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Pop Culture

Trevor Noah laments the loss of 'spirited conversations' and creates a space for having them

"Imagine if discussing how to navigate the minefield was as dangerous as the minefield itself. That's what I feel like we're living in now," Noah says.

Trevor Noah speaking into a microphone

Trevor Noah launches his "What Now? with Trevor Noah" podcast.

If there's one thing Trevor Noah excels at (besides stand-up comedy), it's talking about hot topics. When Trevor Noah was hosting "The Daily Show," his "Between the Scenes" segments where he chatted with his live audience during breaks often went viral. In these clips, Noah would find ways of speaking about controversial issues in a way that was clear, concise, thoughtful and wise.

With his new podcast "What Now? with Trevor Noah," he's taking those conversations even further.

A video of Noah explaining the premise behind the podcast shared by Carrick Ryan gives voice to what so many people are feeling about social discourse in the modern age.


"If there's one thing I've always loved, it's having a spirited conversation," Noah begins. "I've always loved how the words coming out of another person's mouth can change how the mush in your brain processes or sees the world that it's seen a certain way for such a long time."

However, Noah points out, people appear to be losing the ability to have those conversations. He explains that he recently attended an event where people of all ages were having "interesting" and "dynamic" conversations about difficult topics, and every few minutes he'd hear someone say, "Now, I would never say this in public, but…." or "I would never say this if I was being recorded, but…"

"So many of us have opinions and ideas about the world we live in that we are either unable, unwilling or too scared to share," Noah laments. "And I thought to myself, if we cannot have conversations about difficult things—if the conversations themselves are now the difficult things—then what hope do we have of fixing the difficult things?"

Noah compares the current conversational reality to a minefield, which is one of the most dangerous places you can step foot in because you don't know where the mines are buried.

"All you know is at any moment something could blow up," he says. "Imagine if discussing how to navigate the minefield was as dangerous as the minefield itself. That's what I feel like we're living in now," Noah says.

Watch:

Noah's description of the social landscape hit home for many people who shared their thoughts in the comments.

"This is why I enjoy Trevor Noah so much—he always digs beneath the surface." – Carol A.

"That actually made me cry and I don’t know why. I feel pretty hopeless when it comes to the world. I am disgusted with the human race. We have never learned and never will, thousands and thousands of years have proven that. The helplessness of watching what is going on around me makes me numb." – Elisabeth T.

"He is talking about having a legitimate conversation. That means exchange of ideas, opinions, and experiences. It doesn't mean, 'How can you possibly believe ...?' And the response cannot be, 'I believe this completely and you'll never change my mind so stop trying.' This isn't a conversion or a intervention. It's a conversation. Know the difference." – Deb A.

"Partly because to address a controversial issue in a way to accurately say what you want requires a range of vocabulary and thoughtfulness from speaker and listener that is a bit scarce these days. Every issue is considered binary, you are judged to be for or against things. It's like standing on the edge of the minefield discussing tactics with one view as there are no mines and the other the area is one big mine." – Peter H.

Some people talked about the importance of listening to one another while others questioned whether productive conversations could be had with certain groups of people, such as conspiracy theorists or religious fundamentalists.

However, who we have those "spirited conversations" with may not matter as much how we have them. If we want to see how it's done, Trevor Noah offers a solid example. Find "What Now? with Trevor Noah" wherever you listen to podcasts.

Pop Culture

Two brothers Irish stepdancing to Beyoncé's country hit 'Texas Hold 'Em' is pure delight

The Gardiner Brothers and Queen Bey proving that music can unite us all.

Gardiner Brothers/TikTok (with permission)

The Gardiner Brothers stepping in time to Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em."

In early February 2024, Beyoncé rocked the music world by releasing a surprise new album of country tunes. The album, Renaissance: Act II, includes a song called "Texas Hold 'Em," which shot up the country charts—with a few bumps along the way—and landed Queen Bey at the No.1 spot.

As the first Black female artist to have a song hit No. 1 on Billboard's country music charts, Beyoncé once again proved her popularity, versatility and ability to break barriers without missing a beat. In one fell swoop, she got people who had zero interest in country music to give it a second look, forced country music fans to broaden their own ideas about what country music looks like and prompted conversations about bending and blending musical genres and styles.

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Science

Should we wear shoes in the house? Experts weigh in and turns out we should stop immediately.

It's a common practice in the west that may be grosser than we realize.

Experts seem to agree that shoes shouldn't be worn inside

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But it turns out that wearing shoes inside is more of a western culture thing than a global one, which makes Americans a minority in keeping outside shoes on while inside the house. It would seem that other countries may have had a bit more of an understanding on why it's a bad idea to wear shoes inside.

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Photos by Daniela on Unsplash (left) and Rens D on Unsplash (right)

Peeling garlic is notoriously challenging.

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There are various methods people use to peel garlic, with varying levels of success. Doing it by hand works, but will leave you with garlic-smelling fingertips for the better part of a day. Whacking the head on the counter helps separate the cloves from each other, but doesn't help much with removing the skin.

Some people swear by vigorously shaking the skinned cloves around in a covered bowl or jarred lid, which can be surprisingly effective. Some smash the clove with the flat side of a knife to loosen it and then pull it off. Others utilize a rubber roller to de-skin the cloves.

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Modern Families

‘Hard pill to swallow’: Mom shares why some adult children don’t talk to their parents

"How your kids treat you when they are no longer in need of food and shelter, is a direct reflection of how you made them feel when they needed you to survive."

Parent and child deal with the pain of estrangement.

Even though humans are biologically hard-wired to form strong attachments to our parents, in many cases, these relationships become estranged as the children age. A recent poll found that nearly 1 in 4 adults are estranged from their families.

Six percent are estranged from their mothers and 26% have no contact with their fathers. It’s believed that these days, more children are comfortable distancing themselves from their parents because it’s good for their mental health.

“I think it relates to this new desire to have healthy relationships,” Rin Reczek, a sociology professor at the Ohio State University, said, according to The Hill. “There might be some cultural shifts around people being allowed to choose who is in your family. And that can include not choosing to have the person who raised you be in your family.”

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Pop Culture

Loretta Lynn's granddaughter wows 'American Idol' judges with raw original song

Emmy Russell's original song "Skinny," featuring lyrics about body image and eating disorders, nearly brought everyone to tears.

America Idol/Youtube, Promotional image of Loretta Lynn/Wikipedia

Emmy Russell (left) and her grandmother Loretta Lynn (right)

Emmy Russell, granddaughter of country music icon Loretta Lynn, proved that she was an artist in her own right during a recent episode of “American Idol.”

The 24-year-old singer-songwriter from Nashville auditioned in front of judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan during the show's Feb. 25 episode, during which she opened up about wanting to not live in her grandmother’s shadow.

"She's one of the biggest country music singers of all time, but to me she's just Grandma," she said, adding "I think I am a little timid, and I think it is because I want to own my voice. That's why I want to challenge myself and come out here."

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