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I love Jon Stewart. So after getting very last-minute tickets to the January 18th taping of the Daily Show,  I had no choice but to make an impromptu trip to NYC to take advantage of the opportunity. Traveling around the Northeast is not blue skies and sunshine during this time of the year,  but it was sooo worth it.

Their studio is on the way west-side of Manhattan, definitely on the humble and unassuming side compared to other studios I’ve been to in the past.  We languished in line for awhile–they overbook the studio audiences, so it’s important to get there early-ish–I think the people at the end of the line usually don’t make it in.

We got lucky and were seated in the very front row of the audience.  A warm-up comedian came out and made us practice cheering and clapping and being noisy. After the audience was sufficiently noisy, the warm-up guy walked around and talked to a few people.  I guess because we were sitting in the front, my friend and I got picked on for a long time about… some fairly uncomfortable things.

THEN THEN! Jon Stewart came out and I nearly fainted (I still get to be a silly schoolgirl for one more semester!). He looked…well, a lot like he does on TV.  He spoke to the audience / answered questions for awhile before they started taping, and flashed a few of those famous blue-steel looks.

Best part–I got to ask him a question (!!), inspired by Snively, about what one unit of Jon Stewart would measure.

He paused and equated himself to 1 Knish (let this be reflected on the official record).  He also talked about the business-like atmosphere at the show everyday before they do the taping — there are lots of meetings in the morning where they review stories, tapes, the scripts, etc.

The opening segment was all about the crazy Massachusetts election, so very relevant for Boston-area denizens. He gave the Democrats a stern-talking-to that is already considered one of his best segments ever.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Some stuff noticed about how the show is put together:
– He does a use teleprompter, except during the interview
– Even the show isn’t live, it totally could be because everything is basically filmed straight-through, no do-overs
– During commercial breaks he convenes with his staff / camera people about… something.
– Jon likes to do this drumming thing on the desk + laughs to himself during segments the show cuts away from him

Anyway, totally recommend that people do this! And college is the time–when else will you get to take the day off at a moment’s notice.

tl; dr – Jon Stewart talked to me, and I feel floaty.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading and research for my UROP lately on the higher level picture of how the economy has disintegrated into its current state, and the  implications for legal reform that we can perhaps take away from the situation. I quickly realized that while NYT and WSJ articles are great at telling you up to date facts about what happened, they are rather shallow in terms of going into the details of why decisions were made the way they were and helping readers understand how the various headlines interconnect with how the economy is set up to ultimately result in where we are today.  More comprehensive resources would be especially useful to a lot of students and non-industry people out there who are looking to understand the crisis beyond just knowing what happened.

1. The Baseline Scenario: This is a great blog to follow for people at all levels of understanding about the financial crisis. They tend to cover one or two of the biggest stories of the day in a more explanatory style. Their beginners page is a good choice for where to start wrapping your head around these issues and terms floating around.

2.

Nice overview if you really have no idea what is going on, and need to explain it tomorrow in an interview.  Also helpful for relatives / friends who want to get caught up to date.

I will add to this as I stumble across more nice, basic resources. Feel free to suggest some if you know of any!

(sing to the tune of Don McLean’s American Pie)

A long, long time ago…
I can still remember
How the Dow Jones used to make me smile.
And I learned my trade and had my chance
The music played I did my dance
And I made seven figures for a while.
I can’t remember if I cried when they pulled the plug on Countrywide…
It sucks that Iceland is out of ice….
Bye, Bye to my piece of the pie…
Now I travel coach whenever I fly…
Maybe this will be the day that I die.

-performed at this year’s Kappa Beta Phi dinner, Wall Street’s premiere secret society for hoity toity financiers (cmon boys, you’re not at Yale anymore).