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On The Edge With Andrew Gold
72 minutes | 7 days ago
Ex-Jehovah's Witness Lloyd Evans: The Reluctant Apostate
Links:The John Cedars YouTube ChannelLloyd Evans: The Reluctant ApostateAndrew Gold's brand new Patreon page - patreon.com/andrewgoldEpisode SummaryLloyd Evans is pretty much the world’s pre-eminent ex-Jehovah’s Witness and authority on the religion, its attractions and its snares. He tells some of the downright craziest and unbelievable stories of his childhood and his time in religion.So that Jehovah’s Witnesses know, I’m not just picking on them, as I’ve already done episodes on an ex-Muslim whose family are trying to kill her, an ex-Hasidic Jew who believes the community raped her and the son of the founder of the Westboro Baptist Church. You’ll find those in the backlog, by clicking the links above or by visiting my website, andrewgoldpodcast.com.This is also a special podcast because Ex-Jehovah Lloyd convinced me, as you’ll hear, of the merits of starting my own Patreon page, and he’s even started contributing himself, which is a really touching gesture from a fellow content maker. Bringing this podcast to you every week is a full-time job, it takes about 40 hours each week. Just go to patreon.com/andrewgold.Of course, if I’m going to be making money from this, I also have to up my game. I’ve been making an effort to ensure interviewees send me their audio files – so you’ll hear in this one, Lloyd’s voice is absolutely gorgeous. And I’m going to start publishing the video versions of the podcast on YouTube, with lots of flashy camera angles and high definition. Anyway, that was my announcement and I don’t want it to eat into any more Lloyd Evans ex-Jehovah’s Witness time. We’re going to be talking about everything from the community’s controversial views on blood transfusions to its purported inaction on child abuse. Lloyd talks eloquently about cognitive dissonance – the way our mind refuses to consider reasoning that runs counter to our engrained idea of how the world works. Lloyd really is an authority on the subject, and if you want to know more, I encourage you to get hold of his acclaimed book – The Reluctant Apostate – and to visit his popular YouTube page with over 70,000 subscriptions, the John Cedars channel. Click here to go ads-free and support the show See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
42 minutes | 14 days ago
Stealing planes and smuggling drugs from Belize
Ed Hudson worked as the narcotics and law enforcement officer in the Florida unit responsible for bringing down Freddie Crow. Freddie used to steal planes and fly under the radar with death-defying stunts to reach Belize, where he’d smuggle so much marijuana onto the plane that the pressure would bust open the doors. He wore camouflage and became known by the FBI only as Rambo, before they could identify him and his partner in crime Billy. His life was very much like that of Tom Cruise’s character in American Made, but it took a drastic change after he was caught and met today’s guest on On the Edge with Andrew Gold podcast: Ed Hudson.After serving time, an unlikely friendship developed between the two, before things took a tragic turn. I’ll leave it there for now. I came across Ed’s fantastic book, As The Crow Flies: The Redemption of an International Drug Smuggler, which you can find on Amazon and in selected stores. Look up his Facebook page Ed Hudson Author – there’ll be a link on my andrewgoldpodcast.com blog - for photos of him and Freddie, and Freddie’s family.Couple things to note. One, a huge part of the story is, to Ed, religious. I’m not a religious person – in fact, I’d describe myself as a proud and open atheist. But it’s impossible not to make a link between Freddie’s redemption and punishment tale and religious stories…which to me, are just that: stories. But to Ed, they’re something more, and it means he speaks with a genuine enthusiasm and passion that elevates the story both in this interview and in his book.Two, Ed has a quite marvellous way of talking. It’s a real traditional Deep South accent that we in the UK can only dream of encountering in real life, so if nothing else, I hope you enjoy listening to the musicality of his voice. As regular listeners will know, I always attempt an impression of the disparate accents on the show, so it didn’t escape notice that he says things like ‘that’s done been done’. Click here to go ads-free and support the show See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
54 minutes | 21 days ago
The woman who remembers every moment of her life since birth
On today’s show, I’m proud to say, I’ve got someone almost entirely unique. Rebecca Sharrock is one of 80 people in the world with HSAM, which is an ability to remember every moment of your life, stretching back as far as the womb. What would you do with such a power, or is it a curse? Rebecca will shed some light on the matter. She also has obsessive compulsive disorder and autism, but it’s her near-perfect memory that puts her in the rarest of rare groups, one that makes up just 0.000001 per cent of the world population.Given the cognitive nature of the episode, this seemed like a great idea as a follow up to last week’s podcast with cognitive scientist Dr. Lera Boroditsky, where we discussed the way languages shape thought, and how the mind works.Rebecca is a huge Harry Potter fan – something we both share, and were able to bond over. She was actually supposed to be going on a trip to the Harry Potter World at Universal Studios, but it was cancelled due to Covid. As you’ll hear, she knows the books off by heart and is able to finish any line from Harry Potter that I throw at her – you can find the video version of that clip on Twitter and Instagram on andrewgold_ok, while Rebecca is on r_sharrock on Twitter. The things she shows me are truly remarkable, and open up all sorts of questions about the human mind, memory, the subconscious and how it all links up. Also, her lovely mum Janet shows up halfway through to give some great insight about what it’s like living with somebody who remembers everything good and bad you do or say.A few warnings. One, I’m going to attempt my terrible, terrible accent. Rebecca’s not the first guest we’ve had from Queensland, Australia – I had the Coffin Confessor who reveals secrets at people’s funerals just a few episodes back. Another warning – something my girlfriend Julieta has picked up on and mocked me about – is that I’ve been mentioning a lot lately how many languages I speak. It comes up again here, so I’m going to make a concerted effort in future episodes…to keep doing it. At the end of the day, it took an extortionate amount of time and effort to learn to speak five languages – and it has very little practical use day to day – so I might as well gloat about it on this podcast. That’s what I told her anyway.I hope you enjoy this episode – if you haven’t already, make sure to subscribe – and please leave me some lovely new reviews on the Apple Podcast app – they’ve been drying up the last week or so – tell me where you’re listening to this, and any funny stories relating to the episode or your state of mind. I’ll read the latest ones out at the end. For now, I’m trying to impress Rebecca Sharrock with my best Australian accent.P.S. if you like this episode, you might also like my one with NME music journalist James McMahon, who discusses what it's like to live with crippling OCD. Click here to go ads-free and support the show See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
63 minutes | a month ago
How languages change how we think and can give us super powers
Today, I’ve got Lera Boroditsky, Professor of Cognitive Science at UCSD on the show. She’s a really big deal in the languages and cognitive science worlds, having taught at MIT and Stanford. and you can find her Ted Talk here. Her teaching and her research focus on the way we form thought, the way we think, and the way language affects how we think. If any of you have seen the movie Arrival (trailer), you’ll know what I mean – because it’s a great example of how learning the alien language allows you to think different. I won’t spoil it, but the film and it’s original short story by Ted Chiang just blew my mind.Scientists in the real world haven’t encountered anything quite so sci-fi-like – but Dr. Boroditsky has nailed down certain characteristics in the 7,000 languages around the world that make its native speakers think in different ways. For example, she engrained herself with one community where they use cardinal points, so south, west, east and north, instead of left and right. It means they have an internal map of compass points – something we never thought humans had the ability to do. Other examples she’ll talk about include the way we see colour, the way we count and use maths, and the way gender is influenced by language. For example, the French bridge Le Pont is masculine, and they therefore tend to describe it as imposing and strong, while Germans Die Brücke is feminine, so it’s seen as elegant and fragile. While these gender stereotypes might be a little outdated, they give us an insight into the way words can have an effect on meaning.As many of you know, language is one of my biggest passions. I speak five, although I cheat by including English – the others are Spanish, French, German and Portuguese. And one of the things that has fascinated me is how I find myself taking on a new personality with each language. When I’m in a group of French people I become this low-voiced suave, philosophical guy, while in Argentine Spanish, I take on an Italian inflection, and I’m a bit more risqué, I’m singing my words, and that has to change your personality – not only in how you’re perceived by others, but in how you think while communicating in these other languages. I really feel like I become another person, and you can see me using these languages in my work in my showreel.So that’s why I’ve been absolutely fascinated by Dr. Boroditsky’s work, and by a book a recently read by Guy Deutscher, called Through the Language Glass. Dr. Boroditsky talks to me all about those things, and also touches on things like enforced language change – such as gender-neutral pronouns and other social-justice changes – and talks a little about psychopaths that she might just be one. I think she was joking, but there’s some truth in the notion that high-performing people might just be some form of sociopath. If you’re into that, check out my earlier episodes with M.E. Thomas the female Mormon psychopath, and Mary Turner Thomson, whose husband was a psychopath and a bigamist.Please make sure to share this podcast, follow me on andrewgold_ok on Twitter and Instagram – I could do with more followers! Click here to go ads-free and support the show See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
70 minutes | a month ago
HALLOWEEN SPECIAL: David Firth (Salad Fingers)
British comedy-horror animator David Firth is known universally for his Salad Fingers series, and has been putting up short films on his website fat-pie.com for decades. He has worked with the BBC and the likes of David Mitchell among many others.I think Lynchean – in that David Lynch manner – is the most apt word to describe his subtle blend of the creepy, eerie, nightmarish qualities of his cartoons with a very dark sense of humour. Catch him on Twitter and get yourself a Salad Fingers toy for Halloween.Before I forget – this background music is by the late Clara Rockmore on the Theremin instrument, and it ran through David’s Spoilsbury Toast Boy film, which is creepy as hell. This is like a Desert Island Discs of his stuff, as I play a bunch of clips of his best stuff, while he talks about them - all these clips belong to David Firth and the full versions can be found on fat-pie.com. Thanks David for allowing me to play these clips, and I hope it gives newcomers to his work a sense of what we’re dealing with here! I’ll put links to the full episodes of each of the clips I show in my blog on andrewgoldpodcast.com. Also check out his ambient music on Locust Toybox on Spotify – I’ll be using one of his clips for the outro.But now it’s the podcast - we talk about a lot of stuff, including where David gets his ideas, his dreams, his nightmares and his process as well as things like cancel culture and Pete Townsend. Click here to go ads-free and support the show See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
73 minutes | a month ago
Celeb Hypnotist Chris Hughes...Hypnotises Andrew
Chris Hughes is a hypnotist from Oxfordshire who once hypnotised over a million people across 130 countries at once – online. Check out SocialTrance for that on YouTube for that and type his name – Chris Hughes followed by hypnotist into Google to find his wiki page, Twitter account and official website. Chris has also showcased his modern approach to hypnosis across several BBC channels and other prominent TV stations – and what Chris specialises in is hypnotherapy, which uses hypnosis to help people tweak their subconscious.That is, he’ll cure your phobia of spiders, he’ll help you quit smoking, he’ll help you lose weight. He’s a firm believer that talking is great for talking’s sake and can make you feel better, but hypnosis is the real gem that can cut to the source and sort you out. He has an office on the reputable medical district of Harley Street, and hypnotism is often listed as a potential treatment on the National Health Service website and other dependable sources, so why not?I was also interested in speaking to him to understand a little more about what I’d experienced with exorcism. I performed an exorcism for a BBC 3 documentary a couple years ago in Argentina, and I found that all the patients, if we can call them that, seemed to be cured of their issues. That said, many of them fell back into depression, anxiety and whatever else they were suffering from. I was keen to ask Chris about that, so sent him a link – which you can find on BBC iPlayer or YouTube, just type Andrew Gold exorcism, you’ll find it.We talk about how hypnotism works, how it can help people and the ethics around hypnotists using what they’ve learned on members of the opposite sex, or on their children to get them to do their chores. I also ask what pushed him to get into hypnotism, but inexplicably left that bit until the last question.Links:Chris Hugheshttps://www.chrishugheshypnotherapy.co.uk/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Hughes_(hypnotist)https://twitter.com/hypnotistchris?lang=enhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_j51H1UDcU&list=UUdrZDrCLA2Zsrd6EeOyCLQg&ab_channel=ChrisHughesAndrew Goldhttps://www.andrewgoldpodcast.com/https://twitter.com/AndrewGold_okhttps://instagram.com/AndrewGold_okhttps://www.facebook.com/ontheedgewithandrewgoldExorcism BBC Filmhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l78hW8qVIWI Click here to go ads-free and support the show See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
59 minutes | a month ago
Wrestling's #MeToo Moment: Rhia O'Reilly
Wrestler Rhia O’Reilly is known for her signature move the Rhia-djustment. We chat about broken bones, how wrestling works and Jaffa Cakes, as well as one of the most under-reported social movements: the Speaking Out movement. It’s a bit of a subset of #MeToo, but wrestling was left behind by the media a little, which likes to pick and choose what might be relevant. I didn’t know very much about wrestling, so Rhia helped to fill me in. We also discuss whether or not wrestling is a sport - which has long been a surprisingly controversial debate! Rhiannon Stephanie Docherty was born in 1985 and is from Northern Ireland. She’s been wrestling since 2010 and she also trains other wrestlers, and is a pretty big name in the industry nowadays.Find her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/rdpixie, she’s got a big following and is very active – she’s also big on charity and works at the Big Issue, which is a great British newspaper that helps homeless people to earn an income. For the dark side of Rhia, check out her videos on YouTube. I have far few followers, so if you feel sorry for me, find me on Twitter - https://twitter.com/AndrewGold_ok - or Instagram -https://instagram.com/AndrewGold_ok - or Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ontheedgewithandrewgold - those accounts are where you'll find all the video teasers. Click here to go ads-free and support the show See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
73 minutes | 2 months ago
Why it's Difficult Bearing a Willy and Who is Romania
This is a really fun one. I was fortunate enough to get an interview the illustrious TV historian and presenter, Dr Tessa Dunlop, who, as it happens shares an agent with me, who shall be referred to in this episode as Hilary, because that is her name. She has a passion for all things Romanian, including her husband, who she met when he was 12 – stick around for that story, if nothing else. She often appears on TV chat shows, and she also wrote the Century Girls about 100 year-old-women and the Bletchley Girls, about the women involved in the World War II Codebreakers at Bletchley Park of course. She’s totally risqué, naughty and flirty, but also one of the kindest and funniest people I know.She’s here to discuss her new show Who Is Romania – where she delves into a fascinating history in a really fun and accessible way - you’ll find links to this free show on her Twitter account, @tessadunlop – or Instagram tessa_dunlop (if you’re going on Twitter, give me a follow on andrewgold_ok - or Instagram also andrewgold_ok, I have far fewer followers than Tessa and need your love much more). You’ll also find her series all over her Tessa Dunlop Facebook page, where the videos are getting mad crazy numbers of views, and her YouTube page, funnily enough, also called Tessa Dunlop.Among other things, we bitch about the TV industry, talk inappropriately about woke culture and dive into the nuances of the Meghan versus the Royal Family debate. We also speak abut her time hunting for ghosts in Egypt with the late psychic TV personality Derek Acorah.Next week I’m talking with female Irish professional wrestler Rhia O’Reilly – about some pretty crazy stuff that’s been going on that has been wildly under-reported in the UK and the US. More on that at the end, when I’ll conclude and read out some reviews. Click here to go ads-free and support the show See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
51 minutes | 2 months ago
'OCD and intrusive thoughts are ruining my life'
James McMahon is a music journalist and former editor of Kerrang music magazine who also had several prominent roles at NME – which is also a very big music magazine. He’s very talented and does all sorts of things, from illustration and animal portraits to a paranormal email magazine called Spoook and interviews with the likes of Green Day, U2 and 50 Cent. He’s also written for Vice, The Guardian and the Big Issue among other prestigious titles.(Follow the podcast on twitter.com/andrewgold_ok or instagram.com/andrewgold_ok or facebook.com/ontheedgewithandrewgold)But today, we’re going to talk about his struggle with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It’s something I struggled with myself as a teenager and haven’t really spoken about. I wouldn’t want to now say I have OCD any more than the average person; I’m sure all of you have some aspects of obsessive compulsion – but the disorder part is where James comes in.I came across his other project, the OCD Chronicles, in which he interviews all sorts of people with different kinds of OCD, which affects everybody slightly differently. His latest interview was with Mara Wilson, the child star you might know from Matilda or Mrs. Doubtfire. I put forward the theory to James that learning to be Matilda – a young girl who can control things with her mind – might have been a catalyst for her disorder. But I think both James and Mara can see that it’s a little more complicated than that.In any case, we talk about how it has affected James, and get on to parts you maybe didn’t expect from OCD, including intrusive thoughts – and there are some surprising and difficult ones that have plagued James for some time.If you think that you, or your loved ones might be suffering with this debilitating disorder, I’ve put links to OCD UK and OCD Action in the episode description, so do get in touch with them. Check out James’ OCD Chronicles on https://www.jamesjammcmahon.com or follow him on Twitter via @jamesjammcmahon. Click here to go ads-free and support the show See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
45 minutes | 2 months ago
Coffin Confessor: I crash funerals to reveal secrets of the dead
Have you ever wished to have the last word in an argument? Like actually the definitive last word, where nobody can ever come back at you. Well, a private investigator in Queensland Australia called William Edgar believes he has the answer. (Find video teasers on andrewgold_ok on Insta and Twitter)If you hire him, when you die – he’ll turn up at your funeral and give everyone a piece of your late mind. To lend his voice to the departed, he charges around $10,000 Australian dollars a pop for the service and makes sure to look into your claims, so that he’s not just spouting rubbish at a funeral. He’ll also rummage through your belongings after you pass, hiding anything you don’t want your loved ones to see. I don’t want to give too much away right now, but we’ll talk about a pensioner’s sex dungeon, a secretly gay biker and some pretty crazy funeral clashes.You’ll find him @thecoffinconfessor on Instagram and the same on Facebook. His website is thecoffinconfessor.com.au. Despite the gloomy topic, he’s actually a lot of fun, and I love talking to such colourful characters, it’s sort of the whole point of the podcast, so I hope you enjoy being transported now to his world. Warning to my father, and all of our fathers and mothers – I think about 30% of his words are of the swearing variety. It does get a little serious too – about halfway through, he brought up something I didn’t know about – his childhood abuse, which sounds horrific. Look up the Lost Boy of TSS to know more about that – but it’s interesting how that sparked his enthusiasm for his current career.At the end of the pod, I’ll be reading out a couple reviews and promoting the video of this pod for its most enthusiastic fans. But for now, we’re in Queensland Australia to speak to the Coffin Confessor Bill Edgar. Click here to go ads-free and support the show See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
44 minutes | 2 months ago
Prison Call: 'I killed my girlfriend in botched suicide attempt'
This is probably my most ambitious and tricky podcast episode. I spoke with convict Bobby Caldwell in a Michigan prison. Catch trailers on andrewgold_ok on Twitter/Insta. I'd also like to thank Alan Burke - @burkewhy on Twitter - for suggesting I invite Bobby on - great shout, Alan!After suffering for years with crippling depression, Bobby made headlines around the world when he accidentally shot and killed his partner Monica Anderson, 28, in a botched and drunken suicide attempt. He says that because he didn’t want to put her family through more pain, he pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to a maximum of 17 years, of which he’s served six. Monica left behind two children, one of whom is Bobby’s son. Friends remember her for her outgoing, vivacious nature and her baking abilities – she even competed in a cake festival and dreamed of opening her own cake business.Bobby came to my attention through his own podcast, Notes from the Pen, which he records via phone calls with his friend Freddie on the outside. It’s a fascinating and unique look behind the bars, giving us an insight into daily life, social hierarchies and Bobby’s evolving thoughts on life and what happened that fateful day.This episode was also complicated for journalistic reasons – when some people hear that the bullets from Bobby’s gun travelled up the stairs and hit Monica in the side of her back, they’re sceptical about whether it was an accident. We’ve all seen enough documentaries and films about that kind of thing. I racked my brain for days about whether or not to bring that up.The authorities who examined the case believe he was negligent – which he admits – but did not intend to shoot her. I’m not a judge, and even the slightest hint of an opinion from me about intent would be totally irresponsible on my part and extremely damaging to Bobby, who is paying an awful price for what, by all accounts, was a terrible accident.At the same time, I wouldn’t be doing my job as a journalist, if I didn’t at least broach the fact that some people might not believe him. You as a listener would be screaming at me from behind your screens about such a large elephant in the room. I think asking him about it also gave him a chance to explain and defend himself – it’s something that really bothers him, quite understandably.Despite this being such a serious topic, I wanted to start with a lighter note, so that we could get to know each other a little before delving into the worst night of his life, so we do talk now about privacy, defecation and masturbation in a state prison. Click here to go ads-free and support the show See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
47 minutes | 3 months ago
Helen Lewis: bad sex, bin bags and difficult women
Catch the video trailers on https://twitter.com/AndrewGold_ok or https://www.instagram.com/andrewgold_ok/.I’ve just had a very fun chat with Helen Lewis, the pre-eminent British journalist of The Guardian, The Atlantic, GQ and others - about Difficult Women. That’s the topic of the podcast, but it’s also the name of Helen’s eye-opening new book which you can get in all the normal places and here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Difficult-Women-History-Feminism-Fights/dp/1787331288I wanted to have her on the show because she has a distinctively measured take on the battles women have faced over the last century or so. Her book covers obstacles women have had to overcome over the years, such as getting divorce legalised, getting the vote, changing the way we talk about sex and so on. But it does so without lecturing or reproaching men; while also adopting a warts and all approach to the women she writes about. They weren’t saints – and Helen writes about things like the jealousy and classist rivalries in the suffragette movement; and how some of these pioneering feminists were attracted to fascism and eugenics. I also wanted to have Helen on because I’ve recently had conservative Lord Daniel Finkelstein, and before that, anti-woke academics – and I don’t want this podcast to become some sort of hub of incels and misogynists and things – Helen shows how you can be an activist, you can fight for social justice without alienating everyone else or showing off your virtue.She has long been a famous name in British journalism due to her pre-eminence as a writer; she’s made radio documentaries for the BBC, including a recent one I enjoyed called the Roots of Woke Culture, where she interviewed anti-social justice scholars Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay – who also came on this podcast. However, her name really took off online after her GQ interview on YouTube with famous Canadian psychiatrist Jordan Peterson. I don’t want you to leave this podcast, but I do recommend you check it out – it has 16 million views right now, so it’s likely you’ve already seen it.I thought she really held her own against one of the world’s most famous intellects. Concerned about woke culture and often extending an olive branch to men. We discuss that Jordan Peterson interview as well as trans rights, woke culture, sex and…we really do laugh quite a lot, I really enjoyed this one, and hope you do too. Click here to go ads-free and support the show See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
46 minutes | 3 months ago
Lord Daniel Finkelstein: Times Columnist and Conservative Peer
For video clips, follow me - andrewgold_ok - on Twitter or Instagram.A close friend of former prime minister David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne, Daniel Finkelstein is a conservative peer and Times political columnist who has just released a collection of his best articles entitled Everything in Moderation. As I said to him in my email asking him on the show, the title of his book is the antithesis in every way to the podcast’s epithet of On the Edge.But, having read Daniel’s insightful book, which I’d recommend to everyone looking to get a sense of perspective - it does correspond with many of my views about the world. When I have a psychopath, a paedophile or a cult member on this podcast, the idea is not to celebrate or promote their ideas, but often to show the perils of living life too far on the edge, too close to precipice. That’s why I like to round off those edges every other week by hearing from thought leaders – we’ve had anti-woke scholars Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay, futurist Zoltan Istvan – and this week I’m interviewing feminist Helen Lewis.But right now I’m honoured to introduce Daniel Finkelstein, a conservative who is perhaps known for his uber modernist beliefs. He runs counter to the stereotype of the old-fashioned Tory, with liberal views on pretty much everything. With a father who had been exiled in Siberia and a mother who was a survivor of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, he grew up able with a clear grasp on the perils of the extremes and the safety and liberties extended by the centre.He’s centre-right, and I ask him what makes a conservative and why so many people find them repellent. We talk about what he said to actor Martin Freeman and what it’s like down the pub with David Cameron and George Osborne. What was really going on in Cameron’s mind when he confused his football team of Aston Villa with West Ham. He also talks about prime minister Boris Johnson, with rumours abound about his stepping down in the coming months.To non-Brits or those who aren’t politically minded, there are some parts that delve into the nitty gritty, but Daniel does speak a lot about accessible and universal concepts. This is not a political podcast – and I’d be totally out of my depth framing it as such – it’s the type of podcast where I ask ‘Hey, what actually is a Lord?’ and ‘Which footie team DOES David Cameron support.’ As a writer, Daniel is not afraid to pluck cases from the popular or low-brow zeitgeist to make broader political points, and I hope you feel this podcast reflects that accessibility.By the way, thanks again for listening and recommending this pod to friends. It’s only a few months old but just entered the top 2 of Apple’s documentary section in the UK. It’s in their prestigious New and Noteworthy category too right now, so I’m delighted to welcome all the new listeners. Please make sure to leave a review in the Apple Podcasts app. If you use another app, don’t worry, there’s no homework – just enjoy. Click here to go ads-free and support the show See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
48 minutes | 3 months ago
The Bigamist: My husband had 2 wives, 5 fiancées and 14 kids
One day, as she was on her way to take the kids out the house, Mary Turner Thomson received a phone call that was about to turn her life upside down. The woman on the other end was her husband Will Jordan’s other wife. I’m barely scratching the surface in this intro, as I think she tells it best, and I’d also really like you to get hold of her book, The Bigamist. But she agrees it’s not a spoiler to tell you that Will is a psychopath; he had at least two wives and 5 fiancées while with her; those are just the ones Mary knows about, as well as more than a dozen children.He explained his long absences by saying he was a spy, and went to extraordinary lengths to prove it. He mutilated parts of his own body to show he’d been out fighting a secret war, and appeared to get old friends to collude in his lies, calling Mary and appearing to be part of his life in the secret services.Will was imprisoned but is now out doing his psychopath stuff to other unsuspecting victims. It’s just about the craziest story I’ve ever heard, and you’re about to hear some of the most unbelievable parts about the ways he managed to extract money from her and the other women in his life.In the aftermath, Mary wrote The Bigamist, detailing the whole saga, and has just written a follow-up called The Psychopath, where she goes into more detail about what it is to be one – so get hold of that in March when it comes out – until then, you can satiate your psycho desire with my earlier podcast with M.E. Thomas, who is one herself. Mary’s story was also the inspiration for The Psychopath Test, by Jon Ronson, who toured afterwards with her.By the way, I’ve been asking people to review – and this week people started kicking off at me, going there’s nowhere to review. So, I realised you can only really do that on Apple Podcasts. But whichever platform you use, please subscribe and check out the videos I post to Twitter and Instagram – my account is andrewgold_ok. Next week, we’ll hear from Conservative peer – he’s actually a lord – Daniel Finkelstein. But now it’s Mary, and she’s having one of those days. Click here to go ads-free and support the show See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
54 minutes | 3 months ago
2+2=5? - Anti-Woke Math Whizz James Lindsay Is Pissed Off
Follow the pod's social media for video teasers: https://twitter.com/AndrewGold_ok or https://www.instagram.com/andrewgold_ok/.James Lindsay is a colleague of Helen Pluckrose, who was on the podcast just a few weeks ago. Together with Peter Boghossian, the group faked woke – or social justice – academic papers and got them published in prestigious journals. These included bogus ideas like that dogs engage in rape culture and that men could become less transphobic by inserting things up their back passage. The idea was to show that there is a bias in academia towards social justice ideas.James has a doctorate in math(s) – there’s an S at the end the word, American listeners – and a background in physics. He also has a huge following on Twitter, and recently caused a storm by arguing that 2+2 does indeed equal 4. This may sound obvious, but his critics, including many respected academics have been suggesting it could also equal 5 – in a worrying echo of the kind of doublethink described in George Orwell’s 1984. James is suggesting that this is part of the problem with how woke people think, and how they’ll twist words and meaning to suit their agenda.This week, James and Helen have a book coming out; it’s called Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity—and Why This Harms Everybody. Make sure to get hold of it.The podcast does get a little mathematical early on, and if you listen closely, you can actually hear the moment my brain begins to melt, just as he talks about two concatenated ones. But we do start to move away from maths after a few minutes. Click here to go ads-free and support the show See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
46 minutes | 3 months ago
Jailed for teaching my dog a Nazi salute: Mark Meechan
Follow me on Twitter for short video highlights: https://twitter.com/AndrewGold_okOn today’s show is Mark Meechan, known online as Count Dankula. In 2016, he made a YouTube video showing how he taught his girlfriend’s beloved pug Buddha to do a Nazi salute – a Sieg Heil – on his command. His command was Gas the Jews. The video quickly went viral, and Mark was arrested and charged with committing a hate crime. He spent time in jail and was fined; a fine he refused to pay.As he’ll explain in more detail, Mark was fired from his job and pretty much unemployable by anyone who had Google. Which is obviously everyone. However, things have recently picked up for him; every time he is mentioned in the paper, his YouTube channel grows – and he now has over 100 million views. He also has 250,000 followers on Twitter, who enjoy his brand of shock humour much in line with the initial Hitler dog routine. They’re a strange bunch his followers – when he shared a photo promoting this podcast, many of them followed me and asked if I could send them photos of Mark’s penis – or if not – my own. I politely declined. I hope some of you newbies are here listening today and will stick around – they’re part of a strange online world in the dark corners of the web full of jokes and memes I don’t quite understand.But it’s not just in the obscure recesses of computer-world where Mark has made his mark. He is often talked about by famous mainstream advocates of free speech, including Ricky Gervais, who brought him up once again just this week.I remember when I heard about the dog joke at the time, I imagined a horrible neo-Nazi, so had little sympathy for him, even if it seemed strange he was being arrested for a joke. Meechan was later in the UK Independence Party, or UKIP, and had some association with British far-right activist Tommy Robinson and American far-right radio presenter Alex Jones, all of which further convinced me his apple was of the bad variety. He refutes this image, and says most of his friends are on the Left; he was nice enough to give me his time to do this podcast, so the least I could do was give him a fair hearing with an open mind.We have a bit of a chat about free speech, humour, offence and where these things collide. Should any joke be illegal? Mark certainly doesn’t think so, and I’m inclined to agree. It seems pretty crazy how the whole thing blew up, and a waste of everyone’s time and money. It can set some bad precedents…that doesn’t mean I give Mark a free pass. Just as I believe strongly in his right to make those jokes, I value my right to criticise them and say they’re in bad taste. For example, a recent video he posted mocking the Beirut explosion might be particularly hurtful for people who’ve just lost loved ones. It may not be illegal, but I consider that worthy of criticism at the least. And he’s perfectly entitled to tell me he doesn’t care.We do get distracted while talking about the Nazi pug incident, and end up waffling about free speech for a while, and come back to his arrest and jail time at the end. Which is fine, because you always listen to the end anyway. Don’t you.Next week is a chat with another controversial American scholar James Lindsay, who has pretty much blown up Twitter by claiming that 2+2=4. In an Orwellian turn, hundreds of thousands of Left-Wing academics have been suggesting the equation actually equals 5, and we believe it’s 4 because of something to do with colonisation. But for now, we’re in Scotland with Count Dankula discussing whether jokes and fried mars bars are offensive. Click here to go ads-free and support the show See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
48 minutes | 4 months ago
Female Psychopath Interview: M.E. Thomas
Catch video clips on @andrewgold_ok on Twitter or Instagram!This is one of my favourite topics ever, so you’re in for a treat. I’ve managed to get a real-life psychopath on the show – M. E. Thomas is the pseudonym of the writer of Confessions of a Psychopath. Having read Jon Ronson’s Psychopath Test a few years ago, and grown up on such films as Silence of the Lambs, American Psycho and later, No Country for Old Men and Nightcrawler, I became fascinated by them.I guess those movies make you think of a psycho killer, qu’est-ce que c’est, but apparently most psychopaths or sociopaths – who are said to make up 1% of the population – aren’t that interested in murdering. They just totally lack empathy. In fact, I’m amazed to learn from M.E. or ‘me’ about just how little is known about them, and she presents some theories I’ve never heard.Check the podcast twitter page for video trailers, which I always post there…M.E. is, however, a blurred figure behind a layer of Sellotape covering her webcam. Still, it’s worth a look, to see the fear in my eyes, if nothing else. There are indeed a couple of moments where I take some risks, but I think we get on OK, even if she wouldn’t care if I died.Please make sure to write a little review – those push you up the Apple charts. And tell some friends to get listening. Next week, I’ve got Mark Meechan, the Scottish comedian who taught his dog to do a Hitler salute in reaction to the phrase ‘Do you wanna gas the Jews’. He was arrested, sparking a worldwide debate about free speech and the right to cause offence. Tricky subject – next week. Click here to go ads-free and support the show See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
45 minutes | 4 months ago
Modestep's Josh on Wiley and the cynical music biz
Firstly, let me just say I’m delighted to have Josh Friend from internationally acclaimed Modestep on the show. He’s actually an old friend of mine – and certainly the most famous of anyone I knew growing up, and an extremely talented guy – it’s a great podcast, as he really speaks his mind and doesn’t mince his words.In the UK this week, a leading rapper known as the godfather of the grime sub-genre, Wiley (who Josh knows), went on an anti-Semitic tirade on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and wherever else he could get his message out. A tirade is being kind, as it was about as subtle as Mein Kampf; I don’t’ say that with hyperbole; the things he said had nothing to do with the typical criticism of Israel or Zionism, this was straight up, the Jews are slippery, the Jews are like the KKK, and the Jews need to be shot and killed. He called out for the ‘top Jew’ to come and speak with him, and he very nearly came on this podcast – but didn’t turn up to the Zoom meeting.Josh Friend is a musician, the main man of Modestep – look them up, you’ll know their tunes, really eclectic and original stuff. He has worked with Wiley, he knows him, he knows his character - and it’s a fairly damning report. But what’s fascinating about talking with him, is we get a look into where Wiley’s racism comes from. I'm upset this is overshadowing what would have been an interview more focussed on the music industry and Josh’s place within it, and the amazing work Modestep have done. But, I also feel lucky i was able to catch up with him at this time. Click here to go ads-free and support the show See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
2 minutes | 4 months ago
TRAILER: On the Edge with Andrew Gold
This is the trailer to On the Edge with Andrew Gold, the show where its eponymous journalist (or I, since I/he is writing this), interview some of the most controversial, strange and different people in the world. From a 'good' sociopath and a 'good' paedophile to the son of the Westboro Baptist Church founder and an ex-Hasidic Jew, I've got a great lineup for you, so watch this space. Click here to go ads-free and support the show See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
49 minutes | 4 months ago
'Woke is dangerous thought-control': Scholar Helen Pluckrose
Trigger warning:This one is going to alienate some people – the woke among you - but this is a safe space for open discussion.Today, I speak with Helen Pluckrose, author of the new book Cynical Theories and an anti-woke scholar who was part of a team that composed fake papers to highlight poor scholarship across academic fields. They created these bogus academic papers on things like dogs engage in rape culture, men can cure their transphobia by inserting something up their back passage and that mein kampf be translated using feminist language. Many of these hoax papers were indeed published by leading journals, leaving them red-faced both metaphorically and politically. Communism joke there…In the wake of the J.K. Rowling trans debate and the hijacking of the Black Lives Matter movement by anti-Zionist organisations, Helen talks to me about the dangers of woke culture and the hierarchy it creates between different groups. She says the woke or social justice system places trans and certain races at the top, with Jews - like myself – firmly at the bottom, just below women, gay men and lesbians, who are increasingly getting a rough time. In the past few days we’ve had UK grime music star Wiley tweeting incessantly about how the Jews are slippery and lots of other horrible stuff…I very nearly had him on this podcast and was even waiting in the Zoom call – but he didn’t show up.Before we start, I’d just like to apologise to my dad Neil Gold, for swearing on the last two podcasts…he gets very upset about it, and by listening, you’ve all been complicit in my micro-aggressions. You thought I was going to swear there. Always keep ‘em guessing. You fff… Click here to go ads-free and support the show See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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