Laughing, Learning, and Loving: Behind the Scenes of The Daily Show
with Warren Farrell and Corey W. deVos

In today’s cultural climate, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to talk about complex things in the mainstream media without being reduced to a caricature or a talking point.  This is one of the things that makes The Daily Show so extraordinary—it walks the line between laughter and learning in a really fascinating way, often using irony, snark, and cynicism as a “trojan horse” for authenticity.

Warren Farrell was recently featured on a controversial segment of The Daily Show, in which he, the very notion of male inequality, and “men’s work” as a whole were hilariously lampooned by Daily Show correspondent Samantha Bee (watch the full five-minute clip on the right).  This clip has caused a bit of a stir in many online communities, drawing fire from almost every conceivable angle, from “why does The Daily Show hate men?” all the way to “when will men just stop whining and learn how to man up?”

Instant Insight

  • Warren knew from the beginning that The Daily Show was going to lampoon his work and “men’s issues” in general, but did it anyway with good humor and humility.
  • What makes us learn is very often the opposite of what makes us laugh. The Daily Show frequently tries to do both.
  • A total of four hours of interview footage was shot with Warren, only about 60 seconds of which made it into the final clip.
  • When we say “men don’t have as many options as women in today’s world” we are not just talking about economic or political realities, but the interior dimensions of family, emotional availability, and the pursuit of genuine happiness.
  • Samantha Bee was not just satirizing men in this clip, but also women, by playing the role of an “unevolved” or “unliberated” woman looking for a stereotypically macho, beer-swilling guy.
  • In today’s American pop culture climate, white men are the last group we are allowed to make fun of.
  • Tracking men’s progress in the private sphere is somewhat different than tracking women’s progress in the public sphere, because it is much more difficult to quantify interiors and “quality of life” indicators.

Warren was kind enough to share with us his own reaction to the sendup, the first public response he has offered since the clip aired nearly three weeks ago.

What follows is an intriguing and highly entertaining discussion about what it was like to be interviewed by The Daily Show, the many levels of humor at play in the clip, and a clarification of many of the points that ended up being turned into punchlines. Furthermore, Warren reminds us how important it is to live our lives adventurously and to be able to laugh at ourselves at all times—even when we see ourselves being skewered on national television.

At its best moments, The Daily Show fully lives up to, and even adds to, the rich legacy of satire that Jon Stewart’s desk rests upon.  We look to comedians to see what others might not see, to say what others cannot say, to hold a funhouse mirror up to reality—reflecting the truth by distorting the facts, releasing us from the absurdity of existence into the tonic bliss of laughter.  Which is really the only sane response to being human, isn’t it?

Considering the controversy and even outrage this clip provoked throughout many online “men’s group” communities, this might be the most important lesson of them all: hold everything lightly; especially the stuff you take most seriously.

So sit back, watch this clip, and just let yourself laugh for a few minutes. When you are finished, take a listen to Warren’s response below for a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes, behind the controversy, and beyond the laughter.

Click here to see the Daily Show clip.

Listen to Dr. Warren Farrell’s Response

Right click to download
Duration: 44 minutes


A Slice of Silence
by Nathan Wirth

Avante garde—synonymous with “vanguard”—represents people at the cutting edge of any emergent cultural thought or expression. These individuals tend to function several steps ahead of the rest of the world, scouting the newly emerging territories of tomorrow and forging pathways toward the artistic, cultural, and intellectual possibilities that dwell there.

Integral Life is pleased to present a monthly showcase of truly avant garde artists—the most current embodiment of the Kosmic impulse to constantly go beyond what went before, adding brilliance and revelation to the dying forms of the previous moment.

Obama’s First Year: The Good, the Bad, and the Partial
with Ken Wilber, Diane Musho Hamilton, Robb Smith, Aaliyah Haqq, and Bert Parlee

After last week’s State of the Union Address, you may have been reflecting upon the past year of Obama’s presidency and asking yourself a few questions:

  • How did he do?
  • Am I feeling inspired?
  • Am I benefiting in any real way from Obama’s policies and his leadership?
  • Could Obama really be our first truly integral president, transcending and including the best of Democratic and Republican values?

We’ve been asking ourselves the same questions, and thought we would take a moment to offer our own integral assessment of President Obama’s first national State of the Union Address. So we posed these questions (and a handful of others) to Ken and a few other smart and savvy minds, who were kind enough to share five uniquely enlightening perspectives on Obama’s first year—the good, the bad, and the partial….

Incubate, Don’t Procrastinate!
with Jeff Salzman and David Riordan

Have you ever felt like you were long on vision, but short on actually making it happen? If so, Jeff Salzman’s Integral Incubator is something you will want to dive into deeply. The first Incubator event hatched in November, attracting participants from seven different countries who all crowned it a wild success.

In this latest interview, Jeff explores the work/career themes that he noticed resonating in the first Integral Incubator pioneers, and how they will help shape the next Incubator event coming up in March 2010. Do any of these sound familiar to you?

  • How do you know that your great gift actually meets the world’s great need?
  • When do the many perspectives the world offers become distracting?
  • Can a task perseverance practice give you a shot at entering the creative flow?
  • What if the project that brings meaning to your life is… you?

So, what are you waiting for? Are you doing what you love? Does your calling support you financially? Is your success; however you define it, all that you want it to be? If your answer currently is no or you don’t know, it’s time you begin incubating your genius instead of procrastinating about enacting your unique calling in the world.

A Prayer For Haiti

January 20, 2010

A Prayer For Haiti

with Marc Gafni

There is nothing too big for Big Heart. But when something as overwhelmingly painful as last week’s earthquake in Haiti washes through us, it can be easy to feel like our own access to Big Heart isn’t quite big enough. How can we contain all these tears, all this suffering, and all this destruction? How can we make sense of this magnitude of devastation?

Hearing a phrase like “200,000 estimated casualties” has a way of sliding right through us: too big to understand, too big to digest, too big to let in. It’s hard enough to allow ourselves to feel a single death, let alone wrap our minds around hundreds of thousands of them.

But in a certain sense, you don’t need to wrap your mind around it. You don’t need to understand it (though it’s always a really good idea to try). All you need to do is let yourself feel, let yourself love, and let yourself act—all in full deference to the God who lives in you, as you.

Take fifteen minutes out of your day and listen as Marc Gafni offers a special prayer for Haiti. Invoking both God’s Tears and God’s Laughter, Marc’s prayer helps us to digest the overwhelming emotions, to cut through the paralysis of helplessness, and to rededicate ourselves to serving the perpetual emergence of our perfectly flawed world.

The Extraordinary Commonplace

by Bo Bartlett

As you may already know, art, creativity, and aesthetics have always been an essential part of an integrally-lived life. In fact, the very existence of a genuinely transformative Integral Art scene is one of the greatest indicators that we are indeed part of a bonafide cultural movement, as we have often looked to our greatest artists to scout out the unfamiliar territory ahead of us—blazing new paths through the wilderness of consciousness, while bringing the sounds and visions of a newly discovered world back for the rest of us.

This month we are proud to feature the art of Bo Bartlett, in a stunning collection of paintings that depict a seamless integration of realism and surrealism, which Michael Schwartz describes as “visible familiarity and everydayness; integrated with strange and mysterious elusiveness: elements of an uncanny and wondrous art…” As you take in the visual splendor of Bo’s art, be sure to check out Michael’s accompanying commentary The Mysterious Abundance of the Everyday.

One of the extraordinary things about these Integral Life Art Galleries is that you can choose your own level of engagement, and can go as deeply into them as you want to go. Ken Wilber often talks about the three modes of knowing symbolized by the “eye of flesh,” the “eye of mind,” and the “eye of spirit”:

  • You can have a simple sensory experience of the shapes, colors, and composition of the actual artwork, just noticing the beauty and feeling how it lands in your body.
  • You can also use the intellectual treatments provided by Michael Schwartz to deepen your overall aesthetic experience, learning some of the most important perspectives you can bring to any work of art.
  • And you can use the magnificent beauty these artists offer as a spiritual practice, a doorway to your own timeless self, immersed in effortless appreciation of everything in this universe—as sometimes it takes something exceptionally beautiful for us to see that everything is beautiful, exactly as it is.

All three of these experiences are available to you, and we invite you to take in as much as you possibly can!

3 Easy Steps to Transform Your New Year’s Resolution

The way you set your intentions at this time is critical. In the past, even your best and strongest of intentions have faltered in the face life’s obstacles. This quick 3-step technique will transform your resolution into a powerful tool for growth and clarity in the new year. Your friends will soon ask you how that resolution is going, expecting the same old answer. Instead, you will say, “It’s changing my life!”