and because I was beginning to think about writing it of work like? I stimulated my imagination rather than well you're, probably terribly lonely there right yeah. I wasn't there long, but you know I was only there for three days. And then I was in Prague a great night. It really is a great place, probably a little less greatest time, this, but yeah also so cheap, then probably a little, but I lived there for that summer. miss you much and that's why I wrote the first draft of this book. Oh wow, sort of in response to the nothingness that I found in the Ukraine yeah. You basically just had to make up your own story. 'cause, you didn't get the one. You were looking for: yeah state
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square down in Nashville, getting a super cute, tee shirt yeah. Where is it just in the la yeah? No, it is you every big wood is as it should be, and I bought a cute teacher with the new, the lady on it yeah from a cute little boutique, tee shirt, vendors well, actually from a bar. You bought it for in the bar yeah. That makes more sense, but I I use square you use where everyone knows it's the little white card reader that allows you to make payments around your neighborhoods, but they make. So much more than the card reader, because running and growing a business takes so much work. We are growing a business and we find square to be very. Very helpful. Here are some of the things that they offer to help. You grow your business point of sale, for restaurants, retail salon service, you name it online. stores full service payroll invoices you can send from anywhere in their payments are still the best in the biz. There
a long term contracts, and you always get your money fast. We just sold merge down in Nashville, and I want that money fast and we're going to get it fast with square see all the ways square can take your business from square one to whatever's next at square dot. Com. Slash goes slash, Dax, you published in two thousand and two so only a few years later, yeah and then the books, a big success and it gets made into a movie. At this point, do you suffer from imposter syndrome at all or you like, there's a mistake of fooled them I'll, be discovered if a little too fast even to have those So inside of the experience I just give wasn't capable of reflecting on the experience yes or seeing- maybe even the yeah uniqueness of what's happening,
I mean I knew the unique is because the same book every word in the same place, I sent it out to agents. Maybe I don't know one thousand five hundred and twenty pages is rejected by all of 'em. I finally found an agent she sent it out to every publisher in New York and it was rejected by every publisher in New York and then she fell ill and had to stop being an agent. So as I go Christ what I'm going to do now, to continue to try with this book. Do I start a new book? Do I just go become a lawyer like what am I going to do with my life and I sent it to another agent who isn't my agent? Still all that's nice yeah changed my life then talk about like drawing in the mailbox in your life changes and then she ended up having a lot of success: commercial success with it. You know finding publishers who want to have an auction for this book that just wow but before nobody even wanted to look up. Isn't that crazy, the power of a settlement? Really it is you know the fact is: everyone is working on a book right and so editor
there are not that many editors in New York. They get. I don't know twenty manuscripts today. It's too much to read? They depend on the curation of people that they trust Someone says I know you and you're going to like the only give it a read yeah. So I was the beneficiary of that so I knew even while it was happening that there's something a little fishy about the experience a little yeah. How could have been rejected eighty times and all of a sudden, it's yeah yeah. Well, that's like Harry Potter too. She is that same story were like Harry Potter. Was that it was rejected by all these publishers. It's a book, get outta here. It's the swedish girl She just sailed, does the Lantic the the biggest bookseller all time when vineyard speech, do you like hey uh? It was it Liev Shriver who originally was like it? Was he the first person to expressed interest in making that yeah? So I was when I met with my agent
When I was just telling you about yeah, we met her office. This is when she was just not beginning, but it was near the beginning of her career and her office is actually had used to be a claw, this little tiny room. Maybe one slash five of the size of the room, we're in right. Now, that's tight yeah, She said to me what your goals like. Would you largely love, to happen with this book. I said I really want twelve thousand dollars, he's like that's the weirdest answer. I've ever heard like most well, one thousand dollars I said 'cause, then I think I could go to Spain and like lived there for six months, and that's just what I want to do and she said I bet you we can get you twelve thousand
she got me twelve thousand dollars an. I went to Spain and this was in the period before the book was published after it had been sold and but there's like publishing industry is pretty slow things along time between finishing a book and it being out in the world. Sometimes it's six months ago, or so it's two years. So in Spain, an during that period, an excerpt of the book was in the new Yorker and I got a phone call from someone at the New York, who said the sky, Liev Schreiber read your piece and wants to be in touch with you is that cool and I actually know who he was at the time you never watch HBO sports, I think I have it. You don't see You just hear that voice. That's so great is so very the yeah the coming down the field but yeah. Oh god, the warriors of Sunday that your
and we ended up talking briefly and when I was when I was back in New York, I went to I think his 40th birthday it possible- maybe even thirty- I don't know in any case we met and he just vision, which I found super compelling out his own personal story right. His family was in that part of the world during that time. Yeah. It's just the confluence of a lot of things. His or my story, his where he was in his career and a desire to direct his sense of humor or my sense of humor. He- and I were really good friends- we've been friends for years and were funny pair like yeah. If you were to see you standing next to each other, you wouldn't necessarily an alien, wouldn't recognize this, both as humans. It will. He is I've had dinner with him once Monica. He is one of the most masculine men. I've ever met in the most conventional definitions of masculinity right, You just there's a heaviness to him where you're like ok,
she goes. I was with him like your. You got your hands full. This guy, yeah yeah know he's the guy who, like rushes the cockpit during a yeah, yeah yeah, but he's also very, very sensitive, thoughtful super smart guy and yeah. We had this great friendship for years now. Did you write unit right? frame late did you know he wrote it. He wrote, he wrote it, he directed it as his baby and how easy was it for you to turn over something to someone else and let it go through their filter? I found it at the time simple. For The reasons one like I was much better than than I am now at full dissociation, just like it isn't happening you know like it's happening over there, so it's just not happening here. and I was psyched that, like somebody would pay me yeah and other twelve gram, and I was psyched that it was going to bring a lot of readers to the book, because you know the film industry, tv and film. It's like not like literature Arona to
totally different scale. So when a film or tv show is it makes an adaptation the novel, then I was going to get ten one hundred one thousand times as many readers as it had before interesting, and I was just like to see what he would do is a smart guy yeah, he has a perspective, an charisma and he cared and when you saw it, did you go like oh, he got it right or oh. This is a different thing, but I do Joya. Well, there was no getting it right yeah. I got it right and I don't mean that in the sense of quality I mean that, like I made the thing I wanted to make, which is nothing in the world to do with whether it's good or bad or it just was what I wanted to in the same way that, like you, get your own breaths right, you know and he made something really different. I mean he actually removed fully half of the book, because these two braided
and he just took one of them and so yeah I looked at it. It was like strange to see somebody else's choices, choices a lot of layers of removal like I was kind of writing a book about something that may or may not have happened and a fictionalized to some extent through, like the filter of my own imagination and concerns, and then Hic kind of made, an adaptation of this adaptation of this history that may or may not have happened. It is filtered through his. Concerns and then, like Elijah Wood kind of played me like a character as my name and yeah. He goes through his filter, yeah yeah, and that that was an experience that was funny not like haha funny, but funny like this It kills me a little bit funny ha ha ha. This is surreal kind of thing right, yeah. A lot of these decision Is that you know when I write I write like in bed.
like a chair in my kitchen, and I make decisions that feel very, very personal and intimate an totally insignificant when I make them, but then sometimes they resonate so weird experience to share these. Like artifacts of my very inner life, go to do a reading at someone will come up and say you know it meant so much to me and really changed my life. Is that moment in the book when and they'll isn't it. I don't even remember literally, don't remember, writing it and then the things that agonize over and care about, and that actually move me oftentimes. mentioned by anybody yet So it's both like exciting and it's also kind of price. That's paid for like exposing oneself in that way, yeah. So after the success of that you do extremely loud, and incredibly
close, which is about a little boy, who's dealing with the loss of his father. He died in nine eleven and eleven and he finds a key, some kind it. What it is. It is the the funny thing is. If you push me too hard, I literally won't remember sure sure, you're, like on the US, has more in singing the black Sabbath song story to tell just their share. But I wonder if knowing you're. Obviously, your father did not die, but I was curious, like do you think in any way you were in this sounds so armed cherry psychologist, but Does it have anything to do with the eight year old who got an explosion in front of him so time I would've said no uh huh. You know that my first book was called everything is illuminated, which would have been a pretty good title for a book about the explosion. Like second book she was very literal yeah. My second was called extremely loud and incredibly close, which would be maybe even a better title
talk about the explosion, then I just was not thinking about it. At the time yeah I often have plans but I'm going to write and things that seem like good ideas. I've never once had a good idea that turned out to be a good idea right. I've written, I think three or four proposals sold proposals to publishers and never turn in the book that I proposed. It's always just gotten sidetracked. I realized the thing that in my head was clever in life. Wasn't, huh and the world changes and the things that you know First, you in two thousand and five are not necessarily things that interest you in two thousand and seven. I've also become the older I've, gotten less reliance on or confident about my abilities? like I know what I'm capable of, and it doesn't thrill me like. It's not it's not that exciting to me. But what exciting to me are the accidents things you stumble upon the weird coinc,
is one of my favorite lines about writing, but the russian poet Joseph Brodsky, who said the rhyme, is smarter than the poet know people right inverse, because it's pretty sounds great, but also when you have to end align with a word that rhymes with the one at the end of the line above it's like a problem. Well, it's the box put yourself in the Creative box right yeah. It's funny. You say that about the title of your book is your. truth or, like literal descriptions of what you went through, which is interesting, and I I want to show my co services actors like Bell and she's directed two movies, both of which have ellipses in the titles, which is a very, very weird thing to have in a title of a film and then her acting is very ellipses. There's a lot of like she thinks on her feet. She takes his second to you know, and I pointed that out to her and she was like, oh my god, you're right and it's so funny how many things you can see on the outside that, like in the forest, just can't see
so I don't know if it's 'cause we're looking at because it's true the other thing is it may Be that, like she does what she does subconsciously keep stumbling into these political situations yeah. It may also be that you're, the kind of person who observes that kind of thing like the observation says something about you, just as the I one, almost as explicating, something I'm I'm deciding. What I think a pattern is yes in a weird way as well yeah. Well, I would imagine to that you would have been very likely to develop kind of second album syndrome. After everything is illuminated cuz, it's it's exceeding your wildest dreams and then I imagine it's a little daunting to follow that up? I think I had that after my second okay, I was too again like it happened quickly. I wrote my second book quickly and I didn't have the perspective yet to have that fear or anxiety
yeah, but I did after everything is limited and in fact I didn't write another novel for about ten years I wrote a nonfiction book and at the time I would have said it because I'm drawn to this other material, I want to explore the stuff. In retrospect, I'm shows also driven by fear, yeah well get real. We don't do a little thing on planet earth. That's not somehow has its origin in fear. I don't believe whether your man yeah. It's always in the next yeah you have in extremely low, Incredibly close, there's a, I guess. I would private is almost a multimedia facet to it, which is been called a visual writing as a technique. That's new to me that concept, so within that book, you've got like lots of pictures in the book ends with maybe fifteen picture illustrate or something. How do you decide what? What brought you to that? You know people love it. Some people hate it. What's the Probably fear was a lot of it like haha. I wouldn't do it that way. Now, ok,
It's interesting having I've written, let's say like six dollars. It sort of depends what you call a book, but there once I like more, others sure it's not as if they are all equal to me. I don't love that book, steam and what's really weird, is it's my most yeah yeah and was made into a movie that Tom Hanks and say yeah, sir and was nominated. I think even there was it yeah, wow yeah. How ironic I love it what is it about it yeah I feel like it was trying, rather than just being itself like I like things that are done for their own sake and love people that just live in the way that they are. You know an in retrospect. But it was really trying. Well again, you had to live up to the first book, so I could see where it you're very perfectly positioned to try 'cause when you were right in Prague. No one's reading this funk, thing you're not necessary on this thing? What do you care right, exact,
now I knew that my second book would be published and I knew that there be some of attention on it, so I should say at the time none of this was conscious. I wasn't aware of any of what I'm saying now right. I just thought this is a good way to tell this story and like uh. This is a visual expression of this child's imagination and why is literature so serve it. If, anyway, why aren't books more interesting, looking yeah and I actually believe those things, but I also believe that I was like influenced by my own anxiety so then you wrote eating animals now now. This is something that intrigues me. 'cause, I don't know what happened to me. I am someone who loved reading growing up in about, I guess Fifteen years ago I switched nonfiction. I guess I'd blame John Crock Hour. I switch to non. I can not go back after to take someone like the class everyone. You know unanimous. Everyone loves a marine lolita and I'm like I'm kind of getting on like with this whole thing was imagine my son got. You know right so not for
and for me I don't know why now is all I can read in this interests me, because there are things that we know ethically what to do and D. for me. Personally, I go n Tuff shed like guess what not going about one thousand in this lifetime. I'm picking the things I'm deciding to be ethical about this, isn't one of 'em never try to mount an argument that what I'm doing is ethical but eating eating animals. Intellectually, I I could probably sit here and argue with you as an anthropology major that we're fucking on wars, whether you like it or not, and then we're all we've been eating meat, so I don't know blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. I used to tassel corn, I looked at the fucking chickens and pigs and I was like oh this gnarly I roof to Slaughter House in Detroit. This is fun gnarly. You know I fast food nation? and then I went to Mcdonald's yeah yeah, this motivated right, because you had a two year old son
because I wasn't born. Yet it was ok. It wasn't born when was motivated, because I had a discomfort about it. Since kid I think of most kids- have some discomfort about eating meat yeah I got well. I have one right now that is elected to be vegetarian. I mean mom's been vegetarian for thirty years, but I mean is this: has nothing to do with the rightness or wrongness of it yeah? It is really different than the other stories we tell about animals. right and wrong. Yet you treat him well, you read a bedtime story. The animals are heroes, will go places just to look at funk. channels, yeah, stuffed animals and we love animals except we also like do this, should I show it was born out of discomfort had since I was a kid that I just couldn't really let go of I mean I was good at letting go of it. Sometimes he ate meat for three stretches of my life, but I never lost that feeling that, like I don't know, if I want to do this and that doing this may require like willfully, forgetting who I am, which doesn't doesn't feel
the best policy, so I just researched like researched the what's the actual story in America. Where is this food come from chain in N. F, L, everything yeah, but it's dirt return to something you said which to me is like the basis of the way. I think about this way. I think about climate change. He said I can always bad a thousand. You know, I think it when we recognize that something's important and that we care about it, not that other people care about that. We care, got it. We kind of go to these extremes of, like I'm, going to one thousand out of edge Terrian or I'm just going to eat the shit out of animals yeah an there are other options like it's possible to recognize that we don't want to endorse a certain kind of behavior we want to protect. We want to support it with our money or just even with our personhood, and to still do it sometimes like that, doesn't make us radical hypocrites. Alright, we got into this habit of like measuring our distance from perfection
no one's going to attain anyway, rather than just measure distance from doing nothing at all. Well, yeah, a good friend of mine who is much smarter than me said. You know you could eat meat once a week. That would be a huge improvement in if everyone just said. Ok, don't panic, we're not saying don't ever eat, but just if everyone went down to one or two days a week, you can't imagine the impact of that everyone just went down to dinner an enormous, enormous difference? It would get us so far toward where we need to be in terms of climate change, we're talking about 10s of billions of animals. If you care, you know, yeah better, for health, better for farm, better is there, there's really not any argument for eating more meat, yeah they're, not a lot of arguments. Reading less, but it's good to think about it. I think, as eating less you know beyond burgers ninety percent of the people who buy beyond burgers
also bought meat who's your morning the same period of time. I think it's reflective of this change in the culture where it's not about like you're, a vegetarian or you're, not less thing. I've always hate is it? This is a very bizarre thing to make a pillar of your identity. I've just always kind of rejected that you know I'm a vegetarian, I'm a meat eater. I you know it's just a weird identity source, well. I mean I get that people either feel proud of it. It by the way is not my strategy, like I don't introduce myself that way. I don't think about it that way, but I get it why some people do, but I'm saying forget: ethics of the situation defining yourself by what you consume, to me- is almost a reverse of what your identity should be. It's like your identity is your output. You refer to yourself as an addict a bunch of times and that's what I consume and it's
You don't get that you choose not to consume. Yes, but it's like you feel. I assume it's like a strength that you derive from like stating it articulated. This is important to me. This is my. Maybe it's a struggle. I say it, so you won't offer me a xanax believe that emanates from in those substances are the symptom of what an addict is. So it's not really the cocaine. It's this obsessive, compulsive desire regulate my internal emotions with external things. So that's what an addict is to me. The uh the substances are relevant, could be sex could be. Gambling could be blank. It's this compulsion, not to like stretching analogy, but do you think food is at all like that? Like the people? consume food as a way of regulating yeah yeah yeah, I do. I do yeah. Obviously, it's not physically addictive, which makes it a world of difference, but it is sugar
In a little physics, I mean you definitely feel craving after you introduce, I mean I I so I've been on a vegetarian for most of my life. I find it very very, very hard not to eat meat. I I bet that if you become a vegetarian tomorrow, you would find it easier than I find it despite the fact that I've written a book- and you know well, I believe you because my wife's not an addict at all and we both went vegan for a year. It was one thousand times harder for her because I'm just used to going like oh yeah. I can't have a thing. I want really bad right right, I'm I'm not used to right, and I have so many first. I really like the smell and taste of yeah and I have a lot of positive associations. Like my grandma who we talked about The primary vehicle of her love was chicken. yeah that she would make? And so, if I see chicken, of course, I'm looking at a food that smells and tastes good, but there's also something in me that six yeah that my dad grilling burgers in the backyard means something there's a lot of associations and those are powerful and those are
those are valuable and they shouldn't be dismissed. So I kind of get it when someone's like this is who I am I believe in these things, and I'm going to talk about the fact that I've oriented my life away from them. That said, like the aesthetic of budget, and then begins is often like, not exactly for me yeah and I think it's not exactly for most people. I did a reading in Toronto last night. right in the middle of it. Someone got on stage and had a poster that said agent, never write it handles. Animals are to be respected and cared for Nana and everybody it's booing and the crash security guards in common try to get off stage but she's like a handful and what I was, What I said was you know, it's a shame, because I bet everybody in this audience pretty much agrees with pretty much every
She was saying yes, yes, you sing in a way, that's really hard to hear, and I can make this field still there's a righteous to it, and then I am I my knee jerk self defensive thoughts are okay, let's get into a mother, let's go through your whole life. Let me valuate, your morality, ok, okay, you're, probably spotless this topic, but let's go to all of it like let you want to have a morality off that I get that I get in rage, their heels, judgmental and and holier than thou and righteous yeah, a of feel that too- and I don't like it when people make me feel that way- an my reflexes to attack yeah yeah, because I feel attacked it's a shame, because we actually think the same thing yeah and they just care about animals. I recognize that they would care when I was in the same way that you do they don't care about them more than you do. I bet I mean I don't eat. Meat I doubt that I care about animals more than you do. I bet you you like animals more than I do I just and as for me, it's not a philosophical thing. Either it's not
out like is it right or wrong to animals? The truth is I don't. I don't even know if I have an opinion on that question, yeah, but I know what the situation is in America. I know that ninety nine point nine percent of the animals we come from factory farms. I know that if you want to factory farm, if I want to fight him, if anybody listening, I mean every single listener this. If they went to a factory farm, maybe they'd still eat meat. Afterwards, definitely say. Oh, I don't like this. This is not so it's a it's. A horror show so if we can do less of it, we should do less of it great. So I totally subscribe to that. Do you think it's possible to ethically I have a meat industry and also produce enough meat for the level of consumption that exists. Is that even attainable I've been to farms that are really good, where, where I can imagine like, if I were a cow, if I could imagine myself into that position, I think ok, here's the deal I'm getting. I get to spend my life like this again,
setting engaging in all of my like species, specific behaviors hanging out with my pals like eating food, that I like living a reasonably long life and that I am killed in a way that I don't anticipate and is as painless as we can manage yeah. I would probably take that deal as opposed to not being born right, the problem is ninety nine point: nine percent of the animals we eat, don't get that deal yeah and the real problem is what you said, which is there are too many, we want to eat too much, and it's only getting worse the amount of animal products that we consume now in the year. Twenty nineteen is the same as if every person alive in the year, one thousand seven hundred eight nine hundred and fifty pounds of meat and drank one thousand two hundred on some milk every day, oh my god, so some of that is because our meat and dairy habits of like gone through the ceiling yeah in part of this car population is gone through this yeah. But this is our reality so like we could have a really interesting, come
mission about the ethics of a meat eating in the abstract- and I could tell you man if we had farms there like dirt and farms, I visited yeah. That seems ok to me, but we just can't if we're eating this amount of food with this right number of people yeah. But if everyone went down to, as you said, dinner or three days a week or two days a week, whatever then then starts to get man yeah, we could start to dismantle like this factory system and move back to what we all imagine like. When we imagine farmers, we imagine so imagine human beings right? There are not human beings in american animal agriculture anymore, we had more farmers, I don't mean, as relative to the popular do not provide real number, there are more farmers during the civil war than they are today. Despite the population having increased eleven fold, yes become so mechanized yeah the whole point of factory farming is get rid of people and get rid of nature
and you can, like turn serious profit. So when we imagine farmers, we imagine humans, we imagine, like grass, sunlight people who care about their animals. People don't go into farming because they be cruel to animals, people to go into farming as they want to destroy the planet. It's crazy. Why would you do that people going I mean because they like animals and like the planet and they like the idea of providing right. I don't know if you like this, given your his but we have an area on I five. If you're driving to San Francisco, it's one of the biggest catalyze are probably that which about this they have been there. Yeah yeah, it is man the first time you see that you're like oh, I can't see the end of it, and I know that I my I can see twenty. This is the kids.
oh it's in the year and they have to water. The tops of that causes. The birds will be on there, just eating them a lot. I mean it is for it, but don't stop your car to look 'cause like if you do some guys going to pull up in a pickup truck and say, keep it moving. What are you doing? Keep it moving? Oh, really like the secrecy of animal agriculture. United States is crazy. If you wanted to know about any food, this water that we're drinking is whatever snack you've got to get a bagel. You could say to the guy: takes a look at how you do this. What's up, I guarantee they'll say come on back I'll show you mix the flour. You do the water to to to yeah. This is the exception. It's like a it's like the military, like the level of secrecy and got much much worse after September, eleventh to trespass now on a farm considered an act of domestic terrorism: oh really 'cause what they they propose, that someone poison the food supply chain or something and nobody will ever be a more efficient poisoner of our food supply system. Then our foods,
system yeah. You know. Thirty, eight million people a year get sick from foodborne illness from animal agriculture, exclusively mmhm. You know we have animals that require antibiotics yeah to live in a the turkeys they're sold in the United States, not some not most, not. Ninety percent. A hundred percent of the Turkey is their soul in supermarkets, the United States are the product of artificial insemination, because they've been bred to grow so big that they can't have sex anymore and like this is our symbol of what's natural and a harvest and a bounty, and I always find it interesting when people start to wince when talking about like a veggie you know, you could just not natural but an animal that they can't have sex and has to be. I will say I just just circle back, I do
I think in general. The other big issue for me is, I do think in this goes for alternative energy. Anything. You cannot rely on peoples, shaming, an ethic. To steer us out of this, like the market has to create options that are Delicious won't all this stuff- and I do think things like beyond burger in my life and all these things they they really they're solving the problem in a way I just think appealing to people's like guilt and everything I just see, that is the way out of this stuff. Maybe I'm just a cynical in nature, but I don't think that appealing to guilt is the way out. The link appealing to people's own instincts is helpful. I mean I agree with you that, as things change and like the market place just gets easier to make good decisions yeah. I also think we're capable of making good decisions on our own and, like other social justice movements. You know like like what happened
gay marriage in the last ten years. You know those those were the result of lead sleigh, I mean ultimately, legislation followed, the public will yeah. Wasn't the result of any change in the marketplace. It's because things happen from the ground yeah in conversations in families, conversations that escalated to being in media and culture. So individuals can't do this stuff alone, and one of the problems is that with climate change, if what it took to solve climate changes to stop like punching ourselves in the face. Then we would have solved it already yeah, but we have to do less of things that are really good. You know that we'd like either that are pleasurable like flying or eating meat, or that even feel, like ethically good, like it feels good to see other parts of the world and have your perspective expand, and I like the idea of taking my kids to other parts of the planet, and I like eating the kinds of foods. My grandmother served me, but you know this is our situation
it's dawning on us and people like us, don't want to think of ourselves as science deniers. Really don't want to think of ourselves as ignorant, and then we have a choice like we can act on what we know, but we cannot act on what we know now, because someone shaming us, maybe nobody's telling us to do it at all, but because we have like an awakening, Yes, I want to be part of the solution. I want my kids to witness me being part of the solution, not because I'm self righteous, but because I want them to have what I I love my life yeah. I love you know being able to walk outside, I love being able to experience the seasons. I love coastal cities. I want people not only I'm related to but halfway around the world will never meet to have these great things. I don't think that that's kind of shame or a negative emotion, and I don't think it's something has to be forced on us, but it does require like a collective shift, the new norm, for how we think about these things and live yeah. You have a new book which is also
not fiction. We are the weather, we are the weather yeah and what it's about it must be about. The climate throughout the climate and food out there so that we were already kind of talking and there's the round accidentally, okay, yeah it's about it's, not an argument that a making it's not some conclusion that I reached and wanted to share a hard time over the last couple years. Thinking about climate change and knowing what I know, which is no more than you know. You know I like read new space sometimes I read magazines, sometimes I listen to podcasts people forward me stuff, I'm a citizen. You know in the world and knowing what I know about climate change and caring as I care not because I'm an especially since this guy, I don't think of myself as an environmentalist. Just take a person in the world who likes living on this planet as it is, and yes and have kids, which I think also influences my thing.
I started to feel a version of like this in play nation that we were talking about before, where I knew who that there was something I should be doing like. I who that I should be participating, and I just and and even worse, like my carbon footprint is worse than that of most science deniers. You know the people that is so fun to point out and say if it weren't, but for you ignorant schmucks like we would have solved this problem already yeah, it's not true in America, twice as many people believe in the existence of Bigfoot's denied the existence of climate change. The problem is not that half of our countries ignorant yeah right. The problem is that we're not acting on what we know like we know that the planet is in deep shut because of human
activity and yet we have a hard time like changing our activities collectively or individually, like I find it really hard. You know I just flew here from Toronto right, I'm flying back to Brooklyn tonight. That's bad! That's really bad for somebody who knows what he knows and cares as he cares yeah. So it's a struggle, but we have to engage with the struggle and not just like throw our hands up in the air, say well, whatever you kind of hinted at it earlier in my wifes gonna show called the good place, which kind of explored this in a very interesting way, which is they kind of had discovered that the good places like Heaven, basically right, and they discovered no one had been admitted in the last like three hundred years or whatever it was, and it's because the world has become such a complicated web any decision you make. If you really want to track, you know what impact it has downstream, it's almost impossible able to not have casualties just being alive 'cause,
reading is so complex in in a woman, and so I think, what's daunting about is what you brought up earlier, which is like for constantly evaluating. Are we perfect we're gonna be defeated immediately, as opposed to like focusing on incremental steps or the the best next step, as opposed to you know the stakes of it just feels overwhelming. I completely agree an it's helpful to like simplify things as much as possible to acknowledge that we're gonna cause harm pretty much whatever we do. But not all harms equal. Thank you, the industrial. You know vegetable production is bad, but it's not nearly as bad as industrial. Animal agriculture flying on a plane is bad. It's not nearly as bad as flying on a private plane. Natan, there's a hierarchy of like how much destruction were causing yeah. I just agree
It's overwhelming and that feeling of being overwhelmed leads. I was going to say people but I'll just say me, because it is my experience to these two different modes. One is we're fucked and one is we're going to be fine yeah and the truth is we're not Fuct and we're not going to be fine like we're in the beginning of this process of really Extreme LAS and LOS that we care about, like the LOS of coastal cities, the LOS of life expectancy lives of children, climate, drought, food shortages, climate related illnesses, fires in California, hires in California, burning of the Amazon. The melting of the ice sheets Nevertheless, is already been determined, but, like the great great majority of it hasn't, and it will be determined by what we do when I say we had, it really is like people like me and you, but yeah I get easilly defeatist about it, which is like. Oh, I think the damage is done now. It's like buckle up for the ride die sometime
I think that you know it's definitely easier to think that yeah something weird to think about thinking that yeah like if we blew it yeah, it's kind of like when I would choose to go out on a bender, I'm like okay, we're yeah. Let's see we wake up in five days or something weirdly liberating about that. So what changed you in that context? it was so miserable, even in the desired state that it just didn't work anymore, and I suppose you could. You could apply that to this will become so miserable that we've got no choice but to act dramatically. It's like I went and visited my mom last summer summer before in Hood River Oregon, which is so beautiful, looks like the hidden Valley ranch label. And Washington was on Fire Mount Hood on fire, and then there was also a fighter from Idaho. Idaho is on fire. It was all blowing into this valley and was like oh no joke the world is on fire.
like you, see it on the news, but to stand there and you couldn't breathe, and I was like oh and it's in all directions. Where would one even escape sprint to the ocean? At that point, yeah, you got your going to act out of life or death, which is generally how also people get sober. It's like generally takes till its life or death, and then you know so we have a problem which is by the time we reach that it. It will it's too late. Yeah I mean in a way and if, in a funny way, Trump has kind of brought us to that place. Like you know, Hillary had been president. I campaigned for Hillary. I voted for Hillary, I'm very, very disappointed. When she was elected even present, the US would have remained in the Paris climate accords, and like every single country in the world, except for Morocco and the Gambia we wouldn't have met the goals of the Paris climate, which is not a country in Europe. Is not a country in Asia. There's not a country in North America. That's going to meet the goals of the Paris climate accord, but we would have
kind of good and kind of complacent, because our signature was going to be on the right line on the right document trump. Just through the force of his ignorance, I think is like awakening a wisdom and a lot of people and the force of his apathy is awakening. Kind of action. I don't think we would have seen millions of kids in the streets if Hillary had been president, that is, crazy thing about viewing history on a pulled out enough words, it's of course now we all US liberals, somehow kind of think George W Bush's great in some way right like now. I think he's kind of charming and keep bugs have a beer with. Yes I was aware at the time it's like Thank God. He was so reviled at the end of his presidency, because it really pave wait for our first black president in that might have been another forty years out. Had it not been for him. So what is service he provided in some weird way and my glass half full opinion of Trump is like
We might get our first female president of this. You know, or we might get a real substantial commitment to the climate or we might you know so yeah in the long term. I don't think we know yet what the result is of that. Well, you know I find that conversations I'm a change tend to be about other people. It's just always becomes about somebody who isn't present yeah. So here's just about you, I'm the worst Well, when you were talking about this experience in Oregon when they're all these fires- and you had this moment of like holy shit, this is for real yeah. Did that did it change? You know. Why do you think it didn't change you? I have this. Totally flawed aronie assessment of the situation. This is what I tell myself, and this is all the relieve myself of the guilt. I love off roading and motorcycles. I tell myself: hey man, it's nineteen,
in prohibitions coming it's coming the party's over. So I'm going to be the person that quits drinking two years before prohibition or my going to fuckin', be the last guy drinking. You know I'm saying I know that so repugnant, I'm sure to a lot of people to hear me say that, but it's truthful. I go like oh, this writes about to end everything is going to electric, that's obvious, it's so clear. I want them to invest all the money, goes into the DOD into renewable technologies. I want that. I think the answer personally, I'm like no one's making a sacrifice: drive a tesla: it's a fucking awesome car and it's a big win. Why wouldn't someone? Do it? That's the solution! That's all coming! These are the days of my fossil fuel life and I'm going to enjoy it. Is it my horrendous. No, it's certainly never before I mean you're, hastening the end right, like the more
You do have these things that the one of the problems with climate change. Unlike prohibition, is it's a ticking clock. We don't solve the problem, then we will never buy certain time that we will never be able to solve the problem because we enter into these positive feedback loops yeah the amplify each other. letting more methane out of the swamp yeah, the higher they've, just whatever you do, there's no going back yeah. So there is like a responsibility to act now or there's an imperative to act. Yeah. Now I also don't know who these leaders are, who are going to make the changes that you're talking about if they're not forced to yeah an it's great to vote voting is the most important thing one can do as an environmentalist, but we don't get that many chances to vote. We only vote for president every four years, yeah and political change happens very slowly. It certainly like political change, spreads more slowly than a fire. You know there are things that we can do
now it will not only have real world consequences, but also push the culture. So somebody like you, lots and lots and lots of people listen to this. yeah. What you do you don't have to like shame anybody you don't have to wag a finger. I actually really like your approach. It just admitting to your own, I mean well by the way I live with someone who is carbon neutral as you can get, in another lie. Tell myself is like: oh, you got us up, we're doing pretty amazing as a couple like she. She she might even be. You know somehow absorbing carbon carbon. So that's I tell myself another one the home owner mall right now, yeah. I also think humans nature fatalistic. That's why religion works. Is everyone thinks are going to see the return of the Messiah in their lifetime. That believes in that there's a lot of arrogance. Everyone is thought they were going to witness the end of the world. It's a pattern that humans have I don't know why we're prone to feeling guilt and shame that we've ruined everything I think everyone's I did. This is going to be the worst thing ever. I am open
ten percent chance in my mind that yeah, then everyone moves north guess what the vast majority of the untainted unspoiled saturated with mercury and lead poisoning land on planet earth is all Russia, Canada, The northern latitudes Utopia might be. We were forced to move, there I got warmer, it was sustainable there. We did it the right way. This time we may look back and go all. Thank God all that happens. I know that sounds crazy, but that is there's ten percent of my brain. That goes yeah. This is the same thing and everyone is so terrible and we're going to look back on somehow this. You know again I I would not bet on that. I would try to lobotomize that ten percent. Ok because it may be that for people like us, we will have the ability to move to Canada. The great majority of humankind, will not have that ability doesn't have the ability now we're already seeing it yeah. Unfortunately, climate
is a problem where the people who are most responsible for it are going to be the last to really feel it. Yeah man still millions and millions people suffering right now because of our reluctance to make small changes were not and no one is asking anybody to like flip a switch and become a different kind of person. You said that you live to off road and ride motorcycles. You don't have to stop doing that. Do that if that's the thing that you're crazy about and you love do- that you're not destroying the planet, but how often do you do it couple times a week? Oh god! No! Maybe six dear. So do that an like. Could you make changes in other places like food? You know I'm not saying become a vegan tomorrow right, like that's hard I didn't ask that of yourself is almost setting yourself up for failure. Can you just eat it at dinner, yet like like I'm open to that yeah yeah? I think that We have this conversation in the wrong way that makes it feel like I'm, going to give up everything I like being on planners for
yeah and you're really, not and also like you want your kids to be able to enjoy the things that you enjoy right and we can do that just with moderation. Yet the gun guy who's like you're? Coming for my guns, 'cause, you want to get rid of assault rifle well, you know, fortunately, that's the way everybody is now with the climate, like even like Elizabeth Warren. Had this like news clip that went around where she was like Corp Nations want you thinking about your light bulbs. Want you thinking about your car choices. I mean, if there's anybody who doesn't give some thoughts of those things, but Well, I'm here to tell you no one's going to take away your car, no ones take away your cheeseburger, and that's like she sounds like Fucking Charlton Heston talking God yeah and it's o to admit that, like we've gone over the top with Shin Dog days of Rome or something yeah. I think it's okay to say that we don't need to reinvent life and some radical way. We kind of just need to on and
and to live a little bit more like our parents or grandparents loom. You don't need to I've meet again, but we also need to stop having like a massive brick of meat at the center of every single plate that we ever use, but in front of us yeah. We don't need to stop flying, but we do need to change how we fly. I had this really really moving. Experience happened about two weeks ago that was in Brussels as giving a reading from this book and at the end there was assigning, and a couple came up to me. They open to the page where I normally signed the title page and it's filled with their handwriting and it's like what's this and they said well we're getting married in a couple months and we decided tonight. Need to have some kind of plan, because we don't have a plan we're just going to doing keep doing what we've always done. What that's? What people do you do today? What you did yesterday more
and their plan was eat vegetarian unless served meet at friend's house Evigan two days a week, have no more than two kids and drive no more than one thousand five hundred kilometres a year in Europe and then instead of just having me sign. It had written a line that said witness and they wanted me to go. That's cool and I found it really charming. It was fun to get an insight into who they are still very european, too yeah. And then I realized holy shit like I was the guy on the stage, I'm the guy signing the book and I don't have a plan and I went home to my hotel that night I took a piece of hotel stationary route plan 'cause. I realized I'm not schmuck, who says yeah, I'm gonna try to fly, which means nothing ever say that you just live like you live for, like I'm going to try to drive less. It means nothing, nothing it's empty and worse than empty. It's like pure narcissism. You know it's just virtue signal look at me, I'm the good guy yeah yeah so
then was to not eat animal products for breakfast and lunch and dinner, I'm a vegetarian, I'm not going to fly for vacations in twenty twenty think I have to fly for work or I feel like I do, and there are times like this, where it feels really worth it fly because you can expand the conversation about Russia's but I don't need to fly for vacation. I live in New York. I can take my kids on a train to like a million awesome places where we will have no less fun and maybe even like sharing the story of why we're taking the train could add something yeah the more the three cab rides a week, and I'm gonna give a day of the week to volunteering for three fifty dot org, which is environmental organization- that I really believe in and working in the New York City, public school system to talk to kids about like what's going on and what's the reality and what is your own power? You know inside of this situation, I can feel so alienating in distant and yada, pressing three fifty dot org yeah,
My only point is you: don't have to be dishonest about what your limits are. Like you say, I love biking and I love off roading it's like, on the other side, your limits as they keep keep that away? Yes, it like go to SLA right. They have to define sobriety because you can't not have sex right it if you're in a relationship you get married, so there's Kohl's right. You draw these circles and you decides for some guys. It's on no hand jobs at massage parlors anymore and that's the final sir in in their surprise. If they don't do that, then they're sober and it's a very similar approach, powerful. I didn't know that yeah I like that, but yeah you can define what your circle is and what we're going to stay inside of yeah, giving it words
like numbers, I'm rarely encouraged in this. This is having an effect. This is the thing that we're all on the same team and not everyone can contribute in the same way, as you know like well, I can admit I'm in that the best possible scenario to do it better, because I have resources and most people, don't I'm not scrambling to just keep my head just barely above water in a that so many Americans are that you I get it like. I'm sorry, yeah, that's important, but man I can barely get these kids to and from and then pay for everything. Well, that's I'm really glad that you brought that up 'cause. I think, there's a misunderstanding about a lot of these things being elitist when there with Billy, not zero. Harvard medical school did a study in twenty eighteen and found that seven hundred and fifty dollars a year cheaper to eat as a vegetarian and as a mediator as to eat a healthy vegetarian diet, as opposed to healthy meat based diet, and it's two hundred and fifty dollars or cheaper to eat a healthy vegetarian diet
unhealthy meat, dialing Berwick DOTA, two one slash two times as many people who make less than thirty thousand dollars a year describe themselves as vegetarian than people who make more than seventy five thousand dollars a year. Oh really and people of color or just proportionately vegetarian. So you often hear people say like yeah, but it's a privilege like white guys thing to talk about eating less meat, but it's actually privileged white guys who level that complaint. Most often it's just not in keeping with reality. There are two really important caveats. One is there are people in the country who just don't have access to fresh, yeah right like live in urban food deserts and that's a huge problem that we need to solve the wrong. There should not be anybody who doesn't have access to fresh good food, but we shouldn't just point at them as a justification for our not changing, which is often done. The other point I would make is even if it's cheaper, it's still harder for most people like eat less me, 'cause, we're used to doing it in this way, so convenient, there's a drive through on every,
yeah or you just go to supermarket by like burger and put it in a pan, and that's it. You get full and it's like a lie to pretend that it's easy to just like completely changed the way that you think about food. I find it hard I have all the like privilege in the world and you have all the time in the world and if I find it hard, then I I know that other people are going to find a hard, so we just have to find ways of doing it incrementally and like applauding each other's efforts and in rather than like James you're, the asshole who tells me this, but also does that now I really need a burger to regulate my feelings. Now I'm going to sprint towards in and out well you're a God damn azure. I'm really glad you made your way from Toronto. Here, really appreciate it. We are the weather we the weather in when does it come out as it already it's already out 'cause. I need two weeks two weeks. Ok, great we're! The web Is it an audiobook yeah? In fact yours
really? No way, you look very sweet voice. Oh this is a done deal there 'cause. I listen every night too, but Audiobook yeah, ok, great, I'm going to audible when I get home tonight and I'm going to get it and I'm going to listen to it. So thank you so much for and then I wish you a tunnel locking in talk to more idiots like me, and slowly Alright, thank you. Thank you. And now my favorite part of the show the fact check with my soul Monica Batman I'm enjoying a rare indulgence right now in the trailer still on our field trip. I got you three cookies from catering, you did. I broke my fast and had some thinking of it. By now, I've had at least half one of those things, maybe even a one they're, pretty tasty chocolate
in time. The chocolate looks like it's already melted in merry. No, it's not fresh out of the oven, and that's very appealing to me: yeah. It has a nice mix of crispy and a soft liner border. The butter case Chris up mountain when I horse pulling into come and go right. Now, I'm buying some chocolate chip cookies. You think they're good cookies that come and go all the best now yeah, ok yeah. They have cookies and cream coming go ahead. I love my coming. Go t shirt by the way. Yes, I think they thought like they were sending me like a joke. Yeah it jokes on them and me. I think it's a really cool shirt. It is a cool sure, Anet, Spain, it's pink, which I don't own many pink tops. If any, you almost need that pink pastel backdrop to put a word like com,
k- U M on it and for it to not be aggressive, offensive, yeah, yeah yeah they just they design that nicely look at the shirt was black and it said common goal in white and gold. You be like to aggro for me, yeah, those are my colors I just put in my world sure yeah. I really want you to declare some colors by the way. I think it's it's added to my life number. Eight did your printed either parent, like my poor dad. It was decided that he liked elephant rhino. Yes, this every birthday yeah Father's day Christmas. I just went to the mall and I tried to find a statue of an elephant, and I did I bet I personally bought him. Thirty, six elephants. In his poor house was there was hundreds of elephants, everyone. Now I know in command you should be Nick. If anyone is Instagram and I posted a picture of the man on site who humiliates me physically.
sure is now in the trailer humiliated me in front of Monica and Rob I've. Just the I didn't mean to do that. I'm really sorry! This is Nick from season two plus now, do you know Monica that would may have elevated our friendship. We gotta work, friendship, ok, but we have a loose plan to workout in my basement. Oh my god. I actually I'm really excited for me too. I'm looking forward to make some real strides working out with each other, some real gains: yeah yeah, I'm nervous, 'cause, you're, really much stronger than me, but I'm going to put on a good show. Obviously we're going to be trying to impress each other, but yeah yeah. We can't get her it's gonna now and no one can get taken out. I mean ideally be both of I have a hard time walking the next day, but not a full out. Yeah now are they calling for me? Yes, they are you'd like to see me on. Sat yes, ok will put a pin in there, but a great stop by
yeah thanks for the stuff. Thanks for having me, I didn't mean to stumble in like no well. That should be your autobiography stumbling into fun ship. Is ready, will see you please back to the elephants when he died, and I went back to his apartment to like I don't even know tell my brother what was in there now. I did see all those sounds like it's sad. Did you take to see a collection of someone who's, no longer yeah, but it's also. sweet you know in retrospect, I should've grab some more stuff. Luckily, my brother went back two weeks later when I cleaned everything out and he took stuff, and then he ultimately sent me all of his coin. Maybe it was my dad's body sent me all this sobriety coin. Is the box that's holding those coins? Is it is an hour max hello all? So? Yes, I think it when the ovens and then also in the girls room, the bar pitcher in the girls room, was my dad's isn't that cute.
well that is so sweet wow. Well, that's and you know what he probably only like Delf, and so so I told my bare Leslie the more that he accumulate. Aha, okay, Jonathan Safran, Foer. You you have the easiest time same for work for our. I want to see for you or for you. I think I was mispronouncing it for a long time. I was calling him for a year, but that's wrong. Dennis Rodman four year does well on them. I thought he had a lovely energy and was really nice and interesting and Smart Princeton Univ big time, unifil him. He did this thing that Bill Cosby famously did on stage, which was he sat down, which is not what a comedian supposed to do, you're supposed to take a position of
already in power and control the audience, but Bill Cosby had so much confidence. He just sat on a chair and told you a story, and he was in that time the best comedian out there, not that we're comparing what those two did in line. only the one comparison Cosby is a vital piece of also a brilliant comedian get one of the best ever yeah. Thank you, Nick Lea positioned himself in a beta position, while doing comedy, which is still worth recognizing the yeah, so not making it clear. Only now. I love this notion that you can't say, like you know, Cosby. Was a good comedian like what I think you can all right, but I mean you gotta say also, I think, he's a piece yeah well, you can just say I think, he's a good comedian. No, I didn't say I think, he's a good human. My statement is, I think, he's a good human we've got some problems yeah, but if I say he's a great can
in I don't know it doesn't need an asterix or does it. I think it does if there's like a horrific stuff attached, placing Hitler's a great pain, yeah. I think you have to say and also I don't think Hitler was a great painter, but he was certainly a better painter than I am river. name is never seen any now. I want to say in the book the rise and fall of the third Reich. They show some of his paintings. Are you know, he's in Vienna or what? trying to be of artists and they're pretty good. You know they're good yeah they're, not they're, much better than I could do, wow what if he had just become a pain I, while much better for the world, We also think of all the things that have come out of world war. Two: it's isn't it just set the world in such a different direction. I now I did nations in Israel being that its own country and a new Killer vision, an and all these weird things vulcanization of synthetic rubber, the whole worlds diff.
Yeah that world WAR two yeah. So if he's only a pain are better, but also who knows, we might be like back forty years or we don't know, this is a sliding door situation. Textbook sliding door so maybe everyone still ends up in the exact same place, different equifinality that we love that's going to be our new word. We're going to say in every fact check we're going to and then I have a desire to explain that concept. Often- and I know the word for it now- I do. I was like what Chris and I took a radically different routes to the same. How so the same kit that's aquifer. Now. That's aqua finality. That's don't get all rivers leads. All rivers lead ocean to the ocean, Aqua, Jonathan yeah, Jonathan what was going to say about him. The reason I brought up Cosby was he refused to modulate his energy to meet mine, yeah
which was awesome yeah, because I had to kind of come down to his energy hung and I loved existing at his energy was very thoughtful yeah. But that is funny the because in the room I felt that yeah he's not getting like riled up by this or he's his focus is small. It seems which yeah was just cold yes, but then, when I was listening, I did not feel that at all right and we found the opposite, where someone is very animated in physically energetic yeah in person and their voice. We hear back it's like, oh there's, not the same energe level, yeah they're, not it's a mess personating, but he he was so darn good and he really is one of the handful of guests were afterwards. I was like I might have to change? Who? I am yeah make some changes yeah. It was compelling of Arianne because he's not he's not preaching.
now he's now. Preachy, that's how it gets through to you he's not saying anyone has to go to any extreme. If he's saying the opposite, he's saying you don't do that, that's actually you're not going to re yield any results. Don't don't go vegan yeah, if you don't, if that's not anything in your realm of possibility, don't make that your goal, but yeah one Ellen one meal a day yeah. For me, it would be the commitment to cut my meat consumption and half lunch. They generally have some chicken breasts and some kind of vegetable run it and then, at dinner time I generally again have a chicken, breast and some kind of vegetable or or or meet breast or of the human breast. So if things go Well, if we are, we allowed to eat human breast, yes to both parties are complicit. Do you think Are you think about the alive situation like the people who got in a plane crash in the and these in and eat one another or the Dahmer's pass,
the same as these are historic episodes of cannibalism, I'll always curious. What's the first body part you eat yeah, because I'm wondering if eighties would taste good. I mean they certainly look good. I feel your try that I feel like a day. I would try those first, but do you think they would taste weird as their fat Yeah I mean well. We love our bone in rib eyes with the fat, marbled fat all marvel, but I probably eat like the th. I go with the chicken approach. You know why because prosciutto, I think, comes from the thought I could be really wrong about that, but I did the long range shooter lowing tenderloin. How is this inner your loins? But I think if I, if I had the lakes, bread someone's legs in the eat around there loin, I probably would feel gross would take bites right out of the carcass. I would carve some put fire. Are we allowed to do?
yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, you can yes, okay, then they have fire. Cheek know people eat pig, cheek yeah, but your cheeks taste delicious. yeah. You got kind of chubby cheeks areas idea yeah. Well, I don't either ten in Roby rubber, Bandy tasting I'm going to stick with leg: ok, ok, but Jonathan! So oh no wait! So we're going to lower our consumption, yeah we're going both and in New year's resolution. For me, I've been trying to eat less meat already yeah ever since we had him on how's that been going well. Remember, I think I don't eat much meat yeah, that's not true. I still think I don't. Although I had chicken last night, would you have for lunch today? I didn't eat anything. I've had two cookies today.
MOO? That's not what, for year old yeah I'm going to replace meat with cookies? Ok, then I'm going to yeah. You should l taste like cookies things like cookies and milk. No we've got to make an actual list. yeah said, while he was going to make one you're going to make this work, I think we should set the goals. New year's new year's we're going to make our list were going to post it and then, if people want to make list, they can do the same yeah yeah. Ok! So You said that once a terrace was on that he was talking about book, signings and stuff and that he wrote. I hope you get raped yeah, something like that. It was something like that, but not that ok, what was it? Ok? So he said when he was signing one person. He must have drawn a picture of Snoopy at in a barn something like. Oh that Snoopy were snoopy. Is that-
dog house. No, it's a horror house. Your mother works at an look at those people in line they doing oh Snoopy's in line to fuck your mother in the app there we go there, I knew someone's going to fuckin' there's something I hope you did too and he didn't say the r word yeah right yeah. I want to really set the record straight. He didn't matter just saying that that part out that I said no, no, ok, ok, so you said that in the thirty percent range of writers, on staff in LA or jewish, and that jewish people make up two percent of the population, but we I don't know what percentage of the writers room yeah. We know, there's no stat on there isn't, but there's a lot of jewish Dornish there's a lot of them disproportionate to the population at large finance, great yeah,
So do I, but in two thousand and thirteen pew research very trusted brand yeah, it's very early, so study of the US jewish population, and I read this in twenty eighteen articles, so my guess is there hasn't been updated research since two thousand and thirteen so but it's kind of hard to define jewish sure. So it says if you define jewish only by those who practice the religion that you counted, four point: two million adult jewish Americans or one point: eight percent of the total you adult population, the estimated population would grow by one point: two million. If you include people of no religion who consider themselves jewish in a cultural or secular way and have at least
jewish parents in Maine. There are another one point: three million children being raised at least partially jewish and living in households with at least one jewish adult totaling. Those groups you reach six point: seven million jewish people all ages in the? U S in two thousand thirteen, I'm trying Do you know what the percentage is? Six million trainer million five percent- I don't know, I think so. Ok great, thank, oh, you were right This is one of those moments where moments. Well is a rare moment. oh, he was right. That's cool, wow, I'm excited to hear because you said the Scandinavians have a word for not too much not too little. What is it full geek? It's let go home or look good lagoon. I don't know LA g. m. O wow hey come in next back his
yeah. I was, I got another job. No, I was just come today were just a couple minutes way. Okay, yes, Nick is telling sore couple minutes away. Yeah another out today, at noon on here like a I was thinking about. I just wanna give a shout out to all the ladies. A give us love on your Oh ok go naked here that next grateful for the love that was shown of the picture of him go ahead and act put in your own words. I mean it was really a picture of us but yeah, but mostly you never been a social media guy. But if I was please understand, I would take the time to message everybody individually and let you know that I think you're cute too. I believe do that and, as he met you're expecting next only delivered visually guide. That's that handsome generally is, and also going to be a sweet heart. That's true and a gentleman, that's true funny. Hence why we're gonna work out together in the basement to tell jokes we'll do a lot
things will be nice to each other will be courteous to one another will spot each other. Yeah, oh well, watch each others form to make sure no one's going to get hurt and will help each other up? Maybe even are we gonna sell tickets? We should just do a live show or Nick, and I left all right we'll try to wrap this up in the next five okay, she was, I could love more. I have such a crush on him. Ok, Lagom Lagom! Well, you know what Nick is gum, yeah too much, not too little. That's so true! I go too far. I I I find out where the line is by stepping over it sure at a glacier I've yet to see next up over that line, but he's dancing on razor blade. I mean these while walking a tight rope yeah. I think that John okay look dumb is an overarching concept heavily ingrained in the swedish psyche, loosely translated as not too much and not
little just write a very goldilocks, very Goldilocks. I wanted the scandinavian story. I wonder. I bet it is. It feels very white, very white lagom about finding a balance that works for you. I so silicone. As this is a logo. The current murder capital America is EAST, St Louis Il Illinois's, St Louis Illinois is this CALL East Saint Louis, IL and it's in Illinois, and it has a murder rate per thousand population. One point: one: three:
So one point one: three people out of every thousand will get murdered there: okay, okay, average number of murders. Thirty in that town annually. I assume: okay, oh okay! I I feel so embarrassed now because he was tell his story. I assume that the substitute teacher was a female yeah. It was a male, in your so embarrassed by that I am embarrassed. I should be embarrassed. That's embarrassing! Now anti feminist it's interesting is there's a couple layers are because one one I was a mailing and say like I didn't do that legend, but I'd love to do that. You know like I, I generally making a phone to the stereotype yeah. I think because I knew there are making an explosive device. I thought I more of a guy teachers. Do their stereo yeah. I would say I
I'm going to go out on a limb. You can take me to court over it. I think guys are more into pyro some women- I just I do say so. Yes, so, but I do believe now that I think about it that he was saying that the x Paramount was Ortiz set. I think it was his science teachers. You know, I think I went to the stereotype of stem. like it was a science teachers, probably guy, oh wow. So in that case I'm not embarrassed right, yeah. I know you did it right, but I didn't because it is a substitute teach That's the part yeah. I generally do think of substitutes as being women. Like there were more females substitutes, but Thank you. There were more female elementary school teachers in general than male, and I will It is when he's telling you the story. I am picturing my high school physics class in the room I have in my head, yeah and I had a fee. All my science teachers were female.
They were yeah, that's great, so maybe I'm just extra feminist and I'm like only females can do science classes, but here's a bigger global debate, which is, if you're going to take a guess at something you should guess, whatever the percentage favors you be dumb ass, not too like if I've got money on one thousand dollars, I'm going to guess whether the science teachers, male or female- and I happen to know that seventy percent of science features in America or mail, it doesn't make me anti feminist is male. That's just statistically the best gas I don't know that. That's true. We don't know that. We do know that we will know, but we do know that stem is, is drastically more populated by males in college. The big issue that we're trying to address trying to get. or females instead yeah and then becomes this like if you're guessing it, it's logical to guess that it would be a male
None of them is not a moral dilemma. Their existence is to go probability that you're betting. On I I mean I yes and also like I said every single one of my science teachers were female yeah. So that's great. Thank you pause pause. This is going to be such a punctuated fact because we keep believing the traveler to shoot scenes, and then things happened and now we're talking about the different things that women can use for their menstrual cycle, and I didn't realize that you can wear undies thanks, underwear think the if you're sitting I'd love, some more while in you're saying that you're Durante, all tampon user nocturnal diaper. Whatever right, I wouldn't call it a diaper okay. While your mouth is pat, what kind is who did you get? That's another thing. We stop for soup, here's the best part about being on a sunset is: there's food all the time and now there's a soup bar
and I had a meatball soup lobby- Wabi have meatball soup. Do you have chicken and wild rice It was a great. It was really nice all good. I mean I will give the soup I just ate a eight one, slash two rob into seven or eight ok and you're a foodie. I should've gotten that what would you give yours? A six one, slash two yeah, ok, and I wish I tried the Cajun potato yeah. That sounds, nice smells nice yeah and we're going. Interrupted in a minute because our Mondo who's, the sweeter seem to be in the world, has prepared a special treat that when you visit hi make sure that he he makes for you sounds so usually what does mean that you You don't come here and go armande. Can I have that in banana rap, but he he's going to make it
your car will come in, but man, I don't live very yeah. Oh my god! Next, what are you doing here? It wouldn't be a comedy sure you need the rule of three. Yes, see you again act. Bears for me when you watch me act like when you're on set and you know they had said well, you're embarrassed when I sang or do a character voice really good at singer I can't say that I'm not a good thing or not a good thing, you're, not making crazy faces. Staring straight at will interact, but in that particular scene I was having to play a little the shop. So I was man some big, but yours during straight at me, in like like you're testing maiden name now. Oh I get it. So maybe we're on to something. Maybe your!
nervous about that. I'm expecting some reaction from you in your life. I don't know how to give you what you, what might be it? That's how we feel when people play guitar and sing. You know the in the low right at you all that I mean what you're doing, but again I don't mind looking at them singing and playing guitar. I start panicking about what my feedback supposed to be a really my own in security yeah it might Oh that could be. We just went on oh yeah come in. oh yes, the party yeah. Thank you. So you sweet son of a bitch,
thank you. Armando all are treated. Arrive, can't keep this on here. One is a one by no one can listen to this fact check. This is a nightmare yeah, so I think the last time. The last thing we're really talking about was the substitute teacher and feminism you know is: is it anti feminist to just be talking about statistics? Yeah? I don't think so. It's not about my experience with science, teachers and my experience with substitute. Teachers. I think, and I would like to know stat like what's the percentage of female male, I think in general there are more female teachers in males. Yeah I think in general there are more male stem teachers than female stem teachers, I'm asking you to do is to do a hypothetical. Let's say it is a fact that there are far more female substitutes and you thought of a female, and let's say it's a fact that there's more male stem
teachers. Why is that wrong? To guess the one that's in the highest percentage? Nothing is that it's not like a moral dilemma. Is it you know Oh, but you also don't know the percentages you wanna make a bet right now, not like. Oh, I hope it's women kind of, though right. You hope that there is, as many female stem teachers is mail centers that spans Iron Hayes, but I'm not saying that's what it is. I'm not arguing with you saying there are more female, for the same amount. Even I just don't know what it is. You don't know me oh no either. No, I believe. I believe that to be true. So when I'm making my guess it's based on this, what I believe is true: we go to statistically what's most probable, but in your mind I mean we can find out a stack on that. Then we don't really quick. Just let me just ask what percentage of high school stem.
teachers are male national data show that seventy seven percent of all teachers are women. Nine percent hispanic. Seven percent are black, ok, so right out the gates we agree more women are teachers. There are Many more female stem teachers now than twenty years ago, over the last two decades in science, technology engineering, mathematics, teacher field has become much more female, slightly more diverse and more qualified. Perhaps most notably, the percentage of female stem teachers has dramatically increased from forty three percent in one thousand nine hundred and eighty eight, which is roughly when his story took place to four percent in twenty twelve sixty four percent. So now you would be smartest to guess it's a female stem teacher but in nineteen eighty eight today even presented more males, yeah yeah. Well, I feel we both feel vindicated yeah bro yeah. I do 'cause. I went with the majority
the majority, then yeah. His story was set in nineteen. Eighty eight or on that you're wrong, you're, you're you're, not wrong yeah! You are because that person was a substitute teacher, not a science teacher substitute teachers are their own. Category they're not they are teachers of that subject. That just happened to step in their their own thing at the just pop in yep, yep, yep, yep, yeah, but again at it's all about contacts so that the whole entire conversation stems. us trying to guess what his teacher was: no nine yeah what his substitute teacher right right right, great yeah, yeah, yeah yeah. Still all I'm saying, is set in nineteen. Eighty, eight, we weren't guessing what his teacher was. I would Yes in one thousand nine hundred and eighty eight most substitute teachers were female. That would be my guess. Yes, but I was thinking. Oh, they must have special science substitute teachers. Who is not true what we do
I know that yeah, I'm sure, do you think they send a non science it once you're doing experiments they'd send like some bozo. Well, it sounds like they did send about. Did they did they? They like, if there's a lesson plan that kids can like sort of do on their own, sometimes a subsidy to just like put that out, but no they're not like specifically qualified for science or math or anything I buy that yeah anyway wow. So Ukraine versus Ukraine, now right well in one thousand, nine hundred and ninety one Ukraine gained its independence from the Soviet Union in the aftermath of its dissolution at the end of the cold war before its independence, Ukraine was typically referred to in English as the Ukraine, but most sources have since moved to drop the from the name of Ukraine and all it uses so we're involving yeah. It's changed in people's defense. It has changed
in in your defense, I've started saying Ukraine and I hate you do this because I was raised in an era where you said the Ukraine. Are you saying it'll always always? He's always had a lot of ukrainian neighbors in Santa Monica. we are, we always say, like my neighbors are, from the you all say: the Ukrainians, two doors down de the other night, which it which happens all of that's normal in grammar you'd, say the juror. fans as well. Alright, I wouldn't say you, Ukrainians doors down, yeah yeah was quite a sight launch, through their window brani or like sitting there watching tv and also- and I saw flashes out the window, and then I heard people hustling in the little alleyway and then I went downstairs, take a look and I was right behind the medics as they went into the apartment. Huge, ground floor window. I just watched the whole thing he was on the ground completely fucking,
greenish, yellow, like he was not the color human should be and they won. The mattix said. Hold the shoulders and a guy like held him down, and then he said, he's gonna wake up what was the word to use, not aggressive, but something like that like he's going to he gave him a shot and he, but like woke up and he tried to sit up and the guy was like holy hissing and immediately like you've Od'D on heroin, and I start telling him like. What's going on, it was pretty wild, but he will. He lived yeah, scary. I'm scared by that, should we call it the ODI yeah? Ok, so I mentioned that Harry Potter got rejected by lots of publishers, so Eight got rejected by twelve publishers tools, wow the hate that decision. They definitely do and she
Did some of the rejection letters on Twitter an I think she like crossed out the names and stuff, but to give people a boost Oh, that's great. I love yeah. Were there any of them mean yeah, really well, they say stupid magic story. Who's buck cares about a little boy. I don't know 'cause. I pulled it up really quick, but I couldn't like zoom in and read it. So people can call with Canada your eyes. Maybe okay, maybe it was my clients, but people can look that up but yeah. I did say a few of them were me and one of them, I think, was really me. Mom it's tricky so it's very tricky because we had the gal on forthcoming episode. The journalist who did doctor oh yeah, there's also a problem with people going like don't listen to anyone at like some people also aren't getting feedback that they suck at something so that's another thing to evaluate some people are belligerent in their conviction may need either lessons or another thing, so that's part of it too,
You know we hear about the rejection letters that were wrong, but we don't hear about the ones that were right and probably the vast vast majority are right. True, but I still think it's a good message to say: keep going, keep trying, because the more you try, the better you will be. Yes, yes, but I will say, I think it might be a story that we also love in this country. If you look at this country, we believe in the american dream right now. We don't care statistically that people, but the vast majority of people do not migrate north of the Socio economic group they're born into but It happens. We celebrated so much and we all believe that could be us yeah that it keeps the system of flow that might not ultimately benefit the majority of people in the country. Think ten Vicious is not ever, I think, going to be a bad thing like I,
That's all I agree all at the end. What do the metabolism in general the notion of the american Dream and in this country anyone can become anyone. I like love that I love it too is a concept. But if you look at the data- and you find out- that's not actually true, not everyone can be calm. Anyone that did that ninety some percent of people are just becoming exactly what they were born into. Then you start to have to you have to question whether that that premise is actually true in practice. No, no! No! No, but it's not the you're entitled to become something right, that you have the opportunity to become something. So no one saying that everyone should just be better than their parents and that that's automatic. Personally, I think this is one of our problems in this country. Is that there's some white entitlement
then, is you know the the people that are saying these people are coming and taking our jobs and they feel entitled to those yacht yeah, because their parents have them exactly. No, no, no, you have to earn your position. You have to work your way up at that. The american dream is that there are opportunities, yes, but I also don't think that someone who is cleaning houses in LA is working less hard than you, and I I agree so I think people are working. Really really hard and they're, not ascending the ladder yeah, and I don't think that people have the same opportunity. I think I had a different opportunity than a black. Kid did, an absolutely no latino, kids yeah, that's the truth, and so we have to acknowledge that just because will Smith made it or Barack Obama became president. It would be He say all the things working look the bird, the bird that produce Barack Obama yeah and then
to just ignore that. It's not working for ninety plus percent of the people. Some people would say like well, they did it. That's my I want to be, and I totally agree with you- that's crazy. It's supporting something them. The data might not support. Well, I think both things can happen. Yes, you can look at there's. A lot of discrepancy in in a quality. In this country that needs evening out, and also it's a good to put out a message of you know, work hard and dick to your guns at things, and Chris Rock has the best bit about this he lives in a big house. He, in the neighborhood and Mary J Blige also lives in that Jay Z also lives in the neighborhood. Said yeah. America is a place that you, a black person, can end up living in that neighborhood. He said, but I'm the best living comedian. My neighbor is an average white Dennis, of course yeah. So yes, if you are the
best. I know in the world that something sure you can ascend, but if you're just an average white Dennis, you can also live right next to Jay Z and Fuckin' yeah, the best comedian alive I agree that it's not it's so unfair. In that way, I think it's unfair to poor white people too. I don't think it's all just black or white. I think people that grew up in Aaron's neighborhood did not have the shot that I did did not have the shot that you did. Yeah. There's no system in place to take the kid whose parents are both I waited drunk and not looking over their homework and not involved. There's no system in place to help that person have the same opportunity idea: yeah! Oh, that's it! That's it! yeah. Well, that was a real slalom course of a fast check right Bob. even if you stuck with us through this. Thank you. You deserve a gold star gold, cherry yeah. I love you, love you,