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June 1, 2024 130 mins

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:01):
All Zone media.

Speaker 2 (00:03):
Hey everybody, Robert Evans here and I wanted to let
you know this is a compilation episode. So every episode
of the week that just happened is here in one
convenient and with somewhat less ads package for you to
listen to in a long stretch if you want. If
you've been listening to the episodes every day this week,
there's going to be nothing new here for you, but
you can make your own decisions.

Speaker 3 (00:28):
Hello, and welcome to It could happen here. This is
Sharene and today is part one of a two part
series where we talked to someone who was on the
ground in Palestine in both Lesday and the West Bank.
I'm going to say Lesday because that's how you say
in Arabic, but that means Gaza for those who are unfamiliar.
Ever since Israel began bombing the people of Lesday in

(00:48):
October of last year, it has been virtually impossible for
aid to get into Lensday. Both the Israeli government and
its citizens, acting on their own initiative, have blocked AID convoys,
destroyed life saving medical and food aid, and harassed people
for supplying aid. AID workers who even can get into

(01:09):
Leze have been bombed, shot at and killed. And it's
not just AID that can't get into Lese. It's extraordinarily
hard for information to even get out. Cell Phone signal
is scarce, and understandably people there use it to contact
their families, not foreign journalists, so to get a good
sense of what life is like on the ground. In

(01:31):
the Dafa, we spoke to Ava, one of the Mutual
Aid volunteers who, at great risk to her own life,
traveled into Lesse to help the people there.

Speaker 4 (01:40):
My name is Ava. I am a nurse and street medic.
I'm Jewish of European ancestry and was raised in Pacific
Northwest on the traditional lands of the Chinook, Tualitan and
Clacamus and many other First nations what is commonly called
Portland organ.

Speaker 3 (01:57):
Ava was able to send us some voice notes to
scribe having her day to day back in April. She
told us what she saw, what she experienced, what she heard. Understandably,
there's some background noise in some of this audio, but
I personally think it helps ground us in the moment
that she's experiencing.

Speaker 4 (02:14):
So here I am the morning of Friday, April nineteenth.
This is the start of my second day in Laza.
I spent a full day yesterday at a Najadre hospital
in the emergency department, getting introduced to the staff there,
the work, the equipment, the patterns of illness and injury,

(02:37):
the shortages, struggles, the pain, the happiness was really quite
beautiful and hard and a mashup of everything I've experienced
in occupation, things I've experienced as a new nurse to
a floor, and things I haven't experienced before, which is

(02:57):
being in a site of an active war zone and
genocide on The Jahre hospital is located very close to
the Rafa border crossing. It's also, I guess, one of
the areas more heavily impacted by violence right now in Rapha,
which is still much less so than areas to the

(03:19):
north like hon Yunis, et cetera.

Speaker 3 (03:22):
We asked Ava to explain the situation in the Dapha
at the time of this recording and where she was
within it. The following conversation with Ava took place on
April twenty ninth.

Speaker 4 (03:32):
I mean, I will first locate myself in Pa, which
is the only part of Plaza that I have ever seen,
and I have only been in the Gaza during the
last two weeks.

Speaker 5 (03:44):
I've been Palestine twice.

Speaker 4 (03:46):
This is my first time in this area, and I
haven't seen Adinda Haraza. I haven't seen a honeyness. I
haven't seen the destruction up there. And I think that
that is from the people who I've met who are
roughie cheese, from those areas, healthcare workers, members of the public.

Speaker 5 (04:04):
There's really oh yeah, there's just a moto. Sorry.

Speaker 4 (04:10):
There's a lot of rumblings and things that happened periodically,
and a lot of them are explosions that I think
is just a motor But yeah, I mean it's really
interesting because I arrived at a moment when food stuffs
had just started to cross in a little bit more regularly,
and I was told that basically in the week before,

(04:31):
like street markets had reoccurred, which hadn't been a thing
for months.

Speaker 5 (04:36):
And that's like a big part of my experience in
the West Bank.

Speaker 4 (04:39):
And so it was really great to see people, even
if it was just like a little bit of food
selling food on the street, starting to see bread being
baked and distributed, seeing people out and about was exciting.
There is rampant signs of destruction everywhere. There are lots
of standing buildings, but there are lots of piles of

(05:00):
rubble in streets the sites of former buildings. People have
in a remarkable job clearing space, but there's sense of
destruction everywhere, and I think in some ways the most
painful sites are where buildings aren't completely destroyed and you
can see into people's bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms, things like that,

(05:23):
see artwork still hanging, seek fragments of their homes and lives.
There are tent cities everywhere. I am currently speaking to
from within a house that is one of the houses
that are rented by NGOs in the area from generally
people who have managed to escape that's h and who

(05:44):
are renting their homes for a bit of income and
to decrease the likelihood their house will be bombed. And
in this particular house, we're in the neighborhood of Telsutan,
and there are tent cities all around us. So it's
one of those weird situations of staying in a somewhat
palatial home where there are people sleeping in very rudimentary

(06:07):
tents and structures, sometimes completely uncovered in one hundred plus
degree weather. I think the highest temperatures we've seen a
couple of days where it was about four to eight
degrees center grade, which is about one oh seven sarrenheit.
There are a lot of sick people, a lot of
struggling people.

Speaker 3 (06:28):
Longtime listeners of the podcast will remember our interview with
toddic Lobani, one of the inventors of the three D
printed tourniquet, as well as the founder of Glia, a
medical aid charity, Ava who was also a medical professional,
is working with them.

Speaker 4 (06:44):
I've been working with an organization called Glia that works
with primary care clinics and with Martrinity and like natal clinics,
and has also been starting to work with at least
one emergency department. And I've been working at the hospital
on the new shod, which is used to basically be a
community tertiary hospital with basically an urgent care clinic, that

(07:10):
has basically become the only remaining general public emergency department
in the RAA. There are other there's like an eternity
emergency department, hospital department, there's an emergency department run by
MSF and like these other ones, but like this is
the only like general public one. And I've been there
just you know, for two weeks most every day, it's

(07:30):
a day off. When I was sick and took off
the day today to see some different parts of some
other clinics, which is really good comparison.

Speaker 3 (07:38):
We asked Ava what kind of injuries she sees and
what the medical situation is like in LA But.

Speaker 4 (07:43):
I will say that it's while the variety of you know,
injuries and illnesses that you'll see in that space.

Speaker 5 (07:51):
That is true of any emergency department.

Speaker 4 (07:53):
But depending on the hours I have foundering the day,
most of the illnesses and injuries are more usual except
exacerbated by the lack of resources, lack of primary character
resources celebated by the lack of medications, exacerbated by the
lack of clean water and sanitation. Occasionally injuries like from

(08:19):
bombings or shootings at night when I have not been there.
I have heard of many missile strikes wiping out entire families,
large numbers of people murdered. I have seen, you know,
several people killed in that way come to the emergency department,
but in no way representative of what's been happening, And

(08:40):
it's been a vile account, better these weeks than it
has been before. Though the number of missile strikes and
things are kind of increasing. There has been word given
that there is likely going to be evacuation orders starting
in the next in this next few days to a
week from the Israelis, but no signs of and in
me it's inclusion that said, we don't know. Most people

(09:04):
are pretty hopeful of that that I've talked to, that
a ceasefire will be reached, although it's unclear what that
would mean. But I can say from my time working
in these hospitals that and just being in the community
that like most people are hanging on by a thread,
whether they have just gotten something very loosely resembling a

(09:25):
hint of stability, of like having a place where they
are having access to food. There are children playing, there
are you know, some some of the signs of life
that I'm used to seeing in Palestine. There are emergency
departments that are somewhat functional. They're like my colleagues working
at a NICU where it's always full, but they are

(09:46):
able to care for the babies that are there, even
not as well as they would like to, but like
they are able to if this population is displaced again,
which is what the Israelis are suggesting in this case
towards hon units, which they've leveled, and they are trying
to get the international community to set up tense cities
there that will kill a lot of people, that will

(10:07):
tear apart a lot of what little people had left.
So very very difficult in that way. That said, it's
also more alive than I expected. There's more signs of
daily life, of children playing, of people making and serving
coffee in the street, of a couple of bakeries are producing,

(10:31):
you know, all those pieces like flawfel sands like those
things exist. A cost of food or atrocious We don't
you know, buy food here, but I'm aware of some
of the prices and they are much higher than they
would be in the West Bank, where food is you know,
not on Embarco.

Speaker 3 (10:47):
For those who aren't super familiar, the West Bank refers
to the West Bank of Jordan. It stretches across the
eastern border of Israel, along the west banks of the
Jordan River and most of the Dead Sea. It was
designated as its own region when Israel established itself and
ethnically cleansed Palestine in nineteen forty eight, but it has
been eaten away to a massive amount in nineteen sixty seven.

(11:10):
It was occupied during the Six Day War, and during
the nineteen seventies and eighties, Israel began establishing settlements there,
which was and is still illegal under international law, and
even with protests from the international community, Israel continues still
today to establish settlements on Palestinian land. The first major

(11:31):
Arab uprising aka the First Intifada, also referred to as
the Stone Intifada, began in nineteen eighty seven in the
Gaza Strip and spread to the West Bank. It ended
in nineteen ninety three with the signing of the First
Oslo Accords. The Second Intifada, also known as the Alusa Antifada,
was another major Arab uprising by Palestinians against the Israeli occupation.

(11:55):
During the twenty tens, the Fatah dominated Palestinian authority worked
toward established itself as an independent government in the urban
Palestinian areas of the West Bank. At the same time,
Israel expanded its settlement activity in the territory. Tutta, formerly
the Palestinian National Liberation Movement, is a Palestinian nationalist and
social democratic political party. It is the largest faction of

(12:19):
the confederated multi party Palestine Liberation organization and the second
largest party in the Palestinian Legislative Council. PUTTA has been
closely identified with the leadership of its founder and chairman,
Yasser Arafat, who was elected chairman of the PLO in
Cairo in February nineteen sixty nine until his death in
two thousand and four. In May twenty twenty one, Palestine

(13:00):
families in Schechtradra, a neighborhood and occupied East Jerusalem, began
protesting against Israel's plan to forcibly evict them from their
homes to make way for Jewish settlers. Many of the
families were refugees who had settled in Schechtradra after being
forcibly displaced around the time of Israel's establishment as a
state in nineteen forty eight. Since Israel occupied East Jerusalem

(13:22):
and the rest of the West Bank in nineteen sixty seven,
Palestinians and Schektradra had been continuously targeted by Israeli authorities,
who used discriminatory laws to systematically dispossess Palestinians of their
land and homes for the benefit of Jewish Israelis. The
events of May twenty twenty one were emblematic of the
oppression which Palestinians have faced every day for decades. The discrimination,

(13:47):
the dispossession, and the repression of descent, the killings and injuries.
They are all a part of a system which is
designed to privilege Jewish Israelis at the expense of Palestinians.
This is apartheid, which is, as you should know, prohibited
an international law. In twenty twenty one, Amnesty International reported
that Israel imposes a system of oppression and domination against

(14:10):
Palestinians across all areas under its control in Israel and
the occupied Palestinian territories, and against Palestinian refugees in order
to benefit Israelis laws, policies, and practices which are intended
to maintain a violent system of control over Palestinians have
left them fragmented geographically and politically, frequently impoverished, and in

(14:33):
a constant state of fear and insecurity, with no freedom
of movement or freedom's period. And then there's Israel's apartheid Wall,
which began as a fence along the border between the
West Bank and what is called Israel. It was first
constructed by Israel in nineteen seventy one as a security barrier,
and it has been rebuilt and upgraded since it was

(14:55):
constructed by Israel to control the movement of the Palestinian
population as well as goods between the Gaza Strip and Israel.
So that's some history on the West Bank and just
for some context. Twenty twenty three was the deadliest year
for Palestinians since the United Nations Office for the Coordination
of Humanitarian Affairs AOCHA began recording casualties in two thousand

(15:19):
and five. Since the Gaza genocide began, Israel has stepped
up military raids in the West Bank, where violence had
already been surging for over a year. UN records show
that Israeli forces or settlers have killed hundreds of Palestinians
in the West Bank since October seventh. In twenty twenty three,
at least five hundred and seven Palestinians were killed, including

(15:41):
at least eighty one children. Between October seventh and December
thirty one, twenty twenty three, two hundred and ninety nine
Palestinians were killed in the West Bank, marking a fifty
percent increase compared to the first nine months of the year.
According to the World Health Organization, since October seventh, four
hundred and seventy four Palestinians, including one hundred and sixteen children,

(16:05):
have been killed in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem,
and about five thousand were injured. There are many days
where Israeli forces killed Palestinians, but I'm going to refer
to a couple just to give you a general idea
of the violence the Palestinians experience. On March twenty first,
there was a day when Israeli forces killed three Palestinians

(16:25):
and separate incidents in the occupied West Bank, resulting in
ten Palestinians killed in the territory over a twenty four
hour period. This was reported by the Palestinian news agency WUFFA.
On April twentieth, Israeli forces killed fourteen Palestinians during a
raid in the occupied West Bank, including an ambulance driver
who was killed as he went to pick up wounded

(16:47):
Palestinians from a separate attack by violent Israeli settlers. Erica
Guavera Rosas, Amnesty International's director of Global Research, Advocacy and Policy.

Speaker 1 (16:57):
Said under the cover of the l Lentist bombardment and
atrosty crimes in Gaza, Israeli forces have unleashed unlawful lethal
force against Palestinians and the occupied West Bank, carrying out
unlawful killings and displaying a chilling disregard for Palestinian lives.
These unlawful killings are in blatant violation of international human

(17:18):
rights law and are committed with impunity in the context
of maintaining Israel's institutionalized regime, the systematic oppression and domination
over Palestinians.

Speaker 3 (17:38):
Because Ava has experience in both cluds in the West Bank,
I wanted to ask what she witnessed while in the
West Bank. Here's Ava telling us about her experience.

Speaker 4 (17:47):
Specifically, I was working with the International Solidarity Movement, which
is the same group I worked with when I was
in Palestine twelve years ago. And that's basically exactly what
it sounds like. It's a vaguely kiss androsocialist and our
Communists informed assembly of most the internationals with this s
mattering of Palestinians and a couple Israeli activists. I was

(18:12):
in the West Bank this round from the end of
January until I came to Gaza, which was halfway through April,
so basically two and a half months. Most people who
volunteer there, it's anywhere from like two or three weeks
to two or three months. Because of tourist visa lasts
that long, and that's usually the most you can expect.

(18:34):
During the time I was there, ism and other solidarity
organizations got to be a topic of much discussion in
the Israelikan essets, as they got very excited about the
dangerous anarchists in the South. There's a lot of interesting
converisons between the West Bank and Gaza.

Speaker 3 (18:51):
Palestinian people are divided by the State of Israel into
two areas, with two separate governments and two different experiences
of occupation. We asked a what people in the cludsday
had to say about the situation for those living in
the West Bank, where settler colonialism spreads every single day.

Speaker 4 (19:07):
Maybe I'll start by saying, when I rolled into Gaza
and met members from the Health of Ministry and like
they're like, oh, you speak in Arabic or do you
learn Arabic? And I was like in the West Bank
and they're like, oh, it's so hard there, and I
was like really and they're like yeah, you know, I
mean obviously like the war, which is what they call
the genocide you usually hear.

Speaker 5 (19:26):
Too has been very hard.

Speaker 4 (19:28):
But like before that, like they have to live under
a different version of occupation or direct version of occupation
every day. And I thought that that just like touched
something intense in me and like was really like a
big I don't know, it just affected me a lot.
But as far as like comparisons, there are parts of
the West Bank that feel independent, that you feel like, oh,

(19:51):
I'm in an area that is, you know, where ostensibly
are not supposed to see Israelis, and if they are there,
they're like my friend who just lives in you know,
lives with her husband who's Palestinian, and they hang out
there and are fine most of the time. But a
lot of these areas that I spent al most of
my time are areas where there's more direct contact constantly

(20:13):
between settlers, soldiers and the Palestinian community who are often
in those areas like we are in rural and it's
like a very different scale of genocide. I often talk
about that as like a silver genocide, and this is
a faster genocide here in Gussa.

Speaker 5 (20:31):
But it's like no less horrible.

Speaker 4 (20:34):
It ends up being like a person, a person and
like parcel of land, a parcel of land. Palestinian heard
of sheep, is Raeli heard of sheep, herd of sheep,
and it sounds like very parallel, except that the Palestinians
have been shepherding there for generations or hundreds of years.
And the settlers there, some of them many most of
them are like teenagers who are dropouts and like get

(20:57):
in trouble all the time, and then they're brought up
there as community service. And some of them know how
to shoprund and some of them don't, but they use
it as an opportunity to graze their animals on like
Palasinian wheat fields.

Speaker 3 (21:08):
Settler colonialism isn't just a vague concept or a way
of looking at the past in Palestine. It's something that
happens almost every single day. The violent displacement of Palestinian people,
which began with the Nekba, has never really stopped, and
the families in the West Bank experience their own nekbas
every time their land is stolen. That's why volunteers like

(21:30):
Ava go there to be in solidarity with the Palestinian people.
We asked Ava what the process of appropriation looks like
on the ground.

Speaker 4 (21:38):
They stand somewhere, get confrontational with the Palestinians, with the
international and Israeli solidarity activists. They get the police to
and soldiers who arrest people and harass people. They occasionally
fire at and sometimes kill or somearely injure Palestinians, less
commonly at Jena or it was really octivists after the

(22:05):
seventh all across the West Bank. Initially a lot of
the settlers, as I understand I responded by kind of
clamping down security concerns, and then very quickly turned it
into an opportunity for attack and turned up at villages
like the village of Zenuta and just were like which
had like got about one hundred families, and was like,
you don't leave, We're going to kill you all. And

(22:26):
so people left and it was a credible threat, and
they did kill a lot of people. I think that's
the largest village I've heard of recently. They disappeared other places.
People ran away and their homes were destroyed, their animals
were taken. People come back and their cars get torched.
They get arrested on no charges and held for longer

(22:48):
than ever, and in many cases or torture to death.
I have a friend and comrade that I organized up
a little bit who was in Janine at the start
right after October seventh, and she witnessed truly horrific you know,
targeted killings by drone strikes and other things, and basically
fled south so she would be okay and physically. So

(23:12):
that's some of what has happened. Most of the villages
that historically have had the like nonviolent weekly protests, which
a lot of people who in the past and volunteered,
like as you know internationals will have experience with, and
like there's a lot of the popular images of like
youth in Kafia's drawing stones at some of those sites.

(23:33):
Since October seventh, almost all of the villages stopped as
far as I know, because it was too dangerous.

Speaker 5 (23:40):
When I arrived, I was told all of the villages
had stopped.

Speaker 4 (23:43):
But then we found out part way that there was
a village that was having protests kofor Katum in the
northern half of the West Bank, and it turns out
when I went there, they'd never stopped.

Speaker 5 (23:54):
They protested each week.

Speaker 4 (23:56):
They did scale back with their goals were because whereas
in the past they had been many of them had
been shot with live ammunition like twenty two caliber rifles.
Since the seventh it basically became all lave of ammunition,
and only by the grace of God or luck were
none of them murtyered in that time because the soldiers

(24:17):
were not shooting at ankles as is the conventional guidance.
I saw videos of them shooting into buildings, into homes,
shooting at head height, things like that, And like the
week before I went, the guy was shot in the
face and he only survived because it deflected so down
through his johns did it into his skull. So they've
experienced a lot of severe oppression there. There's been hundreds

(24:39):
killed in the West Bank just since October seventh. There
is active fighting in parts of the north of like
kind of Jinine and I think until Karen and some
other places between some armed resistance and Asurai soldiers. But
it's definitely not at the same scale as in Lazza,
and there aren't like active bombs falling on people. But

(25:01):
it's you know, still murderous. It's still driving people out,
it's still squeezing people to they either lash out or leave.

Speaker 3 (25:10):
I mean, it's it honestly sounds like it just a
repeat in some way of the Nekaba, you know, like
that's just what happened. It is a little maybe a
little slower, like you said, like a slower genocide, right, yeah,
it never really stopped. It's been a slow genocide for
like seventy six years. In addition to ongoing colonization, the
economic conditions in the West Bank make life hard for

(25:33):
people there. But this does not stop people in the
West Bank from being in solidarity with the people of Ze.

Speaker 4 (25:39):
When I was in the West Bank, I will also say, like,
and I've shared this with many people here on Gaza,
like I would be in a tiny one bedroom house
who are very poor. Like people's incomes disappeared after the
Seventh That's another thing. Like a lot of people made
their money by traveling to cities to work, by working
at settlements, things like that. After the seventh roads were

(26:00):
shut down, people couldn't move. Palestinian workers were not allowed
in settlements, not allowed to cross into forty eight. So
everybody's struggling. But like people are spending twenty four to
seven with like Algerzeerra or like other Palestinian or Palestinian
coverage of what's happening in Gaza, like people are right
there when Ramadan started, I was there doing the of
the Ramadan, Like people are like, I'm so looking forward

(26:23):
to feeling hunger along with Gaza, and like that was
another aspect of hearing from the first Gasms crossing into Gaza,
like saying like, oh, it's so hard over there. We're
with them, Like I think there's a lot of attempts
from the Israelis, from liberal Zionists in the US, from

(26:45):
the state and everything to be like good Palestinian, bad Palestinian,
and like all the Palestinians are, you know, like they
might not all agree politically, Like there's many different positions
on everything, just as there are many positions and everything
in every community. There's a lot of them that they
between them. And that was another reason I was really
excited to come from the West Bank and bring like
some olive oil and other gifts on behalf of the community,

(27:07):
because people need to know how much they are loved
and thought of. On the other side, I find it's
sad and beautiful how united of a people are the
Palestinians across the tremendous distance of a and also incredibly
short distance of apartheid and occupation that they can't see
each other or visit each other, but they feel for

(27:27):
each other and are with each other in their hearts
and just kind ofrects me a little bit.

Speaker 5 (27:32):
It's also nice to be near the sea.

Speaker 4 (27:34):
I haven't yet seen the sea, but my friend was
here very close and could see it from their house.
I just feel being close to the sea and like
see the sunsets, and that's so incredibly beautiful and sad
too because most Palestinians don't get to see the sea.

Speaker 3 (27:50):
And that's going to be the end of part one.
In part two, Ava tells us what the process was
like traveling from the West Bank until Les, and she
details her experience being on the ground to the So
please tune in to tomorrow's episode to hear more from Ava.
Until then, Rerepalace Done.

Speaker 1 (28:14):
It could happen here as a production of cool Zone Media.
For more podcasts from cool Zone Media, visit our website
cool zonemedia dot com, or check us out on the
iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
We're back for part two in our conversation with Ava.
When we left off, Ava was describing her experience in

(28:37):
the West Bank. I wanted to know what it was
like traveling into lensday Drapha, in particular from the West Bank.
So now we are going to jump back into that conversation.
What was that process of even entering what like from
the West Bank? So there is no direct way for
the west thing.

Speaker 4 (28:56):
I mean, it's it's hilarious because, like you know, like
the conventional wisdom is like, oh, the entire land of
Palestine is like smaller in New Jersey, but you don't
really notice it until like I am in Yaffa, I'm
in Tel Aviv, I am like thirty kilometers or something
from Gaza. I am in the West Bank. I am
so close, but you have to go a long way,

(29:19):
over a long through a lot of like logistical hurdles
together just kind of like any kind of travel in
the West Bank or any kind of occupied space. But
basically my journey looked like leaving Masafriata, the area villages
in the south Huborn Hills or southern West Bank, going
north to from Allah, crossing into Koudes and then hanging

(29:43):
out and then taking and I got to be in
the Goods for Eed, which was amazing to see that,
but then hopping on a bus and riding all the
way down to a lot like a kind of a
horrible tourist town at the southern end of forty eight,
then cut a bus into Tapa on the Egyptian side
in Sinai. Crossing took forever, so I spent basically twelve

(30:07):
hours overnight circuling the Sinai, which wasn't my original pan,
but it's what happened. And then I went to Cairo,
and I spent some time in Cairo. I got there
a little bit early. Our entry was delayed, so I
ended up having some basic chirot to do compass, which
was fine and good, and then went in with a
UN convoy, which is really the only way that you

(30:27):
can go in crossing the northern Sinai. There's a lot
of checks with Egyptian officials without then you get to
the border, go through a bunch of checks with Egyptian officials,
then you cross over have a comparatively fewer but still
plenty checks with Gazan officials. I also almost cried like
looking at a Palestinian seal crossing in, because I was

(30:51):
like getting a stamp in my passport the Palestinian authority
in Gaza, because I was like, I've never like it's
always every court of entry into Palestine is otherwise controlled
by the Israelis. This is like the only one that
is under Palestinian control. Even if it's like Palestinian control

(31:11):
in a giant open air prison, it's like still something
under And then we're inside and I have been working
and you know, driving and in cars and movement is
pretty limited for security reasons. The murdering of the World
Central Kitchen workers that happened not long before I came,

(31:34):
when like basically a targeted drones strike took out three
vehicles and six four seven people. Still very unclear reasons,
but it's not an accident, maybe not directed from the top,
but very scary. So there's a lot of controlled movements,
so basically you have to kind of have a preapproved
plan for where you're going to go and what you're
going to do when you're going to move. But yeah,

(31:55):
there's a lot of there's for a number of international
aid workers here right now, and I'm really privileged to
work with mostly Palestinian ones, but a few good internationals too.

Speaker 3 (32:06):
I wanted to get Avia's perspective about social media and
the actions of college protesters, how much coverage of the
protests actually gets to Palestinians.

Speaker 4 (32:16):
I was watching coverage with one of the doctors here
of campus protests and other international protests just this afternoon.
People are talking about it. People are talking about global
resistance and support. I don't know how representative that is
outside of that space. Like I interact with a lot

(32:38):
of members of the public who are not healthcare workers,
but most of my conversations are with healthcare workers. I
do speak a little bit of Arabic, but not at
like a deep conversational level, like enough to do some
basic assessments and pleasantries and you know, meet my needs.
A lot of people are aware and are feeling hopeful

(32:59):
in this mode moment with the negotiations, in part because
of the international pressure. It's interesting a lot. I feel
like there's a lot more hopefulness in Gaza than I've
experienced just talking with people that I experienced in the
West Bank, and I think that partly that might be
the moment, but also I think it's partly sometimes in

(33:21):
the fact they noticed in the West Bank too, where
it's like.

Speaker 5 (33:24):
It's horrible and horrifying and terrifying.

Speaker 4 (33:27):
To be in the eye of the storm or to
be in the storm, but it's like you're in it
and you don't have to imagine it elsewhere, if that
makes sense. When that all started, like I tried to
plug in as best as I could with you know,
protest movements around the States, and as I'm sure a

(33:47):
lot of people with maybe you and a lot of
people might be listening, could like resonate with. It felt
very like exciting to have that much motivation or that
many people caring about Palestine, but also really inadequate and
really be hopeless, just feel like you're throwing yourself against
a wall and nothing's going to change, and feels really hopeless.
And in the West Bank I had Palestinian activists say

(34:09):
I think this has proven that no protest movements do anything,
but like in this moment and in this location, I
don't hear that, and I don't believe that that's the case.
I think that her test movements have a limited capacity
to change those people in the policies and just those
people in power that said it's so little, so late

(34:32):
as far as like any kind of political change in
the West and in the US and in Europe, like today,
I visited a cemetery that was built by like a
guy and his volunteers he worked with since October seventh,
and like visited the site of the remains of his family.
What remains were covered and of like another person's remains

(34:53):
of her family, and just like a field of some
quality and a lot of just like pavers stones just
thrown down with names written on them in the sand,
surrounded by tent encampments, with children fighting to water the
plants in order to get a couple of shekels their nation.
Like it also really really sucks, and the fact that

(35:17):
it's gotten to this point is unimaginably horrific.

Speaker 3 (35:22):
Ava had been on the ground and helping in what
little remains of Lesa's hospitals. This is what she had
to say about that experience.

Speaker 5 (35:31):
There is no space.

Speaker 4 (35:33):
Most of the sickest and most seriously injured patients are
treated on the floor because there's no space, and they
were brought in screaming, bleeding, dying or dead. First few days,
I saw several people die on the floor, you know,
saw several bodies on the floor. It's incredibly hard space.
Most of the difficulty that I have seen, like I

(35:56):
said before, has not been direct violence from the genocide,
such as a missile falling, such as shrapnels, such as conclastiforce,
such as gunshots. I've seen all of those, but that
has not been the majority of what I have seen.
The majority of what I have seen is children who
do not have access to their anti seazure medications. So

(36:20):
the child comes in in what's called status apolypticus, which
is a seizure that lasts longer than thirty minutes, and
it's gotten to a point where it's self reinforcing and
it can't be stopped easily, and often it can be
easily fatal, even with critical care resources. I have seen
children who whose parents had to sitch to a different
form of a medication and with a different dosing and things,

(36:43):
and that got confusing because they were either like find
someone who's bringing in medication, or like find it from
another place and it's not written in Arabic and it's
not clear, and so they end up getting a wrong dose.
It's like that on the shot is now the only
provider of dialysis in there. There's another hospital that provides,

(37:05):
but everywhere is so overly, there's way too many people
drawing on those resources that they're having to run people
shorter periods of time, more spread out schedule, so people
get critically sick. It's like a lack of clean water
because of destruction of infrastructure, because of mass displacement, because

(37:28):
of a extended period where in the Israelis were uh
and the Egyptians were preventing flow of clean water resources
into Gaza. So children, adults are getting hepatitis, a turning
yellow with jaundice, having persisting diarrhea, dehydration, incredibly high rates

(37:50):
of septic shock, and severe systemic infection due to all.

Speaker 5 (37:55):
Kinds of untreated conditions.

Speaker 4 (37:58):
Because it's so much work and so dangerous for people
to access care, let alone just live that, people put
things off till they're literally dying. It's not a stable situation,
but it's like a tenuously like I said, hanging on
by a thread situation.

Speaker 5 (38:16):
And again I just I am.

Speaker 4 (38:19):
I am terrified of what will happen if then everybody
has to relocate again, because it's going to be like
people not going back to square one, It'll be going
you know, backward in the whole new depths of pain
and suffering because like if they're pushed out of Raa
to han Uness, it'll be too an already devastated city
with now tent cities and people trying to.

Speaker 5 (38:40):
Rebuild a hospital where there is no water infrastructure.

Speaker 3 (38:45):
Despite the terrible suffering, Ava was able to find time
to connect with her faith and her heritage while she
was in las.

Speaker 4 (38:53):
I am also Jewish. That is not the reason I
am here, but it is not not a reason that
I am here. And during like the first few months
since the seventh of October, Jews took up a lot
of space in protest movements, and I think for good reason,
because frankly, white supremacy and a time with simi Arab

(39:16):
anti Palestinian bias and people not knowing what to think
or do about Palestine, and so having voices of Jewish
Americans saying like, no, actually, this is bad, Like you
can all see that and just go ahead and acknowledge
it's bad and we can move forward. I think is important.
That said, I think that the voices of Jewish people

(39:36):
the voices of white people. Not all the Jews are white,
of course, but many Jews experienced whiteness and do not
generally experience the Islamophobia anti Arabias, although planet some do.

Speaker 3 (39:48):
Here's a voice note Ava shared with us after a
long day at the hospital in the Deafa.

Speaker 4 (39:53):
Aaker our house, I made some soup with noodles and
some beans are food sawba scandals. For the first time
in a long time, I find myself interestingly less estranged
from my practice than I have been. It feels very
in line with my faith, practice and my ethics to

(40:13):
be here, and that feels good. And it's been the
first time in a long time that I've felt like lighting.
There's been several times that people have asked me my
faith and I've answered I'm Jewish. And some of them
were interested or excited, some of them were surprised or confused.
Most were like, yeah, no problem. And obviously nobody has

(40:38):
said anything negative about me for that, or for being
American for that matter. My experience of Palestinians continues to
be of the most understanding, welcoming and people in hospitable
people and people most capable of holding complexity. People here
obviously are not fans of the US, fans of the

(41:00):
State of Israel, not fans of Most of their experience
of Jews but have no problem with people from the
US or people who are Jewish.

Speaker 5 (41:08):
And that much is my experience in the last bank.

Speaker 4 (41:10):
So there's that I've been offered people's foods so many times,
and I consistently decline, except when I've just fed them
and I eat something, and then I'm like, that's enough,
thank you.

Speaker 5 (41:21):
I don't know.

Speaker 4 (41:22):
It's a really magical place and a really hard place
to be, and I'm grateful I.

Speaker 5 (41:27):
Get to be here.

Speaker 3 (41:38):
It's obvious how much help there is great, but to
give the people a pleasant With their hospitals bombed and
their doctors killed, they desperately need medical help. But she
says they have given her help as well.

Speaker 4 (41:51):
And I think it's really important, like you say, to
be focused on the people who are experiencing the genocide
and are assisting the genocide, because truly, in no small part,
I came to Palestine hoping to be, you know, to
do something to help, and also to be reinspired. Because
Palestinians are experts in resisting colonialism, experts in resisting genocide,

(42:15):
experts in maintaining whatever can be considered hopefulness towards the
future beyond occupation and colonialism. It is not fair that
Palasinians have to bear that burden of maintaining that kind
of optimism and resilience and all that kind of stuff
in the face of all the horrors that they've experienced,

(42:36):
like nobody should have to experience that.

Speaker 3 (42:39):
We then asked Ava what the impact of solidarity actions
around the world have on the people of Palestine.

Speaker 5 (42:46):
I think it is important to talk.

Speaker 4 (42:47):
I think it's really unsatisfying kind of activism, as many
kinds of activism are, because it's hard to convince people
who are already decided they're against you, and it's also
and painful and exhausting and usually not helpful. And also
it doesn't feel particularly helpful just to like rev up
people that do agree with you. But I think that

(43:11):
people continuing to show up and not letting it rest,
not letting that energy die, not letting this administration feel
like anyone's forgotten about the ways that they failed. Also, BDS,
please learn about Boycopa investment and instinction. The Israeli government

(43:32):
also really is scared of that they view it as
terrorism to do more of it. Not saying that people
should do terrorism, but do BDS, which is not terrorism.

Speaker 3 (43:39):
Decidedly no I'm glad you brought that up, because that's
what the students are protesting. They want their universities to divest.

Speaker 5 (43:46):
I do think that people should learn more about BDS
because a lot of the public knowledge and information promoted
about BDS stuff is different from it. And that's fine.

Speaker 4 (43:57):
I think that Starbucks and McDonald's and all these other
companies that are actually not BDS targets being scared to
be associated with Israeli occupation state is also good. Don't
get so much on a high horse about colonialism. Also
learn about like the colonial history and reality of North
America and try to work towards like supporting antipeclinial struggle there,

(44:18):
because it, to me feels like the utmost of hypocrisy
to be like you know, and the last ongoing occupation
in the world and ignore the occupation that you might
be living on and benefit from. Personally, I think that
I think it insulates. I think it does important work
towards building international solidarity and building anti colonial resistance around

(44:41):
the world to talk about the interconnection between different kinds
of colonialism and anti clinial struggle, and it also insulates
our movements against claims of anti Semitism and other things
to be like. No, it's nothing special about the Israeli State.
Israeli State is a really bad example of settler colonialism
as is unit. It sits as is Canada and be

(45:02):
able to talk about all of those things as different
sides of the same kinds of like genocidal systems.

Speaker 3 (45:10):
In addition to sharing her impressions of Palestine with us,
Ava also shared some moments of her day to day
life there. These small moments of joy are something that wore,
genocide and violence try to take from Palestinian people, and
so the experience of joy is a form of resistance
in itself.

Speaker 4 (45:30):
I am here in a tiny courtyard. There are birds
chirping you can see, or some sounds of the street.
I can see some flowers and beautiful plants, next to
an incredibly fancy house that a family fled from and
is now renting to the organization I'm working with and
in turn housing also another family of one of the

(45:53):
doctors here. And so it feels so strangely peaceful, very
confusing to the senses. Anyway, that's enough for now. I'm
signing off by.

Speaker 3 (46:04):
If there's anything that you want people to know that
we haven't seen, or like that hasn't been being showed.
Like I know, the actual atrocity is far, far greater
than the snippets we're seeing. But I guess, having been
on the ground, what is something that maybe you want
people to know that we aren't getting across on our phones.

Speaker 4 (46:27):
I guess the best way I can answer that is, like,
it's not particularly original, but remembering that cousins are just people,
and they're living their lives and trying to exist.

Speaker 5 (46:43):
They're just people, and.

Speaker 4 (46:46):
Everyone and everything that they've known has been irrevocably altered,
whether they've been murdered, seriously injured, had their entire family
taken from them and never recovered. All the landmarks they
grew up around, all the trees that they hung out under,

(47:07):
all the places that they prayed and ate and got
into trouble, everything has gone. And thirty some thousand murdered,
sixty some thousand injured does not represent any part of
anywhere near the majority of the horror that people are experiencing.

(47:30):
But I think it's worthwhile remembering that, and also that
numbers are not at all representative, and also just that
like some people are political here, some people aren't critical,
and most of them they'll getty dam I just want
to live.

Speaker 1 (47:49):
It Could Happen years a production of cool Zone Media.
Well more podcasts and cool Zone Media. Visit our website
Coolzonemedia dot com, or check us out on the iHeartRadio app,
Apple Podcasts, or where every was in the.

Speaker 6 (48:00):
Podcast It Could Happen Here. That's the podcast that you're
listening to. I'm your host, Nia Wong. It's a podcast
about things falling apart and putting them back together again.
This is a very very immediate falling apart and then
trying to put it back together again. Episode Today we're

(48:20):
talking about something we haven't really talked about on the
show very much, which is the music industry and the
absolute fiasco that is streaming services within it. And here
to talk with me today are two people who are
trying to fix some of those problems. And those two
people are Simon and Alex who are co founders and

(48:42):
worker owners of a new platform project initiative many such
words called MIRLO. And yeah, both of you two, welcome
to the show.

Speaker 5 (48:53):
Thanks so much. It's a pleasure to be here.

Speaker 7 (48:55):
Yeah, excited to be on here.

Speaker 6 (48:56):
Yeah. So I'm excited to talk with you both first
about sort of the issues with the existing sort of
market for music distribution, because there's been over the last
really twenty years, it's been a sort of seismic shift
in how music distribution has functioned from a model that
was previously largely built on things like record sales to

(49:18):
the sort of streaming platforms.

Speaker 8 (49:19):
So, yeah, can you talk about what the issues you.

Speaker 6 (49:23):
See with the sort of current model are and how
that kind of led you to do something different?

Speaker 8 (49:28):
Sure?

Speaker 5 (49:28):
Yeah, I mean for me, that's the story of me
growing up with music, you know, because I was born
in the nineteen eighties, so you know, my first connection
to you know, to music was through playing in my
elementary school band, learning the trumpet and then the trombone,
but also you know, beginning to buy CDs and I remember,

(49:49):
I think it might have been will Smith's Big Willie
Style or whatever that like in the early nineties. I
think was the first CD that I bought. But you know,
that was how I, you know, music came into my world.
There were also some cassette tapes too, I think, like
when I was younger, it was cassette tapes and by
the time I was the one like, you know, spending
my allowance money. It was CDs. But then you know,
by the end of the decade, by the time in

(50:10):
high school, you know, Napster happens. I was, I think
in middle school when that happened.

Speaker 6 (50:16):
So we should explain what napster is, because I think
we've outreached a point where it faded.

Speaker 5 (50:23):
Napster is a big deal because all of a sudden,
I can speak from my you know, memory of it
as a twelve year old or whatever. I was probably
fourteen maybe when when when Napster was a thing. I
remember going over to my neighbor's house who I hung
out with after school a lot, and he had this
program on his computer where he could download any song
that he wanted, and it was just like this incredible,

(50:47):
mind blowing new thing. Of course, that's just from the
end point of the distribution, right, that's from that perspective,
it was this absolutely transformative expert varience. But of course
all of the steps that got into getting the music
there was putting some carts before some horses, you know,

(51:08):
and a lot of it was you know, getting there
via unauthorized leaks or other ways that because it was
all of a sudden, so simple to share the physical
sounds through the new kinds of media channels that were
available through the Internet obviously and through software. The folks
at Napster were able to really jump ahead of that
and in classic Silicon Valley fashion, you know, disrupt the

(51:31):
industry and all of that was really happening with musicians
early on, right this was even before the dot com
bubble burst. You know, Napster was riding that wave and
a big part of that sort of first arrival of
Silicon Valley startup technology really arriving in millions of you know,

(51:51):
living rooms and home office computers and you know all that.
And so I think historically, you know, with technology, this
really does play out that oftentimes musicians are the ones
that get disrupted first. And for decades this has been
you can look at the history of the twentieth century
and the history of media in the twentieth century as

(52:12):
this tension between musicians doing what they do and technologists
doing what they do, and capitalists using the technology to
extract value from the musicians, you know. And then there
have of course been lots of ways that musicians have
organized and fought back, and you know, wrote their own
chapters in the story, and I think that we're just

(52:32):
just starting to get to the point where that is
happening in this latest episode. Napster is, you know, twenty
five years old at this point in terms of when
that moment happened. And of course the reaction to Napster
from the entrenched music industry, which we're all consolidating under
these massive media conglomerates at that time, they fought back

(52:55):
kind of old school, and I remember I was in
college when they were soon doing college kids for downloading
stuff on Napster, for having files on your computer that
you know, weren't authorized or whatever. Those were my peers.
You know, I didn't actually know anybody personally that this
was happening to, but this was, you know, this was
something that we were all aware of and we were

(53:16):
all kind of figuring out together.

Speaker 6 (53:19):
There's a really good Corey doctor book that's like a
fictionalized account of what this period was like called Pirate Cinema.
That is great, So if you ever want to yeah,
if people want to read that, it is very good.
It's about the sort of film version of the same
fight that was happening.

Speaker 5 (53:35):
Exactly, and they were I mean, no holds barred, Like,
they had massive budgets for expensive lawyers, and they just
sent them after whoever they could, thinking that that would
stem the tide. And obviously that wasn't going to stop anything,
because what Napster signaled was this massive, technologically catalyzed paradigm
shift where the way that people listen to music was

(53:57):
just radically transforming before everyone one's eyes. And it took
the music industry side of it a little while to
catch up to that reality. But once they did, they
started trying to figure out, Okay, what are the ways
that we can get a cut right? Obviously if everyone's
just doing this illegally, and you know this is just

(54:18):
if everybody is doing something illegal at the same time,
even we can't send enough lawyers to sue everybody out
of existence, so we need to figure out how to
make this work. And that's when you know there started
to be experiments with other big corporate players in the
technology industry. I remember from my perspective, it was the
iTunes store. I remember ripping all of my CDs that
I bought in high school, like spending a whole weekend

(54:41):
just ripping them all into my iTunes library. And kind
of curating it and having my you know, all of
my MP three's and iTunes, and I had an iPod
and that was where I would listen to things. And
I didn't even really purchase a lot of the like
because they had ninety nine cent tracks. That was kind
of things like you could pay dollar and you can
get what you wanted. I didn't buy that much music

(55:03):
that by that point, because mostly it was transferring files
that I had burned from CDs. But that was how
the industry was kind of making its peace with this disruption,
was to partner with Apple, and then later Spotify comes
onto the scene with this promise of the Universal Jukebox,
Right like, we're going to build the tool that is

(55:23):
going to allow for any listener to just pay a
subscription and they can listen to anything they want on
the internet. Because you can hire it anything on the internet.
We're going to make the legal way to do it,
and so we're going to let people pay and we're
going to design all of the back end. We're going
to centralize it in our you know, technological systems, and
we're going to build this tool that can allow anybody

(55:43):
to listen to music anytime without having to in the
back of their mind be worried about if they're stealing
from a musician or if you know, they're going to
get sued a record label or whatever. Right so, and
of course the record companies were all in on that bet,
and that is where you know there I haven't seen
all of the books or whatnot, but it's very clear

(56:05):
that you know, the major labels were big you know,
equity owners in Spotify. So they're basically making big bets
on Spotify. And then the tension that has been navigated is, Okay,
how do they maintain the value of the catalog, the
back catalog that the intellectual property rights of all of

(56:26):
the recordings that throughout you know, the history of recorded
music they have consolidated into these you know, catalog portfolios
of sounds and songs. So that's valuable and they need
to get their piece from that, But then they also
need to get their piece from Spotify. The business you know,
continuing to exist and that subscriber revenue from people who

(56:48):
are paying for the privilege to be able to listen
to any song that they want at the click of
a button, and that has Yeah, it's created some weird Incentivesicularly,
the group of people at the end of the day
that really gets left out of that are the musicians, right,
because throughout history, you know, the partnerships with people who

(57:09):
distribute music have been very exploitive. Right. It's like, Okay,
i'll give you an advance to go record your music,
give you all this creative control, you know, set up
the studio time, do all the legwork to make it
so you can do whatever you want as a musician.
But then we're keeping the master recordings. You know, we're
keeping a percentage of every sale that you make. So
it does become this kind of deal where the labels,

(57:33):
over the longer term, benefit much much more than the musicians.
And then the deal will spotify really amplified that because
the labels are making sure they get their cut, but
they're not always making sure that the musicians get their cut.
And even the musicians getting their cut has to go
through the labels first, and so the labels have this
relationship with the technology company that's distributing the files themselves,

(57:58):
and that's kind of the bargain where it stayed, right
and then most recently that became even more amplified. It
sort of turned up the volume on the disparity in
this dynamic when Spotify made the decision to demonetize many
of the songs that are on the platform. So it

(58:19):
used to be that you would get some fraction of
a cent for every time that someone streamed your song,
and Spotify had this complex algorithm for determining how you
got paid out, and they recently tweaked that algorithm so
that if you don't meet a certain threshold of plays,
you don't get anything. So you could have your music
on Spotify, could be music that you worked really hard

(58:40):
and you know, even invested your own time and money
and resources into putting out there, and you don't get
a penny of it, and you don't get you say,
and why? And that's the starting point from a musicians
perspective about where things are at.

Speaker 7 (58:54):
I think it's also interesting to think about how the
way those.

Speaker 9 (58:58):
Technology systems and the way that the music distribution has
changed has also changed the way that music gets made.
So you see a lot more, you know, very big
name musicians releasing single tracks to big acclaim because now
the incentive, and with the tweaking of the incentive, is

(59:19):
that you.

Speaker 10 (59:20):
Want individual tracks that are making millions and millions of plays,
so it really becomes about that rather than and you
know that can be fairly value neutral, you know, album
versus track or whatever, but it is really influencing the
way that you know, the first twenty seconds or so
of a song are the most important. So the structure

(59:41):
of songs are changing to suit you know what, what
actual music gets made because people skip the song, then
it doesn't make any money. And yeah, So the way
that the technology and capital and the incentives of capital
have changed to actually shape the culture that we're consumed,
I think it's very interesting.

Speaker 6 (01:00:01):
Yeah, And speaking of the way that capital and capital
incentives changes the structure of what you're consuming, we need
to take an ad break and we are back. So
I think one of the kind of leak things about
this kind of era of media distribution has been how

(01:00:25):
kind of staggeringly impossible it's felt to resist any of
these forces, largely because you know, now you have the
power effectively of these massive tech companies and then also
the power of the existing sort of studio monopolies on
the same side, sort of wielding a giant hammer and

(01:00:46):
hammering everyone else in the line. And this is the
point where I want to ask, Yeah, I start talking
about what mer Low is. So can we talk a
little bit about I guess first how it got started,
and then we can get more into what is it
and how it's attempting to change all of this.

Speaker 10 (01:01:04):
So about two years ago, now, wow, I was doing
a lot of volunteering with a project called Resonate, which
is a little bit of a precursor to mirror Low
in a way. Resonate is trying to be a alternative
to Spotify. They want to be a streaming service where

(01:01:28):
you can basically just create playlists, listen to music, and
just and what was novel about Resonate was that they
had a payout structure where every time you played a stream,
you paid a little bit more. So if you pay once,
you pay a cent, If you play twice you pay
two cents, and then it would increase to.

Speaker 7 (01:01:49):
Paying around a dollar. And once you paid a dollar for.

Speaker 10 (01:01:51):
A track, so you played it like nine times, you
owned the track and then it was yours to pay
for it indefinitely. That was cool I did somewhere there,
But what became apparent quickly was again these incentive structures
where if you want to do a streaming platform. You
want it to be a universal jukebox. People will use

(01:02:13):
it for the music that's on it, and they want
to hear the music that they know. And if you
want to be a universal jukebox, you have to wade
into the realm of royalties. And one of the things
that we didn't mention earlier is that, as far as
I know, maybe it's changed in the past year or so,

(01:02:34):
Spotify is still not profitable. Despite massive payouts to the CEO,
Spotify doesn't actually turn a profit. It's just investment driven,
and that is in large part because of the way
that royalties work on songs.

Speaker 7 (01:02:51):
It's just really hard to actually make money on top
of all the costs of the.

Speaker 10 (01:02:57):
Infrastructure, which was a little bit of a clue for
us for not working for a bootstrapped, non VC funded
work or co op with absolutely no money, it was
unlikely that that would succeed. We started also looking at
projects that are kind of in the same space and

(01:03:18):
we're a little bit more successful. That's how we got
into contact with Alex and Alex I don't know if
you want to talk a little bit.

Speaker 5 (01:03:24):
About Ampled, sure, Yeah, So Sion mentioned that he was
coming out of Resonate. At the same time, I was
coming out of AMPLE, which was a platform cooperative initiative
that was started later part of the Last Second twenty
eighteen twenty nineteen. I forgot exactly when I joined towards
the end of twenty twenty one, and the idea behind

(01:03:47):
ampled was that it was going to create essentially a
monthly patronage kind of platform for musicians, so you, you know,
release exclusive stuff on the platform that's yours and that
you have the intellectual property rights too, and you have

(01:04:09):
supporters who pay a monthly contribution to have access to
that content. And so they had a little I guess
it was kind of like a blog post kind of
format that could you get in bed audio. You could
embed videos and it would go out and and email
to your supporters every month, and they could log into
the platform to listen to your whatever you're releasing there.

(01:04:31):
I joined AMPLE because I was actually at the time
coming out of some other work that I had been
doing and building democratic workplaces. I had been involved in
starting another project that was trying to organize itself that way,
and was also working with my partner who's a therapist,
to start a mental health worker cooperative at the same time.

(01:04:53):
So I was deep in the worker cooperative nerd zone
at that point. But I had not been playing very
much music. I'm a trombonist and do jazz and improvised music,
and I had taken a couple of years off really
from playing and was starting to get cranky. There was
just a part of me that needs to make music.
That's just the part of who I am, and it

(01:05:14):
was just becoming really clear to me that that needed
to happen. So I was starting to look for what
are some ways that I can start putting some stuff
out into the world again and ideally doing that work
in the spirit of cooperation, you know, and finding other
people who shared my enthusiasm for the idea that doing
the work together and learning how to actually run things

(01:05:35):
cooperatively without you know, a management structure on top of
it siphoning energy away from it. And so I found
Ample on the Internet and saw what the proposition was.
And part of their structure at the time was that
you could actually become a co owner of the platform
by being an artist that was using the platform, and
once you got to a certain number of supporters on

(01:05:56):
the platform, then you got to be well. The governance
rights involved being able to a third of the board members.
It was a nine person board with three artists representatives
could run for the board, and there was also sort
of an extra space and their discord that was sort

(01:06:16):
of artist owner, you know, only kind of space to
connect around that. And so yeah, once I got the
number of people following my project, this was in twenty
twenty two, got an email saying congratulations, you're an artist owner,
and at the same time realized that the party was
kind of over. I had when I arrived into the space,

(01:06:38):
I was like, Hey, everybody, what's up? And it was
just kind of crickets, you know. And there were a
couple of the workers who were working on it at
the time, who I'm pretty sure were still volunteering their time,
who had had some conversations with and gotten to know
a little bit, but it was sort of a ghost
ship by that point. And it turns out I was
the last artist owner to join yeahs distinction exact. The

(01:07:03):
platform wound down entirely at the end of twenty twenty three,
and so yeah, it was maybe a few months after
I had joined and started using it. I kind of
had a monthly flow where I would do something, send
an update, write something about what I was working on,
records and trombone sounds, you know, linked to something else

(01:07:23):
that was on the internet, you know. And so after
a few months of doing that, yeah, I got an
email saying we're winding down, sorry, and that was kind
of that. But by that point I had met Si
and we were both kind of starting to compare notes
about these respective projects that had similar goals, similar ideals,
similar interest in you know, cooperating, and realizing that neither

(01:07:51):
of them was, you know, was going to be a
place where we could continue the work that we wanted
to do, And so we started talking about, well, what
if we were going to start from scratch, what would
that look like? And so I brought some other friends
he'd been working with that resonate and these conversations we've
just started as conversations like similar to the one we're

(01:08:12):
having right now, where we're starting to kind of develop
an analysis together about what's going on in the music industry,
what might be able to be done differently. And after
a few months those conversations started turning into wait, yeah,
we could actually do some of this ourselves and that
was when the idea of mirla really started to hit

(01:08:32):
the ground.

Speaker 6 (01:08:33):
Yeah, we will talk more about how all of it
sort of came together and what the structure looks like
and what it will look like after more of these ads.
We are back, So let's get into this sort of
meat of what near low is. So can you talk

(01:08:54):
about what is sort of different about mirlaw than the
other sort of platforms in the market. How is the
cooperative structure work.

Speaker 7 (01:09:02):
Yeah, So when we were looking at ways to.

Speaker 10 (01:09:07):
Actually make a profitable business, which is unfortunately a thing
that you have to do if you want to or
at least a revenue making business, if you want to
be able to pay people, we were looking at other
platforms and spaces that exist out there that do actually
make money. So Patreon and band Camp have been profitable.

(01:09:29):
Band Camp for a long time actually posted their earnings
as a report. Then band Camp got sold, and then
it got sold again, and then band Camp laid off
half of their staff, including everyone who was part of
the union organizing committee. And we were already like we

(01:09:49):
already had a basically a prototype at that point, but
that was also a moment where we realized is like oh,
we gotta go, we gotta press goo on this thing.
And so what we have, what the product is right
now is basically it is I would say, a lightweight
clone of bandcamp. It doesn't have all the functionality with

(01:10:09):
the added features of more Patreon stall subscription based things.
So musicians can go onto mir Low, they upload their albums,
they can sell their albums as digital copies for whatever
they want, for free or for money, and then they
can also set subscription tiers, use it as a mailing

(01:10:33):
list basically to send out updates. Two subscribers have specific
tiers that receive specific content. For example, you could have
a tier that if someone subscribes, they automatically get any
new release that you put on the platform. And yeah,
that's basically the product. It allows music playing, but it's
not as streaming service. You can't make playlists, it doesn't

(01:10:54):
do infinite streaming. The plays are basically promotional plays. So
we've had two hundred and fifty artists, which includes some
people who work under several names, but so two hundred
and fifty entities artists who have uploaded five hundred albums
to Erolo, which I don't know, I haven't done the
math on what that is like listening time wise, but

(01:11:15):
it's probably already more music that I could consume, and
we have people buying music. It's really exciting, you know,
like it's not we're not we're not making enough money
to bankroll anything, but it's exciting that I think we've
got about four hundred dollars moving through the platform every
month at this point. So that's that's really cool. We
need more obviously, but that goes a long way to

(01:11:39):
you know, I guess confirming the ideas that.

Speaker 7 (01:11:43):
We've had so far. And there was a second part of.

Speaker 6 (01:11:47):
That question, Yeah, how does the sort of cooperative structure
work now? And then we could move on to what
is it going to look like when the platform is
sort of more developed, more mature.

Speaker 5 (01:11:58):
Yeah, I can speak to little bit. So we also,
in our thinking about this, took a lot of lessons
from our experiences in Ample and Resonate, also the other
experiences I've had in you know, cooperative organizing structures. And
one of the things that we wanted to make sure

(01:12:19):
we did was we had kind of a phase one
and then during that phase one also kind of figure
out the vision for what we want to see moving
forward and how we can grow into something that's more
like what we ultimately want. In other words, we didn't
want to put the car before the horse was saying like, okay,
let's draw out like this really spiffy multi stakeholder cooperative
thing where the artists have these things and the you know,

(01:12:41):
listeners have these things, and the coders have you know,
you know, for starters. We just figured out who among
us is like ready to our government name to be
some paper and you know, open an LLC. And that
ended up being three of us who are based in
the United States MESI and one other working on our Jodie,

(01:13:05):
and then from there the three of us were kind
of the poor team that is going to build things
out from here. So we're still very early stages, you know.
The soft launch and the platform was the beginning of
this year, just a couple of months ago. We incorporated
last year in November, so all of this is totally
brand new, and you know, we're figuring out as we go.

(01:13:26):
But the idea with the current group is that we
start to practice a culture of decision making by consent.
And that's this idea that particularly anything high level about
you know, what the business is or how it runs
is consented to by everybody in the group, and so
if there's anything that any of us are a no to,

(01:13:48):
you know, we're like, hold up, this isn't going to
work for me. That actually is the way that we
steer the ship forward. So that's been something that we've
been working on building together. We're working with a legal
team to codify this into a sort of worker cooperative
style LLC operating agreement. You know, we're members of the

(01:14:10):
US Federation of Worker Cooperatives. We've been kind of learning
from the ecosystemative ways that worker cooperative policies and procedures
can be built into the nucleus of this at the beginning.
And also, the three of us each come from different places,
and so we each bring really different perspectives to where
things need to go. And so that's also been a

(01:14:34):
part of you know, where we're starting from is if
we can get enough unique perspectives into the space, build
the core practice this culture of consent where even a
minority of no is a no for the whole group,
and start to build that in, then that is kind
of the seed for where things go from here.

Speaker 6 (01:14:57):
In terms of where things go from here. Things that
you talk about a lot is the exit to community,
And yeah, I wanted to ask, can you explain what
that is and what it sort of means for what
this platform is going to be going forward.

Speaker 5 (01:15:11):
Yeah, So this idea of exit to community comes from
conversations that have been happening in the solid area economy
world about what would it look like to support essentially
startup businesses right that the founders are aiming for a
different kind of exit than how we traditionally think about,

(01:15:33):
you know, startup businesses that are aiming for an exit
to either get bought by a bigger company or get
listed publicly on a stock market and become essentially instruments
of financial speculation. And that's really the only kind of
pathway out. We even saw this with band Camp, that
you know, this company that was internally profitable and doing

(01:15:57):
things the way that regular old businesses to operate, you know,
and releasing their financials every year and you know, really
doing it by the book, so to speak. There that
the endpoint, you know, ten ish years down the road,
was getting bought by a bigger company because what they
had built was valuable to Epic Games, and you know,
there's been speculation about why Epic bought band camp, but

(01:16:20):
you know, whatever the reason was, it wasn't because they
were taking all the boxes as a profitable business, every
step with the way. That might have been part of it.
But the idea was that band camp had become something
more valuable and that they could cash out. You know,
I think it was two hundred and eighty something million dollars,
which is a big chunk of change, and that, you know,
the decision to cash out was made by the founder.

(01:16:42):
There was likely other people who had input into the decision,
but there was certainly wasn't you know, a team that
was you know, having a deliberation and making a consent
based decision about how to do that. It was one
guy and he signed the paperwork and that was it.
So the idea of exit to the community is essentially
been an invitation to explore alternatives, alternatives that are more

(01:17:04):
in alignment with building the world that we're actually trying
to see. So for us, that means, you know, first
of all, creating something that is financially viable, you know,
that can actually support the work that it takes to
both maintain the platform and maintain accountability to the people
who are using platform, particularly the musicians, so that those

(01:17:25):
relationships need to get built. There needs to be enough
trust in order to feel like this is actually a
thing worth continuing to do together. And then there's also
the work of having it be essentially used enough that
the math works out that the work that it takes
to sustain the platform can be supported and the work

(01:17:49):
that it takes to make music can be supported, because ultimately,
this is a platform that is trying to move money
into musicians' pockets. So if we can pull that off,
then the next step is the exit community step, which
the way I see it, would be essentially co designing
a set of agreements about how the system will continue

(01:18:09):
to be tended to moving forward in ways that are
directly accountable to the people who are involved in making
it go themselves. Right, So in this case, you know,
we see the community as kind of broadly comprised of
three different groups, not like groups of people that all
hang out together and do stuff together, but like there's

(01:18:31):
kind of three kinds of contributions that are getting made.
One is the people who are working on developing the software.
This is an open source software project, so there's been
a lot of inputs from a lot of different people.
Of that, of course, the work of maintaining an open
source software project requires resourcing, but that's one of the groups.
Another group is the musicians, the people who are you

(01:18:53):
making stuff that they put on the platform. And another
is the people who are listening and the people who
are supporting with you know, with patronage, with money, right,
and and some people might be in all three of
those categories, you know, So it's not like there's your
one or the other, but those three things all have
really important and important stake in the sustainability of the

(01:19:17):
overall operations. So the exit to community step would be
essentially designing standards, protocols, agreements, whatever you want to call
it for how we do this work moving forward, and
then we can get out of the way if we want,
you know. So that's the other part of it. The
other part of it, too, of an exit is how
do you make sure that the founders are whole, you know,

(01:19:37):
so that it's not like we've put all this work
into making something possible and then it's working and then
everyone's like, oh yeah, screw you, get out of here.
We're ready to take this on our ohs and we're
hoping that doesn't happen either, So figuring out that is
also a part of the's what's before us. My aspiration
and my vision for this is that culture of can

(01:20:00):
that we're baking into the worker stage of this right
now can be something that continues to be a core
aspect of how we move forward. In other words, once
we really see who all the stakeholders are, let's come
up with a creative way to figure out how this
is going to work that everybody can consent to them.

Speaker 6 (01:20:19):
I think that's a good place of transition to the
last thing I wanted to ask, which is you know,
you've both came from projects that kind of fizzled, and
this is the thing that happens a lot of time
with projects like this. So what is the sort of
plan to make sure that this is not like the
next in a pile of of people who tried to
do this that did work.

Speaker 10 (01:20:42):
We've been having a lot of conversations around that because
there have been like public reflections happening about the final
years of Ampled, So there's some reflections around those things
that you can find those on the internet. Well, So
the things I'm thinking about is you really have to
think about what it means to be successful, and.

Speaker 7 (01:21:00):
It's possible to claim that success is.

Speaker 10 (01:21:05):
You know, we go toe to toe with band camp
or Patreon and we beat them at the game of
being a VC funded startup, but we do it with
volunteer and you know, grassroots money support. And I guess
that is a way of thinking of success. It's not
my personal way of thinking of success. So a way

(01:21:27):
of thinking of success for me is more, you know,
what's the end result? What are we hoping to do?
What are we hoping to prefigure? Is it a more
resilient community of people who are willing to go into
a next step together? And in that way, I feel
like you could say that Resonate and Ampled they fizzled,

(01:21:52):
but they both created spaces where people found each other
and try to do the next thing. And I feel
like that is very much the project of organizing prior
to global socialism or whatever, is looking at what we
did and learning from it and moving forward and trying again.

Speaker 7 (01:22:17):
Because we have to try again. And I feel like
that is kind of the big picture question.

Speaker 10 (01:22:24):
We have some stuff in place that we're doing to
make our project a bit more resilient. The consen stuff
is part of that that Alex just described. Other parts
of that is that we from the get go decided
to do things publicly and bring in people as quickly
as possible. I was the original programmer for the platform,

(01:22:45):
but in the past month I have been the honestly
one of the smallest contributors to the platform. We've just
had people stepping up in really incredible ways. Truly appreciate it.
We've had people stepping in during this campaign. They've been
making videos, they've been making art. Yeah, just the way

(01:23:06):
that the community is stepping in and like wanting to
be a success, I think is this great example of
what it is we can achieve if we if we're
willing to, you know, let people into the process of
doing that. There are a lot of questions there about
who and what is doing that supporting, So that is

(01:23:28):
something that we're constantly checking in on. And I think
also a metric of success is who is interacting with
the platform. Especially at Resonate, they did a really good
job of bringing in the folks from Black Socialists of
America were involved. There were people who had experience of
cooperation Jackson who were involved. They did a really good

(01:23:48):
job of diversifying the crowd of people who were not
the standard I don't know, like open source tech people,
which is a very white, you know, susset mail situation.
And we we're trying to take from those and learn
from those and thinking about what spaces we present ourselves in,
like very intentional outreach to people to open up through

(01:24:13):
cultural work, through conversations that are very local focused, to
create space where we're talking about these things.

Speaker 5 (01:24:22):
Yeah, and I think for me, the idea of success
too has to do with our needs getting met, you know,
because Spotify is not meeting people's needs. Sorry, it's just
not I mean, I guess it's meeting some people's needs,
not meeting very many people.

Speaker 6 (01:24:38):
Yeah, yeah, I mean they just fired like not literally
their entire podcasting division, but an unbelievably large number of
extreuely talented people got fired. Oh really and it yeah,
it really sucks.

Speaker 7 (01:24:49):
That's really interesting.

Speaker 5 (01:24:50):
Yeah, you know, not operating at the same scale that
Spotify is actually making it work matters, you know. And
my hope is that that, first of all, that individual
artists start to see this as a place that you know,
they can kind of get their crew around them, and
that this can be a really a nice reliable source

(01:25:12):
of additional income in their careers, help them pay rent.
Like when I was on Ampled, you know, I was
bringing in like one hundred dollars a month or something
like that, which isn't that much because I was doing
it on a very small scale, but it made a
big difference in my everyday life in terms of making
space to make music a part of it. And I
know how I lean into that a little bit more,
there could be you know, a significant chunk of change

(01:25:34):
coming through something like this to support just the ongoing
paying rent while making art, which is the thing.

Speaker 10 (01:25:41):
On that note, another thing that I think is worth
celebrating is that in the end, AMPLE basically made two
hundred and fifty thousand dollars available to musicians and did
do what it was trying to do in a successful way.

Speaker 5 (01:25:55):
This is the other thing that I want to aspire
to or you know, define success as, is our local
scenes starting to work mirror low into the way that
they operate. You know, can this be something that small
independent labels, artists, collectives, niche genres in different places, you know,

(01:26:17):
DIY spaces, whatever that this can actually be a useful
tool to make the local space go and to make
it easier for musicians to do what they do in
community in real life, you know, at the level of
local and we'll see how that goes. We're just getting started,
but I'm really optimistic and looking forward to continuing to

(01:26:39):
pour energy into that. Yeah.

Speaker 6 (01:26:41):
So where can people go to find the platform and
support it if they're interested or get involved?

Speaker 5 (01:26:46):
Yeah, so we're at mirrlow dot space. That's the website.
If you go to mirrlow dot space, you'll see at
the very top right now, just for a a couple
more days, we've got a kickstarter going to kind of
keep the lights on for the rest of the year.
Be tremendously grateful for any support from anyone who's listening today.
To get us, it's where I need to get over there,
and also at the front page, and if you scroll

(01:27:08):
down to the bottom, there's links to email us, find
us on GitHub, find our discord. There's plenty of ways
to plug in and connect. Yeah.

Speaker 6 (01:27:16):
Yeah, So hoping this all works for the best, and
hoping that there's a way for artists to create music
in ways that are sustainable and not unbelievably exploitative.

Speaker 7 (01:27:25):
Yeah, thanks so much for having us, man, it's been
truly a pleasure.

Speaker 5 (01:27:29):
Yeah, thank you so much.

Speaker 6 (01:27:31):
Maybe so Yeah, yeah, and this has been It could
happen here and find us in the usual places. Yeah. Go,
I don't know, go make trouble for the people who
have what use it.

Speaker 1 (01:27:46):
It could happen here as a production of cool Zone Media.
For more podcasts from cool Zone Media, visit our website
cool Zonemedia dot com, or check us out on the
iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Speaker 8 (01:28:01):
Hi everyone, it's me James and I'm joined by Scheren today,
and in a rare instance, we're not discussing something terrible
and sad. It seems like most of the think is
serene and I talk about. But it's a fun episode today,
isn't it, Shreen.

Speaker 3 (01:28:13):
Yeah, I'm in a good mood, which is crazy to
say these days. But I'm happy to be here. I
love to be the podcast dummy. I love to have
things talk to me at and I listen too. Yeah, exactly,
that's interest.

Speaker 8 (01:28:30):
You've chrished it. No, we won't be taking that again.
Let's go from there. I don't want everyone to think
Sharen is dummy. S Shereen, it's very intelligent. But we
are making a podcast today about touching grass. A thing
that some people need to do has become apparent. I've
been on the internet. I think some people need to
go outside. Yeah, and even if you're not saying the
stupidest shit imaginable on Twitter, I still think it's actually

(01:28:53):
really good for you to go outside. Like I know,
this seems to be an episode I do every couple
of months, but every single time I have to go
and do something traumatic or scary or upsetting for work,
I just book a few days afterwards to be by
myself in the mountains camp and sort of just not
particularly like trying to do massive miles on a trail,
just being outside. And I find it's the most healing

(01:29:15):
thing for me. It's how I process all the things
that I have to see and hear about for work.
And I want you to do that too, podcast listeners. Yeah,
and Serene, I want Sreen to do it.

Speaker 3 (01:29:26):
Nature is healing, it is, and that makes sense that
that's where you go. It makes total sense.

Speaker 8 (01:29:33):
Yeah, I think you have to be comfortable, like you know,
if you're scared sleeping alone outside in a tent by yourself. Right, Yeah,
it's not going to be healing for you. And I
can see that. I'm a white dude, right, and I
go through the outdoors just like I go through everywhere
else's white du You know that means that something different experiences. Yes, yes, yeah,
we have. That's why social is you to think anyway.

(01:29:54):
I want to talk today just about hiking or walking
or rambling or hillwalking or you know, you could call
it any of the things that you want, just because
I think it's probably the most successible way to get
outside for most people. Right, Like I could talk about cycling.
It's been a lot of my life cycling. It's expensive
and confusing for people.

Speaker 3 (01:30:12):
So in your equipment, you know, hiking, you just need
to get outside.

Speaker 8 (01:30:16):
Yeah, exactly, like you probably if you're able to move
under your own power now, then you can probably go
for a walk. I'm going to talk about equipment in
the back half, but I think if you're a lot
of people seem to have a lot of questions about
backpacking equipment, so we'll cover that. But yeah, I think
for most people, just like setting the intention of going
for a walk would be a massively beneficial thing. So

(01:30:37):
I want to encourage you to do that to start
of summer. If you're in the northern hemisphere, if you're
in the southern hemisphere, it's a start of winter, you know,
you can still get out there. And so to start
off with, I wanted to talk about finding a route,
finding a place, picking a route to go hiking. Did
you go hiking very much? I actually do.

Speaker 3 (01:30:54):
I do like a hike. I like a hike. I've
gone backpacking once and I really liked it.

Speaker 8 (01:31:00):
Where did you go back back?

Speaker 3 (01:31:01):
Oh high? Oh yeah wow, Yeah, that's a cute little place.
But it was so hot and I almost passed out.
I should have done it in a different day. We
should have done it a different day. But I do
love to hike. I like to be outside. I'm not
like the most outdoors a person. I wish I knew
how like how to make a fire or something, or

(01:31:21):
like I wish I was like a scout.

Speaker 8 (01:31:24):
There's lots of shit that you don't want to be
involved within the scouting movement surin.

Speaker 3 (01:31:27):
Oh really, okay, I take that back.

Speaker 8 (01:31:28):
Yeah yeah yeah, probably inducing behind the bus just such
a scout.

Speaker 3 (01:31:32):
Okay, I will do that.

Speaker 8 (01:31:34):
I did not.

Speaker 3 (01:31:34):
But what I mean is like I really like being outside,
and I have like the bare minimum of like equipment
that I need for that kind of stuff. I used
to get really intimidated that I didn't know as much
as I thought other people did. But I don't think
anyone knows as much as they think they do.

Speaker 8 (01:31:49):
Absolutely no.

Speaker 3 (01:31:50):
Yeah, so that made me feel better.

Speaker 8 (01:31:52):
Yeah, And like the outdoors are super humbling in that sense, right,
Like you think you know it all, you don't, and
at some point you'll get humbled or so it's good
to always have a bit of respect, Yeah, for the
outdoors and mother nature. I've seen some people who do
not that it can end messily. Seen some people who
learn to climb on YouTube really get to grips with
YouTube not being the same as going outside. I guess

(01:32:14):
if I'm starting off, if you're picking a route, and
I think probably the best way to do it is
I discovered this recently. Lots of these modern smartphones have
a step counter in them. Even if you don't have
a fancy watch that count steps, your phone does it
for you. I think that's a really good way of ascertaining,
like how far you walk in a regular day, right,
I was thinking about, like how far to most people walk?

(01:32:36):
I don't know.

Speaker 3 (01:32:36):
I know a fun fact about me.

Speaker 8 (01:32:38):
I would love to usering.

Speaker 3 (01:32:39):
I purposely have never ever opened that app or activated
it to know how many steps I walk because I
know myself and I know I would get like hyper
fixated on it, and I did not want to be
confronted with the days that I just sit on my
ass all day, you know, And so I have never
ever active app.

Speaker 8 (01:32:59):
That's a great stree.

Speaker 3 (01:33:00):
I'm proud of you for knowing that that wouldn't be
good for you. I mean, I just know myself it
wouldn't be a good thing for me. I think it's
a good thing for a lot of people to like
get them motivated and stuff, but sometimes it's also a
negative to being too focused on the numbers.

Speaker 8 (01:33:13):
And yeah, totally, especially like if you're someone who's had
like a relationship with exercise, it wasn't healthy for you before.

Speaker 3 (01:33:19):
Yeah, I guess that's also part of it too. That
was my experience. I'm sorry, are you are the things
to add it just happened?

Speaker 8 (01:33:27):
Yeah, okay, Yeah, I'm glad that you have a good
relationship with it now. But yeah, for people who you know,
if that's not for you, that's not for you. I'll
say that.

Speaker 3 (01:33:37):
But I just think it's a fun fact. I don't
know anyone else that has not. Like I'm terrified of
the app. I have not even opened it. When you
go to my health app, it says welcome, like it
doesn't even you know what I mean, Like it's not Yeah.

Speaker 8 (01:33:47):
I did think you've got a brand new phone. I
was going to suggest to all trails because A it's
got a very complete list of trails, and B I
noticed I had a wheelchair for yeah, I was looking
for wheelchair accessible trails for someone the other day. You
can just filter on all trails, like you can find
the ones that don't have steps or excessive rocks or something.
So like, if that's something you're looking for, I think

(01:34:07):
that could be really handy. And other little tips for
picking your root. If you try and set off early, A,
you're gonna not deal with big crowds of people. Be
Animals are almost always more active at dawning dusk. I
have been trail running a lot recently, and I love
to trail run right when the sun's coming up. It
just feels like it's nice and I see little animals,

(01:34:29):
don't see as many snakes. I like to see a snake.

Speaker 3 (01:34:31):
The weather is probably like the best it's going to
be that day. Yeah, yeah, exactly, especially as it gets hotter.

Speaker 8 (01:34:37):
Right like if you're not necessarily doing a lot of
exercise right now, and then you go for you know,
even a short hike in the middle of the day
on a hot day, you can put yourself in the box.
And like I think I've heard before that like the
vast majority of trail rescues are like on front country trails,
like five or ten mins.

Speaker 3 (01:34:53):
I believe that people get confident.

Speaker 8 (01:34:57):
I guess that in mind. If you're heading out in
a little front country I would say some things to
bring would be we'll go over like equipment, boots, stuff
like that. If you if you're like getting more into it,
but heading out on a little first hike. If as
long as you have a bag with some water and
a phone and some shoes that you like to wear
that they're comfortable for you, I think you'll be fine.

(01:35:18):
And I think they bring a snack. Snack is always
a good thing to have. It's nice to have a
little trail snack at yeah, I love a good rectangular food.
But yeah, if you don't have water, that's like fourth
of July last year, someone didn't bring water for their dog,
and I remember their dog was in like severe Yeah, no,

(01:35:41):
it was one of the stupider things. But I can't
think of a year here where I haven't been running
or riding on trails and seeing someone forget to bring
water for their dog terrible. I hate that.

Speaker 3 (01:35:49):
Yeah, I don't like I see like sometimes there's like
a communal stops for pets, but you can't count on those,
you know.

Speaker 8 (01:35:58):
Yeah, totally. I don't really count any of those things working,
you know, like water fountains, Like, don't be reliant up
on a water fountain, take a little water bottle. You'll
be so much happier. And if you want to find
people to hike with, I've had pretty good luck with
a meetup app. I used to climb by some people
from meet up here in San Diego, and like climbings

(01:36:19):
are fairly like high trust endeavor if someone's belaying you right.
I definitely met some people there who are very capable
and we had a great time. Climbing outside. Meetup seems
to be pretty good for that kind of stuff. ARII
also often has free like I'll just take you out
for a hike hiking sessions, and I know they have
like yeah, yeah I can. Yeah, they they seem nice.

(01:36:41):
They have like fem ones that women transferm people can
go and sistudes can't go, which is fine, you know,
like it's probably a nice thing for some people feel
a little safer and more comfortable there. They have one,
so they're just open for everyone. They think that's a
dude's only hike, which is also fine. So those are
some places to meet people. I think it's always nice
to go with someone, especially if you don't feel confident

(01:37:03):
or you don't feel like the outdoors are a place
where you're like comfortable. It's nice to go with even
if it's someone who has the same degree of knowledge
and background in it as you. Like, they can help
you rationalize your fears.

Speaker 3 (01:37:15):
Yeah, when you're alone and like you get lost or
you feel panic, it's so much worse than if you
had like a friend with you. It only happened to
me once and I was on rooms, so but I
won't get into that, but it was scary.

Speaker 8 (01:37:32):
Yeah, then maybe you'd leave those a home if you're
going out first tike maybe.

Speaker 3 (01:37:39):
Yeah, No, you don't need those if you're by yourself, especially,
Just take it from me. Please, don't go on a
mountain and take too many things and panic the whole
way home.

Speaker 8 (01:37:55):
I want to hear this story afterwards.

Speaker 3 (01:37:57):
It was my thirtieth birthday in twenty twenty, so everything
was closed. I tried to go and touch grass games
and I had.

Speaker 8 (01:38:09):
You nearly touched it with your face as you fell
down the mountain on your shroom trip. Yeah, your thirtiest
beft is.

Speaker 3 (01:38:14):
Yeah, it was crisis, I suppose anyway.

Speaker 6 (01:38:17):
Sorry, yeah, unreeling, Yeah, that's okay.

Speaker 8 (01:38:20):
You know shrims. Do you know what will not make
you have an existential crisis on top of the mountain
on your own in the middle of a pandemic? Please
tell me it is the products and services that support
this show. Unless we get a shroom sad, I would
love that the stream will read your shroom sad. If
you're in the industry, please reach out her Twitter is

(01:38:40):
at I write. Okay, all right, we're back in fact
all the psilocybin. Maybe it's still illegal.

Speaker 3 (01:38:52):
I don't think they are. Yeah, they're in Oregon.

Speaker 8 (01:38:54):
They are Yeah, well there you go, right, So I'm
interested to know what questions you had before you decided
to embark on your hiking lifestyle or is something you've
always done.

Speaker 3 (01:39:03):
I mean my family and I we never really did
outdoorsy stuff, so it was something I did when I
was like finishing high school. I started to be like, wow,
I live in a place where I can go hiking,
and I've never done this before. So it was a
learning curve. But I started when I was like seventeen
and I got my entire family to go hiking with
me for the first time.

Speaker 6 (01:39:23):
Yeah.

Speaker 3 (01:39:25):
It was also when I was introducing my mom to
like Zoomba. That was the vibe back then. So I
was trying to get active. But I think the most
important things are I mean, I'm a big skincare person.
I think some protection cannot be understated, especially if you
are hiking in the middle of the day, like when
the sun is at its highest point. You need sunscreen

(01:39:47):
and a hat. There is like some protective clothing even
that could come in handy, but at the bare minimum,
you need a good hat. Yeah, like not even a
cat I like those those fishermen looking hats. You got
to get the whole circumference. But a cap is fine.
A cap will do. I think that's the most important
little accessory for me.

Speaker 8 (01:40:06):
It's a hat. I have one of those, like felted
wool hats.

Speaker 3 (01:40:09):
Nice. Don't they get hot?

Speaker 5 (01:40:12):
No?

Speaker 10 (01:40:12):
Not really.

Speaker 8 (01:40:12):
The wool breeze pretty well. Like it was what I
was out at the body yesterday helping out and it
was like a nineteen I was wearing it. It was fine,
and it's wool so you can dip in the water
and it gets wet. Yeah, I like one of those. Yeah.
I actually have a little list of of equipment or
clothing stuff which maybe I could go over. It seems
like the vast majority of the questions I get people

(01:40:34):
like to dm me the question, which is great, by
the way, I do like it when people ask me
for like how can I no bad question? Because no,
there aren't. And like a lot of my career as
a journalist, like earlier on was doing outdoor media and like, yeah,
the outdoor media has gone to complete shit, and you know,
you can't write anything. It's an advertorial now just actually
like just to if you are looking to buy something,

(01:40:57):
and it is basically any product with you read on
the Internet. I understand that the vast majority of those
will only be products that pay a certain percentage back
to the website that refers you to them, and so
then inherently causes a bias against products which don't do that.
An editor at Big Men's Magazine suggested that I write
some reviews about the stuff that I'd never seen.

Speaker 3 (01:41:17):
They weren't going to send them to you.

Speaker 8 (01:41:19):
Well, the company would have done, but the editor wanted
the piece in like fifteen miles, which, like, I know,
I used to do lots of reviews and buy some stuff,
and I take it pretty seriously. And because it's a
lot of someone.

Speaker 3 (01:41:29):
I look at those reviews all the time, I have
to weed out the ones I think are like sponsored.
But I really I really like reviews. Yes, I go
on Reddit a lot to see what people think, like
their own experience.

Speaker 8 (01:41:40):
Redd It's a great place. So I've said that like universally,
but I do mean with respect to Yeah.

Speaker 3 (01:41:45):
It's a place where you can find more anecdotal experience
with stuff versus I don't know, Amazon review.

Speaker 8 (01:41:52):
Yeah, there are some whoppers on Reddit who in any
aspect to overestimate their insight into things. But you'll find
anyone on the internet. So yeah, I'm going to go
through some different clothing items, stuff I like and stuff
that I think you can probably find cheap and hopefully
that will help people kind of especially if you're thinking
of backpacking. It can be very intimidating and expensive, I think.

(01:42:14):
And at the start of the PCT almost once a week,
right helping out the border, that's one of the areas
where people cross and I see people with thousands of
dollars of gear that is all brand new, and I
know it can be pretty intimidating, but like, you don't
have to start there, so there's always stuff you have
a home. Maybe we'll do one on camping later in
the summer. So you get a hat, any particular hat preferences, Sharen, I.

Speaker 3 (01:42:35):
Don't know the brands, honestly, I don't know. And unless
like someone recommended this brand, use this, like my shoes
are I think we talked about this before Solomon No, yes,
is that a brand? Yeah, Salmon, And I was like,
that's a sad Yeah. Yeah, I think you can find

(01:42:56):
really cheap hats that are protective. You know, I don't
think you need a big brand for a hat as
long as it like covers your head in your face.

Speaker 8 (01:43:04):
Yeah, yeah, totally. I trail run all the time in
a hat I got free like five years ago.

Speaker 3 (01:43:08):
If anything, I think it's better to have things you
don't care about getting dirty or ruined, you know, because
you're sure.

Speaker 8 (01:43:15):
I've noticed a lot of outdoor stuff really kind of
moving towards streetwear. There's this thing that I learned about
recently called gorp core, which is my okay, the test.

Speaker 3 (01:43:27):
I think it's cute.

Speaker 8 (01:43:31):
Okay, this is going to be the point of disagreement.
People like it when the hosts disagree on podcasts.

Speaker 3 (01:43:37):
How do you define gorp core?

Speaker 8 (01:43:40):
It's people wearing hiking stuff to go around town, which
is fine. I do that all the time. I dress
like a man in ARII catalog. But like, why are
you making it fashion? And then why have you stolen
my brands who used to make reliable outdoor gear.

Speaker 3 (01:43:55):
And now I enread that assessment, I will say, I
don't think wearing hiking stuff is necessary, but I do
like to look like I'm going on a safari, you know.
I like that character for me.

Speaker 8 (01:44:09):
Do you have like a pith helmet and like a No,
it's just more it's like fascinating.

Speaker 3 (01:44:14):
Like shorts that are meant to be hiked in are
longer usually, and I just think they look better than
other shorts and you can just wear that and like
a button down shirt with some leaves on it, it
looks like I'm going on a safari, but I'm just
walking around town.

Speaker 8 (01:44:28):
This this vision of like nineteen twenty sharen, you know,
like a carriage seeing a lion.

Speaker 3 (01:44:36):
But yeah, gorf core is it's becoming more and more trendy.
And I will say that you're you're right about things
being more expensive because of it, because it shouldn't be
so expensive to be prepared to go on a hike.

Speaker 8 (01:44:46):
Yeah, and like so like for most of the stuff
I look for when I'm hiking, a lot of brands
I go to, like Outdoor Research, Mountain Hardware. I'll list
to other stuff as we go through, but like Oarctics
and Patagonia seem to like taken off in price and
like decoupled from other stuff which literally uses the same materials. Right,
One of the things I would suggest if you're trying

(01:45:07):
to buy outdoor gerries, look at the materials used, because
you know you might find the same material used in
another piece somewhere else, and it might cost less, right
if it doesn't have that like gorp core appeal. If
I just go through some stuff I like really quickly.
I like to wear buttonup shirts when I hike. Wow,
Forten a whole piece about this. It's like two thousand
words and it sits on backpack.

Speaker 3 (01:45:27):
So what's the reason A very shortened version of the reason.

Speaker 8 (01:45:30):
They're nice. They cover your neck a bit better. They
have buttons so you can vent your chest if you
need to get some extra ventilation. Yeah, you can roll
up the sleeves. You can roll down the sleeves. That
there was very practical. When I met the president of
the Marshall Islands, like one of my little hiking buttonup
shirts because I hadn't been expected to be formal, and
I put on a little tie that they gave me

(01:45:52):
and I went.

Speaker 3 (01:45:53):
I will say I have worn my button down hiking
shirts out and about town because I think they look
so oops.

Speaker 8 (01:46:02):
Yeah, I agree with you, Srian, I think they look cute.
You can look cute in them. If you're looking to
buy some shirts. Outdoor Research has one called the Astroman,
which is amazing, Like it feels like you're not wearing
a shirt, which is always the goal with shirt couu.
The Hunting brand has one called the Tiburon, which is right.

Speaker 3 (01:46:20):
Are they going to be listed somewhere?

Speaker 8 (01:46:22):
Yes, Like I did last time, I will make a
two thousand words show description with links in it for people.
I also like those T shirts, like running shirts. I
don't really buy like hiking t shirts. I think often
they're just cotton T shirts with a picture of a
river on. But running shirts a nice gore wear, so
that the people who make gortex there's also really good

(01:46:44):
value stuff. Actually it's worth looking at obviously, Like they're
like in house, so they have all gortex waterproof stuff.
But they have a shirt called the Contest which I
always trail running this morning. It's a pretty nice shirt
and gets hot here in San Diego. And like, I
don't want to be the guy running with the shit
out of and so. And also I'm British, so like

(01:47:04):
me and the sun are in a constant state of disagreement.
I'm not a skinware person. Utreen. I didn't believe in
some to me I do now. I do now, I
do now. Until my early thirties, I thought that it
was stopping my skin breathing and affecting my performance as
a big races that you've cherished changed. Yeah, I never

(01:47:24):
had skin on my well like most.

Speaker 3 (01:47:27):
Of you thought on screen was bad.

Speaker 8 (01:47:30):
When you have to understand that everything about pro cycling
is like lies the older people tell you so, like
when I was coming up in cycling, it was like
the very end of the like people who had trained
in East Germany, like before the fall of the Berlin War, right,
and they had all these bullshit things like I had
a team director who would make us eat fast animals

(01:47:50):
because he thought that would turn us into fasters.

Speaker 3 (01:47:53):
Like that's a good one, no, I mean the even
now there is a little subculture of like, don't wear sunscreen.
The sun is good for you. You should just like
vitamin D. But y'all know, wear sunscreen, reapply the sunscreen.
I should make a skincare episode. I'm obsessed with this stuff.
And sunscreen is so important it is.

Speaker 8 (01:48:15):
You can get much better sunscreen outside the US.

Speaker 3 (01:48:18):
Yeah, I do. I use Korean sunscreen. Korean sunscreen is great, Okay.

Speaker 8 (01:48:21):
Great, Okay. I get European sunscreen when I'm in the airport.

Speaker 3 (01:48:25):
But also both the European sunscreens and Asian sunscreens. They're
formulated so much differently than the ones in the US.
I feel like there are certain things that are they're different.

Speaker 5 (01:48:38):
I don't know.

Speaker 3 (01:48:38):
America is fucking up.

Speaker 8 (01:48:40):
It's because the active ingredients, haven't the FDA. Yeah, okay, yeah,
sunscreen conspiracy divation over sharen. Maybe we should take an
advertising break here in case we land the Koreans.

Speaker 3 (01:48:51):
Oh, okay, advertising, Yeah, let's do it. I want to
get shrooms and Korean sunscreen under my advertising bill. That
would be great. That's my entire personality.

Speaker 8 (01:49:04):
All Right, we're back. We hope you enjoyed that advert
for sund screen. I want to talk about trousers just
in general, but also with reference to hiking. Sometimes I
go out and I drop water for people so that
they don't die in the desert. And that's something that
I think is one of the coolest fucking things that
you can do if you live near the border, and
everyone who does it is a massive legend in my opinion.

(01:49:24):
And even if you just come out once, you could
save someone's life. And that's pretty fucking cool. And I
want you, if you live near here, to feel like
you can do that and if what's holding you back,
if you don't know what to where or want backpack
to get just like dm me on Twitter, but sometimes
I come out in jeans. I would not suggest hiking
in jeans. I would make jeans are great. I love jeans.

(01:49:46):
I like to climb in jeans. I know Ian, the
producer of this show, have some opinions about people who
want to hear You haven't seen this, yeah, because Ian
doesn't tweet very much, so I only found his Twitter
like six months ago. One of his tweets with about
why people because it's cool yan, No, no, no, it's
not because you have to climb in jeans. Because you

(01:50:07):
have to remind people that you were climbing before the
fucking Alex Honold's film came out. And the way to
do that is to be a dirt bag. And the
way to do that is to go to a second
hand shop and buy the ladies jeans, sort the stretch.

Speaker 3 (01:50:20):
The ones that are worn in because like from New genes,
seem so uncomfortable to do anything in in my opinion.

Speaker 8 (01:50:25):
No, yeah, you want the stretchy fabric genes, you know,
the ones. It's okay if they're normal geens. Yeah, they've
got to be worn in and then you cut them
off a couple of inches above the ankle so you
can see your feet, and you go climbing in those
and a cut off T shirt and you keep climbing grungy,
because that's important. You can't be letting all the Have
you seen this film Free Solo? People change it so yeah,

(01:50:47):
oh gosh, yeah, that's one of the things that I
will never back down.

Speaker 1 (01:50:50):
That run.

Speaker 8 (01:50:51):
Yeah, they use. The easiest route in my climbing gym
for years was called Hey, dude, have you seen this film?
It's called Free Solo, which I thought was great.

Speaker 6 (01:50:58):
Wow.

Speaker 8 (01:50:59):
Yeah, you can go climbing in jeans, but don't go
hiking in jeans. They don't breathe very well, they don't
move very well, they do chafe very well, and if
they get wet, they suck. So you can get good
like Niico or polyester or like even some with like
spandex or like greens. So they stretch trousers pretty quickly.

(01:51:20):
I really like Prana trousers that like the yoga brand.
I'm wearing some right now. They have a one called
the stretch Ion, and they have a men's model and
a women's model, I think, and they're really cheap. They're
always on sale. I really like those for like a
cheap go to trouser hiking. Also there's a brand called
True Work who make like technical work clothes, which I

(01:51:41):
like to wear if I'm like when we were constructing
shelters a lot in Cucumber before the Border of Patrol
tore them down. It's nice to have the little like
extra pockets for your tools and for your pencil and
your tape measure and stuff like that. I wear those
for hiking as well, and they're kind of dual purpose. Generally,
if you have trousers that are lightweight, that breathe well
and have good flexibility, you're good to go. The next
thing I have here is socks. People really fuck up

(01:52:04):
with socks, and it seems like socks and footwear are
areas where people really get themselves into trouble. Tried this
out recently and the interest of journalism. Actually, there are
a couple of brands the things that I do just
on a whim, darn Tough, you know, down tough sucks Serene, No, okay,
now you do. They're a company and Vermont, who make

(01:52:26):
good socks.

Speaker 3 (01:52:26):
Well, okay, I do want I need new hiking socks.

Speaker 8 (01:52:29):
Okay, good, yeah, sit down, Okay. Two brands that I
would recommend are Features and Done Tough because they fit
well there will so will still insulates when it's where
it breethes. Well, it doesn't burn, but that's not a
big concern for most of us hiking here. It's you're
in a forest far I guess. But they'll find your feet.
That'll be great. They also have lifetime warranties, which I

(01:52:51):
think is really cool for for socks. Yeah, that's cool.

Speaker 1 (01:52:55):
Yeah.

Speaker 8 (01:52:55):
So I tested these out in the interest of journalism
and feature in science and so yeah, I did a
did a little double blind test, and I contacted Features
and done toff and said, hi, I have worn holes
through the front of my socks. And they said, no problems,
send them back. And I sent them back and Features
got me the socks. So what they do is they
send you a coupon, then you go on their website
and you order whatever socks you want. And it took

(01:53:16):
me about a week and I had new socks. Well
down tuft took a little bit longer, but I had
new socks. So like if you're a person who doesn't
want to spend a lot of money, you can spend
your money once and have socks for life, which I
thought was pretty cool. Yeah, yeah, it's cool. I heard
that they had a good warranty. But then I was like,
you know what, lots of brands say lots of bullshit,
to let me test it, and tested I did. It
turned out to be true in both cases.

Speaker 3 (01:53:39):
I will say for the inexperienced person, I think when
you hear wool socks, you're like, okay, I'll wear those
one it's cold, but no, you have to wear them
for like it's like temperature regulation, right, It's like you.

Speaker 8 (01:53:52):
Want to let your foot breathe, right, so you don't
get like blisters you get.

Speaker 3 (01:53:56):
Do you wear them any weather? That's my point. I
feel like what I hear wool as someone that grew
up in Sokel, I'm like, Okay, it's going to be cold,
No it's not. Just put them on your feet and
your shoe will be war comfy. Also a comfortable shoe essential. Yeah, yeah,
I'm sure you're going to get there.

Speaker 8 (01:54:13):
But yeah, there are different thickness. Is you have will
socks for cord wear there, but I also have wolf
socks for hot weather, right, but they're all wool, you know, Well, yeah,
they're just in Actually I wore a wool shirt when
I did a couple of years ago. There was a
heat advisory, so I figured that would be a good
time to go backpacking on the PCT because no one
else would be there.

Speaker 3 (01:54:29):
Yeah, good idea.

Speaker 8 (01:54:30):
It's great. I had a wonderful time. It was not
molested by people. He saw some snakes. It was nice
rescue the dude, did you wear a sunscreen? Yeah? I
did in that instance. Anah, actually yeah, this was after
my sunscreen awakening.

Speaker 3 (01:54:43):
Oh great, I'm so glad.

Speaker 8 (01:54:44):
Don't go out without water. This dude was out looking
for Kitchen Creek Falls, which if you're not familiar, as
a seasonal waterfall in his county, San Diego, and he
was probably about three or four months late or early,
depending on how you look at it. And so if
had gone out without water, which don't be relying on
that kind of stuff. If it says water on the map,
that's cool. Still bring water, especially you're in the desert. Yeah,

(01:55:04):
let's talk about shoes. I think people want to go
hiking in boots because that's what like you think of
when you think of grambling or hiking. But like if
you don't wear boots for work or habitually, you know,
for just like crosspunk reasons, then you might be really
uncomfortable in boots. Like you're not used to hard things

(01:55:26):
rubbing your ankles, so would not suggest and unless you're
putting on load, Like I wear boots if I'm backpacking. Certainly,
if I'm like pack rafting or something where I've got
like the raft and everything else, and I'm going to
do it a long hiking, right, so I've got all
my camping stuff and the raft, I'm gonna wear boots.
Or if I'm off trails when we drop water, We're
not going on trails, right, We're just sort of out

(01:55:47):
and about climbing up mountain, So I'll wear boots for that.
But for almost everyone, especially if you're hiking on trails,
you're going to be just fine with shoes. I think
the big thing boots give you more stability, right, they
stop your ankle from twitch.

Speaker 3 (01:56:00):
That's why I wear them. I weak ankles.

Speaker 8 (01:56:02):
Yeah, it's genetic. Yeah, you can work on their little
ankle strength stuff.

Speaker 3 (01:56:06):
You can do, but that's not happening, I'll just wear
a boot.

Speaker 8 (01:56:10):
Boots maximalist for me, like finding shoes sort of stable
that like you know, like inherently stabilize my foot without
clamping my ankle has been really good.

Speaker 3 (01:56:21):
I feel more stable in a boot though you don't
think so.

Speaker 8 (01:56:24):
Yeah, but then you're just sort of transferring to me,
Like sometimes I like to have the ability to move
my ankles, especially, like I like to trail run as well.
If I'm to be honest, if I'm just going out,
I'm probably running at the minute. And like even over
night city, it's really fun to just run until it
gets dark and then sleep and then run again. It's
a fun thing to do.

Speaker 5 (01:56:44):
Well.

Speaker 3 (01:56:44):
I'd be curious about your hiking shoe recommendations versus boot.

Speaker 8 (01:56:48):
So I got three. They're all like they have little
kind of your foots like sitting in the insole, not
on the insult, if that makes sense. So it's like
cupped a little bit in that CUsing possibility. One is
the Salomon Genesis. It's the cheapest one they make in
that line. I think it's a really good shoe. I
trail running in them all the time. Two the other

(01:57:09):
one is a Soccany Exodus Ultra two, which it's really cool.
It has like a softer foam in the middle and
then a stiffer foam around the outside of your heel.
I could talk about the shit for hours, but it
feels very comfortable and soft. But also you're very stable,
and they're about to be phased out, so you can
find them really cheap.

Speaker 3 (01:57:26):
Why are they both to be phased out?

Speaker 8 (01:57:28):
Running shoe companies make a new shoe every year because
they feel like they need to.

Speaker 3 (01:57:33):
Human foot has been the same, I would argue for
a while. Yeah, it's not changing.

Speaker 8 (01:57:38):
Technology advances, right, Like shoe foams have come up, even
in the past five or six years. Like if you
have more running shoes in the past five or six years,
and you have the means to buy some more running shoes,
Piba foams and things like that, like these like high
energy return phones make running a lot more pleasant. But
often it's just like a different color scheme or you know,
slightly different upper Yeah, and I think in that case
you're just fine. The other ones that Meryl kind of

(01:58:01):
had a reputation for making, like old man hiking boots
for a while, but they're trail running shoes really great.

Speaker 3 (01:58:06):
That's cool. Yeah, my friend has Meryl shoes and they're cute.

Speaker 8 (01:58:11):
See they used to be cute. They used to be
very like dad coded.

Speaker 3 (01:58:14):
Yeah, I think they've turned a corner.

Speaker 8 (01:58:16):
Yeah they have. I'm a big fan. Now I'm wearing
some right now. Actually, Alex to wear Meryl. The Agidity
Peak one is good. The long Sky is when I
like when I'm like trail running in burlier terrain. If
you're going to buy boots or shoes, please try it on,
or at least sort of them from a website that
lets you send them back. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (01:58:33):
I really think that's essential. I messed up the first
time I really invested in expensive boots. I got them
after all reading all these reviews and I hated them.
Like I walked around my house and I was like,
these are terrible. But I was able to return them
to my ARII that was vocal, And I tried on
the other shoe I wanted to try on that they
had and that was great. I walked around in Aria

(01:58:55):
and I was like, this is the one you have
to try them on.

Speaker 8 (01:58:58):
Yeah, take the socks you're going to wear when you're
hiking as well. Like they don't just take socks and
don't feel the same. And then we walk around and
the next thing I had was backpacked. Actually, and I'm
going to say the same thing, like, the most important
thing for a backpack is that it fits your body,
and that it is fitted to your body. Ari I
will do that for free, which is great. Lots of
other outdoor shops for San Diego used to have Adventure sixteen.

(01:59:21):
It's sadly closed rip. But anyone who's trying to sell
your backpack in person and won't fit it to you
is probably someone you shouldn't buy a backpack from. So
if you google around enough and you have enough google for,
you will find a video of me teaching you how
to wear your backpack. Someone will find Yes, I know,
and yeah, I've got a broken arm in that video,

(01:59:43):
which you can't tell. I haven't sought medical attention at
the time of the video. Got hit by a car
and then I knew I had to eat a video
the next day, so I went to do the video.
I have to make money. It was broke.

Speaker 3 (01:59:56):
I will say that as someone who is it the
most knowledgeable about the stuff, But I like it, and
I would consider myself like a I don't know, intermediate,
not advanced, but go into ARII and getting a backpack fit.
And that's what I did. Don't shy away from asking questions.
They're there to help and I think as soon as
you get over that, you'll be fine. I feel like

(02:00:16):
as soon as I just like accept that these people
are there to help you and not to shame you,
hopefully that's great and like, yeah, they're trying to sell
you things, but I don't know, just go in with
a smart head on your shoulders.

Speaker 8 (02:00:31):
Yeah, expect people to be well meaning, like we all
just want you to be happy and enjoying the outdoors
with us. It's not a competition with backpacks. Real quickly,
you've got basically three distinct types. You have ultra light backpacks,
which you don't have a frame at all. Imagine a
bucket made of fabric with two straps so attached to
your back. I wouldn't suggest starting there. You have external

(02:00:51):
frame that's where the frame is external and the back
is clipped onto the frame. And you have internal frame
where the frame is integral to the back right to
the bags. You're probably going to look at an internal
frame to start with the heavier the bag gets. The
more structure you get and the more little pockets an
organization you get, those can seem super tempting, especially when
you're looking online and you're seeing like different specs and

(02:01:13):
trying to compare them. If you're a person who has
access to ziplock bags, you don't need all the pockets, right, Like, yeah,
what I do every single time they go back back
and so I put a bin bag in it that
waterproofs it. Right, Yeah, it's cool if your bags it's waterproof,
I don't trust it to be waterproof, and it doesn't
need to be because I'm going to put a bin
bag in there anyway, and I put everything in stuff
sacks as zip block bags in there. Likewise, you'll find

(02:01:34):
lots of bags with like seventy five ways to access
the main pocket. Most of the time you're going to
have your stuff inside a waterproof bag anyway, It's not
such a big deal.

Speaker 3 (02:01:44):
I think the most important aspect of a bag that
used to look at first is just the weight.

Speaker 8 (02:01:48):
Yeah, you can fuck yourself up with a heavy bag.
Although that said, like one of the bags that I
use the most for water drop stuff is a Mystery
Ranch Blackjacke it's a military bag. It's heavy. It's like
a I think it's five point seven pounds for the bag,
but I'm not trying to be light. What I'm trying
to do is fill it with gallons of water, right,

(02:02:09):
and then haul them up and down a mounted So
I might as well make the bag comfortable because it's
a negligible percentage of the overall weight of shit I'm carrying.

Speaker 3 (02:02:15):
That's fair.

Speaker 8 (02:02:16):
There's a bag for the Radix, the Mystery Ranch make
that I've been using a lot recently, and it's made
of like very lightweight material, like an ultrolyte bag. But
I like their frames. They have like a yoke that
kind of wraps around your body as opposed to frame
that sits on top of your body, and that works
really well for me. Their warranty is good, their products
are good. I've used their bags in like every continent

(02:02:38):
apart from the Antarctic and never had anything break. Especially
like if you're a person who gets actious about your
ship breaking, then you can't go wrong with them. They
also have incredible discount If you want one but you
think it's too expensive, take your time and you'll find
them way cheaper. That's a good bag to get. I
like Gregory bags, Osprey or a good brand. Osprey bags can.

Speaker 3 (02:02:58):
Tell to what I have backpacking backpack is an Osprey.

Speaker 8 (02:03:02):
Yeah, They're very comfortable. They have a lot going on
sometimes and they have that mesh. Do you have the
one with a mesh? Like? Yeah, they are very comfortable.
I have an Osprey bag that I really like. I
took it pack rafting and Alaska and it was great.
It was bomba. If you're just going on a day hike,
you don't need very much backpack, right, twenty liters or
whatever is fine, even ten. I really like those running
vesttile backpacks where you have like pockets on the front.

(02:03:24):
Have you seen those? You don't have to pick? Oh,
it's cool.

Speaker 1 (02:03:27):
Yeah?

Speaker 5 (02:03:27):
Do I have one?

Speaker 8 (02:03:29):
Send your pictulator shat things?

Speaker 9 (02:03:31):
Yeah?

Speaker 8 (02:03:31):
I mean you're looking forward to it. When I ran,
I like to have a little water flasks down there,
and then that makes sense. Yeah, And then I was like,
why don't have this on my normal backpack? Why am
I having to like reach around for my snacks? I'm
all about a fishency. So running vestile backpacks are cool.
Camelback has some good ones. Everyone called the octane. I
use a lot, and then when you're buying a backpack,

(02:03:53):
you'll want to pile a little water reservoir to go
in it. One of the reasons you're going to waterproof
everything in your bag is because every single water reservoir
that you put in your backpack will break at some point,
and when it does, it will send its contents into
your bag and it will be a bad day. Un
As you've water proved everything, this will happen to you,
especially if you like sit down and lean back and

(02:04:13):
then you crush it. So that's where you're gonna water
with everything. But I think hydro pack like the best ones.
I really like that insulated ones. Even if you don't
get an insulated bladder, get an insulated sucky cue SUSA worcherine.
Thank you, last podcast of the day here, guys. Yeah,
getting intated straw because when it's really cold, otherwise your

(02:04:36):
straw will freeze because it's like a small amount of
water right when it freezes more quickly.

Speaker 3 (02:04:41):
I never thought of that. I've only backpacked and highten
really hot weather.

Speaker 8 (02:04:45):
Yeah, when it's below freezing, like even like I was
out on Palomar in October A Ferry turned from Curtis
Dan So it was you know, below freezing top of
the mountain and know my water froze. You can blow
your water back out again, but you're just going to
forget to do that realistic. And then yeah, the last
thing I had was hiking poles. Hiking poles are great.
You've never had a pole, You never had a pole,

(02:05:07):
if you ever had a stick, I mean.

Speaker 3 (02:05:09):
It's like fine ones. And I guess I don't hike
on the things I might need a poll for. I
guess I don't know.

Speaker 8 (02:05:15):
Yeah, they're great if you're someone who's like maybe has
some injuries or you're worried about your knees just because
they hurt in general life. They were a great way
to take this strain.

Speaker 3 (02:05:25):
Off of the I'm trying to give innce my mom
to get a pair of poles because I think she
would really benefit from them because she wants to go
on all these hikes and yeah, just needs help. So
there's no shame in getting a pole or two.

Speaker 8 (02:05:36):
I will donate your mom some poles. Sarene Oh, it's
my Gift's my gift you. Saren's mom helped me translate
for some migrants the other day. My mom's the best
I'll send you. Don't be afraid of using them. Don't
be thinking that like anyone's going to judge you for
using them. Like, if that makes you feel more stable
and comfortable, go for it. Don't buy the ones that

(02:05:58):
telescope I mean by telescope, like, yeah, because they collapse.
And I remember I was up in the Sierras six
or seven years ago now and it was fucking snowyer
than I'd expected. Then my stupid hiking pole collapsed into itself.
It just just made the day like less fun.

Speaker 3 (02:06:17):
Yeah, I can imagine that.

Speaker 8 (02:06:19):
But otherwise it stick is great, right, find a nice stick,
fine with a nice notch your thumb. Get it from
a nice type of wood. Used to love making sticks
when it was little. You can get a stick topper.
You can order them online. You know, it's got like
a head of a dog or a pheasant.

Speaker 3 (02:06:33):
Or a cane. It's like a fancy little cane.

Speaker 8 (02:06:36):
Yeah, we had crooks, you know, a crook no for
like when you're catching your sheep.

Speaker 3 (02:06:42):
James, Why you mean, like there's the hook looking thing.

Speaker 8 (02:06:48):
Yes, yeah, it's called a croak.

Speaker 5 (02:06:49):
I did not know that.

Speaker 3 (02:06:51):
I know what you're talking now that you mentioned sheep,
I know what that is, but I've never known. Yeah,
because you're sheep eggs. But yeah, it's got a crook.
We said that's great for walking.

Speaker 8 (02:07:01):
I can see that. Yeah, yeah, so we we used
to use those a lot when I was a kid.
But yeah, having one is great. And I think, especially
like if you're nervous about falling going with your person
who worries about their knees, if you're picking your first route,
keep it pretty flat. If you're going up and down
a lot of elevation and you're worried about how that's
going to feel, the pole's a very good way to
mitigate someone worried that I'm going to fall on my knees.

(02:07:22):
But yeah, don't feel afraid of using that stuff. Oh,
I forgot to say one thing. In my shoes. Think
chacos are the best sandals. Fuck all other sandals. That's
what I have to say about that. You know when
you're cool because you have the z from the chaco's
burned onto your feet. Well, unless you practice foot skincare,
which I've not upgraded to that level yet.

Speaker 3 (02:07:41):
I was thinking about getting those. I remember I was
signing between those and something else, and I go off
for something else, But now I have to go back
and get those.

Speaker 8 (02:07:49):
A couple of years ago, I rafted with some people
who listened to the podcast. They invited me and I
went and we did a week on the Colorado.

Speaker 3 (02:07:55):
Oh that's so cool.

Speaker 8 (02:07:57):
You're so trusting little irl. I like to go.

Speaker 5 (02:08:00):
So it was cool.

Speaker 8 (02:08:01):
I like people. So some of them reached out and
I said, yeah, let let's go for a rafting trip.
So we went on a rafting trip on the Colorado River.
And now I wore my chackos the whole time while
sun cream.

Speaker 4 (02:08:11):
None of the time.

Speaker 8 (02:08:13):
Feet were just roasted, just red, but with a little
z from the chat. But for the whole summer anyways,
they are very comfortable sandals. One of my friends, another
podcast listener, is hiking the PCT in his chackos right now.
Thanks go to Canada. So yeah, I hope you're doing well.
They know who they are. Surprisingly enough, I've gone long

(02:08:33):
talking about outdoor things.

Speaker 3 (02:08:35):
But no, I'm glad you took the time to make
this little list. I realized I don't have to be
as big of a dummy as I thought. I thought
I was going to come in here and being a
huge dummy. I know more than I think I do.
You know, and I know what to do outside most
of the time.

Speaker 8 (02:08:50):
Yes, sure, yes you do. Thank you for listening to
me talking about going outside. If you have any questions,
you can DM me on Twitter. That is the only
way I community with anyone. Now, don't have a DM me,
and I'll send you my email. But really, like, I
just want people to feel that the outdoors is for
them and feel safe and feel comfortable, and feel like

(02:09:12):
they know all the things they need to know, and
to not buy stuff because someone's getting three percent back
on it even though they've never touched it in their
whole lives. And also, like, I know that we're all
fucking poor and spending your money is hard. So I've
tried to suggest stuff it's not crazy expensive or that
you can find on sale, but if you have questions.
Oh one more thing, There's a company called Outdoor Vitals

(02:09:33):
which has a subscription. You can be a member and
then you can get a lot of their stuff cheaping
for backpacking. It's a good company and they make some
good stuff, and they do some good stuff the outdoors
as well. But yeah, if you have questions, you can
message me. We will do one about what to put
in your bag when you get backpacking. Eventually. Yeah, go outside.
Send us your photos if you're going outside, if they're

(02:09:54):
not weird, we would like that.

Speaker 1 (02:09:56):
It could happen here as a production of polls on media.
For more podcasts, we call Zone Media. Visitor a website,
cool zonemedia dot com, or check us out on the
iHeartRadio app, Apple podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Speaker 2 (02:10:07):
Hey, we'll be back Monday with more episodes every week
from now until the heat death of the universe.

Speaker 1 (02:10:13):
It could happen here as a production of cool Zone Media.
For more podcasts from cool Zone Media, visitor a website,
cool zonemedia dot com, or check us out on the
iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
You can find sources for It could happen here, updated
monthly at cool zonemedia dot com, slash sources. Thanks for listening.

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