Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Which Brings Us to Tonight's Word

Audience member.

As part of my "things I have to do before I leave New York" plan, I am going to be in The Colbert Report's studio audience tonight. (Yes, The Daily Show is on the list, too.)

I'm excited, but somewhat dismayed that we are advised to get in line by 4:30 before they "open the doors" at 6:00 for the 7:00 taping. (The show airs at 11:30 and again tomorrow at 8:30). Presently it's 13 degrees, and the forecast calls for snow with a high of 26. Actually, 26 might seem downright mild compared to the last three days. Still, it's not exactly ideal weather for standing around outside for 90 minutes.

According to the website, tonight's guest is Steven Pinker, author of The Humanities and Human Nature. No offense to Mr. Pinker, but I'm going to spend my 90 minutes in line hoping something comes up and he has to cancel and he is replaced at the last minute by Jake Gyllenhaal.

UPDATE: Oh dear. According to Wikipedia, Mr. Pinker is an atheist and an "ally" of Richard Dawkins. Now I'm really wishing it was Jake Gyllenhaal.

UPDATED UPDATE: It was fun! Details tomorrow. I thought the guest was interesting.


I think it's beginning to sink in what "leaving New York" is going to mean. I wouldn't say I'm having second thoughts; I've been wanting this for a long time, and it's clear to me that appreciating all that is wonderful about New York is not the same thing as wanting to live here.

Still, I think that first morning in Portland is going to be something of a shock.


Marc said...

Actually, you hope to be in the Colbert Report audience tonight. The fact is that they over-book the show so that they get at least enough people, if not more, for the audience. But with the popularity of the show, you run the risk of almost everyone showing up and some not getting in. So get there promptly to be one of the first in line! And have a great time!

Mike said...

I don't agree with everything Pinker has to say, but he's fabulous. His books were my required reading in college and my pleasure reading in grad school.

The Law Fairy said...

Blow Steven a kiss for me! I love that man.


Jade said...

And I thought I would be going to bed early tonight, but now I have to stay up and listen for you in the audience! I'll have to DVR it too, so if they do any audience shots I can pause it and look for you. Good luck, and dress warmly for the wait!!

Marc said...

Yay! You made it! Do tell.

Dagon said...

Pinker's bone to pick isn't generally with religion but rather with those who claim there's no such thing as human nature. People denying the existence of an evolutionary framework underlying human behavior can be creationists or, just as frequently, they can be obnoxious politically correct academics who wish to see absolutely everything as socially constructed...

Andy said...

Yes, he was able to touch every so briefly on that idea, but obviously for time and content constraints could not elaborate. What he works on actually sounds fascinating; I would really be interested on his research relating to evolution and language.

I can see where this "human nature" idea opens up a huge can of ethical worms. If it turns out that some people are, for example, genetically predisposed toward violence, do we hold them to different social and moral standards, or do we attempt some kind of gene therapy? But I think one of the ideas that he suggested some people are pushing -- that all people are equal in terms of range of abilities and potential -- is BS. (To clarify, it didn't seem like he agreed with that.)

I'll try to learn more about him...but as I'm 73 days away from moving, I'm not really adding to the library right now.