Bluff The Listener
Bluff The Listener
Our panelists tell three stories about helping people we don't feel sorry for, only one of which is true.
BILL KURTIS, BYLINE: From NPR WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT ...DON'T TELL ME the NPR News quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. We are playing this week with Faith Salie, Maz Jobrani and Adam Felber. And here again is your host. Where? At the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago. I'm talking about Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you, Bill. Right now, it is time for the WAIT WAIT ...DON'T TELL ME Bluff the Listener game. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to play our game on air. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT ...DON'T TELL ME.
DOUG MOTZ: Hi, Peter, how are you?
SAGAL: I'm fine, who is this?
MOTZ: This is Doug Motz from Columbus, Ohio.
SAGAL: Hey, how are things in Columbus?
MOTZ: Columbus is amazing. Getting ready for HighBall and the grand opening of our brand new wing in the Columbus Museum of Art.
ADAM FELBER: Wow.
SAGAL: Well, that sounds exciting. Did you say you're getting ready for a HighBall?
MOTZ: We are getting ready for a HighBall. It's an amazing Halloween costume party. We close down High Street. It's amazing.
SAGAL: Wow, and how long have you worked for the city of Columbus tourism?
MOTZ: No, I work for a medical center here.
SAGAL: OK, I thought when you said HighBall, I thought you were just getting excited about your cocktail.
MOTZ: It was just the cheese talking.
SAGAL: I understand. Wow, now that we've discovered this, it's so widespread. Cheese, the silent menace.
SAGAL: Doug, it's nice to have you with us. You're going to play the game in which you have to tell truth from fiction. Bill, what is Doug's topic?
KURTIS: I'm here to help, but I'd rather not be.
SAGAL: We love to help those everybody feels sorry for - children stuck in wells, orphaned puppies, Governor Lincoln Chafee. But what about the people we generally don't feel that sorry for? This week, somebody reached out to help them in an unusual way. Our panelists are going to tell you about it. Pick the one telling the truth and you win our prize for one of our listeners - Carl Kasell's voice on their voice mail. Are you ready to play?
MOTZ: I'm ready.
SAGAL: All right, first let's hear from Adam Felber.
FELBER: We're not eligible for affirmative action. Nobody marginalizes us. Our genitals match our gender identity. Nobody harasses or discriminates against us, and nobody is trying to control our bodies. We're straight white guys and damn it, we want to feel special, too. Well, now there's White Whine. Yes, that's whine spelled with an H. White Whine is a San Francisco-based support group for those of us enduring a lifetime of racial, sexual and cultural dominance. White Whine's founder is Filipino-American Michael Ordonia (ph) who says that he noticed that some of his friends seemed a little left out of our new culture of identity and empowerment. Quote, "These guys never get to feel special. If they feel anything about their identity, it's a vague sense of guilt. White Whine gives them a safe forum to explore those feelings without being called over-privileged bastards," which, quite frankly, many of them are.
SAGAL: White Whine, a support group for white guys who feel bad about having it all. Your next story of helping people we thought didn't need any help comes from Faith Salie.
FAITH SALIE: Was it traumatizing in 2008 to lose 30 percent of your portfolio and be left with only half a billion dollars? Is it stressful choosing a font when putting your name on a building you're endowing? Do you get lonely in your panic room? You need wealth therapy. Luckily, a growing number of therapists are willing to take your problems seriously and then take your money. Clay Cockrell of Walk and Talk Therapy in Manhattan is one. According to him, as the income gap has widened, poor rich people feel more and more isolated. Cockrell says that 1 percenters (ph) hang out with other 1 percenters, not because they're snobs, but because they need friends with whom to bemoan the death tax or discus optimal nanny-child ratios. Israeli-based wealth psychologist Jamie Traeger-Muney agrees. She says the uber-affluent face extreme discrimination, especially inheritors, who certainly didn't do anything to earn thing being called spoiled brats. She adds, I'm not necessarily comparing what rich people go through to what people of color have to go through, but...
SAGAL: Wealth therapy, psychology for the problems of being very wealthy. And your last some - your last story of someone caring for the uncared for comes from Maz Jobrani.
MAZ JOBRANI: Babies are bundles of joy unless they're at 30,000 feet, sitting behind you on a plane and crying their little lungs out. In that case, they're tiny, flaming bundles of evil. That's what led Paul Jovezi (ph), a retired factory worker from Albany, N.Y., to spend his free time flying around the world and getting babies to just shut up. Jovezi, who is also known as the baby whisperer, has come up with a technique that he swears works most of the time. When a baby starts crying, I walk up to him and start crying right back in his face.
JOBRANI: Usually the babies get shocked. So do the parents. Eight times out of 10 it works. The other two times, it ends in a fight. Jovezi, who's 68 years old, came up the idea when he and his wife took a trip to Italy to celebrate their 40 year anniversary. The whole way, there's this cute little guy just wailing away. So I think, hey, you want to scream at me? I'm going to scream at you. And it worked. Jovezi, who does not have a degree in child psychology, plans to expand his operation and train other retirees to fly around the world, comforting babies on planes. He argues that if he and other senior citizens don't do it, then no one will. I'm just giving a service to the people who want to fly in peace. Maybe the airlines could start charging extra to have me on the plane, like with the luggage. One bag is $25, one bag and a screaming old man, $50.
SAGAL: All right. Here are your three stories. From Adam Felber, White Whine, a movement to help white people with their privilege; from Faith, wealth therapy, therapists specifically trained to help wealthy people with the burdens of wealth; and from Maz Jobrani, a guy who's devoted to his life to looking after babies who are crying on planes by crying back at them. Which of these is the real story?
MOTZ: Gosh, I feel kind of bad for those top 1 percenters. I think it's going to have to be the wealth therapy.
SAGAL: You think wealth therapy. All right.
SAGAL: Well, we actually spoke to one of the therapists providing this service.
CLAY COCKRELL: It's not necessarily a wealth therapy. It's just doing therapy with people who are wealthy.
SAGAL: That was Clay Cockrell, licensed clinical social worker and founder of Walk and Talk Therapy, talking about, indeed, the practice of therapy for wealth problems. Congratulations, Doug, you got it right. Well done.
MOTZ: Thank you.
SALIE: Doug, you are rich in wisdom.
SAGAL: You are. You earned a point for Faith. You've won our prize. Carl Kasell will record the greeting on your home answering machine.
MOTZ: Fantastic stuff, thank you.
SAGAL: Thank you, and we'll see you in Columbus.
MOTZ: I love it.
SAGAL: You've made it sound so great.
MOTZ: It is fantastic. You should get here.
SAGAL: Take care.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "POOR LITTLE RICH GIRL")
SOUL BROTHERS: (Singing) You can't buy love or happiness. Poor little rich girl, your life is the best.
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