Transcribe your podcast

At this altitude, I can run flat out for a half mile before my hands start shaking. Can I ask you a personal question? Now with the. I'm a cybernetic organism living tissue over metal and just going to Paris, so. This episode is brought to you by Boutcher box, but your box makes it easy for you to get high quality, humanely raised meat that you can trust, they deliver delicious 100 percent grass fed grass, finished beef free range, organic chicken, heritage breed pork and wild caught seafood directly to your door.


For me, in the past few weeks, I've cooked a ton of salmon as well as two delicious barbecue ribs in the oven. Super simple. There were the most delicious pork ribs I've ever prepared in my freezer is full of butcher box. When you become a member, you're joining a community focused on doing what's better for all. That means caring about the lives of animals, the livelihoods of farmers, treating our planet with respect and enjoying better meals together.


Put your box partners with folks, small farmers included, who believe in going above and beyond when it comes to caring for animals, the environment and sustainability. And none of their meat is ever given antibiotics or added hormones. So how does it work? It's pretty simple. You choose your box and your delivery frequency. They offer five boxes for curated box options as well as the popular custom box. So you get exactly what you end or your family love box options and delivery frequencies can be customized to fit your needs.


You can cancel at any time with no penalty. Put your box ships, your order frozen for freshness and packed in an ecofriendly 100 percent recyclable box. It's easy. It's fast, it's convenient. I really, really enjoy it. And best of all, looking at the average cost, it works out to be less than six dollars per meal. And for limited time, new members can get two pounds of free ground beef in every butcher box order.


By signing up today at butcher box dotcom Tim, that's up to one hundred and eighty dollars in savings per year. Check it out. All the details and goodies can be found at butcher box dotcom. Tim again, that's Boutcher box dot com Tim. This episode is brought to you by Thrive Market, Thrive Market saves me a ton of money and it's perfect for these crazy times. Thrive Market is a membership based site on a mission to make healthy living easy and affordable for everyone.


You can regularly save 25 to 50 percent off of normal retail prices with only prices for anything. You can imagine, really, whether it's Kitto, Paleo, gluten free, vegan, whatever you can sort by that, you can find all types of food. You can find supplements, you can find nontoxic home products, clean wine, dog food, just about anything. And let me give you a personal example of just how much you can save. So my last order, I ordered primal kitchen mayonnaise, which is made with avocado oil.


It's delicious. Justin's almond butter. And the first was 25 percent off the Justin's all in Butters, 30 percent off Rao's homemade marinara sauce, which is awesome, 26 percent of all said and done at the end of my shopping. I saved thirty nine dollars on my order. So members and I'm a member can earn wholesale prices every day and save an average of thirty dollars on each order.


I'll come back to that and through Thrive gives there one on one membership matching program. Every paid thrive market membership is matched with a free one for a low income family in need. So go to thrive market dotcom tim. Today to give Thrive Market a try, you can select the membership model that best fits your lifestyle. They have one month and twelve month membership options. Choose a free gift up to twenty two dollars in value when you join today and purchase the one year membership.


And just remember thrive market membership is risk free. You can take the first thirty days to decide if Thrive Market is right for you. If it's not just cancel within those thirty days and get a full refund. This is what I offered my mom. So again, that's thrive market dotcom Tim. By the way, my mom kept using it. Thrive market dotcom. Tim, check it out.


Hello, boys and girls, ladies and germs. This is Tim Ferriss, and welcome to another episode of the Tim Ferris show, where it is my job to deconstruct world class performers from all different walks of life. My guest today is none other than writer Chuck Palahniuk. Chuck has published 23 national and international best selling books. Give me a second to pick my broken self-esteem off the floor. These include 15 prose novels, a collection of short stories, two graphic novels, two coloring books, Travel Guide, a collection of essays, and a memoir about his life as a writer, which I highly, highly recommend.


He was raised in a desert town with a population of three hundred. At the time of his birth in 1962, he received a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Oregon. Politics is best known for his novels, Fight Club, and both of which were made into films. Publication of his short story Guts in the Sunday Guardian prompted a sharp drop in circulation. He frequently contributed fiction to Playboy, where stories romance, cannibal and zombie had to be personally produced by Hugh Hefner.


His new book, The Invention of Sound, comes out on September 8th. You can find him on the Web, Chuck Paul Đinđić, dot net on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Also all under the handle of Chuck Palahniuk. Chuck, welcome to the show. Hey, thank you very much, Tim.


And I want to start with a few questions about the bio specifically guts in the Sunday Guardian. Why did that prompt a sharp drop in circulation?


You know, I'd always been fascinated by the fact that when Shirley Jackson published the lottery in The New Yorker, The New Yorker lost something like five hundred subscribers, people who were so offended by that story. And I always thought, what would it take these days for a story to offend people that much that they would actually cancel subscriptions? And I ended up becoming acquaintances for Shirley Jackson's daughter, who sent me a big chunk of Shirley's cremains or their burned up remains.


And so having Shirley's ashes in my house, I just had to write a story that would be as offensive as the lottery was. And Playboy published it originally had turned it down. But then the editor, Chris Napolitano, came to an event and saw people faint while I was reading Guts. So he had to buy it.


And then in England, the Guardian had to buy it. They ran it in their Sunday literary supplement. And they later reported to me that a huge number of their subscribers had canceled after that was published.


What was it about guts? What was it in the narrative or the content that caused people to faint and cause them to unsubscribe?


The doctor in Cambridge witnessed a bunch of people faint, and he explained to me that watching the way that their heads fell to one side was a classic form of hyperventilation, that they laughed so much through the first part of the story that their their blood became was that it is alkali typically, and then it becomes acid once it's over oxygenated. But whatever it made the shift. And in religious cults where they make you sing or chant a lot, the purpose of that is to hyperventilate so that.


You're really susceptible to passing out. That's why you have people passing out in in very fundamentalist religious ceremonies. And so by having people laugh so much during the first part of the story, once the real the true nature of the story is revealed, then people are physiologically set up to faint and the doctor explains how their head falls to one side. And then in order to open their airway, their body has to fall to the floor. And so that's what was happening.


People were laughing. They were shocked. They fell to the floor.


What was the motivation or the the itch that needed to be scratched in this particular instance?


It was it just the challenge of seeing if you could accomplish such a feat of sort of almost stage magic with a reading or a morbid curiosity?


What was it? It really started with I had two anecdotes and they were so similar and I knew I couldn't do anything with two anecdotes. It was like writing a song with two verses that you really need a third verse, you need a bridge. And so I had an anecdote about a friend of mine in college who had been in the Marines and stationed in the Middle East. And he got very stoned in college and called me from the hospital and said that that he had tried this princess wond trick that he had learned in the Middle East or he'd witnessed these these long brass rods that people would that men would insert their urethra and masturbated.


So he had tried to do it with a long drip of wax from a candle. And he ended up in the hospital and he ended up hugely in debt and dropping out of college. And then I tied that to an anecdote that I had heard about a friend. Who? Wanted to try pegging as an adolescent and had bought a carrot, but then was too embarrassed by a carrot and Vaseline, so he bought all the ingredients for a carrot cake and Vaseline.


And I had these two great anecdotes that were funny and heartbreaking and visceral. And it wasn't until I was doing research for my book, Choke, that a sex aholic. In a Sexaholics support group. It was explaining to me that he has always been one hundred and thirty five pounds because he had to have a radical balladry sectioning and I asked him why and he explained this horrible swimming pool story. And I realized I had the third anecdote that I had the third verse for what would be kind of a song that would ultimately make people faint, but that some people have come to be in.


And they've told me that it is the saddest story they have ever read in their lives. And that's always the the goal is to make people laugh and then to really break their heart.


I've read from you a lesson, and this is a lesson from consider this your book, which I'm going to read. This is something that was in Publishers Weekly. And you can feel free to, of course, correct this. But I think it perhaps connects to to what you're saying, or at least I'll make that attempt. Here it is. It's quote, If you're going to work on something as long as a novel, it has to explore some unresolved aspect of you so that even if it never sells, never makes any money, never gets any attention, you still have a therapeutic benefit of fully exploring and exhausting that unresolved part of you.


You talked about making people laugh and then breaking their hearts when you write a shorter piece. Is there some desired impact or process that you want for yourself in writing that, or is it dissimilar from novels?


You know, a shorter piece is about exploring an idea. But a shorter piece is really a fantastic opportunity to mess with the language, to really do an experiment in restructuring information and the original short story that became Fight Club, it became Chapter six and Fight Club was was just because I wanted to do a story in which the transitions were rules. I wanted to use rules as a kind of chorus, a nonfiction transitional device that would allow me to cut together different aspects of the story.


Like I was cutting film. I could jump around temporarily, I could jump around whether I was in scene or in sort of observation as long as I used the came back to the rules. So a short story is really an experiment in how to completely reinvent structuring a story. And what the story is about is always kind of a secondary thing.


So speaking of rules, if I'm going to try to span a bridge to someone I want to ask you about, you speak to. How you learn to write and specifically the name that pops to mind for me is or maybe it's developed your style is better, a better way to put it, but you could put it in context. Tom Spanbauer, could you explain to people who Tom was? Tom was effectively my second writing teacher, my first writing teacher was a very nice workshop led by a writer named Andrea Carlisle, who eventually came to me and said that that my work was so upsetting to the other writers who are all very nice, middle aged people.


And I was I was this crazy. Twenty five year old and then all the other students no longer really felt safe around me. And so she was asking me to leave the workshop.


And a man named Tom Spanbauer had just moved to Portland from New York, where he studied at Columbia with a famous editor named Gordon Lish and Gordon Lish is famous for a lot of things, including being Raymond Carver's editor, being a famous op ed fiction editor at Esquire, running a magazine called The Quarterly, and really sort of developing a style called minimalism and a school of writers who were very popular at the time, who are known as the minimalists. And so Tom had moved to Portland and he was more or less teaching Gordon licious minimalism in a workshop.


And that's where I got my my real real education. Could you describe that education? What were some of the the the highlights or formative inputs in that education?


You know, there are so many rules. And as a writer, you go into writing without rules and you tend to just write in these default ways that you've always thought a story should be. But then Tom and Gordon come in and they say, you may not use Thoughtworks. You have to externalize everything the way an actor would so that the thought, the realization, the the epiphany occurs within the reader. You can't dictate a motion like that. And by that you mean, for instance, you can't you wouldn't use verbs like he wonder or think or realized or believed or.


Yeah. You can't even use love. It's about staying away from abstractions you can't use one inch, you can't use it was one hundred degree day. You can't say he was a six foot tall man. You have to stay away from all abstractions because a six foot tall man is somebody different to everyone who meets him. And so when your character says he was six feet tall, you're losing an incredible chance of describing giving to the reader how the character perceives a six foot tall man.


Does practicing that type of writing with that specific constraint change your everyday perception of reality at all in the sense that having taken a fair number of different compounds in my life, when you dissociate from labels or you lose labels, perception can change. And I don't want to force this narrative on you. But did that affect how you walked about in the world experiencing things when you disallowed yourself from using. Those types of abstractions, it made me really listening for how other people describe things, because typically when people are talking, they don't use abstractions.


When they're telling a story, they are using a much more intuitive way of describing things that is really linked to their experience. And that's what you're listening for, the way that the people describe things in what Gordon Lish would call a burnt tongue, this kind of inexact, awkward, inelegant way of saying something that says in a new, fresh way, but also implies the emotion behind the story. A story that's told really beautifully and smoothly and elegantly does not carry a lot of honesty or emotion, doesn't imply the kind of stress that's behind the story.


So you're looking for ways of kind of reinventing storytelling and reinventing reading so that readers have that fantastic excitement that you first had in first or second grade. Once you figured it out and you could follow these symbols, you want to not just tell a story, you want to completely reinvent the act of reading.


Every single time I'm looking at some notes in front of me, as I always do, and there's a term here, Capital D, Capital W, dangerous writing and it's part of part of a line or I should say a series of lines with methods for staying intact. Could you speak to first and foremost the definition of dangerous writing and go from there?


Well, here's an example. You know, my parents fought like animals, my parents fought like crazy. And so, so much of my childhood and my siblings childhood was about maintaining peace. We would play Henry Kissinger where we would hide in the basement. And once mom and dad, once the fighting had reached this huge crescendo, one of us would be chosen to hurt themselves so that a bleeding child or child with a broken bone suddenly had to be dealt with and my parents couldn't fight anymore.


So we played this game of being Henry Kissinger to try to calm the waters, to kind of redirect all of their anxiety. And so I really could not be with conflict, so I wrote the book Fight Club, which is all about this consensual structured. Controlled way of experiencing and exploring conflict and violence like you would dance, that could allow everybody who had problems with conflict to kind of put their toe in the water and kind of experience conflict and develop an ability to be with it, but be less reactive to it.


And so dangerous writing is effectively about taking an idea, something that is unresolved and threatening to you. And blowing it up and exploring it and making it worse than you ever imagined it could be, and in doing so, really exhausting your emotional reaction to it. And typically that makes the problem itself go away entirely.


Are there any other examples of that that you could give? This seems like an incredibly powerful therapeutic tool, possibly, right. So speaking personally, as someone who is hyper reactive to certain things, whether from your own experience or that of others you've described this to, could you illustrate any other examples of how this might apply to exhausting that that emotional reactivity? Well, let's talk about somebody else.


Let's talk about IRA Levin, who is always a hero of mine. He wrote Rosemary's Baby at a time when women were being given the little light and being told, take this, it will calm you down. And women were just controlled and kind of forced to do whatever the obstetrician said to do. And regardless of what they were worried about, their concerns were dismissed. Nobody could talk about abortion at the time. So IRA Levin. Right, Rosemary's Baby, which is about a woman who was manipulated and then completely controlled by the medical services around her, and she's coerced into having this monster of a baby after everyone has assured her that everything is going to be just fine.


And in doing so, I, Treleaven, really kind of broke open how women were able to be with the whole medical industrial complex and how they were able to discuss abortion. It was really one of the first, maybe the first mainstream movie in which abortion was openly discussed and also in an indirect way, how thalidomide was dealt with culturally, all of these kind of horrors that people just could not talk about openly because they were too controversial and too frightening.


R11 gave people a metaphor that allowed them to exhaust all their feelings around these things so that things themselves could be dealt with directly.


You mentioned a little bit earlier or you described fight club and the consensual violence that it involves. And I'd love to explore a line that I've read of yours which abbreviated would be resolution is death. And I'd love to read just a short bit from an interview that gets an interview. Yes, it is in The Guardian. And feel free to fact check, of course. But here goes. This is a portion of the quote. If I write something that people can really argue about, that thing is going to be in the culture forever.


For example, is fight club good or bad? It's consensual, but it's violence. I'm trying to create this dazzling spectacle that's not meant to perpetuate or generate anything, but to be a sorbet that allows you to taste the next thing, to be a little more present in the next thing. And the interviewer asked if you wanted to see resolution and you said no, especially in creative work resolution is death. And what I would love to ask is how do you think about crafting if you do a satisfying story arc while maintaining the surface tension of lack of resolution, if that's a way to put it.


How do you think about combining those two things or either piece do it the way your dog would do it?


You got a dog? I do. All right. So when your dog sees a squirrel. The dog falls into a trance. The squirrel is a moving thing and the dog will follow the verb, that motion carries its own authority. And so as long as you keep a character in action and the action is always towards a purpose and it's not over thought, it's not overanalysed, the story will occur as really good and engaging because action is always taking place.


And so as long as you stay in action and you come back and you complete an unresolved thing, then there's a sense of satisfaction. You don't have to resolve the entire world. You just have to resolve one aspect of the world. And that's enough to give people a sense of reward. You know, I could Segway here to short stories because I had door short stories. There just are not enough of them. And I would argue it's because so many publications paid by the word so they will pay less for a fantastic short story than they will for a really flabby 40 hundred page long, long story.


Do you think there's a way to. Thickset, is there a simple solution where where someone could somehow create incentives for that to be different?


What I'd like to see what would doing like? I'd like to see more spoken word stories if you had a program of stories, because what stories weren't always written down, stories were originally somebody that somebody something that was told by somebody to an audience. And those are the stories that you really craved, the stories you heard around the campfire when you were a kid that really scared the pants off of you or they were the stories you heard in the barbershop that made you really laugh.


And so if you adhere to that kind of oral storytelling model, you could never go long, long. And so, in a way, I would like to see more stories told out loud because it automatically limits how long they can be.


There's a inbuilt central governor, which is the vocal chords and memory.


And so especially if it's truthful, especially if it's true story, although it wouldn't have to be. Can you think of any other parameters if you were setting up this experiment or any other restrictions or prerequisites that would go into people who would be getting up to tell these stories, the other kind of fail safe device that's built in?


Is it as a teller of stories, you know, when you're dying, you know, when that story is just not landing, you can tell from the what that the room is engaged. You can tell from the silence in the room. You could tell from the emotional reactions from people. Right now, I'm still trying to conduct my writers workshop and we're doing it on Zoome. And it is death because as you read your work on Zoome, you're not getting the ongoing the laughter, the groans, the inhales, the fantastic silence of terror.


You're not getting any emotional feedback. So it feels like you are failing for 30 or 40 minutes. And if you're in front of an audience, you would know at what point you had gone way too long and that you were your story had was failed. Would there be an upper limit?


Would you say ten minute max, 15, 20, 30, or what would it be up to each presenter, each storyteller better put, you know, and you always say art is whatever you can get away with.


I have heard a 40 minute hour long stories that felt like ten minutes. Same goes for movies, anything. The idea is to keep people engaged on such an intense level that they lose track of time. They are so completely involved in the story. And so it doesn't really matter as long as people's butts don't hurt and as long as they stay really deeply immersed in the story. Well, let's talk about engaging the room.


And I do agree that the Xoom is death, right? You can't hear people shuffling papers out of boredom or distraction.


It's the cues aren't there. The feedback isn't there.


What are some of your methods for engaging the audience? And when is it important to you to engage the audience?


You know, I would argue with that right from the get go from the first sentence, you've got to engage the audience. And that goes back to a journalism that your lead has to be really strong. Your lead has to raise a question as to tease something. So and if not your lead, then at least your first paragraph has to really hook the audience. It has to make them want to read the next sentence or the next paragraph. And beyond that really is about staying very visceral or on the body, as Tom would teach it, that you involve a constant sort of awareness of physicality so that you're enrolling the reader on a physical level, not just an emotional or intellectual level, but you have the reader's entire body is in the story.


And that's why so many of my stories really involve either sex or violence or illness or drugs, but something that that heightens the physical awareness of the characters. What other approaches, whether craft or trickery or perhaps often the same thing, have you used or seen as being effective for engaging the audience?


There's just so many little tricks. One is just to constantly be changing the texture to find some way that you can shift from first person to third person, the second person, the way that people tell a joke conversationally and to deliver the story in broken down articulated bits that will assemble themselves in the reader's mind without a lot of connective tissue, without a lot of transitional phrasing. This is why I love the work of Amy Hempel. So much is in stories like in the cemetery where Al Jolson is buried.


She basically presents a list of fantastic details without any kind of transitional narrative linking them together. And the list of details piles up in your mind like an attorney presenting bits of evidence in court. And at the end she doesn't dictate an emotional state, but she forces the reader to have the emotional reaction that her narrator is not having. And by the end of that story, you find yourself weeping so hard and you don't know why you're weeping so hard, because you haven't been told this is the sad part.


This is where you should cry. But she is so burdened you with what seemed like innocuous moments that you have no other reaction except for to to have the emotional reaction that her character's not having. I could go on and on. There's so many little tricks.


Oh, please, go on and on. That's why this isn't a five minute morning TV show. We have the runway.


Another kind of core thing in minimalism is that you keep saying the same thing over and over. I finally got minimalism. One day I left Spanbauer Workshop. I went home. I turned on television. There was a commercial for Skipper's Seafood. And the commercial was just a montage of images, it was the signage, it was the the the paper cups, it was the napkins, it was people at a table smiling and happy with with Skipper's badging all around them.


It was people in uniforms with Skipper's badging and every single one of these images, even though they were all different images, they all basically said the same thing. And at no point did they insert, say, a horse running in the surf. There were no unrelated aspects. It was all saying skipper's seafood over and over. And so in minimalism, you look for as many different ways as possible to say the same thing over and over and over.


So I'm going off notes here, but I'm going to throw it a few prompts. What about making intentional mistakes?


I love making intentional mistakes. Oh, my gosh. You know, what is the first thing that Scarlett O'Hara says in Gone with the Wind?


I'm going to fail my my lit class here. I will have to defer to you. She says, war, war, war. All this talk of war is spoiling all the barbecues. There is not going to be a war. And as soon as she says there is not going to be a war, we are on board. We are thinking, you poor, privileged little thing, there is going to be a war and it is going to completely kick your ass and it is going to destroy your little world.


But because she said the wrong thing, she makes the audience smarter and she makes the audience sympathetic with her. And Rosemary Woodhouse in Rosemary's Baby, we know that she's been knocked up by the devil, but she doesn't know. And the fact that she doesn't know makes us really root for her. So when you have a character who's making an ongoing mistake, you keep the audience really engaged because the audience feels superior, doesn't resent the character and wants to see the character come to enlightenment.


But there is a kind of condescending sympathy and nurturing that the audience feels for a character who is making a constant mistake. Also, I love doing this. I love going to a literary party and saying, you know, Robert Benchley, what a fantastic career that man had. He founded The New Yorker. And then so much later in life, he wrote the book Jaws. And wow, what a fantastic span of a career. And there'll be a long silence and all these smart people look at me.


And then finally, someone will say no. Peter Benchley wrote Jaws, and that was Robert Benchley, son, and they'll all feel so superior, smart, and they get such a rush when you allow people to be smart like that, it's like they've won a game show and they might feel a little less respectful of you. But what's important is that you've made them feel really good, they've got those chemicals going at that point and you can really start to jerk them around.


So I naturally have to ask what particular flavors of jerking such people around do you enjoy?


I really love to tell people that Sylvia Plath was a racist. She really was. She was totally a racist because she wrote the bell curve. Now she wrote the bell jar and everybody at the party will look at you puzzled for a moment and then go, No, you're such an idiot. She wrote the bell jar. And I'm like, what? And so is just terrific to troll people like that invalidates their education the way that game shows when you're sitting and you're yelling at Jeopardy and you get it right and they get it wrong, you feel so pompous.


And it's always about making the audience, giving the audience a win, giving the audience an ongoing series of wins. And that's a big thing in minimalism, is that you never want to tell them what is what until they figure it out first. And going back to the short story guts, the character is so sure that this is some kind of a snake has come out of the bottom of the pool and the snake has a hold of him. The audience realizes what the snake is before the narrator does, and that forces the audience to have this enormous cognitive reframing and to face the horror all alone without being told what the horror is.


In a way, we kind of figure out what's in the box at the end of seven before Brad Pitt, and that makes us smarter and more horrified.


And we're forced to carry the horror before Brad Pitt is allowed the horror.


Just a quick thanks to one of our sponsors, and we'll be right back to the show. This episode is brought to you by ship station. The holiday season is fast approaching and we know the people will be buying more stuff online than ever before. All of these trends to e-commerce have been accelerated due to covid and much more. If you're an e-commerce seller, are you ready to meet the demands of record breaking online shopping season? Be ready with ship station.


Ship station. Dotcom is the fastest, easiest and most affordable way to manage and ship your orders. In just a few clicks, you're managing orders, printing out discounted shipping labels and getting your products out fast. Happy holidays for you and your customers. Ship station takes the hassle out of holiday shipping no matter where you're selling on Amazon, Etsy, your website via Shopify or other platforms. Ship Station brings all of your orders into one simple interface and ship station works with all of the major carriers USPS, FedEx, UPS, even international.


You can compare and choose the best shipping solution every time, and you can access the same postage discounts that are usually reserved for large Fortune 500 companies. It's no wonder that ship station is the number one choice of online sellers. And right now my listeners, that's you guys can try ship station free for 60 days when you use offer code. Tim, just go to the homepage ship station dot com, click on the microphone at the top of the homepage and type in Tim.


Tim, that's it. Go to ship station dotcom then enter offer code tim ship station dot com make ship happen.


I'm going to make a hard left turn since it is my nature to enjoy non sequiturs. I'd like to discuss lewisite I believe you have something to say or things to say about Louis Hyde. And I'm also curious to know, is this the same Louis Hyde who has written quite a few books, including one of my favorites, which is Trickster Makes This World, which is a book really about the disruptive side of human imagination as embodied in trickster mythology. Is this one in the same lewisite?


Yeah, I love that book. I think that was his first book.


It's spectacular and it's fucking long just so people know what they're signing up for. If they get it on Kindle or something. But it's fantastic.


What would you like to say about Lewis Hyde?


You know, there's so much of Louis side that has been so useful for me because he approaches things from across culturally. So you don't just hear about North American trickster culture with Coyote or Raven. You hear about Loki, North American trickster culture. You hear about Mediteranean trickster culture. You hear all these how all these cultures have this kind of chaos character, which is what I was writing when I was writing Tyler Durden. And so seeing how your character falls into this ancient tradition of these archetypes is so important because it allows you to really, you know, write accurately and effectively exactly the character that you're writing and get the effect that you're going for.


You realize you're not kind of inventing something entirely new. You're reinventing something really ancient. And there's a wonderful joy in that. I wrote a short story called Phoenix, which was about a woman on a business trip, and she kept on calling home and her small daughter would not speak to her. And she kept trying to get her husband to coerce her daughter into saying hi because she had started to fantasize that perhaps her daughter might be ill or in the hospital or might have even been killed, and that the husband, the father does not want to admit that to her over the phone.


So she it all escalates until she tells her husband, OK, you get a pen from my sewing basket and you stick it in our daughter, you stick it in Rachel and you make Rachel scream. If I don't hear Rachel scream, I'm calling the police and they're going to be at the house. And I'm going to tell them that you sexually abused Rachel and you're going to prison. So either you stick a pin and Rachel or I'll tell people that you stuck something else.


And Rachel and the story works so well, it escalates to this completely horrific no win situation. And when I was done with it, I realized I was rewriting Isaac and Abraham. It's God saying prove how much you love me by stabbing a knife in your kid. And with Louis Hyde, he helps you identify the archetype that you're writing to so that you can really fulfill that expectation. Because if you get that expectation a tiny bit wrong, then on some level the reader is not going to be really satisfied with it.


Stephen King has written about how when you're writing in a way, you're excavating some ancient, enormous buried thing and you're trying to excavate it as tactfully as possible without breaking off any piece of it and without leaving any of it, sort of obscured with dirt. And the more you understand about this ancient thing, the better you are reproducing it in its fullness. And so Louis Hyde helps with that boy. The other aspect of Louis Hyde that I'm really fascinated with is, is in his book The Gift, he writes a great deal about how, according to a Greek and Roman tradition, each of us is born with effectively a guardian angel.


But it's more along the lines of a guide that represents our fullest potential. And this guide wants to see us reach our fullest potential, our greatest form of power. And the ancient Greeks and the Romans, they would make a sacrifice on their birthday to this, whether they called it their genius or their daymon or their geny. Lewis's example as the elves and the shoemaker, that when the shoemaker is really at a low ebb, the elves. Arrive and begin to make these fantastic shoes for him, and when the shoemaker finally gives a gift to them, then they are freed from their bondage and they leave his life, but they leave his life transformed.


And according to this ancient Greek and Roman idea is that if you fulfill your potential, if you sacrifice and you develop your skills that are kind of your destiny according to this potential you're born with, then you free that guardian spirit so that that guardian spirit can move on to another level. In effect, you are freeing the genie from the bottle. And if you do it wrong, the genie has to go back into the bottle. And according to the Greeks and the Romans, if you did it wrong, then the genie, the Daimon, the genius becomes a malevolent household spirit that will destroy you and destroy your home.


And how many of us kind of know a creative person who just didn't follow through with it and ended up drinking and doing drugs and kind of destroying their lives because they didn't have the whatever to really pursue the passion that should have been their destiny? But Lewisite writes about that very effectively. Have you in your own life ever experienced the consequences of not fulfilling your destiny to your Damon, so to speak? I mean, have you suffered the consequences of neglecting that directional impulse?


Only every time I'm between a book and I am I am emotional and reactionary and getting drunk and taking Ambien and calling my few friends in the middle of the night and saying, what do you mean by that? And I'm picking fights and I am just totally trashing my life. Somebody will say, You're not writing right now, are you? And that's exactly it. Because when I'm writing all of that negative, all that anxiety goes into the work and my life is so peaceful and so productive.


But when I'm not writing and also when I'm writing, there's this sense. I've talked to other writers who who write and musicians and they say that when you're really deep in a project, there is a sense that you are so protected and so embraced by something that nothing bad can happen to you. You really feel like you're just completely protected when you're in the creative act. And when you're not, you're just completely anxious.


You seem to be a real student of mythology. And I'd like to ask you to please two things about that.


The first is, do you find some solace in mythology? Is it reassuring in some way? And second, could you speak to Joseph Campbell's theory of the second father, Invidia?


A million years ago? I did not have television all through college and then all through the 90s and someone taped the Joseph Campbell PBS lecture series Bill The Power of Myth with Bill Moyers.


Yes, exactly. Spectacular. Yeah. And up to that point, I had looked at a black street gangs and thought, these guys are idiots. You know, this is so destructive, so negative and so without purpose. And then Joseph Campbell mentioned the secondary father and he said, what's going on in black street gangs is that they're getting the secondary father in terms of being given tasks, being given challenges, being given roles, and being given this opportunity to kind of distinguish themselves and to grow their skills in what are more or less illegal ways.


But there's still ways of developing the individual so that the individual will eventually rise out of that gang and live a productive life in some other way. But the problem is that more and more people who used to be the secondary fathers of our culture and these are, say, military drill sergeants or religious leaders or teachers or coaches are becoming stigmatized and they're no longer kind of revered figures in the culture. You know, blame it on a lot of things, sexual abuse on whatever.


But all these secondary fathers are disappearing and they're important for both men and women. So without them, what happens? Street gangs happen.


And so I don't think we can complain about street gangs unless the secondary father is available in some other form, does anything outside of being immersed in a writing project make you feel protected or at ease if you share the same sentiment as your other writing friends that brought this to the surface in conversation?


No, you know, I could lie. I would lie. I would lie. And I would say Vicodin, you know. Yeah. You know, find me some Vicodin and all and I'll be a happy camper. But no, that's that's an artificial sense of safety and security. No, the only time is when I feel like I'm fulfilling some kind of destiny and I feel like I've kind of lost myself and I've become a conduit for something deeper and more important to myself.


And so often it puts me into conversation with other people because I tell them what I'm working on. And I am so constantly looking for different ways of reinventing skipper seafood over and over in a book. And so I need to take the topic to every single person and I need to see if it resonates with them. That's what we do at parties, is that you could all party. And the story you tell, if it shuts the room down and everyone's quiet, that's not necessarily a great story.


But if the room erupts with everyone having a different version of that same story, that all starts with, oh, my gosh, the same thing happened to me, only bigger then. That's a good story. And so if you take your topic to other people and it resonates with each of them enough that they can sort of tell their experience of it and they can also tell you whether or not it's already been exploited in commercial culture. They can say, oh, I saw that in a movie.


So you're testing whether people engage with it. You are expanding it, using other people's experience, and you're also making sure that it wasn't already explored to some other sort of commercial narrative.


How old were you, if you recall, when you began writing and finished Fight Club?


Just a little aside, Doug Copeland, the guy who wrote Generation X, is a friend of mine. And reading Generation X was kind of an epiphany for me. It was such a unique, fantastic book and it was a book I read before I really started to write. But Doug Copeland and told me that he had just read a bunch of brain studies that showed that the last sort of physiological physical changes in the human brain occur around the age of thirty one so that it's at the age of thirty one.


The people for the very first time can combine their experience with their education and create something that is greater than just the sum of the two. So it tends to be between the age of thirty one and typically thirty three. The people who have studied in a field create their breakthrough or create their masterpiece. The proof that their of their their competence and so really was at the age of thirty three that I wrote Fight Club, but I very much I started writing it more or less when I was thirty one and finished it at thirty three.


Another interesting aspect of that brain study is that this study showed that for the rest of people's lives, no matter how old they get, if you ask them. How old do you feel?


Almost everyone will say, you know, I feel like I always feel like I'm thirty one, that that really is a formative period between 2001 one and three when they were reborn in their full feature set.


Thirty one. That's wild. How can or how does. Narratives generate social change. You know, I've always hated narrative that tries to dictate social change, and I've always felt that the most effective way that it could generate social change is creating and presenting an alternative that is so attractive that it makes people just readily abandon what they were doing before. And my favorite examples are here in the Pacific Northwest. We had this huge problem with beavers. Beavers are choking all the waterways with two down trees that beavers have become a fantastically dense pest.


But one hundred years ago, beavers were almost extinct because the Hudson Bay Company had come in and set up all these trapping forts and these ways of buying beaver pelts because beaver was the fur for hats, everyone wanted a beaver hat. So Bieber was being driven to extinction for beaver skin hats. And it wasn't people protesting, it wasn't people, you know, chaining themselves to trees. It wasn't anything like that. The Save the Beavers, it was the British creating the silk top hat.


And silk hat suddenly became the fashion. And something is that seems as silly as fashion saved beavers, because suddenly nobody wanted old fashioned beaver hats, they wanted silk top hats, and suddenly Beaver had no value whatsoever as a commodity. And so suddenly beavers were left unmolested for one hundred years and now beavers are everywhere. I love that story because people think that the arts don't really create social change. But when they change the narrative, when they just change what people perceive as valuable or high status, then they naturally get people to change without having to browbeat people or legislate change.


Another set of odd example, my Italian editor, Eduardo, told me years ago how the Italian fur industry back in the 90s was doing really well. Fur was very popular with wealthy and celebrity Italians. But they decided they really wanted to grow the fur market, so the fur industry decided that they would finance furs so that middle class and even lower class people could buy fur, minks, chinchilla's coats, whatever, they could buy them on installments, like it would buy a house or a car.


And tons of lower class people bought tons of fur. And for a brief moment, the fur market exploded in Italy. But then the rich people saw all the poor people wearing fur and the rich people thought, no, for as is no longer a status indicator. So they dropped fur and the celebrities dropped fur. And suddenly the poor people saw that the rich people didn't wear fur anymore and the poor people dropped fur. And the Italian fur industry has never really recovered from that.


And it's not because somebody said fur is evil and threw a bloody raccoon at The Devil Wears Prada, Anna Wintour, it wasn't because of any kind of political thing. It was because the narrative changed and it changed in that kind of inadvertent, accidental way, and I think that's what really good writing or really good storytelling does.


And it makes me think I've never heard that example before, that story. It makes me think about what some people maybe in New York would describe as flying rats, pigeons, pigeons started off, in a sense and as display birds of the aristocracy. And they got out turns out they multiply very well. And now they're thought of as trash birds.


They're actually very beautiful, beautiful, beautiful birds. But all it takes is releasing whether it's birds or ideas, sometimes into the wild, to change the narrative. Are there any other examples that come to mind?


You know, there's some speculative examples and they're not actual examples. But when you change the listening, how it really kind of skews how people perceive things nowadays. Whenever I see like a middle aged guy walking down the street with a really pretty little girl, I think I wonder how they met. I go to that Jeffrey Epstein place instead of seeing a father and a daughter.


And Jeffrey Epstein thing has just totally tainted how I see an older man and a younger woman together. And so that's one example of of how when the listening changes. It sort of taints everything like pigeons. Another example is The Wizard of Oz. Somebody pointed out that Dorothy gets back home by clicking your heels together. And that's a movie that was released in nineteen thirty nine when clicking your heels together was a really Nazi thing. So is the Wizard of Oz actually kind of a white supremacist movie?


This all this heel clicking, all this? I don't know.


Suddenly the optics are really bad on The Wizard of Oz, so it just takes these really small things to to shift the perspective.


Have you ever thought about I don't mean to imply doing it very on the nose in a direct way. If I'm remembering correctly that you dislike when art or narrative in the form of art tries to directly catalyze social change, feel free to correct me. But have you ever used narrative to obliquely, indirectly, surreptitiously generate social change or in hopes of doing so? You know, if I've done it, it was just to kind of raising awareness, you know, in my book Beautiful You, which is is about sex toys that are so effective that they basically take over the world.


The book was started because I was a little appalled seeing the Trojan twister advertised so openly during prime time television. And I thought it was just fascinating that what used to be very personal interpersonal interactions were being so commodified, we don't know how to say we love each other. So there is aisles and aisles of cards that will say it for us. And there's all these recording artists that will express our love for us and, you know, people are kind of losing all of these really intimate ways of connecting, expressing because they can buy something that they feel is better than they could do themselves.


And beautiful you is very much about talking about this commodification of of the personal and ultimately that takes away our ability to express anything and we lose all control. So sometimes I am a little dogmatic.


This is going to be an ill formed question, but I'll make an attempt anyway. And this is, of course, a leading question that is full of assumptions. But what is it that draws you to cults and are we in the moment of cult?


I wouldn't even say cult as much as I would say social models. I'm always fascinated by different social models, the kind of games that people invent for how to conduct their lives, that somebody has created all these rules and everyone has agreed to it to play by these rules. I find that fascinating because it is an acceptance that that it is a consensual sort of behavior, mutually agreed upon set of behaviors that are going to define our culture and make it work.


One aspect is I love the work of Victor Turner, who is a British sort of cultural anthropologist, because he identified, like Louis Hyde, all these liminal and lived noid rituals that people do. And one little rituals are when people get together in a mutually sort of agreed upon situation, like whether it's Burning Man in the desert or it's Occupy Wall Street, but they get together with a sense of community where the social hierarchy is flattened, everyone is equal, and they kind of experiment to see if they could come up with a different way of being together, experiment with fashion.


They experiment with food, with just how to conduct themselves with each other and how to manage themselves. And they also experiment with their identities. And so people go to Burning Man and they're not who they are in the rest of the world. They're a unique Burning Man person for that one week. And so ideally, if those experiments are successful, they get adopted into the culture and they become the new institutions. Years ago, before I started writing, I got wrapped up in the Cacophony Society, which was about nothing but creating these kind of experiential social experiments like Burning Man, like Santa Rampage, and most of which did not work.


They just fell down. There were horrible failures, but some of which had become huge, celebrated things like the Naked Bike Ride and Santa Rampaging and Burning Man.


You used the words just a moment ago that I did not recognize, which is lymphoid. Could you define that, please?


Now, let's start with the word liminal, which sort of comes from Threshold or Lenthall. It's a line that you pass over from one state of being to the next, as in subliminal, just etymologically.


I mean, it would be a little awareness, awareness of the threshold awareness and liminal events happen throughout our lives.


The honeymoon is held up as an archetypal liminal event that it is what divides you from being a single person to being a married person. So you are wedded in front of your community. So your whole community is seen you wedded, but then you have to leave the community for typically three days that the classic honeymoon is a liminal event where you leave the culture for three days and when you come back, you are fully recognized as being husband and wife and you go to someplace that is outside of the culture of resort, someplace that is not part of your everyday life.


There are lymphoid events, funerals or lymphoid events, weddings. Halloween is a great little noid event. Another distinction of lymphoid events is that they tend to have a power hierarchy reversal in them that at Halloween all the people who have no power dress up as outlaws. They dress up as cowboys or they dress up as the dead, or they cross dress or they dresses animals, the dresses, something outside of the normal. And then they go to people who do have power and property and they demand tribute from them.


So the hierarchy is reversed for one night. Halloween used to be just a major shit show. People used to tear down fences. They used to slash tires. They used to really destroy a lot of property until the 1920s when the newspapers got together with the insurance companies and the candy companies and decided to promote Halloween to change the listening like pigeons to change it so that if you went door to door and asked for candy, people would give you candy.


And that was basically just a way of saving a huge amount of insurance claims. It started in Canada, in Toronto. But it really that's what we see as Halloween. Now, Christmas was kind of the same way that Christmas carolers would go around and caroling was a really menacing thing. Caroling meant either you come out and you give us booze or food or gold or we will break your windows.


They're paid to go away.


And so was Fasching or Mardi Gras, that it was traditionally the one time when poor people could go into the church and eat their greasy food and do all these kind of outrageous things. And the clergy did kind of profane things. And it was during Fasching, it was during the period before Lent that Martin Luther nailed up his his protests. So that's why Protestant religions have never had power hierarchy reversal rituals, because that's how they kind of came into power.


And they don't want to provide that opportunity for something to go wrong again and and extending that to lymphoid. Liminal events are things that happen at regular junctures in the culture, Christmas, funerals, weddings, Halloween before Lent Easter. But lymphoid events are events that have the characteristics of liminal events, they tend to have communities that are outside of the regular world, they have a social leveling of the of the power hierarchy, but they can occur at any time.


They tend to be things that you you purchase a way into, like a concert, like Burning Man.


I'd love to do a flash back and a flash forward or flash to present perhaps in the process of doing homework for this conversation. I came across a phrase I had never come across before, and that is kiss off money. Oh, as it relates to Fight Club, could you please explain what this means and how it relates to Fight Club?


You know, I, I have such misgivings about ever having mentioned this really hurt my editor's feelings. Years ago when Fight Club was being shopped around as a manuscript, there was this really brave guy, Jerry Howard, at Norton, and Jerry wanted to acquire the book for Norton so bad. And finally, he got Norton to offer six thousand dollars on a. Which he brought to me and I was thrilled, I had no idea that six thousand dollars was a really small advance, and then years later I mentioned it to another Norten author and she said, oh, you accepted the fucking money.


And I said, What's that? And she said, if the house. Does not want to acquire a book, but they don't want to alienate the editor who wants to acquire the book, they offer in advance so low that the author is supposed to say, fuck you and walk away. And I had no idea I was young. I'd never done this before. I was working at Freightliner, so I just took the money. But then I made the mistake of repeating what this other author had told me and became part of the public record and, you know, ultimately hurt the feelings of the editor who had acquired the money for me.


But, you know, that's kind of what it's known as, is politely it's known as kiss off money.


I got the Disney version. The people, at least people of my generation, certainly think of Fight Club as this cultural mainstay. I mean, this real landmark piece of narrative in Mark highlights. How many copies did it sell in the first year in hardcover? Would you estimate?


Boy, it was dismal. They sent me on a four city tour and I never had more than one or two people at any cities. I ended up in Livermore, Livermore, California, with no one. And I doubt if it sold two thousand copies in its first year hardcover. And even in 1999, when the movie was coming out, most of the hardcovers were still in the warehouse and there were about to be pulped, turned back into the recycled paper when someone mentioned that a movie was coming out.


So they kept the hard covers and subsequently sold them all. But it sold tiny numbers, just really nothing numbers. It sold a little better as a paperback. But no, it was a big bomb at the beginning.


This is going to be a lazy question, but I'll ask it anyway, because I'm so curious. Having never had anything made into a movie, how would you summarize what your experience was like going from pre movie to, say, a few years after the movie came out? How do you summarize or describe that experience? I really can't even imagine emotionally what it looked like or felt like.


I can only talk about it. I always try to be as specific as possible and address maybe just one aspect of something rather than try to sort of generalize about the entire thing. And one interesting aspect that I've grown to appreciate is that when you do a thousand press junkets for a movie and you're asked the same questions over and over, it's kind of like the whole Buddhist concept of look again, look again, look again. And it's as if you're being psychoanalyzed by a million strangers who have no emotional attachment to your action, to your answer.


So but you are still looking a little deeper and trying to reinvent the thing every time you look at it. And so often it takes that kind of really thorough coaching before you realize what you actually wrote about. And suddenly you can realize in the middle of a some roomful of reporters the thing, the dark secret, horrible thing that you were actually writing about, and you can be mortified if you put this thing on the page and then you spend the whole rest of that meeting with a smile just pinned on your face, praying that no one will ever realize what you were actually writing about.


And it's painful, but I would rather it happens eventually than never happen because it's just extraordinary to see how your subconscious was working that whole time. And in a way, as you're writing, you were trying to trick yourself to go to a place you would never consciously go to. And at the same time, you're trying to trick the reader to go to a place that they would never consciously go to and to have a reaction to something that they do not want to fully recognize.


And that's kind of the glory of minimalism.


I don't expect an answer here. So feel free not to answer if you prefer. But what did you discover? What were you actually writing about?


Oh, hell no. I'm not going to go there now. No one because is always so fantastically dark and personal and suppressed. And number two, I'm afraid if I ever get that specific with my intention, it will preclude the readers sort of. Interpretation, and it won't have any power for the reader because suddenly they'll be this correct interpretation. And if the reader doesn't conform to that, then the reader is wrong. And again, it's never about making the reader wrong.


It's about making the reader right and giving them a rush of being right over and over.


Couldn't have asked for a better answer. Thank you for that. Do you ever worry after writing something or at any point that you will write something and at some point be sitting in a meeting and you have this flash of insight about what you were actually writing about that is so dark that it plunges you headlong into some type of abyss that is difficult to climb out of?


No, it is never really as if it's plunged into an abyss because any kind of revelation like that is such a relief. It's gaining access, being able to retrieve something that had been so completely lost to me that I feel a fantastic joy when even those darkest things come to the surface. Yeah, because at least I know what I'm dealing with and I'm no longer used by it. I'm using it. And my advice to writers, dangerous writing is that so many of us are used by aspects of our history, are our past, our experience.


Without fully understanding them and once we can. Unpack them in the seemingly innocuous world of fiction. Then we can more fully look at them and be aware of them and not be used by them. I have no idea how helpful that is to where I am right now. But this conversation isn't about me, so I'll put a pin in that. I would love to ask you about the selection of subjects, how you decide, for instance, in the case of your new book, The Invention of Sound, you could write about anything and everything to the extent that you're comfortable describing it.


What is this new book about and how did you choose to write this book?


I am always fascinated by the commodification of human things. We are so constantly finding ways of buying and selling things that have never been a commodity before. And I started with the idea of someone who collected human screams and in doing so, basically kill people in order to record their ultimate scream. And when I was doing a rough draft of the story, I mentioned it to a friend and he said, Have you heard of the Wilhelm Scream? And the Wilhelm Scream is a famous scream from the 1940s has been used in dozens of movies, hundreds of video games, cartoons, television, everything.


The Wilhelm Scream is everywhere. And at the same time, I was writing a. A cover artist for Fight Club three drew a tattoo artist who was wearing a concert t shirt for a band called The Wilhelm Scream. And suddenly, all these strange coincidences, the Wilhelm scream was coming to me from so many different directions, unrelated directions, that I thought this is. This is all confirmation. This is what I should be working on. And so I would mention this to other people, and they told me about the goofy holler, they told me about the we scream, they told me about tape bleed.


I meet with so many recording engineers doing radio shows or doing podcasts or doing audio books, and they all have some fantastic story. And so you gave me a way to kind of fish for information from people who really know it. And then it gave me a structure for assembling it all together. And on an emotional level, it's about a guy who is searching for his daughter who might have been killed for one of these screams. And this is the character I kind of go back to the father who has killed or lost his child.


I find that people engage with it really intensely. And I think I engage with it, I just realized this is a fairly safe revelation. But I don't have kids and I won't have kids, and I think I've reached a point in my life where I'm beginning to really panic and mourn the loss of not having kids. And I can express that through writing a character whose big purpose is to find what became of his dead child or if his child was killed.


So without realizing I was, you know, expressing that aspect of myself. But I find that that character resonates with a lot of my peers who have chosen not to have kids, that that character's really hits home for them. Well, Chuck, I got to say, man, you are incredibly fun to interview.


And it sounds kind of downer ish, doesn't it?


It's not said I'm not saying that as a tail on what you just said. I legitimately mean that this has been a lot of fun for me. And I don't always say that for what it's worth. And I've taken copious notes as we've been talking for myself. And I hope this is not our last conversation, although I have no expectations of future conversations.


Is there anything else that you would like to share or discuss? I feel like this has been such a densely packed, rich masterclass from you on a multiple number of levels that I'm feeling very complete and hopefully it'll be time for a second conversation sometime. But is there anything else that you would like to say or add comment upon, complain about?


It's funny because the more you have access to the entire sweep of your life and in a way, every one of my books is a diary of what I was going through at that point in my life and also kind of a diary of things that my friends were going through. So it's almost like a cross peer group diary of a group of people. During that time. Each book is sourced from so many different people. And recently I was watching the news like everybody else knows, watching the looting and just kind of appalled, you know, people stealing stuff from Saks Fifth Avenue, people stealing stuff from downtown Portland.


I mean, downtown Portland is just a giant looting festival. And I remarked the same to some friends. And one of my friends who had read my book, Invisible Monsters, said you're one to talk. You grew up looting things. And I realized I did. My dad worked for the railroad. And in the middle of the night, when he would get word that a train had derailed anywhere in the West, he would come home, you know, one, two, three o'clock in the morning and he would have us kids all getting the pickup.


And we would drive for hours across deserts and mountains to wherever this train was smashed up. And our job was to steal as much as we could from the train as possible. And so we would steal typing paper by the rims or we would steal cases and cases of butterscotch pudding. And my mother did not approve of this, but she had read Daphne de Moraes book Jamaica, in which was a huge book in the mid century, and it depicted the what were called the records on the West Coast of Ireland, people who would walk up and down beaches with lanterns and give ships the impression that there was a harbor there so that ships would crash on the rocks and then the wreckers would loot the ships and kill any survivors.


And so, Daphne DiMaria, very romanticized looting. OK, white people do it to looting. And so it was delightful that my friends would read Invisible Monsters, remembered that I had looted trains as a small child. And really my whole peer group, my whole small town would be there. Everyone would be looting that train before, you know, somebody would show up to stop us. And so by writing the books, you're able to kind of make your deepest, darkest history into part of public record so that when you do say something stupid, the whole world can call you on it.


And that's that's a nice kind of coaching.


I love it. Fantastic. Chuck, Chuck Palahniuk, you can find Chuck Politicked net at Chuck Palahniuk on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. I will put all of this as well as notes and links to everything that we discussed in the show. Notes Up Blog, Forward Slash Podcast.


Chuck, what a pleasure. Hey, Tim, thank you very much. I really, really appreciate the time.


And to everybody listening till next time. Thanks for tuning in. And don't forget Sylvia Plath, author of The Bell Curve Belgard.


Hey, guys, this is Tim again. Just a few more things before you take off. Number one, this is five Bullett Friday. Do you want to get a short email from me? And would you enjoy getting a short email from me every Friday that provides a little morsel of fun before the weekend and five? Black Friday is a very short email where I share the coolest things I've found or that I've been pondering over the week that could include favorite new albums that I've discovered.


It could include gizmos and gadgets and all sorts of weird shit that I've somehow dug up into the world of the esoteric as I do. It could include favorite articles that I have read and that I've shared with my close friends, for instance. And it's very short. It's just a little tiny bite of goodness before you head off for the weekend. So if you want to receive that, check it out. Just go to four hour work week dotcom.


That's four hour work week dot com all spelled out. And just drop in your email and you will get the very next one. And if you sign up, I hope you enjoy it. This episode is brought to you by Thrive Market. Thrive Market saves me a ton of money and it's perfect for these crazy times. Thrive Market is a membership based site on a mission to make healthy living easy and affordable for everyone. You can regularly save 25 to 50 percent off of normal retail prices with member only prices for anything.


You can imagine really, whether it's Ketel, Paleo, gluten free, vegan, whatever you can sort by that, you can find all types of food. You can find supplements, you can find nontoxic home products, clean wine, dog food, just about anything. And let me give you a personal example of just how much you can save. So my last order, I ordered Klatell Kitchen Mayonaise, which is made with avocado oil and delicious Justin's almond butter.


And the first was twenty five percent of the Justin's all in Butters. Thirty percent off rousse homemade marinara sauce, which is awesome. Twenty six percent of all said and done at the end of my shopping, I saved thirty nine dollars on my order. So members that I'm a member can earn wholesale prices every day and save an average of thirty dollars on each order. I'll come back to that and through Thrive gives there one on one membership matching program.


Every paid thrive market membership is matched with a free one for a low income family in need of Psagot to thrive. Market dotcom tinta. To give Thrive Market a try, you can select the membership model that best fits your lifestyle. They have one month and 12 month membership options, choose a free gift up to twenty two dollars in value when you join today and purchase the one year membership. And just remember, drive market membership is risk free. You can take the first 30 days to decide if drive market is right for you, not just cancel within those 30 days and get a full refund.


This is what I offer my mom. So again, that's drive market dotcom. Tim, by the way, my mom kept using it, drive market dotcom to check it out. This episode is brought to you by Boutcher Box. Put your box. Makes it easy for you to get high quality, humanely raised meat you can trust. They deliver delicious 100 percent grass fed grass, finished beef free range organic chicken heritage free pork and wild caught seafood directly to your door.


For me, in the past few weeks I've cooked a ton of their salmon as well as delicious barbecue rib rex in the oven. Super simple. There were the most delicious pork ribs I've ever prepared. My freezer is full of pushbacks. When you become a member, you're joining a community focused on doing what's better for all. That means caring about the lives of animals, the livelihoods of farmers, treating our planet with respect and enjoying better meals. Together with your box partners, with folks, small farmers included, who believe in going above and beyond when it comes to caring for animals, the environment and sustainability.


And none of their meat is ever given antibiotics or added hormones. How does it work? It's pretty simple. You choose your box and your delivery frequency. They offer five boxes for curated box options as well as the popular custom box. So you get exactly what you end or your family love box options and delivery frequencies can be customized to fit your needs. You can cancel at any time with no penalty. Put your box chips, your order frozen for freshness, impact and ecofriendly 100 percent recyclable box.


It's easy, it's fast, it's convenient. I really, really enjoy it. And best of all, looking at the average cost, it works out to be less than six dollars per meal for limited time. New members can get two pounds of free ground beef in every butcher box order by signing up today at butcher box dot com tim, that's up to one hundred and eighty dollars in savings per year. Check it out. All the details and goodies can be found.


That puts your box dotcom. Com Tim again, that's put your box dot com again, Tim.