Roderick on the Line

Ep. 143: "Traffic Cones & Retirees"

 

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  [Music]

  hello hi John hi Merlin how's it going

  haha i'm going hungry

  yeah jerbear worship air terminal and

  feed bear woman a bit the knee and

  shareholders prayer I gotta grab your

  son passed the truck on the way in here

  that had a Soundgarden louder than love

  bumper sticker and it wasn't it was a

  new bumper sticker on an old truck and

  it really really put me into a put me

  into a spin little when they get you

  thinking about

  well where you get a new soundgarden

  louder than love bumper sticker but you

  get that that store at the airport

  oh yeah well maybe yeah what doesn't add

  some pop uh they were on Sub Pop in the

  early days

  whoo-hoo yeah maybe maybe that's where

  they got it at the side of the airport

  ah he said you passed the truck was a

  little worried for you for a minute

  yeah I know right today we're having a

  lot of the way I've been treating early

  trucks now you sound sick

  oh my god John did you have a bad you

  could hang on hang on to your bird flu

  um-hm I'm gonna try so hard to ride the

  cock button em know you have a cough

  button i have a keyboard based hacky

  cough button i'm told that I could get a

  hardware cough button but you know i

  don't know if i'm going to be sticking

  with the podcast and stuff all that long

  so crazy I know I know don't don't make

  like any kind of big investment

  what how do you do this keyboard hack

  well there are a variety of these are

  you really interested in this but are

  you kidding this is what our podcast is

  all about and all the points we have not

  talked on our podcast and so on it's

  been so long we've done a lot with a lot

  to talk about

  let's start with a mute buttons actually

  called it's called mute my mic and no

  way this is a nap

  snap he had a button and add mutant want

  some backup app always got in at Mike

  purchases and mute

  yeah right now you can you level up can

  you get it so it doesn't have ads

  mhm what's that supported and then

  occasionally it pops up a pink noise

  uh-huh unless you pay oh that's just one

  more fucking real

  yeah yeah well you know I my computer is

  is an IBM 8086 ok let me double check

  check the availability of that

  oh yeah this is gonna be tricky I'm

  running machine language is it beige on

  it is baby I second it is Jane be he

  fucked up and I yeah if there's a

  shareware version of good

  oh yes one-on-one Linus yeah you need to

  get the the new the Linus world cd-rom

  you can get that over to barnes and

  noble and that you going to do a match /

  dot DX e dot no space spelled out spread

  somebody out here to burn my CD the

  other day our friend Adam pepper Annika

  said can you just burn me a CD and I was

  like what can I and then I was like I

  could

  yeah but where do you get a CD anymore

  and then you then it was like oh wait i

  have a USB Drive on my keychain

  yeah I was like you know what that crazy

  fuck yeah I know I know yet you know

  it's funny this amazing really have a

  pretty old la by any standard except

  perhaps yours i have a very very old

  desktop computers from 2006 and and

  really true are you really running a

  2006 I'm so hard when I hate buying

  computers but but how does it have I

  mean Apple by design makes their

  upgrades kill old computer yes

  mm that's running some very old

  hacked-up software that I'm not proud of

  it but you've hacked a little got a hack

  but in a you know what's funny is when I

  bought this is even as recently took a

  year before my daughter was born about

  this computer in that age I had the

  presence of mind to buy i bought a mac

  pro with two DVD read-only drives

  excuse me to CD CD because you have

  these dvds to but it does it right i

  have two optical drives for reading

  discs because I don't know what I guess

  at some point I was thinking I might

  want to watch two movies at once haha

  it's so bizarre i don't know it's

  already feels like a million years away

  i've got a blu-ray burner and Ripper

  thing that's kind of janky but that

  works but I can't believe how rarely

  it's almost like a fax machine now how

  rarely i have to make you know DVD or CD

  dubs Yeah Yeah right why why would you

  because it's it was a mean it's funny

  because it used to be such I mean I can

  remember when you could first make cds

  on a Mac it seemed amazing because CD

  was the coin of the realm

  I mean that's how if you could make

  something that played like a CD that you

  dropped into a CD players like the most

  amazing thing in the world better but

  about to

  well absolutely of course you know

  you've given me stuff in the past on CDs

  that you know this unreleased and things

  like that but it's funny how now that

  feels like such an unnecessary middle

  step because what you gonna do as soon

  as you get the CD or into your dripping

  now you're gonna rip it and try to get

  it back it just seems it seems so

  bizarre

  it's like you know like I say it's like

  anybody wants you to fax some forms it

  feels so bizarre to me you're talking

  about my entire life now because every

  week somebody wants me to effects on the

  fucking form i know i am I remember the

  first mac i saw the the ones that look

  like cough drops

  oh yeah imac the imac the front windows

  first came out the first 1i saw did not

  have a seed be player have it all right

  oh no we didn't have to see didn't have

  a fighter I've had a CD reader but he

  couldn't write to it and it didn't have

  a

  uh-oh one of those little mini disc

  fucking christ and I was like well how

  do you write stuff to it

  how do you how do you how do you like

  and they the owner of this particular

  machine said well they don't there isn't

  a method to do that I bet they very

  patiently roll their eyes to explain to

  poor John what it's like to be alive in

  the 20th century and I i was astonished

  that you would spend that much money to

  buy a thing that you could not you

  couldn't export from you are not alone

  that was a very controversial choice and

  over the years has been a number of

  things that Apple has done now that

  we're doing a technology pockets because

  number things apples as done that have

  been very controversial because if you

  know for most of us growing up that was

  that was one of the primary opiate

  getting a car without a steering wheel

  for a car without a without a what

  windshield

  I mean trunk cup holder but just the

  ability I mean the whole point was we

  always did everything with disks and

  that seemed crazy and now today it's

  getting even crazier because with the

  laptops they make the one of the

  constraining factors to how thin the

  laptop can be is consistently those

  ports on the side all ports right you

  don't want ports because everything's

  included in the cloud but like you know

  but I mean like when they started the

  first time like now you do not get a

  optical drive the on a laptop and also

  it's a huge source of power consumption

  alright huh and then for example like an

  ethernet cable like a now youyou the

  they're too thin to have an ethernet

  port right so you have to have USB but

  even USB is kind of you know is is

  pretty thick right there

  I mean is I'm too thin for an ethernet

  cable give me look at you you look

  fantastic how we should get Gruber and

  siracusa to come on this podcast and we

  could talk about Apple don't give it

  away

  got plans I'm not saying anything

  yeah we should because you know boy

  there's just not enough what about the

  Apple watch John are you excited about

  the Apple watch in

  I really am I saw a guy the other day uh

  where was I oh I was at the grocery

  store and the guy that was checking me

  out was wearing a giant gold crown on a

  chain and some behind like a regal crown

  well it wasn't like it wasn't like a

  three-dimensional crown it was a

  two-dimensional crown and there was a

  part of me that wanted to ask if it was

  about Ethiopia and the part of me that

  wanted to ask it was about reggae and

  then a paddle and then the George part

  of me that just realized that I was not

  meant to ask what the crown wasn't

  really well i will give you wear a crown

  on a change or you're really asking

  people your kind of throwing it out

  there that you want people to talk about

  it

  the guy at the grocery store was sending

  a very palpable do not engage me in

  conversation vibe

  yeah so I was like this is you know it's

  unusual in the in the 21st century to

  have a customer service experience where

  the person on the other end is sending

  out a very capable but not engage about

  vibe all-too-rare if you ask me tender

  and so I was like I respect your

  capability and i'm going to just we're

  just going to share this time together

  as two men who are not making chitchat

  even though you are wearing a giant gold

  crown on a giant cold chain but then on

  closer inspection so I'm looking at the

  crowd and I'm like oh boy I really want

  to talk about this crime but he really

  doesn't want me to talk he might want to

  talk about it but he doesn't want to

  talk about it with me and so then i'm

  looking at i'm i'm scanning him like

  well let's see is there any other a way

  i can get engaged this person

  conversation and then he's wearing some

  giant technology watch I was like oh

  fuck

  now i really want to talk to him about

  the watch and maybe that's the inroad

  into then afterward chatting about the

  watch then be like so the crown who but

  at that and at that point I kind of

  looked up hopefully at him like not

  something that isn't the ground to talk

  about its the watch and he continued to

  be very capable and very uninterested

  communicating and so I was like all

  right I'm gonna let the watch and the

  crown just be is private business

  I'm gonna be over here in my private

  business I should be thinking about

  something else anyway what am I trying

  to talk to this guy for I should be

  thinking about big deep thoughts

  yeah and so I just left the left the

  whole thing in my past I wouldn't even

  thought about it again haven't brought

  up the apple watch em and the band this

  guy's watch i don't i don't think it was

  an Apple watch but it was Ben what's

  called a pebble watch em pebble is a

  company that makes it

  I'm ungainly large silly watch i have

  noticed about nokia that whatever apple

  announces something nokia comes out with

  the slightly bigger maybe more capable

  and yet still less desirable version of

  it right away

  that's a core competency exam sounds

  pretty good at that too samsung right so

  it could have been one of those but it

  was like you know it was a watch where

  where it by its blankness but it's by

  like the empty screen it suggested an

  infinite capability right here's the

  watch

  it's infinitely capable perhaps he could

  be a good video conference with his you

  know with his handler he Kurds he could

  like a great real-time feedback on how

  well he's doing his grocery tasks

  mhm yeah I could that's right I could I

  could I could use the app bump you can't

  focus i wanna lose or possibly beans i

  could uh let's see i bet i bet he could

  hack into a mainframe if his if his team

  you know encounter a firewall that

  someone could like rewrite the

  encryption right now we gotta rewrite

  the encryption rewrite the encryption

  and hacking the mainframe right there

  from his watch

  I just I felt like wow its infinite

  possibilities and I'm sure if he touched

  it and showed me what it did it like he

  could scroll through his I photo

  and he can take it can either be a clock

  or can be message for you told someone

  he's at work right are you i am bored

  you can get those those bumps where it's

  like today at two o'clock

  you are scheduled to do a podcast oh my

  god you remind me of something is it um

  listen we're gonna put this out today

  because we need to put on a show

  so what we talked a little bit about

  what's what's been happening what we've

  been doing

  third time's yeah let's talk about

  exciting we're honored went on a cruise

  we have we talked we only talked about

  that have we ever talked about the

  cruise

  yeah well I want to get to that but one

  thing was as is you know I'm in flying

  out of Fort Lauderdale for Fort

  Lauderdale first I learned very small

  airport not enough to do their smaller

  part there are live birds in New I'm not

  not tame birds but wild bird so tomorrow

  was there any seem nice did you meet Tom

  Arnold the for my lady my lady saw him

  at the place where you buy water and

  candy and he said he was up being very

  very nice with people it's nice to hear

  what matters is a nice well so we long

  story short where you know everybody's

  on this cruise was that arrived that day

  at the end of the cruise is gonna be

  flying out of FLL which is as I think I

  mentioned a very small airport lot of

  things could have been playing better on

  our part there was miscommunications

  long story short we ended up getting

  there at I think about ten in the

  morning

  now you can I raced off the boat and got

  immediately to the airport and then we

  flew out of eight o'clock that night so

  we had we had a nice long day to really

  take in the airport whoo-hoo and

  Atlantis you know it was it was kind of

  a trial but did you go to chilis to go

  to chilis to twice I've treated my

  family to chilis to twice each plate was

  more disappointing than the last at-bat

  Chili's too and i remember i remember i

  ordered something and it came with like

  a single kernel of corn on them at the

  edge of the crack corn planter

  look i don't care i think it was the

  salsa maybe uh huh yeah well it's you

  know they've got they've got about 850

  drinks in a microwave oven and that's

  the chilis to no place else is chilis

  literally well anyway let the funny part

  was stuck there and you know we're

  trying to you know

  like it was being considering everything

  was being very patient considering but

  you know we sit there and we found a

  little kind of like quiet area where

  there were too many people around but

  one of the things I don't know why

  mention this is you know people love to

  talk on the phone at the airport and I I

  just it's only in airports that I really

  realize I feel like how much most other

  people talk on their phone more than i

  do and that will by which i mean they

  make a lot more calls than i do but they

  talk on the phone for a very very very

  long time often very loudly much longer

  than i do and it's amazing because I'll

  do anything I can to try and get phone

  calls with people talk to you talk to

  clients but you know if you get off the

  phone

  that's what the goal of getting on the

  phone is to get off the phone call it a

  hundred percent

  I mean I i totally agree but there's

  this one conversation it was so uh it

  was so boring haha and so long and

  here's the conversation is a woman there

  is going to fly outs of course like

  everybody in an airport she has to

  explain everything about what she's

  doing and what she's going to be doing

  she's explaining that she's sitting at

  the airport calling you did was let you

  know what she's doing she's at the

  airport just gonna she's gonna fly out

  later but for right now you know she's

  going to call and check in

  oh and it became apparent inform some

  time that this woman was talking to her

  young daughter a daughter maybe high

  school age but around you know late high

  school age and the entire conversation

  you can tell it no matter what the girl

  said the mother had some really annoying

  karma suck response to everything that

  her dog

  oh yes like and I'm so first forms that

  God please never let me be like this

  well you know if you bring the grades up

  and

  and it goes on but then eventually once

  they've gotten through all the things

  that they knew they had to talk about

  that the girl had done wrong

  the mother started asking her these kind

  of elliptical questions about how she's

  been spending her time and it became

  apparent that before the call the mother

  had gone through every piece of social

  media that the girl was involved with em

  and was good was now basically examining

  our right checking up based on what you

  already knew

  yeah and she would only let out enough

  information about a certain thing and

  then wait for the daughter to kind of

  offer something up and it went on for an

  hour

  wow yeah so we're not let that look for

  now that's parenting right there that's

  like pow

  oh my god it's you know that's it was

  rough

  I'm so sorry you're not it's alright you

  know it's it's what he can do

  it'sit's travel but you know at the end

  of the trip especially your kind of like

  okay I'm really ready to not be on a

  trip anymore

  yeah right get me home right and and

  instead you are you're learning about

  people you don't want to learn about oh

  don't ask me about the united lounge

  buddy whoa i heard you know I so full

  disclosure I showed up at this Airport

  this fort lauderdale airport several

  hours later

  yeah for a flight that was scheduled to

  leave you know at what six a flight that

  will end and when I left this and so I

  show up the airport and Merlin is still

  there with his whole family and then my

  flight leaves on time and Merlin is

  still there when I by Merlin so it was

  it was there's tons of snow in Boston

  there's been huge delays and also it was

  a day that are the cruise ship defecates

  all the people out of its bowels and

  send them on their way through this tiny

  little airport

  plus there's been like some kind of

  crazy bike race that day and I just been

  kind of a clusterfuck all around for

  everybody

  yeah the place was full of people from

  the cruise like standing around charging

  things and talking

  well this is the funny thing about now

  having been on i am i'm not sure whether

  i'm proud to say i guess i'm proud to

  say hello

  uh-huh so there's an asterix and there

  somewhere

  but proud to say that I've done seven

  pleasure cruises now and and one of the

  insights i have gleaned is that the

  first time you get off a cruise and you

  try and make it through fort lauderdale

  or through orlando port whatever the

  freaking port up there is called try to

  make it through to the airport you have

  that feeling of like oh my god an entire

  cruise ship just emptied out and now

  this town is trying to deal with this

  like amazing like unprecedented influx

  of people it was it it's like that you

  know in the beginning of godfather to

  all the immigrants are like standing

  around you know we're going to move and

  it and the guys talking to you and you

  only speak Italian and many stamps you

  on the forehead and that's right let's

  see what I said was in the room and

  swing your legs and sing yourself yeah

  butBut what I have what I realized over

  time is that every single day in fort

  lauderdale five cruise ship stock and

  empty out which as in our case have

  something four thousand passengers

  yeah but this happens every single day

  and has four for 15 years so so the the

  the fact is that the all the whole

  purpose of the fort lauderdale airport

  is too is it is like the it's the lower

  intestine of this whole process and all

  the last piece of the bow for that and

  it's just squeezing these poops through

  like it here comes a cruise ship and

  bloor and it just like squeezes them out

  into their airplanes like there's no

  purpose like all the roads in fort

  lauderdale that whole container yard all

  those different people with with like

  different security badges that are

  yelling at you when you walk out of the

  cruise ship terminal the whole process

  that happens five times a day every day

  and so so the first time you do it

  you're like well I understand why these

  people seem incompetent and why this

  process so janky because how how would

  you process 4,000 people all at once

  mr. just a rotten gee I mean I felt it

  you know we did like the lifeboat drills

  on the first day we go out you learn

  your lifeboat is and it's just pretty

  perfunctory but it's enough to at least

  know where to go

  yeah and even that whole thing was

  pretty well-organized the all you gotta

  do is get people on a boat but on the

  morning the debarking whatever you call

  of pooping out the passengers it started

  at like my like seven in the morning and

  went on to like noon because there's so

  many people and so many bags so much

  custom so much to coordinate it takes

  hours and hours and hours to get people

  off in a peaceful fashion

  yeah it's crazy except if you did it

  every day in which case it would

  presumably overtime stop being crazy and

  start being a matter of course and yet

  it never ever is right what like we got

  off the boat and were there and that

  they're sending us through customs and

  it's like hey you guys know at a certain

  hour

  you can't miss the boat here it comes

  right here comes at a certain hour

  you're gonna have 4,000 people that want

  to get off this boat all the same time

  so how it is nobody there's nobody is

  happy about having to wait about any

  aspect of right i mean if you knew that

  this was going to happen

  how would you design a system to

  accommodate it and and yet every time

  ever and I'm sure this is true of every

  ship because it's been true for all

  seven boats that I've gotten off of

  every time it seems like the people in

  the people there that are running the

  system are like what

  oh shit is that boat here already oh

  fuck well we should open two lanes and I

  at least two lanes ever you're right

  then um there's a number of apertures

  that could have been a lot lawyer at

  every step away

  like for instance the global entry

  system which the customs and and TSA

  have spent millions and millions of

  dollars implementing this global entry

  system which allows passengers who are

  in the program including myself to speed

  through customs other re-entry into port

  or into a into the contract because

  you've been vetted and checked out

  internet you're not risky

  yeah and you're you you you you have

  assured the government that you do not

  intend to bring any any vermin-infested

  breadfruit back into the country and

  then immediately throw it on the ground

  like you you eat use you you have proved

  to them that you are just a normal

  person who is neither a drug smuggler

  nor an al-qaeda operatives and so you do

  not need to be retina scanned again by

  spino by some person who can pass the

  job interview in florida for the first

  security job and yet the first time that

  I i arrived at the terminal on my first

  cruise ever i was like where's your

  global entry system and they're like we

  don't have those and cruise terminals I

  was like really it's just the simplest

  thing you just put it's like a couple of

  atms over on the side and then ten

  percent of of this job would go away

  nope we just don't have them and so for

  seven years or five years I've been

  waiting for them to and they just just

  not a thing I mean they have been it

  would benefit them it's not something

  we're saying i want to be a fancy lad

  that it's something that would help the

  entire process it's part of the system

  that they've already built for exactly

  this job and they I'm sure they have

  global entry at the boise international

  airport for the 15 people that come from

  Calgary everyday on the but you know in

  a javelin beaver they probably have a

  global entry kiosk there but for the

  cruise ship terminal where five ships

  disgorge 4,000 passengers each day right

  right

  they do not what they have there is like

  some traffic cones some retirees who

  liked who they've pinned you know some

  Western Airlines wings on their shirt

  and said you're out you're in charge of

  security and and then you know we're all

  just standing in line as though it's

  never happened before it's just

  fascinating is that is exactly right

  it's funny cuz you know and having gone

  through customs and coming in and out of

  other countries via plane you know if

  there's something about it

  it's very serious and we do that in an

  airport there's all kinds of like you

  know it's not really i want to say tense

  not just personally test but it's like

  you have to take this really seriously

  like I really want to feel your format

  right everybody here is very

  professional

  they're they're moving you know pace

  because the number one way that people

  bring AK forty-sevens into the United

  States is via a klm flight from

  amsterdam yeah for me coming from can

  now I'm gonna have some guns but the but

  the end of the line is obviously it's

  very long but it's sensible as it can be

  understood and i don't mean this is a

  complaint except to say this giant

  hanger that you go through when you get

  off the get the boat shuttle down and

  you go into the longest line you've ever

  been in your life but in part that's

  funny about it is it really seems like

  the regular building wasn't available

  that day yes that's exactly right and

  you know you know that that building was

  built for no other purpose

  yeah it yet it feels repurposed like you

  that they take you by making you walk

  through rows of chairs in a waiting room

  at first but Diana weird get any going

  to wait another line that it's not a

  complaint accept it is much just saying

  it's funny that that amount of pure

  infrastructure that has to be dealt with

  like at least once a week and I'm

  guessing a lot more it seems like it

  would be a little bit better thought out

  and then you get to the end eurozone

  this line is really long because there's

  like three people take care of this

  yeah and they're mad the whole system

  and then and then you do you get to the

  fort lauderdale airport it's like oh how

  how would this what would we

  how would we ever have imagined the

  4,000 people descend on this airport all

  at once and and that and there this is

  the crazy thing because the first couple

  of times I did it I really did I really

  was sympathetic to the whole I was

  sympathetic to Fort Lauderdale right

  like also you know fort lauderdale

  that's like the king of spring break

  like that their whole city is about true

  people moving through their city for

  just a little bit of time I 80,000

  people a day probably come there right

  now starting right

  now so I I end and the funny thing is i

  have found the town of Fort Lauderdale

  to be actually fairly charming in the

  sense that you know those art galleries

  that sell like like maybe half scale but

  like just big enough that you think like

  is that life size but it's not it's just

  slightly scaled-down maybe maybe maybe

  one half for one-third scale a bronze

  statues of an elf riding a dragon on

  slow kinda like the sort of thing you

  see kind your Union Square lots of

  things in bisque or lots of you know

  what I mean there's lots and lots of

  figurines not that could be magical

  creatures but that's it yeah that that

  people must really want to buy those

  when they travel well the thing is and

  then you look at it it's 75 thousand

  dollars and you're like this is an

  incredible this this this statue of this

  elf riding a dragon on top of the globe

  made out of the actual bronze that is

  that stands eight feet tall and cost

  seventy-five thousand dollars this is a

  thing that some guy I don't doubt that

  someone made it i don't doubt I I don't

  for a second question the impulse of

  someone making it right but then that

  that every other step of the way like it

  got transported here by someone and now

  at an art gallery owner thought to make

  it his centerpiece and people come by

  and look at it until one day somebody

  says I must have that doesn't like an

  oligarch maybe some students i must have

  the self

  yes right but an oligarchy comes through

  Fort Lauderdale on his way our to

  vacation and he's like this is amazing

  I've must have this in my mention dragon

  is exquisite

  I am the dragon or i am the else

  and-and-and-and Fort Lauderdale is full

  of that kind of art gallery not just

  Thomas Kinkade The Painter of Light but

  all of Thomas Kincaid spiritual and

  artistic you know like peers other

  painters of lights painters of dark

  painters of painters that use both light

  and dark in their paintings

  and and so the town there's there's not

  a lot to recommend the town you would

  think until you take the whole of Fort

  Lauderdale into your into your

  conscience conscious

  yeah and then I i found it remarkable

  and wonderful

  yeah it's a literacy what you're

  describing first of all I mean there is

  this certain kind of its you know this

  is what travel does it exposed us to

  things you never see your things you

  never think about and for me that is the

  partly the wide world of what people

  perceive of as high-end art the receipt

  I an art that was on display on this

  cruise for the big auction the big art

  auction was some of the most amazing

  stuff I've ever seen in my life because

  it was kind of like the baby had the

  aesthetic yeah that's what you're

  describing is this is common as you know

  in San Francisco there's gosh Las Vegas

  everywhere you go in Las Vegas you see

  this kind of epic like beyond kitschy

  art but that's meant to be very very

  high-end the painting is never just a

  painting it's got like inch thick

  impasto like you can practically feel it

  no that's you know here's here seven

  seven paintings of Muhammad Ali and

  garfield the cat or something but it

  takes it has this the aesthetic of like

  sky mall in some ways that kind of like

  you know you can have a zombie crawling

  out of the ground on in your backyard or

  something like that but it has that like

  the phrase on a tree face and yeah but

  that over real aesthetic but a little

  cartoony and much bigger than life and

  insanely expensive given how like

  ridiculously tacky it is but it's

  everywhere people must be buying it to

  remember when we were kids you know so

  much of so much of what we experienced

  when we were kids was the hangover of

  the sixties oh god yes it's like the

  Spencer Gifts kind of effect

  yeah yeah the the sort of all the stuff

  all the furniture in the waiting rooms

  of places all the art if you really was

  stuck in what felt like a five or eight

  year aesthetic of everything's kind of

  brown and orange segments are pretty and

  mentally

  maybe the some weird dark wood remember

  I I

  for whatever reason and this may just be

  my experience but but I remember feeling

  like well first of all spanish spain had

  been had been very popular sometime in

  the fifties and so there was a lot of

  Tory adorar there was a lot of heavy

  Spanish likely neo Spanish looking

  furniture in places but but a kind of a

  lot of this like thick painted this is

  like super thick coatings of yeah I'm

  like.he like oversized wooden chairs

  right but the aesthetic was meant to be

  at once opulent and rustic like not nice

  that's been putting this poorly but but

  that feeling of like the word customized

  antiqued might even it was meant to feel

  very old and pretentious and rich

  ya like like a arm like maybe triggers

  were everywhere that story was really

  where

  yeah but but also also uh it was

  supposed to be is it like hacienda or or

  Spanish it wasn't spanish colonial it

  was like it was Spain not not Spain in

  the in the New World Spain like in a

  zorro zorro thank you but it but sorrow

  was was was latin america was a zero

  most takes place in California but of

  course you know goes to school as a kid

  in in Spain and it's all that aesthetic

  is very much in place

  yes Ryan Zorro it's hard to put a finger

  on but I get I know exactly what you

  mean all kinds of Latin influence but

  also Italian like that italian

  restaurant kind of feeling but there's a

  few things like whether it was like an

  El Cid or a donkey OD oh yeah figure

  events but very but but like it should

  look old but it should also feel very

  luxe lady make locks

  yeah old luck Spanish Italian minutes so

  I feel like I feel like that when I was

  a kid I remember you know we thought we

  talked to everybody so fascinated and

  fixated on mid-century modern

  and imagining that they're all going to

  live in like in the glass house with no

  decoration and just these really minimal

  low-slung couches and chairs but they

  forget but i think i think my generation

  my parents thought that looked cheap I

  don't they thought it was that it would

  buy something very inexpensive that

  looked fake luxurious all of our

  furniture was way over sized for the

  room it was in a way too many borough

  key rococo curlicues I mean very few

  things had right angles it was it was

  all just bombastic right it was Liberace

  furniture and and people forget that

  mid-century the mid-century aesthetic

  was much more Liberace Liberace humping

  el cid that it was Don Draper like

  laying on a on a low-slung challenge yet

  I mean what-what people now think of as

  mid-century modern like super cheap

  versions of stuff like that what you

  would get from S&H Green Stamps it

  wasn't what you would use to appoint

  your house if you are now becoming lower

  middle-class person but so I feel like

  you want your I feel exactly your

  experience of cruise art which is that

  it is the spiritual descendant of that

  like opulent like fake opulent a some

  vaguely Mediterranean aesthetic that I

  look at a time just like this is one

  step away from doe eyed children

  you're absolutely right and he's funny

  shit and also think about how hot most

  of the colors are in these in these

  paintings they're always and again i

  can't get away from thinking about the

  skymall thinking about when I was a kid

  with Spencer's but also there's one

  store called Gallagher's they were

  basically like head shops you remember

  the stores in malls when we were kids

  right yeah we're kind of like it was a

  headshop head shop but started as a

  headshot mostly blacks whites regular

  store peaches sure but in these didn't

  you get your posters you get your you

  know slightly off color like you know

  bachelor party gifts there you can get

  the little balls the clock into each

  other and go back and forth you know

  what I bought one of those mmm

  one of my favorite of all time things

  and I got this in probably 78 it was I

  maybe three foot tall like punching

  dummy remember these the whatever that

  there was like a stress and admit to be

  a stress reducer yeah stress reducer was

  it was waiting on the bottom

  uh-huh it was blow up i'm sure look like

  a clown or something like that was in

  the shape of a it was in the shape of a

  schmoo except it was called qik Tricky

  Dick and it had it had Richard Nixon it

  was Richard Nixon a screen-printed on it

  goes running back like like his face was

  from facing you and then the back of his

  head was you know they had gone to the

  trouble of doing two designs and it was

  a bloody basically a three-foot-tall

  blow-up know maybe taller three

  three-and-a-half feet blow-up doll of

  Richard Nixon that you were meant to

  kick when you were mad wow and i got it

  at a head shop in the mall and I was so

  proud of it I got it had shopping mall

  in 1978 politically relevant though and

  I was so proud of this thing and I kept

  it i did it was displayed prominently in

  my room I haven't thought about that in

  years my god i I've got a lot of posters

  i would buy presents for like mothers

  day I would like world's greatest mom

  figurines from my mom there but there

  was a kind of over but you can

  understand the overriding aesthetic

  though was I mean tackies the wrong word

  for it

  it was it's so like insane you know you

  joke a lot about like the app class guys

  having a poster with a girl in a

  Lamborghini the only thing that got in

  there 15 million-dollar house it's not

  so far from that kind of aesthetic in

  some ways though where it's like I need

  to go buy some things to put in here to

  make this place classy

  Yeah right right right right like yeah I

  i can I know I i know enough i know just

  enough to know that my 14,000 square

  foot house looks unlived in with you

  because I only live in the kitchen in

  the TV room like III had a pretty good

  friend who made some rock and roll money

  and he had never you know he lived with

  his parents until he was in a rock band

  and then and then all the sudden had a

  bad at all son was rich and he bought a

  I bought a pretty big house for himself

  mid-century modern but he didn't know

  how to

  he hadn't he didn't he had fully

  domesticated himself and he was kind of

  waiting i think to get married you I

  lived in this freedom five-bedroom house

  and he had had one room he had a bed in

  his bedroom and then he had some kind of

  folding chairs in the in the living room

  a place for people to sit here that's

  nice

  and then he had a game room with the

  with the biggest TV you could buy at the

  time and all of his all the stuff that

  he cared about and I when we would go

  over there it was very difficult to have

  a party there because first of all

  there's no place to sit and second of

  all there's nothing to look at but but

  you know we would sometimes go there in

  for poker games where I would imagine

  him coming home on those days when he

  was just by himself like come in for his

  keys in the in the key jar stand in the

  entry a and look survey like the

  thousands of square feet at his disposal

  and then like right into the game room

  close the door and I couldn't I couldn't

  tell whether it was sad or wonderful i'm

  still not sure even now he lives in a

  beauty is married now and he lives in a

  beautiful home that is beautifully

  decorated let you know when you're

  trying to I mean again I i feel like i

  can speak with some Authority on this

  coming from

  you know lower to middle class lower

  middle class and we weren't like you

  know impoverished but we didn't have a

  lot of dough and you know my parents

  born in the you know late twenties early

  thirties but like there was definitely

  this sense of like I don't know it's

  almost like the kind of thing you'd see

  like in a martin scorsese movie of where

  where people are trying to bring these

  things into their life

  that will the aisle I guess we all try

  to do this bring in something that says

  something about who you're becoming

  right not just like it isn't like you

  want you certainly don't want your your

  your parents furniture you want your own

  so you get this very very inexpensive

  furniture that is meant to be extremely

  fancy so in our case remember in 1976 we

  bought this French Rococo furniture for

  the house everything was French like

  rococo and it really kinda looked like

  something out of Goodfellas you know and

  but it was it was all so poorly made it

  was mostly hollow would you know what I

  mean yeah but it was supposed to add all

  those curly cues that you would hope

  would denote a certain kind of fanciness

  yeah did you guys have that what you

  would you have also when my mom uh left

  my dad we move down to Seattle and in

  the like perfect expression of who she

  was and what she what her aspirations

  were she outfitted our house like we had

  no money she outfit in our house with

  furniture that i cannot even begin to

  describe except i will now try was it

  was new or used for it was brand-new

  what you get you get really good credit

  this place is John you can basically

  vanilla room but now think about who my

  mom is

  hm she's not going to is very practical

  she's not going to go in debt to some

  yuzuriha scred' 'it situation at a

  furniture store so our furniture and I'm

  talking about our entire house was red

  painted paper towel tubes that were

  connected with little plastic l-shaped

  connectors so you take a paper towel

  tube and stick a connector in it and

  then it would L and you'd stick another

  paper towel tube and not literally

  well no they were poster tubes so so I

  almost looks like pool furniture except

  casual-like lounge except literally made

  out of cardboard somehow my god so the

  l's and-and-and-and-and a lot of the

  joints were three-way right so you have

  one in the top tube and then to add a at

  a 90-degree angle or or yeah a 90 degree

  angle to one another to make the two

  sides of a table and you would just

  build these cubes out of poster tubes

  and they were the poster tubes were just

  big enough that like a child could stick

  their hand inside the tube

  yeah um literally like the poster tubes

  that had been painted red and then the

  the plastic parts were white and then

  over the top of you so you build a cube

  out of that and then there was a piece

  of plastic like um like whiteboard color

  that you would put over the top of it

  and that was your coffee table and then

  you would make another cube and are

  these were your end tables and then then

  there was a long cube which we call a

  rectangle a long low rectangle that you

  that was your that was your main coffee

  table and now there was actually

  furniture that you could sit on made out

  of these cardboard tubes that were you

  know assets by combining the right

  combination of these some you know these

  plastic adapters and whatnot that you

  could make a thing strong enough to hold

  an adult and this was our living room

  furniture and for a long time listen I

  mean what did you build them he was it

  modular where you buy the pieces and put

  it together yourself yeah yeah

  and-and-and just because of the nature

  of it you were building them and and

  rebuilding them every single day because

  because as a kid right you could take

  the furniture part it and as an adult I

  think people would sit down and be like

  this furniture is made out of cardboard

  tubes and they would like take it apart

  just out of fascination sure and then

  put it back

  you gotta be like well that's really

  amazing and it was amazing and i can't

  believe that i mean because it couldn't

  have been cheaper to produce I can't

  believe that it's not still feature

  except that like it would be terrible

  dorm room furniture because the first

  time somebody got drunk and leaned on

  something like the whole witches would

  be destroyed like you had to be somewhat

  ginger like it's not like you could

  climb on the coffee table right i mean

  it would break in seven hundred ways so

  but this was her solution she needed

  furniture for our house and she found

  this there's a part of me at the time

  that thought maybe she had just gone to

  run to the drug store and bought a bunch

  of stuff and painted herself but it but

  it had it had a quality where somebody

  this was somebody's business plan

  somebody had that thought this up and

  this was a product they were selling I

  never had never seen it anywhere else

  and what's amazing is that a few of

  those few of those furniture items

  stayed with us all the way through to

  the mid-eighties right we still had a

  couple of those end tables and I is that

  they played another role in my life

  formative role you make a bong no they

  wouldn't have been a terrible bomb stuff

  but the coffee table was the first thing

  to to go because the big long coffee

  table right in front of the in front of

  the couch you want to put big books on

  it but more importantly you want to put

  your feet on it and this thing was just

  not strong enough to have a have

  somebody put their feet up on the coffee

  table and so the coffee table was the

  thing that seemed like the tubes were

  just too long to support like the first

  time some guy came over and through his

  feet up there just started to sag

  and so when I was learning my

  multiplication tables my mom decided

  that she was going to sacrifice the

  coffee table what remained of the coffee

  table she was going to sacrifice to this

  project and so she took the top off the

  coffee table ended up against the wall

  and made a giant and with a black marker

  made a giant times tables on it

  Wow and we would sit and study our times

  tables and she already knew them but we

  would sit and I would study my times

  tables on this giant coffee table a

  piece of plastic and then I think it

  went back on the coffee table the

  remaining another sort of end and life

  of the coffee table it would go you know

  facedown and we continue to use it as a

  table for a while and then we would flip

  it up and do our times tables

  um and then eventually like it all went

  to the landfill and your mom's a

  maverick

  yeah well you know you gotta listen man

  waste not want not choose to use every

  part of the Buffalo this episode of rock

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  Squarespace build it beautiful oh my god

  i found some my daughters getting to

  that age where she likes looking at old

  pictures like old family pictures and

  she found a bunch the other night

  actually the last night that confirmed

  something I thought I was misremembering

  but that we were actually one of those

  families that on on the nice furniture

  we would always put like plastic

  oh sure sure you did because you

  listened oh yeah this but like I goes is

  something everybody did like when once

  you arrive and i don't remember this is

  not super interesting but i do remember

  you know back then everybody would

  arrive at a point where like I get not

  everybody but it was not uncommon to

  arrive at a point where you had a place

  that you're renting and maybe you're

  making a little more money than before

  you're mostly making ends meet and I see

  my really feel like I remember the

  furniture companies being very

  aggressive about things like okay no

  money down or small money down and you

  can get this entire room this suite of

  course when we did arrive at that point

  by the mid seventies we have to really

  take care of everything

  so this this whole is some liquor

  appalling couch that we had to replace

  our old appalling couch i do remember my

  mom putting a plastic cover on it that

  that made it really really uncomfortable

  and and really quite ugly but you have

  to keep the couch nice that was just the

  kind of thing that that that we did is

  that our family was a cover the

  furniture family it's it's it's

  interesting because we definitely were

  not and i would go to people's houses

  that had covered the furniture

  and I you know was told that it was like

  my what I always assumed was that you

  left the covers on the furniture until

  guests came special guest and then you

  took the covers off stands to reason but

  no one ever took the covers off and then

  when when my mom got me my mom got a

  good job and moved to Alaska and I was

  already living in Alaska with my dad and

  all of a sudden my mom is living in

  Alaska to and has a nicer house than my

  dad and it was like whoa time

  times have changed fortunes have

  switched around and then my mom moved

  again into a much nicer house in the

  nice neighborhood no less and she had

  leverage herself pretty highly at that

  point in fig specifically to get her

  dream home in it in a nice neighborhood

  it was right before i was going into

  high school she timed it all very

  purposefully oh so that I was during the

  time that I was in high school we lived

  in the nice neighborhood and in a nice

  house in that neighborhood so she was

  fulfilling her own dream and also trying

  to facilitate my path through life

  did you I mean if I'm not being too much

  into this to like get into a good school

  well that the schools in Anchorage were

  sort of all about the same if it was it

  was that she didn't want me to go or

  rather she perceived that if she lived

  in a nice neighborhood and I went to the

  and I started high school from the nice

  neighborhood that i would have a social

  leg up right that I wouldn't be going

  home on the on the school bus to the

  poor neighborhood I would be living in

  the rich neighborhood with the other

  with the rich kids who were going to go

  to the good schools like it was a very

  it was it was it was a a move that was

  conscious of the social undercurrents

  and and she was playing up it was a part

  of her fantasy to both to have the nice

  house

  and to be the mother of a kid who's you

  know she was the only single parent in

  that whole neighborhood

  Wow everybody else was you know married

  with kids and they ostracized her for

  being a single woman who was presumably

  they're into the women all that was a

  real thing yeah the women all presumed

  that she was there to steal their

  husbands and you know and the the

  neighbor the the local husband's the

  neighbor men would come by on Saturday

  afternoon stand there with their rake

  you know like it was standing with a

  rake like how's it going over here you

  need any help you know like it was it

  was there was a there was weirdness

  about being a single woman particularly

  a single mother and I heard from a lot

  of kids like that kind of the way kids

  repeat the things that they here at

  their dinner table just that all the

  suspicion and fear about a woman living

  on her own with two kids and a nice

  house in the name it was like you know

  my mom was was was very she's very

  definitely like standing with her head

  held high and her chin out like yeah

  that's right i bought that I bought the

  corner house on on stanford and

  princeton right like I i and i must then

  I'm a single mom and fuck you and of

  course like any other I loved being in

  the in the rich neighborhood right it

  was it was although I although I learned

  to hate it because rich kids are

  assholes

  yeah but at the time it seemed like a

  real real positive it's not a one-time

  thing where once you're in a bad but we

  talked about at length I mean now you

  need the right alligator on your shirt

  oh yeah and I didn't and you know and so

  she was not willing having gotten a nice

  how she was not willing to put an

  alligator on one of my shirts that's not

  sustainable

  not in a million years she still

  maintained her like you know her farm

  ethics she was going to repurpose the

  coffee table multiple times but what she

  did do was buy a set of furniture for

  the living room that we were not allowed

  to say

  dawn and it was the first time it at

  anything like that had ever happened

  like all of a sudden we weren't allowed

  in the living room and I was like what

  am i a fucking cat I'm allowed in the

  goddamn room i am the son of this house

  i'm the scion of this legacy and I would

  go and sit in the living room and she

  would come in and say get off those

  couches and everything maybe with the

  spray bottle shoe and and so for several

  years there after we moved into that

  house we had a living room and the thing

  is that the shitt the furniture she

  bought was like light pink verging into

  white and I wasn't what we weren't

  allowed to go in there except christmas

  morning and if somebody came by which

  she made every attempt to prevent ever

  happening right no one ever came by she

  never had anybody over 240 she kept the

  blinds closed and she I think she would

  go in at night and stand in the doorway

  of her perfect living room and it gave

  her a tremendous satisfaction but she I

  guess she had finally she had fun she

  finally purchased a house that was big

  enough that there could be a room in the

  house that no one used and the American

  check that's right and then she set up

  this room in her perfect in a perfect

  vision of what that looked like and then

  she would be damned

  that's it that's kind of like the

  historical role of the parlor right

  right

  it's not keeping it live very keeping

  that the rooms really just for Kennedy

  or the Pope yeah exactly and and she

  didn't put plastic over it but I think

  she later wish she had because when i

  first started drinking one of the first

  arm one of maybe in the first 20 times i

  drank because you know the first time I

  drink I got shit-faced and then every

  successive time i drank i got shit-faced

  there was never there was never a time

  when I had two beers not a single time

  for the beginning from the very

  beginning I was just how interesting

  this is this alcohol is amazing how much

  of this can I drink and I was just like

  lotto

  and so it was it it was never explained

  to me and it never occurred to me that

  there was another way to drink beer or

  wine coolers or champagne or whatever

  was handed to me except as much as you

  can get like as much as you can get away

  with man and then it later on somebody

  suggested that we have a couple of beers

  and I remember just be like the point of

  that be a couple of beers with what it

  what are you talking about to start

  right a couple of beers but I mean but

  anyway one of the time one of those

  times I came home somebody drop me off

  got me to the front door and ran and I

  made it into the front room peed myself

  took off all my clothes and then fell

  asleep on her pink couch

  oh no John and I woke up in the morning

  to her sitting in the big chair

  oh god this and it was the first time

  she'd seen you drunk no she'd seen it

  before but what made this moment special

  was that my dad was also there my dad

  who was not often invited into my mom's

  house had been invited over and so there

  had been no she came downstairs

  obviously she wakes up at five in the

  morning she came downstairs

  sami Trump with my p close you know in a

  kind of fire sale a path

  kind of fire sale a path

  into her living room me naked on the

  couch and so she know what woke up at

  five in the morning had time to have

  breakfast herself all my father tell him

  to come over and then they woke me up at

  9i think woke me up by going and then I

  had to hear what was the first of many

  alcoholism lectures from my two parents

  combined working together as a team

  it was a it was an auspicious and

  inauspicious christening of those pic

  couches let me say did you did she have

  a way for you to make good

  well everybody was much more worried

  about the fact that i was recapitulating

  the family curse because my older

  brother and my father's father my father

  himself at all had all gone down this

  path and so they were I'm and I could

  only imagine if you know if you're

  fifteen-year-old kid I mean talk about

  calling them on the phone from the fort

  lauderdale airport and and checking

  their starting at their facebook post if

  you're fifteen-year-old kid is like not

  just coming home drunk but but but you

  but you know what the end game of the

  stories they were super super worried

  how do you feel well I feel like a I

  feel like two things it never occurred

  to me that I was anything but an

  alcoholic from the very beginning from

  the first time I had a great because my

  dad was a recovering alcoholic from

  before I was born

  so the only time that alcohol was ever

  referenced and and by that I mean all

  the fucking time because growing up in

  Alaska in the seventies it was like

  Dodge City right everybody was shitfaced

  all the time people would go out to

  lunch and come back to their job running

  the pipeline and be like six martinis in

  and their job was to sit there and

  control the the pressure of the oil

  running through the pipes got and

  they're just like I'm flying I got it

  absolutely you know like it was a it was

  a a culture of of abuse and so I'd heard

  about alcohol I'd seen it I had I'd seen

  it all around me and and with my dad's

  kind of like critique of it which was he

  never talked out of the side of his

  mouth my dad always spoke right out of

  the front of his mouth and we you know

  but but but like bars were the only

  place that you could socialize in Alaska

  so we would go into bars and sit there

  and be just people like getting in

  gunfights and my dad would be a little

  walking over to them and like you ever

  thought about going to Alcoholics

  Anonymous so so the first time I ever

  had a drink it I knew I was an alcoholic

  it never occurred to me that I wasn't

  and my performance as a young drinker

  reinforced than I was and so on my

  parents woke me up that morning we're

  like you are exhibiting the signs of

  being an alcoholic

  it's a very bad road to be on and you

  need to really take a hard look at it I

  was like asked and answered

  I've already taken a hard look at it I'm

  an alcoholic what's next where do I you

  know like where do I sign up for the

  alcoholic a adventure and I don't think

  anybody I don't think they have the I

  don't think they anticipated that and I

  and i'm not sure that i actually

  communicated that I think I probably did

  was look chastened and a and sort of

  nodded and SAT there you know head

  spinning it was like I'm sorry i'll try

  not to do it again and I I basically

  said I'm sorry i'll try not to do it

  again for 10 or 12 more years and no one

  in my life ever realized that I knew I

  was a fucking alcoholic and I was trying

  to plumb the depths of that are like I

  was trying to find what

  I knew I knew about the concept of a

  bottom I was like let's see if i can

  find mine really at 15

  yeah because because there's you know

  there's that other side of never knew I

  never knew that it was in your case that

  it that it was really like 0-200 kind of

  thing I figured it was you know typical

  kind of high school maybe escalating

  little more being on the weekends but

  from the from the beginning for you it

  was all or nothing

  yeah and-and-and it was it was always

  crazy to me I remember the first time I

  was sitting in a meeting and listening

  to everybody's going around and gets to

  this guy he's like you know I don't know

  why I'm here

  he's probably 30 i don't know why I'm

  here

  I mean oh I know why I'm here because

  the cops are making me come here because

  I got five duis and the whole the whole

  meeting just breaks up everybody's

  laughing and the guys like what are you

  fucking laughing about

  and somebody's like dude if you got five

  duis and sometimes they caught him

  those are the times we caught it right

  five prosecuted duis where they've taken

  your license right um you have a

  drinking problem and the guys like what

  are you even talking about I just go

  drink like a normal person and it was

  this it was this like dawning

  realization you saw it on his face as

  people are like very gently kind of any

  you know most a meeting you there is not

  crosstalk but this guy was inviting it

  was like let's talk some other people

  comment about comment on what you're

  saying right and that's generally

  frowned on it's not part of the culture

  right he just you say your piece and

  then the next person says their piece

  and even if the next person like

  obliquely refers to what you just said

  it's American is crosstalk also where

  people could potentially say that sounds

  like bullshit you really supposed to do

  that we're not supposed to do that

  okay if the person is saying bullshit

  the presumption is that if they stick

  around in a meetings long enough there

  one day going to be like holy shit

  I have been full of shit all this time

  and that's because everybody else is

  probably tried the same route he hasn't

  worked there's nothing new in those

  meetings right so the end and what how

  often happens is the next person to talk

  or somewhere down the road some old old

  timer will be like will basically talk

  about themselves and say to the effect

  something like I remember when I was

  full of shit and it was a really hard

  experience when I realized it because

  I'd been in a 44 years before I realized

  that everything that had come out of my

  mouth was bullshit and everybody in the

  room nods and you just hope that you

  know that the person that it needs to

  hear that can hear it but of course they

  can't right that's what's amazing about

  those meetings is that everybody just

  says what's on their mind and you just

  go and sometimes somebody will open

  their mouth the first word they that

  comes out of Matthew just like this guy

  is going to give us 15 minutes of the

  worst self-justifying bullshit and

  there's nothing we can do its part of

  the meeting we didn't see anything you

  have after a few months or years of that

  they're there must be certain kinds of

  types like us you must see a certain

  kind of like well i can tell that person

  in this particular phase right now

  yeah it's the it's the five stages of

  grief or whatever it's the same same

  type of thing and you just at but

  somebody might go there for a really

  long time

  not really want to be there and it isn't

  like everybody gets there the first week

  they break down and go out you know I'm

  i see the light now

  no you can go to a four years i'm not

  and not do it must be so weird have so

  many people in different states of I

  mean you know me mr on it seems like

  there must be people incredibly

  different phases of all sorts of aspects

  of that process it must be very weird

  it's really weird

  particularly since one of the dominating

  for one of the dominant characteristics

  of alcoholics is that they want to tell

  everybody how to do it so that's baked

  into the concept right everybody in the

  room is sitting there quietly and in

  their own minds saying off

  fuck if I could just stand up right now

  and explain what why this person is

  doing it wrong and matter and so

  everybody I mean because that is an

  alcoholic trait 2a 2b the inner to be

  the expert and so its roots of I mean

  that's what makes it that's why I'm a

  supporter of that program it is a

  fascinating like multifaceted experiment

  in psychologist seems like you might

  have to find out like completely unknown

  and untapped levels new levels of

  humility for that to be something you

  stick with in progressive it seems like

  you've gotta constantly find a new level

  of humility

  it's the core it's the core is it that's

  why it works right it's the because the

  people that manage to get there are

  basically experiencing the toughest the

  toughest Reuters n which is being

  confronted every day with people who are

  exhibiting all the things about yourself

  that you hate the most

  and not being able not not being able to

  do anything except listen you know every

  every single person in a MTG wants to

  take it over and be the chief different

  and no one can say somewhere they are

  right then yeah you know again it's

  based on and there's somebody that's got

  30 years of sobriety there's somebody

  because 40 years of sobriety and I you

  know and there's somebody that's got 60

  days of sobriety and they want to take

  the meeting over and tell everybody how

  to do it and it's just like yeah

  whatever they would they call that phase

  with the cloud pink cloud or something

  like that is in their face like when you

  first stop drinking and you start to

  feel a lot better and like you get this

  I i know that there's a lot of

  nomenclature be careful about I want to

  abuse it but was there something

  everybody goes through when you first

  get off it and then you start to feel

  like you're feeling better and you're

  feeling you know sober and then

  everybody goes through this phase of the

  tank haha now I've got it

  yeah right and for me it happened about

  between three and six months we're just

  like at six months you feel like fuck I

  had you been drinking for six months or

  six months in program uh I mean there

  were multiple times that I quit drinking

  for six months right but I never but the

  final time when I was really going to

  Alcoholics Anonymous all the time and

  was you know and and was trying to be

  sober instead of just like being forced

  to be sober or experimenting with being

  sober but I was like okay I'm gonna ice

  i have i have been to the edge I've

  stood and looked down I lost a lot of

  friends and so I hey I'm like I'm in

  this to win this or at least I'm trying

  to make it through and at six months I

  was just like I'm I feel amazing

  I've got this thing on lock and then

  invariably right you come to the next

  turtle which is that it's not a thing

  you can ever really have unlock you have

  to just do whatever you know everything

  even if you're not drinking again he

  still doesn't mean it seems like there's

  also obviously like backsliding or

  whatever but then there's that sense

  that it's not uncommon to have a sense

  to feel like you've turned the corner

  there's no way you could go back at this

  point that's a common thing right very

  common and the and the next thing that

  comes out of your mouth is and since

  it's impossible but I could ever go back

  there's no reason why I shouldn't have

  one drink one drink camp because it's

  fuckin new years eve or whatever and

  there's no way there's no way I'm going

  to ever be an alcoholic again

  so what's the harm in having one little

  tiny drink I that I've never thought

  about that the way here described such a

  fascinating organization to me and the

  work that they do is you know so

  incredible but so weird

  yeah because now and the reason i'm

  thinking of this is it's like you think

  about nothing this is not much change

  topic but if you're trying to like help

  somebody who you know is really fucking

  wrong and really stupid and the example

  here being like look at me or you and

  we're teenagers full stop right and

  there's there's it's a lot like

  jamac it because you feel like you

  first of all you know you better than

  anybody obviously you know your

  you-know-what you struggled with you

  know what you've gotten through and like

  and who is more fucking dangerous than

  like a 15 year old boy who thinks he's

  figured it out for now yeah and and you

  know there's on the one hand there's

  part of me that has an old guy look at

  that I think I remember being like that

  and still like that in many ways it's

  just the irony of course we always feel

  like we've got to figure it out but like

  it's so impossible sometimes to even

  know what level to try and help somebody

  at and if they even want to be helped

  like the amount and i say here why a

  teenager because there's no way for a

  teenager even know like how fucked up

  they are that their brain is not done

  you know being formed yet there's the

  big middle part of their brain that's

  still just a bunch of mush taking crazy

  risks they have you know what I mean

  they're not getting enough sleep there's

  all kinds of things that are making you

  a teenager and who are biologically

  incapable of being able to see these

  things that everybody else in the world

  can see like you know why why do you

  keep like hanging out with this group of

  people they're obviously not good for

  your why do you keep doing this

  self-destructive thing or why do you why

  are you being so negative about this

  because there's all these kinds of

  things but the recent survey is it

  sounds like you know an 18 year old me

  would want to counsel fifteen-year-old

  me a certain way because he thinks he's

  got to figure it out right because if

  you're always super-smart haha i can

  help those kids 20 22 year-old male will

  Jesus Christ we like it to 27 because

  that's what I'm really fucking smart

  I knew everything when I was 27 I could

  certainly council this poor bastard to

  be but you know it's really it's so

  interesting to think about everybody in

  the group is helping themselves and

  helping others partly when they threw

  the track of kids they're always

  stepping back onto is going like

  humility and like we've all got shit to

  learn and there's all things were even

  me who's been this program for 40 years

  or whatever they're still support to

  this adventure that I haven't seen yet

  and i still have a lot to learn and

  that's ultimately what gives me the

  humility to keep showing up and helping

  people the best I can without thinking

  anybody's got the fucking answer right

  music I mean I find it fascinating as an

  approach nowhere else in the world you

  actually see that kind of an approach to

  improvement of everybody going like look

  I'm only good at this

  I'm not trying to be the expert at this

  and that is why it is you

  it's a unique a thought experiment in

  the history of humankind right i mean I

  that's why AAA has been so bastardized

  and the recovery movements have swept

  Lincoln eighties and nineties when it

  will end and even now I mean there are

  people right now who are paying five

  thousand dollars a week to be in an AAA

  style a rehab where ultimately it isn't

  a a style because if you have someone in

  charge and if you have bars on the

  windows or if you have any kind of

  coercion then it's not a and and the

  courts routinely send people to

  Alcoholics Anonymous as part of her

  punishment and those people are there

  and they put their little you know what

  they're a basket goes around the room

  and everybody put a dollar in just to

  pay for coffee

  who but a basket goes around the room

  and people put in their little green and

  blue and yellow slips that they get from

  the court right so that somebody at the

  a meeting signs off on it and they can

  take it back to their parole officer and

  say yeah went to a but as soon as that

  element is there i don't think it's a

  banana just treating it like the way in

  an old movie you would treat the army or

  church

  yeah right where you say well you're

  going to here's the thing you won't i

  won't find you guilty of this if you go

  join the army or I won't find you guilty

  of this if you start getting some church

  in you write that the idea that there is

  something that needs to be reformed

  about you that whether you're willing or

  not

  proximity to this group and their

  practices will be something that can't

  help but make you better than you are

  right now sorry bastard

  it sounds like with a there's that's a

  completely inaccurate assumption to make

  well i don't know i mean it is entirely

  possible that somebody sits in a forced

  a a situation for six months and goes at

  you know somewhere along the line goes

  huh

  this actually is getting through to me

  but like two things when when you're

  about six months in getting sober at

  least in my experience I remember having

  the field

  but oh my god I'm so lucky because I

  wish everybody in the world had to hit

  this moment where they needed to be in a

  because it's such a it's such a

  fascinating and and you know humbling

  experience and I'm i have an insight now

  that I couldn't have had otherwise but I

  wish everybody shared it's like the

  first time you take LSD and you're like

  well I wish everybody in the world would

  take LSD one time and going to LA and

  going 2a is is very similar it's like

  fuck if everybody you know they're there

  are a lot of people out there laboring

  along and this knowledge is so useful

  mhm um that I wish everybody shared it

  but but the fundamental thing about a

  guy that's been sober for 40 years who

  keeps going 2a is that he keeps learning

  things about himself from listening to

  people who are you have been sober for

  60 days

  wow wow wow that is not something you

  can duplicate it's not something you can

  package and put a price on and and and

  ultimately the reason that he is there

  and subjecting himself to that which is

  uncomfortable and which is like you know

  listen to somebody has been sober for 60

  days talk about how much they know if

  you've been sober for two years is just

  like here you just look so bad and yet

  you're there because you want to not

  because you want to what whatever that

  is and so last year I get a phone call

  from some manager

  and there and this happens this happens

  periodically manager says I know that

  you are sober and I go yeah and they say

  well I've got a one of my artists is

  struggling and I'd like you to talk to

  them if you would and i go of course and

  I get on the phone and in this

  particular case it's a it's an artist

  that never met but whose you know who

  was a big rock star but younger than me

  and getting in a lot of troubles drunken

  and and so forth and he's like yeah I

  manager soon as she call you

  you know I'm like what do you want to

  stop drinking and he's like well i mean

  i keep getting it you know i'm screwed

  up my life I'm like that doesn't mean

  you want to stop drinking right he's

  like well I mean you know I if I don't

  do something I'm gonna go ruin my career

  and I'm like that doesn't mean you want

  to stop drinking look people fucking

  ruin their families destroy their kids

  burn their house down like do you want

  to stop drinking and we talked six seven

  eight times late at night most of the

  time he was fucked up man

  and every time he wants to argue with me

  you know he's like well Jim Morrison is

  my hero and so's Bukowski and so's

  Hemingway he was looking to find a way

  to reframe the conversation while you

  are consistently asking exactly the same

  question exactly the same way

  yeah and I was just like well yeah Jim

  Morrison and Hemingway and Bukowski um

  what about you what do you want to stop

  drinking or do not like if you want to

  die like Bukowski go for it why are you

  calling me and he you know and he's a

  guy who had who everybody in his life is

  like ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod you've

  gotta stop drinking you've gotta stop

  drinking

  and he you know they put him in touch

  with me and I'm like I don't listen I

  don't give a fuck if you stop drinking

  is like he's used to be in the beautiful

  loser

  yeah he's the Beautiful Losers like move

  fucking Bukowski band and I'm like a

  Bukowski yeah right

  makowsky right Hemingway right uh do you

  want to stop drinking or do you not if

  you do then I'll i got some

  recommendations and i'll talk to you on

  the phone as much as you want if you

  don't and you want to talk to me on the

  phone about it i'm happy to talk to you

  on the phone about it but I'm I'm not

  gonna argue with you about how Jim

  Morrison is your role model

  I you know like go for it like it

  seriously if you want to drink and ruin

  your life

  it is totally beautiful it's like

  unbelievable year like us shooting star

  man but if you want to stop drinking it

  sucks it's hard it's bullshit but it so

  it's a thing that you either want or you

  don't and if you don't don't waste

  everybody's time if you do like there's

  a they're like things you gotta do one

  of them as you stop drinking and then

  the next thing is you take a look around

  and start to think you start listening

  to people that have done it and you know

  it is not the enemy must be difficult

  because it's not really a negotiation

  like this is the way it goes right it's

  so difficult and what ended up happening

  with this guy is that that he you know

  some drunken night called me four

  o'clock in the morning and was time you

  know talking to me about Bukowski and I

  was like dude I've read every Bukowski

  everything and I and I saw Bukowski at

  75 years old or whatever in that

  documentary kick his girlfriend and

  Bukowski's an asshole and whatever I

  like if you want to be Bukowski why call

  me at four o'clock in the morning call

  your girlfriend and tell her how

  Bukowski you are

  and he you know and what our thing just

  like memory memory Charles Bukowski

  calling people in the middle of the

  night to talk about Charles Bukowski but

  what ended up happening was somebody got

  him into an expensive recovery program

  and now he pay my understanding is that

  he pays a chaperone to tour with him

  he's got like a den mother

  yeah well and then so his relationship

  to not drinking is that he's basically

  in that in that metallica situation

  where they're paying some guy all right

  to sit in the room with them and be like

  I'm hearing you say that you love the

  cows key and i'm getting paid fifteen

  thousand dollars a week to tell you why

  don't you have some hummus and you know

  just like a just over to something if

  you see from outside you just go wow

  this is not it's not tenable because as

  soon as he can sneak away

  he's going to take to oxycontin's and

  then he's going to come back and he's

  going to pretend to be sorry and he's

  gonna do burger and that and maybe you

  can keep that going you know maybe maybe

  he can keep that going through the

  through the life life of his bad there's

  no there's nothing in anything that he

  said to you that made it makes you think

  that he actually wanted anything to be

  that different know what he wanted was

  exactly not to bug him any one of the

  exact same thing I wanted which was to

  be able to drink like the people in the

  stories and to have all the to have all

  the glamorous problems of the people in

  the stories which is to say the

  fistfights and the broken bottles and

  look and the women who are so sad and

  weeping over you but that he also wanted

  it like in the stories to result in

  appealed surprise winning novel in a

  Grammy winning record

  ultimately will cause everyone to

  forgive him and he doesn't want to wake

  up with a broken nose he wants to wake

  up having given the other guy broken

  nose you know he has a fantasy just like

  I did of how it's going to play out and

  when it starts not playing out like your

  fantasy you feel like all you gotta do

  is make some minor adjustment maybe

  talked to some guy who's going to give

  you a couple of secrets about how you

  can you know a lot of people come in

  today and they're like what's the secret

  that will allow me to keep drinking and

  partying and raging but stop waking up

  with a broken nose

  it's like well if you if you've woken up

  with a broken nose

  you're already past the point where the

  secret is useful to you

  there isn't one and and this is but this

  is the problem in so much of life I and

  this is why i always felt like a a wood

  would help people and warned alcoholics

  is that there are so many people whose

  lives start to deviate from the fantasy

  they had in mind and what they do is

  cling to the fantasy harder and harder

  and their lives resemble that fantasy

  less and less and their reaction is to

  just be disappointed and increasingly

  bitter as they as they frantically grasp

  at the fantasy of what the what they

  thought it was going to be and and maybe

  find more and more similar valid reasons

  for why they've been denied that fantasy

  that they kind of deserve sure it's the

  man or its people could just be people

  misunderstanding you right or it could

  be it could you know i mean but I mean

  with you the way described like that was

  so good

  the idea of being that you want to be

  the one to punch somebody in the nose

  not the guy gets punched in the nose not

  either one of those a particularly

  glamorous thing to be but you know you

  could walk around thinking you're the

  guy that throws the punches like you're

  really you're really the guy who's just

  I mean how many more broken noses will

  it be

  yeah right and the thing is that for

  whatever character in your head that's

  not your character that's not your kid

  that's exactly right your character as a

  net you see this a lot you see this I

  mean this is what the whole wedding

  planner industry is based on

  that you know you have an idea that you

  are the bride and the bride looks like

  this on her wedding day and she feels

  like this on her wedding day and so you

  suddenly you're 26 years old and you

  don't feel like that and you and then

  you you meet somebody and you're like

  okay you are cast in the role of the

  prince and now you need to make me feel

  like I'm supposed to feel on my wedding

  day and the Prince character goes what

  I've just got I'm just a guy that you

  met in a bar and it's like no you're

  posing one of those old-timey photos at

  a amusement park like roaches put his

  hat on but this add-on and now you're

  the groom and what your job is to make

  me feel like I'm supposed to feel on my

  wedding day and so the beano like

  there's a huge industry of people who

  are there to make you look like you

  imagined you were going to look on your

  wedding day

  who but there's very little you can do

  about how you imagined you were going to

  feel on your wedding

  man that's good and so that is you know

  a lot of people go into their wedding

  with that already you know already

  disappointed that they don't feel like

  they thought they should feel and and

  that's true of so much of what we do and

  the hardest thing in the world to be

  like is to basically be here now be like

  right I am I am neither the guy that

  throws the punch nor the guy who was

  punched I am this guy who has been

  punched and doesn't want it and not

  Bukowski

  and I mean I still at the problem with

  me i didn't sober for 20 years and the

  reason that anyone who's been sober 20

  years would go to a meeting is that it

  still is a present problem i wake up

  every day and I still go well I don't

  want to be the guy that gets punched I

  want to be the guy that throws the punch

  and it's like you know what guy

  ok what you should be as a guy sitting I

  guess right now listening to somebody

  who's 60 days sober saying that same

  thing and that will help you a little

  bit get you know like it's a it's a it's

  a it's a version of life it's a way of

  looking at life that is really

  unflinching um but it's the closest to

  reality that I've it's the closest

  philosophy of reality i've ever seen and

  that's notthat doesn't appeal to a lot

  of people myself included myself

  included but there you know but there it

  is you want you want reality i am

  reality but your dollar in the basket

  asshole

  John that was good

  swoosh