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Episode 191: You Made It Weird
Emily Maya Mills

You Made It Weird #191: Emily Maya Mills

Emily Maya Mills makes it weird!

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  1. choy says:

    “We’re outliving our gums and our commitments” – HA!!!So many great takeaways from this one I don’t even know where to start, but I will say, one of my new favorites.

  2. Sean Cannon says:

    It kinda saddens me to read so many people saying this episode was some sort of “final straw” for them. To me, that merely looks like a case of someone unwilling to even listen to someone who doesn’t agree with them. I do sympathize with you guys though….I’m an atheist with strong anti-theist tendencies in terms of religion’s influence on credulous uneducated people. Religion is a poison. I’m in agreement there.

    But…I no longer feel rationality is THE highest virtue…or that it’s applicable in all areas of life. It’s applicable to most…but I don’t think all things spiritual are simply bullshit. To me, the word “spirituality” defines the urge toward transcendent/trans-rationalism and the various existential big-mysteries such as “what is existence…and why is it even possible?” or “what IS consciousness truly?” As an atheist, I’m more fascinated by those topics than damn near anything else.

    Pete is merely exploring these tangents. What I like about his approach, is that he doesn’t rely on faith(belief in spite of sufficient evidence). Rather, he’s simply open to conversation and exploration…without committing to anything either way. So what if he happens to come from a Christian background that inevitably influences his worldview? Hell, I actually find it a bit refreshing. Pete’s the ONLY Christian-leaning human being I’ve ever actually wanted to listen to. As a former born-again believer myself, I like listening to someone who’s from that world. I appreciate aspects of that world. I don’t think any of it was necessary or true….but it sure was interesting.
    The older I get(just turned 31), the more I think an INTERESTING life is much more valuable than a life lived based solely on empirically correct beliefs. The scientific method is the most powerful tool we humans ever invented for ascertaining truth. But….humans aren’t merely chemical reactions. We are that, and we’re mammals, and we’re stardust, and we’re a bag of chemicals, and we’re only atoms, AND we’re highly intelligent quasi-god-like animals utterly unlike any of the other animals on this planet. There’s something deeply profound to existence and our conscious apprehension of it.
    It’s ABSURD to claim with certainty what that’s all about(hence, why religion will always fail) but….it’s equally absurd to ignore that side of being a human simply because there aren’t any clear answers. The mystery is deeply inspiring and important. The deep existential mystery of reality is what continually fascinates and challenges me.

  3. tguff says:

    I love both of these Smiley people and hearing them chat about life is super fun. Thanks guys!

  4. Todd says:

    no bad words in my post except the word hell but pete doesn’t let it go through now? Is someone getting sensitive?

  5. Jamjo says:

    I’ve only listened to about 10 or so episodes but this one may be my favorite. The quote about love and pens was too much real life! The rest of my day is guaranteed to be crispy now.

  6. Sarah says:

    Big fan of the podcast, Pete, his weird new-agey ideas, etc…

    However I DO think he was particularly chatty on this one; he could have left more room for her to speak. I like how comfortable and natural he is but a host should not to dominate a conversation (at one point she tries to interject– he says sorry, but keeps talking). These are interesting guests that often I don’t know much about. I appreciate the points Pete makes, but his views are represented every episode whereas the guest’s are not– it’s their perspectives that bring diversity and variation to the show. Maybe it’s just me, but I felt like the ideas he wanted to communicate were mostly driving the (interesting!) conversation.

    All in all, thanks for a great podcast!!!!

  7. dyso says:

    Errr, I meant “Everyone criticizing Pete who isn’t Patrick,” not sure how I got that that confused, Zimmerman is a fucking murderer no matter what that racist jusry said.

  8. dyso says:

    I’m with Patrick. I used to not mind the trips into hippiehorseshitland (and as a perpetually stoned bike-riding vegan socialist who hasn’t used a razor in years unless it was to clear room for a tattoo some might say I don’t have a lot of room to talk,) but it’s getting rare that I can finish an episode anymore. I haven’t subscribed for about two phones now, but for a while I was still listening to most episodes. I don’t think I made it more than 15 minutes into this one. I don’t think I’ll be coming back unless I see a guest I really can’t miss.

    It really isn’t about the fact that Pete believes in dumb shit with no evidence. It’s the insistence that those of us who don’t are somehow missing out. Well I personally believed in all kinds of dumb shit when I was a teenager, I was a Wiccan, a Taoist, a Satanist. I believed in every conspiracy theory ever, and I’ll admit it was all kinda fun. But then I grew up. I read Sagan, and Dawkins, and Einstein. I read John Stuart Mill and Jean-Paul Sartre. And I discovered that there can be just as much wonder in in exploring reality as there is in “magic,” and without having to constantly make excuses to yourself for why your magic beans haven’t sprouted.

  9. Gostava_ says:

    Cool interview, Emily found herself a new fan. Also in terms of guest suggestions I recommend Janet Varney! Come on you have had almost everyone from nerdist but her.

  10. GooseGanja says:

    Man I miss the live episodes. With his TBS show I dont think we will hear one anytime soon.

  11. No One says:

    Your absolutely right. Its a fucking game and no one has to play.

  12. Tillburg says:

    Fun episode Pete. You should look into getting Dan Naturman on sometime.

  13. Adam says:

    Update: I finished listening to the podcast. My challenge remains, but I also found the last third of the episode to be beautiful and very thought-provoking. It’s great that Pete is able to churn up thoughts that are introspective and self-evolving.

  14. Ted says:

    This episode was even more insufferable than the average episode. And that’s a pretty notable feat.

  15. Al says:

    I like Pete Holmes and enjoy his stand up and tv show, but these criticisms about his philosophical views are fair. No one would expect him to perfectly represent the best arguments in every episode. It’s normal for a human being to have biases, and the guest can offer dissenting or supporting opinions. However, when there is no evolution in his arguments, it begins to feel more like a series of rhetorical questions, rather than a true search for answers (or for better question). For example, Holmes is still referring to Pascal’s Wager, which wasn’t even a particularly serious argument in Pascal’s time. Even if it seems like an interesting thought experiment, the next step should be to, at least, investigate whether there have been thoughtful responses.

    I’m picking on Pascal’s Wager because its original iteration was torn apart by Pascal’s contemporaries. It’s not so much that all of Holmes’ statements are as weak as this reference; it’s more that it represents a lack of progression in the podcast. Again, Holmes’ differing opinions are fine. But when a logical fallacy is repeated so frequently, and the plentitude of easily accessible counter-arguments receive no mention, then it feels like an exercise in self-validation disguised as exploration.

  16. matt says:

    I’m no expert on DMT but can you smoke it accidentally out of a joint? Also don’t you have a kind of blackout hallucination experience when on the drug, not a seeing the world as it is with a bunch of weird shit around it. I have never done it, I’m genuinely asking

  17. Patty Marvel says:


    Haven’t listened to the podcast yet, but I’ve read the comments and am a little concerned about the whole “atheists / skeptics lack wonder ” thread. I’ve heard tell I’m supposed to lack both wonder and ethics due to not believing in God, which is a little off-putting and hopefully not what Pete was getting at.

    I can’t speak for ALL atheists and skeptics, but I in particular still have wonder (and morals). Just last week my husband started a Facebook conversation where he stated he should hire a fact- checker before posting another “blue watermelon” link (long story) and our friend Eric told him Snopes and other sites are free. To that, Hubby replied, ” True…I just hate having to check EVERYTHING. Are there no more wonders to promote?” That’s when I jumped into the conversation and reminded him that, yes, there are many wonders in the world. I used the example of the smart phone he carried. I reminded him of something he once told me, that human beings were sent to the moon and back again REPEATEDLY using less tech / memory / engineering / whatever than was on the device most of us use to make phone calls and play Angry Birds.

    Think about it – less than two centuries after two Frenchmen were able to float off the ground ( ) and less than seven decades after two Americans took to CONTROLLED flight ( ), we humans broke the bonds of Earth’s gravity COMPLETELY and landed on the MOON! And came BACK! And then did the whole darn trip AGAIN! REPEATEDLY! How is THAT not a thing to wonder at??!?! Granted, in terms of galactic events, we just went next door for a cup of sugar, but in human terms it was a f*(king big deal! And now we use some of that tech from those NASA trips every day in our cell phones and video games and who knows WHAT else. And don’t even get me started on natural wonders like the Grand Canyon or Niagara Falls.

    In short, we atheists and skeptics DO have the ability to wonder and to be amazed. Just because we don’t believe in a spiritual world doesn’t mean we’re dismissive of the physical one.

    And now to listen to the podcast…

  18. Frank says:

    Hey Pete,
    1) Thanks for the words. They are often funny.
    2) Not knowing a solution does not imply that another party does not hold that knowledge, nor does it imply that no solution exists. The assertion of ineffability can cripple comprehension, and should perhaps be handled with just as much caution as an assertion of certainty.

  19. Adam says:

    I’m largely in agreement with Patrick. Pete talks in an exclusionary matter quite often, putting “Trans-realists” against realists, immediately putting realists into the camp of unimaginative people without a sense of wonder. Do you know what makes me gape in amazement? All of creation. The fact that it exists, continues to exist, and will last until we’ve all collapsed into dust. That we breathe oxygen (a deadly, toxic substance). That we have sent men to the fucking moon. That we can MAKE insulin, something we used to have to cull from pig livers.

    Yes, Pete will talk with atheists and is, in many ways, one himself. That doesn’t mean he represents or talks about things that are truly wondrous AND factual. I’m still floored by his interview with the famous crank, David Wolfe–who isn’t even a comic–and practically gave him a 3 hour long infomercial on the podcast.

    Challenge: Bring an interesting, compelling person who is able to talk logically about the wonderful things in the world. I bet it’ll be fun, entertaining, and still full of whimsy. Just not whimsical bullshit.


  20. Nathaniel says:

    that article on Marina is somewhat a continuation of the theme of this episode. they seem to talk about ” the universe ” the way they wish it was or in a a poetic way as opposed to what is true and real. which could be frustrating to someone who wants to believe as many true things and a few false things as possible. Believing things for bad reasons can lead to believing more things for bad reasons. I think its important to care what is actually true , and to withhold believe until it is sufficiently demonstrated to be true and real

  21. Heather says:

    Marina did have plastic surgery. The more you know…

  22. Petey Pants says:

    Why doesn’t Pete quit stand-up and become a self-help guru? It’s obviously where his true passion lies. And he’s a lot better at motivating people than making them laugh.

  23. Jesse says:

    Pretty good ep! You guys either sound like good friends or that you shoulda got right to boning as soon as the mics turned off. 😛

  24. Patrick says:

    Seriously, any of you guys, email me, I’d love to discuss it. It’s bethefawn(at)gmail. Hell, I’ll even skype about it. I’m sick of the false equivalencies, and I’m sick of being told that being actually inquisitive about the world means that I’m close-minded. I’m sick of seeing one of my favorite comedians unwittingly advancing a shitty agenda. I’m not calling you guys out, but if you think I’m so wrong, I’d love to have a real conversation about it in a more convenient place (and one where anonymity doesn’t allow you to be so hit-and-run about it). Seriously, if anyone is within 20 miles of Portland, I’ll buy you a fucking coffee and listen to what you have to say. If you still think I’m full of shit, or over-dramatic, I’ll buy you a David Wolfe gift bag.

    I’m not trying to talk people out of faith, I’m trying to sow a little logic. I look forward to hearing from you.

  25. Andrew says:

    I have to agree with Vismund. I don’t listen to the Podcast to hear my views accurately represented; I listen for the entertainment value and to hear new perspectives.

  26. vismund says:

    get over yourself Patrick. Pete says nearly every episode that he does his best to represent an athiest side of an argument even though he doesnt totally get it. so stop whining

  27. Bart says:

    This podcast used to be filled with zingers, laughs, and fun. Now it’s just an endless spewing of hippy shit with no actual interview. He might as well be talking to a cat.

  28. Jay says:

    Pete’s really gonna miss your vote, man. Good luck out there.

  29. patrick says:

    Annnnnddddd…this is where I’m finally unsubscribing.

    I’ve suffered through Pete’s misconceptions about logic and religion for years now, and though he seemed, at times, to get closer and closer to thinking straight, the lapses are too much and too frequent.

    Pete, my final advice: atheists have every bit as much a sense of wonder and excitement about nature and existence as you do. Many have a great deal more because (and not despite) of the fact that they understand some small amount of how the world really works. Your straw-man arguments aside, even someone like Richard Dawkins doesn’t suppose that there could be no god. We presume nothing more than you get the best results when you reason clearly.

    I’ll really miss this show. Pete is a guy with a heart of pure (non-ormus) gold, and who is much smarter than he allows himself to appear. I’ve enjoyed this show so much, but I just can’t have that sick feeling in my stomach anymore when this issue crops up.


  30. Gibs says:

    If I remember correctly, in Patch Adams, they walked into a door that was positioned between 2 legs in stirrups because it was a gynecology convention. (Yikes. This is knowledge that is in my head.)

  31. Raquel says:

    Pete, it’s Hans ZIMMER. Not ZimmerMAN. Sorry, I had to say something, it was driving me nuts.

  32. Em says:

    I enjoy this podcast a lot. I enjoy hearing all of the interviews with all of the interesting guests. Emily seems like such a neat person with so many neat ideas and theories and experiences. Would have been nice to hear about them.

  33. patrick says:

    The last thing in the world I’d like to be is an apologist for George Zimmerman, but did Pete really compare him to a nazi? What do you want to wager that Pete doesn’t even know Zimmerman was acquitted? That was silly.