While we’re trying to parse out fact from fiction, though, there’s the matter that nobody has been seriously attached to the John Stewart role, even in the world of internet rumor. As you might expect, that opens up the door for a lot of actors to talk about how much they’d like to play the part.
One such actor is This is Us and The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story star Sterling K. Brown, who took to Twitter at the behest of Emmy-winning writer/producer Jay Bushman to plead his case.
This is a thing that happened yesterday.
In my much angrier days I read a lot of Larry Kramer, and then had the chance to work with him as an editor and an activist. Of all the things he taught me about how to use my anger to make good in the world the one I remember best is quiet and small, or as quiet and small as a loud man like Larry Kramer ever gets. It’s from the speech he made at New York’s gay community center in March 1987, the speech that helped launch ACT UP, the movement that changed not only AIDS awareness but health care and the concept of patients’ rights worldwide.
“I want to talk to you about power. We are all in awe of power, of those who have it, and we always bemoan the fact that we don’t have it. Power is little pieces of paper on the floor. No one picks them up. Ten people walk by and no one picks up the piece of paper on the floor. The eleventh person walks by and is tired of looking at it, and so he bends down and picks it up. The next day he does the same thing. And soon he’s in charge of picking up the paper. And he’s got a lot of pieces of paper that he’s picked up. Now – think of those pieces of paper as standing for responsibility. This man or woman who is picking up the pieces of paper is, by being responsible, acquiring more and more power. He doesn’t necessarily want it, but he’s tired of seeing the floor littered. All power is the willingness to accept responsibility.”
This idea is at the heart as I know it of community organizing, of leadership, of being a person who wants to leave the world a little better than you found it. It’s a quiet and small gesture to make, especially for a man on the cusp of having an immense amount of power.
This is the caption from the above photo, via Getty: US Democratic presidential candidate Illinois Senator Barack Obama picks up a water bottle cap he dropped after speaking during a rally at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, October 28, 2008.
Power is the willingness to accept responsibility. Leadership is the willingness to accept that power, and the responsibility that comes with it. Leadership is picking up little pieces of paper off the floor while the world watches.
I wrote that on October 28, 2008, the day the above photo was taken.
I don’t know if Obama’s farewell speech tonight was what I needed or wanted to hear, but it was in so many ways exactly the same point he’s been making all along.
It’s our fight to take up, our power to use.
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Oh my gosh, this is so amazing, I don’t even know what to say! What an honor. Everything you wrote was so kind; I was squealing throughout the entire passage! You seriously just made my day (and kind of the rest of my life, honestly?) You have no idea how much this means to me! Thank you so much!!
My pleasure. 🙂 Keep up the great work.
I don’t give a fuck. I honestly don’t. Most six year olds blow off insults more easily and more creatively than Tall Joffrey.
It’s an international embarrassment that he’s the President-elect, a national embarrassment that at least once a week we’re talking about his tweeter tantrums to criticism, and an industry embarrassment that Facebook and Twitter didn’t block his accounts three years ago.
Yup, that’s gonna stick.
A month ago was FIVE YEARS since the first email I got from Bernie about The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.
The time, it flies.
How much did C.J. Cregg know, and when did she know it?