Chainsaw History - Bonus Episode: The Value of Nellie Bly

Episode Date: September 7, 2022

Podcasting siblings Jamie and Bambi were forced to read the ValueTales series of "history" books as children, so we've decided to share! Young Nellie (not her real name) shrieks about how unfair thing...s are as she badgers Joseph Pulitzer for job, when she begins speaking to mice in an insane asylum, and as she meets Jules Verne while traveling around the world in pursuit of a story about traveling around the world. This book focuses on weird and boring moments in the life of a real-world badass and feminist icon. We learn the truth about a woman who broke through glass ceilings and dared to put a monkey in a dress.Look for us on social media and find more on our website:

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Starting point is 00:00:00 Welcome to the bonus episode of Chainsaw History. I'm Jamie Chambers and this is my sister Bambi. Bonus episodes are supported by our Patreon subscribers, so you can get there immediately by going to and we're gonna be trying something a little different today and experimental. When Bambi and I were growing up, our parents got us, I guess you could call them history books. But they're not.
Starting point is 00:00:40 Not exactly. They're really not. That were published in the 1980s. They're called Value Tales and just from a quick read, I believe Value Tales were created by a doctor who wanted to write children's books and did, actually quite successfully, Dr. Spencer Johnson. And so he wanted to take figures from history and write children's books fully illustrated that would teach some sort of moral lesson.
Starting point is 00:01:08 Very 1980s, how every one of our cartoons had a little lesson we had to learn and a little recap at the very end in case we were too stupid to miss it. This is the book version of that for children. With historical figures. Yep. This is the first time we are goofing around with this, so we want to bring you the joy of the Value Tales. I actually found our old copies that our parents had stored in the basement for decades.
Starting point is 00:01:36 And you, what, you found them thrifting or what were you doing? Yeah, I was thrifting and found them and I was like, holy shit. And again, my mother got really, really excited. So we bought them and I was like, oh yeah, I could read them to the kids. And I read one and was like, absolutely not. My children would be, they would be upset by them, if nothing else. So we're not going to... We're not going to read this to our children, so instead we're going to read these books
Starting point is 00:02:09 to you or at least give you the highlights and describe to you what we're doing. So Bambi, why don't you tell them the title of your book and the subject? Okay, let me school y'all. I picked The Value of Fairness, the story of Nellie Bly. This is one of them that I read that actually stuck with me from childhood. Like there were quite a few, most of them I didn't read because I didn't want to. Some of them just, you know, were in and out. But this one was, I really, really liked the women from history that interest me because
Starting point is 00:02:52 it's like, ooh, women history, that's exciting because we don't get a lot of that. Yeah, and I will give credit to Dr. Spencer here because like the very first Value Tales book was on Jackie Robinson. So he's like, he really was trying to like lift up women and minorities as part of this. It wasn't just like, like some of these I have major criticism of even in terms of like, let's take people who were monsters or really sucked and we're going to teach children to be just like them. But I'm going to go ahead and give this guy the benefit of the doubt that he went in with good intentions, even if historical accuracy was way less important than, once again, teaching moral lessons to children.
Starting point is 00:03:38 I actually, now I'm kind of curious to know more about this guy, but I really don't know much about him other than he was a doctor who wanted to do this. And then like the Value Tales last could be a total monster. You don't know. Yeah, I just know that these went from like the 70s into the 90s and he died. Dr. Spencer died in 2017, if I remember correctly. So he made it and he died. And again, he didn't write these. I mean, this one's written by Ann Dunnigan Johnson.
Starting point is 00:04:08 Yeah, some of these had other authors. He wrote a lot of them, like the one I've got, he wrote directly. So this was like a personal passion project. He brought in, I think, one or two other authors as part of it. I mean, I'm not even sure. Yeah, like I said, I don't know enough about this guy to speak with any kind of authority. All I know is that they're a hot mess. But once again, I'm just I'm just saying, you know, I'm going to give this guy the benefit of the doubt,
Starting point is 00:04:30 because I really do feel like he was trying to highlight good things. It's just that I don't, like I said, I don't think accuracy was ever part of the mission. Well, I mean, some of it is and they wanted it to be some what? I mean, at least some of the known known history. I mean, for the most part, the big stuff is true. Yeah. So I'm going to tell you about Nelly Bly. Before I do that, I just want to, since this is audio only, I'm going to physically describe
Starting point is 00:05:03 what a value tales book like looks like. So do you I was about to say, do you want to do mine? If do you want to describe mine and well, actually, I wasn't even going to get it. I was just going to talk in really general terms. Like they're all they're all the same in terms of like basic format. So they're all these these hardcover books that are like, I guess, around eight by 10 inches hardcovers with these white covers, which is why they do not age well and get really dirty. And with these very cartoony kid artwork of whoever our hero is and a sort of Disney
Starting point is 00:05:38 ask cartoon mascot that's supposed to be like in the stories. They all get like an imaginary friend that's supposed to be part. So bad. It's weird. So we'll get into that. So all of them. So they're all like very fully illustrated, like every single page has full color kind of kitty illustrations with, you know, maybe a third of a page of text written for, you know,
Starting point is 00:06:03 I'm guessing I got a look again, but just glancing around. I remember like, you know, somewhere around the third to fifth grade reading level. And yeah. And oh. And then at the very end of the very writing is so bad. Oh, yeah. It's so damn bad. And then the most fucking condescending shit, even as an adult, like reading it
Starting point is 00:06:27 even being like, OK, from a child, even from a child's perspective, it's so condescending. Yeah, these are like 64 page books. And then the very last page is supposed to be a more straightforward, like one page encyclopedia like biography, whereas the kid's story is all over the place. That's supposed to be theoretically just the facts, even though I can tell you from mine, there's a lot of facts left out. Anyway, that's just me like giving the overview of what the hell a value tells book is. I'm going to turn it over to you.
Starting point is 00:06:56 Why don't you tell me about Nellie Bly and what you found out in this book? OK, yeah, I picked the value of fairness, the story of Nellie Bly. OK, first of all, do you know who Nellie Bly is? Generally, she was. She was a journalist. In fact, she was the first what we would consider investigative journalist. First female Lois Lane of her time without a superman. Yeah, with no superman, and she didn't.
Starting point is 00:07:33 She was not stupid at all. Well, except for that sparring spot. I mean, the truth is, except for that one, you know, obvious hole in her brain where she couldn't tell that it was a clerk or a superman, Lois Lane was supposed to be like Lois Lane would fall off of buildings and shit. I mean, it was like she was she was not a person. She was a plot point. I am going to defend Lois Lane here.
Starting point is 00:07:59 And like for the time she was written, the idea of having a woman as an investigative feisty reporter was pretty, pretty damn feminist, even if the stories themselves weren't. But just her role and who she was supposed to be was, you know, pretty cool for the time. And Nellie Bly I think might have been somewhat inspired Lois Lane. Probably, yeah. She was what was considered the first investigative journalist. And even if you do not know her name, you might know her story simply because if anyone has watched American Horror Story, American Horror Story Asylum was actually based off
Starting point is 00:08:39 of of her and her experience. So let's get into it. OK, first of all, I'm going to be sure to describe things as best you can. I'm yeah, I'm going to tell you it's like the cover. You get your little white cover and you see this cartoony woman with bushy hair wearing a hat with flowers on it that says press. They did not do they at least didn't try to make her look like a sexy or particularly attractive woman. She's like she's just funny enough.
Starting point is 00:09:14 She actually was rather striking. She was pretty beautiful. And so they they deliver. I don't think they made any of them. No, they no, it's so ridiculous. All of it. There are no attractive people in value tales. The style they went for is very strange.
Starting point is 00:09:31 No. And it's like, yeah, this woman in a hat in a floral hat that says press on it, sitting in a chair with a typewriter. And so, yeah, the value of fairness once upon a time, which already opens up the book as complete nonsensical bullshit. Once upon a time, this is we're making shit up about a real person. Yep. So once upon a time, there lived a young woman called Nellie Bly. First of all, that's nonsense. Her name was not Nellie Bly.
Starting point is 00:10:05 It was Elizabeth Cochran. And Nellie Bly was just one of her pen names. Pen names were important, especially if you were a woman journalist, because they usually just did social occasions. So they didn't want to say who they really were. They would just pin in with a different name. Sure. So there were there were women journalists at the time. They just weren't doing what was considered, quote, important work.
Starting point is 00:10:35 They stuck to the women's section of the newspaper. So they were like like the gossip chick from Bridgerton. Yes, exactly. Let's let's worry about everybody's social lives and what's going on with the society and life style and home. Yeah, kind of. Yeah. Gotcha. So there was plenty of women journalists out there,
Starting point is 00:10:59 but she she was actually something different. Now she worked in Pittsburgh. And and that's another thing that she was of I'll read you the next sentence. Nellie was a very good reporter for a newspaper in Pittsburgh. So good that she decided to try to get a job with a really big newspaper in New York City. Your record scratch. New York City. Yeah. And it's like, OK, technically, all of this is true,
Starting point is 00:11:27 except for her name wasn't Nellie Blimey. Or the fact that's the most incredibly boring way to begin a story I've ever heard. Once upon a time, there was this lady who had a job. Then she decided to get another job in a different time. She decided to get a better job. And it's like, yeah, except for she had already done some really cool and important work in Pittsburgh. She worked in she did.
Starting point is 00:11:50 Her dad was a worked in the mill and then actually ended up owning a mill. So she was very concerned with labor rights. So she actually reported on labor rights and different things for a Pittsburgh reporter. She had gotten the job. What time frame written, like, so what years were she working like in the Pittsburgh? Like, well, what was she first of all?
Starting point is 00:12:18 OK, so I'm going to go back to the historical facts of the book, which, by the way, amazing, because it starts out it's historical facts and it's just one page of facts about this woman. And it says Nellie Blimey, 1867 through 1922. Well, first of all, her name wasn't Nellie Blimey. And again, Nellie Blimey was born Elizabeth Cochran. Yeah, but she was not born in 1867. She was born in 1864.
Starting point is 00:12:46 So they literally didn't get the year right. They didn't even get her freaking birth year right. So how just made me a little sad. So I'm just trying to get a time frame. So how old was she? Like, what year are we at roughly when she was like about when she was working in Pittsburgh? OK, so she was in Pittsburgh and it's 1885. She was not yet 20 years old.
Starting point is 00:13:10 So she's a 19 year old girl and she read this really shitty article in the Pittsburgh Dispatch titled What Are Girls Good For? And so it pissed her right the fuck off. And she wrote to the editor and the editor actually even though he was strong, rewarded and he was opposed to women's rights. But he was really impressed by it. So he actually wrote the he published the rebuke and asked for who wrote it. And it was anonymously signed orphan girl.
Starting point is 00:13:52 So even in this little kind of bullshit historical facts, they've kind of gotten a little of this wrong, which is irritating. But because it was like if you're going to write a story about history and you even give them historical facts, why the fuck wouldn't they actually be? Well, yeah, I remember as a kid thinking really sad. Like I totally understood even as a kid that the stuff we were reading in the early part of the book was, you know, was a kid's version, because, you know, obviously there weren't little cartoon sidekicks running around.
Starting point is 00:14:30 And I figured that. But I always thought that the encyclopedia pages at the end were like, that is the real deal. We can. Yeah, exactly. But yeah, no, even some of this is bullshit. It's because again, she signed it orphan girl. So it's not like there was any dispute on what gender this person would have been writing the letter. Right.
Starting point is 00:14:52 Well, he put it in that he he put it out. And he was he wanted the who wrote the anonymous letter. And it says here, quote, George Madden, who had written the article, was so impressed by the anonymous letter that he ran an advertisement asking for the writer to contact him. Madden wanted to hire the the writer as a reporter in the newspaper. But when he discovered that Elizabeth was a woman, he almost changed his mind.
Starting point is 00:15:18 In spite of himself, though, he offered her a job. We thought that orphan girl might just be a dude, just like there's like 40 or so guys on the Internet pretending to play Fortnite mancraft as little girl personas. I mean, yeah, I find even just that condescending as hell. Even despite the handicap of her being a woman. But hey, once again, this was the 1880s. So, you know, women working in any sort of man's world is kind of not a normal.
Starting point is 00:15:51 Yeah. So. But again, they also had women journalists. They did have them. It wasn't unheard of because Elizabeth's name, however, could not appear in the article she could write. She had to use a pen name. So she chose Nellie Bly, taken from the popular song by Stephen Foster. All of this is only sort of true
Starting point is 00:16:15 because she did go by Nellie Bly because of Stephen Foster. But the Pittsburgh, she didn't choose it. Pittsburgh didn't choose it. She didn't even get that pen name until she was working for the world in New York. And again, she went by lots of pen names. And when she would, you know, poke a bear and piss someone off, it would basically that pen name would die and she would go off and do something else for a while.
Starting point is 00:16:45 And the problem was she'd poke too many bears. So she kept ending up having to do women's journalist work and it bored her. A border to the point where she became a journalist in Cuba for a while. Nice. I want to say it was Cuba. It was either Cuba or Mexico. I might be wrong and I didn't write it down to know I'm mad at myself. I'm going to just hope that she went to Havana and was having a good old time.
Starting point is 00:17:13 I do. But yeah, she was. But anyway, she went as a foreign correspondent for a while and then came back and she was like, you know, I'm going to try for New York. So that's where we are now. So so we just skipped a whole lot of shit and had to just to give the most boring as introduction to a woman who apparently lived a very interesting early life. She did. I mean, she was hired as as an actual reporter doing reporting on labor.
Starting point is 00:17:43 But instead, it's like one day there was a woman who wrote work for this woman. She had a she had a job, but she decided to get a better job. Well, good for her. Good for her. All right. So that's where we're at. So she wanted to work in the newspaper in New York. Okay. And here's where I'm going to pick up the book quote. But this turned out to be more difficult than she thought.
Starting point is 00:18:05 Not one of the newspaper editors in New York would even talk to Nellie just because she was a woman. That's so unfair, she said. A woman can be a good reporter as a man. She sat on a bench in a park and tried to think her way out to get to see the editors. And as she sat there, a thief rushed up, seized her purse and ran away. And this is the first page of the book.
Starting point is 00:18:28 And I, you see her anger of sitting in the same outfit with a floral hat, but it doesn't have a press badge on it yet. And there's a thief and he's literally dressed. Because she only worked for the inferior Philly. Why thieves were, he's all in purple. Like he has a lavender hat, a lavender coat, lavender pants, and then dark plum shoes. And he's wearing a black bandana, which again,
Starting point is 00:18:55 I wished all thieves would just wear a black bandana because then you could see them coming. They're very identifiable. I know when I go purse snatching, I like to wear my lavender sweatshirts. It's just so ridiculous. That's bizarre. It is bizarre.
Starting point is 00:19:14 I mean, she did get her purse stolen and it made her very desperate because then she was in a city she wasn't really familiar with and was completely penniless. And the real story is she got her purse stolen, she borrowed cab fare from her landlady and decided to go literally just demand a job from the New York world and managed to make that shit happen. Just like, I am in trouble here.
Starting point is 00:19:44 I guess she was sort of forced into this aggressive job hunt. Got it. Yep. And it's like, okay, and we'll pick up and quote. That really did it. She said, Nellie, sadly, now I don't have any money and I've just got to get a job right away. She puzzled and wondered and frowned,
Starting point is 00:20:07 but then at last she smiled. I know, she said, I know how I can convince an editor of the New York world to give me a job as a newspaper, as a reporter with his newspaper. As Nellie approached the offices of the newspaper, she twirled her lucky ring around her finger. This time I will make sure someone will see me, she said to herself. What do you think Nellie was going to do? And you see her in a picture and it's like buildings
Starting point is 00:20:37 and it says New York world and you see her standing with her hat, twirling her little ring around her thumb, because girls can't have confidence without superstitions. I figured she would just, you know, like make an appointment, knock on doors, you know, provide writing samples, you know, give resumes. No, actually that isn't what she did. She actually just borrowed cab fare, talked her way into the offices and up to the damn editor's store and talked her way into a job.
Starting point is 00:21:09 And they gave her $25 and said they'd contact her. And that's how Nellie Bly got, got a signing bonus and everything nice. Yeah, yeah. $25 in 1880s ain't bad. It ain't bad. But again, she had, I'm sure she had her dossier and everything with her. She moved to a different city, had already worked for a different newspaper without having some of her shit together.
Starting point is 00:21:39 For years. It's not, it's not, I don't think she purely got the job on strength of her personality. Like I'm sure she can write just fine. This lady has gumption. She does, she, not only did she have gumption, she was a fantastic writer. Yeah, I would assume so just to stand out, you know, in that era. And so yeah, so we're going to continue to the next page. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:22:05 And it's, what do you think Nellie was going to do? Twiddle her thumbs. Even if, yeah, she's, yeah, she's going to twirl her lucky ring and help her the best. She's going to realize that that purse snatcher knew what he was doing and she's going to take up a life of crime. I mean, the hell. Okay, so now we're continuing. We're on page 10 quote.
Starting point is 00:22:30 Nellie walked into the offices of the big newspaper. I've come to see Mr. Cockrell. She said boldly. The guard at the door just laughed. Mr. Cockrell, the editor, he's very busy. Just the same. I want to see him. Said Nellie.
Starting point is 00:22:46 Look here, young lady, said the guard. I'm going to see that no one gets in without permission. Now go away. Mr. Cockrell won't see anyone today. And so you see her just standing there in the guard, laughing at her. And again, I don't know if that's exactly how it's a little dramatized. And again, condescending as fuck. Quote, then I'll wait, said Nellie Bly.
Starting point is 00:23:12 I'll stand right here. Even if it takes all day and all night and all of tomorrow, I'll wait until Mr. Cockrell isn't busy and I intend to see him before I leave. The guard didn't like this one bit, but he didn't know what to do about it. Soon other people noticed Nellie standing there not willing to budge. Who is that woman, said one man. What is she doing here in a business office, said another. Why isn't she going home where she belongs?
Starting point is 00:23:41 Nellie said nothing. So again, a dramatization. The security guard was completely unprepared for a woman standing there. Standing there, ready to wait for all eternity. Damn, my security guard training never prepared me for none of this. For some woman that just won't move, what happens when they're not obedient? I know, we just, you fucking checkmate. Which this is a dramatization, which I actually find sort of hysterical.
Starting point is 00:24:16 The power of not obeying men is what I saw her through. So quote, she just stood there and waited. An hour passed and Nellie's legs began to hurt. Another hour passed, Nellie began to tremble. Finally, the men began to argue among themselves. They wanted to make Nellie leave, but they didn't know how to go about it. And while they were shouting at one another, Nellie slipped past them and ran into the editor's office.
Starting point is 00:24:51 Yeah, you could just touch one of them females and get the cooties. It's, it's just so stupid and ridiculous. But it gets worse from here because then it turns into complete and total fucking nonsense. Oh good. Yes. What's this said Mr. Cockerel when he saw her? Who are you and what are you doing here? I'm Nellie Bly, she said quickly.
Starting point is 00:25:15 Mr. Cockerel, I want to be a reporter for the world. I have experience. I've written stories for the best new paper newspaper in Pittsburgh. A woman reporter cried Mr. Cockerel, impossible. The world doesn't employ women reporters. Again, nonsense, bullshit. They had plenty of them. It just certainly wasn't the crowded category.
Starting point is 00:25:38 It was underrepresented by a lot is fair. And plus not in like you were saying in real, what quote unquote real news. Yeah, exactly. Women writers were usually relegated off to certain sections of, you know, newspapers. Yeah. And you also, you also had to have a certain amount of social clout in order to do certain things. And again, but I get it too. You know, this book is trying to say something to this.
Starting point is 00:26:10 This book's trying to say something to kids and doesn't have a lot of words to say it in. So I guess it's perfectly fair to say women didn't have an easy time making it as journalists in the 19th century. Yeah. So you see her is we're on page 15 and she's wearing her little floral hat and you see a man in a lavender suit. Why there is so much purple in this book. I have no idea in hand of God.
Starting point is 00:26:34 Do I need to get a lavender suit? Oh, he's got a round face like an egg, a giant egg shape face with a giant bulbous nose. And he has his his hair and his mustache or just one that goes up around his head and into his nose. You got to respect. I mean, look at that. It's I think that it looks like it's growing out of his nose. It's actually just not it's nostril hair that is weaved around his head to cover up his baldness. That's my that's my head came in.
Starting point is 00:27:10 It's so weird. But again, everything OK so far. And this is when it turns into complete nonsense. Quote, but that's not fair, cried Nellie. Then she stopped took a deep breath. Mr. Cockrell, I know that you have plenty of good reporters, she said, but don't turn me down until you hear what I have to say. Then she started to tell Mr. Cockrell of the plan that she was that she had that was daring and brave.
Starting point is 00:27:42 As she talked with the great the great Joseph Pulitzer, who owned the newspaper, came quietly into the room. He stood and listened to Nellie with it and his eyes grew wide with surprise. OK, first of all, this was not her plan. Second of all, yeah, he was not there. Joseph Pulitzer was not there. He didn't walk in the room and instantly walk in the room. And yeah, it's OK.
Starting point is 00:28:15 Hold on. I'm going to give this lady a prize named after me just for this speech. Yep. Oh, and so you see a tall lanky man with brown hair, a brown mustache and beard, brown eyes, yellow glasses. I mean, bright yellow glasses and an entirely green suit. It's three difference. He is three different shades of green. But no nostril hair.
Starting point is 00:28:43 Well, he does have nostril hair, but it's like he's got actually kind of a sweet goatee. Yeah, I know. He looks fine. Yeah, he just looks like a dork. I mean, besides the yeah, he looks like a dork in a green suit. So so here we go. 17 quote. I'll pretend that I'm insane, said Nellie.
Starting point is 00:29:04 I'll be sent to the institution on Blackwell Island, where mentally ill people are cared for. Blackwell Island, cried Joseph Pulitzer. That's one of the most frightening places in New York. No one knows what goes on there. I'll find out what goes on there, promised Nellie. I'll write a story about how poor the people at Blackwell's institution are really treated. Very well said Mr. Pulitzer. If you can get to that island and write a good report for the world,
Starting point is 00:29:33 then I'll hire you. So nope. So yeah, bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. She was, she never talked to him. So her, she's going to get institutionalized as her job interview. And back when, back when insane asylums were terrifying places, because the version of mental health care was just lock people away where polite society doesn't have to deal with them.
Starting point is 00:29:59 And that was basically it. So yeah, and she does do this. However, it's like they almost sort of tricked her and she was desperate because they hired her on the spot, gave her $25 and then said, you know, we'll, we'll contact you with what your assignment will be. And then she gets the assignment and she's like, oh shit, but at the same time she said she was desperate. And also she was intrigued.
Starting point is 00:30:32 Well, it's a hell of a story. If you don't, it's a hell of a story. So yeah, you don't get raped or murdered, you know, as a fake inmate and a mental insane asyl. Yeah, that's not great. Yeah. And also she didn't have a firm timeline on when they were going to get her out. So she just went in and she went in kind of, yeah,
Starting point is 00:30:56 she went in kind of blind trusting and hoping for the best. And yeah. So she took her $20, her $20, she took $20 of the $25 and gave it to her landlord. Make sure all of her things were taken care of. Don't be gone for a while. And she, she got herself some poor clothes and went to a female boarding house where then she had to pretend to be insane. So she just run around rubbing peanut butter on herself going.
Starting point is 00:31:32 Until somebody, I want to know how she convinced everybody she was crazy. It needed to be locked up. Cause actually, well, actually I did. I read her, I went the extra mile and I read her report. Now granted, she eventually, she wrote several reports, but I read the first one and she's a really good writer. And yeah, apparently what she did was she held her eyes open real wide and she stared and she just kind of acted like she didn't know what anybody was talking about.
Starting point is 00:32:08 Giving everybody the crazy eyes. And she started to, and yeah. Well, she also sleep deprivated herself for days. Oh, which will make you crazy. Which, yeah. Well, also make you. And you'll look like shit. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:32:21 And that was the thing. She was like, I held my eyes open real wide and I didn't sleep for days. So I looked like, and she was in the, you know, so it didn't take long with being. So being poor. Yeah, she was in a, yeah, she was kind of in a poor boarding house. So being poor, sleep deprived. And yeah, that's basically me. So we're crazy at all times and should be locked away at what you're saying.
Starting point is 00:32:52 Yeah. Well, the, and yeah. And apparently when she was first going, you know, she was really worried at first. It was like, oh, the doctors might find out I'm not crazy. And then she learned real fast that they didn't fucking care. They didn't care about anything in this place. And not only, not only did they not care. They would, when she actually, because first she had to go, she went to the police.
Starting point is 00:33:18 She had to be rowdy enough where she was removed by police, but also a woman. And they felt, you know, kindly towards her. And, you know, took her to a doctor because the police didn't want, I mean, she was just a woman. Right. They weren't wanting to rough her up or do anything bad to her. But so they took, she was examined by the doctor. And actually the first couple doctors, the first one by, she was examined by a judge. And then the doctor who worked in the courthouse.
Starting point is 00:33:52 And she said, everyone was nice to her there. Everyone treated her kindly. And then she was sent to a hospital to be examined by another doctor. And the nurses at the hospital were trying to get her to give the money. And she was like, I'm not going to give you money, you know. And she was like, well, they're going to take it from you anyway. Was how the nurses kind of, you know, took it, whatever. And then the doctors, it's like she barely even, she, because at this point in time,
Starting point is 00:34:25 she kind of even just stopped playing. She was just kind of cooperative to see what would happen. Right. How do they treat you? And so, yeah, they, not only, it's like she was completely compliant. They put her, not only is insane, but permanently insane. So she was to be locked in there for the rest of her life. To the rest of her life.
Starting point is 00:34:47 And that is how these women were sent. It was not only where they sent away, they were sent a way forever. And so with, they were sent off to this horrible freaking institution where you don't get out and there's no oversight. Or like, you thought Britney Spears had it bad. Yeah. So we're going to go back here and you see her in a way, we're in page 18. And they spout some more nonsense.
Starting point is 00:35:21 And, you know, and again, they skipped over some really cool shit. And a lot of her points, it was like, yeah, it was phenomenally easy to get declared insane permanently, to be sent away, to be tortured forever. Great. Yeah, it was like, oh, because again, she went into this going, oh, I hope they don't catch me. And then she's like, what the fuck? So here we are, page 18, quote, Nelly hurried off to carry out her plan. First, she fooled a group of doctors into thinking she was insane.
Starting point is 00:35:56 This wasn't too hard for Nelly. She was a good actress. The hard part began when Nelly was put into a carriage with a group of women and driven to the institution on Blackwell Island. She saw a dark gloomy building and she began to feel nervous. Mr. Pulitzer and Mr. Cockrell know I'm here, she thought. They said they would get me out, but they didn't say how and they didn't say when. So they skip over a lot of cool shit.
Starting point is 00:36:24 And also they, they're adding Mr. Pulitzer in there just because they like named on it. The moment you said that, I'm like cutting to that Mad Men clip of the guys just drinking and laughing really, really hard. It's like, yeah, sure, we're going to get you out of there. I mean, they really, the whoever edited this, I mean, the institution is purple. They love purple. The art direction was all, I mean, honestly, there's a lot of purple going on in mine too, when we get to my book.
Starting point is 00:36:55 Yeah. And the horses all look scared and confused. Like, why the fuck are we going up here? Like even the horses seem like, no, this shit ain't cool. Okay. Quote, the doctors and the nurses at Blackwell Island were supposed to help mentally disturbed people get well so that they can go home. I wonder if they really pay attention, thought Nelly, I'll try to find out.
Starting point is 00:37:21 Yeah. Again, bullshit. These people were already sent away forever. So quote, so Nelly acted in a perfectly normal way. I'm not insane. She told the doctor, of course, you're insane. And you wouldn't be here, said the doctor. You're on Blackwell Island, said the nurse.
Starting point is 00:37:39 You'll never get out. Never. Whoa, whoa, evil laugh. So yeah, it's like, you see a doctor who's just like, when an angry mean looking nurse and she's just sitting there looking dirty. Just imagining the, you know, dramatic thunder clap in the background, the moment they said it, you're never going to leave. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:38:06 And it's funny because now we're going to get to her days in the asylum, which- Perfect for a children's book. Perfect for a children's book and they actually, you know, it's like trying to explain to them how horrific this was while actually making it way less horrific. Yeah, because it's a children's book. Because it's a children's book. Let's give kids nightmares about them being locked in a building like at the beginning of Return to Oz, where Dorothy is like going to be electrically shocked to death.
Starting point is 00:38:38 Yeah. So, so here we go. We're at page 21, full of bullshit. Quote, the nurse hurried Nelly away into a big room where the patient spent their days. No one paid attention to Nelly. She sat down near an old battered piano and tried to feel brave. But I'm not brave, she thought. I'm afraid it's gloomy here.
Starting point is 00:38:59 I wish I had someone to talk to. At that moment, a little mouse popped out of the piano. You can talk to me if you like, so the mouse. My name's Sunny and I'd like to be friends. Nelly laughed. She knew that mice can't really talk. She was just pretending that she had a friend in that lonely place. Just the same.
Starting point is 00:39:19 She was glad to see Sunny. So we finally get our imaginary friend. So it turns out she actually is clinically insane in this version of the book. And absolutely deserves to be there because she's fucking talking to mice like she's Cinderella. Not only like she's Cinderella, this fucking mouse is dressed just like one of the mice from Cinderella. It's got like the apron and the dress and the little mousy hats. She is to a T, looking like one of Cinderella's mice.
Starting point is 00:39:48 And she's even wearing a blue dress. It's dirty and it's gross, but it's still blue. Coincidence? It's like after she's been like, you know, Cinderella, after she's been... It's after midnight, she's lost all of her shit and she's just like battered and torn up. So now she's all crazy. Yeah, talking to mice and shit. She's talking to mice and shit.
Starting point is 00:40:12 So quote, at supper time, Sunny scampered along to the table with Nellie. But when the food appeared, both Nellie and the mouse decided that they weren't hungry at all. Uggs to the mouse. The meat looks awful. And the bread is stale, said Nellie. Sunny pointed to the nurse's table. Look at that. She cried.
Starting point is 00:40:32 They have all sorts of really yummy goodies while the patients have to eat this terrible food. That certainly isn't fair. You know that, you know, the chow is pretty bad when the rodents don't want to eat it. Yeah. And, you know, it's like, yeah, it wasn't even just like, yeah, they weren't hungry after all. And it's like people who wouldn't eat it or couldn't eat it, like, because the meat was often rancid and people would throw it up.
Starting point is 00:41:00 And then they were forced fed with a tube. Like, thank you for food poisoning me. Great. Yes. Yeah, I mean, it's, it's horrific. Okay, so yeah, they're, they're telling the story, they're telling a story without trying to really tell the story. Right.
Starting point is 00:41:18 So quote after supper, the patients went back to the same big cheerless room. Why don't you try playing the piano, said Sunny? Maybe the music will cheer these folks up. I don't play very well, but I'll do my best, said Nellie. The music did help. Some of the patients smiled. Some of them even sang. But when the smiling and the singing stopped,
Starting point is 00:41:43 when the nurses called out that it was time for baths, my goodness, said Nellie, why is everyone so upset? There's nothing, nothing dreadful about taking a bath. Okay. First of all, there was no music. They just stopped on benches until they had like sores. Just hard wooden benches. There wasn't a charming little attitude piano for her to go play.
Starting point is 00:42:03 No, and every, yeah, with people singing and dancing. Dancing and dancing around. Absolutely not. No, no, no, no, no. Okay. Quote, Nellie found that she was wrong. The baths at Blackwell Island were dreadful indeed. The nurses forced the women into tubs full of ice cold water.
Starting point is 00:42:22 Stop that shudder, Nellie. You're supposed to be helping these poor people. Instead, you're making them suffer. It's freezing in here. Everyone will catch cold. You're not being fair. In fact, you're not even being human. Ah, a troublemaker cried one nurse.
Starting point is 00:42:37 Do you know what we do with troublemakers? I think we're about to find out, said Sunny. And I don't think I want to watch. Dun, dun, dun. This is where the electric nipple clamps come in. So apparently she was right about the ice cold water. And I mean, they had like five or six girls would take a bath in one tub without changing the water.
Starting point is 00:43:01 Oh, sure. That's very common. They would just be in ice cold tubs. And again, they only got a bath once a week. And they only changed their clothes if they were so horribly dirty that they had to be changed. I mean, these people were kept in just completely horrific and shitty, shitty conditions. And so we're on page 26.
Starting point is 00:43:23 And you see her getting cold water dumped on her head while her little mousy friend shakes her fists. And yeah, and she screamed and called them bullies and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Okay, we're going to fast forward. Quote, as the days went by, Nellie began to think that the nurses might be right. She might have to stay forever.
Starting point is 00:43:45 But I'm not sick, she told the doctor. Some of these other people aren't sick either. The doctor just told the nurses to take her away. Mr. Pulitzer promised to get me out of here, thought Nellie. What if he's forgotten all about me? Do you think Mr. Pulitzer had forgotten? I doubt Mr. Pulitzer had a fucking clue who she was at this point. Um, you know, well, he might have simply because it was a,
Starting point is 00:44:12 I mean, as far, he had never talked to Elizabeth. I love how she keeps referring to herself as Nellie too. It's like she would never refer to herself as Nellie. She would certainly think of herself as Elizabeth. We're not going to confuse children with that. And pin names, that whole concept is too complicated. Yep, yep, yep. This is for kids, damn it.
Starting point is 00:44:37 It's for kids and kids are dumb. Do you think kids are dumb? Yes, I do think kids are dumb. It's so very door of the explorers. Like this is how you talk to four-year-olds, but this is written for like 10-year-olds. So it's like, the fuck? It's like written for children by a person who's never met one.
Starting point is 00:45:01 Hasn't been a child in a very long time. Yeah, and they have literally forgotten all what it was like to be a child. Okay, but here we are, page 28. Quote, he had not. After Nellie had been on Blackwater Island for 10 days, someone from the World newspaper office came for her. And if you don't mind, said her little mouse friend, I'll go with you.
Starting point is 00:45:26 I don't care for this place at all. The doctors and the nurses at the institute were very nervous when they found out that Nellie was really a reporter. They had surely had plenty to be nervous about. So, yep, she was broken free from jail and apparently she stayed crazy because her little mouse friend decided to go with her. Yep, her mind was forever broken by this experience.
Starting point is 00:45:48 Yep, yep, that's sad. So, quote, when Nellie wrote her story about the dreadful conditions at Blackwells, people were shocked and angry. How unfair they cried. What a terrible way to treat sick people. Something must be done. And then America fixed its mental health system
Starting point is 00:46:06 and everything's been fine ever since. It's been great, no notes. And yeah, and all thanks to Nellie Blythe and... And quote, and something was done. The city saw to it that the people of Blackwells islands had warm clothes, good food, and better doctors and nurses who cared about them. There was great change at Blackwells Island
Starting point is 00:46:28 all because of Nellie Blythe. Then generations later, Ronald Reagan came along and said, what if we didn't have these places at all and they were all just homeless and living on the streets? And then that happened and there was much rejoicing. Yep. Yeah, well, fortunately, she, her story actually did create real radical change. Yeah, she definitely instituted reform.
Starting point is 00:46:56 I'm just being bitter over other things. Oh, absolutely. Yeah, you want to be bitter about healthcare, but this is... No, she did a good thing. But yeah, she actually changed conditions for not only just a size, they started shutting down asylums, including this one.
Starting point is 00:47:15 This one actually, it has Roosevelt on it. I can't remember if it's like Roosevelt Center, it's Roosevelt something, but it actually changed its name and is no longer used as an institution. And she created lots and lots of reform. So that's really, really cool. So...
Starting point is 00:47:36 So what's next? In the world of mouse talking. Mouse talking. So it's like, quote, Nellie's story about Blackwell Island was one of the most difficult she would ever have to write, but it convinced Mr. Pulitzer that she was a fine reporter. He gave her a job at the New York world.
Starting point is 00:47:57 Nellie went on to write many other books and she often used disguises when reporting about people who were treated unfairly. So she was put in... Door becoming fit. Put in like a Groucho Marx glasses and mustache and walking into smoky poker rooms with business people. Yep, yep.
Starting point is 00:48:19 You're becoming famous Nellie Bly said her little friend, Sonny. Do you know what people are saying about you? Whenever they see unfairness that should be exposed, they say, send for Nellie Bly. She can do anything. Okay, that's all nonsense and bullshit, but she did go on to do other really cool shit. Yeah, she got an exclusive interview
Starting point is 00:48:41 with this insane serial killer, Lizzie Halliday. Oh, nice. Yeah, she did some cool, cool shit. Yeah, it's... The women's lunatic asylum is now Roosevelt Island. Okay. And it's no longer a sane asylum. It's used for temporary houses for females.
Starting point is 00:49:03 So it became a women's shelter. Females. Females. Sorry, I can't hear that word without hearing Ben Shapiro's voice. Females. But yeah, her book was published later and it was called Ten Days in the Madhouse and it was a best seller.
Starting point is 00:49:22 So she also had some fictional books that she went on. Oh, so she was only in there for barely over a week. Yeah, she was in there for only 10 days. Just long enough to get a taste on how bad it was. That's all she needed. She was like, I didn't need any of this. I might be seeing two mice after this. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:49:41 Oh, but yeah, she launched a decade of stunt or detective reporting and they were called the first women to enter journalists mainstream in the 20th century were these stunt girls. You know, what became the modern investigative journalist who jumps in the middle of the story to figure shit out, including putting themselves in personal danger. Exactly. And again, it's what launched women into real journalism
Starting point is 00:50:18 and they were called stunt girls. And women were apparently a lot more willing to do that kind of shit than the guys who had more opportunities. So not only was she cool, she actually launched a whole bunch of other cool shit, which they don't give her credit for here. Of course. But you know, we're at 64 pages and most of them are filled with goofy pictures. Yup.
Starting point is 00:50:44 Sonny was right. Nellie wrote so many stories, she became so famous that other newspaper people became jealous. Nellie Bly is a mere girl, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. It's just a bunch of red-faced men getting angry about a newspaper. How dare, how dare boom hovers. How dare a woman. How dare you. You can't have breasts and write words.
Starting point is 00:51:11 It's outrageous. Yeah. And I don't know why they included this and I'm pretty much going to skip over it because of all the things she did. This is one of the least interesting. And it's like, but Nellie Bly made mistakes. One day she hurried off to a Broadway producer and wanted to be a chorus girl for a musical show. And yeah, and she was no good at it.
Starting point is 00:51:35 And this goes on for pages. Wait, that was the thing we needed to know about her was that she sucked at being a chorus girl. She sucked at being a chorus girl, although at this point in time she upgraded her dress and now she's all in pink. Wait, was she a chorus girl for a story or just because she felt like being a chorus girl? She was going to be a chorus girl for a story. Oh, okay. And again, and they do go on into this because she wanted to get a job as a chorus girl
Starting point is 00:52:01 because she thought that they were, you know, being harassed and to see what it was like. And she was not good. And she got, yeah, she wasn't good enough to really to figure that out. You didn't wait to cut. And so they show her making an ass out of herself on stage. Oh good. That's the thing we need to know. Yeah, that's the thing.
Starting point is 00:52:22 Yeah, they didn't talk about any of the she launched an entire fucking new journalistic style and put women on the map and gave them and actually gave women a cool employment. Yeah. Let's let's talk about her one failure failing to sing and dance. Good enough. Yes. Whatever. All right.
Starting point is 00:52:45 Okay. Her mouse friend disgusted with her lack of abilities. So yeah, quote, Nellie never tried to go on stage again, but she soon had an idea that was even more fantastic. Jules Verne's book Around the World in 80 Days had just been published. This was a tale of a man who set a speed record by traveling all the way around the world in only 80 days. In Nellie's day, it was difficult to travel.
Starting point is 00:53:17 There were no airplanes and no cars. Trains and boats were slow. Most people traveled by horse and buggy. No one really travels around the world that quickly said Sonny. Oh, I don't know about that said Nellie Bly. Nellie went to go see Mr. Pulitzer and told him her plan. I want to go around the world, but I want to do it in 75 days. Impossible said Mr. Pulitzer.
Starting point is 00:53:45 It can't be done in that time. Besides, you're a woman and a woman simply don't travel alone. That's not fair, protested Nellie. Men travel alone all the time. Why shouldn't a woman be able to do the same thing? I know I can make it and I think of the exciting stories I'll send back to the paper. Mr. Pulitzer thought about it and at last he nodded. It would be exciting.
Starting point is 00:54:08 Perhaps the most exciting story of our time. All right Nellie, you can go. So this is her launch and for the most part, it's this little piece of the story might be as straightforward as the story gets. This was always the part that I remember because I was a fan of Jules Verne. So she's trying to beat the record of the fictional Phineas Fog from Around the World in 80 Days. In Around the World in 80 Days. Okay, so here we are at page 40 and she's about to go on her trip.
Starting point is 00:54:44 And you see a bunch of, again, men getting angry. Mr. Pulitzer should have sent a man, said one reporter. A woman takes too many suitcases that slows them down. Although historically that was like she, so okay, here we are. And I guess that was a way of making this relevant. But yeah, she packed super light, planned to travel really fast. She only took a couple things with her and she was, but again, she had an entire route planned out.
Starting point is 00:55:16 People were waiting to greet her wherever she went. So she was alone for most of her journey, but she wasn't unknown. She was going to be safe. She had a plan the entire time. Yeah, exactly. I mean, and people were excited about it. And apparently she was racing another woman, which they don't specify in this book. They just think she randomly went off to do this cool thing.
Starting point is 00:55:41 She was actually racing someone. Cool. And it was another girl from a different paper. To see who could make science fiction, science fact by saying you can get around the world. And not only can you do it, but you can do it as a woman. Which is hilarious, because now we live in an era where you can get in around the world in a couple of days easy days. I mean, you can do it in less than that.
Starting point is 00:56:07 If you have some government stuff behind you. The means. If you have access to some jets and shit, you could do it much faster. I mean, we're sending William Shatner to space. America has so little to worry about that we can just shoot old men into space. Okay, but here we are back at our book quote. Nelly took only two dresses and a coat and she arrived at the pier to catch her ship with only one small suitcase.
Starting point is 00:56:40 Aren't you afraid, teased man, traveling this way without anyone to protect you? Nelly was a bit afraid for the people had been telling her stories about shipwrecks and pirates and kidnappers. She said, no, but my army of mice that obey me will protect me. I have my lucky ring and my crazy mouse friend. So, yeah, quote, but she wouldn't admit that she was scared. She marched bravely aboard the ship with her little imaginary friend, Sunny the mouse. I don't know why Sunny has to go on this voyage with her.
Starting point is 00:57:17 Anywho, so you see her getting on a train and here we are at the next page where you see her in a horse and buggy. Quote, the voyage was rough in the seas and the high seas and gale winds. Many of the passengers were seasick. Nelly and Sunny were very happy to land in Southampton, England. So, oh, this is another part where they did they highlighted that I don't understand. It's like it's they really wanted to see her fuck up for some reason in this book. And the two things that she did that almost really, you know, fucked her up was
Starting point is 00:58:00 one was stupid and then there's this. She got invited to meet Jules Verne. And it was out of the way and it was going to make her late and she didn't care. Even at the risk of losing this race, she decided that she had to go meet Jules Verne. He's kind of the reason she was doing it in the first place. Yeah, apparently that was just too much for her too much of a temptation. She could not leave it alone. So she dashed away.
Starting point is 00:58:34 And Jules Verne was happy to see her. But quote, Jules Verne was very happy to see Nelly when she arrived at his home in France. But he was a little worried too. Should you have come so far out of your way to see me? He wondered. Oh, yes, cried Nelly. After all, if it weren't for your book, I wouldn't be going around the world in less than 80 days. That's true, said Sunny, but if we missed the train to Italy, we might not get around the world at all.
Starting point is 00:59:07 So she met Jules Verne. They loaded up on a train. She had to go on a different train and it made her a little late, although they didn't actually go into it here. But it was fine. Quote, when the train reached her destination in Italy, Nelly hired a carriage to take her to the wharf. But it was really no use going on.
Starting point is 00:59:30 Said the mouse. See how late it is. I'm sure the ship had already sailed. Wait, her cartoon mascot is her. Her sidekick is talking her out of doing it. That's supposed to be the opposite of what they're supposed to do. But don't you understand how storytelling works? This is like, she's supposed to be the one with doubts.
Starting point is 00:59:45 And the mouse is supposed to be her inner voice. You know, talking about that. These people don't even know how this works. No, yeah. No, her mouse friend is like her, her Debbie down her sidekick. She chucked that mouse off the side of the train. Fuck you. I can do this.
Starting point is 01:00:00 Yep. Said and disappointed. Nelly sank back against the cushions of the carriage and buried her face in her hand. My mouse is right. I suck. I suck. Nelly sat, opened her eyes.
Starting point is 01:00:15 She couldn't believe it. The ship had taken. She had taken was still at the pier. Whoopee. She cried and leapt out of the carriage. Tossed a whole handful of money to the driver. And she ran as fast as she could up the gang plank to the ship. And again, I don't even know if this part is true
Starting point is 01:00:36 because the ship was waiting for her because the ship was waiting for her. But according to this quote, there is no way Nelly could have known but the train from France had carried important mail. The mail had been loaded onto the ship. And so the ship had waited for the train. And again, we're talking hours.
Starting point is 01:00:54 She was a couple of hours late for this boat. The boat was going to wait on her. Right. Especially if they know what they knew what she was going to do. Yeah, she was kind of a... And again, it's like she was kind of an... Yeah. It was an important thing.
Starting point is 01:01:10 The ship left Italy and sailed to the Suez Canal and the Red Sea all the long way. Nelly wrote stories for her trip. About the strange new land she saw the people she talked to and dressed so differently from the people back home. Nelly was very happy. Her ship left the Red Sea and sailed into the Indian Ocean headed for an island nation of Ceylon.
Starting point is 01:01:34 But then there was a terrible storm, blah, blah, blah. They sailed for Singapore. Again, it's like they tried to flush this out in weird ways. She reached Singapore. Nelly had gone halfway around the world. She stopped and bought a monkey. Even if I'm late reaching home, she said, this monkey is proof I've been to this strange land.
Starting point is 01:01:55 Okay. They did include this. She did. She bought a monkey in Singapore. So they should have. You know why? Because she fucking could. So they gave an imaginary mouse to a woman who had a real monkey.
Starting point is 01:02:05 Yes. Okay. So now she's... So now she's traveling with her mouse friend and her monkey. Got it. Does the monkey also have an imaginary friend? That's what I need to know. No, but it does have an imaginary...
Starting point is 01:02:17 It has imaginary luggage. Oh, okay. It's dressed just like her. Oh, it's a little dress wearing. It's like she started out looking like Cinderella and, you know, Cinderella's mice and now she's like dressed exactly. Well, they say your pets start to look like you. Yeah, it's funny.
Starting point is 01:02:36 Okay. And so people won't say women can't do things. She predicted they won't be so unfair. Never again. Never again will women be unfair, thanks to Nelly Bly. Whoo. From Singapore, Nelly traveled to Okinawa, Japan. There are hundreds of people came to watch her and her monkey board the ship
Starting point is 01:02:56 that would take her back to the United States. They're cheering for you, said the mouse. They're hoping that you'll set the record. I hope so too, but we're behind schedule, said Nelly. So they're behind schedule and there's a huge storm and they wanted to throw the monkey overboard. Hell yeah. I don't know if any of this is, which I don't know if any of this is true.
Starting point is 01:03:22 The true wanted to throw monkeys overboard because they were unlucky. Yes, everyone. I mean, women on ships were supposed to be considered unlucky. So yeah. And so this captain told her she could keep her monkey because he wasn't superstitious, but he said to keep it hidden. So the captain just spanked the monkey every now and then. He just came here to visit the monkey.
Starting point is 01:03:49 So here we are at page 55. Quote, after two weeks of difficult sailing, Nelly's ship came into sight of land. There's a San Francisco bay at last, cried Nelly. And I see the crowds have been waiting for you, said the captain. But I'm afraid that I can't let you land. There's rumor that a case of smallpox on board and the health officials want to make sure everyone's well before they leave the ship. Yeah, there's usually like, it was actually very common place back then to do like a two-week
Starting point is 01:04:21 quarantine when a ship came from one area to another and just like, I gotta make sure you there's nothing going on in this boat before we let you people out here. But I must get off, cried Nelly. I have no time to waste. I'll jump overboard and swim if I have to. Do you suppose Nelly really did jump overboard? No, of course not. They got her a fucking ship and they sailed her onwards.
Starting point is 01:04:48 Because of course they did. And again, yes, the ship was quarantined. However, they actually got her her own private training. I love how they set up this incredibly dramatic moment just to not do it. Do you think she dramatically dive over the side and swim for it? It's like, no, she just took a boat. It's fine. No, she took a boat.
Starting point is 01:05:15 Of course she did. That's amazing. Like there's like so many dome choices. Let's set up something interesting versus boring. You know what happened? The boring thing. That's so cool. Quote, well, the captain believed she would.
Starting point is 01:05:32 So he found her another way to land in no time. Nelly and her monkey and of course her little friend the mouse were aboard a tugboat. Puffing towards the San Francisco waterfront. There's a doctor waiting at the pier to examine us, said Nelly. We won't lose any more time now. Hundreds of people crowded the dock to cheer for Nelly, which also, you know, it's like, but stay back. See the version where she's swimming is so much more dramatic.
Starting point is 01:06:02 Everybody's cheering as she's swimming towards them. And again, it's like everyone acted like her freaking her trip was so dangerous because she was alone. Obviously not hundreds of people know what she's doing everywhere she goes. Because it's in all the newspapers and everybody's all excited about it. Yep. So she was whisked off to the rail. And there was no TVs or radios back then.
Starting point is 01:06:24 So this was like super interesting back then. Yep, yep. So you see the people and the horses. They're much happier horses than the ones that were taking her to the asylum. Okay. Yeah, those were the sad horses. And she's waving to the people. Although the, okay, just, I just have to describe the driver of the carriage though.
Starting point is 01:06:46 He looks like he is going to fucking beat the shit out of these horses and love every second. Let me see the picture. He looks maniacal. Oh yeah, that man's done something to some horses. It looks like he's about to do some things to some horses, but they look like they enjoy it. Yes, master, again, master. Okay. Quote, Nellie's race against time wasn't quite over.
Starting point is 01:07:16 She still had to cross the continent and get to the east coast where the journey had begun. Cowboys, Indians and ranchers and farmers came for miles around to see her special train speed by. At every stop, people crowded around the train to cheer Nellie and stare at the monkey that she had brought all the way from Singapore. And she's on like the little engine that could. Except the little engine that could that's on a shit load of drugs. Yeah, right. He's the biggest fucking smile.
Starting point is 01:07:47 Yeah, eyes are all wide. And to be fair, his pupils are all wide. Like if you're in the southwest United States in the early 20th century, I guess at this point, or you know, it's. Yeah, and she's on a, and she's on a private train speeding as fast as she can across the continent. Amazing. Everyone with her exotic monkey in a little dress and hat.
Starting point is 01:08:10 Yep, as she waves, as she waves at people, as she goes by. The monkey with its little typewriter writing all her stories for her. Yep, yep, yep. And when she arrived back home again, there were thousands and thousands of people waiting for her. She won. She'd done it. They shouted. Nellie Bly has gone around the world in 72 days.
Starting point is 01:08:33 Nellie's little friend the mouse laughed gleefully. They never thought you'd do it, she said. They never thought you'd, they thought you'd give up because you are a woman. Nellie was terribly excited by the cheers in the crowds, but there was one person she was especially eager to see. Do you know who that was? It was Mr. Pulitzer, of course. I'm proud of you, said Mr. Pulitzer.
Starting point is 01:08:58 Not only have you won your race against time, but you've shown people everywhere that women can take care of herself wherever she may go. Welcome home, Nellie Bly. Oh, and here's one of them prize thingies. Yep, yep, yep. But they don't mention prizes. Well, that's fine. Mr. Pulitzer congratulated her and her monkey.
Starting point is 01:09:20 She won a race. Yeah. Do we know the name of the monkey? She, they never say the name of the monkey. That's bullshit. Only. We get an imaginary mouse, but we don't get a name for the real monkey that really lives the real world.
Starting point is 01:09:34 I'm upset. Well, apparently, yeah. Well, apparently she only bought the monkey so she can impress the people as they were waving by. I've decided from this reading that I'm going to write at my own children's book right where at the every end of every page spread, I ask a question that's going to be like, what do you think? Do you think this really cool, amazing thing happened? Or do you think it's really boring should happen?
Starting point is 01:09:56 And it always goes to the boring choice every single time. 01:10:01,120 --> 01:10:04,000 This book has taught me that anyone can write a children's book. Yeah. So here we are at the very last page and you see her wearing her yellow dress with her red skirt. Her iconic giant hat. Her hat and her big straw hat with giant purple flowers on her waving holding hands with her monkey with her mouse dressed exactly like her also waving in the exact same way.
Starting point is 01:10:28 Oh, yeah. Yay. Quote Nelly was very happy and not only because she had won her race against time, she was happy because she knew that many people were now being treated more fairly because she had accomplished because what she had accomplished as a newspaper reporter. Think about it. Then ask yourself how fair you are in the way you treat others. Do you believe that fairness is important?
Starting point is 01:10:54 Do you think it could make your life happier too? The end. P.S. And then Nelly wondered if it was really fair that she was released from the lunatic asylum when she was continuously hallucinating a mouse. But then she stopped thinking about it and just went back to rubbing peanut butter in her hair. It's just so odd. Ah, okay.
Starting point is 01:11:19 Well, Nelly Bly is at least an inspirational person despite the fact that this book made some choices in how they presented it to children. It made a lot of choices. It made a lot of really, really weird choices because, again, instead of telling about some of the really fucking cool shit she did, I mean, because she traveled around the world and then she kind of, yeah, she wrote some novels. She got married. Yeah, she did all kinds of shit.
Starting point is 01:11:54 Well, cool. Yeah, that's so there we go. So yeah. Nelly Bly. So Nelly Bly, who isn't really Nelly Bly, she's Elizabeth Cochran. Elizabeth Cochran who is such a Jules Verne fangirl, she almost screwed up the story of her life just to go meet a famous author. Yeah, I respect that though.
Starting point is 01:12:15 That's okay. I diverted from my trip to San Diego Comic-Con one year in order to go to the childhood home of Robert E. Howard, one of my favorite writers. Do you have regrets? Nope, zero regrets. I got to do the thing. Yep, and in the story of Ellie Cochran's life, because she was actually, she went by Ellie, Elizabeth.
Starting point is 01:12:40 Right. And yeah, the pen name was picked for her by her editor at the world. And even her. She didn't get to pick her own more famous pen name. But, well, I mean, I think they picked it together. Kind of deal. There you go. Makes sense.
Starting point is 01:12:57 And that's also very common in the history of newspapers. She did some really, really cool shit. I mean, she was a journalist. She broke a very early glass ceiling for women and opened up the world of journalism to a whole different style of reporting where you throw yourself in the middle of everything. Which is very cool. And I mean, the woman, she was super cool. And yeah, she inspired actual change for sick people and also for women.
Starting point is 01:13:32 And yeah, it was like not only did, it was like this land speed record. Nobody thought it could be done, but not only did it happen, it happened first by a woman. Now granted, right after that. I mean, it was only months later that someone broke hers. Well, Jules Verne and H.D. Wells, their whole MO was to do these plausible science fiction ideas that at some point, like every single one of them ended up coming true. You know, just about. I mean, Jules Verne came up with the idea.
Starting point is 01:14:04 You know, I mean, and not even the first one, but he wrote about like a submersible and giant squids and, you know, he came up with stuff just like H.D. Wells conceived the atomic bomb and all this other stuff. But anyway, Nelly Bly, definitely a cool story. You know, what do you give? How do you grade the children's adaptation? I'm going to give it a five out of 10. Just because five out of 10, because a lot of the basic shit that was in here is good.
Starting point is 01:14:40 Here we go. Well, and again, and it stuck with me and from childhood. I mean, I read this shitty ass book and actually managed to get a thing out of it. Because yeah, they picked a really interesting subject. It's sad that they can't write because it could have been cool. But yeah, it's she was a really, really awesome, famous woman in history that nobody knows a lot about. I actually asked your daughter Liz yesterday if she knew who Nelly Bly was and the answer was
Starting point is 01:15:13 no, never heard of her and never heard. Honestly, I don't know that I would if I didn't grow up with these same books because I remember reading about her and the Jules Verne connection was the one part that stuck out of my brain from the old days. But yeah, and I think that just about I just thought she was awesome. I mean, she is fucking bad ass. And because of this book, she became one of my little my little heroes because women can do shit.
Starting point is 01:15:41 Feminist icon Nelly Bly. Feminist icon Nelly Bly. So yeah, that I think that just about does it for us for this bonus episode. More episodes are coming soon. So in the meantime, get a monkey, travel the world. Go insane and have a mouse friend. Take a really, really cold bath. Yeah, no, but yeah, labor and I tied in labor.
Starting point is 01:16:08 I tied in Halloween. I'm really proud of myself with my my choice of book and I got to school you for once. Yeah, this will be fun. Wait, wait until the the horror show of my book that's coming up soon. All right, but that's it for now, listeners. We will catch you next time on the bonus channel.

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