My new Think Again column is called “It’s All Connected (and That’s the Problem)” and it’s here. It’s about a lot of things including Jon Corzine, Grover Norquist and Jennifer Rubin.
My Nation column is apparently called “The Agony and Ecstasy—and ‘Disgrace’—of Steve Jobs” and it’s here.
Petey and I were lucky enough to go see Bruce with Max’s band, and Jon Stewart, Ricky Gervais and this other pretty funny guy, at the Stand Up for Heroes benefit at Beacon the other night thanks to the New York Comedy Festival and its Salute to benefit the Bob Woodruff Foundation for traumatic brain injuries, which was founded to benefit wounded soldiers after Woodruff’s injury.
Caroline Hirsch told me that the foundation had already raised $12 million for wounded soldiers since its founding in 2004 (whether physically, emotionally or mentally) and they certainly added a bunch to that Wednesday night. (Bruce’s guitar went for $160,000.)
Backed by Max Weinberg’s Big Band, Bruce again opened his set with a rearranged, big-bandish version of "Open All Night" which went on forever. Next came a lovely surprise, of “Spirit in the Night," also-big bandish, but with Bruce sashaying down into the seats to hang with some of the ladies, who all were fainting as if this were Phoenix, 1978. Next came a long, moving, solo version of "Land of Hope and Dreams" dedicated to "all the men and woman, guys and gals in uniform…. Your service and your sacrifices humble us tonight." They closed with a real short "Long Tall Sally" that looked like it was a surprise to the band. Bruce was in great shape, but he is really bad at telling jokes. Jon Stewart was quite good, though it was less funny when I saw the same lines on the show the next morning. Jim Gaffigan (the other guy) was pretty good. Bill Clinton was there, and he wasn’t so funny, but he was much funnier than the video of George Bush. Absolutely awful, I gotta say, was Ricky Gervais, who not only did warmed over material from his HBO special, but it was the part where, for about twenty minutes, he makes fun of fat people. What a jerk. He seems to know for sure that obesity has no basis in genetics, which is of course false. The dude went on and on insisting that fat people should just stop eating and stop whining. I was embarrassed to be part of the audience, so cruel and unfunny it was to people who struggle with obesity for reasons about which Gervais has no clue or couldn’t care less. The rest of his routine was about gay sex. It really ruined me for Ricky Gervais. Brian Williams and Seth whatshisname came on at the end too and were not terribly offensive. Here is the lineup for the Comedy Festival and here is more information about the foundation with some Bruce video built in.