What Turns James Lipton On?
James Lipton is an American writer, composer, actor, and the founding Dean Emeritus of the Actors Studio Drama School in New York City. He is the executive producer, writer, and host of the Bravo cable television series "Inside the Actors Studio," which debuted in 1994. His credits as an actor include a ten-year role as Dr. Dick Grant on CBS's "Guiding Light" and recurring guest appearances as Warden Stefan Gentles on Fox's "Arrested Development." Lipton is also a licensed pilot and a member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.
Question: What lessons has your career as a writer taught you?
James Lipton: I must confess that when I’m alone in my study, here in New York, writing; that’s when I’m happy. Really, that’s when I’m unequivocally happy. I may be writing well, I may be writing poorly, but I enjoy the act of writing and sometimes when it turns out okay, I feel an elation that is incomparable. A good day’s writing, when I turn off my computer after I know that I’ve written okay, or as well as I can write, that’s a day well spent. I love writing. I like reading, other people, not myself. The Pivot Questionnaire that I ask other people, when I have on rare occasion answered it, the answer to the question, “What turns you on?” Is words. Not mine, other people’s. Words, words, words, that’s what turns me on. So, I would say that writing, both the act of writing, and of course reading of other people’s work is, for me, supreme joy. Always accepting the greatest joy of all is the time that I get to spend with my wife.
Recorded February 9, 2010
Interviewed by Austin Allen
The same thing that drove Hamlet to distraction: "Words, words, words."
Swiss researchers identify new dangers of modern cocaine.
- Cocaine cut with anti-worming adulterant levamisole may cause brain damage.
- Levamisole can thin out the prefrontal cortex and affect cognitive skills.
- Government health programs should encourage testing of cocaine for purity.
Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.
- Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
Civil discourse has fallen to an all time low.
The question that the American populace needs to ask itself now is: how do we fix it?
Discursive fundamentals need to be taught to preserve free expression
In their findings the authors state:
upholding First Amendment ideals.
Talking politics at Thanksgiving dinner
- Progressive Activists: younger, highly engaged, secular, cosmopolitan, angry.
- Traditional Liberals: older, retired, open to compromise, rational, cautious.
- Passive Liberals: unhappy, insecure, distrustful, disillusioned.
- Politically Disengaged: young, low income, distrustful, detached, patriotic, conspiratorial
- Moderates: engaged, civic-minded, middle-of-the-road, pessimistic, Protestant.
- Traditional Conservatives: religious, middle class, patriotic, moralistic.
- Devoted Conservatives: white, retired, highly engaged, uncompromising,
It's interesting to note the authors found that:
"Tribe membership shows strong reliability in predicting views across different political topics."
Here are some statistics on differing viewpoints according to political party:
- 51% of staunch liberals say it's "morally acceptable" to punch Nazis.
- 53% of Republicans favor stripping U.S. citizenship from people who burn the American flag.
- 65% of Republicans say NFL players should be fired if they refuse to stand for the anthem.
- 58% of Democrats say employers should punish employees for offensive Facebook posts.
- 47% of Republicans favor bans on building new mosques.
Here are some guidelines for civic discourse that might come in handy:
- Practice inclusion and listen to who you're speaking to.
Civic discourse in the divisive age
dangerously tribal, fueled by a culture of outrage and taking offense. For the combatants,
the other side can no longer be tolerated, and no price is too high to defeat them.
These tensions are poisoning personal relationships, consuming our politics and
putting our democracy in peril.
Once a country has become tribalized, debates about contested issues from
immigration and trade to economic management, climate change and national security,
become shaped by larger tribal identities. Policy debate gives way to tribal conflicts.
Polarization and tribalism are self-reinforcing and will likely continue to accelerate.
The work of rebuilding our fragmented society needs to start now. It extends from
re-connecting people across the lines of division in local communities all the way to
building a renewed sense of national identity: a bigger story of us."
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