Comedian Simon Evans joins the Citizens of Nowhere for a discussion that's as wide-ranging and interesting as you'd hope from this thoughtful comic. A by-no-means exhaustive selection of topics alighted on: the shortcomings of democracy, finding 'your' audience, Japanese sex pillows, the disappointing lack of brilliance in our public servants, complaining about your boss when you are your own boss, and how to get a Roomba to pleasure you sexually.
The latest of our Edinburgh guests is stand-up Jen Brister, who chats with Nick and Carey about being in a female couple raising a couple of boys, nature vs nurture, growing as a comedian, and when it's ok to do period jokes.
Another guest episode, this time with comedian Zoe Lyons. A bulletproof circuit comic, Zoe has recently moved into touring and doing radio and TV. This wide-ranging chat is less about socio-political issues and more just about being a stand-up comic, both generally and at the Edinburgh Festival. We talk about different types of audience, dealing with that one face in the crowd that clearly hates you, moving from the weekend club circuit to touring under your own name, whether homophobia in comedy clubs dying out, and why sometimes you have to be a drunk, Glaswegian fly, even if it's just for yourself. It's a fun chat - enjoy.
Ayesha Hazarika is a comedian, political commentator, and former adviser to Gordon Brown, Ed Miliband and Harriet Harman. She joins Nick and Carey to talk about her experiences in politics, the #metoo movement, the mainstream media's obsession with presenting everything as a two-sided confrontation, and Boris Johnson's recent theft of an old bit of Carey's material about burkhas. She is, as we’d hoped, a fantastic guest, but we hope she’s wrong about Boris being the next Prime Minister.
It's Citizens of Nowhere's first guest episode!
Nick and Carey are joined by comedian Marcus Brigstocke for a candid conversation about self-censorship, what you can and can't say onstage, getting into arguments with people who know too much about you, and other pitfalls that await the comedian who deals with big issues.
This is a fun one, cut short because Nick had to go. But before that, we have one of the first real disagreements between Nick and Carey, regarding being called/categorised as 'cis'.
In the last few days, James Gunn (writer/director of 'Guardians of the Galaxy') was fired by Disney because of some tweets he sent years ago. This poses the question: where does your 'employee' identity end and your online identity begin? Do you have the right to have your online life considered separately from your work life, or are you always a representative of your employer? And should anyone ever lose their job over a joke, even one that's in bad taste? How does this compare to Roseanne? And does it matter that this whole affair was effectively orchestrated as a right-wing attack? If this can get someone fired, can you now end the career of anyone in the public eye just by trawling through their Twitter history? Nick and Carey attempt to answer these questions, after a bit of rambling.
This episode came out of the question, 'What do we do now that we think will become unacceptable in the future?' Things have changed a lot in the last couple of hundred years, and not just technologically; human values have also changed. Attitudes that were commonplace just a few generations ago now seem prehistoric. So do we have to forgive the people of the past because 'it was a different time', or are they all just as guilty as if they were born now? And how long will we keep the values we have now? Will they seem outdated and ludicrous to future generations? These are all interesting questions that could do with some expert analysis, but unfortunately you've got Nick and Carey rambling as usual.`
You may recently have heard accusations of 'cultural appropriation'. Examples range from white people wearing dreadlocks or chopsticks in their hair to Elvis's musical 'inspirations' to an 18-year-old being attacked in a social media storm for wearing a Chinese-style dress to her prom. So what is cultural appropriation? Is it a real, well-defined phenomenon? Is it as serious a problem as those who complain about it seem to think? Should we care about it at all?
Nick and Carey try their very best to give a shit.
Time covers the Chinese dress storm: http://time.com/5262748/chinese-prom-dress-cultural-appropriation/
David Frum on the Chinese dress furore: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/05/cultural-appropriation/559802/
The Bustle on Cultural Appropriation: https://www.bustle.com/p/7-things-you-might-not-realize-are-cultural-appropriation-that-are-60679
Nick and Carey discuss free speech, as they have EVERY RIGHT TO DO.
To commemorate the birth and naming of a new Royal Baby, we discuss whether it would be better for the country if we threw it out a window. Yes, this episode is about the Royal Family. Are they worth it to the country? Does it really matter? What are the alternatives? We talk about the baffling public hysteria over the death of Princess Diana, the weird fact that the public would rather see William become King than Charles, the surprising degree to which the Royals interfere in the running of the country, and how brilliant 'The Crown' is. Also, it's revealed that Nick may have committed treason as a child.
What is antisemitism? What's a Jew? Why would anyone hate them? What are they up to? Do they control the media? Really? Not even the Jewish Chronicle? And is there a real problem with antisemitism on the left? Have either or both of Nick and Carey experienced antisemitism? And if both, why, given that only Carey is Jewish? Listen to find the answers to a couple, if not some, of these poorly-framed questions.
This episode may sound like the sequel to 'Guns, Germs and Steel', but in fact Nick and Carey talk about Steven Pinker's new book, 'Enlightenment Now', which continues from his previous book, 'The Better Angels of our Nature' in that it claims that things are, broadly, improving for humanity. Is this true? And if it is, why does claiming it make some people so angry? Carey explains the Mean World Syndrome, then they get sidetracked onto school shootings, gun control and, inevitably, Trump.
Nick and Carey discuss the recent interview on Channel 4 News between journalist Cathy Newman and psychologist Professor Jordan Peterson. They are significantly less drunk than the previous episode, but it's still Sunday.
Every so often there's bound to be one like this: a hurriedly-recorded episode where one or both of us are drunk. That's what this is. We talk about various studies that we've half-read, and a bit about religion.
In this first-ever outdoors episode, Nick and Carey make some corrections and Nick apologises for using the N-word about the wrong cinematic dog. They then go on to talk about offensive language, and, towards the end, triggers and trigger warnings. Which should probably have come at the beginning. It should go without saying that there's strong language (it should go without saying, but it doesn't).
Are you easily disgusted? If you are, then you're probably more socially conservative, according to several experiments discussed in this talk by psychologist David Pizarro: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YL3LT1ZvOM
In this episode, Nick & Carey talk about what -
if anything - disgusts them, and wonder whether disgust could be used to change people's minds.
Oh, and they're both sick, so enjoy this recording of two men talking about disgust while bodily fluids stream from their faces.
Nick and Carey totally intend to talk about Centrism but don't at all. Instead, they talk about how far back their resistance to tribalism goes, encompassing school uniforms, religious upbringings, tattoos, anti-Americanism, Trump, Bush, and 'your mum' jokes. The book we talk about is 'The Righteous Mind' by Jonathan Haidt,