Biggest Problem in the Universe - Episode 18Transcription courtesy of: Laurie Foster https://www.facebook.com/LAFModel
Maddox: Welcome to the Biggest Problem in the Universe. I'm Maddox. With me is Dick Masterson.
Dick: Heyyyyyyy! What's up, buddy?
Maddox: So this episode, we have a very special guest with us. We have Ryan Holiday. Now, he is the directing marketer for American Apparel. The Director of Marketing, rather, for American Apparel.
Maddox: And he has a huge body of work. He's written two books. Some of your work has been used for case studies for Google, for YouTube, and even Twitter has used your work for case studies.
Dick: Even Twitter.
Maddox: I should have, like, reversed that order. 'Cause Google is more impressive.
Maddox: Yeah. You've worked with Tim Ferriss, the author of the 4-Hour Workweek.
Maddox: Tucker Max, which many of my listeners know, and even Robert Greene, the author of 48 Laws of Power and Mastery.
Dick: Whoa!! I know that one.
Dick: That's a big deal, man.
Maddox: And your own books. You have the bestselling "Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator", and "The Obstacle is The Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials Into Triumph". So, uhh…
Dick: Say hello!
Maddox: Welcome to the show.
Ryan: It's good to be here. I've been a big fan for a reaaaally long time. I read your stuff when I was in high school.
Dick: Were you talking to me or Maddox?
Ryan: Definitely not you. (Maddox and Dick laugh)
Maddox: Yeah. Well, uhhh..thank you.
Ryan: My friends had that sticker in the back of their pickup truck.
Maddox: Oh yeah! My Maddox logo sticker. That's cool.
Maddox: Just…they didn't know that you knew me?
Ryan: Well, I didn't then. But now I do.
Maddox: So, we got introduced through my editor, who is also Tucker Max's editor AND Dick's editor! That's how we we're all kind of friends together. Uhhh..Jeremy Ruby-Strauss. He worked on all our books together.
Maddox: And you helped market Tucker's book. Is that right?
Ryan: Yeah. Yeah. I think that's how we finally got introduced.
Dick: He's the godfather of 'fratire', Jeremy Ruby-Strauss, right?
Maddox: I guess, yeah.
Ryan: And a bunch of other huge books. I mean, he's, like, the guy behind the guy, on like, a million huge books.
Maddox: He's done…he's done everything. He's one of the few people who I can genuinely say gets it. Like, in the publishing industry?
Maddox: Which is very rare. Um, so…and that's how…did you work…you didn't work on Tucker's movie, just the book, right?
Ryan: No, I worked on the movie too.
Maddox: Oh, the movie as well.
Maddox: Cool. Alright, well, thank you for coming in.
Ryan: (interjects) Yeah, it's good to be here.
Maddox: This is our very second guest.
Dick: With that resume, I cannot wait to see your problem.
Maddox: Yeah. Yeah (laughs), this is gonna be great. Alright, so let's get to the comments from…
Dick: (interjects) No wait, who won? Who won last week?
Maddox: Ohhh. Okay.
Maddox: Number one last week was "Nepotism"…
Dick: (interjects) (loud sigh and grumble) Alright…
Maddox: Yeah! Big problem. Followed by "The Parents Television Council"…
Dick: (interjects) Goddamn it.
Maddox: Two for me! And then, your "Shitty Passengers" problem, Dick, which you didn't even mention a single shitty passenger.
Dick: You. (laughs)
Maddox: I'm a great passenger. I save lives.
Dick: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And…and my last one. "Jennifer Lawrence's Tits".
Maddox: And.."Jennifer Lawrence's Tits" is your last one. Yeah. Which a lot of people called you out on for…for, uh…they didn't like the phrasing of that problem. It's kind of vulgar.
Dick: Uhhh…alright, well, whatever, I lost.
Maddox: You lost. So, let's get…
Dick: (interjects) I don't need to know why I lost.
Dick: (interjects) I just need to know that I lost. I mean, uh…why is not important.
Maddox: You're not gonna learn anything from it. (laughs)
Dick: No. I'm not even gonna try.
Maddox: Yeah. Alright, so…I've got some comments. This one's from Buddy Wagner. He says, "Dick, dude. Nic Cage sucks hardcore donkey nuts. I've actually seen Nic Cage fight through a crowd of people to get at a huge donkey scrotum and choke it down..." (background laughter) "…Watching that was better than all of his movies put together."
Dick: Really?! (incredulous) That…what's that guy's name?
Maddox: His name is, uhh…Buddy Wagner.
Dick: Buddy Whack-It. You didn't like Con Air? You can honestly say that Con Air wasn't, like, one of the best movies you've ever seen? That's a lie. That's false.
Maddox: Dick, he didn't parse his words here. He said he…
Dick: (interjects) The Rock?! (yells) The Rock is not donkey scrotum.
Maddox: Yeah. No.
Dick: The Rock is a great movie.
Maddox: I dunno. He said he's seen all of his movies and he'd rather watch Nic Cage suck a big donkey scrotum, so he didn't parse his words.
Ryan: Has he seen National Treasure?
Dick: No…ummm…Also good!
Ryan: All three of 'em!
Maddox: Are they really? Is this bullshit, or are they really good?
Dick: I kind of think it's bullshit now that all three of them have come up…(everyone laughs) I've got a comment for you!
Dick: Uhh…Kyle Tarsia. "Nepotism is only flawed when someone unqualified is the only one benefiting. For instance, the only reason Dick is on the podcast with Maddox is because of nepotism." So… (Maddox laughs) he's got you there.
Maddox: You know, Dick, I actually brought that same comment in. And I was gonna say that maybe he's right, you know, you are on the show because of nepotism. So maybe we should have a formal interview process (background laugh) with all the listeners.
Dick: Oh, okay. Lemme tell you something, Kyle! (Maddox laughs) And anyone else who thinks that…If it wasn't for me…THIS would just be a figment of Maddox's imagination!
Dick: (interjects) Just like every amazing idea this guy has!!
Maddox: (interjects) Mmmm….
Dick: It takes some asshole to squeeze it out of him!
Maddox: Yeah. Yeah, well…there's some history back there. We have six…actually, this is kind of…we've never talked about this, but we have six previously-recorded episodes that we shot…that we recorded a year ago before we actually relaunched this. Which is actually something they say that all podcasts should do. Record six episodes and throw them away. 'Cause they're probably gonna be shit.
Ryan: It's like the same thing with writing. You shouldn't…like, if you're publishing everything you write, you're not holding yourself to a high enough standard.
Maddox: Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely! That's…I did a Rebbit…excuse me. I did a Reddit AMA, Ask Me Anything, and people were saying…were asking me why my content isn't as prolific as other writers'.
Maddox: I said "Look, nobody cares if you publish 100 different articles. They only care about the one or two good ones."
Ryan: Right. Harper Lee wrote one book.
Dick: I think also the reason you're not as prolific as other writers…
Maddox: (interjects) Okay..
Dick: …Is because of Dark Souls…(Maddox laughs)…and Dark Souls II. Just to be fair.
Maddox: Okay. That is fair, actually.
Dick: Not quality control so much as Dark Souls.
Maddox: Yep. Well, so you read my "Nepotism" comment. I got one from Ryan William Smail. He says "Thanks for the good show and thanks for the audio book. I got "The Mountain of Madness", because it sounds like the tape from Evil Dead." So that was just this guy talking about one of the books he got from our new sponsor.
Maddox: What do you have?
Dick: Uh, let's see. I got umm…Ben West: "Dick, you need to marry that Korean woman. You aren't gonna find any better than that on Tinder." That's probably true.
Maddox: Yeah. Although, I think I saw her on Tinder. (laughs) So….
Dick: You know, I was talking to her about Tinder today.
Dick: She goes, "Is it just for hookups?" And I was like "Uhhh…I mean, kinda."
Maddox: Well, no. No. Um, I got one from Nobody Really. (clears throat) That's gotta be a real name on this one. He just asks "Whose phone kept ringing the whole show?"
Dick: It wasn't mine.
Maddox: Dick, do you know anything about that? Sean?
Sean: Dick's phone was vibrating.
Maddox: Dick's phone was vibrating.
Dick: No it wasn't!! (yells)
Sean: It was….
Dick: (interjects) My phone was NOT vibrating (yells)
Sean: It vibrated twice. Yeah.
Maddox: Dick, it was like an earthquake over here!!
Dick: What the FUCK is this?!?!?!
Sean: It did.
Maddox: With your fucking vibrations the entire time.
Sean: Cause I mixed the thing, and it was, uhh…
Sean: I heard it a couple of times.
Dick: Why do you think it was…why do you automatically assume it was mine?!
Sean: Because it was sitting right next to your hand.
Maddox: It was YOUR phone.
Dick: NO!! This is…it was Sean's!! (yelling) (Maddox laughs) This is exactly what Sean would do, because he jumped right in with it was mine!!
Maddox: Dick!! I saw it on the table!! It was vibrating the entire show. This is unbelievable.
Sean: My phone's on silent behind me.
Dick: MY phone's on "Do Not Disturb".
Maddox: My phone's in the toilet.
Dick: Hey, we got a…moving along.
Dick: We got a really awesome fanart.
Dick: Did you guys see this? I woke up…still drunk, like in the middle of the morning, and found this pop up on my Twitter…and it was like, the awesomest thing I'd ever seen. I retweeted it immediately. Sean, have you seen this? Here. Check it out. Uh, it was made by a dude named Tim. A French guy.
Dick: A Cup of Tim? http://www.acupoftim.com/. And on Twitter, @acupoftim. It's awesome. He's got the…he's got our problems on there. I guess we're having dinner in Hell.
Maddox: Yeah. There's every reference to the show ever. Show Ryan too. We'll post this on the website.
Dick: It's a pretty good likeness.
Maddox: So, Tim. Tim is an illustrator I've known for a long time.
Maddox: I actually met him out in France when I was out there, and he's a really cool dude. Not too cool, but just cool enough. Um, so yeah. His work is incredible. I've always been a big fan of his work and he's been a big fan of mine. So, thank you Tim, for the fanart.
Ryan: Have you ever got creepy fanart before?
Maddox: Yes. Oh my gosh, yes.
Ryan: Like what?
Maddox: Uh…just me in various sexual positions with animals. (Ryan laughs) (background laughter) And uh…I got one one time where they were really trying to draw a bad caricature of me, but they…like, they exaggerated my nose and the circles under my eyes, and my baldness. And then, uhhh..I looked at it, and I'm like, "That's actually pretty good." (laughing) They pretty much nailed me. Um, yeah. Anyway. So, should we get to the problems?
Maddox: What do you got this week?
Dick: The TSA.
Maddox: The Transportation Security Administration?
Dick: That's right.
Maddox: Just making sure. Alright.
Maddox: What's the problem?
Dick: I'm gonna make it very simple. Everyone hates them. Everyone thinks they're a joke. I think we all know that. But here's why I brought it in as a problem. 'Cause I realized this week that they ruined planes. They ruined flying.
Dick: They ruined man-powered flight for all of us.
Maddox: (sighs loudly) Yeah.
Dick: So, I was sitting around with a bunch of, like, you know, adults.
Dick: Not…people older than us. The previous generation. They were telling me that they had a…they got a sale one time, or something, when like, United Airlines was going global, or something like that. They had tickets, where for 700$, you could get unlimited flights in like 10 days. Which seems like it would be awesome. Go wherever you want, wherever they fly, for 10 days. And I realized that if the airlines were to do that right now, I wouldn't buy it, because the idea of waiting two to three hours and going through all the lines, and going through all the TSA bullshit, would completely ruin the experience for me.
Maddox: Mhmm. Yeah.
Ryan: But was that 700$ in like, 1952 dollars? So it was really, like, ridiculously expensive?
Dick: Alright, lemme tell you something about numbers. I'm not very good with them. (Maddox laughs)
Dick: It could have been…it could have been 500. It could have been 7…either way. If it was 2000 today, would you pay it?
Ryan: Uhhh…for unlimited travel?
Maddox: For 10 flights?
Ryan: Of course!
Maddox: Yeah, that's actually a good deal, Dick.
Ryan: Yeah, it's a great deal.
Maddox: It's a realllly good deal, yeah.
Dick: Yeah, I mean, that's the conversion, right? Two or three thousand dollars?
Ryan: No. 700$ in 1952 dollars would be , like…
Dick: No no no no, the 70s. The 70s. The 70s.
Ryan: Oh, the 70s.
Maddox: Oh the 70s?
Maddox: Yeah, about 2 to 3 grand at most, right?
Ryan: Probably. I don't know.
Maddox: For 3 grand? If you go on three flights, you've paid for that.
Ryan: But what other form of transportation is pleasant?
Ryan: I feel like you're laying something at the feet of the TSA that every other form of transportation also fails.
Dick: No, so this is what you could do, before the TSA got there. You just walk on the flight.
Ryan: Yeah, and planes got hijacked all the time.
Ryan: And then they crashed a bunch of them into buildings and started 10 years of war!
Dick: The TSA is not…
Ryan: Fuck the TSA!!! (yells) (laughs)(Maddox laughs)
Dick: The TSA is not preventing planes getting hijacked and flying into buildings.
Maddox: I'll tell you what the problem is. It's Canada. Okay? So when I was going through a security check in Canada one time, I walked all the way up to my gate with my luggage in hand and I realized something was wrong, because I still had my luggage, and so I turned around and went back to the security station that I somehow just walked past. I said, "Am I supposed to go through here?" and they're like "Yeah." They said, "Where did you come from?" I'm like "Over there." They're like "How did you get there?" and I'm like "I just walked past you guys." (Ryan laughs)
Dick: So I did some research.
Dick: Along those lines. 70% of weapons make it through the TSA.
Maddox: How do they…how do they know which weapons got through and didn't?
Dick: Right? So, they keep all of the internal testing they do on the TSA…
Dick: That's all private.
Dick: By the way. Somebody audited them, and they found that the TSA was getting alerted when the testing crew…the undercover testing crew was coming in to bring their fake weapons on board to test them out.
Dick: So they did a big investigation of this. Nobody got fired. Nobody was found to be at fault. They raised the contract. So that's who's watching the watchers. A company that lets them know when they're gonna come test them so they don't lose their contract.
Ryan: There's that other stat where it's like…the TSA has caught, like one terrorist, in like, 10 years. And, like 400 TSA agents have been fired for stealing.
Ryan: It's, like, a ridiculous…
Ryan: So, that's a point in your favor.
Dick: Thank you.
Maddox: Yeah. So, so…but on your criticism of all forms of travel.
Maddox: They're all pretty….what about bike riding? Do you like bike riding, Ryan?
Ryan: No. I'm not poor. (Maddox laughs)
Dick: Or a girl, right?
Ryan: Yeah. Right. (laughs)
Ryan: I don't live at the beach and I'm not poor, so I don't ride a bike.
Maddox: Ohhhhhh. This makes me so angry! (Ryan laughs)
Dick: Oh Maddox. He's a huge…he's a CYCLIST.
Ryan: You ride a bike?
Maddox: I love riding bikes. It's the best way around…LA. Yeah.
Ryan: Yeah, but that's because LA sucks for transportation.
Maddox: Yeah. Yeah. If I lived, in like, any place rural…like in Utah, I hardly ever rode my bike.
Maddox: Because it was just miserable. And everyone's such an asshole. But out here, you're constantly stuck in gridlock because people like Dick don't use their horns (Ryan laughs)
Ryan: I'm a big, big horn user.
Maddox: You're a honker? Thank God!
Ryan: Of course.
Maddox: Yeah. Smart guy. See, Ryan? Head of American Apparel, Director of Marketing. And he uses his horn.
Ryan: Do you guys have PreCheck?
Maddox: What is PreCheck?
Ryan: Do you know what PreCheck is?
Ryan: PreCheck lets you skip…like, you pay, like 400$. You go through a background check. You get fingerprinted and then you get to skip…you don't have to take your shoes off. You don't have to take your laptop out, and you go through a shorter line.
Dick: I thought they were ruining that. I thought they were getting rid of that.
Ryan: Well, they ruin it because they let, like, old people go through sometimes, who are like, not a threat, but the point is, it's like…this is the genius of government, right?
Ryan: The TSA sucks so hard that you can PAY to get around it. And then, if you have money, you skip it, and, like, the airport in Austin is, like, 7 minutes from my house. And security takes me about 3 minutes. So I can leave, like 10 minutes before my flight boards.
Maddox: Oh, that's beautiful.
Ryan: It's amazing.
Maddox: Because you have that PreCheck.
Ryan: Because, yeah, I paid for it. And then, if you pay for global entry at the same time, then you don't have to go through US customs when you re-enter the US.
Maddox: Oh, which is just the biggest bureaucracy, US customs. It's such bullshit!
Ryan: Oh, totally.
Maddox: It makes travelling miserable. Everywhere I go in the country…in the world, I've never seen a bureaucracy as worse as America's customs. It's, like, almost like a mini-DMV in the airport.
Maddox: Every other customs I go through, anywhere in the world, you just breeze right through! Denmark, Sweden…
Maddox: France! You just breeze right through. And in America, you just stand in this long fucking line, and they have people barking orders at you. And they never check anything anyway. I always put…I put down pornography for everything I'm gonna declare. And the guy just looks at it, and I'm like "Yeah dude, I just got a whole bunch of porn, what are you gonna do?"
Ryan: It's like "Welcome to America. Fuck you, wait in line."
Maddox: Welcome to America, wait in line.
Ryan: Yeah. We suck.
Ryan: But then, you go to some crappy country, and it's like in and out, 'cause they want you to come there!
Maddox: Have you ever travelled in the Middle East?
Maddox: Either of you?
Maddox: So, if you travel in the Middle East, that is security like it used to be. They don't give…they don't check anything. They don't give a fuck.
Maddox: 'Cause they know no one's bombing THEM, huh.
Ryan: (laughs) Right.
Maddox: Right? No one's bombing them! No one's hijacking their shit!
Maddox: So they're just BREEZIN' people through! They don't even check. They just kind of wave a wand at you.
Maddox: It beeps. They don't check what beeped. They just keep waving people through (laughs). They don't give a shit. Yeah. Middle East is a great place to travel.
Ryan: Yeah, unless you get on, some, like Malaysian air flight.
Maddox: Oooh. Yeah. Yeah. Well. And people were demonizing the pilots for that.
Ryan: Which one?
Maddox: Because they flew over…uhhh…Ukraine?
Ryan: Oh yeah.
Maddox: There were other flights in the area that didn't get shot.
Ryan: Yeah. Of course.
Ryan: Well, I like that too. It's like when that first plane disappeared. We're like, mad that could happen. It's like, 50 years ago, planes were just disappearing all the time!
Maddox: (laughs) Yeah.
Ryan: And then now, it's like, "How dare they?!" It's like, that's what happens, man. You're flying a bullet through the sky.
Ryan: Some of 'em aren't gonna land.
Maddox: And the reason it's such big news is because it happens so infrequently.
Maddox: No one would cover this if it happened every day.
Ryan: How long has Amelia Earhart been missing?
Maddox: Yeah. Why don't you guys find Amelia Earhart and then bitch about Malaysia Airlines?
Ryan: Yeah! Right. They've only had, like a couple of months to search for that one.
Maddox: Yeah. And she was the pilot. You know who to blame there (Ryan laughs) So Dick, what…what do you propose? What can be done about this? Like, what…
Dick: No, nothing can be done about it. We're screwed. Once you get a government organization going, there's no stopping it. It's like, out of control avalanche.
Maddox: What do you think…what do you think about…
Dick: (interjects) I'll tell you what's going happen… wait, what do I think about what?
Maddox: What do you think about profiling?
Dick: What do you mean?
Maddox: Because they talked about this after 9/11. They said "Look, we shouldn't be testing Midwestern grandmas. We shouldn't be checking kids of any of these people. We should start profiling…people who look sketchy and ethnic." Which, by the way, right after 9/11, I got flagged for random searches..like every time I flew. And I went to stand in this line of other people who randomly got flagged, and they all had, you know..tunics and beards and weird hats, and they all looked super Middle Eastern, super ethnic, and I'm like "Ohhh…"
Dick: Were you offended by that? As a guy who looked like that? Did it bother you?
Maddox: No, I get it. No, it didn't bother me, 'cause I get it. I'm like alright, you know, if I haven't shaved for a couple of weeks, yeah, go ahead and pat me down.
Dick: I don't think it would bother me either. That's why I don't really care about it.
Sean: It happened to me! I got the full private room pat-down and everything.
Maddox: Well, sorry Sean, someone's phone just went off… (laughing) Literally…while you were talking!! (laughs)
Dick: Alright. Alright. Hold on, I can explain (Maddox cackling). I can explain that!! (laughs)
Maddox: Yeah. I think we can all explain! (laughing)
Dick: I thought…I thought…
Sean: Guess who just won the race to zero credibility. (everyone laughing)
Dick: I thought that "Do Not Disturb" meant no buzzing either.
Dick: But apparently, on Facebook Messenger, it doesn't mean that. It goes ahead and buzzes you anyway.
Sean: Do you listen to the podcast at double speed, too? (Maddox cracks up)
Dick: Ughhhh.. YOU GUYS!!!! (yells)
Sean: It runs in the family.
Maddox: Ohhh, boy. Yeah. It's an iPhone thing. Actually, I just heard another podcast the other day where the guy was trying to figure out just how to silence his fucking phone, and it took him 5 minutes and three people to figure out how to just do silence, and that's it.
Dick: How did he figure it out eventually? Can you tell me the answer?
Maddox: By trial and error…(laughs)…you wanna know? We'll have to…
Dick: (interjects) So you got racially profiled, Sean?
Maddox: Sean, yeah. Why would you get racially profiled?
Dick: You look like the whitest…Irish…Greek man…ever.
Sean: I know. I have no idea, other than if anybody's ever been to the Philadelphia airport, they know what I'm talking about. It's just one of the worst airports in America.
Maddox: I've been there and I don't remember being particularly…
Sean: With the worst people and the worst layout. Yeah! I got the full…they said they detected a "foreign substance."
Maddox: Ohh… yeah.
Dick: What was that?
Ryan: Semen? (Maddox laughs)
Sean: They actually don't know. And then honestly, like, the guy…you know, I went into the room and they took my shoes, and they put them in this, like, oven-looking thing (giggling in background) I shit you not. And I said "What are you checking for?" And he goes "Explosives." (Maddox laughs) You know, knowing that I had no explosives on me, I was like "Okay, that's cool." And then the other cop, who had to, like grab me…
Dick: (interjects) Not cops! TSA people, right? They want you to think they're cops…
Sean: No, they're not. They're just dressed a little different from the people who actually take you in the private room, I think.
Dick: Oh, okay.
Sean: Yeah, no. You're right. And he, like, hemmed and hawed about that he had to touch me in my private areas. Like, he was really nervous about it. Like, you know, cause he probably thought…
Dick: (interjects) You're an attractive guy.
Maddox: You're packin'. (Sean laughs)
Dick: I mean, you are. People don't know. I'm saying that he was probably really nervous about…
Sean: I'm like "Dude, just do what you gotta do." Like, he thought it was a much bigger deal than me. I was like…I'm not gonna get a boner, you know? (laughs)
Maddox: What if you did, though?
Sean: Well, then, you know. I don't know. Then I would have just intentionally missed my flight, I guess.
Sean: To wrap it up, the guy goes "You know, this happens about three times per day." The sensor just goes off and detects a substance that isn't there.
Dick: Whenever they see someone they wanna molest in the back room.
Sean: I gueeeeeesss. I don't know.
Dick: Which is basically what happened.
Dick: So, like a giggling pervert molested you. Took your shoes off, probably because he wanted to see your feet.
Maddox: Yeah, I don't… I don't…
Ryan: Well, it sounds like you were the opposite of racially profiled.
Ryan: The machine went off.
Maddox: You're making people like me look bad.
Sean: That's true, actually. The machine dimed me off.
Maddox: You know what? I'll say this, though. There are…there are a disproportionate amount of hot black people who work at TSA, right?
Dick: What the fuck are you talking about!?!? (Maddox laughs) Where are you going?! Sam's…this beautiful woman that Ryan's brought into the studio is nodding her head like this is true!
Ryan: What are you talking about?
Dick: Is that true?!
Maddox: Thank you.
Dick: Disproportionate number of hot black women in TSA!?
Maddox: Yeah! They're just…they're always…
Dick: Are they hiding in all the enormously fat black women!?! (everyone cracks up) What the FUCK are you talking about?!
Maddox: I dunno, man. Every time I've…maybe I've just had the luck, 'cause I'm going through the right security checkpoints.
Sean: It's like you're Shallow Hal or something, like…(laughs)
Ryan: Yeah, maybe you just have really low standards. (laughs)
Dick: Do you go to the security checkpoint at Foreplay beside LAX, or do you go through LAX? (Maddox laughs)
Maddox: Oh, that's not part of LAX?
Dick: No, Foreplay is a strip club.
Maddox: Ohh…that might be the problem, yeah. 'Cause they always wanna check my wallet. At Foreplay. (Ryan laughs) Yeah. Anyway, Dick, okay.
Dick: TSA costs…lemme…I wrote shit down.
Dick: 7.6 billion dollars. That's how much money they're getting for this.
Maddox: 7.6 BILLION dollars (Dick chimes in as well).
Maddox: That's insane.
Dick: To molest Sean…
Maddox: What did 9/11 cost, by the way? 120 billion? Something like that?
Dick: What do you mean? The cost is our innocence!
Maddox: What? Oh..ohohoh…okay, Dick. Thank you, poet.
Ryan: Like, just the straight infrastructure cost? Or do you roll in the war in Iraq in there? Like, what do you…
Maddox: No. Let's end it at…just…the immediate aftermath.
Maddox: The first, like, say, 30 days to two months. So the loss in air travel, business…
Maddox: Uhh…Wall Street…How many billions of dollars? A hundred…I heard it's like 120…
Ryan: Well, it's gotta be, like, trillions, right?
Maddox: Trillions? Okay, well, nevermind then, that argument's skunked.
Dick: No, yeah. You're…(Maddox laughs)(Dick laughs) But if we're talking about people's lives, here's something interesting I found.
Dick: This TSA shit is encouraging people to drive versus fly, 'cause it's such a pain in the ass, they're just like "Ah fuck it, I'll drive."
Dick: And all these extra cars in the road are causing vehicle fatalities.
Dick: I've got a number, too. Lemme find it.
(sound effect: Dick saying "I've got a stats for you")
Dick: Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah. Okay, 6% more people drove because of the TSA. 129 more people died in, like, the course of three months in 2002. Uhhh, this dude figured that…who's that…who's that stats guy, who always does, like the weirdo stats, like for the presidential election?
Ryan: Nate Silver?
Dick: Yeah. Nate Silver said it was, like, four fully-loaded 737's crashing each year and costing airlines a billion dollars in business.
Maddox: Wowwwww. That is…that's amazing. That's actually a really…
Dick: (interjects) That's the TSA.
Maddox: Where'd you get that stat from?
Dick: I dunno, man. The Internet!
Ryan: Oh gosh, Dick.
Maddox: The Internet. I mean, I gotta look this up afterwards. But anyway, that's really interesting, actually.
Maddox: So four airliners are going down…the equivalent…
Dick: (interjects) Yeah.
Maddox: …worth of people dying.
Dick: Yep. Cause people are driving.
Ryan: Because they're bad drivers.
Maddox: Yeah. They're bad drivers. They're people who lollygag. They're people who are idling. They're a "road rage".
Dick: Accidents happen, man.
Maddox: Yeah…but, you know what? You know what's so sad about that statistic, too? Is that people who would otherwise never even travel, by just pedestrians…those are the people who are getting killed, too. 'Cause one of these…you know one of those people is gonna be an old man who fell asleep at the wheel and drove through a farmer's market.
Dick: Yeah. True.
Maddox: That happens. That happens like twice a year, I feel. I always hear about some old person just "I don't know what happened!" (old person voice) and (Ryan laughing) then they wake up in the middle of just a pile of bodies at a farmer's market.
Ryan: And you think those people would be flying if TSA was easier?
Maddox: Maybe. Or if they had family members who cared. (cracks up)
Dick: Well, that's my problem. They ruined flying. I think they're going to ruin self-driving cars, too.
Ryan: The TSA will?
Maddox: Oh, they might, yeah.
Dick: I think they're gonna get their mitts into buses. I think they're gonna get their mitts into sporting events. They're gonna fuck that up. They're gonna fuck that up. And I think they're eventually gonna fuck up self driving cars.
Maddox: Yeah. Well…here's hoping they don't. So, Ryan. You're…our guest problem this week.
Ryan: Yeah, I am.
Maddox: Or...guest this week who HAS a problem, rather.
Ryan: Sure. (laughs) Well, I didn't do my homework like you guys with stats. I didn't know this was what was required of me.
Dick: Stats are not necessary to make an argument.
Maddox: Dick, I have pressured Dick into bringing stats, so…
Ryan: Oh, okay. Problem number one could be how fucking hot it is in this room right now.
Maddox: It is pretty hot, yeah. We turn off the A/C during the recording.
Ryan: Look at him. He's covered in sweat.
Maddox: Yeah, but that's partially anger sweat.
Dick: It's very much anger sweat.
Sean: It's also mostly booze. (all laughing)
Dick: It's a lot of booze.
Maddox: There's just like this sweaty whiskey smell in the room. Yeah.
Ryan: Well, okay. So, what I thought I would talk about is something…this is what my first book is about, which is just how bullshit and corrupt and terrible the online media space is.
Maddox: (gasps) Yes.
Ryan: And I think you and I have a lot of agreement about this. Your stuff on Buzzfeed has been awesome. Your shit about, um…so, people…
Dick: (interjects) So your stuff on Buzzfeed, sorry, is…what. What do you like about his stuff on Buzzfeed?
Ryan: Well, Buzzfeed is one of the worst journalism outfits to ever exist. It started purely to troll our Facebook feeds. It was a way of selling, sort of, cute nostalgia and pirated content, essentially…
Ryan: That has now raised, what, 100 million dollars in venture capital funding?
Maddox: More. More. They just got a new round of funding.
Ryan: Yeah. For like another 50 million dollars.
Ryan: And at the same time, did you hear they had to delete 5,000 of their own articles because they don't even meet Buzzfeed's incredibly low standards?
Maddox: Wow. That is…that's amazing. That's like, uh…people going through their Twitter account and deleting tweets because they didn't mean to tweet…
Ryan: (interjects) I mean, first off, that you would HAVE 5,000 articles and you're only, like a couple of years old, is, like…says something. And then that you would have 5,000 that don't meet your standards, is like…appalling.
Maddox: The standards of Buzzfeed.
Ryan: Right, right. So, Buzzfeed wrote 5,000 articles that even Buzzfeed thinks sucks. And they tried to delete them sneakily so people wouldn't see.
Ryan: And of course, people caught them.
Ryan: Um, so, and what else have you written about Buzzfeed? Oh, you did that great thing about ABC news with the Robin Williams thing.
Ryan: Which, then, everyone on the Internet ripped off. So, sort of the thesis of my first book is the economics of creating content online have sort of totally corrupted and taken over news and media in general. So, it's…it's what people are chattering about online that drives the offline media conversation. The 24/7 media cycle…
Ryan: That is all driven by the economics of the Internet. And the economics of the Internet are essentially a million blogs trying to be heard over a million other blogs.
Ryan: And so…within that, the majority of bloggers at these places, like at Buzzfeed, at Gawker, they're paid on the page they write. Or their pay is somehow tied to how much traffic their articles do on a monthly basis.
Ryan: Which essentially makes everything that they publish a conflict of interest in one way or another. Right? So they could write the story the truthful way, or they could write it the way that gets them the most traffic.
Ryan: And this is a force that's sort of acting on the information that all of us get as a society, and it created this weird feedback loop where we're acting on shit that some 20-year-old college grad from Sarah Lawrence churns out at a basically New York sweatshop for content.
Maddox: Right. Yeah, it's…by the way, thank you so much for very eloquently spelling that out. Uh, so…creating this…it's almost like a race to the bottom with these clique headlines. And that's why I feel like on my own website, when I don't have any ads on my website, it's always been that kind of platform…
Maddox: I don't really care if you click or not.
Maddox: People…I lose fans ALL the time. They send me emails that are like "Hey Maddox, I've been a fan for 10 years. Your last article sucked. You've really gone downhill. I'm gonna stop reading." And I always write back, I say, "Adios, dipshit!" (Ryan laughs)
Dick: You know they keep reading.
Maddox: Yeah, of course they keep reading!
Dick: They want attention so bad.
Maddox: Yeah, of course they're gonna keep reading, 'cause what else is out there, Buzzfeed?
Ryan: Well, it's like, look. You ultimately monetize your content in a way that creates good incentives by…you sell stuff to people who willingly buy it.
Ryan: Right, like you sell t-shirts. You sell…what else do you sell?
Maddox: T-shirts, stickers, posters, books, comics. Yeah.
Ryan: Books! Books. Right, you sell stuff. And so that creates a relationship of reciprocal value between you and your fans. You're not trying to generate a bunch of traffic to create a graph that makes it look like traffic is going through the roof so then you can turn around and sell your crappy company to Time Warner or…
Ryan: Or AOL. You know? And then all of a sudden, they've got this sordid doubt on their hands. That's what…these companies aren't trying to become sustainable business. They are, like, essentially Ponzi schemes that they're trying…
Maddox: It's a cash grab!
Ryan: Yeah, totally.
Maddox: Yeah. That's all it is. So Dick, last week, brought in a problem. He was talking about Jennifer's…the celebrity leaks, right? So, all these…
Dick: (interjects) Jennifer Lawrence's tits! Say the whole thing if you're gonna bring in my problem!
Maddox: Okay, Dick. Thank you.
Dick: That I brought in and researched. Not you (laughter in background)
Maddox: Thank you for researching and going through the effort of looking at all the pictures.
Ryan: (laughing) Yeah, that must have been hard for you.
Maddox: Yeah. It must have been real hard.
Dick: No! It was not hard! That was part of the problem!
Maddox: Uhhh…yeah. So Dick wasn't turned on enough. So, so. Here's the thing. All these companies…Gawker, Huffington Post…they all wrote these…and even, you said, uhh..Forbes, right Dick?
Maddox: They wrote these big screeds about how awful everybody is for looking at these pictures because…and then, there was some charity organization that even turned down money from Redditters who somehow profited from the server.
Maddox: Even now, Wired magazine came out with an article saying that Reddit paid for x number of months of hosting through the scandal, right?
Maddox: But, they're also profiting.
Maddox: These people who are reporting about…even just saying "Don't look at the pictures." You're still profiting as long as you run ads on your website.
Dick: Well, lemme ask you this, Ryan. 'Cause my thinking is…and I'll say it first, and then give my example. When has it been any different? 'Cause you said online specifically. Do you think it was different…do you think that online media has affected the offline media in such a way as to change…as to cause this problem? Specifically because yesterday, I'm sitting in this restaurant throwing back a couple beers, and I'm watching Anderson Cooper on mute slam Ray Rice over and over while they PLAY the slo-mo of him PUNCHING his fiancé (Ryan laughs) OVER and OVER and OVER and I'm like…"You guys are just making money off this awful video all afternoon!" (yelling)
Dick: That's all I'm seeing here.
Ryan: Yeah, so. What I talk about in the book is…if you look at the history of media, um…if you go back to the late 1800's or early 1900's, media is mostly sold not by subscription. It's newspapers printed every day, and the whole idea of "extra, extra, read all about it!", right, is..comes from news boys shouting at the corner, trying to get you to buy THIS paper versus THAT paper. And that intense competition, rather than like, "Hey, I'm a New York Times man. It gets delivered to me on my doorstep.", which is sort of what ensued later, is what creates the yellow journalism scandals of that period. Right? So, Fatty Arbuckle…the famous movie star, is crushed by this sort of fake rape allegation in Los Angeles…
Dick: Ooh, hmm.
Ryan: Uhhh, the Spanish-American War is largely driven by sensational media coverage. So, but the New York Times emerges in that period as a…as a contrast to all that. Like, the slogan, "All the News That's Fit To Print" is statement against that kind of crappy journalism. Um, and so, like, when you at the Pentagon papers. When the Pentagon papers leak, the New York Times story, is like "Interesting Archive of Documents Related to the Vietnam War Surfaces". It's like this super low-key headline for what was a world-changing bombshell.
Ryan: 'Cause the New York Times has x million numbers of subscribers at this time. They don't need to be sensational or ridiculous.
Ryan: Now, you know…Jezebel, or Gawker get some TINY leak about whatever, and it's, you know, an all-caps headline screaming about how this is, like, the worst thing that ever happened. And so, I like to sort of contrast those two things. And I think it's interesting you're talking about CNN. Well, who broke that story? TMZ Sports breaks the...Ray Rice video…
Dick: (interjects) And they put their watermark over the video…
Dick: I'm like, are you guys fucking kidding me!? You've got a video of a gigantic, violent man beating a woman unmercifully, and you put your WATERMARK on it?! (incredulous) (Maddox laughing) Did nobody pause and say, "Wait a minute. I don't think this is appropriate."
Dick: Like, I didn't even want to see the video after, like a dozen times.
Maddox: Yeah, yeah.
Ryan: 12 was enough for you? (laughs) (laughter in background)
Dick: And when I'm saying it's inappropriate, you've fucked up!
Maddox: Yeah. Yeah. Dick is pretty much…so…at what point…look at what they're essentially doing. They've created a universe, or we have, I guess…where associating your brand with a man punching a woman in the face is a positive thing.
Ryan: Sure. Well, and it's…what's crazy is the way in which these media outlets now, sort of dominate everything we're talking about. So, it…like, with the celebrity nude scandal, right? Like, for the last few years, celebrity scandals have been leaking all the time, right? Like Scarlett Johansson photos…whatever. None of these people have a problem leaking the photos. If it's ONE celebrity. And, like the Hulk Hogan tape! Gawker went to court to defend their right to mock and post a video of Hulk Hogan having sex.
Maddox: And they actively told their viewers to read it. To watch the video.
Ryan: Yeah! Right, right.
Dick: Yeah. And laugh.
Ryan: And then 25 celebrities get hacked, and they realize it's sort of beyond the pale, and now all of a sudden they're admonishing us for DARING to look at these photos…
Ryan: Like WE'RE the perverts. Like, they didn't create the fucking market for this shit. Create billion-dollar brands…or multi-million dollar brands off the back of it, and then when Perez Hilton can't get first to the story, now all of a sudden, he's like "Oh, I won't post these." It's like, dude, you posted underage upskirt photos of Miley Cyrus like three or four years ago and you had no problem, but then THIS one breaks on Imgur and Reddit and all of a sudden you want to talk about how evil and corrupt and perverted it is.
Ryan: They're the worst!
Maddox: Yeah, exactly. That's actually…what were you gonna say?
Dick: I was gonna say that that's pretty much what I meant to say last week. (Maddox cracks up) All of that stuff.
Maddox: All of that stuff. Yeah.
Maddox: Yeah. Instead of all the victim blaming, huh? You know…Dick's argument was like "Well, you shouldn't have the pictures!" and I'm like, "Yeah, but when people's bank accounts get compromised, you don't say 'They shouldn't have bank accounts!'". Like…(laughs)…people are allowed to have property.
Dick: I keep all my money in whiskey.
Ryan: People should be able to take naked photos of themselves.
Maddox: Yeah! You should be able to do whatever you want.
Dick: You can!
Dick: You can! Surprise, surprise. Your shit got hacked. Boo-hoo.
Maddox: Yeah, but look. I don't think that having a weak password is any excuse to say, "Well, it's their fault." And who knows if they had a weak password or they just exploited shitty iCloud, which is super shitty anyway. But anyway, I don't wanna get on an Apple rant, 'cause that's coming. (laughs) Um, but Ryan, I want to ask you…
Dick: (interjects) Literally for him. That's coming. An Apple rant.
Maddox: Mmmm…(cracks up) (Dick laughs) Oh, I've had a hayday this week with the iPhone 6 announcement. Um, so, Ryan, I want to ask you, in your book "Trust Me, I'm Lying". Is there some way…is there some particular egregious way that they are manipulating media, be it traditional or online, to get their…to get these clicks.
Ryan: So the book is about, like, stunts that I've pulled with online media. So, like, with the book, one of the things that I did was I went on…there's this service called "Help a Reporter Out". Where basically, lazy journalists go. Like, "Hey, I need a source about almond farming." And then, like some almond farmer goes "Oh, like, lemme be your source!" Right? And so..
Ryan: It's basically like Craigslist for lazy journalists. So one of the stunts I did for the book to promote it, is that I just went on it and I pretended to be an expert about literally anything. For like six months.
Maddox: Ugh, I love it.
Ryan: And then it got so easy, I just had…I paid my assistant to pretend to be me and do it for me. Like, I did this under my real name. Having announced and gotten a ton of press for writing a book about media manipulation.
Ryan: I was quoted in ABC News, Good Morning America, Yahoo, ummm…I was on 20/20, and then the New York Times! I was an expert in the New York Times about vinyl records. And I know literally nothing about vinyl records. I mean, I'm 27 years old. I've never listened to a fucking record.
Dick: Do you remember some of your quotes?
Ryan: Yeah, I was, like, an expert about boat winterization…like, how to prepare your boat (Maddox laughs) for the coming winter for this Canadian newspaper. So I pretended to be this source for months and months, and then I revealed it when the book came out. And everyone's like "Oh, you lied! How were they supposed to know!" It's like, umm…maybe if you want to know about vinyl records, you call a record store.
Ryan: Or a record label. You don't troll for sources from random fucking people on the Internet.
Ryan: I mean, the slogan for this website is "No Such Thing As Free Publicity: There is with HARO". And, so, like, this is how your sausage gets made. So that's what I sort of talk about in the book. Is the way in which these places create this content, which your average reader thinks is…like, you think you're reading, and you see a quoted expert in the New York Times. They must have some credentials. They're not just a random guy pretending to know about vinyl records based on what he Googled three seconds before he emailed this reporter.
Maddox: You would hope, yes.
Ryan: That's the paper of record in the United States. And here I am, quoted. And the New York Times, even after this, does not ban its reporters from using this service.
Maddox: I…I heard a long time ago that…so, this happens everywhere in print.
Maddox: I heard the New York Times was particularly good about it. They vetted their sources and checked…
Maddox: So I guess not.
Ryan: Of course not! Why would they? They have to create more content to compete with all these blogs.
Ryan: Like everyone is competing for a finite amount of eyeballs, right? And so, they're…this guy who did this for the New York Times is a freelancer, just phoning in articles. He knows what he wants to say, so he asks for a source to tell him what he wants to hear, and I raise my hand, and then there I am and my parents are like "Hey, we saw you in the New York Times today!"
Ryan: "We didn't know you were a vinyl record fan" (laughs) You know?
Maddox: Yeah. Apparently you didn't either.
Ryan: Right! No, I wasn't. I learned what LP stood for…(Maddox laughs)…in the article that I was quoted in.
Maddox: That's incredible. (laughs) I love how the criticism of that was that, "Oh, you liked to these outfits.."
Ryan: (interjects) Yeah. Like I was the problem.
Maddox: Well, I don't know. Maybe because they're journalists and it's their job to know. It's their job to find out. Just Google somebody. It just takes 5 seconds. And find out whether they're full of shit or not.
Maddox: Yeah. That's unbelievable.
Ryan: Or maybe do more than, you know, just talk to your sources via email.
Maddox: Yeah! You know, when I was writing The Alphabet of Manliness, I worked with a couple of different publicists, and that's when I started to notice this thing happening.
Maddox: So, someone came out to my apartment in Utah and they did an interview with me from the Associated Press. And that one AP piece got picked up in SO many different publications because some of them…the publisher would pay for, some of them, they were genuinely covering this trend, or whatever.
Maddox: But, that's when I started to notice this on my radar, that all these pieces started to come up around the same time and it's usually driven by some publicist firm or marketing firm and they're trying to get that….So…any time you notice on Google News…Google News is my favorite news portal because I can see how all the different media outlets cover the same headline.
Maddox: And I like to see those, because sometimes you'll see six stories drop about something at the same exact time, about coffee or milk, or whatever. I guarantee there's a lobby behind them.
Ryan: Yeah, or you see…Okay, so x happened. This is where. I came to this, like working as a publicist for a lot of clients. It's like…you would see something objectively happen, right? Like a lawsuit gets filed or a store opens, or you know, something…you launch a new campaign, bla blab la. And then you would see, like, one person cover it. And then you would see all those different outlets cover the same thing. And you would see how, as the headlines come in, they get more interesting as they have to compete with the ones that come before it. Right? So it's like on Google News, it's like the first person's like…"Hey! Blablabla happened." And then it's like "World's Craziest Blablabla happened!"
Maddox: Mhmm. (annoyed)
Ryan: Because they know that if you're the most clickable headline on Google News, the algorithm is going to favor you. It's the same thing, like, what does Upworthy do? They know that we've gotta get lots of shares on social media. Like on Facebook, right? So they just see what does well on the Facebook feed. They know how that algorithm works…and then they create this syrupy, artificial, bullshit content about, you know…"You think this preacher is going to talk about people who are gay in a bad way, but…what do you know?! He's actually really open minded!" And then we're like "Oh, I love this!" and it's like blowing up.
Ryan: Or, like, "Check out this kitten eating snacks!" and it just…you see the whole thing blow up because they know exactly how to play to our instincts to get us to click on things.
Maddox: It's almost like they've built in a twist ending for every single headline.
Maddox: Like. "BUT! You didn't see this coming!"
Ryan: Yeah! Right. 'Cause they know…There's this crazy study…somebody actually did it of the New York Times. I think this was, what's his name…Jonah Berger. He studied, like 7,000 articles, then made the most shared list of the New York Times.
Ryan: The number one predictor…the biggest predictor is the valance of emotion it makes you feel. So, like extreme happiness is better than 'sort-of' sad, right?
Ryan: Or, like, extreme humor is better than moderate rage. It turns out, also, that anger is the most high-valance emotion. So articles that make people angry get shared more. So you don't think, like, writers who are sitting there with pageview quotas are gonna try to piss people off?
Dick: Or entire websites! (Maddox laughs)
Dick: Dr. Phil's fat ass made more money off people being angry at me than I ever have or will.
Maddox: Yeah, that's true, actually.
Maddox: It crashed your website, too, when you were on Dr. Phil.
Dick: It melted the server. (Maddox laughs)
Maddox: Just a big lead block.
Dick: Yeah. They used me for like 80% of the VO on that fucking episode. All the commercials, every single commercial, was me me me me me me me.
Maddox: So, what these clickbait websites do. They get people in and it's…there's actually this new…I don't even know what to call it. It's a new genre of website. So, it's not news satire like the Onion and the Daily Currant. And it's not quite news…it's just lies.
Ryan: Right. Just fake things that they know people kind of want to be true.
Ryan: Or desperately don't want to be true.
Ryan: And then they post it and they know 50% of the population will not know that it's fake and share it and then all their friends will be like "You're such an idiot! What are you doing?" and then that creates like a back-and-forth that's good for them.
Maddox: Mhmm. And it's still going to create people clicking. And they're getting that clickstream.
Ryan: Right. Well, it's sort of like arbitrage, right? It's like whatever we have to do to get people to click this thing, and then we immediately sell it via an ad exchange for advertising dollars…
Ryan: And then we profit. It's not like they're trying to build a brand that people trust. That's not the model. They're not trying to sell T-shirts and books. You're the customer that they're selling.
Ryan: They are tricking you and then selling you to an ad exchange.
Maddox: Once the click has been made, the sale has already been made.
Ryan: You can't unclick.
Maddox: Yeah, you can't unclick. The view's been loaded. The ad rank has been loaded. The pageview has been loaded. So, and they don't even care about their reputation, because as soon as their reputation gets out there, "Oh, that's a bullshit news site."
Maddox: They just register a new domain, shift all their content to the new domain, and now nobody recognizes it anymore.
Ryan: Yeah! And they people that they're targeting don't care where it's published. They care what it says.
Ryan: Right? Like..they're just looking…it's like the confirmation. They're exploiting the confirmation bias.
Maddox: Confirmation bias, yep.
Ryan: Like, we desperately want…I desperately want proof that Obama is not an American.
Maddox: Yeah. (laughs)
Ryan: So you post that thing, like I'm gonna share it, and I don't care what the source is, because I need to say it so desperately.
Maddox: Mhmm. I didn't generally have a rule of thumb. Any website that has the word "World" in it or "Truth". Worldtruth.tv, or .us.
Maddox: Any kind of health of health website. Any real pharmacies. Anything with the word "real" in it, I don't automatically believe. Anything with the word "truth" in it, I don't believe. Anything with "honest" or "natural". I don't believe any "natural" websites. These are all just…
Ryan: Well, and then what you have to do is you have to immediately unfollow any friend or acquaintance that shares one of those links, and it's a great way of sorting out the dumb people from your network of people.
Maddox: No, see, I would disagree. I'm going back and forth on that just internally, because I have a lot of dumb friends.
Maddox: But I feel like if I do that, then there's no help. I'm like their bridge. I'm like, reaching out with my hand, like "Come on."
Ryan: Let them go and drift, man.
Dick: What a fucking messiah complex on this guy. (Maddox laughs) Always coming to save the day.
Maddox: Yeah Dick. Through driving and through enlightening, I guess. So. Okay, well, good problem. What would you title that?
Dick: Why is it a problem?
Maddox: You mean, like, other than the last 10…
Ryan: (interjects) Well, there's this great quote, and I forget who it's from, but he says something like "America is a country ostensibly ruled by the people", right? By public opinion. And the media is what influences public opinion.
Dick: It's a good point!
Ryan: So, therefore, this is the lens through which our democracy then operates on.
Dick: Buzzfeed killed America.
Dick: That's the headline. (Maddox laughs). That's my linkbait.
Ryan: That's a great Buzzfeed headline. (laughs)
Maddox: That's a very neutral….
Dick: Top 10 Ways that Buzzfeed Killed America!
Sean: I want to say that's H.L. Minkin. Does that make sense. Baltimore Sun…
Sean: Early 20th century. I think I know that quote.
Maddox: Oh. Dictionary Sean. Thank you. So, great problem. What would you title this overall? 'Cause I know there's a lot that's kind of onioned into this problem. But, what is it, like, "Clickbait"?
Ryan: Clickbait is one word. There's a couple…I think "Outrage Porn" is another great word.
Maddox: Outrage porn, that's great.
Dick: That's a good one.
Maddox: I love that. Let's do "Outrage Porn". Because, you notice, too, they even do it with positive stories. Like the ALS Bucket Challenge? Every single website…like, near a month into it, they were really running on fumes, and so they started using these titles. They said "This is the last ALS Bucket Challenge You'll Have to See." Oh my gosh, "So And So Celebrity Killed It. It Will Never Be Better Than This." And then I saw like five of those.
Ryan: Yeah. So, I think it's a bunch of…they know, like, 10 different triggers to pull to exploit us, right? But I think Outrage Porn is a big one and I think the other one is, I call it, like, sort of "Sanctimony".
Ryan: Let's just create the most syrupy, cloying, sanctimonious bullshit you could possibly imagine.
Ryan: Like, what's the stuff that white liberal people will get excited about?
Maddox: Oh, my God. I am so sick of that shit. Polygon. Mic.com. Policy mic.
Ryan: That's a terrible one. Yeah.
Maddox: Terrible. Absolutely terrible. Everything on there INFURIATES me. Even stuff I agree with. I'm like "Fuck you for exploiting this."
Maddox: Like…seriously. They're not creating any content. They're taking some video that somebody studiously created on YouTube, put a wrapper around it, and then published it on their website with some bullshit 50-word "article". Article I use in quotes.
Ryan: And then these people call themselves writers.
Maddox: Yeah. And then, they're making a hefty living off of this, too. They're…
Ryan: I dunno about that, but…
Maddox: Well. I hope not.
Ryan: I think their bosses are making a lot of money.
Maddox: Okay, there you go. It's a gian pyramid scheme! You mentioned that, Dick, right? You said it's like a Ponzi…
Dick: No, that was Ryan. Ponzi scheme.
Maddox: Oh. Ryan again. Ponzi scheme. Will, good job. Good problem. "Outrage Porn". I love that. Because that's…and even the Daily Show called them out for it. They said…they always have these headlines on Huffington post because they love Jon Stewart so much and they really want to get on his bandwagon.
Maddox: They're like "Jon Stewart Obliterates Glenn Beck!" or "He eviscerates Sean Hannity!" and then Jon Stewart's like, dude, I just called them out on a minor misquote.
Maddox: I didn't quite eviscerate or obliterate anyone. I didn't decimate Fox News. They still exist.
Ryan: Well, yeah. And that's the thing, is like, they have to…here's an artist doing something. And then they have to exaggerate it and put context on it so then they can make a few pennies off what he did.
Maddox: Right. Well guys, great problems. TSA and Outrage Porn. But here's the biggest problem this week. My problem is "Babies".
Dick: You don't have a sound effect to accompany that? (Sean: "Oh yeah!")
(Baby laugh sound effect)
Maddox: There you go. (laughs)
Maddox: Babies. So first of all, what do you do with them?
Dick: What do you do with babies? (incredulous)
Maddox: What do you do with a baby?
Dick: You take pictures of them. You enjoy them. You teach them.
Maddox: Oh, great.
Dick: You let them enrich your life.
Ryan: Propagate the species with them.
Dick: Create a family with them.
Maddox: (laughs) Propagate the species. Why don't you give me a real….
Dick: Basically live.
Maddox: You live with a baby.
Dick: Yeah, that's life.
Maddox: That's like a shitty roommate. (laughs) It's not paying rent. It stinks. It makes noise. The sound of a baby crying is the worst. I didn't even bring in a baby crying sound effect 'cause I hate it that much. It's the worst. Okay…but…first, here's my problem with babies. Right? Every friend of mine who is a parent…when I go over to their house, they want me to hold their baby.
Dick: Yeah. That's something that you're supposed to LIKE.
Maddox: Why am I supposed to like that?
Dick: Because it's a little creature.
Maddox: Oh, great!
Dick: That you're genetically encoded to love because of its helplessness.
Maddox: I have possums in my backyard. I can hold those.
Ryan: (laughs) Have you held a possum?
Maddox: No, 'cause I don't want to! I don't want to hold a possum, I don't wanna hold a baby. But I'd rather hold a possum.
Dick: Would you hold…if you could go back in time and meet you as a baby, would you hold you?
Maddox: Shit, no! (laughs) I'd put me down and go play video games or something. Like, come on!
Ryan: But you're glad somebody held you, right?
Maddox: Uh…I guess. I mean, maybe.
Dick: What, Sean?
Ryan: You wish they'd like, abandoned you on the steps of a church? (laughing)
Maddox: (laughs) I mean, no. That could be worse. But...what were you gonna say, Sean?
Sean: The moment has passed.
Dick: Well, now it's definitely passed.
Maddox: So…so…they always want to hand me their babies, and I'm scared shitless of holding their baby. It's like the most valuable thing they own…
Dick: (interjects) Ohhhhh, here we go.
Maddox: Right? It's the most expensive thing you own, is a baby. Um…
Dick: Welll…(incredulous, laughing) Okay.
Maddox: Yeah. So, they hand it to me and invariably, I hold it wrong. They hand it to me and I try to cradle it, and they say, "Oh, you gotta support its head! You gotta support its head."
Dick: Yeah! That's the one thing you have to do is support its head.
Maddox: Then if I support its head, then the rest of its body flops over and its legs are falling out of my arms.
Dick: How do you hold a baby? Pick up one of your shirts and show us how you hold a baby.
Maddox: Here, I'll just hold this bottle like a baby. Look at this. Like a hero. Look at that.
Dick: (snorts) No.
Maddox: I'm holding a baby…what's wrong with that?
Dick: That's not how you hold a fucking baby!
Ryan: Like a hero…
Maddox: How are you guys such experts on…you guys don't have babies!! (yelling)
Dick: How do you hold a woman? Let's start there!!!
Maddox: Not like a baby! (background laughter)
Ryan: Yeah, that's kind of gross.
Dick: Well, yeah, I regret the way I phrased that. (Maddox laughing) But you've gotta support the head a little bit! You know!
Maddox: I'm not grabbing a woman's head…
Dick: Like this! Like this!! Look, look, look, look, look. There's the head. There's the head. Wrap it up.
Maddox: Dick is holding his…
Ryan: How little are these women…
Sean: He's holding something by the hair.
Dick: Sam's shaking her head. Sam, I know how to hold a baby, alright?!
Maddox: No, no. She's shaking no. Uh-uh.
Dick: Are you saying no?!
Ryan: I agree. I don't like holding babies.
Dick: Or are you saying it's gross?! What the FUCK is wrong with both of you guys don't like holding babies!!! (yelling)
Maddox: What if you drop the baby? Why would you hand me that?!
Maddox: I would be more comfortable with them handing me their expensive jewelry, their laptop, their fucking flatscreen TV! I'll hold that. I'm not going to hold a fucking baby!! (background laughter) Jesus! Give me anything in your house! Any valuable you have!! A baby is the most expensive thing you own. And I found out…
Dick: It's not a valuable, it's a human being, you jackass!! (Maddox laughing)
Maddox: Oh yeah?! Well, I have some stats.
(Sound effect: Dick saying "I've got a stats for you.")
Maddox: I got a stats for you, actually. So, how much would you say a baby is worth. Like, what would you pay for a baby? (laughter)
Dick: What do you mean?
Ryan: Are you talking about like, people who can't have their own baby and they need to buy one?
Maddox: Say that there was a black market where you could buy babies.
Dick: There is!
Dick: Yeah. You pay women who are like, drug addicts and going to prison. You can facilitate…
Ryan: 20 grand.
Maddox: 20 grand? You're actually pretty close. It's a lot lower, though. It's about 10 grand.
Maddox: I did the math here. So…surprisingly, Google didn't have any actual stats about how much a baby costs, but the closest I found is how much it costs to raise a baby for about one year, which is about 10,140 dollars.
Ryan: That's not bad.
Maddox: Okay, so. If the baby dies at the age of 1, then you'll have spent…
Dick: (interjects) Jeeesus Christ.
Maddox: Look! I'm just doing math. This is math. Math doesn't have any conscience here. Alright? So, if the baby dies at the age of 1, that baby cost you 10,000$ to raise. So, if you…and by the way, I fought hard to be a godfather for my friend's kid. Cause..
Dick: You fought to BE one? Or to not be one?
Maddox: Yeah! I wanna be a godfather.
Maddox: Just like, another thing I can say I am. Oh, I'm a godfather.
Dick: Is that the only reason? It's not cause you wanted to impart some of your fucking wisdom onto the baby and you thought that would put you in a position to do that?
Dick: Aaaaaaaaah? Then I think you get what babies are all about!!!!
Maddox: Well, my friend asked me. He's like. "Hey, Maddox, do you wanna be the godfather of my kid?" And I'm like "Yeah, of course." And he goes, "You know what that means, right?" and I said "No." he said "If anything happens to us, you have to raise the kid." Like hey, free baby. (Ryan laughs) Right? (laughing) Free baby. So…what were you gonna say?
Ryan: You wanna know something terrible?
Ryan: So, I have this friend of mine who is looking, to like, adopt a kid.
Ryan: Which is, like, free, but you have to go through a lot of stuff.
Ryan: He was…but you have pay certain fees, or whatever, for adoption.
Maddox: Like shots and stuff?
Ryan: Yeah, yeah! So this is like…I'm trying to say this delicately. Different races cost different amounts of money.
Ryan: And non-white babies are, like, less.
Maddox: So white babies are the most expensive. See? Babies cost money and white babies are the most expensive.
Sean: Isn't that simple supply and demand, though?
Dick: Heyy, Sean. Watch out. (laughs) (Maddox cracks up) Why don't you just be real fuckin' careful with what you're about to do!!! (Maddox laughs)
Maddox: Yeah Sean, walk real delicately there.
Sean: Aren't there a lot more babies of other races…
Dick: (cracks up) Yes!!!
Sean: …that are in need of homes? I don't see how that's racist.
Maddox: I'm gonna ask you guys something. I'm gonna ask you something. What would you do with $188,000 right now? What would you do? Would you find a use for that money?
Dick: I'd spend half of it on car insurance over my entire life.
Maddox: There you go. Well…or you could raise a kid to 18 years old. And that's without tuition. Without college tuition.
Dick: Is your primary problem with babies the cost?!
Maddox: No. They cost a lot and they're also so fucking fragile, they make me nervous around them. I don't want to kill one. Like, if I'm over at a friend's house, that would ruin dinner (laughing) if I killed their baby. Look…
Ryan: It would ruin more than dinner…(laughs)
Maddox: Well, if I dropped…let's say I didn't kill the baby. Let's say I just dropped it.
Maddox: Uh, sorry man. Hey, sorry I dropped your baby. I guess it has brain damage now. I'm sorry I'm a terrible guest. I'll go home and fucking…I don't know, I guess hang myself 'cause I ruined this person's life and my friend's lives.
Ryan: And now it's gonna cost more than $180,000 to raise!
Maddox: Yeah. And then I'm not gonna be able to impart anything on that kid (laughs) other than the dent in his head. So…here's the thing. Adults…we can all agree that adults are stronger, right?
Ryan: I think so.
Dick: Than babies?
Ryan: Depends on the baby!
Maddox: Depends on the baby? I was a pretty strong kid. So…here's something. Babies just sometimes…just fucking die. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Have you heard of this?
Dick: Dude, I think…yeah.
Dick: I think it's a myth, though.
Maddox: No. It's not a myth! It's on the CDC website. There's all these statistics.
Dick: I think that's just a nice way of saying, like, the mom kinda went a little loopy and killed the baby. (background laughter) (Maddox cracks up) I really think that's true!
Ryan: There's probably a lot of them, yeah.
Dick: I think that's true! Yeah.
Maddox: No! Well, they actually have tips on how to try to avoid Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. There's…by the way…
Dick: (interjects) And one of them is "Keep an eye on mom and make sure she's not depressed!" (Maddox cracks up) Dude, postnatal depression is a big thing.
Maddox: Yeah, I guess. So, that's another reason not to have a baby. They cost too much and postnatal depression.
Dick: Hold up, though! They do give you some major tax savings.
Maddox: Ugggh. See, that pisses me off! Now I'm paying for other people's babies? Fuck that!
Maddox: So there's no such thing as Sudden Adult Death Syndrome. Huh? Adults don't just die because they slept on their stomach one day. That's stupid. Babies are ALWAYS dying. Listen to this. (giggling in background) "Always place babies on their backs to sleep."
Maddox: That's insane! Are you kidding me?!
Dick: What is wrong with that? That's ridiculous!
Maddox: You have to have a baby on its back, otherwise it might die?
Maddox: What if it just rolls over at night and you wake up to a dead baby?
Dick: They don't.
Ryan: There's like, devices that you can put on the baby.
Maddox: Oh, now you gotta buy devices! More things that you have to buy?!
Dick: No, you can just use a club. You just pick it up at Kregan Auto Parts.
Maddox: Oh, the actual steering wheel club?
Dick: Yeah, it's one of those things you put on your steering wheel. No, they don't roll over in the middle of the night if you put them on their back!
Maddox: Babies are always squishing around! Are you kidding me?! They're always, like…
Dick: They're not amoebas!!! (Maddox laughs) They have a skeleton…and they just…they lay there and like it!!
Maddox: Yeah! If they have such a strong skeletal system, then why is their head so soft? Here's one of the other tips they say. This is actually one of the Q&As. They said "Will my baby develop a flat spot on his or her head from back sleeping?" That's another concern you have!! (yelling) (Ryan laughs) You might have, like, a mongoloid-looking kid because it slept on its back, 'cause you don't want it to suddenly DIE suddenly in its sleep because you can't place a stupid baby on its face!!
Dick: I think the pressure of babies is what's getting to you.
Maddox: What are you talking about?
Dick: All this, like, "I gotta be careful of it, and keep it safe…and make its head…"
Maddox: (interjects) Yeah!! They make me nervous!! (yells) I'm, like, sweating right now. This is the first time I've sweat for this entire fucking show, because now I'm thinking about babies and how nervous and anxious they make me!! And listen to this! So…"Keep soft objects…" soft objects, mind you…"…toys, and loose beddings out of your baby's sleep area. Don't use pillows, blankets, quilts, sheepskins, sleep positioner…" that's what you guys were saying! "…or pillow-like bumpers in your baby's sleep area. Keep all items away from the baby's face." Can you imagine if an adult had to live under those restrictions? No toys…no bumpers or anything in your bed…(laughs)
Ryan: (laughs) You have bumpers in your bed? (Maddox laughs)
Maddox: I considered it at one point, 'cause I kept rolling out, but...(Ryan cracks up) I…you can't have sheets in your baby's crib?
Maddox: Listen to this tip.
Dick: That's it. You just don't have those things.
Maddox: Then what's the baby gonna cover with? It's just gonna sit there and…
Dick: (interjects) They wear a onesie to bed! That's it!
Maddox: I wear a onesie, but…
Dick: (interjects) It's very easy! It's just like a box with a sheet over it and you put some pajamas on him, and you go "There you go, see you tomorrow, idiot!"
Maddox: Great. (background laughter) So simple. So simple to take care of this baby, yet…
Dick: (interjects) Almost a plant!
Maddox: Yeah. Almost. Except plants don't get flat foreheads if they sleep on their backs. Listen to this!
Sean: No, they don't get flat foreheads.
Maddox: Flat backs, I guess.
Maddox: Yeah. I don't know.
Sean: And now they just found out that those helmets don't really work.
Maddox: Yeah. I've read that. And sometimes they can even cause other complications, too, right? The helmets?
Dick: Yeah, like being a nerd. (Maddox laughs)
Maddox: So listen to this. Here's another tip. "Avoid letting your baby overheat during sleep." How the hell…how…it says…"Dress your baby in light sleeping clothing and keep the room at a temperature that is comfortable for an adult." Which, by the way, how condescending is that? What, are you gonna just crank up the heat for the baby's room?
Ryan: There's a lot of dumb parents. That's why their kids keep dying.
Maddox: Sudden…they suddenly die. But you didn't do anything! And that's what they're saying, Dick! And you're saying you can put a onesie on it…
Dick: No…I'm saying it's nice…that's a nice way of saying you killed your kid, is this Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Like…
Dick: Ooooh…you know, it just kinda died. Sorry! It's 90 degrees in here, but we don't know what did it!
Maddox: You know how crushed I would be if I just bought a laptop and it died, like, a year later? (Ryan cracks up) Right? Like, the hard drive starting clicking? I would be devastated. I would be devastated. Let alone a kid. Like…I would be…what am I gonna do?
Dick: 10 grand down the drain.
Maddox: 10 grand just gone!!
Ryan: And pregnancies have the same problems. Like…not all pregnancies go to term, too!
Ryan: Right? They just die…
Dick: They're fetuses. That's a whole different episode.
Maddox: Mmmm. It's a whole struggle, though. Right?
Maddox: 'Cause you might have a miscarriage. You've got fetuses. Then, once it comes out. "Oh, it survived the miraculous journey through your wife's vagina, and now it's out there in the hospital, and all the germs it could possibly have and all the complications, and preemies, preemie babies, and all the different…" and then congenital diseases, and heart disease, and cancers, and all these awful things that kids can have, and then now…now… now, it might just fucking die anyway because it's sleeping on its stomach?!
Dick: I'm getting a real interesting insight into you right now. I think you would be, like, a really, really worried, protective parent. (Maddox laughs)
Ryan: Yeah, you would probably be a great parent.
Dick: Doesn't it seem like it!? Like, you're freaking out at the hypothetical situation of your kid getting a misshapen head!!
Maddox: Nope. It's slander. I will not stand for that. (Ryan laughs)
Sean: I think Maddox always secretly wanted a Cabbage Patch as a baby…as a young man, and never got one.
Dick: Maybe. I'm seeing you, like, outfitting the crib room with all this automation shit that you have in your house. Like, to check for the temperature…
Dick: …and infrared cameras to make sure he's not rolling over.
Dick: Like, programming a Kinect to make sure he's not moving at night.
Maddox: Might as well. Gotta make sure…gotta check its temperature! Gotta stick a meat thermometer in this guy. Like…what do you…how are you supposed to monitor this?!
Dick: Nevermind everything…
Ryan: You're supposed to be around.
Maddox: Oh, you just gotta be AROUND all the time?!
Ryan: Yeah, that's parenting.
Maddox: Yeah, that's what drives me nuts. Like, all my friends who have kids now? I just say "Hey man, can we talk on the phone for 20 minutes…for like, 15 minutes, whatever?"
Maddox: Yeah, they can't! They're "Oh, sorry, gotta watch the kid." You're watching the kid!! You're just talking to me! Why do you also have to, like, use your eyes and your mouth at the same time to watch the kid? You just need one of those. Use your eyes.
Dick: They need to concentrate, though. On the baby.
Maddox: Concentrate to make sure it doesn't die?! It's a full time job just to make sure this person doesn't die!! (Ryan laughs)
Dick: Or wreck your stuff! They love wreckin' stuff!
Maddox: Isn't that what cribs are for?
Dick: You can't put 'em in a cell all day long! They have to get out and roam around! And, like, learn motor skills!
Maddox: Ohhh, so they get out and roam around! So what if they're roaming around at night, huh? They're suddenly on their stomach and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome!
Dick: No, you get them out! You take them out of the crib and put them down, and then encourage them to grow.
Maddox: Ugh. You guys make me so mad! You guys are such experts about babies! Why don't you guys just go have babies?!
Dick: This isn't even expert stuff! (yells)
Ryan: Well, wait, what's the solution to the baby problem?!
Dick: (interjects) This is always where his problems fall apart.
Maddox: No..okay, Dick. Listen.
Ryan: It should just be a Children of Men scenario?
Maddox: Ryan, this is the Biggest Problem in the Universe, not the Biggest Solution To The Biggest Problem in the Universe.
Maddox: I have no idea. Here…here's my solution. Be rich enough to hire someone to raise your child. Like a nanny. A full-time nanny or something? Then, that way, you can go live your life, go to comedy shows, go to bars, whatever.
Dick: (laughs) Go to comedy shows and bars.
Ryan: Number one thing you do with your freedom (laughs)(Maddox laughs)
Dick: Not travel.
Maddox: Travel too! Sure.
Dick: Sure! As long as there's a comedy show!
Maddox: Yeah! You travel to a comedy show. Come on, guys. And you take a delightful form of transportation (Ryan laughs), apparently for poor people! Bikes. You just ride your bike…(yelling) WHY am I the only one living in this universe?! Why am I so weird about this?
Dick: About babies?
Maddox: Yeah. You guys are the weird ones!
Dick: I honestly think it's the pressure. I think you can't handle the pressure of fucking up with a baby.
Maddox: I don't want to fuck up, yeah.
Maddox: It's a lot of pressure. I don't even…I don't even wanna do things that, like, stress me out, like, in my real day-to-day life.
Dick: Like how stressed do you get about not fucking up a website? Imagine how you would be about fucking up a human being? (Ryan laughs)
Maddox: Exactly. Yeah.
Ryan: No, I agree. She texted me a picture of a baby today and I just said "Ew." Didn't I? Yeah.
Maddox: Oohhhhhh. Watch ouuuuuuuut. Oooooooooooh.
Dick: (laughs) Yiiikes.
Ryan: They're gross!
Dick: Was that the right….
Maddox: They're gross, right?
Ryan: They're gross.
Maddox: And have you ever seen a barely newborn? It's the GROSSEST thing. Like, everybody posts that picture RIGHT when it came out of the oven.
Maddox: And it just looks like an amoeba. Like a…
Ryan: Like, on TV, they use a six-month old. And it's all nice, and it's got, like, hair and features.
Maddox: Yeah. Peach fuzz. Uh-huh.
Ryan: Yeah! It's like…
Dick: Cleaned itself up a little bit.
Ryan: And then, so you see it on Facebook, and it's like "Why would you show anyone this?"
Ryan: You know?
Maddox: And does your baby do any tricks? Or is it just boring? A boring baby.
Dick: Well, for like three months, they're, like, nothing. They just poop.
Ryan: When are you okay with kids? Like, at what point?
Dick: That's a good question.
Maddox: When am I?
Ryan: Like, at what point are they not babies and then you don't hate them?
Dick: Like…is, like, a toddler okay in your book?
Maddox: No. A well-disciplined, like, five-year-old. I won't go lower than five. A well-disciplined five-year-old.
Dick: So if they can wear, like a suit with a little clip-on tie. At that age. Like, you see those little suit stores?
Dick: Like, the kids' suits? They're about five.
Maddox: No, I'll give you an example. So, my…I have a…my brother was…got to a point in his career where he's very successful, very high up. He and his wife both executives at companies…they had a beautiful house in the hills over the Bay Area, and they got to that point in their lives where they decided "Okay, we've made it. We're doing well. What's the next step? How do we challenge ourselves?" And they decided one challenging thing they could do is try to raise a good family. Which I agree. Yeah.
Dick: Is this their phrasing of what happened? Or your interpretation of what they did?
Maddox: No no. His phrasing. He actually told me this. He said he wanted to challenge himself, right? So they decided to have kids and try to raise great kids. And guess what? They're fucking killing it. I mean, not the kids, but they're raising their kids well. Their kids…
Ryan: They're killing their kids. (laughing) (Maddox laughs)
Dick: Are they satisfied?
Ryan: Just one kid after another.
Maddox: Yeaaah. Just like they're off to have number four right now. (Ryan laughing) Yeah. Their kids are great. They're so well disciplined. They sit at the dinner table. They ask if they can be excused…when they play video games too much, like on the dot…to the minute, they say "Okay, you're done playing video games!" and they say, "Okay mom!" and they pack up, go to their room, they clean up after themselves, they put the dishes away. They do their chores. They're awesome kids! They do their homework. These kids are well-mannered. They introduce themselves! That's what pisses me off about kids! You go to someone's house…a kid comes up to you…like, you introduce yourself to them "Hi, I'm Maddox." And the kid just looks at you like an idiot and then puts his face in his mom's dress.
Dick: How DARE he!?!?! (laughing)
Maddox: Treat me like another human is present, idiot!! (Ryan laughs) What if adults did that? What if, like, you went to a business meeting and someone introduced themselves? Would you just like, put your face in someone's dress…(whines)
Sean: Rob Ford did that when I met him.
Maddox: You met Toronto mayor Rob Ford?
Sean: No, it was just convenient. The line.
Ryan: Oh, Jesus. Sean. (Maddox laughing)
Dick: How about this, Maddox? Children lower your blood pressure. What do you think about that?
Maddox: That's a lie.
Dick: No, no. I got a fucking study over here, duuuude.
Maddox: That's bullshit. Do you really? What's it…what's the source?
Dick: I do really. Oh…shit, I didn't print that.
Maddox: Mhmmm. PolicyMic.com?
(wrong buzzer sound effect)
Dick: Wait a minute. Brigham Young University. Ooh, yikes.
Maddox: Brigham Young University! Well, well, well.
Dick: Okay, that might be a fuckup.
Maddox: Uh-huh. Family capital of the world. Brigham Young. Provo, Utah. That place is bullshit (background laughter)
Dick: All these stats I printed out now look really suspicious.
Maddox: Yeah. (laughs) Brigham Young University. Family Watch.org. Parent's Television Research Council.
Dick: So, your brother's experience, has that made you think about wanting to have a kid? 'Cause…just for the challenge of it?
Maddox: Yes. Yeah. So there are some variables here…
Dick: (interjects) Like it's a fucking video game?
Maddox: It is! It's a challenge. Like, you want to raise a successful family. You want to do it well. And you want to have all the pieces in place, right? So these are the pieces I think that you need to have in place. You need to have a stable relationship. You need to have money. And that's about it.
Dick: To have a baby?
Ryan: You need to have good genes, too.
Maddox: Okay, good genes helps. Good genes help. And then, maybe not invite your friends over who are nervous about carrying the baby, 'cause I might drop it?
Maddox: Don't hand me your baby, people.
Ryan: Don't be friends with you.
Maddox: They insist! They push it on me! Hey, here, hold it, hold it, ehhhhhh!!! And if the baby cries, I don't know what to do!! God forbid it shits. Ugh, the worst!
Dick: I wanna see you hold a baby!
Maddox: I never shit on people.
Dick: I gotta see you hold a baby!
Maddox: Ugh. I'm sweating. I'm so nervous and angry and upset right now. I don't even…I'm never gonna hold…I'm never gonna hold…
Dick: Is there a doll in here? Do you have any dolls so we could see you hold one? (background laughter)
Ryan: Why would he have a doll in his house? (incredulous)
Maddox: They're all in the closet.
Ryan: Wouldn't that be so weird?! (laughs) (Maddox laughs) Oh! Here it is!
Maddox: I do have several issues of Seventeen Magazine, but no dolls. (laughs) Which I brought in for research a couple of episodes…okay. Don't look at me like that.
Dick: Babies are the Biggest Problem in the Universe.
(sound effect of a baby laughing)
Maddox: Damn right, they are. So you guys better vote that up! Um, okay. So let's go over the problems.
Dick: Let's go over the problems. "TSA"!
Dick: The TSA is an out of control bureaucracy. Big fucking waste of money and ruined flying.
Maddox: Right. And Ryan?
Ryan: Media. We can't trust anything we see, watch, hear.
Maddox: "Outrage Porn"!
Dick: "Outrage Porn".
Ryan: "Outrage Porn". Right. That's manipulating us.
Maddox: Absolutely is. Annnnd, mine is "Babies". So….tune in next time. Vote for these problems on http://thebiggestproblemintheuniverse.com/. Thank you for…
Dick: Do you want to pitch anything…do you want to promote anything?
Ryan: What should I say?
Dick: Talk about your next book. What do you got coming out?
Ryan: Uhhh…yeah. So I got "Trust Me, I'm Lying", which came out….
Dick: (interjects) "Trust Me, I'm Lying"?
Ryan: …bunch of journalism schools. Yeah. Um…
Maddox: Mhmm. Yeah.
Dick: That was with the HARO lying spree? That sounds really funny.
Ryan: Yes. I'm on Twitter at @ryanholiday. I have a new book out that's about stoicism, which is Roman philosophy, that's called "The Obstacle Is the Way", and it came out in May.
Maddox: It's got great reviews, too, by the way. People love it. And that was actually kind of my introduction to stoicism. I took a philosophy class in college, but I didn't really…we didn't cover stoicism.
Ryan: Oh, nice!
Maddox: So I started reading about your excerpts and some of the comments and I started Wikipediaing it and looking this up and it's really fascinating.
Dick: Yeah. Guys, I know a lot about stoicism too, alright?
Maddox: (laughs) Oh yeah? What do you know, Dick?
Dick: Yeah. I'm smart too. (Ryan laughs)
Maddox: You got some Brigham Young studies?!
Dick: Yeah. Yeah. You tell us. You tell Ryan and I what it's about. As a test.
Maddox: You know…I don't wanna show off. I don't wanna show off. Let's not…let's not do that.
Ryan: That's very stoic of you.
Maddox: Thank you.
Dick: I was gonna say that. I was right about to say that. (Maddox laughs)
Maddox: Alright, great! Well, we'll link to your books and your Twitter account on our website.
Ryan: Thank you. Yeah!
Maddox: Check it out. And don't forget to vote on these problems…next week.
Ryan: For sure.
Maddox: And uhh, yeah. That's it. Thanks guys.
Dick: Thanks Ryan.
Ryan: Thanks for having me.
Maddox: Yeah. Thanks for coming in, Ryan.