An Evening with Luminaries

For you communication and news junkies, you will now experience profound envy. I spent much of yesterday with Tina Brown, Ben Bradlee, Omar Wasow, and Alison Stewart. As a member of the advisory board for the Connecticut Forum, I served as a personal valet to Ms. Brown and hung out with the group from 4:30 PM until nearly 11:00 PM. (WNBA star and former U-Conn Lady Husky, Sue Bird also joined the panel and spoke with confidence and clarity)

The theme of the evening’s forum was Talkin ’bout My Generation. The divide between the generations became most apparent when they discussed technology and news gathering. They also shared loads of wisdom, insights and laughs. This panel worked well together, and appeared to really enjoy each other’s company.

I was most excited about meeting Tina Brown. As the former editor of Vanity Fair and the New Yorker, she turned those magaiznes around and made them into profitable publications with stellar writers. It was during the same time from the mid-80’s to mid-90s that I lived in NYC as an “ex-gay” fundamentalist, charismatic Christian.

Every now and then I felt the lure into “the world” and would pick up the New Yorker or Vanity Fair. What a witty and intellect view of humanity opened before me as I guiltily enjoyed the words on their pages. The day that Tina Brown put two a cartoon of two servicemen embraced in a passionate kiss (a spin on the famous WWII Victory Day photo), I felt both horrified and exhilarated.

Most moving to me was when Tina Brown, who moved from her country of England to NYC in the mid-80’s, spoke about 911 and how that event turned her into an American, and perhaps more accurately, a New Yorker. She spoke about her father and his World War II stories that used to bore her most of her life. After 911 she wanted nothing more than to hear her recently deceased father’s stories again. She stated that we live in a time when we do not listen to our elders.

For more highlights of the evening, check out comments.

This post has 1 Comment

  1. Peterson Toscano on December 2, 2005 at 3:58 pm Reply

    Some other highlights from the evening:

    Ben Bradlee talking about TIVO and how now that he has it (and can’t work it) he doesn’t watch ANY TV.

    When asked about the most under reported global story. Bradlee said the vast inequities that exist between rich and poor. Wasow said HIV infection and the “war on drugs” and how both of these affect people of color.

    Stewart, who moderated and so didn’t answer the question, told me that the horrors of Darfur need to be told.

    I was so pleased with Bird’s performance on the panel. She was the youngest one and I cannot imagine what it would be like to sit on a panel with such brilliant movers and shakers. She held her own and spoke eloquently about the power of team work in sports.

    Lots of other moving and funny things were shared. No time to include them all. You just need to get your butt to Hartford for the next CT Forum event with Joyce Carol Oats, Kurt Vonnegut and Jennifer Weiner.

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