• January 12th, 2021

    Fred Leone: Song Man

    Twelve months ago, the Australian bushfires were center stage. I was in Australia for the final leg of the "there will be no intermission" tour and all that mattered was raising money to help the effort. With the support of my patrons, we made Forty-Five Degrees: Bushfire Charity Flash record and on March 8th 2020, we staged a fundraiser. I recorded this interview with Fred Leone, who participated in both the record and the fundraiser, two days before that show, and less than two weeks before Covid really upended the globe. A conversation about the marginalisation of first nations Aboriginal Australians and their culture might have lost its impact after the craziest year in living history, but you know what? It’s all so fucking RELEVANT. Our ability to communicate with each other well  - through words, through music - is the glue that holds us together and if we can learn anything from recent events in the US, it’s that Western culture’s glue is no less vulnerable to erosion than any other. Fred has worked for years to preserve the language and rituals of Aboriginal culture, through the traditional means of storytelling, music and art. We talk about how tech has usurped these channels, how it might be repurposed to reopen them and how swiftly their disruption leads to extinction. It’s weird how a conversation can be so sad and yet full of hope. And Fred's voice...I could listen for days. I hope you hear the music under it all. It’s more important than ever to keep sharing our stories and singing our songs. It’s our light in the dark.

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  • January 5th, 2021

    Masarat Daud: I Am Not Responsible for your Ignorance

    We had little to do in 2020 but contemplate our connections. To our planet, to our lives and most importantly, to the flesh-and-blood humans who surround us. And yet with every day that passes, the spaces we inhabit feel increasingly intolerant and hostile, progress towards a more inclusive, thoughtful world crushed beneath the weight of internet-yellings and fake news-wars. My guest this week, TEDx curator and education activist Masarat Daud, has dealt with the consequences of exclusion on the basis of her appearance since she began wearing a burqa at 17... and she has much, much, much to teach us about the way our judgements and biases form, manifest and harm others. We talked about everything from how to flip expressions of hatred into resilience to the casual removal of agency by the feminist who told her ‘you’re oppressed but you don’t know it yet’. Ooh boy. There’s never been a better time to stop and reflect how we look at the world, at other people and wonder whether we ourselves could be more compassionate - and more willing to embrace difference - than we imagined. I hope you find this conversation (and Masarat’s penguin headscarf) as enlightening as I did. Enjoy!

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  • December 29th, 2020

    Tim Flannery: The Need for Drawdown

    When I met up with mammalogist, environmentalist, explorer and conservationist Tim Flannery in 2019, the world was a different place. Thanks to the work of activists like Greta Thunberg, humans were finally acknowledging climate change as a threat and policy makers taking note. There was more action, and more hope. Then 2020 happened and everything changed. The plight of the Great Barrier Reef and rising greenhouse gases pale almost to insignificance when you’re watching family, friends and neighbours suffer, but the negative effects of our presence on this planet continue relentlessly. Tim CARES so very much, and hearing him offer solutions to the greatest existential threat of our time may give you back some hope. As he says in the episode, ‘This isn’t a game. This isn’t about tribalism. It isn’t about identity. It isn’t about politics. You are threatening my children. So justify that, or get out of the way’.

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  • Tim Minchin, Comedian, Songwriter
    December 22nd, 2020

    Tim Minchin: Accidentally Brave

    Tim Minchin is one of the smartest, weirdest, silliest musicians I know. You may know him as the guy who wrote the music for the hit musical “Matilda”, but I know him as the guy who has always written deeply gorgeous, inappropriate and searingly intelligent songs. A few times in my career, people have said “You’re a female Tim Minchin”, and I’ve taken it as a high compliment. But is it more that Tim Minchin is a male Amanda Palmer? WHO KNOWS? We talk about our strange jobs, empathy, our own self-loathing, decoupling "intellectualism" from emotion, the power of The Internet to share the stories of the disenfranchised, and about the gift of being told that you are not fucking special. And America. We had a hard talk about America.

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  • Dan Savage, Sex Expert
    December 14th, 2020

    Dan Savage: Sex Rules Us

    The Queen of Openness talks to King of Sex Advice, and we make a Truth-Sex baby! No, really, this one's good. When I made my first wishlist, Dan Savage was one of my fantasy podcast interviews. He's an author, LGBT community activist, and long-long-time writer of Savage Love, an internationally syndicated relationship and sex advice column. For decades, both Dan and I have been trying to navigate truth, love, hate, and how to navigate (and explain) open relationships - especially when you have children. Also: master-level compartmentalization, how to weed out toxic critics, ACTUAL weed....and the power of the mute button.

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  • Tim Ferriss, Entrepreneur
    December 7th, 2020

    Tim Ferriss: The Fear of No

    This podcast is patron-funded and ad-free! Please support us on patreon for as little as $1. For a post about this entire podcast (stories, photos, links, reading list, transcript and more) go to: https://www.patreon.com/posts/44587212 EPISODE 11 OF THE ART OF ASKING EVERYTHING: Tim Ferriss: The Fear of No IS…

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  • Storm Large, Writer, Musician
    December 1st, 2020

    Storm Large: Know Who You Are Not

    If you want a mainline injection of self-love, balls-out hilarity and basic life inspiration, look no further. Singer/writer Storm Large is one of the most unapologetic and liberated human beings I have ever had the pleasure of talking to. She is forceful but full of compassion and heart, she’s opinionated, loud and indomitable, and she knows how to wield the magic tools of art and stage performance to chase away demons. She’s a hero to me. This is also possibly the absolute FUNNIEST conversation I’ve ever had. Really. Pee first!

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  • KT Tunstall, Musician
    November 23rd, 2020

    KT Tunstall: The Land of I Don’t Give A Fuck

    There is a road to the land of No Fucks Given, and this episode’s guest, award-winning songwriter KT Tunstall, has found that road. And she, like me, has found that the Road to the Land of No Fucks is also the Road to the Land of Many Fucks…and, well, it gets really profound, trust me. KT has recently lost part of her hearing, and also just lost her dad. We swear a lot, and we go deep fast, sharing our experiences of loss and how it catapults us into growth.

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  • Jamil Zaki, Professor
    November 16th, 2020

    Jamil Zaki: Tuning Your Empathy Fork

    This podcast is patron-funded and ad-free! Please support us on patreon for as little as $1. For a post about this entire podcast (stories, photos, links, reading list, transcript and more) go to: https://www.patreon.com/posts/43760313   Episode 8 of The Art of Asking Everything: Jamil Zaki: Tuning Your Empathy Fork is…

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  • Nadya Tolokonnikova, Pussy Rioter
    November 10th, 2020

    Nadya Tolokonnikova: Pussy Rioting Now

    Nadya Tolokonnikova is not fucking around. A member of the anarchist feminist group Pussy Riot, she was convicted of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" after a performance in Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in 2012, and sentenced to two years imprisonment. She was 23 years old. Her unapologetic art, activism and outspoken opinions about the state of the world have defined her as one of the leading voices in the new feminist freedom fight. She published a book in 2018 called Read and Riot: A Pussy Riot Guide to Activism. We caught up over over zoom - I was in New Zealand and she called in from an undisclosed location - and talked about everything under the sun from insecurity, keeping our heads together, and what punk means in 2020.

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