Sometimes even an extreme gardener like myself gets excited about something else, ya know, and might like to pass it on. And I pay the rent here, so I can write about the World Cup if I want and who’s to stop me? Or I can tell you about the rush I’ve gotten lately just hearing from some really smart thinkers.
I do thank the gods for Bill Moyers and wish there were more of him. His "Faith and Reason" series is brilliant, I tell you. They’re all here, transcripts and possibly videos, too, but my favorite is Margaret Atwood explaining the heresy of believing in the elected and the not elected, and lots more in a mental and verbal communion with Moyers that’s pretty trippy. In the same episode Martin Amis takes us inside the mind of Muhammed Atta and Islamism itself.
Marion Nestle was introduced to me by "The Charlie Rose Show", which I tape religiously and watch when I’m on the treadmill. Hey, whatever works. Anyway, Nestle is a scholar in the field of nutrition who’s studied food politics, food safety, and the effects of food marketing on health. Her new book is What to Eat and I want to read it because she’s an academic who knows how to write for the public, and because she’s so sensible. Sensible people don’t make very good television, ya know.
But there’s more.
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I’m writing to recommend the dog-human duo destined to become your Best Stupid Pet Trick of All Time. The justly famous Edgar Allen Poo and owner Joell Silverman recently auditioned for Stupid Pet Trick honors and although auditions are continuing across the country, believe me when I tell you you need look no further.
Joell was probably too modest to tell your producers, so I’ll do it for her: Edgar’s already been featured in the pages of the Wall Street Journal and starred in a political commercial (in Kentucky’s 2004 race for governor). His file of press clippings is too long to enumerate fully but believe me, he’s got a great Q rating. His performances at schools and nursing homes in the the D.C. area are legendary. Need I go on?
And now for the trick. Edgar’s wise-cracking 78-year-old human begins by noting that although the tricks are officially stupid, Edgar is anything but. In fact, he keeps up with politics and they chat about it frequently. “Here, I’ll show you. Edgar, would you rather vote for George Bush or DIE?” At which Edgar rolls over and plays dead with dramatic flourish. Of course it doesn’t matter what question is asked because Edgar’s just waiting for the “DIE” at the end. (For young kids Joell might ask, “Would you rather do your homework or DIE?”) But Dave, we all know you agree with Edgar’s reaction to Bush, so now you can use this adorable poodle to make your point and stay safely under the radar of the media-watchers.
Furthermore, if you select Joell and Edgar for your show I can promise I’ll help publicize their appearance here on my very own gardening blog. (You’re not a reader? Well, you’re a big-city guy, so no hard feelings.)
In closing, I think I can go so far as to promise a ratings boost if you choose Joell and Edgar. And those annoying corporate suits you’re always
whining complaining about? They’ll be begging for more.
P.S. And if you book this wonderful act, I promise I’ll start watching your show.
How do gardeners stay in shape over the winter? I know I’d be fatter and more sluggish without my treadmill, and without this cute, smart-as-hell Southern gentleman the treadmill would spend more time folded up in the corner. Charlie interviews like no one else, for better or worse, and some are annoyed by his conversational style and too-long questions. But where else do you get writers and architects and IT geniuses, politics, lots of foreign policy and only the occasional actor (and never a reality show celebrity, thank god)? Admittedly, sometimes my thirst for knowledge stops at the one-hour interview with Turkey’s foreign minister, and I’ve come to terms with not being as intellectually curious as Charlie is. But I keep the old VCR whirring every night and with a little help from my favorite gardening shows, I have just enough entertainment to keep me from going crazy during my workouts.
[For readers who don't get American TV, this interview show is brought to us by our nonprofit public television network, bless 'em.]