Kmele Foster is a partner at Free Think, a media company that tells stories about the people and ideas that are changing the world, he’s also a co-host of The Fifth Column podcast. He and Bridget discuss the weirdness of signs like “Black People Welcome Here,” and how they give him a Get Out sort of feeling, what he would teach kids about media literacy right now, why he prefers lukewarm takes over hot takes, and the worrying trend that violence has become a clear attribute of our politics recently, that it isn’t going away, and isn’t only coming from one side. They cover using ridicule as an effective weapon, how easy it is to become what you hate, encouraging people to be brave, and wonder happens in a society when people don’t trust each other and are being trained to hate each other. Check out The Fifth Column podcast here.

Ryan Long, comedian and filmmaker, connects with Bridget from New York and they discuss his move from Canada five months before the pandemic hit, why NYC is a sadboy town, the challenges of being a self-starter and your own boss, the outrage economy, why good editors are so hard to find, and why Canada is dead to him. In the middle of their conversation Bridget receives breaking news of the lockdown at the Capital on January 6th but that doesn’t derail the conversation. They delve into how Hollywood woke culture feels like a last ditch attempt to maintain their status as gatekeepers, why Millennials are really just young Boomers in disguise, the difference between British comedy, American comedy, and Australian comedy, and how finding a way to turn something you might get mad about into something funny is a means of undermining your anger.

Adrienne Iapalucci is a stand-up comic, podcast host, and Bridget’s “spirit human.” She and Bridget discuss how their dysfunctional childhoods are probably what led them to stand-up in the first place and what keeps them grinding long after most normal people would quit. They talk addiction, the stand-up scene in NYC vs LA, their shared belief that things will always get worse, and why they both default to dark comedy the darker things get. Adrienne tells stories about working for a collections agency, Bridget shares how she learned the lesson you should never read someone else’s journal the hard way. They discuss how comedy has changed in today’s political climate and wonder if it’s better to achieve massive success with the wealth that comes with it only to watch it all slip away, or to live a moderately successful life being able to do what you love, but never “making it.” Stream or buy Adrienne’s latest album Baby Skeletons.

W. Keith Campbell is a nationally recognized expert on narcissism, society and generational change. He and Bridget discuss social media and narcissism, whether everyone with a big platform is inherently a narcissist, why Keith thinks Kylie Jenner is a genius, how technology always leads to status inversions where the wisdom of age gets crushed by youth’s expertise in tech, and why narcissism is essentially America’s brand. They also cover the evolution of individuals identifying themselves as “brands,” how geek culture and the great fantasy migration relates to self-esteem, the inevitability of the tribalism and polarization of social media, manufactured authenticity, the elite wars, and the first word that came into his head when he met Joe Rogan. Be sure to check out Keith’s latest book The New Science of Narcissism.

Harleen Kaur is a former NASA space engineer and current CEO and founder of Ground News, the world’s first news comparison platform. Ground News aggregates news stories from around the world, shows you how they are being covered by different media outlets, and helps you identify the media bias on the different coverage. Harleen founded the company to solve a problem she herself had, when it came to identifying media bias and putting news stories within a larger global perspective. She and Bridget discuss how revenue models are ruining journalism, the advantages of traveling and living in several different countries, the perspective working on a probe to Pluto can give you on the achievements of humankind, and how challenging yourself with information that competes with your world view teaches intellectual resilience.

 

Johann Hari (Chasing the Scream, Lost Connections) sits down with Bridget to discuss the rise in depression, anxiety and addiction in society, particularly during Covid, and what that means about their underlying causes. Through extensive traveling and research for his books, Johann has explored the idea that the roots of all three are not just biological, but also psychological and social, and that we need a more complex approach to treatment in order to address all three aspects of these ailments. In a deep and wide-ranging conversation, they discuss loneliness, tribalism, how Portugal solved its heroin crisis, how Cambodians treat depression, the rising wealth disparity in our society, how junk values have taken over our lives, homelessness, competitive victimhood, and why social media is to having a social life what porn is to having sex.

Desi-Rae is a sociopolitical commentator, crypto enthusiast, and artist who started her talk show Just Thinking Out Loud, after she realized she felt conflicted about honestly speaking her mind. Originally from Jamaica, she offers her perspective on US politics, how you used to be able to disagree with someone and still be friends with them, why she hates identity politics, and how people were always assuming what she thought because she’s black. She and Bridget discuss whether being racist or sexist is the worst vice a person can have, the cost of cutting family members out of your life, how victimhood requires constantly looking for oppressors, why we should ask people to learn about the parts of themselves they don’t like, and how everyone in America is rich compared to the rest of the world.

Tori Perrotti, aka “Target Tori,” talks with Bridget about her experience going viral, cyber-bullying, cancel culture, and the amazing positive support she received that inspired her to found the Pause. Be Kind platform. They discuss what they’ve each learned in the service industry, being an only child vs. the oldest of five, trade stories about being bullied in high school and how those experiences shaped them, and notice why it’s so hard to think of others in any given situation. Tori shares her desire to take what happened to her and use the opportunity to create something bigger, to spread a positive message, and to do something that would make her feel more fulfilled and contribute to society. It’s a refreshing and uplifting conversation in the midst of these darkly cynical times.

Cydnee Black uploaded her first makeup tutorial to YouTube in 2013, at that time, she was one of the few African Americans doing makeup tutorials. She now has over 1 million subscribers and is considered an “influencer” even though she despises that term. She has since transitioned into researching moments in history that interest her and creating informational videos about topics such as the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill hearings, JFK’s affairs, and the life of Coco Chanel, while still doing makeup applications. She talks to Bridget being a black girl with blue eyes, how she was bullied for “speaking white,” and how she and her sister were the only black kids at their school. They cover why you should never idolize anyone on the internet, why women hate their bodies so much, keeping themselves small to make others feel more comfortable, BLM, cancel culture, psychics, colorism, and being your own brand.

Corey DeAngelis is the director of School Choice at Reason Foundation and the Executive Director at Educational Freedom Institute. Corey and Bridget discuss school choice, which would mean allowing a tax payer’s education dollars to follow their child to wherever they’re getting their education – public school, private school, or charter school – rather than automatically being paid to their local school district. They delve into the effects of Covid and how families are seeing their school system leaving them high and dry while still getting their children’s education dollars, why school choice would be good for individual teachers, and where the money being poured into the school system is actually going. They also cover why this shouldn’t be a partisan issue since it’s a market-based reform in education and an equalizer in society, and they explore some of the arguments against school choice. Don’t miss Corey’s book School Choice Myths: Setting the Record Straight on Education Freedom.

Doug Schoen (author & campaign consultant) drops in to discuss his most recent book The End of Democracy?: Russia and China on the Rise, America in Retreat. He and Bridget have a frank conversation about the fact that we are so divided in this country we are failing to pay attention to the larger threats of Russian and Chinese influence in the world. They cover how a lack of common purpose and a failure to recognize the challenges we face in America puts us at risk, the damage caused by putting politics ahead of the greater good of the country, and the fact that if the US abandons the global stage, other countries will turn to Russia and China who are only too happy to intervene in ways that put our country’s interests at risk. They acknowledge how helpless individuals can feel in the face of such large-scale problems and how we must unite as a country behind some of our core principles, such as liberty and freedom of speech, if we are to have a hope of maintaining national resilience and international influence.

Karol Markowicz (New York Post, Spectator USA, Time) and Bridget discuss the effect of the pandemic in NYC, how nobody in California seems to be able to connect policies they hate and the people they’re voting for, why large portions of immigrant communities love Trump, looking back and seeing their own blindspots going into 2016, and the best and worst case scenarios for how the 2020 election might go. They cover the future of the Democratic party, why Karol tries to bring up the fact that she’s a conservative very early in a conversation with a new person, whether she fears for her safety being an outspoken conservative in a liberal place, and why she doesn’t worry about what she’s going to tell her grandchildren about who she voted for.

Bridget & Maggie reminisce about 100 episodes of Walk-Ins Welcome. What they love, what they’ve learned, favorite episodes, and they marvel at their unprecedented consistency. They explore Bridget’s gift of gab and her genuine love for talking to people (inherited from their grandmother), discuss the need for a Hero’s Journey and how lost we can become without one, and plan for the future and what they’d like to see happen for the podcast and Phetasy. Become a subscriber at phetasy.com or make a donation and support another 100 episodes!

David French (The Dispatch, Time) stops in to talk about his latest book Divided We Fall: America’s Secession Threat and How to Restore Our Nation. He and Bridget cover how he sources his news, the liberation of shedding the partisan mindset and meeting in the wasteland of the center, the rise of journavism, being expelled from your tribe, taking precautions against being “swatted” by online trolls, and the times they wonder if it’s worth it. They discuss the differences between this election and 2016, take issue with the idea of voting for “the lesser of two evils” when the response should be “don’t vote for evil,” examine how our rage and hatred are what will destroy our country, and ask the question, what kind of country do we aspire to and how should I behave as a human being to try and reach this aspiration?

Colin Quinn (stand-up comic, actor, writer, Saturday Night Live alum) stops in to talk about his book Overstated – A Coast-to-Coast Roast of All 50 States, and he and Bridget manage to cover, the election, why Bridget should be a criminal profiler and write a book about U-Haul rentals, Colin’s plans for modern-day Constitutional Conventions, the fact that everybody’s crazy now and nobody seems to notice, and they compare psychic experiences (Colin’s involves OJ Simpson). They discuss how odd it is that our society has reached a place where people on the extreme left and right give people in the middle sh*t rather than vice versa, Colin’s elaborate plan to become best friends with Jeff Bezos, how he almost starred in Crocodile Dundee 2, why giving your opinion can be very expensive, and learning the meaning of the word “consequences.”

Felecia Killings is the founder and visionary of the Conscious Conservative Movement which wants to empower people who are looking to expand the authentic conservative space, and to go back to the principles of conservatism and spiritual understanding. She and Bridget delve into the complex topic of Black Conservatism, what it looks like today, why Felecia was primarily getting attacked by black conservative influencers, the fact that the black community is not a monolith, and that a lot of people in that community are politically homeless at the moment. They discuss the history of the Republican Party and black voters, where Felecia thinks opportunities are being missed to reach black communities, why fellowship, knowing history, and asking questions that leave aside the talking points is a better way to do things than the current strategies, and why people on the fringes of both parties are the ones that get the attention and the platforms. Learn more about the movement and Felecia’s body of work at feleciakillings.org.

In some sense the United States was an innovation, a bold experiment that turned into a spectacular success. According to Bret Weinstein, this success is proof of concept, and the system devised has been wildly successful at producing well-being, though unfairly distributed to certain population groups. The solution is not to un-invent the system, it’s to figure out how to correct the unfairness. The system needs an adjustment. Bret believes that Unity 2020 is our way to break the corrupt duopoly holding this country in gridlock and sowing division between Democrats and Republicans. A biologist and evolutionary theorist, Bret’s background is in studying complex systems and the evolution of humans in particular. He outlines his innovative and bold plan to galvanize disaffected voters, force both parties to meet in the middle and affect a lasting change in the way this country is governed. Will it work in 2020? Is there time? If not, what can we hope for in the future?

Katie Herzog (podcast host Blocked and Reported) and Bridget have a hilarious conversation that covers everything from Katie’s multiple drunken bicycle accidents, to Bridget’s being put on male-restriction when she was in rehab for heroin. They talk addiction, alcoholism, their first exposure to gender pronouns, teaching yoga in Sri Lanka, The Babes of NPR, and how your darkest moments can lead to new opportunities. Katie shares her many failures in holding down a job before working her way into freelance writing, and how an article on Detransitioning in The Stranger made her one of the most hated people in Seattle.

Ben Shapiro (editor-in-chief for The Daily Wire, host of The Ben Shapiro Show) and Bridget discuss going viral for stupid reasons, how Republicans don’t fight on a cultural level and Democrats do, their impressions of Hamilton, why the book White Fragility is biggest load of horsesh*t in the history of the world, why you should never cross Beyoncé fans, and what led him to write his latest book How to Destroy America In Three Easy Steps. They cover who his pick for president would be if Trump wasn’t running, the dangers inherent in the fact that people think the status quo will never change, why being too secure in your career is a big mistake, Ben’s predictions for what will happen if Trump wins or loses, and his burgeoning career as rap artist B. Shap.

Buck Angel is a 58 year-old trans man who is speaking out against the mob mentality that has taken over the trans community. He and Bridget discuss his life before his transition, how he was essentially a human “guinea pig” in the early days of his transition, the long road and struggle for acceptance, and how the trans movement of today has developed something of a “cult-like” ideology where if you don’t speak and think in a specific way, they don’t want you as a member. He and Bridget discuss the “trans trenders,” the rewriting of factual information, why the label “cis” feels derogatory, how there’s no oversight and no system in allowing young people to self-diagnose as “trans,” being attacked by his own community, and why we should follow the money on the sudden push to enable sexual reassignment surgeries. As an elderly trans person whose own transition saved his life, Buck is passionate about the dangers he sees in the community today, and the fact that this push to transition will kill people.