Nine years ago today, Ray Harris and I started our podcast about Julius Caesar. Every month since then (that’s 108 months and roughly 400 hour long episodes in case you’re wondering), we’ve told stories about the Julio-Claudians (aka the Caesars – Julius, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero) in insane detail. And today – it ends. We have published the last episode of Nero and that’s the end of the line for this series. We’ve officially hung up our togas.
I didn’t know Ray from a bar of soap when we started nine years ago… and I still don’t. And don’t care to. Kidding. He’s been a joy to work with over nine years and we continue to work together on our series about the Cold War, the Renaissance, and the Bullshit Filter.
This series has been the hardest I’ve ever worked on anything. It taught me a whole new way of working. For many years, I would spend all day working on my ‘real’ job, and then at night, after dinner, I would sit down with my books and make notes for several hours a night (usually from about 8pm – midnight). I’d do that five nights a week, then record the next day, take a couple of nights off, and then start the process all over again. FOR YEARS and YEARS. It was only when I could afford to shut down my day job that I could work less in the evenings and do more of it during the daytime.
Fortunately, I loved the work, and Ray and I had a ton of fun doing it. We’ve learned a lot, we’ve laughed, we’ve loved… we’ve travelled across Europe and the USA, Ray’s been to Australia with his family… it’s been a wild ride. And it consumed up nearly a fifth of my life. It’s the longest “job” I’ve ever had…. sitting in my undies, making Ray wet his pants.
Thanks to everyone who has been on the journey with us, especially to those who have supported us financially. We couldn’t have kept it going without you. And thanks to our spouses, who don’t LISTEN to the show (thank god), but allowed us to do work on it, despite it seeming like the greatest waste of time and energy for many years.
On this week’s Cold War podcast – the Red Scare continues. In 1939, Martin Dies Jr claimed that the Justice Department was investigating 2,850 known communists in government and that FDR had ordered a purge of all those named. But it was all a disinformation campaign launched by Hoover. The President hadn’t ordered a purge – but he HAD secretly ordered Hoover to make a list. As it turned out, the list included Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox, Mrs. James Roosevelt (FDR’s mother), and other prominent figures close to the President were listed as financial contributors to two or more of the suspect groups. And then one member of the Dies Committee accused Eleanor Roosevelt of being part of the Communist Fifth Column.
We wrap up our antivax mini-series by looking at another antivax claim: “All vaccines contain a number of toxic poisons and chemicals that are linked to serious neurological damage”. We talk about Robert Kennedy Jr, thimerosal, and the difference between methyl vs ethyl mercury.
This week I try to get down to basics – how do we form our political beliefs? Is government really about ethics? What political ethics do we want our society to strive towards? Are psychopaths screwing up the world? Do they make up a large percentage of the 1%?