« The Joe Rogan Experience

#1158 - Chuck Palahniuk

2018-08-23 | 🔗
Chuck Palahniuk is a novelist and freelance journalist, who describes his work as "transgressional" fiction. He is the author of the award-winning novel Fight Club, Choke, Lullaby, and many others.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
ladies in mother gentlemen gentleman house really doing and everybody it's too people who are not ladies and not gentlemen whatever wanna call yourself i've got a lot of shit going on folks the first of all the show on september 29th and toronto is being moved we're moving it to another venue right now it's currently supposed to be at the ricoh coliseum and is being moved to i think it's called the air let me let me find out right now i'll pull it up real quick but what happened was to auto is having a strike there's uh there's a union that's having a strike there because of this union that's having a strike we have to move venues the new venue is still a union venue but it the different union in this union is not on strike so
we're going to move it to the air canada center it's now called the scotiabank arena i think that's a set scotiabank s c o t i a bank arena scotiabank arena it's under a different union contract an it'll it was were not scabs but you know we don't have to we don't have to worry the show being potentially shutdown which apparently is happening there so there's that good news is the air the other show colosseum show when it was at the the colosseum it's totally sold out but because we're moving it to the scotia bank arena that is uh an additional one thousand seats so those i think actually maybe one thousand two hundred so those would be up for sale soon any day now in that i got a lot of happen and i am going to ohio shop
and steen does it right year that is a that's a big one it's a giant place but it's almost sold out as well that is on september 14th and i think that's basically everything that's for sale everything else is either sold out or or what joe rogan com for other groovy shit you monsters this so the podcast is brought to you by the cash app the cash app is the simple fast and easiest way to send money to friends you know like if somebody cash payment and it's also the number one app and finance but it's not just doing that by allowing you to send money back and forth through your friends cash app is actually changing how people interact with their money 'cause it's adding features that you can get from a bank and more than a few that you can't like cash card boosts and bitcoin the cash card is a free customizable debit card that you can use
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use the discount code rogan at checkout right to your door ladies and gentlemen free shipping twenty dollars off plus free bacon in your first box by going to butcherbox dot com using discount code rogan at checkout ladies and gentlemen my guess today is a fantastic writer he wrote fight club guts many many other amazing stories please give it up for chuck polonich the joe rogan experience and experience live for each other i am great look thanks for being here man appreciate it thank you i've read your books i've watched movies based on your books so it's very cool to meet you in real life it's uh
is a disappointment it is always so heartbreaking because people x somebody the so not me and i am constantly breaking their heart when they meet me well expect you so you're not breaking my heart at all i'm very pleased to meet you so i didn't have any weirdo expectations and delusions of who you are and don't just just don't don't kill yourself ok meet anthony bourdain he kills himself well i think there's a lot of the factors involved there i know i don't know i so many of my peers is like that of a mall and i meet them boom they're gone yeah i'm i'm not gonna do that okay so don't worry everything's fine um listen i want to talk to you about a bunch of things first of all i would love to talk to you about your writing process 'cause one of the things that i read once is uh leave your writing it was on the cape is massachusetts
we have a writing down there with you we have a writing somewhere where you made a deal with yourself were you wouldn't turn the heat on unless you were writing oh my gosh you i think i'm a white person don't you that is so weird the cape the cape you never the cape cod that's like instead of white people in new england new england yes no never anything like that about you no i'm sorry never been on the cape you never been to cape cod never had a person claims are wonderful what's wrong with clamps no no no no it's just something maybe so a tribute to for many many years this is just an interesting story that someone said that they were forcing themselves to be disciplined writing and so they it wouldn't write less they had the heat on and so the they lived in this place over the winter khan wasn't near you were talking about michael cunningham is who was not because he i think that's his story about living in provincetown might have been fuck this all up
let terrible way to get going but one thing i wanted to talk to you being much lately though i don't any at all i just sleep unfortunate in that regard alright you don't take picture to you of course i do do you yeah three times a day so you fucking with maine we got it we got started off poorly with me once a day we take ambien yeah you know what to tell the truth just before i wanted to do anything i don't want to do it's like a elves and the shoemaker thing is i do want to do my taxes so i take ambien and then i wake up and my taxes are done and do you have plausible deniability too if you can get videotape you take an ambient people have committed murder on ambient and gotten off yeah they had no memory that's true yeah it's hypnotic we actually did a pretty in depth discussion about that after the
then bar thing came out because my own mom has taken and she stopped taking it but one of the reasons i stopped taking it 'cause she woke up in the middle of the night an shadow white bathroom mat and she painted it with lipstick and makeup should know recollection of it whatsoever but she painted it like a two year old would they got a hold their mom's lipstick and she just woke up and what the fuck am i doing like what is this she got off easy i've heard worse stories one hundred war stories oh yeah no i i have heard about murder i've heard about people driving their car to someone's house killing them driving home and having no recollection of it by young woman in london climb to the top of a construction crane fell asleep on the huge counterweight so far up over london wakes up in morning birds around her she there's no idea where she's at she is terrified cheesus christ yeah
you're writing about ambient right now i am i could tell you locked in ambient in one hundred other other things so you it's fair to say you it seems like you're writing like one of the one of the ways you collect data is almost like your reporting on these people like you collecting real life interaction since between people and real life characteristics and then you incorporate them into fiction definitely that's fair to say my degree is journalism i have no idea how to be with people so i need to introduce a topic and see if it resonates and then get everybody's take on these common experiences and then pick the very best one so in a way basically what i'm doing is kind of an ongoing field study that becomes whatever my next book is
when you wrote fight club you tapped into something that well it was really fascinating for me as someone who's been involved in martial arts my whole life and i i i i'm kind of understood the cathartic release of violence but i never saw it articulated the way you did and you made it entice sing for a thinking person you made it like you would you do it you sort of opened up these uh these door words of understanding for some and who maybe maybe had frustration or had some pent up rage or had some some angst just was not going to get out any other way and then you wrote about it and then when you wrote you reading what you wrote a bank made you go yeah have okay all right now it's but you you added an element to it that really didn't exist before and pop culture it was really fascinating for me as
as someone who's watching that whole thing on feral and watching people get like really resonating with people watching people real getting excited about your work he he had some nerve that we really hit before it's not a nerve that gets hit very much you know it so many different aspects to it and one is just my class thing is that there are so few social model novels or stories for men for women there are us every there's a new joy luck club a new how to make an american quilt a new traveling system code of the yamaha hands whatever just all these different models in which we to come together and talk about their lives and if your man you've got either fight club or you have the dead poets society and that is really it so we
we have a lot of narratives that that depict command a roll or a kind of script in which to come together and talk about their their shed another thing is jordan peterson back to jordison peterson he talks about that for really rough play and he talks about it a lot and a lot of my friends they brag about how badly their kids hurt them all my god my daughter came at me the other day i had no idea how strong she was she pulled my i'm out of the socket and they're proud the proud of their kid can play that rough and is growing up that strong but you know we've kind of fallen away from this idea of consensual rough play and i think fight club resonated with that a lot and also the idea of joseph campbell this idea that there needs to be a secondary father in mens lives that you're born if your luck
with the biological father that you do not choose and that is the the nurturing loving father that you eventually kind of have to reject in doing so you have to choose a new father and that that father by choice typically is a minister or a teacher or a drill sergeant or a coach one of those fathers and you kind of put yourself in apprenticeship to the secondary father and you have to sort of can your life to the secondary father and agree to learn but they're going to teach you just like a karate kid and that is getting harder and harder and harder to find so it was also depicting a new form of the secondary father with all these these kids showing up on the doorstep of this ramshackle old house so there were just so many aspects men's lives that were not being addressed would fight club came out and it sort of
that so many of those things that had fallen by the wayside that's a huge part of martial arts huge part of martial arts is your relationship with the master with the coach with finding someone who can guide you through the most dangerous waters of competition that it's it's imperative bad relationships and coaches are absolutely disastrous and it it's it's heard of that someone find the right coach find someone who they they really can trust and appreciate and you do develop it's a such a common theme they talk about this person being like a son our this some being like a father you know it's it's at i never thought about that way i i forgot about that part of joseph campbell but that that is a huge huge issue with with young men and young men getting into martial arts is something that i've talked about so many times i don't it is the need for rough play i i see this human reward systems that are just not being did not being met and the systems that
been in place for thousands of years that are designed to reward us for a if the enemy running away from danger or developing will skills and having a body that's capable of just a physical act but violence well and beyond just that you know it's also the whole idea of apprenticeship you know whether you're apprenticing yourself to a fighting coach or to a metallurgist or to a welder or to a bricklayer or to a mason apprenticing in yourself to somebody that you can do all this grunt work for but in exchange you're going to you're learn really master skillet at something and so it's of mastering yourself as you stir this other thing so now it's not just always a physical fighting thing it doesn't have to be in that form just difficult
it's the struggle something it's hard to to learn right yeah in that relationship that you have with the secondary father to that it's almost in some ways more intense the the i'd of someone teaching you something and then you eventually developing those skills and then this person who is teaching you this being proud of your work is extremely satisfactory well i do remember turn gentleman yeah you know richard gere really has his drunken not their dad and then he has his draw sergeant who is constantly trying to wash him out and then finally he reaches it at the existential crisis of saying you throw me out of the service because i have no nothing else i have no to go in the world my life will down to nothing unless i can master this thing and he's a the young man but it is at existentialist moment where you you realize that you have to sack
i see are used for something you're not going to live forever it's a very martin heidegger moment will you realize you have to become a being living towards death you're not going to live forever and you've got to give your life to something know when you approach a novel like that when you have a story like that that's brewing your head how you decide what to pull the trigger on like do you just go on instinct did you just have a concept in your head and it just seems more and more attractive and you just say okay this is it you know one really good test is if you can take it to a party and you can tell a very small part of it as much of it as you know at that point and people will five for a ants to relate some aspect of their life that is very much like that but in even more extreme example of that so in a way that the for their flushing out your theme with parts of their own lives and so you find yourself drawn
from the experience of dozens or hundreds or thousands of people and at the same time your beta testing it you're kind of taking it on the road and you're seeing it's an idea that resident resonates with a huge number of people that everyone can relate to it that's interesting to do you purposely let go to parties with like a couple like bullets in the chamber sometime or sometimes they just go to the party and i listen to hear somebody tell that that personal anecdote that does invoke all those other anecdotes because a great anecdote doesn't leave people speechless it leaves them competing to tell better version of the same thing and that's why in a real writer just starts realizing estate okay there's a pattern and that can be turned into something really big that's really interesting a parallel there with comedy for sure this if you
good material often times not always but often times you'll see the audience going oh my god you do that or you know that's fascinating now nothing i really to to talk about it something that you brought up when you sent the notes to matt was censorship and that and in and self censorship is going on apparently in writer groups and and groups of people that are deciding that certain words should be eliminated from vocabulary from vernacular and that you shouldn't discuss certain things anymore these things are it's harming fiction and harming literature that you can explore the darker ideas you know oh you want to see me crucify myself right now yeah okay this is kinda a career ending moment for for several years and was in a writer's workshop and the core group of us
i've been meeting since one thousand nine hundred and ninety so this is a workshop that was almost thirty years old and gradually people were asking each other not to use certain words first nobody really used the n word but it was definitely a word you could not bring to workshop and then in a story i use the word faget and a very good friend mine said you're not bringing that word into workshop you're not writing anything with the f word and and it just became more and more tightly structured that way and so eventually i realized we were kind of writing to much make each other happy instead of to kind of confront each other one of the writers in our workshop is a writer named cheryl strayed who ripped written a book called wild which was a hugely successful okay it was chosen as an oprah book and it will be on books
or shelves for the rest of history cheryl's book wild but she was writing it she had written a segment but how is a child she would be not on the sofa with her grandfather and her grandfather taught her how to masturbate and so was a child she would master her grandfather until he achieved orgasm and then later she would find these featherless featherless birds that had falling out of the nest and she picked one up she knew it would die so she crushed it between her her hands this is a very small child
and she wrote how as that bird died crushed between her hands it it's death throes it's spasms of death felt exactly like her grandfathers penises jack ulat ng in her little hand that was the best thing she ever wrote and her editor rick not said that is not going in this book because we want this book to be a big book and if we see you jerking off your grand father and then killing baby birds that is not going to make oprah winfrey happy so it was a magnificent piece of writing in a magnificent kind of parallel and awareness for a child to have and this juxtaposition of sexual abuse and death this magnificent oh my god it worked on every level but the publisher said this is not going to be in the
did she send it to you or did you show it to you she brought it to workshop she read it there was even a newspaper reporter present there and we all realized it was fantastically powerful but then she said they won't take this this can't go in wow did she do anything with it it should publish it online or no and there were so many parts of that book there was so much better than what they actually did publish and so it's that kind of censorship where you're trying to reach a reader stand in line at starbucks and this is go in that at point of purchase stand and it's got to be a face out and i understand for a long time if you wanted to face out yet barnes and noble
actually on the discover new writers face out stack you could not have the word fuck on the first page because they did not want people picking up that book and opening it and seeing the f word that that just did not fit their corporate culture and so you know so much of the censorship is is because people really want to reach the largest audience without offending people who but this giant problems with that i mean one of the more fascinating things about books is that the who plays out in your mind exactly the nature of consumption makes it about the only medium which in which you can go to the places yeah literally you couldn't
it is no way you would be able to find to put that in a book her story about a grand father in the bird maybe you could put the bird in the grandfather part is no way yeah and i i feel like i'm telling stories out of school but it's such a perfect example of that kind of self censorship and it's also something so magnificent that i feel it should come out you should sort of be stated i don't want to steal her i wanted to honor the story but it's like only stories that people tell me i'm kind of is a safe person you know kind of a degraded monster maybe but as a degraded monster with no self esteem whatsoever they feel safe telling me these things because in a way they probably feel a little morally superior to me why do you think would consider you degraded monster
i can read a story like guts that is so completely humiliating because as i read it it's in the first part and so people more or less assume that it's my story stories garnered from many different people but the fact that i'm presenting it means i'm the person that is this this losing face and afterwards people feel like they can risk losing face by telling me their story that very much like the got story so when someone is writing something that's deeply disturbing like that when you when you when you hit those parts of your mind and you come to this pathway do consider do you say well no one's ever going to allow this to be in a book no ones ever do you consider those thoughts or do you just go through with it first then review it or do you not to that at all you know my formative years with uh
monkey errors the 70s and the 80s and we always used the saying people would say don't hit the break until you hear the glass break or don't stop until you hear glass break and so i always think the point of writing is to coach yourself to that point that you would never have gone voluntarily and also coach your reader to the point where the peter would never gone voluntarily in a story like guts you know it's very funny on the front end and if you told people on front end where it was going to go they'd never read that story but it's very funny and charming and well paced on the front and then once people realize where it's going to go there already trapped and so in a way is it's a way to enjoy that though you like the way you said they already trapped you seem take some satisfaction in that but in writing it also it's sort of springing the trap on myself
starting down a path that i have no idea is going to be so humiliating or so emotionally upsetting or so dark because if i did i would never go down that path when you write a story like that how much of a d planned plan out in advance i might plan out up to the end of the second act you know at the moment of greatest crisis this will happen in fight club the moment of greatest crisis is going to be when everyone in the support groups figures out that this guy is lying to them and they're all given the choice of either accepting him for his transgressions or rejecting him same thing in choke
it's going to be that moment when people realize that he has faked choking and that he's made them into a fake hero and they're going to either kill him or accept him and so typically the second act is going to end with a transgression being revealed but beyond that i don't want to know because i want the story complete itself with its own momentum at that point and it doesn't surprise me beyond the second act then it's not going to surprise the reader do you do you have like a storyboard laid out and do do use like in cards or anything to figure out where things are going or do you just kind of know no no you know that's part of the glory is it whenever i get stuck i go to the gym i say ok i'm working on this scene where this happens this happens this happens and my friends will say
always be somebody there with a really fresh take and life experience who can say well have you thought about this happening and it will take the story in a direction that is so unexpected because it's not from my experience and that that's the glory and they feel like they've contributed they're so happy and and i'm happy to spend time among people and i'm happy to have the story in a way that i never ever could have anticipated that's fascinating so you do it at the gym yet the gym is really great because you're around people and you have these coveris between sets so you have a little time to talk and it in time you have during the size itself you have time to think and so it paces the talking versus the thinking and it's also kind highly oxygenated and it's physically active and your mind is kind of
yeah my mind is not engaged with something else your mind is kind of disengaged like it is while you're taking a shower yeah a lot of people like to walk they like to read right read a little bit of it and then walk and bring a recorder or their phone to i think probably along the same lines charles dickens walked somewhere between twelve and twenty miles a day as he wrote well and the at the lakeland poets walked constantly i mean walking is a big part of writing anything physical rightly anything we forcing your body move forcing the blood to flow and and also mindless soon allows your mind to wander yeah and that is so i love the so open with these ideas to that your you bring them to people and get their take on it and then incorporate their take is this something you've always done because of the work shopping is it because just this willing
is to be open with your ideas and express some yeah really workshop was the crucial thing having that so expectation that you're going to bring work every week and it was also kind of a part a reward for having brought to work and it was also a way of testing the were so the you knew whether it was working you know you weren't constantly sort of questioning yourself workshop just provide so many really important ways of keeping right keeping you right now the e and you've done this always seems like you've done this most your career i have in this is not the first workshop i've been bumped out of the first workshop i was in was a lot of very nice ladies and i was probably twenty eight and i had written a scene in which a man a young man has done upon inflate
sex doll so it looks exactly like the woman he's obsessed with and during the the seduction of the sex doll he accidentally snags the back of it with the zipper of its dress and real during the fornication that it is actually losing air so he's got to copulate faster and faster try to achieve orgasm before this thing completely goes flat and at the end of the scene he's standing there with this completely deflated sex doll hanging off of direction like this this enter flag and of course his mother walks into the room and after i wrote that scene the leader of the shop i was in my first workshop she took me aside afterwards and she said
the other writers in the workshop no longer feel safe around you she said you've written something that really frightens them and they would like you to politely leave the workshop and not come back why and so that's when i started with tom spanbauer's workshop in which almost anything went and so this kind of periodic implosion of the workshop is kind of part of the process well seems only twice right more times not you know it's been twice but in the twice catastrophic twice catastrophic yeah but a few other flat tires along the way not periodically we've kind of had to pretend that we were spending in order to get rid of a member who was just more trouble than they were worth how many people are in this pork chops boy lately it's been last it was about eight
but we've been up to like one thousand six hundred and seventeen and now what i teach i typically have about twenty five people what is feel i mean to be in a workshop that long and then have such a disagreement and to disband like that or to have you forced out what does that feel it's gotta suck no you i think in a way we all need it kind of a respite from each other we all he kind of knew what to expect from one another and i think we all less less of a reese source for one another you know there's always a chance will come back together so so it's not a big tragic so there's a chance that they might so what do did they kick you out or do they just disband i left the workshop understood that it disbanded rack after that the seams i just
understand how someone who's a creative writer can't understand the the not just the the necessity like the need to delve into the darker possibilities of of human reality that this the the story she wrote about her grandfather in the bird is a perfect example that mean although very few people will experience that in their life we all can appreciate that these are possible scenarios and i think it it really comes down to what people what purpose in writing service in people's lives and most people they want reading to be a comforting activity they want to be able to read a book and a fall asleep knowing the detective will apprehend the killer by the end of the book that things will end very well in a way they want to be bored or low by the book i'm not so many people really want to be kind of confronted by books
but some people do right i mean isn't it it's kind of like a pretty all forms of art whether it's me taker movies mean they're superhero movies and then movies like no country for old men were the bad guy gets away at the end and you leave the movie theater like what the fuck you know but those those are all satisfying in different ways to different people and isn't that sort of the point of creative expression is that you're getting surprise you're getting taken down a road is here's the world through this person's eyes and they create this world if you put limitations on that you're going to you eliminate some disturbing aspects that might bother some people but you're also going to eliminate some magical moments of might just might literally when i change the way you view people you know part of it has to do with the nature of movies movies are going to always kind of attract more die
michael audience movies carry their own authority through motion and books are going to be a slower medium this harder to consume and so maybe books are always going to at this point be seeing it is kind of a sedative as a kind of thing that loves you comforts you and put you to sleep but by who by some people right i mean i mean maybe there's a market for those kind of books but there's also a market for your books or is it there's clearly a market for people that they want to tap into those more disturbing aspects of consciousness and of reality that market is moving to video games and that market is moving to add your films there's just other forms of storytelling that are serving that market better really oh yeah better than books yeah but why is that is that because of censorship or is because artists aren't exploring those ideas as much anymore you know and part of it is because books are harder to consume
books take an enormous amount of commitment of time and effort to read a book where everything else is thirty minutes to two hours and write a book as well maybe that's such a solid terry discipline sit alone with your computer no it is not not for a night i hate that model you know i want to be in the mermaid tavern talking about my ideas with my compatriots and getting their take on a and finding out how it resonates with everything else in peoples lives what's the mermaid tavern oh is the reference to wear um not coleridge all the famous writers of shakespeare's time oh basically hung out at it was like the white horse tavern in new york but the mermaid tavern was in london during that time and boswell
all the writers hung out there and exchange ideas and entertained one another and so yeah i want writing to be social outlet but you have to write it by yourself right and when you're when you're sitting alone actually putting your fingers on the keyboards no you do you do that part in airplanes really yeah i'm right no books and notebooks in notebooks in public and then when i'm trapped in some unbearable place like an airplane or an airport then i do that horrible part of keyboarding yeah so that's the only time you actually right right to keep it is not writing you remember the truman capote quote about on the road jack kerouac capote said that's not writing that's typing the part on the airplane or in the airport where you have the laptop open that's not writing really that's typing this is writing
writing to you is physical pen to paper sloppy everything yeah why is that why is it different because it's written down in the moment that you hear it and that is not set in new times roman twelve point so that it looks so finished it looks like it each is much harder to monkey with it once you see it on screen in word it looks like a book it's much harder to edit it but when it scroll down the page in front of you you can draw arrows you can scribble it out you can you can do whatever you want to it it's it's much less precious is this something that you know is the approach of always taken did you learn this approach or is this something that just sort of made sense to you this is how old i am it used to be
i grew up in the age of typewriters went even typewriters were kind of precious because you would have to buy ribbons for them and those ribbons are really expensive and so something had to be written out completely long hand had to be perfect longhand before you could risk wasting a typewriter ribbon to type out wow so you just developed it this way and just stuck with it even the age of computers well and also because writing is something i do in the moment
somebody said something insightful something really bright something phrased just wrong so it it's suddenly really fresh and i want to be able to write it down in that moment so that when i do have to go to the boring part with a keyboard i have got so much wonderful fresh stuff and it makes a keyboarding part fun because it allows me to to sort of archive in the curate preserve these fantastically bright things were said by so many different people and you don't do you ever record the record yourself like record ideas then listen to them transcribe them oh god no no no big hunter s thompson thing he would record a lot his ideas and then transcribe them and write him you know i kind of right word for word sentence for sentence and so the transcription is just too much of an effort for
usually when i do interviews for magazines i will record my interview subjects and even then transcribing the interviews is so it's such a misery because people seldom talk in complete sentences and there's so many false starts and so many sentences that just don't go anywhere right so no talking into a recorder is that i'm a mess and so this notebook the oven front of you this this is a notebook for life or just a notebook for protect project like how do you how do you organize it this is a notebook where pages are devoted to topics that i will talk to you about if we're desperate and their little notes in here about contacting my agent for different issues also it's universal it's like for all sorts of things through
tasks that you need to do and then as well as that parts of books reading writing and there's all these little notes jamie just gave me about microphones yeah you're writing something about someone who's into recording equipment yeah that's just a small part of it but that's what she knows and now this i want to go back to this workshop thing like what was it just words just did the use of the word fagot or the n word it was just words that characters were utilizing in your story that was so irving to them it was words but also some situations that i thought were you know i got the people were very upset by people would leave the room where people would it would leave the room or would would weep weep in just complete upset just part of you go yeah
i got this and you can see someone weeping some shake you wrote no most of the time people would go to the bathroom and weep and i would find out about it much later so did you get post satisfaction that way no it just made me feel like a bully and is really kind of another thing that it's a thin line especially when i read a story like guts am i a detaining people or mi bullying them am i beating them up and i hope so bullying wine that way what do you really screwed that one kind of charming them into a story that eventually will make them faint or eventually will make them wretch but will upset them very deeply and i feel a real reluctance about that doesn't that sort of after bridge have to be crossed though if you're if you're really going to explore every single possibility in a creative narrative if you're if you're really going to write a
book and just let your mind go wild that has to be on the table does not it does but i don't think it hurts to be aware so that you don't lapse into being a bully for the sake of being a bully you know i think anybody who is a really hard trainer kind of you know comes up against that at my really good trainer or as part of me is sadist right and you have to make sure that you don't become that sadist but so you're not a monster so there you go but i worry about it well that's why you're not but the being able to explore those possibilities and being able to just delve into the the deep recesses of your mind in the interest of creativity it seems to be if anybody is going to appreciate that it's going to be creative writers but it's not my mind i'm delving into the deep recesses
if i'm lucky if i'm doing it right on your mind of something that they look like comedians say all my gosh that happened to you too and a lot of times there are things that people have never ever talked about i tell a classic anecdote after i'd read the the got story at an event a woman came up and she was a middle aged woman she was about my age and she said i really that you read that story about how you uh got your anus prolapsed while masturbating in swimming pool which is not my story but i'm the one that read it so that's the one i'm the one that they're picturing in this horrendous situation and she since you can tell that story i'm gonna to tell you a story and she said how when
she was seven years old she was in second grade and she was in a little organization called the brownies which is a precursor to the girl scouts you wear a brown dress little brown hat you get these little merit badges and she said one day i had a stomach ache and my mom kept me home from school and we had this heating pad it must have been in the 1960s and this heating pad had this vibrating function and she put me face down on this heating pad on my stomach and i fell sleep in while i was asleep this vibrating warm heating pad must have slid down between my legs she says because i woke up with the most amazing feeling i feeling like i'd never felt before oh my god it felt so good and so next time it was my turn to host the brownies
said brownies you've got to try this heating pad and she says all the brownies determine heating pad on the vibrating heating pad and they wrote it like a pony all afternoon and she said it was sex in the city for seven year old girls they could get enough of this heating pad overall writing this heating pad and they had a great time and she said for the first time in my life i was the most popular girl in my class and i was the girl that all the girls to play with and for every brownie troop meeting it was at my house and i was the leader until the day that my mother came home from work early and she caught us with a heating pad and she sent the other brownies home as she whipped the cord out of the
she just ripped it out of the socket and she started to beat me with it and she beat me with that cord and she beat me and she said you fucking piece of shit you dirty whore what kind of a fucking whore my raising you whore and she beat me and she beat me and she says this woman who's my age now she says i have not had an orgasm since i was seven years old and then she goes but if you can tell that swimming pool story about how you got hurt jacking off underwater she says i can tell my heating pad story and i can tell that story until i can make it funny and then maybe someday i can go back to my mom and i can say do you remember that heating pad we used to have and it will be complete oh shit and so see see see see that's why
i'm trying to do i'm trying to create the opening for people to tell these stories that they they never thought that they could tell because that's the way in which they're resolve these stories and they're going to master these stories we have these um day toilet thing they have a little button on the wall you press it it shoots hot water up your ass and my kids come over and they love these toilets i have two daughters and my youngest when she was seven would sit on the toilet and she was laughing and giggling and we didn't tell if there's anything wrong with it so she was telling us how much she loves it how much she loves the hot water when it shoots underwear but she's like it fills so good and there was no shame in it and there was it's weird
moment where i'm like am i supposed to react to this my supposed to say yeah i know i like it too am i supposed to say hey don't do that too much am i supposed to say don't tell anybody you like that you can like don't tell anybody you like it like what am i supposed to do and i didn't do any i just let her smile and she walked out of the bathroom laughing like it was great and there's no there's no issue but it was moment where like wow if i a religious person or a suppressive person or some person with some sexual issues this could be a real problem for this little girl instead and i was like ok let's get out of the bathroom now i guess you're done all righty and she has no idea that this was even like a moment of you know crisis in my mind where i was
okay how do i handle this i'm in the bathroom with my seven year old daughter just can't water shot up and she's enjoying it you talk about it on the radio is that how you deal with it enjoy it to share enjoy too we all do we talk about these toilets there amazing it's warm water chute senior it's great feels awesome but it's not it supposed to feel awesome for like a little girl for some reason right you tell that story and people will have how many versions of that story for me i was in germany i went in the bathroom in the airport i didn't know what this button was so i pressed it i looked down just in time to see this little plastic arm swing out i didn't know what that thing it's going to do so i jumped off the head distinct shot up with such force it knocked a ceiling panel out of the ceiling and all this hot toilet water came sprinkling down on me and i bet only time i've ever been around one of those
with what we have one here so i tried out i yeah i don't know it scares me was two of them it's one that bathroom one that one one that will best meet lock private and see that's my process you tell the stories and you kind of gal the stories of people tell related to the stories and you choose the ones that escalate the fastest to escalate the best and that gives you a gradual sort of you've established the precedent and then something worse escalating worse escalating worse escalating to the most atrocious or extreme version and that's what brings us the crisis i i have a hard time believing that someone would be angry that woman for her story you know in it's not it's hard it's about her in her story right her relationship to that story that one you're going to get away with you'll get away with
one did jerking off the grandfather one is in a different place like she's she's a victim of sexual abuse she's a victim of strange that vine it's for some reason is more acceptable then sexual abuse in a lot of ways sexual abuse seems to be transformative like there's some about sexual abuse that it ruins you introduce an experience a memory into a person's life that ruins them this is a rough segway but i find was only beginning writers is that they have absolutely no capacity to be with tension or suspense so they might start to create suspense but then the
all that instantly and so the story never really gets off the ground because something has happened to them whether it's violent or whether it's sexual abuse that that makes them cling to a kind of mom serenity and that's all they want and that's all they ever want and the writing in a way seems to be a way of coaching them back to a greater and greater tolerance with the unresolved with with the tents with suspense is some of the best moments in books that i've read our moments where you reading like a fuc like where is this going thank you you know you're going to get introduced and some really disturbing scene and you have to be with that you have to be with that tell is resolved and that's good writing you know bad writing is where it comes up is resolved when you're in this workshop and they're discussing with you this possibility of censorship
of you sell censoring or them not accepting your ideas like how do you how do you debate that with them how do you how do you talk about that boy there's really no debate you know and then there was another aspect aspect of the workshop that we'd all known each other for so many years that to the really way we didn't have the freedom to kind of teach each other anything new yeah so that was a stillness there too we were all kind of hardened into the people we were going to be i just don't understand their argument i just don't understand if you're going really paint a monster you have to have monsters actions yeah they have be a real monster we know real monsters mean there was just some some guys got arrested some
had sex slaves in his basement and you know you hear about this people and you go yeah yeah they're out there is probably one hundred of am scott cross the country right now where they have a locked basement we don't know about it those are real people but if you wrote about one of those people using real scenes that were depicted in the news real eyewitness testimony real interviews with these monsters is some people would object to that but if you're going to write about a monster you have to write them in a monstrous way oh i i totally agree um yeah what are they trying to cheat like i just don't understand what they might not enjoy what you're doing it might not
might not be something that they want to take in recreationally that they want to read your work in that in that way but the fact that they don't appreciate what you're doing or the fact they don't want you to do what you're doing and they want you to bring it to the workshop is this a new thing this is is there a new trend you know it's in a way it's a it's an ongoing thing for me because you know i've been kicked out of workshops before for just going a little bit too far and so in a way it's kind of a maybe my goal maybe my goal is to you know always piss off my beta audience as a way of kind of proving that i've gone too far that's not too far though it's too far when you softer alphas well not the betas right it's you go
really far when you piss off psychos when they like jesus man doing my brain you know oh my god another thing not to talk about keep going herb so many places and and so i think that maybe that's a good thing because they aren't reaching psychos my books are banned in prison systems what because they are enormously popular these prison librarians tell me but the books are considered way too stimulating so why do people in prison cannot read my books holy all prisons i'm not don't know if it's all better it's texas and a number of other really big states so i don't know that's kind of a badge of honor
yeah but it doesn't equate to the like the the immortality of being banned like howl or tropic of cancer or salmon rushdie yeah exactly yeah god that fucking struggle man the struggle of one to express yourself as as freely as possible but being limited even by your own peers that is that's one expect to someone in the outside of literature so i'm going to just reads it call it's not in the comedy world what is in the comedy world but not amongst good comedians what another effect of that is that so often people aren't censoring it because it offends them they're censoring it because there are it will offend someone they know they're doing it they're kind of white knighting on behalf of someone else david sid heiress told me this story about telling a joke
or something very funny about a girl in a wheelchair and how look out in the audience and no one was laughing they were all looking at a girl in a wheelchair in a moment she started to laugh the entire audience started to laugh so yeah and so so often people in workshop they might not personally feel offended by the word but the thinking how that word might hurt people they know yeah that's a fact yeah that's it that's jain issue in comedy if you if someone's telling a joke of someone's on stage talking about some is fat and there's a fat person in the front row that joke a bomb it just yeah but that's because people are good people overall you know they were they recognize that they don't want to cause pain another really odd comic david so
there is story is that he always told maine when you're on the road don't read from your current book always read from the next book because it's a way of road testing the stories and finding out which ones work and should go into the next book and in doing so he was telling the story about being in this this forensic labora isn't as an autopsy was taking place and this autopsy table the chase to this huge indoor window that separated the autopsy suite from this lunch room and in lunch room where the rest of the forensic staff you're all eating their lunches they all had tuna sandwiches and and cans of coke and barbecue potato chips and they were watching through the window as is absolutely perfect twelve year old boy was being autopsied and just hours before
but this kid like two hours before this kid have been riding his bicycle he'd fallen over he hit his head on the curb and now two hours later he was dead i did without almost a scratch on him just this perfect naked dead twelve year old boy on the autopsy table and as he that the technicians eating their lunch watch going through a window they watch as the as the path ologist in sizes around the top of the kids face at the top of the forehead the hairline and then peel the face down like peeling an orange peels the entire face off of the skull of this little boy and leaves the face around the neck like a mask like a rubber mask and this exposes this liver colored dark red muscular
of the child's underlying face and this one guy watching it with a mouth tuna sandwich he points this out he said see that that there the color of red that i want to paint our rec room holyshit and once a day chris told that story in front of six hundred people it was dead silent and you could hear people weeping people were crying and they were hating to sit there in that moment and so i had to laugh i laughed really loud like a donkey and it was amazing how the hatred in that auditorium swung from hating david who they did not want to hate to hate this jackass over here who was actually laughing and so i threw myself on the sword for david and that tori never went in any book wow
the store not go in any book just because the reaction by the audience or just uncomfortable moment he just decided he speak to me no i didn't not afterwards it was just such an awkward painful thing i would never kind of throw it back in his face right to my knowledge that was the only time the story was told to have those like scattered about they are the the these other scenes where you wrote and you just sat and looked at a moment now i just got to put that one somewhere else there isn't that aside jokes that i told where i got hissed by eight hundred people and you know as you can live through those moments you can live through a lot you can be hated one thousand one hundred people at a barnes and noble on union square yeah we hated by your mother it's ok now when
most people come to see how many of those people are fans of literature and how many of those people are specifically fans of your work like there would be a difference like the people who are fans of your work would at least expect some uncomfortable moments and for the most part they tend to be more or less just fans of my work and still still hiss oh yeah but again there hissing on behalf of someone then i hissing out for themselves you know i made this horrible cheap shot and they always know a cheap shot people always know a cheap shot i was commenting about how in breakfast at tiffany's truman capote had made this observation that americans don't like true beauty true classical natural beauty they want to see a very plain person who has been so groomed so exercised so
made up so style stylized that she can kind of pass as this this amazing strange beauty that's what americans want because natural classic beauty is not egalitarian you're either born or you're not they want to see a plane person who has been transformed and to make my point at the end of the story i made a cheap shot i said and that's we have sarah jessica parker and i said this in new york new york sarah jessica parker is worshipped like a god and that whole crowd hissed and booed and did everything but through promoted me but then later in line half of them came up and whispered that was really funny
yeah that's well that's one of the things about dark comedy clubs you want them dark no you don't want everyone illuminated like the the crowd is like this one of the real issues with doing comedy special is that the old way they used to do them they still like to light up the audience which completely change the dynamic of the room changes what you'll laugh and what you won't laugh at you know a scene like this era could sarah jessica parker joke it's perfect example you don't want to be dead being the one person that throws her head back and howls at that you know cheap shots are just stay away from them but that's another i'll ask you your question you know with so many colleges becoming these kind of strident safe places demand their own aesthetic what is it doing comedy well it it hasn't changed that much people getting a little got a little bit more sensitive b
because there a aware that other people are more sensitive without the audiences that come to night clubs which is primarily where i perform if i do a theater most people are there to see me so that's they're they're usually pretty loose pretty fun but if you're in a night club they're there to see especially the comic store when the good things about the comic stores there's literally two dozen people in the line up they're not necessarily just hear to see you there to see anthony jeselnik and chris delea and all these other comedians that are also there as well so you get a a much broader comedy audience their nightclub audiences we have a few drinks in them maybe they smoke a little before they got there there to have a good time colleges or a nightmare now it's a nightmare because it's recreational outrage it's it's who have been under the control of their parents for
the life and haven't had their own sovereignty and identity and now they're free and they are very quick to be outraged i want to point out their moral superiority there was virtue signalling every opportunity they want to shut down anything they think is your it's problematic they don't and things to go in a bad when they think for some reason that comedy should be uplifting and it should only punch up i had this conversation once with the professor who wrote a book on comedy and he said all great comedy punches up and i said that's bullshit i said one of the these bits of all time is sam kinison's bit about starving children in africa about watching those commercials were starving heads or in africa and you know it could you please help and he goes you know it kinda seems like you just want to grab the go hey why don't you help them my talking there or since like me like maine is going to take these people go away we drove here five thousand miles with your food and occured to us
you wouldn't be world hunger if you people would live with the fucking food is because care you see that that's an we got stand in america too we just don't leave it as whole he's he goes in one of the greatest bits of all time is literally about starving babies in africa it's the greatest hits of all time and he didn't have anything to say he didn't know where to go with it and i don't don't say comedy is lee about punching up that's crazy talk let's see what you do is your your there's there's moral thing that they to achieve that it literally is completely in depere of humor it's not what's funny so they want to wanted to be a multi purpose tool want wanted to be funny as well as morally uplifting and great for people who are
discriminated against and amazing for folks who are marginalized and uplifting for those who are disenfranchised well that's not what comedy is where comedy is funny those things are wonderful in if you want to do a spoken word show or poetry or writing or you know of one person play those those are great but that's not funny comedy is funny so it's either funny or it's not funny and some things are funny that are far what's up you can send out a bit about homosexual necrophilia acts or paying money to spend a few hours undisturbed the freshest male corpses and he's so you lie down on his stomach goes you imagine these people are on the slabs are well went through life had a good time and everything and now i guess i'm going to be jesus and hey what the hell is this he's rocking back and forth feels like the guys got his dick in my ass you made
that keeps walking in the house even after you're dead that never ends it never ends oh wow he would close on it 'cause it was he couldn't follow it it was such a it is about a dead guy getting fucked in the ass there is no further down now that you could punch other than driving babies in africa you know and i'm not sure about this is punching down but do you remember the routine that kind of put we'll be goldberg on the map a million years ago about being a black surfer check now are you know she did it on television i must have seen it on cable when i was like nineteen years old but she talks in valley speak nobody seen this will be person before she's brand new he's ever seen on television she's got this funny name and she's doing this val speak about being the only black surfer chick on beach and she loves surfing and she looked as one white
for guy and she finally hooks up with him and then she realizes she's pregnant and it's all very funny the whole front end you're just roaring with laughter and then she's pregnant and she doesn't know what to do so she gets a rusty wire coat hanger and she goes into a public bathroom on the beach and she gives herself a coat hanger abortion and it spills out there on the concrete floor and everything's okay and now i'm back on the beach and i'm just doing fine and why which come on down and see me here on the beach it's great down here it's great holy shirts are fantastic piece and she did that on television she did on tv and it's art is so light like an ira eleven novel and it went to such a dark horrible place and then it which is this kind this kind of token
the thing is ok ending every i'm going to be all hi don't worry this is just something they have do do do that is he just leaves you s and that's the kind of comedy i love him it goes to that dark where that sentimental place it breaks your heart and then it kind of comes out of the little bit but ira levin did that so well nora ephron in her blocks she was so good at doing that heartburn heartburn is fantastically funny but by the end you're just weeping the book is so sad but these are moments that if you're going to if you're going to censor people if you're going to self censor if you're going to decide can you certain words if can decide to certain scenarios are just too upsetting for the the reader these words are going to these moments
be harder and harder to achieve and these are the moments that we're going to talk about like if you want we were in here if we were in a bar somewhere and we're having a few drinks talking about great stories are great moments these are the most it would bring up these are the impactful things that saying that sarah jessica parker joke in front of those thousand people they're booing and hissing and you're literally on fire under your skin like you're beating yourself up viciously like why did i say that i'm such a jerk i didn't need to say that that was just cruel and thoughtless and yeah but if you said that exact same joke and it killed i still kinda beat myself up a little bit right you be like who is awful people laughing at unfortunate girl do you think that the reason why people love the transformation thing is because it almost like everyone feels like they have a chance instead of
that's exactly what it is yeah that you can be you don't have to be born with it you have a chance of attaining it you know yeah the unfairness that is just the reality of life you know one jordan talks about all the time is the equality of outcome the this idea of equality of outcome is it's absurd it's never going to happen it's not stop not what life is life is not about equality of outcome it doesn't happen that way because not every willing to put the same effort in and not everyone is given the same tools at birth and you know you got to be a little careful too or you fall into that jay gatsby trap where you get exactly what you wanted when you were four hundred and fourteen years old and i realize oh this is not an adult's dream this is a dream child it's one of the things that is interesting about your current situation and why
things that i've read about your take on it i don't know how much you want to go into this but you got ripped off i got embezzled which is a word i can now spell was it someone you trusted it was it was the accountant for the agency represented my work and this is a man who with for a almost twenty twenty one years and one of my favorite people in my professional life fuck no ann what i thought was interesting was your take on me the whole thing's horrific and everyone's worst nightmare but you know who trust people with their money but was interesting as you
who decided that there's some merit to this there's some benefit to this this is going to make you hungry again that this is that you have to work now and also that uh that i have been really poor in my life and it was never my goal to be really rich she was never my goal to have money it was my goal to be a writer was my goal to be able to write books for a living and i can still do that you know i've been poor poor is not something i'm afraid of as long as i can write books i'll be a happy person yet to be rich and to not be creative like as if you know either a stable you sure does you go to those parties as rich people parties and all they have to talk about is their servants it's like i hate my mate i hate my the gardener we we have this new person to do that this and they're doing a lousy job all they have
talk about in their lives is their household help i hate those parties or objects or objects yeah there was a guy that used to live down the street from my house to call in blaine 'cause every conversation that i would have with them it would eventually be like uh look at this new car got a word you get that watch or you know what kind of car you driving like who knows what you do in the house you got a new sink you know it's got a new tv which witch is which size did you get it was always objects it was always things you know he was this strange guy that was just working for things yeah that's things that everybody else is working for just at different combination of things but it's a game you know trying to accumulate it's in the game you know and because these things are to achieve then they become attractive and they become the main focus because it's hard to get a bentley you got to say
a lot of money to get a bentley you how much those costs which model is that is that the one with the let will look at you got the perforated leather seats but sex tricks and then this becomes the main goal yeah but so many people fall into that bizarre travel trial a strange common trap well you know but it's the only trap that we kind of have you are not really trained to again go to that that place of of wanting to let you know learn something to wanting to create something to apprentice yourself to somebody who creates the thing that you dream of creating it's much easier to kind of fall into the ready made trap of these things a person
l and the people who sell and will treat you really nice when you go into their show room and they will treat you so nice and you're always welcome there yeah and you have a way of kind of you know signaling that you've accomplished something in a very public way yeah it's much much harder to apprentice yourself and to sit down and do those ten thousand million words or two you know people's pictures or whatever bill does brick walls and really develop the pride of a skill yeah i mean the the the progress skill and the knowledge that your your discipline in your focus allows you to achieve these works at these things when they're done i mean what is that feeling of satisfaction like when you touch the back cover of a book for the first time and it's over no that's nothing that's nothing compared to when you hear it echoed in the culture and you hear
people pick up the word snow flake and you hear all these people say the first rule of blank is when you realize that you kind of dictated the semantics of the culture for a period that feels like power that is sarah that's glory yes when you found out that this i ripped you off we shocked did you have suspicions before this i had known almost a year before so you had an idea for a year and then it was confirmed it was finally what would happen a year ago i was supposed to start receiving some significant payments from this year's book and they never came through and they still never came through and every time i requested them the publisher said that they
and paid but the accountant said that there were technical difficulties with wiring me the money or he had personal problems in his life caring for his mother so there was always some reason why the money never came through and finally i kind i told my agent i didn't want to do any more deals until we had this money thing resolved and at that point the accountant made a videotaped confession and his sense pled guilty and i believe the sentencing is going to be in november but according to the district attorney they can't seem to find any of the money so the money seems to be gone how much still you know it's kind of up in the air it's a initially they said it was three point five million and now they're saying it could be as much as twenty five million and this is from not just me this is from mario puzo's
date the man that wrote the godfather misses from a lot of different states the agency handled the estate of of lillian hellman and jacqueline susann an a lot of very big big riders edward gorey who wrote those creepy wonderful cartoon books a lot of different writers a lot of different states lost money so try doing this from the jump or does this somewhere along the line he lost his mind nobody really knows yeah wow jamie can you hit that pause button while i go out and take a leak just go and take a leak oh thank god god don't worry about it man i know it's rough get used to it though but uh are we anywhere close to three hundred and thirty we know it's two hundred and thirty but we can end anytime you'd like no three hundred and thirty it's kind of my ok i'll be right back ok neil degrasse tyson's here ladies and gentlemen he's waiting he got here
early that right yeah that was planned he's got some work to do before okay in the tank right now i hope student tents right yeah can be a up that original store answer after a look to see if i don't know man of really thought it was a tribute to him but that's me my up brain his intense kind of creeps me out with the does a little bit we think about some of the ship is written like gods yeah you know joke yeah cup what was the one where someone turn into a werewolf
an airplane that's what i think there was from his collection of horror stories the one the alien on the cover the the process though it's like a driver survivor he's so perfectly designed for being a writer you know like is this one of the more fascinating about this podcast is getting to pick the brain of someone like him and however when would you ever have two plus hours to sit down with a guy like that and just find out how he thinks about like who's you know how he's never going to let you in like that this one the weirder things about podcasts is that for three hours whatever the time is phones go away you're wearing headsets which i i encourage people to wear now because for a
so do whatever you want but there's something about the headset that locks you in your voice exactly the same level of sound as my voice is 'cause it's all coming through the headsets so it's all combined so you're much more aware of talking over each other and show like that but you're also much more where there's what's going on the sound of your voice it's it's isolating by putting the headset on and eliminate ing the outside noise you would never be able to you'll never be able to have conversation with you like that like that's gotten this deep into the game that's why i was going to the depth the depth of everything yes background in journalism is probably where that's coming from but he's appreciation for darkness to light does appreciation for that story of the little girl jerking the grandpa off fuck dude it's always back please stop talking about feel better
some of this podcast makes up three that's it too of the super human bladder casey though i have to get up occasionally so back to this do ripping you off this guy who's your friend so they don't know where the fuck the money is and now they don't and he's not talking you know is he hasn't really talked about where the money is gone at first i thought there was some dummy corporations and they could recover the money so we're all looking for a big payday by now the da says they cannot find the money and he doesn't want to talk or he's saying the money is spent i'm not sure don't you want to torture him no i don't don't you
i'm going to torture him no but it's so sweet it is so sweet because i've had a readers readers offer to torture him to kill him and they say they'll do it free of charge so apparently these are people who can do it for a living yeah so damn i need to make a list ok i'm going to get some free killings is going to have to be some people i really don't like but you want the money first you don't want to kill some money i want to make sure you get that money first the was sitting in coffee cans buried in the nevada desert you know i really do between you and me i really don't care really now you know i'm not i really am see not somebody it would have given me a little more wiggle room i wouldn't in writing so frantically on the next book i could maybe take a little time off and i don't know relax but you know this is what i do and so what the hell yeah you have your
you have a million i great ideas a great profession that you love your involved in it now currently we are in the process all these projects and so you know i haven't really lost any of the things that i really love no my dad is dead my mother is dead i think if your parents are dead there's not a lot they can hurt you that much except you know of course the death of a child and so you know you're kind of a bullet proof after those things well the real issue that happens with successful people's they lose their hunger right they lose that it's a death sentence for comedians one thing it happens with comedians is the early specials tend to be really good and then the later specials tend to be really bad and it's because these people now super wealthy and coddled and there's no danger in their life and there's no no
rescore challenges and there's no growing or learning everything is just like performing to people that adore you another aspect and i talk about this more and more with as i know is it when you're starting out you got a lot of down time a lot of reading day daydreaming time a lot of slack unstructured time but the successful you become the more your time is really scheduled and you just don't have those i'm really bored times you know when your tend to come up with fantastic ideas and so in a way being somewhat poor again gives me those does really slack times when the ideas occur that makes a lot of so once yeah again to bring back to comedians comedians uh they get movie careers that's another death sets for the comedy they start doing movies non sets all day they're constantly working and then
i have enough time to concentrate on your stand up and you have zero fuckaround time 'cause you just doing things all day you lose that this is weird named robbie brad pitt advice brad pitt told me brad pitt said that success is actually one of the failure is actually one of the best things that can happen because only failure gives you that kind of alone isolation down time when you can really reinvent yourself in a significant way and create something remarkable again the ongoing success becomes kind of a a mediocrity you really need to fail to fall out of the limelight long enough to produce something really strong again totally makes sense one of the best things that can happen to a comedian is bombing when you bomb that feeling
is so bad i was describing his like sucking one thousand dicks in front of her mother but the the difference is that there's probably someone out there who enjoy sucking one thousand dicks in front of their mother but nobody who bombing so it's probably worse than that but that feeling whatever it is re your appreciation for people's attention span your appreciation for tightening up your delivery your kind sap's figuring out a better way to get them through you never want experience that again and some greatest moments in my own personal journey of stand up have come from eating shit that's where they come from you i teach i mean it's great to do well wonderful feels great but those eating ship ones those are the ones that get you to the notebook again those wanted reading invigorate you have you spending hours and hours in your hotel room going over it's a paper and check that idea making sure these concepts connect together
some sort of a meaningful way and figure out what tightened things cut out the fat when you're in the situation right now and you're the frantically writing now and and you know sort of forced into this element of creativity this like you're forced to be hungry again i mean i wouldn't wish it on you but in a way like it's kind of a gift oh yeah yeah you in a way you have to accept ultimately that everything is a gift because it's always about what they call cognitive re framing cognitive whatever happens you reframe it in such a way that you recognize the value of it and so now regardless of what happens you know before my father got murdered he had been asking me for an introduction to an owner rider in nineteen ninety eight and i kept on thinking i am not going to introduce my father to winona ryder because i
no he's going to hit on her and i was just going to be mortified to have my dad hitting on winona ryder and he'd always talk about how pretty she was any chance i can meet her and and and to tell the truth when i got the word that my father been murdered by white the premises to the mountains of idaho one of my first thoughts was i'm off the hook with at winona ryder thing and that's cognitive re framing and you how to do it all the time that's glass half full right there i love my father but you know nobody none of our relationships are completely perfect all the time right there's no way around it yeah yeah well that's again the great thing about
unchained writing is that you can express those ideas and that would be my my main concern about any sort of a a workshop or so workgroup or any sort of group of like minded peers that wouldn't understand that and that would you to limit your language i just don't it just doesn't compute yeah an in the platonic world yeah everybody should kind of get it but unless you're ruffling feathers even within workshop you're not going far enough you know loves riding that line in fight club tyler and marla have sex for the first time and then the most romantic thing that marla can say is i want to have your baby so what is the inverse so of course marla turns to him and she says i hope i got pregnant because i really want to have your abortion and that's the line that the
studio went around and around and even brad pitt said you know my mom's going to see this movie i don't want her to see this line and shot that scene with so many different substitute line and then finally who wrote the line and helena bonham carter says i haven't been fucked like that since grade school and at that point twenty century fox that can we switch it back to the abortion law and so unless you're always kind of pushing to kind of you know until you get some push back you don't feel like you're pushing hard enough and so push back is not a bad thing it's just kind of a it's proof that you're doing your job is a trend that's happening now on the list this is the day that this push backs coming far quicker than ever
as before is that there's a trend now to to limit language and limit creativity and just this limit the subject matter trigger warnings and stop people from you know it stop people from experiencing things that might be disturbing and i could see both sides of that because on one hand we've got a generation that has been exposed to so much sensationalistic stuff in order to attain their attention they've really been over loaded with the most extreme versions of everything in order to get third third ticket money or whatever they've really been pounded by so much stay well i i could see them kind of really pulling back and wanting to be monastic for the rest of their lives and on the other hand i see them as being as wanting to sort of counter dominate in order to just create room enough in the world for their
statement you know they're moving into a world that's already so occupied by attention getters that if they can shut some down that there might be room for their own expression so i kind of see benef from both sides and in a way to they're dominating their teachers which is good because it is a way of x bring your own power and faith figure out what i can in the world and that you can have effect fact you can have agency so i don't think it's a totally bad thing that's interesting the the the idea that damn dominating their teachers is in some way good having the well it certainly gives you confidence in lets you understand that you can affect change even if it's meaningless change did you pay attention to what happened at evergreen state in washington did you see when there's a for people don't know the story it's the bread
weinstein story where the students decide that there was going to be a day of absence tradition had been where people of color stayed home just so that people could recognize the important part that they play in the culture and society but then they had ramped it up and decided wipe we're gonna have to stay home now and he was like that's racist and the whole thing like crazy and went haywire and the schools basically fall apart but there was a scene that was filmed where the president of the university was in is in the college was in this auditorium and he was addressing these children and they told him to stop moving his hands because it was threatening and so he put his hands down he put them behind his back and they all started laughing and i was like wow this dumb like this this this guy running this university and he let them
tell him not to move his head gesturing is you speaking he's like one of the ones is non threatening beta people on the planet this guy is just giving just wants to keep his job and try to silence this mob this angry horde of you know fucking kids their kids but when he listens and puts his hands down i probably watched it ten times they all start laughing you know and i think it just demonstrates how desperately they want a stronger leader they don't want they don't respect their don't want to learn from somebody who is a college professor and is never really attained anything in the world they just want to become another cog in that same kind of you know we'll they want to learn from somebody the respect and who who is ryan months they have day respect was achieved my
they respect by that's probably part of the issue universities right is that these professors are so terrified of the reaction to the students which is not the place you're so supposed to be with a mentor student relationship it's it's not supposed to be that way it's not supposed to be the mentor desperately needs a student and now you see that sometimes and private schools with rich kids that they treat their teachers like shit the teachers have to bite their tongue it is they they have to you know this is not it's not not it's not the normal dynamic that exists with the older wise person in the young person who's trying to learn from this person they deeply respects not that dynamic at all it's this old person who's weak and wants to keep their job is willing to tailor their own thoughts and ideas to this irrational mob of
justice warriors not sourcing on campuses now you know messrs calling for censorship in and and to them stop freedom of expression you know when i was in college my favorite professor really help arson he was the john houseman of the journalism school who is this old gray eminence and nothing made him happy you could never please this this this john houseman paper chase guy nothing was good enough and nothing would make him smile and i work my ass off to make him happy and i finally got an a in one of his courses but he is about the only professor i remember out of my entire four years it was this man that just didn't take shit from anybody yeah this the dynamic of the kid being in control
it's not good for the kid either it's not for me when they get out of school they're going to be baffled they're going to look with that power in other places that power that they enjoyed in the universities and you've seen spill off you see spill out into social media and different forms of activism when people try re achieve that power that they had and sort of forcing people to their will in a way it's kind of a farm camp because a few of those people will achieve that power and they will be able to kind of leverage that power to something more legitimate something larger and those maybe the next generation of leaders that emerged so this is in a way a laboratory where where leaders are taking form and the rest of them will just kind of filter into whatever jobs whatever careers but there will always have their kind of glory days when they say remember that time we we shut down the rotc building and that
seem like a a big glorious past to them but that will be enough what's causing all this the exam if you thought about that like white weiss is ramping up because it seems like it is you know i think on one level it is disillusionment with the the goals of the baby boomers but so many people have seen their their parents achieve what they thought was going to make them happy with the houses and the
the trips and the careers in the possessions and the wives and the second wives and and the step siblings and they're seeing their parents get everything that they want and still not be happy and so you see a generation that's kind of floundering thinking you know they don't know what's going to make them happy i don't know what's going to make me happy and so people are really distrustful of advertisements that tell them going to make them happy and so you know i think it's just a big struggle a big everyone in blind in the dark right now so just just a reaction to what they see that's ineffective the seat is going wrong so that they're choosing
braces a different group of values right well and but they did not even sure even that new group of values kind of dictated to them with a lot of pre existing language and so i don't i think ultimately that's not gonna be very very fulfilling either it's got to be something that emerges from a kind of limb noid lambert sorry like burning man this kind of fringe things that are all uh as victor turner would say they're all kind of experiments in and how to be that's what fight club was just this is kind of experiment in how interaction could be structured in a different way and these things take place in these kind of a playful environments like burning man like cacophony society used to to do and they're fun and the ones that have the most fun at will will be the ones that are
burning man is fun and that is why burning man has existed for thirty years an occupy was not fun and that's why we had one occupy and i know people are going to be pist off about that but no every year burning man is bigger and it's funner and more people go there and every year we have another occupy well i don't know if that's a valid comparison because occupy was infiltrated by cops fbi and they pretended to be protesters and sat amongst them and the whole thing was kind of misguided in the first place where is burning man is is a complete removal of these people from society when they decided to meet one of the most hostile climates in the world and there's something about the the recognition that you're out there in the desert with the fucking mask over your face and your dance with dirty underwear on and then all these people are doing it together and then half of them
or fuckit out of their mind on drugs and you're not against something you're not protesting something you're there to create celebrating celebrate contribute something yeah in the but protests also occupy lot of them were misinformed and they didn't really understand the process they're protesting against is a very funny famous video with peter schiff who's been on this podcast before is a financial wizard who set up shop there with a five thousand dollars suit on and it he said i am the one percent asked me questions and interview these kids so they would tell him what's wrong with the world and the you know the imbalance of finances and and financial inequity and i didn't understand what they were upset about and he would explain to them how cap
well actually works and how he's employing all these people and the reason why he makes so much money as he employs so many people and if he was i'm doing this these people would be out of work and understand that i'm creating something and you can create something to you can create a business and you can if you work hard and he's going over this in you could see that what they're fighting he dense is almost like a concept they're fighting against this site idea of this evil tyranny that's controlling their fate were they really don't understand though that's that's what i i was in my opinion it's like they knew something was wrong it was almost to me like white blood cells surrounding an infection like there's something up here let's just surround this thing and figure out and then this swelling and pus it's really what it was it's there a real recognition that is a gigantic problem with the financial institutions the gigantic prob
with the whole reason why the economy collapsed in the bailouts and these fun creeps are getting all these bonuses even though their companies failed and the tax ours had a rescue them there was a wreck and that there was something wrong but not a deep understanding of what the system was that they were actually protesting there's was too much of that burning man is never any of that burning man is obviously societies fuct there's no arguments that it's not even if it's better than it's ever been before which probably is you know if you want to listen to pinker or a lot of other people that they will argue that it's aaron's progressing into this better and better path and i think that's probably right ultimately still and burning man offers this alternative like this unique society of
expression and free love and all these people have a good time together exploring altered states of consciousness well in victor turner who talked about these low noise events he would say things like burning man they also provide an outlet for people to self select to lead the culture the e r aren't are killed you know people who just don't fit in they die or they express themselves so much that they can go back to the ordinary postal carrier life that they had before because so many cultures have something like a samba festival where you go crazy for a week and then you go back to your normal life waiting tables so they are in a way i an event that kind of keeps the status quo in place but they do create these kind of if not a static movements they are the but there are a laboratory for
sort of coming up with some new form of being together some new social structures new symbols and no new narrative yeah it's it's a fascinating thing for me because i feel it's trickled off into regular life in a lot of ways now i know people that are microdosing psilocybin on a daily basis people more x specially now that marijuana is legal people way more accepting of people getting high of people just choosing to sort of look at the world in a different way and actively seek these different states just notice it's way more common it's way more discussed and that's kind of the way it's supposed to be is that these things start
in the experiments and the ones that are most successful become institutions and in the new one start now but we need they are these the laboratories portland kind of used to be that way portland was such a laboratory incubator city but the the cost of living is is killing that very quickly it's become really trendy it's like it's a it's a yeah it's a hip place to live it's a hip and it's identified with hip you know in a way you kind of get your hip card just by living there you don't have to write anything anymore yeah it's like new york city used to be like you were tough from new york you know i can handle it yeah i'm hip i'm from portland no is that where you live i live outside of portland area live up in the columbia gorge it's gorgeous up there man
you can green you guys have a neon glowing it rains all the time green in oregon that just don't experience here for more than a month a year yeah we got forest fires right now od where you are not so much this year they're not so close but the air is still much worse than it is here so fuckin' forest fires are everywhere right now i've been evacuated a couple of times it's pretty terrifying stuff i do you like in georgia now i live here oh ok georgia i just georgia why'd you whisper it like no ones listening yeah don't tell anybody i have a secret friendship with jim goad who is one of the few people who makes me really laugh even though you know must secret anymore most of the world hates jim goad jim goad transgressive in your face pieces but when he writes about his brother he kills me
is some of the most touching stuff i've ever read my life about his brother's death so you know the whole world i think is so full and that they think that jim goad is a bad person and they think that maybe i'm a good person when it's just exactly the opposite how are you a bad person our listener even go down that road i already told on cheryl strayed killing that bird come do i gotta do more that's not being a bad person that's a person who's appreciative of a dark moment that doesn't make you a bad person no i'm a bad person are you really oh yeah give me an example and this is awkward but this is another one of those cognitive reframing honesty things
is i took care of my mother while she was dying of lung cancer an even while i was taking care of her and she was lapsing in and out of consciousness in her home there was a little part of me that felt this glee that thought i will never have to worry bout mom again i will never have to worry about whether mom is offended by my work i will never have to worry about mom falling down the stairs and breaking her leg that this enormous concern in my life will be resolved uh and it's going to be at the cost of losing someone i love you know so much but the benefit is that this huge burden of responsibility is going to be lifted and so there was this kind of secret glee thinking you know i'm going to i'm going to have some freedom here that i never imagined hum yeah nora ephron touches on that
her work when she talks about her mother's death and i think it's just a cent as an honest thing but it's not a thing that makes you look very good i don't think that makes you a bad person i think that that makes you a person who's honest about thoughts that are very uncomfortable that that is just something that people think i think all the time if they're dealing with someone who's completely incapacitated and they have to care for them twenty four slash seven but they don't express it it's just it's just did a reality of the burden of someone who's really sick or really dying is it there there's no getting around it i don't think it's about that's not a good example i need to i need a example you're a bad person maybe you just really self critical or where things that other people could take
context of though the totality of your life just use it as an example put it in quotes and use it as an example of you being a bad person you know another thing is i really really conflicted about the nature of my creativity this idea that in journalism school they called
terry seduce and betray that when you go into an interview situation your goal is to gain the trust of that person and to get them to reveal something very intimate that you're gonna betray by revealing to the public so you're just you're basically going in there to to charm them and then to hurt them and and so much of my creative process is that way because for example the good the good they got story in the the to the story in which the guy puts the carrot up is but that was my best friend at the time in like late twenties and he got fantastically drunk and he told me that carrot story i honestly believe he had never told anybody
the carrot story and i have a kid that story my mind for you know ten fifteen almost probably twenty years until i found a way to put it with three similar stories and make up a larger piece out of it the first time i read that story haven't seen him in maybe a couple years this friend and i look across this big auditorium and there he is and i'm telling his carrot story in front of hundreds and hundreds of people and the look on his face he's just stricken and he has talk to me said and this is what even even did you use name no then him what's wrong with the people still feel betrayed and get over it you need to hang out with more comedians vis a laughing well
it's a terraces has told me he said his family is very reluctant to share their lives with them anymore because she's kind of made them involuntary public figures and they have to deal with the fallout yet from these stories about them and really only his brother and his sister amy have kind of been able to spin this in a good way black it alienates a lot of people sure was especially if you use our actual name or people know the origin of the actual story yeah yeah but that's you're not a bad person sorry sorry to break it to you i think you're bad person this is only examples you know convinced no no i'm just not revealing the worst okay of course do you think but you have to of some sort of bracing of these dark thoughts to create will you create you're creating these characters that go down some
horrible roads both mentally and in reality in in your work and it's amazing stuff but to cultivate that don't you think have to be kind of in touch with those thoughts of your own kind of in touch with this you know this thing where you watching your mom dying you you are going to be relieved of a burden and don't tell anybody that you're kind of looking forward to that bit even though you love your mom dearly this set that sudden natural thing that people don't want to discuss but absolutely exists it's the elephant in the room and and kind of like how comedy works or or anything where you're stating this unstated thing you're creating this enormous relief my classic example when they teach i have i ask my students i say so so what do you call a black man flies a plane
a pilot you fucking racist you're creating this tension right they don't want you to say what they think they're going to say they don't want to hate you they like you right don't want you to say something hateful an awful yeah and then you turn it around he put it on them and so in a way i always think that's the the of comedy is to create this this tension that you relieve as quickly as possible and the relief occurs as laughter i was having dinner with good friend of mine his wife and a buddy of mine and my his friend and his wife and funtime the whole night everybody is laughing and joking and or
for dinner and having a couple of drinks and joking around talking about things and i forget what led to him saying but we were talking about unfortunate scenarios and you know people that just there this is not going the way they'd like it to go and things going back and out of nowhere the guy goes well it's like this my daughter has she had a baby with a black man and we're both like looking at him like where is this going and then he goes and you know i just think it's incredibly selfish to bring that kid the world and this kid does have an identity they're not black and not white and they don't they're not going to have an identity they're not going to have a group to belong to and my
friends jaws dropped my i don't know the guy just went on that night and my dropped and i looked at my other friend who's with me who didn't know any of these other people and everyone's like what the fuck and then a couple of us get up and go to the bathroom i turned to my friend andrew i said let's get the fuck outta here we just laugh they texted my friend i go too much racism how to go and we just left and but it was so weird it's like this guy was holding into this and he's like you know what i can trust these people with some racist shit i can trust them and it didn't work and he it didn't work he knew it went over work like a lead balloon he knew it he could feel it 'cause everybody was like what like wait a minute your daughter is in love with a man who's black they have a child together and you think it's incredibly so fish to bring that kid in the world like what the fuc
i wish i could remember what the fuck we were talking about before then but we were talking about before then like drug addicts or people phuc up or you know people were dicted to gambling or something you know people who lives were in chaos and then he brings up his daughter having a baby with a guy was the wrong amount of melanin skin whose answers came from the wrong part of the world for him it was weird man it was weird also to see him recognize i did twenty in a you threw out a story i wrote a story i guess i had a hire car from philadelphia to new york wants on on tour and as we're going past liberty hall in philadelphia this this great guy with a philly accent driving the car he points at
liberty holiday says that building has stood for you know three hundred years i bet you can't tell me why and i just looked and i said because the the bricks are laid in flemish bond i think that's probably it with a brick bricks are offset in such a way that they they bond in the center coffee bond and you guys so silent nobody's ever answered the question his father was a bricklayer and he was so proud and he goes you're right nobody's ever said flemish bond that's why it still stands and we were best friends in just talking like crazy all the way into manhattan get into manhattan these two walking down the street the guy goes oh christ i hate coming to new york the facts and i said well you know i'm free tool man an fagot
pretty much my middle name yeah poor guy had to do the whole dance re juggling of everything the guy who knew flemish bond was all so one of them ahah and it was one of those wonderful kind of icky but necessary moments and you know the horrible but you know things are better afterwards you must love that moment though you know it was a horrible moment please like i was throwing away any kind of chatty conversational relationship i had with this guy who seemed like just the salt of the earth great funny guy and it was just kind of going out on a limb and saying ok yeah he's going to hate my guts after this when i was little kid we lived in
cisco from age seven to eleven and then move to florida which is the polar opposite of san francisco and uh i had really i don't know if i'd ever heard someone use the word faget before but i'd never seen an adult upset about gay people before and then my friend candy candido well this is name his dad was cuban there were cuban and his dead slams newspaper on the on the table i was eleven and he's like can't believe they're letting these facts get married it was just so angry and i remember stopping and thinking like here here a man this guy's a man he's a grown he's a grown up but yet he's he's got this infant idea of what a person should be like they gotta fall into this category that category he's got it locked into his head he's a fuckin' baby but he's a man he's my friends dad this guy
this guy made it to thirty five years old or whatever the fuck he was and this is this is operating system that he's using to navigate his way through life i remembered it being an import moment for me because i realize like just because someone's older doesn't he learned anything you know that people are capable of success in life you know become married you can have children to get a house you get a good job you drive a car the whole you got it all if you've got a checkbook you got a fucking you you're you're you're operating it's moving your successful it's happening
and yet you still have these stupid ideas but i think they're the thick and there's a benefit to the expression of the stupid idea not that the it taken to be challenged but that at least we're we're aware that it's there yeah and that you know we know that this thing is not just kind of festering and that there's a way of kind of not fixing this person but at least we know where they're coming from yeah you know oh another shooting myself in the career foot thing i don't think you've done it once the whole show ok here it goes i read the daily stormer andrew anglin cracks me up who is that he is the completely as guy who really loves fight club
oh working writes for the daily stormer i think he is the daily stormer and he writes the most atrocious insensitive brutal things blood they are there so shocking and so transgressive that that sometimes i laugh just out of the shock you know the old classic joke how do you get a nun pregnant you fuck her you know there's a shock value there that that just sort of jars me and makes me laugh sometimes show could work better if you hadn't told the black pilot choke for well the problem is like people become
you know what's coming that but to but sometimes i you know i i wanna go into a world where people are not watching their language so closely and and i see people kind of via fence the worst of themselves bryant at i'm not kind of endorsing it but i feel a little less reactive to abuse a scientologist haves and have this exercise called bull baiting where they take you into a room and people surround you and they call you every horrible thing and then they they nit pick coral every aspect of your appearance or your your character who you are and they attack you on every level and they do this for long long periods of time they do this day after day until you are completely not reactionary to that kind of verbal abuse you can you can put it over there you can accept
the fact that it's somebody else's statement somebody else's opinion observation that it's not true and you can be with us and so in a way when i go into the sites that are so patently offensive and in a deliberately you know aggressively offensive i feel like in a way they're thickening my skin data i'm not ida such a delicate little reactive thing afterwards do you worry about someone looking through your search results how are things like that that infighting there's sir and people that react really poorly to trash talk and there's certain people get excited by it and it doesn't bother them at all and they embrace it and generally it's who grew up in abusive households and environments them in the trash talk
it's common to go oh yeah oh ok that's going to happen fuck you bich and then you see them get excited by it and then see them like saying oh okay now you give me more motivation to you up where as people genuinely it dwarfed by this you think they get they get the pressure of just being in conflict with some person but that person insulting them and verbal conflict and demeaning them and mocking them it haunts them it haunts them and it ruins them and they can't perform they go out and if i they fight terrible it happens to a lot of fighters guys were tough tough guys something about the the verbal conflict and the abuse there's an emotional struggle they're not prepared for they prepared one hundred percent for this physical struggle but there's a certain aspect of someone literally hating them as a human like not king of them as a worthy competitor who they respect the ready to
the battle with single shake hands first and afterwards we'll go have a beer together after we beat the each other now it's like your a little pussy here a bitch you shouldn't you shouldn't even be here you're weak you're going to fall part man you know you're going to fall put your weight in the fall apart just give me your name just give me an echo choke you out make it nice and easy and you see guys reacting to that these demons inside of them that these are thoughts that dance around the back of their brain and every day they throwing water on it every day they come back in the fucking members are still smoldering shed and this it just pouring gasoline on that and it just takes over the just sccm they can't sleep good you seemed him exhausted you see the day of the they look nervous they look they look really worried really worried this person's right that person is planted these seeds of doubt there are these invasive species plants are choking out all the trees it's wild to see
wild to see how the same words can have a completely different effect on different people so there you are it's a different kind of his training yeah i know there's definitely something to that there's definitely some to be around abusive people to being around i mean you get accustomed to stuff you get people you're very very very malleable you can you can get it custom to really shitty behavior i mean this is not like with this what's gonna happen when you're in war you get accustomed to it you get a custom to violence you get accustomed to all that and one the more difficult things for people post war is coming back ugh a kind gentle boring world terms like they they let mean that's hurt locker right they they appreciate the danger they appreciate that the thrill of it all is almost
more appealing than the absolute lack of thrill the thrill of potential violence death and all the horrors that you come into contact with it's almost preferable did you read sebastian a youngers tribe that's a new one right yeah it's great book but it's about that it's about why you know being in these intense like really dangerous but crackling with energy environments some of the happiest moments for these people's lives and that post post war like have an incredibly difficult job just sort of reintegrating to normal flats is society yeah i could see that totally what time is it three hundred and fifteen let's rap this
chuck gonna listen man i really appreciate you being here i really appreciate picking your brain and i i thank you very much man it up and thank you for all your all your writing all your work and stay up leah all right hey thanks for the plane ticket my pleasure when can we expect this book when you when you speak in this is going to be done this is this book this book is just a pages in a notebook right now this is not for next year's fight club three next year republic be a big fat writing book from maine and this book won't be until two thousand and twenty two years thank you thank you appreciate thank you everybody for tunein in and thank you to our sponsors thank you to butcher box go to butcher block dot and get twenty bucks plus free bacon when you use the discount code rogan at checkout and thank you
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Transcript generated on 2019-11-13.