This week Peachy Keenan, the internet’s favorite converted Gen X suburban wine mom turned based domestic queen (and contributing editor of The American Mind), joins the podcast. Inez and Peachy discuss religious conversion, feeling unmoored from trust in the institutions you once took for granted, and the brewing generational war between Gen X and Millennials. They also chat about Peachy’s soon-to-be-released book Domestic Extremist, Botoxed-up teens, and a few midterm predictions. 

High Noon is an intellectual download featuring conversations that make possible a free society. The podcast features interesting thinkers from all parts of the political spectrum to discuss the most controversial subjects of the day in a way that hopes to advance our common American future. Hosted by Inez Stepman of Independent Women’s Forum.


TRANSCRIPT

Inez Stepman:

Welcome to High Noon where we talk about controversial subjects with interesting people and there’s nobody more interesting than who I’m pleased to have on with me this week. Peachy Keenan, who is an anonymous warrior and what I’m going to call her is the Converted Gen X Suburban Wine Mom Turned Based Domestic Queen. How do you like that for a title?

She’s a contributing editor, at the American Mind. She’s the author of the forthcoming manifesto “Domestic Extremist” out in June. She’s also one of my all-time favorite writers. She’s also, as I just mentioned, anonymous. For those of you who watch the YouTube videos, that’s why this one is, well, not a YouTube video.

But through the magic of the microphone, I’m pleased to say welcome Peachy Keenan to High Noon.

Peachy Keenan:

Hello, Inez. Thank you so much. I love your nickname for me.

Inez Stepman:

You can put that on your book as the author name.

Peachy Keenan:

Are you kidding? It’ll be on my tombstone.

Inez Stepman:

how did you get from a previously described normie positions to being where you are today, which is with a dedicated audience, reading audience and Twitter audience for your domestic extremism?

Peachy Keenan:

Yes. My journey to domestic extremism, I’m going to say I wasn’t born like this. I was definitely made. The journey is long and winding. I was groomed to be a very secular, basic, mainstream feminist all through private school and my “elite” college education along with all of my peers. I never imagined that I would one day be a devout Catholic, happily married and a mother to many children with my shit posting side hustle on Twitter.

You could never have convinced me this is where I would end up. But I think it was a long, slow process of being red-pilled first politically from being a basic, totally apolitical lib. Then finally the feminism fell from my eyes right around the time that I met my husband and started making this big giant mental shift from being a random single person in her 20s to like, “Oh, wait a second. I do want a family. I do want a marriage. How do I put that together?”

That happened fortunately for me and worked out, but a lot of people it doesn’t. I really do feel like, and I say this in my book. I escaped feminism by the skin of my teeth.

Inez Stepman:

You talk about actually coming to basically Catholicism through politics, which is something that, or at least that your political conversion preceded your religious conversion. There’s been a bunch of conversation around some of that exact pathway that’s happening here. I’m thinking of the New York Times article that lamented that the hottest club in New York City is the Catholic Church. That was the headline.

It seems like for a lot folks, they’re proceeding, essentially, they’re rejecting the modern politics and modern feminism and a lot of these isms that are put in front of us and they’re ending up at the world’s largest, an oldest, still organized, still functioning religious organization. I mean, how were those two things connected and why did you end up where you are?

Peachy Keenan:

Yeah. That’s so interesting. That article, the whole dime square trend of making Catholicism this cool hopping night spot. For me it was a little different. I think the first step towards that, I mean, I grew up a very hardcore secular atheist. Both of my parents were totally rejected religion.

We had a Christmas tree, but our only God was Santa and Rudolph was his messenger. We were never set foot in a church, nothing or any religious ceremony of any kind. I think the first step was for me changing, transforming really from a militant pro-choice person to someone who realized, “Oh, that is actually not my position. Maybe could I be pro-life?”

Abortion was really the issue that tipped me into maybe being open to some religious identity, which my entire life, my first 30 years of my life was anathema. I wanted nothing to do with religion, but when I made the change, the biggest leap of all really for me was for pro-choice to pro-life.

After that, it fell into place. It still took me a long time until I actually had a conversion, went and did RCIA at the local, terrible, woke liberal parish with the openly gay priest who was a lovely man. But he was basically Liberace in a cassock. I persevered. I think that just once you start down the road of realizing the truth about abortion, at least for me, there was really no escaping my end up as a traditional Roman Catholic.

Inez Stepman:

It’s interesting. Because one of the things that seems to characterize our age so strongly in particularly the last couple years is this collapse and institutional messaging in faith. Leaving aside the Catholic Church as an alternate institution for a moment. Here, I’m thinking about when you say that you were a default lib, but like an apolitical one.

Peachy Keenan:

Totally.

Inez Stepman:

I think what that actually means is that you just passively accept the kind of messages that seem to be swimming in the ether. Whether that’s coming out of Hollywood as an institution or coming out of successful corporations and corporate culture as an institution, universities as an institution. A lot of people are just passively, accept those things.

I feel like the last couple years, I mean really starting, the dam started to break in 2016 with Trump’s election, but I think even more so for a lot of folks who might have been a little bit more passively left. The last couple years have just been an avalanche of proof that nothing works the way that we trusted that it would, that the medical institutions failed us and the CDC has failed us, and the withdrawal from Afghanistan that the military that we assumed was competent.

I mean they made a disaster out of this withdrawal and a pure competency basis. Did that factor in at all to your … I mean, seems like you’ve had a little longer of a transition on being open to these ideas. But I really only remember your acerbic wit asserting itself very strongly in the last two years where you started to really critique some of these institutions.

Peachy Keenan:

That’s a good question. I think that part of it is as a Catholic and as a convert, you become very aware that the institution that you’re pledging your soul to is completely corrupt from the top-down. I mean, besides even all the child sexual molestation that this institution is, “Wow. What’s going on here?” You start pulling back the rug. What have I believed in all these years?

I think for me, I think that started for me, I think, after 9/11, I mean, I’m ashamed to admit it now, but I became just a full-throated neocon. I was like, “Yes. We have to get Saddam.” Then as that all fell apart, I started to realize, “Wait a second. What was I for here? What were they doing? Why did all these soldiers die? Why are they all killing themselves when they come home from the war?”

Then when Trump came along, I mean, he really just did us all a favor by pulling up the rug and we could just see what was under there for the first time. To this day, I’m just blown away by how long I spent believing in, that our overlords have our best interests at heart. They know what they’re doing. They’re the experts. My children need every vaccine that my pediatrician recommends.

I would never have questioned any of those things until their failures became suddenly exposed slowly over Trump and then all at once with the pandemic. It was really unbelievable to watch the real time exposure of all these institutions. It’s like just a bunch of slightly creepy, not that competent, sort of slimy people. In every head of every government institution, big pharma and what they’re doing … I mean, we want to talk about big pharma for a second.

As they’re pushing us into vaccines that may or may not be effective, they did or didn’t test that well, may or may not have all these bad side effects, but they’re also actively trying to get other shots into little kids that will shrink their testicles and render them infertile for life.

All of these things, I mean, what conclusion can you draw? But that we’re on our own fully, no one has our back. Not the Pope, not the president, not the head of the Department of Defense, not the people selling us our medicines. They don’t have our best interests at heart. In fact, what are they trying to do here? It just became a funny joke in my house of like, “Alex Jones was right. There really is a war on for our minds.” Like “What?”

The more you think about it, and obviously if you’re very online, which I wasn’t until around 2015, but then once you go deeper and deeper it, there’s no bottom.

Inez Stepman:

Yeah. I mean, I go back and forth on this more fundamental thing. But I mean, for me, I thought I was already pretty cynical about our institutions, especially post 2015, 2016. But I was kind of duped during the early part of the pandemic. I’m still not sure what’s right. I’m still not sure whether, COVID for example, has gotten that much milder over time, and it was serious in the beginning. Or I’m still not sure. I don’t think anybody can be very certain about the relative merits or risks anymore of the vaccine that I took.

It seems like an impossible task to actually be able to support or to suss out. I mean, people talk about “doing the research.” But I almost feel like we’ve reverted to an earlier and less sophisticated version of civilization where we don’t get to rely on knowledge that is more than one degree of separation from us.

I don’t know. I think about of earlier iterations of civilization where, I mean one of the most important things that human beings have been able to do and what’s one of the things that’s enabled us to really conquer the planet in a sense in terms of as a species has been to be able to retain and teach knowledge and then institutionalize it. That not everybody has to invent the wheel from scratch, we learn it from previous generations.

Then we also learn from people who are concurrently living with us that they can have one expertise and we can have a different expertise and we can vet all this knowledge through institutions and disseminate it. I almost feel like I no longer know anything because I have to do everything from scratch. Some of these things really do require expertise. It requires expertise to be able to read a medical study, for example.

It is not something that just a smart person with an open mind can really put together. You do need some form of expertise for that. But I don’t know where to turn for that trusted expertise. It seems like, as you just said, there’s no bottom to it.

Peachy Keenan:

You turn to Twitter, that’s what I do.

Inez Stepman:

Elon Musk, it’s going to be the most trusted form of information.

Peachy Keenan:

I’m all for it. Yeah. I mean they politicized facts. They started doing that with the Iraq war, post 9/11 with Trump. The politicization of facts and information, withholding some things that don’t fit their narrative, pushing other, it is an impossible task to know, “Well, wait. Okay. Do I vaccinate my children for all this stuff? Do I not? My doctor’s telling me one thing, but I’m not sure.”

Look at, obviously, education in school. Are they learning history? Are they learning history filtered through 10 layers of DEI administrators or whatever? I mean, I am a person who grew up, I have a parent who is a doctor. I have a world class hypochondriac. I believe in medicine. My children have all their normal vaccinations. I like being healed by medicine. That is how I was raised.

With COVID, I mean, yeah, I was like you, I was an early over-reactor. We even sprayed our vegetables in January and February 2020. We had masks the crazy ones with the pink whatever filters on the sides. We were like, “We’re not… We’re ahead of the curve here. We know what’s coming. You fools don’t even know.” Obviously, that was a huge overreaction based on the videos that we were seeing early coming out.

But yeah, there is no definitive “source.” I think one thing we can all agree on is that journalist …

Inez Stepman:

Credentialed journalists …

Peachy Keenan:

… are not the source anymore. They’re not what they were. I think that’s the hardest, obviously, for the boomers to deal with that the Walter Cronkite voice of sanity and reason. That’s vaporized. We don’t have that. You pick and choose, I don’t know, who you want to believe, who you do believe.

But I definitely feel like I do think the left right now owns this because of just the pure obfuscation of what the effects are, of what they’ve done, what lockdowns do, do are masks work, puberty blockers are totally reversible and don’t cause any problems. I mean that’s all bullshit. I do think that right now, if you had to pick who to trust more, I mean I would say, you could trust me and you.

Inez Stepman:

That’s the whole problem. I don’t know. It’s not even just like there are people I trust not to lie to me, but there are things that require something more than just not lying. But I mean you pointed out this is potentially generational. I do think that it’s going to be much more difficult for people who didn’t grow up on the internet to balance or try to find sources that are trustworthy versus that aren’t institutionally captured.

I mean, you’ve seen the polls on your generation on Gen X that apparently Gen X is going to be the most conservative generation voting.

Peachy Keenan:

Yeah. I saw that. It’s amazing.

Inez Stepman:

Yeah. Why do you think that is? Why is Gen X finally stepping up to the plate?

Peachy Keenan:

We made it.

Inez Stepman:

[inaudible 00:17:59] You guys are …

Peachy Keenan:

Elon.

Inez Stepman:

… finally coming out of your, “I don’t care, this is for losers” stupor.

Peachy Keenan:

That’s right.

Inez Stepman:

Asserting yourselves politically. Why do you think that is?

Peachy Keenan:

I really don’t know. I thought about this a lot, but I do think it’s just the stereotype of Gen X being ultra-cynical is real. We just do not trust authority. I mean, I think that attitude probably didn’t serve me well in college or with my various jobs. It’s just a lot of eye rolling at what they were asking of me, my professors and my bosses.

But it’s serving us well now. I think it’s serving us very well, just as very deep, deep cynicism about perceived authority. That is turning into a great superpower for us that we’re not just, TikTok can’t really break through to us the way it can to Gen Z. We’re just born to question, who do these people think they are? I think that attitude has to somehow … It’s a survival attitude right now. I think that people “question everything.”

Well, that’s a liberal thing. But I think now your life depends on questioning it. The other great superpower that we have is that none of us had, saw a smartphone or heard the word internet until we were in our early or mid-20s. I remember senior year of college, one of the professors announced, “Kids, I have an email address, you guys can email me.”

I remember looking at the email address going like, “What?” I went back to my apartment and this is senior year of college. I was staring at my little, whatever, Apple 2e computer. I remember looking and thinking like, “Wait a second, where does the email come in? Is it through the electrical cord?” I couldn’t figure out how does the data get into the box? I had no information. I’m a word sell. Okay. Sorry.

But not having access to any of that shit until we were well into adulthood. Really, I mean, we’re the only generation that had that break, that early life free from technology and then suddenly thrown into the mosh pit. I mean, there’s no way in terms of kids today on the internet, I mean that toothpaste is so far out of the tube. Limit their screen time. Okay. Good luck with that one.

You can try. Obviously, we do try that. But yeah, Gen X, I’ve always had faith in Gen X. I never thought this is just a bunch of losers. They’ll never amount to anything. I mean, it always seemed very obvious that where the boomers failed, where the millennials, I don’t know what’s wrong with them. We’re the last of voice of sanity is my point. Totally. Total voice of sanity. It’s like us and the 16-year-olds. I’m not kidding. That’s it.

Inez Stepman:

Yeah. When you said cynical, I actually associate cynicism not only with Gen X, but with Gen Z, first of all. I really think millennials are because …

Peachy Keenan:

Because we’re raising them.

Inez Stepman:

But I really think of millennials as the quintessential good student like dorks. I think my generation just imbibe everything direct from the boomer teat and all of the self-actualizing, change the world nonsense that’s bad on the boomer generation, that they were still attached to that kind of philosophy even as they had and raised children.

But I think millennials were essentially the good students. They think of themselves as rebellious. I think we’re the least rebellious generation in pop culture history. We were the “Bring an apple to your teacher” generation, except the teacher was telling us that “America was racist and evil.” We just repeated that stuff. Yeah. I think …

Peachy Keenan:

We’re conforming with each other.

Inez Stepman:

… earnest generation, not the cynical one. You might be right, that might be a dangerous trait these days.

Peachy Keenan:

Huh. That’s so true. Yeah. The earnest generation. Yeah. It’s funny how it seems to skip around. The boomers earnestly believed in the justification of serving 20 years in Vietnam. Yay. Then we were like, “No. No. Please, no.” Then you guys more earnest generation, and now with the Zoomers, I mean, I don’t know, sometimes I think, “Oh, the Zoomers, they’re so based. Wow. They’re just like us.”

But then I see statistics that 48% of Zoomers don’t know their gender. Half of all Zoomers have 75 different pronouns. Then I worry. But the Zoomers that I know, I’m talking about the teenagers, these are good kids. I guess the ones I know are not maybe the regular normal Zoomers. These are good Catholic kids. They’re based is hell. It gives me a little hope that they … they’re just like us. They’re going to make it.

Inez Stepman:

I think we’re just going to see a huge divergence. It’s going to be like bimodal, the response to this. It’s just things have gotten so crazy that there’s going to be a certain percentage of people who just roll their eyes at it. I mean, it’s really hard not to roll your eyes at some of this stuff when they’re announcing that it’s endangering trans people to point out that two sexes exist.

These are eye rolling reality defined things. It makes sense to me that a teenage rebellion would focus on rolling their eyes at the people who are most stuffy and easily offended. That used to be church ladies and now it’s woke ladies.

But I still think it’s really hard. I think indoctrination works, man. I’ve had this discussion with a lot of people because they’d say what you just did, “Oh, I talked to a lot of my kids’ friends or whatever and they don’t seem to buy this at all.” I think that’s a confirmation bias. I’d like to be wrong. But I think it’s confirmation bias. I think if you look at those surveys, I think indoctrination works.

You don’t really question the worldview that’s been spoon-fed to you since kindergarten. That’s kind of beyond individual traits. You could have a cynical orientation towards any given piece of this puzzle. But fundamentally the baseline that you see the world through is going to be one that America is bad. That there is no such thing as meritocracy, that there is unconscious bias in your soul or whatever.

I think those things are really, really hard to undo. They’re also really easy to teach. Because that’s the other objection that I get is like, “Oh, why would you think the schools are any better at teaching wokeism than they are at teaching math?” The answer is it’s really easy to teach someone to repeat a slogan. It’s really hard to do calculus. I don’t know.

Peachy Keenan:

Right. There’s no virtue attached to learning calculus or being good at calculus. But there is enormous virtue attached to parroting the correct slogans and being on the right side of that issue and being with the cool kids. The cool kids now are not the ones with the Mohawks, smoking cigarettes. The cool kids are the ones who are in absolute lockstep conformity with the most wildly left-wing teacher at the school that, those are the cool kids.

That’s such a funny shift to me. I wish John Hughes was here. He would make a great movie about … Can you imagine the Breakfast Club now, what those kids would look like? It’s like, “Who would be in detention now?” It would be the kids who use the wrong pronoun on the teacher. The principal would be just a purple haired frog self or whatever the new pronoun is.

It would be a great movie to remake. But what you just said about it being so easy to indoctrinate people, I think that everyone is in their own cult, if you want to think about it that way. I mean, you can think about, religious is a cult, conservative is it cult, Trumpism is a cult, whatever. One of the reasons I actually wrote this book, which comes out in June, “Domestic Extremist,” was to try to deprogram people who were me who were in the cult of liberal feminism.

That really is what the book is. It is a manual on deprogramming you or someone you know from people from the cult, yeah, you just breathe it in. I was never taught to be a feminist or my parents were Reagan conservatives, but I did not follow their path because it wasn’t being taught to me. It was just we were pretty apolitical.

There was no religion. There were no guideposts really of any kind. You just breathe it in. You just absorb whatever your friends are doing, that’s just what… Then you end up, next thing you know you’re on Tinder or getting whatever, 25 abortions or whatever is happening to you without even ever making that conscious decision. That’s where you’re going to end up. It just of happens to you.

The only way out is to take active steps out because the culture will just suck you into that vortex if you don’t. The only way to escape it is to just swim really hard the other way and you have to, to survive. That really is what the book is about. How I escaped the swirling vortex and how you can also.

Inez Stepman:

I mean, what would some of those concrete steps be? Because I agree with you. I think it’s the default. Speaking from even a personal perspective, I think it’s really difficult to wrench your life out of a particular track and do something that is completely different that you never really imagined, something that you can think about or even ideologically commit to.

But truly returning, first of all, is it possible? Second of all, I mean, what concrete things would you tell people in order to pull themselves out of that current?

Peachy Keenan:

Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. There can be no return. It’s over. It’s done. We can never go back to the past. Some assets of the past, we don’t want to return to. I like having a washing machine. I enjoy earning money. Those are all good things that women have. No one wants us dying of bubonic plague. The concrete things I talk about in the book, basically, are the simple things, but they’re not easy things.

The biggest shift happens without really taking any actual step or doing something. It just has to happen in your mind. You have to make a conscious decision one day. Like, “Okay. Look at my life. Why aren’t I happy? Why am I taking three antidepressants? Why do I need anti-anxiety pills? Why can’t I find what I want?” Which is, if you look deep in your heart is probably going to be true love of some kind, in some kind of relationship.

Why aren’t I getting that? Why aren’t I able to achieve these things? I was told they were not necessary. Marriage was optional. I don’t need those things. I need to be free to explore. But I have been doing that for 15 years and I am not happy. The first step is really accepting that maybe there’s a better way.

If you can possibly make that leap, whether you’re a man or a woman, I mean, I wrote this book for everyone who has found themselves in this situation, the first thing you need to do is of say goodbye to the things that you have been told were fine. Starting with, let’s say, promiscuous sex, random dating, whoever, whatever, anyone who comes by. Sure. Having standards in your life for yourself.

We’re not all going to be, pitch a perfect game. Save yourself for marriage. I understand that that is something that’s really reserved for the very young, traditional Catholics and other people in religious communities. But if you can make the shift to that lifestyle, to that mindset of saving intimacy for someone who loves you and especially as a woman, not accepting less than that, that’s something I can never get my head around.

Like, “Why are you willing to do all of this for someone who doesn’t care about you, doesn’t love you, maybe likes you in terms of dating and all the apps?” It’s really sad. I keep reading these stories that are coming out in Vox and The New York Times about the ten-year anniversary of Tinder and the stories from the women who literally got on Tinder when it first launched and they’re 10 years later still on Tinder.

What was the point of Tinder? Was it to find a boyfriend and fall in love? Or was it simply to absorb excess male sexual needs? I’m not sure what that business model is. But whatever it was, was good because it has all these return customers. They never get off Tinder because you can’t ever get off Tinder.

Just starting with thinking about your life in a way that is, yeah, more domestically extreme as I put it, in other words, being more domestic in general, looking to yourself, building a home, a life, a family for yourself versus just looking for the culture to do that for you is really … You can’t proceed to the next steps without those two first things.

Inez Stepman:

I’m curious because I sometimes feel this way. It’s funny. I’m 34, definitely not as hot as I was when I was 24 …

Peachy Keenan:

You’re very hot, Inez. Inez, you’re very hot.

Inez Stepman:

I expected to feel in some way jealous of 25-year-olds. I think that’s natural like, “Oh, as a woman, you’re vain, you’re whatever.” Instead I feel like I’m looking at people who are, let’s say, in their mid-20s. Actually, I’m so grateful that I’m not 25 right now. I think that’s so unnatural. I think the natural thing is to like, “Being 25 is great, objectively great in a lot of ways.”

But I’m wondering how you feel about when you look at 25-year-olds today, do you feel jealousy, that natural jealousy? Like, “Oh, that was a good time in life. I’d like to return to it.” Because I look around, I’m like, “Oh, my God, I got the last chopper out of Saigon.”

Peachy Keenan:

Yes. I believe that. Yeah.

Inez Stepman:

I’m almost sad about the fact that I cannot feel jealousy about this. Do you know what I’m saying?

Peachy Keenan:

Right. I think because you’re still very young. You’re not jealous of 25-year-olds yet. But just wait. Just wait until you have a few milestone birthdays and then you’ll be looking at the 25-year-olds. You’ll be like, “Those damn bitches.”

Inez Stepman:

No. I mean I think that’s the natural impulse, but it just seems really …

Peachy Keenan:

Oh, yeah. Their lifestyle is better.

Inez Stepman:

Even when I was 25, that’s almost 10 years ago, it seems much lonelier even than … You know that song “No One Likes You When You’re 23?” It seems like no one likes anyone at all in their 20s and they’re all anxious and posting and in various … But they don’t talk to each other. They don’t flirt with each other. They don’t have any actual personal interaction that doesn’t first come out of a very rigorous set of check boxes.

We’ve siloed ourselves on the internet so extremely that people don’t interact in a fun way anymore. I keep repeating this anecdote, but I have a bartender friend who’s been bartending for 15 years. She said, “Guys do not approach women anymore in bars. That doesn’t happen.” I’m wondering what it looks like to be in your 20s when that doesn’t happen.

Peachy Keenan:

That’s so sad. That’s the wages of Me Too. You can’t flirt. Flirting is rape. Our population is plummeting because of that. We’ve got to get the 25-year-old men and the 25-year-old women or well, I guess they could be 28-year-old men, okay, little older. We’ve got to get them in a room together and pour them some drinks and have them flirt, because honestly we need a baby boom.

The thing is that girls have been taught the male gaze is bad. I dress for myself. Yet, no, that is a total lie. Heterosexual women want a need young male affirmation. They need that. And they’re not getting it in real life because men are, I don’t know, if they’re porn addicts or they’ve just been terrified. They don’t want to get arrested. They don’t get cuffed at the bar if they hit on you.

They’re not making the move. The women are instead swiping on their apps, which is … We’ve discussed what gets missed on a digital profile that you’re not going to get in real life with someone interacting with someone. It’s so depressing. I don’t know how to … I think that culture is slowly coming back. I mean obviously with the pandemic, we had three years off of that.

I’m not saying Coachella festival culture is the way to go to save the culture. I don’t think so. But we’ve got to find a way to get young, fertile, attractive men and women in a flirty zone with each other that’s wholesome, not depraved. Is it possible? I don’t know. I hope so, because we need it to happen. We need to happen badly.

But I will say one of the things about 25-year-olds, if I may, is I was just discussing with someone the outrageous level of facial enhancements that now 25-year-old women are getting, which used to be reserved for the old ladies like me in our 40s. Suddenly, these beautiful young women are walking around with the just giant lips and they’re presenting themselves in a way that ages them and really gives off this very uncanny valley, perfect vibe, especially here in LA, obviously.

I think that is a huge turnoff to normal people. You must see a lot of that in New York?

Inez Stepman:

Well, I’ve been told that the thing in New York is to make sure that you’re uncanny valley isn’t uncanny. I’ve even seen there’s something called the New York version of whatever plastic surgeries are being done in LA is toned down by about 80%. It’s not that women, I’m sure women are doing it here. But it’s not like you don’t walk around very often seeing people who look like their faces have been rearranged.

Peachy Keenan:

Unless it got beat up on the subway.

Inez Stepman:

Yeah. Yeah. That’s true, sadly. No. But I do think this all fits together, because something stuck with me, a friend of mine said about the kids in her daughter’s class, that a lot of the girls were wearing masks even after the school had dropped it. At first, she thought it was because they were afraid of COVID.

But it turned out it was because after two years of basically being entirely digital and being able to manipulate their appearance in all interactions with people and be “They’re like best digital hottest self,” that they were afraid to show their faces, their real faces to the boys in their class. Because they figured that all the boys think that they look like how they looked on Snapchat or on Instagram.

Peachy Keenan:

Right. With the filters, the lips filters. I mean get it. That’s so sad. But female vanity is not helped by all those filters, which if that’s all you’re looking at every day and that’s what you want to present to the world, yeah, I mean reality is going to be a bummer, big bummer for you.

Inez Stepman:

Don’t you worry about that in general? I mean we’re talking about in the context of 25-year-olds flirting with each other or even 16-year-olds. But don’t you worry that in general real life will not have enough appeal as currently constituted to fend off a totally digital life? I mean, I think it’s pretty clear that real life, I think it’s kind of an obvious take that real life is worth living.

But then I think about people whose real lives really are this quasi digital space where they don’t interact a lot with other people face-to-face. Especially after the last two years, you got more and more people who, what we would’ve called in the past life, agoraphobic, and completely awkward and unable to interact in real time with other human beings.

I mean, you worry that those people will just retreat into the metaverse. I mean, it’ll just be a more elaborate version of those girls who don’t want to show their real faces because real life doesn’t seem as appealing as the way they can present themselves with filters. I mean, imagine just being able to interact in a more 3D virtual way where you get to choose all those things.

I mean, how do we sell the imperfection of life? That’s what I feel like the position we’re in now. We have to sell them on the imperfection of and suffering and tragedy of real life.

Peachy Keenan:

Right. No. That’s such a great point. I mean, fortunately, I have sabotaged the metaverse and so that will be going away very soon. You’re welcome America. I have crushed that. I mean, that looked like just a total … No one wants to be a part of that. I think that there is a little bit of glimmer of hope. At least I hear from my kids. They just think all of that is so cringe. Having an avatar running around talking to other avatars, they think it’s ridiculous.

They don’t want any part of it. My younger kids do play a kind of avatar game called Roblox, which is these little blocky avatars talking to each other about, I don’t even know what, making little jokes to each other. But those are just video game things. I really don’t think that the full virtual VR headset, like the tactile haptic bodysuit world will come about in the way that some people have these dire predictions that we’ll just be in our pods and we’ll just be fed nutrients through tubes while we type or whatever.

Because I think that there seems like a movement a little bit away from that, the whole touch grass and all this stuff that my teenagers know about all that stuff. I mean they’re very online, too. They chat, whatever discord. It’s pretty wholesome. I do check it. Don’t worry. But they seem to be their favorite thing is to hang out with their friends, which is what all teenagers throughout history, American teenagers want most of all to be hanging out with their friends.

That gives me some hope that they will never miss a party. They will want to go and hang out each other’s houses. They come over to my house. I don’t think the whole virtual world is going to affect them as much. If you can get them social, demented and sad, but social, to quote the Breakfast Club, if you can get them socializing early and there’s fun that you cannot replicate. As fun as it is to talk to you here, I’m sure we’d be having an even better time if we were in-person over drinks or whatever.

The people who are stuck, who have still stuck in that pandemic mindset, I just read something. Someone had never left the house since early 2020, just had their first dinner out somewhere. Some, I don’t know, CAA agent or something. I was like, “That’s just like, what is that?” There are people who will never come back from the isolation, the digital isolation of that. What can you do? You can break their door down, force them out.

But if that’s just where they’re going to go, I mean, it’s a loss, I guess. But I don’t know what you can do. I guess, our only hope is an EMP to just wipe it all out. That would probably suck, but it would be one solution.

Inez Stepman:

Now, we know how PT crushed Meta.

Peachy Keenan:

That was a joke. I have nothing to do with that. I don’t know anything about technology, so I could never do it.

Inez Stepman:

We are joking. Before we wrap up here, I mean, what we’ve been talking about the response of the kids largely defined as people all the way through our 20s as we want to do the older we get, the broader the “kids” seems to get. Actually, my husband always tells us a funny story about his great grandma who always said, “Where are the kids” to refer to her 80-year-old kids.

Peachy Keenan:

Yeah.

Inez Stepman:

You can always be a kid to somebody.

Peachy Keenan:

That true.

Inez Stepman:

But we’ve generally been talking about the younger generations. What has been the response to your writing from your demographic, which seems like, as we kind of said, there seems to be this mass Gen X rebellion that’s bubbling up in a lot of the school board meetings, at least on the Republican side, there are lots of Gen X kind of rising stars in the Republican party.

In fact, most of the rising stars in the Republican party, whereas Democrats need to be skipping straight to AOC and millennials, which makes perfect sense.

Peachy Keenan:

That’s a great observation. Yeah. So true.

Inez Stepman:

Yeah. I mean, what has the response been from your own kind?

Peachy Keenan:

It’s funny. I mean, I do get a lot of comments from people, a lot of MAGA moms, the boomers love me. My mother always sends my articles to her friends who don’t know that I’m her daughter because I’m obviously anonymous and they’re super into it. I do get a lot of nice DMs from parents who seem to have had similar experiences, similar observations, women and men.

It’s funny. I just heard from … I’m in a group chat with some very based ladies and one of them told me that a friend of hers read an article, an essay I wrote for the American Mind where I have a regular column and said that because of my essay … Which I think it was the one called “Kin in the Game,” which was about, have babies. She decided to marry her boyfriend, quit her job and have babies. Now has a baby because of this thing I wrote, which is so wild.

All those little Peachy’s out there getting born because of me. I mean, I’m a nano celebrity. I mean I have a relatively small following. But based on that, there’s the messages I’ve gotten from people. I think, there is an audience for a parent, a mom, a conservative Catholic who is able to put these things in a way that is, I don’t know, readable and maybe sometimes fun.

The medicine goes down easier with sugar. It’s been great experience for me to quit writing for the Borg, which I did for many years, and finally let my freak flag fly as they say.

Inez Stepman:

That is the most Gen X saying. But have you found that … I guess, do you think this is going to catch on as more, because we’re talking about the bimodal response of Gen Z. I mean, it seems like we have a pretty narrow window for your generation to put things right. That’s how I think about these things now. I feel like millennials are the first truly indoctrinated and really dedicated generation to the new regime.

If we wait until millennials are taking over the C-suites and running in larger and larger numbers for office and et cetera, et cetera. Even if we do a lot of things to stop the pipeline on the other end and create … They used to call rush babies. You can call them Peachy babies on the other end. I mean, is this going to turn into a generational warfare between millennials and Gen X? Because if it’s so, unfortunately, we’re a lot bigger than you. Our generation’s huge.

Peachy Keenan:

Correct. It is going to be a war. We’re already in it. I don’t mean a cold war. I don’t think we’ll be killing each other. But yeah, there’s no escaping that conflict. We’re absolutely in an existential, even a civilizational crisis moment. Absolutely. Culturally. If we don’t pull our heads out of our asses, it’s over. It almost is basically. That’s your black pill of the day. It is almost over.

Part of why I wrote this book was a last ditch effort. Let’s pull defeat from the jaws as … Right now, this is our moment and we still can win. I think we have to win. Part of what my whole strategy, obviously, to this is that we can outbreed our enemies, because the millennials, many of them and Gen X have self-selected for genetic dead ends.

They are aborting all their babies. They’re on lifetime birth control. Never interrupt your enemy when they’re making a mistake. If I can convince a few more people to maybe have an extra kid or two in a generation or two … Where are our numbers now? I mean maybe this is all just total fantasy. I don’t like to tell people you must have a child. I really don’t care. Everyone can live their life.

But I think that we have to get a few more fertile people to decide to go for and have maybe one extra kid or two and then we have a chance. But yeah, if we don’t, you guys win. The millennials win. We’ll surrender. We’ll be on at the guillotine begging forgiveness as we’re thrown out of polite society, totally. I hope that day doesn’t come. But I don’t know.

Inez Stepman:

Before I let you go, since we’re recording this on Tuesday afternoon. People are going out to vote. I’m going to vote after this. This probably by the time this release is at noon tomorrow. We still won’t know the results of the election.

Peachy Keenan:

Not for weeks. Not for weeks.

Inez Stepman:

In that spirit, what are your predictions? I’ll close out with that. How do you think this is going to go? I mean, obviously, I don’t want to be coy about it. Obviously people are predicting a big night for the Republican party. But there’s kind of a range of outcomes here. Do you think it’s going to be huge, huge? Or do you think it’s going to be kind of, “Okay, we’re rebuking the party in power, but perhaps not the army of marching Peachy Keenan moms that is hoped for, but in certain Republican quarters?”

Peachy Keenan:

Don’t worry. I’ll have them marching by 2024, I promise. Yeah. I think there is a huge red wave. The sentiment is there. Yesterday, above the 101 freeway in Hollywood, there was a group of young Latino guys holding a Rick Caruso sign. For LA he’s running for mayor of LA. He’s the “Republican.” He says he’s a Democrat, but he’s actually a long time Republican.

Katy Perry posted that she just voted for Rick Caruso. His opponent is like an open communist, Obama lackey, Karen Bass. There is even hope in LA. People have had it, like had it with everything top to bottom. Now, however, I will say what I thought the morning of Trump’s election, 2016, I had bet money on Trump. I knew he would win. I tried to tell people this is a sure thing. He was going to win.

But I thought that afternoon, I had this sudden panic where I realized, “Okay. If they knew what I knew that he was going to win, they would be cheating more. Because we’ve always known, look, there is cheating on the left. We’ve known this for years. Dead people voting. This is just a common. They cheated the margins. I don’t really know anything about it. I’m not like a big stop the steal person. I was not there on January 6th, whatever.

But there’s always been some stuff going on like shady stuff. I thought that day, “Okay. He’ll win. If they don’t think he’s going to win.” He did win. They were not, I knew, going to make the same mistake twice. There were shenanigans on 2020. There were “verse pipes.” There was 3:00 a.m. ballot dumps. There was no transparency. I have no idea what actually happened. I don’t know one way or the other.

I think there’s a very good chance that things like that are going to be happening in certain precincts. Philadelphia, America, I don’t know, Georgia, there’s already talk on the internet. It’s like noon here in California that there’s machines down. I don’t know. I’m feeling really good about it. I certainly hope that we could pull off the Senate and the House, for sure.

But look, if we wake up tomorrow and John Fetterman has won and Blake Masters has lost, that will be … I say, “Hey, bring on the recession. We deserve it.”

Inez Stepman:

Well, hopefully with Katy Perry’s assets on our side, we cannot fail. Peachy Keenan, thank you so much for coming on High Noon. You can read her work over at the American Mind and please do pre-order her book “Domestic Extremist” is coming out in June. But those pre-orders really, really help authors. If you’re not aware of the publishing side, publishers love to see high pre-orders for books. Go order her book “Domestic Extremist” anywhere you order such things, including the big evil Amazon. Peachy, thank you so much for coming on High Noon.

Peachy Keenan:

Thank you so much, Inez. This was a lot of fun.

Inez Stepman:

Thank you to our listeners. High Noon with you Inez Stepman is a production of the Independent Women’s Forum. We also have other productions such as At The Bar, which is a podcast I do with my colleague Jennifer Braceras. We’re going to actually do a Supreme Court big case download this week. Check in for that at At The Bar.

Also, we have a second podcast called She Thinks for IWF, and that is host Beverly Hallberg. She does more day-to-day politics, lots of interesting politicians and policy wonks and people who know what they’re talking about. Please do check those out.

As always, you can send comments and questions, to [email protected] Please help us out by hitting the subscribe button and leaving us a comment or review on Apple Podcast, Acast, Google Play, YouTube at iwf.org. Be brave and we’ll see you next time on High Noon.