Roderick on the Line

Ep. 157: "Truth & Reconciliation"


  this episode of Roderick on the line is

  sponsored by cards against humanity this

  month they ask paul and storm to help me

  say hi John

  John break


  hello hey John hi Merlin how's it going

  Oh complicated oh no what happened

  well complicated isn't always bad no no

  what went well

  well I wouldn't say it was going well

  it's raining today in seattle from and

  that is a good feeling that just feels


  so I'm pleased about that but then

  everything else is just a shitshow

  really well no no come on now gosh you

  get me you know what a guy like me and

  Cena should show or two am i right

  that's right it's in your first show you

  know what's funny is school just ended

  so so begins a summer of camps

  Oh for my kid and I don't know what we

  were thinking but right now she's a

  track camp so she's an outdoor stadium

  on a day when the stock should be a lot

  of wet track track camp what it was her


  oh you know I think it's gonna be

  sitting and pounding probably the 10k

  sit and pout i was super good at that

  event you know what did

  luckily the she's at an age where as

  long as there is somebody that she knows

  will be there you know that age like

  we're like oh I can i can put up with

  anything if my friends going to be there

  yeah I figured out that the my best

  event in cross country was manager

  Oh manager that's the euphemistic

  manager is a pick stuff up

  I didn't I wasn't even really very good

  at that i was a really good at standing

  somewhere on there on the racecourse and

  when everyone my friends ran by going

  pick it up

  good effort well that's good you'll get

  coaching coaching training you're in

  you're there to get people notes on

  their forum i didn't know enough about

  any of the sport to have be able to

  comment on their forum i could just say

  you know pick it up and that power

  through who I mean I just wanted friends

  yeah and I was bad

  at making friends and having friends and

  also bad at running or prosperity skiing

  listen now hope you don't mind if I just

  give you a note

  you know as a manager here have you

  tried running faster

  the thing is they could all run faster

  than me so that there was no reason any

  of them would listen to you know what it

  was was my girl that I liked ran

  cross-country no man and so I just

  wanted to be around her and so I ran

  cross-country but you know I have this

  habit of like stopping in the middle of

  the race and like climbing a treating

  retrieve a bird's nest or I just like

  often losing the course somebody because

  I was all alone losing the path and then

  either running twice as far as everyone

  else or like running onto it running up

  like across the golf course or more

  creative about it

  yeah I was not I was not a I was not

  purposeful so in the end it was agreed

  sort of mutually agreed by everybody

  that if I was gonna stick around that I

  should probably just be the assistant

  manager and and that works great for me

  I mean I'm as you know I am made to

  assistant manage so there's something I

  don't know III in retrospect that I find

  so frustrating it seems like there's an

  elephant in the room at least when we

  were coming up that your there's a

  little athlete inside of each person it

  just needs to be yelled out you know

  that your dad certain my dad certainly

  followed that prescription BMOC my dad

  would stand on the side of the court

  basketball court when I was in fifth

  grade fifth a picture of 5th grader a

  5th grade my dad is there at the games

  he's screaming at the ref you're missing

  a good game here wrap that was a foul

  the fact rough you know and it was just

  like I would have rather been anywhere i

  read an article about this a couple

  weeks ago and I saw so much myself in

  this article and I think it might have

  been written by like a veteran like

  coach but the person was like you know

  you know what you should do your kids

  events just sit there you just don't you

  don't you don't need to yell anything at

  anybody don't even really need to yell

  at them and like the thing is you're

  embarrassing everyone you're making

  everybody looks so bad

  nobody thinks you look cool when you

  yell encouragement at your kid or or you

  know or insults well you know there's a

  picture of my dad taken in probably 1928

  a maybe maybe 29 and he's standing on on

  a beach in in those kind of ankle high

  leather boots that you needed a special

  tool to lace i'm not sure i don't i

  don't know that much about early 20th

  century foot footwear but he's got

  boxing gloves on and he's standing on

  the beach in like full-on come at me he

  said would you like five know he's nine

  who full-on you know I come at me boxing

  pose and the prospect

  I mean it the last time I'd like to know

  the last time in America a nine-year-old

  was given boxing lessons like I'm sure

  that they're it still happens i'm sure

  they're not they're definitely tons and

  tons and tons of nine-year-olds taking

  taekwondo but but i think there are

  there are a lot fewer nine-year-olds

  like lacing up in boxing gloves and just

  having a go at each other than they were

  in 1929 and so I forgive my dad for all

  all of that stuff because he couldn't

  possibly know that yelling at the ref

  wasn't helping right he imagined that

  yelling at the ref was as integral part

  of the game as at as any of the shooting

  or coaching and it's why my dad and I'm

  not kidding

  so when I was a kid of course nobody

  nobody ever nobody knew what to do with

  dads like that or they are they that

  everybody just assumed to it made sense

  just like

  smoking on airplanes but by the time my

  dad was a grandfather to my older

  brothers and sisters kids he actually

  was banned from attending his grandson

  soccer games

  you're kidding for yelling at the coach

  and he he was incredulous and he thought

  it was a conspiracy of like these new

  parents who didn't understand how you

  know that this new generation by which

  he meant the baby boomers who had gone

  soft and didn't know you know and we're

  like getting there would old feelings

  hurt because he's standing on the

  sidelines at a seven-year-old soccer

  game like Yellin Yellin foul or or you

  know just yelling at the coach yawn at

  the opposite coach and and a he you know

  there wasn't a he wasn't he wasn't mean

  about it or angry he was just that was

  the that's what you did how you played

  games i think it's I think it's I think

  you're right it's a generational thing

  yeah so I never I mean when I was ten I

  would have I i was a mortified but you

  know what I got and what I got to be 20

  I yelled at him about it a lot but by

  the time I was 30 I was like oh right he

  when he was nine people were punching

  him in the face and he was being of his

  father would sometimes put him in her in

  an ice-cold bathtub a bathtub full of

  ice water to toughen his spirit god

  so you know like i can't i can't be mad

  at him but boy did I not want him

  yelling at my stupid basketball games

  about which I cared not right right

  right like whether we won or lost you

  i'm I i was just like your daughter I

  just was there because I wanted to be

  with my friends and honestly like

  running up and down and throwing balls

  at each other was not was the worst

  possible solution to the fret how to be

  with friends problem there

  they're simpler ways that don't require


  you know so many but I put a after our

  last episode I was reflecting on this a

  lot like what did what did I want to do

  what what I have been pleased to do you

  know I don't think about it too

  I don't know what I would have been

  pleased to do and would you have known

  would you have to use a sports analogy

  like would you have known if the right

  pitch was coming to you would you even

  would you even know if it was something

  when you're at that age where they're

  calling you an asshole in school would

  you even have known like how I this this

  this this week went really well because

  these like three things happen to put me

  on my past

  yeah right i mean chess club know a lord

  of the rings club not even really there

  I want to kill John to kill I'm sorry I

  wanted the Lord of the Rings guild and

  we had very passionate feelings about

  the dune guild that sat on the other

  side of french class but we need the

  spice but we did not but that didn't

  give me a better give me that much

  relief if I if I if I reflect back into

  my daydreams in seventh grade what I was

  really hoping was that the Soviet Union

  would invade you can only be called into

  action all of your expertise on

  airplanes and military procedures that

  you would be you would be it would be a

  little bit like ender's game like you

  would be a savant there be like we need

  to train this kid he's right he's got

  his he literally has his own flight suit

  yeah do you remember what you remember

  the pavement a song we are underused yes

  that's my best impression of his singing

  we are underused it's really carried a

  really weird church i think that being a

  payment fan in the nineties was being in

  a weird church the first time i heard

  that song hyper first into tears

  oh god the idea that we are underused

  and and the and the implication that

  there is that that the you you you will

  never find a use for yourself really a

  proper like full use of yourself

  honey I'm surprised and your catch and

  we're a perfect match like together

  strangers up Jesus that's still let's

  look at me shivers right i mean that he

  was firing on all cylinders at that

  point but but that I mean that was such

  a what we took away from that at the

  time was the the world losers or

  whatever but but but somehow when I see

  people in the world who are perfectly

  utilized oh yes it's I'm very seldom

  impressed either by the person or by the

  use that they have found for themselves

  right or the used to like the kids like

  I remember being insanely jealous of a

  kid from Japan who is younger than me

  who had the highest IQ in the world and

  I remember thinking like there's got to

  be some kind of jam up here like how did

  this guy get the high-iq you always get

  the same as anything involving against

  aged parents

  we're like that kid really want to be

  out there tap dancing right now well

  that's the thing where is that kid with

  the hot who had the highest IQ in 1982

  I'm going doubt busy now right

  I mean that's what's so wonderful about

  knowing ken jennings because ken is one

  of these people that that performed on a

  on a worldwide stage in a way equivalent

  to Marilyn Vos savant where it's just

  like oh look at this

  he is literally the smartest guy in the

  world because he won this game 70 @ + x

  and then you meet him and you're like he

  is he is genuinely like super bright and

  super good as he seems fast he's pleased

  very fast he's and the thing is the

  thing that you would never suspect about

  him even though he is a total nerd is

  that he has a pee has an extensive

  knowledge like yours like a knowledge

  across every you cannot make an inside

  indie rock reference that he won't get

  no hitting now that surprises me

  it's amazing right and it and and you

  cannot make like an inside reference

  really too very much that can won't not

  just get but also like turn into a pun

  and I frustration demonstrate that was

  the day when i first met John Nelson the

  same experience of just like oh he gets

  everything and it's great but you know

  but then being friends with him

  you realize like and and being the

  smartest the hip being the world's

  smartest boy and not being in this

  matching pumpkins ken jennings wow nice

  call just now try you know name is

  William he's made can is making a living

  writing books and books of trivia and

  and funny books and so forth but like

  that there wasn't he was not they didn't

  put him up on a litter and carry him up

  and Princess Leia gave him a metal and

  then his problems were solved right he's

  he is still under utilized right and and

  it's a it's fascinating to think you

  know what if you would if you want him

  up but what if he would've would've

  DARPA came and gave ken jennings own


  you know I had I'm so sympathetic

  because this is this is gonna be mom

  makes me such a loser because I'm a

  loser but you know it's like that

  feeling when you're younger and you're

  like there's got to be something that I

  would be so great at like I know like

  you look at somebody was like okay

  you're tall you can run fast and you

  don't freak out on a team

  well obviously you're going to be a

  basketball player like there's such a

  path for you if you choose to take it

  you may not choose to take it but there

  is a job

  anybody with this kind of freakish

  combination of skills could have and I'm

  like I've got so many freaking

  combinations of skills I've just never

  found the CIA job for me I know it's

  gotta be out there said I'm an analyst

  for something I just don't know what yet

  haha well so two things i was reading in

  the newspaper today an article about

  General Wesley Clark and he was the

  general of the army and then ran for

  president in 2004 out or you know like

  trying to get the Democratic nomination

  and lost and since that time he has been

  basically he will join the board of

  directors of any penny stock company at

  if you pay him enough and so he's got

  some record where he was he's been on

  the board of 18 companies and 16 of them

  have gone bankrupt and and it's just

  like really like he was valedictorian at

  West Point's

  and a Rhodes Scholar and you know a

  four-star general and that and this is

  this give me a cold chill to realize

  that it at 60 years old he was like well

  maybe I'll just maybe I'll just be a

  fraud now for a while making money could

  be on the board of a place called

  grilled cheese truck grilled cheese

  truck think we'd love it if you joined

  us with the investment the silver-haired

  Clark 70 says in a promotional video

  company called the grilled cheese truck

  picture standing in front of a statue of

  bald eagle and replica Oval Office we're

  gonna be one of the fastest growing

  companies in America salutes losing

  money hasn't signed any veterans

  franchisees oh my god there is i mean

  you know literally almost a retired

  director of the CIA it's here it's

  almost your dream job he could be your

  dream cautionary tale

  yeah exactly don't panic lettuce John

  lot of money and hydroponic lettuce so

  the tell you what that is a booming

  industry people like fresh food Maryland

  is it you know it's getting harder and


  you can't get enough fresh food in this

  country huh but the thing that occurred

  to me the other day we have now crossed

  a hundred and fifty episodes of our

  program and it's not it's not fair to

  say that the program has become self

  aware because it was always pretty

  self-aware it's not artificially

  intelligent it naturally intelligent but

  two things occurred to me one

  I believe we have we've crossed the

  threshold where it is pop it is

  plausible that someone will be listening

  to this program after you and I have


  how did little early for that

  well this is what I'm saying like yeah

  it may not be maybe we have a legacy

  whether we like it or not it probably

  will not be my grandkids because they

  are not going to give a shit but

  somebody simulated space pod cast will

  be that's right they'll be who

  well you know what they'll probably

  listening to banjo musical would have

  come back around but but you know some

  researchers some college nerd some

  somebody at that it at the you know

  because even though it feels to us like

  there are millions and millions of

  podcast too many podcasts in fact it's

  still very early

  days we are one of the early ones that

  have achieved a lot of episodes so so so

  that so imagining that and imagining

  that in fact this conversation that

  we're having right now will one day be

  listened to by someone after we're dead

  and they will think to themselves that

  is me that they're talking about me

  future person gave me pause but then I

  realized that we early podcasters are

  ideal candidates for a colonization by

  AI developers because if you are

  developing an artificial intelligence

  and you want that AI to be some

  interactive and human all you gotta feed

  it lots of existing information to have

  a kind of bone up on the culture exactly

  like engine i get a lot of Broadcasters

  wonderfully 757 is a lot of episodes too

  and that's that's a lot for any added

  gobble down

  well the thing is a I you know using a

  using planks theorem

  yeah yes right and Bernoulli's principle

  and i will be able to just download that

  stuff just straight the Ultron got

  everything in like 10 seconds see

  exactly so so you know a lot of

  Broadcasters out there have a lot more

  hours of talking on the air than we do

  but most of that is asking interview

  questions or in garrison killer is just

  reading some bullshit stories about fake


  ah of podcasters who are talking about

  to talking to one another about each

  other and themselves are this link very

  right data set in so many ways because

  you get the obviously you get unless

  let's be honest this is a nutritionally

  rich program there's a lot of food for

  thought here but there's also going to

  learn about cadences you're gonna learn

  about all kinds of stuff about sentence

  structure you can learn with weird

  phrases like that everybody's using like

  that technology like where that started

  that's right and exactly so that means

  of Technology come on that's going to be


  I mean think about the company that that

  is called thought technology registered

  trademark at you and I should yes well


  we'll talk to lawyers after we get our

  grilled cheese truck off the ground

  hydroponic grilled cheese start of God

  technology registered trademark but yeah

  exactly like like we because we have

  never had a guest on this program

  what is the primary way that two people

  interact right it's conversation and the

  and the cadences the back-and-forth the

  fact that you know knowing when to when

  to zig and zag so like all of a sudden I

  got this weird feeling that it might not

  just be that someone in the future is

  listening to our podcast after we're

  dead but in fact that we may become

  prototype AI personalities the the front

  faces because right once you once you

  develop that technology and it's working

  you're going to be starved for enough

  data to construct a full personality

  right and you're never gonna have enough

  of them

  you're never going to get along at all

  because you don't want to feed them all

  encyclopedias and they're not going to

  be that they're not gonna be the same

  you're gonna want obviously most people

  are going to want scarlett johansson em

  but there are gonna be people who want

  you know uh may I friend who is a

  middle-aged um candidate for sending out

  a middle-aged guy who's to just just

  trying to figure stuff out

  so you're saying like it could even be

  15-20 years you might be somebody

  samsung phone

  yeah right rightly so that means to

  start yeah right and and the the big

  question is will we have any control

  over that

  or will it just be one day you know

  they-they-they pitch my voice up a two

  clicks and they you know they put a

  flanger on you there like right now it's

  got nothing to do with those guys that's

  a that's the day I we've been working on

  oh I see what you're saying it's a

  banksy kind of thing you taking you turn

  it to make a little bit different and

  now you've transformative art right you

  take it you turn

  uh-huh that's a thought like that is

  that you know what that's the motto of

  thought technology I think you take it

  you're taken in turn a boy and suddenly

  this feels like a lot more


  I feel like I mean I want to be myself

  because I want my AI

  to be you know cohesive but I feel like

  maybe I should be on the dick jokes

  well but that may be that you mean

  you're scrolling through a list of

  services to 10,000 possible AI friends

  and it's like you know middle-aged guy

  middle-aged guy middle-aged guy all

  middle-aged guy with some dick jokes for

  that seems like a good friend for me to

  play flanger on that middle-aged guy

  from Ohio spend a lot of time in florida

  make some dick jokes sometimes hard to

  parse exactly what he means well I'm

  gonna try it i'm gonna try it on

  click yet you know it's possible who the

  the problem the problem the problem of

  you know the problem of self-awareness

  both that our podcast has become

  self-aware and also that you and I have

  too much self-awareness is that

  especially in my current in my current

  pursuits self-awareness we've talked

  about this for years is a major


  you know i think the number one reason

  that Hitler was so successful is he had

  no self-awareness and it was only that

  he and and then it ended up being his

  downfall his lack of self-awareness out

  but for 10 years they're really served

  him well let's talk my daughter about

  this yesterday you're talking to your

  daughter yesterday about Hitler

  self-awareness well yeah pretty much

  just talking about like you know you

  mean I mean Justin I'm sorry is this a

  fact but I mean you know you know think

  how much better he would have done this

  is a whole show so I should even

  introduced this but think how much

  better that I would have done if he

  hadn't tried to go into Russia think how

  different that game would have been he

  could he could have held his own pretty

  damn good against everybody if he if

  he'd been a little more software and

  said you know what this is good for now

  let's let's rest for a couple years

  let's build things up a little bit but

  wasn't that huge wasn't a huge problem

  was that he was like all just want to

  know just sense of dudes over there and

  walk walk into the tundra and it will be

  good if he had stopped in Czechoslovakia

  we'd be living in a different world and

  you know it's it's it's terrible to say

  it it's terrible to say like you know

  all these people want to

  back in time and kill Hitler it's a very

  small minority of people that want to go

  back in time and advised him to just be

  satisfied with prague should never have

  invaded Poland that was that was and

  then Russia come on the other thing what

  you're saying no talking about your

  current pursuits I it's it's interesting

  to think about somebody who is really

  good at sounding informal and off the

  cuff and not done self-aware but not

  sounding because here's ok what's the

  worst the worst is that you start

  thinking about what you're going to say

  you think about it too much and you

  think about how it's going to sound and

  I selling a weasel you have to be it

  seems to me like you have to be able to

  whether it's just your bullet points or

  whatever but with growing sophistication

  as a candidate it seems like you've got

  to get fast at sounding natural without

  sounding like you're trying to sound


  well yeah and the problem is that i

  already sound natural but that isn't

  really what people want they want you to

  sound natural but not really

  this is my stand-up comedy so daunting

  to me when i watch me as a stand-up

  comedy is something I'm I enjoy a lot

  when it's done well but i find it really

  scary because if you think about what's

  involved in coming up with those bits

  and refining them and listening to the

  tapes and getting to where you know

  whatever it was Louis CK can come out

  and make a joke that sounds like he he

  just said something accidentally and

  then make a joke about how he said it

  accidentally but that's all part of the

  bit and how do you do that without

  sounding like you're reading off sheet

  like that takes a tremendous amount of

  self-awareness yeah the more you do it

  the less you hope you sound like

  yourself aware that you're doing a bit

  of Europe

  well this is the this is the back to the

  underused question like a none of that

  appeals to me and I don't know whether

  the fact that i don't know whether and

  and i suspect that this is true when you

  talk to stand-up comics like you polish

  Tompkins and I had kind of a fight one

  time not a fight but like a you know a a

  it wasn't it wasn't like friendly Sparky

  you guys had a real fight I don't think

  we have five targets around anymore

  no no no calls it also because you know

  he and I are the same parents

  this isn't in your pocket he's a big guy

  compared to say the a like 50 the mouse

  that's true that's the point

  yeah but uh but i think i think what he

  was trying to say in the in our in our

  like a minor disagreement was that he

  didn't like that either

  I you know that being a stand-up comic

  it is not dependent on liking it you do

  it anyway right you don't let the craft

  yeah and this is the thing about

  everything right you don't it's very

  it's like if you are seven and a half

  feet tall and and have big lungs and a

  big heart you have a job waiting for you

  in basketball but it doesn't necessarily

  mean that you liked it and I wonder how

  many of us have spent our lives being

  confused that we don't seem to like the

  the things that were either natural at

  or the things that were pushed into I

  think it's huge and at and then you know

  and what when you when you think about

  people that are a success at that stuff

  I think it's probably a small proportion

  of them that are that genuinely would

  say like from the moment I started I

  knew that you know not just that i knew

  that i wanted it but that I liked it

  you know I I wanted to be a stand-up

  comic i knew that i wanted to but the

  prospect of listening to myself be a bad

  stand-up comic on a tape in order to get

  better at being a stand-up comic

  you might as well just put pour salt in

  my eyes

  yeah it a part of it also is that you

  know there's I think that people

  concatenate too many different aspects

  of a career or whatever you call job and

  interest in education

  well like I always think it's important

  to distinguish between things like what

  is you want to do what it is you want to

  be what it is you like doing like how do

  you like spending your time and what do

  you like having made

  and I don't think there's that many

  people were all those always line up all

  the time and that's what throws people

  off with a let's say you wanted to be I

  mean dick for a lot of stand-up comics

  that originally went to be a basketball

  player right but like you don't have the

  height you don't have the hands you

  don't have the lungs you don't you know

  but you find that there's this thing

  that you kind of can do or you find

  yourself sort of falling into I think

  that's true for so many jobs

  yeah and but you know I think the thing

  a lot of people overlook is what you're

  describing which is like being a

  stand-up comedian is not just being

  funny and getting girls on the road it's

  a lot of like you say listen to yourself

  be a not-very-good stand-up comic on the

  road to being less bad which is just


  I mean it's just you know it's weird

  that like like with like you and me like

  I don't get stage fright exactly i like

  being in front of people I like doing

  stuff I feel like I really thrive you

  know when i'm doing whatever in front of

  people but a weirdly unnatural thing to

  do but like it works like it makes sense

  it's like I do i really like doing it

  but you know I don't know I don't know I

  think you're I think you're onto

  something though in terms of the being

  underused because it's so if you want

  something that's way out of reach but

  you never even attempted to do now I'm

  going into another show here but like if

  you're doing this thing that's way out

  of reach and not even close to anything

  you've ever done or made before and you

  don't understand enough about the

  process to know whether you're on the

  right path or or making the right

  mistakes even it's like how would you

  even know that that's just a recipe for


  I remember the first time i was

  introduced to Richard Feynman the

  physicist physicist the first time I

  remember the first time

  oh you mean his work I remember my first

  time ya know I was never personally

  introduced him but introduced him as a

  as a character introduced to his writing

  yeah and you know he was there he was

  very adept at presenting himself as

  someone who had whoo-whoo-whoo-whoo was

  kind of fully realized and there was

  obviously something crazy about him but

  but his self presentation of somebody

  who not only is a nobel-prize-winning

  physics genius but also a safecracker


  and a you know a competitive Archer and

  a ladies man and a you know and again a

  breakdancer and of you and a half finish

  carpenter you know he and you meet you

  meet people like that who who have a lot

  of pride in themselves and and all and i

  are very accomplished without a question

  i remember reading his books at an

  impressionable age and feeling like you

  know that that was the standard even as

  I recognized that was the standard of of

  like human realize ate like personal


  huh what the same time also realizing

  that me

  probably i would not enjoy him as a

  personal friend or you know that over

  time he would be wearing and and that

  there was something false also about his

  self promotion

  I guess you know and then later on there

  was a guy I knew who use who was like a

  punk rockers how squatting gutter Punk

  guy that was a friend of mine and he and

  I were party buddies back when party

  right in that period where party stopped

  meeting fun time you know what I mean

  it's like yeah we're going to a party

  all right to party and it's like no work

  partying like partying became a verb

  yeah right it is not where we are not

  this isn't fun anymore this is like

  serious business and at a certain point

  I you know I didn't see him for a couple

  of weeks and then he shows up and his

  head is shaved and he's wearing like all

  natural fiber clothes and he looks very

  serene and I was like a man what the you

  know like what's up and he's like I

  decided that my life was on the wrong

  path and I'm going to

  I'm going to Tibet and i'm going to

  pursue that you know minute i'm gonna

  get on the right path and by by which he

  meant like going to go in the whole hog

  tibetan buddhism well and I was like

  what does that mean you don't want to

  like go get baked and play video games

  and he was like i do not and he kind of

  like sailed out of my life on a you know

  on a kind of magic carpet of like

  whatever stacked up flip flops

  however it is you make that journey

  before but before he made that change

  I knew him to be like one of those like

  hippie punks who was really super

  righteous about things but also was

  maybe the most misogynist person you'd

  ever met you know yeah that's right you

  know the type

  I know the type where it's like you are

  super duper righteous but you are such a

  dick to your girlfriend and to every

  woman i know that there's something very

  broken in you and I do not believe i do

  not believe and you know and he sailed

  out of my life I've never seen him again

  but but presumably he q could also you

  could have also followed that pellet

  path to self actualization and he might

  have even addressed the the the bad dog

  inside of him but I'm sitting here now

  and I i find it very difficult to look

  in the mirror and address myself like

  hello I am looking at you now and we are

  trying to decide what to do with

  ourselves and what to do in life like

  I'm checking in i'm checking in with you

  you i'm looking at you and you are me

  you know if I get you talking to the you

  the world sees well no I mean I fight

  like trying to talk to trying to get out

  of the place where I'm talking to myself

  inside my head

  alright oh it's hard it's harder than it

  sounds right and then actually recognize

  that i'm talking to you know a living

  being who is half way through the normal

  lifespan and he's trying to do good and

  trying to do good at a multitude of

  levels trying to do good for other

  people trying to do good for myself

  trying to do good for the people that

  love me trying to you know be a good

  neighbor trying to be a good driver

  trying to you know like all these things

  and it's very easy to sit for hours and

  hours and hours talking to myself inside

  my you know my little Plato's cave but

  to really just stand in front of a

  mirror and say you know like all of this

  all of these multitudes of worlds are

  happening just inside me and I am alone

  in this room and now i'm really trying

  to actually like have some sympathy for

  this person i recognized in this

  reflection it's excruciating and I feel

  like right now I need it i feel very

  alone right now in this in my campaign

  you know that there's what once you have

  been in joined this world there isn't

  any you i can't take a break you know

  what I mean like I can't go back to my

  normal life for a couple of days from a

  practical standpoint and you can deepen

  the in the slog at this point right deep

  in this log and a lot of people that

  that are helping me are you know they're


  it's very easy for people to be like

  well I you know the candidates just got

  to go do the things so anyway I'm gonna

  go back to my life for a while and if he

  needs me he'll reach out or you know a

  lot of lot of people helping the

  campaign but it can't be a full-time job

  for them and it's it it's very easy for

  three or four days to go by where where

  every one of the 20 people that has

  pledged to help me kind of feels like

  the other 19 are probably picking up the

  slack while they go do a thing

  or where they you know they have to do

  their normal job or they go tend to

  their family and in fact all 20 of them

  are doing something else and three or

  four days go by and I'm just you know I

  have all these little events i have to

  do that stack up six a day but then I

  get I you know no one is minding the

  store of the of the that realm of the

  imagination right no one is minding the

  store of that place where i wanted to

  run a campaign that was very different

  and I'm just trying to I'm just trying

  to leave this appointment that ends at

  two and make it to that point that ends

  at two forty-five and on your end up

  being impaired being the one reliable

  person on the one-man team I'm you know

  I'm the only one I mean I'm the only

  person that is it that has to do

  everything over there has to be at

  everything and that makes sense but I'm

  not used to reaching out to people at a

  a personal emotional level even up even

  when nothing is at stake or even at the

  beach the best of circumstances it's

  very hard for me to say to the three

  people who love me the most

  can I have a hug and so you know

  exceptionally difficult to recognize

  that I am emotionally taxed and confused

  and you know and struggling to keep the

  things that matter to me in focus as my

  daily routine turns into this cycle of

  things that don't especially matter to

  me but need to get done right and it's a

  and so so I need to I need to be able to

  look into the that mirror and say like

  hello we are you and I me and then this

  reflection of me that's the only the

  only way i know to confront myself it in

  this different way

  you know like I'm on your team at least

  like there's one person in the room but

  I am on your team and the you know the

  the reflection in the mirror just wants

  to get away

  it does not want it doesn't want to be

  talked to that way and it just wants to

  you know its eyes a light on the first

  shiny thing in the room that it can it

  can go to and and start to play with

  like oh shit there's a pair of scissors

  you know I haven't sharpen those

  scissors and it's also anytime I think

  anytime I try to find some room

  I don't make some dire but you know

  anytime you want to try some find some

  relief from how you feel especially how

  relief but how you feel about who you

  are but there are these different roads

  that you can take including things like

  talking in the mirror or you know you

  with any example something like that

  troubles like if you don't do that when

  things are going ok or when things are

  going well it can make it feel a little

  chancy to do that when you're not

  feeling well things like you know if the

  thing is like it's easy it's easy to

  like I've been interested in things like

  mindfulness and things like that it's

  it's it's easy to get an easy it's a

  attractive to me to think a lot about

  mindfulness when things are going poorly

  it's not as attractive to think about it

  when things are going well because

  things are going well that's the entire

  point of the mindfulness problem is that

  like you you're not noticing the little

  barometric changes throughout throughout

  your life and then throughout even a

  given day and so like right when you're

  at the point you know this guy needs a

  pep talk

  alright you know or whatever you're

  looking at a Wow who's that who's that

  old failure

  yeah too late now well the thing is the

  heart it's way harder for me because i

  have tried numerous times in my life

  when I've done something well to go

  alright hey yeah you know into the man

  always said you're not you're you feel

  like you're not good at not even rest on

  your laurels like you have trouble even

  enjoying like a moment of nominal

  victory even a moment you know you walk

  off the stage at a triumphant

  performance and I walk in and I look at

  I just started using the second person

  rather than the first the you walk up

  the stage and up and it's like no

  there have been moments in my life when

  I have walked off the stage or have

  walked out of the the interview or out

  of the the the test or whatever and

  walked immediately into the bathroom and

  stood there and looked at myself in the

  mirror and said you did a good job that

  was good you did good there and the

  reflection in the mirror

  squirms uncomfortably and wants to get

  out of that situation even more then

  when you know because i think the

  impulse is the same

  uh-huh to say like you know your ok you

  did good like I see you I'm

  acknowledging that you did well and I

  just don't I don't know how to receive

  and I don't want to hear it and so yeah

  be that the number of opportunities on

  the campaign trail to walk out of a

  thing and say like wow that was a lot

  better than i expected that went really

  well that that happens every day too but

  the nature of campaigning is always like

  what was the last good thing you did and

  if it was longer ago than 30 minutes

  it's in the past and so I'm I'm already

  pretty bad at stacking up

  accomplishments and saying like I'm

  doing well I'm a good person and and in

  this you know in this world where it's

  just like you I walk out of an interview

  with a with some democratic organization

  you know I went to interview the other

  day with the King County Democrats which

  is a board of directors of about 20

  people from every legislative district

  in King County says like above the

  cording various district groups its yeah

  this is now but a big show

  it's the big show but it's also like I

  when a voter is reading their voter

  guide and it says endorsed by the 32nd

  district Democrats the 43rd district

  Democrats the King County Democrats I

  don't know how a voter Parsons that or

  four measures that are you know it

  matters to people that are members of

  those groups but though

  so you know I don't and I don't even

  know how much but like I went to this

  meeting and it was a great meeting

  everybody really responded well to me I

  felt at home and and and on top of the

  you know like like a water ski boat

  that's up on step i was just like i had

  gotten above the waves and was just

  skirting across the surface of the lake

  and and people were nodding emphatically

  and was a great conversation whether or

  not they endorse my endorsement I have

  no idea but left that meeting went

  immediately to another meeting where I

  just felt completely out of my body and

  trying to give a speech to a roomful of

  people though that I couldn't gauge and

  they weren't really looking at me they

  were all playing with their salads and

  you know when i get home that evening

  like what am i what am I thinking about

  I'm definitely not sitting and going

  like what you did great at the King

  County Democrats I'm just thinking like

  yeah there's nothing worse than standing

  than giving a speech that you don't

  quite have that you don't quite nail in

  front of a roomful of people that are

  playing with their salads

  yeah and you're just like were why am i

  why would I even go to an event like

  that but the thing is you never know you

  know what walking in the door I don't

  know enough about any of these

  organizations to know which ones are

  going to be getting into taking all of

  those let me not to pressure you already

  know this but like is to take each one

  of those more serious in the last

  because you never know it's like it's

  almost like when you're starting out

  performing and doing gigs like even

  though you you have five shows in a row

  where it's the bartender and a friend

  like you never know this could be the

  show where somebody in the audience is a

  booker or somebody who writes for the

  local paper you've got to be playing to

  the last row

  regardless of how you feel because you

  don't need you don't even know how

  important it could be but you have to

  treat that seriously right and it's

  precisely analogous because when you are

  young you really and when I was starting

  out in music I really felt like every

  show I had to take that seriously

  because you never knew which one was

  going to have Jonathan parliament

  there and then one day I played a show

  and Jonathan Paula man was there and he

  came up to me after the show and offered

  me a recording contract and it felt like

  one of those it felt like being

  discovered at the at the malt shop and

  yet i never did sign that record

  contract and I never did that and it was

  and I know a lot of people that did sign

  a record contract that was offered to

  them by Jonathan parliament and most of

  those people that didn't you know I

  didn't change the fact that they are now

  working somewhere else but you know

  there are those they're so over time in

  rock-and-roll you learned that the idea

  that something life-changing is going to

  happen at any one particular show is a

  fallacy and that really it's all the

  shows together all the great shows

  because because they're you know it's

  it's it's sort of it's sort of a

  counterpart to the argument against the

  great man theory of history where it's

  really not about Napoleon it's about the

  forces that are you know the forces that

  work to create Napoleon and the human

  forces working all the time and Napoleon

  is kind of it irrelevant compared to the

  passage of time and I don't agree with

  that critique of history but in my own

  experience like I i was on my way to

  south africa in in 1998 to was given the

  opportunity to go study at the

  University of Cape Town and to do and to

  write a book about the truth and

  reconciliation committee that i was

  studying at the time and I was going to

  go with my mentor Jim Klaus and it was

  going to be this like profoundly

  life-changing academic trip and in the

  three or four months leading up to

  leaving for cape town

  where I would you know I had all my

  ducks in a row and Jim had kind of

  tasked me with this thing that I was

  going to write out that the book i was

  gonna try and write was going to be a

  book about these American students

  trying to understand and perceive the

  truth and reconciliation committee and

  what it meant and then my band the

  Western State hurricanes got invited to

  South by Southwest and south you know

  going to South by Southwest was up there

  was such a big deal back then such a

  lofty dreams I was like a height of the

  year they were banned remember around

  the same time in Tallahassee and they're

  like the early and especially the

  mid-nineties it was like that was you

  talk about the big game like with you

  got invited to go to South by Southwest

  like that was that was a benediction you

  were going to the show Yeah right this

  was this was here I mean it was in some

  ways almost like look your head Sullivan

  Show were like you may not

  you know being invited is big enough but

  they could be potentially

  career-changing yeah and you had to make

  that decision

  yeah 10 and I went to I went to gym and

  I was like I got invited to go to South

  by Southwest with my band you know I've

  been in bands now for 46 years and and

  this band is finally taking off and this

  is one of these once-in-a-lifetime

  chances and he was like well you know

  cape town will always be there I'll

  always be there for you you know I make

  make the decision you need to make you

  can go to Cape Town and come back and

  you know do your band or you can go to

  your band and then we'll go to keep down

  later and i went to my bandmates and I

  described the situation and two of the

  three bandmates one of my bandmates said

  you should go to Cape Town you know

  South by Southwest will always be there

  will be there for you when you get back

  the other two guys said for this is our

  one chance i think that process of

  contradiction you just need you just

  clarify the supporting member right


  remember this board member was and I

  remember that you guys were like this is

  our one chance and if you go to Cape

  Town we're leaving the band

  jet and so you know I agonized over it

  and I decided I can you know the

  academic path will be there for me i

  have to pursue this opportunity you know

  you don't you don't get asked to go up

  to the majors an infinite number of

  times and so much less it's so much less

  abstract I mean especially maybe at that

  age it's like this is not abstract at

  all like the going going to South Africa

  not there's anything I mean obviously

  that's huge but it's a little bit more

  abstract and the idea of your band like

  this is the moment I could you pass up

  that opportunity for your band is going

  to seem bananas to Jimmy throw that away

  is how it probably felt yeah right and I

  so I went to South by Southwest it was

  an in it was interesting it was the

  first of nine consecutive south by

  southwest side attended and but

  immediately upon returning from that

  South by Southwest the two guys that

  said that that they you know that this

  was our big shot both quit the band and

  I never did go to South Africa and I

  never did you know as you probably know

  I did not write a book about the truth

  and reconciliation committee and so that

  feeling like this was the moment I went

  to nine more South by Southwest so i

  went to eight more south by southwest

  and every one of them felt like it could

  be the moment and none of them were and

  I think maybe if I were in band of

  horses there would have been a show that

  you could point to that was like that

  was the moment where it all started to

  go but the fact is the band of horses if

  it hadn't been that show it would have

  been the next show because they that up

  because ben is a great songwriter and

  that they were going to make that sound

  it didn't it wasn't that they got

  discovered it was that they were good

  enough that they made it all the way

  and so anyway it feels like that in

  running for office to that every one of

  these events as you walk into it you

  feel like you know oh my god there you

  know the former governor could be here

  and this could be the moment that it all

  turns but the fact is no you just have

  to go to all of them and if you're gonna

  if you're going to catch on with people

  and if they're gonna like you know one

  meeting is the moment it's it's the it's

  the the composite of having performed

  all these tasks and having spoken all

  these times that it that either reveals

  you to be the the one that people are

  looking for or reveals you to not be

  that one you just blew a huge hole in in

  one of the great myths in a way that I

  never thought of quite this clearly uh

  you know i-i've always talk about this

  here but I get you know you always think

  about all the times you're going to

  arrive right i know we've talked about

  this i call you know something i will

  arrive and you'll know that you've

  arrived and of course anybody who ever

  has arrived starts to really realize

  that you never really arrived as you

  famously said one of our first

  interviews even Bono has a boss but

  there's always somebody above your

  station that you're trying to if not

  impressed at least please

  but like that the it's almost like the

  opposite of arriving it's like there are

  if you grow up feeling like there's a

  handful of chances that you might get to

  really make something happen in a way

  that is you know I think the subtext is

  that is something that won't undo like

  when i get this break then it's just

  going to be a rocket to the top but the

  truth is that like this chances may come

  along but alongside each of those

  chances are like 10,000 opportunities

  for everything to unravel and like you

  you those are the ones on something it's

  also depressing but I think it's kind of

  true like you really facing the 10,000

  times every time you walk out there

  you're facing the beginning of an

  unraveling in some ways that's not the

  reality of it and it's like you know the

  arrival doesn't stick

  well right and it is and it just leads

  to more expectations so many there are

  so many so many events on the con that

  the in the two months I've been actively

  campaigning for office so many events

  when I walked out of a thing I was like

  if the election

  held today and it were only and it only

  involved the 45 people in that room

  perfect I would you know I would win

  this office and the 45 people in that

  room are you know they they are

  important people in the process but the

  election isn't today it doesn't involve

  just those 45 people and no one can

  anoint you you can be appointed to

  public office which is a crazy thing but

  for the most part if you are you know if

  if you want to be like a legitimate

  elected person there's no shortcut

  because the election is just it's just

  one day and you do everything you can up

  until that day and then I mean think

  about the elections we've watched as

  passive viewers or even engaged viewers

  where it's like I'm in the last election

  between a Romney and Obama did even

  though it turned out to be a total sweep

  like going into that sharing even in

  that week it didn't look like it didn't

  look like it didn't feel like it and and

  a lot of pundits were calling it the

  other way like until until their that

  until Obama's name was written in their

  blood on the wall and you just go wow

  like there's get the it's just never a

  thing you can sew up if it's at all

  competitive i mean there are races all

  the time where that just sewed up from

  the beginning there's never a challenge

  but for me in this race

  there's nothing guaranteed about it and

  people say all the time to me on the you

  know when I'm out in the world they're

  like well you've raised a lot of money

  you know it's all good see it's a sure

  thing that you're getting through the

  primary and it's like I don't think it's

  a sure thing right hand and the damn the

  danger of it is that that feeling in

  other people where they say oh you've

  raised a lot of money

  it's it's also a way for them to say

  like well you don't you know I support

  you but you don't need my active help

  because it seems like things are going

  great for you and it's like from where I

  stand that is not how it feels and that

  you know that's a very that's that

  contributes to this feeling of

  loneliness because a lot of my a lot of

  my people a lot of my natural supporters

  they think things are going great when i

  run into him on the street they're like

  it sounds amazing i saw your name in the

  newspaper things you see things are

  going amazing and I just feel like up

  completely abandoned in some ways

  because people like all things are going

  good i can go back and do i go back to

  my life and it's almost like and he kind

  of got at this one swing a few upsets go

  when you're talking about going in and

  and visiting with the district Democrats

  and like you're you and all kind of

  start to commiserate with other

  candidates it's almost like those are

  the only people that you can really

  really talk to about this would be your

  competitors they are they always like

  getting divorced and having it be the

  loneliest year of your life and the only

  person you can hope could even

  understand what you're going through is

  the person to force me back right well

  and and so and and so in that there is a

  lot of fellow feeling between people

  running for office but I but it really

  it's it couldn't be more exaggerated how

  little I resemble them in in some ways

  really still um let me know if you feel

  that way

  yeah because because they all I mean if

  you go i did this the other day I went

  and and went to the wikipedia page for

  the washington state legislature and I

  just started reading reading the

  biographies of all the all the current

  people in the legislature just getting

  us a picture of them and I mean this

  stock biography is graduated with a

  degree in public in political science

  went immediately to work at a non-profit

  became the director of that nonprofit

  it then became the executive director of

  a different nonprofit then worked for a

  while as a as a on the campaign of a

  candidate who either one office at which

  point they became their that candidates

  legislative aide or that candidate lost

  and they went back to the world

  nonprofits and then you know and then

  they did and at no point does it ever

  feel cynical right everyone of those

  jobs and that pursuit of a career path



  all those jobs are are fantastic and

  people are doing them i think genuinely

  like motivated by a desire to to help

  and those nonprofits are across a wide

  spectrum like helping the homeless

  houses for Humanity medical care you

  know across the spectrum of like

  concerned concerned citizen

  uh-huh and then at a certain point from

  there from their position at one of

  these places then they first run for

  office at which point it becomes clear

  that it's been a path it's a it's a

  career path they've been working toward

  that like the doing the work of getting

  to that point free for years

  yeah and i cannot know I don't know

  enough of them really really personally

  to know how many of them at 18 years old

  said one day I'm going to be a

  representative and the path to that is

  this is this you know i mean if you do

  give you graduate with a degree in

  political science

  you are you have some awareness of what

  you're doing right and so you know at

  graduate with a degree in political

  science and immediately join the

  nonprofit world like you you're

  conscious of of those steps but i can't

  know how much each one of these people

  individually is pursuing this over the

  course of time and this is how you get

  there but in meeting them on the

  campaign trail you know I don't feel

  well today let's just say that they that

  this group of people is not

  characterized by their right bald sense

  of humor nor by their worldliness really

  they're you know they're capable of

  talking about all of the all of what are

  agreed are the challenges facing our

  city today but they're not capable of

  talking about it outside of of what the

  agreed-upon corral of

  of issues is or corral of notions I had

  a sitting city councilman who it is a

  likable person say to me the other day

  he was like you know the thing about you

  is he said I you know I hope this is an

  unsolicited advice and I was like are

  you kidding me

  consider it to listen if I'm soliciting

  at what he's like thing is nobody knows

  what you're gonna do like this opponent

  of yours like I may disagree with him

  but I know when he gets the job I know

  what he's gonna do this guy I know what

  he's going to do this low a woman I know

  what she's going to do and nobody knows

  what you're gonna do so how can we how

  can we choose you and I said uh I mean

  that my sense is that ninety-five

  percent of the things that come across a

  city council person's desk were

  completely unforeseen that five percent

  of the things you know are going to

  happen but there's a police scandal or

  suddenly shale oil brings a drilling rig

  into the harbor or there's a an economic

  crisis or a snowstorm or you know

  they're like so much of the job is

  reacting to things that nobody

  anticipated i would imagine that he that

  nobody knows what anybody's going to do

  and he said yeah that's right but the

  only way we know how to choose is if you

  have demonstrated like consistency in

  what you are going to do and then from

  that we extrapolate what you're what

  what you would do in a in unforeseen

  circumstances and I'm like that is a

  really I see I see what you're saying

  but it's all it seems like a really bad

  bad because it because what it because

  what it doesn't do is account for a

  person's flexibility

  or morality or curiosity all it all of

  voting record is is a measurable set of

  data that you can you know you can put

  up against your voting record and see

  what the differences are and know and be

  able to put a like a points rating on is

  this guy more liberal than me less

  liberal than me is he well and again

  given that it covers things that

  happened in the past it's not even that

  useful for what somebody's going to do


  it's more useful for saying like I think

  it's it's more useful as a negative than

  as a positive in the voting record right

  and because you can because you can say

  well I I don't like the way this person

  voted on all these things because even

  if you do like the way this person voted

  on most of these things is no indication

  of what they're gonna do next

  yeah and and i understand that that

  picking some picking somebody for public

  office based on you know I think I think

  about ross perot and when ross perot

  first entered that race in 88 he was a

  guy that a lot of us naturally would

  have would have not had anything to do

  with because he was a Texas oil guy and

  outspoken you know it seems like he had

  a pearl-handled revolvers and was a was

  a you know a real rogue so funny at

  first how much he appealed to people for

  being down to earth and just so

  obviously sensible young remember that

  because on the one hand go well this is

  a guy who's like made I mean you know it

  is at that time there so that emerging

  idea of like this is obviously somebody

  we can trust because this guy built a

  business but also he's such a straight

  shooter at the beginning at the

  beginning it was before he was zone like

  90 ball salad like everybody thought

  this is this guy is the straightest

  shooters you know we stand with ross

  perot yeah and and for myself as a as a

  radical at the time

  ross perot appealed to me because it

  felt like the other candidates in the

  race were just same old same old who and

  here's this guy who's gonna

  for better or for worse be a real human

  being and then it turned out that ross

  perot was you know he was not able to

  maintain that and he'll he lost us all

  right i mean i really felt like he could

  have won that presidency if he had just

  stayed the course but he he lost all of

  he lost all of his with whatever people

  like me that's supported in one of those

  like the more that he talked by the end

  more than he talked the more you could

  say yeah well that k is a straight

  shooter but he's a straight shooter

  about a lot of wackadoodle because he

  started he started he would speak so

  freely in a way that was very very

  attractive at first but by the end he

  just sounded like he didn't have any

  filter was maybe maybe you know need

  some kind of medication

  yeah do you remember I mean don't I

  remember that maybe I'm remembering

  remembering started live bits but I just

  I feel like you know he started out

  seeming likes like this like so many

  political outsider candidates they

  started out really seeming like the

  answer because they're not talking like

  everybody else but then by the end the

  fact they're not talking like everybody

  else in the long run really makes them

  stick out

  yeah and that is that is what i am

  trying to you know what I'm facing

  personally is like I'm the outsider

  candidate and the question is can a

  cabinet i as an outsider candidate it

  make a convincing portrayal of an

  insider candidate and not lose and not

  in the process lose the lose something

  crucial about myself right and not not

  just lose the perception of it but

  actually lose something in the process

  you know not something a replicable

  because i don't think i don't think that

  that that my integrity is something that

  is you know is so well I don't think

  it's a it's a it's malleable in that way

  but you know I

  when I entered this I this race I said

  listen I'm not going to run negative i

  just want to run on us on the strength

  of ideas and I've described before that

  I was under a lot of pressure from

  people in my campaign

  who knew better to you know to attack my

  opponent and I had a lot of anxiety

  about it and I ultimately said no I'm

  not going to i just want to run on ideas

  and they all kind of shrugged and said

  okay well let's just run ideas then but

  attacking was what they knew how to do

  and what they wanted to do and so when I

  said I just going to run on ideas they

  were like great well then you're the guy

  with the ideas so let's have them and I

  was also going to six events a day

  yeah and so at the end of the day there

  was you know an expectation that the at

  that after giving you know six different

  speeches that I was going to go home and

  write two thousand words on this like

  world of ideas that i was promoting and

  when I wasn't able to do it when I

  wasn't able two mustards just just the

  the pure energy needed to the spitball

  there was a got there was a like a

  deficit a a lack of just voice coming

  out right there

  the people were started to say well here

  you guys haven't released any position

  papers you haven't taken a stand on

  anything and my team I don't you know I

  don't think that they were punishing me

  but they didn't know what to do i mean

  they they would say they knew what to do

  they would write up a thing and say my

  opponent is a is a baby killer and of

  you know they wanted to swift boat every

  day and that was what they that was what

  they understood and that's what ever

  everyone is doing and it's it's so up

  people you know people say they don't

  like negative campaigning but but what

  negative campaigning does it strikes me

  as somebody who doesn't like it but sees

  it is that it gives you the constant

  opportunity to reframe the debate haha

  in a way that being positive doesn't

  because it makes you seem extremely

  realistic makes you seem like you're

  speaking the truth to power and and it

  gives you constantly gives you the

  opportunity to show why this other

  person is a bad person and we will have

  to say anything at all and so it starts

  to rain after 20 days of no rain and the

  instinct of everybody is just is to say

  you know let's get a press release out i

  support the rain and more importantly my

  opponent is on-the-record three

  different times as saying that he wished

  it would stop raining my opponent has

  had very little to say about the rain

  this week in 1997 my opponent said that

  he was sick of the rain

  well now in the middle of this drought

  who do you want a guy that's sick of

  rain even we don't have it for a guy

  that loves the Red John Roderick we just

  can't afford your reign thinking and so

  so what happened in the last couple

  weeks is a couple of different times i

  was sitting on it you know sitting in a

  chair with a laptop in my lap trying

  frantically to just stay on top of

  emails or whatever and somebody came

  over and said here's an opportunity to

  set out a press release and one case you

  know one of my opponents and the other

  opponent were debating housing in the

  newspaper and I was left out of the

  conversation and everybody was in a

  panic that the race is shaping up to be

  between these two other guys you're not

  even in the conversation and I was like

  I'm not in the conversation I'm over

  here working on something else they're

  like you can't afford to not be in the

  conversation and so you know a couple of

  different times their press releases

  have gone out from my campaign in a tone

  that that I didn't like

  that you know that in the in the the

  context of the political world was mild

  stuff but but you know just addressed to

  some imaginary reader whose like where

  these two guys stand well i just

  received a press release

  apparently you know this guy doesn't

  like the ring and you know and it and it

  left me feeling like a like a film like

  there was a film on my tongue you know

  just kind of like yeah yeah yeah but in

  the you know but in the absence of me

  generating like candy cane lollipop a

  position papers week after week that was

  what that was what came out and now I'm

  trying to I'm trying to draw a line in

  the sand about it and say like no run on

  the strength of ideas or nothing and I I

  need a shot of vitamin b12 or something

  you know right i need a hug it i wish i

  could give you a hug but you know it

  makes me think a little bit i know this

  is kind of far out but you know there's

  that I think there's a good reason why

  most product lines will very explicitly

  provide three levels of service you know

  in the classic almost like the three

  ways you can medal in the Olympics but

  like there's something I mean people

  names people talk about this but like I

  think there's a reason that still exists

  is it clearly frames like how this how

  this product works and what it can mean

  to you and how it can be right for you

  regardless of your needs or budget right

  if you had 16 options it would be really

  overwhelming it was one option it would

  seem inflexible but like that has become

  such a I know it's not the same as with

  candidates but I'm just saying that's

  the kind of thing where that becomes a

  talk about a thought technology like

  that is an entire way of framing your

  the way that your product line works you

  know are you know which kind of which

  level of GM car are you going to get and

  when you get that GM car what kind of

  upholstery and it's all these different

  ways to like see yourself and your needs

  are reflected in the product offering

  and it's it's like when you're when you

  talk about a political race

  the thing is there

  it's really difficult to look at any one

  candidate on their own because it is

  much more complicated it's so much more

  comments so much easier for somebody

  who's gonna write an article on that to

  be able to say well here's the person

  with the super clear position that

  everybody agrees with like yay look he

  really you have to put people next to

  each other in order for it to be

  campaign in some ways but you have to I

  mean I'm not saying you have to but it

  sounds like I could see the attraction

  of doing that because it gives you a lot

  more clarity you know but then you

  become incremental closer to being a pro

  wrestler the more you do that

  yeah and that that is the you know

  that's when I I hesitate to say that

  that's the challenge because there are

  so many challenges if only there were

  one right as if only I could just

  imagine master one and and honestly like

  I'm e at the end of every week I looked

  back and I say boy if I had known at the

  beginning of this week what I know now I

  would have done a lot better job this

  week and that's that's very unusual

  right in in the course of my normal life

  if I ever applied that idea it was

  always like if I'd know if I knew two

  years ago what I know now I would have

  done a better job over the last two

  years but it's very seldom in life that

  you get into a situation where a you

  know every day you get home and you go

  well I wish I knew at the beginning of

  today what I know now and then you go

  into the next day and it's like well

  what I learned yesterday didn't really

  apply today I learned a whole bunch of

  new stuff that I didn't know and I i

  wonder if that isn't always that that

  isn't going to be true of this whole

  race and that on the election day I'm

  going to say if you know if I like now

  I'm ready to run for office and I and

  other people have said that to me that

  because as part of a way of saying like

  there's no bad way to run for office if

  you if this is what you want to do

  because you run you you run you in that

  you want you running you lose and you

  know how to run

  none of it really is any and none of it

  really points to teaching you how to

  govern and so it sounds like a horrible

  me you know what is all this horrible

  preparation for how to govern its first

  of all the habits so not all the habits

  the habit of need to show up on time and

  think fast and know how to attract their

  and hire the right people is a skill

  that everybody could use forever but

  like so much of this man down in the

  trenches stuff it's it feels no no fast

  to your occupation but it's something

  you could become so small and venal like

  with if you if you really made that part

  of your life it must also be a personal

  struggle to like not turn into something

  that you don't want to be and how it

  happens and I and I see it you know we

  from the outside we look at the process

  and we see these political characters

  and we and there they appear to be

  dripping with corruption because because

  their behavior is so is often so

  transparently in the service of of

  pretty narrow group of a narrow group of

  people or a narrow group of expectations

  and that could you know that corruption

  just feels like it's so clear to most of

  us like ah just here either corrupt

  before you run for office or running for

  office makes you corrupt and from inside

  I see now that what it is is that if you

  come from this background you you know a

  limited number of people and yet you

  know a limited number of people who who

  feel very much like they have their

  finger on the on the pulse of what's

  wrong right if you are if you spent 20

  years as a you know a working in food

  bank and become the executive director

  of it like you ever a a real sense and

  not a wrong sense that you are clued in

  to what's going on in cities because

  you're dealing with

  the people who are feeling the brunt of

  it but really you have you don't know

  that many people and you really don't

  have a very broad picture of the world

  and then you get into office and you see

  the same faces over and over and because

  raising money is such a big part of it

  you end up going to the two fundraisers

  with the same people and you end up on

  the phone with the same people and if

  you don't have a broad picture of the


  it's very easy to feel like or you know

  or the country right it's very easy to

  feel like that small group of people

  which doesn't seem small it seems really

  big 5 600 people that you interact with

  but that they represent the people when

  you know it's so well so inside and out

  that you know within that given like

  you're an expert like you know more

  about a handful of topics then easily

  ninety percent of the population which

  is going to serve you well sometimes and

  really drive you crazy other times

  well-known the things you don't know

  with it let alone the things with

  somebody else's ninety percent within

  you but that's the thing of those 500

  people that you that you know every

  single one of them considers themselves

  an expert in something so you're

  standing at that you're standing in the

  in the the banquet hall at the sheraton

  and a guy comes up from the policemen's

  Benevolent Association and a guy comes

  up from the builders a group of builders

  lobbying group at the bilderberg group

  then the guy from the bilderberg group

  comes and then there's the you know then

  there's the nonprofit you know that the

  the woman that chairs the Sierra Club

  and then there's the and and so every

  one of those people represent themselves

  as representing thousands of

  constituents and that's when it gets

  confusing because you do feel like you

  know everything you're there with the

  500 people that know everything and

  that's when that corruption what appears

  to the rest of us to be corruption


  that's because it isn't corruption it's

  just that you are doing what your

  friends want you to your e you have

  these friends and they are asking you to

  do things and you can and you you never

  hear from the other side you're not even

  aware it exists and so you're just

  helping your friends it doesn't feel

  corrupt to you especially when I think

  this is this is so true and so painful

  and so on one so many places like

  there's this how you felt at one time

  and then this how you increasingly or

  how you evolve in your thinking as you

  more and more realize how it really

  works is another way to think of it

  where you know when you're a little kid

  you picked baseball teams politicians by

  their looks right you like I like this

  uniform are like the way this person

  talks but you know you Cee I think the

  part of the the dawning series of

  realizations is oh no I see how this

  really works

  you really mean to get this internship

  it really would have helped for me to

  have done these other things but also

  really knowing the right people would

  have made all the difference and and

  that feels like corruption if you're on

  the outside it's just that how stuff

  really works can be so impossibly

  complicated unless you're already a

  domain expert and if you're already a

  domain expert then you already know that

  it's really complicated and how it

  really works up and then you're the next

  let me go oh I see this is how this

  really works and even saying that phrase

  it sounds like i'm talking about

  corruption and and I'm and I'm not it's

  just that sometimes it is very

  complicated with the the when you when

  one person who's an outsider on a topic

  has an idea in mind about how something

  should change they usually see that as

  one or two little steps over discreet

  amount of time that could make this

  thing happen with it when and again now

  I'm just going to gas because i'm not in

  Congress and i'm guessing if you're in

  Congress and even if you really want

  something done and think it's important

  and and think it's a good thing to do

  and how many times is that really rarely

  the que era really the case you might

  have to realize well I'm gonna have to

  like make this seem like this guy the

  senior staff members idea then there's

  this person over here who I'm gonna have

  to like you know groom for six months

  about this idea right i mean it's it's

  really as simple as going over in New


  hey I got an idea let's do this thing

  for housing all right I'm

  in like that's a good idea let's do that

  yeah because there's so many different

  demands and so many and permit am i

  right I mean it seems like that once you

  start the dawning realization of how

  stuff really works

  it's never really ends there's more and

  more things to understand about how

  things really work well of of course and

  that is what's so maddening about the

  process that we that we use to choose

  people because the last thing it i'm

  learning on a daily basis the last thing

  anyone wants to hear from a candidate is

  you know every single side of every

  single argument has some validity to it

  and so it isn't ever a question of

  finding out the truth it is always a

  question of figuring out a plan and a

  process and a and a method and and

  working toward goals and it and and you

  can't just I mean I had a strange

  conversation with a with a City Council

  candidate the other day where he said

  you know he told a story that he had

  obviously rehearsed for the stump but he

  also really meant it

  which was that in his work he had

  constantly come again up against these

  big money people who were you know who

  were always doing things that really

  negatively affected the people that he

  served as at his nonprofit and so he

  went and looked to see who these big

  money bad guys gave money to and when he

  realized that that these guys were

  donating money to city council

  candidates that was when he realized he

  needed to run for office because he

  needed to get in there and root out that

  corruption and it's like the most any

  City Council candidate can receive from

  any donor is 700 bucks so it's not like

  it's not like these guys are buying

  people with money it's that they are in

  relationships with each other because

  their big-money developers and the other

  guys on the City Council and they you

  know they see each other at the ballroom

  at the sheraton it's never just as

  simple as it as as like

  this developers seven hundred dollar

  check turned this person that otherwise

  had integrity into like a slavish a

  column for him you know anybody feels

  like conspiracy but it was like a

  conspiracy and then you look at General

  Wesley Clark who is showing for a for a

  fucking grilled cheese truck franchise

  and you go like but these guys do you

  know like adults and I'm feeling it to

  get to a certain point in their life and

  they are and they're worried about money

  I met Chris Hansen the other day

  who's the guy he lives and works in San

  Francisco but he's the one that wants to

  build a sports arena alka for the Sonics

  and by the spy by a basketball team and

  bring them back to Seattle

  what does he was his background he's a

  guy that's our age and he's a

  billionaire or a hundred civilians there

  who is who got his money through finance

  financial work which I'm sure was very

  difficult very hard work that produced

  hundreds of millions of dollars for this

  guy in his forties and you know from

  where he stands like he was a kid and he

  was a fan of the Sonics and now he wants

  to buy a basketball team and bring into

  the city and it feels like and there are

  tens and tens of thousands of people in

  Seattle that really want this to happen

  and I met him and he's a super nice guy

  and he's worth hundreds of millions of

  dollars and there are people that are

  you know then he has he's a he's a guy

  that walks into the rumen and all of the

  normal operators sidle up to him and

  shake his hand and you can see that

  nobody ever tells him any bad news is

  that he's a hedge fund manager hedge

  fund manager wow he you can eat can just

  tell by the way he talks and the way he

  carries himself that he's nobody tells

  him anything bad it's just like Paul

  Allen or you know like when you get to

  be that rich it's not just that you

  surround yourself with people that give

  you good news

  but nobody wants to give you bad news

  like because there's always the

  possibility that the on your way to the

  bathroom you're going to drop a hundred

  thousand dollars or something you know

  like it's just this feeling that people

  have when they're around really rich

  people it's like well I don't wanna be

  the one to give this guy bad news what

  if he decides to suddenly start shooting

  money out of a t-shirt cannon

  I don't want to be the I don't want to

  be the one he hates and so you know he's

  just sort of he's walking through life

  and I'm standing there feeling a little

  bit like a feeling I what I think is a

  very common feeling at a certain age

  which is like is it it's too late for me

  to make a hundred billion dollars in his

  hedge fund manager like it's too late to

  do that and the integrity that used to

  keep me so warm at night you know that

  blanket is getting worn a little thin

  and yet it's like it's all I have

  against the night right

  you can't you can't start investing in

  or you can't put your get you can't get

  on the board of a grilled cheese

  franchise at this late hour because you

  know in the end a hundred fifty years

  from now somebody listening to your

  podcast in the in the basement of the

  library listening to it on microfiche is

  going to know how the story turned out

  and you know they're going to know

  whether or not you whether or not you

  sold out right and that's i haven't used

  the phrase sold out in a fucking decade

  but what do you learn from somebody like

  that guy he was one like it seems like

  you're exposed to so many interesting

  and different kinds of people there

  outside of you know like when you would

  show for meetings and stuff you know it

  because your civic interest you're one

  kind of character with one kind of focus

  like what kind of stuff you learn

  meeting people that like the chris are

  handsome guy or

  like other people either their bits that

  you must be just learning a lot all the

  time from seeing how people operate Emma

  isn't kind of on your mind must be on

  your mind like how you conduct yourself

  how you think I mean iid feel like

  you're still evolving in that sense

  absolutely it's it's it's deeply on my

  mind and this is why I'm standing in

  front of the mirror and saying like

  these are not these are not things that

  you normally have to do like that there

  is absolutely no opportunity for

  corruption in my world that would you

  know what where it would be a word some

  kind of Abscam thing where some guy

  comes some FBI agent from Mexico

  pretends to be an Arab and gives me a

  suitcase full of money

  the corruption opportunity is this tiny

  little incremental corruption that that

  if you allow in i think is radioactive

  and it's those lips that little

  corruption of well I said I wasn't going

  to run negative but everybody's telling

  me I have to and here's an opportunity

  to kick a guy and he ok right

  the little corruption of like well I'm

  i'm meeting a group of african-american

  business owners and so i'm going to

  taylor- speech to just be about issues

  that i know they care about and not be

  about the issues that are really

  motivating my campaign not to say that

  those are different but just that you

  know that that pandering that everybody

  expects when I go when I went in to meet

  with the Union people like one of them

  asked me if I it was a member of the

  Union and I actually have a application

  for the Musicians Union so you're

  meeting them on their turf

  it's not like it's not like they're

  coming your your meeting at denny's or

  something like you're going in like they

  must have every expectation that you're

  going to say all the right things

  yeah and oh but this is the thing six

  times a day you meet six different

  groups of people every one of them wants

  you to tell them what they want to hear


  if you do a little by little you are

  letting corruption in and that

  corruption becomes radioactive so when I

  met with the Chamber of Commerce perfect

  you know the opportunity to go in there

  and say listen I will do whatever you

  say is that that's a that's a very

  powerful um give her the business

  friendly vibe

  yeah that's a very powerful impulse

  right because you want to please people

  and their then they want you to try and

  please them and their powerful and you

  want their help

  so to do what I did which is to go in

  and say listen you're never going to

  endorse me and that's fine but you know

  if I'm on city council we're going to

  find a way to work together so anyway

  peace out and and to you know into 10 to

  say truthfully like you guys are one of

  the most liberal uh chambers of commerce

  in America but still your chamber of

  commerce yeah right and and if you know

  if if you are on the seattle city

  council and you believe that the Chamber

  of Commerce is your constituents see

  here the your entire constituency that

  you're missing you're missing a big part

  of what your job is

  and it's like it's almost like any group

  you meet with keep putting these

  Christian terms but it's almost like

  yeah you could think of in terms of like

  what they consider a big win but I think

  about like like how you can tell people

  are different

  it comes down to like what they consider

  good news is one way to look at it right

  and for them good news in that case

  might be something as simple as well

  John roddick is clearly here to play

  ball with us we don't even all we need

  to know to get started is that disguise

  like a minimal to do not just working

  with us but to potentially you know I

  mean like that that's the right there

  you have good news would be somebody who

  throws all the right shapes about how

  that relationship is going to be in the

  future and to to basically give up the

  I'd give the idea that like whatever you

  guys want is going to probably mostly be

  okay what's crazy to me is

  that no 1i have met you know and the

  thing is I'm not really interacting with

  voters you know I'm this whole process

  is just going to meetings with these

  with labor groups democratic groups

  business groups and not a single hole

  one of these groups with the exception

  of the Sierra Club is really very

  interested in someone from outside the

  system coming in with some fresh ideas

  that is not what anybody cares about and

  in a min at eighty-five percent of those

  situations including very liberal

  progressive groups they do not want to

  hear that they want to hear that you're

  gonna do what you're gonna do so what

  they want reliably like imagine if you

  work if imagine if you work in a walmart

  and a job enough for an assistant

  manager like what you want somebody

  who's like fresh blood like no you want

  somebody who's been an assistant manager

  at successful walmart right you want

  somebody's gonna come in and already

  knows how the how the business operates

  and is already you know I was a

  compromise but it's already familiar

  with with as we say how it really works

  that is the that is absolutely true and

  that is what is crazy because the

  perception of being on the seattle city

  council is effectively that it is

  equivalent to being the assistant

  manager of Walmart and that it has a

  more-or-less the same skill sets and in

  going into the race and and it's harder

  for me to maintain now but I still do

  believe it that that is a terrible way

  to elect somebody to public office that

  that the job is not at all like being an

  assistant manager of Walmart and the

  fact that there's so much energy a

  devoted at this at the start of a

  campaign to win knowing out all the

  people who don't understand that that

  all these groups do believe that that is

  what the job is

  you know like that is that is a process

  that is you know that creates the

  political world that we see that we that

  we load right you do not want an

  assistant manager in this job

  you do want somebody that you don't know

  what they're going to do you know and

  and the idea that that that what you

  want in public office is somebody who is

  dependable and consistent is going to

  get you

  it's you're gonna get there with the

  results that we so often see which is

  that the laws are made by people with no

  imagination who have allegiance to the

  people that put them there and but

  running against that right right right

  requires that you reach out to to the to

  the voters and so far and what makes me

  feel so lonely

  is that the process you don't the

  process of running for office is

  actually um is actually a process of

  courting all these groups of people who

  claim to be intermediaries between you

  and the voters and if you had $1000000

  to run your own campaign you could

  sidestep the whole process and just from

  take out 50 TV commercials a day and

  just say hello voters and you can hire

  the Goodyear blimp to us right now only

  paper paper the waterfront right but not

  having those resources you know you do

  count on the King County Democrats and

  you do count on the chamber of commerce

  to help you reach people and and they

  have a they have a vested interest in

  saying you know it's saying as I've

  heard people say under their breath like

  it works seven you know it works have a

  dumb candidate with a smart staff that


  it's been proved over and over dumb

  candidate smart staff that's a workable

  arrangement smart candidate starts to

  get really problematic and the smarter

  they are the worse it is for the system

  i was on talking the other night was

  people on Twitter about Roger Ebert and

  the way that Roger Ebert would review

  movies and I could never

  remember this exact phrase but he said

  something really interesting a long time

  ago about I feel like he said something

  along the lines of that you know in

  addressing how its people say to him

  like how could you give this really

  weird ashlock e horror movie 3 stars

  well you give this very serious

  historical documentary whatever 3 stars

  his publisher movie 3 stars were like

  how could even make any sense and he had

  a very articulate response to it there

  was something something along the lines

  of that when he watches a movie one of

  the first things he looks at is whether

  they achieve their intentions like it

  isn't you know the thing is I'm not

  going to give this one star just because

  it's a it's a schlocky horror movie i'll

  give this one start because was an

  unsuccessful rocky horror movie so I can

  never find that exactly but somebody did

  send me this one quote I don't know why

  feels remain here it's what is what

  we're not Roger ever actually called

  Ebert's law he said it's not what the

  movie is about but how it is about it

  which fills a somehow really germane

  here for like you know it isn't just

  that you come up with some list of

  things you've thought of to say that

  people will agree with it's a question

  of how how you will govern that it is

  different it's fundamentally do that it

  sounds like a like a distinction without

  a difference but the way that you are

  going to conduct yourself in the way you

  think about with what new data and my

  god we haven't really talked much about

  time no matter what your ambitions are

  like you're constantly the clock ticking

  all the time

  yeah for everything you want to do if

  you had a limited time you can pull off

  all kinds of stuff but even the deals

  you can negotiate with people the

  contracts that are involved in things

  like all those things have dates on them

  and you're always dealing with multiples

  of them at the same time so regardless

  of how good your intentions are and how

  long your list of good ideas is it

  really comes down to that doesn't come

  down to like how you will govern how you

  will think differently about this

  well I'm this is that this is the rub

  right because it turns out that this is

  the system and actually it doesn't

  matter that I'm running it doesn't

  matter if I'm smart and running outside

  the system if I cannot master the system

  then I have failed

  categorically well you know like not not

  categorically there is a way to run for

  office where you are that the principal

  character who hasn't no intention of

  getting elected but is running just to

  raise awareness or running to just

  beyond the change the agenda of what

  people talk about yeah right i mean you

  can do that but to to run for office

  with the intention of winning you have

  to figure out a way to a and it isn't

  you know like this is the this is the

  big question can you figure out a way to

  play the game as it is actually played

  and also maintain not just the lion's

  share of your integrity and that's the

  you know that's the challenge and i

  think i can I just you know I need more


  right and I and so so that's my weak

  right now right I need to go out into my

  week and say to the people who are

  helping me I need more help and i don't

  i don't i'm not mad at anybody I don't

  blame anybody but but i can maintain my

  integrity but if I do I i'm not going to

  get all these i'm not going to get all

  these things done and if I get all these

  things done in order to maintain my

  integrity i need you know I need a I

  need more than a hug right I need like I

  need people that believe in me that are

  that are cheering well you know not to

  make it too real and forgive me for for

  popping this but like you know this will

  go out today what would you are if

  you're there if it still if the listener

  they want to give you a hug or more what

  would help right now


  you know the thing is like on Twitter

  people give me a lot of support and

  people are very supportive of my

  apologies that was a dumb question

  no no it's it's it's good i mean the I

  mean honestly I'm struggling I i strive

  I I raised a lot of money at first and

  everybody said always raising a lot of

  money is great and now i'm struggling to

  raise money and that looks bad because

  it seems like my support has evaporated

  and so anybody that wants to can go to

  or any American rather than once you can

  go to vote Roderick dot-com and donate

  money to the campaign if they have some

  lying around that that always helps but

  also like I need I need research done

  and you know help like riding position

  papers and I know there are a lot of

  researchers and writers out there

  I just don't know how to tap them right

  in without having a new job of

  interviewing people for a job

  yeah right and just you know there are

  there a lot of people who listen who are

  like I would love to write up a

  transportation piece on gondolas and

  it's like I actually need one of those

  but but a like getting it all the gay

  understanding what i need written and

  how I need it written and how I need to

  then actually write it myself is you

  know it's a it's a major energy

  um you know it would take up all my

  energy if I weren't also going to six

  meetings that right right right this is

  the bottom right now so you know I I

  know everybody wants to to be engaged in

  it and I want that too and i think the

  biggest problem is I don't have a

  gatekeeper I do have a campaign manager

  who is scheduling me in the six meetings

  a day but I don't have a creative Tsar

  her somebody who's next to me and who is

  actually thinking about the the positive

  aspect of the campaign actually not

  being up

  the brain I mean somebody and not just a

  whiteboard but somebody who can be there

  too to be that other face in the mirror

  in some ways right somebody else you

  could talk to about these things help

  you remember where that thread got


  how to pick it up and then how to evolve

  as this stuff goes along right now

  that's not what I campaign manager the

  campaign managers more like functional

  campaign-related getting elected stuff

  exactly got stuff on the calendar get

  the phone calls made and yeah what I

  need I need three means right I need to

  me that's like you just go home and

  write every right all your crazy shit

  down and edit it and get it so that

  sounds reasonable

  alright i will be out going to these

  meetings and shaking people's hands and

  kissing babies and then the third me

  will be eating a sandwich in the bathtub

  and getting all the time he needs you

  know walking around the garden in a

  bathrobe swinging a seminar and if the

  three of those three guys could you know

  I could to partner up with three wise

  men the three three wise men right

  because you know they're like definitely

  standards in my neighborhood have

  declined although I have to say did I

  tell you that Gary I went out and yelled

  at Gary did anyone bring it up because I

  know that that's not really i would love

  an update it sounds like you you have a

  come-to-jesus meeting with it so it was

  a warm night Gary standing outside of

  his way and it wasn't all the van is

  still there and still there Gary

  standing outside of his band two o'clock

  in the morning

  yelling into his phone about how the

  country is an obamanation abomination

  that's pretty clever i was that I didn't

  know he had no I'm I didn't know he had

  it in him

  I'm not sure I heard that before it's

  pretty good and about the fourth or

  fifth time he says it loud I'm like I'm

  in bed and I'm like all right I've just

  I've had it and I got up and I put on my

  bathrobe and I storm across the street

  and he's standing there in the dark

  behind the final oral hedge yelling into

  his phone and I said god damn it Gary

  and he shocked and turns and I said

  I am sick of it I'm city you i'm sixty

  you over here yelling in your phone i'm

  sixty you living in the front yard of my

  neighbor's house

  I'm sicky you drunk son of a bitch I got

  a little kid over here and you're out

  here yelling about obamanation I am done

  I am done with you Gary and Gary goes

  blue and I said Gary you don't even know

  my name do you

  you do not even know my name and he said

  Jeff and I proceeded to read him the

  riot act for 20 minutes he picked me

  picked the wrong I just had I just I was

  done I I don't know why he did he pick

  the right this was just that this was

  the wrong week to quit sniffing glue and


  I dressed him up and down I said Carrie

  you have met me 40 times and the reason

  you don't remember my name is that your

  goddamn alcoholic and if you don't

  figure out a way to quit drinking and

  get your shit together you can spend the

  rest of your life living in this van and

  that is no way for a man to live

  I said what what was your birthday kara

  and he was like oh 1968 and i was like i

  was born in 1968 you and me Gary where

  the same fucking age and I used to be a

  dumb alcoholic living in a van it wasn't

  even my van and I don't even want to

  know if this is your van you need to get

  and he was like I tried to quit drinking

  a thousand times and I was like you know

  what thousand-and-one tried a thousand

  and one x Gary because two o'clock in

  the morning out here living in this man

  how long have you been living in this

  pan how long have you been living in the

  front yard of my neighbor's house and I

  did I never let him get a word in

  I just fucking unloaded and at the end i

  was holding him and petting his hair

  whoa and saying Gary you can do it you

  can change your life you can get you can

  get through this and get on get on down

  the road you can get your kids back

  you just have to

  can take the first step and he's

  blubbering and I said but in the

  meantime Gary fucking stop yelling about

  obama in the middle of a goddamn night

  across the street from my house if

  you're going to live in your band live

  in your fucking van with the door closed

  quietly so it's on a few days later so

  six days later he come

  I park the car get out of the car and

  he's standing there with his hat

  actually in his hands and he walks

  across the street he goes hey John I'm

  like hi Gary because i remember your

  name i was like i'm glad he said I

  reason I called you Jeff was because my

  best friend's name is Jeff I was like

  I'm not interested Gary and he said

  listen ever since our talk three days

  ago I haven't had a single drink and I

  said I was six days ago carrie he's like

  I have six yes six days ago anyway i

  mean when i drink i'm an asshole I was

  like yes scary you are an asshole when

  you drink but like me you are also an

  asshole when you don't drink