Pat Piper has made a career learning something new. As a journalist in the news business, “something new” occurs every hour so he’s becoming an expert at understanding stuff he never thought about. Learning became a common word in “Future Talk: Conversations About Tomorrow” (Warner Books), the popular book he ghostwrote with Larry King as […]

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    Pat Piper

    Coronavirus Taught Me

    By on April 3, 2021 in See It Here

    Almost every conversation over the past year has included a variation of “these are weird times,” some with a few adjectives attached. And there’s been a lot of whining about how our “routines” are different and “when can we see normal” which, to be honest, has become a routine in itself.

    Yes, smart people will write about the lessons learned from Covid-19 in history, psychology, political science, health books and probably comic strips in the next few years. The beuaty of this is, we will debate whether a lesson is really a “lesson,”

    My contribution:

    *We need to be patient. We’ve done a lousy job. Dr. Fauci has asked for masks to be kept while many members of Congress are saying we shouldn’t have to be told by government how to live. And in this world of wireless-lotsa gigabyte ability, waiting is unacceptable and the topic of tweets.

    *Learn to see something different when you have the same view. It’s done all the time.

    *Learn to listen when words are said that contradict what you feel. Life has always been that way. Don’t let social media define who you are. Grow up and find a solution to what is faced.

    *Learn that Tucker Carlson is a terrific comedy show.

    Dr. Seuss

    By on March 12, 2021 in See It Here

    There’s a lot of twittering going on about Dr. Seuss being racist and that means outrage and canceling some of his books.

    There’s validity to the charges when one looks at “If I Ran the Zoo” with a white guy being carried by Asian men captioned by a plan to hunt in the mountains “with helpers who wear their eyes in a slant.”

    Dr. Seuss publishers have decided not to publish that book and five others out of concern it depicts some as inferior. The result of two sides: one is glad the horrible words are gone and the other is furious we are seeing another moment of “cancel culture.” We live in a click-and-it’s-done world. Erasing the problem works.

    I suggest it’s an opportunity and it requires parents looking at two things that require taking some time with a child.

    *Read the book with the child.

    *Talk about the lessons in the book—and that means what is good and what is bad. Some folks I know say “It’s time to find the three things about this.”

    I think of words from a chef with whom I worked after burning a number of entrees that were supposed to be ready for a table of three in the dining room: “Take your time and you get there quicker.”

    Spend the hour and the child can see what works and what doesn’t. That will be carried to friends and discussed. And that will improve how we handle ideas and people that are different from what we see in the mirror.

    Larry King and TV and Radio

    By on February 10, 2021 in See It Here

    There was an interview that stays with me having worked in both radio and TV. Hal Roach came into our Los Angeles studio to talk about his work making Laurel and Hardy available to both the TV audience as well as the radio audience.

    Larry asked, do you think one was more effective in telling the story than the other?

    Roach was in his 80’s at this point and sat up in the chair and started in.

    I walk into the TV meeting and say here’s how we start the scene–“It was a dark and stormy night…”

    7 hands are in the air. “Is there lightning? Do we see a house? Is there a car in the driveway? Are there lights in the house? Is it raining? How about thunder?

    After an hour, Roach walks out of the room, crosses the hall to another room where 2 radio guys have been waiting.

    He says “It was a dark and stormy night…”

    Both nod their heads and say “OK, got it.”