Is It Time For Gay Pride To Go Away? - Josh Szeps

Is It Time For Gay Pride To Go Away? - Josh Szeps

We Need to Move on From the Culture War (00:00:00)

  • The culture wars shiny object cycle involves a series of predictable stages, including a woke news story, right-wing backlash, increased traction due to signal boosting, left-wing counter-response, right-wing re-reaction, and finally, a meta-reactionary steam.
  • This cycle is repetitive but sustains attention because each story has just enough novelty to give the illusion of a new event, reinforcing familiar ideas and concepts.
  • Humans prefer novelty that reinforces familiar things, as seen in the popularity of Marvel and DC movies, which follow a familiar hero narrative.
  • The evolution of social media and the storytelling structure of movies share similarities, with both following a predictable pattern that creates a sense of novelty while allowing for easy participation and response.

Why the Trans Debate is So Captivating (00:04:58)

  • The discussion about gender identity and transgender people has become repetitive and lacks substance, despite the existence of a small minority who genuinely experience gender dysphoria and need to transition.
  • There is a concerning trend of many teenagers, especially in progressive areas, identifying as gender queer or non-binary, raising questions about social contagion and fashion.
  • Asking questions about the increased gender fluidity among young people is often met with accusations of transphobia, preventing nuanced discussions.
  • The trans movement has rehabilitated the concept of being gay, and some gay people may have transitioned if they grew up in the 2020s instead of the 80s and 90s.
  • It is important to acknowledge the complexity of the issue and address legitimate concerns about the increasing number of people identifying as gender queer, rather than simply holding up flags and saying "trans women are women."

Josh’s Journey Through Mainstream Media (00:11:47)

  • Josh Szeps, a former mainstream media journalist, discusses his transition from alternative media to mainstream and back.
  • Szeps faced pressure to conform to the network's narrative on transgender issues, particularly regarding the Tavistock clinic controversy in the UK, which highlighted the challenges of maintaining intellectual freedom and expressing opinions in mainstream media.
  • The Psychiatric Association of Australia has raised concerns that gender-affirming care may be too quick to affirm a child's gender identity without considering other psychological factors.
  • Puberty blockers, intended to give children time to reflect on their gender identity, often lead to transitioning, and the changes they cause are not easily reversible.
  • A toxic orthodoxy of social justice, largely driven by white, university-educated, upper-middle-class individuals, is imposing its dogma on communities that may not agree with it.

The Landscape of Social Justice in Australia (00:19:30)

  • Author Josh Szeps discusses social justice in Australia and mentions an incident on ABC radio where he interviewed the head of the Psychiatric Association about pediatric transgender care, which resulted in complaints from activists.
  • Social justice activists use a strategy of imposing a massive tax of attention and time on anyone who questions their orthodoxy, deterring journalists from speaking up.
  • Szeps questions the continued relevance of Gay Pride celebrations, arguing that the original goals of the gay rights movement have largely been achieved and the current focus on flamboyant displays and sexualized imagery may not be helpful for young people struggling with their identities.
  • Szeps suggests that Pride celebrations should evolve to be more inclusive and representative of the diverse LGBTQ+ community, and to focus on issues that are still relevant to the lives of LGBTQ+ people today.

What Do Gay People Think About Pride? (00:25:23)

  • The gay community is divided on the purpose and continuation of Pride, with some seeing it as a celebration and others viewing it as a reminder of civil rights struggles and divisiveness.
  • The author's opinion piece about Pride was declined by a public broadcaster despite their sponsorship of the event due to its controversial nature, reflecting an ideological conformism within the organization.
  • Josh Szeps, the speaker and host of the podcast "The Podfather," discusses the freedom to express opinions on his platform, including conversations with individuals like Barry Weiss and Sam Harris who may express views that deviate from the code of conduct of a public broadcaster.
  • The situation became untenable, leading to a breakdown in the system.

Why Josh Had to Leave Broadcasting (00:30:59)

  • Josh's contract was up for renegotiation.
  • The ABC informed him that there might not be a chair for him in the game of musical chairs.
  • His final broadcast was on October 7th, 2021.
  • He resigned on-air and had five or six weeks of broadcasting left.
  • He went on Sky News to talk about anti-Semitism in Australia without filling out an external work request form.
  • The ABC used this as a pretext to say he wasn't welcome back to do his final show.
  • Josh believes that the ABC is being run well, but there is a fundamental difference of opinion and priorities between him and the organization.
  • He declined media requests that would have been unfavorable to his former employers.

Is the Media Trying to Make Everyone Trans? (00:34:37)

  • Andrew Schultz suggests that the media's focus on transgender issues may not be due to coordination but rather cowardice or groupthink.
  • Journalists may be avoiding controversial topics due to fear of losing their jobs or social backlash.
  • The increasing use of social media and algorithms has created echo chambers, where people are exposed to content that reinforces their existing beliefs.
  • This can lead to a lack of understanding and empathy for different perspectives.

The Culture Wars in Australia (00:37:58)

  • The culture war in Australia is not as intense as in the US.
  • Sky News, which has a small audience, promotes anti-woke content.
  • The culture war in Australia is largely inherited from the US and is not reflective of the country's overall social climate.
  • Australia is a highly conformist society, with most of the population living in big, cosmopolitan, multicultural cities.
  • Australians tend to follow rules and have an ethos of "she'll be right," which is an appreciation of mediocrity to avoid conflict.

Why the UK & Australia Love Order (00:41:17)

  • The UK achieved a high COVID-19 vaccination rate, with approximately 93% of adults receiving their first dose.
  • Australia's strict measures and incentives during the pandemic contributed to its high vaccination rate.
  • Societies can be categorized based on horizontal trust (trust in peers and strangers) and vertical trust (trust in authority and hierarchy).
  • Australia and New Zealand adopted an East Asian outlook during the pandemic, demonstrating high obedience and trust in authority.
  • The author engaged in a debate about social justice and identity politics during an appearance on Joe Rogan's show.
  • The author corrected Joe Rogan on his show regarding misinformation spread by the anti-vaccine community.
  • Despite the viral spread of Rogan's false statement and its misrepresentation by media outlets like CNN, the author emphasizes that their conversation was amicable.
  • The author criticizes the lack of courage among individuals who avoid challenging powerful figures and feel compelled to agree with them.

Well-Meaning Disagreements on the Internet (00:46:58)

  • Online disagreements on social media are often characterized by sarcasm and attempts to appear superior, leaving no room for friendly disagreement or genuine debate.
  • Both the social justice left and the right engage in sardonic and condescending communication styles, such as David Pakman's interview style of intentionally backing people into corners to make them look foolish.
  • The left exhibits a censorious attitude, claiming that certain individuals lack the right to speak on certain topics, as seen in the recent Sydney Gay Pride event where the removal of police floats sparked discussions about cancel culture.
  • In the late 1990s, gay and lesbian police officers participating in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras marked a significant moment of acceptance and inclusion, leading to an official apology from the police force in 2010 for historical wrongs committed against the LGBTQIA+ community.
  • A recent tragic domestic violence incident involving a gay couple and a police officer led to the organizers of Gay Pride uninvited the police from holding their float due to concerns about triggering and traumatizing participants.
  • The author argues against the notion that the mainstream gay and lesbian institutional activist class has become too identitarian, fragile, and obsessed with a narrative of victimization, emphasizing the importance of reclaiming universalism, optimism, and a sense of power within the LGBTQIA+ community.

Why the Equality Movement is Patronising (00:56:43)

  • The equality movement can be patronizing by assuming that certain groups, such as black people, are fragile and need to be treated with kid gloves.
  • True equality means being able to put up with the same level of criticism and scrutiny as everyone else.
  • Everyone has a right to have an opinion on social issues, regardless of their race, gender, or sexual orientation.
  • We need a capacious public square where we can have rambunctious, fun, and playful conversations about important issues.

The Problem With the Anti-Woke Right (01:00:45)

  • The left has shifted its focus from uplifting working people and striving for equality to becoming obsessed with minor differences between groups, leading to censorship and hysteria.
  • The right has a history of using cancel culture, such as during McCarthyism, but some conservative publications that claim to support free speech still support canceling individuals with anti-Zionist or pro-Palestinian views.
  • The world is complex, and issues should not be oversimplified.
  • Engaging in conversations and countering bad ideas with good ideas is the solution, not canceling or punishing people for their views.
  • It's important to defend everyone's right to express their views, even ideological enemies, to avoid a society where people are afraid to speak their minds.

Getting Live Shows Cancelled (01:07:47)

  • Protests and attempts to shut down live talks by controversial speakers like Konstantin Kisin and Douglas Murray have become increasingly common.
  • Petitions are being circulated to prevent these speakers from giving talks in various cities.
  • The left is accused of being censorious, hysterical, and engaging in groupthink, departing from traditional liberal values and the principles of the Enlightenment.
  • The prosperity of the West is attributed to the principles of tolerance, respect for intellectual property, and rational engagement based on science and reason.
  • The current push to silence dissenting voices is seen as a departure from these principles and a threat to free speech.
  • The argument that certain speakers should not be platformed because their views are hateful or dangerous is challenged, with the suggestion that engaging with and refuting their arguments is a more effective approach.

Why Taboo Opinions Are Labelled as Hate (01:13:10)

  • People often disguise descriptions as explanations, using words like "evil" to describe behavior rather than explaining it.
  • Labeling something as "hate" can be a way to end a discussion without creating understanding.
  • Expanding uncomfortable conversations from podcasts to live events can lead to audience capture, where the creator only gives the audience what they want to hear.
  • It's important to maintain integrity, interest, and authenticity when creating content, rather than just giving the audience what they want.
  • The most invested audience members may not represent the majority of the audience.
  • The "radical center" is a position where the creator evaluates what the most reasonable position is, regardless of whether the left or the right agrees with it.

The Difficulty of Unreliable Allies (01:17:43)

  • Sam Harris is considered an unreliable ally due to his unpredictable views and willingness to take controversial positions.
  • Josh Szeps views Harris as a man of integrity and authenticity who stays true to himself, even if it means upsetting others.
  • The speaker values authenticity, integrity, and freedom of expression and strives to be respectful and understanding of others' opinions.
  • They believe in using reason and rationality to understand different viewpoints.
  • The speaker supports securing borders and having a controlled immigration policy while also being open to immigration.
  • They criticize the left-wing's argument that requiring ID to vote is a way of suppressing people of color, arguing that it ignores class and economic problems.
  • The speaker questions why Bangladeshis are discriminated against when most people have IDs for various purposes.

Should People Pick Their Battles? (01:28:19)

  • To avoid derangement, it's crucial to selectively engage in battles, as not every disagreement warrants an existential fight.
  • Social media comments often fall into a few broad categories, and constant online criticism can distort our perception, making it harder to choose battles effectively.
  • The polarized political climate, fueled by echo chambers, algorithms, and the cowardice of mainstream media, risks a low-grade cultural civil war and potential societal collapse.
  • Resisting divisive incentives and practicing generosity towards those with opposing views is essential.
  • Discussions should center on significant issues in a reasonable and universally comprehensible manner.

Is There Hope for the Next 5 Years? (01:35:08)

  • The speaker disagrees with the perspective that the world is ruined and everything is going downhill.
  • People are capable of adapting and coming together in unpredictable ways.
  • Toby Walsh, an AI researcher, believes that things will ultimately be fine but the next 20-30 years will be rough.
  • Personal transformation is possible and available to everyone, as demonstrated by the speaker's own experience of losing weight and improving health.
  • Joe Rogan is an inspiring person who has helped many people and given exposure to others, including the speaker.
  • Most people do not engage in radical self-transformation on a daily basis.
  • Temptations like smartphones and artificial intelligence make it difficult to resist distractions and addictive content.
  • The speaker hopes that in the future, people will look back on this era and realize the dangers of unregulated artificial intelligence, similar to how people now view the unregulated use of weapons like Kalashnikovs.
  • There needs to be some form of regulation to prevent the harmful effects of artificial intelligence and addictive content.

The Untold Danger of Your Phone (01:40:12)

  • The speaker discusses the negative impact of smartphones on individuals' lives due to their addictive nature.
  • To reduce smartphone usage, the speaker suggests using three phones: a "cocaine phone" for essential apps, a "kale phone" for messaging and tethered apps, and a third phone for meditation and morning routines.
  • The speaker recommends using apps like Opal for scheduling screen time and Cold Turkey for blocking websites and apps on Mac computers.
  • The host emphasizes the importance of independent thinking and avoiding the pursuit of constant outrage and news cycles.
  • The host aims to have diverse guests on his show, including those with heterodox views and indigenous perspectives, to foster a deeper understanding of different viewpoints.

Are We Paying the Costs for Future Generations? (01:47:41)

  • The author expresses concern about society's current state, including climate change, the manipulation of logic, and the difficulty in discerning truth from falsehood.
  • The author emphasizes the importance of addressing these significant issues rather than engaging in trivial culture war spats on social media.
  • The author warns of the dangers of echo chambers and the addictive nature of technology, which contribute to the challenges of the current moment.
  • Social media can distract people from fully experiencing and appreciating life, as the pursuit of capturing the perfect photo or creating shareable content can lead to missing out on the present moment.
  • It's important to maintain a balance between documenting life and being present in the moment.

Where to Find Josh (01:55:21)

  • Josh Szeps' Substack is the easiest place to find his content.
  • The Substack has both free and paid versions.
  • The podcast and other content can be found on any podcast app by searching for "uncomfortable conversations".
  • The content is also available on YouTube.
  • Josh Szeps discusses whether it is time for Gay Pride to end.
  • He argues that Gay Pride has become too commercialized and corporate.
  • He also believes that Gay Pride has lost its focus on activism and protest.
  • Szeps suggests that it may be time for a new movement that is more focused on the issues that matter to the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Josh Szeps thanks the audience for tuning in and encourages them to check out his other content.

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