The set-up: we're about midway through the book-release party, and Penny is seated at the Troublemaker Table - a group of my friends in the back row who were giggling, laughing and generally causing trouble. I'm in the middle of a chapter presentation, and Penny's phone rang - and this is what happened next.
Full book-release party footage, including a short movie and a few other clips, coming soon.
Penny is the daughter-in-law of Lulu Frulla, the subject of Chapter One of Pizza for Good. For more on the book and to purchase, click over to the book blog.
“We are soft-wired to experience another’s plight as if we were experiencing it ourselves.”
Fascinating piece from Jeremy Rifkin, “The Empathic Civilization” - an animated example of why I’m writing “EIQ: Everyman’s Guide to Developing Emotional Fortitude” Because, in many cases, we as men act against what we’re born, bred and conditioned to do, to be.
According to the piece, “...we are wired not for aggression, violence, self-interest or utilitarianism - but for sociability, attachment, affection and companionship.
“The first drive is to actually belong,” he says in the piece. We ought to “extend our identities to think of the human race as fellow sojourners. ...We need to rethink our institutions of society and lay the groundwork for an empathic civilization.”
Make time to watch this groundbreaking video, here.
Underlying threads of an "Us vs. Them" mentality have been poisoning our politics, our daily lives actually, for decades. In the words of Colin Powell, we need a "transformational figure" to dismantle and permanently dissolve that ideology:
Barack Obama is just that person to bring about dramatic change in our country. Yes, he's only one person and yes, he's just a politician... with the same shortcomings as any of us.
But as I told my relatives out West, it's not just about what he represents - it's about whom he'd surround himself with; the potential pool of those sharp, astute policy wonks - people who can problem solve and not wag fingers (that is, when they're not sitting on their hands). That made the difference for me. We need expert leadership in as many positions in government as possible, and now here's our chance.
Even Andrew Sullivan, a conservative writer and pundit, someone I watch intently, has been blogging about why Obama is the best choice. Thanks to Musty for passing along his post about an essay in the Times of London, talking about how Obama is the sensible salve for "profound national demoralization."
This is not about party affiliation or loyalty for me - this is about who presents the better solutions for our social (Supreme Court), economic (broken credit markets) and other woes.
I've already voted Obama and Jim Martin to defeat Saxby Chambliss, and will be volunteering tomorrow on Election Day. I will bring my camera along with me and record anything of interest.
As I said before... can you imagine intellectual curiosity in the White House again?
We're one more day away from restoring it.
# # #
Take a look.
Thanks to Michael Baker of Positive Impact and Edmund Thornton of Georgia Pride for helping make this event so memorable.
Here's a look at the pictures:
And for those of you who missed Triscuit's Sarah Palin hissy fit, here you go:
Then, Letterman came back on Day Two with even more zingers - including a snarky comment about inauguration day and Paris Hilton:
Last night, Julia Louis-Dreyfus came on and showed some solidarity:
I wonder what Dave's got on tap tonight.
Below is one of a bunch of clips from her late-show gig, including a riff on how Sarah Palin has been a boon to comics across the country:
But don't take it from me. Take a peek at Jon Stewart's dumbass round-up.
"Hold on lassie. It gets bumpy from here."
I was busy filming this and a few other clips before I took my turn in front of the camera.
This experience has been memorable from the start and I'm grateful to the entire HGTV team (not to mention Lynn Saussy for introducing us) for making the project so much fun.
More info to follow about when the episode will air, but I'm thinking it'll be in the fall sometime. They followed us from beginning to end and will likely do quite a bit of morphing and time-lapse photography on some of the elements.
Mary Grace even snapped a shot of me in make-up! Of course, I ended up sweating most of it off...
And my alma mater thinks that, since reporting and writing is moving online, graduate schools must train journalists as thoughtless, shallow, promotional whores instead of real reporters.
Well, don't let the deep newspaper attrition fool you: we need good training more than ever. If we want to find the next Frank Rich, the only way to do that is to keep training journalists the old fashioned way - and then fold them in with new media.
In other words, if we don't apply tried-and-true standards to our bold new medium, we'll just become big shipping carriers of information without the depth we so desperately need in a country with a free press.
His op-ed, in the plainest terms yet, details why our sorry president deserves a failing grade in energy policy.
I was reporting and writing for MarketWatch.com when Bush took office - and when Cheney was crafting energy policy with a board that consisted of a who's who in Corporate Oil.
Since that time, his failure to act has been widely reported by MSM and blogs, Web sites, focus groups - you name it. The corporatization of energy policy had begun.
Today, Bush is heckling Congress that if they don't act before recess, they've got the blood of $4 per gallon gas on their hands without domestic drilling. Without a formal plan for alternative energy, he's just trying to make his fat-cat buddies even fatter than they were before.
Bush is incompetent. He's an elitist scumbag who thinks he's God's gift (literally, figuratively...), which, as evidenced by the below video, is definitely not true.
It's sad that impeachment is summarily off the table basically because we're so close to him leaving. Just on energy policy alone, his grade is "F".
Of course that's just one reason for our fatigue... Embodied brilliantly by Skeeter and Jimmy Bob, watching from the sidelines, who could give a rat's ass about Bush's arrival:
Watch how Jennifer Anniston and David Schwimmer gain some greater understanding about their lines.