Jerry Seinfeld has just started the second season of his show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. In case you’re curious, the title is not a metaphor. It’s a fun show in which Seinfeld brings on such an interesting range of comedians, from legendary comic voices like Mel Brooks to more current voices such as Sarah Silverman (and everything in between). And before I move on can I state that I have repeatedly misspelled the word “comedians”. For some reason I want to stick in an extra “m”. I digress.
Besides it being a hilarious and interesting show, I can’t help but reflect on what a cushy job Seinfeld has. He gets to have coffee and good conversation with people whom he is interested in. And no one is inaccessible to him. Well, he might not be able to interview the Queen of England, but you get what I mean. On top of that, all the coffee shots in the show make me drool (seriously, the transition shots show coffee being made).
So the moral of this post is, it’s good to be Jerry Seinfeld.
No, it is not.
However, it poses an interesting question. Who are the people that you’d like to have coffee with? Even as I consider the question for myself, it quickly becomes a long list. I’m limiting it to people who are alive (which sadly means that a few of my favorite authors who recently passed will not be on the list).
So, here’s a glimpse of the list:
There are many reasons I’d want to have coffee with Tina. I remember being impressed with her before even really knowing who she was. Years ago my mom mentioned that Saturday Night Live had just hired its first female head writer of the show. She talked about how the show was known for being such a boy’s club throughout the years. I thought that was pretty cool at the time. My real intro to Tina was through the film Mean Girls, which is still a favorite of mine today. It’s funny, cleverly written, has positive messages for women, and Tina adapted it from a non-fiction book. What the what!
I was an early convert to 30 Rock and faithfully watched it to the end. I even have a shirt from the show (in case you’re curious it says, “I want to go to there”). While some of her movies since Mean Girls have been so-so (Admission I’m looking in your direction), her and Amy Poehler nailed the Golden Globes last year , and she wrote a goofy, yet lovable memoir, Bossypants. In case you’re curious, her advice for being female in a male-dominated work environment is as follows: Some people say “Never let them see you cry.” I say, if you’re so mad you could just cry, then cry. It terrifies everyone.
And her prayer for her daughter is hilarious, yet still sweet (beware of what some may call “rough” language).
Basically, I want Tina to be my friend. The end.
Rachel Held Evans
I recently finished Rachel’s book A Year of Biblical Womanhood. I was hesitant to read this book initially, because it seemed exploitive and gimmicky. It’s a woman literally applying Biblical passages to her life, so she sits in a tent during her period, etc. I was skeptical, but upon a few recommendations I decided to read it. I’m glad that my skepticism was compromised, as this has been one of the more impacting books I’ve read as of late. Rachel skillful uses hyperbole to shine light on the Biblical applications from the biblical manhood and womanhood movement. She also does her research, meeting with women from a variety of walks of life and studying some of the more contested Biblical passages dealing with gender. The book is uniquely balanced with her own experience, where she speaks honestly of her year with such real, true words. It could have been a book devoted to griping, but instead provided a nuanced exploration of gender in the church. As I finished the book, I felt relief knowing there were other women out there who felt similarly. She’s regularly blogs and was an inspiration for my recent post on modestly. The more I read of hers, the more I think “right on, right on.”
I suppose Ira gets a direct mention, and not just listed, as his radio program This American Life just broadcast their 500th episode. I’ve been feeling reminiscent about the show, so there. It’s a weekly show, which pools together stories on a specific theme. Ira has described it as a program with stories that wouldn’t make it onto the regular news. The show has left me breathless, as I’m rolling on the floor in laughter, and choked up, as I’m presented with the devastating experience of a human being. I’ve only been listening for the last 5 years, but it was a favorite of mine almost immediately. I’m drawn to this band of storytellers, who use creativity, sensitivity, and insightful questions to craft their episodes. Ira has such a distinct voice and I feel a sense of calm as I hear him speak.
However, I think what made me really respect him as a journalist was last year. The program had aired a story in which a man named Mike Daisy talked about a trip he’d taken to China to visit the factories where iPhones are made. It was a revealing episode and had one questioning the work practices of Apple. A few months later, the program came back with a second episode. It turns out that Mike had fabricated significant sections of the story. The producers of the show had taken his word when he said that he couldn’t find his translator from his trip to China (who would have been used to verify Mike’s stories). Upon discovering their mistakes, Ira dedicated a show to telling the real story. He owned up to their error, while also conducting one of the most intense interviews with Mike. Ira didn’t back down as Mike tried to evade the questions. It is challenging to speak the truth, especially when you have to own up to your own mistakes. Ira did so, and broadcast it for the world to hear.
Others included on the ever growing list:
Just noticing that my list is devoid of musicians. Hmm…Maybe Stevie Wonders needs to be added.