The Comfort of Knowledge

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S1: The following recording may contain explicit language I can’t get more explicit than May with literal say it may.

S2: It’s Friday, April 10th, 2020 from Slate’s The Gist. I’m Mike PESCA. He called the virus genius in his briefing today. Did Donald J. Trump?

S3: He answered a question about the disparity. Death rates among African-Americans by bragging about how before the virus hit, African-Americans have low unemployment under his administration. And he said this about Texas, his stay at home order.

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S4: Speaking with the great governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, the other day, he has a stay at home. A lot of people didn’t even know it, but he had a stay at home, some people reported. Texas was. And he had a very strong actually a very strong state.

S5: So a powerful order, very powerful order, so powerful that not many people knew about it. Public health communicators take note. This is the new era of government decree, iron fisted decree, veal whisper network. I can see the new license plates in Texas saying, you know, a lot of people don’t know this, but between you and me in the lamp post. Don’t mess with Texas. But I want to talk about a policy that Trump has long touted that is actually not on its face, ridiculous. It’s not a break with the consensus of learned people who talk about what’s needed most. Experts are pointing to it as a game changer. Here it is.

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S4: We’re also working to bring blood based syria. allergy tests to the market as quickly as possible so that Americans can determine whether or not they have already had the virus and potentially have immunity. They have immunity if they’ve had the virus. A lot of them don’t even know if they’ve had it. Sometimes it’s brutal. You see, the prime minister seems to be doing well now. I hope he had a rough go of it and still is. But he’s doing better. And then some people don’t even know they had it. It could be sniffles. It could be. They don’t feel perfect, but they’ve had it there. They’re the lucky ones. The NIH, CDC and FDA are currently validating these antibody tests, antigen or antibody tests.

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S5: Once we have those. The economy could start. The thinking goes because then people with immunity will know they can freely participate in business. The statement by President Trump actually echoed by other experts and leaders, officials who don’t pick petty fights, who don’t engage in distraction tactics, who don’t offer risible defenses of their past mistakes. And still, there is plenty of evidence that there are many, many, many more problems with these tests or these supposed tests, since they don’t really exist in a reliable quantity. More problems than the optimistic perspective would lead you to believe. So this from Bloomberg about the country that has done the best job fighting the Corona virus.

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S6: About 51 patients classed as having been cured in South Korea have tested positive again, the CDC said in a briefing on Monday. Rather than being infected again, the virus may have been reactivated in these people, given they tested positive again shortly after being released from quarantine, said Jong Eun Kyung, director general of the Korean CDC.

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S5: The issue there is or could be inconsistencies in test results. Inconsistencies or worse seems to be what stymied the city of Laredo, Texas, because they wanted to get a test for antibodies. ProPublica investigated. They put together the video you’re about to hear, which is why the comments of Laredo’s health director, Hector Gonzalez, are playing with that dooby dooby music in the background. But listen to the words he’s saying.

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S7: We had been told by the manufacturer of the test and literature that it was 93 and 97 percent effective, which is great, but we not controls.

S8: We didn’t like the results that we were getting because they weren’t anywhere near. And so we couldn’t lose them and we decided not to use them because they weren’t a good product.

S5: There is further research that even the presence of antibodies among those who have had some level of the virus might not be quite as protective as Trump and other leaders would have us believe. The Wall Street Journal quotes Kimberly Hansen, an infectious disease physician at the University of Utah School of Medicine, saying, We’re still trying to figure out what detecting an antibody response means. And if it’s protective or not, we don’t know. There’s so much we don’t know. And we should admit what we don’t know. We don’t know if hydroxy chloroquine is going to work. We don’t know if they’ll be antibody testing or when they’ll be antibody testing or if the antibody testing will be accurate or if even an accurate antibody test will tell us what we think it will tell us. It’s easier to deliver good news than bad news, but it’s worse to deliver inaccurate news than accurate news. Frustrating though it may be. It’s better to have our leaders feel like they have to communicate ambivalence. Then feel like they have to make promises that can’t be kept on the show today. I think we’ve turned a corner, reached a milestone, if you will, not a flattened curve. Persay or infection rates declining. A milestone of collective knowledge and I will explain. But first, Creg Rothfeld is a former financial professional whose company was hit hard by the recession and is trying to keep the good times rolling. He did some bad things first. He lost his professional accreditation and ultimately he lost his freedom. But after serving prison time, Rothfeld started a company explaining to others what happens when they go behind bars. Maybe you heard about his most recent high profile client, Harvey Weinstein. In this the first of two interviews, Craig and I talk about his legal travails, how he served his time and what he has decided to do with the time he has now.

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S9: Creg Rothfeld is an interesting guy with an interesting background who does a very interesting thing now. He is the proprietor of Inside Outside LTT. What the company is is essentially a prison consultant. If someone is going to prison or jail and they want to know what to expect. They ask Creg. And the reason Creg knows is, well, he’s been there, too. We should also disclose I’ve known Creg since we were about 8 and played on the same soccer team. Hey, how you doing, Creg? My golf. Are real good. I’m a great guy from Oceanside, Long Island. Thank you. OK, so Creg. I know a little bit of this. Tell me how you got a firsthand glance at what prison and the realities of prison was like.

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S10: Yeah, I mean, and, you know, cut me off. You need to I mean, the arc started really back in 2002 when I made a decision after 9/11 not to go into investment banking and someone else. You know, from our days in Oceanside High School, Mike Romano and and his father in law, Dina Bon, Fogarty’s dad. They owned a $2 brokerage firm on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. And I had started consulting for them and helped arrange a financing so they could buy a seat through the course of that, you know, a very short and sweet. They asked me to come build the firm. And Mike and I built a firm from 2002 to 2012. We did some incredible things peak at one hundred and twenty employees. Forty six million in revenues, five regional offices. But after the financial crisis hit, we were faced with a lot of decisions. And they are decisions that I wish I had made differently. A very careful to say they weren’t mistakes. These were choices. These were bad, horrible choices, bad decisions. We had other options. And unfortunately, I falsified financial statements to keep the business open. We ran personal expenses through our business just to save on the amount of taxes that we would pay. And it was the wrong thing to do. Ultimately, we lost the business. We shut down January 1, 2012. I was barred from the industry. I thought it was all over. I started to rebuild my life. And in February 2014, 26 months later, I got a bang on the door and it was the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office to arrest me and indict me. That ultimately led to 22 months of defending myself. And I ultimately took a plea. Yes, it’s got an indeterminate sentence or in street talk, a split bed. I got sentenced to one and a half to four and a half years in New York state prison.

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S11: And according to this record, I have, as you pled guilty in New York State Supreme Court to various charges, including grand larceny, securities fraud and tax crimes, that would all be accurate.

S12: And as a result of that, on December 15th, 2015, I started my sentence in the New York City Department of Corrections and ultimately the lion’s share of it. In the New York State Department of Corrections.

S11: Do you know I mean, as you look back or have you found out between being barred by the securities industry? So a punishment but not a criminal punishment, not taking away your freedom. Between that and the charges, what changed? Why did they were they working on it the whole time or was a decision made to charge you criminally? You know why that decision was made?

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S12: Yeah. I mean, I. To the extent that it’s been explained to me by my former criminal attorney, Mark ignace fellow who is now a dear friend and business colleague, you know, ultimately and I don’t want to minimize this, Mike. I think what had happened is I was arrogant in trying to save the business the last year or two. I test a lot of people off at FINRA. And I think, you know, ultimately I I signed what’s called an admission waiver and consent. I think they ticket they mailed it down to the Manhattan district attorney’s office.

S10: And there are a lot of former FINRA employees that are at the d.a.’s office, former D.A. d.a.’s that are at FINRA.

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S13: And they indicted me because they could. And because the reality is, Mike broke the law. I signed a financial statement, submitted a defender in the SCC, and it was false. So when you do that, there can be a punishment.

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S11: So I accept that FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. So there you are. You’re facing prison time. And when you take the play, it is expressed to you you will be serving time in prison. What is your conception of what might lie ahead?

S13: I spent the 22 months prior to going in preparing myself in a way I had never prepared myself for anything in life. I mean, as hard as I ever studied in high school or college or to pass the CPA exam or to get through grad school and get an MBA or pass any professional licenses, I studied the Department of Corrections and what would or could happen to me in a way that I had never studied anything before. And the reason and answer your question is, you know, this is state prison. I was not going to a camp, so I knew that I was going to do, quote unquote, hard time. I knew I was going to be in Rikers Island for a period of time. And so once I took a plea, I knew that I was going to prison, but I had already been spending. Seventeen months getting ready to go.

S5: What resources were out there?

S13: While the Department of Corrections Web site is a resource public. So it’s nothing fancy, but most people don’t read it. And, you know, if you drill down, you’ll find hundreds of information memos. You find information about programming. Columbia University, Westlaw, Lexis Nexis have lots of articles, studies, information, resources on the Department of Corrections. And then I thought, who better to talk to than former inmates and retired corrections officers? But, you know, those are the resources, Mike.

S5: How do you how do you convince former prisoners or former prison officials and guards to talk to you?

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S13: Maybe it’ll surprise you. Maybe not. It’s a rite of passage. This is a fraternity that nobody wants to be in. But once you’re in it, you’re all in it together. And there is the ultimate pay it forward for people that have gone through the experience, say the term we all use as we were fellow travelers, fellow travelers. You know, when we go away, we call it. And I was away on vacation. Obviously, anything about that. But people are very willing to talk to you.

S11: Is that the bulk of the people you were talking to? Not people who are there for violent crimes, not people who and they would have been in your same prison. They could have been in your same prison. But you’re talking to other people essentially who are there for white collar crimes off.

S10: Yeah. I spoke to people obviously were there for white collar crimes for obvious reasons. And to understand how I might navigate the system and how you navigated as a five foot six, you know, a Long Island Jewish momma’s boy.

S13: But I also because of where I work, you know, at the time I was working up in Harlem and people I knew, I got the people who went in for violent felonies as well. I wanted to talk to people of all sorts of flavors because I needed the total 360 perspective.

S11: So there are two idioms. One is you could do all the war planning you want until the first bullets fly. And the way Mike Tyson said it was, you could do all the preparation you want until you get punched in the mouth. So you do all this work and then you get into prison. And what helped you and what didn’t comport with the research that you did from the comfort of your chair?

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S13: I was very well prepared, Mike. People really that I talked to did a good job of explaining things and taking the mystery away of different things. What it was going to be like to get on the bus, in leg shackles, what it was going to be like to go to Rikers, what it was going to be like to leave Rikers and go to a reception facility, which was all start what that bus ride felt like, what it was going to be like, you know, to get DeLys and do the showers. So I think the punch in the face wasn’t so much the actual things that happened. I think it’s the emotions in the case. It’s the emotional Ponsonby. It was that first night in Rikers Island in the Tombs, the day I was sentence. How the bleep did I get here?

S14: Right. This is a Manhattan holding facility in lower Manhattan, too.

S10: Yeah, the Manhattan the Eddie Manhattan Detention Center, affectionately known as the Tombs.

S15: Then as you go through it, how long are you in Rikers without fail, Mike?

S12: Everyone wants to know about Rikers. And I got the luxury of spending five and a half weeks there when you should only spend 10 days. And, you know, this is a little nugget which I’ll give away. And I talk to my clients about ordinarily New York state law requires that they take possession of you within 10 days of sentencing. So what actually happens is when you’re sentence, you now are the custody of New York State. They literally own you. And New York City Department of Corrections, which consists of the Tombs and Rikers and a few other jails, hold you as a courtesy to New York state to come pick you up. And you’re supposed to be picked up within 10 business days. However, oftentimes what happens is your paperwork. It’s called your commitment papers are missing a signature or a checkbox. We can speculate as to whether or not the judge’s clerks innocently miss it or they do it on purpose because they want to you know what with you. So I went in with my co-defendant and ten days later they picked him up to take him upstate. And I found out the next day that the judge’s clerk did not sign my commitment papers. So as a result of that, I wasn’t what’s called state ready. So I wound up staying in Rikers for basically an extra four weeks. And it was five and a half weeks of pure fascination and many other things.

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S14: Did your preparation make you handle that? I mean, you were preparing for 10 days. Are there five times as long?

S12: Yes. But after a while, you know, I had two or three, you know, thankfully kept to myself major emotional breakdowns. I mean, Rikers Island is, you know, to say it’s a scary place, Mike, is not to do it justice. And I’m not one to be grandiose or embellish, but whatever anyone thinks about it, it’s a million times worse. It’s horrific. I don’t know that anything anyone else did prepared me for Rikers. I just believe my own mental fortitude and the fact that I never look down on people ever. And I knew how to keep to myself, kind of worked in my favor, and if you want, I’ll share just a brief anecdote with you. Yeah. Yeah. You know, I walked in to a dorm at Rikers is a day room. It’s like in a bubble with chairs and a television. And then it’s just a big rectangular room with 60 beds, 20 along the left wall, 20 down the middle, 20 along the right wall, 60 max. I walked in. There were 42 bloods, you know, affectionately of the Bloods and the Crips street gangs. Yeah. So here I’m one of four Caucasian white men in there. And you have to assess the situation. You know, rather quickly. And at first I found out 10 days later they thought I was an undercover cop, but they found.

S14: Does that make you more safe or less safe, do you think?

S12: Less safe? Much less. Yeah. So they have their ways to find out that you’re actually a criminal and then they kind of ease up on you. And what ultimately happened was I kept them myself. I stayed on my bed very cordial to people, sadly. And I mean this people can’t read or write in there. And what else would have wound up happening is people started coming at me. I was writing letters, I was reading people’s medical papers, and that endeared me to them. And the reality is they didn’t want anything to happen to me. You know, being wish it would be a hate crime if something happened to me. And so I was protected in a way that kept me out of harm’s way. And I read my books and I help people. And I was fortunate. And I just you know, I knew enough to never use my education as a weapon. And, you know, I was raised by good grandparents.

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S14: When you finally got out, where’d you spend the rest of your time?

S12: So a couple places in New York state, there’s five reception facilities and there’s four other facilities that are like pre reception facilities. But you have to go to one of the five of them or one of the four intake facilities in order to get what’s called a permanent facility. So Ulster is a medium security facility. Downstate is a maximum security facility. I went to Ulster because I was medium security. I spent eight weeks there. From there, I went and was put permanently, quote unquote, Bernie and all Ginzberg Correctional Facility up in St. Lawrence County. I was an eighth of a mile from the Canadian border. I was able to see the Canadian flag walking around the track over an eight hour drive from the city. I got to Ogden’s Berg in the middle of March and I spent about five and a half, five and three quarter months at Odd Ginzberg and was very fortunate to be admitted to a temporary release program. The first of two. I did a work release program. I came back down the Hudson in New York, spent time at Hopps and Correctional Facility, and we worked for core craft or crafts owned by the Department of Corrections. They make all the furniture, the soaps, the uniform shoes.

S14: And I weren’t the ones making the hand sanitizer.

S12: Yeah, they were. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So cor craft there’s multiple layers of core crap, but in the maximum security facilities a lot of the stuff that core craft sells to the different prisons. And not for profits around the state is made there.

S14: Yeah. By the way, let me just interrupt there with some sort of backlash. Oh it’s prisoner made Purell. But from what I glean you appreciated the opportunity to have something like that to do.

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S13: Oh, it was like hitting prison lotto, you know? No question about it. And that’s the reality of it, is it was prison a lot.

S5: Oh, God.

S9: Just talk about the sociology. I mean, a lot of us have read a lot or watched a lot of movies. Some of them seem accurate about the hierarchies in prison and the structure and the sociology of prison. How much of that is true and how much of the reality differs from what we might have seen in an HBO show or Oz or The Shawshank Redemption?

S12: Yeah, Shawshank, I’ve seen multiple times. How did they play that in prison? You know, let me think about that. Yes, they do. Yeah, actually, some of the favorite shows. And he’s because he is so, so worth laughing about. Two of the most popular shows in prison, Criminal Minds and Law and Order. I mean, I didn’t watch it, but it’s just like, you know, you commit a crime. It’s like as if they can learn how to commit a better crime. Fascinating. Yeah, the hierarchies exist. There’s no question about it. Even if you’re in a medium security prison, you’re doing time with people who served in maximum security prisons. Because the way the Department of Corrections works is that they move maximum people down to mediums after they serve, you know, a percentage or a significant portion of their sentence. So I was in a medium security prison, was a guy with a guy, was in for murder to the ultimate respect goes to older men. Oh, jeez. They call him a 660 and up. You know, you’re one kind of protected class unless you’re just a total jerk. People who served in maximum security prisons and have done, you know, 15 or more years have a complete level of respect. You’re aware of people that are in for guns or more violent crimes. You know, the gangs are in their Latin kings are in they’re the Bloods are in. They’re the Crips are in there. So there’s a real social order to prison. There is a hierarchy to prison. And this is just among the inmates. Forget the corrections officers.

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S14: I do try not. To associate with the Latin Kings, with the Bloods, or is there no way to avoid that?

S12: It’s impossible to avoid it when you’re living in a dorm with people. I interacted with everyone. First of all, no matter what you say. That was my world. That was my ego system. And I always say to people. Yeah, no one wants to be in prison. It’s the worst place in the world to be beside six feet under. But there’s good and bad in prison. You know, it’s life. It’s the natural order thing to develop relationships with people. You’re living in tight quarters. And the number one source of information more than research, information, memos. The greatest source of information for me that I use in my practice was the interviews and conversations I had with former inmates and their life stories. Their prison stories. And for them, I was, you know, my genius Mike. But I was, you know, an educated man who they viewed as a wealth of information for them. So it was you spent time talking to each other.

S14: Can you recall where any instance where your knowledge or your skills tangibly helped an inmate, either in an appeal or just, I don’t know, getting getting through the day?

S12: Absolutely. The most basic was people who didn’t know how to read. There are people there who didn’t know how to read. And so either read letters, I would often review their legal papers for them, explain what it all meant. I wrote letters for people. I type letters for people. I am not fluent in Spanish, but I’m conversant. So I was able to help with Spanish to English situations when necessary. And I did. I helped somebody prepare a writ of habeas corpus to try to get their entire sentence and conviction thrown out. It ran the gamut. Everyone has kind of nicknames in prison. I had to. One was the rabbi. I’m Jewish. Yeah.

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S13: And a lot of guys called me Google because they thought I had all these answers. And I don’t have all the answers, but I had a lot more than most people in there. So. And that was every way for it that I did that at Rikers. I did that at all sturr. I and I did that at Odd Ginzberg, but I was able to help people when you went from facility to facility.

S14: Did you ever come into a situation where there was someone else you had served with and so your reputation was known when you got there?

S12: Yeah, that’s that’s interesting that you brought that up. One of the gentlemen that I had become close with an all star during that eight week reception stint wound up coming to Hudson after I had been in Hudson for three months. And then someone I had served time with an odd Ginzberg wound up coming down the Hudson after I was there. So that was interesting. And then the last seven weeks I served at Lincoln Correctional Facility, which has since been shut down on One Hundred and Ten Street. And when I got there was sort of a reunion of people you met in all the different facilities throughout.

S14: When does your experience become in your mind? Maybe I could do this for other people. Maybe I could make a business out of this when I was in prison.

S12: I knew once I got into prison that it was something I could do. I had a prison console myself who is not in New York State specialist, who’s one of the foremost federal specialists in the country as a career criminologist, very, very well respected. A gentleman by the name of Joel Cycler, who runs justice advocacy group, someone that I love is near and dear to me. So I knew what he was doing. And once I got in, it was clear to me that this is something that I can do and we collaborate to this day. I handled most of Joel’s New York state work and I refer all my federal work to him. And he’s an incredible guy. But once I was in, it was obvious to me that I could do something with it. And then when I got out, it was really combination of Joel and my attorneys. My attorney, Mark Defillo, sat me down and he said, you need to do this. That’s it. You must do this. There is a void. There is a space. It’s very complimentary of me. And, you know, he said, you’re the one who needs to do this. And, you know, I started doing it. I was doing it for a little over two and a half years professionally. And then I had the 40 months of, you know, time inside in the 22 months fighting. So it’s a long run for, you know, that’s you know, I don’t know. How many years does that make? It’s a little over six years, almost seven years.

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S16: And the second part of that story will be on Monday. Just will learn about Harvey Weinstein, his high profile client, and as ethical conundrums.

S5: And now the spiel on Fridays for the last couple of weeks, at least, I’ve been trying to leave on a high note, but at least a non despairing one.

S15: I realize it’s the same instinct that drives Andrew Cuomo to highlight hospital admissions falling at the same time when deaths hit seven ninety nine. Same day he talks of milestones and there’s some justification to what he’s saying. If you look at the right stats. I’ve heard discussion of the public consciousness. It’s so hard to put your finger on, but I’ve heard more more people saying we’re turning a corner of some sort. And if more and more people are saying it, it’s probably in some way true that we’re turning to other things. Maybe it’s that we’re showing a willingness to attend to some non corona news. Maybe. Maybe the reason for that is we can’t take how bad it is or how long it’s been bad. Or maybe it’s just that the older generation might have compromised immune systems, but the younger ones have compromised attention spans. But here’s what I think. I think something slightly different is going on. We have entered a different mode. And by we I mean the kind of person like you and me, a person who listens to or does the just kind of person who could what can watch CNN or listen to NPR and doesn’t want to hear bad news, but does want a base of knowledge with which to understand our situation. So for a few weeks, we’ve been essentially, in fact, finding mode, learning terms, hearing from experts. Building a base of knowledge. I’ve covered two other huge moments of national catastrophe in my journalistic career, 9/11 and then the Great Recession. And with each there was a learning period, a ramping up with the recession. We had to become conversant or relatively conversant in trenches and liar loans and collateralized debt obligations. What the difference between Fannie and Freddie was and we watched the news, we tried to figure out the words and we came to trust Alex and Adam.

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S1: So I guess the first thing we have to do is talk about the global pool of money, right? The global pool of money. That that’s where our story begins.

S15: Some of the things we learn. Stay with us. Maybe we don’t even remember the time when we didn’t know them. Are you sure that in September, the first days of September of 07, are you sure you knew what the definition of a Keynesian economist was? Some of the things we learned seemed really important then. Remember the library rate and now wait. Does the library rate even exist? Answer. It does. But it used to be the BBA library rate. Now it’s the ice library rate. Oh God. That just seems opaque. Still maybe sort of like the difference between an influenza virus and a corona virus that a few weeks ago. But we did and have ramped up. We’ve done this in the past. We schooled ourselves. We became oriented for a certain kind of engaged citizen. This is empowering. I know it is for me. I remember after 9/11, there was shock and then fear and then questions. And depending on where you started, you either learned that al-Qaeda existed or that al-Qaeda was much more potent than you thought they were. For some Americans reflected in this Alan Jackson lyric, the education was remedial. But even those of us who could tell the difference between those two countries maybe didn’t quite know the exact difference between a Shia and Sunni Muslim or which one Osama bin Laden was or which one the Saudis were or something that called Wahhabism interacted with those what we thought were the two strains of Islam. We became oriented to geopolitics, to terrorism tactics. We sought to learn where that really one hundred sleeper cells. And why couldn’t the FBI and CIA computers search two different terms at the same time or talk to each other? Most of us learned that a trading firm named Cantor Fitzgerald even existed. And then suddenly didn’t. And from these facts came forays into implications. Next order questions. Remember, for a time there was a robust debate over if the U.S. should be considered an empire. The taxonomy seemed important, and beyond the terms and facts, we figured out how to feel what our cultural touchstones should be. Susan Sontag wrote an article in The New Yorker asking, quote, If the word cowardly is to be used, it might be more aptly applied to those who kill from beyond the range of retaliation. High in the sky, then to those willing to die themselves in order to kill others on ABC.

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S17: Bill Marr, we have been the cowards lobbing cruise missiles from 2000 miles away, said the same thing and lost some advertisers.

S15: Having an opinion on these matters wasn’t an indulgence. It was a necessity. Beyond facts, we acquired a shared culture. In some cases, excavating works of art from a time ago. Do you remember how suddenly after 9/11, everyone recalled the words to that W.H. Auden poem? September 1st, 1939, the final couplet of the first stanza Reading and darken lands of the Earth obsessing our private lives.

S18: The unmentionable odor of death offends the September night.

S15: It demanded our attention and attention was paid. We’ve gone through the first wave of all that now here today, acquiring knowledge on the microbial level and the macro level, casting back to the pandemic of 1918, looking sideways to the lessons from South Korea a little more than a month ago, the words most often mentioned in tandem with the word curve would be cost or ball, or maybe the phrase for women.

S19: Now flatten only flatten.

S15: And so here we are one day removed from the one month anniversary of when the last NBA game was played. That’s the day that it all became very real to me. Your timing may be different, but now we’re all read in more or less read in briefed. We’ve acquired a base of knowledge, a shared set of facts, and this allows us to hold informed opinions and make intelligent decisions upon these matters. I knew that this was true for me when the Gist played an interview that wasn’t Corona virus related. It was earlier this week Bernie Sanders was dropping out and it didn’t seem gratuitous to play a couple of banked interviews, one on the black vote, one on the youth vote. My podcast. Q The things I listened to is gone from, I’d say 70 percent pandemic related to about 50 percent, not because of anxiety or self-care, but because other things in the world are actually interesting. Me or the Corona podcasts are telling me things I already know. The other day I saw a story in the newspaper totally unrelated to the pandemic. And you know what? I didn’t resent its presence progress by the way. It was on the failed Afghan peace process. So not progress, but it’s something now as far as our shared culture, that part’s harder. It’s harder than even a dozen years ago during the recession. It’s harder than almost 20 years ago. We live in a more fractured time than 9/11. I mean, there’s no way these days that Alan Jackson’s cable network of choice would be CNN. Right. And I don’t know that there’s any great ordan poems about viruses, but there is a line from that same well quoted poem, September 1st, 1939, that I think is perfectly applicable to this moment, mismanagement and grief.

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S18: We must shovel them whole again.

S15: I didn’t say the sentiment would be comforting. Just relevant, though I have to say I am comforted by its relevance, by hearing things true and plain. I feel like maybe you do too. I feel like that I now have the tools to discern that which is true from that which is a distraction or an irrelevance or a lie. And that at least provides a sense of ballast.

S20: And that’s it for today’s show that just is produced by Margaret Kelly, who may be acting associate producer or associate acting producer or producer of an association of actors. We’re gonna have to figure this one out. Daniel Schrader, just producer, was born to Liberty’s doing what he please richer than the bees and honey, never growing old, never feeling cold, pulling pots of gold from thin air. But who is the land for the sun in the sand for? You guessed, it’s all for just. Poor, desperate for proof. And thanks for listening.