Erick Cloward's passion is stoicism, which sounds like an oxymoron, and hosts the excellent “Stoic Coffee Break” podcast.
ABOUT THIS EPISODE
The world is crazy. We have a pandemic going on, there is unrest in the streets, and now it is no longer safe to go to a concert. But it’s about to get crazier, because the holidays are right around the corner. How does one cope with all this nuttiness? Drinking… no, wait, wrong answer! According to this episode’s guest, it is Stoicism.
Erick Cloward has had a lot of hats on his bare head: musician, EDM enthusiast, video game soundtrack scorer… oh, wait, I guess a lot of music, Ex-Mormon (he gave it up for Lent), and now he is a podcaster and, as he describes it, an accidental philosopher. Erick’s passion is stoicism, which sounds like an oxymoron, and hosts the excellent “Stoic Coffee Break” which I likely did not say properly on the show (at least that is what his fans have told me).
We talk about stoicism, what it is and how you can use it in your life. We also talk about crypto-currencies, which Erick has done very well with, thank you very much. We also talk about Erick’s Twitter feud with “Weird” Al Yankovich… which is just mind-boggling but a true story none-the-less.
This episode’s sketch: “Avenger’s Stoic Action Plan”
Sketch Comedy Podcast Show is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
© Copyright 2021 Stuart Rice
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MORE ABOUT THE GUEST
Several years ago, Erick heard Tim Ferris talk about A Guide To The Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by William Irvine. Erick was intrigued by the contradiction of stoicism and joy. As a sucker for paradoxes, like most people, Erick only heard the term stoic used in referring to someone that was emotionless and cold, not anywhere near being joyful. The more Erick learned about what stoicism was really about, he began to see a worldview that was not devoid of emotion but a framework to test opinions against which give events and circumstance their proper weight. Being a stoic simply means that one chooses how things affect you, rather than being at the whim of life circumstances.
As a New Years resolution for 2018, Erick made a promise to put in the effort and just create a podcast; he began the whole thing as just a “practice” and created an audio journal about each day as a Stoic Journal. Pretty soon, Erick hit 10 days of recording something and posting it. He actually had people listening to it. Now the show enjoys over 1 million downloads and offers fantastic benefits to those that are members of the “Stoic Coffee Break” Patreon.
[00:00:00] Stuart: in this episode, stoic and enemy of Weird Al Yankovic, eric Cloward and I came up with a few sketches, a game show called, what age are you and then have them guests and then tell them they're wrong and then tell them what the actual answer is driving with a stoic. It's sort of like comedians in cars getting coffee or something along those lines. But you're talking about some sort of a stoic lesson or something along those lines and you're in traffic and you're trying not to lose it, but you're probably going to lose it. The stoic Avengers like which one did we pick? You'll find out on this episode of a sketch comedy podcast show. Welcome to sketch comedy podcast show. The one of a kind show where I Stuart rice invite interesting people to have intriguing conversations and then we improvise a comedy sketch based on what we talked about right now. The world is crazy, we have a pandemic going on, there's unrest in the streets and now it's no longer safe to even just go to a concert but it's about to get crazier because the holidays are right around the corner. How does one cope with all of the nuttiness drinking? No wait wrong answer. According to this episode's guest, it is stoicism. Eric Cloward has had a lot of hats on his bare head musician E. D. M. Enthusiast, video game soundtrack score. Oh wait I guess that's a lot of music, he's an ex mormon. He gave it up for lent and now he's a podcaster and as he describes it, an accidental philosopher. Erik's passion is stoicism which granted does sound like an oxymoron and he hosts the excellent stoic coffee break, which I likely didn't say properly in the show, at least. That's what his fans have told me. We talk about stoicism, uh what it is and how you can use it in your life. We also talk about cryptocurrencies, which ERic has done very well with. Thank you very much. We also talk about eric's twitter feud with Weird Al Yankovic, which is just mind boggling, but a true story nonetheless, and now my conversation with eric Cloward, passionate stoic and enemy of Weird owl, hey eric, I've got a question for you. Okay, what makes you interesting?
[00:02:40] Erick: That's a tough one. Um, before I would have, I guess years ago I probably have listed off all sorts of accomplishments and things that I've done and this is what makes me interesting mostly because I think I was pretty insecure for a long, for a large part of my life. I think I still am in some ways and finally, over the last probably four or five months really coming to terms with that. Um, so what makes me interesting is I'm pretty much just like everybody else, but I'm willing to admit where I'm really fucked up.
[00:03:13] Stuart: Uh you know what, that actually does make everybody kind of interesting if he could admit, hey, I've got all these insecurities, insecurities or things that people, I was just talking to my son about that today because he was tired. He's um he plays smash brothers, right? And he wants to get competitive with it. And one of the, one of his favorite smash players, it's really odd when I'm talking to my son and I'm like, what are you up to? And he's like, smash and I'm like, there's no girls involved is there? But anyway, uh he um he was telling me that this guy was like, play to learn, don't play to win, and I was like, wow, that's there you go, because that's most of the time, that's what people are doing is they're playing to win because the insecurity is if I lose, I'm not getting anything out of this. And so it finally clicked for him that hey, I can go ahead and lose and it'll be okay. And I feel like that was a pretty good introductory lesson into something that you're pretty interested in. You want to go into that.
[00:04:20] Erick: Yeah. And what's funny is that a couple of weeks ago with the title, I think it was three weeks ago I had an episode entitled win or lose win or learn then you never lose. So it's exactly that thing and that that has probably taken me. I mean, I'll be turning 49 this year, which just is still weird to me that I'm that old because I still feel like I'm like 28 or something, like, like I've grown up and the rest of me is still trying to figure out that I'm actually growing up and you know, there's a lot of little signs that tell you that like I have some nerve damage and each side of my legs because it's a little pinched nerve in my back and just all sorts of those things to start to go bad, you know, bad elbows. So when I'm like trying to lift, like I used to my body just goes, what are you doing? Yeah,
[00:05:07] Stuart: uh,
[00:05:10] Erick: but I think that, I mean, I think that it's unfortunate, but that's kind of how our society is geared is that we need to be these type of people who are always winning, always winning, always winning. And I think if we get our society more towards always learning, always learning, what can you learn, what he learned that everything is always about learning, then I think that we would be much better off, but we're always, you know where I was grading people, we have the standards of how things are supposed to be. And if you look at it, some of the most successful people are the people who, you know, said who were going along this path and went, this is really dumb, why am I doing this? I'm going to do something different and jumped off the path and in a completely different direction. I mean Bill Gates never finished college. I mean I could go down the list of people who never finished college and I'd say that college is the end all and be all by any means. I graduated from college and I'm really glad I did. I learned a lot from that. Um, but the stuff that I learned was much more about learning and things that I needed to kind of figure out of it for myself because I mean I graduated a marketing and business and I ended up being a software developer. I never studied computers before I graduated from college. I got out of college and got a job as a web master because I can paint nice pictures on the computer. And so then I'm like, well, hey, why don't I learn how to do some programming? That sounds like it'd be fun.
[00:06:35] Stuart: So I, yeah, I mean, I don't know if I've ever made that statement. Let's, let's find some programming. That sounds fun. Um, you know, my argument for college for college is always, is always, it doesn't really matter what you go to college for. It doesn't, I would agree with that. That the thing about college is that's where you actually, you actually start to learn before that. It's all about learning how to learn and then you get into college and you can actually learn and you're learning from all sorts of different angles. Right? Um, I mean you learn from, you know, obviously from the classes from the labs, doing all that type of stuff, but you also learn a little bit more about how adults want to be treated and those types of things. I don't I don't know, I think college is a great experience that everybody needs to, everybody should be given an opportunity to feel, you know, you actually mentioned something about um what age I think I lost, you know,
[00:07:32] Erick: I was switched on the camera because it well I got stuck and it was just like
[00:07:38] Stuart: yeah, yeah, you had yeah, you had that look of terror on your face, which is for later on in the show. Um the question that no, no, no. So what I was saying was you know, colleges you learned, that's where you actually learn and then you actually mentioned something earlier about, you know what age you felt And I got asked that question one time at a therapy session, it was therapy session between myself and my wife, how old do you feel? And I was like, I feel 14 and I was like 35 at the time and I was like I really have no idea what I'm doing And I can say now it's a little bit older, I'm at least 17 at this point, but mhm. But we'll go ahead what was like that age, like you start to really kind of come into yourself like, do you remember that moment?
[00:08:31] Erick: Um wow, yeah, I don't I mean there are different phases, like when I mean, I still remember like when I was 14, 15 and things were clicking a bit for me, remember 13, This is gonna get a bit heavy, remember 13 recognizing that that I, I didn't like my dad, that I hated my dad partly because he was very abusive when we were growing up. But it was really, it was really confusing because he was smart, he could be very compassionate and very kind, but he had some pretty serious internal demons that he never talked about with anybody. And I didn't really understand until after he had died until I talked to my mom and other people. And as I became preparing myself, I started like recognizing some of these things. So at 13 I hated my dad then I felt like I was a terrible person because I hated my dad, but it was because I got tired of being beat, I got tired of being yelled at, I got tired of being in trouble all the time just for being me. Um and I was also tired of all the, I grew up mormon, so I got tired of all the guilt and the shame and uh, so that was, that was a big one, but then I kind of got all sucked back into the whole mormon ology because I grew up in salt lake and there wasn't much, it was,
[00:09:51] Stuart: I mean it literally a way of life,
[00:09:53] Erick: yes, escape velocity and that, that's kind of orbit is really, really hard. Um, I almost left at 17 and then got sucked back into it, went on a mission to Austria, which, which actually was a good thing. I really enjoyed Austria. I still speak fluent German, I got to see part of the country and part of the world, I guess part of the world, a new country that I've never seen before. Um, a new, a whole new way of thinking, um, which was very interesting for me because Utah is very conservative and they have this kind of whole worldview and then I went to Austria and so almost not completely flipped, but very, very different, distinctly different where people were much happier with a lot less people were much more community minded, They cared about their neighbors, they knew their neighbors, someone who knows the way someone had just, hey, we're, we're part of this community where humans what we do. Um, and they were a socialist democracy and I've been told my whole life that capitalist democracy is the only way to do it, socialism is this evil thing except the mormons believe in tithing and all of that stuff. So it's like, yeah, so, but as far as like feeling that I was coming into my own, um, when I was in my early thirties, um, I definitely had a stage, probably about 34, I think I've been divorced for about a year or two at that point And I was just reaching that point of having enough, being young enough to really enjoy still, you know, enjoy my life. I was cycling a lot, so it's in really good shape. Um, I had a good job, so, you know, I was making pretty good money and but also wise enough not to do a lot of the dumb things, plenty of other people I started doing. So it was, that was definitely a big point for me. Um but yeah, there are definitely times where I feel like I'm still a teenager because I feel like I'm just, you know, like, I'm just faking my way through all of this ship. And um, and I think that's why the podcast has resonated my podcast. So, a coffee break has resonated pretty well. Um we just hit half a million downloads last week and it still floors me that, you know, my voice has been downloaded over half a million times on this planet. Um it's still just a very surreal thing to think about. I remember when I hit 5000 downloads and I was just like, Oh my gosh, people listen to my podcast. Holy ship, this is amazing. Um, so I think is
[00:12:34] Stuart: After this show, it'll be 500003.
[00:12:38] Erick: There we go.
[00:12:39] Stuart: It's nice to be a little bit more than that, I think. Uh oh, okay, so you mentioned your podcasts and your podcast is called. Um it should have done that stoic coffee, right,
[00:12:53] Erick: that's where they can go to break
[00:12:54] Stuart: Stewart Coffee break, no, I should, I'll make another banner for that. That's
[00:12:59] Erick: all good. What, what
[00:13:00] Stuart: is stoic coffee and or stoic coffee break? What is that? Why? Why is it called that? Why isn't it just called chatty coffee break? Or I talk into a microphone? Coffee break. Why is it still like specifically?
[00:13:14] Erick: Um basically because and actually I'm gonna switch cameras here because that way I don't look like I'm just staring off into space um because I can put a camera right next to your face, which is where I'm looking and I think that looks a little bit better. They're young. So what, how it started out was it actually started out as a stoic. What was the, the stoic moment? Um I just created a podcast because I want to create a podcast. I've been journaling and a stoic journal that I bought. Um I think I bought it like a month before the new year's, this 2017 when I bought it and started the podcast in 2018 and I do a lot with music and stuff. And so for me, the idea of working in audio was was interesting and podcast sounded cool and all of that kind of stuff, but I was, that's when the insecurity and that anxiety struck, Like I would start a podcast, I would record one episode and go, oh this is terrible and I would never do anything with it. Um so then I found anchor this app where you can just record it on your phone and boom, you could create a podcast. I'm like, I can do that, then I don't, and I have all this amazing gear. I mean, I have probably about anywhere about $5,000 worth of audio gear and editing software and all of this stuff, because I love doing my music stuff and that's my that's my hobby. That's my thing where I load up on all the gear and don't use half of it, but you know how that goes, It's my toys. Um but I found it was overwhelming and I found that I just had this massive anxiety along with it. So, um, and I didn't know what to talk about because I wanted to talk about music, but then there I was like, oh, but then there's all the copyright issues and stressing out about it. So I was like, okay, let me just start a podcast. I will talk about stoicism, which I'm learning a lot about right now, and I think that might be something that I can just try out and see what happens
[00:15:03] Stuart: now stoicism if I'm not mistaken, you're not allowed to smile, isn't it? Like, isn't that what they practice on Vulcan? Isn't that the thing
[00:15:15] Erick: well, and that's the funny thing is that uh stoicism, you know the original definition, which just means somebody who follows stoic philosophy. Um but over time the term stoic has come to mean that somebody who, you know, seems very unemotional, and it's not that that a stoic is an emotional um in fact, they feel everybody feels what they feel. You can't help what you feel. It just it's you know, it's it's a it's just a way that our brain works. But the difference is is that a stoic really works hard to try and be responsive to something rather than being reactive to something. And when that's the case, they rather than it seems like they're not acting like everybody else that they're repressing those feelings because in a typical situation, somebody who is being reactive might be mad, might be aggressive, might try and, you know, hurt other people or whatever it is, react in a way that's much more reactive or aggressive or something like that, whereas a stoic will want to respond to something. And so there's that practice of that little bit of that time in between, like what's gonna be the better option and being able to kind of create a little bit of space in between. Here's where the stimulus comes in, here's where this thing happens, and here's how I want to respond and creating that space is really, really hard because we're hardwired to be very reactive and our society pushes that honest, you know, it's okay to just act out how you feel. Um so kind of a meandering explanation of
[00:16:58] Stuart: it. No, it's a good explanation. I and I think, I think that's the big thing is you give yourself the space to be able to process what it is that you want to react, how you want that to interaction to look as opposed to just letting the lizard brain take over with whatever lashing out that you're gonna be doing.
[00:17:20] Erick: Exactly. And that's the thing, is that acting that way? That's easy. I mean, that's that's a really easy thing to do, is just, you know, whatever you feel, just run with
[00:17:28] Stuart: that and we've all experienced it. We've driven
[00:17:31] Erick: Absolutely, yes, we've been in a car and just like somebody,
[00:17:34] Stuart: you know, how many Yeah. How many times have you wished death upon that person that just cut you off? Yeah, Yeah, reality. You should take a moment to
[00:17:42] Erick: remember. Uh one of my religious teachers really just a nice guy, very gentle, very, very sweet guy. But he talked about how one time he came into work and you know, he came in to teach and he was just like, as hard as I try, I still don't understand why when I'm driving, I'm not a very christ like person, somebody cuts me off and I'm like uh he's like, you know, and he came up and so we kind of made a joke about, he's like, my theory is is that we are spiritual eternal beings and were used to traveling at super high speed and so when somebody stops us from traveling in that super high speed, we get a little bit pissy about that. And I thought it was pretty funny. But um yeah, driving is definitely, it's one thing I've definitely had to work on as well because one thing I found for me and this is where stoicism really has come in handy and really has been something I've worked hard on is is that because I grew up in a society that was so repressive, so full of guilt, so full of shame, so full of you're not allowed to be, you, you have to follow this, this blueprint of what you're supposed to be and what your life is supposed to be like. You don't develop a very good sense of worth. You don't believe that you have value unless you are following this plan, which is one of the reasons why it was so hard for me to finally leave that. But in doing so and in in kind of adopting this philosophy and recognizing that those are all external influences and those are things that I don't have any control over and what I do have control over are my thoughts, my actions, my decisions, and the choices and things that I do and say and everything else. It's just stuff that's outside of my control and that was a place that I grew up in, where I didn't have a lot of control. And now I'm in a space in my life where I do have a significant amount of control and that's part of what I really try to impart into other people in my podcast. Is that the more you can understand the things you have control over, the more you can actually implement control over them and the happier your life is going to be one, because you will actually be more effective because you're working on things you can control and you're letting go of anything you can so you're not wasting your time on those things. And I think we spent a lot of time trying to control things that we can't, we try and control our past which when we're depressed about things that happened and we're upset about things that happen and we're ruminating on things that happened, we can't control that it happened. The only thing we could control on that is our interpretation of it. We can go, you know what my past was really city, but I learned a lot from it. Uh Yeah, you just reframe the whole thing that you have control over,
[00:20:42] Stuart: right? And I think that that is the thing that people need to take home with what stoicism is, is that you can do that reframing you can't take that moment. You don't have to I think media does a very good job of presenting um any sort of dramatic work is going to give us a good perception of what bad people, what what bad reactions people have, right? Because that's the entertainment and so that's what we get trained to do is we we've been trained through, like, like you mentioned with your dad, like that was my guess is he wasn't a stoic because he was probably reacting constantly and that's dramatic and that would be fun to watch. Not fun. Let me rephrase that. But that would be the thing that would be more entertaining to watch. What would be really boring is if what if the Avengers were stoic, right? Like it would be like, well let's take a moment and think this out, right? Do we really need to, you know, it's so not what we see as the model and that's the problem is I think we need to see more role models that are like that, but they're hard to find.
[00:21:55] Erick: And I would say Yeah, and I would say to me the two that I I definitely see kind of the different ends of stoicism, I mean obviously speak is considered it was model left the idea of stoic philosophy and stoicism and it was that, you know, using logic, pulling that in and analyzing it and then trying to make the best decision off of that and being in control of that. So I definitely, you know, that that's definitely the kind of the stereotype of it and but what I really liked was that within Star trek, they showed cracks in that and they had it. So there was a bit of play and flex on that. But then also if you look at the card Picard to me is actually much more what a stoic would really be like is because he definitely feels passionate about things and there are times where you can just see that I've got the ship and I want to blow you up because, but then,
[00:22:49] Stuart: and that's what he uses his Picard dad voice.
[00:22:52] Erick: Yes. You know it don't you do that? Yes, yes. When he steps up and he gets in his Picard, the commander. Um and he, so to me, I look at it is those are kind of the two different faces of stenosis and the one that, that is that, you know, pure logic and everything like that. But then speak had his moments where he was very emotional and, and I really liked the fact that as he got older, he understood that yes, it needs a little bit more play with that, not quite so tight and you know, again, they were also kind of stereotypes in a way and a lot of characters in that way, but I like the fact that over generations, they decided that hey, we should give spot a little more depth than that was fun.
[00:23:33] Stuart: Yeah, I actually like what they did. Yeah, I think, well, me too, so we could go down a rabbit hole, no power or a warp hole or wormhole or whatever it is. Um I actually like what they did with Zachary Quinto did with speech was because he is half human. You get to see that irrational half human part sneak out a couple of times. It's pretty good. Um Yeah, so how does one practice stoicism on a daily basis? And is it something that can become natural or is it something you still have to practice on it? And how long have you been? I'm gonna just keep throwing questions at me until I run out of air. How long have you considered yourself a stoic? And at what point does it stop becoming practice? And it starts becoming just a way of life.
[00:24:21] Erick: I don't know if it ever becomes just a way of life. I think it's always a practice. It's kind of like, it's kinda like when you do yoga, yoga is never considered a performance or yoga is never considered a thing, It is always yoga practice, that's what it's called. It's just a yoga practice and it's not just referring to when you go to a session and do it, your your whole way of doing yoga is a practice and that's just how they treat it that way. Um So I guess for me I just never really see it as something that becomes, becomes easy and and it's also because just like with everything you you improve on something and then you look ahead and go, oh man, yeah, I thought I came so far and I've still got so much Okay, well now that I have shored up this one thing, I've got, these you know other 1000 things that I definitely want to improve on and I think that, and I think that's, that's part of the, the appeal for me as well. Um and I'm gonna get a little bit of a weird esoteric thing here. But one of the things that the mormon Church believes is that when you die, you, you know, if you've been good and you do all the things you're supposed to, you go to the highest level of the kingdom of God and you are perfect. And honestly I found that absolutely terrifying. We're like, well why would you find that terrifying? I mean you're perfect, you get to go up to heaven and I'm like, heaven sounds boring. And oh my God, if I knew everything and there was nothing left to learn, there was nothing left to grow. That would be hell. That would be absolute hell for me because I would be so bored out of my mind because there would be nothing to do. There would be nothing that couldn't do. And I found it terrifying. And I think 14 15 when I, when I was like half, I remember specifically I was trying to fall asleep and I had that idea come in and then I couldn't fall asleep for like another four or five hours because This terrifying idea came and I said I was like 14:15 when that idea hit me and I was just like crap. But there's something wrong with me because I don't want that because it's it's
[00:26:36] Stuart: scary. Yeah, I mean, I think I heard someone say, I cannot think of the source, but it was like perfection is basically crumb lys lee eating nibbling on crackers and sipping tea. That would be perfection because you're not doing anything that could possibly go wrong. And it's like, yeah, that sounds really boring and but you couldn't make a mistake. And so like I yeah, that that concept of yeah, what's up, what else is really interesting about the mormon religion is they don't believe in hell, right? They believe in the lower they do.
[00:27:15] Erick: So they have, well they have the, they have the three levels of glory as they call it. Um and then they have Outer darkness is considered, they're considered healthy for them. Um and
[00:27:30] Stuart: which I know a lot of introverts where that sounds great. They're like, I'm in a dark room myself, I love is quiet. Yeah.
[00:27:42] Erick: And it's but um and the funny thing was is that a couple of, I think it was about a year or two ago. Um my girlfriend stumbled on a podcast that she just chose randomly because she liked the title. It was called the last podcast on the left and they did a whole like five or six part series on mormonism and I learned so much from that, there are things that I never knew about from joseph smith and Brigham Young, and I'm like, oh my God, these people were horrible, they were terrible people, and I'm like, joseph smith was a con man and just a child rapist, basically, I mean, to do sort, if you will, I mean just all kinds of ship that he did, and Brigham young was oh, he was even worse, I mean he makes Dick Cheney look like a saint, I mean, he was just terrible and I'm like learning all this stuff, I'm like, oh my God, how can people, you know, sanctify these people and treat them because
[00:28:35] Stuart: you just don't know about it, that's that's exactly how it happens, you don't know about it. So it's like, oh that that information doesn't exist until it exists, and then you're like, oh, now I got to reconcile it. Yeah,
[00:28:47] Erick: once I reached that point, I'm like, okay, I I can never go back, I can never join an organization. That is that is simply that built upon such a lie and refuses to face the truth. Yeah, so
[00:28:59] Stuart: yeah, so let's ask some practical questions about stoicism, I'm gonna throw out a hypothetical question to you, so let's say you've got, you're on some sort of social media, we'll just use twitter as an example and perhaps you start getting in a little bit of a twitter argument with someone of some fame, how does that, how does that go down for someone like you?
[00:29:31] Erick: Oh wow, Well,
[00:29:33] Stuart: totally hypothetical, this
[00:29:35] Erick: is totally not particularly, never happened, nobody famous, but I never talked to me, so yeah, now it would just, it wouldn't be anything, I'd just be like okay, yeah, cool, whatever, you know, hope you have a nice life, whatever um and be able to let it go, but at the time when this actually did happen to me um I was crushed it with that insecurity, that was that was that that I was talking about earlier, it was it was pretty brutal, so I was, What was that? It was probably about 2009 I think 2010. Um I like I said before, I was really big into cycling and I'm trying to get back into that some more and I just got back from a 50 mile ride and it was probably seven in the evening, so I'm a little bit tired, You know because 50 miles, it's a long way to go.
[00:30:31] Stuart: Yeah, I've never, I have never cycled 50 miles in my entire life,
[00:30:36] Erick: that was pretty, I mean at the time it was pretty normal for me, that was I would take a long, long way home from work and just be my ride. So um and weird al had posted a video on twitter where he was he was driving along and he got out of his car and he walked over to the sign and said, Children drive slow and he had some cardboard and he had an L. Y. And he it took some duct tape and tacked it onto it. And so I said, Children drive slowly. And so he turns around, he looks at the camera goes, come on people grammar and it gets back in his car and drives away and I thought it was hilarious. I was like okay, you know that that's great. And so I retweeted it and I wrote in you know, grammar nazis unite being silly like that and I misspelled grammar
[00:31:27] Stuart: on purpose or on accident
[00:31:29] Erick: on accident except I'm just like I and I sent that off and a few minutes later he responds in all caps with dashes between each letter
[00:31:43] Stuart: grammar
[00:31:44] Erick: spells it out correctly. So I misspelled it rather than a ri put er which is a very common mistake. Um and within how to know an hour, I think it was trending on twitter that night. I mean it was that big and so people were like commenting on it and retweeting it and all the stuff and at the time, like I said, I was still pretty insecure. I was absolutely embarrassed and I just, yeah, I remember getting all kinds of worked up on it and you know, and I commented back and just saying, well, I took it back from a bike ride and I'm making all these excuses and everything and I was just like, and I even like, you know, suspended my profile for a little bit and somebody, they were commenting on that Loki, he's scared, he's running away. And I was just like, and I mentioned it to a woman I was dating at the time, um I think a day or two later, and she's like, well, why did that bother you? And I'm like, well, you know, I was embarrassing and she's like, why you're never gonna meet weird al or chances are you probably never will. I mean, although you could use that if you had used it to your advantage and maybe met him and you could say, ah you mocked me, you owe me lunch or something like that, you know? Um but you know, in talking through it, you know, I recognize that that somebody questioning my intelligence, questioning my my abilities was incredibly damaging because that low self esteem and I was insecurities and it's something I still struggle with today when somebody treats me as if I'm stupid or you know, that I don't understand something that's that's one of those things where I have to be very conscientious that I can get really worked up because to me it feels like somebody trying to kind of put me down or something like that. And so, and I know that's that's a weakness in my my armor and it's something that I'm pretty aware of and it causes arguments with with friends and people close to me because of that insecurity and it's something I've had to really work on and it's much better than it was for sure. But it's still, yeah, that's one of
[00:33:41] Stuart: my you've had over a decade now to kind of process this. What would you reply back to Weird Al now,
[00:33:49] Erick: I would probably, I, you know, I hadn't even thought about what a good response would be. I mean, I probably at this point I'd probably make some kind of joke about it, you know, or I would respond with hysterical laughter or something like that, you know, just saying, you know, being able to laugh at myself about that because, you know, we all do those things, but because but because this is where it comes back to the mentality, you're so worried about winning, that any kind of mistake is absolute failure and in that case that was a mistake. And so because Weird Al didn't give me accolades or kudos or whatever, you know, I failed, and so therefore I was a failure. And so I took this big personal thing and that took me a while to kind of work through and it, you know, some people are just like really that bothered you. But
[00:34:40] Stuart: yeah, but I mean you think about that, that's public, like people are seeing it. Uh and of course it's the pile on. Like we're not kind on social media, people are going to pile on. I mean as silly as Kofi fee was and it was funny, but like it, someone made a joke on late night recently about it and it's like, wow, like letting looks like we can have our moment and then let's move it on. Let's
[00:35:08] Erick: keep pushing forward. That's, and that's a, that's a tough spot because as I've been watching, um, comedians in cars, getting coffee, I'll catch up on episodes of that and every now and then, um, and watching the comedic process and how comedians kind of decide what to work on and so on and why we need comedians. I'm kind of, for me, I'm a little bit ambivalent on that. I think that we need to, I think comedians are like, I mean they really are the court gestures. They're the ones who point out the truth, the truthiness of society. And so I'm not going to worry too much about something like that, especially from, from somebody who is such a bully as our former president was. Um, I have absolutely no love for him. I know what those points where those points where I'm not very stoic where you know a thing about him, but
[00:36:03] Stuart: Oh, absolutely, 100%. I just thought it was really interesting that the joke about this tweet that was 10 years ago. It's like, Okay, well let's find something else because there's lots of other material, like we could probably move on from that.
[00:36:18] Erick: Yeah, I always thought it was funny. I did think it was funny. I always said uh it was a wink oh, one day and I saw these, these things and they were called tough eh. So I turned around and said I can have some tough of a with mike off of a
[00:36:31] Stuart: there we are, that's pretty great. Actually, just real quick. I do online dating and I was on Tinder and I saw somebody that I dated once before and I always swipe right whenever I see somebody I know maybe a policy I shouldn't be doing because this person was one of the few people that just straight up hated me. Like I didn't realize how much this person hated me but like hurting me a lot And gave me a good two pages of really vile thing, I won't even tell you what was written in there. Okay, so of course I'm looking at it and I've read it and I've read it twice and I've read it three times and I'm like, I've typed out a response, I've erased it, I've typed out another response, I've erased it, I'm going to type out a third and I think every one of them is like, this one's better, this one's better, this one's better. And finally I was like the kind because one of the things she said was, if I ever see you driving walking down the road, I will swerve to hit you and I was like, oh well that's not good because if I get hit by a car you're in a lot of trouble because people are going to know. So I figured out what the kind thing to do was unmatched and I felt really good about that. I thought that that was like that was the stoic move. That was the process that I didn't need to add any insult to injury. I didn't need to do anything like that. Um but what's great about that is I have told that story many times now. I got something out of it, I learned.
[00:38:08] Erick: Yeah, yeah. And that is, that is definitely a hard thing. Um back when I was, I was dating a for my current partner, there were, there were times when, yeah, I got some kind of like not so stellar emails from people who were piste off about something I had done or said on a date, you know, not anything where I was being, being purposely malevolent or anything like that, but just as humans were clueless about, we don't, we don't know what we don't know and oftentimes we, our view of the world doesn't really mesh with somebody else's view of the world and what they think of us and what we think of us can be two totally different things and which is again a stoic thing which is understanding that, that there's no real facts, Everything is opinion and that's something that Marcus really is set and a lot of people are like, oh, so that means everything is relative. It's like, well no, I mean there are truly physical facts for sure, but your perception of those things is always just your opinion about what you think it is. So yes, there could be a rock falling from the sky and that's a fact. But your perception of it and what it is can shift and shift and shift when you first see it coming, you just think it might be a feather as it gets a little bit closer, like wow, that's a little bit larger than a feather. Maybe it's a goose that's you know, got hit by an airplane or something. Oh maybe it's a piece of you, you could go on and on and on and until you actually see what it is, it's just your perspective on it. Until you have something that's much, much closer to verifiable. And even at that point you may look at it and think it's Iraq, but it might be something that's really not, but it just looks like that to you for example.
[00:39:53] Stuart: So yeah, yeah, so watch out for falling rocks. Like if you see something falling towards you don't consider it's a feather, it might be rock. Um well eric, it has been about a half hour, there's been a delightful conversation, but now it is time to record a sketch. One thing that I can say is absolutely a fact and not an opinion, podcasting is hard and costly. So if you would like to participate in this podcast, please head over to Patreon dot com slash sketch com pod and maybe throw a couple shekels towards the show. $1 a month is all I ask. I got that idea from eric eric. What are other ways that people can get in touch with you or learn more about stoicism? So
[00:40:45] Erick: I'm guess I'm feel incredibly awkward about it just
[00:40:49] Stuart: because No, no, no, no. I know it's a super awkward situation. You did fantastic because that's I think that's perfect. I think that all of that's going to cut together so incredibly well. I appreciate it. Um Yeah, you'd be surprised. It's the third person in these is the editing and it's kind of insane how sometimes it just cuts together. So that was that one I think is going to be really funny eric, can you tell everybody where they can find you and find out more about stoicism and maybe a book that you would suggest or something along those lines.
[00:41:25] Erick: Sure.
[00:41:27] Stuart: Or a storefront that they can go to to get cool ship.
[00:41:31] Erick: Yes. Actually, I just, excuse me and go to my website which is still a coffee. You can find more episodes of my podcast there. I just opened up a shop about two weeks ago with some kind of cool swag from stuff I've designed or stoic dot coffee slash shop is is the new shop, there's some really fun t shirts and other designs on there. The book that kind of got me into the whole process was one called The Art of stoic Joy by William Irvine.
[00:41:59] Stuart: Thanks for the book suggestion. There's a link for that in the show notes and one other thing I would suggest is definitely head over to stoic dot coffee and sign up for eric's Patreon page. It's fantastic. You're supporting a show and you're going to get something back. And that is a great newsletter that you get for every episode and now our sketch Avengers stoic action plan with eric Cloward in three two Avengers assemble Avengers. We need to get into there and stop dr Doom from taking over this nuclear power plant. Hawkeye. What do you got? Do we just get in there? Do we take action? I
[00:42:43] Erick: have these arrows that you know, were graded like being anti nuclear, but then it really made me think about it like what is, what is Doctor Doom really after? I mean, what if he needs this nuclear power to you know, to help other worlds? We need to understand his motivation behind these things and is it just our perception that he's evil? I mean what if he's really not evil? What if what if it's just our perception that he's evil? Are we trying to control things? We can't because that's that's really the kind of talking to
[00:43:11] Stuart: you got to watch out for the mutants behind you, thor what can you tell us about stopping Doctor Doom?
[00:43:18] Erick: I would just run in there and you know, and just start beating things up. But after after reading Marcus Aurelius, he was the emperor and this guy was the most powerful man of his day. It really made me stop and think, why are these people evil? What makes them evil is just our perception that they're evil? No, no, maybe it's
[00:43:36] Stuart: not, thor can't you just take more linear and smash some stuff,
[00:43:40] Erick: but that would just be reactive. I mean, what's the best response in this case? I mean, you know, just going in and smashing things. I mean, it seems a little wasteful, don't you? It seems very un thoughtful. I'm kind of rethinking this whole, you know, God of Thunder thing. I mean, I think I'd rather be like, you know, God of the rain or something, a little something, a little more zen, I think would be, you know, a little bit, a little bit more my speed as I get older,
[00:44:04] Stuart: how I'm really counting on you? We need some action hulk, What are you going to do right now and then smash when's the smashing happening, Black Widow? Please tell me you've got something to add to this?
[00:44:23] Erick: Well, I mean, everything falls on me to, you know, to take care of this because, you know, the boys kind of get stuck in their thinking and
[00:44:29] Stuart: okay,
[00:44:32] Erick: I've chosen my response. So now I can go out there and I can take care
[00:44:35] Stuart: of Doctor Doom because it's a good response
[00:44:37] Erick: and it's
[00:44:38] Stuart: but it's something that I've
[00:44:39] Erick: waited and I've thought about and you've considered all the pros and cons to go along with it. I think that we can come to a consensus about this and you know, but as long as we're keeping our cruel about this thing and not overreacting in every situation. Mhm.
[00:45:06] Stuart: We have got to stop with this Avengers, stoic book club. Thank you so much for listening to sketch comedy podcast show. We hope that you enjoyed listening to it as much as we enjoyed making it. Please head over to sketch comedy podcast show dot com to check out more episodes and other nifty things and even apply to be on the show. If you think you're interesting sketch comedy podcast show is protected under creative commons attribution, non derivative 4.0 international license. What does that mean? Hey, just contact us if you want to reproduce anything here so I can get you the right audio file for it until next time. Get out there, be safe and improvise a comedy adventure of your own