Along with some updates, and a selection of your feedback!
Hi David - definitely do the Auckland meet-up. The dysfunctional new government is laying about itself left and right, and has already proposed a $3 billion tax relief package for landlords whilst weakening our smokefree legislation in order to give a boost to the tobacco lobby (Dr Colin Tukuitonga estimates 1000 extra deaths, many of them Māori and Pasifika).
I’m currently in Canada, wringing my hands from the sidelines. It will do us all a power of good to chat about stuff (e.g. ‘imagine a contest of wits between Mr Organ and Winston Peters’) that will bring a measure of humour to the mess we find ourselves in.
I can't think of anything in particular to ask about right now, but I just wanted to say that I LOVE when you highlight comments (and pet pics!) from other worms in these newsletters. I don't always have time to read through them all, and I know I'm missing some really great, insightful and nuanced comments, so it's cool to see the ones that struck a chord with you.
Also, I'm so happy Circles got a furever home! 💜
Hi David. I’ve been wanting to ask your advice. I’m having a hard time getting over the JVN episode of Armchair. I actually haven’t been able to listen since (including, unfortunately, to Flightless Bird). It’s not a canceling them thing or even a protest. It’s more like heartbreak. I’m just so heartbroken about the lack of acknowledgment, let alone accountability. I guess I thought the communal agreement was growing and learning in public. And it feels like that isn’t any more, or maybe never was? Of course, it is important to acknowledge that the “in public” part was only ever being enacted by the people on the podcast. As a listener, I am not held to that in the relationship so it is worth wondering what is meant by communal agreement. And, the fact is, I do not know and have never known Dax and Monica. I only felt like I did. But I do believe the podcast was and is successful because they wanted people to feel as if they knew them. So, my question is not about dealing with the disappointment that people you like are just humans. I never lost sight of that with Dax and Monica. They are not heroes or people I look up to. They are people who I thought were committed to being present to the mess of life and being transparent in their struggles.
I am really experiencing this like the loss of a friendship. And I’m sad. And I also hope they do the right thing but the more time that passes the more I worry they won’t. And, well, whether they do or not won’t impact my life that much but it may impact the lives of vulnerable kids.
Ok, so what’s my question. My question is about how to frame this. I haven’t lost a hero, I haven’t lost a friend, but do feel as though I’ve lost a relationship. Should I hold at hope? Time heals all?
(Also to be super clear: I am not in an way asking you to or suggesting that you need to defend your continued involvement with them. You work for their network: their views are not necessarily your views.)
Yes please to a Webwormers catch up while you are back! It would be a massive relief to hang out with you and like minded people with the misery that is beginning to be foisted upon us by the new govt, aka the 3 headed dog from hell.....😥😘
No questions here but also keen for the meetup! I reckon we'd be a pretty eclectic bunch and how often do you get the chance to bring together a totally random big group of people who probably all would get along?
No question but I read this too quickly and thought Jason Gunn liked Mister Organ and I was genuinely thrilled for you. I mean, the other guy is probably great too but imagine Jason Gunn pumping up your tyres. Life = clocked.
In NZ the first religious coercive control conference, Decult, is being organised for Octoberin Christchurch. Anke Richter who has done a number of exposes on cults in NZ is helping to organise it. Go to www.decult.net for more info. Her latest book is a reverting read. I plan to go.
It was so exciting to watch Mister Organ when it was available in the US last week. What a sinister person. I'd love to say that I would never fall into the orbit of someone like that, but I think that is wishful thinking. It serves as an example of what to look out for with coercive controllers. I am amazed that you could interact with him for as long as you did. My question is...what is the weirdest thing he tried to convince you of? AND does he still try to communicate with you? If so, when was the last time?
Hi David! My wife and I just moved from the US to the Auckland area and as part of our "preparation" started listening to Flightless Bird. We quickly became big fans of your work, joined Webworm, and in fact watched Mr. Organ on the plane over. ☺️
So with that context, a statement and a question:
First, the statement:
I would love to come to an Auckland meetup as part of our getting settled in here! Please do it!
Second, the question:
I know you do it for a living, but how do you stomach politely talking with and interviewing so many people who are either just downright awful, or (possibly worse) are lovely and kind and yet maintain an abhorrent, ignorant worldview (I think of "The Villages" episode of Flightless Bird)?
I'm all for diverse viewpoints, but many things transcend a simple "difference of opinion" or "alternate perspective". I find it incredibly difficult to maintain civility with people who are lovely to my face and yet wholeheartedly and knowingly support policies and regulations (or removal thereof) that are directly harmful to me and people I care about, and ostensibly to people *they* care about too.
Just curious how you manage that without losing your cool, or your mind 🙃.
Are you going to come to Te Waipounamu and cuddle some miniature donkeys? There’s now also a baby goat that plays soccer and Muscovy ducklings 😉
NZ was involved in the destruction of Gaza - way back. My great-uncle was there. I remember him talking about riding on horseback through the streets, "subduing the natives." https://thespinoff.co.nz/society/29-11-2023/new-zealands-shameful-role-in-the-1917-destruction-of-gaza
Hi David. After reading Josh Drummond's piece, I wonder whether you are thinking of leaving substack also?
Does your chewing gum lose its flavor
on the bedpost overnight?
If your mother says don't chew it,
Do you swallow it in spite?
Can you catch it on your tonsils,
Can you heave it left & right?
hi David - an Auckland meetup would be great. If you do it I'd recommend you post yourself at the door and make sure you allow each person arriving to say hello and exchange a couple words with you. Kind of like a wedding receiving line, ha ha. And then maybe some kind of mechanism to break the ice between a lot of strangers who will have lots to talk about but are not sure how to get started, might be shy or whatever.
Not sure this is the forum for it, but I’m genuinely gutted about the smoking thing being stopped. Is there any sort of protests or such like being organised at all? I am in Christchurch
I'm glad my comment was helpful in some way, even if it sucks that it's relatable - if that makes sense.
Do you have a particular person you spoke to for flightless bird that sticks out in your mind? Maybe one that never made it into an episode for whatever reason?
(Also you were top of my Spotify wrapped for podcasts this year!)