Arizona Lawmaker Says, No Vote For You

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S1: I’d like to warn you about the explicit nature of the show, but I’ll just hint that you know what you’re in for, making this an implicit explicit warning and.

S2: It’s Friday, January 29th, twenty twenty one from Slate, it’s the gist. I’m Mike Pesca. Let’s say you lived in Arizona and were a generally conservative person, little to the right of center, maybe moderately or a bit more than a little to the right of center right. You probably voted for John McCain a few times in your life.

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S1: You probably very much want the government to keep their hands away from, say, your opinion, the things you think you would never want the government to tell you, what to think, who to vote for. You wouldn’t want them to ignore who you did vote for. And you probably wouldn’t want to waste public money on frivolous court cases. Well, Arizona House Bill 27 20 introduced by Representative Shauna Bolick has something for you, something horrible for you. In fact, all of it is exactly the opposite of why you’re a Republican in the first place. The newly elected far right Bolick is proposing. This is according to the Arizona Republic, that leaders be allowed to override the state certification of election results and appoint presidential electors of their own choosing. Bolick, who’s married to State Supreme Court Justice Clint Bolick, also proposes a variety of other bad ideas in her bill, according to the newspaper. Chief among them is a provision that judges no longer be allowed to dismiss frivolous election lawsuits and instead they would have to hold jury trials despite the lack of actual evidence. A full blown jury trial. Wow, you can’t see any of these ideas that the state legislature just gets to vote for whoever they want you for president. You can’t see that getting screwed up, can you, Representative Bolick? Or what does that English phrase. Oh, yeah. Bollixed up. Talk about an overcorrection. One election goes wrong. Let’s tweak the rules to exactly fit the last election without any foresight that, oh, my God, this could blow up in our faces. In a state where the last two elections for Senate went to the Democrats, Arizona’s not trending red. There’s only a slim majority for Republicans in the state legislature. This is a stupid, undemocratic, unwise and just poorly thought out Bill. The old Republicans, you know, the non crazy ones, they were nice or kind or committed to allowing Democrats the full franchise, but they were at least smart. They would say, you know, you have an I.D. to vote. I mean, you can’t write a check in the supermarket without an I.D. How could you not have one to vote? And most people most, you know, independents or people who don’t pay that much attention to politics say, yeah, I guess there’s a certain logic to that. And it took a little time. It took a little time for Democrats or other people who are interested in democracy to explain. Well, that has the practical effect, actually, of disenfranchising a lot of people. This new bill just says, hey, let’s disenfranchise a lot of people. Now, when I mentioned McCain uptalk, what’s the McCain part? Well, the Arizona Republican Party voted to formally censure Cindy McCain.

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S3: Sure. They also voted to censure their own Republican governor, Doug Ducey. But it was the McCain part that really offended me. Not that I care about the McCain political dynasty or really have a lot of sympathy or am deluded into thinking that, you know, they’re not very political people with their own agendas. But really what Cindy McCain did, why she broke with Donald Trump was really deep down because she was a wife who is standing up for her husband. She wasn’t playing the angles. Right. She wasn’t trying to raise money off of this. She was saying, oh, my God. What he said to my husband in the memory of my husband was so horrible. I can’t stand by this man. It was as human an instinct as there is and a laudable one. And what is the Arizona Republican Party do? Well, with that with this bill, they stake their claim to being Trump is through and through this. Arizona is a bellwether state. I hope not. And regular, non stupid, non Trump Republicans. You’d better hope not to. On the show today in the spiel, I say bring back the crackpot.

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S1: There is context around that. But first, it’s why you hear me and maybe to some extent why you listen. It’s nuances are really underappreciated, understudied even.

S3: It is, of course, the voice, the range of what a voice conveys and the means of how a voice conveys it are fascinating topics. But there hasn’t really been a big examination, a popular examination of the voice until now. The name of the book is This is The Voice, and it gets into the science and the study and the sonorous power of the voice. Its author, John Colapinto, is up next.

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S4: They say that radio is the most intimate of mediums, and that’s because that kind of radio. Linda Wertheimer joining you from the wilds of the Calabasas Cavern is intimate.

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S5: But then what about Rush Limbaugh? Who will tell your friends what you’re seeing now? You hear that? That’s a little W.C. Fields maybe mixed with Rush, but there’s a bombast in it.

S4: And then when you think about the sounds and the words and sounds, just connote calm, like the silence of a Sunday and how easy you’re feeling inside. You’re an easy go around the inside or Sunday silence on the outside, unless on the outside it’s Sunday silence Kizito.

S6: With that date back to jail, it’s hard to be easy for on the inside. With a slight lead on the outside Sunday silence, the rest of the public hears the feast of the Preakness Sunday silence. An easygoing photo finish nosers.

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S5: Well, you know, it’s common among all those observations. The voice. Can you tell that I’m obsessed with the voice and perhaps you’re obsessed or at least you’re at least placating of my vocal qualities, excesses, maybe even. I hope you think Curlicues of interest. There is a new book called This is The Voice by John Colapinto, which is just an excellent linguistic structure of vocal chords, philosophical examination of one of the most important parts of human interaction that often goes unexamined. John, welcome to the gist. Thank you so much, people. During this interview, we’ll hear your voice and notice. Oh, it’s a little raspy. In fact, that’s where the book starts. How do you get your rasp?

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S7: Yeah. Twenty years ago, I was invited by my then boss, John Winter, who’s the owner and editor of Rolling Stone magazine, to join a rock band that he was putting together for the magazine staff. And we were going to play this Christmas gig. Two thousand people. We had to do a lot of rehearsals. I’d been singing most of my life just kind of casually. I mean, in college, I sang in coffeehouses and stuff and school choirs, but I had never learned how to do a proper voice warm up. I just didn’t know what that was all about or why you’d bother. I learned pretty quick because I was shouting over, I guess you’d call it singing over John and companies all cranked up guitars. And I blew out my voice majorly. I mean, I’d had laryngitis in the past. I’d had hoarseness. This proved to be something quite, quite different.

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S5: If I were talking to you and we were listening to your voice, how would it sound if you had never gone through with that benefit gig with fronting the John Winter Band?

S7: Yeah, it’s funny. I mean, I had kind of a smooth baritone voice that was pretty elastic and fairly melodic, like fairly, you know, up and down. And its in its pitch range. I mean, because I was kind of an expressive, perhaps extroverted talker. I still am that. But my voice is more monotonic now because of the injury.

S5: So really this was like a you were involved, you got hit by a truck or you fell down an elevator shaft and you forever have a limp. There is a forever physical manifestation of one huge incident gone wrong.

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S7: Totally. I mean, I am, in effect, disabled, which you don’t think of. Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. And you don’t think of it with a voice injury. People don’t think about it. They figure, hey, listen, I’m getting the words out. People are understanding me good enough. I can make the sales pitch, whatever it is that you do for a living. You know, if you’re a doctor, you know, you can do the diagnosis. But the problem is in this boy’s specialist that I ended up writing about in The New Yorker, a guy named Steven Zeitels who operated on a Dell and removed her vocal mask. They’re called polyps. She had the same thing as me. He explained to me, man, you know, singing, OK, you can’t sing anymore. But your real problem is you’re not talking properly and you are not putting you across properly because you’re laying back in situations where there’s a lot of noise. You’re speaking in a more monotonic pitch range where there’s less enthusiasm, less emotion in your voice. I mean, he blew my mind by saying to me, you are no longer you. Now we know that voices are like an oral a you R-AL fingerprint. We know they’re a sonic signature that’s unique to us, but we don’t really realize the import of that until we go ahead and damage our voice and change what it is we’re projecting into the world. So that blew my mind and that got me thinking about the book eventually.

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S1: One of the more fascinating experiments you cited was a researcher who just taped the vocalizations, the words said by doctors as they talk to patients. And this researcher was able to predict to 100 percent accuracy which doctors would be sued and which wouldn’t.

S7: It’s absolutely amazing. Absolutely. And it’s very interesting how she felt. The words so these doctors were not being sued because they were saying insensitive things or being incurious what she you can actually keep just the melody of the voice by removing the higher part of our vocal range. We don’t realize that we speak in a musical chord picture. Someone on the piano getting like all 10 fingers are hitting harmonizing notes while those notes in the bass are the ones that would penetrate through a wall, let’s say. And we can hear neighbors having an argument. We can’t hear what they’re saying. We just know they’re having a fight. Or we might know that they’re getting close to getting lovey dovey, whatever. We can hear the emotion because the wall filters out the higher notes and that big chord, that is the voice. So this woman, she took a forget what the heck the name that filter is, but she filtered out those high things. You could just hear the emotional tone and the warmth or lack of it in these doctors voices. And what she discovered was those doctors that had voices that were kind of overly assertive, kind of dominant, kind of a little monotonic, kind of deep. She discovered that those guys got sued like off the ground. They got a lot of lawsuits against them. The other guys who spoke in sort of a more mellifluous, maybe slightly higher pitch, a kind of a nicer way of talking. They didn’t get sued at all, even if they had, like, records of like maltreating patients and doing, you know, bad, stupid operations and stuff. It had nothing to do with their competence as doctors had everything to do with literally their vocal tone and timbre, which is another word people use for voice. And yeah, I mean, so what this tells us is that a tremendous amount of what we’re putting across in the way of likeability, believability, trustworthiness, sexual attractiveness is not in the words. It’s literally in this musical sound that we’re making.

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S5: And in terms of sexual attractiveness, as you get into I was surprised to learn Contra what Jordan Peterson. Oh, hello. Canadian reference Contra Jordan Peterson might have us believe the deep throated baritone manly voice is not, in fact the most attractive to women, except maybe when they’re ovulating. There’s this interesting phenomenon of women preferring male facial features that are a little more feminine and in fact, male voices that are a little more feminine. It’s just that when men do battle with men, even vocally, even say when they’re trying to one up each other in locker room talk, they go basso profundo. And it’s this interesting tension where it’s not true, Maxim Millais, reproduction or sexual attractiveness, that we think that a deep voice is preferable to woman, to women. It’s basically to do battle with men.

S7: That’s right. And I mean, women’s reaction to voices is interesting because they like a voice lower than their own because we wouldn’t really have evolved that way. We’re an interesting species in that we’re the only animal. Think about it that has a voice that is sexually dimorphic, meaning we sound men. That is sound different than women because our voices are about an octave lower. We have this amazing difference in pitch and we also have a difference in timbre, like in the sort of resonance of of the male voice, because we’ve got a larger chest cavity, larger neck on average, even bigger heads. These are all resonance chambers like a violin versus a big acoustic bass. So men’s voices tend to boom more as well as being lower. Women developed an attraction to that, but they don’t want it to be too low. It’s interesting the way it evolved. Women kind of understood that men that had low voices had been quite sort of juiced up with some testosterone. That’s what makes the vocal chords grow big in a man at puberty. But if the voice is too low, something in her mind is telling her he’s over testosterone ised. He’s going to look for other females. He’s going to leave me when we have our baby. All of these alerts are kind of wound into the DNA around this whole notion of what that that voice is sounding like to a woman’s ears.

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S1: You get into vocal fry and you get into many of the vocal qualities that have come up for debate lately. But I don’t think I saw in your book unless I skipped it. Did you ever see that 30 Rock episode with Sexy Baby Voice?

S7: Oh, it’s coming back to me. Yes, I think I did, as a matter of fact.

S1: Right. So the idea is Tina Fey, who is an older you know, she plays Liz Lemon, but in the show, she’s the authority figure and she takes great issue with a younger woman who she thinks has put on this new trend of voices, which is the sexy baby.

S7: Oh, if only I had remembered it when I was writing the book.

S5: So good, because it does it does highlight a couple of the things that you talk about.

S7: Yes, very much so. I would also lump in there something else I didn’t mention, which is this thing that people deride on the Internet, I think correctly, indie voice in in female singers now young sort of millennial aged female singers who are singing in sort of a revised cupie doll, sexy baby ish voice. You know exactly Janis Joplin. You know, it’s not it’s not putting it out. It’s kind of got this vulnerability thing which really has its appeal. But to too much of it, I guess, you know, anything that we get too much of drives you crazy. The Liz Lemon thing is just hilarious, though, to think of a woman because she’s middle aged in that show for her to feel threatened and annoyed by someone that is gaining all sorts of, you know, professional and social power through speaking in this babyish way. It’s just a lovely social observation. They’re very real to the voice time and time again.

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S5: It struck me that vocal quality was one of the last things that even academic people thought to rigorously study. So you have Noam Chomsky, who has, you know, a great impact on the field and is one of the fathers of the field. But when you really look at the amount of studying he did. He didn’t. He just kind of went by. Oh, yeah, this is how I assume that that language is learned that no one really enunciates different words. But it’s not just that. It’s there are so many instances where there is a thinking about the voice and then someone gets interested in it and realizes no one is actually rigorously studied this. In a way, I’m going to suggest that if it were site or if it were something to do with hearing, not just speaking, there would be a lot more rigorous study. And I was wondering if this fits in with your theory of the voice being taken for granted and far more important than we even realize.

S7: Oh, I mean, so totally. It was one of the sort of terrifying things about embarking on the book when I suddenly realized, oh, wait, I’m not going to find a single authority that’s gotten its hands around this subject. There is a terrifying paucity of research on the voice as voice. So Chomsky studied language. He’s a linguist, and his major theory was that language is inborn. It’s already in our brains. It it emerges through just the most casual contact with overheard speech from parents. That’s very blurry. But more than that and critically, he believed, astonishingly, that language in our species started us thought silent, thought so. In other words, he thought language was a purely or almost purely mental phenomenon of interest only in terms of what’s going on up in the higher cortex of the brain. This left, rather, in the shadows. The means by the default means by which we move language from head to head. I’m beaming my thoughts into your brain by making the air vibrate in special ways. If that isn’t interesting, if that isn’t a critically important thing for our species to look at, because it’s, after all, what got us to the top of the food chain. I mean, I would argue it’s our most important faculty language sequestered in the brain that can’t get out through a channel of communication that is so effective. We can do this when we’re doing something with our hands. When we’re walking, we can do it in the dark. We can whisper, we can yell. I mean, this subject and I’m really getting passionate now. It’s been complete, I would argue, almost completely overlooked. I mean, we’re a fairly amazing species, but mostly because we can get all these thoughts in our head vibrating in the air and get them into someone else’s head. Anyone listening is going to say, oh, yeah, right. I’m sure there’s like lots of other books on it. If you find them, let me know if you were looking outside at them. Oh yeah. Know, I realized I was in deep shit. I mean, just not to put too fine a point on. I was like I had signed a book deal and I was like, OK, now let’s get down to figure out who the experts are. And I was like, what? You know, there aren’t any I mean, they’ll be an expert in singing, an expert in accents, an expert in this or that. So my book is an attempt to synthesize, you know, a tremendous number of specialties. I think in the introduction you mentioned philosophical musings in the book, which I was really pleased to hear you say, because this greed’s all the way from the science and biology of how we speak, the neuroscience of how he put ideas together and get them out, but then greed’s into the sort of philosophy of who we are and what we are. I mean, the voice really connects to all of that.

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S3: The name of the book is This is The Voice.

S2: The author of the book is John Colapinto, who is also the author of As Nature Made Him and the novel about the author recursively enough. Thanks so much, John. Thank you. What a pleasure.

S3: And now not the spiel, it’s just this note, so we find that a lot of people listen to the gist on Friday and may have missed a good segment from earlier in the week. So on Fridays, I’m going to recommend a segment to segment of the week. So if I had to recommend one this weekend, I don’t have to, but I want to. How about Monday show? Larry King was mentioned at the top of the show.

S8: This is the Larry King Show and we get crazy calls. Hello.

S3: How many people enjoyed it? If you miss it, I recommend it to you. Yakima, Washington, hello.

S8: Hello. Hello. Hello, Larry. Oh, hi, Ron.

S3: And now the spiel. I say bring back the crackpot, but you respond. Bring back the crackpot. The country’s overrun by crackpots are crockery, is conclusively crazed. I mean, as an institution, bring back the crackpot, the crackpot as crackpot, not what the crackpot has become, which is one of the most potent political constituencies in America. Crackpots, wingnuts, gadflies, dingbat screwballs, McAdoo’s fruitcakes and the almost nurturing sounding bit of an odd duck. I love them all, or at least used to be able to accept them and know what to do with them. It was easy to have a lot of exposure to them because America specialized in them. They weren’t always benign, but they were mostly benign and their malignancy wasn’t made manifest in the collection of them. If you got for gadflies together, they didn’t get exponentially more dangerous than one lone gadfly. In fact, they probably even wouldn’t talk to each other. There was a time when that was true. I mean, if there was a danger, the danger was that one might become a lone wolf and actually pair his words with actions in a way that was usually surprising to most people. Now, I want to be clear what I’m not talking about.

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S5: I’m not talking about dismissing extremist hate speech or ignoring sentiments that fall within a violent tradition. I am talking about encountering preposterous ideas that are clearly unmoored from reality and being able to say that guy is a crackpot and leave it at that and not having to spend time considering techniques to neutralize him electorally or to do platform him as the word goes in media.

S3: There was a time when Art Bell hosted an overnight show where listeners would call in with tales from Area 51 or other unexplained phenomena.

S9: The story about the digging of the hole and the hearing of the sounds from hell is very real. It did occur in Siberia that was entertainment.

S3: But sure, Bell was. Maybe he was in character. He probably believed a lot of it. I’ve read interviews with him. He said he did, but he also knew that it was shtick and his meal ticket. There wasn’t really a problem with any of this. It was one step away from Elvira, mistress of the night. It was fun or it was like claiming to believe in the boogeyman and campfire stories that scare your friends sound recordings from other dimensions. Yeah, but now this stuff, the equivalent today, is one step away from thoughts that have not just entertained or entranced, but have begun to infect the minds of many people in America. Many voters, in fact, a significant portion of one of our two political parties, the modern art bell, can be found on YouTube or in podcasts, tales of the weird tales of the unexplained conspiracy theories, but also weaponize all notions that have to be examined in a way that our bell never was. So here’s a podcast called Down the Rabbit Hole, not the New York Times rabbit hole, but an effort by N.W. Radio. It seems to be a website based out of Tacoma. It plays an eclectic mix of shows, and one of them is this down the rabbit hole. Here’s the latest episode. It’s very art bell. Ask spooky UFOs.

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S10: Sometimes they would move behind the trees of despair, only to reappear moments later finds the couple grew so curious they decided to pull over and investigate to a pair of binoculars. He realized the light was not a satellite and was actually some sort of object spinning in the air, presumably a flying saucer. Barney also grew concerned as a pragmatic, pragmatic, intellectual man. He was skeptical of any extraterrestrial explanation, but he had no alternative. Guess that’s why they like to be.

S3: It couldn’t be a reflection or his imagination or a balloon, which is obviously why they’re telling this story fifty years later. Oh, yeah. You didn’t realize that this is a story from the 1960s.

S10: And if you didn’t realize that, here’s a clue that he started having dreams or what they call nightmares. Some people say dreams of people, same nightmares. One of the way when I wanted to. And in these dreams, she sees aliens. She’s taken on an alien ship. She sees some different things with the on the ship. They describe the aliens as grey with big purple lips and huge noses, kind of like Jimmy Durante.

S3: And then I started a. And Betty and I said, I want to do a probe and guess what kind of probe in that case, I don’t actually know. Jimmy Durante used Yiddish, but let’s go with it. I do very timely impressions. But the point of this show, the rabbit hole, is it’s about, you know, UFOs and D.B. Cooper, but it’s also about this craziness.

S11: Mostly, we’re going to dial in to Adrianna Chrom and Frazzle and the way everything is a lot like Pete Seeger was very quickly that completely debunked and made bonked and. Yeah, but there’s no it’s there’s no explanation. Yeah, it’s debunked, but it’s not it still leaves a lot of questions. They say it’s debunked, but it’s like, oh, well, WAPA says right. Cool. Yeah. I’m sure you know, and again, it’s a lot of it’s a lot of the web washing and we run into this all the time with our research.

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S3: Their research is reading a Kuhnen inspired story about Adreno Crume, which is I didn’t want to I didn’t want to play too many in-depth clips of them getting into it. It’s an idea that if you kill people and drink their blood, you’ll get some sort of amazing high. And then there’s this idea called frazzle drip or a story I mention the word frazzle trip yesterday is a theory that Marjorie Taylor Green at least agreed with on her Facebook page. It is about Hillary Clinton killing children and wearing their skin. Yeah, this is different from our bell. This is different from, you know, a sound recording from Siberia. There is a cruelty and meanness to the frazzle drapery. It doesn’t exist with tales of UFOs and the unexplained. In this version of conspiracy theory, real people are named and denigrated. So maybe you could argue that’s the difference. And that’s what puts it in a category of maybe something that should be looked at and worried about and regulated. It’s a little different from Bigfoot, but what really puts it in the different category is that the purveyors of it knowingly want to organize masses of people around it, and they do. And adherence to the belief sometimes now get elected and no one stops them and they get committee assignments and no one worries that this is the stuff they believe in. We know to make fun of Bigfoot believers, but Kuhnen believers, that’s something to be massaged through messaging by Kevin McCarthy for the base. And while it’s entirely unacceptable for Congress, Congress we’re talking about to welcome frazzle drippers, I’m more thinking of everyone outside of Congress. I mean, that is the minimum. You should not give Marjorie Taylor Green a committee assignment. But, you know, I do wonder if Art Bell were on now. Should we think about petitioning stations to take them off the air? I mean, that strikes me as a bad place to be. But maybe it’s where we are. I don’t think it is. But there is a case to be made that this sort of content, the embrace of the supernatural, that which once seemed harmless today, might just be entree into a very dangerous world. I mean, take this incident from 12 years ago. Chris Matthews hosting Hardball mentioned a write in vote in the disputed Minnesota Senate election between Norm Coleman and Al Franken.

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S12: Let’s take a look at the next one, guys. This has got Franken clearly filled in. I mean, he’s clearly filling and then they write in and they’re right in lizard people, lizard people.

S3: And by the way, if we were wondering about the sincerity of the lizard people voting bloc in Minnesota, the public radio station there set us straight. They actually found the guy who wrote in Lizard People, a guy named Lucas Davenport.

S5: Lizard People refers to the conspiracy theory that there’s a race of shapeshifting, lizards masquerading as humans who rule the world. But Davenport doesn’t consider himself a believer.

S3: But there are people who do, in fact, remember the Christmas Day bomber in Nashville.

S13: A bizarre new twist in the Nashville Christmas Day explosion. Investigators are now exploring several conspiracy theories as potential motives, including evidence the bomber believed in lizard people and a so-called reptilian conspiracy.

S3: Now, the headline on that NBC story was Cunard’s capital rioters. The Nashville Bombers Lizard People theory is deadly serious. Subhead Bonker. Sure, harmless? Definitely not. And that’s where we are. There’s no space for crackpots. We need to decide. We need to, I suppose, make a call, a judgment call on every crazy theory. Is it benign or is it harmful? And by the way, if the lizard people is a non harmless theory, then what else can we describe as harmless? Not much. The cost of getting it wrong are higher than I ever expected. You know what? Let’s acknowledge this, that this is an impossible task. This will overwhelm us. It will be impossible to guard against the potential for harm to sort the harmful from the millions of examples of that which truly is harmless. A few years ago, we might find this all funny, and I can’t say we were wrong. I can’t say that the world showed us the errors of our way, but the world sure showed us something. Man, I long for crackpots as crackpots. When we found out about a crackpot, it lodged itself in the humor sensing centers of our brain and not the threat sensing centers. But we’re a long way from that. In fact, we might even be closer to a situation where expecting that one of our two political parties will militate against the incursion of Q Maybe trusting that makes me the crazy one.

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S2: And that’s it for Today Show, Shane Roth, just producer, has a recording of a pitch from hell in Siberia. Hold on. I shall now play those harrowing sounds. Margaret Kelly was working on a resolution that censures Meghan McCain only to discover that it was secretly funded by Big WAPI. Should we be questioning her if that’s who she wants to be? Alicia Montgomery, executive producer of Slate Podcasts, has a deep, rich baritone that made her the voice of the Chrysler Cordoba for many years. And what I need from an automobile I know I get from this new. It’s good to hear Alysha the Jest. Love my Durante’s. Well, subscribe to Slate.

S1: Plus a feed of Mike does impressions from 80 years ago. You’ll thrill to my Pinki leave room for Adepero Adepero and thanks for listening.