Cover It Up!

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S1: The following program may contain explicit language and.

S2: It’s Friday, November 20th, 2020, from Slate’s The Gist, I’m Mike Pesca. The Trumps, the election team’s effort suffered another setback, although at this point, isn’t it like characterizing flat birthers efforts to write geography textbooks to fit their standards as a setback isn’t really a setback. It’s more like the Trumps.

S1: The election team got more pieces of data that uniformly indicate they have absolutely no chance of making the case that they can’t prove because it didn’t happen. So to catch you up, you might have heard that Jenelle’s before she took the job as Trump’s legal adviser called him an idiot and added in 2016, here’s the truth. His supporters don’t care about facts or logic. They aren’t seeking truth. And this is the cumulative reason why this nation is in such terrible shape. We don’t have truth seekers. We have narcissists. And it’s good now that I was twenty sixteen today, we found out that Trump’s lawyer in Pennsylvania, Mark Scaringe, was on his own radio show less than two weeks ago, saying this, In my view, the litigation will not work.

S3: It will not reverse this election.

S1: He is right. But Trump’s strategy isn’t actually to win in court, not actually be nice. I guess to him, if it happened is not really even to successfully lie to most of his people. So they still like him. Trump’s election strategy is to create enough momentum within specific Republican circles that a handful of officials, state legislators, believe that it is in their interest to toss out the results in their state and to send a Trump supporting slate of electors to the Electoral College. It’s wildly implausible. It’s probably unconstitutional and it’s totally indefensible. However, I took a look at the numbers involved and it is just glaring that there are. The numbers involved and it’s glaring how few people would have to conspire and do a terrible thing to give it a shot. Let’s take three states, Michigan, Arizona and either Pennsylvania or Georgia, if three all three of those states change. So definitely Michigan, definitely Arizona and either Pennsylvania or Georgia. If any of those states have legislatures that assert actually this is the actual result, it could force a constitutional crisis. Michigan, how many people would have to make this decision? In Michigan, you’d need 56 votes in the Michigan House of Representatives. There are 58 Republicans there and you’d need 20 of the 22 Republican senators to vote your way. Total of 76 Michiganders in Arizona, it’s 47. Georgia and Pennsylvania do have large houses of representatives, a general assembly in Georgia. But it comes out to something like 91 Georgians in their General Assembly. And the requisite number of senators would be 29 senators and you’d get 120 Georgians plus your Arizonans plus your Michigan’s. It comes out to convince, cajole, threaten or bribe about 243 people. Two hundred forty three Republicans, most of whom probably like Trump anyway, or at least see their interests aligned with his and the Trump the election team can try to execute this strategy. I think it’ll never work. I think we won’t even get there. I think it’s farcical, but it is not impossible. 243 Republicans, some of whom who would never go for it, but many would, are the difference between this ridiculous plan taking us to the brink and it never having a chance? So I say, come on. Two hundred forty three Republican state legislators. Stand up and say no, or at least don’t return Trump’s calls, you can do it, or actually, to be specific, you could not do it. It’s all riding on you on the show today, a Danish study casts shade on the idea that masks protect the wearer. Well, except in the Danish territory of Denmark, which has an experienced sunrise’s on the winter solstice. Therefore, no chance of shade. But first, comedian, author, actress and yes, podcast, Sarah Silverman joins me. What are the chances that a comedian has a podcast and that that podcast is called the Sarah Silverman podcast? Oh, given the precondition that the comedian in question is, in fact, Sarah Silverman, we get into Sarah’s politics, her changing comedy philosophy and her grappling with bits of the past, not the little fragments of the past and scattered pictures like the corner of our minds. I’m talking about the shtick of yesteryear. I found her to be exceptionally open to the idea of change in a way that few people are. And that conversation is up next. Sarah Silverman is out with a new podcast, and she adheres to her standard naming convention. This is the woman who gave us the Sarah Silverman Show and I Love You America with Sarah Silverman. Her podcast is the Sarah Silverman podcast. And it is it is very much a non-fiction slice of Sarah’s life in which she answers questions that are recorded in voicemail and sometimes from their lets us know her philosophy and sometimes from their, you know, tries to rethink her own. Sarah, welcome to The Gist. Thanks for coming on.

S4: Hey, cool. My pleasure. Mepham. That’s excellent. Thank you. You’re far more you are far more articulate than myself.

S1: But what you do is you search out those moments of articulation and then you find and hone the great bit. And that to me is something that’s always escaped me, like I could speak for hours and do some pretty good stuff. But when you go on stage for a one hour session, it’s also finely crafted. I don’t know. It’s always been hard for me to master that.

S4: I’m a very slow honer with my stand up. But, you know, this podcast has been very freeing and a huge it’s continues to be a big lesson, you know, because it’s it’s immediate and it’s the things I love that are are also things that I’m not used to. It’s it’s it’s really loose. It’s really messy. You know, I listen back and go, oh, this would have been so much better said this way. Yes. You know, I for I form my opinion or am able to articulate it so much better days later. But there is something about the immediacy of it and the messiness of it that I am into. Right. You know, I think is kind of neat.

S1: Do you ever get material for I don’t know if you’re thinking of doing material, it’s hard in a pandemic. But is any of the stuff that you talk about on the podcast, do you think any of it will ever become something that could be in your act?

S4: Yeah, I mean, I’m hoping that that’s the case, you know, but it’s just it’s also it comes out of my mouth and I really don’t think about it again. But if I forced myself to listen back, I can see where things can be honed into something, you know, funnier. Yes. And it’s just like in standup, you know, I record my standup, as most comics do, but listening back is like you’ve got to really force yourself to do. I got to listen to this. It always yields, you know, new thoughts, you know?

S1: So I want to ask about the I Love You America with Sarah Silverman and the couple segments you did where you went to Louisiana and Wyoming. Right. And yeah, I met. Yeah. And you lived with families and these were families who were definitely Republican and you bonded with them and you got to see their perspective and they saw yours. And so I think that’s a great lesson. But my question is in a way, I mean, as I was thinking of this lesson, I never thought that humans, human beings, Americans were so distant that that couldn’t be possible on a personal level. But since policy and politics isn’t made on a personal level, does that experiment give us hope or in a way, is it a little bit dispiriting? I’ll give you a if the Shia and the Yazidis are not getting along because the Shia think the Yazidis are worshipping the devil, well, then you can understand it. But if people from Wyoming and Minnesota are so far apart, what hope do we have to ever come together politically?

S4: Yeah, I was thinking about this this morning. I go, man, we’re so divided. It probably would take an alien invasion for us to come together. Yeah, that’s the premise of The Watchmen, right? It is, yeah.

S1: I watched The Watchmen, the original comic book. They they like faked they faked an alien invasion to make the countries of the world come together, write the squid.

S4: That’s it, right. Yeah, of course I love it.

S1: We casually ruin the watchmen for people. So that’s not that’s that’s not any of the best.

S4: It’s so the series is unbelievable. It’s just one season of genius. Yeah. Anyway, I think we are divided because we have been consciously divided by entities so willfully, mindlessly cultlike, divided that it’s just it feels impossible to undo. But I try to remain hopeful.

S1: Will you do and you I think you model perspective taking on your show. And I think the experiments on the Hulu show that shows canceled. Yeah, no, no, no. The what I’m saying is I think the podcast is exactly that. And when someone calls in and there are almost all fans. No, I haven’t heard anyone really tear into you but say, hey, you missed gendered me or hey, you just. What sexual orientation is is incorrectly or even that it exists on the show, you’re never defense of yours like thanks, I’m trying to learn I’m almost 50.

S4: I, I wish other people could have this gift I seem to have been given where I just I love learning new things. Being wrong never feels shitty to me. I’m with you. Love being changed with new information. I’m totally down.

S1: So I was thinking about the incident. Where and what was it. Twenty six. You did blackface on your show and you’ve talked about that. And then I listen to the interview you did with Bill Simmons last year. So this just last year and in that interview, which was after a GQ interview, I feel bad because he really took on that fight and Bill Maher went crazy.

S4: Yeah. Yeah. The truth is, I understand it. It’s a consequence.

S1: That is that is what I’m getting at. It seemed to me that the tone from when you were talking to Bill Simmons was to let listeners know because you did this old sketch that you certainly regret doing and realize now you realize now why it was wrong.

S4: Of course, comedy has consequences and that’s the risk of it. Yeah. And if you don’t accept them, then don’t be a comedian. So I just had to go.

S1: Well, that was the consequence, wasn’t you know, my observation is, first of all, I was totally with you on the twenty nineteen interview. You can really make a strong point that says a thing I did in the name of comedy that might not have worked artistically is now getting me fired from a job, whatever it is, 11 years later. Just think about that. You know, there are nuances to it. So I was with you. Yes. But my observation is that the tone was that not only did you understand why the producers fired you, you were sympathetic to their call. Maybe you didn’t say that’s what you would have done, but you did articulate. Look, you know, it could have it’s a small movie, right? It could have.

S4: And a year ago, you wouldn’t need to you know, so many things can can kill a project that hundreds of people worked so hard on because of bad press or someone that connected to it or something. And I I don’t think that would have happened because I I’ve always talked openly about it. And I sent them the episode. I did an entire episode and I love you America about it. I said, you know, listen, you know, but that’s their call. And I’m not saying this as a representation of how it should be with everyone. I also talk about council culture and how there has to be a path to redemption. Right. You want people to be changed or do you want people to stay the same so you can point to them as wrong in yourself, as. Right. And I you know, I call it righteousness porn. But as a comedian, I say it’s a little different. You know, some people say like, well, art should have some leeway. And and I love that that works great for me. But I also think as a comedian, when you take risks and chances are those risks, risks mean consequences. So to a degree, I go, you know, look, no one’s hiring me for a mainstream commercial. I get the best skin in the business. You see me in a new kind of a scene cause I got a tip pearly teeth for days. But you’re not going to see me in a mainstream ad because I’m divisive. But that’s something I have to accept. That’s a comedy I do. And, you know, it comes with it. You can’t complain if it’s what you do.

S1: You know, do you think that in the last year you’ve evolved even more? Because what I’m saying is I sense an evolution from how you framed it in twenty nineteen to how you talk about it now. Yes.

S4: You know, I’m not patting myself on the back. I just, I like learning new stuff. You know, I’m going to look back on this interview in ten years and cringe at how problematic it is. You know, that’s called evolution. Yeah, it’s progress. I mean that’s why I like I think of myself as a progressive and I love Bernie and Warren and I’m a democratic socialist. But even on that side, I see there’s so much absolutism. And I’m like, how can that be progressive? That needs to change progress. You know, there we really are not that different, but our labels and our language, you know, not only do we not have a shared truth, we don’t have shared language anymore. You know, we can’t use the same language. We got to boil shit down. Yeah, I think Bernie does that well. And I, I think that’s what I can do, too, to a degree, is it’s not dumbing it down. I just think the most important stuff is real. Real, real simple.

S1: Yeah. Well I thought it was the twenty sixteen DNC where you and Al Franken kind of said to the Bernie people, guys get some perspective here.

S4: Yeah. What happened was conventions. Are you like it’s people with like Styrofoam hats on the million pins on. And I saw some friends Bernie or bust and they were just beet red screaming in the faces of Hillary supporters, you know, like I’m Bernie. It wasn’t big on Hillary, but of course, I voted for Hillary. I came out and spoke on behalf of her because Bernie asked me to and I wanted her to be president. But to see these people just scream, you know, on the floor of this, you know, stronger together thing. And I just said I was talking to specific people. I go, you know, you, Bernie, or bust people are being ridiculous. Yes. And of course, the Hillary people loved it. And Bernie people were very angry at me for a long time, and some still are. But I was just literally talking to the people on the floor. And it was true.

S1: I mean, there is you’re also literally embodying what Bernie’s message was about that issue. Like you, my most ardent supporters are better coming along with the Hillary campaign. I think history proved that right.

S4: Well, it makes me crazy. Is the Hillary people that say that Bernie didn’t like show up for her. He went to more states than she did. He busted his ass for her. And I just I don’t know. Anyway, listen, I’m so grateful Bidens president and I look forward to being able to complain about a Biden presidency. That would be a dream come true. I’d be so happy, you know, but it is interesting. The if I were to compare the the far right and far left, the far right there, racism is is based in nationalism and the far left, it’s in absolutism. Right. You know, if you’re going to refuse to vote for Biden because he doesn’t behold every single thing you want when it’s the only path to those things, you’re accepting four more years of massive hardships for the most marginalized people in our country. So it kind of evens out in.

S1: Yeah. Like last week, Biden appointed he needs a liaison to Congress. So he chose, I think, an excellent choice, black congressman from Louisiana not to get elected in Louisiana. You have to represent your constituents who might work for the oil industry, and they do. So he takes donations and the Sunrise movement just lit into it, as, you know, a sellout. Now, I know that’s what the Sunrise movement, which is an extremely progressive environmental movement. That’s what they do. Maybe people within their midst would say if you’re not holding absolutely everyone to account one hundred percent, you’re not being the sunrise movement. But in real life, it’s like, come on, guys, this is a black politician who could be a very useful Go-Between between the administration in the House, you know? So get some perspective.

S4: Yeah. I mean, listen, you know, you look at Georgia and say we have to get John Ancef and Raphael Warnock in, you know, in the south, they have to walk a very fine line. So like John USCIRF is like, I’m not for the Green New Deal, I’m not for Medicare for all. And my reaction is like what? I thought, he’s our guy. But then the truth is, unless we get them in, we’ll never we won’t get the Green New Deal. Sure. He’s the key to it. Yes. He’s the key to making health care more accessible to people at everything, you know, even if he doesn’t embody all of it.

S1: Yeah, I think it goes under remarked how you used to essentially do all your comedy in a character and then you stop doing it. And if that character had a different name or a different look or just dress differently, we’d all say, oh, Sarah Silverman has abandoned her character. Like Paul Reubens is no longer Pee wee Herman. But something like the only other analogy I could think of is Steve Martin. Stop doing the wild and crazy guy. And it was pretty apparent he still Steve Martin, but he stopped doing that. But did you just go from doing that character to 100 percent, not doing that character? Was it a clear cut change or was it gradual?

S4: I don’t know. I mean, I know that, you know, well, I. I did my first special, Jesus is Magic was all in character as myself. And then the Sarah Silverman program extrapolated on that. So, you know, it was this very kind of Bugs Bunny ish, arrogant, yet ignorant character. You know, it was funny before Trump was absurdist. But I mean, I think everything I said, it was the opposite of what I meant. But the I think unless the to use a math term, absolute power transcends that. That’s the key to it working. Right. I mean, this is very unfunny way of breaking down comedy.

S1: No, no, no. It’s great. I love it. The absolute value of your comedy. So it doesn’t matter if it was that much negative. Put two brackets around it. What’s the absolute value of what you’re saying is what she’s really saying?

S4: Yes. Yes, it’s good. You know, I mean, I think if if people really thought I believed what I was saying, it would be disturbing. Yeah. And that’s why I like Meems with quote. Can really get someone killed, you know, I mean, there’s a pastor in Florida, I don’t know who started the meme, but there was like a meme of me. It goes around that is like a picture where it looks like I’m making a speech. Maybe it’s a picture from the DNC, actually, but the quote is from Jesus is Magic, which is all in character. And it says, I’m glad the Jews killed Jesus. I do it again is like the quote they take, which is part of a larger bit, of course, and is in character. I get got me a lot of death threats. And then this pastor in Florida showed it and said to his congregation that killing me would be God’s work and smashing out my teeth and killing me would would be God’s doing. And I’m just like, someone’s going to get me killed, you know, and I don’t want to get killed. I find that not romantic at all. You stand against that. Yeah. And but that stuff keeps happening and it just feeds into all the misinformation that people get power or on the Facebook side, make tons of money through misinformation, through because it causes rage and rage, causes clicks and clicks, cause rage. And it just goes over and over again. And they celeb’s.

S1: Yeah, it’s frigging crazy. Rage is such a powerful force and CLECs are so small and pathetic. Yeah. That’s how it’s monetized. Did you did you start doing the kind of comedy you’re doing now from that kind of comedy for entirely artistic reasons, or was some of it that politically you wanted to say what you wanted to say or maybe even it just got to be a drag that people were getting it wrong so much?

S4: Well, I’ll tell you what happened. No, none of those really. My first special I kind of got famous from and then it was like a lot of my comedy was shock and surprise. Yes. And so then I had a kind of what’s it called? Identity crisis, because I had to write new material. But where do I test it out? It you know, I mean, like and and I need to I wanted to please the audience. And now their expectation was surprise. So I had to surprise them. But then if I do that, then I’m giving them what they expect and then it’s not surprise. And then finally, I had an epiphany that just comedy dies in the second guessing of your audience. And then I have to be brave enough to start from zero and bomb a bunch and figure out who I am now and what’s funny to me now. And so, you know, after each special and I don’t do a lot of specials, I’ve done three in twenty five years or whatever, whenever I’m doing starting a new set, I just I go up and I eat shit, you know. I mean, if one thing works great, I’ve got one thing I build on that and I have the audience, you know, there’s nothing like the audience going, oh my God, Sarah Silverman. And then being like, but, you know, and I think a lot of comics just they need they just want to kill. They’re too afraid and they don’t write or progress or change. They become kind of caricatures of themselves. And I think that’s the biggest bravery in comedy, is going back to zero and starting over and being willing to lose the people that love you now and or maybe they grow along with you or they don’t. But you got to do it or it’s that the alternative is not for me.

S1: Sarah Silverman has a new podcast out. It is the Sarah Silverman podcast. You know her from such political conventions as the Democratic National Convention. So it was great talking to you.

S4: Thank you so much. It is great talking to you, too.

S1: And now the spiel yesterday, there was a Danish study published that showed that mask wearers get only limited protection from covid by wearing their masks. In the study, two point one percent of non mask wearers got covid, but one point eight percent of mask wearers got it. So a mask might lower you a little bit. It’s about a 20 percent lowering of the risk, which isn’t nothing. But then again, if you look at such low numbers of either masked or not mass that actually had covered, you couldn’t say for sure that it offers even a 20 percent boost in protection. Well, so what? Right. Because I read this story and this study and said, OK, that’s good to know. There was some recent contre studies that indicated that mask could protect the wearer. And I’m not talking about in ninety mass. I’m talking about even cloth masks. And certainly it would be good if masks did protect the wearer. But obviously, and I think we all know this, that masks are in for the wearer, therefore everyone else. I also read a few comments, an editorial criticizing the study. There was one written by Thomas Friedman, who is the head of the CDC for eight years under Barack Obama, and he found some problems with the study that seem plausible. One is that they found out who had covered by testing for antibodies and antibodies do have false positives. There’s about a one point five percent false positive rate. And if you work the numbers, it means that maybe their findings that the masks don’t work, maybe that is the incorrect study just based on false positives. And also it is a Danish study. And as Friedman notes, the daily incidence of newly confirmed covid-19 cases in Denmark was roughly a third of that in the UK and a quarter of that in the United States. So why should that play a role? What does it matter? Because it rates a rate. And we’re talking about a study that showed the difference in rates between the masked and the unmasked. Why does it depend on the amount of covid in the population? The thing is, it might I’ll make an analogy. Let’s say you’re doing a study on the effectiveness of umbrella’s versus rain coats and hats. Well, you might get one result in a steady rain, but you might get a different result in a monsoon and there might not be a 20 percent premium on the mask, where it might be 40, might be 60 or could disappear altogether. I mean, the Danish study does sound to me, seem to me to be a well conducted sound study, and it does throw some water on the idea that seem promising. Maybe it isn’t as promising as we thought that masks greatly help the user. OK, that said, Fox News was extremely irresponsible. It’s going to shock you in how they portray this study. They love items like this so that they can have a slender reed to hang their skepticism on. And from that slender reed, they can build a narrative of disinformation. So they had frequent Fox guest and mask skeptic Alex Berenson on. He was a guest on Laura Ingraham’s show. They covered this mask study like a college football coach is masked on the sidelines, which is to say they covered it not well at all.

S5: What should we take away from this?

S6: What we should take away is that masks are basically useless as a protective measure. I mean, there wasn’t much doubt about that before. There’d been a very good meta analysis done several months ago that was published in the CDC journal that suggested that. But this study was randomized. It had several thousand people and it essentially showed that wearing masks does not protect the wearer at all from the coronavirus, not from the flu. This was done this spring in Denmark and it was done with the coronavirus. It was a very, very well designed study. And frankly, if a drug company was produced, was had a drug in trials that that that had this trial result, they would discontinue development of the drug.

S1: Well, if the drug was designed to cure a disease, may be, though, I don’t think masks have the side effect of drugs. But if the drug was used to stop the transmission of a disease, then you would keep telling people to use it, because the science on that is so very clear. And I’ll say it clearly and plainly. The proper use of masks has been documented, well documented, to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus to others. All right. You got it. I know you understood it beforehand, but I said it quite plainly. Let us now see how Laura Ingram communicates this vital lifesaving point to her audience.

S5: The Twitter scolds are tweeting today saying, oh, well, we’ve said it only protects. It’s for others, not for you.

S1: She does it with mockery, with the whiny voice. This is becoming quite a common tactic between whiny bitch and dumb guy. But the most provides protection to prevent the spread of large airborne droplets being expelled from the patient’s mouth. So between those two rhetorical techniques, there is almost nothing that can’t be disproven. Oh, add the faux scary vowel elongation. Ben Shapiro does this a lot like he’s mocking someone who’s worried about Jewish influence and he says the Jews so scary, the Jews or Rudy Giuliani does this. Here’s Rudy. Upon hearing that the election was called for, Joe Biden, who was it called by all then?

S4: Oh, my goodness. All the networks. Wow.

S1: All the networks. We have to forget about the law. In the case of shtick, vivax shtick wins in a press conference outside Four Seasons landscaping. But a killer mockery game doesn’t make you correct. Might even indicate you don’t have that strong a word based argument sans the mockery, all these so-called carbon monoxide experts saying don’t run your car for hours on end in an unventilated garage. Oh, can you stand? These people don’t depend on a navigation device that uses the Internet while hiking and Denali National Park. I mean, who are they? They can’t be right. Many years ago, I interviewed Laura Ingraham, who had just written a book called Shut Up and Sing, criticizing celebrities for their political opinions. At one point, she mocked Steve Van Zandt for using the phrase, I’m not a fan of Saddam Hussein, but and then went on to actually raise a good point. Who says that I’m not a fan of Saddam? Ingram asked in the book and in our interview. So I played her the following tape. Stay tuned for her reaction. There’s a large population of Shia that no fans of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad, they could revolt. I mean, that’s Donald Rumsfeld, as I’m sure you know.

S5: You’re not whatever.

S1: Quite a repost. Touché. But at shit a man of science on her show, this time to parry about the idea that masks do work to prevent covid spread. I’ll say it again. Masks do work to prevent covid spread. But of course, the reason why they work depends on the mechanics of how the cloth or other fibers would interrupt expulsion of the virus. This is called source control. They have source control stops. Things at the source stops, the virus stops, the cough, stops, the aerosolized droplets from spreading. So let’s see how Berenson describes this process to the Fox audience.

S5: But so if the virus can’t get through to you, there’s not evidence of that. That’s right.

S6: If why would you think this works one way and not the other? Now, there’s a sort of a complicated there’s a lot of complicated mechanistic stuff here.

S1: Mechanistic. Does he think that’s a synonym for fictional? They’re right. There is the opportunity to give an answer. Or you could just mock the question ready for the unbelievably complex answer that he couldn’t expect anyone without a PhD to understand. He could have said, well, you know, mask’s work as source control because they prevent larger expelled drop. Let’s from evaporating into smaller droplets that can travel farther, get it, and if you want it to really go for it, cared about educating the audience might make an analogy. You know, if I shoot off a fire extinguisher and at the exact point of expulsion, I place, I don’t know, dinner plate right in front of it, it will stop the spread. But if I’m standing over on the other side of the room holding a dinner plate and you spray me with the extinguisher, I’m still going to get soaked. But of course, that would engage more in explanatory journalism as opposed to mockery. And mockery is a lot more fun. I mean, I don’t know if he just loves the mockery voice, maybe he could give the accurate information in the voice because masks were run larger, expel droplets from evaporating. Now, that doesn’t work. That’s the worst of both worlds. That’s very confusing. There’s so many ways to accurately communicate. But, you know, it takes a little bit of effort. But there are really almost effortless ways to miscommunicate or to communicate mistruths. And once that communication airs on America’s most watched cable channel, it is hard to correct it. So you’ve got to stop it at the source, but to stop it at the source, it’s just a mechanistic process. It’s so complicated. I would put it this way. Just be honest or counterpoint to that. I shall quote, I think it was either Cicero or Maya Angelou who said whatever.

S2: And that’s it for today’s show, Margaret Kelly produces the gist she will often blow her nose in a very complex mechanism called a Kleenex. Now she figures there’s no difference between using the Kleenex at the point of the nostril versus sneezing snot into the air and hoping to catch the mucus by walking around the room and waving the Kleenex in the air. But you know what? She plays along to get along. Daniel Shrader, just producer, notes that Rudy Giuliani’s Kleenex game indicates that he is a free thinker. Alicia Montgomery is executive producer of Slate podcasts. She says if she wanted to hear about a young Jewish girl from New Hampshire who used to wet her bed, then she’d listen to the floor speeches of Senator Warren Rudman, who is, in fact, two of those things, not saying which to the gist. It’s like those insufferable hectoring know it alls.

S1: So I say right now, shut up. I am getting in a land war in Asia and that’s final. Me to Peru and thanks for listening.