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I made a beeline for you and told you what a huge fan I was ever since I was writing that pilot for Fox, and Wendy and I wanted you to do the theme song. And then the pilot didn't go and I was so sad, but I kept remaining a fan of yours. And then when I went through that big, horrible breakup with Carl and I couldn't get off the couch, I listened to your song, ♫ "Now That I Don't Have You," ♫ over and over and over and over again. And I can't believe you're here and that I'm meeting you here at TED. And also, I can't believe that we're eating sushi in front of the fish tank, which, personally, I think is really inappropriate. (Laughter) (Applause)
Sweeney: Okay. Oprah was never necessarily a big hero of mine. I mean, I watch Oprah mostly when I'm home in Spokane visiting my mother. And to my mother, Oprah is a greater moral authority than the Pope, which is actually saying something because she's a devout Catholic. Anyway, I like Oprah -- I like her girlfriendy-ness, I like her weight issues, I like how she's transformed talk television, I like how she's brought reading back to America -- but there was something that happened the last two weeks that was ... I call it the Soon-Yi moment: it is the moment when I cannot continue supporting someone. And that was that she did two entire shows promoting that movie "The Secret." Do you guys know about that movie "The Secret"? It makes "What the Bleep Do We Know" seem like a doctoral dissertation from Harvard on quantum mechanics -- that's how bad it is. It makes "The DaVinci Code" seem like "War and Peace." That movie is so horrible. It promotes such awful pseudoscience. And the basic idea is that there's this law of attraction, and your thoughts have this vibrating energy that goes out into the universe and then you attract good things to happen to you. On a scientific basis, it's more than just "Power of Positive Thinking" -- it has a horrible, horrible dark side. Like if you get ill, it's because you've just been thinking negative thoughts. Yeah, stuff like that was in the movie and she's promoting it. And all I'm saying is that I really wish that Murray Gell-Mann would go on Oprah and just explain to her that the law of attraction is, in fact, not a law. So that's what I have to say. (Laughter)
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Two TED favorites, Jill Sobule and Julia Sweeney, team up for a delightful set that mixes witty songwriting with a little bit of social commentary.
Jill Sobule isn't just another singer-songwriter with catchy tunes and smart lyrics, she's one of the more insightful satirists of our age. Each of her fanciful songs captures an issue or irony, an emotion or epiphany that helps us understand what it's like to live now. Full bio »
Julia Sweeney is an actor and writer who does comedic solo shows that tackle deep issues: cancer, family, faith. Her next book is "If It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother," on parenting and being parented. She performs regularly with Jill Sobule, telling stories alongside Jill's songs, in their "Jill & Julia Show." Full bio »