S1E115 – This Month in the Apocalypse: April, 2024

Episode Summary

This week on Live Like the World is Dying, Brooke, Margaret, and Inmn talk about some news from Gaza, the climate, hurricanes, University occupations, Texas’ latest attempt to become a mini fief, abortion laws that are older than states, an update on an Arizona gun law, Taylor Swift, and TikTok.

Host Info

Inmn can be found on Instagram @shadowtail.artificery. Margaret can be found on twitter @magpiekilljoy or instagram at @margaretkilljoy. Brooke can be found on Twitter or Mastodon @ogemakweBrooke.

Publisher Info

This show is published by Strangers in A Tangled Wilderness. We can be found at www.tangledwilderness.org, or on Twitter @TangledWild and Instagram @Tangled_Wilderness. You can support the show on Patreon at www.patreon.com/strangersinatangledwilderness.


Live Like the World is Dying: This Month in the Apocalypse: April, 2024

**Margaret ** 00:15
Hello, and welcome to Live Like the World is Dying, your podcast for what feels like the end times. Oh, wait. Brooke, you had a better… You wrote us a new jingle to sing, right? Why don’t you do that right now? 

**Brooke ** 00:26
[Singing] I wrote us to do jingle to sing. Bling, bling, bling, bling, bling, bling, bling.

**Margaret ** 00:36
And that’s now our jingle forever. that doesn’t even include our name in it. That’s what happens when…  Right before we hit record, we were like who’s going to record the intro. And I was like, I’m going to record the intro because I have an idea. And my idea was to make Brooke come up with something to sing off the top of her head, because I’m a good person. But who’s not a good person…. Wait, I’m not introducing the bad stuff yet. More good stuff. Also a host today is Inmn. Hi, Inmn.

**Inmn ** 01:06
Hello, hello. I hope everyone is doing as well as they can in our in our great times.

**Margaret ** 01:15
Statistically, at least one of you is punched a cop in the last week. So that’s pretty cool. And also, we’re a proud member of the Channel Zero Network of anarchist podcasts. And here’s a jingle from another show on the network. [Singing] This is a new jingle for a show on the network. It goes like this.

**Margaret ** 01:46
And we’re back. So anything happened in the world this month, Inmn?

**Inmn ** 02:22
Nope. Not at all. 

**Brooke ** 02:24
Everything was good. Bye, yall!  

**Inmn ** 02:26
Absolutely. Absolutely nothing has happened. Only sunshine. 

**Margaret ** 02:29
What if we just did updates about like the things that we saw on TV? I guess that’s a different kind of podcast. It’s the wildest thing. Velma got the Scooby Doo gang together… Anyway. 

**Inmn ** 02:43
We do This Month in the Apocalypse, but it’s only it’s only from the fictional worlds that we spend too much time inhabiting. [Everyone lauging]

**Margaret ** 02:52
I conquered the entire world for my god.

**Brooke ** 02:56
My child has been watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer because she’s been curious about this show that was like my formative high school experience

**Margaret ** 03:05
Aw, to like connect with you, watching old people shows like Buffy.

**Brooke ** 03:09
Right? So that’s what’s happening in the world right now in my world. Yeah. Wow.

**Inmn ** 03:14
You know, every once in a while it lines up though. Because, you know, I was recently watching, as part of my delve back to things I watched in high school, which is the Gilmore Girls, the family that I grew up with on TV. And they actually talk about Palestine quite often in the show. Or like they mentioned that… They mention that that stuff is happening, which lines up politically with like when the show was on the air and there was also a lot of bad stuff happening in Palestine. And but I don’t think the show’s creators were… They were kind of like adopting a neutral but mostly support Israel thing, which is, you know, it’s–

**Margaret ** 04:07
Not our line here.

**Inmn ** 04:11
Which is not our line here, but is… How much can you expect from mainstream TV? Like I wasn’t surprised to rewatch it and discover this.

**Margaret ** 04:24
So what’s our Gaza update?

**Inmn ** 04:27
Yes, this is my very funny segue into Gaza stuff.

**Margaret ** 04:31
No, it’s good. 

**Inmn ** 04:32
Yeah, so… Which, I mean, there’s nothing absolutely nothing funny about this. But so there’s like a big… There’s like big kind of like ceasefire talks happening right now, which I feel like this is something… You know, obviously people have been wanting there to be ceasefire talks for a long time and they they sort of happen and then Israel’s, like, "We’re not doing ceasefire talks. Fuck everyone." But they’re… In this more recent round, while people kind of like imminently await a ground invasion of Rafah, which like the last little southern piece of Gaza that pretty much everyone who lives in Gaza has been forced into. And Hamas has responded to a call for ceasefire negotiation talks, saying that in order to start negotiations, they need for there to be a ceasefire. And part of part of what they’re asking for at this point is like, yeah, we’re willing to talk about hostage stuff, because I think they are still like 130 hostages, or something– 

**Margaret ** 06:03
Which is sort of–like from a pure detached point of view–like kind of impressive that they’ve still held on to these hostages, as the entire region falls?

**Inmn ** 06:16
Yeah, yeah. And–

**Margaret ** 06:20
Like, tactically impressive.

**Inmn ** 06:25
Yeah. And they. So, kind of what they’re asking for is like, yeah, we’re willing to play ball. We’re willing to do… like, we’re willing to release hostages. But what we what we need is for Palestinian people to have  basic human rights, and to not get bombed, and for there to be a ceasefire. And what do you think Israel’s response to these like, pretty, pretty basic requests were?

**Margaret ** 06:56
Did they build a time machine to kill all the peoples’…. No, they probably already did kill all those people’s parents. Nevermind. Something really disproportionately, impressively evil. That’s my guess.

**Inmn ** 07:12
Yeah, well, it’s kind of like…. So you know how this thing happens in politics, sometimes, where people kind of talk up a response as being much more internally conflictual than it actually is? The same things kind of happening in Israel were awaiting Netanyahu’s response, like all of the like defense, prime ministers and stuff have been like, "If you don’t continue with a ground invasion, we’re abdicating and your government’s going to fall apart." And Netanyahu was has vowed multiple times that regardless of whether negotiations happen, or there is a ceasefire, that a ground invasion of Rafah will happen. So it’s kind of like fake strife, like fake internal strife. You know? Cool. And, yeah, that’s kind of the state of the ceasefire talks. And something… This is just a piece that I’ve been trying to learn a little bit more about, which is a topic on a lot of people’s mind, which is like, "Jey, Egypt, what’s up? Why aren’t you letting people into Egypt to escape genocide?" And there’s kind of a few different factors at place. And one interesting development on that is that Egypt has started to build a buffered wall zone. Like a border between the border kind of thing. Which is just like a giant concrete pen that can fit about 150,000, people that they’re building in anticipation of the border between Rafah and Egypt rupturing during  Israel’s ground invasion of Rafah, which they’ve… which Israel’s all but announced is imminently going to happen. And likepart of what Egypt has said about this is they have been saying like, "Oh, well, we don’t want to let people cross over into Egypt because we don’t want people to then not be allowed back into Palestine when the war is over." It’s kind of like this farcical idea that Israel’s gonna do a war, take care of Hamas, and then just like peacefully leave Palestinians to like go about their lives.

**Margaret ** 09:47
Yeah, I mean, like, it is true that… It certainly seems likely to me that Israel will not let anyone back in after they leave because Israel seems pretty clear that their goal–and has been their goal since 1895. Can I tell you a thing I learned about this? Sorry.

**Inmn ** 10:05
Yeah, absolutely, please.

**Margaret ** 10:09
I’m not sure when this podcast comes out. I just recently recorded, and it’ll be out around the same time, an episode of Cool People Who Did Cool Stuff about Palestinian resistance to the British Mandate of Palestine, basically the period between 1917 and 1948. Well, technically, the Mandate kicked in, in 1922. But after the British control started, right? And in that I learned a little bit more–like maybe a lot of the listeners already know this stuff–but everything that’s happening now was in the diaries, and often public statements, of all of the founders of the State of Israel, down to very specifically like, "No, we are going to absolutely remove all of the–" they would never use the word Palestinians. They wouldn’t even use the word Arabs. They specifically only said "non Jewish people" when they refer to the people who are already living in Palestine. And it’s just really, blatantly clear that since the beginning, the project of Israel has been not just to create an Israeli State–or sorry, a Jewish state–but to remove non Jewish people.

**Inmn ** 11:24
Yeah, yeah. And it’s–yeah. Which it’s like part of that, that makes it really confusing to see Egypt’s response–

**Margaret ** 11:35
I mean, I’m sure they’re still doing it because they’re bastards. But that part about like, oh, well, no one would be allowed back. That’s probably true. 

**Inmn ** 11:45
But it’s probably true regardless. And like Egypt not wanting people to go into Egypt, I think is probably more based on Egypt’s fear of being drawn into a military conflict with Israel or, as they’ve also stated, Hamas kind of like migrating to Egypt and like taking up the fight in Egypt. And so it’s… they’re kind of adopting a "tread on no one’s feet and just kind of not let anyone in" kind of situation, all while saying that it’s for the… it’s better for Palestinian people to be trapped in the city. You know? 

**Margaret ** 12:30
Can I do one other random history interjection about all this because it’s on my mind. 

**Inmn ** 12:34

**Margaret ** 12:36
Okay, so there’s this huge revolt in 1936, where all of the–especially the Muslims and the Christians fought–against the Zionist takeover of their land, you know? And, and their main military enemy at this point wasn’t the Israeli settler or the Jewish–the zionist settlers–it was the British, right? Because the British were in control. The British used human shields. The British invented the fucking Mad Max car. 

**Inmn ** 13:11
Oh my god. 

**Margaret ** 13:12
They actually invented it in Ireland where they strap a guy…. They invented it by, you take an Irishman and you strap him to the front of a car and now the other Irish are afraid to fucking shoot the car or blow up the car because they don’t want to kill their own guy. And there’s photos of this. There is a photo in Palestine of the British in an armored car with like kind of a… It’s not like a guy crudely lashed to the front Mad Max style like totally, but it is instead almost worse. It’s like they went and manufactured a little cart that sticks in front of the car with two guys tied up on it. Anyway, there’s the whole like, every accusation is a confession thing, and I think no government in the world has ever been more guilty of that than Israel.

**Inmn ** 14:05
Yeah, yeah. That’s very, very true. But yeah, that’s kind of the state of things in Gaza right now. And just because I was curious about this, I looked it up and like, for a lot of folks who are raising money for people to, for families, to get elsewhere from from Rafa, it’s like those current… It’s like that that is something that is possible to happen but it kind of involves…it involves a lot of bribing and involves a lot of waiting for a long time and a lot of just finagling political situations, and it costs anywhere from like 5000 to like $10,000 per person. So it’s very expensive, but but it is something that’s happening, but it’s mostly available to rich people right now.

**Margaret ** 15:02
And there’s a lot of fundraising going on. And I wish I had a link more directly in front of me. There’s people who have collected together spreadsheets where they keep track of all of the families that need to get out, and like what their specific fundraisers are and stuff like that.

**Inmn ** 15:17
Yeah. But Margaret, what’s kind of been happening with people’s responses to stuff going on in Gaza here in the States?

**Margaret ** 15:29
So one of the things about the way that we do the show is that there is a lag between when we record things and when we put things out, so don’t… So we’re not going to like do like the news about the occupation movement that’s happening now in the US, we’re going to kind of really briefly touch on it. But I’m guessing most of you all are more familiar already what’s happening with that than this show, which will be a little bit out of date by the time you hear it. But there is a huge movement across the US, especially this week, as we record, of–maybe even more so in the future, you know, who knows, every social movement goes different directions–of students taking over their universities and demanding that their universities divest from Israel. And it’s really shattered a lot of the…. The more pro-Zionist elements of the mainstream media are still touting the like, "And these are anti-semitic protests." But that line is failing more and more on…. Like, people aren’t hearing it anymore. People are like, "That’s so clearly not true. The people at the front of this are the Jewish Voices for Peace," like, you know? It’s like more and more people aren’t falling for it. And so there’s a big culture war thing that’s happening. I got really lucky in that I was scheduled to speak at the New School anyway last week, or something–I lose track of time, all the time–to some students who had read one of my books, and then the occupation had kicked off. So instead, I was sort of invited–like anyone from the occupation was invited to come–and we talked, instead of talking about my book, we talked about the directions that social movements go and how they succeed and fail. And I don’t know, maybe we’ll do a episode about that at some point. But those movements are fiery and interesting. Anyone who’s listening who’s part of them, don’t let the fucking liberal sell you out, and don’t let the fucking authoritarians take you over. And that’s what’s involved. And don’t let the cops divide you into "good protestor, bad protester." Those are the ways that people try to sell you out. And you can not get sold out until you, at the very least, get the demands of divestment. And as we’re recording, this is the stuff that might change. As we’re recording, I think it’s Brown University is starting to enter negotiations about divesting from Israel. Whereas Colombia, where a lot of this started, is promising suspensions. And everyone’s like, "You don’t understand. Stopping this genocide is more important to us than our stupid–" you know, like, I think people don’t get…. And then in the right-wing, and even some of the Liberals, are all like, "I don’t get it. This isn’t even a war that’s happening in the US?" and everyone is like, "Basic fucking empathy? Like what the fuck is wrong with you?" Another kind of protest that happened that I actually only found out recently is that around 50 Google employees were fired because of a non-violent protests that they took against a Google contract, a project called Project Nimbus, which is an AI that has been used by the Israeli government that was developed by Google. Google denies certain parts of their claims around project Nimbus. But the 50 employees are currently suing, I think through the Labor Board, to get their jobs back. And so there’s other ways that people are standing up about this. And we’ve been, of course, seen some other ways all across the US for the past six months and all across the world.

**Inmn ** 18:58
Yeah, and just to like shout out this thing real quick because I thought it was really cool. It’s this trend of people kind of like…it’s like fighting in any possible way they can to do something for people in Palestine. And like outside of university encampments and stuff, it’s like finding ways to act in solidarity with those struggles or to just find other little gaps in the armor. But shout out to the bus drivers union in New York City for utterly refusing to transport a bunch of people who were mass arrested at at a demonstration. They’re like, "No, no. We’re not letting the NYPD commandeer our buses and make us their accomplices," and they just refused to transport people. 

**Margaret ** 19:57
I think this is a really important part of why…. Like,  labor organizing fell out of style until–well, about five years ago picked back up again–but overall, there’s this idea that like, "Oh, class, reductionism. And like, you know, it’s boring. And that’s the old way of doing organizing and shit." And there’s like some problems with the way that labor organizing has been done, especially in the middle of the 20th century, when they created a bunch of corrupt organizations–that were still better jobs–but, you know, they lacked the fiery interestingness of early 20th century and late 19th century unions. But sorry, who knew I was just gonna talk about history this whole time. But this is the other thing about what unions are, is like in order to…. This is what is involved when we talk about building workers power, like building power among the people who actually have to work for a living versus the people who can make money off of the fact that we work for a living, like having the bus the union be like, "No, we’re not transporting prisoners." and they can say that because they have power within their own workplace, even though they don’t own their workplace, which is like the next step. That’s what you want to build to after you build a union, you know? But anyway, unions. Fucking cool. Y’all ready to talk about climate?

**Inmn ** 21:14
God, no. 

**Brooke ** 21:16

**Margaret ** 21:16
Well–I know this is the thing I keep coming back to–this is the thing that always slips through the cracks of even radical news because it is easier to wrap our mind around things that feel incredibly direct and present. And that is not to say that these direct and present things don’t deserve our attention. They absolutely do. But keeping in mind the climate context that we all live in, I think is important. So I’m gonna tell you some stuff about it. Almost the entire continental US is forecast to have a hotter than usual summer, surprising nobody. The only exception to this is basically North Dakota and some of the like areas that like–nature doesn’t really care about our borders– that might be the same. Everywhere else is expected to be hotter. In particular, the swath cutting across Eastern Oregon and Montana and then cutting all the way down through all of Texas, kind of at an angle, that is the huge swath of the country that is like extra expected to be way hotter. And southern Alaska is the only place in the US on the map that I saw–Hawaii wasn’t on this map–where it might be colder than usual. But most of Alaska will still be warmer than usual. The Rocky Mountains are expected to be dry. And the East Coast, especially the South, is expecting a wetter than normal summer. The actual wildfire prediction map for this coming summer is mostly normal–new normal, so bad–but mostly new normal. With the Sierra Nevadas in Southern California, like LA and kind of that surrounding area, are actually less fire likely than normal. And then the more likely fire than normal is Idaho, like southern Idaho into Nevada and Utah.

**Brooke ** 23:10
Was gonna say that a lot of Idaho has had a lot of fires a lot of years.

**Margaret ** 23:15
But it’s like this map is like not totally the map of where you look and expect wildfires, which is not to say there’s not gonna be wildfires everywhere. It’s just that’s the current anticipation. The National Weather Service has put together a heat risk website that does a daily forecast and a weekly forecast that also shows like where people are more at risk for heat problems. And it takes into consideration the wet bulb temperature and access to all kinds of stuff. There’s actually a fair amount of adaptation that is happening by scientists and some of our infrastructure to try and figure out how to handle…. Because like some people are taking climate seriously and some of those people have access to weather data and shit, you know? April, as of this recording on the last day of April, was probably the 11th straight month of the hottest of that month on record across the world. Which means that if we pull it off next year, every single month for a year will have been the hottest ever. There is a 55% chance that this year will top 2023 as the hottest year on record. The reason that we might not beat last year–I know everyone’s rooting for us but we might not pull it off because the other side will be like "Well they had us in the first half." We’re expecting a slightly cooler than normal fall and stuff because of La Nina weather patterns hitting. However, La Nina weather patterns are gonna fuck up a whole bunch other stuff. And okay, I know you all are ready to root for America, number one. so you want to hear something else that we are number one about across the world? 

**Brooke ** 24:57

**Margaret ** 24:59
Economic impact of natural disasters. Doesn’t that kind of surprise you?

**Brooke ** 25:03
What? Say more.

**Inmn ** 25:06
I’ve heard a little bit about this.

**Margaret ** 25:09
We are number two in our spending related to per capita wealth, but we’re number one in total spending on this kind of stuff. It costs us about point .4% of our gross domestic product every year to take care of natural disasters. This is twice China and four times Canada. And, I mean, it’s just because we suck and Capitalism sucks, is the is the reason why this is happening. Home Insurance went up 21% between 2002 and 2023. A ton of people are just going uninsured because they can’t afford it anymore. Also, insurers are jacking up prices and/or entirely pulling out of certain areas. And now a lot of countries just kind of say, "Well, we kind of just can’t build where there’s fires and mudslides all the time." But America is like, "No way. This is our country. You can build wherever you want." And so there’s also like fewer building codes and stuff around how to make houses that makes sense in your area in terms of disaster and climate and things like that. So that’s something we’re really good at, is spending money that we shouldn’t have had to spend. There’s been a whole bunch in the past couple months. In April there’s been a whole bunch of tornadoes that have moved through Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and north Texas. However, we are currently lower than normal by a little bit on tornadoes. However, they’ve been a little bit more deadly than normal, I believe. And overall, this is expected to be a fairly more active than usual tornado season coming up. So if you’re in the Great Plains and the tornado lands, which is of course, as I think we’ve talked about before, the tornado belt is like slowly moving east because of climate change. Speaking of the American South, it is facing some of the most rapid sea rise in the world. We, once again America is number one–I don’t know if we’re number one. We’re actually not number one. But we’re doing… We’re doing pretty good. We have twice the worldwide average in sea level rise. Isn’t that? Anyway…

**Inmn ** 27:15
Which means that there’s going to be a lot new beachfront property.

**Margaret ** 27:22
I mean, a lot of the old, a lot the old beachfront property has gone away. Or rather, people are like struggling to hold on to it. A lot of places across the American south have already gotten four, six, or eight inches of sea level rise since 2010. The highest is Galveston, Texas with 8.4 inches. And the results of this, of course, are wetlands are drowning, which leaves areas more vulnerable to storms. We’ll talk about the hurricane season in a second. Septic systems are backing up and contaminating waterways. Insurance companies are just dipping out entirely. And roads are now below high tide in plenty of places. People are periodically cut off. Why don’t we hear about this more? Well, because the people who are affected are Black. That’s why. Environmental racism is a real thing. A lot of these areas have had specific redlining policies in place, or used to be in place, or whatever. The economic landscape is such that people of color, and especially Black people, are living in the flattest areas that are the lowest to sea level and in the most risk, and it is largely poor places that people have already not cared about because this is where a lot of like pollution happens, you know? Other fun news… The kind of thing that like…. I feel like every week there’s something that should have been big enough news for us to entirely overthrow the world order, but a whole bunch of–

**Brooke ** 28:51
I’m concerned about what you call fun, Margaret.

**Margaret ** 28:54
You take it where you can find it, ya know? Okay, so I’ll explain my idea of fun. The very beginning of the movie Gladiator, right? I don’t give a shit about the rest of the movie Gladiator. But there’s this is one scene where the Roman army, who are somehow the good guys in this situation (they’re not the good guys), they’re attacking the Goths. And obviously, the Goths are good because they’re goths. 

**Inmn ** 29:20
Yeah, we love that. 

**Margaret ** 29:20
And at one point, the barbarians come out of the woods and they’re like holding the Roman messenger’s head and then they all grab their axes and run screaming into the Roman army. and to their own death–

**Inmn ** 29:34
Which is how no army ever fought ever. 

**Margaret ** 29:36
Yeah, I know. It’s also not a very good way to fight, specifically, the Roman army. nd at least in the movie Gladiator, they all die horribly. There’s a certain honesty to that. There’s a certain honesty to just being like, "This isn’t about winning or losing. This is about like, ‘Can we fucking do this?"" But we can’t because we don’t have…. We’re not in a revolution and individual actions don’t…. This is the sketchiest thing I’ve ever said on the show. So anyway, a slew of documents came out, showing that oil companies in their private correspondence are like, "We’re not going to bother meeting any of the Paris agreements. Why would we do that? There’s nothing in it for us. We don’t care." And they’re just ignoring it in their private correspondence, while of course, they’re all publicly like, "Oh, we’re so committed to it." And it’s just like, and the…. You know, and this isn’t like weird conspiracy stuff. The Democrats introduced this in Congress, you know? And it’s just like one of these things where it’s just like, well the oil companies shouldn’t be allowed to exist anymore. That seems fucking obvious, right? Anyway, I don’t have a better tactical idea. And that didn’t work in Gladiator. So I don’t recommend it. Flash floods killed at least 169 people in Kenya in April. About 150,000 people in the country have been displaced by the rains. More than half of the country is facing intense flooding right now. Dubai got two years’ worth of rain in one day at the end of April. It was 10 inches in 24 hours, the heaviest it’s had in the past 75 years. The more center and center-right media is like, "Oh, it’s because they’re doing cloud seeding. They reap what they sowed." But the Washington Post article I read about this was like, "It wasn’t fucking cloud seeding. It was fucking climate change." And that makes sense to me. Hurricanes. I promise you hurricanes. Colorado State University researchers are predicting a very active hurricane season this year. They’re guessing there will be 24 named storms. And the way that we like named storms is that there’s like 21 letters of the alphabet that we use. I don’t know why it’s 21 and not 26. I didn’t bother looking it up. And then they’re like, "Oh, fuck, we’re out of things. And then they like do other shit, you know? Because when they first started naming hurricanes and tropical storms, they didn’t really imagine that there would be more than 21 of them in a year. But now this is the third or fourth year. There’s been like three years in the past couple of years where they’ve run out of names. And this one, they’re expecting probably 24. They’re guessing–again, this is all forecasting and this is not certain–that starting June 1st with hurricane season they’re guessing it’ll be about eleven hurricanes with five of them being major because the accumulated cyclone energy in the…mother of storms–it probably is a science name, but Mother of storms is cooler–is twice normal. And this is bad. It’s like only a little bit worse than the new normal. So it’s like bad, and the new normal is bad,  but what I’m not saying is "2024 year is gonna be the worst ever, and we’re all gonna fucking die in hurricanes. And everyone needs to leave New Orleans." is not what I’m saying. Although, maybe? But it’s just the new bad and a little worse than usual, a little incremental.

**Brooke ** 33:05
Maybe they need to give those four-five sidelines letters a chance at being part of the naming process and then–

**Margaret ** 33:14
What five letters is it? I bet it’s like X–

**Brooke ** 33:17
Yeah, and Z. Give X a chance.

**Margaret ** 33:21
What about Xereses? Does that start with and X?

**Brooke ** 33:24
There we go. Zeus. 

**Margaret ** 33:26
Well, Xerxes is probably not in the Roman alphabet anyway. We can transliterate things however we want.

**Inmn ** 33:36
It’s kind of like the emergence of the new category six, the theoretical–we talked about it earlier this year–but the theoretical category six hurricane, which we might see this year. 

**Margaret ** 33:48

**Inmn ** 33:52
New albums about to drop!

**Brooke ** 33:58
But Taylor Switft already put out a new album. What are you talking about? Oh, that’s my news clip for the month. That’s all I need to share.

**Margaret ** 34:05
Oh, yeah.

**Brooke ** 34:06
Taylor Swift put out a new album.

**Inmn ** 34:08
I wonder… I wonder how many of our listeners are Swifties? 

**Margaret ** 34:14
I bet a good amount. 

**Inmn ** 34:15
Yeah, not a condemnation. Just a curiosity.

**Margaret ** 34:18
I think about a quarter of my friends really like Taylor Swift. But the thing that I have said on Twitter that has been the most controversial and the thing that has most people thinking I’m a liar is when I said I cannot name a Taylor Swift song and would not be able to pick her out of a lineup. 

**Brooke ** 34:35

**Margaret ** 34:36
People think I’m lying. I’m not lying. 

**Brooke ** 34:38
I think you’re lying. 

**Margaret ** 34:40
I’m not lying. 

**Inmn ** 34:41
I do not think Margaret is lying. [Laughing] 

**Margaret ** 34:44
If you put three 30 year old blonde, white singers in front of me, it would be a…I’d have a 33% chance of fucking picking Taylor Swift. Now, I’m certain I’ve heard some Taylor Swift songs, but I would not know they’re Taylor Swift songs. And this is not like…. I’m not even saying this as a a point of pride. I mean, okay a little bit because I’m a fucking contrarian asshole, but that’s not something I’m proud of. I’m not proud of my own pride about this.

**Brooke ** 35:13
This is now going to be a Taylor Swift episode. Goodbye to the news. Hello to me singing Taylor Swift songs to Margaret.

**Margaret ** 35:21
But then do like one of them that’s not a Taylor Swift song in the middle and see if I can tell you which one it is. 

**Margaret ** 35:26
Totally. Yeah. 

**Margaret ** 35:29
[singing] "Where have all the flowers gone." That one’s not her.

**Inmn ** 35:33
That is not Taylor Swift. [Brooke singing unknow (presumably) Taylor Swift song in the background] 

**Margaret ** 35:37
Wait, we don’t want to get sued. And I don’t want to hear Taylor Swift. Oh my God, no, I actually am a bad person. There’s nothing inherently good or bad about being interested in pop culture. Alright. But speaking of hurricanes, the East Atlantic’s warmth is three months ahead of schedule for the average of the past four years. Not for the old average but for the new average. The East Atlantic’s warmth is, on April 2nd it was as warm as July 2nd is on the average. And then there’s one other piece of bad news. But then I have positive news. Or, then I have like neutral news. The one other piece of bad news is that, as of this recording, King Charles III has not died of cancer. [Disappointed grons] I also wouldn’t be able to pick him out of a lineup. That’s not… I don’t know if that one’s true. 

**Brooke ** 36:37
70 year old white man. Yeah, no. Yeah, probably not. At least not if he’s in normal clothes.

**Inmn ** 36:43
Um, well. Yeah, I absolutely believe all of that. Weirdly in…. I’m gonna say a controversial–

**Margaret ** 36:51
I thought you didn’t believe me about Taylor Swift.said you believedno, I, I 

**Inmn ** 36:53
What? Margaret I believe you.

**Margaret ** 36:56
Oh, that’s right. It was Brooke that didn’t believe me. 

**Brooke ** 36:58
Inmn trusts you about everything.

**Inmn ** 37:00
I feel like I’m one of the few people that just very much knows this to be true in a real way.

**Margaret ** 37:09
That’s true. Inmn has seen me live in an off grid cabin in the middle of the woods.

**Inmn ** 37:17
But, so, like, Arizona… I’m going to talk a little bit about Arizona. Arizona weirdly has been like, like we just had one of our wetter springs ever. And cooler springs. To the point where, there’s like a big outdoor thing that happens in the last week of March every year, and we were scrambling to find new places…like an indoor venue for it because it was raining and we were all like, "When the fuck has it ever rained at the end of March?" 

**Margaret ** 37:49
Yeah, you’re supposed to only get rain in the monsoon season in like what, Fall or something?

**Inmn ** 37:56
It’s in like July-August. And then like, we do have a winter rainy season. It’s just hit or miss. But March? March is weird. Like it rained like four times in a week in March. And I was like, "What’s going on?" And like, just because it was a big outdoor performance was the only reason I was like that asshole who’s like "Why the fuck is it raining in this desert?" you know? [Everyone laughing]

**Margaret ** 38:24
"I moved here for one reason: I hate water."

**Inmn ** 38:27
Yeah. But I have some other updates from Arizona. Shout out to…. Shout out to Logan, who is a bud who always texts me like weird, really in-depth updates about headlines that we touch on and then is like, "Inmn, the story is so much bigger than you thought it was!" And I’m like– 

**Margaret ** 38:48
That’s cool.  

**Inmn ** 38:49
Please keep sending me these updates. So on a previous This Month, we talked about this expansion of kind of like Castle Doctrine in Arizona, which is like aimed at like, you can defend your…you can like essentially shoot and kill people without repercussions for trespassing, not only into your house, but on your property. And Logan was telling me that…. So the reason that this law was being pursued–you know, there’s speculation about it being very anti-migrant–and it was actually in response to this criminal case where George Alan Kelly, who lives just north of Nogales, encountered some people crossing over his land, right near and along the Border, and he, suspecting them of being migrants, just held up an AK-47 and started shooting at them from 100 yards away. And he killed one of them. He killed Cuen-Buetimea, who was a 48 year old man who lived in Nogales. And some of the people in the group, who were then witnesses in the trial, attested to just, you know, crossing for work. And the person who was killed has two adult daughters who live in Nogales. And they were trying to pass this law ahead of the trial so that George Allen Kelly would not be accountable to wildly shooting a gun into the air and killing someone. But George Allen Kelly was…there was a mistrial due to jurors not being able to come to a unanimous decision. And it does not appear, as of right now, that prosecutors are going to try to refile charges. So yeah. Some other stuff going on in Arizona is…. So this is kind of like good news, bad news. And it’s gonna start with some bad news. On April 9th, the Arizona Supreme Court made a ruling upholding an 1864 law that declares a near-total ban on all abortions, carrying a two to five year prison sentence for doctors who perform abortions except to preserve the life of the person giving birth. And yeah, so this is like from…. Prior to this, Arizona was a 15 week abortion ban. And currently, as we wait, we’re like still waiting for this law to go into effect in like June, I think. But, so in June there will be a near-total ban on abortion in Arizona. But the Arizona House just passed a bill that would repeal this law from 1864. And this is a law that was passed before Arizona was a state.

**Margaret ** 42:15
Yeah, that was like the first thing, when someone was like…. I didn’t reshare this when I first came across it because I was like, "Arizona didn’t exist. This is…" Because it’s always like people come up with this horrible thing that’s happening. And about half the time it’s true and half the time it’s not. Yeah, I totally didn’t believe this one at first, because I was like, "There wasn’t a state called Arizona. There was a territory and they had their territorial laws."

**Inmn ** 42:16
Yeah. And the Arizona Supreme Court has somehow upheld this law. But the House just passed a bill to repeal it. And we’re recording this on Tuesday. As of April 30th, tomorrow, Wednesday May 1st, the Senate is expected to pass the bill that would repeal this 1864 law.

**Margaret ** 43:09
Didn’t even Trump come out against that law?

**Inmn ** 43:13
I don’t know.

**Margaret ** 43:14
I think I watched a video of Trump kind of being like, "Maybe that one wasn’t the move." 

**Inmn ** 43:21
That would be wild. 

**Margaret ** 43:23
Because that one I think, was bad enough that I think that there’s  bipartisan anger at it.

**Inmn ** 43:31
Yeah. Which is kind of how…. That’s like how stuff has progressed in the House and the Senate is like it… It required bipartisan agreement in the House. And it will require like two Republican senators to get on board for the Senate vote, which there are two that are expected to vote for the bill that would repeal the ban. 

**Margaret ** 43:54
They’re just trying to not get up put up against the wall. Anyway, Margaret’s in a weird mood today.

**Inmn ** 44:01
Yeah, and, you know, one last kind of bad world thing–bad politics–in the realm of some Republican-led states really trying to be their own little mini fiefs and like testing state-federal stress test, whatever shenanigans. So, Title IX regulations were just updated. And they were updated…. They were amended to include specifically protections against discrimination based on sexual-orientation and gender identity. Whereas previously, it was just based on being a woman, essentially. And for folks who don’t know, Title IX regulations are for educational institutions that receive federal funding, they have to abide by certain regulations in order to receive that funding, which is, you know, most public schools. And big surprise, guess which three states? Florida, Tennessee, and Texas are all essentially either instructing their education systems to not listen to, to not uphold the regulations, or just straight out suing the Department of Education over it. And the rallying cry around that is, big surprise, sports and trans athletes. Surprisingly, the new Title IX regulations say absolutely nothing about sports. So it’s like they’re rallying around something that the new regulations have not even codified.

**Margaret ** 45:55
I mean, literally, the only time that these people pay attention to women’s sports is when they’re worried about trans women existing. So it doesn’t surprise me that, you know.

**Inmn ** 46:08
Yeah. But Margaret, you have some maybe good things to tell us?

**Margaret ** 46:15
I got neutral stuff first. TikTok has been officially… The law passed that TikTok is now–not immediately–banned in the United States. TikTok has been…. Its parent company, which is based in Beijing, has nine months to sell it. And so by any realistic standard, it’ll be about a year before TikTok would do any disappearing. And then of course, obviously you can ban software. But that’s not a easy thing to enforce. It would get taken down off of like the Google Play Store and the Apple Store and stuff like that, but people who had it still would have it. And then it would get buggier and buggier or in shittier and shittier as updates are unable to go out, unless people use VPNs to get from another country, etc, etc.

**Margaret ** 47:02
There’s ways around it? What? [Sarcastically]

**Margaret ** 47:06
I know. It’s also completely possible that since every one involved is a capitalist, they’re probably like, "Alright, well, we’ll sell the fucking thing. Like, who cares?" You know? That’s like my guess. I don’t know, I could be wrong about that. I would be surprised if TikTok ends up going away because of this. However, the actual thing that I think ties into this is there is a bipartisan bill that people are working on, called Kids Off Social Media Act, which wants to say that kids under 13 should not be on social media, and pass all kinds of like things about how like algorithms can’t focus on anyone 17 and under. And just like lots of like, "social media is bad for kids." And now I think social media is probably bad for everyone. However, to me….  I haven’t given us a lot of thought. It seems like a basic free speech issue. And also, like, old people fighting the future and screaming at clouds kind of moment. And the idea of banning TikTok, I’m like…. Okay, I’m not accelerationist. I don’t think things should get worse before they get better. But the idea of some fucking 80 year old liches in Congress being like, "I don’t like the tocks ticking around like that." And then like, it’s like, incredibly popular. I think about half of Americans have a TikTok account. Like, telling half of Americans they can’t do a thing sounds like a way to get people really mad. And I know I get really excited by the idea of like…. They have their bipartisan tyranny, and there’s this idea that maybe one day we’ll get over this fucking culture war and we can fight back in the class war that is waged against us. And like, if TikTok is the thing that brings it, I’m fear for it. I’m too old for TikTok. I have an account. I don’t know how to use it. I’ve never uploaded a video. TikTok doesn’t need me. But like, whatever anyway. But actually, I’m kind of curious, not having a child, Me–I’m the one without a child–Brooke, do you have thoughts on this no social media for the kids thing? Like am I…am I totally off base? Is it just protecting…. Like, I don’t know. What’s up? 

**Brooke ** 49:28
I mean I get where they’re coming from with it, and all the research that’s shown how negative social media is for–I mean, they’ve done particular studies for kids and how it affects them–but turns out it’s actually bad for all human beings, the way social media has come for us and the atmosphere is it creates. So, I get where they’re coming from with it. As a very involved parent, you know, my solution is always to pay attention to and engage with your children, which is not a reasonable thing for all people to have as much engagement as it would take really to have healthy social media interactions. But then, you know, the anarchist side of me says, "No, you don’t get to ban things ever."

**Margaret ** 50:18
Well and also like, I don’t know, a lot of people are rumbling about how TikTok is why a new generation of people supports Palestine and doesn’t buy into the myths about the Zionist project being a thing that represents all Jews, for example, right? And then anti-capitalism is spreading and being pro capitalism is 100% bipartisan for the ghouls who feed off of the youth and somehow live too long. This is the most ageist shit I’m ever going to say. Some people are capable of performing their jobs well into their later years and gain wisdom. The people who run this country are nightmare men. 

**Brooke ** 51:00
I feel like it’s, you know, the same kind of things they’ve said about all new technologies that have come out over the last,, you know, whatever, 30 years.

**Margaret ** 51:09
And like the only person who said this stuff, and was right, was a little man who had some bad strategic and ethical ideas, but wrote that "industrial society and its future have been a disaster for the human race." At least be consistent.

**Inmn ** 51:31
I was researching this for another episode once, and I didn’t end up talking about it because it was hard to learn too much about, but some of the lawmakers have specifically cited youth information spreading about Palestine as a reason for the TikTok ban. It’s like a specifically listed reason from lawmakers. And the other thing about the Kids Online Safety, whatever it’s called, is it’s heralded as a way to protect children from pornography and from the proliferation of child pornography, which is the thing that lawmakers say all the time, and pretty much all these human rights organizations who are, you know, much more aptly trying to protect children from shit are like, "This is most asinine bullshit we’ve ever heard this. This bill is utterly absurd." And it has other implications, which are that it’s trying to herald in this idea that you could no longer be like anonymous on the internet, and that the government has a lot more to…has a lot more agency to track your goings on on the internet. So it would…. It’s like the bill would require you to essentially show a driver’s license in order to engage with a lot of things on the internet, which I think is just trying to…I think it’s capitalists’ attempt to really make a thing like the internet something that is like more of a interacting with the government process and less a whatever the internet is, you know. 

**Margaret ** 53:24
That makes sense to me. and yeah, 

**Inmn ** 53:26
And it kind of falls in line with the our futuristic hellscape of like the "One app," for example. Like, you gotta scan your fucking fingerprint to log into Instagram or do anything on the internet.

**Margaret ** 53:43
It’s funny because sometimes they use a VPN just as a basic practice and sometimes I use a VPN that’s set in Europe. And when you browse the internet as a European, every site you go to is like, "Hey, do you want us to track you?" And you’re like, "No." And it’s like, "Okay, fine." Because the EU has some good internet laws, you know? About restricting the tyranny part of it instead of the like…. Whatever. Okay, I’m gonna do my vaguely positive news at the end. Y’all ready?

**Inmn ** 54:18
Yeah, what’s good? 

**Margaret ** 54:21
People are sleeping more than average than before.

**Inmn ** 54:25
Yay. I’m not. But good for them.

**Margaret ** 54:28
25 minutes more on average for the same people–not like the same individuals, right. Because how often you sleep is dependent on how old you are and also very heavily dependent about whether you have children. But people are sleeping about 25 minutes more on average than they were in 2002. And the best guess is that it started picking up a lot recently because of remote work and a lower percentage of people commuting. The biggest cool thing, the FTC, the Federal Trade Commission, has banned non-compete agreements. 30 million people have been freed from non-compete clauses.

**Brooke ** 55:07
Oh, nice.

**Margaret ** 55:11
The EPA is banning most use of methyl chloride, which is a paint stripper that has killed like 88 people or something in the past couple of years and it’s just bad. The EPA is actually, for the first time in a while, starting to get like…they’re trying to stop forever chemicals. And there’s like some shit that they’re actually trying to do, right? They also–do you want to guess when asbestos was finally banned in the United States?

**Margaret ** 55:39
It was late. It was like the 90s.

**Inmn ** 55:41
Was it last week?

**Margaret ** 55:45
March 2024. 

**Brooke ** 55:47
Oh, shit.

**Inmn ** 55:50
I was right, sort of.

**Margaret ** 55:52
Yeah, Inmn was closest. There’s about six types of asbestos and one of them had been sort of…. Enough people, enough industries had been like, "But we want to use it." And so for the past 33 years, this particular type, people have been trying to ban. Because the 90s is an accurate assessment of when I think most of the others got–I don’t know, I’m making that part of it up–all I know is that for 33 years, they’ve been trying to ban this fucking asbestos and they finally succeeded in March of this year. Also, the FDA did an emergency approval of pre-exposure prophylaxis for COVID called Pemivibart, which is a dumb name because it rhymes with farts. And nothing should rhyme with fart if it’s a drug. And it is for the immunocompromised. So you would take this before, you know, if you’re going into a situation where you’re worried about getting COVID. And it’s an emergency approval like the original vaccines were so it’s not through all of testing, but it’s important enough that they feel like it’s safe enough. Also, recently passed phase three trials is a vaccine to pretend prevent UTIs, or urinary tract infections, which is the kind of thing that I never would have occurred to me you could run it against because it’s usually, I believe, bacterial infections. But it’s a really common problem. And that’s cool if we can fucking solve it.

**Brooke ** 57:22
And some people are super prone to them just based on, you know, bodily health or genetics or whatever. Like it’s a thing. They have ongoing, chronic UTI kind of thing. So fuck yeah.

**Margaret ** 57:37
It’s kind of like when they finally got an HPV vaccine through and it was just like, oh my god, this is actually pretty fucking game changing, you know? I wish they would give it to fucking assigned male people. But yeah.

**Brooke ** 57:47
And then conservative Christian types that were like, "Oh, we don’t think that our children should have to have this vaccine." 

**Inmn ** 57:54
Any kind of person can get the HPV vaccine.

**Margaret ** 57:57
Oh, interesting. Good to know.

**Inmn ** 58:00
Yeah, it’s a different vaccine, I think. But anybodied person can get it. 

**Margaret ** 58:07
That’s good to know. And hopefully, next time, we’ll have different news about King Charles III and cancer. But who knows? But that’s This Month in the Apocalypse, which you have now listened to, or participated in if you are named Brooke or Inmn or Margaret. Unless your named Brooke, Inmn, or Margaret and you’re not on the podcast, in which case you didn’t participate in it. You just heard it. And then probably have a different kind of parasocial relationship with us if you share our names, especially if you’re Inmn. Like, there’s not a ton of you. And like, Inmn’s pretty cool. So do you have like a different…. Please write in, Inmn’s in the audience. Pretend to be our Inmn and we’ll read a prepared script from you next time as if you’re our Inmn. This is not true. I’m lying. 

**Margaret ** 59:08
But what I’m not lying about is that if you want to support this podcast, you can do so by supporting our publisher, which is Strangers in a Tangled Wilderness. And you can do that by going to patreon.com/strangersinatangledwilderness. And if you do, we put up zine and podcasts. We do a lot of fucking stuff. We are your source for all of your anarchy culture. And another way you can support us this week of all weeks, if you are listening to this during May Day week, like the first week of May in 2024. Although if you listen to it in a different May Day week. It’ll probably be true again. We are doing a 50% sale off of everything on our website. And that includes stuff that’s really expensive, like the hardcover of Penumbra City, which is a $50 book, but now it’s only $25 book. And you use the code MAYDAY24 at checkout and get 50% off because we fucking love May Day and we care more about our stuff getting out there than anything else about it. And if you support us on Patreon, we might even shout you out like we’re going to shout out allium and Amber, Ephemoral, Appalachian Liberation Library, Portland’s Hedron Hackerspace, Boldfield, E, Patoli, Eric, Buck ,Julia, Catgut, Marm, Carson, Lord Harken, Trixter, Princess Miranda, BenBen, anonymous, Janice & O’dell, Aly, paparouna, Milica, Boise Mutual Aid, theo, Hunter, S. J., Paige. Nicole, David, Dana, Chelsea, Staro, Jenipher, Kirk, Chris, Micaiah, King Charles III–What?! And Hoss the Dog. 

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