tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN May 29, 2015 12:30pm-2:31pm EDT
, and we still have to live up to that dream. he fought to the last breath. he didn't feel he was a failure even though he had done so much, but because he looks to us to gather in community to honor technology for humanity. that fight still goes on. i like to hear your comments as well thinkers. when i went around with doug that message was very hard for people to hear. you mean we aren't good enough. we're the masters of the universe. yet the 200 year dream of technology can do to help out humanity. [applause]. >> it's interesting to see your comment. i hear two different things now. i never met him in person. you mentioned that he didn't get
enough recognition as a metric for a failure. maybe that was part of it. it's urged to implement this amazing vision and the slowness of society relative to his own life lock. on the recognition side, i think we should never use the recognition we get as a measure of success, ever. i think it's a big mistake. if you do this, you -- the true innovators are the true recognizers. recognition itself in my opinion is plainly the wrong metric. as is money. the real question for me is always, how much do you affect people's lives to the better in the future. in that case, it's fair to say that he was probably ahead of
his time. he was the first. he invented whole bunch of things to use everyday. all things we share have massively influenced people. it massively influenced people. he put things out that people would pick up. if he was around today, i would say hey, you have a symposium in your honor. >> another story occurs to me that your comment brought up -- one of my sort of weird illnesses that i collect music and instruments. i have lots of instruments. doug used come over and we'd look at these instruments. we both thought these were the
best interphases. the thing about them each one of them took centuries to evolve. if you look at a modern clarinet or a violin, it wasn't like born in some -- it coininvolved with the culture of playing it over a long time. in some cases -- it was the refragment of the design that took that long. it still take that long. there's that notion that some things in technology can improve very rapidly. where you can just say let's just make this faster and more efficient. that's great. there's something that takes their time and this notion that maybe in 200 years we'll have interphases that we use that are as good as a violin or a piano. i try to dream of what those might be like. in a way those are for the future. by definition, we can't see
those things yet. we can't know them and you have to have a sort of trust with that old come about. can you imagine us catering to people 200 years from now. this is the wonderful thing you would have done. or else they're worship a little too much as some do our constitution or something and hang on every word we say. we need to leave some room for the future. >> okay. >> my question goes back to an early point. it's regarding the ethics and economics of augmentation. i find this to be a very critical theme in mr. lanier's book. one of the beauties of technology is that it sort of mediates our perception of reality. however, with increasing mediation, there's complexity
and there's also danger that it's difficult to see the consequences of our actions because of this mediation. this potentially could also undermine our ability to choose and to have responsibility because of this thick layer of mediation. based on this, do we see -- elike to hear some discussion -- is there a danger of with the technology we really contribute to the further concentration of wealth, knowledge and power in the hands of the very few. to the point where we have no longer have any consumers to buy our product? >> i understood the question. the question was about technology most recent developments changing the balance of distribution of wealth.
yes or no? the effect of most recent technology developments on wealth and global wealth on equity and different places in the world. suddenly we've witnessed a die divergence of wealth this country. you have to keep running fastest and faster to obtain this. it's very concerning development for us as a nation. the division of the people who have a chance and people who don't have a chance. i think it's concerning development worldwide that has to be addressed in my opinion. we have resources by giving some people enormous power and others no power at all. that's certainly the case. having said this, this goes hand in hand with the situation basic
services becoming more and more available for everybody. it's not that -- this leads to a really bad situation but it's not quite as bad as it could be if the poorest and poorest getting worse. i'm a big fan of the estate tax. this has a chance to reset dynasties. really important. i'm coming from europe where we're much more socialist than you guys are. we are shocked how little is done for poor people in this country and people of color and so on. how badly we manage ourselves in terms of small number of people who have a chance to get a great education. i also hope that we can invent knowledge to help that. my own company -- our objective is -- and make it available. responsibility absolutely yes. eshould think globally.
beshould think about people. we have 7.2 billion of us. it's an amazing gift that we can turn into an amazing progress in the world. to think about how would use silicone valley for the world. >> i think i heard two different questions within your question. the first one you were asking is about whether the world becomes more obscure to us because it's so mediated by technology. particularly technology from other people. for instance right now a lot of
the news you read is selected by algorithms. and it's often gained by bunch of people trying to manipulate it. it becomes obscure why you reading what you reading. if you would ask know in the 1980's, once everything was network and people were sharing media and collaborating, would it possible for something like climate change denialism. they would say no it wouldn't be possible. it turns out to be possible. it turns out not only to be possible but it can be possible in a really politically powerful way that has an impact. i thought that couldn't happen. i think the way out of that, the way to sort of help people not lose touch with reality when there's so much technology everywhere, there's so many incentives to manipulate it, is
to make it as clear as possible so people can have as much exercise and expertise. i think we failed at that. i honestly do. i think we have an information system that's all about manipulation because it has perverse incentives. the way journalism has been click bait and it's being centralized, i don't want to go into it. you can read my book on that. this is a beef i have with the artificial intelligence world. if you say, here's serial deciding what you should read, since we're social creature, we tend to differ, okay. it creates a obscurity. if we're honest, it's an algorithm. what we should be doing is
visualizing for people what the algorithms should be doing so they have an opportunity to understand their world better as doug would have expected them to. i don't mind facebook offering that service. so people can look at the mechanisms, see what's driving it. we need a new kind of computer science that visualizes and makes clear what algorithms do. what could be more clear than that. that's the answer to the mediation issue i believe. more explanation less fantasy. less manipulation. then the second question about the power distribution. it's tremendously concerning. in the personal computer era before everything got networked, there was interesting thing that
happened to personal computers. which is like little shops. they buy an apple or two or mac and early pc, they would own their own data. the fact that those people own their data allowed them to have differential information in their own market which allowed them to be entrepreneurs. i'm convinced that the personal computer era did a lot to raise the middle class it gave so many people the ability to have unique information powers as small players if their market. which is what capitalism is about. that's an engineering issue we can follow. what we're doing is not sustainable. >> one last question. >> we used to exchange visits.
i was managing the stanford artificial intelligence lab. the demo he gave was a very good presentation of the state-of-the-art of computing. however, i disagree about the appraisal of it. it was called the mother of all demos i believe by some reporters who didn't know the state-of-the-art. there was one new idea introduced in the talk. it didn't work.
the thing that got the most attention was the point in click interphase using the mouse. the mouse was a less expensive way of pointing and clicking than the prior state-of-the-art, which was so called light guns and light pens. but it was not a new idea. the interphase has been around for 15 years at that point. it was introduced at m.i.t. on the whirlwind computer. lately widely used in the air defense system which i helped design. that was not a new idea. it became popular, especially after the introduction of the personal computer.
the new idea that doug showed was the one-handed keyboard. didn't work out. it was dropped. of course the mice now sort of fading being replaced by touch pads and the like. >> he's introduced for the mouse. i don't think that's the important thing he did. he did a wholistic sensibility and demonstrated overall approach to technology for using it. i think you're keeping it into elements. i agree with you on the point of history. i do want to say if you were
going to apply the same standards, it would fall into nothing really fast. if you want to play that game, i think your own field would suffer pretty badly. i don't think that's not the important field of play. i have to say something else back in those days, it was such charming place back in the hills in sort of weird decaying ultramodern building. there are levels of achievement that can't be described in terms
of molecules. doug was molecular innovator. i will defend him on those terms. >> we're going to go with one more question, that would be you. >> my name is andre. i would like to go back to your last question. what you think would change the world most in the next 15 for 20 years, can you do that? i know it's difficult. >> the most important innovation for the next 30 years -- >> 20 years from today, what you guys might think might change
the world the most. >> i think you're not holding the microphone close enough. i think you're thinking what do you think the most important innovation to seek? >> 15 to 20 years. >> i've been so wrong in predicting these things. it's amazing. i can tell you things i would love to see happening. something obvious, like moving to you a much more sharing society. we move more into on demand society. you just push a button and a couple of machines. your food will come out of a
many of the basic necessities become free. transportation becomes cheaper. we will have a situation where a lot of things are very inexpensive. what happens to society is a different question. we tend to work more and more. these are all things happening today. >> 20 years let's say if i'm going to put them on the top of my list i have come to believe we need to take charge of for klein mint.
think we can no longer treated as something that we will have to actively engage with. fresh water supply. we have to take charge of taking care of clean safe water in the world. tougher politically technologically at this point. if we are going to have a sharing economy it has to be authentic. i suspect the math that doesn't actually work out. whether we choose it with more market based or either way it has to be a more honest one. i love the stuff like synthesizing new clothes and extreme efficiency.
i think it is totally worthy to make technology. i want to see 20 things like that that i want to anticipate. i'm a little less interested in extreme longevity. the trend is to create fake longevity and in biological longevity for the rich. if we create that distinction -- that is not sustainable. that will make a liar of steven pinker. we need to find a better solution there. in a way what i want from the world is a way for each person to find ways of succeeding.
you can't isolate conflicting interests anymore. we are members of so many classes that -- you are both a nerd and islamic and it sounds like where the use it? that is the path to peace. i hope we have a world of increasing cognitive diversity and skill. thank you all for coming out here today and let's thank sebastian and jarrett again for being with us. -- and chair in -- and jaron for
being with us. [applause] >> three former treasury secretary is paid we will hear from tim geithner, henry paulson, and robert ruben about their time in office. here's a brief look. >> if you can take one change in unit -- in u.s. policy unilaterally, what would it be? >> fiscal policies and government that makes -- >> try to get more americans that want to work for the country.
>> when will the fed first raise rates? >> when they think it makes sense. >> do better. >> i will say as early as next you -- as next year. >> i don't think it matters when they raise rates it matters with economic circumstances. i think it will be very difficult. >> who is our biggest global economic competitor? >> ourselves. >> tonight at eight eastern on c-span. >> here are some of our future programs for this weekend. saturday starting at the noon,
politicians, white house officials, and business leaders offer advice and encouragement to the class of 20 if team. and the chair of dreamworks animation. at 9:15 p.m., former staff members reflect on the presidency of george h w bush. more commencement speeches from across the country. on c-span two saturday morning book tvs in new york city with events book expo america. sunday evening at nine on afterwards. considering the constitutionality of proposition eight, a law that rescinded the right of same-sex month that same-sex couples to marry in california.
a conversation with white house historian william seal on first ladies who have had the most impact on the executive mansion. the life and death of our print -- our 20 us -- life and death of our 20th president. he was assassinated 200 days into his term as president. >> sunday night at midnight some provisions of the patriot act expire. mitch mcconnell wants to extend all of the patriot act but a rand paul last week objected to extending the patriot act for even one day. some government surveillance programs will cease operating after sunday night. to come up with a legislative compromise before that happens senator mcconnell has called the senate back into session a day early on sunday at 4 p.m. live coverage on our companion
network c-span2. >> the new congressional directory is a handy guide to the 114th congress, with color photos of every senator and house member plus bio and contact information. also district maps, a foldout map of capitol hill, and a look at congressional committees. order your copy today. through the c-span online store at c-span.org. >> three months after the terrorist shootings at charlie hebdo magazines in paris a group sat down to discuss the rule of satire in journalism. this is about an hour 15 minutes. >> let me quickly introduce our panelists.
his doonesbury comic strip has obtained the status of a great american institution. for 45 years, he has spared no public figure or ill-conceived policy in a unique satiric approach to political commentary. he stands alongside such legendary cartoonist such as our next panelist, jeweled pfeifer --jules feiffer. jules feiffer brilliantly probing iconoclastic cartoons for 42 years, author of 35 books, he has written novels plays, movie scripts, and an acclaimed biography. he received a george polk award way back in 1961. he said to the other men that that was the first major award that he had received. it took our colleagues another 25 years to recognize this man with a pulitzer prize.
his work has cut across multiple -- our next guest, django gold has had work cut across multiple art forms. she has gone to guantanamo bay -- drawn guantanamo bay, and rebels in syria. the guardian has recognized her as hieronymus bosch and cirque du soleil and i would also add friends is going and lenny bruce to the mix. django gold will not be with us, he got stuck in chicago with bad weather's -- bad weather. our moderator is a distinguished journalist, and all i will say about him is that he wrote an article in 1971 that mentioned a man name -- named steve jobs and computers.
i want to remind everybody please, if you have not already, please turn off your cell phones, there will be a q&a later on. [applause] >> thank you, ralph, and thank you amongst all who had her -- who are here. at least we had some of the best and brightest at what is it really a crucial moment in the
history of free speech. once there were sensors -- censors, once there were dissident cartoonists and graphic artists, and now we have murderers. we are meeting just three months after 12 people were murdered in paris, and i read yesterday that there are police still in paris newsrooms. and so it makes it even more an honor to be with these people, because they are brave, they are talented, and they are facing a different kind of world, i think. so the first thing i want to say is, respect to all of them. george packer in the new yorker recently said that the problem with free speech is that it is hard, self-censorship, hitting the mute button is easy and you
not only have to be brave, but you have to be smart and you have to be funny, and that ain't easy. so i would like to start with the polk honorary gary trudeau who i had the honor of being and yell with when he started writing his cartoons. -- at yale with when he started writing his cartoons. he has a brilliant sleight-of-hand and a pull the rug out from under these people kind of job and gary, could you walk us through what you have done?
mr. trudeau: sure, are we going to be seen back here? mr. rosenbaum: sure. mr. trudeau: the problem that i thought this presented for all of us as american cartoonists, at least in talking with my colleagues, is that we were sold ambivalent -- so ambivalent, professionally, and don't really relate to satiric culture of the french. we don't really have a charlie hebdo in this country. jules is more of the world of edgy cartooning and being in a newspapers his whole life, i had my career was in family newspapers, so i had a different set of constraints and a different set of imperatives. in talking with my colleagues, we agreed on a number of things.
one, obviously, we were all horrified with these murders because they were part of our small global family of cartoonists, but secondly, we could identify with what they had done, as i will get to that in a moment. -- and i will get to that in a moment. and let me show the cartoon, and i show, mon dieu, what a motley crue, folks, it these cartoonists -- motley crew folks, these cartoons have disappeared, but they will live, and in the last panel, you hear, mohammed, may i -- and no, put some clothing on. [laughter] mr. trudeau: this was important for me to be able to honor the cartoonists without honoring the smith -- without honoring the specifics of what they would do. i would not draw mohammed, but that is not to say that i would
stay away from the issue. for years, i have written about the satanic verses, and that earned me a bodyguard for a while. i hate to speak for a group, so i shouldn't, but it is not that american cartoonists don't love the edginess of the fight, it's not that we don't love doing battle for the things that are important, it is just the american tradition, as was the french tradition at one time, is to punch up and not punch down. our colleagues created a very insidious situation in which they actually caused mainstream muslim public in france to a
line itself with it and sympathize with their outliers. there is enormous symphony -- sympathy in france for them. this happened because their approach was one of provocation, not challenging, not confrontation, not starting a dialogue, that simply to provoke and simply to hurt. now maybe jules feels differently speaking from the alternative world? mr. feiffer: i never saw myself as part of the alternative world because there wasn't one when i began. i was just looking for an outlet in which i could express what liberals back in the 50's, post-mccarthy days, didn't know they had. so when people went around
saying what they had to say on a specifically possibly dangerous level, only in small rooms or small bars or over drinks when they felt brave, because it felt like a very dangerous time in this country. they might lose their jobs. since i was unemployable and had nothing to lose, i could say whatever id. -- i damned pleased. i felt giddy and excited about doing that. the thing i feel about the cartoons then -- felt about the
cartoons then and feel now, it is not about commenting on a particular point at the moment or something on the news, it is bringing along an audience that has been groomed in a certain way and teaching them why the method of humor, and in my case, panel by panel by panel, and to look at it in a different way and to consider a different view. it was not about slamming a person over the head. it was making people think. much of our lives then an even more of our lives now, we are being brainwashed, and to try to cut into that crap and point into an alternative view and to do it through humor, which took away the defense of this so people would not allow the point of view to be attacked without
people saying -- getting defensive about it. some doing all of these things and trying to turn it on specific issues one week after another week, and sometimes i went along. so that is basically how i saw it, i did not think it was about democrats or republicans or this guy or that guy, i thought it was about what this country was and what it had become and what it should be and what i hoped it would be and what it certainly wasn't and what it certainly isn't now. mr. trudeau: what was your reaction to the charlie cartoons? >> i was devastated, and even though i did not know any of the "charlie hebdo" cartoonists, after that, i was angry at so many different people and it was a very complicated anger. i was angry at the murderers and angry at the politicians from every single country in the world and the people who spy on dissidents, i was angry on the crackdowns of free speech on the
people of france after the cartoonists' murders. there was actually a parody of a young muslim in france being arrested for posting on facebook. i was angry at the americans who can't speak french, because americans don't often learn other languages who are commenting on these cartoons and thinking about regrettable choices of men who had very long careers and the totality of what they had after one situation. a lot of rage was my reaction. >> there is a question that i meant to ask to all three of you, and it is and this is a question for each of you, is
there something that made you an oppositional kind of person growing up where you could see through the piety -- pieties and it made you angry? mr. trudeau: as jules knows, it was his fault, it was kind of accidental, i was doing the strip in college as a kind of sports script, -- sports strip and i was offered my current job, and it is a story my kids hate on every level. i had not put in the 10,000 hours, i had put and, maybe, 30. i was given this opportunity, i
ended up putting in the 10,000 but it was kind of after-the-fact. i was making all of my mistakes in full public view. but jules was very influential for a number of us. his strip was where the main idea was about a serious subject, and i always imagined that jules might have a different explanation of it, but there was not much change from cartoon to cartoon in the 50's. i would pay attention to what was being said, and maybe that came from your love of theater as well, and that you loved dialogue, but i really took all of that to heart, and of course,
i was a of the counterculture and in college at the time when people were pushing against every institution. so when i graduated from college, i thought it was perfectly normal that i would take those interests and concerns, politics, rock 'n roll, sex, drugs, all of those things that had bubbled up in my life during those four years and put them on the comic page. most editors were unfamiliar with those subjects on their pages. there was a lot of crossing of red lines early, so that is why i find it so difficult to be talking about a redline now with "charlie hebdo" because i had that debate over and over again with editors. at one point, this is just about how clueless and young i was. i sent a letter to all of these editors and i said, which of the following subjects should i not address in the comic strip?
and i put a list of things, like a is for abortion, and just a long list, and i sent it off to a dozen leading editors, and amazingly, almost all of them took the bait and checked the boxes, this is for benton, this is not. [laughter] mr. trudeau: finally, i heard from a wiser head, and he said this is just bullshit, this is nothing to do with the subject it is how you treat it. are you serious as a satirist? if you convey that seriousness of subject, there is nothing you cannot write about. i think one of the proudest moments of my career was two or
three years ago when i wrote about the texas sonogram law and transvaginal probe, language that is not usually in the comics, and i was kicked out of about 70 papers, but all have rarely. -- all temporarily. i built up enough -- they said this is not right for our community, for any number of reasons, but that does not mean that you have to go away, it just means that we cannot hear your voice this week. well, i am not entitled to have my voice heard in dozens of communities every day, that is a privilege. sometimes i get that, and sometimes i don't. that is called editing, it is not called censorship. there have been editors that for most -- for some of the most
despicable reasons, they have thrown me out, but that is editing. mr. feiffer: it is quality control, and you know that you are still being affected. for everything you do come you must be doing something want -- something wrong. ms. crabapple: it shows that you are dangerous a little bit? mr. trudeau: not all of my smoking mr. butts strips went into north carolina papers, when i went and wrote about frank sinatra, the strip went dark in las vegas. [laughter] mr. trudeau: some stories i wrote about, a dallas paper threw it out. ms. crabapple: i think one of the interesting things that we are seeing right now is the death of that sort of context, because once we move a way from print and online, everything can be contextualized. that was the whole thing about
"charlie hebdo," i think that it was one little small percentage of cartoons, some pretty horrible cartoons, and it affects a small minority, but everything affects everybody in some way. mr. trudeau: but they said we are doing this for a very particular reason, and i inc. just because it you can -- and i think just because you can say something doesn't in you should. ms. crabapple: i think there is a huge difference between what you should be legally permitted to say, which is everything, in my opinion, and those horrible things that you say, like tabloids that shame women for walking around in bikinis.
i don't think these two things are contradictory at all. mr. rosenbaum: jules, you had some very strong things to say about the state of cartooning, particularly political cartooning, for a number of years -- mr. feiffer: gary, i think you are down to under 200 editorial cartoonists? mr. trudeau: maybe like 145? when i started, it was about 200 editorial cartoonists making a living from a home paper where they got salaries and benefits and now it is under 50. [laughter]
mr. trudeau: if you are trying to cut a budget of a newspaper it costs a lot. mr. feiffer: i would venture that those 45 crossed this vast nation, maybe five of them are worth looking at? it has always been a small minority. everybody was as a brilliant as paul conrad or a few of the others, but film old, who was extraordinary -- phil mold, he was extraordinaire, and he was doing cartoons in the 60's on race and civil rights and was an editor on the paper, i don't remember if it was the "post dispatch" or the "sun-times" at the time, but he was actually talking real stuff about civil rights that were going on. and this was unheard of at the time. mr. trudeau: you included in one of the things -- mr. rosenbaum:
you included a one of the things a take on the brilliant hypocrisy of civil rights. can we see that, jules? mr. feiffer: this is a black man from the early 60's. this guy says, i love jazz, this guy says, i dug freedom, and i am among -- a thought among american racists that every part of black culture they will pick up, but not blacks. they will pick up the music, they will pick up the style, they will wear their hat backwards, they will act cool, they will get a certain sway to their hips, but actually acknowledge that there are other races, not just blacks, but
other races? that is a no-no. that is what whites have always done, they can plunder other cultures, but you cannot let them into the club, that is a no-no. mr. trudeau: did you get a backlash from other liberals who did not like to see their hypocrisy exposed? mr. feiffer: the answer to that question is that i don't know. i did not get that much feedback, you get a lot of feedback, but i did not come at basically did not communicate with me except on very weird issues with hat -- issues which
had nothing to do with anything. [laughter] mr. feiffer: i didn't get much feedback. it allowed me to just pay attention to what i wanted to do. i got wonderful attention from figures in the black community and that made me feel good. and when i probably did a collection of cartoons on civil rights, it was written by a civil rights leader, a man who not only organized the march on washington, but for me, on a personal level, he taught me everything i knew about race. when i was out of the army and looking to meet girls at left-wing places, which was the only place you could go, i went to a pacifist group where an unknown speaker was speaking on civil rights, and i thought, what can he tell me, i know
everything about civil rights? and then he started talking in a way that changed my entire life and the way i looked at things in the way that i worked. he said that the most important issue in america is not the cold war and the fight with the soviet union, it is that we have never resolved the issues of the civil war and we are still fighting the civil war. this is how white liberals should give blacks a break, but about how the negro, as he called them back then, is all of us, and what he says then is familiar now, but it was radical and revolutionary and it will my
mind apart. -- it blew my mind apart. i got to know him, and not just the cartoons that i did on race, but we try to figure out, what are they telling us and what is really going on and how do i broach this in a way that communicate to a reader? mr. rosenbaum: it is something i was thinking about this morning when i was watching that black man, scott, who was shot eight times while he was running away. are there some things that are just too awful to caricature, to capture, in real terms, or just, i don't know, breakout of the frame?
mr. feiffer: as awful as that was, let's wait for the trial and see whether he is found not guilty. which is the american way. ms. crabapple: and the shocking thing is that they are putting him on trial in the first place, and that is only because of the bravery of that guy who filmed it. mr. feiffer: and the story of that guy, this young man, this gentleman from the dominican republic, his first thought was to erase this, his first thought, in this free country in america, to erase it, because he thought he would get in trouble, but then he took it to a police department. and then he got out of there because he knew if he he turned the tape over to them, first of all, he would never get his phone back, and that tape would
never be seen again. mr. rosenbaum: how about you gary, are there subjects, not necessarily this 1 -- mr. trudeau: i will give you an extreme example of that, and i am sorry, because django is not here, but when 9/11 happened there was pretty much a moratorium on humor. in fact, essays were written on the idea, is irony dead? all the late shows went dark and all of us were so stunned and didn't know how to respond in a way that would be socially useful. "the onion" did a very useful thing, they said, you know comedy is not the opposite of serious, comedy is the opposite of despair, so how do we direct a response that confronts that despair? so their headlines, two days later, were -- i wrote them down -- ms. crabapple: let them go into a jerry bruckheimer movie? i think the response was, put
them in a jerry bruckheimer movie? mr. trudeau: i don't remember that when, one was, god clarifies, and hijackers surprised to find themselves in hell, and they got thousands of letters from people. are thousands of letters that supported it. david letterman and everyone all -- and everyone figured it out for you to the realized we have a job to do. >> you see the same thing in syria and lebanon were activists are having their lives threatened by isis. instead of giving and they have reacted with vicious mockery and hilarious mockery.
there is a web series of actors dressing up like -- and making fun of him. and there is a rock band that sings about putting bras on cows. there is an incredible tradition of parity in the middle east and it has been turned to a great effect toward isis. the thing is, throughout the world, authoritarians, secular authoritarians, ever every kind, they hate humor and cartoons, it gets under their skin. there is something viscerally irreverent about it. this is why they become authoritarians, it kills them. when hitler was in power, one of the things he made a specific list of was cartoonists in england who had drawn pictures of him. he wanted to kill them. they had hurt his feelings that much. i had an interesting incident in i had an interesting incident in terms of someone i had angered. i went to guantanamo bay in 2013 -- mr. rosenbaum: can we show her guantanamo bay.
ms. crabapple: i do these, i don't believe in hiding the fact that you are censored, you draw the censorship. when i went there, i made a lot of stops on the press tour. i pointed out the absurdities of the place and the military was so angry. one officer called my editor and said that i, quote," made him look like a toll." -- tool." mr. rosenbaum: do you think there is something about that, getting under the skin, the fact to the caricature that makes you look ugly? ms.
mr. rosenbaum: do you think there is something about that, getting under the skin, the fact to the caricature that makes you look ugly? ms. crabapple: the immediacy of it. with an essay, you have to read the whole essay. and there is no barrier to it. no linguistic areas, you don't have to speak fluent french to know that that picture was a really mean caricature of someone. they laughed through time, through borders, through languages. it goes straight to your eyes. that is why they have that impact. mr. trudeau: thomas matthew is our hero. most of his audience was illiterate. a great cartoonist. mr. rosenbaum: like tammany hall corruption. mr. trudeau: his nemesis flood new york, the mayor, and he was capturing spain, was a he -- he was captured in spain? mr. feiffer: yes, and it was tweeted -- tweed, who said, i don't care what they say about me. now his pictures were extraordinary. there were a number of people who work store near you. -- extraordinary. mr. rosenbaum: do you think there is a fine line between caricature and sort of offensiveness or oversimplifying , or stereotyped, or is it the best kind of visual representation, one that evades the stereotype? mr. feiffer: i think it requires a brain and an opinion. not just lyndon johnson had a big nose.
the best lyndon johnson was by david levine, the greatest caricaturist of the last half of the 20th century. he did new york review. lbj had a famous gold letter operation and there was a photograph of him, because he was a famous bulgarian, as well as famous everything else, and in the picture he is holding up this shirt and he is showing his scarf. the new york review gets a wonderful caricature of l aj -- lbj, and it shows that of the annam. it seemed to sum up the ball garrity -- the vulgarity of the president, his personal possession of the vietnam war, which is why kept escalating. it seemed to be a profound, and
on so many things that were going on at the time that nobody -- the cartoon got it all in one shot. mr. rosenbaum: to think there is anything for you, any of you that is beyond the limits that you wouldn't touch? ms. crabapple: i think what you could do a good job touching his dependent upon who you are. i don't think i would draw mohammed myself. i wouldn't draw him, not like the cartoonists in charlie hebdo did. but, if someone who was muslim and living in the country -- in another country, did a picture of mohammed. that is not punching down, that is challenging the power structure. it is different to criticize a community from within and outside of it. imagine if the producers of all
blonde german capita group and writing team, they would have had a different feel to it. i think it depends on what your personal limits are. free often they come from who you are -- very often they come from who you are and the place you occupy in a power sector. mr. trudeau: i agree with that. there are things i stay away from. at the subjects i have not collided with our really a failure of imagination. not of nerve. they are just, i cannot think of anything that is entertaining or concise and to say about the
subject. it isn't because i fear the repercussions. mr. rosenbaum: you mentioned your drying board. i think people want to know about the physical layout, how you produce these. you sit at a drawing board and you do verse traps -- first draft, then revise? mr. trudeau: i do it the same way i did it in grad school. i was doing the strip while i was a grad student. i jot in pencil that i send it to an assistant and if it is sunday, it goes to a third assistant who does the color. first draft, that is it. mr. rosenbaum: only in the nick of time. no time for revision? mr. trudeau: some artists needed that structure. i need to have once a week when i can say that is good enough. mr. rosenbaum: you go to a special room?
mr. trudeau: i have a studio but i have worked everywhere through the years. it is a skill. mr. feiffer: how soon after you write the script do you think you have to sit down and draw it? is there any time, because of deadline? mr. trudeau: no, for that reason i needed to take the ideas that they come in order. there is a story arc that goes from monday to saturday. i might come up with thursday first. then i have to reverse engineer. so you create your own problems. but the desperation is such so that he if you have an idea -- so that if you have an idea, you have to use it. [laughter] what do you do when you don't
get an idea? the answer is thomas thank you for not noticing. that's the answer is, thank you for not noticing. mr. rosenbaum: this is a work of much time and effort. ms. crabapple: that took about 20 hours. i started with these rough sketches, they are in -- illegible to everyone but myself. a shorthand version of drawing. then i take a big piece of paper, i drip died into it. -- dye into it. i use little steel nibs that you dip into ink. if you look at how they wrote on little house on the prairie. then i ink -- mr. rosenbaum: so little house on the prairie. ms. crabapple: so i ink and pencil simultaneously because i am too distracted to sit down and just ink. i'm compulsive. drawing for me is like picking scabs. mr. rosenbaum: did he do this while you are at gitmo? ms. crabapple: no, i kept a
detailed sketchbook while i was there. i actually developed those smiley faces because i was in the courtroom and they had a censor their -- there, it would look through the sketchbook and he was allowed to cut out anything he did not like. mr. rosenbaum: really, what didn't they like? ms. crabapple: faces of anyone who worked there. so that is what i did instead. the second time i came back, they realized how grim it looked to only have these blank masks for faces. they found me the most attractive soldier i have ever seen. [laughter] and then i could draw the face. and the most attractive and nurses.
mr. rosenbaum: that is wonderful. those aren't smiley faces, maybe through a nightmare. and did you start with pen and ink, mr. feiffer? mr. feiffer: i started with pencil. i would write pencil notes, or ballpoint pen, the dialogue. figure out the idea. and for me it was always the idea that had to come first. after a while, i discovered what was working best, not knowing where i was going. i knew what i wanted to comment on, but not how i was going to do it.
and, i did what classic improvisation does, which they did at second city, you start with an opening line. sometimes that remains the opening line, sometimes not. but with it, that is pay no one -- panel one. then it writes itself and takes you on a trip. by the third panel i know where i am going and it goes home. or maybe i have to start all over again. but it is a constant trial and air. -- error. but there is a point in mind and i know that point. in my case, the cartoons i did
it often had to do with how the use of language was, the official and unofficial language. the distrust of the government the content for government, the hatred for government, that we now find with the tea party and on the right. that began on the american left. it was the belief on at the left that nothing they tell you is the truth, nothing government says is true. that was what i believed to be so. and there was enough evidence to back it up. at the time i was studying there were nuclear tests and the government was always bringing
out statistics to say that there was no harmful effects from radiation. but sheep and cattle were falling over out west. and john wayne got cancer from working out there. so i did a cartoon called "doom ." where the government announced as people fell over, there were no awful effects of radiation. tickling would we use to prove people, to mislead people, to lie to people, to satirize a way out of hand, to make it funny. what was really going on. in that way, i wanted people to consider it. that was the game. mr. rosenbaum: was that about the ad man trying to convince people -- none mr. feiffer: yeah that was one of them. mr. rosenbaum: here is a question, you are aware of the question of trigger warnings, that was used recently in this course. i -- people are familiar with this, in which survivors of trauma feel that they should be
protected from being reminded of it because it would cause ptsd and therefore a lot of dramatic things that happen to people from rape to whatever, those who bring up that subject are responsible for warning people who may want to leave the room or something like that --do you think that this is something that will eventually affect your work? ms. crabapple: as i understand it, my friends who do work on trigger warnings, they view it as having an ingredients label so that if you have an allergy something contains peanuts, you know -- i personally think that trigger warnings make sense in specific communities. if you are on a web tour with
people who are recovering from anorexia, they might have a trigger warning of people who mention weight. but i've heard amazing critiques of trigger warnings, people like roxane gay who worry that it will be used by college students to avoid engaging with material that makes them uncomfortable. it is a complicated issue. the idea that in a college class you might warn students if you are discussing rape doesn't seem particularly good for anyone, or particularly bad. mr. feiffer: there was a phrase called, grown up. after a. of years when you get kicked around, you get disappointed this and that happens, you get a condition within yourself where once you had it to open a bottle and had to pour it down, because some but something.
you are able to shrug it off and say screw it and go on. [applause] if we are so sensitive and watchful as to not hurt people who are herbal in so many ways -- hurtable in so many ways, we get so many generations that never grow up. i'm looking at all of you. [laughter] and i think one of the things we haven't given up on is the motion of behaving like grownups. we don't, and in families we don't, it is something that you aspire to and the only way to do that is to -- the only way i could, i got better and pissed off and didn't speak to people, now who will pick me off, we will have a wonderful conversation template later. that im no longer into -- that i'm no longer into grudges, it doesn't make any sense.
it is not warned -- warrant anything. mr. trudeau: you are asking for -- mr. rosenbaum: you are asking for trigger warnings, those boxes to check. what are the biggest scariest subjects for editors these days? mr. trudeau: i can only talk about my own experience because i don't know what they are shutting down and other strips. i know that there is a double standard, in that, i'm not in editorial cartoonist, other strips are held to different standards. i can't tell you what they are being -- what kind of constraints that they are under. i'm -- i have not heard amber
like warnings from editors, you shall not right on a particular thing. mr. rosenbaum: his religion ok? mr. trudeau: religion is fine. reproductive issues are fine. it drugs are fine. it is how you deal with it. mr. feiffer: just a row up your hands. ms. crabapple: i think the only thing you are not allowed to do in america for the sake of your career is you cannot say that american soldiers are bad. mr. trudeau: what? i've actually done that a few times. but not generically. for specific reasons. and, among some of my first strips, i depict the behavior of armed forces in the anon. it was told from a kind of
hippie perspective, why can't we all get along? the vietnam on -- the vietnamese who befriends a good -- befriends agi -- a g.i. --that was original source of material for me, trying to understand those issues. if i make blanket statements about troops, that will not help me and try to deal with those issues. i have written about ptsd and many other wounds that warriors home with. it's not that i try not to antagonize them, it is just that for me it is the brass, because i am a liberal. there is no good reason for me to be welcome on military bases
and such. but enough, i get enough of feedback from the field, they say that i am writing about their issues and i think my break there was in 1990. i got a letter from the chief of staff of the army, gordon sullivan, who said -- this is just before desert storm -- we are getting a lot of good strong response from soldiers who seem to feel that you are connected to their issues. i had been getting a lot of letters from them. i was invited over, brought over by a tank commander. at first, i cannot get out of the country -- i could not get out of the country. it you had to go through saudi arabia and have a visa. i didn't have one, it was timing, i was spending a week reporting about the saudis in their country clubs while men were in the field. at this went on for it a week.
-- and this went on for a week. i couldn't get a visa. i get this call from bill nash the commander outside of kuwait city. he said, i know you have trouble getting here, but, anyway. i got on a train with no visa. i arrived at 2:00 in the morning. i get closer to the immigration desk and i thought, this will not go well. at the last minute, a door opened, a side door and some soldiers came in and picked me
up. they put me in a helicopter and flew me over. when 9/11 happened, and the given reason, the molly crabapple reason been plotting gave --osama bin laden gave, they had the country and they acted like it. i was -- when i flew over, i was met by nash and he said, i was reading your cartoons. i was trying to keep these alive and into this hateful war, i was curious about you. and i said, -- and he said, i will fly you around the battlefield. you can enjoy all the toys, but you needed to go under the barracks and the dining facilities and talk to these guys. try to understand what they have then it through. it is a professional force, they are very different than the soldiers of your era. that was the beginning of my introduction, so that when the d -- vd, the character loses his
leg, they say, amputation that is a long arc. come to find out what that means -- long story short, they got me over to walter reed. and i was able to tell that story, wounded warriors. what they were suffering, having performed their duty. that is an interesting balancing act, i was trying to keep two things alive in a script at the same time. mr. rosenbaum: a lot of the best cartooning is investigative. you snuck into a -- nine ms.
crabapple: -- ms. crabapple: i was doing and investigative case with migrant workers who were building the branches of these western cultural institutions. the guggenheim, nyu, they are all building bridges on this island and abby. b. -- abu dhabi. labor has long been exploited in the gulf. they work for 12 hours a day doing brutal labor. this has been an issue, long been known that these workers come over and they have their passports confiscated, they can't leave the country or change jobs. what was happening, these western institutions were saying, we are different. it was not true. not at all. it was not true a little bit. they were exactly like every
other company doing construction there. so with the help of a local journalist and a young construction worker, i was able to sneak onto the sites, and also into camps, and talk to these guys. talk about their ambitions, what it was like to be a worker there. talk to them if they were happy. there is this idea that these men coming from poor countries they are just passively accepting of just getting $200 a month. i found it -- i found that they were not -- found that that was not true. they were on strike all the
time. i tried hard to get to know people. and also with that story, a lot of times when it was covered in the western press, they had these ideas of these men being taken advantage of. i said no, these guys are ambitious, they are being repressed but they are also fighting against it. i want to do them the honor of making them men that they are. i truly believe that good art is against cliche. cliche turns people into objects. good art is all about puncturing that. just by doing art that is thoughtful, rigorous, good, you are cutting away at cliche. you are trying to get to the truth. mr. rosenbaum: jules, you have revolutionized the comic world. it did you invent the graphic novel -- did you invent the graphic novel?
mr. feiffer: no, what kerry is doing now without being called a graphic novel, is doing a series of them. in doing real characters that have a real wounds in the real world. day by day, we find out about them. it is a great tradition, the old newspaper comic trip -- comic strips, going back to gasoline alley, they delved into it. once you put them all together and we them as one piece -- weave them as one piece, it is a novel. characters developing, however satirical it may be, it is a story. and it is a story that one can follow. i loved from the beginning the adventure strips as a kid. the strips that ran in daily papers in the 1930's. they had 12 panels in glorious
color. i remember one about pirates. these guys were my masters. i could not draw like them. i didn't know how to draw like them, i backed into the government as a fallback position. [laughter] and i -- a few years ago i got tired of doing politics and i got tired of commenting. i got tired of all the issues that have been solved. i started from scratch and how we play the same record and issues, i said screw it. i will do something -- i can't do this anymore. i'm too old. i began working on graphic novels. that's what i do now. mr. rosenbaum: what was your first one? mr. feiffer: " kill my mother," which started in 1933 and ends during the war, 1943. now i am working on a prequel. and there will be a third book.
which, i think we will finish it , it is about the blacklist years in hollywood. mr. rosenbaum: nothing is off the table for you. mr. feiffer: you are first finding out? [laughter] mr. rosenbaum: i guess that is something i have always admired about your work. i want to take questions, but i wonder not knowing you guys well, is there something you want to add or subtract to the discussion so far? [laughter] ms. crabapple: o the pressure. mr. feiffer: i was very moved by molly talking about her work and how she goes about it. and gary -- the level, people
people even though they are impressed with the different forms of humor in satire, don't really think of the degree of thought and insight and seriousness and the artist trying to figure out how do i present this? what is the best way of communicating this? i don't want to smack a speech. i don't want to yell at people. how do i get across the point i want to make? you talk about serious journalists, they aren't very serious, because they usually write the same crap that everybody else writes. how do i get across my different point of view and make it work using a competition of words and pictures? it is a whole
different form, so we think differently about it. what you do, we think differently about it, and what you do, and you do, it is an extraordinary example of what is out there. there is wonderful talent out there, working alternative forms. and it is terrific. in a field that i adored as a kid and i do or every bit as much today. i think of this as a new golden age. i'm really grateful for. -- for it. mr. trudeau: i am always painful to be on the same stage as jules and my new friend, molly. my -- my first exposure to his work
was not as a cartoonist, even though it was a cartoon i was seeing here it -- seeing. i was a theater nerd and we did lots of plays in high school. and i went to see three short plays that somebody was putting on and they were hilarious and moving. mr. rosenbaum: what were they? mr. trudeau: one of them was munro, they were cartoon stories that jules had written. i was the playwright and listening to amazing and funny -- and that ring my bell because i was a theater guide. what i didn't understand was as i circled back to my childhood interests, that how much of these two art forms have in common. i'm doing a tv show called "alphahouse," and the work that
we do every day is the preparation for that. there are characters, dialogue story arcs. television now is a wonderful space to work in, it is so close to the story. it you don't have the absolute control that you do. but, we have a great actors. and he seemed funnier than you are. ms. crabapple: these guys are legends. i'm honored to share a stage with them. that is all i have to add. [laughter] mr. rosenbaum: ok, a round of applause for these people. [applause] mr. rosenbaum: i guess you want to line up at the mic for
questions. you can just shout them out. you are pretty close. it will not register unless you go to the mikec. >> all right. i will do it. mr. rosenbaum: don't be shy. [applause] we are with you. we will wait. >> my question is for molly. i'm curious as a woman when you go overseas and try to sneak into these places, are there challenges that you face because you are a female that may be a
male cartoonist would not face? ms. crabapple: everyone has been so courteous to me. people in the middle east are the most hospitable courteous people to deal with to be honest. i've never been in a situation personally where i felt that i was at a disadvantage because i was a woman. though i have to say, i have always been it with male translators. but i've always been treated with respect. >> i have a question based on ethnicity and politics. from what i heard earlier, you seem to suggest that most of the brilliant satirists in the political vein are leftists and comic strip artists seem to be primarily jewish, even though
jews are a small proportion of the population. so, mr. feiffer could you comment on your jewish left background? [laughter] mr. feiffer: i don't know what you are talking about. [laughter] >> i will tell you, i have your book here and i would like you to autograph it and it is full of jewish commentary. mr. feiffer: i never saw that book. i never met a jew. [laughter] >> backing into forward. mr. feiffer: you got me. that is a jewish posture. [laughter] you comic strip artists of my childhood were mostly irish catholic. a few jews were there, but the jews or mostly in comic books. they came from new york
and - >> cleveland. shuster from cleveland. mr. feiffer: yes, but they came to new york. and i thought about the notion many years ago, that superman did not come from krypton, he came from the planet minsk. i don't think that is true anymore. cartoonists are not necessarily jewish anymore. they come from all over the place. it is a generation that isf four generations away from that. from where i am. anything i really have to comment about is about stuff that happened so far back, you want to know where i came from and why, because there was a great depression. out of the great depression,
people formed political alliances in order to survive. there was a comic, a nightclub artist who said when i was a kid during the depression, i lived in brooklyn, there is a socialist party, a communist party, a labour party, there was the american labour party. i was 22 years old and moved to manhattan before i heard of the democratic party. [laughter] does that not answer your question? >> i thought you would say, i was new in the community and wanted to meet the girls. mr. feiffer: also true. mr. rosenbaum: next question. >> hi, it is cool that you can all do work in the field, like
going to all of these places and getting hands-on experience of all these different people. i am wondering it when you're not in the field in other countries what news sources do you like or do you feel like you trust because there are a lot of media who often skews things one way or another. how do you feel you are making a good informed viewpoint on certain subjects. ms. crabapple: a lot of failure in trying. the act of writing something is almost always skewed, because reality is complex. what -- but you have 500 words. you choose to use with this comic it a reality and jam it into 500 words, it is not unbiased. there is no unbiased camera-like source of anything.
in terms of what i personally read, i like "the guardian" for a big comic it along breeds i like the london review of books. abc is good. but buzzfeed has -- bbc is good. but buzzfeed has good reporting. and i follow writers. it is easier to do that now. it is not just one platform. i find writers that i trust. and sometimes you just look at twitter, you follow people on the ground in those areas. there -- that is not always accurate. there are things that are wildly inaccurate that, but is often the most unfiltered way to find out what is going on in a certain place at a certain time. >> cool. [laughter] >> thank you. mr. rosenbaum: next question. >> it seems, i believe it was during the swift boating times the bush-gore election that the
studies came out saying that denying a lie tends to increase the public's ability to believe a lie in the first place. the more you try to fight a lie, the less effective you would be. and it seems that to defeat an idea the only way to defeat something is to discredit it and that is where satire comes in. do you feel responsible is because of that? to discredit ideas that are false or harmful in your works? does that come into play in your mode of thinking, that you are performing a service discrediting ideas that are harmful? mr. trudeau: in my case there is a lot that has to be accomplished in a comic strip. you must frontload it with information that the audience trusts on some level.
and thereafter tell a story that is premised on what is contained in the first and second panel. there is a lot you have to do with about 100 words. and so you have to create a read -- a rhythm that the audience can anticipate and understand what is true and what you are making up. i guessed just doing it over and over again, i figured out how to set up -- this is the case of what you're describing, this is a set of facts that is why the believed or it is known that certain people are expressing this point of view even though it is not true. whatever it is, however complicated it is, you have to set it up and then you ridicule it. then you have fun with it. if i reverse engineer any particular cartoon, it seems to be exhausting.
deconstructing it. it is a good thing that i'm not a public intellectual. but i work intuitively or i would never get anything out. i just need to trust my instincts. of course, that is were editors come in and say you are wrong about this. or it is misleading. i don't get so much of that anymore, not because of my standing, but because a know how to do it now after all these years. yet, that is an adjusting observation about what are the responsibility's of humor. particularly in a reality challenged environment like now. [laughter] i have a character whose job is to supply an alternative set of fact to clients who need a different reality than the one science might have observed. or independent observers might have.
you call this company and he provides you with arguments to beat your wife into submission with your own set of facts because hers are inconvenient. it is an issue that i grapple with, but as i say, it is never a particularly into -- coherent way. it is intuitive. my great hero, robert altman who i got to work with on a show. he was entirely from the gut. sometimes it was lessened. where the story was going. i do think that not being as smart as everybody else or from other people who think things this is probably part of the job description. you have to be able to simple fire to reach a broader audience. >> thank you.
>> mr. trudeau, you ended up writing 45 years and counting long novel. i was wonder if you have it in the back of your might have the story ends? with the last strip would be? mr. trudeau: it just seems to me that the strip started on a random moment of two kids rooming together and introducing together as freshmen. i think all and on something -- i do not see any need to tie everything together. i have 74 characters in the strip. longtime readers would recognize and differentiate. i do not feel that there has to be some closer to all of those storylines. i just braided them all together for all these years and i think
it will stand. an event of no particular moment. >> any further questions? thank you all for coming. [applause] >> sunday night at midnight, the patriot acts expire to ms. mcconnell wants to extend all of the patriot act, but his fellow kentucky senator rand paul last week objected to extending the patriot act for even one day. without action by congress some government survey this -- surveillance programs will cease after sunday night. to come up with a registered copper mysore that happens senator mcconnell is called the senate back into session a day
early on sunday at four clock p.m. -- 4:00 p.m. when they're back, live coverage on c-span2. >> this week, our guest is two-time peel surprise winner david mcauliffe. he shared stories about his new book "the right brothers." >> they didn't graduate from high school because their father said if they had some interesting project they're working on, he would say stay home and do that. you do not have to go to school because he did the bright they were. wilbur was a genius. orval was very bright am a very inventive, clever, mechanically. but he did not have the reach of mind that wilbur had. they love music. they love the books -- loved books. the thing to hoffman was orval's
favorite. catherine loved walter scott a lot of her brothers -- birthdays, her brothers gave her a bust of walter scott. these are people living in a little house in ohio with no running water and no indoor plumbing. no electricity. they are getting a bust of a great very giant to their sister for a birthday present. what i would like to know more about is the sense of purpose that they had. not something ordinary. a big idiot here a big idiot. nothing was going to stop them. >> sunday night on "q and a."
>> thank you. good evening to everyone. thank you president evans for such a kind introduction. let me say first and foremost that without any question my prayers are with south carolina state university for financial success and for peace and position of significance that you currently hold. from my days in county council mr. president am up to my days at the statehouse, i have been a supporter of south carolina state. and as your united state senator, i will continue to be a supporter of self through an estate university. [applause] now to the parents to i know
that today is the day of joy and happiness. it is a joyful day because you get to see your kids graduate from college. how many of you say thank god for that? hallelujah! it is also a very happy day. it is a happy day because as you know and you have been thinking about it, as your kids graduate, it almost feels like a raise. and that brings a tear to write. -- you eye. now let me speak to the graduates themselves. graduates, please, take just a moment to look around. look to your left, look to your right. hear the voices screaming your name out there. all the people -- [applause]
i don't think they heard me. all the people screaming your names out there today. [screaming] that is what i thought i heard. i would be happy, to. i would be happy to. i would be excited myself of i was sitting in the stands and i would be more excited if i was sitting the seats. but if i was sitting in the seats getting ready to get my degree, i would ask the speaker to do just a few things. give me a little pieces of the puzzle and angus and down and shut up. i knew it. let me get on and give you my three pieces to the life puzzle. the first these is applicable to all of us. it is simply failure is not
final if you refuse to quit. i want to say that won't -- one more time because i think it is absolutely unequivocally important to emphasize the simple fact that failure is not final unless you refuse to quit. i was thinking back during president evans'introduction of how i basically flunked out of high school as a freshman. our member those days growing up in a single-parent household am a struggling and hopelessly drifting in the wrong direction. i failed world geography. i think i am the only u.s. senator to ever fail civics. the study of politics. [laughter] and then i went to the united states senate and realized i had to give company. -- plenty of company. [laughter] and then i failed spanish and english. when you fail spanish and
english, they do not call you bilingual. they call you bi-ignorant. i had two blessings. a mentor who believed in me in a way that i did not. and a mother that believed that all things are truly possible with faith in god and the power of a switch. now, a switch is a southern apparatus of encouragement. [laughter] it was applied from my belt to my ankles as often as necessary and i thank god that because of the strength of my mother, literally and figuratively, i finished high school on time. i went to college and continued on the journey of life. i believe that the best days of this class, the class of 2015,
is ahead of you. that the things you will do for this country and this world has not been imagined before. i believe that the cure to cancer may be sitting in the seats in front of me. i believe that the next technological discovery can be found in the hearts and minds of the students who are getting ready to work in the workforce. i believe in you. i believe in you. the second piece to the puzzle is simply if you want to stand out in life, stand up for someone who cannot stand up for themselves. [applause] if you want to stand out in life, stand up for someone who cannot stand up for themselves. one classic example of this is a friend of mine. a couple named molly and george
green. they owned a successful engineering company called general engineering labs. they spent a lot of years -- then they started traveling the world and they discovered that many of the challenges and many of the sicknesses in africa comes from the fact that clean water is simply hard to find. so they sold their business and decided to go full-time into the mission of providing clean water in africa. over the last several years they have provided millions of gallons of water all over the continent. in the poorest areas of africa. i met last week i young lady. she was about 15 years old and she was diagnosed with brain cancer. it impacted or affected her optical nerves and she is now legally blind at 14 or 15 years old. she decided that she would dedicate the rest of her life to
serving kids like her. so she started a prom for kids with cancer. she has decided not to sit on the sidelines, but to be engaged in life in changing lives for other people. my third piece to the life puzzle is simply to hold on to your dreams. i hope and i pray that you have dreams consistent with the -- ephesians 3:21. that god is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above all that you can think of. and if you hold on to god's unshaken hand, all things all -- all things, i said all things are possible. they are possible for you or you sit.
it is possible for you to change the world. i am standing here is a living example that even a knucklehead from north charles, south carolina and see a jury come true. one of my dreams -- i will tell you that there are several dreamers who had their first taste of defeat the for the experience the most amazing taste of success and freedom. i think of walt disney. anybody heard of walt disney? he was fired from his first job because he was simply not creative enough. i know we have heard of oprah winfrey. oprah winfrey was fired from a local tv station because she was sadly not fit -- simply not fit for tv. and some people have written off
south carolina state university. but i am here to tell you that the best is yet to come. [applause] i look around at all the graduates sitting in front of me and i know that the best is yet to come. this is the university that is graduated more general officers in our military, african-american general officers in our military. night teen united states -- 19 united states military generals and perhaps any other school of the size. the best is yet to come. i will close because my dreams of -- have taking the all over the world and i have been working on my singing lessons because my ultimate dream is to
sing in front of thousands of people and hear the roar of the applause as i mesmerize folks with my singing voice. back in 1983 when i was graduating from high school, the song that stuck with me for the last 32 years was a song called "hold onto your dreams." bessemer group named wee gee. can you start the music, mr. president? oh, he forgot the music. nevermind. i will sing a cappella. will you help me out here? thank you very much. ♪ hold on to your dreams believe -- you will do not know good music. i will say the words. the song sibley says "hold on to
your dreams. believe in love and that love be the light to show you the way. because life is going to be hard and sometimes it is even going to feel unfair. except for those who really care . who were there rain and shine sharing your dreams, your heart and your mind. the graduations." ♪ [applause] >> more commencement addresses this weekend on c-span. tomorrow at noon eastern judge susan webber wright speaks to graduates at the university of arkansas. we will hear from dreamworks executive melody house and the wrist of southern california. romney