Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Randy's metaphorical shoes are too big to fill

In August 2009 I wrote that ‘I live my life almost if not totally within my comfort zone. I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing…(but it’s)…one way of minimising stress [1]’. Staying in my comfort zone maximises my life’s predictability. An example? Every Saturday (Tasmanian time), like clockwork, The Ethicist podcast’s arrived in my iTunes’ Podcasts folder. I’ve adored this podcast. Not least due to Randy Cohen – who I think’s terrific [2]. The Ethicist podcasts – which were readings of Cohen’s weekly New York Times column – were only a few minutes each. But their pithy succinctness defined them. As if the ethical solutions to the conundrums Cohen dealt with came readily to him. An astute reader of this post will’ve perceived I’ve been writing in the past tense. Alas, the final episode of The Ethicist – with Cohen at the helm – was last week’s. It’s his 614th. Here it is [3 ,4]. It seems his parting of the ways with the NYT wasn’t initiated by him [5, 6]. I hope the NYT’s decision comes back to bite it. Apparently they’ve engaged a replacement ethicist. But I doubt anyone could replace Cohen. For his metaphorical shoes are too big to fill. However I’m delighted he and his work won’t be lost to his loyal followers – including me. He has a new programme – A Question of Ethics – in development for public radio [7, 8]. I hope it starts soon. And that it appears regularly. Because my comfort zone’s important to me.

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