This week, my guest is Jessica Mack, a gender rights advocate based in Thailand. She has done a lot of fascinating work all over the world, which we will not discuss. Instead, we will focus mainly on magic. Also, we touch on Sex and the City and unicorns.
Please tune in to my podcast, which is definitely not just a gchat conversation, by listening to the words below with your eyes.
Laura Jayne Martin: Welcome to my podcast! Thanks so much for coming on.
Jessica Mack: Yeah! I always wanted to be on a podcast and you have a very tastefully humble podcast.
Laura: Thank you so much. It’s not just me though. It takes a lot of people behind the scenes to make this happen.
Jessica: All your unpaid pages.
Laura: Yes, pages, not even interns. And they all have pageboy haircuts.
Jessica: And wear outfits entirely made of loose-leaf.
Laura: First question, what will you have for lunch today?
Jessica: Pork Satay skewers. While I eat I’ll probably think about this article I just read on Princess Diana’s death. It’s basically another conspiracy theory.
I have a problem with conspiracy theories. People are very black-and-white about them. Either you are one of those “crazy conspiracy theorists”. Or you are, like, snooty, rational, and erudite.
BUT, there must be SOME conspiracy theories that are right. Or have some correct info in them and how do we KNOW? It’s upsetting to me.
It’s like a needle in a haystack. It’s in there somewhere. We throw the baby out with the bathwater
Laura: I ALWAYS check my bathwater for babies. You know that about me.
Next question, what Sex and the City character would you be?
Jessica: Oh for god’s sake.
Laura: I would be a cab that carried away Mr. Big–or the Empire State Building.
Jessica: I think I’d be Miranda’s housekeeper.
Jessica: I dunno. I was just trying to think of a sub-prime character like a background one.
Laura: I know. I feel like that isn’t even far enough removed for me.
Jessica: Maybe I’d be Carrie’s stoop.
Laura: I’d be the post-it that guy broke up with Carrie on.
Jessica: You’re the mouse that she has in her apartment that one time.
Laura: I WOULD LOVE to be a mouse in general.
Jessica: That is really heart warming really, like I just got so touched thinking of that.
Jessica: You’d make a great mouse and I’d take great care of you. I have a lot of warm feelings toward mice.
Laura: Would you call them your favorite animal?
Jessica: Not really, though anything with a snout and whiskers is in the top 10.
Laura: Do you like listing your favorite things?
Jessica: I guess I do, although I’m indecisive, so it’s hard for me.
Laura: You’re indecisive?
Jessica: I have a good example for you.
Laura: Oh? Do tell.
Jessica:In high school, I was at a party that got busted by the cops. And to make an example out of us, they gave EVERYONE citations to appear in the village court. I probably wasn’t even drinking, because I was a very good high schooler.
Laura: I bet.
Jessica: But I appeared with everyone else in the village hall.
They wanted us to plead “guilty” to alcohol possession, and I don’t think we were being fined, or it would go on our record or anything, but everyone was very stressed at the time.
My friend, her dad was a cop. She suggested I plead “not guilty” which would mean they’d schedule a “trial” and the cop probably wouldn’t show up. The charges would be dropped completely. But I really waffled over this.
First I pled guilty. Because I was scared what if he DID show up at the trial?
Then the next day, I was like FUCK IT. I went back to the police station and pled NOT GUILTY.
And then I got nervous again. And I went back a third time and pled GUILTY.
But had the gall to say, “I plead guilty only under the condition that this does not go on my record”
Laura: What was the face of the person like who had to change your plea the third time?
Jessica: The woman was like, “Miss, fine, whatever. You cannot change your plea again.”
Like when you can’t decide about your own guilt—that is really indecisive.
Laura: Yes, indeed. Have you taken any measures to become more decisive since age 17?
Jessica: Yes. I have decided to just go with a first decision on something and not question it, and see what happens.
Laura: Have you ever flipped a coin to decide something? Or made a pro and cons list?
Jessica: Definitely a pro/cons list, not a coin, although it may come to that someday. But a coin makes it TRULY random and I’m too much of a thinker for that. I need to be at least involved in the decision.
Laura: Yes, I don’ t believe in fate, so a coin seems dumb.
Jessica: I believe in fate, but a coin doesn’t seem like fate to me. It seems like random chance. Fate is like rational chance with a bit of magic thrown in. I believe in magic.
Laura: Please describe magic.
Jessica: Magic is the way things just work out sometimes. Really beautiful coincidences are magic. It’s also something that’s in the air that you can feel sometimes, or some people can feel. It’s the element of surprise and unknown in life.
Laura: That sounds fun.
Jessica: It is. Life is fun because of magic.
Laura: Have you felt magic lately?
Jessica: Yes, I have. I can’t really be more specific than that since I don’t usually talk about the magical aspects of my personal life on podcasts, but yes.
Laura: Did you ever have a Magic 8 ball?
Jessica: No. Last time I used one was about a year ago.
Laura: A year? That’s recent.
Jessica: I think it gave me the answer I was looking for.
Laura: Have you ever consulted an Ouija board?
Jessica: Not consulted, but interacted yes. Ouija Boards are a great training ground for being able to lie to yourself and to your friends and be OK being lied to.
Laura: How so?
Jessica: We’d all be like, “Are you pushing it? NO! Are you? NO!” Or maybe a collective make-believe, is a nicer way to put it.
Laura: Jess, were you pushing it?
Jessica: No! I swear. There would be a lot of swearing.
Laura: To what? Ouija?
Jessica: On mother’s graves or things like that.
Laura: So what is your favorite conspiracy theory?
Jessica: Well I don’t really have a favorite because I have to admit I’m not really familiar with a lot of them, only that they exist.
OK, I guess it’s not a conspiracy theory per se… but whether unicorns existed, or could still exist somewhere.
Laura: IS THAT DEBATED?!
Jessica: You tell me.
Laura: I really thought they were purely mythical.
Jessica: Well I won’t really comment on that. But I believe magic exists, but of course God does not, and unicorns MAY/MIGHT HAVE.
Laura: Now YOU sound like you’re hiding something. What do you know about unicorns? Tell me your unicorn secrets!
Jessica: It’s more of a feeling you get in your bones.
Laura: I do not get that feeling in my bones.
Jessica: To know things about unicorns, you have to access a different channel of knowledge. It’s a different frequency than the other radio stations. It’s a marrow-level frequency, if you know what I’m saying.
Laura: I understand.
Jessica: To get unicorn secrets, you need to touch your horns together and the secrets are transmitted. Two unicorns need to touch their horns together, rather.
Laura: I feel like I want to let people know that you have a graduate degree from Harvard.
Jessica: Oh yeah, obviously I do.
Laura: …in unicorns.
Jessica: The Hermeneutics of Unicornology: Toward a Sharper Horn”. That was my thesis.
Laura: Where are you on mermaids?
Jessica: In the ocean ANYTHING goes. So who the hell knows?
Laura: A lot of people find them really attractive, but I think doing it with them would be terrifying. I am not a strong swimmer.
Jessica: Yeah me neither. Seems awful. Better to have a fish head and a human bottom, I think.
Laura: A fish head? No thanks.
Jessica: Yeah, you’re right.
Laura: I’ll deal with scales any day.
Jessica: I’m going to revise that. Better just a full fish.
Laura: No, you get fish head. That was your first decision; stick with it.
Jessica: Can I at least change it to whale head?
Laura: So you can live inside it?
Jessica: Then I could find out, first person, how baleen works. I still don’t really get it. I want an up-close-and-personal look at baleen.
Laura: Pretty sure there are museums that can make that a reality for you. Also, you have a unique baleen fetish.
Jessica: Well that’s embarrassing.
Laura: This is hardly the first time you have brought it up.
Jessica: It just seems like a lot of work for some krill.
Laura: This is a good place to wrap up.
Jessica: Did you get to all your questions?
Laura: Oh, for sure. I mean, they bred new questions, but thanks for being on the podcast.
Jessica: For sure! Thanks for the opportunity.