Posted at 11:08 AM on January 26, 2007
by Jeff Horwich
...So went the conversation at our gathering last night at the Guthrie. Heckuva crowd, too -- I think we topped 25 for the first time, with lots of new faces, and churned up two really active discussions.
First we hit on some environmental topics. Among other things, we spent some time on the perception of "going green." So most of the public accepts that climate change is real. So what? How do you market the idea to the mass of Americans in a way that actually changes behavior? There was a rough line between those who believe we can still win the battle through convincing everyone to do their part. Then there are those more cynical among us who'd imagine the government has force the question: not just on us, but on the other folks who we know really don't care.
In Hour II of the gathering, I sent us in a totally different direction: marriage. (Our next show tapes Feb. 15, the day after Valentines Day.) All I had to do was say the word, and we were off to the races. It's fair to say we had some healthy skepticism about marriage in our group: "If you have the loving relationship, who needs the functional entanglements (money, decision-making, etc.) that come with institutionalizing it?" We worked a bit to define what "marriage" actually means -- is it primarily a legal concept, or does "marriage" in way exist even without being sanctioned with a ceremony? While these concepts matter for all couples, they figure deeply in the same-sex marriage debate -- which, as the clock ran down, is where we left things: Can't the "marriage is just a formality" argument be twisted and applied in opposition to gay marriage?
On both fronts, leave your comments and let the discussion continue here. No matter what, it looks like we've got some rich choices for topics for our next show. Thanks everyone!