The Biggest Problem in the Universe - Episode 15
Transcription courtesy of: Megan Pennock
Maddox: Welcome to the Biggest Problem in the Universe, I'm Maddox. With me is Dick Masterson.
Dick: Heyyyyy, what's up buddy? How we doin'? How did we do last week?
Maddox: Great! So last week was our first ever in-studio guest...
Maddox: ...and, everybody loved it! It was great. Went over really well. And so the problems...the first problem was yours, Dick -- Maddox Gets No Credit -
Maddox: - which, I agree, yeah, huge...huge problem.
Dick: That's a double win. I win that one and you...the only loser in that problem is Leah.
Maddox: Leah did come in last in this one. (chuckling) So it was followed by Wine Snobs, and...it was actually pretty close. It was followed - and then after that was People Who Can't Read Social Cues, our very first guest's problem.
Dick: Yeah, well, better luck next time, I guess!
Maddox: I guess, yeah...I mean, uh, we've been doin' this for so long, we're pros. (Dick laughs) We're pros at problems.
Dick: She did, no, she did...after the show she said we're "professional angries"...? Is that what she called us? She goes - she said, "You guys are professional angers," or something like that.
Maddox: You're "professionally angry" - which is funny 'cause one of my friends said today, literally, she said, "I'm a professional asshole." Which was hilari-
Dick: (interjects) Yeah!
Dick: That's better. That's prolly what Leah meant.
Maddox: Two times in two days, I love it. So...uh, we got some comments.
Maddox: I have one from Mark Sadler. So, we were talking about wine in the last episode, um, Wine Snobs specifically, and he said, "This episode with its overtones of fury and faint notes of calm (Dick guffaws) made me genuinely fear for the well-being of the participants." And then he said, "This isn't a podcast anymore; it's a blood sport. This is two punch-drunk boxers trading blows."
Dick: That's accurate. (amused)
Maddox: Yeah. Yeah, very, uh, very well-said, Mark. I like that, actually.
Dick: Yeah, you know, you're...I always know, or I always think it's a good episode when I'm furious for the entire week after we record it. (Maddox laughs) And this was one of those weeks, uh...I don't know why that wine thing pisses me off so much. I think it's because this is a classic example of you...taking a problem, and, making it very general? Like, turning it into something much bigger than it is so it doesn't make any sense. What - what is it when you reduce something to just the logic of it and not the application of it? It's like objective, something...absurdity - I dunno what it's called! LOOK, this is the point: if you go to a restaurant and get an 8 dollar glass of wine...
Dick: ...it's gonna taste like grape juice -
Maddox: (interjects) Nope.
Dick: - but the 18 dollar glass of wine will taste a little bit crisper, and a little bit smoother, because it's made for an 18 dollar palate. That -
Maddox: (interjects) (sound clip of Dick yelling "That's ridiculous!") (laughs)
Dick: - it's NOT ridiculous. People who order 8 dollar glasses of wine have 8 dollar palates.
Maddox: I haven't even said anything, and you're just *winding* yourself up here. You know, I read this article that talked about, uh, the cost versus - I guess it was benefit versus return...no, cost versus return, essentially, of wine. And he said that, uh - he did an experiment where he tried to do a blind taste test with himself and he gave himself like a 13 dollar wine, and then a 25 dollar wine, and all the way up to a 300 dollar wine. At a certain point, there's going to be very little return on your investment. Right? Because you're not going to get that much more value - like, if you appreciate a 30 dollar steak A LOT, and then you appreciate a 60 dollar steak even MORE, you would - you would think that...there's no 1-to-1 ratio of how much money you spend on steak, or wine, or whatever -
Dick: (interjects) No, of course not.
Maddox: - and the amount of appreciation you get. So there is an upper limit. It plateaus somewhere, and MY guess is that after...after like 10, 20 dollars, your experience of that wine is gonna plateau.
Dick: Uh, I think somebody, somebody summed it up in the comments...probably more than I ever could - Ross Ellis: "I bet Dick likes paying money for things. He gets off on throwing money down. It's some sorta financial fetish thing. Dr. Sigmund Fraud signing out." I never thought about that, but I think he might be right.
Maddox: (cracks up) Did he actually write "Dr. Sigmund Fraud"?
Dick: Yeah, he did. "...signing out."
Maddox: That's pretty funny. Yeah. (laughs) "Dr. Sigmund Fraud" and we had "Sigmund Futon" last episode. Those are hilarious. Um...yeah, you do, uh, you do seem to like to waste your money -
Dick: (interjects) I don't like when women pay for things, either. Well that's why - when he said that, that's why I thought he might have something there -
Maddox: (interjects) Wait!
Dick: - like, it's a turn-off when women pay for things.
Maddox: Wait, what?! WHY?
Dick: I dunno! I like -
Maddox: That's stupid! Are you kidding me??
Dick: Look, now that he SAYS this, I'm thinking, like, "Maybe it's a thing!" I like the...I like controlling what they eat a little bit. I like to have *paid* for it.
Maddox: ...Weird. That is such a fucked up -
Dick: (interjects) IT IS A TURN-OFF when a chick, like, pays for food! You know, we've talked about this before!
Maddox: - power...no that's uh, that's totally like a CONTROL thing, holy shit. That is so controlling! I didn't know that!
Dick: Well - (frustrated sigh)
Maddox: No, I love it! If a girl wants to pay for my meal...(stammers)...uh, it happens so rarely that I get the biggest fuckin' boner. Sean's nodding, here.
Dick: Fuckin' Sean over here, he doesn't know.
Maddox: Yeah. If a girl, if a girl...look. If I take a girl out to dinner and she doesn't even offer to buy drinks or coffee afterwards, I never call her back. It's it. That's it. You had your chance, you blew it. And, sometimes they text me back - "Hey, what's uh, what's goin' on? We had a great time." (higher-pitched) And I'm like, "Yeah, well, you didn't pay for SHIT, so, goodbye." They - 'cause you know what that is, that's the old-fashioned relationship. They're projecting an old-fashioned relationship, which is -
Dick: (interjects) Yeah, where you pay money for sex! (Maddox and Sean laugh)
Maddox: Yeah! Okay, so -
Dick: (interjects) It's PERFECT.
Maddox: - so if THAT'S our role, okay, I'm PAYING for things and you, then, what, provide sex -
Dick: Sex! Right.
Maddox: - and then stay home and wash my socks and take care of the kids?? Is THAT what we're doing here? Is this the...is this the old fashioned - no, of course not! 'Cause they're not gonna do any of that shit, 'cause they're 'modern,' right? But yet, I'm still supposed to pay for everything? FUCK you! No, you're not gettin' a second call, you're not gettin' a second date, you're gonna die alone. So....there ya go.
Dick: I'm just an old-fashioned guy, I guess. This guy's got me clocked -
Maddox: (interjects) (groaning) Oh man - I'm already SWEATING! (Dick laughs) It's like 30 SECONDS into the episode and I'm already sweating!
Dick: So, um, this'll probably calm you down. After Sean totally busted you on your bullshit study last episode - at the very end of the last episode, he totally called you out for using, like, ONE study.
Maddox: IT WAS FIVE!! I mentioned NO FEWER than 5 studies in that episode!
Dick: I mean, whatever. (Maddox laughs) We can go back to the tape. Everybody can make up their own minds. I was starting to think, "Man, maybe Maddox IS pulling, like, goofy studies!" Right?
Dick: So somebody said in the comments, um...Jory Folker...
Dick: ...uh, probably pronounced 'fucker'...
Maddox: Yeah, 'fucker.'
Dick: ...silent 'L'. "Maddox Rules, you've gotta be kidding me. 'Excellent article.'" - apparently you said something was an excellent article - (continues quoting) "The study collected only 7 days of data from 30 people, and they were all college students. On top of that, the data collected didn't include any questionnaire from the students on why they think they lie more over one medium than the other." That was the - the study you brought in about texting and lying and lying over the phone.
Maddox: Ohh, yeah yeah yeah. No, that was a comment, actually, that was a study that somebody linked to talking about how people are more likely to lie over the phone than over text. But the REASONING, it makes sense, uh...if you can't read someone's facial cues, then of course they're gonna lie over the phone as opposed to text; you can say exactly what you want and mean what you say with text. 'Cause you have time to think about it.
Dick: Well, I don't know, but now I just want YOU to know that I got my EYE on your studies here, now!
Maddox: Yeah, I got - you - why don't you put your eye on my *red* eye. Um... (smirks)
Dick: I got one more comment. Do you have any?
Maddox: Yeah, I got one more after this.
Dick: Alright. Uh, this - yeah, go ahead.
Maddox: Okay. So this guy commented, his name is, uh, Kojima Yoshiyuki. He says, "I think it's funny Dick brought up Ray-Bans, as there was an interesting conversation on Reddit a while ago that shows the 5 dollar knockoff Ray-Bans are comparable to the real thing." So I checked it out, and these look *identical* to the original Ray-Bans. And they function identically, they LOOK identical, and they cost 5 dollars! You know why? Because all Ray-Ban and Oakley and all these companies do, is they just mark up for the brand name. They *invent* value for that brand -
Dick: (interjects) Look...
Maddox: - and then they sell - they make all the same sunglasses in the same factory. There's one company -
Dick: (interjects) ABSOLUTELY false.
Maddox: No, that's not true!! One company ALONE makes 80 percent of sunglasses in the WORLD. Like, 80 percent comes from one company!
Dick: Okay........that's possibly true. (Maddox laughs) But they do not come out of the same factory! If you look a pair of expensive Ray-Ba- now, I'm not saying that the price difference is worth it, but I'm just saying I will pay the exorbitant fee for a pair of sunglasses that are slightly better than the cheap plastic pieces of shit that may APPEAR the same, to somebody who doesn't like looking as *cool* as I do...
Maddox: Yeah. (skeptical)
Dick: ...but they're not. They got weird - they fall apart, the screws fall out, the plastic is made outta shit...
Maddox: Ohh, what a mark. What a sucker. What a sap. You know what you are? You're -
Dick: (interjects) It's only 100 bucks!
Maddox: - you're "Tricked Masterson." That's what you are. (Dick, Maddox, and Sean all laugh)
Dick: Shit, that's gonna stick.
Maddox: Yup. (laughs more)
Dick: Uh, my last comment - this is from... (searches for comment) ...Tom McKenzie - "This is exactly what I'd expect a 90's-era Seinfeld and Costanza podcast to sound like."
Maddox: Uhhh...thank you?
Dick: Yeah, I think it's a compliment.
Maddox: I guess! I mean, Seinfeld is...probably the greatest sitcom of all time.
Dick: Yeah, it also depends which one of us he thinks is Seinfeld and which one he thinks is Costanza.
Maddox: Oh, I gotta be Costanza.
Dick: Yeah, well I'll take that.
Maddox: Right? Alright. So uh, let's move on. What do you, uh - you have your first problem?
Dick: Yep! This week, my first problem is......Facebook satire tags.
Maddox: Ooo! So, what is that? What do you mean by "satire tags?"
Dick: So, Facebook decided to do this thing where they would mark satirical articles posted in people's feeds as satire.
Maddox: Right! Oh, I have been SEEING this, and it's pissing me off!
Dick: Yeah! Me too!
Maddox: So why do you think that's a problem?
Dick: So... (exhales thoughtfully) ...here's the problem to me. Um, basically in the world, dumbness wins. Everything is dumbed down. And people who...don't like things being dumb get screwed over. Satire, in and of itself, like tricking people into getting pissed off at satirical news articles, is, like, one of our ONLY weapons against RAMPANT dumbness.
Dick: Like, satire is the adult version of putting someone in time-out. When somebody on Facebook overreacts to a satirical article...
Dick: ...like from The Onion or something - when they treat an Onion article as, like, a real thing?
Dick: And they go on a huge screed about it and everyone's like, "Uh, hey, idiot!" (Maddox laughs) Uh...yeah! You're - like whatever that abortion one was a long time ago, like a 2 billion dollar abortions...
Maddox: They made like an abortion mega-mall -
Dick: Yeah! Yeah.
Maddox: - where you could go and... (laughs along with Sean in the background) It was like, there was a center that you...they had a daycare center, and, you know, while you could get your abortion -
Dick: (interjects) While you could get your abortion.
Maddox: Uh-huh. Hot dogs on a stick, that sort of thing, yeah.
Dick: So when you get pissed off about that, and everybody calls you out on it, you have to go in time-out!
Dick: You have to go think about what you did...
Dick: ...you have to take a moment to say, "You know what? Maybe I AM a fuckin' idiot."
Dick: "Maybe I need to think about...maybe I think I'm a lot smarter than I am." And it's not gonna last, 'cause I don't think that these people are learning anything from it. But at least they're gonna shut up for, like, a week and a half, while that...like, every time they go post on Facebook again, they're gonna think about the shame they felt when they overreacted to the "abortion megaplex."
Maddox: So this is the Dunning-Kruger Effect in action. You know exactly - you know what that is, right?
Dick: No, I don't know what that is.
Maddox: Okay, so the Dunning-Kruger Effect - this is, these are a couple of researchers. It's "a cognitive bias..." - I'm reading this directly from Wikipedia - it says, "...cognitive bias manifesting in unskilled individuals suffering from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than is accurate. This bias is attributed to the metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their ineptitude." So if you're -
Dick: (interjects) So what is that? What does that mean?
Maddox: So, generally, people who are really unskilled or inept think that they will perform *better* than they actually do...
Maddox: ...and, AND, it works in the opposite way. People who are really skilled and talented think, uh...they rate themselves *less* than they actually are. Lower than they actually are.
Dick: Okay, yeah. I buy that.
Maddox: Yeah! So this is the Dunning-Kruger Effect in action, where people think that they're really smart and they've figured it all out because they saw this thing on The Onion or The Daily Currant - which, by the way, The Daily Currant is one of my new favorite satire sites, not necessarily because they're doing great work - sometimes they do - but uh, sometimes it's shit. But occasionally one of those articles gets through, and somebody writes a screed and posts it - it's like, "This is outrageous!! Can you believe Obama said this, or Biden did this - "
Dick: (interjects) Yeah!
Maddox: - or whatever, and I love it. I sit there and laugh -
Dick: (interjects) And we win! WE WIN!
Maddox: Yeah! All the smart people, it's...it's one of our last joys, Facebook! Leave this *alone*! Let us just sit here and laugh at these idiots! Let us just sit there and read these comments of these people getting worked up! Let us ENJOY their suffering. (pleading tone) Can we just do that?? Can we just...have buffoons? Public buffoons - what happened to public buffoons?
Dick: No, I - well, they're...we don't have any now.
Maddox: Not anymore, 'cause everything's labeled "[SATIRE]"! Which, by the way, let's define. Because I don't think everyone knows what satire is. This is something that, uh, that actually, people *think* they know, 'cause they say, "Oh, it's just satire," and they just brush everything off. Satire -
Dick: (interjects) Yeah, it's something - when something might be racist, you just tell people that it's satire (Maddox laughs) so you can get away with saying it. (sardonic) Right?
Dick: That's the definition of satire.
Maddox: Well, that's the way a lot of people use it, unfortunately. But no, satire is using...is pointing out someone's folly by using sarcasm, or something that's intentionally not true, or absurd. So using the absurd to point out someone or something's folly. Like, for example, the uh...who was the original satirist? Robin, uh, Swift, right? JONATHAN Swift, is his name.
Dick: ...I don't know.
Maddox: Swift is the writer. Yeah, he's the guy who wrote this paper about how to solve the problem of poverty, and hunger and homelessness. He said we should eat the poor.
Dick: Yeah, feed - okay.
Maddox: Yeah! 'We should eat the poor.' Uh, GREAT satire. Brilliant, because - especially at the time because it was so uncommon, and people were outraged and up in arms, and he's like, "Hey, idiots - obviously this isn't the solution but at least it's...it's pointing out the problem and how absurd the other solutions look in comparison." Because the fact that people...the more believable your satire is, the *better* it is.
Dick: Yeah! The more IMPACTFUL it is. So, let's throw...let's build Facebook a time machine so they can go back to the - what did you say this guy's name was?
Dick: So they can go back to, uh, Swift's book publishing and stamp a BIG OL' satire sticker on the front. You know what would happen? No one would have *ever* heard of this book.
Dick: 'Cause it doesn't work if you know that it's satire.
Maddox: Yeah. If you're in on the joke, it doesn't work. The whole reason it works is because people get outraged about it.
Dick: And even me, dude, like - this week, I read a...it was a new initiative that Facebook was gonna do by cooperating with law enforcement. They were gonna start like, turning over any text or uh, posts about drugs to law enforcement.
Dick: And MY first reaction was to get pissed off. But THEN I found out that it was satire, and I was like, "Wow! First of all, thank god that I don't post on Facebook, because I would've looked like a real jerk. And secondly, maybe I gotta chill out about...drug shit." (Maddox laughs) Right?
Maddox: Right. (chuckling)
Dick: Maybe I should just relax a little bit.
Dick: THAT'S the purpose of satire.
Maddox: Yeah. So uh, I just realized, too, that this is the same Jonathan Swift who wrote Gulliver's Travels. He's the same guy - he's, you know, a classic writer. And he was also a satirist. So, yeah. When you point satire out in such an obvious way, also it raises the question of, "Who's *deciding* whether or not this is satire? How can they be sure what they're labeling as satire IS actually satire?"
Dick: Well, so they said - the statement they gave was, "We received feedback that people wanted a clearer way to distinguish satirical articles from others...uh, in their news feeds."
Maddox: Well, what is that -
Dick: (interjects) So these same idiots...whoever these...uh, the 'feedback'? Whoever's generating the feedback are the same dummies that can't spot satirical articles from real ones. Right? THEY'RE deciding.
Maddox: Well let's...let's step back a second. Let's think about why they would want these articles labeled satire. Why do you think that is?
Dick: Uh, I think it...frightens them? Yeah, I think it frightens them that they might read something that isn't true. I don't think people like being duped.
Maddox: They don't like being duped... (slowly, thoughtful)
Dick: 'Cause then -
Sean: I think they don't...I think they don't like looking like *idiots.*
Maddox: They don't like looking like idiots!
Dick: That's DEFINITELY true.
Maddox: You hit the nail on the head, Sean.
Sean: That's why, right?
Maddox: That's what it is. So these are dummies trying to buy insurance - they're trying to insure themselves so they don't look dumb. They want to cover their ignorance. They want to make sure that they never look dumb pointing out a satirical article as fact. That's what this is.
Dick: Yeah! I'll tell you the other thing - it's insulting to content creators.
Maddox: Oh, yeah!
Dick: Like, if your post of...what was it, the iPhone - 'it sucks and so does your face'?
Maddox: "The iPhone is a piece of shit, and so is your face." That was my article.
Dick: So, that's hilarious. I love seeing it on Facebook, but imagine it with a gigantic "[SATIRE]" tag in front of it.
Maddox: Well, that would be offensive because it's wrong. It's not satire. It's just truth.
Dick: It could be qualified as satire!
Dick: Like, everything on your site could be qualified as satire.
Maddox: Not -
Dick: (interjects) And as soon as you see that, you write it off.
Dick: You're like, "Oh, whatever. Satire."
Maddox: Yeah, it's dismissive - it's a way to dismiss good writing. It's a way...yeah, like you mentioned, if Jonathan Swift's piece A Modest Proposal was dismissed immediately as satire with a LABEL on it, no one would've remembered it!
Maddox: It woulda just been something that people brush aside - "Oh, this guy's just trying to get a rise out of me." No, we're not! It's a very...clever and powerful rhetorical device that people use to point out a flaw in something.
Dick: Yeah! That's why I think it's a big problem! 'Cause it's the only thing we've got. Like, they say, "The pen is mightier than the sword," or WHATEVER - they're takin' it away. Facebook is taking the pen away.
Maddox: Thanks, Facebook. (sarcastic)
Dick: It's like, you know when I went on Dr. Phil? And that fat lady stood up and was lipping off to me, when they had...they marched all the guests onto -- When I was on Dr. Phil, and I was in the audience -
Maddox: (interjects) Right, yeah. Let's explain for people who haven't seen the clip.
Dick: - yeah, yeah, yeah. So I went on...after I wrote Men Are Better Than Women I went on Dr. Phil so Dr. Phil could 'fix' me and a bunch of other, uh, lunatics.
Dick: So, Dr. Phil marches everybody up on stage, and I'm standing there in my aviators, with my awesome mustache - my *expensive* aviators, by the way, not knockoffs -
Dick: - and Dr. Phil goes around the audience whipping them up into a frenzy of hate. Right?
Dick: So he goes to the first woman; she stands up and locks in on me immediately, and says, uh, "You'd never get a girl...this, that, and the other...no woman would ever date you..." And I said, "Women line up to date guys like me...they're always on this show! They always come on here dating guys exactly like me." And she said, "I'd be at the end of that line." And I said, "If ya hit the treadmill a little more often, you'd be at the front." (Maddox laughs) Right?
Maddox: Right. (chuckling)
Dick: Which was...which is great! Which - I really think this did damage to the Dr. Phil brand and the people watching this show. Like, I think they felt bad! That might be a little egotistical of me, but I think I actually scored a win for us in doing that. Like, "Look, you fuckers, you're not that fuckin' funny! You think you're gonna stand up and just shout down at people - like, use these childish insults??"
Maddox: Well, they don't like it when that mirror is turned back on themselves.
Dick: EXACTLY. And if you woulda said, "Hey, this is a satire thing that this guy's doing," she wouldn't have cared!
Maddox: I don't think he knew, though...did he?
Dick: Of course not.
Maddox: They...well, if he knew -
Dick: Do you know the lengths that I had to go to, to get on that show?
Dick: Like, hours of psychological evaluations and interviews after interviews with production people - it was *crazy.*
Maddox: Yeah. Which shows the depths of your neuroses. (Sean chuckles in the background)
Dick: Alright, well -
Maddox: (interjects) How's that for armchair psychology? (laughs)
Dick: - that's my problem.
Maddox: Uh, great problem!
Dick: And Facebook has been fuckin' with us forever.
Maddox: Hey -
Dick: (interjects) They did that 'other inbox' --
Maddox: - oh, the 'other inbox' pissed me off! I want everyone to do this right now - well, after you listen to the show. Go home, check your Facebook page, your Facebook inbox and then go to "Other." There's ALL these messages from people who are trying to get ahold of you - old friends who, they say, "Hey, I wanna add you - I'm trying to send you a message, or get ahold of you and send you something important, but I can't..." because it's locked in your fucking bullshit 'other inbox' that you have to pay a dollar to access for other people. It's BULLSHIT.
Maddox: So anyway, um -
Dick: (interjects) So you're gonna have about 3 of those, and about 1,000 messages from guys who wanna bang you.
Maddox: Basically...um, and that goes for men AND women. Uh, maybe we should add this too - maybe Facebook should just add a "[JOKE]" tag when people post jokes so they can EXPLAIN it, that it's a JOKE. "Hey Facebook, thank you for explaining that this is a joke and it's not to be taken seriously!" (mocking) What other tags could they add??
Dick: You know, I'll tell you what they can do: they can stop people from doing that, "You'll never believe what happens next!"
Maddox: Oh my god, YES.
Dick: That's *very* annoying!
Maddox: Yeah! Or anything - any title that ends in "THIS." "Oh, we went to the state fair and we witnessed racism...except for THIS." Or "...because this kid used THIS." And there's...what is "this"?! This thing - THAT'S the clickbait. So just replace that *word* with the *thing* that's in the video, that no one will have to click - we don't give a SHIT. (angrily picking up speed) We have to watch a ten -- There's this video on...PetFlow is the new Upworthy. Have you seen this? PetFlow?
Maddox: It's a new...I don't even know where it CAME from, this fucking PetFlow website! It's just -
Dick: (interjects) I don't know what Upworthy is. What is - what is this? What's the premise of the site?
Maddox: Ohhh MAN, you don't know what UpWorthy is?
Maddox: Upworthy is just this really far-left, liberal agenda website where they post...causes. Nonstop causes. Videos to...people who help homeless people or raise awareness for body positivity issues, or, uh, you know....all sorts of different agendas that they have. So, Upworthy - and basically they don't create any content. They just find videos on YouTube, do A/B testing on their homepage, and then use a headline that works, that gets people clicking...
Maddox: ...and then they just generate revenue from that.
Maddox: So they're not producing any content, they're just a wrapper for YouTube.
Maddox: So, anyway, there's another one that popped up out of *fucking* nowhere called "PetFlow," and they just post links to...also causes, but also, uh, pet videos. And there's one that said this guy covered his pool, and he recorded his two dogs secretly doing..."THIS." And I watched the video, 'cause I thought, "Oh god, let's see what this AMAZING thing is that their dogs do when his pool's covered!" Guess what it is? ...Nothing! They just run around! Who gives a SHIT? They're just DOGS, of course they run around!
Dick: Yup! It's frustrating!
Maddox: Stupid. (irritated) Alright.
Dick: What's your problem?
Maddox: My first problem this week is emoji.
Maddox: Or, icons. Uh, I think emoji and icons are a huge problem.
Dick: Okay. Uhh -
Maddox: So, do you know what emojis are?
Dick: - what is an emoji? I KNOW Sean doesn't know.
Maddox: Sean - okay. So, for...
Dick: (interjects) Is that true?
Sean: (from the background) Yeah, I don't know.
Dick: Yeah, Sean doesn't know what it is.
Maddox: For the benefit of people who don't know...so, this is from Wikipedia. It says, "Originally meaning 'pictograph,' the word 'emoji' literally means 'picture' + 'character.'" So, "e" is for "picture" and "moji" is for "character." These are just little graphical...icons that you send along with your text messages to people, like birthday cakes, and bowling pins, and guns and things like that.
Sean: Oh yeah, I - okay. That's...I didn't know what you call them.
Maddox: Okay. Yeah, they're called emoji, and they came from, like, emoticons - emoticons have always existed.
Maddox: Smiley faces and things like that. So, yeah, these emoji are becoming so *ubiquitous* now, that I -
Dick: (interjects) Yeah!
Maddox: - I used to -- wha- why are you smiling??
Dick: I...because I LOVE them. But go -
Maddox: (interjects) You're ALREADY annoying -
Dick: - go, go...I'm already smiling 'cause I already know why I love them, too. (gleeful) (laughs)
Maddox: Ohh, DICK, you're - 'cause you - I KNOW WHY you love them, 'cause you're a 13 year-old girl, that's why.
Dick: MMMMMmmmm... (struggling not to blurt anything out) ...ooooo. Uh, that hits a little closer to home than you realize. (Maddox laughs) But go...keep goin', I'll get into why.
Maddox: Yeah. Well -
Dick: (interjects) I'll tell ya why I like 'em in a minute. (still grinning)
Maddox: Okay. So...first of all I'll tell you why it's a problem.
Maddox: So, emoji is essentially replacing words with little characters - little pictographs. Right? And Microsoft has been moving towards this trend of using icons and little pictographs for YEARS. In Microsoft Word - I still use Microsoft Word 2000, rather than updating to 2003, 2007, 2010, et cetera. I never upgraded because they changed their icons at the top to the ribbon system.
Maddox: It used to be this beautiful drop-down menu of "File," "Save," "Options," "Format," et cetera. You knew EXACTLY what you wanted because it was in ALPHABETICAL ORDER. You know why the Chinese don't have phone books? And this is true - do you know that in China, they don't have phone books?
Dick: I don't know.
Maddox: Yeah! THINK about it! Because they don't have an alphabetized character system!
Dick: Yeah! Okay!
Maddox: Yeah! So ch--
Dick: (interjects) How do they line anything up? Like...the more squigglier, the more the lineup is? Is that their version of alphabetical order?
Maddox: Kind of! Actually, you're pretty close, yeah. They *kind* of have an order -
Dick: (interjects) That was SATIRE, by the way. (Maddox laughs) It sounds vaguely racist! So I will say it's satire. (gleeful)
Maddox: Ohh, there ya go. So you're saved. No, that's kind of how they do it - they kind of organize it in complexity...in terms of complexity of the character. However, that's not an exact system. People have to - they don't have phone books! In China, a lot of people for a long time would carry these little black books of names and addresses of people that they knew, and they would write them down personally in there. Because if you don't have a character set that's ORDERED...
Maddox: ...you can't find anything! It's fucking nonsense! And what are we doing? We are *regressing* as a culture back to hieroglyphics! (Dick laughs) These are HIEROGLYPHS we're using!
Dick: Yeah, alright. (amused)
Maddox: So now instead of just hitting "File > Save," I have to hunt for this little square icon -
Dick: (interjects) For the little floppy disk.
Maddox: - yeah, the little floppy disk! Which, anyone born after -
Dick: (interjects) Which doesn't mean anything. (grinning)
Maddox: - yeah, born after like '96, it means NOTHING to them! They're just looking for the square with another tiny little square, they don't know what the fuck that is.
Dick: No - did you see this kid who defined "11" as "pause"?
Maddox: Oh my gosh, did he seri--
Dick: Did you see that?
Dick: Yeah, yeah, yeah. 'Cause on the - 'cause he's raised on these hieroglyphs. His parents were doing counting with him and he saw "11" and he said, "Pause!"
Maddox: "Pause." Oh wow, what a d-- so that's what's happening, because we're regressing to hieroglyphs! Now here's where it becomes a really big problem -
Dick: (interjects) Well, wait a minute...lemme jump in for one second, here.
Dick: You said we're replacing words with pictures, right?
Dick: I mean...literally saying, "A picture's worth a thousand words." What do you think about that?
Maddox: (snorts) Okay -
Dick: What do you think a smiley face says? A thousand...what do you think that says? That could mean ANYTHING in the context of a conversation.
Maddox: Okay, DICK, your stupid idiom doesn't change the fact (Dick laughs) that we are regressing our language! When I use SwiftKey - I use SwiftKey on Android. I don't know if anyone else uses SwiftKey out there...well, I'm sure they do, there's millions of people. Um, anyway, SwiftKey is this prediction - this text prediction software that figures out, very smartly, what you're going to say next. And now, they've introduced emoji as a prediction! So if I type the word "food," it just pops up this little basket of...FOOD, I guess. (Dick laughs) Or it looks...it looks like a pie? Or SOMETHING. Or if I type in "joy," it literally shows a little picture of somebody jumping!
Maddox: If I type that in to somebody, how are they going to interpret that as "joy"?! It's gonna...they might think I'm jumping, or skipping, or just somebody who just got kicked in the back. (Dick smirks) If someone's up in the air with their arms raised, you might...
Dick: Yeah, that's true. (amused)
Maddox: ...right! And that's usually what I mean - if I use that emoji? It's - first of all, it's by accident.
Dick: The "joy" emoji?
Maddox: The "joy" emoji. It's by accident, and second, it's because someone got kicked in the back.
Dick: Don't you find them, like, *hot* though? When chicks use them? Or is that just me??
Maddox: That's just...whoa...
Dick: When I get an emoji from a chick, man -
Maddox: (interjects) Whooooooa.
Dick: - I start - my motor starts GOIN'.
Maddox: Gross. First of all, how old are these chicks?
Dick: Our....I mean, not OUR age, but...legal.
Dick: Not GROSS!
Dick: Not gr-- well...as they get younger (Maddox sighs) they use more emojis, I'll give you that. Uh...but it's still hot!
Maddox: No - if you see these chicks on Tinder, sometimes they don't explain anything about themselves, they just list a whole bunch of emoji. Like, a little bowling ball, a horse, um...a birthday cake...you know, a little traffic cone - what the fuck does a TRAFFIC CONE mean?! It -
Dick: (interjects) Danger! (Maddox laughs)
Maddox: Oho, danger...
Dick: "Danger, curves ahead!" (Maddox and Sean laugh)
Maddox: Or it means, "potholes ahead."
Dick: You're - get outta here, you don't think it's hot when chicks do that!
Maddox: No! Why is it hot?!
Dick: They send you a bunch of emojis...?
Maddox: Tha-- why is it hot?? Why does that turn you on, gross-ass?
Dick: I don't know! I think you might be right with that 13 year-old girl thing, though. That's why I started laughing when you said it. Um...
Maddox: Yeah. Here's your average date. (baby laugh sound effect) (laughs)
Dick: Oho, wow. (sarcastic)
Maddox: (laughs more) Your stupid emojis.
Dick: No, man, I think...um, I think women can communicate with them very effectively. With emojis.
Maddox: First of all, nobody has the same fucking character set! Everyone who has an iPhone sends me a shit-ton of emojis. I have no fuckin' idea what they're saying, I have no fuckin' idea what they're doing because it just comes across - if I don't have your character set installed, it just comes across as SQUARES. And vice-versa! If you send Android emojis that aren't installed on the other person's cell phone or their provider, then it's just gonna come across as squares!
Dick: Are you feelin' left out? Is that what the problem is? (teasing) All of us iPhone people are sending little cute texts to each other with pictures, and they're all comin' across as as squares to you?
Maddox: Ohh, MAN, fuck you iPhone people! I am so FUCKING tired of getting group texts that never end! I can't unsubscribe, I can't mute the conversation, I can't tell everyone to fuck off and drop dead because...god forbid I get ONE fucking wedding invitation or announcement or something via group text -
Dick: Uh-huh. (teasing)
Maddox: - and every dumbass iPhone user is just, "reply all," because they don't know how to fucking just reply to one person at a time?! (angrily picks up speed) You fucking idi-- why would I care about what some stranger - oh, I get all these like, strange numbers in my cell phone...you know what I'm gonna start doing? I'm gonna start adding them to telemarketing lists! (Dick laughs)
Dick: Oho! Alllright.
Maddox: You know what? Group texts? Go ahead, dickhead.
Dick: Ha! Alright! But back to emojis...
Dick: ...I really - I do think that, uh...you can convey a lot of context with a couple pictures. Not from a guy, like I would never send one unless I was being, like, funny about it?
Dick: But when I get them, they explain a lot to me. Like I get what you're - you throw a little piece of poop on the end, that little poop guy with the eyes, and I'm like, "Alright, you're just dickin' around." (Maddox laughs) Okay? I get it now, I get what you're - I'm not takin' what you're saying too seriously. Or the chicks throw in that...that dancing girl?
Maddox: What's the dancing girl?
Dick: Like, that 'Olé!' -- No, it's this girl, she's in a red dress...
Dick: ...she's got her, like, hand up? She's doin' a twirl - it's like a Flamenco dancer.
Maddox: Uh-huh, uh-huh...
Dick: How can you hate them? You don't know - that's the one they use all the time.
Maddox: Flamenco dancer? Okay. Sure.
Dick: Yeah, a Flamenco-dancing chick.
Maddox: I guess!
Dick: Yeah, that means they're up for a good time.
Maddox: So you have to...so in order for you to understand the context of that, you have to understand Spanish culture, you have to understand Flamenco -
Dick: (interjects) It's a CHICK DANCING.
Maddox: Is it?
Dick: YES. It is a chick dancing.
Maddox: What if she's just trying to reach up for a light bulb? You don't know.
Dick: So, uh... (Maddox laughs) ...my ex would use her emojis to send, like, the most...depraved sexual messages to me...
Dick: ...like in hieroglyphic form?
Dick: I dunno if that's biasing me -
Maddox: (interjects) Yeah, it is. (matter-of-factly)
Dick: - but, MAN. I have been a fan of emojis....she would use - they got all kindsa hand stuff on there.
Dick: She would - like, "I wanna see you tonight"? She'd throw me that purple eggplant emoji -
Maddox: What...is...the purple....ohh, no. (apprehensive)
Dick: Yeah, yeah, yeah. (gleeful)
Maddox: Okay, gross.
Dick: Do you know what they're sayin?!
Maddox: Yeah, I know -
Dick: (interjects) Do you need like, an emoji interpreter?
Maddox: Nah, I...I mean, I know what they're sayin', and you know what? The only emoji that I read loud and clear is usually if it's like, kissy lips plus a squirty mouth. Like, I see that - (cracks up) - I see 'kissy lips,' 'squirty mouth,' I'm like, "Oh, cool! It's time for a beej." Or, maybe they just accidentally hit the wrong fuckin' emoji and I go over there with my dick - (cracks up) - and I get the cops called on me! (laughs loudly)
Dick: Noooo, no, that's not wrong. Women take their emojis very seriously.
Maddox: Ohh, yeah. (sarcastic) Oh, as seriously as you can take stupid 13 year-old emojis.
Dick: (interjects) So what do you want - what do you want 'em to SAY, then?!
Maddox: I want 'em to FUCK OFF, okay? Don't send me a text -
Dick: (interjects) Just use your words?
Maddox: Use your words!
Dick: Is that what you're saying? Talk to 'em like a child?
Maddox: WHA-- (splutters)
Dick: "Honey, USE YOUR WORDS."
Maddox: For thousands of years, people have been communicating with words! And now we're regressing back to the fuckin' EGYPTIAN times, with hieroglyphs! I can't interpret anything anymore, if I wanna just type in "baseball" it comes up with a little baseball icon - WHICH, by the way, you're not sure if it's gonna come out clearly on the other side! (becoming irate) People might have emojis mapped differently, so you send them a baseball, they get SCISSORS, and they get all *confused* and they come over and wanna have TRIBADISM...scissoring sex on your... (Dick and Sean laugh hysterically) -- Jesus. Yeah, that shit pisses me off. And it should piss everyone off! It's regressing our language back to ancient times. (Dick laughs)
Dick: But it's FUN.
Maddox: You know what? I'll -- Ohh, okay, Dick. Thank you for that...BRILLIANT counterpoint. (Dick laughs more) "But it's fun!"
Dick: It's fun!!
Maddox: Yeah. You know what else is fun? Rollercoasters. Why don't you go to a rollercoaster every time you wanna send an emoji?
Dick: Do you hate those as well?!?
Maddox: No, they're fun. They're not a problem - I don't have a problem with rollercoasters. I do wanna say this: this is a counterpoint to ME, because I knew you wouldn't bring this in, Dick. But I actually found a counterpoint to myself, and uh, I can argue both sides of a debate if I have to. (Sean laughs loudly in the background) This is... (laughs) ...Sean?
Sean: It's so fuckin' condescending! (Maddox and Sean keep laughing)
Dick: I know!
Sean: He's like, "Hey, well, lemme do your job too."
Dick: Yeah! With no pause.
Sean: Just right into it.
Dick: Yeah. Hold on, I'm gonna look for an emoji to sum up how I'm feeling about this right now.
Maddox: Great. While you do that I'll read this.
Dick: Go ahead! Go ahead, I'll give you both.
Maddox: This is according to The Verge. They wrote this article called "How Emoji Conquered the World," and unfortunately I have to agree with that title...um, "The shorter, more casual nature of email led to a breakdown in communication." [paraphrases article] So if somebody says, "Wakarimashita," you don't know whether...so, that means in Japanese, "I got it." So if somebody says that to you, [continues direct quotation] "'...you don't know whether it's a kind of warm, soft 'I understand' or a 'yeah, I get it' kind of cool, negative feeling,' says Kurita," the guy who kinda helped develop these emojis. He says, "'You don't know what's in the writer's head.'" So I guess -
Dick: (interjects) Context!
Maddox: - no. Well, context -
Dick: (interjects) That's what I said!
Maddox: Ye-- no, that's supporting MY argument, if you say "context," because by context you DO know what's in the writer's head. However, if you're just gonna say one quick, simple phrase, like, "I got it" - if you send a smiley face after that, then people *do* understand that you mean it in a warm way as opposed to a condescending way, like, "Yeah, yeah, I GOT it." (imitates an annoyed tone)
Dick: Yeah, that's why when you're fuckin' with chicks, you don't give them emoticons when you're trying to, like, screw with their head...you know, to bang them?
Maddox: Uh, you...
Dick: You don't flash emoticons (Maddox laughs derisively) so they don't know, like - they don't know how you're *feeling* so their emotions get all, like...manipulated and they get thrown off balance. Right? That's what you're saying.
Maddox: Yeah. Don't "you know" ME, Dick. No, I'm not doin' that shit. I'm not doin' this emotional jiu-jitsu - this emotionally manipulative jiu-jitsu you're doing. So, what do you got? Do you have an emoji that sums up...
Dick: Yeah, I got an emoji for ya. What does that emoji say? Can you see it from there? [holds up phone]
Maddox: Let's see....thumbs down.
Dick: Yeah, thumbs down. (grinning)
Dick: That's what I think of your anti-emoji thing.
Maddox: Well HERE'S an emoji...it's not on my phone, you just have to look at me. I'm flipping you off. (Dick and Sean laugh) That's my emoji. And that's...that's the *only* emoji I fucking want - that's the only emoji EVERYONE wants, is just flipping people off! I would send that DAY AND NIGHT. I would send that ten times in a row, and depending on how pissed off I am, that's all I would say. Repeatedly, all day, every day.
Dick: I think you just need to find a girl who's gonna send you dirty emoji's and you'll...she'll swing you.
Dick: She'll turn you. (Maddox scoffs)
Maddox: You know, I get it, I get it. I get dirty emojis, I get clean emojis, I get STUPID emojis, and you know what? It's just like Snapchat. Snapchat is a sexting app - it's meant for sending quick nudes to people, and NOBODY uses it for quick nudes! So girls aren't using emoji to send, uh, dirty messages. They're just sending emojis to say they're smiling, or happy, or glitter, or stupid bullshit like that. It's always glitter.
Dick: Welp! Is that it?
Maddox: That's my problem.
Dick: Okay. Uh...here's my problem.
Maddox: Your second problem this week.
Dick: Yup, my second problem is.....militarized police.
Maddox: Ooo, big problem!
Dick: Yeah, I actually think - uh, I've been kinda saving this one up because I wanted to be prepared to bring it in, but then all this Ferguson shit happened and I'm just too wound up about it.
Maddox: I almost brought that in last week, actually - militarized police. So, you mentioned it in a couple episodes kinda briefly but now you're bringing it in as a full problem.
Dick: Yeah, yeah yeah yeah, 'cause I think it's big enough now. Um, you wanna play...play that clip of the, um...of the officer - the Ferguson officer threatening to *kill* people -
Dick: - with his GIGANTIC assault rifle that he has to control a bunch of unarmed people. (cynical tone)
Dick: Who are just kind of milling around.
Maddox: And if you haven't seen this video, it's incredible. This guy's just walking around, brandishing his gun, pointing it in people's faces, and then he threatens to kill people. Listen to this clip.
[video clip begins]
Man holding video camera: My hands are up, bro! My hands are up!
Cameraman's friend: Hands up, gun's raised and pointed! Raised AND pointed!
Police officer: I will fuckin' KILL you! Get back! GET BACK!
Dick: (interjects over clip) "I will fuckin' kill you."
Man holding video camera: You're gonna KILL him.
Cameraman's friend: Did he just threaten to *kill* me?
Police officer: Get back!
Man holding video camera: What's your name, sir?
Police officer: Go FUCK yourself.
Man holding video camera: Your name's "Go Fuck Yourself"? Alright, Go Fuck Yourself. Hello, Officer Go Fuck Yourself.
Cameraman's friend: Officer Go Fuck Yourself just threatened to kill me!
[video clip stops]
Dick: This is the training that they get. Great - I mean, great smartass guy! (Maddox laughs) "Hey, Officer Go Fuck Yourself!"
Maddox: "Officer Go Fuck Yourself! Thank you for helpin' me!" Yeah.
Dick: So that's the training that the police get to handle their militarized weapons!
Dick: Right? Is to go around antagonizing crowds so they can shoot them.
Dick: That's the prem-- that's my entire premise.
Dick: You give them guns...you give them guns that belong to the military, who operate like a *military*...
Dick: ...you know? You don't just get to fuck around if you're in the military.
Maddox: These are weekend warriors, essentially, with guns out there.
Dick: These are TRASHMEN. They are CIVIC SERVANTS.
Dick: They are BARELY TRAINED to do what they do, and now we're giving them BILLIONS OF DOLLARS of surplus MILITARY HARDWARE, so they can shoot us up!
Maddox: Yep. They're just walkin' around with these Humvees, they're so reinforced they can survive MINES in the battlefield...
Maddox: ...and these are what they're putting out in suburban America, in little...white picket fences, these TANKS are rolling down the street. Are you fucking kidding me?! Is this Iraq or Syria? Or are we talkin' about suburbia?
Dick: I brought in this article from the New York Times about exactly what I'm talkin' about - these little towns are like, 20, 30 thousand people.
Dick: And it was split...uh, some of the police departments were really excited about these, uh, surplus dicks that the military was sending -- excuse me, these surplus military weapons (Maddox laughs) that the military was sending them.
Maddox: Right. (Sean laughs in the background)
Dick: They would bring - so, this guy...lemme find this quote from this guy. Uh...Richland, South Carolina - Captain Chris Cowan says they take it to SCHOOLS, and use it as a "conversation piece." (incredulous) A "conversation starter."
Maddox: What did they take in - like, AR-15s?
Dick: A gi-- uh, no, among other things, a GIGANTIC BATTLE TANK, like from a fuckin' comic book, with a .50 caliber automatic assault rifle on the top of it.
Maddox: Yeah, that's insane! This isn't a fucking JOKE.
Dick: They bring it to KIDS to *show off.* That's what they're doing!
Dick: They're not starting a "conversation," they're starting a LECTURE about, "Obey the fuckin' police, or we'll KILL you."
Maddox: These are boys with their toys. And actually, Dick, on that note - did you see the article that just came out - it was in, I believe, The L.A. Times and The Washington Post. This is from Washington Post - it says, "I'm a cop. If you don't wanna get hurt, don't challenge me."
Dick: Hey, lemme ask you somethin' related to that. Have you ever had an encounter with military police? With militarized police?
Maddox: YES, one time. You remember the Chris Dorner incident, uh, in Los Angeles?
Maddox: So this was a cop - just to refresh everyone's memory, this was a cop who went rogue because he...he got kicked off the force, he lost his job, he lost his family, he lost his marriage, he got divorced - because he brought forth a corruption suit against the department and the department dismissed him -
Dick: (interjects) Well, among other things. He also, like, beat other guys - other cops up, I read? I think?
Dick: He also had a number of disciplinary...issues with the department before that. But sorry, I don't wanna interrupt. Go...
Maddox: Well, but it's hard to say because it's *supposedly,* because they kinda tried to muddy his record and, uh, paint him bad. Just like the cops are doing with this Michael Brown guy in Ferguson!
Dick: Yeah, but did you read Dorner's manifesto?
Maddox: I did.
Dick: Okay. So - you remember halfway through when he starts talking about The Hangover II?
Maddox: Yes. The celebrities he...yeah.
Dick: Uh, at that point, I instantly don't believe anything he says or ever said.
Dick: When your manifesto includes a personal letter to the writer of The Hangover II??
Maddox: Well, Dick, put yourself in the mind of somebody who's about to die.
Dick: Done. (immediately) (Maddox and Sean burst out laughing)
Maddox: That's all I have, thank you. No, but if you put yourself in the mind of somebody who's about to die - these are your last words, you know you're gonna have a public megaphone. You're gonna have a megaphone - a speaker that's gonna reach the entire world.
Maddox: You can say anything to anyone. Look, this guy's not a celebrity, he's never had fame, he's never had any ability to DO that. So he figured, you know, this is his soapbox, he's about to *die,* so what the fuck does he have to lose? Whatever. I dismissed that - you know, it's a little bit crazy, but I dismissed that. Anyway, uh -
Dick: (interjects) Caddyshack 2 I would've respected, even though that was a shitty movie. (Sean laughs in the background)
Maddox: Fine. Whatever. The point is, when Dorner was - when there was that manhunt for Dorner, 'cause he was out there actively hunting cops. Which, uh, which was -
Dick: (interjects) Well, that's what he said.
Maddox: No, I mean, he DID. He shot some cops - he shot *at* cops. He took...
Dick: Yeah, sure, sure.
Maddox: Yeah. And he shot...I think the police chief's, uh, son-in-law? Or no, daughter-in-law and son-in-law, somethin' like that.
Maddox: Yeah, so - anyway, when Dorner was out there and all the cops were lookin' for him, they had...there was a FRENZY. These cops were *all* over the streets, everywhere. I remember just turning down the street to go to my home, and these cops pulled up in a Humvee...out - like, within SECONDS there were helicopters overhead, the Humvee cut me off, and this guy came out holding a shotgun with a bandolier of shotgun shells, POINTED it at me...I stopped, and then hung out for a second - within 15, 20 seconds, he got a radio call, somethin' like that, and he hopped right back into his Humvee, drove off like nothing ever happened.
Dick: Yeah! And that's it!
Dick: Yeah, um, I got a bunch of quotes from that article that all make me sick.
Dick: Uhh, here's a guy...Kevin Wilkinson is a police chief of some town that's probably got 50 people in it..."I don't like it" - he's talkin' about his new battle tank - "I wish it were the way it was when I was kid," he said. "But we're not gonna go out there as 'Officer Friendly' with no BODY ARMOR and JUST a handgun and say, 'Good enough.'" (disdainful)
Maddox: Oh, okay. Really. (sarcastic) So where do you draw the line? Huh? What else do you need? Do you need jet packs? Do you need *bazookas*? Do you need satellite coordination? Do you need DRONES? Where do you draw the line, dickhead?! Wha-- at what point do you say, "Okay, it's enough that we care about the officers' safety; let's worry a LITTLE bit about the public's safety"?
Dick: You know, just a little bit. (sardonic) Uh, "You've got a lot of people who are coming out of the military that have the ability and knowledge to build IEDs and defeat law enforcement techniques." [quoted from article] WHERE IS THIS HAPPENING?! These guys are - these cops are growing up in action movies!
Dick: Where the fuck is this *happening* anywhere? That they ALL need helicopters, and battle tanks, and assault rifles. To do exactly what we just heard in the clip. (dismayed)
Maddox: Yeah, it's insane! There was a video, too, on YouTube - uh, John Oliver showed it on his show a couple weeks ago - of these kids who this militarized, uh, BATTLE tank, this police battle tank parked next to them in the intersection. And they were BLOWN AWAY by the armor of this thing. They were blown away by the size of the wheels of this vehicle.
Maddox: And then, at the end of the video, you hear something interesting. These kids are like, "Wooow, that's so cool, I can't believe how awesome that is. It's incredible!" Then at the very end of the video he goes, "Wait a second...has shit gotten that bad? Do we *need* this?"
Dick: They're just fuckin' showin' off!
Maddox: They're showing off.
Dick: It's got - the same reason there's ALWAYS cops in their helicopters flying around L.A., showin' off, for the same reason they come out on their fuckin' horses all over Times Square, showin' off! -- What's up, Sean?
Sean: I was gonna say, just to go to Maddox's point, I remember, uh...I think 2012 or 2013, violent crime in Los Angeles was at its lowest rate since 1967.
Dick: Oh, yeah!
Sean: So it's like - it doesn't seem like things are *that* bad. A lot of the stuff from the '80s, you know, when it was bad in Downtown L.A., Hollywood, all that kinda stuff -
Dick: (interjects) Yeah, like when we had awesome movies like RoboCop, 'cause you could justify needing something like that.
Sean: Yeah, but they don't have any reason to HAVE some of this stuff.
Maddox: Violent crime is down - crime across the board is actually down. That's not just -
Sean: Yeah, New York City, too.
Maddox: New York City - *everywhere.* Everywhere. Violent crime is down, all crime is down. And I actually read this article on The Onion today...it's called "The Pros and Cons of Militarizing the Police." And, one of the pros is that it's a "nice surprise treat for veterans to see weapons they used in war pop up on their hometown streets." It's a nice little surprise, right?
Dick: It is, it is a nice little surprise. Trip down memory lane.
Maddox: Yeah, nice little nostal-- they can feel nostalgic when they see their tanks back on their hometown streets.
Dick: In the last two decades, SWAT team activity has increased by 1,500 percent.
Maddox: Yeah! That's incredible! I read that statistic too, and I was blown away. 1,500 percent! In how long? What's the period?
Dick: Two decades. 20 years.
Maddox: Two decades! Unbelievable.
Maddox: And has crime gone up proportionately? Of course fucking not!
Dick: No, of course not.
Maddox: Do we have a drug war?! What the hell's going on at these -
Dick: Of course not! Of course it hasn't, because we can't make those awesome movies anymore. That's how you know the crime isn't there.
Dick: Because the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie - it's like, "Why do we have vigilantes? There's nothing bad happening." There's pretty much nothing bad happening, except a bunch of asshole cops walking around threatening to shoot people.
Maddox: Yeah, and telling them not to challenge them if they do! And this guy who wrote this article, by the way, is an L.A.P.D. cop. He says, "Don't argue with me, don't call me names, don't tell me that I can't stop you, don't say I'm a racist pig, don't threaten that you'll sue me and take away my badge. Don't scream at me that you pay my salary, and don't even *think* of aggressively walking towards me." Of all those things that he just said 'don't think of' doing, the only one that's justified is the last one. Yeah, of course, if you walk aggressively towards a cop, he's justified in defending himself. But the other shit - hey, why should we trust the police if we've seen, time after time after time, they DO abuse their power??
Dick: Of course they do!
Maddox: They get - I've SEEN it! I've seen - I've gone on drive-bys, by the way. I know there are cops listening right now. I've gone on drive-alongs... (cracks up) ...not drive-bys. Drive-alongs.
Dick: You've been on both! (Maddox laughs) You gotta see both sides!
Maddox: Gotta see both sides! I gotta be fair.
Dick: Yeah! You know?
Maddox: Yeah. No, I've gone on drive-alongs with cops and I've seen...I've seen their side of it, and I've seen the shit they have to deal with. And yeah, there's some shit! It's a stressful job. But on the other hand, occasionally I've also seen buddy cops...right? There's a buddy cop system - when cops pull other cops over, they flash their badge accidentally or they see a little...decal or something on the window and they just let 'em slide.
Dick: Sure, of course.
Maddox: It's corrupt! It's corruption. Little corruption begets big corruption. If you let little corruption slide - like the cop didn't pay his meter, or he's not paying his parking ticket or his parking fee - guess what? That corrupt cop can then justify doing other corrupt deeds.
Dick: Look. There's NO way to train for what they're being given. The military's trained precisely to use those weapons to KILL other people.
Dick: That's IT. The military doesn't use them to go dick around with a bunch of people who live in their own hometown.
Dick: There's no way to train cops to use those weapons for any reason that makes sense for their - the purpose of their job!!
Maddox: And these weapons are specifically engineered to be as EFFICIENT at killing as possible. That's what they exist for! This isn't something - they're not going to get any more functionality by brandishing a giant fucking ASSAULT RIFLE in someone's face than they would with just their plain, old-fashioned six shooter.
Dick: No, you know what? This reminds me - so, uh, something like this happened to *me* a couple years ago. I was walkin' home from Halloween...I was walkin' home from that big Halloween parade, you know, on Santa Monica?
Maddox: So there's a big Halloween parade every year in Santa Monica, yeah. In West Hollywood.
Dick: It's, like, the biggest thing we got. There's like hundreds of thousands of people that go there every year, right?
Dick: Uh, I had just had a huge fight with my girlfriend at the time...
Maddox: That's - that's par for the course.
Dick: ...you were - yeah. Absolutely. Uh, you were THERE, I walked home halfway with you.
Dick: And, I was dressed up like a pirate... (Sean laughs in the background)
Maddox: Of course.
Dick: ...I was walking home to Hollywood, and somebody had gotten shot in a nightclub. So there were about 10,000 cops rolled out along the streets like the Roman phalanx. Right?
Maddox: Right, and...appropriate response for one shooting, yes. 10,000 cops.
Dick: Yeah. Right?
Dick: So I walked down to the street where I live, and I see a buncha cops lined up there with their riot gear and all this other shit - the streets are all wide open, everybody's milling around, everybody's leaving for the night. The town's shutting down. Right?
Dick: So I walk down the street and I'm like, "Aw, man. Is this...is the road really closed?" And the cop goes, "TURN AROUND." And I was like, "Yeah, but I live - like, literally I can see my apartment..."
Dick: "...I mean, I live right on this street." 'Cause sometimes they shut down roads and if you live there, they let you through."
Dick: Right? He goes, "You're either goin' back the other way, or you're goin' to your knees."
Maddox: Oh. GREAT.
Dick: And I was like, "Okay!" Like, I hesitated a little bit because I was annoyed all night, I was on tilt -
Dick: - you know? I was not makin' good decisions, but I was like, "You motherfucker!" The first thing I thought was, "I think I could get one good shot in on you. I see your baton...I don't see a giant assault rifle but if you..." And, dude, as SOON as that thought crossed my mind, he took TWO steps forward out of the ranks and reached for his fuckin' baton!
Dick: I swear to god, this is true. And I was like, "Okay! If that's what we're doing, alright!" Out of nowhere, this cop with, like, salt-and-pepper hair just goes - (imitates exasperated sigh) - walks kind of a little bit in front of me, and he goes, "I'm sorry, man. Could you just go around?" And I'm like, "Yeah! Sure. No problem."
Dick: Walked away.
Maddox: That's all it takes.
Dick: That was it!
Maddox: Yeah, de-escalate, dickheads!
Dick: So I walked like a mile out of the way to go home...
Dick: ...but that was the experience! VERY different story if -- is this my fault? Yeah. Probably. I was being a jackass.
Maddox: Yeah, you can de-escalate the situation. And by the way, I've seen this -
Dick: (interjects) You're allowed to be a jackass in America, by the way!
Maddox: Right. It's not illegal to be an asshole. You can be whatever - you can be as big of an asshole as you want. So, here's the thing: I've seen this exact same thing play out with other people, where there's been an investigation or something or...they're pulling someone over in front of someone's house, and they're blocking someone *out* or blocking someone *in.* And by the way, this is usually, you know - maybe it's just somebody who, um...they're investigating something nearby and they won't move their cruisers. There's plenty of cops just STANDING AROUND with their hands on their hilts, but they're not moving their cruisers so they're blocking access to your house, and they won't -- There's a video on YouTube of this lady who is LOSING her fucking mind because she just went shopping for groceries, and...I think it was, the band was Pearl Jam. Um, they had this impromptu concert on top of the roof of the building that she lives in, and the cops blocked it off! And they didn't have a license for it, they didn't permit it, they didn't do anything that was appropriate. So this lady's just trying to get back into her apartment, and the cops are strong-arming her and saying, "No, you can't pass, you can't pass us." She says, "My garage is right fucking there! They don't even have a PERMIT for this shit - let me in my house!" The cops wouldn't let her! What if somebody's standing out there, and they have to get their *medication* on time? People have MEDICINE to take. People have BABIES to feed, people have DOGS to take care of. You're just locking people out arbitrarily because you're being a strong-arm - a fuckin' bully cop?? These dickheads! If they just would use their common fucking sense, and just not be such a fucking machine, a ROBOT, a COG - if you just put yourself in the position of somebody who's just trying to get home and EMPATHIZE a little bit, none of this would be a problem!
Dick: See, that's where I...I think you've hit on the crux of this issue for me. In the military, you're a robot. You should act like a robot, you do exactly what you're told, you handle every situation the same way, and that's why you get those gigantic weapons.
Dick: 'Cause you got a purpose, you follow orders. When you're a cop, I think you *should* use common sense, and I don't think common sense requires an AR-15.
Dick: Know what I'm sayin'?
Maddox: Well, uh -
Dick: (interjects) I don't think everybody -- yeah yeah, go ahead.
Maddox: No, I just wanna end on this point, too. Um, I also like this from The Onion, it said one of the pros of having militarized police is that "modern law enforcement simply cannot do their job properly by relying on handguns, tasers, and tear gas alone." (Dick laughs) Let's give 'em more. Let's give 'em grenades. (cynical)
Dick: Alright. What's your problem?
Maddox: My second problem this week, which I would say is equally important, is...Spider-Woman's Ass. (Sean laughs loudly in the background)
Maddox: This - (chuckles) - this is, uh, a big controversy right now! I don't know if you've seen this, but uh, Marvel is releasing a new - I guess they're rebooting Spider-Woman, and they're releasing a new Spider-Woman #1 issue.
Maddox: And *everyone's* up in arms - again - and by 'everyone' I mean mostly...mostly feminists.
Maddox: Because there's a picture of Spider-Woman on the cover - an illustration - where she's kind of on her knees, sort of, with her butt sticking out in the air.
Dick: Oh, I've seen that!
Maddox: You've seen the picture?
Dick: Yeah, I've seen that picture.
Dick: I remember when I saw it, thinking, "Uh, that's an unflattering angle of a woman's ass. Why would they do that?"
Maddox: Right - well, you can't see anything. It's just the top of her ass - it looks almost like an apple. And, you know, it looks like the uniform that she's wearing, the pants that she's wearing are *so* tight, it covers the - like, it goes down inside the crease of her asshole.
Maddox: So, I looked into this, and it turns out that the reason it's drawn that way is because Marvel actually hired this guy - his name is, uh, I think it's Milo Manara. And he's been - he's a classic erotic illustrator. (Dick laughs loudly) So this guy...this guy actually is famous! He's worked in the industry for over - he has 43 YEARS of experience. He won an award in 1978; he won, in 1998, the Harvey Awards; he was inducted into the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame; in 2004 he won -
Dick: (interjects) So these are real - these are real awards?
Maddox: These are real awards!
Dick: Sorry to interrupt -- not, like, porno awards? (Sean laughs in the background)
Maddox: No! These are real fucking awards! 'Cause he's a really - he's a classic -
Dick: (interjects) Okay. He's like a real artist!
Maddox: Yeah, he's a real artist!
Dick: Okay. (Sean laughs more)
Maddox: He's a classic Italian illustrator, like he's an artist! So he won the Jack Kirby Award in 1998 - er, was inducted into the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame; in 2004 he won an Eisner Award as part of the best anthology for the Sandman: Endless Nights series...
Maddox: ...So this is a guy who has credits, he's done lots of work and he's done this classic - you know, this classic painting. So, this comes from io9 - there's a website called io9 - and, uh, one of these guys who's just becoming APOPLECTIC...I'm actually gonna create a video about this, I'm so pissed off...he became apoplectic because - so, he says, "First of all, even the dumbest, horniest teenage boy on the planet knows there's no fabric on earth that could possibly cling to Jessica Drew's..." - Jessica Drew is the name of Spider-Woman -
Dick: (interjects) NEEERD. (Maddox laughs)
Maddox: - "...Jessica Drew's individual buttocks like that. She looks like she's wearing body-paint, and that's a big no-no for an industry still trying to remember that women exist and may perhaps read comics and also don't want to feel completely GROSS when they do so." (in a huffy, self-righteous voice)
Dick: Jeeesus CHRIST, this guy... (in a low voice; incredulous)
Maddox: Hey, LISTEN, dickhead - not only do WOMEN exist, but LESBIAN women exist. And this isn't necessarily offensive to lesbian women, you FUCK! (Dick starts laughing)
Dick: You took it in a weird way... (Sean agrees from the background)
Maddox: (cracking up) What did you think I was gonna -
Dick: So, you thi-- well, I don't know! I thought you were gonna be like, "It's...it's actual ART."
Maddox: Well - it IS art! Yeah!
Dick: Yeah! But you took it in like, "Well, lesbians probably like it!" (amused
Maddox: This guy's being heterosexist! He's just viewing the world from a heterosexual point of view, right?
Maddox: "It's just for men!" Well, guess what, IDIOT? Women find that erotic, too! ANYONE could find that erotic!
Dick: Ohh! Yeah!
Maddox: And by the way, what's WRONG with that?!
Dick: Uh -- nothing...
Maddox: I'm seriously asking, what's wrong with that??
Dick: No, nothing.
Maddox: By the way, have you seen the cover for The Amazing Spider-Man #1? When they - when they...like, the reboot?
Dick: Oooooo...the guy version or the reboot?
Maddox: No - uh...
Dick: The original or the reboot?
Maddox: The reboot, yeah. The Amazing Spider-Man #1?
Maddox: It's Spider-Man, sitting SPREAD-EAGLE on a web. So they're saying...there's this movement where people are taking comic book characters - taking comic book covers and they're saying, "Well, what if we drew men in the *women's* poses? What if we drew women in the *men's* poses? What would happen then??" (idiotic voice)
Dick: Yeah, we don't care!
Maddox: Well, okay - but besides that point, besides the point that it DOESN'T FUCKING MATTER and these are people without PROBLEMS in their lives...
Maddox: ...besides that, wha-- if they did that with Spider-Woman and put her in the pose of Amazing Spider-Man #1?
Dick: OH, yeah.
Maddox: SHE'D BE SPREAD-EAGLE on the cover of fucking Spider-Man!!
Dick: Very offensive.
Maddox: Oh, yeah - well, *supposedly.* I don't think it's offensive! I don't think sex is offensive. I don't think there's anything wrong with a woman's ass - I don't think it's bad to sexualize things, because I don't think SEX is BAD. I don't think sex is DEMEANING. I don't think sex is DEGRADING. Anything bad related to sex is not true - it's completely conjecture! If you have a problem with sex, then that's YOUR issue. You need to figure your shit out! Yeah, GUESS WHAT? It's Spider-Woman and they - if it's somewhat sexual, who gives a SHIT?? Don't fucking read it, if you don't like it! And by the way, here's what pisses me off most of all: this isn't even the main cover! This is a VARIANT cover! (Dick laughs softly) This is an ALTERNATE! You don't have to fucking *buy* this issue if you don't want to. Shut the fuck up!
Dick: Who do you think this guy's trying to impress by doin' this? (grinning) This io9 guy?
Maddox: Oh, his feminist friends. That's all it is.
Dick: Yeah, you think so?
Maddox: Yeah, that's all it is. He's trying to go for that "sensitive" angle.
Dick: I think he's writin' this for one person...I don't know who, though.
Maddox: His girlfriend. Who doesn't shave her armpits. (gruffly)
Dick: Or maybe his mom?
Dick: It's a weird stance to take.
Maddox: Oh, and they're so pissed off - and there's this other website, I think it's Mary Sue, somethin' or other. I don't even wanna mention it, 'cause I don't wanna plug it. But it's...she says this is "misogynistic." MISOGYNY - the HATRED of women! Misogyny! She's saying, by drawing Spider-Woman on the cover in a *somewhat* erotic pose - which, by the way, it's only erotic in your MIND, if you MAKE it that way. When I first saw the cover, I'm like, "Okay, the ass is kinda prominent, but whatever. Moving on." Then I read that all these people are construing it as erotic...by the way, nothing is erotic unless you *make* it erotic. In your mind. You can jerk off to anything you want. If you don't...if you don't view it as erotic, it's not erotic. End of story.
Sean: She could be looking for, like, a contact lens or something. (Maddox laughs)
Maddox: She might be, Sean, thank you!
Dick: Yeah, good point!
Maddox: Yeah. (Sean laughs heartily in the background) Spider-Woman has issues too, people.
Dick: So, do these morons have a problem with, like, naked Renaissance paintings?
Maddox: Ohh, yeah! That's a good question, Dick!
Dick: Do they?
Maddox: I wonder if they do! I wonder if they think that THAT'S misogynistic because the woman might be NUDE, or the guy might be nude. Is that misandrist??
Dick: No, that's - that's EMPOWERING 'cause they're all fat.
Maddox: Ohh, of COURSE. It's part of the -
Dick: That's why. Then it's 'empowering.'
Maddox: Oh, it's part of the Body Positive movement! Which I was almost gonna bring in as a problem this week. That's coming in a future episode. But this *really* pisses me off. These are people who don't have ANYTHING going on in their lives. No problems, nothin' - and they're...the COMMENT threads are incredible! There's just comment after comment after comment with people weighing in on this shit. (irritated)
Maddox: Are you fucking kidding me?! Move on! This is a non-issue, this is a non-story. Marvel can do whatever they want - and by the way, they hired this classic Italian painter to do this. Who cares. It's this guy who's like, 40 - he's like, 50-something years old...maybe he's 60 years old...he's doing his craft, his artwork...and in 100 years from now, we might look back at it in the same way that we look back at Renaissance paintings.
Dick: Yeah, uh...
Maddox: As a work of art.
Dick: So, lemme ask you something. Because, uh, I'VE always thought - well I thought that, you know, you see these giant, ripped dudes on these covers?
Dick: And it's like, "Well, you know, guys don't look like that either."
Dick: Right? 'Cause these lunatics always complain that they're 'unrealistic' standards of beauty on these covers, like this comic book? Like, they're hypersexualized? And it's like, "Yeah, but so are the guys. They're not wearing anything."
Dick: But then someone's like, "Yeah, but that's a male fantasy, too."
Maddox: Ohh, oh - so everything's a male fantasy!
Maddox: That's the Male Gaze, by the way. That's -- So, I just wanna point out something in this article that he - in this paragraph that he wrote. He says that "even the horniest teenage boy on the planet knows that there's no fabric on earth that could possibly cling to Jessica Drew's individual buttocks like that." There's no fabric on earth...THAT'S the problem he has with this, not that it's SPIDER-WOMAN who can CLING TO WALLS! (Dick laughs) THAT'S believable, but not that this fucking FABRIC could exist that could cling to her BUTT, huh?? Maybe it's the same fabric she uses to cling to walls!
Dick: Yeah, she shoots it out of her hands! (amused)
Maddox: Yeah! Maybe she just made the outfit, and MAYBE who gives a fuck?! Huh? How about that, ya moron?
Maddox: It's a fucking COMIC BOOK, where people fly around and throw flaming pumpkins! (Sean snickers in the background) This isn't *reality,* you IDIOT!
Dick: I don't know what their problem is with it.
Maddox: What the fuck - I just wanna go back in time, find this kid as a baby and just shake him. (Dick and Maddox start laughing hard) I just wanna shake this guy!! (growling) I just wanna sh-- "WAKE UP, YOU MORON!"
Maddox: Oh, my god! This is unbelievable.
Dick: I don't know what they *want.* Like, do ya just want a *trash bag* over her? Wheeere is - where does it cross the line?
Maddox: They want everyone to look ugly and plain. That's what you want, right?? Because they want 'realistic' standards of beauty? Well, guess what? There's realistic standards of beauty EVERY TIME I step into a grocery store. They're fucking everywhere! They look like people walkin' around like TOMBSTONES. They look...like TRASH. They haven't - they're in their PAJAMAS, they haven't put MAKEUP on, I see it everywhere! I want escapism! This is my escape, LEAVE IT ALONE!
Maddox: This is my one reprieve from the monotony of everyday life!
Dick: Well, it's also...art, you know?
Maddox: It is!
Dick: It's stylized, it's not literal -- No, as much as any horny teenage boy can tell there's no fabric on earth that can...like, loop into someone's butthole like that -
Maddox: Right. (chuckling)
Dick: - they also know that's not a real person.
Maddox: Wait, wait - Spider-Man's not a real person? Spider-Woman...?
Dick: No no no, it's like - you know, an archetype? Like a Jungian archetype, or whatever? It's a stylized version of...a hero.
Maddox: Well, listen to Sigmund Fraud. (laughs)
Dick: Right, right right right. (amused)
Maddox: Yeah - no, but that's true! So you're tellin' me, Dick - lemme see if I follow your logic.
Maddox: You're tellin' me that *nobody* in real life has gotten bit by a radioactive spider, then developed superpowers that could cling to walls, and then solved crime with those superpowers?
Dick: Yeah! It's like a STORY.
Maddox: Oh, that's not real?
Dick: No! It turns out, it's not real.
Maddox: Oh, shit! So why am I so *upset* about this alternate reality that doesn't exist?
Dick: I don't know! I don't get it. I never have.
Maddox: Maybe I'M an idiot. Yeah. Maybe I'm an idiot - how about that? There's some satire. (laughs) To bring it back....So, okay. What do we got this week? You had your first problem...
Dick: My first problem was the Facebook Satire Tags. Or - what do you wanna call it? Facebook Social Engineering?
Maddox: Let's be specific on this one, 'cause there's a lot we could delve into on Facebook.
Maddox: So, the Facebook Satire Tag - I like that a lot.
Dick: Yeah. And then, uh, Militarized Police.
Maddox: Okay, and my problems were Emoji - or icons - and Spider-Woman's Ass. (Dick chuckles) So, uh, that's it! Don't forget to vote on the website, thebiggestproblemintheuniverse.com. And we'll look at the problems next week.
Dick: Yep! Thanks for listening.
Maddox: Thanks guys.