July 27, 2020
EP. 225 — Protesting Magician In Portland
A magician explains why she doesn’t like other magicians and describes what it’s been like attending protests in Portland. She and Chris also unpack her first crush as a kid: Encyclopedia Brown.
225 — Protesting Magician In Portland
[00:00:05] CHRIS: Hello to everybody who’s juggling a lot right now. It’s Beautiful Anonymous. One hour. One phone call. No names. No holds barred.
[00:00:18] THEME MUSIC: I’d rather go one-on-one. I think it’ll be more fun and I’ll get to know you and you’ll get to know me.
[00:00:28] CHRIS: Hi everybody, Chris Gethard here. Welcome to another episode of Beautiful Anonymous, the show where we let you talk in your terms, nobody else gets to define your story. You define your story around here. And I do my best to sit back and listen and try not to talk too much, even though I often fail at that, and also I try to make a joke or two along the way. Everybody who’s been commenting on episodes, I really appreciate it.
[00:00:55] One thing that was really cool is: last episode a lot of people responded to the song I played – a bunch of people going ‘oh that Bob Dylan song’, and it led to this discussion in the Facebook group – I said, you know, somebody had put up a post about the song. I said, ‘I’d love to see links to your favorite protest songs from over the years’. And we all shared a bunch of music that had an edge where it’s like, oh, it’s not just for stuff right now, it’s stuff going back to the 30s and union songs. It was cool. It was cool. Thanks to everybody who participated in that. Beautiful Anonymous – the community on Facebook. This week’s episode, I got to tell ya, I needed this one. It’s a fun one and I needed a fun one. But in a very 2020 way, nothing’s going to be fun start to finish. Not in 2020. Listen, we spend a whole lot of time in this episode giggling about some children’s books and specifically Encyclopedia Brown. If you remember Encyclopedia Brown from when you grew up and it was a lot of fun. And then we talk about our callers profession, which is really fascinating. And then the caller lives in Portland and we’re taping this on July 24th, 2020. And I think and anybody who’s looked at the news for five seconds knows that there’s real stuff going down in Portland and our caller has been there and been affected by it. So last ten minutes or so of the call we really start to hear what that’s like to be on the ground in the middle of it. So. I think this call has a lot go into it. I think you’re going to laugh pretty hard. I think it’s going to be eye opening. And you know, it’s one thing that I found myself venting is like, man, 2020 – one of the things that’s so maddening about it is that you can’t talk for an hour without realizing that everyone has a personal connection to the upheaval right now. And it’s maddening and it’s wild. And we talk about that in the call. Also, the caller corrects me on pronouns during the course of this episode. I thank them for that. And I learn, as I hope we all do. So apologies again on that one. Enjoy the call.
[00:03:06] PHONE ROBOT: Thank you for calling Beautiful Anonymous, a beeping noise will indicate when you are on the show with the host. [Beep]
[00:03:14] CHRIS: Hello?
[00:03:14] CALLER: Hello. Hey, how are you?
[00:03:22] CHRIS: Overall, doing decent. I’m doing pretty decent. Yeah, how about you?
[00:03:27] CALLER: Pretty, pretty decent as well. Are we on the thing? We’re doing the thing?
[00:03:31] CHRIS: This is the thing. We’re doing the thing.
[00:03:33] CALLER: Fantastic. I’ve been listening since the beginning and been calling in since the beginning. And this is really cool. Yeah. I’ll just say that, I’ll just start with that.
[00:03:43] CHRIS: Well can I say thank you. And can I say that… I want to say that I appreciate all our listeners and there’s people who found it along the way, and that’s amazing. But there are also still so many people that listened to that first episode who are still here. And that’s – I can’t tell you how cool that feels. So thank you for being one of them.
[00:04:03] CALLER: Oh, you’re very welcome. No, that is cool. On that train of thought too, I was just jamming out to Mount Blanc, on your waiting list, which we could just talk about Mount Blanc for a whole hour and I’d be happy. Erm not really. But yeah, go listen to Mount Blanc people like you just said the…
[00:04:29] CHRIS: Now, I’ll also say this – Mount’s one of the punky artists that has come up on the show that I think the listeners might actually enjoy the vibe of Mount Blanc. Yeah, I think some of that – a lot of our BA listeners just go ‘Gethard with the punk stuff? I appreciate your passion, but it’s not my thing’. Mount Blanc you might actually like. You might. Especially the older albums that are just sort of folk and acoustic. They’re awesome.
[00:04:57] CALLER: For sure. That’s the stuff I’m into. But wow, my heart is beating fast. Let’s see, now there’s that… oh one more thing I like and this is – I’ve been going to your Wednesday shows on the Zoom. I’ll give you a free plug on your own show for that. Oh yeah, that’s very good. And I’m really enjoying those.
[00:05:27] CHRIS: Yeah, Wednesday nights I go on Twitch and I take a bunch of phone calls and I just started doing a thing where I got a box and if you can guess what’s in the box, you’ll win what’s in the box. And also…
[00:05:39] CALLER: I saw that on Twitter. I missed the last one, but I’m very excited.
[00:05:43] CHRIS: It’s fun and it’s dumb and I’m glad you enjoy it.
[00:05:47] CALLER: We love that. We love the fun and dumb things. That’s what we’re here for, Chris! It’s what we’re here for.
[00:05:52] CHRIS: Gotta provide some distraction in this world.
[00:05:55] CALLER: Yeah, no, we love that. There’s so much – no, it’s funny, I’ve been listening to this a long time and sometimes I’ll be daydreaming or whatever, and then I’ll be like, ‘oh, if I ever got on that show, this is what I’ll say’. And now all those things are leaving my mind. So, yeah, I don’t know. There’s so much to talk about. I’ve been protesting a lot. Have you been protesting at all?
[00:06:23] CHRIS: Well I’ve done what I’d like to think is a good share of it. I moved to the suburbs and not even the suburbs. I’m kind of like in the country, like far out in Jersey, where it’s like sort of suburban, sort of country and just not as many protests out here. So I definitely – it was time for me to leave New York City. I had been there 15 years. Got to take care of Cal. But when I left, one of the big regrets is if I still lived in New York, I know that either myself or Hallie would have been out on the streets every night and taking turns and feel a little bit like…
[00:07:00] CALLER: Right, that’s awesome. You know what, I guess I didn’t catch that. Where did you say you lived? Where do you live now?
[00:07:06] CHRIS: Well, I’m not going to say my actual address!
[00:07:11] CALLER: Oh sorry, sorry. I don’t mean that!
[00:07:13] CHRIS: Yeah, Seven Maple Street…
[00:07:14] CALLER: I thought I just misheard you, that’s why I was asking. My bad. We’ll not dox you on your show.
[00:07:18] CHRIS: I’m in New Jersey. Yes – what’s your Social Security number? Any way you could tell me your mother’s maiden name real quick?
[00:07:29] CALLER: Yeah. I’m sorry. It’s important that I know that before we really get into it.
[00:07:34] CHRIS: No, I think to no one’s surprise, I have wound up back in New Jersey. I understand my own mythology. I understand that I’ve always been a Jersey guy. You know, the options were either New Jersey or Los Angeles. And I think anybody who knows me knows where my priorities lie. And listen, at the end of the day, I’m not trying to be macabre. And I certainly hope this is a long time from now. But if I die anywhere but New Jersey, that’s a shame as far as the story I’ve built with my life. So I’m gonna kick it here someday.
[00:08:08] CALLER: It’d better end there is what you’re saying. If it doesn’t end there, you’ve done something wrong you feel? Or?
[00:08:14] CHRIS: Well, look like The Replacements have that song ‘Alex Chilton’. And they say if he died in Memphis, that’d be cool. And I kind of feel like, come on, man, if I die in Silverlake, who wants that? I got to die in Jersey man, and complete the loop on this story of me trying desperately to be the comedy Springsteen of my home state.
[00:08:43] CALLER: Yeah, I like that. I get that. I don’t feel the same way. I’m good dying anywhere. I don’t feel that… well, I like where I’m from. I’m from Arizona. I think I’m OK – there’s plenty of people in Arizona. I’ll just say that. But I’m from there and I feel no like kinship or like need to go back or die there.
[00:09:08] CHRIS: Sure. To each… and most people leave New Jersey the first chance they get. And I get it. I get it. It is what it is. I get it. Yeah. Arizona. I did shows in Arizona and that’s in the desert, in a way, right?
[00:09:25] CALLER: At the… What’s the big one? The Tempe Improv?
[00:09:28] CHRIS: Mm hmm. And when you walk down the street in Tempe, you walk down that main drag and the businesses at night literally have sprinklers spraying clouds of mist, water.
[00:09:40] CALLER: They do.
[00:09:41] CHRIS: And it’s like at 11:00 at night, you need to stand under water being sprayed at you just to function. And it’s night. The sun isn’t up. It’s wild. So I get it. I get why you’d want a change of pace from that. I understand.
[00:09:56] CALLER: Yeah. No, it’s ridiculous. I live in Portland now and it’s the first – oh I’ve lived a lot of places. Here there’s actually like four seasons for… There it’s just it’s hot and then it’s less hot and then you have to get sprayed by water all the time. Yeah. No it’s just – here to see like stuff change throughout the year is really quite magical and it’s cool. To see like… Well no I just, I walk around all the time and I’m like ‘fuck it’s green’. Like there’s green things all the time, which is cool.
[00:10:28] CHRIS: Yeah. I like it, I like that too. The leaves. It’s like The Ramones said – I just keep quoting bands now. But The Ramones had that song, ‘Danny says’ where they say ‘hanging out in L.A. and there’s nowhere to go. It ain’t Christmas if there ain’t no snow’. I think there’s some truth to that – for me. For me.
[00:10:47] CALLER: That’s good. I like that you’re giving me all sort of music today.
[00:10:53] CHRIS: Oh, yeah. Mount Blanc. We’ve now covered Mount Blanc, The Replacements, The Ramones. I wonder how many other bands we can… you’re in Portland. Big music hub. Also intense, probably the most intense place in America to be protesting right now. I hope you’re OK.
[00:11:08] CALLER: True. Yeah, no staying safe. It’s been pretty good. Before we move on and we should move on to protests, I said I’ll just throw out. I saw The Mountain Goats here last year. I like The Mountain Goats. I’ll just throw The Mountain Goats in there as we were talking about bands.
[00:11:23] CHRIS: Great band. Well, listen, we’ve been quoting – well we didn’t quote Mount Blanc, but we’ve quoted The Replacements and The Ramones. So let me put this out here. Here’s a Mountain Goats line that – if anybody doesn’t know the Mountain Goats, that’s a band any listener to Beautiful Anonymous would like. That’s a band everybody would like. And here’s one of the things that I think we all have to think about in 2020. ‘I am going to make it through this year. If it kills me’.
[00:11:48] CALLER: ‘If it kills me’.
[00:11:50] CHRIS: That song has never felt more true than right now, man.
[00:11:54] CALLER: Yeah, yeah. That’s kind of a constant. Yeah. I feel like that song will never not be good. That’s a good one. But yeah, I saw them at the Crescent Ballroom which is here, but it really surprised me cos there’s also the Crescent Ballroom in Arizona and I didn’t know that there’s, uh, I didn’t know that. And there’s this really old theater here in the Portland.
[00:12:24] CHRIS: Is it a franchise? Shared owners? Or just same name?
[00:12:27] CALLER: I – somebody said like sisters? Like I don’t know about shared owners, but they’re somehow related, which would make sense they were the same. Maybe I shouldn’t have brought it up because I don’t know that much about it.
[00:12:39] CHRIS: That’s okay. You don’t have to be encyclopedic.
[00:12:43] CALLER: Yeah, true. I’ve been reading – have you read… this is going to sound random but you just reminded me of this. I’m rereading the Encyclopedia Brown books right now.
[00:12:56] CHRIS: Really?
[00:12:57] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:12:59] CHRIS: Can I ask how old you are?
[00:13:02] CALLER: I am – well I just turned twenty six. I was just going to say twenty five, but I just turned twenty six. Yeah.
[00:13:07] CHRIS: And if I remember right I was reading Encyclopedia Brown around the age of probably like six to nine. Is that about right, as far as the reading level? Maybe a little older? Nine to 11?
[00:13:16] CALLER: Right, right. They’re very kiddish, but they’re more like I mean, I’m going back to their own mystery for the people who haven’t read them or know what the fuck I’m talking about there. Yeah, they’re like little mystery novels, but there’s like 10 chapters in there or whatever. There’s ten little mysteries and going through, I mean, there’s some – it’s like you’re always so mad at whatever the mystery is. And I can’t remember, I’ve seen so many audiobooks and I’m just consuming every audiobook I can think of. And now I’m just on the Encyclopedia Brown straight.
[00:13:56] CHRIS: So wait, you’re not even reading them. You’re listening to audiobooks of Encyclopedia Brown.
[00:14:01] CALLER: Yes, yes, yes, yes.
[00:14:06] CHRIS: What are you even talking about right now?
[00:14:10] CALLER: I don’t know how we got here. But, yeah, no, it’s great. I’m like two or three in. It’s – I don’t know… I hate them and they’re dumb, but also I love them.
[00:14:22] CHRIS: Well, I remember with Encyclopedia Brown because you read – I read them as a kid and when you’re a kid, you’re trying to solve the mysteries before they reveal it right at the end of the chapter. And I remember so distinctly. Because I remember a couple, like I remember one where it was like some guy claimed like he was running and took something out of his pocket, Encyclopedia Brown said, ‘well, are you – It was in his left pocket, but you’re right handed. You can’t reach into your left pocket with your right hand while you’re running. It’s impossible. Mystery solved’. Another one that was like somebody got in a fight and Encyclopedia Brown realized, oh, no, you staged that fight to impress people because you put your glasses in your pocket and the person knew, and pushed you, but only with one hand on the other side. And I remember reading them and probably about six months into reading Encyclopedia Brown books, I remember thinking, ‘man. If this kid was in my class, I would hate him’. Like, if this was a person in my real life, if this was a kid I knew in my neighborhood or at the playground, I’d hate this little fucking know it all. Sorry Sally. I hate, you know, the little know it all. Always telling everybody how everything works. I hate him. He’s like a snitch. He’s like a snitch know it all.
[00:15:35] CALLER: You would be one of the tigers. You would be one of the bullies in the books and you would be like fuck this guy, we need to get rid of this guy.
[00:15:42] CHRIS: Well I’d like to think that I never – every kid I, like, I think back and I’m like, you know, every kid has moments where they’re shitty to other kids. But I don’t think I was ever a bully. I think I had bad days where I…
[00:15:55] CALLER: I wasn’t calling you out or accusing you. I was just trying to make a reference, literally just wanted to say…
[00:16:05] CHRIS: I mean, I think like if we were playing stickball in the Our Lady of Lourdes parking lot and Encyclopedia Brown showed up, I think we’d all quickly find an excuse to go home. I think that’s how he would have treated in my neighborhood. Other kids in my neighborhood would have actively beat up Encyclopedia Brown. I would have been like, ‘I got a headache. I’m gonna split’. Who wants to hang out with some kid who’s always like, ‘I see right through your roos, sir’. Although, this is actually a friend of mine and who I actually greatly respect and I think his show is great, but I actually realize, you know, that show Adam Ruins Everything on my old network?
[00:16:46] CALLER: I love that show.
[00:16:47] CHRIS: I do, too. He’s kind of…
[00:16:48] CALLER: Oh no, that’s the same kind of thing.
[00:16:50] CHRIS: He’s kind of like a grown up Encyclopedia Brown, but his whole bit is he knows he’s great with it like he is a writer on that show, that he’s like, he gets it. He’s a self-aware Encyclopedia Brown.
[00:17:00] CALLER: I think he makes that noise a lot, actually – Mmmhmmhmm. It’s probably common.
[00:17:04] CHRIS: I think it’s fair to say, Adam Conover, from Adam Ruins Everything is a grown up, self-aware Encyclopedia Brown with a sense of humor about the Encyclopedia Brown-ness of it all.
[00:1717] CALLER: There you go.
[00:17:18] CHRIS: Oh, I needed this talk today, my friend. I got to tell you, I’ve been so stressed out and riddled with anxiety, as we all have, and man did I just need to talk Encyclopedia Brown.
[00:17:30] CALLER: It’s good. Well, good. Yeah, no, it is funny I keep thinking about what you said about the – because I’m trying to remember I don’t think I’ve gotten to that book yet. But I remember what you’re talking about when he has like the hand in his pocket. A lot of them are like that where they’re like, they’re solutions but they’re also like is that really? Like you said with the glasses, well he could have just, you know, just taken off his glasses because, you know, it’s a fight and that’s what you do. I don’t know. It’s the one in the first book, it’s this thing with… they stabbed… so all the Tigers gang, they’re trying to find who stole a bunch of stuff and then stabbed a watermelon in the grocery store…
[00:18:17] CHRIS: Yeah. Bad ass.
[00:18:18] CALLER: …Which is like the big image that I kept with me from being a kid. I was like, oh I remember this because there’s like a knife in – a pocket knife in a watermelon at this grocery store. And they’re like, ‘who’s knife is it in the grocery store guys?’ Trying to figure it out. And then they all – I can’t remember the solution. But it’s basically like it’s something to do with the… I actually I might have forgot, but the thing is, it’s dumb. It’s dumb. It’s like, you know, it’s like a left handed knife or something and or. Oh no. That’s what it was! He says it’s the… one of the guys is like, ‘oh that’s a six inch knife in there’ or something. And they haven’t pulled the blade out and that’s what it is. It’s that he knew the length of the knife.
[00:19:07] CHRIS: Yeah. It’s always stuff like that. It’s always stuff like that. Like so many of Encyclopedia Brown solutions come down to like ‘Wait! No one’s said that yet. How did you know?’ It’s like you’re just a good listener Encyclopedia Brown. Also, honestly, if any of us grew up in that town, the Tigers gang sounds funny and cool. That’s absolutely something me and my friends would have done as kids. ‘Hey, let’s sneak into the store and jam a knife into a watermelon and see if anybody notices. Hahaha’. That’s cool.
[00:19:35] CALLER: Right. I completely I completely agree.
[00:19:38] CHRIS: Those kids sound funny and cool.
[00:19:41] CALLER: Right. Besides, besides all the bullying stuff, you take all the bullying stuff out, all the things that they do is definitely something I was up to as well.
[00:19:49] CHRIS: Yeah, if they weren’t bullies, they’d just be like a lovable version of Jackass, like pulling pranks and stunts.
[00:19:56] CALLER: The Tigers, the stunt show.
[00:19:59] CHRIS: Imagine that. Imagine if Adam Ruins Everything, showed up in Jackass and like buzz-killed the stunts. That’s what Encyclopedia Brown effectively is. Encyclopedia Brown! Get out of here you know it all. Get out of here you know it all. And that’s coming from me. I was like a kid with glasses who had an insanely good ability to recall information. And even I was like, man, Encyclopedia Brown, is a snitch man. He’s a backup.
[00:20:30] CALLER: I’ve never had that position on it until reading it now. Now where I’m like, fuck, just getting fuck it! This whole like I’m – his dad’s like… the whole thing is his dad’s a cop and I don’t know, it’s just like it’s and a lot of times he’s telling his dad the solutions to whatever the murder is at the dinner table. And it’s just a very strange… and they’re old books for those of you who haven’t read them. But there is Scholastics like, I don’t know, they ghostwrote them or something because I was reading both the older ones and the new ones simultaneously. But there’s a lot of, one of my first… Oh, I should say I have a very, very deep voice, but I go by she/her and they/them pronouns. Throwing that out there.
[00:21:27] CHRIS: Oh I’ll stop saying man and dude all the time. Sorry about that.
[00:21:29] CALLER: No, you’re good. I should have said something earlier so we didn’t have that. Yeah, you’re fine.
[00:21:34] CHRIS: No, I should ask. You know, maybe we can make a note? You know what we should do this: institute an official policy on Beautiful Anonymous that we probably should have thought of a while ago, but everybody has heard – we make mistakes on this show and we learn to grow over time. Maybe we should just take a note that in the call screening we ask, what’s the pronouns here?
[00:21:55] CALLER: Hey, that’d be really cool.
[00:21:57] CHRIS: Right? Just keep it simple.
[00:21:58] CALLER: That’d be really cool.
[00:21:59] CHRIS: Very, very sorry that I mis-gendered you.
[00:22:01] CALLER: No, don’t apologize. You’re good. You’re good. I should have brought it up earlier. Yeah, no, I was just going to say: so originally I, well, I thought I was gay for most of my life and. Well that’s not true. But it was very – I grew up like very conservative evangelical Christian in Arizona at these big megachurches in Arizona but it did it. So when I was a kid and all that stuff is very, very much repressed and very much like, I don’t know, like not even wanting to admit or put words to it. Like being gay or trans or anything like that was the worst possible thing you could be. But 100 percent there’s like a Red Encyclopedia Brown cover. And that was one of the – just the boy on that was like probably I’m pretty sure my first gay crush was this guy. Just not even like the character Encyclopedia Brown, whoever the fucking boy they had on the cover of the book when I was like in second grade. I was like, ‘oh, yeah, boys’.
[00:23:12] [AD BREAK]
[00:23:52] CHRIS: Was it a photo or a drawing?
[00:23:56] CALLER: Yeah, it’s a really… it’s a red… It’s one of the first books I think. It’s a photo. And he’s just kind of like, he has a sign that I think says Encyclopedia Brown on. And he’s like mid stride. And for whatever reasons, I was like, ‘yes, this is it’.
[00:24:15] CHRIS: Wow. So you…
[00:24:17] And do you – how would you phrase it? Because would you say you’re trans? Fluid? Non binary I know?
[00:24:24] CALLER: Yes.
[00:24:25] CHRIS: So trans?
[00:24:27] CALLER: Well yes. So trans, non-binary – both those labels are good. I don’t know, it’s very – I’m still figuring it out and honestly it’s confusing but the blanket term trans definitely works.
[00:24:41] CHRIS: So you – and you can trace this back to when you were seven or eight years old and saw the cover of an Encyclopedia Brown book?
[00:24:53] CALLER: Well, I could trace liking guys back. I should say yeah, so I’m male to female. MTF. Male to female. Deep voice. Haven’t done voice training yet, but it’s definitely trans is how I would probably describe myself. But I can trace liking boys and kind of realizing something was different and something was, in my terminology then, that something was wrong. That something was broken then.
[00:25:25] CHRIS: Right. The terminology that hopefully is changing more and more as we move forward. So but the tiny snowball that was placed at the top of the hill that has rolled and grown and gained momentum, started with the cover of Encyclopedia Brown.
[00:25:45] CALLER: Perhaps! I mean, that’s just that’s a memory that sticks out. And I think when I was rereading them the other day, I was like, oh, fuck, I think this is the first boy I can think of’. One of my friends, one of my queer friends…
[00:25:59] CHRIS: Ah I see it, I Google image searched. It comes up right away. Have you searched it?
[00:26:05] CALLER: I figured. It would be one of the – I was like, I wanted to give you enough hints that you’d know what I was talking about if you wanted to Google search it.
[00:26:11] CHRIS: Let’s play a game because you mentioned red cover, mid stride. And absolutely see it – has to be the one you’re talking about. Now did you mention that the boy on the cover is holding a sign?
[00:26:24] CALLER: I did. I did. I think it’s cardboard.
[00:26:27] CHRIS: And do you remember what it said? Have you said what it says?
[00:26:30] CALLER: I was having trouble. I can’t remember if the – this is fun – I can’t remember if the title is on the cover or if it’s… No, it’s just a five cent thing, isn’t it? It’s just like something ‘solve a mystery five cents’ or something. Is that what it is? It’s just a sign that he’s – I’m guessing, I don’t know. What is it?
[00:26:48] CHRIS: If I have found the right cover, it says ‘boy detective’.
[00:26:54] CALLER: Ah, it doesn’t say – yeah that makes sense. I think, so I think it’s that the first book is just called Boy Detective maybe or is there another title to that?
[00:27:01] CHRIS: It says Encyclopedia Brown at the top in a yellow font. And then there’s a boy mid stride, like you said, blue jeans. He’s very confident. He has sandy brown hair. And he is kind of looking knowingly at the camera, holding a sign that on the – he’s holding it with his right arm and on the left side of the cover it says ‘boy’, then it’s his arm. Then on the right side it says ‘Detective’. Which I have to say I am not shocked that for someone who is figuring out their sexuality that this might be… there is something about this cover that I have to say, it’s not a shocking thing that this is the image that that got the gears turning.
[00:27:51] CALLER: Right. Well, yeah, it’s a you know, it’s like a conventionally attractive, you know, boy. I don’t know. It’s a blond boy. Like, it’s nothing special. But, yeah, definitely. Somebody a Twitter thread the other day of like of just like images from your childhood that for queer people like were just like the thing. And I think I posted that. I can’t remember, but I don’t know. It’s weird looking back at that stuff because it’s, I don’t know, you’re older and it feels like kind of creepy to be like this is an attractive person when it’s a child. And I don’t know. It’s just so weird. It’s weird territory.
[00:28:29] CHRIS: Well, I mean, even I as I was saying that and I’m like, ‘oh, I get it’. But let’s be clear. I don’t think either of us are saying, oh, that’s a hot kid. I think what we’re saying is when you’re young it’s probably around second, third, fourth grade that you start to notice things like that and start to wonder about them. And it’s not shocking that at that age, that book might be one that gave you pause. That’s what we’re saying. Let’s be clear. In no way do I want it to feel like I at the age of 40, am looking at the cover of a children’s book and going, ‘hubba hubba’. Not at all. Not at all. Just to reiterate my point. Reiterating my point: I could see being a young person, looking at that cover and going, ‘wait, what’s this feeling I’m having?’ I get that. I get that. It’s a weirdly weirdly posed eye contact with the camera for the cover of an Encyclopedia Brown book. If anyone out there looks it up, it comes up. It’s one of… when you type Encyclopedia Brown in Google search, it’s right there and you’ll go ‘Yes, I can see this’. Strangely it has more of an advertising feel.
[00:29:34] CALLER: Right. Well no, and it could have been – now that you just said that and I was like, I wonder if they shot that for the book or if they just had a bunch of photos and were like ‘oh fine, this is Encyclopedia Brown now’.
[00:29:48] CHRIS: I could see it. I could see it.
[00:29:51] CALLER: I’m curious what that kids doing. I don’t know all that stuff is interesting to me, like all the child actor stuff. I don’t know, it’s kind of funny.
[00:30:02] CHRIS: Yeah. It’s quite a strange scene…
[00:30:08] CALLER: That would be a good question for you! You have a child and has any part of you thought, ‘oh, we should put her on – we should go in the shoots and stuff’?
[00:30:17] CHRIS: Well, I got to say, when he was born, pretty much as soon as people started seeing pictures of this kid, they were going, ‘oh, my God, he’s cute’ and people going, ‘I’m not just saying it, this is a cute child’. People going ‘he looks like the Gerber baby’. He’s got these dimples and his blue eyes and his long eyelashes. And people are flipping out and to the point where we lived in a building in Queens where there was just randomly like seven or eight babies born within a year of each other, there was just this little mini baby boom in my building in Queens and one day a bunch of us were all outside in the building’s garden. It was garden apartments. And this guy walked up and he was visiting his sister. His sister had one of these babies. And the guy walks up and goes, ‘that baby’s the cutest one’. And he points at Cal and everybody stop because it’s like you’re ranking the babies and one of them is your niece. And he’s like, ‘yeah, that one’s the cutest one, man, that’s crazy how cute that baby is’. And people suggested, ‘hey, maybe you should try to get this baby into some commercials, get his college fund going. You’re an actor. You know your agents. Maybe they can help’. And I’m going, now you know what? It’s very, very important to me that my son grows up and knows from the start that we prioritized him making his own choices in life and I actually have a great fear that, you know, I’ve done a lot of strange art and a lot of cool art, but also a lot of stuff to explain. And I don’t want him to feel – I want him to be able to make his own decisions about how he feels about that side of his life. And his mother is an artist too. I want him to be able to decide that, I don’t want him to get put into that. So you can hear, I’ve thought long and hard about it. It’s a confusing thing because we could have made bank on this kid. He’s really cute.
[00:32:30] CALLER: No, I bet that’s a thing that a lot of artists are thinking about. I don’t know. Yeah, no, I could definitely hear that that’s a thing that you considered a lot. Um, well, that’s you. So I’m like an artist, creative person. And for me, looking like – have you ever thought like, ‘oh, I wish I would have gotten into this shit earlier’, like if you wish…Have you been like, oh, I wish like… I feel like I want to put it on my kid, if I had a kid. But also I wish my parents would have earlier and we did a little bit, but I wish there would have been like, yeah go, let’s go audition for 12 movies and see what happens. I kind of find myself daydreaming about that sometimes.
[00:33:13] CHRIS: Well, it’s interesting because it’s really just a question. But, you know, I guess what it was, was I grew up in a neighborhood where the idea of being an artist was not really a thing. That wasn’t realistic.
[00:33:29] CALLER: Right.
[00:33:29] CHRIS: Nobody I knew was an artist growing up and there were a few actors with roots in my hometown, but they all really– outside of one, that guy, Leo Fitzpatrick, he was on ‘The Wire’, he was the main character in ‘Kids’. He grew up kind of in a neighborhood connected to mine. But that felt so crazy that he went – he was just a skater kid, and then this guy put him in a movie full of all these real-life skater kids. It just felt so far away, so I guess that when I was in middle school and did the school play and it kind of clearly, like, fired up all these cylinders inside me. I guess that’s the point at which I wish – I could look back then and go, man, I wish, I wish that I had started taking acting classes after school, or I wish I’d looked for, like, community theater to keep doing it more. But it just kind of wasn’t a thing that seemed realistic, and I don’t think, you know, my – I don’t, you know, my mom’s parents were both off-the-boat immigrants. Like, I don’t, I don’t think the arts was really something anybody had time for, so I don’t think anybody knew how to encourage me on that. Now, if Cal gets into the arts, I think I’m now a few generations in, in position to go, oh, you like that? You like music. Well, let’s get you lessons in bass and guitar and drums. See which one sticks. I would be very excited if he wanted to do that, but I don’t want to assume that he will be an artist because it’s a–
[00:35:02] CALLER: Right.
[00:35:03] CHRIS: It’s a – as you know, it’s an exciting and exhilarating and pleasant life, but it’s also, at times, one where you’re not sure where the next gig is coming. What kind of art do you make?
[00:35:17] CALLER: I do, I do magic tricks and I do, like, visual art stuff. I jump around a lot. I went to school for film. But, yeah, no, all sorts of, all sorts of stuff
[00:35:31] CHRIS: Now, wait.
[00:35:33] CALLER: I had something to say to your thing and then I forgot.
[00:35:35] CHRIS: Well, hold on, because I’m – sorry about that, first of all, and if you think of it, feel free to just interrupt me. But I’m instantly, instantly intrigued by something. You did not say you’re a magician. You said you do magic tricks. That seems intentional.
[00:35:51] CALLER: Yeah, no, there’s the word ‘magician’. I don’t know. It’s, I, I should probably– I say ‘tricks’. Everybody has their own. I have a lot of magician friends and I’ve gone to a lot of, like, magician-type events and everybody– and first of all I’ll just say, I personally hate ‘magician’, so anybody can
[00:36:09] CHRIS: What? You hate magicians but you do magic tricks?
[00:36:13] CALLER: I just– yes. That’s, I’m overexaggerating, I have a lot of friends who are magicians who are very nice. But for the most part, I, no, I am, I’m kind of a magician who hates the art form in general and, I don’t know, it’s fun. And then I juggle as well. I don’t want, I have a, we’ll say a friend on here, but I have a friend who I juggle with, and we kind of have a thing together. But I do magic and they juggle, but we’re trying to – well, before this kind of all this, you know, all the corona stuff happened, just like everybody, you know, right now has some sort of change in their life. But we’re like slowly building that and we’ll hopefully continue that after, after this is all over, like all of our live performer friends right now.
[00:37:06] CHRIS: I have a thought.
[00:37:08] CALLER: Yeah?
[00:37:09] CHRIS: It is making, it is making me laugh. I pray that this is not offensive. Can I express this thought to you?
[00:37:18] CALLER: Please.
[00:37:19] CHRIS: Do you see any irony in the fact that you grew up evangelical, you’ve moved to Portland, you’ve gotten away from a conservative place, you’re embracing the fact that you’re trans, you’re accepting yourself, and yet you are still a self-loathing magician? That in a life that’s been all about learning who you are and how to accept it, when, as you said…
[00:37:46] CALLER: And accepting yourself, but still hating the thing that you are.
[00:37:50] CHRIS: Yes, you grew up in a culture that would teach you to, to fear and, and, and feel guilty for who you are on the inside, and now you have– you are living a, a lifestyle of magic tricks that you, you still are kind of falling in that track, just with magic instead of…
[00:38:09] CALLER: No, that’s very, that’s very funny. I have not thought about, I don’t know, it’s… No, that’s, that’s, that’s very funny. ‘Yes’ is my answer to that.
[00:38:22] CHRIS: Now, do you, where do you do the magic and the juggling? So you like in the loop of, like, are you doing, like, theater shows? Are you going to go to the Magic Castle someday? I know that a lot of magicians aim for that.
[00:38:35] CALLER: I was, yeah, I was going to ask if you, if you, if you’ve been? If you, if you know the Castle? Yeah, that’s how I got into it. My, I had a family friend who was on the board of the Castle and we got to go a couple of times when I was a kid and that’s kind of how I got into it. Now? I don’t know, the whole Castle scene is… And there was a time in my life where I would have killed, like, killed to perform there. And now it’s kind of like, I don’t know, it’s the Magic Castle. It’s whatever. It’s still, it’s still kind of cool. I haven’t been in a couple of years, but recently it was kind of interesting, on my – so, so, yes, speaking of the Castle, right when when the protests started in, in L.A., they gave part of their parking lot to the police to use. So there is a big.
[00:39:31] CHRIS: Oh.
[00:39:33] CALLER: Yeah, there was a big uproar about that on all my – I have tons of friends on Facebook that are all magicians – and that, that was the big, kind of, story in the magic, you know, in the magic world. People saying, like, people, like, revoking their memberships to the Magic Castle and people being, like, “what the fuck are you doing?” They put out this big, long statement, which is interesting to see because usually you don’t see… I don’t know, it’s those, those, there’s definitely, like, any art world. Hopefully, my neighbors – I need to move inside. That probably does not sound good.
[00:40:11] CHRIS: Yeah, what’s going on? The fact that you’re in Portland and there’s crashing sounds is very–
[00:40:13] CALLER: It’s just somebody, sorry, somebody mowing their lawn or something.
[00:40:16] CHRIS: Oh, it’s, good, it’s just someone mowing their lawn. Because we haven’t even talked about it yet, but when you hear loud shrieking noises…
[00:40:23] CALLER: Yes.
[00:40:24] CHRIS: …In Portland, right now, let’s be clear, this, we’re–
[00:40:27] CALLER: Yes.
[00:40:28] CHRIS: –taping this on Friday July 24th 2020. There’s literally daily images of federal troops throwing people in vans where you are. I’m hoping that–
[00:40:35] CALLER: Yes.
[00:40:36] CHRIS: I’m glad it’s just a lawnmower. OK, good.
[00:40:39] CALLER: It is a lawnmower. And that was a great way of bringing us back to that, I appreciate that.
[00:40:43] CHRIS: Well, we’ve got to talk about magic for a little while more first. And I do want to get into it.
[00:40:46] CALLER: OK.
[00:40:47] CHRIS: I do.
[00:40:48] CALLER: How’re we doing on, how’re we doing on time? I’d, I’d be really disappointed if all I talked to you about was Encyclopedia Brown.
[00:40:54] CHRIS: Oh my God. It’s so funny, that – listen, we’ve also had, we’ve had a lot of episodes lately that have been, you know, dealing with the upheaval, and I am very proud of that, but I will tell you that it is… I personally really needed 20 minutes of talking about Encyclopedia Brown today, so I thank you for that. And I want to talk about the protests, I’m not trying to discount them. But you’re talking about Magic Castle drama. For anybody who doesn’t know, the Magic Castle’s a venue in L.A. It’s kind of the Mecca for magicians. You have to wear a suit to get inside. You have to be invited by a member. They own, I’ve heard they own an even more exclusive venue where it’s largely just magicians in the audience trying to do their most mind blowing new tricks for each other. It’s like Bendlemans or something.
[00:41:48] CALLER: That’s more, yeah, I would say that’s more of the club, because it’s more of a club. It’s club-slash-venue. But there’s definitely, there’s stuff that goes down there and they definitely try to drum up, like, the mystery of all of it.
[00:41:58] CHRIS: Right, right.
[00:41:59] CALLER: But yeah, there’s, there’s a lot of, I mean, mostly what goes down there is just magicians hanging out and getting drinks and doing shows and shit, yeah.
[00:42:07] CHRIS: For the shows, though, like, you do, like, you have to wear a suit or a gown, like, you have to wear at least semiformal attire or they will – they don’t care either, they’ll kick celebrities out if they show up in sneakers, they don’t care.
[00:42:19] CALLER: For sure. No, there was a big story a couple of years ago. Somebody, yeah, some, like, actor guy wore jeans and they were like “Nope.” And, yeah, they like to, they really, I don’t know. And that’s my thing with it. Like, it’s cool and all that, like, “oh, you have to dress up” stuff is cool. But there is, at a point it is, it does feel very exclusionary and very, I don’t know, it’s a bunch of old rich white guys who get together. And at this point, it’s not as interesting to me anymore as it was when I was a kid.
[00:42:50] CHRIS: So where do you do your magic?
[00:42:53] CALLER: Yeah, so I was starting to drum up some stuff here in Portland. I’m, I would say I’m just kind of – I was working as a teacher for a long time, and I was just kind of like, I have to go start some sort of performing thing, whether it’s comedy or magic. I just, I just need to start because it was on, you know, the back of my head for forever. I also, I do some music, too. I kind of, yeah, I try to do all the things. But they, but yeah, no, I was, I kind of recently moved here to kind of start everything and build, build a, build something here before all this, all this happened. But, but yeah, I went to, I didn’t go protest last night but I went the night before, which is the night that the mayor was there.
[00:43:41] CHRIS: Oh, yeah.
[00:43:42] CALLER: Ted Wheeler, who’s our mayor here–
[00:43:44] CHRIS: –Got gassed by the federal troops.
[00:43:47] CALLER: Yeah. And yeah, I’ll give you my hot take on that.
[00:43:53] CHRIS: [music transition] And let’s hold the phone right there, that’s a big one, everybody, that was national news when the mayor got gassed. Our caller was right there. We hear what that was like on the ground when we get back.
[00:44:10] CHRIS: [music transition] Right everybody, no more interruptions. We’re going to finish this one off strong. Let’s do it.
[00:44:17] CALLER: Ted Wheeler, who’s our mayor here–
[00:44:20] CHRIS: –Got gassed by the federal troops.
[00:44:23] CALLER: Yeah. And yeah, I’ll give you my hot take on that. Yeah, it, yeah, so I was pretty close to him and pretty close to the whole thing, and I was there for, for most of that evening. I’ve been kind of going – I live kind of far away from where, and I don’t have a car, so getting down there is, like, the hardest part. If I lived closer, I’d probably be down there protesting every day. So I go two to three times a week since this all happened. So I think we’re in day fifty-eight, fifty-nine? Shit. Yeah, something like that. In the high 50s at this point. And yeah, it’s really interesting to watch it grow into, like – before, so before the, like, last week before the feds got here, I was sitting there with my friend and we were looking at each other like, oh man, like, it’s really – I mean, sitting at the, at the protests, we were protesting and we were like, “wow, it’s really, it’s really died down a bit, huh?” And then feds came and now there’s, you know, a billion people out there, which is amazing. Like, the other night it was probably, I mean, we’re in the – I’m, I’m bad at, like, equating the exact numbers. But I would say six to ten thousand people out there? I’ll have to look at it. But it’s, it’s crazy and just been really cool to see. Part of me is like, “Well, where were you guys before? Where were you guys?” But, but I don’t know. I get it. It is, like, now, now it’s become this whole “we got to protect our city” thing, which is, which is cool.
[00:46:02] CHRIS: I, there’s, does–
[00:46:03] CALLER: But as far as the mayor being out there – what was that?
[00:46:05] CHRIS: No, finish the thought, finish the thought.
[00:46:07] CALLER: Oh, yeah, no. So the mayor spoke for a little while. He barely got the mic. People were booing him, I was booing him, it… I don’t know, so the whole, the whole thing of him getting gassed is, he is also the head of our police here and he’s been gassing protesters since the beginning. So it’s very strange to see a person in the position of power who’s been doing the gas go in for just one, one night, get a bunch of pictures of him getting gassed and then, and then, you know, he’s doing, like, the media circus this, this week, I bet. So it’s just, I don’t know, for, for, from my angle – and I’m sure this – people have a bunch of different opinions on it – it seems… And he left shortly after that. It just seems like he was just there for the pictures and then he’s out. I mean, definitely he’s doing, he’s trying to do some sort of, trying to calm, whatever the efforts are that he’s doing, like, try to calm things down. But I don’t know. It’s, it’s, it’s hard to hear all that from – I mean, yeah, one of the things he said, he was like, “hey, if they’re, if they’re gassing you, I am, I’m–” I’m paraphrasing badly, but like “if they put gas against you, they’re gassing against me.” And I don’t know, as somebody who’s been down there the whole time, to hear that from him is just, it’s frustrating because they were gassing us before, before the feds got here. So it just feels like, oh, it’s a mind, mindfuck game that he’s trying to play. So I don’t know.
[00:47:45] CHRIS: Well, it’s wild, right? Because it’s like is the other side of the coin
does it finally affect change and does this person have to go “Holy shit, I just experienced that personally, and we can’t ever order that to happen again,”? You know, like… yeah, is there that side of it or is it just a photo op? You know, and the other thing you said that I want to respond to that I think is really important, it’s like when you’re saying you’re seeing, you know, 6000, 10000 people down there possibly. You go “where were you at the beginning?” and I get that. But then there’s also a part of me that goes, well, isn’t that exciting and inspiring because… like I think of myself as an example where I’m, like, I moved out to the suburbs, I have a one-year-old, I’m 40, I’m like a living walking mid-life crisis right now. And…
[00:48:39] CALLER: Right. Love that for you.
[00:48:42] CHRIS: Yeah, but it’s also like, you know, five, six years ago, I did feel like someone who had a platform and would be in the trenches and, and almost radical about it. It’s kind of like, I feel like it hit me really quickly of, like, no, you get back on the horse, you don’t settle into the suburban life right now, you fight. And then you’re like, when thousands of people are showing up, it’s like, does this mean that there are people watching that original wave of protesters and going “you can’t treat people like that”? In other words are we, are we getting to a point where Middle America is waking up a little bit and going “this is serious and we got to answer the call,” you know?
[00:49:24] CALLER: Right.
[00:49:24] CHRIS: So that’s the other side and it’s so hard to say.
[00:49:25] CALLER: No, I would, I would. Right, no, no, and I think, I think that’s the part I try to focus on more. I was saying, like, there’s, my, my, my body goes to, to the – I don’t know, it’s just one of those things. Like, I feel both of those sides simultaneously.
[00:49:39] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:49:39] CALLER: I’d like to leave over to the more positive side, that people are coming in and seeing now how bad it’s been and now coming out. Like, I don’t know if you saw but the other day we had just the wall of moms, which is really cool.
[00:49:53] CHRIS: So cool.
[00:49:54] CALLER: And the dads came out with all their stuff.
[00:49:56] CHRIS: With the leaf blowers to push the gas back.
[00:49:57] CALLER: Yeah, so that was really cool to see. Yes.
[00:50:00] CHRIS: And it’s, and it’s Portland, right.
[00:50:01] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:50:02] CHRIS: It’s Portland that’s notoriously this kind of like, like setting the bar…
[00:50:10] CALLER: Punk rock?
[00:50:11] CHRIS: Setting the bar for, I think, punk rock and liberalism and, and, and leftism, it’s – right? It’s Portland, it’s Austin, it’s a few other places. But at the same time, yeah, you see dads with leaf blowers getting out there to push gas away from protesters and you start to really think, well, this is, this is something unlike anything I’ve seen in 40 years of being alive. This is, this is regular people who would rather be home with their families, feeling a need to get on the front lines and help because this is truly extreme. Very eye-opening, very eye-opening.
[00:50:53] CALLER: For sure, for sure, yeah, it’s a cool – I don’t know, it’s a hard time to live in, but it’s also really cool. It’s cool to go down there. I don’t know. I saw an article the other day that just had, like, this passive-aggressive line about, about how it’s, I don’t know, how it’s like a fun thing to do with the protesters. I can’t remember what they said, but they were, they were like “some of these protesters just think it’s a good time” or something like that. But I don’t know, I haven’t been seeing that so much as I’ve seen people, you know, kind of – I mean, it’s easier to do right now because not a lot of people are working, but it, but it really is. It’s people uprooting their lives who’d really rather not be out there every day. It’s a, it’s a pain in the ass to be out there every day.
[00:51:39] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:51:40] CALLER: But people are doing it, and it’s really, I don’t know, I think it’s really important and really cool. It’s been really cool to see. Yeah.
[00:51:51] CHRIS: Can I ask too, because Portland – I’ve been through Portland many times and like many cities, you know, there’s different neighborhoods. Some feel more suburban than others, some feel more remote. I would have to imagine that… Like you said, it’s a pain in the ass to get there, people could be choosing to just live their lives and never be affected by it. Is it, are these things happening at an area of the city where… because it’s all surrounding a federal building, right? And in my experience, those are not buildings that are, like, on the main drag. So people are–
[00:52:21] CALLER: Right. So it’s downtown. It’s, it’s the federal building and the courthouse are right next to each other, and then there’s a park, which I’m forgetting the name of right now, but there’s a park that’s right, right in front of it. And that’s where everything – and there was, so we were trying to get kind of an Occupy zone going the same thing that Seattle was doing for a while, and they took that down pretty quickly. There was a few areas that they were trying to do it here, but that was, that park was one of the main ones. And right now, so there’s a group called Riot Ribs, I don’t know if you’ve heard of?
[00:52:56] CHRIS: I have not.
[00:52:57] CALLER: That’s really cool, and I’ll just… Yeah, so what they’re doing – and they’ve been doing it for the last month – is, they’re just, they got grills out there and they’re feeding people for free and they’ve had… Cops have pepper-sprayed, the other night they pepper-sprayed their grills so that they couldn’t use their grills anymore. They’ve taken down, they’ve, they’ve smashed their stuff, like they’ve, they’ve just trashed it multiple times. And again and again, we’ve seen people, like, venmoing them and giving them new grills. And like, I don’t know, there’s a lot you can do even if you’re not here or out there. And I think that’s one of the things. You could give to, like, these organizations like, like Riot Ribs and… I’m forgetting, I’ve got a blank. Just look online, Google things. You’ll, you’ll find places to give, in other cities too. I mean, it’ll be interesting to see what happens in Chicago this weekend. It sounds like – I haven’t really been keeping track the last couple of days, but it sounds like they’ll be feds there as well in the next few days. But I don’t know. I think this is, I don’t know. We’ll see, we’ll see what happens with all this.
[00:54:05] CHRIS: We have ten minutes left. And I just need to underline someone– something, especially for anybody who might listen to this in the future. Once 2020 passes in whatever way it does. At some point, I have to imagine life will not be what it is now. I’m hoping that’s the case, but let me just underline the fact that, for anyone listening in the future, I’m talking to someone who’s, who does magic tricks and juggles and pursues those arts, who has to talk about dodging tear gas and watching people’s supplies get smashed when they’re just trying to feed each other. This is weird. This is weird.
[00:54:54] CALLER: It is weird.
[00:54:55] CHRIS: This is not, this is not, you’re not, you’re not, you’re not a member of some paramilitary group, you’re not, you’re…
[00:55:04] CALLER: Right.
[00:55:05] CHRIS: You’re a juggler who does magic tricks. This is… Everyone should flag this as strange and weird and the thing that I get the impression of is that – you might have a better a better insight than me – is, is how would I say it? If they just let your protests in Portland happen, I would never hear about them in New Jersey. They’d be just one of another protest. I know protests are happening all over the country right now, but they’d remain part of that amorphous group. They’re sending in people who are just, I mean, unidentified soldiers throwing people into unmarked vans. They’re doing that to scare us. They’re making it more public. They want to crush it visibly. They, they could just let it burn out and go away. They could just let it get to a point where people are going “you know, I really got to get back to my job or my family.” They’re making a point, and that’s why, in my mind, it’s fascism and we always have to, we always have to step up and call that out for what it is, because, you know, Woody Guthrie had the sticker on his guitar: ‘this machine kills fascists’. And we got to…
[00:56:26] CALLER: Right.
[00:56:27] CHRIS: …got to remember that if they really just wanted the protests to go away, they’d just let them peter out. They want to crush it. They want to, they want to make it clear, “don’t ever do this or we’ll crush you.” That’s, that’s, that’s unacceptable and terrifying.
[00:56:44] CALLER: Right. Absolutely. Absolutely. And, yeah, no, and I also stated to your point, it is 100%, it’s just the… What you’re saying is, what they’re doing right now has, 100% has escalated things themselves. It has brought more people out. It’s brought more people that want to say, “fuck you, fuck this, fuck everything you’re doing,” sorry Sally. And it’s, I don’t know. It’s, it’s, it’s, it’s interesting. I would, I would just want to say for anybody who – and I’m sure you have conservative, conservative listeners who: I love you. I don’t understand you, but, I don’t know, for anybody who doesn’t understand, I guess going out to a protest every day and getting teargassed, I think that’s what basically – you summed it up better than I could – is that any, any time that, that this kind of violence, and it is, it’s, it’s… It’s being perpetrated right now against, against minorities, against people who, who already are in a weird position. Like, yeah, I mean, a lot of, I don’t know. I don’t know, there’s so much to say about it, and I get, I’m getting a little emotional seeing how they talk about it, but it’s. I don’t know, I just, I think it’s, now’s the time of change and yeah, again, we’re two white guys sitting here talking about it, but it’s – which is cool. So I think that’s that’s what I’m saying, that it’s – now I’m rambling, but it’s a.. I don’t know, it’s a cool, scary time. And I don’t know. I think it’ll be good over, overall. But hopefully I said something worth it there.
[00:58:39] CHRIS: Yeah, I think so. I also want to echo – we’ve got conservative listeners, many of them have turned this off by now, but I don’t have any hate in my heart. I grew up around a lot of…
[00:58:49] CALLER: Yeah. That’s what I’m saying too. That’s what I was trying to say.
[00:58:52] CHRIS: And I grew up around so many people who – one of my best friends who I even lived with, we went all through school together in our hometown. Lived together in college. Republican. His whole thing was ‘I just don’t think the government should be overextending itself monetarily for a welfare state’. I think that social programs can take care of a lot of the moral things I have an issue with. Like I think that, you know, I vehemently disagree, but, you know, there’s people who are anti-abortion. They think that – they view it as children being killed. So there’s a passion there. I don’t, like you said, I don’t necessarily understand or agree, but I think those things are a lot different than people in camouflage with weapons of war, and you don’t even know what federal agency they’re from, throwing you into a van and taking you somewhere where your family doesn’t know where you wound up. Those, none of those – I don’t think there’s many people who grew up being Republican in the way I knew it, that can look at that and say it represents what they were talking about back then. It’s should scare all of us at this point. And like I said. We can – you want to battle it out in the comments section about your political leanings, you want to get into – you want to go to the Towny Bar and talk about if Bill Clinton or George W. Bush was worse for the country. That’s – our country should have that, and those are the types of fights that should be the headaches we’re having, but it should not be this. Those divisions amongst political parties should not somehow justify this. Something does not compute there. We are being – the game is rigged and everyone on both sides is being manipulated. And it’s just strange and dangerous, and I’m sorry that you’re in the thick of it. You should be out on those streets doing magic tricks, you should be out busking, juggling for change, following your passion, putting the hat out so that when you make a…
[01:01:10] CALLER: We’re doing a little of that. Not too bad.
[01:01:11] CHRIS: Still? Still?
[01:01:13] CALLER: Yeah.
[01:01:14] CHRIS: Really? You do like street magic? You’ll do it out on the streets?
[01:01:17] CALLER: Sure try to. I did as – I don’t know. So there’s a whole kind of, there’s a like kind of juggling and slow community here. And that’s the big debate is whether or not that’s respectful to kind of perform. And I kind of, I’m on the opinion that, ‘hey, if you want to juggle, if you want to make music, if you want to make any sort of art for change, I love it’. But that’s not everybody’s opinion. So sometimes I’ll go and do it and sometimes I won’t. It’s been a while since I’ve done it. And that’s the thing it does kind of – me personally, I don’t want to really draw attention to myself, so I’ve done a little of it. In protest. I probably normally I’d very much like to draw attention to myself. But in a protest, in more in a respectful way and in a ‘hey, I don’t want to get targeted in any way’ way. It’s not great to call attention to myself. But yeah. No, it’s been – this was something I was going to say. It’s been interesting being out there and it’s a constant. That’s something I’m learning is protesting, even though we’re all kind of for the same thing. It’s a constant debate and a constant divide of what is the right thing to do at any given moment. And like even so, the other night when I was out there, we were doing some fire stuff and I took some pictures of it. And then there was a person who kept coming over with a fire extinguisher and putting out the fires and screaming, being like ‘don’t set fires. You’re gonna make us look like anarchists’ and people yelling at her like, ‘hey, we are literally, some of us are literally anarchists’. So it’s just funny to see both sides. And that’s what it is, it’s this big mishmash. Just this beautiful mishmash of people who have all these different perspectives and all these different ideas of what would make a good – what would bring change or what would make a good protest. And it’s just a constant, constant battle. Maybe battles not the right word, but a constant conversation about what is the thing to do. And it’s cool and it’s tough and it’s hard. But it’s also, I don’t know, it’s interesting.
[01:03:31] CHRIS: Right, because there’s so many examples, so many examples throughout history of artists providing something that bonds together protesters in times of protest and helps focus them and unify them. There’s also – you also don’t want to give people an excuse to go ‘oh see, this is just a bunch of kids getting together and treating it like Burning Man’, you know, like
[01:03:55] CALLER: Right. I don’t know. I feel that and I’ve heard that from people too where people are like ‘hey you can’t make them – if we do this, they’ll say this’. And my thing is they’ll say anything. You can do anything because whatever we do out there is going to be made fun of or it’s gonna be twisted in some way for somebody else’s gain. So in some ways I think you can’t be thinking about like you can’t be thinking about, ‘oh, if we do, this will happen’.
[01:04:29] CHRIS: Yeah.
[01:04:30] CALLER: Let me reword. Let reword, that’s not what I meant to say. If we do this, so they’ll say this in the newspapers or whatever, you just got to do what you think is right at the time, because thinking about the reactionary is just going to stop the progress, I think.
[01:04:44] CHRIS: And the game’s rigged. The game is rigged from the start.
[01:04:46] CALLER: It is. Yep.
[01:04:48] CHRIS: The reactions are coming to something. I get what you’re saying. Now, look, my friend, we are out of time. What a fascinating call: to spend a whole lot of time laughing about Encyclopedia Brown, hearing about your career. And again, I just want to say we spent the last chunk of time talking about protests and you’re in them. And we didn’t even intend to. It’s just happened since your life. And think about that, everybody. That’s where 2020 has gotten to. We could have talked about the ins and outs of the drama of the Portland juggling community. You mentioned that there’s a lot of swirling layers of drama. Like this is what – Beautiful Anonymous is supposed to be a show where we hear about the internal dramas of the Portland juggling community.
[01:05:35] Instead, we got to talk about federal troops, tear gassing us. That’s 2020 for you. But I got to say, I thank you for calling.
[01:05:44] CALLER: You’re very welcome.
[01:05:45] CHRIS: I very, very much am thankful that you corrected me. I’m sorry I missed gendered you and it…
[01:05:51] CALLER: No, no, please don’t apologize. If you end up doing that – yeah, I was going to encourage you one more time. That would be a great move I think. I think, one more thing I could say: straight people, cis people, if we can all get more comfortable saying our pronouns, it would be better for all of us in general.
[01:06:08] CHRIS: Yeah. It’s also a simple thing to do. It’s a simple, easy thing to do.
[01:06:11] CALLER: Yeah. It’s not hard.
[01:06:13] CHRIS: And a thing I’ve said on the show, I’ve said a version of this on the show many, many times: if it makes other people comfortable and it makes other people happy, then do it. Even if you don’t understand it yet, if you’re still figuring it out for yourself, that doesn’t matter. Do the thing that makes other people feel comfortable and safe and happy. And then along the way, along the way, you keep working to figure out how this world works. You don’t – you go out, you start there. Start with accepting people and their comfort and happiness. No matter where you’re at. I think. I think that’s a good policy personally. Anyway, who knows? I’m rambling.
[01:06:56] CALLER: I think so too.
[01:06:58] CHRIS: Well, thank you for the call. It was a fun and fascinating one. And I appreciate that.
[01:07:01] CALLER: You’re very welcome. Take care. I feel like – shall we end like on a silly note?
[01:07:11] CHRIS: Sure. What shall we…
[01:07:12] CALLER: I don’t know. I’ll just make a fart noise I guess. That’s silly. Trying to end on a light note.
[01:07:16] CHRIS: OK. You make your fart noise and… Fuck Encyclopedia Brown. Tigers forever.
[01:07:28] CALLER: Oh yeah, let’s end with that. Fuck Encyclopedia Brown. Fuck him. Love that.
[01:07:30] CHRIS: All right. Great talking to you.
[01:07:32] CALLER: Take care dude.You too. [ring]
[01:07:39] CHRIS: Caller, thank you so much again. Thanks for being out there trying to affect change in your community. Thank you for living your truest life, both personally and professionally. And thank you for allowing me to laugh a whole lot about Encyclopedia Brown. It’s much appreciated. Thank you to Jared O’Connell. Thanks Anita Flores, Shellshag for the music. Hey, if you like the show: rate, review, subscribe especially on Apple podcast. It helps. You want the whole Beautiful Anonymous back catalog? Go to Stitcher Premium dot com slash stories. The whole thing’s there. All the info, everything you need. We’ll see you next time.
[01:08:25] THEME MUSIC: Kiss me, face to face.
[NEXT EPISODE PREVIEW]
[01:08:38] CHRIS: Next time on Beautiful Anonymous, a doctor of mathematics calls me out for my many angry rants about math on this show over the years.
[01:08:50] CALLER: That thing is that I am a doctor of mathematics.
[01:08:59] CHRIS: This is going to be a long hour for me isn’t it. It’s going to be a long hour for me. I’m open. I’m open to the conversation.
[01:09:07] CALLER: And, you know, I’ve listened to most of the episodes. I know that you have a bone to pick with math. And I just want to start by saying I totally understand it because I feel like the way we teach math in this country is not good. And any joy that people might have had for problem solving and thinking mathematically tends to get sucked out of them at a young age.
[01:09:29] CHRIS: That’s next time on Beautiful Anonymous.
Recent EpisodesSee All
June 5, 2023
EP. 374 — Murder Wedding (Live from Beaut/Con)
A former wedding planner tells the insane story of a murder that happened right before the ceremony.
May 29, 2023
EP. 373 — Outside the Box Psychologist
During Mental Health Awareness Month, Geth speaks with a 67-year-old psychologist about combating loneliness post 2020.
May 22, 2023
EP. 372 — American Teenager in 2023
A high school senior speaks with Geth about going through the pandemic as a teenager. She discusses her fear of being in a school shooting and how disconnected she feels her generation is because of screens.