I listen to two NPR programs, Car Talk and Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me. The latter was conceived as a way to replace Car Talk as the boys aged. But I imagine even now with one of the boys dead and the other retired Car Talk reruns still rule. The reason: They were nice, they liked each other and reacted naturally to their callers as real people. They were spontaneous, funny and welcoming.
Wait Wait is more normal NPR fare, ostensibly making light of NPR while in reality taking NPR very seriously. If they would just try to do comedy without mixing in “news” (as if NPR news had any of that content), they’d be better fare.
So last week, Wait Wait did two things I found offensive. One, in their “Bluff the Listener” segment, they promoted the use of LSD. They claimed that in light doses it will get you off the Internet and onto buses, or in other words, be beneficial.
LSD is illegal. How on earth do we get hold of it? Even if we do, how can we get a “light dose” LSD was promoted by CIA during the 60s and 70s, and gave us a whole generation of fucked up musicians along with Monterey and Woodstock. It did not expand anything, but rather made us unable to think. In a light dose … it makes us think clearly?
That’s fine – that’s just NPR doing the Steve Jobs thing, promoting a drug known to fuck us up, and in the guise of mind expansion. Very subtle.
But Wait Wait was not done. In a Q&A segment, we learned that TED Talks ran an episode on how to tie our shoes. And they mocked TED for it.
That happens to be the best TED Talk I have ever seen, something really useful. I learned to go backwards when I looped my laces, and so to this day never have an untied or loose shoelace.
Good grief, Wait Wait, there was value in that TED Talk. But like everything else, it whooshes right by you!