September 18, 2013 - Nicholson Baker

  • Episode: 09151
  • (0)

Andrew Sullivan supports U.N. intervention in Syria, conservatives attack gun violence in video games, and Nicholson Baker shares his book, "Traveling Sprinkler."

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> Stephen: WELCOME TO THE SHOWEVERYBODY!

GOOD TO HAVE YOU WITH US!

FOLKS, THANK YOU, THANK YOU SOMUCH.

(AUDIENCE CHANTING "STEPHEN")>> Stephen: LADIES AND GENTLEMEN

THANK YOU SO MUCH!

FOLKS, FOLKS, AS YOU KNOW, YOUWATCH THE PROGRAM NIGHT TO NIGHT

I PRIDE MYSELF ON MYDECISIVENESS.

IF I EVER LOST MY ABILITY TOINSTANTLY KNOW MY NEXT COURSE OF

ACTION, I DON'T KNOW WHAT IWOULD DO.

(LAUGHTER)BUT EVEN I HAVE BEEN ALL OVER

THE MAP ON THIS SYRIA ISSUE.

ON THE ONE HAND, HOLDING BASHARAL-ASSAD RESPONSIBLE FOR WAR

CRIMES AGAINST HIS OWN CITIZENSWAS KIND OF, YOU KNOW, "BEEN

THERE; BOMBED THAT."

(LAUGHTER)BUT ON THE OTHER HAND, NOT

BOMBING DOES NOT INVOLVEBOMBING.

(LAUGHTER)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 ANDOUR POLITICIANS.

BUT THERE'S ONE IMPORTANT VOICETHAT HAS REMAINED CONSPICUOUSLY

SILENT: HALLUCINATING SHEEPHERDERS.

UNTIL NOW, BECAUSE THE BIBLE HASFINALLY WEIGHED IN.

ACCORDING TO THE VANCOUVER "SUNBIBLICAL LITERALISTS SEE THE

LOOMING DESTRUCTION OF DAMASCUSAS THE SIGN OF THE RETURN OF

JESUS CHRIST TO EARTH ASPRECURSOR OF THE COSMIC

APOCALYPSE.

AND FOLKS --(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

BIG END OF THE WORLD FANS HERETONIGHT.

(LAUGHTER)AND THE SIGNS OF THE APOCALYPSE

ARE EVERYWHERE.

AFTER ALL: I JUST QUOTED FROM ACANADIAN NEWSPAPER!

(LAUGHTER)FOLKS, I AM NOT THE ONLY

JOURNALIST REPORTING PROPHECY ASNEWS.

SO IS FOX NEWS ANCHOR AND 11thPLAGUE NEIL CAVUTO.

>> BIBLICAL SCHOLARS SAY IT'SALL THERE IN BLACK-AND-WHITE,

LIKE THIS SPOOKY PASSAGE FROMISAIAH 17 ABOUT SYRIA ITSELF.

"BEHOLD, DAMASCUS IS ABOUT TO BEREMOVED FROM BEING A CITY AND

WILL BECOME A FALLEN RUIN."

ANOTHER PASSAGE WARNS OF GROWINGUNREST IN EGYPT AND THE RISE OF

A FIERCE KING.

>> Stephen: GOOD LORD!

(LAUGHTER)EVERYTHING THE BIBLE SAYS IS

COMING TO PASS!

THANKFULLY, I ALREADY HAVE TWOOF EVERY ANIMAL IN MY MEAT ARK.

(LAUGHTER)FOLKS, NEIL CAVUTO WASN'T DONE

THERE.

AS A T.V. JOURNALIST, HIS JOB TOKEEP DIGGING UNTIL HE GETS TO

THE NEXT COMMERCIAL.

(LAUGHTER)SO HE BROUGHT ON ARMAGEDDON

ENTHUSIAST JOEL ROSENBERG.

>> WE HAVE SEVEN MILLION SYRIANSALREADY ON THE RUN, TWO MILLION

HAVE LEFT THE COUNTRY, FIVEMILLION ARE INTERNALLY DISPLACED

THAT'S THE JEREMIAH 49 PROPHECYTHAT SAYS PEOPLE WILL FLEE BUT

THERE WILL STILL BE PEOPLE INDAMASCUS WHEN THE PROPHECY

HAPPENS.

THE BOTTOM LINE IS WE DON'T KNOWWHETHER THESE TWO PROPHECIES--

ISAIAH 17 AND JEREMIAH 49 WILLHAPPEN IN OUR LIFETIME OR SOON

BUT THEY COULD BECAUSE THEYHAVEN'T HAPPENED YET.

>> Stephen: TRUE.

(LAUGHTER)EVERYTHING THAT HASN'T HAPPENED

YET COULD HAPPEN!

(LAUGHTER)I MEAN, THE SEAS TURNING RED

WITH BLOOD.

LIVES --(APPLAUSE)

LIONS LAYING DOWN WITH LAMBS.

THE "FRIENDS" MOVIE.

ALL POSSIBLE!

(LAUGHTER)AND THE BIBLE ISN'T THE ONLY

SOURCE THAT BACKS UP ROSENBERG'SLOGIC.

IT IS CORROBORATED BY ACOMPLETELY DIFFERENT BOOK

"DAMASCUS COUNTDOWN" BY JOELROSENBERG.

I MEAN, WHAT ARE THE ODDS?

(LAUGHTER)AND HERE IS HIS PROOF THAT THE

SYRIAN CONFLICT MAY BRING ABOUTTHE END OF THE WORLD.

>> IN THE NOVEL "DAMASCUSCOUNTDOWN" IN WHICH I IMAGINE A

SCENARIO THAT THOSE PROPHECIESCOME TRUE IN OUR LIFETIME.

>> Stephen: YES, HE IMAGINES ASCENARIO.

(LAUGHTER)WHICH QUALIFIES HIM TO BE

INTERVIEWED BY AN IMAGINARYNEWSMAN.

(LAUGHTER)NOW, FOLKS --

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)I BELIEVE THIS MEANS THAT IF WE

WANT TO SEE HOW THE WORLD ENDSALL WE HAVE TO DO IS FLIP TO THE

END OF HIS BOOK.

OKAY, HERE WE GO.

"SHE WONDERED WHAT LIFE LAYBEFORE THEM, WHAT WOULD COME

NEXT.

BUT INSTEAD OF ASKING QUESTIONS,SHE SIMPLY LAID HER HEAD ON

DAVID'S CHEST.

SHE LOOKED AT THE ENGAGEMENTRING ON HER FINGER AND SAID

RIGHT OUT LOUD "BLESS THE LORDOH MY SOUL."

(LAUGHTER)FOLKS, IF I'M INTERPRETING THE

BOOK OF ROSENBERG CORRECTLY --(LAUGHTER)

-- THE WORLD ENDS WITH AWEDDING!

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)MAGICAL!

FOLKS, DON'T EVEN BOTHER WITHTHE GIFT RECE

BUT, FOLKS, YOU KNOW WHAT?

I'M BEGINNING TO WORRY THAT THEAPOCALYPSE MAY NOT START IN

SYRIA AFTER ALL.

>> THE U.S. AND RUSSIA SAY THEYHAVE AN AGREEMENT THAT WILL

AVERT AMERICAN AIR STRIKES BYREMOVING OR DESTROYING ALL

CHEMICAL WEAPONS IN SYRIA.

>> I SAY THIS PROVES OBAMA IS ASECRET MUSLIM.

HE'S REFUSING TO BOMB SOMEONEJUST TO KEEP JESUS FROM COMING

BACK!

(LAUGHTER)THAT'S KIND OF PETTY.

SO I AM PRAYING, PRAYING, THISDIPLOMATIC SOLUTION FALLS

THROUGH BECAUSE, FRANKLY, I DONOT WANT TO SEE THE DAY OBAMA

FINALLY EARNS THE NOBEL PEACEPRIZE HE ALREADY WON.

(LAUGHTER)BUT WITH THE DEFACE ALREADY

HAMMERED OUT, HOW COULD ITPOSSIBLY FALL THROUGH?

>> U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE JOHNKERRY SAID THEY WOULD SEEK A

UNITED NATIONS RESOLUTION WITHSERIOUS CONSEQUENCES FOR SYRIA

IF IT FAILS TO HAND OVER ITSCHEMICAL WEAPONS.

>> THE U.S. HAS SAID THE U.N.

RESOLUTION DOESN'T HAVE TOTHREATEN MILITARY ACTION.

>> Stephen: OH.

THE U.N. IS HANDLING IT.

(LAUGHTER)WELL, THAT MAKES IT RATHER

U.N.-LIKELY TO SUCCEED.

(LAUGHTER)I MEAN, FOR PETE'S SAKE --

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)FOR PETE'S SAKE THESE PEOPLE

STILL WEAR HEAD PHONES LIKETHIS.

(LAUGHTER)GUYS, COME ON!

IT'S 2013, GET SOME BEATS FORGODS SAKES.

(LAUGHTER)I MEAN, THERE IS NO TWAY U.N.

CAN RESOLVE THE CRISIS IN SYRIA!

AND HERE TO TELL ME HOW THE U.N.

CAN RESOLVE THE CRISIS IN SYRIAIS BLOGGER AND FOUNDER OF THE

DISH MR. ANDREW SULLIVAN.

ANDREW, GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)ANDREW, DO YOU BELIEVE WHEN IT

COMES TO TAKING MILITARY ACTIONAGAINST BASHAR AL-ASSAD USING

CHEMICAL WEAPONS ARE YOU INFAVOR OF DOING SOMETHING OR

DOING NOTHING?

>> DOING SOMETHING THAT DOES NOTMEAN WE GET INVOLVED IN SOMEONE

ELSE'S CIVIL WAR.

THAT'S WHAT I'M IN FAVOR OF ANDTHAT'S WHAT WE'VE GOT.

>> Stephen: SO DOING SOMETHINGTHAT IS NOTHING?

>> NO.

>> Stephen: LIKE?

YOU WANT TO GET THE U.N.

INVOLVED?

>> NO, I WANT RUSSIA WHICH ISTHE CRITICAL MEMBER OF THE

SECURITY COUNCIL INVOLVED HEREAND CHINA ON THE SECURITY

COUNCIL WHO HAVE TAKENRESPONSIBILITY SAYING WE'RE

GOING TO MAKE SURE ASSADCONTROLS AND EVENTUALLY DESTROYS

HIS CHEMICAL WEAPONS.

>> Stephen: YOU TRUST RUSSIA ANDCHINA MORE THAN YOU TRUST THE

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!

YOUR WORD!

THAT'S WHAT YOU JUST SAID!

(LAUGHTER)>> LET ME TELL YOU --.

>> Stephen: ANSWER THE QUESTION.

DO YOU TRUST PUTIN AND WHOEVERCHINA PUTIN IS --

(LAUGHTER)-- DO YOU TRUST THOSE GUYS MORE

THAN BARACK OBAMA?

OUR COMMANDER?

CHIEF?

>> YES, BECAUSE THE WORLD HASSEEN AMERICA GO INTO THESE

PLACES ALONE.

>> Stephen: AND KICK ASS ANDTAKE NAMES.

>> AND MAKE AN ALL MIGHTY MESSIN WHICH HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS

OF PEOPLE DIE, WE LOST TRILLIONSOF DOLLARS.

IF YOU ACTUALLY WANT TO GET ITDONE AND NOT PROVOKE OUTCRY AND

ACTUALLY GET ASSAD'S COOPERATIONTHEN GETTING RUSSIA AND CHINA TO

DO OUR DIRTY WORK FOR US IS AGREAT THING.

OUR GOAL IS NOT TO HAVE THEBIGGEST EGO IN THE WORLD --.

>> Stephen: WHAT'S THE STICK?

>> THE STICK IS THAT WE THREATENMILITARY STRIKES AGAINST THEM.

>> Stephen: RIGHT!

AND YOU HAVE TO BE WILLING TO GOTHROUGH WITH THAT!

AND IF THEY DON'T COMPLY AND IFASSAD DOES USE CHEMICAL WEAPONS

AGAIN OBAMA HAS A MUCH STRONGERCASE TO MAKE "LOOK, WE TRIED

PEACE, WE TRIED THIS PROCESS,NOW IT DOESN'T WORK, WE HAVE A

RIGHT TO STOP THESE WEAPONS."

>> Stephen: SO YOU BELIEVE THATIF THE DEAL DOESN'T GO THROUGH,

IF IT FALLS APART IT'S TIME TOTURN DAMASCUS INTO THE

BOOM-BOOM?

(LAUGHTER)>> NO, AND I'LL TELL YOU WHY.

BECAUSE YOU CAN'T BLOW UPCHEMICAL WEAPONS SITES WITHOUT

CREATING A NIGHTMARE, WITHOUTCREATING THE VERY THING YOU'RE

TRYING TO AVOID.

>> Stephen: BUT IT'S SENDING AMESSAGE.

>> YOU CAN'T SEND A MISSILE TOBLOW SARIN GAS HALFWAY ACROSS

THE COUNTRY.

YOU HAVE TO SECURE THEM.

>> Stephen: YOU HAVE TO SEND AMESSAGE.

>> WE SENT IT T MESSAGE, IT WASRECEIVED IN DAMASCUS, THEY GAVE

UP.

I THOUGHT YOU WOULD LIKE THAT!

ASSAD SURRENDERED.

>> Stephen: BUT YOU'RE TRYING --HERE'S WHAT I DON'T GET.

YOU WANT TO BE A UNITED STATESCITIZEN, TRUE?

>> YES, PLEASE.

>> Stephen: YOU WANT TO BE AUNITED STATES CITIZEN.

OKAY, ALL RIGHT, YOU HAVE TOUNDERSTAND THERE'S SUCH A THING

AS AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM, ALLRIGHT?

THE RULES DON'T APPLY TO US.

>> (LAUGHS)>> Stephen: WE GET TO DO WHAT WE

WANT.

EVERYBODY SHOULD SAY "HEY,THAT'S GOOD BECAUSE AMERICA DID

IT."

(LAUGHTER)>> WHY NOT USE THE RULES TO GET

WHAT WE WANT DONE WITHOUT HAVINGTO OURSELVES ACTUALLY HAVING TO

DO IT?

>> Stephen: AND USE THE U.N.

RESOLUTION?

>> THE U.N. IS A USEFULINSTITUTION TO COVER AND TO

EXECUTE GREAT POWER DESIGNS.

>> Stephen: WHAT GREAT POWER?

WHAT WAR HAVE THEY EVERPREVENTD?

>> WELL, WE MAY HAVE JUSTPREVENTED THIS ONE AND I ALE

TELL YOU WHY.

>> Stephen: BUT WE DON'T KNOWBECAUSE IT DIDN'T HAPPEN!

>> WE DON'T KNOW YET.

>> Stephen: YOU CAN'T PROVE ANEGATIVE.

>> WHAT WE HAVE PREVENTD IS ANYMAJOR WAR BETWEEN GREAT POWERS.

>> Stephen: BECAUSE IF WE WANTEDTO GO TO WAR WITH RUSSIA OR

CHINA THEY WOULD VETO IT ANDTHEN WE'D HAVE TO STOP.

(LAUGHTER)YOU'RE NOT WRONG.

THAT'S WHY WE -- WE TRY --(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> Stephen: HOW DO YOU BECOME ASUPERPOWER IF IT DOESN'T

EXERCISE SUPERPOWERS?

THAT'S LIKE SAYING "I'MFANTASTIC DANCER I JUST DON'T

WANT TO GET UP RIGHT NOW."

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)I TELL YOU WHAT, I'LL JUST CUT

IT OUT.

GO AHEAD.

(LAUGHTER)ANDREW SULLIVAN, THE DISH

>> Stephen: WELCOME BACK,EVERYBODY, THANKS SO MUCH.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)NATION, I'VE GOT TO TAKE MOMENT

HERE AND WE HAVE NOT TALKEDABOUT THIS YET ON THE SHOW BUT I

WANT TO TAKE A MOMENT AND SPEAKABOUT MONDAY'S TRAGIC SHOOTING

IN THE WASHINGTON, D.C. NAVALYARD.

OUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS GO OUTTO THE VICTIMS AND THE FAMILIES

AND I'D LIKE TO SALUTE D.C.'SFIRST RESPONDERS WHO PREVENTED

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN AN EVENBIGGER TRAGEDY.

AND, FOLKS, AFTER WATCHINGWALL-TO-WALL COVERAGE I HAVE TO

SAY I'VE REASSESSED SOME OF MYLONG-HELD OPINIONS.

WHILE WE MAY NEVER KNOW WHATMOTIVATED THE SHOOTER, WE KNOW

HE HAD A TROUBLED AND VIOLENTPAST AND EVIDENCE OF MENTAL

ILLNESS.

SO IT'S TIME TO ADMIT-- ALL OFUS-- THAT SOME DANGEROUS ITEMS

SHOULDN'T FALL INTO THE HANDS OFTHE DISTURBED.

>> HOW MANY TRAGEDIES SHOULD WEWITNESS BEFORE WE FINALLY ENACT

COMMON SENSE GUN VIOLENCEPREVENTION?

>> Stephen: WHAT?

NO, NOT GUNS!

(LAUGHTER)I MEAN, WE DIDN'T DO ANYTHING

ABOUT GUNS AFTER SANDY HOOK!

GUNS?

YOU'RE ADORABLE!

(LAUGHTER)BUT FOR THE LAST TIME, GUNS HAVE

NOTHING TO DO WITH GUN VIOLENCE!

WE ALL KNOW WHAT THE REALPROBLEM IS!

THIS IS A MILITARY I.D. CARD.

THIS IS HOW YOU GET ON AMILITARY BASE.

SO HOW DID HE GET ON?

AGAIN, IN MY VIEW, HE HAD ANAUTHORIZED CARD.

>> MAYBE TOO MANY PEOPLE HAVETHESE CARDS.

(LAUGHTER)>> Stephen: THINK ABOUT IT: HI

HAD ACCESS TO A MILITARY I.D.

CARD.

IF HE DIDN'T HAVE THAT, WEWOULDN'T BE TALKING ABOUT A

TRAGEDY AT THE NAVY YARD, WE'DBE TALKING ABOUT A TRAGEDY IN A

LESS-SECURE AREA LIKE A PARK ORA DENNY'S.

(LAUGHTER)BUT WHAT'S THE ANSWER.

>> WE NEED TO START DOING MOREEXTENSIVE BACKGROUND CHECKS ON

CONTRACTORS.

>> WHY DID BACKGROUND CHECKS NOTOCCUR?

>> THERE ARE GAPS NOW INSECURITY BACKGROUND CHECKS.

>> WE'RE NOT DOING ENOUGHBACKGROUND CHECKS.

>> YES, HOW MANY TIMES DOCONSERVATIVES NEED TO SAY IT?

WE NEED MORE BACKGROUND CHECKS!

(LAUGHTER)OR AT LEAST A WAITING PERIOD FOR

AN I.D. LIKE THEY HAVE AT THED.M.V.

(LAUGHTER)I BELIEVE IT'S THREE DAYS.

AT LEAST WE ALL KNOW WHAT DROVETHIS MADMAN TO GO OUT AND GET

THAT I.D. CARD.

>> HE HAD AN OBSESSION WITHSHOOTING VIDEO GAMES.

>> SOMETIMES PLAYED VIOLENTVIDEO GAMES ALL NIGHT LONG.

>> HERE WE GO AGAIN.

REPORT NATION VI YARD SHOOTERAARON ALEXIS LIKED TO PLAY

VIOLENT VIDEO GAMES.

>> THIS, INDEED, IS A STRONGLINK TO MASS KILLINGS THEN WHY

AREN'T WE LOOKING AT FREQUENCYOF PURCHASES PER PERSON AND ALSO

HOW OFTEN THEY'RE PLAYING?

>> YES, NEW GRETCHEN IS RIGHT.

(LAUGHTER)THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT

NEEDS TO MONITOR WHO IS PLAYINGVIDEO GAMES AND HOW MUCH.

MAYBE A NATIONAL GAME REGISTRY.

I MEAN, I'M REALLY CONCERNEDABOUT THIS GUY NAMED:AAAH!"

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)HE'S THE HIGH SCORER WHEREVER

YOU LOOK!

AND PLEASE DON'T TELL ME FROM'SBEEN NO PROVEN LINK BETWEEN

VIDEO GAMES AND VIOLENCE!

MADDEN 25 JUST CAME OUT ANDSUDDENLY THERE'S A RASH OF

FOOTBALL VIOLENCE ON T.V.!

(LAUGHTER)BUT, OF COURSE, NOT EVERYONE

AGREES.

TAKE FOX'S THE FIVE ERICBOLLING.

>> WHY ALL OF A SUDDEN VIDEOGAMES?

IT'S VIOLENT, YEAH, IT'SVIOLENT.

BUT SO ARE MOVIES, SO ISTELEVISION.

WHO'S THE JACKASS TO WHO STARTEDPOINTING FINGER AT VIDEO GAMES?

>> Stephen: GOOD QUESTION.

WHO IS THE JACKASS WHO BLAMESGUN VIOLENCE ON VIDEO GAMES.

>> IT'S A WHOLE HOST OF THINGS.

MENTAL HEALTH, GUNS, VIDEOGAMES.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)>> Stephen: HE'S RIGHT.

TELEVISION IS VIOLENT.

ERIC BOLLING JUST KICKED HIMSELFIN THE BALLS!

>> Stephen: WELCOME BACK,EVERYBODY.

OUR GUEST TONIGHT HAS A BOOKCALLED "THE TRAVELING

SPRINKLER."

IT'S LIKE "ON THE ROAD" BUT FORSPRINKLERS.

PLEASE WELCOME NICHOLSON BAKER.

PLEASE WELCOME NICHOLSON BAKER.

YOU'VE WRITTEN NINE NOVELSINCLUDING AND FIVE NON-FICTION

BOOKS.

YOUR LATEST IS A NOVEL CALLEDTRAVELING WITH SPRINKLERS.

WOULD YOU ALSO THROW IN THEGARDEN WEASEL $40 VALUE

ABSOLUTELY FREE?

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)>> THE TRAVELING SPRINKLEERS THE

REASON I CHOSE IT FOR TITLE OFTHE BOOK IS BECAUSE I WANTED TO

THINK ABOUT THE WAY WE WE LIVE-- WE LIVE BY -- SWRE A KIND OF

GARDEN OF THOUGHT, MAYBE.

THE THINGS THAT WE'REPREOCCUPIED BY AND WE ARRANGE A

HOSE AROUND THOSE THINGS AND WEPUT THE TRAVELING SPRINKLER ON

IT AND WE WET IT.

>> Stephen: WHAT IS THETRAVELING SPRINKLER.

ARE WE TRAVELING SPRINKLER ORARE WE THE GUARD SGLN WE ARE THE

TRAVELING SPRINKLER.

>> Stephen: AND WE TRAVELTHROUGH THE GARDEN OF OUR LIFE.

>> WE DO.

>> Stephen: WHO SETS THE HOSEDOWN?

WHO PAYS THE WATER BILL?

(LAUGHTER)>> WE -- WE DO IT ALL.

WE START, WE SET IT UP, WE WATCHIT HAPPEN AND THEN WE'RE DONE.

>> Stephen: WE DO ALL OF IT.

>> YES.

>> Stephen: WE SHOULD GET SOMEHELP.

(LAUGHTER)CAN WE TALK ABOUT THE GARDEN FOR

A SECOND BECAUSE I LIKE THAT --IT'S A METAPHOR.

IS THAT A MET SNORE.

>> Stephen:>> YOU KNOW BETTER THAN I.

>> Stephen: I DON'T, ACTUALLY.

I'VE NEVER WRITTEN FICTION.

A METAPHOR IS WHEN SOMETHING ISSOMETHING ELSE.

LIKE YOUR BEARD IS ALLCHRISTMAS.

(LAUGHTER)>> YES, YES.

IT USED TO BE KIND OF DARKER.

IT WAS AN AMBER WAVES OF GRAINKIND OF THING.

>> Stephen: YOUR BEARD USED TOBE AMERICA.

AND THE BEARD WAS A METAPHOR FORAMERICA AND NOW IT'S A METAPHOR

FOR CHRISTMAS!

>> IT TURNED WHITE AND I THOUGHTWELL, GO WITH IT.

>> Stephen: CAN I ASK YOUSOMETHING?

HOW ABOUT DOWNTOWN?

IS IT, UM --(LAUGHTER)

ALSO WHITE?

THE LOWER LOCKER?

IS IT --(LAUGHTER)

>> YOU ARE INTIMATE!

>> Stephen: WELL, YOUR BOOKS AREVERY INTIMATE.

YOU HAVE ALL KINDS OF NAMES INYOUR BOOKS FOR THE TWIGS AND

BERRIES DOWN THERE.

YOU CALL IT THE THUNDER STICK,IS THAT WHAT YOU CALL IT?

>> I THINK THAT THERE ARE --.

>> Stephen: YOU DO.

YOU CALL IT THE THUNDER STICK.

>> P YOU -- I DO.

>> Stephen: YOU'VE CALLED IT THEMALCOLM GLADWELL.

>> Stephen:>> I'VE CALLED IT THE MALCOLM

GLADWELL.

>> Stephen: WHAT DOES MALCOLMGLADWELL THINK OF THAT?

>> I DON'T KNOW.

BUT I THOUGHT IT WAS ACOMPLEMENT.

>> Stephen: YOU NAMED YOUR PENISAFTER --

>> NOT MY PENIS.

>> Stephen: OKAY, I APOLOGIZE.

LOOK>> LOOK, THE WE US IN IS A BAD

WORD FOR WHAT WE HAVE.

IT'S NOT A GOOD WORD.

THERE ARE ALL THESE WORDS WEHAVE FOR SEXUAL PIECES OF

OURSELVES AND THEY'RE ALL BADLYDESIGNED.

SOMEBODY CAME UP WITH THEM ALONG TIME AGO AND WE HAVE TO

COME UP WITH NEW WORDS FOR THEM.

(LAUGHTER)>> Stephen: LET'S GET BACK TO

THAT GARDEN FOR A SECOND.

(LAUGHTER)IS A GARDEN -- LET'S SAY CALL

THE GARDEN FOR THE MIND FOR ASECOND, CAN WE DO THAT?

>> YES.

>> Stephen: YOU SOMETIMES DRILLDOWN.

YOU HAVE SUCH AN INTRICATE LEVELOF PLANTS IN YOUR -- IN YOUR

GARDEN.

FIRM THE MEZZANINE YOURCHARACTER IS -- IT TAKES PLACE

GOING UP AN ESCALATOR.

IT'S ABOUT A FIVE-MINUTE TRIPTHAT TAKES A 200 PAGE BOOK.

>> IT'S A TRAVEL BOOK.

>> Stephen: YES, IT'S A TRAVELBOOK.

IT IS.

IT IS.

BUT IT'S ALMOST A SCHIZOPHRENICLEVEL OF DETAIL IN THE THINGS

YOU WRITE.

YOU SEE PATTERNS ALL OVER THEPLACE.

SOMETIMES WHERE MAYBE PATTERNSDON'T EXIST.

HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT OF YOURWRITING AS A CRY FOR HELP?

(LAUGHTER)>> I LOOK AT IT DIFFERENTLY.

I THINK YOU REALLY -- ANYONE WHOLIVES A LIFE AND THIS IS ABOUT

IT EVERYDAY AND KIND OF AD HOCJUST IDEAS ABOUT WHAT'S

HAPPENING.

AND THOSE THINGS ARE EVENTUALLYWORTH PUTTING A BOOK.

>> Stephen: WHY NOT A BROADSTAGE OF MORE ACTION, QUALITY

KILLS?

(LAUGHTER)>> GOOD IDEAS.

BUT I THINK THAT -- WHEN YOU --WHEN YOU'RE GOING ALONG AND

THINKING ABOUT WHAT ACTUALLYHAPPENS TO HUMAN BEINGS THE WAY

WE -- THE PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE,WE'RE LUCKY PEOPLE.

BAD THINGS DON'T NORMALLY HAPPENTO US BUT WHAT NOVELISTS OR

SCREEN WRITERS DO IS THEY THINKWE NEED AN EXPLOSION OF SOME

KIND.

AND IT'S STUPID, YOU KNOW?

THAT'S JUST --(LAUGHTER)

BUT WHAT WE ACTUAL CITY WILL DOIS WE READ THE NEWS AND WHEN WE

READ THE NEWS WE HAVE ALL SORTSOF EXPLOSIONS COMING IN ALL THE

TIME.

WE HAVE ALL THESE HORRIBLETHINGS THAT COME IN INDIRECTLY

THROUGH NEWS CHANNELS.

>> Stephen: I'M IN THE NEWSBUSINESS MYSELF.

I'M ONE OF THE PEOPLE BRINGINGYOU ALL THOSE TERRIBLE STORIES.

>> AND I'M ENORMOUSLY GRATEFUL.

>> Stephen: YOU'RE WELCOME.

YOU'RE WELCOME.

>> IT MAKES ME -- IT MAKES MEFEEL -- IT MAKES US FEEL BAD,

YOU KNOW, TO --.

>> Stephen: THE WORLD IS A SCARYPLACE.

THE WORLD IS A SCARY PLACE.

YEAH, YEAH.

(LAUGHTER)THE NICHOLSON, THANK YOU SO

MUCH.

NICHOLSON BAKER THE BOOK

THAT'S IT FOR THE REPORT. GOODNIGHT