Recovering Asshole podcast

RecoveringAssholeI wanted a place to talk about the touchy subject of privilege, something too many people deny they have. I’ve got a lot of privileges and if they remain invisible to me, I come off as an asshole. The best way to recover from this affliction is to talk to people who don’t hold that same privilege. So this podcast is all about great conversations and me trying to unpack my status as an asshole. You can subscribe to this podcast on iTunes and maybe become a little bit less of an asshole yourself. And a great theme song called “Echo Chamber” by Jared Mees.

Episode 10: It’s Gay Parenting! (August 14, 2017)

Scott Dillinger let me drop in at his office so I could pepper him with questions with what its like to be a gay parent. As a straight parent I had a feeling that there were a few obstacles he had to contend with that I didn’t. What would a President Mike Pence do his family? In the end, parenting is parenting. Oh, and we premiere the the theme song to the new Sharknado movie!

A great resource for gay parents: The Rainbow Babies

There’s my entry on the Oregon Citizens Alliance: Oregon Encyclopedia 

“Echo Chamber” by Jared Mees.


Episode 9: Transgender in Trump’s America (August 6, 2017)

President Trump’s recent tweet claiming to ban transgender people from military service has put trans rights back on the front page. We invite Kristy Carangi in to the studio (aka, the Multnomah Library) to discuss her transgender journey and where we are as a nation on this thing. And Kristy gives cis-gendered folks some tips on being a little less Trumpie.

Here’s one of the studies Kristy mentioned: Male-to-Female Transsexuals Have Female Neuron Numbers in a Limbic Nucleus

A great local advocate for trans rights: Basic Rights Oregon

“Echo Chamber” by Jared Mees.

Kristy picked this as her song…


Episode 8: George Nakata’s Internement (July 31, 2017)

George Nakata was a 9-year-old boy in Portland, Oregon in 1942 when FDR signed Executive Order 9066, ordering the rounding up of 120,000 west coast Japanese immigrants and citizens. They were placed in camps for the duration of World War 2. George sits down with me on a relatively quiet bench in Oregon’s Japanese Garden to discuss his experience and how we are dangerously close to that moment again.

Visit the Portland Japanes Garden.

The Portland Japanese Garden, a reminder of peace and reconciliation.

An excellent 2015 book about the Japanese Internment (and the 442nd): Infamy: The Shocking Story of the Japanese American Internment in World War II

The Japanese American Citizens League: JACL,org

“Echo Chamber” by Jared Mees.

Episode 7: Know Your White City (July 23, 2017)

The Oregonian in 2015 referred to Cameron Whitten as “Portland’s most famous young radical.” Most recently he has been the executive director of Know Your City. Cameron’s a great person to open our long discussion on race and white privilege. We meet downstairs in a Portland teahouse and it gets pretty intense. And helpful.

For those that want to know the real story of Portland: Know Your City

Here’s my piece on why “All Lives Matters” is kinda racist: Watching the Wheels

“Echo Chamber” by Jared Mees.

Episode 6: Michelle Malone Rocks (July 17, 2017)

Atlanta rocker Michelle Ma;one takes a break from her tour and comes down to the Alberta Vinyl Den do discuss gender, sexuality and rock & roll. We also get a live performance of her Drag the River classic, “Battle Him Republican.” And our first contest, to win an Andrea Barrios original, is on!

Michelle Malone’s music, mech and tour info:

Michelle and Trish Land live at Eddie’s Attic.

Trish Land’s Fine Art

Drivin’ ‘n’ Cryin’ with Michelle Malone – “Honeysuckle Blue”

Andrea Barrios art website:

Life is Long by Jared Mees.

Episode 5: Pray the Gay Away (July 10, 2017)

Sterling McKay joins us to talk about being a gay kid on a ranch, coming out, and coming into Portland. We discuss Mississippi riverboats, Garth Brooks, and being a gay uncle all while drinking tequila. The emphasis on straight marriage goes under the microscope.

Sterling says check out these resources for gay kids coming out: PFLAG and GLSEN

Life is Long by Jared Mees.

Episode 4: I Am Woman, Shut Up (July 3, 2017)

We sit down with a feminist educator Jen Moore (and a bottle of wine) to talk about male privilege. This is a big topic so I wanted to start with her story about becoming a teacher on gender issues. We touch on the Beauty Myth, Anita Hill, and “HR Ladies.” And of course rape culture and a proposed Menstrual Blood March.

Jen says get this book: Beyond God the Father by Mary Daly

Trailer for the latest Killing Us Softly

Life is Long by Jared Mees.


Episode 3: Meet a Muslim (June 26, 2017)

I headed up to Tacoma to see my old college buddy Syed Ashraf Meer and talk about being a Muslim in America and what he thinks of the “Anti Sharia Law” rallies that are happening. But first we had an amazing dinner with his wife, Soraya, and their three kids, and their friend, Destiny. Once we got talking, I didn’t want to stop. In a first for Recovering Asshole, I just kind of shut up and let Ashraf lay it all down. Super interesting to a non-Muslim guy like me.

Ashraf says check out this organization: Turning Point

Anti-Sharia Law Rally in Seattle: King 5 News

Life is Long by Jared Mees.

Episode 2: We Go Left (June 17, 2017)

I wanted to get into the issue of right-handed privilege right off the bat. It’s an entry way to talk about other types of privilege. Our guest, high school teacher, Pat McCreey, is the perfect guide on this topic. We recorded the interview outside at Towshend’s Tea House in NE Portland. Maybe next episode we’ll record it in a house that’s being torn down.

Biases against left-handed people: Wikipedia

Life is Long by Jared Mees.

Episode 1: My Favorite Alien (June 12, 2017) 

For our first episode we talk to artist and award-winning writer Andrea Barrios, about her experience as an undocumented immigrant. Some people don’t like them. I married this one (long after she got her Green Card), but I still need help with my privilege. It’s a good start, although I’m still figuring out the microphone situation. (Listen here on iTunes.)

Andrea Barrios art website:

A Journey of Words featuring “A Conversation with the Serpent” by Andrea Barrios:

Life is Long by Jared Mees.