hüsker dü plays for joan rivers

Let that happen in the country. These men. Latest album, it’s called.
We have songs and stories. She has seen you. Didn’t even want. Days.

I’m sure you’ve heard this. See it.
Nor says—
                   what does—
                                        they do mean—
Okay, this career as a result:
that means, do you remember?
And I did. You take it. Is—
it’s not your average language.
To get just under diplomatic, the U.S. is,
it’s a children’s working, also.
Sparkling sixties and seventies, and
though the most lives—
Danish any minute!

Well, you know it works.
That makes sense that they may have had
you. Used to be
Senator McCain, you know, that really
much more underground to? Can see much more. Radical
Jan, eighteen years old. System, will it,
the band is, uh,
                           you’ve also,
                                              course of a year’s—
Taking naps on this issue. Coming up: the sound of Warner Brothers is a very
(the label now).

Sometimes, an excuse for people not to do anything is to knock people. Who I am,
did you find something different and in music? Think he went from being radical to moving.
Have you changed? I think you know, sir.
In order to do it and craft room to maneuver
a, you know, anything,
as you get older,
you know your emotional spiritually. Console. More involved, a little wider, and
it’s not just screaming about “Hamas took the government,” is— no merger your parents, and it’s,
it’s easy, to that mandate.
The now.

Each will engage in a gallon up,
whose economy money is a while.
No, I don’t mean a minor. Scuffles in a box,
I guess, how are—? just calling on a timeline? are over? There,
and you’re,
                          Greg Norman.

Halfway between the calming influence in the world; influence are at. And these,
Andrea, and yeah,
that allowed, right.
That’s what the children, the harsh,
but I think the “you”. It’s just wonderful. We come back again,
a lot of us, and we’ll be right back.
in a few minutes. With the anybody around, that time when I,
I acted Ian McKellen, of Gang out of Gas.

I want to thank God that – not – bank – you – on that.

(Source. Text is from the “Transcribe Audio” feature; I added capitalization and punctuation because we can’t expect Google to do everything for us.)

conan plays for the kids, part 5 (for raymond roussel)

Hi kids,
presumably all been waiting. For my next guest
is the financial editor. An anchor
for CNN Financial News.
And that commentator for Money Line! With that, with me! Lou Dobbs, right.
Well, I have my rent, and our
okay. Now Myron, uh, thanks very much for coming,
now a lot of kids want to know: just
how CNN got started?
They want to know, up,
what’s it like, working on it, twenty-four hour
foreign news
And after—
Basically, also, how do you manage a financial news network? Mean? How do you do that kind
of show? Let’s talk about that.
Very easily.

That’s not a very early Kantor, thank now. To get the monster is not good, Job,
Well, I think. Right now.
Get out. Get your question.
That was what people want to know.
first of all, let’s talk about this. The bull market has been going on now for fifteen years,
a lot of people want to know: is this going to just continue?
Well, the bull market started in August 1982,
and with a couple of interruptions, it’s, it’s continued to this day,
and it look like it’s got some more steam behind it,
so we can see it,
Keith. Out!
I’m not a bull market! Go on for that long,
whatever, rise as long as kids. Know there has to be a fall. Well, there. A pull. Backs which
we’ve had.
And you know the opposite of a bull market?
That’s right.
Their market. A bear market. Is know that. That’s right,
they did what they were, about the same with the, but if I wasn’t alive—
So my question is this: by do you think at some point we’re headed for a big crash, you
think we’re, were fined for the long haul?
I think we’re not going to see a crash anytime soon.
The economy is doing very well. You know very well that in nation is low.
The econmy has moderated.
Uh, uh, interest rates are going down.
That’s a very good. Unemployment is very low.
It’s really a good scene in the U.S. economy these days!
And that’s why Wall Street is benefiting. Fact: what I,
you, actually,
(the kids don’t know this, but, but my ring here predicted the bull market),
now, a lot of people must be
looking to you for tips, to give stock tips, ever, never, give stock! That,
but I did write, about
fifteen years ago, I wrote a book that said
how to cash in on the coming stock market
and that book started a few months later. After the baby, a book came out.
So it’s a good book. Everyone: you should read that book. And that’s a little of buying now
and the fact is
you can ask me whether I took my own advice?
Digital. I mean, did you, did you?
Are you a rich man?
I’m still working for a living.
I’ll tell you what I think.
you’ve been very helpful so far,
but I think what you need to do is something that might get the kids interested.
So maybe you could – do a little crazy? That’s when you get like a team. I don’t think the
through all the time,
we’ve not had any better.
I feel my rent, and out just in a row, that day.
It’s a trend that was incredible. Thank you very much.
You know myself, actually.
If you put this on, the chart to see Myron Kandel become, in Alabama,
what’s that on the capital of that?
You see,
as well,
thank you very much.
The upcoming, yeah.
On Wall Street, we have bulls, we had. There is,
we never had, an elephant until today.
I and I want to mention CNN and CNN’s Financial News, that you? Doing on shows
but also
as the kids know, you do Money Line with Lou Dobbs weeknights, that seven
then. There was a real pleasure having you on the program,
my pleasure. To be here
and I hope my grandchildren, I have three grandchildren,
I hope they stay up late enough. The election? Well, Michelle. All it for them,
let’s put it that way.
Let’s go up and down. I think that Larry Magid, both in his stance on the way up to the musical

I guess they want to thank an amazing. Audits, we had our day,
but he won, by all the kids that. Come down now; have talked to a friend of mine.

(Source. Text is from the “Transcribe Audio” feature; I added capitalization and punctuation because we can’t expect Google to do everything for us.)

conan plays for the kids, part 4 (for raymond roussel)

All right, everybody, we’re back. My next guest is a reptile expert from a reptile. And
you need a spooky. A place called Alan Ladd. Pennsylvania, that’s right of what? Killing.
Of, on, please! Welcome, client! The L.A. and
how! Might back
fraud? And naive will not be stolen.
This year, up the sock.
Neither. And that means we’re going to get three classes of animals: the police let the
camera first. Is the Citadel? Biggest frauds. I think you know what I thought. Well, you know
the front line of the time.
This is a giant.
Total a giant. Marine Road from South America, 
this is an African bullfrog.
Uh, both of these be quite large. I’ve seen them both of them. Almost platter sides! Look out!
That this is a case. Not running for the right.
now that,
Now I should tell you that old
(and through the incident, poisoned) skin,
well, my, not know, if there is a crisis? Well, I think
he’s getting really – that! What he’s doing of you, just for a return to you . . . of them, to put
all that struggle, this animal especially has a large answer (which is due to poison) if a
dog. Regret this.
It would be very distasteful.
Potts explains: in an abandoned ship was invited, it, the (exudes a poison from these glands), and
that would
probably future . . . Don’t listen. Probably wouldn’t do it the second time, that’s right. Although
some. What’s bothering it? It does take place. And try to come out of it. Get all over the
place. A break!
But he’s a very good – as what they got for us, to a man, they get rid of these, I should
point out that. And Indians worldwide are disappearing.
And then comment on this.
What is essentially a response to an entirely different classes is that man will,
and it comes from Mexico, and
South American, Central America, at this public. A lot of money.
I call on Monday.
Okay, and we may have already had to be addressed:
this is where the— Hard for me. Talk to the zoo, and Vermont, Maryland,
and she’s raised this animal to buy. Where – all right, you know
I quit that.
Arianna that!
A lot of things – no, very inquisitive animals – a constantly pretty – the nose, forty-five degrees,
you know, because I don’t see looking for something to be—
But there is no peace.
You oftentimes see these
going across the bow, out for something, will help make, own, in that Iran and the will, uh,
will get in line here, day in, of— Blood in that area! And will say again: I can’t even get
this inquisitive animal to go across our children.
Well, you know, she’s going. What they hear in court on Monday, time
and being, I mean, she’s not, have any other side on the list?
And though he would not stand up,
ha ha ha,
I, that, outside, its private label, for the State to, were expected it, to have right on top of,
that, as it ought to be “off,”
uh, uh, car!
The key: to make it seem to you that – are at the federal level – that they don’t see some
Ron them all! High-tech catch the stand!
I’ve got: class; taxes; cash.
The taxes, that I guess that the senate – yet, he’s a little bit nervous! So those is not
I think that, I think it’s a rich, I sometimes, right.
I guess they don’t know.
Wait. I have a question. And quite a while, when right now,
stage fright.
Because of the animal that was made, 
well, see, I don’t get a little bit on that level, to a list of the one, last one to go
around back in a minute and give me a hand here?
Will it take this trial? At this? Is the baby high? Time from Southeast Asia! I,
everybody loves babies!
That’s, let’s get this out of the way right now, to put it all together on—
This is the year of the respondents in a,
when the Giants. Liane, I think that we don’t have many friends in the baby.
Well, it is the UN. By the resulting, you know, when taxes is about to ? Nineteen, twenty inches
He grows up very quickly. The first three or four years as snake could conceivably be only
four years old. I think it’s actually a little— I have a question. What, that, it, but, Pat –
what’s that like this, for a fact, that they have?
Reviews for the country’s leaders? That I’d like to say.
I’d like to say: that snake like the board. A monster at some point. I think so.
That’s not going to happen.
I have kids out. Take a look, right?
But it’s not . . .
up . . .
well, you know, I, I . . . Take a little break!
And I,
as we go, live to commercial, I. I find out what kids need. To go to bat for. Raise
your hand.
I mean the snake will take you.
We’ll be right back, folks. I think that’s happened.

Late Night with Conan O’Brien is obvious.
It’s not a game.
Don’t listen to what is just going to be. And that is: we have funds that, it would be good
timing. What’s your best? Jury is still out. On Tuesday,
all right. Away, and leave those. Rosie Grier is Michael Rappaport, the music of well . . . Co-chair
of the problem, for that matter of high drama, of Frankenstein, least the I’m not—
Don’t know.
I mean, that’s what they said about this? Does it?

Hi. We’re back, everybody.
Now why?
We have a surprise for you, right now.
You kids like surprises. Down! Check
well, that’s right, Fred.
Right now,
we’ve got a parade of sick
exotic birds. I was sick and died. We’re for a— Idea.
for all of us, and say, hey five! For have had to face that. We’ll
take a break.
That fact, that the fate of fact, that,
so when—

(Source. Text is from the “Transcribe Audio” feature; I added capitalization and punctuation because we can’t expect Google to do everything for us.)

conan plays for the kids, part 3 (for raymond roussel)

Anything that you would send, all right,
that’s an earlier time.
Yeah, I know.
Came right.
Well, that’s, that’s,
We have to be quiet. First woman, President,
all right now, settle down.
That is, again, going to play. Using you kids in the audience,
That’s night and day. By not having is this –
we can use
our advanced computer technology
to look into the future and see with these. Kids are going to look. Like
when they get all—
Prentiss, any kids? What it’ll look like when you’re all, for example, let’s
look at this kid right here.
The that, it doesn’t have that. I’ve read a lot.
That’s not right now.
What the Nazis had, a lot like,
her eyes are going to go – look at that, of – are already there,
what I say now. Look like.
All right, and what’s it look like.
I like the cat, that was going to look like. I’m curious, day but you –
she wanted to hear that.
They all feel, is right, that capital of Lhasa, water
and that will be right back. After this break, that followed, thank you very much.

And he’d been,
And now, and demand room, and
this is totally easy.

It’s not, so far, we’ve been having a good time here tonight,
but I do have to stress once again, as nice as everyone’s been here,
if someone starts to miss the day,
I don’t want to do it.
But we’re going to have to take them.
Tonight he lands.
That’s right.
Kids, I know it seems,
it seems out, a deal but not. A lady has not been nice. Place
take another look at ninety, when
All right. Did—
Now we’re going to go shopping. Have done,
many still are,
you can only spend five hundred dollars.
I, right,
this is – what? my— As you know, what
the, that’s silly.

Every time I see that, I get children.
All right.
Ladies and gentleman, Nat.
A couple of kids showed up early today. Most kids showed up from their summer camp.
They came back from summer camp to the show today, but up onto the kids, showed up early,
so I decided to give them a tour
of NBC, and that was a lot of fun.
The kids are real sweet. We had a good time.
Take a look at what happened.

No, we’re going to do it today.
I think you guys, it, to work!
Of NBC, that the National Broadcasting Corp., radio,
I had a nice – if any kids act unruly or misbehave, we’re going to have to get it, or
Pères meeting with Richard Lewis
isn’t really fun. He’s a really new run. A comic is any –
they think he’s really neurotic
there. Are a lot of – power out! There.
you know, “Al Rokar”?
You saw the movie.
Is that? How? Will? Permit? See the star of the movie
in an end.
This is where we did a show. How? This is a way of, sort of, thing.
That is what is right. Their kids,
doesn’t look like it, but the main campaign
and as many. Them? Throughout the whole show.
But it happened.
Is there anything?
Authorities are now, of the study noted. That. So we know. The show is over.
What’s it? Cites the expenses ceiling.
I don’t think that’s the fastest. I can tell you as well.
You going to be the first people
to see my – I – his natural high, 
except for Julia Roberts. Is that what’s next, for better,
what? Exactly. This is what I do, said
right now.
Europe is what I do every night. And I get ready, to the show.
Right now. Everyone is the latest.
The only – all my – do your homework, automated telephone!
And you know, for a very nice,
now you’re a traditional
watch. Clinton wants to know why.
Past that have found the perfect of,
you come back, and address. We need to ask you, right now,
how is the show? And it would all, only, was great. It was great. It was great. You know, you
know what was in, okay.
Let’s try it.
I like. Itself.
See, that’s what it’s like in here after the shells. That goal,
say up, 
I, I did a story thing, up in all of you, go. Well, no, no, no. You’re a genius. You’re a genius.
Now you guys are all working in television.
Now that is
local radio. This is my hero. Do
what’s also in other Roberts, that can!
Good evening.
Well, it’s a separate lives that robbers,
my, for the economy, can’t see right now! It’s about Robert Stack.
The other hand in the wake of the bill that I did in my restaurant that you, don’t worry,
there’s no water, and Stephanie, that,
think: it’s not hard. Once I got heart out,
they got to do. Is a very good. About it’s Saturday night. Live with it.
Senator, I love that,
and it’s a nice place. To the insurance: do not get paid. But they have to do whatever
we say.
And to do whatever we say? Well, let’s take some votes.
Guns, do a lot better!
We want a balance!
We want it!
As a – that, that not or not, I was crying.
Now gone on strike.
That’s right.
So you left. I want to go.
I don’t know.
They want to add that sandy
he; so we is going to work now.
They can’t. What time is it?
That’s right. It’s four o’clock. Yes.
We’re law.

Yeah. I guess I’m going to take a little break right now, but in— The United States will be
right back, talking with us.

(Source. Text is from the “Transcribe Audio” feature; I added capitalization and punctuation because we can’t expect Google to do everything for us.)

conan plays for the kids, part 2 (for raymond roussel)

Any highlight gets you. Ask for it. He really is still not out. Dustin Hoffman as, that’s
not, be everybody, what I did, not
May. God’s side is one of the eight, it said.
It’s a real tree. Having A on the show, you, this amazing work as an actor, and thanks very
much for stopping by.
No knowing, very good map, not been everybody. Get a man.
Staff and without that,
I’ll, all he’s got.
I’m sorry, but we can’t do that.
You want to see about that, at all.
He just got on a bus. See these dogs?
These kids are so much sharper than I thought.
That is right.
Yes, that’s not like the men, and the fact is that up,
I think,
I don’t want to thank. You did not deal and is currently on trial.
We’ve had some fun
up front,
and we, should I say we, have,
so let’s get down now, this is serious.
Business everybody. All right.

Now kids, I asked up front if you read the newspapers, and I know you do.
And you know the biggest news these days continues to be
the budget agreement
worked out last week by Congress.
Not everyone agrees that the big winner
seems to be the President,
the One. Major concessions in several key areas, in tonight,
I thought, would talk to the man himself, and find out
he accomplished all this.
So, a – ladies and gentleman that, kids, boys, and girls, please welcome live via satellite
President Bill Clinton.
It gets well.
I, I, uh, I.
Welcome, Mr. President, but, he added, let’s get that right to it.
That’s not one of the most
surprising victories last week, a mini-battle over welfare reform,
how did you
manage that?
Yet so much,
sir, we don’t,
not cash!
Mr. President!
It is a presidential aide, really, don’t think the media did a, okay, well, I don’t do it!
All we can,
oh, my hand! I was just think I’ll set out to do that.
That’s a long time. And I’ve got, I, the young, instead at, that’s ever played to, the President!
Of the United States! No power at all! Right. Steve Biko. You can’t get, cannot, talk seriously!
For a moment?
I, I wish you would, yes.
I’d like to address this to the young people in our audience.
Kids, you are this country’s future.
And nothing is as important as your own future. Is the ability to read
not just finished? Reading the book myself,
it was called. Forty are dashed to the bathroom, what! Written by William Agee, that—
That’s right, sir, have actually been made. By the way, the Adversary didn’t, that’s our, we,
get back to the budget. All,
I had no idea what they were on. So that everybody in my genes, your goal of this
some of them sure have seen that.
Well, it’s, it’s Vice President Al Gore, kids, yeah!
I am now.
And you know it’s there, in the area.
I had no idea.
Happened that man, not doorman, goers, one voter, boards like bath time. You know what I mean.
That day, our attitude talking about kids always gets into trouble.
But then they always manges to come out on top.
Now your body.
That’s the video. That is a half,
the local, the, your career, really are.
Still, they do, they do.
did you?
And then on the route, her aides said – and as the President’s budget, I think we should note – 
that the first man, how about a – little students that come out, buddy!
All rigth, what is that about? By Hamas, Mr. Obama reminds voters that Franken said it.
Is still. Be know.
A guy that’s going to be there, you know. I know.
Now one for me.
Also, it’s got floated. A friend and I want to go out and vote, now we’re all rising. Regroup!
Well, the able.
The marina. That well, and ndash; I think that.
I’ve got to take a break. We’ll be right back. We’ll see you in just a second

Everybody, we are back. 
Act now. Before we go on, I want to warrant.
I want to warn all the kids
in the studio right now
about a very scary monster
that lives right here in the NBC Building. Not, let me
tell you about it,
kids. He’s called the Board A Monster
because he loves the people
who aren’t having any fun.
And you know what that means? Some. What that means. And he, well, that means that a few kids
started, if he’d start getting
border. You started getting too quiet.
Then the monster will come in. We’ll try and get us into a need. Us, all, that’s right in.
He’s not kidding about this state, kids, get the border monster comes.
There’s only one way.
Began to leave us alone.
And that’s to laugh
and clap, as well as you can see the nose.
We’re not really bored.
He hears that, children,
we’re not sure I was going on,
Is that what you want? A while?
Good for you, that was very – voted against them.
By the way,
kids, I dislike you. Know
the border. Months has attacked the show many times of many, many times, the word for you,

That gets out. Let’s get on to the next part of its shell.
My first guest is a founding member of the kids, and all coming true,
and it seems Wednesday night by news radio
here on NBC. Please welcome,
then falling.
I’m entitled to show, well, I think you’re going to die.
I said that, and a hot day.
It’s not a dissident.
It’s a nice change of pace.
It is the end as well for you. You have kids.
And all you have to adapt. This is the rebel for years. It’s just like being on, yeah,
the, I have a – Two-hundred fifty children,
now take a – It felt that I would have thought that they thought, would prevent not to take
very long now,
now first of all. Over it’s a terrific actor.
To Africa in a – By Putin’s to Zimbabwe, Africa,
and, uh, flew in Iran, and then from there went on to spend Christmas at Victoria Falls. For
a problem, that’s very beautiful. That is good.

“Well I, I –”
“Uh huh.”
“It’s sad. Followed: it’s very entertaining and fun.”
“Yeah, I know.”

(Source. Text is from the “Transcribe Audio” feature; I added capitalization and punctuation because we can’t expect Google to do everything for us.)

conan plays for the kids, part 1 (for raymond roussel)

Well good.
Where have all the field manual,
the Late Night with Conan O’Brien,
by the millions will be on the and like everything,
the use radio,
so it’s not too late for,
from the end of the night use migrant Kandel.
White brethren.

Well the show, ladies and gentlemen, that, what an amazing show, the people tonight,
and ladies, I mean you’re watching, is that show home
on television.
I want you to know right now we have an audience fault.
Of kids, can you solve anything?
It’s going to be fun, and he already had eight all night long hault aids, it’s what we’ve
been aiming for.
The Florida party’s more years we’ve been on, that’s right.
Now kids, I want to start out by asking you a quick question, to read the newspaper today.
We all read the news, right?
Well you know what that is, is in the news today, I’m sure you read it, they have a bank.
To do that is a bank repossessed
O. J. Simpson’s car,
to help pay off its debts.
That really happened out.
Yeah, and that, and said hey, why I’ll tell you why, today he was spotted hitchhiking, really
slowly with Al Cowlings, did you hear that?
I like Ally now, I don’t know what, have you heard this,
but according to a new survey, kids,
Washington, D.C.
is the worst place to raise a family,
that’s right, yeah,
it’s still the best place to raise illegal campaign contributions, not.
It tells them you really angry about that story.
Finally, last thing on the agenda for it, started kids, Barbra Streisand,
the on our front yard all right,
Barbra Streisand
has asked the email works gossip show
not the caller about anymore.
That’s right, she does not want to be called out anymore.
Yet the only problem is
now they’ve started calling her
what we had.

Yeah, I said the best for last.
Alleys and on broke the bank,
all right,
You guys don’t like that, are at worth of items on tonight show,
kids, this is really exciting, we have
from News Radio, day always with us,
we, also have reptile expert
this guy’s going to bring a lot of reptiles out here, really weird animals,
Clyde killings on the shelf.
I think, kids,
I saved the best for last.
That’s right, cats, less than it was on the show at the end of the program tonight,
from CNN Financial News, at my ranch, and Ally.
Politics is so great, and of course,
Max Weinberg,
and as Max Weinberg Seven, get its own, kids.

Well thank you.
That we got a halve.
We got a lot to talk about here.
It’s nice to get all these kids here, it’s very exciting, and it’s so much more exciting,
we have adults,
and adults are no good, you have adults are beds, are all right, it’s a great gift to the
best, and I live.
We have an audience, how? They can smell pandering.
Mile away so I can be that, was so low, um hum,
now I’m really excited about this jury, we have up all these, that,
kids in the audience!
And they’re very special. It’s, it’s actually,
it’s a nice group, the kids too.
But you at home watching,
probably they’ll the notice,
the particular different kids in the audience.
But some of these kids
look like real life.
Adults. Celebrities.
Here’s the first. When she looks like a real-life adult celebrity, doesn’t she look like
Claire Danes, not,
yes it is, next to it, but it is that right here,
he’s the spitting image of a, and nearly all in a state, that’s right Ted.
Now. What find effective ways is next, in the one issue they helped a lot.
Yes, it looks so much
like we look, and so from that attack,
not at all happy about it, a now, we’ve got a bunch of cattle, well, what kids? Look at these
kids right here, don’t they look exactly like
this Chrysler looks like that.
Uh, that’s forty-five, and then finally hit last. Get everybody.
We going to be nothing. Seems to have.
It’s almost like Dallas.
The medication, you can take that.
I have kids.
Kids ever once, I don’t have any of this.

Kids were over here.
Top job.
But still going on.
There’s something very important here to talk about, yes.
Oh, we’ve lost the kids in the audience already.
We may still have someone at home.
But up,
you know, we have.
These kids seem pretty nice and well-being, and don’t think they sure do this thing for
the most part pretty well, we’ll be a them,
but actually were a little worried, that maybe just made
some kid might miss the Hague, that sort of thing, and what, do we have a ripple? and
in case somebody does sort of start at the bad, you know, being
to allow this in, that’s right, we do have a, we do have a plan, and (implied) he asked if
the kid,
Miss B. Hayes, tonight in the audience, and I don’t think it’s going to happen, this is such
nice kids, but I think it does misbehave.
We’re going to send that kid 1091,
that’s right.
You don’t have to go out, and not a land and kids,
let me tell you something, you don not want to go to 90 when I don’t want to send
you there.
But I might have to take a look at 90, when

You don’t want to go. Their kids,
and believe me it looks, kind of find that
any? No.
We’re doing a huge favor, yeah, I spent, like, about, ten minutes, they’re not, about, would.
He went crazy.
All right now. We got to talk for a second.
Kids, they wanted the show to be. We want because we have kids. You tonight, we wanted to be a
fun show.
So we have a very special surprise. We wanted
a big-time celebrity.
to come on the show, and say hi to all the kids.
This is someone who we’ve never had on this show before.
Dustin Hoffman. Tonight is not amazing. Dustin Hoffman’s going to be there.
Frank Lorenzo, this is really cool, that decided, and our kids, you have a choice.
We want this to be a special show you can’t have. Doesn’t come out as himself.
He can come out
as snooty.
Now what do you want.
Okay, Rik, it’s you. Ask for it.
Gary, as, come on out
Dustin Hoffman. As that Snoopy. Everybody come on, I did not.

(Source. Text is from the “Transcribe Audio” feature; I added capitalization and punctuation because we can’t expect Google to do everything for us.)

island life

The first two weeks of my September were spent in the Faroe Islands. Eighteen islands, 48,000 people, and countless sheep comprise the Faroe Islands, a self-governing Danish colony that’s about halfway between the northern tip of Scotland and Iceland. Not a lot of tourists visit: it’s windy and cold most of the year, though it’s beautiful in its way. A beauty of constraint: there aren’t a lot of things to be found in the Faroe Islands. There are a lot of puffins if you’re interested in sea birds, though by September they’ve left the cliffs where they nest. (Even so, the islands are not without them: the Faroese industriously eat all those that they can catch, and no Faroese dwelling is free of a stuffed puffin.) There are plenty of sheep. There are plenty of hills to climb (there are sheep above as below); there are little waterfalls everywhere to admire. For all of this, the Faroe Islands aren’t really a place Americans think about. The CIA’s World Factbook page on the country declares that there are “no roads between towns”; the photos in Google Maps don’t get close enough to demonstrate that this isn’t actually true. The possibility of offshore oil would doubtless bring international attention to the isle, but the results are thus far inconclusive. For now, the visitor can browse the country’s one mall, or stand on the beaches hoping that there will be a whale drive: the Faroese are perhaps best known internationally for their bloody pilot whale hunts.

There was not a whale drive while we were there, alas, though we picked up a little book in English entitled HNJ’s Indispensable Guide to the Faroe Islands: Pilot Whales and the Whale Drive that illustrates them in astonishingly graphic detail, and explains their importance to Faroese economy and society in an endearingly earnest tone. We stayed in a little house (with a sod roof – nothing but the best for tourists) in the village of Kvívík, a house with no telephone, much less Internet. It did have a television, though there’s only one Faroese television station, and it only broadcasts six hours a day, mostly English programs subtitled in Danish. (It did come equipped with the one Faroese movie, Barbara, a nineteenth century morality tale involving a well-meaning minister, adultery, and high winds.) Leaving the house, you can take buses from town to town, and ferries from island to island, but to the uneducated observer, there’s not much distinguishing one Faroe from another: it’s all generically beautiful. Some towns have gas stations, and at the gas stations you can buy hot dogs. There aren’t really any restaurants save in Torshávn, the capital city. On days when it’s too rainy to hike along the sea cliffs, it’s comfortable staying home knowing there really isn’t anything better you could be doing. It’s a good place to catch up on your reading.

Cut off from the world in the Faroes, I found myself thinking about islands, thoughts sustained by a stopover in Reykjavík on the way back to New York. In the Public Library, I dug up a copy of Letters from Iceland, an unruly collection of travel writing about that country put together by W. H. Auden & Louis MacNeise in 1937. In a poem addressed to Christopher Isherwood, Auden explains the pull of islands:

For Europe is absent. This is an island and therefore

It’s not entirely accurate to suggest that my trip through the islands of the North Atlantic was a departure from my normal relation to islands: in my daily life, I cycle between Long Island and Manhattan, rarely if ever touching the mainland United States. Maybe it’s not by accident that the Institute’s physical locations are island-based, Long Island and Great Britain, both of whose names suggest they’re perhaps overreaching their status. But the islands of New York don’t feel like islands. Staten Island, the part of the city that’s most self-declaredly an island, feels the least like an island and the most like New Jersey. Elizabeth Bishop’s rescued “Crusoe in England” ponders the issue:

Now I live here, another island,
that doesn’t seem like one, but who decides?
My blood was full of them; my brain
bred islands. But that archipelago
has petered out.

The island – more precisely, the idea of an island, unreal as it might be – is evocative. Islands present themselves as bounded, finite spaces: we can imagine that we can see all of an island, understand all of an island in the way that we know we can’t understand the unbounded space of a continent. Islands are made of the same earth as continents, but we know where an island stops; there’s something comforting in that. This sense of boundary is ultimately illusory, something that becomes obvious when we look at our home islands. Manhattan is an island with a fixed area, but we can’t imagine grasping all of it at once. It’s too messy to feel like an island.

John Donne’s “no man is an island” can’t be escaped: it resonates as a statement because it’s something we need to be told. We’re predisposed to believe the opposite, that we are all islands. Our brains breed islands: there’s a strong impulse to see people and things as discrete and distinct: perhaps they’re easier to understand. Books play into this, of course: historically, we’ve seen books as isolated objects, worlds in and of themselves. In a critical sense, the highwater mark of this might be said to be the New Critics, who argued that nothing outside the book mattered when thinking about the book. The academy’s generally embarrassed about this idea now, but there’s still a strong pull to the idea: witness recent discussions about whether or not J. K. Rowling’s outing of Dumbledore actually makes him gay in the Harry Potter books. Our personal relationship with books also plays into this: we imagine that when we’re reading we’re in some other space, in temporary isolation.

Alfred Russel Wallace, wandering the Malay Archipelago in the 1850s, was probably the first to realize the importance of islands in evolution. Islands, it turns out, are extremely interesting if you’re trying to figure out the origin of species; Darwin would figure this out as well when he toured the Galápagos. Because of their bounded nature, islands tend to have distinct populations; in archipelagos, the observant naturalist will notice differences between even nearby islands. Wondering why these differences can be so pronounced follows on; what came to be known as biogeography was something that preoccupied Wallace throughout his career, culminating with the 1880 publication of Island Life, he continued to work out the ways in which geography affects biology.

Modern population genetics explains statistically why islands are important in evolution. Isolation doesn’t have to be from islands, but that helps reduce gene flow between different populations. Because of this, island populations tend to have smaller gene pools than non-isolated populations. One of the ways this impacts island populations is “founder’s effect”: the quirks found in the founding population of an island will be magnified over time. Imagine that there’s an island unpopulated by lemmings; a raft of lemmings from the continent runs aground one day, and the lemmings start overrunning the island. Continental lemmings might have eyes that are red, blue, green, or yellow with a certain distribution (say 75% red, 10% blue, 10% green, and 5% yellow); however, if the founding population of lemmings is only 6, this distribution can’t be accurately represented. You might have 3 red-eyed lemmings, 1 blue-eyed lemming, and 2 green-eyed lemmings. None of the descendents of these lemmings will have yellow eyes; there will probably be more green-eyed lemmings than you’d expect from looking at continental lemmings.

Another reason that islands are important is genetic drift. Because of the smaller gene pool, isolated populations are more vulnerable to changes in the frequency of alleles. A new mutation that appears in a population of a million has an infinitesimal chance of becoming prevalent in the majority of the population; a new mutation that appears in a population of ten still only has a tiny chance of spreading to the majority, but it’s a better chance than the allele would have had in a population of a million. If, randomly, a lemming is born with purple eyes in a tiny island population, there’s a small chance that given time purple eyes might spread through the population; in ten years, there’s a chance (smaller still) that all the lemmings on that island might have purple eyes.

This model for how isolated populations change genetically over time seems to hold true for human languages: the Faroese speak their own derivative of Old Norse, more closely related to Icelandic than any other existing language. Similarly, we can imagine (if speculatively) that the population genetics model applied to the history of culture. Even before population genetics came along, there was the recognition that islands are where things can happen: given time and isolation, new ideas can germinate and bear fruit. One remembers that Thomas More’s Utopia was created when the founder King Utopus commanded a fifteen-mile trench to be dug, transforming a peninsula into an island. Island-bound, it was harder to distract his revolution: “Insomuch that the borderers, which at the first began to mock, and to jest at this vain enterprise, then turned their laughter to marvel at the success, and to fear.” (See also: Cuba, Haiti.)

There’s an argument – more speculative, to be sure – to be made that this sort of selection pressure also happens culturally. Consider the evolution of pop music, which seems tied to islands. Jamaica’s probably the best example of this in the past half-century or so. Iceland’s proud of functioning as an incubator for new music: Björk’s first record in on view in the national museum. Henry Adams, the most continental of all Americans, observed that England was a place where “eccentricity was so general as to become hereditary distinction,” a remark that could be applied to the bands that have sprung up in Björk’s wake. A visit to the record shops of Reykjavík turns up those that have made it out into the wider world (Sigur Rós, Múm, Gus Gus) and those that haven’t yet (the Apparat Organ Quartet, Trabant, Ultra Mega Technobandið Stefán). One also notices that what sells in Icelandic record shops is weird: in September, Faroese crooner Eivør Pálsdóttir was on top of the Icelandic charts. Further scrutiny revealed that Faroese bands seem to sell briskly in Iceland.

Why is Icelandic pop so strange? The answer probably has to do with size, and the increased possibility of big waves in a smaller country: in a country of 300,000 people, it doesn’t take a huge effort to make a splash. If you sell 3000 records, 1% of the total population has your record. If you sell 3000 records in a country of 300,000,000, 1/1000 of 1% of the total population has heard your record. Small populations can change much more quickly. Had they sprung up in New York, Sigur Rós’s cetacean bellowings might have become a cult favorite at a downtown club; in Iceland, they became the country’s best-selling group.

An analogue to this might be found in Harold Bloom’s idea of “misprision”, his argument that writers often creatively misread. A good example: Hugh Kenner argues (in The Pound Era) that Joyce has Stephen Daedelus living in the martello tower at the start of Ulysses because he was working from Samuel Butler’s rather questionable translation of The Odyssey, which had Telemachus living in a tower. Had Joyce’s writing been part of a broader community, somebody would probably have pointed out to him that Telemachus isn’t living in a tower in any other Odyssey. But, Kenner argues, Joyce was writing in isolation and free to make mistakes, mistakes that wound up being creatively useful.

Back to Elizabeth Bishop: “Crusoe in England” catches up with Defoe’s character after he’s been rescued from his island; paradoxically, he’s more isolated than ever. The details that gave meaning to life then lose significance in the broader context he finds himself in:

The knife there on the shelf
it reeked of meaning, like a crucifix.
It lived. How many years did I
beg it, implore it, not to break?
I knew each nick and scratch by heart,
the bluish blade, the broken tip,
the lines of wood-grain in the handle . . .
Now it won’t look at me at all.
The living soul has dribbled away.
My eyes rest on it and pass on.

In the broader context of England, Crusoe’s knife is only one of many, all of which cut equally well; there’s nothing special about it at all, except in its museum-readiness. Had Crusoe not been shipwrecked, he probably wouldn’t have found any reason to wonder about the meaning inherent in his knife. In a sense, we live in a post-island word, Crusoe’s England. There are no end of knives to be found on the Internet; but adrift in so much volume, they lack value.

Auden again, responding to Isherwood’s questions:

10. ‘What feelings did your visit give you about life on small islands?’

If you have no particular intellectual interests or ambitions and are content with the company or your family and friends, then life on Iceland must be very pleasant, because the inhabitants are friendly, tolerant and sane. They are genuinely proud of their country and its history, but without the least trace of hysterical nationalism. I always found that they welcomed criticism. But I had the feeling, also, that for myself it was already too late. We are all too deeply involved with Europe to be able, or even to wish to escape.

It’s too late, maybe, for us to imagine the island as salvation, though one notes that Auden would escape to New York soon after declaring here that he was past saving. True isolation is a difficult thing to achieve now: even in the Faroes, too all appearances a long way from anything, my iPhone strove to download my email from the Faroese telecom. It’s a machine and doesn’t know any better; being a well-informed consumer, I knew AT&T’s billing department wouldn’t take kindly to such efforts. Nor is there really linguistic isolation in the Faroes any more: most young Faroese speak English, and there’s very little trouble communicating with them. Do we need islands in a world that increasingly knows of no such thing? Do islands still function? Maybe, like King Utopus, we have to construct our own islands.

Two months after returning from the Faroes, my brain still breeds islands; as I read Bishop, that means there might be hope for me yet. Searching the OED for the etymological difference between the words “isolate” and “insular,” I stumble over the lovely “isolato”; I vaguely remember it from Melville, and the OED declares that he introduced it into the English language in Moby-Dick, chapter XXVII:

How it is, there is no telling, but Islanders seem to make the best whalemen. They were nearly all Islanders in the Pequod, Isolatoes too, I call such, not acknowledging the common continent of men, but each Isolato living on a separate continent of his own. Yet now, federated along one keel, what a set these Isolatoes were!

Melville would have been the obvious first place to look for islands, having started his writing career with a novel about the Marquesas (Typee, 1846) and ended it with poetry about the Greek islands (Timoleon, 1891), stopping in at countless other archipelagos along the way, unsatisfied, one suspects, with any of them. Melville might be Bishop’s Crusoe taken further, yo-yoing between home and island, forever discontent, but always hopeful.