Overthinking Everything with Josh Brandon

Deconstructing a Culture of Cultism:  A sociological deconstruction of my own journey through Toxic White Southern Culture and how that culture has spread, like a cancer, throughout America, enflaming the white supremacist and fascist undertones of modern Conservative ideology.  This is an exploration of the deliberate dumbing-down and numbing-down of society.  

Watch and Listen

The Consequences of Cultism (E1)

An introduction to cultism, Episode one defines the key terms with which we’re working throughout this season and sets the stage for the overall theme of “Deconstructing a Culture of Cultism”.  This episode introduces us to terms like “Toxic White Southern Culture”, the “Dumbing Down and Numbing Down of American Society”, and explores the deeper meanings of the words we use and how that can lead us into cultism

Party Crashers (Part 1): Kennedy to Clinton (E2)

Party Crashers, a 5-Part historical examination of Democratic presidential politics, addresses many of the mistruths we have come to believe as history.  One of those being that “the party’s switched” somewhere throughout history.  Things like “the Democrats started the KKK” or “the Democrats were the party of slavery” that we often hear as “whataboutism” when the right is faced to account for their ideology’s clear white supremacy.  

Part 1 is an intro to this topic and covers the back half of the 20th Century from John F. Kennedy to William Jefferson Clinton.

Party Crashers (Part 2): Colonial-Constitution-Civil War (E3)

From the birth of our nation in the Colonial-era to the creation of our nation’s most sacred text all the way to the Civil War, we’re analyzing America’s Democratic presidential politics through history to find IF and when “the parties changed”.

Party Crashers (Part 3): Lincoln to the Great Depression (E4)

The Civil War wrecked us and America’s got to pick up the pieces.  From the short-lived Lincoln-era and the sadness of a dividing and recently reunited nation to The Great Depression, we look at the many failures of America’s Democratic Party that gave way to Republican dominance. 

Party Crashers (Part 4): The New Deal to the Raw Deal (E5)

Analyzing America’s Democratic presidential politics requires a full-stop on the FDR-era.  With SO much happening at the height of The Great Depression, we look at how America turned to the Progressive New Deal to save us when Capitalism had failed.  Then, we look at the Raw Deal that Vice President Henry A. Wallace got from the party establishment who sought to maintain power at the top at the expense of the American working-class Wallace fought so hard for.

Party Crasher (Part 5): A Call To Action (E6)

Wrapping up the 5-Part Party Crashers series with A Call To Action.  Let’s take everything we know NOW and apply this moving forward.  

The Progress of Bored Games (E7)

Deconstructing America’s allegiance to corporate capitalism, addiction to the almighty dollar, and greed.  In fact, ONE classic board game’s history is the PERFECT example of how broken America’s for-profit, greed-based economy is.  

The Morality of the Minimum Wage (E8)

Continuing the theme of America’s addiction to greed, we break down the Minimum Wage.  The Morality of the Minimum Wage deconstructs the history of America’s working wages and the fight for our piece of the pie.  

Labor Pains (E9)

Wrapping up our theme on America’s greed-based, for-profit economic system, Labor Pains asks, “What if the American Working Class had their OWN political party?”.  In a world where Republicans and Democrats were left to fight for the scraps in a split minority, the American Working Class COULD band together and UNITE the LEFT under CENTER LEFT to restore the American Working Class’ prosperity and power in our system.
www.IAmProLabor.org

Pen Pals (E10)

In Pen Pals, we’re looking at those hills of opinion we climb, ready to die on – metaphorically, most of the time.  For most, we form these opinions out of trauma more than logic.  Our opinions are often influenced by others without us even realizing it.  Before we get into the deeply spiritual stuff, let’s break down those sheep pens we herd ourselves into – or the pens we’re herded into.  

Selling Our Souls (Part 1) (E11)

A 4-Part Series, Selling Our Souls, sends out a big S.O.S. for help with our moral dilemmas.  Building on the “hills of opinion” topic from Pen Pals, we look at some of the big moral dilemmas we face and which “Pen” we herd ourselves into over those issues.  

Selling Our Souls (Part 2) (E12)

Continuing our look at the opinions we form and how vehemently we defend them, the Selling Our Souls series analyzes those opinions and asks “How dare we stand so firmly on THIS opinion when we can’t pass our own scrutiny!”

Selling Our Souls (Part 3) (E13)

Part 3 of this Selling Our Souls series explores more of how forming our opinions dictates where we stand spiritually more than vice versa, today.  We look at Persecutionism in the Christian faith and how it is a foundational element to the kind of subservience and paranoia needed to foster cultism.

Selling Our Souls (Part 4) (E14)

In the 4-Part finale of Selling Our Souls, we send up the S.O.S. for help and I’m coming in strong with the answers to the biggest tests of modern history.  For part of the answer to “where did we get it SO wrong”, this episode is your cheat sheet.

Finding Faith (E15)

I deconstruct my own journey through faith, exploring the origins of some of my biggest questions regarding religion, how I answered them, and what I learned along the way.  I discuss how going to college strengthened my faith in the teachings of Jesus Christ more than all the time I spent in church.  While I don’t consider myself of any specific faith group, I examine many of the other spiritualities and belief systems I’ve learned about, and how they fit into my spiritual smorgasbord.  

Divine Redefined (E16)

When I discuss my beliefs, I rarely do.  I do say that mine is a bountiful faith buffet, a spiritual smorgasbord.  Growing up in southern white non-denominational churches taught me how to cherry pick what I wanted from The Bible (and Constitution), so I chose to cherry pick from them ALL!   I look at redefining some of our most previous and sacred ideas to make them work!  THIS episode is about looking at all major spiritualities, their rules, and suggesting a NEW set of guidelines for humankind to follow.  

The Politics of Dancing (Part 1) (E17)

Deconstructing the culture of political cultism that led to me being a Republican for my early adulthood.  It didn’t take long to see the reality.  This series discusses that journey through politics – what led me TO the Republican Party and what ultimately led me out of the Darkness.

The Politics of Dancing (Part 2) (E18)

In Part 2, I am deconstructing part of my own journey, telling MY story of politics and my experience with the racist overtones of Toxic White Southern Culture.  

The Politics of Dancing (Part 3) (E19)

In Part 3, I continue deconstructing my journey through politics and Toxic White Southern Culture.  I discuss my academic path and the most significant accomplishment of my life, and how that was tarnished by my own toxicity.  

The Politics of Dancing (Part 4): The Bully Pulpit (E20)

In this final episode of our 4-Part Politics of Dancing Serie I deconstruct America’s bully culture and competition culture.  We talk out of both sides of our social mouths with “don’t bully others” while we outwardly celebrate and prop up bullies in business, entertainment, and more.  

Cracking the Columbus Commandment Code (E21)

Why do we celebrate holidays?  Aren’t we succumbing to “idol worship” when we do? In this episode, I deconstruct some of the myths and legends about the discovery of the New World and ask “who DID discover the US? and why would we honor the ONE guy we know DIDN’T?”

The Age of Personal Correction: PC Culture - Cancel Culture or Cancer Culture (E22)

PC Culture.  What does that actually mean?  Overthinking cancel culture and political correctness and how this is one of THE most important social movements in recent history. I’ll tell you why PC (Political Correctness) Culture should be seen as an opportunity for Personal Correction and if it isn’t Cancel Culture can quickly become a Cancer Culture!

The Human Hat Rack (E23)

Looking at ourselves as human hat racks, holding up all of the various different hats we wear.  Those hats, or roles we play in life, are stacked on our rack in SOME order and we need to think about how we stack them!  I’ll also explain how forming a solid base, or foundation, for your human hat rack will keep you upright and strong!

The Human Mathematical Equation (E24)

We are the sum of all our parts and The Human Mathematical Equation seeks to deconstruct ourselves to find out what makes us tick.  Exploring all the traumas we don’t consider as traumatic and deconstructing those as we go, can help us better understand others and offer them the compassion and support they deserve.  

S.O.A.P and C.U.P.S. (E25)

I’m giving away my S.O.A.P philosophy on education, teaching, and learning as well as my C.U.P.S. philosophy for handling stressful people and situations.

The Peril of Perspective (Part 1): Therapy, Trauma, & Transformation (E26)

I’m deconstructing trauma through the lens of perspective; our own points of view in how we see the world as well as the perspective we obtain from knowing others.  This episode is a big ol’ infomercial for therapy, but also a look at the transformation that can come from properly processing our traumas.  

The Peril of Perspective (Part 2): A New Hope - The Origin Story You Didn't Ask For (E27)

Continuing the theme of properly processing our own traumas, Part 2 is more about my own struggles and journey through trauma.  I am deconstructing some of the key traumas in my life to show you how to analyze your own past in healthy and pragmatic ways.  

The New World Order of Ethical Ambiguity (E28)

A lead-in to the upcoming For Entertainment Purposes Only series, this episode looks at professional wrestling’s cultural impacts and how it conditioned an audience for cultism.  This cultism, I will be arguing over the course of the next several episodes, is that since the 1980’s (AT LEAST), we’ve ALL been subject to a deliberate dumbing down and numbing down of society.  We will get to why down the road.  This episode is how Hulkamania broke America.  

For Entertainment Purposes Only (Part 1): We Are What We Consume (E29)

Since TV’s started invading every room of our homes, America has been served up a confusing blend of information and entertainment – receiving a slew of mixed signals about all the things we were raised NOT to talk about.  In Part 1, I make the case, just like with The Human Mathematical Equation, that if we are the sum of all our parts, then We Are What We Consume, as far as media goes.  We’re made up of all the things we watch, hear, and read.  

For Entertainment Purposes Only (Part 2): The Rise of Infotainment (E30)

Focusing on the 1990’s as the era of America’s ethical erosion, we home in on 1996 as specifically THE year everything got packed into the hellbound handbasket.  I cover some of the biggest events of the year and what spawned from them, leading to the legislation that did nothing for We, The People, but exploited us and used us.  This one is about how Republicans began grooming children.  

For Entertainment Purposes Only (Part 3): Weakened Update (E31)

The 1990’s was a critical and transformative period for America.  Our society was shifting tectonically with advancing technology evolving us faster than we could keep up.  The 90’s was the age of the internet, the age of internet adult offerings (I don’t want that word in my page’s algorithm), and the era when news wasn’t news anymore.  It certainly wasn’t AS news as news HAD been.  In Weakened Update, we’re deconstructing America’s journalistic integrity and where we gave it up. 

For Entertainment Purposes Only (Part 4): Warning Labels (E32)

We’ve discussed the 80’s and 90’s and the fight for ratings and warning labels everyone ended up ignoring.  We really SHOULD have had warning labels on the information we were allowed to consume.  If only we looked at the content we consume as a dietary breakdown!  We should have see these warning signs and red flags all along the way. 

For Entertainment Purposes Only (Part 5): Four Acts, Played (E33)

Continuing the deconstruction of the 90’s as the era of America’s ethical erosion, Four Acts, Played looks at the pivotal legislation and organizations that were instrumental in this breakdown of our societal standards.  

Commanding Data (E34)

Overthinking the impact the internet and social media has on our lives and society. In Commanding Data, it’s about your rights, privacy, and all the data you’re giving away for free! WE, THE PEOPLE are the most valuable asset and commodity in our economy, yet we are disregarded and dismissed at every turn. When we ask for our piece of the pie, we should be asking for the royalties for using our likeness, voice, and image for these companies to make BIG money WE never see!

The Age of Anti-Social Media (E35)

A history of the internet and the tech that led to it. I discuss how America was handed the keys to the connection kingdom before we were ready for that responsibility. I am making the case that America has NEVER been united and the dawn of the internet was basically giving a pre-teen the keys to the car, liquor cabinet, and the unlock code for all the parental control and saying “use your best judgement” without teaching them properly what that best judgement should be.

Terms and Conditions May Apply (E36)

Examining the rising cost of social media, connection to the internet, and the dependency Americans are developing to that rapidly advancing tech.  Looking at the mental and personality disorders that are amplified and fostered through the online interaction.  

The Great Social (Media) Experiment (E37)

A case-study breakdown of my own firsthand experience with social media, how I have manipulated my own algorithm, what I’ve learned, and why we are ALL being used like NPCs in a video game except someone else has the joystick.  

An Unholy Trinity: A Blueprint for Successful Cultism (E38)

Three key figures in right-wing ideology had a similar, almost textbook, rise to power.  It’s almost as if there was a playbook they were all using and a coach from the sidelines.  What…more like WHO is to blame for our current state of societal backsliding?  Hint:  We’re looking at sports entertainment, media, and business.  

The Black and White of Back the Blue (E39)

How our view of policing, justice, law & order, and public safety are all centered around the philosophy behind one of the greatest TV shows in the history of TV shows.  

Feary Tales and Fever Dreams (E40)

Deconstructing the myths, legends, and tall tales we make up and then pass along to our children – traumatizing them in ways we can’t begin to imagine!  We gaslight them and warp their reality with lies and manipulations based on fairy tales.  I’m not talking about religion so much as the other fairy tales, myths, and legends of make-believe we’re raised on.  From Santa to Satan and everything in between, we’re grooming our children for mental illness.  

The Age of Patriarchal Purity Culture and Consent (E41)

The conversation we’re ALL afraid to have.  This is about how we’ve ALL been groomed with our standards lowered and the wrong aspects of sexuality normalized while healthy aspects are silenced.  This episode is about America’s bizarre obsession with youth and sexuality and how it’s been fed to us at every turn.  

The Seven Little People of Sensitivity (E42)

Examining America’s culture of toxic masculinity, shaming others for having feelings, through the lens of classic fairy tales!  

My Speech to Capitol Hill on Gun Violence (The Director's Cut) (E43)

In 2022, I was asked to speak before Capitol Hill about my experience with gun violence.  My speech was limited in time.  This is the full version of that speech, unedited.  

Cracking Up and Cracking Out of Corporate Culture (E's 44-48)

This is the story all about how my life got flip-turned upside down by narcissists and abusers.  This is the story of me trying to navigate corporate “working for the man” culture while struggling to maintain my sanity.  I’m deconstucting what made me lose my mind, up in here, up in here, and analyzing all the abuse I suffered and doled out.  

The Devolution of the "Southern Democrat" (E's 49-51)

Just as we began this series with a look at American Democratic presidential politics, we’ll take a sojourn down racist memory lane to trace the right-wing extremist movements of today through history back to their origins and why they’re so confused and confusing when it comes to messaging.

White Noise (E's 52-57)

A history of whiteness and what it hath wrought.