The Atlas Society Asks Mark Pellegrino

August 31, 2022 00:56:28
The Atlas Society Asks Mark Pellegrino
The Atlas Society Presents - The Atlas Society Asks
The Atlas Society Asks Mark Pellegrino
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Show Notes

Join CEO Jennifer Grossman for the 119th episode of The Atlas Society Asks where she interviews actor and objectivist Mark Pellegrino. Listen as the two discuss how Mark was introduced to Ayn Rand and her "sense of life" philosophy, his capitalist vision, and his critique of today's political parties.

Mark Ross Pellegrino is an actor well known for his roles in series like Dexter, Lost, Supernatural, Quantico, and many other shows. But besides his acting and film career, Mark is also an intellectual activist and Objectivist who co-founded the American Capitalist Party to provide an alternative platform to the current political duopoly in government.

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:00 Hi everyone. And welcome to the 119th episode of the Atlas society asks. My name is Jennifer Anju, Grossman. My friends know me as JAG. I'm the CEO of the Atlas society. We are an educational organization, introducing young people to the ideas of iron Rand in fun, creative ways like animated videos and graphic novels. Today, we are joined by mark Pellegrino, a man who needs very little introduction. Um, but before I get to that, I want to remind all of you, uh, to begin asking your questions, typing them in whether it is on zoom, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or YouTube, uh, use comment section. We'll get to as many of them as we can. And this is a very unique opportunity. So please go ahead and share this on social media as well. So Mark Ross Pellegrino is an actor very well known for his roles in series like D Dexter lost supernatural Quanto. And of course, many, many others he's appeared in over 40 movies, including the big Lebowski and national treasure. Uh, but besides his acting and film career, mark is also an intellectual activist and an objectiveist who co-founded the American capitalist party to provide an alternative platform to the current political duopoly in government. Mark, thank you so much for joining us. Speaker 1 00:01:34 Thanks for having me. Speaker 0 00:01:37 So, um, always love to start the show with a bit of an origin story. So, uh, I'd be very eager to hear about your early years where you grew up, how you got into acting and of course, um, how you discovered I Rand. Speaker 1 00:01:53 So, um, I grew, I, I grew up in venas California culture, capital of the world. And, um, I, I would like to say that a lot of my life was determined by, um, by being very aware of where I was going at every moment of my life, but that hasn't always been the case. So, um, I dropped out of college. I was sort of disillusioned with college. I got straight A's, but dropped out after my first year and, uh, was working in a gas station and, uh, realized that I had to do something, uh, with my life. I just wasn't sure what, uh, I saw an advertisement for a, a modeling agency at a place called John Robert Powers, which was basically a sort of a scam. I pay a pay for headshot and Speaker 0 00:02:38 Remember. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:02:39 Um, and, uh, I decided since many of the things they were offering were for free, I'd check it out. I might as well give modeling a try. Uh, I got all kinds of head shots and classes in modeling for free and even did a runway show or two, and then stumbled into a commercial workshop class, uh, with a fairly popular commercial actor at the time in the, in the eighties, his name was Bob Hoover. Um, and for some reason I still haven't quite sussed out. He thought I had talent and he set me up with an agent, uh, and the agent started sending me out and I started, um, getting pretty close on a couple of jobs. I just was of course, very green and had no idea what I was doing. Had no dream to be an actor from the time I was a kid, the movies were just something I occasionally saw every other weekend. Speaker 1 00:03:32 Um, and, uh, so he set me up with a, uh, a list of acting coaches. I picked the closest and cheap cheapest, and it happened to be the best acting school. I think on the west coast, it's produced such fine actors as, uh, James Franco and Scotty Kahn and, um, Ashley Judd and Jeff Goldblum, a whole host of folks that I think are a phenomenal I've, I've had a great time working with over the years. And, uh, it was there that I got exposed to the craft of acting. The Meissner approached to acting was sort of an iteration of Stan, uh, of Santa Lansky's method. But with some inventions that, uh, a man named Sanford Meisner through in to the technique, uh, I fell in love with the technique, but not with Hollywood. So I started training and learning the craft and then gradually getting out there and learning the difference between working in class and working outside, which is, uh, there's quite a difference. Speaker 1 00:04:29 It takes, it takes quite a while for you to get out of your own way out there in the real working world when there's results and pressures that you don't have in class. And over the years, I began to acclimate to that and integrate my technique properly into the work. And then I started teaching there and doing tons of plays in repertory at that theater, uh, eventually leaving the theater in 2012, 2014, because work became too intensive. And I had to, uh, I had, I was living in other countries basically, and, and working and had no time to go back and pursue theater or teaching, which are really my favorite things to do in the world. My favorite thing to do in the world is to teach. I got exposed to a, um, to iron Rand in the same accidental way in acting class. I met, uh, a guy, um, from long island and he and I developed a pretty close relationship. Speaker 1 00:05:22 And, uh, we would go out and rehearse with each other and then hang out at a place called Gorkys cafe in, in Hollywood. Uh, it was a, uh, ironically Russian diner that was open all 24 hours. And we would read, plays there and, and argue basically about philosophy and politics until Dawn, you know, we were in our twenties, so we could do that. And, uh, I would always lose these political arguments with him. I was an environmentalist. I was a registered Democrat very much on the left, uh, like so many folks in Hollywood. Uh, and it was really annoying that I would lose these arguments with him. So I, I thought if we could do an exchange of books, I would be able to introduce him to intellectuals who would get through to him. He would see that I was right. I was just articulating it all wrong. So we, we did a book exchange. I gave him five books. I don't remember them at this point. Uh, he gave me two, the fountain head Nala shrug, and it changed my life. Wow. Uh, yeah, so that's how I became a, my, that was my first acquaintance with iron Rand. And that's basically the beginning of my, my career Speaker 0 00:06:29 Now. Um, did I understand that you went to, uh, Catholic schools? Not because, uh, your family was particularly religious, but, uh, they just felt that it would provide a, a better and a safer education for you. Um, did that kind of prime you to be interested in big questions or philosophy? Or why are we here and what is good and what is bad or did it kind of maybe set you back? Speaker 1 00:06:57 No, I found, I found myself always intrigued by those big questions. Uh, I had a friend who lived down the street for me, um, who still, he, he bought the house from his mom and still lives in the house that he grew up in. And, uh, long before I went to high school, he and I from grammar school to middle school would, would have long conversations with each other, you know, primi of philosophical conversations with each other. Um, I, I went to, I went to the Catholic high school finally because I grew up in the day and age when, uh, when, uh, California and Los Angeles was using children as a social experiment. And they were, they were busing some children into, uh, the inner city and taking some kids from the city and busting them into the suburbs, um, which frankly created lots of chaos and violence and UN unfortunate, uh, dangers. Speaker 1 00:07:48 And my mom decided to take me out of that at great, at great cost to herself. The good news is that spur me to do something for her. So I, I took a job and paid for my books and tried to contribute to my education in whatever way I could and being at a place like Notre Dame, which was, um, which, which had a pedigree that went back to 1947 and it had such a deep, uh, uh, uh, deeply respected academic reputation I wanted to Excel. And so it, it really pressed me to be a, a good student to respect, um, and to respect, um, studying just, just the, just the act of studying and learning. And of course we had four years of religion, which is a sort of philosophy. And so we dealt with big questions, ethical questions, um, in a way that I don't think most high school kids had to deal with. And so that, that definitely further got me interested in, in the big stuff. Yeah. Speaker 0 00:08:45 Interesting. Uh, I wonder if we are of the same vintage, uh, I think you're probably a bit younger than me, but, um, when I was growing up in Newton, Massachusetts, we were similarly doing this kind of social experiment on children. And, um, and it was horrible. My parents, uh, you know, continue to be very, very big progressives and, uh, were thrilled to, to offer their, their child as part of this experiment. I, I mean, actually I remember even earlier, I always found myself like, you know, uh, volunteered for studies on children. And I was like, you know what, I know there's somebody behind that mirror. But, um, but with the, the busing experiment, uh, it was terrible. And I, um, for whatever reason, uh, particularly attracted the, the, the ire and the hatred and probably some TV and, uh, it led to, uh, some pretty dangerous situations of bullying. Speaker 0 00:09:43 And it was that experience for me, which primed me, um, many, many years later to kind of discover I Rand and have it resonate so, so much with me because I was like, yeah, it really wasn't anything that I was doing. It was, uh, it wasn't my weaknesses, you know, it was my, my strengths. Um, so, you know, you said you read those two books, uh, any favorite characters and I'm, I understand you kind of went on to read all the rest of her works and then really, uh, make a serious study of the, the philosophy. And so, um, would you say that it's been the fiction or the non-fiction that's been, um, most resonant with you? Speaker 1 00:10:30 Oh, that's hard to say. I mean, the, because the fiction is sort of the ization of all everything, right? So it, it, it says, uh, more than a million words, the image of Rourke, you know, says more than, than a million words. And, and he is my favorite character, partly because he's an artist and he's an artist in the truest sense of the word that he stands alone, uh, against, uh, an immoral society. And, and he, he has what we could all have. Rarely do you, you know, rarely do you come across heroes that, uh, especially nowadays with our emulation of superheroes and our, our denigration of human beings, it seems rarely do you find heroes who have, uh, all, every quality that they have is totally attainable to it's within your grasp and, and his unreached, self-esteem his, his perfect integrity. That is not impossible. Speaker 1 00:11:23 We could all, we could all, not only aspire to that, but actually embrace it and, and have it for ourselves if we wanted it. And, uh, and he's been, he's been my guiding light, uh, through Hollywood. I think artists should be the, the barometer of our, of our, of our ethics, of our morals, what what's, what's good, what's bad in our society, and they should be, and they should fearlessly stand against what's wrong. And so often the opposite is the case, but they don't have Roers their guide. I do. So, uh, I know that my integrity, um, is more important than the money I make in my career. And so I'm, I'm willing to, to risk those things and to risk my popularity in the business to say what I think is right. And to, and to be at least in the, in the Vanguard of what I think is a real cultural fight going on right now, that could go either way. I mean, we're, we're, we're in very interesting times, I think the most interesting times that our history has ever known at least as interesting as the civil war, at least as interesting as, um, you know, the colonial battle for independence. It's, this is a, even a deeper spiritual, I think, uh, potential to win or lose, uh, this, this, uh, battle. So, Speaker 0 00:12:42 And what would you, how would you phrase or frame the, uh, competing forces and, and stakes? Speaker 1 00:12:50 It's always collectivism versus individualism in my view, and, and the stakes are a complete surrender to collectivism, which will ultimately be the loss of your own life and individual happiness that your own moral agency, um, people seem to be somewhat content with that, or not, not so much content as used to giving up more and more of their moral agency. And, um, I would like to, I would like to make them discontented with that. And, and so I, I produce videos, uh, as, as you do, to try to get people thinking about, um, concepts that I think they have, uh, erroneous presumptions about, like, you might talk about greed, I might talk about, uh, selfishness and, and, and by saying something in just the right combination of words, you can sometimes make it click for somebody that they've been thinking wrong the entire time. And that, I mean, that's transformative, that's transformative. So, um, so that, yeah, Speaker 0 00:13:50 Where can, cause I wanna put those, um, into the, the comment sections across our platforms, what's the best place to subscribe to see those videos? Speaker 1 00:14:00 Well, I, uh, if you go to my Twitter, uh, mark R peg mark R Pellegrino, uh, pro uh, pin to my profile is my, uh, reality check, uh, YouTube channel. So you could just go on that, check it out. Speaker 0 00:14:12 Okay. We'll make sure that, that we do that well, you, you know, speaking of integrity and, and being willing to, um, lose a, a lesser value for greater one, uh, and clearly, you know, you're a living example of what's important to you and, and what you're willing to let go. Um, you'd mentioned earlier that, you know, when you were a young actor and, and acting student that you were, you know, on the, on the left, uh, and that most of Hollywood is more on, on the left. Has that been, uh, an impediment to your career? I mean, you look at your, um, I am V page and it's just prolific, and I, I didn't realize that your, your more television and, and, uh, film career, uh, was came after your theater career. Has it, has it been an, an issue or is it one that you wouldn't necessarily see that you would just be a slow freeze or, Speaker 1 00:15:11 Yeah, it really depends on the situation. Um, fortunately for us, Objectivists, we, we, we don't fall into the tribes, so it's very hard for anyone on the left to classify you as right. They try sometimes on social media where you have, you know, 140 characters and, and, uh, it's easier for them to pigeonhole you, but since they can't quite classify you as, uh, someone on the right, and I identify as a liberal of the classical sort, um, they, they really don't know what to, to do with that. Um, and I would say that at the grassroots level, um, there's quite a bit more open mindedness than you would think, uh, than at least is portrayed out there. I think the media likes us to be at each other's throats. I think they like to paint things as these, this stark binary issue between two, well, we, we don't see it as binary, cuz there's sort of the same tribes, you know, battling out over particulars. Speaker 1 00:16:09 But, um, but they like that conflict. They, they, they, they think that, uh, that, um, that, that, that that's sort of essence of, of the way things work, but at the grass grassroots level, people are quite open to these ideas. I think because we have a unique way of articulating, uh, current events and perspectives and they've never heard them before it challenges them and it's not malignant. It's not, uh, it's not as forceful even as, as, as Rand, I think objectives have learned over the, over the years to not mitigate the messaging, but make it user friendly. Right. And more accessible to people. And, uh, I think people get that and I've, I've turned around lots of people at the very minimum. I get their respect when they talk to me, they know I'm not some, um, bone head and, Speaker 0 00:17:01 Uh, yeah, well, I mean, that's, uh, that must be yet another one of your, uh, unique talents and, um, you know, and I wonder also if, I don't know if I would call it a class divide, but I had, uh, recently Jack Carr author of the, the terminal list and, and he had just gotten, uh, finished with working with Chris Pratt on the Amazon series terminal list. And I asked him, you know, what it was like working on set. And, um, and I had him on, because I love his novels, but also because I, uh, learned that he, uh, was a huge admirer of iron Rand and her, her novels, not, not an objectiveist, but, um, informed by the book to a certain extent and, and, and how he found that. He just said that the, uh, especially the people that were working cameras and the grips and the makeup and the, you know, the huge army of production that comes along with it, people, uh, it, it, uh, was not the stereotype that he had come to the situation with that. He was more kind of pleasantly surprised that people were more open minded Speaker 1 00:18:09 Look like I have to, I have to say that. I think, I think the, uh, the actors in, in, in the acting community, in the, in the movie making world television, making world are, are handicapped by their teaching. Right. So if you're in the technical arts, there's, there's there's, um, there's, you, you can't avoid the, the mental elements and the, the, of, of, of the, um, of the technical arts in, in filmmaking. There's there's, uh, it's, it's not just about your emotions or quote unquote intuitions. You gotta do a lot of thinking to set up a shot a certain way. A lot of thinking about how, how to light it a certain way. A lot of thinking about other technical aspects, um, special effects, uh, makeup effects, all that stuff requires a combination of artistry in the mind, um, that actors are robbed of in their early training. Speaker 1 00:19:03 They they're a they're made, they are made, um, aliens in their own body. They they're, they're taught to cut off their heads. They're taught that their mind is not part of the creative process. Um, and that starts from the very early stages of training, even in, in a training, uh, even in a, a technique like Sanford Meisner method. Um, the purpose is to deal with self-consciousness, but in dealing with self-consciousness, they tell you all the time not to think, you know, the way you wouldn't, you, you wouldn't necessarily be, be thinking in your, if you're in the boxing ring, you would be reacting reflexively mm-hmm <affirmative>, um, to, you know, situations that you've, uh, integrated so much that they're just a part of your body. Um, but in, in, in the world of acting, they don't talk about it in those terms, they, they talk in disparaging terms about thinking and reason. Speaker 1 00:19:56 And I always try to, um, eliminate that aspect of the training for my actors. Um, because, um, interpretation is an, is an integrative process. If, when you're interpreting a scripture using both your mind and your, and your feelings in an integrative process, and you can't cut one or the other off, you need them both. So I think the, the, that fact alone makes, makes actors feel that they're, as, as Rand might say, paraphrasing, that their emotions are tools of cognition. And so they tend to, to think emotion of emotionally in just about every aspect of their life, which is one of the reasons why so many of their lives are in chaos and their politics are so bad. <laugh> and they're so E they're so easily used by, by the people in power. Um, so think, I think I try in my, in my own way to change that. Um, but it's been not just in, it's not, it is not in, it's just the acting field. I think it's in arts in general, um, is there's a, there's a push towards the, you know, that RESO romanticism of, of primitive man, you know, of that's that culture and civilization corrupt you, and, you know, it's, it's all, it's, it's all through it permeates through most teaching styles of acting. So I try to be different in that respect. Speaker 0 00:21:20 Awesome. You know, that's a totally new perspective to me and, um, gonna have to, to digest that, but, uh, makes a heck of a lot of sense. Um, you were talking about, you know, in boxing, you know, it becomes reaction and muscle memory and reflex. I understand that you are a, a student of Brazilian, uh, jujitsu, is that correct? Speaker 1 00:21:46 I'm a very bad student of Brazilian jujitsu. Speaker 0 00:21:49 <laugh> Speaker 1 00:21:49 I love, I love it, but my body hasn't cooperated with me for years with Brazilian jujitsu. So, uh, after my surgical procedure that I told you about, I, I am actually going to get back into Brazilian jujitsu in the next couple months, but I am a huge fan of the art. Just, just not the best practitioner. Speaker 0 00:22:08 Well, uh, my ex-husband is a Brazilian Jitsu instructor. So, um, Speaker 1 00:22:15 So he's a black belt. He's a black belt and BJ. Speaker 0 00:22:18 Yeah. Uh, Rafael corral. Speaker 1 00:22:20 Okay, man. So that's Harley in instant respect. Speaker 0 00:22:24 I I'm a fan of the art. Wasn't so much a fan of everything, but, but we're still friends. Well, Speaker 1 00:22:29 Some, some people don't let the, the, the martial artists way translate into their everyday life. Unfortunately. Speaker 0 00:22:36 Yeah, I know. Well, I, it's also, there, there are aspects of the Brazilian culture, which, you know, maybe I wasn't able to adapt myself to adequately. So, um, but I wanted to ask you about that because is that it, it always looked to me like it was, there was a little bit more chess involved, you know, that, that, um, it wasn't all instinct, or maybe it becomes at once, you know, these, these moves you, you know them because they're technical moves, it's not just hit, hit, hit, hit, you know, hit this way, hit that way. It's about leveraging and, you know, um, being strategic in a way Speaker 1 00:23:15 That's precisely it. I mean, uh, even in boxing, they call, they call good fighters, uh, fighters who can exercise, good ring general ship. Um, so what, what, that's not just imposing your will on the other person in the ring or in the octagon or on the mat. It's an ability to, to see what the other person's doing, figure out what their weaknesses are and play the strategic game of trapping them into, into, um, you know, being on the receiving end of, of your violence. And that is very thoughtful, cerebral process. The guys who do it best, especially in jujitsu jujitsu, I think attracts very cerebral people, um, because you are setting up, moves in advance, you know, you, you, the best jujitsu, which is probably why I'm not that great at it yet, but the best, the best of them, you know, are setting up moves six or seven or eight moves. There are 7, 8, 8 moves ahead of you. And, and that's, that's an incredible amount of brain power to be expending in that <laugh> in those moments. Speaker 0 00:24:16 Yeah. That's, you know, unless you get put to sleep too many times. Speaker 1 00:24:20 Yes. Yeah. Well, you have to go there too. You have to, you have to make all those mistakes before you can integrate all those, all those, uh, options in, in your work. Um, well, I I'll let you know when I'm there. Speaker 0 00:24:33 <laugh> okay. Uh, I'm, I'm being, uh, selfish, but not in a good way, um, because I love our audience and, uh, you guys always have terrific questions. So, um, and I know that you come back in order to, uh, have an opportunity to chat with our guests. So, uh, let's take a look here. Jackson, Sinclair on Instagram is asking why is there such a fascination with superhero shows, uh, and movies, where is the great but normal hero, Speaker 1 00:25:07 Right? I mean, uh, you know, that there's probably a few objective as philosophers who could answer that question better than me, but I, I definitely feel, you know, human beings need heroes. We need them, uh, like we need food and we get them somewhere. And we've been in a, uh, we we've, I think, uh, we, we, the dominant perspective, you know, respecting human beings now is, uh, is to, is to look at them with a Ja to eye, you know, they're, they're fallen and, and, uh, broken and incapable of, you know, rising above, you know, whatever faults they have, uh, and, and acquiring values in the end, they're going to lose, um, you know, and we've, we've gotten into even the greatest heroes. We have to see their flaws in order to somehow identify with them, but we don't have to do that with superheroes. Speaker 1 00:25:59 Superheroes can just be pretty awesome. Um, you know, and they can, they can do all that stuff unapologetically, of course, now I think we're, we're throwing in the cynicism and the humor into the superhero genre. And now there's a, there's a show which I have to say is one of my favorites, uh, the boys, uh, now the boys a sort of reaction to the superhero genre. I mean, it, uh, it shows, uh, it shows, uh, normal people as fighting against these massive frauds, basically. I mean, typically corporate entities who are supposed to be, you know, keeping the world safe, but they're really criminal criminals. And it takes this group of very brave, eclectic, uh, souls to, uh, fight them and sabotage this, this corporate entity, uh, the creator of the show, the boys on, on Amazon is Eric crike, who was the creator of supernatural, um, which, which was the first show he ever, I think, pitched to a network. And the, and his first show was the longest running sci-fi show on, uh, on I think, any network actually, um, aside from Dr. Who what's that 15, quite Speaker 0 00:27:09 An achievement. Speaker 1 00:27:09 Yeah. Quite an achievement. And so now he is doing this anti hero, uh, superhero show that's has some interesting, uh, interesting stuff in it. Speaker 0 00:27:19 Okay. Well, this one doves tails into that. Having been on one of the longest running, uh, shows Joshua Carter on Facebook is asking in your time in Hollywood, what has been the most striking change, if any, since when you first started? Speaker 1 00:27:36 Well, I mean, I think the fact that, uh, is streaming platforms have, have created, uh, a massive, um, a massive creative opportunity for people that didn't exist before, you know, before the studios controlled things, not, not in the way they did, you know, all the way up to the end of the studio era in the sixties, but, um, but, uh, they, they had control over actors' lives and what, what they could produce. And now you can make a movie on your iPhone and you can, uh, you can sell this movie to a streaming platform and make a mint, or, uh, I've had friends who produced shorts on YouTube that got four, 5 million views that led them to getting some of the, the best, most high profile management in the business, which then led them to be producing shows on Netflix. So, you know, there's a billion ways now that you could get in the door. I mean, you think about Billy Bob Thornton was an unknown for, for many, many years. And then he did this little short, um, which he turned into a film called sling blade, and that put him on the map forever, but now anybody can do that. I mean, that was sort of an interesting and unusual way for him to make his bones in the business. But now you could do that. I could do anybody could do that. So, um, Speaker 0 00:28:57 Yeah, I love looking at the positive, right. So there's just sometimes I don't know if it's more wired or it's become habit. It's like, well, this is going downhill and everything's falling apart. And there are, you know, big, big threats and, and, and dangers, but also, um, I always like to say, to be objective, you have to have perspective. And part of the perspective is a bit of gratitude, um, and a feeling of, of, uh, greater possibilities because of, of some of the technological changes. Speaker 1 00:29:26 Yeah. We're in the golden age of television. Now there's a lot of crap being put up, but there's also a lot of great stuff and it's a massive platforms that almost anybody can use. And what was unheard of in, even at the time that I started, uh, in the business was crossover from television to movies. You know, television was considered a step down for somebody. Um, you know, you were either a movie star or stage actor or a television actor. And all of those carried a place in the hierarchy and movie star was at the top and, uh, TV star was at the bottom, but now television, uh, is, is a, is a space where people from every genre are crossing over and through big movie stars, big, big movie directors, theater directors, everybody's passing through the genre of television now and, and, um, exercising their talents there. So it's a really, really fruitful time in that, in that world. Speaker 0 00:30:19 Exciting. Okay. Alantra on Instagram asking, do you think that social media has made it hard for people to have the productive conversations and do things like, uh, the book exchange that you did that changed your life? Speaker 1 00:30:35 Um, yes and no. I mean, on the one hand, social media has exposed me to lots of fine people in the objective community, tons of people who were considered at one time, part of the intellectual, dark web, um, you know, intellectuals and professors who I'm still friends with to this day, all, you know, all were introduced to me and the surprise of my tweets, you know? Um, and, and, and it got me in with these folks who I, I have relationships with now and hope to continue having intellectual and business relationships with in the future. Um, but you know, like E everything comes, comes with trades, right? And, and you're magnifying these great voices, but also magnifying the bullshit, excuse my French. But there's, you know, there, there's a lot of ways in which that media can be corrupted and it's being corrupted. Um, uh, and there's really, no, I don't think there's a monetary incentive to, um, to ex expose the corruption fully at this point. I think Elon Musk is going to try to do that. And I think that will bring some purity, but, you know, there's always gonna be bad actors, exploiting, whatever system is out there for their, for not for their, not for their short term gain, you know, for, for some gross, disgusting reason. And, and all we can do is just try to mitigate them by just, you know, silencing them or silencing them in sense that not allowing them to have the voice by continuing to, to fight with them, Speaker 0 00:32:04 To engage with them. Yeah. And I think there's a bit of, um, uh, objectiveism in, in there in terms of not getting upset or not caring, you know, what people who wanna hurt you or, you know, um, just not letting it bother you. And it's, uh, it's a skill that if you practice it, um, and you make it your own, it'll help you in other walks of Speaker 1 00:32:27 Life. The, the problem is the problem is, uh, uh, I'll refer to this book by Cheryl, uh, Atkinson, uh, called the smear, which it's a, it's a book about the fall of journalism really, but the problem is that, that these people, aren't just hurting your feelings. If they have, if they have enough of a yen to, uh, harm you, they will go to your employers and to, uh, your other working relationships and try to poison them. And, uh, you know, you can have the best attitude about that in the world, but it's not gonna stop that, that influence Speaker 0 00:32:58 Very good point, I guess I'm just fortunate that, um, <laugh>, I've got a particular job where it's gonna be very difficult for detractors to, to shake me out of it. And, um, I'm not too dependent on other people for that's very great other aspects. So, but that is, would not be my, the case if I was, I was working in Hollywood for sure. Mm-hmm <affirmative> um, okay. Uh, Sandy Pierre on zoom, do you think there are more actor celebrities who are objective libertarian, but they keep quiet because they worry it will damage their career. Speaker 1 00:33:37 Absolutely Speaker 0 00:33:40 Encouraging Speaker 1 00:33:41 <laugh> Speaker 0 00:33:43 Well, Speaker 1 00:33:43 You know, there, there was a super secret, uh, organization of, um, of cons. That's it not so secret anymore? Oh, Speaker 0 00:33:51 Well, not so secret to me because, Speaker 1 00:33:53 Well, it got, it did get exposed. It got exposed to some, some, uh, rabid left the, uh, uh, infiltrated the meetings and started outing people who wanted to stay, um, stay, um, anonymous. And so I guess Gary SICE and John voy decided to close it down, but it has reinvigorated, uh, I think in, I, I hope I don't even know if I'm supposed to be saying that, but it, it should, you know, because those people have as much a place, uh, in, in the world of entertainment as anybody else. And, um, and the left could learn from the perspective I learned from the perspective I'm not among them. I, I don't, I don't agree with conservatives, but I certainly find them, uh, a great deal, more receptive to, uh, new ideas than some of the folks, especially college educated folks on the left. Um, and that says something since conservatives are supposed to be the, you know, the, Speaker 0 00:34:49 The mean ones, the Speaker 1 00:34:51 Well, and the, yeah, yeah. The close might and wise, they're not supposed to be progressive anymore. But the unique thing about America, I think is conservatism should have been conserving liberalism. That's what it's, that's, that's where it's unique in the world of, uh, American politics and, and social philosophy. So, uh, our conservatives are, are now <laugh> I think taking a different turn, but at, at one time that that liberalistic grain in them, I think, made them quite open to new stuff. Speaker 0 00:35:21 Yeah, no, it's interesting. As I was referencing in my childhood, you know, so I also, like you grew up very progressive in those days, we called it liberal, uh, and, um, Newton, Massachusetts, very Jewish community never met, never met a Republican conservative ever. Um, so it was pretty easy to go around thinking that conservatives were, as I had absorbed, uh, either stupid, you know, impaired or, um, somehow just malicious and sadistic mean spirited. And so, um, when I went to Harvard, you wouldn't think there would be that many conservatives, uh, there, or libertarians, but there were a couple, and it was quite a rude awakening for me to see that they were actually quite kind and, you know, at least the ones, not exactly a huge, uh, survey, but enough to make me have to go back and, and rethink a lot of what I had been brought up to believe and try, you know, going back to the drawing board for me. Speaker 0 00:36:29 So that was, that was helpful. Um, alright, so I've got a question here for me, Liberty fire medic, deputy asked, is there a story behind the dollar sign broach there is, and I'll tell it to you briefly. Of course, fine. Rand, uh, was in one of the most unique gifts that she gave us was at this moral defense of capitalism, capitalism, uh, received a heroic portrayal in, uh, Atlas shrugged, and the dollar sign features as the light motif in the novel. Um, and I, Rand herself wore, uh, a dollar pin. She said that the dollar sign as the symbol of the currency of a free market is the symbol of a free mine. So I wear it in Homa to I Rand, but I also wear just as a practical marketing <laugh> tool that, um, as I go out, I can't read people's minds. I can't go up to everybody, ask them if they're an Ironman fan, but by wearing this, I will sometimes get people coming out of, out of the woodwork. So there you have it. Uh, alright, well, I'm gonna go back to some of my questions, um, including of course, I wanna make sure we get to talk about the American capitalist party. What inspired you to start it and, uh, who would, who would be your choice to possibly run for president on the platform with what's your vision? Speaker 1 00:38:00 Yeah, so I was inspired, uh, probably about five or six years ago by, um, uh, Joe Sanders. Uh, a guy I met on social media. Uh, who's a, I think a financial guy, he's an investor, that's what he does. Um, and we had to discuss fruitful discussion back and forth about whether or not it was time for third party, a third party to come up and, and, and take the other side. And, and maybe the status from the Democrats and the republics could consolidate into one. And then all the individualists and liberals, uh, could fly over to this other party. Um, and we, we were at went to great lengths at talking about it and decided that it was at least time to put a platform out there as a, as an island, an ideological island, uh, or a refuge for people who were disillusioned by the Democrats and the Republicans and or libertarians that could see a, a true representation of individual rights, at least in the concrete, uh, example of our, of our party. Speaker 1 00:39:05 Um, and when we first, uh, put it out there, I did solicit a couple of folks. Um, um, but they went to the Republicans where the, where the money was. And I did attempt to get Justin Amash to come over from. He, he went from Republican to libertarian and I tried to get him to come over to the capitals party. Um, and haven't heard anything, uh, from him since my attempt to do that. Uh, occasionally I check in with him and say, you're on the wrong side pound. You gotta be <laugh>. Um, but he, he is one of the most, um, thoughtful libertarians out there. Uh, and I'm very much against libertarianism in general. Um, but he does say some great things and I think he could make a very, a very good candidate for the capital's party. If I could just sit down and talk him out of libertarianism. Um, and I'm stupid enough in some ways, or maybe vain enough or prideful enough to believe that I actually can talk him out of it. Um, so, uh, you seem to Speaker 0 00:40:08 Be rather uniquely persuasive though, I would say so. I wouldn't, uh, wouldn't go up, Speaker 1 00:40:12 Give up. Good, good. Maybe it's my passion that maybe my passion reads through. Um, so, uh, at, at the moment, I think the only way the capitalist party can really grow, uh, since I'm a working actor and that's primarily what I do and I teach, I teach internationally, um, acting, uh, and I've been writing and trying and producing my own stuff. And my reality checks, I don't really have time to throw it all away, to focus on trying to build up a party and go up against this massive, uh, yeah. Issue cracking that they call the duopoly, you know, uh, the second you come out as a political party, they, they set their legal dogs on you and they try to take you out of the knees. It's, it's really disgusting, um, really disgusting political monopoly. Um, so what, what I'm hoping happens and what I'm trying to encourage people to do is to do it at the grassroots, start at the local level, somebody who's interested. Right, right. Start. Somebody's interested in putting this party on a ballot somewhere, run under that moniker, get the signatures that you need to do it, get on the ballot and see what happens. Um, the, the platform is written by Andrew Bernstein. Who's written some great books on capitalism. Exactly. Speaker 0 00:41:23 Yeah. Speaker 1 00:41:23 Um, who's a great spokesperson for capitalism. A, a friend of mine. I like to consider him a friend of mine. Um, uh, I, I think he's an uncompromising voice out there, there, and that's what we need right now. We need people who are not willing to compromise ethical principles, um, to make alliances. And I don't know if that was gonna be a question later on, but I don't think that, um, objectives should be aligned with libertarians. I don't think capital should be aligned with libertarians. Um, for the short end gain of getting a little bit of political power. You've already, once you've compromised your values, they're done, they're compromised. I don't know that you can ever go back. Somebody in the chat may be able to convince me that I'm wrong, but I don't think so. Speaker 0 00:42:04 Well, you I'd love to hear your perspective on, uh, what's wrong with libertarianism. Of course, iron Rand had her famous critique of libertarianism, the, the hippies of the right. Um, some of that also may have been aesthetic and, and cultural though, of course, she was concerned about, uh, their sort of, uh, perhaps moral relativism. Um, I have my own beef, but love to Speaker 1 00:42:29 Get your, what's your, what's your beef. And then I'll tell you mine. Speaker 0 00:42:32 I wanna see us celebrate virtues and have some priorities. Um, and I get very concerned when I sometimes feel that the arguments for drug legalization almost verge over into a celebration of drugs or drug culture, and rather than having a conversation about, you know, it's really important that you take care of this and, um, addictions and drug abuse, uh, can be a really dangerous thing. So that, that would just be one example, you know, um, I sometimes see the libertarian presidential candidates. They'll, they'll get addicted to every time they'll tweet about legalizing drugs and they'll get huge engagement metrics they can focus on rather than talking about, can we legalize some of the most productive activities, um, like production and innovation, um, uh, and maybe that should be more of a focus than, uh, if, if we had to choose one to go first. Speaker 1 00:43:31 Yeah. Well, I think, I think the reason libertarians highlight the legality of vice, um, is, is a very telling is a very telling, um, thing, because they don't understand the relationship of Liberty to reason and reason to virtue. Um, you know, a, a long time ago, rush limbos said something in his radio, uh, show that that was true, but it was from a conservative perspective. So it was kind of screwed up at the same time, but it was nonetheless true. He said, Liberty is the freedom to do what you ought. And when you think of the purpose of Liberty is to subordinate, violent to reason all across the spectrum of human action and libertarians don't understand that they see Liberty as an end unto itself. They don't see it as a means of subordinate force, so that reason can flourish. They see it as an end unto itself. Speaker 1 00:44:27 So any, anything that impedes what they consider their freedom, which they, I think, equate with the feeling of being free or not is, is, uh, is an anathema. So you can, you can have, um, you okay, buddy. So you could have someone like, uh, Murray Rothbard, uh, you know, claiming that, uh, it's, it's perfectly justified for a parent to starve its child to death because he shouldn't be legally bound or obligated to, um, to feed his child. That's an, that's an impingement upon his Liberty. Liberty is, is, you know, doing what you want to do, what you feel like doing, not what you think you should do. So it's, it's definitely emotion based at it's very at it. It's very core mm-hmm <affirmative> and they don't, they also don't understand the nature of government. They, they don't understand why we need government again, to subordinate might to write and to, uh, raise, uh, reason, uh, promote reason as the means of, um, settling disputes. They, they think that, uh, giving an institution a monopoly of force is, uh, is, is the way you, you don't do that. Um, so they don't understand the nature of force. They don't understand that all force is a monopoly. They don't understand that government is a means of mitigating force and, and, uh, um, those are the reasons I can't get behind pretty much any libertarian candidate, cuz in the end they're anarchists who don't think the government is, uh, is an appropriate means of dealing with violence and settling conflicts Speaker 0 00:46:11 In terms of the candidates. What about T Gabbard? I know you you'd like her to see, like, to see her run for president, but maybe not a good candidate for the capitalist party, the American capitalist. Speaker 1 00:46:22 Well, I mean, she, she there's there's apparently she likes UBI, which I'm not a fan of. Um, uh, but I have thought that she and Justin Amash would make a very good, uh, team, her as vice president and, uh, and Justin as president or vice versa. I think she's very telegenic. I think she's been one of the more rational voices out there in the, in our irrational universe. And I would certainly support her. And I said, so on Twitter, I wish you would run for president cuz it with the slate of candidates and potential candidates. She's the one I would vote for now. Speaker 0 00:46:58 Interesting. Um, getting back to, uh, to your acting career, uh, was I understand that your supernatural fans helped you find your biological father. Speaker 1 00:47:13 Yes. So many years ago. I'm sorry. My, my dog is a little overheated, so I'm hoping I'm out here. Um, so, uh, many years ago, my mother, Speaker 0 00:47:24 What's your dog's name by the way? Speaker 1 00:47:26 Frankie, Frankie. Frankie. He's 16. He's Speaker 0 00:47:29 16. Not, not, not named after Francisco, Speaker 1 00:47:32 Not named after Francisco, but he's a little Wiener dog. So he is like a Frankie. So, uh, many years ago I discovered that my name father was not my father, but I didn't do anything about it. I don't know why I had no interest in discovering who my father was in my twenties, but I, I didn't have an interest. Um, uh, I'll skip all the complex stuff in relationship with my, with bill Pellegrino and just get to the chase, uh, during COVID I just decided to ask my fan base, if anybody could find my father, I knew his name and I knew some details about him and within an hour they found him. Speaker 0 00:48:11 Wow. Speaker 1 00:48:12 Yeah. And I, and so I, uh, I found my sister who lives in ADA, California, and uh, three brothers and another sister who lived back east. All of them were polyglots. My father was born in Zurich and spoke affluent German and then moved to Montreal, spoke fluent French. He became a, a banker of like of foreign acquisitions in California and spoke fluent English and could speak, um, pretty much any language of any country that he entered into within two weeks. So he that's amazing. He was, he was amazing. Um, and uh, he passed away in 2009, so I never got a chance to meet him, but I have a pretty solid relationship with my younger sister right now. And, and I love talking to her and she's also a poly lot. All of my brothers and sisters speak, uh, at least three languages Speaker 0 00:49:03 And you, Speaker 1 00:49:04 Uh, but people say, Speaker 0 00:49:07 Okay, so we'll add that to versus nurture. Speaker 1 00:49:12 Right. Well, I'm learning it, but I, I do learn it quickly. So I know that the, the, the nature part is in there. So, uh, it's just a matter of sitting down with it every day and practicing Speaker 0 00:49:23 Any roles that you've had to, uh, to either learn some foreign language or, um, an accent Speaker 1 00:49:30 I've done tons of roles with accents and dialects. I've done, I've done, uh, Mississippi Delta regions of Texas regions of New York. I've done Scottish, Irish, Russian, Swedish. Um, I had to speak, uh, an entire scene in Korean for lost, and I had to do some Russian, some actual Russian in lost as well. Um, uh, tons, tons of I've done. I've I've done about three or four different types of English, uh, dialects. So standard, uh, received pronunciation, Cockney, and a little Manchester. I've done all that. So that's Speaker 0 00:50:09 Fun. Speaker 1 00:50:10 Yeah. Speaker 0 00:50:12 So, um, did you, uh, in your study of objectiveism and, and the philosophy, did you ever, uh, meet, run across with Daniel, Brandon? Any thoughts on his work on psychology? Speaker 1 00:50:25 Uh, I did meet and run across Nathaniel, Brandon. I read everything Nathaniel Brandon wrote and then decided to, um, take him on as a therapist in, uh, about in the nineties. And so he was my therapist for about a year. And, uh, it was a little intimidating to be honest with you because I had a great deal of respect for his work. And I was hesitant to, to, to show my, my weaknesses, you know, um, oh my goodness in there. Um, but he was, Speaker 0 00:50:59 He wanted to kind of live up to, Speaker 1 00:51:01 Uh, I wanted to be a, I wanted to be a, a, a, a hero, an objectiveist hero, you know, before I was ready to be. And, um, so I don't know that I, that I was able to completely, um, um, benefit from, from the therapy that he, that he gave me, but it was certainly a, a very interesting and heady experience to have sat with him for a year. And I don't think he, I think he had a lot to contribute to objectives. I don't think objectiveism would be here as a philosophy without him, without his influence. And Nathaniel Brandon Institute was what advanced objectiveism in the sixties. And so, um, and he was the one who convinced, ran to write a textbook for crying out loud so that it could be taken seriously as a philosophy. Uh, so, so in that respect, uh, I, the movement Oza great deal to him. I know that there's a split. I know that people don't like talking about Nathaniel. Um, but I got great value out of him. Speaker 0 00:51:54 Well, we don't mind talking about him, which may be why people don't like talking to us, but, um, but I, I think that, uh, this would be an example of letting one's emotions get in, in, in the way. And of course, um, I'm sure it was extremely painful and disappointing for iron Rand. Um, when that didn't work out the way she wanted it to. But of course, I, I think that that split, um, which in some ways continues to stay, it was very traumatic for a lot of people and very, um, confusing. Speaker 1 00:52:27 Indeed. Indeed. It was. Could you, I'm sorry, could you give me two seconds? Uh, I have to, of course I have to deal with something real fast. I'll be right back. Speaker 0 00:52:34 All right. Um, and we will actually go to a couple of the questions. I'll see if there are a few that, um, that I can help with, uh, that those are some good questions. Um, his take on Rob Lowe and Mel Gibson, and let's see thoughts on, what are your feelings and thoughts on Jesse mullet and the scandal? Uh, well, I will, you know, not here to comment on him as an actor, but I would say that that is an example of, uh, what we see in terms of the elevation, the moral elevation that we see for people who can claim to be victims. Um, and in this case, because there are a scarcity of actual victims of, uh, racial hate crimes, um, Jesse swell found a value in inventing one. I hope your dog is okay. Speaker 1 00:53:47 Yeah, me too. He, uh, I think it's a little too warm for him up here. He's 16 and he was looking, uh, a little peeked. So I, I needed to get him downstairs where it was cooler and where there was water. Speaker 0 00:53:59 All right. Well, listen, um, we only have a few more, uh, minutes left and I want you to, to focus on, uh, on your household, uh, priority there. So, um, any other things that we maybe didn't get to, or, um, issue Speaker 1 00:54:18 That, I mean, we just, we just have to stay on it, uh, with our noses to the grindstone and, and become a dominant voice in the culture, uh, that, that may not happen in our generation. Um, maybe a couple generations down the line, but we gotta do it now. We're at a, I think a, a, a very important point in history, um, where we could go full collectivist and full status where full individualistic and, uh, so we need to make the case for individualism hard right now. Speaker 0 00:54:49 Yes. And I would add to that, we need to do it creatively. And, uh, creativity is only possible to the independent thinker. So, um, while continuing to promote objectiveism as a philosophy, having, uh, tolerance or for different points of view, even within objectiveism and encouraging people to take risks and to try something new and be willing to, you know, be made, make a fool of oneself. I certainly have done that, um, many times myself. So, um, but that kind of willingness to take risks has allowed me to be more creative. And that has also allowed me to, to, um, take on some of the, the projects which have been successful. So, uh, mark, it was really just a pleasure to, uh, to get to know you. Um, I wanna encourage everyone go to his Twitter feed and sign up for his YouTube. Um, that content is excellent and, uh, and we hope our PA paths will cross again soon. Thank you, mark. Speaker 1 00:55:48 Thank you very much. Speaker 0 00:55:50 Um, and I want to thank all of you who joined us today. Thank you for your excellent questions. Uh, I want to encourage all of you, especially those of you who are in the Southern California, part of the, the country to, uh, check out our events, Paige, because our gala is coming up, um, in Malibu, on October 6th, we're going to be, uh, honoring Michael sailor and Peter D Amanda will be giving him the award. Uh, we have supporters coming in from around the country and, uh, opportunity for us to draw strength from each other and support the work of the opposite society. So thank you.

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