World-famous comic Jake Johannsen and I got together to catch up after his tours in Asia and Europe. We cover a lot of ground in this one, mainly focusing on how comedy works (or doesn't) in different cultures. Check out Jake's podcast, JakeThis, where this episode was co-released.
Organic, revealing conversation with fascinating, freaky folks.
Ever wanted to hang with a dominatrix, comedian, famous health guru, or Italian prince? Here's your chance. Tangentially Speaking is dedicated to the idea that good conversation is organic, revelatory, and free to go down unexpected paths.
Raam's father was a prominent Iranian environmentalist who was arrested and interrogated for supposedly being a foreign spy. After he mysteriously died in prison, Raam and his brother decided to pressure the Iranian government for answers. Telling his story here is part of that pressure. Here's a video of Raam and his brother, Mehran explaining their situation to Christiane Amanpour, on CNN.
Music: "The Hunter," by King Raam.
Rayanne Irving is an accomplished kickboxer, writer, horse trainer, public speaker, and all-around badass. As a homeless teenager, she was drawn into prostitution in Vancouver, Canada. Her understanding of her own decisions and the behavior of the people who have crossed her path is one of compassion, forgiveness, and hard-won wisdom.
From Rayanne's website:
In the spring of 2015, my partner committed suicide in a horse barn. In a sense by doing so, he killed us both that day; turning my safe haven into an inferno of agony. The absence of his love and support stripped me bare of the two demential character I had been hiding behind for seventeen years. Naked of all attachments to the persona and life I had created as a cowgirl and horse trainer, what I discovered at the bottom of the rubble - was a promise I had made to the universe in the fall of 1998.
I was just a sixteen-year-old girl then, on the run from pimps, hookers, and gangs alike. During the days and nights when I should have been reveling in my youth, instead, I was hiding from the world in dark spaces. Both literally and figuratively. My attempt to reach out for support was met with fear and . Which only reinforced the fear conditioning I had been subjected to by pimps and police alike during my indenture to the streets. Mine was a pain that no one wanted to acknowledge. A pain that no one was prepared to understand - not even my family who turned their heads in denial, content to allow me to carry the burden of blame in silence.
The price of freedom for my young body, had come at a cost that was too steep for my child mind to bare. On the verge of running back to my enslavors, out of my mind in pain, I went to bed each night grasping a bloody chef’s knife in one hand and a box of chocolates in the other; begging a god I didn’t believe in for the courage to slice open my own veins.
Instead, a magazine found its way into my hands. In less than 800 words, a girl whose name I will never know, explained her decision to leave prostitution. Although her’s and mine stories were dissimilar in how we managed to escape the streets, she instilled me with a feeling of connection and hope. I knew right then and there, that someone else knew the truth about the terrors of being a hostage to another's greed and desires. I was not alone in my darkness. I made a promise, that one day - I would do the same for another.
Over the years and on the rare occasion the death or arrest of a child prostitute did make social media - I recognized, as I aged and healed, that their reporting accomplished little more than scratching the surface of a growing epidemic. Unintentionally social media was helping the pimps to glamorize the public myth of drug addled Lolita’s and the teenage succubus. (continue)
A powerful essay by Rayanne.
Music: "Wa Tye E Yoo," by MC Twitch. Help her fund music education in Uganda here.
Dr. Jim Fadiman
Dr. Jim Fadiman is considered America's wisest and most respected authority on psychedelics and their use. In 1974 he co-founded the Institute for Transpersonal Psychology, and has since continued to explore potential medical and creative uses of psychedelic drugs. In his most recent book, The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide: Safe, Therapeutic and Sacred Journeys (2011), he provides insight into safe and correct uses of psychedelic drugs. The book was inspired by his unique knowledge of psychedelic experiences and his desire to explain beneficial uses of those substances. He received his B.A. from Harvard University in Social Relations in 1960, and his M.A. and Ph.D from Stanford University in Psychology in 1962 and 1965, respectively.
As a professional big wave surfer, documentary filmmaker, and podcast host, Kyle Thiermann (28) possesses the rare ability to move seamlessly between intellectual and athletic circles and serve as a conduit between typically disconnected worlds.
With the support of his long-time surf sponsor, Patagonia, he created and hosted the YouTube series, Surfing For Change. While surfing building-sized waves around the globe, he created short-form gonzo documentaries about current environmental issues happening in the areas. In the series, Thiermann focused on the power people have to create systemic change through everyday decisions. His first documentary in the series detailed how money kept in multinational banks can be used to finance destructive projects all over the world. This video inspired people to move large amounts of money out of centralized banks and into local banks and credit unions around the world.
From 25-27 Thiermann worked as a correspondent for Discovery Digital Networks covering issues ranging from a little-known indigenous conflict in southern Chile, to the impact wild pigs have on coral reefs in Hawaii. Thiermann speaks at universities throughout the country and in 2011 gave a TEDx Talk in his wetsuit.
Angela came by to chat. Aside from the harassment we suffered from a very persistent insect, we had a great time talking about her roles as actor, producer, and director, the meditative and transporting qualities of sex, what it's like to be a wildly horny young woman in a world that both celebrates and denigrates you, and some of the hang-ups one has to face in order to have sex on camera. More about Angela from her site:
Angela White was still in high school when she entered the adult industry in 2003. As an adolescent, Angela openly identified as bisexual and was criticised for her uninhibited sexuality. She was motivated to become involved in pornography because she saw it as a space where her sexuality would be accepted, a space in which having multiple partners of any gender was encouraged and a space in which sexuality was celebrated rather than denigrated. Through performing in pornography, Angela has been able to explore her sexual desires in a safe environment with other open minded, sex-positive people.
Angela was inspired to enroll in a Bachelor of Arts degree upon hearing feminist critiques of pornography as degrading and exploitative of women. Not being able to pair these assertions with her own experiences of the industry, Angela conducted qualitative research into the experiences of female performers in the Australian pornography industry. The findings were vast and complex but did support the fact that pornography can be a positive and transformative space for many female performers. In 2010, Angela graduated from the University of Melbourne with First Class Honours in Gender Studies. The findings from her Honours thesis were delivered at the Erotic Screen and Sound conference at Griffith University in 2011.
Angela’s interest in gender politics led her to spend a year studying at the prestigious Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris (the Institute of Political Science in Paris, France) more popularly known as Sciences-Po. Subsequently, Angela ran as a political candidate for the Australian Sex Party in the 2010 Victorian state election, in which she publicly fought for the rights of sex workers. Angela generated media attention when she sent copies of her pornographic DVDs to the Attorney General in her campaign to relax regulations for X-rated films.
Peter Gorman is an award-winning journalist, former editor of High Times magazine (from 1986-1998), and pioneer in the understanding and use of psychedelic substances from the Amazon, such as Ayahuasca and Kambo. His most recent book is Sapo in my Soul: The Matsés Frog Medicine.
Ryan is a very smart dude who knows a lot about how the human body works: diet, exercise, healing plants, etc. If you know someone with a medical issue that isn't responding well to conventional approaches, he may be able to help. Recorded in Austin, TX, where Ryan is based. Ryan's site.
Andrew is living the dream. A few days after recording this, he, his wife, and a dog named Pele set off for Argentina via the Arctic Circle (the scenic route). Follow their peregrinations via their site, where you'll find a blog, photos, and the latest episodes of their podcast. You can hear Andrew interviewing me a few hours previous to this recording at mtp.dog.
Music: "Waltz for Rain," by Leo DiSanto.
John is fascinated by the things that frighten him -- from nudity to venomous snakes. He's been studying rattlesnakes for around 50 years. He's been bitten 15 times, so far, but has no intention of giving up on the pursuit of his passion. He's a fully realized, no-bullshit human being.
Music: "The Mark of a Good Man," by Bimini Road.
The abbreviated version, for non-Patreon supporters. I talk about the recent dust-up between Sam Harris and Ezra Klein, the questions around racial differences in "intelligence," and a bit about my thoughts concerning Jordan Peterson and the underlying hunger for the sort of guidance he offers young men.
Alexandra was a nerdy kid who grew up to be a bad-ass bombshell. No doubt. We get into it all: What it's like to be a pro-dom; Why Star Trek is important; How sex is like travel; The therapeutic aspects of dominance and submission. Music: "Vim and Vigor," by Carsie Blanton.
Wednesday Martin is the real deal. Her upcoming book, Untrue (out in September) is a look at the emerging science of female desire and some of the most prominent women behind the controversial research.Her memoir, Primates of Park Avenue was greeted as a hilarious, touching, and insightful look into the exotic world of Manhattan motherhood. Stepmonster, a finalist for the prestigious Books for a Better Life Award, is widely considered the “go-to” source for stepmothers, adult stepchildren, therapists and others who seek a uniquely candid, interdisciplinary, cross-cultural and comprehensive look at the topic. She is also the author of Marlene Dietrich, tracing the actress and cabaret performer's life, career, and impact on the image of women.
Music: "Two Sticks," by Joel Havea.
I came across Wil's blog years ago, while researching primate penises (it was called "My So-Called Penis), and have been a fan of his insightful, comic take on life ever since. We finally got together on his back porch in San Diego a decade later. Wil has a book called Acid Logic. What more do you need? Wil's site. Download this episode.
Introduction (00:00 – 15:56)
(00:00) Intro to will Forbis
(02:30) T-Shirts/Tangentially Reading and Community Projects
(05:20) Civilized to death update and JRE podcast information.
(10:30) General update and thoughts.
(15:01) Play out with Wil Forbis Jazz Solo
Interview: (15:56 – 1:43:43)
(15:56) Introduction banter, how Chris and Wil met, Wil’s blog & Chris’ interest in his work.
(17:52) Take on blogs, writing and putting your thoughts out there. Broad vs specific experiences.
(22:19) Travelers vs Tourists and Wil’s experience in Tangier, India.
(25:06) Wil’s interest in playing instruments Musi, his group Birdy and the Bowtie
(28:00) Discussing cultural appropriation and first concerts.
(35:00) Wil growing up in Hawaii, gentrification of cool places
(39:58) Discussing Wil’s Website acid logic, acid, pink floyd and The Rolling Stones.
(51:34) Chris disconnecting from American Culture.
(54:30) Wil on living overseas in Iran and his father’s career.
(56:28) Jan Morris, gender/biology of gender.
(1:09:55) Discussing the Scientific method, deductive reasoning materialism vs mysticism. What is reality? The Placebo Effect.
(1:38:00) Native Plants/drugs and the influence on local music
(1:42:20) Ending banter
(1:43:43) End of Interview
(1:45:58) “Smoke Alarm” by Carsie Blanton
Music: Basin and Range
Music: Carsie Blanton
Tony was our door into Terlingua, Texas. Thanks to his quick response to an Instagram message, we met some of the good folks of that amazing little town, and ended up staying way longer than we'd planned. If you get out that way, drop in at his bar: TABC (Terlingua Adventure Beer Company), and give him a big hug from us. Download.
Follow Tony on Instagram, from where I stole that photo.
Cyrus believes in creating films which promote curiosity and ecological literacy. He's been directing documentary films for fifteen years since his award-winning surf film Riding Waves in 2003. He won a Southwest regional EMMY when he was 23 and has directed hundreds of short films since (adapted from Cyrus's site). Download.
Cyrus's kick-ass Instagram
Poem: "Time," by Clay Roper.
Notes by Mike Buquicchio
Introduction (00:00 – 03:46)
(00:00) Update on travels and upcoming podcasts
(03:28) Introduction to Cyrus, housekeeping items
(06:45) Chris getting a finger in his ass
(08:45) SXSW and Cassie
(10:19) Song 1: Flabbergasted by Cassie
Interview: (10:46 – 1:34:27)
(10:46) Introduction banter, some van talk.
(14:49) Cyrus’ background, what he does, how he makes money.
(20:22) Cyrus’ dog, Miley, making animals happy, love.
(21:50) Talking about Cyrus’ films, polynesian farming, permaculture, surfing.
(26:15) Philosophy on modernity, civilized to death
(37:14) Cyrus’ upbringing, reinventing your world, travelling, modernity continued
(41:00) Questioning people's motives, what makes people tick.
(45:45) Advertisements, sponsorships, commercialism
(48:45) Cyrus in a Black Mirror scenario, being exiled from the surf world
(53:42) Using success to promote good things (body surfing), proliferation of culture you’ve been promoting for years and detaching your ego from them.
(58:28) Fame (Actors vs Podcasters)
(1:00:10) DNA tests and finding out ethnicity
(1:01:29) Feeling at home elsewhere, travelling, getting stuck in Barcelona, Spanish culture
(1:10:46) Shame being an armor to keep love out, shedding shame.
(1:15:05) Backpacking to Alaska and Chris being an arrogant youngin’ and figuring out who he is. Having kids, having love flowing through your life.
(1:21:27) What's next for Cyrus? Leaving room for spontaneity in life. Traveling in Scarlet Jovanssen and what's next for Chris.
(1:27:20) Ending banter
(1:28:00) End of Interview
(1:30:15) Poem: "Time," by Clay Roper.
(1:31:58) Song 2: “Smoke Alarm” by Carsie Blanton
Music: Basin and Range
Music: Carsie Blanton
Notes by Mike Buquicchio
Introduction (00:00 – 3:46)
(00:00) Introduction to Mickey and Rex, self-deprecation and self-awareness
Interview: (3:47 – 1:14:53)
(3:48) Introduction Banter
(7:45) Discussing Fashion, tattoos
(9:09) Adulthood, the evolution of music
(13:44) Rap music, Rex interviewing Tupac while high
(17:10) The birth of Dirt Nasty and Mickey Avalon, various other personas
(29:30) Performing Overseas (Japan, Holland, ect.)
(34:49) Mickey on starting and kicking drugs, drugs for different personality types
(38:55) Performing on drugs (Sports & Music)
(41:45) Mickeys painting career and car collection
(48:00) Mickeys parents, Rex Producing beats
(54:43) Tasting Wine, Are sommeliers full of shit?
(59:48) What's next for Mickey and Rex?
(1:03:16) Group dynamics, The Beatles, Ending Banter
(1:10:45) End of Interview
(1:12:27) Song 2: “Smoke Alarm” by Carsie Blanton
Music: Basin and Range
Music: Carsie Blanton
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Lisa Menna uses the wonder provoked by her magic tricks to trigger real magic: the kinds of thoughts that can make the world a better place. Having performed in over 40 countries, Lisa and her organization (Cause to Wonder) are working to show people around the world that good things come to those who respect and protect women and girls. Download.
Notes by Mike Buquicchio
(00:00) Introduction to Lisa, Scarlett Jovansson Update.
(05:35) - Downward trajectory of US politics.
(07:27) Introduction banter
(08:27) Lisa’s current and future travel plans and the idea of being nice to women.
(10:27) Using magic to influence people/the world and manifest curiosity in everything.
(12:24) Experiences using magic in Africa, creating myths to change behavior.
(15:01) The Curiosity Curmudgeon Curve - Why older people dislike magic.
(19:58) Perception and impact of Lisa’s Mozambique performances
(22:40) Did Jesus do Magic? Missionaries hating on Magic.
(27:52) Theatre, social change and spreading the message.
(31:23) How many countries has Lisa been to? How is magic perceived in different cultures?
(34:32) Using subtle cultural cues in Magic to connect to audience and teach lessons. Various tricks Lisa
has up her sleeve and poop in the water!
(37:30) Cause to Wonder non-profit, using provocative events that create curiosity to develop adaptive
evolutionary thought and other missions.
(42:35) How Lisa got into magic and evolution of performances. Powerful story from Sri Lanka. Lisa’s
experience on Shark Tank.
(48:35) Beauty in humans from different parts of the world. Mustaches.
(50:10) Work in the corporate world. Opportunities to learn in the world.
(54:38) Fear vs Hate in cultures and personal lives.
(56:24) Internet and the impact on the curiosity and creative thoughts. Discussing wonder. Ending
(58:30) End of Interview.
(01:00:13) “Smoke Alarm” by Carsie Blanton
I caught up with Oscar-nominated director Josh Fox in New Orleans (Gasland I and II, How to Let Go of the World and Love All The Things Climate Can't Change), where he's doing his Josh Fox things: writing, organizing political protests against a fracked gas power plant, playing music, creating art (paintings), and eating a lot of crawfish. His cat Sandy joins us to rub her face on the microphones. Download. Josh on Twitter.
Diana is the founder of a boutique LGBTQ family law and mediation firm based in New York City and Frankfurt, Germany, serving primarily same-sex couples and non-nuclear families. Diana is about supporting healthy, stable families, whether between same-sex couples, platonic co-parents, polyamorous families, or different-sex couples, by facilitating conversations that support the creation of clear personal agreements, as well as solid legal agreements to protect their families. Download.
Follow Diana on Twitter: @DianaAdamsEsq
Like millions of people, I first became aware of Jeff Leach when I read about his attempt to transfer a hunter/gatherer's fecal matter to his own colon as a way to study the human microbiome. Little did I know I'd find myself sitting across the table from him in rural Texas a few years later or that he'd agree to share his insights with me on a podcast. Jeff's published in Science, Nature and everywhere else a groundbreaking researcher could dream of, but he's too busy with new projects to reflect much on past successes. Here's an article about the Hadza, in which Jeff is mentioned. Download.