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  • - What's your opinion on my bird here, Mr. Parrot?

  • - It's a macaw, scarlet macaw.

  • - What? - It is a scarlet macaw.

  • - Oh. You know birds? - Yeah.

  • And that's actually not life sized.

  • - Are you saying he's not real?

  • - I'm saying it's not to scale.

  • - Okay. But he's real.

  • - Are we doing that Monty Python sketch?

  • (both laughing)

  • - Everything is a Monty Python sketch.

  • - I don't think Monty Python's funny.

  • And I- - You don't?

  • - At all, like, not- - That explains so much.

  • - Does it? What does it explain?

  • - What do you think is funny?

  • - (laughs) But you not answering that question,

  • it's pretty funny.

  • - Yeah.

  • What do you think is funny? Having a mantis shrimp?

  • - No.

  • - Do you think "Big Lebowski" is funny?

  • - Oh God, no.

  • - (laughs) This is getting worse and worse.

  • The following is a conversation

  • with Michael Malice, anarchist and author

  • of "Dear Reader", "The New Right", "The Anarchist Handbook",

  • "The White Pill", and he is the host

  • of the podcast "YOUR WELCOME".

  • This is a Thanksgiving special of the pirate

  • and oceangoing variety.

  • So once again, let me say thank you for listening today

  • and for being part of this wild journey with me.

  • This is the Lex Friedman Podcast.

  • To support it, please check out our sponsors

  • in the description.

  • And now, dear friends, here's Michael Malice.

  • - The box?

  • - Yeah. - The mystery box.

  • - I'm wondering what's in it.

  • - There's something in that box of exquisite beauty,

  • both literally and in what it symbolizes and why it is here.

  • - Given the kind of human being you are,

  • I'm terrified at what you find beautiful.

  • - That's a good point.

  • You kind of hit me with the curve ball.

  • - Yeah. - Like for me,

  • the most beautiful like wildlife

  • are what I call God's mistakes.

  • 'Cause my friend came up with that term

  • where she's like, you know,

  • God made these disgusting animals, just threw

  • in the bottom of the ocean.

  • He is like, no one's ever gonna see this.

  • - Yeah.

  • You commented on Twitter about some creature,

  • like a rainbow type creature.

  • - The peacock mantis shrimp. - Yeah. It's beautiful.

  • - It's horrific though.

  • So it has, I think, eight legs, six arms,

  • two punching claws or spearing claws,

  • depending on the genus, two eyes, two antennae,

  • two ear flaps, I dunno what they do...

  • And its punch can be as strong as a bullet.

  • And the other type

  • what the spears, divers call them thumb splitters,

  • because if you stick your finger near it,

  • it'll cut your thumb down to the bone.

  • So I had one as a pet.

  • All night I would hear banging on the PVC pipe.

  • And I gotta tell you,

  • they have the best eyesight of any animal 'cause they see

  • in like seven different ways.

  • And when you make eye contact with this thing,

  • it's just absolutely terrifying.

  • But you can eat them as sushi, they call 'em sea centipedes.

  • - [Lex] But they're colorful and beautiful.

  • - [Michael] That's species is. Yeah.

  • - What was it like having one as a pet,

  • and why did you do it?

  • - Well, when you have a species that's that unique

  • and that much of an outlier, you know,

  • growing up reading these books, watching these shows,

  • I found this stuff so much more fascinating

  • than like space and which is, you know, dead.

  • So to be able to have this specimen in your house

  • and just observe its behavior is just like an amazing thing.

  • - Why'd you get rid of it?

  • - I didn't have, I guess, the right minerals in the mix...

  • - It died?

  • - It had a problem molting once.

  • Yeah. They couldn't molt correctly.

  • - Wow.

  • Do you miss it? Think about it, still?

  • - I do think about it to be honest.

  • I still have a pair of

  • its punching appendages from when it molted.

  • - What pet animal in your life do you miss the most,

  • that has been in your life, that you think about?

  • - I've never had cats or dogs growing up

  • or anything like that, which, you know, I, oh God.

  • My problem is... - Here we go.

  • - If I like something, I will go down a rabbit hole.

  • - Yeah.

  • - So I know, if I got one tattoo,

  • I already know my first five are gonna be, okay?

  • So I can't do it.

  • 'Cause then, once I get those five,

  • it's gonna be 100 and I'm already too old to be

  • the tattoo guy.

  • - What would be the first tattoo?

  • My face?

  • Would it go on your ass cheeks?

  • Or where would you put them? If it was my face.

  • - If I got your face,

  • it would definitely be on my arm right here.

  • - If you had multiple faces, would you put like...

  • - I think delts, right, shoulders,

  • different faces on different shoulders?

  • - And then when you... - The symmetry.

  • - Yeah. Would you get a dictator?

  • If you had to get a dictator, who would you get?

  • - Have to be the Kim Jong Il, right?

  • - [Lex] Hmm.

  • - Because I wrote the book on him.

  • - Oh. It's like the plugging your book.

  • In the tattoo. - Don't think plugging.

  • It's just like I have a personal connection to this stuff.

  • - It good opener to this conversation.

  • But he would be asking why him,

  • and then he'd be like, well, I wrote a book about it.

  • He'd be like, okay,...

  • - Okay. Here, here's why. - Check it out.

  • - That would be a bad open.

  • No, that's not what happens. - Okay.

  • - Here's the thing. - What happens?

  • - When you write a book about North...

  • "Hey, nice to meet you. What is you do?"

  • "I'm an author." "What kind of books do you write?"

  • "Well, my last book was on North Korea."

  • 90% of the time. 90.

  • They will then start telling me everything they know

  • about North Korea.

  • And it's like, I don't need, this isn't a quiz.

  • And it's a very poorly understood country.

  • I don't expect you to know anything. You're not on the spot.

  • And half what you're saying is not accurate either.

  • It's fine.

  • - How often did they bring up Dennis Rodman?

  • - 100%.

  • - 100% of the time?

  • - Oh, so do you know Dennis Rodman?

  • - Yeah. - But I don't understand what,

  • I guess people feel the need to like, all right,

  • like now we're talking about this subject.

  • I just gotta, you know, drop whatever I can talk about.

  • It's usually a small amount.

  • And there's this thing in the culture, which I hate,

  • that everyone have to have an opinion on everything.

  • And it's like, it's okay to be like, yeah,

  • I don't know anything about that. Tell me more.

  • You know, there's lots of things

  • I don't know anything about.

  • - What's your opinion on my bird here, Mr. Parrot?

  • - It's a macaw, scarlet macaw.

  • - What? - It is a scarlet macaw.

  • - Oh. You know birds? - Yeah.

  • And that's actually not life sized.

  • - Are you saying he's not real?

  • - I'm saying it's not to scale.

  • - Okay. But he's real.

  • - Are we doing that Monty Python sketch?

  • (both laughing)

  • - Everything is a Monty Python sketch.

  • - I don't think Monty Python's funny.

  • And I- - You don't?