Tag Archives: “The Moth

Obama gets his mojo back in the debate. A haunting “Moth” story from the West Memphis 3. And a sick 4-year-old tries to meet Justin Bieber

Well hot damn and pass the popcorn, that was a hell of a lot better, Mr. President.

In Debate No. 2 of the presidential debate trilogy of ’12, both candidates actually showed up this time. And Barack Obama kicked some serious tushy. The President was feisty, he was aggressive, challenging Mitt Romney on so many lies and changes from his stated positions.
I thought Romney was aggressive too, and pushy, and interrupting of Candy Crowley and the President, and to me, while the Libya stuff (above) was clearly hugely important and a big blow to Romney, two other moments stood out even more:

1. When Romney interrupted Obama and said “You’ll get your chance in a moment, I’m still speaking,” it spoke volumes to the kind of bully Mitt Romney is. I really thought the two might come to blows during that exchange; (watch it here; Romney speaks the line I’m talking about at 1:40.) I really thought they might come to blows about 15 minutes in, and sadly, it’s big for Obama with white male voters that he stood up to Romney like that.

2. The other big moment I thought was very early in the debate, when Obama called out Romney’s economic numbers and said the math didn’t add up. (When Candy Crowley, who I thought did a pretty good job as moderator, asked about the numbers, Romney dismissed her, saying “Of course the numbers add up!”) It was exceedingly important for Obama to stand up and call Romney out on his lies.

Other quick takeaways:
— I thought Romney had a great shot to humanize himself at the end with that softball question about “what’s the biggest misperception about you?” and turned it into an attack on Obama.
— Man, I cringed when Obama talked about W., and basically praised him for not being as far right as Romney. Still too soon for me to think any positive thoughts, at all, about W.
— Great to see a gun control question get asked (but of course still nothing on climate change, or stem cell research). But as usual, both Romney and Obama wimped out. Politicians are so disgustingly afraid of the NRA and gun owners, it’s sad.

I have no idea if Obama will get a big poll bounce after this, but he did all he could do to erase the stench of the first debate. Tonight, I was proud to have voted for him and supported him.

**Every once in a while a story from “The Moth” radio podcast I listen to moves me so much I want to share it here.
Damien Echols is a member of the infamous “West Memphis 3,” the three teenagers who were wrongfully convicted of a 1993 murder, Echols was sentenced to death, but was released from jail in 2011 when new evidence finally cleared the men.

Echols, who has a new book out now, told his story at “The Moth” recently, and it was incredibly powerful. Listen to it here. or on iTunes.

**Finally, I thought this was pretty cool. A school in Wisconsin is trying to help a 4-year-old girl named Hailey Charlotte Roser, who is sick with a rare brain tumor, meet Justin Bieber when he comes to Milwaukee for a concer this weekend. So they made this very cool video to one of Bieber’s songs.

I hope someone shows this to Bieber and he makes this girl’s life just a tiny bit happier.

Storytelling done right in “The Moth.” And pantyhose for men. Seriously

Writers are, at heart, storytellers. The first writers were the dudes and dudettes (we never really have agreed as a society on the female word for “dudes,” have we? Let’s work on that this century) who came back to the campfire and excitedly said, “You won’t believe what just happened in that cave over there!”

So yeah, I love a good story. Almost every writer I know takes about 50 percent longer to tell a story to someone than anyone else (my wife’s favorite expression when I’m being long-winded in a tale:  “Get to the point, Edna!”). But we’re losing the art of storytelling in our culture; so many of our communications now are in quick, 140-character bytes, or emails and texts. We don’t really spin yarns to each other as much as we used to, I think.

All this is a way of telling you that “The Moth” is one of my simple pleasures in life. It’s a podcast and a show from NPR, and it’s taken from the popular storytelling series in New York City and other places. Basically, you go to a Moth show, get up on stage, and tell a story without notes. It could be hilarious, like one I heard recently about a couple fighting and falling back in love in Italy. It could be heartbreaking, like the one I just listened to Saturday about a father trying to get over the death of his daughter right before childbirth.

Moth stories educate, entertain, and basically remind me how you really can learn something from every person you meet. Some of these tales are five minutes; others last for 20.

But all of them leave you richer for having heard them, because hearing about someone else’s life experience can only inform yours.

If you’ve never heard any Moth stories, check them out here, (I highly recommend the Ed Gavagan one, the Jon Levin one, and the James Braly one) and then download them on iTunes.


**I know, this sounds once again like something made up. But after laughing in horror for the first five minutes, I started to believe this is true.

There is now something called Mantyhose. Yep, pantyhose for men. Because if you’re like me, gents, you spend much of your life walking around thinking, “Hmmm, pantyhose look so comfortable for women. Why can’t I have soft nylon fabric to place around my legs and thighs, as a means to making me look and feel better?”

A website called e-mancipate.net has all kinds of varieties of mantyhose for sale. I know, I know, you wish I blogged about this before Father’s Day.

But really, is there ever a bad time to buy that guy in your life this product? I think not. Make sure in addition to the other frightening (I mean useful) photos, you check out the “how to put on mantyhose” page.

Because really, we all need a little help sometimes.