Comedian extraordinaire Paula Poundstone performed for a full house at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor last night. The responsive audience included Chef Alex Guarnaschelli and architect Peter Cook, seated together in the front row. Cook is designing a house for Guarnaschelli.
During Poundstone’s amusing, but serious, trouncing of the video game and faux educational school computer industries, she held up local author Dr. Nick Kardaras’s book Glow Kids as a prime example of the ugly truths of screen addiction. Poundstone has long been an advocate of eliminating the use of screens during childhood, as studies have proven that the still-developing brain is negatively affected by this stimulation.
Kardaras is one of the country’s foremost addiction experts and the Executive Director of The Dunes East Hampton, a top rehabilitation center. He’s also a former Clinical Professor at Stony Brook Medicine, and has taught neuropsychology at the doctoral level. In short, Kardaras has the evidence, knowledge and experience to back up his claims. According to the author, “recent brain-imaging studies conclusively show that excessive screen exposure can neurologically damage a young person’s developing brain in the same way that cocaine addiction can.”
Poundstone and Kardaras had dinner together at Sen in Sag Harbor before the show. The two will appear in a segment airing on ABC’s World News Tonight next month about the epidemic problem of screen addition. Poundstone’s son is one of its casualties; despite repeat attempts to make a break, he remains addicted to video games.
Bay Street has become something of annual gig for Poundstone, who is popular with East Enders for her regular appearances on National Public Radio’s Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me! and for her books, which include the bestselling memoir There’s Nothing in This Book That I Meant to Say.