Lucien2 SUMMARY KEYWORDS people, question, satanic temple, neil breen, feel, put, facebook, symbols, understand, great, marilyn manson, film, movies, fact, point, messages, christian, social media, jesus, kinds SPEAKERS Doug Misicko, Stephen Bradford Long
00:00 You're listening to a rock candy podcast. Hey, I'm Will and they call me the doctor. And I'm Joe, the maestro, we host a podcast called common creatives where we break apart the art we love to see what makes it tick. Basically, we give you the definitive take on whatever or whoever we're discussing, you don't need to go anywhere else. So check out common creatives wherever you listen to podcasts.
Stephen Bradford Long 00:49 Right Well, welcome back to the Coronavirus stripped down sacred tension. Because the world is crazy. Life is crazy. Normally, these episodes take a lot of work up to can take up to five hours per episode. And right now, I just do not have the margin for that because I think my brain is just glitching. I'm in this perpetual, like brain fog. So I still want to provide these conversations for you, as we all you know, manage this difficult time, but you're just going to have to deal with some lower audio quality right now. So if you hear my partner watch horror movies and the next room, if you hear any of my cats or if Lucien confesses to murder actually eating fetuses on air, then that's not getting edited out. I'm sorry. So this this show is completely unedited. And also I have to thank my most recent patrons, so I'm hearing a lot of really interesting noises in the background. Is that on your side or on mine?
Doug Misicko 02:05 That might be the wind over here. Oh, an old house in the wind is? Its high winds? Yeah, that's great. It's a lot of whistling sounds and all of that.
Stephen Bradford Long 02:16 It definitely sounded like, you know, someone groaning in your closet or something?
Doug Misicko 02:22 Oh, yeah. Sleeping in this place.
Stephen Bradford Long 02:28 Awesome. Okay, so. But first, I have to thank my patrons. My patrons are the lifeblood of this show. And my work. And also we've we've actually just recently gotten a lot of new patrons. So thank you so much, you're all really amazing. I did not anticipate so many of you joining on to help me get past $200 a month, which is amazing. So all of that money goes to support future projects, and then also very basic, mundane things like keeping my cat children alive. And so every little bit helps. And thank you so much for your support. So I have to thank lady Lillith Jin Mao, Lisa Willer clowns, Kitty, Vaughn, and Stuart, thank you so much. You're all amazing. Also, just a very, very quick notice. We're all struggling economically right now. Life is hard. And so if you are unable to give, I completely understand, I really need you to support yourself and your family and take care of yourself first and foremost. So please don't feel pressured. Please don't feel guilty if you are unable to support my Patreon I will continue to be here making free stuff for you. And when if you want to become a patron but are unable to then you know maybe someday when all this blows over you will be able to but but take care of yourself first and foremost. All right. Well, with all of that out of the way, Lucien. Hello, welcome back.
Doug Misicko 04:11 Oh, good to be back. changed,
Stephen Bradford Long 04:14 not much has changed. We are still in quarantine. I am still feeding people at the grocery store. You are. You're still socially isolating, I assume.
Doug Misicko 04:26 Yep, that's That's correct.
Stephen Bradford Long 04:29 Good as much so you're still doing all the same old stuff that we talked about last time. Still streaming movies on cast, which is awesome. And I unfortunately haven't been able to tune in to any of them yet. But I assume you've been streaming lots of Neil Breen.
Doug Misicko 04:52 We've only done one neoprene film so far. Okay, that really sticks out to people. So we're gonna have to do more of the bream filmography for sure, yes, so I was made maybe even maybe even Wednesday.
Stephen Bradford Long 05:06 I think you need to do a lot of Neil Breen on cast for people who don't know Neil Breen is maybe the most horrifically awful, wonderfully bizarre filmmaker ever. Yeah, Pope Wonka on my Facebook, I posted that I was going to be interviewing you and if you if they had any questions that people would like to ask you and Pope Wonka asked why is Neil Breen the most important filmmaker of all time? So he wants I don't think I think that's the only question for my audience that I'm going to ask you actually. Why is Neil Breen, the most important filmmaker of all time?
Doug Misicko 05:48 Well, I think the importance of neoprene is the importance in seeing through a cinematic vision that is so deeply personal and uncorrupted by standards of quality, rationality. Basic sense that there's something very beautiful about about all of that
Stephen Bradford Long 06:15 is incredibly pure about it.
Doug Misicko 06:19 Yeah, there. There's been there's like a genre of films made by people who are probably following their more detestable impulses, but it ends up producing the some of the most amusing films I've ever seen. And those are that genre of film put together by mostly older financially kind of stable, you know, yeah, upper middle class. Guys who want to create these vanity films to that they write and direct put themselves in the starring role, you know, compare themselves up with with love interests that might seem outside their, their bounds in, in the real world. And oftentimes, the scripts are, you know, not very competently executed, but usually, highly entertaining that
Stephen Bradford Long 07:26 is such a gracious way to put it not very competently executed. So, so there is actually a filmmaker who I think you really need to know about. And his name is Donald James Parker, and he is the evangelical Christian, Neil Breen. And
Doug Misicko 07:43 I definitely need to check yes, one of the movie nights we watched second glance, which I think was from I can glance is great. Yeah, from 1992. I think it was. So I think most people would know it is the film where the, the Jesus man mean came from. That was like the climactic line. Guy pumps his fist and says Jesus man, exactly. It's but it's one of those great kind of, you know, it has those formulaic elements where it's kind of like a Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, this kid gets to see the world in what it would be like in a period of 24 hours if he had never been saved, because he realizes that he's not seeing any action. Everybody sees him as this dork or whatever, there's a party coming up that he's not going to go to because he's too good a Christian, he gets pissed off and says, sometimes he thinks he better off he'd never been saved. So then an angel comes along, and he wakes up in this world where he, you know, he gets out of bed wearing a tie dye t shirt and a baseball cap on backwards. So you already know things have gone foul. Yeah. And then just sees the living hell that the world is just without him having been saved up to and including his sister having been aborted. His mom is I think she's, she's damn near a prostitute in that circumstance. So his parents are divorced in any case, and she's running around with all kinds of men. And there is his friend committed suicide. I mean, there's just there's just no end to it.
Stephen Bradford Long 09:25 I love how in Christian movies, so I am a connoisseur of bad Christian movies. They are my absolute favorite. And one of my favorite things about the bad Christian movie, especially like the higher quote unquote higher budget ones, like the ones that the bigger budget ones that come from Pure Flix and whatnot, is that they have to incorporate about 15 different storylines, and each storyline is somehow a representation of like the depressed avidity of the world and so it's like you have the the, the st the struggling single mom. And then you have the non Christian Hispanic guy. And then you have the the Muslim family and then you have the, the liberal vegan journalist and how all of these different lives, all of these different narratives are just intertwined and it all comes to this realization of, they're just wrong about everything. So, Don, so Donald James Parker, who is the Neil Breen of fiction of Christian cinema, he my two favorite films by him one is called gramps goes to college and it is about him, Donald James Parker playing himself in a in a fictional role that is very clearly a very thinly veiled version of himself, going to college as an old man to rescue the college from those reprobate evolution, evolutionary biologists, and lecturing the kids on sexual purity and to not have sex before college and to not drink. And he gets into like these evolutionary debates, creationism, evolutionary debates with the biology teacher who, and he is so charming, that he ends up wooing the biology professor, and she gets really drunk and tries to seduce him and it's it is the most beautiful hot mess. I have I have ever
Doug Misicko 11:41 seen a salvation right. She's just it is
Stephen Bradford Long 11:45 that is her way to salvation.
Doug Misicko 11:49 That's similar to God's Not Dead, which is, you know, I think probably the most popular the Pure Flix offerings, but it's not, it doesn't follow anything close to what would be a reasonable realistic storyline for anybody with any sense watching, but there's a real fetish for that notion of going to the the corrupted secular college campus and in overturning it, overturning the whole culture there with the power of the glory of the Lord.
Stephen Bradford Long 12:23 And you know, so speaking of God's Not Dead, so, there are that kid in that movie for people. Okay, dear listeners, you have homework, you are going you're all in quarantine. You're not doing anything except drinking too much and masturbating. So I want you to watch add one more thing. Add one more thing to that list. You're gonna watch a neoprene you're gonna you're going to watch any of them will do it just any movie by Neil Breen. Watch grants goes to college and then watch God's Not Dead and then you'll be all caught up. So what what I find so disgusting in that movie? Is is how Oh, hold on. Let me let me try to collect my thoughts. What am I saying? Okay, yes. So when I came out as God's Not Dead still, we are on we are on God's Not Dead. Yes. Sorry. My brain is. I am so fucking exhausted. Because writing. Yes, no editing. Because at the store, the grocery store it has been so fucking busy. It has been like Christmas. Every single week. Except it isn't Christmas. It is the goddamn apocalypse. And people are shopping like the zombies are coming. And anyway, so I'm off today, and I've been so tired. I've just been incomprehensible. So all that aside, but when I first became a non theist, and when I became fairly public about it, all of these evangelical Christians who originally didn't give a shit about me, all of them came out of the woodwork to try to debate me convinced me, but their talking points, seemed like they had gotten them from some online seminar from some apologetic course about how to talk to an atheist. And it just the things that these people would say to me reminded me of the things that kid said to the atheist professor, and it's like they were just looking over their
Doug Misicko 14:37 head was at the end, he said to the professor, why do you hate God? And he says, You the unanswerable ultimate question that really shook his faith in atheism to turn the tables on atheism like that, as they believe they do, but it was, you know, then, you know, not to offer spoilers to anybody. If you if you want Watch his film and not have a spoiler than don't listen to this part. But it's just remarkable to me that at the climax of the film, the atheist gets hit by a car, a couple of trees get out of the car, and they tell him about your, your fading, you know, the best thing you can do now is give yourself over to Jesus. So if this professor says finally, you know, pocket, okay, fine, Jesus many dies. And they're like, this has been a beautiful moment. And that's, and that's supposed to be the heartwarming end of the film. Converted, he's okay, after all,
Stephen Bradford Long 15:40 it's so disgusting. It's so it's like, he died horribly in a being run over by a car. But at least he accepted Christ. And suddenly, that's the feel good ending. And then there's also the other part of it, where it's where the main character kid asked him, What, who hurt you? Or what? What happened to you, you know, something, something like that, where it's almost like, then this assumption that the neutral state of humanity, and I don't think that this is this is actually like a theological position. I mean, like, like Romans, one of God has revealed himself to all create, you know, his works are known through all of creation and all that he is, it is obvious that God exists. And so it's like this, this assumption that the natural state of humanity is to believe in God, and behavior, right? Yes, and you have to be, and it's like, you have to be hammered out of that by some horrible traumatic event. And if you just resolve that, that inner wound, that you know, someone in the church was mean to you one time, if you just resolve that, then all those problems will be solved. And you can come back to Christianity, and this is actually something that has come to really annoy me, where, you know, Christians will say, Why did you leave Christianity? And I tell them, and then they're like, oh, wow, you must have been really hurt because you were a gay let's talk about that instead.
Doug Misicko 17:17 Well, I you know, when I was playing second glance for movie night, I was with a lot of the movies I've been playing they've been older. For the most Neil Breen movies have been probably the most recent movies I've shown because a lot of bad films that are fun to laugh at came from the drive and era, you know, recently we watched a film called Blood freak, this kind of perplexing film about a guy who smoke marijuana, which brought him on to some downward spiral. And then he started working at a turkey farm where they were using experimental drugs on these turkeys to make them yield more meat or something like that. But he was their only human test subject on eating these turkeys to make sure it was healthy. In this caused him, I guess it was some kind of comorbid factor with the fact that he was smoking marijuana or whatever. But it turned him into a turkey monster apartment apart monster. He had a thing that needed to survive by drinking the blood of drug addicts. So he goes out and starts drinking drug addict. It's really bizarre film, that's one way. But I was worried that some people who felt damaged by their by their past indoctrination, by their religious upbringing, or whatever, would have a difficult time seeing the humor in the film, you know, film like second glance, or would have difficulty if we show like God's Not Dead or whatever. But everybody seemed to like it. And I would encourage people if they listen to these concepts and think is just too soon, might still be worth stopping in one of these movie nights and see what everybody else finds funny about it. Maybe that's cathartic? You know, maybe that's kind of a path to healing to understand, you know, that you can look at this stuff confronted head on and see it for how ludicrous it is. Because, I mean, once you get there, it is fucking funny.
Stephen Bradford Long 19:26 Yes, it is. I mean, I and I think that's why I love bad Christian movies so much. Because it's, it's therapeutic for me to watch these movies and be able to laugh at it. It's kind of like a disarming of it or a defaming of it. And it's really this cathartic healing experience for me because I you know, I watch these Christian movies and I'm, there's this this combination of have just sheer mortification and horror like oh my god, that was me. I used to say stupid shit like that when I was in high school, but then being able to step back and laugh at it and being able to put it put it away put it into my past I don't know it's it's really healing and actually along those lines along the lines of recovering from religious trauma so now that we've you know, spent the first 20 minutes of the of the episode talking about movies. By the way, everyone go and go and hang out on his movie nights. He's doing it once or twice a week now, I think.
Doug Misicko 20:40 Yeah, I've been doing it pretty much Wednesdays and Saturdays seem to be my time slot I'm trying to keep on top of when other people like BAFO. Net. And, and, you know, Greg Stevens also has been casting a lot of films and anybody else who had come across you text me on Twitter saying that they're, they've got something scheduled I? I amplify that. So yeah, just as so people have something to do exactly. Have some kind of sense of what the schedule is. Because, you know, we're all isolated in watching these movies, but there's a completely different feel to it. When we're all watching at the same time and commenting in real time together. It really feels like a like a gathering.
Stephen Bradford Long 21:28 Exactly. Yeah. And, and so go, go follow his his Twitter account at Lucien Greaves. And he always posts it there. So speaking of recovering from religious trauma, so you had this really fantastic article, recently on your Patreon, and you've opened up your Patreon to the public. So that, you know, people who are not able to pay can still enjoy your really excellent work, your podcasts and your articles. And you have this article called, but hold on, actually, I don't have the title. What was it? But what about Islam? There you go. What about Islam? And so you tell this, you start with a story and and here's what you say. Recently, a member of the Satanic Temple posted a picture of herself, in which he was holding burning pages taken from the Bible. Somebody replied, Ramadan in a few weeks, and he plans to burn Korans. She replied to that extreme Christianity in particular, had caused a lot of pain in her life. Burning a Koran would not be personally meaningful to her. Didn't think so. The Enquirer returned, looking forward to the day when the mall Goths of the world dare to make an actual stand. All right, so, so why, so I thought this article was great. Explain why this story in particular kind of inspired you to write this article?
Doug Misicko 23:09 I think it was more of the timing of that one that made me kind of like focus on that particular one. But it's a it's been a common question throughout the history of the Satanic Temple where whenever we do anything, even when we were even in our monument campaign in Arkansas, in our campaign to put a monument up on the Capitol grounds where they put up a 10 commandments monument said it's not an establishment clause violation, because it's not a government endorsement of a particular religion. But, you know, any private entity can, can donate a monument of similar significance. And of course, we tried to donate ours, and they're trying to keep it out on all costs at all costs, because it's just because it's satanic, crossing that line and allowing government endorsement of a particular religion exactly what they said they weren't doing. But in, in those cases, you know, even even then, when it's a 10 commandments monument being put on the grounds and not some kind of Islamic monument of whatever type. I'm not exactly sure what that would look like, given kind of the prohibitions against imagery and iconography and, and Islam. And I don't know what the limitations of that are, but that's beside the point. And then in case we get that question, well, what about Islam? Why aren't you? Why don't you pick on the Muslims in the same way, you're always picking on the Christians as though there's a similar, comparable theocratic movement to install Islamic dominance in the United States, or if not the United States, as though the Satanic Temple has the power to do A enact some kind of meaningful movement in places where we have virtually no presence like Saudi Arabia. And I wonder sometimes what these people who are asking this question really believe about the state of affairs in the United States or the capabilities of the Satanic Temple? And it's just prevalent enough question that I felt it was worth me writing an essay to explain my answer to that to take the question seriously. Because sometimes I don't think the question is asked in bad faith, which is, oddly enough, because sometimes if there's a question that I think is sufficiently dumb, I think it's just asked, as a way to be provocative, I try to make that assumption less and less as time goes on. The more I see how misinformed people can genuinely be, and how, how unrouted from reality their questions seem to be derived from. But you know, this essay was finally my effort to do that, after all these years of constantly getting the What about Islam question, I think, the picture of the TST member burning some pages from the Bible that finally made me resolve to write that essay once and for all, having seen that question posted in that way. Because I think the person who asked the question about burning the Crohn's, if I understand correctly, somebody who's followed my account for some time, it left non hostile responses to a lot of things I've said. And so I was surprised by that, that response. And I also thought that it might have been indicative of that being a genuine question on the part of some people. So I went on to explain, of course, that, you know, the personal meaning of burning a Bible to somebody can grow up in the environment where the Bible has a presence and has some kind of oppressive meaning for somebody coming away from that particular brand of superstition. But also to explain on the other level, how it's a Christian flavored theocracy that is initiating its coup in our part of the world today. And, you know, I guess I went too long feeling like some of these things didn't need to be said. And even when I wrote this essay, I kind of thought maybe it was going to be kind of a throwaway to a lot of people, and it wouldn't generate much interest from the readers. But the response has been, you know, it's a, it looks like it's one of the more read of my, of my articles on that platform at this point.
Stephen Bradford Long 27:55 It's fantastic. And because I think it really I think that there are some really hard to grasp and articulate subtleties within the quote, unquote, satanic experience, this says this specific, communal satanic experience that we're that those of us who are in the Satanic Temple are in, I think that there are some things about it that are really difficult to articulate. One of which being blasphemy is not for you, it is for us, you being the Christian blasphemy is not for you, it is for us. And I, I think that that is one of the really, really hard things and so and I think that question that this person on Twitter asked, you know, what about Islam? You know, Ramadan is in a few weeks do you plan on to burn any Koran fundamentally understands how we perceive blasphemy, which is that blasphemy is a cathartic experience of self empowerment for us and literally, and really has very little to do with with Christians or whatever religion that we're from, you know,
Doug Misicko 29:25 yeah, that's why I related it to the joke that John Waters told John Waters it said I think God I was raised Catholic so sex will always be dirty. You know, and then I said it would be quite a different joke if he were to say, I thank God for Ramadan because it makes the four course meal I already feel extra decadent. Then it would just kind of be this spiteful. aspersion towards some religious practice, I
Stephen Bradford Long 29:55 mean, there it would be cynical,
Doug Misicko 29:57 right? Right. It I mean Is that kind of humor? Fine, you know, that's it's just a different kind of joke, you know it. And I think people can understand the psychology of those two different statements, if they put themselves in that position. He's not saying that, you know, he's glad that sex is dirty. Because Catholics deem it dirty, because they know that he's having sex and they're offended by it. I mean, that in itself, that could arguably be funny as well. But you know, that that's not what he's saying. He's not saying he's going out in the advertising the fact that he's having sex to Catholics, just because as I'm off, he's saying that he was indoctrinated to believe that sex was dirty. And now he gets that kind of thrill from engaging in something that was, you know, beaten into him to be taboo, you know, there's that kind of perverse pleasure and, you know, breaking those taboos breaking from that confinement, and that's very similar, I think, to the, the feeling people get from engaging in, you know, symbolic blasphemy. And it's interesting to note, or, you know, maybe not, but the, the TST member who was burning pages from the Bible, it's not as though she had tagged in that picture. People like Franklin Graham, you know, stepping him off, she takes some people from her community, including myself, you know, in this wasn't, wasn't something that I don't, I don't think that she had any designs of this getting out into the, into Christian communities and driving them insane or, or, you know, stirring up outrage or anything like that. It was more her way of kind of showing solidarity with her own community and just, you know, showing what she was up to.
Stephen Bradford Long 32:04 Yeah. And showing solidarity with those who've been hurt by by Christianity. I mean, it. It reminds me of that early Marilyn Manson concert that he did. I think back during the Antichrist superstar era. I was even when I was a little flaming Lee gay missionary boy, I loved Marilyn Manson, I think because he he, you know, I was like this very Evangelical, charismatic, flaming Lee gay, so deep in the closet. I was in Narnia, but like, and trying so hard to repress it, but failing and I think listening to Marilyn Manson kind of connected me with some very real and raw emotions, and feelings of hurt that I had towards Christianity. And you know, the, from the Mr. Superstar song, I think where he does that live performance, and he's ripping the pages out of the Bible, and this realization that, that I mean, knowing Marilyn Manson that might have been to provoke I mean, it probably was to provoke Christians. But it was very much an act of catharsis for me as that kid was listening to it. And I was a missionary at the time, I was a in for me, there was this weird lack of conflict between that between feeling validated by Marilyn Manson, Marilyn Manson ripping pages out of a Bible, and acknowledging the trauma that had been done to me by the church, while also still believing in Christianity, you know, that, to me was not a contradiction, and it still isn't a contradiction that I am a Satanist who works with Christians, you know, because I think you see what I'm saying?
Doug Misicko 34:05 Oh, yeah. But to get on the topic, you know, you open a whole door there about having that kind of experience going to a Marilyn Manson concert, because I've started working, I think it's most people know, on a musical project with, with some very experienced competent musicians. Both of whom, who I started out with this, just this band of three of us. The other two are in a band called Planet B. One of them was in a band called the locust and in Dead cross with Mike Patton, who is the frontman for Faith No More. And we were we originally had this idea where we do more of like this Spoken Word Album where I would do the spoken word, there'd be some kind of musical background and it would be kind of like you Know the low vase, Black Mass album, whatever, you know, something just kind of, to deliver a message and have that kind of musical accompaniment. Then when we started working together, things got much more, both more musical and more abstract. And we started really experimenting with things. And now at this point, we've really put together we think, a great album that will, you know, regardless of people's backgrounds and beliefs, whether they have an attachment to the Satanic Temple or not, you know, some people are just going to really like this album, we think. And now we've recruited as our drummer, Dave Lombardo, who is also, you know, a drummer for Slayer. And in fact, if you look up best drummers of all time, he pops up, pops up on those lists. So, you know, we, even though we haven't released an album yet, I think if we were out touring just on this, you know, the novelty of the band, I'm in writing the lyrics and doing the vocals for and, you know, having Dave Lombardo and these other characters working on it, I think we get a good turnout. We were supposed to go on tour, you know, late last month, but you know, just over a month ago, we would have started going on tour in the West Coast, and we were repped by Live Nation, so we would have these solid guarantees. Anyways, I was thinking and all of this, when we were talking, we were talking about the kind of theatrics we would use on the stage. And some of the people I work with, in the Satanic Temple, were offering support, you know, Kimball Rue was 3d printing news, great. mic stands to use, you know, all this kind of thing. The pageantry, I think, really, really affects people. And it's the pageantry, I think that really brings people into the churches week after week and convinces them that there's this thing greater than science can explain and greater than them, because they have that kind of inexplicable feeling, it's a mode of quality, just the environment, the music, the crowd, all those kinds of elements converge to make them feel like they're part of something bigger. And I was just considering when I was listening to some of the tracks that I think are particularly well constructed and meaningful, thinking of some of these people who, for whom the music will speak to them first. And then to find that there's this entire movement from which it's derived. It's almost frightening, because I think some people, you know, this, this will really catch them at the right time. And they'll define their lives thereafter, by this exposure. And I've taken that very seriously and have tried to make lyrics and create messages that not just express that kind of angst and conflict from where we come from, but also at least give some kind of light ahead for those affirmative values. You know, and that's kind of a difficult thing to do with, with material that's evocative of a certain type of, you know, kind of dark aesthetic that I gravitate towards. But I think we did a really good job of it. And it'll be interesting to see the outcome because I kind of I well, I don't just kind of I openly do fear fanaticism, you know? Yeah. Yeah.
Stephen Bradford Long 38:57 You fear fanaticism in your listeners, you mean, and in the people who might listen to the album and might or in people who oppose you?
Doug Misicko 39:09 Oh, sure. I mean, you see it go both directions. I mean, the, some of the messages one gets that are supportive, but get everything wrong or take everything to an extreme can be just as disconcerting as the messages you get that are opposed to you know, I don't want to lose row.
Stephen Bradford Long 39:32 Yeah, you know, and you were talking about how the, the ritual aspect of say a music concert. The Oh, whoa, you used a specific word. The pageantry, there you go. Thank you. I can't use my words tonight. The pageantry, how it is So, so all enveloping. And it really does create a world. It's almost, you know, I love how Joseph Laycock in his book, dangerous games he he talks about how religion and games role playing games are both an annex to reality, where it's like this shared imagined world, where you enter together, and then you experience this incredible transformative reality that isn't objectively real. But that isn't to say that it is unreal, it's real, because we experience it, it's real within us. And and then we exit that annex to reality. And we return to the mundane world to mundane life, transformed by the experience. And I, and that is what concerts do that, like, I think the band ghost does that. So well. Marilyn Manson does that so well. And it's also what the Catholic Master does. It's what the black Master does. It's what Dungeons and Dragons, you know, it's
Doug Misicko 41:11 yeah, it's certainly not trying to take anything away from ghost shows, or Marilyn Manson shows, I think ours would be different and more effective. Just by what people know about us and what people know about my position within the Satanic Temple and the fact that we've put together some tracks that I think, are so effective in setting and overtaking an entire room and setting its own mood entirely. Then we were going to do certain interactive, interactive ritual type theatrics. During our shows, we did an on baptism track, and we were talking about in Shiva, honey, who wrote the book on on rituals that recently came out the devil was Tohei. And
Stephen Bradford Long 42:00 she's coming on next week, no, oh, she's, she's coming.
Doug Misicko 42:04 She's doing backing vocals for us as well. And we were, you know, when we were looking at going out on tour and thinking that this was going to happen before this pandemic broke out, you know, we were discussing with her kind of cycling people crossed the stage for on baptisms, and that kind of thing. And I think that kind of like, breaking down of the barrier between audience and in performer, making it an interactive experience, where people feel they're kind of involved in something more than a concert that can be really, really powerful to certain people.
Stephen Bradford Long 42:48 I 100% agree. By the way, when is the album coming out?
Doug Misicko 42:55 I wish I knew it's kind of frustrating, because I really wish I really wish I had a release date on it now, some with some things, I just feel like if I had a date, I'd be much happier. Lombardo was adding his parts to like the final three tracks, I think. And he said, he's been, I guess, for the most part, he's, he's late night working on this stuff. You know, he, he sets up at home, and we're all working at home right now, we put together one of the tracks entirely, remotely. So one of the tracks, my vocals have been entirely recorded in Salem, separated from the rest of the band and I that I send over these, you know, the sound files, and we work with them from there. But I have the equipment, I need to make sure it's of the highest quality kind of recording I could do. Anyways, so nobody's going to notice like a difference in quality or whatever else. But it's, it's, it's good that we can do that. And we just have to get everything mixed, mastered. And then we, we find a label. And then I think, just after getting a label, it's probably somewhere around six months before the album was released even then, but we would have been doing live shows now if it weren't for the pandemic,
Stephen Bradford Long 44:20 right. So so I'm assuming that the release would have, you know, been after kind of this build up of tours and shows, kind of promoting it and all that.
Doug Misicko 44:34 Yeah, yeah. It would have been interesting to see what the turnout would have been. For our initial kind of touring, it would be, you know, we have played with the idea of releasing some individual tracks as digital releases. And that was, that was actually what we were going to do with the one track we put together entirely remotely. We didn't realize it the magnitude of our creative output. When we get together, I had gone to San Diego gone into the studio. And we were writing and recording all at the same time. In the course of two weeks, we pretty much put together the, the skeleton of the entire album. And then I came back for, I think, a week and a half. And we did some more. We recorded some stuff restructured a lot of things. And then I came into lockdown in Salem. And our initial plan for another track I was kind of working out a draft for was that it would just kind of be a digital release. We ended up liking it so much. We're going to put it on the album as well. And now we're getting to that point where we might have to cut some material out. Or we might have to consider you know, depending on the timeline what we want to do, maybe we'll do a double album or have another album lined up by the time lockdown is over.
Stephen Bradford Long 45:58 Oh, that sounds great. And I just I sigh deeply because I just signed on to Twitter and started glancing at some of the questions that people were asking and I'm I think I'm going to stick to just the Neil Breen question for this episode.
Doug Misicko 46:16 That bad or
Stephen Bradford Long 46:18 some of them are IV just so sometimes when I have sometimes when I bring on another satanist I post about and be like, Hey, I'm bringing this person on. Do you have any questions just to see, just to like test the waters and see how many people in my audience will ask the same old stupid questions. For example, Mr. grieves. Oh, wait, no, let's not let's not, let's not do that one. Let's see here. Listen, Lucien Greaves, let's cut to the heart of the matter. Is that all a giant exercise and trolling? Supposing for a moment that it was would you be able to admit it? Okay, so this is something that really that I find really hilarious because people assume so hard that I'm conning them, that even when I completely earnestly I'm like, No, I'm not doing this to troll you or offend you. This is my sincere, you know, religious conviction, I am a Satanist. This is my religious identity, it is entirely authentic. They go one of two ways, either they assume that you Lucien and company have like bamboozled me so much that I've just, you know, fallen into your con and that and that I completely believe sincerely something that the Satanic Temple has just, or they assume that I am somehow unable to admit that it is a con, and that they see through, or that that I am unable to admit that it is a troll, and that they see through my you know, my self delusion. It's so bizarre. It's really weird, but we don't have to talk about the question.
Doug Misicko 48:18 You can't say it's a dumb question necessarily. It's just I come to think that, you know, I used to view those questions as antagonistic. But they're, they're too prevalent and come from too many, you know, too wide a variety of people, for me to dismiss it that way. But it's, it is difficult for me to get into the answer to that, because I feel like I get into the answer to that. And so many of the things I write and so many of the things I do, and so many of the lectures I give, and so many of the interview questions I answer. And even I think, what about Islam is an essay that gets right back to that very topic. And I think if the apple really kind of like the totality of these essays and everything else, they will, if they don't still see the answer, I just don't know that there's anything I can do to articulate it to them. And I still think it just comes down to that inability to understand how something like this can be meaningful to anybody in a non theistic fashion, that idea that, yeah, that means that all your symbols and all your parables and everything else are entirely arbitrary and could be changed out for anything else and be equally meaningful. So all you're getting out of Satanism is the antagonism towards, towards Christians in the Christian religion, which, you know, we know that's not the case, and I've been trying to express that from day one. It's still an uphill struggle. I don't write people off though when they don't understand those answers or don't understand one essay I still think, given time, in seeing the totality of our work and seeing the cumulative nature of our actions and our positions, or our statements, my essays, you know, interview answers all of those things. It can, I think, you know, can begin to dawn on people, they can begin to, you know, you never know when it'll strike either absolutely plant that seed, you know, they might suddenly also, you know, listen to this interview, and then, you know, have something of a transcendent event at a concert or witnessed the pageantry add another thing, and then, you know, relate it to something that was said, between you and I, that kind of contextualize is everything slightly differently, but just just enough to make them start really understanding where we're coming from.
Stephen Bradford Long 50:56 Yes, and, yes, I 100% agree. And I have several methods to do that. One is, I feel like I have this pretty dense a library on my blog now of just all this stuff I've written. And so I have an FAQ page of, you know, just all the regular questions I get. And so when people have questions, I, I say, Well, you know, I Please read this article I wrote, it might be helpful. And then if you have any more questions, please let me know. And then, you know, we take it from there. That's one method. But I've been really surprised by the number of people who have come around. Like one of my very good friends is like this evangelical bro, I went to college with and he's still a great friend of mine. And, and at first he was, at first he was really confused, and really struggled to understand it. But I think as he just watched what I was doing, and watched how I watched my blog, and my interactions online, and so on, he finally came to me one day and was like, So Steven, you're Satan isn't the Christian Satan? That is the the fulfillment of all evil, it's a different character. And I'm like, yes, it finds inspiration there. But symbols are subjective. This is a different symbol. And he was like, Oh, well, I think that's great. And he was able to be more comfortable with it.
Doug Misicko 52:49 Yeah, and, you know, like I said, some small event or some, you know, new bit of information can come by which they can relate it to something. They didn't quite grasp.
Stephen Bradford Long 53:03 I'm, I'm also so glad. Oh, are you still there? You just froze up?
Doug Misicko 53:08 Yeah, I'm here. Okay.
Stephen Bradford Long 53:09 Great. I'm, I'm so glad that you also bring up the word transcendence. You know, you said a little bit ago, maybe someone has a transcendent experience that helps them understand this. This has been the hardest thing for me to communicate about my Satanism, which is I feel like my Satanism came out of a transcendent experience. But it was a young, I
Doug Misicko 53:38 don't have a problem. Right? Right. I don't have a problem with that terminology. Because to me, the the claim that is transcended just means that it's, it's more than something you can describe as the sum of its parts. Now, it's kind of emerging characteristic that defies characterization by any of its any of its component elements, right? So it's something that that is its own thing to the point that it's inextricable from all the rest of the feelings and emotions that are tied to it. And that's why Satan is not an arbitrary choice. It's inextricably tied to all of this for us. And you know, we're not at liberty to just say, alright, we're going with the, the less antagonistic hero from Greek law or something like that, which so many people suggest to us in which to us is just kind of an absurd recommendation. And it's just it's, it's really interesting to see how many people think that that's exactly what we could do if we weren't being edgy little pricks?
Stephen Bradford Long 54:51 Exactly. I mean, there have been people on my blog who've commented on my blog saying, Well, why don't you get a religion based on Lord of the Rings? then if it's just an arbitrary fiction, you know, if, if you're just basing your religion on some mythology of your own choosing that you'd like, then why not something a bit more palatable, why not deliberately choose something like Lord of the Rings or why not? Buddhism or you know, why not some non theistic paganism or something like Buddhism and, and I always feel like those people are going about it much more rationally than I am. Because my my Satanism is fundamentally not rational. It is rooted in rationality it, it lifts up rationality, but my my Satanism is rooted in all love affair, it is all this kind of romance with the symbol of Satan that has just captured my heart. If I were going about, you know, I keep telling people, if I were to go about this rationally, I would be a boring milk toast, Unitarian Universalist? Like if I want it to be the most palatable person I could possibly be, I would just be an Episcopalian. All right. So this, this idea that I am, I don't know, deliberately choosing to be one in one of the most marginalized and misunderstood religions in the world, or at least in the Western world, is, is stupid. I would not willingly bring that onto myself, unless I had a transcendent religious experience that transformed me, you know,
Doug Misicko 56:42 right. Yeah. And that's one of those things, though, because of that, that transcended nature of it, because it's something that's more than the sum of its parts, because it's something that's really indescribable in that way. It's, it's also the most difficult question for us to answer. Even, you know, I was observed, as absurd as the question is, and for how many times I've been asked, and all these years, I still don't feel like I have that kind of Elevator Pitch answer where I have a concise, you know, a couple sentence along kind of explanation that can satisfy that inquiry. Because it's just, it's just out there. There's just too much to it, I guess. Yeah.
Stephen Bradford Long 57:29 Same, you know, when when people asked me, So, a question I get a lot lately is, so how did you go from Christian missionary to Satanist? And I like, well, I've written a lot about this. I have a podcast, you'll I would be happy to refer it to you. Oh, big rumble in the background.
Doug Misicko 57:55 Yeah, motorcycle, but yeah, no, I
Stephen Bradford Long 57:57 completely. I'm completely there with you. It's like I am every time that question comes, I feel kind of tongue tied. And the fact that it happens to you as well, it's kind of reassuring, honestly.
Doug Misicko 58:13 It's worth writing essays to because it's, some of these questions seem so off base to us. But they come all the time that I feel badly for people who are just just coming into this, just starting to mingle with our community, online and social media, getting these questions and then being caught off guard and thinking, Well, I don't know, what about is why I don't know. I didn't I didn't think of Islam, you know, what is that? What's my right? What's my answer to this? And I think I've provided some ready made links that people can just, I agree.
Stephen Bradford Long 58:57 Well, and you know, I think that you're completely right, also that the questions are that the majority of them are not trolling. Like I think that I think the guy in my, on my Twitter right now who was asking some questions like one was do you recommend that everyone rub their scrotum on the monuments of dead matriarchs referring referring to the pink baths? Of course, okay, clearly, clearly cheeky, and a bit trollee. But, but funny, too, but I did.
Doug Misicko 59:35 I did a lecture for a law class at Boston University. One time so I kept it very academic, you know, really talking about the legal structures or the legal struggles of the Satanic Temple and our approach in and out, I guess, our interpretation of the First Amendment which I see as you know, clearly the interpretation Have the First Amendment that is most reasonable. You know, just kind of the history of philosophy of our legal struggles. This whole class sitting there listening politely, I had my PowerPoints up and video showed and everything else. And then it got to q&a. And the first question, some fucking guy raised his hands. He's like, did you really put your balls on the grave of the Westboro Baptist church? Church and bother thinking God, damn, you will prick. But
Stephen Bradford Long 1:00:31 and the answer is yes. Yes, I did. So, but yeah, that so? Yes, I think that most of these questions are 100% sincere, and, you know, like, why, why Satan, why not Islam, so on and so forth. It's there. So they, they happen so often that I really want to put together like a little mock tract, satanic tract, that, you know, because I get these all the time at the grocery store, because clearly, I just scream reprobate, and that I need to be saved. And so I and also, we're at the cashier, so we're, like, held hostage to these people to these customers who want to evangelize us. And they give us these tracks all the time. It's like, the biggest question, oh, like, the biggest questions in your life, you know, some vague title and then you open it up, and it's all about Jesus. So I really want to do some, like, you know, silly tracks that has all of these basic questions. Why not Islam? Why Satan? Are you just a troll? For when people asked me this? I think it would be a great project.
Doug Misicko 1:01:50 Right? Yeah. Well, I you know, one of the more perplexing questions to me, was, it wasn't really a question, but it was a criticism. I wrote an article earlier, you know, a couple years ago, I think to answer this one, it's one of those ready on hand lakes that I can just dump to people now. But I kept seeing this bizarre criticism that was accusing us of not understanding our own history, or the history of religion or whatever else, because we're utilizing sometimes an inverted cross, in the real meaning of the inverted cross, according to these people was, was Catholic and origin it was St. St. Peter's cross. Yeah, it Peters cross, he believed he wasn't worthy of being executed in the same manner as Christ. So he insisted that his cross be inverted is the story. And there was some segments of the Catholic population that at least for a time, you know, proudly displayed, the inverted cross is something, you know, worthy of praise. And that is, that one was just really bizarre to me. Because I feel like the inverted cross in the context of a Satanist also has a very obvious meaning. But the insistence that there is an original and true meaning to any symbol, yeah, it just kind of really is, is a strange and to me, kind of crippling mindset to have and I think it's a much bigger thing. I think a lot of misunderstandings people have probably stem from that kind of lack of semantic logic to the point, they feel that there's no meaning to symbols. And, yeah, I really think that that's something worth confronting to the point that I've always kind of felt that there should be semantic logic courses in at the elementary school level, you know, that that let you know, children know, that there is not an essential meaning to symbols, there is not a tangible harm being done, you know, to a flag being burned, you know, these these can be very disrespectful things. It depends, you know, a lot of things have to be taken in context with its intention and everything else. Yeah. And I think you know, some of the failure, we have to meet each other on any middle ground comes from that philosophy of essentialism.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:04:39 I am so glad you bring that up. Because what I come across again and again, is almost like this Jordan Peterson ASK Idea. I don't know how familiar you how familiar you are with Jordan Peterson but I did several episodes about him and I read his into hire god damn book and it was one of the most miserable experiences of my life.
Doug Misicko 1:05:04 And I believe you I never I never bought I you know, I always kind of discarded his weird
Stephen Bradford Long 1:05:11 he's really weird.
Doug Misicko 1:05:13 Ya know, I got that impression and, and a friend of mine, a professor in a school in Pennsylvania had a kind of high profile, vitriolic dispute with him. But I can't say that I've I've read directly from the source. You know, I feel like I I know a lot about what I probably do like about Jordan Peterson, but I can't speak with authority because I haven't read the source material which Adly I think is the preferred route of a lot of people today on on dismantling their enemies is never reading their material to begin with, because then you're complicit with them somehow. It's this you're not Yeah, it's to listen to your opposition or actually know what they're saying. It's a theory of contagion purity by not engaging with it, but But fighting against it. Anyway.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:06:10 Yeah, it's this bizarre theory of contagion that, right, because I follow, you know, crazy, all right, loons on Twitter that I must somehow be contaminated by their ideas as if it's some kind of pathogen. But yes, all that aside, Jordan Peterson has this idea of like this substrate, this, this metaphysical symbolic substrate to the universe, and that it's absolute, and that he, and that these symbols are, you know, he was heavily influenced by Jung, and so on, and kind of the collective subconscious and archetypes and all that kind of stuff. And, and I think a lot of people are operating from this position of just assuming that symbols have an absolute value, that and that it never shifts with time, or place, or that the same thing can't mean or that assemble can't mean multiple things. And so, you know, I've had this conversation several times about the black mass where someone, someone will approach me and say, so what about the blasphemies that you see, during a black mass? Actually, a recent conversation I had was about the robot Jesus that our friend, Harry, Harry hoof and clop in Yes, he's patron. Hello, Harry, we love you. But the very blasphemous and hilarious robot Jesus that he invented, where when the robot Jesus has right side up, he speaks scripture when it's upside down, he spews blasphemies. And someone on Twitter was actually kind of upset about that. And my response was, Well, it depends on which Jesus we have in mind, if if we're talking about the Jesus, in whose name children are raped, and nations, and people are destroyed, and women are degraded, then that Jesus needs to be blasphemed that Jesus has should be blasphemed. But if we're talking about the Jesus, of Martin Luther King, Jr. If we're talking about the Jesus of Dorothy Day, or any of or Reverend Barber here in North Carolina, who's who's head of the Moral Majority movement, and poor people's movement, if we're talking about that, Jesus, then I honor that Jesus, that symbol is beautiful. It depends. It depends on what Jesus we are talking about.
Doug Misicko 1:09:00 Yeah, hi.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:09:02 Sorry, I'm preaching to the choir on this.
Doug Misicko 1:09:05 It's such an important fundamental topic. I think, in this that is an insistence that symbols can only mean one thing, and that there's this meaning that is derived from its point of origin is really just bizarre, but I think it's ubiquitous. And I think that's when we run into the type of opposition for whom it does not matter. Who we are, what we do what we believe. Let's do this. No editing, no editing. It does. None of those factors matter so much is their insistence that Satan is at least symbolic of the ultimate evil in that regard. It lists of what we do and what we say. We could only be working towards some kind of counterproductive and sinister ends. And there might be people who think that there's not a whole lot of harm to that belief, because it just puts an absolute value on evil. And we all have a general agreement that cruelty destruction, things like that are, are evil. And we should avoid, it doesn't matter if people anthropomorphize it, or if people insist that it belongs in one symbolic structure rather than the other. But it does have a counterproductive effect, because it makes the reverse also true for them. It makes it their behavior beyond the odd question. Beyond criticism. They've always been right. And they always will be in a doesn't matter how depraved their activities are, in giving people that kind of moral self licensing leads to where we see certain organized religions going now, where they are just covering up for what we all know, you know, that they're raping children doing all kinds of disgusting things, the evangelical theocratic coup in the United States being enacted, with a particular eye towards limiting reproductive rights and legislating protected discrimination, things that by no rational persons mess measure could be considered moral. But they're symbolically moral to the people who insist that good and evil are neatly divided between these two sets of iconography. And unless they can begin to see symbols in a more nuanced fashion than this. They're going to be malleable towards really destructive immoral messages that they'll embrace as a moral imperative.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:11:58 You know, you have this this line that you said, somewhere, it might have been in an article or in an interview, but you said something along the lines of evil done in the name of Jesus is still evil and good done in the name of Satan is still good. But basically, what I'm hearing you say is that as long as we have this absolute vision of symbolism, that religious symbolism is just immutable, that Satan will always be evil, and Jesus will always be good, that, that that view of symbolism is actually blinding society, religion, you know, religious people and whatnot to the evil that is actually being done in the name of Jesus, and so on. It's like it disables says it disables us it disables the communities from being able to respond to evil appropriately.
Doug Misicko 1:12:54 Right, right. People don't don't question which side they're on, so long as they the right symbols and Right. Right, key phrases are thrown out. And that's why, you know, this kind of imbalance in the information ecosystem now that most news is consumed, through social media now, has become so, so dangerous and vulnerable to propaganda, so long as you properly utilize terms like patriotism or, you know, utilize the Christian symbol symbology, you can begin to weasel in messages that may have previously been entirely contrary to what people thought of as being aligned with their vision of what was morally correct attached to those symbols. You know, there again, you're like the the frog and the slowly boiling water. I mean, these things kind of encroach themselves in without realization. But you have people who are so tribally attached to a set of symbols or whatever, that they don't realize they've taken on the most depraved points of view, in the name of this greater imaginary good.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:14:07 You know, I'm really glad that you bring that up. The social media aspect, in particular, in part because I am reading a book that you might find very interesting called 10 arguments for deleting your social, your social media accounts, right? Oh,
Doug Misicko 1:14:23 yeah. lennier. Yeah, yeah. Jaron Lanier worked for, for Microsoft, he might still work for Microsoft.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:14:31 He might still but he is the I mean, he is one of the fathers of virtual reality and augmented reality. He was like the head scientist, who, on the team who built internet 2.0, which was this the scaling up of the internet internet, from the university systems to the public, so the man knows his stuff. He's been around for a while.
Doug Misicko 1:14:53 Right. He's been an early critic of the social media environment that we're in now and are the reasons for deleting your social media profile, I do believe are a good one. And I do think that the problems of this imbalance of the information ecosystem is one of the most pressing problems today, I would have put it as a higher priority, as probably was one of the highest priorities if it weren't for the pandemic right now, this would be something that definitely needed to be approached and conquered. The problem of Facebook, I don't think is is widely known as it should be. And it goes well beyond I agree, that kind of dysfunctional communication environment that it puts people in when they go into their polarized shells, feeling that they're getting the same information as everybody else, when in fact, you know, most people consume their news now through Facebook and don't realize just how refined the targeting is of the messages that they receive. And it's to the point that, you know, they they're still doing retrospective analyses of the 2016 election to figure out how predictions were so radically wrong, you know, Hillary Clinton was supposed to win by a landslide. Trump was this, this laughable clown who didn't have a chance, and you know, making these preposterous statements, people turned out to vote for him. And they, they're finding new things all the time. And the disturbing part is, is they might never know, the extent of the advertising and misinformation that was directly targeted to people who were highly persuadable to it through these kinds of social media channels. And, you know, I've always been an advocate for neutrality and free speech, with that kind of old school idea, that pre social media idea that, you know, you can throw bad ideas out into the open forum. And this just lends itself to correction by people who are going to stick to the facts and kind of dissect bad information in real time. And you have that kind of discussion. I think what we're seeing now in the real problem that's evolving from it, is that what appears to be an open forum, isn't it? I was seeing recently that it was discovered that a very targeted population on Facebook had received this kind of propaganda that Trump had made some direct commentary about taking on the problem of chemtrails that he had made some kind of campaign promise that he was going to put an end to this practice of commercial airliners, spewing out these toxins into the air to make the population docile or otherwise contaminate them or whatever the chemtrails theory is, the idea was that Trump was going to confront it directly. Trump even as stupid as his statements are never said anything about chemtrails. But people who were inclined to believe in chemtrails got this directly targeted message saying that Trump was going to do something about it. Now in in prior times, you know, a message like that would have had to be put out at large and would have been dissected by you know, a larger segment of the population that would have pointed out exactly how much bullshit that was. But when it's directly targeted to people in this way, it's not open to that kind of observation and correction and debate. We're not living in that same kind of environment anymore. And I think it's kind of problematic that the decision that a lot of people have come to who are concerned about this is that we should hand even more power over to the social media mega giants like Facebook, and give them this kind of carte blanche to curate people's feeds, sensor more material, further curate the news, I really think the problem is in the business model of Facebook itself, which should be destroyed in Facebook, and that that business model is one in which our privacy is corrupted by its kind of profiles, it builds of all the people using it, and allowing those kinds of profiles to be available to marketers who want to hone these directed messages at us that they know we're most malleable to. I think that business model needs to be destroyed.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:19:42 I think it is an existential threat to humanity. Like I know that that sounds really dramatic, but I really, really think that the current model of social media is an existential threat. To the planet because of how it exacerbates the worst parts of our human nature. And, but also, you know what you were just saying about, you know, free speech in the open and the public square and all of that. So Jaron Lanier has this quote, and, and this is, so this is hitting on a passion of mine, I am fascinated by tech and social media and how it influences us. So we're getting deep into something that I'm fascinated by. And here's what Jaron says, he says, not only is your worldview distorted, but you have less awareness of other people's worldviews, you are banished from the experiences of the other groups being manipulated separately, their experiences are as opaque to you, as the algorithms that are driving your experiences. This is an ethical development, the version of the world you are seeing is invisible to the people who misunderstand you and vice versa. And what this means is, you know, empathy, empathy and understanding, as he argues, are all based on context. So, propaganda is never good propaganda. Is is awful, but Fox News, at least, everyone can tune in and watch it, and then discuss it. Everyone can turn on Fox News and see what the crazy right wing nut is, is watching and then we can just discuss whether it is true or not. We can not do that, with someone else's feed that's invisible to us. Therefore, we have the inability to cultivate empathy and understanding and to really debate and discuss what it is that they even believe because right now, ox
Doug Misicko 1:22:00 news is dangerous and yes, corrupted. And it's it's, you know, the poll after poll has shown how much less than
Stephen Bradford Long 1:22:10 four visit this is not far be it from me to defend, like this is not a defensive Fox at all.
Doug Misicko 1:22:17 said though, right. Fox News now has to is hired a team of lawyers because they're anticipating blowback from their misinformation about the Coronavirus. People are going to die. Right, right. Everyone can be held accountable, at least for things like that. And some of their talking heads have been fired for the ridiculous things they've said in the course of this Coronavirus. But it's too late, you know, too. They already put out that initial message and now there's that kind of untrackable unaccountable social media push, where, you know, you really have people who truly believe now that the Coronavirus is a hoax and,
Stephen Bradford Long 1:23:04 or that caused by 5g networks as a family member of mine believed
Doug Misicko 1:23:10 right. You just have to see how little you come in contact with that reality in your own social media to see just how separated we are in how we're not talking about the same information when we speak at all. Like we usually, you know, if we're giving commentary that critical of this type of thing. You know, we were doing it because we're commenting on articles that discuss it in more neutral press, you know, for the most part we're not none of us are enveloping ourselves in these worlds where Q anon claims are being taken seriously, or, you know, claims that Coronavirus is a hoax or being taken seriously or other kind of Trump centric kind of media bubbles that people are putting it or algorithm bubbles, as they call them. Now, you know, people's interests are are kind of parsed by, you know, not manually, of course, but by algorithms, by Google by Facebook, they know what you believe. They know what you want to hear. They know what news will speak to you. And that's what you're going to see unless you actively make the efforts to go out and find what the other side is talking about what they're what they're participating in, what what kind of new sources they're looking at. You're not going to see it at all. And that's what I mean when I say that kind of open forum really isn't there anymore.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:24:49 Yes, 100% I think I think podcasts are one of the few last places on the internet where there is still some kind of open forum, you know, listeners are forced to just sit down and listen, you know, if they want to listen to a podcast, they can't, they can't find the bits that cater to their opinions, they have to listen through the whole thing. The podcast industry is still fairly open. But I feel like podcasts are, are one of the last really, I feel like this business model of monetizing your data for greater clicks, and then selling your data to advertisers who want to manipulate you, for whatever reason for political gain, to make you you know, there are there are advertisers who want to make you more sad and depressed. Therefore, you buy their product, they can individually target you, and you don't even realize that you're being targeted. You don't even realize you don't even realize that you're being manipulated, because it's done so subtly in our feeds. And I think that that business model is just destroying the internet. It's disgusting.
Doug Misicko 1:26:13 It's really cool environment to and I've never seen a more irresponsible company than Facebook, whatever it is, Facebook is not going to take responsibility for it when it you know, it's one thing when there's been this whole history of me recording death threats, I get to Facebook and then finding them not to be against their terms of service. It's a whole nother state of affairs now that we're big enough that all these imposter accounts pop up and people try to sell things in our name
Stephen Bradford Long 1:26:45 are the Illuminati, the Illuminati, yeah, yes. Oh, and
Doug Misicko 1:26:49 of course, Instagram is owned by Facebook and a new Instagram account, my name will pop up on it on a weekly basis. And I have to go through the effort to get those removed every single time. And then, you know, usually suffer that for weeks because they won't put anything in place. There's like not a no call list that I can put myself on say, Look, I don't ever want an Instagram account, like don't don't post an Instagram account in my name. Recently, Facebook refused to take action, even on a copyright claim we had where Paige was using, you know, it was trying to advance itself as being, you know, as being there in our name, you know, have to take legal action against that. But, you know, Facebook hasn't, wouldn't even obligate itself to setting any truth standards for political advertising. And advertising has always been taken differently than general free speech claims. You know, there's always been truth in product advertising, there's always been restrictions on advertising that went beyond, you know, political criticism, or what we usually put under the rubric of free speech, Facebook won't do anything that's going to take any more time and effort on Facebook's part, you know, deferring that to the people who are affected by it. I mean, so much of my time has been wasted, pursuing claims against fate, you know, Facebook, on social media platforms, to no gain of my own really, you know, to keep things under wraps, but, you know, besides the kind of personal harm done just the general harm to the political climate by allowing, you know, just misinformation and propaganda to be directly targeted to people in ways that are opaque to everybody else, you know, and thus not vulnerable, alluding to faces ism, we would usually see it you know, that's, that's done a lot to kind of change the entire political climate worldwide. You know, this isn't just a US thing, you know, autocratic governments have been using Facebook to their, to their ends, you know, media Alan analysts have lamented that the kind of social media information environment is more amenable to autocracy. You know, the kind of clickbait statements of patriotism and nationalism, really are, are much more easily disseminated and in soundbite clickbait fashion than more nuanced approaches to anything. And it's, it's really wreaked havoc worldwide globally in ways I think people don't really appreciate yet, and I honestly do feel that Facebook needs to be destroyed. I,
Stephen Bradford Long 1:30:00 I 100% agree. And it really frightens me with issues like COVID-19, or climate change or, you know, any large global issue that threatens humanity. I mean, I don't think humanity would go extinct. But the well being if you know, like, if we don't do anything about climate change, then the the well being of humanity would be greatly diminished compared to where we are now. And the fact that social media encourages science, scientific disinformation, and delusion and illiteracy is just so incredibly frightening to me. What what also is frightening to me is the way it makes in the same way it makes us unable to empathize with others. And I don't mean empathy in a, you know, warm, I mean, empathize, as understanding where they're coming from, even if it's from a very dark place, even if it's from a place that is morally objectionable, we can still, you know, we can if you know, some Grandpa is plugged into Fox news all day long, and it's just kind of getting this constant brain melting stream of propaganda, then we can, and we know that, then we can understand why Grandpa is so crazy, because he
Doug Misicko 1:31:41 is corrupting people. People always feel that beliefs are a matter of moral standing. And I think we we kind of touched on this last time we were speaking, sometimes deplorable ideas are just based on a misunderstanding of the facts. And I think last time was either with you or another interviewer, but I think it was with you, I was talking about whether or not you believe that the world is becoming overpopulated. Does that sound familiar?
Stephen Bradford Long 1:32:12 I don't think that was me. Or maybe it was I don't,
Doug Misicko 1:32:15 I do a lot of interviews. But I was saying, you know, like, it's similar to it's a topic I brought up when I was talking about the differences between the Satanic Temple and the Church of Satan. And people dismiss sometimes those kinds of libertarian social Darwinist ideas that are espoused by the way in the Church of Satan is just coming from a mindset of kind of a entitled, kind of just wickedness, right, I don't know, just kind of like, a morally inferior place. And in reality, some people can can be corrected on the facts to come to different conclusions. And like, with the question of, of overpopulation, you know, there there are people who believe still, that the world is quickly becoming overpopulated and that resources are going to diminish to the point that we're going to need to make drastic calls on reproductive rights, right, like, the population can't be sustained, we'll all die if we, if we still experienced this exponential growth in population. So we need to consider ways in which to limit population growth, whether it's limiting people to a certain number of children, whether it's making qualitative distinctions against people is brings you down to all kinds of terrible questions. But if you really believe that we're going to be overpopulated in soon, and that now is the time we need to have those discussions. Otherwise, it's too late and all of humanity will die. Well, you're just being irresponsible, if you don't confront that question. The fact of the matter is, is that we're not going to become overpopulated. You know, or at least, you know, the best available evidence shows projection show, the birth rates are going down, and that they're going to keep going down. And that this is kind of a natural function, and that, you know, the birth rate will will steadily decline, and that it's going to be more of an economic problem that we don't have this kind of explanation, much exponential population growth anymore, rather than kind of question of resources based upon this, you know, abundance of population. So, understanding that people can then realize we don't have to confront those kinds of we don't have to talk about limiting people's reproductive rights. We don't have to talk about out qualitative distinctions and whether they're, they're accurate or not people, you know, that kind of thing. And I do think that when it comes to debunked ideas of libertarian economics, you know that deregulation alone defines freedom, or these kinds of other kind of debunk notions of social Darwinism and things like that. I think there is a population of people who subscribe to these things who can be corrected, I agree. And I think it's just wrong to try to put people into these camps, where you're simply putting these moral evaluations on them, before you've made any effort to determine whether they're simply wrong. And we've all been wrong on on facts before, and have been corrected in the past. And I think at least you know, if people are honest about it, they can fall back on that, to hopefully encourage them to bring more nuance into the, into the discussion, or kind of take the time to try to correct people, or at least put information out there that, again, getting back to that idea of planting the seed where you know, even if people's knee jerk reaction, at one moment in time might be to double down on where they stand, or to hate you for trying to correct them. Maybe it'll stick with them later on, and something else will put it in new context for them. And they will come back to that. And, you know, maybe not immediately, but slowly and cumulatively come to a better place.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:36:39 I don't know if you've noticed this, but so I am very much on the left. And so I I, you know, interview a bunch of socialists and like I just had a socialist economist on to actually talk about Facebook and, and how to improve their system, as well as Google and Apple and so on. But I've been really, really disturbed by this trend that I see, of just failing to believe that any conversion is possible, that, that people's minds can change at all. And it really disturbs me, because I believe firmly that the future of the world is predicated on conversion, it is predicated on people realizing they were wrong about something and doing better. And it's so like, what you're talking about just this, this moral dismissal of people who who are wrong. It actually really alarms me, because I've been I have come under lots of criticism in the past for daring to have conversations with, say conservative Christians for for just not for not completely, you know, writing them off and condemning them. And almost as if I'm somehow contracting their disease, or that it's a few.
Doug Misicko 1:38:18 Because if you know, we were talking earlier about these Christian movies, yeah, talking about the humor of second glance. To me, it's that's similar to somebody seeing our playlist of movies and saying, well see that they endorse movies like second class clearly, clearly, there are evangelical Christians who are pulling some bullshit on the rest of us. It's just as ridiculous as that, you know, it is to have conversations with the opposition. That's what you do. That's what you should? Exactly. People should be exposed to what they think they're opposed to. Otherwise, how can they even be sure they're opposed to it at all? I really can't trust somebody's opinion on something on some measure of the validity of the other side's argument when they refuse to engage with the other side's argument, right?
Stephen Bradford Long 1:39:15 Yes. And but also I just want to look at like my fellow progressives, and be like, Well, what is your goal is your goal to win? If your goal is to win, then you need to convince people and I had this whole inner dialogue with myself like when I mean this was this is ancient history now. Back before Bernie dropped out, and and Joe Rogan endorsed Bernie, and like the Democratic establishment lost their goddamn minds. And it's like, yes, Joe Rogan he's platform some disgusting people. I I don't think he has had many good takes on trans people. I, you know, like he's a mixed bag for me. But the fat fact that he came out and said, I would vote for Bernie, because I think his policies are better. Why? Why would you be so upset about that isn't our goal to win, I mean, they're upset about it, because they didn't want Bernie to win. But but they're also you no more social socialist commie types who were really, really upset about that. Like, we can't, we can't dismiss someone, because they've said a few naughty or awful things in the past people grow people mature. And I'm like, Is your goal to win or is your goal to be on this high horse and establish your dominance over others
Doug Misicko 1:40:49 are willing to learn and people are willing to correct themselves, it's not in our best interest to insist that they can never be reformed, and to keep them on the other side, then you're just cultivating enemies and you're certainly not going to win, you're not going to win the hearts and minds, you're not going to, you're not going to get anywhere with that. One point. During my stint with the Satanic Temple here, I got a message from a a follower who said that, confessing to me that she used to be some kind of neo Nazi in her teen years or something like that. And she felt she needed to confess this to me, and, you know, felt all this terrible remorse for, you know, you know, her past and her beliefs and all that kind of thing and wanted to know, if she should just never have anything to do with TST again, in this kind of a agonizing fit of guilt she was having. And, you know, I posted my reply to her publicly or not publicly, but it was on my, my patreon for subscribers. And, you know, I was saying that, of course, you know, the Satanic Temple is no place for, for Nazis. But I also made clear that I thought it was a great place for
Stephen Bradford Long 1:42:16 the reformed reformer, not exactly,
Doug Misicko 1:42:19 amends and looking to do good in the world in, I think that's what you need to do is there needs to be a place for somebody who are for people who are going to be amenable to reform, people are going to realize they were wrong, and people who want to do better, and want to make a positive impact upon the world. If you just cast them out, you're just insisting that they then only have one community, so one that they came from, and it's the one we're sending them back to. And it's as I said, you're kind of cultivating an enemy, and you're never gonna get anywhere.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:42:58 What Yes, and, you know, I, I have been really alarmed by some of the responses I've seen on social media towards the protesters against locked down, and I'm, on the one hand, I'm like, Yes, this is stupid. What they're doing is wrong. It's stupid. It this is really awful. Let's not do this. This. This is alarming. All of that all of the above. But then I'm seeing I'm seeing insults. beep I'm seeing people insult how they talk. I'm seeing insults of how they dress how they look. How and I'm and I and I'm not one to pull punches towards people I think are wrong, you know, I will call people disgusting and degenerate and so on all day long, but when it but I'm also really alarmed by by this inability of certain people who are presumably on the left to realize that we need a wide and populist left that appeals to all different types of people that appeals to to read next to you know, the people who live in the Texas Chainsaw houses here in my small town who who you know, that's just full of cows and math. I want them I want those people to be pink commie leftists just butt fucking each other and and accepting their trans identities and whatnot. Like I I want a wall a broad populist left, regardless of what socio economic status they are, or what their background is, or if they were once Neo Nazis or what have you. I want a broad left. And what I see so often, and I'm seeing this in the response to the protests In this snobbishness versus a desire for a broad coalition, and this desire to bring to bring people on board. I don't know if that makes much sense, but it's, it's annoying me.
Doug Misicko 1:45:16 Yeah. What is weird, though, is, is there's some things that people don't allow reform for. And other things that just nobody really questions either I think people changing politics is far more suspect to people than people changing religion, which is
Stephen Bradford Long 1:45:38 so fucking wired. Yes. Yeah. I don't know why.
Doug Misicko 1:45:41 Because I don't think of anybody. You know. I don't think anybody would say to me, You shouldn't talk to, to Steven here is he's, uh, you know, he claims to be this ex Christian. But what do you know, you know, maybe, maybe he's still doing the Christian thing.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:46:01 I'm a covert person. So
Doug Misicko 1:46:02 you have people, like, I don't know, if somebody came from like the young Republicans or something, and was talking to me and just embraced a whole different set of politics. Now. I think I would get a lot of the kind of thing, you know, a lot of those messages where people would say, like, well, what are you doing? What are you doing with this guy? You know, this is, there's something more sinister going on here.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:46:26 Well, and, you know, let me know if this is too delicate. A subject? I probably isn't, but let me know if it is, I've seen these things kind of leveled at you. Because you illustrated a a copy, in addition of might is right. And then you had kind of this years ago, kind of a cringy. Conversation with Shane Bugbee. Yeah. And it's like, and, you know, I heard, I've seen so many people, on the far left, use those points to say that you are some kind of crypto fascist, that your son, which is so backwards and delusional to me, because I look at my own life. And first of all, I don't know what you used to believe. And I don't really care. Like it doesn't, it doesn't matter to me. But I look at my own life. And realize, I have believed, personally, some really, really awful disgusting things that I now renounce that I. And if if people were to just judge me, based on the things that I said, 10 years ago, when I was a douchebag, libertarian conservative, I'm would have a very broad picture of me.
Doug Misicko 1:47:46 Well, it's kind of easy to go back through that history and see what I what I did believe and how it's also not what's presented by those who try to frame me as having, you know, been a fascist or and if we're working fascist, or that I'm some crypto fascist now or whatever. But I think the best kind of demonstration of what I felt was the best available evidence and what I believe that in those times was my analysis of LaVeyan Satanism, in my article I wrote about the difference between, you know, the Satanic Temple and the Church of Satan. And I was willing to embrace at at the time, you know, 20 years ago, these notions that, you know, our social existence was this kind of survival of the fittest, and this D racialized social Darwinism, you know, the kind of meritocratic ideal. And also, you know, that notion, of course, that we're going to be overpopulated and these other kinds of problems that really don't have a basis and it out the actual science that you have today. So I think it was a matter of being corrected on facts and following the best available evidence towards the kind of moral conclusions that they come to. And it kind of helped define the satanic reformation of the Satanic Temple as distinct from the Church of Satan. So it was kind of that background that brought relevance to the Satanic Temple in modern Satanism, it made the it made the Satanic Temple necessary. Right. And I think, that kind of history that kind of coming from that LaVeyan context to where we're at now, I always felt was explicitly and openly part of the understood history of the Satanic Temple. So I'm kind of confused sometimes when people say, Well, what is this How could this possibly be, you know, and I'm even more confused. When the Church of Satan themselves try to use that word Not because anything disparaging works, I guess even though it speaks more poorly to them
Stephen Bradford Long 1:50:05 trying to try to use the fact that you translate it or not translated that you illustrated that book, for example. Right, right. Right.
Doug Misicko 1:50:14 But the thing with with La Vaes use of mine is right and might is right is this kind of, you know, bombastic, horrible, you know, it has these, it was written in was published in like 1896. So it has these kind of like, racist statements in an anti semitic and that kind of thing, but the power of it was supposed to be that LaVey had taken the good from the bad, he had left all that stuff behind, and taken out these passages that were just more about personal empowerment and individual rights, you know, D racialized, might just write into the Satanic Bible, and thereby constructed something powerful, meaningful and affirmative from this kind of ugly history that, you know, that nobody was, you know, that that shouldn't be ignored just the same. Yeah, that kind of thinking doesn't fly very well.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:51:17 Not at all, right. I mean, it's, it's really the theory of contagion. When you, when you get contaminated, you can't get uncontaminated, you, it's like, you're a leper, now, you have to go out to the colony separated from us. And if you touch us, then suddenly we will be defiled in some way. It's really gross. It's just a, it's just a gross, dehumanizing worldview. And I say that, because I have, I am where I am right now. Because people who cared about me, took the time to talk to me, and they took the time to listen to me understand where I was coming from. And through that long process, I moved away from my far right. ideology. And, and also because of people like them, I eventually came to accept myself as gay, I just all of this stuff. And so whenever people are like, Steven, you're wasting your time. I, it's so it's almost insulting to me, because I am where I am right now. Because someone took the time to, to talk to me and have those long suffering conversations.
Doug Misicko 1:52:37 It won't be fair, though, to the some of the major purity test left the political environment, you know, even not too terribly long ago in our lifetimes was such that, you know, somebody said Nazi to me, that was 1930 specific, you know what I mean? We didn't have as powerful a far right movement than as we do now in the rights revolution seemed like it was a kind of linear progress in the right direction, and that wasn't being rolled back. And you know, if you talk about Neo Nazis that for the most part was just like a club scene, you know, of degenerates who shave their heads and look for fights and stuff like that. And it was there wasn't really that kind of fear that far right politics where we're ever going to make any any advances or headway so to a certain degree, I can understand the the reticence to acknowledge or engage in debate. I still think it's wrong to you know, shut out shut out dialogue entirely, because you're not going to you're not going to change any anybody's mind if you do, you know, you have your position be known, but I you know, I will acknowledge those changes to the environment that make it so much more shocking. I think now to people that artists you know, like just even back in the 90s would like utilize fascist imagery and shit
Stephen Bradford Long 1:54:20 like that. Oh, yeah, Marilyn Manson did all the time, ya know, exactly.
Doug Misicko 1:54:24 And you don't and at the time, I don't think anybody was thinking like, oh, that's because they endorsed this, you know, that kind of thing. It was more like using that kind of that kind of is artistic raw material to shake people up and you know, it was often that was artistic expressions would incorporate the things in which people were actually decrying. You know, and I often bring up that, you know, band skinny puppy, which William Morrison will into Morrison was part of that used to take to the stage. And they were very anti animal testing very animal rights anti vivisection. And as part of that on stage, they would do this mock dissection of a dog, you know, and for the most part, nobody thought then that they were advocating for vivisection. You know, however, that seems to be more of the mindset now that any display of these types of things is an endorsement of it. And that's kind of a that's a real kind of distinct change in artistic culture that I think has been little understood and has led to a lot kind of pillorying of, of esta es artists,
Stephen Bradford Long 1:55:42 I completely agree it is, I do wonder how
Doug Misicko 1:55:45 Marilyn Manson has been Teflon in that regard, though.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:55:49 Well, um, I mean, Marilyn Manson is still producing music. And it's still, I mean, he had a slump, he had a slump through like the late 2000s, early 2000 10s. But his last two albums have actually been really good. And he's doing great. And I don't know how he has managed to avoid, I have no idea how he's managed to avoid all of the accusations of being a neo Nazi and all of that maybe, maybe he is being accused of that. And I'm just not seeing it. But I'm really not sure I do have to add a really important caveat to listeners who, who might feel like they are not in a position emotionally to engage in, in these important conversations with people they disagree with. I always feel the need when I when this topic comes up to clarify that this is really on a person by person basis. And if you don't feel like you are in a place emotionally to engage with conservatives, or Neo Nazis, or transphobes, then you shouldn't you need to take care of yourself first and foremost. Right? And so please don't hear this and feel personally attacked, because you are not in a place emotionally or you have the the bandwidth to be able to do that. It is the moral objection to it, that I have a problem with not the not the personal object, you know, you see what I'm saying? It isn't. Some people just shouldn't engage in that, because that's not their, I guess, calling it isn't, it isn't what they're good at, or they are still healing from trauma, or what have you. But that's very different from the moral objection, saying you shouldn't talk to these people, because you get some kind of contamination from them.
Doug Misicko 1:57:43 There's a great book, I recommended it recently, on a reading list, I made publicly available books I recommended for people during lockdown. And it's called the war for empathy. And again, I'm terrible. Amazed, I remember the book title, I usually just remember the contents and forget the title and the author, sadly enough, it's bad for it's bad for discussion. But it was a it was a great book. And they talked about people reforming themselves from hate movements and stuff like that, and people who were then working towards different goals and working with people to bring to also bring them out of like hate movements, neo Nazi groups, things like that, engage with them and get them to have a different understanding of the world and some of the progress they've really made with some people. And they were finding that, you know, half of probably more than half, you know, the most discernible reasons that people were involved in these things to begin with, really weren't rooted in animosity towards the people they were directing it at, it had to do a lot with with other issues or, you know, other understandings that these people had. But it did show that, you know, the kind of real turnaround moments for some of these people. It was a particular guy who, who, you know, was was some neo Nazi out of Toronto or something like that. And now he heads up some group that you know, specifically works towards bringing people out of hate movements and things like that. And the most defining moment for him I think, was when he he had some dialogue with the with a Jewish guy, and I guess he didn't even realize the guy was Jewish at first but have you friended him and then talk with him for a while and the guy kind of eventually when he came out with it kind of laughed off the fact that this guy was neo Nazi and just discuss things with him further, and just really got him to think about things and come out of things and really changed his life and turn things around. I it's a really good book. Okay, I think people should read it. Of course, you know, I wouldn't recommend anybody really engage in discussion with people who are really in that still in that entrenched mindset where they just want to go to battle. And they want to, you know, and they're going to be extreme no matter what, they're going to double down and they might be a threat to your own safety. You know, and I'm not saying, I'm not saying that there's no room for mockery, either. I think mockery can be corrected for people to when they're deeply entrenched, and they are doubling down. And all you can do is laugh at what they're saying, and make them wither away and ridicule. I think that hurts sometimes more than just being embattled in them and treating them as though their their opinions are, are, are valid or frightening to you in any way. You know, I think that does have its place too. But I think ultimately, the goal should be to allow people the room to change, and give them the space to grow, and give them a place to be if they ever get there.
Stephen Bradford Long 2:01:07 You know, I I interviewed a guy several months ago named VOSH. And he's a YouTuber whose his whole his whole life what all he does is he just fights Nazis online, but in a really, really productive way. And basically, what he's doing is he's he he is D radicalizing these kids, you know, they start with PewDiePie, when they're 11, on YouTube, and then PewDiePie kind of funnels them to, you know, Nick Flynn Tez or, or Ben Shapiro and all of these various figures, and then it just keeps going darker from there. And what Varsha does, through kind of these really savage theatrics of of mockery and debate, and he's really, really good at it. He he is channeling the heat, he is de radicalizing a lot of these kids. And so it definitely has a place and I see what you're saying, as falling right in line with the first tenant, which is one should strive to act with compassion and empathy towards all creatures. And I think, yeah, really powerful and beautiful.
Doug Misicko 2:02:28 Well, there's a YouTuber out there, he's, he's some black guy. And he goes out, he just meets, he just finds him, he goes out and he'll, he'll meet up with Klan members and things like that, he'll just go to there. And he'll just, he'll talk to them, you know, and that's crazy, ya know it, but it's, he's had great outcomes, he's really caused just so much confusion with people who, who apparently got into this mindset where they were talking about actual people, you know, at a point, when you're talking about, you know, a population, you lose the sense of the humanity of any individual in that population. So it can be really powerful to somebody just to introduce somebody to an individual from that population, and make them confront that face to face, you know, and realize that there's something, you know, that there's a lot more similarities and differences here, and that the differences are pretty negligible once you get down to actual conversation with somebody in the real world. And that's what he does, and it doesn't take long, and he's really, he's really had great results in there. Again, this is somebody you know, name, I can't remember, but I really encourage people to look it up. But, you know, I feel like that's, that's the thing, you know,
Stephen Bradford Long 2:03:47 it is 100% Well, and, you know, I, before I had my current blog, and podcast, I was exclusively kind of a gay Christian writer. That was the one thing that I wrote about, and I had a really, really popular website, actually called sacred tension. And that actually, it was the most successful thing I've ever done in my entire career as on the internet, as a creator. And that running that website is what convinced me once and for all, that engaging with people actually matters and and to really resist this leftist cynicism, and I say that as someone who is on the left, but to really resist this leftist cynicism that just says, Oh, no one can change. It's a futile battle. You're wasting your time. The number of people who I saw change their minds because of interact. I mean, I won't say because of interactions with me, but because of interactions with me and a lot of other people too. Um, the number of people who change who shifted from non affirming of LGBT people to being affirming just staggered me. It was it blew my mind the number of people I saw change, and, and it's like I can never I just can't ever believe that those efforts aren't worth it. Because of that experience of running that website it, it completely blew my mind the know how, almost how easy it was, you know, people are simple creatures. Usually, what people want is kindness. They people want to be heard people want to be listened to. People are really simple creatures. They gravitate towards someone who's kind and if you are kind and you listen, and you talk and you try to hear their perspective, and if you fight with them some but from a place of respect. A lot of Pete Not everyone, of course, and maybe not even most people but a lot of people will find that compelling. It's it's really easy.
Doug Misicko 2:06:08 Yeah, no, it really is. And I think, you know, it kind of brings it full circle and the damage of the social media environment but people get a lot more clicks and shares and attention when they post something terribly vitriolic, you know, when they're uncompromising, and, you know, posts those kinds of statements that pledge should tribal fealty over anything else over an actual solution. And that's just, that's just one of the reasons why you should delete your Facebook account.
Stephen Bradford Long 2:06:39 One of many reasons moral of the story. Okay, so to wrap things up, you have several pieces of homework one watch a movie by Neil Breen to watch a movie buy or just watch gramps goes to college. Three, watch a what was the other one? God's Not Dead for read Jaron Lanier his book 10 or 10 arguments why you should delete your social media accounts. And five just go ahead and delete Facebook is not fucking worth it. Get that shit out of your life. All right. Well, this has been two hours. I really did not mean to take up this much of your time. I really appreciate it.
Doug Misicko 2:07:21 i There's one more homework thing. Oh, yeah. See, I can find it here. Just at the moment that empathy book I was talking about. Oh, it's the war for kindness. And the author is Jamil Zacky if I'm pronouncing that right, probably not, but J A. M I L Zak AI fabulous. Oh, there you go.
Stephen Bradford Long 2:07:49 Excellent. So you know you're stuck in quarantine. You're You're fucking your roommate. There's been that really strong sexual tension there between you for all these years and now finally, you're just you're just having at it because there's nothing else to do than to just fuck your roommate and masturbate and whatnot. Now maybe you're exploring some new weird fetish, some new kink you're alone in your house and there's no one watching you except Facebook. And so you're finally you know, exploring that that? What bizarre fetish, you no one's judging you. Well, in addition to all that, you have all of these movies to watch and books to read. All right, well, Lucien, this has been great. I really appreciate it. I've also been deliriously drunkenly exhausted for the past for the second half of the conversation. And so I really don't know what I was saying. And so you've been very patient with me.
Doug Misicko 2:08:43 No, thank you. It's been it's been great. And as I said before, anytime,
Stephen Bradford Long 2:08:47 awesome. All right. Well, that is it for this show. Also, just to clarify to my listeners, we did record this on April 27. So if there are any calamitous events that have happened between now and when the show releases, if the zombies start coming out or if there are any new important developments on Coronavirus. That's why we did not talk about them is because this this show will be coming out about three weeks after we record it. All right. Well, this show is written produced and edited by me Steven Bradford long the music is by the jelly rocks and eleventy seven you can find them on iTunes, Spotify or wherever you listen to music. The artwork is by Rama Krishna Das, and this is a production of rock candy media. And as always hail satan. We'll see you next week. Peace out