EPISODE NUMBER: 9151 (September 18, 2013)
GUESTS: Nicholson Baker | Andrew Sullivan
SEGMENTS: Syria Conflict & End Times Prophecy | United Nations on Syria Conflict – Andrew Sullivan | Navy Yard Shooting & Gun Violence Causes | Sign Off – “Damascus Countdown”
SUIT REPORT: Black suit | White shirt | Light blue/navy/burgundy striped tie
VIDEOS: Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Tonight we had a pretty spirited debate with friend of the show Andrew Sullivan over the U.S.’ Syria involvement. It’s funny to watch Stephen’s character struggle with justification for the war, even though when it comes to the Middle East we’re kinda “been there, bombed that,” as he says. Like how Stephen just wouldn’t give Andrew the last word, even if it meant the interview ending in the roughest edit I’ve ever seen. (Which Stephen insisted he would do.)
Stephen also finally addressed the Navy Yard Shootings, waiting, I am sure, to find a funny media angle to comment on, without making light of (yet another) episode of shooting violence. It also allowed for an opportunity to get a dig in at Elisabeth Hasselbeck, or the “new Gretchen,” over at the friendly friends over at Fox & Friends, as well.
(Just want to sidebar for a minute, sorry)
I have a very good friend who is a psychologist. I was checking out her new office, which she shares with a psychiatrist. We just happened to be in an area where I saw the psychiatrist’s billing rates for her consultation (and psychiatrists, of course, can prescribe medication.) It’s $400/hr to see the psychiatrist, out of pocket cost, if your insurance doesn’t cover it. I looked at that ugly number and I thought, if someone is mentally ill or needs help and can’t cough up that kind of change, how do they cope? How do they get medication for various disorders that require it? It sort of became apparent that in this country, we have nothing to offer people who need help with mental problems. Sadly, I feel that these tragedies can be prevented if we took the issue of mental health more seriously in our culture.
(thanks for listening)
The interview with Nicholson Baker kind of took a bizarre turn, but it seems with the super literary guests, Stephen is more prone to take the foot off the pedal in the interview, and just let things happen. It’s kind of nice in that regard, but you do sit there wondering where the interview is going to go (or end up.)
What did you think of the show tonight? Let us know in the comments.
Syria Conflict & End Times Prophecy
- I pride myself on my decisiveness. If I ever lost my ability to instantly know my next course of action, I don’t know what I’d do.
- And the truth is, nobody knows what to do in Syria. We’ve heard from our allies, we’ve heard from our enemies, we’ve heard from our pundits, and our politicians. But there is one important voice that has remained conspicuously silent: hallucinating sheepherders from ancient Judea.
- And the signs of the Apocalypse are everywhere. After all, I’ve just quoted from a Canadian newspaper.
- …Fox News Anchor, and eleventh plague, Neil Cavuto.
- Folks, Neil Cavuto wasn’t done there. His job as a TV journalist is to keep digging until the next commercial.
- True. Everything that hasn’t happened yet could happen. I mean the seas turning read with blood. Lions laying down with lambs. The Friends movie, all possible.
- If I am interpreting the Book of Rosenberg correctly, the world ends..with a wedding!
- I think this proves Obama is a Muslim. He is refusing to bomb someone just to keep Jesus from coming back. It’s kind of petty.
- So I am praying, praying this diplomatic solution falls through, because, frankly, I do not want to see the day Obama earns the Nobel Peace prize he already won.
- Oh, the U.N. is handling it. That makes it rather U.N.-likely to succeed.
United Nations on Syria Conflict – Andrew Sullivan
Stephen: When it comes to Syria, are you in favor of us doing something, or doing nothing?
Andrew: I am in favor of us doing something that does not mean we get involved in someone else’s civil war.
Stephen: You trust Russia and China more than you trust America? Do you trust Putin, and whomever China – Putin is, do you trust those guys over Barack Obama, who is our commander in chief?
Andrew: Yes, because the world has seen the U.S. go into these places alone –
Stephen: -and kick some ass and take some names –
Andrew: – and make an almighty mess, where hundreds of thousands of people die, creating a nightmare, creating the very thing you’re trying to avoid.
Stephen: You have to send a message.
Andrew: We’ve sent a message, it was received in Damascus, they gave up. I thought you would like that. Assad actually surrendered.
Stephen: You want to be a United States citizen, true? [..] You have to understand that there is such a thing as “American exceptionalism,” alright? The rules don’t apply to us. We get to do what we want, and everyone should say, “That’s good, because America did it.”
Andrew:Why not use the rules to get what we want done without ourselves having to actually do it?
Andrew: Why not use the rules to get what we want done without ourselves having to actually do it?
Navy Yard Shooting & Gun Violence Causes
- Guns have nothing to do with gun violence. We all know what the real problem is.
- He had access to a military ID. If he didn’t have that, we wouldn’t be talking a tragedy at a navy yard. We’d be talking about a tragedy in a less secure area, like a park or a Dennys.
- Yes, how many times do conservatives have to say it: we need more background checks. Or at least a waiting period for an I.D., like they have at the DMV. I believe it’s 3 days.
- Yes, new Gretchen. A national game registry. The government needs to monitor who is playing video games and how much. I am really concerned with this guy named “aaa.” He’s the high scorer everywhere you look.
- Who is the jackass who blamed video games?
Andrew:Interview – Nicholson Baker
Nicholson: I think anyone who lives a life and thinks about things every day, develops little theories, and thoughts, and ad hoc ideas abut what’s happening, and those things are eventually worth putting in a book. [...] When you are going along and actually thinking about what happens to human beings, people in your life … we’re lucky people, bad things don’t happen to us. But what novelists and screenwriters think we need an explosion of some kind. And it’s stupid, you know? What we actually do is we read the news. And when we read the news, we have all sorts of explosions coming at us all the time. [...] We have all these horrible things that come in indirectly through news channels.
Stephen: You know, I’m in the news business myself. I’m one of the people who’s bringing you all those terrible stories.
Nicholson: And I’m enormously grateful. It makes us feel bad.
Stephen: The world’s a scary place.
Nicholson: It is.