The Phileas Club 160 – How Things Went, How Things Are

On this episode:

  • The US presidential election and the long results week
  • And more!




  1. Gordon Bellah Jr says:

    It was a delight to hear Owen JJ Stone weigh in on the recent podcast. I usually doubt people who feel they know how everybody else thinks but I believe he’s very insightful to a variety of diverse opinions. One should not take him to mean all people are the same way but that those attitudes are still lingering in a large part of the population, however illogical it may seem. Where I may differ is that I do believe people can change, it’s just not very common or easy. Consequently, it’s unreasonable to expect most people to change their “modus operandi”.

  2. Mo Valentin says:

    I believe that this will be the last episode of this podcast that I listen to and I decided to put my thoughts here for posterity. I have listened to every episode from the beginning and I first started listening to it over ten years ago.

    I cannot any longer stand how focused this podcast has become on a few conservative Americans who appear to dislike the premise of the show. It did not used to be like this.

    It used to be a show where the panelists were varied and interesting because they talked about the facts of the news and world events. Facts —- those knowable things that we must all mostly agree to if we are going to get along. It still IS a show that often hits that height. Episodes about Brexit for instance have included panelists who harboured conservative beliefs but always stopped short of wrecking the whole discussion.

    But starting about five years ago Patrick seems to have found himself talking almost exclusively to Americans who are very right wing and seem to disagree with the most basic examination of facts. That is not entertaining or interesting to listen to. He asks them questions about events and things that were said by leaders and he raises issues that are based in facts that we can all read in the world press and …. the conservative american panelist dismisses it or ignores it or very very often claims to have no knowledge of the subject. It makes no sense that a podcast about the unique perspectives that different people have on the news could work with people who treat the news this way.

    I first started noticing this when about four years ago the world looked on in horror and sadness as the USA elected Trump and then he was given office and everyone in the world wondered if there were any nice or sane people left in the USA. The news told us that yes there were. They were rising up in the streets and marching in great beautiful protests almost immediately and the protesters were mostly women! I could not wait for the next Phileas Club and then it was such a terrible letdown. It was an episode called emergency conservative viewpoints and Patrick had decided that despite the fact that American conservatives had taken over their government and won control, these particular conservatives needed to be heard so much that it was an emergency. We were never told what was threatening them. There was no emergency uncovered.

    Instead, we were told that they were misunderstood and unhappy about how the facts of current events framed them. But they never provided anything like a reason for the rest of us to sympathise. They insisted that the rest of the world does not understand them and they insisted that Trump was going to work out just fine if all we do is give him a chance. as though we had any choice but to endure it. They made predictions that were obviously never going to come true and they refused to talk about any of the facts raised by Patrick. Why did he post this episode? Did the Americans pay him for it?

    In the four years since then it seems like every second episode is a bog of american conservatives clashing with Patrick with no beneficial results. I can only think of one episode (sorry I’m not finding it in the list right now – it was perhaps two years ago) where Patrick talked to Americans and the Americans were not right wing. The recent episode I am commenting on was perfectly representative of how that always plays out. Patrick asks the American what they think of some statement by Trump and they say they didn’t hear it. Both of the Americans on this episode stated that they dont’ read Trumps tweets! What are they doing on this show?? Why have them? Why should I listen to them if they are not even willing to inform themselves about the subject??

    I ahve thought for years that Patrick was trying to do something with these men. I thought he was trying to put on a demonstration of changing their beliefs. or even just getting them to admit …. anything. Perhaps his experiment was to see if we just talked to them again and again they would change. It has NOT happened. The experiment is FAILED. I do not want to hear from them ever again. There is no entertainment value here. On Saturday night 7-November there were people around the world dancing in the streets because Trump had lost. This episode of Phileas did not even MENTION that. But the very first thing said by one of the americans on this episode was that he was comfortable with Trump working to overturn the result. The argument that followed was identical to what has transpired on dozens of episodes the last few years. It was stated that “the point of this show is to listen”.

    We then got to listen to the other american rant about Biden and Kamala Harris. I was shocked by what he was saying, so I looked up every thing he said about “historically black colleges and universities” (which I did not know about before). The guest was wrong about how different presidents have treated those colleges. Almost everything he said about Kamala Harris was a lie. I counted five major lies. You can look it up. Her public record is very detailed. We need facts and public records in order to have democracy. Now there are probably people who listened to this show and are completely misinformed. But “the point of this show is to listen”.

    I say NO. We should not listen to those who would damage democracy. It is insidious and it is bad for the whole world.

    I am not saying that I do not want conservatives to have a voice in affairs. I do. I think it is good for the world for democracy to bring people of differing views together so that conservatives like these can see that there are many others who disagree with them. I wish Patrick would host americans who do not dissemble constantly. But much much more than that I wish Patrick would find Americans who will give us hope and understanding when we look at their country and ask why they do what they do. In the many returns of these conservative americans, I have never heard one on this podcast who made it worth my time to listen. Despite Patrick’s efforts to affect them, all he seems to be doing is elevating them. They are still exactly as they were FIVE YEARS AGO.

    Both guests on this episode insisted that Trump didn’t hurt anything. How can anyone allow that to stand? It is a despicable belief that should not be spread. People are dying due to this pandemic. These americans do not seem to care. It is offensive.

    I am sure that QAnon was supposed to teach us something about how dangerous ideas can spread like a virus. once again we look at the USA and see a major explosion of QAnon (as well as an actual virus you know) and wonder why the americans are not trying harder to quarantine it. But I realise now that by listening to this show I am participating in the spread of the QAnon virus. Having more listeners encourages Patrick to elevate these conservative americans more and expose their beliefs to people, some of whom will then travel down the QAnon path. This leads to people subscribing on Patreon, which tells Patrick that he should elevate the conservatives even more, since it is financially beneficial. I would not be surprised if over the last five years, the Patreon audience has excluded people like me and become filled with people who like conservative dissembling. It is reminiscent of Facebook, where people like me have left and QAnon flourishes. Facebook has no financial incentive to change. This podcast surely has patrons who tell Patrick they want more of the viral doses of conservative beliefs.

    Still it is a proven fact that quarantine works. We must shut off the opportunity for viral spreading. While studies have shown that deplatforming is effective (see, I believe the last few years of the Phileas Club has shown that deplatforming is our only good option as individuals. When you have a platform such as this one you should use it to elevate people who expand the minds of the audience. Talk to your conservative friends in private and fail to change their minds for years. But do not expose their ideas to strangers around the world. That is what leads to the diminishing democracies we see in so many places. If not for right wing media platforms exposing everyday people to the wildest beliefs of the conservatives, Brexit would have never happened. Now, thanks to media platforms magnifying the voices of a few conservatives with terrible beliefs, the UK is crumbling and we have to look on and wish they would just stop listening to their conservatives.

    Regardless of how badly things go for democracy and peace and human rights and the environment here and in America and around the world, I want to like the USA. I think that is what is ultimately my complaint here. You are not hosting Americans who are willing to talk in good faith. Who are willing to clearly couch their beliefs in facts and stand up for truth. You are simply amplifying their worst behaviours.

    Fare well.

    • Hi friend, and thank you so much for your lengthy comment. I almost wish you had waited just another day to post it, because I’m publishing an episode today you might want to listen to. 🙂
      Hope you do, and that it addresses some of your concerns. If so, please let me know. Many good thoughts.

    • Thanks @Mo Valentin for taking the time to write this. I agree with your long comment.
      I love this show and I support the fact that we must listen to different opinions but we must not let people challenging facts and saying things that are not true/proven.

      This episode was way too hard to listen. There wasn’t enough discussion and there were too many monologues.

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