child bubble wrap
© Joanna Andreasson
When the federal government passes a law stating that it's okay for children to walk to school alone, there's a problem with society. All over America, parents have been cited for allowing their children to do what previous generations viewed as normal and even a necessary part of development. Children roaming and playing freely without adult supervision was once the common and expected but it has been replaced with structured activities, endless lessons, play dates and rigorous school testing. Over-involved helicopter parents and nanny state schooling has resulted in a generation of children that are never free from the watchful eye of an authority figure.

How does this effect the individual and what will be the fate of society overrun with a bunch of fragile youngsters who can't make a move on their own or handle the harsh realities of adult life? Join us on this episode of The Health and Wellness Show for a lively discussion of this topic.

And stay tuned for Zoya's Pet Health Segment where we listen to George Carlin talking about the differences between cats and dogs.

Running Time: 01:27:35

Download: MP3

Here's the transcript of the show:

Jonathan: Welcome to the Health and Wellness Show everybody! Today is Friday, November 17th 2017. My name is Jonathan and I'll be your host for today. Joining me in our virtual studio from all over the planet we have Tiffany and Doug. Hey guys.

Tiffany: And Gaby!

Jonathan: And Gaby! I'm sorry Gaby.

Gaby: Hello!

Jonathan: I'm just reading like a robot. Today, our topic is The Nanny State, Paranoid Parents and the Fragile Generation, so we want to talk about - from a health and wellness perspective - the state imposing their moral and medical judgements on people through laws and through the threat of violence, but also just talking about the attitude that is spreading through society; the authoritarian follower attitude: "tell me what to do with my life and with my family" kind of thing.

So, it's the libertarian show today alright? [Laughter] We do have a bunch of topics and we have a few clips that we are going to share with you, but I guess just to get us into the topic: what are we talking about when we say nanny state? It's kind of like big brother, I guess if you take the context from 1984 it is big brother because it is this despotic, ruling force that the people also feel that they need, and that they love because it gives them security and peace of mind in exchange for their own free will.

Tiffany: It's either an over-involved parent or some kind of social structure that latches on to every aspect of your life and tries to give you direction when you don't necessarily need it. Over-involvement is basically the word that I can come up with.

Doug: I think that's a good way of putting it.

Tiffany: Nosey, busy-body and interfering.

Doug: And, on a state level it's like basically telling the citizens how to run their life; what's acceptable, what's not acceptable; making things illegal just because they might possibly be construed as dangerous. Then, it comes all the way down to a parental level where parents are just totally over-involved in their kids' lives, not letting them do anything that could possibly be construed as dangerous.

Gaby: I also have an example from the healthcare system, in the past - not too long ago when I was a child - I had gastroenteritis and very high fever, and usually somebody in the family would take care of me; nobody took me to the doctor or anything. Right now, if a child has a fever for 6 hours they always go to the doctor, it's crazy!

Doug: Like the littlest bump or scratch and they get taken to the emergency room and they are fine; they are just sitting there laughing and playing with their games.

Tiffany: Speaking of the nanny state in the healthcare industry, the FDA just approved a "smart pill" for Abilify which is an antipsychotic drug. It can track whether you took the pill and will let your doctor know.

Gaby: That's creepy!

Doug: So, that's introduced now?

Tiffany: Yeah. The idea was in the pipeline for a while, but I think that this is the first one that has been approved.

Jonathan: Well, the insurance companies are going to love that.


Gaby: You know what? Because the injection is too expensive, like schizophrenics get it because supposedly they can not be relied on to take their medication so they inject them with it and it works for a month or so. It is expensive so I guess when there is no clear indication you get this special package.

Tiffany: I think that it is so funny that you give a pill that is tracked by the authorities to a population of people who are known for their delusions and paranoia. [Laughter] If that doesn't tell them that big brother is watching I don't know what will.

Gaby: Patients will say "they are tracking me!" [then the doctors say] "we have got to increase the dose!".

Doug: Is it something that is inserted in the pill? Like some kind of micro-device?

Tiffany: I think so. I don't know, some kind of nano-tech or something.

Jonathan: Probably a modified e-chip.

Doug: I wonder if you could take apart your pill and just swallow the chip? I'm already thinking of ways around it.

Jonathan: It's turning into a William Gibson novel where you get to go out to the street to buy hacks; like a little scanner that will convince them that you took your medication.

Doug: That would be crazy. That's really insane, that is a level of control that's just really insane. They justify it by ways of saying that it's for schizophrenics or it's for the aged where these people aren't necessarily going to remember to take their pills, and that it's good for their doctor to ensure that they are taking them, but really what it is is basically the state saying "we don't think that you are competent to be able to take your medication" or "we don't trust you enough to take your medication so we are going to track it".

Tiffany: That is exactly what it is.

Gaby: This is the first one; I guess blood pressure drugs are next and who knows what else.

Doug: It's probably the psychiatric medications I think; that seems like the big one. A lot of people are reluctantly taking their medication and they always say that compliance is an issue.

Gaby: It is an issue for cognitively declining people as they age too. They have to be tracked.

Doug: We can't trust these people, so we have to track them. [Sarcasm]

Jonathan: Do you think that the basis of all this is essentially a trust issue? I know that is extremely simplified but one of the articles that we were looking at for the show is speaking to this attitude that is getting spread throughout our culture.

In a Chicago suburb, Elmhurst, a citizen walked across a teenage boy chopping wood, just chopping some fallen branches, and the onlooker called the police on the boy for wielding a deadly weapon. The boy said that he was just trying to build a fort. The local news reported that the police took the tools for safe-keeping to then be returned to the boy's parents. That's one example.

I do, and have, chopped wood and it can be dangerous but it leans to that attitude of calling the police? In a normal situation, you would be like "hey, what are you doing there with that axe?"

Tiffany: The problem was that he was trying to build a fort for himself and his friends?

Doug: And, it was a teeneager too! It's not like it was some 6-year old or something like that who was waving an axe around. It's a teeneager who is perfectly competent to build a fort. Jesus, I was building forts when I was like what? 12-years old? 10-years old?

Jonathan: What that makes me think of is if you were a parent, and you saw your kid swinging an axe around, I can imagine you would run out and be like "hey! Woah! Let's talk about this and how to do it properly" but a stranger is now taking on that role. That's what was connecting it in my mind to the trust issues. When you see something happening and you - I say the "royal you" - are immediately inspired to act as if that were your child.

Where that might be interpreted as a noble impulse, like the community raising the child, I think, that because of people's nature it is being turned into everybody hovering around and helicoptering around everybody else's kids.

Doug: It's kind of insane, and it seems like the first instinct now is to call the police in situations like this. There is really no way that that incident is worthy of calling the police. There was another one where a kid - it wasn't established what the kid actually said - and they were serving brownies at his school, and he said some kind or remark that could be construed as racist. They didn't call his parents, they didn't send him to the principal's office, they called the police!

This was a young kid, I can't remember exactly how old, who was like 6-8-years old and they called the cops! What the hell is wrong with these people? How is that in any stretch of the imagination an issue that you need to involve the police in?

Tiffany: There was another one where a mother's kids kept missing the school bus in the morning, and it was a 3-mile walk to school so she was driving a little bit up ahead of her kids because she made them walk the 3-miles to school and a cop saw her doing that and he cited her for child endangerment and said that she was in no position to reach her kids quickly enough if there was danger because there was traffic outside!

Doug: If that had happened to me back-in-the-day - and mind you, I didn't live 3-miles from my school - and if I had missed the bus then my parents would have been like "well? Walk!" They wouldn't drive along with me, they would just be like "go! You're going, you missed the bus, this is your consequence. Get going!"

The fact that she was driving along with them, to me that's already more of a safety measure that is really necessary. The fact that she got cited for that? It's just unbelievable!

Tiffany: Another middle-school kid got suspended for liking a photo of a toy gun on Instagram.

Doug: That's crazy.

Tiffany: It's really disturbing that the schools are even monitoring the kid's use of social media. The schools have the power to do that? I guess they do.

Doug: That one was so stupid because first of all it was a toy gun, and apparently it was a picture of a toy gun and the comment was "ready". So, to me that says that they are ready to go play with their toy gun. They construed it as implying school violence in some way; that they were ready to do school shooting. The kid who got suspended for it didn't even comment on it, he just liked it, that was it. Like "hey, that's a cool toy gun!" - like! No, you're suspended.

Jonathan: So, where do you think that this is coming from? Is this maybe an ambient increase in fear because people are afraid of everything? Not only in their own lives, but in other people's lives as well?

Tiffany: Some of the authors of the articles that we were reading say that it probably went back to the 1980's when people still drank out of milk cartons and there were all these images of missing kids on the back of milk cartons, and everybody got all scared that every time their kid stepped out of the door they were going to be kidnapped and raped and killed.

Doug: Even though it's a really low number that that actually happens to.

Tiffany: There was that guy whose son actually did get kidnapped and killed, Adam John Walsh. He had a series on for a while that was talking about missing kids a lot. Maybe that is part of what scared people.

Doug: It might just be the news and the media environment in general. It has a way of amplifying all the really crazy bad things that are going on, and I think it does make people lose perspective. If you turn on the news for half an hour every day, and everything that is on there is talking about how this person was kidnapped, this person was killed, there was a hold-up over here, and a car bomb over here, it does kind of skew your perspective a little bit. I wonder if it is just like fear in general and we are living in a fearful world.

Gaby: A hysterical world. It's when the good times go directly into the bad times.

Tiffany: So, is this "ramping up" of the fear just a cyclical thing or is it something specific to the United States at this time? Maybe the UK too, I don't know about other countries.

Gaby: I think it is ubiquitous.

Tiffany: Are kids in other countries allowed to walk to school on their own? Does their government have to pass a law to say that it's ok?

Gaby: I have only heard from the United States actually. For example, in Spain it is very traditional and a lot of people do it in the small towns in the countryside and now the big cities are attractors, so that is more difficult. Even then, it is normal to hear that somebody will walk to the school and it is not considered pathological.

Doug: It's funny because I have a friend who has a son and it was a few years ago before I was really aware of how much this was ramping up, and she would tell me stories about stuff and I was just absolutely mind-boggled about it. She would say "I have to walk my son to school" and I would ask "why? It's not that far, just get him to walk; he's old enough" and she would be like "no, you don't understand, if I had him walk to school, I would have child protective services at my door." It's that crazy.

Anybody seeing any unattended child is hysterical. I don't think that you really see that too much outside of North America; at least to that extent. I think there is still an understanding in a lot of European countries, and probably Eastern European countries and the rest of the world, that kids, as they grow up, take on these responsibilities and it is cool for them to do that. It's ok for them to be on their own, but it's like there is this mentality in North America that is like "a kid on their own means trouble".

Whether that means that they are going to get into trouble from a stranger or some kind of crime or they are going to get into trouble by doing something that they shouldn't be doing. Like you were saying Jonathan, it's a complete trust issue; it's a complete mistrust of kids, and that they aren't capable of using their own logic and reason to know what is good and what is not good.

That being said, apparently violent crime is actually down significantly. I just read that it's back down to 1963 levels, so the world is actually a much safer place than what a lot of these parents grew up in, yet, they are treating their kids as if it is more dangerous.

Tiffany: Even outside of violence and the risk of being kidnapped and killed, there is all this structured time that kids have. They don't have any free time, there are playdates and all these lessons and soccer practice, and all this testing in schools. Kids don't have any time when they are not under the eye of some adults, or some authority figure.

They are not even free to work out issues on their own on the playground or with the neighbour kid down the street if they get into a little argument while they are playing. It's always some adult that has to come in and put their hands into it and intervene when back-in-my-day kids were left to work their own issues out.

Doug: That's doing a real disservice to the kids because learning those kinds of skills is very important to getting along in the world; to be able to work out issues to learning different mediation skills. If kids can't do that because they have always had to rely on an authority to make decisions for them, then I can't imagine what this generation is going to be like when they grow up; just completely helpless.

Gaby: The perfect slaves.

Doug: Absolutely.

Jonathan: I think we can draw this back to John Taylor Gatto's principle of artificially extended childhood; I think we have talked about this on the show before. I think that we are seeing the results of that having been applied to a couple of generations in a row. It's more and more grown children who are "functioning members of society" who still have that, or I should say the lack of impulse to take care of themselves; self-reliance, curiosity, the ability to try something and fail and not have that break you, and then try other things and just be persistent in life and have some resilience.

That, I think, has gotten largely - for lack of a better word - bred out of people. So you see that more and more, not just manifesting in the family situation, but also in the culture; people want to be guided and told what to do, but they lack the discernment to choose their leaders so it's a conundrum.

Doug: It is a weird thing and I think there is definitely something to what Gatto talks about, that schools are designed to breed that out of people. It's like you said Gaby, it's basically making perfect slaves; people who are incapable of making decisions or discerning, or any of these kinds of things; just these useless lumps that completely depend on their authorities for everything. "What should I have for dinner tonight? What coloured shoes should I wear?"

Gaby: "What pills should I take?"

Doug: "What food should I eat?" That's pretty big anyway, people are already depending on their authorities to tell them what to eat.

Tiffany: When I was a kid we played outside until the street lights came on, or until dinner time. I remember my mother's friends used to come and visit and they had kids, and immediately we would be out in the woods at the back of the house and we would be gone for hours, and nobody cared! They told us to go outside and play in traffic!

Gaby: Just get lost!

Tiffany: Yeah, get out of here! Go somewhere! I used to be sent to the store when I was in elementary school - maybe like 7 - and it was at least a mile and a half up the street to come back with some bread or milk or something? Do kids even go to the store by themselves anymore? Do they stay at home by themselves anymore?

Jonathan: I don't know.

Doug: I've got a little bit of a read on it because I do see people talking about this kind of thing on my Facebook feed, and I remember one specifically where there was this girl who I haven't actually spoken to in years - most of the people on my Facebook fall under that category - and she was like "parents, let me know if I am overreacting here? I told my kid not to take a shower while I was gone because I don't want him to slip and fall."

I read that and I was like that is crazy!!! Everybody was saying "no, you're not crazy. I give those kinds of rules to my kids too. I don't let them use the stove or anything else" and all this kind of stuff. I wondered how old her kid was and I think they were 13 or 14 or something like that; that's just crazy; that's just insane, but nobody else seemed to think so.

Gaby: And you are not joking.

Doug: No! [Laughter] I guess I can understand saying not to turn on the stove, fine; although, at 13 or 14 a kid should know how to cook in my opinion, but don't take a shower? Like seriously? They are going to end up leaving these kids in straight jackets and a rubber room because they don't want them to hurt themselves.

Tiffany: I remember when I was a kid, my mother and her friend went out for a while and she had 2 kids and I was showing them how to hold a lighter and spray hairspray onto the lighter to make a blowtorch. [Hilarious laughter] All kinds of weird and slightly dangerous things that kids get into, but that's just part of being a kid!

Doug: That's how you learn about that kind of stuff. Talking about leaving and not being home until the streetlights came on, I remember we would go into the forest and see where the paths led to, and at one point we came to a new subdivision that had been built and they had cleared out all of our forest - which pissed us off obviously - and they had only installed the sewer system so far, so me and my friends got backpacks and flashlights and we went into these sewer systems and we spend hours just going around these dark, dingey, spooky sewers. I'm sure if my parents knew we were doing that they probably would have freaked out.

Tiffany: But they didn't know, and they were fine with it. We used to ride bikes all over the city and nobody cared. Nobody stopped us, the police never pulled us over and said "hey, what are you doing out here? Go home!" There are no gangs of roving kids anymore, I never see any kids walking around.

Doug: It's true.

Jonathan: To aid the discussion and thinking about where this culture is going we have a clip from Ben Shapiro talking about facts and how facts apply to life. This might be interesting and provide some insight into what we are talking about.

Ben Shapiro: Vanderbilt University, November 2015. 200 students rise up to protest the white privilege and microaggressions of the racist, bigoted Vanderbilt administration. The protesters don't offer any specific examples of discrimination,but that doesn't matter. What matters is that they feel victimised.

The next day, a bag of dog poop shows up at the front door of the university's Black Cultural Centre. All hell breaks loose. Full of righteous indignation, student activist groups rush to Facebook to denounce the racist act.

The police investigate, they quickly find the person responsible, but nobody is arrested. You know why? Because it turns out that the bag of excrement wasn't a racist attack. It was left by a blind girl with a service dog. She couldn't find a trash can, so wanting to do the responsible thing, she left the bag outside the door of a nearby building knowing a janitor would pick it up and throw it away.

The student group did apologise, but then they added another charge against the administration. The needs of students with disabilities on this campus are also marginalised. Seriously, this is not a joke. On the college campus today feelings rule facts and victims are heroes.

According to the left, all inequality in America is due to victimisation. They start by claiming that all non-white people in America are victims of white privilege; then come women, they are all victims of the patriarchy; then come gays and lesbians and the transgendered, they are all victims of our heteronormative and homophobic society.

But, what if you haven't actually been victimised by anybody? That doesn't matter, to the left, so long as you feel victimised, you are a victim. Even if you have never actually experienced discrimination you surely have been targeted by microaggressions? You know, nasty little words and phrases that weren't meant to be insults but just are.

If somebody asks you "where are you from?" That's considered a xenophobic microaggression. They are implying that you are a foreigner. If a man holds open a door for a woman, which by-the-way you are supposed to do, that's a sexist microaggression because he is treating her like she is a helpless female. Of course, he is also treating her like she is a woman, but how would he know?

Heaven forbid that anybody would address you by your biologically accurate pronoun! What if she identifies as a man? In short, everyone is a victim. Except of course, straight, white males. Also, anybody who dares to disagree with the left. If you are guilty of either of these crimes, you must be confronted even if doing so requires actual aggression, like say, a riot.

Here is a trick the left plays to justify their violence. First, they say it is ok to punch nazis. Then, they say that every conservative - in fact, everybody they disagree with - is a nazi. But, here is the biggest problem with the left's argument. They are based on feelings, not facts.

Take white privilege, the only real privilege in America is American privilege. Everybody in America has it, more than citizens of any other country in the world; the privilege to make your own decisions and live the life you choose.

According to the Liberal Brookings Institution, if you make just these 3 decisions, you will do fine, and with drive and ambition, you will probably do better than fine. First, finish high school; second, don't have babies before you are married; third, hold down a job. If you do these 3 things, you will be on your way to the privilege of middle-class life, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender.

Also, there is no patriarchy, women already make up the majority of college graduates. According to Time Magazine, young, single women without kids already earn more than their male counterparts. Oh, and gay and lesbian couples? They earn more than their straight counterparts too.

These are facts, and facts don't care about your feelings. Neither will your employer if you get a job after you leave school. The moment you graduate, reality is going to hit you like a truck. People will give you a paycheck, expect you to produce, they expect you to work - hard. All the claims of victimhood, all the whining, well? Nobody cares.

So, stop worrying so much about your feelings and start worrying a little more about being a good person, doing your best, and not getting your own way. If you don't, the only thing you will be a victim of is yourself.

I'm Ben Shapiro, editor of the Daily Wire for Prager University.

Tiffany: So, all this coddling and sheltering of these kids prevents them from learning how to be a better person; actually being a better person on their own without having somebody step in and say that you need to do this-that-or-the-other-thing in order to be a good person.

Jonathan: Yes, and understanding that humility is a requirement for actually learning and assimilating new information and actually becoming a better, more skilled person; it's getting weeded out.

The accounts that Shapiro gave, there are a surprising number of these kinds of stories coming out, mostly from liberal colleges. There was one recently from Reed college where - we were talking about this before the show - they played Steve Martin's King Tut skit for SNL [Saturday Night Live:] from 1979 in a class and a bunch of students flipped out and said that it was racist and that Steve Martin's attire, the goofy egyptian attire, was equivalent to black-face.

They demanded that the course be made optional temporarily until a new curriculum could be devised. I think that is a really interesting case where the students are steering the direction of the school. It may seem counterintuitive, for me, because I have some really strong opinions about schooling and I think that students should be given more freedom to determine their own education, but it also needs to be done in the spirit of learning and that's not what this is. This is in the spirit of petulance.

Gaby: Of temper tantrums.

Doug: It's like these kids are afraid of any kind of cognitive dissonance. They see something that makes them uncomfortable and rather than wanting to discuss it and explore it and talk about it, they just want it gone. It's like, I don't want to have to deal with these feelings so you have to change.

The whole thing is coming from a perspective of everybody else is responsible for my feelings. So, if I see something that upsets me it has nothing to do with me, that person has to change, or that course has to change, or that video has to change, or whatever the case is.

It's like, I'm not responsible for my own feelings, everyone else is. That's like "nanny state" x1 billion. It's like putting the onus on not taking any responsibility for yourself and putting that responsibility onto everybody else; it's ridiculous.

Jonathan: That's the thing, there is no emotional resilience - not that there is none, but it is being weeded out.

Tiffany: There was one article that we read about some male college student that was giving a speech; it might have been commencement or it might have been some other event. He was giving a speech about how all these people helped him by carrying him through life, and he told a story about how he fell asleep in a car when his family was on the way back home from someplace, and his dad picked him up and carried him in saying "is my baby sleepy?" Then, he revealed that he was 14-years old at the time.

He was giving all these examples about this teacher and that person that helped carry him and the underlying assumption is that he really didn't do anything for himself. All these people carried him to a certain spot in his life and he had no responsibility for his own life essentially.

Doug: That was a Valedictorian if I am not mistaken. The students actually chose this guy to represent them, this useless bag of zero responsibility.

Tiffany: So, it's not just primary and elementary schools that beats the independence out of people. Now, it's carried on to college where most people, or a lot of people go away to college and it's their first time being away from home and they get a taste of what it might be like to be an adult and be on their own and learn some responsibility, but even at college it's ridiculous.

Doug: Well, it's like they are carrying it with them right? It's like they are insisting on it - demanding safe spaces. You see in all these different protests and things like that where the students are screaming at the administration "it's your responsibility to give us a safe space! It's your responsibility to make us feel at home here!" No, it's not! That's not what higher education is supposed to be about. It's not for you to feel safe and not be challenged, it's the exact opposite of that.

Tiffany: We actually have a clip on that; this is the shrieking girl at Yale. Just for a little background on that, Halloween season was coming up and I guess she was responding to the house-master of the dorm that she lived in who sent this email saying that it was ok to wear whatever costume that you wanted.

A lot of people were outraged and this girl was one of them. She does the F-bomb a couple of times but it's fitting.

Man's voice: Other people have rights too, not just you.

Woman's voice: Walk away, walk away. He doesn't deserve to be listened to.

Man's voice: I do not......

Woman's voice: Be quiet! For all women, do you understand that? As your position as headmaster, it is your job to create a place of comfort and home for the students that live in Silverman. You have not done that. By sending out that email, that goes against your position as master. Do you understand that?

Man's voice: I don't agree with that.

Woman's voice: Then why the fuck did you accept the position? Who the fuck hired you?

Man's voice: I had a different vision from you.

Woman's voice: Then step down if that is what you think about being a master then you should step down! It is not about creating an intellectual space! It is not! Do you understand that? It's about creating a home here! You are not doing that!

Man's voice: You are supposed to be an advocate!

Woman's voice: [unintelligible] she didn't know how to create a safe space for her freshmen in Silverman. How do you explain that? Being a freshman and coming and they think this is what Yale is? Do you hear that? You are going to leave! You are going to transfer because you are a poor steward of this community. You should not sleep at night! You are disgusting!

Tiffany: Oh god.

Doug: Yeah disgusting.

Tiffany: These college kids, they want a home, they want a little playtown where they can be safe. I think they just want to crawl back up into the womb.

Doug: Yeah, I think so too. I think that is basically what it comes down to.

Gaby: There's a black hole.

Doug: They are not comfortable in life and they need somebody to take care of them.

Tiffany: How dare she say that college isn't a space for intellectualism? I thought that was the whole point. [Hilarious laughter]

Jonathan: Saying "intellectualism" now is a dog-whistle for oppression right? I'm being cheeky, but that's what they say. I think the whole thing is really fascinating - and I'm not that old, I'm 37 - I remember when I was looking at going to college and it was really frightening because it was like this huge challenge, this space, and you weren't sure if you would even make it out.

You would go in and it was going to be a real accomplishment to finish this. It was like you knew that you were going into a dangerous setting and you had to prove yourself. I feel like that feeling is going away now too. Now, the college is supposed to be a safe space where you are accepted warmly, in a blanket, from your parent's home into this new home. It's antithetical.

I feel conflicted saying that because, like I said, I do think that students in a learning environment should be given more freedom, but something is wrong with this set-up in the sense that they are not determining what they want to learn and then pursuing that as though it were something that they want to learn. They are whining about their environment.

Gaby: They don't want to be adults, they just want to throw temper tantrums.

Jonathan: But, there is something weird going on with the control aspect. Like I said, I keep coming back to how weird this is to think about because I also have a problem with the authoritarian follower mind-set. So, I appreciate the impulse to be independent and to say that this is the way I think things should go, but there is a fine balance that needs to be had there with reality, and that is, I think, what is missing; I don't necessarily know how to frame it in words.

Doug: I think you are right, there should be a certain level of freedom within education that somebody should be able to follow whatever their passionate about and learn what they want to learn, but I think that is antithetical to what these people are demanding which is that they don't want to be challenged at all and all they want is to be coddled.

It's almost like the two concepts are completely different. It's not like they are saying "I want to learn this and you are forcing me into a curriculum that I don't want to learn about because I have other passions." it's like "No, I want to be taken care of and you are making me feel unsafe."

Jonathan: Maybe that is where the cognitive dissonance comes from? It's like they are demanding they are right to determine their own path and at the same time they are demanding to be coddled, so it's a dissonant impulse.

Doug: Yeah.

Tiffany: It's kind of hard to wrap your mind around it. Then you have to look back at the school system - again going back to John Taylor Gatto - and how independence is beaten out of kids and curiosity and the desire to actually learn something of their own volition, and not just stuff that is spoon-fed to them, and how that carries over into college.

A lot of these kid's parents are still overly involved with them when they are in college. They are following up on whether they did their assignments, if they are going to class, if they are meeting with their professors for extra help, they are deciding what their majors should be. It's really not surprising that this generation is completely clueless and has no idea how to navigate in reality.

Doug: One of our chatters brought up an interesting point too He said that fake-news filters also make sense in a nanny state that wants to protect and prevent the people from learning. I think that's a good point.

I guess, a year-or-so ago when everybody was talking about the bubble, right after when Trump got elected. Everybody was talking about these bubbles that exist because all your content is being filtered because they track your preferences, what kind of stories you read and then those are fed back to you and you don't get any kind of outside perspective on things.

I think that in a way that is like the creation of a safe space. It's like, I don't want any contradictory ideas coming into my field of vision, I only want the things that I agree with to be fed back to me. In a way, that is like an intellectual safe space. No challenging please, just give me what I want.

Jonathan: I think it speaks to the fact that - just in the way that you were saying, I'm not trying to fault you for it - it's evident that news comes from social media right? They control what people are learning about what is going on in the world because of the "feed" [Social media newsfeed]. Whether it's Facebook or Instagram or Twitter, very few people are actually searching for information that they actually want to find; comparing different sources, looking into the 4th, 5th or 6th page of Google results to try to actually find something; it's all in the feed now.

Doug: It's not just that though, because YouTube tracks your preferences and makes suggestions based on those; Google does the same thing. You are right, it does seem like most people are getting their news from their feed on these social media platforms, but it's like all your access to the internet is tracking your preferences and feeding you back what you want.

It's almost inescapable actually. I know there are ways of logging in anonymously and then you are not having your past preferences inflicted on you.

Jonathan: To actually find out how to do that and to search and find information any more, you have to be kind of a nerd. You have to use Tor, your alternate search engines other than Google, and know what you are looking for. If you are just a regular John or Jane Doe internet user then you are using Google, Facebook and Twitter; pretty much those three.

Thinking about the underlying impulses to this, or the underlying causes for the state that we find ourselves in where people are becoming less and less self-reliant, I can't help but think from an apocalyptic point of view and how it's making it worse. Not to equivocate my words but - this is obviously hypothetical - say something akin to the apocalypse happened in the 50's or 60's then we would be much more equipped to handle it than if it happened now.

Leave aside the fact that people don't know how to think about their life and what they are doing with it and what school means and what education means and what your childhood is when you are growing up; I suffered from that too. I would tongue-in-cheek say that I haven't really grown up yet, but I would honestly say that I didn't really grow up until I was in my early 30's. It's kind of embarrassing, but it is what it is.

Speaking to the underlying cause of this, is it an overarching plan so to speak? Are the forces that put the oppression model of education into the western world - and we have the advent of industrialisation and now with the internet and social media - specifically making people less reliant? Or, do you think that it is just the outcome of chaos and people's nature to be lazy?

Not that it has to be one of those two things, but that seems to me like it could be a plan? Or, it could just be the way things go.

Doug: It's a tough one.

Gaby: I don't know about in the United States, but at least in some mediterranean cultures, like in Spain, people leave home very late. There are several factors, it's not just the culture, it's also the economic prices that delayed a lot of getting independence for people. I don't know what is happening in the United States but I know in some cultures it is very common to already be a parent on your 20's. Now it sounds like they are too young to have kids!

Doug: That's true.

Jonathan: We have talked about different examples on the show before - like how Benjamin Franklin started making the money that was his fortune throughout his life when he was 12. Daniel Farragut was the captain of a Naval ship in the colonial army when he was 12-years old. It was commonplace for you to be out of the house, like Gaby said, but in a more extreme way, not even 100 years ago, when you were 15-years old. You were out and you had to figure out what you were going to do with your life.

I think a common rebuttal to that is "so, you want to go back to the wild west at a time where you could die from an infection?" or where we didn't have all these technological advances? Not really, I mean I like that idea but I don't really want to go back to that world. I just want us to accept our new conveniences and new technological advancements in a responsible way.

I know we have talked about this before too, but it really is Star Trek. The entirety of the information of the world, with some exceptions, is available to you on a device that you can carry in your pocket and yet people are getting dumber. That is really frustrating.

It is kind of logical in the sense that yes, you give people easier and easier access to information then they will be more and more lazy. Just like how the Druids restricted their initiates from writing so that they would have to memorise everything.

Gaby: We carried an article not too long ago about how smartphones are actually inhibiting and encoding information and creative thinking and cognitive faculties. // It's doing exactly the opposite, like you were saying.

Doug: So, is it intentional? I can't help but think that it is, especially given John Taylor Gatto's work. The whole thing he was saying about the oppression of the school system and all these kinds of things where it was pretty clear that the elite didn't want an intelligent populous, they wanted a bunch of good workers who were completely conditioned to respond to the bell; who are smart enough to run the machines, but not much else; not smart enough to question.

Really, when you look at everything that is going on around us, smartphones are a good example, it's like is it an accident that the technology that we have access to now is something that makes us dumber? Look at Wifi and stuff like that and it is actually harmful and inhibits high-level thinking. It's hard not to look at things and think that there is some scheming going on behind the scenes here, and it's working.

Tiffany: I think that there was a plan, and also some scheming involved in order to create obedient slaves, but I think it is also the result of having psychopaths who want to control every aspect of people's lives. If we look around at what is going on today, this is just a natural outgrowth of something like that: people who can't think for themselves. That's what the psychopaths in power want.

It doesn't really matter exactly what form that it takes or whether it is smartphones or anything, once their power grows and grows and grows no matter what the small details are, I think the outcome will be the same: a bunch of dumb, mindless people who look to power for the answers to their questions in life.

Jonathan: I think that the answer is probably more likely, as with everything else, a combination of all those things. Yes, there are people who say let's bring this schooling system in because it can give us more complacent workers over time, but now those people are dead and their descendants have trust funds and maybe they are not the smartest cookie in the box so they didn't carry forward the plan that the family laid down.

In that environment, in that power structure, other people rose up and those people may or may not in statistical probability, have been psychopaths. They took advantage of the system that existed, and then here we find ourselves in a place where new generations are continually, one after the other, taking advantage of the situation that's in place.

Doug: You could say that even the way that technology develops could be a result of having people who aren't really able to think. They say "how can we make everything easier? What do people actually want?" They want to be able to sit there and look at their Instagram feed from anywhere in the world and there you go! You have got mindless entertainment at your fingertips.

Maybe if people actually valued intellectual pursuits then the technology might have actually developed differently, or would have been used differently. As it stands right now, I know there are a lot of people out there that say that technology is actually neutral. To a certain extent I think I agree with that. They aren't telling people how to use it right?

When I had a smartphone and I was using it regularly I was checking SOTT all the time so I wasn't sitting there watching YouTube videos of people dumping ice-buckets on their heads. I was reading SOTT, so you could say that it's more about how it's used, I guess.

Jonathan: Also, you have to understand the terminology. Facebook is not "the technology" Facebook is an implementation of the technology. The technology itself is objectively neutral, the implementations of it are geared towards certain ends.

Tiffany: I think that it would be different if people actually demanded certain technologies. Correct me if I am wrong here, but I don't recall anybody ever saying "gee, I think it would be so great if I could have a computer that fits in my pocket and I could take it wherever I wanted to go, or if I could connect with my relative that lives in Shanghai."

People seem to have been satisfied with just talking on the phone at home, or writing a letter, or going to visit somebody. I don't think that there was any great big demand for all these technological advances, but I could be wrong. I just seems like they are pushed on people and people get used to it and then they want it and they are comfortable with it and then the next thing gets pushed onto them, and then they get comfortable with it and they want it.

Gaby: I think people had more satisfaction back in the 80's when they were corresponding with strangers through snail-mail and making friends like that. "Look who I got a letter from!"

Doug: Pen-pals.

Gaby: That's it!

Jonathan: I think that if we haven't reached it then we are approaching the event-horizon with what the human race can handle as far as information and how it is exchanged is concerned. I think that there might just be too much for people and we haven't evolved at pace with the increase and the availability of information.

I'm waiting to see if this becomes true, but I have my own little personal theory about the mail system because so many people are ordering online now. It's been like that for 10-15 years, but now it's really impacting local businesses to the point where businesses are shutting down because everything is happening online.

I think that at a certain point, the mail system is going to overload and within the span of a week all of a sudden there are going to be no more packages because everything has shut down because there were too many; like an exponential increase in the number of parcels in the system. It's just my personal theory.

Tiffany: That's what drones are for.

Doug: Amazon is starting their own postal service apparently.

Gaby: Is that what they are doing?

Doug: They would have to do drone delivery.

Jonathan: They would have to at a certain point. I think the same thing is true with information in that we have access to more than we are biologically capable of processing.

Tiffany: That could be a reason why there's cry for all these safe spaces. People just can't take anything that's outside of their own bubble anymore. Maybe, if they were more emotionally resilient, or maybe older, or from a different generation, they would be able to cope, but they seem to have gone to the opposite end of the spectrum and they only want opinions that conform to their own. They only want to be around people who have the same ideas that they have. Maybe that's one of the backlashes of all this information?

Jonathan: I feel like if they just had the experience of going through a painful transition, with the end in mind of learning something, and then learning that thing and implementing that knowledge that you learned from that experience of suffering then that process would be so rewarding. I feel like maybe they haven't even had it otherwise they would know that that's the way to go!

Tiffany: They probably haven't. They can't even walk to school by themselves!

Doug: Their parents and the nanny-state have taken that from them. Basically, they have taken their right to be an autonomous being. If you haven't learned all those things and learned all those skills, or learned anything, if you have been spoon-fed your entire life then really you are just useless at the end of it all; you can't really do anything.

Jonathan: That's one of the things that's frustrating to me about this "access to information" issue, because - I know I'm not alone and I'm not trying to be cocky - it's exciting. The amount of information that's available is really exciting and you can give yourself a college level education, a real education, for the cost of an internet connection and a few subscription fees.

You can work a minimum wage job - granted, it's not going to be a great life - and you could then actually give yourself this level of education; with a certain amount of initiative. That's what is frustrating about watching people get dumber and dumber, it's almost like they don't know what they have at their fingertips.

Personally, I think at this point universities are completely obsolete. I know that's an extreme statement, but I really think they are. What's lacking now is the initiative to actually teach oneself, because it is possible. In the sense that you find teachers, if you have the impulse to find people who you understand knows more than you and can teach you - whether that's face-to-face or online, through a course or whatever- then you can cross-reference different data points and bring them together and then learn something from that.

Why isn't everybody in America not the smartest people on the planet at this point in time with all the access that we have? The answer is obvious, and yes I'm being cheeky, but that's the frustrating point about it I think. All told, we should be at the pinnacle of all human history right now. I guess, technologically you could say that we are but certainly not intellectually and emotionally in any way at all.

Tiffany: Do we want to play this last clip? I forgot what was in it [Laughter] but it is talking about how people are demanding a nanny-state. They want somebody to have authority over them.

Recording: Triggering is the hot new word in the nanny-state right now. It means that content might "trigger" a negative emotion in the person consuming the content. Like if someone reads an article online and it makes them feel bad somehow, they might write "this is triggering" in the comment sections.

"Triggering" is the hot new PC buzzword, and now colleges across the US are debating whether or not to put "trigger warnings" on classic literature. The example the New York Times gave was "putting a sticker on The Great Gatsby that says the book contains a variety of scenes that reference gory, abusive and misogynistic violence."

The University of California Santa Barbara, Oberlin College, Rutgers, The University of Michigan, George Washington and other schools are all considering putting trigger warnings on classic books. The worst part is, the students are the ones requesting them because apparently they are all too frail to handle reading anything that might trigger a negative emotion! What the hell is up with our kids America?

Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education puts it "this is some sort of inevitable movement towards people expecting physical and intellectual comfort in their lives and it's only going to get harder to teach people that there's a real important and serious value in being offended." I couldn't agree more with Greg, it's important to be uncomfortable because that's how you, and society, grow!

Almost 30-years ago, Tipper Gore successfully censored the music industry with their PMRC hearings which resulted in warning labels being put on music CDs, and as a result of those labels musicians who pushed the envelope and actually made people think saw their sales decimated. Now, our kids want to do the same thing with classic literature!

We are now at a place in our overblown PC culture where our kids actually want to be coddled and sedated. They want to be nannied! That's what this country is becoming. If we keep going down this road there will be absolutely no freedom and no art left! No books, movies, music, even the news will be affected all because people are too frail to feel slightly uncomfortable.

Our nanny-state will have triggered a completely controlled, moronic, boring populous right into existence.

Jonathan: There's another point of cognitive dissonance there that just popped out to me: the uncomfortability aspect of it. These students that read in Evergreen or wherever who are demanding safe spaces, in some of the videos that I've seen their attitude is very confrontational; "is my PC making you uncomfortable? Are you so regressive that this is making you uncomfortable?"

They want to push that and do that confrontational kind of thing, but when they are confronted with that, they break down completely. You could boil it down to them being able to dish it out but they can't take it.

Doug: It comes back to the whole triggering thing, when did that become a thing? It seemed to me that being "triggered" meant you were being challenged; like that was something to explore and really try to figure out. Now again, it's like the responsibility is being put on everybody else; it's your responsibility not to trigger me. Where is the idea of freedom of speech within that? Where you can say what you think or what you want to put forward and are allowed to express your ideas?

How likely is somebody to actually value - in the United States - the 1st Amendment: freedom of speech, if you are forbidden to say or even think certain things? You'll be accused of microaggressions and triggering and all this other bullshit.

Jonathan: In certain circles, just saying "him" or "her" is a gender-phobic microaggression.

Doug: Jesus Christ.

Jonathan: Granted, that extremism is not that widespread, but what is widespread is this petulant attitude. Suck it up everybody.

Tiffany: Can you imagine that these people are going to graduate? Not that we don't already have a nanny-state in certain aspects, but once these millennials graduate college and start getting jobs and rise to positions of power, I can't imagine how awful it's going to be.

Like she said in the video, basically you are not going to have any freedom to do anything. You can't think certain things, you certainly can't say certain things, everything is going to be controlled for you.

Jonathan: I think it is already happening. I hear what you are saying and I think that is going to be really interesting.

Tiffany: It's going to get worse!

Jonathan: Yes, it's going to get worse, because right now a lot of the people who are in positions of power may be from an older generation who weren't wrapped up in this but have crossed over to say "yes, we agree that this is the way that things should be now."

It's already transitioning to people in power who think that way, but I agree that it's going to get much, much more interesting when all of the current 18-22 year old generation grow up and have those positions.

Tiffany: It's the psychopaths on top who get off on controlling people and then you have this gang of authoritarian millennial cry-baby followers coming in underneath them that will just implement "whatever" in order to keep people safe and to make themselves feel good. It's going to be a real crapshow.

Doug: I can't picture these guys actually being able to hold down a job. Maybe I'm a bit naive but I don't know how somebody who has been coddled their entire life is suddenly going to be in a position of power. It's basically a useless generation.

Jonathan: I think what is happening right now is we are seeing a shift of the policies that will allow that.

Tiffany: I think they will have jobs. If you look at the health sector, it's full of authoritarian followers and people just tow the party-line. They push the flu vaccines and push the medicines. They don't investigate anything for themselves they just do whatever American Heart Association, or this-association or that-association tells them to do. I think that this generation, these millennials, are going to be the perfect people to carry on that tradition.

Doug: By the way, the head of the Heart Association just had a heart attack.

Jonathan: I saw that.

Tiffany: That was so funny, I don't mean to laugh at his misfortune but it was funny.

Gaby: It's a typical sign of the times.

Jonathan: It is morbidly funny on a cosmic level. It is also a really sobre indicator of where we are at.

Tiffany: Will these sheltered cry-babies eventually fall onto their own swords so-to-speak? It's got to come to a head at some point.

Jonathan: The whole kit-and-kaboodle is going to fall on its own sword. Like you were saying, it will move forward. I don't think society is going to collapse under the weight of a bunch of children necessarily; they'll have jobs and the jobs will be a little more cushy, more progressive, like more coddling, but eventually as that goes on and on the whole system is going to fall, I think.

Doug: I have to wonder if it's going to be a confrontation between, for lack of a better term, the liberal and the conservatives. It really seems to me like things are coming to a head and I wonder if what you are going to see is them trying to start their cry-baby revolution and you just get struck down.

Gaby: One can see it from an international point of view because this isn't exactly what will happen in every single culture. There are no cry-babies in certain areas in the Eastern hemisphere, technology is being used wisely and they are making great advances.

Doug: So, it's just America that's going down.

Jonathan: I do think that we are seeing the tail-end of the empire. Right now, we are in the tail-end of the longest war for a long time. I'm not a military historian so I don't know but the current "war" has been going on for 15-years; longer than that if you count the Gulf War.

I didn't mean to be rambling by saying that but I feel like it's an indicator of where the state of the whole world is going and that we are approaching a point where the longevity of the United States and the Western world in general is going to decline and we are going to see what happens afterwards.

Don't misconstrue my words, I am not down with the West or anything along those lines. What I'm saying is that I think that is the progression that we are going to see because as our culture as a whole becomes more and more - not to overuse the word - petulant we are not only not be able to manage daily living, but also existing as a country.

There's going to be some new shift, barring a cataclysmic event like some kind of meteor impact or an ice-age coming on and throwing everything completely haywire. Barring that kind of event, if you look at the progression of the way things are going the US is going to lose power and more likely somebody like Russia or Europe is going to gain more power.

Tiffany: Don't forget China.

Jonathan: China is going to take over everybody.

Gaby: We will all learn Chinese.

Jonathan: I guess we don't need to strain at Geopolitics.

Gaby: I have seen the contrast. Geological things or scientific discoveries coming out from the East and the West. It's hard to say but some specific stories you only hear coming from the United States and then that spreads out, but it doesn't necessarily hold in certain places. It doesn't seem to hold so strongly in China or Russia.

Doug: We do have a certain Western-centric perspective on this I think.

Jonathan: Yes, that's definitely true. To add some levity to our discussion, let's go to the pet-health segment for today; a bit from George Carlin about cats and dogs.

Zoya: Hello and welcome to the pet-health segment of the Health and Wellness Show. my name is Zoya, and considering everything that has been going on in the world, I would like to continue in a lighter and more comical tone from last week's segment and share with you a skit by George Carlin on the topic of dogs, cats and the differences between them. Enjoy!

George Carlin: I love that dog, I've never seen him and I love him. He's going to be wonderful when I meet that dog. [Panting noises] You don't have to have one to learn about dogs, your friend might have a dog; it could be your friend's dog; that makes him your dog friend.

You go to visit your friend and his dog is there and you say "hello there! How are you sneezy? You are wonderful!" He is your dog! You can have someone else's dog for a while. "Oh he likes me!" I say "oh my god, look at this doggy. Goddamn doggies".

Lot's of things to know about them too; lot's of things you learn that you don't know where you learned and you can't remember. For instance, can you remember the first time you found out that by scratching a dog here you can make this leg go like that? [Laughter] And, you can make it stop when you stop! I'm in complete control of this dog! [Applause]

You can make their head tilt from across the room just by making a funny noise! You go [raspberry noise] and he goes [tilts head]. "Oh look at that! Isn't he cute? Let's get his head fixed so he stays like that!" [Applause]

Do you ever spell in front of your dog? Some of them are smart and you have got to spell. "Honey, do we have any more B. O. N. E. S?" People, they know the sound of B alone. "Bones! Bones, bones, the bones, bones, the bones."

Sooner or later, what's going to happen with the little dog? Sooner or later, lying on the bed he is going to create a new incident. He is going to make one of you humans turn to the other and say [sniffs] "honey, do you fart?" "Not me! I thought you farted!" "Not me!" [sniffs] "That's not even one of my farts. I've got 4 farts and that's not one of mine. I've got my Heineken's fart, I got my broccoli fart, my rice pudding fart and my non-dairy creamer fart. That's not one of my farts. I know! The dog farted! Timmy, why did you fart? Look at him, he knows he farted. I saw his asshole open up. I see it. I just happened to be looking at his asshole by chance. What kind of a question is that? I thought he was doing those deep breathing exercises."

Dogs have nothing to do. There is no job description for a dog. They're forced to wait for something to happen that they can get in on. If you do something, they will be glad to join you. They will rarely initiate any activity on their own, they are just waiting, waiting, waiting and waiting and waiting. Waiting to come in, waiting to go out, waiting to eat, waiting to crap, waiting to wake up, waiting to sleep, waiting to go upstairs, waiting to go downstairs.

Sometimes, they are just waiting to wait. Have you ever seen a dog just standing there? He doesn't know what he is waiting for, but if it happens he will be ready; just waiting and waiting. Waiting for you to come home; they don't understand time. A dog doesn't know the difference between an hour-and-a-half or next week.

He thinks you are going to be gone forever, that's the only time period dogs really understand: forever. That's how long they think everything lasts, that's how long they think everything takes: forever and ever. Do you ever scratch a dog behind the ears? You are scratching your doggie behind the ears and he really loves it and you are looking at him and everything, and when you finally stop he looks at you like you are a criminal. He thought it was going to go on and on and on.

Same thing when you feed him, as soon as they get finished they say "where the fuck is the food?" They thought it was the loaves and the fishes and it was going to last forever and ever. I don't know, they must think we are going to be gone forever otherwise why would they act the way they do when we finally get home?

"Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! I thought you were never going to come home! I thought you were never going to come home! I thought you were never going to come home! I thought you were never going to come home! I thought you were never going to come home! You know what? I didn't know how to operate the can opener. How do you operate the can opener? I didn't know what to do man. You know what? You know what I did? I took a can of dog food and I rolled it down a hill and hoped a truck would run over it!" [Applause]

They will do that even if you have just forgot your hat. If you come back in 8 seconds "oh, boy, oh boy, I thought you were never going to come home! I was going to eat the bird; I couldn't find the bird; where the fuck is the bird? I'm going to eat the bird." "Will you stop it, I was just here!"

A dog doesn't care, he'll do whatever is next; he doesn't know what's next but he'll do something. He'll do two things in a row that don't go together. Have you ever seen a dog walking through a room and suddenly he stops and chews his back for 18 minutes? Then, when he has finished chewing - as if it were scheduled for right then - he doesn't even know where it was he was going to go! "Where was I going to go? Oh, shit. I think I'll go over here. This is nice over here, I think I'll keep coming over here."

He gives you that doggy look, he'll give you those eyes that have such a great expression, almost human. Sometimes, we say "look! He looks almost human Ben!" They do, they look like they know something about your mother. They aren't going to mention it right away. They look at you like they have gotten a trig problem that they can't quite solve. There is a sad look in their eyes, all the sadness in the world is right in the eyes of a dog.

Do you ever do this? Look right into your doggie's eyes and think of something really sad and it will look like it's happening to your dog. [Laughter] It's the strangest thing, they will look at you and do you know why they have so successful a look? Because they have got eyebrows. Dogs have eyebrows, or at least little ridges that pass for eyebrows. They have got little things that they can manipulate just like we do. "Oh please, please daddy! One more treat?"

Cats can't look at you like that. Cats don't look like that. Cats look at you coldly as if they are testing new eyes. [Laugher] You think cats look different? Cats don't have eyebrows, cats have a bunch of shit sticking out of their head. They thought it was going to be an eyebrow, but it didn't work out. Let's not tell them, they think it's an eyebrow, it's just a bunch of shit sticking out of their head.

Cats are cute, cats are goddamn cute. "Isn't he cute? Look at him, God he is cute!" He is a kitty cat. That's how cute they are; they needed two names. Kitty wasn't cute enough - kitty cat! "Isn't he cute? The kitty cat! Look at him, isn't he cute? Let's drown him!" [Laughter] "Isn't he cute? Hey, stick him on a wall and see if he hangs up there. Woah! A goddamn kitty cat! So goddamn cute."

Aren't they wonderful? God love them. They're so physical, that's what's fun: they're so physical. They like to rub on you, they like to rub on you. If you have got a leg and a cat - phew! You have got a party! "Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, I love this leg, oh boy, I'm rubbing on this leg. Oh boy, oh boy!" If you have got two legs shit! Jubilee celebration! "Oh boy, two legs! Hot shit, I can do the figure 8!" They love to do the figure 8. "Oh boy, oh boy, oh, boy, oh boy, I love to rub on his leg."

They'll rub against your leg even if you are not there yet. You might still be 50-feet down the hall, they see you coming. "Oh, boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, soon I'll be rubbing on his leg." Then he walks sideways so he doesn't miss you. "Oh, boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy." They love it. They are so physical, you don't have to pet a cat, you just put your hand over him and he'll do all the work.

Have you ever pet a cat who is lying absolutely flat? Before you are halfway finished his ass is way up in the air. It's like you have pressed the ass button or something. "Isn't he a cute little... Holy shit! How did he do that?" Then they jump on your chest and put their ass right in your face. "There's my ass dad! Check this ass huh?" While they are showing you their ass they are giving you some of this stuff. [acts out cat rhythmically kneading with their paws] "Get him off of me! Jesus, I hate that! I don't even know what it is and I don't like it." It looks like he is into some bad drug.

Another quality cats have which I admire: cats don't have blame; they don't embarrass at all. If a cat does something dumb you would never know by looking at them. If a dog knocks over a lamp you can tell they did it just by looking at the dog. Not the cat, the cat doesn't accept any blame. The cat moves along to the next activity. "What's that? Not me. Fuck that, I'm a cat. Did something break? Ask the dog."

The cat doesn't get embarrassed. Have you ever seen a cat race across the carpet and crash into a glass door? "I meant that. I meant that. I meant that. That's exactly how I wanted it to look. Fuckin meow! Fuckin meow! Fuckin meow!" That's what they say when they get behind the couch. The cat is too proud to let you see him suffer. If you look behind the couch then you will find your cat recuperating from a domestic accident; they have got little slings and walkers. "I tried to make the window from the lamp."

Jonathan: Those are proud, independent goats. Just like the cats. Thank you Zoya, that was great. I feel like that was some good levity and that we should just wrap it up right there, because we could get super depressing right now with this topic.

Gaby: Thanks for cheering us up Zoya.

Tiffany: I don't know what else to say other than that it's only going to get worse. [Laughter]

Jonathan: Thanks, that's what I meant. Please stop it. [Laughter] We are all screwed.

Tiffany: Yeah.

Doug: It's funny because it's true.

Jonathan: Thank you to our chatters for taking part; we had a pretty active chat today and that was cool. Thanks for listening and be sure to tune into the SOTT radio show on Sunday at noon Eastern time: We will be back next week with another show.