by Rick Weaver (@rickjweaver1)
It’s hard to say if I’ve got my facts straight, but for the sake of the story, I believe the first time I met Good Willsmith -- Natalie Chami (aka TALsounds), Doug Kaplan (aka MrDougDoug) and Max Allison (aka Mukqs) -- we were in a Toyota Camry with Appalachian wildcat Zack Kouns behind the wheel, jamming Steely Dan for hours, parked in a freshly mowed meadow, at a festival, with the windows down, drinking tall hot cans of beer, wondering if the car battery would ever die.
I don’t remember the next time we crossed paths, but I feel like we have many times. Maybe that’s because I keep meticulous tabs on their online activity. Turns out, when Kaplan and Allison aren’t jamming in Good Willsmith or playing solo sets, they run a label called Hausu Mountain. Turns out, when they aren’t running Hausu Mountain, they’re posting memes, managing a clown, making insane art, getting certified in fields like baby psychology, collecting inflatables, going to a lot of festivals (some of which might be in freshly mowed meadows) and getting their dishwasher fixed.
And when they aren’t doing those things, I’m sure they are doing other things. Some of those other things they might have told me in the following phone interview from January, but I don’t remember. I don’t remember much these days. I’m always forgetting. And it’s all thanks to Hausu Mountain and their zones.
With them, it’s “zones this” and “zones that.” Anyone who is familiar with the label knows that Hausu Mountain is always talking zones. But what are these zones?
--[Disclosure: Hausu Mountain has released music by Rick Weaver and Form a Log (of which he is a member)] [The following interview has been abridged and edited]
Did the repairman, uh, did the repair fellow make it alright?
Doug Kaplan: They say they found the issue, but we’ll see. They’re running the dishwasher right now. And if it leaks again, I’m supposed to text Jose immediately.
Max Allison: Let’s cross our fingers for that one.
It’s the dishwasher?
Kaplan and Allison [in unison]: Yup.
Doug, you're the admin of that -- how long has that been going on, this online jam band group?
Kaplan: It’s called “Your Trip is Short!” which is a reference to a Phish song. We started that in 2015, I think. Started it with a couple of friends from here in Chicago, and some buddies who live in Boston, like Nick and Alaina who run that store Deep Thoughts. We just wanted a place for us noise-ish people to be able to talk about jam bands. It was kind of right around when the Grateful Dead 50th anniversary stuff was all going on. The anniversary was definitely a moment that caused a lot of renewed excitement.
This is a general jam and jam band tapestry?
Kaplan: To elaborate, so many of the internet discussions for the Grateful Dead and Phish are pretty bad. The forums suck. At least a long time ago, the Phish forums tended to be 4chan, alt-right places that truly sucked. We wanted to create a place where people aren’t acting like assholes like they are on the rest of the jam band internet and can just be friends. I think a lot of people have gotten into the bands because of the group being fun.
Who are all these assholes on the internet?
Allison: People in any subculture, regardless of whether it’s jam band or whatever, especially ones -- not to generalize -- geared towards young men, will often devolve into some kind of memey, troll-like mentality. This group Doug is talking about operates on the meme level, but with more benevolent, tongue-in-cheek, music-focused memes. Whereas, in the broader world of the internet, that might manifest as random racist bullshit, Pepe memes, who knows? There’s less of a filter, less of a vouching for your friends. Any old Joe can sign up and start posting bullshit. In Doug’s group, it’s more vetted, and everyone knows everyone. If somebody posted some shit like that, everyone would say why is this in this zone?
Are there more assholes online than face-to-face?
Kaplan: In the jam band world, there are these super buzzkill dweeby people that are pissed off, like, “Oh man, I can’t believe they played ‘Ocelot,’ I only like it when they play ‘David Bowie.’” A lot of it is gatekeeping-ish behavior, like, “You haven’t seen fifty shows? That means you can’t talk to me.” There’s a good amount of elitism in Phish and Dead subcultures, which I hate.
Allison: Hierarchical fanship, like, “I’m a better fan because of X and Y, and I know the band better because I’ve been to this many whatever.”
Kaplan: And that’s the opposite way of how – to zoom out a tiny bit – Max and I try to operate Hausu Mountain. We want it to be inviting. We don’t want it to have any gatekeeping. We don’t do things in limited edition. We want it to be as available and nice as possible, which is why I write the newsletters like a little brother would write them.
And with humor. Were y’all born laughing?
Allison: All our friends are naturally funny. We like to hang out with people that are nice, make us laugh, and enjoy fun. Looking at it from a record label perspective, even people that run labels that are composed of industrial, black-and-white art, and grim noise -- those people can also be extremely nice and fun. People can either choose to separate their personalities from the aesthetic of their label, or choose to not care, and let those fun and playful elements spill over into the label world. We would rather err on the side of psychedelic clown carnival weirdness, which can be both creepy and fun, you know.
Kaplan: Yea, we want people to come into the house. We don’t want the kids in the neighborhood to be afraid of the house. We want them to come in.
Like Hansel & Gretel.
Allison: Except all the children are dudes with beards.
Kaplan: And all the food is tapes.
Allison: Which are delicious, I guess.
Going back to gatekeeping, I don’t think I’d ever be ready to call myself an authority on the Dead. All those box sets…it’s overwhelming.
Allison: I feel the same way. I know it would take a lifetime to match the time that Doug has spent, like 10,000 hours, Malcolm Gladwell style. Doug, you’ve spent 10,000 hours caring about the Dead and Phish. I only listen to Phish or the Grateful Dead in the company of Doug. I allow Doug to be my personal gatekeeper. He lives in the world, and I live with him, near him…I have to hear it. I would never imagine listening to Phish in my spare time. But I have, now -- a lot – just by proxy.
Kaplan: And is it fun?
Allison: I don’t know. I’m honestly pretty neutral about it. Part of me despises Phish, but another part of me is, like, “Whatever. They’re okay. My friends like them.” And the only reason I would ever say that I “despise” them is because some of their music just doesn’t do it for me at all. I like the culture and the vibe more than I like the songs, which I think sounds like an uncle singing a song. It’s impossible to explain. It’s beyond dad rock.
Kind of want to ask for an impersonation.
Allison: Okay, let me see… “Huuuh, we’re bouncing around the room. Oh, starry skies blazing. Willlson!” With this musical theater element, and then it’ll stop and turn into the hokiest country bullshit. “Ah-da-da-da-ha-da-da-ah-da.”
I don't know I can't even do it, but also Trey's voice sounds exactly like he like talks. It sounds exactly like this dude Trey is talking to you in the same tone, every song, to me at least. Obviously, there are melodies where he sings different stuff, but it's just his approach is…it’s hard to explain. But then, there are moments, more prog-y moments, and it sounds like Yes, and that’s cool. I can accept that. At least I have Doug to be the one who listens to it all and tell me what I would like.
Doug, is this a part of your daily experience?
Kaplan: Yea, I would say so. Sometimes I'm more Dead heavy, sometimes I'm more Phish heavy. The last couple years I’ve been leaning more heavily toward Dead listening. I think I like the Grateful Dead more than Phish. They are objectively better, I think. But Phish has this personal history that connects my current life with my teenage life, and it's something that so many of my friends all around the country are into that like it almost feels like a sport. We’re keeping track of it like we’re watching our team, but our team always wins, because they’re not playing anyone.
Allison: There’s no competition.
How do they keep track, the bands?
Kaplan: It’s all fans. I was just showing Max this book that we have right in front of us called Deadbase. It’s a compendium of every known setlist, reviews of shows, tapes, how to trade tapes, tracklisting for all those tapes, Bob Weir solo setlists… Before the internet, people were keeping track of Grateful Dead stuff. Then, Phish kind of came up in this post-Dead era, when the Dead were starting to wane, and as Phish are coming up, this same sort of obsessive recording history that happened for the Dead is happening for Phish, because the precedent had been set.
Allison: And then on the internet too.
Kaplan: Yea, and then on the internet. Some of the earliest internet forums were these rec.music forums, and two of the first internet forums for music were Bob Dylan and the Dead. For both Phish and the Dead, it wasn’t until a little bit into the careers they realized that they had to have someone doing archiving for them. I know that the Grateful Dead archives now belong to the University of California at San Jose. After a certain point, they started taping the soundboard feed for most everything. Every taped soundboard thing is available on [Internet Archive], which is amazing.
One of the Dead’s early archivists was this dude named David Gans, who is still a pretty prominent figure in the Deadhead community. He hosts a weekly talk show on an XM station, and he hosts The Grateful Dead Hour, which has been nationally syndicated for some time. He was working in press and was writing about them so much, he convinced them subtly… Then the other early archivist of the Dead is Dick Latvala.
Kaplan: Yea, Dick of Dick’s Picks. Not dick pics. It’s very confusing. It’s like, are you talking about the Dead? Or are you talking about nice penises? Anyway, he came on in either late 80s, early 90s, I think. For a while, the Dead weren’t thinking about releasing full shows. They didn’t think that was a probable thing. Many of their live releases, like Europe ’72, for instance, have a ton of studio overdubs and cuts. A lot of the other ones were compiled over the course of a couple days, over a run. They were hesitant to show off their warts and bumps, which is what people tend to love about them the most now.
Allison: Within the structure of the enormous Dead fandom, I think that the lines blur very gradually between someone who’s made it their life and job to archive and follow the Dead and some of them who might be casual fans. So, along that spectrum someone might contribute to the fandom that is just a fan and isn’t spending, you know, 40 hours a week doing something. Then over time the roles change. Someone like David Gans now makes his money full-time from Dead scholarships, radio shows, books. In a way, the Dead as an institution has been a big enough culture for someone’s vacation to be their job.
Kaplan: Also, there are plenty of people who are making their whole livelihood selling hippie, Dead-related clothing, pins and artwork. There’s a huge fan infrastructure around bootleg merchandise that the Dead even tried to calm down at one point, but faced backlash, and they decided, “We have to let them do this.”
A beast bigger than them.
Kaplan: 100 percent. By the end of their run, there was no place big enough for them to play. They were selling out every single place they could play, and the parking lots were double the number of people they could fit in the stadium. Everywhere they went there was an impromptu city of people and an entire black market. Which I think led to a lot of stress and pain and led to Jerry’s death in a lot of ways.
Is there a code of conduct in the Deadhead community?
Kaplan: Definitely not. And the band was always adamant about not imposing rules or any political agenda onto anything, really.
Allison: For better or for worse.
Kaplan: You’ll find a lot of people who’ll say, “Oh yea, man, of course there’s a code, peace and love.” But honestly, I’ve seen more bad behavior at Dead-related and Phish shows then I’ve seen at [Insane Clown Posse]. 100 percent. I’ve seen ICP I guess four times, and the fan base is 100 percent better behaved than the hippies.
Allison: The instinct to “misbehave,” to some degree, is present in any big or small musical or art or show-based situation. It’s amplified of course in certain cultures. Thinking of this code-of-conduct vibe, there’s nothing particular you can apply to specific band shows or scenes. I think there’s more of an overarching thing that comes from your personality, right? Or the personality of the friends you bring to the show. It’s created by you, your scene.
What’s this bad behavior?
Kaplan: Of like, fans? Do you mean bad behavior from fellow fans?
I don’t know. I guess I’m Phishing for an anecdote.
Kaplan: Okay. Here’s one. I was doing a show in St. Louis. It was this Dead & Company show--
Allison: I was not there.
Kaplan: Yea, Max was not there. When we were walking out it kind of exited into this park area – and I have a big disdain for the nitrous oxide community that pops up at these shows, there’s basically all these people selling tanks full of nitrous and paying off cops, it’s kind of a mafioso sort of thing -- but what I saw, that really scarred me and made me feel bad for a long time, was this dude passed out on the ground with this balloon in his hand, deflated, and this kid, shaking his hand trying to wake him up.
Then we walked around the corner and saw this other freaky thing that freaked me out. There were these two dudes in dark hoodies, and each of them had their arm around a pretty drunk woman, a pretty young woman, decked in typical hippie fashion, anyway each one of these dudes had an arm around this woman, and then this van pulls up and this van opens up and its completely blacked out in there, blacker than black, like no light. And these dudes take this woman and run into the van. The door doesn’t close and the van’s going already. And that—
Allison: Wait, what?
Kaplan: --that just put me in a bad zone, seeing those two things subsequently.
How about a golden moment?
Kaplan: Okay, this is 2015, at a Phish show in Deer Creek, Indianapolis. We got to the show, we parked our car and we’re eating snacks. It’s kind of rainy, and we notice there’s this kid who’s there with his dad and some of his dad’s friends. The kid is really trying to get the dad’s attention, and he’s not getting the attention.
He’s wearing this big yellow poncho and I just happened to have this big yellow inflatable banana. I blow it up and give it to this kid and say, “Yo, dude, you can play with this banana all night, and at the end of the night you can decide to either put it on my car, the car next to your dads, or you can keep it –it’s totally your decision.” I took a picture of the kid with the banana, and he’s super stoked. He’s hitting things with it.
We go to the show. When we come back, the banana is on the hood of the car, with a thing of snacks, cookies and stuff, from the dad, and a note that had gotten kind of rainy, which said, “Thanks, I love banana.”
Allison: Doug has another inflatable banana story.
Kaplan: This is more of a trolling story.
Allison: That’s part of Doug’s life.
Kaplan: Yea I like to troll.
Allison: This is not internet trolling. Doug is more like talk-to-your-face-and-confuse-you troll. He’s a master of deception.
Kaplan: Yea, but to illuminate deeper truths? Question mark? Question mark?
Allison: Sure, to illuminate deeper truths.
Kaplan: So, I have another big inflatable banana. Different show. Same summer. In California, in San Diego. I am meeting up with my friends in a break between two sets. I’ve started talking to them, and I’m holding this banana.
This guy taps me on the shoulder, “Oh my god, are you the ‘banana guy’?” I said, “Yes. I’m the ‘banana guy.’”
“Dude, my mom is obsessed with you. She sees you on all the webcasts.”
And, like, to be clear, I bring all sorts of different inflatables to shows. I bring alien, banana, etc. I’m NOT the ‘banana guy.’ I’m one of many banana guys. I said, “Yea, dude, that’s me. I go to all the shows. I bring my banana. I always try to get right up to the front.”
“Dude, can you give me your email?”
“Yea, man. It’s ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’”
He writes it down on a piece of paper. “I’m gonna get in touch. I’m gonna give you video work. I’m gonna give you stuff to do.”
Damn, you might have missed an opportunity for some freelance work.
Allison: Freelance banana work.
Kaplan: I don’t know. I think I seized the opportunity totally. That guy, for twenty minutes, had met a celeb.
You have a collection of inflatables?
Allison: Doug’s got a lot.
Kaplan: Yea, I gotta good collection of inflatables. And also, before the summer tours, I’ll stock up on 12 packs. But of the ones I’ve kept around…there’s a big inflatable parrot, representing Jimmy Buffett. There’s a big inflatable dolphin, representing the Great Porpoise King. There’s a big inflatable eyeball, which representing the Residents, that I think I need to patch up a little bit.
Allison: Wasn’t there a big alien?
Kaplan: There is a big alien. I’ve had several small aliens that I’ve given away in the past.
What role does sex play in the Dead?
Kaplan: I don’t know. There was probably a lot of Bob Weir sex, and probably not a lot of Jerry sex. More like, Jerry in a heroin k-hole. He liked to watch TV and chain-smoke cigarettes until he fell asleep. As much as sex can be important in anyone’s life, it can be important in the life of the Grateful Dead, I guess, right? But that’s not really a focal point, other than just people often thinking about sex in general.
Bob Weir, lyrically, has some gross horny lyrics, like “Saint of Circumstance,” which is a song basically about, “Yea, I’m gonna have sex with you tonight because we’re both here.”
Allison: Like some romantic tied-by-fate thing, are together at a show or something…
Kaplan: “New Minglewood Blues,” also, with lines like, “A couple shots of whisky / These woman here sure do look good.” A lot of weird…Bob Weir’s the gross one. He’s the one that gets real sexy and gross.
I wonder if he’s thinking about sex when he’s up on stage.
Kaplan: He wore short shorts through most of the 80s, so if he was thinking about sex, it would show.
Ummm…What are these zones?
Kaplan and Allison [laughing]
Allison: What are these zones?
Kaplan: What are these zones? Any geographic or non-geographic location or feeling.
Allison: I would say that what we like to do a lot is kind of imbue a certain arbitrary idea, which has a lot of hilarious meaning, for no reason really. So, it's like, if you have to ask, “What is zones?” it has no concrete meaning and it's not something that we would want to explain. It's more like this kind of randomly charged word in our lives just because we say it.
I remember when I was growing up – okay, so this is a random anecdote -- I was obsessed with System of a Down when I was like 12 or 11. My friend Evan and I were onto the lore of the songs, which we didn't know anything about. We were just theorizing bullshit. But there was a song called “36” and we were like, “Oh man, ‘36.’ Sick. ‘36,’ what does it mean? I don't know, dude, like ‘36.’”
Then, there's this other friend Dave who was like, “Dude, what does ‘36’ mean?” We're like, “I don't know dude. You feel me bro? ’36.’”
It was probably our version of 420, years before we knew what that was. But it was just the fact that someone else wanted to know about it charged it with this random meaning, even though we ourselves didn’t give a shit and it meant nothing. So that's kind of like the vibe I think about it, you know--
Kaplan: I give a shit about zones.
Allison: I mean, I give a shit about zones too. The word “zones” is tattooed on my body. It's not that I give a shit about it in a way that I would want to unpack its meaning, you know. If you think that zones means spacey, trippy shit, then that's what it is. That's what it is.
Kaplan: I will say that part of zones is--
Kaplan and Allison [in unison]: --forgetting.
Kaplan: That is a very important lesson about zones.
Allison: One thing that Doug has coined that is true is that zones is about forgetting.
Allison: Forgetting. Like, forgetting a memory.
Allison: I guess it could be about forgiving too. Forgiving and forgetting. It could be interpreted in any number of ways. Like, forgetting, letting go of your baggage. Or just literally forgetting facts or conversations or occurrences. It's kind of like not sweating the small stuff or whatever. It's about forgetting. If you want to shed it away from your life, just forget it.
Kaplan: Zones definitely relates to time and part of time is forgetting.
Do you feel like that's a natural place to go, forgetting, or is it necessary, a decompression thing?
Allison: I don't know if it’s that natural for many people. Some people can't forget anything, for good and for bad. Some people find determination in not forgetting something, in allowing something that they remember, a memory of a person or an event, to drive them, and that's great. We all do that.
Kaplan: It's both.
Allison: Yeah, it's both. It's remembering and forgetting. But oftentimes, people might not be able to forget as easily as they can remember. It might not seem like a necessary or logical idea to be able to forget something because –
Kaplan: --it's just not a bad thing to both accidentally or intentionally forget, and that's a part of [zones].
Earlier today I was trying to think of some zones, but they are generally positive, right? I was thinking up ones like Panic Zone.
Kaplan: No, only positive zones for sure. Although there can be a brand of zones that is dark and still positive. Like, there's dark, ecstatic music like Radiator Greys.
What did you call that zone -- the Radiator Greys zone – or was that part of a batch, or a zone or what?
Allison: Oh man, that’s a hard question. We definitely forgot.
Kaplan: It came out…what did it come out alongside? I think it came out…here, one second, I’m gonna check.
Allison: Yea, he’s gonna check. I'll try to remember too. I think it was like Radiator Greys and…oh man, Doug's investigating. One second. He has a computer right here.
Kaplan: Oh yea. It came out with Davey Harms and Bangbros.
Allison: Oh, that was a good batch. All Eastern seaboard bros. Davey Harms, Bangbros and Josh [Levi, Radiator Greys]. What was the name of the batch? It should have a name.
Kaplan: I deleted them from the page. I don’t remember the name, but--
Allison: The name is lost to history. We'll never know. I think that the naming of batches of music is also a really hilarious process, just trying to choose like the dumbest names we can think of.
Kaplan: Things like, Cool Guys! Fun Time! Wow! Wow!
Allison: It's like poking fun at the idea of even marketing something as a batch. Would someone care if it was called Cool Vibes? Would it get them to want to buy it? Definitely not. So that's kind of the angle usually. The next one’s called the Rumble Pack batch or is it just a Rumble Pack?
Kaplan: It's the Rumble Pack.
Allison: And the imagery that I made for it is a Nintendo 64 Rumble Pak.
Kaplan: So, I’m just going to the page here, and here is a list of some past batches. Cool Zones. Nice Vibes. Narf Guzz – I think that was the one that Josh was on.
Allison: Oh yea, Narf Guzz, yea.
Kaplan: Pure Zone. WTF…lol.
Allison: Oh, Pure Zone, well, that’s a nice zone.
Kaplan: Back to School. And then other ones we just didn’t name. That's all I got here.
Allison: So, you know, it's really about reverse marketing, turning off our potential buyers. Oh, the Bad Boys Bad Boys.
Kaplan: The Bad Boys Bad Boys batch.
Allison: The Bad Boys Bad Boys batch. That was another good one.
Do you have a notebook where you write down potential ideas?
Allison: No. We just text each other about it, 10 minutes before we have to decide what they’re named.
What's up with that clown, uh, what was that called, the clown…?
Kaplan: The Clown Man? He hibernates during the winter because he lives in a cave, but he'll be back in the spring for some performances. He hasn’t really considered recording anything, because it's more so meant for the kids at the library, more than for anyone else.
Allison: Doug is speaking right now as Clown Man’s representative. He can't understand everything the Clown Man does.
Kaplan: And since he’s in the cave right now for the winter hibernating, I'm not even be able to talk to him until late February at the earliest.
Allison: Very specific timeline here.
Kaplan: I’m sure he’ll be back.
Is this something he does every year?
Allison: I think the first Clown Man performance was probably like 2013 or 2014 maybe?
Kaplan: I don’t remember.
How did you meet the Clown Man?
Kaplan: The first I met him was in the forest. He took me into his cave. He was planning on eating me, but I offered him a deal he couldn't turn down. Now we’re business partners. He's really tough to work with.
Why is he difficult to work with?
Kaplan: He’s just very emotional, and he’s always at 10. It's either like 10-happy or 10-sad. And trying to get him to have a good time is nearly impossible. He also takes up all my energy. He takes up so much energy. It’s exhausting, to be honest.
What do you think of the evil clown pranks that have been going on the past couple years?
Allison: I think he's pretty hilarious that it happened and then it stopped, and nobody talked about it anymore. Like, “Okay. That happened.”
Kaplan: Last year, there was a serious incident where the clown portal opened allowing many clowns to come through. But then, once the moon reset, the clown portal closes, and then the sightings go down, and then people forget naturally, because people don't want to really engage with what clowns actually are, which are this kind of transdimensional being which is inhuman, entirely.
How are they transdimensional?
Kaplan: They come through the clown portal when it opens every eight years. Usually they have to leave but--
And then they go back in the portal?
Kaplan: They go back in the portal, usually.
Allison: Not always.
Kaplan: Not always. Some of them stay.
What's on the other side of the portal?
Kaplan: It's basically, I mean, they're in our world, but it's a different dimension. So, it's laid pretty similarly to our world, but it’s populated entirely by clowns.
Allison: And it’s got clown-like elements.
Kaplan: Yea, I mean, they have different dietary needs and whatnot.
What are those needs?
Kaplan: Raw meat.
Allison: No. No. Not always.
Kaplan: I'm just speculating here. All this through-the-clown-portal talk is purely speculative. We only know what's happening here.
Allison: Doug does have a doctorate in clown studies, so he might know better than others.
Kaplan: It’s true.
Allison: Doug is also a certified baby psychologist.
Kaplan: It's true.
Allison: Yea, baby psychology, for sure.
Kaplan: That was a hard one.
Is this a speculative fiction or, how much is based on experience?
Allison: It’s speculative fact.
Kaplan: I go by the philosophy of, if I say it, then it's real, as long as it’s not hurting anyone.
Allison: It's self-realization, you know.
That's how ideas work. That always frustrates me, how somebody says something, and it just sticks with the human race forever. Just some bad idea to begin with, so why does it still come up hundreds of years later?
Allison: Because people…they just make the same mistakes.
Kaplan: Like, why do they always make them read “The Grapes of Wrath”? Why do we all have to read that book?
I haven’t read it. I was assigned it, but I don’t think I read it.
Kaplan: Here’s the summary, “It is dusty. It is dusty.”
The human brain…maybe this is a little bit misanthropic, but I was looking at my dog, thinking that she's just so sweet and innocent. All these other mammals are just so sweet. Then you look at humans, honestly, we might be on the wrong side of the stock market crash.
Allison: Dogs are really sweet for sure. But of course, they're domesticated to be that way over thousands of years of conditioning.
Kaplan: We forced them to be our slaves.
Allison: Or more like our baubles that just sit there and poop. I love dogs so much though, so I can only applaud their existence.
Armadillos are cute though too and they're like they have leprosy and all kinds of diseases, but you see an armadillo and you say, “That is so adorable.” Or a bear. A bear is cute.
Allison: I find most animals to be pretty cute. You know this fact that everyone's banding around now? That elephants think that humans are cute in the same way that humans think that dogs are cute. They say that the elephant's brain has the same trigger when they see us as when we see a cute little fluffy bunny. I think that's really funny because like we're really grotesque looking.
We might be their pets.
Kaplan: I’m surprised that elephants don’t just want to kill the hell out of us. I'm surprised they haven’t evolved like, “Look at that human. That thing is going to try to cut off my tusk. I want to destroy that motherfucker.” If I were an elephant, I would kill humans right away.
Allison: Right? humans have done nothing but terrorize elephants.
Kaplan: If I were an elephant, I would genocide the humans.
Allison: The only elephants that live in human society are still used as pack animals or for riding… I guess, obviously that's important for those human cultures, but from the elephant perspective it's like “Yeah. Kill all the humans.”
Kaplan: If I were any non-dog non-cat non-house-fish animal, I would, at this point, be all about banding together to genocide the humans.
Allison: Totally, because the humans are fucking everything up for sure.
Kaplan: I like a lot of humans a lot. But if I were an animal, I would genocide them.
Allison: Yea. From the perspective of animals, we are pro-genocide of all humans to save the earth and animals and plants.
Kaplan: Especially dolphins.
Allison: Definitely a controversial opinion...
What about rainbowfish?
Allison: Yea, save ‘em, dude.
Kaplan: Save the rainbowfish. Genocide the humans.
But who's gonna take care of the farm when you're gone?
Kaplan: The robots.
Allison: The robots are gonna take care of the farm when we’re gone.