genme (genme) wrote,

Today show (w/link to segment)

Back from a whirlwind trip to New York -- I was on the ground less than 24 hours. It was amazing, though. I am still somewhat stunned I got to meet Katie Couric. We talked about the issues in the book for a little before the segment and for several minutes afterward. She is not only nice, but very straightforward and smart. She's very interested in why young people are more anxious and depressed and whether high expectations have something to do with it -- she said she might do a 60 Minutes piece on this once she moves over to CBS.

Off-air, she also asked me a question I expect I will get more often in the coming weeks: "Are you a conservative?" It's funny -- I don't consider valuing relationships and junking self-esteem boosting to be either liberal or conservative. I see it as more common sense and just thinking through the issues more deeply. Plus the book is really all over the map politically if anything -- some might see the skewering of pop culture as conservative, but then they will be awfully confused when they get to the last chapter, where I call for preschool to be publically funded (on the principle that with so many two-income families -- and the benefits of preschool for kids even if a parent does stay home -- it would be in everyone's best interest). Plus the chapter on minorities and women makes it abundantly clear that I would never want to go back to the 1950s culture. Does that make me liberal? I don't think so, but maybe some people think it does. I guess I agree with the basic 1960s/1970s principle that individual rights and freedoms are important; I just think the self-focus has been taken too far and emphasized to the exclusion of other important things (self-control, relationships, etc.)

A book excerpt and a link to the show segment:
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