Chloe Valdary (The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic) returns to discuss her new course Theory of Enchantment an innovative social-emotional, learning course that teaches character development, resilience and love. Her background in international diplomacy and conflict resolution led her to want to create a framework that teaches people how to love each other. The aspirational course blends pop culture and ancient wisdom to teach social and emotional learning and Chloe felt it was necessary as an antidote to the deconstructive ideology that’s permeating our culture right now. She and Bridget discuss why having no reverence for the past leaves us with no way to measure our progress, why we should see suffering as a gift, how people stereotyping others means they also stereotype themselves, and why the world is ending when people no longer dance with each other.

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Abigail Shrier, author of Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters, sits down with Bridget for a fascinating, in-depth and controversial conversation about the wave of transgender-identifying females sweeping various countries around the world. For the first time in history the predominant demographic of people identifying as “transgender” is teenage girls with no childhood history of gender dysphoria. Abigail and Bridget discuss how we got here, where this came from, and the social, educational and cultural influences playing a part in this unprecedented trend. They cover the role of teachers, therapists, social media influencers and activists, as well as the dynamics of teenage girl friend groups that make them particularly susceptible to the unconscious pressures and social rewards of coming out as “trans.” They discuss the long-term physical and mental damage that can result from a system that demands immediate affirmation from professionals, rather than a careful and considered approach to a complicated topic which can have permanent consequences.

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In 2018 Nikki Mark’s 12-year old son, Tommy, went to sleep one night and never woke up. In an inspiring and heartbreaking conversation with Bridget shares her immediate reaction, what she’s learned, why she said yes to everything that came her way, the project she channeled her grief into, her family’s bond, and the incredible outpouring of support they received from their community. She and Bridget discuss how we’re not taught to deal with death or support someone who is struggling with tragedy, and how if we learned a little bit more about death we’d learn how to live. Her fierce determination to share the lessons her son taught her, her belief that she can turn the pain into something else and rise up to live in a way that honors her son, the knowledge that we should all be playing more and that life is supposed to be fun, and her ability to see the beauty in overwhelming tragedy, is an inspiration and motivation for anyone struggling through darkness. Support the TM23 Foundation to honor Tommy’s memory & legacy.

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Yesha Callahan (Essence Magazine) and Bridget bond over their shared fear of being trampled in a crowd, their mutual disdain for agents, and marvel at the spectacular idiocy of people behaving badly in public in the age of camera phones. Yesha covers growing up poor in a house full of extended family, what led her to a career in HR, and how she jumped into a career as a writer on a late night talk show. She shares her darkest moments after being laid off and struggling to support her son, working as a freelance writer, and taking the advice of a best friend to “act like a white lady” and ask for a job at The Root. She and Bridget discuss Black Lives Matter, why she loves TikTok, why she doesn’t believe that struggle makes you stronger, how white people are afraid of saying anything wrong, and the least racist country she’s ever traveled to.

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Andrew Heaton (comedian, author, political satirist, podcast host) drops by for a fun and wide-ranging conversation covering everything from dogs vs. cats, why he wants to live on a compound, why comics make the worst audience members, the over-sensitization of language, and the thankless task of being a voice of reason in a tribal world. He and Bridget discuss their fear of living alone for too long and the worry that their weird habits will calcify, why living in New York City only works if you’re really hot, really young, or really rich, how humans are evolutionarily designed to be members of a tribe, the difference between thinking someone is wrong and thinking someone is evil, the death of nuance, the outrage economy, the decline of mainstream media, and why people are less concerned about what you think than about the wording you use to communicate it. Keep up with Andrew on his website MightyHeaton.com

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Coach Tea is back for a frank conversation with Bridget about George Floyd, the protests, the riots, the looting, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the concept of white privilege. They discuss the frustration that a real issue has become a Trojan horse for all sorts of other agendas, how the movement has been co-opted, why solutions need to be personal and not legislated, and the problem with the argument “if you’re silent, you’re part of the problem.” They cover how capitalism fights racism, why the phrase “for the greater good” is so terrifying, how insanity is always louder than sanity, and the underlying insult inherent in white people apologizing for their privilege.

**Warning** This episode is not for the easily offended and is more explicit than usual

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Nathan Edmondson is a writer and President of EDGE, an ambitious counter-poaching and conservation organization devoted to the innovative preservation of African wildlife. They bring new technologies and US special operations tactics and expertise to develop counter-poaching initiatives. He returns to the podcast to discuss the impact of the global pandemic on rhino poaching, what it will mean for the immediate future, and how you can help support their efforts to protect African wildlife. They cover the way poaching operates, the growing influence of poaching syndicates in Africa, the increasing sophistication of poachers’ gear and weapons, how they work with locals to deliver the support that is needed, what success looks like, and the legacy Nathan hopes to leave for his children. You can support EDGE here.

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Sam Harris (author, philosopher, neuroscientist) has a fascinating conversation with Bridget about meditation, consciousness, mindfulness, and awareness. They discuss what brought Sam to meditation (drugs, initially), and the decade he spent traveling and diving into Eastern philosophy, mindfulness practices, and silent retreats, until ultimately he went back to college and eventually got a PhD in cognitive neuroscience. He and Bridget cover mediation and psychological resilience, being a hostage to your own thoughts, the search for a durable state of well being, the casualties of the spiritual path and the people who follow it, the illusion of self, and how close we are to being psychotic so much of the time.

 

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Jeren Montgomery recently completed an MA in clinical psychology and is working towards becoming a marriage and family therapist. He is also working on the “front lines” of the pandemic in a nautical-themed grocery store. He talks about the adjustments everyone had to make to deal with the Covid-19 outbreak and why he’s uncomfortable with people thanking him for “his service.” He and Bridget discuss his long journey towards psychology, overcoming addiction, becoming sober, and how often their brains try to lie to them and tell them they’re not really addicts. They cover the lack of men entering the field of psychology, some of his weirder experiences at a ultra-progressive school when getting his degree, the need for resilience, and how therapeutic coaching might help a whole generation of men who are struggling to find their voice. Check out Jeren’s website at justjeren.com

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Story Hour with Bridget Phetasy is a segment where Bridget reminisces with cousin Maggie and tells stories explaining who she is and how she got here. Full transcript available here: WiW78-StoryHour5-Transcript

Because Bridget’s globe-trotting wanderings are too much to cover in just one Story Hour, here’s part 1 of her international travels. Covering the first time she ever left the country and why she had to spend the whole trip with Desitin all over her face, traveling through Canada in the trunk of a car as a teenager, almost getting stranded in Mexico, and how she wound up in Tokyo and Barcelona. Frankly, it’s a miracle she’s still alive and she credits an acutely developed “spidey sense” for narrowly avoiding several dangerous situations.

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Dave Rubin joins Bridget for his second appearance on the podcast. They talk the long-term effects and changes brought about by social distancing, staying in touch with friends and family now more than ever, no longer looking at the world through a political party lens, how to support small businesses during the shut down, and wonder if the government can’t help people in a time like this, what’s the point of government. They share their small successes, like Dave’s new garden and Bridget’s perfect loaf of sourdough, discuss how irrelevant things like the NBA and celebrities have become, and offer show and movie recommendations. They also cover the future of the Democratic party, how government is all about solving another problem it created and discuss Dave’s new book Don’t Burn This Book.

Full transcript available here: WiW77-DaveRubin-Transcript

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Samantha Shahi (aka Sammy Flap-n-Folds to the Dumpster Fire crowd) finally, finally sits down with Bridget to discuss her journey from Texas to LA, being a marching band nerd, how she fell in love with producing, and the shocking secret reason she minored in Women’s Studies. They cover the litany of jobs Sam’s had since she moved here, what she’s learned along the way, where her true passion lies, and Bridget makes Sam tell the story that demonstrates how Type A she actually is. What do you do when your brain commits hate crimes against you? Did Bridget actually rescue Sam from a cult? Was Sam a sacrificial virgin thrown into a volcano in a past life? It’s all covered in this week’s episode.

Full transcript available here: WiW76-SamanthaShahi-Transcript

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Misty M (If They Have to Behave for You To Be Okay, You’re Screwed) and Bridget discuss the pros and cons of virtual 12 Step meetings in the time of quarantine. They cover why people in recovery might be uniquely qualified to handle the ongoing global crisis, avoiding using the pandemic as an excuse to relapse, trying to feel sane in insane times, and Misty’s optimistic prediction about when we will get back to normal. They talk about everything from practicing intimacy with yourself without running away, to dystopian YA novels, why reality is a simulation, their favorite conspiracy theories, and why neither one of them is looking forward to the flood of books and movies about the pandemic that will be showing up about a year from now.

Full transcript available here: WiW75-MistyM-Transcript

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Michael Shermer (Skeptic Magazine, Science Salon Podcast, Scientific American) dropped by before quarantine went into effect to discuss skepticism, religion, debunking conspiracy theories, scientific attempts to achieve immortality, and why “I don’t know” are the three most powerful words you can utter. He and Bridget cover everything from why neither one of them would want to live forever, to why Heaven sounds really boring, how liberals used to be the defenders of free speech and when it all changed, pluralistic ignorance, censorship, hate speech, thought crimes, and why open debate is the only way to find out what’s actually true. Don’t miss Michael’s new book Giving the Devil His Due, available now!

Full transcript available here: WiW74-MichaelShermer-Transcript

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Paul Shirley (former NBA player, published author, and founder of Writers Blok) is back to discuss the human condition in this time of social distancing, quarantine, and uncertainty. He and Bridget talk about making deals with your brain, being disconnected from our purpose, how easy it is to forget that life is fragile in modern society, and having to face ourselves when all the things we have been chasing lead us nowhere. They share tips for discipline and productivity as professional authors, why having “oceans of time” is a problem, being of service, gutting it out when it comes to forming new habits, and why you must enjoy the process of writing itself if you ever hope to find success with it. Be sure to check out the Writer’s Blok digital platform to join in writer’s sprints and meet a community of authors who can help you meet your goals. Sorry, no check-in this week! Bridget and Maggie couldn’t get together in time.

Full transcript available here: WiW73-PaulShirley-Transcript

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Bridget and Cousin Maggie share their tips for working from home, and for dealing with the depression and anxiety that might be ratcheting up as we face the unknowns Covid-19 is bringing to our lives and society. They discuss why you should be choosy about the media you consume, how sharing your emotional load with friends can help and allow other people to be of service to you, finding the small silver linings and bright sides of this situation, and why you shouldn’t be like Jared Leto. Ever. The Walk-Ins Welcome format might change for a while as having guests on the podcast will be more difficult, but for now, enjoy this extended check-in.

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Gigi Levangie, author and screenwriter, drops by for a chat that covers everything, including Swedish Death Cleaning, the Erehwon Phenomenon, aging in LA, the difference between a collector and a hoarder, and growing up “the crazy white b*tch down the street.” She and Bridget discuss why participation trophies are detrimental to children’s progress into adulthood, the impracticalities of college, why you shouldn’t give all your energy to who is in the White House, and how being a blank slate allows you to learn. Bridget tells the not-to-be-missed story of the Poodle Skirt Incident of 1992. Gigi talks about her career as a writer and how she’s managed to crank out 7 books. It’s a fun, fast and loose conversation between two kindred spirits. Be sure to check out Gigi’s latest book Been There, Married That.

Full transcript available here: WiW71-GigiLevangie-Transcript

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Mark Halperin, author of How to Beat Trump: America’s Top Political Strategists on What it Will Take, stops in to discuss the pool of Democratic candidates running for President and whether any of them have what it takes to beat Trump in November. He and Bridget discuss how the media bias against Trump will help him win, what makes Trump so compelling, and why he’s great business for the liberal media outlets who revile him. They cover the tactics that the Democratic candidates should be deploying but aren’t, the deafening silence of the Obamas when it comes to endorsing a candidate, who Bridget thinks could win against Trump, and the difficulty of appealing to both the center and the far left in an increasingly polarized political climate. They discuss anger, resentment, acceptance, humility, redemption, forgiveness, and Mark’s concern about the mental health of a lot of people in this country if Trump is reelected.

Full transcript available here: WiW70-MarkHalperin-Transcript

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Andrew Doyle is the man behind satirical Twitter account Titania McGrath – a radical intersectionalist, feminist, and slam poet, who is constantly telling people how oppressed she is – and author of Woke: A Guide to Social Justice. He’s back for round two where he and Bridget cover the insanity of attempting to subvert democracy in order to preserve it, the humorlessness of passionate protestors (and how hilarious Andrew finds them), infantalizing women while claiming to advocate for them, and the problem with the use of the word “privilege.” They dive into the difference between being aware of racism and calling everyone racist, how whiteness has become the original sin in the Church of Woke, why Andrew mistrusts the phrase “male feminist” and they worry about Greta Thunberg’s future, what will happen to her if one day she decides to change her mind, or her stance?

Full transcript available here: WiW69-AndrewDoyle-Transcript

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From the ages of 11 to 16 Jacob Bresler survived five years of ghettos and concentration camps during World War II. He credits his inventiveness, his stubbornness, his resilience, and his will to survive as the reasons he made it through the war and created a new life for himself in America. He is a humanist. He does not hate. He has no enemies. He remains optimistic about the future, and believes that communication is the only way to combat ignorance and pierce the ideological bubbles we’ve segregated ourselves into. He and Bridget cover a variety of topics including the many different paths he’s traveled in his life, how he feels about the phrase “Trump is Hitler,” when we should teach children about the Holocaust, how best to counter hate, and the idea that the potential for brutality lies within all of us. Don’t miss Jacob’s autobiography: You Shall Not Be Called Jacob Anymore.

Full transcript available here: WiW68-JacobBresler-Transcript

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