Welcome to the archived web site of
Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D. Psychologist (1950-2013)
California License No. PSY 10092
 
Specializing in Presence-Centered Therapy
balancing mind and heart, body and spirit

Now in memoriam - This website is no longer being updated
While Dr. Friedman is no longer with us, there are still many helpful resources on his site. Articles and resource links have been relocated to the top. His family hopes you might find them helpful. But since this site is no longer being updated, some links may no longer work.

 


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Articles by Dr. Friedman (except where noted otherwise)

Categorized by Process | Topic

From His Book | Meditations For Life | The Flow of Money, Business and Innovation | Transpersonal/Mind-Body | Approaches, Worldview and Will-isms

Skills For Life: The Core Playing Field | Free the Ego, and You Are Free | Feeling, Thought, Communication & Action

Strategies/Distinctions For Life: The Core Playing Field | Free the Ego, and You Are Free

Awakening Stories/Metaphors For Life: The Core Playing Field | Free the Ego, and You Are Free | The Way It Is

Holiday Family Gatherings | Cartoons, Jokes and Humor | Poems and Quotes | Song Lyrics, Wit and Wisdom

Jokes, Cartoons and Wisdom

The World According to Jon Steward
 

Jon Stewart is a highly intelligent comedian and long-standing host of the late-night Comedy Central program faux news program The Daily Show. Enjoy his brand of off-the-wall, highly astute humor.

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People would like to place a standard on our show that doesn't exist. We're not set up for reporting; we don't have an apparatus for that. We're discussing things that hopefully people might get something out of, but it's wildly inconsistent. Just because we hit on points that resonate, or people think are real complaints-that doesn't make us journalists.

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The show in general we feel like is a privilege. Even the idea that we can sit in the back of the country and make wisecracks. . . which is really what we do. We sit in the back and throw spitballs-but never forgetting that it is a luxury in this country that allows us to do that. That is, a country that allows for open satire, and I know that sounds basic and it sounds like it goes without saying. But that's really what this whole situation is about. It's the difference between closed and open. The difference between free and. . . burdened. And we don't take that for granted here, by any stretch of the imagination.

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The real issue is that TV news can either bring clarity or noise. And it tends to not seem to know the difference between them. . . We do a show that doesn't try to bring noise. I think that we have a more consistent point of view than most news shows, I'll say that.

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If you don't stick to your values when they're being tested, they're not values-they're hobbies. You know, one of the genius moves of The Founders was not writing The Bill of Rights on the back window of a dusty van.

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You can't define us. It's about not letting fear do that. [. . . ] We can safeguard ourselves well using smart and legal tactics.

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Insomnia is my greatest inspiration.

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I have complete faith in the continued absurdity of whatever's going on.

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Everyone just needs to get over themselves.

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Ah, the first rule of public speaking-always start with a joke.

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Love what you do. Get good at it. Competence is a rare commodity in this day and age. And let the chips fall where they may.

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I've always run by the hierarchy of "If not funny, interesting. If not interesting, hot. If not hot, bizarre. If not bizarre, break something.

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Fatherhood is great because you can ruin someone from scratch.

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If the presidency is the head of the American body politic, Congress is its gastrointestinal tract. Its vast and convoluted inner workings may be mysterious and unpleasant, but in the end they excrete a great deal of material whose successful passage is crucial to our nation's survival.

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If someone was to introduce hope and idealism into our political system, I think the tension that would create in other areas would certainly be ripe. You would think that if you bring oxygen to the organism, the organism lives. But there may be other organisms in there that thrive in darkness and in a more anaerobic environment. Watching those creatures writhe will always be interesting. I reject the idea there are just two sides. I think that with the amount of ideas and thoughts there are, it's not even going to be consistent with the same person. People can hold liberal and conservative dogma points at the same time. They're not living their lives via platforms. They're living their lives. The whole thing is an awfully tired construct.

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The best-laid plans of mice and comedians usually wind up on the cutting-room floor.

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If I was to really get at the burr in my saddle, it's not politics—and this is, I think, probably a horrible analogy—but I look at politicians as, they are doing what inherently they need to do to retain power. Their job is to consolidate power. When you go to the zoo and you see a monkey throwing poop, you go, "that's what monkeys do, what are you gonna do?" But what I wish the media would do more frequently is say "bad monkey."

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There are a hell of a lot of jobs that are scarier than live comedy. Like standing in the operating room when a guy's heart stops, and you're the one who has to fix it!

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I think of myself as a comedian who has the pleasure of writing jokes about things that I actually care about. And that's really it. You know, if I really wanted to enact social change. . . I have great respect for people who are in the front lines and the trenches of trying to enact social change. I am far lazier than that.

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I can't sing. Never been able to sing. I can't do voices very well. Every impression I do sounds the same. I can't dunk. Man, would I give anything to dunk. Just once.

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I'm 145 pounds of asthma.

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I play the guy who gives the scientific explanation in every sci-fi movie [so] you know pretty much I'll get killed almost immediately. It's like being a black guy in an outer-space movie.

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I'm not just a boy toy. I have feelings and dreams like anybody else.

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I don't have a sort of Amway-esque chart up on my refrigerator or anything.

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I was born with an adult head and a tiny body. Like a 'Peanuts' character.

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I feel your scorn and I accept it.

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No. I'm not going to be your monkey.

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I always knew I shouldn't have said that.

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As long as I don't end up hosting a skin care commercial with Cher, I'm happy. But we are at war, and we here at THE DAILY SHOW will do our best to keep you informed of any late-breaking...humor we can find. Of course, our show is obviously at a disadvantage compared to the many news sources that we're competing with. . . at a disadvantage in several respects. For one thing, we are fake. They are not. So in terms of credibility we are, well, oddly enough, actually about even. We're about even.

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I think of myself as a comedian who has the pleasure of writing jokes about things that I actually care about. And that`s really it. You know, if I really wanted to enact social change. . . I have great respect for people who are in the front lines and the trenches of trying to enact social change. I am far lazier than that.

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When we spot silliness, we say so out loud. We`re not really Democrat or Republican. We`re out to stop that political trend of repeating things again and again until people are forced to believe them.

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Liberal and conservative have lost their meaning in America. I represent the distracted center.

I think people are used to people in show business having a lot of hubris. I think I have a normal amount of self-loathing but because I`m in show business it`s considered self-deprecation. In normal life I would just be considered your average neurotic.

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More than 150 heads of state attended the UN Summit, giving New Yorkers a chance to get in touch with prejudices they didn't even know they had.

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There is no such thing as an impartial jury because there are no impartial people. There are people that argue on the web for hours about who their favorite character on "Friends" is.

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The Internet is just a world passing around notes in a classroom. That's all it is. All those media companies say, "We're going to make a killing here." You won't because it's still only as good as the content.

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You just have to keep trying to do good work, and hope that it leads to more good work. I want to look back on my career and be proud of the work, and be proud that I tried everything. Yes, I want to look back and know that I was terrible at a variety of things.

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The Oscars is really I guess the one night of the year when you can see all your favorite stars without having to donate any money to the Democratic Party. And it's exciting for the stars as well because it's the first time many of you have ever voted for a winner.

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I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land.

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Don't cross Lorenzo Lamas. Ever.

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I always get that cautionary warning right before I get off the phone with an interviewer. It's: `Good luck with the show. I really like it, and if this goes wrong, you'll be hearing from my attorneys.' "

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I've been to Canada, and I've always gotten the impression that I could take the country over in about two days.


George Demont Otis      Springtime on the Dunes

Thou shall not kill. Thou shall not commit adultery. Don't eat pork. I'm sorry, what was that last one?? Don't eat pork. God has spoken. Is that the word of God or is that pigs trying to outsmart everybody?

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I'm Switzerland: I just want to hold their money and make them chocolate.

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The value of holding a grudge. And to always refer to my father sarcastically as Mr. Wonderful.". . . on what his mother taught him.

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If you don't get it right with your first family, you can always do it again with another. He's a very scientific man, and we were the control group.". . . on what his father taught him.

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Let me get this straight. You chuck a frisbee at my head, I fetch it for you, and in order to have the right, the honor, to give it back to you, I have to sign it? Okay, sounds reasonable enough.". . . to a girl who threw a frisbee on stage.

*

Let's talk about the real world for a moment. We had been discussing it earlier, and I. . . I wanted to bring this up to you earlier about the real world, and this is I guess as good a time as any. I don't really know to put this, so I'll be blunt. We broke it. Please don't be mad. I know we were supposed to bequeath to the next generation a world better than the one we were handed. So, sorry. I don't know if you've been following the news lately, but it just kinda got away from us. Somewhere between the gold rush of easy Internet profits and an arrogant sense of endless empire, we heard kind of a pinging noise, and uh, then the damn thing just died on us. So I apologize.

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And the other thing. . . that I will say is, when I spoke earlier about the world being broke, I was somewhat being facetious, because every generation has their challenge. And things change rapidly, and life gets better in an instant.

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As we approach the millennium with sort of the idea that society is going to start spiraling into chaos, I'd love to be making jokes about that. Who wants to miss out on that? If the world is going to end, I want to be there the night before, goofing off.

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The best-laid plans of mice and comedians usually wind up on the cutting-room floor.

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Hopefully the only things off-limits are [crummy] jokes, but being a standup comedian, I know that's not always the case. . . You know it when you have to take a shower afterward.

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I like not to be good at anything, so I keep hopping around.

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If you are in a movie you are an actor but you are not an actor. I could be in 20 movies and I would not be Rip Torn. Whatever I'm in I want to be competent.

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I mean, I'm not hoping for the apes and the monolith. I'm hoping for controlled chaos to assist us.

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Remember that guy who got gored by a bull and the bull pulled his underwear off and he had to run around the ring naked? If that footage comes out, I'll run that.

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Whatever barriers we put up are gone. Even if it's just momentary. We are judging people by not the color of their skin, but the content of their character. You know, all this talk about "These guys are criminal masterminds. They've gotten together and their extraordinary guile and their wit and their skill. . . " It's, it's-it's a lie. Any fool can blow something up. Any fool can destroy. But to see these guys, these firefighters and these policemen and people from all over the country, literally with buckets, rebuilding. . . that's extraordinary. And that's why we have already won. . . they can't. . . it's light. It's democracy. They can't shut that down.

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A half-hour show almost doesn't do it justice. There is so much material out there. The 24-hour news networks are talking about news analysis when they have no vested interest in news. They have vested interest in fanning the flames of conflict because that's what gets them ratings. That's what keeps them on the air.

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"Well, I don't know about a softer side. I do have a feminine side. As you've been talking to me, I've been making an afghan with the producers.

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But the main thing I don't want to be is un-funny. That's really the mandate. Just whatever we're doing, make it as funny as we can possibly make it. And believe me, if the show starts going down, we'll introduce a baby. We'll do everything that they did on `Family Ties.' I'm not afraid of that.

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'Simplicity is the essence of vogue,' and I would have to agree. I know how to wear a suit, I just don't own 20 of them. . . and I never wear anything double-breasted—takes too long to button..

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I'm a little bit too obsessed with the news. I find the news easier to follow than narrative entertainment programs.

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Most likely, I'm going to plunge my head into an ice bucket. [on celebrating after his first show]

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How can Washington criticize Hollywood when they use Hollywood principles to design campaigns? There are no leaders anymore, only studio executives. Our country's chief executive runs focus groups every four years and tries to make sure his movie opens bigger than the other guy's. [on hypocrisy in Washington]

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You read Hollywood's 30 most powerful people under age 30, or People's 50 Most Beautiful People. What drivel! The extreme would be: 'Five People to Watch Under 5.' [on the media's obsession with lists].

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I used to bartend at a rock club in Trenton, New Jersey, at the height of the new-wave scene. One night, Martha Quinn came to watch Stiv Bators and the Lords of the New Church. He vomited onstage, and later I saw them making out in a dressing room. I just thought, 'Martha Quinn, MTV pixie, girl of my dreams, is eating vomit out of the mouth of Stiv Bators.' This, my friend, is disillusionment. [on when he lost his innocence]

"Washington is considered 'inside the Beltway.' You know what the place outside the Beltway is called? The United States!". . . on politicians

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I`ve always liked Atlanta. And not just for the strip clubs, but the shopping and the food.

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I feel like I should give the lottery answer: 'I'm still gonna be a regular guy in the neighborhood.' [on his $1.5 million dollar salary]

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Every fifth show I get a free sundae. So there are perks.

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At William and Mary, I earned a degree in making bricks out of straw and water in Colonial Williamsburg. Not many people know it, but cheap student labor was used in the Williamsburg restoration.

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And immediately proved how unemployable a person can be who comes out of William and Mary with a degree in psychology. [The record shows he graduated in 1984 with a degree in psychology]

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Do you know what writing a book is? It's sitting alone in a room for weeks without making contact with another human. I felt like Howard Hughes.

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I know change can be painful. But from change comes growth.

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And, even with his chain smoking, he seemed carefree. "Oh, I have psychoses," he argued, "but they're about other things. Like, I want to buy a biosuit so the Super Bug can't get me. It's that sort of thing that keeps me awake.

*

You keep talking about it would be redefining a word. And it feels like semantics is cold comfort when it comes to humanity.

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I'm looking forward to doing the show, to that feeling of daily reinforcement. You get up and you know that whatever stupid idea you have that morning you're going to get to put out that night.

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The goals for me have changed somewhat. There's a bit of seduction to the idea of being on network, but it got to the point where that wasn't important. What's important is doing something worthwhile. Which is why I've always avoided being on a sitcom. Yeah, it's high profile and it's on a network, but you know what? You could be on Suddenly Stewart.

*

[on the thing he'll never do again] High school. (laughs) You know, people say, 'I'll never do so-and-so again'-then they do it. So what? Sometimes somebody has crack, and you're looking to stay awake. If I could be really competent, that goes such a long way toward things, because the majority of things are not [competent]. If I can be competent, and have moments of originality, that's all I would ask for.

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What we've been telling [young people] for the last ten years, I think, is: "Buy Coke." [. . . ] But I do think that the message of this country has been over the past ten years, it's been-not just Play, but Buy. And Consume. And it has been Consume, and I think in the corporate oligarchy that we've established that is-that was what we were dealing with. We were dealing with trying to raise a generation of people who would like to buy our products. [. . . ] Can I tell you something though? Spending time at colleges and spending time with these people-I never thought that this was an apathetic generation, and I never thought that this was a group of people that would not answer a call to arms. And I personally feel extremely hopeful about that because of the experiences I've had with them. They're a smart group and there's a hell of a lot of 'em.

*

I think you are looking at sexuality and not attributes, and I think it's odd because the conservative mantra is a meritocracy. And I think what you're suggesting is the fact that being gay parents makes you not as good as others. And I would suggest that a loving, gay family with a financially secure background beats the hell out of Britney Spears and Kevin Federline any day of the week.


George Demont Otis      Tomales

 


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