Planet Lockdown — The Must Watch of The Must Watch

I realized I was remiss this morning in not having put this out to my audience and with to whom they might themselves, in their private wisdom.

So I’m correcting that. Because, of course, what I do is for myself as a public service—my giving at the office—and turning this blog into the mostly-paid membership site is not about cashing in, but about the financial support required to devote all of my time to it.

I know this is the way things are going. Bloggers are street merchants now. You pick the one you like, or a few. You can’t patronize all, even if you’d like to. I’m enthusiastic to compete in that market. Walk through the fantastic Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey.

It’s hard to choose.

Before I take you to the subject, a bit about why I didn’t do my membership blog as a Substack blog as so many others did. Every little thing is in-house here—I cannot be censored. I previously had a Patreon about Cryptocurrency and built it to 600 subscribers at $5 per month in about 4 months ($3K per month). Then I saw that Patreon was deplatforming its creators over wrongthink and wrongwrite and I never posted much there again. Why invest my time in pursuit of faux business where I actually own nothing?

…So, people jump over to new platforms that are all about FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION!!! Those platforms build up to a point where they’re ripe for acquisition, and when offered Billions they can’t refuse, they sell and the buyers will be all about narrative control for the benefit of the corporate advertisers. It’s silly to think this is particularly ideological, left vs. right. It’s about Pfizer, et al, who want to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to the amassed audience…targeted bien sûr, but anti-pharmaceutical stuff amongst all Big Corp advertising writ large has to be brought into check, because if not in check and curtailed, their advertising is fuel on the fire of unriddled freedom of expression.

Free expression and corporate advertising are oil and water. It worked OK before, because corporations controlled all expression that was widespread, from broadcast media and television to print: both news and published books.

Simple pimple: Occam’s Razor. The mistake they want everyone to always make is getting into perpetual fights over which God is greater. Just another childish theme on my dad can take your dad.

So, now comes Substack into the limelight of scrutiny, The Guardian.

Anti-vaxxers making ‘at least $2.5m’ a year from publishing on Substack

A group of vaccine-sceptic writers are generating revenues of at least $2.5m (£1.85m) a year from publishing newsletters for tens of thousands of followers on the online publishing platform Substack, according to new research.

Prominent figures in the anti-vaccine movement including Dr Joseph Mercola and Alex Berenson have large followings on Substack, which has more than 1 million paying subscribers who sign up for individual newsletters from an array of authors who include novelist Salman Rushdie, the writer musician Patti Smith and former Downing Street adviser Dominic Cummings.

Mercola, a US alternative medicine doctor and prolific producer of anti-vaccine content, and Alex Berenson, a journalist banned from Twitter last year after questioning the efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines, are among five vaccine sceptics on the platform who earn themselves and Substack a minimum of $2.5m a year from their newsletters. Under Substack’s business model, writers keep about 90% of the subscription income, with the platform taking 10% and payment company Stripe charging the writers 3% of their take.

Research by the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a campaign group, showed that Mercola’s newsletters made a minimum of $1m a year from charging subscribers an annual fee of $50, with Berenson making at least $1.2m from charging people $60. Three other vaccine sceptic newsletters, from tech entrepreneur Steven Kirsch, virologist Robert Malone and anonymous writer Eugyppius, generate about $300,000 between them.

Imran Ahmed, chief executive of CCDH, said companies like Substack were under “no obligation” to amplify vaccine scepticism and make money from it. “They could just say no. This isn’t about freedom; this is about profiting from lies … Substack should immediately stop profiting from medical misinformation that can seriously harm readers.”

Newsletters cited by CCDH research include: a piece authored by Mercola headlined “More Children Have Died From Covid Shot Than From Covid”; a Berenson substack questioning whether mRNA vaccines have contributed to, rather than stopped, the spread of Covid; a Kirsch newsletter stating that “vaccines kill more far more people than they might save from Covid”; a newsletter from Malone warning that mRNA vaccines could lead to permanent damage of children’s organs; and a Eugyppius Substack claiming that “vaccines don’t suppress case rates at all.

A Substack spokesperson referred the Guardian to an essay published on Wednesday by the platform’s co-founders, Chris Best, Hamish McKenzie and Jairaj Sethi, in which they said silencing vaccine sceptics would not work. “As we face growing pressure to censor content published on Substack that to some seems dubious or objectionable, our answer remains the same: we make decisions based on principles not PR, we will defend free expression, and we will stick to our hands-off approach to content moderation,” they said.

It’s almost like a form of Controlled Opposition, as they actually link to the offensive Substack posts by the Bad Guys

…Well, perhaps until offered a deal they can’t refuse. And this is why I am self hosted for all content, everything in-house, and always will be.

How long until all those giddy about Locals and Rumble get shafted when they sell out, and they will? Mark my words.

Host your own content. No, I do not host my own video because that’s wildly expensive, but it will eventually be cheap and then I’ll probably make more videos, served from my own site. Just text and images for now, and that’s cheap as can be.

…OK, so that was quite a diversion. I’ve watched a number of documentaries and also long podcasts, where I really have no patience particularly. A Substack I subscribe to is Noah’s Newsletter, because he writes good shit. Just yesterday.

Fewer interviews, more debates

I can’t be the only one who’s getting slightly bored of the long-form podcast interview. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great interviewers out there. People like Sam Harris and Joe Rogan are especially good, as reflected in their massive audiences, which exceed the populations of some countries. Kudos to those two gentlemen. 

But if we take the podcast “sector” as a whole, I’d say there’s a great oversupply of interviews. When a popular writer publishes a new book, they might end up doing several podcast interviews – a dozen if they’re a big name. And yet after you’ve listened to one, you’ve kind of got the message. There’s little to be gained by listening to others, since the same points just come up again and again. “Why did you write the book? What’s the main argument? How does this change the way we think about X?”

There are a few exceptions. Steven Pinker’s often worth listening to several times over because his command of the English language is so impressive. But there aren’t many Steven Pinkers around; just one, the last time I checked. And some commentators are so verbally maladroit you’d rather they stuck to the written word and left the podcast game to someone else. I’m afraid not everyone has a “voice for podcasts” – especially long-form ones.

Not only is there a lot of redundancy across the ever-growing number of podcasts, but there’s substantially too much agreement. Too often when I listen to an interview, the interlocutors agree on almost everything, and the role of the interviewer seems to be merely prompting the guest to further expound his or her ideas. “Okay, tell us about X… Interesting, tell us about Y… Fascinating, tell us about Z.”

All that said, with which I agree 100% because it is solidly my baseline…I have a wonderfully smart, very high-IQ friend who listens to Scott Adams’ simultaneous sip, 1-hr every fucking day, and I’ve never listened to one. He bores me to fucking tears within 5 minutes every time. To each their own.

I never watch long stuff, ever. Until recently. Hadn’t watched a Rogan since Guyenet and Taubes, then ate up his 3 hours each with both Dr. McCullough and then Dr. Malone. The latter caused such a shit storm that the media went apoplectic, including CNN—which sports a 10th of Rogan’s audience. Rogan dwarfs FOX NEWS!!! too (factor of 5?), LOL dumbass Republicans getting your hundredth daily dose of Dementia Man Bad. (Did you hear the hilarious thing where Neil Young—a twat since Buffalo Springfield, where somethin’s happenin’ here it’s not exactly clear—told Spotify to cancel Rogan or cancel him? They cancelled him, Young, per his request. So LOL.)

So here’s the gig.

Planet Lockdown

After I watched it, I fired off my first notice to Dr. Mike Eades who put out a good The Arrow this morning. He first covers very deeply the advantage of natural immunity vs. vaccine immunity in Covid. Then, it’s onto the ins-&-outs of various imaging for judging cardiovascular risks. Finally, he does a really out-of-the-blue take on Biden calling the Fox reporter an SOB on hot mic, which I agree with but hadn’t thought about, and then he finishes with a link to one of my latest posts.

Here’s what I shared to Mike about Planet Lockdown.

By far the best yet.
What an eclectic international mix of true thinkers. A joy to watch.

To elaborate on that, it’s very Euro-centric, which is a joy if paying attention, since the American narrative is that Europe is one for all and all for one, save for a few fringe pesky protesters.

In fact, Europe puts American to abject shame in their relative protests and the numbers who get out all over. But you’ll scanty hear of it on CNN or The 20% Less Evil Fox News.

So, take the watch. Here’s the link.

To finish off, what the fuck happened to you, Young? I’ll be 61 years old tomorrow and still, this puts a righteous kick to my ass, readily accepted and admitted.

How is it you have become such a simp sell-out for your corporate-government masters?

Did you get all you wanted? It’s strange, I can’t tell, but can only guess so.

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Richard Nikoley

I started writing Free The Animal in late 2003 as just a little thing to try. 20 years later, turns out I've written over 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from diet, health, philosophy, politics, social antagonism, adventure travel, expat living, location and time independent—while you sleep— income by geoarbitrage, and food pics. I intended to travel the world "homeless," but the Covidiocy Panicdemic squashed that. I became an American expat living in Thailand. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. ... I leave the toilet seat up. Read More


  1. Larry Wilson on January 29, 2022 at 09:34

    Hi Richard. Happy birthday for tomorrow.
    I think everyone is hanging out for a debate or two but the issue is that none of the planet covid idiots are available because they know they’ll get shot down very quickly. Steve Kirsch’s 2 million is still waiting to be claimed. It’s not easy to disprove the narrative if the other side won’t engage.

  2. Alan Andersen on January 30, 2022 at 03:58

    Richard, you nailed it on the acquisition problem. Dave Rubin started Locals and then sold it out to Rumble. Just waiting now for Rumble to get acquired. Now Substack is the hot new thing, but it’s only a matter of time. Even Rogan selling out to Spotify has, in my opinion, caused him to get mostly boring guests and he kind of steers the conversation away from the good stuff. Malone and McCullough were a couple of exceptions. But no more Milo, Molyneux, Owen Benjamin, Deusberg, and his more raunchy comedy friends. But Rogan is quite a force. 55 million views of the McCullough interview. Tucker gets 3 million. But I’m just waiting until Spotify gets acquired by Pfizer.

  3. Eddie Osh on January 30, 2022 at 14:16

    @Richard, on a completely different subject, if you haven’t seen it yet I thoroughly recommend Mr Inbetween. It’s dark, pulls no punches and speaks to the ‘free animal’. It’s one of the few series where you keep thinking ‘Please don’t fuck up the ending!’, and thank god they don’t. A decent respite from the global insanity we’re being put through.
    And thanks for the recommendation of Dr Eades, I’d forgotten about his material and didn’t know he had a newsletter until you promoted it. No bullshit, practical wisdom.

  4. Currin Cooper on February 1, 2022 at 22:02

    Wear masks!!!!!
    Get vaccinated!!!!!

    That seems to be the one and only mantra. Where are the teaching moments — aside from pounding into us a relentless fear of friends/family/workplaces/social activities?

    Seems like the best thing you can do for yourself is to stay healthy and stay active. I have not seen any PSAs encouraging anyone to improve their fitness.

    Why aren’t leaders and celebrities’ and comedians challenging us to do better for our own sakes? Where are the calls-to-action to:
    Get your heart rate up!!!
    Go for a walk!! Get out of breath!!
    Take charge of your health!

    Instead of free test kits (which mean nothing and change nothing and help no one) and free masks (ditto), why not give free gym memberships? A much better use of funding, if you ask me.

    • Currin Cooper on February 1, 2022 at 22:05

      Also, FYI, the masks and test kits are most certainly not FREE. They are are no charge to many people. I used free incorrectly.

  5. Christopher Herrera on February 2, 2022 at 07:44

    Gotta love John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols) Neil Young impression. This was well before all the COVID/Spotify stuff. It should start around 1:43

    A Southern man don’t need him around, anyhow.

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