About this Episode
Episode 47: Colin Wright
In this episode, Greg and Colin discuss the evolution behind ‘how to define’ sex, gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation. Colin shares his experience with cancel culture, along with how to navigate through the COVID vaccine argument. They lastly touch on how Disney is assimilating to the diversity, equity, and inclusion statements and what that might look like in the latest films.
Colin Wright is a Senior Editor at the Foundation Against Intolerance & Racism (FAIR) and a Contributing Editor at Quillette. He received his PhD in evolutionary biology from UC Santa Barbara in 2018, and founded Reality’s Last Stand, a publication and newsletter exploring the debate around sex and gender.
Greg: Colin. It's great to finally virtually meet you and see you. I know we've had many conversations. Thank you for coming on The Respondent.
Colin: Thank you for having me. I'm looking forward to this for a while.
Greg: Yeah. So look, you've recently had quite a big move, out of, was it, where were you, California?
Colin: Yeah, I was in California.
I've been moving all around the country, the past decade, but I grew up in California and I was recently living in California and I just decided to move to Nashville. So that's where I am now, as you can see, and I'm currently in a bar.
Greg: Well, hopefully you haven't been drinking too much. Maybe it's good that you've had a few drinks, we can just kind of get sozzled together.
So what precipitated the move?
Colin: It was mainly housing prices, maybe somewhat politics. California had some really draconian mask mandates and they didn't really see much end in sight and a lot of areas. Also I've been having actual some steady income since getting out of academia. Can you imagine that?
And so I'm in more of a position to look for a permanent residence. And I was just browsing a lot of the housing prices in California and they were completely atrocious. And then I looked at the same prices in Nashville, a little bit outside of the city. And, what I could buy was so much, so much better.
So I'm just in an apartment right now, looking at houses during the week with an agent and hoping to be a homeowner in the next six months or so. We'll see how that works.
Greg: Great. Well, I wish you luck with that. Why, why not Nashville, but why Nashville? Why did you choose there?
Colin: I actually did a Twitter poll and I told people I was looking to move out of California, and then to, you know, suggest cities that I should move to Now it couldn't be snowy, well it could snow sometimes, but not all the time, and needed to be close to some nature type stuff and hiking etc. And I had a lot of people post things like Austin or Miami and some other cities in Texas and Florida, but Nashville was one that I kept seeing more and it was sort of punching above its weight in terms of the population size of Nashville and how many people were suggesting it.
So that was my number one, at least interest from that whole survey. And then I decided just to get a plane ticket, fly out for a week, check out the downtown, hookup with an agent to show me around. And, after that week I just made my decision. I decided to move here because I loved it.
Greg: Yeah, I've spent some time in Memphis and I've heard nothing but amazing things about Nashville and of course, the great arts community there as well.
The music coming out of there as well, just, exemplary. I didn't want to mention Joe Rogan. I know I talked to you about this before, but the Joe Rogan experience, so aptly named. How was that? For people who aren't aware of who Joe Rogan is then… what planet have you been living on? But you went and appeared on his show. Must've been, you must've felt a little nervous talking with him?
Colin: Well, you know, actually the leading up to it was the most stressful. When I first got the email from the Joe Rogan Experience team, the booking agent that I was going to be scheduled, or they wanted me on the show.
I, you know, I don't want to sound like one of these activists, but I was literally shaking, you know, like my hand was like, oh my goodness. Cause it was such a huge, huge thing. It's one of the most popular, if not the most popular show in the world. So there's the idea that millions of people were going to, I have to be on point during the entire thing, then that sort of morphed over a couple of days into me just being really pumped up about doing it.
Just being like, yes, this is going to be awesome. I can't wait to talk to Joe about everything I've been writing about and thinking about. And then maybe the couple of days that when I was in Austin, the day before the show, and that's when sort of the anxiety came back a little bit, like this is actually real, it's really happening.
And then I was probably at peak anxiety when the black suburban with the tinted windows pulled up outside my hotel to take me to the actual studio. But to be honest, once I was in the studio, he's kind of cultivated this sort of man-cave situation that’s really laid back and all the people that he has working for him there are just some of the most interesting and chilled people.
And really when the interview started going, I felt like I was the most at ease I've been maybe in any interview I've done since. It was also one of the first interviews I did in person, you know, all of them would have been during the pandemic over zoom and things like that. And so there's just something about one of my first like face-to-face interviews that is hard to replicate virtually.
So it was actually, I felt some of the most comfortable during the actual interview. And that's partially probably because of the face-to-face and also it's a testament to Joe's ability to connect with people and be an amazing host and ask the right questions and make us the people he has on feel comfortable.
Greg: Yeah. It really is quite an experience. It sounds like it. Let's talk about your, I guess, cancellation. You were canceled from your job and you were in academia and then you became part of the Quillette editorial team after you spoke out. Do you have any regrets about speaking out or do you feel like perhaps you were left with no option, but to lean in to the cancellation flames?
Colin: That's more accurate and yeah, I felt like I needed to, I was left without many options. I also don't maintain that I was actually canceled. I mean I wasn't fired from my job, but I, I say that I experienced cancel culture very, very viscerally and literally. I mean, there were people that were swarming around posting fake job boards… you know, job websites in my field saying I'm a racist, transphobic, white supremacist, don't hire me. People were purportedly sending emails to hiring committees. The places I was applying to, on Twitter tagging in my advisors and all my stuff to just trying to ruin my reputation.
So I think they were probably successful in ruining my reputation to at least a degree where, you know, if people Google me, they're going to see me on the things I'm talking about gender. And they might just, you know, want to put my resume in the other pile, you know, the one to the side.
And I even had verification from some departments that you know, they wanted to hire me, like the scientists did, but, they said they couldn't get past HR. And so, because I was esteemed as too problematic. So, so I think that I wasn't fired. I wasn't actually canceled, but I definitely think my reputation was ruined and that was sort of my signal to jump ship.
And it was mainly a realization too, that what I, the reasons I got into academia in the first place was because I thought this was the environment where you're pushing knowledge forward, or you're engaging in these sort of evidence-based debates. And you're not going to use ad hominem when you're debating someone, you're going to say, well, here's my evidence.
And they'll, you know, they'll give you theirs back and you can have a healthy back and forth. And when I realized that that just wasn't. What academia was at least on this few topics I was interested in at the time that it just wasn't what I wanted anymore. That's why I entered that field, you know, 12 years ago.
Um, and then as I got closer to the finish line, it just, it was very, it turned to sort of distorted and grotesque, and it's not something I wanted to participate in anymore. So the conversations that I did want to have, I just kind of were taking place outside of academia. So I have no regrets doing what I'm, what I did.
It's been therapeutic and I've met so many amazing people and it's, uh, it's, I've been challenged actually on my ideas rather than just being called, you know, transphobe or a white supremacist or something.
Greg: Right. Yeah. And well, look, we met through, actually when I was doing Quillette narrated, I got to narrate one of your…
Colin: My first article my coming out as a transphobe article.
Greg: Yeah. And it was, you know what, that was one of the wonderful things about narrating that podcast was actually… There was so many stories of either cancellation or attempted cancellation and how cancel culture and the ideology of this, this new post-modern progressive way of thinking, uh, just gets it totally wrong.
And that lingering, I mean, we talked about, you know, Wikipedia, you know, it was linked. I don't check my Wikipedia. And someone said you should go and check it and I checked it and I was like, oh, apparently I'm this Trump supporting racist transphobe. And there's these Reddit threads. And that stays there.
So it's not necessarily reputation savaging, but it's a reputation stain that people who don't know the body of your work, they just take these soundbites and they trust that what the internet says is fact and, yeah, it's really quite disconcerting. But I'm really pleased that we got to meet and got to know each other and, you know, we've had many a conversation in clubhouse rooms and the notion frankly, that you of all people that I know, are the things that you were being accused of is ridiculous.
You're the most level-headed, calm, compassionate, empathic, knowledgeable chap that I think I've come across during my whole venture through you know, the interviews and the people that I've met over the last couple of years. So it's just madness. It's the madness of the mind virus.
Let's talk a little about evolutionary biology shall we?
I've had a few evolutionary biologists that note on my show. You said, I think you said, gender ideology, indoctrination is gay conversion therapy, but worse. Can you explain?
Colin: Yeah. So this is something I've written about before and my first article in the Wall Street Journal, I, I sort of dropped that.
So we all know about sort of the classical gay conversion therapy, which was mainly something done by conservative Christians, evangelicals, who were not accepting of homosexuality in any way, especially in their kids. And if their child was, you know, if they had an effeminate boy or whatever that was, you know, they thought might have some mannerisms of being gay or even expressed same sex attraction. There were all sorts of therapies that sometimes even resulted in sort of shock therapy that was used to try to change these kids' minds to sort of match their body or what the parents thought their minds should reflect, you know, which is a heterosexual mindset. Um, I view a lot of the gender ideology that is really rooted in sex stereotypes.
So when someone is saying that they're identifying as a man or a woman, they're not saying that they're male or female anymore. Being trans is now sort of expanded into whether or not you're identifying with the social roles and stereotypes that we associate with males or females and the kids who are most likely to be gender nonconforming, who are going to have sort of cross sex type of behavioral phenotype.
They're more likely to be gay kids. You know there's some stereotypes that are generally true. Gay men tend to be more feminine than the straight man, lesbians tend to be a little more masculine in all their personality traits and behaviors than the average straight woman. So what we have now is a situation where you have these feminine boys or these masculine girls who are growing up, being told that, you know, oh, you're a little different.
You're, you're really masculine for a girl. Maybe you're maybe you're born in the wrong body. Maybe you're actually trans. Maybe you really are a boy or, you know, the, whatever your cross sex would be and so I see a lot of the gender ideology indoctrination as, instead of trying to change a kid's mind to match their body, to make them straight.
A lot of gay kids are having, or being told that they may be born in the wrong body and that their body, maybe it's the thing that should be changed to match their mother. Which then makes them straight, you know, so instead of a girl who might grow up to be a lesbian, now they're growing up to be a straight trans man.
And this is, you know, it definitely hits the gay community much harder than any other sort of some group. And I think this is, I think it's literally true that this is a type of gay conversion therapy, or at least it can be depicted that way, if you're a statistically. Anyway,
Greg: Can you explain the differences between chromosomes, biological sex and gender identity?
Like this is where I think it's the intersection of where things get very confusing for people. Because I talk about feminism alone, but there's many kinds of feminism, but you know, I kind of try and delineate between the equality feminists, the Christina Hoff Sommers, Camille Paglias that the empowerment feminist and that kind of, I guess I would call them Neo feminist, the third and fourth wave rabid, ideological, you know, we don't like men and women shouldn't be giving birth and homemakers.
So can you just maybe explain that a little? So there's a bit of nuance for people listening or watching.
Colin: Yeah. So, so we have chromosomes, biological sex, gender identity. A lot of these things really do get completely conflated by a lot of people. So just the other day, Tucker Carlson had a video where he talked about, you know, your sex is really simple.
You're XX, or XY, and that's what a man or a woman is. So chromosome is just the way that your DNA is sort of wrapped up. It's sort of wrapped up around these structures and they're called chromosomes. So the genes exist on chromosomes now in human cells…
Greg: What about intersex? Would you say, well, what about intersex? What about that, small, maybe you're going to get to that.
Colin: Yeah I’ll get to that a little bit. So there's a lot of animals, mammals, some reptiles and birds, they have chromosomal sex determination. So the sex that you develop into is largely determined by genes that are located in.
On your sex chromosomes for, for males, it's this gene on the Y chromosome called SRY. And if you have that gene, that basically triggers development into being a male. So Tucker Carlson was sort of on the right track, but he diverted because if you're XY, that doesn't mean that by definition, you're a male, because there are some males who are actually XX because that gene, that determines how they develop this has been transposed onto a X chromosome. So you can have people who are XX, who have a male phenotype, so that, and then it brings the question, well, how do we define what a male is then? So chromosomes determine sex in a very technical sense developmentally. When we talk about sex determination, that basically is a technical term of how a certain issue is placed down a certain developmental pathway.
We've called that like this tissue is, now been determined developmentally, but there's difference between sex determination and how we define an individual sex. When we define an individual sex, we're basically looking at their primary sexual organs. The type of gonads that they have.
So their reproductive anatomy, and whether it's organized around the production of either small gametes sex cells, like sperm or large sex cells. Like ova for eggs. That is fundamentally what distinguishes males from females. Males have the anatomy that is organized around the production of small gametes, females have their reproductive anatomy organized on the production of these large gametes.
That is the fundamental split. Now, when intersex comes into this, this argument or into this whole scenario is sometimes there are developmental anomalies that can happen. There are people who have sort of ambiguous genitalia due to all kinds of different genetic mechanisms that can sort of throw a wrench into, into the development of functional penis or a functional vagina and everything.
And so there are some people who at birth or even in adulthood might be sort of sexually ambiguous. They can even also have you know both testes and ovaries, ovarian tissue existing at the same time. So it could be the case that some of these individuals might not be really definable as either male or female.
Some people would disagree with that, but the existence of intersex people doesn't really negate the fact that most people are 100% male or female. These, those categories are categorical. They're not merely different in degree. There is a, there is a fundamental split. Now when gender identity comes into the whole thing, again, I usually don't have my own definition of gender identity because it's used by so many people in so many different ways.
So I usually just ask people, well, what do you mean by that? So then I can have something to respond to, uh, just to make sure they're not conflating it with actual biological sex or something, but some people would maybe portray it as this deep seated internal sense of one sex, or they might feel that they have, there's a disparity between their, their sex bodies and the way that they sort of really feel themselves should be are, are in some deep seated sense.
I don't think everyone necessarily has a gender identity. I don't think I do. I think most people probably don't. They might just feel certain degrees of masculine or feminine. Maybe that's what gender identity is? I don’t know, it's, it's pretty, it's a pretty vague term and almost everywhere, including in government documents and organizations like the human rights campaign, whenever they try to define what gender is, it's always circular.
It's like gender identity is someone's gender related identity. That's like a literal definition. You'll see in many documents. So I think
Greg: It sounds like Kennedy trying to describe racism anyway, just going round and round…
Colin: I'm not sure what people mean by it, but, yeah, that's the main difference. I guess the, the main split is sex is fundamentally about your reproductive anatomy, your primary sex organs, and your identity is about how you feel about yourself in some way. Those are completely separate things you can feel about yourself, all kinds of ways. And that does not then like go back in and somehow change the way your reproductive organs or organized around.
So that's why I try to keep the split there. That's the wall I want to put up with everyone on these old debates. Just keep things in their proper corners where they belong and not just muddle everything up as people do with the chromosomes and biological sex and gender identity.
Greg: Yeah. The conversation has become so confusing after a while, because we're not, the interpretation of what we mean by, I mean, I remember recently a friend of mine said that the daughter was having a gender reveal party for their newborn. And I'm thinking it isn't that sex reveal isn't that like biological sex reveal.
Doesn't, you know, if gender is flipped anywhere. You know, you said women are, I think the quote that I remember of yours is women or adult human females. Females are individuals who do or did or will or would, but for developmental of genetic anomalies produce eggs. Why do you think, I think I might know the answer to this as well, but why do you think it was so difficult for the Supreme court justice nominee to answer the question? What is a woman?
Colin: Somehow it's become this insanely politicized word. You never hear people talk about what is a man. It doesn't really ever come into the equation. Even though activists, if they’re pressed, they will, they will sort of say similar things. You know, I think she was, she realized it was a landmine type topic.
I was encouraged that she invoked the expertise of a biologist instead of a post-modern queer theorist.
Greg: I am not a biologist. She said right at the end of her…
Colin: Yeah. So that was at least encouraging. But, uh, yeah, I mean, you know, this idea, I think Peter Boghossian said it really well on a recent tweet where he said, you know, times in the recent past, it was always sort of people. It was seen as virtuous to not say things that you don't know, not to pretend to have knowledge that you don't have, and that we're currently living in an era where people are doing the opposite.
They're pretending to not know things that they know. You know, when women didn't have the right to vote. There was no question on what a woman was it wasn't about someone's identity. You couldn't just walk up to the voting booth and say, oh actually, no, I'm identifying I'm gender fluid. And at this current moment, I identify as a man.
So please let me vote. Like, no, we have always known that a woman was grounded fundamentally in being female primarily. And now we somehow want to abandon all of that and say that this is based on identity, but I think it was just patently absurd. And isn't what a lot of our laws are based around.
And isn't what our history of women's rights and feminism was even based on.
Greg: Yeah, I've seen at some of the conversations out there, it's just the women are, I mean, you know, I've seen, you mention Leah Thomas and that whole situation with Rachel, I think is Rachel Griffith, the cyclist.
And there just seems to be this fear as well of people... And I understand it. Of parents and their daughters and mothers speaking up and out against this. Sharon Davis, who I grew up watching Olympic swimmer, a very successful British Olympic swimmer. She's out there talking about this on a daily basis and safe spaces for women.
And whether it be, you know, in restrooms or whether it be in prisons or whether, wherever it be, it's absurd. It's like, where do we… how did we get here? And anyway, isn't, I don't know. I've never thought to ask you before Colin and you tell me it's none of my business, but what is your sexual orientation?
Colin: I'm just well, you know, if you asked me at least according to just a couple of years ago, I'm just a run of the mill normal straight guy. But according to gender ideology, which defines sexual orientation, not as the sex you are attracted to, but based on the gender identity you’re attracted to under that definition literally me not being snarky one bit, I'm a pansexual, because if I imagine an attractive person like…
Greg: Well aren’t we all pansexual then?
Colin: imagine a beautiful woman in your mind. Now imagine that that person identifies as a man, but changes nothing. Just this objective identity moment to moment. Now imagine they identify as, as anything really.
I would still be attracted to that. No matter how they identify. So technically I'm pansexual according to their, their own rules and not even, you know, I'm not even like stretching them at all. This is just the straightforward reading of the rules of their ideology. I'm also trans because I don't identify with these rigid stereotypes of masculinity and femininity, you know, we're all sort of non-binary in that sense, unless you're Randy macho man Savage, or like a literal embodiment of Barbie and some, most people aren't that.
So we're all quite literally transgender pansexuals when it really comes down to it.
Greg: You and so you, you were all transgender…we’re all pansexual. No, I get it. I understand. So if we're transgender, pansexuals…can you be transgender, pansexual and a transphobe at the same time? So you hate yourself?
Colin: Yeah. Well, I mean, Buck Angel's considered a transphobe according to mainstream trans rights activists and he's trans so you can be both, it's like self-hating black people. You can be all those things.
Greg: Wow, it's just, it's, it's bizarre. I mean, I grew up in an era where, you know, my school in Northern England, if you were behaving in an effeminate way, you would be called a sissy. These days, you know, you're just tagged with the word sis-gender.
I'm like, I'm supposed to choose who I am. I'm supposed to identify myself, but then your identity it's, it's just such a ridiculous upside down we're living in, as we go down the rabbit hole…
Colin: Trying to keep the rivets on the wing here, but they're popping left and right. And they don't know what to do.
Greg: You know, you'd ask them. I think it's really, it's really important to actually flag up. I had Buck Angel and Debbie Hayton on the show. And you know, we talked about, particularly with Buck Angel, we talked about de-transitioning and just how… I mean, seeing the work he does with younger people who are de-transitioning, I think there was a de-transition day and, and you'd actually mentioned as well, you know, I think you asked the question on social media, how can we give those who may have prematurely gone all in on gender ideology and off them from their extremism to prevent them from continually doubling down on insanity to avoid this humiliation. And I just think about the travesty of adults, doctors, practitioners. I think about the Tavistock Clinic in London and how parents and the medical community are coming together to enact surgeries on what is it effectively children. What do you think the answer is here? How do you see this going? And do you think in 10, 15 years’ time, we're going to see, I don't know, massive amounts of lawsuits on, you know, against the medical community and doctors for performing these surgeries, because it's not so much that people shouldn't have the right to have the surgery, right. But it's at what age and what's the consent. And to take out, you know, your uterus and to have it in a jar and go on social media and be all cheery about that. I mean, each to their own, but 12, 13, 14, I, I… what?
Colin: There there's, there's been, it's really bizarre because I stand back and I feel like I can see really clearly that there's been a fundamental shift in the definition of what it means to be trans, but the medical community, you know, under pressure from activists, haven't revised their medical interventions to reflect this completely redefinition, you know, the previous definition of what it means to be trans that I think people like Buck Angel would fall into is like these, these people who express gender dysphoria, this, this in congruence between their biological sex and the way that they really feel and the anxiety that gives them this intense distress at this and you know, from a very young age, it's consistent, persistent and insistent. And then those individuals are less likely to de-transition or to de-sist when they're, when they're of a certain age.
And you know, this is not literally being born in the wrong body or anything. This is just something adults. If you feel that you'd be happier in a more masculine body and you're a woman. Yeah. I mean, I think you can, you should be able to transition if you want to really. This comes down to kids and this re-definition is literally, I mean, I'm writing a piece right now that I'm looking at this organization called Egale in Canada.
And this is, I mean, all these organizations are doing similar things where they literally defined what it means to be trans. As, how did they do it? They said, um, if you don't identify with the way society wants you to act based on what's between your legs, that means you're transgender and they're all laughing.
So that's just, I mean, if you don't identify with the sexist’s caricature of what an ideal male or female is, that means you're, that means you're trans now. Like we're really going to be basing it on that? And then they also say you don't even need to have gender dysphoria to be trans. This is, and this is because this is the largest organization in Canada that is feeding all the schools, this stuff's called Egale.
And so this is the redefinition of what it means to be trans it's just around the, I guess, the, the social norms and expectations that sort of society might place onto people based on their perceived. That's what it is now. And a lot of kids, I mean, again because according the ideology I'm, non-binary trans you know, everyone would reject these, these sort of rigid sexist stereotypes.
This is what feminism had been pushing against for so long. You know, I'm still a woman, even if I behave masculine, you know we can expand our notion of what it means to be a woman, to include a range of the sort of types of behaviors. Um, but still grounded in sex. Now kids are being confused about what their sex is, if they're put in the wrong body, just because they're gender non-conforming.
But I mean, everyone is a little thing. No one's that perfect blue or pink box. And so this is why we have a lot of these de-transitioners because they're swept up in this sort of social movement. There's defining being trans according to stereotypes. And our medical institutions are just giving surgeries, double mastectomies to 12, 13 year olds, cross-sex hormones that change their voice pitch, their bodies permanently. You know, to children it's, I think it's going to be the biggest medical scandal, at least in my lifetime. And maybe in the last hundred years, I think it feels like it's worse than lobotomies. I never lived through that time, but
Greg: I tend to agree, particularly because of the children.
This is children. I mean, one of the stories that I, that I became aware of was in Texas. It was actually a man who was stuck in family law and he wasn't able to see his daughter and the judge basically told this man, you know, made an order. You have to call your daughter by this name that she now identifies with.
And she is now a boy and she's gonna have surgery. And it just went on. This kid was so young and the devastation first and foremost this father being separated from his daughter was one thing and being stuck in the zero sum game of family law, which does not provide relief for the most part, both parents, but particularly if you are the respondent and you are a male and a father.
And I just, I just think that that kind of scenario, and there are so many others that I hear about, particularly through the kind of main focus of my work with family law and divorce court and child separation. And, you know, I have a friend who a couple of months ago, you know, he told me that his 13 year old daughter had come in in the middle of a dinner party and announced that she was a lesbian on his birthday, in front of the grown-ups and, and it was, and then they talked about it afterwards with her and she explained that she just felt a ton of pressure from a peer group to be something other than just a girl. And she's a bit of a tomboy, she plays sport. But that pressure, I think on our younger generations and when it goes so deep down into the gosh K through third grade, fourth grade, it's, who's gonna it's, it's got to be the adults who speak up in the room, right.
And say, look enough, this is just this, the science and science is emerging truths and sex, biological sex is different to gender and, you know, Supreme court nominee who even said, you know, I'm not a biologist. So she kind of affirmed in a way that, you know, sex is biological. So who's going to speak up an out and when do you think this will change? Because it seems to be the trans lobby activists, they have such power in every, every area.
Colin: Yeah, they do. They really do. Yeah. It's I mean it's super concerning and I think it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better, but I'm comparing the conversations now compared to 2018.
When I first wrote the new evolution deniers piece for Quilette, where I first started calling out the weird sex denialism going on. Reading the comments to that article, I was doing it just, you know, maybe a couple of weeks ago, just to see what people were saying back then. And it was all just people saying, oh no, another biologist he’s you know, he's comparing sex and gender. And you know, they're talking to, they're muddling, he's muddling these terms up. No, one's actually really denying biological sex because that was sort of what the thing we were asked to do early on was. At least in maybe in 2010, I was told by my progressive friends that, you know, we need to consider sex and gender to be these different things.
And male and female is sex. And men and woman is gender identity. And I was like, okay, different words, different concepts. Cool. Let's do that. But now there's, this has been completely muddled up in the one big slurry. So we can't make sense of the word. And, but right now, if you look at the conversation going on so many people get it.
I'll put out tweets that maybe I didn't even word them that well, and people understand right away. Like, yeah, I see what you're saying. Much more retweets, a lot more people that are just willing to follow this, more parents coming to speak up. So I think it's going to get crazier, but there is a movement that is rising to the challenge that eventually… I can't imagine that it couldn't eventually do it, but we'll, I think we'll push back enough to overtake it because there is sort of that sleeping majority who either are confused at what's going on, they're just getting introduced. A lot of people are being turned over by Leah Thomas right now. It's going to take more of those people, just having their peak trans moment where they just kind of go, what the hell is going on? And then once they realize what's going on, you know they're just going to come out to get rid of this ideology in any way they can.
So, I mean, I'm encouraged. I think a lot of the gender stuff’s going to get crazier because they're going to be sort of backed into a corner, like a, like a rabid animal or something. And so right when it gets to the peak craziness’s, that's maybe indication that the tide’s about to turn. Unfortunately it does have to probably get crazier before it gets better.
And I've been surprised at how crazy things have gotten without turning the other way. So I don't make any predictions about when, but it, it can't last. It's got to just collapse at some point.
Greg: Some of the time, I just feel like an old fogy from a different generation and time, which I guess to a degree I am, because, you know, I think about the old older generation, you know, not, you know, my parents' age and what they’ll be thinking about these common… like what, what you talking about, like, it's, we're just recreating the wheel into some….
Anyway, you know, the last couple of years there's been this big focus as well on COVID and all that came about and that whole conversation, you know, and I think Stephen Fry hit the nail on the head with me when I was talking with him on The Respondent. And he just said, you know, at the end of the day, it's how we treat each other that matters. And you know, can we get into a debate and agree to disagree?
Can we avoid ad hominem? Can we attack the argument and not the character or the person? I'm curious. I really, I haven’t asked you before Colin but COVID… pro-vaccine zealot, mild, mild vaccine curious or religiously anti-vax what where are you?
Colin: I'm double vaxxed so Pro-vax, anti-mandate is I guess what I classify myself. I didn't get boosted, but it wasn't for any ideological thing. I just had a really bad reaction to my second COVID shot, like kind of a scary, bad reaction. And I hear the booster is very similar to your second shot and maybe even more like it's even more of an immune response. And you know, the reaction I had was scary enough to me where I figured I'd rather take my chances of being just double vaccine and get COVID than take a third.
So I think it it's, I mean, according to all the data I've seen, there are, especially in older cohorts, you're safer to get the vaccine than not. But that safety sort of diminishes the younger you get, and some of the side effects might overshadow some of the benefits when you're getting to kids who are, you know, under 20 or something like that. But overall, talk to your doctor. I'm not going to tell people what to do.
Greg: Oh you sound like a public service announcement.
Colin: I was always, I was opposed to the mandates and I always said that like, if I wasn't vaccinated, but I planned on two and then they issued mandates, I'd be less likely to get the, the, the jab, even if I was pro-vaccine just because I would be so opposed to mandates I would just want to flip off the government.
But I got vaxxed before they were even talking about mandates.
Greg: What do you think about people who are vaxx curious or maybe didn't get vaccinated because you know, there was an emergent set of data and they felt like maybe they were in some kind of global clinical trial or they didn't trust big pharma or… fill in any number of blanks there.
I mean, were you kind of indifferent to that? And like, no, that's fine. That's up to them. Or you like one of these people who were you know, I'm the best at following the rules and you should too.
Colin: I'm definitely not for telling people what to do. I think, you know, in the beginning of the pandemic, I thought things were going about sort of correctly, you know, they weren't doing any sort of mandates at the time, but there was sort of a little, there was some social pressure to get it. And I think that's about right. A little social pressure, you know, because there is sort of a herd immunity type thing, you know, it's, it's probably good. You, you are creating these some more protection for those around you. Even if you know, you can still have these breakthrough cases and you're still contagious. If you get your vaccine, um, you have less, less viral load. Um, so I think there should be some maybe communal thing that goes in people's head where they're like, you know, I should probably do it just for my fellow American or something, but at the end of the day, if they don't do it, I'm not going to hold it against them. I really don't care about…
Greg: When you say social pressure, what do you mean by social pressure? You mean coming from states and governments or local authorities or social media or peer groups?
Colin: Sure. All the above. Like if the government wants to say, you know, you should get out and get your shot and it's a good thing to do.
It's the American thing to do, you know, and sort of use all these, some, some levers of, of social pressure that aren't going into laws. You know, I don't think people should be barred from access to certain places or, you know, not be able to go to the grocery store or anything like that, but just sort of a general sense that like, Ooh, maybe I should, it would probably be a better thing if I did than didn't, but at the end of the day, when people make their own choice, I have literally zero judgment upon anyone who doesn't.
Everyone has their own reasons for not doing it. And there is a lot of - I mean, a lot of the people that we're supposed to trust who were found out to be lying about many things in the past. And I'm certainly not like the one that's going to just trust the main talking heads that are put in front of us.
I think there's plenty of reason to have a lot of distrust. I mean, a lot of the scientists who are saying trust the science on epidemiology are the same ones saying to trust the science on the fact, the males and females aren't real. So, I mean, that's the low hanging fruit and if they're getting that one wrong, then how are we supposed to trust them on more complex things?
I totally get the vaccine hesitancy or however you want to call it.
Greg: So it was unfortunate. It was called, again, like most things in our society, it's extreme. It's one or the other it's black or white you're, you know, you're or you're this. And, um, the whole anti-vax is like just people because people were curious.
I agree with you - encouragement and, you know, give people information. But ultimately it's mainly it's… I've said this before. Maybe it's the first time, I think in my lifetime where the collective consciousness was risen to the point where people actually just questioned them, were curious about what they were putting in their body and why they were putting it in the body rather than blindly just, you know, getting a boost or a shot or a jab as it's called in the UK.
And the UK did have, I mean, some of the, some of the restrictions and the emergency powers, that was what was disturbing. I think that the emergency powers that were taken so quickly because they take them, but they don't give them back and looking at what happened in places like Australia. I mean, you know, building these camps and, uh, you know, that, I mean, look, we talk about… you're not there anymore, but you know, you worked at Quillette.
Clare Lehman, the founder of Quillette was very publicly, very, very publicly pro-vaccine extolling on social media. Virtual stands at anyone unvaccinated, putting humanity at risk. How do you… what do you think about that? I mean, they, that completely sweeping judgment, while in your own country, there's these camps being built and people are being put in them just because they haven't done as they were told.
And you will… I know we've both worked with and for and with Quillette but I was just staggered. I was staggered at the relenting nature of that and her reluctance to have any nuance in doubt.
Colin: Yeah. I wasn't on board with that particular messaging at all. There is some variation among people in how much they want to, you know, give up to the greater good type of thing.
And Australia is a country where people have more trust in government. They seem to be more willing to give certain civil liberties, individual liberties for a common good. Maybe it's because I'm an American, I don't know, but there's sort of a culture here where like, you know we will assume a certain amount of risk because we think that the risk of giving too much power to governments outweighs the risk of maybe what we'll have you know, for getting COVID or something like that.
Or at least the long-term consequences of giving up civil liberties could be a potential fast-track to some authoritarian, something that will create much more harm later down the road. I'm pretty sympathetic to that idea because I'm seeing a lot of the authoritarian sort of streaks we're seeing on, on the left and I see it on the bright tube and I'm very much against that.
And I think that, yeah, even if you have a country with higher death rates, it doesn't mean that the country with the lowest death rates did the most moral thing, because I mean, if you want zero death rates, you have to shut everyone inside of a box for the rest of their life. You'll have zero COVID congratulations, but who wants to live that way?
So there, there needs to be some open openness to, you know, how open, how closed. And I think it's perfectly reasonable for a country or a state to say, no, we're just, we value our individual liberties and we're going to assume a greater amount of individual risk for them to maintain these freedoms that are seldom relinquished by the government once taken away.
Greg: Yeah. Just going back again, talking about Australia, Do you think, do you think that the Clare Lehman has a responsibility as the founder of a heterodox online magazine to not share ideological opinions that seem very rigid and cemented, you know, this kind of I'm the best at following the rules and so should everyone else be, and if you're not going to then woe betide.
Colin: Yeah. I mean I almost didn't comment at all on vaccine stuff during the pandemic. Cause you know, I have my opinions about how much risk I'm willing to take. Claire has her opinions on how much she thinks individuals should take.
Greg: I think it was, you know, for me, I think it was when she very publicly, and there was like, she attacked professor Bret Weinstein on Twitter. And then I think it was Cameron Sepah, who's been on my show. He piled in as well. And it was, you know it was a personal attack. Of course it's Twitter and it's not on yours, but there were threads going on and on and on.
Colin I didn't appreciate the sort of, I guess, venom I saw. I think there's plenty the Brett and Heather could be criticized for, but, you know, I consider Brett and Heather, my good friends so if we've hung out, if I have a disagreement with them and I do, I'm gonna send them a DM first. I’m not gonna blast it out to maybe a hundred thousand Twitter followers and air these sort of debates in public, you know.
Greg: But Claire seems to have these quite a lot though. I mean, you know, she gets into, she not only gets into it, she actually seems to ignite it in a very public way. Do you think it's, do you think it's part of our targeted strategy on social media that she just loves to whip up a firestorm because it's attention seeking?
Colin: Yeah. I'm not sure if it's an overall strategy. I think that's just how she is on Twitter. James Lindsay has a certain way. He's on Twitter. That's different from how it is controversial.
Greg: Are you saying James is controversial?
Colin: No not at all… I mean I tend to try to, I mean, people say that there's a pretty big disparity between my Twitter persona and me in person. In person they always tell me they’re surprised I’m not more of an asshole. I don't know why. And they also said, they're surprised I don't have a British accent.
Greg: Uh, I have an idea of why. And I think it's because so many people don't take the time to, you know, they'll surf the web and something will come up, they'll click on it or be a soundbite. They'll get distracted, you know, the attention span of people these days. And you know, to what we were talking about earlier on.
You know, much of what happened to you early on in your career when you were in the academy happens and there's still that lingering stain out there, which isn't factually correct, but it's there and people see it and they just, that's the sum total of who you are. Um, rather than, you know, you're actually a scientist, you know, looking for seeking out more truths. And I mean, look, I'm, I'm here in Hollywood. Let's talk about what's going on here. I mean, like Will Smith. What do you think? What do you think just happened to Will Smith?
Colin: Yeah, you know, I mean, I think it is terrible. What Will Smith did. But I've been watching the conversation that's been happening that a lot of the woke people have been saying, you know, white people it's time to, you know, you can't have an opinion on this or portraying it as black anger or white disdain or whatever. It's just like these, these are just two people. I just see two individuals. I don't care what color their skin was like… you, you shouldn't combat speech with literal violence. Like this is where these things get conflated and fire actually had a foundation for individual rights in education.
They had a great meme. They said, you know, like, here's a good example. Can you tell the difference? One was like, Chris Rock, just saying words. The other one was him getting smacked in the face. It's like, one of these is violence. The other is speech. Like, I think you can tell the difference and yeah, everything is being seen through this or racial identity lens. That's completely insane.
Greg: I think it's staggering. It's staggering when you actually, you know, if you can just kind of dissipate that lens for a moment and just distill it down to the fact that even, not one man, another man, but just an Oscar host. Who's a comedian. Did anyone see Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes a few years ago? And by the way that's gone.
I mean I’ve been saying for ages, the Oscars will eventually, I think it genuinely might just disappear because the value of it has just gone down. The quality of the movies getting made, you know, the quality of the award show. Who's going to do after Kevin Hart got canceled before he even did it? You just can't be woke enough and look at Chris Rock.
I mean, the moment for me was when, when he actually said, ‘Ooh, I could. Um’ and that was the missed by many people. He could have outed Will Smith in that moment of what many of us in Hollywood know. So this notion on global TV, this notion that Will Smith was defending his family. Look, I mean, everyone's well aware in Hollywood of, let's just call it arranged marriages and the casting that takes place and how it was decided, you know, over a decade long time ago that by a particular company in Hollywood, let's put it that way that they would instigate Uber celebrity; which celebrity could get with which celebrity. This wasn't just a Tom Cruise thing.
This wasn't just Scientology. But we’re led to believe that. So, that's for another show for me to divulge any more of that information, but Chris Rock knows and he knew, and he was just, I could see him. He was just about to dish, everything about Will Smith and then went, you know what, I'll just try and keep my composure, but, and then it was the whole ‘is he angry?’ ‘Is it real?’ Is it not, are you kidding me?
Colin: Sink his whole career just to save the ratings of the Oscars.
Greg: The standing ovation. I mean… Hollywood's lost the plot. I mean, it's like Hollywood privilege, you know, more than anything. Jim Carrey was spot on about it as well. And look, you've probably seen and are aware of, you know, going back to the whole issue of trans. Disney, you know, what's been happening there with them getting involved in the bills in Florida and how it's become more, I guess, a politicized organization.
You know, my eldest boy went to school with Roy Disney's boy. And so I know the Disney family and, you know the story, the history of Disney, and having worked with Disney, I mean, on multiple movies, um, you know, Pirates of the Caribbean and gosh, so many cartoon series from The Lion Guard to you, name it like, well over 20 years, 25 years. And what I've seen there has been staggering.
And, and you know, when Bob Iger decided to leave, I was doing a triathlon for the children's hospital LA, which I do every year. Well, I did for about 15 years till I actually reached the age of 54 now. And I might just retire because it's just too much hard work to get into it. And Bob's like cycling beside me and which we usually catch up before the race and whatnot.
And that's when he was leaving. I'm like, you can't leave the board, you know, you can't, you’re going to Apple. And there was, I won't even say what he said, but there was this notion that he may have known, and others may have known what was coming. And I just saw as well, like Karey Burke.
So Karey Burke's daughter was in the same class as my son all through K through seventh grade. And she's now the new corporate president. And recently she said as the mother of one transgender child and one pansexual that she supports having many many many LGBTQIA, I think I got that right, characters in our stories. And once a minimum of 50% of characters to be LGBTQIA and racial minorities, do you think that Disney has become full woke and what do you think Walt would be, I mean, would he be turning in his grave at how the company stance has been politicized by intersectionality and society?
Colin: Yeah. I'm mainly concerned with the injection of the queer theory into their messaging. And you know, what they had, I can't remember her name with some, one of the. I'm not sure what her title was. But she was saying how, you know, she just puts queer theory everywhere and queer in this and that.
And no one stops or even tries to stop her doing it. And then some other person was talking about how they're getting rid of all of the gendered language and all their messaging. And, you know, during the, the Magic Kingdom fireworks show, they used to say, ladies and gentlemen, boys, and girls, now it's just, you know, dreamers of all ages or something, and it seems like it's a benign thing.
You're like, oh, that's fine. But it's, you know, it's, rooted in this like, well, one, the denial of biological sex, because this, this is catering to like the non-binary crowd, because you would think that ladies and gentlemen, boys, and girls, that sounds pretty inclusive. But when they say that it's not it's because they view that ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls is referring to the social constructs of gender identity, the stereotypes. And so all those gender nonconforming people and non-binary people in which you are bringing are included in that now. Um, you know, we're not being considered within the ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, and these subtle changes to the experience that people have where you're not using any sort of gender language, you're queering, everything, blurring lines.
I mean, this is just, this creates large downstream effects. It's like, it's the first step. I think in like this gender ideology, indoctrination, where it's just like, make certain words, taboo sort of change their environment in certain subtle ways that primes them for the next step, which they're going to get in class.
And they're going to get, you know, a lecture on gender identity. That's going to be about pronouns and all sounds so inclusive and lovely, but it really is just greasing the wheels for some real crazy pseudoscience, uh, to just, just sweep in there.
Greg: Yeah, couldn't agree more. It's really disturbing.
Like I'm, I don't consider myself to be, you know, a traditionalist and rigid and, you know, I grew up you know, in Northwest England and been in Hollywood for over 25 years. You know, I think I was chatting with, I think it was Buck Angel about, you know, my first experience in the theater in the West End, which is the equivalent of Broadway in England, and you know, all of the, all of the chorus, we used to call them chorus queens, you know, they were all lovies.
And they all, they were all trying to make me gay every day. You know, she's gay dear you're so gay you don't even know it you don't know it. And I laughed about it. It was like funny. They were great. I didn't get offended that they were trying to make out that I was gay. If you have that conversation today, it'd be like, I'd feel attacked and I'd need a safe space. It'd be problematic. And… but because I'm, you know, heterosexual, well, shut up, you don't get to speak. Just listen, this is the way we're doing it now. It's kind of, it's really disturbing to see. And I think you're right, how it's…
Colin: I'm hardly like a pro clutching conservative or anything.
Greg: I hadn’t thought that about you Colin
Colin: Yeah. I mean, I feel like I'm just, you know, taking crazy pills cause it is it's properly insane. Like it really is all the stuff that's going on and I'm just like, I don't think I make any really controversial claims on Twitter. People might disagree with that. I mean the most, I don't even what I consider the most controversial thing I've ever said.
There's two sexes. They're called male and female. They're real, there are certain contexts where acknowledging sexual dimorphism matters like these are, I just say the most simplest…
Greg: But those are the things that could get like you, I mean, your sub stack realities last stand in your clubhouse… you’re taking that stand for just, what's been the reality archetypally since the beginning.
And I guess the argument would be, well, it shouldn't be, we that's the way it always is the patriarchy and it's the, well, oh my God it’d be the end of civilization. If it continues the nutso way it's going because it's is a mind virus. It's a collective Munchhausen's by proxy.
Colin: Yeah. I'm playing the public intellectual role on super easy mode because you know, I'm not like this Eric Weinstein who can talk in depth and at length on any topic you throw at his face.
I'm just saying that males and females are real and that this might matter in some instances like that's, I'm a one trick pony. It's a it's a really important issue though. And it's, I saw it coming a while away and I think I might have job security in this area for a while.
Greg: You might be right. It’s like looking at CRT.
I think, you know, people like Chris Rufo and, um, you know, I think about James Lindsey and, you know, in this particular area I think this is your, your niche. How do you think it affects the family law? You've heard some of what I've talked about in terms of the legal system and the one branch of our legal system that doesn't provide a presumption of innocence or due process.
Um, and with children involved, I mean, we don't even have in our legal system, not even the legal system in terms of the proactive remedies for if things go wrong, we talk about prenuptial agreements, which really deals with the material possessions and the finances, but we don't have prenuptial custody agreements.
And shouldn't we be valuing children as much as we should. Our possessions, we don't… have you come across that in your work?
Colin: Yeah, I was, I was at the recent Leah Thomas event at Georgia Tech. I was there in person and afterwards, some of the people who are protesting for the save women's sports organization we went out to a bar.
And I mean, they're there for a reason. This has hit really close to home for a lot of them and some place not even close to home in their home directly. Um, and I was talking to a mom and she hasn't seen her daughter or son now in a couple of years just because she's not allowed to speak to them anymore.
Because, because she won't use the pronouns that are supposed to be given and we're in a weird position too, because…
Greg: She can’t see them because of legal or, or just because her daughter’s…
Greg: Legal? Through family law and the court system, and a judge saying, you know what, unless you affirm this particular pronoun and this particular gender, you are not going to be part of this your own daughter’s life.
Colin: Yeah. It's just some sort of like endangerment where if they were to refer to them this way. Um, and, and we're in a weird position because so many of these credentializing institutions have been captured by this. So, I mean, if you actually just take the position, stepping back and you're judged and you say, well, what are the doctors saying about it?
It's like, let's, let's go see what the medical professionals bring them in the courtroom. They're going to say, you must affirm. Like, okay, well, let's go to this other… what are the universities, what are the PhDs… What are they saying? Let's go to the, let's go to the gender theorist and the humanities department.
What are they saying? Like, well, they, everything they say is confirming. So there's really no place for your everyday human to really, you know, if they're trying to do their best and actually look up the scholarly sources and what the medical professionals are saying, they're going to conclude that, you know, we've got to affirm everything because that's all that's being published.
That's all that, you know, cause a lot of the people who are against that, they get, they get canceled, they get silenced. Their speech is being chilled and you, so you really have to just kind of go it on your own and just read the papers yourself. And a lot of people really, they're not equipped to do it and evaluate what the evidence for certain claims and arguments they're making.
And everyone just assumes that the institutions are working the way they should be when they're really not like they've a lot of them have been captured. And I’ve seen it myself in my own field of evolution and ecology. I see it, the ideology doing same thing in medicine. And you really have to take that standard being like, yeah, I disagree with medical establishment.
You just have to stay at and have people call you crazy.
Greg: Right. It's bizarre. Isn't it? When you see, when you see like the academy, I've been saying for a few years not. It’s gone, we've lost, it's lost. And, you know, you said you feel like you're some kind of conspiracy theorist when you, when you talk about liberal arts and humanities and stem and like just seeing the amount of, and it's not to say that, you know, there aren't places of, you know, where sanity of at least the little sprinkling of um, rationality and reason that's still, uh, you know, being, because these places of, you know, of learning of higher learning and then high school, and then we go to kindergarten and K through six, and you look at, you know, your line of work and CRT, and, and I'm just staggered sometimes, frankly, Colin. The people. I know who I, who I used to respect and, um, I would have thought that, see, you know, behind the curtain, you know, it gets pulled back. They're not only not seeing they're tripling and quadrupling down on, and then you then of course you get called those things that you're not, you know, you're the alt right or the Neo Nazi or you're the, like, what are you talking about that?
And then it's now we're in a new kind of etymology. Um, how can I follow this? Yeah.
Colin: Yeah. I mean, I have colleagues who, at some point I referred to as my best friends who consider me a white supremacist, conspiracy theorist completely captured idealogue. Yeah. And these are people I could talk to about anything and they won't who won't pick up the phone.
They don't like some tweets or they're told by their other faculty, because we were, we coauthored papers together and that they had to distance himself from, even though the papers we coauthored were nothing to do with gender, they were just on spider behavior. That's what I studied in grad school.
Yeah, it's, it's, we're in a really bad place right now because a lot of the, the pipeline of these credentializing institutions are being. They're being compromised by the requirements of having these diversity equity and inclusion statements. I had kids who were applying to not even just grad school, but just, uh, college just to go to college and they have to write these diversity statements.
When you go to grad school, you need to write these diversity statements. They ask you for your gender identity, all this stuff to get a postdoc. I missed that whole wave fortunately well, up until I was starting to apply for professor jobs, then those universities were asking for diversity statements and even asking on my research statement, how does my research further diversity equity inclusion like, well, I studied WASC spider and ant behavior.
So I mean, animal diversity sure. Type of diversity you're asking for. Not at all. I can't even imagine an experiment or a research project I could create that would, that would do that.
Greg: It's really, you know, DIE needs to die. I mean, that's really because it's like, it's like the nuance of conversation.
When people say equity, they don't or equality and they say, well, what are we talking? Like, going back to what we were saying earlier, what are we actually, what are we actually talking about here? We're talking about equality of outcome or equality of opportunity. What's the difference between equity and equality and, you know, with DIE.
Um, you know, then what is diversity? I don't think is neither inherently good or bad and equity that is equal outcomes is as bad as communism. And I say that seriously, all of
Colin: All of those terms, diversity, equity inclusion mean actually they're literal opposite. Can we have diversity?
Greg: Do you think so? Because I think inclusion is as good a value as I can think of.
I want people to feel included. Do you think that, are you saying that in the, the use of it within DIE or die as I call it… It means the opposite.
Colin: We're actually extremely opposite the way they use it. Yeah. I mean, because I mean, for instance, students at Penn state, when I worked there, they wanted me to be fired because I wasn't being inclusive to gender diverse people.
Greg: That’s not being very inclusive…
Colin: That's excluding me to make the environment more inclusive. So it's, it's a, it's the opposite. They want to make it so we can't have these opinions.
Greg: I, so we have with, with a member of parliament in England, Phillip Davis, and I was staggered to find out that they have a, um, an equality's minister and, uh, uh, a minister for women.
I'm like, do we have a minister for men? Oh no, no. I'm like, what? So that's not very, that's not really, but when you go down the identity politics rabbit hole, you can't like you going to equal that there's got to be a minister for everything and every one and a month for everything and everyone.
Colin: And that's what we have to try to stand up for before it gets really just ingrained in government, you know, with the whole wanting to have a whole department of anti-racism where any policy would go through this filter of equity and equal outcomes.
I mean, once that stuff's there, like my goodness, I don't know how you, I don't know what the process is for getting rid of entire departments, but it probably can't be easy.
Greg: Oh it's not easy. I mean, you know…
Colin: it's just a, it's a ratchet system where it just gets, you can't go back once. The more you go down this rabbit hole.
So, I mean, I get my hats off to people like Chris Rufo who are doing like this dirty work, getting it out as fast as it can before it can sort of put it’s barbs in there like a, like a fox tail. Um, and just you never going to get it out once it gets too far in.
Greg: Yeah. And unfortunately given cancel culture and the way the kind of, uh, you know, a political divide, you know, over the last few years. You just, you, when you, you know, you're doing the right thing, when you get an attack, then you get attacked personally.
And like, you know, when you came on the show, this is like, he, he knows what he's talking about. You can disagree with what he's talking about, but some facts there about, you know, K through 12 and, and see that like people were like, no, that didn't happen. It's not happening. It's all at no, it's not, it's not, and it's wrong.
Uh, and it's, you know, it's just, again, living in the upside down.
There's a segment. I do the end of the show, uh, called the philosophical Q, um, where I kind of delve a little deeper into, uh, the guests. Um, I guess I, I go eclectic within the dialectic. Socrates is greatest. Axiom was know thyself, so Colin, Wright, let's put you on the spot. Shall we? How well, how well do you know thyself?
Do you, do you think, you know yourself pretty well?
Colin: It's a good question. Um, I think, I think fairly well, I mean, I'm fairly in tune with the values that I have. I always try to remain as open as I can to differing opinion. Um, always willing to have the conversation, you know, I'm not saying that doesn't mean I don't have blind spots, but I fundamentally, as a person, I care about truth first and foremost, because I think so much stems downstream from that.
Any discussions about what's moral or what we should and shouldn't do. I mean, you have to have the facts straight before you can even just get any traction on any question. And so that's what motivated me to get into science in the first place. And that's sort of my, my guiding philosophy is, well, like first we need to establish what's true and then we can, we can move from there. Um, and to acknowledge areas where I actually don't know anything. And I do that plenty. Like I, if I didn't talk about the pandemic very much. Cause I just don't have the expertise really. I mean, I know very basic stuff about viruses and uh, it's about where it ends.
Greg: It’s okay because there's so many experts out there. Everyone's an expert about things they know so little about.
Colin: but I, I have a, I think I have a good bullshit detector though. So even if I don't have expertise that can usually tell when someone is spouting BS.
Greg: Yeah. And you can tell, you can tell pretty quickly, right? If you're an expert in a particular field, at least if someone is, you know, has a general sense of, of, of the area and is formulating opinions and is listening with curiosity and sharing to be known, they can be people who profess to be experts like those who profess to be geniuses, anyone that says to me, and there's been a couple of people, I'm a genius.
That's the last thing you are. Right. Um, so let me, let me go to these, these, these sections of the philosophical Q as we go a little deeper into the, the dialogue. Um, the meaning seeker. This one is called. I define meaning as everything happens for a reason we make up afterwards. Where does Colin Wright find meaning?
Colin: I don't feel like I'm guided. I mean, I know people, Jordan Peterson, would say that this isn't true. I don't need sort of a grandiose sort of universal meaning to my life, like an ultimate meaning. I find that I can operate on sort of more proximate meanings of my life. Like my, with being with my family, you know, valuing their, their love, their affection, the types of interactions that we have, like that just fills me up with so much joy.
Um, and this is actually one reason why I've recently changed my mind is if I want to have children or not, because. Make a long story short. My dad had a very big health scare and I suddenly realized that my desire to not have any kids up until recently, but because I gained so much, meaning from the family I currently have, there's like so much love in our family unit that I never felt like I needed my own children.
But when I saw that this family unit is an a femoral thing, it's not going to be there forever. My dad and my mom they're going to die. And I just realized very, I mean, it was, it was a feeling first. Um, but it was so clear. I mean the first time when I, cause he, he fell and he was sort of on the ground and not doing, not doing so well, the first thing that popped into my mind first, it was just like, oh my God, is my dad okay. But then immediately after was, I have to have kids and that was breaking a two decade trend of me saying, like, I'm not a kids person. I don't ever want kids. And that was just ever, never since then. I'm just like, yeah, I need to have kids.
Greg: Wow. So it was, so it was basically self preservation. I'm what happens to me when I get old and frail, I've got a kid to look at.
I'm just kidding. I think that's beautiful. Like obviously there's way, way more to it than that, right. Not just that moment with your dad and by the way, I hope he's he's, you know, on the mend.
Colin: He’s doing great right now, actually. So yeah, he's recovered.
Greg: That's quite profound though. That is really something quite profound.
Colin: It was one of those immediate revelations I've had. Yeah, it was amazing. I can't even really describe it.
Greg: I think Joseph Campbell who wrote, uh, uh, the hero with a thousand faces, uh, he was, he was asked, you know, boil it all down to one word, everything you've learned. And he just said the one word was family.
Colin: Yeah, that resonates with me a lot. I mean, I gained so much meaning from like, when something happens to me, when I get a call from Joe Rogan, people that I'm going to go on his show, I call my mom and my dad. That's what I do. And that gives me meaning. And I've just realized if they weren't there to call, I would, there would be such a loss for me.
Like my, my grandma, when she passed away, she was the person. I sent my, my articles, my essays in college. Cause she was, uh, she was a writer and she was amazing and it's is such a loss. Like I write something now and like my parents are getting good with feedback too, but I just don't feel that same, you know, meaning like oh my grandma, but love this thing that I just wrote.
And I kind of realizing it changed my role now. Like I'm not going to play the role as the son anymore, but you know, I think I can have a new chapter to play the role as a, as a father at some point, I think that will give me enough meaning to keep on going, without having these grand narratives, um, you know, passing on knowledge and values and that type of thing to me, that's kind of…
Greg: You'll be doing that through the experience of being a father because you know, when you do become that, I mean, it's the greatest role I ever played and it wasn't a role I was playing.
I just was, you know, my two sons were and are the meaning of my life. They defined the meaning, the core of the meaning of my life. And, um, you know, I've mentioned before, like, you know, losing, losing them and their childhoods was like the interminable living grief, the escape ability of that living grief. Uh, is at times unbearable.
Um, but that's because you know, that for me is, is where the meaning is or where the most meaning is. I mean, you just, you know, you just hit the nail on the head. I'm really excited for you. Um, because it's obviously a journey it's an adventure and, you know, to suddenly be like to have this value for all of your life and then go, wow. Okay. That's kind of a big value change.
Colin: It was, it was huge. Yeah. It hit me all at once.
Greg: You'll be, as you will be a phenomenal. Are you kidding me? Can I, can I just go back in time? You can be my dad. The knowledge you're going to impart and just the way that you were parent. I can just imagine it now.
It'd be. Because you can put yourself with such, um, consistent consistency.
Colin: I hope so. So, I mean, I always, I always thought that I would be a good father. I just never thought that I wanted to be one. So yeah. And I feel like if they want to be one, so that's, that's what I need.
Greg: Brilliant. Well, I feel like I've met you gran. I feel like I know her just a little bit from what you shared about that. I was going to ask what's the most meaningful moment of your life, but I think that might be coming up soon based on what your value changed. Just was, uh, this question is, I call this the urbain pioneer.
Where do you go for your fantastic neuroplastic urbane monastic? Basically, where do you go to find peace? Uh, mind wellness? How do you quiet the racing mind or deal with crisis? Is there somewhere or someplace or some activity or ritual that you like to go with?
Colin: I've always gone on walks. So I had a bunch of, I sometimes I'll post videos on social media if I come across an interesting animal or something, but I don't usually record any.
And when I go out on, but it is just a, it's almost like a meditative experience. So when I moved to Nashville, one of the things is like, I need a place where I can go on walks, even if it's the same path every single day, because there's always something new, coming from the biological background.
I'm good at observing things that people might not catch. And I can just, you know, I can just watch like a baby praying mantis, eating a fly in a leaf. And that can just like make my, my entire day, uh, really, really happy. And it's, it's one of those times where, yeah, I don't even, I'm not listening to a podcast.
I'm just kind of silently walking. And sometimes I don't even know if I'm really particularly thinking about anything, but I just always feel that. You know, a lot better when I'm, when I, when I go on those and when I come back, um, yeah. If, if anything is particularly crazy happening on Twitter, it's time for a walk.
Sometimes I will go and will try and get through some sort of problem or think through something on them. But a lot of the times it's just looking at the ducks, looking at the turtles and all that stuff. And I just, I love it. I always make sure that's a priority in my life is to be close to nature. So
Greg: Just getting outside, being in nature is the great, uh, reliever.
Um, you know, the kind of therapist of self, uh, this one's called the enlightened trailblazer. What, what do you do for fun? Or hobbies? Do you have any hobbies? I know you just mentioned that you liked to go on walks and be in nature, but is there something that maybe people don't know about you that you, that you're into.
Colin: Spirits, not like the spooky kind, but the alcoholic kind. I have an enormous whiskey collection that is ever growing. I have a whiskey buying problem, not a drinking problem. Uh, I probably have over a hundred bottles now that are just keep expanding. I love doing whiskey tastings and, uh, expanding, extending into, into rum and into, into brandies.
And I've probably been, shouldn't say this, but getting involved in, maybe even making my own…
Greg: making your spirits distillery, perhaps?
Colin: Perhaps I think, uh, I gave, I gave Rogan some on my episode there, first thing I did on the show and him and Snoop Dogg actually cheers drinking it a month later on the Broken podcasts.
Greg: Can I just get you to say that again? You just, you just said I, you know, and Joe Rogan and Snoop just cheersed each other, drinking your distilled. What was it? It was a moonshine.
Colin: Yeah. The moonshine capital the world is here in Nashville. So it's, uh, it's no coincidence that this, that was part of the reason, but sold me on Nashville too.
I usually go to a downtown and I will Google, you know, craft distilleries, and maybe one will show up. Maybe not even any in Nashville, maybe 50 showed up just in the downtown. So yeah, that's, that's my people. Um, I, I love doing that. That's my main hobby. I also play bass guitar whenever I can get time to do it.
I used to be in a rock band in the early 2010s to actually, but we had recorded and, uh, I've been on the radio for a bit in California, but that was a while back. Nothing. I kind of, since Nashville's one of the music capitals of the world here, you know, my, I would love to be in a cover reggae band.
That's sort of what I would like to like to do. Um, cause it'd be easy to, to practice and, um, they wouldn't have to be creative anymore cause I don't have time.
Greg: No. How do I get hold of this, uh, this moonshine? How do I get something?
Colin: Can we regress?
Greg: I'll do that afterwards. I mean, you know, I'm not Snoop Dogg with Joe Rogan, but um, it would take probably the place of my, uh, my arm.
I'll tell you, I've really gone into sipping, um, spirits over the last few years rather than just necessarily the mixed, I mean the traditional English, drinking gin and tonic or all of that, but to actually find, you know, good sipping gins and good sipping tequilas and, um, I haven't experienced a lot of moonshine.
Yeah, I'll say some moonshine they're calling, right? Uh, is there a 90 year old moonshine?
Colin: Um, I have, so I have different names depending on what I, what I make it from. So I have my generic one is this thought criminal I'm going to shine. Uh, and then I had other ones. So on Snoop Dog, when he, when he cheered to Rogan, uh, he said specifically that some moonshine off the motherfucking duke boys truck.
And so I, I have another bottle label. That's just says, moonshine off the mother fucking duke boys truck.
Greg: How did you end up in a Snoop dog video?
Colin: It's just amazing networking. Somehow it works out. So I was in LA visiting Zuby. He had a gathering, you know, Zuby’s music. He's a rapper.
Greg: He's coming on.
Colin: Okay. Yeah, he, well, he had a little gathering and I was invited to that cause I've, I've been on Zuby’s podcasts and we, we chat on Twitter sometimes. And the, he had been shooting a music video for his most recent CD that's out. Um, the single that he released and the person who recorded it was this guy named Patrick.
I can’t remember his last name. He goes by ‘Embryo’ is sort of his name in the industry. And he had followed me on Twitter and he was excited to talk to me. And so I didn't realize how big a shot he actually was. And until he said, he gave me a call and said he was coming to Nashville to be directing a Snoop dog video.
And if I wanted to go and so I was like, yeah. So I got on the VIP list to watch it. And then halfway through, he said, do you want to be in it? And I was like, yes.
Greg: That’s how they get you to work for free.
Colin: I'm not in the Impala or doing anything or rapping, but, uh, I'm sitting at a, in the bar at a table while like the show's going on.
And I haven't seen the final. I might not even make it to the final cut, but this camera definitely passed me. And, um, I'm wearing a yellow hoodie. So if I'm in there, I'll be easy to see.
Greg: Brilliant, brilliant. Who knew what great story. I mean, I reminded the clubhouse and, you know, early on when I did a room and MC Hammer comes in, he comes on the stage and then I co mod him and then I’m like I've got to go now. He's like Greg man. It's all good, man. I got it. I'll take care of it. You know, I'll close up the room for you. We're going to close it up. So I just, you know, hop off the app and then about eight hours, nine hours later, I'm thinking, I'm just curious. Maybe I'll just check and I checked and he's Hey Greg man, he's gone through the night with the room keeping up.
They just it's. It can, it can be very addictive. Uh, so, uh, just finishing up here, the sense-maker, uh, this one's called, if you could write your own epitaph Colin what would you want it to say?
Colin: Something simple? Like we cared about the truth or something like that. That's just sort of… That is really the, the, the grounding motive that I had that drives me through my day to day. Something like that. I mean, it's not, maybe not that poetic or anything, but I have to give him more thought to have come up with a better phrase, but something along those lines. Um, if I could say it in a more artistic way, possibly,
Greg: I think that was beautifully put.
The last one is the presence extender. If you had one wish, just one wish, what would it be?
Colin: I don't even know if it would be super grandiose. You know, I'm thinking about like, being able to answer the world's biggest questions, but I, I do think a lot of the fun is finding them out for yourself.
I don't know if I'd want to have like this omniscient sort of way to get the answers easily.
You know, you could say things like world peace, but then, you know, do we really want the thing where everyone is completely just, you know, I think a lot of the human interactions that we have, you know, anger and, uh, love, these are all things that make for a really vibrant life. And, um, you know, people always talk about, you know, is there free will in heaven and things like that, because if there is then, you know, we all just then there, there could be violence in evilness up there and that's, so it makes heaven sound like, you know, if there's none up there, then it would be sort of this boring existence.
I don't know if I would change anything with a wish, you know, I hate to be selfish and just want to say, like, I just want to be self-sufficient in a way that, you know, I can, I can pursue my interests.
I'm not exactly sure what my one wish would be. Do you think this would be something that I thought about?
Greg: What if I said, you have one way, and if you don't decide what that wish is within 60 seconds, it will evaporate and you don't get one.
Colin: I guess that ultimately, maybe there will be a continuing progress to things that. No, it's not going to go just this ending cycle of boom and bust of having to keep rediscovering, reinventing the wheel. I would like the idea that there are true gains as, as a species and that, you know, there could be some steps back, but ultimately it's, this drunkard's walk forward.
I'd like to think that would be the case. And I hope that's the case. And I wish that would, that could be true. I'm going to go with that for now, tentatively.
Greg: I liked that. I like that a lot.
Colin: I changed my mind. I'll DM you on Twitter. I’ll give it more thought.
Greg: You let me know. It's been, it's been as always great chatting with you.
And again, thank you for being on the show. Where can people find you and hear about what you're doing? and your newsletter? Share that with me if you wouldn’t mind.
Colin: Yeah. So I have a weekly newsletter that comes out. It's designed to keep people informed about the latest news and events and stuff happening within the realm of, I guess, sex and gender ideology, uh, with my own analysis, uh, in those, in that realm, it's called Reality's Last Stand and it’s realitieslaststand.com is how you get there. Free articles in the newsletter, uh, it’s subscribers only. There's one free once a month. Other than that, you can get most of my, my thoughts just on, on Twitter, my handle is @swipewright and it’s my last name. W R I G H T. And that's my handle, basically across all social media platforms.
So you can follow me there and you can find links to my newsletter through there.
Greg: Great. Thank you, Colin Wright.