Americans worry a lot that we are headed towards ruin – unsustainable spending, foreign adventurism, even civil war. How warranted is that concern? I sat down this week with Havok Journal owner Charlie Faint to discuss the three best ways to become a failed state. We take the scenic route to get there, which is very “on-brand” for us. Somehow The Sound of Music weaves its way into the episode…three times. Which may say more about us than we planned to reveal before the episode. Crumbling infrastructure, personal terror, lively musicals, this episode covers it all.
Have a listen here.
As you’ve heard me say every week on the podcast, the Weekly Havok is a “roundtable discussion of the week’s events by the staff and writers at Havok Journal.” This week that was still sort of true, it’s just that the roundtable was much, much smaller than normal. No great story behind it, it just became me and Charlie due to the machinations of the scheduling gods. We had a good time, although we realized that we actually could have done the show in person, but clearly, COVID restrictions have become so embedded in our brains, it never occurred to us until the show started.
Charlie mentions it at the end of the episode, but Jimmy Gagliano is mayor in Cornwall-on-the-Hudson. This isn’t so much an alibi as an extra opportunity to congratulate him. He won by three votes, which indicates that any politician who needs a competitive advantage in a tight race should think about coming on the show.
On the other hand…there’s always a danger in talking. For writers like me, talking is just broadcasting your first draft out loud which makes it kind of a crapshoot to listen to. I only mention this because there’s a point in the episode when Charlie and I compare how many of Fund for Peace’s top ten fragile states we’ve been to.
I say something to Charlie about not meaning to make it a “dick-measuring” contest, since “I know yours is bigger than mine” or something to that effect. And then I silently – but not audibly – say my favorite line from Archer: “phrasing!” which leaves the distinct impression that I know way more about Charlie than I should. Was this an intentional act on my part so I could keep these alibis relevant and necessary? Or do I just pick amazing times to brain fart? Either way, I apologize to Charlie and to everyone listening.
I’m riddled with shame and I can’t shake my head enough (phrasing). I’d like to blame COVID since I haven’t had my shot of Johnson & Johnson (careful…). But sometimes when you’re talking and a real boner leaves your mouth (seriously?), you’re too headstrong (c’mon) and cocksure (do you even hear yourself?) to notice. It’s the danger of doing a topical podcast, and it’s a good reminder that it can’t be all lollipops (huh?) and joysticks (that’s not a saying). In the future, I promise to up my caffeine dosage and use my damn head (I…I give up).
Wokeness and the New Cold War by John Schindler
Fund for Peace’s Fragile State Index 2020
Returning to the “Poor Game” of U.S. Modern Warfare by Scott Faith
The First Generation of the Warrior Class by Christopher Paul Meyer
Family Guy and the military
John Kerry demeans military service
Modern War Institute at West Point
How did The Sound of Music end in real life?
The Wisdom of Youth by Jonah Goldberg
The Coddling of the American Mind by Greg Lukianoff and Johnathan Haidt
“We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.”
George Orwell, Facing Unpleasant Facts
“A republic, if you can keep it.”
Am I the bad guy in Breakfast Club?
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