Pop Tops: Seeing beyond Our anger over the Michigan protests to reopen the country
Callie takes the lead on this week’s Pop Tops section to talk about how we need to see beyond our rage at the Michigan protests where citizens are clamoring for the government to reopen the country – some of whom are doing dangerous shit like blocking hospital entrances and threatening health care workers with their cars.
Equating them to Trump voters, we dissect our complicated feelings around these actions while recognizing that some of these protestors are people who, just like all of us, are not being taken care of by the government and think the only way to care for their families is to reopen the country. How can we reach these people instead of lumping everyone together and vilifying them, “basket of deplorables” style?
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Main Topic: Racism, Xenophobia and Red Scaring In How We Talk About Other Countries
Nichole then takes lead on the main topic to explore the way that we talk about other countries in our media and politics, and how this ties into Callie’s topic with Michigan protests screaming about “if you want communism, go to China!” The media in the U.S. usually criticizes and villainizes other countries by their name, as a whole, instead of specifically criticizing the leadership or government specifically as corrupt.
This is a clear way to continue the long, nasty tradition of “red scaring” in the U.S. where we have economic systems conflated with brutal dictatorships in other countries, and those countries themselves become emblems of tyranny and corruption (rather than being seen as victims of tyranny and corruption). This increases nationalism in the U.S. to fervent heights, facilitating brutal policies on immigration, sanctions on other countries, and an understanding that to question capitalism or the U.S. government will brand you a traitor and put you in direct conflict with the government and other patriotic citizens.
We use a vicious cycle of this rhetoric to increase racism and xenophobia in the U.S. while also linking socialism, communism, and anarchy to brutality, terrorism, and being a traitor to your country. We talk about how people say socialism and communism lead to tyranny and yet claim that capitalism is equivalent to democracy, if only we make a couple of tweaks to it, it’ll be the most perfect and free system out there. The irony is that of all of those, capitalism is the one that doesn’t work on paper and essentially requires tyranny, corruption, greed, and authoritarianism in order to survive.
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Nichole [00:00:26] Hey, everyone. I’m Nichole.
Callie [00:00:28] And I’m Callie.
Nichole [00:00:29] And today we’ll be bitching about.
Callie [00:00:31] Today we will kind of have two segments: our mini one, Pop Top, we’ll be popping off about those protests, but not in the way you may think.
Callie [00:00:43] And the other one we will be talking about how it is xenophobic to be talking so much about Russia and China and how maybe we should we should cool it with hating on entire groups of people.
Nichole [00:00:59] I love that. I love that for us. [Callie laughs]
Nichole [00:01:06] So, to start off: Callie, what about these protests, huh?
Callie [00:01:12] Yes. So today I just want to call some of y’all in and maybe challenge your perspectives a little bit. So this is gonna be a little dicey in the way most of our segments are. I’m going to ask you to just bear with me as I talk about this and just put on your critical thinking hat and also like see this for the nuance that’s needed as a part of the conversation. This is not like to attack anyone. But, you know, obviously we’re all… Well, I hope we’re all taking this pandemic very seriously. And it seems like a lot of us are quarantining at home. We’re doing everything we should and we’re missing our friends and family and we’re missing going out and socializing with other people. And then we see these fucking assholes that are out here protesting and they’re big lifted trucks waving the American flag or the fucking Confederate flag.
Callie [00:02:16] And don’t even get us started on that.
Callie [00:02:21] Shouting at the governors or the governments in general about how they want things reopened and understandably, that pisses the rest of us off because we’re like, fuck you, we’re at home, too. We want this to be lifted, but it’s not safe.
Callie [00:02:40] And I just see that the left, most particularly the liberal left, not like leftists, are repeating a lot of the same mistakes from the 2016 election with Donald Trump. You know, we’re looking at groups of people like this and we’re calling them names. We’re calling them stupid. We’re saying that they’re, you know, evil for like putting other people’s health at risk and not caring about others and all of that stuff. And I don’t think that… I don’t think that criticizing the protests are necessarily wrong. But to me, it reminds me a lot of if you’re a VWPA listener, you’ll remember that we did an episode a while back with Dr. Steven Dawson. He’s a therapist that we talk to and one of the most brilliant things to come out of that interview as he talked about how, you know, we live in a sick culture, our culture of capitalism, of white supremacy, of heteronormativity, you know, all of the things, is very toxic and that people who have no mental health issues are like the canaries in the coal mine. They’re the ones showing us that our tox- our culture is toxic. And instead, what our culture tends to do, instead of seeing them as kind of the the heralds of the problem, we see them as the problem. And I feel like that’s what we’re doing, too. Like Trump voters. That’s what we’re doing to these people protesting. Like we’re looking at them as the problem instead of really taking a step back and analyzing this culture at large that we live in. And I get it. It’s really easy to see them, especially like, you know, I saw that video of the woman who, like, showed the top of her head and she’s like, my roots have grown out! I just want to go the hairdresser! And I get how frustrating that is.
Callie [00:04:32] But they were also a lot of them were tapping into some very real anger that the government should shut businesses down and then didn’t take care of them. So it’s really easy to point these people out and say, like, they’re just selfish. They just want to be like out living like normal again and they’re risking people’s lives. But part of this anger isn’t just their actions individually. It’s that they’re scared. They’re not getting good leadership from the government. The government’s not paying their bills in the way that it should, in the way that their representatives are telling them that they would have. And so to them, they’re looking at the situation and seeing like… I can’t afford to keep being closed. I can’t afford to not feed my kids. I can’t afford to go to the grocery store and not be able to buy the supplies I need to like reopen things. Like, I’m fucking tired of this. And I just think that liberals in particular are missing the point. You know, we should be seeing these people as potential comrades, as uncomfortable as that feels to say. But these are people who also see the failings of the government, who also see the problems that we have. And I don’t know, I just I… It feels good to look at them and just call them names and call them selfish and roll our eyes and to dunk on them in our media. It’s the same thing that Hillary did in 2016 when she called Trump supporters, you know, a basket of deplorables, like that feels really good. But we didn’t learn anything from that. We didn’t take the time to try to understand why are so many people so fucking angry that they would vote for this person who is clearly a monster instead of like participating in what was considered at the time, like normal politics, right? Like some boring neoliberal politician. And if we keep failing to try to, like, tap into our empathy and understand why people have a different viewpoint than us, to understand where they’re coming from then we are, not to be a cliche, but like doomed to repeat these mistakes. And I feel like looking at these people and making them the targets instead of seeing it’s it’s again, like it’s individualizing the problems of our culture. It’s calling them the problems instead of like they’re people who may be coming, to, in my view, the wrong conclusion about the problem, like I wish that instead of protesting reopening things, they were protesting the government paying them or suspending rents or offering like paycheck protection programs, you know, funding the small business programs.
Callie [00:07:23] But I just it’s it’s making them the target and not seeing them as like kind of a failing of the system. You know? It’s individualizing the problems instead of like keeping our society, our culture, our government at large, the focus of our collective issues.
Nichole [00:07:50] Yeah, I have a hard time with these protesters and I don’t really know what… I don’t know how we reach them because this could be like a great opportunity, right, to go leaflet or something to go like, oh, these people are protesting and they clearly like… Maybe a lot of them won’t listen to us but if any of them do, like we have content and a message that would really resonate with them right now. But we can’t physically go do that, right? That’s the whole point.
Nichole [00:08:27] And then social media just seems like such an impossible way to reach someone in another camp. Like it’s you just can’t make that connection. People are immediately like, are you on my side or not and are not open to a dialog about stuff. And it’s really difficult for me because they’re doing stuff that’s like actively harming other people, like blocking hospitals, preventing ambulances from being able to get in. Rolling their trucks literally up to where they’re touching health care workers who are trying to like counterprotest, telling people screaming at people to move to China if they want communism.
Nichole [00:09:08] So it’s it’s hard because I agree with you in the sense of like this is clearly… Some of these people are clearly people who are looking at a government that is not taking care of them.
Nichole [00:09:21] And… Are so indoctrinated in capitalism that they don’t even understand that they could just protest the government to take care of them. Right? They think the actual solution, they think the only way for anything to work is to get back to work.
Nichole [00:09:37] Which is bananas! Because like we’ve talked about, even if we reopen the country now and some states are reopening, people are gonna be too scared to go out. We’re gonna have another wave of COVID and you’re not like we’re so far off from our economy being quote unquote, back to normal and our economy is already a shit show.
Nichole [00:10:02] So, yeah, it is. See people who don’t understand any of that it does seem like such an opportunity because even just the fact that these a lot of these people are saying that the government has overreached and they think the government is keeping them indoors like arbitrarily. And it’s like why would our government ever do that? We worship at the altar of capitalism. There is no way… I mean, they’ve been trying to force us back out. So when you have someone who’s like… It can be overwhelming to try to talk to somebody who’s like that far off of what is accurate. But it also seems to me like an enormous opportunity to talk to them about capitalism and be like, look like this is how it works and this is why it’s failing right now. And even if we reopen, you’re still gonna be hurting.
Nichole [00:10:51] So why don’t we talk about something that would actually work and come together on that? But like I said, without being able to physically go out and join them and talk to them and maybe leaflet or whatever. I don’t know…
Nichole [00:11:05] I don’t know how we connect with people who don’t believe in science and don’t understand capitalism and like are willing to put other people- I mean, there are some of these people are putting their own families at risk. What do you do with that? And this deep mistrust of the government seems like a huge opportunity, but it it seems to always go in the wrong way. Where even when they’re protesting the government, they’re still like they’re somehow hurting other citizens in that protest and they’re not actually doing anything against the government.
Callie [00:11:41] Yeah. And. All very fair points and I’m glad you brought them up because I don’t want this to feel one sided. I don’t want to paper over the harm that these people are doing. Like, that’s definitely not my intention. It’s not to say that, like, people shouldn’t be held accountable for their actions or that people shouldn’t be held accountable for doing harm. You know, just because like, oh, there they’ve just been, you know, taught the wrong things and they just don’t understand it. It’s like no, like actions do have consequences. And obviously the things that they’re doing are terrible. Like, I was also angry seeing all the photos of, you know, them just shouting obscenities at health care workers and getting in their faces and obviously like blocking hospitals from being able to get or blocking ambulances from being able to get to the hospitals. Like that’s that’s all clearly not OK. I’m not saying we just like forget that and kumbayah with these people. And but I just I guess my point in bringing all this up is that this is all very difficult and we all are very much in our own bubbles. And I’m just very much worried that we are too much enjoying dunking on these people and somehow forgetting what a lot of us already know, which is that like this system that we live in, our government is so fucked up. It’s cruel. It’s socialized us into learning terrible messages. We believe really shitty things about ourselves and our neighbors. And, you know, we. And then we just forget all this when we see these people that are clearly like we know they’re these are the people that are probably watching Fox News. We know that they’re being fed a steady diet of fucking lies. I mean, hell, even if they’re watching MSNBC and CNN, they’re being fed a steady diet of lies. But like, we forget all that and then just want to, like, dunk on them. And I guess that’s the point of the segment, isn’t to like forgive all these people or to, you know, make them seem like they’re not doing bad things. It’s just to try to reach people and see, like before you just go posting these means where you’re attacking them, like try to really learn the lesson that we didn’t from 2016. You know, try to understand what’s really happening. We’ve got these bubbles of information that just feel like impenetrable. You know, you only get messaging based on like the bubble that you’re in. And it’s extremely hard to break out of that. And it’s just easy to write them all off as deplorables and not really take a look at the bigger message. You know. And and I don’t have any answers. I’m not coming on here saying that like, oh, we should just, like, reach out to these people or that tomorrow they can just be our comrades in arms. Like I’m saying that at all. But just that, like they’re tapping into the same kind of anger that we are. They’re just coming to different conclusions. And like how do we as leftists try to really like internalize what we’re seeing and figure out strategies for going forward? You know? But just whipping up anger and sharing means and it just it’s it’s going to have us repeating the 2016 election like all over again. And we spent all of this time on the liberal left, like talking about Russia and talking about how the election was stolen from Hillary and all of this stuff, which, you know, Nichole will be getting into with the whole Russia conversation later. But instead of really looking at like how did the Democrats lose, even though they’re… Most people in this country agree on policy. So how does it keep happening that, like our parties do not represent what the people want? You know, how do we look at how these, like milquetoast neoliberals keep missing the fucking point?
Nichole [00:15:52] Yeah, 100 percent. And I think that comparison to, you know, Trump’s election is a good one because that was another instance of people essentially doing harm. But the reality is we need those people in some capacity, like we can’t overturn our government by ourselves.
Nichole [00:16:14] We can’t have a socialist society or whatever utopia we dream of by ourselves. So, yeah, we have to… As a movement, we have to find some way to work with them and get through to them. And from what I’ve been reading lately, it seems that working together collectively towards a common goal is the best way to bridge gaps in between groups that normally, you know, hate each other or at least are very ignorant and fearful of each other. So, again, it’s I don’t know how we achieved that online. You know, you and I have come to the agreement recently that we’re not organizers and we don’t really care to care to be. But I think for everyone listening, maybe some of you are organizing-minded and can figure out some creative solutions to how do we get through- you know, are there populist policies? Could we could we do some kind of outreach where we talk about rent freezes and mortgage freezes and and and say, like, hey, it’s it’s great that you’re organized and that you’re together and that you’re willing to, like, mobilize on this stuff. But like, you know, are you aware that if we reopen the economy, it’s not- you’re not going to be making what you were making before? We’re still going to struggle. You know? And these are the things that we could fight for. To make sure that we’re all okay. And people like that typically are very against like big business. So whether they’re fully aware of the bailouts and stuff, I think that’s another opportunity to say, like our government is giving all the money to these big companies and they’re gonna be buying out your local businesses. And, you know, while you’re hairdresser shop might have to close these, you know, huge corporations are just getting wealthier. And they do tend to care about things like that. So I do think there’s common ground. And I just think that, yeah, it’s a good comparison to Trump voters because it’s like on one hand, I fucking hate Trump voters. Still, I still get this like rage inside me. But realistically, like, we need those people, we need to come together and be fighting for stuff.
Callie [00:18:33] Yeah. Yeah. And I think, you know. This, again, gets very tricky when you look at like the harm that some people have done. But we need to not just like keep viewing so many people as like throwaways.
Callie [00:18:51] You know, we just like we flatten these peop- I guess part of to what inspired me wanting to have this conversation is there’s just no there is no nuance in the coverage of this. Right. It’s just like these people don’t care about anyone else. They’re all assholes. They’re putting themselves and others at risk, like, fuck them. They’re all monsters. And it’s like, that’s not that’s not accurate. Like, no one is that flat, you know? And we’re not taking any time to understand. And, you know, I have a suggestion. I don’t I don’t know that we can necessarily jump right to reaching people like that. But maybe we start with like when you see your own friends posting things about their- about this- the protests and, you know, sharing the pictures and calling them names and saying they hate them and all this stuff, you say, hey, I don’t agree with their actions. I think they’re dangerous and they put people at harm. But I can understand and empathize with their anger because we’re not getting good leadership.
Callie [00:19:53] We’re not getting good direction about when things are gonna be reopened or how the government is going to be taking care of us. Considering that like 30 percent of the population is I think we’re up to 30 percent now are like have applied for unemployment. Right? I think we’re at like 26 million people or something like that.
Callie [00:20:15] So I don’t know if the 30 percent of the workforce is accurate or not. I think we may be close to that. But either way, like that’s a lot of people that have filed for unemployment. So maybe starting to bridge bridge the divide with like, hey, I don’t agree with their actions, but I understand their anger in the same way that you’d like, you’re also angry that we’re not getting good information, but like these people aren’t the villains. They’ve just come to bad conclusions about what they see, the problems, they’re just coming to the wrong conclusions. And how do we come together about that? You know.
Nichole [00:20:51] Yeah. Yeah, I’m just so emotionally exhausted. From like fighting libs on social media. And I’m like, [sighs] it’s hard. I just I can feel how deep everyone’s indoctrination is. And it’s just immoveable because it’s become part of everyone’s identity.
Nichole [00:21:15] You know, so, yeah, I don’t we don’t have the answers, but I do think that it’s a good point to bring up that like.
Nichole [00:21:26] You know, you can even go ahead and be mad and hate these people, but also see that everyone is responding to a crisis in their own way. And it’s a valid crisis. And attacking each other is not going to, you know, is not going to get us towards anything that could be better.
Callie [00:21:45] Yeah. Yeah. I mean, the same people that I’m seeing sharing names like we’re all going through a collective trauma and everyone handles it differently. You know, some people lose energy and they become very like despondent. And some people, you know, get all amped up and they go into action. And some people want to pretend like it’s not happening and they have this like dissonance about, you know, what they’re seeing.
Callie [00:22:07] And it’s like, how can you post that and not see that these people are in that third camp.
Callie [00:22:12] You know, they’re scared, they’re angry, they’re losing their businesses and they just want things to go back to normal like it’s wrong.
Callie [00:22:21] But it’s also kind of understandable, you know?
Nichole [00:22:24] Yeah. Yeah.
Nichole [00:22:26] And our biggest problem is that there is no source of media that they can trust, that anyone can trust. They trust it, sadly.
Nichole [00:22:39] But you know, you have people getting their news off The View and so their entire world view. [Callie oofs]
Nichole [00:22:47] I know. That’s my exact feeling every time, too. Ugh!
Nichole [00:22:56] But, you know, maybe that’s part of it, too. Maybe part of it is just spreading alternate news sources to people. And like you said, maybe not even to those people directly, but maybe to your a group of friends in your network or someone you know who might have slight like libertarian leanings or right-wing leanings or whatever or might have people in their family that do. And you can just like hopefully get people consuming other stuff. Because this is literally like we are shaped and have been for decades by media, mainstream media and like our politicians. And that’s where I just can see so clearly that we’re living in like, we’re actually living in a dystopian world right now.
Nichole [00:23:44] And it’s going to be a long, difficult fight. But I do think, you know, you and I love Rising like I think that there’s a lot of people who could watch rising and get really good information because, grossly, one of the people on the show voted for Trump. You know, and there’s I read the comments a lot and there’s a ton of Republicans, right wingers, libertarians and Trump supporters that watch the show and like are happy with the show. In large part, too, because they spend so much time criticizing the Democratic establishment, correctly, not as much time or enough time criticizing Republicans, which is something I’ve commented several times on in the on the videos. But you know what I’m saying like it’s it’s factual information, but it’s being given to them by someone who isn’t challenging their worldview exactly, like it’s someone who’s not challenging their identity of themselves, but is actually challenging the information that they’ve been fed. So you have one of the hosts is like, hey, I’m a right-winger, too. I’m a Republican, too. I voted for Trump. And like, I’m soft on criticizing him. But I can tell you this is what Congress is doing or not doing. This is what’s happening with these companies. This is what I like to hear someone is right wing say you should get a UBI right now and you should have health care and things like that, I think that could really open up someone’s eyes, you know, and be like, oh, shit. And this makes a lot more sense. And start… But it’s hard because we’re all competing with I guess my point is we’re all competing with like indoctrination through media for this person’s entire life and an identity that’s been formed on that.
Nichole [00:25:40] And our political landscape has changed so that people do actually like identify with their political beliefs. Like if you’re a Republican, that- for you to even consider something else is like a challenge to your entire concept of yourself. Versus I think, you know, generations back, many years back… You probably still did a line along political beliefs, but I don’t think it was such like a hard core part of your actual like lived identity. And that’s because our politics has been made so much more based around social and cultural things now. So you feel like if you’re a Republican, that the Democrats are trying to like take your lifestyle away from you. And then Democrats, of course, are like well you’re trying to take our fucking rights away from us. Which makes it’s just so much more polarizing and why people just cannot even, like, hear someone else’s argument or have a conversation about things. So, yeah, that’s only idea that I have is like try to direct people towards sources of media that are not these mainstream pieces of media, but like realistically would be something they might be able to listen to and absorb.
Nichole [00:26:58] You know, if you send someone over to like like soft, lefty liberal time who is a right winger, they’re just going to immediately be postum you like fuck this, you know. So you like have to be smart about resources your directing people towards. Yeah, but there are- there are some things out there where I think, you know, that could potentially given now that people are scared and we’re having this collective experience. Could- might maybe be open to it.
Callie [00:27:32] Yeah, and I think economic populism is, in my mind, it could be the thing that allows some of us to like a lot of us, like come back together and find some common ground, you know. And that doesn’t mean completely forgetting about social issues. It doesn’t mean completely like wiping the slate clean and not holding people accountable for their actions. But, I think it could be a really important coalition maybe. And that’s why I find Rising so informative and such an important show, because they don’t agree on social issues, but they spend so much of the time on their show really calling out both parties for the ways in which it is screwing over the working class, which like, by the way, we all are. Like most almost none of us are like capitalists and like we’re not owners of things, we’re not owners of companies and land even. So, like we’re all working class. We’re all subject to the whims of the powerful above us. And I think there should be a huge amount of common ground to be found there. And the fact that we can’t seem to find it just makes me nervous. And again, like we’re an anarchist show, so I’m not telling you what to do. If you want to, like, be mad and fucking dunk on these people, then like, do it. But to me, it just kind of feels like you can be right or you can be effective. And it’s like you’re right to call these people a heart at that they’re doing harm and that they’re fucking up. And it’s like, yeah, but that’s not going to get us anywhere if we just all keep like pointing the finger and calling names.
Callie [00:29:19] So I don’t know.
Nichole [00:29:25] Yeah, and I read today that people are flocking to California’s beaches. And I’m just like, y’all. We’re supposed to be one of the good states, stop it.
Callie [00:29:38] Yeah, we had a friend share a story with us that I think will maybe help in reaching the other side. And it’s that she has a friend, too. And this is in a different country. So it’s not exactly the same as what’s happening here, but similar enough. I think she has a friend who owns a hair salon and for some reason that business isn’t one of the ones that are closed.
Callie [00:30:07] But like people are staying home because of all these other like stay at home orders. And so she’s not getting government aid because she’s not technically closed, but she’s also not seeing customers either. So I think maybe that’s a thing that could be used to like reach people who are like, we should just reopen! It’s like if you reopen, then the government is going to be able to be like, what are you talking about, you need aid? You’re open! And it’s like but you’re not going to have any customers or at least not as many as you would have had before. So it’s it’s kind of another way that they’re able to like put the the ownership back on the individual instead of them having to deal with the problem of like you’re telling people to shut down, you need your hospitals not to be overwhelmed, which means you need to be fixing the problem. I mean, in a way, these people protesting are are just basically pawns, like they’re doing the work of all the capitalists in the government who just want to like stop hearing from us that they need to solve this fucking problem and send us money and aid and suspend payments, you know?
Nichole [00:31:16] Well, and that’s why Trump has been, you know, praising them on Twitter and whatever. Because. Right. Thank you. You’re doing my job for me. Yeah. And that’s why for it. That’s why I get so frustrated and feel so defeated, because it’s like you don’t even see that you’re working against your own interests. Like beyond the fact that I’m enraged it’s just like, how do you even get through to someone who’s so invested in their own oppression? I just yeah, I really do.
Callie [00:31:49] I mean, the Liberals fucking do it all the time- anyone who is right now talking about how we should vote for Biden is participating in their own oppression.
Nichole [00:31:57] Don’t even get us started!
Callie [00:32:00] I will get us started. Always.
Nichole [00:32:03] Every time.
Callie [00:32:05] But, you know, it’s the same thing. I mean, we’re all dug in and just. Yeah, somewhat blindly following the leadership of the camp that we’re in. We’re all just so dug into our own fucking bubbles and not seeing that that group is leading us to our own destruction. Just in very different ways than the other side.
Callie [00:32:25] It’s fucking sad. I don’t know how we reach people, but we just have to keep all of us, I think, trying to spread the message and just make people see like how how much capitalists the capitalist class does not fucking care about us.
Nichole [00:32:42] Yes. And that’s that’s what I mean, like that is the opportunity of the work that could be done. I just don’t know exactly how we go about it. But that is- you’re right in saying like we need to take this moment to recognize where the opportunity is. And then people who have intelligence around that figure out like how do we capitalize on it?
Callie [00:33:11] [laughs] That will never not be funny to me.
Nichole [00:33:15] It’s like there really isn’t another word that’s quite as good for that sentence, but it’s also like- irony!
Nichole [00:33:26] But yeah, I mean, maybe it’s even like planning to leaflet when it’s safe to do so again because again, this is going to come in in waves. Like we’re going to be dealing with this for a while and we’re gonna be dealing with the economic consequences of this for a while. So. And that’s why I say like listening back to our last episode- you know, I was saying like, I don’t care how people vote and I think it’s boring to talk about? What I meant by that, and I wish I had like explained, is that I see so much energy and anxiety going towards if someone should vote for Biden or not. And what I meant was like then just fucking vote for him.
Nichole [00:34:03] If it’s that torturous for you, then just decide now that you are voting for him and move on to like organizing, educating, you know, whatever it is that you can contribute to a movement of like doing something else. Because they just see people like twisting over this or like fighting about it. And it’s like all of that energy right now could go to preparing for these next waves of COVID and preparing for the economic crisis that we’re gonna be in for probably like two years at least. There’s gonna be- the- we’re seeing a massive redistribution of wealth right now in an economy that already was so massively unbalanced. So like no matter what, even if the economy could open up to like full pre-code coded levels tomorrow, people are going back to decimated like wealth, like wealth that is no longer there. Right.
Nichole [00:34:59] So we need to see that that is the opportunity here that we are all going to be suffering from this further imbalance of wealth in our country. And how do we as activists? Reach people on that and educate them and show them that there’s a way out of it. We just did- finished our book club for Socialism…Seriously. And the book overall like was not- it’s hard to explain. I was just talking to Callie about it like I didn’t really enjoy it. But then I find myself referencing it and talking about it a lot. So I think I had really good facts in it and it was written in a way that was very approachable and it was a fairly short book. I think printed it’s like 120 pages. So not tiny, but it’s not one of these like massive, dense, you know, academic-type novels. And it was a really good primer to socialism. But one of the one of the quotes that stuck out to me in the book, let me see if I can find it quickly. Was about capitalism and how like basically capitalism can’t survive if people are talking about capitalism. So, yeah, it’s capitalism- sorry- it’s a quote by Terry Eagleton who writes and why Marx was right. So Terry says- Eagleton says: “Capitalism is in trouble when people start talking about capitalism. It indicates that the system has ceased to be as natural as the air we breathe and can be seen instead as the historically rather recent phenomenon that it is. Moreover, whatever was born can always die.” So for a long time, we really didn’t talk about capitalism. I don’t know. I’m so far out of the mainstream that I don’t know if we do it all. I think we still kind of don’t. But what I will give Bernie Sanders credit for is he brought socialism into the conversation. And when you have an alternative to the thing that you don’t talk about, then you start talking about the thing. So I do think that that’s the opportunity here. Now, these people think socialism and communism are these evil fucking like, you know, traitorous things to be into. So that’s difficult. So maybe we use words like economic populism, right? Or we just talk about concepts and we don’t label it anything. And I was listening to something… Oh, I think I was listening to an interview with Noam Chomsky where he was talking about this, like how Bernie shouldn’t have used the word socialist.
Nichole [00:37:47] And I I could go- I have thoughts on both sides of it. But he was saying like, you know, that word to ignite young people or resonated with young people. But those same young people would have been excited about your policies no matter what.
Nichole [00:38:03] They didn’t need socialism to be excited about Bernie’s platform. They were excited about the policies that he had. And that word turned off so many older people who if they had heard his policies without being afraid of him, would have actually been really interested in them. So he’s like, I’m not saying it would have won him the election or anything, but he just felt like it was a political misstep. And like I said, I- I have a feeling some of sides. I do think he’s correct in that in terms of like if the goal is to win a campaign, it probably wasn’t the right move. If the goal, which I suspect and I’ve heard rumors of was more to, you know, just push a left agenda in the United States, you know, now socialism is on the table. It’s something we’re talking about. And yeah, a lot of people are talking about it again as this evil thing, but we’re talking about it, which means we’re also talking about capitalism, which we don’t often do. I mean, Callie and I made an entire career of analyzing the ways that capitalism seeps into our everyday behaviors that we don’t acknowledge is capitalism and how to, like, dismantle that. So I do think it’s a prime time now that the gates been kind of opened for these conversations. I think that just be smart and understand who you’re talking to in your crowd. If you’re talking to like a young, passionate person. Yeah, they might be totally down to learn about like anarcho-communism. But if you’re talking to one of these like protester-types, maybe you just talk about policy or you talk about economic populism or what whatever term won’t scare them but is still honest to what you’re talking about. Maybe you just talk about, you know, like the greed of big banks and how governments like giving too much of our money away and not helping the working class. And like those people will probably jive with that. And you don’t have to, like, label it a certain way. Just talk to them about, you know, these ideas and let them be able to digest them in their own kind of language, in their own time.
Callie [00:40:15] Yeah, absolutely.
Callie [00:40:17] I kind of agree, but I also know that the media would have painted him as a socialist and away, you know? I mean, the right already calls the Democrats like socialists and communists. And it’s like they think they’re so far from that, like the liberal left, not like true leftists, that it’s like that’s. Yeah. They were always going to fearmonger with that phrase even if he didn’t use it. But it may have at least allowed more people, especially in the older generation, to be exposed to his ideas before being completely shut off, you know, because they lived through things like the Red Scare and the Cuban Missile Crisis, you know, all the like.
Callie [00:41:03] They saw these they lived through very different times in us, whereas like young people have lived through now to economic crashes due to this.
Callie [00:41:15] So we’re a lot more like fuck this shit. It’s clearly not working.
Callie [00:41:21] But yeah, that’s that’s an interesting, interesting.
Nichole [00:41:24] Well, and that bleeds into the second part of our episode today. But we’ll take a little break to do some to do some things.
Nichole [00:41:36] So Callie?
Callie [00:41:38] Yes?
Nichole [00:41:40] What concert costs forty-five cents? It’s the best deal in town.
Callie [00:41:46] [sadly] I don’t know.
Nichole [00:41:49] 50 Cent and Nickleback. [both laugh]
Callie [00:42:01] I like it.
Nichole [00:42:02] I got that one from Rose, so thanks, Rose!
Callie [00:42:06] It was… Very creative.
Nichole [00:42:09] It was creative!
Nichole [00:42:12] A little update that I have.
Nichole [00:42:15] So I just wanted to let everyone know that I just found out through the video that Mexie did about chronic illness and capitalism recently, which I highly recommend.
Nichole [00:42:29] She used the phrase Time-Energy and cited me as the source for that. And longtime listeners will know that’s a little kind of a catch phrase that I come up with for explaining my experience as a chronically ill person and just how the concepts of time and energy are so closely intertwined for me that I can’t really talk about productivity, not necessarily in the gross capitalist way, but just in terms of literally getting things done, without these two units being connected to each other.
Nichole [00:43:07] So it’s been a it’s been a shorthand way for me to explain the experience that like I may have technically the time to do something, but I don’t have the energy, which makes me feel like I don’t have the time.
Nichole [00:43:19] And it was a way to kind of explain the difficulty I had in talking to able-bodied people.
Nichole [00:43:26] You know, say you go back to work on Monday and, you know, people are asking you what you did over the weekend or if you got something done that you’d been talking about. And often I would find myself saying I didn’t have the time, but technically I did have the time, you know, but I was stuck in bed or stuck laying on the couch watching TV and just literally did not have the energy to do whatever it was that I wanted to do. So for me, it was often thinking about if I had more time then I could generate the energy for something. But that often the way that we talk about time so often clouds the fact that what we really mean is that we don’t have the energy but when we’re talking to able-bodied people, they don’t really understand that. And people tend to more understand not having time for things. So we we sort of talk about it in a time perspective, but that’s not actually accurate to our experience. So I just started saying time-energy as just this unit of like I just didn’t have this unit of a thing to do whatever it was that needed to get done. And it felt more accurate, my own lived experience and the truth of my situation. But while also still not having to get too deep in the weeds with able-bodied folks who just wouldn’t really understand it. You know, who would think let go, just taken up and then you’re fine. It’s like, no, that doesn’t work.
Nichole [00:44:49] So long story longer. Someone who watched Mexie’s video is a follower of another YouTuber called theory pleeb. And this person has actually created some scholarship around a concept, a theory called Timenergy. So for me, when I talk about I’ve always pictured it as time dash energy. This person is actually combine the two words together. So it’s one word of time, energy. And they’ve taken a much more heady and academic approach to it than I have and developed a really cool theory around this that brings in Heidegger and Marxist scholarship and really connects the concepts of the concept of timenergy to capitalism and alienation. So I’m going to link to the playlist, their playlist around Timenergy and the show notes. I highly recommend you check it out if this is interesting to you. And I actually had an amazing Twitter discussion with this person, you know, because I went on their thread where they were like, Hey, I know someone mentioned this theory in their video and didn’t cite me thinking it was the same thing. And so we had a nice discussion about, you know, I was like, hey, I’m the person who came up with that and it wasn’t based on your scholarship but I think the work that you’re doing is really important because my stuff is more of, again, just a shorthand to talk about my lived experience and the work that this person’s doing is really grounded more in like critical theory. And so we had an awesome discussion and decided that we’re both going to use both terms and, you know, cite the other person when appropriate. But we’re gonna use time-energy to more describe the personalized experiences I have been and then timenergy in their way to talk about this… Connecting it to larger structure. Hers was we sort of do casually on the show, I mean, we’re always reading everything in our anti-capitalist stance. But, you know, this is just in a more formalized way, which I think is really cool.
Nichole [00:47:02] So, yeah. Check out that playlist, cite this person, if you ever use timenergy in the way that they are referencing it again, this is theory pleeb on Twitter and YouTube. And just you know, this is a beautiful example of academics and laymen getting together and working together to do good stuff for a movement. And I just like, am honestly really touched by that interaction I had with this person. And I just think it’s super cool that we found a way instead of being territorial about our stuff to just collaborate and like gas each other up. And now I have a new friend on the Internet, which is really nice. So please support this person and check out their work.
Nichole [00:47:50] So yeah, that’s what I had to say about that.
Nichole [00:47:54] I believe we have some Patreon patrons this week.
Callie [00:48:00] We do.
Nichole [00:48:01] Patronising us.
Callie [00:48:02] Speaking of coins, will thank some people who gave us some. [laughs]
Nichole [00:48:07] Ooooh!
Callie [00:48:08] See that? See what I did there.
Nichole [00:48:12] Yeah. That was dangerously close to a dad joke, by the way.
Nichole [00:48:15] I just want to let you know.
Callie [00:48:18] I think it was just a brilliant segue, not a dad joke.
Nichole [00:48:23] Oh oh! My apologies! How dare I??
Callie [00:48:28] I mean, that’s what I’m saying.
Callie [00:48:34] Okay, so we have a new Patreon Charlotte. Thank you, Charlotte. We got a one time donation from Carla. Thank you, Carla. And another new patron donor. Andrew. Thank you, Andrew. And we have a new PayPal donor, Theodore. And then our last new Patreon supporter is Laura. So thank you, Laura. Thank you to everyone who has donated to us on patron or PayPal. Every little bit helps and we appreciate it.
Nichole [00:49:11] Yes. And we know times are tough right now, so there’s no pressure to donate or to cancel if you need to. But we do appreciate for those of you that have the coins it’s very critical for us- we’re in a growth stage and trying to figure out what we can do. And there’s a lot of stuff I need to take this to the next level. So I wanted to put out a little… I’ll be doing a social media campaign about this this week but I have tried out a transcription service that actually works pretty well. It still requires me to do like three or four hours of labor on top of the transcription, just service doing the automatic transcription. The service is $60 a month or. I think it’s four hundred and five hundred forty a year, which I would like to do the yearly because you save 20 percent. So what Callie and I would like to do is see if we can start raising an extra $60 plus a month to be able to afford the service. That of free trial, which is how I was able to try it out. But if we can raise that and especially if we can raise a little extra than I could do the automatic transcription service and then eventually I could pay someone else or other people to do the manual part of going through and making sure the formatting is right and correcting any of the little word errors in there. But it’s something we’ve been asked about for a long time and I just don’t know if people realize how expensive it is and how time consuming it is, but it’s something that I’ve been dying to offer and I think actually would help us for SEO and stuff to the website. But yeah! So I know again, we’re in a time of COVID, so I get if you can’t donate totally understand. But we did want to start actually raising towards a goal of being able to offer transcriptions. We do have a transcript for the first Bitchy Shitshow episode and last week’s episode. I’ll be able to do this week’s episode as well. And then after that I’m gonna have to start to. Pay. Some. Money.
Nichole [00:51:26] So yeah.
Nichole [00:51:29] Yeah, if you’re able go to page on dot com slash bitchy shit show or you can donate to us on pay pal. How are people doing that. Are they able to search for a name.
Callie [00:51:42] Yes. So you can search for us on pay pal by looking up spirt email address which is contact at bitchy shit show dot com. Yeah. I don’t think we have the PayPal button on our website yet. So. So I’m kind of impressed that someone was able to do that. [both laugh]
Callie [00:52:03] Didn’t think about.
Nichole [00:52:05] I just realized I was like, wait a minute.
Nichole [00:52:08] Well I will add that’s my to do list. So hopefully by the time this airs we will have the PayPal button on our website.
Nichole [00:52:13] But yeah, just just know that, you know, the funds we’re trying to raise or going to go to that service.
Nichole [00:52:22] And I think that that would be really awesome if we could offer it. But also to understand that it’s very expensive and extremely time-consuming. So we do need the help to get there.
Callie [00:52:32] Yeah, any any little bit helps. So if you’re able. Like again, Nichole said, we know times are tough, but if you can support us, you know, we’re small, leftist, radical creators. So just know that any support you can give to us or other creators really makes stuff like this possible. And we really appreciate it’s important that we, you know, make sure that smaller voices are heard and that it’s not all just fucking corporate propaganda. But if you are not able to donate, you can also- I can’t believe we are back to doing this again!- But you can rate and review us on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts. I’ve already been seeing some coming in. And just thank you all so much for the five star rating and also any comments that you’ve been leaving. It’s been really a joy to read that you loved the show and that you still like it and the direction we’re going now. Yes.
Nichole [00:53:38] And I’ll do a more formal push for this in a couple weeks. But we do have a YouTube channel now. And our first goal is to get up to a thousand subscribers because you need to have that many in order to register as a YouTube partner and get features like a super chat that we would want to have during livestreams. So you can just subscribe to our YouTube channel and that really helps us out. You can follow us on Twitter, Instagram and like my fucking genius tweets and memes. [Callie bursts out giggling] Callie and I were just bitching before we started recording about how we’ve like posted stuff that we thought was pure fire.
Nichole [00:54:21] And then you get like 2 likes and you’re like what the fuck!? Like, ahhh I just broke the Internet with my genius. And then it’s like nothing.
Nichole [00:54:31] And you’re like, goddamn it.
Callie [00:54:32] It’s so hard to tell, like, what’s going to resonate and what doesn’t. Like the silliest little thing that all of sudden blows the fuck up and you’re like this!? This is what got a lot of engagement. OK. Cool.
Nichole [00:54:50] Yeah, I know I posted some a meme on Instagram the other day that blew up and it had like so many angry libs and it was like obviously one of the hashtags that I used must be followed by like libs who were just ready to rumble. But I was like, I don’t know which one. And it was a good meme, but it was kind of one I just post. I was like, oh, I have this.
Nichole [00:55:16] And, you know, I keep like a list of ones that I think are interesting. So. I try to make my own as often as I can, but I like use other ones when I can’t.
Nichole [00:55:27] And yeah, I just kind of posted it and then I checked back and I was like, jesus what happened?!
Nichole [00:55:36] So, yeah. And then I posted one that I thought was going to blow up and I seriously have like 20 likes on it. I’m like, OK. I don’t I don’t understand.
Nichole [00:55:46] I don’t get it.
Callie [00:55:47] Ah the life of media creators.
Nichole [00:55:50] I know social media moguls.
Callie [00:55:53] Moguls!
Nichole [00:55:56] But yes, in conclusion, as we are a growing show. Monies, very helpful, but also likes shares and reviews extremely helpful. The more traction we can get on social media and whatnot the better for us.
Callie [00:56:14] Yeah, radicalize your friends and family members by exposing them to this shitshow.
Callie [00:56:22] [in unison] Literally!
Callie [00:56:23] In more ways than one.
Nichole [00:56:26] I got in a fight with someone on social media and they were like, it’s all in the name. Or like the name says it all. I think that’s what they said, and I was like, yeah.
Callie [00:56:37] Like we picked the name. Did you think that was going to hurt our feelings?
Nichole [00:56:41] Yeah. I’m like, don’t you get that? That’s literally why we picked the name. It’s like I’ve already said this about myself, like, what can you say to me? Like, you have to be creative.
Callie [00:56:56] Good people are so boring.
Nichole [00:56:57] Which you are not. I know, they’re so boring!
Nichole [00:57:04] That was one of my tweets I thought was going to blow up. As I just said, libs are boring af and the laughing emoji I was like, who won’t relate to this??
Nichole [00:57:13] But it didn’t.
Callie [00:57:15] Ah, I love it.
Nichole [00:57:17] I have kind of a secondary joke, but you’ll like you’ll like this one. And I posted on social media, which is why I’m not telling it as the official joke. Can you tell you?
Callie [00:57:31] [despondent] Sure.
Nichole [00:57:31] You might have actually seen it because I posted on Twitter. Do you know what a group of Karens is called?
Callie [00:57:37] No.
Nichole [00:57:39] A privilege.
Callie [00:57:41] That’s- I I endorse that joke.
Nichole [00:57:45] Isn’t it amazing?
Callie [00:57:46] My stamp of approval.
Nichole [00:57:51] I got that from T.J. Benton on Twitter. Who wrote like I just heard that a group of Karens is called a privilege and and can’t stop laughing. And it was like, holy shit that’s amazing.
Callie [00:58:02] Also I saw that apparently there was this whole discussion about, god, I can’t even believe I’m going to like these words are gonna come out of my mouth. But apparently some people, white women, are trying to say that Karen is offensive and a derogatory term, on a s- and should not be used in a similar way that like other hate speech should not be used against oppressed people and just…
Nichole [00:58:37] Oh boy.
Callie [00:58:37] No the fuck, it’s not.
Callie [00:58:41] No, it’s not it’s not misogynistic.
Callie [00:58:44] It is very specifically against a certain type of white woman who is weaponizing her privilege in a capitalist, heteronormative, white supremacist, colonial way.
Callie [00:59:01] So, no, we’re not going to stop saying it. No, it’s not sexist.
Callie [00:59:06] Fuck off.
Nichole [00:59:10] Yes. Cosign all of that.
Callie [00:59:12] I literally like couldn’t believe it. I was just like this. This is where we’re at? Like like this person really thought she had something there, you know?
Nichole [00:59:24] Oh, yeah. They always do.
Callie [00:59:26] They always do.
Nichole [00:59:28] That’s the biggest thing I’ve learned with fighting with people online is that they just always think they like dropped the mic on you with some thing that is just so basic and unfounded. And like you’re like, no, no, you don’t. Please stop.
Callie [00:59:45] Yeah. No. That is not the same as something that is tied to like a historic system of oppression.
Callie [00:59:57] Anyway.
Nichole [01:00:00] And I’m sorry. Anyone who can afford three or four different types of highlights is very privileged, is not oppressed.
Nichole [01:00:10] I know how much it highlights and lowlights costs. Are you kidding me? Yeah. Those fucking haircuts with the twelve different colors in them. No.
Callie [01:00:20] Well some- never mind.
Callie [01:00:23] Anyway. Let’s get into the main topic!
Nichole [01:00:30] Yeah.
Nichole [01:00:32] I don’t know how long this is going to be, but it’s something I’ve been chewing on for a little while. Just watching Rising for instance, where…
Nichole [01:00:42] Saagar, you know, repeatedly lulls me to sleep with his populist rhetoric and then jerk’s me awake with something mildly racist or whatever.
Nichole [01:00:54] There was- they’ve been talking a lot and replaying the Trump ad that Trump did against Biden recently. That’s based on China. So, you know, the ads like [in dramatic ad voice] Biden’s soft on China. Biden’s best friends with China.
Nichole [01:01:14] And like I have all these clips of Biden, you know, talking about China and how, like, if China prospers, we prosper. You know, whatever. And Saagar, you know, his whole thing was like, oh, the Democrats are seeing this ad as racist and blah, blah, blah, and it’s like on one hand I get his point. Because, you know, Democrats are always focused on the wrong things.
Nichole [01:01:42] But on the other hand- [both laughing]
Callie [01:01:48] That should be the clip you pull out of the show. It’s just you saying the Democrats are always wrong on everything.
Nichole [01:01:57] Yes, it’s that. That’s it. That’s the whole topic.
Nichole [01:02:02] No, but like.
Nichole [01:02:03] But the thing is, when you watch that ad, it is very- like it’s very clear in and with Trump calling China- ugh China- Trump calling coronavirus like the China virus and stuff like that, like it is very clear that there is inherently some xenophobic racist rhetoric entailed in that. And you see that even with Russia, where, of course, it’s not racist.
Nichole [01:02:35] And it may not even necessarily be xenophobic, but this falls in line with like, you know, fear mongering around communism and socialism and things like that. So I just want to say, like, first of all, with China, like, it is obviously fine to criticize the Chinese leadership in government because it’s fucking terrible. But when you talk about “China” is the trigger word, you are vilifying an entire country of people who are suffering under that leadership. You’re vilifying even Chinese Americans and Chinese immigrants in our country. Like when you call the coronavirus, a China virus like that is instigating hate and violence towards those people in our country and then hate of this other country. And I just think, like, probably a lot of people listening agree. But I just wanted to like say it and point it out, because sometimes I still get that American-bred fear of being like open and like soft towards other countries, you know. And so I like I don’t know, just watching these ads- because of obviously, too, like when do I ever see a Republican ad for anything? So it’s very jarring. And then Biden has his own ads about that also basically are like China, China, China. And the tone isn’t quite as bad as the Trump ad, but the message is essentially the same that like this person’s friends with China or was too soft on China. And and just the idea that we’re talking about China and not the leader or the government and making that clear that that’s what we’re talking about, like to give credit to other countries, like a lot of other countries, when I see them criticize the United States often. I mean, they may say the United States, but often they’re like the Trump administration or they’re you know, they’re making it clear that they’re talking about like our government and our leadership. And then here we’re just fearmongering about an entire country that we should have sympathy for and that like we should have love for our fellow citizens that are like from that country and immigrants. So I just wanted to bring that up is just kind of like a thing. A thought piece, I guess, of just the framing of how we talk about these things is really important. And now that I’m being exposed to seeing how both sides talk about it, I do find it very disturbing.
Nichole [01:05:17] That we’re vilifying an entire country because they have shit leadership that’s like terrorizing its own citizens, not to mention, you know, whatever they might be doing to us. Like we should not be making it harder for the people of that country or people who live here who have ties to that country.
Nichole [01:05:38] Why? For what? And even saying that, like some people would jump on you for being like a fucking communist or whatever, and you’re like, well, yeah, I am, but also…
Callie [01:05:49] Not in the way that you mean though!
Nichole [01:05:52] Yeah. Yeah. And that’s like the other part of what I want to talk about.
Nichole [01:05:56] But, you know, just focusing on this for a minute or just, you know, the Tara Reade thing also really brought this to light for me because supposedly she wrote some blog post about Putin and Russia. And it’s like, yeah, Putin’s a bad dude, like we shouldn’t be writing nice things about him. But at the same time, like, how is that different than all the people who are in love with Trump?
Callie [01:06:20] Or Bush, who’s the literal war criminal?
Nichole [01:06:23] Or Bush?! Or I’m sorry, I’m gonna say it, fuckin Obama?
Nichole [01:06:28] Like if you’re in a country that Obama bombed the shit out of and you had someone, people here who just fucking love him. Like, do you see the way that we vilify other countries? And it really is based on this like very old tradition of like McCarthyism and the Red Scare and all the stuff that we’ve been indoctrinated with simply because capitalism does not want any- capitalism wants us terrified of any alternative to capitalism. Capitalism wants us to know that we will be seen as a traitor to our country and government. If we’re considering any alternative to capitalism.
Callie [01:07:09] Yes, we should be highly suspicious, like highly suspicious.
Callie [01:07:15] Any time our government tries to make anyone else out to be some sort of like boogeyman, you know, like any time they’re like, oh, like China or Russia or whatever, this leader, that leader, this other country, it’s like we should be very suspicious of that. And we should stop being so nervous about being seen as like traitors.
Callie [01:07:40] You know, like we obviously have a very problematic, horrific history in this country. But if you’re going to take anything like any of the good out, it’s that like we threw off like an authoritarian ruler, like we were we freed ourselves from unjust ruling and lack of representation. And now it’s like if you say anything bad about the police or the military or the government or the president, then you’re like a fucking traitor and you should leave. It’s like that’s kind of the whole reason, like we formed as a country. It’s the whole reason why we like had the Revolutionary War. So like we should be embracing any time we look at our government with suspicion, like the minute we stop looking at them with suspicion is when we’ve lost. You know, it’s when they’re able to put us to sleep, which is literally what has happened. Citizens are policing each other to like hold up our government as legitimate and to not criticize it.
Callie [01:08:46] And that is an extremely dangerous place to be in. And I just echo everything you said about how it is completely fair to be criticizing leaders of other countries, especially in authoritarian regimes where they are pressing their own people. I mean, China was literally seeing incredible protests before they all like got locked down because of Coronavirus. And if we’re gonna criticize other countries, like we need to be really careful when we say who we’re criticizing like like criticizing China, like we’re criticizing like the Chinese government; like we’re not criticizing Russia, we are criticizing like Putin or, you know, whatever. Even Iran, after the Trump administration assassinated the Iranian General Suleimani, like came out and said, like, we are not mad at the American people. Like I’m paraphrasing, obviously, but they were like, we are we have no quarrel with the American people. But like your government took a legal action against us, like you assassinated one of our top generals.
Callie [01:09:57] Like even they’re doing this work of being like, no, no, like we are specifically criticizing your leadership. And we know that a lot of you, like, do not support like what happened. And somehow we can’t do that. Like we fucking killed their dude and they’re like, we get it. So, yeah, I just I just have a lot of issues with the way we we talk about these other these other countries. Yeah. And just in general, the Democrats have to stop taking the opposite position of Republicans and in particular Trump like you literally had for the last, you know, three years or whatever. You’ve had the Democrats attacking Trump from the right to go after Russia. And it’s like this is how ridiculous y’all are that you’re just literally opposed to him, even if it means you’re now attacking him from the right, like you’re you’re baiting him in to war or at least violent conflict with Russia. Just because you hate him like that makes no fucking sense. I have no love for the Russian government, but I don’t want war with Russia. And you literally see Dems now, if you disagree with any, any neo liberal Democratic position, they just call you a Russian agent like that is that is asinine. Like we are literally back in the days of like the Red Scare and everyone being like, who’s a Russian agent, who’s a Russian agent, and who’s a fucking undercover communist?! It’s like we are so fucking far off track.
Callie [01:11:40] It’s it’s hard to even portray it, like how far off the path we are.
Nichole [01:11:48] Yes, 100 percent. And it just shows how fucking ignorant U.S. citizens are.
Nichole [01:11:55] And like, again, by design. That we don’t even understand, we’ve allowed our government for years and years and years to brainwash us about these other forms of economy and like government and to really just be so black and white about stuff. Like, again, the whole Tara Reade thing, I just could not believe. I mean, the very small amount of reporting that’s been done in the mainstream media makes sure to bring that up as a concern to her story, because everyone thinks she’s a Russian like plant for Bernie.
Nichole [01:12:33] And it’s like Bernie- Russia doesn’t want Bernie in the White House.
Nichole [01:12:39] Now, there’s no one on earth besides this, the DNC who thinks that Joe Biden is more electable and even they know he’s not more electable. They just know that they’ll like throw themselves behind him. Right. But like, everybody knows that Bernie is way more electable against Trump than Biden. So it’s like none of this even makes sense. But the fact that she wrote this this blog post at one point and she says that she was in a creative writing class and that she had a friend who was Russian and loved her country and it opened her eyes to like that Russia’s this beautiful country.
Nichole [01:13:20] I don’t know what she wrote about Putin exactly. But the only reason I’m recounting her story is because it did kind of like strike me that you could be someone who’s like like I follow some accounts on Instagram of people who speak about countries that we vilify here and they’re, either from them or they live there, whatever. But they’re just like, you’re being like misled about our my like, I love my country. And it’s so her story just kind of resonated with me of like, yeah, maybe you would meet someone like and that’s my point, too, is like even if this person was like, loved Putin and, you know, so that rubbed off on Tara Reade how is that different than someone meetings, meeting somebody who’s a Trump supporter and then like being soft towards the Trump administration from a different country? Right? Like we wouldn’t call that person like a fucking like communist or like an agent or a plant or a bot. You know, we would just be like, oh, yeah. You met one of our one of our bad ones. Right. One of our lost people.
Callie [01:14:29] We have just so drunk the Kool-Aid that we think we’re the only ones allowed to be patriotic towards our country. You know, like they no one else is allowed to say any proud of their country or their history or their culture except us, which is.
Nichole [01:14:47] And it goes back to, you know, what I always bring up with the like white shamanism concept that I got from racism as zoological witchcraft book by Aph Ko. Because to me, that’s another form of it, right? Like we are supposed to be so unquestioningly patriotic here, which is, by the way, a landmark of an authoritarian government. [Callie: “Say itttt!”]
Nichole [01:15:17] First of all.
Nichole [01:15:20] So me thinks thou doth protest too much U.S. government. I’m a very learned person today if you can’t tell. I finished a book, so I’m like, real smart now.
Nichole [01:15:44] But- what was I going with this?
Nichole [01:15:50] Oh, yes. But so, OK.
Nichole [01:15:52] So we’re supposed to be unquestioningly, violently, literally, violently patriotic. And yet, if any other country is patriotic, they’re the fucking enemy. And we use that patriotism to display their evilness. Right. Because even if you live somewhere else, you’re supposed to worship at the altar of the United States. And it’s like that is like this concept of like white imperialistic shamanism is like we need to even suck the pride out of people in other countries who don’t even live here. And what do we do to people who immigrate here? We interrogate them. Right, if they want to become a citizen or whatever the situation is, we interrogate the shit out of them of like you better not have. I can’t tell you how many interrogations I’ve heard of where they’re like. Do you love your country or do you love this country? And it’s like, why is that a red flag? Why is that a red flag to love another country?
Callie [01:16:49] And don’t you have to renounce your like citizenship, like you have to do this whole fucking thing where you basically, like, give up, right, your citizenship and any like your oath that you have to take during the fuckin like.
Callie [01:17:06] Graduation ceremony or, I don’t think that’s the word for it but that’s what it seems like- where you basically have to pledge your allegiance to this country. It’s fucking none of us should be pledging our allegiance to any fucking government ever. The government should be imposing their allegiance to their people, not the other way around.
Nichole [01:17:31] God. That’s a word.
Nichole [01:17:35] So, yeah, I just I wanted to bring that up, that perspective of just we’re seeing a lot of this going around like Russia over the last five years has become, again, like center-focused enemy.
Nichole [01:17:52] I feel like we’re almost in another Cold War, but it’s not like it’s not the same. But it it kind of is a new variation of it. You know, where like, again, it’s just this behemoth enemy that’s like always looming on the horizon. And we’re just supposed to fucking like, hate them without even any credible information coming our way. And we’re supposed to think so many people in our own country are traitors and spies for them. And like, you know, just be suspicious of everyone. And it’s just like. We’ve lived through this before and it was really fucking bad and people got killed over this shit. Like how close are we to people reporting each other? What the fuck are we doing?
Callie [01:18:38] I mean, they probably already are.
Nichole [01:18:39] It’s fucking scary, I’m sure.
Nichole [01:18:42] And to see people just like average citizens partaking in this again and it’s just like you fucking jerkoffs like get it together.
Nichole [01:18:53] It’s just the more I look around, the more I just see people begging for their own oppression and just begging for the destruction of like everything around them, like they’re begging us to become a fully fascist government. They’re literally pleading for it. They’re like, all in. Ready.
Nichole [01:19:11] And I’m just like. What do we do?
Callie [01:19:15] And they don’t see it.
Nichole [01:19:16] What do we do?
Callie [01:19:16] Neither side see it. They’re begging different groups, but they’re all doing it. I mean, you have the Liberals that are criticizing Trump’s supporters from basically having blind faith in their dear leader to the point where he can be actively contradicting himself and they still won’t see through his lies. Right. They still don’t see how much he’s like full of shit or lied and is now covering it up like you have the liberals making fun of them.
Callie [01:19:44] But it’s like y’all are out here actively thirsting for fucking Cuomo who is like such a dirt bag. He literally was in a press conference.
Callie [01:19:56] He had someone’s like ask him a question about like pay and not being able to like pay their bills or whatever. What they can do about the fact that like they can’t work. And he’s just snidely was like, I would just tell you to, like, go take an essential job if you want to get paid. Like if you need money so bad, then like, go take one of these essential jobs. And it’s like, what?
Callie [01:20:21] Like that can’t that can’t be your answer. Not only are so many people unable to take those jobs because they’re immunocompromised or they live with someone who is. It’s like they shouldn’t be had- or even just they can’t afford to get sick because they don’t have health care, even if they’re not immunocompromised, like who can really afford to be sick for three fucking weeks.
Callie [01:20:43] Right?! And then possibly have like long term after effects of getting this virus. Like, but he’s the one that you all want to like thirst- actively thirst over.
Callie [01:20:58] We all just are so craving this like strong man daddy type. And it’s it’s happening on the left and it’s happening on the right.
Callie [01:21:07] And it’s like. That needs to stop. We have to stop expecting some fucking daddy figure to come in and save us. They’re not going to. We need to save ourselves. And we can only do that by banding together. But all of this, like fucking rhetoric is so toxic.
Nichole [01:21:26] It’s so toxic and the other thing you have from the Democrats. So we have a clear fascism, authoritarianism, whatever you want to call it, on the right. That’s clear. But on the quote unquote left a.k.a. the middle, and that’s being generous, we have we have literally they’re trying to control like information.
Callie [01:21:56] Not even just trying. They’re actively succeeding.
Nichole [01:21:59] I mean, they’re doing it.
Callie [01:22:00] Look at Bernie.
Nichole [01:22:01] They’re doing it. And it’s not just I mean, it’s it’s at a very high corrupt level in the media. We see that very clearly where they literally change the narrative around everything or they do stuff like with Tara Reade where they refused to report on it until it’s politically advantageous and then those the reporting is very biased and skewed. But but we also see it at a at a micro level, I guess you could say, in like the Biden Bros, in the vote blue no matter who crowd, in the Warren stands, and the Hillary stands and all these people who just literally are like, you were going against the party line and you’re a traitor.
Nichole [01:22:46] That is every bit as much authoritarian as anything that the Republicans are doing. Yeah. Controlling information and enforcing political correctness. Right. In the original sense of the term in that there is a party line in anything that does not reflect that or that challenges that is politically incorrect.
Nichole [01:23:09] They’re enforcing literal like P.C. culture on the left. Again, big air quotes.
Nichole [01:23:18] Which is every bit as much dystopian and oppressive, every bit as much. I mean, you have them in there constantly ripping on Trump for giving false information. And it’s like, but you’re doing that as well. You’re just more polished about it and sneaky about it. And I’ve read a few tweets lately. One was especially good and I can’t remember who’s who said it, but it was like.
Nichole [01:23:43] You know, like I would take.
Nichole [01:23:46] Republicans over Democrats any day, because at least Republicans are out in the open about what they’re doing. But Democrats like try to make you think they’re your friend. And then they stab you in the back and it’s like it’s literally two sides of the same coin. So, yeah, we’re already rife with like fascism here. And we are you read history about how countries, you know, fell to dictatorships. And and this is literally the type of conditions that they’re in. And that’s what scares me about this pandemic. This pandemic is- I hate using the word opportunity because it’s gross for a time when people are dying. But but but it’s a breaking point where we’re going to break left or we’re going to break right. And we might do both. Right? One after the other and might be back and forth. But like, we are primed for it it’s no surprise why Trump is in the White House. I guess is my point like this. This was… Always going to happen. There’s really no other option right now. And it’s scary and it’s scary to look at your fellow citizens and realize that they are just 100 percent invested in the fall of their own country.
Nichole [01:25:04] On both sides.
Nichole [01:25:05] On both sides. Yeah. I mean, I literally hate Democrats as much as I hate Republicans. I really do. Agreed. Maybe even more so in a certain way. And that, you know, in that way, they, like you hate someone that you thought was your friend more than you hate the bully. That just was always an asshole.
Callie [01:25:23] Yeah.
Callie [01:25:24] I mean, it is true that there has an authentic authenticity with Republicans that does not exist in the Democrats, you know.
Nichole [01:25:36] Yeah.
Callie [01:25:37] Like. The Republicans aren’t gaslighting people into thinking they’re like the good guys, you know. I mean, I guess Trump did to a certain extent he kind of portrayed himself as who was going to like help the working man and, you know, his whole drain the swamp thing. And that was obviously a lie. I mean, the guy shits on a gold toilet.
Callie [01:26:01] You really thought he was going to help Joe the Plumber in Ohio. But.
Nichole [01:26:09] Oh, Good ol Joe the Plumber.
Callie [01:26:09] Yeah, but.
Callie [01:26:12] But. Yeah. I mean, they’re both they’re both lying and the allegiance that people feel to their own camp is really scary. I mean, rising did I think it may have been Saagar in his, his segment.
Callie [01:26:30] Although I I can’t remember. Maybe it just came up as a part of this whole discussion about China. But he pointed out how Pelosi staged this whole fucking thing where they went and like walked through Chinatown in San Francisco. I think, right, because that’s where she is based. And they were like, everyone should like, come like there’s no reason. Because they were trying to, like, combat the whole like China xenophobia that was coming out of like calling this the China virus and making it seem like Asian people were the ones who, like, had the virus or could spread it, which is like it had nothing to do with their ethnicity. It just happened to like come out of that area. Anyway. They were trying to, like, combat this. Right. And play the whole like P.C. game where they’re like, look at us. We’re like so much better than them because they’re just hateful and we’re not! It’s like, yeah, but there were all we already knew the risks of being in public spaces at that point. So you did this whole publicity stunt. And I can see why you did it. And I don’t even necessarily disagree with trying to like combat the xenophobia of the narrative coming out of the Trump administration.
Callie [01:27:40] But it’s like. But that was unsafe. Like you put people’s lives at risk just to oppose Trump in this one way.
Callie [01:27:49] And it’s like.
Nichole [01:27:51] And perform “wokeness”.
Callie [01:27:52] Exactly! And it’s fake! It’s like they don’t fuckin really care. But it was just one more way that they could like dunk on Trump, you know, and it’s like you fuckin risk people’s lives.
Callie [01:28:02] We already knew how dangerous. We didn’t know as much as we know now, but we already knew it was dangerous to be out in public areas. You should have been encouraging people to like flock to markets and public places.
Nichole [01:28:16] Well, I hate to say it, but it’s similar to the shit the AOC is doing where she’s like making all these impassioned speeches about stuff but then she’s always blaming the Republicans and it’s like half of this shit was Pelosi.
Callie [01:28:30] Yeah, the Democrats have the majority in the House.
Nichole [01:28:35] Right. So like she’ll go off generally and she’s on fire and she’s like, right on fuckin point, like, I’ll give her that. And she is standing up a little bit. But like but then whenever she calls out anyone, it’s always the Republicans. And it’s like, why are you calling out other progressives and why the fuck aren’t you calling out Pelosi? Who’s doing these things?
Nichole [01:29:02] I mean, the Democrats are doing harmful shit.
Nichole [01:29:08] And but we’re not allowed to talk about that. And something else they talk about on Rising that has really been resonating with me a lot is just to your point, like this idea that, you know… The Democrats, basically their whole platform and everything they do is just to be opposed to Trump or contradicting with Trump. So first of all, they can’t see times when they should work with him because it might actually be a good idea. But also then because the media takes their orders from the Democrats, the media is not reporting on facts. The media is just reporting Trump bad. And then the the the mainstream media, like what do you call it, it’s not really left. But anyway, I guess the left mainstream media is just reporting Trump bad. And then the right mainstream media is just reporting Trump good. And no one’s like covering the fucking news. Like Saagar made a really good point about like the Iraq war. And he was like. Now there was a lot of obviously the media did gas up Bush about that in the war and like put a positive spin on it. But we were also getting reporting that was saying like what was happening in the war. And he’s like, when you look at coronavirus, we’re not really getting that. We’re not really getting just flat reporting on like what is happening with the Coronavirus. It’s we’re getting it because we consume independent media. But like if you watch mainstream media, it’s more like, oh, how did Trump fuck this up or how did the Democrats fuck this up? And it’s like no one’s just reporting on the news of like, what are we going through right now? And that’s hugely impacting as we’ve been talking about this whole time then the way that citizens think critically or don’t about politics and policy and government. And we’re just seeing it’s having like a disastrous effect on all of us.
Nichole [01:31:09] So the other quick thing I wanted to bring up is just to point out a lot of you, again, probably like are already aware of this, but in the United States specifically, possibly in other countries, there’s a long history of scaremongering around all this stuff. So I found a Medium.com article that just I’m going to read a paragraph from.
Nichole [01:31:35] But it says, “After World War One, which many socialists oppose, the federal government crackdown on political dissent, both real and imagined. This was the first red scare. Socialists were lumped together with anarchists, Bolsheviks and communists, all of which are considered terrorist organizations by the U.S. military. Immigrants were seen as harbinger- harbingers of dangerous socialist ideas. Their communities were targeted and many were deported. Even activists working towards racial equality fell under the government’s federal government scrutiny. Socialism became an ideological boogeyman used by the government to justify the extraordinary retaliatory measures taken against segments of the U.S. population.”.
Nichole [01:32:18] So it goes on and there’s a lot of good information. But I just wanted to like because they know we have a lot of international listeners and a lot of young listeners. And I didn’t really, really experience this in my lifetime. But there has been enough there was enough of like the Red Scare left over and now that I’m seeing it resurge that I just wanted to like, again, very clearly highlight that this scaremongering around anarchism, around socialism, around communism is literally a tactic of our government.
Nichole [01:32:53] There’s no validity in it. And one of the points I wanted to make is that the irony here is that socialism and communism actually work on paper. Capitalism doesn’t even work on paper. It’s evil even in theory. And yet what we hear is that socialism and communism are inherently evil forms of government. And capitalism is just something that needs to be reformed. But it’s really the good guy, right? It’s just being done wrong or bad people are taking advantage of it. It just needs to be tweaked a little bit. And then it’ll it’ll be this glorious thing for everybody. And I just wanted to like highlight the absurdity of that, because if you look at socialism or communism on paper, how could you not be like, yeah. But we can understand that, right, that these things have been implemented. First of all, they’re usually not like really implemented. Like the full theory of socialism or communism is not implemented by a dictator. That’s inherently opposed. You can’t have a dictator and have theories that are built around social democracy and like community management of resources. But we, you know, we can take it we can take a step back and say, oh, well, those like work on paper, but then these like evil people get into power and pervert them and then it doesn’t work. But the irony here is that you can’t say that about capitalism because capitalism is its own beast. It’s just not something that can be contained or controlled by design. And and it necessitates exploitation of people. So even if you had the best leader in a capitalist economy, you’re going to end up with something bad that exploits people. And we see that we see politicians that really mean well, or leaders that really mean well and they get corrupted. I think that’s a lot of the progressives were watching it happen to them. They’ve been eaten up by the machine. Right. And we can argue how, you know, how committed or how strong they were. But I will say, like Bernie has spent his life doing good things in Vermont. Maybe it was oversold. I don’t know. But I’ve seen enough of his speeches. I’ve seen him give an eight hour fucking speech to try to block something. That I have to believe that, like, he really does have good intentions and he really did want better for the country. But he had no chance. He had no chance. It’s like the guy who took his company and like paid himself seventy five thousand a year and everyone else seventy five thousand a year, and then realized like he thought everyone else was gonna do it, too.
Nichole [01:35:51] And they didn’t. And you can’t compete in a marketplace like that.
Nichole [01:35:58] I mean, you can if you cap yourself. But again, if you have a big enough company, you have investors and those investors aren’t going to be like, this is all cute, but like, we you know, we’re gonna get bought out by somebody if you don’t cut it out. So just all the say in this came through in the book that I just read. But it’s um, it’s an act of resistance, and I think it’s very important right now, to do education around socialism, anarchy and communism. Whether you use those words or not, I think there’s a lot of power in using them. There’s also a lot of danger in using them, I feel potentially, coming down the road. But the more people we can get to see that these are things that have been vilified in order to control you and control your thoughts in the narrative and your access to options. Because if you know that there’s an option of capitalism, you might consider it right? So you have to make every option of capitalism terrifying.
Nichole [01:36:58] Monsterous scary, right? Traitorous. No one wants to be a traitor in the U.S., even though there we’re the most “free country in the world.” Everyone’s fucking terrified to be a traitor because we know what we do with traitors here. Not so free after all, is it?
Callie [01:37:16] Yeah. One of my favorite concepts to come out of reading Daniel Quinn’s books is the idea of mother culture and.
Nichole [01:37:31] UH! All the snaps [snapping].
Callie [01:37:33] Yeah. And that’s something I’ve been thinking a lot.
Callie [01:37:35] With everything you’ve been saying so brilliantly on this episode about capitalism and how the fact that it’s even now being said. Like I even still get so many looks when I try to talk to like friends and family or whatever that aren’t leftist. And I’m like, you know, capitalism. And they kind of look at me like weird. And it’s taken a while for that to kind of start to fade a little bit. So it’s not such an extreme reaction, but people literally can’t imagine anything else, you know. And it’s it’s in this way of like Daniel Quinn’s theory is like mother culture is like whispering to you all the time, but you don’t even really see that it’s there. It’s like invisible to you. And so you just think that it’s like the most natural. You can’t imagine anything else existing because you don’t even realize that you’ve been indoctrinated into it. And that’s that’s, I think, what we’re up against. And that’s why it’s so important that we educate ourselves about the histories and rebellions and uprisings in the past. And I’m so glad you talked about how our government has always shut down any sort of resistance that’s dealt in talking about like communism or socialism or or anarchy at all. I mean, it’s it’s those people that really did the most with like labor union uprisings and and got labor unions the successes that they did. It was obviously partnering with workers. But and then you look at the Black Panthers. You know, you look at what they did, like they instituted lunches for kids. I mean, they literally was like, our government is not taking care of us. And we can clearly see that our kids are not going to perform well in schools if they’re fucking starving. So we’re gonna feed them and then they’re like, oh, my God, look like test scores and grades go up. And then there was community pressure of like, oh, shit, this is working. But people think like to this day, like the Black Panthers are like a terrorist group and it’s like they fucking fed their people and you hate them for it. I mean, they did other things, too, but like, you know, like people still have this, you know, white America has this like a loathing towards groups like that. And it’s like anarchists and communists and and Black Panther- like they got us protections, like they limited the work weeks and they made sure that you couldn’t be forced to work, you know, 90 hours a week and that you had weekends off, that the government has programs like social welfare programs to feed you. And we need to like tap into that history and, um, and see that this is a long running game that they’ve always tried- which is why I brought up earlier that I think they were always going to attack Bernie, whether he used the word democratic socialism or not, like they were always going to paint him with that because they’ve been so successful. I love when I when I hear criticism of communism and people are like, oh, it’s never worked. And it’s like because you have this imperialist war machine that attacks it and stamps it out anywhere around the world anytime it’s tried to happen.
Nichole [01:41:01] Well, it’s like when people bring up Venezuela and it’s like, are you serious? You’re going to blame that on socialism!?
Callie [01:41:13] Right. Yeah.
Callie [01:41:17] So just to just to say I buy I encourage people to, I think, take it seriously. And see that it’s. Not not a big deal to be using these labels, but that the more power we put into them, the more we talk about them, the more we pull the curtain back and let people see that capitalism isn’t natural, it’s not inherent, it’s not the air we breathe. It’s a system we could choose to walk away from. To step out of.
Callie [01:41:48] Yeah, and that’s that’s incredibly powerful and dangerous.
Nichole [01:41:52] Yeah, well, all right, everyone. That’s it.
Callie [01:41:57] It’s all we got.
Nichole [01:41:57] That’s the show.
Nichole [01:42:02] Well, as mentioned before. Follow us on all the socials if you want. We’ll have resources in the show notes, including links to all of our social media platforms. And we will talk to you next week.
Callie [01:42:15] Bye bye.
Nichole [01:42:16] Bye.