Bridget Phetasy admires grit and authenticity. On Walk-Ins Welcome, she talks about the beautiful failures and frightening successes of her own life and the lives of her guests. She doesn't conduct interviews-she has conversations. Conversations with real people about the real struggle and will remind you that we can laugh in pain and cry in joy but there's no greater mistake than hiding from it all.
Author Mary Harrington sits down to discuss her new book Feminism Against Progress. She and Bridget discuss how it's always taken for granted that progress is a good thing, but in order to view it that way you need to narrow your focus and ignore everything that doesn't fit into the narrative, and the disturbing fact that slavery exists today and it's never been more profitable. They cover Critical Theory and what it's doing to our society, how it's not possible to be a disinterested observer ever, how you build back your life from major loss and breakdown, the importance of being embodied and what the internet is doing to us, irony poisoning, how to handle the internet and your kids, being a stay at home mom, the complicated moral questions of surrogacy, and how women's interests are not the same across classes even within a single society and the repercussions of how that plays out.
Podcast host and journalist Josh Szeps sits down with Bridget for a conversation about the appeal of the rabbit holes that normal, intelligent people seem to find themselves falling down, the conspiracy theories that bring them there, the loss of faith in the media and our institutions, and why uncertainty can be a good thing. They also cover parenthood and being an "older" parent, whether being an overbearing or overcaring parent is worse, the Intellectual Dark Web, Josh's career trajectory, Russell Brand, the blindspots of mainstream media, myths about the Covid vaccine versus the actual truth about its side effects, the US's Covid policies vs Australia's Covid policies during the pandemic, the ability to admit that you're wrong, and the truth that if you have to choose between conspiracy and incompetence, the answer is usually incompetence. Check out Josh's podcast and Substack, Uncomfortable Conversations - the safe space for dangerous ideas .
Stand-up comic Ian Lara stops in to talk about the ups and downs of his career in stand-up comedy, how he veered from a political science & engineering background and pre-law trajectory into stand-up, and how his parents who immigrated from the Dominican Republic reacted to the change. They talk about his favorite parts of being on the road, competition among comedians, the delicate dance of not discussing your current relationships in your comedy, defending your right to be hyperbolic, and how comedians these days are being held to a higher standard than the President of the United States. They also cover how surprised Ian was to learn that men's rights activists were a thing because he didn't know that men were fighting for rights, comedians who don't like their fans, how any opinion can be validated on the internet, what to do when you hit a plateau, how nobody cares about you as much as you think they do, why he hopes that the average person is not who they play online, and the absurdity of someone telling you to take your own life because they don't like your comedy. Check out Ian's new comedy special Romantic Comedy.
Fred Mwangaguhunga, founder of urban celebrity news site, Media Takeout, sits down for a conversation about entrepreneurship, the three businesses he's started, what he learned from each of them, and why you should always see your mistakes as an opportunity to learn. He and Bridget talk about parenthood and what it's like as the father of triplets, why families need more support than they're getting, how money you lost should be viewed as paying for the lesson that you learned, why you have to be a certain level of delusional to start a company, why it's good that your mistakes keep you up at night, finding the balance in a team, respecting your audience, and being able to admit when you're wrong. They also cover wanting to do something that actually provides value to people, finding holes in the market, why he didn't want to stay in the laundry business even though he believes it could have been worth $10 billion, how he wound up starting Media Takeout, and why being the boss means you're the lowest man on the totem pole.
Wilfred Reilly, professor & author, sits down with Bridget for a fascinating conversation about the disconnect between what people in upper middle class America believe and reality, the power of victimization, and racial dynamics in the US. They cover the true stats on police killing unarmed civilians, interracial crimes, the politicization of Covid and the vaccines, and people in leadership making decisions based on completely bullshit data. They also discuss the actual definition of the word "woke," why wokeism invariably ignores class and just focuses on race, sexual orientation & gender, how normal people need to get together and oppose crazy people, the long term effects of riots and looting, how journalists and social scientists are trying to shoehorn criminals into a pre-planned narrative, and the simple fact that if you don't enforce the law, people will commit crimes. Don't miss Wilfred's latest book, Taboo: 10 Facts You Can't Talk About .
Michael Shermer stops in to talk about his new book Conspiracy: Why the Rational Believe the Irrational . He and Bridget discuss trying to diffuse the pejorative nature of the word "conspiracy", the difference between a hypothesis and a conspiracy, why a lot of conspiracy theories turn out to be true, the eroded trust in our institutions, and why we still have to maintain some of that trust or we can't have a civil society, and the entertainment value and appeal of conspiracy theories - they make you feel like you have an inside track on complex issues. They also cover Ponzi schemes & crypto, people who fall down a Q rabbithole, queer science, price gouging and price fixing, conscious capitalism vs. effective altruism, scientific fraud, selection bias, audience capture, and the most important factor in being able to tell the likelihood that a conspiracy is legit.
Katherine Dee, writer and internet historian, sits down with Bridget to discuss the strange corners of the internet she's explored and how she manages to predict coming trends in our culture. They talk about internet culture & internet history, whether you can really tell who someone is via Twitter, drunk Tweeting, the definition of a lolcow, feedback loops, the coming wave of sexual negativity, and how we don't truly appreciate how much AI might change things. They also cover the coming trend of middle and upper class women having babies younger and staying closer to home, how Twitter changed both of their lives, addicts who test their drugs for fentanyl, the real-life fallout of cancel culture, trying to pivot out of the culture war, trends on their way out, and why Katherine thinks the most disturbing thing she sees online is people's isolation, alienation, and loneliness. Check out Katherine's Substack at defaultfriend.substack.com
Comedian Phil Hanley drops in to talk about his new stand up special Oh La La. He and Bridget discuss what it was like for him growing up with undiagnosed dyslexia, the challenges but also the gifts of dyslexia, the book he is writing about it, and the most important thing he thinks parents should know about raising a child who is dyslexic. They talk about the failures of the school system to support children with dyslexia, why it made him good at crowd work as a comic, dealing with stage fright, drinking and stand up, the triumph of the human spirit, and the things we take for granted.
Published in 2005, Mediated: How the Media Shapes Your World and the Way You Live In It , became Bridget's bible for understanding the changing media landscape and how it is affecting our society and behavior. Now she sits down with author Thomas de Zengotita for a multi-part series discussing the book chapter by chapter.
Joel Stein (columnist, author & podcast host) joins Bridget for the first video edition of Walk-Ins Welcome! They sit down for a fun and wide-ranging conversation about their obsession with super yachts, the one-upsmanship of the super wealthy, why people in rural America know all about liberals yet liberals know nothing about them, Joel's propensity for smugness, and why he thinks our differences as a country are severe but not irreconcilable. They cover how democracy is young and fragile and the assumption that it's going to keep going forever is ignorant, why the whole idea of a Civil War seems preposterous to Joel, how television disintegrated society in a way we don't necessarily understand, being addicted to tech, living through butt-pinching as a server, and the Christmas tree selling racket in New York City. Don't miss Joel's podcast Story of the Week with Joel Stein , where he investigates random stories don't get enough attention these days.