Though I don't typically do
interviews, and would prefer to distribute my ideas quietly to those who
might appreciate them, I did do a few interviews shortly after the
publication of my first book. Here's a list of some of them, and a
transcript of one.
December 15th 2003- Guest on the Jim Chapman Live television show in Ontario Canada. Transcript
December 15th 2003- Guest on the YoungTurks radio show nationwide
November 27th 2003- Guest for the full hour on the Barry Farber show- Nationwide to more than 65 stations.
JIM CHAPMAN: You know when
I was writing my book a couple of years ago a literary agent told me that a
catchy title is half the battle; if you can grab people’s attention with
what’s on the cover of your book, you’re half way there to getting them to
buying it and taking it home and hopefully read and absorb what’s inside.
Well imagine how intrigued I was by the title of the book written by our
next guest “The Answers to All the World’s Problems”.
. .Covers a lot of ground doesn’t it . .. BRAZENHUBRIS is the author
and he joins us tonight on Jim Chapman live. BRAZENHUBRIS it’s nice to have
you on the program.
BRAZENHUBRIS:span style="mso-spacerun: yes">
Hi Jim- I appreciate you having me on the show.
JIM CHAPMAN: Now there are
… I want to say right off the top for our viewers so they understand this
that your book is . . is . . written by an American to a particularly
American audience but I believe there are a lot of universal themes in the
book, and I want to start with one of the themes that recurs constantly
throughout the book and that is the prevalence of lies in our culture and
how we have allowed them to distort our view of ourselves, of the other
people in our societies, and of other societies. You keep coming back to
that theme over and over and over again, on how much . . how many lies we
are bombarded with in our daily lives.
Well that’s exactly right, it comes in the form, in my book as I
discuss it, of television advertising. One of the major points that I think
is very unique to the book is the concept that I introduced that “there is
no such thing as a human experience that is not drug related”. So, I don’t
differentiate, for example, from any drug that you might take, such as
marijuana or heroin, and a television commercial. That might seem absurd to
somebody, but if you think about it all of those… everything that you
experience through all of your senses occurs in chemical reactions, and
changes the chemical makeup of your brain. The question that is left for me
is “whose” right is it to determine what your chemical makeup is?”
Now how .how would a,
could you explain for our viewers how does a television commercial alter the
chemical makeup of your brain?
Well you’re watching TV, the rods and cones are stimulated in your
eyes, that introduces. . .causes neurotransmitters to fire. Those are
chemical reactions, it changes your chemical makeup.
You mentioned in the book, you talk in the book too about the tremendous
impact that television has on children …
…because they do. . . they have not yet developed the …some of the
discriminatory methods that adults have to separate truth from lies, that
after a certain period as you say in the book, certain period
as adults we tend to distrust a lot
of what we see. We tend to recognize lies as what they are, at least some of
them but the children don’t have those defenses
No, you essentially . . . you receive information and you store it if
you’re a child, if you’re that young . . . but as you get older, all the
information that you receive, you compare it with former information, and
that alters the way you view that information.
Now I’ll come right out and say it: Everything, in my view, that’s
currently blamed on drugs in terms of manipulating values and causing people
to violate rights, etc. is … actually deserves to be blamed in large part on
the effects of television advertising. And my view is that, at least in the
United States we have contract law which says that when you enter into a
contract- for example if you purchase drugs or if you watch television- you
have to understand what you’re getting. And my view is that television
advertisers and those who broadcast television advertisements have not lived
up to their end of the bargain under basic contract law. And the other side
of that coin is that I don’t believe …that At least in the United States we
have, we have as our first right in our Bill of Rights that “Congress shall
make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”. It’s my view that our
drug laws … Prohibition of drugs in the United States is a direct violation
of that because there’s no causal relationship between a person’s choice to
use drugs and that person’s inability to meet his responsibility to society.
Now I know from reading the book that that the connections between
the television and the issues of drug use you make those connections very
clearly but I’m sure there are still viewers tonight
who are a little perplexed on how you get from contract law on
television to drug policy.
Well I already made the point at the beginning of the show that I
can’t differentiate between one drug- for example a television commercial
and another drug- for example heroine.
You know, in this country we have our big talk show host Rush
Limbaugh- he, by his own admission has been addicted to what the medical
establishment here calls “synthetic heroine” for the last five years, and
yet his ability to perform his job has earned him a contract worth hundreds
of millions of dollars; And I had a similar experience, from the time I was
16 until the time I was 25, I don’t think it’s possible to use more
marijuana than I did during that period of time, but when I graduated from
college I made the highest grade in the university, [on the state objective
examination] better than 97% of graduating seniors [nation wide] so , by our
government’s own standard I proved that my drug use- my choice to use drugs-
did not keep me from achieving
goals. But if you look at the kind
of drugs we’re talking about- television commercials verses
marijuana or those kinds of things-
The drugs on the right hand side- the marijuana or heroin- they don’t
have any ability to manipulate your values, whereas television commercials-
that set of drugs- they do so as a practice.
Now you make the point in the book, that the government- and its the
same situation here in Canada- that the government restricts certain things
that are able to see on television;
put limits on what television can show, and you say
implid then that they’re telling us that what we
can see is believable, because we’re not seeing that bad stuff
BRAZENHUBRIS: That’s right,
that’s why I believe, and one of the major points that I make in the book is
that cigarette adds should never have been taken off of television nor
should have alcohol or any other types of ad, whether by consent decree or
by whatever means they were [banned], because when you do that
you imply by the reverse that what is left is good for human
consumption or that it in someway has the seal of approval of the government
for human consumption. What I’m saying is that television never should have
been put forth as something that that purports to have a respectable set of
values. It’s an extension of human communication, and that’s all it should
JIM CHAPMAN: So, you
talking the book too about the contract between individuals, between
individuals and the government and individuals and advertisers for example.
And you say that in a nutshell that people should be free to advertise
anything they choose to ad, provided that they give a clear warning or a
clear statement of the potential hazards of using the product, am I getting
Well that’s not precisely the way; when there’s a television station
for example, it’s the responsibility of the person who broadcasts that
television commercial. There should be periodic warnings- just like there is
a warning on a pack of cigarettes- you understand what you’re getting into.
The government should be able to say something to the effect of “We
understand that television is a medium of free expression, but we offer that
not all of this expression is designed in your best interest and it’s your
responsibility to choose wisely”. People should hear that message, even
children; It should be something
that’s pervasive in society. I have no problem living in a world that
is full of warnings, what I do have a problem with is living in a world
where what free people can choose to do is governed by what irresponsible
people choose to do.
JIM CHAPMAN: You talk in
the book about some of the results of irresponsibility about in terms of
prisons and the role of prisons in society; some very provocative things to
say- about rehabilitation for example- you don’t think that should be the
role of prisons.
Rehabilitation is not the role of government. That’s my view. In my view if
you’ve committed a crime your right to liberty should be taken away in the
mode that is the most cost effective; the absolute cheapest cost to the tax
payer that is humanely possible- and just as a hint that does not include
televisions and free education and all of these things that are
proliferating in the United states right now.
JIM CHAPMAN: What about
these people who say well you know we have to try to rehabilitate these
people and give them some life skills and give them some training so that
when they leave prison they can reintegrate successfully into society.
BRAZENHUBRIS: Well, that’s
why we have a capitalist society or at least in the United States we now
have a pseudo-capitalist society- we’re trying to head in the right
direction. No person should be able to say that they don’t have
opportunities to learn. With the internet and computers, the free
interchange of ideas is everywhere. You can’t say they don’t have
opportunities to learn, and if you read further in the book you’ll
understand that I don’t believe in the concept of public education.
JIM CHAPMAN: Well you say
in the book in fact that public ed is almost a con in terms, because we, you
refer to education as “it” and you ask the question “even if we decided who
was going to teach “it”, what is “it” going to be?
BRAZENHUBRIS: We’ll that’s
exactly right. The problem is that people are individuals, and as
individuals we don’t react with linearity to our environment regarding what
compels us to succeed in our endeavors. Some people are going to be driven
by their adversity to achieve great success and other people are going to be
lulled by the comforts provided by their parents or their government into
behaviors that reduce the probability of their financial independence. It’s
a socialist idea that somebody knows what’s best for all of us and can
determine the best set of circumstances for each person.
JIM CHAPMAN: What about the
argument that again the socialists sometimes make that there are some among
us who simply are not capable of making the best decisions for themselves
and they need our help, what do you say to those people?
BRAZENHUBRIS: Well I would
say that one of our founders, Thomas Jefferson, said in his first inaugural
address that “Sometimes it’s said that man cannot be trusted with the
government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of
others?” Now that’s a hell of a question.
Is there an answer for it?
The answer is “NO”, if he cannot be trusted with the responsibility
of himself then he cannot be trusted with the government of others; And of
course what that means in the converse is that he can and must be trusted
with the responsibility to govern himself [if we are to accept government]
JIM CHAPMAN: Your book was
originally published in the 1990s, and has received a wide circulation since
then. Now what kind of feedback do you get from people, are you on the
enemies list of any of the socialist organizations, I mean do they come
after you on any kind of regular basis:
BRAZENHUBRIS Well not yet.
One of the curious things; I think one of the very interesting things about
the book is that I wrote it in 1994,
and just kind of sat there and watched TV analysts and everyone try
to solve these problems, and finally just last year; the year before last
now actually the book was published and so it hasn’t really been out there
long enough and I’ve just started promoting now so I haven’t received a
whole lot of feedback; some positive some negative though.
JIM CHAPMAN: How can people
get a copy of it up in Canada here can we get it at Amazon.com here for
example or a website?
BRAZENHUBRIS: You can go to
your favorite bookstore and ask for it, I do ask that anyone interested go
to my website whybilloreillyiswrong.com and you can read the forum there,
you can log on, read some of my arguments and get more input as to what the
book is about, and maybe even make some arguments of your own on the forum.
Well I must tell you I was very-
not only was the title provocative, the book was very provocative and
I spent some very interesting hours reading and mulling over the things you
have to say it’s been a pleasure talking to tonight and I hope we have a
chance to do it again.
Well I certainly appreciate you having me on, thanks.
Take care, thank you sir.
That’s BRAZENHUBRIS. His book is called. The Answers to All the
World’s Problems. Now I’m going to tell you I said earlier that he describes
himself as the most intelligent man in the world, and I’m not kidding he
does say that but I suspect with his tongue in his cheek a little bit, [ks
note- I actually refer to myself as the “wisest person on the planet” and
detail the difference between knowledge, intellect, and wisdom in the book]
and the book can be a little tough
going at times. I think actually, no offense to Kenny, it could be half the
length that it is without suffering at all, but it is one of those books
that I just couldn’t stay away from. I’d read a chapter and I’d think about
what he had to say and I’d think “gee I’m not sure about that” and I’d put
it down and come back a couple of days later and I’d read another chapter
and go “well yeah, I kind of like this one” come back and I found my self
re-reading chapters and-
Whether you agree with him
or not he has some very provocative things to say- and not needlessly
provocative- not just for the sake to say “hey people buy the book”. He has
some very provocative things to say about the fundamental things we believe,
not just in the United States but in Canada too, so if you’re looking for a
bit of a mental challenge and you want to take or get a fresh look at lot of
the major problems of our age it’s a most interesting book.
It’s called The Answers to All the
World’s Problems by BRAZENHUBRIS, and you can certainly as he said get it at
your local bookstore, if they don’t have it in stock ask them to order it