Episode 168

January 29, 2024


Ep. 168: chasing the humane execution

Hosted by

Mark Lewis Corrigan Vaughan
Ep. 168: chasing the humane execution
Jack of All Graves
Ep. 168: chasing the humane execution

Jan 29 2024 | 01:44:14


Show Notes

Rather than abolishing the death penalty, the U.S. is apparently still pioneering new ways to do it. We discuss some of the ways people have tried to make the death penalty less brutal, and why it never works.


[0:00] Mark tells CoRri about Operation Paperclip
[24:40] We discuss WWE and why Mark finds himself watching more of it at the worst possible time
[41:00] What we watched! (El Conde, Anatomy of a Fall, Night Swim, The Ring, Nazi Town USA, Chowchilla)
[74:39] We talk about the idea of humane execution

Stuff we referenced:

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

[00:00:07] Speaker A: I just want to talk about how cool it is, the things that we can do. Isn't it cool? Don't you think? The things that we can. [00:00:16] Speaker B: Sure. [00:00:16] Speaker A: The things that we can do. I mean, when you think that not too long ago at all, we were curious, trying to cure diseases with mercury and hitting fucking rocks with bones. And in no time at all, so cool. In no time at all we've gone to rockets and space and manned flight and things like missiles and in medicine and aeronautics. We are so great and cool at that sort of thing. Isn't it? How we can make things launch and land and go whoosh and bang. It's cool. It's really, really cool. [00:00:55] Speaker B: Good job, humans. [00:00:56] Speaker A: Isn't it great? Isn't it great how advanced we've become and how good at this kind of stuff and how there are so many ways that we can go fast and we can go high up and we can cure things? It's just fantastic. It doesn't matter. [00:01:15] Speaker B: Isn't it fantastic how loud it is? I just feel like this is going somewhere and you're about to tell me that it's not actually that cool. [00:01:28] Speaker A: Well, I am going to tell you some things, right. But just as I'm talking about these things, just think how cool it is that we've got these amazing fucking things that we can build and use that. [00:01:44] Speaker B: In the back of the mind. Yeah, sure. [00:01:46] Speaker A: Propulsive liquids and fucking nitrogen fuels, high octane explosive liquid. Isn't it great how we've got all that stuff? [00:01:56] Speaker B: Isn't it? Yeah, and that's a very scientific description, too. [00:02:00] Speaker A: Well, you're going to hear more of them. I mean, beautiful. If we talk about things like space exploration and aeronautics and fucking defense and war materials. So cool. So does it matter, do you think, where discovery comes from? Does it matter, the lineage of discovery? Does it make a difference, do you think, to the value or the worth of what we make with that knowledge? [00:02:37] Speaker B: That's a complicated question right there, and obviously you're going to get into this further, but let me out the gate. Just how I sort of tend to think about this is that oftentimes we tend to think that the path that we traveled to get a technology, make some sort of progress was inevitable. And therefore, if that thing hadn't happened, then we would not have this. [00:03:09] Speaker A: Yes. [00:03:10] Speaker B: However, when it really comes down to it, in many cases we still would have gotten there and someone would have come up with it. Usually there's many people racing towards inventing a thing. [00:03:23] Speaker A: Well, what is that old adage? There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come. I don't know where that comes from. Probably Anthony Hopkins, I would say. Or Marilyn Monroe. [00:03:35] Speaker B: Abraham Lincoln, maybe. [00:03:37] Speaker A: Pretty sure it's one of those three. [00:03:38] Speaker B: They had a lot to say about. [00:03:39] Speaker A: A lot of things. [00:03:40] Speaker B: Mark Twain. [00:03:41] Speaker A: Mark Twain. [00:03:43] Speaker B: That's the guy. [00:03:44] Speaker A: Fucking bugs me, man. How often so many fucking shit fortune cookie bollocks quotes are attributed to Anthony Hopkins? Who the fuck cares what Anthony Hopkins did or didn't say? [00:03:56] Speaker B: Listen, I care a lot. I think Anthony Hopkins is a delight, and he should be constantly telling us how to live our lives. [00:04:03] Speaker A: I'm certain he is, but he's still an actor. I don't see anyone misattributing fucking inspirational quotes to fucking Dolph Lundgren. You know what I mean? He's a fucking actor. [00:04:15] Speaker B: Who cares. [00:04:20] Speaker A: Anyway? Look, if I learn something from someone, does it matter if the person I learned it from was a shithead? If I then know it myself, and I'm not a shithead? Let's think on this, because I want to talk about. And this is one of those occasions where my original topic for this week's episode of the award winning world fucking conquering podcast, Jack of all graves, you fucks. I was originally going to talk about something completely different. I was originally going to talk about russian experiments to see whether animals are psychic. Right? They're not. [00:05:04] Speaker B: Okay, spoilers, they aren't. [00:05:09] Speaker A: But during reading about that, I came across something called Operation Paperclip. And I went so far down the rabbit hole, and I had to fucking do a complete 180 and talk about that instead. I believe it's something you know of. Yes. [00:05:26] Speaker B: Yes, definitely. [00:05:28] Speaker A: Well, if dear listeners like me about 4 hours ago, you've never heard those two words together before. Operation Paperclip. Allow me to fill you in, because what Operation Paperclip was. Was a covert program run by the United States in the 1940s and 50s following World War II. Okay? And if you can get your fucking head around this, what Operation Paperclip was, was a program of recruitment whereby german scientists, technicians, engineers, and by German, I mean Nazis. [00:06:13] Speaker B: Right? Yeah. [00:06:15] Speaker A: Let's not fucking. Let's get off that particular fence. We're talking nazi fucking scientists were brought, and not just a few of them either. We're talking over 1600 fucking nazi doctors and scientists were brought from Nazi Germany to the US and employed by the United States government, if you can believe that shit. Even saying that out loud sounds fucked. [00:06:40] Speaker B: It sounds insane. And it's one of those going from this place of incredulity like, can you believe it? Because of the things that we talk about and because I was a professor of american history and things like that. Of course I can believe this shit because there's constantly something horrendous that we're doing in our history. It's constant. But it is incredible that this happened. [00:07:10] Speaker A: You see why I had to fucking talk about this? It's incredible to me that this happened just a little bit more about the history of this. Right? We can go back to 1945 on this when something called the supreme headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force, right? SHAEF. And I hate that acronym because they could have easily just called it Shaft with just a little bit of digging. It could have been like, the supreme headquarters Allied force of technology. [00:07:38] Speaker B: Oh, there you go. Bam. [00:07:40] Speaker A: The Shaft team. There you go. It was right there. Well, those guys established something called the fucking t force, which was later called the special sections subdivision. What these guys did was they identified potential targets among german scientists and german facilities, focusing on things like rocketry, advanced weaponries, synthetic materials, rubbers, and so on. And as the Allies advanced on occupied german territory, a dedicated unit known as the fucking. The enemy personnel exploitation section was formed. I'll say those words again. [00:08:19] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:08:20] Speaker A: Enemy personnel exploitation section, right. The intent is writ large, even in the fucking name they give themselves. Nothing covert about this at all. They called themselves enemy personnel exploitation, a team which was formed to manage and interrogate captured german scientists. [00:08:41] Speaker B: Sure. [00:08:45] Speaker A: Let that land, let that bed in. We've beaten the Nazis, or we're on the brink of turning the course of world history. [00:08:57] Speaker B: Now, hold on. Absolutely. Is when you think about this happening, right. And obviously you're going to talk more about it, but just this part out the gate, thinking about the fact that someone had to pitch this, right? Like, what if. Hear me out. We brought a bunch of these assholes over here and had them work for us? Like hired them not as captives, prisoners, anything like that. We hired them to work for us over here where there's going to be a bunch of them that we put on trial for war crimes and stuff like that. But not these ones. Not these ones. [00:09:40] Speaker A: Not the ones we can and then. [00:09:41] Speaker B: Exploit this room full of people as like, you know what? That sounds great. That's a really good idea. Let's do that. What? [00:09:51] Speaker A: It's mind blowing to me that this isn't like, if it is common knowledge. Well, all right, it isn't common knowledge for me, but not a lot of things are. But it's incredible that this is something that isn't spoken about more widely. So the program, it was just right out the gate. All about bolstering and aiding post war military research and with a view to even potentially shortening the japanese conflict. All right? It got that name, Operation Paperclip in November 14, 1945. And by the end of the 40s, they had over 1000 german scientists in us custody. It was President fucking Truman who approved the operation in 1946. And it was all about utilizing their expertise for american advancements. Just wild. Just absolutely wild shit. Right? So captured german specialists, these guys were detained and interrogated, but then many, many times resettled in the states. [00:11:01] Speaker B: Sorry. Do you know how they picked which guys they brought over? How did they find them? Were they like. These guys seem to be behind the biggest of the war crimes here. Let's get those dudes over here. [00:11:14] Speaker A: Well, a lot of it was based on the kinds of things that they were working on whilst Nazis. Right? One of the most prominent of that huge tranche of people was a guy by the name of Dr. Verna von Brown, okay? He was a renowned aerospace engineer known for his pioneering work in rocket technology. He's the guy who invented or helped to invent the V two missile. Okay. Have you heard of that particular missile, the v two missile? [00:11:46] Speaker B: I think only in the context of, specifically this story. [00:11:50] Speaker A: Do you know what the v stands for? [00:11:52] Speaker B: No, I don't. [00:11:53] Speaker A: Vengeance. Oh, the vengeance weapon two. That's the V two missile, mate. That's what it's fucking called. The vengeance. Isn't it great? Let's talk a little bit about Werner von Brown. Okay? He was used by Nazi Germany to help bombard allied cities. His work led to significant destruction, significant loss of life. He was perfectly well aware, and depending on who you talk to, potentially involved in the use of forced labor from concentration camps, particularly at a facility in Mittelsurk where the vengeance two rockets were manufactured. He knew all about concentration camps. He knew all about forced labor. He knew all about the Holocaust. [00:12:41] Speaker B: Yeah, there's that degree. And I never buy into this either, but the idea that people do the, like, oh, they were just following orders or whatever. What are you going to do if. [00:12:52] Speaker A: You'Re a scientist in Nazi Germany? [00:12:54] Speaker B: They're going to conscript you and you're going to do this. And it's like, people, like, know people, like Mengela. All these kinds of people is like, no, they knew. [00:13:02] Speaker A: They were. [00:13:04] Speaker B: Totally fine with all of this. [00:13:06] Speaker A: Yep. Von Brown himself claimed, oh, he was unaware of the extent of the brutality within the camps. You know what? [00:13:13] Speaker B: Oh, yeah, right. [00:13:15] Speaker A: I didn't know it was that bad. [00:13:16] Speaker B: Like, he somehow had people working on his things, but he'd never gone in, never visited, saw what things were unaware. [00:13:24] Speaker A: Of, how the rockets were manufactured, how he talks. I imagine it goes on, right? Let's talk about another one of the key figures here, Dr. Hubertus Strugold, right? Even fucking worse, this guy. This guy thrived under the nazi regime, right? He was the director of aeromedical research in Berlin all the way up to 1945. He oversaw. Fucking hell. He oversaw experiments on living human subjects to study things like high altitude effect on pilots, human subjects like prisoners of war. He was involved. He was literally fucking directly involved in human experimentation. He condoned it. He learned from it. He personally ran experiments where subjects were exposed to extreme conditions, often ending in loss of life. He was connected. Know, just like von Brown, his experiments benefited from the use of forced labor. And, hey, all good. Because under operation Paperclip, Huberto Strughold was relocated to the states. He was allowed to continue his research into aerospace and medicine. And his work directly shaped the early days of NASA's space program. [00:14:52] Speaker B: So crazy. And this. Okay, to go to your original question, right? Like, this is a perfect example of what I was just saying. So the technology existed, or he was doing the research or whatever that would lead to the technology that then was so important in the NASA aerospace program. But as such, that means that already the process of developing this kind of technology was in place. You didn't need him. That was not exactly pioneer. The exact same thing without the guy and have the guy be punished for the war crimes that he did, and know build off knowledge that was already. [00:15:36] Speaker A: There was no one in the states doing any of this shit. [00:15:39] Speaker B: Yeah. Like, we were just like, whoa. What? That's really damning. If not a single American was thinking about this, right? And there's no way that's true. We were absolutely studying these same kinds of things. And the fact that we learned so much just simply from capturing something, taking something from an enemy, taking something apart that an enemy did. You don't need the physical enemy to be able to do that. [00:16:09] Speaker A: Not only do you not need the physical enemy, you don't then need to go on to give them fucking medals. Verna von Brown won the NASA distinguished service medal. He won the Goddard astronautics award. He was awarded the space Camp hall of Fame, whoever the fuck that is. [00:16:27] Speaker B: Did people know? That's my question. Because obviously we've determined. I don't think this is common knowledge. Unless you had a really cool high school teacher who was like, oh, by the way, here's some shitty stuff that Americans did when Werner von Braun was getting awards and stuff like that. Because I know I had learned who Werner von Braun was in high school, for sure. I don't remember learning also, he was a. And I'm curious, like, did people at the, like, were they like, oh, yeah, I guess he was a Nazi, but look at what he's done for our country. [00:17:03] Speaker A: Yes. [00:17:05] Speaker B: I don't know if you know that. I'm asking you. I think you may not have actually. [00:17:08] Speaker A: Come across, but no, I don't. Surely to fuck, if that had been made public at the time, surely there would have been some kickback with that. [00:17:20] Speaker B: You would think, like, they must have had to rebrand the guy, right? [00:17:23] Speaker A: Well, no, I mean, look again, just looking back on my notes, paperclip was covert, right? [00:17:27] Speaker B: Of course. Right? But when he starts winning awards, that's not covert at all. That is deeply interesting to me. And part of me is like, surely if people knew, they would have been upset. And then a part of me thinks that we are very good at when someone innovates something or does something we find heroic, just being, like, compartmentalizing. We shouldn't talk about that. Let's ignore this part of it because I'll think of the good that they did. [00:18:04] Speaker A: Listen to kind of put a footnote of something even worse on the end of this. Right, okay. You've heard of unit seven three one? [00:18:16] Speaker B: Doesn't sound familiar. [00:18:18] Speaker A: The unit seven three one was the Japanese. Fucking hardcore human experimenters. Mad scientist, fucking awful, awful, grotesque fucking crimes on live human subjects. They're the guys whom that film men behind the sun was about. [00:18:34] Speaker B: Never seen it. [00:18:37] Speaker A: If you can find men behind the sun, you should watch it, but you probably won't want to because it's fucking awful. Unit seven three one were completely. They had carte blanche to do the most appalling things to live human beings, testing poisons, testing extreme temperatures on people. And even away from the live human experimentation side of things, there was a widespread kind of free culture of rape and torture, mutiny. [00:19:08] Speaker B: This was Japanese. [00:19:09] Speaker A: Japanese, yes. [00:19:10] Speaker B: Okay. [00:19:11] Speaker A: What if I said that there were members of unit seven three one captured by the United States and secretly given immunity in exchange? I'm fucking telling you. In exchange for the data that was gathered during their human experiments. [00:19:29] Speaker B: What? [00:19:30] Speaker A: What if I said that. What if I said that the states helped to cover up the human experiments. Oh, my God. And co opted the researchers'bioweapons information and experience for use in their own biological warfare programs? Mark, what if I fucking told you that. [00:19:48] Speaker B: Oh, my God, that's horrendous, isn't it? [00:19:55] Speaker A: Fucked. [00:19:57] Speaker B: And it's just I feel like, say you were to tell this to a modern conservative, maybe even some modern liberals for that matter, there would be so much excusing of this. Like, well, those experiments happened. Should we have. That have all been in vain? [00:20:23] Speaker A: Surely some good should have come from them, right? Yeah. What good? What good? Developing your own biological fucking weapons, right? [00:20:31] Speaker B: Yeah, exactly. That's worked out really well for us. That we all have nukes, we all have bioweapons, we all have all this stuff. Everything is very stable as a result. [00:20:42] Speaker A: Talk about stability. Very strong and stable government. Very strong. Very strong. [00:20:46] Speaker B: Where's that doomsday clock at right now? [00:20:49] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:20:50] Speaker B: Really? I think this is. It's much like, you know, my thing about the idea of people of their time, right. How I don't buy that as a thing at know. Oh, so and so was a racist because they're a person of their know. Christopher Columbus couldn't have known any better. He was a person of his. Whatever. That's not real. That's not a real thing. People have always known better than to murder and kill and rape and all this kind of shit. That's the thing. And yet we tend to ignore it for the contribution that this kind of stuff has made, not recognizing that those things would have happened anyway. Maybe not exactly the same, maybe not in the exact same time frame or things like that, but that nothing is ever happening just because one person is doing it. There is, for lack of a better word, a collective conscious about this. Think about, like, there's a book called Thunderstruck by Eric Larson that talks about the development of wireless telegraphy and sort of the race to be the first to be able to accomplish that, which ultimately Marconi was the one who was able to do. But there were so many other dudes at the same time who were, like, one day away from being the guy who accomplished wireless telegraphy. And that's how things tend to know. And so this idea that, okay, well, we needed these japanese rape and torture people, or we needed these nazi killers to come over here and show us how to do stuff is like, simply wrong bullshit. I'm sure there were people who escaped Nazi Germany, who were prominent scientists who could have given us that information instead of taken it from the people who murdered 6 million jews and countless other marginalized people. You know what I mean? It just really gets my goat to think that so many things that were developed were off the backs of stuff like this and that. So many people sort of knee jerk would defend it as if that was the only way that it could have happened. [00:23:03] Speaker A: So again, I ask, does the lineage of knowledge matter if you learn something from someone who learned it through doing fucking horrific, horrific things to get that knowledge, should that knowledge, do you then have the right to repurpose that knowledge and give it a fresh look of paint and go on to develop something for your own ends with that knowledge? I am kind of leaning towards, no, you don't. [00:23:39] Speaker B: Especially don't pay them for it. Don't give them awards for it. If you're going to make the best of a bad situation, fucking steal it. Steal it like it's royal rumble. [00:23:52] Speaker A: Which is what I do with the WWE content. [00:23:55] Speaker B: Exactly. [00:23:56] Speaker A: Do you want to go just fucking plow right into that? [00:23:59] Speaker B: We'll get. [00:24:00] Speaker A: Okay. Okay. [00:24:00] Speaker B: First, welcome to Jack of all grays. [00:24:08] Speaker A: That's our team tune, isn't it? [00:24:09] Speaker B: It is. I'm glad you know we have one after all these years. [00:24:13] Speaker A: Let me quote directly from my notes, if I may. [00:24:16] Speaker B: Yes, please do. [00:24:17] Speaker A: Fucking look at these nerds. Oh, misel Sen. [00:24:21] Speaker B: I don't think anyone has ever said misel Sen in such a horny way before. [00:24:25] Speaker A: The way I whispered the word sex cannibal received. [00:24:28] Speaker B: Worst comes to worst. Mark, I'm willing to guillotine you for science. [00:24:31] Speaker A: Thank you. That's really, really sweet. It's cold outside, but my pancreas is talking to me. I'm going to leg it. [00:24:38] Speaker B: You know how I feel about that, Mark. [00:24:40] Speaker A: I think you feel great about it. And we can actually say all these years now. [00:24:47] Speaker B: We can. There have been so many years. [00:24:50] Speaker A: All these years. [00:24:51] Speaker B: And, you know, listen, all these. [00:24:53] Speaker A: Please. [00:24:54] Speaker B: All these years, Mark, you've railed against the evils of world wrestling. [00:25:03] Speaker A: World wrestling. Entertainment. Entertainment. Yes, I have. Yes, I have. I continue to do that. [00:25:12] Speaker B: I need to get this out to everyone. You all have listened to this podcast for these many moons now and heard Mark talk about how vehemently opposed to WWE he is. And so you'll be with me in my surprise. The past several weeks in which you've expressed some excitement about WWE, things that are. [00:25:38] Speaker A: Absolutely. The product is bland as fuck, right? Their business practices are fucking repugnant and. [00:25:45] Speaker B: Worse than we even knew. If you haven't read about Vince McMahon this week, go ahead and give that a Google and be ready. [00:25:52] Speaker A: I'm just talking about their business practices. I'm just talking about how readily they accept saudi fucking money. [00:25:57] Speaker B: Yeah, absolutely. [00:25:58] Speaker A: I'm not even talking about the rapidly emerging culture of abuse and fucking sexual degradation and sex trafficking. Yeah, all of that. I'm not even talking about any of that. Fucking horrible. [00:26:11] Speaker B: Just on its. [00:26:12] Speaker A: However, my ten year old doesn't give a fuck about any of that, right? My ten year old enjoys the flashing lights, and he enjoys the colors and the moves and the cat phrases, you know what I mean? He likes all of that stuff. So I get to partake of, look, what I love is wrestling as a business, right? I love, because there's nothing anywhere else like it that's even fucking close. Nothing like it. And even when not actively watching WWE, which I think it's a stretch to say, I'm actively watching WWE, I'm not. I watch like two shows a year, royal Rumble and Wrestlemania. I still watch with fascination because they are, well, not so much anymore, but they are almost a monopoly. Right, right. And the effect that has, the impact that has on the business and those who come and go from WWE and the stories they have to tell and just the machinations of this fucked up company running what is a fucked up Carney fucking business, which somehow is a multibillion dollar enterprise. It's Carney shit, but it's such a fucking huge enterprise. So now that my ten year old is into it, I kind of have to just watch a little bit with him. You know what I'm saying? But look, in my defense, unlike, I'm not operation paperclip in it, man. Nobody gets a pass. They ain't getting a penny of my money. I steal everything I watch of WWE. They don't get a fucking red cent off me. So, yes, I gleefully, whether it's whatever kind of point of a cent they lose from me torrenting all their content, I'm happy to do that. They don't and will not get any of my cash. Okay. And Owen knows this. [00:28:10] Speaker B: Oh, does he? I was wondering, not that I'm saying to tell your kid terrible things, but, like, what? Owen would respond if he knew. [00:28:20] Speaker A: He knows. He gets the context from me. Right? Okay. All through the Royal Rumble, he was saying, oh, what number is Brock going to be? When's Brock coming out? I'm like, brock ain't coming out. Why is that, dad? Well, I think they've rewritten a lot of this show because you don't see Vince anymore. That's because he's been exposed recently of having done some really bad shit behind the scenes, like abusive, nasty shit to people. So, yeah, he knows my views, and he gets a kind of a diluted version of the truth from me. [00:28:49] Speaker B: Yeah. Okay. He doesn't know exactly what's going on. [00:28:53] Speaker A: He doesn't know that. [00:28:54] Speaker B: Kind of knows that there's some bad people here. [00:28:57] Speaker A: Vince had a three way with somebody in his office who he shat on. [00:29:01] Speaker B: Shat over him? No, I think maybe ten is, like, a little too young. Give it a year or two before you start approaching. [00:29:08] Speaker A: I'll tell him on his 11th birthday, I'll whisper it to him as he's blowing out and say, vince, shat on the girl and then carried on plowing her. That's what I'll say just before he blows out his candles. [00:29:19] Speaker B: A lot changed that day. That was the day I became a man. [00:29:27] Speaker A: Fucking hell. [00:29:28] Speaker B: Interesting. But you did watch. Explain, because I don't understand what Royal Rumble is, because I was watching wrestle sky, obviously, checking in, seeing what people were saying about it, enjoying the centimer punk slander. And, you know, people were talking about, like, they thought MJF was going to show up and the rock and all these things and people from various promotions. What is this? [00:29:52] Speaker A: The Royal Rumble is my favorite WWE show of the year. Right. [00:29:56] Speaker B: Okay. [00:29:58] Speaker A: The format is that it's two huge matches, one for the females and one for the males, where every wrestler is assigned a number at random before one to 30. [00:30:13] Speaker B: Okay. [00:30:14] Speaker A: And every 90 seconds, a new sports entertainer enters the ring. And you win by being the last person in that ring. And you eliminate your opponents by throwing them over the top rope, and both their feet must touch the floor on the outside. Right. [00:30:29] Speaker B: They do, like, stuff kind of like that in. Aw. Right. I've seen this conceit before. [00:30:34] Speaker A: Yes. Okay. It used to be up until, I want to say, up until the early noughties, it was three minutes between wrestlers coming in. So you'd have the countdown every three minutes and honk. Or it might have been two minutes. That was then shortened to 90 seconds because attention span, of course. Yeah. And some of the classic 1990s royal Rumbles. 92 sticks out as a banner year. 94, I think, was a banger. You've got such a great opportunity within that match, which goes on for like, an hour or more. [00:31:09] Speaker B: Yeah. Right. [00:31:10] Speaker A: You've got so much opportunity to tell amazing stories during that hour. Rivalries reignite and rivalries stories are pushed forwards. The winner of each match then goes on to Wrestlemania to have a match against the champion. So that's the story. It sets up the road to Wrestlemania, if you want to, et cetera. It sets that up nicely. Each year, there are often, like, surprise entrants so, like, somebody maybe like a nostalgia act from ten years back will come in. They'll have their little moment. They'll do a couple of spots and get thrown out and get a cheap pop off the crowd. It's great. It's really unpredictable. Like I said, the great thing about wrestling, for me, as much as the moves, is storytelling. You can tell really fucking fun stories. And Royal Rumble is a really cool example of when they do that. Well, right now. This year they didn't. This year was a stinker. The women's match, despite there being 40,000 people there right in the arena they held it in. There were some moments you could hear a fucking pin drop, man. There was a couple of entrances. [00:32:26] Speaker B: That's unfortunate. [00:32:28] Speaker A: Yeah, kill the crowd. Stone dead. [00:32:30] Speaker B: Yikes. [00:32:33] Speaker A: There were high points, obviously. There always are. You can't have 30 fucking people coming in one after another every 90 seconds and not have some fun bit, right? But by and large, it wasn't a great year for the Royal Rumble. Luckily, I didn't pay for it. [00:32:47] Speaker B: Hey, there, you like? But like an AEW wrestler could do Royal Rumble. [00:32:55] Speaker A: Ah, right. So that's the thing. No, they fucking could not. Absolutely can't. What? What a performer can't do is kind of, if they're contracted to a different fucking company. Take AEW, for example. If I'm under contract for AEW, there's no chance I'm showing up at the Royal Rumble because it would be a crime. [00:33:13] Speaker B: Okay. [00:33:14] Speaker A: You know what I mean? It would be a criminal act. [00:33:17] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:33:17] Speaker A: Right. The Royal Rumble is a place where there's always so much speculation leading up to it, because there's, more often than not, surprise entrants, right? Let's take Jordan Grace, for example, right? Who turned up? Jordan Grace is under contract with TNA. I don't know if she's still signed or not. I don't know. But obviously the WWE have done some kind of deal with TNA to be able to mention, firstly, the name TNA on air Grace was carrying her TNA belt, and they openly talked about her career in TNA, which they never, ever fucking do. [00:33:54] Speaker B: Right, okay. [00:33:55] Speaker A: Because as a company, they're so obsessed with being the only game in town, right. We are the only fucking choice. We're the biggest. We're the best. We are the only choice. Historically, they will never even mention by name another wrestling company. So the idea that take the final two in the men's rumble, right. Cm punk and cody. Right, right. How the fuck do you not mention. [00:34:22] Speaker B: The fact that they're both from. [00:34:26] Speaker A: I mean, obviously, you know, a couple of times they mentioned, if you told me two months ago that this would never happen, but they never went, oh, yeah, these two were in aew up until fucking six weeks ago. They could never mention that. And that's the only kind of air quote sport where that happens. I mean, football mentions other football leagues all the fucking time, right? [00:34:46] Speaker B: You don't just pretend the other ones don't exist. [00:34:49] Speaker A: Yes, but. Because for 40 od years or more, WWE has been run by an emotionally stunted, megalomaniacal, deviant tyrant. Old cunt. Sorry. Well, cunt sorry, not. [00:35:07] Speaker B: I feel like you weren't sorry. [00:35:11] Speaker A: It was lip service. Sorry. WWE is very much, and that's one of the things that's so fascinating about it. It is very much the product of one man's neuroses and one man's psychosis, because he surrounded himself with just, look, I could quote the fucking pipe bomb. Surrounded himself with glad handers and yes men. And as it grew and grew and grew, investors flocked to it, and sponsorship deals and fucking syndication deals and worldwide expansion. Whatever Vince was doing, as fucked as it was, it was working, right? And that's why the culture within there is so insular and so inward looking, because clearly nobody was ever fucking saying to Vince, maybe on the state of the WWE now is very much a direct reflection of that one man's fucking incredibly damaged mental state. And it's fascinating. [00:36:15] Speaker B: Yeah, that's fair. I mean, I have said many times before that I always wanted to get into WWE and my watch. Now I don't. I mean, in years past, previous, know, and I started watching total bellas and was like, I'm really into these girls and into Brian and all that kind of. But, like, I'd turn on WWE and be like, this does not interest me once I actually would start watching it. [00:36:48] Speaker A: Yeah, I mean, one of the perfectly fair and valid criticisms of WWE from people who actually watch other wrestling companies is that over the years, it's become so dumbed down. Just an over reliance on just catchphrases, company lines, very simple kind of three word. You can sum up every single one of their performers, their gimmick, their character, everything, in just a couple of words. And they will repeat those words to you ad nauseam, and they will. You listen to the commentary, and it's just a series of buzzwords and catchphrases, which they force at you so that the kids can immediately make the connection. [00:37:33] Speaker B: By the attendee, bless her. That makes sense why Jade works better in WWE than AEW? [00:37:39] Speaker A: Yes. I mean, she looked like a million bucks last night until she actually started that, that kind of awkward two or three second wait while she waits for somebody to do a move to her. [00:37:54] Speaker B: God lover, but not God love her. [00:37:57] Speaker A: It's not her fault. It's not her fault. She was hired by AEW based on her physique and her aura, which is undeniably fucking incredible. [00:38:05] Speaker B: Unimpeachable. [00:38:06] Speaker A: Unimpeachable. But she was learning week by week on Kelly in the ring as a champion. And that's not how you build a fucking, a well rounded performer. No. What else? Why did you go and ask me about wrestling, for fuck's sake? [00:38:23] Speaker B: I don't know. How you doing, Mark? [00:38:25] Speaker A: Yeah, good, thanks, but no, thank God. Aw. Came along when it did. Because when I talk about them wanting to be the only game in town, I mean it. I mean, there are so many examples of them aggressively pursuing and bankrupting every other fucking rival firm. Famously WCW in the, they just pursued them in ratings, in the press and on their programs until they finally got the chance to buy them. And within months of them buying WCW, they just completely destroyed it. Ran it into the ground and killed. [00:39:04] Speaker B: Yeah. Because they needed another unhinged billionaire that it wasn't going to be that easy to be able to take. [00:39:11] Speaker A: So, you know, thank fuck for the good of the industry and for the good of this art form that I love so dearly. And look, hey, Tony Khan is often not his own best friend. He often plays into this narrative that it's a fight between the two companies. [00:39:27] Speaker B: But although he's very funny when he does it, at least you give him that. [00:39:31] Speaker A: I fucking love the guy, right? If you're going to root for a billionaire, I'm going to root for the Nutter as opposed to the good nutter as opposed to the bad nutter, right? Because finally there's a know, honestly, the vile, fucking toxic tribalism of WWE fans and some AEW fans. But you see it more from WWE fans who spent so long drinking from Vince's teeth that, and only from Vince's teeth that the taste of all other milk is like vinegar to them and they can't handle. They've bought that fucking narrative that WWE is the only game in town and are just unbearably fucking vile, toxic fucking neckbeard cunts. I'm saying cunt an awful lot this week. I apologize. [00:40:16] Speaker B: I've loved every moment of this. Oh, man, I just love the way that you express yourself, Mark. [00:40:23] Speaker A: Okay, thank you, but no. Yes, finally there's another game in town and luckily it's brilliant. I've got to stop talking about wrestling now because they're saying a wrestling podcast. [00:40:36] Speaker B: Maybe it should be. Maybe it should be. Forget what we watch section. We're going to turn it into a wrestling segment of the show. Good. [00:40:45] Speaker A: Otherwise it's a good thing that we're spending a bit of time talking about wrestling because the what we watched segment this week is pretty skimpy, pretty slim, pretty scant. [00:40:55] Speaker B: Yes, this is a good point. We did watch with our dear friends the ring yesterday at our watch along and God damn, Mark, that is a hell of a flick, wasn't it? [00:41:08] Speaker A: Wasn't it delighted, personally, because like I said at the time, like I said last night, I only saw the ring once because at the time I was going through kind of early 20s, kind of like japanese horror. [00:41:24] Speaker B: Yeah, I remember that type. [00:41:26] Speaker A: Yeah, that was me for a little while. And I was super into ringu. Loved it. What a fucking great movie. So obviously I saw the ring as a stain, a blemish, right. And dismissed it out of hand. And market 45 has learned a lot about himself and about the way the world works. And I am self aware and confident enough to say that I was wrong. You're here because Govinsky's the Ring is a certified banger. What a great film. [00:42:00] Speaker B: It's been at least a decade since I watched it when I was in high school. I remember seeing it and then of course I bought it on dvd and watched it repeatedly and then hadn't seen it for all this time. It could have been like 15 years. I don't know. It's been a long time since I have seen the ring. And so revisiting it was really fun because I remembered how scary it was for people and it is. And it became the zeitgeist, right? Everybody saw it. Whether you watched horror movies or not. Everyone watched it. You went to the theater to see it or you had sleepovers and your friends scared. Each know all this. Kind of like, I remember that was one of those things at the time. It was so much in pop culture that you'd go over to a friend's house for a sleepover and someone would freak everyone out by pretending to be Samara or stuff like that. [00:42:57] Speaker A: Scary movie picked up on your movie. [00:42:58] Speaker B: You know, you were really doing something. Yeah, your cultural footprint is, but I wasn't sure. Revisiting it, how well it would hold up, if it would feel dated, if it would feel like, oh, all of this has been done and so much better. And you can see how other movies picked up on this and so much has tried to recreate the ring, especially at the time when it was like, oh, let's just remake every J horror into a blue green colored nightmare or whatever. And it was a thing for a minute, but the ring still, when you watch it now, you're like, yes, this was terrifying. This was doing things that we hadn't seen before. Samara coming out of the tv in there. What? There's so much in this movie that I'm like, I haven't seen anything do this better since then. [00:43:53] Speaker A: And that jaw dropping fucking moment is foreshadowed so beautifully with that just single fly coming out of the screen. [00:44:00] Speaker B: Yes, exactly. [00:44:03] Speaker A: So creepy and so effective. And you don't realize the seed that it's planting for later. Oh, man, it's good. The entire film is tense and it's sweaty, almost. The dread, it's like perspiration on skin, obviously, it's all green. And that's something that makes scratch my head right from the fucking Dreamworks logo at the beginning. The whole film is green. It's a green film. Yeah. [00:44:32] Speaker B: This is where I questioned that. I was like, I know it was like blue green when it came out. I just don't remember it being that green. Was this a transfer issue? Sometimes colors get messed up in the transfer. You're watching something on a dvd and it looks fine, but then digital when they turn it into whatever you have now. [00:44:51] Speaker A: I downloaded two separate copies of the ring in preparation for last night's watch along. Because the first one I played, it was like, oh, this one's fucking green. Let me get another copy. Oh, it's the film. Okay. So I downloaded it twice because of the greenness. I don't buy that it's a transfer issue. You don't accidentally make a green. [00:45:09] Speaker B: I think that happens all the time, though. I mean, we watch a lot of stuff on scream and chat that are just shit transfers. And then you actually watch a dvd of it and you're like, oh, that's. [00:45:19] Speaker A: Not that bad on that right now. I didn't read Camera geek magazine or whatever it was they referred to in the ring, but a couple of times lately I've been on like an 80s Schwarzenegger kick of late. The copy of Running man that I downloaded, blu ray transfer, 4k, grainy as fuck. Right? Immediately after the copy of Total Recall, I downloaded. Also 80s, same era, same production value. I imagine the same kind of technology was used to film it and record it. Blu ray transfer, 4k. Crystal fucking clear. Why is that? Why is there such a variance in the quality transfer? [00:46:08] Speaker B: It's usually like when it was transferred. Like what copy you're going off of, who restored it, things like that. Because if you were to use the original copy of whatever these movies are, they're degraded by now. So how much effort was put into restoring this? And what did they use? What are you doing? Dog shit all over my bed. Okay, what am I supposed to do? Get the shit off my bed. I just washed the dog and shit in the bath. [00:46:39] Speaker A: No. All right, we got to keep this in. We got to keep this in. [00:46:45] Speaker B: Put them on the thingy. [00:46:48] Speaker A: How bad was it? Mrs. Edmondson, was it. [00:46:51] Speaker B: The last name is not Edmondson. [00:46:53] Speaker A: Oh, what's the last name? [00:46:54] Speaker B: She also can't hear you. [00:46:56] Speaker A: Okay. [00:46:57] Speaker B: He said, how bad was it? Was it solid? No, that was preferable. [00:47:04] Speaker A: Gouge. What did you do? [00:47:08] Speaker B: Why? Oh, no. And all my folded laundry is on the bed. [00:47:19] Speaker A: Well, listen, I'll tell you this right, and I don't mean anything by this, but if I had a dog, right, and I'd accidentally shat the bed, I would blame it on the dog. [00:47:35] Speaker B: It's a good point. I have no evidence it was him. [00:47:38] Speaker A: All I'll say. I'm not saying your mum shot in the bed and blamed it on gouge. I'm not saying that, but it's a possibility. [00:47:47] Speaker B: Okay, well, can't rule it out. Have to investigate. He smells like a dream now, though, because she bathed him. [00:47:52] Speaker A: Oh, cool. [00:47:53] Speaker B: That's delightful. So, yeah, the ring was fun. Thank you to everyone who joined us. [00:48:00] Speaker A: I'll get onto that a minute. I'm going to gush a little bit, but the quality. The quality of the chat last night was just first rate. But ring is one of those occasions, much like where I'm at with Peter Jackson, where I think to myself, fucking hell. Gore Verbinsky with your fucking name, Gore. If only you'd fucking stuck to that genre and stuck to that. [00:48:26] Speaker B: Excuse me, then we wouldn't have Pirates of the Caribbean. [00:48:31] Speaker A: Yeah, okay. But then we wouldn't have fucking six of them. [00:48:36] Speaker B: He didn't direct all six, though, did he? [00:48:39] Speaker A: But I don't know what the fuck else he's done. [00:48:41] Speaker B: Yeah, I don't know where he went. Maybe just like nobody has the budget for Gore Verbinsky anymore. I'm here for the Gore Verbinsky Marvel movie or whatever. I feel like I stand. I watched the special features on every single one of the first three pirates, Caribbean, every special feature, multiple times. [00:48:59] Speaker A: And I like the guy, you see, he's. Oh, man. What if I said the Lone Ranger? [00:49:10] Speaker B: I actually liked the Lone Ranger. I'm not going to lie. [00:49:12] Speaker A: You did. [00:49:13] Speaker B: Okay, yeah. I may be in the minority on that, and I get that it's offensive, but I did enjoy the movie. [00:49:20] Speaker A: What theme do you notice here? Right. Pirates of the Caribbean. The Lone Ranger. [00:49:24] Speaker B: Is it Johnny Depp? [00:49:25] Speaker A: Rango. [00:49:26] Speaker B: Oh, man. [00:49:27] Speaker A: Rango was fucking brilliant, by the way. [00:49:30] Speaker B: I remember I fell asleep during that. I never actually finished it. [00:49:34] Speaker A: Rango is absolutely great. I've seen it a few times. It is very funny. It is very weird. It is very emotive, man. Rango makes you feel. [00:49:53] Speaker B: Burton like these guys. They love Johnny. [00:49:58] Speaker A: They sure do. [00:49:59] Speaker B: Has he done anything recently? [00:50:01] Speaker A: Let's take a little look here. I'm going to look on the Internet. [00:50:06] Speaker B: Where were you looking? Just. [00:50:09] Speaker A: Just pulling it from the thumbing. Oh. Cure for wellness. That was good. [00:50:16] Speaker B: I did not watch it. [00:50:18] Speaker A: Nick Cage and the Weatherman. [00:50:20] Speaker B: I seem to remember that he did the weatherman. [00:50:23] Speaker A: He sure did. [00:50:24] Speaker B: Wow. That's a whole different tone. I love the weatherman. That's a great movie. [00:50:27] Speaker A: Isn't it great when directors just curveball. [00:50:29] Speaker B: You and do something right? Yeah, he made, like, a little indie. [00:50:32] Speaker A: Flick like the straight story. Fucking hell. I adore the straight story so much. [00:50:38] Speaker B: I don't know that one. [00:50:39] Speaker A: Well, the David lynch film, but the guy in the lawnmower. [00:50:44] Speaker B: No, I don't think I've seen that. [00:50:46] Speaker A: Oh, please. This week's homework is watch the straight story and cry your fucking every last drop of fluid out of your body. [00:50:56] Speaker B: Oh, dear. [00:50:57] Speaker A: We know that David lynch can do conventional, of course, but the straight story is something else, man. It's the story of a guy who needs a very old guy, a very old farmer farming geezer in his 80s who learns that his brother is dying across the other end of the country and without any other means of traveling to him, he crosses states on a ride on lawn mower. [00:51:23] Speaker B: I don't think my heart is in the place to watch something like that right now. [00:51:28] Speaker A: It is a slow, beautiful, contemplative, emotional, languid movie, and I love it to death. [00:51:35] Speaker B: I will add it to my watch list and save it for a day when I have it in me to sob. As hard as that sounds like I will. [00:51:42] Speaker A: I'm going to tell you some mad shit here. Gord Verbinski made mouse hunt with Lane. [00:51:47] Speaker B: Huh. Interesting, isn't it? [00:51:51] Speaker A: He did a lot of music videos. He's done some really fucking. He's worked with some really good bands. Monster magnet. Bad religion. [00:51:57] Speaker B: Yeah, bad religion came up last night. [00:52:00] Speaker A: Bad religion was on a sticker in the film, wasn't it? [00:52:04] Speaker B: Yeah, I think so. And someone then pointed out that, yes, he had directed a bad religion video at least once. [00:52:10] Speaker A: He did. For their excellent song, stranger than nice. [00:52:14] Speaker B: Yes, I loves me some bad religion. [00:52:17] Speaker A: Oh, I love him. What a great band. Crystal method. Yeah. So he likes his good bands. He likes Johnny Depp, but he's a very interesting recent. [00:52:28] Speaker B: His most recent did not have Johnny Depp in it, so maybe he's over that infatuation by now. [00:52:35] Speaker A: Cure for wellness. [00:52:36] Speaker B: Did I've. [00:52:37] Speaker A: That's not the one with Anthony Hopkins is. [00:52:41] Speaker B: Don't. I don't. I vaguely remember this, but, yeah, it. [00:52:48] Speaker A: Had Dane Dehan, not Anthony Hopkins. They're very different. What? [00:52:51] Speaker B: Anthony Hopkins. [00:52:53] Speaker A: Road to Wellville. That's what I'm thinking of. [00:52:56] Speaker B: Oh, okay. Yeah, no, I haven't. [00:52:57] Speaker A: You see, they both have the word well in the title. [00:53:00] Speaker B: I do see that. Yeah. Dane de Hahn's a weird one. But does a cure for wellness also have Mia goth? [00:53:05] Speaker A: Yes, it does. [00:53:06] Speaker B: There you go. And no Johnny. So we've got that. [00:53:09] Speaker A: At least Dane Dahn is a weird one. Whenever I see him, I quite like him, though. [00:53:15] Speaker B: Yeah. He's just an interesting guy. I don't know. He's got a. [00:53:22] Speaker A: Know exactly this. And you know how much I adore chronicle. That's why I like Dan de ham, because he was fucking great in that film. The one bit in Chronicle where he's getting his head around his powers. He's mastering his powers, and he's lying on his bedroom floor, and he uses his powers to dismantle a spider. Awesome. [00:53:43] Speaker B: Excellent. Well, what else did you watch this week besides the ring, Mark? [00:53:47] Speaker A: Aside from the ring, I'm afraid to say I made a mistake and watched Bloom House's night swim. [00:53:56] Speaker B: Oh, yeah, we watched this one together. [00:53:58] Speaker A: Yeah, we did. And it can be just completely disregarded. Right. When Bloomhouse is good, it can be quite a subversive little company. You know, um, Megan rushing. You know, getting. Sneaking Megan out under a PG 13 rating was just beautiful. Yeah. [00:54:21] Speaker B: Boy, they are skirting the edges of that. [00:54:22] Speaker A: Yeah. Way nastier than it had any right to be. Very unnerving, you know what I mean? Quite a. Quite a. [00:54:30] Speaker B: You got kid murder. [00:54:31] Speaker A: Yes. A kid gets his ear ripped off. Fucking. Yeah. Give me that. But what Bloomhouse are, unfortunately, also really good at is just. Yeah, just porridge, fucking white bread shite. And Nighthouse, unfortunately, is just such a waste of time. [00:54:50] Speaker B: Swim night. [00:54:51] Speaker A: What did I say? [00:54:52] Speaker B: Different movie that you do. [00:54:53] Speaker A: Nighthouse is great. I said, yeah. I mean, night swim. [00:54:56] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:54:57] Speaker A: Am I wrong? [00:54:58] Speaker B: No, you're not wrong at all. You've got what's his. Wyatt Russell. And weirdly, Carrie Condon in this. Academy Award nominee. Carrie Condon in a film in which Wyatt Russell is a baseball player who has suffered an injury. A third baseman like myself when I played. But he had an injury. [00:55:23] Speaker A: I think he had. [00:55:25] Speaker B: He has a. He has Parkinson's. You're right. And he is obviously not going to be playing baseball anymore. And his family moves into a new place, puts down roots and tries to start a new life together with a new swimming pool in the backyard that is full of horrors. [00:55:47] Speaker A: The swimming pool. The scant attention I was paying. Night swim. Is it that the pool is like tapping into haunted water? Is that what we're saying? [00:55:58] Speaker B: Yeah. It's like coming from what do you call, like a well fed pool or something like that. It comes from some sort of natural source as opposed to filling it up with the hose. And it's full of bad vibes. [00:56:14] Speaker A: Bad vibes which initially feel like good vibes. [00:56:18] Speaker B: Right, exactly. It's like. Oh, it's like healing him, making him feel better. [00:56:22] Speaker A: It giveth and then it taketh away. [00:56:25] Speaker B: Yes. [00:56:27] Speaker A: You quite rightly pointed out that it's an opioid allegory, isn't it? [00:56:32] Speaker B: Yeah, it really feels like it is. Especially as it sort of starts to spiral out towards the middle to end of the movie. It feels very much like this is a clunky. [00:56:46] Speaker A: You saw an opioid allegory. I saw an unofficial threequel to cocoon because it's cocoon free. [00:56:51] Speaker B: It is as well. Yes, is what it is. [00:56:53] Speaker A: It's a pool which you bath in and you swim in and you feel great. [00:56:56] Speaker B: I didn't even know there was a cocoon two until you started saying that, though. [00:57:00] Speaker A: There is cocoon two. I think it had a subtitle as well. Hang on a second. Cocoon. [00:57:05] Speaker B: Electric boogaloo. [00:57:08] Speaker A: Cocoon the return. There you go. [00:57:10] Speaker B: Oh, okay. Does it have the same old guys? [00:57:13] Speaker A: Donna Michi, Steve Gutenberg, Wilford Brimley. Hey. Courtney Cox. [00:57:20] Speaker B: Oh, there you go. Interesting. Maybe I'll give that a whirl sometime. Was it good or was it terrible? [00:57:27] Speaker A: Let me see. [00:57:29] Speaker B: You don't remember? [00:57:31] Speaker A: Oh, no. I don't remember. No, I don't think I've seen cocoon the return. I've seen cocoon, but I've not seen Cocoon the return. The funniest bit about Nighthouse was my misspelling cocoon in text to you at the time and referring to it as. [00:57:42] Speaker B: Cocoon for some reason. That really makes me laugh. [00:57:47] Speaker A: I don't know about the night swim film. [00:57:50] Speaker B: It's true. Yeah. Well, this week I watched a couple of things. Obviously, we watched that together. I did watch Elconde. [00:58:00] Speaker A: Did you enjoy it? Please enjoyed it, please enjoyed it, please. No, you didn't. [00:58:06] Speaker B: It's iffy. I like what they were trying to do more than I liked the execution of it. It is beautifully shot. That is indisputable. I think it was really convoluted. It's always kind of iffy when it comes down to making a terrible historical figure into an actual monster and how that kind of tends to take away from what actually they were. And I was reading some of the reviews of this from people who are actually from there, and they were saying that I guess the director's dad was a part of Pinocchio's regime or whatever, or was very connected to this and that it feels weird to be really as lighthearted as this movie is about this when it's like your dad was one of the people who was contributing to this happening, even if you disagree with his politics. So there's some iffy political stuff in this movie. Yeah. I felt it was trying to do too many things, and I thought that the kind of reveal about the narrator was a little silly when that came in. And so it kind of took me out of the last 2030 minutes of the movie. [00:59:26] Speaker A: After that, all of those bits that you've mentioned were bits that I really enjoyed. I thought it did a really good job of interrogating Pinocchio's crimes. [00:59:37] Speaker B: Interesting. [00:59:40] Speaker A: The family, one by one, all talk in detail about how fucking horrible this guy was. But the reveal of his parentage, I thought, was just the right kind of silly to be awesome. I love that kind of silly. [00:59:57] Speaker B: Yeah. The tone throughout didn't quite hit the comedy for me. So I think by the time that happened, I was like, if this had been funnier, this would have worked. [01:00:06] Speaker A: Quite comedy, though, right? It's that kind of funny, but not ha ha funny. It's funny strange. It's more of a kind of a del Toro comedy. [01:00:14] Speaker B: Right. And there were a few quips in it that kind of, like, they made me laugh and they're like dry darkness or whatever, but thus the silliness of your reveal here, which we obviously won't give away. But this felt incongruous with the kind of funny the rest of the movie was. [01:00:30] Speaker A: Yeah. And that's the incongruent because there was no reason for it. They could have just made a really nice kind of 90 minutes film about Pinocchio being a vampire flying about the place. [01:00:39] Speaker B: Right. [01:00:39] Speaker A: But no, that wasn't enough. They also had to do something out of left field. [01:00:43] Speaker B: Right. [01:00:43] Speaker A: I don't. [01:00:46] Speaker B: Yeah. Too many storylines going on. I think the character sort of at the center of this nun who's going to kill Pinocchio but is posing as his accountant or whatever lawyer doesn't make any sense at all. The kids know she's not like the lawyer. Why are they telling her all of this shit? Why are they letting her interview them? It makes no sense at all. [01:01:15] Speaker A: It does. I mean, she's going in undercover from the church, right? So they think she's going to help them recover some of Pinocchio's money. [01:01:27] Speaker B: Do they think that? I feel like they know that she's. Because they even reference it constantly that she's there to kill him. They know that. [01:01:34] Speaker A: Yeah, they do. [01:01:34] Speaker B: So it doesn't make any sense that they treat her like that's not what she's there for. [01:01:41] Speaker A: It made sense to me at the time. [01:01:43] Speaker B: Fair enough. I'm not the only one who had. I know that this comes up a lot in the other reviews. Like, it doesn't make sense that she's double agenting, but they treat her like she's not. Yeah. To me, it came across a bit convoluted. That said, like I said, it's a pretty movie. It's very beautifully shot and an interesting concept. I just don't know that the way that it was executed really worked for me as well as I would have liked very well. Interesting nonetheless. I'll grant that. [01:02:11] Speaker A: Okay. [01:02:13] Speaker B: I also watched in another Academy Award nominated film, Anatomy of a Fall, which is the one that got the, it has a female director and she was nominated for best director for this one, except for best picture as well. It's about a woman. She's german and her husband is not german. French. Her husband is french and they're both writers and he dies after falling from a height inside of their house and she becomes the main suspect. Like, basically they think she might have pushed him out of the window as opposed to him falling. And so they're trying to figure out did she kill her husband? Basically. And it's really like it's a courtroom drama, but it's also very much sort of like talking about looking at the complicated nature of relationships and marriage and all of this kind of stuff and the ways in which multiple things can be true. These people love and hate each other in equal measure. And that they have all of these kinds of things that are pulling them apart. That when you hear a recording of a fight between them, makes her sound super guilty, for example. But at the same time, anyone who's been in a relationship or any kind of things like that knows that what it means to say something you don't mean or the frustrations that you get about your life. And so you're watching her sort of try to defend herself with a prosecutor that is very hell bent on saying she's a horrible sociopathic person and all this. And we don't know if she did it or not. So we are following along sort of in the same boat of like, is she a terrible person? Did she kill her husband? Or is this all just sort of a mistake? Is she a bad person and she didn't kill her husband? [01:04:19] Speaker A: Sure. [01:04:20] Speaker B: Like that. All that said, I think it's quite well made and very brilliant and all that kind of stuff. I didn't necessarily like it. It was one of those things where it's, like over 2 hours long and it's very realistic, which means it doesn't move at a clip. [01:04:38] Speaker A: It's perfectly possible to appreciate just how well put together something is and have it not land for you at all. [01:04:44] Speaker B: Exactly that. But the lead in it. I was looking at what's playing at the local indie theater, and she's in another movie that is out right now that I was thinking of watching. That was about a nazi official trying to build his dream home right next to the camps. And so that sounds really interesting as well. I feel like we're going to be seeing a lot of her. She speaks English throughout this movie. One of the tensions is that they have a child who had an accident, and it blinded him. And they speak English in the home as sort of a common ground because he doesn't speak German. Her French isn't that great. And all of this. And so they have this sort of tension about language within the house as well. That's really interesting. But, yeah, I think we'll see probably a lot more of her after these two movies coming on. [01:05:40] Speaker A: A movie that I'm absolutely desperately jonesing to see more and more as the days go by. But unfortunately, I missed into, how you say, theater is that fucking Godzilla movie. [01:05:51] Speaker B: That everybody's raving desperately did want to see that one. [01:05:56] Speaker A: Waiting for that to come to streaming. I cannot wait for it because I love me some kaiju, man. I like a big monster, and I. [01:06:03] Speaker B: Feel like I always go when I'm excited, and it's like 50 50 on being disappointed versus it being a fun time. And so hearing everyone rave about that one, I was like, I got to see it. And it was the wrong time with the car getting stolen and all that kind of stuff. And it wasn't playing at the indie theater. It was only at the AMC that you can't walk to. [01:06:23] Speaker A: Did you get your car back, by the way? [01:06:25] Speaker B: No. They were, like, ordering parts and stuff like that. It's been, like a month and a half, almost two months. It'll be two months on the fourth since that happened. And, yeah, they're just still trying to get parts to fix it. [01:06:43] Speaker A: I hate that for you. I'm deeply, deeply sorry. [01:06:45] Speaker B: It's a giant pain in the ass. I've been driving my old car, Tiberius the space car, and he's a lovely car, except that he doesn't have a backup camera. And so it stresses me out every time I have to back up because I've spent the past several years using a camera, and, like, now my neck does not turn super well. [01:07:07] Speaker A: I never, ever want to look behind me when I'm reversing ever again. [01:07:10] Speaker B: Right. I mean, I do look behind me. [01:07:12] Speaker A: But if I'm a little bit kind. [01:07:15] Speaker B: Of hesitant, you got to check to make sure there's no kids, like, running at you from the sides. But, yeah, I don't want to, like, it's much safer to look in front of me at a camera than it is for me to try to turn around and check every single spot. I don't like it. [01:07:30] Speaker A: I did say I was going to talk a little bit about the quality of the attendees at the watch along last night. I'm not the type to blow smoke. I'm really not. But every time we do a watch along, I'm utterly fucking bowled over it. Look, being funny is one thing, right? But being funny in a really fucking insightful and kind of illuminatory way is something entirely different. And everybody contributes to that watch along in a way that is just. I wish I was as fucking funny and fucking sharp as half of the people that come to our watch alongs. [01:08:10] Speaker B: I know, right? [01:08:10] Speaker A: Honestly, you're all my heroes. [01:08:14] Speaker B: Agreed. 100%. It's always such a phenomenal time, and, like, every single time, it's without failure. Like, this was the best watch along so far. It always is. [01:08:26] Speaker A: Yes. So, listen, if you want a piece of that and you really should do. Please keep your eyes peeled for news of February's watch along. [01:08:36] Speaker B: Indeed. Yeah, we'll try to get on that, like figuring out what it is or what our theme is at least a little earlier this time, and have you all prepped. But people showed up, everyone was around, and it was a great time. Even on somewhat short notice this time it was great. The only other thing I wanted to mention is just like a little bit of, I don't know, an irritation of mine. At the moment when it comes to things I'm watching. I'm in a mode, I think, because there's so much going on in the world that is stressing me out and all that kind of stuff. I've been struggling to sort of sit down and watch a movie. It just hasn't really been a thing that I super want to do most of the time, where normally I'm like, yeah, give me all the movies. I've just kind of been like, I turn something on and I get ten minutes into it and I'm like, nah. But a thing that I can get into usually is a documentary or a docuseries, things like that. I think I mentioned that Kio and I had gotten super into the Natalia Grace documentary. I watched all the gypsy rose stuff that's been coming. Know stuff like. And everyone knows, like, there's been a netflixification of documentaries and docuseries where it's like a story that should be an hour long episode of Dateline is now a three to seven part limited series. Limited series, dramatized reenactments, music, aggressive music, all this kind of stuff. [01:10:17] Speaker A: The formula even goes as far as opening credits. They all look fucking same. Like a montage of various. [01:10:24] Speaker B: Exactly. [01:10:26] Speaker A: Oh, man, it's craven and how blatant it is, right? [01:10:29] Speaker B: And I can't stand it. And so twice this week, I have started a documentary. One was actually on Netflix. That was american nightmare. Every time I see the title, I'm like, is this about Cody Rhodes? It is not. It's about like a kidnapping. [01:10:49] Speaker A: Did you watch it all? [01:10:51] Speaker B: No, I watched like 20 minutes. [01:10:52] Speaker A: You didn't finish the story? [01:10:54] Speaker B: No, because I watched like 20 minutes of it. And I was like, I hate this. I'm just going to go read it. I was like, I'm going to read it instead. And then I did the same thing with on HBO. There was a dot called Chowchilla, which the story is that an entire school bus full of children was kidnapped and stuck in a hole with their bus driver for ransom, which is a cool. Not cool. Like a crazy story. [01:11:26] Speaker A: Holy shit. [01:11:27] Speaker B: And again, I got, like, partway through it and was like, this is unwatchable. Just tell me the story. And then I immediately just googled it instead and read something to learn what happened there. And so then yesterday, I watched a PBS documentary called Nazi Town USA, which was about the ways in which pre World War II, or sort of in between thirty s and forty s ish before Germany, was definitely the enemy. Like, basically pre Pearl harbor, there were all these people who supported the Nazis. And you may have heard before that the Nazis went and did, like, a huge rally in Madison Square Garden, which. [01:12:12] Speaker A: Was like, I mean, yeah, appeasement was a thing for a while, of course. [01:12:16] Speaker B: Yeah. But this goes beyond appeasement. We're talking about rabid support coming from white Americans. And Madison Square Garden is a huge place that not only is it enormous, and it's crazy to be able to fill that with Nazis, but also being where it is, is a hub of jewish people in New York. So it's really like they were putting themselves in that place where all of these people lived. And New Jersey was a place where we had various nazi camps and stuff like that. Like, literally summer camps that kids went and learned to be Nazis in. [01:12:54] Speaker A: What, the. [01:12:55] Speaker B: In the States? Yes, in the States, all over the United States. But multiple here in New Jersey, they had these nazi summer camps for children to go learn white supremacy and that Jews were bad and all of that kind of. [01:13:07] Speaker A: Son of a bitch. I never knew that. [01:13:09] Speaker B: Right? We go from Operation Paperclip to this. America was doing all kinds of nazi shit. It's crazy. Charles Lindbergh was a nazi supporter. It was so deeply ingrained here that this kind of stuff was happening. And nazi town USA on PBS is like, it's just people talking about it and showing archival footage and telling the story. Took them, like, an hour and ten minutes to just tell this story and be like, hey, look out for fascism, because this is the kind of cloak it puts itself in. And boom, there. Got it. Totally understand what happened. And it was just like, that's what I want out of a documentary, is just like, please tell me the story. [01:13:56] Speaker A: Yes. [01:13:57] Speaker B: I don't need reenactments and music and all of this stuff. Just tell me what happened, for the love of God. [01:14:06] Speaker A: Yes, you're, of course, very correct. And whenever I'm scrolling through Netflix, looking desperately for something to watch, but spending more time looking than I am watching, I've breezed past so many documentaries that I think on face value, oh, I wouldn't mind seeing that. But then I realize it's fucking three hour long episodes. I know that. It doesn't need to be. [01:14:27] Speaker B: Yeah, it needs. [01:14:35] Speaker A: Listen, I know I preface this way every time we start talking about something current eventsy. We aren't the current events podcast. We aren't. [01:14:42] Speaker B: Sure we're not. [01:14:43] Speaker A: But sometimes the current events are so Joaag that we gotta. [01:14:49] Speaker B: It'd be ridiculous for us not to. Which, by the way, is a good way to also preface that. Next week, my how we got to Gaza series will commence, and we'll work through that in February. And I promise it won't be entirely depressing and it won't be dry. [01:15:05] Speaker A: Because, you know, I have concerns. [01:15:07] Speaker B: You do have concerns. And so for anyone listening, hey, it's not going to be, like, horrible the whole time. There will be horrible things just like every episode of Jo Ag. But we're going to have a good time nonetheless. [01:15:19] Speaker A: Why don't we learn some things if we're going to do that? Why don't I do every cold open next month? [01:15:25] Speaker B: Love it. [01:15:26] Speaker A: Yeah. I'll maybe add a little bit of levity. [01:15:29] Speaker B: Yeah. Mark will warm us up. [01:15:31] Speaker A: Yes. [01:15:32] Speaker B: Then it'll be a good time. So, hey, you're going to learn. You're going to have fun with Mark, because everyone loves a colorful mark. Hold open and it'll be a good time. But anyway, this current event, this week, we've both been keeping an eye on the story of an inmate in Alabama who was to become the first person executed by nitrogen hypoxia. There's a lot to unpack just there in and of itself, I think. For one, of course, it's the fact that we're still legally killing people here. And by way of comparison, the last executions in the United Kingdom were carried out 60 years ago, in 1964, and the practice of executing murderers was banned fully in 1969 throughout most of the UK, with Northern Ireland the last to officially ban it in 1973. By the way, the actual end of legal capital punishment in the UK was, I believe, 1998. Because you could still execute pirates. Technically, yes. [01:16:34] Speaker A: Well, I believe yes. [01:16:36] Speaker B: Which I thought was a funny little caveat. Nobody was executed, but theoretically, it was still legal to execute pirates. But there has never been an execution by the. [01:16:45] Speaker A: On that I'm sure. I'm not making this up, but in France, I think the last guillotining was far more recent than you might. [01:16:56] Speaker B: It was. I can't tell you off the top of my head, but I remember that it is actually much more recent than you would think. [01:17:01] Speaker A: Sorry, go ahead while I'm taking. [01:17:03] Speaker B: Yeah, while you do that. There's never been an execution by the state in the United Kingdom as long as either of us have been alive. And also as a reference point, your mother was just 16 the last time someone was hanged on british soil, just a long time ago. [01:17:21] Speaker A: That is incredible. So my mother was alive? [01:17:24] Speaker B: Yes, your mother was alive. [01:17:26] Speaker A: She was a teenager hanging in the UK. [01:17:28] Speaker B: Fuck, isn't that bananas? [01:17:30] Speaker A: Last guillotine execution in France was in 1977. [01:17:35] Speaker B: There you go. Yeah. [01:17:36] Speaker A: Fucking hell. [01:17:37] Speaker B: It's wild. But meanwhile, not only are we still doing it, but we're finding new ways to do it. [01:17:46] Speaker A: Yeah. And that's the first thing that grabs me and just wrenches at my fucking heart. In a world where other fucking societies have exited, other civilized nations have exited out of the death penalty, have realized, hang on, it's flawed, it's inhumane, it's pointless. It isn't a deterrent, it's unreliable. The good old fucking us of a is grimly fucking not only carrying on, but it's still in. [01:18:19] Speaker B: We're innovating, fucking thinking about, yeah, it's very cool. And one of the reasons for that is because no one wants to supply us with the drugs to kill people anymore. Lethal injection is carried out using a specialized cocktail of intravenous drugs. And obviously prisons don't have cute little labs where inmates are cooking up pharmaceuticals like, they hammer out license plates. So pharma companies have to manufacture the drugs, and often these companies are overseas. And as you can imagine, they want nothing to do with selling to prisons for use in state sanctioned murders. [01:18:53] Speaker A: I wonder if the lethal injection template, the chemicals that you use, the dosages, the levels, the mixture, I wonder if any of that came from Operation Paperclip or unit fucking. [01:19:08] Speaker B: Really good question. [01:19:10] Speaker A: I wonder. [01:19:11] Speaker B: Yeah, might be something to look into. How was this mixture pioneered? Really good question. But in theory, this not selling to us. Awesome. Excellent stance, and I applaud them for it. Don't sell stuff for people to be killed in lethal injections. But the US will not be stopped by something as silly as not having the right drugs for a humane execution. Instead, we try things like just not using all the drugs we're supposed to use in the process. Can't find it? Fine, just leave it out. [01:19:43] Speaker A: Should seem wherever we've got in the cupboard, right? [01:19:45] Speaker B: Yeah. Surely nothing could go wrong there, as we've discussed in a previous episode. Actually a shit ton can go wrong there. Lethal injections are frequently botched, not just because of fudging the dosage like that. But also because obviously, doctors can't participate in the process, what with the whole hippocratic oath thing. So it's just regular ass folks administering these injections, just people who work in the prisons. And that kind of botching had already occurred as the state of Alabama's first attempt to execute Kenneth Smith in 2022. For 4 hours, Smith was strapped to a gurney as prison staff failed to find a vein for his injection. I've had this happen to me while giving blood before, which is wild because my veins are very visible, but it is excruciating. I remember eventually having to tap out in tears while trying to donate blood, and I never cry from pain. That's how much it hurt them, digging around in there. So imagine being strapped down, waiting to die for 4 hours as someone digs around in your arm for a good spot for the poison. [01:21:00] Speaker A: Actual torture on botched executions. I know it's something we did in the early days of Joag, but it bears repeating that Amherst College is quoted in science Daily in 2012 as saying that since the beginning of the 20th century, an estimated 3% of all executions in the United States were botched. 3%. That's 3% of all us executions were fucked up. [01:21:27] Speaker B: And it's probably higher, realistically. And also realizing that an unbotched execution is, like, what does that even mean, to be honest? And I'll get into that a little bit, but, yeah, when we talk about a botch, that's, like, obviously fucked up, as opposed to just the method itself, not doing the thing that we think it's doing. So, obviously, I'm biased because I don't think this practice should exist. But I definitely think that if they try to execute you and it doesn't work, you've carried out your sentence. [01:22:02] Speaker A: I could not agree more. [01:22:03] Speaker B: Yeah. [01:22:04] Speaker A: If you fail to kill me, if you fail to deliver on your death sentence, surely. All right, just send me back to prison. [01:22:13] Speaker B: Life in prison, right. Like, your end of the deal is fulfilled. You were sentenced to die. They did their thing, and it didn't work. That's it. You don't get round two. I'm sorry, but in this case, not only did they try again, they decided to test out nitrogen hypoxia on him. A fully untested on humans form of execution. [01:22:35] Speaker A: You're quite right in what you say test. I mean, a common refrain of antivaxxers is, I don't want to be an experiment for a fucking genetic vacan. [01:22:45] Speaker B: Right? [01:22:46] Speaker A: But this is truly a testing bed because it's literally not ever been fucking done before. The first time they tried it was on this dude. [01:22:55] Speaker B: Yes, precisely. Cannot stress that enough. 100%. The method was authorized in Alabama in 2018 after already being authorized by Oklahoma and Mississippi, but neither of those states had used it. This is the first time anyone actually did it. And while authorities literally said this was going to be the most humane method of execution of all time, experts had huge reservations straight out the gate. See, nitrogen hypoxia in capital punishment is administered through a mask, much like one you would get oxygen through. Nitrogen is a normal thing we all breathe, but just combined with oxygen. The idea here is the mask would deliver nitrogen without the oxygen, causing the person to basically pass out and die. And they legit got the idea from workplace accidents in which people had died from nitrogen inhalation and from suicide attempts where people had used nitrogen. Just really cool stuff that they did here for their r and d on this. I'm surprised they didn't invite some Nazis to come help. Prison officials said that it should take a matter of seconds for the person to lose consciousness and then a few minutes for them to die. And I don't want to spoil anything here, Mark, but that's not how it went down. [01:24:18] Speaker A: Well, just super briefly, there are two very different narratives here, right? [01:24:25] Speaker B: Yes, there are. [01:24:26] Speaker A: Now, I'm going to quote from the attorney general of Alabama, one Steve Marshall. In a news conference after the event this past Friday, he is quoted as saying, fuck it. Let's do the voice. What occurred last night was textbook. As of last night, high nitrogen hypoxia as a means of execution is no longer an untested method. It's a proven one, right? [01:24:58] Speaker B: Yep. [01:24:58] Speaker A: So textbook, his words were a textbook execution. On the other hand, a reporter. This is from the Telegraph. Lee Hedgebeth, a reporter who witnessed the execution, is quoted as saying, I've been to four previous executions, and I've never seen a condemned inmate thrash in the way that Kenneth Smith reacted to the nitrogen gas. Kenny just began to gasp for air repeatedly, and the execution took about 25 minutes total. [01:25:25] Speaker B: I wonder who's telling the truth. Isn't it just really interesting? Yeah. What happened here was that he sat clearly conscious with the mask, pumping nitrogen in for several minutes before he started convulsing violently, as that reporter said, and pulling at his restraints, which is horrifying. His eyes rolling back in his head as he fought to breathe. I mean, this is one of the worst possible things that you could possibly experience. Choking for air, convulsing, eyes rolling back in your head, trying everything you can to get a breath and pull the restraints off you that are making this happen unfathomable. Once he ceased convulsing, he breathed deeply for several minutes, according to the Guardian, and then he finally died. The whole process took about 22 minutes, a far cry from the few seconds that had been advertised. Smith's spiritual advisor, the Reverend Jeff Hood, said that the prison officials present were, quote, visibly surprised at how bad this thing went, noting that they'd watched someone spend several minutes struggling for his life. And in epic cop speak, the corrections commissioner said, quote, it appeared that Smith was holding his breath as long as he could. Right, okay, well, if that's a what? He was holding his breath. Come the fuck on. Be serious. And if that were a possible thing. Feels like a thing. This doesn't work if someone can hold their breath and end up with this happening. So two strikes here, buddy. But as I said, experts had had major concerns before this even had a chance to go this horribly awry or textbook. [01:27:18] Speaker A: What we're talking about here isn't. Bear with me for a second on this. [01:27:24] Speaker B: Yeah, go for it. [01:27:26] Speaker A: A common line, which I've heard lots in relation to this very case on radio and news, families of the victim, supporters of the death penalty. Well, his victim suffered. Nobody checked in on the welfare of his victim before he killed her. All right, fine, but that's not the fucking issue here. That ain't it? You know what I mean? Who gives a fuck that? I'm not saying who gives a fuck about the victim. I am not fucking saying that. Obviously punishment is justified. Obviously, of course he fucking committed murder. But on a fucking human level and on a moral level and on a technical level and on a legal level. I mean, the United nations have called it officially. The United nations have called it torture. [01:28:12] Speaker B: Yep. [01:28:13] Speaker A: The actual UN, which seems quite bold, which seems quite a bold thing. But they've specifically stated that that method of execution, nitrogen hypoxia, is torture. And they themselves urged Alabama not to do it. [01:28:28] Speaker B: Yep. It's not great. [01:28:30] Speaker A: No. [01:28:32] Speaker B: When you're. Yeah. Crimes against humanity, essentially. That's not the same thing. Yeah. Cruel and unusual punishment. And I will get to what they had said before this even occurred. But, yeah, that's the thing is when it comes to this, we're not talking about the victim. And it doesn't bring a victim back for someone to be tortured today. [01:28:55] Speaker A: Exactly. [01:28:58] Speaker B: Okay, so they were both tortured or whatever. That does not make it right. And in fact, it was interesting. I can't remember his name off the top of my head. But there is a fella who, he had written sort of a treatise on crime and punishment that actually sort of sits as the sort of basis for how our criminal justice system works in general in most western countries. How the jury process works, how we sentence people, how we punish people, all that kind of stuff. And he himself was against the death penalty because that was kind of his moral stance on this was like, the reason that we punish people is to prevent them from doing it again and maybe to get other people not to do it as well. Like a degree of messaging and a degree of just being like, let's get this person out. [01:29:54] Speaker A: Yes. [01:29:55] Speaker B: And it has to be, in that case, proportionate. And his sort of moral stance on this was like, what does it do to us to do the same thing to them? And that is largely what we've built the criminal justice system off, except just ignoring that part of how he felt about this. He was like, it's not a deterrent. It won't stop other people from doing it. And it's overkill to do this to exactly the person. There are other ways to keep them from offending again completely. [01:30:27] Speaker A: If it's a deterrent, why are people still murdering? [01:30:29] Speaker B: Right? We should have solved murder by now. If it's a deterrent. [01:30:35] Speaker A: Whenever I have this train of thought, which I do often when thinking about executions, is killing. Wrong, right. So, yes, it is. So if you do it, we're going to kill you. That's a fucking huge. [01:30:47] Speaker B: Yeah, it makes no sense. [01:30:48] Speaker A: Logical fallacy. [01:30:51] Speaker B: But this is a thing that I remember a lot going to christian school where, of course, everyone was very pro death penalty. Was that sort of difference between. No, I've never been pro death penalty, not in my entire life, but most other people were. And that was like, they would make the distinction between murder and killing, which, of course, is not what the commandment says. It says, you shall not kill. But there's plenty of reasons, and to be fair, that's right. There's plenty of reasons to kill that aren't murder. Right. You might kill someone in self defense or things like that, and perhaps there's moral gray area to that. But as retribution, that strikes me as murder. [01:31:38] Speaker A: Yes. Premeditated. [01:31:41] Speaker B: Yeah. And that always confused me as an idea when christians would be like, well, there's killing and murder and capital punishment is killing, but it's not murder. It's the definition. [01:31:53] Speaker A: Fuck off. Fuck off is what that is. Bunch of bullshit. Interestingly, I note that the guy who gave that bang in, quote, it appeared, smith was holding his breath for good. That was the commissioner for the Alabama Department of Corrections, a guy by the name of John Hamm. Yeah, and I'm going to go ahead. [01:32:13] Speaker B: I think he has an extra e on there, right? [01:32:15] Speaker A: No, it's him. It's John Ham from mad men. [01:32:18] Speaker B: Okay, fair enough. I'll accept it. Fucking shit up John Hamm. Write him all your hate mail. [01:32:26] Speaker A: What if. Murder. [01:32:29] Speaker B: But anyways, yes. So all these people had concerns. This method had been tested on animals, and apparently it was deemed okay only for pigs. Mice, for example, showed severe distress for several minutes and exhibited behavior like open mouth, gasping for air, and seizures when subjected to nitrogen hypoxia. The American Veterinary Medical association said that for mammals other than pigs, the practice creates an anoxic environment that is distressing for some species. We are definitely among those species. [01:33:05] Speaker A: Yeah, clearly. [01:33:06] Speaker B: It was also noted that if the mask wasn't fully airtight, which it likely wasn't, oxygen could get in, which would make the process much slower and potentially put him into a vegetative state rather than killing him. [01:33:17] Speaker A: Yes. [01:33:18] Speaker B: It was also a concern that he might vomit from the lack of oxygen and then choke to death on that vomit. What's key here is that we did not know because it'd never been used on a person before. And from the animal studies, it looked like it would go badly. Everything that we knew said, don't do this. Even like you said, the United nations stepped in before the execution, not just after. And they were like, there's no evidence that this is not going to cause immense suffering. They went so far as to say that it, quote, could amount to torture or other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment under international human rights law. It's a human rights violation on an international scale to do this. But we know, of course, that this is just the latest in a long line of attempts to find a humane way to kill. Availability of the juice aside, lethal injection itself has plenty of problems. But the thing about lethal injection is that it looks humane. Discover magazine called it a seemingly tranquil method. The process starts with a saline drip, then a dose of sodium thiopentol, followed by pancuronium bromide, and then potassium chloride. How we'd like to understand it is that this combination makes it so that the prisoner doesn't feel it when the drugs paralyze them and stop their heart. We, of course, can't know for sure because they die afterwards. But certainly people who haven't died or who died painfully and slowly show us that it's not foolproof. For example, prison staff have struggled to administer the drugs to people who are overweight or who were former drug users unable to locate veins. A 2020 investigation into lethal injections found that 84% of the prisoners who had been executed this way suffered pulmonary edema. And if they weren't properly sedated, that means it would have felt like they were drowning, but we wouldn't be able to tell because they look perfectly peaceful while it's happening, which is like, that's horror movie shit, right? Like being unable to move or express yourself. Like, it's the pit in the take, not being able to move, as something horrendous is happening to you. I should also point out that according to the death Penalty information Center, the multidrug form of lethal injection isn't always used. Some places just use one, simply injecting an overdose of pentobarbital. No sedative or paralytic with it. In all of this, you have cases like a prisoner in Ohio who died, quote, gasping and choking, and one in Oklahoma who, during the execution, cried out that his whole body was burning. [01:36:07] Speaker A: Yeah, I remember that one. [01:36:09] Speaker B: I'm sure he's just goofing around, though. No big deal. [01:36:13] Speaker A: Figuratively. [01:36:14] Speaker B: Yeah, right. It's just an observation. But before we had a lethal injection, we had the electric chair, which was, despite being horrible, at least to a degree, a sincere attempt to make execution more humane than hanging, which was botched almost every single time. And in movies, you always see these dramatic hanging scenes where the person's making some impassioned plea or something, and then they drop and we see their lifeless feet swinging below. That rarely fucking happens. [01:36:46] Speaker A: No, of course not. [01:36:47] Speaker B: The vast majority of the time when people are hanged, it doesn't work, and they end up either being slowly strangled or having to have some intervention, like someone pulling on their legs to break their neck. And by the way, just as a side note, as I was reading about attempts at humane executions, I came across an absolutely bonkers story from Germany in the 16 hundreds. Apparently rich people at that time would have been beheaded, which is pretty quick and, as far as they knew, painless. But the pores had to be shown a painful and humiliating lesson, namely being burned to death. [01:37:23] Speaker A: Oh, stop. Really? [01:37:25] Speaker B: Yeah. Yep. This was. And for, like, petty shit, like, the story that I was reading about was, like, a guy who'd stolen some coins and he was sentenced to be burned to death. At least one executioner at the time, one Franch Schmidt, was not a fan of this. Deeply horrible means of taking lives. So he devised a system by which he would wrap a cord around the throat of the prisoner and hide on their person a packet of gunpowder. And when he lit the straw around the prisoner's chair ablaze, his assistant would yank on the cord and strangle the prisoner before they burned. And if that didn't work, the gunpowder was the backup. It would ignite and hopefully off the prisoner quickly. And all of this would occur while the prisoner was hooded. So onlookers were none the wiser and thought that the prisoner was suffering in appropriate agony. I just found that fascinating. I don't know what the guy generally believed about justice and punishment and whatnot, but it's really interesting that he would commit this little act of mercy and defiance as he did this grim job. Like, I've got to kill this guy, but he shouldn't be suffering like this. So I'm going to secretly attach this rig to try to make sure that, with two methods, to try to make sure that he dies in a way that isn't so horrendous. It's fascinating. [01:38:48] Speaker A: It is in the grimmest way, in the darkest way. [01:38:54] Speaker B: Yeah, exactly. [01:38:57] Speaker A: It's certainly one for a future cast. The science of death, what is the medically most ultimate, painless, easy, kind of smoothest way to extinguish life? [01:39:13] Speaker B: And that's what they're like. All of this is ultimately trying to do that. Right. And the clear conclusion I think we have to draw from centuries of trying to figure out how to humanely kill people is that. [01:39:24] Speaker A: You mean you say that that's what they're trying to do. Alabama had no fucking interest in any of. [01:39:31] Speaker B: However, like, when it. Like, for example, think about the fact that they were, like, using a guillotine on nobles and rich people because they were like this the most. [01:39:42] Speaker A: What they deserve. They deserve something less than easy. [01:39:44] Speaker B: Yeah. And we've never found anything better than that, which to me says you can't humanely kill someone whose time to die hasn't come. When it comes to, say, euthanasia, people make an informed choice that whatever suffering they may endure for a little bit is better than the pain that comes with their illness. But when it comes to perfectly healthy people, it's simply inhumane to kill them, period. We have not found anything that you can do that doesn't cause suffering to people. [01:40:15] Speaker A: Yeah. If somebody doesn't want to die, there's no way of making it easy. [01:40:19] Speaker B: Right. And as Fordham law professor Dr. Deborah Deno explained to the new republic, what really needs to happen is what the UK did. They paused everything and assembled experts who wrote a 500 page report on every aspect of the death penalty. The methods, the rates of innocence, the racial inequalities, the lack of adequate counsel received by inmates, socioeconomic status, gender, and so on. And once they'd gone through a long process of analyzing all that data, they decided they couldn't execute people anymore. We obviously have all kinds of studies on all of that here in the United States, but they're carried out independently. States that maintain the death penalty aren't interested in a rigorous assessment of the process that might lead to them having to ditch it. In fact, they're pretty damn secretive about the problems they do know about, because, as Denno puts it, quote, the more information states reveal about what they're actually doing, the more we find that what they're doing contradicts the search for a humane method of execution. Like you just said, they're not really interested in a humane thing, just something that appears to be so. There's no such thing as a humane execution. It's time to put the practice down, Mark. [01:41:34] Speaker A: Yeah, well, I know that and you know that. [01:41:38] Speaker B: We do know that, dear listener. [01:41:40] Speaker A: Goddamn. I'm certain you all know that. [01:41:43] Speaker B: And you would hope that something like this that's so egregious would cause a jolt to, like, how is the entire United States not like. Hang on. [01:41:55] Speaker A: Well, we know that one too. [01:41:57] Speaker B: Well, a very good point as mean, I'm honestly not sure what the figure is for agreement with death penalty in the United States, but I think at this point, more people disagree with it than agree with it. But the federal government has decided this is a state's rights issue at this point. So they're not going to make this ruling? [01:42:24] Speaker A: Well, yeah, it feels as though it would fall under that same kind of zealotry with which the right to bear arms is held as sacrosanct and immutable. It feels like that kind of. Same kind of mindset. [01:42:40] Speaker B: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So fuck that noise, man. [01:42:46] Speaker A: Fuck it sky high. I hate it. [01:42:49] Speaker B: Amen. [01:42:53] Speaker A: I'd like to do a little more. When we've gone through Israel, Palestine on euthanasia, there's some fascinating, fascinating methods and books that I'm going to check out. An author called Philip Nichka has a lot to say about self euthanasia. There's a device called the suicide bag. [01:43:17] Speaker B: Oh, okay. [01:43:18] Speaker A: Is that a term you've heard of? Okay. [01:43:20] Speaker B: No. We've talked about the pod and things like that. [01:43:22] Speaker A: We've talked about the pod. We've talked about the lovely little cocktail you get in Switzerland, but there's lots of diy stuff you can do. [01:43:30] Speaker B: Interesting. [01:43:30] Speaker A: If you want to do it to give yourself a nice, kind of dreamy, sleepy way out. [01:43:36] Speaker B: Yeah, we'll revisit that. [01:43:38] Speaker A: We certainly shall. [01:43:41] Speaker B: But until then, dear friends, is it. [01:43:45] Speaker A: That time to go? [01:43:46] Speaker B: It's that time to go. It's the end of January this month. It's time to leave that behind us. Yeah. New beginnings. We'll see what the groundhog has to say in a few days. And I'm sure the one thing the groundhog, what punksutani Phil wants for all of you is for you to stay spooky.

Other Episodes