A story I heard

Marvin the Martian

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Sep 4, 2001
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On Monday I attended a Zoom HR class on how improv can improve your work and personal life. It was led by a former member of Second City who left comedy to go into corporate training.

The presentation was pretty standard, saying that for work starting with "yes, and" is a great way to approach new ideas. He did stress that eventually ideas have to be scrapped, yes and only works at the beginning.

He stressed how it can be modified for personal life. He said in dealing with dementia patients, "yes because" is a great treatment and in fact they have classes in Chicago just for this. But he said it also works in politics. He said his inlaws refuse to get vaccinate, he uses "yes, because you have concerns for your safety you do not want a vaccination. Let me explain why I think it is safer to be vaccinated" fosters much better communication.

Now I don't know how the following story ties into improv, but he spent a long time on it. A man, Sanford "Sandy" Greenberg, was a JR at Columbia when an undiagnosed eye condition started him to losing his sight. He had a procedure which left him totally blind. Sandy was ready to call it quits and not return to college.

His roommate though browbeat him into returning. His roommate took him to class. Sandy refused a cane or dog, so he fell often, the roommate cleaned his wounds. He would repair Sandy's tape recorder when it broke, and would read Sandy's books to him. The roommate had a sense of humor, and when reading to Sandy he would nickname himself "darkness" since Sandy couldn't see him. He would say something like, "Darkness is now reading The Illiad".

One day the roommate took Sandy across NYC to a meeting, but then told Sandy that he (the roommate) had to sketch a building for a class (he was an architect major) and could not take Sandy home. Sandy argued, to no avail. Finally, Sandy was left on his own in NY to make his way back to Columbia. As Sandy recalled, he fell often. He almost stepped in front of a subway, and walking with his arms outstretched to try and avoid walking into things, he unintentionally groped many women.

But people helped him, and he made it back to his dorm. There, the roommate "darkness" waited on him. It was clear the roommate did not go to sketch, he had left Sandy on his own to try and teach him he could do things. The roommate was very apologetic, and Sandy was very angry. But eventually Sandy came to realize his roommate had given him an exceedingly valuable gift.

The roommate never went on to become an architect. He chose a different career path. His name is Art Garfunkel. "Hello Darkness my old friend".
 

DANC

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Dec 21, 2001
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On Monday I attended a Zoom HR class on how improv can improve your work and personal life. It was led by a former member of Second City who left comedy to go into corporate training.

The presentation was pretty standard, saying that for work starting with "yes, and" is a great way to approach new ideas. He did stress that eventually ideas have to be scrapped, yes and only works at the beginning.

He stressed how it can be modified for personal life. He said in dealing with dementia patients, "yes because" is a great treatment and in fact they have classes in Chicago just for this. But he said it also works in politics. He said his inlaws refuse to get vaccinate, he uses "yes, because you have concerns for your safety you do not want a vaccination. Let me explain why I think it is safer to be vaccinated" fosters much better communication.

Now I don't know how the following story ties into improv, but he spent a long time on it. A man, Sanford "Sandy" Greenberg, was a JR at Columbia when an undiagnosed eye condition started him to losing his sight. He had a procedure which left him totally blind. Sandy was ready to call it quits and not return to college.

His roommate though browbeat him into returning. His roommate took him to class. Sandy refused a cane or dog, so he fell often, the roommate cleaned his wounds. He would repair Sandy's tape recorder when it broke, and would read Sandy's books to him. The roommate had a sense of humor, and when reading to Sandy he would nickname himself "darkness" since Sandy couldn't see him. He would say something like, "Darkness is now reading The Illiad".

One day the roommate took Sandy across NYC to a meeting, but then told Sandy that he (the roommate) had to sketch a building for a class (he was an architect major) and could not take Sandy home. Sandy argued, to no avail. Finally, Sandy was left on his own in NY to make his way back to Columbia. As Sandy recalled, he fell often. He almost stepped in front of a subway, and walking with his arms outstretched to try and avoid walking into things, he unintentionally groped many women.

But people helped him, and he made it back to his dorm. There, the roommate "darkness" waited on him. It was clear the roommate did not go to sketch, he had left Sandy on his own to try and teach him he could do things. The roommate was very apologetic, and Sandy was very angry. But eventually Sandy came to realize his roommate had given him an exceedingly valuable gift.

The roommate never went on to become an architect. He chose a different career path. His name is Art Garfunkel. "Hello Darkness my old friend".
Sweet story, but this says the song was written by Paul Simon and it wasn't about a blind man.


"In an interview with Terry Gross of National Public Radio (NPR), Paul Simon explained how he wrote the song while working at his first job in music: "It was just when I was coming out of college. My job was to take the songs that this huge publishing company owned and go around to record companies and see if any of their artists wanted to record the songs. I worked for them for about six months and never got a song placed, but I did give them a couple of my songs because I felt so guilty about taking their money. Then I got into an argument with them and said, 'Look, I quit, and I'm not giving you my new song.' And the song that I had just written was 'The Sound of Silence.' I thought, 'I'll just publish it myself,' and from that point on I owned my own songs, so that was a lucky argument."
 
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Marvin the Martian

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Sweet story, but this says the song was written by Paul Simon and it wasn't about a blind man.


"In an interview with Terry Gross of National Public Radio (NPR), Paul Simon explained how he wrote the song while working at his first job in music: "It was just when I was coming out of college. My job was to take the songs that this huge publishing company owned and go around to record companies and see if any of their artists wanted to record the songs. I worked for them for about six months and never got a song placed, but I did give them a couple of my songs because I felt so guilty about taking their money. Then I got into an argument with them and said, 'Look, I quit, and I'm not giving you my new song.' And the song that I had just written was 'The Sound of Silence.' I thought, 'I'll just publish it myself,' and from that point on I owned my own songs, so that was a lucky argument."

That is very true. In fact when I saw Garfunkel at Brown County, he told the story of Simon calling him and telling him to come over right away to hear his new song, and that was it.

But it is still an amazing consequence. Or Simon took the idea of darkness being a friend and wrote about it in a different way. We will probably never actually know.

Greenberg has been very successful. Among his items, patent on a device to playback recordings at faster and slower speeds without distortion (he wanted it for class lectures). He also founded the company EDP.
 

DANC

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That is very true. In fact when I saw Garfunkel at Brown County, he told the story of Simon calling him and telling him to come over right away to hear his new song, and that was it.

But it is still an amazing consequence. Or Simon took the idea of darkness being a friend and wrote about it in a different way. We will probably never actually know.

Greenberg has been very successful. Among his items, patent on a device to playback recordings at faster and slower speeds without distortion (he wanted it for class lectures). He also founded the company EDP.
If Garfunkel himself said Simon called him to listen to his (Simon's) song, I think it's pretty safe to say whoever told you your story was wrong. We actually do know.
 

HooDatGuy

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Second city has gone the way of SNL. Woke yuppies looking to get their point across. Being funny is secondary.
 
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Stuffshot

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Second city has gone the way of SNL. Woke yuppies looking to get their point across. Being funny is secondary.
Except that the most noticeable, present day, absurdist comedians are on TV everyday with neckties and fake hair and are spewing stuff to claim election fraud with no proof.

It would be funny, except they are serious.
 

HooDatGuy

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Except that the most noticeable, present day, absurdist comedians are on TV everyday with neckties and fake hair and are spewing stuff to claim election fraud with no proof.

It would be funny, except they are serious.
Sorry if you like second city.
 

Marvin the Martian

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If Garfunkel himself said Simon called him to listen to his (Simon's) song, I think it's pretty safe to say whoever told you your story was wrong. We actually do know.
Simon wrote it. I am saying Garfield calling himself darkness may have contributed to that line. Writers get inspiration from many places.
 

mcmurtry66

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Except that the most noticeable, present day, absurdist comedians are on TV everyday with neckties and fake hair and are spewing stuff to claim election fraud with no proof.

It would be funny, except they are serious.
trump is far more entertaining and funny than snl. some of his press conferences were comedy gold. i miss them. tho i am enjoying biden starting to get short with the press. i like when he barks back at people.

snl is precisely what HDG described
 

i'vegotwinners

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Dec 1, 2006
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On Monday I attended a Zoom HR class on how improv can improve your work and personal life. It was led by a former member of Second City who left comedy to go into corporate training.

The presentation was pretty standard, saying that for work starting with "yes, and" is a great way to approach new ideas. He did stress that eventually ideas have to be scrapped, yes and only works at the beginning.

He stressed how it can be modified for personal life. He said in dealing with dementia patients, "yes because" is a great treatment and in fact they have classes in Chicago just for this. But he said it also works in politics. He said his inlaws refuse to get vaccinate, he uses "yes, because you have concerns for your safety you do not want a vaccination. Let me explain why I think it is safer to be vaccinated" fosters much better communication.

Now I don't know how the following story ties into improv, but he spent a long time on it. A man, Sanford "Sandy" Greenberg, was a JR at Columbia when an undiagnosed eye condition started him to losing his sight. He had a procedure which left him totally blind. Sandy was ready to call it quits and not return to college.

His roommate though browbeat him into returning. His roommate took him to class. Sandy refused a cane or dog, so he fell often, the roommate cleaned his wounds. He would repair Sandy's tape recorder when it broke, and would read Sandy's books to him. The roommate had a sense of humor, and when reading to Sandy he would nickname himself "darkness" since Sandy couldn't see him. He would say something like, "Darkness is now reading The Illiad".

One day the roommate took Sandy across NYC to a meeting, but then told Sandy that he (the roommate) had to sketch a building for a class (he was an architect major) and could not take Sandy home. Sandy argued, to no avail. Finally, Sandy was left on his own in NY to make his way back to Columbia. As Sandy recalled, he fell often. He almost stepped in front of a subway, and walking with his arms outstretched to try and avoid walking into things, he unintentionally groped many women.

But people helped him, and he made it back to his dorm. There, the roommate "darkness" waited on him. It was clear the roommate did not go to sketch, he had left Sandy on his own to try and teach him he could do things. The roommate was very apologetic, and Sandy was very angry. But eventually Sandy came to realize his roommate had given him an exceedingly valuable gift.

The roommate never went on to become an architect. He chose a different career path. His name is Art Garfunkel. "Hello Darkness my old friend".


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Garfunkel? Blind man?