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The Sweet Tea Shakespeare Hours After Hours Throwback Edition | Punishment Culture/Rate My Sandwich

In this previously aired After Hours segment, Rob and Jeremy discuss punishment in America and review an Arby’s sandwich. Trigger warning included for prison rape mention, pedophilia mention, and sexual assault mention. Political views expressed are that of the individuals speaking.

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The show is produced by Claire Martin and Jeremy Fiebig and edited by Ashanti Bennett.

Jen Pommerenke and Julie Schaefer also assisted with this episode.

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This project is supported by the Arts Council in part by contributions from businesses and individuals, and through grants from the City of Fayetteville, Cumberland County and the North Carolina  Arts  Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural  Resources.

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1

00:01:06
Welcome to the Sweet Tea Shakespeare After Hours where we offer you in depth conversations, insider insights, and a sneak peek behind the scenes. Hello, sir. Are you today? I’m okay. Are you, you know,

0

00:01:29
We went and did some, where did you call exercising? I’ve taught a class. That’s been to spin it spin. Okay. Right. Alright. How about, you know, a I’m fine. I’ve got some, a work that I’m been procrastinating on. We need to focus in on. So I’m hoping that that gets done today. A sit down and do some writing stuff I’ve gotta get done.

0

00:01:59
So fingers crossed, I’m sitting in front of a computer now, so that’s like halfway there, right? A it’s halfway there are going to help you to procrastinate is worse than to answer that question. A bit of a way to get my mind rolling and then roll on into the next thing. That’s that’s the plan anyway. Well, got a few of different things to talk about today.

0

00:02:30
Jeremy the first one that we sort of hit on. How did we come to talking about this actually is about a America is culture of Punishment. I think it was a Facebook comment to you on something I posted is yeah. This idea of a, that Americans in particular, but it is probably broader than are very attached to, to punishment, to the idea of a punishment.

0

00:03:09
And it seems to cross sort of all sectors of our society. And, you know, I, I, and in some ways is a problematic and strange and at odds with, ah, our goals, I really that’s my thesis, but we need to dig into this idea that we live in a very punitive Culture and a punitive moment.

2

00:03:33
Yeah. So yeah, I’m, I’m this touches, but is not what we’re going to talk about. I think touches on, but is not the same as in my mind, cancel Culture sure. Although a D but I think their, a Venn diagram w with some overlap edge, umm, of course the, the recent developments in cancel Culture have to do with JK Rowling, who we’ve talked about and some authors at Harper’s magazine and others is a co-signers on, on a letter that came out of the summer about Council Culture and ah, this is not really about that.

2

00:04:17
That’s not really, this is not really it, but, but to say what Council Council Culture is sort of like, ah, there’s a version of it that does feel punitive. And, and so there may be some overlap there, but I just want it to name that I’m not out here complaining one direction or the other back Council Culture I’m really, Tea, we’re really talking about the punitive nature of, of our culture as a whole.

0

00:04:44
Well, you know, cancel Culture is the authority issue like a question of whether it actually exists or not is in a debate a and what exactly it means and how it’s a applied in whether it’s correctly labeled when people are talking about it, all of that. Yes. Stipulated. We are not specifically talking about that, but you know, the idea of canceled Culture of being cancelled for having done something inappropriate. When we talk about cancellation, we can figure out what that means.

0

00:05:15
But yeah, it is a Punishment right. The idea of being punished now, or, or it could be now some people I suppose, would say in response to that, now this is simply about, you know, consequences, accountability. Yeah. People being accountable and people should be held responsible for the things that they do. You know, a lot of what people label is canceled Culture others would just simply say, that’s the market working the way that it’s supposed to.

0

00:05:48
The irony of that, being that right now at this particular moment, the people who complained the loudest about cancel Culture in our society generally tend to be conservative. And a, the big charge there is that people who are complaining about cancel Culture are really just complaining about the market working. You know, for instance, if there are companies are or what not that choose to disassociate themselves with somebody who are disconnects the relationship, that’s a market mechanisms.

0

00:06:23
That’s somebody saying I don’t want too, you know, I wanted to appeal to the most people possible and keep my business afloat. And so therefore I can no longer deal with this person in that the people who were warning about that are really being hypocritical or in many cases, because their often supposedly pre-market advocates, but cancer Culture is one thing. I mean, they’re, there are.

0

00:06:53
And in some ways, you know, the idea of the left being sort of the main punishers of people is that somewhat is, or it has been like this counter-intuitive idea, you know, umm, in, in the culture or at least in my liberal people, the idea that the right four that people in this country like the right quote on quote, really a loves the idea of Punishment is almost so obvious when that need to, you know, that doesn’t even need to mention it with which we almost did in this situation.

0

00:07:34
Like a, you know, I’m if we want to look for manifestations, I mean, Punishment, you know, the, the president of the United States and just about everything that he says and does is looking to punish somebody that was his primary means of whatever, but you know, between that and the idea of cancelled Culture broadly, I think what prompted the initial comment that he made on Facebook about this is that it’s a, it’s a broadly held impulse in our society, the impulse to punish people and the idea that that is an effective way to okay, what you want to affect change.

0

00:08:21
And I’m just very skeptical of that.

2

00:08:24
Yeah, me too. A and it makes me think, so the places I’m drawn to in this, you know, I mean they’re, there are sort of macro societal things in terms of Punishment and I think it’s, I think Punishment is, is in part how we frame elections. I’m Think that’s what, what sort of dirty politics is, is, is sort of using negative ads, say to punish your opponent, sometimes you’re punishing them for their past.

2

00:08:56
Sometimes you’re punishing them for their associations. Sometimes you’re punishing them for their, for their preferences or whatever. But I think so politics is one area. Certainly the way we deal with, with a war defense is a biz punitive. The way we deal with policing, which brings us back to this whole summer. But we were coming out of is, is punitive. I mean, like we look back at Portland, we look back at, at the interaction between police and, and citizens.

2

00:09:31
There are some Punishment going on there. I think our criminal justice system is also about Punishment. I mean, a not to put, to find a point on it, but we’re not, we don’t generally talk about say rehabilitation or reconciliation when we’re dealing with those things. I’m not saying it’s not there. I’m saying that the default is, Punishment not a say a restorative justice has a different model.

2

00:10:02
Right,

0

00:10:02
Right. And, and that that’s a good place to really dig it because you’re right. America in particular are our orientation to prison. And the justice system really is punitive. A really is about punishing people more than it is, as you say, rehabilitative or, or a restorative in their systems that our, that, you know, they exist in the world. A lot of them in Europe, Scandinavian countries in particular tend to take that approach.

0

00:10:37
And I mean, the one thing that you can say there is that those cultures, like even on a per capita basis, they have a much lower incidence of a violence in, you know, horrendous things that theoretically, you know, the justice system is intending to a way to address. I it’s a human impulse, you know, too, to punish Ann for there to be consequences, levied on behavior that is wrong and that’s not inappropriate necessarily, but there is this, you know what, when we talk about Punishment, I suppose we should find terms it’s C idea of enacting should a vengeance or a, you know, or making somebody suffer for the specific intent of, you know, that serving a purpose and, and of itself to, to either change a behavior or simply because it is fair that someone suffer, you know, then this question of whether it Punishment changes behavior, I’m skeptical of that.

0

00:11:57
I don’t think it’s a great way of shaping people’s actions. I, you know, that there can be a degree to which that, you know, the threat of suffering holds people back from certain actions and a also can be a teaching tool to keep them away from it. I grant that, but in the long run, if that’s like the only thing that you’re using, I don’t think that it ends up ultimately being effective.

0

00:12:28
And that, that is something that we’re really invested in. Yeah.

2

00:12:31
Yeah. Culture yeah. And, and a, another way of sort of extending that terminology is for me, and this is where it becomes problematic is that it’s, it’s a, it inflicts trauma, if it is an intentional and fact inflicting of trauma in, and for me, as we learn more and more about sort of the effects of trauma across a person’s life across generations.

2

00:13:02
I mean, that’s why, why I think it’s so troubling for me is like, regarding a sort of almost regardless of whether it’s merited and it lowers, there is a whole debate there about that can be had about, you know, I, for an I, or what’s a, what’s a reasonable response to this, you know, prison term or whatever it is, but the, the idea that society would choose to inflict more trauma as a, as a way of resolving prior trauma is a, is the part of that troubles me.

2

00:13:40
Yeah. And, and, and the, for me, this, this goes from some of those sort of foundational things like criminal justice or a politics or something like that, because it, it, it also in fact, but a sort of interpersonal lives and communication and a, and then of course, because we have it in our interpersonal lives and relationships and families and offices and coworkers and things like that, because it’s they’re to it, it feeds those other things above it in, in those systems.

2

00:14:14
So it’s like this, this thing, that’s, you know, the, to use the overuse term, it’s this a vicious circle where things are, are feeding on each other and it it’s, it’s our, it’s our, it’s sort of what we’re built on at this point.

0

00:14:37
Well, and it, yeah, that’s right. I, I think that’s true. I mean, w we don’t want to overgeneralize it from situation to situation. It’s not as if every in every arena of this works exactly the same way as a, sometimes you do need sort of zero in on a specific context you’re talking about, so a not to oversimplify, but a, I think that what you’re talking about does create a general orientation that ends up seeping into, you know, many different aspects of our lives.

0

00:15:16
You know, the Political, I think his, a place for this is particularly problematic. They feel like the, the punitive impulse exists in politics to a large degree on, on all sides of our different political debates. You know, umm, you can look at the election for instance, and of Donald Trump as primarily a punitive at all.

0

00:15:48
In fact, you know, I’ve said this before, but a, the thing about, about Trump that is interesting as a phenomenon is that he’s not great at sort of giving his voters the things that the Political ends that they want. Mmm. In a way that is unique to him, which is to say this like any Republican who ran in 2016 could have, okay.

0

00:16:30
The political ends that Donald Trump has accomplished would have given them the legislation that they liked, that they have gotten, for instance, the economic legislation that was largely spearheaded by Paul Ryan, when he was speaker of the house, he, they would, he, any Republican would have, you know, allowed they’re to be the court appointments that have been so important to Republican voters, you know, in, in having him there.

0

00:17:04
And then I, it, as an open, there are some issues on which Donald Trump is sort of unique, I suppose, within the Republican party on a certain economic issues that he has sort of pursued, but not pursued a specially. Well, you know what I mean? Like the, the anti sort of that I’m going somewhere with this, this, this is the, this is going to land. I promised a, you know, the, the, a, the economic things that we were sort of heterodox in, in his, ah, you know, pitch two Republicans he’s pursued them, but he, hadn’t got a great job of effecting in change with them.

0

00:17:49
And then on all the other issues, he’s, he’s in the, and on the issues that I mentioned, he’s largely been more, you know, damaging to his cause than any of the other options that were on tables for Republicans, for an event. And really every case, because he’s, he’s a terrible politician and he’s, I’m not good at getting things done unless a, and so it all doesn’t make sense unless none of that was actually the point, unless the primary reason to why Kim is because he will make people suffer that you don’t like.

0

00:18:37
And then,

2

00:18:38
Well, that’s my entire theory about, about that election was that it was a, it was, it was a, Punishment a against Obama and against anyone who are aligned with him. Yeah. Or a correction and, and more than, and actually more than any sort of issue. That’s what I, I sort of read the Trump presidency as his, as an, a punitive reversal of the Obama.

0

00:19:04
It’s the only way that you could, that it makes it because otherwise you’re on the people who voted for them yet to say they were illogical and stupid. And let’s assume that that’s not the case that he actually was giving them something. They want. The only thing he brought to the table, the only thing he brought to the table was his not just willingness, but his stated intention to punish people who make his voters angry, because every other Republican would of done a better job on every other issue that is supposedly important to them, every single one of them.

0

00:19:46
And, you know, what accomplished the political ends more effectively. The only thing that Trump does is he hurts people. And my big problem with that, aside from the obvious one, which is, ah, you know, the obvious reasons why that’s bad it is, is that it’s, it’s not setting aside the fact that it’s tomorrow saying this side of the fact that I think it’s scary and discussing and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

0

00:20:24
So also not effective as a way of moving through life and trying to get the things that you want, you know, is premised on this idea that you punched somebody in the face and that they will disappear after you punched them a video game character, or that they will simply cease to exist. And that’s just not how it works.

2

00:20:53
Or, and this is, this is in terms of my own experience in, on the interpersonal level, it’s both a punch to make someone disappear, but I think more frequently, especially on an interpersonal stuff, its a punch to make someone you and him. And I’m like, The the fight is, is, is about that kind of annihilation that you’re talking about.

2

00:21:23
But it’s, it’s ultimately about getting that person to come agree completely with you. So you do not have to move in any way or at any give no quarter, give no ground to any other perspective.

0

00:21:41
Well, what do you mean? How would, how would that w so you think that the intention there is to, to force them to agree?

2

00:21:51
Ah, it’s a, it’s a sort of manipulation.

0

00:21:56
Yeah, right. Sure. I think you’re right. It, it, but, but it’s a bad idea.

2

00:22:03
It’s a bad idea. But, but, but in terms of, so, so I do think Trump’s, Trump’s sort of approach is to sort of wipe people out and invalidate what it, whoever that is. If it’s John Lewis, if it’s John McCain both on their deathbeds, it’s sort of to unright their story. Right. But I think there’s a version of that, that that’s that’s Mmm, that’s a bit more like, as we see in the political divide and elsewhere as like that other perspective is completely wrong.

2

00:22:40
And in order for this relationship to work, that that person or group is, is essentially needs to redeem themselves to me and my perspective,

0

00:22:53
Which is never going to happen. That’s the thing it’s like through constant application of force, you can affect the changes that you want, you know, a punitive force, you, you can in the short term, but you know, w what that will require his either a, you know, the constant application of force from then on, at increasing levels in order to tamp people down, or are you have to kill everybody who doesn’t agree with you, you know, it, it is not a recipe for a peaceful, you know, it, it is inherently un-American if we consider the idea of America is being sort of, Oh yeah.

0

00:23:46
Not as practices, I think not as practice, but as far as a conceptual thing, do you know what I mean? Yeah, sure. You know, obviously America quote unquote writ large fall short of its ideals, but those ideals do mean something, it gets an orientation by which people, you know, choose to at least make their goals or, or, or, you know, try to pursue this, this idea that it’s fundamentally at odds with sort of the goals that we say we believe in, in this country, that, that, that is a meaningful distinction, right?

0

00:24:37
As opposed to se the Russian model, which it does not share the same underlying values and therefore, you know, a more sort of constant, like a punitive, a way of behaving is, is acceptable and understood to be non-controversial in a way that theoretically is here. And that’s a thing is they might, my biggest fear about Donald Trump when he was elected, was that it was an a, you know, a punitive action.

0

00:25:21
And that’s going to have a commensurate reaction. People will respond to that. And if we’re all going too, you know, are quarters at the time, you know, if we’re waging war against each other in this really openly hostile way, that’s gonna to ignite similarly sort of angry and punitive responses on the other side, just by definition. And that is happening.

0

00:25:53
You know, we, we spend all this time, I’m talking about Trump, it’s a dicier proposition for people who are probably speaking to lend themselves with the lab to a point out the areas in which that may be an impulse that exists. There are two, but it does to a certain degree. And what’s frustrating about it is it is off. It, it is in response to actual injustice. You know what I’m saying?

0

00:26:23
Like this is the real problem to my mind of, of this sort of dynamic. You have an actual problems that need to be addressed and injustices that need to be addressed and finding a way to do it that, you know, holds people appropriately accountable. And it solves the problems ahead of you without also ruining you. Yes.

2

00:26:49
Well, what you’re saying is exactly it it’s, it’s the, the, the, in the troubling part is when we confuse justice. And Punishment because there are, I believe there is such a thing as justice. There is such a thing as accountability, and it needs to be in place in a society and in families and in organizations and in movements and in schools and businesses and everything.

2

00:27:19
You’ve got to have it, it’s healthy. What it is really is a conversation, right? That’s what it really is. You hurt me, let’s meet this out. And if we need a third party to help us decide what that is, or if it’s serious enough that, that we have to a sort of short circuit, the revenge cycle and kick it up to the state to help make us those, help us make those decisions. That’s right. I think those things are right, at least from an, from an idea perspective, but, but we are so often like crossover, and I’m gonna use a real, I’m going to use an example that is dangerous, and I’m going to its extreme as you can get, I think, okay, you don’t have to, if you don’t want, well, okay, well now I’m scared,

3

00:28:11
But like

2

00:28:13
I’m thinking about the different few justice and prison rape is the difference between maybe a reasonable prison sentence and the idea that someone deserves to be raped when they’re there.

0

00:28:25
Yeah. That is a good at that. That is a good example. Like the idea of prison rape as being baked into people’s understanding of what is appropriate as, you know, a thing to experience when you get to sent to jail. Yeah. That is,

2

00:28:40
That would just add while we, while we’re, while we were in, in the area of, of dark material, like the way we think about punishing pedophilia moves from like, yes, there is a reasonable response here to let’s castrate and pull off genitalia and, and whatever else. And it’s tied to the prison rape thing to do that. To me,

0

00:29:07
It is, I mean, this August very thorny, because we’re talking about issues that in general, you know, appropriately and understandably create these strong visceral responses from people. And

2

00:29:21
Well, what I’m going to say is that those strong visceral responses are primed, but in the area of sale, like a pedophile or in certain other areas like a mass murderer or a serial killer of some sort like that, the, the, the deal is in those, we’re actually letting out those sort of inhibitions

0

00:29:42
There. And we’re sort of allowed to do it because the crimes are extreme, but actually we’re already like built up with those things about the guy who cuts off a cuts us off in traffic and the, our political opponents and our person that we don’t get along with in the office. We are like, we have those like, like primed emotional responses in like, they, they, they are permitted to spill out on some of those darker things and, you know, they are, or, I mean, that’s the thing.

0

00:30:12
Yes, that is true.

1

00:30:16
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1

00:30:48
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0

00:31:01
The thing about the question of pursuing justice as well. I think it comes down to the question of what is it that we’re trying to accomplish here? What do you walk? And it’s like, do you want a society, a civil society that functions, and, you know, being dispassionate in and applying justice is sometimes the best way to do to accomplish that.

0

00:31:34
But then also you have to, you know, also allow for people the reality of people’s emotional responses to these charged and, you know, horrendous things that they might happen and given an outlet for that is reasonable as well. I, this is the issue here. I think we’re talking about something that really requires thought and nuance and care.

0

00:32:09
And we are in a moment in our society where people are really thrown those things to the wind and where, you know, being measured or careful is not something anybody’s particularly interested in being right now, for reasons I understand. And an empathetic too, in many, many cases, I know that that’s the problem, right? Like in the case of, of,

2

00:32:40
Of these, the, the protests over the last several weeks on the basis of racial justice, I’m like, I get it. Of course I’ll get as much as other people, but I get it. You know what I mean?

0

00:32:53
No, but yes, this is the big danger though, is it’s particularly in the moments when they’re our actual grievances that, you know, are valid when this thing stands, the greatest possibility of going off the rails. So I guess this thing, I mean, is a society generally speaking, and also our ability to restrain the passionate impulse, to inflict pain on people who we don’t like, you know, ah, this is, this is the issue.

0

00:33:34
Umm, I understand why people who are riding on the streets are rioting in the streets, understand that. Umm, and we spoke about this in prior discussions on the same podcast, you know, Firebase for me to tell somebody what that, that they don’t ever write to their Anchor, but what is true and what people need to grapple with, if they’re going to take that position is the things that make them angry.

0

00:34:21
Aren’t the same things to make up people angry. And if you’re going to suggest that this sort of a response is inappropriate way to respond, then you have to be willing to tolerate that from other people. And nobody is willing to do that.

2

00:34:44
No, we’re wired not to. It’s like a it’s it’s sort of like we’re competing or, or a, there’s a kind of a cyclical sort of building up of defensiveness. You know what I mean? Like you have a defensive response, I have a defensive response, you have a stronger defensive response. I have a stronger defensive response and its a kind of weakening have the whole structure of way people are,

0

00:35:12
It was to work. And the only thing that CA the, the only thing that ultimately someone you can fall back on as an argument for why it’s okay for them and not for the other person is, but I’m right. That’s all it comes down too. And setting aside the question of whether somebody’s is actually right, are not, that is no way to keep, you know, a diverse society rowing.

0

00:35:45
It’s just not possible. And the thing that bothers me the most about this sort of impulse at this moment in our history is nobody seems to be grappling with the actual reality that we do live in a diverse society in America, in which people disagree about what is and is not right and good, separate, and apart from the question of what actually is right and good, we need to acknowledge that people have different ideas about that.

0

00:36:19
And the only thing that can keep a society like that functioning, if we have certain ground rules for what is, and isn’t appropriate in terms of how we’re going to deal with with litigating those differences and the impulse to inflict maximal pain on people for disagreeing is not a valid way to administrate a country like this.

0

00:36:58
It just isn’t and it won’t work. I mean 700 part from the questions of whether it’s moral or whether it’s good, it’s just not gonna work.

2

00:37:10
It actually, I think stepping away from the questions of whether it’s moral or a good is part of the secret, do you know what I mean? Like you have to do some, I’m not saying you should detach on the issue of Nazis, but, but you have two, the detachment is actually not about the Nazi issue as you’re saying, but about the, the fact that are here,

0

00:37:31
Dealing with people here. Right. And Nazi’s is, you know, obviously a, a, an extreme example, but it’s, it’s useful one to point out. Obviously there has to be a moment when things, the work that there is a bridge too far. Right? Right. Obviously you can’t respond to Adolf Hitler in the third Reich and you know, say, well, you know, let’s talk this out and let’s find an agreement.

0

00:38:01
Then we also live with you, you know, perhaps your allowed to continue your terrible Patriot of Jewish people. A if we just stick them into a corner, but you won’t put the ring gas chambers, you know, and I also, the problems is the problem of dealing with, of dealing with like an evil that is so profound that the only reasonable response to it is too, you know, aggressively respond to them.

0

00:38:35
The big problem that we have in our country right now is that people on both sides of this debate, both sides, what a stupid way of talking about this people on, you know, of all various stripes across the political spectrum in this country, feel like the other side is the Nazis right now. And that that’s, I don’t think that’s true.

2

00:39:08
Well, and, and, and just to, just to, to, to get it off the Nazi example for a minute, I do think it is instructive

0

00:39:17
A few off of me because it is, it’s a, let me just finish. I know I’m cutting it out, but it’s instructive because everyone agrees Nazi’s are too terrible to tolerate. And at this moment everybody sees Nazi’s in their opponent. Yup. Okay. Where are you?

2

00:39:34
Well, what I was going to say is is that, you know, SI this breakdown along and say men and women or certain communities versus other communities, I’m, you can break it down a racial lens. You can break down on, on the lines of queerness versus a cisgender. Uhh, you can, you can break it down on lots of different issues, a, a wealth versus non wealth and, and the, the danger of course of not allowing any anger or any justice, is that it protects the things that are in power, right?

2

00:40:18
That’s the criticism here is that it protects the things that are in power. And so of course we need anger as a way of pushing against and providing pressure against those things so that they erode in the right ways. And so that the, the imbalances are made it to balance. That’s what justice is. That’s why she’s got two scales going like this, right? It’s a, it’s a, it’s it tinkering, it’s a Teeter tottering.

2

00:40:51
And there is a difference between that, between dealing with systems, dealing with societal problems, dealing with major movements on, on any side and inflicting personal trauma, like anger is aloud. And we want to anger. Anger is what got, got us a civil rights movement in the voting rights movement. All of us, we want that, but there’s a difference between that.

2

00:41:23
And I must punish my opponent, not get us to a place of equity or, or whatever that is. It’s it, that’s the difference we are talking about here. Right? Where it’s, it, it moves from, we need to address, I dunno what it is like the glass ceiling in corporate America, but we’re going to, we’re going to prosecute it, litigate it in such a way that this specific person, whoever it is suffers trauma because of it.

2

00:41:58
Right. That’s where it crosses into some, some stuff for me. And I am fully willing to admit that I’m saying some troubling things here. Well, I mean to implicate, you know, but like a misbehaving CEO, I’m a misbehaving, a politician I’m like in whether the response is just like losing your job or punitive, like losing your job. You know what I mean? Because the outcomes could be the same, but one is Punishment and what is just

0

00:42:30
Right. I mean, the other, the other side of this though, is, you know, it’s one thing to say, I often have this impulse to say, well, the difference between a Punishment are that is Justin Punishment, that’s just revenge. His, whether you find it emotionally satisfying and enjoyable to inflict it. And if you do then perhaps you shouldn’t be in a position to be doing that. And there’s something wrong with it. I I’ll pull that out periodically as a, as a thing.

0

00:43:02
I think now here’s the problem with that though, you know, to say to the sexual assault survivor that they should take no. Mmm. That they should take no pleasure in the a, you know, Punishment have the person who raped them that I don’t know that that’s right. And I don’t know that it’s like psychologically correct. Like that might be something restorative in some way to feel is that the scales have been, write it, write to say to somebody who is the victim of profound, you know, specific racial racism.

0

00:43:47
And even though, you know, a, a systemic racism, that’s been propagated by a certain people that to see somebody, her, it like, you know, wincing when the scales get set, correct. You know, right. Who are you to say that that’s not a reasonable or appropriate response that that’s not a needed restorative two, the trauma that that person has experienced, that’s the, the alternate argument.

0

00:44:22
And it’s a hard one to, to grapple with, except, except for This. Everybody feels justified in punishing what they see as really terrible evil. And, and it is not my place to tell somebody, you don’t have a right to feel good about the execution, for instance, so that the person who murdered your child or raped your kid, or, you know, enact in some horrendous racial injustice on you.

0

00:45:10
I can’t get there, but I can say this as somebody who has enjoyed the suffering of people who did bad things and deserve to be punished part to me, it’s, there’s a cost to that. And it hurts here. And one of the things, you know, and there’s no good answers here, there probably aren’t.

0

00:45:44
We live in a world in which, you know, the idea of justice writ large or right or wrong may very well be fantasies, things that don’t actually exist. But I do know this, that enjoying the pain of other people, ruins you as a person makes you worse.

0

00:46:15
And the people who seem to get out of it better and tend to be happier are the ones who are in fact able to learn to forgive, or at least not. Or if not, forgive, not feel a raffle impulse to hurt. Afterwards. Forgiveness is a tricky question. Maybe everybody doesn’t feel comfortable talking about forgiving somebody, but you will be better off if you can go through your life without wanting to hurt somebody for the things that they did wrong, that imposes a cost on people.

0

00:47:04
And it imposes a cost on societies. And we’d all be healthier if we could move forward without carrying the burden of wanting to see somebody else suffer, because that is a burden and it is a toxic won and it ruins people. And I think that, you know, that’s, that’s the issue we are dealing with right now.

0

00:47:42
People are, you know, participating in their own warping in their own, you know, a toxifying and it got to have a terrible, terrible repercussions on our society. That’s how I think. I don’t know. Yeah. I think you’re right. I do. I agree with you that a, that, that forgiveness, his is a tricky, is a tricky issue here because I’m, because it, it, it, it can take on a quality sometimes for some people of like excusing inexcusable behavior, right?

0

00:48:22
So I’m, I’m with you there. But like, I do think, I think your point hits home, which is, this is the Punishment is costing you a and E or the individual, right? Yeah. If you take on that mentality in that, that, that nature, I think that’s right on. And it creates a cycle that either ends with somebody coming to a place where they can let that go, or eventually just murdering the people who they can’t forgive.

0

00:48:56
I mean, and I worry that our, the trajectory we’re on in America right now, his is one where we all start murdering each other. It’s like, and if you don’t want that to happen, then sooner or later, some sort of reckoning along the lines of learning, how not to walk, to make people suffer is what you’re going to have to do a, so anyway,

1

00:49:28
If you enjoy the work of Sweet Tea Shakespeare, you can find us all over the socials were on Facebook. We have a special secret Facebook community group that we’d love for you to join. We are also on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, you name it, we’re on it. So join us, click In give us a, like, leave us a review. And we look forward to connecting with you and all of those places, if you’d like to contact us, please email hours@sweetteashakespeare.com. That’s H O U R s@sweetteashakespeare.com

0

00:49:59
Stuff to talk about sandwiches. Yeah. Let’s talk about sandwiches. So a while back Jeremy and I, and starting it out on a project. This was back in 2015, but we decided we were going to rate the relative merits of various different kinds of fast food and sandwiches, the worst kind of food available to us suddenly at this moment, when a fine dining restaurants are not available to us, we’re really good food is in shorter or a more difficult to access supply than it has been previous to us.

0

00:50:35
These a fast food establishment suddenly become very, very, a potentially important if you want to pick up something to eat. And the relative merits of the various sandwiches are suddenly worth weighing. Now, I must say in the years, since we first began on this project and then abandoned it for various reasons, there’s very popular podcasts that exists now called doughboys. That’s about rating, fast food or a chain restaurants.

0

00:51:11
And a, I would just say the things that we’re going to write here, if that happened before then we are not jumping out on a bandwagon, but we are also coming from a different perspective. A and we figured we’d started. So I will begin by reading the introduction that we wrote out initially for, for this. And then Jeremy, and I will read our individual ratings and reviews of the first Sandwich place in question that will be addressing and a will make this a regular secret here.

0

00:51:45
So the introduction legend has it that on November 3rd and 1760 to John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich is playing a late night card game when he became hungry. So avidly engaged was his Lordship in his enterprise that he refused to leave the table to sate his hunger. And so he instructed one of his man service to bring him a piece of meat, but to place it in between two slices of bread so that he could hold and consume it without smearing his cards with grease. One can imagine him holding court proudly explaining the mechanics of his clever invention to a raft audience of fellow party, attendees, John mountain.

0

00:52:18
You have the Earl of Sandwich. You see the meeting’s is logged in between the pieces of bread <inaudible> and buy this device. I can partake at my leisure of putting it down and taking it up again as it is my water and all without hitting mass on nuisance, say for an errand, a crumb, which I might easily dispose of with a click of my hand. Like, so the, the assigning of a credit for an invention or discovery is often a capricious, an unfair thing to television. For example, Mike and has been attributed to at least three different people over the years, David Smirnoff <inaudible> and John Logie, Baird, all With claims that rise and fall, depending on how one defines the word in bent and television, and what facts from the historical record when chooses to privilege minimized or a disregarded entirely, it is therefore ironic that credit for the Sandwich and invention is a remarkable simplicity requiring far less expertise Send construction than a television show.

0

00:53:07
It was entirely uncontested. Now, of course, Lord Montagu could not possibly have been the first person to put meat in between two, because there’s a bread. And yet through whatever, a mix of fake publicity, a historical happenstance in self promotion on the tail of IRL of sandwiches, Epicurean, ingenuity spread far and wide throughout the English speaking world, until his became synonymous with putting something in between two pieces of bread for the purpose of Sandwich is a broad categorization. And yet the one with specific limits occupying a tremendous swath of culinary real estate that extends from peanut butter and jelly to a chicken Parmesan from pulled pork too.

0

00:53:41
And crest got to be fair, not so far as to include euros or our tacos is also arguably the most wildly consumed type of food. And America at the very least, there is not another type of food for which there has been as many establishments, primarily devoted to providing them to the public built countless sandwiches, dispenser Sandwich dispensary’s dot are a great nation, offering a bewildering range of options, all buying for the opportunity to take your money and satisfy your hunger. How does one choose with the myriad of possibilities available, which is best it’s frustrating in the question and what was that answer and tell now we have decided to it post some order on the Earl of sandwich is untamed progeny and answered the question of how best to spend one Sandwich one, Sandwich a dollar.

0

00:54:27
Of course we can’t evaluate on that, the sandwiches, and it would be following you to try within a certain range. We plan to operate a useful and self-serving evaluation of the low to mid range of options available to consumers across the United States. And our ground rules are as follows. We will only be considering sandwiches from fast and casual eateries in keeping with the informal spirit of the Earl of sandwiches, original a late night and mention, we have decided to exclude full service restaurants. Sandwich is in this survey are ordered at a counter or drive through window and generally delivered without the aid of a great person.

0

00:55:00
Also in the spirit of the Earl’s first endeavor, we are looking for the presence of grace. Paul has a thing to be avoided on one spying cards and a thing to be enjoyed in one’s fat mouth. The establishes mints that we have, we will be considering must have a presence throughout the country with a few specific exceptions in the disrespect. We are well served by where we live Fayetteville, North Carolina and Los Angeles, California, which means that by definition, the places we are looking exist, at least to some extent nationwide, we will be evaluating 20 sandwiches from 20 different establishes establishments divided into five groups of four.

0

00:55:34
These groupings are as follows a chain burgers, more chain burgers, Italian subs, deli, and bird’s the sandwiches. Yeah, well, we scored and a winner we’ll be declared with in each category after which are the winners from the five categories will be competing against each other for local Sandwich supremacy and the right to sit upon the iron plait. A victory sandwiches will be scored according to the following criteria flavor. Okay. The 10 points, mouthfeel, five points that joining the produced three points bred at three points, meet five points, joining sauce.

0

00:56:07
It does. And condiments zero to three points. Sandwich aesthetic the five points. Well it’s complimentary items. Two points, contextual sleeves, negative three to three points. Appraisal of costs, zero to five points. Personalities nigh unto the Sandwich negative three to three points. And the nature of the sandwiches lingering in the memory. Negative three to three points for a total possible points of 50 judges scores will be combined with accumulated and possible score of 100 points.

0

00:56:40
So with that, having been said, let us begin with our appraisal of our first Sandwich. That would be the Arby’s classic roast beef from RBS Jeremy. Where did you share with us your scores and your review?

2

00:56:57
Here are my scores for flavor three points, mouthfeel, two points adjoining produce one point bread, two points, meet two points, joining sauces and condiments three points. Sandwich aesthetic three points, complimentary items, two points, contextual sleaze, minus one, appraisal of the cost, three points personalities night until the Sandwich minus to nature of the sandwiches lingering in the memory zero for a total of 18 points, total

0

00:57:32
Keene out of 50,

2

00:57:33
The 18 out of 50, which is not great. And I’m going to talk about that. Here’s the thing Arby’s like a few other of the restaurants in our competition has a real chance at what I’m calling Sandwich authenticity. My memories of Arby stretched back into my childhood. I want to feel nostalgic about those experiences, Arby’s restaurants or their kitchen cowboy hat logos, and they’re ceramic brick floors. And they, you know, Brown colors everywhere. Make it a, a real child have the late 1970s and eighties.

2

00:58:05
One that could speak well to me in my 30, almost 40 something needed to recall the past, but here’s the thing The, Arby, Sandwich never does something about RBS is stuck in the past, not the pleasant past of nostalgia. More like the uncomfortable past of, I don’t know, Margaret Thatcher, a fast food by the way of specialty Sandwich approach is rarely satisfying. Say for their short stint, about a decade ago in market fresh sandwiches, like chicken salad, the classic roast beef has the typical heated up metallic taste of an Arby’s beef product.

2

00:58:43
Twice as much bread as is necessary and feels like no one behind the sandwich made an effort. The Bunn is so tall, overwhelming, and greasy only John Travolta is a reasonable comparison. On the night I ordered the classic beef combo with curly fries, an and a diet soda. I waited the 13 minutes for my food and the drive-through was barely greeted. When my food is ready, it was nearly thrown at me by an unhelpful and unhappy attendant.

2

00:59:14
Kill it. OK. You’re a teacher,

0

00:59:17
The assessment, my tick flavor, five points, mouthfeel, two points adjoining produce one point bread, one point meat, three points. The joining sauces and condiments three point Sandwich is static. One point complimentary items, zero contextual sleeves, minus one, appraisal of the cost for personalities nigh unto the Sandwich three. The nature of the Sandwich is lingering in the memory zero for a total of 22 out of 50 points.

0

00:59:54
And my review look Arby is gross, but sometimes Grosz is what you want. I came to the table with low grade humorous contempt for RVs in Fargo. It’s a joke I hide. And you got an is all over me. The place is apparently named after someone named Arby. Let me interject here as well. It has since a writing this initially to come to my attention, that RBS is in fact, a roast beef Arby roast beef. Arby took me a long time to figure this out, but it seemed to me that it was a name Arby, which is hilarious.

0

01:00:31
All of its, just to say, I went in with low expectations and was surprised to find them slightly exceeded. Aside from the Sandwich itself. My user experience was not bad, quick and efficient drive through service by a capable staff member, no complaints. This was a fairly new and clean RVs, which only served to point out of how old fashioned it looked Arby’s. The aesthetic seems to of been established at some point in the eighties and never really addressed again. How to describe that book is harder to pinpoint other than to say old earth tone and vaguely Western Sandwich is basically a pile of thinly sliced beef sheets.

0

01:01:09
Tell me I’m Rob on a weird onion. Flecked been part of American Western part Jewish deli it as an art, the combination not actively off putting, but is that exactly enticing? The either as to eating the Sandwich yes, the meat is overly processed and uniformly salty. Also its texture. When you bite into it as sort of gelatinous from an objective perspective, these are not positive attributes, but I didn’t hate it. And under a certain time, the circumstances I could see myself craving it again.

0

01:01:43
I’m not proud of myself. For the most part, the bond is nothing special, but I did like the onion flex on the top. They were surprisingly flavorful and popped in a satisfying way. When I bit into them, condiments are where RBS really shines the horsey sauce, horseradish sauce with the mandate is like consistency is something special, bolder than you would expect from a fast food restaurant. It mixes particularly well with the tangy Arby’s sauce, their house, barbecue sauce. I tend to feel like produce doesn’t do much for Sandwich.

0

01:02:13
So I appreciated the fact that they dispensed with it entirely the soda and curly fries, yuck added nothing to the experience at all. No points awarded value for money was not bad, but that’s not necessarily saying much all. And all of the Sandwich was frankly, and a sort of embarrassingly more satisfying than I expected it to be, but they regret factor afterwords is high. So Arby’s

2

01:02:41
Arby’s I agree with you on the condiments. I’m right there with you. It’s nice. There are great. They make the experience for sure. This is

0

01:02:51
Arby is like a real silver bullet. A they have really specific and a surprisingly like strongly flavor profile are a condiments that horsey sauce is a real Walnut for what you would get at, you know, at any other fast food place and their barbecue sauce. They are already sauce is, you know, a real distinctive umm, and it gives them a special sort of edge in a funny place that they occupy.

2

01:03:24
Yeah. It’s, it’s, it’s real interesting. I mean, I, I sort of track, I’m interested in what brands do and an Arby’s brand in, in the last sort of few years sort of switched to being sort of neat forward, which I think is a really interesting, interesting, and it could be a productive way for them to, to move, but, but like there it’s, it’s gotta be good. Do you know what I mean?

0

01:03:51
Yeah. Well, and good is obviously relative when we were talking about food at this price point and you know, level, but yeah, it’s a strong branding idea.

2

01:04:03
Yeah. And I would like, I guess what I would say is that unlike some other things we’re going to taste in our competition, you’re not really thinking about the product exactly. When you’re thinking about Arby’s you, you, you know what I mean? Whereas like with, and I don’t want to give away too much, but when you think about a Chick-Filet or are you think about, umm, the recent sort of flare up with whatever it is, Popeye’s chicken sandwich, you’re thinking about the product as a, as a sort of frontline thing and the meat as it were, and Arby’s is not a place where I, I think your thinking of the meat first, maybe thinking of something else and you might like it.

2

01:04:50
I don’t know, but you’re probably thinking of it.

0

01:04:53
Right, right. I mean the, well, I think it is funny because like when we broke these a number of years ago, first is reviews day. It was before The, we’ve got the meats, a ad campaign, which they’re currently, you know, running with RVs and have been per a few years now. And I, that was speaking to an issue that sort of, we, we did mention it in here, which is like what what’s, what is, Arby’s exactly.

0

01:05:26
What’s the thing with Arby. So it’s hard to, hard to know we’ve got the meats really does contextualize it and make it, I make it clear. So, I mean, I don’t know. You’re probably, probably right. Like it’s like, I want meat, let’s go to Arby but it’s not inaccurate. You know, it is the sort of thing that they, they do. It’s like meat sandwiches, that’s their thing. And you know, you wouldn’t say meat sandwiches is burger King or McDonald’s things their hamburgers or MacDonald’s is like at an array of a few different things.

0

01:06:04
Like, is it savvy its’ and it does bring the cohesiveness to they’re a brand identity. Also those commercials are pretty funny too, which is always good when somebody can do something sort of clever a and, and so I do think that there’s something effective about that. The other thing about RV’s is, you know, as I’ve alluded to its like they are a weirdly craveable and they are their food, their sandwiches.

0

01:06:34
And part of that I know is because they have been like carefully, you know, cultivated in a lab to be so, you know, the, the end that there is something slightly off putting and an upsetting or there should be, if you think about it by the fact that like there’s this weird consistency to every bite of, you know, whatever it is that you’re getting, it’s like meat shouldn’t necessarily be quite that uniform.

0

01:07:06
And yet it is. And in that way, sort of fulfills one of the primary functions of junk food, which is like a, wow, this thing is not good for me. I don’t care. That’s a, that’s where Arby is lands for me ad their use of cheese sauce. It’s just so disgusting. It’s like, you know, the, the super den beef sheets slathered in hot cheese size. And yet sometimes if you’re in a horribly, like, I don’t know, super depressed or a sort of realistic place, that is exactly what you’re looking for.

0

01:07:52
Right.

2

01:07:53
I’m S so for me, this came up in, in our reviews a little bit. I mean, the difference between an Arby is low score and another Sandwich might receive a higher score is in part the environment in the aesthetic. And that sort of the The the experience of shall we say customer delight. And if my suspicion is if as a, as a business, they invested a bit more on the customer delight thing, as we have seen McDonalds do in recent years, they did not always have mastery over that.

2

01:08:27
But as we see a McDonald’s do, as we know a Chick-fil-A does, and in a few other places we’ll talk about, I think that can really shift. And I think it would, it, it would, it would, that alone would sorta by them a bigger market share actually

0

01:08:42
Yeah. Presentation counts for a lot. That is definitely true. Or not just presentation of the food, but also, you know, the assessment

2

01:08:48
Restaurant right. Of the staff, all of that, that stuff. Yeah.

0

01:08:52
No, it’s true. As they say, you eat with your eyes first and then eat with your mouth. Cause that, you know, one does inform the other to a large extent

2

01:09:03
In that. And so my criticism there would be there, their restaurant experience needs to match like that, the savviness and the sharpness and the cheekiness of their, of their national branding. Yeah,

0

01:09:15
Yeah, no, you’re right. Which, yeah, you’re absolutely right, because that has been very much on point, I think for them in the last few years, but hasn’t been accompanied by a commensurate response in the actual physical locations. Where did you do to continue to be oddly sort of amorphous in their, in their brand identity? It’s like, what did, what is this, where are we shooting for a year? And it’s not,

2

01:09:43
We want to say something that well, so the, the Arby is that I have here is not like super old, but it does feel a little worn, but it’s not in a bad area. It’s, it’s all of all, that’s fine. But like the, the, the thing about many of these restaurants that we’re walking into for this thing is when you walk in, do you feel grease under your feet? And I mean that on a literal level, because those fryers like create aerosol from the things that they are frying you and, and the, the mops that are popping back behind the counter, uhm, in back of house are mopping the same floors in front of house.

2

01:10:25
And so in a, in a, in an Arby’s and a Hardee’s in a few other places like that, you can walk in and you will feel the grease on the tile floor. It’s sometimes that can be good. And sometimes it can be not good. Like I would want it when I talk about Sandwich authenticity, like I might want to in a place that’s like the real place, you know, the, the, the, the guy Jimmy’s back, they’re behind the sandwich counter, and that’s what he’s doing, you know, or a chicken fried chicken joint or something like that, but in an RBS, which is which to me needs to have a corporate feel and doesn’t, yeah, that’s, that’s, it, it’s a real, it’s a real test of where are you?

0

01:11:08
It was not attended to like, if I was going to do, you know, something for RVs, like a real sort of rebranding, aesthetically, I would, you know, rip out everything they have and make it look like it’s a butcher counter, like when you’re walking out to it. And that that’s The, you know, which, you know, if you’re, and then if you’re sitting down an eating and they’re, you are talking about clean metallic surfaces, you’re talking about like, you know, the dining room needs to feel pristine. The whole thing needs to feel bright and you know, we’ve got the meat.

0

01:11:43
So its like that, that’s a very different aesthetic from the sort of, you know, a morphous 1970 slash eighties, you know, again, vaguely Western for no reason. That makes much sense except you know, cows, I guess sort of branding. So you turned it into a, you know, up on your counter, like a deck like that kind of a bit, but not like a Delhi per say it’s, you know, I’m like, you’re going too.

0

01:12:15
Yeah. I dunno. A butcher like that would be where I would would I would rebrand with us if it was made. So Arby is you’re out, there are a, you should hire for us to fix, you are going to take the check and we’ll help you out. Absolutely. Well, this has been the first of our Sandwich review’s this is a segment where we will return two in the future. I believe that the next one that we have on deck is Carl’s jr.

0

01:12:47
Carl’s jr. So we’ll be talking about their, a thick burger, a Hardee’s if you’re an Eastern Carl’s jr. Or Hardy’s if you’re a Hardy’s, if you’re gonna the Eastern, the South part of our country. So yeah. That’ll be on the table next time we do this, whatever that is. So, all right. Well thank you all for joining us as always reach out to us on hours@sweetteashakespeare.com. If you have anything to say, if you have nothing to say, send us an email anyway and say something nice.

0

01:13:23
We loved to hear it. All right. All right. All right, Todd top for now. Thanks folks. Bye. Bye.

1

01:13:34
You’ve been listening to the Sweet Tea Shakespeare After Hours thanks for joining us and for being a patron of Sweet Tea Shakespeare catch you next time.