Parks and Recreation

We discuss the absurd antics of Pawnee, Indiana’s public officials as they pursue projects to make their city a better place.

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                                                                                       Image Credit: NME.com

Summary:

Leslie Knope, Ron Swanson, April Ludgate, Andy Dwyer, Tom Haverford, Ann Perkins, and the rest of the gang are all loyal employees of the Parks and Recreation Department of the Pawnee local government. Leslie Knope hopes to beautify her town by helping Ann Perkins turn an abandoned construction site (the pit) into a community park, but what should be a fairly simple project is stymied at every turn by oafish bureaucrats, selfish neighbors, and government red tape.

Is Ron Swanson a libertarian? Is Tom Haverford a real entrepreneur? Which Parks and Rec character are you?

Transcript:

[music]

00:03 Landry Ayres: Welcome to Pop & Locke, I’m Landry Ayres.

00:06 Natalie Dowzicky: And I’m Natalie Dowzicky.

00:07 Landry Ayres: The topic of today’s show is a TV show, one that we’ll be discussing, and that TV show is one we have all watched, Parks and Recreation. While it might seem odd for us to talk about a show that glorifies a proud government bureaucrat as its protagonist, there’s a lot we can learn from Leslie Knope, her colleagues at the Parks Department, and the citizens of Pawnee, Indiana.

00:31 Natalie Dowzicky: We are joined today by the beautiful and poetic noble land mermaid, Libertarianism.org Senior Producer Tess Terrible.

00:38 Tess Terrible: Hi.

00:38 Natalie Dowzicky: And talented, brilliant, powerful muskox, External Relations Manager for Defense and Foreign Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, Lauren Sander.

00:45 Lauren Sander: Hello.

00:46 Landry Ayres: So let’s grab some apps and zerts, pop open a bottle of snake juice, and treat ourselves to our first question, what can we learn from P&R? Is there anything for libertarians?

00:58 Tess Terrible: I think it… I mean yeah, I think so, because a lot of the show is fighting government bureaucracy [chuckle] and that’s one of the main plot points in the show is overcoming the red tape of working in government and actually trying to get good things accomplished through tax dollars and all that jazz.

01:24 Lauren Sander: And it’s interesting because Leslie is the star, obviously, she’s a sympathetic character, I don’t think she ever says what her political affiliation is, though you can guess, but she’s definitely a little bit more progressive, loves the government, loves government work, but you see the failure, as Tess said, in the government to even create a park. I think it takes five years for them to get a park done. Even to fill in the pit, they have to do it themselves with a bulldozer with a government-owned property. So it is a little bit interesting how they set it up, Ron is the libertarian, he’s kind of a curmudgeon, but he’s kinda right, at least in Pawnee. [chuckle]

02:00 Natalie Dowzicky: I think we’ll really dive into Ron’s character a little later on, but something that kinda striked me as well is that Leslie never comes out and says what political affiliation she has, and we get a whole campaign of hers, which we can also talk about later. But they specifically put… For those of you who aren’t familiar with the show, Leslie, in her office has this pictures of famous female politicians and it includes Nancy Pelosi, Margaret Thatcher, Madeleine Albright, Condoleezza Rice, and later on it includes herself just ‘cause it’s like influential female politicians. It also included one of the first women that were city councilwomen of Pawnee. And it’s striking because some of those politicians weren’t in the same political party, so it’s kind of almost like a homage to what’s come before her, but it’s not specifically one sided. Though I do agree with you Lauren, I think from anything from the soda tax that she proposed to her faith in government, it’s pretty clear that she leans left. But do you think… What do you think the show as a whole is in terms of like a political affiliation?

03:15 Landry Ayres: I would not call the show libertarian. Sure, there’s things we can learn, but it definitely does lean on the fact that if good people come together the government can accomplish big things that a lot of libertarians would still be like, “No, that’s not the point. You’re overstepping your bounds.” So I think there are things that we can learn, and what I like about it is that it exemplifies a lot of the problems with government, specifically the bureaucracy and the slow nature of lots of regulation, but you also have a libertarian in the cast who is able to point those things out and say, “This is the problem,” but they can still get things done.

04:02 Landry Ayres: And it sort of raises more questions, especially by the end of the show, for me because it paints with very broad, not very subtle strokes, especially in the last season. It’s like big corporations versus big government fighting over this piece of land in Pawnee, and there’s this big tech company that’s looming over that has a lot of power. But then through the power of togetherness and bipartisanship, they come together and everybody’s happy. So I guess it raises another question for me, does it end on too positive of a note? Is it… I mean, I don’t want the show to be cynical per se, but do you think it could have skewered that a little bit more like it did in the earlier seasons?

04:51 Natalie Dowzicky: I do think… I mean shows like Parks and Rec, The Office, shows of that nature, one, they never know how they’re gonna end the show [chuckle] when they first start it, they never realize, “Oh, this show is gonna go on for seven or eight years because of the popular demand,” similar to Friends, right? And I think it did kind of end in a cookie-cutter way, but I just… I think throughout the show, you got a glimpse of how government can be bipartisan and it can be a bipartisan effort, but I think ultimately it was… The message was government can get it done, which is not something I necessarily agree with, but I think as a show, it kind of tied it up nicely in a bow.

05:38 Lauren Sander: Well, and I also think they’re sort of showing in smaller amounts in local government and also just a couple voices working this out, so we have the libertarian voice, we have all of the other voices, I don’t even know what they are, then we have Leslie, I think that shows what can get done when there’s not so much hyper-partisanship. When I worked on the Hill, I was always kind of sad because there was a decent amount of bipartisan stuff going on, I mean nothing gets done unless some bills are passed and such, but that’s not anything that’s ever publicized either. And so it’s sort of in people’s best interest to be against each other on a lot of issues, and that’s big government. So I just think it’s a little Utopian, but I think it is a good idea in terms of small government and what can actually get done when people listen to each other and know what’s going on in their own community, as well.

06:34 Tess Terrible: So, I actually don’t find the show so much propagating governance as the answer to problems. I think what the show is good at portraying is that it’s not about good government, it’s about the people, it’s about good people. I think Leslie Knope, no matter what her political party would be, and I do think they mention it at the end of the show on the final season. I think they’re just showing a very, very hard working woman, who takes her job very seriously. And so by the end of the show, and when the series was wrapped, what I got from it is that it’s not really a blue or red or working in government, it’s about good people trying to get things done and as Ron Swanson champions, honest, hard working people who are trying to do great things for their community and get things done. So, I don’t really find it so much a champ… The show as a whole, a champion of government work as much as it’s a champion for individuals like Leslie Knope who kind of dare to dream for a better world and for a better community in the town that she loves so passionately.

08:02 Landry Ayres: I would agree with that. I think it is… It definitely… And a lot of TV shows end up distilling down to this point when it’s about factions of whatever kind, whether it’s governments or groups of any kind, it’s about the people and their human nature and their imperfections that both make us root for them and strive for them and want them to succeed in the end. So, that also raises the question of a character like Ron Swanson. So, even as libertarians, they might be like, “Well, either he’s too hard line and he’s over the top and paints us in a bad light or he compromises too much and he still works for the government and pitches in to help his friends,” who many people would see as more progressive. And so he sort of is in this state where he can kind of be portrayed and is sort of a straw man for whoever you like, but to me the imperfections and the willingness to compromise is what makes him a likable and realistic character. Whether it’s… I wouldn’t call it realism by any means, but it makes him relatable in that aspect that he can go back and forth.

09:23 Landry Ayres: And there’s times where he has to look at his values and say, “Even if this isn’t something that I necessarily represent in principle, there’s a reason I need to compromise on this and it’s these people that I care about that forced me to do or allow me to do something differently.” And another character that you brought up, Tess, in some discussions that we had had before the show, someone that you thought exemplified the entrepreneurial spirit of the show is actually Tom Haverford. Can you explain to me why you think he exemplifies that?

10:02 Tess Terrible: So, I just watched the episode last night where Tom hands in his resignation from the government because he wants to go work as kind of an entrepreneur. And this is when he starts his, I wanna say second or third business, Entertainment 720, which he horrifically and heroically fails at. But I think Tom is really where we see what happens when someone with an entrepreneurial spirit works in government. I think even more than Ron Swanson, Tom is, sometimes willing to shake things up and change things in government and kind of bring in a new perspective to really change things for the better.

10:50 Landry Ayres: Just another example of innovation.

10:52 Natalie Dowzicky: I also think it’s interesting ‘cause Leslie, mind you, she has come up with lots of great ideas and when she can’t come up with them, she works through the night and forces her colleagues to come up with great ideas. But a lot of the interesting ideas, not that they were necessarily great, came from Tom in the sense that he… I can’t remember what season this is, but he’s just constantly thinking about like, “What’s the next big thing? What’s gonna make me the money?” He’s very money-centric. But I think it was one of the funnier scenes is when he was trying out glitter in all of these random products and was like, glitter in the detergent, glitter in your face lotion and butter, yeah.

11:34 Landry Ayres: Sparkle, sparkle big star.

[laughter]

11:37 Natalie Dowzicky: Yeah. And it was funny in the sense that I think he knew those things were gonna fail, but he just kept trying and trying until he found something that was niche enough for him to make money off of. And like Tess said, in Entertainment 720, he lost all of this money, spent obnoxious amounts of money on a limo with a hot tub in the back and he was gonna be the next big thing for Pawnee celebrities. So, I think he was almost… He also obviously provided a lot of comical relief throughout the show, ‘cause you’re just like, “Every idea he came up with is obnoxious.” But I think at the same time it was kind of nice to see that someone with new, fresh ideas was also trying to bring them to the table and he provided a much different personality than I think some of the other characters did.

[music]

12:30 Natalie Dowzicky: So have any of you ever interacted with your local city government? Do you know who your local city council member is? Do we know how accurate this show portrays local government?

12:41 Landry Ayres: I, speaking for when I lived in a town that actually is about 10,000 people smaller than Pawnee, I realized. Because if you look it up, the Pawnee census, as of 2010, rates it at a population of just under 70,000 people, which I think was a little shocking for me, but we’ll get into Pawnee as this amorphous, mysterious place a little bit later on. I would have known maybe the Mayor Gunderson to my town, but I also never saw them, just like you never see Mayor Gunderson until the very end, in Parks and Recreation. But I do think it is… I think it’s a little bit over estimating people’s involvement considering when you see the town meetings where they… The town halls.

13:34 Landry Ayres: But also, it’s also not, because it’s not like the entire town comes in every time for these town halls. It’s the same core group of familiar faces coming in that always seem to have a problem, which I assume is probably the way it’s like in a lot of municipal meetings, not a big turn out but consistent turn out from the people who are interested. Like the guy who always starts the chant, “Her daughter is an idiot, her daughter is an idiot.” One of my favorites. So like a lot of things in the show, it’s a little of both, I think.

14:11 Lauren Sander: Yeah. I don’t know from my own experience with local government, but just what I know about the people who wrote the show, they just went to different counties in California and went to town halls and talked to city planners and stuff. And so, at least what they built it upon is based on those communities. So if I lived in California, I would probably go to more town hall meetings as well. But yeah, I mean, it’s not small government, but people for sure, when they call their Congressman, it’s the same six people every single day. So, it does seem like, “Oh, wow. All these people are calling, they’re so interested,” but it’s, “Hi Janet, nice to hear from you again. I’ll for sure, I’ll pass the message along.” And that’s great because they’re really passionate about it, but I don’t think everyone knows their even Congressmen or City Council member.

15:05 Natalie Dowzicky: Maybe this is kind of pessimistic, but I think very few people actually know who their local city councilman is, let alone necessarily care/when they’re voting, they have no idea which council member they’re actually voting for and what they represent. Maybe that’s pessimistic, maybe it’s not, it probably varies greatly depending where you live, as well. But also from my experience being an intern on the Hill, that is completely right, the same people call, you know when they’re calling, the same people call every day at the same time having the same issues, is like sometimes I just wanted to ask something that wasn’t related to politics and be like, “You know what? How was work today?” Or just something along those lines. Again, it’s not local city government, so I’m sure they get even more interesting calls. But I did think the show, the show did try to tackle what DC politics is like in a way, and I don’t think it was necessarily accurate but I [chuckle] kinda was wondering your opinion on that, anyone?

16:09 Landry Ayres: Well, if we’re talking specifically about the Senate race that Ben runs with the robot, weird, frozen candidate that we learn nothing about, I think there are portions of that that are true, obviously amplified for comedic effect. But he was honestly a little too perfect. Like DC is not Hollywood, by any means, and the people that are running for these positions, it’s a little bit easier to find the flaws and sort of bring those out than I think that character tried to… He was a little too perfect.

16:49 Natalie Dowzicky: I also thought, I appreciate it, especially since we live in DC, so some of the marvels of the city wear off over time, but I kind of appreciated seeing Leslie’s perspective on like, she was gonna hit every museum the first time she got here. She was gonna go sit at the Lincoln Memorial and had all of these plans. And I just thought it was kind of nice to see, especially from someone… I’m not originally from DC, though I live here now, and that glow wears off once you’ve been living here for a while, but it’s nice to recognize that it’s a big deal for people to come and visit the Capital and all of the great historical sites that are here. And I think that was really funny and I think they did it well with Leslie, ‘cause she was like, “Well, I’ve been to 18 museums today, so I’m just a little tired.” [laughter]

17:31 Landry Ayres: No matter your political beliefs or philosophy or anything, get yourself a Leslie Knope in your life, even if she might push you into some things you don’t wanna do and be a little over zealous, you need that support from someone, and if you can get a Leslie Knope in your life, hold on to her for as long as you can.

17:51 Tess Terrible: I have a poster in my office that says, “Be the Leslie Knope of whatever you do.”

[chuckle]

17:57 Lauren Sander: I love that.

17:58 Natalie Dowzicky: True fan, true fan.

[music]

18:04 Landry Ayres: Speaking of DC versus local politics, Pawnee is an interesting place, as I mentioned before. It’s sort of like the Simpsons’ Springfield. Is it trying to be every town America or do you think it’s trying to capture a specific type of town?

18:25 Natalie Dowzicky: I’m gonna go with the latter. I think it’s trying to capture a specific type of town, a Midwest town, partially because… And I was thinking this throughout watching the show. I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania, not too far outside Philadelphia, but my small town was way different than… And handled different types of problems, mainly just growth problems than Pawnee is handling, especially with the element of the Native Americans and what they bring to their community. So that wasn’t as easy to relate to, speaking from my personal origin small town, but I know that that is a very big deal and much more present in certain small towns in the US.

18:27 Lauren Sander: I’m from Portland, so I don’t know.

[laughter]

19:15 Lauren Sander: I’m not really from a small community. I do have a friend who’s from the town that’s supposed to be near Pawnee, and she says it’s fairly accurate in terms of their interpretations of people and how there’s only one diner and all that kind of stuff, just like little things that they throw in there, or how Tom wants to be a celebrity of the town, which is just, it’s silly there aren’t really celebrities there. Or when they try to make a list of all the celebrities on that poster, and three of them aren’t even from Indiana or something.

[chuckle]

19:47 Landry Ayres: Indiana, yeah.

19:48 Natalie Dowzicky: They’re like celebrity adjacent. But I don’t know, I guess, it was also… They’re trying to, I guess they were trying to paint what they thought maybe a majority of their audience would relate to as well. So, even if I didn’t grow up in a small town like that, I could still relate to different elements of the town. I was never a big, I didn’t fight for parks, I’m not like…

20:11 Landry Ayres: You didn’t fight for parks, Natalie? You can leave.

20:16 Natalie Dowzicky: I’m not big in that movement.

20:17 Landry Ayres: There’s the door.

20:17 Natalie Dowzicky: I mean, I love parks but that isn’t something… That wasn’t the hill I’m gonna die on. But I think that, obviously that adds a comic relief element to the show as well, that they’re not the local IRS department or anything like that, so… [chuckle]

20:33 Lauren Sander: Well, I actually will say now that you mention that, I wasn’t involved in it but I live in a suburb outside of Portland, unincorporated Washington county, whatever that means, Oregon. And they put a Taco Bell, 24-hour Taco Bell drive-thru in our little neighborhood area, and it’s kind of a nice area and everyone banded together to try to get this to not happen. And there were protests and they didn’t want the riff raff going there.

21:04 Landry Ayres: It was was the Paunch Burger of your town.

21:04 Lauren Sander: And I was like… Exactly. I was like, “This is gonna be your kids going there at night, you realize that?” Which is probably what they did realize. But they just thought it was just this horrendous decision to have this giant Taco Bell in the corner of our pristine neighborhood. And they ended up putting it in and I love it, but it’s kind of funny, it’s a very similar thing. They had this empty space and a need for it and people love it, but people fought against it, and it was a big deal for them.

21:28 Natalie Dowzicky: Well, we even saw on the show too. A lot of people are resistant to change, whether that’s just the local population or the bureaucrats in government. Even when they were going through Leslie… When Leslie, I forget, she was in a competition with the guy to live in the 18th century and because they were trying to get rid of very old laws on the books that were racist and just very un-kosher laws and the guy… There was one constituent of hers that was very against getting rid of those laws.

22:00 Landry Ayres: He was trying to… It was actually a really interesting discussion about constitutionalism ‘cause it’s about whether we should interpret the charter of Pawnee as a living document versus something that is very much set in stone and speculating about what the founders of the town intended for this document. So it’s about the Pawnee charter, but it’s very much supposed to be reading about… Reading about the Constitution. So they’re actually debating Ted Party Day…

22:35 Lauren Sander: Ted party day, yeah, yeah.

22:37 Landry Ayres: Where they throw a person named Ted into the lake because it looks like the word tea, when it was tea party day, is what it was intended, it looks like a little tea.

22:48 Lauren Sander: That’s a really good point. I kind of forgot about the episode because it really does make you think, he comes in, I think he throws an egg at her or something.

22:55 Landry Ayres: He does.

22:55 Natalie Dowzicky: ‘Cause he’s like, “According to the town charter, if a woman does this whatever, I can… “

23:01 Lauren Sander: “I can respond this way.”

23:02 Lauren Sander: “I can throw an egg at her or take her keys or her property,” or something like that. So it is an interesting discussion. I can’t really remember Ron’s views on that episode.

23:11 Tess Terrible: I think they conveniently left him out of that episode.

23:13 Lauren Sander: Yeah, I think they did. Because I can’t imagine he’d be okay with it, but…

23:18 Natalie Dowzicky: I also thought, obviously, that has a deeper message to the audience and they might not have fully understood that was the conversation going on, but there were some times throughout that episode too that Leslie was like, “Oh, I didn’t even… Well, that law is outdated. Why did you just throw this egg at me?” [chuckle] But I thought it was a good way to bring… You know how we all see those videos, it’s like, “How a bill becomes a law,” and it paints it in its little cartoon. I think it was a nice way for them to give you a realistic version of especially some of these smaller towns that have never handled issues that were issues two centuries ago, but have never revisited them, so I thought it was interesting.

23:57 Landry Ayres: The show does a really good job, I think of in a fun way, dumbing down large issues and presenting them in a way that you can still learn a lot from. For instance, the ethics trial that Leslie has to go through based on her relationship with Ben, and they bring in this whole slew of witnesses to drag her through the mud and she ends up being suspended from her government job because of it. There are a lot of parallels that you could draw whether it’s something like an impeachment trial or other ethics violations for public officials that we see in local government all the time. So while it can be reductive and silly and over the top, this is just an example I find of where even a sitcom can have something important to say and get people to think about certain things like that.

24:51 Natalie Dowzicky: On that note, let’s talk about taxation. So this show says a lot about taxation and what I mean like varying degrees of what they support. We have the guy that stands up in the town hall that screams, “Taxation is theft.” Then we have Leslie introducing a soda tax because she thinks it’s better for the health of their community. And I’m wondering, do you think they put in all of these variances in opinion on taxation because they wanted their audience to see that this is kind of the wide spectrum?

25:22 Landry Ayres: I think, like we discussed earlier, it’s not overtly political in trying to push any type of agenda, it’s about the variances in people. And it presents all those perspectives because people believe a lot of very, very different things. And how does… The soda tax bill fails, correct?

25:42 Natalie Dowzicky: I think it happens.

25:42 Tess Terrible: No, it happens.

25:43 Lauren Sander: People get mad when she’s running for city council, right? Because it passed.

25:45 Landry Ayres: Oh, that’s right, because she does pass it, but there’s a moment there where you don’t think that it’s gonna happen because she’s very conflicted about whether she wants to alienate voters or if she wants to vote with her conscience, which is another question that a lot of… That public officials face. Like, “It’s your job to vote for the things that you genuinely believe because you have been elected to this position, or are you supposed to be truly representative of the people that have elected you?”

26:16 Natalie Dowzicky: And I thought… I mean it was another episode that was provocative in the sense that they… Mind you, they exaggerate the soda. So if you think about it too, like yes, America has very large… Our beverages are very large, they’re full of sugar, all that kind of stuff so there was an element that was real in that, but I just think the visual presentation as well was just so funny. And then Ron comes in, drinking one of them and Leslie takes a sip and Ann’s like, “Are you kidding me?” So I just think it was funny because we don’t necessarily always see all of the different factors that go into making a decision like that. So for instance, Leslie had… Like Landry said, Leslie had to consider her voters and then she also had to consider her friends who support these businesses that have the soda tax and she also had to weigh, which we didn’t mention yet, is the fact that people were supposedly going to get laid off for this decision because the businesses wouldn’t be making as much money. So there were a lot of factors that went into play into her voting… Ultimately voting for her own… She introduced the soda tax bill, I’m pretty sure. Yeah. But I think it was really informative for us to see all those different decisions that went into her vote and understanding what that process was like.

27:25 Lauren Sander: I agree with that. And I agree with Landry, I think especially that one, I don’t think they were really trying to sway anyone. I mean they used really dramatic examples on both sides, but I think if anything, it just sort of resonated with whatever you might already believe and it really did show all the different sides of taxation and do we take agency away from people so that they don’t drink sugar to death? I don’t know. It’s… [chuckle] Well, I know. Leslie loves sugar, but she gets to decide whether she wants all that whipped cream or not. So anyway, but yeah, I agree, I think it’s a good idea of showing how much goes into those decisions, even things that seem pretty small, and it wasn’t really trying to force anyone to see a certain way, which I really like about the show.

28:07 Landry Ayres: Yeah, even though Leslie, who has that choice and understands that if she has the right to eat as much whipped cream and sugar and everything she want, she still then decides to take it upon herself to enact the soda tax to protect the children, which is a very, very common tactic we see in passing a lot of laws where everything is about protecting the children.

28:27 Tess Terrible: Well, if they’re liquefying children and feeding it to the townsfolk, I guess…

[laughter]

28:32 Landry Ayres: It had a very dark turn there in that episode.

[laughter]

28:37 Natalie Dowzicky: So I know we brought him up earlier, but let’s kind of flesh out Ron a little bit more. Many of the show’s critics as well as the ones who love the show, like us, see him as libertarian. It’s pretty obvious that he’s libertarian. One of my favorite quotes from him was, “He doesn’t do… ” Ron is talking about Tom here and he says, “He doesn’t do a whole lot of work around here, he shows zero initiative, he’s not a team player, he’s never wanted to go the extra mile. Tom is exactly what I’m looking for in a government employee.” [chuckle] And that’s in one of the first episodes, but it was like when I really started to, not only think Tom, or not Tom, that Ron was hilarious, but also I started to see, pick up on some of his libertarian cues, so to speak. So I’m wondering, what kind of libertarian do you think he represents?

29:25 Tess Terrible: I mean, I think he’s kind of the classic small L libertarianism. He’s very much associated with classical liberalism, but I think what’s most interesting about Ron is his principles besides libertarianism. I think he cares a lot about being a good friend, about being loyal to the people around him that have supported him for a number of years. And I think Ron Swanson is much more than just like the token libertarian. I think he is the show’s sample or example of what being a good character is and being a good person and standing by your beliefs, because… And I think this happened in the soda tax episode. There’s a point where Leslie goes to Ron, she goes to Ron for advice a lot, and he’s always telling her to stand by her principles and what she knows is right even when he doesn’t agree with her on her opinions and her beliefs.

30:41 Natalie Dowzicky: In one of those pow-wows too, when Leslie comes for advice, Ron’s like, “I’ve tried to fire you three times now and the reasons I’ve always rescinded that firing is because you are so dedicated to your work and that we’re really lucky to have someone that thinks the way you do and that works as hard as you do.” And I think that was one of the moments where you see like, “Okay, Ron, one, has a heart, and two, really cares about the people that have invested time in him as well.” Even though we get some scenes, I mean like with the barbecue where he gets all frustrated and drives away with the barbecue smoker in the back of the truck because no one wants to wait for the food to be done. We get glimpses like that, but a lot of the times… Or when Ron gets shot, but… [chuckle] A lot of the time, it’s kind of nice to see him almost teach the audience, if they don’t have a perspective on libertarianism before they’re watching the show, but he certainly gives that perspective and it gives… He gives weight to that perspective.

31:41 Natalie Dowzicky: Because a lot of times libertarians get lost in the shuffle or they get persuaded to one side or the other because they’re needed for a voting block or whatever. And I think he really brought some, I don’t like this word, but publicity to libertarians, so to speak. When you think of a television character that’s libertarian, you think of him, not necessarily that you think he’s the best libertarian, the best example, but that’s something you think about, and I think it’s important that popular media has characters like those.

32:12 Tess Terrible: Yeah, I think there’s this idea of libertarianism and libertarians just not caring, and it’s not really about what they think government should do, they’re just kind of generally apathetic and I think that’s a really negative view on classical liberalism. And I think Ron Swanson is really a great example of what libertarianism should be because Ron really, really does care and has a lot of stake and a lot of opinions on what he considers good governance and what he considers bad governance. That being said, he thinks that we should close the post office and…

32:52 Natalie Dowzicky: Privatize all government and parks.

32:55 Tess Terrible: Privatize all government and that might be…

32:56 Landry Ayres: No more departments.

32:58 Tess Terrible: No more departments. Yeah, that might be a couple steps further than I would go as a libertarian, but I still think he’s a good example of libertarianism because he has principles and he has thoughts and opinions. It’s not this general, apathetic, “Government is stupid. I don’t care what government does, it just doesn’t impact me at all.”

33:22 Landry Ayres: Right. I would disagree just slightly in that I don’t think he’s a good example of libertarianism, but I do think he is a better example of what a libertarian, a person should be. Because I think that’s very much a distinction that we hear a lot is people have issues with libertarianism and whether those are valid or not, that that’s a much bigger discussion. But I don’t disagree with a lot of the people that say they have more of a problem with libertarians. Because I think a lot of people latch on to that mantle and run with it and go in some really cold, uncaring directions with it. And you can still be a libertarian and genuinely be compassionate and believe that your way of thinking is going to benefit a lot of people in the best way possible. And I think Ron does a good job of riding that distinction because he has principles, but he’s nuanced. And while he is very much, when people think of libertarian characters, that is not all he is. People might think that but if you really look at it, look at the Swanson Pyramid of Greatness, this… All of these blocks, this huge poster he creates that visually show all of his principles and the complexity that go into all of his decisions, and things like that.

34:53 Landry Ayres: And I think, Parks and Rec and Mike Schur and Greg Daniels, the creators of the show, their way of storytelling and this sort of genre, but specifically their writing, I think does a really good job of taking characters from a place that seems kind of flat and archetypal from the very beginning, and over time really developing them and fleshing them out and giving them complexities and showing them change and learn than a lot of TV comedies have been able to do in the past. So if you were to watch like The Office, which is another show that they helped create, that Parks and Rec was originally conceived as a spin-off of, before it was rebooted and retooled, especially after the first season was finished and they tweaked the tone a lot. I think partially, it’s the format where you get the scenes of characters interacting, but then the cutaway, floating head style interviews, where you get the character addressing the camera directly. And it’s never really clarified, especially in Parks and Rec, whether that is something that is supposed to be a chance for us to look into the character’s mind and we’re actually seeing and they’re getting a chance to explain their thoughts that are going into this or if it’s them actually participating in a documentary style.

36:23 Landry Ayres: The Office gets to a point later in the seasons where it outright specifically says, “This is a documentary,” and plays with that line becoming a part of the story. But Parks and Rec does that very, very little and I kind of like that, because it gives you a chance where without even realizing it, you’re getting a distinction between what a character presents outside and what they actually genuinely believe or want to tell. And that gives you a little bit more perspective and insight into who they are as a character compared to a show like Friends or Seinfeld, where it’s… It has its format and the characters grow and change over time, but I still conceive of those characters as pretty static over time, whereas I really see Tom Haverford or Ron Swanson or Chris Trager or Ben Wyatt change over the course of seven seasons and I feel for them a little bit more.

37:21 Natalie Dowzicky: I think also in the way in this show was set up, similar to The Office, or makes it different from something like Friends is that… And you can see it in like the fan bases as well that people can really relate to certain characters and they call themselves like, “Oh, I’m a mix between so and so and so and so.” But I don’t think you can necessarily do that with shows Friends or even New girl. Just because you don’t get as much insight as to like, one, what the character is thinking, like you get those little like pan away floating headshots. But also I think it allows people to kind of wonder like, “Oh, like who would I be if I was in their world?” And I think it gives you even more… It brings a whole new level into the show. Also, I thought it was interesting when I was researching for this show, I found out that Cato has a policy analysis where they quote Ron Swanson. So here goes: In a media world that can only handle a two dimensional liberal or conservative spectrum, it’s been great to have one TV star who explains property rights and taxes to millions of viewers. Ron goes too far sometimes, like when he says all government is a waste of money. It’s really only 90% waste. There are all kinds of libertarians. Ron Swanson is a meat and potatoes heartland libertarian.

38:40 Landry Ayres: He does love meat and potatoes.

38:42 Natalie Dowzicky: Right. And I just thought… I just thought that was fun. Just because you don’t always see popular media kind of… Especially not in a policy analysis. But kind of crossing over into different areas. And I thought it was… I thought that was a cool little tidbit.

38:56 Lauren Sander: Also a fun note about Ron Swanson and the libertarianism-ness. He loves Leslie and think she does a good job, but he also mentions all throughout the entire show that she does a job of like 45 different people, which just goes back to his libertarian values. They don’t need 45 people in that Parks and Rec office, it’s… She does it all, and she works probably too hard, but the idea of you don’t need to keep expanding government to get good stuff done.

39:23 Landry Ayres: Yeah.

39:24 Lauren Sander: She’s not like the epitome of work-life balance, I don’t say, but she loves it.

39:30 Natalie Dowzicky: Right. [chuckle]

39:31 Landry Ayres: The work is her life.

39:32 Lauren Sander: Mm-hmm.

[chuckle]

[music]

39:35 Landry Ayres: So we have nine questions of Parks and Rec trivia for you. These will be un-timed. I’ll let you sort of discuss amongst yourselves. Most of them open-ended, a few multiple choice. I’ll let you know when that comes up. And then there will be a lightning round at the end.

39:50 Lauren Sander: You got it.

39:51 Landry Ayres: So all right, P&R trivia, here we go, curated by me. Leslie is placed on temporary suspension from her government job. During this time, she forms a citizen action committee named what?

40:05 Tess Terrible: Isn’t it named like PEEP or something that I can’t…

40:09 Lauren Sander: It’s something inappropriate. Yeah…

40:13 Natalie Dowzicky: Oh, gosh, I can…

40:15 Lauren Sander: People…

40:17 Natalie Dowzicky: It definitely starts with a P. It’s…

40:19 Lauren Sander: It’s like an STD or something silly like that.

[laughter]

40:27 Natalie Dowzicky: I don’t know, I’m not sure.

40:29 Lauren Sander: Committee Against… Committee…

40:31 Natalie Dowzicky: She loves her acronyms, I don’t know. [laughter] Are these questions getting easier or harder?

40:37 Landry Ayres: Do we give up? We don’t know.

40:38 Natalie Dowzicky: Okay, all right, we’re giving up on that one.

40:39 Lauren Sander: Yeah.

40:39 Landry Ayres: It is the Parks Committee of Pawnee.

40:43 Lauren Sander: Oh PCP.

40:43 Natalie Dowzicky: PCP.

40:44 Lauren Sander: Oh, yes!

40:45 Landry Ayres: Because like the drug, they are so fast-acting and powerful that they should be illegal.

40:50 Natalie Dowzicky: Dang it! Okay.

40:51 Landry Ayres: Sorry.

40:51 Natalie Dowzicky: All right, fine.

40:52 Landry Ayres: Number two: There is a member of the Pawnee Parks and Rec Department who got his start as office manager of animal control in 1977. What is his legal name?

41:07 Tess Terrible: Garry Gergich?

41:09 Natalie Dowzicky: Wait. What’s his real name though?

41:10 Lauren Sander: No, isn’t it…

41:11 Natalie Dowzicky: Jerry or Garry?

41:13 Tess Terrible: It’s Garry, no?

41:13 Natalie Dowzicky: I thought it was Terry.

41:15 Lauren Sander: No, they started calling him Terry in the last season.

41:17 Tess Terrible: They call him…

41:18 Natalie Dowzicky: Garry, Jerry…

41:20 Tess Terrible: Jerry…

41:20 Natalie Dowzicky: His real name is Garry.

41:22 Tess Terrible: But his real name is Garry, right?

41:22 Natalie Dowzicky: Garry Gergich.

41:23 Lauren Sander: Yeah.

41:23 Landry Ayres: We agreeing on that? Garry?

41:24 Tess Terrible: Yeah, Garry Gergich.

41:26 Landry Ayres: That is correct!

41:27 Lauren Sander: Yay!

41:28 Landry Ayres: His name is actually Gerald Gergich.

41:31 Natalie Dowzicky: Yeah.

41:31 Landry Ayres: He goes by Garry, but he gets called Jerry by the office manager of Parks and Rec on his first day, never corrected anyone.

41:40 Natalie Dowzicky: And Larry and Terry…

41:40 Landry Ayres: He becomes Jerry, he becomes Larry, he becomes Terry, and then he also has a part on Johnny Karate’s TV show as Mailman Barry.

41:52 Natalie Dowzicky: Yeah.

41:53 Lauren Sander: And then he becomes mayor, right?

41:54 Landry Ayres: He does.

41:55 Tess Terrible: Yeah. [chuckle]

41:55 Landry Ayres: And at that point, he’s known as Garry because at… Is it Donna’s wedding?

42:01 Lauren Sander: I think so.

42:02 Landry Ayres: Yeah, so he puts the name tag on his plate and April decides to call him Garry, little does she know that’s his real name. Number three: What does Tom Haverford call air-conditioners?

42:14 Natalie Dowzicky: This is nitty-gritty.

42:15 Tess Terrible: This is really [42:16] ____.

42:16 Lauren Sander: I’m trying… I can picture him saying all of these…

42:20 Natalie Dowzicky: Like obnoxious things. [chuckle]

42:23 Lauren Sander: Obnoxious things.

42:23 Tess Terrible: Cool boxes?

42:23 Natalie Dowzicky: Yeah, it’s something like that, it’s…

42:25 Landry Ayres: You’re actually pretty close.

42:28 Tess Terrible: Ice box?

42:28 Landry Ayres: No, you changed the wrong thing.

42:30 Tess Terrible: Cool boxes. So it’s not box.

42:33 Lauren Sander: Cool…

42:34 Landry Ayres: You even got the first letter of the second word.

42:37 Tess Terrible: Cool bins, cool…

42:39 Landry Ayres: Cool bins?

[laughter]

42:40 Lauren Sander: It starts with a B.

42:42 Tess Terrible: I don’t know. Cool binders.

42:44 Landry Ayres: The correct answer is “cool blasterz”, with a Z.

42:46 Natalie Dowzicky: Oh. Yes, yes, yes, yes.

42:47 Landry Ayres: He doesn’t know where the Z came from.

42:48 Lauren Sander: Okay, well we didn’t give up so that doesn’t count.

42:51 Natalie Dowzicky: Yeah. [laughter]

42:53 Landry Ayres: We’ll see when I tally ‘em.

42:54 Lauren Sander: Okay.

42:54 Natalie Dowzicky: Have we gotten a point yet?

42:55 Landry Ayres: Okay, this next…

42:56 Lauren Sander: We all won.

42:57 Landry Ayres: Yeah, only one. [chuckle] This next one is multiple choice. Which one of these is not a compliment Leslie Knope bestowed upon Ann Perkins: “Oh, Ann, you beautiful, naïve, sophisticated newborn baby,” “Oh Ann, you beautiful rule-breaking moth,” “Oh Ann, you cunning, pliable, chestnut-haired sunfish,” “Oh Ann, you sweet, dedicated, brilliant water buffalo”?

43:25 Tess Terrible: I thought it was B, but…

43:26 Natalie Dowzicky: I think it’s B.

43:27 Tess Terrible: I think it’s B.

43:27 Natalie Dowzicky: It’s B or D.

43:29 Lauren Sander: D doesn’t sound familiar, but…

43:30 Landry Ayres: “Sophisticated new born baby… “

43:31 Natalie Dowzicky: That one’s a definite.

43:32 Landry Ayres: “Beautiful rule-breaking moth,” “cunning, pliable, chestnut-haired sunfish.”

43:35 Tess Terrible: I think it’s B.

43:36 Natalie Dowzicky: That one.

43:36 Tess Terrible: Yeah.

43:36 Landry Ayres: “Sweet, dedicated, brilliant water buffalo”.

43:38 Natalie Dowzicky: It’s B. It has to be B.

43:39 Lauren Sander: It’s B.

43:39 Landry Ayres: “Beautiful, rule-breaking moth”?

43:41 Natalie Dowzicky: Yeah.

43:41 Tess Terrible: Yeah.

43:42 Landry Ayres: That is incorrect.

43:44 Lauren Sander: When does she say that?

43:44 Natalie Dowzicky: Was it the water buffalo one?

43:45 Landry Ayres: I don’t remember. It is the “sweet, dedicated, brilliant water buffalo”.

43:48 Natalie Dowzicky: Dang it! That was my other option.

43:50 Landry Ayres: She does call Ann “a brilliant, powerful muskox.” Another beast of burden.

43:55 Tess Terrible: You’re tricky.

43:55 Lauren Sander: Why is she a moth?

43:58 Natalie Dowzicky: I don’t remember that one.

43:58 Landry Ayres: I don’t remember. I’ll have to look up the context for…

44:00 Natalie Dowzicky: I’m gonna look that up to make sure you’re not messing us up.

44:01 Landry Ayres: We’ll post a clip on our Twitter. Make sure to follow us on Twitter @PopnLockePod. That’s Pop, the letter N, Locke with E, Pod.

[laughter]

44:09 Landry Ayres: Number five: Pawnee cult, The Reasonablists’ sacred text was written by one Lou Prozotovich, an office supply salesman and author. He wrote two books, “Organize It!”, his first hit, and this second book.

44:26 Natalie Dowzicky: I remember the “Organize This”, but I…

44:28 Lauren Sander: Organize It 2?

44:29 Landry Ayres: Half-credit.

44:30 Lauren Sander: Okay.

44:31 Landry Ayres: Organize It 2…

44:33 Natalie Dowzicky: No, I don’t know.

44:35 Landry Ayres: “Organize It 2: Engage with Zorp”.

44:39 Natalie Dowzicky: Oh my God…

44:40 Lauren Sander: Okay, we got a half-point.

44:41 Landry Ayres: Yeah, I’ll give you a half-point for that.

44:44 Lauren Sander: I don’t think you’d be getting all this trivia.

44:46 Landry Ayres: Oh I would be getting all of these. Are you kidding me? How do you make Joan Callamezzo’s signature cocktail, The Joan?

44:54 Lauren Sander: It’s like Xanax and… Something like that, right? No?

44:58 Natalie Dowzicky: [44:58] ____.

[laughter]

44:58 Natalie Dowzicky: It’s like Xanax, PCP…

44:58 Tess Terrible: Xanax stuffed in olives, in Spanish olives? That seems like a thing.

44:58 Landry Ayres: No, close.

44:58 Natalie Dowzicky: No, I got nothing.

44:58 Landry Ayres: It is a tumbler filled with gin with crushed aspirin around the rim.

[laughter]

45:12 Natalie Dowzicky: Xanax is close.

45:12 Lauren Sander: This is so hard.

45:13 Natalie Dowzicky: I knew that she puts some sort of medicine on it.

45:17 Landry Ayres: Which one of these is not a title of a Duke Silver album?

45:22 Natalie Dowzicky: Oh God.

45:23 Landry Ayres: A, “Memories of Now”, B, “Smooth As Silver”, C, “Bathtub Full of Jazz”, D, “Hi-Ho, Duke!”?

45:36 Tess Terrible: I think it’s B.

45:37 Landry Ayres: Smooth As Silver?

45:39 Tess Terrible: Yeah, I’m almost… I’m like 99%.

45:42 Natalie Dowzicky: I was gonna say B or C. If you’re… We can go with B. Let’s go with B.

45:46 Landry Ayres: B? “Smooth As Silver”? Final answer?

45:48 Natalie Dowzicky: Yes.

45:48 Landry Ayres: That is incorrect.

45:49 Natalie Dowzicky: Dang it! Why did you say that’s a positive?

45:51 Landry Ayres: Bathtub Full of Jazz.

45:53 Natalie Dowzicky: Was that C?

45:54 Landry Ayres: Correct.

45:55 Natalie Dowzicky: Yeah.

45:55 Landry Ayres: Which he does say…

45:56 Natalie Dowzicky: He always he used to say, yeah, “Fill up your… “

45:57 Landry Ayres: He says… He says at one point [45:58] ____.

46:00 Lauren Sander: That’s not fair.

[chuckle]

46:01 Lauren Sander: ‘Cause I remember him saying that.

46:04 Natalie Dowzicky: We’re gonna fire the host of trivia.

46:06 Tess Terrible: We’re very displeased with you.

46:06 Natalie Dowzicky: We’re gonna fire the host of trivia.

46:07 Lauren Sander: When did they say the names of the albums? Are we just supposed to remember the posters?

46:09 Landry Ayres: They’re sprinkled throughout. No, he says them all at some point.

46:13 Natalie Dowzicky: Yeah, [46:13] ____.

46:13 Landry Ayres: In his first ever appearance, he has “Smooth As Silver” and “Hi-Ho, Duke!” on sale at the concert.

46:18 Lauren Sander: Oh yes.

46:19 Landry Ayres: And he says look out for his new album, “Memories of Now”. And then when they’re recording “Catch Your Dream”, the theme song for the Knope Campaign, the poster for the cover of “Memories of Now” is up in the recording studio and he has to hide the poster.

46:33 Natalie Dowzicky: Oh yeah.

46:34 Landry Ayres: Okay, number eight: What historic event did Parks and Rec correctly predict three years ahead of time? So there was an event that happened in the future, and remember when they flashed forward? What event do they reference in the flash forward that actually happened three years later?

46:55 Natalie Dowzicky: Wait. So it already happened, so it happened in the show, and then it happened in real life?

46:58 Landry Ayres: It has happened… Yes, it happened in the show, but had not happened in real life.

47:02 Natalie Dowzicky: Yet, okay.

47:03 Landry Ayres: And then when they got to that point in real life, the thing they predicted as like a joke actually happened.

47:09 Lauren Sander: Oh.

47:09 Tess Terrible: So the seventh season, I think came out in 2014, or…

47:15 Landry Ayres: About ‘14 or ‘15.

47:16 Natalie Dowzicky: About, roughly.

47:17 Tess Terrible: But it was actually about the year 2017.

47:19 Landry Ayres: Correct.

47:20 Natalie Dowzicky: Right.

47:21 Landry Ayres: So I will say, to clarify, this is an event that happened in 2016, both in the show and in real life, but the show was made before 2016. So what happened in 2016 that in Parks and Rec they made a joke about, but then actually happened?

47:40 Tess Terrible: The only thing that comes to mind is the Game of Thrones finale, that didn’t happen until this last year, and when they talk about the Game of Thrones…

47:47 Lauren Sander: Oh yeah.

47:47 Tess Terrible: Finale, they say Khaleesi is gonna marry Jack Sparrow. And I watched that episode recently and I was like, “Well, that’s better than what actually had happened.”

47:56 Landry Ayres: Yeah, honestly, a better ending than we got for sure. Alright, are we giving up?

48:00 Tess Terrible: Yeah.

48:01 Lauren Sander: No.

48:01 Natalie Dowzicky: What are big things that happened in… What are big things that happened in 2016 that they could’ve predicted?

48:06 Lauren Sander: I guess we give up. This is real hard.

48:09 Natalie Dowzicky: I give up.

48:10 Landry Ayres: It is the Chicago Cubs 2016 World Series win.

48:14 Natalie Dowzicky: Yeah, I remember that now.

48:15 Tess Terrible: Oh yeah.

48:16 Landry Ayres: They predicted that.

48:17 Natalie Dowzicky: Well, I blame you because I never would have known that.

48:19 Tess Terrible: Yeah. [laughter]

48:20 Landry Ayres: Yeah, it’s Natalie’s fault, not the person who wrote the bad question. [chuckle] Number nine…

48:25 Natalie Dowzicky: Let me shove in my pitchfork.

48:25 Tess Terrible: Oh my God.

48:26 Landry Ayres: There’s one more, and then we’ll do lightning round.

48:28 Natalie Dowzicky: Okay. Hopefully lightning round’s easier.

48:29 Landry Ayres: I thought you guys would be better than this. What is the name of Burt Macklin’s brother?

48:36 Tess Terrible: It’s Kirk, Kurt…

48:37 Natalie Dowzicky: Yeah, it’s a similar name, right?

48:39 Tess Terrible: Hackman?

48:40 Landry Ayres: I’ll give you half-credit. It’s Kip Hackman.

48:43 Natalie Dowzicky: Kip Hackman.

48:44 Lauren Sander: Yeah, they have different last names.

48:45 Landry Ayres: Correct. “Why would you have different last names?” Kyle says.

48:48 Natalie Dowzicky: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

48:49 Landry Ayres: Alright, so I think we are at two points total.

48:52 Natalie Dowzicky: I think you can give us the half-points as full points.

[laughter]

48:55 Landry Ayres: Okay, so three points total. [chuckle]

48:58 Lauren Sander: The PCP one, I knew it was like a funny thing. So that should be a half-point, right?

49:02 Natalie Dowzicky: The Xanax.

49:03 Lauren Sander: I knew it… Yeah.

49:04 Landry Ayres: Yeah, so it was like five out of nine.

49:05 Lauren Sander: Clearly, we know, we know.

49:08 Landry Ayres: It wasn’t even Adderall, it was aspirin. [laughter] Alright, lightning around. You have 30 seconds to name as many other names of Andy Dwyer’s band, Mouse Rat, as possible. Just say ‘em out loud and I will keep track of them.

49:29 Tess Terrible: Rat Mouse, was one.

49:30 Natalie Dowzicky: Are we starting?

49:32 Landry Ayres: Okay, start. Mouse Rat is the one. Go ahead.

49:34 Lauren Sander: Rat Mouse, Scarecrow Boat…

49:37 Natalie Dowzicky: Mouse Trap.

49:38 Tess Terrible: Rat Mouse…

49:39 Lauren Sander: What was before Scarecrow Boat? They were… Oh my gosh, there’s so many funny ones.

49:44 Tess Terrible: Andy’s Super Fun Band? I feel like that was…

49:47 Natalie Dowzicky: I don’t think that counts. Oh it might.

49:49 Lauren Sander: Yeah.

49:49 Natalie Dowzicky: Yeah.

49:51 Tess Terrible: Johnny Karate…

49:52 Natalie Dowzicky: There’s a lot about like… Apocalypse… Death or something…

50:01 Lauren Sander: There’s one about politics.

50:01 Natalie Dowzicky: I have no idea. I don’t pick up on the nuances like that. [laughter]

50:03 Landry Ayres: 30 seconds have already passed, but I’m gonna give you another 30.

50:04 Lauren Sander: I have sent these to my friends before, because if we ever start a band, and yeah, I can’t actually remember them.

50:11 Landry Ayres: 15 seconds remaining.

[laughter]

50:12 Natalie Dowzicky: But we got Rat Mouse and Scarecrow Boat…

50:14 Landry Ayres: 10 seconds.

50:16 Tess Terrible: I don’t…

50:16 Natalie Dowzicky: I’m so disappointed in myself. This is…

50:19 Lauren Sander: Can I go back and study? I don’t remember nuances like this.

50:24 Landry Ayres: Alright, you got two.

[music]

50:29 Landry Ayres: You got Rat Mouse and Scarecrow boat.

50:31 Tess Terrible: Is there more than two?

50:32 Landry Ayres: Oh there’s 15.

50:35 Natalie Dowzicky: There’s like 10…

50:35 Landry Ayres: 30…

50:35 Natalie Dowzicky: There’s a lot.

50:35 Lauren Sander: He lists them off in the same episode where April mentions the German death reggae and the Halloween stuff.

50:41 Natalie Dowzicky: Oh yeah, yeah.

50:42 Landry Ayres: I’ll give you just a select few, some of the big ones: Angelsnack, Crackfinger…

50:46 Natalie Dowzicky: Oh yeah, yeah.

50:48 Landry Ayres: Department of Homeland Obscurity…

50:49 Natalie Dowzicky: Oh yeah there it was.

50:50 Lauren Sander: I knew it was politics-related, yeah.

50:51 Landry Ayres: Eagle Eyed Tiger.

50:51 Natalie Dowzicky: Eagle Eyed Tiger.

50:52 Landry Ayres: Eagle Eyed Tiger, new band name I call it, that one, Fleetwood Mac Sex Pants…

50:56 Natalie Dowzicky: Oh yes.

50:57 Landry Ayres: Or just…

50:58 Natalie Dowzicky: Fleetwood Mac.

51:00 Lauren Sander: Fleetwood Mac.

[chuckle]

51:00 Lauren Sander: I call it. [laughter]

51:01 Landry Ayres: Jet Black Pope, Muscle Confusion…

51:04 Natalie Dowzicky: I don’t remember that one.

51:05 Landry Ayres: Puppy Pendulum, Teddy Bear Suicide…

51:09 S?: Oh, Teddy Bear Suicide.

51:10 Landry Ayres: Two Doors Down…

[chuckle]

51:11 Natalie Dowzicky: Instead of three.

51:11 Landry Ayres: And I’m gonna give it to you just ‘cause I would feel bad, Rat Mouse is technically only an altered name of the band when they’re playing without Andy. When they…

51:11 Natalie Dowzicky: But it’s still a name of the band.

51:11 Landry Ayres: Yeah, I’ll allow that. So we are at…

51:11 Lauren Sander: Teddy Bear Suicide is my favorite.

[laughter]

51:11 Landry Ayres: So even if we give you the five points that you received in the first round, we are now at seven.

51:11 Natalie Dowzicky: We had a dismal effort.

[laughter]

51:11 Natalie Dowzicky: Dismal effort, everyone.

51:11 Landry Ayres: Really proud of you all.

51:11 Natalie Dowzicky: Well this is like… Can we end it on a happier note? Because I’m really disappointed. [chuckle]

51:11 Landry Ayres: We could do that.

51:11 Natalie Dowzicky: We could do that.

[music]

51:47 Landry Ayres: So, it is time for a new segment here on Pop & Locke, where we talk about the other pieces of media that we’re all consuming. This is locked in. Natalie, what have you been consuming lately?

52:00 Natalie Dowzicky: I’m not ashamed to say that I’m a big Bachelor fan. Don’t think we’re gonna be talking about it on Pop & Locke, because there’s not a whole…

52:06 Landry Ayres: Never say never.

52:07 Natalie Dowzicky: Lot of political ties to The Bachelor, but you never know. So, I’ve been following RealitySteve, following the Bachelor show as a whole, Very, very excited for the new Bachelor spin-off, Listen to Your Heart. I cannot sing, I do think it’ll bring a lot of comedic relief to my life, it’s a singing love show.

52:28 Lauren Sander: Oh! You have no idea. The Bachelor franchise is just getting bigger and bigger, and what they’re doing is they…

52:33 Landry Ayres: Do they wear masks?

52:34 Lauren Sander: No. [chuckle] The masked singer Bachelor [chuckle]

52:36 Landry Ayres: I would love it. The Masked Bachelor, that’s what they should do.

52:40 Natalie Dowzicky: The masked… And make them Muppets [chuckle]

52:43 Landry Ayres: The Masked Muppet Bachelor Singer [laughter]

52:43 Natalie Dowzicky: The Masked Muppet Singer. Anyway, so that’s kind of what I’ve been watching, I also been catching up on Westworld.

52:52 Tess Terrible: I’m also watching The Bachelor, here is my campaign to get on The Bachelor:

[chuckle]

52:57 Tess Terrible: I am not there to date, a 28-year-old man child, that still lives with his parents. I am there to make 30 new gal pal best friends…

[laughter]

53:07 Tess Terrible: One in every state, not in every state, but a lot of states. Free places to crash when I travel. And I, as some people in this room can attest to, tend to be the mother hen of whatever group I fall into, therefore I will just be like the department therapist on the Bachelor. And it will be a much more productive Bachelor season.

53:30 Natalie Dowzicky: But you’ll have to create some drama so that hey don’t vote you out.

53:32 Tess Terrible: I will.

53:32 Lauren Sander: Well, they’re all 22, so I think there will be some drama.

53:36 Tess Terrible: Yeah, and I am 27, so I’m old and wise. Way too old to be on the Bachelor.

[chuckle]

53:43 Landry Ayres: I will say, I did receive a call back to be on The Bachelor when I was 18 years old.

53:49 Natalie Dowzicky: 18!

53:49 Lauren Sander: They allow 18 year olds on the show? ‘Cause you’re so ready for marriage.

53:51 Landry Ayres: I was almost… Well, I should also say, I wasn’t even 18. I received a call back for the show. If we can double the amount of Twitter followers on our Twitter I will tell this story on air. Otherwise, it’s just a mystery. How did you miss out on me, host of Pop & Locke, being on the Bachelor?

[laughter]

54:13 Natalie Dowzicky: We may never know.

54:14 Lauren Sander: The world will never know.

54:14 Landry Ayres: Twitter will have to decide whether they wanna know why.

54:18 Lauren Sander: I guess, so.

54:19 Natalie Dowzicky: Alright Lauren, what have you even been up to.

54:22 Lauren Sander: Well, Homeland’s final season, just premiered. I was going to wait and watch it all at once, but I immediately watched both episodes as they aired. I love that show so much. They were talking about the Afghan peace talks right now, like as it’s sort of happening in real life. I just love that show, so much. I also… I’m watching Outsider, it’s a new show on HBO, it’s based on a Stephen King novel. As I mentioned I like spooky things. It’s really good, it’s not like really creepy if people are worried about watching it, it’s more of like a mystery kind of…

54:57 Natalie Dowzicky: How would you rate other HBO shows you’ve seen?

55:00 Lauren Sander: It’s good, it’s a little slower. You definitely have to be dedicated to the journey, I guess, because it is sort of a true crime story. They’re trying to figure out what happened. So it’s not super, super exciting, but it’s really good. And then Last Podcast On The Left is my favorite podcast. I listen to it all day every day. They’re currently talking about the JFK assassination, so they’re basically telling Lee Harvey Oswald’s story, they’re gonna talk about JFK and then they’re gonna go into all the conspiracy theories. But it’s a true crime horror-comedy podcast. It’s a little weird but I love it. I listen to it every day, highly recommend it. After you listen to this podcast of course.

[laughter]

55:44 Landry Ayres: Nice save. I am currently watching a lot of… They’re on Twitch, but I watch it on YouTube. I watch a lot of Critical Role, which is a Dungeons and Dragons, streaming show.

55:57 Lauren Sander: I hate you. [chuckle]

56:00 Landry Ayres: If you watched it, you would understand. I have watched all and I’m currently up-to-date with the second campaign that they’ve been doing since 2016.

56:10 Lauren Sander: Wait, you’re not playing it, you’re watching people play it?

56:12 Landry Ayres: No I’m watch… Well I am playing it. I am playing it…

56:15 Natalie Dowzicky: He plays on Thursday nights.

56:16 Landry Ayres: Wednesday nights.

56:17 Natalie Dowzicky: Wednesday nights.

56:17 Landry Ayres: Thursday nights is my other game with some people here at the office.

56:19 Natalie Dowzicky: I think I got confused.

56:21 Landry Ayres: I know it’s a lot to keep… There’s so much fun stuff that I do, for you to really keep track of. Yeah, no, I’m just watching people play but they’re all professional, voice actors, so they’re a lot of people that are in cartoons, or movies that you would actually probably recognize their voices. But they play Dungeons and Dragons and they do it, it’s the same story and they’ve been doing it for over two years at this point and I’ve watched all of their second season, and I’m…

56:50 Lauren Sander: How many views do these things have?

56:53 Landry Ayres: Oh, uh…

56:54 Natalie Dowzicky: Two…

56:54 Landry Ayres: No! Millions.

56:55 Natalie Dowzicky: Yeah! Like a lot…

56:56 Landry Ayres: They currently, I think, hold the record for the highest earning Kickstarter, in the film and TV category. They earned 11 million to do an animated special and now it’s two seasons and Amazon bought it.

57:09 Natalie Dowzicky: Yeah, I knew that Amazon had bought it. Interesting…

57:11 Landry Ayres: Yeah, no, so it’s really cool, really funny, but also really interesting. Obviously, the episodes are like three and a half to four hours long, so it takes a lot to get into it. But, if you like Dungeons and Dragons you’ve probably heard of them.

57:24 Natalie Dowzicky: That’s longer than the Titanic!

57:27 Landry Ayres: Yeah, and that’s one… They do that once a week, they do that once a week, Natalie, and there are 70… No at this point, there’s like 90 episodes of just the one season and there’s a whole other one that’s like 100, more than 100 episodes, it’s great.

57:42 Lauren Sander: I wish people could see our faces.

57:44 Natalie Dowzicky: So what you’re telling me is that you have spent all of these hours of your life watching someone else play a game.

57:44 Lauren Sander: It’s the same campaign, how have they not died in two years? I don’t how that works but…

57:44 Landry Ayres: Some of them have died and been brought back to life. It’s amazing.

57:44 Natalie Dowzicky: Like a soap opera.

57:44 Landry Ayres: Because magic.

57:44 Lauren Sander: I can’t wait till next week, when we hear more about it.

57:44 Landry Ayres: Yeah.

57:44 Lauren Sander: You’re gonna have to give us updates every week now.

57:44 Landry Ayres: Also I highly recommend Radiolab’s new series: The other Latif, it’s really fascinating. Latif Nasser, one of their producers realized that he had the same name as a detainee at Guantanamo and is sort of going through and trying to learn about his case, how he became a detainee, and sort of understand who he is as a person. But it’s really fascinating and I highly recommend it.

[music]

57:44 Landry Ayres: Thanks for listening. If you wanna let us know what you think of Ronald Ulysses Swanson as a libertarian, or just wanna find out how I didn’t get to participate in the most dramatic rose ceremony yet, make sure to follow us on Twitter @PopnLockePod. That’s pop, the Letter N, Locke, with an E, Pod. Subscribe to us on Apple Podcast, Spotify or wherever you listen. We look forward to unraveling your favorite show or movie next time. Pop & Locke is produced by me, Landry Ayres as a project of Libertarianism.org. To learn more, visit us on the web at www.libertarianism.org.