Ep233 – What Does Your Hinky Meter Tell You? Part 2

In Part 1 of “What Does Your Hinky Meter Tell You?”, Bryan and Hunter explored the controversy that the Frying Dutchman, Hunter Maats, had created in calling out Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins. In Part 2, we look at why that behavior is so problematic: it creates an emotional climate that divides cultures rather than uniting them.

At the end of a great stand-up comedy show, something truly wonderful happens. People’s differences fall away and people of all races, genders, colors and creeds come together. In that moment, there’s a possibility in the air. The possibility that people from totally different experiences strike up a conversation and connect because they realize that beyond their superficial differences that they can learn things from each other. The spirit at the end of one of Bryan’s stand up shows is the Spirit of ’76. It’s the spirit of curiosity and possibility that fills garages where great start-ups are born. It’s the spirit of openness, curiosity and possibility that filled the Caliphate in the age of its greatest scientific breakthroughs. It’s the spirit that Hunter wants the Callenphate to create worldwide…and that Bryan thinks we probably won’t. Whatever happens, it’s what these two silly geese are aiming to spread.

The problem is that there are divisive figures among us who thrive on using lawyerly rhetoric to promote bad ideas. In the write up to the last episode, I asked you to recommend someone who set off your hinky meter. One of you did. You suggested Ben Shapiro. And so, the Tutor of Death looked at Ben Shapiro and in this episode you can hear his rhetorical strategy broken down.

People like Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Ben Shapiro, SJWs and Tom Woods are critics. They criticize religious people or liberals or government or the red states. People like Alex Jones spread division. They don’t get into the ring and try and practically solve problems. Mixed Mental Arts is not about theory. It is about turning the best available theory into practice. As Teddy Roosevelt said:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Do we know exactly what we’re doing? Of course not. If someone knew how to solve the world’s problems, they would. We’re a stand-up comedian and a tutor and if we fail, at least we will fail while daring greatly. And so, this podcast marks our commitment to do a very simple thing: to try, to fail and try again and again. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the answer to a question that Bryan and I have both been trying to answer for a very long time: what makes a real man? It’s someone who can bet it all on a single game of pitch and toss, lose and start again. We are done with trying to be liked. Instead, we choose to grow up and become men. The world is on the verge of doing something truly stupid. And so, perhaps it takes two guys who aren’t worried about looking stupid to help fix that. Perhaps the Cincinnatuses…or should that be Cincinnati…of our age are one, two cutie pies. Maybe not. But we’re certainly willing to have a go. After all, if we can do that, then we might finally become the men our fathers raised us to be. Over to Rudyard Kipling…

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Right after being born in Saudi Arabia, I was taken to the Callen house. Since then, Bryan and I have travelled the world with our Citibank fathers and somehow ended up in LA together. There we’d run into each other at family gatherings and do something that no one else in LA seemed to be doing: we talked about books. Since Bryan was kind of a big deal, Hunter and Bryan hatched a scheme to use his podcast to get on their favorite authors and professors. Out of that evolved Mixed Mental Arts and this tribe. For me, the marriage of entertainment and education is a return to how things used to be before our culture split story into two separate things. It’s exciting to be able to build on the work Katie O’Brien and I did for The Straight-A Conspiracy and expand it out to every area of life. While I play a series of roles in the Mixed Mental Arts community (including Shitty Dutch Uncle and Bryan’s #1 fan) my favorite role is as Toto who pulls back the curtain and let’s the world see that there are no wizards…only men and women who try and puff themselves up to seem important.

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