Leadership Lessons From The Great Books

Leadership Lessons From The Great Books #112 - The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas w/Christen Horne
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00:00 Welcome and Introduction - The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.
02:00 The Arrival at Marseille Harbor.
06:00 The Literary Life of Alexandre Dumas.
13:40 Hannah Arendt on Eichmann's Trial in Jerusalem and The Count of Monte Cristo.
15:00 The Impact of The Count of Monte Cristo.
21:12 Gatekeeping, Insurgency and The Post-Modern Death of Opera.
31:28 Adventure, Monsters, Friendship, and Leadership Analysis.
41:39 The Plot Against Edmond Dantes.
48:00 Danglars, Leadership, and the Art of Revenge.
01:00:09 Twitter, X, and What Elon Does with His Money.
01:05:32 Leaders Understand Envy and Jealousy as Motivators.
01:18:01 Leadership Eschatology at the West's End.
01:31:03 Leaders Struggle with Inner Turmoil and External Expectations.
01:44:29 Omar Little on the Comparisons Between Robbery and Bureaucracy.
01:55:45 Endless Revolution and Political Movements.
02:00:00 Staying on the Leadership Path with The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.
02:01:18 Art, Commerce and Its Discontents.
02:09:03 Connect with Christen Horne Everywhere.
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Opening and closing themes composed by Brian Sanyshyn of Brian Sanyshyn Music.
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Creators & Guests

Host
Jesan Sorrells
CEO of HSCT Publishing, home of Leadership ToolBox and LeadingKeys
Producer
Leadership Toolbox
The home of Leadership ToolBox, LeaderBuzz, and LeadingKeys. Leadership Lessons From The Great Books podcast link here: https://t.co/3VmtjgqTUz

What is Leadership Lessons From The Great Books?

Because understanding great literature is better than trying to read and understand (yet) another business book, Leadership Lessons From The Great Books leverages insights from the GREAT BOOKS of the Western canon to explain, dissect, and analyze leadership best practices for the post-modern leader.

Also traumatic.

Hello. My name is Jesan Sorrells, and this is the

Leadership Lessons from the Great Books podcast, episode

number 112.

In this episode today, we are going to

start covering what is truly a massive

book. Now it is a serialized story or

collection with serialized story, featuring intrigue,

adventure, romance, pathos, and everything else. The

entire spectrum of human emotion is in this book. And

it is all set against the background of the French Revolution

and the aftermath of the actions across the

flat pan of Europe from the buzzsaw known as Napoleon

Bonaparte. This book is so massive, I'm going to be

honest, I didn't get through it, but that's okay

because our guest today did. As a matter

of fact, just like War and Peace by Leo

Tolstoy, which we barely covered in part 1 of in episode number 104, which

you should go listen to that. By the way, that's the most downloaded episode so

far this season. Excellent. This book is so deep and involved

that I I think we're only gonna get through barely the first part of it

today. Matter of fact, that's all I planned for. And that's okay because we'll have

our guests back to talk about this book in the future

because I am going to finish it. It's sort of 1 of my

missions for this year. Today, we will be

summarizing and analyzing the themes that are embedded for leaders

in the first part of the

fourth page phone book of a novel. And By the way,

that does include annotations and notes and bibliography at the end.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre

or Alexandre, depending upon your perspective and your level of

French, Leaders,

revenge may be a dish best served cold, but make sure

that if you go down that road, it works on the victim

you've selected successfully.

And today, we are joined in our journey down this

leadership path with the count of Montecristo

by our returning guest cohost, Kristen

Horn. How are you doing, Kristen? Hello. I am doing well.

Yes. Kristen is, has had a has had a bunch of life changes. It's been

a year since she was on the podcast. What episode were you on? Do you

remember with us initially? I don't remember the number. We were doing Ender's

Game. Yes. We did Ender's Game. That's right. Yeah. Yes. That's correct. We're since Scott

Card. You should go back and listen to that episode. I don't remember the number

either. Yeah. Yeah. But we are

going to get started in The Count of Montecristo. By the way, it

is an open source book, which is great. You can actually

go and get it, online if you want. So we will be

reading directly from, well, from

my version of the open source book known as The Count of Monte

Cristo. And we are going to start with chapter 1. I love

saying this word, Marseille, arrival.

On February fourth, 18 15, the lookout at Notre Dame de Lagarde signaled

the arrival of the 3 master Phaheron coming from

Smyrna, Trieste, and Naples. As usual, a

coastal pilot immediately left the port, sailed hard by the Chateau

d'If, and boarded the ship between the Cap Des Morgueux and the

island of Ryus. And once, as was also

customary, the terrace of Port Saint Jean was thronged with onlookers

because the arrival of a ship is always a great event in Marseille, particularly when

the vessel, like the Pharaon, has been built, fitted out, and laded in the

shipyards of the old port and belongs to an owner from the town.

Meanwhile, the ship was drawing near and had successfully negotiated the narrows created by some

volcanic upheaval between the islands of Pausare and Carre

and rounded Palmegueux it was proceeded under its 3 Sorrells, its outer

jib, and its spanker, but slowly and with such melancholy progress that

bystanders, instinctively sensing some misfortune, wondered what the accident

could have occurred on board. Nevertheless, those who were

experts in nautical manners acknowledged that if there had been such an

accident, it could not have affected the vessel itself, fourth its progress gave every indication

of a ship under perfect control. The anchor was ready to drop, and the bowspirit

shrouds loosed. Next to the pilot, who was preparing to guide the Pharaon through the

narrow entrance to the port of Marseille, saw a young man, alert and sharp eyed,

supervising every moment movement of the ship and repeating each of the

pilot's commands. 1 of the spectators on the terrace

of Fourth Saint Jean had been particularly affected by the vague sense of unease

that hovered among them so much so that he could not wait for the vessel

to come to land. He left into a small boat and ordered it to erode

out to the Pharaon, coming alongside opposite the cove of Blaise Veuve. When he saw

the man approaching, the young sailor left his place behind beside the pilot and, kind

in hand, came and lent on the bulwarks of the ship.

He was a young man of between 18/20, tall, slim, with fine dark eyes, and

ebony black hair. His whole demeanor possessed the calm and

resolve peculiar to men who have been accustomed from childhood to

wrestle with danger. Ah, it is you, Dantes, the man in the

boat cried. What has happened, and why is there this air of rejection all about

the about all on board? A great misfortune,

Monsignon Sorrells, the young man replied. A great misfortune, especially for

me. While off of Civitivica, we lost our good captain

Leclerc. And the cargo? The shipowner answered brusquely.

It has come safe to port Majumarel, but I think you will be content on

that score, but poor captain Leclerc. What happened to him then? The

shipowner asked, visibly relieved. So what happened to the good captain?

He is dead. Lost, overboard? No, monsieur. He died of

an apoplectic fever and terrible agony. Then turning back to his

crew, he said, look lively there. Hurry man to his station and drop anchor.

The crew obeyed. As 1 man, the 8 or 10 of the sailors

of which it was composed, left, some to the sheets, nose to the braces, others

to the halyards, nose to the gym, and still nose to the brails. The young

sailor glanced casually at the start of his operation and, seeing that his orders were

being carried out, prepared to resume the conversation. But how did

this misfortune occur? Leadership owner continued, picking up where the young man had left off.

By heaven, won't you, in the most unexpected way imaginable. After a long

conversation with the commander of the port commander of the port, captain Leclair left

Naples in a state of great agitation. 24 hours later, he was seized with

fever, and 3 days after that, he was dead. We gave him the customary

funeral, and now he rests decently wrapped in a hammock with a

36 pound cannonball at his feet and another at his head off the island

of Giglaud. We brought his medal and his sword back for his widow.

Much good it did him, the young man continued with a melancholy smile,

to fight the war against the English for 10 years

only to die at last, like anyone else, in

his bed. A

writers out of Monte Cristo, a fellow named Alexandre

Dumas, born July 24,

1802, died December 5, 18 70, was a

French novelist and playwright. His works have been translated

into many languages, and he is 1 of the most widely read French authors

probably in French history, outside of, you know,

those authors of political treaties or philosophical ones like the

Derridas or the de Tocquevilles or the,

Rousseaus of the world. Since the early 20th

century, his novels have been adapted into nearly 200

different variations of film. As a matter of fact, you've probably seen the

film, the Count of Monte Cristo, long before reading the

book, the Count of Monte Cristo. 1. 0, it doesn't

really matter. So many variations. I mean, this

book is 1 of those books that has that has that has

that has buried itself into the DNA of the West,

not just America, the West. You can go to, like,

Jesan, and they know what the Count of Monte Cristo is. You can go to

probably Japan, and they know what the Count of Monte Cristo is.

Dumas was prolific in several genres, and he began his career by writing plays,

which were successfully produced from the first. He wrote numerous magazine

articles and travel books and published works totaling 100, 000

pages. As a matter of fact, this guy was also an entrepreneur and a marketer,

and he hired other people to ghostwrite yeah. I see you,

James Patterson. Ghostwrite some of his

books er, allegedly.

His father, general Thomas Alexandre Dumas Davy de

la Palatiere, was born in the French colony of Santo

Domingo, the president day present day Haiti, du

Alexandre Antoine Davy de la Briatier, a French nobleman,

and Marie Jesan Dumas, an African slave. And

so what this means is that Alexandre Dumas was

actually we don't like using this word, but I'm gonna go ahead and use it

anyway. He was, technically speaking, a mulatto.

That means he was of mixed race origin.

Everybody gets upset when you say the word mulatto. They get really upset when you

say the word quadroon. Anyway,

Alexander acquired work with Louis Philippe Duco Sorrells.

Then as a writer, he became a writers, over the course of

time, and, he created a career

that led to much early success. Remember I said he was a marketer?

That was part of the reason why he serialized his novels over the long period

of time. And he wrote many, many and

created a modernized version of many, many modern myths

that we just take for granted now, such as the 3 Musketeers,

the D'Artagnan romances, which has also been turned into several

films, and, of course, even a film that played at my house a couple of

weeks ago with Kevin Costner, that was the virgin I saw,

Robin Hood.

English playwright, Watts Phillips, who knew DeMott later in his life, described

him as the most generous, largehearted being in the world.

He was also the most delightfully amusing and egotistical creature on the face of

the Earth. His tongue was like a windmill. Once set in motion,

you would never know when he would stop, especially if the

theme, was himself. I

love that, by the way. Back in the day, people really knew how to get

after each other, particularly writers I mean, writerly

disputes, which is 1 of the things that we're all missing was the Twitterization of

our world. Although I think Dumas would have loved Twitter. Probably. All about

oh my god. Like, YouTube, Twitter. He would have been all about that life. He'd

been like, oh, I can go to scale with all of this, and I can

Right. Meet Tom everyone. Oh, please. Where do I sign up? Get me get

me there now. Be

dominating. Oh my god. He'd be running everybody out of the room.

So, Kristen, let's start off with and you were the 1 that recommended

we read The Count of Monte Cristo. You were the 1 that recommended this this

books. And so I'm reading this book not under duress, but under your recommendation.

And so Is that how you read the rest of your books? No. No. No.

No. No. No. I do I do warranties to myself. It's fine. It's whatever.

I'm I'm the lady myself on the on the, you know, horns of Tolstoy.

No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. And you know, it's interesting.

So over the course of the last month, we've been covering a lot

of books, like Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, we covered that this

month. Oh, it's a great 1. Yes it is. We also,

talked a little bit about, and covered the book Night by Eli

Weisel, Podcast literature. Later on this month,

towards the end of this month, We'll be looking at,

Eichmann in Jerusalem by Hannah Arendt, Meditation on the

Banality of Evil. And 1 of the things that unites all of those

books, whether it's Anne or or or the Hannah Arendt,

or Harper Lee or even,

well, either 1 of those 2 authors. We'll use those 2 as as his sort

of points along with the count of Monte Cristo and, Alexandre

Dumas's work. 1 of the things that unites those works together

is how or the idea of

how a person, particularly a male,

develops a moral compass. You see Atticus Finch's moral

compass in To Kill A Mockingbird. Eli Weisel

developed a moral compass in the horrors of the podcast,

at the age of 16 when he was dumped into a concentration camp.

When you look at Hannah Arendt's work and her

analysis of Eichmann's trial in Jerusalem, the last of the

Nuremberg trials book in the 19 sixties,

you you realize that Eichmann struggled to

have a moral in the first place, which is kind of 1 of the more

amazing things that you ever see in a human being.

And then in the count of Monte Cristo, the driver

for this is revenge, of course,

which comes from a place of a lack of moral compass. It comes from envy

and jealousy and all of this. Now in the first

part of the book is the setup. Right? Oh, and

and and by the way, Dumas gives a lot of different motives for people. We're

gonna get into the motives of, like, Danglers and other folks here today. We're gonna

we're gonna we're gonna kinda pull a little bit of that part. But I want

you to talk about The Count of Monte Cristo, why you recommended this book, why

readers should should spend time slogging through this phone book of a book fourth even

just listening to this episode about it, which is just the first part, by the

way. We're not even we're gonna come out, like, maybe the first, like, 5 chapters

maybe. I mean, I 50 chapter book. I have a confession,

though. See, this is the copy that I read in high school, and I

loved it so much that I just went and bought the same copy, and it's

been in my library for years. But it is a

bridge.

And I will No. Let's put in the work over here. So I'm just

putting the work. It's okay. No. You're reading, like, the first type pages and I'm

following along. I'm like, yeah. That was a page and a half for me.

So Got the edited version. Yeah.

Yeah. Get out all those extra words. Which I don't know, Dimash probably would not

have liked that part, by the way. He would not have liked the decline of

literate, like, ability or

attention span. He would not have been a fan of that. Well, I remember my

because I the first time I read it was back in my, like, advanced English

class in high school. And I remember my English teacher kinda summarizing

what was left out by the in the in the abridgment. And I

remember thinking, okay. That's probably not important.

So I don't know. We you know, when when I come back for us to

finish this, we'll have to I'll have to go find the unabridged and see if

I can I will hold up? So I'm gonna hold up my unabridged copy. It's

a Penguin Classics unabridged copy, Normaio. Oh my

god. It's No. No. Oh,

yes. When I looked at it Tom month old. I

I'm not demanding. I never demand a guest to see a thing that I would

not do myself, to paraphrase from Jay z.

So why did I I mean, I just I remember loving this book.

For me, it really 1 of the reasons that I like fiction in general,

my Sorrells, my Sorrells, like the book that I like is it

has a lot, to do with my moral compass and

how, you know, like my worldview and stuff. And in this book,

the bad guys all get their just desserts. Right? Yes. It's vengeance and

there's a lot more conversation about, like, vengeance and

satisfaction and whether worth pursuing and all that. But

the people that this guy takes out are genuinely bad

people. Mhmm. And so it just feels really

good to watch them to watch him take

them down, not, but

in very unobvious ways. He basically lets them

kill themselves. Mhmm. Like, he just leads them all to

ruin, but through their own natures. Right.

And that's fascinating to watch. So just it's it's

very cleverly done. It's very subtle. And

well, in that regard, in how he leads them to their

destruction. In other regards, you know, you read this book and you're

like, well, that's a literary cliche now, and that is too.

And I it definitely got me thinking through this this most recent

read through. It's like, I wonder obviously, it was ridiculously

popular. Oh, yeah. I mean, it was serialized. Like, it was

insane. But I, you know, I trained 10 years as an opera singer and,

like, the version of Carmen that we have right now,

the the composer considered it pop,

like drivel. He he was he was so upset by

the, you know, the the artistic merit

that ended up being successful as in there there was none. He's

like, here, this is what the people want, but this is trash. This is not

what I wanted to write. And then Tchaikovsky

said the same thing about his most popular ballet, The Nutcracker. Mhmm. He just

it's he just called it he called it bombol. Right? Just sweet,

sickly sweet. And so that got me thinking about this book.

It was ridiculously popular, but I you know,

like I said, I have a 3 month old, so I didn't have a time

to go in and look like, hey. Was this, like,

considered sophisticated and, like, were the the great minds of

the time reading this and and thinking about it, or was it just

a a book for the masses? Mhmm. And that's why we still read

it today. And, right, what's it's almost, I I

read it in an English class, so I almost feel like it might be and

we're discussing it on this podcast. So it's like it's asking the question almost sacrilege,

like, does this book have literary merit? Well well

okay. No. No. No. Well, we're a literature podcast, and we're a leadership podcast. We

kinda merge those 2 things together. So, yes, it has literature think. It has

literary merit and leadership merit. Oh, I do too. It was just funny. The

question popped into my head. It was like, wow. Well, so my kid,

my my youngest daughter, who's 14, she's reading up

Scott Fitzgerald's Leadership the Night. And I we

were talking about this in a and doesn't matter the context, but we were having

a conversation about this book. And I said to her, you

know, f Scott Fitzgerald would really be irritable that the Great Gatsby is being

read by high school students if he were still alive. Like, he'd be he would

be irritated by this. This would drive him over. I

think he would well, but he would consider it to be an artistic failure. So

you talk about, you know, Carmen fourth you talk about

Tchaikowsky. Right? There's and you're you're

you're I mean, I want you to talk a little bit about your background or

my folks of your background in your writing and all that. You're creating

work. I create work. Mhmm. And then there's so there's this gap

between and you even mentioned it. What the people want versus

what might be artistic and might be, like, mature. Great

struggle. What's Yeah. How do you how do you right. Yeah. How

do you how do you as a creator cross that gap? And we'll

talk about him, boss, in a minute. Because I think he crossed that gap by

serialization. I think that's how he crossed that gap. Yeah.

And you can look at the Internet as a massive serialization

machine, but so many people have turned it into

massive clickbait machine, which I think would drive I think that part, of

course, would drive Jamal crazy as well. I think would also drive Tchaikowsky

crazy as well. He would have a problem with massive problem with Taylor Swift. He

just would. He'd be like, I don't like her. And I have a massive

problem with Taylor Swift, especially when she is being

compared to Shakespeare. Yeah. That's a

British accent. That headline, and I was like I

was appalled. I was like, look. I I

I'm not reading what you're reading, Hayson. That stuff, I'm like, that scares

me. I'm just gonna stay in my little fantasy world.

But when I saw that, I I

rolled over in my own grave.

Like that no. There cannot be German professors

that actually think that's true. But this is this is the so so there's a

fund wow. Okay. So let's I I wanna that's another idea. Right? I don't

wanna. Yeah. Let's no. No. No. No. So the gap

between what people want versus art, how do you cross that gap? And talk a

little bit about your background. What, like, what do you do? I mean, that's the

I mean, I think the opera world right now is doesn't know how to answer

that question. Mhmm. Because opera, I

think, is dying. And it partially and in

sorry. In part because of marketing. In part because,

oh, actually, this we will we'll talk a little bit about this leaders, is the

people that are in charge are very stubborn and stuck in their ways,

and they don't want to innovate. Mhmm. Right? So there's a little bit of 2

things going on, which is a real shame because the art form is

magnificent. It's basically the Olympics of

what the human voice is capable of.

And then the Sorrells, even though, like, the style of singing

estranges people a little bit, but the stories are so relatable still.

And so it's just yeah. It's but but the the industry is

a they don't know how to answer that question. Oh, except there is

1, little house little house.

That's, you know, upper house. There's 1 company in LA

that is doing actually really well Mhmm.

Tom making at making the

stories, the operas, like, accessible. Mhmm.

And so that's but while keeping most of the

and I say most of the the integrity. Because I we've

definitely had people go to those operas, be like,

that's not what that The they'll look at the the super titles, straight the translations,

be like, that's not Yep. That's not the right translation.

If I saw that in a beginner opera singer's notebook, I'd slap

her hand. Okay. So opera. Okay. So let's let's 1 of my good friends, he

does opera, and I did a jazz festival locally in my town, and I'm a

huge fan of jazz genre and and all of that kind of stuff.

And so the guy who we handed the the the committee that we handed off

to, the person who heads it is a is a professionally trained opera singer. And

so it's interesting to watch him kind of navigate this because jazz is not

opera and opera is not jazz. Like, those are 2 different they're 2 different things.

Right? There's 1 that Gershwin wrote. I mean, there's Porgy and Bess.

There's Porgy and Bess. Yep. But has that, like, really what he Yeah.

We got nothing. The the the the 2 don't. They don't make sweet beautiful music.

Not really. Yeah. They could maybe they could. Maybe they

could. Maybe they should be exciting. Right. Right. Right. Exactly. Maybe we should maybe we

should have a. You know? Like, maybe friends Some

detente. Right? Like, between the Russians and this and the Americans in the cold war.

Like, why can't we just have detente? Why can't we just have that?

There's 2 movies that I think of when I think of opera and I think

of this idea of integrity and art. I think of

Whiplash, and then I think of Tom, which

recently came out. We talked about that last time. It's We talked about it last

time. Still haven't watched it. You still haven't watched it. It's okay. You you got

a 3 month old. It's fine. You got a lot of things going on. And

I don't I don't wanna go back to that. Instead, what I wanna what I

wanna say is I think both of those films represent the

attempt by you you pointed out that there are folks who are stubborn who don't

wanna change. I don't think it's that they're stubborn and don't wanna change. I think

they're so committed to quality that they don't

see a way to bring that commitment into the new thing.

And I think that's really hard for people of all genres because what they don't

realize is the new thing is going to make new demands in different ways of

quality. Mhmm. Whereas that if you hold on to

the old ways of maintaining gatekeeping, if we're gonna use

that term Mhmm. Gatekeeping quality, you're right. You're not

free to go to those other places where you can still gatekeep

in different ways. Like like, the the the

and I essays a lot about these women. But say what you want about the

Kardashians, and I say a lot of negative things about them. I real I do.

But 1 of the things they do really well is they gatekeep that brand.

They do. They gatekeep the hell out of that sucker. Like, you have people who

come into that brand. I'll use Bruce

Jenner as an example, who do not come out the other side of it the

same as when they entered the gate. And I'll just leave it at that.

Lamar Odom was a basketball player who got mixed up with those

those young ladies. He went into the gate 1 way and he came out another

way. And and, of course, the biggest example

other than mister Bruce Jenner, the former mister Bruce Jenner,

is, the current Kanye West.

He came up to be totally different. Those women are a buzz saw,

and they are maintaining quality, book, bad, ugly, or

different inside of that thing. And they're doing it in that new

media space in a different kind of way than they would have

had to have done in the 19 fifties. Oh, yeah. Then Marilyn Monroe

did it. Mhmm. Or,

Jean Harlow or, you know, any of or Bettie Page. Right?

Any of the the the sex symbol women that could have been interchanged

with the Kardashians in their own era. I think the same thing happens

with high art. Opera, fine art, I think

jazz is is is high art, but, okay, let's just use opera, any kind of

the fine arts. And I think it's that lack of being able

to step over and see a new way to do a different date. Book think

that's the thing that people do. That's interesting. It's a very

interesting way of that's a interesting frame. I like

it. Well, you guys Opera Opera didn't

used to be the high art. You know, it used to be the the art

of the people, the the the pop. Right.

But that was back when people had to leave their houses

and dress up and go do stuff. And now people don't have to leave their

houses. Or or to leave your house, it must be something

worthwhile. Gotcha. I'm a big fan of minor league baseball. My

daughter and I try to go to at least a couple minor league baseballs every

baseball games every summer. Baseball is 1 of those

sports that's it's shocking in the era that we live in that baseball still

survives in any form. It's shocking. I love baseball.

I go every chance I get. That goes along with the opera, though. It's the

same idea. It's that we get dressed up. We're

gonna go do this thing. Yeah. We're gonna have a good Tom. And you look

at pictures of people who attended baseball games back in the thirties

and twenties, thirties, and forties when baseball was huge, like my grandma.

Like, black, white, didn't matter. You dressed up in your suit.

You put your tie your your your fedora on. She dressed up in a nice

dress. She was carrying a parasol, and you're gonna go to the area. You're gonna

watch a doubleheader that's gonna start at, like, 10 o'clock. Doubleheader's

gonna go. Gonna be about 10 to 3. It's gonna be a little bit of

intermission. Then you're gonna go from 4 to 8, and that's a whole day.

Yeah. And you're gonna have popcorn. You're gonna have hot

dogs, peanuts. You might have some beer. Cracker jugs. Yep.

It's gonna be fun. The baseball players

are in a space where, just like in opera

or or even in, or even in, well yeah. Or an

orchestra where individually, they all have to be book, but

if 1 person has an individually bad day, the rest of everybody

doesn't have to go along. And so baseball is a game of

individuals played as a Tom, whereas and I've

talked about this a little bit on the podcast before, although not extensively. I like

to explore this thesis a little bit, maybe not in this episode, but later on,

where we had a switch in the

sixties that happened. We switched from a baseball culture to a football culture and no

1 talks about it. And football is game. You can tell by your tongue

sticking out. Football is a game. It's a team game. Like, think about every job

interview you've ever been on. Are you a team player?

Like like, team building. Football is a game where

if the quarterback isn't leading the team effectively,

then the team falls apart. I'm a Broncos fan. Russell Wilson,

less said about that, the better. And so,

like like, that team aspect really began to filter into our culture in the

19 sixties, and the baseball aspect began to, like, go away and go away

and go away. Mhmm. And now the only reason baseball kinda

hangs on is because of nostalgia

primarily. Yeah. But also, it

owns summer because there's nothing else. Although football's creeping in and creeping in and creeping

in, and then you got hockey and baseball fourth basketball creeping down.

Everybody's the the may the other 3 major sports are trying to push baseball

out because baseball players don't care about Instagram.

They real they're not, you know, they're not I mean, they can't be

okay. They're there to hit the ball. Simple

game. You hit the ball, you catch the ball, and you throw the ball.

Simple game. And you run. You won a lot,

and you better run really fast. And so, like, it's not a game for

social media. It's not a game for clicks. It's not a game, but it

is game that can be gatekept inside of summer. If baseball ever

loses summer, baseball's done. It's done. It'll

die. Oh, sad. That would be

sad. You write books. Tell us about

the new book you're writing fourth you've got you you got I am writing yeah.

The trilogy. We finally we have a name for the trilogy. Good. So what's the

name for the trilogy? It's called The Bell and the Bow. Bell and the Bow.

Okay. Yeah. Which is fun because it, you know, references the 2

protagonists. But depending on how you

spell the words, they could they could

flip. Right? So the bell is the male, the book is the female. But

then if you, you know, bell can also be bell fourth

female and book. Anyway, I like it. I have fun.

It's a it's it's just a it's a fantasy trilogy. It's a lot it started

as a love story. We there's a lot of adventure and monster killing

in it. We think a lot and I say we,

because I'm writing it with a coauthor, 1 of my best friends.

And we think a lot about tropes and cliches,

which, you know, now going back and reading Canada, Medecristo, you know,

you see and you're like, well, that's a cliche now. Mhmm. But,

you know, at the time was probably just like, everybody's like, what? When you

read it and the the narrator, like,

spoilers, 1 of the characters dies. So, you know, when the first, you

know, person that the count wants vengeance on dies, the

narrator does not say does not

reveal that the count is Edmond Dantes. And I was

like, did people not know? Like,

was this something like like, there was this, like, their 6th sense, like,

this biggest twist that they that nobody saw coming

because, like, we read it now, and I'm like, well, that's the same guy.

Right. Okay. So that's Like, it's clearly the same guy. Oh,

yeah. Demas is, like, seeding it methodically,

and he gives you he gives the reader little hints. And I think

I saw that. I was like, oh, this is how it reminded me of our

process where, like, there will be this big twist that happens in, like, book

3, and we go back and we seed it. In book 1,

We we ramp it up a little bit in book 2, and then boom, it

hits you in book 3 and the smart well, smart readers.

Almost are you allowed to say that? I don't know. Oh, yeah. Just whatever you

want. Think about myself. Be like, well, if I was reading this book, I'd be

like, oh. Right. That happened in book 1 and book

2. Oh, they've been building to this the whole time. And then I also think

about rereadability because I love rereading my favorite books. And so, you

know, readers that, you know, hopefully fall in love with our books will go back

and they'll read book 1 and be like, they were planning

this the whole time. Those are just those are my I do

my best to put a lot of my favorite things that, like, it,

and by my favorite things, I mean, like, quality. Like, the things that I see

in books that I'm like, that worked. That

got me so good. We do our best to make sure that it's

meticulously woven that way. And that's

also why the writing today really irritates

me because they're like, how much are those writers getting

pay well, hold on. That's actually a different question because of the

the writers strike. But still, like, Disney,

you can afford more. Pay writers to

do better. We're gonna we're gonna save that to the next section. We're gonna

save that. I I took a note. We're gonna save that. I said, no. No.

No. No. It's good. No. Because I wanna so mad. I'd be like, how much

did they spend writing this bullshit? $22, 000, 000.

$22, 000, 000 on an episode. 1

episode. 1 episode. This is Meanwhile, quality writers

are, you know What makes us think putting their novels out on what

Amazon can't get published. And if they do get a publishing

contract, their, their, their, their advances are terrible.

Now it's just like, oh, I'm gonna take it out on Netflix. Writers

are. That's Alright. Let's support

writers. Go buy books. Sorry. I'm sorry.

I wanna talk about I wanna talk about that because I know you saw the,

I know you saw the little reveal from the Department of Justice

documents about Penguin Random House where they proposed the Penguin Random House

merger, and there was the document dump. Oh, gosh. This is probably about 2 months

ago. And it went through the book world like wildfire where it

revealed just how many books

don't get published and

how few books actually make the

New York Tom bestseller list and what the New York Times bestseller list numbers

are. And I'm gonna leave this I'm gonna put this here

before we go into our next section here, which we will in a moment.

But most books sell fewer than a 100

copies. And by the way, this doesn't matter if it's a celebrity

author. Like, Billie Eilish apparently released a book that sold less than 500

copies. The same I mean, who's

following Billie Eilish and thinks, I want her book.

But but but but but here's the here's the thing. We already talked about

Taylor Swift. Let me bring her back up for just a moment. Oh, no. Please

don't. Taylor Swift wouldn't be able to sell more than 10, 000 books. That's

But 10, 000 books gets you gratifying. But it gets you onto the New York

Times bestseller list. And by the way, most of these book

publishing companies, and we will get go back to this in a moment, survive off

of the back catalog. Do you know the number 1 book

that's published by most major book? Number 1 book in America that sells the most

number of books that most most booksellers survive on. Number

1 back catalog book in history. I don't. The Bible.

That was gonna be my guess, but it felt so, like, a cliche to to

say it. We're like, was it the Bible?

Back catalog authors and back catalog

books that came about before the Internet. So that's why Stephen King,

when he went and testified, against the merger,

basically said in his testimony that this merger, if it

is allowed to go through, will actually impact not him. He'll be

fine. He'll always get a book published, but it will impact people

negatively who are seeking to break into the market. What

a guy. But people who are seeking to break into the market

currently can't get in anyway. Mm-mm. And that's

why self publishing is there, and we'll get into all of that in a bit.

Mhmm. Couple other thoughts that I have before we go. So

this book was published in 18 fourth and was serialized through 8 through to

18 fourth, which means in 2024, we are coming up

on the 180th. Actually, this year is the 180th

anniversary of The Count of Monte Cristo being serialized.

That is and when you get 2 100 2 100 films made

off of 1 book, that tells you how deep the tropes and the cliches are

just they're part of the they're part of the background. 200?

They've made 200 films? Over 200 films.

So I knew We're using the site.

Sorry. Since the early 20th century let me go back real quick. Since the early

20th century, his novels, all of Dumas' novels, not just Count of Monte Cristo.

All of Dumonti's novels have been adapted into nearly 200

films. Okay. Okay. Okay. Which means the vast majority of I'm just sure sure of

the vast majority of them. Well, Dumonti's has been made at least

fourth At least fourth 5 times. Cannamani Cristo,

12, 13, 14. I mean, there's and by the way, that's play play versions

of Cannamani Cristo fourth, you know, I would throw in there too.

And then the other thing that I would point out is this, and we're gonna

talk about revenge here in a second. There's a great

line that, is said in the way of the gun

movie that came out way back at the end of 19 nineties with Ryan Phillippe

and Benicio del Toro was 2 bag men. And

they were talking to an old bag men old bag man,

played by James, Sonny from, The Godfather. I think it

was the actor's name right now. And, he says to them,

and I quote it, I love this quote, justice is just

revenge without the satisfaction.

Interesting. Of course, the other great line inside of the way

of the gun is never trust a bag man, and

there's always free cheese in a mousetrap, which is true.

But watch out for AI, by the way. That's a mousetrap.

Alright. Yeah. But there's always free cheese in there, though. Like,

go ahead and get in. Go ahead. Go ahead. Go

ahead. Alright. Back to the book. Oh,

goodness. Oh, the count of Montecristo.

Let's talk a little bit about revenge. I'm going to go into,

the chapter here known as the plot. And

this is where after,

danglers comes on to, comes on to land

and Danglars. Danglars. Sorry. I'm

sorry to hear it with the appropriate French, Elon.

I'm not I'm I'm not I'm not giving you enough French, Elon. I'm trying to

save that up for when we actually read read read passages of the book. But

we're gonna go on this chapter of the plot. We'll read a few pages from

this, and then we're gonna talk about revenge, and writers

today in AI. So AI revenge. This is gonna be good. Kristen's gonna

Kristen's gonna do this. It's so real. We're listening to this.

Danglars' eyes followed Edmond and Mercedes until the 2

lovers had vanished around 1 corner of the Fourth Saint Nicolas. Then turning at

last, he noticed Fernande, who had slipped back to his chair pale and trembling,

while Cadarout was mumbling the words of a drinking song. So

Danglars was on the ship just to give you a little background. Danglars was on

the ship with Edmond Dantes, Edmond and Mercedes.

Mercedes is his is betrothed. Okay. This is gonna come back

later. It's gonna be interesting plot point. But Don Gillars

is well, he's not the captain, and he

wants to be the captain. And then you've got bookkeeper,

I believe. Yeah. He's he's the ship's, you basically make sure

that and it was interesting because I read another book

about shipping and shipbuilding, and there

were positions on ships back in the day, which nobody knows us now, which are

basically accountants for, like, a floating floating vessel. And they made sure that

the amount of goods that left the ship and

the amount of goods that came back onto the ship balanced at the

end. Right? They also, did deals when they would go into fourth

ports. They had no multiple languages. It was all it was a very complicated

role that they, that they had, in addition to having to work on the

ship just like everybody else, all hands on deck means all hands.

So that was Don Gillard. And then, you've got

Fernand. Fernand was the the

person who, when Edmond was, shall we say,

out to sea, was sniffing around Mercedes

trying to get her to fall in love with him. And finally, Kaderu.

Kaderu was a or had the character of Kaderu,

is framed by Dumont as a Alexander Dumont as a,

a neighbor, not Frank. He is a neighbor who loans money

to, Edmund's father, and then demands repayment

of that money, gets the money repaid, and then Edmund comes back with

more money and just gives it to Catarou, thus creating a, a dynamic

of, of a dynamic of debt, which

Khaterou struggles with, but not as not as

much as some, which we'll see here in just a moment. So that's the background

on chapter 4 of the plot.

So my good sir, Douglass told Fourth, not everyone I think is happy

about this marriage. I am in despair, said Fernand. You're in love

with, Mercedes. I adore her. For a long time,

ever since I've known her, I've always loved her. And all you could do is

sit there and tear your hair out instead of finding some way out of the

dilemma. My god. I didn't know that this was how the people of your country

behaved. What do you expect me to do, Fourth? How do I

know? Is it in my business? As I see it, I'm not the 1 who's

in love with Mademoiselle Mercedes. You are. Seek and ye shall

find, the gospel says. I have found already.

What? I wanted to put my knife into the creature, but the girl said that

her fiance was harmed. She would kill herself.

People say such things when they don't do them. You don't know Mercedes,

If she threatens to do something, she will. Idiot. Thank books

mother. What does it matter whether she kills herself or not, provided Dantes does not

become captain? And before Mercedes dies, Fernand went

on in firmly resolute Tom, I should die myself. There

is love for you, Kyrie said in a voice increasingly slurred by drink.

There's love, or I don't know it. Come now, said Dank Lars.

You seem an agreeable enough lad and to me. And by Jove, I'd like to

ease your sorrow, but, yeah, let's say Catteroo. Come on

now. My good friend, Danglars remarked, you are 3 quarters

drunk. Go the whole way and finish the bottle. Drink, but don't interfere with our

business because you need a clear head for what we're doing.

Me? Trump? Katerou. You said Katerou.

Never. I could take another fourth of your bottles, which are no bigger than bottles

of vous de Calonne. Bring us some more wine.

And to make the point, Catherou banged his glass on the table.

You were saying, Fernand asked, impatient to hear what else Danglars had to

tell him. What What was I saying? I don't remember. I

this drunkard, if I could put it out of my mind.

Drunkard if you like. Accursed on those who fourth. Why?

The flood proved it beyond a doubt. All wicked men do water drink.

You were saying, Fernand continued, that you'd like to ease my sorrow, but

you added, ah, yes. But I added that to give you

satisfaction. It is enough for Dantes not to marry the 1 you love. In

this marriage, it seems to me, you could very well not take lazy if Dantes

does not die. Only death will separate them, said

Fernand. You have the brains of an oyster, my friend, said

Kadaru. And Danglars here, who is a sharp 1, crafty as

a Greek, will prove you wrong. You're a Danglars. I've stuck up for

you. Tell him that Dante doesn't have to die. In any case, he would be

a pity if he died. He's a good lad, Dante. I like you. No health,

Dante. Anurad rose impatiently to his feet.

Let him babble, Denglauer said, putting a hand on the young man's arm. And for

that matter, drunk as he is, he is not so far wrong. Absence

separates as effectively as death. Just so just suppose that there

were walls of a prison between Edmund and Mercedes.

That would separate them no more or no less than a tombstone.

Yes. But people get out of prison, said Katherou, who was

gripping who was gripping onto the conversation with what remained of his wits.

And when you get out of prison and you are called, you take

revenge. What does that matter? That's it for now.

In any event, Khadaruk continued, why should they put out his interest? He

hasn't stolen anything, killed anyone, committed any murder. Shut up,

I all want to shut up, I want to know why they should put Dante

in prison. I want to. What the hell?

We poured back another glass of wine.

Pingelars assessed the extent of the tailor's drunkenness from his dull eyes and

turned towards Pheranon. You understand that there is no need to kill him, he

said. No. Surely not. As if you said a moment ago there was some means

of having Dante's arrested, but do you have such means?

If we look, Vanglars answered, we can't find 1. But damn it.

Why should this concern me? What business is it to find? I don't know why

it should concern you, Fernand Fernand said, grasping his arm. What I do know

is that you have some private animosity against Dante. A man who feels hated cannot

be mistaken about that feeling in others. I know some

reason to hate Dante's. Don, I swear. I saw that you were unhappy and took

an interest in your unhappiness. That's all. But if you're going to imagine that

I'm acting on my own behalf, then farewell, my good friend. You could manage for

yourself, Eurydek Lars himself made as if to get

up. No. Stay, said Fernand. When it comes down to

it, it's of no matter to me whether you have some book difficulty bad days

or not. I do, and I freely admit it. Find the means, and I shall

carry it out as long as there is no murder involved. Fourth Mercedes said

that she would kill herself if anyone killed Dentes.

Gatturu, who let his head fall off the table, fall on

the table, lifted it and turned his dull, drinksoden eyes on

Fernand and Bangalore's. Killing Dentists, he said. Who's talking

about killing Dentists? I don't want him killed. He's my friend. This morning, he offered

to share his money with me, and I shared mine with him. I don't want

anyone to kill Dentists. Who said anything about killing an idiot? I'm telling

Manglers went on. It's only more than a joke. Drink to his health

and leave us be, he added, filling

Patarese glass.

Now they're gonna go on and on like this for a little while,

And then, Danglars why the abridged version exists. That's right.

Danglars is going to

write a note, and I'm gonna read the note because the note is important. This

is this is an important event for leaders to pay attention to here. It basically

puts the revenge part of this plot in motion. So I'm gonna skip ahead a

little bit. To illustrate his meaning,

Dan Galaros wrote the following lines with his left hand, the rights

the writing sloping backwards so that it bore no resemblance to his usual

handwriting, then passed it to Ferdinand, who read in read it in

a hushed voice. Quote, the crown prosecutor

writers advised by a friend of the monarchy and the faith that 1 Enman Dantes,

first mate of the Pharaon, arriving this morning from Smyrna after putting

in Naples and Porto Ferrajo was entrusted by Murat

with a letter for the usurper and by the usurper with a letter from the

Bonapartist Committee in Paris or there are 2 of the Bonapartist Committee in

Paris. Proof of his guilt will be found when he is arrested since the letter

will be discovered either on his person or at the house of his father or

in his cabin on board the Pharaon, close

quote. So there we have it, Enghleras continued. In this way,

your revenge will be consistent with common sense because it could in no way be

traced back to you, and the matter would proceed to his own accord. You would

merely have to fold the letter as I am doing now and write on it

to the crown prosecutor. That would settle it. And

Danglars wrote the address. A simple stroke

of the pen. I like

that chapter. It's book setup. Got

the dynamic between the 3 guys. I imagine them sitting at a table outside,

in Paris in, like, 1844. Fourth know, it's a

wooden table. It's kinda rotted. You got Cataneru who is drunk

off his behind. It's like the 3 stooges. And men

are big fans of the 3 stooges. It's like the 3 stooges. You got Nangalars

who absolutely knows what's happening. He's a total firm. He's he's he's

committed to this idea that he's gonna get

Nantes. And he's already figured out what he wants to do in order to

do it, but he doesn't wanna have his hand on the knife. Then you've got

Fernand, who is driven by passion

and, and, revenge, but

mostly is driven by this this idea of lust for

Mercedes. He he's not he doesn't, he doesn't really love her other

than as an object inside of his own head. And, and then you've got Katarou

who well, in Vinovaritas,

right, to paraphrase from tombstone. You

know, there's truth in drink.

Catarou is the only 1 who might, even though he's

drunk, who might be acting and behaving in a

way that is consistent with what is actual reality, which is why would

anybody have a problem with this guy? Why don't we just leave him alone?

He's not done anything to us. And

this gets us in the 21st

century because we don't know why we do what

we do. We are very sophisticated psychologically and sociologically, or at least

we like to convince ourselves that we are because of all the research that we've

done about human behavior going all the way back to the

19 forties. We do we like to convince ourselves if we're really

sophisticated, but our motivations, why we actually do what we do, the stuff

all the way down deep, stuff we don't talk about. Oh, stuff we don't talk

about at cocktail parties with polite people,

all that stuff is still down there. But we don't like using those words. We

we don't like using words like envy or jealousy or vanity

or pride or lust. We don't like using any greed. We're okay with

using because back in the eighties, we decided that greed

was something that we could tie to capitalism, so we'll talk about that out loud

all the time. But all those other these motivations,

all of those other ones, like and III know this

happens to me all the time. When I talk about envy out loud, when I

talk about social media as an envy machine,

which is really what it is, Mhmm. All of a sudden, everybody makes that sound

right there that you just made, Kristen, and then most people have nothing else to

say after that because they then pull out their phones and they get on Instagram

because you can't be off of Instagram for more than 5 minutes. Right? You can't

be off that NV machine for more than 5 minutes. Right? It's

okay. It's fine. I'm there too. I'm no better. Oh,

I actually, that was that

when I started writing my book, it was 2020

writers after the lockdowns. Yep. And I had also,

at the same time decided to get off of social media. Yep.

And discovered I had a book to write. So I did this

instead. It feels a lot better.

Well, it's not just social media. Like, that's easy to blame. Like, think

about the services that we use that are driven by imagery. So I'll

use a perfect innocuous example. If you wanna buy a house, no

1 is just driving around neighborhoods looking for for sale signs anymore. I know this.

1 of the things that I do is I work Mhmm. I work in buying

and selling of real essays, right Mhmm. In my local area. Everyone goes

to an app on their phone called that begins with an a z and ends

with anillo. Right? Everybody goes there. And there

are pictures on that app that are designed

with specific writers. This is what the AI does

that are designed to get you to click on the capture

and designed to get you to want it. Or and by the way, wanting

means you don't have. And when you don't have, it

means you desire. And when you desire, that comes from a place of

I know we're gonna use an old school word here. Makes everybody feel itchy, envy.

Right. Okay. I would rather have that thing. Right?

And this is how the psychology works. Always greener.

Absolutely. Particularly if it's if it's if it's enhanced through AI.

And so The grass doesn't even exist. It doesn't. The grass

ain't even there, girl. Especially in Southern California.

That's That's And the house is only 1, 900, 000. Of course, you can afford

that with all those pictures. Of course, you can't. And so, and

and it's only 1800 some more feet.

Oh, that was a little too close to the bottom. That 1. I like

the Well, we were in the market 3 years ago. I know. We're a

little too close to the truth there. And so

Dumont, Alexandre Dumont, understood even back in

1844 that manipulating motivations while

disguising your own And Deng Lars is an effective leader in this

seat. He's leading categories, and he's leading,

for an own by their by their own motivations. You

found the carrot to dangle? Bing. Well well, the end,

I mean dangle. Ours dangle. That's right. Particularly,

and I'll just put that together Particularly if you wanna lead

people to destruction.

1 of the things I think that strikes me about this, this

situation, and I think it's 1 of the things that makes me so angry and

why I feel like Dante's revenge is probably as

close to justice as you can get. But it also strikes me as relevant.

Today, they're just mad that he's happy

and successful. Yeah. And Donker is not

unsuccessful. That dude has probably, like what you

said, a pretty coveted position Mhmm. And is

and is doing well. Mhmm. So it's like it comes back

down to Edmund. But you can never reach us. But Edmund is happier than I

am, so he must have something that I don't. And because

I don't see a way to improve my own

position, then I'm just going to destroy his.

And that's 1 of those things I think that I've noticed since I

was literature, but was never able to articulate it. And that pisses me

off. And I think where I see this today is

when people start talking about, like the 1%.

Mhmm. Yeah. The 1%. They should have mythical. They need fourth

money. They should be doing this. They should be doing that. We're like, you're telling

a lot of people who have more money than you how they should spend their

money. Maybe spend your energy going and figuring out

how you wanna make your money and stop looking at them.

Now and that's not to say, like, you and I, we'd like there's unethical

business practices all over, and I get that.

Sure. But those those are like the

the Uber billionaires. But do you think but do you think There's plenty of people

with 1, 000, 000 of dollars who are running their businesses very

well and very ethically and treating their workers well. And, like

so talk talk about them too. Right. Well and even

with even with sort of this idea of there's unethical

businesses and things like that or unethical business practices or things are a little bit

in the gray area, a little bit shady, whatever.

Most of people's perceptions of wealth are driven by

the people who have who have attained celebrity with that wealth. So

Yeah. Big example that is on everybody's lips all the Tom. We

talk about him at least once on this podcast. Almost every single episode is Elon

Musk. It's Musk. Yeah. It's Musk. Because he puts himself out there.

That's number 1, but also number 2 but also number 2. And we can't take

this away from him. He takes risks that

regular people wouldn't take. So for instance,

in the current with Tesla around

his, compensation, he took no money from

Tesla for 10 years.

No salary. $0. Now that I didn't

know. That's not what they put in the articles. Of course not. Because the

media people who get paid $80, 000 a year can't

conceive of working for 10 years for no money and

literally pouring in, and you can argue with this, but

pouring in a 100 hours a week and sleeping on a factory floor

in LA to make sure a car goes out the door. Many can't conceive of

doing their jobs that way. And so because their brain can't get there,

they go back Tom, well, that guy doesn't deserve it because he's unethical.

No. No. No. No. He may be engaged in unethical practice.

He may even be engaged in a practice that doesn't really, like, go

directly to be helpful for mental health or spiritual health Oh, yeah. Or

emotional health. We can make those kinds of critiques. I'm open to all of that.

Right. But the critique of that guy doesn't deserve it

because he somehow didn't put in the book, I'm not open to that critique.

No. He put in the work. He did the thing you would never you don't

have the courage to do. I would like to see 1 of the things

more consideration for your mental well-being. No. But that's just not like

or fourth it's just like just something you just don't wanna do. Yeah. That that's

fine too. That's fine too. I'll take that too. You gotta be honest about that.

Right? Be like, no. I don't wanna go sleep on the factory floor and

work on a car for a 100 hours. I just don't never see my my

10 children and, like, have people chasing me around all the

blocks for money all the time. I'm good. If that's the only way, I'll find

a different way to make a $1, 000, 000, 000. Chris, I'm like, there's more

If I really want a $1, 000, 000, 000, I'll find a different way. There's

a And there's more than 1 way to make a $1, 000, 000, 000. I

mean, authors, writers, creatives.

You know? And by the way, there's another question that's buried inside of there that

we don't even consider, which is this idea of, do we need a $1, 000,

000, 000? No. Of course, we don't. And then

after that, well, then after that, there's a sub question, which

is, can you handle the responsibility

and accountability that comes with a $1, 000, 000, 000? Nobody thinks about

that. Nobody thinks about that. They think like, oh,

if I had a $1, 000, 000, 000, all of my problems would be gone.

Be like No. You got a $1, 000, 000, 000. There's other problems with the

$1, 000, 000, 000. It's a new problem. And and what's

making those 1, 000, 000, 000 of dollars. You'd like case in

point, Elon Musk. Like, everything he does, some people like

and other people don't. They're like, it's just And everybody's got opinion on how he

should spend his money. Yep. And and so

when he did the Twitter acquisition, the big the big knock against him was, oh,

you overspent 44, 000, 000, 000. I'm like and I I thought

at the Tom, that's just a canard and

snark. It doesn't mean anything.

It's almost a cliche trope at this point. He bought

it because it was laying around. If I had $44, 000, 000, 000

laying around, I would have bought it too because, a, I know

that guy is gonna make me back my money, or I would have invested with

that because, again, a, I know that guy is gonna book my money, b, I

know he's absolutely bat crap crazy, and c, which

you sometimes need, and c, I know that he's going to sleep on the floor

for a 100 hours a week to make it work for at least the first

2 years of it, and he's gonna be up inside everybody's

behind at that building in a way that the previous

management wasn't.

Done. Where do I sign up? Bet on that

guy. It reminds me of we we we have such a

rose colored, perspective on stuff like,

and I read or used to read a ton of personal development books. So the

big, example of that was Ford

when he was having his engineers

do the impossible and put that, like, single block engine

together or whatever technically the engineering

miracle was that he was asking for. And it makes me

wonder, like, if that was happening today,

what would the reception be? It'd be like, oh,

he's he's he's an idiot. He's abusing his

his engineers. He's driving them. He's he's just

slave drivers. This is it. Yeah. No. That's it. Like but engineers were Like, he

did like, because we wouldn't have our cars. So NASA

I'll use example NASA. NASA knew about rockets that

were reusable and would land, would go

up, straight up, turn around, land

land back fourth come back down and land on an

ocean platform and be reusable again. They knew about

that technology, like, 25, 30 years ago. NASA. The NASA

engineers are not dumb. But and we're gonna talk

about bureaucratic drift here in a little bit because bureaucracy is huge

in the first part of the comment, Christo. Bureaucrats

don't don't innovate. They cannot. The bureaucratic mind

looks at a technology like that and goes,

nope. Not gonna do it Too risky. Because not only too

risky, but we have to maintain processes and systems here so that everybody can keep

getting paid. This is the difference between gatekeepers and insurgents.

Elon looked at that, and this is literally and I don't I don't disagree. I

don't no. I'm sorry to disagree with him. When he said this in an interview

years ago, somebody asked him, how did you develop SpaceX? And he said, oh, I

read a book on theoretical fourth, and then I called NASA. And I tried I

had, like, 3 meetings with them, and I realized they were morons. And I just

I just decided I was just gonna go off and do it myself.

Now I'm paraphrasing there, but that's literally like, that's that's

not really. That's a paraphrase of what he said. That's that was the the the

he went and had meetings. Let me let me just back this up a little

bit. He went and had meetings with rocket scientists after reading a book about theoretical

physics and rocket science. Sitting in the room with

people and understanding that, okay, the knowledge that I have and the knowledge that they

have are the same, and yet

they're not doing this thing that is so obvious. I'm going to go do it.

And the first knocking in SpaceX was Tom your point about Henry Ford and the

block engine. When the engineers were putting together those rockets and

getting getting, getting off the shelf rockets from

Russia, basically, because Russia wasn't using any of their rockets, and they had to reverse

engineer they literally brought in engineers from NASA, and they readers engineered

rockets from Russia because NASA wouldn't sell them any rockets when it sells basically to

anything. They're like, oh, screw you guys. Kind of the way

Nissan did with Tesla initially when,

Tesla brought their battery technology to Nissan. Nissan was like, get the hell out the

door. You don't know what you're talking about. Right. Okay. Your book

Womp. Womp. Womp. Womp. Right. Corporate bureaucracies.

Right? And so Elon goes, okay. Well, we'll just we'll

spend a 100 hours a week figuring it out. He readers engineer now

he didn't figure out himself, but he knew enough to push the engineers in the

direction where they needed to go on that technology. And the fourth the knock

against SpaceX was the same knock against people at Tesla. They are

spending too much Tom. He's a slave driver. He's inhumane.

But no one's asking you to go do this thing. You wanna go be a

journalist, go be a journalist. You wanna work 40 hours a week and then go

see your kids and, like, complain about stuff on the Internet or watch a Netflix

thing and then go flop into bed? Right? That's the thing. Be happy with that.

But danglers, like danglers, can't be happy

unless every journalist or particularly notorious for this, can't be happy unless everybody

else is unhappy. And I don't understand why. Mindset. It's so

it's so like, it reminds me of the crabs. Yes. Crabs in book

Crabs in the bucket. Crabs in the bucket. Just like, woah.

Woah. Revenge and manipulation. So

Bringing it back around. Yeah. Bringing it back on.

Why are those such powerful drivers for for understanding

people in literature? And and why do leaders

need to, like, be on the lookout for those as

drivers? Or maybe a better question is this. How can

leaders spot when someone on their team is jealous

of them and wants what they have? Because this is not something where somebody walks

up to you and goes or very Sorrells, very

rarely does someone walk up to you and go I I

think I've only I mean, I I have a consultancy where we do leadership development.

I've been doing it for 12 years professionally and 20 years total, and

I think I've only had a handful of times fourth I've had somebody walk up

to me and they they tell me they tell me, hey,

XYZ person told me yesterday that they they should have had my job. That's

a handful of times. Most people don't have the courage to go do that to

somebody else. So how do leaders spot that that envy

and that jealousy that might be a motivator on their team?

Because I'm fascinated by the 2nd negative motivators. Difficult

question to answer, I think, because the manifestation of the of

the manifestation of or the behaviors from the

emotions is gonna be different for everybody. So I could tell you how you could

spot it in me. But

I but I'm only 1 Jesan. And You're screaming across the upper

room? I Jesan, no.

I mean, the passive aggressive behavior, I think, is a is a is a

good 1 to look for. This

that that that seems like a,

what am I trying to say? Like, a lot of people would do that, I

think, from that that seed of discontent or

jealousy or

and be yeah. The passive aggressive behavior would definitely be

1 of those things to look at. Kinda always, what are they it's almost

like like miserly behavior as well because

it becomes, to, you know, to move back into personal

development verbiage, scarcity versus

Abundance. Yeah. Mind mindset. Right? They like

and like Danglar. Right? Mhmm. Penny pinching. Every little

thing. What's the other word?

Not nitpicking, but, you know, it's that kind of that grasp being that

like every little nitpick, like, have to have every

penny accounted for. And it comes from a place of

I have to grasping. Writers? So I think if you

start to see some of that and that could probably manifest in a couple of

different ways.

Well, I don't know. I don't know because I've never worked in, like, a corporate

Yeah. Corporate environment. Yeah. Environment before, but

just just my brain throwing out possible examples. Like, if

you're assigning projects, particularly if there's,

like, bonuses or, commission

involved, whoever is complaining

that they didn't get more.

Yeah. That would be the first person that I'd be

like, alright. Well, ask yourself why.

Why didn't you get more? Fourth get Sorrells? Like, well, if you gave

me more, then I could prove myself. Like, you got

the company can't take that risk. You gotta prove yourself before

you get more. That's a mindset that I think we're losing, and it's

very present in, personal development entrepreneurship entrepreneurship

is this working without compensation with the idea

that you will earn more literature can be taken advantage

of, and I think that's part of why people have this like like, they smart

against it. But Yeah.

Exactly. There's like a there's I feel like there's probably an end. There's

probably a middle ground that we can find. Well, I think the I think the

I think the part of the middle ground there, and this is so I work

a lot with startups. Right? In class So with class? You

know, you're going to eat beans and rice for x number of

whatevers until, like, this thing happens. Right? I'm currently in a startup right now

myself fourth Sorrells organization that's in startup mode where

I I'm gonna have equity, whatever, but, like,

whatever that means. But myself and this group of people who are together,

there's, like, 14 or 15 of us together. None of us are getting paid

out of this project. Kind of in a startup right now. I forgot. I

bought a business. I bought a music

store that's kind of in startup mode right now. That's in startup mode. Yeah.

Because we're recovering from COVID. Yeah. Yeah.

Yeah. And all, just The disease that shall not be named.

Yeah. I forget I forget that I bought it. Like, I

just, like, it's It's a store. It's fine. That in November, and then my baby

came. I was just like Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. My life is completely different now. It's

fine. Yeah. It's fine. But it's but you're gonna experience the same thing in a

small business where I'm not getting paid. You're not gonna get right. Right.

Like, I I had to explain this 1 time to some employees of mine, who

are working with me. I said, there are there are months where I do not

take a salary from here so that the rest of you can get paid. Mhmm.

And he stared at me in utter,

like, disbelief. Right? And the

reason why those types of associations

offend people, particularly bureaucrat people with a bureaucratic mindset. Like, I remember

back in 2010, it might have been or

maybe it was 2009, because it was the

2nd administration. Yeah. And it took it's it took us it was Tom started in

his first Barack Obama's fourth administration, and then it took his Jesan administration to actually

implement it. But, he

he began the push of this idea that internships,

college internships should be paid. Right? AOC runs around screaming about

this. And it's this idea that, and and this is the AOC

line or the Barack Obama line that, you know, my getting my

experience shouldn't be for free or something like that. And I

thought you will get your money

eventually. Mhmm. You're 20.

The best thing you can do right now when you have no children,

no responsibilities, or minimal responsibilities,

you're living and I and I when I was 20,

I think I made $8, 000 in a year. You're living on the dole from

somebody else. You just are at 20. What

unless you're 1 of those outlier 20 year olds that's, like, been hustling since you

were like, you're Warren Buffett. You've been hustling since you were, like, 8. Okay? Though

you're outliers. Right? Mhmm. But if you're the vast majority. 98%

of you are gonna be living on the door. What possible

experience could you have that's worth paying for? And by the way,

if you're a person who has to pay bills and you take on

an leadership, that is for free,

you better have done that risk versus reward thing in your head already. That's not

my responsibility as the organization to do that thing for you. It's

your responsibility to have done that thing. That's called free association.

And when Obama's administration shifted the rules around

internships to make them to basically penalize employers

fourth doing unpaid internships,

that that was the death knell of or

the death knell the beginning of the death knell of what you're talking about, which

is this idea that everyone, if they're in the

market, should somehow be paid for something. And

that's not that's not true. No. You have to be providing value.

Right. And you're not providing value just by showing up and being

you. That's not valuable. Like, we like

to say it's valuable. Start a YouTube channel and see how

valuable that is. This is this is true. Exactly. It's not

true. For some people. For some people, it works. Right. Those are

usually the crazies. Right. Or or, like, or start podcast. Like, this

Yeah. You're like, we get a decent amount of downloads per month and a

decent amount of downloads per week. We're not killing it. We

will be in x number of years if we keep going on a particular path.

Right. But this is the other thing. Like, it's 10 years to an overnight success.

Yep. It's always 10 years. So you bought a music store, it'll be 10 years

to climb out of COVID.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it'll be the it'll be

Yeah. And in the meantime, I have to figure out how to pay off that,

that financing. That financing. Yes. Exactly. And and

no 1 and by the way, no. No. No. 1 of your not 1 of

the employees that you have, not 1 of the or or in in the

start up that I'm working with, not 1 of the the founders that we're working

with is going to be able to effectively sort of help

us walk through that idea. And so you

have to and it it was a real learning curve for me to figure that

out, and that's the last gas of the employee mindset. The last

gas with the employee mindset is the whining that, oh, it's not

terrible, and people don't love you. Why don't people appreciate me? It's not fair. And

you're getting rid of all that. You gotta that's dead weight. None of that's helping

you. I go to Comic Con, San Diego Comic Con every year, and every year,

I end it with this panel by this editor who has been in the

industry for decades. Yeah. Just decades.

And the first thing or the thing she says every year because she free

free free hands, whatever it's called. She she just goes. She just talks.

She just comes and just writes on the whiteboard and starts talking. Yeah. She's just

turning. Mile a minute. But, the first thing she says

is nobody owes you anything. Nobody owes you a sale.

Nobody owes you a read of a sentence. If you

nobody owes you like, if you wanna put a comic out there, nobody owes

you. Like, it's your job Right. To

make it, you know, desirable, marketable, like people want to read

it. You gotta write something or draw something that people want to

consume. So this is a good segue into PECO and

Random House and writers and AI. So AI,

I this is 1 of the things I really wanna ask you about. So AI,

large language algorithms are here now. And in the

fiction space where you are at Thankfully, they are

still terrible. They they are oh, they are horrible. They are horrible. They're

still terrible at the fiction thing. They are well, because, you know, they are

Honestly, I think it's only a matter of time. You you don't really I don't

I don't think they're ever gonna get to the nuance of no. No. No. Here's

what I think. No. No. No. Here's here's what I think. I think there will

be I read a lot of sci fi. So, yes, I think it's a good

amount of Tom. I know you don't. Oh, I know you don't even need to.

So I remember the line from, oh gosh. It's from

Moneyball that's, like, clipped and memed, from Brad who

hit such a great movie where he says, you know, there's there's

the the elite Tom here, then there's then there's 20 feet

of crap, and then there's us. And you know what that 20

feet of crap is gonna be? The AI produced fiction content.

And we are going to we, The algorithms and people who are looking to get

rich quick all the way at the end of the long tail, at the furthest

tippy tippy tip of the long tail, and this is already starting to happen,

are gonna create content that will to

paraphrase from from a essay I read in, a couple

of months ago that will the

Internet, basically.

More. You're a content crew more than it already is. Right? More.

Now I am shit on the Internet. Oh, yeah. And then

I Just go to Wattpad. Just go to I wasn't gonna bring it up. I

wasn't gonna say which I will admit we are

posting. Because, hey. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Like,

you're not making any money. It's not like, a lot of How do people separate

them the quality writing from the crap

when they gotta fuck it. And if Penguin Random House isn't gonna help you,

because they're not gonna help you They're not. No. They're they're fighting

for for any foothold or toehold or

fingernail hold they can maintain on an incredibly shrinking fat head.

Yeah. Writers so so they're not gonna help you. They're not gonna publish your

books. They're too busy publishing the Bible and Shakespeare for the until,

like, until, like, you know come home. Whatever the phrase Or Jesus

comes back or nuclear weapons or roaches come out and, you know, all the insurance

companies send out the final checks and then they collapse. Like,

this is what they're doing. Right? And they plan on doing it all the way

to the end. Right? The bitter end, and it will be a bitter end,

which is why that merger was gonna happen. So how do we I have so

many questions here. How do we take like, the kind of Monte

Cristo could probably work now, in a serialized

form, but it'd have to be on YouTube with TikTok videos around it,

and Dumas would have to come on and do a TikTok dance to promote it,

which he probably would do do that just fine. You would have to do a

long form YouTube kind of thing. You'd have to have a long form YouTube show

to support the account of Monte Cristo, and then you have to go on a

bunch of podcasts to support that. And it would be this whole marketing

structure around this 1 little piece of content, which then, of course, would not allow

him to scale the content because that's where his real talents and skills were,

which is why certain people have long at certain times. Right?

But You have just articulated our conundrum.

Why? Expert. It is. It is. Yes. It is the kind of

Yep. I write nonfiction business books. All nonfiction

business books sell all, not all, sell well

over 80% of their copies in the first, like, 6 weeks of release

Wow. Of their lifetime of their lifetime.

So a business book like Napoleon Hill's Eat and Grow Rich or

Think and Grow Rich or whatever, Eat and Grow Rich. Think and Grow Rich fourth

Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence. The reason why we still about Dale

Carnegie and Napoleon Hill is because they came along at a time when you could

sell to a literate public, and you could sell a 100, 000 copies, and then

your legacy just rose like a mountain over time. But if you're

publishing a book, a business book business nonfiction book in

2024, there's so much garbage. There's the elite, which is the

Adam Grant, Malcolm Gladwell folks of the world. Then there's not

20 feet. There's a 150 feet of garbage.

And then there's you squirming around the bottom like a roach trying to figure out

that's me. Scrolling around the bottom like a roach trying to figure out how to

get through the 150 feet crap. The roaches survive. They

do, and they eat a lot of crap. Yes.

And that's why we have them. And so when not the nonfiction business book space,

it's vicious. No 1 ever talks about how few nonfiction books

celebrities sell. No 1 ever talks about that because it

would be in his biographies. Oh, it would be embarrassing. Oh,

god. It would be embarrassing. Like, Principles by Ray Dalio.

I think the book came out 10 years ago now. Oh, I'm not Reason was

on my list for a while Yeah. And I didn't buy it. No. Writers. Nobody's

read that book all the way through, and Ray Dalio knows it. Like well,

anyway, there's all kinds of scams that are done to get those books

into the New York Times bestseller list. We can get 10, 000 copies. Heard about

that. Yes. It's so frustrating. The New

York best type that that doesn't mean anything. Doesn't mean anything. It's it's a

marketing turning, right? It's become a marketing thing. It used to mean something, but now

it doesn't. But it's Like, I've heard of writers that will buy the 10,

000 books themselves Mhmm. Yep. Just to make sure that it gets

to the New York best times. And then they give the copies away, and then

they have that marking yeah. Yeah. Exactly.

What do you but in fiction, I don't know what the rules are in fiction.

I I don't know. I don't know what the rules are in fiction. Like, you

said you just wrote a trilogy. You I I presume you wrote it with as

a human being, not using AI. Of course. You've got AI.

You have AI, And then you've got which is gonna create a problem for all

the fiction writers. Yeah. And you even said it yourself.

And then and then you've got the marketing, you know,

scheme around the book. Right? And then you've got the

fact that you might only sell a 1, 000 of these books. That's not really

an option for me. And I'm grateful that I worked as an entrepreneur

and made no money for 10 years. Yeah.

Because I finally it's 1 of those things where I look back and I'm like,

this is what all this shit was for. Yeah. I think.

You know, I've tried what is it? Do you

every 9 out of 10 businesses fail? Oh, yeah. It's like so

I I think that's what all the failure that what this was for is like,

I'm just gonna keep going until this book sells. Right. I'm not

gonna I'm not gonna stop. Yeah. But I think

you need that. And I think a lot of authors or

aspiring writers just don't understand that that's the kind of

mindset you need. Mhmm. Especially with this. Like, I

don't like, if we if, you know, we're probably gonna self publish first. We'll

try that. I have a friend who, like, is

an expert and coaches people on, you know, the SEO of Amazon. We're like,

okay. We'll try that. Like, if that doesn't work, we'll try something

else. Like, we're just gonna keep trying,

and I'm gonna keep writers. Right. Yeah. Like, it's just like, I I

and though I think 1 of the things is, like, what

keeps you going Mhmm. Is like, well, I would rather write than

do most other things. Mhmm. The I

grew up playing video games. I love video games. And

the the tell for me was when I started it was like, would I

rather play Jesan right now fourth would I rather write? I'm like, I'm

gonna go write. I was like, woah. That's

weird. I never thought that would happen. Never ever would I that would I

have thought that I would be doing something work

related that I would rather do that would

it's because games are designed to feel rewarding.

Right. Which is why we have such a massive intellect trapped

in virtual worlds, which I think is the biggest

shame. Ready player 1 exists for a reason like

that. Like like And nailed it in that first book. He did. He

nailed it perfectly. It just there's so much

intelligence just stuck

in video games right now. And that's not to say they're playing video there's nothing

wrong with playing video games. I love video games. But, man,

if we could figure out how to get them a little bit of confidence

and get that what is it that that problem solving

mindset that is just inherent in all video game playing to

solve the problems of the world. Well, this is my this is my concern with

AI because my concern with our with large language algorithms is not necessarily on the

creative and in the the craft Yeah. That's what we're talking about. Content end. It's

not necessarily that. But it is it is this idea that because this is

already starting to happen. We're gonna take the data the

data pattern recognition process of an LLM.

We're going to put that machine next to the machine of virtual reality,

the VR machine. And, of course, because

it's 2 algorithms talking to each other, they're gonna pattern recognition and solve for each

other all the way out to the logical end.

And my concern is not that we're gonna have a Terminator thing

where the AI jumps out into the physical thing and start shooting people, although

that very well may be a thing. I think Google's working on that on the

side. Oh, fourth sure. There's I I think they're definitely working on

that in Mountain View. What's far more insidious to me is when

Mark Zuckerberg's working on with Meta, where we're

going to make the thing so good in here, you never

leave. That's ready player 1. Yeah.

And that Tom me is far more

possible, And that

creates the dystopia that you saw in that book where everybody's living

in, you know, trailers or or stack 1 on top of each other somewhere in

Oklahoma hooked up to these, you know, machines.

And that's why I think and and that's why I do this podcast. It's like

it does and that's why I write books that nobody reads fourth

very few people. And it's why I do workshops

that a very small people, you know, a small number of people attend. And it's

why I've done this book, this kind of work for the last number of

double digit years because it's actually not about the number of people that I

impact. It's less about that, and it's more about the fight for

gatekeeping quality. And that's a fight worth

having. Yeah. And I become an insurgent by gatekeeping quality. That's

fascinating. Right? Right. We are doing that. It was just yeah. No.

When you were talking about that, it reminded me of your your notes about motivations.

And, you know, we only do things for 2 reasons

to move towards pleasure or move away from pain. Yep.

At the base, base, base level, that's what it all comes down to. It's very

binary. Very binary. Very binary. Pleasure. Move away

from pain. And that Jesan you

made the comments about meta, it's like they're they're, yeah, that's already kind of what

they do is Mhmm. It's all designed, like, to to stimulate the

pleasure centers of your brain, or the or the addictive

writers, both, you know, so that you just you don't wanna leave. You'll just

keep scrolling forever. Right. And it's not just Facebook. All of all

of them have done that because they they make their money the longer you're on

the platform. Right. Exactly. Well, and the the

dynamic and we will go back to the counterparty crystal here in just a second.

That's why I talk about bureaucracy. The dynamic of a company like

Meta, because it's a giant bureaucracy, I think they have 50, 000

employees. Wow. Google has a 100 I think Google has a

190, 000 last time I heard. That's like That's a small

country. Right. That that country. Yeah. That's a small country.

When you have these CEOs that are running small countries

that are getting $50, 000 a month,

They're not incentivized to be insurgents. They're incentivized

to make sure that whatever the hell is happening here keeps

happening. So everybody's fat or at least moderately fat.

And if not happy, at least moderately happy, and

and keeps the machine going. Because if this machine doesn't keep going,

the stockholders or Sorrells. The stockholders, the shareholders,

the folks who buy stock, the folks who are

employees, the folks who are on the board, the folks who are in the

audience, the folks who are the customers, all these folks will be impacted

in in a negative way. Whether that negative way is Tom right.

That's the word. Right. Exactly. And so you've got a

bureaucratic mindset doesn't just exist in government, although we're gonna see this in in

County of Monte Cristo with, this bureaucratic we're about to

introduce to the to the audience here. But we see it now

in corporations, and we've been here for a while since at least the mid

20th century. And I think people are starting to wake up to

the wake up to the game. I think COVID did a lot wake

wake people up to the game fourth so than probably anything

else that has happened in the last 100 years of

America.

Back to the count of Mike, Christelle, in just a moment.

We're not gonna read all of this chapter, but it is called the interrogation.

And, the interrogation of Edmond

Dantes, because he is arrested based on this,

letter that, Fernand actually delivers,

not Danglar, interestingly enough, which is again what

Danglar wanted. He didn't want his fingerprints on the

on the murder weapon. And so

the Dantes gets arrested,

and the person who is interrogating him,

is a gentleman named De Villefort, Gerard.

And Gerard. There we go. Yes. I think it's a

there's a buddy of mine who speaks French, and he fourth of anyway.

Okay. Yep. I didn't say it book. No. No. The more important part is that

the double l is No. Is is not l. It's e

like d 4. Yeah. V4. V4. V4. V4. V4. V

like a like a guy hop off the back of your throat. Yeah.

V4. And, he

is at a betrothal of his own. This is the this is the play that

Dumont does with and,

and hang on. I'm not gonna call it. And Dante's,

and and he plays off this idea that both gentlemen are

approaching, we just mentioned this earlier, happiness. Right? They're approaching their peak of

happiness, and now they have to do they have to have an unfortunate

engagement with each other.

So we'll read selections from this chapter because it is it is a

long chapter, there's a lot involved here, but there's a couple of different ideas I

want to pull out from here. So we'll start off here. Hartley

had left the dining room,

then he had put out it's gonna get worse and worse pronunciation as I go

along. So just batten down the hatches.

Then he put off his joyful mask to take on the serious

meow of 1 called upon to exercise the supreme office of pronouncing on the life

of his fellow man. However, despite the mobility of his

expression, something which the deputy had studied more than once, as a skilled

actor does in front of his mirror, on this occasion, it was an effort for

him to lower his brow and darken his features. In reality, apart from the memory

of his father's choice of political allegiance, which if he did not himself

completely renounce it might affect his own career, Gerard de

Vivot was at that moment as happy as it is possible for a man to

be. David 26, already wealthy in his own right, he held a

high office in the legal profession, and he was to marry a beautiful young woman

whom he loved, not with passion, but reasonably, as a deputy

crown prostitute Tom Merlot. Apart from her beauty, which was exceptional,

his fiancee, Mademoiselle Jesan Maron, belonged to a

family which was among those most highly thought of at court in this

time. And besides the influence of her mother and father, who having no other children,

preserved entirely for their son-in-law, She was,

in addition, bringing her husband a dowry of 50, 000

which, thanks to her, quote, unquote, expectations, that

drove forward invented by marriage brokers might 1 day be increased by a

legacy of half a1000000. The

reason I'm reading this is because, we

in our time married for love. Right? We don't marry for any other

reasons. Anyway,

he's hustling his way over to the office to

have a conversation. He's waylaid a little bit by the

ship's owner, a monsieur Sorrells.

And, well, Zijo sits down

once he has a con a conversation with Marel, basically indicating

that, he will do his duty no matter

what else happens,

and then he meets Dantes. First impressions had

been favorable to Dantes, but Viro had often heard it said as a

profound political maxim that 1 must be aware of first

impulses even when they were correct, and he applied this rule of impulses to

his impressions without taking account of the difference between the 2 Tom. So he's

a bit of a midwit. He thus stifled the good

instinct that was attempting to invade his heart and from there to

attack his mind, settled his features in front of the mirror into their grandest

expression, and sat down, dark and threatening, behind his desk.

A moment later, Dantes entered. The young man was still pale but calm and smiling.

He greeted his judge in a simple but courteous manner and looked around for somewhere

to sit as though he had been in the shipowner fourth met,

Major Morel's drawing room. It was only then that he met

Yehaw's dull gaze book looked peculiar to men of the law who do not want

anyone to read thoughts and so make their eyes into unpolished glass.

The look reminded him that he was standing before justice, a figure

of grim aspect and manners. Who

are you and what is your name? Vilfred asked, leaving leafing through the notes that

the officer had given him as he came in, which in the past hour had

already become a voluminous pile, so quickly does the amount of reports and information build

up around the that unfortunate body known as detainees.

My name is Edmund Dantes, and the young man replied in a calm voice in

readers tones. I am the first mate on board the vessel Faron belonging to

Mayor Suarez Sorrells and Son. Your age?

Continued. 19. What were you doing at the time of your arrest?

I was celebrating my betrothal, Dante said, his voice

faltering slightly. So sharp was the contrast between those moments of

happiness and the dismal formalities in which he was now taking part and so much

did the bomber face of,

enhance the brilliance of Mercedes features.

You were at your betrothal feast, said the deputy, shuddering inspiring in

spite of himself. Yes, I'm about to marry a woman whom I have

loved for the past 3 years. Though

usually impassive, nevertheless, Villefort was struck by this coincidence, and the emotion in

the voice of Dante, whose happiness had been interrupted, sounded a sympathetic chord

with with him. He too was to be married. He too was happy, and his

own felicity had been disturbed so that he might help to destroy

that of a man who, like himself, was on the brink of happiness.

This philosophical analogy he thought would cause a great stir when he returned

Tom, Mademoiselle de Saint Morin Salon. And while

Dante's waited for his next question, he was already mentally ordering the antithesis

around which orators construct those sentences designed to elicit applause,

but would sometimes produce the illusion of true eloquence.

They go through the interrogation. Essays him a

bunch of questions and then takes the letter from his

pocket. That is the letter that Denglars

wrote and offered it to Dantes who

examined it. His face clouded, and he said, this is a little bit later in

the chapter, Sorrells, I do not know this handwriting. It is disguised, yet it has

an appearance of sincerity. In any case, the writing is that of an educated hand.

He looked at the whole with such gratitude. I'm happy to find myself dealing with

a man such as you because my rival is indeed a true enemy.

Fourth the flash that passed through the young man's eyes as he spoke those words,

D'Arroy was able to perceive how much violent energy was hidden beneath his mild

exterior. Come then, said the deputy prosecutor, answer my questions

honestly, not as an accused man Tom his judge, but as 1 wrongly accused might

answer another who has his interests at heart. How much truth is there in this

anonymous accusation? And through the letter, which Dante

essays just given back to him onto the desk in a gesture with a gesture

of distaste. Now that's the

letter or the the cover of the leaders. And,

well Then there's a letter that Dante

Yeah. Go ahead. Oh, was

given by the captain to deliver in

Paris. Yes. And this is where, you know, if, you know,

you're asking about the bureaucracy and I think ville fourth really does use

the bureaucracy to his advantage here, obviously.

Oh, yeah. But it's still a matter of self interest. So sorry fourth

those of you who've not read Count of Monte Cristo, Fourth, the

letter is addressed to Noirtier,

who is Villefort's father. Father. That's right. Noirtier is a

Bonaparte supporter, and Villefort is working

very hard to disassociate himself with his father's

political leanings. And so

I think 1 of the writers, Fourth just straight up meets the king.

Yep. So Yep. He's he's working real hard to

establish himself with, the the new monarchy

or the old reestablished monarchy, whatever. And

so Edmond Dantes now presents a threat

to all of Fourth hard work.

And instead of being a cool guy,

he just screws Edmond

Dentas over. And he's like, you can go just

disappear in prison because that will save my reputation

and all of my hard work. Now

why was Napoleon a problem?

I mean For those of

us who don't know, why was Napoleon a problem? Why was that guy a

little bit of a challenge for folks in Europe at that time? I feel like

you could probably answer it, better than I could.

The other, like, side note, the other

books that I've been reading are it's called the Temeraire novels by Naomi

Novik. They're also set in the Napoleon era, but it's

fantasy. It's historical fantasy. It's a lot of fun, but it's just interesting. We're like,

oh, I forgot this was set during the Napoleon era. I was like, dang. Okay.

Just Napoleon everywhere. Well and so Napoleon was you're

right. I can answer this question. You're correct. So, Napoleon, you're exactly correct. Be

like Well vague memories of my history lessons. Yeah.

So this was this novel or or the Count of Monte Cristo events of Count

of Monte Cristo occur at a time when Napoleon is

either yes. He's at his first exile to Elba. Yes. And

so the the folks on the yeah. The monarchists on the continent,

specifically in France, don't know if he's going to

mount a return, which he would actually mount a

return. And then there would be a 100 days where he would rampage

across Europe, and then he would be put back in a box and

shipped off as far away as they could possibly manage to ship him

off because I don't I actually am not I'm really curious as to why they

didn't send him to, like, North America. Anyway, it doesn't matter. Point is,

they were gonna put him in a box and send him away. Right? And

that gap, between, you know, him being

defeated, at the battle of Waterloo and then being exiled,

and then coming back, that that gap of time. There's a lot of

turmoil in France, particularly around Paris. You see that in

the chapter where he goes and where Viofael goes and sees runs off and goes

and sees the king to your point. And at that point, everybody's

trying to make their own separate deals.

Everybody's trying to appeal to the king or or not the king, at least, the

monarch. Sure their place. Correct. Abundel. That's

right. There's a lot of, what we call Tom modern terms

jostling Right. For political position.

And Don Tedz is the classic guy.

He's the the term that we use nowadays, particularly on Substack and other

places is normie. He's a normie.

He does I was gonna essays, but that's usually for women. The is for women.

Normie is for dudes. Yeah. He's he's he's

he's he's your average video game playing dude who just wants to get married and

go back to work. He doesn't know who Joe Biden is. He

doesn't have an opinion about Donald Trump. Didn't even know who his own mayor is.

He's just he's There you go. Right. I just wanna just wanna hang out and

go, I don't know, all in good work. And he's party, girl. Right.

I just wanna marry the pay the bills. Girl, pay the bills. He got promoted

early. Right. I'm 19. I got a promotion. Why? I don't wanna die fat

and old. And by the way, I'll be fat and old if I'm lucky by

the time I'm 30. Come on. Right.

He's he he's almost a man with no

I won't say no motivation. He's almost a man with no

no. I'll frame it this way. Dumont has created the author, Alexandre Dumont,

created a character upon whom he could paint

turning, and he painted this revenge

story on on Dantes,

because of the situation that he was surrounded. And so I think

there's a warning actually in here for all of the normies.

And the warning is and this is where bureaucratic self interest comes in, and

it's discontent. If the bureaucrat decides that it's

self serving to reach down and get you

and by the way, you're you're done. I mean, you see this in in in

in night by Eli Weisel. We covered,

we covered, the, the Gulag Archipelago last year by Alexander

Soljacidsson. Like, if you're engaged

in just living out your life, the system, and we talk a lot about

this today in our culture, the system will find a way to get you if

the system wants you. Oh, that feels that reminds this kind

of weird example, but I play a lot of board games. And I my favorite

board games are the ones where I can just sit on my side of the

board and do my thing and, you know, I'm like, oh, cool. I'm getting my

points. Blah blah blah. And as soon as somebody comes over to fuck with me,

I'm like, leave me alone. Why are you

bothering me? I'm just happy over here. And it's like, well, it's because it's

part of the game. Right. It it is. But that happens in life. That happens

in life. It's all part of the game. 1 of my favorite shows on

HBO over the last 25 years, was,

and it's not on anymore, but I recommend everybody watch it. You can find it

on HBO Max, the app. The Wire. You should watch

all 3 seasons of The Wire. Talk about brilliant writing that hangs together.

It's genius. It takes the Coppin Readers or Coppin

versus drug dealers fourth of trope, puts it in Baltimore, and it takes Tom its

next level. And the writing is so clean and clear and amazing.

And there's a character in there who robs other drug dealers named

Omar. Okay. And, that's how he makes

his living. He walks out down the street with a shotgun and a big black

trench coat, and all the drug dealers on the corners know, and they scream

out, Omar's coming, and they they scatter. He

robs drug dealers. And so in

the course of the series, eventually, the prosecution who wants to prosecute

these drug readers, calls him as a witness. Now he's doing it self

servingly because he wants to get revenge on some people who who hurt

him and hurt some people close to him. But,

the prosecution is fine with using him to accomplish their own means because they work

for the state. The bureaucracy again. And this little

bureaucratic lawyer is questioning, this

this Omar, and and

he asked and there's a sequence view of this. It goes to season 4

or 5 of the wire where he basically asks,

Omar, you know, I you seal with you you rob drug

dealers. Why should we believe anything that you that you say

here? You you take a shotgun and you rob people. And he

goes and Omar says, you do the same thing just with a suitcase.

And it turns it on that bureaucratic lawyer, and leaders like his mouth

drops open because he has nothing to say. And everybody in the court

laughs, and then Omar owns it. And

then a couple more beats go by, and,

you know, the prosecutor asks him after he pulls

himself back together, and he asks him, you know, how has this man like

this has survived this long? Either you have survived this long because if

you're robbing drug dealers, your life expectancy is

minimal at best. And so he says, well, you know, it's all in

the game. You either play or you get played. That's

how it goes. And

this is the thing I think in life

that normal people miss. They don't

realize the games they are in, or they

think the games they're playing don't have any long term consequences. Like,

they can't they can't project those out. Yeah. And so, yes, it most

normal people play life like that board game. Like, when like, where you play board

games. They just wanna be left in a normal corner and leave me alone. And

if you come over here and mess with me my city. I don't know. Build

my city. And and you're not allowed to

be left alone because the bureaucrats want

to come over and mess with you. Knock over your sand castle.

That's what I mean. And they're doing it, and this is the

counterpoint I always think of. They're doing it for duty, like the

fourth you know, they're doing it for duty, or they're doing it for

other self serving reasons, or they're doing it to they're doing it to win

their own game that they're in. And you don't know the rules of their game

Mhmm. But because they've been set in position and

hierarchy over you, they know your game. And if

there's 1 thing I would recommend for leaders who are who think of themselves as

being quote, unquote Sorrells or, I would rec fourth

naive. I would recommend

that it might be a good idea to learn what kind of games other people

are playing on other boards.

Might be a really good idea to learn those games. Write this down.

Well, you're gonna see it you're gonna see it in the in the music store

that you I already have. Yeah. Like, that's that's a totally different

game. Yeah. You know? And you I mean, I'm and you've got a

I'm presume you've got Actually, I know 1 of the games. You know what I

book? Because I was I was.

But there's so many other games that then open up. Right? Because, you

know, like, there's the there's the you're in California. I

won't say where, but you're in California. So, like, you got the inspection game.

The bureaucrats and the regulators that show up and wanna wanna produce

literally nothing but paper. That's literally the job just to produce paper. Not to provide

value, just produce paper so they can keep getting, keep getting a job.

And if you irritate any of those people, they won't give you a piece of

paper that you need in order to run this business Mhmm. Which

is brutal and vicious. But that's only 1

game. Then you've got, like, the tax California taxing authority game, which is

totally different game. And then you've got the IRS game, which

is a totally different game. And then and then you've got,

like, the game of actually going to your customers. Your customers don't care about any

of those other games you're playing. Nope. And then you've got your employees who are

totally different game, and they don't care about any of those other games you're playing.

And this is the challenge of entrepreneurship, but it's also the challenge of

Leadership. Of leadership. Yeah. III have

like, my friend group in general just doesn't they're

like, do CEOs deserve how much they get paid? And

sometimes I'm like Yes. Yeah.

Yeah. I Jesan, you Yeah. Like, like, we can argue about the ethics of,

like, the how much their raises have gone up and how much their workers are

like, yeah. The CEOs can't do their thing if they don't have their workers

in the beehive making the thing. But, like, like,

they're they're thinking about so much.

Yeah. Mhmm. Yeah. They deserve to make a lot of money,

a lot of money because nobody else wants to do that.

They deserve it unless you're like the Boeing's I was the LS.

And if you're the CEO of Boeing where the

door falls off your plane in the middle of the

air, right, you've gotta be the 1st leader that falls

on the grenade This. When the screw up happens. That's and I

think that's the big issue is ours like, well, I don't know. I was about

to say a, like, a blanket statement, but I think

something that people are not seeing Mhmm. In CEO

leadership is that Yeah. They're not willing to

fall on the grenade for their companies. They're not willing to it's just a

paycheck. It's all very, like, mercenary.

Transactional. Yeah. And so the, like,

the passion, the the the, what are those little

Vision or whatever. Right? The buy in of the the company's mission. It's

not actually there. Don't actually care. Well, when you see the source a lot

of the big, big ones. Right? I think there are some smaller still

maybe, like, lots of revenue, but smaller,

companies where the CEO is, like, they'll take the

hit. 1 of the CEOs that I hear about occasionally

is, like, the CEO of Costco Tom, like, how little he makes and how much,

like, he does to to really build that company and

make sure it's it's good for their workers too. And it's just like, damn. That's

that's how it's done. Well, it's really interesting. So if you ever have an opportunity

to in the local area you're in, if you ever have opportunity to go to,

like, a small business mixer with other small business

leaders who are leading their businesses,

It's interesting because you see this at a micro level Mhmm. Versus

seeing it at a mac or sorry. You see it at a macro versus the

micro level. But what you see is when you wind up fourth what you

experience when you wind up talking to books, and I've been to a lot of

those those mixers and summits and conferences and things like that in my

Tom, in running, like, the 3 or 4 businesses that I've

run. It's you you you wind up in a

space where you look at what that person's doing

and leading in that particular way even if it's parallel to you. And

the first thing you think is, well, that's fine for that person. I would never

do that, and you walk away.

Because you're like, I I can't I can't

I can't sit here and critique you because I know how

hard what you're doing is, and you know how hard what I'm doing

is. Yeah. So there's actually no critique here. It's just you

found a different solution than the solution that I found. So

if you're at a It's like parenting. Right. Exactly.

Right. Now Yes. Now 1 of the things that I push on very often, just

like in parenting, is there has to be a standard at some level. Like,

we have to say that there's a baseline of ethics

or a baseline of whatever. Right? And we see this in the count of Monte

Cristo. There has to be a baseline of some behavior here that we all

socially agree on. But then after we get past the baseline

and by the way, my my big problem is the baseline is is being and

has been destroyed. That's my big Yep. Yeah. But We've been working on

disintegrating that, and now it's just crumbled. It's just like we have movement.

Right. We've deconstructed it out of existence. Yeah. That doesn't work though because now

you're just floating around. And if you're just floating around, whether

you're a corporate, whether you're a big public company, like a Boeing or a

META, which we've mentioned, or any of Musk's companies, big public companies,

or you're a small business, there's no baseline standard that unites

you. And so anyone can do anything anywhere. And you're at that

mixer. You're listening to this person talk, or you're you're you're

having a can of hay fourth whatever, some order that you didn't wanna

eat. And you're going, I would never do that that way, but

you're still hamstrung in that sense of not being able to

critique that person because guess what? If you do, they're gonna start

poking on you. And this is where we get

to the idea that it doesn't matter what you're doing. It only matters

the result because the result is the thing that can never be

argued against. And so if the result

is, well, I gave all of my employees $50,

000 bonuses last year and you gave none of your employees any and you're

almost a debt, then you go, well,

you win the day. Congratulations. You won. Yeah. I

guess you won. And and this is this is the

thing I think we're struggling with in the United States right now. Yeah.

Chaos. Can I ask you a question about chaos here as we round the corner?

Because in a chaotic time, like in the count of Monte

Cristo, where, like, no 1 knows

what's turning. And and we are in a weird this has been 1 of the

the 1 of the things on this podcast this year is that we're in a

moment. I think we're at the end of chaos. I think we're at the back

end of chaos. Oh, I hope so. Oh, and the reason why I say this

is because usually chaos comes in 20 year cycles.

We've been in a 20 to 25 year cycle of chaos since 2, 001.

Next year will be 25 years of pay 24 years, 25 years of chaos.

We're almost done. We're almost out the other side. Now usually in the back end

of chaos, there's a last sort of explosion of

nonsense, which may happen, you know, internationally, may

happen internally, may happen in November, whatever. Right? There's a

last but then usually, that's the last thing. It's like a rat that's trapped and

makes it podcast, like, lunge, and then it's done. Right? Yeah.

So we we're not in the last lunge moment, but the last lunge moment is

coming. And then what's on the other and and this podcast this year has been

consumed with what's on the other side of that last bunch.

Because I'm less interested in the last lunge of chaos, and I'm more

interested in what happens when, okay, now we're done with

that. That's so interesting. And now we're gonna do something else.

When you were talking about,

I am sorry. I can't even remember what you're talking about, but chaos was the

the 1. Chaos. Fourth examples of chaos. Yeah. 1 of the things that

started kind of playing in my head was that montage in, v for

Vendetta, if you've seen it. When

like, it's like right after V has sent out all of the masks. Mhmm. Yep.

And there's that that just that montage of chaos in the UK. I mean, it's

just even but the anarchy in the UK and the guy shoots the gun in

the air. And that's what it reminded me of. But then your your

point just now is, like, what comes after that? Because that's where the movie ends.

They're just like, we blew up parliament. The the good

guys won. And we're like, what happens

next? It's like Right. And how do we rule? Right.

Yeah. Nobody thought about that. The 1 guy that might have

thought about it is now dead.

Well, this is this is my problem with revolutionary movements because sometimes

sometimes the dog catches the car.

So I already mentioned I mean, before we started the the podcast, I

mentioned Joker in a different kind of context in the dark night.

And my challenge with many revolutionary movies, I don't care whether they're Marxist

from the left or whether they're, you know, Proud

Boys or the Patriot Front or whoever from the right. I don't care.

Political political revolutionary movements, social revolutionary movements, cultural

revolutionary movements, deconstruction, which is a philosophy

from Merida, you know, all of this stuff.

What happens I always ask the the diversity, equity, and inclusion people, what

happens after you have a diverse equity or equitable and inclusive

world? And, of course, the response to that always is, well, Jesan will never get

there. Oh, okay. So what you're telling me, you're gonna have never ending chaos and

never ending revolution? And by the way, when you say that

conclusion, everybody walks away. And the reason why

everybody walks away and has nothing to say is because

the thing that destroys a in a revolution is not the same

thing as the thing that builds. No. And it's time I

I will say this. I personally have had enough of

destruction, and it is time for building.

Yeah. I've had enough of destruction. So

are there going to be destruction. Or deconstruction or whatever fancy term? We've

been deconstructing since 2 planes flew into the towers in the World Trade Center in

2, 001. We've been deconstructing ever since then. We've had 25

years of deconstruction. Stop deconstructing.

What do we build? Constructing. Right. The thought that came to

me was that the answer to your question is

like, well, we don't know what we want, but it's not that. Right. We spend

so much time criticizing the thing that is that

we know we don't want that we're

not we're not spending any energy or time on, like, what would we do

instead? Okay. So we were talking about Disney, and we were

talking about the writing on Tom Wars a little bit before we started this podcast.

You write, you're writing a, you know, a, fictional science

fiction trilogy, putting that out into the world. That's so this

is our last question as we round the fourth, literature, as we come

around and bring it around. What are we going

to build in the future? Because DuMont

in the count of Monte Cristo, he's building something for the future. He's building a

Yeah. Right? He's building something that other people will be able to he wasn't

deconstruct well, no. He wasn't deconstructing trucks. He was building trucks.

He was building cliches. He was putting something into the world. Right? As

a creator, and this is why I love having you on and talking about this

kind of stuff. As a creator, how do we

well, how do we build past Disney, past X

Men, past MCU, past Star Wars? My thought

is, like, I'm so tired of lazy writing and lazy world building. I'm gonna go

build my own world that is going to have all of the

passion and thought and care and love

that I grew up reading. Mhmm. That's what I'm gonna go. I'm gonna

go create that. And if hopefully it Sorrells, and if it doesn't, I don't know.

I'm just gonna push it until it does. Mhmm. I there's no there's not really

any room in my mind for like, eventually,

people like me who maybe are still, like, please get better

Mhmm. Haven't thrown in the towel yet, are

gonna find my world, and they're gonna be

starving for it. And I think and I I don't

I don't and here's the other thing. I'm kinda I know competition is

a thing. Mhmm. But I would love it if there were, like,

10, 20, however many other writers go and do the same

thing. Like, there's room. There's room. My world is gonna

be different from your world. Go build your own world. Make it make it

good. Take the time. Don't be in a

rush. Like, just just just let it marinate. You know?

Make a make a good thing, and

it's hard. Do do the hard thing, which is we want

the easy out. Right? We're like, oh, chat gpt. Let let it write it for

me. Like, no. Chat gpt can be a useful tool.

Mhmm. But it's not gonna write it's not gonna write your book. It's not gonna

build your world in a, like you said, with any

substance. So go make your own

thing. If you're unhappy with that, think about, like, hey. What would

you do instead? What would you do better? And then go do it. Don't just

talk about it. Be like, Yeah. That would be cool if that existed.

You had the thought, go make it. Because the way you're gonna make it is

gonna be different from how I would make it. It. And then suddenly, if we

both put in the time and the effort and the, you know, the

passion, then we have 2 plus

very high quality fantasy worlds. And

just, like, people are gonna eat it up. And eventually,

you know, this is this is where I, you know, I definitely I'm the

idealist naive. If everything was roses, you know,

eventually, Hollywood will be so starving for good content, then they're

gonna come to us. And they'll be like, hey.

You have good writing. And I'll be like, yes. And I will continue to

be involved, and I'm not taking your contract until Right.

You're like, there's, oh, here's the other thing. We need more people who can't

be bought. We wanna criticize so much

of, like, people who have a ton of money

with without realizing that, like, we're just waiting for our

chance to have that much money, except especially for

artists, we need things that that there's

no there's no figure. You cannot pay me enough

to turn Orda into Star Wars. Orda, sorry, is

the name of my world. You are d a. Like like, the I'm not

going to let you do that. I like, I think about this all the time

for when I'm fantasizing. To let each director would I trust pretty

much implicitly with with my work, and I think I have

1. And his name is Guillermo del Tom, and because that guy is picky.

And when they wanted to make Pacific Rim 2, he was like, nah. Yeah.

I don't need that. I'm not gonna do it. And so they made it without

him. And guess what? It was It was exactly what you would

expect. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. But Guillermo del Toro is just such

a fantastic storyteller. If, you know, if you didn't watch his

Pinocchio that came out on Netflix, that was amazing. Okay. So let me ask you

let me ask you the counter question to this, which I always get from people.

How do I survive the 10

years because I gotta eat and I need somewhere to live? Give me

practical steps on how I survive while I'm building this thing

Tom maybe at the end of that 10 years, no 1 will care about.

Might pay off. That's true. But more likely than not, no 1 will care about.

So how do I live? Well, so part right. Right.

It's like it's it depends on what you want. Do you want to survive fourth

do you want to be happy on the journey? So, like, my what I love

about my writing is that I love this process.

Yeah. If I get to the end and it never makes me a dime,

I'm like, well, I had fun. Writers? So

What else would I have done with my time? Exactly.

III had fun. It's out there. It's it's alive.

Maybe my kids will pick it up and be like, hey. Mama wrote this

cool book. We're gonna publish it for her. Right. Like, may

maybe. I don't know. I don't know how this is gonna Tom gonna

shake out. All I know is I'm having a blast. I love what I'm

doing. I love collaborating with my coauthor. Like and that the

journey is the thing anyway. At the end, if I make $1, 000, 000,

cool. At the end, if I make $10, cool. Like,

hey. Whatever. Because it's not about that ultimately.

Yeah. And so, you know, how do you pay the bills? I think I

got lucky. I have multiple passions. So, like, I was, you know, I

was teaching music in a

pretty affluent area. So I like, it's

a pretty it's a fairly cushy job.

We're working like, it's hard work. It is. Yeah. Yeah. I love my

students. Yeah. Right? I love and I so I got I think

maybe not I shouldn't say I got lucky because then, you know, everybody's

like, well, she's a special unicorn. I can't do that. You gotta, like,

figure out how to, like, enjoy whatever

process. 1 will make you money, and then 1 is the

long term 1 fourth 1 will pay the bills. Right? That's what my voice

teaching kinda always was. And, again, that's not to say that I, like, I cared

very deeply about my students. And taking this summer off to to stay

home with my daughter was actually a very difficult decision. Mhmm.

But, yeah, I think I think people have

that in them. They've or at the very least, they've got a way to find

a job that's at least not soul sucking. Right. Because if

it's if it's just this job that you show up and you do the thing

and it doesn't take a lot of mental or emotional energy, then you have that

mental, emotional energy to do your side thing, to create.

That's how you do it. Well, and when you show up to do that job,

And this is something I mean, this is how I solve that conundrum

when I show up to do that job. And I and I even use this

to solve this conundrum today, or this

idea. I'm in that 8 hours or 4 hours or whatever

it is that I'm giving to that employer. I'm not

over there with whatever the thing is that I'm building. I'm

here with you, but I'm a partner in this.

I'm not your employee. And partner means

if I don't like what you're doing, I'm free to

leave. Mhmm. I'm also free to set the

terms of what I will do, what I won't do,

not in a way that disrespects you or the business, but in a way that

respects what you've built and respects who I am.

Mhmm. Now if you can come to some fourth

that, great. We can work together. Mhmm. But

if we can't, I'm not for you

as an employer, and that's okay.

The world always needs more bartenders. I can hear I can

hear people saying, like, that's very idealistic way of of,

like, you have to pay the bills with and and desperation was what

came to mind. But I think there's this

belief or this fear that you can't

find that. Right. And you can't. So you have to keep looking.

Like, it might take a while to find. Yeah. But you can find it. Oh,

yeah. Well and and and totally shifted around everything when the employer

to employee relationship, like, in ways that are dramatic that I would not have

anticipated. And what we now have is people who are putting in the bare

minimum at the employee level, and it

shows. And that damages what the

employer is able to offer. We see this particularly in the restaurant industry. That

damages what the employer is able to offer as a service,

which by the way, if you don't offer a better service, you cannot make more

money and thus raise the book. Writers. And so the symbiotic relationship, the

deal, to paraphrase from Darth Vader, has been altered.

These deals get worse and worse all the time. All of us. This

is this is a very fine deal, and I'll take it.

Because we haven't seen the bid on robot chicken. You need to see it. Hilarious.

Oh my gosh. It's hilarious. I used to use that line back in the day

when I was leading larger teams because, like, careful, I don't alter the deal. Just

be careful. And 1 of my employees was a

huge Tom Wars fan. He would always laugh. I was like, just don't don't laugh

because I might alter the deal. And you're robot thing. It was hysterical. It

was hysterical. Yeah. My point is by the way, a show that could never get

made today fourth Right. Or the Boondocks. Like, everyone's seeing

Boondocks. They're now floating around among the Gen z ers on Instagram. It's kind of

interesting to see, like, this is floating up from the cultural zeitgeist. And I'm like,

oh, this is interesting. Y'all looking for quality, aren't you? There you go.

But but, but I think that you

can get there, but that symbiotic relationship has been broken. Mhmm. And,

again, that's part of the chaos piece. And so it's how do

we rebuild that symbiotic relationship. It's how do

we build new structures on the other side. I don't need to hear any

more about how we break them apart because we figured that part out. Right. How

do we rebuild that symbiotic structure? So if I No. It's gonna take the

leaders. The leaders have to do it. Leaders have to go first. Yeah.

Exactly. Yeah. Yep. It's gonna take the leaders.

Alright. Well, we have resolved everything here, but that's okay. That's

it. That's fine. That's fine. We we read some things from, the count of Monte

Cristo. I strongly heartily recommend you either get the unabridged

version or the abridged version, whichever version. They're both great. But you know what

you have time fourth. But you know what you have time for in your in

your day. We will have Kristen back on

when I finally power through to the end of

my unbridged version of, the count of Montecristo, but I'm

going to thank Christopher for coming on our podcast today. And, of course,

when Belle of the Book comes out, we'll have her on to talk about that.

I can't wait to see that new project come into the world, and I look

forward to hearing more from her about this. So thank you very much for coming

on the podcast today, Kristin. It was great. Thank you so much for having me.

It's a blast. Alright. And with that, well, folks,

we're out.