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I'M THE VILLAIN

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I'M THE VILLAIN

Isabel Knight & Deondre' Jones

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Welcome to I'M THE VILLAIN, a podcast about 2 millennials trying to decode, deconstruct, and dismantle the world as we know it. The show is a conversational podcast where we talk about all the things that are fucked up about the status quo in America, with the perspective of the villain (Isabel) and hero (Deondre'). We talk about norms we think need to change in society, and talk with other millennials about how to change those norms, including our obsession with work, the culture of quantif ...
 
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In this solo episode, Isabel and Deondre' talk through our relationship shit. Both of us have been going through some pretty serious transitions, that have pushed us to expand our understandings of what a romantic relationship can and should encompass. We already both identify as polyamorous, which is a form of ethical non-monogamy in which you all…
 
What does progressive Christianity look like in an increasingly secularized world? We sat down with Preston Meyer, the host of the Holy Watermelon podcast and a Sunday school teacher from Canada, who dispels some myths some people may have about Christianity and Mormonism, such as the notion that Mormons primarily go door to door proselytizing or t…
 
We know that "pretty privilege" can affect everything from who society deems worthy of sex and intimacy all the way to who gets promotions, housing and friends. But it's not as obvious as with other forms of inequities what we should do about it. We can pretty much agree that everyone deserves housing and healthcare but attraction by definition req…
 
What makes sugar, Adderall, tobacco, and alcohol legal while drugs like pot, heroin, cocaine, and meth are not? Is it addictiveness? Impact on health? Racism? In this episode, we talk to Jay Shifman, the host of the Choose Your Struggle podcast who has experiences coping with addiction to prescription medication and self-identifies as a drug user i…
 
What does gardening have to do with the revolution? It turns out, it has everything to do with it - in this episode, Amirio Freeman, the host of the Loam Listen podcast, talks to us about how Black ecology fosters a sense of connectedness that teaches you if any one part of the complex system that is nature fails, the whole system collapses, and ho…
 
It turns out that being a woman sports fan is just like being any other kind of sports fan. They don't need pink jerseys, they just want to feel included. In this episode, we sit down with Keely Dunning, a sports podcaster who has worked in sports for 10 years, after she decided she didn't want to go into the entertainment industry. As it turns out…
 
Millennials have a fraught relationship with work. At this point it feels like we could do a compilation of people telling us about the jobs they wish they had been able to have but couldn't for various reasons, whether it be because the lifestyle was too demanding, they didn't want to move to LA, or they had been sold this dream of fulfillment tha…
 
We have a lot of conversations on this podcast about issues which are often moral in nature, such as the Israeli occupation of Palestine and defunding the police but often we aren't talking about the specific moral framework behind our positions on those issues, and so in this episode, we are going to have a more explicitly moral conversation than …
 
Forget about buying a house; that's not even on the radar for most millennials. Let's talk about living with your parents. When the pandemic hit, a lot of people moved home to live with their parents either temporarily to weather the pandemic or permanently. But Candace Howze was already living with her parents, and for many millennials, that is th…
 
In a continuation of our conversation around disability from last week with Marquis Kearse, we get into what it is like to date while disabled. What are the power dynamics around one person in the relationship feeling like they need to take care of the other, or one person being deemed more conventionally attractive? And from there, we go into some…
 
Now that we are headed back to "normal" life, and a lot of people are going back to their workplaces, movie theaters, therapists offices, a lot of disabled people are wondering if we are also going to be making a return to a world of inaccessibility. In this episode, we sit down with Marquis Kearse, a disabled person with brittle bone disease who u…
 
In this episode, we sit down and do some processing about what the past 100 episodes have taught us, and what larger narrative has come out of these conversations we have been having with millennials from across the country during this pandemic. Broadly, Isabel has definitely become more radical over the course of this show, and she talks about how…
 
We have been wanting to talk to someone who does social work for a while and finally we got a chance to talk with Destiney Kinsey, a social worker who has worked in all kinds of different settings: she has worked with kids in schools, adults in the military, senior citizens, you name it. In this episode, we talk about the relationship between socia…
 
This episode is a smorgasboard. We get the change to sit down with Lauren DeVera, a life coach, dancer, and fellow podcaster. We met her because Isabel will be speaking on a panel with her this summer at a podcast conference called Podcast Movement to speak about the Asian American podcasting experience, and she just so happened to live close by, i…
 
It's a word many people associate with millennials: burnout. But it's a phenomenon that has been around for a long time, but has new manifestations in our world of psychological and social engineering baked into apps like Uber, giving the brain little hits of dopamine if we just finish out the hour, or Facebook, getting us to keep scrolling for jus…
 
Richard, from the Fatherhood Episode, is back! And he is talking about being the chair of the Iowa chapter of the Alzheimer's Association. We talk about how scary it is to have Alzheimer's (just imagine people you don't recognize coming into your house and telling you they're your own son or daughter - if you haven't watched The Father, which was n…
 
In a continuation of last week's conversation, we talk with Sean Emery about the larger picture: not the specifics of Israel and Palestine, but about the larger global movement going on amongst the working class. It's an exciting time to be a revolutionary. We just experienced the largest protest movement in American history. Just this week, as thi…
 
Right now there is a violent occupation going on in the West Bank and Gaza. At the time when we were recording this episode, the ceasefire between Hamas and the Israeli military forces had been going on for about 20 minutes. We sit down with activist and organizer Sean Emery to talk about why this issue is so difficult to talk about in America in 2…
 
So TikTok is low-key the first big manifestation of AI taking over the world. Many of us (though now all, because Deondre' seems to have avoided the TikTok trap) have had those moments during the pandemic when we went down a TikTok wormhole and the next thing you know, it's 4 in the morning. We talk with our friend Andy Reinhold about why TikTok is…
 
On this show we talk a lot about problems that need to be solved and not a lot about how to solve them, which is a criticism my mom brought up to me recently. So in this solo episode, Deondre' and I talk about some of the problems we have talked about on the show and whether the counterculture is overcorrecting for them.For example, cancel culture …
 
Why are relationships are a mid-level marketing scheme? Because the media only ever focuses on getting you into them (the will-she, won't-she flirtation period) and then conspicuously leaves out all mention of the WHOLE REST OF THE PACKAGE. The biggest celebration most people have of themselves in their lives is their wedding. Which, if the marriag…
 
2 weeks ago, we got to talk to Sal, an apprentice training to be a plumber, and now we get to talk about what it's like being a woman in construction. We sit down with Taylor Mount, the co-host of the Honey and Heart podcast, who works in construction management and is one of only 4 women on her job site in Sacramento. Nationwide, only about 9% of …
 
In this episode, we sit down with Vanessa, a public school teacher who has been teaching 7th grade language arts throughout the pandemic in Jacksonville, Florida, and has been teaching in-person this whole school year. She says she knows she is risking her life, but she cares so much about her kids that she is willing to risk it. She tells us about…
 
Apprenticeships and trade schools have a marketing problem. Sal, the host of the Fresh Apprentice podcast and a plumbing apprentice, told us that when he was first starting his apprenticeship, he got some flak from his family: "You're going to school to plunge toilets and everything? That's so sad." But it turns out that apprenticeships and trade s…
 
In this episode we talk about the process of becoming a father, and we do it with Richard Dedor, who is a gay dad from Iowa who adopted his daughter through a private adoption agency. He talks with us about what the adoption process was like, the pros and cons of public vs. private adoption, and the effects parenthood has had on his relationship wi…
 
This episode is more of a story than a conversation around a particular topic. But the main theme of the conversation we had with Susan Barnes, a healer, and personal growth facilitator, is how she dealt with the fear of going off the typical "success" track: She was an accountant in New York, making a lot of money, and then one day she quit and fl…
 
The Texas blackouts last month were the perfect example of why the go-it-alone mentality can only be viable when things don't go wrong...like when a huge winter storm hits. Then you need help. We talk with a Texas native and the co-host of the Broke, Gifted, and Black podcast Nono, about the perils of Texas politics and how it royally screws over T…
 
We have been talking to a number of people who have been diagnosed with various mental health issues in their adulthood. All of them have felt that their diagnosis changed their lives for the better, but this is the first time we have talked with a woman about how her diagnosis affects her life differently from men. We talk with Kriselle, who is th…
 
This is a revolutionary episode. What would the world look like if we parented in communal groups that supported each other instead of treating every single mom as an island of one? What if we gave kids the agency and freedom to be themselves instead of policing their every move? What if we taught them emotional regulation? How do we do that if we …
 
With the vaccine out and both podcast hosts scheduled to get their first shot this month, hope looks to be on the horizon, so we decided to talk with a self-care expert about how to get through this last leg of the pandemic. We sit down with Re'Becca, aka Crowned ReRe, the host of the CrownTalk Podcast, about how she got into self-care after breaki…
 
This is an exciting time for investing after the recent Gamestonk! debacle has gotten more and more people interested in getting into finance themselves, and has flooded TikTok and Instagram with influencers explaining what "shorting" is via more accessible metaphors like buying shampoo from Sephora. Even if that particular example was a bit of a d…
 
Since we all just celebrated Valentine's Day, we wanted to showcase a millennial who was going decidedly against the romantic grain by choosing to stay single. Edirin Edewor, who has lived in Nigeria her whole life but just moved to Dubai during the pandemic, has faced pressure from family and people in her community to find a partner her whole lif…
 
When you listen to the intro, it might not sound like the intro to a show about game development but don't worry, soon you will understand. In this episode, we are talking with Andy again, the same guest from the last episode, and we talk about the world of gaming: turns out a lot of the jobs you can do in real life, you can do for a gaming studio.…
 
As millennials we face a lot of tough choices with regards to what we should devote our career to doing. It's genuinely difficult to decide whether we should "follow our passion" and do the thing we actually want to do, or the thing that seems more practical. We talk to fellow podcaster Andy Reinhold about this decision, at a pretty critical transi…
 
This is where we process the shit that went down in the capitol building on January 6th with our friend Ronald. We wanted to take some time to process instead of giving a reaction right after the fact, but we delve into the implications of the insurrection on us as people on the left, if this is part of the "chaos" that is to come, as mentioned by …
 
In a continuation of last week's episode with Justin (a psychiatrist) and Eddie (a therapist), this week we talk about how there is so much we still don't know about medicating mental health issues, and even the best treatments on the market for things like depression are only 70% effective. We cover the new treatments researchers are experimenting…
 
We have been on a mental health kick after our Mental Health Stigma Episode with Shreye, especially given that this year doesn't appear to be going any easier than the last. So in that vein, we sat down with Justin, who is in his third year of residency to become a psychiatrist in Omaha, Nebraska, and Eddie, who is a therapist in an outpatient eati…
 
It has been a pretty intense year to process, and based on the events of January so far, so will 2021. We took this moment to look back on the timeline of 2020, reflect on what happened, and marvel at how dystopian our present world is. It really feels like every new milestone was a punch in the gut at the time when it happened, and now it really f…
 
For our last episode of 2020, we are talking about the future. Given all this year has uncovered, between the pandemic, half of the country being on fire, and increasing unrest around racial politics in the United States, we talk with Craig Blackmoore, a Detroit-based artist, about our outlook on the future. He dabbles in a lot of tech innovations,…
 
As a special holiday treat for you all, we have created a special, never-before-seen supercut of bloopers from previous episodes that we had cut out of the show. Some prominent features are: a pre-covid hot wings party, breakups, finding out the name you came up with for your brand comes up with porn when you Google it, conference hookups, and bein…
 
Internet culture has made depression and anxiety in vogue, with brands marketing their "Depression" and "Anxiety" necklaces and graphic tees. But when was the last time you say "Schizoaffective disorder" on a T-shirt? We talk to Shreye, who you heard on the Effective Altruism and Financial Inclusion episodes, about what it's like having Schizoaffec…
 
Have you ever wondered how nuclear weapons are connected to fat? I have not. Not once in my life. But I guess someone has, because apparently there is a documentary about it. In our second installment where we watch a documentary together and discuss it afterwards, we watched the Nukes Episode of the Connected show on Netflix. The premise of the sh…
 
We have been doing a lot of introspection during this podcast, and this particular episode is the culmination of a lot of the conversations we have been having recently about racial justice and the general power dynamics at play in American society. We invite our friend Ronald Young Jr. back on the show to have a conversation about whether power is…
 
After this summer and the George Floyd protest, racial justice is now a major topic of mainstream discussion, with major companies conducting anti-racism trainings, and conversely, Trump banning diversity trainings within the government, citing them as racist against white people. But how do we translate this heightened literacy and awareness of ra…
 
In our second international guest on this podcast, we talk to Uddhuv, who describes himself as "the only neuro atypical comedian on the Mumbai circuit," about how he was recently diagnosed with autism. He reflects on the ways in which not knowing he had autism affected past relationships, his school years, and the ways in which he could have been s…
 
6 days until Election Day. I'm sure you may be sick of hearing this from the 5+ texts and calls a day you're probably receiving, but there's a lot at stake in this election, and we break down what we think matters, whether this is really "the most important election of our lifetimes" as news outlets like to say every election year, and talk about w…
 
We try a completely different format for this episode, where we watch a documentary called The Social Dilemma, and respond to it with our friend and former guest for the Suffering Episode, Hanyu Chwe. Hanyu is a graduate student who studies network sciences. The documentary covers social media's insidious effects on our brains, interviewing a numbe…
 
In this episode, we talk DC politics with our friend David Lazere, who, full disclosure, is the son of one of the frontrunners for the DC At-Large Candidate, Ed Lazere. We talk about the big topics on the ballot, as well as the topics that are notably missing - we also have a conversation about who the frontrunners are and the importance of local p…
 
The question is this: how can you look around, at the economy, at the presidential debates, at your social media feed, and not be radicalized? How can you live in a system that has never prioritized any kind of long term vision without feeling a sense of impending doom? In this episode, we talk with Rowan Emslie, a podcaster based in Brussels, abou…
 
Trigger Warning: At about 2 minutes in, Deondre' gives a graphic description of the Golden State Killer's violent attacks on victims in California. You might have heard the story of how police used the DNA of a relative of the Golden State Killer to catch him back in April 2018. Since that case, many true crime fans (people who follow shows about r…
 
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