Episode 133

The Indoor Kids

Motivation Farming with Dan …

The Indoor Kids #133: Motivation Farming with Dan Harmon

Today the Kids welcome back Dan Harmon to talk about Community, other TV he’s watching, and the video games he currently has the headspace for. Plus we talk news with Burnside!

Battlefield 4, Borderlands 2, Candy Crush Saga, The Banner Saga, Nintendo World Championship, Batman: Arkham Origins: Blackgate, Paint Dryer, Assassin’s Creed 4, Assassin’s Creed 4, Tetris, Pac Man, God of War, Halo, The Sims, Minecraft, GTA, NBA 2K14, Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Terraria, Junk Jack, Junk Jack X, Hay Day, Township, Resident Evil, Fallout: New Vegas, D&D, Skyrim

Community, The Walking Dead, True Detective, Hannibal, Enlisted, Cougertown, Rick and Morty, The Meltdown, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Better Off Dead, Mr. Show

Her, The Wolf of Wall Street, Zodiac, Gravity, Seven, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit


Tour dates for Kumail, Jonah and Emily in January and February!

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Follow @matthewburnside on Twitter!

Follow @indoorkids@kumailn, and @thegynomite on Twitter! And email us at!

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  • Just to clear things up for you guys, Gandalf doesn’t do much in LotR compared to The Hobbit because he is not allowed to. He was originally put in the world to guide the forces of good into defeating evil. BUT he is not allowed to personally mess with the balance (hence why he can’t just fly the ring into Mordor on the eagles). So his entire time is spent trying to guide the race of men to stopping Sauron and taking their place as the rulers of the world.

  • Rob, purple person:

    That’s the response everybody gets when they don’t like something, but my point is, with THIS podcast, it hasn’t always been this way. I listened to every episode up until a year or so ago, but now every single time I listen, this is what happens. It seems like there’s much less enthusiasm on the positive end and much more enthusiasm about the debate and criticism of things.

    But anyway, I’m not asking anybody to change. Do I not have a right to say this, as a previously-loyal listener? The Indoor Kids is for me what the Hobbit is for the Indoor Kids. They get to talk about that, so do I not get to talk about this? Yeah yeah, it’s a free podcast, but again, if there’s zero accountability to listeners, then there’s no point. That’s how an entertainment value system works. This isn’t empty complaining, but a thoroughly-considered feeling about a piece of content that I legitimately WANT to enjoy. I’m not an idiot; I know people have opinions. It’s the SHIFT in focus/format/some other indescribable vibe that I’m referring to… not just a blanket complaint.

  • @Chris, That’s exactly what I was coming here to write. I’m current with the comics (checked out of the show in season 3) and I was thinking, “20 years old? That’s crazy.” I mean there are much older pop culture things that are being transformed into modern works, i.e. Dark Tower comics, Game of Thrones.

    Anyway, still great to hear Dan’s views on this stuff. He has great analogies and it’s awesome to hear them back on track with guests.

    Also, I was trying to figure out why Dan Harmon referenced Jack Frost. It’s cause he just had to watch it for Earwolf’s “How Did This Get Made”, which everyone on the show has now done! Kumail got “Leprauchan in the Hood” and Emily got “Hudson Hawk”. You think Burnside wants to do an episode of it…?

  • If you make a podcast public and have a comment section on your page … people have the right to voice their opinion about something positive or negative. Even tho I was a bit tipsy when I wrote that, I probably wouldn’t change it. I love this podcast and don’t want it to let up. Don’t think K and E give a shit about what I say anyways.

    @Ben – I didn’t wish them any harm or ill will … I just gave a simple fuck you. So eat my balls.

    @Al – Your comment was a bit “self-indulgent” too dude. Way to use double negatives btw. The key word is “most people”. When saying making things … that includes anything from cheese to cars everywhere. Gotcha

  • The only time Emily and I have seriously considered ending this podcast was when we were regularly reading the comments page. This should be a place for civil discussion, not a place where people can say “fuck you” to us merely because we’re somewhat public figures.

    For the good of the podcast, I’m going back to never coming to this page again. Have fun.


  • To @ben and @gooseganja

    The thing that really sucks is that a few of you can ruin it for everyone. Yeah, I don’t always agree with Emily and Kumail. Sometimes, something they say might even get under my skin for a second (though offhand I can’t think of any times that this has happened). Feel free to disagree with someone, sure. Feel free to say you feel like the podcast isn’t as good as it used to be. Feel free to say you don’t think that Kumail or Emily are educated on the topic they’re speaking on, though I tend to think they’re more educated than people give them credit for being…

    But why does it have to be this whole “fuck you” and “go die” shit? Do you really think YOU seem educated or intelligent or that you add anything to the world doing things that way? I’m sure both Emily and Kumail could take criticism, and they’d probably be like “hey, that’s something we’ll consider” if they thought it was a good point. But now what you’re doing is you’re driving people away. You’re driving the creators of this podcast away from interacting with their audience, and you’re driving podcast listeners from making comments because they know that Kumail and Emily won’t read it anymore. That’s just plain shitty.

    On top of that, you’re representing the audience and gamers, and you’re coming off as a 13 yr old jackass who screams “Die Faggot!” into his headset because he just learned that it’s a bad word. Don’t be that dude. That’s the “dude” that everyone thinks of when they think of gamers. Be a respectful human who might disagree with someone or might not like something as much but can at least articulate it without insulting someone personally.

    I’m just disappointed. I know now that you’ve made the people who make this feel like shit, and made them want to stay away from here, and that sucks for the rest of us.

    @kumail …I hope that you know (and Emily knows) that what you create is something enjoyable for us as listeners, and there are fans who can disagree with you on some points and still be fans, and not tear you down. We appreciate you guys, we really do.

  • Guys I’m a huge fan of the podcast and I think part of the fun of podcasts is to agree or disagree with various topics that come up. I would never say “Die faggot” to someone… fuck you on the other hand. Emily told fans to personally go fuck yourself and called you a racist If think that an already existing character shouldn’t be changed in the Marvel Universe (just make a new hero).

    I honestly didn’t think my drunken comment would make so many people including Kumail upset. I guess all I can say is that I’m still gonna listen and the fact you evoke any emotion from listeners should be a compliment. @Kumail and Emily – Keep it up guys, but if you can dish it … you gotta be able to take it too.

    Well … I feel like an epic douche. I’m taking my hat out of the ring. If I ever have anything to say about this podcast I will keep it to myself. Sorry if I ruined something in the future for loyal listeners. I didn’t think my comment would snowball into an everybody shit on the Indoor Kids comment page.

    RIP GooseGanja

    PS – The Desolation of Smauuuawwhhg was fucking terrible.

  • Does nobody else see the irony here?

    Kumail and Emily are shitting all over the Hobbit, and then they lose their minds when they hear somebody doing the same thing about their podcast. Yes, in this comparison, Peter Jackson is distant, but he’s still a human being. That’s not distant enough to negate the hypocrisy in this whole scenario.

  • The difference being that Kumail and Emily didn’t contact Peter Jackson on Twitter to tell him to go fuck himself. They didn’t send him an email to say he’s really changed for the worse (which is assuming a massive amount of unearned familiarity with a stranger). If you’ve been listnening to podcasts for any period of time, you probably know the creators often read their comments sections. You are able to speak directly to them. Maybe you should speak to them with the same kindness and level of politeness that I imagine they would if they met Peter Jackson.

    Stop listening if you don’t like the content.

  • Well, I didn’t say “fuck you.”

    The internet is full of people lamenting the directions of things they love. You can say that’s wrong or you can simply let that happen… Probably not gonna change either way.

  • In the Ass Crack Bandit episode of Community, Abed has a little rant about giving characters autism as a superpower and how that is shitty, shitty writing. Later in the episode it shows Abed deleting a bunch of episodes of Sherlock and Hannibal from his DVR. Other than that I haven’t heard Harmon complain about it in specifics. I get why that might be annoying to him but it’s such a great show it makes me a little sad that a guy I respect a lot doesn’t like it.

  • @RG My issue is not with the fact that you lament the changes in the podcast. It is with your tone, The Indoor Kids are not responsible for your depression and anxiety. They are not tasked with catering to you in order to bring you relief. They don’t have to like what you like or be respectful to what you respect. They are two human beings with faults and opinions and personalities. If you can’t accept any of those three things then stop listening. There are kind ways of asking for more positivity in a podcast. You did not choose kindness.

  • I’m sorry, are you mixing me up with somebody else? I’d ask you to check exactly which posts have my name by them.

    Just so you know, the last time this came up, Kumail replied and was QUITE harsh, to the point that he realized it and apologized. I am being as kind as I can to communicate my point without being passive-aggressive. I’ve said that I love the show, I love them as human beings, I simply don’t think the conversational tone has remained the same as it once was. It wasn’t to “blame them for my depression and anxiety,” but to show them that there was a time when they HELPED. That’s something a lot of entertainers kind of like to hear, but it would be a bit backwards if I said they’re still both doing that AND bumming me out. When those are the options, I can either say how I feel about it or simply not, but I can’t combine them so that it’s both a complaint and complete 100% kindness. I think what you’re asking is easier said than done.

  • The fact is, when I listened regularly, I both defended them to trolls and praised the show without prompt. It always made my day. But because this isn’t an actual fully-formed two-way human communication system, that stuff goes unseen when I have an issue with something.

    Seriously, this feels like lumping me in with the surfacey trolls who just come say shitty misogynistic stuff to Emily, and that’s also truly unkind; I hate those people.

  • @goatofthewoods – First off … way to express your thoughts and opinions without any anger or hatred (thats a much better way than sayn fuck you). Secondly everything you stated in your previous post can be applied to the listeners aswell. If you honestly get make at opinions posted in this comment page **ahmm Kumail then thats your problem … not the listeners problem or responsibility to agree with you 100% :) .. ;(

  • @goatofthewoods

    Ah, thanks for pointing out that reference to Hannibal from the Ass Crack Bandit! I have a bad habit of watching Community while doing something else, so I totally missed that.

    The mental-illness-as-superpower trope is pretty stupid, not to mention unhelpful for real people with mental issues.

    I have heard that the creator of Hannibal, Bryan Fuller, really had to restrain himself from making Will Graham a supernaturally gifted character, though I’m not sure if that would make this instance of the trope even more prolematic or not…

    I still love the show Hannibal very much, but it’s good to discuss and consider these kinds of criticisms. :)

    (See how I listened to someone else’s negative opinion of something I like without getting hurt, irrational, defensive, or insulting? I hope that people like RG can learn to do that as well so s/he can have a happier existence)

  • @RB My issues are simply with opinions stated as fact in the show amongst the hosts and guests. Your issues seem completely different (Like with your emotions or mental health). Don’t start thrown me under the bus you spouted off way more “hobbit” bullshit than i did. Dude the Hobbit movies suck … just accept it dude.

  • @RG I wasn’t trying to lump you in with anyone and I don’t think you are a troll. I also wasn’t saying you blame anyone for your anxiety or depression. I said they aren’t responsible for alleviating it. That is not the purpose of the podcast. It’s a conversation between an entertaining married couple and (sometimes) a guest that is loosely tied to videogames and other “nerd” culture. The fact that it did help your issues is wonderful but the fact that it no longer does is not something to lay at the feet of the podcasters.

    I enjoyed reading your defense of the Hobbit movies more than reading you tearing down the opinions of the people on the podcast. They say very clearly towards the end of the chat that these are just their opinions and people that like the movie don’t need to get mad at them. I think if you listen to the podcast again you will see that no one stated you like something bad they were just saying that there’s no reason to get mad at them for not liking it. Harmon talking about nerd culture being big seemed to be him saying that we don’t need to be so vicious in defending the things we like anymore because they are already successful. Kumail talking about there not needing to be a consensus seemed to be making the same point to me. I think maybe you came into things defensive because of your last interaction with Kumail. That’s understandable.

    @DK You’re welcome! I’ve listened to a lot of interviews with Bryan Fuller and I love the guy. I think he is good at showing that Will Graham is a complete person and not just some super-genius of autism. Other than a mention of him being “on the spectrum” they don’t really harp on it. He seems more just a reclusive kook than a Sherlock type character. I like Sherlock a lot too but it has more problems in the writing department than the first season of Hannibal for sure.

  • A minute ago, you actually defended my right to throw you under the bus.

    Anyway, that’s sort of a stupid thing to say. I’m not delusional, and neither are the other people I know who love the Hobbit films. I’m not wrong for loving it, and you’re not wrong for hating it. That’s not what this is about; it’s just an example of the kind of unchecked negative focus that I’m referring to. It’s arrogant to accuse me of squinting at the screen or accepting something poorly-made when I honestly and legitimately don’t have any issues or disappointments with it.

  • (last comment was for GooseGanja)

    Anyway, I actually agree with what that guy said: there’s a comment section here for me to do a version of what they use their podcast to do. Whether they read it or not, the thing made me feel something, and I expressed it honestly. Just the way you say there’s no need to hold back from criticizing our nerd media (which is unintentionally arrogant, because I’m not HOLDING BACK, because I simply like it without caveat and there is no correct objective status of what’s good or bad in matters of taste), then there’s also no need to hold back criticizing somebody else’s product either. That actually justifies the concept of directing it at the creator, because otherwise it’s just empty complaining.

  • Anyway, yeesh, I’m done with it. Now I’m not trying to hammer my point home, just trying to defend myself. In a way, responding that I’m somehow wrong when I simply have a feeling about a thing and have done my due diligence as a fan is kind of a really shitty thing to do to a person. It invalidates my feelings about it. I’m really quite fine, but it would have eaten at me if I didn’t “leave my review.” If you want to imagine that I’ve taken out all the personal stuff and imagine that it’s a technical criticism instead, go ahead, but that would not have been honest of me.

  • @RG Honesty and kindess are not mutually exclusive. Having an emotional reaction does not mean you must put all of that emotion into a response. Respecting people’s opinions doesn’t mean you can’t voice opinions of your own. I don’t know that you understood the point of any of my comments. That’s okay. Have a nice night.

  • DUDE. I get the point, and I told you: it’s easier said than done. My actual point would not have been conveyed any other way. It could have been much worse. Leave it alone.

  • @GG
    Definitely not. They never do. I don’t think that’s an excuse to be rude and insulting in order to get the attention and interaction, though. It would certainly be nice if there were a bit more encouragement of positive feedback and polite/insightful criticim here rather than the trollfeast they usually set the table with. That said, I think part of maturing and becoming a 3-dimensional person is being more comfortable with accepting what other people are and what they’re willing to give rather than bitching and moaning about what they’re not giving and pushing them to be what you think they should be. It’s something I struggle with as well.

  • @joe friday – Yeah … goatofthewoods said it best when he said i commented immediately after listening so i was typing with unchecked emotion. I regret cursing but a day later n no bad emotions now today … my points or opinions still stand in my mind. Offended .. no, Frustrated .. yes. Its like your BFF telling you that u suck n are a racist.

  • Quick comment on the whole race of orcs thing from LOTR versus The Hobbit and the whole 3 movie debate.

    The orcs in The Hobbit are mostly goblins and a few pure basic orcs. The orcs sometimes call the goblins slaves (because they are of a lesser race); these are the bad guys we see at the Misty Mountains in the first hobbit movie and battle with the whole Fellowship in the middle of the first LOTR movie. Some are corrupted elves, men and/or dwarves and through evolution take different forms and shapes. Later in LOTR Saruman created half-breeds of men and orcs and Sauron created more half-breeds called the Uruk-hai therefore those larger races of orc would not show up in The Hobbit trilogy. So the goblins and orcs you see in The Hobbit are the original bad guys and look less human which means CG is needed, the later half-breed and big Uruk-hai in LOTR are more human-like which means you could film them with actual actors and stunt people.

    On the whole “The Hobbit does not warrant 3 movies” debate, you need to consider that these films are not just for the book The Hobbit, it also throws in events detailed in the appendices at the end of the Return of the King book and a few things in “Unfished Tales”. The Appendices detail things that happen before, during, and after The Hobbit. There are points in The Hobbit where Gandalf leaves the dwarves, it is not explained why in the Hobbit book, but in the appendices Tolkien explains what Gandalf’s adventure during that time was and the biggest reason for including that story in these films is that it ties directly into The Lord of the Rings

    Perhaps if these movies were called “The Hobbit plus Unfinished Tales and more”, it would make more sense (although it’s not as catchy)

  • @GG
    I hear what you’re saying. Responding to negative behavior just encourages more negative behavior, and that the same is true of positive behavior. I think it’s important to consider it from their perspective as well, though. You hurt them. I’m sure you didn’t think that your words would have that kind of power, but they did.

    I think that we’re drawn to people in our lives that we admire for one reason or another, and then when we learn more about those people and see beyond the particular trait we admire we learn that those people have weaknesses and flaws as well as admirable traits, just like us. It’s easy to fall into the misconception that if someone is professionally funny, or a brilliant actor, or writes amazing songs that they must be as superlative in every aspect of their lives. It’s the music we like, or the comedy we like, but instead of saying that we’re fans of the music or the comedy we become fans of the people who made it; and that’s how we actually feel. We almost deify these people, forcing them onto pedestals and into these molds that we’ve created for them that when we see their human sides we feel betrayed, as if they’ve fooled us somehow or misrepresented themselves. But we’re the ones who said that they were different from us and better than us. Not them. It’s a dynamic that I don’t think they’re comfortable with either, because if they were then I think they would be a bit more understanding of, not the act of trolling itself, but the psychological dynamic behind trolling. It’s somewhat similar to the teenager/parent dynamic. We see them in what we subconsciously consider to be a position of authority so when we disagree with what they say it causes an instinctual sense of anger at the unfairness that they get to be more powerful than us even when they’re wrong (from our perspective). Our parents, and our entertainers, are just people. Different from us, yes, and sometimes more rich or more famous or more powerful. But still people like us with flaws and feelings. My thought is that if you or I did a podcast and shared an opinion that somebody disagreed with that we would hope that they would express themselves politely rather than attack us, for any number of reasons. Maybe not, but I think we would.

  • You also have to consider the idea of single posts not being associated as a group. Maybe it’s overstepping some bounds in reality, but for the sake of simplicity, let’s compare the podcaster-listener relationship to a friendship.

    You develop that friendship through mutually-upbuilding comments to one another. When one of your friends who has been responsible for this buildup of positive feedback takes a step back and says, “Hey man, something seems different about you lately,” or perhaps, “Hey, I’m sorry, but what you said back there really pissed me off,” you’re most likely going to feel concern and sympathy for that friend and you’re going to want to listen to what they have to say. However, if somebody says that to you without the proper accrued mutual respect, you’re going to think it’s weird and out-of-place. To a friend, you can even say “OK, love you man, but right now, fuck you for what you’re saying” and get away with it. It’s pulling rank, and it’s reserved for rare occasions, but it doesn’t destroy a friendship to hear that (if it does, you’re probably not very good at being a friend).

    Now, from the other end of things, let’s look at it like it really is. Some of us are longtime fans and say lots of very positive things, but that goes unacknowledged. When we raise a complaint, we often feel like we’ve earned it, but they don’t know that because they don’t associate us with our past comments.

    But frankly, in this case, it seems Kumail and Emily associate a complaint–even one in which the commenter is legitimately offended at a generalization that was made, as was the case with GG–with trolling. A complaint from a fan isn’t trolling. Saying it is sort of dehumanizes the audience, and when that disconnect begins, it’s hard to recover from. You’re essentially saying, “I’m always going to be right and if you disagree you’re always going to be wrong, but let’s have fun listening to the podcast anyway!”

    Instead, if some time could be taken to try to analyze exactly who it is they’re talking to (and if comments can be padded with a little background that shows we’re not trolls, which is what I tried to do), then people would still get to be treated like people. I never said “You guys suck!” That’s trolling. Some might disagree with it, but personally I tried to give a little insight about what the podcast meant to me, but I was also FRUSTRATED, and to say that frustration can be expressed left and right on the podcast but not in direct communication is simply hypocritical. If a friend shat all over the Hobbit in that specific way, and they knew I loved it, it would be totally 100% rude.

    So, that’s the thing: it’s not a friendship. But wait, because that doesn’t necessarily mean what you think it means; when you apply ANOTHER reality to it, that it is also a product with a host-audience relationship, then frankly it only further compounds my point about responsibility for this stuff. The fact is, if it were really just exhaustion about irreverent trolls, I would GET where Kumail and Emily are coming from. But it’s not just that… it’s sensitivity about being told that there could possibly be anything wrong with the thing they’re doing, even by a dedicated fan. Even if I hadn’t expressed my frustration, and it was just a glowing thing that eventually said, “But can you just stop shitting on this one thing? You’ve made your point, and it makes me sad and takes my joy away,” THAT PART would have still been irritating to them. Even the other fans that defend people all over Nerdist can only really say, “IT’S A FREE PODCAST, DOUCHEBAG!” and there’s no actual comment on the humanity of the host-audience relationship.

    If this is just punk podcasting time and we’re all just gonna do what we want and not take no shit, man, then more power to them… but maybe somebody should get a little thicker skin and stop complaining about complaints. I’m sorry, but you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

  • @RG – You really think what I said was trolling? It may have been if i spammed the same statement over and over again … but i didnt. Just expressed a feeling. You gettn a crush on me bro?

  • I think I see what you’re saying RG. You seem like a really thoughtful, intelligent, nice person and I can see why you’d be less than thrilled about the hosts of a podcast that you enjoy shitting on a franchise that you also enjoy. You invite the things you love close to your heart and this podcast is no exception, I think. In a way it might be an extension of the dynamic I was describing in my previous comment.

    That said, your view of the audience/performer relationship is a bit overbearing, in my opinion, and you seem to put a lot of the burden of the relationship on the performer. You compare it to a friendship, for example, friendship being a specific relationship between two people where there’s an implied sense of equality both in what people bring to the table and what they take away. That’s not this. If you want to truly compare the audience/performer relationship to a friendship you’d have to include the added elements of one friend putting a massive amount of work, time, dedication, courage, and love into the relationship while all the other friend has to do is sit there, watch, and tell the first friend how well he or she is doing. That doesn’t seem like much of a friendship to me.

    No this is something else entirely. In every relationship we play a role. You, RG, are an individual with your own thoughts and feelings and every person in the world that you encounter is just like you in that regard. But in order to make society work we need guidelines, customs, manners, social cues…things that make it easier to understand what’s expected of us and what we can expect from others. Roles. You wouldn’t treat your boss the same as you do your wife because your role as an employee is different from your role as a husband. You wouldn’t expect your doctor to treat you the same way your grandmother treats you because they have different roles in your life and different functions to perform. We can also play different roles at the same time and sometimes these roles conflict with each other in interesting ways. If you’ve ever been pulled over by a traffic cop while your child is in the car you’ll know what I mean.

    This may come as a hard truth to you, RG, but in your relationship with Kumail and Emily you’re an audience member and they’re the performers. That’s the role you signed up for when you downloaded the podcast so that’s how they see you, and rightfully so. They’re doing all of the work in this relationship. They’re the ones who prepared a space and gained access to recording equipment. They’re the ones who showed up to a location with prepared topics and hit “record”. They’re the ones who were brave enough to discuss their thoughts an opinions while using their full names on that recording. They’re the ones who secured space on a website and posted this recording for people to hear. They’re the ones who do all of this consistently, week in and week out. That is their role as the performers in this relationship.

    Our role as the audience is to listen to it. That’s it and that’s all. Pretty cool for us, right? In many instances part of our role would be to pay for this entertainment that they’ve provided for us. This is not one of those cases. Even better for us, right?

    Considering our minimal contribution in this relationship, how much they put in, and how little we put in, do you see how someone on the performer side of the equation might find it strange that you’re asking them to put in even more?

    You want them to keep track of anyone who’s ever chosen to say something nice to them anonymously on the internet so that when they turn around and say something not so nice it’s not “taken out of context”. I might have taken a bit of creative license with your words there, but if I’ve boiled down what you’ve said correctly that seems to be what you’re asking of them. You want to cover the barbed wire on your fist in a few paragraphs of qualifier fluff about how great you think they are so that when you take a swing they’ll have their guard down and you can stick it to them where it really hurts. You want them to take your harsh words about how shitty you think this thing they put all this work into is, not as an audience member, but as an individual, as a friend even, a friendship you’ve proven to them with a track record of positive comments. But that’s not a friendship. From their perspective that’s them doing a huge load of work every week for your (the audience’s) benefit and you applauding. Why, now that you’re booing instead, would you expect them to treat you as a friend?

    To be frank, their interaction with their fans IS the show itself, and anything beyond that is them going above and beyond and being incredibly nice, not something that they’re obligated to do as performers. That’s like telling someone that they bought a plane ticket so they’re technically allowed on the plane, but they need to pay extra for a seat if they want to sit down. They’ve fulfilled their roles as performers and owe us nothing else and now you’re not only wishing for more, or even politely asking for more, you’re demanding more. You’re expressing your incredible FRUSTRATION with not getting more. You’re not their friend RG. Friendships are built by mutual choice; you chose to listen to their podcast, they did not choose to have you comment on it. They do what they do and they think what they think and you can choose to listen to it or not, but this hurt and anger you feel over them not meeting this expectation of friendship you have is a bit much. As with any relationship, friendship, audience/performer, or even romantic, you’re welcome to leave it at any time, but understand that you built this expectation of friendship yourself and expected someone else to help you maintain it. If it falls down, that’s not on them. You haven’t been slighted here, you’ve merely misunderstood the nature of the relationship and been hurt by your own misunderstanding.

    As these creative mediums get more intimate and we get to know the hosts of these podcasts better it gets gradually easier for us to blur the lines between performers and friends. I realize I may have come off as a dick and if that’s the case I apologize. I know you’re a sensitive guy and it’s not my intent to hurt your feelings. As I said before, these are things I’ve struggled with myself, so know that when I read your words I feel where you’re coming from. The above is the truth as I’ve learned it and as I see it. Make of it what you will.

  • GG: I wasn’t saying you were trolling; just that you probably didn’t provide enough evidence up front that you aren’t a troll.

    Joe: Well, I think you might have misunderstood my reason for breaking that down. I did point out that I was only comparing it to a friendship because that’s the simplest comparison to draw, and indicated later on that, no, the reason it’s complicated is that it’s specifically NOT a friendship, that it is a lopsided form of communication. Mind you, that’s not a jab at it, and not meant to frame it in a negative light; just an honest appraisal.

    And that’s where the reality of the product comes in. I don’t think this sort of casual conversation podcast elevates itself to the point that all complaints leveled against it are invalid. It’s quite loose, and the fact that it’s a conversation only serves to stimulate more conversation. That’s basically why I wasn’t asking for anything to change (because perhaps that IS too bold), but simply expressing frustration. And in that, I honestly don’t think I’m wrong here. It got something off my chest, and was met with a response that didn’t really try to get where I was coming from (whether I deserve that consideration or not is irrelevant). Thing is, I find that response to be just as valid and justified as anything I’ve said. I’m sorry it created a schism and left some bad feelings, but my point was that those feelings were only bad because of the lopsidedness of this form of communication.

    In the end, while my wife and I listened to the podcast, it made us feel dumb for liking the Hobbit because “cool LA people and Dan Harmon say it’s bad writing and that we’re just putting up with it like lemmings.” Maybe that’s wrong, maybe that’s a vestige of being bullied our whole lives, but if we were made to feel that way, on a human level, it’s really not justified for others to try and censor me and essentially say, “The hosts have the right to process the negative feelings you caused them incorrectly because they’re the hosts, but let me explain to you how you’ve processed YOUR feelings incorrectly.” No, on a human level, I can say they got it wrong and hold them accountable. They don’t have to listen to me, but I can say it. Either I can say that, or you can’t say anything you just said.

    The fact is, I’m also tired of hearing Kumail and Emily build up the shame construct that’s beginning to rule our society (when you say, “Fuck these kinds of people, they’re bad people for being this way,” it hinders the education of the ignorant and pushes people farther away). But I didn’t mention that to begin with. I only mention it now to show you that I didn’t simply unfurl my whole tapestry of shit on them. But the wall went up, and I essentially said to myself, “OK, I see how it is…” until people started coming in, telling me I didn’t have the right to say what I said to begin with.

  • @joe and @rg – this is the most insightful back n forth ive ever had in a comment page. Lets make a point to continue this every week in the IK comment page. :)

  • Put another way: At what point does a host check him/herself in conversation, and instead of saying “All these people must just be immature children,” and go, “Oh shit, our show attracts more “trolls” than most other shows… Maybe we should either decide to be a little LESS casual and bite our tongues a little bit more, or just get a thicker skin and shrug it off?” At what point do you say, “Oh, these people are getting mad at something I said, just the same as I’m getting mad at the things THEY said! Maybe I was the immature one at that moment?” Regardless of responsibility, I just wonder if that thought ever comes up, and if any of this is just anything other than instant rage.

    Joe, everything you’ve said is very well-reasoned and seems quite peaceful, but it also puts a wall around Kumail and Emily to the point that it basically doesn’t MATTER what anybody says, and for some, that encourages it even more. If there’s no wall, there’s nothing to throw the egg at. Though my issue was an honest one, your approach can actually result in MORE surfacey, inconsiderate trolls.

  • @RG … they basically ask for it by calling out their fans and referring to their critical fans as “trolls” on a regular basis. Never considered myself a troll and this is by far the most commenting Ive done on any form of media ever … but since Kumail called me a troll on twitter (real mature btw) I might just take up that role proudly just for this podcast. I wont im just saying thats how those two keep fueling the “troll” fire as i was.

  • GG: Yeah, it’s just kind of a thing where we’re going a step further and analyzing our feelings about it, but the fact is, it makes us get exasperated and find the reactions to be silly/imbalanced… and if we’re sitting here analyzing it, odds are, there are more out there who aren’t willing to do that, who will simply become bigger trolls.