Sunday, March 12, 2006

It’s snowing in Palm Springs.

Yes, the weekend I am here, the first time in twenty years or maybe more, it snows in Palm Springs. And I love it! I get it! I get the whole Palm Springs thang! I thought Palm Springs was just older Republicans who liked to play golf on grass that has to be completely replaced twice a year since it’s the desert and they don’t care about that because they just need their golf and their Reagan and their vodka tonic and their conviction that the poor people just have to earn their own way, just like they did – cause they earned their own way, I mean, mostly, right?

People like that.

But, I’m wrong! I’m totally wrong.

Well, I’m probably not wrong about that. But there are so many OTHER people here too. And the mountains are gorgeous. They are covered in snow. It’s absolutely freezing. I brought all the wrong clothes. I have been shivering for two days.

I am at a hotel; it’s late at night, and all wired up from performing. I just did “Letting Go Of God” at the Annenberg Theater. It’s a beautiful theater of 500 seats at the Art Museum. I had a great time doing the show. I mean, mostly as you will soon understand. The audience seemed appreciative. It’s one of the first places I’ve done this show outside L.A. or New York and not at some science/skeptic type convention. I could feel it was different in that way too. When I talk about Jesus “having a really bad weekend for our sins” I didn’t get a big laugh. I got more of a gaspy type of silence. Not completely, just more than I’m used to.

The blog entry I posted yesterday I actually wrote on Thursday in Los Angeles. Blogger used to allow me to back date a blog entry, but not anymore as far as I can tell. In any case, here I am in Palm Springs.

My friend David Lee, who was instrumental in getting me here – like I think underwriting part of the show or maybe even all of the show – was kind enough to take me to lunch yesterday. I got to see his house, which is one of the most amazing houses I’ve ever seen in my entire life. It was Dinah Shore’s old Palm Springs house. It’s restored perfectly – he has impeccable, whimsical, sophisticated taste. His house is elegant and funny at the same time – just like he is! What a major, major treat. Wow. I am so lucky. We were laughing about Dinah Shore and Burt Reynolds – Jeez, remember that? I have not had that thought in my head since my mother whispered it to me when I was a kid – the scandal. Dinah with a man twenty years younger! At the time, Burt Reynolds and Dinah Shore looked to me like they were exactly the same age: adults. I couldn’t get it. And now, I think: wow. Right on, Dinah. Damn. That’s amazing.

I had a horrible moment during my show, however. I went up. (“Up meaning: I lost my place in the show and couldn’t figure out what to say next.) I never go up. And I went up. I haven’t gone up since I was first learning the show. And it was bad. It was really bad. It makes me wonder if I can even do this show in New York a bunch of times a week. Oh jeez. I got to the Deepak Chopra part and there was a sound in the theater. A weird sound. A zippppy zappppy ripppy sound. But I hear all kinds of odd things on stage and I just keep going. I have to endure coughing fits, older people saying to their companions, “What did she say?” I even had a guy have a heart attack during my show once and I just kept going. I did stop during one show at the Hudson Theater when a person with an oxygen machine was beeping so loud the entire audience couldn’t concentrate either. But this was different. It was horrifying. Scary. Freaks me out.

So, I hear this sound. I’m saying something about Deepak Chopra – we are all made from a universal consciousness or something. I hear the sound. This is what goes through my head:

“Wow. What a weird sound. I wonder what that was. Sounds like someone slipping out of a jumpsuit that is also in a wheelchair. Wow, that sound was distracting. Another, less professional performer than myself might be thrown by that sound. But I don’t get thrown. I just plow through. I’m so good at my job. My concentration is great. OH MY GOD I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I JUST SAID TO THE AUDIENCE.”

And then I stuttered and stammered and eventually, finally, after about five years, no twenty years – audience members left, had children, those children had children – finally after much “oh…ah…,” and “I’m sorrying” I figured out where I was and moved forward. But it was highly embarrassing and really scary. That is truly like standing on the edge of a cliff. A cliff like the Grand Canyon. It is leaning over the roof at 30 Rockefeller Center. It is having one foot slip off the path in Bhutan on your way up to the steepest monastery and you look down and you can’t see the bottom. It took me a while to get the audience back with me. Oh how awful that was.

So, this is my new thought: meditation is going to help me from doing this again. You see, this happened before. Well, actually it didn’t happen before. It almost happened many times when I was in my Broadway run with “God Said Ha!” About two months into the run, when I was doing eight shows a week, and I knew the show upwards and backwards, I started to almost go up. All the time. I didn’t go up, but I almost went up in practically every show. And it was horrifying. I began to panic that I was going to go up. When would it happen? What would I do?

There were moments when I got a laugh, and I took a deep breath in, and it was as if I had been transported into myself from some other galaxy. I had no idea where in the show I was. I didn’t know what they were laughing at. I didn’t know if I was at the beginning of my show or the end of my show. I didn’t know if it was the Wednesday matinee or the Wednesday night show. It was a nightmare. Even though, never once, never ever one single time in New York, did the audience know – it was just a moment of panic that happened completely inside me and lasted, in reality, for less than a second.

But it was sooooooo scary – like the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced.

See, I got so good at doing the show while I thought about so many other things. And I was giving a good performance, it wasn’t that. I was not dialing it in or anything. Believe me, I’ve dialed it in before, but I wasn’t doing that. I was just able to think of too many other things. On a certain level, you have to be able think about all kinds of things while you are performing. You have to notice what’s happening to the light on stage, with certain audience members, you are aware of the tech people watching you and sometimes they are gesturing towards you. So there’s a lot going on besides just what you are saying and performing. Cues get missed, people walk out, people walk in, cell phones go off – the whole gamut. So you can think of a lot things while you are performing. But then – and this is when it gets scary – you can think more. You can see the lights and the techies and the audience and deal with them, and you can do your performance and you can muse over why a certain friend hasn’t called you back yet or if sushi is really worth it to learn how to make or that scene in that movie which is just like that other scene in that other movie.

And sometimes even this is not bad. I had a performance on Sunday where I was thinking vaguely about a personal situation I’m in with a friend and as I did my show – it’s like my show reminded me of who I was, why ethics were vitally important to me and how compassion for others is not an optional quality in my dearest friends. And it was healing for me. It’s like the show gave me a good talking to – to myself and I felt centered and grounded in myself afterwards. So, sometimes, thinking about other things makes the performance better, more unique – there’s more going on than just what you might think.

So, the game is not in learning not to ever think of other things. But it’s tricky. Cause really, what other things are okay to think about and what things aren’t? This just freaks me out. Because I don’t really know.

If I do the show in New York, I would hire a meditation teacher to come to me before each show and lead me in a meditation for forty-five minutes before each show. Maybe that would help. Or, in order to save a zillion dollars, I could listen to a meditation cd. It could be my personal ritual, something I absolutely must do before every show. And I would be focused and never worried I would go up. Because the worry creates this feedback loop, the worry makes it more likely to happen. OH MY GOD!

But then, maybe the meditation wouldn’t help, anyway. Sometimes when I meditate my mind is like a damn three ring circus and the meditation does not help, it actually makes it worse. The three-ring circus wants to do its show, but my regular life and obligations keep it from doing its thing. And then I meditate and the circus goes, “Yippity Yah, now is our moment.” And sometimes I meditate and I feel calmer and more focused and that circus is so far out of town, I can’t even remember what acts are in the show! Wow, this could be a true problem.

Let’s go back to how great Palm Springs is, shall we? Mulan and I had a great time together, we swam (even though it was so cold outside) and sat in a Jacuzzi and walked up and down the main drag and got a couple of stuffed animals and had Mexican food. It was really fun. I got to see Beth and Greg’s house – my friends who started and run the
Uncabaret and we got caught up. I stayed with them Thursday night, not arriving until late and we stayed up and it was great fun. I love their house. I want to remodel a house. I am jealous of their efforts. I am in the mood to build something.


Anonymous said...

Dear Julia,

Is there any way you can post some sort of outline on the set to help you if you blank out? After all, musicians often have song lists taped on stage so they can remember what comes next and plays may have prompters to help actors with their lines. TV news anchors have teleprompters.

And as someone who is hard on himself, I try to follow the words of advice from my dental hygenist on my last visit -- be gentle with yourself. It's easier on the teeth too.

Good luck.


Anonymous said...

Dear Julia:

Technically speaking, it isn't snowing IN Palm Springs. I'm here and can look out my window at snow on the mountains, but there is nothing to shovel or stomp through or crash your car in. It is cold, though, I'll give you that. And, as a new resident, I agree it is a bizarre cultural experience. Glad you had fun.


Sheldon said...

I was lucky enough to see Lily Tomlin in San Francisco about 4 years ago doing "The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe," and she "went up" big time.

Her reaction was to pause, stay in character with a pondering look, and then say, "Shit, I forgot what comes next." *laughter, long pause* "Shit, shit, shit." *more laughter, and a longer pause*

Then she just looked out at the audience and said, "Does anyone know what comes next?" Sure enough, someone knew the next line and called it out." She said, "God I love a gay crowd. They always memorize my stuff so I don't have to."

The experience made me love her all the more. It was like she was suddenly very, very human. Ironically, it made the many characters she creates in the show all the more human/real as well.

Having met you at TAM this year, and found you to be a very "real" celebrity who doesn't put on airs, I'd bet your audience felt the same way when you forgot your lines.

I have the same experience when I lecture to my classes. My script has more wiggle room than yours, but my mind still wanders to the most amazingly off-topic things (dinner plans, errands I need to run, bills I need to pay, the cute student in the front row, etc.).

Anonymous said...

Dear Julia,

I had no idea you were once an accountant! That's amazing that you made a career change and that it worked out so well.

What is more scary? Changing direction in your career or that feeling when you've "gone up" on stage? The time involved, that is, the time span of each experience is obviously so different but I'd guess it's a similar sort of terror.

I read somewhere that many people fear being exposed on stage more than almost anything else.

I want to change my career too. I trained as an actor and then went in to writing and editing. Can I ask you a question? How can you find a decent agent as a beginner? There are so many scams out there.

If you have time, or inclination to answer my question, please do so at

Thanks and all the best with your show!

Siamang said...

I'm with Sheldon.

Your perfomance is so open and warm and friendly, there's no problem with going up. Just KNOW that you can let us in on it. You're a human person that we love when we watch the show. Don't be afraid to break that fourth wall and show us your humanity.

I understand that it's your professionalism that's the important part in this. It's that professionalism that's giving your mind the ability to kick yourself with the fear that it could happen. Take away the power from that little mental demon. Give yourself the permission to let the audience in on it if you go up.

I guarantee you that you'll never need to. Once you take away the power of that little fearful voice, he can't do anything to you.

You are who we come to see in the show. Not the show. YOU. If you had gone up on in Letting Go of God, it's such an intimate space, I would have just had no problem with it at all. It never quite occurred to me that you were even going from a script at all.. Of course I knew that you were, but as an audience member the illusion is complete. There is nothing that you can convey that isn't honesty.

And there's nothing to fear from that.

Mark Jonathan Davis said...

hi julia--
i saw your show on saturday, it was great. i am also friends with beth & greg, and yet i didn't know they had moved to palm springs, so it was great to see them and re-connect at your fabulous show.

i think the other bloggers explained it more clearly, but in my opinion, your monologue hiccup in the show was so small (it lasted all of 6 seconds) and minor and human that i and the audience didn't mind at all! i agree with what was said before. when you are in a roomful of people, who have payed money to see you, you are evidently among friends who will certainly forgive a moment of error. heck, you could have screwed up ten times before we'd start asking for refunds!

i perform a lot of shows as a lounge singer character (see, and my show is basically a monologue with songs and a live jazz band. sure enough, i follow a setlist, taped to the stage floor, so that i don't forget where i am in the event of a distraction. to me, it's not a cheat sheet; it's a performance tool, just like a chair or a microphone or a cup of water/tea. you use it when you need it, it's part of the costume/props.

and when i am on stage, i do find my mind wandering sometimes. part of the joy i derive from performing is that very precipice of concentration vs. distraction. i like to see what i am capable of accomplishing amid and despite all of the distractions. indeed, it's scary if you let it throw you; but it's thrilling when you know you can nevertheless proceed through the diversion. but in any case, i have learned that my fans will cut me a lot of slack, and often times, the deviations from the script lead to unique moments (i.e. the lily tomlin story). so, no worries, your entire show was wonderful.

anyway, i enjoyed your show a great deal. i have been an atheist since i was, like, 11, and so i was very interested in hearing your story, because it gave me a new perspective about the way people arrive at their faith/religion/theism/atheism. i love being an atheist, and it was uplifting to see how you came to embrace it from a different path. i can't wait for your book, i will buy it for everyone i know!

the end of your show was really moving, when you explained to your daughter that her grandfather and cat were not together, that they were just gone and that's that.

in that scene, you showed how the concept that there is NO afterlife is evidently just as easy for a child to grasp as the concept that there IS an afterlife. so it was wonderful to see how you were honest and straightforward with your daughter about it. that is a moment from your show which i will certainly repeat to others, and when i have kids of my own, to them.
of course, i won't mention your grandfather and cat with my kids, i will substitute my own deceased relatives at that time.

one question for you: do you have a list of the authors/books you quote in the show? i would like to "read more about it"; please email me at if you can.

and, have you read a book called Lying Awake by Mark Salzman? it's about a nun with a temporal lobe condition!

i think i have typed more than enough already, thanks so much for reading and thanks for the great, life-changing show,
best wishes,


niecey said...

Tee hee hee. You are HELLA funny.
I wish you could post stuff five times a day…but then I wouldn’t get any work done and I’d not be able to pay my rent…I’d become homeless.
Stop being so interesting.

Anonymous said...

...having a really bad weekend for our sins.

Yeah, that line's a bit different than the rest of your show. When I saw the show and heard you say that, I thought this line's going to alienate a lot of people.

Julia, suppose you're on an airplane and the person sitting next to you is Christian, and he's heard about your show and your beliefs and he wants to talk about them. (And suppose that you're willing to - you may not be). In presenting your beliefs to him, you might talk about the structure of the eye, and about Deepak Chopra, and about meeting the Mormons, but I'll bet that, one on one, there's no way you'd say to him Jesus had a really bad weekend for our sins. You might say something like that, but I'd be surprised if you chose those exact words when speaking one-on-one - that's the point where the person you're talking to might stop listening to what you have to say.

A shorter way of saying this might be that the rest of your show is at least respectful of those who believe in God, even if you don't believe in God yourself. That one line is not. (And you may or may not care.)

(Also, in some Christian denominations, Jesus is thought to have descended to Hell during the period between the crucifixion and the resurrection, and that it was there that he bore the punishment for our sins. To people who believe that, your line isn't just disrespectful, but it's also theologically incorrect. Which is besides the point, but may give you insight into what some in your audience might be thinking when they hear that line.)

Anonymous said...

Not necessarily germane to the topic of losing your place in the show, but I ran across this article today about the atheism:

And just always remember, "Deepak Chopra is full of shit!"

(That and the bit about the blue-footed boobies were our favorite moments of the show. "What're ya gonna do?")

Anonymous said...

I’m writing to you to tell you that today I heard the set you produced for PRI’s This American Life radio show. Somebody at work got me hooked on listening to old weeks’ programs off its website. The show I heard today is nearly a year old now.
It was great to hear your impressions upon reading the bible for the first time. Okay. The reason you got my attention is because you start with a story about two nineteen-year-old missionaries visiting you. I’ve been in that situation literally thousands of times because I also worked full-time for two years as a mormon missionary just like them. I’m amazed at the accuracy of your retelling the history of the Book of Mormon. I realize that you presented it as unbelievable fiction. For that, I can’t blame you, but thank you for recalling it like you heard it. (With the exception of the seerstone in the hat; they didn’t teach that did they?)
Anyway, as an actress, I think you’re great. As a person, after hearing your experience I think you’re great. It was on a road trip with my two brothers in the summer of ’97 maybe, that we started the conversation in the car ‘If a movie were to be made of our family; Who would play who?’ Right at the start I suggested ‘Dorene, (that’s mom) would be played by Julia Sweeney,’ and everybody laughed, and it kind of set the genre of the movie right there. It would be funnier if you knew mom. And, I’m sorry if you get that all the time.
Lastly, I hope you read this letter. While I could add to that, I hope you read the Book of Mormon, I’m happy letting you decide if you ever pick it up or not. AND—let me say this (after reading about what you’ve been up to in your career the last year or so). Believe it or not I really do appreciate your efforts to get people to question why it is they believe what they do. The opposite of Christianity isn’t Atheism; it’s apathy. Hollywood pushes religious apathy so hard. And so I see, and I think anybody else with eyes sees the good you’re doing in asking a predominantly Christian audience, ‘What’s in the bible anyway?’
AND—if you still have questions, even just out of curiosity and wish for a better answer than ‘lean not unto thine own understanding,’ write to me. (You’re asking a 25-year-old, single college student who has gotten over his know-it-all phase.)

–David Sudweeks
dcsudweeks hotmail com

Sheldon said...

In response to "Just Some Guy" above:

Since when do Christians censor what THEY say to/about us? I think it's a bad idea to advocate giving in to their superstition just to make our ideas "more accessible." The show is supposed to be a comedy, and the line "Jesus had a really bad weekend for our sins" is freakin' heee-larious!

Siamang said...

I also love that line. It changed the way I thought about the crucifixion.

Well, that and seing the same thing happen to Kirk Douglas in Sparticus.

If Sparticus didn't die for our sins...

But it makes me realize, other people have suffered worse. I probably know people who have suffered worse than Jesus did, for longer. For a religion whose central image (paging mr Gibson) is suffering, it's important to look critically at it, and to some extent burst its self-important grandiose nature.

Anonymous said...

Good golly Miss Molly, what's the problem? It doesn't seem like you are at a loss for words.

PS. I've played golf in Palm Springs and I'm a Democrat, or at least I vote that way even though I'm a registered Republican.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Sheldon. You're absolutely right that Jesus had a really bad weekend for our sins is hilarious. But lots of my writer friends say that they're always having to cut great lines or scenes from their work if it doesn't fit the larger message. If Julia is trying to win converts to atheism, a line like that isn't really the way to do it, IMHO. But if one of the points of the show is all Christians are jerks, then by all means, the line fits.

Those are both extremes, of course, and I don't believe that Julia's trying to do either of these things, exactly. But I don't think she's simply just telling her story either. "Winning converts to atheism" isn't completely accurate, but it does seem to be the direction that her show tilts in.

Anonymous said...

great blog, Julia check in everyday. "Anxiety is the state in which a being is aware of its possible non-being...The anxiety of death is the most basic, most universal, and inescapable." Paul Tillich

Sheldon said...

To contiue the debate over the "controversial" line about Jesus...

Yes, if Julia's pupose is to "win converts" to Atheism, then she's got problems with that line. Since she's a comedian, my assumption is that she's trying to get people to laugh and make a living doing so. I don't know the woman, having met her only once, so I won't presume to know her purpose for the show. Based on the evidence, though (she's a tv/stage/film actress, she's trained in comedy, she's a comedic writer), my guess would be that "winning converts" is not the purpose of the show.

As a side note, I don't think one CAN convert people to Atheism. People seem to come to those conclusions on their own; the fact that they read certain books, listen to certain lectures, or see Julia's show is only proof that they're already questioning. And if that's the case, I don't think they'll be offended by a joke about Jesus' bad weekend. I think it will loosen them up and make them think a little, I can't stop laughing at that line!

AND I CAN JUST SAY HOW MUCH I MISS RANDI?! I hope he gets better soon and starts doing his weekly commentary again!

Anonymous said...


Your blog certainly attracts some interesting discussion! I saw the show last year and loved it, but I never thought for one moment that you were attempting to persuade anyone to embrace atheism. I think you had to reject Christianity because you were immersed in it from such an early age. I was not. So there's nothing for me to reject. I believe in God but would not call myself a Christian. I don't feel like I have to belong to a church to believe in God. And I don't have to prove or disprove my beliefs. I guess maybe some of the things that don't make sense in this world are part of the mystery.

I remember this woman I used to work for. She was an attorney for Randall Terry, that crazy guy who started Operation Rescue. She said her little girl cried all the time because the Baby Jesus would grow up to die one day on the cross. God, poor little girl! I remember the first time I heard that Jesus died for ur sins. Believe it or not I was an adult the first time I heard this and I just did NOT understand it. I still don't. I think Christianity is such a strange and bizarre religion.

Lastly, some of your readers may also want to read Rosanne Cash's blog. I love what she has to say about God, politics, her famous father, love and loss. Here's the link to her blog:

Keep on blogging Julia,


Anonymous said...

Hey, Sheldon and Laurie. You make good points. I agree that she probably isn't trying to "convert people to atheism". But I think she is trying to get people to critically question their beliefs. Does the "really bad weekend" line help or hurt? Don't know.

Anonymous said...

And what's wrong with "converting" (sic!) people to Atheism!!?? If a couple of evangelists can make millions by peddling a book series that is wholly based in the Bible - and call it, hmmm, literature - why couldn't Julia Sweeney express her views on the matter of religion in a forum that best suits her avowedly artistic talent?

Btw, regarding missionaries. Some years ago (on a Saturday can I forget!?) a quartet of Jehova's Witnesses knocked on my door and when I answered (getting right out of bed!), they chirped in unison, "Hello, would you likje to talk about God?" "You mean, religion?" says I."Oh, yes, yes, religion". OK, I invite them in, they're happy as can be... we sit down and, somewhat unexpectedly (for them, that is), I launch a barage of questions, right off the bat: "So, tell me, what do you guys know about other religions?" "What do you mean?" "Well, you know, the other great religions of the world - Hinduism, Buddhism...etc.?" "Oh, we know that Buddhism is not a religion!" "Says who?" I demand to know. "Well, there is no God in Buddhism and they..." "Whoooa, wait a minute... where have you read this?" (not that it is!). "Oh we have it all here, in this publication..." And they proceed to show me the pages of a thin pamphlet, bursting with Nancy Drew sleeve-like know, those with lots...and I mean LOTS of colors...There's Jesus, there's Moses, there's...ooops Hell, guys, HELL! They KNOW exactly how it looks... kinda makes you wander? I thank them for the didactic value of the pamphlet and then ask them an innocent question, "But, have you ever read any of the Buddha's sermons? Or what generations of Buddhist scholars have written down? I mean, it's not like it's censored or something...Most public libraries hold at least some original Buddhist texts?" "Oh...hmmm... no.... we haven't read any of that, but we don't need to because we have everything we need to know right here." "In your 8-page pamphlet?" "Well, yes..." "Now, honestly, how would YOU feel if someone criticized YOUR beliefs in a mere 8 pages, with illustrations?" "Ugh...gulp" "Besides, guys, Buddhism is 2500 years old - and still going strong! It was already FIVE HUNDRED years old when Jesus appeared! Doesn't that fact alone mean something?" "What do you mean?" "Well, something like showing a little respect - if nothing else - and checking out the ORIGINAL statements, documemnts, texts, etc., BEFORE you make up your mind about something?"
A very uncomfortable silence fell upon the five of us. The four of them, however, excused themselves quickly and left - never to come back again to talk "about God".

Anonymous said...

Oh, just one more thing! You said that the next time you performed in NYC you were going to hire a meditation instructor to help you relax before the show.
How about this: I will gladly coach you - after all I did spend time in a real Buddhist monastery (Sri Lanka; Theravada Buddhism, in case you wanted to know)- but, all I ask for in return is - a pass to see your show!?

Ha! ha...?

Sheldon said...

Ugh! Yet another Buddhist in Atheist's clothing.

Listen kids: Ya either get it, or ya don't. This Atheism gig isn't just about whether or not to accept "Christianity." It's not even about whether or not to accept "religion." It's about accepting that there is no MAGIC, no "woo-woo" explanation for phenomena, and that there's a NATURALISTIC explanation for everything.

Buddhists love to tout their beliefs as being 1) older (and, therefore, better), and 2) different (since there's no specific god involved). But make no mistake, it's still a religion.

And Meditation doesn't have anything to do with Buddhism.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Sheldon. It's pretty clear what your take on God is - but I'm not sure what you're saying about meditation. So what is your understanding of meditation?

(uh... Julia, I hope you don't mind your blog comments being copted to ask questions of other people.)

Anonymous said...

"Meditation doesn't have anything to do with Buddhism"!!??!?!?
You mean, like prayer has nothing to do with Catholicism?
Looks to me like you're one of those 8-page-pamphlet experts on all those "other" (inferior? pagan? pre-Christian?) religions.
And, of course, Buddhism is a religion. But it is also a whole lot more... that is, if you're willing to study it in earnest.

LeeBee said...

I found an audience member who was illegally videotaping your performance, and you'll be happy to know that the section you have blacked out on is gloriously preserved. Here is what you said:

"I personally believe that US Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some people out there in our nation don't have maps and I believe that our education like such as South Africa and, uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as and I believe that they should our education over here in the US should help the US, should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future for our children."