57: Just Curious

January 14, 2021

January 6th was a horrible day, we process the many feelings. Listener voice memos about your 15min of fame!

www.joyandclaire.com

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Joy: Hey guys. This is Joy.

Claire: And this is Claire.

Joy: This is Joy and Claire. How’re we doing? Everybody? Everybody out there. Hello.

Claire: It’s been a big week.

Joy: It’s Thursday, it’s been a big week. 

Claire: Again, always. So many big weeks.

Joy and Claire: You know –

Claire: Both of us. 

Joy: I mean, it’s not funny. But people, after our episode last Thursday aired – we recorded it on the 4th of course. January 6th happened. And when we recorded it, I was like, “So far nothing’s happened in 2021” and everyone was like, yeah, that made me laugh. In an ironic, sad way, not laughing because of what happened.

Claire: I know. I think that, even now, what’s going to happen between now and when this episode comes out?

Joy: Yeah, I’m never going to jinx myself like that again.

Claire: No. Sorry guys, that was on us. 

Joy: Yep. Totally our fault. But you know, the other thing I think about is, what do people – and this is maybe opening a can of worms right off the bat – but what do people from other countries think of? What are they thinking of when they’re looking at everything that’s going on?

Claire: It’s not good, I’ll tell you that much. We’ve actually had some people send us some stuff about Canada and like… yeah, Jessie Govens who we also talk about, who is our token listener from Dubai who we love. She was posting some stuff about how listening to the news felt like being in the opening scene of a post-apocalyptic teen movie. Yeah, it’s bizarre. I saw this tweet that was like, “Really tired of living through another historical event every six minutes.”

Joy: Yeah. 

Claire: Tired of it. And this is one of those things, and again something that everyone has now seen, where it’s like this was only a surprise if you haven’t been paying attention. But at the same time, that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t jarring. 

Joy: Yeah, you’re allowed to be jarred. It’s a very jarring thing to see.

Claire: Yes. Not just because, I mean, I definitely wasn’t, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe this is happening.” I was like, “Yeah, I can believe this is happening.”

Joy: Absolutely believe it’s happening.

Claire: I feel horrified by what I’m watching, but not shocked. And I think we typically tend to associate those two. “I was shocked and aghast.” I was not shocked, but I was aghast. So it will be interesting to see. You guys are listening to this like in a time machine from Monday, January 11th. What’s going to happen? Will Trump be impeached between now and then, who knows?

Joy: Right, right. Who knows? But I have learned almost every time something like this happens how toxic I see social media being. And you and I kind of texted a little bit about this. I was thinking a lot this weekend. I was just like, where does this come from, kind of going the route of where did this wheel spin out of control. There’s many answers to that, I’m sure. But one of the things I think about is when you give someone or people a place to gather and be angry together, that’s pretty dang powerful. And in a space where it’s so easily accessible, I feel like social media has played such a part in all of this negativity that has gone to such extreme. And again, this is not a shock or surprise that any of this has happened, but I just feel like especially with this presidency who has used social media in such a dangerous way, I feel like a lot of people really glogged onto that. And people who maybe just were angry in the first place. I feel like there’s a part of it of fearful – and this is just me speaking of what I’ve seen in human behavior – people who are fearful and vulnerable tend to lash out this way. And when they find a group… it’s very similar to cult behavior. It’s very similar to that. 

Claire: I think when we’ve gone to the extreme situation that it’s at that’s very true. I’ve been reading that from mental health experts. And again, I don’t ever want to make my own – I’m not a mental health expert. Joy is actually literally a mental health expert. I don’t know if you consider yourself to be an expert, but a mental health professional.

Joy: And expert on what, that’s what I’m asking.

Claire: I know. But I just mean on these types of group behaviors and group behavior systems. But I’ve been reading a lot of things written by people who are like I am an expert on cult behavior and that’s what we’re witnessing.

Joy: Yep.

Claire: And I’m an expert on authoritarian regimes and we’re seeing a lot of components of that here as well. I reposted something on our Instagram today, an interview from The Daily Show, which was really, really well done and I thought really well spoken. And you kind of think of the daily show, you think of satire. But it really has moved away from that. It really hadn’t moved away from that a long time ago, and they still do those things of course. But I’m trying to find the name of the guy –

Joy: It was Timothy Snider. It was really good.

Claire: Yeah, really good. And he is –

Joy: Do you want me to play it?

Claire: No, that’s okay. You guys can go back if you want to find it, and we’ll post it in our show notes. He is an author who really specializes in authoritarian regimes and was speaking about if you want to just take out the heart of democracy, then you do that by making it feel like facts aren’t real. That really is what we’re seeing. And I think that’s why, for people who have not gone to that, whether you’re a liberal or conservative or anywhere in between, we’re seeing a huge, I don’t know if I want to call it a flare up, of extremist thinking. And if you’re someone who has gone over to that side of extremist thinking –

Joy: Call your dad.

Claire: Call your dad, you’re in a cult. And that’s what I think is so hard for, honestly I hope for the majority of people, to really wrap their heads around. How do you get to that point? It’s because you think that facts aren’t real. The thing that I keep coming back to, and this is just me. Maybe this is ignorance is bliss. I don’t really think that it is. Is that the government can’t walk and chew gum at the same time. You guys really think that they’re coordinating all this? I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to deal with federal government. They’re really not –

Joy: Like my brother’s in the military. He’s done some pretty secret operations. I’m pretty sure he’d be like, “Joy, we’re in trouble. Be careful.” He has a high rank in the military. I’m pretty sure guys there’s not a secret behind the wall. Beyoncé is not a part of the Slytherin people or whatever.

Claire: Yeah, there’s no catacombs below the Denver International Airport. Whatever the case may be, I just think that there comes a point where we’ve all sort of brushed this off being like, “Oh, those guys are wackos.” But now it’s like, okay, but now those wackos have really caused a huge rift in our society. And I’ve seen a ton of people who voted for Trump really come, I don’t want to say come around because I don’t want to say that they were wrong –

Joy: It’s not a taking sides type of thing.

Claire: I mean, we picked a side. You know the side we picked. But of them saying this is not – and maybe those are people who are shocked. Who maybe hadn’t been paying attention in that way and now are like I can no longer ignore or cover up or say that it’s not –

Joy: People are so sick of defending Trump, and they’re like, “I’m so tired of this.”

Claire: Even other – a ton of other republican lawmakers are like, “This has gotten out of hand.” And a lot of the people in the rest of the world are like, “This has been out of hand.” This was an inevitable conclusion and an inevitable way for this to go. And it’s just so hard to look at that and understand, for somebody with a logical brain, what somebody is thinking when they do storm the freaking American Capitol. This is the type of thing, it just defies logic. We talked about this talking about the Black Lives Matter movement and about people who are Trump voters. I can’t try to go there with my logical brain because however my logical brain is wired is so wildly different.

Joy: I guess you could flip it on its head and say, whoever they are, think the same about –

Claire: Oh 1000%, they think I’m –

Joy: The extreme left, you know, we’ve said that a million times. 

Claire: The leftists.

Joy: The leftists. We’re going to be a socialist society.

Claire: Which honestly the idea that anything that’s not – I’ve seen this type of commentary, and I who tend to veer very, very far left very much agree with the fact that there is no true left in America. There’s center right and there’s far right. And you can see that in the Capitol. Capitalists make up of every single thing that’s done by the government. And I wrote something about this on my personal Instagram a couple of weeks ago where I basically posted, you can’t call yourself a social liberal and a financial conservative. Those two things are at odds. You can’t be a social liberal while being a financial conservative because you can’t want programs to help people but then be unwilling to pay for them. So many people were like, that’s not true. I’m not against being a social liberal. The definition is that you are not anti these, like abortion, you’re not anti-social security, you’re not anti-Medicaid. But in my mind, if you’re not pro something, you might as well be anti it. So maybe my then response to those people was, maybe I would challenge your definition of a social liberal. You might be a social moderate where you’re not against those things, but unless you’re for them, unless you’re putting your money where your mouth is, unless you’re willing to do that, you’re not socially liberal. If you look at our government and you look at the way that decisions are made, it’s center and right. There’s very, very little that’s truly left.

Joy: Very little, very little. Which again, it goes back to the taglines and the words that are thrown around. And here’s the thing that I was thinking about too ever since January 6th. Not every republican thinks this way.

Claire: Right. And I have to challenge myself on that, I really do. Because the people in my life in particular, a handful, maybe two or three people off the top of my head, who are really extreme. Those are the ones I hear about. Here is somebody posting a picture at church at mass not social distancing, “This is going to piss off the leftist maskers.”

Joy: Okay.

Claire: Okay. That stuff is just like, you’re literally just asking for a fight. Literally that’s what you’re doing. You’re literally just saying, I’m doing this –

Joy: It’s so provocative. 

Claire: Your exact caption of it is, this is a verbatim post from that person. 

Joy: Oh is it?

Claire: Yes, it is. This is the true real-life example. Your caption is, “I’m trying to start a fight.” And unfortunately –

Joy: Just curious. Just curious.

Claire: Just curious. Pro tip. Somebody comes to your comments section and says, “I’m just curious,” they’re never just curious. 

Joy: They’re never just curious. They’re there to pick a fight. 

Claire: That could be the episode title.

Joy: It’s not funny because it makes me rage.

Claire: It’s not funny also because I think that those types of people are who we think about when we think about republicans, and I don’t want that to be what I think about. This week, we’ve heard a ton of people who are like stop calling for unity. I’m not saying that unity should not be the goal, but there’s no unity without equality, and we are a long ass way from equality. And I really think though that those – I have to challenge myself that – I have come up against several very confrontational conservatives in my life who – and I’ve also come up against a lot of other conservatives who disagreed with my social liberal conservative whatever post. Socially liberable – I can’t even say it. You guys know what I’m talking about. I’m not trying to gloss over it, my brain just can’t form that phrase again. But when I think of conservatives, I think of the people in my life who are very confrontational, and that’s not the place I need and want to go.

Joy: People who truly want to understand or are open to having a conversation. And that’s why I will say it until I’m blue in the face. Social media is not the place to have a conversation about politics. It’s just not. We can all say that, but my goal for this year is to just not post or reply to things that are triggering. By “triggering” for myself, I just mean getting me angry and hyped up because no point is going to be proven. The people who are trying to stir you up, like “just curious” or being provocative that way or truly not in it to understand. They’re there to just be a jerk. Plain and simple. They’re not truly there to understand. They’re there to be angry and mean. There’s just no way you can turn that into a productive conversation whatsoever. 

Claire: I wouldn’t necessarily say – I think I’ve had productive conversations on social media, but they’ve been in DM with somebody that I had to very consciously say, okay I’m going to take the time to really engage with this person. We talked about this months ago that the problem with social media is you might not always be in a place where you can, like you might be driving. And then all of the sudden you get hit with this four-paragraph long DM with, “I can’t believe you post this.” And it’s like, okay, I don’t have the headspace to reply to this right now. I got to make an appointment with myself to reply to this. I know a girl who I very briefly went to college with who is more leaning towards libertarian where I would consider myself leaning more toward socialist if we had to delineate. And we had a conversation the other day about vaccines. She was saying everyone should be able to make their own personal choice about vaccines. I was saying I don’t really agree with that. I think there are extenuating circumstances. Most people should view vaccine decision making as a public decision. This is a public health goal, not a personal health goal. And we went back and forth on it, and at the end it was like listen I’m not going to convince you, you’re not going to convince me, thank you for giving me some space to tell you my opinion, I hope you feel I’ve done the same for you. And that’s kind of where we left it. But I know that person personally. I don’t communicate with her any other way than really Instagram. But that was I think a very small handful of conversations I’ve had, and it’s because we both came to it really from a place of, first of all there’s not really human rights here at stake. You’re not trying to convince me that white supremacy doesn’t exist. Vaccines are one of those things where we can have our strong opinions and yes, I’m not saying that oppression isn’t involved with vaccine distribution, with public health, there isn’t racism inherent within the public health system. But in this conversation human rights are not really what’s up for debate. That’s the other thing. When you get down to it, it’s like I’m not going to debate with you about issues that deal with human rights, particularly given the fact that 99% of the time those rights are not mine. I am not debating my own human rights. I’m not going to speak for a group that I’m not a part of when it comes to going tit for tat about what’s right and what’s wrong. I’m going to tell you what I believe. I’m going to stand up for what I believe in. But I’m not going to sit there and debate with you about whether or not this is a valid argument. And it’s so hard to communicate any of that on freaking social media.

Joy: Yeah, it’s really hard. So I want to finish my thought too with the republicans, back to the republican piece. The mob and the rioters do not represent every republican. I’m sure that there are republicans out there that are like that’s ridiculous. Of course. And when I heard Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, Mike Pence, Mitt Romney, what they said after the riots was really genuine and beautiful. And I’m not kidding, did you hear them? Why are you giving me that look?

Claire: Mitch McConnell said something genuine and beautiful?

Joy: Yes!

Claire: I did see the Mitt Romney thing. Which who would have thunk ten years ago that Mitt Romney, we’d all be like, “Yay, Mitt Romney.”

Joy: Yes. Mitch McConnell, again I don’t agree with everything that they do. I don’t agree with a lot of the things that they do. But to have that response after that horrific event, that attack on our Capitol, and for them to just really be the voice in the response. All I could think of was, this is what we should be hearing form the republican party. And for four years, they haven’t been able to have that voice. And I bet you that there’s a lot of them that are so glad – in a way, of course they want their majority, but I’m sure there’s a lot of them that are so glad that they can finally speak up without feeling like they’re going to be kicked to the curb by some crazy leader in charge. So that’s the thing that I thought was really beautiful afterwards. I was like, that’s really cool. Mitt Romney said some things. Mike Pence had a great response. Just really calm about it. And freaking Trump threw him under the bus that day.

Claire: Trump’s the worst. It kind of comes back to that thing though about like unity doesn’t mean anything without equality. And if you’re calling for equality, you have to be calling for justice. And if you’re not calling for justice, then you can’t call for equality.

Joy: Right. But for us to see that right after something so disturbing was really important.

Claire: I agree with you. It’s not nothing.

Joy: It’s not nothing. And after that, a lot of people flipped to throw out the electoral college votes. A lot of people flipped. That was really, I’m sure that they were like, “This is enough.”

Claire: I mean, I have the opinion that it’s sort of too little too late. It’s better than nothing.

Joy: Oh of course, of course, of course.

Claire: But I also think it’s just one of those things where it’s like we’ve been given so little to hold onto of positive reinforcement that we’re like, “I’ll take it!”

Joy: 100%. I just want to hear something positive from the republican side, and I got that and I was like, wow, okay. I felt better for a mere moment. Of course everything that happened, the people that were killed, it’s devastating. We don’t need to drone on about that. It’s terrible, it’s horrible. And I think that things that kind of stuck out for me… I have this, I don’t know, I think I’ve told you, we’ve talked about this where I need a burner account so I can just let my feelings fly. But this was just where I’m like, you know what, the reason that I don’t post on my personal Facebook page is it’s not productive. I always go back and forth of whether or not that’s productive. But I was like, I just need to say something. So I wrote, because I know what there’s a lot of people – oh here’s the thing. This drove me nuts. So I posted something on my – I don’t think you saw this, Claire – on my Facebook page, and I said, “Do you get that Black Lives Matter was because of years of oppression and violence towards Black people? Today was hateful white supremacy on parade. There’s absolutely no comparison. And white people not seeing that is the problem with America. It is the reason we will not make progress and the reason why today happened.” If people start comparing Black Lives Matter to this, I will go on a rage spiral and I will not get out of it. I saw that flying around and the people who are just like, “Well what about the rioters and the loot -” and I’m just like you’ve got to be kidding me. You’re missing the point. And the reason why we have had no progress for years and years is because white people refuse to see that. They always want to be like, well, what about this, what about this. “I haven’t had opportunities in my life,” and it’s just like you’re missing the point.

Claire: It’s not about you.

Joy: It’s not about you. And so I got – I grew up in a Mormon town. Do I need to say that again? Very white, very Mormon. Apparently, someone that I’m friends with on Facebook, and I did not know I was friends with him –

Claire: [laughing] That’s always fun when you find out you’re friends with somebody who’s going to troll your accounts.

Joy: Because here’s what I find funny too. When people from high school come out to comment on my post. I’m like, I haven’t talked to you in 25 years. Why are you here? And then I unfriend them because I’m like, I don’t need to have you comment on my posts. I haven’t talked to you in 25 years. The people that I want to have a conversation with are the people that I would go out to lunch with. So this guy replies and he says a lot of really horrible things. And he says, “I was there, and we all had a great, friendly time. I am so sick of being labeled. You are all wrong about this racism crap.” Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. So he goes on and on and one.

Claire: He was where?

Joy: He was at the Capitol. Yeah. Yeah.

Claire: And you’re like, that’s not… that doesn’t go in the pro category of the comment, sir.

Joy: No. And first of all, I’m kind of taken aback because I’m like who is this guy? I vaguely remember him from high school, and I’m going to say something so assholery right now. But if you have your profile picture as the American eagle, I am worried about you. Put a puppy up there, but that’s what it is. American eagle. Oh, this guy. So yeah. I just sat there for a minute, and I was like I will have a conversation with you if I feel like it’s going to be productive but you are just here to spread hate and evil. And I unfriended him. Judge me for doing that, but I don’t even remember having a conversation with you in high school. Why are you here?

Claire: Why are we even Facebook friends? And I think that you know that just goes back right to the beginning of our conversation. Why even go on social media? If you’re not, you know. First of all, so much of this even started on social media from Parlor or what have you, Twitter, you know, and giving that megaphone… even going back to we’ve all totally just accepted that this is how Trump was on Twitter. When if you think about it, granted Twitter hasn’t been around that long, but the first couple years of Trump’s presidency, we didn’t all just accept that he was going nuts on Twitter all the time. And now that we’ve all normalized that, you kind of forget that Obama on Twitter was run by a PR manager, a brand manager basically.

Joy: Very thoughtful things to say. Not all caps.

Claire: I just remember being so shocked by that when Trump took office where I was like, where is his PR manager? 

Joy: No one.

Claire: No, I know. But to me, I remember being shocked by that. And in the last four years, I’ve completely just abandoned that thought. But I came back to that this week where it’s like in some ways the presidency is a brand and he is an elected official who should be held to a certain degree of decorum, and we have all just let that go. Completely let it go. And completely normalized these crazy things on Twitter. And I think a lot of people are freaking out about him losing his Twitter account. And it’s like, okay, we all get it. It’s not illegal. It’s not a violation of free speech. Twitter’s a private company. They can do whatever they want. But that being said –

Joy: Scott and I just talked about this before we recorded. And Scott’s like, “Anyone who starts to say that it’s violating their freedoms, that’s so stupid.” 

Claire: Your right to a Twitter account is not guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. It’s just not.

Joy: It’s not in the Bill of Rights. Stop it.

Claire: If you take a bigger step back, it’s like okay, you can sort of tongue-and-cheek say Twitter’s not in the Bill of Rights. But this has been the platform that he has used and therefore banning him from it is really cutting him off from speaking to the public in the way that he has.

Joy: The cowardly way that he’s done it. Speak to people face to face. You can’t do it, dude.

Claire: But I’m actually coming from the other angle. This is the way that he has chosen to connect with people and now he’s being barred from doing it. And I’m not saying that it was the right thing to do, but like e-

Joy: I think it was.

Claire: No, no, no, no. I’m not saying that him using it that way was the right thing to do.

Joy: Oh.

Claire: What I’m saying is that –

Joy: Wait, go back.

Claire: Okay, I’m not saying that the way Trump used Twitter was the right way to be doing it. What I am saying was that was the precedent. Right, I think cutting him off was the right thing to do. The precedent that he had set, however, does now create this tension of really Twitter having the power to sort of de facto silence him. Which while it is not a violation of free speech, it is unusual and unprecedented that Twitter would have that type of power to effectively silence the American president.

Joy: Right, that’s so weird.

Claire: It’s so weird. It should never have come to this.

Joy: No. That should not be your megaphone. 

Claire: It should not be your megaphone. There’s no reason that a politician or anyone in power should be using social media in that way. And it really begs a lot of questions about social media and about these privately-owned companies. Or I don’t know if Twitter has technically gone public, but these corporations that ultimately kind of hold the key to these what should have been official communication pathways. And I think that’s where we’re in a gray area of this is an unprecedented move given the fact that technically, no, it’s not a violation. Technically, no, it’s not illegal. But it is really unprecedented in the sense that a private entity, being Twitter, had the ability to effectively, publicly silence the president because of the way that he was using Twitter.

Joy: I mean, a lot of people followed suit too. 

Claire: For sure, for sure.

Joy: A lot of people took Parlor off their platforms.

Claire: Parlor effectively got kicked off, I mean as we all know everything letters up to the cloud on Amazon, and Amazon told them you can’t host your stuff on us anymore. And there really aren’t, unless you’re going to be hosted on Bob’s basement, there’s not a lot of other places.

Joy: Who’s Bob?

Claire: You know what I mean. 

Joy: That guy.

Claire: Like that guy at the beginning of Armageddon. Do you remember that guy? He’s in his underwear in the top of his planetarium. So I’m thinking about that. Looking at it objectively, not from a was this a right or wrong call. But I think just more from a, wow, this is an interesting moment.

Joy: It’s an interesting moment for sure.

Claire: In the history of social media and of media and communications that we should see that Twitter was even being used in this way.

Joy: Yeah. It is something that we will probably never see again I hope. But I also think that he made some of the people who really liked him feel special. Because you know how Instagram gives us almost a very intimate look into some celebrities’ lives? 

Claire: Oh, for sure, I mean it was the perfect way.

Joy: He really used it in a way that made people feel like, “He’s talking to me.” 

Claire: That’s why social media is popular, period. Because you feel like for the first time, it’s like what do they it, the royal castle something intrigue? Something like that. Palace? Palace intrigue. Where you feel like you’re getting that look behind the curtain that is exclusive to you, even though you cognitively know a million other people are seeing this. If you’re seeing Beyoncé’s Instagram story, you’re feeling like, “Oh my God, Beyoncé.”

Joy: “She texted me.” Hey, hey.

Claire: “We have the same organizer on our bathroom counter.”

Joy: “She’s just like us.”

Claire: “She’s just like us.” But truly, that’s why social media has become what it is. And that’s why social media influencers exist. And that’s why we get people, even, you know, we’re only at 15,000 followers on Instagram. We still get people all the time who are like, “I feel like  know you.” And we love that. But we don’t know 15,000 people. 

Joy: For sure do not.

Claire: For sure do not. And that’s the thing. I know everyone who’s listening to this, you cognitively understand that, but there is that emotional reaction of I am seeing someone post something very personal and intimate and therefore that connection is felt, even if it’s one way.

Joy: That worked for him.

Claire: It works for a lot of people.

Joy: I think people really felt like he was giving me secret messages and I’m going to fulfill my duty as a patriot. I’m sure that felt really good to a lot of people. But guess what, try again.

Claire: I know. So alright guys. I feel like now that we’ve yelled about democracy for 30 minutes, we’re going to take a right turn. You know, we are not proponents for giving you a space to disconnect from important issues. But we’re also not proponents of rubbing your face to the grindstone unnecessarily. So we are going to take a massive right turn, abrupt even.

Joy: Everybody just shake it off, shake it off, shake off the whatever.

Claire: Shake it like a whatever.

Joy: I’ve been listening to so much Taylor Swift lately by the way, speaking of “Shake it Off.” Not to that. But her –

Claire: Miles loves “Shake it Off.”

Joy: “Shake it Off” is a great, great song.

Claire: It really is.

Joy: I love her two albums that she released this year.

Claire: So good.

Joy: Thank you, Taylor Swift. I know you’re listening.

Claire: I know. Taylor, my best friend from Instagram. One of my favorite tweets that I saw was, “I can’t get over the fact that we got more Taylor Swift studio albums than stimulus checks in 2020.”

Joy: [laughing] I know this is treading on some territory, but do you have any favorite memes from the week that really punched it home for you?

Claire: So many. [clearing throat] Let me clear my throat and just pull some up.

Joy: Let. Me. Clear. My. Throat.

Claire: Oh wow. My favorite one that I think is probably the most on brand for us is, “Trump: I will not be attending Biden’s inauguration. Trump on January 20, 2021” and it’s Damien in the back of the gym with his sunglasses on.

Joy: The guy who says, “She doesn’t even go here.” It’s that guy. it’s that Damien.

Claire: Yeah.

Joy: I love that one so much because it’s so true. He can’t not be included. He cannot not be included.

Claire: I love that one. So if you guys don’t know, I take my job as a meme curator very seriously on my personal Instagram account. Pretty much it’s all I post. I just retweeting retweets of retweets of retweets. Let’s see if I can find some good ones. “Imagine thinking humans have a right to Twitter but not to healthcare.” Some of my faves. “Man, how the f do you get banned from Snapchat? I used to use that app to sell cocaine and total peace.” 

Joy: [laughing]

Claire: That one was a favorite.

Joy: I like the one where Billy Eichner was like, “Pull him off Twitter? Don’t just pull him off Twitter. Make him join Bumble.” 

Claire: “Okay, doom scrolling is bad, but have you seen the quality of the doom this week?”

Joy: Really some quality doom.

Claire: Let’s see here. Oh, this one. For some reason, something about this just made me laugh so hard. “2016: Maybe it won’t be that bad. 2021: The Axe Body Spray Corporation stands firmly against the attempted overthrow of the US government.”

Joy: I laughed so hard.

Claire: There was something about it being Axe where I’m like oh my gosh, it’s so random.

Joy: Axe Body Spray stands against [laughing]

Claire: The attempted overthrow of the US government. Oh no. 

Joy: This is not a political one, but what was the one where you said, “A true friend-“

Claire: Oh, “true friendship is letting a certain amount of ghosting go unnoticed.”

Joy: I love it. There’s something that just makes me laugh so hard.

Claire: Oh, this one is my favorite. So it was a comment on Donald Trump’s tweet when he saw on Twitter it said, “To all those who have asked, I will not be going to the inauguration on January 20th.” And the comment was, “HUGE ‘a lot of you have been asking about my skincare routine lately’… energy.”  I thought that was hysterical.

Joy: What about the one where it was like John Barren or something, a fake Twitter account, where it’s like, “Hey guys, I’m new to Twitter. What’s up?” “Hey guys, I’m new to Twitter. What’s going on?” It’s so great. Okay, so for all the seriousness, truly truly there’s a lot of work to do. We still need to do the work. And we can also just take some laugh breaks and let off some steam.

Claire: Totally. Laugh breaks are important.

Joy: Laugh breaks are important. So the question for this week, we got so many good voice memos. The question was, tell us about your 15 minutes of fame. And we got so many good ones that I just wanted to go through lightning round style and play them all because they’re so freaking funny.

Claire: Do you have a 15 minutes of fame before we –

Joy: Yes, I do. I kind of attribute it when I was doing all the video work with the kids. I was on the news a couple times. And then winning the Emmy’s, we got interviewed a couple times. I feel like that was the closest I could get, and I really, really thought that was really cool. So for people who don’t know that, that was back at my old job. I did some work with some television stations to create some public service announcements, and then they ended up submitting them to the Emmy’s and we won a bunch of awards. I just loved going to the award shows. Like, that was my favorite part.

Claire: Totally. That’s so on brand.

Joy: Getting a dress and going to the award shows. Yeah, what about you?

Claire: Honestly the only thing that I could think of, I’m sure that I, I sang the national anthem to open a CU basketball game once.

Joy: Oh, that’s awesome. That’s cool.

Claire: One time in middle school me and my girlfriends were on the front page of the paper ice skating.

Joy: Oh, that’s cute.

Claire: And my 7th grade math teacher taped it to the front of the math room door. So you know, that was fun. So just little stuff like that. It’s not like I’ve ever had a real, like, oh I’m famous.

Joy: We got some good ones. Okay, let’s start off with an email. This is from Veronica. “Hey Joy and Claire, for your prompt this week I wanted to share my 15 minutes of fame. I have two, but I’ll keep them quick. Growing up in LA (I’m sure you’re jealous Joy)” – Yes, I am!  “My dad directed commercials. Mostly Mattel ( I had every Barbie and Polly Pocket) and McDonalds happy meal commercials. I got to be in the Halloween commercial that can still be found on YouTube. Photos attached of me dressed as a purple witch including one of Ronald holding me gently in his arms. He was actually a really nice man named Jack, and I have a ton of pictures of me playing Chinese Checkers, hula dancing, and playing piano with him. It was an interesting childhood to say the least. After retiring from directing commercials, my dad had a photography studio doing mostly commercial photos and building websites. He roped me into being a model for a Bluetooth microphone, and they included me on their packaging. Just checked and there’s still a picture of me in the description on Amazon. A few years ago, a friend of a friend was in an Apple store and sent her a picture of the box asking if it was me. Small moments, but those are my claims to fame.” And she included some pictures we’ll put when this episode comes out of her with Ronald McDonald holding her, it’s so cute. And the picture she included of the Bluetooth packaging, she looks like she’s just enjoying her Bluetooth speakers while she’s on her laptop. Oh, that’s so great. Thank you, Veronica. Alright, this one the title is “My 15 minutes of fame on TRL with Carson Daly.”

Claire: Oh, you guys better know this is the first one Joy read I’m sure when it came in.

Joy: What? So good!

Melissa [recording]: Hi guys, this is Melissa in the Chicago area. I immediately had to respond to your 15 minutes of fame question because I will be proud of this until my dying day. I believe this was the summer of 2000. My friend and I were in New York for a summer internship at the United Nations, and we stood in line in Times Square and got to be in the studio audience for Total Request Live, aka TRL with Carson Daly. We were on TV but it was back in the day before cell phones, so we had to call my mom from a pay phone after the show was taped live to tell her to tape – as in tape the VHS tape – and tape for us the rebroadcast of the show that night so that we could see ourselves on TV. My mom still has that VHS tape to this day, and it’s pretty amazing and I will always remember my half an hour or however long that show was of fame with Carson Daly on TRL. Thanks guys, love the show.

Claire: Oh my gosh. 90’s dreams are made of right there.

Joy: 90’s dreams. I wonder if there’s any celebrities on that TRL episode.

Claire: Like Lance Bass. If I could just get on TRL with N Sync they would see me and choose me as their wife.

Joy: For sure. For sure. You have no idea what you’re missing. You just need to meet me.

Claire: Right, you’ll just see me, see my screaming face in a crowd and the clouds will open up.

Joy: Oh my gosh. How many people really think that? Okay, this is from our favorite Tina in Brooklyn. “Morning ladies. Maybe it doesn’t count because I was always around celebs” because this is the one who worked at the Today Show, “but these are a couple of standouts. I hope this provides some laughs.”

Tina [recording]: Good morning Joy and Claire. It’s Tina from Brooklyn. And of course you know I have a good story from the Today Show. So one day I’m in the kitchen and just doing my thing. Hilary Swank walks in and she’s like, “Oh my God. Look at your biceps.” She’s like, “Let’s arm wrestle.” And I was like, “No, I’m not arm wrestling you.” Long story short, we started arm wrestling and the camera turned around and caught it and it was just absolutely ridiculous. And then another time I was asked to come and pick up Al Roker on camera. So those are my stories.

Claire: Tina, did you win the arm wrestling? You left out some crucial details. 

Joy: I know. Great details, and I love that I could hear the sirens in the background.

Claire: Just an ambulance as she was walking by.

Joy: New York sounds in the background. I know people in New York are like, yeah, that’s not great.

Claire: It’s not romantic, it’s annoying.

Joy: So she shares her picture. I’m going to post this when we release the episode with her and Hilary Swank arm wrestling.

Claire: Oh my gosh.

Joy: And Hilary Swank’s got some guns too.

Claire: Seriously.

Joy: That’s so cute. That’s the cutest thing. I love that she picked up Al Roker. Oh my gosh, okay. This is from Laura.

Laura [recording]: Hi Joy and Claire, this is Laura from Canada. I’m just responding to your 15 minutes of fame questions from last week’s episode. So a few years back the Amazing Race Canada actually came to Winnipeg, and I was an extra in the crowd. I can confirm when it says 7th, 8th, 9th try that is the case. However, my actual moment of fame was they would cut to my face reacting to the challenges. The people had to sing, and when the one group came down one of the guys ended up kissing me and that made it onto the television. And he goes, “I kissed a few babes on the way out.” And then I had to say, “Not now, babes. Got to go meet my boyfriend John Montgomery.”

Claire: Oh my gosh, that’s so random but I love it.

Joy: It’s so random and I love it. That’s so good.

Claire: I have definitely heard that going to the tapings of those is really pretty anticlimactic.

Joy: Really?

Claire: They came to Denver several years ago, and everyone I knew, like a lot of CrossFit people went. And they were like, “Oh yeah, we were out there until like 3 in the morning. It was just take after take after take.”

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: But yeah, that’s hilarious.

Joy: Okay, this is great. This is great. This one’s from Kelly. And also, I love the picture proof.

Kelly [recording]: Hi Joy and Claire, my 15 minutes of fame is when I was in college at Florida State, Joe Biden was the Vice President and he came to speak. And when I was waiting in line with my friend and we got checked in, they asked us if we wanted to go sit on the stage. So from the crowd as you check in, they hand selected certain people and placed you in a certain way so that when you’re on the news you look a certain way. It looks a certain way behind him. And so when my family and everyone turned on the news, I was there right to his right watching as he spoke. And at the end, he was really nice and he came up to all of us because you’re watched by secret service and you can’t leave until he leaves. And he took pictures with all of us. It was just so nice and took time even though he was late to grab us and group and take pictures. Even now, my boyfriend at the time was so mad because he was so supposed to go and he offered me the ticket because he’s heard him speak before. And then I text him and was like, “Hey, turn on the news, you’re going to see me on stage here.” So he still does not forget that, especially now that he is the President. Have a good day.

Joy: Oh I love that. And it’s proof that they actually set up behind them.

Claire: Yes, totally. Brandon met Joe Biden at a coffee shop in Denver.

Joy: That’s right!

Claire: In like 2016 maybe… or 2015. No, 2014-2015 because that’s when he was the Vice President. I met Michelle Obama, did you know that?

Joy: No, where?

Claire: When Obama was running for President the first time, I was in college and she came as a campaign stop to the CU campus. And that morning I was getting to campus early to study for a test and I saw them setting everything up and I was like, “What is this for?” And they were like, “Oh this going to be the line to meet Michelle Obama.” And I was like, “Can I get in line now?” “Yeah sure.” So I was the first one in line, and I stood there for legitimately five hours.

Joy: No way.

Claire: But I was coming to campus to study, so I just sat there and studied instead. Yeah. And I met Michelle Obama. She smells great. 

Joy: I bet you she smells great.

Claire: Yep.

Joy: Celebrities that smell great. Bob Harper. I’ve hugged him, smells great. Who else did I hug that smelled great? I almost said Oprah, but I’m like no, I’ve heard she smells great.

Claire: No, every single time this comes up we bring up how we’re pretty good Oprah smells good.

Joy: She would smell so good. Oh my gosh, okay. That was so great. And also picture proof is the best. Alright, this next one is from Natasha.

Natasha [recording]: Hi Joy and Claire, this is Natasha from the San Francisco Bay area. I used to live in Los Angeles for a long time, so I ended up participating in a couple of little-seen reality shows. One of them was a team competition show where we built large Rube Goldberg machines, and that was super fun. And the other show was a Bachelor-esque type show where basically 20 of us showed up to date a guy. It was actually a really terrible experience. Didn’t like the guy, they made us stay up all night, we weren’t allowed to put on a sweater when it got cold, and was happy basically to go home quickly from that experience. But it was very weird to see yourself on TV. Thanks.

Joy: That would be so hard if you’re just like, “I want to go. Get me off this reality show.” I want to see Natasha if you have clips of it. I want to see what the show was. This is another – [gasps] Oh, I love this so much. Okay, this one is – I hope I’m saying her name right – Tyisha. “Hey Joy and Claire, my 15 minutes of fame story is this. I’m a musician, and in 2017 I did a cover of “Don’t You Be Santa” by The Killers for charity. My friend Jo and I recorded it in our apartment. Our moms, who are also friends and avid Catholics, were so disappointed we didn’t do something religious. The song ended up in the local newspaper next to Mack Miller and a few other big names. My mom called my partner to have his dad frame it for her. Since then I’ve been able to use my music to support causes I care about and gotten a reputation of being really silly in real life. The song is now a joke because it’s my only digitally streaming work for the past four years, and I’m hoping to fix that this year. Love your podcast and all that you do. I for one would be super sad to see you leave Instagram, but completely understand the pull to get out of there. Love, Ty.” Oh, It’s Ty. “P.s. Links to the song and newspaper article.” So I asked her if I could play this as the outro. She hasn’t responded yet as of this recording, but I’m super wanting to play it for you. It’s really a cool song, and she looks awesome in the photo. Alright, this is from, let’s do two, God this one’s so good. Okay, three more, three more. Real quick. This one’s from Molly.

Molly [recording]: Hey Joy and Claire, this is Molly calling to tell you about my 15 minutes of fame. When I was in first grade, I lived in Omaha, Nebraska and the zoo there was doing a donation drive so that they could get some new wallabies for their new wallaby habitat. I gave them $1 and in response I got a really cool letter and a photo and an invitation to come and watch the zoo release their new wallabies into their habitat. So I got to miss school that day. My mom took me, and I thought I was just going to get to watch, but at the last minute they pulled me into the wallaby pin and I got to actually open one of the big dog kennels that had a wallaby in it and watch it hop out into its habitat. And I got interviewed by the news, and first grade Molly just thought that was the coolest thing in the world. I have no idea what I said on the news. It was so long ago, but it’s a pretty cool memory to have. Thanks so much, y’all. Bye bye.

Joy: That is so cute.

Claire: That is the epitome of 15 minutes of fame. Got pulled into the wallaby pin.

Joy: You’re in first grade. You get interviewed by the news. You’re so excited. That is the cutest thing.

Claire: Oh my gosh, that’s adorable. Wallabies of all things.

Joy: So good. This one is probably one of my faves. Alright, this is from Ellen.

Ellen [recording]: Hey Joy, hey Claire. This is Ellen talking about my 15 minutes of fame. So actually about a year ago I submitted a question to CNN to ask the candidates for the democrat presidential election a question. Really, I just wanted to go to the town hall. I didn’t actually want to ask the question, but they called me and said, “Hey, you had a really good question. We want you to ask it to former Vice President Joe Biden.” And obviously I was peeing my pants a little bit, but I go and there was about 20 other people who were there to ask questions so I didn’t think I was going to go. But at the very last minute, they said, “Hey, you’re up.” And I go and ask Joe Biden a question. He didn’t answer it because he’s a politician. But yeah, I actually talked to the President-Elect, and I like to think I got him elected. And also, fun fact, after that day Trump did kind of subtweet me and tweeted about the question I asked and addressed it in his own Trump way. So yeah, that’s my 15 minutes of fame.

Joy: That is so cool.

Claire: I’m kind of shocked by how many people have met Joe Biden.

Joy: I know, so many people have met Joe Biden.

Claire: That’s amazing.

Joy: Did you see this picture of her? I’m going to post this too. Yeah, she looks so pretty. And then she actually also posted the tweet. She sent us a screenshot of the tweet that Trump responded to.

Claire: In all caps.

Joy: In all caps, of course. That’s so funny. That was so, so great. Okay, last one is from Tilly.

Tilly [recording]: Hey Joy and Claire, it’s Tilly calling with one of many 15 minutes of fame stories. This one happened a couple years ago. It was my birthday weekend and I got tickets to see Wayne Brady when he was in town at the Paramount Theatre doing a standup show, very Who’s Line is it Anyway-esque. at the beginning of the show, we all get little pieces of paper that said something like, “Have a question for Wayne? Write it down.” I was feeling extra gutsy on my birthday weekend, and so on my sheet of paper I wrote, “Do you think you could kiss me on or near the mouth since it’s my birthday?” And so I submitted the question. About halfway through the show got called up on stage for Wayne Brady to sing me a song and kiss me on or near the mouth in front of everybody at the Paramount Theatre. So that’s one of my 15 minutes of fame stories. Hopefully I can tell some more soon. Take care, bye.

Joy: On or near the mouth.

Claire: That’s so specific.

Joy: I know Tilly, so I’m going to text her right now. Where did Wayne Brady kiss you?

Claire: Tell her it’s our resident cupcake extraordinaire baker. That is so specific, I love it so much. On or near.

Joy: Just maybe a little bit, just a little bit, little kiss. Thank you, guys. That was such a much-needed comedy relief. Thank you for the laughs. You guys are the best. What is our question for next week? Or do we have one? Claire’s like –

Claire: Guys, sometimes I get to this part of the show, and I’m like – oh no, next week. I was so worried about your 15 minutes of fame. Okay, here’s the question we’re going to do. 

Joy: Okay… okay, Tilly just texted me back and she says, “Near the mouth. I have a video. Let me find it.”

Claire: That’s amazing. Alright, we will post that video for sure. Okay, so for next week’s question, this is again a little bit random. But I’m really enjoying these random questions that are just sort of like insights into people’s lives.

Joy: For sure.

Claire: So as you guys know, we talk a lot about rituals. We talk a lot about our habits that we do. I want to know if you guys have any superstitions. Especially if you have any rituals that go around those superstitions.

Joy: Oh my God, I have one.

Claire: What is yours? Tell us now.

Joy: Before I get on a plane,  I do this – way back in the day, I was trained in Reiki. And I do this Reiki symbol before I get on the plane. When you’re in the doorway, I do it very, very subtly. 

Claire: You do a subtle Reiki symbol.

Joy: I do a subtle Reiki thing. It’s a symbol with your hand, and then I touch the side of the plane.

Claire: You like pope cross the plane before you get on.

Joy: [laughing] Yep, I totally pope cross. 

Claire: It will not surprise you guys that I don’t think I have any. But what is you or your husband or something. Does he wear is stinky game day socks that he’s never washed because the Browns have never lost when he’s wearing his gameday socks.

Joy: Oh my God, we’re going to get so many sports ones.

Claire: Totally.

Joy: I love it, I love it so much.

Claire: So please tell us your weird superstition or weird thing that you do. You can send us a voice memo to thisisjoyandclaire@gmail.com. You can write it in an email and we’ll just read the email. Or you can go to our Instagram account @joyandclaire_. Click the “contact us” button. That will take you to a Google Voice mail, and you can just leave it in a message. Can’t wait to hear them. Another random question. I love hearing insights into you guys’ life. Please send them. We can’t wait to tell what they are. I feel like Joy is especially excited about this one.

Joy: I’m so excited. This is going to be great. Don’t let me down. Alright guys, another week of just taking it one day at a time. I was reminded that this past week. Let’s just stay right where we are, really take it one day at a time. Alright, deep thoughts.

Claire: Alright guys, talk to you next week.

Joy: Okay, bye.

Claire: Bye.

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