The Truth About 'Dune'! Transcript

Introduction: The Dune Phenomenon

[0:00] Hi, everybody. We are doing Dune. We are doing Dune. Doing the Dune.
We're doing the culture. We're doing the history.
First of all, you don't have to have read the books. You don't even have to have seen the movie to make this incredibly valuable to you.
We're going to break down the whole artistic process and all the stuff that's not being talked about with regards to this story, which is considered the most influential and successful and rich and deep and complex science fiction novel of all time And also outside of the genre, just as science fiction is considered a fantastic book.
My history with Dune, I saw it, of course, around all the time when I was in my early teens.
You mean like the first movie? No, no. Oh, do you think I am?
Oh, you mean the very first David Lynch movie? Yeah. Oh, yeah.
No, no. Even before that, because the book was written, published in mid-60s, right?
Yeah. So it was all around. It creeped me out.
I would see it. I maybe flipped through a little bit, and I saw all these Arabic things. And it's like, this is not my culture.
My culture, my history is like Knights of the Round Table. It's Lord of the Rings.

[1:04] It's Beowulf. Like it's all of that stuff. And I was really into the D&D.
So I'm like, well, why would I want this nonsense foreign desert story?
Right. And I just, I can't honestly remember if I even started to read it and didn't like it. Because I was in the library all the time and it was everywhere.
And it was a real phenomenon.
Although none of my friends were into it. We were all into Lord of the Rings and the European mythology.
So I never read the books. And I wasn't going to watch the movies. Right.
Um, but then we decided to, for reasons that pass. Oh, cause it was just kind of big and we were getting lots of questions about it. Yeah, sure.
And this is Sci-Fi is Lord of the Rings.
Very much so. Okay, so that's me, Steph. If you guys want to mention yourselves too.
I'm Jared. I've been working for the show about a year now. Working with the show about a year now and help out with research and things like that, wherever and however I can help doing the thumbnails and such. On to James.
No, on to me. Okay.
Yeah, Izzy. Child, you've probably heard me on other shows. Yes.
I was the famous hand of the live stream. And you watched it on a plane.
I did watch it on a plane. I had seen a video about Dune, about the movie, like reviewing it and kind of going in depth about the world building.
I thought, hey, this is actually really cool. So I kind of got into it.
And then I happened to be on a plane flight.
And I saw that they had the movie available to watch. And I was like, oh, I've been looking for this opportunity forever. So I watched it. And then.
But with no sound, basically, right? A while later. So you missed all the.

[2:30] I don't know. Yeah, this is my weird thing is usually I don't watch anything with any audio.
Like if i'm watching a video i turn the subtitles on and i have either the audio completely off or i'm listening to music through something else so okay um you're just a subtitle person i'm just a subtitle person um because that also helps me i think decipher whether the movie is actually good or in a way because it's like okay maybe the audio makes it seem really cool but is it actually that cool or they manipulate the crap out of you with like the piano soft piano sadness and the yeah like if i'm laughing at the audio without or if i'm laughing at the dialogue because there's no music to guide me then right right but um that's not even just for movies just also like random videos and stuff but so now we've seen both the movies we've all seen both yeah it was nice to see the second you didn't read the book as a teen right no uh well not as a teen i read it in my i want to say or mid-20s or so um i don't have so much of a love or really much of a hate for dune uh just sort of it's a thing um i like the lord of the rings uh much more uh myself um Um, but, uh, yeah, no, I, I wasn't going to watch, I don't watch movies very much lately.

[3:39] Especially I've never been much of a movie guy, but, um, yeah, no, the opportunity to, uh, look over the movies and get a sense of what's going on.
Um, yeah. And it's a lot of, once you start digging into the things, it's, uh, it gets really deep.
Yeah. We're going super deep on this. And, um, also I remember that the, my friends who liked D and D and, uh, nights of the round table and, and all of this, they were all people I liked.
And the people who were into Dune were like druggy weirdos no offense no offense to those who studied every bit of lore because Izzy's a total lore junkie right, like if there's lore it's like.

[4:17] Catnip to you right like it's really attractive oh yeah and i definitely got into the work dude well yeah because this this guy spent four years researching this book he basically spent another four or five years publishing uh writing it and then there was a bunch of edits so basically spent almost a decade to come out with the book so he's lore king he read according to his son and we'll get into the son's biography frank herbert wrote read like 200 books learned how to write arabic languages and think in arabic and even chinese or mandarin and just went all in and what we're looking at here is some really really deep stuff because i'm almost like why does this thing even exist like i understand why lord of the rings exists talking love playing with languages he also lost all of his friends in the first world war and where to me dune is about, sadism yeah uh the lord of the rings is about sorrow you know the the elves are all leaving it's the end of an era and and they have battles they can't win and of course i mean talking and knew a massive amount of Sauron over the course of his life.
So that all makes sense to me.

[5:19] And a dune is not something that I understand. So we did do a lot of sort of deep background.
We've been talking about this for a couple of days now, reading biographies and really getting in deep because I'm like, well, why does this even exist?
Why is there this planet?
He originally was going to set it on Mars, but then he said, oh, people got too many associations with Mars, like the Orson Welles thing and all of that.
So he ended up making up this completely fictitious planet.
Why does this exist? Why was he so drawn to it?
Now, so we've got a list of the names. We'll try to provide some general descriptions about this.
But we're not going to start with the story. We're going to start with the writer.

Writing Reflections and Personal Philosophies

[5:59] And I know this personally, as does Izzy, because we've both written things, right? Yeah. I write what I know.
And so I write a lot of philosophical stuff. I write about childhood stuff and so on. Frustrated intellectuals.

[6:13] So you write what you know and knowing that the more vivid so the more vivid the world is that you're creating the more personal it must be to you and the more the deeper it is to you and the more common other people's experience of whatever you're unconsciously writing about the more it connects with other people yes that makes sense izzy has written what she knows having murdered countless people on spaceships she's written exactly all from first-person experience basically A diary.
Absolutely. So are we going to make a case here about Frank Huber and his...

[6:45] Possible we don't know there's possible motivations for this what was going on unconsciously because to me when i look at a movie the first thing i look for is what's not there and what's not there is humanity likable characters the depth of humor there's no children there's no families no warmth no one's there on this well there's a little bit between the father and paul a glimpse and that's but then but then the father who's warm and nice relative to everyone else immediately you to get slaughtered yeah right so what does that say so was there warmth between uh chani and paul a little bit here and there in the movie i mean they seem so unromantic like yeah yeah well.

[7:26] He's got a destiny no but obviously like they kissed and stuff but it just doesn't seem warm really right yeah i think they were whether kissing or just explain exchanging vital fluids in the desert i don't know but she also zendaya and this is something i mentioned walking out of the movie she's like the angriest girlfriend in every movie i'm in she's just she's always and she's always extremely angry she's always extremely angry and i don't know i just thought it was kind of funny because oftentimes women are the transmitters of religion if not downright superstition and hit all these women who were like really scientific and skeptical yelling at all these men who were really mystical and religious i'm like i'm not really sure yeah yeah yeah so the genesis of the story is frank herbert was an incredibly frustrated writer so you know we there's this story probably apocryphal at the age of eight and we'll get him to his childhood he said i want to be an author i want to be an author but by the time he got into his 40s he had nothing he was making a couple hundred bucks at best a year oh man from his writing and constant rejections and he couldn't figure out what was going wrong he even had a mentor.

[8:29] Advance who was going to co-write with him who was a successful writer so you know obviously Obviously he had some charisma, but just a complete failure.
And he wrote these haunting poems about how his life was slipping by and he was achieving nothing.
So what happened was he heard about a story that the U.S. government was stopping a desert. I think it was in California.
Right. With some agricultural something.
Planting a certain. Yeah. So he hired a plane. He flew out.
He was going to write about all of this for a magazine. and he started writing and he just had this affinity to the desert and and passion about the desert so he started imagining a desert planet and that's sort of where he got the idea for uh for the stories and it kind of it kind of grew from there but we're going to go into frank herbert's childhood because the movie is chilling it's sadistic cold cruel violence is everywhere it's how every everything is solved it's either violence or manipulation like brutal kind of manipulation right so why would why would somebody create an inventor world like that so we have to look at this guy's childhood in this guy's life and so, We're going to start even further back to his ancestry.
So according to his, I think it was his grandmother, they were descended from a concubine of Henry VIII.

[9:50] Right. So this, when he writes about the fall of a house where there's a noble, a concubine and a child, he's digging deep into family history. Right. Yeah.
Right. So, and it's just, it's so much easier to write what you know than to invent out of nothing.
Right. so he's got this family history his own grandparents were outright socialists if not communists who joined this total hippy dippy everyone owes everything nonsense commune without prices yep and it all is it generally does it decayed over the space of sort of five to eight years and his grandparents ended up running this store which was okay and and but they didn't make make any particular success.
So they were drawn heavily to these leftist causes. And that's sort of where he came from.
Frank Herbert himself has claimed to have remembered when he was a year old, he walked under some table with a tablecloth.
And I mean, I remember around that age, I'm not going to say that's impossible.

[10:47] And the other thing that was pretty important was two, two and a half years of age.
And this says a lot about how he was not protected. Yeah, his own parents, the writer's own parents were these binge drinking, constantly fighting on the brink of divorce, failures in business, and just a mess.
And at the age of two and a half, Frank Herbert was almost killed.
He almost lost his eye because he was attacked by a dog that was tied on a chain.
Now, the dog clamped onto his face and he carried the scar all the way through his life.
And the only reason that Frank Herbert lived or didn't lose an eye was because he fell backwards from the attack and the dog's chain is.

[11:28] Was too too short for the dog to continue attacking him now whether this so you've got some two-year-old roaming around some crazy violent dog or maybe just maybe uh the the kid who was two and a half was poking the dog aggressive towards the dog angering the dog and that's what caused the attack of course we won't know but that's uh pretty pretty wild stuff and we're going to tie that into the book in a little bit then the next thing that we get is at At the age of nine, he, well, no, so before that, there was a native.
So he's out there fishing. Right. So he was an outdoorsman completely.
And he used a lot of his outdoor tricks and tips in Dune, like the sandwalking, which we'll get to later.
So he's out there fishing. He's not having any luck. And there's this middle-aged Indian or native indigenous guy who becomes close friends with him, teaches him how to fish and so on.
And Frank Herbert is convinced that this guy is ostracized from his own tribe, this native, because he lives in a smokehouse in the middle of nowhere alone.

[12:25] And he says he's convinced that the native guy who's his friend was ostracized because he was a murderer and the tribe had kicked him out.
And the guy had hinted about some bad things in his past, but there was no absolute certainty of this.
So he becomes friends with that and then he ends up, he has a little canoe and he ends up going 200 miles in a round trip up and down the river at the age of nine.
Yeah. And he does this by hanging on to tugboats and just, you know, being, I guess it's like Marty McFly with the skateboard on the back of the car, you know, and some of the tugboat people liked him and let him stay and all of that.
So he's doing literally mental stuff. stuff uh he also finds a bunch of wood in the river tows it in cell and trades it for a sailboat which at the age of 15 he puts ballast in and he ends up sailing with a friend of his 2 000 miles to alaska to almost to alaska and they slept on their uh overturned boat on uh like a smaller overturned boat or i don't know if it was that boat or a canoe or something like that but so he's he's got this incredibly wild uncared for unconnected and and frankly enormously I'm a big one for, you know, go out, have your adventures, but not 200 miles away when you're nine. That's crazy.

[13:41] And so, yeah, this sort of lack of connection and lack of protection, I think kind of defines things a lot in the books.
So, his own father was cruel and demanded silence.
Demanded silence from his children. So, the father of the writer of Dune would listen to his news shows on the radio and everyone had to be perfectly silent or there would be this verbal abuse, torrents of anger, rage, and so on, right? How dare you interrupt with all of this kind of stuff.
So, yeah.

[14:22] Frank Herbert created this world where it's so brutal, right?
There's no kindness. There's no love.
And in fact, the only guy who does love anyone is the Asian doctor who loves his wife.
And the fact that he loves his wife and the bad guys kidnap his wife is why he betrays the House of Traities.
And so the only affection that is shown is between… Gets him killed.
Well, yeah, the only affection that's shown is Paul's father to Paul, and then Paul's father gets murdered and the whole house and everything gets wiped out. So that's affection, so great.

[14:56] Or it's the Asian doctor who destroys the House of Trades by betraying them to the bad guys because he loves his wife.
And there's a little bit of affection between the Duke and his concubine, but again, that all becomes a tragedy.
Right, right, right. Right. There's also some there's some affection.
It's more you know, superior to subordinate, but it's all from Paul to Duncan Idaho and Gurney Halleck who are his, you know, he grew up around them and they trained him in combat, but there's also a real bonding kind of affection, like uncles.

[15:28] There is, but there are also coaches who are quite brutal on him. True. Very true.
Who's the Gurney? Gurney is the guy who trains Paul in the movie, right?

Character Analysis: Timothee Chalamet's Acting Modes

[15:38] Uh yes in that scene he's not his normal training his normal training partner is dumping idaho who's not present because he's went ahead to arrakis aquaman pretty much okay no because it's jason mamoa yeah right and so um yeah there's kind of an affection and loyalty but they they're half killing them the whole time and and when paul says i don't feel like it it's like you better it doesn't combat comes to you and all of this kind of stuff the sons say that that uh that was very much him like oh you're not in the mood like the wrong words would just kind of trigger so frank herbert with his kids his kids would occasionally say i'll try and this was a massive trigger word for frank herbert with regards to his own children he would like scream at them you know yeah do or do not there is no try no not yoda style but he would be like trying to say i'll try or i'm gonna give the shot as it's the mark of a loser it's weak that's a great point because because so much of Dune inspired Star Wars, you know? Yeah, yeah. Yeah.
And the bad guys win because they have no attachments to anyone or anything other than power, right?

[16:45] So he's created this world and he's drawn to this world of the desert, the writer, right?
Now, the desert, of course, is going to be harsh on kids because the resources are so tight and life and death is like one sip of water away.
So they have to be incredibly harsh on their children.
And the other novel where he wrote a bunch of other novels, but another novel that he wrote, which he was fairly known for before Dune was, I can't remember the name of it, but basically it was a novel about a submarine.
Under pressure. Under pressure, yeah. Yeah. And so the novel about the submarine is interesting because that's another environment where death is just a moment.
I don't know if you've ever seen the movie Das Boot.
It's a German movie about a submarine. It's terrifying because, you know, one leak and you're dead.
Right. And it's about a submarine in World War Two and the German crew on it. It's a really wild film.

[17:28] So he's created this this this environment.
He's did this repeatedly where death is one slip away.
Way and and therefore you have to be very harsh on everyone because only violence wins only sadism and coldness and brutality wins and.

[17:44] The good people are idiots yeah now again i don't know if that's the case in the book but the uh.

[17:51] What's the dad's name lito lito okay.

[17:55] So lito who's the dad is nice.

[17:59] He's one of the nicer guys he's the only vaguely nice guy in in the first part think of the movie so evidence for that his his son says i don't want to be a duke because oh the whiny luke inspired well i know luke came later but like the whiny i don't want my destiny kid yeah uh isn't that also in star wars not just luke skywalker but is it anakin the the remember the guy from the meme who's like talking to the girl and then she loses her smile and that sort sort of oh yeah yeah yeah that's anakin sky hayden kristensen it's anakin yeah and also wasn't he super whiny i mean i watched those movies so long ago and i think i fell asleep through part of them but he's like the super whiny i deny my destiny that's just something you have to say you can't have a great man in modern shows yeah that's very much a facet of the movie even napoleon which we did a review even napoleon like the movie was like he's just some weird rutting strange what you just you can't have a great man so in order to sop to the masses you can't paul because in the in the books jared you were saying he like yeah messiah sounds good like he's got some conflicts with some of these aspects but it's not this big like whiny you know i don't want to be a pirate yeah yeah two modes money and then yeah we were talking about this it's very much like no he wants the the issue in the book is that he wants to become as great as his dad or or but but it's It's like, hey, I'm going to have to lead this great house.

[19:26] Some scary aspects of that you know it's understandable but he wants that it's not like he's like oh i want to go be you know a pilot to this yeah well it seems a lot i don't know a movie in the second movie in dune 2 it seems like there was a sudden switch like halfway through where he was like i don't know i'm kind of indecisive i don't really want to do this and then halfway through he's like heck yeah i'm a god right oh god yeah it seemed like there was no transition yeah the movie is him resisting it and then it's off screen when he changes his mind And it all happens in about two seconds.
That's a pure contrivance of the movie.
To me, it's as bad as like, you don't know what happens to the ring at the end of Lord of the Rings. They just go into a mountain and come out and say, we won.
It's like, no, that's the whole movie. It's him like, I don't want to be a, wait a minute.
I do. I do. And it's like, what causes that transition? What happened? I don't know.
It drives me a little crazy. Now, who do we think at this table, who at this table would be the best at imitating Timothee Chalamet's two acting modes.
Oh my gosh. Izzy, would you like to give it a try? No, I'm okay. I will pass this one.
Okay. I think I could do the murmuring. Maybe, Jared, you could do the other one. Wait, hold on.
I think you got all of this stuff. All right.
My imitation of Timothee Chalamet's audition. Ahem. Ahem.

[20:42] Yeah, I can talk really quietly and have no vocal content whatsoever.
Ever that's all he's got he's got two modes there's absolutely nothing in between yeah it's either one it's like having a volume that's binary one or infinity it's like murmuring you can barely hear and always that meme with the russian national anthem played at like maximum volume with with the sound yeah oh my gosh that was crazy all right this chair is all the on the games there you go but that is very much what they've well what dune kind of is in and of itself it's like this year it's either the subterfuge and plans within plans we're gonna kill people or like blazes from space that was definitely the movie is that also in the book is like what's that like like the two modes in the book is like is way more subtle yeah yeah that's what I thought okay so Frank Herbert he he claimed to have an IQ of 190 based upon some tests in school.

[21:44] I mean, I'm not going to argue with the guy. He obviously was very intelligent.
But then later on, he said that IQ wasn't like a big, big thing.
So this idea that you came from a higher status as this family did and then collapsed down to a lower status.
Just by the by, this is also was my dad's thing as well.
But the House Molyneux, like we were nobility and aristocrats and so on.
And he was quite obsessed with the fall of the House of Molyneux.
He said, we have to restore the family's name. We have to restore our prominence.
Oh, good job doing that, buddy. So my mom was like, Dad, I have some good news, and I have some bad news.
Our name is Prominence again. We're going to remember the bad news is we're Satan.

[22:29] Yes. So his parents were constantly starting and failing businesses.

Family History: The Spanish Castle and Business Ventures

[22:35] Do you guys know anyone like this? people this is kind of a common thing for a lot of artists that their parents are like really bad at business but can't just have a regular job because their lives are too chaotic so they keep having these get rich quick schemes and then it all collapses and it's a mess so they have to move and flee their creditors this kind of instability is quite common among artists well yeah and that was something that he reproduced until the success of june yeah which was too late because his parents his kids were already mostly grown so they move like 20 times to avoid bills uh yeah they moved Okay, why would they?
So you want to give people that minor history? Yeah, so Frank Herbert basically, he got married to a woman and had a kid named Penny.

[23:16] And basically he went to the military and was i don't remember why but he was honorably just discharged he tripped on it i think tripped on a uh support rope for a tent and got a head injury yeah skill issue um i can't walk i don't walk man i thought you could walk it walk better a photographer because the idea is the whole point is to see things i'm really into details except for where i'm walking so i get a head injury oh no maybe that explains some of the writing he grew he grew phobias of dogs and tits over the course of his life all right sorry so and then he comes back to find his wife and child missing they're just gone they're gone so what kind of guy was he that his wife took their care just like imagine just being like oh crap he's got a head injury gotta run before he's back now every time you and mom aren't home obviously i have that same experience but so far you've come back which is good so far so right so he was constantly avoiding child support so oddly enough he had a daughter named penny to whom he barely gave a penny.

[24:23] Thank you jared for taking that bullet because i i couldn't complete it because my daughter was i was watching my daughter solely for a body i think you just broke that for for reasons of your own they think is that a tooth of shahalut i don't know it's a butter knife i would also say that it's blunt, that's not gonna stop what i mean is it's gonna be more no it's gonna be a slow death yeah yeah it's you're gonna sand me down to size you'll get through the shield oh yeah yeah oh oh oh no don't get me to the hand-to-hand combat that's gonna come that's gonna come yeah so his his His parents tried a variety of businesses.
The one that strikes me that I remember, and a lot of this comes from his son wrote a biography of his father and their whole family and all of that. So...

[25:11] His parents, in the middle of the Depression, which, of course, was also within the war on alcohol prohibition, started a dinosaur, where I assume they were alcohol-served, which I assume meant that they paid off the local cops.
And it was doing well, but they got into some conflict with the people they started the business with. What was the name of it?
The Spanish Castle. The Spanish Castle, right.

[25:34] So his parents got into some conflict with the people they started the business with, and they raged for it.
They walked away from it. They didn't ask for any payments. They just rage quit.

[25:43] And then the business completely succeeded and lasted until the 60s.
Major bands played there. It was hugely successful and I assume hugely profitable.
So his parents walked away and then they started a gas station or convenience store and ran it into the ground because they were drinking too much.
And maybe the drinking too much was why the other people had conflicts with them about the business.
Or the drinking started because they were resentful about the success of the business. Well, no, they were already drinkers, but according to the biography of the family, it really escalated, right?
Like a lot of people, if you drink, you can't handle your emotions.
And when you get emotions, you can't handle, you drink even more and it becomes a vicious cycle.
And so for Herbert's childhood, he had these extremes of like, they were drunk and they didn't care. He could do whatever he wanted. Everything was okay.
But then also when they're sober and being parents, you know, they're just wildly abusive and strict and authoritarian.
Authoritarian yeah i don't know about strict that's what he said no because the dad's like you can't talk you can't speak about well that's just abusive i don't know if that's strict because to me and and sorry that's just that's fair this is a minor shibboleth that i have which is that people say strict and it's like okay if you're that strict why you're an alcoholic like clearly you're yeah you don't have any strictness with regards to strict for you not for me yeah yeah um so yeah so there's a frank herbert father to write is he moved 20 times to escape his child support payments, and the Freeman are...

[27:07] Oh, nomads. Nomads, right? So this doesn't come. The people who are free are the people constantly on the move.
And it's also- No, that's all this man does is he repaints these errors and issues and evils as good and the rights and okay. Right, right.

[27:25] So he also was a guy who got- Now, I like psychology and I obviously think it's a very interesting discipline, but there's There's a real diacide to it, which is where you can impugn unconscious motives to anything.
So there was this story.
Do you remember the one about the spitballs? Yes. Oh, yeah.
Yeah. So basically, he was shooting spitballs at people in class and stuff like that because he was bored.
And he shot at the teacher and it hit her back. And she turned around and she's like, who did that?
And no one said it, but all the kids looked to Frank. Right.
And basically, she's like, oh, I'll deal with you after class or whatever.
And after class. And he's terrified the whole time. Yeah, he's really scared.
And then after class she goes up and she's really mad at him and he goes why are you mad at me and she shakes it she starts shaking him and he's just screaming like i'm not mad at you and uh, so she kept repeating i'm not mad at you while screaming at them have you seen that video with the dogs where the guy screams the dog i love you right oh yeah and the dog freaks out and then he he pets the dog and he's like you were the worst thing to ever exist no one loves you and the dog's all happy and stuff because again it's the tone of voice not the words yeah everyone thinks that It's about the dog. It's about his own parenting. But anyway.

[28:35] It's like that little thing just saying that people respond more to like what's actually being –, Like, yeah, he was like with the dog experiment or whatever, right? Yeah, he was saying really things to the dog, but he was doing it in a nice manner and being all friendly.
So the dog was like, okay. And it's the same opposite with the, I love you, right? And screaming.
So she's screaming. I'm not. So this is when, as a kid, he says he discovered the unconscious, that people could do the opposite of what they're saying.
And you became an empiricist, he says, that you judge people by their actions, not their words.
Now, the problem was, though, that he got really into this Jungian stuff.

Childhood Interpretations and Unconscious Motives

[29:07] Stuff now i young is interesting and i i owe some debt to him but it can be a whole but no bother in terms of every time his kids would do something he would interpret this as them as having unconscious buried motives so i there's no examples given in the book but i assume it's something like um you're you're loud because you're angry at me for working on my book and you're trying to interrupt it and get my attention because you're you're feeling rejected but like As opposed to kids sometimes that just laugh. Yeah.
There was his granddaughter at one point. He was much older.
His granddaughter was riding a bike around and singing or yelling at the top of his lungs.
And he's like, quiet that kid down, that kind of stuff, right?
Even when he was an old guy.
He never got over his hostility towards children and their life or noise or energy.

[29:52] So I assume if his kids dropped something, he wouldn't say, oh, an accident or whatever, right? He would say, you must be secretly angry at me because that was something I really liked and you're acting out.
So he would give these deep motivations to his kids for what I assume were just accidents or could be.
And how do you deal with that as a kid? You can't. You just get into Lost World or Fogland or something like that. Yeah.

[30:19] All right. You come up with deep motivations later on.
Well, we're doing some deep motivations, but we've got some evidence here. Yeah, I know for sure.
So, because I wanted to get this right, and I'm sorry to be reading from this biography.

[30:34] I think I kept the name of the biography in case you wanted to look it up. Yeah. Yeah.
Brian Herbert is the son and it's called Dreamer of Dune, the biography of Frank Herbert, which came out in 2003, I think it is, by the Torah Publishing Group.
It actually won a Hugo, which is a science fiction award or a literary award.
Okay. So I'm going to read this. It has over like 800 pages or something, doesn't it?
Yeah. The audio book, which I listened to a good chunk of, is like 19 hours or something like that. So, yes. Yes.
Well, you know, the guy wrote long books, so does his son.
So, I'm going to read this because I wanted to get this right.

The Black Box and Free Will Testing

[31:12] And who was it? I think it was you, Jared, who got this connection with the black box. Oh, absolutely. Oh, yeah.

[31:18] So, Jared, do you want to talk about the black box for those who don't know what that is?
So, in the book, in the story, in the movie, there's this black box that the Bene Gesserit, the Reverend Mothers, use to test if someone has free will, self-control to a degree, and they'll have someone put their hand in this box.
You don't know what's in it, or they'll tell you, like, it's pain in the box. Yeah.
And you have to keep your hand in the box. You have to keep your hand in the box, and I've got a needle to your neck. And if you take your hand out of the box, I'm going to kill you.
It's a poison needle. Now, I've got to tell you, I find that really annoying.
Don't worry. Sorry, is there more you wanted to say about the black box?
What's annoying? I'll tell you what's annoying is it's not really free will if you're going to die.
It's lame. It's like you can't win. Of course you're going to keep your hand in the box because the alternative is to die.
It's all an excuse for abuse. Well, that is the case.
And I think it was you who made this connection once we were okay.
So this is from the Suns. Now, is this true?
Yes. Yes, it seems to be true because there are other people who've verified it. So...
The son writes, and I don't know how old the son is here, but he's young because he's not in his teens yet. So the kid is young.

Obsession with Unmasking Lies: The Lie Detector Incident

[32:33] This is the son talking about the guy he wrote to. Dad was, by his own admission, a man obsessed with turning over stones to see what would scurry out with unmasking lies.

[32:44] This was evident in his dealings with his children. Now, I'm like, oh, he's going to be really interrogating. Oh, how interesting.
And it's like, no, no, no. No, this is a new level. Yeah.
The son says he had a World War II lie detector, a U.S. Navy unit, a small black box with a dial.
It had ominous wires and a gray cuff that he wrapped tightly around my arm.
The first time he used the machine on me, he accused me of secretly hitting my brother and he was going to get the truth out of me.
He said the lie detector always revealed falsehood, which was not, as I would learn later, exactly the case.
Admittedly i was lying about hitting my brother and the machine indicated this so i got a licking, it's a beating i see he goes on to say after that he used the lie detector on me regularly and on bruce bruce is the youngest child who was later gay and died of AIDS in the early 90s goes on to say if anything came up such as an item missing from his desk or questions about where i had been after school he would say in a clipped voice i'm putting you on the lie detector let's go with the the other room what happened to batman with that he would grab my arm and lead me to the machine on the way i broke out in a sweat rehearsing what i would say and how i would say it, would he ask such and such my mind was a world full of terror.

[34:06] The machine was kept in his study, and he only brought it out when I was in trouble. It was set up on a wooden table with two straight back chairs pulled up to it, one on each side.
He pointed to one of the chairs, and I slipped into it, shaking, towering over me.
He plugged the machine in and tapped it a couple of times for effect, ostensibly to free a sticky needle.
Needle. A bare ceiling bulb threw his hulking shadow across the table. Okay.
So there's this kind of cliche that when you interrogate people, there's a bare bulb. You know, they don't even give you a shade because it's just some back dingy. You want this harsh light in your eye. Yeah.
Roll up. Sorry. Roll up your left sleeve. He said gruffly. It's not Batman, is he? It's an acting the gruffness.

The Grand Inquisitor's Interrogation

[34:52] Shaking. I complied and he wrapped the sensor cuff around my arm.
A stream of questions and accusatory statements ensued from him and like a prisoner undergoing the tortures of grand inquisitor. Torquemada perspiration poured from my brow.
So that's a reference to the Spanish Inquisition where they would question you about your faith and if you answered wrong, they'd kill you, but burn you to death.
Fun. Dad was too smart and phrased every query in the precise way that put me in the worst possible light.
After each question, he studied the machine intently and invariably pronounced me guilty of something.
According to Howie Hansen, this is a half-native friend of his.
According to Howie Hansen, who disapproved of the use of the device on Bruce and me, Dad had a way of rigging the machine to indicate that we were lying even when we were telling the truth.

[35:42] One day, my father would write of a young Paul Atreides in Dune, ordered to place his hand into the blackness of a box in the ordeal of the Gom Jabbar.
Paul was commanded not to withdraw his hand no matter how much pain he felt on penalty of death from a poison lethal held at his neck.
Terrified, the boy complied. Pain throbbed up his arm, blah, blah, blah. Okay, so that's interesting.
So, okay, he would paint me in the worst light. Wasn't Frank Herbert also a journalist?
How does that, like we just had a Don Lemon interview with Elon Musk.
What is it, painting him in any kind of a good light?
The worst possible light. The worst, he had this intelligent skill to just frame me as the worst thing ever. Yeah. Yeah.

[36:29] So, and now, somebody mentioned, and I don't know if this is the case, Jared, you might remember, that the book opens with the Gom-Javar scene.
Like, the beginning of Dune, is that?
Or it's early on? I mean, it's very early on. Right. I wouldn't say it's the introduction into the book, but it's relatively early in the show.
Because I'm vaguely tempted to read it, because what I want to know in the book is, how quickly is he signaling to people that this is a book about sadism?

[36:55] And cruelty to children, because Paul is 15 in the beginning.
Well, is he? Because the book takes place over quite a long time.
And when you start on Caledon, this water world, it's nice and comforting.
And he's the Duke's son.
Oh, the one he talks about to angry girlfriend on the dune cliff?
Yes. Yes. Yeah. Yeah, when he lives on the castle on the cliff.
Izzy, I'm curious. Because you hadn't read the book, but what did you think when you saw the black box scene?
You know i was very confused yeah um i think in the movie they did not explain what was going on very well maybe it was that or maybe i couldn't make out what they were saying because man these people were murmurs and screamers no but you would be at the uh closed caption no yes i did but i oh do you mean in dune 2 or in dune dune 1 dune 1 uh yeah i was a bit confused i'm sorry i thought you meant dune 2 because they did have a black box scene in dune 2 i forgot about that They did, yeah.
They did, that's right. That's what I thought you meant. Oh, yeah, they did. Sorry.
But Dune 1, I was a bit confused, but it kind of, at the end, I was also like, what do you mean there's pain in the box?
Just like, he can't take his hand out because he's going to get killed.
Obviously, he's going to take the pain, right?
Yeah. They didn't explain that well, at least in the book. Is it pain through nerve induction?
Yeah, yeah. So I kind of thought, I was a bit confused, but I was also like, okay. Yeah. Yep, yep.

[38:15] But in Dune 2, they definitely did not explain it very well at all.
In dune 2 like that scene yeah and like why i mean at some point like it was kind of pointless when they were when she said put your hand in the box to the bald guy um you're gonna have to narrow that down a little bit off the characters were bald face bald guy oh the young guy right the young guy the fade guy the naked mole rat looking dude yeah the son of sting from the earlier movie um but yeah that was when i was like what's the point of this i you see here's Here's the thing, too.
If I was writing it, he would have pulled his hand out like this. Yeah, yeah.
Giving the finger. Yeah, for context, giving the finger. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. All right.
So this is what the son writes about his father.
He says, Frank Herbert, ever the psychoanalyst, might be surprised to realize that a major component of his own behavior was mimicry of the subconscious variety.
He imitated the stern disciplinary measures taken against him by his father, who had received them in turn from his own father.
It is interesting to note a curious habit that his father had while living in Burley in the 1930s, a habit my father saw firsthand.
It seems that the old man enjoyed listening to the news on the radio, and when his programs were on, no one could disturb him, and no one spoke at the risk of incurring his ire.
Family members had to tiptoe around the house.

[39:37] So, when his son is talking about the lie detector, because that's appalling.
I mean, that's not having a temper.
No. No. Right? That's cold, calculated, soul-destroying sadism. Yeah. Yes. Straight up.

[39:53] I'd get physically abused as a kid. And that's like, you have the pain, and then it's over.
And it's terrible to be sat down. The whole ritual here.
Nine or eight, like shaking to get a strap put on him.

The Failure of Parental Communication

[40:06] And then to sit there as someone's just like grilling your soul your mind yeah that's like what's going on that's like demonic that's demonic it's like a demonic possession you're looking at somebody and he was quite a big imposing guy the dad right no he said he's terrified of the way his dad looked like one eye was like twitching about his creepy eyes yeah yeah like in the biography just when we were reading it in the like in the car yesterday it was like um everything was like it seemed like every couple paragraphs on what he was saying something about his creepy blue eyes yeah which is something so it really tells you that he has like these dead eyes i think so and he frank did have blue eyes and of course all of the freemen fremen they have blue eyes super blue super blue right so oh my gosh so he says the light this is the sun the lie detector was a complete admission of failure on my father's part as a parent he couldn't communicate with his sons having to take the time to bond with us to learn what made us tick instead Instead, he tried to crush our will and spirit.
There could be no deviation from the rules he prescribed. The environment around him had to be absolute serenity to keep his mind in order so that he might create his great work.

[41:12] Um is he do you remember what the kids was like what the kid's life was like when he was working on the 10 years that he was working on dune oh yeah so the kids were not let in the house, couldn't they're no key no but here's the thing and then later we found out that he only wrote from 12 p.m 12 a.m to 8 a.m so basically he sat inside all day and never let his kids inside and he went under the premise that he was writing but he never actually wrote yeah Yeah, yeah.

[41:38] And maybe he was doing research, but he would not let his kids in the house.
It had to be absolute silence.
Well, actually, it'd be tough, you know, because you don't have, like, it's not like he has an online computer that he can do research on.
Wouldn't he have to go to libraries and find new papers? Or do we get a bunch of books and read them at home? Yeah, I guess.
Or sleeping during that time, because he's working from midnight to eight.
Right, right, right. You better be quiet on time sleeping.

[41:59] Yeah. So, yeah, that stuff is just, it's crazy.
It's crazy. Well, he's creating this environment where it's like there's ultra-isolation, people all with people around right right right so um he says so penny was the first daughter from his first marriage now penny came to live with him because he was out of money he couldn't pay the alimony or child support and therefore penny came to live with him i think when he was in her mid to late teens and he the son says i never saw dad lift a finger against penny who came to stay with us that summer one time he did get into a battle of wills with the tall blonde teenager nature he insisted that she eat her dessert and then rubbed it into her hair when she refused to do so for the most part she didn't receive the brunt of his anger which in its most severe form became physical i think he felt boys could and should take more punishment in order to make men out of us right so this is we talked about this before roman's argument in my novel future right that yeah civilization just makes you soft and you're easy easily pushed over and now with and And it's interesting, it's fascinating to me, the gender swap, right?
The gender swap, because the lie detector was administered by the father.

[43:10] But who administers it in the book? The Bene Gesserit. The mother.
Now, the Bene Gesserit are modeled, according to the son, on Frank Herbert had a bunch of aunts who really, really worked very hard to convert him to Roman Catholicism, which he resisted.
And this is why, so it's interesting to me in the movie that the women are all skeptical and the men are all religious when it was the women who tried to.
Yeah, he gendered a lot different. Yeah, and so, and the Bene Gesserit, okay, Gesserit is modeled after Jesuits, right?
And the Bene Gesserit, they always struck me as having a little bit of Judaism in them as well with the matriarchy and all that kind of stuff.
But it's interesting, the gender swap.
Like, what does that mean? He's just trying to blame women for it.
Right Now that's always Fair right and just Though Can I do tape.

[44:03] Yeah it's the thing So you cross your hands Like this Yeah Put your thumbs up And then put your Fingers So I'll do that And then just give me Six months to get some abs And then we'll just Complete the picture So put your hands On the table Because you've got to Have like the man Spread with the arms Yeah yeah And then Like you've got to Yeah And then you've got to Put your thumbs back Four cigars Through every ear Push your thumbs back As far as you can Right now No, that doesn't happen.
Nice. Right. No. So, so do you think it's just, he's just transferring it to women to blame the women? Is he secretly mad at his own mom?
It's the women who choose these violent guys to have children with all these sadistic.
Like, is he saying this female responsibility that he's not conscious of or is he just blaming the women?
He hates his wife or his ex-wife because he wouldn't pay child support.
Right. Right. He doesn't like women. So he's going to blame women probably.
Right. But he also, I mean, he also is going to hate men too because of, uh, or I'm not sure how exactly how this comes in, but a lot of the things, they show this a little bit in the movie, it's much more in the book, where women are the ones that can, you know, have a ton of power, and they can control, like the Bene Gesserit in particular, they're able to convert the poison, that's like the Dune II stuff.
The blue, the water of life, yeah.
But also they can control whether, the gender of the child.
Right. Throughout the whole, the series of the books, the women are the ones that have power.

[45:22] Oh, I'm sorry. Like, don't get me wrong. Like, at one point, there's like a garden burr and all that.
And Paul's this, you know, the superhuman. Yeah. You know, but the women are the ones that have lasting power throughout the whole situation.
And then the ones that plan and plan, they control who, like the gene, genetic lines.
Well, his grandmother, sorry to interrupt James, but his grandmother as well was kind of autistic, could do incredible math in her head. I didn't know about that. It was incredibly logical.

The Power Dynamics of Gender

[45:46] Brilliant. But it was this mountain woman. men uh so this apparently they're these super logical creatures who show up later in dune and he based that on his grandmother but sorry james yeah and and the final point in that whole thing of um you know uh hating men at least because he hates everybody essentially right but um, hating men is that uh the benedict in particular the women are the women are the only ones who are strong enough to do the water of life thing they're the only ones strong enough to go to the the gum to bar.
Right. So, so the gum to bar thing, it's a whole test of whether, you know, you can be, you know, you have this potential.
And so, so there, there's like a, almost an effective ban on putting men into it. Cause it will kill them. That's the whole story.
So the whole, the whole culture is run by the women and the poison excludes the men from participating in those rituals.
With the one exception of the quiz. Yeah. Yeah. That's the exception.
And it's that, is that a stroke? Is that what is that possession?
What's happening over here? Ocal courts. Yeah. The quiz.

[46:44] What is that?

[46:46] Sorry, I've ran out of imaginary language here. That's not a character.
So that's what they say that Paul was destined to become or be.
The Bene Gesserit are trying to birth a male version of them who can see the future and the past. It's the Messiah.
The Messiah, all that stuff. Yeah, the universe is...
They don't miss a beat. Like, the universe is super mean. Like, they're very explicit about that. Yes.
Yes, because we all get the subtlety of, oh, it's a desert religion.
Like, they all are. Like, Islam and Judaism and Christianity, all desert-formed religions. So, if you're going to have a messiah, you've got to have some sand.
But here's the difference. Now, we know Herbert had, like, communist friends and relatives and stuff like that.
Well, they were socialists, whether they were communists or not.
No, no. He had this communist Jewish guy that would come over to the house who was a friend.
Though the artist guy. But he, you know, so the communist socialist thing was a bit of a blend back then. And I'm just cautious because some people would say I'm a democratic socialist. Fair.
Communism is bad, but definitely hard left for sure. Yeah. Like his parents, his grandparents were hard left in this commune and all that.
Right. So the Bene Gesserit are trying to breed the perfect man.
Yeah. But they want to control him.

[48:00] And now do they, do they, how do they control Paul? So then what are you, so for example, they like Faye and Ratha was supposed to be like the next effort at creating the Kwisatz Haderach.
Okay. Okay, sorry, we've gone all, uh, who's Fade? What? The Baron's nephew.
Oh, yes, Mollrat guy. Oh, yes, yes, yes.

[48:17] What's a good name for him that's going to be naked? Mollrat guy?
I'm down with that. I'll remember that one. What about the big fat old one?
The Emperor? Yes. What are we- Oh, no, no, that's the Baron.
That's Barron. Barron, okay, yeah. Barron, who couldn't have kids, therefore he's?
Barron. Barron, got it. Now, but I'm sorry, I didn't get some of that.
And what are communists always trying to do? They're trying to breed the perfect, you know, work beast, but they want to control it.
Well, and the communists win through language initially, right?
They stir up all this resentment.
Because the movie opened, and I'm like, I tell you, just my first experience sitting down to watch the first one, right? So it's like, oh, we're going to have some science fiction. And what's the very first scene?
You have to learn how to control other people's brain with your magic voice.

[49:05] That's the very first scene is the mom trying to get the son.
And I'm like, so this is not science fiction. We're just back into random drug-laced marijuana, Mexico peyote nonsense about mind control. So it's not science fiction.
But now, okay, well, let me give a devil's advocate here. A bit of like they're super trained and they condition people.
And she's conditioned Paul, you know, and she's an expert at reading human beings and their body language.
And what can I say? I get it. It's fast forward propaganda.
But that's the whole communist thing, right? We come in and we just control people through language, through magic.
And actually, Frank Herbert referred to his wife as a white witch and said he got never in games of negotiation with her or games of bluffing with her because she had these witchy powers.
He was kind of half serious about this so he viewed his wife as a witch and so you know not again not a lot of science because i was just at the beginning oh okay so this is just the force it's a fantasy book yeah yeah it's it's fantasy and of course it's fantasy and we'll we'll get to the the worms the the the sandworms who are the dragons of the desert science everybody fights with shorts and shields and you know like it's all so it's fantasy it's magic and fantasy but But at the beginning, I was like, okay, so what does this mean, these words of command, that the mother is teaching the son?

[50:27] What if the dad's off the hook for all this? Well, yeah, because the dad doesn't have the words of command, right? It's mother to son.
Yes. Because he doesn't, right? Yep. Otherwise, he'd say, I don't know, stop blowing up my friends when the attack from the Harkonnen comes.
So, is he saying that verbal abuse is maternal?
Because the words of command are terrifying and they force people to do things, which is parent to child. And the women have that power.
So, the women have the power of verbal abuse. Now, Izzy, as a female, would you say that women are better at wielding language to hurt people? Yeah, a lot better.
How much better? Much. Double? Triple. Quadruple?
Let's keep escalating. Right. So now, the verbal abuse is interesting because it all seems to be paternal. So there's an example here of, we see lots of examples of Frank Herbert being abusive, like psycho abusive.
And now there's a bit about his mom, Frank Herbert's wife.
Despite our chronic poverty, this is in the book, mom was exceedingly proper about etiquette, carry over from her maternal grandmother.
One time Penny bought a loaf of bread in its wrapper to the dinner table.
And my mother hurled the loaf across the table. mom taught us the proper technique of holding silverware and of sitting up straight as we ate we were told not to slurp drinks or soup that was my father too don't slurp right.

[51:56] And i have a glass of water right here i'm so tempted to go.

The Impact of Parental Actions

[52:00] Right into the microphone um and bowls were always to be tipped away when we spooned the last of the soup never towards us a well-nutted person is never eager to eat she said so that's interesting uh hurled the loaf so the reason why it's bad to the rapper is it's supposed to be fresh baked a rapper is lower class because you bring it to the supermarket right so that's uh pretty wild so she's obviously quite violent like she hurls the um the loaf right so i don't know he he talks a lot about his dad of course the book's about his dad but there's not much in it about the mom other than some affection between between the parents so yeah i think i think I think you're right.
I think he's shifting the blame for the abuse to the women because the men fight honestly and openly.
Is that fair? With the exception of the Harkonnen, like plans within plans, scheming and- And the betrayal.
All kinds of honorable men fight honestly and openly. Like when Paul wants to join the Fremen, he's got to kill that black guy. That's Jammes.
What's his? Jammes. Oh, I thought you said pajamas.
Pajamas. It is pajamas. Quite a thrill.
Um so but the the females see they manipulate there's one who seduces the bald-faced mole rat guy and so there's a lot of behind-the-scenes manipulation, and the daughter's emperor starts off the second movie with I mean there's.

[53:28] I don't mean to insult the movie because it's a lot of work.
Visually, it's very cool. They did do a good job. They did. And the audio is something that I think has rearranged my skeletal structure. Oh, yeah.
It's like burping. I'm giving birth to a Dune 3. It's two extremes of like that.

[53:49] I do these movies. When I go to movies, I have ear protectors. Like I have to because.
And then I take them out for the dialogue and I'm waiting just for them to go back in. and it's kind of distracting. I was like, you know, fingers on ears. I didn't have heels.
But I found I actually got most of the music through my chest cavity.
I didn't use ear protection and it wasn't actually that loud. Like it was pretty loud.
It's just that the bass was so high that like you feel like the vibration of everything makes you think it's really, really loud. Yeah, my spleen is now on my shoulder.
I was not aware that that was possible, but that's where it is.
Another point on the woman thing, as far as from Frank Herbert's life, um we i think we touched on this earlier with with uh or maybe we didn't touch on this yet with his first wife um she disappears but then later she comes after him with you know repeatedly lawyers and hounding and hounding hounding well hounding i mean you know not make him a kid yeah yeah yeah and that's why they moved around yeah that's well also maybe the verbal abuse is her with the lawyers because they'd always get phone calls and letters and it will There will always be language-based attacks on him. A lot of language coming after you. Yeah.
And using men to go after. Yeah. But I do think, though, that Izzy's right, that he's just like, yeah, it's the women. It's the women who torture the children.
Yeah, I would never. I would never. And he did say, he said to his son that he most identifies with Duke Leto. No, no. I thought it was Stilgar.

[55:14] Wait, Stilgar. Okay, we'll get to that. Yeah, you're right. I could be wrong about that. All right.
So here's another thing that they said. Um, so it's almost like a cliche, the Grinch who killed Christmas.
Right, that's like, the killing Christmas is like the worst thing you can do to children.

[55:29] Oh, God, yeah. He says, so he writes, early in December, my father made a startling announcement.
He said we would no longer celebrate Christmas on Christmas Day.
It said we would wait until the 12th night, January the 6th, the way it was done in Mexico for children, except in our case, it would apply to the entire family.
He wanted to explain that the Epiphany, January 6th, was an important Christian religious holiday, represented the day the manifestation of Jesus Christ appeared before the Magi, the Maga.
So yeah no christmas for you kids that's weird we're gonna storm the capital oh yeah yeah that's right that's right wait what i'm sorry they said instead we're gonna storm the capital or whatever yeah the white house whatever it's called.

[56:11] So um yeah so he basically killed christmas and that's kind of rough for kids because you know everyone's all christmas and right and also his kids could never bring friends over because his His father would be working but scream at everyone and lock them out of the house. Oh, God.
Then that's – Oh, do you remember the story of the younger brother who ran away?

Bruce's Escape

[56:29] No. Oh, yeah. Do you guys want to – I have to do a lot of talking.
He ran – so the younger brother – Bruce. Was it Bruce? Bruce.
Yeah. And during the day, like, they couldn't come in. The doors were locked, yada, yada.
And so he was angry about this. The younger son, Bruce, ran into the woods to, like, basically kind of run away.
And then as night came about, he was so afraid of going home.
But he knew he couldn't stay in there. He was more afraid of staying in the woods. Yeah. Yeah.
But he had to go home. He was afraid of going home. So he went to the police and made up this story about how he had been kidnapped. Yeah.

[57:02] Which could have also been a confession that he had been kidnapped at one point.
Well, if kids stuck outside, get in trouble.
They get preyed on. They know they don't have any protection.
So maybe it was a real thing that happened. But he made up this whole story.
Went to the police, filed a report.
The police are like, we're going to investigate this and so on.
Yeah. And then what happened when he got home?

[57:21] Strapped to the machine oh no actually he think he said he said you're lying or something like that but he wasn't punished too badly but he was grounded i think yeah so in 1961 says the son dad went on a health food binge stuck in the shelves and refrigerator with an array of foods that bruce and i loathed including oriental herbs tofu and beef tongue convinced that beef tongue provided more nutrients and proteins than any other form of meat he forced us to eat the foul substance in a variety of forms, including tongue sandwiches with mayonnaise on the bread and tongue stew, both of which made me gag worse than green clam guts.
I don't know what green clam guts is. I hated any form of tongue, especially the texture of the meat, which had sickening little bumps on it. Yuck.
I find that quite vivid because a tongue lashing punishment through verbal abuse and forcing you to eat a tongue, it's again, to me, it's an unconscious way of just dominating through language or through verbal stuff.
There's some special sadism. And I don't know, like, now this is in the 1984 version of the movie, but there is a scene where a character rips the tongue out of a cow and takes a big bite. Oh, is that right? Yeah.
And wasn't the tongue stuff on James Corden?

[58:34] What's the guy's name? Corden. James Corden? Is it Corden? I don't know.
That's the name you thought. He did The Tonight Show.

[58:42] Corduroy james j yeah you're talking about um jimmy fallon no j sorry it's a guy who did fill your spill your guts or fill your spill your guts or fill your guts where he has the horrible food in a circle that goes around yeah james corduroy or something like that anyway so celebrities are given these horrible foods that they either have to tell the truth about something they don't want to tell the truth about they didn't have beef tongue and they have cow tongue and it's considered so vile that it's like punishment food oh yeah and they had other other stuff like to compare it the other things on like the table they had um i think it was cricket put pudding um ants and yogurt and like just a whole bunch of foul stuff that's that's what it was compared to i will not eat the bugs yeah so he also so i try not to get too repulsed by science fiction and fantasy authors but it's pretty tough are are they just the worst people in the world It's really hard to argue that they're not the worst people in the world. I'm thinking of Zimmerman Bradley.
So he says, a number of famous and soon-to-be-famous science fiction writers visited our homes in San Francisco, including Robert Heinlein, Paul Anderson, Jack Vance, and Isaac Asimov.
Isaac Asimov, possibly the worst parent in the history of the world, which we'll get into another time.
But these are all guys who come over. Do they not notice that the children are terrified?
Do they not say? Do they not notice that the children are terrified? Yeah, sorry.

[1:00:01] Right. Right. Hey, the kids are hungry, scratching on the window with these guys. But let's discuss story ideas more.
Because being eager to eat is being peasantly.
Right. Absolutely right.

[1:00:15] Fear of food in case it gets rubbed in their hair. No one's going to have fear of food.
Yeah, and just to go back to that, like, James, I think you said this earlier, one of you did, but it was like what teenage girl wants to eat dessert?
Right? Especially back in those days when it was more important to be skinny and stuff. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Oh, my gosh. And messing with their hair. So all of these guys, they're so empty, soulless, and ambitious that they're all just over there chatting and talking away.
And does nobody seem to notice? I mean, maybe they did and said something.
I don't know. But I mean, I don't know. Well, Indian Howie did.
Indian Howie. Wasn't that his name, Indian Howie? Or was it the other guy who was Indian? His name wasn't Indian. No, it was.
There was something. No, no, that was his nickname was Indian.
No, you're right. I was right. Sorry. Yeah. Just to, sorry. Sorry, you're right, Izzy.
And Jared, you were also right. According to the book, my father once told me he felt he was most like the Fremen leader Stilgar.
This surprised me until I realized that Stilgar was the equivalent of a Native American leader in the story, a person who defended time-honored ways that did not harm the ecology of the planet.
I was just looking at the Dune character sheet for Indian Delhi.

[1:01:23] Oh, no. Yeah, yeah, I know, I know. All right. So should we get to the- Hold on.
Well, either it was Indian Howie or it was the Indian guy he was friends with as a kid who was called Indian something and then his name. Yeah, maybe.
I thought I heard that. We read that and you were saying, you made a joke saying like, wow, is everything in his life have such obvious names?
Like even in Dune and in his life. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

[1:01:47] But Howie did say you're treating your kids too rough and he basically said, I'm going to raise them how I want.
So this is, yeah, so I'll give you this bit because this is important because this guy is all about the natives and all about living in harmony and he respects the native culture and the blah, blah, blah, right?
So the son says in the biography of his father, whenever my parents had friends over to the house, I sometimes tried to participate in adult conversations.
Typically, it was after dinner with everyone sitting in the living room by a cozy fireplace.
Too often, my inadequate contributions irritated dad and he would send me out of the room.

The Native Advice Ignored

[1:02:22] My status in the household how he told me later now how he was a friend of his father's from the teenage years who was half native my status in the household how he told me later was not dissimilar to that of a dog or a human subspecies if i didn't please the master i was dispatched from sight, after seeing my father do this to me more than once how he finally told him it was a big mistake that he should let me participate and bruce as well if he didn't how he cautioned the boys would but never bond with their father.

[1:02:50] Dad listened attentively to his friend, but said he would raise the boys as he saw fit.
We would grow up on our own if need be, as he had. It would be good for us. He refused to change.
And how ironic it was that this man, who one day would communicate effectively with millions of people through his writing, could not communicate with his own children.
I don't think that's the irony. The irony is I respect the native culture until the natives tell me to be slightly nicer to my children, in which case, to heck with you, I'm going to do it my own way.
What does it say that the natives are like, man, you're harsh with your kids?
Because the native population is not always super great to their own kids.
Man, if the natives are telling you, it's probably important.
It's probably quite important, right?
Let's see here.

[1:03:34] All right. And we're back. We actually took a slight bio break because basically we're reviewing a desert movie while washing our own body fluids.
So just before I was about to say a break, you handed a note saying, can we take a break? Can we have a pause?
Because while we're talking about sadism, we figured better not to torture our own blanners.
Okay, so we had our break, and while we had the break, I was sort of thinking about how the son has the example of Frank Herbert's first wife who put up with nothing.
She left, she handed him for child support, she stood up to him.
Now, she probably wasn't a great person, I don't know, but she had the example of the woman who would not put up with this abuser.
Yes. And then he had the example of his own mother who did.
Yeah. Because the mother has to know that the kids are being psychologically, emotionally, and physically tortured.
The mother believes she was a white witch. I don't think she really cares.
Right. But as a white witch, the dryads would tell her. Right, of course.
The nymphs would inform upon the eagles that were being done.
And how and why it was okay.

[1:04:44] So a couple of other things I wanted to mention, and we'll get to some of the last big, big themes.

Lessons from Sandwalking

[1:04:52] There is much of the outdoors man Frank Herbert in Dune, the technique of sandwalking in which a person moves without producing a rhythm that might attract giant worms is a teaching my father learned in his childhood.
The hunter moved silently and down went from wild games who was not to alert the prey of his presence.
The fisherman does not make a disturbance in or near the water for fear of frightening by the fish.

[1:05:12] And be quiet or the sand worm will eat you is tiptoe around.
Like they literally earlier say with regards to his own father listening to the radio shows you everyone had to tiptoe her out, right?
Yeah, so it means don't make a sound or your father's rage will destroy you don't like tiptoe around on the sand or.

[1:05:33] And of course, the sand is a metaphor for an unstable personality, right?
Ooh, I didn't think about that. It's constantly shifting sands, right? Shifting sands. It's dry. It'll kill you. It's unstable.
And the sandworm comes along, you sink in, right? The ground, even the very ground becomes unstable.
Yeah. And that feeling of falling through the ground can happen to people who are in the presence of great terror, right? Yeah.
So, sandworm is rage.

Desert Symbolism

[1:05:56] And you knew this because of your lore thing from the Dune series, what were the sandworms old sandworms were called oh old man of the desert old man of the desert right yeah also i know this may sound and there were gods and mystical ancestral uh the sandworms are absolutely have consciousness no but they're to the fremen they projected god god oh they're like mystical things right you know how the egyptians viewed the crocodiles or alligators whatever they were oh it's god although the cats right yeah the cat stuff so now if you'll give me a tiny limb in which to extend myself and i'm going to see how much is his eyes rolls here yeah we go out here so if i look at dessert right well first of all what if you're going to try and connect this to the bread pudding i'm about to leave no no so dessert into his child's hair desert no no so why does desert have such resonance for frank herbert well there's a lot about sociopathy, coldness, rage, instability.

[1:06:59] But he was neglected as a child.
What is another use of the word desert? To desert someone.
To abandon. So he was abandoned as a child.

[1:07:13] To very harsh elements, right? Because he couldn't go home because his parents were drinking.
So he was out in nature all the time where he got bitten by a dog and I assume almost died in a variety of other adventures.
Yes, he almost drowned trying to swim across a channel.
So he was deserted by his parents and therefore he had to desert his house.
Yeah. And he was drawn to the desert. So I'm just, the words play a lot in our brains in a variety of ways.
Sorry, Jared, you're going to say something. And a desert is a kind of like environmental nothingness. Yeah.
It's a void that you could actually quote unquote exist in. It's complete extremes.
It's scorching during the day, freezing at night. Which is the rollercoaster personality.

[1:08:00] It's completely still until there's a sandworm which rages out of almost nowhere.
Well, and it's death, obviously, because water is life.
That's constantly referred to. and so the the desert is the opposite of water and the desert is death so to be deserted is to die and how many times have i made the case that neglect is just about the worst form of a yes because it's a death sentence yeah well and uh who are the people that are good and survive in this environment the ferment right you know right and why did this is only about why did the novel resonate so much with so many people because the 60s and the 70s in particular the novel took a a while to really hit its popularity but the latchkey kids were deserted my generation was the first generation really of latchkey kids you came home and there was nothing no one nothing yeah and so um the fact that there's this deserting that there is um isolation that the children are unprotected right yeah like like all i mean they basically he lost his father, to death, and he lost his mother to the Bene Gesserit, right?
Yeah. His mother was basically inducted into this...

The Messiah and the Mother

[1:09:11] Goddess queenie thing this this nuns from hell thing and now he did have his mother available to give him some kind of feedback but it was no longer for him it was for the messiah she was advising the messiah not her son on how to live right yeah and the mother did like she didn't obey the bene gesserit and what they told her to do yeah but she it wasn't necessarily out of necessarily out of love for the dude because she also had this vanity of thinking she could birth the universe's super being you know right right grandiosity is all over the place now you could say but he had reason for grandiosity because he wrote such a great book or such a famous book or whatever right all right um chapter house dune we're jumping around here the sixth volume of the series reverend mother used an aphorism what d-o-r-t-u-j-l-a, Tertullian.
Tertullian. Okay. If you're familiar, long before the publication of Kuhn, never damage your own nest.
That was Frank Herbert speaking, of course, since he believed we were doing precisely that to the earth. Oh, Lord. Okay.

[1:10:17] I don't want to go off on a rant here, but I got to tell you that the relationship, between child abuse and environmentalism is to me 100%, 100%.
And the fact that child abuse escalated with the abandonment of the nuclear family and women staying home in the 60s, that coincided with the environmental movement.
It's a form of virtue signaling where you take your own destruction of your children, project it onto the earth, and then claim to care about the earth.
So if you look at the huge traumas that are being inflicted on children right now about global warming, you're going to die, everything's going to be underwater.
Right so so child abuse and environmentalism have gone hand in hand since the beginning of, environmentalism as far as i can tell and so the fact that this guy is like well i care so much about the earth but i'm a complete sadist to my own children but the earth though but the rocks, never damage your own nest yeah it's very important but but he's torturing his own children oh just just a really bad so you were going to say something use the eggs as a poison container though yeah yeah you care more about the nest than you do about the eggs yeah well no it's just like.

[1:11:30] It's it's an excuse to abuse the kids and perpetuate that and to make it a virtue like it's roman it's roman writ large yeah not the character from the future just to follow up on, what we're saying about the kids so he says during the period when mom was working in downtown san francisco and dad was writing the most difficult segments of doom he became increasingly irritable and more intolerant than ever of the slightest interruption to his concentration it reached the the extreme where he took the house keys away from Bruce and me and told us he was going to ride inside a locked house.
We were commanded to go elsewhere after school and he didn't seem to care where.
Dad and Bruce got into a big row over this and dad yanked a string with a house key off it on Bruce's neck.
Prior to that, my brother had been in the habit of coming into the house after school to make a sandwich.
So unhappy with the way dad was treating him, Bruce ran away walking more than 25 miles.
Only 11 years old, he crossed the Golden Gate Bridge into Marin County and and hid in a creek bed for several hours.

[1:12:28] The more he thought about his predicament, however, the more Bruce realized how cold, lonely, and hungry he would be if he didn't return home.
And he realized how angry Dad would be at him for yet another interruption to his writing process.
Right. It must be understood that the son of a writer is not without creative energies of his own. Now, this is where he tries to make it a little bit funny.
Oh, man. And this is really quite tragic. Yeah, this is not the time for humor, buddy.
To avoid Dad's wrath, my little brother came up with a wild, rather ingenious tale. He contacted the nearest police precinct in Marin County and reported in a state of faint hysteria that had been kidnapped by two men and thrown in the back of a laundry truck.

[1:13:04] Laundry truck is a nice detail. That's what sells it. You know, that's the fiction writer. That's the lore. Not just a van, a laundry truck.
It was only through good fortune, he said, that he was able to escape.
The police believed Bruce and had him go through the books of mugshots in an attempt to find the bad guys.
Dad and mom were contacted and they drove to the police station.
A detective there assured Mr. and Mrs. Herbert that he would investigate the case thoroughly and would find whoever had done this terrible thing.
Their son was fortunate to be alive, he said.
In our San Francisco house, we had a number of large brown corduroy pillows, excuse me, triangular in shape, which we used to lean against while reading or while watching the little black and white television.
They were foam-filled. Bruce had one on his bed. After coming home from the police station, he went to his room and lay on the bed with his head on the big pillow. It was quiet in the house.
Then he heard familiar footsteps on the hardwood of the hallway, and his pulse raced.
James. I know your footsteps, old man. Oh, is that? Oh, yeah.
Yeah. That was in the movie. Oh, well done. Well done. Yes, yes.

[1:14:06] Dad opened the bedroom door, stared at Bruce and said, You were lying, weren't you?
I can't. Izzy, this is serious stuff. This is a child in great fear. Okay, Batman.
Okay, Batman. Under the piercing, see-it-all stare, Bruce coughed.
He felt his eyes burning.
He expected to see his father pull off the wide leather belt and administer the usual. But dad said in a calm tone, I'm not going to spank you this time, but you're grounded for two weeks. Hold on, hold on.
I'm not going to spank you this time. I'm not going to spank you this time, but you're grounded for two weeks. Come straight home after school every day and do extra chores.
This is a funny thing that I don't understand about abusers.

[1:14:46] That sometimes when I had done the, quote, worst thing and expect a huge punishment, I got virtually nothing.
Right. I experienced that with my brother. What is the story with that?
Like like frank herbert would get insane if somebody had crumbs in the honey yeah and he would lecture everyone and berate everyone because they were crumbs in the honey yeah i'm kind of with him for that it's the pullback so that you can it's the pullback so that they can continue the abuse and be even more abuse or is it just the unpredictability i think that's that's part of the abuse that's yeah it's so that you always keep you on your toes so i remember like me and my older brother like my younger brother was not nearly as scared of our dad and he would like like he would do insane things that me and my older brother would look at each other and be like oh man he's done he's done for and just either get ignored or made a joke of and it's like, what the hell was that right you you get conditioned uh to to expect a horrible horrible thing yeah uh there's one there's a there's a kind of gas lighting too it's.

[1:15:47] Like oh you know ridiculous it was never like that yeah so so um there's one time uh last key case you know my brother and i can have school my brother had this um is a friend with him and uh i was you know we weren't supposed to have other kids in the house you know when parents weren't home yeah um i mean maybe sensible whatever anyways so i'd gotten in and i was holding the window closed because i was the older brother um and uh my brother and his friend were pushing and my brother put his hands through pains and shattered everywhere so um of course his friend took off um i ran to the mirror and i saw that i had you know i was gotten some you know uh whatever just on my face um some blood in my face um and so i was really almost hysterical there i think it was like maybe 11 or so um and of course in my mind not only is like i got wounded but of course we're dead we broke a window yeah and because they're gonna blame you because you have all the glasses well my brother apparently got a shard of glass near his wrist and so uh later on i think i recalled this story and uh my brother was like well you were you were freaking out all you had was a couple of things on on your face and i had something that could have been you know like yeah like like serious like serious injury in my wrist but it.

[1:17:01] Was like you know i don't remember getting like massively punished for that yeah really it was just you know like this horrible however long it was before my father came on so the broken window and yet nothing nothing that you remember right yeah i don't remember anything i remember i remember the fear of that yeah my mom my mom beat me up over or like leaving a little white ring on a table, little table.

[1:17:25] And I won't get into the details of why. When my mother had to come and pick me up from a police station.
Yeah. She was fine.

[1:17:33] No punishment. I mean, yeah, I don't understand. I don't understand, and I don't want to understand this mindset. But I don't understand why.
Is it because, well, clearly I've broken my kids now.
They're so terrified of me that they're running away and inventing stories and talking to the police. My work here is done. Yes. Yeah, I've broken them.
I don't know. It's weird. I think it's the perpetuation of the abuse. Yeah.

Archetypes and Mythology

[1:17:58] The archetypal stuff. stuff now i'm old enough now that these stories are eye-rollingly predictable okay the man who fights his destiny i wonder if he's gonna end up embracing his destiny like it's a great mystery to me okay so um this is from the book the characters fit classical archetypes from mythology paul is the hero prince on a quest as described by young campbell and lord raglan and whoever that is, one of the books my father studied, Ragland's The Hero, published in 1936, outlined 22 steps followed by classic heroes.
And I've got to tell you, this is kind of depressing, that if you just follow, because I know that... A formula, yeah.
George Lucas, the Star Wars guy, consulted with Joseph Campbell, hero of a thousand faces, and specifically tailored his story to the hero journey myth.
Right. Right? And I thought this was really interesting. Yeah.

[1:18:54] 22 steps. We won't go through each of them, right? These included, all of which closely approximate the life of poor Maldiba.
A, the hero's father is a king, a duke in Paul's case.
B, the circumstances of his conception are unusual. It's two tortoises.
Oh, please. That's not known for a heading zoo. Anyway, so what was his, because his mother was a concubine, is that?
Yes. that's the his unusual thing okay were there any other unusual i don't think there were other uh benedict which lady the witches right so sure all right but that would have been normal for a dude for like a royal it's unusual for us reading info about yeah all right so um he is reputed to be the son of a god paul is reputed to be a returning god of messiah an attempt is made to kill him at birth in paul's case the attempt occurred in his youth after a victory over the The king and or a giant dragon or wild beast, he marries a princess.

[1:19:56] Which he does, right? Yep. And becomes king and so on, right? Yeah.
Yeah, this is a very- Pretty typical archetype. Yeah.
The dune is a modern day conglomeration of familiar myths. It's a tale of heroism and great sandworms guarding a precious treasure of Melange, the geriatric spice.
The planet dune features thousand foot long worms that live for untold years.
Ferocious dragon-like monsters who have great teeth and a and bellows breath of cinnamon which also reminds me of what izzy was putting on her cookies yesterday which caused me to bellow breaths of cinnamon.

[1:20:38] And pumpkin. And pumpkin. This is the pearl of great Christ myth.
In the Bible, a parable described a man who obtained a great treasure and then kept it hidden.
This parable was linked to mythological stories of protected treasures, such as the golden fleece of the sacred ram sacrificed to Zeus, given by Fraxas to his wife's father, and nailed to an oak tree where it was guarded by a dragon that never slept. Yeah.
Now uh it's also interesting that at the bottom of a bottle of mescal an intoxicating mexican beverage is a tiny worm which is said to contain so much essence that people have been known to hallucinate after consuming it my father of course spends considerable time in mexico oh that's a thought i had about them uh switching the christmas to this mexican time period another way of like none of your heritage none of your european heritage stuff we're going full-on mexican right Yep.
Right. Which kind of alludes to why the story might be popular these days.

[1:21:32] Yeah. So I know from my own experience as a writer how easy it is to block a story that the publishers don't like.
Right. Because I always got immense praise for my writing from people who gave reviews on it.
But the publishers hated it with a burning passion of a thousand cents.
Yeah. And so my question is, okay, why was Dune allowed through?
It has to be something harmful to the culture if it's allowed through.
That's just a basic fact of, I mean, were the hard leftists in charge of the publishing industry in the 60s? I think they were.
Probably. Now, of course, the other thing is, too, that Dune was finally published by a company that published car repair manuals.
Although, to be fair, Dune was turned down 20 times.
Kind of, kind of. So he goes into this story about that.
So a lot of publishers said, we really love it, but we don't know how to market it. Or we really love it, but it's too long and it's going to be too expensive to publish.
We don't want to take the risk. but they all, a lot of them loved it, but they just, for various reasons, it wasn't like- Like it was fun, and they didn't think it would make enough profit to be worth it.
And the guy who, one of the guys who turned it down said, this is probably the biggest mistake I'm going to make, but I'm going to turn it down for it.
But it wasn't because they hated the writing or anything like that.
So, but even, let's say somebody publishes it, right?

[1:22:44] And the people who want to corrupt the culture don't like it.
They would simply shame everyone and associate it with nerdiness or make losers out of, Like, they would just simply oppose it in every conceivable way.
But it was very much embraced by the culture.
Yeah. Or the people in charge of the culture who don't have the West's best interest at heart, I guess we could say.
Yeah. At least in its current form. That's fair.
So, my question is, I mean, we know how it harmed... How does it harm the culture?
Well, it's saying that...

[1:23:16] That sadism and cruelty are superior and can only be combated by psychosis.
Because Paul is psychotic. He thinks he's a god.
Now, of course, and now I don't know if this is in the book, but in the movie, okay, I go from having vague dreams about the future, which could mean anything.

[1:23:39] There are people starving. There's a holy war. What does that mean?
To oh i know exactly everything about your family history and your mother who lost an eyeball transferring oh yeah yeah remember the guy yeah i was a bit confused and i'm like how do you know everything he's gone from like general vision guy yeah to specific circus freak psychic guy yeah you know yeah i know you have a mold in your inner thigh like this kind of stuff right it becomes a parlor trick almost but that's one of the things that finally convinces everyone one but if somebody thinks they're a god they're psychotic yeah right i mean if we just look at it in purely secular terms right now there was other than the words of command was there any other magic in them in the in the stories because there's mysticism i mean the spice the drugs like extending your life your consciousness that kind of stuff like that drugs do do affect your consciousness yeah in a positive way well no no i get well no some people would say yes i mean the beatles were very creative under drugs yeah a lot of songwriters a lot of people have used drugs sadly to very great creative effect but and he also sorry to frank herbert also used drugs not a lot yeah but he did partake of mind-altering substances and was also into the drug called buddhism which he got from alan watts who was one of the big drug i mean that's no but it it does Oh, it's a mind drug in a way. Right, right, okay.

[1:25:06] But the magic in terms of the drug use is the spice itself is used to allow these navigators and the space folding thing.

[1:25:17] To actually specifically and accurately find their way through the interstellar space, right?
They're predicting the future on a short scale to be able to do that.
So that's completely magic.
Because Lord knows that drunk driving is the way to go. Yeah, yeah. So it's one thing to be drunk driving, but do you want to really craft interstellar vehicles traveling faster than light on mind-altering drugs? It's all natural, man.
It's not drunk driving if you only drink at stoplights.

Power, Drugs, and Manipulation

[1:25:50] Sorry, I'm just writing down this as the new family motto.
Yeah, I'm going to add this. It's beautiful. It's beautiful. Okay, so...
I was really struck because in the movie, this has been, I think, certainly in the book, I'm sure it's described this way, these giant monsters have these giant teeth that swallow you, right?
And this, to me, would be a child's view of the dog attacking him.
I think that that's probably where he gets some of the power of the sandworms.
And I think, Jared, you made this connection, which I thought was great, in that the dog, he only survived the dog attack when he was two and a half, the rider, because the dog was at the end of his chain.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. And how do they control the sandworm? well they have like it's not necessarily a chain it's like a hook they throw into the sandworm scale just keep it open but they're essentially holding it at bay right now where it can't go back underground right yeah and um it's interesting that the dog is kept from killing him by the chain.

[1:26:48] And he kept his own murderousness to some degree at bay by channeling it into art because in art everyone in his art everyone's murdering each other but he channeled some of his murderous impulses into his uh his own art i would assume right because so so what i don't like about it of course is that the good guys lose and you only win by losing your mind you only like you only win by becoming crazier than the crazy people well and thriving in this hostile environment like that's a virtue but i did that doesn't make him a god i don't like i this is the thing that him annoyed me about the second movie i don't know when he's like yeah i'm god but you didn't notice that either right i was yeah it seemed like i was just kind of watching it then suddenly he's like embracing he's like i'm better than all you and it's like wait what they allude to it a little bit in the sense that uh when he first encounters spice for the first time i think he's 15 and like it immediately has an effect on him because it does on everyone it's a mind it does on everyone but he's gonna be the quiz on totorok you know so it's special with him and but then when he lives with the Fremen, there's spice in everything.
It's in the food. It's all over the place. He's swimming in it.
And so it hasn't even... There's spice on his girlfriend.
Essentially. Right. And so it has a much greater effect on him. Right.
It's like that quote from Rio. Keep it spicy. Anyway. So...

[1:28:11] So this, okay, so I want to know the worms. So the worms that you said dragons.
Oh, they're sci-fi dragons. They're sci-fi dragons.

[1:28:19] So the worms are obviously anger that can be harnessed because they do harness the worms.
Fear is the mind killer. He's all about that. This is the big quote that I've heard from him is, oh, it's not the power corrupts, power attracts corrupt people.
Of course, but here's the thing too.
He absolutely abused his power over his children. So he's confessing to be utterly corrupt. Oh, yeah. Yeah.
Sorry. Okay. So this is just coming to me. Yeah. Let's do it live. All right.
Worms, psychology, old man, ancestors, your gut feeling. What is your gut?
It's a big worm. Oh, like your intestines? Your intestines.
Oh, yeah. And like these are the old men of the desert.
And what did your natural instincts, the ancestral people can tell you, you know, stupid white man, you've lost the way.
Except when the ancestors tell you to be nicer to your children.
I don't think it's odd. The other thing, too, is that when he first, he died of pancreatic cancer quite young, in his 60s. Yeah, he was like 66.
And for many, for some time beforehand, he thought he had intestinal parasites that he'd picked up. That's why his stomach was hurting.
Intestinal parasites that he'd picked up from Mexico, and then he was misdiagnosed.
Yeah, maybe it's because he was drinking the worms at the bottom of vodka.
I would assume so, right? I would assume so.
Well, man, I was going to say something intelligent, too, but I completely forgot.
We were talking just before you brought up the intestinal worm thing.
We were saying something about, what were we saying right before that?

[1:29:44] Uh we were talking about the the worms being anger your ancestors rage harnessing them with the chains the dog the power corrupts yes so i think really the only way he was saying that people basically who are corrupt will be drawn to power so i think he was very corrupt because obviously he didn't have kids to spend time with them or do anything like that he only had kids so that he could have power over them so you know a lot of people will become politicians and stuff like that if they want power but for him i think he just had kids to have power great oh that's why he would have died for the housework payments too because he didn't have power over his daughter yeah there's that also he did have power over his daughter oh because he denied her the money yeah yeah sorry jerry do you understand and the son that didn't obey him and carry on his legacy, popped himself in a way yeah and the son and the other son carries on his legacy and becomes an an apologist for his life, essentially. Yeah.

[1:30:45] Another question. Kind of foundational to me. So House Harkonnen has many, many people.
Yes. Okay. I didn't like the whiter you are, the more evil you are.
That just seems to be kind of a trend these days. Yeah, come on.
Those guys were like ghosts. They're like albino glow sticks.
Just imagine how it would have been if it was different.
Imagine if they had been ghostly dark blue or dark brown or something.
And they would have been like, oh, and you're the bad guys? That's racist.
If we could fashion people from the bald calves of babies.
And also that they were hairless, because I think whites go bald more quickly or more often.
I think the hairless is probably not the biggest clue. I think the biggest clue to that being white is that they are white.
They were ultra-white. You couldn't be more on the nose. White people, yeah, that was not ideal, of course.
But yeah, So there's, but there's tons of them, right? Yeah.
So one of the things, if you are a house of nobility, one of the things you need is a bunch of spare parts, right?
So, I know, yeah, yeah, yeah. No, no, because if there's a war or something and a lot of people get like that, you need a few backups.
You're going to die, you need people to rule the kingdom. Right, what do they always say? You need two sons, an heir and a spare.
Yeah. Right, and wasn't Harry's biography, his autobiography was called The Spare or Spare or something like that?
Because he was the leftover, right? Yeah. His older brother, William, was going to be the king, and he was just a spare. Oh.

[1:32:12] So you need an heir and a spare. So clearly the dad, Leto, is fertile because he can produce a kid with the concubine, with Thor, the prostitute. Yeah.

[1:32:23] So why does he only got one kid? Yeah, that's never- Like, there's only three people in the entire house. Yes.
There's the dad there's the concubine and the whiny kid yeah like there's nobody else this makes no sense to me how could you possibly be only perfect it's not like he needs a wife because he added the kid with a concubine just have more kids with the concubine yeah i mean she's pregnant again right have more concubines oh let's have more concubines i'm super wealthy pretty good looking i'm fertile i'm just gonna have sex once well and false 15 they had opportunities to you Now, who's she pregnant with? The daughter.
And that's from the dad, right? From the dad, yes. And in the movie, the daughter's not born.
But in the story, the daughter is born when the mother drinks the water of life.
And she's born with all the memories of the past Reverend Mothers.
Also, do the Bene Gesserit have skylights where their belly buttons are?
Oh, good question for me.

[1:33:17] It's not just the Bene Gesserit. All women do. Don't worry about it. I didn't know this.
I've not seen this in any documentary I've ever seen. And I thought you had a good memory from when you were young.
Oh yes that's right mommy skylight no because there's literally light in the fetus the fetus is in the belly and there's like spotlights coming in to light up the face you know what i'm gonna swallow a flashlight what is happening i'm gonna give that to the movie as creative creative because i found it interesting that they actually showed a realistic depiction of a fetus of a human being in a womb.
Saying it was a human. Yeah, because that's going to be triggering for some people that are A-OK with nuking that.
Right. So here's the other thing. So House Atreides, the three of us, and so the dad, the son, and the concubine.

[1:34:10] There's only three of them so let's put them in charge of the most valuable thing in the known universe and that just makes no sense the other thing too so the movie's the second movie starts and i'm like so the first movie starts with magic the second movie starts with a completely retarded statement which is the daughter of the emperor saying none could have foreseen this, and it's like okay okay okay all right so imagine that uh let's say the four of us what we decide decide to do is we decide to displace the most violent ms-13 crime gang in the neighborhood and we're just going to be nice to all the new people right and then we're like no one could have foreseen that there might be blowback from the most evil harcunan when they've been displaced from the most valuable place in the known universe and it's like of course there's going to be blowback yeah like none no one could have rats are mean sorry naked mole rats are mean.

[1:35:03] Naked mole rats are means write that one down maybe that's the new i'm gonna put i've been making a list of from this show thumbnail well and in the book and in the movie it's alluded to as well like this is a trap we know it's travel why are we still going and it's like well we must you know honor i forget the exact yeah it's something like you know it's the call the duty to honor so to be good to because good he's nice to his son and he says to the fremen you can be your own thing so to be good is to be completely retarded and vulnerable to all attacks from outside and have no idea what's coming and what they're saying too i can recall this now as well they get a credit and that they're saying like we're prepared we know it's a trap so that's the first step in avoiding the trap you know yeah no the first step in avoiding the trap is going to wipe out the harkonnen isn't it uh i guess that that one that one alluded them you know one thing that necessarily too is the whole point of the family atomics sorry i'm jumping over a bit around the story is to defend it's the last straw to defend your household how come they weren't how come they weren't used right yeah here's the other thing too you have a whole defense system that that apparently can just be undone by one guy who can be compromised.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. There's no backup, no redundancies, nobody's guarding the shields.
Like, apparently just one guy can get his wife kidnapped, and that's the destruction.
How on earth does the house last 10,000 years if you have a giant...

[1:36:23] Hole in your arm are cold one guy can get compromised and your retirement house can be destroyed sorry james you're gonna say yeah i mean that's it's just sort of this is this is circling back to one of the things that jared and i talked about when we watched the uh watched the part one a week a week or so ago and um i'm like i just realized man house atreides has the worst intelligence ever you know it's absolutely not spy intelligence yeah like military intelligence like you know how do you how do you go into like like the the whole thing with the doctor right how is how is like they certainly don't know has a watch yet he has a wife where what happened to her where'd she go she's gone yeah it's like okay so but we should keep an eye on this guy could you notice the guy's just totally haunted because his wife no kidding no kidding we don't notice a thing his mom and says benny jessert can like you know read people's body language knows exactly what's going on she's not going to know that this guy that's spending intimate time with her son you've got a thought well no because it's like paul atreides can see see the future he knows what's happening down the road he can catch tiny little drones gonna kill him but he has no idea that his personal intimate family doctor's wife has been kidnapped no idea whatsoever so you seem a little bit uh preoccupied doctor oh no um this is the maddening thing about this this is a trauma narrative a trauma environment and story where this guy you're It's wildly about this minutiae and detail and plans within plans and we're figuring all the little details out.

[1:37:51] But the glaring obviousness of human emotion, connection, warmth is lost on everyone.
Yeah. Well, how much empathy did Frank Herbert have? How much understanding of human nature did he have?
All he did was manipulate and bully and intimidate and terrorize.

[1:38:09] No, even empathy for this abstract thing called nature, which is not empathy at all because you don't actually have to interact with nature.
But he would never imagine that Paul would notice that the doctor was traumatized because he enjoyed his son's trauma.
Right. How could he possibly understand that you would notice something like that?
Yeah. Unless Paul is completely cold and alien and weird, in which case, why do I care who wins? It's just one mafia family fighting another mafia family.
And the other example, I mean, there's probably a bunch of them.
And I know that the books do sort of touch on this a bit more.
They sort of, they flesh this out more. But in the context of the movie itself, the other glaring intelligence failure, that's all.
When they finally get to Arrakis, ignoring all the rest of it, they get to Arrakis and there's evidence of Harkon sabotage.
You know, one of the carry-alls doesn't grab the thing.
And so after they lose a harvester but the duke manages to save all of the people who are on the harvester which is you know his nobility right he's like i don't care about the harvester i don't care about the spice i want these people to be i want to protect the people but i'm not going to notice giant spaceships accumulating over my own planet that are about to kill me well but but before that happens uh you know they go to the emperor sort of adjutant um whatever the name of that person is the woman with the blue eyes who was actually a man it's a man uh leot kines.

[1:39:30] So they go to Leah And she's like She's like all kinds of like Are you going to tell the emperor that there's been sabotage And all this other stuff And she's like.

[1:39:42] Reduce our load of spice that we have to give And she's like.

[1:39:46] The the quota is the quota you know and they're not like at that moment it's like okay we've missed everything up and up but this this this something something stinks like don't you notice these things she's like and i think she does kind of look to them like i'm not allowed to notice you know she says that afterwards initially she's like i'm here to be impartial you know yeah but it's like but okay but i'm not going to communicate anything you guys have you you you have to get the you know it doesn't matter you get the quota and it's like okay so there's a this has got to be a a setup. It's got to be a trap.
And like you said, we don't know if things are coming in over our heads.
Giant spaceships. Yeah, yeah. That's more obvious.
Not that. Okay. That was that. In the movie. In the movie.
But even in the movie, there's not satellites over Arrakis, ostensibly.

[1:40:29] And But why would there not be satellites over Arrakis?
Well, actually, they don't explain that well. And they don't explain that at all in the movie. That's fair.
And sorry. And the last thing, because I know you're going to mention this about the satellites, because it's like, how can you not track people in the desert?
You literally literally leaving footprints everywhere now is it your point about the storms yeah well probably number one that had storms so number two i think this was in the book is they had carpets that they would carry behind them drag behind or drag behind them and it would cover over their footsteps now obviously if you're looking at it it's going to look a bit odd but you know a bit of a dust of wind blowing and it's going to be all covered magic carpets yeah actually if you hit them with bombs you're trying to call me no what about this aspect it's their space travel is full space so So essentially, they don't have to- They just materialize.
Yeah, they just pop up and unload a bunch of ships.
So it's like, hey, if you'd like- But they would know all of that.

[1:41:19] And they would have to have instant laser things to hit the ships within orbit because you can just materialize.
They have shields over the house, over the city, essentially. No, I get that, yeah.
And that's where the doctor dropped their sabotage, their shields. Right, right.
Yeah, it's like a lot of these things, I know that a lot of these things are explained in the book itself, but in the context of the movie, it's like there's a lot that's not there, and it's like, yeah.
I think the movie- Oh, there's huge plot holes. But they needed more time for the desert shots.

[1:41:55] No I think you know take out 20 minutes of desert shots I mean yeah they're cool but put 20 more minutes into story building and explanation and realism and stuff like that because obviously okay it's sci-fi it's sci-fi it doesn't have to be the most realistic you know no one's expecting like but i mean do a bit better but even more like this guy who the screen didn't he start dreaming of like making a dune movie since he was 13 and this was the best he could do um director director said villeneuve he said he started storyboarding uh 13 13 yeah and this was the best he could do what did he storyboard some drawings of deserts what handling just just my personal conniption like he just wildly changed so much in the narrative like dude like It's the same story anymore.
I think it includes the scowling girlfriend as well. Sorry? Yeah.
The storyboard includes the scowling girlfriend. Okay.
I'm for the long house, Paul. Every time I see her, she's got to be the least charismatic actress I know of.
Yeah. Every time I see her, there's nothing likable about her.
And why does she look like she's nine?

[1:43:00] When she wears makeup and when and she wears a lot of makeup when she wears makeup yeah she looks like 20 in this movie she looks 12 well the act is 24 no way no no the male actor i'm sorry timothy chalamet 24 supposed to be 15 in the movie yeah yeah um uh chani zendaya looked looked like 12 in my opinion like she looks really young well and this and also yeah compared to the original like In movie one, she only had 10 minutes of screen time or something crazy, right?
In this movie, it changed completely. It seemed like she was half a main character.
Good, yeah. And for what? What did she add?
Well, to shame the dudes.
Yeah, but I just don't get the relationship. Why would he choose her?
He's this royal prophet of goodness, and he's going to choose some random ugly 12-year-old?

[1:43:52] Or not like a desert deserts uh like like uh well actually now okay at least in the book she's the daughter of leah kynes who's like the imperial planetologist and leader of the fremen so she's kind of a princess what yeah yeah now that is actually mentioned in the movie that leah kynes is the leader of the fremen the the black woman who was the planet the planetologist planetologist yes was secretly, the leader of the fremen really okay i must have missed that because she that character just kind of faded in and out and i yeah and they did just do a terrible job of explaining these relationships and stuff and also so that's so wait zendaya's her daughter yeah.

[1:44:32] All right. Yep. Okay. The races are not having an effect now. Well, I don't know.
Who knows, right? It's like the Little Mermaid movie where the white guy had like seven daughters and they were all different races. All different races. Yeah, yeah.
Yep. Oh, man. Well, then they did a race. It's just superstition. Okay.

Unanswered Questions

[1:44:50] So, yeah. So, none of that particularly made sense.
Now, I know that there's a suspension of disbelief. I get all of that, right? And they never explained why they had to walk into Mordor rather than just take the eagles.
Now, of course, the answer to that is the Nazgul would kill the eagles, so they had to go by foot.
But that wasn't explained in the book. But there's some things that also need to, you know, obviously every story is going to have some things that don't add up.
But if it's something like that, there's also things that you're supposed to figure out yourself and it isn't supposed to be.
Not everything should be explained in the story. Some things are good for theorizing and coming up with your own ideas.
Just as long as there is actually a reason when you're writing it.
You may not have to explain it. That's what I think.
Yeah, I agree with that. Like, I think, you know, the guy who wrote Lord of the Rings probably had an explanation as to why they went on foot.
But didn't put it in. But he didn't put it in because he's like, look, think about it and you'll find it. Yeah. All right. You ready to get goosebumps?
Oh, God. Here we go. Here we go.
The suits. What do they call the... Steel suits. Steel suits. Okay.

[1:45:54] So the steel suits, you don't eliminate your own waste. You recycle it.
Your own waste goes back into you cycle of generational trauma you never get to expunge your waste it just goes right back into you and that fuels the next generation that's your nourishment that's what keeps you yeah what keeps you what keeps you surviving in a harsh environment is re-traumatizing yourself with your own waste and it's a kind of of wrapping and yeah yeah and of course drugs go up the nose as as does this thing good oh yeah i know that so yeah i like the The recycling of trauma stuff I think is quite powerful.
And there's a reason why this resonates with so many people. And of course, I mean.

[1:46:30] It's a fair uh theory at least why herbert would have been finding so difficult and then shutting his children out of the house at certain points of dune because he's being re-traumatized by inflicting his trauma through the book the whole book is inflicting trauma on everyone else yeah yeah yeah so he's saying that violence is the solution to all conflicts because violence and mysticism is the solution to all conflicts nobody reasons with anyone in in the entire everything it's everything is resolved through violence right so he is training people through this book yeah to view virtue as weakness yeah and reasonableness as suicide and everything is resolved through psychosis and violence which is how he resolved quote resolved things with his own children so i view the book as toxic and this is probably why i absolutely avoided it to some degree as as a kid it just seemed to me very alien bizarre unhealthy unworldly and i said this uh because I saw the David Lynch movie in 85 and I was just like, this is insane.
This is horrible. Yeah. Uh, and it was ghastly to me.
And again, maybe we'll watch it at some point, but, um, yeah, I, so maybe that, that this is just recycled trauma.
They had a different experience of it where I, I read the book when I was 15.
I had seen the movie when I was 13, played like the old real time strategy game when I was nine.
And that's how I found the story at all. But.

[1:47:50] Uh well i had a bad childhood in a lot of ways and the book for me was kind of partially that escape kind of stuff and easy we were chatting about this earlier where i was like you know what is it like with i'm curious going to share an air like you come across a story like oh this is interesting this is neat and then to see like the background and stuff yeah author what's that like for me it's like i liked the dune series i never got like huge into it because obviously i never read the books but i watched like a bunch of videos on it watched the movies of course right I thought it was a cool story, and then it's like hearing about it just really ruins it. It is a cool story.
I mean, I go with that. It is a neat story. I mean, it's very much an archetype.
And the visuals were cool.
The sword fights were cool, though they didn't. But I mean, even in the book, like not when you're doing that stuff.
Right, right. So this ruins it for you? Yeah, just like hearing everything.
It's like, okay, well, great. Now I can't.

[1:48:40] So now it's not a story. Now it's just some guy's life put into a book.
Right. And I don't care about some guy's life put into a book. I want to hear a story.
And yeah, so he, because he went to this alternate universe at the expense of his own children.
And this is all like, how far did he have to go to avoid empathizing with his children?
He had to go 10,000 years into the future on the other side of drugs to a planet that doesn't exist.
Like this is where he had to go mentally just to avoid any potential empathy with his own children.
And I'm surprised the kids weren't more resentful of the Dune series.
Because I mean, maybe the one guy who died of AIDS or whatever, but the other guy, who actually continued it after his dad died for the money and it's like how could you not just hate the desert after all of this like your dad basically abandoned you for this story and you're gonna just be okay with it because lice if you have bad parents like that do you hold them accountable and responsible or do you continue the cycle.

[1:49:36] So, yeah, a couple of thoughts to end up with. The Furman, it bothers me because there's no future.

[1:49:41] There's no families. There's no husband, wife. There's no children.
Like, they're all about their ancestors because they take the fluids of their ancestors, pump them into this lake to recover the desert planet or something.
I'm not really sure how that's supposed to work.
But I do find it weird that there are no kids. Now, movie directors don't want to work with kids in the desert. It's dangerous. It's sunny.
You know, like it could get sunburned or whatever. everett so i get that in the movie but and you're saying it jared that in the books there was not much focus on kids they'd sort of float around in the background from time to time there were books or sorry there were kids in the book but yeah no i would say very much for so not like main characters or anything like that or so yeah so for me it means he doesn't have to deal with parenting he can do weird things like this it's some technology that apparently the bedouin have have this advanced technology which makes no sense whether they're manufacturing these things where do they get them yeah like they don't have any other type of metal and stuff like that except not really they do explain that they use spice for everything and that they use it to make a basically a plastic a polymerization they do explain that in the book yeah so the spice is basically it's everything it's everything yeah you can do anything old space time it's uh it's a food it's a it's a it's a drug it's it you can make menu you can manufacture things it's a 3d printer or it's magic magic source it's mana yeah yeah you know it's like the replica what do they call that in Star Trek the holodeck because that's the guy yeah so.

[1:51:11] The fact that these people are fighting for the future of their planet, But have no children. It's like, what? What's the point of that?
Well, in the books, there are a lot of children. And actually, I think about this, the second and third book deal, like, one of them is literally children of Dune.
Okay. And so that's fine. But in the movies, the director. Yes, absolutely.
It's like, we care so much about our own future. We're going to kill and murder and die, but not have children.
We're not going to do it. Because, you know, that's a lot of work.
That's. My phrase. It's complicated.
Right. Right. So that bothered me a smidge. But, you know, I think, again, they did all this effort into the movie. And I know it's a hassle to have a bunch of kids on a movie set and stuff, right?
But if you are living in this scarce, resourced desert planet, right? Don't you want to have backup and have kids and stuff like that?
People die out of nowhere. We're not going to replenish them.
Well, the firmament are definitely in our selected population.

[1:52:06] There's much more communal living and all the hippy-dippy stuff.
But then they should have a bunch of kids. Exactly.
Yeah. Spray and pray. prey they're they're in they're literally in a uh a threat environment they are not apex predators in this desert planet right like humans on earth yes apex predators they are not there so they should be having a lot of kids i would take a sandworm on though with a lecture i think sandworms would die they would die they would just eat them beat themselves right yeah well also um what was it you know if it yeah again just for realism of the movie right if it was too much of a hassle to have a bunch of kids on the set.
Just get actors who are teenagers who look younger, right?
And just do a bit of CGI to make their faces younger. They even did the Indiana Jones one at the beginning. They made Harrison Ford look... He made him look like 30 years younger.

[1:52:52] And obviously it wasn't amazing, but just have them in the background and have a bunch of kids or whatever. It doesn't have to be that big of a thing.
I bet you they could have done it pretty cheap.
Or just, you know, higher Zendaya to act like a 12-year-old man.
But that's also why this is fantasy, because the Fremen are this, are selected population, but they're also kind of like a, the predator, apex predator of the planet. Yeah, yeah.
Yeah, I mean, he obviously, he read Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T.E.
Lawrence, the Lawrence of Arabia guy about how he led the natives against, I think, the Ottomans or whatever, right? So, yeah, I mean, I get all of that, but I just, I couldn't really care that much about the Fremen because they don't even care enough to have any families or kids.
And everyone's just kind of milling around in these undifferentiated burkas.
And it's like, I don't know, I'm supposed to really care. And they're just mocking everyone.
And, you know, there's this tough guy frat, you know, get into the club kind of thing. You'll never be one of us. Okay, you're one of us.

[1:53:44] I feel like, yeah, they definitely stretched the time where it was like him trying to prove himself.
I think they stretched that on a bit long. Oh, good God. Because all he had to do was wait for his psychic powers to manifest and you touch someone and find their history. It's like, yeah, that's good. Good for you.
And there was no earning that. It just kind of happened out of nowhere.
So is it your point? Sorry, your point about wouldn't you resent the books that took your father away? Yeah.
So he did dislike his father intensely from what I get from the biography when he was little.
But then he grew to love and respect his venerable and wise father and so on.
Interestingly enough, after the financial success of Duke, he seemed to kind of flip a bit, right?
He seemed to kind of flip a bit. Suddenly, he doesn't hate his dad so much.
Also, his dad's getting old and has a lot of money and only one kid left. Right. So...

[1:54:41] Yeah i don't know if there's any negative motives around all of that but he did seem to warm to his father when his father became very successful sorry jared you can say like you know there might be too much of a structure you've pointed out that communists hate capitalism because it stole mommy and daddy and there's stuff that socialism goes on people are ending the transmission of their intergenerational wealth through uh what's the stuff called you give your kids and you die oh sorry but yeah they're ending inheritance the socialists are ending inheritance inheritance right which is part of the way that intergenerational trauma is trans transmitted because i take the money and i forget what mommy and daddy did and it's also how culture is transmitted i'm gonna listen to mom and dad because they're gonna give me the inheritance.

[1:55:21] To like bribery for the continuation of culture so there's no children so there's no no one to give inheritance to in in dune in dune yeah there are no children well no because mom has the follow skylight fetus mm-hmm right that would be the name of the Gary there's no replacement rate right there's no right right no yeah right and and even the Harkonnen the boldface mole rat guy his girlfriends are just cannibals oh yeah yeah yeah so yeah I don't remember like in the movie I must have completely missed that they were cannibals cuz like I didn't really got body parts I don't know he's like I'll bring you a heart and a spleen and a along and then he kills a guy oh also the harkonnen everyone who questions anyone in authority gets murdered dead right so that's not going to succeed which is a terrible strategy like the harkonnen are supposed to be smart and clearly they are because they look like remixed megaminds and i take that very personally but go ahead they literally are they're just like badly rendered but no like they're supposed to be smart and then they're like okay well you know we have a bunch of war, we're trying to invade stuff, and we need as much help from each other as we can get, but you disrespect my opinion and disagree with me and you're murdered, it's like, then no one's gonna do it, and if you make a bad decision, the entire party's gonna die.

[1:56:41] Entire wars have been lost because people were too frightened to speak up.
This is one of the reasons why the British won. I talked about this in my documentary on Hong Kong.
One of the reasons the British won against the Chinese was the Chinese were too nervous to send.
They pretended they won a battle because they didn't want the emperor to get mad at them for losing the battle. So the emperor didn't even get any early warning.
Oh my gosh, that's crazy. Yeah, I know. It's a terrible battle.
And then there's like two people left. Yeah, it went great. They're just getting a bathroom break. We're hiding under the dock, but I think we're about to win.
And so yeah that bothered me that because it's just it's it was way too generic evil yeah and also the idea that all evil people look like slugs and they're just are all the good people look kind of noble and heroic that's just you know a lot of the evil people like evil people know that so they constantly camouflage themselves as good-looking people and all of the weird demonology among attractive people although to be fair nowadays it does seem to be coming a bit more true with all like the crazy communists with their blue hair and nose piercings and stuff like that yeah but the spokespeople for communism tend to be more charismatic like there was like a guy a singer john melancan yeah who was on um bill maher show waving around the communist manifesto and he's a pretty charismatic guy although he says he's still an infant in the 60s but anyway.

Collaboration and Controversy

[1:57:54] Um aren't we all so so the the son uh brian brian and bruce right so the son brian ends up collaborating with his dad and i don't know because i didn't honestly 19 hours i couldn't make it through the whole audio book, but I tried to go where it was relevant.
And I just read through a lot of the, um, the, the version.

[1:58:15] So maybe he did have this big confrontation, but I don't think he did because I never saw it anywhere. I've never heard it mentioned anywhere.
So he ends up working with his father. Now, his father gets pancreatic cancer, as I mentioned, has stomach aches, doubled over. But no, it's just a sandworm in his stomach.

[1:58:30] Yeah, but they're working on a book, The Man from Two Worlds, that they're collaborating on.
And they even do role plays to get the dialogue right. They're constantly working past midnight and night and day, and his father's exhausted.
It but the son oh but he's working his dad to death pretty much well again i don't want to impugn any motives because i don't know the guy but i could see a scenario wherein sublimated anger towards his father is we're going to finish this book dad let's go you know this is going to be the best book ever it's going to be your legacy and like keep working keep working keep working, even though he's sick now he doesn't say from what i've read maybe it happened right but what i've read he doesn't say to his dad look you're not well yeah like we got to stop working on this Let's go straight to the doctor and get you.
Now, his father did get the test, and he was misdiagnosed, as I mentioned, with Crohn's and stuff.
But he didn't say to his father, whatever you do, stop working on this book because you're sick.
And figure this out first. Right. So the mom's already dead. She died.
She was a smoker and took like 10 years off and on to die of lung cancer, which is pretty brutal, of course. Should have healed herself with her white witch magic.
Yeah, I guess. but the son if he still was angry at his dad you know being really enthusiastic about the labor that is not exactly helping his dad's health might be how it played out yeah we we tend to see this with like you know.

[1:59:47] Like you know public figures politicians are just sort of put out there and like man this guy is not well you know it's not doing well hey now these giant tumors coming out of his head and he was like gotta show up to vote like it's like go spend time with your grandkids what are you crazy yeah yeah anyway so i thought that was that was pretty rough and uh and it's now becomes massive industry like dune is just like i was reading through the list of the all of the books there's like dozens of books and video games and short stories and new dune games coming out after the release of this movie I heard.
Is that right? Actually, we were just at the grocery store like two days ago and I picked up a magazine on Dune because they had one and they were talking about like, oh, when Dune 3 releases or like what to expect for Dune 3 and they're like, oh, and here's the video game. It's like, okay.
So it's still a big thing. It's becoming a big thing again. And there was the 1985 movie.
Yeah. In the early noughts, there was a miniseries. TV spinoff, yeah. It was a sci-fi channel. Yeah, TV miniseries. It was bad. It was so bad.
It was so bad. What was bad about it? The Sandworms murder.

[2:00:46] Acting and film filming essentially okay it's like someone just like how cheaply can we get through this and like yeah save the sandworm it's just some centipede in the bottom of a jar or something it was like it's just bad cti yeah two guys in one of those um oh the suits yeah oh no like one of those uh like uh oh gosh that big slinky toy yeah yeah, oh no it's coming down the stairs There you go. Nice.
Make, like, the stairs out of, like, not sandpaper, but, like, sandstone or something.
Sandstone, that's right. You could probably get some Minecraft mod to do this. That's right.
They show you on a beach, and they've got the ocean in the background, but you still hear the roar of the waves. Oh, yeah.
Nice. Or you get the horses with the guy in the front and the back is covered in sand. There you go. Brr.
Right. Nice. Oh, my gosh. It's a close-up of what are the penguins with the teeth? the surprise teeth in the penguin's mouth?
Oh, the geese. Is it geese? Surprise geese that you can close up with the goose and stuff like that.
We could probably recreate this with Magpie. He was like hissing earlier today. He's got some big teeth.
I can bring it out of him.

[2:01:54] Nice sandpaper everywhere. Some curly straws up your nose.

Trauma and Storytelling

[2:01:59] Perfect oh my gosh all right uh all right so listen i appreciate everyone's time is there anything anybody wanted to mention at the at the end here i'm gonna rage at the environmentalism and frank herbert's hippie dippiness yeah yeah because that's like this is the stuff no one's going to talk about like they said it's going to be this big story that uh you know goes on it's impacting the world and these are the kind of conversations that people aren't going to be talking about well he's not canceled for being a rampant child abuser like i'm canceled yeah But he's not canceled for being rampant child abuser.
Nobody cares. Sorry, Jessica.
I was saying, I think it's what I was just realizing is it had this huge thing in like the 60s and 70s.

[2:02:39] Revived again in the 80s and 90s and very early 2000s. Right.
And it seems like every 20 years, the series just gets revived.
New generation. And now the new generation, Gen Z and Gen A, is being revived for, right?
But the two new movies coming out. I think the last one was like 2020 or something.
It came out. but i just think that's really interesting like something about this story is so um fits the narrative so well that the companies keep reviving it for each generation and making it a trademark right and that's what that there is something interesting within it there's something interesting about it that it is it's a story that is so popular that's been there's something about it compelling to people now and now you asked early on what's the purpose of the story was why does this exist why did what is why in this moment in history did in a sense middle eastern in death cult murder fest stories come front and center and everyone's like yeah it's great like why did we lose our own stories and basically have this incursion because he studied all of these foreign texts foreign languages chinese like he went all out for this he went like total outgroup preference this is like the um atlas shrugged of sci-fi yeah very much so yeah that's like just because she spent like 11 years on it doing research and stuff and became a whole architect just to make it that's the earlier book but yeah yeah for sure if you went all in so yeah that's to me the big question what trauma was happening.

[2:04:03] That people will get into this story rather than a story about healing, which is something like Lord of the Rings.
Lord of the Rings is a story of healing. Well, again, I think it was very divided.
Like maybe the nicer people would go to Lord of the Rings. And Jared, you know what I'm saying?

[2:04:20] Or not mean or exactly, but just people with different traumas and stuff like that would attach onto this.
Well, your trauma, Jared, was it coldness? Was it?
No, it was more like overt aggression. Over-degression. Over-degression, okay.
So that would be in the story. But very much like, oh, there's that in the story.
And also the, like, you know, control yourself. Control your, like, don't get, don't attract the worm. Be quiet.
Walk on eggshells. Right, right, right. Get the rage of the old man.
Yeah, it is very much walk on eggshells. That whole specified walk they have.
Yeah, yeah. Right? That you have to keep it. You can't be the same all the time.
Like, very rhythmic kind of.
And it's funny because tiptoeing is because you're prey.

Escaping Trauma Through Stories

[2:04:59] Prey but the actual tiptoeing that he learned from the native guy was because you're the predator yeah yeah it was a kind of flip on that because you've got to not be the animals can't notice that you're hunting them whereas in the sandworms are hunting and so were the parents with this aggression right yeah and to rephrase what i said earlier i think i said nice but i don't think that was quite the right word like i said the nicer people were into the word of the rings i don't think that's it i think the better way to describe it or say it would be like maybe people who were We're looking more for a way to hide from their trauma and stuff like that. Go more to the Lord of the Rings.
Or not hide, but find an escape from it. Whereas I think Dune more embraces it.

[2:05:36] I think. I was semi-conscious aware that part of what appealed to me about Dune was this wrap up your trauma kind of world.
Or justify or explore your trauma kind of world. No, this is a world where it's not trauma.

[2:05:52] Right. So Frank Herbert created a world where, this is Roman's argument from, again, from the future.
He created a world where brutalizing your children is not trauma.

[2:06:02] It is the only way they survive. It is good parenting to traumatize your children.
And the only guy who doesn't traumatize his child gets killed.
Child so he's the bad guy and his child is abandoned to the desert and then has to become a murderer in order to survive by joining the big well and the guy to join the feminine so frank herbert created an entire world where his brutal parenting was entirely right and justified and he fled from his real parenting into the this this world to justify what his father did to him what his father's father did to his father and what he did to his children that's the whole point and that's spreading the world wherein it's not child abuse it's it's like child abuse in the same way that not letting your children lay on the couch and eat sugar all day that's that's not child abuse that's actually you don't want your kids to do that it's not healthy for them right so so he's creating a world where if you brutalize your children you're a good parent yeah and all right now you guys know me we've gotten to know each other and chat about a lot of stuff like i've always said like i have a conflicted relationship with the art that i grew up with because i both i appreciate it for what it was at the time where i i liked it for some reason at the time but as i would get older i'd look back at it and be like this isn't good stuff yeah this isn't really there's something going on here that like there's a reason i like this and it's not there's not a message in here that's moral objective ethics that kind of stuff that really you know it doesn't warm your heart this does not warm your heart yeah it's like psychosis and and.

Embracing Trauma in Fiction

[2:07:26] Violence is the only solution so the appeal to dune in retrospect like i'm trying to like get his back into the head of my 15 year old self and what i felt at the time and what was intriguing speaking about it, it was the proposition that my trauma makes me better or I can survive this trauma.
I will be the prezant. I will be the universe's super being. I will survive this.
It'll make me this greater person.
Right. But he has, in order to become a super being, Paul has to reject any possibility of empathy.
Yeah. He has to kick his girlfriend to the curb. He has to kill indiscriminately.
He has to embrace a holy war. He has to accept the death of billions of people through starvation and violence.
He has to murder empathy within himself, and then he transcends.

[2:08:11] To godhood right which is basically he has to become evil yeah he has to become evil and evil is all powerful in this universe yeah because power corrupts and powers like the harkonnen just want spice he's going to do a whole holy war no the harkonnen in a sense are less evil because they just want spice they'll just keep the status quo yeah they'll just still kill people to get some spice but they're not out there causing the death of billions of people in a holy war yeah yeah now uh there's a famous quote from frank herbert and it was something that was appealing appealing to me as a kid too is that it's not that uh power corrupts it's the power is magnetic to the corruptible yeah which is a great quote about governments and politicians and he grew up he grew up there's interviews where he's skeptical of government and things like man it's bad that we get away from that and even oddly enough didn't he talk about like we're getting away from the founding of our country and our tradition and some of those things to be someone who drew the culture so far away because he was very interested in abstract topics that didn't require him to change his own abusive behavior.

[2:09:08] Government, nature, ecology, the natives, blah, blah, blah, right?
Oh, the natives is being so badly mistreated. It's like, you've got kids starving to death outside and you put them like as half starving to death because they can't eat.
I wanted to point this out that there's a lot of anarchists and libertarians who would find like a good like anti-state narrative in the book.
And it's like, no, no, the state begins at home with the childhood.
And this is a story apologizing, apologetics for bad parenting, which is just going to propagate the state.
Justification and saying that good parenting is bad parenting and bad parenting is good parenting. That's completely impossible.
Yeah. Right. And all you need is magic spice and psychosis and his worldview becomes perfect. There's some cinnamon.
There's some cinnamon. That's right. And has anyone ever met a libertarian that embraces a drug or two here or there? That would be crazy.
And Lord knows libertarians totally want to peaceful parenting because that's something you can actually affect and do for the better.
So yeah, I just don't talk. So I think for me, my mother certainly was violent, but not sadistic. Never got that sent.
Now, from what I've heard, I don't think so. Yeah, she erupted in anger.
She had no control over her own emotions, but she would never in a billion years have hooked me up to a lie detector.

[2:10:23] Like this didn't even have crossed her mind as a thing to do.
So I think in the chaos, I was repelled by the sadism of doom because that was not my experience.
But if, if you, because there were no morals in my mother's anger, she's angry, right?
She'd just get full of rage, blow up, calm down, nothing of a dessert.
Um, so it was random eruptions. It was not, there was nothing moral in my mother's aggression.
She'd ever painted like, you know, you're a bad kid.
And she was just like, you know, I, she just, she would see something, she'd rage, she'd be violent, but there was never some big moral message. Mysticism in a way.
No, even the mysticism, it wasn't like you're offending the universe.
It wasn't like you're a bad person.
It was just – it was the violence that you would get from a scratching cat.
There's no moral lesson in it. Were you morally instructed by Izzy's ducks?

[2:11:16] No, I mean Malin gave me some instruction. There was some pretty direct communication.
No, you're just – you're dealing with natural – I got no more moral lessons from my mother's violence than from a bad storm that destroys some property of mine.
Yeah, yeah. Right? Right. So for me, the conscious sadism and control, and I can't comprehend that, if that makes sense.
I got that. Oh, I absolutely got that. You're a bad kid.
I'm educating you. I'm making you better.
I'm disciplining you. I'm teaching you how to live. I'm helping you survive.
This is for your own good, implicitly. A little bit in boarding school, there was that kind of stuff.
But boarding school was just Nietzschean will-to-power stuff.
We can do this, so we're going to hit you with a cane.
I didn't grow up with anybody who I believed had any moral lessons for me, which is where UPB comes from a blank slate, because I didn't have anybody I believed in.
The church, the teachers, the headmasters, my mother, my father, none of them had any moral lessons that meant anything to me.
And here's a similarity I had with Frank Herbert in that sense, which is like, you know, he's reproducing his trauma through his stories, which appealed to me. And, um.

[2:12:27] So, like, I didn't believe my dad's, like, moral, like, castigating.
And, like, I didn't embrace, like, yeah, you know. You're right. I am. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
But I was the subject of it, but also incredibly conflicted and confused with it and lots of.
And this Lord of the Flies child out in the wild world, like, I, especially 15, around the time I get this book, I'm in that world.
I'm spending, from about the age of 13, I'm spending time more with my peers than at home. And we're just wandering around, whether it's the forest or whatever, suburbs, neighborhoods, cities, like we're wandering around.
And yes, we're absolutely not home. And it is very much just wild.

[2:13:07] I was out there crossing train bridges at night, 300 feet off the ground because I didn't want to be home that badly.
And that's what my friends wanted to do. And the alternative was to go home. Let's go.
And violence was very much part of a regular topic of conversation.
Conversation but were your parents punishments cold and sadistic in this kind of way like with the lie detector not that bad no no but would they in that vein there could be proximal stuff of like sadistic torture where like stand in that corner for a good side i don't know if you've ever been forced to stand in a corner but at a certain point and it's humiliating of course told to be stuck in this cap that they used to have in school because that didn't happen when i was a toddler but when I'd be like 13 14 15 those ages stand in a corner it's humiliating yeah and at some point you're standing there so long I don't know if any of you guys ever it's your knees hurt blood pools in your legs and it just itches it hurts it's like and as you're getting fresh in the corner and if your nose isn't touching the corner oh is that that still yeah yeah my mother would never have done that you're like you're just breathing your own breath back and Recycling your own stuff.
Oh, like, that's like the dune, like the suit.
Yep. You're breathing your own waste. Yeah, this is not just a poison container.
You are like living recycling.
And yeah, so my mother would never have done that. And I never experienced any punishments like that.

[2:14:31] So that, that's really conscious and you're staying there because here's the thing that was painted as like a good thing.
Like that, that was the, the gentler parenting.
It's just a timeout. Yeah. Right. It's not your spleen out. Right.
Yeah. Right. Well, at least you're not getting a whipping.
And did you, did you get that kind of controlled, like where it's a whole ritual?
Yeah. The take off the belts. Oh, absolutely.
Okay. Okay, so my mother would never do anything like that. She'd lash out, but it was no ritual involved.
It's interesting because, you know, you had a revulsion to it, Steph. Jared, you had a real draw to it. Oh, yes.
And for me, it sort of kind of glanced off. I was in my 20s, of course. I wasn't a kid when I came across it.
But for me, it was kind of in between the two.

[2:15:17] And also, the other thing is that I'm in a much more of a limited category or a much smaller category of parents who had a divorce divorce where the kids stay with the father oh very different perspective i have a different perspective on divorce and all this other stuff um or my mom you know if i've mentioned this before lived a mile away barely saw her as far as punishment abuse um you know verbal emotional, physical uh when i was very young um and by the time parents started fighting more with each other kind of got ignored uh i didn't have very many peers that i bonded with at all so i was very very isolated in that way.
Well, it'd be just as isolated because you can't have people over.
Yeah, well, you can't have people over.
We never had people over in our house. Never had kids. Never even adult friends of your parents? Your dad?

[2:16:05] I would say rarely, rarely did that. I mean, maybe when I was very, very young, when they would have the parties and then, you know, those things with my father, um, where they, my father made certain changes around his life.
They used to be, uh, substance abusers, um, at least alcohol for right now, for sure.
My father said i i think i'm an alcoholic and i think it was a chuck colson was the fellow that he identified with or read about back in the 80s was born again billy graham type area so started there and then he later became born again um so with him uh i would say with both my parents uh it was much more in the moment of wackia now they didn't go to the point of like like with your mom's stuff where you describe later on oh we'll just get some ice cream so it was much more grounded let's go to a movie yeah there wasn't like that for me it was much more uh you you get punished and home is just sucks there's no there's no fun there's no play.

[2:17:06] Even after the punishment's over it was just just never fun out okay never never i mean okay i'm not saying it was never like it was all dark but it was a it was like maybe a few points here and there but it wasn't like this flip of like like like i believed i was bad i also knew that my father was a liar like from when i was i'm very young so you had that double think right yeah kind of telling me i'm bad i am bad and he's a liar yeah yeah and my parents have i don't trust my parents for anything but yeah i can't do anything without so then doom would have been too consistent for you oh my god no because doom is consistently sadistic everything is violence everything is is resolved through violence or manipulation, mysticism, bullying. Yeah, I kind of had that split.

[2:17:48] So Dune would have tried to win one case or the other, and you had to have that ambivalence to survive. Sure.
I mean, you've known me for a long time. You're probably pretty consistent with how you've known me. Interesting.
Okay, good, good. Well, I'm curious how many people we're going to help, annoy, enrage, as usual.
Yeah. But I really do appreciate everyone's time and the work that we did into getting all this information was great.
And of course, slash donate to help out the show.
Like, share, subscribe.
Yeah. Absolutely. Share the ideas.
You better. If we're too spicy to share directly, just share the ideas.
That would be great. And I look forward to... Can't be too spicy. We all have the spice.
That's right it would be interesting to see what people think of with regards to this analysis because we if we really want to grit our teeth we'll do isaac asimov or marion zimmerman or all these other creaks what would also be interesting is at some point if we wanted to do like a lord of the rings and tolkien one right yeah looking into tolkien in his life because i think i remember reading in the last time we were in the car reading the biography it was pretty interesting and fun so is this is this just revenge like we ruined dune for you and now you want to, very fair alright well thanks everyone you understand I'm just being sadistic have a great afternoon look forward to your feedback bye.

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